I’M READY FOR MY CLOSEUP, MR. DEMILLE: Hail, Caesar!


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Warning: SPOILERS

 

rev 3Hail, Caesar!, the latest comic satire from Joel and Ethan Coen, is one of those films that has so much that is right with it, plus a bit more that is brilliant, that it makes it all the more disappointing that it doesn’t quite come together.
The basic premise has as its center piece one Eddie Mannix (Josh Brolin), head of production at the fictional Hollywood studio Capital Pictures (the same studio that the Brothers used in Barton Fink). Over the course of one or two days, he has a difficult decision to make: should he remain at Capitol where he’s constantly having to put out fires both large and small and is constantly confronted by the insane antics of his stars, or will he take a position as head of Lockheed, a safe position with a guaranteed future (this is the 1950’s after all, and TV is more than making its presence known), fewer hours and less stress on the nerves?
Well, so far so good. 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