I was invited to attend a press screening of the upcoming film The Astronaut Farmer starring Billy Bob Thornton for a review at Film School Rejects. I was also invited to the press day event where I could ask questions to the stars of the film, but it's during the day while I'm at my real job. No matter though, I'm always excited to see films in general, never mind for an advanced showing or for free. In the past, I had been able to see Crash and Little Miss Sunshine before mass audiences this way too and a couple of others.
So last Thursday, after work I headed up to the Valley, which is a big hike from West LA, especially during rush hour. It took a little under two hours to go like what was probably 20 miles total. I took some windey back roads to avoid the highways though and only got lost once when I had to enter someone's HUGE driveway and turn around. When I finally arrived, I was told to pull up to gate 4 and provide security with my details since my name was on their list. Meanwhile, gate 4 is iconic, it leads right to their famous WB water tower shown in their branding, logo and of course in Animaniacs. I started to get a little star struck by the lot itself and it's history. I've been to Sony recently to see a taping of King of Queens, but there's something very old school Hollywood about Warner Bros, as if I could hear the score from Casablanca playing in the distance and Katharine Hepburn peddling a bike past my car. Check-in and parking went smoothly and I snapped a picture of the water tower with my camera figuring it would be too dark to appear correctly but it did.
The theater for the screening was basic and was on the second floor above regular office space, although James Cagney screen shots were framed along the corridors, otherwise you'd think you were about to watch a school lecture. So far the best screening room I've ever been to was at the bottom of the Tribeca Grand Hotel to see Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (the seats were like LaZ Boys. Anyway, I digress, the event was well attended with press filling the non-elevated theater. I didn't mingle but read the FAQ and materials I was given on the credits and back story of the film. Then the movie started, minus coming attractions and I scrutinized and enjoyed. I originally had no intention of seeing this film in theaters, but was surprised to find that it was quite enjoyable.
You can read my full film review at Film School Rejects--The Astronaut Farmer.
Speaking of films, I also finally NetFlix'd Al Gore's documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, which was pretty powerful and interesting, albeit depressing. It's up for Best Documentary at this year's Oscars; I'm rooting for it.
In other Web appearances, check out my little rant on my office's blog about Public Relations is in need of some PR—myths about our field.