Marc Clebanoff Discusses Indie Filmmaking

Marc Clebanoff
Marc Clebanoff

This is part two to my conversation with the indie filmmaker, Marc Clebanoff. As preparation for a forthcoming review of Marc Clebanoff’s film, Unspoken, I sat down with the writer, producer, and director himself to ask him a few questions about the film. However, as we spoke, I saw there was going to be much more to our conversation. Clebanoff is living the dream of many college, independent, and amateur filmmakers. He has gone from tinkering with screenplays to studying filmmaking in college to producing his own feature length film, and working with some amazing and talented people in the process.

Clebanoff is a University of Southern California alum and Los Angeles resident He started Odyssey Motion Pictures (2004) as a platform to launch Unspoken, as well as MC Camera Works, a full service resource for independent filmmakers, including an equipment rental division, located in the San Fernando Valley just outside of Los Angeles.

Read moreMarc Clebanoff Discusses Indie Filmmaking

‘Casino’ is a gritty, if overly long, look at the mafia and Las Vegas

[rating=3]Starring: Robert DeNiro, Sharon Stone, Joe Pesci, Don Rickles, Alan King, Kevin Pollack, James Woods
Director(s): Martin Scorsese
Writer(s): Screenplay by Nicholas Pileggi and Martin Scorsese; Based upon the novel by Nicholas Pileggi

Joe Pesci is a cold-hearted mobster in 'Casino'
Joe Pesci is a cold-hearted mobster in ‘Casino’

Let me start off the bat by saying that I’m not a fan of gangster movies. They can be entertaining, but I don’t particularly care for them. I can appreciate the beauty of The Godfather, but the story itself isn’t particularly appealing.

Goodfellas is a little different, in my mind, because it is a far more interesting film and is a grittier, more realistic view of the mafia. Where The Godfatheridolizes, Goodfellas demoralizes. Martin Scorsese created a style and tone that has been ripped off and copied time and time again since then. Part of this is why I think he made Casino, the film which I’m here to discuss.

Read more‘Casino’ is a gritty, if overly long, look at the mafia and Las Vegas

‘Jaws’ looks beautiful in 30th Anniversary Edition

[rating=4]Starring: Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, Richard Dreyfuss, Lorraine Gary, Murray Hamilton
Director(s): Steven Spielberg
Writer(s): Screenplay by Peter Benchley & Carl Gottlieb; Based upon the novel by Peter Benchley

Roy Scheider (l.) and Robert Shaw hunt a man-eating shark in Steven Spielberg’s classic, 'Jaws'
Roy Scheider (l.) and Robert Shaw hunt a man-eating shark in Steven Spielberg’s classic, ‘Jaws’

You know what the best thing about the release of the 30th Anniversary Edition of Jaws is? It gives me an excuse to talk about one of my all-time favorite movies, and arguably one of the greatest films of all time.

Kind of odd how a film about a big killer fish can somehow be considered a classic, but Jaws is exactly that: a classic. It’s a well crafted story with terrific characters and great dialogue. It’s visually beautiful, with music that’s powerful but also adds tension to a film that defines exactly what the soundtrack to a film is supposed to do. I mean, in how many cases is the music just as famous as the movie itself?

Read more‘Jaws’ looks beautiful in 30th Anniversary Edition

‘Hostage’ has a great first half, but fumbles to the finish

[rating=3]Starring: Bruce Willis, Kevin Pollak, Ben Foster, Jonathan Tucker
Director(s): Florent Siri
Writer(s): Screenplay by Doug Richardson; Based upon the novel by Robert Crais

Bruce Willis fights to save his family in 'Hostage'
Bruce Willis fights to save his family in ‘Hostage’

This movie was always kind of mixed up in my head. Every time I saw the title, Hostage, I kept thinking of this book I read a while back that said on the cover it was going to be made into a film. But I checked it, and it’s actually called, Standoff. The two are similar in that they are both about burned-out hostage negotiators, but where Standoff was a straight thriller about a Ruby Ridge-like incident, Hostage is far more elaborate and Hollywood.

Read more‘Hostage’ has a great first half, but fumbles to the finish

Marc Clebanoff Discusses ‘Unspoken’

Marc Clebanoff
Marc Clebanoff

As preparation for a forthcoming review of Marc Clebanoff’s film, Unspoken, I sat down with the writer, producer, and director himself to ask him a few questions about the film. Prior to the interview, Marc and I communicated by e-mail several times and I was quite impressed by his tenacity, energy, and professionalism. Marc had mailed me the DVD screener of Unspoken as well as some very interesting supplemental information including cast and crew bios, and a one sheet that includes all pertinent project and story details.

Clebanoff is a University of Southern California alum and Los Angeles resident having grown up in the area. Clebanoff is an entrepreneur having started Odyssey Motion Pictures (2004) as a platform to launch Unspoken and MC Camera Works, a full service resource for independent filmmakers, including an equipment rental division, located in the San Fernando Valley just outside of Los Angeles.

Read moreMarc Clebanoff Discusses ‘Unspoken’

‘Father of the Bride: 15th Anniversary Edition’ proves Steve Martin film still has charm

[rating=4]Starring: Steve Martin, Diane Keaton, Kimberly Williams, Martin Short, George Newbern
Director(s): Charles Shyer
Writer(s): Frances Goodrich, Albert Hackett, Nancy Meyers, Charles Shyer

Steve Martin (l.) and Diane Keaton watch their daughter, Kimberly Williams, marry George Newbern in 'Father of the Bride'
Steve Martin (l.) and Diane Keaton watch their daughter, Kimberly Williams, marry George Newbern in ‘Father of the Bride’

When Father of the Bride first came out, I thought it was a funny movie. I like Steve Martin, and together with his Three Amigos co-star Martin Short, the two are hilarious. But seeing the movie now, 15 years later and now a father myself, the film took on a different feeling for me.

I don’t have a daughter, but I felt more of a connection to Martin’s George Banks. That fatherly connection, being able to relate to his feelings for his child, the difficulty in having to let her go.

Read more‘Father of the Bride: 15th Anniversary Edition’ proves Steve Martin film still has charm

‘Man on Fire’ has a strong story, but Tony Scott made it overly stylized

[rating=3]Starring: Denzel Washington, Dakota Fanning, Christopher Walken, Giancarlo Giannini, Radha Mitchell, Marc Anthony, Rachel Ticotin, Mickey Rourke
Director(s): Tony Scott
Writer(s): Screenplay by Brian Helgeland; Based upon the novel by A.J. Quinnell

Denzel Washington struggles to save Dakota Fanning in 'Man on Fire'
Denzel Washington struggles to save Dakota Fanning in ‘Man on Fire’

I’m a fan of Denzel Washington. I think he’s one of the best actors around, and I’m always willing to watch a film if he’s in it. I can say the same for Tony Scott, who I think is a visually talented director and strong storyteller.

With Man on Fire, I liked Washington’s character, John Creasy, a burned-out former CIA agent. He was dark and sympathetic, and I liked that the film really doesn’t tell you much about the character. You learn all you need to through watching his actions as he exacts revenge against the men and women responsible for the death of the young girl he was hired to protect.

Read more‘Man on Fire’ has a strong story, but Tony Scott made it overly stylized

George A. Romero’s iconic 1968 ‘Night of the Living Dead’ changed horror forever

The zombies walk in 'Night of the Living Dead'
The zombies walk in ‘Night of the Living Dead’

[rating=4]Starring: Duane Jones, Judith O’Dea, Karl Hardman, Marilyn Eastman, Keith Wayne
Director(s): George Romero
Writer(s): George A. Romero and John A. Russo

Very few movies have the distinction of being known as seminal, genre-influencing films. If the world of horror films were an interstate, the on-ramp would be 1931’s Dracula, and the first major interchange would come with Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho (1960). The next major interchange would be none other than George A. Romero’s cult-classic Night of the Living Dead in 1968.

Read moreGeorge A. Romero’s iconic 1968 ‘Night of the Living Dead’ changed horror forever