NOTHING UP HIS SLEEVE: My take on the Woody Allen film Magic in the Moonlight


First, a word from our sponsors. 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
Warning: SPOILERS
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God is dead, Nietzsche; Nietzsche is dead, God.
         Bathroom Graffiti

 

Woody Allen, almost a national treasure now as far as I’m concerned, has always been something of a clever parodist.
He can imitate anything, both seriously and satirically, from Bergman (Love & Death, Interiors and Husbands and Wives amongst a ton of others) to Fellini (Stardust Memories) to Kafka and Bertolt Brecht (Shadows and Fog) to documentaries (Take the Money and Run and Zelig) to almost anything else.
Now we have a new set of authors that Allen has mined for a movie. His latest foray into cinematic creativity, Magic in the Moonlight, a story about a magician trying to prove that a psychic is a fraud in the 1920’s south of France, is basically Noel Coward and Somerset Maughm with a lead character that is straight out of Shaw’s Pygmalion as if written by Nietzsche. Continue reading

THIS IS MY INTERVIEW WITH HILLIARD GUESS and LISA BOLEKAJA on the podcast SCREENWRITERS RANT ROOM on my book Rantings and Ravings of a Screenplay Reader and various and sundry other topics


First, a word from our sponsors. 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

screenwriters rant roomRecently, I did an interview on Screenwriters Rant Room with host (and writer/producer/director) Hilliard Guess and co-host and writer Lisa Bolekaja on my book Rantings and Ravings of a Screenplay Reader as well as other various and sundry topics.  It was a great interview and I had a lot of fun.  Please give a listen.  http://bit.ly/HOWARD16.

 

 

 

 

 

UntitledAnd remember to purchase my book Rantings and Ravings of a Screenplay Reader.

WILD JACKS, DRAMA QUEENS and KING OF KINGS: Guardians of the Galaxy, The Dog and Calvary


First, a word from our sponsors. 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

Warning: SPOILERS
guardians-of-the-galaxy-hed-2014Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them
               Malvolio in Twelfth Night, William Shakespeare
Well, I’m not sure I want to go over to actor Chris Pratt’s house for the holidays. After starring in both Guardians of the Galaxy and The Lego Movie, I strongly suspect there’s going to be no living with him.
Guardians of the Galaxy is the latest in the summer blockbusters the studios tend to set upon us now that it is, well…summer, I guess. The main difference is that GOT Galaxy (as I call it, or just started calling it cause it sounds kind of neat) has it’s tongue far more firmly planted in its cheek than in most summer blockbusters—and that’s saying a lot if you take Iron Man into consideration.
How good is it? Well, on a scale of one to ten, it’s not as good as The Lego Movie or X-Men: Days of Future Past, but it’s better than Edge of Tomorrow (or Live Die Repeat as the Cruise control movie seems to be called now that it’s being released on home video). Continue reading

MY INTERVIEW ON CRAFT TRUCK with JESSE IKEMAN on my book RANTINGS AND RAVINGS OF A SCREENPLAY READER


First, a word from our sponsors. 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

This is the interview I did on the podcast Craft Truck with Jesse Ikeman on my book Rantings and Ravings of a Screenplay Reader.  It was a great interview.  Thanks, Jesse.

http://ow.ly/AhUFA

craft truck

THEY’RE EITHER TOO YOUNG OR TOO OLD: My take on the movies of Boyhood and Land Ho


First, a word from our sponsors. 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

Warning: SPOILERS
Two movies have opened recently in which your equal and opposite reaction to them will probably depend on how you feel about the central characters. In both cases, I have to admit that this was the one area where both films came up a bit short for me.
boyhood“You gotta have a gimmick/If you want to get ahead”
                              Stephen Soundheim, Gypsy
In Boyhood, a coming of age drama written and directed by slacker fabulist Richard Linklater, the same cast was filmed over a period of one year less a baker’s dozen in order to make the movie. By doing so, Linklater created his story in such a way that we see the same actor, Ellar Coltrane, grow and change right before our eyes as he plays the lead Mason.
In other words, Boyhood is a movie with a gimmick. Continue reading

MY INTERVIEW FROM ON THE SET WITH JASPER COLE for my book RANTINGS AND RAVINGS OF A SCREENPLAY READER


First, a word from our sponsors. 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

 

I did this interview July 20, 2014 for my book Rantings and Ravings of a Screenplay Reader with Jasper Cole and Ralph Cole, Jr.  It was a lot of fun and I’d go back anytime.

 

My portion of the interview starts around the 37.00 mark.  Enjoy and let me know what you think.