NEW YORK, NEW YORK, A HELL OF A TOWN: The Dark Tower and Good Time


First, a word from our sponsors: I am now offering a new consultation service: so much emphasis has been given lately to the importance of the opening of your screenplay, I now offer coverage for the first twenty pages at the cost of $20.00.  For those who don’t want to have full coverage on their screenplay at this time, but want to know how well their script is working with the opening pages, this is perfect for you.  I’ll help you not lose the reader on page one. 
Ever wonder what a reader for a contest or agency thinks when he reads your screenplay?  Check out my new e-book published on Amazon: Rantings and Ravings of a Screenplay Reader, including my series of essays, What I Learned Reading for Contests This Year, and my film reviews of 2013.  Only $2.99. http://ow.ly/xN31r
 
and check out my Script Consultation Services: http://ow.ly/HPxKE
 
Warning: SPOILERS
The Dark Tower is proof of an observation I’ve made of Hollywood at its worst. They take a filmmaker, often foreign, who has gained attention, often with a body of impressive work. Then, as punishment for this sin, they bring the filmmaker to the U.S. and give him any old crap to film.
The filmmaker referenced here is Denmark’s Nicolaj Arcel, who has either written or directed, or both, such noteworthy fare as the original The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, A Royal Affair, and the Department Q trilogy.
The crap he’s been entrusted with has already been mentioned.
All right, that’s not exactly accurate. The Dark Tower is not crap. It’s not really anything. It’s just kind of there…like limbo. Continue reading

MURDER MOST FOUL: Wind River, Lady Macbeth and Harmonium


For questions: hcasner@aol.com
First, a word from our sponsors: I am now offering a new service: so much emphasis has been given lately to the importance of the opening of your screenplay, I now offer coverage for the first twenty pages at the cost of $20.00.  For those who don’t want to have full coverage on their screenplay at this time, but want to know how well their script is working with the opening pages, this is perfect for you.  I’ll help you not lose the reader on page one. 
 
Ever wonder what a reader for a contest or agency thinks when he reads your screenplay?  Check out my new e-book published on Amazon: Rantings and Ravings of a Screenplay Reader, including my series of essays, What I Learned Reading for Contests This Year, and my film reviews of 2013.  Only $2.99. http://ow.ly/xN31r
 
and check out my Script Consultation Services: http://ow.ly/HPxKE
 
Warning: SPOILERS
Wind River is Taylor Sheridan’s third screenplay, but the first of his that he directed himself. It revolves around the discovery of the body of a female Native American, 18 years old, found dead in the snow, barefoot, having run who knows how many miles. So what happened to her and how did she end up there?
That’s certainly a good start for a who done it. And overall, Wind River is entertaining enough. It’s not really boring.
But I’m not convinced it really comes together that satisfactorily. Continue reading

BURN, BABY, BURN: Detroit


For questions: hcasner@aol.com
First, a word from our sponsors: I am now offering a new service: so much emphasis has been given lately to the importance of the opening of your screenplay, I now offer coverage for the first twenty pages at the cost of $20.00.  For those who don’t want to have full coverage on their screenplay at this time, but want to know how well their script is working with the opening pages, this is perfect for you.  I’ll help you not lose the reader on page one. 
 
Ever wonder what a reader for a contest or agency thinks when he reads your screenplay?  Check out my new e-book published on Amazon: Rantings and Ravings of a Screenplay Reader, including my series of essays, What I Learned Reading for Contests This Year, and my film reviews of 2013.  Only $2.99. http://ow.ly/xN31r
 
and check out my Script Consultation Services: http://ow.ly/HPxKE
 
Warning: SPOILERS
Two movies have opened within two weeks of each other, both by recognized filmmakers and both based on actual events.
However, apart from the fact that their titles are single words of two syllables each beginning with the letter “D”, the two couldn’t be more different in approach, tone and style.
One is writer/director Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk and the second, more recently, is writer Mark Boal’s and director Kathryn Bigelow’s Detroit.
And though Nolan’s movie is a masterful piece of filmmaking, impressive and even ultimately quite moving, it is ferociously put to shame by Boal and Bigelow’s Detroit. Continue reading

LIFE’S A BEACH: Dunkirk


First, a word from our sponsors: I am now offering a new consultation service: so much emphasis has been given lately to the importance of the opening of your screenplay, I now offer coverage for the first twenty pages at the cost of $20.00.  For those who don’t want to have full coverage on their screenplay at this time, but want to know how well their script is working with the opening pages, this is perfect for you.  I’ll help you not lose the reader on page one. 
Ever wonder what a reader for a contest or agency thinks when he reads your screenplay?  Check out my new e-book published on Amazon: Rantings and Ravings of a Screenplay Reader, including my series of essays, What I Learned Reading for Contests This Year, and my film reviews of 2013.  Only $2.99. http://ow.ly/xN31r
 
and check out my Script Consultation Services: http://ow.ly/HPxKE
 
Warning: SPOILERS
Is Dunkirk, writer/director Christopher Nolan’s version of one of the biggest military disasters of all time that, somehow, near miraculously, became a symbol of one of the biggest military triumphs of all time, any good?
Or does that matter and the movie, at least at this moment in time, is somewhat beyond criticism?
The film is certainly a monumental achievement, but ironically its due to Nolan’s minimalist approach to drama, with little dialog, no backstory and vistas of groups of soldiers lined up along the beach as if they were waiting for a bus.

Continue reading

THE APES OF WRATH: War for the Planet of the Apes


First, a word from our sponsors: I wanted to say thank you to everyone who contributed to our Indiegogo campaign for 15 Conversations in 10 Minutes. We did very well due to you folks. For those who weren’t able to give, keep us in your thoughts. And if you are able to contribute in the future, contact me and I’ll tell you how. I will even honor the perks on the

I am now offering a new consultation service: so much emphasis has been given lately to the importance of the opening of your screenplay, I now offer coverage for the first twenty pages at the cost of $20.00.  For those who don’t want to have full coverage on their screenplay at this time, but want to know how well their script is working with the opening pages, this is perfect for you.  I’ll help you not lose the reader on page one. 

Ever wonder what a reader for a contest or agency thinks when he reads your screenplay?  Check out my new e-book published on Amazon: Rantings and Ravings of a Screenplay Reader, including my series of essays, What I Learned Reading for Contests This Year, and my film reviews of 2013.  Only $2.99. http://ow.ly/xN31r

 

and check out my Script Consultation Services: http://ow.ly/HPxKE

 
Warning: SPOILERS
I am well aware as to what the critics and my fellow movie goers feel about War for the Planet of the Apes.
And I don’t care.
As far as I’m concerned, this second sequel and third prequel of the Planet of the Apes franchise written by Mark Bomback and the director Matt Reeves is perhaps one of the worst films of the year. Continue reading

O WHAT A TANGLED WEB WE WEAVE: Baby Driver and Spider-Man: Homecoming


First, a word from our sponsors: I wanted to say thank you to everyone who contributed to our Indiegogo campaign for 15 Conversations in 10 Minutes. We did very well due to you folks. For those who weren’t able to give, keep us in your thoughts. And if you are able to contribute in the future, contact me and I’ll tell you how. I will even honor the perks on the
I am now offering a new consultation service: so much emphasis has been given lately to the importance of the opening of your screenplay, I now offer coverage for the first twenty pages at the cost of $20.00.  For those who don’t want to have full coverage on their screenplay at this time, but want to know how well their script is working with the opening pages, this is perfect for you.  I’ll help you not lose the reader on page one. 
Ever wonder what a reader for a contest or agency thinks when he reads your screenplay?  Check out my new e-book published on Amazon: Rantings and Ravings of a Screenplay Reader, including my series of essays, What I Learned Reading for Contests This Year, and my film reviews of 2013.  Only $2.99. http://ow.ly/xN31r
 
and check out my Script Consultation Services: http://ow.ly/HPxKE
 
Warning: SPOILERS
I can certainly see why people are so in love with Baby Driver, the new heist film from writer/director Edgar Wright. It’s about as stylish as you can get, and with a stylishness that has a bouncy feel good quality to it that gets you to sit up in your seat, tap your foot and just generally groove out.
It begins with a bank robbery and a car chase orchestrated to a song chosen by the title character (a getaway driver with pouty lips and baby face). It’s followed soon after by a one take with said character bopping down the street to another song, barely dodging people on the street, and backed by some nice gymnastics (this is important because there comes a time when suddenly he’s bumping into people right and left, signaling a sea change within the character).
Everything is calculated and carefully choreographed to be cool and hip. And it is pretty cool. In fact, the movie is not only pretty cool, it’s fully aware as to how cool it is and revels in this coolness to such an extent that it knows that the audience knows that it knows just how cool it is. Continue reading

BEWITCHED, BOTHERED AND BEGUILEDED: The Beguiled and The Big Sick


For questions: hcasner@aol.com
First, a word from our sponsors: I am now offering a new service: so much emphasis has been given lately to the importance of the opening of your screenplay, I now offer coverage for the first twenty pages at the cost of $20.00.  For those who don’t want to have full coverage on their screenplay at this time, but want to know how well their script is working with the opening pages, this is perfect for you.  I’ll help you not lose the reader on page one. 
 
Ever wonder what a reader for a contest or agency thinks when he reads your screenplay?  Check out my new e-book published on Amazon: Rantings and Ravings of a Screenplay Reader, including my series of essays, What I Learned Reading for Contests This Year, and my film reviews of 2013.  Only $2.99. http://ow.ly/xN31r
 
and check out my Script Consultation Services: http://ow.ly/HPxKE
 
Warning: SPOILERS
The original film The Beguiled was directed by Don Siegel and starred Clint Eastwood, from a novel by Thomas Cullinan. It was an attempt by Eastwood to do something more interesting than the man with no name and Dirty Harry. And there is something fascinating about it. Whether one likes it or not, one can’t quite look away.
The basic premise is that a wounded Northern soldier ends up being taken in by the remaining inhabitants of an all girl’s boarding school located in the South during the Civil War. The longer he stays, the more he arouses the repressed sexuality of the women, which simmers and simmers until all sorts of conflicts break out of the Southern Gothic variety.
The main reason for what success the original movie had is the somewhat ridiculous, yet effectively hothouse approach to the story. It was over the top, but took itself quite seriously, while having the advantage of Geraldine Page in one of the lead roles. As like so many films at the time, there was something of a drive-in movie feel to it, but with larger aspirations. Continue reading