Monday, July 31, 2006

Grindhouse


Now there’s something you don’t see everyday. Rose McGowan with a machine gun for a leg. Who comes up with stuff like that? Tarantino and Rodriguez that’s who. I don’t know if I should be jealous or skeeved out. Two movies for the price of one, imagine that. And with bogus trailers in between “Planet Terror” and “Deathproof” maybe “Grindhouse” will be next year’s “Snakes On A Plane”. Oh, I read somewhere that Miss McGowan mows down a bunch of zombies with a mean machine gun kick.
As for my own zombie script, I spent some time going over the vomit draft and discovered this immense black hole sucking--er, making everything suck. I’ve named it, Act II. I need to work on a clearer outline before I decide to jump back into that mess. On the plus side, the creative juices are still flowing on the werewolf spec (sounds messy). Right now, I’m working on a new opening and extending an action sequence. I had the good fortune of catching a segment on the Fox Movie Channel about the “Hills Have Eyes” remake. The filmmakers talked about pacing in horror movies. You’ve heard the mantra, always start scenes late and end them early, but in horror, you really want to stretch some scenes out, create tension. Don’t have the hottie in her undies open the first closet to reveal a hissing cat (or axe-wielding maniac). Been looking at a couple of my sequences differently ever since.
What else? Fantasy Spec has been screaming for attention, I think I’ve finally got a handle on the tone. Something lighter than the werewolf and zombie spec--which would be a nice change. I’d love to crank out a first draft in the next two months. My goal this year was three specs... still possible at this point.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

You stole my story!



Sort of. I mean, I hadn’t written it yet, but I was thinking about it. Someone snuck into my secret window and swiped the idea I had for a supernatural romantic comedy. Mine wasn’t called, “How I Met My Boyfriend’s Dead Fiancee” and it wasn’t exactly about a dead fiancee trying keep her skeptic boyfriend from falling for a psychic, but still... don’t you just hate when that happens?

I had abandoned my outline when Reese Witherspoon’s “Just Like Heaven” came and went with a quickness last year. Who knew there were so many romantic-triangle-with-a-ghost stories floating around? Here I was, thinking I had a bit of a throwback premise in the vein of “I Married A Witch” and “Bell, Book and Candle” (btw, the thought of a remake starring Alicia Keys makes me throw up a little), now comes “HIMMBDF” with Eva Longoria. I am so unoriginal when I think I’m being original.



Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Hood of Horror



The last time Snoop Dogg went the horror route, we were rewarded with the cinematic masterpiece, “Bones”. Now he’s back with “Hood of Horror”, a horror anthology that smells suspciously a lot like “Tales From The Hood”. A couple of early reviews have been surprisingly positive, so this might be worth checking out. HOH has a myspace page here.




Thursday, July 20, 2006

Underworld: Exposition



The first 15-20 minutes are chock-full of it. Part of the problem is that it’s a sequel and ended in to-be-continued fashion, so there’s a lot of catching up to do. Nobody goes into “Evolution” expecting “Citizen Kane” (and I’m pretty sure that I’m first and last person to put the two of them in the same sentence), but how about taking a stab at a decent story? This movie might have some of the dumbest characters that I have ever seen grace the silver screen. Dumber than the girls who go downstairs to investigate strange noises with partial nudity as their only weapon. Dumber than the protagonist who doesn’t check to see if the killer/monster is really dead before turning his back on him.
Why would you want to free your uncontrollable, bloodthirsty, werewolf brother with no real plan (I could understand if he thought turning William into hybrid would make him normal)? And if you’re strong enough to yank down a helicopter, do you really need a key to open his centuries old, iron maiden-like prison? If the bad guy will stop at nothing to get something in your possession, how about hiding or destroying it, rather a than wearing it in plain sight around your neck? If you’re a ruthless vampire who commissioned someone to build ye old iron maiden-like prison and it was supposed to be hush-hush, wouldn’t you kill the builder the minute it was completed? Also, if there was a record keeper who discovered your secrets, why in the hell would you exile instead of killing him (so he can later provide exposition to the protagonists, that’s why)? My biggest eye-rolling moment had to be a certain character’s out of the blue resurrection at the most opportune time.
“Underworld” had its flaws, but certainly not on this level. I'm a little surprised how much I disliked this sequel. I will say this much, the action and special effects in “Evolution” are very good, but the same time, it works against the story. Characters are so busy jumping through hoops, we never have a chance to get to know them.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Nightmares & Dreamscapes


Watching an adaptation of Stephen King’s work is like a box of chocolates... except more often that not, you’re going to get a mouthful of bitter candy. “Nightmares and Dreamscapes” is one the few of King books that I haven’t read, so I was looking forward to the TNT premiere (with limited commercial interruption).
All in all, it was okay. Not as good as the recent “Salem’s Lot” remake, although that’s talking apples and oranges. I’d say it was a few steps above the “Twilight Zone” series that was on the network formerly known as UPN. Bigger budget and better actors. The stories did seem a bit padded, probably could have been condensed into a half an hour. Hopefully, they'll get better.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Up, Up and Away!

A few weeks ago, I mentioned that I hadn’t read the J.J. Abrams’ “Superman” screenplay and wouldn’t you know it, the darn thing popped up on simplyscripts. I sure could use ten million dollars right about now...*looks around expectantly*
The script is basically a mixed bag, which shouldn’t surprise anybody. I mean, we are talking about J.J. Abrams here. It’s almost a given that you’re going to be amazed by some ideas and downright frustrated with others. There is a lot to like here: Clark’s early years, putting on the suit for the very first time, Superman saving Air Force One, etc.
Some of the space opera stuff didn’t work for me. Civil war on Krypton? Lex Luthor a CIA agent? Not to mention the idea of a chosen one and a prophecy-- “Alias” anyone? There’s a huge twist late in the script that’s on the level of finding a giant, four-toed statue in the middle of nowhere. Seriously, I can’t believe he went there. To be fair, this a first draft so there would have been a ton of revisions. If “Superman Returns” cost 260 million to make, this Abrams’ version probably would have gone well over 300 million.
I can see why fanboys would have rejected this “Superman”. Too many changes to established cannon. It would be interesting to see what Abrams could do with a comic book character whose history wasn’t so deeply carved in stone.




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