Archive for the 'Housekeeping' Category


We are Now on the Facebook!

Yes. It seems the time has come for us to finally join, The Social Network (<–see what I did there? movie reference). Now you can connect with the Red Band Project on Facebook. Along with our blog posts, we’ll be posting (hopefully interesting) movie news and other related items.

We’re also going to give you a reason to head over there right away as we are giving away two sets of passes to the advance screening of Fright Night! To head over to our brand spanking new Facebook page, click on any of the links in this post or hit up the advance screening page above.

P.S. Please like us on Facebook.

LA Trip: Graumann’s Chinese Theatre

Tourist trap crowds, people dressed up in costumes, and Hollywood history. Graumann’s Chinese Theatre has it all.

During our recent to Los Angeles this past weekend, my co-blogger Chi_Ho had never been to the Chinese Theatre and since we had a free night–we decided to go.

Graumann’s Chinese Theatre has to be one of the most iconic theaters in the country. You see it all the time when movies have big red carpet premieres or maybe sometimes when a movie star has their handprints immortalized out in front, or even when a celebrity gets a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. While very recognizable for it’s ornate entrance and Chinese themed decorations, Graumann’s Chinese theatre is just as intricately decorated inside as it is outside. It reminds me of Consolidated’s old Waikiki 3 theater, just a bit more nicely decorated.

Now, just venturing down to the Chinese Theatre is an adventure in and of itself. Right next to it is the Kodak Theater where the Academy Awards are held. On top of that, the Chinese Theatre and Kodak Theater are part of the bigger complex called the Hollywood & Highland Center so the destination itself is a tourist trap of sorts. The day that we went, tons of tourists were down there taking photos and shopping. It’s so well established of a tourist trap that locals come down and dress up in costumes and pose for pictures with tourists (on this particular day a photo with Darth Vader & a stormtrooper were going for $10). It’s definitely a sight to see.

Arrows indicating the Stormtrooper and Tinkerbell.

The Sith Lord himself was out signing autographs and posing for photos.

Batman and Catwoman were out as well.

Also in front of Graumann’s is the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Stars inscribed with the names of renowned entertainment professionals from motion pictures, television, recording, and radio industries are all represented up and down Hollywood Blvd. One of the most recognizable stars in front the Chinese Theatre is that of Michael Jackson.

Stars along the Hollywood Walk of Fame that front the Chinese Theatre.

Also fronting the Chinese Theatre are the equally famous handprints and footprints of various actors:

Graumann’s Chinese Theater is just one of the seven screens at the Hollywood & Highland Center so you can actually see regular films at the theater. Since the theater is used for a lot of special premieres and screenings, you may not be able to see a movie depending on their schedule. However, on this particular night though, we were lucky enough to watch the current movie that they were showing: X-Men: First Class.

One interesting discovery that we made at the theater concession stand were Kinder Happy Hippo’s:

I guess the best way to describe them would have to be that they’re Hippo shaped water shells filled with vanilla and chocolate cream. Here’s a better description from Wikipedia though:

The candy itself consists of a wafer biscuit, shaped like a hippopotamus. Inside are two flavors of icings. In the original, one is milk flavored and the other is hazelnut flavored. In the cocoa flavor, the hazelnut has been replaced by chocolate paste. The bottom of the wafer is dipped in a frosting/meringue mixture and is crumbly.

I have to say that they look really cool and tasted pretty damn good as well.

Not a bad experience if you see a movie AND take in the sights outside as well.


We’re Going to . . .

Hollywood Sign

"Welcome to Hollywood! What's your dream? Everybody comes here; this is Hollywood, land of dreams. Some dreams come true, some don't; but keep on dreamin' - this is Hollywood. Always time to dream, so keep on dreamin'."--closing line from Pretty Woman

Yup, we’re heading to the mainland for some much needed vacation this Fourth of July weekend. Not sure if there’ll be any blogging from the road, but definitely follow us on Twitter for any potential Hollywood hijinks or celebrity sightings.


[Movie Journal Entries] Super 8 & Judy Moody

In an effort to keep up with my movie journal, I’m going to be posting images of entries from time to time. These aren’t going to be Earth shattering or anything, but it’s mainly a way for me to keep logging entries and to keep track of just how many movies I see during the year.

One thing I wish the journal did better was leave more room for more personal commentary on the film. As it is right now, a lot of space is dedicated to technical aspects of the film (director, actors, alternate titling, awards, etc). Some of the space I try to add related relevant information, but other times a lot of it gets left blank (quote & award sections mainly if it’s a newer film). What may interest you though is that there is room for me to scribble down a few thoughts/reactions about the film as well as give it a star rating. Take a look:

Super 8

Judy Moody and the NOT Bummer Summer

Also, for more information about these films with a local perspective, here are few links to local reviews of these films (ok just Super 8 as no one reviewed Judy Moody).

CoconutWireless‘s review over at his blog The Tiki Outpost

Myong Choi’s review from Nonstop Honolulu

Jen & Ryan‘s review over at

TrueBldTwilight‘s review over at her blog I Adore Books and Film



The Kids Grow Up Q&A

I know it’s been a while, but early last month we partnered with Consolidated Theatres in helping to promote the documentary film The Kids Grow Up. What was really special about this partnership though was that we were going to be in charge of the Q&A after the film with director Doug Block and his wife Marjorie.

Even though this wasn’t some big Hollywood release, just the fact that we would be on hand to coordinate the Q&A with the director of the film was a little exciting. Here we were some people talking about movies and now here we are conducting Q&As with directors. Needless to say I wanted to make sure we were fully ready to take on this responsibility. The week leading up the screening we made sure that we watched the film to make sure we knew what it was about and to come up with possible questions in the event that we would need to keep things moving during the Q&A. Being the event people that we are, we even typed out short scripts on what we were going to say before and after the film.

Finally the big day arrived and we showed up to the theater super early to make sure we could check in with the theater staff and make sure everything was set. Then as the screening got closer, I’m not going to lie, I started getting a little nervous about meeting Doug and Marjorie. What would they be like? Would they like us? Were they going to be high maintenance? When they arrived and we introduced ourselves to them, any fears I had were quickly put to rest. They were exactly as how they appeared in the film: down to Earth, funny, and genuine.

We went over everything with Doug and after checking out the specific theater that the film was being shown in, we went over the general rundown of the evening. Doug was very personable and gracious and volunteered to introduce his film before it started, something we had originally planned to do ourselves but decided to defer to Doug since it was his film. I mean, who better to introduce it than the director himself right? After introducing Doug and presenting him and Marjorie with leis, he launched right into his intro. (For my thoughts on the film, please check out my previous post here.)

Once the film concluded (to a round of applause from the audience) it was my turn to speak and once again introduce Doug and Marjorie. I had planned to say a little more, but the crowd was eager to get into the questions so we just launched right into it. Overall, the director screening and Q&A went really well. Doug and Marjorie stood up front taking questions close to half an hour. The audience was really into the film as most of those in attendance were parents themselves so they could definitely relate to what Doug and Marjorie went through. Hence, a lot of the questions were very meaningful. To check out the full Q&A, be sure to check out the videos below. Once everything was done and as everyone filed out of the theater, Doug and Marjorie thanked us for helping to coordinate the whole evening and said that out of all the Q&As that they had done for the film, nowhere else had they been more decorated than here in Hawaii. That definitely was my highlight for the evening.

Final Note:

If you’re interested in finding out more about these special screenings or Q&As, I definitely encourage you to sign up to be on Consolidated’s email list. That’s probably the best way find out when these things happen. However, the next special screening is happening Friday, January 7 (TONIGHT) at the Ward Theaters. They will be showing ‘Dear Doctor’ as part of their Spotlight Asia Asian cinema series. Lead actor Tsurube Shofukutei (who I hear is the Robin Williams of Japan) will be on hand to give a special Q&A after the 7:30pm showing of the film. If you love Asian cinema, then this is definitely for you.



It’s About Relationships

Being a movie blog I always strive to make sure my posts are inline with this theme and while this post is sort of related to film, theaters, and the movie going experience, it’s mainly about relationships . . . relationships and people.

As studio representative/s who screen movies in advance of their release, we deal with a wide range and variety of people. From the people and the studios that make the decisions on which films are screened in advance, to theater personnel, to different media partners, to fans and guests watching the movies, I’d like to think that we have a very good relationship with everyone we work with–at least we do our best to. This fact wasn’t lost on me, but it was made apparent to me within the past week or so as we’ve had an usually busy September.

What exactly am I referring to? It’s actually a lot of different things from different groups of people. It definitely includes having great communication and dialogue with people. Being able to communicate openly and clearly definitely helps with screening movies. It also involves a certain level of comfort and familiarity with the people you work with. What it all comes down to in the end though is that when you have great relationships with people, it not only makes our job easier, but it also makes it a lot more fun and definitely less stressful.

I guess what I’m getting at is that though it’s something that we never expected, we’re definitely thankful for working with and encountering a number of great people.


And the Winner Is . . .

Nicolas Cage made a splash last year with a gritty performance in Bad Lieutanant: Port of Call New Orleans. Did he make the Best of 2009 list?

So last night the Academy awarded its Oscars for the “Best of’s” for last year. I figured if they could wait two months to come out with their ‘Best of 2009’ list, then why couldn’t I? What follows is a list of movies that I enjoyed the most last year, movies that I missed and still want to see, as well as what I’m looking forward to for the rest of 2010. So here we go . . .

I want you to listen to me very carefully, if they gave Academy awards for ‘Best Popcorn Movie,’ you’d have to think that Taken would take home the statue. While I expected Liam Neeson to kick some major butt and not take any names, what you get is a solid performance of a man trying to get his daughter back. Neeson IS that worst nightmare that every bad guy dreams of. What sells you on the movie is that phone call between him and his daughter right before she gets Taken when he tries to calm her down and tells her what to do. After that, all you need to know is that nothing will stop this guy from getting her back . . . not even the French.

After long last we finally got to see what kind of magic JJ Abrams would yield over the Star Trek franchise with the much anticipated reboot that sprang into theaters last May. As I mentioned in a previous post, I wasn’t totally into the reboot on first viewing. However, after viewing it a few more times, I think Abrams hit a homerun. I think he did a good job of acknowledging the previous incarnation of Trek while also carving out a new niche with this version. What’s to like? Well for starters the essence of all the characters are there, and updated for the new millenium. Another thing that was bold was to totally hit the reset button by destroying Vulcan–a move that sent fanboys spinning I’m sure. Throw in a dose of action and you’ve got Star Trek 2.0. Thrusters ahead full, I’m ready for 2.1!

I’m not really a Tarantino kinda guy, but you have to admit that he did put together a pretty solid movie and rewrote history in the process. I know the movie geeks geeked out to all the film references that Tarantino put into the flick, but as a non movie geek I thought the storytelling was masterful. I mean, the opening sequence when you have Hans Landa talking with a simple farmer trying to hunt down Jews, you can literally smell the tension going on in the scene. While it had a killer hook, the Basterds were not the stars of the movie (which was fine by me). In Basterds, everyone contributes to the film and Tarantino challenges us to join him in the journey, whether we believe it or not.

I feel that anytime you have George Clooney in a movie, you’re going to get a decent movie just on the sheer fact that he is starring in it. While that is usually the case, what makes this movie stand out is that not only do you get Clooney’s great showmanship, but you also get two great performances from his two costars as well. Combine that with a great story and great story telling from young, up and coming director, Jason Reitman and you have yourselves a pretty darn good flick. The chemistry between everyone really draws you into the story. It’s no wonder this movie was up for multiple Oscar noms.

Call it being awe-inspired all over again, but seeing ‘This Is It’ definitely reiterated why Michael Jackson was the King of Pop. His attention to the detail of his performances, everything from his moves, to his dancers’ moves, to how musical notes and chords were heard—everything needed to be perfect. It’s this determination and attention to detail that I think really struck me in this film. There were no crazy antics, no media swarming him, no hype at all. It was just Michael and the performance, something that sadly, I think we all could have seen more of . . . the man behind the music.

What else can you possibly say about a production company that has put out solid films for the past, I don’t know, how many years? With UP, Pixar hits another homerun out of the park. It’s got everything you could possibly want in a film: drama (if the first 15-20 minutes don’t get you, then the end will), comedy (talking dogs, how can that NOT be funny?), and action (being chased by said talking dogs). Oh yeah, and by the way, this is an animated film we’re talking about here. Up is quite literally one of those movies that will make you laugh and cry. To do it authentically, now that’s skill.

I have to admit, the first trailer for this movie had me chomping at the bit to find out what the hell was going on in Johannesburg, South Africa. The premise was simple, what would happen if aliens crashed landed on Earth . . . and were just, well, here? How would we react? What would we do? What would the people of Johannesburg do? Rookie director Neill Blomkamp mixes docu-style cinematography to make it feel like these were actual events. It’s this novel approach and somewhat different story that draws you in. And the aliens . . . they looked and interacted pretty darn good. The alien effects were definitely realistic.

You know the part in Avatar where the guys see the floating mountains for the first time? Well, it wasn’t quite like seeing flying mountains, but their expression in that scene echoed the sentiment I felt as I watched this movie the first and second time I saw it. I have to admit, after seeing the footage from Comic Con I was somewhat excited, but still didn’t quite know what to expect. And then December came,  and we all put on those 3D glasses. The rest as they say, is history. What can you say about James Cameron’s Avatar that hasn’t already been said? The visuals are simply ‘outstanding’ and have ushered in a boom in 3D movie viewing. Oh yeah, and the storytelling and acting aren’t half bad either. I definitely got taken to Pandora viewing this movie.

What I really liked about this movie is that I think every guy at some point can identify with something that Tom (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) goes through. Believe me when I say that this is doesn’t have to be ‘chick flick.’ This movie is for any time a guy has had that “stupid girl” experience and thought, ‘what the hell just happened?’ Well, now you know you’re not alone. Not only is the story great, but the two leads have great chemistry together (acting wise, not relationship wise) and really make you feel for this guy. Besides, how could you possibly not a like a movie where there’s a fantasy musical number set to Hall & Oats’s You Make My Dreams Come True?

and that leads us to . . .

Now I know what you might be thinking, “duh, of course this is the number one movie of the year, it won Best Picture.” Let me just tell you that when I first heard about this movie back in April of last year, I knew it was going to be good. Now granted, I am a sucker for war movies, but after having seen it in theaters last July, I would have been shocked if it wasn’t nominated for best picture (luckily though it did). In any case, believe what you will. The director Kathryn Bigelow masterfully tells the story of an army bomb disposal unit in Iraq. The experience you get is if you were actually embedded with this team. Their stress is your stress and the film oozes suspense in the scenes where they have to go in to diffuse the bombs. There’s no political agenda here, just a straight up experience of what these guys have to go through. It’s up to the audience to decide how you want to feel.

So yes, it is the best flick of last year, in my own personal opinion.

Still to See

Believe it or not, viewing 50 plus movies last year, you don’t get to see everything you would like to.  Here’s a couple of movies that I’m looking to Netflix or purchase once they come out:

  • An Education – There was a reason why Carey Mulligan was nominated for Best Actress, and I still need to find out
  • Precious – A heart wrenching and powerful story, with not one, but two Oscar nominated performances
  • Crazy Heart – Did anyone else think this was just going to be another Ray or Walk the Line? If Jeff Bridges is that good and Colin Farrell sings then I guess I have to see it.
  • Ponyo – Anytime Hayao Miyazaki comes out with a film, do yourself a favor and see it.
  • Red Cliff – Wanted to see John Woo’s epic at HIFF but just didn’t have the time. Thankfully both parts come out on DVD this month!
  • Bad Lieutanant: Port of Call New Orleans – Yeah so I don’t even think this film made it to Hawaiian shores. Like I mentioned earlier, I heard that Nick Cage gives a gritty and startling performance not seen since Leaving Las Vegas.

And here are the top five movies I’m looking forward to in 2010:

  • Iron Man 2 – Robert Downey Jr returning as Tony Stark/Iron Man and fighting with War Machine? Need I say more? // May 7
  • Toy Story 3 – The Pixar guys are going to try go for the trifecta of giving us a damn good triology. I hope it works out. // June 18
  • Inception –  Take the guy who single handedly made comic book movies relevant (Christopher Nolan, director of the Dark Knight) and throw in the self proclaimed ‘King of the World’ (Leonardo DiCaprio) and you’ve got the most eagerly anticpated non-Batman movie of the year. // July 16
  • The Social Network – Take director David Fincher (Fight Club, Panic Room, and Benjamin Button), throw in screen writer Alan Sorkin (The West Wing, A Few Good Men), the guy that brought sexy back all by himself (Justin Timberlake), and throw in a plot about social media giant Facebook; and you have the perfect storm for a pretty interesting movie. // October 1
  • Tron Legacy – The cult classic gets the new millenium treatment and a visual upgrade. Should be interesting. // December 17

That about wrap things up for 2009. How’d you like my picks?


Questions Answered

So I was going through my computer earlier today, digging through photos specifically, when I stumbled upon the photos and video that we shot while we were at the San Diego Comic Con this summer. I managed to find two videos of particular note: the first of James Cameron talking about Avatar, and the second with Robert Downey Jr talking about Sherlock Holmes–two big movies that were released this month. While I’m sure you could find similar video elsewhere on YouTube or other movie blogs, I thought that I would just post these clips since both of these movies are finally out. Looking back, I wish I had shot more video during comic con.

James Cameron on “why now” for Avatar
Vodpod videos no longer available.

Robert Downey Jr on Sherlock Holmes, the character, and the movie
Vodpod videos no longer available.

I think it’s interesting to hear what they had to say about their movies before they came out and also before the hype started. I hope you enjoy.

Happy New Year everyone!


About Us Updated

When we originally started this blog it took a long time get it going–almost six months. During that time we didn’t really post anything as we were trying to come up with a name for the blog and exactly what we were going to focus on. Along those lines one of the things that we wanted to put some thought into was our “About Us” section. Eventually though, we just started posting and that section kind of got left by the wayside.

Today however, I finally decided it was time to just put something up as we’ve had a number of posts under our belt and have a better feeling for what we’re doing and talking about. It’s short and sweet, and hopefully gives you some insight into how we see things. Check it out (link below).

More on the Red Band Project

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