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WTF? On Film 6: Mirrors

SPOILERS APLENTY When The Hub phoned me from the DVD store to report the only two recent movies we haven’t seen were this week Max Payne starring Mark Wahlberg and Mirrors starring Kiefer Sutherland, there seemed to be no contest. I’ve long since loved Ol’ Kief, since he’s starred in such childhood faves of mine Flatliners, Lost Boys and Young Guns and since of course there has been the fabulous 24. Plus Mirrors is directed by Alexandre Aja and I liked his remake of The Hills Have Eyes. So I settled down with Hub, some crisps and beer for what… Read More »WTF? On Film 6: Mirrors

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Preaching To The Converted? 6 Of The Best — Drama

Your Honour, members of the jury: we are gathered here today to discuss the impact of feature length dramas on an audience… Though drama is indeed my favourite (yes, possibly even above my beloved Horror), it has long been my belief such fare has no impact whatsoever in changing the attitudes of their viewers. Why? Because the very viewers such films attract already possess the beliefs and values explored by the drama in question – hence the audience watching said dramas in the first place: like attracts like. But don’t take my word for it; I will demonstrate. [Box Office… Read More »Preaching To The Converted? 6 Of The Best — Drama

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WTF? On Film 5: A Franchise Too Far

SPOILERS AHOY Yes, yes, they often made loads of money; yes, *someone* out there must’ve liked them and yes, I can only hope of writing a film that gets this kind of attention!! But to wrap up my WTF? series, here’s some of the movie franchises I think just did NOT quit while they were ahead… —————————————————————————————— 2 Fast 2 Furious. So we do the same movie – but this time ONLY with the really dull guy from the first? Puh-lease. Oh, but they’re still going: Tokyo Drift came after that and apparently there’s another in the pipeline, though Vin… Read More »WTF? On Film 5: A Franchise Too Far

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WTF? On Film 4: The Running Man

As regular readers know, I’ve always had a soft spot for Arnie, probably becuase he’s always been in the kind of movies I favour – the ones with monsters, extreme violence and quirky quips. My Dad was a big fan in the middle of Arnie’s heyday, so it was kind of inevitable: he had all the Big Man’s movies on VHS. We’d watch Arnie’s comedies like Twins together – but I was told I was SO grounded if I watched the likes of The Running Man or Predator. Hah. By the time I got to secondary school in 1990, I… Read More »WTF? On Film 4: The Running Man

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WTF? On Film 3: Van Helsing

SPOILERS DELUXE I can just imagine the Execs who commissioned VAN HELSING: “Get me a screenwriter who can deliver a script based on the Dracula myth… but make it new and make sure there’s some like, ninja stars/mini buzz saws in it. Oh: and Frankenstein. And Jekyll & Hyde. And monks. And hell! Let’s shove some werewolves in too, why not? But make sure there’s a reason FOR ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING IN IT – except maybe the ninja star/buzz saws, we’ll let them off that one. And call Hugh Jackman, he looks good with his shirt off, maybe he carry long… Read More »WTF? On Film 3: Van Helsing

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WTF? On Film 2: Doomsday

HERE THERE BE SPOILERS I had high hopes for Doomsday: the trailer looked cool I thought and I’d enjoyed both of writer/directior Neil Marshall’s previous efforts, The Descent and Dog Soldiers, bar a few minor quibbles over character. But horror is not *usually* noted for sympathetic characters and let’s face it, the boys in Dog Soldiers had some killer lines: “So if Red Riding Hood turns up with a bazooka and a bad attitude, I want you to chin the bitch!” Plus The Descent was one of the few horror movies to freak me out so royally I needed to… Read More »WTF? On Film 2: Doomsday

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WTF? On Film 1: Silent Hill

MEGA SPOILERS PRESENT When I first watched Silent Hill, I had no idea it was previously a video game. Even if I had, I doubt it would have deterred me; though I have never played on form of games system in my entire life (that’s right!) and have zero interest in computer games generally, I am actually of the opinion video games *can* create interesting, fun, movies – just as I believe comic books (sorry! GRAPHIC NOVELS) can too. And I wasn’t disappointed by Silent Hill (for the first three quarters anyway, but I’ll come back to that in a… Read More »WTF? On Film 1: Silent Hill

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12 Character Journeys We Can Learn From (No Real Spoilers)

We hear lots about films that get Oscar-Nominated; lots about films with mega stars in. Yet every now and again a film comes out that is simply excellent – yet does not seem to get the mentions it deserves. It might appear on a critics’ list of faves or there might be a short flurry of attention – then it might seem to sink without a trace or get forgotten with the passage of years. Other times, you will be completely unaware of the film until it turns up in the DVD bargain bin. Yet I find often it’s these… Read More »12 Character Journeys We Can Learn From (No Real Spoilers)

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All About Dramatic Irony And Twists In The Tale

All About Dramatic Irony Dramatic irony is a tool I see often in produced and published works, but hardly ever in spec scripts or unpublished novels. Recently I was talking with Uber-Agent Julian Friedmann and mentioned how much I love Yves Lavender’s book Writing Drama. Segnor Friedmann replied how much he loves the book’s section on dramatic irony, lamenting the fact that so few screenwriters actually use this fantastic device. His comments really struck a chord, so I think I’ll have a good look at what makes dramatic irony so great. What is Dramatic Irony? First off however, what is dramatic irony? Well, this… Read More »All About Dramatic Irony And Twists In The Tale

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Do Your Preparation: How To Write Outlines, Beat Sheets And Treatments

You should do your preparation! Bang2writers often ask me what is the “best” way to go about writing a screenplay or novel. My answer? There is no “best” way. But it’s definitely going to help if you’ve done your preparation first in the form of an outline, beat sheet and/or treatment. Here’s why preparation work helps you get rid of all the obvious pitfalls and crap FIRST, as it … GIVES your brain time to “breathe” and work out all the machinations of the plot and the character motivations and themes etc concurrently STOPS you writing a load of junk… Read More »Do Your Preparation: How To Write Outlines, Beat Sheets And Treatments

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