Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Too Frightening?

Looks like the viral marketing campaign for PA2 has already started. Some theaters have supposedly pulled the teaser trailer because of complaints that it's too frightening. Excuse me? I demand that you scaredy cats explain yourselves! The Great Pumpkin is scarier than that trailer. Craig Sager has suits more terrifying than that trailer!
I just made a shadow puppet that was infinitely scarier than the aforementioned trailer — I make a mean Doberman.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Light Reading

Looks like those "leaked" twenty pages from the Undercovers script were the real deal. They were quickly pulled from the site — fortunately for me, not quick enough. Retired, married spies are called back for one last job. Light and breezy stuff. The NBC Upfront preview did a pretty good job of covering all the bases, so there aren't a lot of surprises here. I did expect a lot more witty banter than I got. And Mrs. Bloom seems a bit... control-freakish/bitchy on paper. So far, I'd have to say this isn't as strong as the Alias pilot script, but I'm gonna reserve judgment until I see the final product.

Colin Farrell plays a fisherman who pulls up an unusual catch, a beautiful young woman, who just might be a mermaid (or a selkie) in this modern day fairytale. Pleasant enough. Often walks dangerously close to Hallmark Channel territory — not that there's anything wrong with that, but I think you know what I'm trying to say. The story hinges on the casting of the titular character. I'm not sure if Ondine had a theatrical released in the States, however, it's currently playing on IFC OnDemand.

And my pile gets a little smaller...

Supernatural Anime?

Who would've thought that we'd have a Supernatural anime before Buffy, Blade or even The X-Files? The art looks promising and the possibilities are endless. Twenty-two episodes... wonder how much they'll cost to make. You can check out what appears to be the official website for updates.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Trifecta of Terror

Is this Marisa Tomei's first horror film? Better late than never I guess. A mother becomes overwhelmed by the constant fear that her children are in grave danger. Craig Bierko and Regina Hall (both Scary Movie alums) round out the cast as her husband and therapist. This one's a head scratcher. I can't figure out what was so strong about the material that attracted the talent involved — I believe there's another Scary Movie connection with one of the producers . A serviceable psychological thriller that lacks surprises and doesn't leave any lasting impressions..

A group of strangers in a hospital are suddenly transported to a hellish alternate reality. Think Lost with cheap scares, (mildly) menacing rubber-suited monsters and time loops. Pretty solid for the first thirty minutes or so, then starts to unravel into an incomprehensible mess. If you think of Dark Floors as a really long music video for Finnish band the Lordi, it probably makes perfect sense (to their fans).

I remember liking the script, in a trashy B movie kinda way, but the film just dragged on. Took itself a little too seriously. I bailed somewhere around the halfway point. The only other thing I have to add is that Isabelle Fuhrman would have made a great Abby in the Let The Right One In remake.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Script 2 Scream

Instead of watching Splice, I opted to read the script first. You can check it out for yourself here. Not as bad as I expected. Pretty decent actually. The Species comparisons, thanks to misleading ads, are way off. It's your basic Mad Scientist(s) story with some "interesting" choices along the way. Trust me when I say this, Dren might be all screwed up, but she's got nothing on the characters played by Adrien Brody and Sarah Polley.

Can someone tell me why Dark Castle thought this would play as a big summer release? I read somewhere that they spent as much as $40M on P&A?! A January release or later in the Fall would have been wiser. This was always going to be a niche film. And with a $26M budget, it might be a while — if ever — before the film sees a profit.

Also read the script for a remake/reimagining of a popular 80s vampire movie. So disappointed in this one. The only thing it brings to the table are a bunch of cliches. Enough with vampires with black eyes already! And heaven forbid a vamp changes into a bat these days. It's like everyone's reading from the same playbook. I also could have done without the geek vs. cool kid bromance gone wrong...

Next on my pile was an upcoming female actioneer. Great Bourne-like action, but the plot comes *this* close to preposterous on more than a few occasions.

Whew! That felt good. Now on to writing...

Friday, June 18, 2010

Desperate Vampires

That Rhona Mitra can't seem to get enough of playing vampires lately. First it was Underworld: Rise of the Lycans and now The Gates... she is acting, right? Some residents of an exclusive community harbor dark secrets — the kind that go bump in the night. ABC is giving a sneak peak at the first 17 minutes before the premiere on Sunday. Hmm... unspectacular, although solid. I can't decide if the preview is a clever marketing ploy or just desperate plea for viewers. The show seems like a better effort than overly weird-creepy Happy Town and slightly more intriguing than NBC's Lost-wannabe Persons Unknown.

The idea of a new Sheriff coming to town and discovering strange goings-ons, reminds me of the proposed Van Helsing spinoff series — you heard me — from a few years back. Going back even further, there was an old TV Movie about a gated community headed by Susan Lucci, who was some sort of demonic creature — more acting, right? The Gates seems to be walking a fine line between True Blood and Desperate Housewives. We'll see how it plays out...

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Cold Open

I think I'm done with TV pilots, because they all seem to lean heavily towards the crappy side. I wasn't satisfied at all with my script for the FOX sitcom contest. Sitcoms are deceptively difficult. Throw a couple of attractive twenty-somethings together, cook up a silly but relatable situation, then toss in a few one-liners and the show practically writes itself, right? Not so much. Never mind the fact that I'm a genre guy, trying write something with "mainstream" appeal. A pretty humbling experience. Guess I'm going to stick with features for the foreseeable future — unless an incredible idea falls into my lap. I can't remember if I mentioned it before, but here's an excellent collection of TV scripts:

Lots of current shows. Sitcoms and dramas. Great if you want to study format, Act breaks, script length, etc. Have at it.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Contest Alert!

If you've got a teleplay dripping with testosterone, this might be worth a shot:

SPIKE (Blue Mountain State, The Ultimate Fighter, Deadliest Warrior) is looking for its next bold and energetic half-hour, live-action, single-camera comedy.

Details here:


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