Saturday, September 22, 2012

The Tall Man Trailer

Probably the most interesting thing about The Tall Man trailer is the fact that Jessica Biel is the star and executive producer. I figured she’d be campaigning for something more high profile like Wonder Woman or Xena: The Movie at this stage in her career.

Actors are an impossible bunch to figure out from afar. I read that one of the reasons Mark Walhberg did The Happening was the opportunity to play someone other than a cop or criminal. Viola Davis says she’d love to do comedy, but she only gets offers for dramas. Maybe Biel really wanted to work with writer/director Pascal Laugier -- still haven’t seen Martyrs.

Sure, some actors might only be interested in the size of the paycheck, but it never hurts to do a little research.

Anyway, this seems like a generic thriller to me... okay, after some digging, there’s more going on under the hood than what the trailer suggests. I’m puzzled by the limited theatrical run. How does that happen to film with a recognizable lead?

Will check out when it hits DVD shelves.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


Revolution had a solid debut on Monday. 11 million viewers overall, and was especially strong in the magical 18-49 demographic. But after the ho-hum pilot, how many of those viewers will return for week two? That question is probably more intriguing than anything I watched. Still, I’ll stick around for at least 4-5 episodes.

If you’re looking for better way to get your post-apocalyptic fix, check out H+ the Digital Series. Produced by Bryan Singer, it’s a web series set in the not-too-distant future; where a significant portion of the population has brain implants that keeps them continuously connected to the internet. Something goes awry, people start dropping like flies, and the world plunges into chaos.

Impressive for the 2 million dollar budget. Good production values. Didn’t recognize the cast -- except for Alexis Denisof. The narrative jumps around from past to present with multiple storylines, which I guess helps with the writing. Easier to fine tune. The whole thing reminds me of Lost, but in a good way. Episodes are short though. Gotta wait every Wednesday for a new one. I’d like to see the entire series stitched together as a feature length film.

The web does is a new frontier for aspiring filmmakers/writers -- and some established folks. You might not have 2 million bucks lying around, but a little creativity may be be all that’s needed.

Check out the first episode below. 

Saturday, September 08, 2012

#goodreads - Poltergeist

One of my favorites from the 80s. I haven't seen it in ages, but a recent discussion over at Go Into The Story about horror movie recommendations brought it back to mind.

Check out one of my favorite scenes:

Now look at this script excerpt:

Screenwriting style really has changed over the years -- or maybe we obsess too much over formatting these days, rather than coming up with the best scene/story possible.

I love that suspenseful moment between the clown disappearing and Robbie eventually "finding" it. It's also interesting how a wardrobe decision can change the tone of a scene. JoBeth William's character in the script was sensibly dressed in a nightgown and robe when the ghostly shenanigans began. What we get on screen is more titillating than scary, which I guess was Spielberg's intention.

You can find the entire script here.

Friday, September 07, 2012

Lovely Monster

Here’s a cool short that Lionsgate plans to turn into a feature.

Kind of beautiful with its simplicity. Minimal effects, just a slow build. The idea reminded me of a Black List script called Maggie. It was about a girl turning into a zombie over the course of several months. The story is less about the monster aspect, but more about how it affects everyone around her. It turns out that Maggie’s author, John Scott 3, will be the one to adapt Lovely Monster into a feature length script.

Great concept, but I’m curious to see if can work beyond 5 minutes....

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

NBC's Revolution Pilot

Our entire way of life depends on electricity. So what would happen if it just stopped working? Well, one day, like a switch turned off, the world is suddenly thrust back into the dark ages. Planes fall from the sky, hospitals shut down, and communication is impossible. And without any modern technology, who can tell us why? Now, 15 years later, life is back to what it once was long before the industrial revolution: families living in quiet cul-de-sacs, and when the sun goes down lanterns and candles are lit. Life is slower and sweeter. Or is it? On the fringes of small farming communities, danger lurks. And a young woman's life is dramatically changed when a local militia arrives and kills her father, who mysteriously - and unbeknownst to her - had something to do with the blackout. This brutal encounter sets her and two unlikely companions off on a daring coming-of-age journey to find answers about the past in the hopes of reclaiming the future.

I should start off by saying that I can count my favorite post-apocalyptic TV/movies on one hand -- and still have a few free fingers. They’re just not my thing. Not even the involvement of J.J. Abrams, Jon Favreau, and Eric Kripke could get me excited about Revolution.

Some nagging thoughts running through my mind as I watched:

1) Why does the cast look like they stepped out of a J.Crew ad?

2) What’s up with their perfectly coiffed hair?

3) The female lead is scrappy. We know this because she has a unisex nickname.

4) This ‘no electricity’ thing makes no sense. Maybe it’s some kind of nanobot virus?

5) Would airplanes just fall out of the sky like that? Wouldn’t they still have momentum?

6) Anybody heard of bicycles? They’re not as cool-looking as horses, but they’d be a heck more practical.

7) Didn’t I see a similar closing scene in the Jericho pilot?

Stop nitpicking, Scream. It’s just the pilot episode. Ever heard of suspension of disbelief? Give it some time. It’ll all make sense eventually -- on a J.J. Abrams show?

Anyway, see for yourself and watch the pilot below:


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