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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    Unproduced Screenplay Discussion    Action/Adventure Scripts  ›  Armor of Belial Moderators: bert
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  Author    Armor of Belial  (currently 5697 views)
James McClung
Posted: June 2nd, 2006, 1:27pm Report to Moderator
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I've been meaning to read this for some time now. I contributed to your WIP thread a while back so I was interested in how this turned out. Also, it was a good way to get introduced to the Adventure section.

First off...

- The Overseerers don?t seem to have much regard for slaves. They seem to kill them at the drop of the hat. I have a feeling their leader, Sthennix, wouldn?t approve of this since he?s looking for the Armor and would probably want as many slaves looking for it as possible.

- Again, the Overseerer dismisses the slave's notification that Vargus has disappeared into a glowing tunnel. I think he'd be more concerned about this fact since it would appear, from his perspective, that Vargus is escaping or, more importantly, has found the Armor, as he has.

pg. 28 - Sthennix doesn?t need to say he?s changed his mind. It?s quite obvious he has and the fact that he says so kind of ruins the moment.

- What's this "strange" guy who sold Belial the Armor look like? You might want to add that.

pg. 49 - What do these "carnivores" look like? You might want to add that as well, especially since they come back later. You don't have to add much here. I think "wolfen carnivores" would suffice and you could describe them further later on.

pg. 59 - "If anyone else had awakened me with anything else..." This line sounds strange. Fix it.

pg. 62 - ?If you give yourself the chance to relax, you?ll probably pass out.? I believe you mean, if you don't give yourself the chance to relax.

pg. 84 - Wouldn't Patrosh yell "wait!" before the Overseerer steps into the hole?

- If Sthennix wants Vargus to come to him on his own terms, why would he have gone through so much trouble trying to capture him?

- I found it unrealistic that Ertaf would want to fight if it put her child in danger. It's supposed to be the most important thing to her. She probably wouldn't even think about fighting.

This was an extremely enjoyable read for me. I was hooked very quickly and finished the whole thing pretty fast. Everything seems to be on the money. The plot. The characters. The dialogue. All that good stuff. The characters were particularly strong. All of them had motives, sure, but they also had reasons behind their motives, which made their characters much stronger and realistic. What I loved the most was the world you created. I thought it was a clever mix of ancient, medieval, and high tech civilizations yet clearly a fantasy world. I particularly liked the insurrectionist domain. I thought the tree lift was a nice touch.

All in all, an excellent read. I should probably check out the Adventure section more often.


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George Willson
Posted: June 4th, 2006, 4:44pm Report to Moderator
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Thanks for the read, James. Glad you thought it was a good read.

You touch on a couple of things that have bothered me as well about this one, and once I get to a point where I can revise, I'm definitely taking this into account. Never thought about the Overseer vs. slave thing though. Thanks for bringing that up. I'll definitely keep that in mind.

Thanks again. Maybe I should move my other project back to Adventure from series, so I can be the adventure king.


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Breanne Mattson
Posted: June 7th, 2006, 4:35pm Report to Moderator
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I really enjoyed this. It was very adventurous.

****SPOILERS****

I assumed the armor was of evil origins because of the use of the biblical word Belial. It also had a bit of a Samson influence as well - a special power dependent upon the wearing of a physical object. And with the added “Star Wars’ feel-the force” kind of dimension where the power is also affected by the emotional state of the imbued one.

FORMAT:

It is, of course, fine. No comments except to say that, like me, you space things a lot which makes the script appear longer than it actually is.

This is an example of a script where the page count is deceptive. At 135 pages, it reads quickly and would probably be quite a bit shorter on screen.

There were maybe a few little things (like P52 - trunk, not truck.) but they’ve either already been mentioned or aren’t worth mentioning.


STORY:

I liked the story and don’t have much criticism of it. As I mentioned, the is an adventure in the vein as Star Wars mixed with biblical influences.

I liked the fact that upon finding the artifact, the wearer immediately exploited it for all it was worth. A typical story of this type would have toned down a little at that point and allowed the main character to look at options for exploiting the device.

It was the nature of the object that it cause its bearer one-track mindedness and that was used effectively to take the story a different direction than the typical.

There are two challenges to that: 1) Keeping up the momentum after that and, 2) of course, keeping the main character from becoming one dimensional.

You kept the story going by turning it into an adventure. Mixed of futuristic Sci-Fi elements a medieval chivalry, the obstacles for the hero on his adventure were also mixed. One moment, finding the beastly carnivores like knights on a quest and at another moment, underwater in a submarine battle more befitting Captain Nemo.

Interesting mix. Other films have mixed the two elements, Stargate and such, but I think you made a nice addition to the “genre.”

The only criticism I could offer there would pertain to the creatures of this world. The carnivores were the only creatures we really saw in this strange new world. It would have been interesting if there had been, say, some kind of cave dwelling creatures that might prey upon the slaves, or even the Overseers. Or if Vargas could have shown a propensity toward bravery by defending a fellow slave from such a creature.

Or perhaps some strange creatures in the woods. Something that would have opened up this world a little more. As it is, it seems that it’s primarily populated by people. Honestly, I was a little surprised by the lack of strange creatures given your….uh….tendency…toward creating them.

The only other criticism I could offer is about the women. This is not just you. It’s very nearly every male writer and not just unproduced scripts but in tons of Hollywood movies where the setting is wartime or involves groups of oppressed people contemplating rebellion:

When the man is preparing to go off to battle, his wife always makes it more difficult for him. She always accuses him of not caring about her or their family because he’s leaving to go fight. This is a Hollywood stereotype about women. In real life, women are actually much more supportive of men at such a time. Women generally are very supportive of a man if we believe he’s doing what he’s doing to protect his family. This stereotype makes it look like we’re not capable of grasping the “big picture” when it comes to war.

While it’s true that we wouldn’t welcome it and would want a way to avoid it, it’s not true that we wouldn’t understand the situation or pressure our husbands not to fight for our families at a time when he most needed our support. To the contrary, most women buck up and do the opposite - we try to make sure he knows he has our support because we understand how important it is to his success. And we do understand what’s at stake.

I’m not scolding you or anything. I’m just making an observation. And the characters do, of course, come around and grasp the whole situation. I also know that it creates tension and drama. I’m just making the observation because I see it so often in so many pictures and it kind of makes us look bad. If you talk to the wife or mother of a soldier in real life, you don’t get that kind of reaction at all. Usually the wife is very supportive. They used to call it, “keeping the home fires burning.” Just a thought.

Oh, and one other little thing: Why can’t Sthennix  (or anyone else for that matter) commission a mystic to make him his own armor? Seemed that Belial was able to produce this armor relatively easy. He just went out and bought it.

Anyway, I really like the script. It flowed very well from scene to scene and was overall very well crafted. Good work.


Brea



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George Willson
Posted: June 7th, 2006, 5:26pm Report to Moderator
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Thanks, Brea, you make some very thought-provoking comments. To tackle the last question, I think it's a good point. Why doesn't someone make their own mystical armor? I'm not sure how to best answer this because I have a basic idea of what happened all those years ago, but not necessarily how to put it in the script.

It's like trying to explain why Sauron is the only one who could make a One Ring. Why didn't the elves put their heads together and get around it. According to the Silmarillion, they aren't much younger than Sauron. That's not being flippant; just thinking.

I know Belial's armor was more than just a purchase. I see the one who made it as tracking him down to give it to him. Like Belial had a quality this person was looking for to do whatever needed to be done. A good comparison would be how Star Wars portrayed Darth Sidious always finding exactly who he needed to achieve his ends. Of course, that opens up an entire other can of worms, so it's best to know that Belial acquired it from a mysterious stranger and used it for all its worth. I could probably do a prequel on the back story.

I do hope the women are not just seen as just arbitrarily bitching at their husbands for running off. Personally, I wrote Tristam's reasoning as thin, and he actually should have stayed with his wife. It was his own selfish desire to continue that made him go on. Vargus obviously didn't need the help. With Sirena, no one understood this armor Vargus had and saw his desire to run off as fool-hardy. This was not just Sirena, but everyone. I would like to think if I wrote something where the stakes were understood by everyone, that I would portray the women realistically and find my conflict else where.

And finally, I love the suggestion on the additional creatures. It is strange that I kept the journey free of forest, cave, and sea creatures, and populated it with just people. I could make the CGI guys exceptionally happy here.

Thanks again.


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Breanne Mattson
Posted: June 8th, 2006, 1:57pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from George Willson
I wrote Tristam's reasoning as thin, and he actually should have stayed with his wife. It was his own selfish desire to continue that made him go on. Vargus obviously didn't need the help.


I didn’t think of Tristam’s reasoning as thin. I thought Vargas would need Tristam to get to the palace and that Tristam felt like this was his chance to depose Sthennix. Anytime there’s a fascist force using fear to control, there are always slaves who think it’s okay to be slaves as long as they stay alive.

I thought of Tristam as looking beyond that to a day where a just leader was once again king. I felt that his goal was honorable. That’s why I felt that his wife was a little unreasonable. But then again, it’s also one of those situations where you just don’t know what you’d do until you’re in it.


Quoted from George Willson
With Sirena, no one understood this armor Vargus had and saw his desire to run off as fool-hardy. This was not just Sirena, but everyone.


Yeah, I see what you’re saying.



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George Willson
Posted: June 8th, 2006, 2:45pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Breanne Mattson
I didn’t think of Tristam’s reasoning as thin. I thought Vargas would need Tristam to get to the palace and that Tristam felt like this was his chance to depose Sthennix. Anytime there’s a fascist force using fear to control, there are always slaves who think it’s okay to be slaves as long as they stay alive.

I thought of Tristam as looking beyond that to a day where a just leader was once again king. I felt that his goal was honorable. That’s why I felt that his wife was a little unreasonable. But then again, it’s also one of those situations where you just don’t know what you’d do until you’re in it.


I never thought about that. I'll certainly consider this when I go back over it. Make Ertaf understandably reluctant, but more reasonable disposed to his going. Make it so she does need him with the underground, but also understands the importance of going.


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