movies, music and everything else

This blog is about pretty much what the title implies... movies, music and everything else.

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Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

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Wednesday, January 11, 2006

2005 HUMBY'S: screenplay


written by: Steven Gaghan
based on “See No Evil” by Robert Baer

Back in 2000, Steven Gaghan won an academy award for his screenplay for TRAFFIC, a complex tale of drugs and their effects on society and individuals. Now, with SYRIANA, Gaghan tackles a more complex issue. This time that issue is the dependency on oil by countries, societies and individuals. In today’s political and social times, this is an issue that is at the forefront of most people’s mind. There are many things that Gaghan juggles in this story. There are about 12 different storylines, dozens of major characters, and all of the political and economic motivations all intertwining with our three major plotlines. The dialogue is sharp and well crafted. This is a complicated story and one that doesn’t pander to the general public (which many of today’s movies seem to do). SYRIANA has been called over complicated, but I really disagree with that statement. This is a very complicated issue and Gaghan deals with it in a intelligent and well thought out manner. He hit the ball out of the park in 2000, and does it again here in 2005.

written by Larry McMurtry & Diana Ossana
based on the book by Annie Proulx

This is the best romance of the year and it came from a fairly unusual story of two cowboys that fall in love. The lead of this film (Ennis) is a quiet, reserved man who represses his emotions and doesn’t say much of anything. Having a character like this as the lead of a film makes it very difficult as a writer to get the proper emotion across, but it is done incredibly well here. Ennis is one of the best developed characters that I saw in a movie this year. Much of this is accomplished through the acting, but it all starts with the script. This is a simple and beautiful tale of love, both repressed and forbidden.

written by Tony Kushner & Eric Roth
based on “Vengeance” by George Jonas

This is the story of the vengeance taken by the Israeli government in retaliation to the Palestinian attack at the 1972 Munich Olympic Games. What does it do to a man to kill people? What does vengeance accomplish? Where does a person’s loyalty lie? How are we supposed to deal with violence done against us? These are just some of the questions that are asked in MUNICH. They are not truly answered, but I don’t believe that there is an “answer” to these questions. MUNICH is a thoughtful and very responsible film and is maybe the most important subject of a film this year…

written by Dan Futterman
based on the book by Gerald Clarke

A film about a great writer that is extremely well written… Well I guess it would have to be for the film to work at all. Most of the talk about CAPOTE is about Hoffman and his portrayal of Truman Capote, but once again, it all starts with the script. You must create the character on the page before the actor can bring him to life. In this case, Futterman does a great job in capturing the eccentric and outspoken Capote. In a way, this is a story about the writing of another story (IN COLD BLOOD). CAPOTE gets into the head of the author and as the audience, we go through this journey with him. To do this effectively, credit must go to the writer.

written by Frank Miller & Robert Rodriguez
based on the comic book by Frank Miller

This is maybe the most fun film of the year. The dialogue is just pure pulp. As far as adapting another source and turning it into a film, the goal is to be true to the origional material. This is the comic on the screen. Rodriguez captured a comic (in every possible way) better than i ever thought was possible. The stories and the dialogue are pure Miller, but there is more than that to screen writting and Rodriguez fills in all of the blanks to form a great collaberation. This is a great movie and a great script. It's just pure pulpy goodness.


written by George Clooney & Grant Heslov

This is a intelligent, thought provoking script about one of the heroes of broadcasting that is as relevant today as it was back in the fifties. Clooney and Heslov capture the time and the surroundings so well that when actual footage is used in the film, we never skip a beat. There was a poetry to the way that Murrow spoke and it is throughout this film. The dialogue is really well written, sharp and clever. In a movie that is 90% talking, never once are you less than totally engaged in what is happening on the screen. Since this is a film about the confrontation between two giants, the film is confined to one basic location, the newsroom at CBS. The way that the script is crafted, we feel apart of the surroundings so much that we are a fly on the wall, watching history unfold before our eyes.

2. 2046
written by Wong Kar Wai

The way that Wong Kar Wai works is that he writes as the movie is filming and many of the scenes are improvised. This technique can be a recipe for disaster, but in the hands of a filmmaker of this caliber, the raw energy and emotion come across in the final product like it never could in a more structured environment. This is a heart breaking film about a very sad man and the movie takes it’s time in telling his story. The characters are so fantastic that I just wanted to stay with him because I could identify so much and I came to care about him as if he were a friend going through a difficult time. For a man that hates to write, Wong Kar Wai creates some of the most emotionally realistic and effective stories I have seen.

written by Noah Baumbach

Baumbach takes full advantage of his two lead characters being writers when it comes to the dialogue in this film. “It’s the fillet of the neighborhood.” “He’s a Philistine. He doesn’t like books and interesting films.” Rarely do I hear dialogue that is so wonderfully pretentious and colorful. Based somewhat on his own experiences, THE SQUID AND THE WHALE deals with a Brooklyn family that is breaking apart during the mid 80’s. The older child idolizes his father so much that it seems like he has never had an original thought… he just recycles what he hears his father say. There are many classic lines throughout this film such as when he refers to “The Metamorphosis” as Kafkaesque. This is simply ridiculous, but it is a kid just talking about something he really has no knowledge of. All of the colorful dialogue aside, this is a really emotional and personal story that deals with divorce better than almost any film. I don’t know how much of this film is based on Baumbach’s actual childhood, but it feels like it is a transcript… a huge compliment to him as a writer.

written by Craig Brewer

This movie made me care about a pimp that wants to be a rapper… I think that it deserves a reward just for that. HUSTLE AND FLOW captures the life of a pimp in a way that allows the audience to identify with him and understand why he does what he does. This film gets into a man’s struggle to make more out of his life and pursue his passion. It is an underdog story and a really good one. There is a cadence to the dialogue unique to any I am familiar with and it totally captivated me. It is a look into a world that I knew nothing about, but was fascinated by.

written by Paul Haggis

At its core, CRASH is an urban fairytale. Sure this is a way to explain the unrealistic coincidence, but there is a lot of truth to it. Haggis is making a statement about race relationships in today’s society but I don’t think everything in this movie is to be taken literally. Everyone is going through similar issues, but they are all unique. The stories intercut beautifully and the characters pop off the screen. This is all a result of the writing by Haggis. The strongest part of CRASH is the script.


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