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What script are you reading right now?

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#81
Read Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi's Destroyer and was not impressed. The simple story follows Det. Erin Bell as she plunges into an old case from 17 years ago in her undercover days. The leader of the group she infiltrated is apparently back in town, and she will do anything to find him and finish what she started all those years ago.

This is one I found really hard to get invested in, mainly due to its repetitive nature. Most of the script is Det. Bell going from person to person as she tries to track down the main guy (Silas), so it's fair to say that most of it is a rather bland procedural (a bank heist in the middle does help a little, but not nearly enough). It also hints at what went so wrong back during the original case, basically letting us know that some people died.. but then, of course, it has to spell it out for us and show us what happened in detail (which takes way too long to get to). On top of that, they shoehorn in scenes involving Bell's daughter (Shelby) and her ex (Ethan) that just don't fit into the story very well. As for the ending, there's a twist, but it's not nearly as clever as the authors appear to think it is (the big reveal is underlined with emphasis, as though we're supposed to be shocked, but really they're just trying to cover up a flat ending). Overall, it's pretty forgettable, though I'm hearing great things about Nicole Kidman's performance as Bell, so it may still be worth watching.
 
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#83
Read Brady Corbet's Vox Lux after seeing all of the glowing reviews, but this is another one that didn't really impress me. It follows a young girl named Celeste, who is wounded in a school shooting, and becomes a major pop sensation after performing a song she wrote at a service for the victims. Several years later, we find her trying to deal with the pressure of being famous, while also trying to take care of her teenage daughter. Meanwhile, she must prepare for a big concert for her new album: Vox Lux.

Corbet's script starts off pretty well, but after its intriguing opening, it quickly begins to feel like some kind of celebrity bio-type story you'd watch on MTV, and sadly it's never really able to shake that feeling. It really comes down to being a rather cliched take on an old story. It struggles to find a point pretty much the entire way (Being famous can be hard? Stressful? Does Corbet think he's telling us something new?). A little more originality and it might have worked, and perhaps that's exactly what it got, for I can't imagine the film getting such great reviews (8.4/10 on RT, 90 on Metacritic) unless some significant work was done. Perhaps Natalie Portman and Jude Law make it worth seeing anyway. As of now, the film still doesn't even have a distributor, so it's unclear if it will even be in the awards race this year. I guess we'll just have to wait and see what happens.
 
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#84
The Nun, by Gary Dauberman

Really not digging this. Very weak story and, while I don't mind sentence fragments as they can add punch when used properly, they're ridiculously overused in this script. A sample:
---------------------------------------------------------
Sign of the Cross.

And then she steps off the ledge.

Drops down and disappears.

But we stay here.

Wait... wait...

Snap! Rope taut.

The Window slowly swings back.

And in the reflection of its glass, the BLACK SILHOUETTE of THE NUN. Standing next to the Last Torch outside the door.

Doesn’t move.

Just stares outside.

Or at us?

Before That Last Torch goes out too.

Plunges us into DARKNESS
.
-----------------------------------------------------

And the entire script is like this. It's like listening to someone with a bad stutter -- fragmented like mad and no flow at all. It's also a transparent attempt to pad out the très wimpy storyline I mentioned. The script is only 97 pages; had it been written in standard format, it would be half as long. I'm not a huge fan of The Conjuring series as it is, and this script certainly doesn't help.
 
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#85
Quick update: Neon has picked up Vox Lux for distribution.

Moving on, after reading the reactions to Claire Denis' High Life, which included a lot of walkouts, I gave the treatment a read to see what all the fuss was about. The story, which is told in three sections, focuses on a group of prisoners who have opted to serve their sentence by going on a space mission to explore a black hole, which could potentially become a great source of energy. Of course, everything does not go according to plan, for along the way, some people go crazy/rebel and several people die via murder and other methods.

The actual treatment itself runs only about 50 pages, and yet, it's rather slow to get started. The story is told out of order, so section one actually starts us off after the bulk of events have already happened, focusing on the last surviving member of the crew (Monte) and his daughter (Willow). It didn't seem particularly necessary to do it this way, as it pretty much leaves the reader sitting around, waiting for something to happen, or for it to finally get around to explaining how things got to this point, which it eventually does in section 2. This section is basically "What Happened," as it goes through and shows you the events that bring us around to where we started, and ends up being the most intriguing part of the story, before section 3 takes us back to where we were and provides an ending of sorts (an ending that just kind of elicits a shrug).

It's rather difficult to know what to think of it, for it is just a treatment after all, but at the same time, some of it did seem rather uneventful, particualrly sections 1 and 3. Luckily these are the shorter parts, and only comprised about a third of the story, so hopefully they only take up as much of the film as needed without dragging it out (and, as I mentioned, section 2 is fairly decent). However, what's probably going to be one of its big selling point are the special effects. It goes into the same territory that Interstellar did, but there's plenty of opportunity here to wow audiences with all kinds of space effects, particularly with the black hole sequences. Bottom line, if the story doesn't end up being captivating enough, at least it should be quite something to look at.

On a sidenote, in the reactions I've read, a lot of people walked out because it's apparently really intense at certain points, which, I guess is understandable if they're particularly sensitive to scenes involving bodily fluid (there's a half-baked subplot about artificially inseminating some of the female crew members), though perhaps Denis amped it up more than was indicated here, because as it is on the page, it just didn't seem particularly intense. Regardless of whether it is actually bonkers, or if it's just an overreaction, I'm still looking forward to seeing how this thing turns out, though it remains without a distributor at the moment.
 
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#89
Cash Truck... I would like to read an earlier draft. I am always curious to see the changes made when different writers come aboard.
This script has one of the biggest plot holes ever. The ending is ludicrous. Questions are left unanswered.
The story starts slow and doesn't pick up - even with a 3rd act packed full of bland action.
It comes off as a Antonio Banderas straight to DVD film. In other words, a film worth missing.
I see another dud in Sandra Bullock's future. I doubt this will have any commercial appeal like Ocean's 8.
 
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#92
Finally got around to reading Widows and found it to be rather average. Not bad, not great, but pretty much a standard heist flick that didn't really pack any surprises. Rather, I guess I should say it didn't really have any surprises that helped it in any way, as they try to have a somewhat emotional twist in the middle, but ultimately they don't really do much with it, causing one of the ending scenes to have less impact than it should have. I imagine it will still be worth seeing for the great ensemble (particularly looking forward to seeing Daniel Kaluuya's Jatemme, and, of course, the great Viola Davis), I just wish they had done a little more with it narrative-wise.
 
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#93
Finally got around to reading Widows and found it to be rather average. Not bad, not great, but pretty much a standard heist flick that didn't really pack any surprises. Rather, I guess I should say it didn't really have any surprises that helped it in any way, as they try to have a somewhat emotional twist in the middle, but ultimately they don't really do much with it, causing one of the ending scenes to have less impact than it should have. I imagine it will still be worth seeing for the great ensemble (particularly looking forward to seeing Daniel Kaluuya's Jatemme, and, of course, the great Viola Davis), I just wish they had done a little more with it narrative-wise.
That pretty much perfectly sums up my thoughts on the finished film.
 
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#95
Just read the first page of POWERMAN and it feels goooood...
You got the touch
You got the POWER
When all hell's breakin' loose
You'll be riding the eye of the storm
You got the heart
You got the motion
You're at your best when when the road gets rough
You've been put to the test, but it's never enough
You got the touch
You got the POWER
 
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#96
Finally gave Green Book a read. I was hesitant to read it because, as soon as I saw the trailer, I felt like I could pretty much see the entire story laid out in front of me, and after reading the script, yeah, it's pretty much exactly what you'd expect. That doesn't mean it was bad, it was alright, but there didn't really seem to be anything special or memorable about it. However, there's always the chance that Ali and Mortensen will kick the material up a notch. I mean, something must have impressed the audiences at Toronto for them to give this the People's Choice Award. Still, I'm looking forward to checking it out when the time comes.
 
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#98
Elton John? I just saw a pic of the actor portraying John in full get up -- he looked like fat Elvis.
Is the script any good or is this a 2 hour commercial for a greatest hits package?
Whose idea was it to have the actor sing instead of using Elton John's voice? Ruins the whole thing. At least the BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY producers got it right.
 
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#99
I finally cracked open the first revised draft of Blair Witch II by Dick Beebe. Such an enjoyable read compared to the interesting mess that Book of Shadows ended up being.
 
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Read Jason Lei Howden's Guns Akimbo. Story follows mild-mannered Miles, who gets forced into a fight to the death by a group called Schism, who are responsible for tons of videos on the dark net depicting fights and murders. After going onto their page just to tell them that he thinks they're degenerate scum, they kidnap him, bolt guns to his hands, and give him 24 hours to kill a girl named Nix, who is a lot more bad-ass than he is. As if that's not enough, the group also eventually kidnaps his ex-girlfriend, Nova, forcing him to go all-out to try and save her.

This is the kind of script that was just fun to read. You go in not expecting very much, but are quite entertained by the absolute insanity that ends up occurring throughout. My only point of concern is that this could easily turn into a monotonous, action-fueled flick that ends up being more tedious than fun. It's really all going to depend upon how well those action scenes are put together, which, if done right, could give us something along the lines of John Wick... but on crack (or meth, in this case). I'm particularly interested in seeing Daniel Radcliffe take on the role of Miles. It was easy to picture him doing these things while reading it, so he seems like he would be a great fit. Bottom line: really fun and insane script, and definitely looking forward to seeing how it turns out on the screen.

 
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