"You Will Believe A Man Can Fly"

Everything comes full circle.

I busted my ass jumping off the side of my house with a towel wrapped around my neck pretending to be Superman when I was a kid. My mother made me the ABSOLUTE COOLEST COSTUME EVER. I dare anyone to beat my mother's costume. She hand made me a Superman costume. From scratch. She even bought me these crazy boots that she later hot glued or adhered red fabric to so that I'd have real boots. My mom fucking ROCKS. She had done it once before when I wanted to be Batman, but that's fodder for another post.

Last night, after nearly 20 years, Superman finally returns to the big screen in Brian Singer's aptly name "Superman Returns."

I've written about this before, but maybe not on the blog. I remember the first Superman poster like it was yesterday. The blue and red streaks shooting through the clouds. And the tag line, "You will believe a man can fly." Say what you will about that movie, but look at the powerhouse cast you had. Marlon Brando playing Superman's father. The great Gene Hackman as Superman's enemy. The then unknown Chris Reeve as Superman. Directed by Richard Donner. Story and script by Mario Puzo. I left there believing I was Superman. The feeling hasn't yet subsided.

I'll be honest with you. I'm scared. And I'm not even an uber geek when it comes to Superman. I never really kept up with the comic books. But when it came to my favorite superhero, hands down, it was always Superman. He died and came back, for Christ's sake!

I've got a bunch of Superman action figures. I try to look for new ones all the time to add to my collection. I try to buy two at a time, so I can take one out of the packaging.

I have yet to purchase the original Superman poster, though. I've been looking around for a print that's close to the original date and that I can afford. Although a reprint would be just as good.

I said at the beginning that everything comes full circle. Superman represents a lot of things to me. He's not just my favorite superhero. Not just one of the first movies that I really remember making an impact in my life. He's a major reason in my wanting to write and direct films. Miles Davis talks about the fire that drove his life. It was in St. Louis and the year was 1944. He'd heard that Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker, among others, were going to be playing a small club around the way. He loved listening to Diz and would often play along with records and memorize solos.
He grabbed his horn and went to the venue. While he was there, a man approached him and asked him if he had his union card. He told the man he did and the man told him they needed another horn; their trumpet player had gotten sick. Miles said that at that time, he had been just chewing on everything that Dizzy ever did. He didn't recognize the man who asked him to join the band until they got up on stage and Diz began to play. He then realized who that man was.
He went on, about the Jazz heavy hitters on that stage that night. He said Bird (Charlie Parker) just mesmerized the group. He said they all took turns playing solos, one after another. He said that night he played the best music that he's ever played in his life. Ever. Everything he did after that, he said, was just an attempt to recapture that moment in '44. He chased those notes till the day he died.

I think that you could interpret that several ways. What I chose to read from it is something positive. This torch I carry for film was sparked when I saw a guy in blue and red tights fly across the screen. It wasn't the man, the myth or the legend that got me. It was what he represented: everyone has some super power inside. So we don't have x-ray vision or super strength. Maybe our gifts are intelligence, wisdom or talent. I know that's what make my wife super. She's understanding, sexy, loving and supportive.

I don't know when my gift was planted, but I know what helped it grow. And some 20 years after it sparked my dream, I'm finally going to do what it's asked me to do for more than 10 years. On July 7th, I begin shooting what will be my new film, "A Matter of Time." Even the title seems fitting. This project will test everything I've learned. There have been lots of starts and stops in this journey. Lots of pitfalls. This time, there's only blue sky.

"They are a good people Kal-El, they wish to be. They only lack the light to show the way. It is for this reason above all, their capacity for good, that I've sent them you, my only son."

You will believe a man can fly.


How Ironic

As I was leaving work a day or so ago, I cut through the loading docks adjacent to the Express-News press. The area I mention is sandwiched between the main offices and the press area.

Walking through there shaves a minute or two from my walk to the truck on most days.

Anyhow, as I was making my way out of the dock area, I happened to glance down to find the classifieds from the paper I got canned from, Rumbo. A truck had just left the docks and ran over it. Greasy, black tire treads were stamped across the tabloid pages.

How fortunate that I should be there to see that. Irony at it's finest.


Brother Ben

My first couple of weeks in Arkansas were pretty shitty. I had removed myself from everything and everyone that mattered to me. It was a tough new beginning.

I kept to myself for a long time. I mean, there was a lot of tension from the locals. Not a lot of Mexicans in Arkansas when I first arrived. I was a drug dealer as far as they were concerned. Slowly, I started mixing more with my coworkers. I got invited to lunch and started exploring the city more on my own.

One Sunday night, the page reader came over to drop a page off at my desk. I can't remember how the subject of the Sopranos came up exactly, but we got to talking about the show. I told him that I'd watched from the beginning. He told me he and some of his friends got together to watch the show after work. Armed with the invitation to his apartment, I went home and grabbed a six pack of beer then headed over to his place to watch the latest episode. That was how I became friends with Ben.

I remember he was surprised that I brought beer. He was even more surprised when I didn't take the untouched beer home. Ben found a lot about me strange, I think.

Over the course of the next few years, Ben and I became close friends. I've met a few people in my life; none of them like Ben. During all the time we spent together, Ben never judged me about anything. He was always there to listen and offer advice. He's a great drinking buddy and a smart motherfucker too. Just an all around great guy. We found out we shared similar tastes in music and film. Not to mention the fact that we both enjoyed good conversation and a good cigar. Top that all off with our love of The Ramones and it sealed the deal.

I'd like to think that we both learned a lot about life from each other. Even though we've only been friends for a short time, I feel like we've been friends forever. I know that there were times where maybe I wasn't the best roommate, but he was forgiving.

Then there was the camera. The man bankrolled my miniDV camera. What can you say about a friend who helps you buy something like that? Shit, even if he hadn't, I've got lots to say about him.

There were times when my world was collapsing around me. He was there to knock a bit of it off my back and help me up. I tried to do the same for him whenever I could.

See, Ben wasn't just my friend. He was my brother.

We roomed together with another one of my best friends, Lyon, at a 5,000 square foot Victorian home dubbed "The Five Points". It was the ultimate bachelor pad. Three movie geeks, two TV rooms and a generous helping of beer. We hosted some great parties and had some great benders together.

We had our weekly drinking night, Thursdays, at a local pub. He and I, Stewart, Jeff Arnold and Lyon. That was our fortress of solitude. Those were good times.

And we took some road trips too. He and I saw Graceland together. We took a tour of the Gibson guitar factory in Memphis. We saw Dylan in Oklahoma City. And we even traveled to Dallas to visit a couple of arthouse theatres and catch movies we normally wouldn't be able to see.

It was his birthday yesterday. Sadly, it's another one I've missed. He's married now. He use to think it wouldn't happen; my wife would always tell him otherwise.

Ben, I wish I could give you more than just these few words. I wish Tonya and I could meet you and Jenny at the bar and share a pizza, a few drinks and a lots of laughs.

But for now, I'll just wish you many happy returns, a long life and lots of love.

Salud, dinero y amor, my brother. I love you.


Thanks Al Gore!

I just wanted to send Al Gore props for inventing the internet. He's brought me hours upon hours of fun.

I want to get to my first find quickly because it will be old and stale by the time I'm done. I must have been living under a rock not to know about this. I can't remember just how I came upon it, but it's quickly becoming my new mantra. What the Hell am I talking about?

Snakes On A Plane

This has become some kind of internet phenomenon. It's spawned all kinds of websites and attention.

Click Here

What's more, I found a great blog from a screenwriter named Josh Friedman. You need to read his Snakes blog. I've become a big fan of his blog.

Snakes On A Motherfucking Plane

Finally, there's a radio show that my brother, Ben, introduced me to.

The Treatment

Elvis Mitchell, formerly a film critic for the New York Times, hosts this show where he interviews actors, producers and directors. The talks are always lively and there's always something cool that you may or may not have known about the machinery that is Hollywood.

There's a lot I could say about these sites. But only one thing could truly sum it all up.

Snakes on a plane. Yeah. Snakes on a plane.


I Rant Therefore I Rave | Designed by Techtrends | © 2007-2008 All rights reserved