Overall Recommendation:
4.5 stars
(2)
5 Stars:
50.0%
(1)
 
4 Stars:
50.0%
(1)
 
3 Stars:
0%
(0)
 
2 Stars:
0%
(0)
 
1 Stars:
0%
(0)
 
Premise:
4.5 stars
(2)
 
Story structure:
5.0 stars
(2)
 
Character:
4.0 stars
(2)
 
Dialogue:
5.0 stars
(2)
 
Emotion:
5.0 stars
(2)
 
 
1-2 of 2 reviews
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0 out of 3 people found the following review helpful:

I can't wait who Hollywood picks to play BF!

Overall Recommendation:
5 stars
 
Premise:
5 stars
 
Story structure:
5 stars
 
Character:
5 stars
 
Dialogue:
5 stars
 
Emotion:
5 stars
 
February 13, 2012
Cant wait for the movie!
 
2 out of 3 people found the following review helpful:

Wonderful penmanship and humor, very good new characters, but lack of sensitivity

Overall Recommendation:
4 stars
 
Premise:
4 stars
 
Story structure:
5 stars
 
Character:
3 stars
 
Dialogue:
5 stars
 
Emotion:
5 stars
 
February 11, 2012
These are my reactions as I read the script.

This script starts with a scene that takes place in the past. Franklin experiments with the kite and its power and is spooked by how powerful the kite is. He decides to pull the plug on the experiment and decides to keep the kite contraption secret. I found this to be good at establishing early on why the kite and the electrocution string are so desired by the British, and in this revision of the script, by Washington as well. It was lacking in the original, and this revision solves the problem well.

The first clever humor I encountered in the script was when the Hessian Santa gives one of his toothless soldiers a set of wooden teeth that had been retrieved from a defeated Yank early on. The Hessian soldier is happy to receive them and shoves the teeth in. It is gross, and funny at the same time, very nice (page 3).

Giving Franklin a "custom wetsuit, made from river otters with the tail flaps still attached," is a nice way to show and establish Franklin's ingenuity (page 4)

The original concept in which Franklin kills and defeats all the Hessians made it to this revision. I never really cared for this scene and still don't, but I did like this revision's sort of magician act in which "Franklin raises his hands, grins, and drops a small ball that creates a flash and smoke burst."

I like that from early on, this revision gets the names and actions of historical figures right. Identifying the painter of Washington Crossing the Delaware as Leutze shows attention of detail, so does placing the initial meeting where Adams and others gathered to be a "three story brick tavern where Congress met from December 1776 to February 1777." Very good (page 10).

I smiled a lot reading the discussion between Washington, Jefferson, Hancock, Adams and Franklin in which they discuss, among other things, why Franklin is not in France (pages 10-14). Nice.

The scenes with the hooded figures are very good. I also liked a lot when the hooded figure knocks on the door of Franklin's place and "Above the door a mini-looking glass looks down at the figure, and then turns and looks down the street in both directions." Good visualization.

The scenes are very well balanced between cinematic material and dialog. This script is very well written and easy to read thus far.

Betsy's using her sensuality as a tool was done well. The way she is described as being sensual was also done very nicely. But after I got the impression that she is pretty much sleeping with every male leader of the revolution I start to dislike how her character is developing. She is thus far the only female figure of this script, and although she appears to have somewhat of an actual revolutionary "mission" to carry out, she is beginning to be treated too much only a sex object. As woman who's watched plenty of movies like these, I get turned off by it. I'll watch the movie once, won't watch it again, and then would not recommend it.

I found this very funny (page 25)
"WASHINGTON: I am. The old man will do anything to steal my glory and ruin my name!
HANCOCK: Remember, no I in team. Hancock takes a cheer leading stance."

There are chickens running inside the engine of the Thunderbird to make the vehicle go (page 31). Clever. I imagine it and smile. Very nice.

Samuel Cain and the liberal media trying to keep the black man down and the 9-9-9 deal at the tavern. Made me smile. Modern political injections (Herman Cain).

Too bad this script kept the Samuel character, I just never liked the way the character came across in the original, and this revision doesn't fix a lot of the problems with him thus far (page 38).

Washington not only comes across as selfish in this revision, but also begs Betsy to have sex with him. It's a bit too much for me. I have no problem with the guy being portrayed as a jerk, but his was unnecessary, in my opinion. But I must admit that the joke where Betsy says that she doesn't want to have sex with him again because the last time was weird and Washington says that Martha won't be watching this time, was funny.

After crossing the bridge, Washington's carriage suffers some damages. The picture that forms in my mind of the description of the repairs is good. Nice humor touch there(page 68). "Tilghman has the carriage jacked up & finishes putting on a smaller wheel where the missing one was. After he drops the carriage it is lopsided. Washington sticks his head out..."

(page 70) OK, at this point in the script in which Samuel keeps appearing as some sort of driver for Franklin, I'm beginning to wonder why he is helping him out so much? I understand Franklin helped him run away from jail, but still...

I really like how this script has very, very nice humor scenes that flow naturally. Like Franklin's discussion with Samuel about how somebody might find out where the electrocution string could be. Nicely done (page 78). "FRANKLIN: Well, umm, just in case someday the technology existed to turn the weapon into an energy source, I sort-of documented where the weapon was...and, umm, how to use it.
Franklin turns and weakly smiles at Samuel. FRANKLIN: Not my finest decision."

Another good example of this script's nice touches (page 85). "Samuel casually wanders around the edge of the building until
he spots a mop and bucket on the ground, picks them up and
saunters past a Redcoat like he belongs."

Washington and British General Howe team up to fight Franklin. Wow, this script really goes all the way against Washington (page 950).

Good example of humor coming naturally and doesn't feel forced (pages 85-86):
"Ben steps back, revealing Betsy has a gun stuck in his gut.
HOWE: I’ll take that.
Howe relieves Ben of his pistol, then sees all his weapons.
HOWE: Wow. And that, and that.
Howe removes about eight knives and guns from Ben."

This script addresses so many of the problems with the original by significantly changing the original dialog and action. I can tell a lot of effort went into making it not only funnier but better overall. I really liked the way the screen writer writes it. It's really nice.

New characters such as Jefferson and Hancock were very good additions to the story and allowed for "guy's" humor to come across more easily.

In my humble opinion though, the original's faults, such as characters with unclear motives, Samuel's help (wants to be partners with Franklin?), and Betsy's treason (wanted to play a bigger part in the war effort, but was Washington only wanted her ass?) were left mostly unaddressed. The fact that Betsy then comes back and helps Samuel escape from Howe and Washington confuses things even more (page 96). Although I must admit that this scene was funny: "Betsy runs back with a screaming Samuel in tow. Once they reach the window to the roof, the grenades go off."

These are my final comments.

First, the screen writer here is wonderful, a true artist painting a picture for the screen, and he completely created new humor of which 70% is very, very good.

But I really, really, really, didn't like how Betsy Ross is portrayed, and she is such an important character. In my opinion, her character had problems in the original script, but in this revision, Betsy is portrayed so lowly, she even masturbates the horses because nobody is "taking care of them" (pages 87-88). It's a bit too much for my liking. It doesn't help either that every other woman that appears on the script is also portrayed in this type of light.

There were also conversations and scenes with Samuel Cain that had strange racial connotations to them. This was sort of a problem with the original script too, and unfortunately this revision didn't help at all in this regard.

So my review is mixed. Five stars for penmanship, the writer's artistic touch, very good humor developed throughout, and very good character additions. Less for the lack of sensitivity about how large groups of viewers, such as women or minorities will react to the story.

But taking everything into account, this revision greatly improves the original. I'm sure given more time and constructive feedback, the author would have turned a fair script into a very good one. I don't think the studio gave enough time for the amount of work the original script required, and this revision manages to do a lot in the time given, better than most other scripts I've read.
 

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