Film Review Extras: Last Vegas

Acrtess Mary Steenburgen arrives for the film premiere of "Did You Hear About The Morgans?" in New York December 14, 2009.  REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly   (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT HEADSHOT) - RTXRUT1

A Tribute to La Steenburgen.

Two things here. The first is a bunch of outtakes from Step Brothers. Because, Step Brothers and Steenburgen.  And the one I want to show you is first up.  The rest is gratuitous fun.

The second is in case you can’t be arsed watching Last Vegas just to see and hear Ms Steenburgen sing. (Her middle name is Nell, by the way). The story goes that in recent years she had an operation on her arm, came out of the anaesthetic, and was seized by the urge to write and play music. For some reason she chose the accordion as the instrument of this awakening. This is her live.

A tribute: To Rob Riggle

This is here because I reviewed the Blu-ray version of 22 Jump St for Phil Wakefield’s Screenscribe site. For that scintillating piece of cinematical reviewership, go here.

An now to the extras.

Rob Riggle is one of the 17,000 people who currently rule much of the global media after breaking out on  Saturday Night Live.

rob riggle

He is not to be confused with Patrick Warburton who played Puddy on Seinfeld.


If you do mistake one for the other, this is unlikely to ever be socially embarrassing as the odds of you meeting even one of them are so remote it makes more sense to start saving now for the engagement ring to put on Mila Kunis’s finger after you steal her away from Ashton Kutcher.  If you are a heterosexual female reading this, I can’t even start to think of any similarly  unlikely scenario that might apply to you. But it would have to be pretty bloody unlikely. And if you’re a gay guy, well, I guess you can aim for Ashton. You can see where I am going. Down the gurgler.

Anyway, this is a tribute to The Riggle.  First up, if you have just watched 22 Jump Street without watching 21 Jump St  (and really, don’t, as there are many, many linked gags)  this scene from that makes sense of much which is to come about prison, man-ginas and the like.  (Little exposition is needed except to say Mr Walters was the bastard phys ed teacher at the school Jonah Hill and Tatum Channing were infiltrating in 21.)

Ok, so it’s a bit high-brow, but I respect you as an audience.

Next up is Riggle in 22 Jump St when Hill and Tatum go to him for some advice about a case.  Shot in a real jail, the guard behind them was the actual warden. Directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller said it was a pointless and terrifying waste of time and they resolved to always shoot prison scenes on a set in future.

If you watch the Blu-ray extras, you’ll see how much of this was Riggle ad-libbing.  It’s very funny. And only mildly wildly obscene.

And now, a bit from him in one of the great movies of modern times,  Step Brothers. This is a deleted scene. God knows why, it only adds to the greatness. And it explains the true importance of the Catalina Wine Mixer.

Film review: Beyond the Edge

    Chad Moffitt who bears a striking resemblance to the guy on the $5 note, in Beyond The Edge.

Chad Moffitt who bears a striking resemblance to the guy on the $5 note, in Beyond The Edge.

This is where the full review is on Screenscribe.

The function of the pages on KSP is just to supply some links that may be of interest in support of the main review.

For Beyond the Edge I have already linked to David Long’s Native Tongue site for a taste of his soundtrack  but here it is again. I am helpful like that.

Here is Mr Long talking about writing the score in an interview from November 2013 on RNZ. It’s 20 minutes and goes into the writing, the  filmmaking process as well as bits from the Everest story, which is chock full of drama and general mountain climbing craziness.

“The first thing [producer] Matthew [Metcalfe] said to me was: ‘If you think of Everest and Ed Hillary, there’s an obvious score, isn’t there. There’s an obvious sort of soundtrack.’ I went yeah. He said: ‘Don’t do it’.”

I got my copy of the soundtrack from Slow Boat Records in Wellington, but I see it is also available at Victoria University Press.

“A Beekeeper from Tuakau” and “Summiting” are my favourite tracks. A nice mix of delicacy and strength. They almost, but don’t quite, convince me to take on a razor-sharp, icy peak surrounded by bottomless crevasses.

So I think three years between posts is about right.

In my defence, the novelisation of SAMBT dragged a bit after Janet and I split up and the world became a dark and sucky place relieved rather a little too much by the application of cheap Aussie shiraz to my brain and liver regions.
This is a coping mechanism with its own built-in issues and curbs on productivity of the writing kind. Well, for me – I don’t want this to be some kind of prescriptive thing and I am sure plenty of people write fantastically well while on their second bottle, whereas by that stage I am down to my undies playing the ukulele. Poorly.
But as the picture shows, there’s a lot more light of late. Perhaps not as much as a sunrise on mars. But enough for me to get off my finely toned bottom and get rid of the goddam SAMBT albatross. Besides, it’s looking ok. To my great surprise.


As it was Filmed, so shall it be Written



For those of you who prefer your Kiwi Space Patrol adventures in book form, I am into about chapter eight of Super Awesome Mega Battle Tank [The Novel]. It was started a couple of years ago as part of the Kiwi Writers “Bang out a Novel in a Month” contest in which I was soundly beaten by Lindsay Mutch who was coming into work and crapping on about how he’d pounded out another 5000 words overnight. Well,right up till he got a fatal chest infection.

I kind of lost any enthusiasm then. Truth be told, all his stuff is better than mine AND by the looks of it, he hardly ever edited it. Rotten, gifted bastard. There you go folks, great talent is no shield against the scythe of the reaper.  Hopefully I will get it printed in some form to go with a novel he wrote a number of years ago. It was about ghosts and rats and an ancient demon. 

Anyway, SAMBT should be done within three months and then I will format it for distribution, maybe as a pdf and/or via Amazon for the Kindle et al. It won’t cost a penny, but its value shall be great.






Kiwi Space Patrol Crew

For our sins, most of the KSP crew reassembled last weekend to shoot a 5 minute film for the V48 Hour Filmmaking competition.
The gods gave us the genre of Musical, and we came up with Savage Tron Love Wrongs, which was a musical interpretation of an unhappy episode Liz had with a man whose name starts with C.

If I had checked that Ulead 11 could handle high def footage before finding out that it actually can’t, thereby condemning Cormac to editing it all in three hours, it may have been better than it was. It certainly would have included the key money shot of his tongue giving what-ho to Cath Morrison’s tonsils. (Well done Cath, brilliant acting and solid gag reflect control). Alas, that is somewhere in some folder languishing. It hindsight it seems a basic kind of preparation, but it just seemed to elude my planning schedule, which as with most things, means grabbing everything five minutes before Go Hour and saying it’ll all be fixed in post.

Anyway, the Saturday was a long day and everyone dug it in and provided some great shots.
Ali Murray and Millie Wilson were there too, Millie doing makeup, Alison as runner and painting a large obscene message on my back lawn, in the name of art, Gemma Crouch-Gatehouse, Aaron created the sock puppets, and there was Shane Wilson, Janet Glenn, Chris Nixon, with Liz Cossar singing the song to the music written by Max Apse. Ask me about checking audio recording gear as well, one day. Steven Qian did a fab job of creating printed props, and Cormac was awesome in his mullet. All we needed was Alex T. next time, should there be one.

Rough cut version that it was I think the outro could have been dropped. The V competition stipulates certain elements be included in it, and we did the required freeeze frame but I think it would have been better left on Cath’s face by the sea.
I’ll post a link when we YouTube it. In fact, we’ll probably do the show cut, a Cormac cut, and my version. For no other reason than to flog this dying horse.

Of the 10 movies shown at the premier’s last night, I think ours was in the middle of the pack. A couple were obviously beaten by the time limit. Janet liked Baddass, which was a clever take on the body switch gentre, and it probably was the slickest and most entertaining.

We didn’t get many laughs. I blame the audience.

Well, we’re still talking Turkey

By that, I mean while I did an entry on Wikipedia about SAMBT, just for the record, the minions of Satan who feel like they should allow or disallow that for the world to see decided it wasn’t worthy.

Anywho, and I can’t explain the exact process, I clicked on a link to this entry on the Turkish language version of Wikipedia.

Here’s the links, and in case the Turkish Wikipedia folks want to save disk space by not having it forever, I post a screen shot below,complete with the original typos.


I for one am forgetting all about that Chunuk Bair thingy.

Au Contraire

This weekend (ending today, August 29)  is the Au Contraire Science Fiction convention in Wellington.

Due to circumstances involving random generation of events, I ended up on a panel yesterday talking about amateur film making with Peter Friend and Norman Cates.

My contribution was minor, being but to go off on weird gibbering tangents to whatever was being said. But it was also good to watch some of the vids that Mr Friend and Mr Cates had. for some of Peter’s bits vids.

Also in attendance was costume designer Gemma as she had been at the previous panel on Cosplay and I was happy to show off a couple of her SAMBT costumes.

PLUS! I had burned about 15 dvds of all the episodes and I think I got rid of 14. So if you were one of the lucky attendees at that panel, you have a rare, numbered and signed special collectors edition. I think they went up to about number 44.

A lady came up to me afterwards and picked one of them up off the table. (I shan’t do her German accent) and she said in as friendly a way as you can say the following statement:

“This is free because it isn’t very good?”

I didn’t have the heart to disappoint her by saying, No baby, it’s free because it’s Frikkin Awesome!!! So we just smiled together. Then I stole her purse.

Nice con. I have been stricken bya virulent Man Flu and unable to see much but its like all the best cons –  loose, friendly and a crapton of events.  You gotta love fandom!!!

SAMBT script. Well, most of it.

Here is a link to a text file version of the full script for Super Awesome Mega Battle Tank.

Not everything in it appears in the finished product (bits calling for special effects, model work, high class acting, for example) and not everything in the finished product had a script.  (For instance, the flashback stuff with Cormac and me cutting the wires and injecting the flooby gooby stuff in episode 11 were pretty much ad libbed to pad out the time.)

Red or blue man, red or blue? I can't tell, the whole fucking flashback's in black and white.

For those who have downloaded Celtx (the link is amongst the other links I think), the Celtx-formated script is here.

We didn’t do a lot of adlibbing so most of it is all here. There is one bit that I added later and even shot, but forgot to put in, and it was after the Commander got hit by the Hoolie Doolie spear.

It turns out that as the result of a treaty settlement for the taking of minerals from their planet, their protest attacks were to only use non-lethal spears. “But they still hurt if they hit you in the nuts”, the Commander was to have said.

The other ad lib was during the flashback after the spear attack when Cormac does the hot teaspoon thing on Alex after talking about the rusty trombone. (By the way … about 18 takes because one of them laughed every time the words “rusty trombone” were said. Unbelievable). That came from a game Corm played with Paul Banks and Adrian Holland when they flatted together. I never got tired of watching them do that to each other.


Copywrite for the script is all mine, mine, mine, bwahahahahahahahaha. 



Bill O’Byrne  2010. 




Alas Mr Mutch …

Lindsay Mutch. Poet, writer, journo, clever bastard.

Lindsay Mutch, a great booster for Super Awesome Mega Battle Tank, died on Monday, June 28, at Wellington Hospital. I had dropped him off a couple of hours earlier after what he thought was a chest infection proved to be something much worse. He suffered a fatal heart attack in the hospital, though he was chatting to the nurses while he was being seen to. He always did like the ladies …

Anyway, Lindsay went out of his way to promote SAMBT. I think his critical faculties always got suspended for his mates, which was the sort of person he was.

He also helped out with some props, such as the one visible behind Alex and Cormac during the Rusty Trombone flashback.

This is the text that he did with the smaller story, Space Patrol investigates catering IQ shocker to make up the space. He banged it out in about five mintues. Lindsay was a funny, generous guy who was a great writer as well. His loss is so rottenly sad.

Space Patrol investigates catering IQ shocker.

Unnamed sources in Kiwi Space Patrol have revealed a secret probe into how a catering crew with “the combined IQ of a mentally-challenged brick” came to be in charge of one of its battle tanks.

“The worst thing is, they’re still out there,” the KSP official said.

It is believed one of the crew only passed his microwave oven operation test on the fifteenth attempt. The test involved the heating of a meat pie. Allegedly it was not until the sixth try that the trainee managed to get the oven’s door open.

“Oh yes, I remember him,” said cuisine tutor Dep Freud, “he kept pawing at the microwave like he’d never seen one before. It became less like trying to teach him to cook and more like trying to train a monkey.

“In fact, at one point, we called NASA officials to get some tips from their chimp handlers from the 1960s.

“On learning they had actually taught chimps to pilot spacecraft we seriously considered replacing this particular catering crew with apes. Sadly most of NASA’s apes had long died of old age, and those still alive demanded more money than we’re actually paying the crew in question.”

Rumours at the Farquiddity Base suggest one of the crew needs to be slapped on the back of the head just to get his brain operating enough to perform simple tasks.

The alleged investigation will endeavour to uncover how such incompetent simpletons managed to get into the corps in the first place.

No answers yet.