THE 2015 Howies


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

lobster poster
2015 was an oddly structured year when it came to the quality of movie releases. At the same time, I’m beginning to suspect that this might just become the status quo for a while.
The first few months, until the beginning of the release of the inevitable tentpole films (around the time of Mad Max making its appearance), the theaters tended to be filled with either the previous year’s Oscar movies (which I had seen) or movies that were being dumped because their producers had lost faith in them.
carol posterIt’s not that there wasn’t some gold here and there. Movies like Predestination and What We Do In the Shadows made their presence known. But overall, it was like pulling teeth to find a decent film to go to.
Then the blockbusters hit and with a vengeance. As usual, most weren’t very good, mediocre if we were lucky. At the same time, the quality was, on average, a bit better than usual with Mad Max, Spy and The Martian leading the pack.
spy posterThen fall hit, also with a vengeance, and all the distributors inundated the movie houses with their prestige pictures, and suddenly it was safe to go back to the theater again. Not that all of these lived up to their hype (cough, Steve Jobs, cough), but overall, the year ended with a nice selection of films to choose from for a best of list.
Let me know what you think.
So here are the 2015 Howies: Continue reading

My recommendations for movie watching this week in L.A. 7/3-7/10/2015


My recommendations for movie watching this week in L.A. 7/3-7/10/2015

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 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. 7/3-10/2015
bulworthON NETFLIX: Bulworth is a satire written by Jeremy Pikser and directed by Warren Beatty. It stars Beatty as a politician who has a kind of breakdown and hires someone to assassinate him. Until that happens, he takes on the persona of a rapper and finally does what the people would love politicians to do—tell the unvarnished truth. Well received at the time, though I think some critics thought it perhaps played it a little safe, it has Beatty’s last good performances and a sharp insight into modern day politics.
murderer livesON HULU: The Murderer Lives at Number 21 is a movie in the middle of writer/director Henri-Georges Clouzot’s career, but comes before his biggest international successes like The Raven, Wagers of Fear and Diabolique. It’s a very uncharacteristic film by the master of suspense. Co-written by Stanislas Andre-Steeman (from Andre-Steeman’s novel), it’s a mystery comedy more in line with The Thin Man than with Clouzot’s later films.
tribeSPECIAL RUN: CINEFAMILY at the SILENT MOVIE THEATER: The Tribe continues its run Continue reading

BIG: Spy and Jurassic World


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
spyAre you having a bad day? Things not going well? Are you a bit down in the dumps?
Well, if you want to feel a bit better about yourself and life in general, I can hardly recommend a more effective drop of medicine than Spy, the new espionage comedy starring Melissa McCarthy as Susan Cooper, the unprepossessing agent’s assistant with the unprepossessing name who turns into one bad un-unprepossessing ass of a Jane Bond.
What can I say? I came out of the movie theater feeling wonderful, simply wonderful, ready to take on the vicissitudes of life and the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune once again.
Now, I do have to be honest. Based on remarks I’ve seen on facebook, how you react to the movie will probably depend on how you feel about Ms. McCarthy. If you don’t like her particular brand of comedy persona, the movie may affect you more like a fallen soufflé.
I happen to think she’s an exploding nova of a comic talent. Continue reading

My recommendations for movie watching this week in L.A. 6/5/2015-6/12/2015


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 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. 6/5-12/2015

 

something wildON NETFLIX: Something Wild, written by E. Max Frye (Foxcatcher) and directed by Jonathan Demme (Howard and Melvin, Stop Making Sense), is about a secret rebel (Jeff Daniels in one of his best performances) meets a secret conformist (an excellent Melanie Griffith) who go on a road trip that is interrupted by the woman’s ex, a sociopathic ex-con (Ray Liotta in one of his first films and one of his best performances). A funny, tense and solid bit of moviemaking that is quite entertaining.

 

all about my motherON HULU: Writer/director Pedro Almodovar’s All About My Mother was something of a comeback after a few missteps since making one of his greatest films, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown. A young boy dies in a car accident and his mother searches for his transgendered father to tell him about the son he never knew. With the wonderful Cecilia Roth as the mother.

 

pather pachaliOF SPECIAL NOTE: Satyajit Ray’s Aparajito, The World of Apu and Pather Panchali have moved to the Pasadena Playhouse

 

spyFIRST RUN and OPENING: Spy, Love and Mercy, Testament of Youth, Results, The Farewell Party, Tomorrowland, Mad Max: Fury Road, Good Kill, I’ll See You In My Dreams, The Connection,

 

REVIVAL AND ART HOUSES:

 

AMERICAN CINEMATEQUE at The Egyptian: Starting 6/3, the Greek Film Festival; Gremlins, Gremlins 2: The New Batch, 6/10; The ‘burbs, Matinee, 6/12

 

AMERICAN CINEMATEQUE at The Aero: From Mayerling to Sarejavo, Letter to an Unknown Woman, 6/5; Yojimbo, Harikari, 6/6; Curly Top, Heidi, 6/7; 3D Rarities, The Bubble, 6/11; House of Wax, The Mad Magician, 6/12

 

NEW BEVERLY: Family Plot, Torn Curtain, 6/5-6; Winter Kills, Hopscotch, 6/7-8

 

LACMA: Ladies in Retirement, 6/9

 

ACADEMY: The Vikings, 6/5; Kwaidan, 6/11; Grand Prix, 6/12

 

UCLA ARCHIVES at the Hammer Museum: The Story of G.I.Joe, 6/6; Flight of the Red Balloon, 6/12