Monday, June 30, 2008

MY NAME IS BRUCE - Bruce Campbell Blabs

It's been awhile since I reported on the long-awaited (at least by me, since I wrote it!) feature release MY NAME IS BRUCE. But last I heard, we're still on track for some theatrical play this October, then a DVD release in January 2009. Of course I have about as much influence over that as I do the temperature, so "changes may occur"... but that was the last best plan. There may be other, better plans, and if I learn of them, I will bring them to your attention post-haste!

Meanwhile, star/director Mr. Bruce Campbell himself chit-chatted about the movie and his role on Burn Notice with the folks at Fangoria. The result can be found at:

Friday, June 27, 2008

Times Flies...

...when you're running around doing all sorts of stuff. The screenwriting business thrives on "meetings," as in face-to-face discussions to mull the entire litany of "what's next." One of the wiser pieces of advice I received many years ago from an experienced feature screenwriter was quite revealing: a "career" is based 50% on talent and 50% on relationships. I would add to that, "and an unqualifiable percentage is based on the fact that you're not insane."

People want to know you can do the job, but they also want to know their lives won't become an unbearable hell getting that work out of you. And I totally understand, because the inverse is also true. As I continue to meander through the world, "quality of life" in terms of work environment has become of paramount importance. It is a cliche, but life really is too short to spend it working at some endeavor that makes you miserable. And a bad environment, especially working in television, can be devastating. Because nobody (that I've ever met) becomes a writer because it was a close second to investment banking or roof maintenance... you write because you have to, because it fulfills some need, and yes, because you love it. When you find yourself in a situation that systematically pounds that love out of you, it's like discovering your girlfriend is dating your sister. It's just wrong and destructive on SO many levels. (And no, I don't have a sister!)

Of course, you don't have always have a choice in these matters. (Well, I suppose you do, but "starving" or leaving the business entirely is usually less attractive than taking even the most difficult job.) And there is a school of thought that experiencing/enduring the worst the business can offer is one way of toughening up for the future. But that can be like bouncing back after losing an arm; I suppose there is some value in realizing you can handle anything, but ultimately, you kind of wish you had your arm back. When a job chips away at your affection for the whole writing process, you're losing something less quantifiable but equally difficult to retrieve.

I guess all this quasi-philosophical musing comes to mind on the eve of the Battlestar Galactica wrap party, and realizing just how special this experience has been. As writers, we were challenged to do our best work, in an environment that allowed incredible creative freedom to deal with emotional, political and theological themes. Plus robots, spaceships and shoot-outs. The old axiom "you don't know what you have until you lose it" may be true for some, but I've been doing this long enough to know what a rare and wonderful gift this has been. And I'll always be grateful to Ron Moore, David Eick, the folks at the Sci-Fi Channel and NBC/Universal, the incredible cast and crew, and especially my fellow writers, for making this a once in a lifetime opportunity.

And now... next! Bring it on!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Entertainment Weekly's Top 100 Shows Of All Time

These lists are always "fun", in the sparking-all-sorts-of-comment way, but hey, any list that puts the 2000-era Battlestar at #59 is okay in my book. Read it and agree, disagree and/or scratch your head. (Baywatch? Melrose Place? SAVED BY THE BELL?!!)

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Seagalogy - A Study Of The Ass-Kicking Films Of Steven Seagal

I've expressed my, well, appreciation for the DTV epics of Jean-Claude Van Damme and Seagal before, but Vern from the Ain't It Cool site takes it a step further and has crafted the definitive book on Mr. Seagal's ouvre. But even if your interest in Seagal begins and ends with "who?" and you wouldn't be caught dead spooling up one of his epics, this book is still worth reading, because it's flat out hilarious.

Vern approaches the movies with genuine appreciation, but he also can see them for what they are. In the case of (most of) Seagal's later works, that's crazy, cynical, cranked out madness. What am I saying, that's actually the case for most of his movies! Take On Deadly Ground, for instance, a big budget feature co-starring Michael Caine. It's as berserk as any low budget thriller. Caine insults a reindeer while doing a TV commercial (!), then Seagal goes terrorist and destroys Caine's oil refinery. But rather than landing on the FBI's Most Wanted list, the movie ends with Seagal lecturing Congress (!!) on the environmental perils of... well, not blowing up oil refineries, but something.

Skip a DVD this week and pick this up, it rates five out of five kicks to the groin!

Seagalogy: A Study of the Ass-Kicking Films of Steven Seagal

Friday, June 20, 2008

As We Move Forward...

Haven't been posting much because there isn't much to say. Or rather, much I can say here, and PLEASE don't read anything into that re: a possible BSG movie or movies, webisodes, future series, reissuing BSG in 3-D or Bear McCreary's fledgling career in stand-up. (I finally saw the "documentary" he put together for his live performance a few months ago. Hopefully he'll release a DVD with the show and the docu-drama combined.)

Needless to say, even though there are still 11 hours left to air, BSG is wrapping up for the staff. So everyone is forging ahead with various opportunities, regardless of the short-term prospects. One of the interesting parts of show biz, and often bittersweet, is that fact that almost all of these writing/producing jobs are short term. "Short" can mean two months or ten years, but there's still, inevitably, a definitive end point. If you're involved in an, umm, "unfortunate situation", knowing there's a drop dead end date is sometimes the only thing keeping you going. But when it's firing on all cylinders, pulling the plug just puts an end to something that was pretty cool. Like killing the music at the end of a great party... you know it's time to go, you just wish it could last a little longer.

Years ago I had an acquaintance who would refer to his every showbiz contact as a "dear, close friend." All he had to do was exchange a glance with someone, and in his eyes he'd forged a bond as powerful as foxhole buddies on Omaha Beach. There can be a smarmy kissy-kissy aspect to this racket at times, but this is one case where I think some genuine, un-kissy friendships have been made. And in this crazy world, that's a good thing...

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Once Upon A Time In The West...

...AKA one of my all-time favorite movies, is being screening this FRIDAY NIGHT at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. It's a brand new print of the uncut version, so this is a rare chance to see Sergio Leone's masterpiece in all its wide-screen glory. Charles Bronson, Jason Robards, and a thoroughly chilling performance by Henry Fonda (!). Interestingly enough, horror director Dario Argento was involved in writing the story, or maybe that's not so odd given Fonda's character. $5.00 for non-members and since BSG is no longer airing Friday nights, I can make this recommendation guilt free!

More info at

What's New?

Been a busy few days for yours truly, hence the paucity of postings. But the weekly Q & A re: "Revelations" should go up at ComicMix later today (Wednesday), though as you'll see it's difficult to explore the issues raised by the show without getting into spoilers. And I don't get into spoilers. If I were a member of the Legion of Superheroes, I would be Spoiler-Eater-Lad.

Meanwhile, our friends at Galactica Sitrep (url to the right) have a compilation of links to a stack of reviews and hearty back-slaps, as well as the welcome news that ratings jumped dramatically for the half-season closer. Even though good work is its own reward, solid ratings don't hurt, either.

In the update catagory, we're busy getting the final episodes in shape while shooting continues on the finale episode(s). We are careening at high speed toward "the end", which is both exciting -- because we're very, very proud of what's coming up -- and a little sad, since it's been such a great, once-in-a-lifetime experience to be part of this show...

But the best is yet to come!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Battlestar Galactica - What's Next

I couldn't resist poking around the internets a little in the aftermath of last night's mid-season finale episode, "Revelations," to see what there was see. Happily, most folks seem pleased with the episode, and that's gratifying. A few were wondering, hey, how can they top that? Where can the rag-tag fleet go from there?

Well, suffice to say there are at least 11 hours in the hopper that take us "from there," and the next/last round of episodes are, if anything, even more intense and personal than what's come before. All bets are off, nothing's out of bounds, and nobody (I mean nobody) is safe. I realize I'm being impossibly vague, but I think everyone involved with the show hopes that the mysteries and, yes, revelations to come will remain gloriously unspoiled until the next batch airs.

As to when they're going to run, that's the million dollar question, and I have the 50 cent answer: I just don't know. That remains up to the folks at the Sci-Fi Channel. I will say that since we're not even done shooting yet, the simple realities of post-production dictate it's gonna be awhile...

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Battlestar Galactica At The Dome 6/11/08

Wow, what a great night. A fantastic crowd was on hand to enjoy a singularly exciting episode of Battlestar Galactica appropriately titled "Revelations." If the embargo on spoilers is actually being honored elsewhere (thanx, Ain't It Cool Guys!) you're certainly not going to get any outta me, but... I've seen the mid-season finale many times, and the power of watching it unfold on the big (make that huge) screen was, well, revelatory. Give writers David Weddle and Bradley Thompson and director Michael Rymer a big hand. BSG has always been a group effort, but they took this baby home and knocked it outta the park, along with the best cast and crew working in television, bar none.

After the screening and panel (well covered elsewhere, like the aforementioned Ain't It Cool News site), assorted BSG folks gathered at the Arclight's lounge and chatted into the almost-wee hours. I had a very nice talk with BSG booster and all around good guy Zak Penn (see his movie THE HULK tomorrow!), and fun conversation with some of the show's very enthusiastic fans.

Anyhow, don't believe me, or Herc at Ain't It Cool -- watch it yourself! Friday night, 10:00PM, Sci-Fi Channel!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Speaking Of Surprises (NOT BSG RELATED)...

Got a nice one in the mail from my good friends at Kufala Records (, a newly minted live show by my faves Crowded House. It's the 11/17/07 show from Perth Australia, to be exact, and the best part, it was free! A thank you to the maniacs who ordered all 28 (*gasp*) Crowdie shows Kufala released from the C.H. 2007 tour. The letter attached says this surprise release is their way of saying thanks and to make up for any deficiencies in their service, though it always seemed fine to me.

But perhaps the best news is that more live goodness (from the new tour?) may be on the way. And there's always room on M.V.'s sagging shelves for more Crowded House...

Last time I checked all the earlier shows are still available, along with one show from Crowdie front man Neil Finn's son Liam, also well worth picking up. These are fully authorized live soundboard recordings, so totally guilt free! (Though all the other shows aren't "free" free. Open up that credit card!)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


It's a busy week for those in BSG-ville. Wednesday night a cluster o'BSG folk and a bunch of press and fans will gather at the Cinerama Dome in Hollywood to watch the half-season finale on the big screen, followed by comments from unspecified folks on the dias (if I knew who was going to be on stage, I'd tell you!). Who knows, there might even be a surprise or two in store for those in attendance. Me? I like surprises.

These screenings are always a blast. It's great to see the show with an appreciative audience with big 'ol projection. And it's inevitably more fun working on a show when your stuff is on the air.

Anyway, this week's episode, Revelations (written by David Weddle and Bradley Thompson), follows up on last week's events with some developments that will rock the BSG world. I won't spill any beans, you'll see it soon enough, except to say that by the end of the show, you'll have some idea of the challenges facing the rag-tag fleet as the next and final batch of episodes unfold. (As to when they'll unfold, I have no idea...)

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Maybe I Shouldn't Hit "Save" So Often...

A struggling would-be screenwriter sued SBC after a computer technician deleted three screenplays from a hard drive. The writer had no back-ups. Read the article here:

According to the article, the writer pitched his screenplays claiming they would make better movies than Ben-Hur and Schindler's List. Say what you will, you gotta admire the guy's confidence!

(Thanks to Mark Evanier for the tip!)

Friday, June 06, 2008

Tonight on Battlestar Galactica: THE HUB!

Things get stickier yet for the Cylons and our rag-tag fleet in tonight's episode, "The Hub." That's Battlestar Galactica, FRIDAY NIGHT at 10PM on the Sci-Fi Channel!

And next week, the season 4.0 finale... you will get zero spoilers from me, but the lucky eight hundred with tickets will be getting a sneak preview at the Los Angeles Times Emmy event being held at the Arclight Cinema in Los Angeles on June 11. There will be a big-screen presentation of the next week's episode (in the Cinerama Dome, cool!), along with a panel discussion by varied and sundry. I'll be in the crowd along with most of the BSG writing staff, enjoying the show with everyone else.

Meanwhile, shooting continues on the last few episodes of season 4.1 as we march inexorably toward the finish line. (Someone should whistle "Col. Bogie's March" from Bridge Over The River Kwai here.)

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Sine Qua Non-ing... and THE HUB!

My commentary on last week's episode has just gone up at, check it out! Also, it looks like co-executive producer/writer Michael Taylor's doing a big-ol' interview for the folks at Galactica Sitrep (url to the right); keep your eye on that site for his august comments.

Meanwhile, this week on Battlestar Galactica, "The Hub." So what exactly DID happen after the hybrid jumped away with Roslin, Baltar and half of Galactica's air wing? Answers await this FRIDAY NIGHT at 10:00PM on the Sci-Fi Channel!

Sunday, June 01, 2008


I've been championing Don Dixon and Marti Jones' work for years. Indeed, this very blog celebrated the release of two, count 'em, two new projects just this year. Here's numero three. The fine people at have dipped into the past for a fantastic live concert from 1990, "Live At The 1313 Club", a full band, 25 song set with horn section and more. It sounds like the manic live version of "Praying Mantis" (Dixon's one minor hit) that appeared on the album "Notebook #38" was culled from this show. If you've heard that, then you will be as thrilled as yours truly to hear the entire concert. It's download only, a mere $9.95, and well worth the $$ and the bandwidth. Sample it and then buy at:

Entertainment Weekly Hearts... TIMECOP!

Of all the reviews I might have expected in the 6/6/2008 edition of Entertainment Weekly, a rave for my movie TIMECOP would be low on the list. But there it is, "Damme Good". To quote the obviously perceptive, albeit somewhat tardy critic, Chris Nashawaty:

Take 1994's TIMECOP, a sci-fi mindfreak every bit as awesome as Total Recall or Blade Runner. Just re-released as part of a two-disc "Quadruple Feature Van Damme Fight Pack," along with his Hard Target, Street Fighter, and The Quest - TIMECOP is twisty, smarter than it has any right to be, and lousy with neck-snappin' Belgian justice. Yes, Ron Silver nearly steals the show as an oily Senator who exploits a secret government time-travel program, sending his goons back to 1863 to steal Confederate gold. But it's Van Damme as the decade-jumping cop nursing the memory of a murdered wife (Ferris Bueller's Mia Sara) who sells both the film's punches and pathos. In a just world, I imagine JCVD warping back in time 14 years to accept out apologies.

As awesome as Blade Runner?! (Hey, he said it, not me!)

Anyhow, the new DVD is also the first time (other than laserdisc and the recently released and instantly outmoded HD disc) the movie's actually been available in widescreen, another bonus. And this only proves you never know. Perhaps a critical re-evaluation of my student film, John Boy Meets The Texas Chainsaw Killer (no kidding) is still in the offing...

Van Damme Action Pack Quadruple Feature (Timecop / Hard Target / Street Fighter / The Quest)