POSSESSION IS 9/10ths OF THE LAW: The Wailing and The Conjuring 2


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I am now offering a new consultation 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. 
 
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Warning: SPOILERS
rev 5Two movies have opened of late that revolve around children being taken over by supernatural forces beyond their control. I’m sure many of you might ask, “But how can you be sure it’s not just puberty?” Well, see the films and decide for yourself.
In the last number of years, the most interesting movies have been making their way over here from two unlikely sources: the Romanian and South Korean new waves. One might suggest that one is the result of having recently thrown off the cloak of Communism and the other from living under the specter of the same. But that’s little more than speculation.
However, there is a difference in the two. While the movies we get from Romania tend to be more political and social critiques (4 Months, 3Weeks, 2Days, Police: Adjective, The Death of Mr. Lazarescu), the ones from South Korea tend to be more genre focused (The Host, Thirst, Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance).
Writer/director Hong-jin Han is one of the more interesting of the new set of Korean filmmakers. He started out with a psychological thriller (The Chaser, about a serial killer targeting prostitutes), and followed it up with a political thriller (Yellow Sea, about a man set up as a fall guy for an assassination, in a style worthy of Alfred Hitchcock).

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MOVIE MURDER MOST FOUL: The Judge and The Blue Room


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
judgeHow can I cliché thee? Let me count the ways.
In the opening scene of The Judge, the new courtroom cum father/son we hate each other so much we love each other drama, defense attorney Hank Palmer (the kind of attorney who’ll defend anybody for anything as long as the price is right) is confronted by the prosecuting attorney Mike Kattan (the type of character that believes in truth, justice and the American way, so the filmmakers chose an actor, David Kromholtz, whose mere appearance would elicit laughter, to play the part next to the Ironman, alpha male, washboard stomach Robert Downey, Jr., who plays Hank) and they have one of those scene thingies where they debate the morality of it all.
At the end of the discussion (accompanied by mature goings on like Hank peeing on Mike’s pants), Hank sums up all the clichés that have taken place in that one encounter (and using the word “cliché” to describe it).
If the writers, Nick Schenk and Bill Dubuque, were attempting to get away with the use of overdone platitudes, familiar formula and trite tropes by calling attention to what they were doing—well, okay, in their defense one can at least one can say they knew what they were doing when they were doing it and were trying to do something about it. Continue reading