Blog Archive

Fish In A Barrel . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Wednesday, May 31, 2006 8 comments

In the category of easy targets, a few recent stories made me laugh as Star Jones, Paris Hilton and Ben Affleck formed an unholy trinity this past weekend.

Affleck was rushed to the ER with a migraine on the set of his directorial debut, "Gone, Baby, Gone," which is being shot in Massachusetts.

Although I generally like Affleck as a person thanks to his self-deprecating humor, his movie choices such as "Paycheck" (the title says it all), "Surviving Christmas" (just barely) and "Gigli" (as horrible and unintentionally funny as you could imagine) have undermined his career to such an extent that I'm not sure he'll ever fully recover.

Maybe he should cut an album, which is what Paris Hilton is doing as she plans to launch her music career with the single "Stars Are Blind."

She describes the album as universal in its appeal as she stated "I want to have something for everybody."

Hilton neglected to mention if she meant something for everybody to laugh at, and what boggles my mind is that a blue-eyed, blonde-haired girl from Beverly Hills is releasing an album that I saw described as a mix strongly featuring reggae and hip-hop music.

That's keeping it real in a style you know is authentic.

Finally, one celebrity (and I use that term loosely) who's keeping it real - real nasty - is Star Jones as this picture appears to be a microcosm of her marriage.

Her husband, Al Reynolds, looks severely uncomfortable in this position, although it's hard to tell if his displeasure stems merely from Star's attention or from the fact that she might be crushing his thighbone with her pelvic gyrations.

These stories were the equivalent of shooting fish in a barrel, but they still served to make me laugh which is a good thing when you're buried in work from your long holiday weekend.


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You Mess With The Bull . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Tuesday, May 30, 2006 6 comments

As if returning to work after a long weekend wasn't depressing enough, I sat down at my desk and discovered that actor Paul Gleason had died.

Gleason was 67, and died at a local hospital Saturday of mesothelioma, a rare form of lung cancer linked to asbestos.

Gleason was a phenomenally hilarious character actor, and I still remember the first time I saw him as a high school principal from hell in "The Breakfast Club."

If he would have known what cinematic horrors the cast of that movie would perpetuate on the public over the next decade, I'm sure Gleason would have kept them in detention for the rest of the 80s.

Gleason continued to appear in roles that played to his strengths of being sarcastic and hilarious and quite often a bit of an asshole.

In addition to "The Breakfast Club," some of my other favorites include "Trading Places," "Die Hard" and "Johnny Be Good."

I often miss character actors more than "stars" because I think there is something about the regular guy roles that makes them less removed from the audience.

Actors like Gleason could be your uncle or your friend or some guy off the street who happens to make movies for a living.

Anytime he was onscreen, Gleason could usually be counted on for a laugh and he was always an interesting character who I will miss now that he's gone.


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2 Dollar Productions Moves Downtown . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Saturday, May 27, 2006 10 comments

Instead of spending this past week revising our scripts for the upcoming Austin Film Festival, my brother and I spent that time meeting with bankers and lawyers and inspectors because we've decided to purchase a 4-story loft in downtown Austin.

This move towards property ownership is a big one, and we've found it to be filled with a plethora of unexpected expenses and time-consuming tasks.

But our bank has agreed to give us money to fund the project, which is nice but also makes me question their sanity because I'm not sure if I would give us that much money.

The place is very sharp and modern and has a huge rooftop deck with hot tub connections. There's also high ceilings and an industrial look that I totally dig.

Here's some pics:

The first picture is from the rooftop deck, and I can't wait to fill the nearly 600 sq feet with bamboo, lounge chairs and a mini-fridge stocked with Negro Modelos and Heineken.

I have a pretty good feeling that this will turn out to be a good investment for us. I have an even better intuition that it will be an exciting and fun place to live.

I'm undecided, however, on how it will affect our script work, but if we can just ride out the next month then it's entirely possible that creativity will flow freely in the belly of the beast.

At least I hope so.


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Simply Incredible . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Thursday, May 25, 2006 6 comments

I got these pictures sent to me via email, and although I usually just delete forwards, these drawings made me take notice.

Drawing has never been my strong suit despite my delusions of grandeur in grade school when I could create a pretty mean rendering of stick figures and breasts (sometimes combined).

It wasn't until a few years later that I realized that both of these things looked far different in real life than they did when I put them on paper.

But Julian Beever is a real artist.

Beever is an Englishman who's famous for his art on the pavement of England, France, Germany, USA, Australia and Belgium.

I don't know how he gives his drawings such a 3-D illusion, but I do wish I had the same talent back in 5th grade when drawing boobs seemed vitally important.

I bet I would have been more popular too.


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Fear & Loathing Or Mostly Just Loathing . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Tuesday, May 23, 2006 9 comments

It's often a strange feeling when you strongly dislike or even outright loathe something for no discernible reason.

In the Adam Sandler/Jack Nicholson vehicle, "Anger Management," John Turturro's character personifies this unreasonable rage when he talks of his anger against some of Alaska's population because he feels that "Eskimos are smug."

Sometimes people or things are easy to hate, and I would lump red lights, soft-core pornography and Dick Cheney into this category.

But other times, the reasoning is murky if nonexistent and yet the anger still flows as freely as sweat on a hooker at Charlie Sheen's house.

So, with that in mind, here's a few things/people that I tend to loathe with only minor justification:

1) Gwyneth Paltrow

2) Mini-vans

3) Tomatoes

4) Croquet

5) Tofu

6) Kenny Chesney

Actually, disliking Chesney is completely justified due to the horrifying extent of his pukka-shell necklace and sleeveless shirt collection.

That's all I can think of for now, but I'm always open for suggestions as this kind of hate is typically a very individualistic emotion.


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Appetite For Destruction . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Sunday, May 21, 2006 5 comments

In a bizarre celebrity smackdown, Axl Rose and Tommy Hilfiger recently mixed it up at party for Rosario Dawson in New York.

Rose was performing an acoustic set of songs at the bash, but trouble erupted and strangely enough it was Tommy who was the instigator.

"There was an issue between the two of them," Plumm owner Noel Ashman told The Associated Press.

The scuffle reportedly started after the Guns N' Roses front man moved the drink of Hilfiger's girlfriend, Dee Ocleppo.

"I moved his girlfriend's drink so it wouldn't spill," Rose told the Los Angeles radio station KROQ on Friday. "It was the most surreal thing, I think, that's ever happened to me in my life."

That seems hard to believe, although from all reports of the incident, Hilfiger was as relentless as some of colorful designs.

"He just kept smacking me," Rose said.

Personally, I had no idea that Hilfiger was straight or that he had such untapped fury inside him, but very little damage was done as Rose claimed he "just saw a huge ball of color coming at him from all directions and so I was able to slide out of the way."

At least that's my interpretation, but I think the brawl bodes well for Rose who seems to be returning to his metal roots.

Now if he would just do something about that hair.


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Constant As The Sun . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Friday, May 19, 2006 5 comments

It's comforting to know that some things never change, and much like the fact that the sun will always rise in the East, Charlie Sheen will remain a filthy pervert until the day he dies.

Now that Charlie's dating again, Page Six reported some of Sheen's sexual vices as told by a girl he supposedly "romanced" from April to May.

The aspiring actress (aren't they all) labeled Sheen "about as sick as they come."

Oh Charlie.

Here's a few of my other favorites:

"We dated for about a month. He's such a [bleep]ing perv. He would ask me to dress up, like, in pigtails and schoolgirl outfits. I don't think he's like a pedophile, but he's definitely into really young girls. You know like 18, 19. I don't doubt that everything his wife is saying now is true."

"He was a big talker, and once I asked him if he was this open with all his girlfriends. He said that he was. He said, 'I like to get to know everyone, even pros.' He calls prostitutes pros...He would take Viagra every time before sex, which is kind of weird."

As the sun goes down in the West, I will certainly sleep better tonight knowing that Charlie Sheen has paid top dollar for a pyramid of naked, nubile and young cheerleaders.

Some things never change and I like it that way.


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Monkey See, Monkey Screw . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Thursday, May 18, 2006 5 comments

In a disturbing bit of a news from the scientific front, it appears that the course of evolution wasn't a smooth ride as some of our ancient ancestors supposedly engaged in sexual trysts with chimps before ultimately going their separate ways.


According to the new theory, chimps and humans shared a common apelike ancestor much more recently than was thought. Furthermore, when the two emerging species split from each other, some members of the two groups seem to have interbred about 1.2 million years after they first parted ways following a dispute involving a devious ape by the name of "Curious George."

If this theory proves correct, it will mean modern people are descended from something akin to chimp-human hybrids. If that turns out to be true, then it would challenge the prevailing view that hybrids rarely survive, however, it would explain this:

This new discovery is enough to send anyone running back to creationism because I would rather say that my ultimate ancestor was God rather than a particularly attractive chimp named Horace.


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See You Later Alligators . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Tuesday, May 16, 2006 4 comments

I would be perfectly content to live in a world where snakes, sharks and alligators did not exist.

If a plague wiped them of the planet tomorrow, I wouldn't lose a wink of sleep or shed one single tear, and as far as I'm concerned they can take Freddie Prinze Jr. with them.

After last week in Florida, I'm sure many people feel the same way I do about alligators as three women were killed in separate incidents by the eerily intelligent beasts who should only be kept around in wallet, boot or belt form.

Instead, they compete for Florida's prime real estate with senior citizens and the serial perverts who roam South Beach.

"We live in a wildlife state in and among many different species," said Willie Puz, a spokesman for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. "Be alert to your surroundings. Any freshwater body in Florida can be home to alligators."

Mr. Puz attributed the recent attacks to factors like warm waters and recent drought-like conditions in the area, and said the attacks were "unfortunate and tragic, unrelated coincidences in three different geographical regions of the state."

That's troubling news to me because it leads to the assumption that the alligators are communicating with one another to deflect suspicion and are possibly using some kind of intricate, underground swamp system to prey on victims.

I hope that's not actually the case, and if police are still searching for some of these marauding, murdering beasts, then I suggest they start with these three candidates who all appear as scaly as they come.



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Seacrest Out Of The Closet . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Monday, May 15, 2006 2 comments

This picture doesn't bolster Ryan Seacrest's heterosexuality in my book.

When you combine this with his horribly awkward kiss with Teri Hatcher and some of his interviews (the one where he talks about going home every day after school and eating nachos and watching "Oprah" sticks out in my mind) it just seems like a terrible charade that continues to play by insisting that he likes girls.

But I'm not convinced that he does.

I can't imagine it would hurt his career at this point, and he could sign off every "American Idol" with "Seacrest out of the closet."

Just a thought.


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The Orgies Better Be Worth It . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Saturday, May 13, 2006 10 comments

The next month of my life is going to be pure hell as I started a brutal diet and exercise program that is designed to peak on June 9th or 10th when I meet with a New York modeling agent.

This whole saga has ongoing for almost a year, and stemmed from a photo shoot that I did for a fitness coffee-table book, which is still being shopped to publishers the last time I checked.

If the book ever does get published, my feeling is that it will appeal to a very specialized buying segment of the population - namely gay bath-house owners scattered throughout the United States.

But one good thing resulted from the shoot as these pictures found their way to a New York agent:

I met with the agent last summer when he came to Dallas to speak at a modeling convention (which is one of the silliest conventions one could attend), and he told me that he saw a money-making opportunity for both of us if I gained 10 pounds. So, I spent the past several months stuffing myself and working out amongst the screenplay writing and actual job-related work.

The agent returns to Dallas on June 9th, and if he likes what he sees, he wants to bring me to New York for a week to live in a house for models and go to photo shoots and open calls and take acting lessons and in my imagination generally behave like some crazy outtake from "Zoolander."

I actually hope there's more to it than that as I see the project as a total grab for easy money as well as connections to the film industry. We'll see.

In the meantime, I'm facing a 4 week program to shed body fat and a diet that must suddenly cease to include alcohol, milk, sugar, Gatorade, most carbs and generally anything that tastes good.

My diet now looks like this:

Meal 1 - Protein Shake
Meal 2 - 6 egg whites, 1 whole egg and 1/2 cup of oatmeal
Meal 3 - Protein Shake, handfull of unsalted almonds
Meal 4 - 6 oz. chicken or turkey, 1/2 cup rice
Meal 5 - Protein Shake, handfull of unsalted almonds
Meal 6 - 6 0z. Chicken or turkey, 1/2 cup rice, green beans
Meal 7 - 6 egg whites, handfull of unsalted almonds

That regime is enough to make nearly anyone weep like a little child who skinned their knee, but I will remain strong in the face of nutritional adversity.

All I do know, however, is that the orgies better be worth the pain if this actually works out.


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Costner Throws In The Towel . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Thursday, May 11, 2006 6 comments

I almost missed this little gem, but apparently Kevin Costner was recently accused of performing a "disgusting" sex act before a hotel masseuse back in 2004.

Costner was accused of grabbing the 34-year-old woman who was massaging him, dropping his towel and exposing himself to her before asking the spa worker if she wanted to "play a little game I like to call Dance With The Naked Wolf."

That last part was fraudulent, but the alleged exposure did take place at the Old Course Hotel in Fife, Scotland.

A gag order had prevented his name from previously being published, but Tribunal chairman Nicol Hosie lifted the restriction claiming there was no reason for it to be withheld from reporting.

The allegations made by the 34-year-old woman -- who brought a claim for unfair dismissal and sexual discrimination against the hotel -- were not taken seriously by hotel staff, papers said.

She eventually settled with the hotel out of court, although Costner never explictly denied the charges.

"This was never about Kevin Costner. It is a dispute between a hotel and an ex-employee," Costner's spokesman Paul Bloch told reporters.

And I thought the only example of Kevin Costner's public masturbation could be found when viewing "Waterworld" and "The Postman" back to back.

I guess I was wrong.


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Welcome To One Of My Nightmares . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Wednesday, May 10, 2006 5 comments

Several things scare me such as snakes, Star Jones, sharks, Brooke Hogan, Josh Hartnett movie marathons, the Olive Garden and now I have to contend with this to haunt my dreams:

When I saw this photo, my immediate thought was that Celine's Buddha-like husband shlled out mucho dinero to have her cloned for his own sick, peverted use.

Luckily, however, this wax rendering was just a gift to Celine to celebrate her 500th show in Las Vegas.

The truth certainly saved me from many a sleepless night as I just don't think I could live in a world that contained two Celine Dion's running and singing and driving Chryslers throughout it.


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Blaine Is A Pain In My Ass . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Tuesday, May 09, 2006 6 comments

I didn't watch David Blaine's attempt to set a world record for holding his breath last night for several reasons.

1) I hate that Blaine is referred to as a magician because his stunts involve little "magic." If standing in one place for an extended period of time qualifies one as a magician than I pass dozens and dozens of amateur illusionists everyday at bus stops around Austin.

2) I don't see how you can make a 2 hour special about a record that would finish in 9 minutes if Blaine was successful.

3) I knew if he really did drown that I would see about a thousand replays today on the television.

But Blaine didn't drown as he was pulled by divers from his glass aquarium when he started to black out after staying under water for 7 minutes and 8 seconds.

Blaine, who had spent a week in the tank in full public view, was attempting to break the record of eight minutes and 58 seconds while simultaneously freeing himself from chains and handcuffs.

Blaine was encouraged by his trainer Kirk Krack, who was likely forced to answer the question that yes Kirk Krack is indeed his real name multiple times throughout the evening.

After being given oxygen and enduring laughter for excessive shrinkage, Blaine addressed the crowd that had assembled to watch him.

"I am humbled so much by the support of everyone from New York City and from all over the world," he said. "This was a very difficult week, but you all made it fly by with your strong support and your energy. Thank you so much, everybody. ... I love you all."

One spectator, David Linker, said Blaine symbolized "man’s strength to go beyond what normal people can do."

My feeling is that Blaine symbolizes man's need to endure masochistic boredom while pursuing esoteric records and accomplishments.

Dr Murat Gunel, an associate professor of neurosurgery at Yale University School of Medicine who heads Blaine's medical team, said the challenge had taken a toll on the magician’s body, including liver damage, the sensation of pins and needles in his feet and hands, some loss of sensation elsewhere, and rashes all over his body.

Presumably, Blaine was already partially brain-dead before the experiment as Gunel failed to mention any intellectual symptoms in his report.


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Keep Your Clothes On . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Saturday, May 06, 2006 8 comments

I did something that I'm not particularly proud of this weekend, and that something was buying "Wild Things" for $1.99 at a used DVD store and then I watched it for the second time in my life.

The first time I reviewed the movie for my college newspaper, The Daily Texan, and I think I gave it 2 1/2 stars for the sheer amount of South Floria sleaze that the movie oozed all over the screen.

After a careful analysis, however, I think I was too harsh on the movie because I've now concluded that "Wild Things" is sneakily excellent in its sheer awfulness - and that can be a very good thing.

That being said, even if I would be careful where I admitted to such an opinion.

It's not something you would lob out at a dinner party where the conversation had been steering towards Godard or Christopher Guest or "Chinatown."

That kind of crowd wouldn't want me to follow up a long-winded discourse on Brando and De Niro's method acting with a "I really think we're overlooking the merits of "Wild Things" tonight people."

No. Something like "Wild Things" is a film that one needs to watched and appreciated behind closed doors.

One virtue of the movie is the ample nudity, although not all of it is of a good variety.

In fact, "Wild Things" is a perfect example of how nudity can either help or harm a film depending on the guilty party.

On one hand, there's an enthralling threesome scene that would fall squarely in the good nudity category, but then a half hour after that high point, Kevin Bacon shows up and serves up his meat in a shower scene.

Bad nudity. Bad.

The double-edged sword of movie nudity quickly got me thinking of other notably bad movie scenes where a major star was naked.

These are by no means the only violaters of the nudity rule, but here's a starting point of offenders.

1) Kathy Bates in "About Schmidt" - A very uncomfortable hot tub scene.

2) Michael Douglas in "Basic Instinct" - The old butt-walking in the moonlight scene.

3) Ned Beatty in "Deliverance" - Nobody should ever be told to "Squeal like a pig."

4) Bruce Willis in "Color of Night" - A movie as meaningless as the shot showing Bruce flapping around in swimming pool.

5) Julianne Moore in "Short Cuts" - Moore plays a whole scene sans pants.

I know there are others still out there, but that's all that springs to mind for now.

Then again, my brain is still running a little slow from the whole "Wild Things" experience.


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Trying To Train A Monkey . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Thursday, May 04, 2006 6 comments

The deed has been done and the fat is in the fire because my brother and I have finally finished whipping our two comedy scripts into shape and have them submitted to the International Screenwriting Awards.

Our first script, "Last Train To Amerstam," was submitted last year and missed the semi-finals by 2 lousy points (which given the name of our company is fairly ironic).

The script underwent a significant overhaul since that disappointment, but the humor remained the same and our logline summed it up fairly well:

Boy bands, pop culture and polar bears collide during a wild train ride through Europe which explores a seedy universe populated with has-been actors, German barons, heated housewives, and a degenerate train conductor who knows everyone's secrets.

The second script, "Monkey Business," is a bit more conventional, and we tried to hang a "big concept" on it as that was one the critiques of our first effort.

We described MB as:

The bastard child of "Risky Business" and "Old School" is spawned when two friend's personal and professional lives are thrown into upheaval after inheriting a suburban swingers nightclub from a dirty old man.

We'll see how things turn out, but the plan is to score at least one semi-final nomination this year and then parlay that into agents, money, debauchery and all things Hollywood.

I'm sure it will be exactly that easy.


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