NEW FILMMAKERS SEE THIS FILM: Midnight Special


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 2Midnight Special, the new neo-noir/sci-fi film, opens at night with a throbbing music score backed by hypnotic drums.  It grabs you by your neck and just won’t let go for the next ninety minutes.  At first, the story seems to be about the abduction of a little boy, but it soon becomes clear that it’s much more complicated than that.  The boy was adopted by the leader of a religious cult that makes its base in a private compound in Texas and the ones who have taken the boy from them is the boy’s biological father and the father’s closest friend.
So what is really going on and why do so many people treat this child as if the future of the human race depended on him?  And why are the FBI after him as well?
Midnight Special is the sort of film every aspiring screenwriter, director and producer should be seeing, but I often suspect aren’t.  It should be studied and emulated. That is, if you really want a future in the industry, whether your goal is the tent pole films of a major studio, or the more personal films that one sees on the independent circuit. Continue reading

My recommendations for film watching this week in L.A. 4/15-22/2016


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. 4/15-22/16
ff 1 ON NETFLIX:  Upstream Color, the second film by writer/director Shane Carruth (after the time travel movie Primer), is a sci-fi film about people who are slipped a drug that make them obedient to any command. When they come out of the trance days later, they can’t remember anything that happened.  They also find themselves cleaned out financially.  But one victim begins to figure out what happened.  One of the best films of 2013, it’s not for everyone because Carruth’s filmmaking style is certainly his own unique vision and the story isn’t always easy to understand.  But I highly recommend it.
ff 2ON HULU:   Zero Focus is a 1961 Japanese film in which the husband of a newlywed suddenly goes missing and the new wife sets about trying to find out what happened. Written by Shinobu Hashimoto from a book by Seicho Matsumoto and directed by Yoshitara Nomura, this is a first rate film noir by a director not often spoken about over here.
Of Special Note:  COLCOA, the French film festival (that has a ton of free screenings) begins 4/18/2016 http://www.colcoa.org/
ff 4Of Special Note: The Noir City: Film Noir Festival begins 4/15/2016 at American Cinematheque at The Egyptian. Not to be missed for any hard boiled fans. http://ow.ly/10qBEm
ff 5Of Special Note: Sci-Fi Weekend at the Laemmle Ahyra Fine Arts 4/15-17, including such classics as Invasion of the Body Snatchers, The Thing and The Day The Earth Stood Still. http://ow.ly/10qB6E
ff 6FIRST RUN and OPENING: Jungle Book, Green Room, Sing Street, Neon Bull, 13 Cameras, My Big Night, Wedding Doll, Une Femme Mariee, Hardcore Henry, Midnight Special, The Invitation, Demolition, Everybody Wants Some Continue reading

My recommendations for film watching this week in L.A. 4/8-4/15/2016


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. 4/8-4/15/16
ff 1ON NETFLIX:  3 Women is one of Robert Altman’s lesser known films, but is actually much better than that would suggest.  A character study of three women (Shelly Duvall, Sissy Spacek and Janie Rule) and their odd, almost dreamlike interaction.  Quite intriguing.
ff 2ON HULU:   It’s not quite Hitchcock, but Masques, written by Odile Barski and the director Claude Chabrol, this is a fluffy, somewhat light, but still rather entertaining mystery.  A mystery author talks a big TV star into doing his biography.  The star invites the man to his country house not knowing that the man is looking into the disappearance of his sister who was staying at the star’s home as a friend for the star’s ward.  Philippe Noiret at the star is a delight, worth seeing for his performance alone.
ff 3Of Special Note:  COLCOA, the French film festival (that has a ton of free screenings) begins 4/18/2016 http://www.colcoa.org/
ff 4Of Special Note: The Noir City: Film Noir Festival begins 4/15/2016 at American Cinematheque at The Egyptian. Not to be missed for any hard boiled fans. http://ow.ly/10qBEm
ff 5Of Special Note: Sci-Fi Weekend at the Laemmle Ahyra Fine Arts 4/15-17, including such classics as Invasion of the Body Snatchers, The Thing and The Day The Earth Stood Still. http://ow.ly/10qB6E
ff 6Of Special Note: The Complete Metropolis at Cinefamily at the Silent Movie Theater, 4/9 http://ow.ly/10qCoC

 

ff 7
FIRST RUN and OPENING: Hardcore Henry, Midnight Special, The Boss, Miles Ahead, The Invitation, Demolition, Louder Than Bombs, Born to Be Blue, Fireworks Wednesday, The Mermaid, April and the Extraordinary World, Everybody Wants Some, Krisha, The Dark Horse Continue reading

My recommendations for film watching this week in L.A. 3/24-4/2/16


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. 3/24-4/2/16
ff 1ON NETFLIX:  In writer/director Jason Krawczyk’s film He Never Died, Henry Rollins plays an immortal angel stuck on earth for, well, eternity.  It’s not as great a life as it may sound.  And then his daughter shows up on his doorstep and all hell (literally) breaks lose.  One of the best independents of last year.
ff 2ON HULU:   That Man From Rio is a delightful tongue in cheek action film.  Written by Jean-Paul Rappeneau, Ariane Mnouchkine, Daniel Bollenger and the director Philippe de Broca, the movie is, like Charade, one of the best Alfred Hitchcock films that Hitchcock didn’t make.  And with an Indiana Jones type ending.  Jean Paul Belmondo gets a week’s leave from the army, and ends up chasing his girlfriend, Francois Dorleac (Catherine Deneuve’s older sister who died tragically young) across Paris and all the way to Brazil due to three statues taken from the indigenous Brazilians that may or may not lead to a treasure.
ff 3FIRST RUN and OPENING: Batman v. Superman: The Dawn of Justice, Midnight Special, Lolo, Too Late, Mountains May Depart, Valley of Love, Remember, Take Me To The River, Born to Be Blue, My Golden Days Continue reading