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 movie watching this week in L.A. 9/11-9/18/2015


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. 9/11-9/18/2015
dear white peopleON NETFLIX: Writer/director Justin Simien’s Dear White People is a funny, witty, tongue in cheek, but not really, look at racism in a “post-racist” society. Four black students, one gay, navigate the difficulty of a majority white Ivy League college and what happens when some white students throw a black face party. Taylor James Williams, Everybody Hates Chris’ Chris; Tessa Thompson; Kyle Gallner; Teyonah Parris; and Brandon P. Bell help make up the first rate ensemble cast. One of the best films of 2014.
carnivalON HULU: Jaques Feyder and Bernard Zimmer’s 1935 comedy Carnival in Flanders is an absolutely delightful and incredibly beautiful film set in 1616 Flanders when a Spanish Duke and his army decide to spend the night in a small Flemish town. Terrified the village will be pillaged, the woman raped and the men killed, the menfolk panic and the mayor pretends to be dead, leaving it to the women of the village, led by the mayor’s wife, to take over and save the day, using their feminine wiles. With breathtaking cinematography inspired by the great Flemish painters and incredibly sumptuous costumes and sets (built in a suburb of Paris), plus a cast of thousands, including Francoise Rosay as the mayor’s wife (she was married to Feyder and was in a number of his films). Wonderful.
goodnight mommy 2FIRST RUN and OPENING: Goodnight Mommy, Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine, Coming Home, The Visit, Dope, Grandma, Straight Outta Compton, Mistress America, Diary of a Teenage Girl, The Second Mother Continue reading

SINGING THE BLUES: Dope and What Happened, Miss Simone?


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
and check out my Script Consultation Services: http://ow.ly/HPxKE
Warning: SPOILERS
dopeIn 1983, a suburban high school teen was left alone for the weekend by his upper middle class parents whereupon he danced in his undies, pumped up the volume on the hallowed stereo, hired a prostitute and through a series of farcical complications ended up having to open a bordello in his home in order to pay off a pimp of whom he had made an enemy. He ends up using said bordello to get himself accepted into a prestigious university.
In 2015, an inner city high school teen doesn’t dance in his undies, but through a series of farcical complications ends up with a shitload of drugs in his backpack, and gets caught between a variety of guys of the not so good variety who all want what he’s got. He opens a drug lab in his high school and uses the sale of the illegal substances to get himself accepted into a prestigious university.
However, the background to the story is not the only difference between these two basically similarly structured films.
No, the 2015 film, Dope, has characters much richer; dialog much wittier, smarter and crisper; and a plot much edgier and more exciting than the rather white picket fence blandness of the Tom Cruise Risky Business.

Continue reading