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Genre: Sci-fi
Premise (from writer): In a future where robots run grisly human-fighting rings for sport, any human who survives 72 matches is given 72 minutes to win their freedom–or die.
Why You Should Read (from writer): I moved to Los Angeles to specifically pursue a career in waiting tables. I was originally gonna write a biopic about Nikola Tesla’s chef, but figured this would be more interesting. This script has such a big fat concept, that when it took a selfie, Instagram crashed. Do not read it if you hate: space, hyper loops, nihilism, invisible architecture, and futuristic theories. FULL DISCLOSURE: I’m an alien that’s trying to blend in with everyone.
Writer: Robotic Super Cluster
Details: 85 pages

Nicholas Hoult in Cannes.

Hoult for president! And for this movie.

I suppose Game of 72 was the perfect script for today. As I struggle to decide on my last few slots for the Scriptshadow 250, my mind is on the verge of madness. And let me tell you, there isn’t a better script to read when you’re on the cusp of insanity than this one. I want you to imagine Steven Spielberg making A.I., but with Rob Zombie’s brain downloaded into his cerebral cortex. The word “trippy” doesn’t even begin to describe this bizarro eye-assault.

But before I get to that, I want to know which movie I should see and review for Monday. This is the best movie weekend of the year so far, with Sicario (great script), The Martian (great writer success story) and The Walk (amazing special effects) all coming out at the same time! I’m considering doing my first triple-feature in ten years, but I don’t think I’ll have the time. So which one do you want me to review? There’s no wrong answer!

Okay, on to Game of 72, which was my favorite logline of the bunch so I’m glad it won. Well, I should say I WAS glad that it won. Now? I’m not so sure.

The year is 2820. Earth is run by robots, aliens, and genetically modified monsters. The only thing these beings seem to care about is entertainment – specifically human-on-human fighting. They take the humans, chain them up like dogs, torture them, strip them of their names (replacing them with numbers), and force them to fight each other to the death.

Sounds fun, right?

The only way for humans to escape this misery is to win 72 fights (nearly impossible), after which they’re entered into something called “The Game.” In “The Game,” you have 72 minutes to catch a wandering orb. If you succeed, you gain your freedom, are upgraded into a human-robot hybrid, and get the choice to live forever.

So the stakes are high.

Our hero, 28 year old Finn, is one of the few fighters who’s managed to accumulate 72 wins. He joins two others who have managed this impossible feat – Nala and #9560 – and before the trio even knows what’s going on, they’re thrown onto an interplanetary train that shoots them off to Mars.

When they get to Mars, none of the monsters or aliens have ever heard of The Game. They don’t even know who these humans are. In fact, there’s no one to tell them how this game works. Complicating matters is that there’s a disembodied voice living inside of Finn who keeps telling him to do the opposite of what everyone tells him to do.

No more than five pages after we arrive on Mars, our players are told they’re going back to Earth, so they jump on another flight, and arrive into some kind of mind disco. Yes, a “mind disco.” As it’s explained to us, the music isn’t actually being played. It’s “transmitted through everyone’s bodies and souls, emanating from within.” Huh?

I could go on here, but I think you get the gist: THIS SCRIPT IS FUCKING NUTS.

Look, I’m all for imagination. Just yesterday I was complaining about writers who DIDN’T use imagination when writing their queries. But there’s adding jam to your sandwich and there’s dumping the entire jar on it. Game of 72 throws you into an information ocean, never letting you above water to catch your breath. Here’s a typical page from the script:

Screen Shot 2015-10-01 at 11.27.41 PM

Let’s see what we’ve got here:

1) Italics-based writing.
2) Bolded writing.
3) Underlined writing.
4) TONS of information.
5) TONS of imagery.
6) Manic writing style.
7) Characters with number names.

The whole script reads like this. Here’s another line, picked at random: “He FALLS, an accordion of 100-copies of him are frozen mid- AIR. Thousands of MAGNOID thoughts enter his head. DEAFENING. The sensation of sinking into LAUGHING GAS, nitrous oxide.”

Huh?

I’m not even sure what to say. I mean, our writer is clearly talented. He had one of the best “Why You Should Reads” of the year. It showed that he’s clever, he’s imaginative, he can write. But it feels like for this script, he ingested an entire Starbucks store and wrote everything freehand, gripping the pencil like a knife, and stabbing 20,000 words onto the page without ever going back to see if he’d murdered anyone. Particularly the English language.

This is a cut and dry case of information overload. Too much style, too much imagination, too much action, too much information. As screenwriters, we do want our scenes packed with action and plot. But there’s a difference between drinking a beer and buying the brewery.

Truth be told there were a couple of red flags before my exhaustion kicked in. People use bitcoin in the year 2820? Space-X (created by Elon Musk) is the main form of transportation? I might buy into this if the year were 2075. The year, however is TWENTY-EIGHT HUNDRED! There wouldn’t be any recognizable brands still around, especially if the world had been taken over by robots and aliens.

The official moment I gave up on the story was when we went to Mars, and after five pages, came right back to Earth. To me, that indecision embodied the script’s biggest issue – its lack of focus. Our writer couldn’t find something interesting to do on an ENTIRELY SEPARATE PLANET, to the point where he had to bring our characters right back to the place they left just minutes ago.

And if you took the time to look deeper, it didn’t seem like anything had been thought out. Why didn’t anyone on Mars know about The Game? And if nobody knows about The Game, then aren’t you telling the reader that it’s not a big deal? And if it’s not a big deal, why should we care if these characters succeed or not?

In the flawed but fun Arnold Swarzenneger movie, The Running Man, the whole world watched that show. The writers made sure you knew everyone on the planet was obsessed with it. So the objective seemed important. With these characters, they’re not even sure if they want the prize (to live forever). Protagonists who aren’t even excited about achieving their goal? That’s a recipe for screenwriting disaster.

I like this writer here. I just think he tried to be too cute and stuff too much into every page. Dial the imagery back. Dial the world-building back. Get rid of the unnecessary details (the 9th version of the monster subset).

I say this over and over and over again, and nobody listens. The best screenplays are simple easy-to-understand stories with complex characters. Once you switch that emphasis around (to a complex story with simple characters), I won’t say you’ve hung yourself, but you’ve definitely tightened the noose.

This script was such an assault on my senses that I almost gave it a “What the hell did I just read?” Seriously, it got to the point where it hurt my head to keep reading. You’re a talented writer and better than this. Let’s nail the next one.

Script link: Game of 72

[ ] what the hell did I just read?
[x] wasn’t for me
[ ] worth the read
[ ] impressive
[ ] genius

What I learned: Information overload is a script-killer. Nobody wants to be inundated with description-porn on every single page. Dial it back. If it’s not easy to ingest what’s on the page, we’re going to give up on you fairly quickly.

  • klmn

    Carson, it’s obvious the writer is one of Ray Kurzweil’s prototypes, and that to understand it you will first need a chip implant.

    http://www.cnet.com/news/google-exec-with-robots-in-our-brains-well-be-godlike/

  • FD

    what a shame. I think this guy can write and has good ideas. Don’t let a “wasn’t for me” stop you.

    • Scott Crawford

      I’m going to disagree with Carson on this one. Scanning through the script, I like that Robotic Super Cluster is giving us plenty of description:

      Looking away, FINN gently rips the robot arm off BAIT HUMAN #4662 and shoves the electrodes into his own shoulder STUB. It digs in. FINN yelps as it becomes “one” with his skin.

      OK, the story is maybe not for me, and there may be some mistakes I haven’t spotted. But just a quick scan and it looks fine to me.

      • Bifferspice

        I’m enjoying it. The guy can sure write, and there is so much imagination, and described effectively and quickly, I think this script could well garner some high-up fans.

      • Randy Williams

        I liked this too. Felt like a Mad Max type film I’d enjoy that starts off with a bang and never lets up. This is the rare AOW script that really made me feel, too. I love Sci-fi that makes me feel something beyond my small world. Definitely a worth the read to me. I feel, however, the writer did provide too much description and needed to whittle things down. It’s like how I eat cake. I usually can’t finish the frosting, it’s too sweet so it just lays there in the plate afterwards. No way a reader can digest all the frosting in this script, I don’t care how slow you go. To the detriment of the writer, most of it was probably left on Carson’s plate.

        • 3waystopsign

          As far as world-building goes, I give this an “A.” The amount of planning that went into this is very obvious. I agree the descriptions got out of hand here and there, and I was unsure what to make of the italicized lines with asterisks. Are they to be superimposed on the screen? Because they tend to convey information that would not be clear to a viewer. Or is just to explain things further to the reader? Either way, once he takes all the notes form this post and does some further work, I think he could catch someone’s attention with this. If the budget could be worked out, I would think an independent production company that makes sci-fi would be interested.

          • Jarrean

            Set pieces alone make this too costly for an indie.

          • 3waystopsign

            You’re right. But as I mentioned in my response to Howie428, I think it’s a pretty darn good writing sample, which can do wonders for you.

          • klmn

            What do you think is good about it?

            85 pages, of which probably 60 are adjectives and adverbs.

          • 3waystopsign

            Sorry for the delay. Been stuck in the East Coast weather at the beaches in New Jersey. Unique experience though!

            I see what you are saying, and I have mixed feelings about this script. I did not get some things (the asterisks and italics for example…which I mentioned somewhere on here), but I just felt the writer put a lot of effort into developing his world (I know we all put in effort, but best way I can say it right now), and while he absolutely went overboard in places, I think he showed enough command of language, along with imagination, that it may be enough to get someone’s attention for a writing assignment.

            He has a unique voice (and I know unique does not always equal good), and I just think it’s different enough to qualify as a good writing sample. I don’t see it ever getting made but I think it could get him noticed.

      • http://soundcloud.com/the-colonel-mc The Colonel

        I’m with Carson — all of the emphasized text is really off-putting. When everything is emphasized, nothing is. I would advise this author to go read Whiplash–that guy knows how to do it.

        Also, I’m a big fan of not explaining things (see, e.g., Alien), but the reader should still be able to follow what you’re saying. Which is to say that if you’re going to introduce wacky and weird concepts, you should find a way to “ground” them for us so we can follow along.

        • Kirk Diggler

          ” When everything is emphasized, nothing is.”

          This. Full stop.

  • Magga

    Sounds to me like what the review describes is PRECISELY what one would expect from the “why you should read”. For example “Do not read it if you hate: space, hyper loops, nihilism, invisible architecture, and futuristic theories.” I like the idea of someone hating space.

  • walker

    So the pitch was good but the script wasn’t? But that never happens.

    • S_P_1

      I felt the same way about the script Wars of Eternal Spring. I read the first 20 pages and my impression was far from [x]impressive more like [x]WTF.

      I didn’t buy into that BS WSYR. I seriously feel like that was a charity rating based on the pitch and it’s allegedly a female writer.

      Maybe 75 – 80% of the time I agree with Carson’s assessments of scripts but he missed the mark on Wars of Eternal Spring.

      That even made me start thinking about some writers gaming the selection process for AOW and AF. It’s already apparent of the padded votes some scripts receive. But the unknown one time submitter never to be heard from again, gets a positive coveted coverage review.

      There’s no benefit to being an active registered poster.

      All you need to do is type your script and focus on WSYR and logline. The hardcore members who absolutely require a perfected logline will vote your script up simply because you passed that watermark. The other hardcore members who accept unverifiable accolades and expertise will vote up your script because WSYR resonated with them. The rest of the forum members will read the script and debate the hardcore members on why did you up vote this sub-par script. The hardcore members will default to the effort put into the logline and that it represents a professional writing caliber.

      The game I see being played is pander to the popular forum members. If you can get one of them to up vote your script you’ll get at least five of their followers to up vote your script without ever downloading it and much less reading it.

      Bottom line the few high quality amateur scripts are losing out to gamesmanship.

      • Matthew Garry

        That’s a lot of supposition that could do with some more substantiation of the claims you’re making.

        As for “Wars of Eternal Spring”: I have no idea what you’re trying to say or how it serves as proof for any of the claims. It certainly wasn’t sub-par. Elizabeth isn’t a “one time submitter never to be heard from again.” (witness her recent script “Clownskill”), and I think your post is dangerously close to a personal attack for no reason I can discern other than you not liking “Wars of Eternal Spring” and disagreeing with the positive review it got.

        • S_P_1

          Thank you for the polysyllabic thesaurus vocabulary usage today. I’m glad your opinion serves as the gold standard as to where I should fall in line. I’ll email you before posting to make sure I have your explicit approval.

          • Kirk Diggler

            Yes, crazy he is, use as he did more word that sound big than word that sound simple. He try to make us all feel dumb and dumb er.

          • Matthew Garry

            I’m unsure what you’re getting at here, so let me rephrase my post:

            You posit there might be a scheme at work in this community whereby high quality amateur scripts are being deprived of the opportunity for an AF review.

            You provide no examples or data to illustrate how the scheme works in practice (which should be possible since all the posts are public). You do however mention the starting point of your thought process and present the script “Wars of Eternal Spring” as a jump-off point.

            You make some assertions, some of which are demonstrably untrue about “Wars of Eternal Spring,”
            -The writer was unknown.
            -The writer was a one time submitter.
            -The writer was not heard from again.

            some of which are highly debatable,
            -It’s a sub-par script
            -Hardcore members only vote on logline and wysr (what exactly are “hardcore members” here, and what are the “rest of the forum members” and the “popular forum members”, for that matter?)

            and some of which are actually insulting
            -The writer is a liar.
            -It was just a charity rating because she’s a woman,
            -and she might not even be a woman!

            So you present a conspiracy for which the only data point given is an attack on a script which doesn’t match the patterns of the proposed conspiracy, and you put forward person-based allegations against the writer of that script–again without any substance to back them up–of which some do not even pertain to the conspiracy presented (or do you really believe being female automatically gets you votes?)

            I hope that clarifies things. So what about the above is opinion and what was there to “fall in line” with?

            You made a claim and I questioned the validity of that claim and asked you to substantiate it. It’s not that uncommon.

          • S_P_1

            My initial response was to the O.P walker. I was in agreement with his observation of the frivolous nature of WSYR as an indication of writing quality.

            IMO Carson has missed the boat on previous AF scripts that were far superior to Wars of Eternal Springs.

            Yet Carson created a trend for 2015. Women leading protagonists or writers have been rated favorably this year.

            Morgan [xx]worth the read
            It Follows [x]impressive
            The Girl on the Train [x]impressive
            Blindspot [x]worth the read
            Miss Universe [x]worth the read
            Unreal [x]worth the read
            Mad Max : Fury Road [x]impressive & [x]worth the read
            Wars of Eternal Springs [x]impressive
            Girl in a Box [xx]worth the read
            Inside Out [x]Arclight prices impressive

            I get where you’re coming from. You’re one of the hardcore forum members who calls himself putting me in my place. You require evidence to support my OPINION. It’s funny I saw the gist of what walker posted and posted something relevant in line with the O.P.

            You didn’t ask walker to support his opinion. Yet currently he has 7 up votes so clearly other members agreed on what he posted.

            Hopefully you and your sycophant who endorses your vocabulary can find another member to troll.

          • carsonreeves1

            These weren’t the only scripts I gave favorable reviews to though, right? Interesting to see that either way. I’ve been accused of not giving female writers or female-driven stories enough of a chance. I even got some angry e-mails after my review of The Shower. http://scriptshadow.net/screenplay-review-the-shower/

      • Howie428

        I’ve come to the view that the odd outcomes we see here are typically more comedy of errors than conspiracy.

      • I don’t have an account

        Uh… dude… I don’t know about any cheating that is apparently going on here. Maybe there is, maybe there isn’t. But all I know is that I don’t have any disqus account and I vote pretty much every week for the script I want. I don’t have a username, but that doesn’t mean I or anyone else is necessarily cheating the system.

  • Sean Reardon

    My vote is for Sicario.

  • martin_basrawy

    Carson, you should see Sicario because it would make for a GREAT screenwriting lesson.
    SPOILERS AHEAD
    Although the film is super tense, from a screenwriting perspective it felt like a big dud. You know how people say that if you take Indy out of Raiders then the movie would still play out the same? Well, that’s exactly the case here. Emily Blunt’s character did not make a single contribution to the overall plot, up to the point that she could’ve been completely excised and the plot would still have happened the way it did. She’s even missing for majority of the climax, during which Del Toro acts as a complete badass, mind you, but I’d thought she, as the protagonist, would be way more involved. Throughout the film she’s attacked and shot and needs rescuing. At no point does she demonstrate any cleverness or puts the clues together to move the story along or kills a major bad guy… you know, the kind of shit that the main character SHOULD do. She was a great POV character for the audience, sure, but the movie (as well as her colleagues Josh Brolin and Del Toro) treat her as someone to be used and never gives her any agency of her own.
    Another major problem I had with this was that the plot is basically another of those good guys who do bad things to catch the bad guys type thing, which is fine enough, but that’s only ever touched on with the Brolin/Del Toro characters. Their plan of working with the bad guys to take out cartels is sort of seen in action, but it’s nowhere near fully realized and explored. The movie just ends, in one of those “and life goes on” moments, which again is a good commentary on the larger drug war, but there’s no closure for Blunt’s character who just gets bullied into things the entire time and has no choice but to let Del Toro go on and do his thing. She has no internal flaw (she’s tenacious?) that she overcomes by the end.
    Again, it’s a very tense film, but other than one action scene at the border crossing and another one with Del Toro at the end, there isn’t even any great action to boast about. It’s a great commentary on how the drug war is fought and lost, sure, but that’s really not a new insight, for me anyway.
    So yeah, Carson, you should watch this film. It may have been a great script and the package of it being an action movie with a female lead dealing with a gritty subject may sound appealing, but I was largely disappointed with the final product. And it’d be great to hear your perspective.

    • Wijnand Krabman

      I read sicario the first 60 pages, after a strong opening protagonist macy becomes passive and do the other caracters take over. On page 50 Reggie starts the action but is he is not the main caracter, Macy is.

      “REGGIE
      What are we doing here?
      (Looks her over)
      What were you doing in Mexico??

      MACY
      I’m with you, alright. I don’t have
      answers.

      REGGIE
      Well, let’s get some then.

      She looks at him.

      MACY
      You think I haven’t asked these
      questions. Think you can do better?

      MATT.
      Can we talk to you for a
      minute?

      He starts walking toward them. They head for the open
      warehouse door.

      EXT IMMIGRATION WAREHOUSE CONT.

      Macy and Reggie stop in the center of the parking lot. Matt
      catches up to them.

      MATT
      This feels very serious.

      REGGIE
      What are we looking for? There’s in
      the dark and then there’s the way
      you’re treating us. I want to know
      the objective, or I walk. Period.

      MATT
      Then go. I didn’t ask you to be a
      part of this. She did.

      MACY
      I walk too.”

      A lot of unclear action follows

      • martin_basrawy

        SPOILERS
        Yep that’s a good example of Blunt’s character being sidelined. Sure, before and after that scene she did ask questions, but her partner is a lot more assertive in the above moments than her. Even when she finds out what the good guys are trying to do, she’s powerless to do anything about it and is bullied into going along.
        What’s worse is that this isn’t even a story where a good, noble character sees how bad the world is and then becomes bad themselves in order to fight the good fight. No. The film’s ending was very inconclusive about whether she went back to join Brolin’s team or if she really did go become a small town sheriff like Del Toro suggested. So again, zero arc for her.
        I’ve read rumors that they’re planning a sequel around Del Toro’s character, which would be awesome as he was by far the best character here. The Furiosa of Sicario, the person who drives the action.

        • martin_basrawy

          I should note that I have not read the script and am only going off the movie.
          But in further response to Wijnand Krabman… even the opening scene wasn’t all that great. It’s not Blunt who discovers the bodies in the wall, but rather her partner. There’s no heroic or badass moment for her in the entire film. And again, that’s sort of fine because we’re dealing with a realistic setting, it’s not Gotham City, so I don’t expect her to be doing summersaults or anything. But I’m just baffled by the love this movie’s getting. Like I said before, it’s an intense film and Del Toro’s great, but the main character is not written well at all.

    • Midnight Luck

      I so agree.
      —-SPOILERS—-
      I kept just being blown away by the fact we spent so much time quietly watching Blunt’s character, or other people, or a truck, or whatever do nothing. So much DIDN’T happen so often in the movie I began to wonder if we were building to some apocalyptic crazy ending.
      Yet it never came.
      Why oh why did they have Blunt do absolutely nothing? She was the least needed character in the entire movie.
      They set her up like she was the MOST important, only to burst that bubble 1/2 way through. And by that point, other than the opener, she had done nothing at all.
      I found the Director’s choices really incompatible with the story being told. He took long unending stretches of time looking at things, giving us the impression they were important, and then never having them be. Not building to anything. Not piecing things together to make something greater. No, things just jumbled apart into nothing.
      I think so many possibly incredible things were missed.

      The best part of it was my favorite Director of Photography ROGER DEAKINS. He can shoot a film like no one else.

      Too bad the movie was so tepid, so blank, just rather empty.

      I thought it was going to be loaded with energy and intrigue and possibly chaos. Only it turned out to be an overtly long, extended YAWN.

      Odd. Really didn’t see that coming.

    • charliesb

      I can see what you’re saying about Blunt’s character, but wasn’t that actually the point? I think that Blunt was basically irrelevant is actually a point in the story. She was a means to an end, someone who we were hoping to see as strong and heroic basically used and discarded. I think the fact that there was a lot of pressure to change her character to a man, resonates here as well. That people (in reviews) are labelling her as some sort of bad-ass in this film is very telling.

      They were some other things I don’t think quite worked as well as they should have, and I wonder if that had to do with some outside pressures or “sensitivities”. I hope Carson picks this for review so we can chat about it some more.

  • hackofalltrade

    I must disagree with this review. Hopefully this does not come across as disrespectful, but there is something I have noticed for a while. Maybe even our fearless leader can take some constructive criticism. In my humble opinion, Carson might need to SLOW DOWN as he reads. In what has become a relatively common occurrence, I continue to notice “reading comprehension” issues that plague reviews. For instance, in LOW TIDE this week, he lamented his confusion with the plot, specifically questioning how Robin Goodfellow killed his victims. While the plot might have been somewhat dense, I felt like the writers of that script did a pretty solid job of hand-holding. Birdman was another that falls under that category–once you have a feel for the writing style, it really wasn’t particularly difficult to follow. All that to say, I enjoyed Game of 72. Sure, it might take a little more “reader investment” than Pregnant Pals, but what script of this type doesn’t? As we approach the Scriptshadow 250, I am really pulling for someone here to make a breakthrough. It would be great for Carson, his site, and all of us in the SS community who should be cheering for each other. While I didn’t offer a submission myself, I think what he is doing is awesome. My only hope is that something special doesn’t get passed over because he’s trying to do too much. I respectfully do not believe one person can give 250 scripts a proper read in the amount of time he has allowed himself. While I think he has the best intentions(I really do) I just hope he’s willing to admit that he’s human, that maybe he has strengths and weaknesses as a reader, and that it might be a wise choice to hire a few other readers to offer their input as well.

    • Scott Crawford

      As a man who can take up to a couple of hours to read a script, and often resorts to skimming, I do worry that people who read a lot of screenplays aren’t maybe giving the script the PRECISE attention it deserves. However, it is up to the screenwriter to make things easier for the reader, not for the reader to adjust to the “writing style”. And most people who read screenplays in Hollywood – like producers and agents – read quickly.

      Good stories with good characters tends to lead to good writing. I don’t think Carson will fail to appreciate the quality of one of the 250 scripts if they’re well written.

      • JakeBarnes12

        Hey Scott, man, could I hit you up for a copy of Sicario if you have it?

        cardinallemoine74 at yahoo dot com.

        • Scott Crawford

          Sent!

          • JakeBarnes12

            Thanks, man. Given the sci-fi theme of today, you’re a Starship Trooper!!

      • TruckDweller

        It’s fairly implied that Carson is culling the pile using query letters and loglines. Guaranteed that he will miss a few good submissions if that is indeed the case. But as a reflection of the rest of the industry, that’s exactly what we should be expecting. If you want a solid read, pay for notes or write so well that you don’t need any.

        Every reader has a billion reasons to want to put your script down or to get through it faster. The challenge is always for the writer to inspire the reader to pay attention. Never resent the reader. That’s a bad path to go down that only leads to more resentment. Always consider what you can do to inspire them.

      • hackofalltrade

        I agree that it’s up to the screenwriter to craft a compelling and understandable story. Maybe I shouldn’t mention game of 72 in the same sentence as Birdman, that’s not really fair. But I enjoyed the concept, the world building, and most of all I just appreciated the writers manic energy for his own material. I think my opinion can be boiled down to this–

        Carson seems to be searching for the next American Beauty, Source Code or BTTF. But so is everybody else in the business! People are paying lots and lots of money to have readers fighting to uncover that 1 in 10,000 screenplay that they’re going to get behind.

        It’s so much more likely that Carson uncovers a script with the POTENTIAL of it being special. Forget trying to find a finished product. Sure, parts of game of 72 were an incomprehensible mess. But good grief, let’s give some credit to that the guy(or girl) had in creating an idea that frankly has a lot of promise.

    • charliesb

      I read the first few pages of GAME OF 72, and think Carson gave it much more time and praise than I would. People don’t read screenplays the way they read books, they want to easily picture the world that is being created and the characters in it. It’s a blue print for a movie, not something to spend a lot of time trying to understand. You can create a dense and complicated world/story and still keep the writing clear and easy to follow, and that IMO should always be your goal.

      This screenplay was a difficult read, full stop. If you and others were able to look past the formatting and difficult descriptions to find a a great story, then I think that’s great. But I don’t think Carson is wrong in stating that writing a screenplay like this will make it more difficult to be noticed and sold.

      • http://soundcloud.com/the-colonel-mc The Colonel

        You hit the nail on the head. “You can create a dense and complicated world/story and still keep the writing clear and easy to follow, and that IMO should always be your goal.”

        It should also be your goal to keep your reader moving at movie speed. Read the action scenes in Jurassic Park — they move as fast on the page as they do on the screen. Here, the action scenes are so dense and hard to follow, your mind has to stop and figure it out, which puts your mental movie on pause.

        I agree with Hack of All Trade, above, that many readers are moving too fast, but then we KNOW THAT, so we should write for that audience. People read fast, your screenplay should read fast (especially where action is involved).

        Anybody that said they need tons of detail and expository writing to communicate abstract ideas has never read Alien. That thing looks like haiku and reads like melted butter.

        • jridge32

          Agreed. If the action in your script is so dense/difficult to follow that we have to go back and read it again, yeah we probably won’t be doing that.

      • LaughDaily

        Exactly. The write has talent and I praise him for his efforts but the reality is that 99% of script get read by stressed readers on a deadline with piles upon piles upon piles of scripts to read everyday. We have to convey info in the SIMPLEST form possible.

        Some would argue that why should I simpity my story because some reader is stressed?
        Whether right or wrong, they have the power and we don’t. More importantly, simplifying your story tells the reader and the higher ups that you understand pacing etc.

        • Kirk Diggler

          Yes, and it’s worth noting that ‘simplifying’ is not the same as ‘dumbing it down’. It’s finding a way to relay the same information in more easily digestible packets (and also deciding which information is actually important).

          • LaughDaily

            This is a very good point. Glad you pointed that out.

            I think one reason some writers get mad about the word “simplify” is they read it as “dumbing down”.

            We can always pair down complex info into its “most basic” part and keep the plot moving forward.

            As mentioned, ALIEN does this perfectly. It can be done!

            Glad u specified that Kirk.

    • Citizen M

      I’d say, in terms of off-the-wall craziness, this script is on a par with Nolan’s Interstellar. I didn’t like Interstellar at all (neither the script nor the movie), but at least I could follow what was going on, because he explains it clearly.

      As they watch, a two-foot-long creature with one huge claw
      scuttles along the ground, grabbing smaller opponents and
      smashing them apart, then sorting through the wreckage and
      adopting some of the writhing parts as its own.

      Something about the movement is endearing, the way it
      experiments with each piece -- less like a massacre and more
      like an over-caffeinated self-assembling erector set.

      Suddenly, a massive, lumbering creature SMASHES down in front
      of the claw beast. No match, the smaller creature turns to
      scuttle away. Too slow. The larger organism brings one
      club-like limb smashing down on top of it. After a moment,
      it lifts its claw -- the two animals have become one.

      The new organism lumbers away through the jungle, happily
      snapping its new claw at larger opponents.

      I didn’t get past page five. From Carson’s summary, Finn gets sent to Mars, nobody knows anything about him, so he gets sent back to Earth where he arrives in a “mind disco”. Sounds like my last visit to a government department. Is there any actual plot? Perhaps you could summarise the gist of the story in a paragraph.

      • Howie428

        Now that I’ve read all the way through this script I can see that the way it builds superficial situations and discards them is exactly the way it should be. It’s a bit like Cabin in the Woods in that initially you think the horror tropes are well-worn, but you come to realize it’s by design.

        It’s reasonable to read the early parts of this and be troubled by these things, which raises the question of whether the story should tip it’s hand a bit more, or whether it should be less aggressive in doing this. It could be fair to say that Carson is being a bit hasty in making this criticism without assessing it in the wider context of the overall story.

        (Sorry — Had to edit this for pasting error!)

        • Randy Williams

          Cabin in the Woods is a good comparison. Carson gave that script a “what the hell did I just read.” On that AOW I was reluctant to continue reading once they left “earth” because I wanted it contained. But it can’t be to be what it’s about. It’s bigger than a cabin.

          • Scott Crawford

            What works as a movie doesn’t always work as a script. And vice versa. When the person making the film wrote the script it matter less that other people “didn’t get it”. As with Cabin in the Woods and Birdman.

    • jridge32

      “For instance, in LOW TIDE this week, he lamented his confusion with the plot, specifically questioning how Robin Goodfellow killed his victims.”

      Ok. How did he kill them?

      • hackofalltrade

        Well, the majority he shot through the left eye, which as we (spoiler) learn later, his mother did to him as a child. He killed Dan while he was having sex, and sometimes he weighted the bodies down and fed them to sharks. It really wasn’t that confusing, frankly.

    • klmn

      What is it you liked about Game of 72? Since you made the effort to get through it, please post your analysis.

  • charliesb

    My vote is Sicario and The Walk. Sicario deserves the Monday review, and I’m really curious about The Walk which I’m hearing starts off weak but nails the third act.

    I can’t imagine your review of The Martian is going to any different than your review of the screenplay. Ridley and Damon are not gonna surprise us, I think it’s going to be good, but ultimately forgettable.

    • martin_basrawy

      Question re: the Walk… I’m too lazy to google it. Is JGL’s character walking across buildings for a specific purpose or is he doing it just to do it? “Because it’s there” type of thing. Like, is he trying to rob the adjacent building and walking across to it is the only way to get past security? Otherwise, I’m sure the 3-D visuals are great, but I’d be disappointed if there weren’t a larger point to it.

      • Randy Williams

        Clue: there are no banks on top of Everest.

        • Jarrean

          LOL!

        • Citizen M

          Snowbanks?

          • Randy Williams

            I see what you did there.

      • wlubake

        Because it’s there. Don’t mean to dog The Walk, but go see Man on Wire (on Netflix, I think). Totally captures the awe of the event and the romantic madness of the tightrope walker.

        • martin_basrawy

          cool. thanks for replying.

        • http://soundcloud.com/the-colonel-mc The Colonel

          “Romantic madness” or “unparalleled assholery”?

      • Kirk Diggler

        There was a safe full of emeralds, sapphires, and rubies on the roof of the South tower, but there was no way to access the roof on that side because of the robot drone lasers that patrolled the top floors, Many attempts were made, all resulting in excruciatingly painful evisceration.

        Finally, a very French-sounding Frenchman, Philippe Petit, who escaped from the same prison on St. Helena that the great escape artist Napoleon couldn’t, comes to America to pull off the greatest jewel heist the world has ever seen. Only he is struck and killed by the very same cab that had just dropped him off in front of the North Tower.

        ‘The Walk’ is a dramatization of what could have happened that very unlucky day had Philippe Petit lived. (spoiler – a sudden gust of wind just as he is about to reach the other side sends him hurtling to his death)

        To this day, no one has gotten as close to the famed ‘Jewels of the Tower’ as Philippe Petit once did.

    • Brainiac138

      As someone who saw the Martian awhile ago, I can say that it isn’t ultimately forgettable. Matt Damon does a great job of getting the audience on his side. Actually, I haven’t had an experience in a theatrical setting like I had with the Martian in a really long time.

      • charliesb

        Loved the book, hope you’re right.

  • Scott Strybos

    I have tickets to see The Martian this evening. I haven’t been inside a movie theatre in six months, since May, which is when I saw Mad Max, because The Martian is the first and only film that any of the studios have produced that I have been interested in seeing.

    I read the book over a year ago and have avoided the imdb page, and all trailers and articles about the film. All I have accidentally seen are snippets: a shot of Jessica Chastain, Jeff Daniels, and Matt Damon buried in red Martian sand.

    So my vote for your Monday review is The Martian. I will be curious to read your thoughts and opinions, especially since you also read the book.

    I am actually excited for this. Has anything changed with the movie theatre experience in my half-year absence that I should know?

    • Randy Williams

      “Has anything changed with the movie theatre experience in my half-year absence that I should know?”

      Yeah, don’t make a pencil box clock and bring it with you to the theatre.

    • Citizen M

      Snap! I’ll be watching The Martian next week. And the last movie I saw in the theater was Mad Max.

    • Midnight Luck

      “Has anything changed with the movie theatre experience in my half-year absence that I should know? ”

      yeah, “Butter” (fake oily martian cheese wiz) now costs $24 and cannot be added on top, in only comes as a large VAT they put 4 kernels of popcorn in, and it isn’t an option, if you want popcorn, you HAVE to buy it.

      Enjoy.

  • Randy Williams

    I vote that you review Dolph Lungren’s new movie, “Shark Lake”.
    Any script that can convince someone that Lake Tahoe can harbor sharks
    must be genius.

  • Scott Strybos

    I just noticed that this writer did not put his name anywhere on the script. And it doesn’t look like he used it when submitting either. Is he going for a Donald Kauffman type gimmick? Or could Robotic Super Cluster be David Koepp’s pseudonym?

    • 3waystopsign

      Or the bastard love child of the Robotard 8000?

      • Scott Strybos

        The bastard child of Robotard 8000. And the DJ 3000

    • Scott Crawford

      David Koepp wrote this under a pseudonym:

      Don’t know why, it’s good fun.

      • 3waystopsign

        Wow. Forgot about that movie.

      • Randy Williams

        At 1:13:09 you can see one of the original Subway restaurants. Just say’n.

        • 3waystopsign

          OF COURSE I had to see for myself.

    • Citizen M

      Pity he was reviewed by Carson “Supermassive Black Hole” Reeves

      • klmn

        If you disagree with Carson’s review, feel free to post your own.

        • Citizen M

          I was commenting on the name Robotic Super Cluster, not on the script.

          FWIW I agree with Carson’s review and I posted my own last week.

    • Howie428

      I just googled Game of 72 and found out that it’s the name of one of those internet challenges. Essentially you’re challenged to disappear for 72 hours. Five months ago there was a burst of concerned news stories, because parents didn’t want their kids doing this! Knowing that gives the title an extra edge.

    • klmn

      Could it be a computer programming effort at a machine written script? (Not IBM’s Watson, maybe a Commodore 64.

  • Grin Reaper

    As of right now Sicario has a Certified Fresh rating of 93% on Rotten Tomatoes. The Martian also has a Certified Fresh rating of 93%. The Walk (which I think looks dumb and boring, even though I think JGL is awesome) has a Certified Fresh rating of 87%.

    Having not read the book or scripts I’m pretty sure I know how The Martian is going to end, but I have no idea what’s going to happen in Sicario.

    So I vote, SICARIO

  • Howie428

    Yeah, you have to work at reading this, and yes the special effects needed for it are probably prohibitively expensive, and yes the underlying story could be cleaner to follow, but it’s a hell of a wild ride!

    It’s probably a simplification, but it can be said that readers fit on a spectrum between those who require the writer to do all the descriptive work for them, and those who’ll fill in the gaps for themselves. If you’re towards the “describe it for me” end, then I can see how
    this script will cause you pain.

    Through the middle act of this script I was enjoying the imagination of it, but thinking it would just keep meandering on that way through to the end. But it turned out I was way wrong, and actually the last third of the script nails it.

    In spite of this being near impossible to make, I’d say this is perhaps my favorite script of all the ones I’ve seen on amateur Fridays.

    • 3waystopsign

      As Scott mentioned earlier this week, your spec may not be made, but can be used as a writing sample to get you paid work. This script is by no means perfect, but it’s a hell of a writing sample.

  • wlubake

    I can’t see how the Walk, being fake and special effects, can measure up to Man on Wire, being real. Thus, The Walk is pretty low on my list. If you haven’t seen Man on Wire, I could see how you would enjoy it more.

    I’m planning on seeing The Martian tonight. Given that you did book to script on it, it would only make sense to do a book to script to screen follow up. Then, when they come out with the musical version of the Martian in a few years, you can do the book to script to screen to stage review. Of course, when they make the film version of the musical…

    • Citizen M

      You forgot The Martian videogame.

      “Let’s see… to grow more potatoes I need more fertilizer, therefore I need to poop more, therefore I need to eat more potatoes, therefore… my head hurts!”

    • http://soundcloud.com/the-colonel-mc The Colonel

      Problem with Man on Wire is that it reveals the protagonist to be a real shitbird. His girl helps him every step of the way toward achieving his dream, and literally two seconds after he pulls it off he cheats on her.

      I heard they left that fact out of this crowd-pleaser.

  • Jarrean

    Congrats again to Game of 72 for the review.

    I saw Man on Wire so I have no interest in seeing The Walk. Plus, Joseph’s wig is distracting.

    • BellBlaq

      Joseph’s face is distracting.
      I think that digital Joseph/Bruce mash-up they did for LOOPER ruined him for me.

  • http://soundcloud.com/the-colonel-mc The Colonel

    “Or grip has, failed?”

    Is that William Shatner talking?

  • Scott Strybos

    While talking about The Walk, when are we going to get Frank Darabont’s adaptation of Stephen King’s The Long Walk? His history of adapting King is perfect and the book was a lot of fun.

    • Midnight Luck

      Exactly.
      The Long Walk was awesome, and kinda batshit crazy.

      I love that Stephen King literally INVENTED “Reality TV” with his stories THE LONG WALK and THE RUNNING MAN.

      Actually, I am not in love with that.
      I’m kinda pissed at him.
      Now we have to watch all kinds of awful stupid shit, full of all kinds of awful stupid people.

      What an asshole.

      But a brilliant one.
      He was 30 years ahead of his time. And he wrote it as Richard Bachman when he was 18 or 20. I know he wrote RAGE (one of the short stories in his tome THE BACHMAN BOOKS) when he was 18. Another, ahead of his time book (Rage) about a school shooting. (much like just happened yesterday at Umpqua Community College in Oregon. Damn.

  • martin_basrawy

    I disagree that a man in the same part would’ve fared any better. It’s just a very underwritten role.
    The movie is a white knuckle ride, but just has a lot of strange character choices. It really does feel like Mad Max in a way, because a supporting character has more agency and more of an arc than the main character.

  • martin_basrawy

    I think a few things would’ve made it better.
    1) she fends off the cowboy assassin herself without Del Toro’s help, thereby giving her at least one hell-yeah moment.
    2) she should’ve followed Del Toro to the cartel boss’s house at the end and witnessed everything first-hand and THEN had the same conversation (amidst the family’s dead bodies) that she later has with Del Toro in her own kitchen.
    3) In the (very one-sided) tunnel shootout, didn’t Blunt follow her partner (the black guy, I forget his name) down the same route that led her to Del Toro? So shouldn’t her partner have ran into Del Toro first as he kidnapped the policeman? Her partner dying would’ve added some weight to the overall proceedings.

  • martin_basrawy

    I mean, Blunt isn’t even involved in any of the interrogations. First, Del Toro waterboards that one guy from Juarez, then he slaps around the cowboy assassin in the back of the car. Both times Blunt was absent when she should’ve been leading the charge in finding answers.

  • Midnight Luck

    SICARIO definitely.

    As for this script? I got to page 3 and bowed out. Sorry, no. I could tell from those 3 pages this was going to be so full of things I wasn’t going to want to read or spend my time on, I just bailed. Didn’t even give it 10 pages.

    What does that mean? I don’t f-ng know. Just that I didn’t want to read it. Also that I didn’t enjoy reading the 3 pages I did read.

    So like you (carson) said yesterday, If you can’t get me to like reading 3 of your pages, how are you going to convince me I should want to read 100+ pages of your writing?
    It isn’t going to happen.

    And it is odd that I did laugh when the writer said they moved to LA to pursue a career in waiting tables. But the rest of the WYSR and the Logline, didn’t do anything for me. A writer in love with the sound of their own voice.

    Reminds me of someone. hmm, who could that be?
    not quite sure, but it is right there on the tip of my tongue.

  • jridge32

    Great critique as usual, Carson. The opening 10 pages of “72” weren’t nearly as unhinged as it seems like the rest of the script quickly became. Oh well.

    I vote “The Martian”.

  • jridge32

    So, bad then?

  • Kirk Diggler

    “You’re a talented writer and better than this.”

    You might be confusing imagination with ‘talent’, particularly how it relates to the the art of writing.

    A talented writer knows how to communicate with his/her audience and thus make emotional connections, they know how to make you care.

    It sounds like this writer has great imagination but doesn’t know how to write just yet. Reading the examples you provide only cements this point. I read the one page and there is no way i’d read more of that. That’s bad writing, and it appears to be deliberate, because I believe the writer himself chimed in and said he wanted the audience to feel the confusion of his main character. There are better ways to achieve this than information overload.

    The reader is your friend, not the enemy.

    I’d follow Carson’s advice, don’t dumb it down, just SIMPLIFY.

    • brenkilco

      Well, a talent for writing fiction of any kind must include a large chunk of imagination. But I agree that writing is also a nuts and bolts skill. And especially with a pared down form like screenwriting clarity and precision may be worth more than a way with poetic metaphors and the ability to create a feeling of sensory overload.

      One other problem, and bear in mind I’m not a scifi guy, but the writer seems to love his world rather more than the story that’s taking place in it. Ultimately your world is just background.

      • Kirk Diggler

        “Ultimately your world is just background.”

        Worth repeating.

      • Stephjones

        ” ultimately your world is just background”

        My world for the past 24 hours has been in the Bahamas, on my sailboat, tied in mangroves, living in the world of a Cat 4 hurricane which passed just to the east of us. Too much wind, blowy rain, waves and NOISE but the worse is over and we’ve survived without too much drama. However, if you listen to reports rolling in throughout the family islands you know that “world” is crucial to each individuals story. In our case, if we had been 50 miles further east our survival became less certain. 50 miles further north our storm experience would have been less…fraught.
        Your story world is not just background if your characters are actually inhabiting it.

        • Citizen M

          I was wondering if you got caught by Hurricane Joaquin. Glad you’re safe.

        • brenkilco

          I perhaps should have excepted man against the elements stories. Glad you made out OK. Then again, how often can you make people feel sorry for you by saying you’re on a sailboat in the Bahamas.

      • carsonreeves1

        Background is important, just not THE most important thing, which is the problem here.

  • Kirk Diggler

    You two should get a room.

    And by room I mean torture chamber.

    • Midnight Luck

      Yeah, it makes me nauseous.

      • Daivon Stuckey

        You and Grendl are very similar in one distinct way.

  • Brainiac138

    Saw the Martian a few weeks ago, it is a great crowd pleaser.

  • klmn

    Don’t know what to make of Carson’s review. It’s all about writing style. Not a word about theme or character development. Is there any?

    I gave up on the script early on. Too cluttered for me. Maybe if the writer rewrote for clarity I could get further, if there was anything left.

  • scriptfeels

    Personally looking forward to seeing the martian, i’m not that interested in the walk, but i’m sure its a good movie. I dont know anything about sicaro.

  • Monique B

    Sicario review! I’m positively thrilled with all of the female badasses on screen this year. Even more excited by the box office numbers attached to these leading lady films. Remember when GI Jane was considered groundbreaking? (Also I’m pretty sure it bombed.)

  • Lucid Walk

    Sicario
    I’m seeing The Martian on $6 Tuesday. Don’t spoil it!

    • klmn

      Yeah, Carson should review Sicario.

    • Midnight Luck

      i’m gonna see it on $4 tuesday here.
      I just saw Sicario a couple hours ago.
      not sure when i’ll see the walk, but will at some point.

  • Midnight Luck

    Who?

  • Andrew Parker

    OT: Back to the Future is streaming free on Amazon Prime all this month. Easily a Top 5 movie for me. So good at setups/payoffs, proving once again how important Act One is.

    I have a screenwriting exercise for anyone out there who feels like they’re not so great at writing action. Here is all the dialogue from the movie: https://sfy.ru/transcript/back_to_the_future_ts

    Now just write the rest of the script — slug lines, action lines, mini-slugs, parentheticals. This is a nice “start with the shallow end approach” to writing a script.

    And then once you write a scene, write it again. Make it more concise, more specific, more interesting to the reader (i.e. don’t start every action line with “Marty does X” or “Marty does Y”)

    Back to the Future should be an easy movie to do this for because, for many of us, the action is so seared in our brains. Good luck!

  • Caivu

    I vote for a review of either Sicario or The Martian.

  • Monique B

    Care to share your copy with me? mbeadle at gmail

    • Scott Crawford

      Sent!

      • Monique B

        a thousand thank yous!

  • Caivu

    ***HORROR MOVIE MARATHON 2015 DAY 2:

    THE INVISIBLE MAN (1933)***

    I read the original novel years and years ago, but unlike Dracula I barely remember anything about it. As far as the film itself, I know it was a pioneer in visual effects, which seem to still work from the short clips I’ve seen over the years. I doubt this’ll be terrible, but if it is, at least it’s short.
    We’ll just have to… see. Ahem.
    Review coming soon.

    • Poe_Serling

      I think The Invisible Man (1933) is a true classic. From James Whale’s direction, to the cutting edge special effects (for that time period), and for the performance of Claude Rains (mostly his voice, only a glimpse of him at the end).

      Fun sidenote: Preston Sturges worked on the script for this film; however, director Whale considered his effort to be ‘unsatisfactory.’

      **I’m happy to say I have all six of the Universal Horror Legacy DVD collections featuring Dracula, The Mummy, The Invisible Man, The Wolf Man, Creature from the Black Lagoon, and Frankenstein (and all their sequels).

      • klmn

        But do you have Jesse James Meets Frankenstein’s Daughter?

        • Poe_Serling

          It’s not in my collection yet – but I did once watch it on TV as a double bill with Billy the Kid vs. Dracula.

          • klmn

            It’s not a good movie. Nowhere near the level of the Universal classics you mentioned.

      • brenkilco

        The sequels on those legacy sets, Bride of Frank excepted naturally, do get progressively cheaper and lamer, teaming up the monsters in various combos on their way to a final rendezvous with Abbot and Costello. But they still have loads of charm. Son of Frankenstein in particular. Lugosi is great as Igor. Atwell’s arm is cool and the monster’s woolly sheepskin vest is tres stylish.

  • Name

    Carson, can you not review both The Martian and Sicario (and even The Walk) on different days/weeks?

    I think all these movies would be worth a review.

    Don’t make us choose.

    • klmn

      He’s got 250 scripts to read. Hopefully they’re not all like today’s.

  • brenkilco

    Granted. See comment below.

  • Daivon Stuckey

    You’re so right about the defense mechanism.

    It’s kind of like the thing Carson was talking about yesterday where you’ll start your script with a really overly poetic scene description, to make you sound really “talented” and “writerly” at the beginning. It shows a lack of confidence, and really ends up hurting you.

  • Daivon Stuckey

    You and Midnight Luck are very similar in one distinct way.

    • grendl

      We both are infatuated with me?

  • Howie428

    Don’t know about anyone else, but I live in close proximity to Mars and find your assumption that we’re all Earth-based exterraphobic!

    More seriously, as someone who liked your script, I hope that at some stage you’ll be able to stand by it and get credit for the work.

  • Caivu

    Is the supercluster itself robotic, or is it a just supercluster of robots?

  • Poe_Serling

    A bit of OT:

    BONE TOMAHAWK

    Here’s the first trailer for the upcoming horror Western starring Kurt Russell.

    It opens on Oct. 23 and was the closing film at this year’s Fantastic Fest in Austin. The early reviews are starting to trickle in – mostly positive!!

    More than a few of the reviewers have pointed out that the film falls squarely in the Western camp with the horror elements coming near the end, which the trailer seems to bear out.

    http://www.ew.com/article/2015/10/02/bone-tomahawk-trailer

    • Midnight Luck

      Wow that looks really interesting.
      Love the slow pacing.
      The chilling build up.

      What is the likelihood, all of a sudden Westerns are going to be HOT again?

      Seems like they have been the one genre which has been labeled as the one you NEVER go near.

      But here we are with a really good looking one in BONE TOMAHAWK, along with WESTWORLD making a return, and REVENANT, which could be considered a western.

      I think these are three very strong contenders for a turn in how the Western is regarded.

      • Poe_Serling

        Yeah, there seems to be a slight resurgence in the Western. A few more on the horizon:

        >>In a Valley of Violence. Directed by Ti West. Starring Ethan Hawke.
        >>The Hateful Eight. QT’s holiday present to his fans.
        >>The Magnificent Seven remake with Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke again.
        >>Jane Got a Gun with Natalie Portman, Joel Edgerton, and Ewan McGregor.

        • Midnight Luck

          You are right.
          Of course, how could I forget Tarantino and his new love affair with the Western? Multiple versions of Mag 7 both coming out. And Jane Got a Gun. I forgot about all these.
          Haven’t heard of Valley of Violence, but could be interesting.

          I am very intrigued to see how this sudden push in Western fare turns out. Will people be excited and drawn to it, or will they be completely uninterested?

        • klmn

          I’d call both Django Unchained and The Hateful Eight Blaxploitation rather than Westerns.

          Not a trace of Western theme in either one.

  • Malibo Jackk

    Just got word I didn’t make the cut.

    Logline: An Italian man searches for the thieves who stole his bicycle.

    • Scott Crawford

      Love it!

    • http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1888937/ Rick McGovern

      For some reason I thought it read:

      “An alien searches for the thieves who stole his bicycle.”

      lol

      Is this going to be a remake of the Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure? ;)

  • Midnight Luck

    You could be right. Haven’t seen or heard of it.

    Whenever something seems brand new, you can always trace it back to someone or something else before.

    Seems everyone is always stealing from someone.

    Yet new ideas have to start from somewhere at some point, right?

  • Randall Alexander
    • Citizen M

      Yeah, like it’s inconceivable that any script with big names attached could ever be bad. [/snark]

      Downsizing got a rare [x] what the hell did I just read? from Carson.From his review, it sounds like one of those concepts that feel brilliant when you first think of them, then turn into WTF was I thinking? ten minutes into starting to outline them. http://scriptshadow.net/screenplay-review-downsizing/

    • Scott Crawford

      Wow, I’m in a hotbed of stupidity, racism and misogyny!!! (Don’t believe everything ANYTHING you read on the Deadline comments board. Cesspit.).

  • robertKNL

    Not to sound like a hard to please critic, but I stopped reading after five pages. As many have said before me: simplify it, But, there are also moments when I needed MORE explaination. Better yet, in the first few sentences: How most I imagine a talking metal box?.

    As for movie advise: I watched Sicario last Tuesday, which was very cool, but I’d say The Martian. Watched it yesterday, and I’m amazed by how the writer managed to put so much science in 141 minutes, but also in a way that I understand it (not that weird bs that was Interstellar)