Movies

Everything That’s Wrong With Film Critics

batmanvsuperman2

The release of Batman V Superman this past weekend has caused many to wonder whether film critics have any weight on the viewer’s decisions. It’s probably not a new topic of debate, but it gives me the chance of making a brief reflection on the role of the critic.

First things first, let it be known that I bought a ticket for the Zack Snyder movie and went and watched it. I didn’t like it, mainly because I thought it was stupid. But that’s the full extent of my opinion, and whatever else I might have to say about it will be delivered to friends over beers. (I also made a mean tweet about it, but if you don’t want any spoilers, you shouldn’t look at it—no matter how silly the spoiler in question may seem—.)

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Screenwriting

The Best (Available) Scripts of 2015

2015

The last few years have been great for readers of scripts, and 2015 was not going to be less so. Although a comprehensive library of scripts made public by studios —”free and legal”— can be found at GITS, here’s a selection of the ones I’ve found most interesting, or I look forward to reading most.

In other news, the Black List 2015 and Hit List 2015 have been also recently published: you can check out the chosen scripts, their authors, and loglines in the PDF files linked above.

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Screenwriting

The Blacklist: My Experience

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Yesterday a new partnership was announced between The Blacklist and ALMA Guionistas, that will give Spanish screenwriters the opportunity to enjoy discounted rates in the script-hosting services of the site. As a novel writer from Spain who has spent some time in Los Angeles, I feel compelled to write about my personal experience regarding The Blacklist, in case it proves helpful to anyone in a similar situation as mine.

First off, and I want to be very clear: this is good news. Any opportunity for Spanish screenwriters to approach the channels of the Hollywood script market is not only welcome, but much needed. So, congratulations to ALMA for making this partnership happen. It is a very hopeful first step.

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Entertainment Industry

The Casablanca Experiment

Casablanca,_title

All film buffs and cinephiles have seen the wonderful Casablanca, and an overwhelming majority consider it a masterpiece. The same goes for many other classics we consider to be true, lasting works of art.

And yet, if we ask ourselves, “Would this movie be made today?” Would it get past the never ending layers of filters —readers, creative execs, big-time execs, financiers, studio analysts, whatnot— that today’s Hollywood puts up to minimize commercial risk? I understand the question is not fair, because what was made at a certain time and place doesn’t necessarily have to made at a different time and place… But, since we all agree it is such a powerful film, I’ll take the liberty of posing the question.

Would Casablanca get green-lit in present-day Hollywood?

And I will answer with a real-life experiment, cited from Bill Mesce‘s book,  Overkill: The Rise And Fall of The Thriller Cinema (McFarland: 2007.)

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Entertainment Industry

Broken Toys

Captura de pantalla 2014-08-12 19.15.41

Toys are objects of wonder, full of potential, containers of endless possibilities. Kids oftentimes take their new toys and observe them first in awe, taking in every angle and mechanism, before milking infinite worlds and tales out of them. But sometimes, all that wonder ends abruptly when the toy is stepped on by a careless adult; or when its gears —not infrequently flawed by poor manufacturing— get tired and give out.

But other times —most of the times, maybe— toys break because kids put them to the wrong use. Wingless action figures take a shot at flying, RC cars attempt audacious submarine journeys, and all kinds of innocent objects transform into blunt force weapons. 

Yesterday Robin Williams was found dead in his home. Early reports have told us about a possible suicide. We know about his troubles with drug addiction. And we have also heard about his depression. We all mourn his loss, as someone who, through his many memorable performances on the screen, became part of our lives.

But like many other times, this kind of news makes me think. They always make me think there is something wrong with the deaths of so many vibrant, wonder-filled, awe-inspiring, well achieved public figures. They make me think about broken toys.

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Entertainment Industry

What Are We Doing To PG-13? Hollywood Problems (2)

It was a hot summer night in the middle of August, and someone said, “let’s watch a movie.” For some reason, we picked Jack Reacher (Christopher McQuarrie, 2013.) It was fairly bad, of course, but that’s alright. What amazed me was the shocking level of explicit, graphic violence present on a PG-13 movie. And thus, the idea behind this whole article was planted.

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Entertainment Industry

What Happened This Summer? Hollywood Problems (1)

After a fascinating summer movie season — still ongoing — with more tentpole titles than ever, few of them outstanding and many embarrassing, for the first time in a few years there seems to be a fairly widespread sense of, “something’s wrong with Hollywood.” This might have been prompted by Steven Spielberg’s prophetic announcement that the industry is bound to implode sooner than later, as well as by the somewhat poor numbers seen in the domestic box office.

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