Is There Balm in Gilead: Aloha and Love & Mercy


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Warning: SPOILERS
alohaI’m not sure that I can really add to the general response to the movie Aloha (it’s 20% at rottentomatoes.com and I don’t think the box office is of the more optimistic size), but far be it from me not to join in and kick a man while he’s down.
About three quarters of the way through the new rom com written and directed by Cameron Crowe (who also gave us the very good Almost Famous, Say Anything and Singles, but not much else since except for, well, Jerry “Show me the money” McGuire, but, no, I’ll stick with not much else since, thanks), I turned to my friend Jim and said, “I’m sorry, but I have to be honest: I have no idea what’s going on here”.
Jim laughed and sighed in relief because he had no more of a clue than I did.
The plot eventually does make sense; well, within the context of a not particularly well written movie it makes sense, but overall, as a piece of writing, it really makes little sense at all. Continue reading

THE MOORE THE MERRIER: My take on the movies Still Alice and Maps to the Stars and why Julianne Moore will win the Oscar this year


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
still alice twoJulianne Moore is destined to win the Best Actress award at the 2014 Academy Awards. It’s written in the stars (pun intended) as much as any plot in a drama by Aeschylus or Shakespeare. Far and wide it has been announced that it is Ms. Moore’s year. And who am I to argue with the stars, metaphorical or not?
Now, the question that remains is, “why”? What confluence of events, both within and without anyone’s control, has lead Moore to this momentous precipice?
I’m glad you asked. I shall try and enumerate the reasons.
First, there’s an old saying in Hollywood (though I may have actually made it up, I don’t remember) that just about everyone who deserves an Oscar gets one, but not for the movie they deserve it for. Continue reading

SCHOOL’S OUT FOR SUMMER (and Winter): ADULT WORLD and AFTER THE DARK


adult_world_marquee1Adult World is kind of an odd duck of a movie.  One of the things that makes it so odd is that it has at its center one Amy, who has to be the most unrealistic, most unbelievable, most underdeveloped character in a movie in some time.
Of course, in her defense, this is because she isn’t a real person by any strain of the imagination.  Continue reading