Skewed Perspective – Krypto The Superdog

Ever since I was a boy I always looked at things differently. When people would talk about Krypto, Superman’s dog, they would just talk about how annoying he was. Me, I went a bit further in my thought process.

Krypto has the same kinds of powers and abilities as Superman, just in dog form. Superman has a higher degree of intelligence than a dog so he can abstain from sex. A dog wants to hump anything when it’s horny. If the idea posed by Kevin Smith in Mallrats holds water that means that Kryptonian super sperm would kill an Earth born creature because of sheer force. If a dog can’t control itself then how many animals did Clark have to dispose of because of his menacing dog? And did he bury them? I would imagine not as Krypto would find the bones and play with them. That meant that Superman had to use his heat vision to destroy helpless animals after his dog screwed them. And if he had to dispose of bodies to keep his secret then what’s to say he didn’t go down a bad road himself to hide who he was by killing people that figured it out?

Also, since Krypto can fly how many birds would be left in the town of Smallville? None. Dogs like to chase birds and if they can fly at super speeds then there is no stopping them. Sure, that means no bird poop on your car and no need for scarecrows but what about all the other things birds help with? And who disposes of the bird carcasses? Ma Kent?

I think that bringing super animals from Krypton was one of the worst ideas DC ever came up with. Just imagine if there were enough of them on our planet to mate. It would wreak havoc on our eco-system. Lex always fancied himself a hero and maybe he would be if rid our planet of that horrible dog.


My Writing Process

It’s hard to say exactly what inspires me to sit down and come up with a story. With Welcome To Deadsville it was the opening scene. It came to me while carpooling with my writing partner. With the slasher movie we’re writing it was more like “hey, let’s write a slasher movie” and then I thought about bear traps. It all came together from there. For the SciFi comedy we are writing it was driving past an old Drive-In theater that is now closed down. For The Malignant Spirit it was me thinking about how horrible we are as a human race and how, if demons exist, they’re not really needed anymore. We have no need to be tempted. We are bad enough on own. With our road trip comedy it was simply that we loved Vacation, Romy & Michele’s High School Reunion, Grosse Point Blank, and Planes Trains & Automobiles.

The only constant in my process, and now Brian’s, is music. After coming up with the story I make myself a soundtrack of songs that are both fitting for the film and inspirational in writing scenes. The music can range from classic rock to old school country to rap and anything in between.

An example would be a subplot for our road trip comedy. There’s an alcoholic girlfriend of one of the principal characters. To inspire while writing the scenes I chose the following tracks – The Queen And I by Gym Class Heroes, I Was Thinking I Could Clean Up For Christmas by Aimee Mann, Drinking As Religion by Mason Jennings, Pile On The Hangover by The Rugburns, and a few others. It really helps us to get into the mindset of the characters.

When we were sitting down to write Welcome To Deadsville the first song I thought of was Lake Of Fire by The Meat Puppets. When putting together The Malignant Spirit I started with songs about serial killers. Skinned by Blind Melon, John Wayne Gacy Jr. by Sufjan Stevens were where it started for me. Then I turned to old country and spirituals, after that it was on to death metal, anything that I could find about God or devils.

For the personal soundtrack to use while writing the SciFi comedy I’m having a harder time. I thought about Unmarked Helicopters by Soul Coughing, The Alien Song by Milla Jovovich and a few others but that one has been a tough nut to crack.

The other thing that helps the process along is having a partner to spitball ideas with. Some nights Brian and I will sit down and just talk about an idea and have the basic throughline and characters for a story in about a half hour. Then we use 3×5 cards and a corkboard to put everything in order. It helps to see a timeline for the story, something you can reference the entire time you’re writing.

Marvel Vs. DC – Movie Thoughts

When it comes to comics I am much more a DC guy. Sure, I like Wolverine, Iron Man, Hulk, Deadpool and the like but I’ve always favored the DC heroes and villains. Batman, The Flash, Superman, Wonder Woman, The Green Lantern, even Captain Atom. It’s all a matter of personal preference. So why do I like Marvel movies better?

The simple answer is that Marvel seems to know better what they’re doing. And that kinda makes me sad. They started out with Blade and X-Men, both fun and well produced movies. This helped the launch of the comic book movie. Suddenly Hollywood saw these films as viable options again, more than ever.

Let’s talk about DC first. Since the 1970’s they have been making some good and bad choices. Superman I and II were great movies. Instead of following those movies with other big comic book characters they chose Swamp Thing. In 1989 they unleashed Tim Burton’s vision of Batman and audiences went crazy for it. By 1997 all if that fell apart thanks to Batman & Robin.

After the horrible Batman & Robin Warner Bros. was scared to be in the comic business, and rightfully so. Since they own DC that meant that we wouldn’t see another DC movie for a while. When they got back in the game they decided to go with lesser known properties outside of comic book circles – Constantine, V For Vendetta, and so on. When Christopher Nolan came along and revived Batman with his films DC was ready to try again. They stole Bryan Singer away from X-Men and tasked him with making a new Superman film. But he was more in love with the Richard Donner films than Superman himself and decided to pretend Superman III & IV didn’t exist and made a direct sequel to part II. Whether you like it or not audiences just didn’t go for it. That was DC’s first misstep of the new millennium.

DC went back to making lesser known characters into movies again. The Losers came out and underperformed. During this time they toyed with the idea of Jack Black starring in a comedy adventure version of Green Lantern to be written by Robert Smigel. Thank God that didn’t happen. They were also talking about a Justice League movie and Batman Vs. Superman. Nothing materialized. It seems like Warner and DC just didn’t know what to do to pull it together. But there was still hope on the horizon.

Green Lantern entered production and the hype was good. Fanboys were excited. The early pictures of Hector Hammond and Abin Sur made fans think things were turning around for the DC camp. Then the trailer hit and the bad buzz began. Now, I could write an entire blog on what was wrong with Green Lantern but now is not the time nor the place.

It seems that anything comic book related that is worked on by Christopher Nolan at Warner/DC is doomed. So will the new Superman movie work? It remains to be seen. I hope they get it right, just like I hope they get The Flash right. He’s one of my all time favorite characters and I really don’t want to see a movie tarnished that.

Now onto Marvel. How did they get it right? When New Line produced Blade they did so on a small budget and it worked. When Fox decided to make X-Men they made a big Superhero movie for $70 million and the budgets got bigger on both franchises after that. But they kept them relatively small for that type of movie at the start. They still do. Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America were all much smaller budgets than one would expect of a big tentpole summer movie. It wasn’t until The Avengers that we saw a budget of over $220 million. But Marvel could afford to gamble as they’d proven each character could open a movie separately. That’s much smarter than making Green Lantern for $250ish and having it look like it was made in someone’s garage. That’s why Marvel succeeds when DC fails. They understand the necessity of being frugal in the beginning and increasing the budget after.

I hope DC figures it out and makes some great movies with talented people that I won’t be ashamed to watch…not that I’m ashamed of my love for the genre.

The Woman – review

I love Lucky McKee’s movies. He’s been a bit of an inspiration to me. When I first saw May I was amazed at how creepy and funny and brilliant it was. Angela Bettis’s performance was perfect. Then there was Roman. McKee wrote it as a companion piece to May. He switched places with Bettis on this one, she directed and he starred. I found it to be a very well done piece of movie making. The Woods was a nice eerie little movie that got dumped by MGM because of financial problems. His Masters Of Horror episode, Sick Girl, was funny and weird and one of the highlights of the short lived series. Red, based on the book by Jack Ketchum, presented more problems for McKee. Nobody will say what happened but he walked away from the project after directing 2/3 of the movie. And it was still a great film.

I have long been a fan of Jack Ketchum. His books are dark and horrific without going into the supernatural…most of the time. His first novel, Off Season, was a fascinating story of a tribe of feral cannibals hunting and killing people on vacation. He later wrote a sequel called Offspring. Strangely that one got made into a movie even though Off Season never did. The Woman is a sort of sequel to that story, also based on a novel by Ketchum and McKee.

The Woman centers around the Cleek family, the parents and their three children. Each member of the family is keeping some sort of secret. One day the father is out hunting when he spies the woman in creek. He then decides that he is going to capture her and try to train her. He chains her up in the cellar with the help of his family. I’m sure you can see where the movie goes from there.

Visually this movie looked great. The performances were good. Pollyanna McIntosh, returning as The Woman from Offspring was both scary and sympathetic. McKee favorite Angela Bettis was great as the beaten down wife and mother too scared to leave. McKee also played with subtlety in a way that really shows his growth as a director. The moment when Mr. Cleek was alone in the bedroom with his daughter and Mrs. Cleek slowly works her way into frame standing, almost guarding her daughter without ever saying a word was beautiful.

The one problem I have with any Lucky McKee movie is his love of placing indie pop songs by his friend’s bands throughout his films. It worked fine in May and Sick Girl. He was wise to leave it out of The Woods and Red. But I felt he made a poor choice by including them here in what should have been mire powerful moments in the film, moments that would have been more powerful had they been silent or a traditional music score were used. For all the strides McKee has made as a filmmakers it seems this is the one thing he doesn’t want to change. It is a shame, too. The climax of the film could have been much more effective without the pop music playing.

Overall, this movie was very good. I would add it to my collection for the story alone. McKee and Ketchum, two of my favorite things together makes me a happy man.

Abraham Lincoln; Vampire Hunter – review

I’m a little slow getting this one up but I have been thinking about it a lot. I didn’t have any expectations going into the theater for this one. In fact, I wasn’t even really planning on watching it at all the day I saw it. I had some time to kill and it was starting sooner than anything else so I went.

The story is a simple one, Abe’s mom dies at the hands of a vampire, Abe decides to avenge her death. He meets up with a man who trains him to he the best killing machine possible. Soon a vampire hunter was born.

Visually the movie had a very striking look. I would expect no less from the director of Nightwatch, Daywatch, and Wanted. He does have style. That was not the problem. The problem was that the movie never felt like it gave you time to care. The whole thing felt like a two hour trailer for a really cool movie. The dialogue felt like it was written to tell the story in the simplest way possible. It was like a collection of soundbites. I never felt invested.

Beyond the issues I listed above I have another complaint. The acting. I don’t know what it was about this movie but I felt the same way as when I saw The Happening. The actors in the film were capable of good performances but instead it was like watching Zooey Dechanel act like she was in a trance, at least that’s what I felt whenever Mary Elizabeth Winstead was on screen. Alan Tudyck was completely wasted in his small role. Here is a man who consistently puts out good work no matter the film…even the cinematic stink bomb that was Transformers 3: The Raping Of Your Childhood (that was what it was called, right?). Rufus Sewell, whom I love, and would have loved to see play the title role in Garth Ennis’s amazing comic Preacher if it ever happened, was the only one I will give a pass to acting wise. I don’t think that man has a bad performance in him.

The writer of the novel and its subsequent screenplay, Seth Grahame-Smith is someone I tried to like. I thought the idea of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies was interesting as was this idea. I was curious about the MTV series, The Hard Times Of RJ Berger. So far my curious nature has landed more on the side of disappointment than anything else with him as a writer. And he’s currently the man entrusted with bring Beetlejuice back to theaters. It’s a scary thought.

Here is my issue. Buffy had supernatural powers and could do slightly more extraordinary things compared to the average human. There are others as well. It’s always explained that there is a legitimate reason for their abilities. Lincoln was just a man and yet he could chop down a tree in one single stroke of an axe. There were too many things he did in the course of the film that made him appear super human.

I’m sorry to say that I was disappointed all around with this film. As I said in the beginning I had no expectations going in and yet it somehow managed to work its way under my expectations even still. It may seem like I’m being a tad hard on this film, and I am, but I would still watch it again on video. I always feel it’s good to see a movie a second time to really soak it in. I hated Dark City the first time I saw it. I watched it again on video a few months later and now it’s one of my all time favorite films. So I may hate my review of this movie if I decide I like the film on a second viewing. But until then my feelings stand.

The Dresden Files – Too Soon To TV

I have long been a fan of Jim Butcher’s wonderful character Harry Dresden…even before the failed SciFi/SyFy television show. It’s quite a shame what happened there. Although, as a network they tend to screw things up more than they get them right.

The books offer such a rich and fun world for the characters to play in. Not only is there the real world Chicago, full of earthly badness like mafia types, corrupt cops, and many other things. There’s also a great world underneath that Harry plays in. It is filled with vampires, fairies, and wizards. It also plays with religious themes once the character of Michael was introduced. There is danger, humor, pathos, and well crafted characters. The world of Harry Dresden is a fun world to get lost in.

But then there’s the television series. The episodes were linked yet aired out of order. The writing was bland and lost nearly all the humor that made Harry such a likable character. It just seemed like the network didn’t care. But given that just a couple years later Showtime premiered Dexter, based on a series of books, to great ratings and glowing reviews, and HBO pemiered True Blood, also based on a series of books and got great ratings you would think that someone would revisit The Dresden Files.

I met Morgan Gendel a couple times. He wrote some of my favorite Star Trek episodes, including The Inner Light. He is highly talented and was a producer on The Dresden Files television series. He told me the first time we met that he would life to get the rights back to books and make a movie. I asked him about a month ago if there was any progress there and he said, “did I say that? I don’t remember. But it’s a great idea. The problem is SyFy still owns the rights and I wouldn’t be able to do anything right now.”

It really is a shame given that, whether it’s a movie or a new show, it could be great. Instead it sits in this place of limbo where fans can only dream, all the while SyFy pumps out movies like Sharktapus, wasting their money and giving fans inferior product. If it wasn’t for Farscape, Eureka, and Battlestar Galactica I would say SyFy has no brain whatsoever.

Farting Your Way Through Time

A couple years ago I was at a birthday party at an outdoor bar in Tempe, AZ. It was mid-August so it was obviously very hot. One of the other guys at the birthday party walked up to Brian and me. Brian asked if his balls were sweating. He replied, “No, but you know what I was thinking…”

I immediately interrupted by saying, “about a fan that cools your balls by plugging into the methane from your ass?”

He said, “No, but that’s a good idea.” We then talked about the Rectal Powered Fan for a bit and he decided he was going to use it to pick up a girl at the bar. And it worked.

A few weeks later I was having dinner with my good friend Isaac. I was telling him about the RPF. He then mentioned how Mr. Fusion, the device Doc Brown had installed on the back of the Delorian in Back To The Future, ran on methane. This got me to think about the fact that if they had put some sort of tubing, a new synthetic from the future that would be more comfortable, through the Delorian and attached it to the driver’s rectum they could power the flux capacitor with farts.

When you think about it a crazy genius like Doc Brown would do this. For all we know he or Marty is lactose intolerant. All it would take is a glass of milk and they could easily jump 30 years. Maybe they wanted to go visit the future and took along a burrito. Why not?

There is the worry that the tube would leave things a little too open in the back and particles would seep out. If you’re worried about that then maybe create a filtration system that sucks the methane from your farts out of the air and fuels Mr. Fusion and in turn the flux capacitor.

Sometimes I think I have a little too much time on my hands.

Script Consulting

I wanted to remind anyone out there who has written a screenplay that Brian and I will offer our services as script consultants.

Brian Smith attended Purdue in Indiana before relocating to the West Coast. He is an avid reader and writer.

Jacob O’Neal attended Scottsdale Community College for their film classes. In addition to writing he loves to read, blog and critique movies.

Together Jacob and Brian make a great team. Where one may be weak the other is strong and it has formed a wonderful partnership and a unique outlook on movies. They spend hours discussing what works and what doesn’t in every film they watch.

This service will be less than the standard consulting fee. We only charge $150 to read and make notes on your script. You are getting two consultants for that price, each with different notes and different ideas. All we ask is that it is either registered with the WGA or the copyright office before you submit. Contact us anytime by email at and include your name, script name, contact information and we can discuss payment. Do not send the script without it being registered or we will not read it. Do not send the script until payment has been made.

The World Of Bad Bosses

I don’t know if it’s me bringing it out in them or if I have just had some weird luck with who manages me at the plethora of jobs I’ve held over the years. I started driving a taxi because the inept nature of their performance was just getting to be too much to handle. Driving a taxi is nice since you are an independent contractor and there’s really nobody to answer to.

Let’s take the most recent boss first. He looked like a Mexican Television evangelist. He proudly stated to me several times of how he cheated on all three of his wives. He didn’t know how to perform any of the tasks involved in running the store. And he was an idiot. I actually started writing down things he said because they made me laugh. I began engaging him in conversations to get new material. He once said “There are a lot of places on this earth we can still expand. So what if there’s 7 billion people on this planet. There’s still forests we can tear down and build houses.” I replied by stating that trees give us oxygen and we would be killing entire species of animal. His reply, “If you want to do something good for the environment then take some of that land and build something useful…like a nuclear power plant.”

I can’t make this stuff up. He was a fool in every way, shape, and form. I was constantly amazed by the things that would come out of his mouth.

Another boss I had used to engage me in hypothetical conversations like “Would you have sex with a sheep for $10,000?” When I told him no he said he would and asked me why I wouldn’t. I said, “First, it’s wrong, second it’s gross and third, you have not defined the rules. For all I know some guy is video taping the whole thing and plans on posting on the internet sullying my good name. Or maybe he plans on using the tape to blackmail me later and getting his money back and then some. Is there even a contract? You need to think about these things, man. Don’t just jump into it (no pun intended).”

Every hypothetical he would throw out was always about having sex with something – robots, fugly girls, other men’s wives. He was a pig. He got fired…not for sexual harassment surprisingly.

Okay, so I may have encouraged that one a bit by playing into his questions. But how could I not? Then he would look at me funny when I explained my theory on why Gizmo was a bad parent in Gremlins and how the whole movie was actually an allagory (sic) for bad parenting.

So that’s why I needed to take a break from the work force proper and drive a cab. Can you really blame me?

My High School Stalker

Shortly after breaking things off with Play-Doh Tits I met a girl in Social Studies. She was awkward, shy and carrying a copy of Laura Palmer’s Diary around everywhere she went. I’ve always been kind to people on the fringe of society so we started talking in class. I was just being nice. There was no more to it than that. I had no interest in her beyond friendly conversation in the classroom. If the Laura Palmer obsession wasn’t clue enough I quickly determined this girl was crazy. By then it was too late.

I went to church in my small town and knew all the high school kids there. Suddenly Rose showed up one day with her own personal bible, Laura Palmer’s Diary. She would sit in the back row and stare at me. I lived on a cul-du-sac and would see her with binoculars at the end staring at me, leaving letters on my doorstep scented with perfume. Then the phone calls started. She wouldn’t simply hang up, though. Instead she would just sit silently on the phone. I started getting annoyed with it so I tried my best to offend her by telling sexist jokes like “what happens when your dishwasher breaks down? Slap her” but she just Hung on the line breathing.

Shortly after the stalking began she had to take a trip to Texas. I know this because she wrote two letters on the plane and mailed them immediately upon arrival, detailing the flight and how great I was.

I was beside myself. I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t tell my parents. I didn’t tell the police. She hadn’t tried to boil my rabbit yet so I just let it go. I started hanging up the phone when she would call. I let the letters on the doorstep fly away without accepting them. Mailed letters were sent back Return To Sender.

As quick as it started it stopped. All I know is that she eventually started dating another socially awkward guy from church who was about 6″6′ and obviously a little crazy himself. I don’t know whatever happened to either of them. It’s not as if I kept tabs on her like I did with my second stalker. But that’s a story for another day.

I wish I knew what happened to Rose. At least state lines separate us now. Let’s hope she got help. I would hate to hear that she is still out there terrorizing men in Northern California.