Saturday, October 31, 2009

Heroes meets Skins



Misfits is an upcoming UK series about five delinquents who get superpowers after being struck by lightning. Invisible Dude, Time Traveling Guy, Mind Reader Girl and Aphrodisiac Chick so far -- BTW, those are my nicknames. The fifth guy hasn't shown any special abilities... yet. Don't know about this one, but it can't be any worse than the current season of Heroes.

Contest Alert!

Act I: ION Television Movie Contest

Enter “Act I: The ION Television Movie Contest” and submit your original idea for a dramatic TV movie. One winner will receive $40,000 and a development deal with ION Television. Up to 25 finalists have the opportunity to earn a first-look deal with ION.

Ideally, the ideas submitted by entrants will be for a two-hour made-for-TV movie that could potentially serve as a pilot for launching an hour-long drama procedural TV series.

We are looking for procedural dramas meant for mature audiences. The ideal script would have a strong central character or team of characters and a plot that focuses on the introduction, investigation, and solution of a central problem or mystery. An ending that leaves the door open to further stories or sequels involving some or all of the same characters is recommended.

In the TV realm, CSI, Law & Order, and House are perhaps the best known examples of procedurals. There are also TV movie series that fit this definition well: The Jesse Stone movies, the Movies of the Week featuring Columbo, etc.

While many procedurals focus on crime, law, or medicine, stories set in any field are encouraged, so long as they allow for an examination of the procedures by which the central problem or mystery is overcome.

Within this dramatic movie genre, there can certainly be comic themes, characters or tones so long as the procedural element is prominent.

To enter, submit a treatment describing your idea (5-10 pages) and the first act of the script (15-40 pages).

Scripts must be entered by uploading them in a PDF format on the NYTVF upload page or via Withoutabox (please read the upload guidelines on the Withoutabox submission form-- file requirements differ). For more information on how to convert documents into PDF format, Click here.

The submission period will open on October 26 and will close at 12:00 noon Eastern on January 15, 2010.

All submissions must be uploaded during this time period, without exception. The contest will stop accepting entries if this period elapses or if it receives 1,500 valid entries, whichever comes first.
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Television isn't my focus anymore, just too hard to break in, but the prize money here is more than worth the gamble. The gears are already turning... mature audiences... procedural... think I've got an angle. I'm not crazy about the short window -- not enough time for heavy procrastinating, but worse case scenario: there's another spec script on my pile.

Friday, October 30, 2009

First 5 mins of Colin

Check out the first five minutes of the small budget ($70) zombie flick that made big waves at Cannes. Looks okay, but I was expecting a stronger opening...

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Cup Of Tears



Why does the Cup of Tears trailer look more interesting than Ninja Assassin?

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Paranormal Activity



Not gonna give up any spoilers, but scariest movie of all time? I think not. You can find scarier clips on online, in fact, I'll give you a head start:

The 10 Scariest videos on the internet.

(watch out for #2!)

The Blair Witch comparisons are apt. Low budget, high concept horror goes on to become an "overnight" box office sensation. Not bad for a film that's been sitting on the shelf for a few years. ..

Nice idea with adequate execution and a FEW tense moments. Unlike BW, Paranormal Activity doesn't feel like a bunch of actors riffing for 90+ minutes. There's definitely a three act structure to the story. I could almost describe it as an extended episode of Supernatural where the Winchester brothers *don't* show up. If you ignore the hype and lower your expectations, it should be a decent experience... but you still might hate it with every fiber of your being...

*shrugs*

The marketing folks are the real stars here. They've managed to create buzz by turning a tiny film into an event, which is no small feat. After that, the bandwagon effect took over.

I tweeted earlier about a possible Paranormal Activity 2. Who didn't see that coming?

And get ready for the imitators...

Monday, October 19, 2009

Wolvesbayne



You wouldn't believe how many hits my blog gets from the Wolvesbayne trailer that I posted back in May. Who knew it had such a following? Anyway, I checked out last night's premiere on SyFy.... kind of what I expected... a man -- last name Bayne, get it? --- is attacked by a werewolf and gets caught up in a long running feud between humans and vampires.

It's basically a mishmash of various action/horror movie plots: Underworld, Underworld: Evolution, Queen of the Damned, etc. Jeremy London is fine as the reluctant monster/hero, while Yancy Butler and Mark Dacascos chew up scenery like nobody's business as evil vamps. The opening is actually pretty decent. We get a brief shot of a full fledged werewolf in attack mode -- don't remember another one. The main problem with most werewolf flicks, especially the low budget variety, is the lack of a decent looking creature. All you need is some fangs and maybe a pair of funky contacts to be a vampire. It's no surprise that the vamps get the majority of screen time. In Wolvesbayne, we have to settle for kinda-werewolf-like-if-you-squint-real-hard.

I thought the plot was a little too complicated for its own good, and the story was too ambitious for the limited budget. Based on the ending, someone is obviously trying to start a little direct to video franchise. Not the best low budget werewolf flick, that prize goes to Dog Soldiers or Ginger Snaps, but more interesting than stuff like Big Bad Wolf and Warwolves.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Daybreakers One Sheet



Don't know about you, but this reminds me of the human farms/batteries in The Matrix and Blade: Trinity. A lot. The last thing you want to do is evoke memories of a really bad vampire film. Still, I like the premise, so I'll try to block out any thoughts of vampires strutting around in red leather pants.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Throwback: Misfits of Science



Everything old is new again. Before Heroes, way back in the 80s, NBC had an action/adventure series about a group of people dealing with their freakish super powers, the Misfits of Science. Here's the part where I usually wax nostalgic about how great it was and should have lasted for more than a season, but I can barely remember the pilot. I do recall that Courtney Cox was a troubled teen with some sort of telekinetic/jinx-like ability; and I thought the coolest character was the rockstar with his electrical powers. Lamest character? The really tall black scientist who could make himself tiny -- what kind of crappy super power is that?

Saturday, October 10, 2009

SPACE MADNESS!



I've always loved the concept of a claustrophobic action/thriller set on a spaceship, and Pandorum starts off with the best of intentions. Crew members (or are they?) wake up from hyper-sleep aboard the Elysium, suffering from temporary amnesia. Something's gone wrong with the ship and to top it off, bloodthirsty creatures are everywhere. Oh yeah, extended periods in space can lead to a condition called SPACE MAD-- er, Pandorum.

This is a dark film. Very dark. Is that a boob? No, it's her knee. Where are they!? WHO'S TALKING!? Pandorum isn't bad, you've just seen it before. Bits and pieces of other films like Event Horizon, Sunshine, Resident Evil, Alien, etc. stitched together into an uneven genre quilt. Hard to say more without giving away spoilers, but the performances were pretty solid -- newcomer Antje Traue has a Milla Jovovich vibe working really well for her. It's easy to dismiss this as a mindless sci-fi actioner, but there's a decent attempt at the thriller aspect, some okay twists along the way. The ending is alright. Gotta check out the script for a little compare and contrast.

The film's main selling point, the creatures, was probably the most unnecessary. I think it would've worked just fine with paranoid humans vs. paranoid humans. There were a couple of non-sci-fi scripts that used the temporary amnesia angle -- but ironically enough, I'm blanking on the names...

Even with its flaws, I was sorry to see the low box office returns.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Freddy vs. Freddy





Shocks me to say this, but we really do have a tendency to remember our childhood as being sweeter than it actually was. I say shocking because that quote comes from the always introspective Michael Bay, one of the producers of the remake/re-imagining/whatever they call it these days, who's bringing us back to Elm Street in 2010. I can't believe how cheesy the original looks to my grownup eyes. The laughable scares, dated music and cheap special effects now make me groan more than anything else -- does this count as one of my semi-weekly throwbacks? Hey, there goes a young Johnny Depp! The new trailer, on the other hand, looks like the business. Love Englund, but New Freddy has a creepy vibe and a genuine menace about him. I know Bay's fingerprints are all over this, but maybe, just maybe...

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