I’M SUPER. THANKS FOR ASKING: The Lego Batman Movie and Logan


For questions: hcasner@aol.com
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 original campaign.
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?  FosCheck 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 LEGO Batman Movie is not a sequel to the wonderful, OMG can you still not believe it not only didn’t win Best Animated Feature at the 2014 Oscars, it wasn’t even nominated, The Lego Movie, but, rather, the newest entry in the franchise. For those of you into esoteric movie references, that’s like the difference between Road to Zanzibar and, say, After the Thin Man.
The Lego Movie was a film that wouldn’t stop and carried you along on its ridiculous back never giving you time to think about it. It had something to say about being a drone versus being a child again, but what made it work was the theme being so secondary you might have missed it and not realize (as one politician didn’t) that the main song, Everything is Awesome, was ironic.
The LEGO Batman movie starts out the same way as action, action, action drives the story backed by a great deal of wit and cleverness. And the opening scenes suggest a movie with all the positives and pleasures of the first one. Continue reading

THE HOWIES or THE BEST IN FILM 2016


top-50-screenwriting-blogsFor 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
The movie seasons seems to now have settled into three periods of time. The first third is made up of the leftovers from the award season as the Oscars fast approach.
The second third is generally made up of tentpole/big studio type films with more and more counterprogramming for those more interested in independent and foreign films, and even more so as the distributors realize that there are still a lot of older filmgoers out there yet going to the theater (as well as growing niche markets for the diversity crowd).
This reverses in the final third, the months leading up to awards season, in which the distributors pull out their prestige pictures and Oscar bait films. This time the counterprogramming is for the more youthful market who tend to go to tentpole/big studio type films.
I don’t know how long this will last or what further changes will come about due to the rise of television and live streaming, but que sera sera.
And so to the point, my best of the year. Continue reading

My recommendations for film watching this week in L.A. 2/26-3/4/16


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 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. Only $2.99. http://ow.ly/xN31r,
 
And check out my script consultation services http://ow.ly/HPxKE
My recommendations for movie watching this week in L.A. 2/26-3/4/16
ff 1ON NETFLIX: Bus Stop, written by George Axelrod (from a play by William Inge) and directed by Joshua Logan, is one of Marilyn Monroe’s greatest performances. In it, she plays Cherie, an absolutely awful singer (her rendition of That Old Black Magic has to be seen to be believed) who finds she has earned the attraction of a somewhat naïve rancher who wants to marry her though he barely knows her. It all resolves itself at the title location. With an excellent supporting cast, Eileen Heckart, Arthur O’Connell, Hope Lange, Hans Conreid and Don Murray in the Oscar nominated role of the rancher.
ff 2ON HULU: Mommy is French Canadian Writer/Director, as well as wunderkind, Xavier Dolan’s best film since his first, I Killed My Mother (yeah, I know, kind of makes you think). A widowed mother has to decide what to do with her mentally troubled son. She sees hope when a neighbor seems to have a calming effect, but things do not quite go as she would like.
ff 4SPECIAL SHOWINGS: The Oscar nominated short subjects (live actions, documentaries and animation) will be shown in various locations and theaters up until the Academy Awards are held
ff 3FIRST RUN and OPENING: Eddie the Eagle, Only Yesterday, Deadpool, Where to Invade Next, A War Continue reading

THERE WILL BE BLOOD: Deadpool


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
rev 4I’m sure that Deadpool isn’t the first post-modern comic book movie, but I’m sure it has to be one of the most obvious ones, one that absolutely revels and glows in all its post-modernism glory. It not only feels as if it comments on such films, it feels as if it comments on comments on such films.
The style and tone is set by the opening credits which aren’t made up of the names of the people who actually did what the credits claim they do, but are more generically described. I don’t remember them exactly, but there was God’s Perfect Idiot as the star; The Obligatory Cameo; Asshats as the producers, and perhaps my favorites, the Screenplay is by the Real Heroes of the Movie, while the direction is by an Overpaid Tool. Continue reading

My recommendations for film watching this week in L.A. 2/19-2/26/16


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 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. Only $2.99. http://ow.ly/xN31r,
 
And check out my script consultation services http://ow.ly/HPxKE
My recommendations for movie watching this week in L.A. 2/19-2/26/16
ff 1ON NETFLIX: Writer/director Rick Famuyiwa’s comedy Dope is one of the best films of 2015. It revolves around three “nerds” trying to navigate high school who find themselves caught up in a drug conflict after they try to be cool. A fun film with sharp dialog and characterizations.
ff 2ON HULU: Blow Out is perhaps one of writer/director Brian de Palma’s best films. Starring John Travolta as a sound engineer for movies who one night accidentally records a gun shot that causes a car accident and the near death of a party girl, Nancy Allen. A tribute to both Alfred Hitchcock movies about an average man who finds himself caught up in something bigger than he is, as well as the movie Blow Up, about a photographer who accidentally takes of something he maybe shouldn’t have, it’s taught, fun movie.
ff 4SPECIAL SHOWINGS: The Oscar nominated short subjects (live actions, documentaries and animation) will be shown in various locations and theaters up until the Academy Awards are held
ff 3FIRST RUN and OPENING: The Witch, Embrace of the Serpent, Race, Risen, Deadpool, Where to Invade Next, A War Continue reading

My recommendations for film watching this week in L.A. 2/12-2/19/16


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 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. Only $2.99. http://ow.ly/xN31r,
 
And check out my script consultation services http://ow.ly/HPxKE
My recommendations for movie watching this week in L.A. 2/12-2/19/16
ff 1ON NETFLIX: Une Nuit (or Paris at Night) written by Philippe Isard, Simon Michael and the director Philippe Lefbevre, is a slow burn of a movie about a vice officer (Roschdy Zem) who goes about his usual night trying to avoid a trap that has been laid for him with Internal Affairs and trying to keep a lid on Parisian nightlife. I found it a fascinating look at this aspect of Paris after hours, with an almost documentary feel to it.
ff 2ON HULU: Elevator to the Gallows, written by Roger Nimier and Louis Malle (from a book by Noel Calef) is Malle’s first feature, and quite a debut. It’s a film noir about a man who kills his mistress’ husband and then things start going a little wrong when an elevator doesn’t quite work as he might wish. With Jeanne Moreau and Maurice Ronet as the lovers.
ff 4SPECIAL SHOWINGS: The Oscar nominated short subjects (live actions, documentaries and animation) will be shown in various locations and theaters up until the Academy Awards are held
ff 3FIRST RUN and OPENING: Deadpool, Where to Invade Next, Boy and the World, Bad Hurt, Glassland, Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom, A War, Already Tomorrow in Hong Kong Continue reading