I remember one particular review that I read when Tim Burton’s Batman came out. To paraphrase, for the purpose of reviewing Jonah Hex: they got it right: Josh Brolin plays the title character perfectly – writers Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor clearly understand Hex and his worldly and otherworldly aspects; the period is as well captured as any good western; John Malkovich makes an excellent villain as the once honorable Quentin Turnbull, and the bones of the story being told are solid. Unfortunately, Jonah Hex has the feel of an R-rated supernatural thriller [which was the original intent] that has been hacked to ribbons in the editing room to make for a PG-13 audience.
Ever wanted to write your own movie and didn’t know how to go about getting started? There is a great company called ScriptShark that I had the pleasure of coming across back at the 2008 San Diego Comic Con that offers screen writing seminars in both Los Angeles and New York City for those who are a bit daunted by their lack of movie industry savvy. These interesting and informative seminars allow the aspiring screenwriter to delve deeper into the business demands of a screenwriter’s career, and pursue the practical skills and understanding every aspiring screenwriter needs to know in order to position and promote themselves and their screenplay effectively.
ScriptShark offers information and knowledge about such essential things as:
* Career planning & goal setting
* The best ways to secure representation
* Understanding your screenplay from a producer’s POV
* How to take charge of your career
* Defining genre & market breakdown
* Creating a catchy, clear, and focused logline
* Turning your basic idea into a gripping pitch
If you are seriously interested in getting your screen writing career off the ground, then check out ScriptShark.
Meanwhile let’s take a look at some upcoming projects from some people already established in the entertainment industry.
Splice is the latest there-are-things-Man-was-not-meant-to-know movie – a modern update on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, via James Whale’s original Frankenstein movie. Like that film, there will no doubt be a number of critics and members of the audience who view it as a revolting piece of trash. I expect that, like Whale’s Frankenstein, it will survive and be both respected and appreciated.
Co-writer/director Vincenzo Natali – he of the low-budget sci-fi masterpiece Cube – makes the Shelley/Whale connection clear from the start. His two scientists, Clive [Adrien Brody] and Elsa [Sarah Polley] are namesakes Colin Clive [the actor who played Victor Frankenstein in Whale’s Frankenstein], and Elsa Lanchester [who played the titular Bride of Frankenstein].
Ladies and Gentlemen, Fans and Viewers alike, Supernatural Season 5 has now reached the top of the last hill. Now the season finale, Swan Song is poised to take the wildest plummet into excitement yet as Sam Winchester (Jared Padalecki) gets ready to take on Lucifer (Mark Pellegrino). Of course Sam has some pretty heavy hitters on his side including his brother Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles), Castiel (Misha Collins) who may yet have one more spark of angel mojo left in him and veteran hunter Bobby Singer (Jim Beaver).
Supernatural S5.22, Swan Song airs this Thursday May 13th at 9 PM EST and according to series Creator Eric Kripke is the culmination of his 5 year story arc. An arc that began back in the pilot episode of season one when Sam reluctantly agreed to reunite with his older brother Dean for a few days to find their missing father, John Winchester (as played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan). A few days turned into a permanent reunion as Sam returned to his college apartment to find that his live in love Jessica (Adrienne Palicki) had been killed in the same manner as Sam and Dean’s mother Mary Winchester(as played by Samantha Smith) had been killed when they were children. Dean and Sam’s fate are set in motion again by these events that lead them on the road in their black ’67 Chevy Impala to ‘hunting things, saving people: the family business”.
Eric Kripke promises that this storyline, which has taken a lot of twists and turns filled with psychic children, angels and demons will be tied up and finished in S5.22 Swan Song and Supernatural will have a whole new story for the upcoming season six. So while we wait for Swan Song to air this Thursday, let’s take a look at some sneak peek artwork and vids provided by the good folks at The CW Network & Warner Bros Television.
I might be mistaken, but I think that the CW Network/Warner Bros might be just a tad bit excited about the airing of hit series Supernatural’s 100th episode tonight (4.15.10) at 9PM EST. Ok so they might be a lot excited about it and with good reason too!
Supernatural, which stars Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles as Sam and Dean Winchester — two monster hunting, ghost vanquishing, demon fighting brothers who roam the back roads USA back roads with a trunk load of weapons in the black ’67 Chevy Impala — has, with the help of its loyal viewing audience and fans, continued to defeat the dreaded ratings monster for 5 straight seasons and 100 episodes.
I will say it once and I will say it again, Hollywood STOP–PLEASE STOP remaking the classic films we love and enjoy. You turned a cheesy cult classic from the year I was born and made it into a two hour snooze fest that no one would enjoy unless you have seen the original. The original 1981 classic is remembered for three distinctive things. It featured the stop-motion monsters of legendary puppeteer Ray Harryhausen. Second, it featured a ham performance of Sir Laurence Olivier. Finally, we get to see a pre-L.A. Law Harry Hamlin as Perseus. I can enjoy the original with just the magic and the myth with a hearty chuckle. Twenty-nine years later, this remake can only make me cringe.
She hasn’t even been home a full evening when Emma Craven [Bojana Novakovic] is killed by a shotgun blast fired by a man in a ski mask – right in front of her father, police detective Thomas Craven [Mel Gibson]. His search for vengeance turns up disquieting things – like the possibility of Emma being a terrorist, or the possibility that she might have been about to blow the whistle on the company for which she worked, for making nuclear weapons.
Based on the ten-year old BBC mini-series of the same name, Edge of Darkness marks Gibson’s first appearance in a movie in almost eight years. While it doesn’t have the scope of the mini-series – especially in terms of the politics and illicit nukes angles, it does work as a revenge thriller for a few reasons…
Much has been made of the The Book of Eli as a platform for Christian beliefs as its protagonist carries the last remaining Bible across America, headed west to… we don’t know what. What matters is what Eli [Denzel Washington] believes – and he believes that a voice, a voice as real as any he’s ever heard, told him where to find The Book and to take it west. That, in essence is the film’s plot – along with the obstacles that Eli finds in his path. These obstacles include a band cannibal killers who use a woman chained to a shopping cart as bait; an elderly couple who are full of surprises, and the mayor of a small town who rules with an iron hand.
Just to make sure that we know what we’re getting in Ninja Assassin, the film’s first sequence wastes no time telling us. A gang boss is getting a tattoo when a letter arrives. It is sealed with wax and when he breaks the seal and opens the letter, out pours some black sand. The tattoo artist goes pale – he’s seen this before. Even as the boss and his gang laugh at the old man’s fears, they are suddenly sliced to ribbons in one of the goriest action scenes I’ve ever seen.
Spike Jonez’s Where the Wild Things Are does what was thought to be impossible: it turns a forty page book with barely ten sentences [fifty-nine words] into a lovely, scary, fun film. Maurice Sendak’s children’s book treats children as though they are intelligent, perceptive and enjoy a good scare. He doesn’t underestimate kids – and neither does Spike Jonez.
The story – Max gets sent to bed without dinner and imagines himself journeying to a land of fierce creatures who make him their king – is hardly one that should support a one hundred minute movie. Jonez, and co-writer Dave Eggers, make a few additions – mostly a brief look at Max’s life, where we see how even occasional moments of fun turn sour on him.
When Watchmen was released, I wrote, “Watchmen is beautiful and brutal. It is an experience. Snyder has put together a thoughtful, nearly anthemic work here. There are various small changes and one major one [the pan-dimensional, intergalactic space squid is not here – and that’s a good thing] in the film, but the essentials are intact: the politics, the hovering of Armageddon, the nature of the characters, and the philosophical foundations for all of the above.”
The one thing that the Director’s cut DVD gets right is the addition of twenty-four minutes of footage that were removed to make the film as commercial as possible [once a studio fronts nine figures for a film, you have an obligation to try to get that money back]. The key scene, for me at least, is the death of the original Nite Owl [Stephen McHattie] and the current Nite Owl’s response. The combination of these two scenes show us how human most of the movie’s costumed characters are – and how distanced from the rest o humanity Rorschach is. The returned footage adds more depth to a theatrical cut that was already pretty accomplished.