Sunday, August 30, 2009

Derby City Film Chat

I look forward to talking with Kris Rommel on the Derby City Film Chat, an internet radio show scheduled for Tuesday, September 1, at 9:15 p.m., Eastern Time.

Even if you can't listen live, you'll be able to check out our conversation about my books and "Movie Addict Headquarters" anytime after the live show on Kris' home page by using the link below -- or you can download the show from iTunes.

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Thursday, August 27, 2009

My New Name

Omigosh -- please check this out:

I've never been called B-Jo before, but I love it. :-)

A big thanks to Philip Recchia, BlogTalkRadio's Director of Programming, for his terrific report of my latest TV adventure. Thanks also to the people who commented on his post as well as to my "Movie Addict HQ" producer extraordinaire Nikki Starr, my excellent co-host Jazz Shaw and our great guests and loyal chatters.

Hooray for BTR!

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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

TV Journalist Covers BlogTalkRadio Show

Thanks to David Ortiviz, a multi-media journalist with KOAA-TV (a local NBC affilliate channel), for visiting with me this afternoon about my Movie Addict Headquarters show on BlogTalkRadio. He brought his camera and filmed some of our "Tribute to Alfred Hitchcock" episode as I sat by my computer and hosted the show via telephone. Turns out that David is a Hitchcock fan, so he even participated in the show!

Here's the link David posted on Twitter a little while ago:

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Friday, August 21, 2009

Creating Heroes and Villains

What makes a villain and a hero unforgettable for viewers? Jeffrey Hirschberg explores this question in his absorbing Reflections of the Shadow: Creating Memorable Heroes and Villains for Film and TV, a book not just for screenwriters but also for everyone with a passion for movies and/or TV.

Hirschberg writes, “As much as I would like to think this topic garners interest ‘from kids from one to ninety-two,’ the truth is that Reflections of the Shadow is for those of you who bought advance IMAX tickets for The Dark Knight, gathered friends together to watch the season finale of Lost, and still get a chill every time Dorothy transforms from black and white into glorious color.” (I plead guilty to two out of three charges here.)

However, Hirschberg’s book is primarily a helpful tool for anyone writing screenplays or interested in becoming a screenwriter. Instead of concentrating on plot structure as most screenwriting books do, Reflections deals with the importance of developing heroes and villains who will be remembered long after the credits roll.

In this fascinating book, Hirschberg includes many of my favorite heroes and villains, such as Peter Parker (Spider-Man), Atticus Finch (To Kill a Mockingbird), Indiana Jones (Raiders of the Lost Ark), Rick Blaine (Casablanca), Clarice Starling (Silence of the Lambs), the Wicked Witch of the West (The Wizard of Oz), Alex Forest (Fatal Attraction), Hans Gruber (Die Hard) and The Joker (The Dark Knight).

Pointing out that the villain is a shadowy reflection of the hero, Hirschberg quotes Belloq, the villain in Raiders of the Lost Ark, telling Indiana Jones, “It would take only a nudge to make you like me. To push you out of the light.” Which probably explains why Hirschberg advises writers not to make their heroes flawless and not to present their villains (who tend to be “outsiders” wanting to be “insiders”) as raving maniacs. One of my favorite parts of this book lists revealing “Do’s and Don’t’s” for creating memorable heroes and villains.

I had a wonderful time reading Reflections of the Shadow! I can’t help thinking of Jeffrey Hirschberg as a kindred spirit now. Anyone who would name his dogs after Alfred Hitchcock and Billy Wilder must be a movie addict just like me.

(Reflections of the Shadow: Creating Memorable Heroes and Villains for Film and TV, published by Michael Wiese Productions, is available now at

Listen to Jeffrey Hirschberg’s interview by clicking here.

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Sunday, August 16, 2009

Ode to Ponyo

Ponyo, Ponyo
She came from the sea
First a fish and then a girl
As cute as she can be
Red of hair, heart of gold
Her story now on film is told
With artistry and lots of fun
By Miyazaki -- the perfect one!

Don't miss this lovely animated movie, folks.

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Friday, August 07, 2009

Miss Lafalot & Funny Movies

I had a great time being Miss Lafalot's guest on her BlogTalkRadio show this morning. We talked mostly about funny movies -- and I want to thank her for her kind words about my books, online course and the "Movie Addict Headquarters" talk show.

During the live program, I'm sure Christopher Guest's ears were burning as well as Jim Carrey's. Waiting for Guffman and Yes Man received a lot of attention.

Here's a link to the archived segment for your listening pleasure:

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Sunday, August 02, 2009

A Wild Premiere

This morning while preparing for my BlogTalkRadio show about films based on TV shows, I couldn’t help thinking about the George of the Jungle premiere my husband and I attended a few years ago. Holding a traditional Hollywood premiere wasn’t exciting enough for the adventurous execs at Walt Disney Studios. Instead, they decided to take over San Diego’s Wild Animal Park. Fortunately, Larry and I were among the press invited to this event.

As expected, the film’s buffed-up star, Brendan Fraser, captured most of the media attention. The popular actor appeared to have time for everyone. When I mentioned to him how much the youngsters wanted to see George of the Jungle, he added, “And their parents, too, because they remember this character from the 1960s TV cartoon series.”

After completing the obligatory press line, Larry and I followed director Sam Weisman past the park’s assorted fierce creatures and their brave keepers, over the Congo Fishing Village Bridge, down the Kilimanjaro Backcountry Trail, and finally into the Heart of Africa. A sumptuous buffet awaited all guests at our destination, making the long trek worthwhile, and live African music put us in the right mood for the movie to follow in the Bird Show Amphitheater.

George of the Jungle amused me with its combination of innocent slapstick comedy and sophisticated dialogue. My favorite character, the elephant who thinks he’s a dog, almost stopped the show with his incredible canine-like movements, thanks to Jim Henson’s Creature Shop.

No doubt about it, those Disney folks throw a great party! They also know how to make entertaining movies, and I think George of the Jungle ranks as one of their best.

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