It’s Monday morning and the talk of the town is how a little movie about cancer kids beat Tom Cruise in the middle of Blockbuster Season. The little film that could (The Fault In Our Stars) grossed 48 million to Tommy Boy’s (Edge of Tomorrow) paltry 28 million. That’s not just a beating. That’s a slaughter. Twenty years ago – heck, even ten years ago – this never would’ve happened. So why is it happening now? Anybody who tells you they know for sure is a liar. And I don’t know either. But what’s so interesting about this particular battle is that there are a ton of factors involved. And they’re all so damn juicy that I can’t wait to get to them!

1) Is Tom Cruise a movie star anymore?

If you’re going to put your money on one horse for Tomorrow’s lackluster showing, it’s probably that Cruise isn’t a movie star anymore. His last three films (Oblivion, Jack Reacher, Rock of Ages) failed to hit 100 million here in the States. Whether this has to do with Cruise getting older, Cruise going through his crazy streak, or people just losing interest in the actor isn’t clear. But it’s looking like his glory days are over. The question is, is this representative of a much larger trend?

2) Is the movie star dead?

As people stood on the hilltops and claimed the death of the movie star these last few years, I didn’t buy it. But a look at this year’s crop of summer films says otherwise. From X-Men to Godzilla to Spider-Man 2 to Rise of the Apes. The star in all these movies is the property. The owners of these properties then plug in the casting holes with whomever they deem worthy. You’re seeing less and less movies being made like Die Hard, where the star’s the star. With that being said, this is mostly (at least for now) a symptom of the summer season. As we get into the last quarter of the year and ACTING is actually required to make the movie good, movie stars are needed. How long that lasts, we will have to see.

3) Was the concept too weird?

Even though I loved the script for Tomorrow, the one thing I worried about was whether a mass audience would buy into the concept. I get nervous when you mash two big ideas into a single film, because, typically, audiences will only buy into one. They can accept aliens invading. They can accept time-travel. But can they accept an alien time-travel movie? I’m still not sure.

4) The title sucked.

I don’t talk about movie titles much because it’s one of the most objective parts of the business. But if Hollywood isn’t given a property that already has a name, they almost always fuck it up. “Edge of Tomorrow??” What the hell does that even mean?? It’s the most generic title ever and reeks of compromise. Edge of Tomorrow dudes, let me help you out here. When you have a property that nobody knows about and you’re trying to compete against properties (X-Men, Spider-Man) that have been around for decades?? You don’t want a title that’s going to make you MORE invisible. You have to take a chance and use something that stands out. The script’s original title, “All You Need Is Kill,” would’ve been so much better. It’s way edgier, and probably would’ve brought in more of the key demo you wanted – teenagers.


5) Does this fuck things up even further for spec writers?

While “All You Need is Kill” was based on a graphic novel, for the most part, it was a spec script. Nobody knew about the graphic novel. And it was written on spec (and sold for a million bucks). With the failures of high-profile specs this year like Transcendence, Draft Day and now, to a lesser extent, Edge of Tomorrow, is Hollywood going to be further terrified of betting on non-IP? Also, if the movie star system is dead, what are screenwriters supposed to write about now?  It used to be, write a male lead inside a marketable genre.  If that’s gone, and the studios are only dealing with high-profile IP anyway, then what’s the strategy of the average screenwriter?  Should he even write original material anymore?  Will it be like TV used to be, where you write a spec episode of your favorite show?  So writers would write a feature in a long-standing franchise, like X-Men or Batman, in order to break in?  Probably not, but it’s not clear where this is going yet.  So we’ll need time to figure it out.

6) Did Fault really win the weekend?

Ah-ha, now we get to the part of the box office that the media still hasn’t figured out yet. Fault did beat Tomorrow at the domestic box office, but it’s not going to come anywhere NEAR Tomorrow internationally. Tomorrow has already racked up 80 million dollars internationally, putting it at 110 worldwide. When it’s all said and done, it should make close to 300 million. Fault will be lucky to make half that.  The thing is, for the last 20 years, the media has put so much focus on domestic, they still think that’s the race to talk about. They understand that race. But movies make more overseas now than they do at home. Sometimes a hell of a lot more. But how do you write that definitive worldwide box office column when one of the key movies hasn’t even hit all of the available territories? It’s kind of a confusing byline (“Edge of Tomorrow maybe won the world box office this weekend…as it was in 65% of the territories but hasn’t hit the major European circuit yet and still hasn’t bowed in Peru, where Tom Cruise is enormous” doesn’t have the same ring to it as “Shailene takes down Tom!”). Since the domestic box office is definitive, I’m guessing they’ll continue to use it in stories. But at some point, this has to change.

7) People still read?

Probably one of the most confusing things about the modern-day box office is this whole reading thing. Studio heads, executives and producers claim the sky is falling because young people don’t want to spend two hours to see movies anymore when they can play on the internet, watch all that awesome TV, and play video games. It sure sounds logical, except that one of Hollywood’s biggest sources of income over the last 15 years has been book series adaptations. Harry Potter, Twilight, Hunger Games, Divergent, now Fault in our Stars. Movies are becoming antiquated but people still have time to engross themselves in a 2000 year old medium for 10 hours a story? Clearly, if people are spending that much time reading to the tune of adding billions of dollars to the box office, producers can’t bitch that it’s getting too hard to compete for people’s time.

8) Cancer curse.

Hollywood is TERRIFIED of cancer. People don’t want to be reminded of death when they go to the movies. They generally want to be happy. They want to be reminded of why life’s awesome. So how did Fault in Our Stars overcome that prejudice? Well, partly because it IS a movie about life’s awesomeness. The characters here have a lot of fun together. It goes to some dark places, but for the most part, there’s lots of positive energy here. The reason it beat the curse though is because it’s a really well-told story. It’s got a nice narrative drive (with the Amsterdam goal) and the characters rarely do or say the obvious thing, which gave it a fresh feel. The thing is, it was able to prove this in book form first, so people already knew it was good. I’d go so far as to say this wouldn’t have made 10 million opening weekend if it wasn’t a book first. I’ll say this though. I’ve never seen a movie this aggressively market itself as a cancer flick and do so well.

9) Tomorrow is good!

The big tragedy here is that Edge of Tomorrow is a really good movie! Not that I can say that myself yet (I was home sick all weekend), but a dozen site readers e-mailed me to say it was awesome, some going so far as to say it was the best movie they’ve seen all year. Usually, when a movie’s good, even if it doesn’t open well, it’ll make up for it with a long healthy run. But Edge of Tomorrow is planted right smack dab in the middle of the Summer Season, where even monstrous movies can disappear on their second weekend. Then again, it’s only real demographic competition the next two weeks is 22 Jump Street and Jersey Boys, and neither of those films directly crosses over with Tomorrow. So let’s hope that word-of-mouth spreads and the movie rebounds. If not, it might be the fault in Tom Cruise’s star.

  • Malibo Jackk

    Can a movie cure cancer?
    What if we died and were reborn to fight another day?

    Good to see Carson tackling some tough issues.

    • Big Mac

      “wouldn’t this be like going back to the theater to watch a movie similar to one we didn’t like?”

      Not really. Oblivion was over a year ago, and EoT was a lot better. Just two movies that happen to be sci-fi.

      • Malibo Jackk

        Not suggesting that EoT is a bad movie.
        Was talking about the perception that might linger from OBLIVION
        which also starred TC (and might even linger from AFTER EARTH.)

        • witwoud

          Yep. ‘Another wearisome space opera with Tom Cruise’ was my first impression of EoT.

    • Panos Tsapanidis

      Now that Malibo says it… indeed, you do make that subconscious connection between Oblivion and EoT.

      I also think that TC is definitely no the grand movie star he used to be, especially in the US where the whole Scientology thing has taken much stronger mention from the media than in the rest of the world.

      I’m definitely with Carson on the title thing. Bad branding.

      Also, we can’t underestimate word of mouth, which is, I think, what propelled Fault to the top. Today, word of mouth can get many forms and good work of mouth is something that evolves into the most effective social media campaign. If the number of screens are enough, word of mouth can be utilized at all its potential.

  • Book Nook Schnook

    “…one of Hollywood’s biggest sources of income over the last 15 years has been book series adaptations. Harry Potter, Twilight, Hunger Games, Divergent, now Fault in our Stars.”

    This analysis confuses me, not least of which is the fact that The Fault in Our Stars is a standalone book. Looking at some of the top grossing films of all-time, it becomes apparent that many of them are adaptations of best-sellers: Gone with the Wind, Jaws, The Exorcist, The Godfather, Jurassic Park, The Graduate, Love Story, Mary Poppins, the James Bond series, etc. Granted, the aforementioned films are mostly excellent, regardless of source material. However, I think it proves the larger point that this has long been a lucrative method of production. Why is it relevant to bring up now? Trying to let us in on the fact that successful IPs have a built-in audience? Do tell…

    No, not all adaptations of IPs are successful, but we know why the ones that are… are.

    • martin basrawy

      Agreed. IPs being the main source for Hollywood’s inspiration isn’t anything new. However it has been getting more lopsided in the last few years as studios get more risk averse.

  • lesbiancannibal

    nah, Edge of Tomo will continue to gain traction over the coming weeks after all the positive reviews – and it’s too good not to.

    Watched it opening weekend here in New Zealand and it’s the best action movie I’ve seen in a long time – probably since Inception.

    The narrative propulsion is immense, it’s very funny, stylish, fresh, just epic. And Bill Paxton rocks – “We’re in some real pretty shit now man. Game over, man. Bishop should go.”

    No way is this a flop.No way.

    • lesbiancannibal

      It’s the absolute opposite of Oblivion, which is a sad pastiche of the last 40 years of sci-fi ideas.

      • Ange Neale

        Wherabouts in NZ u from, LC? Ex Chch myself, but haven’t made it back since big shake.

        • lesbiancannibal

          Just seen this. Queenstown – not a bad place to live at all – but from the UK originally

          • Ange Neale

            LOVE Queenstown — I first went there aged about 4 or 5, back in the 60s, when you could fire a cannon down the main street and not hit anyone. Not now, you couldn’t! Wanaka’s turned into a fantastic little town, too — did the whole South Island tour a few years ago.

    • ripleyy

      It’s also got humour. Tom rolling under the jeep made me laugh, actually.

      • BSBurton

        No doubt, a great moment.

  • Citizen M

    Budget (IMDb)
    Edge of Tomorrow $178 million
    The Fault in Our Stars $12 million

    So if Edge makes 300 mil and Fault 100 mil it’s easy to see where the profit lies.

    Personally I think Tom Cruise is looks to old to attract the teenage boy audience. They can’t relate. He’s now 51. That’s almost grandfather age to a young audience.

    Or maybe the guys went to see Edge on condition they took their GFs to Fault, thus guaranteeing a double audience for Fault. ;o)

    “Based on the best-selling novel by…” has to be a factor. According to Wikipedia there are a million books in print. Add e-copies and library loans, say five million readers. That’s a big potential audience. All of whom are on social media and are probably tweeting from the theater “You gotta see this.”

    Reading a summary of the book, it seems that the movie sticks very closely to the story. I wonder if that was a deliberate choice, or the screenwriters felt they couldn’t improve on it? Usually if a movie is too close to the book the viewer experience is a little flat. (Dune, I’m looking at you.)

    • Ange Neale

      Is that $178 mil production costs alone, or including marketing and distribution?

      Because if it doesn’t include the post-production costs, then by the time the theatres take their slice of the gross and TC gets a slab of icing for his cake, its box office would have to break, what, $450mil globally? to make a tidy profit? Considering the risk inherent in that big an investment, better to make 10 good quality, cheaper movies and tentpoles be damned. Only in Hollywood does this ‘huge is better’ model make any sense. Forbes had this to say about it:

      “[Edge of Tomorrow] has now earned a solid $140m worldwide. The film may be big overseas,
      but a $175m production can’t just be big overseas. To wit, no film has
      ever topped $400m worldwide without topping $100m domestic… Of course, had the film only cost $115 million, we’d probably be having a different conversation and the Elysium comparison ($93m domestic, $286m worldwide) would be a successful one. But at $175m, this one had to fly quite a bit higher.”

  • gazrow

    OFF TOPIC – As a long time follower of this blog, I’ve always enjoyed the fact that writer’s from around the world get to discuss the craft of screenwriting in a mostly non-confrontational and engaging manner.

    However. over the last year or two, I’ve noticed the emergence of a form of extreme prejudice that quite frankly turns my stomach. And I am no longer willing to stand idly by and do nothing.

    Like many others, I’ve had to bite my tongue and simply ignore the snide remarks aimed at some of society’s less fortunate souls. But I’m afraid I can no longer do that in all good conscience.

    No doubt, some of you are probably scratching your heads wondering exactly which massively maligned minority I am referring to (and no, it’s not grendl!). But deep down you all know, you simply choose to ignore, or worse still, even acknowledge the disgusting treatment metered out to these tragic few.

    I am of course referring to the UNDEAD… That’s right, poor old MR and MRS ZOMBIE!!

    The number of times these deeply reviled members of society have been the subject of some derisory remark or scathing comment on these boards simply beggars belief. And if I have to become the zombies mouthpiece in order to stamp out this undeadism then so be it.

    Zombies have feelings too! Well, actually they don’t, but that’s beside the point.

    At its core, I think the undoubted hatred of these infirm-speech impaired-physically grotesque-brain dead-flesh eaters is prompted by plain old jealousy!!

    After all, we too are destined to die, but few, if any of us, are going to be lucky enough to walk the earth afterwards. And yes, I know that’s tough to bear, but still, it’s hardly the fault of the undead.

    Fortunately, there are a few enlightened souls here who can see past the sunken eyes, rotted teeth and decaying flesh of the undead and welcome them with open arms, well, not literally, that would be pretty fucking stupid! But alas, these people, much like zombies, are in the minority.

    I have been contemplating submitting my zom-com ‘No Guts No Glory’ (thanks for the title, Poe!) to AOW for some time now, but cannot in good conscience do this whilst this blatant discrimination of zombies continues to rear its ugly head on these boards.

    And rest assured, I have no problem with anyone attacking me, my writing or indeed my story, but I’m not prepared to stand by and watch folks attack the inhabitants of said story just because they’re zombies!!

    So please guys, give the undead a break. Zombies are human too, well, not really, but you get my point.

    Tongue-in-cheek rant over! :)

    • Ange Neale

      With tongue firmly lodged in cheek, I’d like to lodge a protest, gazrow, at the assumption inherent in the statement: “That’s right, poor old MR and MRS ZOMBIE!!”

      Why do you assume there can be no gay cowboy zombies? Or Village People zombies, Mrs and Mrs De Generes-De Rossi zombies, or RuPaul look-a-like zombies, looking all glam in sequins, fishnets and stilletos?

      • gazrow

        Great point, Ange! lol

        ” where’s the loyal family canine or feline in all of this, too.”

        Not mentioned in my little rant, but they at least, are in the script. Alas, no gay cowboys though! :)

        • Ange Neale

          Excellent! It should be a crime to exclude family pets.

          Adds a whole new level of complexity for the ‘Save the cat’ moment, too.

      • BSBurton

        You got that right, Ange!

    • Marija ZombiGirl

      Aah, thank you for taking our defense ! Of course, we have feelings and we need more people like you speaking up for us ^^

      Did you send this script to me already ? If yes and I didn’t have time to read it, all my apologies… If not, then what are you waiting for ? ;) (ah, just checked my “Gazrow” file and nope, no NO GUTS NO GLORY in there !)

    • Franchise Blueprints

      I guess you’re asking for a presidential pardon from Midnight Luck. While you’re at it see if any superhero movies may also receive a pardon as well.

    • pmlove

      Hey Gaz, send it over if you want a read.

  • ripleyy

    Or maybe “Fault in our Stars” succeeded because it’s simply based off a John Green book (the first one!) and that his books are ridiculously popular among teens (and adults). Also, “Edge of Tomorrow” is pretty great. Tom Cruise isn’t losing it, not yet anyway.

  • Casper Chris

    The tagline for The Fault In Our Stars (see poster):

    “One Sick Love Story”

    Are you kidding me? One sick love story? Who comes up with that shit?

    • BSBurton

      That’s the worst tagline I’ve ever heard!!!! What the hell lol

    • Linkthis83

      I think it’s one sick tagline ;) It fits the attitude of the story, so why not?

    • JakeMLB

      Remember, teens are the target audience brah.

      • Casper Chris

        Should’ve gone with “One Cancerlicious Love Joint” then.

  • Randy Williams

    Sometimes I think Tom Cruise needs to simmer down his alpha-maleness. Young American boys prefer now to be more like a President Obama than a Vladimir Putin. Forget about annexing a part of a country and occupying a port, …can I annex that table at Starbucks and anchor my tablet there?
    They still like girls in tight skirts and behind a desk, though. Emily Blunt played that so indelibly well in “Prada” I thought she’d always be typecast. Here she is in a suit!
    I’m surprised it’s doing as well as it is. Must be that great SCRIPT.

    • martin basrawy

      In EoT tom indeed tones down his alpha maleness. He’s a pussy for the first half of the film..

      • Randy Williams

        Really? Well…many can get behind that.

        • BSBurton

          Yeah, it’s really refreshing

      • BSBurton

        good point

      • Kirk Diggler

        I prefer the term “risk averse”.

  • martin basrawy

    It’s not just 22 jump that’s opening this week but also how to train your dragon 2 which will be massive e. As much as I loved EoT its going to get crowded out, esp with some more tent poles still left to go.
    Also the EoT title makes complete sense.. if he’s always repeating the same day then he’s always on the edge of reaching tomorrow but never quite getting there. All you need is kill sounds lime its trying g too hard to sound kewl.

  • andyjaxfl

    1. Terrible title, damn good flick.
    2. I loved the structuring of the day throughout the script. Correct me if I’m wrong, but we didn’t have any scenes at night for the repeat day until the third act. The time of day progressed with the runtime.
    3. Cruise is without a doubt still a movie star. He’s been through rough box office stretches before, but he’s still made some pretty good films. He’ll rebound again.
    4. More points for Cruise: I’m pretty sure few established movie stars would agree to make their character that cowardly for the first act.
    5. Speaking of which, cowardice typically makes audiences dislike a character, but Cruise’s reaction after he’s told he’s going to the front lines is how many of us would react after two decades of a white collar career, army or not. He’s relatable, and that’s why we root for him
    6. We needed more Bill Paxton!

    • Ken

      Yes – Bill Paxton was great in this!

  • andyjaxfl

    Regarding IPs and scripts, it might be worthwhile to write a spec script based on a public domain character or novel. There are lots of obscure books out there with fantastic plots that are ripe for adaptation and updating. And while promoting your script, you have “Based on the classic best-selling novel” to use, even if it’s a half-truth.

    • Scott Crawford

      Perfectly valid idea, if it’s good source material. No problem. But “Fault” is not an obscure book – it was a best seller. Saying that you script is based on an obscure book by, say, Edgar Wallace means a lot less than it might have done some time ago. Did you know that “Cobra” by Sylvester Stallone was based on a book? The same book that “Fair Game” with Cindy Crawford and Billy Baldwin was based on? And does that change your opinion of the film, that it was based on a previosuly published novel?

  • dawriter67

    Carson’s script reviiew of Fault in the Stars nailed it – it was spot on. At my daughters urging, I read the book and immediately checked to see if it was in production because it was that good – it had a story that everyone could relate to. These days I don’t care who is in the movie as long as the story is GOOD. So I promised my two girls I would go with them to see fault. Harkins theaters provided captions in a device for me. The movie was great – the girl is gonna snag a nomination and fault cod be best adapted screenplay. The relationship was believable and that is what resonates with the audience – make your stories and characters real! The sound track was pleasant to listen to and it didn’t drown out the story – ed sheeran right?

    • Randy Williams

      The sound track has been marketed for ages. Not the ordinary marketing a soundtrack when the movie comes out. Added just another tug to see the movie. We promised you these songs, now see how they fit in.

  • Jim

    Random thoughts:

    Tom Cruise needs to stop saving the world and perhaps concentrate on a Less Grossman/Tropic Thunder spin off. Then again, I can see that playing out and wearing thin like Mr. Chow in The Hangover II & III. I did like his playing against type, though.

    EoT is essentially a video game disguised as a movie. What gamer is going to pull themselves away from their console, losing the ability to control their own destiny and chat with others in a room, to go sit in a dark theater to watch what is essentially another person playing?

    The movie was ok – felt the same about the script when I read it in that it didn’t blow me away and quickly evaporated from my mind as soon as I finished both. It missed opportunities to hit something profound on an existential level in a Dark City way, imo (meaning, I didn’t come away with any greater understanding of what it means to be human, something great sci-fi movies explore).

    The conceit/concept just didn’t completely work for me and here’s why: without death, there’s no consequences and everything is meaningless. For two thirds of the movie, that’s what it feels like save one little story beat which could have played out more and provided some thematic relevance where there’s a sense of… wait for it… meaningless in doing the same thing over and over. When we do get to the point where everything suddenly becomes “this is for real”, it feels too contrived and merely a plot point for the story to push forward and up the stakes.

    Here’s what I would have loved to have seen: when Tom’s character dies each time, he goes back to the same point, but those who perished in battle are no longer present. That gives immediate stakes and consequences to his actions and need for learning, forcing him into gut-wrenching decisions as to whom to save that can help him accomplish getting further. It would have had an interesting ripple effect on how events changed and played out rather than merely Tom’s character merely “knowing” the answer to everything in advance because let’s face it, that’s not really growth because there’s no consequences. This also would have made the aliens’ gimmick all-the-more-cool in what they were trying to accomplish.

    Last but not least, I was bored by the action scenes. Earth has once again been invaded by “things” straight out of 150 other movies over the last ten years. Whether it’s The Avengers or Thor or whatever-popcorn-flick, they have no personality and just come in waves which is so psychologically un-involving. It’s like the writers/filmmakers don’t know what to do and just create sheer numbers for the protagonists to overcome.

    That being said, I liked the film – but more so for the moments without the action. The humor was ok, but it seemed to actually dilute the film’s tone at times.

    • Franchise Blueprints

      Here’s what I would have loved to have seen: when Tom’s character dies
      each time, he goes back to the same point, but those who perished in
      battle are no longer present. That gives immediate stakes and
      consequences to his actions and need for learning, forcing him into
      gut-wrenching decisions as to whom to save that can help him accomplish
      getting further. It would have had an interesting ripple effect on how
      events changed and played out rather than merely Tom’s character
      “knowing” the answer to everything in advance because let’s face it,
      that’s not really growth because there’s no consequences.

      This was the exact same problem in Days of Future Past. Wolverine and every mutant he publicly interacted with committed gross offenses within that timeline. Literally nothing he did in the past had any effect on the future. Although he went to the past for the very first time he awoke with the consciousness that he actually belonged there. The very first scene of him awaking in the past explains this perfectly. Also Wolverine only had to explain himself twice once to Professor X and once to QuickSilver. Magneto immediately knew the reason why he was needed once he was aboard the jet. If anybody understood the consequences of tampering with the timeline should have been Beast and Professor X. Neither one made any mention of limiting the damaging effects of altering history. They also broke the fourth wall by showing a episode of the original Star Trek. Which means they were aware of the space-time continuum that Star Trek established.

      Only the actions of Mystique had any outcome on the future. How is that even possible? The timeline is contaminated by Wolverine but only Mystique can alter the future.

      Also the U.S government was using non-metallic guns in the movie to counteract Magneto. That’s cool as long as your bullet and shell casing are non-metallic as well. And it only makes sense if you actually knew Magneto was going to attack. And it only make further sense if polymer framed guns were actually popular and available in 1973. Yeah HK VP70 was out back then, BUT it’s a German made gun. Was the U.S importing service sidearms from other countries back then. This is also 12 years prior to the first GLOCK being sold in the U.S. Oh I guess they got over that logic plot hole because the guns looked like glass in the movie or maybe it was a proprietary design that U.S government invented.

      • Kirk Diggler

        The Star Trek thing was more an inside joke. The episode we caught a glimpse of was “The Naked Time”, the first Star Trek ep to use time travel. I’m not sure that equals ‘breaking the 4th wall’.

    • Michael

      In regards to the antagonist:

      “…they have no personality and just come in waves which is so psychologically un-involving.”

      This is a huge point. It’s not enough to have the hero save the day. The audience’s enjoyment of seeing the hero succeed is proportional to how much they want to see the villain defeated. If the story doesn’t spend time identifying the antagonist, in a way the audience can emotionally connect enough to hate and want to see them defeated, the story is incomplete.

      Oblivion had the same problem. The Tet is absent from the film until the very end. The filmmakers tried to substitute, the absence of that conflict, with the mystery of who Jack really is. But with Jack resolving the mystery (as nice a twist as it was), the audience is left with the hero going off to do battle with a villain they’ve never met.

      By definition, conflict is between two things. You can’t just give the audience half the story and expect them to go home satisfied.

      • Jim

        Very well said, and sadly, it seems to be atypical of blockbusters and tentpoles. Look at a film like Alien or Aliens: at least we can see the genesis of the species and its will to stay alive just as much as our own. Give me a movie like Invasion of the Body Snatchers where there’s at least some parallels and/or commentary of modern society that can be had that make it all the more interesting.

      • charliesb

        I think you have a good point here. If you’re not going to give your “alien horde” a specific personality to root against then you need to get us involved in another way. Starship Troopers, which I thought had a lot in common with this film did that successfully (IMO) by first showing us the massive numbers of bugs and then constantly upping the ante by showing us a new stronger or more advanced bug. First the workers, then the spore shooters, then the tankers, then the flying ones then the brain bug. With EoT i had no idea how these aliens worked (other than the time travel). What were they shooting? Why did they want earth? etc.

        Defining the antagonist better (and chopping off the last few minutes) would have made this a much better film.

  • Craig Mack

    I sent a request. Good luck on the evals.

  • Logic Ninja

    While Edge of Tomorrow (yeah, that title really does suck) was a sick flick all the way through, the ending may have rung hollow for a lotta people. It was really confusing, felt a bit contrived–and it’s hard to generate good word-of-mouth on, “Yeah, it was good…but I’m not sure what happened there at the end.”
    Anyway, I’ve come up with a theory to explain some of the craziness (SPOILERS). Maybe this stuff was explained in the original script, I don’t know. But I saw the movie twice this weekend and didn’t find any explanation there!
    So here’s the stuff we gotta deal with:
    1. When Cage (Cruise’s character) wakes up after his death(?) in the underwater cavern, he wakes up several hours earlier than he usually does. I think.
    2. He wakes in a helicopter, not in handcuffs.
    3. The enemy has already been defeated.
    4. Emily Blunt’s character is still alive, but she doesn’t recognize him.
    Ok, so my theory is this: Cage wakes up in a helicopter several hours earlier because he SLEPT in the helicopter. Throughout the movie, he woke up on a pile of crates, in handcuffs, because he was tazed and knocked out–but since the enemy has been defeated, he won’t be tazed, so the last time he’ll have slept is in the helicopter.
    Second, since the Omega has the ability to control time and remembers each day it resets, it does not exist along an ordinary timeline. If it resets the day, it doesn’t grow a day younger–it just keeps on living. Which means from the Omega’s point of view, its demise in the underground cave occurs BEFORE Cage wakes up in that helicopter–while from the human race’s point of view, this seems like a contradiction. But because the Omega exists, in a way, outside the normal timeline, if it’s killed during ANY version of a day, it dies in EVERY version of that day.
    Last but not least, we gotta explain the reason the Omega dies effective a few hours BEFORE Cage wakes up in the helicopter–and this one’s a giant steaming guess on my part, based on a few bits of information we’re given:
    We know Cage can reset the day on his own, without the Omega’s retaining any memory of what’s transpired–otherwise the Mimics would be able to anticipate Cage’s actions. So we can assume Cage’s reset, and the Omega’s reset, are two separate events, controlled by two separate entities with the time-control power (Cage and the Omega).
    Remember, we’ve concluded that if the Omega is killed during ANY version of a day, it dies in EVERY version of that day–but are we referring to ITS day or CAGE’S day? Because the two are different things! I think we have to be referring to the Omega’s day, which would begin the last time an alpha died. Since we don’t know when that last occurred, we can just assume (based on the fact that the Omega dies “a few hours before dawn this morning” according to a news report) an alpha was killed a few hours before Cage wakes up in that helicopter.
    Anyway, all this is a whole lotta guessing. And most sci-fi fans hardcore enough to enjoy an alien invasion mindbender like Edge are gonna want a more concrete explanation–supplied by the movie, not by me.

    • BSBurton

      Holy cow, that’s a lot of thought. I don’t know, I thought it was just because he died the next day and was reset to that spot based on time. Because the final attack fun was at Night (technically about 12 hours before he usually dies) that’s why he came back earlier. What do you think?

      • Logic Ninja

        Yeah, haha, I tend to obsess a wee bit over sci-fi details. You bring up a great point, and I thought about it–the only problem I see is, if the time of Cage’s death influences the time of his reawakening, why does he always wake up on those crates in handcuffs, at that exact moment? Because we know he doesn’t die at the same moment each time.
        I wish the ending had been better explained (I would even have forgiven some blatant exposition through dialogue!). That moment, though, when Cage loses the power…oh man. That was absolutely brilliant. You could feel everyone in the theater thinking “oh crap!” When you think about it, after Cage loses the power the stakes are no higher than they are in any Armageddon-type movie, but because we’ve been leaning on the fact that Cage can’t die for so long, that moment hits us like a brick to the face. Just awesome.
        And the moment, after Rita dies in the helicopter, and Cage wakes up and approaches her in the training facility… And then says, “Sorry to disturb you,” and walks away. Oh man. Shivers.

        • BSBurton

          Yeah, those were great moments. The last moment of the film could’ve used more than a smile though

    • lisap

      I agree…the ending kind of killed the movie for me, because it kind of didn’t make sense based on the info we were given and up until that point it was quite good. I think many recent Cruise efforts have had pacing problems (Oblivion, Jack Reacher are two examples of that) and this one was very well paced. I like your creative speculation…though.

    • Michael

      You bring up some good time line/logic questions.

      (Spoilers) The big one for me was when the General finally gives them the transmitter locked in his safe and they look at each other and say “What now?” “I don’t know, we’ve never got this far.” This is followed by two failed attempts to escape.

      Why doesn’t Cage use the transmitter right in front of the General, get the location of the Omega and Rita shoots Cage in the head? Cage reboots the day with the information he needs to find the Omega, mission accomplished.

      Of course, you still need to fit in the scene where Cage loses his abilities. That’s a must for starting the ticking time bomb and ramping up the stakes.

      The real logic question is, why would the transmitter device be in the General’s office safe, especially if they discredited the scientist who invented it and labeled him crazy?

  • IgorWasTaken

    I vaguely recall that “Edge of Tomorrow” was a on the list for the movie that eventually became “How Stella Got Her Groove Back”. Or maybe it was for “Under the Tuscan Sun”. Or “Seeking a Friend for the End of the World”.

    Yeh, that title has the feel of some internal struggle. That, or saving the world from global warming.

    OTOH, let’s not forget the worst title movie ever, “The Shawshank Redemption”. Maybe crappy titles can work, but not for action movies.

  • Malibo Jackk

    Show them the book.
    Tell them how many copies it’s sold.
    And change your name from Dirrogate.

  • Nathan

    Cruise must just be getting too old for the young crowds these days. When he and Blunt kissed I heard grossed-out shrieks from a few teenage girls in the audience. Stick to playing sex-less Dad’s from here on out please.
    As for the movie – I had trouble wading through all the exposition. With all the classic/cheap tricks used to disguise it all: Fake conflict so characters can explain things, periphery characters bringing up all the plot holes so that they could be explained away for the audience etc. Take all that out and there wouldn’t have been a lot said.

  • Nicholas J

    Ask yourself the last good Tom Cruise movie that you saw. The one you watched and afterward couldn’t wait to tell your friends how good it was. No, TROPIC THUNDER doesn’t count.

    I’d guess it’s MI:3, WAR OF THE WORLDS, COLLATERAL, or probably something older. The latest of those was in 2006.

    Remember when he took roles like RAIN MAN, JERRY MAGUIRE, and MAGNOLIA? Now he’s in standard action movie #253. He’s a Baby Boomer and Generation-X star that’s doing movies targeted toward Millenials and Generation-Z. Sorry, but today’s teens and twentysomethings aren’t flocking to the theaters anytime soon for Tom Cruise. They’ll go if the movie’s good, which seems to be the case here, but they won’t go for him alone.

    • IgorWasTaken

      Good points. Yet, as to those character-driven movies that he did well, the problem now may be that:

      If a new Tom Cruise movie would focus on the character’s internal struggle, it might be impossible for the the audience to not start thinking about Tom Cruise’s “internal issues” – IOW, what the public thinks about Tom Cruise personally, emotionally (fairly or not).

      • BSBurton

        interesting point. i think it might be reaching, but it’s hard to say for sure.

      • Bifferspice

        i think maybe he’s counting down his action clock same as the rest of us.

        what does a movie take to film? 6 months? how many can he do before he thinks he can’t do action anymore?

        he can still do the rainman type from here till whenever. maybe he’s just filling his action boots while he can.

        fwiw, i think tom cruise is great. not enough to make me watch a film i wouldn’t see otherwise, but i admire his choice of roles over the years, as well as the chops he displays when he does it.

        mind you, i still hate color of money. the hustler is one of the greatest films ever. CoM doesn’t hold a candle to it in my opinion.

        but other films of his are great, and he often takes odd decisions, and i respect him for that. i don’t think he’s all ego at all.

        • Nicholas J

          I love me some Tom as well. RAIN MAN is a classic. Great in COLLATERAL. I even liked WAR OF THE WORLDS. And he makes a perfect Ethan Hunt.

          You make a good point about him taking action roles while he’s still up for them. It’ll be interesting to see the type of roles he takes once those are no longer an option.

    • Andrew Parker

      I agree. Though the overseas market — clearly his biggest audience — does not care for the Rain Man or Magnolias of the world.

      I was going through movies that have come out in recent years. There’s not a lot that he could have starred in but didn’t. Some of the better ones he probably could have tackled: Real Steel, The Descendants, Limitless.

      • Nicholas J

        I’m not necessarily saying he should go back to those types of movies, just that they are the ones that helped propel him toward super stardom. Yeah he did action movies back then too, but they didn’t dominate his filmography. These days he isn’t as much movie star as he is action movie star.

        Point I’m trying to make is, he seems to be so far away from what was appealing about him in the first place, that it’s no wonder he doesn’t draw an audience like he used to.

        And does the international crowd flock to his newer movies because of him or because of the content? I’m legitimately asking because I don’t know.

        • Andrew Parker

          I still think he’s the big draw in a lot of his movies.

          For instance, Jack Reacher — a movie with no brand appeal overseas — still did $138MM foreign vs. $80MM domestic. Knight & Day had similar numbers ($185MM foreign vs. $76MM domestic).

          • BSBurton

            Good points

          • Nate

            I live in the UK and Tom Cruise was the main reason I watched Knight and Day. I probably would’ve watched it eventually because I love a good spy film, but he was the reason I went to watch at the cinema.

        • Sanjay

          Hi Nicholas,
          I am from India and Tom Cruise has a massive fan base here. People who don’t speak english watch the dubbed versions of his movies, and the urban educated most definitely don’t miss a Tom Cruise flick.
          So the people do throng to the theaters for HIM.
          I was actually surprised to know that EOT isn’t doing well in the US.
          I thought the movie was excellently written, and the alien design was very different and interesting.
          I loved the fact that a normal summer action flick can be written in such a smart way. Even Godzilla, which was hated by many, had certain elements to it which is breaking the stereotypes set by Hollywood cookie cutter movies .

          • Nicholas J

            Cool thanks for the info. I don’t pay attention to international box office at all, but as it’s becoming more and more relevant to the types of films that get made, it’s a good thing to start taking into account.

            I’ll definitely be checking out EOT eventually, as I’ve been hearing good things and I do love a good Tom Cruise movie!

    • BSBurton

      The tough thing is that his last drama role (lions for lambs) didn’t bring in any cash. And since his PR problems, he’s been financing his movies himself. He wants to gamble less, thus he’s in the action movie limbo. A shame really, cause movies like Rain Man and Born on the Fourth of July were good strong performances.

      I enjoyed JACK REACHER and this film. Before that, it would be GHOST PROTOCOL, then KNIGHT AND DAY, then COLLATERAL, LAST SAMURAI, and MINORITY REPORT.

      Wasn’t a fan of WAR OF THE WORLDS

    • Citizen M

      The studios obviously still believe in him, judging by the movies he’s attached to. The man has a helluva CV. You gotta respect that body of work. I guess in recent years he’s regarded as an action star who can do drama, rather than the other way around.

      Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (announced)
      Top Gun 2 (announced)
      Van Helsing (announced)
      2015 Mission: Impossible 5 (pre-production)
      2014 Edge of Tomorrow

  • IgorWasTaken

    BTW, how does a movie star a character named “Cage”, but not star actor Nicolas Cage?

    • Ange Neale

      They were trying to add irony perhaps?

    • gazrow

      They needed someone who could act!! Ouch! Sorry, Nic.

      ON TOPIC – Edge of Tomorrow is the best sci fi/action film I’ve seen in a long time! :)

      • BSBurton

        Yeah, totally agree. It was wayyyyyy better than Oblivion. THat movie was baaaad. Nic is in a slump, but “Joe” was interesting for an indie film. I liked it.

        • gazrow

          I tried to give “Joe” a chance but it reminded me too much of “Mud” – of course, I could be wrong?

          • BSBurton

            It felt very similar. PLus they used the same actor lol. But it was a fun film. Seemed like they used a lot of locals for actors

  • Scott Crawford

    I’m getting older. “Tomorrow” just looked too noisy.

  • Jovan Jevtic

    I loved Edge of tomorrow! Best action movie this year! I’m not sure I will watch fault in our whatever

  • fragglewriter

    I’m going to respond as a movie goer, not based on script/movie analysis.

    Action flicks round out the Top 3 for me, Cartoons #1 and Comedies (slap stick/frat boy). As beautiful of a weekend it was in NY, if I wanted to spend $25 to see a movie, it would not be Edge of Tomorrow. It looked so, been there, done that before (reminds me a little of Oblivion, even though I didn’t watch the entire movie). How many films are you going to make where the earth/planet is in trouble and one person can save them (I’m really eager to see how Jupiter Ascending performs because that movie looks horrible)?

    Now, would I see Fault in Our Stars? Nope. Hate romance books/movies, so wouldn’t waste my dollars on that. Would I read the book? A big maybe. I gave Twilight a try, and stopped after 30 pages. I was just telling a friend that being busy with work and writing, that I haven’t read a book in so long. I would rather read a book then watch the crap in the movies and TV is not much better, but better than it has been before.

    What does that mean for screenwriters? Just tell a good story. If you write a movie where the topic/logline is familiar, switch it up. If you feel that you want to tell a good story and not follow the prescribed beats in movies and books, decide if scriptwriting is the best medium. Try it as a TV or a book.

    I still think Tom Cruise can bring people to the movies, but lately, and with the economy, most people would probably rather wait to watch it on cable or rent it at Redbox/iTunes.

    • Franchise Blueprints

      Somebody tell me why The Wachowski’s are allowed to still get funding and make movies.

      Three major FLOPS
      1) Matrix Revolutions
      2) Speed Racer
      3) Cloud Atlas

      When I first heard about and saw the trailer for Jupiter Ascending all I could think was Total Recall (the original) + The Fifth Element. Two great movies. But I no longer trust the Wachowski’s to deliver. When I make it, I wonder how many duds I get to output before I’m out the business. Literally the Wachowski’s, Johnny Depp, and Charlie Sheen should form a production company. Commercial_FLOPHOUSE_ BUT_at_least_EYE_got_PAID LLC

      • fragglewriter

        You forgot about V for Vendetta LOL.

        It depends on how successful your first film was and or you successful in other mediums such as Seth MacFarlane and Mike Judge. I say hit them from all angles, and you’ll get to make it at least 2 flop films before they stop accepting meetings with you.

        Don’t forget to add Vince Vaughn to that list LOL

        • Franchise Blueprints

          I actually liked V for Vendetta. Don’t tell anybody. And yes Vince Vaughn will be VP of Youtube Content Creation.

          • Kirk Diggler

            I liked V for Vendetta too. The Wachowski’s didn’t direct it so I’m sure that helped.

      • Linkthis83

        Liked CLOUD ATLAS.

        • BSBurton

          Me 2!!!

      • IgorWasTaken

        Somebody tell me why The Wachowski’s are allowed to still get funding and make movies.

        Here’s one reason: Because people with lots of money like to be able to say they are “funding the latest Wachowski movie. You know, they did the Matrix.”

        So, for a couple of years – before a movie comes out – they can say that.

        Then, if the movie does well, they can say that forever, and maybe get an OK return on their money.

        OTOH, if the movie bombs, then they still had those couple of years during which they could boast about funding “a big Hollywood movie!” And a few years later, after most people forget that it bombed, they can start bragging again about it – unless maybe it was an infamous bomb. Then again, some people are so rich, they love to tell stories about, “The time I invested $50M to make that Wachowski movie. Oh, did that ever bomb. But hey, you like my new wife’s new tits?”

        You know during the opening titles for films sometimes you’ll see something along the lines of “In association with Screenpartners II”, “Screenpartners III”, “Screenpartners IV”? Those designate groups of those rich people who put up chunks of money for the studio to finance films. Not all of it, but chunks of it.

        • Citizen M

          People who put up the money can also get an Executive Producer credit.

      • mulesandmud

        It’s no mystery. The answer is super specific, in fact.

        While filming The Matrix trilogy, at the height of their success, the Wachowskis secured a sweet three-picture blind directing deal with Warner Brothers. Must have had a killer agent with some serious foresight.

        Whether the Wachowski’s knew they’d take 15 years to finish out the contract, or that they’d go a little art-wild with their projects, who knows? I’m sure that Warner is glad to get them off the books, though. It’ll be interesting to see what they do next.

  • ElectricDreamer

    “I don’t talk about movie titles much because it’s one of the most
    objective parts of the business. But if Hollywood isn’t given a property
    that already has a name, they almost always fuck it up. “Edge of
    Tomorrow??” What the hell does that even mean?? It’s the most generic
    title ever and reeks of compromise.”

    Didn’t someone tell Warner Brothers that title’s already used on a popular SITCOM?!?
    Taken from the Wikipedia page for the current TV show, Hot in Cleveland:

    “Wendie Malick plays Victoria Chase, a six-time-divorced, Emmy Award-winning soap opera star whose 27-year running show, **Edge of Tomorrow**, was recently canceled”

    Edge of Tomorrow is used for a laugher on old school TV Land.
    So, how did anyone expect it to carry a $178 million tentpole?

    • BSBurton

      Yeah, I agree. What about “Death Cycle” or “The Mimics.” That’s funny about Hot in Cleveland hahaha. I remember that now.

  • BSBurton

    I agree with you, Patrick. Good post

    • Franchise Blueprints

      All You Need is the Edge of Kill.

      • BSBurton

        Hmmm, the edge “to” kill, perhaps?

        • Franchise Blueprints

          Dammit you win. I would actually pay to see that The Edge to Kill. Somebody owes you some money for that title. And when they pay you just remember I supported you first. I’ll take my payment in the form of a 2014 Jeep Wangler Sahara dark metallic orange. Thank You in advance.

          • BSBurton

            I would gladly fund your jeep if that title brings in millions! But why make millions when we could make…. hundred thousands??? (PInky to mouth and evil laugh).

          • Franchise Blueprints

            Seriously LOL.

      • JakeMLB

        All You Need is Kill on the Edge of Tomorrow. Duh.

        Personally I would have gone with Live. Brunch. Repeat.

        I’d definitely see that.

  • Franchise Blueprints

    Did you set it up for members to download?

  • silvain

    I submit to you, Carson, that Tom Cruise is still a movie star as far as the studios are concerned. EOT will likely pull in north of $400 million worldwide. In this day and age of fractured media, that’s a damn good number. Cruise still has pull overseas. Hence, he is still bankable.

    • IgorWasTaken

      OK. But for the studio, $400M in ticket-sales may only be break-even for this movie – after costs for production, marketing, “prints”, and splits with the theaters.

      Yes, there will be ancillary income, but I presume the studio wanted to make a “profit” from its theatrical run.

  • Fistacuffs

    The reasons I didn’t see this film are A) Tom Cruise doesn’t sell a movie for me. But he doensn’t kill it for me either. So if Cruise is in a film with a great premise, I’d see it. Which leads to B) The premise didn’t really engage me much. Mech suits to me are meh. C) The tilte sucks. If I didn’t know it was All You Need Is Kill and just saw this title, I’d pass on it instantly. D) Did I mention the part that Tom Cruise in a role doesn’t sell it for me?

  • klmn

    What a drive-by article. Your mission, Carson is to watch both movies and then write a real review on each.

    Have to grade this one Incomplete.

  • http://insideechenrysbrain.typepad.com/inside_the_brain_of_ec_he/ E.C. Henry

    I saw “The Edge of Tomorrow” last night with my dad, and had a so-so reaction to it. The “Edge of Tomorrow” IS “Groundhog Day” meets the monsters of the Matrix in a video game format. LOVED the D-day re-invisioned angle, that worked. But the invading aliens? Dude, we don’t know a thing about them–even by the end of the movie! To me that seamed like kinda the easy way out, and something the makers of this film SHOULD have delved into by the end of the film. O-kay, so these aliens arrive from a comet. How are they generating a seamingly endless supply of bullet and rockets to conquer Europe?
    Point: the alien world and believabitly was quite juevinille and unrealistic. Kinda like a video game where such questions are not meant to be asked, just taken at face value.

  • mulesandmud

    There’s plenty of overlap between sci-fi and fantasy, and lots of movies float somewhere in between, good ones and bad ones alike. Am curious what your list of the favorite sci-fi films would look like, since your strict definition disqualifies most of the classics. Is there even an existing time travel film that fits your criteria?

    For my money, I’ll accept all kinds of pseudo-science, so long as it’s presented with consistency. Inception glossed the dream tech, fine, but the rules of entering dreams and the internal dream logic all made sense within itself. Looper was much more annoying to me because it’s time travel logic contradicted itself constantly for the sake of cheap visuals and plot convenience.

  • peisley

    Carson, you’re right. International is king now. In many cases, they recoup most, if not all, of their costs overseas before it even hits our shores. I don’t know why the media emphasizes domestic so much. You’re also spot on about the title. Edge of Tomorrow sounds like a tv soap opera.

  • mulesandmud

    I think if somebody asked me which of the following was a sci-fi movie, EDGE OF TOMORROW or THE FAULT IN OUR STARS, I would guess wrong.

    I posted a little bit about titles over the weekend; some of those thoughts are relevant here as well. For a tentpole movie like this, the most important thing for a title to do is to capture the spirit of the genre. It’s a wonderful thing for a title to have layers of meaning that speak to the themes/characters/plot of your story, but that’s secondary to the question “Does this title tell you what kind of movie you’re about to see?”. Connotation over denotation; the title should feel like the genre.

    EDGE OF TOMORROW might be a sci-fi film, sure. Or maybe a thriller, or a melodrama. The title sounds meaningful somehow, I guess, but it’s mostly just vague. Those words would look right at home in calligraphy on a poster showing a young Norwegian girl sitting on a rock cliff contemplating the clouds. The fact that the actual poster has explosions and robot suits on it only gets you so far; the title needs to seal the deal. Instead, EOT sends mixed signals to potential audience members with a title that evokes absolutely nothing.

    ALL YOU NEED IS KILL at least conjures the idea of fighting and action, but it’s not much good either. The phrase itself is sounds dopey and incorrect somehow, either intentionally juvenile or mistranslated from another language (in fact, it’s both). It doesn’t suggest sci-fi at all, and doesn’t inspire much confidence in the story. There’s a hint of cliche in there, but that’s useful: a clever twist on a familiar phrase can do wonders for a title. Unfortunately, clever this ain’t.

    The movie needed a title more like THE TOMORROW WAR, something that suggests violence and future/time issues all at once, something that sounds specific but leaves a little room at the margins for people to get curious. Something that gets people saying “Cool, I’m in. So what’s the story?”

    Anybody else have a better title idea?

    • Linkthis83

      EDGE OF TOMORROW always makes me think James Bond.

      • mulesandmud

        TOMORROW NEVER DIES is a brilliant title for a sci-fi action Groundhog Day, actually.

        • Randy Williams

          I would have named it DIE UNTIL TOMORROW. Implying something the CHARACTER will go through.

          • Ange Neale

            Die Another Day. Then Another. Then Another…

    • JakeMLB

      Good call on THE TOMORROW WAR. Has a nice ring to it. Personally, I think audiences are becoming burnt out on CRASH-BANG-BOOM summer actioners. I know I am and I still have yet to see X-Men. It’s honestly becoming too much.

  • S_P_1

    I just saw this while browsing Stage32. Scroll down to the comments and look at what one known script consultant had to say about scriptshadow. I don’t know in what context his response was made. Whether he was joking or serious.

    Emily Ann Jefferson
    posted in the
    3 days ago
    Positive feedback…. A lie?!

    I over react and get upset easy and this
    isn’t helping at all, so I read this article and I never been so angry
    and upset after reading a blog post! Well number one I have no money so I
    can’t pay for feedback so I managed to get it for free on here and most
    of the feedback was pretty good I just gotta rewrite it I thought I
    knew what I was doing but then I read this and it said I might of be a
    lie of my feedback I got from people. I only read one book off
    screenwriting and I can’t get my hands on anything else I don’t like
    Being lied too! Exspecalluy like this! Was all the feedback I got was
    lies?! Can someone please help me?!


    Alle Segretti

    That’s a bit vague. A friend told me something that is a lie and someone else told me a different story, do you know which

    is the lie? Or what the lie is about?

    Regarding the blog: “If you are having trouble getting in the room, your work is not good enough, yet” – makes no sense,

    how can people who have not seen your work, rejecting you from the room, determine that on work they haven’t seen. Bit like

    saying “everyone told me lies” but not indicating the specifics.

    Not going to waste time or effort on the rest of the blog.

    No one can help you, you have to help yourself. We can offer experience, guidance and advice, all of which you will have to

    have the capacity to adapt to your own circumstances.

    3 days ago

    Kalisa Moore

    Join a screenwriters club in your area, where all the members all read each other screenwriters script for free and give

    great feedback. This also means you would have to offer the same services in a calming manner in being a member of this

    wonderful club. The film world is a great business to be a part of so don’t let your inner feelings, over react and cause

    your script not to be read by anyone…Take a deep breath and breathe Emily Anne =) you will be happy you did….Happy

    Friday sweetie!!

    3 days ago

    Danny Manus

    Emily, you can find Tons of FREE screenwriting books and advice everywhere. you want to be serious about it, then go to the

    library and get some free books. or read websites and the trades and podcasts – all free. But Stephanie’s post is mostly

    true. if your project is good enough, and you are getting it out there (which costs money!! ) then people will find it. but

    at your age, you’re just not nearly there yet. you don’t need to worry about that stuff yet. But yes, people pay for

    professional feedback bc when you ask friends or family, most will lie and say its great. the others wouldn’t know the


    3 days ago
    1 Like

    Kyle Carmean

    Go to crackingyarns.com and scriptshadow.com you will learn a ton of stuff for free.

    3 days ago


    if you are just starting out then I’d suggest you focus on writing complete scripts — from fade in to fade out — but

    don’t fret feedback – maybe don’t even seek it for right now. Read/study scripts, listen to podcasts/watch Youtube videos

    that deal with (screen)writers and — most importantly — WRITE CONSTANTLY. Worry about feedback and all that other shit

    when you got 2/3 scripts down and are working on your 3rd/4th — would be my humble advice. Good luck with whatever you do


    *There is an ocean of difference between a screenwriter and some one who’s simply written a script

    3 days ago

    Danny Manus

    Oh god, don’t go to ScriptShadow!! Go to TwoAdverbs or John August’s site, or Script Mag, or…many other places.

    3 days ago
    1 Like

    Kathy Schenfelt

    If you’re writing for fun and you’re not trying to sell it, your friends/family’s feedback will do just fine. Now, if you

    ARE serious about screenwriting, I ‘m a firm believer getting professional feedback is worth every penny.

    Anyway, “There is an ocean of difference between a screenwriter and some one who’s simply written a script” — This is SO

    important. Taking pictures doesn’t make you a photographer, just like writing a script doesn’t make you a screenwriter.

    Thanks Bjamin!

    2 days ago

    Alle Segretti

    Kathy – my words spoken so often! Thanks :) Goes for people calling themselves actors and people who are actors, and people

    calling themselves producer and people who are producers.

    • klmn


      • Casper Chris

        yea, something tells me she wasn’t lied to…

    • pmlove

      Sounds like Bull to me.

    • Malibo Jackk

      Met DM a few years back.
      Asked him at the time if he had heard of SS.
      He hadn’t.

      Keep in mind that he’s now in competition with SS.
      If he has another beef, I could only speculate.
      Maybe he doesn’t like the fees.
      Maybe he thinks the advice from amateurs screenwriters is not always of a professional level.
      Don’t know.

      (Full Disclosure: I don’t know him or other people I’ve talked to. I don’t try to market myself or my scripts. Don’t even bother telling them my name.)

    • Craig Mack

      Danny Manus seems like a pompous dipshit to me. I follow his posts on Stage 32 and Twitter. The guys is full of himself.

  • cjob3

    I’m often shocked and saddened by the human capacity for apathy. Kitty Pryde has “time travel powers” yet everyone’s just walking around like everything’s fine.

    • Ange Neale

      Shamelessly plagiarized from God only knows where now, but…

      “Apathy is a major problem but who cares?”

      • astranger2

        Yeah, so is ignorance… but, oh, I dunno…

  • cjob3

    I’ve always felt the Hollywood Star is overvalued. I didn’t see the Matrix because of Keanu, I saw it in spite of him. People go to see a stars movie because it’s a great idea, and a great script. Just so happens top movie stars get offered the best scripts. Did the Hangover need huge box office draws? Did Bridesmaids? The concept sold them. It’s like when Sam Raimi was fighting for Tobey MccGuire for Spider-Man. The studio wanted a big star like Leo Dicaprio. But Sam knew better. “Spider-Man doesn’t need a big name. Spider-Man IS the big name.”

  • Cuesta

    I’m happy Edge of Tomorrow isn’t doing great numbers. About time this trend of products specifically marketed to angry, male teens starts to fade. That’s a toxic western culture which needs to end, for everyone’s sake. And we are voting with our money.
    I mean, they transformed Tom Freakin Cruise into a Gears of War character, come on.
    I can even foretell the movie will be heavily showcased this week in the E3.

    Summer dumb action flicks, despite being targeted to young male adults, should be for everyone, and that’s the reason everyone sees them.
    You can’t deliver a videogame with real people and expect more than rat kids to show.

    And before anyone says something- you can’t throw a female there and expect females to bite in a thematic failure like Edge of Tomorrow. Doesn’t work with porn, didn’t work with this one.

    Btw Tom Cruise is huge overseas. Biggest Hollywood action star. Bigger than The Winstroldables. But we don’t watch Oprah nor we do give a shit about his alleged antics tho.

  • brenkilco

    I’m truly surprised scrolling down the comments at the level of affection for Cruise. I’m sorry but there just aren’t a lot of acting colors in his box of Crayolas. That sort of desperately cocky, frozen smile, go go go that has always been his stock in trade has never appealed to me and is starting to get a little unnerving as Tom cruises into his fifties. Insecure, too tightly wound. An actor who just can’t relax. And all great movie stars have known how to relax and let the audience come to them. I was rewatching The Counselor recently- a seriously under rated movie- and really marveling at the dialogue scenes between Fassbender and Brad Pitt, the effortless spin Pitt put on everything. It was really interesting just watching these two guys talk, and I began to realize what a really terrific actor Pitt is. Never gotten that sense from any dialogue scene I’ve ever seen Cruise do.

  • Malibo Jackk

    Short version —
    People go to movies for the story
    not the science.

    Question: What was the meaning of the the space fetus
    at the end of 2001: A Space Odyssey?

    (Answer: They ran out of money.)

  • kenglo

    Omg – EOT will beat out Fault in the overall boxoffice. Everyone’s teenage girl (mine included) wanted to see that film this weekend, (and who takes their teenager to the movies? Parents.) and it slammed EOT, but overall, EOT will out gross fault. The problem this summer, and after I saw the lineup, is that there are too many films coming out in succession, 22 Jump Street will wallop both films until the following week when Guardians of the Galaxy comes out, or Ninja Turtles, or Jupiter Ascending, or whatever else is out there (that Scarlett Johansson’s LUCY will be a sleeper!) and so on and so forth. Look a Capt. America 700M thus far worldwide (because they were smart and released it FIRST!). EOT will garner 350-400. Cruise is not dead. If you look at last year, After Earth, Pacific Rim, Oblivion, Elysium, all could be considered flops, but they are not flops from a worldwide standpoint…..

  • Nick Morris

    If this movie was called ALL YOU NEED IS KILL, I probably would have seen it already.

  • Craig Mack


    1. I’m looking for an online writing group…. Anyone taking members? I write mostly Horror/Action.
    2. I have THREE separate openings to one of my screenplays… I’m trying to figure out which one to RUN with… they are only 2-3 pages long. Anyone want to help me out with a read?



    • Nick Morris

      Hit me up, man. You have my email, I think.

    • pmlove

      lovepeterm at gmail.com – go mad.

    • gazrow

      Happy to take a look at your three separate openings and give you my thoughts.
      gazrow at hotmail dot com

  • devamma

    Well said, sir. Well, said.

  • Franchise Blueprints

    Anyway, I had some time and some thoughts and now you’ve all been victimized.


  • Stephjones

    “The Hoof and the Mouth” ?

  • Linkthis83

    Other, more experienced folks can chime in, but when I entered the most recent Industry Insider contest, the title of my entry was TOMMY TUCKER, MOTHERFUCKER. I wasn’t doing it to be like FUCKBUDDIES in any way, or to be bold for bold’s sake, it truly encapsulated the attitude of the story and the main character. The notes I got back stated that I had an awesome title. So I’d suggest asking yourself if your title truly serves your story, or if it just feels clever enough to pull off. I’d also ask you what the name of the ranch is (or the last name of the family running it). Is it a cute rom-com? More of a bolder, raunchier story? Whatever the answer is, the title should fit that as well, I think.

    I would’ve suggested NEIGH-BORS.


  • Linkthis83

    If the science worked, wouldn’t that mean time travel has been figured out? :)

  • Franchise Blueprints

    I CAN’T think of a single time travel movie where the science works for me. DEJA VU was soooooo close up until it jumped the shark and sentDenzel back. Ruined that movie for me, which I thought, up to that point, was a beautiful re-imagining of time “travel” as just an ability to look back and watch and not be able to change anything. I also lovedthat the window showed the past in real time and if you weren’t lookingin the right place at the right time you’d miss it all over again.

    It was great. And then it turned into every other time travel movie with a dude going back to change things. Lost me.

    I felt the same way. They weren’t going to let Paula Patton die or remain unattached. If they went the smart route Denzel would have saved her and watched her from afar as the credits rolled.

    As far as sci-fi goes, I may think of Jurassic Park as a kind of ideal. It’s a hell of a stretch to think you’d get DNA out of preserved
    mosquitoes, but they sell it, believably and entertainingly, and in a
    way that actually makes you think about the realities of DNA. And they do it within a story that asks the pertinent scientific and
    philosophical questions about what has been done.

    I agree. The other reason I appreciate Jurassic Park more is because I recently saw this link on youtube I had no idea some of the Raptor scenes and the T-Rex were practical SFX. I though the entire movie was VFX.


    Science is THE ONLY NECESSARY INGREDIENT OF SCI-FI besides fiction.
    That’s why it’s SCI-fi, and not just “fi.” Sci-fi must, in some
    intrinsic way, be ABOUT the science of its premise.

    I like 2001, Jurassic Park, Contact, and…then it gets really hard to think of movies that have actually paid some attention to the ramifications of the sci in their sci-fi.


  • Franchise Blueprints

    I made a post before about derivative script titles for the sake of controversy and to get eyeballs on your script. The fallout is if you don’t deliver the goods you could be typecast as all bark no bite.

  • romer6

    I saw the movie today and it is really, really good. One of the best I´ve seen this year. I like Tom Cruise a lot, but I think his performance in this movie was the best he delivered in the past few years. And I didn´t expect it, because the trailers didn´t show much of his character´s layers, which is very appreciated. I ended up enjoying the movie quite more than some of the others I saw this year. Rita is a well built character also. The rest of the cast is great even if we spend so little time around them. They seem like they could be a team as fun as the marines from Aliens if they were given the time. I love Sci Fi and I think even a not so good Sci Fi will be somewhat enjoyable to me, but this one surpassed my expectations by much.

    Now, to an Off-Topic topic (is there such a thing?): Have you all seen the trailers from the incoming games shown at E3 today? I saw some of them and found this one really powerful, so much that it made my expectations for the game hit the sky. What do you think about the writing? I loved the way they show so much showing almost nothing. A tiny lesson I learnt from these five minutes.

  • Malibo Jackk

    I like the title.
    It should attract attention without being overly clever.
    And it’s only a title (which will probably get changed.)

    What bothers me is the logline.
    You’ve already told us “Horseshit.” You don’t need to repeat it in the logline.
    I would get rid of “polishing turds.” You’re trying too hard.
    We get what you’re saying.
    (Unless, of course, you want to give us the impression that the whole script is crude.)

  • Michael

    I enjoyed Edge of Tomorrow.

    Tom Cruise is solid Tom Cruise, nothing wrong with that. He did as good a job as he could, but he’s not the best casting choice for the Cage character with the baggage of his action pedigree.

    They needed to cast someone we’ve never seen play an action hero before, so we could marvel at his transformation into a super soldier. The benchmark for this character is Sharlto Copley as Wikus in District 9. Copley’s performance made District 9 a success. Tom Cruise playing a wimp will never be as impactful because we already know he can make the arc to hero. The casting choice undermined the core of the story before they ever started filming.

    Why isn’t everyone talking about how awesome Emily Blunt is in this? Her star power is rising.

    Kudos to Doug Liman, he knows how to make fun movies.

  • http://jrkinnard.tumblr.com/ J.R. Kinnard

    I think people have Tom Cruise fatigue, to be honest. The feeling that people get is, “Didn’t Cruise do this movie last year?” And they say that about every frickin’ movie!

    I saw both movies this weekend, and while it’s hard to compare a YA cancer drama with a sci-fi extravaganza, Edge of Tomorrow kicked the living hell out of The Fault in Our Stars. Yes, the second half of TFOS finally starts to ratchet up the drama, but the first half is a slog of cliches with awful pacing. Edge of Tomorrow, on the other hand, is entertaining from beginning to end, with a gallows humor that had me laughing a lot more than I expected.

  • gazrow

    LOVE The Walking Dead and all the UNDEAD extras!!

  • gazrow


  • Mike.H

    The premise of EDGE OF TOMORROW about looping repeatedly. May be it was fresh in pre planning 3 years ago but today’s audience… gotten tired of it.

  • Ken

    I enjoyed EDGE OF TOMORROW, but I would have preferred it to have used the original title, ALL YOU NEED IS KILL: now THAT’S a great title.

  • Ken

    ‘All You Need is Kill’ is not grammatically correct, which made it more interesting.

  • yovanel


    I just simply adore you. You have no filter and I LOVE that. I love how deep you are into your craft. This review was excellent.