Friday, May 2, 2014

Movie review: The Amazing Spider Man 2

Okay, I saw The Amazing Spider Man 2 last night, and it was awesome! I loved the movie but I have a few criticisms. First off, there were several scenes from the Trailers i've seen which didn't make it into the actual movie. Because of that, the movie left me wondering what the scenes from the Trailers would have been like, so it created unanswered questions. Also, Gwen Stacy and Peter Parker kept breaking up and getting back together throughout the whole movie. I would've preferred to see them stay together the whole time and explore their relationship. It would've given the movie more depth and added some romance to it. My last criticism is that there was not much time spent on character development. The movie overall felt rushed. That said, it was still an excellent movie that I would recommend highly. The action scenes and special effects were excellent and there were some great humorous moments thrown in. The trailers make the movie out to be a giant battle with 3 different enemies, kind of like how Tobey Maguire's Spider Man fought both Sandman and Venom at the same time, but in The Amazing Spider Man 2, Spider Man fights the three enemies subsequently, not all at once. What really carries the movie is the action. The addition of Dane Dehaan to the cast was a smart move, he does a great job of playing a classic "bad boy" character who turns evil and his transition to The Green Goblin is believable. However, his Green Goblin character only appears close to the end of the movie and doesn't get much screen time. The Rhino character appears at the very end of the movie and gets even less screen time. This would have been a much better movie if it had been longer. Spider Man's story is an epic one and it would be better off if it was told the way the Lord Of The Rings and Hobbit movies were... in 3 hour installments. This movie was too short for the story it was telling. That said, every movie boils down to one question... was it entertaining enough to be worth spending money to see it in a theatre? And with this movie the answer is yes. It doesn't fail to entertain but it leaves diehard fans wanting more. It doesn't live up to its predecessor, but it was very entertaining and it makes me want to see the next one. There is talk of a spinoff "Sinister Six" movie featuring six of Spider Man's classic enemies. I can only guess that since Harry Osborn doesn't die in the film, he will be one of the characters in the Sinister Six movie. It's also revealed that all of Spider Man's enemies originate at Oscorp, and I'd expect in the Sinister Six movie we will learn more about that. What I don't know is if they will release The Amazing Spider Man 3 or Sinister Six first. I've read there are plans for two more Spider Man movies, plus the Sinister Six movie. I just hope the future movies have enough character development. There is more I could say but I don't want to give too much away about the movie for those who haven't seen it yet. On a scale of 1-5 stars I'd give it 3 and a half stars, but I would give the first Amazing Spider Man movie five stars.



Thursday, February 13, 2014

Movie review: Pompeii

Yesterday I went to an advance screening of the new film "Pompeii" starring Emily Browning (who co-starred with Thomas Dekker in "Plush"), and Kit Harrington ("Game Of Thrones"). Kit Harrington plays Milo, whose family was killed by Romans when he was a child, leaving him without parents and eventually sold into slavery. As a slave, Milo eventually becomes a gladiator. While being transported to Pompeii for a fight, Milo meets Cassia (Emily Browning), the daughter of a wealthy family in Pompeii who is returning from a trip to Rome. One of the horses collapses and Milo meets Cassia while tending to the horse. When he gets to Pompeii, Milo befriends another gladiator, Atticus (played by Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (also known for "Thor: The Dark World" and GI Joe: Rise Of The Cobra). It isn't long after Milo arrives in Pompeii that earthquakes begin, which nobody knows is due to the looming eruption of Mount Vesuvius. One of the earthquakes sends Cassia's horses into an uncontrollable frenzy, and Cassia sends for Milo to calm the horse down. Milo runs off with Cassia on the horse and they share a romantic moment before the slave drivers catch them both and bring Milo back to Pompeii to be executed. Cassia then convinces the slave drivers not to execute Milo, who is scheduled to fight in the Arena the next day. The following day, however, the fight turns out to be a setup and Roman soldiers are sent into the Arena to kill ALL of the gladiators. While the gladiators fight the Roman Soldiers, a corrupt and evil Roman Senator blackmails Cassia into granting him her hand in marriage. The Senator threatens to have Cassia's family executed if she doesn't marry him. The gladiators eventually defeat the Roman soldiers, but then the Senator orders more troops to kill the remaining gladiators. Cassia steps in and stops the soldiers from killing the gladiators and for that the Senator sends Cassia away to be locked in a holding cell. The earthquakes suddenly start again, causing the arena to begin to collapse. At this point the gladiators are able to escape from the arena, and Milo sets out on a quest to find and free Cassia, hoping to escape from Pompeei with her as Mount Vesuvius erupts and begins to destroy the city. I don't want to give away the ending but what I will say is that this movie is full of action from beginning to end. The special effects are amazing. This movie is similar in some ways to the movie Titanic (Leonardo Dicaprio, Kate Winslet), particularly in the way the scenes where the volcano is erutping and destroying everything were coordinated. Another similar movie would be Deep Impact (Tea Leoni, Elijah Wood). I definitely reccomend this movie to anyone who likes action or suspense movies. The trailer is below along with a link to the movie's official site.

http://www.sonypictures.com/movies/pompeii/



Saturday, November 23, 2013

My Top 20 Albums & Top 20 Songs Of 2013

Top 20 Albums:
#20 Lady Gaga- Artpop
#19 Cher- Closer To The Truth
#18 Josh Ritter- The Beast In Its Tracks
#17 The Used- Vulnerable II
#16 Kristine W - New & Number Ones/The Remixes Vol 1 & 2
#15 Beady Eye - BE
#14 Placebo - B3
#13 Jars Of Clay - Inland + Inlandia The Remixes
#12 Fall Out Boy- Save Rock N Roll
#11 30 Seconds To Mars- Love Lust Faith + Dreams
#10 Phillip Phillips -The World From The Bright Side Of The Moon
#9 Sheryl Crow- Feels Like Home
#8 Carly Rae Jepsen- Kiss
#7 Conor Maynard - Contrast
#6 Belinda Carlisle- Live From Metropolis Studios
#5 The Wanted - Word Of Mouth
#4 Placebo - Loud Like Love
#3 Green Day - Uno...Dos...Tre
#2 Kacey Musgraves - Same Trailer, Different Park
#1 Hunter Hayes- Encore

Top 20 Songs:
#20 Kacey Musgraves - See You Again
#19 Celine Dion- Loved Me Back To Life
#18 Hunter Hayes -Storm Warning
#17 Placebo - Rob The Bank
#16 Fall Out Boy - The Phoenix
#15 Enrique Iglesias - Turn The Night Up
#14 30 Seconds To Mars - Up In The Air
#13 The Wanted - I Found You
#12 Sheryl Crow- Easy
#11 Placebo - Loud Like Love
#10 The Used- Hands & Faces
#9 Carly Rae Jepsen- This Kiss
#8 Cher- Woman's World
#7 Conor Maynard- Can't Say No
#6 Kacey Musgraves- Blowin Smoke
#5 Mariah Carey- Almost Home
#4 The Wanted - We Own The Night
#3 Hunter Hayes- I Want Crazy
#2 Jody Watley- Nightlife
#1 Belinda Carlisle- Sun

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Review: Percy Jackson: Sea Of Monsters

Last night I went to see Percy Jackson: Sea Of Monsters and it lived up to my high expectations that it would be one of the best movies of the year. The movie stars Logan Lerman as Percy Jackson, Alexandra Daddario as Annabeth, Brandon T. Jackson as Grover, and Douglas Smith as Tyson who is Percy Jackson's long lost half-brother. Additionally, Leven Rambin guest stars in the movie as Clarisse. Leven Rambin is perhaps best known for playing John Connor's girlfriend in the TV show Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, which was one of the best TV shows ever made in the history of television. Logan Lerman and Alexandra Daddario are two of the best actors I've ever seen in movies. This was the second Percy Jackson movie made based on the best selling series of Percy Jackson books, which were written by Rick Riordan. In the first Percy Jackson movie, Percy, who never knew his father, finds out that he is the half-blood son of the god named Poseidon. He is brought to a camp called camp half blood which is a camp for demigods, the half-human/half-god children of the gods. Percy is accused of stealing Zeus' lightnight bolt, and the confusion leads to the Hades kidnapping Percy's mother and holding her hostage until Percy gives him the lightning bolt so that Hades can use the bolt against Zeus and take control of Olympus and the world. Percy goes on a quest with Annabeth and Grover to convince Hades that he does not have the lightning bolt so that Hades releases Percy's mother from captivity in the underworld (otherwise known as Hell). After meeting with Hades and recovering the lightning bolt in the process, Percy finds out that Luke, son of Hermes, was the lightning thief and Percy and Luke battle it out in the end, with Percy winning the fight and returning the lightning bolt to Zeus to avert a world wide war of the gods that could destroy humanity and the world at large. In the second movie, Luke re-emerges to poison the tree at camp half-blood that generates the protective shield that keeps mortals as well as mythical beasts from being able to enter camp half blood. Clarisse is asked by the elders to go on a quest to recover the Golden Fleece, a powerful fleece bestowed with healing powers which could be used to revive the tree and restore the protective shield that protects camp half blood. Without the tree, all sorts of mythical beasts could attack the camp and kill everyone who lives there. So Clarisse is chosen to go on the quest to recover the golden fleece, but when Percy finds out about it, he is eager to be the one who recovers the fleece, so he and Annabeth and Grover and Tyson, all embark on the quest themselves, independently of Clarisse. Eventually, they do run into Clarisse and their team expands to five. Unfortunately, Luke is also after the fleece because he wants to revive the evil father of Zeus who used to rule the world, who Zeus and his brothers killed because he was the most evil creature that ever lived. So Percy, Annabeth, Grover, Tyson and Clarisse all set out to stop Luke from reviving this evil monster and destoying both Olympus and the entire world in the process. Luke proves to be more evil than he was thought to be in the first movie. He was prepared to destroy the whole world just because it would end Zues' rule of Olympus. I don't want to give away the ending, so I will just say that the ending of this movie sets the stage for another sequel. I hope the next Percy Jackson movie doesn't take a long time to produce, because this new Percy Jackson film is coming out 3 years after the first one which was released in 2010. Let me just finish by saying this was the most exciting action/adventure film I've seen all year. Though three years was a long time to wait for it, the movie was worth the wait and everyone absolutely must see it.



And here is the website for the film: http://www.percyjacksonthemovie.com/us/

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Review: "The Kings Of Summer"

I went to an advance screening yesterday of a new movie called "The Kings Of Summer" and I am happy to say it was the best movie I've seen all year! First of all, the cast was incredible. The lead roles were played by Nick Robinson (a very talented rising young star who I recognized from another really good movie "Frenemies" which was released in 2012 and is currently on Netflix for instant streaming), Gabriel Basso, and Moises Arias. Nick Robinson plays Joe Toy, a high school student who is sick of his dad's constant criticism and nagging. His best friend Patrick Keenan (played by Gabriel Basso) is also having a difficult time coping with his parents and their bizarre personalities (his mother is played by Megan Mullally of Will & Grace fame and her performance is absolutely hysterical!). The third best friend is Biaggio (played by Moises Arias) and he is the most eccentric member of the bunch. Joe has a crush on a girl named Kelly, (played by Erin Moriarty). She invites him to an outdoor party at a local park and his father won't let him go, so he sneaks out of the house in the middle of the night and meets her there. The party is broken up by a resident of the area who fires a gun in the air to scare all the partying teenagers away. Along the way home, Joe and Biaggio stumble upon a beautiful clearing in the woods which he declared was "a place where nobody can find us". In the days that follow, Joe and Patrick gradually get more and more fed up with their bizarre and over-controlling parents, and Joe brings Patrick to the clearing in the woods and tells him he wants to build a house there where the two of them along with Biaggio could live independently and free of their parents as an alternative to the maddening experience of living with their folks. At first Patrick thinks it's a bad idea but after a few more days of his parents annoying behavior, he decides to go through with it. Joe, Patrick and Biaggio steal supplies and money from their parents and proceed to build a house all by themselves and learn to live off the land (with the help of take out food from Boston Market). Together, the three boys have the most incredible summer of their lives, at least, at first they do. Things get complicated when Joe decides to find Kelly and bring her to his new home as a guest. She spends the night but doesn't sleep with Joe. Instead she wakes up Patrick and asks him to go for a walk with her, and Joe hears the whole thing. The competition for Kelly's heart inevitably comes between Joe and Patrick's friendship and creates a messy situation. I don't want to give out the entire movie's ending so I'll leave it at that part. The movie is inspiring and funny, and the quality of this film, along with the actors who were in it, is first rate. I'd recommend this movie very highly.

The website for the movie is here:
http://thekingsofsummermovie.com/

The trailer for the movie is here:

Here is the poster for the movie:


Friday, March 8, 2013

Review: "The Call"

Last night I went to an advance screening of "The Call" starring Halle Berry and Abigail Breslin. Halle Berry plays a 911 operator who gets a chilling call from a girl while her house is being broken into by a kidnapper. The kidnapper kills the girl and Halle Berry blames herself. She retires from being a phone operator and becomes a trainer for 911 operators. Then one day, while she is training new operators, a call comes in from a girl who is calling from the trunk of a car. It turns out the same kidnapper has kidnapped this girl, who Halle Berry tries to help. She asks the girl (Abigail Breslin) to do various things to help them locate the car being used as the kidnapping vehicle. Along the way, the kidnapper kills two people who were trying to help the girl, but Halle Berry perseveres and eventually goes looking for the girl herself. This movie was a very thrilling movie, at several points where it looked like the girl might be found, the audience cheered and clapped. It's the kind of movie that draws you in with the hope that the girl will be found and survive the ordeal. It was very exciting, and the acting was superb. Also it keeps you on the edge of your seat as the plot is very unpredictable. I had a good time at the screening and from the sound of things, so did the rest of the audience. Below is the trailer for "The Call".



Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Review: Hansel & Gretel Get Baked (Spoiler Alert! My Review Gives Away The Ending!)

Tonight I saw the new movie, Hansel & Gretel Get Baked, a marijuana laced adaptation of the classic children's story Hansel & Gretel. It starred Michael Welch (of Twilight) as Hansel, Molly C. Quinn as Gretel, and Lara Flynn Boyle as the witch. The movie begins with Gretel's boyfriend Ashton (played by Andrew James Allen) bringing Gretel some weed called Black Forest which he got from the local drug dealer. Ashton and Gretel smoke the weed until they run out, and Ashton decides to go find more. Ashton calls the local drug dealer who texts him the address of the supposedly sweet old lady who gave him the Black Forest weed. When Ashton visits the old lady, she turns out to be a witch and captures him and proceeds to begin to cannibalize him. The weed turns out to be a trap to lure unsuspecting teenagers to her house so she can suck the lift out of them to become young again. When Ashton doesn't return home, Gretel and Hansel go to the witch's house looking for him, but she pretends he never came to her house. So Hansel & Gretel try asking the police for help, and the police provide no help or sympathy. In the meantime, the local drug dealer, Manny gets in trouble with his prior supplier for selling someone else's weed on turf that was spoken for. The supplier holds Manny at gunpoint and tells him to pass a message to the old lady that she would have to pay to sell drugs on his turf. Manny goes to the old lady's house to pass on the message and the witch uses his cell phone to text a threatening message to Manny's former supplier. She then chops of Manny's head. The supplier tries to go to the witch's house with two armed bodyguards, and she kills the supplier and one of the body guards and chases the other one into a cage and then she locks him in. Gretel meets up with Manny's girlfriend Bianca and the two decide to pay the old lady a visit. Bianca distracts the witch while Gretel breaks into the house and searches the basement for Ashton, who by now is clearly dead. Manny then surfaces as a zombie and tries to kill Gretel and the noise is heard by the witch, but Bianca tries to stop the witch and thinks she killed her by snapping her neck. Unfortunately this doesn't kill the witch it just slows her down. The witch ends up locking Gretel and Bianca up in the cage with the drug dealer's bodyguard and then sucks the life out of the bodyguard. In the meantime, Hansel finally reads Gretel's email message that she is going to the house to talk to the old lady. Hansel goes to the house and the witch captures him too and prepares to cannibalize him. Gretel and Bianca manage to escape the cage during this time, and they hear Hansel screaming. So they run to where Hansel is ties up and just like in the fairy tale, Gretel throws the evil witch into the oven to kill her. This was a very entertaining movie with a lot of black comedy, it was certainly a unique and very modern spin on the classic children's story. This is the first time I've seen Michael Welch in a movie other than the Twilight series and his performance was excellent. Below is the trailer for the movie and a link to their facebook page.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HanselGretelGetBaked



Friday, February 1, 2013

Review: Warm Bodies

Tonight I went to an advance screening of the new movie "Warm Bodies" which stars Nicholas Hoult and Teresa Palmer. The movie is about a future world where half the population was killed and turned into zombies. In addition to the zombies an additional portion of the population turned into animal-like "skeletons". The "skeletons" essentially used to be zombies but they are much more savage and ruthless and don't possess the capacity to speak at all. Both the zombies and the skeletons eat human brains to survive. One of the zombies, who goes by the name "R", saves Teresa Palmer's character Julie from being eaten alive by other zombies. He takes her to his home to keep her safe from the zombies and the skeletons. While she is staying with him, he realized he is falling in love with her. He tells her to wait and stay with him until it is safe for "R" to bring her back to the wall that separates the human world from the zombie world. A couple of times she tries leaving on her own but she is almost attacked by zombies. The first time, "R" finds her and tells her to pretend to be a zombie so the zombies don't attack her. The second time the zombies detect that Julie is human, but "R" shows them that he loves her by holding her hand and when the zombies see this, they back off. Rob Corddry of The Daily Show With Jon Stewart plays "R"'s best friend who at this point decides to help "R" and Julie escape some skeletons. The story gets complicated when "R" confesses to Julie that he killed her ex-boyfriend. Julie then decides to go back to the human world, and leaves "R" while he is having his first dream since becoming a zombie. "R" has all the memories of her ex-boyfriend in his brain because he ate her ex-boyfriend's brain, so he uses those memories to find his way to Julie's house in the human world. When they reunite, Julie confesses that she missed "R", and she and a friend go to tell her father, a military leader, that the zombies can change their ways and find humanity just like "R" did. In fact while "R" was finding Julie, all the zombies who had seen "R" and Julie together had begun to have a heartbeat and recover their humanity. The skeletons sense this change and don't like it, so the zombies have to prepare for a fight with the skeletons and end up enlisting the human army to help in their fight. Some of the skeletons noticed "R" and Julie and try to attack them but in the end "R" and Julie manage to escape them. At the end of the movie, the zombies are welcomed into the human world and given help in re-integrating with society. I loved this movie, and recommend it highly. It was funny, romantic, and there was also a healthy dose of action. Below is the trailer for Warm Bodies.



The official website for the movie is:
http://www.warmbodiesmovie.com/

Nicholas Hoult also has another upcoming movie "Jack The Giant Slayer" which is a new spin on the classic tale of Jack And The Beanstalk. The movie comes out March 1st, and the trailer is below:



The official website is: http://jackthegiantslayer.warnerbros.com

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Review: Hansel & Gretel Witch Hunters

This weekend I went to see Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters. It was refreshing to see a new take on this classic fairy tale. I've known about this movie for some time, and I was really excited to see it, especially since one of my favorite actresses, Famke Janssen, is in it. She plays the lead witch in the movie. It is not the only Hansel & Gretel movie being released this year. The other one, starring Michael Welch of Twilight fame, (and Lara Flynn Boyle) is called Hansel & Gretel Get Baked and that movie is slated for release February 19th. Famke Janssen has been a favorite actress of mine because of her amazing work for the movie "The Faculty" which stars Elijah Wood, Josh Hartnett and Clea Duvall. Anyway, Hansel & Gretel Witch Hunters turned out to be an excellent movie. Jeremy Renner plays Hansel and Gemma Arterton plays Gretel. The plot goes as follows: After defeating the evil witch who kidnapped them as children and burning her to death, Hansel and Gretel decide to devote the rest of their lives to killing witches and saving children from otherwise certain death. They embark on their most difficult case when a village hires them to find the witches who are kidnapping large numbers of children, holding the children captive until a night that the witches find holy to kill them all. The witches have a plan to make themselves immortal. Hansel & Gretel figure out what the witches plans are, and set out to stop the witches from performing their evil ceremony. Famke Janssen does a fierce job playing the ferocious head witch who masterminds the evil plot. But there's a twist, it turns out that Hansel & Gretel's mother was a white witch (a good witch) and this turns out to be why their father abandoned them in the woods, he did it because their mom was going to be burned at the stake by the townspeople and she wanted to protect her children from being assassinated. In another twist, Famke's character wants to remove Gretel's heart and use it in her immortality ceremony. Obviously, Hansel & Gretel in the end defeat the witches and save all the children. So it was an entertaining movie, and it was really interesting seeing a version of the story where Hansel & Gretel's parents are portrayed in a positive light, rather than being as evil as the witch for abandoning their children. I also am interested in seeing Hansel & Gretel Get Baked. Michael Welch is a very talented actor and I've always loved Lara Flynn Boyle's work. Below are the trailers for both films.

Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters


Hansel & Gretel Get Baked

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Mike Schiller's Top 20 Songs & Top 20 Albums of 2012

This is a list of my favorite songs of 2012!

#20 Garbage- Blood For Poppies
#19 Heather Nova- Higher Ground
#18 Maroon 5- One More Night
#17 Madonna- Gang Bang
#16 Gloria Estefan- Wepa
#15 Cobra Starship- Middle Finger
#14 Madonna- Turn Up The Radio
#13 No Doubt- Looking Hot
#12 The Wanted- Glad You Came
#11 Ace Of Base- The Golden Ratio
#10 Justin Bieber- As Long As You Love Me
#9 Ace Of Base- Blah Blah Blah On The Radio
#8 A Fine Frenzy- Now Is The Start
#7 The Wanted- Chasing The Sun
#6 Expose- Shine On
#5 Carly Rae Jespen- Call Me Maybe
#4 Far East Movement w/ Justin Bieber- Live My Life
#3 Kylie Minogue- Timebomb
#2 Ce Ce Peniston- Celebrate
#1 Justin Bieber- Boyfriend

Listen to a playlist of all 20 songs on Spotify:
http://t.co/ETUbPcoc

Here is a list of my favorite albums of 2012!

#20 Hole- Nobody's Daughter
#19 Bush- The Sea Of Memories
#18 Paula Cole- Ithaca
#17 Sophie B Hawkins- The Crossing
#16 Nelly Furtado- The Spirit Indestructible
#15 Aimee Mann- Charmer
#14 Kylie Minogue- The Abbey Road Sessions
#13 Carly Rae Jepsen- Kiss
#12 Kristine W- New & Number Ones
#11 Deborah Gibson- Ms. Vocalist
#10 A Fine Frenzy- Pines
#9 Gloria Estefan- Miss Little Havana
#8 Garbage- Not Your Kind Of People
#7 The Wanted- The Wanted
#6 Maroon 5- Overexposed
#5 Cobra Starship- Night Shades
#4 No Doubt- Push And Shove
#3 Ace Of Base- The Golden Ratio
#2 Madonna- MDNA
#1 Justin Bieber- Believe

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Thank You America!

I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who voted, donated, and volunteered to help make Obama's victory possible! We ALL did it! Together, we helped re-elect Obama, against difficult odds, and even increased our margin of control of the United States Senate. Again, we showed that the power of the youth vote is not going away, it is getting stronger! We need to lower the voting age to 16! And now we need to work the next two years on electing a Democratic House Of Representatives so Obama can advance his agenda! But for now, we celebrate, because in re-electing Obama and keeping control of the US Senate, we have all made a huge difference and achieved so much through dedication, hard work, and our refusal to give up hope that we can make this country a better place to live for ALL Americans, regardless of how old they are, what race they are, what income level they are, what sexual orientation they are, or what gender they are. I am proud of this country and the choice we made together, to re-elect our President and put our faith and trust in his leadership for the next four years! Thank you all!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Why I am endorsing Barack Obama for President

This election cycle, though the Republicans nominated a weak candidate, the election is close. Every vote will make a difference, especially since many states have adopted new voter ID laws designed to disenfranchise blacks, latinos, the elderly, and students. In fact, the first reason I am endorsing Obama is because he has come out in opposition to these new voter ID laws. The last two election cycles, there were zero cases of in-person voter fraud, so it's not as if these new laws are intended to fix a problem, that is, unless you think Democrats practicing their constitutional right to vote is a problem. Even the Republican governor of Pennsylvania openly admitted that the new laws were intended to win the state for Mitt Romney.

But besides protecting voter rights, there are more reasons to support Obama. For one, he killed Osama Bin Laden, and ended the war in Iraq, putting to rest years of Republican lies designed to convince voters that ending the war in Iraq means being weak on national security. Bush started an unjust war that took all his energy away from the real task of killing Bin Laden. Obama safely ended the war in Iraq, allowing our troops to return home to their families, and also killed Bin Laden, the USA's number one enemy. Republicans for years wrapped themselves in the American flag while offering blind support to the war in Iraq just because the person in charge of the war was a Republican, George W Bush. Now those people are silent, their false accusations that Democrats are weak on national security are put to rest.

Then there's the environment. Barack Obama has done more to curb global warming than any other President in history. Bush for years pandered to the oil industry and created policies that essentially increase our dependency on foreign oil and reward polluters who donated massive sums of money to Bush's campaign. Obama has invested federal dollars in programs to expand the production and availability of clean energy, such as wind power, solar power, and hydroelectricity. Mitt Romney on the other hand, wants to turn back the clock on environmental policy and bring us back to the failed Bush policies of pollution and high gas prices.

Obama also has ended the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy in the military. He has allowed gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military without having to hide a part of their identity. Obama and Biden have also come out to publicly support gay marriage, which is a major step forward for gays and lesbians. Mitt Romney has said he opposes gay marriage rights. He opposes letting gays and lesbians have the same rights and responsibilities as heterosexual couples. And he should be ashamed of himself. Only Obama and Biden have a message of true social tolerance.

The Republican Party in recent decades has capitalized on messages of intolerance and hatred and it has only gotten worse ever since the Tea Party has become a major influence in their party. Since the Tea Party essentially took over the national Republican Party, all their positions on the issues have moved further and further into Rightwing extremism, and it is most evident in their party's positions on issues affecting women. Now it the Republican party's candidates oppose a woman's right to choose even in cases of incest or rape. In fact their candidate for Senate, Todd Akin, went as far to say that in "cases of legitimate rape" a woman's body has the ability to end a pregnancy without an abortion. What the hell is "legitimate rape"? I find it morally appalling that the Republican Party has become so insensitive to women's issues that they would make public statements such as those.

Finally, there is the economy. Obama wants to repeal the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest 1%, but extend tax cuts for the poor and middle class. Obama's policies mirror those of our popular ex-President Bill Clinton. And we all remember how our economy thrived under Bill Clinton. There is no reason why multimillionaires should get a tax cut paid for by the taxes paid by the working poor and middle class. That's just criminally unfair. Although the economy has struggled during Obama's presidency, he has a clear plan to fix these economic problems, and for two years, the Republicans in congress have obstructed all of Obama's tax plans and jobs bills which were designed to fix the economy and create jobs.

These are just some of the reasons I am supporting Obama this year. The Republicans are out of touch with mainstream America, and if they return to power they will bring us back to the policies of the Bush Administration that got us into our current fiscal mess. which is dangerous enough by itself, but even worse, if the Republicans win the House, Senate or White House this year, the Tea Party will be in control of their party which means policies which are even more dangerous than those of the Bush administration. So this election cycle, please join me in supporting Barack Obama and the Democratic candidates for the House of Representatives and the Senate.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Nick Stahl found

Nick Stahl has been found and he is going to AA. He has not moved back home yet, but he is staying elsewhere and in constant communication with his family. His wife Rose tweeted this photo of the two together.
Nick is recovering from the worst addiction phase of his life. For the past 9 months, he has turned down lucrative film roles. So even though he has been found and is recovering and attending AA meetings, his family still needs financial help to keep his daughter Marlo in preschool. You can donate through this page Nick's wife Rose set up to raise money for Marlo: https://fundrazr.com/campaigns/4KJF4

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Donate to Marlo's pre-school fund

Actor Nick Stahl is currently missing for the second time this year. In May, his wife Rose Murphy Stahl reported him as a missing person, and a search for him ensued in the skid row area of downtown Los Angeles where he was known to go seeking drugs. He resurfaced on his own, and checked himself into rehab. Unfortunately, he checked out of rehab early and since has gone missing again. His wife, Rose has been struggling financially because of Nick's troubles over the past few months, and she has set up a page for people to donate money to keep her and Nick's daughter Marlo in preschool.

To donate to Marlo's preschool fund, visit:
https://fundrazr.com/campaigns/4KJF4

Recent press on Nick's disappearance:

Huffington Post: Nick Stahl Missing: Actor's Wife Calls Off Search For 'Terminator 3' Star
http://huff.to/O8qbAc

Huffington Post: Nick Stahl Missing Again: Actor Leaves Rehab, Can't Be Found
http://huff.to/Pm56Av

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Mobli is a new photo/video app for your phone and partner in the Tropfest Micro Film Festival

There's a new free photos/video app and sharing service called Mobli, http://www.mobli.com which will enable you to see a lot of great videos and upload your own photos and videos. This new company is going to a partner in the "Tropfest Micro Film Festival", a film festival which will be headed by Tobey Maguire and supported by Tropfest Ambassadors Russell Crowe, Hugh Jackman, Nicole Kidman, and Liev Schrieber. Mobli is a new startup company spearheaded by investors Toby Maguire and Leonardo DiCaprio.

You can download Mobli's app at http://www.mobli.com

Here is my page on Mobli: http://www.mobli.com/schiller Here is some recent press on Mobli http://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/should-youtube-be-worried-of-first-mobli-channel/

Trailer For The Limelight Movie

Jen Gatien's movie about the Limelight Nightclub is now available for purchase on Itunes, and it is available to watch in streaming video on Netflix. The movie explores the history of the Limelight, Tunnel & Palladium Nightclubs and their success as the three biggest nightclubs in New York City. It also explores the controversies surround the clubs in the mid-1990s as the club made headlines all over the nation when Rudy Giuliani set out to shut the clubs down and how he attempted to portray the clubs as "drug supermarkets", and how Peter Gatien, with the help of Benjamin Brafman, defeated the charges files which the city filed against him and managed to reopen both the Limelight and Tunnel in the early 2000's.

Here is the trailer:




You can buy or rent the movie on Itunes by clicking here: http://bit.ly/MDzyC2

Friday, May 4, 2012

New trailer for The Amazing Spider Man

Here is the latest trailer for the upcoming movie "The Amazing Spider-Man" starring Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone, with Sally Field and Martin Sheen.

The official website is:
http://theamazingspiderman.com 

Check out the IMDB page at:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0948470

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Whitney Houston's music & how it has impacted my life

In the 1980's I stole my parent's cassette tapes of Whitney Houston's self titled debut album "Whitney Houston". "How Will I Know" was my favourite dance song on the album. My sister and her freind Rochel made a video of themselves singing "The Greatest Love Of All" for my parents. In 1989, for my 13th birthday, my dad bought me a stereo system with both a CD player and turntable, and a DJ Mixing board. One of the first vinyl 12" singles I ever got was Whitney's "I'm Your Baby Tonight". The song was produced by John Gass (who also later worked with Deborah Cox) and the legendary team of L.A. Reid (now of TV's The X-Factor, but who also was a president of LAFace Records) and Babyface (who had success as a singer and president of LAFace Records). The remix was by Yvonne Turner, who is also known for working with Whitney's fellow Arista Records labelmate Lisa Stansfield. On New Year's eve 1989, the radio station WPLJ did a medley mix of the year's biggest dance hits and they mixed "I'm Your Baby Tonight" with the song "Poison" by Bell Biv Devoe, which consisted of former members of New Edition, the band from which Bobby Brown launched his career. 2 years later, Whitney Houston filmed the movie "The Bodyguard", and sang 6 songs on the soundtrack. I bought it on cassette, and later got the limited edition version that had bonus tracks and remixes on it. My favourite songs on the album were "I Have Nothing" and "I Will Always Love You", both were songs I loved so much I locked myself in my room and sang the songs along with the tape, day after day for months. The album also had two amazing dance songs, the rock inflected "Queen Of The Night" which later got remixed by CJ Mackintosh, and "I'm Your Baby Tonight" which was both produced and remixed by Robert Clivilles and the late David Cole of C&C Music Factory. I saw The Bodyguard in theaters with my schoolmates, and taped it when it later aired on TV, and then watched it countless times. When I heard David Cole had died, I knew music would never be the same. Robert Clivilles stopped making remixes, and C&C Music Factory disbanded. Whitney, of course, kept making music, though her next album, the soundtrack to "Waiting To Exhale" didn't have any dance tracks on it. "Exhale (Shoop Shoop)" was still a big hit for her. But the album that brought Whitney Houston back to the dancefloors was the soundtrack to "The Preachers Wife", a movie Whitney starred in with Denzel Washington. On the album, Whitney covered the song "Step By Step" which was written by and originally performed by Annie Lennox (who also records for Arista Records). By this point, I had finished school and was working for the three biggest nightclubs in New York, the Limelight, Palladium, and Tunnel. When I first started working there, the most succesful DJ in history by that point was Junior Vasquez, and he was spinning Saturdays at the Tunnel. During this time, one of Whitney Houston's CD singles from "Waiting To Exhale" was "Why Does It Hurt So Bad", a CD single which featured bonus remixes of "I Wanna Dance With Somebody". The remix was called "Junior's Happy Handbag Mix" and it made the song a huge dancefloor hit all over again. After Tunnel and Limelight got shut down by the police over false allegations of drugs, Junior Vasquez moved his Saturday night party to Palladium, and called it ARENA. Arena became what probably was the most succesful nightclub party of the entire decade of the 1990's. One day, I was shown the flier for the latest installment of Arena, and on the flier it said Junior Vasquez would be debuting his remix for the CD single of Whitney Houston's latest single "Step By Step". When he played the song for the first time at Palladium, I went wild on the dance floor, I loved the remix so much. The song became an instant club classic. It now ranks as one of the greatest club records of the 1990's. Out of all the songs that became Arena classics, "Step By Step" was one of the biggest Arena Anthems of all. Junior Vasquez became good friends with Whitney Houston, and though Palladium was bought by NYU, and the building was knocked down so that an NYU dorm could be built on the site, Junior continued to work with Whitney Houston, producing remixes of "How Will I Know" and "The Greatest Love Of All" for her Greatest Hits album. Also, while I was working at Tunnel, Palladium, and Limelight, I became freinds with another DJ/Remixer, Jonathan Peters, who did the remix of "My Love Is Your Love" in 1999. Another DJ who sometimes spun at Tunnel, Hex Hector, was hired to remix Whitney's "I Will Always Love You" for her greatest hits collection. Whitney's work with Jonathan and Junior and Hex showed the world that Whitney was not only great with ballads but that she was a serious and formidable dance music legend. Hearing her remixes played in the nightclubs, especially in what we called "Superclubs" (Multi-story clubs with huge dancefloors and lots of hallways and rooms to explore), was an incredible experience. Whitney was a major part of the soundtrack to some of the most legendary parties in NY. I even had a drag queen friend, Emanna, who used to dress as Whitney Houston in drag and perform Whitney's songs in lip-sync at Arena every Saturday. My colleagues who were DJs at the clubs I worked for during my days as a promoter at the Limelight, Tunnel, and Palladium had the privelage of working with her and they befriended her. My heart goes out to them now, I can only imagine their grief because they knew her personally from working with her. Whitney's music touched my heart and soul in ways I will never forget. I will miss looking forward to her next album, I will miss wondering what remixers she will work with next, and I will miss dancing to her latest singles on the club dancefloors. She was one of my favourite artists early in life and remained a favourite later in life by being cutting edge with her choices of remixers and producers. She is one of a handful of major artists like Madonna or Mariah Carey who, by working with a remixer, can make a DJ into a Super-DJ. Madonna did it with William Orbit and Victor Calderone. Mariah did it with David Morales, and Clivilles and Cole. Whitney did it with Junior Vasquez, Jonathan Peters, Johnny Vicious, and Thunderpuss. Whitney Houston made a lasting impact on my life as a music lover and nightclub promoter, and I will always feel that her music is a blessing.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

About the Stop Online Piracy Act and how it could damage the internet as we know it

The Stop Online Piracy Act is the most dangerous piece of legislation contemplated by congress since the vote to declare war against Iraq. It poses a real threat to content providers and social networking sites, and if it passes, the internet as we know it will be completely and utterly destroyed. Here is a link to an article that tells you everything you need to know about this harmful and dangerous legislation:

http://gizmodo.com/5877000/what-is-sopa

Please contact lawmakers to tell them you oppose it:

http://www.whitehouse.gov

http://www.house.gov

http://www.senate.gov

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Review: Rider & Shiloh Strong's short film "The Dungeon Master"

This Friday I visited the Williamsburg Independent Film Festival to check out one of Rider & Shiloh Strong's latest short films, "The Dungeon Master". The screening was at the Indiescreen Cineclub in Brooklyn, by the waterfront. It was an interesting film venue, which had an upscale bar/restaurant/lounge downstairs from the theatre. "The Dungeon Master" was definitely the best film in the block of films that screened there.

The movie was written and directed by Rider and Shiloh. Rider's girlfriend Alex Barreto produced the film and made a cameo in the beginning of the film. The film also features a song by Chris Trapper, whose music also appeared in their short film "Irish Twins".

The movie opens with a bunch of guys discussing the fact that they used to play Dungeons And Dragons when they were kids. The decide that they should get together and play the game over a few beers. When they do get together, one of the guys said he found someone to play the dungeon master. When the doorbell rings, they are all suprised to see that their Dungeon master showed up wearing a cape, and talking in character as if he really believed himself to be a real-life dungeon master. The dungeon master won't drink any of the beer, and instead tries to get the guys to get into character and play the game in character as he narrates the game for them. The guys really weren't very into the game, and begin to complain that the dungeon master is too devoted to the rules and trying too hard to create a fantasy vibe and get everyone to pretend they are the characters they chose to play in the game. Eventually one guy gets up and begins to taunt the dungeon master for being so immersed in the game, and sticks a piece of barbequed chicken in his face and rubs barbecue sauce all over him. The dungeon master then flips out and begins to chant as if he were trying to cast a magical spell. Everyone suddenly wakes up in the middle of a field. Nearby is a straw hut. Suddenly they all realize they have been teleported to a magical realm.

I highly recommend this short film for its humour, quality acting & directing, and high production value. Rider and Shiloh Strong and Alex Barreto are reinventing the art of the short film with their creations in recent years. Rider and Shiloh currently have another short film touring film festivals, "Method", which they directed and produced, and Alex wrote the script and starred in it. Alex also recently produced a short film called "Good News Oklahoma". Last year she starred in a short film I saw, "Career Day". A few years ago, Rider and Shiloh wrote, directed, produced and starred in a short film masterpiece I saw, "Irish Twins". I am eager to see "Method", and I recommend others see it too.

Me at the Williamsburg Independent Film Festival:


Rider and Shiloh's website/blog:
http://strongbrothersmagicshow.com

The Dungeon Master:
http://thedungeonmastermovie.com

Method:
http://www.methodthemovie.com

The Dungeon Master on Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Dungeon-Master/107579662654672

Method on Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/Methodthemovie

Rider and Shiloh's graphic novel "Blood Merchant":
http://www.facebook.com/BloodMerchant?ref=ts

The Dungeon Master Trailer from The Strong Brothers on Vimeo.



Method Trailer from The Strong Brothers on Vimeo.