Pull Up A Chair and Check Out Cop-A-Squat.com!

Need some inspirational encouragement in your life? Want to read something hilarious and encouraging? Cruise on over to Cop-A-Squat, the blog by author Paul Worthington. Packed full with phenomenal stories and wise musings, Cop-A-Squat.com is one of my favorite sites on the whole Internet.

The newest novel by Paul Worthington, Life: As Fragile As Dust is filled with 12 outstanding short stories, both chilling and absolutely lovely. Crossing all borders; from Italy to India, action packed thrillers to heart-rendering narratives, Life is the book you do not want to miss.

Can you see the five faces in the picture?

Why I Loved the Film ‘Trishna’

  • The Indian backdrop? It has to be a great film, right? Remember Slumdog Millionaire?
  • And look: it stars Frieda Pinto. Now it really has to be good.

  • Awww…a romance story. Rich boy meets poor girl? How original! Now I’m glad I didn’t see Step Up: Revolution.
  • The countless scenes that simply consist of odd exchanges of dialogue, her prancing around Mumbai, and introductions of characters that suddenly disappear from the film.

                                                                The 10,000 sex scenes.

  • The stereotypical characters. Trishna’s father, for example: An ‘Indian-men-are-always-rude-to-women’ character? Superb scriptwriting.
  •  The long, dreary time length! Of course I was all too enamored with the main guy treating Trishna like garbage.

  • Sub-plots that fade into the background and confuse the already muddled script even more. Winterbottom = next Steven Spielberg.
  • And the acting is impeccable! One-dimensional characters and one-faced acting definitely deserves an Oscar.

And of course, the great moral message: Let someone treat you like garbage for a long time, then when you’re sick of it, kill them. Then kill yourself. So empowering!


An Original Poem Dedicated to the Annoying Moviegoer In Front of Me

I sit and wait; I’m in the perfect seat. I tap my feet to the pre-previews beat.

I am the only one in here. How odd. I halfway listen to the ‘Behind The Scenes’ footage while I nod.

“I KNOW RIGHT!” An intruder! She waddles in on her cellphone, scans the chairs looking for her throne.

Not next to me, not next to me, I pray inwardly. She doesn’t – she plops right in front of me.

Screaming into her cellphone. I scream inside. And what’s that smell?

She readjusts herself carefully. I am in hell.

The room goes dark. The MPAA warns this preview is for grown-ups alone.

She says goodbye for the 1000th time and presses ‘End Call’ on her phone.

Yes, I can finally enjoy…

She zips open her suitcase – I don’t think that’s a purse – and snatches the noisiest, loudest chip bag in all of history and under my breath I curse.

One meaty hand on the left, five sausages on the right. She smacks the chip bag and POP! chips dance in the air, blocking my sight.

A giggle and another odd smell. She slams a handful of chips down her throat.

I want to put my hands around her throat.

She whips out her cellphone and presses Messages.

Oh my God…she’s about to text.

The movie is starting. What did I go see? For all I know, there’s a whole new movie in front of me!

All through the film she laughs like a hyena, eats like a pig, releases terrible smells.

I think I already told you I was in hell.

The lights come back on. My torture can end. She leaves as quickly as she came in.

I peer over the seats. Chips, chips, chips litter the chairs. Reminiscences of her are everywhere.

So please moviegoer, shut up, eat quietly, and crap before you leave home, and don’t ever, ever, ever let this be you.

Or the theater might just have to jump on you.

Ever had a horrible moviegoing experience because of that one annoying audience member? Leave your story in the comments. 

Book Vs. Film

“The book is always better than the movie.”

“But the film does things the book always can’t do.”

“But the book teaches you to tap into your imagination. And the movie always leaves out major things that are essential in the book!”

“But the movie gives you a whole another world to tap into-and isn’t it cool to see your characters brought to life?”

Sounds familiar?

It’s a common debate: which is better – the book or the movie? But it isn’t always the movie, or always the book. It always depends. That’s why RFB is introducing a new series: Book vs. Film.

For every month, I will choose a new novel (anything from 90 to 250 pages) to read. Once I finish the book, I’ll watch its accompanying movie. At the end of the month, I’ll post reviews of both the novel and the film, and tell you which was better: the book or the movie.

I’ll take requests for novels/movies to review, and even read short stories and review its film (for example, the fantastic film, The Grey, was based on a short story).

For this month (July), I am reading Never Let Me Go, by Kazuo Ishiguro. By the 30th, I’ll post my review of its film, directed by Mark Romanek.

As children, Ruth, Kathy and Tommy, spend their childhood at a seemingly idyllic English boarding school. As they grow into young adults, they find that they have to come to terms with the strength of the love they feel for each other, while preparing themselves for the haunting reality that awaits them. 

It might sound vague, but the book is getting very good. I’m excited!


Check back with RFB on the August 2nd!

Ice Age 4: Continental Drift

Step Up 9400. Ice Age 72. Madagascar 237. Please Hollywood, stop pumping these delirious sequels!

The Ice Age movies have long lost their innocence and freshness. In Ice Age 4, we are force-fed the same old gimmicks: that crazy ole’ squirrel is still chasing acorns, Sid is as stupid as ever, Manny is fat and loud, not that far from his voice over artist, and Diego is always cool, calm, and collected–and I’m still wondering why he’s still with this group anyway. Even more unfortunately, the producers at DreamWorks somehow thought it would be a good thing to shove even more lousy characters down our throats, as to heighten the irritation. I’d rather not list them, because, 1) I don’t at least remember half of them (yes, they are that forgettable and unnecessary) and, 2) I want to forget them since they are so annoying.

This time around, Scrat, the rabid squirrel goes chasing around the earth his beloved acorn, and somehow, he causes a continental drift. This is very unfortunate for Manny and the gang, since Manny’s wife and teenage daughter Peaches (and the award for the most ghetto name in animated history goes to…) are separated from Sid, his crazy Granny, Diego, and Manny, where violent storms snap the family apart across the globe. Along the way, we meet a slew of other characters, as Manny and his tagalongs meet a pirate ship, complete with numerous random celebrities getting a quick check. Manny, Sid, Granny, and Diego must battle the pirates all the while trying to find their way back to their families.

DreamWorks has gotten bold now: shameless character pumping just to say they have Nicki Minaj in their movie; recycled plots (really? A sweet-just-want-to-have-a-little-fun-daughter-gets-in-a-fight-with-overprotective-father-and-something-drastic-happens-to-the-Dad-so-when-he-comes-back-the-daughter-has-a-newfound-appreciation-for-him-and-he-realizes-how’s-his-daughter-not-a-baby-anymore plot!); and the classic, anything slightly funny is all in the previews trick is what Ice Age 4 offers. And we still pay for it!; it’s already made $429,038,689! It’s even worse than it’s rival, Brave. Nothing new, funny, or fresh.

Ice Age 4 is simply a money-soaking scheme for audiences everywhere. With very little heart and very little laughs, I’m wishing this series will just melt away already.


The Dark Knight Rises


Exclaimer: I haven’t seen Batman Begins (BB) or The Dark Knight (TDK) yet, so if some major elements from these movies are present in the Dark Knight Rises, please alert me in the comments.

Nolan, Nolan, Nolan…with his shining masterpieces Inception, Memento, and the enigmatic The Dark Knight, crazed and pumped-up audiences across the country (even the world) bit their nails in excitement, waiting and waiting for The Dark Knight Rises, the final installment in the Batman trilogy.


For myself, actually, I haven’t seen BB or TDK, so I couldn’t say I was crapping myself with anticipation. Though I basically saw 50% of TDK by GIF’s on Tumblr, and while I can crack up over moving images of “Why So Serious?”, I still was intrigued by TDKR—if Nolan created the amazing Following and Insomnia, why shouldn’t I try it out?

So, I sat down in my black-gum adorned seat tingling with excitement. And what did I get?


First things first: the acting was impeccable. Tom Hardy, Joseph-Gordon Levitt, Gary Oldman, Anne Hathaway, Marion Cotillard, and of course, Batman himself, Christian Bale, are incredible actors who make their characters not feel like characters—their performances are seamless and smooth (though I’m still wondering why Bruce Wayne speaks normally outside the Batman suit, then in the tight leather, his voice is raspy and his lips are slightly tilted to the right?)

The special effects are not just boom-pow-Michael Bay explosions, but seek to truly add to the experience and don’t just irritate you or become repetitive—however, the loud, booming surround-sounds are the only thing that keeps the audience awake during Nolan’s movie, an unusual diversion from his usually innovative, dynamic films.

The Dark Knight Rises begins after an eight year hiatus for Bruce Wayne, where Batman has saved Gotham for the last time after that annoying Joker guy, evolving into a hermit as he seeks refuge from his haunting past and even darker present.

And that’s all I could gather…truly. And Nolan’s films are constructed to have his audience think—a fact which I absolutely love. Pay attention to Inception and you’ll get it. Be patient with Memento and you’ll declare it’s a masterpiece in no time.

But there’s a limit to this ‘genius-osity’. Your viewers are not to be confused. Or worse: bored.

Since it picks up after eight years in Gotham-world, TDKR takes quite a long time to set itself up. It’s slow and heavy and somewhat muddled, but we claim we’ll stick with it and swear to ourselves we’ll love it by the end. Didn’t we all go bat-crap crazy over TDK?

And yet, the storyline gets increasingly thick and reluctant and makes one wonder: What is going on? Seriously, it was reaching Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy levels. All I see is Hathaway as Catwoman verging on becoming an bipolar; Tom Hardy as Bane the villain, who is so one-dimensional-angry-bad-meanie-man, but I guess this is supposed to be nullified since he cries in one last scene to show that villains have soft sides too; and I’m wondering why Morgan Freeman is here. Even if he was in the previous films. (But it’s not the actors fault; they give fantastic performances within a mumbled script).

Granted, there are a few sweet twists at the end in classic Nolan-style, but ultimately, the uber-gritty TDKR drowns in mumbled lines mixed with steely faces and a storyboard that was probably covered in 90% pencil shading—which wouldn’t be a problem if a great storyline was present.

TDKR is not a case of a filmmaker failing to meet ridiculously high standards created by himself in the past; part of a trilogy or seen as a standalone movie–the film falters its way like a blind man in the dark. I look forward to Nolan’s next superhero-film effort, Man of Steel—hopefully, that one will soar.


10 Great Tips From 10 Great Directors

1) The Unveiling of You – Darren Aronofsky (Requiem for a Dream, Black Swan)

“If you want to be a filmmaker, the best think you can bring to the world is your own story…Reach deep into your own personal stuff, your own personal joys and sadness and pain and struggle and victories and share them. That’s what we want to see.” 

2) Just Get The Right Actors – John Frankenheimer (Black Sunday)

“Casting is 65 percent of directing.”

3) Don’t Sell Yourself Out – Alexander Payne (About Schmidt, The Descendants)

“To really learn filmmaking, you must learn screenwriting…Most importantly, if you want to direct, never accept money to write a screenplay. Never pitch and never accept money to write a screenplay. When you finish writing, and they say, ‘Yeah, it’s okay…‘ Yeah… they start making you jump through hoops…forever. That’s the most important advice I can give to directors. Never write for pay.

4) Newsflash: Great Films Aren’t Easy to Make – Lee Daniels (Precious)

“My advice is filmmakers who are trying to make really challenging films is to embrace the struggle required to make them. All great films come from struggle. People said ‘Monster’s Ball’ shouldn’t be made and even asked why I was working on such a film. But struggle puts hair on your chest. You fight so hard for these little movies that sometimes you feel like you must be crazy. Sometimes I think, ‘Why don’t I just buy into the system? Get myself a house and a decent car?’ But when I see the result like ‘The Woodsman’ and the effect the films have on people, it makes me feel like I’m not crazy, that I’m not alone, and that people do appreciate them.” 

5) Find The Gist – Francis Ford Coppola (Godfather Trilogy)

“When you make a movie, always try to discover what the theme of the movie is in one or two words. Every time I made a film, I always knew what I thought the theme was, the core, in one word. In “The Godfather,” it was succession. In “The Conversation,” it was privacy. In “Apocalypse,” it was morality. 

6) No Journey Is Made Alone – Stephen Spielberg (Schindler’s List, War Horse)

“When I was a kid, there was no collaboration, it’s you with a camera bossing your friends around. But as an adult, filmmaking is all about appreciating the talents of the people you surround yourself with and knowing you could never have made any of these films by yourself.” 

7) Fill It Up – Alfred Hitchcock (Psycho, Vertigo)

I don’t understand why we have to experiment with film. I think everything should be done on paper. A musician has to do it, a composer. He puts a lot of dots down and beautiful music comes out. And I think that students should be taught to visualize. That`s the one thing missing in all this. The one thing that the student has got to do is to learn that there is a rectangle up there – a white rectangle in a theater – and it has to be filled.” 

8) Be A Little Crazy – Kevin Smith (Clerks)

You have to have this reasonable amount of unreasonability to even become a filmmaker. Because reasonability dictates, like, ‘Hey man, you’re not from Los Angeles, you don’t work near a movie studio, your not born into this business, you can’t be a filmmaker, that’s for other people.’ You have to have this reasonable degree of unreasonability. You have to be like, ‘No, it doesn’t have to be that way.’ 

9) A Smorgasbord of Inspiration – Nicholas Winding Refn (Drive)

“Directing is…just inspiring everyone else to give their best, and then you put your name on it. Get everyone inspired and pumped and get them to see the vision of your film, and then you’re ready.”

10) Many Hats to Wear – Billy Wilder (Sunset Blvd., Some Like It Hot)

“A director must be a policeman, a midwife, a psychoanalyst, a sycophant and a bastard.”


Pun Time!

-Pixar was ‘Brave’ to make this film

-Pixar wishes it could change “its fate”

-It was absolutely un-bear-able

Basically, Brave is not horribly bad, but not exactly great. It’s cute, but not powerful. Has pretty graphics, not a wonderful storyline.

Brave is…ok.

Maybe after Cars and its suck sequel Cars 2 (see how to discern a super from a suck sequel here), maybe Pixar needs a break. Brave is visually stunning, a treat for oblivious toddler moviegoers, but it lacks the heart and meatiness Pixar usually provides, complete with hilarious characters and an enjoyable storyline. You’ve seen the trailers: free-spirited Merida with her wild, fiery curls hates the rigors of being a princess and wants to ride freely in the wind…

But her mother tries to train and correct and mold Merida into the princess the kingdom deserves.

Mother vs. Daughter plot? Really?

But that’s not the problem…Pixar knows how to take overused storylines and weave a phenomenal tale (Finding Nemo-child rebellion, Monsters Inc.-a monster bromance, Up-old and young can both learn something from each other). It’s just that Brave goes steadily along at first, the pace a little fast and lines a little stiff-but hey, we’ll go with it.

We learn that Merida is a teenage princess, passionate for adventure, revels in her mysterious trips to the forest beyond, and is a master at the crossbow, practicing “since she was a young lass”. Her queen mother is lovingly strict, trying to keep Merida a poised, elegant young woman, prepping her for future queen-ship. But not only the throne: Merida is soon to be married, as young men from three different kingdoms compete for her hand.

Of course, Merida gets all pissy about this and does some terrible things: she rips her sword through the oh-holy tapestry, a symbol of peace and unity in the kingdom, runs away into the woods from her less-than-desirable suitors, and runs into and teams up with a witch in the forest, who eventually cooks up an evil plan: Merida shall give her mother this magic little tart, and when she eats it, her mom will be changed.

Oh, she changes alright. The mom morphs into a bear.

“A bear?”

Oh yes…a bear.

And it basically all goes downhill from there. Warrior Daddy senses there’s a bear in his castle, and since then, he’s hunting down this bear-wife of his, because he’s battled this demon bear years back and is hungry for avenging that evil bear that whacked off one of his feet.

Oh, I’m not done yet.

So, Mom-bear and Merida escape into the woods, and they learn to bond, and love…you know what, I’ll stop. We already know the Mom is made human again by Merida’s bravery, Merida realizes what an unreasonable jerk she was being, and everything’s hunky-dory again. Which wouldn’t be bad if it was a smart journey to that point. But Brave misses the target completely.

Something about Brave lacks the certain ‘oomph’ most Pixar films deliver. Stunning animation, easy laughs, wondrous, realistic settings: everything is there except a strong storyline, the foundation of a movie. Brave is gorgeous, but it succumbs to the empty entertainment (or lack of) most summer flicks provide.