Few Perks for the Audience in Wallflower

  The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012) – Written and Directed by Stephen Chbosky, based on his novel of the same name; Stars Emma Watson, Logan Lerman and Ezra Miller; Rated PG-13 for drug use, homosexuality, sexual abuse, bullying, suicide, and every other depressing thing you could throw in a movie about teenagers. This [Read More…]

Back Down is a Union and Government School Smack Down

  Won’t Back Down (2012) – Written By Brin Hill and Daniel Barnz;  Directed by Daniel Barnz;  Starring Maggie Gyllenhaal, Viola Davis, Holly Hunter, and Ving Rhames.  Rated PG for mild language and for showing close ups of union thugs and government schools. I know I’m late to the party on this one, but I [Read More…]

Enter Catharsis

Here’s a nice piece on a new company which I just started to help storytellers hone their work for the screen. “No matter what the project, Vicki and Barbara seek to elevate its story craft and infuse a fresh perspective. Their efforts can bring catharsis, too, to writers and producers struggling with stories they’ve spent [Read More…]

Learn Screenwriting in Phoenix!

Act One is holding one of its amazing screenwriting weekends next month in Phoenix.  Seats are limited so don’t dally. [Read more…]

Trouble is a Solid Double

Trouble with the Curve (2012) – Written by Randy Brown; Directed by Robert Lorenz;  Starring Clint Eastwood, Amy Adams and John Goodman;  Rated PG-13 for blasphemy and other crass language; With the pacing and Americana scenery of an afternoon at a high school baseball game in anywhere USA, Trouble with the Curve is an enjoyable, [Read More…]

Under Homeland’s Power

I’m irrationally excited for the second season of Homeland, on Showtime.  I think it’s the best television I’ve seen since those astonishing first and second seasons of the remake of Battlestar Galactica back in 2003.  The Season 1 finale was so agonizingly good, it had me writhing and sputtering on the sofa with a blanket [Read More…]

Mastering Pretentious Obscenity

(The Master (2012); Written and Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson; Starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams;  Rated R for obscenity) It probably means that I’ve been in Hollywood too long, that I think I was more offended by this movie’s profound and sustained boringness as opposed to its pervasive and gratuitous obscenity.  Don’t [Read More…]

Odd Life Lacks Life

(The Odd Life of Timothy Green; 2012; Written by Peter Hedges and Ahmet Zappa; Directed by Peter Hedges;  Starring Jennifer Garner, Joel Edgerton, CJ Adams and Odeya Rush) The hardest part of writing a family movie today is incarnating conflict.   I’m not really sure in which of our many societal dysfunctions this problem originates.  Certainly, [Read More…]

What Frank Stole in His Glory Days

Robot and Frank (2012); Written by Christopher D. Ford; Directed by Jake Shreirer; Starring Frank Langella, Susan Sarandon, James Marsden, Liv Tyler, Jeremy Sisto.  PG-13 This is a bittersweet, quirky little movie that should win lead, Frank Langella, an Oscar nomination.  With a small scope and probably an equally low budget, the film shows that, [Read More…]

Not Mincing Words

  (The Words, Written and directed by Brian Klugman and Leon Sternthal; PG-13) I liked The Words when I saw it, but I have to qualify that “liking” by adding that I saw it at Sundance. It was all the rage this year in Park City, mainly because, as one film student expressed it to me [Read More…]