AND THE OSCAR GOES TO…


top-50-screenwriting-blogsFor questions: hcasner@aol.com
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
Tell me what you think.
NOTE: I’m switching my prediction for Costumes from La La Land to Jackie
blog2It’s that time of the year. The Oscars are in full bloom and their attar, more pungent that car exhaust, can be recognized all across Los Angeles.
This means it’s time to start the real weeding and make my Academy Award predictions.
I will start with a few observations.
The Academy rarely selects a bad film for Best Picture. But it usually doesn’t award it to the best film of the year either. Continue reading

My 2016 Oscar Nominations Prediction


top-50-screenwriting-blogsFor questions: hcasner@aol.com
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
oscarIt’s getting to be that time for the Oscars to reveal their nominees for 2016. Every year, I predict who will make that list in the top categories, and this year I’ll also do Animation and Foreign Language films as well.
Generally I don’t do too badly. On average, I get one wrong per category. I don’t know how well I’ll do this year. Most of the nominees are certain, but there are quite a few wildcards this year.
Be sure and let me know what you think.

Continue reading

My recommendations for film watching this week in L.A. 3/18-3/25/16


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. 3/18-25/16
ff 1ON NETFLIX: Galaxy Quest, written by David Howard and Robert Gordon, directed by Dean Parison, was an unexpected delight when it came out. A group of actors from a popular, though long cancelled, sci-fi television series find out that aliens have mistaken the series for reality and abduct the actors for help in defeating their cruel foes. A first rate cast including Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver, Alan Rickman, Tony Shaloub and Sam Rockwell, among others, make this movie one hysterical satire.
ff 2ON HULU: With screenplay by Viktor Rozov and direction by Mikhail Kalatosov, The Cranes Are Flying is one of Russia’s greatest film. Set during World War II, it follows the lives of two young people, very much in love, as their lives are torn apart by Germany’s invasion. The movie wears its emotions on its sleeve, but it’s a very moving and powerful film. Winner of the Palme d’Or at the 1958 Cannes Film Festival.
ff 3FIRST RUN and OPENING: Marguerite, The Clan, A.K., Too Late, Krisha, Hello My Name is Doris, City of Gold, 10 Cloverfield Lane, Eye in the Sky, The Boy and the Beast, Backgammon, The Wave, Knight of Cups, Zootopia Continue reading

ANIMAL CRACKERS: Zootopia


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
reev 2I’m not sure there’s a lot more to say about the new animated film Zootopia that hasn’t been said already. It opened to a very favorable critical response (99 % on rottentomatoes.com) and a nothing to be sneezed at box office.
And I can’t argue with much that has already been said. Zootopia is, indeed, a clever, smart, feel good in a good way film and a fun time in the theater (with the best jokes centering around sloths, lemmings and how soft a sheep’s hair feels). Bored you will not be.
The only thing I can’t say is that it’s very cute. Only the central character, a rabbit, can say that, and you’ll only know why if you go see the film.
The basic story posits a world where carnivores are no longer, well, carnivorous, which enables them to live side by side in peace and brotherhood in an attempt at a kind of utopian society that centers around the capital city, Zootopia, which looks like a mixture of the Emerald City and Panem. Continue reading

My recommendations for film watching this week in L.A. 3/11-3/18/16


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. 3/11-18/16
ff 2ON NETFLIX: Panic in Needle Park, with a screenplay by Joan Didion and John Gregory Dunne from a book by James Mill, and directed by Jerry Schatzberg, is one of Al Pacino’s earliest performances (it’s before The Godfather) and is realistic and downbeat story about heroin addicts in New York. Intense and often moving.
ff 1ON HULU: In Memories of Murder, writers Sung-bo Shim and Joon Ho Bung, who also directed, a serial killer murdering women around a small town is investigated by a detective from Seoul and two incompetent local officers. Joon Ho Bung (more famous for the monster film The Host) is quite possibly South Korea’s greatest new wave filmmakers and this thriller is one of his best.
ff 3FIRST RUN and OPENING: 10 Cloverfield Lane, Eye in the Sky, The Boy and the Beast, Barney Thomson, Nightshift (2001), Backgammon, Rabin the Last Day, Bleak Street, The Wave, Knight of Cups, Zootopia Continue reading

My recommendations for film watching this week in L.A. 3/4/16-3/11/16


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. 3/4/16-3/11/16

ff 1ON NETFLIX: For those of you who have yet to see actor/writers Dudley Moore and Peter Cook comic take on the Faust story, and I guess there are some such, here is your chance. One of the best films of the 1960’s, Moore plays a short order chef at Wimpy Burger. He wants to date the curvaceous waitress there, but can’t get himself to do it. Instead, he decides to kill himself. Enter Cook as you know who to give him seven wishes in exchange for his soul. Remember, the magic word is Julie Andrews.

ff 3ON HULU: Z, written by Jorge Semprun and directed by Costa-Gravas, is one of the best political thrillers of all time and possibly Costa-Gravas’ best film. Based on a true story, the head of a anti-war group (Yves Montand) holds a rally, but the government has his assassinated. Afterwards, a prosecutor (Jean-Louis Trintignant) tries to bring the murderers to justice, but finds himself stymied at every turn. Nominated for Best Film and winner of Best Foreign Language film at the 1970 Oscars.

ff 2FIRST RUN and OPENING: The Wave, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, Knight of Cups, Ava’s Posessions, Zootopia, Colliding Dreams Continue reading