Overall Recommendation:
4.0 stars
(10)
5 Stars:
50.0%
(5)
 
4 Stars:
30.0%
(3)
 
3 Stars:
0%
(0)
 
2 Stars:
10.0%
(1)
 
1 Stars:
10.0%
(1)
 
Premise:
4.0 stars
(10)
 
Story structure:
3.9 stars
(10)
 
Character:
3.9 stars
(10)
 
Dialogue:
4.0 stars
(10)
 
Emotion:
3.8 stars
(10)
 
 
1-10 of 10 reviews
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1 out of 2 people found the following review helpful:

The Alchemist Agenda - Review

Overall Recommendation:
5 stars
 
Premise:
4 stars
 
Story structure:
5 stars
 
Character:
5 stars
 
Dialogue:
5 stars
 
Emotion:
4 stars
 
October 28, 2013
 
1 out of 1 people found the following review helpful:

Terrific script.

Overall Recommendation:
5 stars
 
Premise:
4 stars
 
Story structure:
5 stars
 
Character:
5 stars
 
Dialogue:
4 stars
 
Emotion:
4 stars
 
December 03, 2012
The big action adventures are not easy to pull off. You did an amazing job. The story is different enough from Indiana Jones and National Treasure movies, but still hits all the right notes -- and it's not as cold as the Bourne series. Loved the international pursuit. Loved the action. Loved the romance. Good luck with the film.
 
1 out of 7 people found the following review helpful:

Accuracy in storyline

Overall Recommendation:
1 stars
 
Premise:
1 stars
 
Story structure:
1 stars
 
Character:
1 stars
 
Dialogue:
2 stars
 
Emotion:
2 stars
 
January 29, 2011
The Spanish Armada was not in 1622.
 
0 out of 3 people found the following review helpful:

Nonstop action and intrigue

Overall Recommendation:
5 stars
 
Premise:
5 stars
 
Story structure:
5 stars
 
Character:
5 stars
 
Dialogue:
4 stars
 
Emotion:
5 stars
 
January 27, 2011
This story has everything a big budget blockbuster should have: action, intrigue, intelligence, and interesting characters. Look forward to seeing this on the big screen. Love the premise and the backstory that set up this wild, fast-paced adventure.
 
0 out of 4 people found the following review helpful:

Totally nailed the genre...

Overall Recommendation:
5 stars
 
Premise:
5 stars
 
Story structure:
5 stars
 
Character:
4 stars
 
Dialogue:
4 stars
 
Emotion:
5 stars
 
January 23, 2011
Intriguing premise, suspenseful movement through the story. Good rhythm. Would love to see this one made.
 
7 out of 9 people found the following review helpful:

Needs a lot of work

Overall Recommendation:
2 stars
 
Premise:
2 stars
 
Story structure:
2 stars
 
Character:
2 stars
 
Dialogue:
2 stars
 
Emotion:
2 stars
 
January 19, 2011
Notes on The Alchemist Agenda

Story Plausibility issues right up front:
- Both the treasure and the sub are at the same place? Seems like a huge coincidence to me. I know Robert Towne said the audience will forgive you for anything in the beginning and nothing at the end but this is too much of a coincidence for me. The film, ‘The Deep” featured two wrecks at the same location, but that was in shallow water in a ship graveyard.
- Speaking of “The Deep,” I remember reading, in “Hit and Run” I think, that in the screening, the distributors went wild for the opening shots of Jackie Bisset diving in her t-shirt. They signed up without even seeing the rest of the film. Consider doing similar, maybe making one of your characters a bikini-wearer. I mean, salty seadogs are fine but Jackie Bisset in a wet t-shirt is forever. You could combine this with the disaster in the sub and create a scene like the one in “Fantastic Voyage” where Raquel Welch gets attacked by the antibodies.
- These guys have found 17 tons of metal on the sea floor, at least some of which is gold and silver, and they are worrying? About the name of the ship? About their stock price? I think they’d be jubilant that they found the big one.
- The protags seem very open with the journalists. I’m no expert, but when I see documentaries on treasure hunters, they are usually very secretive. Kind of makes sense when ½ a billion is up for grabs in legal limbo. Also, dramatically it lacks conflict. Why not make the journalists work for it?
- The guy stealing the treasure in the moored boat was predictable. I had already thought, “They are being very casual with all that treasure, aren’t they?” Lox, bagels and maybe I'll help myself to a few coins.

Technical Plausibility issues right up front:
- Your diving details appear inaccurate to me. I’m a recreational diver, have never done tech diving, so maybe I’m wrong. But IMO, if a tech diver did a rocket ascent to the surface from that depth with his air that far in the red without taking his decompression stops, as your guy does, he’d need to go right into the decompression tank or he’d have nitrogen bubbles popping out of his eyeballs. I know one tech diver who ran into a Portuguese man o’ war at a decomp stop and waited there, covered in stinging tentacles, for the full duration. Had to. When he came out of the water, every mm of exposed skin was burned red. Better than DCS.
- I don’t think platinum was available in bars or coins at that time in history. Wikipedia agrees with me. Maybe I’m wrong but why not stick to gold and silver.
- 350 miles east of NY the sea is shallow enough for even tech divers to get there? The width of the continental shelf around the U.S. varies from approximately 20 to 400 km, way less than 350 miles. I think a ship at that location would be a few miles underwater. Consider changing location.

p15. Orly is male or female? If you pick an androgynous name, the description should explicitly indicate gender.

p15. This scene is short and … OK. Audiences don’t read your script. Try to visualize it on the screen.

Why are there no page numbers?

I downloaded your script and the formatting was all off. In Open Office, it’s 187 pages. Maybe you should write it in Final Draft and export it to .pdf.

About p26. I have to guess the page numbers since the script doesn’t contain them. Needle in a haystack? Not really since you had a bunch of journalists on the ship, everyone of whom, feral as most journalists are, had a handheld gps. The sub's location would be on twitter. Makes no sense!

A few pages later. Ahh. The evil CIA sends it’s brutal yet well-educated assassins (they know what the “bell” is AND they are witty - “I’m good”) to casually waste the golddiggers. Makes sense. After all, when I hire an assassin, the #1 qualification I look for is ... an Ivy league education. In a pinch, I might settle for Stanford or CMU but, IMO, when there's wet work to be done, there's just no substitute for an Ivy League diploma. Sorry, I'm getting a little carried away. But the CIA angle is REALLY trite and overused. It was interesting in 3 Days of the Condor but that was 35 years ago.

Sorry, can’t read any more. Maybe the next draft. Good luck with it.
 
4 out of 4 people found the following review helpful:

Good script, but not perfect yet.

Overall Recommendation:
4 stars
 
Premise:
5 stars
 
Story structure:
3 stars
 
Character:
3 stars
 
Dialogue:
5 stars
 
Emotion:
3 stars
 
January 18, 2011
I really like the script overall. It has a tight structure, good pacing, and an intriguing story. The dialog is smooth, and your vocabulary and knowledge of the subject matter is very proven.

Here are a few things that I think might help you make the script perfect:

I agree mostly with Oysterman Production's review.

I think the script needs a better title, but I didn't have any problems with the script being about Alchemy. Alchemy is pretty cool enough of a concept for me.

I don't think you need a "in medias res" on page one. It does draw the audience in, but seems cliche, and also gives some of the script away. It's too stylistic. I would almost wish for a back story sequence about the three alchemists that sets up the story better, because even with the flashbacks later on, their story and intentions still seems confusing.

The biggest problem I had with it was keeping track of what's going on in the second act. There's a bell, and a crest, and keys. I figured it all out, but it took back tracking and re-reading. Why did they leave those keys? for whom? Why does Johnathan and Orly want to find those keys? Is it to clear a name? They say they want to find out the truth, but the truth about what? The truth about alchemy? And why do they want to find the truth, and what do they intend to do with the truth? (to simply blow it up? why?) Is it to prevent the bad guys from finding them? The stakes needs to be better stated and directly related to the main characters.

For example, Benjamin Gates in National Treasure wants to find the treasure to clear his family's name. Robert Langdon wants to find the truth because he is trying to clear his name, is obsessed with puzzles, and wants to protect the girl. Indianna Jones wants to find the lost Ark so Hitler can't use it for mass destruction.

I think you kind of hinted at all of those things, but did not fully explain and directly relate it to your main characters.

The last thing I thought that really needs work is Johnathan's character. Orly's character is complex and interesting, with a long back story to boot. But I don't know much about Johnathan? Does he have fears and demons he must face? What about his character arc? how does he change through the course of the story?

I think this is a really good concept full of action and adventure. It just needs a few things to make it perfect.


P.S. Almost forgot. Please change your font to courier.
 
6 out of 7 people found the following review helpful:

2nd Act Needs Work

Overall Recommendation:
4 stars
 
Premise:
4 stars
 
Story structure:
3 stars
 
Character:
4 stars
 
Dialogue:
4 stars
 
Emotion:
3 stars
 
January 17, 2011
Hey Marty, congratulations with making it to the finals with this. I've downloaded four of the five and this is the strongest of the ones I have read. In particular I thought the first several pages were a lot of fun. I've been reading it out loud in prep for a table read. I'm not sure if I'm going to use yours or not. I really liked it at the beginning, but I got bogged down in the second act.

Have you read this out loud? I find that is one of the most helpful things a screenwriter can do. One of the strengths of your screenplay is your large vocabulary and all the descriptions you give the reader. You're definitely a strong writer.

If I do a table read with this I will probably have to cut 30-40 pages out first. That second act is a slog. I can really see this movie, though. Probably because it so strongly resembles National Treasure and Da Vinci Code. I really, really liked the first 12 pages, when we had a strong Indiana Jones vibe going, and I was sorry that we veered off into a hunt for clues.

#1 criticism -- too damn long
#2 criticism -- that title is horrible

This movie requires, what, a hundred million dollars to shoot? More? You have to come up with a better title. I mean, if Spielberg called his movie The Archeologist Adventures, I never would have seen it. "Alchemist" is too obscure, too pedantic, too boring.

In fact, I would love it if we could lose the whole alchemy angle. Do we need it? Could we replace it with something cooler?

Okay, random notes. "The fish swims at noon." Do you want this to be funny? Because that line is hilarious.

Is Orly a professor or a spy? Make up your mind. I dislike professor. I say go with spy.

Who is your bad guy? This movie could really use a bad guy.

I like your descriptions of people, it really makes them pop.

"Sex walking." That really made me laugh.

Not sure if we need the CIA/FBI/homicide cops. Why are they here? What are they adding?

I like all the accents and the foreign languages. I liked the way your people talk. You have a good ear for language.

"those subs were built to destroy any outsider who tries to break in." That makes no sense whatsoever. You need to clarify this. Nobody who builds a u-boat booby-traps it, because you don't expect the sub to be on the bottom of the ocean.

"There were seven escape subs: U-2001 through U-2008." She's definitely not a math professor! Why are there seven subs, anyway? I mean, who got stuck going to Antarctica? And the European sub, does it just travel in circles? I think there should just be one sub.

Wouldn't it be more effective if the bad guys couldn't find the sub? And that's why they are chasing after Jonathan? I like that better than "bad guys find sub and die."

So Hitler has alchemists working for him to turn metal into gold, but they don't like him and so they rig his escape U-boats to explode, and they booby-trap the U-boats so that anybody who discovers the U-boats 60 years later will die, because the alchemists don't want anybody to discover the secret formula. Have I got it right? Wouldn't it have been simpler not to give Hitler the secret formula? There seems to me to be a serious plausibility flaw at the center of this that nags and bothers me.

You really, really, really could use a bad guy. Who's the bad guy?

The scene with Jonathan, Orly and Josef and the scene with Jonathan, Orly and Mikhail go on and on and on. Way too much exposition.

Most cabs don't have a Molotov cocktail rolling around on the floorboards. I like Molotov coctails, don't get me wrong. You just have to set it up better.

The splitting up doesn't work for me at all. You've got Jonathan going to one country and Orly going to another. And Mikhail going to another?

I'm losing interest in the second act because it's all so vague. He's in Amsterdam to find the third prong of the clue to the key to the code that unlocks the booby traps to the sub where he will find something that might possibly turn metal into gold. I just think you have to motivate this better. I'm not liking the alchemy or the clue hunt at all.

I don't like the navy finding the sub, either. And not being able to lift it because it was "rigged." I'm just picturing the alchemists sneaking into the U-boat construction site and replacing the materials with, I don't know, metals that crack when the U.S. navy tries to lift the U-boat sixty years later.

Your third act is good. Not as good as your first act, but pretty strong. Now I know who the bad guy is. I like the shooting and the bullet proof vest and and jump into water and the scuba save and the hidden microphone.

Good luck with it.
 
0 out of 5 people found the following review helpful:

Awesome Action and Adventure!

Overall Recommendation:
5 stars
 
Premise:
5 stars
 
Story structure:
5 stars
 
Character:
5 stars
 
Dialogue:
5 stars
 
Emotion:
5 stars
 
November 27, 2010
This is such an exciting script. I'd love to see this as a movie!!!
 
0 out of 5 people found the following review helpful:

Good concept, intriguing story lines, fast read.

Overall Recommendation:
4 stars
 
Premise:
5 stars
 
Story structure:
5 stars
 
Character:
5 stars
 
Dialogue:
5 stars
 
Emotion:
5 stars
 
November 18, 2010
Loved story. It deserved to be a finalist. Exciting scenes, good pacing, complex characters, interesting plots.
 

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