Synopsis: Set in the 50s, a little boy and a mad scientist must battle the monsters that escape from a haunted drive-in movie theatre.
About: Making the rounds in H-wood (that’s “Hollywood” for those not hip to the lingo). Will it be bought? Will it be forgotten? Your comments could be the deciding factor. Who knows what suits are out there reading this blog, trying to decide if they should pull the trigger. Give’em your opinion folks.
Writer: Nick Creature
I’ll be honest. I don’t really know what to do with It Came From The Drive In. The script is a sort of wacky combination of a 1980s Saturday Morning Cartoon and a 50s B-movie. I say that having seen 2 50s B-movies in my life, both of which occurred during episodes of Mystery Science Theater 3000. Which is why I definitely don’t see myself as the person to tell you whether It Came From the Drive In is any good or not.
Here’s a way more interesting question. What the hell ever happened to Drive-Ins? What a cool fucking concept. You grab a girl, drive to a theater that’s OUTSIDE, and then get it on for 2 hours in your car. I mean seriously. People were really looking out for sex-starved teenagers back then. I had to drive to the top level of a deserted parking lot to get my action back in high school. And listen to B96 belt out some corny R&B jam. What the hell’s up with that?
Anyway, what were we talking about again? Oh yeah, this wild and weird script. Hmmm, okay. I’ll sum it up for you. A 10 year old kid with an over-active imagination is obsessed with monsters and vampires and werewolves (heavily influenced by Whedon I suppose: please see Cabin In the Woods review). Soon after a new drive-in multiplex is constructed outside his hometown, strange creatures start appearing in dark places. But are they really creatures? Or are they just Opie’s (yes, his name is Opie) imagination. Opie teams up with the town scientist/outcast to find out what’s causing these monsters to appear, and form a plan to kick some monster ass and save the town.
Look, the script was energetic. It was well-written. But it’s hard to imagine anyone over the age of 10 demanding to see this movie. In fact, I kept asking myself, “Is this live-action or animated?” I still don’t know.
I fully admit this is one of those things that I probably don’t “get”. I mean, if the script to Harry Potter landed on my doorstep before anyone had heard of Harry Potter, I probably would’ve told you it was the biggest piece of garbled nonsense ever committed to paper. Since that franchise has made a couple billion dollars, I think it’s safe to say monsters and witches and werewolves and gobbledygook isn’t within my realm of understanding. You know what is within my realm though? Smurfs. I really like smurfs. Why haven’t they made a smurf movie yet? They’ve paid Hasbro 50 million dollars for the rights to Monopoly but no one cares when Gargamel is getting his close-up. I mean seriously. Where the fuck is Gargamel?
[ ] trash
[x] barely readable
[ ] worth the read
[ ] impressive
[ ] genius
What I learned from It Came From The Drive-In: I don’t usually do this but I’m going to talk about formatting for a second. Creature decided to bold his sluglines. It seems like a harmless choice but I’m telling you right now, it slowed me down. Not considerably. But readers don’t like to be slowed down even a little bit. It was just enough to stunt my natural reading rhythm. Wouldn’t recommend it.
Synopsis: An intern at a record company must transport the world’s craziest rock star to the Greek Theatre in time for his concert.
About: Jonah Hill playing the intern and Russel Brand playing a variation of his Forgetting Sarah Marshall character.
Writer: Nicholas Stoller (based on a character by Jason Segal)
Unofficial sequel to Forgetting Sarah Marshall? Because Jonah Hill plays the intern in this film, I don’t know how that’s possible, since he played Brand’s admirer in the aforementioned film. For that reason Get Him To The Greek exists in some weird alternate movie universe. But the only question that matters is: Was it any good?
Man, I don’t like to be the voice of dissent here but I really didn’t like this script. And I’m upset because it comes so highly recommended. I think it may come down to that age old adage: “Different strokes for different folks.” I just didn’t laugh. And in a comedy…well…that pretty much kills the experience.
Get Him To The Greek is about recent college graduate, AARON, who scores a job at one of the biggest record companies in Los Angeles. In order to prove his worth, he volunteers to transport the quintessential hard-partyin undependable rock star, ALDOUS SNOW, to the Greek Theatre.
Stoller does a pretty good job of setting up how important this is to Aaron. His fiance’s father is all over him about supporting his daughter. And since Alduous doesn’t make albums anymore, this concert alone could net the company hundreds of millions of dollars (if it spawns subsequent concerts). The problem is that Aldous hasn’t shown up to his last eight concerts. If Aaron can somehow pull this off, he’ll be given the keys to the kingdom.
12 hours later as he’s walking through security with Aldous at Heathrow, Aldous forces him to “stick this balloon up your bum.” Aaron learns very quickly that working for Aldous is going to be…”unique.”
Now with an assfull of heroin balloon, the two fly back to the U.S., but instead of going to L.A., Aldous wants to stop in New York where he has one of his many meltdowns. Next up is Vegas, where he reconnects with his “dying” father. And finally to L.A., where Aldous tries to commit suicide jumping off the Hollywood sign.
As I’m writing this, I’m kinda giggling. But I wasn’t laughing when I read it. I’m not sure why. One thing writers do that infuriates me is going for a laugh at the expense of the characters. For example , if your character is really loyal, and you get an idea for a joke but it involves having your character be a total slut, you go for the laugh instead of staying true to the character. Late in the script, after we’ve established numerous times how much Aaron’s girlfriend loves Aaron, she gives it up in a second to have sex with Aldous. I mean, yeah, it’s kinda funny. But now I fucking hate her character. Was the joke worth it?
And I’ll be honest. I’m kind of sick of these Apatow people flexing their “I don’t have to follow the rules” muscle and punching out 120+ comedy scripts. “Ooh, look at me, I’m part of the Apatowian Universe and therefore I can do whatever I want.” There’s no question 20 pages of this thing could have been trimmed. But who cares, right? “We know Apatow!”
I think both Jonah Hill and Russel Brand are hilarious and since the whole Apatow “thing” is writing a semi-bland script and then heightening it in production, I haven’t lost hope for this. But in script form, I thought it was pretty tame. Decide for yourself if Russel Brand should make it to the Greek. I have no doubt a few of you are going to love it.
[ ] trash
[x] barely readable
[ ] worth the read
[ ] impressive
[ ] genius
What I learned from Get Him To The Greek: As I mentioned above, you can make a joke at the expense of your character, but know that there are consequences. I fucking hated his girlfriend by the end of the movie. And the fact that he took her back made me think he was a big pussy. Is that how you want the audience to see your main character at the end of the film?
I’ve decided to change things up because I got a hold of “Get Him To The Greek”, the Jonah Hill, Russel Brand script that everyone’s been raving about. It’s got the Apatow connection (don’t all the comedies these days?) so I’m excited to read it (especially after today’s abysmal experience). A link will be provided so at this time tomorrow, you could be reading it too! :)
Synopsis: A soldier comes back from Afghanistan to find his wife and daughter murdered. He goes looking for the killer…sorta.
About: This was actually made into a movie. When it’s coming out? I have no idea. Judging by the quality of the script, my guess would be never.
Writers: Jeff and Josh Crook
This was written by Jeff and Josh Crook That’s appropriate because they JUST STOLE 2 HOURS OF MY LIFE. Welcome to screenplay hell folks.
You know I’m kinda glad this script came up because I recently got into it with the guys over at Filmspotting after their review of Taken, which I thought was an excellent film. Their problem with the film though, was that they thought the first 30 minutes were boring as hell, and that the screenwriters should’ve started with the daughter getting kidnapped. I argued that that was the dumbest idea in movie history. Why would we care about a daughter we didn’t know? The reason Taken works so well is the buildup in that first act of showing how much Liam Neeson’s character wants to reconnect with his daughter. Without it there is no movie.
But to even mention Rockaway in the same sentence as Taken is disingenuous. Cause this script sucked. The story’s about a guy coming back from the war only to find out that his wife and daughter have been murdered. So he goes on an investigation to find the killer and get retribution. The problem is, unlike Taken, we’ve never met the wife and daughter. I have no emotional connection to them. So why the fuck should I care whether he gets retribution or not? But if that were Rockaway’s only problem, it might have had a fighting chance.
Unfortunately, the script is horribly written. I mean really bad. The dialogue is simplistic and on-the-nose. And for a movie about revenge, it would be nice if your main character actually did something. Trane (yes, his name is “Trane”) just wanders around from place to place, getting in fights with people, then occasionally decides he wants to refocus his efforts on finding that darned killer. Lol. It’s bad folks. And you have to realize something. This movie got MADE. People put millions of dollars into this.
There are no real obstacles to Trane’s mission because Trane is rarely involved in his mission. He’s too busy walking around and talking to old friends/enemies. There are gang members, old rivalries, and oh yeah, let’s not forget “The Russians”, lol. Because every movie about “the streets” has to involve “The Russians”. Apparently the Crook brothers play a looooooooooot of Grand Theft Auto. This script was so bad, I had to create a new category for it.
link: I refuse to post a link for this. However, if you really want the script, if you really want to put yourself through the torture, e-mail me.
[ ] trash
[ ] barely readable
[ ] worth the read
[ ] impressive
[ ] genius
What I learned from Rockaway: In case I wasn’t clear up above – If your movie consists of someone getting retribution for a person who was kidnapped/raped/murdered, make sure we actually meet the victims before they’re killed. The audience will be infinitely more involved in your main character’s pursuit. Oh, and the second thing I learned: Know how to write.
Carson’s Surprise Advice: Please, PLEASE. If you have to write a movie about a soldier returning from Iraq, please, for the love of all that is holy, give it a twist to make it different from the 862,000 other “just got back from Iraq” scripts. Thank you and good night.
Since I haven’t reviewed all my top 25 scripts and a bunch of you have e-mailed me asking what they’re about, I decided to give a quick blurb about each one. I’ll divide this into two parts. Oh, and because I’m lazy, I’m not including links. You’ll have to reach over to the top 25 list and get the scripts from there (I know – I’m a horrible person).
1) EVERYTHING MUST GO
Genre: Indie Drama
A guy loses his job and his wife. She’s changed the locks to the house and left all of his furniture outside. Instead of shipping it off, he sets everything out in the front yard and starts living there. The reason I love this script so much is because the main character does exactly what I would do in this situation. You want me to leave? I’ll do the opposite. I’ll stay. It’s a bit of a strange plot and weird enough so that a good portion of you won’t like it, but it’s my favorite script of 2008.
3) THE F WORD
A very simple premise. Guy meets girl, girl has boyfriend. Guy and girl become best friends. Guy and girl try desperately not to hook up. No huge surprises or twists here. Just an amazingly executed script. Very funny.
4) JUNIOR EXECUTIVE
Genre: Indie Comedy
In an attempt to get his estranged pilot father to come back into his life, a high school kid decides to build his own airport. If you’re a Wes Anderson fan, you have to read this script. Quirky, weird, hilarious. The writing is so simple as to make it look amateur but once you get going, you can’t stop. This one’s out there, but if you buy into a few early absurdities (borrowing 500k like it’s as easy as buying ice cream for example) it’s a great read. (note: no link for this. if you want it, contact me directly)
5) BRAD CUTTER RUINED MY LIFE AGAIN
A hilarious script about a former high school nerd finally making his way in the world, only to find out that his company is hiring the most popular kid from his old school. Before he knows it, the company turns into its own high school, and once again, he’s the nerd.
6) BRIGANDS OF RATTLEBORGE
I hate Westerns. But something about this one got me. What’s interesting is that this script breaks about every screenwriting rule there is. And it ended up being the top rated script on the 2007 Blacklist.
9) GOING THE DISTANCE
A simple comedy about the trials and tribulations of long distance relationships. Geoff, the writer, is a master of comedy dialogue. Anyone who’s been in a long distance relationship can relate to this one.
10) WINTER’S DISCONTENT
One of the most unexpected reads of the year. A bunch of old dudes looking for nookie in a nursing home. American Pie for the Viagra generation. Hilarious.
11) THE ORNATE ANATOMY OF LIVING THINGS
Genre: Indie Dramedy
Charlie Kaufman-inspired, the story of a man who finds out there’s a museum dedicated to his life. Very weird but very cool. One of the more imaginative scripts I’ve read. Was on the 2007(?) Blacklist. These are the same guys who brought you The Adventurer’s Handbook.
13) LAST NIGHT
This one’s already been shot with Keira Knightly and Eva Mendes. A woman (Knightly) starts to suspect her husband of infidelity with an extremely attractive coworker (Mendes). Things get complicated when he goes on his next business trip.
14) THE HANGOVER
Much funnier than the trailer showed. But it’s a great little premise. Four guys have to piece together their drunken night to find a missing groom (who’s getting married THAT day). This is one of those scripts you read and immediately say, “I could see that as a movie.” Funny funny funny.
I’ll post the second half later in the week folks. Til then…