Genre: Action/Adventure
About: The stars aligned for Gareth Edwards, a man who made the micro-budgeted “Monsters” a few years ago to show off his proficiency with special effects. The unscripted film followed a couple into a quarantined jungle where giant monsters lived. Naturally, when Godzilla execs saw what this man could do for 20 grand, they imagined pure movie-going nirvana at 200 million, resulting in the single biggest budget jump for a director in Hollywood history. The writer of Godzilla had his own megawatt rise to fame. Max Borenstein, a Yale alum, wrote and directed his first film back in 2003, called “Swordswallowers and Thin Man.” But it wasn’t until 5 years later that he was heard from again, when he landed on the Black List adapting Kenneth Feinberg’s memoir, “What is Life Worth?” He apparently landed on Legendary’s radar (the producers of Godzilla) writing the 2009 screenplay, Jimi, which chronicled Jimi Hendrix’s life.
Writer: Max Borenstein (story by Dave Callaham)
Details: 123 minutes

godzilla2014-gareth-edwards-bryan-cranston-on-setGareth and Bryan

Gareth Edwards is one of the most exciting young directors out there. He’s got a directing street pass for his next five films as far as I’m concerned (I’ll be there opening day no matter what he makes).

What’s not exciting is the script he had to work with for Godzilla. Now, look – I don’t claim to know what it’s like to work on something with 30 chefs in the kitchen. There may be 3 or 4 people in that group tops who’ve actually read a screenplay before. So I get it. Script-by-committee, and an ignorant committee at that. But you’d figure someone with some knowledge of this stuff would’ve stepped in and said, “Hold up a second. This is spinning out of control here.”

Godzilla tries to show us that it’s more than just a monster flick right out of the gate, saturating the opening act with tons of “emotional” scenes. Even with Bryan Cranston acting in them, these scenes fall disastrously short of any emotion whatsoever. They actually exemplify one of the most misunderstood notions in screenwriting: that if you write people crying, then audiences will cry too.

Uhh, no. Except for rare occasions, that’s not how it works at all. Do you laugh when characters onscreen laugh? Of course not. You laugh when the characters find themselves in awkward or difficult situations, and struggle to get out of them. Watch the “answering machine” scene in Swingers, where you laugh uncomfortably for five straight minutes. Is Mikey laughing in that scene? I don’t think so.

So when we see Bryan Cranston’s character crying as his wife gets stuck inside a contaminated bay, do we cry? No. I mean, why would we? WE DON’T EVEN KNOW THESE PEOPLE! We met them three minutes ago. Why would I cry for someone I met three minutes ago?

This is only part of the problem though. The bigger issue is, why are Bryan Cranston and his wife in this movie in the first place??? (spoiler) They add zero value to the story, have less than 2% of an effect on the plot, and don’t even make it through the first act! Why are we spending so much time with people who aren’t even important enough to make it to Act 2????

Okay, breathe Carson. Breeeeathe. I’m sorry but the clumsiness of this script got to me. I mean, the trailers for this movie were awesome. I thought I was going to see a great Godzilla movie. Instead, we endure mistake after mistake that would’ve been spotted in a Screenwriting 101 class.

But I have to remember it wasn’t one writer sitting in a room with total control. It was the director, the producers, the actors, the testers, the actors’ agents, the executives, the toy people. All of these people had an effect on the script in some way. So my real beef is with that committee. But it doesn’t make what I saw any easier.

To give you a little background, here’s Godzilla’s plot: “Bryan Cranston’s Character” is a crazy scientist who works in Japan and is convinced that recent earthquakes aren’t actually earthquakes, but rather a sign that some monsters are living underground. But because he’s a kooky scientist, no one believes him.

He works at a nuclear facility, and one day there’s a meltdown which kills his wife (in a scene so melodramatic Tommy Wiseau, from “The Room,” would’ve chuckled). Cut to 15 years later and Bryan’s son is trying to distance himself from his increasingly erratic father, who’s still convinced that there are monsters under the earth.

Spoiler alert. There ARE monsters under the earth. And Bryan ends up dying when one of these monsters – a giant insect-like thing – emerges. Bryan’s son, a soldier with the U.S. army who now has his own wife and kid, tries to come to peace with never believing his father. But it doesn’t last long since a SECOND monster escapes the underground and the two start wandering about the planet, inadvertently creating destruction in their wake.

So you’re probably saying, why can’t we just blow these things up? Because they actually feed on nuclear energy. They also have an EMP bubble surrounding them wherever they go, shutting down all military equipment that comes close enough. Bryan’s son, essentially, then hitchhikes from one state to another (by boat, plane, car, train) following these beasts, as the writers desperately try and figure out a way to keep him involved in the story.

Eventually, the army realizes that the two giant insect things are trying to mate and they have no way to stop them. Enter Godzilla, whose desire to stop them is explained away in a single line: “He is trying to bring balance.” Trying to bring balance? Why? What does he care if these insects bang or not?  Government needs to stay out of the bedroom.

After that, there’s something about setting up an analog nuclear bomb (that’s different from normal nuclear bombs) to lure all three monsters into the ocean and blow them all up. But before that can happen, Godzilla will try and “bring balance,” lizard style, to these pesky oversized mosquitos. Will he be overmatched, or become the mega-monster we all know him to be?

godzilla-2014-image-1All dressed up and nothing to do.  

Seriously though, what was the point of the first 20 pages of this story??? (Spoiler) A wife we don’t know is killed, leaving us with a husband who jaunts around for another 15 pages before he’s killed too???? I’ve never seen that before. Giving an emotional “death of a loved one” scene to a character who won’t even be around past page 30? You do that for your hero, not a one-and-done character! It’d be like giving a day player a major love interest.

As far as I can tell, the only necessary piece of information in the first 20 pages was the discovery of strange signals underneath the earth, which is something that literally could’ve been told in 30 seconds. Why not start the film with Bryan Cranston’s kid at his father’s funeral? Afterwards, he goes through his father’s old work, and finds the old recorded signal. This reduces twenty minutes down to five and gets rid of gobs of clunky insignificant nonsense in the process.

If only that were the only problem. What really killed this script was the exposition. There are certain stories that require tons of exposition, and either you figure out a way to minimize it ahead of time, or if it’s a script that requires non-stop explanation all the way through, you don’t write it. Because nobody wants to suffer through a story that’s 80% explanation.

That’s what Godzilla was to me. 80% explaining. And what happens when there’s more explanation than story in a movie?  It feels lifeless. Because it’s never allowed to breathe! The majority of Godzilla’s scenes can be broken down into 5 categories. A) Explaining what these giant animals were. B) Explaining what they were doing (where they were going and why). C) Explaining how they operated (able to use EMP and nuclear energy). D) How the army would react to whatever current thing the monsters were doing. And finally E) How to get Bryan Cranston’s son from territory to territory.

Poor Bryan Cranston’s son. This guy had NOTHING to do but wait for the plot to figure out a way to get him to the next location. “Oh, hey, uhhh. He’s our… last nuclear tech engineer… so that’s why we need him to come with us!” Never have I seen a character so clearly a pawn of the plot rather than a real live human being before. He had no life because nobody wrote him any life. Calling home to the wife doesn’t make us care about someone. Or make them feel real. How about giving this character wants, needs, a flaw, secrets, a backstory (not his dad’s backstory – HIS backstory), a PERSONALITY!. He was so generic it was embarrassing to everyone involved. This is your hero! And he’s the most forgettable thing about the film! Even his dad, who died 100 minutes ago and wasn’t even needed for the story was more memorable.

So you might say, “Yeah, but Carson, the humans aren’t the real stars here. The monsters were.” Except that was a problem too! Godzilla was barely in the movie! This should’ve been called “Giant Insect Nuclear Lovebirds” because it was more about them than Godzilla. Granted, the moments where Godzilla did appear were badass (loved the blue fire), but they weren’t enough. This is supposed to be Godzilla’s movie, but there’s nary a Godzilla sighting.

Again, Gareth is an awesome director. The eye this guy has is insane. Every shot feels iconic. But if he’s going to become a great director, he needs to explore humanity more. He needs to care about his characters as much as he cares about his next shot. Or else he’s going to fall into that trap of making empty blockbusters that are all the rage for 1 week, and then forgotten forever.

Godzilla was a real disappointment. I was hoping for more. ☹

[ ] what the hell did I just see?
[x] wasn’t for me
[ ] worth the price of admission
[ ] impressive
[ ] genius

What I learned: If every other scene in your script is centered on explaining something, you have too much exposition in your script. You need to step back, figure out what the source of all this exposition is, and find a way to simplify it. If you don’t, your script is going to read like a “How to” manual instead of an entertaining movie.

  • klmn

    Now on to the important stuff, Miss SS’s drawing in the newsletter. This shows some growth as an artist- unlike the previous efforts which were just figures facing forward, this incorporates action, Carson riding a dolphin.

    But why is he riding a dolphin? I think we’ve got a mystery box on our hands.

  • MGE3

    For the record, I thought this movie was great, but not without it’s flaws. Spoilers below:

    The protagonist was 100% passive until the climax, which wasn’t helped by bland acting and an underdeveloped motivation to get home to his family (read: missed opportunity to significantly develop the wife and son relationship).

    The Bryan Cranston storyline was muddy, but I thought still worked. In one of the earlier drafts, Bryan Cranston doesn’t die. It’s clear that when this changed, some of the remnants of the wife setup in Act One were lost in translation.

    There were some stagnant scenes in Act Two, mostly filled with unnecessary exposition (the ‘briefing’ on the aircraft carrier seemed several minutes too long). The David Strathairn character was guilty of providing a lot of this intelligence.

    On the plus side, I think this movie handed several elements very well. The story itself was a very large canvas, and it handled the vast array of characters surprisingly well. People talk about not seeing enough Godzilla, but I felt it was just the right amount. In the era of CGI destruction porn (ie: Man of Steel) this took a chance to do something different, and the film makers were clearly rewarded for it. I thought while the character work was thinner than it should have been, in the era of movie by committee where I don’t understand half the characters in most tentpoles (never mind the fact I’m not even invested in them) this was handled rather well.

    • Cfrancis1

      Ditto. I really, really enjoyed the movie but also realize that’s it’s flawed. But I loved that Edwards held back on Godzilla. I much prefer a slow build but I know some people don’t care for that style of story telling.

  • jridge32

    Was it just me or did the humans not seem to be in anything other than random danger? Like, if you were staring one of these MUTOs in the face and you didn’t have some sort of nuclear device on your person, you’d pretty much be okay. As long as you weren’t scurrying around trying to outrun them and happened to wind up in their escape path.

    For me, that killed the suspense level. Also, if the sole reason gojira emerged was to restore balance (whatever that means) we should get some kind of backstory explaining how this has happened in the past. Otherwise it’s like, where did he come from all of a sudden and what does he care about these winged beasts being a threat to humanity?

    Some beautiful imagery and one truly badass decapitation by way of blue flame scene do not make up for a confused script.

  • Buddy

    I agree with Carson on every points.
    There’s only the fighting scenes to save. Some shots are very iconic, almost from a comic book by frank miller.

    Screenplay felt like a video-game : no emotions, just a hero going from point A to B, B to C, etc…even the parachute jump felt directly stolen from call of duty.
    I also had the feeling that he was (badly) trying to copy Spielberg’s blueprint (the importance of the family, some shots), like JJ.Abrams did with Super8.

  • Paul Clarke

    I had two big problems with the story:

    *** SPOILERS ***

    1st) It’s not that Bryan Cranston dies, it’s that he’s the lead character and the first we’re introduced to. His role is for too long, we register him as the lead, then he dies and all the emotional connection that has been established is lost. It’s not automatically transferred to Kick-ass. And Bryan is more interesting, so Kick-ass pales in comparison. It’s the same story beat repeated. Bryan watches his wife die. Kick-ass watches his father die. They need to be ruthless. Choose your main character, stick with them. If that means less screen time for your best actor then so be it. I understand, because if I had Bryan Cranston in my movie I’d try to have as much of him as possible. But they either needed to make him the lead, or open with Kick-ass. The part where the wife dies is nice, but it’s only back-story to the story presented. It’s these hard ruthless decisions that need to be made. A very good scene must be cut in order to strengthen the overall story (or just make Cranston the main character!). The story beat where Kick-ass is saved by Godzilla is also used twice. Like we didn’t see it coming the first time.

    2nd) The people are just bystanders (idiot bystanders at that). The monsters are no direct threat because they’re not interested in us. It’s like if we watched the movie Rocky, but the camera spent most of the time focused on the ants crawling around the boxing ring. They have little or no impact on the outcome. Therefore it’s very hard to make it a personal story. The monsters want radioactive material – which is commonly found and nuclear power plants and in nuclear weapons. Neither of which are found in crowded urban areas. A simple evacuation of these areas would take away all risk to human life. In the meantime they could work out what to do. Or in this case, just wait for Godzilla to save them. Zero involvement would have been better. But instead these morons drag “bait” through a crowded city, luring the monsters to battle there. And blocking a bridge full of buses of civilians when they know there’s a giant monster coming. They only interest I had was hoping the monsters would kill those idiots in charge. It became like Transformers (after the first one) where the people aren’t involved, just standing back watching giant monsters battle.

    In the end I think the guy who edited the trailer was a genius. He took a campy-cheesy monster movie and made a trailer that looked dark and gritty. It got people in like me to go, but left me disappointed when that wasn’t the tone used in the movie. All the over-the-top violin music in the world can’t push emotion into a melodramatic cheesy scene.

    — End rant.

    • Mike.H

      The guy that cut the trailer just got a red ribboned Porsche turbo in his driveway.. signed xoxo.

      • Citizen M

        That trailer is fantastic. I am definitely going to see the movie, like the other 23 million people who viewed the trailer, I suspect. Who cares about character development when there are giant monsters running amok and smashing cities?

    • BSBurton

      I love that Aaron Taylor Johnson doesn’t deserve a name. He’s just kick ass! Also, I want you to know that I agree with everything you just said…….. there’s just one problem…… YOU KILLED MY MOTHER!

      I’m gonna count to three, then I’m gonna move the coin…

      OH WAIT, Just slipped into the X Men First Class finale. #ComeOnFriday #RidingHigh #Cointothehead

  • Awescillot

    Hi there everyone,

    As I’ve noticed from lurking around in the comment section here on SS, it’s not uncommon for people to ask for advice or feedback on something they’re working on. So if you’ll allow me to go off topic here, I’d like to ask anyone who might be interested, to read a piece of a project I’m working on.

    The logline is the following: “A medieval city in the hands of corrupt religious aristocracy, faces a civilian uprising when the heir to a seemingly extinguished royal bloodline resurfaces to claim his birthright.”

    You can download it here:

    In the link you’ll find the opening scenes of my script (in order to keep it a quick read). My main question is whether you’d actually want to keep on reading. Besides that, any feedback is more than welcome. I’ve experienced that the SS community is more than willing, and capable, of providing constructive feedback. So I’d love to hear your opinion.

    In any case, I’d like to thank you for your time.

    • FD

      Hi Awescillot,
      Delete the comma before faces, it is simply the verb in a sentence. You should definitely not have grammatical errors in a two-liner. The reason you think that comma is needed is because the logline is so packed full of ideas. You have 6 adjectives in there, which is way too many, and it is not clear why the civilians should revolt to yet another royal, when they’ve been dominated by the aristocracy so long anyway. Also, it is a period drama, which is already a K.O. for a newbie writer. Sorry for being so candid, but this makes just about every mistake in the book.

    • mulesandmud

      Have a few minutes to kill this morning, so I’ll bite.

      First thing’s first: put your title in your post: TALIO.

      Next, straighten out that crooked logline: “The heir to a royal bloodline resurfaces to claim his birthright in a medieval city controlled by corrupt religious aristocracy.”

      Okay, now the script. First sentence: “An early-morning sunrise casts its rays…” What other kind of sunrise is there? Kill the extra adjective: “Sunrise casts its rays…”

      Next sentence, same problem: “Gradually, an impending orange glow unveils the…” All those adverbs and adjectives make it sound like you’re trying too hard.

      First line of voiceover: “A grand city. Avilia, it is called. For centuries now.” The construction is awkward here; you’re trying for a medieval tone but ending up with a tense problem. If you want to say that the city has been called Avilia for centuries, then you can be much clearer about it.

      Second line contradicts your first: “A grand city indeed. A city of few riches…” Actually, that doesn’t sound very grand. You may be trying to paint a complex view of Avilia, but in fact you’re just muddling our introduction to this place.

      Your third line of voiceover is redundant with your fourth and fifth. You seem to be saying everything twice.

      Bottom of page one: “In passing, he nods in response to greetings of merchants passing through.” Needlessly convoluted sentence with the word ‘passing’ used twice, suggesting that you haven’t read through your own pages properly. Simplify: “Merchants greet him as he passes through.”

      The action beat that follows is vague. The monk “stands his ground” against nothing in particular, and then “A FLASH of brutal force BLOWS the monk against a near brick wall”. Your use of caps and the word ‘blows’ are questionable, but more importantly: is all of this just to tell us that a horse bumps into this guy as it gallops past? If so, way overwritten. If not, confusing.

      Then we meet Lago chasing the fugitive. He shouts “Leavus!”, which doesn’t make much sense. The word for ‘left’ in Latin is ‘sinister’. If you don’t speak the language, just indicate with a parenthetical (which you do anyway) and write the line in English.

      You describe Lago throwing his pike (pikes are not meant to be thrown) without telling us what he’s throwing at, and only afterwards inform us that he’s aiming at the fugitive on a distant rooftop. Why confuse us by hiding this information?

      At this point I wanted to stop reading due to lack of faith in the writing, but pushed through to the end. I’m sure you have a reason why those two tough guys ran away at the sight of the tattoo, but in the moment it seemed silly. Am not sure why you refuse to give the fugitive a name; is he our protagonist? Some good thoughts in the monologue about books and in the voiceover about bricks, but both should be shorter.

      I can’t begin to comment on the larger story, and haven’t seen any corrupt religious aristocracy yet, but these pages need a lot of clean-up, clarification, and trimming to get into fighting shape. Good luck with it.

      • Ange Neale

        Good notes, Mules, especially re trying too hard and over-writing it.
        I got to the end, too. Reminded me a bit of ‘The Name of the Rose’, with the books and the moral decay inside the abbey.
        I’d read on, Awescillot.

        • Awescillot

          Thank you for taking the time to read it, Ange! Nice to hear you’d be willing to read on.

      • Awescillot

        Hi there mulesandmud,

        First off, I’ll try to explain some of the choices I made and I’ll also answer some of your questions:

        About the crooked logline, it’s a recurring point of criticism. You’re absolutely right, the logline isn’t on point. I tried to encapsulate my story in two lines, but it’s a hard trick to master. Thank you for pitching an alternative.

        About the ‘over-writing’ in the first sentences, it certainly is something to think about. I tried to create a certain feel of the environment within those first few lines. I chose to do so in the way I did, but if enough people think that it’s forced, it stands in the way of a nice read with an even flow.

        The line about the ‘few riches’: I wanted to describe a city with few natural resources that managed to flourish by way of trade.

        The fourth and fifth line of the voiceover refer to something actually happening on the screen (or implying so) by showing a member of the clergy and the city guard knights, respectively.

        The ‘nodding’/’passing’ action line. You’re absolutely right, this could be put in shorter terms.

        The action beat where the monks get overrun by the horse: by using caps I wanted to emphasize certain critical actions. I wouldn’t say I’m using the caps in the right way, but it felt right using them the way I did.

        About the use of Latin used by the guards, I have to disagree on that one. Sinister is indeed Latin for ‘left’, but so is laevus. I’m not unfamiliar with Latin, as I’ve studied it. There is a difference in formal Latin and spoken Latin (I know, I know, dead language and all). Sinister, to me, seemed way to formal to be used as jargon by the city guards.

        The throwing of his pike and not revealing his target, I thought it was fairly obvious, as he’s chasing someone. Should it be seen on screen, it would be clear within seconds. But I understand why you have a problem with this.

        The two guys running: the last sentence of the fugitive + the third guy getting speared through the head.

        Nice to hear the monologue did something for you.

        Alright, some final words:

        Commenting on it as extensively as you did, really provides me with a pair of fresh eyes. In no way is this near perfect, so I’m grateful for the feedback. As English isn’t my first language, it’s also very useful for me to hear what native speakers think of it. In any case, I’m glad I decided to put my piece on display here on SS.

        On a final note, I appreciate you taking the time to read my piece and to provide me with feedback. So mulesandmud, thank you for doing so!

        • mulesandmud

          Glad I could help.

          And you’re right about the Latin. I’ve also studied the language, and remembered ‘laevus’ as meaning ‘foolish’. In fact, it can mean either. My mistake.

    • Ange Neale

      Corrupt religious aristocracy? What genre, Awescillot? Historical piece, fantasy…?
      If it’s historical, everyone before the Protestant Reformation in Europe was expected to tow the Catholic Church’s line, even the aristocracy, so you don’t really need the ‘religious’ in there..
      Unless you mean a corrupt theocracy?

    • JW

      Awescillot, let me first apologize for my fellow ScriptShadowians, as their feedback is well intentioned, but often misguided. Screenwriting isn’t about “I didn’t like sentence one and three” or “your adverb over here is really pissing me off” or “the royals have always ruled” it’s about STORY. Because, as anyone who has seen a film can attest, you don’t actually see the words (wink-wink). I thought the story moved and I’d like to read the whole thing. If you wouldn’t mind sending here: jwright226 (at) it would be appreciated.

      • mulesandmud

        Pascal, I suspect that your comment is directed at least partly toward me. You may or may not have noticed that Awescillot only posted a single scene, and so it is difficult to discuss the larger subject of the story.

        I would appreciate very much if you would post your feedback publicly, to demonstrate by example a better approach to the discussion.

        • kenglo

          I agree with everything mules said about the writing. And what AngieNeal said about ‘story’ (how the gatekeepers will read it and toss it based on the writing). It’s what I was alluding to on my Friday rant. Mules, you, without being harsh, tried to get awescillot to see the errors of his ways. I pushed through til the end, because, what the heck is 7 pages. I would NOT have finished this screenplay, as it was filled with too many adverbs and adjectives, and redundant statements of description, and I was lost as to who ‘he’ did what, and it was confusing.

          In a nutshell, it was not very good.

          But to say that to a new writer or any writer who doesn’t have tough skin, and walk away from it all defeats the purpose of getting feedback. So what mules did I actually liked in this case, because the writer can go back and analyze what the heck is wrong with those pages. IF, and only IF he wants serious, constructive, feedback. If he does not – well, then….

          • mulesandmud

            Awescillot knew what he was in for when he posted the pages. Best we can do is give him more than he wanted/needed, and let him sort out what’s useful. If he needs something different, he can always just ask.

            If JW or anyone else can think of a way for people to improve each other’s writing that works better than close-reading and detailed feedback, I hope they share. Meanwhile, there’s nothing constructive about vague remarks that trade specific discussion for upbeat platitudes. That approach ignores the elephant in the room: that you can’t be a screenwriter without learning to write.

          • Stephjones

            I would pay for your sort of notes.

          • mulesandmud

            Thanks, Steph. Cash money is its own special kind of upvote.

          • kenglo

            LMAO!! Okay, I’ll bite – what would you charge?

          • mulesandmud

            Depends on exactly what kind of feedback someone wanted. I’ve done quite a bit in the past. Probably not appropriate to discuss on Carson’s site, though.

            If you’re serious: mulesandmud at yahoo dot com

          • kenglo

            will do sir!

          • Awescillot

            I appreciate you reading my piece and giving your thoughts on it. If I wasn’t open to my piece possibly being ripped to shreds, I would’ve come to the wrong place. I certainly wasn’t expecting everyone to tell me how perfectly executed my script is. As long as it’s constructive criticism, it’s more than welcome.

            I’ve put a lot of effort into it, and if I personally thought something was seriously ‘off’ with the script, I wouldn’t have posted it yet. That’s why I posted my piece today: because I know I’ve got a lot more to learn. A discussion on ‘how the perfect script should look like’ isn’t helping me much. A discussion on my script, with a reflection on the things that work and the elements that might not work, is way more helpful.

          • Ange Neale

            Keep at it, Awescillot.
            The draft of mine that went up here first sucked ‘way more than yours, lol!

          • Awescillot

            You only have to take your first step once, right.

            All in all, a humbling but very informative experience. I appreciate the interest in the story, btw.

            Also, thank you for contributing to yesterday’s ‘Amateur-Opening-Scene-Submission-Monday’! (not that catchy lol, I doubt that Carson would go for it)

          • kenglo

            “…and if I personally thought something was seriously ‘off’ with the
            script, I wouldn’t have posted it yet. That’s why I posted my piece
            today: because I know I’ve got a lot more to learn.”

            Sometimes ‘we’ don’t see it in our won writing. Takes a lot of nerve to put something up for everyone to see…’s great that you did it. Like mulesandmud said, take what is useful, discard what is useless….oh wait, that was BRUUUCE!!!

            Good luck man…I like the premise though…did I mention that?

          • Awescillot

            It certainly is a big step to just throw your script into the lion pit :-)

            It’s very useful, but you have to prepare yourself to be pointed out to every flaw and mistake in your piece. Whether those remarks are ‘right’ or ‘wrong’, is something different, but it’s up to you as a writer to take them in consideration when they help you move forward.

            You’ve been nice enough to comment quite a lot on my piece, so again, thank you for your time, kenglo. I’m glad you like the premise! My logline does require a facelift though lol.

      • Ange Neale

        I think perhaps you’re missing the point a bit, JW.
        Story doesn’t matter a jot if a pro-reader (i.e. the gatekeeper) decides on page 1 that it’s the work of an “amateur”.
        First impressions do matter. You don’t get second chances.
        If you’re lucky, you’ll get 2 or 3 pages, but mostly 1’s enough for the pros to work out who they’re dealing with.
        That’s where having SSers to help clean up typos and point out little details that don’t work as well as they might is really valuable.

      • Citizen M

        This, from a guy who wrote three sentences on a surplus comma! :o[

      • brenkilco

        I agree that a screenplay is all about story Or as William Goldman used to say screenplays are structure. But I’m not sure it helps to use that as a mantra. When someone writes that, what I’m hearing is I don’t write very well. I’m not great at putting words together but dammit I have an imagination. In today’s environment seems to me any writer should be trying to make every sentence he writes grammatical, precise, compact and diamond hard. You don’t want to give a reader an excuse to toss you work before they get captured by your story.

        • Awescillot

          I agree with you, brenkilco. You don’t want to lose the attention of a reader with the flaws you mentioned. As an amateur, I’m not claiming I can produce diamond hard pieces. I consider all of this a learning process, to help me better myself as a writer.

          I think SS is a great community with a lot of experienced people, so when I upload a piece I don’t expect people to merely provide positive comments. As a community that helps amateur screenwriters to better understand the craft, I’m not expected to provide diamond hard pieces but learn from the feedback that I’m provided with.

          • brenkilco

            And credit for having the nerve to stick you chin out there knowing that this crowd can be tough. Since you have gotten good detailed comments already I’ll keep my two cents brief. Sometimes in our desire to be evocative and set a scene we can lose clarity. I think this may have happened on the top of page two. The whole scene is so impressionistic I’m not sure what happened. Was the monk struck a horse, by a weapon carried by the rider? Simpler is usually better and confusion needs to be avoided particularly in the early going. And some of the description is a little too elaborate.

            “His birched features show his earned marks, his loud roars acknowledge his supremacy throughout the urban landscape.”

            Sorry if I sound pedantic but Im not sure what you’re trying to say. Does his face look like its been lashed by a birch branch or is it simply weathered? Are you trying to suggest battle scars? Needs to be more clear. And his roars don’t acknowledge his supremacy. Only the people he’s yelling at can do that. I suppose they might proclaim it, but honestly anybody can roar. And urban landscape is one of about ten synonyms you use for city in the first two pages. I know it’s good to avoid repetition but dont get carried away. I’m nitpicking here only to suggest that just because a phrase sounds good you still need to be certain it’s clearly conveying exactly what you mean.

          • Citizen M

            Sounds over-written, judging from your extracts.

            Screenwriting’s a bit like joke-telling. You need enough description to set the scene, but too much description, or worse, editorializing as you’re telling it, and you spoil the listener’s enjoyment.

            “So this guy walks into a bar. This happened in Chicago, I believe. Yes, Chicago. So anyway, he walks into this bar in Chicago and — did I mention he was wearing a suit? Yeah. So this guy walks into a bar in Chicago, and he’s wearing this nice Prada suit — or is it Armani? I’m never sure which is which. Anyway, he’s wearing this nice suit and he walks into this bar, and there at the counter is sitting this big motherfucker. He’s got like tattoos all over his face. Like prison tattoos, only they weren’t prison tattoos, they were professional, like Mike Tyson, you know? God, I can’t bear people who get their faces tattooed. I mean, what’s up with that? What are they trying to tell the world? Anyway, he walks in the bar and there’s this guy with the facial tattoos and…”

          • brenkilco

            Oh God I have friends and family members like that. A reasonably interesting thirty second story becomes a tedious, digressive five minute anecdote. A good story teller needs to know exactly how much of anybody’s time his punchline is worth.

          • Awescillot

            It’s a recurring point of criticism, so I’m definitely taking it into consideration. ‘Over-writing’ certain parts was something I did in good faith, as I thought the way I did it in would contribute to the overall vibe I wanted to create. If a lot of readers notice it in a bad way, it isn’t contributing to that at all. Good point!

      • MaliboJackk

        Happen to agree with what you’re saying
        but also agree with what the others are saying as well.
        Producers and Studios want to know what will make a good movie.
        Readers want to know what will make a good read.

        (Yeah, others will disagree. But even Nicholl recently stated that they are more of a best screenwriter contest than they are best script contest.)

        Because readers have read so many bad script, the words you use become a sales tool in selling your script. That first page becomes an important part of your pitch.

        And when you have someone of Tony Gilroy’s caliber openly stating that he worries about the reader turning the page, that tells you that we’re engaged in an industry were — the tail wags the dog.

        • brenkilco

          I guess I agree that a good story told poorly may be more valuable than a mediocre story told well; although I’m not entirely convinced that statement makes sense. But as historically the greatest storytellers have tended to be the greatest writers lets not pretend we’re dealing with apples and oranges here. A good story told well is what everyone should be shooting for.

          • MaliboJackk

            The script is the apple.
            The movie is the orange.

      • Awescillot

        Ha yeah, well, feedback is feedback. In the end, it’s the writer who decides what he learns from it (and what he incorporates). Certainly some valid points of criticism in those comments.

        My main question was whether people would want to read on or not. So I agree with you, it’s about story. Of course, these are just the first pages, but if people wouldn’t want to read on then the rest of my script wouldn’t matter that much anyway.

        Also appreciate you reading it and providing me with your thoughts! I’ll certainly keep you updated.

  • Jim

    I wish I would have stayed home and watched the two minute trailer 60 times in a row instead. Funny how we were just discussing the myth and reality of “show, don’t tell” last week. Braveheart got its opening right. Godzilla got it all wrong.

  • Montana Gillis

    Yet another installment of Godzilla that won’t inspire a second viewing for anyone over 16. But this movie will make plenty of money, just like Transformers 12 or 13 or whatever number they are on. I guess the benefit of dumbing down the human species is that Hollywood doesn’t have to work as hard to entertain them.

  • John Leith

    I’m not as impressed with Gareth’s iconic shots, which he seems to think not only substitute for characterization but should also be allowed to sabotage the plausibility of the film. For example, his weird device of having people underground forced to discover the relatively small inside end of a monster escape hole (with the camera conveniently looking over their shoulders) because their team-mates looking at the gigantic outside end of those escape holes couldn’t be bothered to call it in? The film resorted to this dumb trick twice! Once at the mine in the Philippines, the second at Yucca Mountain. The second time,”No f’ing way!” came out of my mount before I could stop myself. That’s lazy directing even if the image had made sense.

    Both scenes could have been save easily (and the film’s over-dour mood lightened a bit) by having the second scene call back to the first in a humorous and self-aware way, like having someone notice the gigantic hole in Yucca Mountain as they were driving up, and saying: “Yeah, I don’t think it’s in there anymore.” A cheaper, funnier, more effective scene just like that.

    And, we have monsters we’re specifically told can detect radioactivity thousands of miles away, monsters we’re specifically told will sit on a source of radioactivity until it’s totally exhausted, and then the female bug just leaves behind a whole nuclear bomb at the train bridge so the Army can conveniently scoop it up for the climax? I understand every film is going to have a few inevitable plot holes, but this is so blatant and so central to the plot and part of such a completely unnecessary (and thus cut-able) scene that I can’t help coming to the conclusion that it was the result of fantastically clumsy writing or complete disrespect for the audience.

    • Jim

      I worked at the Yucca Mountain Project and had a good laugh when I saw that.

  • UrbaneGhoul

    It seems audiences liked this one since the word of mouth has been good. That doesn’t mean your about this either. Audiences really liked Captain America: Winter Soldier and I’m lukewarm toward it. Hearing Cranston doesn’t have much to do is a little sad, but kinda makes sense with the ad campaign. Without reading up, I kept wondering what was he supposed to be doing. I just thought he was a random guy who was witnessing something and had a few connections and wanted to know what was happening.

    So any Godzilla fans here? My favorites are the unconventional like All Monsters Attack and Son of Godzilla. I like the opening to Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II with Mecha-King Ghidorah being salvaged. I thought it looked pretty cool.

    • Dylan Cheely

      I’m a big fan (though I can’t stand your favorites, mostly because of Minya :P). As far as the goofier entries go, the earliest Mechagodzilla is the tops, what with the “James Bond meets Planet of the Apes meets Godzilla fighting his robotic clone along with a giant shisa”.

  • Pascal

    of all I really love the movies Gareth made so far(especially the way
    he made them is so inspiring) and will be in the theater as soon as
    he has something new to show, just like you.
    But this time I feel
    exactly the same way you did. The script has really good ideas and
    brave decisions but it had needed a lot more time to make it work.

    I think the Bryan Cranston character is only in the movie to
    tie it all together and make it somewhat personal for the soldiers
    character but for me it all feels way to constructed with
    coincidences all over the movie. This makes it so unbelievable-

    again a good example for a movie that could be so much more and
    better if they had spent longer working on a script. This arises a
    question in my mind: what would happen if the guys from Pixar would
    write such a live action blockbuster? I just read an amazing book
    from Ed Catmul where he describes how they work out a script. If they
    see that a story isn’t working they don’t hesitate to start all over
    or shut it down. Why don’t other studios work the same way. After all
    they rely on people wanting to see a movie over and over again on
    more than one platform.

    • MaliboJackk

      “Why don’t studios work the same way?”

      It’s animation. They make rough cuts of the drawings. Keep changing characters
      and story lines. Pixar will tell you: They make sh*t movies for four years — before finding and making the movie the fifth year.

      Live action is all about release dates.
      !.) They don’t want to wait five years to release a film.
      2.) They have limited budgets for development.
      3.) And people will pay to see bad movies.

      • Pascal

        I wouldn’t agree with all of that. This could and should work for live-action as well.
        Nowadays they do make pre-viz versions of the movies to see how it feels/looks and if it works. If they would spent just longer in that phase they would propably succeed in bringing us good movies.
        Development time is cheap as you don’t have to add all the fine details into everything(at least the visual site of things like 3d renders). For me this doesn’t make sense at all.

        I wouldn’t go so far to say that people willingly pay for bad stuff(unless it is something like Sharknado…).All of us wanted to see a great piece of art and it looked extremly good in the trailers.

        Sure those are not your opinions just the simple facts you wrote down but I think the question isn’t answered with those facts. :-)

  • Stephjones

    Have heinous infection on my knee. Convinced I am incubating alien life form. Will upload iconic footage of alien life form here ( if allowed) sure to rival Gareth’s effortts.
    Possible interest in future collaboration with found footage-type writer.

    • Ange Neale

      Chat to Primal / Black Autumn writer — he’s on a hot streak, Steph.

      • Stephjones

        He seems a talented horror writer but I’m leaning towards comedy:

        When a simple shaving cut leads to an alien invasion a hapless hack must convince her readers it’s not just another one of her stupid stories.

        • Montana Gillis

          Hell of a log line, run with it!!!!

  • Ange Neale

    Sounds like the only thing there wasn’t any exposition for was why the hell they re-made it in the first place.
    Oh, I’m a dumb-ass.

    It was money, wasn’t it?

    • NajlaAnn


  • JW

    You and I had the same experience C, but at a different film. I don’t know how many here have watched Neighbors (did C do a write-up of it?), but holy merry mother of God (to quote one of the most epic films of all time) that was bad. Wow. Talk about talking, talking, talking. I’m sitting in the theater with my wife apologizing for picking this film 30 minutes into it and thinking to myself, I’ve been writing a few years, started out on Zoetrope went to TriggerStreet, The Blacklist, here and the list continues and Neighbors would have been EATEN ALIVE on any of those sites if it was posted as a script. The writers were lucky they were in bed with Rogen. If not, we wouldn’t hear from them for… I don’t know when… I’m curious here, what was the last film that people walked out of and started tweeting or texting to others how they HAD to see it? I myself can’t remember the last one…

  • ChadStuart

    ” I thought I was going to see a great Godzilla movie.”

    Man, I’m having flashbacks to 1998. I’ve been reading the reviews for the new “Godzilla” with a strong sense of amusement. It seems that we, as a culture, are doomed to repeat our mistakes. For some reason, we expected great things out of Roland Emmerich’s attempt at a Godzilla movie, and were disappointed. We bought into the hype machine, and were perplexed that what we got was nothing more than an empty movie about a big lizard stomping on buildings. And here we are in 2014, we bought into the hype, expected greatness, and are disappointed that we got nothing more than an empty movie about a big lizard stomping on buildings.

    Although Japanese culture is very, very different than our own, I do think that Godzilla movies, to them, are very much like “Friday the 13th” movies are to us. These were never “great” movies to Japanese audiences. They didn’t covet them as shining examples of the nadir of their culture. Godzilla movies were by and large consumed by children and teenagers. And, in the same way, American kids and teenagers consumed Jason Vorhees. But, again, not as great movies, but rather a mild diversion.

    Both series have a “character” at their core who are not real characters. They don’t have complex goals or make nuanced choices. They destroy. That’s it. In both series there’s some minor characters who fill in gaps with a little personality, but they are mostly there to be destroyed. The main draw will be the monsters.

    Japanese kids wanted to watch mass destruction because after two big bombs were dropped on their country, that was the boogeyman to them. What appealed to them was the different ways creators could invent for the lizard to destroy things. In America, kids kept showing up to Jason movies to see the creative “kills”. Both characters started out as the villain, but in later movies became the character audiences were, in a way, rooting for.

    So, to expect greatness out of either of these series is just silly. They were never made to be great. They were made to be fun and diverting. There’s a quality ceiling woven into the fabric of these movies that’s much lower than other event movies. If you change too much towards making them nuanced movies with real characters, you’re going to lose the basic appeal. You can’t make a monster too nuanced or you lose what makes them a monster.

    As always it’s about expectations. You can’t go in expecting more than the spectacle these premises offer. Expectations were wildly out of check in 1998, and they were again this weekend.

    • mulesandmud

      I agree with a lot of what you say, but doesn’t JAWS shatter that quality ceiling in pretty much every way?

      • ChadStuart

        Not talking about Monster movies in general, I’m talking specifically about the Godzilla series.

        • astranger2

          “Godzirra” lost the Japanese Academy Award for Best Picture in 1954 to “The Seven Samurai.” If “Godzirra” had won, I think Kurosawa might have committed ritual disembowelment — perhaps Raymond Burr would’ve acted as his second, and scooped up the loose entrails…

          • filmklassik

            Actually, Burr wasn’t in the original Japanese “Godzilla,” from 1954. What happened was that a few new scenes were shot and Burr was stitched in to a bowdlerized U.S. version of it, called “Godzilla, King of the Monsters” which came out a couple of years later.

            The original Japanese version (which I have never seen) is supposed to be quite good.

          • astranger2

            I discovered that in IMDB and wondered when reading about “Godzilla” why he wasn’t listed in the cast. But then found he was in the U.S. original release. I just find it fascinating that the Baby Boomers dominate all our current culture. The studios would rather reboot Leave it to Beaver, Sgt. Bilko, or a Hogan’s Heroes rather than risk something creatively exciting.

            That’s the beauty of a Dick Van Dyke show. You can’t “copy” talent.

  • fragglewriter

    This movie sounds more like a comedy than an action/adventure.

    Unfortunately to set-up a world, a plethora of information dumping is necessary unless it’s a topic that the audience is familar with and it’s not necessary. Even though I haven’t seen Godzilla in years (the old ones), I don’t think Godzille really needs to be explained unless you’re introducing a new monster or another reason why Godzilla is unleashed.

    “Inception” was unfortunately a straight exposition that first half of the movie, which was extremely boring.

    • Ange Neale

      Or possibly a cynical farce, with the joke being on the paying customer.
      The moral of this story?
      It’s morally wrong to allow suckers to keep their money.

    • Casper Chris

      I don’t know many people who found Inception “boring”.

      • fragglewriter

        Visually = exciting
        Logical = too many holes in his story.

      • gonzorama

        You don’t know me, but I’m one of the many who found it hard to sit through the bore-fest called Inception. When a movie has to spend two-thirds of its time spewing exposition, well, that’s not entertaining. I couldn’t sit through it again.

        • Casper Chris

          I take it you didn’t like The Matrix either.

          We need more Transformers. Robots blowing each other up for 2 hours straight.

        • filmklassik

          Agreed. Once can despise both “Inception” AND “Transformers” and believe me, I despise both.

          Someone on here was lamenting the passing of the mid-budget genre movie. They’re right. THOSE are the kinds of movies we need more of now. (And no, sorry gang, even the best serialized TV in this, the second “Golden Age of Television” doesn’t fill that void. The storytelling imperatives of serialized TV are vastly different from those of a two hour feature. The pleasures of smart TV can be exquisite, but they’re not entirely the same)

    • filmklassik

      Totally agree about INCEPTION, one of the most overrated blockbusters of the last 20 years.

      That movie was ALL exposition… and stultifyingly boring exposition at that.

  • cjob3

    “Monsters” was unscripted? I’m even more impressed now.

    • Brainiac138

      It was in parts, for sure. Something would come up in filming that Edwards thought would be great in the film, so he would improv with the actors, get the feel and the point of the scene down, and shoot it.

  • cjob3

    Are any of the characters trying to find a good cup of coffee through the whole thing?

    • Ange Neale

      Or piling fish into dump trucks?

  • Scott Strybos

    Can Gareth Edwards be called an awesome director when he can’t master character—shouldn’t an awesome director be someone who can marry both character, action, and visual style? At this point Edwards is more of an awesome illustrator.

    • Abdul Fataki

      EXACTLY. Directing is more than just shots. Or else we should call him an awesome cinematographer.

    • Mike.H

      may be his hands are tied by powerful producers and studio heads. Edwards was picked simply due to his vision and proven work on MONSTERS of what paltry $500k budget delivered.

      Btw, Edwards has a art/web/design degree sorta like Michael Bay from Art Center type but in UK.

      • Scott Strybos

        if I remember correctly Monsters had a similar problem. So we can’t necessarily blame the studio

        • ff

          yup, basically the same movie with a smaller budget.

  • deanb

    As far as I’m concerned, if P. Diddy and Green Day aren’t on the soundtrack, it’s NOT a Godzilla movie.

  • PoohBear

    I must be in the minority, I thought this was a great movie. You got three monsters instead of just one! I thought it was visually amazing and I was fine with the characters.
    When they cut away from the monster fights, it just made me want it even more, climaxing into the ultimate final show down.
    The white/blue blast into the monster’s mouth decapitation scene was tits. My only gripe was the so called melodramatic scenes were already shown in the trailers. I think that probably took away from everyone’s experience. If you went cold going in, then this was probably a better movie.
    I thought the take on it where Godzilla isn’t really evil but like lawful evil or neutral or whereever he would fall on that scale was actually really creative and tied it back to “Gojilla” lore.
    I recommend it just from the pure city destruction spectacle.
    Gojilla! Gojilla!

    • Chris Mulligan

      I’m with you. Dug the flick totally. And yeah, that decapitation scene was epic! Had me and my girl shouting w/ glee.

  • ripleyy

    I haven’t seen it, yet I plan to do so (I managed to read the review without spoiling myself too much – and what little I did read, I already heard from other sources)

    What I find so highly ironic, is that they FOCUSED on the characters, yet the characters were the most underwhelming. I mean, they got three other writers to come in (Darabont was one of them) and yet the thing they focused on was the one that never seemed to work. From what I have heard, it’s still good, it just has more flaws than most.

  • NajlaAnn

    I have no plans to watch Godzilla, either with or without this review.

  • E.C. Henry

    I watched “Godzilla” (2014) this weekend, and had a nearly identical reaction to it like Carson did. Thought ALL the characters where disposable, and was just fill-ins untill Godzilla duked it out with the two hold-over monsters from “Cloverfield.”

    Gareth Edwards did an AMAZING job with the graphics and cinematic shots in this movie. Especially liked the shot of Godzilla emerging through the dust with the Chinese string lights in the foreground. THAT is a brilliant mind! Lots to celebrate there. So thanks for giving Gareth Edwards some love Carson, he certainly deserves it. Always cool to learn a little bit more about Hollywood’s budding stars.

  • JakeMLB

    This script was disaster. It’s performing beautifully at the BO but how anyone could love this film for its story is beyond me. This issue with this film wasn’t just exposition, it was story, plain and simple. There were no stakes, no urgency, nonsensical goals and zero character development.

    I’ve said it before but good action sequences have several of the following features: a) strong within-sequence goals, b) real stakes, c) urgency, d) advance the plot, e) test our heroes (particularly their beliefs or flaws), f) reveal character.

    There wasn’t a single action sequence that met more than a single of these points. Because the monster is the size of a skyscraper, our heroes could never be in any direct danger. Goals were completely nonsensical. Save the Asian boy (who?). Get the nuke to San Fran. But Mothzilla eats the nuke. Get another analog (?) nuke to San Fran (didn’t Mothzilla just eat it off the train?). Arm the nuke. Disarm the nuke to save the seven people still in San Francisco as its being flattened by monsters. Move the nuke again but have every character except our hero ignore the thousands of Mothzilla eggs. Restore the balance. What?

    Every character — even the monsters themselves — were pawns of the shoestring plot.

    This isn’t about expecting greatness, it’s about trying to have your cake and eat it too. If you want a story, have a story. If you want death and destruction then cut the cliched attempts at emotion and have fun with your premise.

    I will say that it had the best trailer ever. It was well-shot and at times looked spectacular but man, what a waste. To those who actually enjoyed, would you honestly watch it again? Without fast-forwarding to the last 20 minutes? Be honest. Outside of the halitosis death scene, this is probably the most forgettable blockbuster I’ve ever seen.

  • witwoud

    Here’s a simple rule: Avoid monster movies when the monsters are more than fifty feet high. I formulated it after watching Pacific Rim and so far it’s stood me in good stead.

  • Randy Williams

    I haven’t seen the film, only the trailer. In the trailer everyone looks scared, unsure, pissing in their pants. Most unattractive. Is there anyone in the film who is cocky? A Hooper in Jaws? A Jack in Titanic? Sure that they might have the right plan as their world crumbles around them? That is a most endearing trait in my view.

    The Japanese in the old films, well, you know the Japanese, they can conquer anything with a transistor.

  • SinclareRose

    After reading a friend’s FB post – Things I Learned from the Movies – I googled for more and came across this:
    It’s specifically about Godzilla. Sounds a lot like what SS and commenters are saying.

  • S_P_1

    Off Topic

    The launch pad early-bird submissions start today. $65. Their early-bird fee equals most major contests last minute deadline fee. It seems extremely steep and the grand prize is somewhat vague. Not vague in terms of what the prize is but vague in will being repped equal guaranteed or potential writing assignments. The counter thought that ran through my mind if the script you wrote was derivative, the top of the alleged food chain has seen your work. The script submission process is anonymous. But how many writers are going to disclaim their script if it doesn’t fare well? It almost seems like entering is similar to going to a screenwriters expo. You pay travel costs, lodging, and convention admission. You pitch and take business cards. You wait for some type of professional query response. All the while you came with your best writing sample and no party is interested. The vast majority of material I’ve read concerning SPEC screenwriters first sale is generally done without representation. I guess the analogy would be going to a car dealership (Hollywood) before you have a job (commercial marketable script) or drivers license (being a consummate professional). Link posted below.

    The second link is the coverage service TB provides. I’m not sure which coverage I purchased because it wasn’t packaged in the format they are offering now.

    • Midnight Luck

      Did you enter this years?

      Moviebytes lists one that ran last year, did you enter that one? If so what happened with it? They offered all these supposed great things, but each at an extra up charge of $25.

      Did anyone get discovered because of it?

      They said they will provide all kinds of benefits, though they do seem quite vague.

      Again no one at MovieBytes has given this contest any feedback. So either very few people entered last year, or? it might be a different contest than the one you are linking to.

      Most of these kinds of contests seem a bit iffy to me.

      • Jaco

        There are a ton of contests out there, but I think the TB one’s pretty legit. This is only the second year of it running – but nothing iffy about getting noticed and signed by places like UTA and Energy (Brooklyn Weaver).

        Is it 100% successful in getting the finalists repped or produced? No – no contest can offer that. But, it does give you a chance to get your stuff read by some real heavyweights.

        • S_P_1

          I guess the reason I’m on the fence is because getting repped isn’t my main priority.

          • Jaco

            What is your main priority with entering a contest then?

            I do know the TB feature contest did result in at least one script getting picked up by a prodco. That happened w/o a rep.

            Another contest – the Trackingb contest – resulted in a pilot coming to you this summer (Extant). That happened with a rep.

            You say in your post above – “I just don’t see the tangible benefits of being repped prior to selling or optioning your first SPEC script”

            Frankly – I don’t know what contests offer an unknown writer the opportunity to have a spec sale w/o having a rep . . . good question. Have you looked at Nicholls and/or Final Draft and figured out what their ratio is? That is – how many scripts end up getting sold or optioned w/o a rep?

            From my own experience – w/ a rep, no contests – having one in my corner is 1000% better than not having one.

            In any event – good luck going forward. So many different roads out there and there’s not absolute certain one that will get anyone there.

          • S_P_1

            What is your main priority with entering a contest then?

            If I place well or win it will be a resume builder.

            Currently to my knowledge 4 scriptshadow forum members are currently doing well in various contests. 2 members recently placed well in the 2013 Bluecat contest. So right now the coal is hot as far as forum members doing well in scriptwriting contests.

            From the look of things Craig Mack looks like he’s about to cross that bridge of success. So I wish him good luck.

          • Midnight Luck

            I am interested as well. What is your priority? Selling a spec?

          • S_P_1

            First continue writing. Second place well or win a known scriptwriting contest. Third consider a lawyer if a sale or option is on the table. Last consider representation either a manager or agent.

            I just recently introduced myself to a writer who WAS involved with the live action version of Jem and the Holograms. Hopefully I can get some insight as to why he wasn’t chosen and what did it take for him to get to that level.

            I not professionally in the industry but I’ve met several individuals that have worked in the Hollywood film industry. My goal is to join them.

        • Midnight Luck

          I wasn’t saying getting noticed was the iffy part, if it really happens. You just don’t know what really goes down in new contests. Since I hadn’t heard much about this one, most of the awards, or winnings could just be ideas they put out there to pull in more contestants.

          Also, I was in no way saying that for it to be successful it has to get 100% of the entrants repped or produced, come on. Don’t put words in my mouth and then bash me with them. I would never say something like that. I am a realist. A realist in that I know and understand the majority of the writers aren’t good enough yet to be repped, or that a contest would do that.

          My main point was just, New Contest: unknown what actually comes from it, if anything. So I was inquiring what S_P_1 knew about it, or what happened if he entered last years competition.

          • Jaco

            Whoa – slow down. Wasn’t bashing you nor putting words in your mouth – was merely qualifying my own statement about writers who placed in the TB contest getting repped and/or sold.

            I got your main point – and was providing my opinion, based on my knowledge of the contest, that it isn’t “iffy.” I think it’s worth it for writers to check it out.

      • S_P_1

        I want to enter 3 contests this year. I already entered Nicholls and Final Draft. The reason I’m hesitant about this contest is because it seems like they’re putting the cart before the horse. I realize these agencies are the cream of the crop. In other contests you do well agencies come to you. In this you’re auditioning directly to them which to me lends to an imbalance. Kinda like you’re working for them and not the other way around. I don’t think its a scam. I just don’t see the tangible benefits of being repped prior to selling or optioning your first SPEC script. On the other hand it might be the deciding factor in making that first sale. I have almost to the end of the month to decide to make it before the early-bird deadline.

        • Midnight Luck

          Thanks for the thoughts on it. I still need to look more into what the contest is about. Not sure I understand what is involved and what they are trying to do.

          It sounds like they are looking for writers that have that special “something” and want to rep them before someone else gets to them. So they aren’t necessarily looking for Property. More so they are looking for the individual with the skill.

          Not sure if it works, but hey, I am open to different kinds of contests with a different way of trying things.

          It is a bit steep, price wise, though. It is higher than many contests, so definitely have to take that into consideration. If Early is $65 and it goes up from there, yeah, that is starting off high.

  • Chris Mulligan

    I saw this at the Drive-In last night and went home happy. Solid monster action, pacing seemed good & while that soldier was ultra-passive he was all we needed him to be – a guy who gets us more opportunities to see big monsters.

  • Chris Mulligan

    Read Godzila: Half-Century War if you want a good Godzilla story. it seems they tried to take a few elements from that, by having a protagonist who has had his life shaped by different Kaiju encounters.

  • J.D.

    OT: Anyone see Neighbors? I really liked This is the End and I guess I
    expected something of that caliber, but was wildly disappointed. Felt
    like director pushed too hard to give the characters depth
    and it stalled all the funny. Just didn’t escalate from beginning to
    end. Am I alone on this? Thoughts? I know Carson reviewed the script a few months ago and really liked it, but it appears there were some tweaks made. Yet another victim of the misleading trailer…

    • Midnight Luck

      Yes. Completely agree. So much about it could have been funny. Instead? Just awful.

  • Midnight Luck


    I saw MILLION DOLLAR ARM on Friday. It was actually quite decent of a movie. It is getting 60% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and did 10.5 mil over the weekend.

    Godzilla did 93.2 mil and got a 73% approval rating (though it seems to be falling).

    Why does everyone go see these terrible movies? and in Droves?
    And NEIGHBORS, WOW, that one stunk like 20 day old streaked underwear, yet did SERIOUS bank! and People supported it in droves. I snuck in with the hopes it might be funny, or have a few decent scenes. No, No, No. Nothing redeeming.

    Most the SS’ers (for the most part) keep saying how shitty Godzilla was. Well to me it looked like garbage as well, and I have no interest in ANY of the big Summer movies, which definitely includes this totally pointless nother try at Godzilla.

    ALL the Big Summer ‘splosion movies look just terrible.

    Except……. ALL YOU NEED IS KILL — or as it is now known: THE OTHER BLAND TOMORROW TITLE movie.
    This looks like it could actually have promise. Great Director, could have done without Tom Cruise, but I am still willing to give it a go.
    The Always Fantastic Emily Blunt.
    Time travel.
    Shades of Groundhog Day.
    What isn’t to like?
    Of course I thought that about ELYSIUM. Couldn’t wait for it, and somehow it turned out to be one of the worst movies of the year. And Matt Damon rarely misses. But it was just bad.

    So, you never know.

    But Godzilla, I knew. Just looked like a waste of money. I need a good story. I need good characters. Without that, might as well be watching some brainless thing like JERSEY SHORE OR the KARDIDIPSHITIANS. Thanks, no, I have better things to do with my time.

    I hope at least one of the Summer CGI Overloads actually surprises us. It would be nice if one turns out to be good.

    Doubtful, but, one can always hope.

    • astranger2

      “Million Dollar Arm?” I thought you hated sports movies. Did this offer something that transcended the genre for you? Like “Hoosiers,” or “Raging Bull?”

      • Midnight Luck

        In all honesty, it is always a balance of things. There is literally nothing playing here except multiple screens of all the same spandex and children’s movies. So the choice is limited. and with one theater in town, you have to pick carefully. As someone who would see a movie or two every day if I could, I am not against seeing something that would not be a typical choice for me.

        This movie had a few things going for it:
        I like that it is about the Indian kids being given an unheard of opportunity.
        It is about fish out of water (the boys from India in America)
        It is a true story.
        It has heart and character at its center
        There are no other options with ANY value here.
        I will NOT see Godzilla or Spiderman 2 v. 2 x 2
        I won’t see any low brow children’s movie

        I don’t care about or like baseball, but that isn’t ultimately what it was about. It was about character and situation. It was actually quite good. Why it is slumming in the ditch is ridiculous.

        Godzilla just proves that America (and possibly the rest of the world) has been lobotomized so everyone has just become happy with whatever has been offered them. As long as they get 4,000 calories of modified synthetic “real” butter with their X-Large (free refill) Popcorn, and a 44 oz pop (with Free refills) they are happy as can be. I think the less intelligent the concept, the less the viewer has to pay attention or think, the higher chance the movie will be a HUGE success.

        I am not against splashy big Summer entertainment, but it has to have intelligence, heart and good character development. Give me another Bourne Identity (the first one, not the rest) and I will be happy. Give me a BLENDED and I will want to burn Hollywood to the ground.

        • astranger2

          Well, that was a better endorsement than any trailer could hope to provide, so I need to put that on the viewing list… and I agree with your opinions on Godzilla and its brethren ilk… I did like Monsters though. I agree it fostered a lackadaisical pacing, but I suppose I enjoyed the corny dynamic of their relationship. Working class stiff with spoiled rich girl… I might have been the only person to enjoy Leap Year. Don’t gag… ; v )

          • writebrain

            I liked Leap Year too.

          • astranger2

            … I wondered who bought the other ticket.

          • astranger2

            I was late to the party. It was the first time I saw Amy Adams in a film. Of course later I saw Junebug, and others. Obviously doesn’t rank up there with When Harry Met Sally, or for me –French Kiss, but it still had its charm. I loved the scene where she has problems
            pronouncing “Eoghan” – not realizing it was Gaelic for Owen… lol

          • Midnight Luck

            I believe I saw Leap Year, I like Rom Coms, I remember the setup, but in all honesty I have no memory of the actual movie. I obviously didn’t dislike it, but man, I just don’t remember much about it. The only thing I do remember was it might have been a bit too mushy or cute. The movies with Matthew Goode tend to be a bit cute (though I did like IMAGINE ME & YOU). Like Chasing Liberty (i think that was the one he was in, not the other one with Katie Holmes playing First Daughter) which I enjoyed parts of but it had this overall “cuteness” too it which I felt undermined other parts.

            I see so many movies, some do get lost in the shuffle of my brain.

        • astranger2

          btw, not that I’ve seen it, but from Carson’s reviews, that’s what Godzilla “said” when attacking the mutated gargantuan insects — it’s always about a balance of things… hmmmm… maybe there’s a higher entity guiding all this after all…

    • Kirk Diggler

      ELYSIUM was painful.

      I’ll be blunt. I love Emily. Would see Edge of Whatever if Jaden Smith was the co-star. Okay, maybe not. He’s the one ‘actor’ that would keep me away from Ms Blunt.

      Million Dollar Arm looks cool. I knew about this story long before it ever became a movie. I like Jon Hamm too, because of Mad Men. Might have to see this.

      • astranger2

        Ever see Wild Target? I thought she did a pretty nice job in that.

        • Kirk Diggler

          I did not. Looks like a British film based on the cast. Which means it could have been a limited release here. I’ll see if it’s at the local library.

          • astranger2

            Yeah, it’s a cute little film. Like B. Monkey or Birthday Girl, if you like those kind.

      • S_P_1

        Elysium didn’t live up to its own expectations because Blomkamp wrote it. Whereas Blomkamp and Tatchell wrote District 9. Also the forced fight scene between Damon and Copley served what purpose???? To have Damon fight against a system being the rich 1% would have been screen wise anti-climatic. If the movie ended on some sort of court room drama it would have served the best interest of the story. My debate after the film was why didn’t the Elysium society just give the medical technology away. That would immediately stop the constant incursion into their society. The movie was touted as intelligent sci-fi, but the reality is it was action adventure.

        The other interesting tidbit about Elysium is how much the movie cribs the Sega game Vanquish.

      • Midnight Luck

        I am so hoping Edge doesn’t turn out to be like Elysium. That was such a huge letdown. Elysium’s trailer looked so cool, and I thought it would be awesome, and it was so, so bad.
        Oddly, Edge’s trailer isn’t as cool and interesting as Elysium’s, but I do love a good time travel movie, or whatever it would be called, a Groundhog Day like movie. This has a lot of the interesting Sci-Fi stuff in it I might like.
        And Blunt is worth watching in most anything, she is just cool.
        I hope it defy’s expectations and is actually done well. I have faith in Doug Liman, he is just a fantastic director. But I don’t have much faith in Sci-Fi anymore.
        I am always looking for another 12 MONKEYS. That was just a beautiful movie. Had everything.
        Million Dollar Arm was surprisingly good, it definitely seemed like a feel good Disney movie (well, since it was Disney), but was interesting enough because of the Indian boys’ tale, it made it worth it.

    • Ange Neale

      I think people go to see them because really good movies are so hard to come by, for reasons such as nepotism and cronyism in the industry, because they don’t take the time to get the script right before going to production, and because the bar’s so bloody high for outsiders to break in.
      It’s like Follywood’s got one shoe nailed to the floor and they’re just going around in woozier and woozier circles.
      Once upon a time, I used to go the movies at least once a week – I’d see easily 50 or 60 a year. Not these days.

      • Midnight Luck

        I know people all the time just want to go have “fun” when they see a movie, and that is their rationale for seeing something that takes no brain power. They complain that they don’t want to have to “think” when they go to the movies. How terrible. I know someone who can give them a Lobotomy with an Ice Pick. I am sure he wouldn’t charge much. Then they don’t have to think or worry about anything.

        I just have a different way of looking at it. Something that isn’t written well, is painful to watch, is just badly written, bad dialogue, no real story, has nothing of interest in it, doesn’t have me thinking it will be FUN. It will most likely be boring, uninteresting, and a waste of my time and money. I find movies that are Fun to be engaging, exciting, and hold some level of interest for my brain.

        The big Effects movies anymore eliminate all these things and just throw in Spectacle and Giant Special Effects, slather on so much CGI and pound us with Noise, that there is nothing left over. i truly believe they think the LOUDER it is, the more NOISE they make (visual and audio), they won’t have to worry about the rest of it. That we won’t notice it is just a giant empty vessel of stupidity.

        And they seem to be right. People are going, and they don’t care about or need the rest.

        We have become like the birds who are only interested in Sparkly, Flashy things. So they go around and collect our Garbage (pop can Pull tabs, bits of Tinsel and Cellophane) all the while thinking these things are Special and Interesting trinkets. Instead it is just garbage.

    • charliesb

      I’m really hoping “Edge of Tomorrow” delivers on it’s promise, despite Cruise.

      I’m also interested in ‘The Signal’, and keeping my fingers crossed for ‘Monsters 2′ and ‘Interstellar’.

  • Midnight Luck

    I found MONSTERS to be rather boring and kind of messy. I know it was low budget, and for what they had to work with money wise, well that made it interesting. But the the story and pacing, and characters? Just kind of blah and boring. I did like what they did with the CGI and some of the monster stuff, but I didn’t feel any tension or worry throughout most of it.

    I saw it when It was playing a few years back on HDNET, I believe. (when it was around, I don’t think it is anymore).

  • Awescillot

    Nice of you to take a look at my piece, grendl!

    I wanted to keep my descriptions short, but at the same time tell enough about the character. With the one you referred to in your comment, I tried to tell the reader a lot in those two lines. In the end, I was happy with the way I managed to described him, but it certainly isn’t something that you can translate literally on screen.

    Over-writing is certainly something I should keep an eye on. I also appreciate you giving your thoughts on the choice of words. I’m not a native English speaker (something I didn’t mention as some sort of caveat when posting my piece, because that’s no excuse), so it’s certainly helpful when native speakers point out those flaws.

    Again, thank you for taking the time!

  • Awescillot

    Great comment, scott. Your remarks on the logline are very helpful. I find it very difficult to provide a great logline that tells you enough about the story, at the same time enticing the reader to take a look at the script.

    Also, thank you for taking the time to take a look at my piece. The alternative you provided for my opening page is very refreshing, certainly something to look at.

    • kenglo

      Awesome Scott, and this is what we were alluding to earlier, awescillot, they way yours was written, it was too cluttered and confusing, like you were trying to squeeze everything on the page, when all you need is a line or two……keep up the writing man, and remember, it’s YOUR story, Right now you are fine-tuning it… a nutshell, if it was written closer to what scott wrote, I would have requested to read the rest!

  • astranger2

    As you point out, iconic roles can ruin an actor’s career. Certain actors will always be that one great role they portrayed. (Not that he was a great actor by any means, but Johnny Weismuller will always be the only true Tarzan to me.)

    I partly disagree with Danny Devito, however. I thought that one role did indelibly brand him as Louie initially. But he surprised me in so many wonderful films like “Get Shorty,” “War of the Roses,” “Throw Momma..” “Other People’s Money,” and others… that I came to appreciate his phenomenal range as a performer.

    When you first mention Louie’s name, however, the first scene that did spring to mind was that dressing room scene where he was almost fired for peeping at Elaine — resulting in his painful story of being forced to shop for a suit in the boy’s department as other kids taunted him. (Although he still ended up with Elaine slapping his hand off her ass as they faded to black, lol.)

    There were other favorite Louie moments. As when he tries to win Zena back after sleeping with her drunk girlfriend, then has to plead his case and poignantly points out how he can’t watch a Mets game — if Zena’s not there to watch it with him.

    One of my favorite scenes though is when Louie dates a blind girl who is suddenly going to regain her sight, and he laments to Alex, “now I’ll have to buy her greeting cards that suit the occasion.” What a dynamic, and multi-layered character Louie was…

  • kenglo

    To Bruce Lee, “You don’t want to do TV man. TV chews up genius.” ~ James Coburn

    • astranger2

      Bruce Lee had some killer moments as Kato though…

      • kenglo

        One of the reasons he went back to Hong Kong!

        • astranger2

          Do you study?

          • kenglo

            Forty years and counting! LOL….

          • astranger2

            That’s a lifetime of devotion. Do you mind my asking which style(s), or disciplines?

          • kenglo

            “I am no styles, but I am all style…” LOL….I’ve dabbled in just about anything you can name, the term MMA has no meaning to me. How about you? Have you studied?

          • astranger2

            You sound like Bruce… lol. The flowing water, “no mind” school. I studied Shotokan years back before the knees said “no mind?” “No more…” Thought that might be a kendo sword on your shoulders. Martial arts are a wonderful pursuit.

          • kenglo

            Lifelong at that…..most of the people I grew up training with had gotten out of it long ago….Shoto-Kan, I have an honerary BB in that, given to me by Mr. Alvin Thompson in Biloxi MS. Ah…youth….

  • Ange Neale

    He’s baaack… Must’ve been the scawy wabbit pictures..

  • James Inez

    A lot of people don’t mind wasting time. Which is why these types of movies make so much money. Me? I like to learn. I like to feel. I like to experience. I don’t like wasting time, hence the reason I’m not going to the theater to watch this movie. Junk food for the brain? No thanks. Junk food tastes good, but is it beneficial? Not really. Godzilla may be exciting and fun, but will I grow as a person after watching it. I highly doubt it. We, as humans, can use a little less excitement, and a lot more growth. But most want immediate satisfaction. Most usually don’t think about the long term.

  • Kirk Diggler

    Mary Tyler Moore was nominated for an Oscar but lost to Sissy Spacek in Coal Miner’s Daughter. She did win the Golden Globe however.

  • brenkilco

    Iconic roles certainly can hamstring actors. But if an actor has the chops and wants to escape the image badly enough he sometimes can. No one in the early seventies would have guessed that Sean Connery would ever outrun james bond. Bruce Willis could have played variations on his fast talking Moonlighting character for the rest of his career if a truly iconic role hadnt landed in his lap. Cranston is now playing LBJ on Broadway and may wind up with a Tony so he’ll be fine. He was a comedy guy before BB and its conceivable he may headline a hit sitcom some day that will erase memories of walter white. The patron saint of actors who want to escape their image must be old time actor Dick Powell. A sappy goofy crooner in thirties musicals and a hard as nails tough guy in forties film noirs. Run Forty Second Street and Murder My Sweet back to back and be amazed.

    BTW if I hadn’t caught a documentary on HBO a while back I would never have known what a huge star Louis Prima was in his niche kingdom of night clubs. Yet the only reason anybody knows him today is because of his orangatang king. Fame is a funny thing.

    • astranger2

      Nice points. While I don’t really know how huge a star Louis Prima was, he was the focal point of the phenomenal movie, “Big Night.”

      He was the “mystery guest” in an all-star ensemble cast with Stanley Tucci, Tony Shalhoub, Minnie Driver, Isabella Rossellini, Liev Schreiber, Allison Janney, Ian Holm… and really many many more. A wonderful, wonderful, wonderful film, so nuanced, so delicately drawn… If only all films could capture a smidgeon of this film’s charm and style… if only… we can dream, can’t we?

  • Citizen M

    Tremendous notes, Scott. Love the loglines.

  • Franchise Blueprints

    Carol O’Conner left the iconic shadow of Archie Bunker when he played Chief Gillespie (In the Heat of the Night).

    Eddie Murphy has deliberately moved away from hard rated R films altogether. His last R rated films were Vampire in Brooklyn and Metro. Technically when Eddie played whiteface on SNL it opened the door for Coming to America, Norbit, and The Nutty Professor. Eddie made one of the wisest decisions to be a universal actor as opposed to a adult actor. He also turned down doing Beverly Hills Cop multiple times unless the script was absolutely perfect.

    Tom Hanks wasn’t the problem in Cloud Atlas. The convoluted script and time jumps in Cloud Atlas was the problem.

    Ted Danson had a brief period where he broke away from Sam Malone and became Whoopi Goldbergs boyfriend.

    The real problem of Hollywood is the disappearance of the mid-budget movie similar to the erosion of the middle class. Its either low-budget High ROI or, tent-pole 4 quadrant spectacle. And really looking at the overall picture the Avengers and its ilk are the modern day equivalent of Lawrence of Arabia, Ben-Hur and the Ten Commandments.

    • brenkilco

      The death of the middle budget genre film- and most of the greatest movies ever made were middle budget genre films- has all but killed Hollywood creatively.

      • filmklassik

        So true. My favorite movies are mid-budget genre films. And yes, I lament their passing every goddamn day.

  • Pascal

    While reflecting the movie today a question arose in me: If those M.U.T.O.’s are parasites that need a Godzilla body to grow, why don’t they hunt Godzilla in the first place? Wouldn’t it make more sense if the couple would go after him to lay the eggs inside his stomach?

    Isn’t that the way the male M.U.T.O was born at the start of the movie? Or did I get here something wrong. But in my opinion this would have led to way more interessting and plausible movie.

  • JakeMLB

    Cranston’s role in BB had nothing to do with his terrible performance here. He had nothing to work with. The scene with him crying over his wife was hackneyed and forced. We spent all of a single scene with her prior and were then told to feel sad. Doesn’t work like that.

  • BSBurton


  • BSBurton

    great post, you’re doing the guy a real solid.

  • Franchise Blueprints

    I’m not saying they didn’t get work after, Franchise. Is that what you thought I was saying? Seriously?

    Not even close. I’m saying when I watched “In the Heat of the Night” the image of Archie Bunker was the furthest thing from my mind.

    Tell me that’s not what you thought. And Whoopi Goldberg was
    Ted Dansons real life girlfriend. I’m talking about the roles they

    I was referring to shedding an image. Nobody thought of their relationship as Sam Malone and Whoopi.

    Question is Larry Hagman – Major Anthony Nelson or J.R Ewing? My point is only actors who only have one successful tv series get pigeon holed to the role they played.

  • cloroxmartini

    You nailed it, Carson. This should have been a 3-round bout of Godzilla versus horny insect…round one-Tokyo…insect gets away…round two, Honolulu, insect gets away…damn, now I’m rooting for Godzilla…and when Godzilla rips papa insect’s head off, there is a real reason to cheer. Old-school Godzilla was ramming trees down King Kong’s throat WWF style. The only glimpse of that was the firebreathing down daddy insect’s throat. Truly a missed opportunity.

  • filmklassik

    Not sure you’re talking about typecasting though. Typecasting is when audiences are unwilling to accept an actor in more than one role. That just isn’t the case here. Cranston, yes, may always BEST be remembered for “Breaking Bad”… and DePalma may always BEST be remembered for “Taxi”… and Danson may always BEST be remembered for “Cheers”… but audiences will still willingly — happily — eagerly watch them in other things.

  • Strifeshadow

    Apparently there is a Mothra cameo, blink and you’ll miss it.

    I didn’t think the movie sucked overall, but a clear case of too many cooks in the kitchen. If you watch the original comic-con teaser, there are multi- legged monsters in that teaser that did not make the final cut at all.

    What happened to the centipede? Was this going to be an all-out creature feature before someone pulled the plug on that version?

    Anywho, just give me King Ghidorah in the sequel. The world isn’t ready for Mechazilla yet.

  • ff

    Actually your review pretty much sounds exactly like Monsters- people we could care less about doing nothing and talking about nothing and then 3 SFX shots of monsters. Boring…

  • Ken

    ‘Giant Insect Nuclear Lovebirds’ – that’s that’s a movie title!

  • Lucid Walk

    I actually enjoyed the movie. Despite its flaws, it was SO MUCH BETTER than the Roland Emmerich version. I didn’t have any problems with the characters, even if they weren’t super original. The protagonist’s goal was clear (getting back to his family), and the MUTOs following basic animal behavior (the need to reproduce) was a logical and believable threat.

    I’m sorry, Carson, but I don’t understand how you can hate on a decent film like Godzilla yet praise an awful film like World War Z.

    Godzilla was definitely worth the price of admission.

  • ff

    Agree. Finally saw this and it was crap. I guess you could say Gareth has a good eye but it really felt like he was copying other’s directors eyes. Half of the scenes just felt stolen from previous films, including the music choice for when they skydive from 2001. The whole film just felt like, recycled disposable garbage.