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I liked the payoff starting right around page 100 concerning Project X. Heck of a lot of dialogue, but oh well. I see a rewrite in your future if you ever send this to Babz. I imagined Gerard Butler as Guy. That worked. Honestly I dislike these "dude loses his memory, trying to figure out who he is" kind of movies, so I skimmed over parts, but all in all, nice beginning, middle, end.
Your writing flows well. All the best with it.
My favorite line:
ORION Wars that were started by man but won by God...and His house still stands.
Just finished The Fellowship of the Briefcase...I mean, All Highways Lead Downtown. I kid a bit of course but this was pretty much, as kingcooky pointed out in his review, a mashup of The Fellowship of the Ring and The Matrix (and a little Mad Max thrown in there). And I must admit I didn't really care for it. However it wasn't that bad cos' I did finish the script.
Maybe I am wrong - and please correct me if I am - but this felt like it was deliberately written very toungue-in-cheek, almost to the point where it felt like you weren't taking this too seriously.
Pros: - Pretty lean script. Short sentences. Looked good. Lotsa white. An easy read. - Clean script as well. I think I counted only a couple of typos but nothing that hurt the script overall (btw. it's called an F/A-18, not F-18, F/A as in Fighter/Attack. Sorry but I'm a stickler for getting military hardware correct). - Good action sequences (maybe too much but I'll get to that later)
Cons: - Weak on structure. Couldn't really tell when the first, second and third acted ended/started. - Too much action and too little character development. And what little there was toward the end with Guy felt forced and almost irrelevant since it hadn't been set up properly. This is basically a road trip movie and in those movies you usually learn a lot about the character as the journey progresses. Here there was little to none. - Wash-rinse-repeat. The same things happened over and over again just in different settings. Felt almost like a video game. - Simply too close to LOTR in terms of template. I have no problem with taking a kernel from one story and putting into another story but it simply got too predictable in your script. - Too over the top baddies. Not enough motivation to justify that much senseless brutality. One thing I never understood was why Heydrick brought the briefcase with him in the first place. Felt contrived. - Weak ending. Sorry but the whole notion of putting the President into some form of suspended animation and then wait for him to fall back to Earth really didn't connect with me at all.
So there you have it, Greg. I'm sorry I couldn't be more possitive but I hope I relayed why the script didn't work for me. Good luck on future projects.
Down in the hole / Jesus tries to crack a smile / Beneath another shovel load
Pg. 5. Just have Xenia saying, "It's you! It's really you!". The other lines aren't needed, especially Guy's lines.
Pg. 5. I'm not sure if you want a "fury of ash and fire" or a "flurry of ash and fire." Flurry makes more sense to me, but fury works too.
Pg. 7. Sandstorm saying, "Where's my assistant?" Doesn't sound natural. I think he'd just say, "Where's Jade?"
Pg. 7. Sandstorm: "The look of a hero is undefined. It can be anyone, anytime." Way too, on the nose. Something like, "What does a 'hero' look like?" sounds better to me.
Pg. 7. Sandstorm: "My word...just had a heart attack." Cheesy.
Pg. 8. Sandstorm: "Our future now rests on the shoulders of this man." It seems a bit soon to rest his fate on a guy he just met.
Pg. 8. Xenia: "No. They took my son. I'm not about to let him grow up to become one of them." Way too much is said here. A simple: "They took my son. I'm not leaving here without him.", would work. Plus it becomes true. She doesn't leave there without him.
Pg. 8. Remove, Jade: "They'll burn the village..." Xenia: "They can try." It's pretty clear that the Ravensburke are killing everyone. There's no need to say it in dialogue.
Pg. 8. "They start down the hill covered with dense terrain." Dense brush sounds better. Dense terrain, would be really hard ground.
Pg. 9. "A squad of SIX RAVESBURKE OFFICERS fire from the building." This sounds like they're firing from the building that just exploded in a fireball. That leads me to believe that the building is destroyed or engulfed in flames. How are they firing from it?
Pg. 9. Jade: "Then kill someone!", is too much. "Then shoot!" sounds better.
Thanks for the words! I was out of town this weekend so I apologize for the delay.
If I were to list the movies that were "inspiration" for this I'd be laughed at. The real back story in writing this was while I was taking a course on the Holocaust. The class went into great detail about the Nazis' motivations and perceptions so likewise there's a lot of WWII imagery and analogies here, i.e. the idea of super humans, a gestapo-like task force, using fear as a tool of power, Kristallnacht, and of course the names of the officers. The Bielski Brothers, who relentlessly fought against the Nazis to protect other Jews, was an early source of inspiration for this one as well. Defiance came out shortly after I started writing the early draft, but the idea of rebels going up against the Nazis still interested me.
So thanks again guys. Not everyone's cup of tea, but that happens.
Hey, Greg. Since I gave Varshawn a read, I figured I sort of owed you a read as well. I kinda got sidetracked, but it's here now.
The writing here is very clean, and I was hooked from the get-go. I will say though that this really isn't my kind of movie… Hollywood-y fantasy adventure set in a different world… but I enjoyed this nevertheless. It feels like a movie... a blockbuster type thing is the vibe I got from it. In a good way. It's hard to describe.
It's not often that I encounter a script around here that actually plays out like a real movie in my head as I read. So, serious props for that. You put a lot of work into this, and it shows.
But I'm going to agree with the others that this has some similarities to other fantasy movies, like The Matrix and LOTR. The whole "guy on a journey, ruthless bad guys on his trail" is executed in a way that's a lot like things I've already seen before.
A problem I have with fantasy is, you have to make it your own world. It can't be like some other world in another book or movie. I'm not saying it has to be totally original, but you have to make it your own. And… I dunno, to me, this doesn't really feel like an entirely new world. It's got bits and pieces from other things here and there, but most of all, it just doesn't feel like it's your own. It's not particularly new, either.
So basically the government collapsed and was taken over by an evil dictatorship. You've got the "chosen one" archetype. He's on a journey and has the help of a wise "master" who gives him the info he needs. Also, the aforementioned evil government is after him, and they're ruthless and will do anything to get the hero.
Of course, most fantasy and sci-fi follows this path, and the biggest difference is the world it's set in. But like I said, the world here isn't really anything totally different.
(Not that you have to make it completely original, either. When you think about it, The Matrix isn't really that different than a bunch of other fantasy/sci fi films. Bad government controls people, chosen one has to stop them with he help of his mentor. It's just the execution-- and the addition of the whole "control your dreams" thing-- that sets it apart from many other films and books).
My advice, disguise the plot points, change things around so it isn't similar at all to LOTR and The Matrix… like kingcooky said.
But then again, that's just my opinion on the genre. I don't write fantasy, so take this with a grain of salt.
Pg.1: Might want to italicize the first few lines, since they're spoken in a different language.
I'm not sure what audience you're going for here-- but regardless, I think the CONFIDENTIAL book with things crossed out is a bit cliched, even slightly cartoonish. Especially if this is geared towards an adult audience, you might want to get something subtler than crossed out words and CONFIDENTIAL on the cover.
Wait, so his name is "Guy", right? It’s not referring to him as a guy (i.e. man, person, guy), because he has no memories? At first I thought you meant like “man” or something, but as it went on, I began to think it’s his name.
I thought Stoop and Drexler were a bit over-the-top, especially at the beginning. "He's not even a year old!" "Then the death of his mother will be all the more forgettable." Again, I'm not sure whether you're going for a Hollywood movie vibe (if that makes sense) or something more gritty and "real".
I think things happen way too fast in the first ten pages. The first few pages of GUY on his own were paced perfectly, but the doctor Sandstorm scene seemed a bit out of place. I dunno… to me, it reads more like a scene that would happen later on in the first act, when we already kind of know the characters. I mean… Guy just woke up and saved Xenia, he has no memories, but for some reason he's in a hurry to get to San Diego.
Basically, at the beginning I felt like I walked into a movie and missed a good 30 minutes. This is paced more like a second act than the opening 15 pages, if that makes any sense.
I'm not saying you need to make the first 15 uneventful, but you spend a little more time on characters before everything else happens.
Also… You named the doctor "Dusty Sandstorm"?! The name really stood out. Took me out of the story for a second. I like the Sandstorm part, but the whole “Dust” thing isn’t very realistic at all. It’s almost like naming a character “Justin Time” or something. Just my opinion. Jade Sandstorm is a cool name, though.
Okay, man, I’m out on page 20. It’s not that it’s unoriginal or anything-- because it’s not. Aside from some similarities to other films, you have a pretty cool story here. It’s just that fantasy really isn’t my cup of tea.