About

Good day to all of you,

I am an actor and writer, who has been blogging for some time now, long before the term blog meant anything.  At the time I called it a circle journal — something that circulated via email within the confines of my closest friends and relatives.  It began as a study of my personal and career life in Los Angeles, both philosophically and emotionally.  I attempted to form my ideals of the entertainment and art, that I love so much, with a very grounded look at my ever shifting life and how the two related.  It began well, but it has changed ever so slightly since then.  While I continue to comment on the world of entertainment around me, I will try not to lose that personal edge, that to me, heightens any sort of reading endeavor.

10 Responses to “About”

  1. robgokee Says:

    I found your blog, sir, and it is very entertaining. I hope things are going well, and the film is coming along swimingly.

    Keep in touch,

    Rob

  2. Marty B. Says:

    Hello Mr. Kelly…

    I’m a huge fan of your site & work! I believe your greatest acting accomplishment was in the late 90’s cult classic, “Van Buren”. That film was the tops! Do you still keep in touch with the film’s Director, Chris Vogt? What ever happened to him, anyway? He was quite a gifted filmmaker who just disapeared at the top of his game…

    “Extreme Excrement!!!”

    Later,

    Dennis Steele

  3. Richard Lyrichard Says:

    Phil,

    Love the site and your work. I was actually just about to post and ask if you were the same Phil who starred in “Van Buren”. Then I say Dennis Steele’s post. As it just so happens, I have been writing a book for Pendent Publishing about the early Minneapolis Rockumentary Movement in the late 1990s and was wondering if you had any information about the Director and Writer, Chris Vogt. I find it amazing that such a beautiful film could be made and then the director never be heard from again. I guess I can only hope for a Malik-ian come-back some day.

    If you have any information at all about him, I would appreciate it.

    Richard Lyrichard
    “Do you like to Boom”

  4. Isaac Glendening Says:

    Did you even READ “I Am Legend”? Your writing on the new film is complete bullshit. Stick to writing about ridiculous indie films that ten people per city watch in order to stroke their own pseudo-intellectual egos. Try not to lend merit to stories made into film that you really don’t have the mind to comprehend or appreciate.

    Can you at least tell me the plot of the *actual* story written by Matheson?

    –i.

  5. Phillip Says:

    Hi Isaac,

    Thank you for your thoughts and opinions about the movie – you’re one of the first people to actually comment with a varying opinion and I appreciate that. Though I guess I’m not quite sure what your thoughts and opinions about the movie are or the book for that matter, since you stoop to attacking without holding an opinion of your own. Both of which are completely unnecessary, and far too easy for people to rely on with the anonymity of internet these days.

    I hate to disappoint you, but I suppose I won’t since you hold such a low opinion of me based on an opinion other than your own, unfortunately I cannot tell you the story as written by Matheson, because I have not read the book. I suppose someone who has might lend merit to the book, but an adaptation is an adaptation. Once another writer has it in hand, he or she will lend their own thoughts and insights to the movie or television series based on their own reflections of the world as it has affected them. It’s something every writer has to deal with when their novel or poem, song or short story is adapted into a movie. And what every adapter has to do or the script will be lifeless and robotic. Obviously there are elements added to the film “I Am Legend” that do not appear in the book. That doesn’t mean that these elements aren’t relevant to the movie, which also means that if they are relevant to the movie, then they can be comprehended and as I wrote in my writing for “I Am Legend”, appreciated by myself. The best instance of a film I can think of is “Blade Runner”. The book is nothing like the movie. Both are incredible pieces of work that are about completely different things, and can and should be respected and talked about as separate entities. Or perhaps “The Shining” as re-envisioned by Stanley Kubrick, or “12 Monkeys” which is based on a short films detailing it’s story through still photographs. Or “Die Hard”. Or “Bram Stroker’s Dracula” or “Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein”. Or “Adaptation”. Or “Hitman”. Or “The Godfather”. Or “Babe”. Or “A Scanner Darkly”. Or “A Simple Plan”, “Wonder Boys”, “Ran”, “Mystic River”, “Million Dollar Baby”…well the list goes on and on and on, through indies and big budget extravaganzas.

    Like all books though or adaptations, I’m certain elements remain. I chose not to write about those elements in my writing of “Legend” feeling that perhaps they were obvious. Like most zombie films, whether you regard Matheson’s tale as a zombie story or not the comparison is apt. Typically one or a small band of people are left in a world which the fear of being alone, being without human contact is the most overwhelming fear. And of course that fear is amped up by the memory of lost ones, ghosts if you will. In this version of “I Am Legend” Neville is haunted by memories of his family and the mistakes he made (it’s what drives him) whereas in the original version with Vincent Price (titled “The Last Man on Earth) there is a man outside who has become one of the “zombies” or “vampires” and repeats Price’s name over and over again. Or maybe it’s about breaking free of a singular frame of mind, about freeing our thoughts and opinions from the main stream, that mob mentality that seems to control every aspect of our society from politics to religion. Even if you have a cure, even if you have a way to pass that on and help someone, to show someone perhaps there’s a better way a healthier way to perceive the world around them, their minds are completely closed to other peoples’ opinions…

    Another thing about adaptations that I find interesting is if they don’t somehow adapt to the world around us, they aren’t as interesting or emotionally involving. Some of those issues are universal, and any great story will attempt to make those universal feelings relevant to our time.

    I’ll assume that your snide remark about indie films and the people that enjoy them is because you’re jealous that these films don’t show in wider venues, and you should be jealous, many such films are quite good. Regardless it’s unfortunate that you don’t watch more indie films, as many can be enjoyed just as much as a giant studio films and aren’t pseudo-intellectual meanderings; “Juno”, “The Savages”, “Lars and the Real Girl”, “Once”, “Pulp Fiction”, “Resevoir Dogs” are all films that are quite comprehensible and are made just as much for the general public as they are for film snobs, and many enjoyable ones will allow room for several opinions formed. I would say that “I Am Legend” also allows for several varying opinions. That’s what an intelligent movie will do. It won’t barricade you into a corner, allowing for only one thought, it will open your mind to other opinions and ways of seeing things. You might as well read “Mein Kampf” if you don’t appreciate the fact that more than one opinion can be culled from an intelligent story. That’s the great thing about movies, books, poems, songs, art, video games, sculptures, architecture. What’s the point in attacking someone who sees something differently than you when these things are meant to be thought about and enjoyed by everyone, regardless of whether they play in one theatre and one screen or in 10,000 theatres on every screen, or whether it’s a comic book with a low print run that perhaps only 300 people in New York City will read. That’s not snobbery, that’s the passion of art driving an artist to get their work out to as many people as they can. Snobbery is alive in those that only hold to one way of thought or enjoy one form of art. To speak so low of people that enjoy films that are perhaps viewed in limited release is to miss the point as to why they are in limited release, and to put these films into such a constrictive box is to show that you believe that because its indie the filmmakers aren’t making a movie that tells a story or deals with characters that they care about and want other people to care about and relate to. Your pointedly shallow remarks insinuate a lot more about yourself than my perhaps incorrect viewing of an adaptation of a movie, when what’s in question is the movie and not the book.

    I love all movies be it by David Lynch or Jon Turtletaub, John Cassavettes or Rudy Ray Moore. Some are certainly better than others, and my reason for writing isn’t to dissuade people from their opinions, but to think through my own opinions and hopefully receive in return opinions that are impassioned but also informative, as I’m more than open to viewing art through someone else’s eyes, and learning from said experiences. Any other way to view art or entertainment is limiting, pointless and boring.

  6. englishshakespeare Says:

    Well put. (And now I’ll hop, skip, and jump over to read why you believe videogames are an artform.)

    And while we’re talking about adaptations, how about another consumer-friendly one, like Lord of the Rings? Entertaining? Yes. Thoughtful? Not as much as the books, but yes. Made a ton of money? Check.

  7. Phillip Kelly Says:

    And that’s why they typically make adaptations, because there’s already a market for it.

    Ah, video games as art form is one of those arguments that will never be resolved, an art form I have less and less to do with over the years. Even movies upon their arrival a little more than a hundred years ago were seen purely as a form of entertainment. Video Games have been around, what, 40 years? If you doubt that a video game can reach the status of art then you should play “Shadow of the Colossus” and get back to me. Each art form allows the purveyor to experience or be immersed into the art through a different sensory set. Video games, if the art is hand eye coordination and visual storytelling then it’s perhaps a cross between film and puppetry – and if you tell me puppetry isn’t an art form, you’ve never tried it (have you ever seen those buraku puppeteers controlling the body language of their puppets?)

  8. Andrie Says:

    Suggestion: Joe’s Palace
    Don’t know if you heard of it. I’ve just watched it today, and it definitely looked like this one was severely left aside. It premiered on UK TV, but it is surely a big screen block-buster IMHO

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0899109/

  9. Andrie Says:

    I forgot to say… this reminds me of the same situation The Planman was in.

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0352716/

  10. vancinema Says:

    Dan Zukovic’s “THE LAST BIG THING”, called the “best unknown American film of the 1990’s” in the film book “Defining Moments in Movies” (Editor: Chris Fujiwara), was finally released on DVD by Vanguard Cinema. (www.vanguardcinema.com/thelastbigthing/thelastbigthing) Featuring an important early role by 2011 Best Supporting Actor Oscar Nominee Mark Ruffalo (“Shutter Island”, “Zodiac”, “The Kids Are Alright”), “THE LAST BIG THING” had a US theatrical release in 1998, and gained a cult following over several years of screenings on the Showtime Networks.

    “A distinctly brilliant and original work.” Kevin Thomas – Los Angeles Times
    “A satire whose best moments echo the tone of a Nathanial West novel…Nasty Fun!”
    Stephen Holden – New York Times
    “One of the cleverest recent satires on contemporary Los Angeles…a very funny sleeper!” Michael Wilmington – Chicago Tribune
    “One of the few truly original low budget comedies of recent years.” John Hartl – Seattle Times
    “‘The Last Big Thing’ is freakin’ hilarious! The most important and overlooked
    indie film of the 1990’s. ” Chris Gore – Film Threat

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