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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    One Week Challenge    February, 2008 One Week Challenge  ›  And Justice For All - OWC
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  Author    And Justice For All - OWC  (currently 4190 views)
Don
Posted: February 24th, 2008, 11:05am Report to Moderator
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And Justice For All by James McClung - Short, Drama - A man kills another in an act of self-defense, only to discover that justice isn't always on one's side. - pdf, format


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You will miss 100% of the shots you don't take.
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Don  -  March 8th, 2008, 4:08pm
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The boy who could fly
Posted: February 24th, 2008, 1:21pm Report to Moderator
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You're out of order! You're out of order! The whole trial is out of order! They're out of order!

Sorry ....and justice for all was on the other day, great line

Well this is the first one with anal rape in it, I figured there would have to be at least one script with that in it, pretty intense way to start a script, which is always a good thing.

I kinda had a problem with Stan going to jail, even though he did kill that guy, I think under the circumstances and the stress he would not have gone to prison, a guy holds you and your girlfriend at gun point, then threatens to rape the girl, If I were on the jury I'd vote not guilty, but maybe that's just me.

I think it was well written and Stan and Laura seemed like real characters, but I wish Stan went to prison because of doing something bad, like robbery or something like that.

This fit the theme and genre so good job there.  I think with a better reason for Stan going to prison it would have been stronger.


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BryMo
Posted: February 24th, 2008, 1:47pm Report to Moderator
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This was intense, and i liked it. A lot. I think the story was well written, hard work paid off. The two characters seemed like real people talking and not something overly written and soap opera -esque.

The one problem i had was how he could have put in jail, Under the circumstances i mean. I'd focus on changing that.

Other than that i have no problems with it. Great job!


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Zombie Sean
Posted: February 24th, 2008, 2:03pm Report to Moderator
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Oh yikes the beginning was something I was not expecting from any of these scripts. Ha ha. Though, I sort of did have an idea that someone might use a "drop-the-soap" scene.

Agreeing with Jordan here, I think that Stan should have done something that would have definitely made him go to prison rather than people mistaking him for killing someone when he was really defending himself and his girlfriend.

Why did he kill Miles? Because Miles raped him? Or that when he got adrenaline rush of killing someone he felt as though he needed to do it again? Ha ha nah...

The ending...first of all, what is M.O.S? And why does it crash into the ocean? Just some metaphor or art that means something else? I dunno.

This fit the genre and theme well, also.

Sean


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mcornetto
Posted: February 24th, 2008, 2:54pm Report to Moderator
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Well that was a pleasant uplifting start to my day.  I don’t really have much more to say about it.  It met the genre/theme and it was adequately written.  

I’m giving it the second GREENLIGHT.
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Pete B. Lane
Posted: February 24th, 2008, 5:13pm Report to Moderator
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Good story, well-written and moving. It pissed me off too that Stan was convicted, but I understood it. Sometimes eye-witness testimony is flawed and people are convicted because of it. I get that Stan felt like dying when his life and sense of manhood were taken from him.

Depressing, but a good read and totally in tune with the setting and genre.

(I have other trivial comments, but I'll wait until all the writers are named.)

Among the top three OWC scripts that I've read so far from the two batches released. Well done.

Grade: A-

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fredigy
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**spoilers**

Nicely written.  I've read a few OWC scripts and didn't feel compelled to write a review for them--though I might later.

Great intro! If this rape scene doesn't get your attention, one way or another, nothing will.

I really thought the dialogue was good. Especially when Stan gave his "They’ll release me but I’ll never really leave this place." monologue. There was a real sense of wrecked humanity there. But I had a problem with Stan and Laura's street banter. It was forgetable. I think that would have been an excellent opportunity to drive the emotional stakes up, opposed to talking about her mother.

Was the courtroom scenes necessary? During the visit Laura could have said something like: "The verdict was wrong. It was self defense."

Visually, some things were really empowering. The slicing of the throat is kinda cliché, but the sucking sound in the trachea description really made it fresh.

I guess I understand the ocean and the fish M.O.S. (MOS? Must be a textbook acronym -- or you're just making sh** up as you go.) The ocean was his "happy place" maybe. Andy Dufresne had music. Stan swims with the fishes. Would it have really made a difference without it?

Overall, good job. I can see you're taking this screenwriting thing seriously. Keep with the pen, seems to work for you.
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Murphy
Posted: February 24th, 2008, 5:53pm Report to Moderator
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Really well written script, nicely done.

I for one do not have a real problem with the crime for which Stan was sent to prison for, It happens. There was a guy in the UK called Tony Martin who shot a burgler who was in his own house and got life imprisonment (got reduced to 5 years on appeal). So all in all I can believe it.

I am not sure about the ocean part, a little but cliched and think the script is probably better off without it.

Good job.
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TheUsualSuspect
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I'm guessing M.O.S stands for Mit Out Sound????  If it does, can't you just say there is silence and not confuse the reader??

I was always under the impression we never write about the camera, that it's the director's job to place it. Meh.

Also, why does the stranger ask what the girl's name is when Stand just said it two seconds earlier? You could have said something like.

"Laura is it? Come here for a second"

It seemed out of place for him to ask her name.

Also the line about the shoes on his feet? You get the from Poolhall Junkies???


So far this is my favourite of all the OWC scripts I have read.

Good job.


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BPeterson
Posted: February 24th, 2008, 6:21pm Report to Moderator
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Solid entry, easy read. To answer Sean's question, MOS means no sound. This is a production term that could of been written different (such as starting out the paragraph with 'silenty,'). Some other small trivial notes:

At the beginning there's a line: He's a shell of a man. I don't feel this is necessary. You do a good job of establishing this with the character description.

On page 6, I'd lose the CUT TO:

Between pages 6 and 7, the dialogue is split without "more" and "cont'd". This is the only time a cont'd is recommended since the page breaks. It's not a huge deal but it's nice to do if the film went into pre-production and the script needed to be broken down.

On pages 8 & 9, you give camera directions and I think the descriptions of the ocean can be written without these directions. Describe the ocean as we see it and I think it'll have even more emotional impact.

Okay with that out of the way, the line on page 8 about a moist sucking trachea noise is a nice touch. Great description, it helped give it a quesy feeling.

good job overall!!
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mgj
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One of the better ones I've read so far.  This can be viewed as either an indictment against the judicial system or possibly as a character study about the soul's need to be free.  Or perhaps both.

The rape scene didn't feel gratuitous so I have no problem with it.  It fit the story.  The ocean scenes did feel a little disconnected though, mainly because I think there is a scene or two missing that would connect them to the rest of the story.  If, say we had a scene that establishes Stan's love of the sea - he could tell Laura how he'd like to sail around the world - then I think it would tie things together a little better.  A thought anyway.

I still thought this was a solid entry overall.  The tone, in particular, was spot-on and consistent throughout.  The characters felt like real people so good Job.

-Mike



"If at first, the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it." - Albert Einstein

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mgj  -  February 24th, 2008, 7:32pm
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bert
Posted: February 24th, 2008, 8:27pm Report to Moderator
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Is it a flaw to take the challenge a little too literally?  This one reads as a pastiche of prison clichés, from the opening scene forward.

But these scenes are composed well, and never seem to drag.  I am not sure the trial would have gone down quite like it did, with Laura’s eye-witness testimony, but that is only a minor flaw in the narrative.  And Matt’s final acceptance of his fate, as if he had no choice, makes him a weaker character than I would have liked.

So in the end, this piece is exactly what it is supposed to be to satisfy the challenge, but it is almost too exact.  The opening scene is a bit of a grabber, sure, but even that stops short of feeling really fresh, and more like a convention of the genre.  There are things I liked here, but they felt all too familiar.

OWC Score: 80%


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pwhitcroft
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This is a nice effort. The logic of the motivations needs clearing up.

The rape is a heavy start. It’s brave because after that you have to justify it without making it trivial. I felt you did it with one exception. The dialog a little later deliberately using the word rape doesn’t work.

Philip


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chism
Posted: February 25th, 2008, 11:20pm Report to Moderator
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I thought this one was pretty good. Though, I think it would probably play better in chronological order. Interrupting scenes with flashbacks was kind of irritating, especially when it was done for no apparent reason other than to have a flashback, like the scene in the courtroom. We’re in the courtroom, then the jury room for a second of dialogue, and then back to the courtroom. It got a little frustrating as the script went on.

Other than that, I really didn’t have a problem with anything else. It was well-written, with good dialogue and characters. It flowed fairly well (for the most part) and had a nice conclusion. Good job.


Matt.
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Abe from LA
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I will agree this piece is well written, but I was not wowed by it and didn't like the main character, Stan.

The route Stan takes to the story's end is somewhat interesting, but I felt like he never fought back to be the "good" person he was...  unless of course, he never was all that good.  Maybe he was a closet criminal, haha.
One thing you can do to satisfy those who thought he was convicted on a very questionable testimony, is to have Stan fire more than one shot at the robber.  Perhaps empty six rounds into the guy.  Overkill.

We never see him reduced to the level of a killer.  Yes he is handed a lot of injustice, by the courts and of course in the prison environment.  But we need to see the changes in him, from a likeable chap to a cold-blooded killer.  So, this is one of those story that would benefit from more pages.

Could by good if you take it beyond 12 pages.  
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