My recommendations for film watching this week in L.A. 10/30-11/6/15


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My recommendations for movie watching this week in L.A. 10/30-11/6/16
suburraON NETFLIX: Suburra (translated as Samurai) is about an Italian mobster trying to bring together various factions in order to turn a seaside resort into an Atlantic City. To do so requires corruption at all levels of society, from the government to the Vatican. But in the days counting down to an important Senate vote on a new budget Suburra needs and the stepping down of Pope Benedict XVI, a Senator central to the project has an assignation with two prostitutes. When one of them, underaged, dies from a drug overdose, it leads to a series of events that threatens Suburra’s goal. The screenplay by Giancarlo De Cataldo, Carlo Bonini, Sandro Petaglio and the director Stefano Sollima creates a first rate crime thriller of an almost epic nature.
theatre of bloodON HULU: Just in time for Halloween, Theatre of Blood is not a good movie. In fact, it’s probably a pretty terrible one, but it’s one of those terrible ones that is great fun to watch over and over again. A ham Shakespearian actor commits suicide after terrible reviews of his latest season. But when the critics are being killed off one by one in ways parallel to the final sets of plays the actor starred in, one wonders whether he really is dead. With Vincent Price (of course) as the actor, Diana Rigg as his daughter, and a host of familiar British faces as the victims. Directed by Douglas Hickox and written by Anthony Greville-Bell.
afiSPECIAL NOTE: The AFI Film Festival box office opens Monday, October 2. This is a great festival, especially since all the tickets are free.
tab hunterFIRST RUN and OPENING: The Wonders, The Russian Woodpecker, Tab Hunter Confidential, Bridge of Spies, Room, The Final Girls, The Martian Continue reading

A BRIDGE NOT FAR ENOUGH: Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks, Oscar Season and Bridge of Spies


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
bosIt is now autumn in America. This means that leaves are changing their colors and becoming richer and deeper in tone; that we are transitioning in time between the salad days of yore and winter’s cold meat of the future until we again reach spring when life sprouts once more anew; and that the youth of yesteryear is giving way to middle aged thoughtfulness.
Yes, it’s a metaphor for the state of movies in the U.S. We have now departed the blockbuster summer where the most desirable demographic took center stage, to the more melancholic and self-contemplative movies that appeal more to the mature in us.
Now, there is one thing that should first be stated here, shouted from the rooftop in clarion clarity. This does not mean that the movies will be getting any better. No matter what people will claim, subject matter and weightiness is in no way a guarantee of quality.
In fact, I predict that you won’t be finding many American Hollywood films that will surpass Spies and The Martian.
But change is still upon us.
One of the reasons for this, though not the only reason, is that another name for the season we are now entering is called Oscar. It is the period when studios and major independents are releasing their prestige pictures in order to get as many nominations as they can, because if they don’t get nominations, then they can’t justify making movies about important subjects since they rarely make as much money as The Avengers or Captain America. Continue reading