Sunday, April 13, 2008

Score Card For Mid-April


Monster movie assignment script - finished, delivered, and preparing for notes and rewrites. Shoots in a couple of months.

Family script from my treatment - dead... but the director likes it and wants to know if he can try to set it up elsewhere. Sure, why not? Odd Update: Seems it ain't quite dead! Someone else at the same company read it, loved it, and passed it over to production... so it still may happen.

That action project I tried to convert into an assignment - probably dead. No money, no contract... and the Producer doesn’t seem to be interested enough to call or e-mail and ask what’s going on.

Art house assignment - weird story idea from the producer, we’re still talking about it. May go next month.

Two specs that had traveled up the development chain... died. In one case, they thought it opened slow, in the other I have no idea what happened. Note to self: Always open script with naked women and explosions, no matter what the genre.

Next up - hopefully I finally get around to revising the damned book. Plus, some other specs are out there being read by folks. Who knows what will happen.

And, there's a mystery project I'm keeping hush-hush: It will either completely change my career... or may just be a lot of nothing.


TODAY'S SCRIPT TIP: How Stories Unfold
Yesterday’s Dinner: Pizza in Burbank.

Movies: SUPERHERO MOVIE - Needed to be 17% funnier. (just joking Craig)

Made single-handedly by Craig Mazin over at Artful Writer. He wrote, directed, produced, and plays a janitor. Of course, that doesn’t stop the end credit roll from being about 25 minutes of a 85 minute movie. You may think I’m joking, but this is the shortest movie with the longest end credit crawl I have ever seen. Of course, there are out takes in the end credits. Not just a couple of minutes of flubs, but whole scenes - some with stars that aren’t in the main body of the film! There may be a good 20 minutes of scenes! And most are pretty good - the whole scene with Woolverine having problems wiping his butt and Toilet Paper Hand Man coming to the “rescue” was just as funny as anything else in the movie.

And that gives you an idea of the type and level of humor in this film. Mostly a parody of SPIDER-MAN, with nerdy Rick Riker living with his aunt (Marion Ross) and uncle (Leslie Neilsen) after his parents (Robert Hays - great to see him in a ZAZ movie again! and Nicole Sullivan) are murdered (in a flashback from BATMAN BEGINS). Pretty much, scene-for-scene we get the SPIDER-MAN story, though this time it’s a dragonfly.

Rick keeps bumping into other superheroes from other movies, and here’s where the film could have been 17% funnier. Instead of some parody of the superhero, we get the actual superhero (played by some other actor) and some gag. So the Human Torch from Fantastic 4 catches fire and can’t put himself out... but they could have done that gag *and* found a funny variation on the Human Torch character. Storm is just Storm. Professor Xavier works well because he’s *not* the comic book character - he’s Tracy Morgan with no shortage of attitude and a wife (parody movie regular Regina Hall) who seems like she just stepped out of a Tyler Perry movie... oh, and she’s sure he’s been sleeping with Invisible Girl (Pamela Anderson - who, it must be noted, has unrealistically large breasts). They have a half dozen little bald kids in wheelchairs with super powers. These are funny things to do with the superhero characters - and I wish they’d done more with the actual superheroes they used (what if Human Torch was Gay?) or made them parody characters *like* actual superheroes, but with slightly different powers or personalities.

The plot is also too normal - I mean, Lex Luthor in the first SUPERMAN movie had a funnier evil plan! And when you add all of those old TV series like CAPTAIN NICE and MR. TERRIFIC, which had silly plots like bridges made of oatmeal and lines like Alice Ghostly’s response to her son admitting he does something that birds do, “Should I spread newspaper on the floor?” (NICE was from the creative team that gave us GET SMART, including Buck Henry!). Those shows had *funny* plots. SUPERGEO MOVIE has a villain who must kill one a day to stay alive.

SUPERHERO MOVIE has no shortage of fart jokes. In fact, every fart joke was used in the movie - there are none in the 20 minutes (or whatever) of closing credit materials. Marion Ross gets the majority of flatulence... and she’s combustible for an entire scene. When the odor gets so bad that our hero brings out a scented candle so his girlfriend can breathe, we can see the joke coming from a mile away... and that’s okay! It builds up suspense and anticipation. This probably adds a few laughs before the blue flame shoots across the room.

And, with that folks, I think I’m going to draw this review to a close. Funny if you like that kind of stuff (um, I do) and much better than most of the BLANK MOVIEs (the non-Zucker ones). Oh, and they recycle that ejector chair gag from, I think, the second NAKED GUN movie. And one guy did all of it.

- Bill


Ryan said...

I've seen one movie that opened with an exploding naked woman. It was kind of down-hill from there.

ObiDonWan said...

I'd like to see that opening scene. What movie was that, ryan?

Oasis said...


Ryan said...

Cyborg 2 but it's not as great as it sounds.

Oasis said...

I take it you're not a woman.

Richard McNally said...

LOL re starting any film regardless of genre with naked women and explosions.

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