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September 2008 Archives

September 28, 2008

The Results Are In…

The Emmys were Sunday, and while the show itself was regarded as a disaster, I have to applaud some of the dark-horse winners: Bryan Cranston from Breaking Bad and Zeljko Ivanek from Damages both did exceptional work, worthy of the…

Posted by D. B. Bates at 12:00 AM | Print-Friendly | Comments (0) | Reviews, Idiot Boxing

September 7, 2008

A Smattering of Fall Premieres

The new fall season is upon us, with the return of Bones, and the premieres of cable shows Raising the Bar and Sons of Anarchy. Me? I think of cable as a summer venue, so cable shows announcing themselves in…

Posted by D. B. Bates at 12:00 AM | Print-Friendly | Comments (0) | Reviews, Idiot Boxing

September 14, 2008

Changing of the Guard

As fall shows continue to premiere, cable shows conclude. This week saw the premiere of Fringe and the return of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, while Monk and Psych have ended their abbreviated summer runs. Bones (Fox) — Well, I…

Posted by D. B. Bates at 12:00 AM | Print-Friendly | Comments (0) | Reviews, Idiot Boxing

September 21, 2008

More Car Chases

The Burn Notice finale, combined with binge-watching The Rockford Files DVD, has made me realize something very, very important about the current television landscape: there is an alarming scarcity of car chases. Here’s the thing: car chases kick ass. They…

Posted by D. B. Bates at 12:00 AM | Print-Friendly | Comments (0) | Reviews, Idiot Boxing

September 5, 2008

Asian Street Hookers #46

I felt a strange sense of déjà vu after watching Asian Street Hookers #46. Its disastrous attempts to undermine and demean Asian culture reminded me of Screwing Asia, while its rock-bottom production values and sloppy direction made Fresh Outta High School 9 look like 2005’s Pirates.

Here’s how lazy the Asian Street Hookers series has become: they’ve all but abandoned the “hooker” pretense, referencing it only twice (in five scenes). We’re left with the implication that, while all the featured women, only two are opportunistic tramps, which is very different from being a “hooker.” For example: if they got all skanked up and walked up and down Melrose until a half-drunk embarrassment going through a hard divorce pulled up in his tan Volvo station wagon and slurred, “Wanna party?” — that’s a hooker. If they’re casually walking home from work, a guy stops them and starts rubbing their genitals and they say, “Wait a sec — that’ll cost you” — that’s the free market at work. These women aren’t hookers. Or maybe they are, appearing in tripe like this.

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Posted by D. B. Bates at 12:00 AM | Print-Friendly | Comments (0) | Sexual Velvet, Reviews

September 19, 2008

Edward Penishands

I’d like to start this review with a brief history to put this important work into its proper context. For those who do not remember, by the late ’80s the U.S.’s post-feminist malaise caused a shift in relationship dynamics. A sort of unusual emasculation of the male gender occurred, trying to reconcile the sudden, male-like aggression of the opposite sex by embracing the softer so-called “feminine side” within themselves. This spawned an archetype designated at the time as “Sensitive Ponytail Man” or “Sensitive Man of the ’90s,” currently referred to by the less cumbersome “Pussy.” This type of person went into films like Wall Street and Point Break as affirmations of their machismo and intellectual superiority, but they invariably shed a few tears before the closing credits, often waiting long after the theatre emptied out, so they could wipe their tears and let the redness fade from their cheeks before leaving the dark theatrical womb.

Of course, such a drastic change in the male psyche also dictated a change in their adult entertainment. Watching the erotica from 1985 to 1995, you’ll see a radical shift in the type of sexual endeavors portrayed — gone is the “woo ‘em, bang ‘em, leave ‘em” attitude, replaced by a gentler emphasis on foreplay. Manual stimulation and cunnilingus became rote aspects of each sex act, rather than the “classic” model of stripping down for intromission.

Read "Edward Penishands (1991)" »

Posted by D. B. Bates at 12:00 AM | Print-Friendly | Comments (0) | Sexual Velvet, Reviews

September 12, 2008

Hookers and Blow

Addiction. Man’s most dangerous of foes. No other force can alter a man’s psychology and physiology so rapidly, so completely. It can render the most virile of men impotent; it can hurtle the weak among us to the precipice of death. Addiction is a force that can be stopped, with great effort and expense (both financially and spiritual), but it can never be destroyed. It always remains, in the hidden recesses of the mind, waiting for a moment of weakness to pounce and destroy again.

Brandon Iron’s tour de force Hookers and Blow explores this disease with a jarring mixture of harrowing drama and gentle humor. In casting this film, auteur Iron trusts friend and longtime co-star Joe Blow to carry the brunt of the emotional heavy lifting. Iron himself co-stars, and the two actors — ostensibly playing themselves, lending additional verisimilitude to the gritty, realistic world Iron creates — drift down a tragic path. Contrary to what you might expect from the title and DVD box cover, this is a tale of sex addiction — Iron brilliantly uses “blow” as a pun, alluding to both Blow’s name and the film’s harrowing final scene but not cocaine.

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Posted by D. B. Bates at 12:00 AM | Print-Friendly | Comments (0) | Sexual Velvet, Reviews

September 26, 2008

Fuck My Mom and Me 5

I confess I had some reservations about reviewing this, the fifth in a series, when I hadn’t seen any of the previous entries. Would I be lost in the drama, or did these movies work as standalone features? I found out rather quickly that the Fuck My Mom and Me series is an anthology of shorts with little connection to one another outside the premise and the unending presence of producer/director Stoney Curtis, the semi-mythical “man behind the curtain” who interviews the female subjects before and after their love-making sessions. There is no story to speak of, so I had no problem plunging in to the depths of depravity contained in Fuck My Mom and Me 5.

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Posted by D. B. Bates at 12:00 AM | Print-Friendly | Comments (0) | Sexual Velvet, Reviews

September 28, 2008

Stan McKagan Proposes a Ban on the Industry’s Midwinter of Cocks

CANOGA PARK, CA — All right, everyone. We’re going to go around the room, and I want to see an honest show of hands from the men in the audience: who thinks double-penetration is erotic? I didn’t think so….

Posted by D. B. Bates at 12:00 AM | Print-Friendly | Comments (0) | Sexual Velvet, Reviews

September 3, 2008

Hyperreal

Author: Skip Woods Genre: Action/Sci-Fi Storyline: 4 Dialogue: 3 Characterization: 4 Writer’s Potential: 3 Jump to: [Synopsis] [Comments] Recommendation?Pass Logline:A retired criminal, forced into pulling off a diamond heist, uses a mind-switching technology to find a kidnapped girl, get revenge,…

Posted by D. B. Bates at 12:43 PM | Print-Friendly | Comments (0) | Professional Script Coverage

September 24, 2008

The Spy Next Door

Author: Joe Ballarini Genre: Comedy/Spy Thriller Storyline: 6 Dialogue: 6 Characterization: 6 Writer’s Potential: 6 Jump to: [Synopsis] [Comments] Recommendation?Consider Logline:A bored accountant gets some excitement in his life when an international spy moves in next door. Synopsis:Somewhere in the…

Posted by D. B. Bates at 9:15 PM | Print-Friendly | Comments (0) | Professional Script Coverage

War of the Gods (a.k.a., Immortals)

Author: Charley Parlapanides & Vlas Parlapanides Genre: Action/Fantasy Storyline: 3 Dialogue: 4 Characterization: 3 Writer’s Potential: 4 Jump to: [Synopsis] [Comments] Recommendation?Pass Logline:An ancient Greek peasant seeks revenge against the demonic forces that killed his mother. Synopsis:In 1900 B.C., THESEUS,…

Posted by D. B. Bates at 5:23 PM | Print-Friendly | Comments (0) | Professional Script Coverage

Season of the Witch

Author: Bragi Schut Genre: Horror Storyline: 4 Dialogue: 5 Characterization: 3 Writer’s Potential: 5 Jump to: [Synopsis] [Comments] Recommendation?Pass Logline:At the height of the Black Plague, a group of knights and clergymen transport a suspected witch across France. Synopsis:LaVEY DE…

Posted by D. B. Bates at 12:32 PM | Print-Friendly | Comments (0) | Professional Script Coverage

September 3, 2008

About the Author

Author: Sebastian Gutierrez Genre: Comedy Storyline: 5 Dialogue: 7 Characterization: 8 Writer’s Potential: 7 Jump to: [Synopsis] [Comments] Recommendation?Weak Consider Logline:A promiscuous writer reflects on his life choices when he learns a one-night-stand attempted suicide after he criticized her writing….

Posted by D. B. Bates at 7:08 PM | Print-Friendly | Comments (0) | Professional Script Coverage

The Cross

Author: Andrew Niccol Genre: Sci-Fi/Drama Storyline: 6 Dialogue: 8 Characterization: 6 Writer’s Potential: 7 Jump to: [Synopsis] [Comments] Recommendation?Weak Consider Logline:In the future, citizens of an oppressed country struggle to cross a dangerous border into a land of freedom and…

Posted by D. B. Bates at 4:31 PM | Print-Friendly | Comments (0) | Professional Script Coverage

September 26, 2008

An Invisible Sign of My Own

Author: Mike Ellis & Pam Falk Genre: Comedy Storyline: 6 Dialogue: 6 Characterization: 4 Writer’s Potential: 8 Jump to: [Synopsis] [Comments] Recommendation?Pass Logline:When an obsessive-compulsive woman is hired as a math teacher, she must face the fears that drive her…

Posted by D. B. Bates at 5:10 PM | Print-Friendly | Comments (0) | Professional Script Coverage

Little Murder

Author: Gerald Di Pego Genre: Crime/Supernatural/Thriller Storyline: 4 Dialogue: 6 Characterization: 5 Writer’s Potential: 5 Jump to: [Synopsis] [Comments] Recommendation?Pass Logline:The ghost of one of a serial killer’s victims helps a disgraced cop track her killer. Synopsis:During the chaos and…

Posted by D. B. Bates at 6:35 PM | Print-Friendly | Comments (0) | Professional Script Coverage

September 28, 2008

The Post-Credits Scene

Disclaimer: This post is in no way a reflection of my frustration at reading no fewer than three screenplays that include stupid, unnecessary post-credits scenes. It’s merely a hypothetical argument designed to help you, the screenwriter.

I’ve bitched about this before, so you you know what I’m talking about — Ferris Bueller coming out of his bathroom to whine that the movie’s over, you can go home now; the “epilogue” that finishes off the third Pirates of the Caribbean movie; Skeletor screeching “I’ll be baaaaaack!!!” at the end of Masters of the Universe. It’s the post-credits scene, which can sometimes serve a function but… Does it work in the screenplay?

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Posted by D. B. Bates at 11:16 PM | Print-Friendly | Comments (0) | Screenwriting Articles