Photos of the 007 poster by G.
If you know me in real life, you know I have a long history with the James Bond franchise. I used to work for MGM Studios, managing the 007 film library for sales on global TV stations. There’s a reason the film franchise has been around for so long with no signs of slowing down: the films are awesome. They take you to exotic locations, they are smartly written, the action sequences are nail biters and James Bond is one of the smoothest ladies men on the planet. It’s nerve wracking when a new film for such a beloved franchise is released because after devoting so much of your life into something you love, you hope you will not be disappointed when the new comes out (see the Star Wars franchise). While the latest James Bond Daniel Craig is certainly handsome, rugged and in great shape, I am old school and don’t really want to see a blond haired, blue eyed Bond. With that being said, Daniel Craig does the character justice and kicks some serious butt and though may not be my first choice to play the role, it doesn’t bother me to watch him in it.
“Skyfall” reinvigorates the franchise and I think it’s the best of the 3 Daniel Craig 007 films. As is the case in all Bond films, there are some nail biting action sequences, some beautiful Bond girls, exotic locations and one of the highlights of the film – a really evil villain (portrayed by Javier Bardem). Without giving away any spoilers, they’ve found a great way to reintroduce 3 central Bond characters – Moneypenny, M and Q. I also appreciate that in the CGI age, the film does not go over the top with unrealistic looking action sequences and in fact, they reference the pleasure in simplicity. 007 is faced with a dilemma several times in the movie about protecting the country that has sold him down the river. It would be cool to see 007 switch sides (even for a little bit) in a future movie, but for now we will have to settle for a totally watchable and exciting old school 007 film set in the modern age. Go see it!
Photo of the poster by G.
Full Circle – The Kostabi Story directed by Sabrina Digregorio
There’s a reason artist Mark Kostabi has been According2g.com’s Man of the Year – he’s simply an amazing person. In 2011, a documentary about his life entitled “Con Artist” was released and the film was fascinating. It traced the roots of Mark Kostabi from Whittier, California to Manhattan, where he became one of the most notorious artists of the 1980s. His outrageous antics, brutal honesty towards the art world (to critics, collectors and dealers alike) and unabashed pursuit of fame nearly destroyed his career, but like a cat who has nine lives, there are many facets to Kostabi’s life. Not only did he recover from what to some would be career suicide, but he bounced back bigger and better than ever, with a jet-setting life based concurrently in Rome and New York.
“Full Circle – The Kostabi Story” by Italian filmmaker Sabrina Digregorio works as a companion piece (and in some ways like an unintentional sequel) to “Con Artist.” In addition to Kostabi revealing his secrets for “making it” in the art world, the film examines a more serious and intellectual side of Mark Kostabi. Mark has openly admitted that he has his own “art factory” if you will, of artists carrying out his designs and ideas and whereas “Con Artist” may have portrayed a comical and sweat shop image of his factory, “Full Circle,” depicts a family owned business of carefully thought out and masterfully executed art. “Full Circle” features interviews with some of the highest regarded Italian art critics, art dealers and picks Kostabi’s brain in both New York and Italy, on his thoughts about art and fame. Kostabi’s body of work exceeds 19,000 paintings and though many of the works seemingly only feature his style and signature, this practice has been taking place for centuries amongst the great creative masters and as you will see from “Full Circle,” Mark Kostabi should definitely be counted with them.
As the title of the film suggests, “Full Circle” shows the viewer another layer of the fascinating life of Mark Kostabi and when I didn’t think I could be more in awe of the man who literally lives his dreams daily, he escalates to a higher level to me after seeing this film. What makes Kostabi even better in my eyes is that I’ve spent a lot of time with him over the last few years and he is ALWAYS extremely kind and generous and is genuinely interested in hearing more than just his perspective on things. Over the last few decades, I’ve also spent a lot of time with some of the most creative artists and biggest celebrities in the world and there are very few that are as nice and as pleasurable to be around as Mark.
It’s also quite impressive that this is the 10th documentary made about Kostabi and his life is so expansive that there are no mentions of some of his career highlights including creating a statue for the Pope at the Vatican, making the album covers for Guns N’ Roses blockbuster albums “Use Your Illusion,” or rubbing elbows with art gods such as Basquiat and Andy Warhol. If only all of our lives and careers could be so blessed! Whether you have already formed your opinion of Mark Kostabi or this is your first exposure to his name, you should definitely check out “Full Circle – The Kostabi Story” and dare yourself not to be impressed.
Photos by G.
Jack Osbourne and Ozzy Osbourne
On April 24, 2011, I attended the world premiere of the documentary about Rock and Roll’s Prince of Darkness – “God Bless Ozzy Osbourne” at the Tribeca Film Festival. (Side note: best way ever to spend Easter!) The film is great. It is a chronological look through Ozzy Osbourne’s life. Ozzy talks about knowing he could never take a corporate job and how at age 10, he discovered the music of The Beatles and knew exactly what he wanted to do in his life. There’s great footage from his Black Sabbath days through his solo career inter spliced with all of the excesses of the rock and roll life along the way.
God Bless Ozzy Osbourne (poster art by Shepard Fairey)
Ozzy talks very candidly throughout the film about his days of legendary partying, moments such as the death of his guitarist Randy Rhoads (who died in a plane crash) that changed his life and he also discusses sobriety. You’ll hear testimonies from all of his kids that say what a lousy father he was (though it appears that all have mended fences now), from rockers such as Tommy Lee who tells stories of epic drug and drink binges (and smearing shit on a hotel room wall). There’s even a scene where Ozzy watches old videos and provides commentary (from not liking the video to having no recollection of it being filmed). Yes, Ozzy Osbourne has cheated death many times. As you will see from “God Bless Ozzy Osbourne,” he’s more alive than ever and he’s not stopping any time soon. You’ll laugh, you’ll rock and you’ll have a whole new appreciation for the life of a man who is truly one of a kind.
Everyone that attended the premiere was treated to commemorative laminates of the event as well as an exclusive T-shirt designed by Shepard Fairey with the poster art. When you think it couldn’t get any better, Ozzy and the film makers took a few questions from the audience! What a night!
God Bless Ozzy Osbourne
See a special guest (and legend) who was spotted in the crowd – after the jump.
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