‘Transformers: The Last Knight’ Now Available to Own

FROM DIRECTOR MICHAEL BAY AND EXECUTIVE PRODUCER STEVEN SPIELBERG

COMES THE BIGGEST, MOST EXCITING TRANSFORMERS MOVIE YET

Eye-Popping Spectacle Debuts September 26

on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and Blu-ray 3D Combo Packs

5-Movie Blu-ray Collection Will Also be Available September 26

The latest installment in the global TRANSFORMERS franchise stars Mark Wahlberg (The Fighter) and features a sensational supporting cast including Josh Duhamel (Transformers), Stanley Tucci (The Hunger Games), Anthony Hopkins (“Westworld“), Isabela Moner (“100 Things to Do Before High School“), Laura Haddock (Guardians of the Galaxy), Santiago Cabrera (“Salvation“), and Jerrod Carmichael (“The Carmichael Show“).

The film is available now on Digital HD.

Visiting ‘Jurassic Park’ in 3D

Visiting Jurassic Park in 3D

by Jason Harris

Jurassic ParkIt has been 20 years since Steven Spielberg brought Jurassic Park to audiences. It’s a film that holds up well, which isn’t surprising since a lot of Spielberg’s movies do. E.T. and Jaws are two movies that come to mind.

This Friday a new Jurassic Park is arriving in theaters. This one is in 3D though. It’s perfect timing for Universal Studios since they are working on a fourth one, which should come out in 2014.

If you haven’t seen this movie, which is based on the Michael Crichton novel of the same name, here’s a brief synopsis. John Hammond (Richard Attenborough), the CEO of InGen, created a park populated by dinosaurs. There’s an accident at his Jurassic Park, which causes his investors to insist on an inspection by experts Dr. Alan Grant (Sam Neill) and Dr. Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern), who are joined by “rock star” Dr. Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum). All hell breaks loose because of corporate espionage and everyone is trying to survive when the dinosaurs get loose throughout the park.

I have never been a fan of 3D movies since my eyesight is bad and the 3D effect never seems to work for me. It also could have been the 3D glasses too. When I saw the movie at an IMAX theater during a screening the other night, they had glasses that were flush against my face. These worked quite well. A few times during the movie, I actually thought there was something in front of me. One time it was only a tree branch in the movie. The 3D effect also brings out things in the movie’s background, which may have been over looked in previous viewings. It also makes you feel like what’s happening is only a few feet in front of you.

It’s great seeing this movie on the silver screen. And it’s even better seeing it in 3D.

Massachusetts Native Talks about Writing and Hollywood

Massachusetts Native Talks about Writing and Hollywood

by Jason Harris

J.P. Ouellette

J.P. Ouellette has worked on a number of films in Boston such as The Box and The Fighter. Working in the city allowed him to “learn filmmaking from some of the best crews around” while being at home.

“The mix of local and Hollywood talent brought my knowledge of film to the next level,” Ouellette said. Being an assistant to great storytellers like Richard Kelly was better than grad school.”

Kelly was the writer and director of such movies as The Box and Donnie Darko.

Ouellette started working in Hollywood after taking a risk in order to pursue his writing career. He states that “Los Angeles is the best place to be for an emerging writer.”

“The whole city is dedicated to the film business, and there are endless opportunities here to build your resume.”

His latest film, Captured, which he produced, wrapped in June and is scheduled for release in October of 2013, which is “a perfect time” to release it, Ouellette said. It’s about a rock band that goes off to shoot a music video where an escaped convict becomes obsessed with them.

“It is a classic slasher flick with a lot of psychological twists. It blends genres, and is made for the true horror fan who is tired of the same old thing.”

Ouellette became involved with Captured when writer and director Joe Arias hired him to write new drafts of the script.

“It took us (a lucky) 13 drafts to get the shooting script ready. It was the hardest writing sessions either one of us has been apart of, but it was worth it, this story will blow your mind!”

Captured took three weeks to film, but it was in the works for two years since Arias came up with the film’s concept, Ouellette said. He is in the process of working on the sound editing, special effects, and the score now.

“It’s been quite a labor of love. It’s all very exciting to see something you help create come together.”

Along with finishing up Captured, he is producing another horror movie, Do Not Watch.

“Due to the high-concept of this project, the synopsis is being kept under wraps.”

Not only has Ouellette worked on more than 20 movies in his career, you can take a look at his Internet Movie Database profile, http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1965594/ to see everything that he has worked on, but he has also found the time to write a novel, 2501. His writing and this story’s style was inspired by Arthur C. Clarke and George Orwell. Its “hard science-fiction blended with political overtones is something everyone can get behind.” The e-book can be purchase on Amazon by clicking here.

It originally started out as a script idea, but “it was way too involved for the screen at that time.”

“I really had to dig into the characters and the science in order to find my story. Funny enough, the book now represents the outline for the proposed film version.”

He is still looking for the right Hollywood screenwriter to adapt 2501. He could adapt it himself, but he wants to step back and let someone else take care of it.

“The projected budget for this Blockbuster is over $50 million, and that is not in my price range … yet.”

He “would love Steven Spielberg to direct [2501] because of the Stanley Kubrick feel of the story.” If that happens he would love to be on-set, which he would consider “a dream project for sure.”

He does have an outline for another book, but his screenwriting schedule is keeping him from working on it.

“With 2501, I had to isolate myself while traveling in Mexico, writing the first draft freehand while sitting on the steps of the Mayan Ruins. It is the only way to get a novel done in this distracting day and age.”

Ouellette has a number of directors such as John Carpenter, J.J. Abrams, Duncan Jones, and Kelly, who has influenced him. He says that Kelly’s film, Donnie Darko, is the reason he went to film school, he said.

He has worked with many directors and actors, and wants to work with many more.

“They all have their own style to this art, and I love learning from them.”

He doesn’t have a dream project. All he wants to do is “to keep making great movies, and create opportunities to make more of them.”

Jawsfest Celebrates ‘Jaws’ on Blu-ray

This past weekend the four-day Jawsfest celebrated the 37th anniversary of Jawsand the release of it on Blu-ray this past Tuesday.

The event coincides with Universal Studios’ 100th Anniversary celebration and the Aug. 14 release of Jaws on Blu-ray, which features an all-new, digitally remastered and fully restored picture, as well as 7.1 surround sound. It also includes over 4 hours of bonus features including an all-new documentary “The Shark is Still Working.”

Jawsfest takes place on Martha’s Vineyard, the stand-in for the fictional Amity Island. This festival celebrates the legacy of Steven Spielberg’s film and how it has impacted the lives of those who came to Amity in 1974. The tribute event also pays homage to the men and women of Jaws who have passed with a special focus on Peter Benchley, Roy Scheider and Robert Shaw.

The Mirroring of Life and Fiction

This entry originally appeared on NEHW member Inanna Arthen’s blog.

Hey, how did that fiction get in my real life?

by Inanna Arthen

Peter Coyote (picture courtesy of texasgoldmovie.com)

There has always been a consistent pattern in my life whereby my fiction and my actual experiences echo and mirror each other in the weirdest ways.The first time I encountered actor Peter Coyote was in Steven Spielberg’s E.T., in which he played the mysterious scientist tracking the little alien. I’d never heard of Mr. Coyote before. But I confess: it was a case of crush at first sight. I’m not prone to fannish excesses–I won’t even collect autographs–so I didn’t look up Mr. Coyote’s biography or read gossip magazines or anything like that. Probably almost any other fan of his knew a lot more about his background than I did. But I loved him in E.T.,and I watched for him in other things. Many years ago, I went to a Red Cross blood drive to donate blood. I can no longer pinpoint exactly when this was, except that I’m fairly sure it was between 1982 and 1989, and I think the blood drive was in Acton, Massachusetts, where I lived in the 80s. It wouldn’t have been far from there, anyway. I had taken some film magazines with me to read – Premiere, I think. This was during my efforts to break into film acting locally. I even read Variety.After I finished with the donation and was resting, the way the Red Cross always makes you do so you won’t just jump up, barf and pass out, I was reading the magazines, and one of the blood drive volunteers came by see how I was doing. I said I was doing great, and then she picked up one of the magazines and said, “Oh, could I just look at these?” I said of course, and as she flipped through them she said, “I have a brother who’s an actor, and I always like to see if they say anything about him.”“Oh, really?” I said, pricking up my ears for a possible industry contact. “What’s his name?”

“Peter Coyote.”

I didn’t respond very politely, because to me, this was like saying she was related to Justin Bieber. It’s amazing that I didn’t jump up and pass out. “Oh, you can’t be, you’re making that up!” I said, or something like it. (In my defense, I was running a pint low at that moment.)

She looked a bit offended and said, “No, I’m not, why would I make that up? Most people have never heard of him.”

“Of course I’ve heard of him! He was in E.T.! He’s a doll!” (I’m sure they took a bit more than a pint, actually.)

She seemed rather pleased at that, so I hope I redeemed myself. “He is a doll,” she said, laughing.

That was the gist of our discussion – she had other donors to see to – and I didn’t even think to ask her own name, or look at her badge if she was wearing one. (I think it just said, “Volunteer” or whatever the term is they use.) I always wondered if she was really on the level. Why would a movie actor’s sister be volunteering at a blood drive in Acton, Massachusetts, fer gosh sakes?

But then, why wouldn’t she be? Actors come from all over the place. I lived in Acton and I was trying to be one.

But now it’s the 2010s and I’m trying to be a novelist. My third book, All the Shadows of the Rainbow, is set during the 1960s, plus a few years on either side. I lived through the 1960s, but just as I did with the 1950s and The Longer the Fall, I’ve been doing what I call “total immersion research.” I’m reading as much contemporary material as I can find, and watching raw film footage from that era, and generally working to enfold myself in the zeitgeist of the times, so I can, not just write it, but live it from the inside out.

(courtesy of Peter Coyote's website)

By complete happenstance, I discovered that Peter Coyote had been deeply involved in the 1960s counterculture –he was a member of the Diggers and the Free Family, lived on several communes, worked with the San Francisco Mime Troupe, and was at the center of a lot of things that happened in those years. He’s written a memoir about it all, called Sleeping Where I Fall. I learned about it from a random reference on the Red Room website, which I rarely visit, but I just happened to click over there on the day when this book was mentioned. I instantly located a copy. I’ve been reading it for the past week or so.

I’ve been enthralled with the book, because I hadn’t known any of this about Peter Coyote’s personal history. It helps explain why, the instant I saw him onscreen, I just felt this “click.” I’ve been relating strongly to so much that he says in his book. I knew I liked him as an actor, but I never realized that he was what I think of as, “one of us.” He does have a younger sister, although he doesn’t give any clues as to her life or whereabouts. Sleeping Where I Fall was published in 1998, and I’d love to hear what Mr. Coyote thinks about the social and political developments of the last 13 years. I’d guess we share similar views.

Sleeping Where I Fall is going to be one of the most helpful resource books I read, and I’ve got a stack of them. But I’d be enjoying it even if I wasn’t writing All the Shadows of the Rainbow. To add yet more synchronicity to the mix, I found a documentary called Commune by running keyword searches on Blockbuster. When it arrived, it turned out to be about Black Bear Ranch, one of the Free Family communes that Peter Coyote lived with, and Mr. Coyote appears in the film.

It’s just strange how themes and people can weave in and out of our lives in violation of all probability or logic. Over and over again, I’ve been downright spooked by the way things that I’m writing tie into my real life in completely unexpected and inexplicable ways. It’s part of the reason that I’m one of those writers who feel that their fictional universes and characters have wills of their own. I don’t calculate and control the stories I tell, or the people who inhabit them. My characters tell me what’s going to happen and I simply record it … and sometimes, I feel like I’m living it with them. Every once in a while, I feel like I’m living out my fiction in the (so-called) real world.

You might think I’d be more nervous about blowing things up in my novels, in that case! But what good is art if it doesn’t shake you up sometimes?

Dane Cook Talks about His New Movie and His Inspirations

by Jason Harris

photo courtesy of Roadside Attractions

Actor and Comedian Dane Cook wanted to “share emotion and pain” he has experienced in his life in his new film, Answers to Nothing, which opened in theaters along with being available on video on demand this past Friday.

“With my comedy, I want to share my joy and positive experiences,” Cook said. “The main point of comedy though is people coming to laugh and enjoy themselves. What attracted me to this film is that I could relate to personal experiences in a different way. I can empathize with certain aspects of my character’s life.”

According to press materials, the film is “set against the backdrop of a missing girl case, lost souls throughout Los Angeles search for meaning and redemption and affect each other in ways they don’t always see. Ryan (Cook) and Kate (Elizabeth Mitchell) are in a strained marriage. They are trying to have a baby, but instead of bringing them closer together the difficulties are tearing them apart. Two strangers, sharing a home, they each lead private lives unbeknownst to each other. Ryan, grew up listening to the impossible romantic story of his grandparents’ courtship, but isn’t even sure he believes in love. He hates his mother for believing that his father is coming back, even though he left her 10 years ago, and he hates himself for following in his father’s steps of infidelity.”

Cook believes his character is “distancing himself from people and his emotions” even as his character is a confident therapist. He does believe his character is a “complex individual, but it is behavior we all do.”

“We show up every day to work and put on our game face, but people don’t know personal life circumstances,” Cook said.

As he filmed this movie, Cook didn’t want to let his fans down.

Being able to view his personal experiences in a different way attracted him to Answers to Nothing, Cook said. The film allowed him to tackle different philosophies, he said.

“You get to play pretend, but also share important moments in your own life.”

Actors are not always connected to their characters, Cook said.

“I understand some of the behaviors in feeling detached,” Cook said. “I lost both of my parents to cancer and when you experience something like that, you really hold onto those moments and hope you can grow from them … ”

The film, Mr. Brooks, led Cook to receive his role in his new film and his career grew from that, he said. Answers to Nothing director Matthew Leutwyler saw him in the film.

Cook made an audition tape for Mr. Brooks and received a call from Kevin Costner, who directed the film. Cook was told by Costner that was what they were looking for, he said.

There are people in Hollywood that Cook would love to work with.

Cook would love to work with Woody Allen, Jason Reitman, and Diablo Cody.

“I have met with Jason a few times and would love to play in his world,” Cook said.

He has met with Steven Spielberg, which he considers “one of the most poignant moments of his career.” Spielberg gave him some words of wisdom which has guided him in his life.

“I auditioned for [Spielberg] and got incredible feedback,” Cook said. “He is a big inspiration.”

He grew up loving comedic actors especially Gene Wilder.

“I really have a great respect for comedians that take on challenging roles, like Whoopi Goldberg in The Color Purple, Jim Carrey in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and Robin Williams in Good Will Hunting,” Cook said. “I know the pain that many comics have living within us. I love to see the way they can reach comedic audiences and then also [reach] those dramatic audiences and make them cry their eyes out.”

He thinks it’s great when a comedic performer can make people laugh and cry. He thinks “it’s magic” when that happens.

“I’d love to be able to do some of what I did in Answers to Nothing and some of what I did in My Best Friend’s Girl and create a character rich in all things good and bad that exist in us.”

Cook said if the role doesn’t come about, he may write it.

Cook has two independent films coming out next year that he hopes audiences will find. He is also working on a comedy for NBC for the 2012 television season. They are Detention and Guns, Girls, and Gambling. Detention is “a mash-up genre movie — it’s a horror, coming of age film” and Guns, Girls and Gambling stars Gary Oldman as an Elvis impersonator.

“I really look forward to people seeing that one,” Cook said about Guns, Girls and Gambling. It’s sort of a heist action film.”