MOTHER’S INFERIOR AND SUPERIOR: Movie Reviews of Lady Bird and Noviate by Howard Casner

First, a word from our sponsors: I am now offering a new consultation service: so much emphasis has been given lately to the importance of the opening of your screenplay, I now offer coverage for the first twenty pages at the cost of $20.00.  For those who don’t want to have full coverage on their screenplay at this time, but want to know how well their script is working with the opening pages, this is perfect for you.  I’ll help you not lose the reader on page one. 

 

Ever wonder what a reader for a contest or agency thinks when he reads your screenplay?  FosCheck out my new e-book published on Amazon: Rantings and Ravings of a Screenplay Reader, including my series of essays, What I Learned Reading for Contests This Year, and my film reviews of 2013.  Only $2.99. http://ow.ly/xN31r

 

and check out my Script Consultation Services: http://ow.ly/HPxKE

Warning: SPOILERS

I think I will begin this review with a personal anecdote. Years ago, I was in the audience for one of the final previews for Stephen Sondheim’s musical Merrily We Roll Along, a tale told in reverse about three friends who betray the ideals they had when just starting out. It was a disaster. An unmitigated one at that. And it closed, I believe, around two weeks after it opened, if it lasted that long.

It was so terrible, I though the songs, with a couple of exceptions, were not just Sondheim’s worst, they were just bad.

A year later, I was in the cutout section of a record store (remember those?) and I ran across a cast recording for the show. I bought it and listened to it anew and realized the songs were wonderful and that it had been the production that was, well, let us be kind and say…lacking. Read the rest of this entry »


REEL MOTHERS: Movie reviews of I, Tonya, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri by Howard Casner

First, a word from our sponsors: I am now offering a new consultation service: so much emphasis has been given lately to the importance of the opening of your screenplay, I now offer coverage for the first twenty pages at the cost of $20.00.  For those who don’t want to have full coverage on their screenplay at this time, but want to know how well their script is working with the opening pages, this is perfect for you.  I’ll help you not lose the reader on page one. 

 

Ever wonder what a reader for a contest or agency thinks when he reads your screenplay?  FosCheck out my new e-book published on Amazon: Rantings and Ravings of a Screenplay Reader, including my series of essays, What I Learned Reading for Contests This Year, and my film reviews of 2013.  Only $2.99. http://ow.ly/xN31r

 

and check out my Script Consultation Services: http://ow.ly/HPxKE

Warning: SPOILERS

I, Tonya, the new film from writer Steven Rogers and director Craig Gillespie, is a fictional account of the ice skating scandal where the husband of skater Tonya Harding, along with her bodyguard, conspired to break the leg of Tonya’s main rival, Nancy Kerrigan.

No matter what else it may be, I, Tonya is very successful and could easily be a real crowd pleaser. Structurally, it’s a forthright dramatization of the events punctuated with talking head interviews of the characters looking back on events. It’s often extremely funny and at times manages to show some empathy for the title character.

Though it is effective, it also at times feels a bit condescending and exploitive, as if the filmmakers were treating this as an elongated Jerry Springer show. So the laughs are sometimes a bit cruel and at the expense of the real life counterparts.

Read the rest of this entry »


MAKING A KILLING: Movie Reviews of The Killing of a Sacred Deer and Murder on the Orient Express by Howard Casner

First, a word from our sponsors: I am now offering a new consultation service: so much emphasis has been given lately to the importance of the opening of your screenplay, I now offer coverage for the first twenty pages at the cost of $20.00.  For those who don’t want to have full coverage on their screenplay at this time, but want to know how well their script is working with the opening pages, this is perfect for you.  I’ll help you not lose the reader on page one. 

 

Ever wonder what a reader for a contest or agency thinks when he reads your screenplay?  FosCheck out my new e-book published on Amazon: Rantings and Ravings of a Screenplay Reader, including my series of essays, What I Learned Reading for Contests This Year, and my film reviews of 2013.  Only $2.99. http://ow.ly/xN31r

 

and check out my Script Consultation Services: http://ow.ly/HPxKE

Warning: SPOILERS

When I saw writer/director Yorgos Lanthimos and writer Efthymis Filippou’s earlier film Dogtooth, I must be honest and say I didn’t have the most favorable reaction and many might consider that odd.

I felt it a rather dated attack on middle class mores that had already been done to death in the 1950’s and 60’s, especially in the off-Broadway theater.

But then I saw The Lobster, their last film, an hysterical satire and social commentary on love and relationships and the society that promotes them.

And now I’ve seen their latest, The Killing of a Sacred Deer, and I realized I was partially right about my earlier analysis because the more I see of their work, the more I realize the turgid social commentary of those decades are not their main influences. Rather, these two artists are the 21st Century embodiment of the existentialist/theater of the absurd practitioners like Beckett, Ionesco, Sartre, Albee and others of that ilk.

Read the rest of this entry »


42. The REAL Short Box: Superhero Smackdown 8!

In This Podcast Episode, The Gang discuss Elementals, Vampires, Wizards, Warriors, and more!


THE ART OF THE MATTER – Part One: Movie Reviews of The Meyorwitz Stories (Both New and Old), Rebel in the Rye, Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold by Howard Casnef

For questions: hcasner@aol.com

First, a word from our sponsors: I am now offering a new service: so much emphasis has been given lately to the importance of the opening of your screenplay, I now offer coverage for the first twenty pages at the cost of $20.00.  For those who don’t want to have full coverage on their screenplay at this time, but want to know how well their script is working with the opening pages, this is perfect for you.  I’ll help you not lose the reader on page one. 

 

Ever wonder what a reader for a contest or agency thinks when he reads your screenplay?  Check out my new e-book published on Amazon: Rantings and Ravings of a Screenplay Reader, including my series of essays, What I Learned Reading for Contests This Year, and my film reviews of 2013.  Only $2.99. http://ow.ly/xN31r

 

and check out my Script Consultation Services: http://ow.ly/HPxKE

Warning: SPOILERS

The Meyerwitz Stories (Both Old and New) opened both on the Netflix streaming platform and in the theaters at the same time. The goal, as I surmise it, it to have a qualifying run for the Oscar race (and screeners have been sent) while giving it as little theatrical distribution as possible.

Sort of like having your cake and eating it to.

It’s hard to say, but I’m not sure they have that strong a chance. Many voters might feel like this is cheating (and Cannes refused to show any Netflix product).

But The Meyerwitz Stories…, written and directed by the intelligent and erudite Noah Baumbach, is quite good, even quite marvelous and definitely deserves an audience. Read the rest of this entry »


A GAY IN THE COUNTRY – Part One: Movie Reviews of God’s Own Country and BPM (Beats Per Minute) by Howard Casner

For questions: hcasner@aol.com

First, a word from our sponsors: I am now offering a new service: so much emphasis has been given lately to the importance of the opening of your screenplay, I now offer coverage for the first twenty pages at the cost of $20.00.  For those who don’t want to have full coverage on their screenplay at this time, but want to know how well their script is working with the opening pages, this is perfect for you.  I’ll help you not lose the reader on page one. 

 

Ever wonder what a reader for a contest or agency thinks when he reads your screenplay?  Check out my new e-book published on Amazon: Rantings and Ravings of a Screenplay Reader, including my series of essays, What I Learned Reading for Contests This Year, and my film reviews of 2013.  Only $2.99. http://ow.ly/xN31r

 

and check out my Script Consultation Services: http://ow.ly/HPxKE

Warning: SPOILERS

Though God’s Own Country could be described as England’s Brokeback Mountain, such a quick and superficial comparison should not take away from the startlingly effectiveness of both films.

The British story takes place in Yorkshire, a location as harsh and cold and unforgiving as the title implies (the phrase was first used to describe Wicklow Mountains in Ireland, but has come to be used to describe many locations, including Yorkshire, that are considered favored by God). Read the rest of this entry »


IF I HAD A HAMMER: Movie Reviews of Thor: Ragnorak and Justice League by Howard Casner

For questions: hcasner@aol.com

First, a word from our sponsors: I am now offering a new service: so much emphasis has been given lately to the importance of the opening of your screenplay, I now offer coverage for the first twenty pages at the cost of $20.00.  For those who don’t want to have full coverage on their screenplay at this time, but want to know how well their script is working with the opening pages, this is perfect for you.  I’ll help you not lose the reader on page one. 

 

Ever wonder what a reader for a contest or agency thinks when he reads your screenplay?  Check out my new e-book published on Amazon: Rantings and Ravings of a Screenplay Reader, including my series of essays, What I Learned Reading for Contests This Year, and my film reviews of 2013.  Only $2.99. http://ow.ly/xN31r

 

and check out my Script Consultation Services: http://ow.ly/HPxKE

 

Warning: SPOILERS

When I was young, I tended to not favor DC Comics, but gravitated toward those of the Marvel variety. This is because as a barefoot boy with cheek I never really fit in, was an outsider, so I found the Marvel universe, with its conflicted superheroes and conflicted supervillains, to be more reflective as life as I saw it.

Spiderman was especially someone I could identify with and why Spider-Man: Homecoming is the best Spidey film because it most closely mirrored what my life at school was like.

This approach, which often drives the movies based on Marvel characters, is why I have usually found these films, even the subpar ones, better than the DC ones, with a couple of exceptions (The Dark Knight Rises).

Read the rest of this entry »


41. The REAL Short Box: Our Avengers Dream Team!


40. The REAL Short Box: Rise Of Image Comics Pt. 2!


39. The REAL Short Box: Rise Of Image Comics Pt. 1