This week's Netflix Instant Pick of the Week is a nail biting thriller near and dear to my heart entitled BLUE STEEL. Blue Steel is a classic tale of obsession starring the late great Ron Silver as Eugene, a stock broker turned psychopath who develops a nasty gun fetish after witnessing rookie cop Megan, played by Jamie Lee Curtis, blast the hell out of a small time junkie slash grocery store theif played by a young wild eyed Tom Sizemore.
Silver's turn as the charismatic and delightfully sinister Eugene is frightening and brilliant, complete with "voices in my head" freak out sequences that do their best to hold together the loosey goosey plot. Jamie Lee Curtis is captivating as the naive, yet trigger happy rookie cop Megan and masterfully weaves a character who at times appears tuff enough to take out Rambo and at other moments seems so aloof she'd believe that brown cows make chocolate milk. Clancy Brown pops up as the baby faced detective Nick Mann who at one point does the nasty with a vulnerable and sleep deprived Megan meanwhile, unbeknownst to them, Eugene lurks in a nearby closet tattered, torn and ready to attack.
The story plays out in a heavily stylized barrage of dope ass shots skillfully crafted by the lovely and talented Kathryn Bigelow aka The Woman of My Dreams. (Did I mention she was lovely?) The film takes more than a few artistic liberties with police procedure and relies heavily on Silver's acting ability as he seamlessly shifts from Wall Street hot shot to killer in the closet, however he does in fact pull it off in a manner that surely inspired Christian Bale and other notable talents that have taken a swing at this brand of Jekyll & Hyde fare. All in all BLUE STEEL is highly watchable (pun intended), action packed fun with some sexy shootouts sprinkled on top and that is why I've selected it as the NETFLIX INSTANT PICK OF THE WEEK!
P.S. - If anyone can set me up on a date with Kathryn Bigelow I'll buy you an ice cream cone...wait, that's an altogether different blog.
The CONTENT MONSTERS are thrilled to be working with PANASONIC in the testing of their latest and greatest 3D Camera Recorders, including the unreleased AG-3DP1 prototype that's certain to shake up not only the 3D filmmaking community, but the WORLD!
Upon my arrival at Panasonic Hollywood Laboratory, I felt an overwhelming sense of JOY! Could this actually be? Was I really entering THE MOTHERSHIP?!? I was immediately ushered into a dark room by Senior Area Sales Manager Doug Leighton and that's when I saw it. Laying on a table before me was the most powerful Panasonic 3D Camera in existence. I was breathless.
*Click below to view the 3D stop motion animated bumper we Content Monstered up for the AG-3DP1.
"This is it." Doug said. -- Enter Senior Engineer Greg Boren, who proceeded to walk me through the entire camera system inside and out. He placed special emphasis on the NEW FEATURES which he had just added to the system menu 10 minutes prior to my arrival. "There's no documentation on this in existence and I literally just added these features a few minutes ago, so pay attention." And out comes my iPad, capturing video like my life depended on it!
I was thrilled by the amount of attention to detail they put into every inch of this camera. Shooting with Panasonic HDX-900 several times a week, I'm very familiar with Panasonic's shoulder-mount camera recorders and it's safe to say, the AG-3DP1 puts every other one of them to SHAME!
The AG-3DP1 utilizes two pairs of 1/3 type, full-HD 2.2 megapixel 3MOS imagers with a 20-bit Digital Signal Processor to acquire full production quality, native 1920 x 1080 resolution images. I'm talkin FULL HD 3D in a proper Panasonic twin-lens system that allows the convergence point to be adjusted and has added functions for automatically correcting horizontal and vertical displacement. One feature that we found particularly slick was the 3D Assist Function that uses Red, Green, and Yellow digital overlays that indicate where your convergence plane is set to as well as areas of excessive depth or hyperconvergence.
The AG-3DP1 also has 3D Mode Selection which can be set to Near, Normal or Extra. This feature optimizes the lens convergence angle range for each shooting distance, maximizing the twin-lens zooming capability. Additionally with a minimum convergence distance of around 3 feet and an overall wider field of view, the AG-3DP1 allows you to get shots that simply aren't possible on it's predecessor, the AG-3DA1.
Shooting "Skittles 3D" with the AG-3DP1 was a breeze. We utilized the ND filters, a much needed addition missing from the AG-3DA1, and shot mostly at a F 2.8 / 4 with all natural light and a single bounce board. We lined up each shot with the viewing system in "MIXED MODE" so that we were able to see where our convergence was set to. The beauty of the Panasonic AG-3DP1 is that it eliminates the need for special computers, mirrored rigs, or stereographers typically needed to create professional grade, vibrant, captivating stereoscopic imagery. With the Panasonic AG-3DP1, you dream a shot up in your head, then you go out and create that shot, just you and the camera. Make no mistake, the AG-3DP1has all the advanced functions, you'd come to expect from a professional 3D camera system, including remote control focus, iris, and convergence, however, this camera system packs all of that Panasonic professional grade power into a tight package that still manages to be easy to use and somewhat prosumer friendly.
In conclusion, Stereoscopic production is RAMPING UP and the AG-3DP1 is leading the way. Upon it's release, first quarter 2012...maybe, it will undoubtedly become the go-to camera for any and all 3D reality television, live sports, studio game shows, independent feature films and more. The combination of it's spectacular image quality, easy to use interface and reliable P2 workflow make it the optimal choice for producers, director, cinematographers and editors looking to achieve maximum 3D BANG for their buck. STAY GLUED for ALL NEW 3D CONTENT filmed on the Panasonic AG-3DP1 and AG-3DA1. It'll knock your SOCKS CLEAN OFF...CONTENT MONSTERS STYLE!!
Oh yes indeed! It's the Holidays and nothing gets FilmJamie in the spirit more than a 90's Neo-Noir Slam Dunk! Nick Nolte gets nasty as Detective Max Hoover in this GRIMY crime thriller full of booze, broads and billy club ass beatings!
Jennifer Connelly, Michael Madsen and Treat Williams show up on time with solid performances and Chazz Palminteri delivers the comic relief goods. Chris Penn and Melanie Griffith are sidelined for most of the action, but get their shine on when it's time. John Malkovich gets twitchy with it in his quirk filled turn as the atom bomb obsessed General Timms, but what's truly surprising is the SHOW STEALING performance by ANDREW McCARTHY as the weasly sex tape slinging Jimmy Fields! His best work since WEEKEND AT BERNIES! Daniel Baldwin vs. Nick Nolte with a billy club is fun times too! Those two really should team up again!
All in all, Mulholland Falls delivers the brand of filth that L.A. Noire shoulda woulda coulda, plus drugs and boobs set against the backdrop of an atomic energy sex tape scandal, with shootouts and chase scenes sprinkled on top...just in time for the Holidays! I hadn't seen it since I was 17 and it still help up, but it did leave me with a rather puzzling question: Who would win in a fight: Nolte's Max Hoover or Russell Crowe's Bud White from LA. Confidential? Hmmm....
Another pedal to the metal day in Hollywood for FilmJamie! After a brisk jog up Runyon Canyon withPEACHES AND PETE, I busted strands at GOLD'S then jetted over the hill for quick TV Showaudition. Then I jammed back over the hill and sprinted into the Director's Guild of America just in time to chit-chat with fellow producers, cinematographers and editors over Parmesan Chicken Skewers and CineAlta Water. Moments later we entered the DGA Theater where I sat way down front with my fun loving Sony Techs and witnessed what will undoubtedly go down in history as the UNLEASHING OF THE FUTURE OF DIGITAL CINEMA!! That's right kids, Sony has done the deed! The dream is alive and today I touched it with my bare hands!!
To call Sony's F65 a high end HD video camera would be the most heinous of understatements. This beast is truly a DIGITAL MOTION PICTURE CAMERA through and through. The show began with a screening of "The Arrival," shot and directed by CURTIS CLARK, ASC, and although we'd all seen this video online or at NAB, it was INCREDIBLE to see it projected in crispy 4K goodness, oh my! Then, Senior Vice President of Sony Electronics, ALEC SHAPIRO comes out and drops a brand new CineAlta logo on us, then presents 3 never before seen shorts shot on the F65 by PAUL BABIN, KEES VAN OOSTRUM, and BRAD OHLUND, who couldn't make it cause as he was busy popping off IMAX on a cruise ship in Alaska!
"LAGUNA BEACH," "IN THE GARDEN," and "FLAMENCO" each showcased the F65's unique features and attributes in various interior and exterior scenarios. Witnessing the F65's incredible High Dynamic Range and Rotary Shutter features in action made me want to slap a 1TB SRMASTER card (not even available yet) up in it, strap that sucker to a Super Technocrane and start flipping cars down wet backlit streets at 120fps!! This camera is NASTY, and by nasty I mean FILHTY to the core! The sharpness and overall lack of noise left those of us scrutinizing from the front rows absolutely BREATHLESS.
So then, while we're all picking up our jaws off the ground, SONY sends in it's patron saint of marketing with a card swiper by SQUARE (nice touch). And he's off to the races, taking orders on the spot whilst plugging the new Android-based "Sony Tablet" S which remotely controls the F65 (yes, I laid hands on that one too!) Here's the deal: Between now and December 26 you can get the Sony F65RS (Rotary Shutter, yes, you want it) with SR-R4 portable memory recorder for $85K instead of the $104.5K that you'll have to pay if you wait past Christmas! NO BRAINER, RIGHT?!?
Needless to say, with its FUTURE PROOF 8K sensor, incredible dynamic range and a heap of hungry filmmakers itching to get their grubby little mitts on it, the SONY F65 is going to be VERY popular for a VERY long time! OTTO NEMENZgot dibs on the first rental house batch that drops in January, but no need to wait, you can hit up those krazy kids at Sony at
or give em a ring at 1-513-800-0F65 and order yours TODAY!! Tell em FilmJamie sent ya!