Friday, December 29, 2006
I liked the idea of the movie, the actors did the best they could with the trash they were given, and some of the action scenes were ok - I think. With Tony Scott's "directing" of late, you simply can not tell what the hell is going on. All of his scenes are a mess of useless flashes and jumpcuts. He's never been a great director but at least with his past successes, stuff like Top Gun and Days of Thunder, you could see that he knew how to put scenes/sequences together.
I think with True Romance he started to decline, depending too much on visual gimmicks. Enemy Of the State was a good effort, at least he had some actual direction going on, however, he threw all that out the window with Man On Fire and this tragedy on film - Domino. Tony - just make a movie that we can see and enjoy without having a fucking seizure.
I did see another God-awful movie - A Sound Of Thunder, starring Eddie Burns. Holy shit was this bad. Decent concept, but what an atrocious execution. The F/X in this steaming pile of llama shit made the effects in Space Pirates seem cutting edge. How could they have edited this together, added the effects, and said - Yup! It's awesome!! Wow. Bad.
These pieces of crap got me thinking though, of bad movies that you can actually enjoy that they're so bad. Like Arnie's Commando. Loved that! He throws the pipe into the baddie at the end and says "Let off some steam, Bennett." Classic. John Matrix rocks.
Two questions - what are some of the worst movies you've seen lately, and what movie (or movies) are really really bad but you still love them?
Sunday, December 24, 2006
It's funny. This time last year I was saying the same thing on this blog, and that one goal was to get writing off the ground finally and leave my day-job-pays-the-bills-thing behind and get my writing career going full-time.
Haven't quite done that yet. Things are still on the move, had some action this year on scripts and stuff, and I do believe I'm closer, but nothing has officially sold and my pilot isn't in production or anything, so while I'm closer, I'm not all that close. I'm hoping to kick some serious ass in 2007 though. And I hope you guys/gals do the same!!
Thursday, December 21, 2006
Well, 2007 is looking to be quite a year. i'll do a forecast soon of at least the shit that interests me. Anyway, following Trade, here's another film that looks like a good one, King Of California, starring Michael Douglas. Loved him in the awesome Wonder Boys. I like how he doesn't stick to the glossy stuff, he jumps in and out of indies every now and then like Bruce Willis. Check out the trailer.
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Some updates - New plan for Cricket Hill - We've decided to turn the pilot back into a 1 hour pilot, which I'm totally ok with. The first several drafts I made were 1 hour, so it'll be easy to re-expand it. The main reason is that it's more of a comedy/drama in its tone, not really a sitcom-ish line-line-punchline, line-line punchline type of story. So I'll be working on that, we've got a couple pretty big TV producers that we're taking it to soon.
Still plugging away on The Stand-In. My Manager is super-excited about this, he's already pitched the idea to a few of his peeps in H-Wood and they've all said it's something they'd like to see. The plan is to have that script completed next.
Haven't gotten to the movies lately, but if I did go I would NOT see Deja Vu (it just doesn't do anything for me, but I'll catch it on HBO) or The Nativity Story (doesn't look at all interesting). But I would like to see We Are Marshall. It just looks so damn inspiring and all, yeah, it's sure to make me weep like an open sore. I just gotta see it.
Saw Nacho Libre on DVD, enjoyed it, didn't blow me away. also saw The King which was an interesting movie, it was well done, but one you'd never have to watch again.
Music - I love that Fray song, How To Save A Life. Oh that's a good one. Broke out an old mix tape and caught some of my 90s goodies - James, Ride, Ocean Blue, REM, New Order, Depeche Mode, great stuff.
TV - We've been watching My Boys, a new sitcom on TBS. It's actually a very funny show, well written, and the cast is great. Nip/Tuck blows hard this year. Not into Daybreak at all. Still loving The Office, and my wife and I are hooked on Heroes, Friday Night Lights, 30 Rock, Studio 60, and Dexter. Oh, and Dirty Jobs!
Best Pix? Well, so far it's been United 93 at most of those critics awards, with Eastwood's Letters From Iwo Jima taking some. It looks like it'll go down like this for the Best Pic race:
United 93 (my fave of '06)
Letters From Iwo Jima
As for #5, it'll likely be Little Miss Sunshine, Babel, or Pursuit Of Happyness.
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
TITLE CARD ON BLACK: “SEND LAWYERS, GUNS AND MONEY....THE SHIT HAS HIT THE FAN...” WARREN ZEVON
INT. CAR - DAY
Three men in their early 30s sit in the car. In the back seat is MORRIS. In the front are DAK (driving) and ED.They are stopped, waiting for a bunch of geese to cross the road.
The fucking bird stands there.
Ed looks out at the road. The bird seems to stare directly at him.
Ed steps out of the car and approaches the bird.
Ed draws a gun, aims and BAM!
TITLE CARD ON BLACK: 3 Weeks Ago
INT. ELEVATOR - DAY
Standing in the elevator with Ed is JULIA (early 20s). NEIL (late 20s) runs in as the door is closing.
Julia nods politely.
Silence as the elevator travels. Neil farts.
Whoa, speak of the devil. That was me. Don’t worry about it everybody.
They’re all disgusted.
INT. HALLWAY - DAY
The elevator door opens. They get off quickly, waving away the odor.
MR. STONE (late 30s) approaches.
Sunday, December 03, 2006
"Aborted attempted assassination of a terrorist, in the Sahara by the use of a special sniper rifle called the Longbow. However, most of the story and subtext deals with serial murders in New Orleans during the height of Mardi Gras."
And my reply is - What? C'mon dude. First of all, your title is insanely dumb. 2nd, this logline is complete shit. If you (the writer of this crap) happens across my blog, I hope you're not too offended. I don't mean to make you feel like an asshole, but have you read the logline? It's terrible. All it sounds like to me is a really stupid, shall I say retarded, idea.
I'd hate to read the synopsis, probably make me want to beat Tom Crymes with a shovel.
My point: As most of you (except for Mr. Longbow) are aware, your logline is your first attack on a producer. If it comes across as dopey-sounding as this, do you think they'd really want to read the script? Hello, no. And if they do, well, then you deserve each other.
Back when I was a kid, there was a ton of stuff that always amazed us, inspired us. Like the original Star Wars Trilogy. Amazing stuff. I can still watch them now and wax nostalgic. (Don't get me started on the prequels again..............). But these were movies that changed everything. And stuff like Jaws, Close Encounters, Gallipoli, Manhattan, Indiana Jones.
What will the kids of today remember in 10, 20 years? Lord Of the Rings? Maybe, but it's not really a movie/series you can just toss in for a good time, and I think most of the fans from those epics were geeks my age and older anyway.
"Remember that time when we were playing with our Yu-Gi-Oh cards?"
"Oh, man, how 'bout that time when we were watching the Wiggles and they say about potatoes?"
"Guess what I made with Floam?!"
I just can't see it.
TV always had something cool on. From Dungeons & Dragons on Saturday mornings, to Star Blazers, Thunderbirds 2086 (not the marionettes/puppet things) and of course, the original Muppets.
Music - I listened to a lot of stuff growing up, I even went through a Quiet Riot phase, and my first favorite band was Asia. Thankfully I got some sense and moved on to stuff like U2, REM, 10000 Maniacs, Radiohead, Youth Group, etc (although I'll still give Asia a blast when it comes on the radio).
But what will this generation listen to as "Classics?" London Bridge? Milkshake? My Humps? God, I hope not.
Strike back below with some of your oldies/favorites from "back in the day." Also, what will be remembered from now in 10 or 20 years?
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
1. Holiday Shoppers Have Been and Always Will Be Douchebags: This is mainly in America, and to be more specific, Wal-Mart, but my God how we are asswipes. Just watching the video footage of all of us dumb cattle lined up in front of the stores at 4am, waiting for the doors to open and then BAM! GO! GO! GO! Beating the tar out of each other for a Tickle Me Elmo, a Wii, or a Baby-Vomits-A-Lot, whatever the hot toys are.
2. Speaking of Video Games: What is with these new systems? Why in the hell do I have to stand up to play a god damn video game? Can't I just sit on my ass anymore? Isn't the point of videogames so we can chill out while playing videogame tennis? Why would I want to actually stand there and pretend I'm hitting the ball with my wand or whetever they call it. If I wanted that experience, I'd GO PLAY TENNIS.
3. Tara Reid
4. Straight-To-DVD sequels: I've posted about this before so I won't rant much here, but the funny thing is they make sequels to ANYTHING now. There's actually a Behind Enemy Lines 2 now available on DVD. Awful.
5. Our Prez. Weren't we after Osama? Not anymore? Oh, he's hiding? Still? I thought we had some type of trained soldiers/high tech missles that could take care of that problem. Oh, hell let him go, let's dump another 10 Billion into Iraq/losing more troops.
6. Alan Cumming's personality: I don't know the guy, but to me he just seems like a real bonafide asshole.
7. Michael Richards: Yeah, he's done.
8. Screenwriters (non-professionals) Continue To Get the Shaft: Dear Assholes who want to rip off us already poor screenwriter wannabes - We hate you and hope you drown in a bucket of your own diarrhea. We're already struggling and have enough to stress out about. I'm talking about demonfuckers like the Screenplay Agency, and they're not the only ones, who are out there ready to feast on our wallets.
9. Neve Campbell says UK writers are better than American writers: She said, "The writers are more talented here (UK). People don't just pick up a pen and say, 'I'm going to write a screenplay', which happens all the time in LA. They have some background in literature before they decide to come up with a story." Oh yeah?! You wanna fight, beeyotch?! I bet some UK "writer" would have never thought up "Failure to Launch!" Or "Son Of The Mask." Or "Meatballs 4!" Or "Behind Enemy Lines 2!" In your face, Neve, as in Neva ever!
10: Britney: We feel your pain, Mr. K-Fed was a tool, but we kinda told you that from the start. But we're glad you got smart. Or, whatever. But please, if you wish to continue to have us on your side, please, please, please, when wearing a very short skirt, it may be wise to wear undergarments, and stay away from Paris "Cokefiend" Hilton.
Just a fun list of shit that bothered me lately, so maybe the world isn't ending yet. Feel free to add to the list.
Sunday, November 26, 2006
It's called Temp'd (like Punk'd). The 2 scripts this was born from are:
1. Temp'd. This was a short script I meant to shoot a few years ago but never got around to it, basically a day in the life of a group of office temps. I was going to make it into a feature script keeping this premise but feared comparisons to Office Space & The Office (USA/UK) so I abandoned that idea.
2. Wait A Minute - This was a script from about 4 years ago, a crime comedy about 4 loser buddies who start working for the mob and get in all sort of trouble/wackiness. I even started to shoot it on DV in 2003 but we never completed the project, but we did make an extended trailer out of it.
I bascially took 3 of the characters from Wait A Minute and stuck them in the temps/office setting and came up with a new plot - 3 Friends get jobs as temps in a high-rise office so they can break into a high-class escort service, located on the floor above their office, on its busiest, most lucrative day of the year.
I'm having a good time with it. The 1st night, I wrote 18 pages, the next night I took it through page 30, and tonight I pushed it past 40, so I'm just rolling along with it, and since I'm 1000% into this over anything else right now, I must continue to roll with it.
Saturday, November 25, 2006
Yeah, I'm sure portions were set-up (but counting the number of lawsuits, maybe not that many). Even still, I knew going in it was not a REAL documentary, so although some of it was staged, it was all still funny to me.
Still, the best part of it for me, or maybe the saddest, was the reactions of our fellow Americans which showed their true colors.
Overall, a really funny movie, as well as a sad commentary of our US and A.
By the way, I like Jack Black and all, but his Tenacious D flick looks really dumb and not funny AT ALL. I plan to never see it.
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Sunday, November 19, 2006
It's about a former high school loser who hires a male supermodel to attend his high school reunion posing as the former loser. That's only the jumping off point, the reunion stuff ends by the end of Act 1.
Not groundbreaking stuff, but it's a fun concept. I wrote the beginning 10 pages about 6 years ago actually and just let it sit there. Then a few months back I was pitching some completed scripts & works in progress to my new manager. As he shot them down one by one (he's Mr. Mainstream-High-Concept, which is cool, but I've got more of an independent film mindset/fuck-the-3-act-structure way of thinking typically) I then pitched him this and he loved it. Easy to pitch, and if you're a Studio Exec you can "see" the movie, that was his point, and it's true. I am rather sick of working my useless 9-5, so I'll gladly get this puppy on its feet.
As for other stuff, we're waiting on feedback from sending out Food Fight (feature script). It's been in some pretty important hands over the last month, from agencies to prod. companies, so we'll see how that goes down.
Cricket Hill is awaiting word from our director. He's been extremely busy of late (just finished re-shoots for his next film (The Chaos Theory, starring Ryan Reynolds) and is in the middle of directing an episode of The Nine).
That's all I got for now! Gotta get back to Act 2!
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Well, some of you....have QUIT. What the fuck, man? How long do you think this takes?
It's strange, I mean, coming into this, you had to know it might not be EASY to sell a screenplay. It's usually a long damn road. And a road that sucks ass most of the time. Filled with MANY disappointments and dickheaded producers.
But don't give up! Christ!
I've seen it - they'll write one script, maybe 2, and try to get some action on it. And some do, but when it ends up not panning out, they pack it in. Oh, well, gave that a shot, let's go work at Target.
People - this is a hard career. I've been at it full-time (other than the day job) for a good 7-8 years now. And I still have the day job. Sure, I've had minor successes here and there, but even now, none of the projects I have out there in development are "sold" and they could just as easily fall apart. And if they do, will I quit? Well, fucking hell, no. It'll piss me off, sure. But I'll try again. And again.
So you wrote a script that didn't sell. Write another one. That one not sell either? Then write another one. Or re-write the 1st one. Or go make it your damn self.
You will be disappointed. You will be pissed. You will be in tears. Frustrated. Blocked. Did I mention disappointed? And all the while you better be blogging about it, cause we all go through it, and it sucks, but we move on, we get over it, and we fucking write. Cause we love it.
But quitting? Not. An. Option.
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
Flags Of Our Fathers
Running With Scissors
The Good Shepard
I wasn't nuts for thinking of those at the time (without seeing them, reading them, etc). Flags might still make it, and Dreamgirls seems like a shoo-in. Running with Scissors? Won't make it, but might get Annette Bening a Best Actree Nom (it seems all will lose to Helen Mirren anyway). Marie won't make it in for anything at this point. And we'll see how the Good Shepard plays out. My prediction that Eddie Murphy will get a nomination for supporting will likely come true.
My other pics that might get a best pic nomination if the ones listed above didn't all make it were The Departed (now of course, it's a no-brainer), All The King's Men (Ha!), The Fountain (too "out there" to get a nom), The Prestige (maybe a screenplay nomination), Zodiac (moved to 2007), Breaking & Entering (not sure about this one yet), and Stranger Than Fiction (doubtful).
Hey, it was March, and I was bored! What do you guys think?
Saturday, November 11, 2006
We also hit Medieval times (very cool) and Wonderworks (magicians, comedy, etc - neat place). Gatorland was in flames when we arrived so that was out, so we went to Silver Springs. An okay place but it's basically run by Grandparents - Nice joint with some good views of gators & shit, but it needed some life! You could hear a pin drop. Our "captain" who rode us around in their famous glass-bottom boats said he'd worked their for 100 years - I believed him.
We also stayed at the Nick Hotel for a night - 100x better than a Disney hotel stay. When I walked into our suite and saw the very large flat-screen TV on the living room wall, they had me.
Finally, South Of The Border. Bomb it. Just get rid of the thing. I used to think its retro-look made it a cool place. Now I realize it's just a dirty, filthy abomination run by Guttertrash. Couldn't even attept to eat at any of their restaurants, they all stunk of piss and cancer.
Anyway, the family had a good time. I think my wife only threatened to kill me 3-4 times (I likely deserved it) and I believe I only threatened my oldest son with leaving him by the side of the road twice. Good times!
Now, back to work.
Friday, November 03, 2006
Thursday, November 02, 2006
Nothing new on the writing front. Cricket Hill (TV Show Pilot) is still out to the director's agents, awaiting word on our next step. These things take time, lots of it.
Food Fight (Feature) has seen the rounds, and is still seeing more rounds. No one has bit yet. C'mon, people, bite!
With all my new writing ideas that I wanted to start work on, I froze up and couldn't really focus on any of them. so I switched gears and went back to re-write a 7 year old script (one of my better ones from that era), gave it a new title and voila! I love it all over again. I'll send it out to the manager this weekend and see what he thinks.
Ain't seen crap at the movies, but I'd like to see The Departed, The Prestige and The Borat. But Borat's release was slimmed down (I heard it'll go out on 800 screens). With the buzz this was getting, I thought a wider release would have been smarter. Then again, I'm still a home inspector so what do I know. Deja Vu doesn't look like anything special, I'll wait for HBO.
Saw American Dreamz. It stank. Slow and NOT very edgy. Had a moment or two, and the performances were good, but the script stunk like a beer shit. Deja Vu doesn't look like anything special, I'll wait for HBO.
Weeds - Now that was a finale. Balls to the wall fun, tension, and great drama. A highlight was when the youngest son, while giving his speech as he's graduating INTO Junior High, lashes out at the clueless parents/teachers, etc and exclaims "There are motherfucking snakes on this motherfucking plane." Brilliant. Can't wait 'til next season.
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
Should we count the times Bush said something that came out wrong? It's only every time he opens his mouth, I just take it with a grain of salt. You don't want to agree with/like Kerry? Fine, don't. But don't use this idiotic non-story as your reason.
I'm not Mr. Political here, so I'll keep this short. But we're in a god-awful mess "over there." This isn't news, I know, but it's ugly and Kerry knows that and if anything, he wants our troops HOME. Now. Because he's actually been in a war.
Kerry might not have been the perfect candidate, but he was a great alternative and I sure as hell voted for him.
But don't worry, Bush's people said Iraq's government should be able to take over in about a year-and-a-half. Funny thing though, that's what they said last year.
Saturday, October 28, 2006
What do I do? Throw myself a party? Pour myself a cold one? Grab a crack-whore? They're always good for a laugh.
Well, it's been an interesting year. Ups & downs, all that stuff. Workwise, well I still have a job so I guess that's good. Family-wise things have never been better. And script-wise? Well, I'm still plugging away, and with the new manager and option this year, things are looking good for the future.
Unless the option doesn't go anywhere.
Unless the manager can't get any scripts sold/packaged.
Either way, at this time next year, whether I'm wiping my ass with a $20 because I've sold a million dollar script or still hard at work inspecting these god-damn motherfucking houses, well, I'll be right here, blogging like a dork, eagerly awaiting your comments.
Sunday, October 22, 2006
I thought Kenny Rogers was gonna bitch slap Todd Jones. I'm still thinking Detroit in 6. Wish the Phils were in it though.
I checked out Thank you For Smoking finally. It was good. Didn't blow me away but it was very well done. Eckhart ruled. Lots of catcthing up to do with DVD watching. We've got The King, Inside Man, Art School Confidential and Friends With Money to watch next...if only there weren't so many decent TV shows on this year! Still loving Jericho, Weeds & The Office. The 9 is good but I see it getting canceled (the ratings are dropping like a stone. Same with the fine Studio 60). And I'm still on-board with Lost. The season has gotten off to a good start. Oh, and Help Me Help you is actually pretty funny.
Check out Sam's Town by The Killers. At first listen I wasn't too thrilled by it, but after repeated plays it's growing on me.
As for my script-writing - I'm all over the place. I thought I had pinned down my next script to actually focus on, and I kinda have, but I've come up with 2 more kick-ass ideas sicne my last post, and habve decided to go back and work on a drama I started last year....which you guys can help me with - The title. Here's the jist of it - it's a dark family drama, dealing with drug abuse & murder. My original title was Pearl River, but I don't want it to be seen as a Mystic River rip so I'm not 100% on it. Alternate titles are The People Down The Street and The Rest Of Us.
Thoughts? How do you feel about these titles? Have any other title ideas?
Sunday, October 15, 2006
I've been talking about the variety of scripts I'm working on, without working on much. I've got 4 right now on my plate (I've mentioned them before - Titan, The Stand-In, Westville and Open House).
Open House is the one I'll be finishing first. I'm going to try to complete it by 10/31. I'm a bit further with Westville but my thoughts of Open House are keeping me inspired to write it and get it out there. It'll pretty much shake up the real estate community if it ever got made. Let's just say it doesn't show them (real estate agents) in a nice light. And most of them deserve it. I've only met a handful that are actually smart, decent people. And the others? Well, they won't like Open House, and that's fine by me.
Song of the Week (tie) - Knights Of Cydonia (Muse) & Alone, Jealous & Stoned (Secret Machines)
Saturday, October 14, 2006
Friday, October 06, 2006
The Office is still the best thing on TV. The Call Of Duty stuff was priceless.
MUSIC - Listening to the new Killers cd, plus the new Youth Group album (which is amazing). Might check out the Secret Machines Saturday night.
MOVIES - Only thing I've seen is Open Season. Nothing new but not an awful movie, had some moments, one of which including shit pellets flying out of Ashton Kutcher's deer-ass.
WRITING - Currently awaiting the next step for my TV Pilot Cricket Hill. My feature script FOOD FIGHT was read recently by a pretty damn big producer of comedies, so we're awaiting his thoughts.
As for new scripts, I'm working on my real estate comedy called Open House, plus my comedy Westville, and I recently started my first drama in a long time - it's a high school drama called Titan. If I had to compare it to anything, you'd think Elephant (similiar one word title, although the name of the high school football team in my script is the Titans). Plus, although Elephant was an interesting movie, it didn't capture one ounce of what a real high school is.
Now I'm gonna crank up some tunes and hit the Final Draft......
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
Well, it didn't. At all.
My review Of Stealing Home:
If I could describe it in one word I'd say "excellent." This is a fine, fine film. And I say film because, well, it was actually made on FILM. And it's a beautiful thing to see. God, I miss it. My last handful of projects have all been DV, and while DV is okay to use it simply does not compare. There is a beauty and quality to film that can't be topped.
The script - The story is about a mother & son trying to connect after a divorce. The script itself is good, Aaron uses minimal dialogue throughout, but what's most important is what's NOT being said. What these characters are feeling is the focus, and he really captured that. I went through a divorce myself, although I was 9 (months) old when it happened in my situation, the point is the aftermath is brutal, terrifying, and life shattering. Although this movie takes place after the divorce, you can see it's lasting effect on the son.
Sound - Was decent. A few minor sound problems, nothing that took me out of the film.
Direction - Perfect. The shots were solid, and not wasted. What I really liked was how Aaron kept the camera moving. Too many movies rely on boring/uninteresting static shots. But he wasn't moving it just the the hell of it either. The performances were top notch. Very natural. And the kid who played the son, Grady, (Mark Asser) was great, I've worked with plenty of kids who were not, let's just say, camera-ready. This kid was natural and he seemed to really nail the character and the emotions. Dad was good in a small role, and Mom (Libby Bibb) was excellent. All around, a well-casted movie. And this type of movie needed a solid cast who understood the material. They nailed it. Kudos to Aaron for getting these performances.
Cinematography - Well, like I said, I loved the look of it. But the lighting (both interiors & exteriors) also looked great. The colors really stood out, and the framing was perfect.
Pacing - Just a note that this flew by. It's a little over 15 minutes long, but I've seen plenty of shorts that feel like 3 hours. Not this. Like I said, not a shot was wasted.
Love to see a feature of this. I think the possibility is there, expanding the story/characters, etc. There's a ton of material here. It's nice & refreshing to see a filmmaker out there with some actual talent, even if he is from St. Louis.
Congrats, Aaron. Keep us posted!
Check out Aaron's website/blog here.
Check out Aaron's myspace page here.
Monday, October 02, 2006
Friday, September 29, 2006
John August had a recent post about The Screenplay Agency, and Warren also did a nice series on them. Just throwing my 2 cents in....They are useless assholes. An open sore on the ass of life.
Here's what they do. Now, I've never dealt with them, but a buddy of mine did. He had sent out some query letters, they were one that he contacted. He didn't know at the time that they were the dickbags that they are.
They said they'd like to read his script. Said they loved his script, but they wanted to have it analyzed, blah, blah, fucking blah. I believe it was for 100 smackers for an editor to analyze it. He called me and told me about it, I told him to get outta there like a Ryan Howard home run. And he did, and the cocksuckers over at The Screenplay Agency didn't get squat from him. Ah-ha.
Thing is, they are out there, ripping off mainly rookie screenwriters, who just don't know any better. All we want to do is write, you know? And they've got the nerve to try to rip off what little money we've got? How dare they. They are useless scammers. They will get you nowhere and I guarantee that they've sold or optioned NOTHING. Even their website looks cheap. Dirty pricks.
So, if you are ever contacted by The Screenplay Agency you need to do the following 3 things:
1. Tell them to go fuck themselves.
2. Explain how evil and heartless their company is.
3. Tell them to fuck themselves again.(It's important to get this point across).
Anyone ever come across these wastes-of-life?
Monday, September 25, 2006
Right now, Food Fight is out to producers (we're hitting a biggie this week, not a producer per se, they're more considered a studio). Fingers crossed! And Cricket Hill is out to agents.
So, Zucker is officially my 43rd feature-length script ever written. Yeah, it's a lot. But those first several are simply unreadable. Some of the others have their moments, but are structurally unsound. The scripts I've written since 1999 are pretty damn good I'd say, with the last 3 years being pretty solid. Some highlights:
**Lost & Found (1997) - First script ever written.....Worst script ever written.
**Stain (1997) - Pretty gritty, it's about street hustlers. I directed & co-produced. My research? Nada. We turned it into an okay low-budgeet shot-on-crap-DV movie.
**Good People (1998) - My 1st option, story by my wife.
**The Adventures Of Riley - My first script to win/place at some competitions. Always loved riley, might go back to it one day.
**The Go Getters (1998) Basically Freaks & Geeks, although mine came first, dammit! My longest script ever, this high school drama came in at a hefty 145 pages. And I didn't cut any! Not a one!
**The Money Shot (1999) - Porn + college = 2nd Option!
**A Couple Of Joes (1999) 3rd Option.
**Better Days (2001) - Basically The Last Kiss. Self-produced & directed.
**West River Drive (2002) - Another self-produced (and directed) low budget epic.
**Cricket Hill (2nd Place Comedy, Austin, 2003) - Great things have come from this script. Praying that even grater things will come soon. In development as a TV Pilot/series.
Out of 43, how many are worthy? Hmm. I'd say 15 would be ready to read at this moment, with another 10 needing a hard polish. Throw in another 10 that would need real work. Another 10 are likely train wrecks.
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
Well, Fall TV is off and running. And actually looks pretty good so far.
LOVED LOVED LOVED the pilot for Studio 60. It's actually one of the best pilots I've seen. Perfect set up, great characters, sharp writing. I just hope people watch it. They might not be interested in a behind-the-scenes of a TV sketch show, but hopefully they'll tune in. Special nod to Matthew Perry. The whole cast is great, but he nailed it.
Kidnapped is bascially Ransom, or at least Ransom-ish. It's even got Delroy! But that's a good thing for the show. It wasn't as bad as it should have been. I am a bit curious to see where they'll go with it, so it's my guilty pleasure, although if it never came on again I wouldn't miss it.
Jericho was a pleasant surprise. It was a solid pilot, a bit creepy actually, since you could picture this going down in "real" life unfortunately. I'd tune in again to see where it goes.
Stand-Off is a smart show. Love the chemistry, although my concern would be having a stand-off/hostage situation EVERY week might get old. We'll see how the whole season unfolds.
Justice - not bad for yet another lawyer show. It's got a nice cast, decent writing so far, I'll tune in again.
Nip/Tuck - Sucks. I was a fan of this show, but last year was disjointed, and this year is already sucking pretty hard. It's like the writers are just throwing ideas up on a wall for the hell of it. I'll tune in for 1 or 2 more episodes, but if it doesn't improve, I'm bailing.
Shark - not going to watch it. I just can't.
Looking forward to 30 Rock, and am curious about The 9. Not sure about 6 degrees, and am pretty sure Heroes won't make it to the mid season.
As for returning shows, It's all about The Office in our house. Great show, funniest on TV. Weeds, too. Weeds is off to a great start this season, can't wait for the next episode.
Saturday, September 16, 2006
Now this looks like Suess. Blue Sky Studios (Robots, Ice Age) nailed it, at least from these pics from Horton Hears A Who.
It used to be cool when some animated epic came out, like A Bug's Life, then next year another one would come out. Now, they're all over the place. Over the Summer, we actually had a three week span when 3 new animated movies came out - Monster House, Ant Bully, and Barnyard. They all pretty much sank, especially Bully. Monster made the most (of those 3) but I'm sure their budget was enormous. And Barnyard did okay. Cars is the animated king of the Summer (240+ million) followed by Over the Hedge (around 150 million) which is cool. I enjoyed them both.
This week we have Everyone's Hero. Every time I see that damn commercial I wanna put me head through a wall. Or at least slit my wrists. "I GOTTA GET BABY'S BAT BACK!" It's BABE Ruth, you asshole kid! Then we'll have Open Season. Then Flushed Away. Hopefully the better of these won't get lost (leaning towards Flushed Away as the "better."
Which also brings me to my theory I blogged about before that someone is ripping off someone. We've got Flushed Away, about rats. Then next summer we have Pixar's Ratatouille. About rats. Years ago we had the Bug's Life/Antz showdown. And don't forget Shrek & Monster's Inc came out the same year (both monster heroes, work with me). And who could forget Finding Nemo & Shark Tale (adventures of sea life). Or Madagascar/The Wild. Or Robots & Cars (both metal...okay, I'm reaching).
Anyhoo, what's your favorite animated movie? Mine would be the Iron Giant, by Brad Bird, who also directed the excellent Incredibles. I also enjoyed Toy Story, A Bug's Life, Shrek (1), and Ice Age. And if you can find it, there's this animated film from England called When The Wind Blows about the aftermath of a nuclear war. Haunting, amazing.
So, what's your fave?
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
Anyhoo, as far as I know, he's calling it quits. Maybe he'll be back, and I'm not sure if he'll still be producing, maybe he'll keep at that. But for now, later on, Luc.
Monday, September 11, 2006
First of all, back in 1998 I made a short called The Family Dog. Had minor sucesses online at places like ifilm, atom & some other sites. It was about a guy who was meeting his girlfriend's parents for the 1st time. Even had an overflowing toilet.
Also in 1998 I wrote a script called Superhero Blues, which was a script with superheroes, but wacky! Soon after Mystery Men came out (bombed). Although my script did get into their personal lives more, one of them was divorced, one was a single guy, etc, their tome was similar.
In 1999 I wrote a script called The Go Getters about a group of geeky high school boys trying to get by through fresman year. You could say it had freaks & geeks in it.
I wrote a script called The Pirates Of Pissbottom two years before POTC (Part 1) came out.
Oh, and I can't forget my mob comedy about an outside-type who falls for a girl who doesn't know her family is in the mob (Mickey Blue Eyes, anyone?)
In 2001, I wrote & directed a short film called The Reappearance of Homer Pitts, about a boy who felt left out, bullied, and neglected, and thuse, turns invisible. When he realizes he is loved and missed by his family/friends, he reappears. Now, coming later this year? The Invisible! About a boy who........Get the picture?
Oh, and I can't forget about the script I wrote called There Goes Ruby Fields, about a wedding crasher who meets the girl of his dreams at a wedding he crashes.
Not that these scripts/stories are all that original, but it sucks to work on something and then see it come out first, pretty much deflating your idea.
Thank god I've got a better manager now, so hopefully I can actually get my work seen before somebody else freakin' thinks of the same idea.
This shit ever happen to you?
Friday, September 08, 2006
But there's plenty that should not be on there at all, in my opinion. Harry Potter/Goblet Of Fire? (#36, ahead of 16 Candles!). That's a HIGH SCHOOL movie? C'mon, I swore that was about magic (at a SCHOOL OF MAGIC). Do they have a football team? German Club? A Prom? A Morp?
And Back To The Future? (#28). In my opinion, I'd say that was about time traveling. I'll give them Friday Night Lights (#37), although any high school scenes in that movie were limited to montages of football players walking down a hallway. And I think the focus of that movie is football. On Friday night. With lights.
They did score with a bunch. Fast Times. Dazed & Confused. Heathers. Clueless. Say Anything. American Pie. Election. Rushmore. Brick. Here would be my list:
1. The Breakfast Club
2. Ferris Bueller
3. Say Anything
4. 16 Candles
6. Three O'Clock High
7. The Last American Virgin
8. Dazed & Confused
Also, two recent movies, Chumscrubber & Thumbsucker are growing on me and might someday may a list of this sort.
They also have Donnie Darko on their list, which is okay and it makes sense, but let me just say something about that movie........it's way overrated. Don't get me wrong, it's got some great moments in it, but it just doesn't hold together for me. And think about it, where would it be without the haunting "Mad World" cover at the end of it.
Anyway, what are some of your faves?
Wednesday, September 06, 2006
And now, these direct-to-dvd pieces of shit that basically piss all over the original movies, although most were garbage to begin with. I'm talking about that Roadhouse 2. 8mm 2 (Both with Jonathon "Where The Hell Did My Career Go?" Schaech). I also heard there's gonna be a Cutting Edge 2 (What the hell is the point?? It's got basically NO name recognition with the original ice skating epic!!).
Also: Legally Blonde 3, Into the Blue 2, Wargames 2 (actually a remake would be a better idea I think), Species 4. And I know there's another I Know What You Did Last Summer coming, I think it's called: I'M POSITIVE THAT YOU MAY HAVE DONE SOMETHING NEGATIVE IN THE RECENT PAST THAT YOU SHALL BE KILLED FOR.
Disney morons were guilty of this before the Pixar merger. They had Bambi 2, Cinderella 2 The Revenge, Leroy (!) and Stitch, and recently another Brother Bear, and of course their Alladins & Lion Kings 3.5 or whatever.
At least Disney seems to be stopping the madness after BB2, but are these other shit-flicks necessary? Will you really go out and rent 8mm 2? The first one bombed, remember? How could Part 2 possibly make any money? Christ, and all of us are out here still struggling with all these "ideas" coming out of Hollywood?
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
The cast and crew of an independent film production have more to worry about than the budget when a psychotic extra snaps and begins killing them off.
My basis of the script was dealing with an annoying extra on my own movie, called WAIT A MINUTE, the we made a trailer for 3+ years ago. After that, he would NOT stop bothering me. condtasntly asking if the trailer was finished, over, and over. The dude was BARELY in it (he was in a crowded dance club scene). If he's lucky, his shoulder might be glimpsed in a nano-second long shot. That's another post though - Extras.
So, the script is called HEADSHOT. Basically, as the premise suggests, an actor lands a gig as an extra on a small movie, but this guy is the most annoying person on Earth, gets on everyone's nerves, fucks up shots/scenes, etc. So he gets fired and bascially kills most of the cast & crew in his crazed revenge.
Now, it's not straight horror. It's really 75% comedy, 25% horror I'd say.
People have read the script, and their main concern is that we know who the killer is (his name is Dagnus Todd). SO? I mean, my point is NOT who the killer is, we know the guy is nutso at the beginning, I feel that the entertainment of the story is how/when he's going to snap, and who's going to survive. Nightmare on Elm St, Friday The 13th, Halloween, Chucky, etc - We know the killer.
Thoughts/reflections on this?
Saturday, September 02, 2006
Cool Movie now on cable: THE BAXTER
Cool Baseball Team to Cheer for: The Phils (be even better if they had some decent relief)
Now the reason for this post.......
I was thinking about some of the cool shows I watch nowadays (when Spongebob or Fairly Oddparents aren't clogging the TV). Entourage. Scrubs. Lost. The Office. And I'm happy that my guilty pleasure (What About Brian?) is returning. And I'm looking forward to some of the new stuff, like Studio 60 & 30 Rock. But it got me thinking back to stuff I used to watch, stuff like Miami Vice (yeah, it's dated, but it rocked), Cheers, and I loved that 'Nam show Tour Of Duty. The A-Team. Knight Rider. The Dukes!
But what show did I despise?? What did I hate hate hate? Only one show comes to mind. No, not Blossom, although Mayim or however you spell her name did get under my skin. And there are plenty of other lame comedies or boring dramas that leave a stench. But the one show that made me want to swallow a lit stick of dynamite was..(drumroll)..Small Wonder.
Oh my God how I wanted her to malfunction. Forever!
What's your worst TV show EVER?
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
CRICKET HILL Pilot - Waiting for final notes. It's a half-hour of comedy gold!
FOOD FIGHT - Manager has sent it out to agents. The big boys. We're talking ICM, Willy Morris, Endeavor, Gersch, and that upstart CAA, plus a couple smaller ones. Of course, they have to like it. Keep you posted.
ZUCKER - ALMOST done! I love this script, it's a fun comedy about a 40 year old realtor who falls in love with a 19 year old hottie. There's much more to it than that, at this point he's trying to outwit a hotman in the sewers of Mexico. Been tied up with FF & CH to properly finish it but since they're done for now, I'd like to end Zucker.
Westville -Formerly titled Skid Marks, I changed it because I realized it wasn't as broad or "gross-out." although it does have certain elements of that stuff, and as for the main plot, I must keep that underwraps.
Got some other ideas/partially written scripts in the works but I want to finish Zucker & Westville first.
Entourage Note - I loved this season, but got a bit pissed during the last episode - Drama was the only one making sense. Why fire Ari? Just for the "shock" of it (story-wise?)? He's been behind Vince all the way. And when he went behind "Bob's" back, he did so for the best of the project, and for Vince. He couldn't have that loser tagging along with them, killing his mojo during their meetings. Eric knew this, and witnessed Ari's magic when he landed them an offer. So to go and say "Oh let's fire Ari" in the final episode of this season, I thought it was kinda out of leftfield.
Saturday, August 26, 2006
28 WEEKS LATER - coming 2007.
Invincible - 14-16 Million.
DVD Review: V For Vendetta
Snooze. Quite boring. It thought it was a bit more important than it was. Script was lazy. V simply looked ridiculous, especially cooking eggs.
And now, about editors..........
My main suggestion to anyone about to make a flick, get signed contracts. This might be obvious, but some of y'all out there might be thinking about skipping this detail. Don't.
I got burned twice by editors, 2 different situations. Here's the 1st. We'll call this editor Bob. 'Cause that's his first name. Nice enough dude, good at cutting the scenes together (in his defense, I really gave him a lot of crap to work with). We verbally agreed on a price for the edit, but we never had a contract. And as the edit grew longer, the price went up. And he had me really, because, well, he had 75% of the movie edited at that point, and what was I gonna do, tell him to pound sand? Finding another editor (and paying them) at that point didn't seem worth it. So the price went up, I paid him in installments and finally the movie was done. This was 5 years ago now.
2nd bad experience was 2 years after. For this tale, we'll call this editor JD. 'Cause that's his initials. This situation was the opposite. He was hungry, fresh out of college, and eager to edit his 1st feature. Started off well, then he talked about needing $$. I was ok with that, the guy was putting a lot of time & effort so I paid him what he asked (wasn't much). Then he talked about moving to NY. He finally finished the rough cut. It had some things that needed fixing, but not too much. So it went back to him for the final cut.
Time passed, he was in NY at that point, working full time as an editor. But I was in no real rush so I let him work on it when he could. But he didn't. And the final cut that I eventually got STILL HAD 4 noticeably edits that needed to be completed. I left messages for him, no reply. E-mails. Nothing. Then his phone # changed and was unlisted. E-mails were returned as undeliverable. I've never even gone to another editor to finish this project, mainly due to the fact that I knew the thing wouldn't ever get sold anyway (it was a feature, ultra-low budget, and it showed) so I gave up on it.
So draw up some contracts if you're heading into production. We always had them, even for PAs, but for some reason those pesky editors slipped through my fingers. Never again!
And one thing you should do in order to make your editor's life easier - ORGANIZE. Countle$$ hours were spent (on that 1st project) sifting through footage trying to find the right shots, etc. Get yourself a great Script supervisor on-set, and BEFORE you go to your editor, you have all of your footage logged in great detail. It'll save you, trust me.
Some of this crap most of you will know, I just figured to post about it for those who might not think of it.
Thursday, August 24, 2006
Check out the site, and click on the trailer.
Oh well. I could always write a script about it. Hmm, titles. Pluto Rising? Pluto & Me? Saving Pluto? Fisting Pluto? Pluto Attacks? 'Cause it's pissed off at Earth, get it? And it wants some payback.
Excuse the lame post. Long day at work, and the Phillies lost today (Cole Hamels got crushed!).
Sunday, August 20, 2006
What a great freakin' film. Damn. Thomas Jane was amazing, and the rest of the cast was equally as kick-ass. Go find this movie and see it. But there's an exchange between Thomas Jane and one of his partners-in-crime toward the end of the movie (Jane is a cop in South Africa but has been robbing banks) that blew me away. They're escaping from the police in this scene and are speeding down endless highways at dawn. The writing here, and their performances, made the movie for me. Seek it out if you haven't already seen it. Great stuff.
Ever come across a movie that you had little or no info. about it, and it just blew you away?
Saturday, August 19, 2006
Figure next week as most horror/action flicks do it'll lose 60% of the box office and make 8-10, and by the end it'll be lucky to clear 50-60 million. Look, that ain't bad really, but after all these reports of Snakes bloggers/internet buzz changing the face of movies? Nah. Not with this one, anyway.
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
And they think I'll fall for it. STEP UP? Why the hell should I? I certainly didn't TAKE THE LEAD when you asked me to. And while we're on the subject, I didn't listen when you said RAISE YOUR VOICE. So there! And when you requested me to SAVE THE LAST DANCE, well, I didn't. And I did not, absolutely did not SING!
Friday, August 11, 2006
Cricket Hill tv pilot is next. I'm finishing my re-write of that this weekend. The director is in Canada this weekend, doing some re-shoots of his next movie.
As for my next original scripts, I've got 2 comedies coming. One is called Zucker - This has been almost done now for months, but I've been too busy with Cricket Hill & Food Fight to work on it seriously. It's been at page 80 since March! Also, I'm starting a fresh one called Skid Marks. I'll post a logline for it at a later date, all I can tell you is that it's gonna be funny as hell.
On the music front, I bought the new Youth Group album (Ebay) and eagerly awaits its arrival. They're Aussies, go buy their last album (Skeleton Jar). It's amazing. I'm also loving the new Killers' single.
On DVD, I saw Brick (awesome) and The Matador (terrific). Both worth a peek.
In TV land, Entourage is about the only thing I follow, along with baseball. Entourage is having a great season. Each episode has been solid. Kevin Dillon & Jeremy Piven rock.
Haven't seen any flicks in the theater lately, I'd like to see Ricky Bobby & WTC. My wife & kids saw Barnyard, said it was just ok. They skipped The Ant Bully (apparently so did everyone else).
Also, in my previous post regarding Melly Gibson I wrote that Sugartits was a good line (in the comments section). Got some flack for that (WG). I still think it's funny, but understand why it might be taken as offensive, however, it's such a ridiculous term/word, that I think it's hilarious. Sugartits. I mean, c'mon, what is a sugartit exactly? And as WG asked, what if I was called Needledick? Well, honestly, I'd laugh just as hard.
Saturday, August 05, 2006
Children of Men - this is one of those trailers that gives you the chills. Wow, can't freaking wait for this one. Click this to experience it. (The Sigor Ros music certainly helps, but still, it looks amazing).
In other news, my last draft of Food Fight went over wonderfully, just a few more weeks and we're going to get it to some agents (bigtime agents, Endeavor, ICM, we'll see) and after that? Who knows. I've got a damn good feeling about it though. Cricket Hill Pilot is just about lokced down, I'm finishing Act 4 this weekend.
By the way, I love the idea of Heath Ledger as The Joker in the upcoming gonna-kick ass movie, The Dark Knight. Nolan knows what he's doing.
Thursday, August 03, 2006
Okay, that Mel comment may have been uncalled for. Maybe not. I've always liked Mel, but it's hard to at this point. After Passion he seemed to sorta lose his mind. And Apoca-lame-o just isn't doing it for me. I mean, dude, your life is handed to you on a gold plate (he's loaded, in other words) the least he could do is NOT fuck it up.
And no, Dr. Phil, there was more than alcohol going on with Mel. You don't just start throwing around racial slurs 'cause you're drunk, sure, I'd buy him being an asshole and calling the cops "dicks" or whatever, but not lobbying out racial slurs (while slurring, no doubt). Plus I've seen footage of his ultra-racist Dad rambling on about how the Holocaust never happened, blah, blah, blah, so I'm sure this stuff was in Mel's head for quite some time.
Just got back from Virginia Beach, we were there a week. Good times, hit the ocean a lot with the fam, the kiddies had a blast checking out the dolphins that seemed to swim by constantly. A bit trashy though tourist-wise, I actually prefer the Outer Banks (Kitty Hawk) that we went to last Summer, but overall stilll a good time, and much better than most Jersey Shores (although Cape May rocks pretty hard).
So, check me out on myspace, add me as a friend or whatever and I'll do the same: http://www.myspace.com/pjrodio
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
And in about 5 weeks, we hope to go out with it. Why 5 weeks? 'Cause it's Summer, and he wants to take it out when it people aren't on their vacations, etc, which will be after Labor Day. Useless to send out a script if 50% of the people you want to read it ain't there!
Cricket Hill (pilot) is off to the director now, he's going to check out Acts 2 & 3 and after I get his notes, we'll lock down those acts. I got some good stuff in there, I'm pretty happy with it.
After all the Snakes On A Plane hype, how much do you think it'll actually make? I'm thinking not blockbuster money, more like the gross of a solid horror flick that opens semi-big then drops like a stone. Like, it'll make 20-25 in it's opening weekend, then sink to 10 the following and by the time it's out of theaters, maybe it'll clear 50-60. I could be wrong, but I doubt it. Besides the fun, trashy title, it looks like a pretty stupid movie that will fill it's opening weekend audience with college frat boys and internet hypesters (this is no 4 quadrant movie, like Pirates 2), then drop.
Two movies have truly caught my eyeballs, both coming in November. The first one is Stranger Than Fiction, which I've heard about for quite some time. Looks wonderful. And then, there's The Fountain. HOLY SHIT!! The trailer for that is simply amazing. If the movie's half as good, well, it'll be a pretty wild, beautiful ride. clcik on the movie titles below and you will go to joblo.com, both links have links to the trailers. Awesome stuff.
Sunday, July 23, 2006
The Hitcher - This movie grabs you by the balls and yanks. Good plot twists, and surprisngly unpredictable.
Near Dark - Kicks the shit out of The Lost Boys.
Aliens - James Cameron owns this. He took the series to a whole other level. It's a shame David Fincher came in and pissed all over it with Alien 3, but what can you do.
Run Lola Run - See it.
Reservoir Dogs - Pulp Fction doesn't kick ass in my book, although it's a superior movie to Dogs. But this movie shambles along, quickly, to it's awesome, bloody finale. And no, Kill Bill doesn't kick ass in my book because I didn't like Kill Bill at all. Although I did like...
From Dusk Til Dawn, written by QT and directed by Robert Rodriguez. It's a throwaway movie, but it has some balls.
The Bourne Supremacy - Bourne literally kicks ass, but the filmmaking here is also notable. Awesome car chase.
The Thing - "Maybe we shouldn't." Great characters. Perfect ending.
Danny Boyle's Trainspotting & 28 Days Later. Amazing stuff. But NOT The Beach, although that could have been a great movie. It wasn't.
Jaws - "Show me the way to go home........"
70s thrillers - The French Connection, Marathon Man, Three Days of the Condor
Dawn Of The Dead - This movie pulled me right in from it's amazing opening sequence to its tragic finale. Can't wait to see what he does with 300, coming in 2007.
Your turn - what kicks your ass?
Thursday, July 20, 2006
Here's some of mine............
My Fave: Mean Streets & Goodfellas
Least Fave: The Aviator
Flawed but underrated - Bringing Out The Dead
My Fave: 25th Hour, Crooklyn, Clockers
Least Fave: She Hate Me, Mo Better Blues
Underrated - Jungle Fever, Overrated - Do the Right Thing
Fave: Jaws, Close Encounters, Private Ryan, Empire Of The Sun, Raiders
Least Fave - AI, 1941
Overrated - The color Purple
Underrated - Munich
Fave - Out Of Sight, King of the Hill. The Limey, Traffic
Least - Solaris
Fave: Miller's X-ing, Barton Fink, Raising Arizona, O Brother, Fargo
Least Fave - Intolerable Cruelty (had some moments though)
Underrated: Hudsucker, The Ladykillers
Overrated: Blood Simple
Fave - A Simple Plan, Evil Dead
Least Fave: Darkman
Fave: The Untouchables, Casualties Of War, Carlito's Way
Least Fave: Dressed To Kill, Mission To Mars, Raising Cain
Underrated: Blow Out
Fave: The Fly
Least Fave: Naked Lunch
Overrated: History Of Violence
Fave: Gallipoli, Fearless, Dead Poets, Truman Show, The Last Wave, Witness, The Mosquito Coast
Least Fave: Green Card (it does have moments though), The Year Of Living Dangerously.
Fave - Manhattan, Annie Hall, Sleeper
Least Fave - Match Point, Celebrity, Everyone Says I Love You
Fave - Gung Ho, Willow, Apollo 13, Night Shift, Cocoon, Parenthood
Least - The Missing
Overrated - A Beautiful Mind
Fave - Planes Trains, 16 Candles, The Breakfast Club, She's Having A Baby
Least Fave: Curly Sue
Underrated: Christmas Vacation
Fave - The Thing, Escape From NY, Halloween
Least Fave - Escape From LA, Vampires
Underrated - They Live
Fave - Unforgiven
Least - Anything with a monkey, Garden/Good/Evil
Underrated - A Perfect World, Mystic River
Fave - Star Wars, American Graffitti
Least Fave - Eps 1, 2, 3
Francis Ford Coppola
Fave - Apocalypse Now, The Outsiders, The Conversation, Godfather 1 & 2
Least Fave - Jack, The Rainmaker, Rumble Fish, Godfather 3
Tuesday, July 18, 2006
Monday, July 17, 2006
What did you like about this script?
The author has a sly sense of humor that is incorporated into the script. One example: when Bean and Billy are at the top of Dead Man’s Hill, Bean complains that people have died there. “Tall tales,” counters Billy, until they hear a kid scream in the distance. “Mostly tall tales,” he amends. Another moment: when Grandpa puts vodka in everyone’s juice. Or when a clueless co-worker hurts herself and Oliver asks how she is. He gets the offhand reply, “Her hand was on fire.” To which he asks, not really caring either way, “You put it out.” The piece de resistance is the revelation-filled family dinner. Everyone confesses all from infidelities to homosexuality to incest to adoption, and it is all taken in stride as only things are in such a offbeat comedy.
This is an oddball family, but one where every character is distinct and interesting. Our hero Billy is, of course, the straight man in a family of crazies. The deaf and senile Grandpa. The ditzy daughter Anna. The sex and toaster obsessed father who lost his job and hasn’t worked up the courage to tell anyone. The teacher mom who deals with vomit and blood on a daily basis and doesn’t remember the names of her students. The former golden boy football star and valedictorian turned hippie Dave with his pregnant, older girlfriend. The only semi-sane brother Oliver who works at a burger joint with complete idiots and lusts after his sister. The two-time high school failure and closeted gay John. This script is reminiscent of Arrested Development. It has the same sort of offbeat collection of characters but ones who are likeable. In particular, Billy makes a good narrator, one who fits into his strange family but is also apart from it enough to be an impartial observer.
I often dislike voiceovers. There are usually employed as a cheap device to fill in holes the author neglected. In this case, Billy’s voiceover works. Especially in the opening sequence, he introduces us to all the family members and supporting characters with a brisk ease and dry wit that makes them memorable. The device with Billy writing a book about his family (a school project he simply couldn’t finish) makes sense as well. The author has crafted a compelling, smoothly-paced story. At 101 pages, it never grows tired or sluggish. The dialogue is witty and flows naturally. The description is enough to give us a clear mental image without getting bogged down in endless detail. Overall, this is a charming, humorous script with strong characters.
What do you think needs work?
For a relatively smart comedy, there is an over-reliance on low-grade toilet humor. Is it necessary to have quite so many fart/bathroom/etc. jokes? The humor plays to two completely different audiences. The smart, offbeat humor will appeal to the same fans of shows like The Simpsons or Arrested Development. The bathroom humor is going to attract teenage boys and not many others. I think it would be a mistake to turn off the first set of viewers with the inclusion of too much toilet humor.While most of the characters made a strong impression, a few didn’t ring true. In particular, Brooke comes across as a high school vixen, not at all subtle, and it seems silly. Why does she like Billy anyway? Teenage girls usually pursue older men, not younger. Dating a younger guy would be social suicide, and the fact that he’s your best friend’s brother is even worse. Plus, how many high school girls are so sexually advanced and blatant? This character seemed silly and over-the-top. Chad Gross was your typical gross teenage bully. His character, while stereotypical, is fine. My question was what does Daphne see in him? She’s into Billy, Billy’s into her. But since he hasn’t gotten his act together and asked her out, she’s dating Chad. Chad is nothing like Billy. If she likes Billy, she’s unlikely to like Chad and vice versa. For a smart-seeming girl, she looks idiotic to hook up with this guy.
A small problem character-wise is that a few of the family members seem different once we get into the story than they do in Billy’s opening introduction. Anna is presented as an empty-headed, ditzy cheerleader, but after the opening sequence, she never seems quite so air-headed. John is shown as a high school failure (on his second or third go-around of senior year), flicking boogers at others for amusement. Basically, your typical stupid teenage boy. Yet, he actually appears to be more sensitive in the bulk of the script than the opener gives him credit for. In fact, he turns out to be gay, something that, based on the opening introduction, is completely unexpected and out of thin air.
This week, I'm busy locking down acts 2 & 3 of the Cricket Hill pilot. It's still a blast to write after all this time (I originally wrote in in 2003) and now that we're creating a TV show out of it, it's really fun to open it up and expand the characters and their situations.
I'd recommended BlueCat when it rolls around next year, as you can see it offers some decent feedback, plus the entry fee is sweet ($35).
Sunday, July 16, 2006
Both The Fountain and The Prestige look amazing. Can't wait to see both.
Pirates 2 just blew past 250+ million, of course, in record time. Depending on how it holds up against Boredom In the Water, Monster House, Clerks 2, and Super Ex, it should be past 300 million soon. Will it hit 400? We'll see how it holds up.
Meanwhile Superman might (MIGHT) finish with 200 million. I swore that would have made more $$. Cars in still cruising with 220 million and counting.
Chow Yun Fat has been cast in Pirates 3 as a pirate captain, which I think will be pretty damn cool.
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
Firebirds - Nicholas Cage, Sean Young, Tommy Lee Jones, and some Apache helicopters. Dreadful.
A Kiss Before Dying - Sean Young (See a pattern?). Terrible, terrible.
Meatballs 4 - Featuring Corey Feldman and that levitating alien freak, what a great way to take a huge shit all over the original movie (which I liked). Parts 2 & 3 (featuring a young, awkward, Patrick Dempsey) were bad enough, but this cockscab of a movie brings it to a whole new sub-level of bad.
Mac & Me - Diarrhea on film.
Darkman - I may have liked it when it first came out years ago (1991?),and if that's the case I was young and stupid. I saw it last year and what a horribly made/acted/directed/written/shot piece of garbage.
Alien 3 - I still hate this movie. I don't care if ol' Fincher had to re-cut or if the movie was taken away from him, etc, etc. The plot sucked, and it took the story from the 1st two AMAZING FILMS and flushed it all down the toilet. I actually enjoyed Alien 4 much more than this crap.
Alien Vs. Predator - Stupid. Please don't make another. Too late? dammit!
Vertical Limit - Okay, your sister is trapped on a mountain so you piss and moan until you can assemble a team of climbers to help you go get her, and you get MOST of them killed in the process. Nice going, douche. when I saw this in the theater I also noticed the BOOM POLE or an actual film crew member in 80% of the shots, and I'm not lying.
Superman 4 - Quest 4 Peace - Christ Almighty. The battle with Blonde Man was lame enough, but did they notice that a HUMAN BEING was brought up into SPACE and was just floating there, not dying???
The Village - I think M.Night is an awesome director, I just wish he'd stop writing.
Catwoman - Meeooowch! I don't mind watching Halle Berry prance around in tight leather, but have her fight a villain better than - A cosmetics empire?!?!?! Directed by Pitof. 'Nuff said.
Wing Commander - Dumb as a bag of dead monkeys.
A Lot Like Love - Actually harmful to watch.
Chicago - God, how I despised this.
High Tension - Poor taste, and crappy, too.
Shark boy & Lava Girl - I like Robert Rodriguez but this was simply a crap movie.
Iron Eagle 3: Aces - Poor Louis Gossett, Jr.
Most John Waters movies. No, wait, all of them.
That's all I can come up with off the top of my head. I'm sure I'll think of more. What are some of yours??
Monday, July 10, 2006
Well, it's landing at 132 million.
Saw the movie last night - Loved it. Great stuff happening in there. The Perfect Summer movie, and a perfect compliment to the 1st film, and I eagerly await to see what they come up with in the final installment, "At World's End."
Orlando Bloom has some nice stuff in here, his scenes with Stellan Skaarsgard are great, and this movie fleshes out some stuff we've heard about in the first movie. I like Bloom, shame he got stuck in the clunker, Elizabethtown, but I don't see that as his fault, that was more of Cameron Crowe's blunder.
Keira, sweet as always, and her character's actions are interesting to see.
Loved Bill Nighy as Davey Jones. Wow. Incredible work by him as well as the F/X team.
Depp - What can you say. Still owns this role, and his I did like what they did with his character here.
Gore Verbinski should get a special commendation for steering this ship, he's got so much well-choreographed action sequences going on at the same time throughout, it was a delight to see. Also, if you think he can only do big Summer flicks, check out The Weather Man, which he directed last year.
Was it a perfect movie? No, but it was fun as hell. Better than the 1st? I'd say it's a good companion piece. It's what a Summer movie should be.
Also, stick around through the end credits, there's a little something at the end that's quite funny.
Saturday, July 08, 2006
Friday, July 07, 2006
The following is from Bluecat, regarding The Money Shot (originally written in 2000). In a nutshell - college student loses financial aid & tries to make a porn:
WHAT DID YOU LIKE ABOUT THIS SCRIPT?
It’s definitely got some funny moments - there’s some good character based humor, as well as some laugh out loud slapstick scenarios. The premise of a group of film students shooting a clandestine porn film on the side isn’t particularly original, but it is handled with a genuine affection for its subject matter, and enough fresh angles that the overall script didn’t feel as though it had all been done before.
The characters were diverse and most of the major ones had some interesting levels to them. The relationship and interaction between Kenny and his friends was well presented and intriguing. The dialogue and tone was consistent and for the most part well matched to the characters, although there were some issues. (See part two.) The characters didn’t all sound the same - a frequent problem in many scripts. Boston’s snappy one-liners were funny, and the excruciating dialogue of Kenny’s parents in front of Megan was perfectly over-the-top. The action and description was clear, well written, and visual; and the story was easy to follow without any confusing or distracting scenes. There was a good balance between physical humor and dialogue/character humor, and some funny, original scenarios, usually plausibly constructed. The “Adam and Eve” scene on page 77 was very funny - although I think it could’ve been pushed even further. In general, I didn’t feel the story line lagged or slowed down at any point, and the tension of how long they could get away with their film-making unnoticed was nicely sustained. The opening scene was great, and a nice way to introduce the varied characters, as well as set the tone and subject matter of the script. The bracketing of Kenny’s voiceover in the opening and closing scenes works well thematically to tie the script together, and offers a nicely unexpected heartwarming feeling about the joys of sitting back with a group of friends and watching midget porn. Who would’ve thought?
WHAT DO YOU THINK NEEDS WORK?
There are some character inconsistencies. Grace is set up as an uptight prude - we meet her as she’s organizing a protest against the local go-go bar. When we find her smoking pot on page 82, it’s out of character. We can believe her and Gabriel’s tryst in the gym - the uptight prude turns out to be suppressing desires that have got the better of her - but her getting stoned just didn’t seem believable. The Dean’s dialogue doesn’t read realistically at many points - even considering that his character is preachy and didactic.
There might be a benefit to having an actor (or friend) read the lines aloud, and listening to whether or not they flow naturally. There’s also a problem throughout the story of the stakes involved. They never seemed high enough, which weakens the drama. What are the consequences of Kenny not graduating for another six months? Yeah, it sucks, but a whole lot of students don’t graduate on time, and life works out. He needs to have a strong emotional reason - gaining his father’s respect, winning true love, something powerful, something meaningful for Kenny, whatever that might be. Along with higher stakes for accomplishing his goals, there needs to be higher risks if he fails. In fact, there needs to be more risk for all the characters, and the risks need to escalate throughout the film. As it is now, it’s difficult for the audience to truly care about their situation and whether or not their porno succeeds. (I’d argue that the first “Revenge of the Nerds” was a much better movie than its sequels largely because in the first one the two main characters were fighting for one’s father’s respect, and the other’s first true love; in the sequel, they were fighting for an inter-fraternity competition.) If Kenny’s emotional life hangs in the balance between succeeding and failing, then we have a reason to root for him to succeed. The script, as it is now, would make a cute movie, but it could be much more.
Pretty good notes. I disagree slightly on their take of Grace; at that point in the script she has sorta lost all hope, and the point was that although she was a prude she was a closet pothead. Their main concern was with the "stakes." I agree with them to a point, although in the script I did make several mentions of a huge job opportunity for Kenny upon graduating, but if they're mentioning it as a negative then I should make that clearer.
As for Writers On The Storm - Good contest, cheap entry (like Bluecat, it was $35) and they give feedback (not as in depth, but it's nice to hear ANY notes on your screenplay. They did mention that they had 907 entries, and that 210 made the quarter-finals, and that mine came in at 250. Not too shabby.
"A well-written, entertaining script. the dialogue is sharp and many of the scenes have a good amount of conflict. The tension is good throughout most of the script, but some of the structure is off. Overall, it was a fun read. Good effort and good luck." Their scoring came down to checkmarks in the GOOD categories for Premise, Characters, and Dialogue, and SO-SO for Structure.
Well, they were right about the structure, but the script was never your typical 3-act Syd Field blueprint, and that was on purpose. But that's also the reason why when Prospect Pictures decided to take it on, they said it makes a better TV series than a feature, and since I started developing it with them as a TV pilot, I couldn't agree more!
I am awaiting Cricket Hill Bluecat feedback, and when I get that I'll post that, too.
Okay, I'm done. I'm hoping to catch Pirates 2 this weekend with the wife, and it's my B-day on Sat! Go on, say it!