Sunday, December 6, 2015

Movie Franchises based on a Book Series

Major movies based in a best selling book are commonplace and examples of this would include The Godfather, the Exorcist and many others. Movies based on a series of books are less common but in recent years there has been an explosion of movies like this, starting with The Harry Potter Series then the Twilight Series followed by Insurgent, and finally this Hunger Games series which has ended with the fourth installment The Hunger Games MockingJay Part 2. What is even stranger about this increase in movies like this is that they are all based on children's books and this is definitely something that has never happened before. Some of these movies have been good, as an example some of the Twilight movies and others its really been a mystery why they have been so popular. The trend now seems to be that if there is a children's book series that is popular that the Producers in Hollywood know that they have a "built-in" audience so many more movie series like this will be made in the future. All we can hope is that the quality of the stories are either good or great or at the very least better than what we have seen so far.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

How and Why are bad movies made?

After years of witnessing and sitting through some very bad movies and seeing first hand the difficulty of writing a good or great screenplay and then getting an agent and then turning that miracle into an actual movie I have finally come to the realization that so many movies are made because of corruption in Hollywood. Friends making promises to other friends, favors paid in order to make some other movie or get some other script approved. Right now it seems that Seth Rogan and Adam Sandler have cornered the market on getting some very bad movies released and somehow bypassing the DVD and B movie path to go directly to the mainstream theaters. Some recent examples of this are the Interview, Pixels and most recently the Night Before.  These movies are so bad that anyone who read the screenplay would realize immediately that there is no way a movie this bad should see the light of day.  The worst part about this is that some very good movies or great movies will never be made because garbage like this is taking up all the time and money that could be devoted instead to a script that is worthwhile.  Hollywood is a business made up of favors and pay-offs and some very bad decisions that over time will degrade the quality of entertainment that gets put out into the mainstream movie theaters in this country. Too many of the wrong people are in charge of the decisions that are made that this is highly unfortunate for those of us who love to go to the movies and hope to see something that has some quality.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Why is there still smoking in movies?

Wouldn't all of us who go to the movies want to know just how much huge cigarette companies like Phillip Morris pay producers of movies to show people smoking in movies? It seems very clear that to get enough money to make movies for many of these producers, receiving big payoffs from the big cigarette companies is one great way to get more money. This is not the 30's, 40's or 50's anymore. We have all known for over 40 years now that smoking kills people in about 100 different ways and because of this, movies should not show any actor in any role smoking and should have been banned a long time ago.

The movie Freeheld which has recently been released shows smoking for the first time as what it really is: a habit that kills people horribly, with lung cancer, heart ailments and numerous other cancers. Maybe one day hopefully there will be a huge boycott of movies that show characters smoking; but until that time, it seems that there will be no end or even a reduction of smoking in movies which I for one am very sick of seeing so often.

Hollywood and Smoking: A Brief History

Monday, July 27, 2015

Great Boxing Movies

The recently released movie "Southpaw" has reminded everyone about some of the great boxing movies of the past and this one is very easy. Rocky, which came out in 1976 and won best picture that year is by far the best movie ever made about boxing. This movie showed the real and very depressing life of a club fighter and the remote miracle of getting a shot at the title and "going the distance" which everyone can relate to. Rocky 2 which came out in 1978 was a great movie too; almost as good as Rocky but this movie was not even nominated for any awards. Rocky 3 was a very good movie when it came out in 1982, but following that was Rocky 4 which was more of a cartoon than a movie and finally Rocky 5 in 1990 was just a pretty bad movie. Stallone came back one last time with the movie Balboa in 2006 and I found this movie to be rather depressing because he decided to kill off his wife Adrian, which I thought was a very bad decision and way to end the franchise. The boxing scenes at the end of this movie were good but not nearly as good as the first 3 Rocky movies. A final movie about Apollo Creed's son Creed will come out later this year and perhaps this will spawn a whole new series of Rocky related movies.

As far as other great boxing movies, they have been very few and far between until this new movie Southpaw.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Self publishing a book UPDATE

I found my solution to avoid the exorbitant costs of publishing a book through a publisher. The solution is simple and its free and its called This is what I did and I now have my book on Amazon in both Kindle and softcover form. The publishers I talked to were going to charge me 3900 and 7500 respectively and that was suppose to involve some kind of promotion and marketing. Well, I have done that on my own as well and while this is going to be a very long process, its sure cheaper doing it this way.

If you want to publish a book and you know how to market it, then you should use the free service Createspace. Its just that simple.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Writing Subtext in a Screenplay

Writing "On the nose" dialog is considered a bad thing when you write a screenplay. Writing exactly what a person thinks or wants to say in a scene is considered boring, run of the mill and amateurish. Instead it is said you should write subtext, which is how people really talk in real life. Well in real life I have found that most people talk both ways. They either say what they mean or they are subtle with their comments, using backhanded was of saying what they really mean and this depends on the kind of person you are talking to more than any other reason. Overuse of subtext in dialog can be more annoying and confuse the audience, therefore a middle ground must be found; a middle ground between the boring on the nose dialog and the overly subtext-ed ways of making a point.

As far as dialog my favorite movie of all time would be both of the Godfather movies. The subtext was just right and the on the nose dialog was necessary in spots. Nothing was over done, or over "fluffed". There was never a dull moment in dialog or action during both of these great movies.

Screenwriting is so difficult and requires so many re-writes because you have to write and then re-write dialog to get it just right. Just how do people really talk? How do the characters in the movie your writing talk? This is the challenge we all have when writing a screenplay.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

How bad do some actors want to be an actor in Hollywood

After seeing the horrible movie 50 Shades of Grey I wondered once again how desperate some actors in Hollywood seem to be to grab the brass ring and become a famous or rich actor.

The actress in this movie, Dakota Johnson showed almost her entire body and humiliated herself in a very bad movie and she is the daughter of Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith. I guess she had several meetings with her agent and the producers of this very bad movie and decided that 50 Shades of Grey was going to be her ticket to stardom but the reality is that there is a very good chance that both she and the other actor in the movie have ruined their careers before they even started.

This movie was about as bad a movie as I have ever seen. The story made no sense and you just knew that any normal woman would go running for her life if he ever saw the "play room" the main character in this movie showed her not to mention the legal contract she had to sign to be his submissive in this movie.

The only good thing about this horrible movie was that it ended suddenly and as I left the theater I heard many very bad and accurate comments about how bad this movie was and how happy everybody was that it was finally over.