AND ANOTHER YEAR DRAWS TO A CLOSE: Hidden Figures


top-50-screenwriting-blogsFor questions: hcasner@aol.com
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Warning: SPOILERS
This will be my last review for the year 2016.
god1Hidden Figures, the inspired by true events film written by Allison Schroeder and Theodore Melfi, who also directed, based on a book by Margot Lee Shetterly, is about a group of black female mathematicians who played a large role in the US space program, especially getting John Glenn into space and around the earth a few times.
It is sincere, worthy, uplifting, informative and a real crowd pleaser.
But is it any good?
Well, I’m afraid if truth be told, not particularly. Continue reading

THE DEVIL MADE HIM DO IT: Horns and St. Vincent


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
hornsHorns, the new supernatural, fantasy, horror, neo-noir written by Keith Bunin and directed by Alexandre Aja, has a clever, if not neat, little concept.
A young man, Ig Perrish, universally hated in the small town he lives in (for good reason, in many ways, since he’s accused of killing his long time girlfriend Merrin), grows a pair of devil’s horns which causes everyone he meets to confess their deepest desires and even fulfill them, no matter how awful they may be, if the young man gives them permission.
And there are some clever scenes here and there as these normal on the outside, white picket fence, Sunday go to meeting citizens suddenly revel in their cravings to carry out their secret, if often perverse, yearnings.
But in the end, the movie never really comes together and gets bogged down in what may seem an extraneous through line concerning the rape and murder of said girlfriend.
I’m not sure why everyone felt the need to make the story a murder mystery. It’s that way in the novel by Joe Hill (son of Stephen King), so I can’t really blame Bunin and Aja. But this aspect of the story only seems to get in the way of what really works here, this look into the hearts of darkness of people you originally thought were just a few steps up from pod people. Continue reading