Thursday, February 26, 2009

Will Sherrod Was Kidnapped By Lesbian Pirates from Outer Space!!!

Okay, I just found the most brilliant online comic book. Megan Rose Gedric's throwback to the pulpy comics of the 50's entitled I Was Kidnapped By Lesbian Pirates From Outer Space!!! is campy, hilarious fun.

I've only read the first two issues, but I couldn't keep myself from jumping on my blog and sharing it with everyone.

I'll give you a quick rundown...

The story follows Susan Bell, a secretary in what I gather is a 50's era America. She is...YOU GUESSED IT...kidnapped by a gang of lesbians who take her up to their intergalactic space ship.

I think the thing I enjoy the most is the campy humor. In fact, as a little enticement, I'll give you the moment where I knew I was falling in love with these lesbians:If you think that's funny, there's plenty more where it came from. Just hop on over to the website. I'll even make it easy for you and provide the link a second time so you don't have to scroll all the way up.

My only hope is that one day this gets made into a movie. I'd much rather see I Was Kidnapped By Lesbian Pirates From Outer Space!!! than Spider-Man 4.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

At least he's willing to confess it in an open forum...

Pictures from Dan's first New Orleans "king cake" experience:

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Story of my life...

Hollywood ASST from Back of the Class on Vimeo.

Dan Ast vs. Octo-Mom: The Fight of the Century

That's right folks. As gross it may sound, I caught Dan Ast trying to woo Nadya Suleman. I can only imagine what he and his followers plan to do with her precious little brood of infants...

Those are horrors that I choose not to meditate on. Thankfully, someone else has already chosen to meditate on them for me.

As I was clicking through pictures of the crazy, Jolie-lipped mother of 14, I was reminded of one of my favorite horror flicks from the late 70's. Anyone who knows me knows that I'm a big, BIG fan of David Cronenberg. Scanners is a true classic. Videodrome is prophecy, especially with today's media. And A History of Violence is brilliant storytelling. However, the movie that sprang to my mind as I considered the recent hoopla over the birth of these hormonally implanted octuplets was 1979's The Brood.

For me to even begin to explain the plot to you would be a disservice. Please don't wait around for them to bastardize remake this movie (I've heard it's in the works...along with Scanners...CURSE YOU MICHAEL BAY AND ALL THAT YOU STAND FOR!!!). See the original. Add it to your Netflix queue pronto.

Without giving too much away, I'll attempt to entice you into watching this movie...

And if you need any more incentive...

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Chris Brown...any relation to Bobby?!?!

We here at Chill With Will are often guilty of being a little crass and making light of certain subjects that are (quite frankly) downright horrendous. Racism, baby eating, and Tyler Perry movies are all free game when it comes to the jokes and sarcastic comments that grace the pages of this here blog. However, this past weekend, a certain subject was broached in the media that demands the must utmost care and respectful commentary...


You hear me Chris Brown?!?! It's punks like you that give the hip-hop/R&B/rap community a bad name. I don't care that you share a last name with one of the biggest woman abusers in recent musical history. and your drop-dead-gorgeous (may I now add undeserved?) girlfriend had just left a pre-Grammy party where Whitney Houston made her alleged "comeback" performance. That doesn't give you any excuse to lay out another violent example of how the "behind the music" stories of the recording industry are nothing but a collected string of Shakespearean ironies.

I really hope that all the media reports are blown out of proportion... What kind of scum gives his girlfriend welts on her forehead and bites her fingers?!?!

You even forced her to cancel her 21st birthday party. You prick!

If the media reports are even partially true...please don't think about crawling back to her. Just tuck your tail between your legs and sink back into obscurity. I'm sure there's a whole crowd of teenybopper fans ready to go disturbia on your ass. They will be breakin' all of your dishes and you will know what it's like to try to breathe with no air.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Disney & DreamWorks sittin' in a tree...

It's official, folks. DreamWorks just couldn't make it work out with Universal and now they're heading over to the Mouse House. Of course, DreamWorks Animation will remain its own entity (and continue to pump out awful sequels to their most wretched movies).

At this point, I think Dreamworks is basically like the really slutty girl in high school who got loads of action but never found love. Let's hope this time it's a match made in heaven.

This brings back memories of those nasty 2005 rumors about Spielberg directing a version of Mary Poppins based on the stage musical based on, well, Mary Poppins. Don't believe me?

I seriously doubt that would ever happen...but after five Saw movies and one more on the way this October, I've learned my lesson in saying "never."

In the meantime, I'm open to taking bets on how long it'll be before Spielberg and Co. is looking for a new production deal.

My money's on 2 years before a quick jump to Sony. If that fails, they're pretty much left with Lionsgate. I'm sure America would flip to see a Steven Spielberg/Tyler Perry co-project. Come to think of it, Tyler Perry does have that nice new studio in Atlanta. And can you imagine Mr. Perry himself stepping behind the camera to lense a version of The Color Purple based on the stage musical based on Spielberg's THE COLOR PURPLE?!?!

My only hope is that Tyler Perry also dons his customary drag to play Sofia.

But, then again, everyone knows you don't mess with Oprah!!

Friday, February 6, 2009

2008: My Year End Top Ten Movies

Every year I make up a list of my ten favorite movies. I know it's kind of narcissistic to think anyone would care about the movies I enjoyed. However, it helps me process my thoughts on what I find to be good filmmaking versus wretched filmmaking (which applies to most movies I saw this year).

When I was in high school, I found a way to absolutely love every single movie I saw. That was a problem. Ever since I started working in Hollywood, I've found that being more discerning in what I choose to give the "Will Sherrod Brand of Approval" is more important than trying to feel like I got something out of the $12.oo I spent on, say, Mamma Mia! (Sorry Mom! I thoroughly enjoyed going to the movies and watching it with you. I just didn't really love the movie itself.)

Before we kick this off...2008 was a bit of a rough year for me. Okay, let's be honest, can anyone REALLY say that 2008 was a great year? I'm gonna warn you that I tended to connect with much bleaker films than in years past. Granted I dind't put Blindness on here (one of the bleakest films I've ever seen); but let's just say that out of the two comic book movies I went back and forth over including on my list, I chose The Dark Knight over Iron Man because I feel like it was the most grim option of the two movies and a better representation of 2008 as a whole.

Without further adieu... here's my list:

#10. The Dark Knight
Now that we're in the middle of a recession, I think my favorite scene is the one where the Joker burns an entire pile of money with a businessman on top. Granted, I still think the movie suffers from a weak third act. Personally, I find the scene with the two ferries to be a little hokey. Also, the Joker's plot is just a little too perfectly conceived. But, even with all its failures and minor annoyances, The Dark Knight features one of the best magic tricks I've ever seen...

"I'm gonna make this pencil disappear."

#9. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
This is a film that I think will grow on me in years to come. Most of David Fincher's movies get better and better upon repeat viewing (especially Zodiac). While this is his most mainstream film since Panic Room, it also grapples with some pretty big themes. Watching life in reverse really does bring a little more clarity to the dying process.

Also, the special effects used to make Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett look younger were incredible.

#8. Slumdog Millionaire
Surprise! I didn't say ALL my picks were totally bleak...just most of them. Slumdog Millionaire is a beautiful movie that has a strong pulse. Danny Boyle's unique camera moves mixed with some wild editing make the slums (and cities) of India come to vivid life on the big screen. I'm gonna go out on a (very sturdy) limb and say that is gonna win Best Picture this year. And, to be totally honest, I think it's deserved.

Any movie that ends with an enormous dance sequence (other than Mamma Mia!) deserves a little extra credit.

#7. Revolutionary Road
Nobody handles American suburban angst quite like British director Sam Mendes. However, you'll find none of the humor from American Beauty in this draining film about a failing marriage. One thing that I love about this movie is hearing different people's reactions to whether Frank or April Wheeler is right. Even if somebody says that they're both clearly in the wrong, you can always tell that they side with one of the characters.

Spoiler: My favorite scene is the second to last scene. Shep Campbell asks his wife Milly if they can agree to never talk about the Wheelers again...moments before sinking back into their idyllic suburan home.

#6. Milk
I saw Milk a few weeks after the state of California banned same-sex marriage. As a biopic, I felt like it was rather paint-by-numbers. However, as a glimpse at a movement in the 70's, it's inspiring. It certainly was not made to sway the minds of people who would vote "yes" on a proposition that takes rights away from homosexuals. Instead, I think it was made for people who would proudly vote "no" but need to actually let their voices be heard BEFORE the votes are tallied...rather than after. It's sad that they could beat something like Prop 6 (firing teachers and school board officials because of their sexual orientation) in 1978, but something like Prop 8 wins thirty years later.

Additionally, this movie had some stellar performances from some of the best actors working today.

#5. Son of Rambow
Son of Rambow is the movie that left me feeling the happiest and most nostalgic for the days when I'd sit in my front yard with an enormous video camera and a bunch of dinosaur toys reenacting scenes from Jurassic Park. It reminded me that, while the road is never easy, the privilege of making movies is one that I should never take for granted.

Side note for all you Gossip Girl fans...Ed Westwick (you know him as Chuck Bass) plays the devious older brother to the film's hero. This wasn't exactly a selling point for me, but if it gets more people to add a great (underrated) movie to their Netflix queue, then I'm all about hyping the star power.

#4. The Reader
A friend of mine complained that the characters in The Reader were a bit too "morally ambiguous." I have to admit, the biggest draw for me was the fact that I'd start out loving a character and routing for him/her to succeed, only to find myself loathing them and their stomach-churning decisions a few moments later. The characters just felt real to me. I haven't reacted to characters' decisions that passionately in a long time.

Also, the moral dilemma in the film is one that stayed with me for a couple days. That's another reaction I haven't had to a film in a long time.

#3. The Signal
It wouldn't be a Will Sherrod List of Favorite Movies without at least one horror flick. I was a little nervous that I wouldn't have one to include this year. Most of the horror films (I'm looking at you, The Strangers) I saw were terrible. Un-scary. Un-funny. Just grotesque...which doesn't do anything for me anymore. Luckily, I caught this just a few weeks before thinking about this list. The Signal is a brilliant blend of action and bizarre comedy. It's very gory, but in a 1980's fun house kind of way. Like any good horror film, it contains veiled social commentary...always a plus in my book.

Side note: The Signal cost less than $500,000 to make. In my opinion, it looks better and more cinematic than a lot of the $40 million films I saw this year (eyes over here, Baby Mama).

#2. Der Baader Meinhof Komplex (The Baader Meinhof Complex)
I know what you're thinking. I can hear you saying..."Will's trying to be all 'artsy' and put a foreign film that's nominated for an Oscar near the top of the list." Well, let me just tell you that with car explosions, plane hijackings, bank robberies, and point-blank executions, this is not Farewell, My Concubine. Uli Edel's brilliant look at the inner workings of the band of young political dissidents who eventually formed Germany's Red Army Faction is harrowing. The movie dares to put you in the shoes of the terrorists. It tries to make you understand why they're doing what they're doing. It clearly shows how misguided passion can send anyone barreling down a collision course of insufferable cruelty. Writer/Director Edel grew up in Germany and followed the writings of journalist Ulrike Meinhof as she suddenly went from being an observer to an instigator of many politcally motivated, heinous crimes. This is a project that is more than twenty years in the making. It is powerful and riveting.

Special Note: Just so you understand how much care went into the making of the film... the director claims that all of the dialogue is reconstructed from journals, tape recordings, and first hand accounts. There are more than 130 speaking parts because he hated the idea of combining multiple real life witnesses into single "representative" characters. That kind of attention to detail is NOT something to scoff at.

#1. WALL-E
I prefer the grown-up Pixar movies (The Incredibles, Ratatouille) to their more juvenile offerings (Finding Nemo, Cars). This film is in a league of its own.


I was tempted to call this an "Honorable Mention" but decided against the term because that implies that's it's not quite as good as the other films on the list. Truth be told, I caught this movie at its premiere at ScreamFest in Los Angeles. If you notice the original release date at the top of the poster, you'll realize that this film has now missed two chances at a wide release. I feel like even more of an elitist putting a movie on my list that's not possible for anyone else to see. So, I'm just telling you that whenever Warner Bros gets around to firing their current executives in charge of theatrical distribution (highly likely the way studios are laying off people these days) and puts in some "fresh blood" that will take a chance on releasing a non-remake, non-sequel, non-sequel-remake, non-PG-13-fluff, non-torture-porn, (please read, ORIGINAL) horror film...TRICK 'R TREAT will be on the top of my list. The movie is gory. The movie is hilarious. The movie is one of the rare examples of a multiple-character, alternating story arc film that I actually enjoyed. Most of all, it just feels original (I can't say that word enough, it seems). Fresh. And since I'm a firm believer that the road most traveled (i.e., Friday the 13th, Saw I-V, any PG-13 Japanese horror remake) is less creepy than setting out on a new trail...I'm gonna give Trick 'R Treat my thumbs up as the best horror film since Slither.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Baby Noshing vs. Puppy Chowing

So now we've all seen the footage Mr. Dan Ast leaked of me chewing up and swallowing an adorable little puppy. All right, I admit it. I'm coming out of the closet. I EAT PUPPIES!!

But you wanna know what? I'm not alone. This shouldn't come as a surprise to you, but... World Class Olympian Michael Phelps ALSO eats puppies.

Don't believe me?!?! You are so naive.

First off, it is not possible for anyone to spend three weeks in Beijing and NOT eat at least one puppy. I know it. Joan Rivers knows it. You know it. So let's not play dumb.

Second, puppies are high in calories. After swimming a thousand laps in an Olympic size pool, there's nothing quite like a cheesy omelet loaded with bits of dachshund to get your energy back up.

*Pictured above: Michael Phelps builds up an appetite before gorging on a kennel full of cocker spaniels. (Photo courtesy News of the World)

So there! I'm proud to announce to the world that I EAT PUPPIES!! It means I'm in the same club as Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps.


What sort of company does Dan "Baby Eater" Ast keep?

*Pictured above: Serial killer John Wayne Gacy and Dan Ast making a house call. (Photo courtesy Getty Images)

Serial killer John Wayne Gacy eats babies. Dan Ast eats babies.

If my stomach weren't churning so much right now, I'd go finish the labradoodle burrito I started for dinner last night.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Monday, February 2, 2009

A Very Special Thank You to My Dear Friend Dan...

Well, it seems I greatly overestimated my foe. This past weekend, my buddy Dan started a counter-blog in an attempt to steal my readers and prove that I do not come close to being TOTALLY BADASS.

I'll admit. At first I was a little worried. I saw his photoshopping skills were up to par. He managed to make this little number earlier this morning...

Clearly, my badassery was being challenged. His attacks took on the form of one of John McCain's political smear ads. Using the compare and contrast methods, he made the following attempt at proving his badassery over mine:

I don't know about you. But my woman seems to be having a lot more fun than Dan's.

This is true. This is EXACTLY how I treat my friends...when they show up to a Halloween party out of costume. Lack of a badass Halloween costume results in a seriously badass ass-kicking. It was for his own good. He'll never show up out of costume again!!Hmm...a tiny little kitten or a 10 foot alligator? I don't even need to tell you which is more badass.

He merely proves my point. I am one totally badass individual. I just can't help it. Out of the 296 photos I have been tagged in on Facebook, Dan was only able to find the above examples for a "lack" of badassness. Tsk. Tsk. Tsk.

Wanna know what I found in his photos?!?!

Here's what you get when you choose to Chill With Dan Instead:

Looks like somebody should turn around and CHILL WITH WILL:

Super Bowl Trailer Round-up

All right. I have to make this quick so I can get back to my feud with Dan. I don't want to forget my other interests while engaging in this epic battle for the blogosphere. Besides, if I'm able to maintain a strong offensive against this identity thief whilst continuing to post my usual quips on the state of the world, I will clearly be the better (and, certainly more original) blogger.

I'm not a fan of the Cardinals or the Steelers. And since it's my personal belief that the only badass way to enjoy a sporting event is to be there, in the flesh, screaming your lungs out, I didn't watch the Super Bowl. That's why God made that I could see all the awesome commercials the next day.

Here's a quick round-up of my thoughts on the Super Bowl movie trailers...

Land of the Lost
Everyone knows my favorite movie of all-time is Jurassic Park. What you may not know, is that one of my least favorite movies is The Lost World: Jurassic Park. Why? Because I hate that they took the velociraptors (one of the most badass cinematic creations of all time) and turned them into pussies. The raptors can be defeated by Jeff Goldblum's twelve year gymnast daughter?!?! Gimme a break!

Making dinosaurs stupid and easily defeatable is one of my biggest pet peeves in movies. If the T-Rex doesn't bite Will Ferrell's head off, I'm walking out of the theater.

Angels & Demons
In the trailer for the prequel to The Da Vinci Code, I am most impressed by how much younger Tom Hanks looks in this movie compared to how he looked in Ron Howard's last blasphemous exercise in butt-numbing boredom.

Hmm...I guess a decent haircut actually goes a long way.

Monsters vs. Aliens
A butt joke, a poop joke, and a parody of a Ryan Seacrest catchphrase...all contained in the same 90 second trailer. Awesome job, Dreamworks! After Kung Fu Panda I actually had hope that you'd start making less juvenile animated films that rely on pop culture references to get half-hearted laughs. I'm glad to see the bar is being lowered beyond anything Shrek the Third could've ever accomplished.

G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra
The Eiffel Tower is disintegrated. Some guys run around and jump away from various modes of transportation in various states of explosion. I've watched the trailer three times trying to figure out what the story is. I guess, based solely on the title, this is an origins story for the creation of the band of miscreants who follow Cobra Commander?? Your guess is as good mine.

Star Trek
Remember that history making episode of Star Trek in which Capt Kirk kissed Lt. Uhura...the first time interracial sensuality had ever been aired on television? Well, according to J.J. Abrams there was a lot more than just kissing going on behind closed doors on the Enterprise. I wonder what the censors in the 60's would've thought of that...

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
Oops...I guess I posted the wrong picture. Here's the big scary villain in the new Transformers movie:Yawn.

To watch these trailers (and a few more) you can go here.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

My Arch Nemesis

So, I haven't blogged in a couple weeks. I know, I know... I went from being TOTALLY BADASS to TOTALLY LAME-ASS in just a matter of days. However, I assure you that it was for good reason. I went to New York somewhat spontaneously (badass). I've been working on my screenplays, slowly but surely (also, badass). I've been catching up on almost every movie that's been nominated for an Oscar (Frozen River = badass indie; Frost/Nixon = not so badass). In the midst of all the excitement...I haven't been keeping up with my blog.


But before I start updating you on the past few weeks, let me pause a moment to introduce you to a dude I met in film school...Mr. Dan Ast.

You can read his new blog here.

That's right. Dan's new blog is called "Chill with Dan Instead." Apparently, I don't blog often enough for some of my most devoted fans. And, Dan has taken it upon himself to fill whatever void I have left in the blogosphere.

This means war.

To paraphrase the words of my good friend President Thomas Whitmore, "I will not go quietly into the night! I will not perish without a fight! I will blog on! I will survive! Today, I celebrate..." Okay, it stops being relevant at that point.

Long story short. I'm back. Even if it means little quips and fewer pictures...possibly a few grammatical errors (gasp!)...I will try my damnedest not to let down the blogosphere.

On a side note...I'd like to point out that Dan currently lives in the bedroom that I formerly inhabited when I was residing in a townhouse full of FSU Film School alum in Los Angeles. It seems he has already physically replaced me in many regards; now he's trying to steal my online identity. I need to call my pal Angela Bennett and see if she has any tips for dealing with problems of this nature.