Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Prison Grace

PRISON BREAK continues to surprise and entertain me. I was a bit worried about the whole, “they are out of prison, can they sustain" thing. Not worried any longer, as several other shows have kept up the “on the run” feel for seasons (FUGITIVE or even BATTLESTAR, for examples).

I am, as always, several weeks behind in my viewing. Just saw the ep “The Message,” which borrows a subplot from LES MISERABLE. As the word “faith” has been played with in the show (as well as in HEROES, see tomorrow’s blog), I’m not surprised that such an inspirational book is being referenced.

Of course, man on the run from prison being chased by unflagging forces, well that's got Hugo's thumbprint on it from the get go.

So, Sucre is now on the run in Mexico, trying desperately to get to his girlfriend before she returns to the states. He meets up with an old man, who offers him food and lodging for the night – Sucre accepts, mostly because he plans on stealing the old man’s car.

During dinner, the old man gets Sucre to talk about where he is going. At one point, the old man – not a priest, but certainly a priestly figure, as confirmed with all the candles in the scene -- leans back and sighs. (Conversation translated from the Spanish):

Old Man: “A man living on hope.”

Sucre: “You say that like it’s a bad thing.”

Old Man: “Hope if for people who do not already live in grace.”

Interesting, says I.

What is to follow plays straight from the Les Miz handbook, but that didn’t bother me. It was adapted well. I look forward to seeing if Sucre pays the old man back with as much integrity as Val Jean.

So I leave you with this command: “Find your girl. Then find grace.”

Just my thoughts,


Monday, February 26, 2007


I know some folk out there read this blog because it gives them insight into the biz called Hollywood. I’m never too sure whether they should be trusting my inside take, as I rarely get this biz right.

I started making a list comparing what I said would win at the Oscars, and what actually happened. Here’s the shocker: This year, all of my predictions were accurate except for Best Animated Feature.

Don’t think I’ve ever been that right before – and this year I didn’t enter any betting pools. Ah well.

The important thing to remember – and the real reason to distrust my opinions on the inside of Hollywood – is that by accurately predicting who will win, I showed the disparity between who did and who I wanted to win…

So maybe I’m getting to understand Hollywood’s taste, without necessarily having the same tastes.

Is that a bad thing?


Saturday, February 24, 2007

Just My Oscar Thoughts

Disclaimer: I am not an Oscar voter, and I haven’t seen all the movies. So I am sure to have missed much. Take what I say with two grains of salt, and call me on it in the morning.

BEST PICTURE: I really enjoyed LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE (review) and THE QUEEN, but neither feels like a “great” picture – one that is a classic for the ages. THE DEPARTED (review) seems the frontrunner – and it is a piece of masterful moments and great performances; but the flaws are also so prominent, it also doesn’t feel deserving of an A+. BABEL is touted as “important,” and I’ll risk being taking to task again (as I did last year) by saying that “important” doesn’t mean “best.” So where do I stand? Maybe there isn’t a best this year…
What I want to win: LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE
What should win: LETTERS FROM IWO JIMA
What will win: THE DEPARTED

BEST DIRECTOR: Scorsese did a fine job, and got great performances from his actors. Is that enough? Maybe – I won’t complain when he takes the statue (and he will).
Who should win: Clint Eastwood.

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: THE QUEEN is a marvelous flick, but that’s Helen and Stephen; the screenplay is very good, but not the goods.

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: I’m having trouble with the nominees here. First, if a movie has no screenplay, how does it get nominated? BORAT allegedly has raw material from improvisation sculpted by an editor – unless an admission to a scandal is afoot – was the whole thing scripted with actors, and just one big joke on the American ticket buyer? Wouldn’t surprise me…
THE DEPARTED was fine but flawed (I blame the director, I think the writer had all the holes filled). But until I see INFERNAL AFFAIRS, I won’t know how much this writer did beyond translating from the Chinese.
Who I want to win: No opinion.
Who will win: THE DEPARTED

BEST ACTOR: Will Smith moved me in THE PURSUIT OF HAPPYNESS – marvelous. Peter O’Toole is deserving of the honor, but VENUS – how do I say it? One reviewer pointed out that it is the only feel good movie that leaves you wanting a shower. Too true. Some of it is wonderful, breath-taking, touching; and some of it is just icky. Too icky, maybe, to see past and give Peter the chance for more than his honorary Oscar.
Who I want to win: Will Smith
Who will win: Forest Whitaker

BEST ACTRESS: Meryl Streep earns the nom with her no-makeup scene admitting the troubles in her marriage. Earns the nomination, not the night. No question on the best performance here.
Who I want to win: Helen Mirren
Who will win: Helen Mirren

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: I am torn. Abigail Breslin did an amazing job in LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE – I want her to win for the small things – admitting to gramps that she doesn’t think she is beautiful, giving her brother a hug, believing she can dance – and enjoying her dancing without need for audience approval.
But Jennifer Hudson owns the screen. I want her to win for the big and brassy. (Sidenote – there is some scandal over DREAMGIRLS not getting nominated for best pic. It is a false scandal; the movie has amazing performances, and standout moments, but structurally was a mess (review). Want proof that the movie doesn’t know what its real story is? Jennifer Hudson was nominated for supporting actress. So who’s the lead?)
Who I want to win: Split decision, as both Abigail and Jennifer share the podium…
Who will win: Hudson

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Eddie Murphy surprises with his turn in DREAMGIRLS. Who knew? But watching NORBITT ads, and the fear that he will feel the need to show up in a fat suit scares me from wanting him to win.
Who I want to win: Alan Arkin
Who will win: Alan Arkin

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE: Who I want, and will, and should: CARS.

BEST SHORT DOC: Haven’t seen any of them, but heard interviews on NPR. Won’t make win predictions, but TWO HANDS seems to be a must see.

Just my thoughts,


Friday, February 23, 2007

More Oscar Prep

In honor of the Oscars, some quotes from William Goldman, in The Big Picture: Who Killed Hollywood? And Other Essays.

“There is no “Best.” Last year I thought Fargo was the flick. The English Patient took the crown. Doesn’t make me wrong. Doesn’t mean I’m right, either. Last year I thought the most putrescent effort was Twister. (I will never get over the scene in which a cow is flying past and the dumb lady shrink is on her cell phone talking to a patient. Disgraceful.) But I’ll bet there are people who thought that Twister got robbed, that it should have been nominated. Are they wrong? Nope. For all we know, in 50 years there will be doctoral dissertations on such diverse subjects as “Symbolism of the Flying Cow in Fact and Fiction” or “The Behavior of Women in Windstorms.””

Thursday, February 22, 2007

In case you were wondering what Mr. Destroyer looks like, here is an artist's rendering (courtesy of Cory Edwards).

For more info on my reading, head to The Fantastical Adventures of Mister Destroyer Vs. The Code.

Just my thoughts,


Monday, February 19, 2007

Fantastical Reading

Are you in the LA area?

Come play with us! Or, more to the point, come hear a play with us.

My opus, THE FANTASTICAL ADVENTURES OF MR. DESTROYER VS. THE CODE, will have a staged reading at the Blank Theatre in Los Angeles on Monday, February 26th.

I have a killer cast, including hot babe Catherine Gaffney.

Joining her, in no particular order, are: Joel McCrary, David Storrs, Julie Mitchell, Jodi Shilling, Kevin Brief, Timothy Horner, and Kimberly Delozier. Directed by Shon Little.

For more information, visit:

- Sean

More Sick Thoughts

I can hear my face.

And I don’t like it very much.

It sounds like my cartilage is constantly crinkling, like one of Matt’s boys squirming to get comfortable on a new leather couch.

(Matt’s boys are each over six feet tall. And the couch isn’t very cozy, as the darned kid won’t stop moving. I bet it’s Josh. Yeah, Josh is squirmy.)

Cath says the noise isn’t cartilage at all, but rather it is mucus. The sound is caused by sections of mucus breaking off, like ice calving from a glacier. She also says that it is good, a sign that I am healing.

She says other things, but I’m not listening. I’m too taken with the mucus as glacier image.

I wonder if there are native mucus people – let’s call them Mucamos – and I wonder if they put their elderly Mucamos onto mucus floes, and watch them as they float off into the Sinus Sea.

And I’m glad that this is a sign that I’m healing, because I can’t wait to stop hearing my face.

And to start thinking and writing of things other than little snot populations and booger bergs.

And maybe you can start reading about other things as well.

Just my thoughts,


Wednesday, February 14, 2007

In Typos Past

I thought of Janet as I looked at the screen.

I was lost in worship, so it required a double then triple take to register the mistake. But sure enough, up there in bold letters were the lyrics to the hymn we were singing – “our shelter from the stormy blast.”

Only “stormy” was missing an “m.”

I thought immediately of Janet – who lists worship related typos among her pet peeves.

And Janet is a story teller, so I wondered if she would’ve taken this one personally, had she been in Kansas with me.

My guess is she would have let out a laugh before even realizing it.

I mean, seriously, when was the last time anyone in church needed “shelter from a story blast?”

Although, come to think of it, such a blast would be welcome from time to time.

And I imagine G-d, in His love, would choose to not shelter us from it.

Just my thoughts,


Tuesday, February 13, 2007

A Thought Flu Across My Mind...

On day three of bed rest from a bug picked up in Kansas. Going a little stir crazy, but too loopy to focus for extended periods of time.

I wouldn’t want this period of rest and relaxation to go to waste, so I’ve collected the bits of wisdom one can learn in such a setting:

-My cat, River, is fascinated by Kevin Kline as Hamlet, but doesn’t care much for the ghost. I'm sure this information will come in handy in the future.

-Being loaded with drugs still doesn’t help make The Hulk a good movie. But it does make me giggle thinking that I wouldn't want to see him Ang Lee.

-Charlotte Bronte is a decent enough companion for the bed-laden; although Rochester is so dense, the exasperation thus inflamed may not bide goodly for the patient.

-A cat sitting on one’s head in health is cute; a cat sitting on one’s head whilst one attempts to breathe through a fog of phlegm tips towards irritating.

-While a half hour of Jon Stewart allowing our government to mock itself is very funny, catching up on hours of back programming (and realizing that Mr. Stewart doesn’t have to work hard to find this stuff) is distressing.

-Chicken soup aids in healing by creating an overwhelming desire to get away from any more chicken soup!

-A cracker in hot soup: 4 seconds – barely wet enough to hold flavor; eight seconds – nicely softened with soupy goodness; twelve seconds – dissolved, need the spoon to retrieve.

-Good rule of thumb: if one falls asleep in the same spot in the same book three times or more, it is time that one moved on to a different book.

-One blessing of a head bug is the opportunity to convince one’s brother via the phone that Sean isn’t here right now, but has somehow managed to lure Bea Arthur away from show business long enough to act as his personal assistant.

I’m sure my wisdom will only increase as I sit here.

Just my thoughts,


Friday, February 09, 2007

The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill...

My legs are probably the most in shape part of my body, but they are also the ones that gripe the most.

They complain when I jog.

They moan in disbelief when I move past the car, choosing instead to walk the two blocks to the grocery store (“we’re in LA, nobody walks to the store!” they cry out).

They even whine when I get up from watching tv to go to bed. (“Hey, what’s wrong with the floor? Some of the greatest leaders in history slept on the floor.”)

So of course it was the legs that complained the most when I foolishly agreed to take a hike up the hill with my comrades.

First off, don’t agree to go on a hike with Elizabeth and Miguel. They don’t get what hikes are supposed to be about – they are supposed to be leisurely strolls until the ground starts arcing upwards. Then they are supposed to be about turning around and conferring on how far we are going to tell everyone we hiked.

But these two think that going to the top of a hill means going to the top of a hill. Who ever heard of such a thing?

And as we were in Eden, Utah, the hill was really a ridge on a mountain.

My legs started complaining fairly early on. They simple didn’t like the looks of this – they had been in situations like this before. They knew what was coming.

When we hit the picturesque cabin – a perfectly good stopping point – my companions merely paused long enough to look up. See that ridge? We can make that ridge.

And my legs started “I told you so”ing as my pride moved my mouth to say, “Sure, we can make that ridge.”

Making the ridge wasn’t as hard as other hikes I’ve been on. And I recounted those hikes to my legs as they started getting shaky further up the mount.

“Remember Hawaii?” Hawaii was bad, because Cath and I hiked farther than we should have, and had to choose between struggling back or offering ourselves as sacrifices to the volcano gods.

The volcano gods rejected us – something about wedding nights, Madonna, and Virgin Airlines. I didn’t quite understand, as I was mostly thinking about how this wasn’t nearly as bad as Mount St. Helens.

I did St. Helens before it erupted. The part near the top, where it is all ash? Yeah, that part I took one step at a time. Literally.

Step. Pause. Breath. Okay. Step. Pause. Breath. Okay. Step…

“See?” I told my legs in Eden. “We survived much worse – and there are no volcanoes in Utah, so how bad can it be?”

My legs grumbled, but knew that they weren’t nearly as influential as those two guys closer to the brain – pride and ego.

Elizabeth and Miguel could do it. And not only that, they were chit-chatting about marathons, and mountain runs, wrassling bears and crocodiles while winning triatholons. Those two were making it look easy.

Besides, said Pride, if you quit now, not only will you have to admit that you didn’t make it as far as the others, but these two are going to have to carry you back down. Is that worth avoiding a few aches in the morning?

So I kept on, until we reached the top – or at least as far as the brambles would let us go.

Not so bad. Spectacular view. The good feelings of pushing oneself past the limits. The soaring belief in the limitless potential of man.

The realization that I still had to get down.

“Not so bad,” says the brain. “The return trip is always easier.”

My brain is not so bright, as you all have figured out by now.

So my legs gripe, “Remember the return in Hawaii? Or Oregon? Why is control always given to the idiot in the head? Why not let the knees decide where we go next?”

And onward I go.

Just my thoughts,


Thursday, February 08, 2007

Super Sis

Even my own sister is more super than I am! Which is, like, totally unfair because she is a superhero in real life (four kids, all within a year of each other in age -- need I say more?).

Here are Mary's results:

Your results:You are Superman
Superman 80%
Robin 72%
Spider-Man 55%
The Flash 50%
Supergirl 45%
Iron Man 35%
Wonder Woman 30%
Green Lantern 30%
Hulk 20%
Catwoman 20%
Batman 15%

You are mild-mannered, good, strong and you love to help others.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Oscar Watch - Sunshine

(Little Miss Spoilers contained below. You've been Little Miss Warned.)

Abigail Breslin is up for an Oscar for her role in LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE. And worthily so; this tyke is in the scenes that carry the heart of the show.

Olive confessing to her grandpa that she doesn’t feel pretty (a scene that got Alan Arkin his Oscar nod).

Dwayne writing a note to Olive, telling her to hug Mom (he does care!).

And the best moment in the whole film: Olive sent to talk Dwayne into coming back to the van. What does she say? Not a word; rather she puts her arm around him, in support of his needs rather than hers.

What was that I was saying a few blogs ago? Preach the gospel at all times; use words if necessary.

Abigail is a busy little actress, going from SUNSHINE to a movie written by my friend Cheryl McKay, THE ULTIMATE GIFT. (Opening next month at a theatre near you!)

Cheryl even claims to have an early look at “the dance” – as Abigail showed it to her at a wrap party.

Of course, being before the release of SUNSHINE, the dance looked rather precocious, even for an actress so gifted so young.

Maybe we’ll see more of the dance when Abigail steps up there to accept her award…

Just my thoughts,


Tuesday, February 06, 2007

An Ad Even A Cat Can Smell

Every once in a while, I run across an ad that makes me want to buy a different product.

For example, there is a kitty litter ad out there with a picture of a cat on two feet, front paws over the privates, back legs crossed.

The idea (and slogan) is that the kitty litter is so fresh smelling, that even the cat can’t find it, and hence is running about with a severe case of the "I gotta goes."

That’s great in terms of not smelling kitty litter in one’s home.

But imagine how a house will smell if the cats can’t find the kitty litter box.

Yeah, I’ll go with another brand.

Just my thoughts,


Super. Bowl, That Is

This year’s Super Bowl was an amazing and exciting game. The commercials, not so much.

Here is my round-up:

Best Opening: The game had an opening kick-off returned for a touch-down. The ads had “Rock, Paper, Scissors,” showing the true value of rock over paper. It seemed like we were heading in the right direction…

Lamest of the Day: On the field, constant fumbles and dropped passes. In the ads, came out early to let us know that just because one is paying hundreds of thousands of dollars for the space, doesn’t mean one has to put any thought or creativity or entertainment in one’s ads. Saleslead’s successful guy was a joke waiting for a punch line; but they were serious, and the punch line was the ad itself.

Most Insensitive: In the game, Phil Simms announced during the opening kick-off that it was good for the Colts to start by kicking (seven seconds later they had given up a TD); and later announced that the Bears quarterback was in a groove and will now show improvement (just as Grossman threw an easy interception).

Between the action, GM, apparently forgetting the painful history of lay-offs and communities destroyed by lack of work in the auto industry, showcased a commercial where the GM organization fires a machine for dropping a screw, and drives said worker to suicide. What chance do human workers have at such a company?

Best Use of Assets: The NFL wins this one in an ad for itself: Getting Indiana native David Letterman to cozy up on the coach with Chicago institution Oprah Winfrey. Delightful.

Best Attempt: The Bears defense kept coming up with turnovers; which failed to help as the Bears offense kept coming up with turnovers. Sprint had a nice spoof going on those blue pill ads with it’s own “Connectile Dysfunction.” Didn’t quite pull it off, pretty much by giving away the joke too early. Fill in your own joke here.

Runner-up: The Bears. Off the field, Fed-ex “Moon Office.” Clever, and kept building. Several turns. Surprise ending. Just like the game.

Most heartfelt: Coach Dungy giving props to his opposing coach, and pointing out that both of them together proved that there is a way to win that involves class, respect, and building up the sport. As to the ads, the series of shots of African Americans watching the game, coming to a stop on the grandfather watching with his young grandson, smiling in the knowledge that this generation will grow up assuming that such an event is normal.

Best of the Day: The Colts need no explanation or voting. Commercials, however, need some explanation.

For me, a great ad should be like 4H (of which I was briefly a member). The “H’s” are: Head (it makes you think), and Heart (it makes you feel).

The other two for 4H are hand and health, but what do they know about commercials? So I’m substituting Humor (it doesn’t take itself too seriously) and Howitmakesyourememberwhotheadisadvertising. (Hey, you come up with an h word that says the audience doesn’t forget the sponsor.)

The winner: Jack in the Box, with Jack’s son announcing in front of the school and other parents that he wants to grow up to be a vegetarian.

Extra points for hinging a million dollar ad on a bad pun. My kind of people.

Just my thoughts,


Monday, February 05, 2007


My wife is more of a superhero than I am.

The universe is laughing.

Here are Catherine's results:

You are Spider-Man
Green Lantern
Iron Man
Wonder Woman
The Flash
You are intelligent, witty,
a bit geeky and have great
power and responsibility.

A bit geeky? I have rubbed off on her!

Just my thoughts,


Saturday, February 03, 2007

Somewhat Super

I’m not much for those “who are you” quizzes, but the geek inside couldn’t stay away from

It ranks the percentage similar to various superheroes.

The closest for me is 60%; those around me taking the quiz are up in the high 80 and 90%. Maybe I’m not a superhero…

But if I was, here’s the breakdown:

60% Superman, tied with 60% Spiderman. I think it might be confusing the two with a whole lot of Clark and Petey.

Robin is close with a 58% likeness. Question for those that know me: Dick Grayson or Tim Drake? (No Jason Todd, please, as I have low enough self esteem as it is).

I am 38% akin to Supergirl, and both Wonder Woman and Catwoman make my numbers. So I guess I’m in touch with my feminine side.

Not sure I know anything more about myself than before the quiz.

Except that my feminine side can really kick some butt.

Just my thoughts,