ANIMAL CRACKERS: Zootopia


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
reev 2I’m not sure there’s a lot more to say about the new animated film Zootopia that hasn’t been said already. It opened to a very favorable critical response (99 % on rottentomatoes.com) and a nothing to be sneezed at box office.
And I can’t argue with much that has already been said. Zootopia is, indeed, a clever, smart, feel good in a good way film and a fun time in the theater (with the best jokes centering around sloths, lemmings and how soft a sheep’s hair feels). Bored you will not be.
The only thing I can’t say is that it’s very cute. Only the central character, a rabbit, can say that, and you’ll only know why if you go see the film.
The basic story posits a world where carnivores are no longer, well, carnivorous, which enables them to live side by side in peace and brotherhood in an attempt at a kind of utopian society that centers around the capital city, Zootopia, which looks like a mixture of the Emerald City and Panem. Continue reading

BULLY, BULLY and WOOLY, WOOLY: The Gift and Shaun the Sheep Movie


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
gift oneThere’s a very telling scene and line in The Gift, the new thriller written, directed and starring Australian jack of all trades Joel Edgerton (you know, just because you’re from another country doesn’t mean you can’t leave a few jobs for the locals, mate).
Husband and wife Simon and Robyn have recently moved to California for Simon’s new job. The town is Santa Clarita (if my memory serves) where Simon grew up and went to school. While out shopping the couple run into Gordo, an old classmate of Simon’s, someone Simon claims he can barely remember, though Gordo seems to have no trouble remembering Simon.
Gordo suddenly starts showing up at the couple’s house with gifts, though it’s hard to tell whether he’s creepy or just socially awkward. But one night he leaves after having been invited to dinner (well, has sort of forced them to invite him to dinner) and Simon says there is something odd about him.
The reason this is telling is because it is also somewhat ironic since, by this time, it’s rather clear that there is something odd about Simon. Continue reading

DADDY’S DEAD, YOU KNOW…AND WON’T LET US FORGET IT: This Is Where I Leave You, My Old Lady and The Skeleton Twins


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
this-is-where-i-leave-youGosh darn, daddies seem to be dropping like flies this month. Three movies have opened lately in which the pater familias is no longer in the picture. Not only that, it’s these fathers that often seem to be getting the brunt of the blame for the way their kids have turned out.
I guess it’s kind of convenient for all the characters involved, then, that the man from whose loins they were loosed is no longer around to defend himself.
But, you know, whatever, I guess. At any rate, he’s dead, dead, dead. And just won’t let us forget it.

Continue reading

@#%!!&#: Bad Words and On My Way


BW1312.CR2It’s easy to see why Jason Bateman wanted to make Bad Words, the new Bad Santa clone written by new comer Andrew Dodge and directed by and starring Mssr. Bateman. It’s a solid vehicle to show off his middle brow, laid back talents and he certainly makes the most of it. He wears the role like a comfy old sweater owned since college that you just can’t bring yourself to get rid of, complete with impeccable comic timing.
It’s also a very entertaining movie. It’s witty and clever and never boring. It’s often a ton of fun. It’s very well crafted.
In fact, it’s so well made that it’s quite easy to overlook the fact that it’s really quite a terrible, terrible film. Continue reading