never been a bitch so I don't act bitchy

Friday, January 28, 2005


I'm sitting here at my local cafe -- not as good as The Best Place On Earth, but they do have free wireless and it is a good deal closer to my house (2.13 miles as opposed to 2781.72 miles to the Tea Lounge [thanks Mapquest!]) -- trying to finish a rewrite. But really I'm trying not to throw everything in the trash and fly back to Maui. It's insanely hard to get back into working after weeks of doing nothing (well, except little things like getting married and stuff), and I feel as if every word I write is terrible. I just want this draft to be over, but somehow I can't concentrate enough to actually finish it, even thought it's now overdue. The one-hour pilot I wrote for one of the networks this year just got officially UN-picked up. Which means it will not be filmed and will not be considered for the fall line-up. Further, unless the producers are tenacious and feel like trying to shop it elsewhere, it means that it is officially, like forever, dead. That quickly. A few short months from creation to oblivion. Which, oddly enough, is rather refreshing when compared to the film world, where projects linger and float in amophous studio limbo for bleams. And so my attention is back on this script, which I contractually have to do a rewrite on, going off notes that were stunningly vague, even for this town.

So in between trying to analyze non-committal directives for this new draft, I find myself oddly obsessed with reading the bad reviews of the new horror film ALONE IN THE DARK, starring Tara Reid, Christian Slater, and Stephen Dorff, as brilliant scientists. Or something.

Here's a sampling of the reviews from Rotten Tomatoes:

   "Tara Reid responds to the camera like she’s just caught a paparazzo; every line of dialogue begins with, ‘Hey guys,’ be it ordering lunch or reacting to mortal danger."
-- Todd Gilchrist ,FILMSTEW.COM

   "On the short list of Worst Movies Ever Made."

"If nothing else, Alone in the Dark proves that it's possible to 'dumb down' a video game."

 "The three stars have seen better days, but I'd like to think they could still do something classier and more dignified than this. Like gay porn."

   "As video game adaptations go, even Pong: The Movie would have a lot more personality."
-- Michael Rechtshaffen ,HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

   "This horror film, spun off from an old Atari video game, is so inept on every level, you wonder why the distributor didn't release it straight to video, or better, toss it directly into the trash."
-- Stephen Holden ,NEW YORK TIMES

   "Never trust a movie that opens with a written introduction scrolling by that's longer than the collected works of Tom Clancy."

   "If you took the 100 worst ideas ever conceived for a science-fiction film, rattled them around in a Lotto tumbler and spilled them out onto the screen at random, you could not produce a more asinine hodgepodge than Alone in the Dark ."
-- Colin Covert ,MINNE

   "None of it hangs together enough to make a coherent narrative."

   "They say that even ugly babies have faces their mothers love, but this is truly a film that not even hardcore genre fans could appreciate."

   "so far off the scale bad that the only possible reaction is to laugh at it -- and I do mean at it and not with it."

   "Thanks for the surgical enhancement, Tara Reid. As I always say, if saline made you a great actor then Sean Penn would have gills."
-- Mark Ramsey ,MOVIEJUICE!

   "Worse than you can imagine... see 1997's The Relic instead."

   "Reid delivers her lines as though she is calling for another round of Mai Tais for the house."

3% fresh, currently. Yikes.


Blogger David Grenier said...

Is that sort of script-buying-but-not-really pretty common in the TV industry? I've read some stuff about movie screenwriting and gotten the impression that it happens all the time (I seem to remember some anecdote about 10% of scripts bought ever even starting to get made and only 10% of them getting completed.. meaning only 1% of scripts sold ever making it to distribution).

I can only imagine hundreds of really talented, extremely frustrated writers constantly saying to themselves, "How the hell did AUTOMAN get made but not this?"

Anyway, congratulations. Hope you're kicking Ballas ass.

9:48 PM

Blogger Thunder Road said...

Dedication - I just created a blog for the sole purpose of leaving a note here. I guess I'd better make it a good one.

One of the things I like best about working in tv is the immediacy. I am sorry about your pilot, but as you said - at least you know and aren't being strung along for months or even years. But still - very sorry. I have worked in this biz for 10 years (!) and I still don't know how anything ever makes it on the air.

Ah, Alone in the Dark. I work for Lions Gate. I am so proud. I just keep saying, "Hey - we released Hotel Rwanda and Fahrenheit 9/11" Maybe people will overlook this. Don't you have a movie with LG?


9:59 AM

Blogger stee said...

Yeah, I do have something at your fine company. I hope it'll be in the Things You're Proud Of column, but it's out of my hands at this point. Literally and figuratively.

(And you no longer have to have a blog to post. Let the anonymous hate mail begin!!!)

6:26 PM


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