My recommendations for film watching this week in L.A. 10/30-11/6/15


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. 10/30-11/6/16
suburraON NETFLIX: Suburra (translated as Samurai) is about an Italian mobster trying to bring together various factions in order to turn a seaside resort into an Atlantic City. To do so requires corruption at all levels of society, from the government to the Vatican. But in the days counting down to an important Senate vote on a new budget Suburra needs and the stepping down of Pope Benedict XVI, a Senator central to the project has an assignation with two prostitutes. When one of them, underaged, dies from a drug overdose, it leads to a series of events that threatens Suburra’s goal. The screenplay by Giancarlo De Cataldo, Carlo Bonini, Sandro Petaglio and the director Stefano Sollima creates a first rate crime thriller of an almost epic nature.
theatre of bloodON HULU: Just in time for Halloween, Theatre of Blood is not a good movie. In fact, it’s probably a pretty terrible one, but it’s one of those terrible ones that is great fun to watch over and over again. A ham Shakespearian actor commits suicide after terrible reviews of his latest season. But when the critics are being killed off one by one in ways parallel to the final sets of plays the actor starred in, one wonders whether he really is dead. With Vincent Price (of course) as the actor, Diana Rigg as his daughter, and a host of familiar British faces as the victims. Directed by Douglas Hickox and written by Anthony Greville-Bell.
afiSPECIAL NOTE: The AFI Film Festival box office opens Monday, October 2. This is a great festival, especially since all the tickets are free.
tab hunterFIRST RUN and OPENING: The Wonders, The Russian Woodpecker, Tab Hunter Confidential, Bridge of Spies, Room, The Final Girls, The Martian Continue reading

My recommendations for film watching this week in L.A. 10/23-10/30/2015


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. 10/23-10-/30/2015
on the town
ON NETFLIX: On the Town, the watered down version of Betty Comden and Adolph Green’s music about three sailors on leave, is still exhilarating filled with marvelous moments, especially on the part of Gene Kelly, Frank Sinatra, Betty Garrett and Ann Miller. Directed by Stanley Donen and Gene Kelly, it makes marvelous use of New York locations, has a wonderful score and one of those lengthy ballets that dramatizes Gene Kelly getting his heart broken that climaxes the movie.
children of paradiseON HULU: Writer Jacques Prevert and director Marcel Carne’s Children of Paradise is a beautiful ode to the life of actors and actresses in Paris during the 1820’s and ‘30s. Garance, an actress, is loved by four other men, leading to tragedy. Made during the last days of the German occupation in 1945, Children of Paradise is one of the greatest romantic dramas ever made.
we are youngSPECIAL SHOWINGS: The American Cinematheque kicks off New German Cinema on Thursday, the 22nd, and continues through the weekend.
roccoSPECIAL SHOWINGS: Luchino Visconti’s Rocco and His Brothers is often considered a sort of, kind of semi-sequel to his earlier film La Terra Trema. In the first film, a group of brothers try to go independent in the fishing industry, but cannot defeat the powers that be. In Rocco… a group of brothers have to leave their home to try to make their way in Milan, where boxing and a prostitute come between the siblings. Epic and powerful, one of the most important Italian films of all time, this is a newly restored version. With Alain Delon, Annie Giradot and Claudia Cardinale.
FIRST RUN and OPENING: Steve Jobs, Suffragette, Bridge of Spies Crimson Peak, Room, The Assassin, The Final Girls, Goosebumps Continue reading

PAST INTENSE: The Final Girls and Labyrinth of Lies


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
final girls
The Final Girls is one of those low budget independent films that comes out of nowhere and give low budget independent films that come out of nowhere a good name. Well, maybe I’m exaggerating since most low budget independent films that come out of nowhere are so bad these days, I’m not sure that anything could actually give them a good name, but you know what I mean.
At any rate, this new post modern parody of horror films that is also not just a parody but also a film in and of itself (like Scream in many ways, though Scream is more serious, but unlike the Scary Movie franchise which does nothing but make fun of its precursors), is a ton of fun.
The basic premise revolves around Max, whose mother Amanda made the low budget slasher film Camp Bloodbath that unexpectedly was a success and because of that, Amanda could never do anything else and her acting career languished.
Years later, Amanda dies in one of those car accidents that seems to be the de jour way to kill off people in movies today (does anyone die any other way but in car accidents anymore, and not just car accidents, but accidents where a vehicle is hit and goes bouncing around in multiple somersaults like it’s Olga Korbut, always…ALWAYS…ending up on its roof, like a turtle; I have no idea what that’s about) and Max hasn’t been able to get over her death.
She is talked into going to a late night showing of Camp Bloodbath and when there is a fire incident at the theater, she and her friends exit through the screen, ending up in the movie within a movie itself. And now they must figure out what is going on, how to get back and how to stay alive long enough in order to get back. While providing the audience with tons of chills, thrills and giggles. Continue reading

My recommendations for film watching this week in L.A. 10/16-10/23/2015


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. 10/16-10/23/2015
with a friendON NETFLIX: With A Friend Like Harry… is an odd little thriller written by Gilles Marchand (who also worked on Bon Voyage and Lemming) and written and directed by Dominik Moll (who also wrote and directed Lemming). It’s about a family traveling for a vacation who run into a man who claims to be an old school friend of the husband’s, but the husband can’t quite remember him. But the stranger makes himself part of the vacation and things get a little dark after that. With the wonderful Sergi Lopez (Pan’s Labyrinth) as the friend.
bedroom windowON HULU: The Bedroom Window is another thriller, but not as odd. Written and directed by Curtis Hanson (who also wrote the clever Silent Partner, but is probably best known for co-writing and directing L.A. Confidential), it’s about a shlub who brings home the boss’ wife for some hanky panky. While he’s in the bathroom, she sees a mugging outside the window and can identify the perp. But not wanting to let people know she was cheating on her husband, she has the shlub claim to have seen him. It starts Steve Guttenerg (okay, it’s not perfect) as the schlub, Elizabeth McGovern as the victim, Isabelle Huppert as the wife, Wallace Shawn in a great cameo as a defense attorney, and Brad Greenquist who has only one line and delivers it brilliantly.
we are youngSPECIAL SHOWINGS: The American Cinematheque at the Egyptian starts off the win with New Spanish Cinema. Then on Thursday, the 22nd, they kick off New German Cinema with We Are Young, We Are Strong.
taxi tehranFIRST RUN and OPENING: Bridge of Spies Crimson Peak, Room, Truth, Meadowland, The Assassin, Experimenter, The Final Girls, Taxi Tehran, Victoria, The Martian Continue reading

My recommendations for film watching this week in L.A. 10/9-10/16/2015


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. 10/9-16/2015
lauraON NETFLIX: Laura, the classic film noir based on the book by Vera Caspary and directed by Otto Preminger, is one of the most enjoyable thrillers from that period. A woman is murdered and the detective involved falls in love with her through her portrait and her history as told to him by a vicious gossip columnist who was her mentor and who loved her as well. Though Gene Tierney as the title character and Dana Andrews as the investigating officer can’t quite make the romance convincing (they were never the greatest of actors), the supporting cast, Clifton Webb (nominated for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor) as the Wenchell like columnist; Vincent Price (in what I think is his best performance) as a gigolo; and Judith Anderson as a wealthy matron more than willing to pay for his services, make the movie as a triumvirate of some of the nastiest characters in film. And the screenplay gives them the wit to do it.
life of crimeON HULU: Based on a book by Elmore Leonard, Life of Crime is a fun, if perhaps minor, comic thriller about a kidnapping that doesn’t go according to plan. Written and directed by Daniel Schechter, it stars John Hawkes as the head of the gang; Jennifer Anniston as the one abducted; and Tim Robbins as the husband who doesn’t care if he gets his wife back or not.
final girlsFIRST RUN and OPENING: The Final Girls, Taxi Tehran, Victoria, The Martian, Labyrinth of Lies, Pawn Sacrifice Continue reading