Amateur Friday Submission Process: To submit your script for an Amateur Review, send in a PDF of your script, a PDF of the first ten pages of your script, your title, genre, logline, and finally, why I should read your script. Use my submission address please: Your script and “first ten” will be posted. If you’re nervous about the effects of a bad review, feel free to use an alias name and/or title. It’s a good idea to resubmit every couple of weeks so your submission stays near the top.

Genre: Crime/Drama
Premise: A suspended inner city social worker tries to protect a young girl and her mother from the girl’s father, a psychotic killer who’s just been released from prison.
About: Where Angels Die beat out all the Amateur Entries a couple of weeks ago. Make sure to sign up for the newsletter to get the Amateur entries early and vote for which one should be reviewed come Friday. Writer Alex Felix JUST MOVED to LA to pursue screenwriting more seriously.  Little else is known about him but I’m trying to find out!
Writer: Alexander Felix (based on the novel “In the Place Where Angels Die” by Richard Seal)
Details: 93 pages

Update 1: Contact Brooklyn Weaver or Thomas L. Carter if you’re interested in script.
Update 2: Script going out to prodcos and talent.
Update 3: Thomas L. Carter (Station 3) co-managing Alex on this script.  Offers have started coming in.  Alex and group looking for best fit.  Still listening.
Update 4: Alex now with CAA.  CAA is looking to package material.  

Contagion-1-9A scruffed up down-on-his-luck Matt Damon for Parker??

Holy shit!

Holy shit holy shit holy shit holy shit.

Immediate background. I started reading this at 4 A.M.

How many scripts have I been able to finish that I’ve started at 4 A.M.?

Zero. It’s never happened.

Except for this script. Except for this MASTERFUL script. This is the kind of script you dream about. I have sent out an e-mail to Alex basically begging him to let me work on this with him. Not only do I want to give him the highest praise, I want to thank all of you who participate in Amateur Offerings. Without you guys filtering these scripts, there’s a good chance Where Angels Die never would’ve made it in front of me. Because it doesn’t have the splashiest logline. It has the kind of logline that actually makes you think the script’s going to be boring.

But then you have this writer, Alex, who’s come out of freaking NOWHERE, getting hold of this novel by Richard Seal, which doesn’t come up anywhere if you search for it on the internet (is this a published novel??), and you have these guys who just…nobody’s ever heard of before. And they produce this??

I’m still gob smacked. This is like Drive meets The Equalizer but with ten times the character development and depth. There’s so much going on here. I have to apologize because I’m writing this at six in the morning and I’m still a little loopy, but wow. I will GUARANTEE you that this will be made into a movie. I don’t know how soon from now. But it will happen. You don’t run across scripts like this often. And Alex, wherever you are, wake up and answer my e-mail. I want to be a part of this.

Okay, where do I start? The plot! Right, the plot. Okay, so we have this guy, Parker Jode. He’s a social worker with OCD. I know that sounds hackneyed but trust me, Alex makes it work. In fact, he makes it sing. Everything that happens in here, you believe, no matter how nutty it is. I mean at one point our bad guy dresses up in drag to blow to bits an entire strip club. Wait, I’m getting ahead of myself. So basically Parker is this social worker living in a shitty town (Detroit) with a shitty life.

But he’s trying to make the best of it. One of the people he’s working with is a stripper, Dhalia. Dhalia’s got a daughter Parker checks in on every once in awhile. It’s a mild case, nothing like the really bad cases where the parents are ODd on heroin while their babies haven’t eaten in two days. Dhalia’s actually back on the straight and narrow, taking care of her daughter. And Parker has a thing for her, a thing he’s been unable to pursue because of the job he’s supposed to do. And Parker takes his job really serious. It’s one of the things you love about him.

But anyway, Dhalia’s psychotic husband, Horatio, has just gotten out of jail on a technicality and boy is he fucked up. He’s manic-depressive. He’s got AIDS. He’s bipolar. He’s a jack-in-the-box nightmare on a stick. I’m not talking about the good kind with the 2 tacos for 99 cents deal either.  This compadre’s evil.  And he doesn’t like some “cracker” social worker hanging around his home.

So one of the first days back he finds out that Dhalia’s gone to her stripper job. This is something he thought he made clear can’t happen. So he heads to the strip club, and not only kills everybody there, but kills the damn cop who’s getting a lap dance from his wife. It’s a massacre. And this guy just doesn’t give a shit. He mows these people down with the same nonchalantness as a Sunday stroll.

When Parker figures this out, all he wants to do is save Dhalia and her daughter, because he knows this psychopath is a few days away from offing them too. So that’s exactly what he does. But Horatio isn’t just going to stand around and let that happen. He sends his boys to take Parker down. And when that fails, he sends himself. This reckless imperfect crazed social worker is going to take on this psychotic berserking ex-con, and insides are going to become outsides when it’s all said and done. But who’s insides will they be? Is the man we’ve grown to love and root for going to come out with his valentine’s day card still beating?

While there are some standard elements to this plot it’s HOW Alex tells this story that’s so impressive. We have men-in-drag slaughtering strip clubs, we got hated fathers who are orchestra conductors, we got seemingly pointless grudge matches with street kids who steal car radios (that for some unexplainable reason we care immensely about), we have a stapler incident at headquarters that makes the OFFICE SPACE stapler incident look like a minor dust-up. We have AIDS, OCD, Aspergurs, 7 year olds carrying around 200 grand. But most of all, we have someone who captures the grime and grit of the Detroit streets, of the disgusting lower than low filth that’s settled over that city and turned so many promising lives into lost ones. You FEEL this world on the page, and I just don’t see that on this level very often. Or at all.

When I pick up a script, one of the first things I focus on is, “Will an A-list actor want to play this part?” Or, more specifically, is the lead role challenging and interesting and unique? I don’t think there’s ever been, onscreen, a kickass alcoholic OCD gun-wielding social worker who’s based in REALITY. Who’s based in TRUTH. Parker’s not played like Denzel’s super-hero character in The Equalizer. This man is heavily flawed. He saves kids from troubled homes but he’s wasted when he does it. And he’s imperfect and he holds grudges and he can’t leave the past alone and THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT MAKES HIM POP OFF THE PAGE. I just can’t see a major actor reading this character and not wanting to play him.

Another thing I look at is the villain. Does he stand out? Because every big hero needs an another equally big villain to oppose him. Someone with equal weight. I don’t even think The Equalizer had that. Horatio is fucking memorable. He’s a little cliché at times, but his powder-keg personality makes him unpredictable enough that you’re just not paying attention to that cause you’re so damn scared of the dude.

If there are notes to give they would probably be to take this story a little further away from Drive where you can. There are some similar plotlines here and you want to stand out from that movie more. I also think there could be a little more unpredictability in the last 30 pages. One of the mistakes I see a lot of writers make is when they get to the more action-y stuff in their third act, they fall into that predictable run/chase/shoot trap, because there’s not as much room to play around as you had earlier on when you had time.  I want to see some of that same cleverness in the final act that I saw in the first two.

But really, those are my only complaints. This script was freaking awesome. The character building was incredible.  Second to none!  I’m going to sleep now. And when I wake up, I hope to hear from a few people that I sent it to and see if we can get it where it needs to be, which is at a studio or a big production company and getting MADE.

Good job Alex!

Script link taken down.  Shit is happening.

[ ] what the hell did I just read?
[ ] wasn’t for me
[ ] worth the read
[x] impressive (TOP 10!!!)
[ ] genius

What I learned: The ONLY thing that annoyed me the entire script! I don’t like it when writers put their opinions in the action text. The only opinions that should be coming out are those of the characters. Look, I’m not a Katy Perry fan either, but I don’t want to know that you, the writer, aren’t. That’s not what scripts are for. The only time I was taken out of this entire script was when I read, “KATY PERRY or some other POPPY RADIO TRASH plays through the store’s P.A.” It was the only time I stopped and thought about the person writing the story. Which was a CRIME because I was so damn sucked into this story otherwise. So even though I love you Alex, don’t do this anymore!

  • ThomasBrownen

    Congratulations Alex! I thought the logline looked like it had a lot of potential, and I’m glad to see Carson thinks it lives up to its potential. Woohoo! Another good week for Scriptshadow.

    • carsonreeves1

      very good! We hit a rocky streak there for awhile.

      • Crazdwrtr

        It’s exciting to be here on the ground floor watching as writers’ careers are born. Congrats Alex!

  • Tschwenn

    Where Angles Die

    Bad Lieutenant meets Drive meets Bringing Out the Dead.

    While I found the writing quality fair, and the general premise interesting –
    something about this story was just not dynamic enough for me. In addition,
    there are a few major questions I have regarding plot elements (what very little
    plot there was) and the main character.

    What is Parker’s problem?
    I just never bought into his Bad Lieutenant-like
    character. He’s a social worker, which means he’s out doing good – which
    completely works against his tough guy, gun-toting, alcoholic character. Harvey
    Keital’s character can get away with it, because he’s working alone and has no
    supervision and working to catch bad guys gives him a sense of purpose and
    allows him to ease his own self-hatred (as if he’s not really a bad guy because
    at least he’s not as bad as the other guy). But Parker would have to be
    checking-in and doing actual work – so it’s unbelievable for him to have that
    double-life. Of course, there are probably social workers in the real world with
    similar issues. But that doesn’t make it cinematic.

    It’s also never established why Parker has his issues. It just seems part of
    the story, but never given any background. I just couldn’t buy into it.

    By dressing up in drag and going to the club – it seems Horatio had planned
    this ahead of time? Why? Yes, he’s crazy, but that action shows premeditation,
    which contradicts his previous characterization.

    page 1: right away – the writing is good, but the writer over-describes

    page 7: again, well-written, but overwritten and very flat. There’s no
    personality. Nothing pops off the page/screen.

    page 12: Make Parker’s OCD (or whatever it really is) clear earlier – and
    push this outburst a few pages earlier.

    page 12: no need to describe the bouncer in this much detail – all bouncers
    look the same. Only need to add that he sucks on a blow pop.

    page 16: I suggest opening the club scene with Dahlia as soon as he asks
    Leticia if “she’s around”. Basically, get to the point of the scene earlier. No
    need for small talk to open each scene.

    page 17: There was no point to that scene. All we got is that he brought the
    girl to school (which we already knew) and that Horatio is being let out of
    prison. Need to give more information on their relationship and set-up a meeting
    or conflict down the road (besides Horatio coming home – that’s not enough.
    Maybe establish that Parker had been involved with putting Horatio in jail to
    begin with.) Basically just add more to this story. We need to feel that a
    conflict is developing.

    page 18: again, over-written. No need to detail how he walks through the
    office and takes off his coat. You can write this much more efficiently.

    page 24: how does no one at work smell the booze on Parker’s
    page 37: typo: “He the looks of the first boy”. Not sure what word
    is missing.

    page 41: Horatio in drag. What the hell? Out of left-field. And as I
    mentioned, earlier – shows too much premeditation.

    page 49: No real conflict has developed: all we have is Parker’s day-to-day,
    Horatio and Parke’s infatuation with Dahlia. But we need more plotting,
    scenarios, situations. Parker is not an active protagonist – he’s not working
    towards anything.

    page 54: So Horatio planned the shooting all along. Makes no sense. He’s
    crazy, a live-wire, arrogant. I find it too unbelievable that a convict who just
    got out of prison would shoot a bunch of people because his wife (who he knows
    is a stripper, gave a lapdance.) It just doesn’t add up.

    page 59: I’m noticing a lot of missing commas (Horatio: Yes but you’re a big
    girl right princess?). Should be “Yes, but you’re a big girl, right

    page 61: comma issue again. Should be JAMAL: Motherfucker, wait ’til we get
    our boys! We gonna lay you the fuck out, whiteness!

    page 63: Again, we need some motivation or explanation for Parker’s behavior.

    page 64: I find their relationship rather implausible – especially at this
    point. It would make more sense if they had been involved while Horatio was in
    prison – or this happens earlier in this particular script. But for it to happen
    so late, just seems forced.

    The writer needs to explain Parker’s behavior much earlier. Why is this
    all happening now? He would not be able to survive being a social worker this
    long with all his issues. So, why is this happening now? In addition, get to any
    sort of conflict much earlier. What are the plot points? Where are the act
    breaks? Find a thru-line, establish a goal.

    In Drive, while he’s a rater passive/stoic character, he gains a larger goal:
    do the robbery to help his neighbor’s family, and then shit gets out of control.
    He also has the goal regarding the race car stuff (and of course, being a
    getaway driver makes him active.)

    To make this script work, Parker should at some point want to get Horatio out
    of the picture through underhanded means (not just tell on him. He knows how the
    system works, and they won’t take Horatio away unless he slips up. Thus, Parker
    should plot to get Horatio put back in prison.) Parker has to be more

    • Larry

      I’m okay with the action lines. But the dialogue? Ehhh… In the first 20 pages — especially when he goes off on his co-worker. I’m seriously picturing Stephen Root from OFFICE SPACE… And that’s with a preconceived notion that he’s SUPPOSED to be a badass. If I had read it blind, I woulda thought it was just bad comedy.

  • post

    What a gem. Bonne chance, Alex!

  • walker

    Huge congratulations to Alex, this is the second script of his I have read, and he is a talented young writer. Props to Carson and Scriptshadow for recognizing his potential.

    • Malibo Jackk

      Where did you find the other script?

  • SeekingSolace

    Someone has to BUY THIS SCRIPT.

    I thought Mr. Reeves wouldn’t like it because the chaotic ending, which I found to be a bit over the top. And I didn’t get the need to give Parker OCD, it never seem to be a constant affliction. It plays a role in him getting suspended, but doesn’t appear in the story again until the very end when he places his neatly folded jacket in the trunk.

    Think about Oscar nominee for best original screenplay “As Good As It Get,” Melvin Udall’s OCD was ever present up until the final scene. So when the love scene arrived in “Where Angels Die,” I wondered “Where’s Parker’s OCD now?” But this is a minor gripe for what seems to be a good adaptation.

    Overall the characters felt authentic. I kept thinking to myself “this could happen in real life.” Horatio’s bipolar nature is displayed quite well with him being mild manner in the beginning, crude when he’s not given all of his proper MEDS at the same time, then an absolute unremorseful menace by the time it’s all over.

    “Where Angels Die” reads better than a lot of the Blacklist scripts I’ve read in the past two years. I don’t think it’s going to be hard for any agent, manager, or producer with any clout to get big names attached to this one.

    Good luck Alexander Felix. I’m sure you’re going to get a ton of attention and bunch of re-writes because of this script. DON’T FORGET MR. REEVES when you do. Also, THANK YOU FOR SHARING THIS SCRIPT WITH EVERYONE.

  • Citizen M

    I’m so pleased Carson raved about this script. I thought it was exceptional, and he and I don’t always agree.

    One point other commenters made was that Parker’s OCD nature got forgotten half-way through the script. It was quirk for quirk’s sake. I think that’s a valid criticism.

    Afterwards I thought, how does an OCD character behave in the middle of a gunfight? Stuff getting destroyed and splinters flying everywhere — it’s a nightmare of untidiness for him. An actor could have a lot of fun with a character trying to tidy up the place while he’s shooting and being shot at. It could be tonally wrong if overdone, but I think it could add an extra dimension to the finale.

  • Poe_Serling

    A hearty slap on the back to Alexander for nabbing an impressive in his AF debut. Though I haven’t had a chance to read it yet, the title and logline give me a classic film noir vibe.

    And I do remember about two weeks ago that Citizen M called it ‘the best amateur script I’ve ever read on the site.’ Some high praise indeed!

  • ximan

    CONGRATS ALEX!!! Nitpicking aside, this is a beautiful, wonderful, gorgeous script. Good luck to you and Carson getting this thing made!!

  • wlubake

    I certainly hope Alex makes an appearance. Congrats on a great script. Great timing moving to L.A. too. Sounds like you’ll be busy very soon.

  • Gojuice

    This is one of the few times I completely disagree with Carson. The script showcases an excellent writer. It was one of the easiest scripts to read ever presented on this site, but not one of the best. Too many plot holes, too much like Drive, and the fact that it’s based on an unproduced novel makes me think all the good stuff that Carson raves about (scenes, settings, Detroit captured in all its gritty glory and characters were all handed over to the writer to craft a script) were already in place. I’m not certain, but just speculating. I guess what I’m getting at, it’s a better script than movie. It was fun to read. I flew threw it in an hour. But like Chinese food, I was hungry two hours later. If I would have posted my comments a few minutes after finishing the script, I would have glowed too. One of the best openings I’ve ever read. Compelling, tense and a protag that I wanted to follow. But after stewing for a bit, it wasn’t quite there. Keep in mind, it’s like picking harder on your A+ student, because this script was polished and this writer can write. That said:

    Drive. Drive. Drive. If someone said to me write Drive, but different, I’d write this. Need to separate this film from that one. And that one was masterful. The split-second, brutal violence was peppered throughout (three scenes total?). In WAD, it was like every other page. We got long descriptions, clinical almost, of the results of the violence and the damage done. Again, it was like Drive but more, more, more!

    Speaking of the violence, it was too big. Took me out of the story. Unless I’m watching Die Hard or Shoot ‘Em Up, this was cartoon violence in a serious setting. Taking the fight to the street, long shootouts with no legal consequences (one quick scene with a detective), shooting cops in broad daylight, a shootout in a traffic jam. Sure, you’ve established that your antag does not give a fuck, but there would be consequences none the less. More police presence? Cops on his tail? You open with a serious story, with a serious character and you have this Looney Tune violence. One or the other.

    The father? Added for mystery (which, when introduced, it was my favorite mystery in the script), but no pay off. What happened to the two? What’s the story? It was a script device and not organic. Added for mystery and a God from the skies ally at the climax. Missing a huge piece in the middle to tie the two up.

    OCD. And we’re into the story, so let’s drop it altogether. It was distracting in its absence. Again, and it’s becoming a theme, very compelling when set up, but not needed so dropped.

    Antagonist. Wow. Great intro. I was sweating reading this and saw a scene where he’d threaten to pass the virus to his daughter. Great foreshadowing. And then the strip club in drag massacre. In the tone set prior, and mentioned above, this scene will get laughed at in a theater, and not in the right way. It came from left field, took a dump on the pitcher’s mound, and flipped you off on it’s way out of the park. But because it was so ‘different,’ it doesn’t hit you for while. I initially really liked this scene. And then nothing. No mention of drag (a prison thing, no sex with the wife, there’s a lot you could do to satisfy this scene later) and no consequences for a massacre involving dead cops.

    And the last 15 pages were just an action movie cliche. The AIDS threat with the daughter was captivating, and I can see a small climax between the main character and the people he cares about to keep this from happening. That would have been fine.

    Finally, this was great writing, but my two big complaints are: consistency in tone and (first time I’ve ever suggested a script add more pages) more story. Tie the plots together. A lot of the scenes were a pleasure to read on their own, but did not come together as a whole.

    Congrats to the writer, and I can see why people love this. Scribe deserves all good things and this story is a keeper. I just couldn’t make it past the issues above but still a definite worth the read.

    • JakeMLB

      I’m with gojuice. This is a good script but I’m left with some serious reservations.

      It’s very similar to Drive, too similar, yet the relationship between Dahlia and Parker isn’t nearly as developed. There is one scene where Dahlia and Parker smile politely at each other and from that we’re supposed to feel a relationship between them? Too much telling not enough showing. Think back to Drive. There were at least 7 unique interactions between Irena/Benicio and Driver to nurture these relationships before Standard’s return. It might be unfair to compare Drive to this but given the similarities, it’s impossible not to. And the real difference is in efficiency and tone.

      The cartoonish violence seriously detracts from this story. Horacio wakes up and finds Dahlia missing — this is only our second introduction to him — and then dresses in drag and kills everyone in a strip club with zero consequences? That’s ridiculous. How did he even know where she was? What would prompt him to carry out this insane, premeditated act? He doesn’t want her stripping? But she’s been stripping this whole time…

      Being told Horatio is unstable isn’t enough to prepare the reader for such violence in a story that otherwise strives for realism. And if he’s so unstable, why would Dahlia openly await his return? That was hard enough to pull off in Drive but here it’s beyond plausible. The man is bipolar and has AIDS. Even if he owns the apartment and even if his daughter misses her daddy, that’s a tough sell. We need some plausible reason to believe that Dahlia would welcome that monster back into her home. Finally, why would Dahlia go strip if she knows Horatio is insane and doesn’t want her to? If it’s for the money, we need to see that she desperately needs the money up front. A lot more efficiency and setup needs to go into this story in its first act to get it running smoothly.

      I’ll leave it there as I don’t want to detract from an excellent piece of writing. These are issues that can be addressed (hopefully in development!) and I have full faith that the writer has the ability to do so. Good luck!

    • Jovan Jevtic

      Great writing sample Alex. I just don’t see that attractive scene like in Drive. Something that you’ll show in your trailer so people want to see it. Don’t forget in Drive, the guy is moonlighting as a driver for criminals and does stunts. Parker is not that entertaining. I agree that slow burning thrillers have their place but there’s a twist missing that will set this apart.

    • TruckDweller

      I’m right with you on the violence and the lack of police presence. However, I suspect that with the right development, this can be ironed out. And you may as well be paid for that work if your script is in great shape. What that means is, Alex has written characters that actors will recognize and want to play. The comparison to Drive makes it more marketable, not less. Therefore, I’d take these notes, for sure, but I’d still go out with the script and see if you can hook talent while the heat is there. Then you make your changes when this is in place for production.

  • Alexander Felix

    I just wanted to thank everyone here I’m very humbled by the praise and encouragement. I look forward to speaking with you, Carson, and I’ll make sure to try and keep you guys posted about what happens!

    • ThomasBrownen

      Awesome! About time you woke up and read this site. :)

    • Kay Bryen

      A million congrats for overthrowing Disciple Program in our game of thrones. For your sake I hope a couple of A-listers do sign up for this, because Oscars are to actors what crack is to the Detroit projects.

    • sweetvita

      A HUGE Congrats, Alexander! You must be sooo thrilled! I am ;)

  • Tailmonsterfriend

    I’m… I’m in awe. The writing in this is just so damn CRISP. Did you guys notice that? There’s a clear purpose for every single word in here. And I think this sleek prose makes the tension feel real. I mean, the scene where Parker first meets Horatio is so, SO tense. You can tell that Parker is taut like a steel wire, but Alex doesn’t have to tell you he is – he just shows it through the character. Here, lemme show you:

    Ashley giggles and does her best ballerina twirl. She wears
    lipstick, a bright pink dress with white stockings, and
    shiny red Dorothy shoes.

    Aren’t you gorgeous. I bet that-

    You like little girls?

    Parker whips around. Standing in front of him is HORATIO
    PEREZ, 36.

    He’s tall, statuesque. A smirking light-skinned man (for
    being hispanic) with aquiline features and long, sandy brown
    hair tied into a bun. Everything about the way he moves
    exudes strength and control.

    Excuse me?

    Parker blinks rapidly.

    Did you see that? Did you fucking see that shit? One line! One line, “Parker blinks rapidly”, is all it takes for us to get the complex emotional state Parker’s in. Why does this work? Because Alex spent a disgusting amount of time carefully bringing Parker to life. And this is just one example of how fiendishly efficient this script is with its use of language.

    I’m… I’m in awe.

    • Alexander Felix

      Thank you Tail. I’m floating on cloud 9 right now ;)

  • Andrew Mullen

    Not to nitpick Carson, but Manic Depression and Bipolar Disorder are the same thing.

  • rsuddhi

    Congratulations, Alex, for earning the envy of all SS readers! All in all, a great read, liked the atmosphere and tone, characters were good. Like someone did mention though, it is based on a book (a book no one can seem to find anything about on the internet), so to some extent, all the story beats are already in place – not to downplay Alex’s achievements in any way. Wish you all the luck, and am rooting for you to get this onscreen someday.

    PS – one of the things to praise about this script was the building of character, and that’s what I aimed to do with my script – depict the character one way and as the script progresses, gradually and steadily revealing and exposing who they really are. So reading the first 10 pages is nowhere near enough to get that effect…anyhow if anyone’s interested, link’s below.

    “Facade” (94 pg; Drama, Noir, Mystery): A noir drama set in the idyllic 1950’s American suburbs, an unknowing police detective investigates the murder of a teenage boy, slowly realizing that not everything, or everyone, is as they appear.

    (note, was posted on March10 AOW post, any eyes are appreciated!)

  • rsuddhi

    Oh, also Carson, I got the newsletter last night, but next week’s lineup was absent. Was there any particular reason for that?

    Also, I love the drawings you put in the newsletter! Do you draw them yourself?

    • Lauren

      I think Miss Scriptshadow draws them ;)

      • rsuddhi

        Ah, well great job. You definitely deserve more credit!

  • Elaynee

    An amateur script I actually read all the way through! It really does deserve to do well.

    But please, Alexander, don’t drop the OCD like some have suggested here – it’s what makes Parker different – though I wondered if an OCD would do alcohol and drugs – I guess on a bad day they might. I’d rather see the OCD continue in the second half where it was strangely absent.

    Also, shouldn’t this have been labelled a black comedy? Horatio in drag? (Which I hated, btw – unless it was a black comedy) And Parker’s father is not the orchestra conductor or some important soloist but the lowly cymbals player? Going to the big shoot-out in a tux?

    Be nice to know what happened between Parker and his father – getting the impression, that Parker’s father bedded Dahlia too and is the father of her daughter? That’s why he was as ready as Parker to go get the bad guys? Should that be clearer? I dunno. I might have got it wrong. But I would have loved some more time between these two – they certainly made-up too quickly.

    • K.B. Houston

      My father has OCD. While I can’t speak for everyone, it certainly seems like addiction and OCD aren’t very compatible. With OCD, you’re world essentially revolves around patterns and being in control of them. When you’re wasted, you can’t control that stuff. I don’t know, that’s just from my experience. Each person is different. But substance abuse usually results in sloppy, careless behavior, which is totally un-OCD-like.

      I haven’t read the script but I almost think it would be better to take away the alcoholism and just have his inner struggle revolve around his OCD. Having the climax center around him conquering one aspect of his OCD while simultaneously doing away with the antagonist might be a cool ending.

  • Panos Tsapanidis

    I just finished reading the script and read some of the comments here. My opinion:

    The OCD: Yes, it doesn’t play a huge role on the outcome of the movie BUT it makes the character really POP OUT. Suddenly even his mundane actions i.e. what he did before sitting at the both in the strip bar become interested. This is a very powerful tool and it can be used in every action. How he fucks, how he punches, how he knocks a door etc. etc. I think the writer should explore this more. Now, if the writer manages to TIE the OCD into the plot by having the hero overcoming an obstacle by using his OCD (even a tiny one, it doesn’t matter) then it will be a slam-dunk.

    The drag scene: Yes, it wasn’t very logical as you pointed out for this to play out BUT first and MOST IMPORTANT, it creates a trailer moment. It’s the scene that will sell tickets. Second, it ups our agony in the final scene because we know that Horatio is crazy and to our perception this makes him more dangerous than the Duke.

    The Duke: It might read like cartoon violence, but I have the feeling that if they shoot it right, the audience will yell at the screen “Why don’t you Die you motherfucker?!”. Fourth wall, shattered!

    The ending: Now, this I didn’t like. And that comes from a guy who almost always wants the bad guys to win! I don’t know if it’s a sadistic feeling or a “Kiddo, this me at my most masochistic.” feeling but it’s very often that I want the hero to lose. But this happens ONLY when the hero is a James-Bond never-lose kind-of-smartass good guy. When the hero is an underdog, HE MUST BE THE WINNER.

    The rating: I’m under the impression that Carson jumped the gun on rating this script impressive, but a) he’s way more experienced than I am and b) since it’s his personal opinion, I don’t think there’s room for argument here.

    The Drive Similarities: I don’t consider those a bad thing because the fans of that movie are thirsty. Really THIRSTY, and there aren’t many movies coming out to quench this thirst. Having said that, this similarity will backfire if the movie is not good (for whatever reason). Everyone will say it was a cheap Drive-clone.

    Personally, I think this is the kind of Crime/Drama/Action movie that although it will not shatter the box office, people will rent it for decades to come. Something that happened to “True Romance”. It’s this kind of a movie in terms of target-audience.

    Congratulations to the writer!

    • JakeMLB

      “Now, if the writer manages to TIE the OCD into the plot by having the hero overcoming an obstacle by using his OCD (even a tiny one, it doesn’t matter) then it will be a slam-dunk.”

      This right here. That will certainly elevate the material and tie the OCD better in with the plot. As it stands now it’s merely a character quirk.

      And as grendl points out, alcoholism and OCD are oddly inconsistent. A quick Google search however will tell you that OCD and addiction can coexist so if the writer can find a way to make Parker develop odd rituals surrounding his alcoholism then the two traits can more smoothly coexist.

      • Panos Tsapanidis

        Well, I have to disagree with grendl’s point about alcoholism and OCD being inconsistent, not because he’s not right, I’m sure he is, but because the goal is to make a memorable character, not a character that can exist 100% in reality.

        I think writers that tend to fixate on those details end up with boring characters. We should not be fixated on the tree, but look at the forest.

    • Midnight Luck

      It makes me think of Nicholas Cage in MATCHSTICK MEN. He was so overcome with debilitating OCD it was almost his undoing in that movie. It was odd, but intensely interesting to see how it affected each and every thing he did, his choices and how he responded to things.

      i think it could be an immense strength to keep the OCD in this script and have it be somehow connected even more. Definitely expand on how it influences the characters decisions, actions, and reactions.

      • Panos Tsapanidis

        I agree 100%. Also, in Cage’s movie, his OCD was getting in the way of his goal (to hustle people). I remember that scene in the beginning where they try to scam an elderly couple and he can’t breathe.

  • AJ Mockler

    Wow. This did nothing for me at all. Tightly written yes, though “literally” lots of worship at the shrine of Lindelof. Wafer thin story. Unrealistic sex scene – where did that come from?Ridiculous bridge scene. Chance of one person being unscathed from 150ft fall – remote. Chance of both? Virtually none. The whole Marcus reveal felt like Deus Ex Machina, and left me as emotionally unengaged as the rest of it.

    The writer can clearly write, but after Carson’s epic set up, I felt like I’d been linked to the wrong script.

    Still, at least it was a fast read, but I cannot imagine this as a theatrical release – there’s nothing here. Best of luck with it though and well done for having C in your corner.

    Moral of the story: don’t start reading a script at 4am after eating blue cheese.

  • Zadora

    Wow! I guess I better read this one! :)

  • Awescillot

    I’ve just read it, and it took zero effort to keep on reading. Congrats to Alex for writing such a fine piece.

    Especially the way you let Horatio come across in the script was one of the strongest points in my opinion. Parker too, but I did notice his OCD being absent for the better part of the second half. Maybe it’d be cool if he used some of that cleaning spray on the knife, when he’s feeling alright and himself again, after he brutally mutilated Duke with it.

    I also have to agree with some of the things said below about Parker’s father, and Parker’s relationship with Dhalia. Parker’s dad coming to the rescue, especially the fact that he just agrees on being a part of the shootout, really felt like it didn’t really have its roots in the story. Parker’s relationship with Dhalia also didn’t really feel like it was something that grew out of anything that was already there. After the shooting, Parker specifically asks Dhalia whether Leticia is okay or not (51-52), so at that brief moment I thought he might have had the hots for Leticia. But that could just have been me.

    Aaanyway, just trying to be constructive here. Again, enjoyed your script and I wish you the best with it!

  • Poe_Serling

    Yeah, just took a gander at this week’s newsletter. I guess you can check off at least one item on your bucket list: being featured in a cartoon with Carson and the very ‘real’ Ms. SS. Though I hear through the grapevine, one of CR’s favorite films is Catfish. ;-)

    • grendl

      Did you see the wistful look in Miss SS’s eyes?

      • Poe_Serling

        Based on the picture, I must say you’re a robust, daunting figure when compared to Carson’s boy (x)genius persona.

        Perhaps Ms. SS is the cartoonist, which would explain the wistful look (and the obvious attraction to the whole bad boy thing).

        • klmn

          Why doesn’t the artist sign his or her work?

          Also, Grendl’s teeth look kinda small for a devourer of men.

      • Somersby

        I think she’s really into pretentious turtlenecks.
        …Where can I get one??

  • Tailmonsterfriend

    >If anyone works in one of these offices, is it believable for someone who deals with inner city social issues, meth addicts, alcoholics to get suspended for simply throwing and shattering a stapler.

    Yep, that scene actually hit home for me. I had to write up a guy for a similar incident (losing his temper, making threats of violence, etc.) not too long ago. Had my guy started throwing shit around the office, he would have been terminated on the spot. That’s just not professional behavior.

    The way Parker’s supervisor handled it was spot-on. Talk to the employee in a 1-on-1 setting, be supportive, but provide clear consequences and outline specifically what the problematic behavior is and how it’s affecting the team.

    As it stands, my employee barely dodged a PIP (performance improvement plan, which is the first step in a “shape up or get out” firing scenario), and his outburst was less severe than Parker’s. Overall, yeah, that scene was totally believable.

    • Jonathan Soens

      Yeah, outbursts like that get you in trouble in a hurry at most jobs.

      And I understand the point, especially in a field like social work, you’d expect there to be a level of passion and frustration, you’d want to excuse a harmless outburst when it’s coming from somebody who does good work and has a moment of frustration over their job.

      But, even if the boss would be inclined to let an incident slide, if it’s a big, dramatic, demonstrative disturbance like throwing things in anger, the boss’s hands are basically tied. He has no choice but to write it up if you make a big scene, in most jobs.

      I agree it feels a little odd in a movie, though, because we’re so used to characters only getting in trouble for the really big stuff. It reminds me of the scene in “The Other Guys” where Mark Wahlberg is an angry cop, who gets so frustrated with the job that he berates others and smashes his computer. In real life, if you smash a computer that belongs to your employer, you’re gonna be in pretty real trouble. In movie life, it’s usually just a nice visual to “show, not tell” how fed up a character is with whatever’s bothering them.

      Still, I think being suspended for something that seems kind of trivial can still work. Maybe the boss is more worried about the drinking, so he’s jumping on any misdeed he can find to give the guy a slap on the wrist (without ending his career by actually writing up the drinking)? Or maybe it’s a commentary on the way institutions are run, where somebody who does their job well gets sent home for not working and playing well with others. I dunno.

      I don’t have an issue with the realism of him being in trouble for the outburst. But I agree it’s not something you see in movies very often (although, is that automatically a bad thing, not writing it the way everyone else would write it?).

    • kenglo

      Yup, I work for DFPS and those case workers and Statewide Intake take calls daily, and they have a ‘special room’ where they ‘decompress’, so I think the guy’s OCD attributed to his outbursts and it was alluded to that he had prior episodes, so I could relate and follow it. I’ve noticed no matter how much success or how good a script is, there is always someone who ‘can make it better’ or suggests ‘different choices’. That’s all fine and good, if YOU are producing it. It’s not like Alex is going to go to his room and rewrite the dang thing because SOME people don’t like it. If we did that every time there was a critique, we’d be stuck on the same script for like – ever.

  • ChinaSplash2

    This is easily the best amateur script since The Disciple Program, and it’s great to see it getting the love it so richly deserves.

    Congrats Alex!

  • ripleyy

    After reading the review, and not convinced (maybe Carson is going loco for nothing?) I decided to read this.

    Two words: Holy Shit.

    Three words: Get This Made.

    Okay, so this came from a book, and I never read the book, but holy shit, dude, this was really good. Not as great as Carson makes it out to be, but wow, this was really really cool.

    I read this so fast I should have broken the sound barrier and I didn’t even realize I was nearly at the end until I checked it. Parker was amazing. Everyone is great. The writing was so clean and easy to read that it was almost embarrassing how good it was.

    And that climax? Wow. I was seriously biting my knuckle at one point and with the action, the relentlessness of it, and the gore, it was really fun to read. I’m glad I read it.

    My only problem is, is you shouldn’t get Marcus to bluntly introduce himself, let the audience figure out that this is Parker’s father.

    Honestly, this is not perfect. But it is great, and it will make a fantastic movie some day but until then, this deserves the rare chance of joining The Disciple Program as the Top 25.

    But really, that climax was just beautiful and so riveting to read.


    When they jumped into the river and got on land,

    I thought “Wow, that was fun” IT WASN’T OVER!

    So they run through the street and Duke gets knocked down.

    I thought “Wow, good night to you, Sir.” IT STILL WASN’T OVER!!

    So Duke gets up and Parker looks at him.

    I thought. “Does he go?” NO, HE DOESN’T GO, HE GOES OVER TO DUKE!

    What does he do? He stabs him in the chest and cuts his eye out. Wow. That was really great. Again, I don’t know if that was in the book, but seriously, any other writer would end it at the bridge. Alex – as fantastic as this guy is – continued on. THAT is when you know you are dealing with a professional. He/She keeps knocking you in the stomach, keeps adding the tension, adding the action.


    9/10. This and “The Disciple Program” shows that there is the rare breed of writers who are non-existent, but when they are found, they are the most valuable items on this Earth.

  • carsonreeves1

    Update: Script is going out to talent. Not sure I’m allowed to say who. Prodcos interested. Some may want to move soon.

    • Tailmonsterfriend

      Shit just got real.

      • Bryan Fiedler

        yes! hahaha

    • Panos Tsapanidis

      Even though I have nothing to gain out of this, I feel like saying THANK YOU, man. Your passion for what you’re doing is inspiring me.
      And I hope you’ll be even more involved in this project if it moves forward since you loved so much.

    • kenglo

      Awesome….good luck to Alex, and to you Carson.

    • kenglo

      Already?? Dang…Brooklyn’s a BEAST!

      • davei

        Brooklyn is a controversial manager because he attaches himself to projects that his writers put forward. And most real producers don’t want managers who try to attach themselves.

  • JNave

    I’m having trouble with the link. Would somebody please send me the pdf? Thanks!

    • Rzwan Cabani

      If you get it JNave could you please pass it along? If I get it I’ll shoot it to you. Much appreciated. Rz

  • carsonreeves1

    that’s a good tip. who would you cast?

    • Gregory Mandarano


    • TruckDweller

      He’s a bit too young for the role as written, but Michael B. Jordan has some heat on him and the talent to do it. Might feel a bit like Joseph Gordan Levitz in Brick which can be good or bad depending on who you’re talking to.

    • TruckDweller

      Wait a second… this is based on a book. The character is white. There might be more to it than just casting decisions.

    • TGivens

      Omar Sy from The Intouchables.

    • Kieran ODea

      tyler perry

  • Poe_Serling

    You two guys need to star in a remake of Platoon. Of course, Jake will take the Sergeant Barnes role and you the Sergeant Elias part.

    …The war is over for me now, but I will always be
    there – the rest of my days. As I am sure Elias
    will be – fighting with Barnes for what Rah called
    possession of my soul…

    *My humble apologies to Oliver Stone.

  • Gregory Mandarano

    I just wanted to share that theres no reason to have all those translation lines. Write the dialogue in english and use an (in Spanish) wryly. Boom, done.

    • TruckDweller

      I’d just use the Spanish and cut the translation. Unless you’re planning on subtitling it in the film, you should put your reader in the same place as the audience. In other words, we’ll be able to figure everything out by context clues (or the fact that most of the Spanish is fairly well known).

  • JT

    I have to say, it’s been sometime since I have sat down and breezed through a script like I did on this one. Quality writing; excellent character building in the first act – it was a pleasure to read, so easy on the eyes. I agree, it is a lot like DRIVE, but I don’t think that is much of a problem with a tweak or two. I’ll toss in my thoughts of things I think could use a quick pass…

    – The OCD was well executed in the first act but I found that it disappeared as we moved on. I would’ve liked to have seen it throughout, maybe even working in his favor later – willingly or unwillingly so.

    – I think one more scene could be added to solidify the romantic connection. I felt like there was something there on the surface, but not one scene that made me think they both wanted it.

    – The black thugs – I would have liked to see one more scene with these two as well – a nice little resolution, maybe even them helping in some way or fashion near the end.

    But all-in-all, this was topnotch Alex…and trusts me; I’m a sonofabitch when it comes to reading scripts these days. Get Javier Bardem for the villain and get this bad boy sold!

    • Alexander Felix

      Javier Bardem would be an INSANE Horatio :)

      • JT

        it’s who I saw playing it as I read. With a little boost at the end; sure you could get him to fall in line.

  • TruckDweller

    Sending notes to your email. I’m impressed. I marked up a few passages but as a whole, I suspect you can tackle all the tightening as you develop this under contract and for hire. Thanks for letting us be involved in the process.

  • Malibo Jackk

    Curious to know where you read the script before — on Simply Scripts or some other?
    (Also wondering why it may not have gained traction.) .

  • OkayGustave

    I just finished reading this. A quick read for sure! Alexander can write! But, I have to agree with some of the other commenters, this felt a little too much like Drive to me – particularly the relationship between Parker and Dahlia and her daughter Ashley. Also, the Marcus reveal seemed a little forced and a bit unnecessary. We had Parker running the show up until the third act where Marcus suddenly took over as the protagonist. I think it would have been a bit more satisfying if it was Parker – not Marcus – going toe-to-toe with Horatio in the end. But really, this is a solid writing sample. And, it’s very clear that Alexander is in the right medium. Best of luck to you, Alex! Keep up the great work!

  • Carson D

    Agree with all your points.

  • Carson D

    Hahahahaha. Cocky humor.

  • carsonreeves1

    I knew I shouldn’t have posted that picture. As if I don’t have enough to worry about with Grendl.

  • deanb

    A script like this might bring Soderbergh out of his impending quasi-retirement. Good job, Alex and Richard. Great, memorable characters, a riveting plot, and inventive action sequences.

    I agree somewhat with the comparisons to ‘Drive.’ Although ‘WAD’ is much closer to ‘A History of Violence,’ and even showcases some heavy Cronenbergian visceral flesh wounds.

    While it’s true this script has a very strong spine, I feel like the stapler incident, the OCD, and the stolen stereo threads are left open-ended, if not, pointless. They added humor and color, yes, but oftentimes it felt like the story was just waiting around until the next BIG CRAZY THING happened.

    Otherwise, what a cool fuckin story. A renegade social worker. Hope it gets made.

    • Alexander Felix

      Good calls with Soderbergh and especially Cronenberg Dean. Love me some Cronenberg.

    • Citizen M

      I read the script of Drive and I saw the movie, and not once did this script remind me of Drive. First, because I’ve forgotten 90% of Drive, and second, because I consider Drive a “cool’ movie and this a ‘hot’ movie, if you know what I mean.

  • klmn

    ” I think Dirty Harry got two days suspension for shooting a family of French tourists.”

  • jridge32

    Carson, your reaction to this was exactly like how I felt after reading that horror script “Somnia”. Couldn’t contain myself.

    So, the first 10 pages of this are more or less brilliant. Gritty. I loved Parker getting strapped before he entered that building in the projects, not yet knowing he was a social worker, so he could be on his way to whack somebody. Then, we see he’s merely protecting himself, for in case, and from what.

    On with the next 84!

  • Andrew Yoo

    I feel like I watched one of those “over-hyped” movies only to be disappointed. Now, don’t get me wrong the writing is better than most, but I think Carson may have jumped the gun a bit here.

    • JakeBarnes12

      Excellent points about character, Andrew.

  • K.B. Houston

    I love seeing Carson get this excited. It’s so nice to follow a blog who’s lead writer is as passionate about his craft as Carson. The best part of these “light bulb moment” posts: They give us hope! All us amateurs out there looking for that one big break — these are like crack for us!

    That said, Carson was pretty ecstatic about Patisserie, and while I thought it to be a really solid script, I wasn’t quite as enthralled as he was. I’m hoping this one lives up to the hype!

  • K.B. Houston

    Forgot to ask: What’s the deal with adaptations in terms of rights and all that? You have to get permission from the author before you write and sell an adaptation, correct? I think it’s somewhat weird this book is nowhere to be found on the Internet. Not trying to take anything away from the script, but it makes it a little less exciting for me knowing it was adapted.

    • Andrew Yoo

      I did some research through older posts. It seems to be this was based of a short story from one of Alex’s friend or roommate. So it wasn’t off a “whole” novel.

      And yes, all u do is get authors permission with a simple option agreement. But do it in writing and the bare minimum is one dollar.

      • Richard Ryan Seal

        It was based on a whole novel.

  • K.B. Houston

    Totally agree. I didn’t like how the protagonist was white, especially considering it takes place in Detroit! Gotta get a minority for the main role.

  • Malibo Jackk

    Update 3: Script is currently filming in Mexico.
    Update 4: Should be in theaters tomorrow morning.

  • Lauren

    Correction: thank Miss Scriptshadow for her depiction of you :)

    And she’s real, people. Very, very real.

    • sweetvita

      i lol when i saw the line art of grendl. it’s amazing the sentiment you captured with those few lines (and words). well done. and glad grendl is such a sport about it ; )

      looking forward to more, it really spices up the newsletter!

      • MaliboJackk

        The image is strikingly similar.
        And yes, grendl does have that many teeth.

  • Alexander Felix

    Great idea about the thugs Abdul… definitely food for thought.

  • Citizen M

    As a result of state govt. policy they people with known personality problems like Stu and Parker (p. 21), so we are not talking about your average workspace here. There would be much stricter codes of conduct.

    It is pointless trying to give such people chance after chance. I remember working with a guy who was an alcoholic. He was sober when we hired him, a very nice guy and excellent at his job, but he started drinking and went walkabout. We made numerous attempts to get him to stop drinking and come back to work. His ex-wife told us bitterly, “Don’t bother. He’ll never change.” She was right. It was fruitless. Last heard of he was sleeping in his pickup truck by the harbour, drinking methanol with the outies.

  • Panos Tsapanidis

    I agree with not going with a white lead but I think Idris Elba is too much of a badass. You need someone that looks like an underdog. Less bulky. More crazy. Surprise the audience.

  • Panos Tsapanidis

    Reminds me of Benny Blanco from the Bronx. The seemingly not dangerous character that twists everything in the end. I like the idea.

  • Citizen M

    Terrence Howard. He seems to be hot right now.

  • JWF

    congratulations to Alex! It really is a very good script.

  • JakeBarnes12

    Strong opening.

    The OCD thing was done in Matchstick Men. Yeah, actors love to play these kinds of roles cause it allows them to twitch and roll their eyes and generally ACT, but it reads like an empty gimmick.

    Brush your teeth then drink. smooth your bed then sleep in a sleeping bag. It’s just flashy. It’s not character work, it’s just tics.

    Stu’s got Aspergers. I’m waiting for Stumpy the office mailboy to hobble up.

    Obviously Parker’s father at the window. Another oddball. I know normal people are boring in screenplays, but this is getting a little much.

    Horatio’s got AIDS. Of course he does. Sadly AIDS doesn’t cause twitching.

    p. 31 Not to worry, Horatio’s also bi-polar. Add in the way the meds mess them up, and that’s a pretty twitchy way to be screwed up so all is well.

    The shaking-down the punks who stole his radio stuff is funny, though it’s just marking time until more encounters with Horatio.

    p. 41 Horatio in drag. I dunno about this decision. We had Psycho, which by extension means it happens in a DePalma movie, etc. Is this the point where the script jumps the shark?

    Massacre in the strip club. Thing about Horatio is, he’s got no goal and no plan to get it. He’s just a lowlife who reacts in the moment. Maybe being unable to tell the difference between acting on a plan and just reacting to stuff is part of being bi-polar. Would explain a lot.

    Is Horatio really that interesting? When you have to stick your villain in a dress, it says, don’t look too closely. Once again, it’s a lot of flash with little substance.

    p. 50 Sending the stapler to Asperger Stu. Funny, but, it’s also just another mini subplot (like the radio-stealing punks) to fill up space until another encounter with Horatio.

    Here’s what I’m realizing by page 50. There is very little plot. Parker WANTS something, which is to protect Dahlia, but he’s not ACTING enough to achieve that goal. The villain has a very low-stakes goal, bullying his wife and kid. Beyond that, nothing.

    There’s just not a lot going on when you strip away the quirks, the flash, and the fairly pointless sub-plots.


    p. 64 The Dahlia and Parker romance. That just seemed to come out of nowhere. Where do we ever get a sense before now that she’s into him? And her husbands a little unhinged and she’s just witnessed something a little upsetting, but hey, a bloody face is a sexy face, right?

    p. 65 Only one person gets to have a “storm raging behind their eyes” per script.

    p. 73 onwards. Screenwriter professor at the UCLA Professional Program made it very clear to me when I did this in a script — don’t let the third act devolve into mindless action. There’s gotta be more going on. Shoot-out in packed traffic. Seen it a million times before.

    p. 76 The desperate jump from “The Fugitive.” Script’s kinda resorting to action cliches.

    p. 78 So, um, has anyone noticed the main villain has been entirely sidelined?

    p. 80 Big surprise. Man in glasses, who we’re now told always wears his tuxedo (more empty flash) is Parker’s father. People who haven’t seen a movie since 1963 gasp with shock.

    p. 82 Parker wearing his shotgun-toting Dad’s tuxedo. We have drifted very, very far from the realistic tone that started this story. I’m disappointed. Script’s gone off the deep end from gritty and realistic to Hollywood fantasy stuff.

    Writer keeps giving camera directions. Remove.

    p. 85 “You’re either very brave or very stupid.” I have never heard that line said before by a villain. Never.

    p. 89 Writer seems to love to describe what guns do to human bodies. It’s boring unless you’re a teenage boy; this fascination is how they start the process of coming to terms with their own mortality.

    p. 90 Ahh!! The shoulder wound. Always non-fatal in scripts, so no worries about Parker’s crazy Dad.

    p. 92. Ugh. Disappointing downbeat ending. Parker doesn’t take out the bad guy himself. The end.


    Giving almost every character a tic is a good idea to make them memorable. It does not, however, make them rounded or complex. These were all one-dimensional characters in a standard crime plot.

    I can see this selling and making a decent, though empty, B-movie.

    What would raise the material is if the writer were more interested in what was inside his characters’ minds and less what was inside their bodies.

    • grendl

      Good points.

      And I think not having Parker take out Horatio is a monumental mistake. Is Marcus the protagonist of this story?

      You can’t have Hooper or Quint take out the shark. You can’t have Reese take out the Terminator and you can’t have Corporal Hicks take out the queen mother of the alien hive. Allies are allies, not the protagonist.

      Those are protagonist duties. Sarah Connor, Ellen Ripley, Martin Brody, our representatives onscreen. That’s how we experience their victory vicariously. An angel of mercy, or retribution or whatever angel Parker is supposed to be turns out to be ineffectual if he doesn’t defeat the devil himself.

      Damien Karras has to be the one to exorcize the demon from Regan, not Father Merrin. Karras is the protagonist. He’s the one who has the rite of passage, the moment of redemption.

      But he has to have done something wrong to have to redeem himself in the first place. Parker is saintly throughout.

      It matters who kills the shark. Hamlet has to kill Claudius. Popeye has to dispatch Bluto.

      That’s non-negotiable. That’s not my rule. What, now you can call your father when a bully is beating up on you or the people you care about.

      The father should have played a role in Parker’s character flaw. Which wasn’t apparent because the script was so busy building his angel status. We don’t watch films to worship the saints you think you’ve created. We go to watch flawed human beings learn their lessons for weakness, ignorance and the inability to handle fear.

      This story has touches of that. Having Parker intimidated by Horatio was good, and Horatio’s evil persona was strong. But that’s why Parker has to be the one to take him out. Not just face him. If Will Kane faces the Miller gang High Noon and they blow a hole through his stomach, what was the point, even if the deputy comes along and takes them out.

      Facing your bully and losing to them happens in the beginning of a story, not at the end. And if Marcus saved the lives of Dahlia and the daughter, you have one ineffectual angel on your hands.

      Oh, the angel’s father took him out.

      That’s like Father Merrin exorcizing the devil. Or Obi Wan defeating Darth Vader.

      Give your protagonist the money shot. Let him earn his wings.

      • Alexander Felix

        In the highest grossing movie of all time, Neytiri dispatches Col. Quaritch in the final showdown just before saving our helpless protag, Jake. Neytiri gets the money shot. Just saying.

        You do bring up some interesting points, but at the same time I feel like there’s a lot of armchair critiquing going on here.

        Grendl, feel free to have one of your managers/agents send me a script you’ve written where you perfectly execute all of your story choices so that I may build a shrine to it and bask in its perfection and glory and learn for decades to come.

        I’m not saying it’s a perfect script, but good lord it’s like every time I come on here there’s a new Grendl manifesto ranting about a new issue you have with the script of the week. Not just my script, but pretty much all of your posts about other scripts that people like.

        One of the beautiful things about screenwriting is the subjectiveness of it, so yes, please share your pessimistic opinion, but don’t hammer it over people’s heads eight times a day. At that point you’re just trolling.

        • Carson D

          Neytiri was one of the main characters, though. She served as the embodiment of the story’s positive value, so it didn’t feel off when she was the one who killed the antagonist.

        • kenglo

          Alex…Don’t listen to THEM! You did a GREAT JOB and the people whom you have impressed are the people who need to be impressed. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise with all of these ‘negatives’….there is always SOMEONE here that does that. Not everyone gets ‘IT’, the choices, and EVERY SCRIPT will go through re-writes requested by producers, directors, actors, hair dressers…k maybe not hair dressers! Heck, Nathan Zoebl and Joe Marino took a lot of flac for their AF KICKASS scripts and look at them now! Geez I was on page 50 before I knew it and this thing RUNS like the wind. DRIVE was overated, IMHO. You have written the RIGHT SCRIPT for the RIGHT people, and I hope Carson JAMS. GREAT JOB!!

          • Gojuice

            kenglo, I was one of the ”negatives, but certainly share your enthusiasm for the script and the writer. As does grendl, I believe. It deserves to go out to industry pros. But, re-writes requested by producers and directors (and the fucking actor who plays Parker if he’s a name) will include having the protag kill Horatio.

            That’s not a knock on Alex or WAD. It really is a polished and easy script to read. I can promise, though, that the final product will have tied in the father character and Parker will take him down Horatio (maybe Dahlia, which is more in line with Alex’s rebuttal to grendl, but she would have to me more active, like Neytiri was, to earn it).

          • kenglo

            Gojuice and even Grendl – Thanks, I’m just sayin’. We can all sit here and analyze the script and what’s wrong with it, but its the initial read, whether it be Carson, Miss Scriptshadow, a reader, a producer, that will get that first impression – and it will stick with them. They will get all excited, and life will suddenly feel better, because they feel they have ‘something’. Don’t get me wrong, critique is great. If we didn’t have critique on our work, we would not improve. I’m just saying, Alex already made the jump, took the chance, and it worked for him. I just hate when I see, whether here or other places, where a person sweats and writes, and gets some accolade, and then everyone slams him, if for no other reason than they think theirs is better or they can do better. The dude (Alex) impressed someone (producer Carson). That’s all he has to do. He shouldn’t have to defend himself against other folks who are trying to do the same. We are all in the same boat, on the same journey. I have NEVER knocked a story just because I would have done it different. I read an article once – all we have to do as writers is FIND THE RIGHT SCRIPT for the RIGHT PRODUCER. Of course there will be changes. What script doesn’t have ‘changes’. The original STAR WARS script looks nothing like the one in theaters. Give each other props when we can, critique in private, praise in public…see I gots kids!

          • Joe Marino

            ‘Tis true, Alex. As Kenglo says, I can speak with experience. Everyone’s a critic, be it those who DESERVE that role (like Carson or Brooklyn or, as we’re learning, Miss SS) and those who don’t. It’s your job to weed through everything, take what you need and leave the rest behind. You’re always gonna find people who hates every iota of what you do. Part of the tools of the trade is know when to listen and when to ignore. Lots of helpful people in the SS community (some of whom have become the best friends imaginable, but you do have to suffer the occasional beating from someone who has no idea what they’re talking about. Which brings me to my main point: don’t let anyone (no matter who it is) convince you to change the vision that got you this far. Trust your intuition. It happens far too often where the very brilliance that got eyes interested in the first place is slowly whittled down to nothing but typical direct-to-video fare. Don’t let that happen to you or to “Angel,” dude. You both deserve better than that.

          • Alexander Felix


            Great to hear from you. Lets get in touch I was hoping to hop on a call with you. Shoot me an email

            I agree w/ you about Shannon/Zod in MOS btw (as per your twitter).

          • Joe Marino

            Cool! Just sent you an email. And wow, really? I didn’t know I was that special. And dude, you’re on Twitter??

          • kenglo

            LOL…really? Is that what you look like??? WATTUP JOE!!

          • Joe Marino

            Unfortunately. haha

        • Ken

          (spoiler) The protag doesn’t get to kill the lead villain in Iron Man 3 either.

      • Gregory Mandarano

        I think Grendl is right. It would have been more satisfying.

    • TruckDweller

      I believe the sleeping bag on the floor was also a nod to the neighborhood. In areas where gun violence is commonplace, it’s dangerous to sleep in a raised bed.

  • tobban

    Good read. Really enjoyed it. Easy to follow. Four major characters and around twelve minor characters. You don’t need more. Held my interest from the start.
    Some of the violence was too graphic for my taste, but hey, that’s just moi.
    Double good luck with this script Alexander, hope it gets made real soon.
    Scriptshadow found another winner, this is why this blog is so exciting.
    My casting ideas goes to Bradley Cooper.

  • Bella_Lugossi

    First off: congratulations Alexander on a very good script. I enjoyed watching Parker. I wasn’t too bothered by a lack of plot(holes) and the over the top-ness of it all – at times. It’s nice to see a screenplay take some chances, not spell everything out and end on the downside, or at least the sweet ‘n sour. Drive gave me hope that the seventies may be coming back. This could become the next step.

    Secondly, one small gripe. Late in the script a male/female killer couple is introduced, only to serve as cannon fodder. They seemed cool and interesting, and I wanted to know more about them, but I’m not sure if they ever even spoke a line. So maybe, give them something to work with, or just remove them?

    Good luck on the other side of the fence! ;]

  • Spitgag

    I’m with many others. Good script but far from great from a very talented writer. Too much style over substance. WAY WAY WAY too much like Drive.

    That gem itself had some borrowing issues. Refyn is awesome but he would’ve gotten an Oscar nomination if Drive’s style hadn’t been so clearly and directly influenced by Michael Mann’s “Thief”. They even copied Thief’s 1980’s title font (Mistral).

  • lockedup

    Props to the writer, as this is definitely a well-written script overall. HOWEVER, I found the characterization to be a bit lacking. Instead of a multifaceted antagonist, everything about Horatio just screamed, “Hey, look at me! I’m the bad guy! And I’m MEAN!” Instead of becoming increasingly menacing, he started at Level 10 on the evil scale almost immediately, and stagnated from there. Also, Dahlia barely made an impression to me, and considering one of the protag’s main goals was protecting her, that mitigated the story’s tension. Subplots such as Parker dealing with the hoodlums detract from the main objectives – when a woman and her daughter’s lives are at stake, does the audience really care about Parker getting the money to fix his window? This script was almost prose-y at times (although I will admit some actions/descriptions were solid), and on a more technical note, there seemed to be an issue with commas (or lack thereof). I’m not the grammar police, but it really does throw off the rhythm of a sentence when the reader cannot discern when a character would be pausing during dialogue. For example, when Horatio says on pg. 84, “Get me a glass of water whore”- is there a beverage called “water whore” that I didn’t know about? That’s a pretty bold name for a drink; I’ll look for it next time I’m at the supermarket.

  • diet_green_tea

    So this is an adaptation done on spec?

    I’m assuming the writer has the rights to this if it’s actually going out to a single person. Because otherwise, that would be, you know, bad.

  • Richard Ryan Seal

    Hello Everyone, I’m Richard Seal, I wrote the novel that Alex adapted for this screen play. I wanted to thank everyone for their insight and compliments. This is a great community of creative people and I hope to read more of your comments about our work.

    • TruckDweller

      Great to hear from you. If we’re interested in reading the novel, where can we buy a copy?

      • Richard Ryan Seal

        It’s not available yet but hopefully it will be soon. My editor is looking at it now.

        • Gregory Mandarano

          The movie will come out first, and itll be a book based on a movie based on the book. You know, wibbly wobbly timey wimey.

  • SeekingSolace

    “The stripper-mom was silly.” – – There are many parents who strip, they don’t get a kick out of it, but it’s often a last means of survival, especially in inner-cities.

    “It didn’t make sense that an ex-con with such a violent personality, full-blown aids and a homicidal gang-banger brother would just be left with a little girl like that. Why weren’t the cops all over him from the start?” – – Cops don’t get paid to track bad parents. And even if they suspect him of a crime, he served his time and is innocent until proven guilty.

    “Do off-duty cops usually keep their uniforms on and get lap dances with their side arms at the ready?” – – They’re cops, not saints. It’s not hard to find footage on the web of them beating up, or shooting unarmed suspects. So, I’d imagine a few of these same “bad apples” get lapdances in their uniforms.

    “Where Angels Die” is going to be a good film, it’s not going to be “Casablanca,” but it’s going to make for a good popcorn flick. Instead of being negative, you should be happy. YOUR SCRIPT COULD BE NEXT.

    5 to 10 years from now SCRIPTSHADOW will be a pivotal part of Hollywood. Every Producer, Director, Agent and Manager will look to this site for their next big project, and you get to be a part of it. Isn’t that cool?

    And if your script wasn’t chosen for amateur Friday, perhaps it’s your logline. Mr. Reeves offers a service to help spruce them up now. GOOD LUCK. Don’t give up.

  • Michael

    I found myself concentrating on two things while reading the script. One is the story, which everyone has pretty much picked over already. The other is the quality of the writing.

    Thoughts about the story, remembering that it’s an adaptation, so many of the choices may not have been the screenwriters:

    Not buying Parker carrying a gun. It’s illegal in most states for Child Protective Services agents to even carry pepper spray. When making questionably dangerous home visits they usually arrange for police assistance. But hey, I have no clue what the laws in Detroit are.

    As others have pointed out, the OCD just stops being part of the story and has no connection to the main plot. If the OCD isn’t an obstacle to overcome in reaching the main goal it needs to go, no matter how much we like how it develops the character.

    I wasn’t clear on Parker and Dhalia’s relationship. I’m still not sure if it was Leticia or Dhalia he was interested in at the strip club.

    Can’t imagine a CPS agent visiting a strip club as part of a case file related visit.

    Horatio was great, but I can’t stand Dahlia, she’s so one-dimensional.

    Not buying Horatio in a dress, reads gimmicky writing. Besides, Horatio comes prepared to kill all the witnesses, which he does, so why does he need a disguise?

    Why is the “two hoodlums plot” even part of this story, it’s also not connected to the main plot in any way?

    Parker and Marcus’s relationship needs development. I’ve always suspected that guys who play the cymbals are badass, but right now Marcus is a deus ex machine, he needs to be more.

    Horatio disappears for way too much of the script. His brother Hector becomes the principal antagonist for the main action sequence and that should be Horatio pushing that action forward. The hero verse villain struggle needs to be kept center at all times.

    Likewise, Parker needs to be the hero in the final action scene, not Marcus.

    The biggest problem, which crushes the believability of the whole story (as others have mentioned), is where are the police? Maybe this is why Detroit is the mess it is, but give me a break.

    By my count there are at least 10 bodies in the strip club massacre. That’s national news. You think Dhalia, who doesn’t show one ounce of courage in the whole script, would withstand a night of police interrogation in a crime of that magnitude?

    The biggest action sequence of the script takes place on an international bridge, with heavily policed, heavily armed border checkpoints at booth ends of the bridge. The writer kept referencing how “it was still a mile to the Canadian checkpoint and they weren’t going to make it.” What about the American checkpoint right behind you? Riddle me this Batman, after having an extensive gun battle with full-auto weapons, surely the border police would have immediately secured both ends of the bridge, so how did Hector and gang get off the bridge without a major gun battle with law enforcement?

    The police officer parked in front of Horatio’s house is brutally machine gunned in broad daylight, in full view, left there for hours and no one notices? Yeah, Hector used a silencer, they’re not that quiet. Cars don’t drive by on this street? Pedestrians don’t walk by? It goes from day to night, don’t they change shifts in the Detroit Police Department? And Horatio and gang don’t immediately leave the house, because you know, THERE’S A DEAD COP OUT FRONT. God help me with the logic of that scene.

    One incredibly small nitpick, we are advised to use memorable names in our scripts, but the name list of this script became a contrived distraction.

    This script has some major structure problems and could benefit from some outlining (had to get that in there).

    On to the good news and it is good. While the story wasn’t for me, the writing is great.

    This is a professionally written script, as good as any we’ve read on this site. The clean and succinct style is the holy grail we should all be striving for. The writing is impressive. I don’t know about selling this script, it could happen, but Alex certainly should score representation from this script. This is a great writing example.

    The take away from this script is, clean writing keeps the reader engaged. Alex made me feel like I was in the hands of a pro. Even though I didn’t like the story choices the writing kept me comfortably engaged in the hopes that the story would go somewhere interesting and pay off. The payoff didn’t come, but it speaks to the power of the writing that it kept me reading. Make the writing invisible, make it flow, vivid and expressive with as few as words as possible, that’s the heart of this craft.

    Great jobAlex. Thanks for an impressive read. Good luck with the script and congratulations.

    Two exceptional scripts in back to back AF’s, can’t wait to see what next week brings.

    • Citizen M

      Your comments make me remember the remark, “People don’t realize how good even a bad script needs to be.”

      • Michael

        Think about how many movies you’ve sat through because they have great cinematography, editing, acting, sound track,etc, perfectly crafted films with little or no story. You actually feel guilty for not liking them.

        You need a great story to sell a script. You need well crafted writing to first get them to read the script.

    • JNave

      I agree with everything here. It is an engaging and fun read, but man, there are just too many issues, as outlined here and in others’ comments. I am totally on board with Carson’s lessons and perspectives on most occasions, but it’s times like these when I feel so disconnected because he pulls one of these reviews out that seem to directly conflict with so many of his teachings. I just don’t get it.
      I enjoyed the script, but I can’t go along with the Impressive rating and Top 10 placement. Sorry. Best of luck to Mr. Felix.

      • Michael

        Totally agree. The power of decent writing from an amateur blinds Carson to all else. If this was a pro writer, they wouldn’t be getting the same level of praise.

  • klmn

    Is this PJ?

  • sweetvita

    And congrats to you, Carson, for being the pipeline that gets unrepped screenwriters exposure to industry professionals.

  • James Inez

    Congrats Alexander. I think it’s a pretty good script. I think the thing that kept me interested was the fact that Horatio had Aids, and I wanted to know what was going to happen, what he was going to do. Then Dhalia was like, “I don’t have Aids, he doesn’t sleep with me”. I thought that a little weird for the type of guy Horatio is, but went with it. I didn’t notice a lot of the things others are pointing out but now that they mention them, they do have valid arguments on certain logical points. I think that shows the strength of a strong emotional element to your script. One thing can keep people preoccupied to not notice other things. I did enjoy the script and it was a breeze to read and the lesson learned for me is that a strong emotional pull goes a long way. I was turned off a little by the excess violence though. But I’m sensitive like that I guess. For me this is a:
    [xx] worth the read Strong elements at play, but I can’t let that bias the whole script for me.

  • Auckland Guy

    Overall I thought the writing was great, so congrats for that Alex, very easy read, very stripped back and fluid.

    Story-wise I have some pretty serious reservations.

    It seemed Parker had that one encounter with Horatio at the house early on which ended on page 31. He then didn’t see him again til page 84. I would say 53 pages in the middle of a 93 page script is a long time to have your protagonist and antagonist have virtually nothing to do with one another.

    Great character buildup for Parker but as others have noted the OCD served no purpose and was thrown out after a while. The drinking, doing drugs, having a temper, flinging the stapler then vindictively mailing it back to the guy. Boy… overload on character flaws and yet I knew nothing about him, his background, his relationship with his dad etc.

    Didn’t believe the buildup between Parker and Dahlia, there needed to be more there.

    Horatio just seemed a stock standard evil guy.

    Huge cliche, guy getting suspended for two weeks and going ahead working on the case anyway. Usually a cop but changing it to a social worker doesn’t make it much fresher.

    For most of the second act Parker seemed to be off pursuing other things, beating up on young punks and taking their drugs, mailing staplers to people. Story lost focus there for me. And the third act just degenerated into routine action/revenge fare with all the character development thrown out the window.

    I also thought the ending was a MAJOR misstep. We had no investment in Marcus whatsoever yet he is the one watching over Dahlia and Ashley at the end. Felt cheated by this and I’m sure an audience would too.

    Overall I’d say great writer, great premise but the story had some serious issues and does suffer from the ‘seen it all before’ syndrome’ The only fresh angle was the fact he was a social worker, but for me, that wasn’t enough.

  • Joe Marino

    Congrats, Alex! Welcome to the roster of thumbs-up AF submissions! And an even BIGGER congrats for your success with Brooklyn! Definitely looking forward to seeing where “Where Angels Die” goes from here. Hope this review gives you the opportunities you deserve quickly and efficiently (and considering you’re already in LA, you can’t possibly be in a better position).

  • tipofthenose

    SORRY but I can‘t really understand why this got an impressive. I have read so many screenplays like this, where you get the feeling the writer through everything he ever thought would be a cool scene into one script. It doesn‘t work. After the first scene, I never, not for one second had the feeling this was based in reality. I loved HBOs „The Wire“ and that felt real, not this one.

    Horatio isn‘t particularly evil. He is the standard bad guy from every second movie. He didn‘t scare me. He IS NOT HAVING SEX with Dhalia!!!! WHAT????? WHY??? Would that be to heavy for the script (a script that tries so hard to be bad ass) Yes that is one thing that through me out: I could literally see on the page how hard this tried to be cool and tough.

    Parker is not the slittiest bit likeable. I don‘t care one second for this violent, unintelligent, egomaniac, criminal, drunk. I have a lot more compassion for the poor streetkids he is beating up and stealing from.

    WOW WOW WOW the female protagonists couldn‘t be more sexist if you tried WOW!!! All she has to do is be sexy, naked and helpless and then she fucks him in a parkinglot for no reason??????????????????????? He is the next stupid, brutal idiot who doesn‘t give a damn about anything. Do we really want our women that way??? There are more descriptions of brain hitting walls and people getting pierced by bullets then the poor Dhalia gets. She is just the piece of meat. PLEASE give her some free will and character.

    Carson, people did stuff without any motivation or backstory, they talked in super generic screenplay words, they had no GOAL whatsoever!!!! The bad guy makes less sence than the „A Good Day To Die Harder“ bad guy and you walked out of that movie.
    I went back to your older articels and almost nothing fits to this screenplay. We have logic mistakes on every second page. No one has to overcome any inner conflict, there are no obstacles. It‘s just do this do that plus boring fighting.
    WHY OH WHY! Does he dress up as a woman to get into a joint that is more or less exclusive for MEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    This would be an interesting script if it was a nice social worker, who had to do all these bad things to help the woman he loves and her child. That would call for a change in character and he really had to „fight“ (not just fight)

    I am sorry to be so harsh. I congratulate the writer to his succes but it makes me wonder. I am working on a screenplay myself and I am looking through every scene ten times to make them work and plausible. So with this one I start to think I don‘t have to do that extra work.

  • shewrites

    Congrats, Alex. What strong writing you did on this. When you implement some of the great comments made here, your script will hit a new high.
    Carson, you are the God of unrepped writers.

  • Joe Marino

    ‘eyyyy! Courlo?? What’s up?? I only JUST realized you were you (if it is, in fact, you). It’s funny – I know you have negatives you’re hitting on, but I believe (and pardon me if I’m wrong, maybe I missed a few before now) this is the first time you admitted that a script was actually good! PROGRESS! I knew something would have to stick eventually!

  • JakeBarnes12

    I’d like to do a little of what on Thursday would have been called “pointing out an amateur’s poor story choices” but which today some clowns might call “dishonoring the writer’s vision.”

    I really like Alex’s idea of having Horatio stick the drug money in his daughter’s backpack so Hector will go chasing after Parker, Dahlia, and the daughter on the highway. That’s solid plotting.

    My problem is this.

    Our hero is driving along the highway being shot at by criminals. The daughter reveals there’s something in her backpack. Our hero discovers the package.

    Now, the shoot-out on the highway has been done to death, so it’s not a fresh choice to begin with, but usually in action movies what the bad guys want MUST NOT FALL INTO THEIR HANDS. It’s nuclear secrets or whatever. The world will be in big trouble should they get it. So the hapless hero must hold on to the McGuffin even though he’s ill-equipped to defend it.

    Makes sense.

    Here, what Hector and his disposable friends are after is retrieving some drug money. If they get it, so what? These losers will get busted sooner or later. Parker’s goal is not to protect the drug money, but to protect Dahlia and her daughter.

    You know what I’d do if I were in a beater car on the highway being chased by bad guys shooting at me who wanted something I didn’t give a sh•t about?

    I’d throw it out the window into traffic. The bad guys would have to stop in the middle of highway traffic and try to get to this package that’s bouncing down the road.

    I’d be able to escape and get Dahlia and her daughter to a safe place. ’cause maybe they do want to pick up Dahlia and the daughter, but there is no freakin’ way the bad guys are leaving thousands of dollars lying in the middle of a highway.

    Then we’d avoid the cliched shoot-out on the crowded bridge, the cliched and improbable ordinary guy jumping into a freezing river (ask Tony Scott how that kind of behavior works out), etc.

    We’d keep Parker being an ordinary guy rather than an action hero. And we’d open up a space for a more character-based, realistic, and intriguing third act.

    And lo and behold, this would actually end up honoring the writer’s original vision of an ordinary and flawed man facing off against a maniac much more than what we now have.

    • TY

      Excellent points. Get ready to be called a “hater.”

      • JakeBarnes12

        I’m burning up with envy. I hate that guy so much. :)

  • carsonreeves1

    I agree with you Alex. But telling Grendl not to bash a script is kind of like telling Justin Bieber not to speed. We can all hope for the day he praises a script, but it’s unlikely to ever happen.

  • klmn

    I don’t have your email. Send it to me and I’ll forward the script.

    kenklmn AT yahoo dot com

  • Joe Marino

    O.o Nononono dude, I think you’re totally misunderstanding me. I mean, I’ve seen you around on other SS reviews and, typically, you don’t really like them at all. I just mean it’s super cool that one captured your attention in a positive way! I was being GENUINE in saying that it was cool that you liked it. Don’t know why you’re getting personal about this. I never said I was special. I didn’t tell you not to post your opinion. *sigh* I think you’re looking at my genuine comment as something tongue-in-cheek (which is wasn’t). Sorry for the confusion.

  • Joe Marino

    And considering our email correspondence earlier this year, I’m really disappointed that you’d think that’s what I meant. I have no idea where you’re getting the inclination that I’m telling you what to do.

  • Kieran ODea

    Half way through, and so far so good. Except this : “In under a minute, the lounge looks like a Confederate trench at Gettysburg.”

    The confederates didn’t use trenches at Gettysburg. The battle of Gettysburg was lost during the final charge across the open field on the third day. Trench warfare wasn’t adopted till the waning days of the civil war. Sorry for the history lesson.

    If you are going to talk about a bloody trench I’m pretty sure WWI would be a much better choice.

    Sorry to come off like an ass

  • Andrew Yoo

    Finally someone who gets it spot on.
    Well done. Couldn’t have reviewed it better.

  • Zaike Airey

    Great read! Don’t have much to say otherwise, but I loved the protag and the setting. Gritty, grim, slightly surreal at moments and some great pathos with the family stuff. My only criticisms are that I wish Parker’s numerous flaws were more relevant in the second half! I don’t remember his OCD kicking in at any critical moments. I sort of skimmed the bang-bang-run-run stuff because I started to feel like the fever-dream tone of the first half bled out into the more generic side of action. But I was always invested enough to see where it all went.

    And I thought that for a story with such heavy racial elements, there could have been a little more finesse in the characterization of the gangbangers. They served their purpose, but felt a little easy to me. But maybe they were realistic?

    All in all, many congrats and best of luck! I think that the Drive comparisons are superficial (in an artistic sense), but maybe those note are relevent in a market sense. *shrugs* Reminded me much more of Running Scared, which is a great thing because that movie was fucking awesome.

  • srdiction

    I want to read it. Anyone, please!

  • Rick McGovern

    How did I miss seeing the script? I musta missed the email. Anyway, anyone who can send it to me so I can see what the hurrah is all about :) thanks and much appreciated!

  • johnny_ironjacket

    Like Carson, I found myself getting over-excited about this. It’s a fast read, great turn of phrase and a tightly contained story. Thought, yeah, What a beauty. But then I went away, did some other shit, slept, ate etc and realised … I’d duped MYSELF. There was precious little actually IN this script – certainly nothing original (gojuice and grendl and jakebarnes got it spot on). That initial buzz was like the hit of glugging a sugary drink – instant high followed by teeth cavities and regret. Compare this to truly original scripts showcased here eg Zero Theorem, and there’s no contest. That said, Alex can write and I’d like to see him do something totally from his own imagination rather than a sub-Drive TV movie with 2D characters, lots of filler and a cliche-ridden and predictable action-constipated 3rd act topped off with a no-protag coup de grace (also, where did social workers suddenly grow steel balls like that?) Really enjoyed reading it, though.

  • Rick McGovern

    Your review had me cracking up laughing out loud!! lol

    But I agree with you. I was actually almost bored to tears reading it. I still have 34 pages to go.

    Also, almost all the minorities in this were also racist and their dialogue was annoying. And unbelievable… Most of the time.

    Loved your review!

  • Rick McGovern

    This is one of those wierd scripts you kinda like, but not really. So, my rating is that thin invisible line that only i can see that sits between wasn’t for me and worth the read.

    And it doesn’t remind me of Drive at all. Even though I barely liked it or didn’t like it, I still feel it’s its story. But I did find myself kinda bored, especially through the stuff that had no relevance to the story. Even B stories tie in to the plot. Or at least, they’re supposed to.

    But, even though it wasn’t for me, I still hope you sell it. You definitely have the chops. In fact, I hope we all sell something and become crazy rich! :) good luck out there!

  • anish kuruvilla

    would love a copy of the script please. trade ins are welcome.

  • srdiction

    Solid work, Alex.

  • Stevetmp

    Would love to join the fray on this. Did you guys manage to get hold of the script? Would be very grateful of a share: stevetmp AT gmail DOT com.

  • blue439

    Yes. The writer has talent, but it’s not harnessed to a story or characters. To use a culinary metaphor it’s all spice and no ingredients. The characters really seem more like a collection of tics and diseases than anything resembling a real human being. I have no idea what Parker wants emotionally. I have no idea what Parker’s relationship with Max is about, except it’s hostile, like almost all of this script. Hostile to cops, hostile to minorities, hostile to the environment. The three main characters, Parker, Horatio and Marcus are all grotesques — violent, alcoholic, diseased, mentally deranged — you name it. It’s a nihilistic freak show. If the white characters are contradictory messes, the non-white characters are offensive racial stereotypes — the writer makes it clear when he writes out the pronunciation of their dialogue. I’m a little surprised no one has tracked down the novel this script was based on just to see how much the screenwriter contributed to the story and characters. We’re told again and again that to break in you need to write an ORIGINAL script so everything in it is attributable to the writer. People are so excited about this no one wants to bother to check out the writer’s CV.

  • kenglo

    Did someone say Blacklist 2013????????

  • kenglo

    Did someone say Blacklist 2013???? CONGRATS TO ALEX!!

  • Annon

    Tried the works of ‘Archaic’? They’re better than the names suggest!!!
    Avatar sequel scripts,

    Avatar vs How to train your dragon crossover fan fic (which is better than it sounds) in two parts,

    Sequel te the above, with added Terminators, written to be a little confusing (need to read this carefully) again better than it sounds,

  • Lucid Walk

    If anybody has a copy, please email to Thanks

  • Moe

    Can someone please send me this script?
    Thanks =).