November 9, 2012

  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 is one of those little movies that is under the radar of most mainstream theatergoers, but is attracting a cult following from critics and, more... Read more

October 24, 2012

  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 feel a moral obligation to register a strong endorsement of this film.   And it’s coming from more than just the fact that this is... Read more

October 11, 2012

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 days, months, even years developing.” For more information about Catharsis, click here. Read more

October 10, 2012

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

September 29, 2012

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, satisfying story of a man and his daughter and their love for the national pastime.  In its best moments, the movie offers a fresh perspective... Read more

September 25, 2012

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 over my head just watching with one eyeball through a small gap.   I felt like I needed to join a support group at the... Read more

September 23, 2012

(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 get me wrong.  The obscenity is of the most sexist and gratuitous kind, which itself makes the movie, uh, eschewable.  But The Master is so... Read more

September 22, 2012

(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, the damned political correctness has wreaked havoc in storytelling such that nobody wants to depict anything for kids that might upset them.  Further, nobody wants... Read more

September 18, 2012

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, best conceived,  the sci-fi genre is not about spectacular effects, but about the nature of the human person. Robot and Frank is less a story,... Read more

September 16, 2012

  (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 while shivering at a bus stop, “It looks like, you know, a real movie.”  There are always so many weird slash cheap slash foreign slash... Read more

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