Archive for June, 2010

9. Knight and Day – $3.6M

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010
An action-comedy centered on a fugitive couple (Cruise and Diaz) on a glamorous and sometimes deadly adventure.

Letters to Juliet (2010)

Saturday, June 19th, 2010

It’s never a bad thing when you laugh the whole way through a movie, which is exactly what happened whilst  watching Letters to Juliet. The film is not a comedy though. I’m afraid to say my friends and I were laughing at how unbelievably bad and predictable the film was. Yes it’s a chick flick romance and these types of films always contain predictable elements: a happy ending, a romance which starts with a few bumps but ends up smooth sailing, and a love rival, but seriously, there’s such a thing as good scriptwriting which can at least make a predictable plot enjoyable. Clearly the team behind Letters to Juliet don’t believe in making an effort with scripts. I genuinely believe that I could have written better dialogue, and I don’t claim to have any script writing experience or talent.

The concept behind the main story is actually rather sweet. On a pre-honeymoon to Verona, Sophie (Amanda Seyfreid) comes across the lengendary wall and balcony where Romeo supposedly courted Juliet Capulet in Shakespeare’s famous tragedy. Women from all across the world visit the attraction and write letters to Juliet asking her for help. These letters are then replied to by a group of women who call themselves ‘Juliet’s secretaries’. Sophie finds a letter from fifty years ago that had gotten lodged in a gap in the wall. The letter is from a confused young british woman called Claire who has just jilted her fiancee because she was afraid her family would disapprove of the match. Although the woman will now be an old lady, Sophie decides to reply to the letter; an action which leads to the chain of events that take up the rest of the film. On receiving this late reply, Claire jumps on a plane and comes to Verona hoping to find her long lost love Lorenzo and apologise to him for her cowardice.

Nice simple storyline. Where did it all go wrong?

The two main men in the film were completely unbelievable and ridiculous. Christopher Egan plays Claire’s grandson Charlie with one of the stupidest British accents i’ve ever come across. Instead of trying to sound like a normal english person, it’s like he’s trying to impersonate a member of the royal family. It’s not obvious why he is talking so posh, since his grandmother’s accent is nothing like that. During the course of the film he is supposed to go from rude and offensive to charming and kind, but this transition does not work at all and although he comes across as slightly more likeable than his love rival, he’s really just the better of two evils. Gael Garcia Benal plays Sophie’s fiance and considering he’s proved himself to be a magnificent actor in films like The Motorcycle Diaries and can’t be short on work offers, I have no idea what possessed him to get involved in this film. This is the first English speaking role i’ve seen him in and I can only hope the next is better, as he really was terrible. He plays the role eccentrically and over the top, but he does this so excessively that it’s hard to comprehend why Sophie got together with him in the first place. To be fair, he was working with a poor script though.

Some of the dialogue was so bad that I couldn’t help but laugh in disbelief. In the pivotal scene where Charlie and Sophie declare their love for one another, Charlies doesn’t just say ‘I love you’, but makes a ridiculous speech about loving her ‘madly’, ‘deeply’, ‘passionately’. Pass me a bucket please. Even the soundtrack was predictable and cheesy. Taylor Swift’s song ‘Love Story’ was played during the happy ending. Need that bucket again.

rating: 2

Starring: Amanada Seyfreid, Christopher Egan, Vanessa Redgrave

Dir: Gary Winick

Credits referendum overwhelmingly approved

Saturday, June 19th, 2010

ballotThe WGA’s three uncontroversial proposals for amending the TV and screen credits process passed by a large margin:

  • Screen Proposal – Uniform standard for screenplay credit on non-original screenplays – 85.7% in favor of adopting the amendment (1,237 yes; 197 no)

  • Television Proposal #1 – Arbiter Teleconference in the case of non-unanimous decision – 91.4% in favor of adopting the amendment (1,319 yes; 86 no)

  • Television Proposal #2 – Consolidation, reformatting, and clarification of Television Credits Manual and Separation of Rights Manual – 92.9 % in favor of adopting the amendment (1,341 yes; 64 no)

Thanks to everyone who voted.

Digg Facebook Reddit SphereIt StumbleUpon Twitter

5. Toy Story 3 – $11.9M

Thursday, June 17th, 2010
Woody, Buzz and the rest of the toys wind up at a day care center after Andy leaves for college.

Can you include emotion in character description?

Monday, June 14th, 2010

questionmarkI’ve been following your screenwriting posts since the IMDB days, but I’ve been unable to find anything on this, maybe because it’s such a grey area.

Is it considered a faux pas to use emotion in the description of a character? Right now, I’ve written “His uncomplicated features might easily reveal fear,” but will that scream Oblivious Rookie should I be lucky enough for my screenplay to end up in the hands of a reader?

– John

It’s fine to refer to either the emotions the character is experiencing at the moment we meet him, or his general emotional makeup. Anything you can do to help paint a distinct portrait of who the character is will help.

Her braces-bound teeth biting into her lip, CASSIE FINWELL (19) silently swoons as Mr. Gleeson pulls off his sweater, in the process revealing a glimpse of his navel.

CLARK CLEMMONS (27) is the happiest man in Eugene -- just like it says on his t-shirt. He’s also a serial arsonist, but doesn’t advertise that fact.

Digg Facebook Reddit SphereIt StumbleUpon Twitter

Clueless at Outfest

Monday, June 14th, 2010

I’ll be hosting a screening of Amy Heckerling’s CLUELESS at LA’s Outfest 2010. It’s one of my favorite movies of the 90s, but some might wonder if it’s gay enough for the festival.

I would argue that…

True to its title, CLUELESS doesn’t know how gay it is. Amy Heckerling’s 1995 clever reworking of Jane Austen’s Emma gives us Alicia Silverstone as the stylish but shallow Cher Horowitz, whose well-intentioned meddling leads her to deeper revelations about friendship and forbidden love — her ex-step-brother, the dreamy Paul Rudd. Along the way, she falls for the gay guy, pursues the jerk, and gives her soul a makeover. CLUELESS is a blast of queerjacent sunshine.

Catch the Clueless screening at the DGA. Tickets are $13 — but much cheaper if you become a member.

Digg Facebook Reddit SphereIt StumbleUpon Twitter

10. The Karate Kid (2010) – $2.2M

Thursday, June 10th, 2010
An American boy learns kung fu from a Chinese master.