Overall Recommendation:
4.3 stars
(3)
5 Stars:
33.33%
(1)
 
4 Stars:
66.67%
(2)
 
3 Stars:
0%
(0)
 
2 Stars:
0%
(0)
 
1 Stars:
0%
(0)
 
Premise:
4.7 stars
(3)
 
Story structure:
3.7 stars
(3)
 
Character:
3.7 stars
(3)
 
Dialogue:
4.0 stars
(3)
 
Emotion:
4.0 stars
(3)
 
 
1-3 of 3 reviews
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0 out of 0 people found the following review helpful:

H. Rider Haggard Adventure

Overall Recommendation:
4 stars
 
Premise:
4 stars
 
Story structure:
3 stars
 
Character:
3 stars
 
Dialogue:
3 stars
 
Emotion:
3 stars
 
April 09, 2011
Since H. Rider Haggard invented the archaeological adventure in the 19th Century with SHE and KING SOLOMON'S MINES, there have been many takes on the genre. 'Asterius' is original in that in carries us into Greek legend. The other nods to Haggard are there with a few alterations for modern sensibilities. The damsel in distress has become a true heroine. The hero shares the stage with his feminine counterpart. Asterius himself is a really effective bad guy on a par with The Mummy. The story works well and is involving. I enjoyed reading it. I was entertained. H. Rider Haggard would have been entertained, too, and maybe even jealous, here and there. It's his kind of stuff and well done, too.

How could it be better? In my opinion, it takes too long to set up. The sequence in the caves goes on for far too long.

The discussion of whether it is right or wrong to remove Asterius from his abode of millennia also grows tedious after awhile, and extends back to the USA and the museum.

There needs to be less talk and more mayhem early on. There has to be more, "Oh, crap, this is getting out of hand; we've got to do something!" before the third act and less discussion of right and wrong, what may happen, what has happened, and so on. Yes, people start dying in the cave, but it's distant and has the feel of Star Trek red shirts. Jeopardy needs to find a home here, and early.

I can see this being a very successful archaeology adventure movie, possibly even a franchise, if restructured properly.
 
0 out of 0 people found the following review helpful:

Awesome Concept

Overall Recommendation:
4 stars
 
Premise:
5 stars
 
Story structure:
3 stars
 
Character:
3 stars
 
Dialogue:
4 stars
 
Emotion:
4 stars
 
April 03, 2011
I love your premise. I totally got a Mummy vibe from this.

I would suggest changing the title to Minotaur. That title says it all. We all know what a Minotaur is. How many people know Asterius? That's like calling your Mummy movie Imhotep. It's too foreign, too academic, too unknown. With your title you want to immediately tell people what the story is about. Asterius doesn't do that at all.

Your concept is brilliant. I love the sexual nature of your monster, and the vibe you have going with him and your protagonist. I think that's even more believable than in the Mummy. I think your screenplay still needs a lot of work, but it really does have a vast potential. It's basically a revamp of The Mummy, with a classic figure from mythology. Just a brilliant idea.

Okay, specific notes.

Your introduction to Hackett is not working at all. He's your bad guy. The way you introduce him, it's like he's a good guy. I didn't even get a boss vibe from him. I had no idea he was Naomi's boss until Teddy said he was. He doesn't act like a boss. He's constantly asking her permission for stuff. Do a revamp on Hacket. Make him bossy, demanding. I would remove lines like Hackett saying, "I was worried sick."

I think you need to revamp the discussion about smuggling the minotaur out of Greece. Set it up a little.

Naomi: "It's a shame we have to turn this over to the Greek Ministry of Antiquities."
Hackett: "Maybe we don't."
Naomi: "What are you talking about? It would be a crime for us to take him."
Hackett: "I'll take care of it."

Something like that. He doesn't tell her that he's smuggling it out. He's the boss. And then on the plane Teddy and Naomi find out the hard way that they're actually smuggling it, when Jeeps full of police pull up to the airport and Teddy has to fly out under fire. Let's increase the excitement as they smuggle the minotaur out. And let's have a scene where Naomi confronts Hackett about what they did.

I think we're in the chamber/tunnel way too long. Your writing is really good. In general I love your opening, your first dozen pages or so rock. But the discovery of the minotaur goes on and on and on.

I really like the flashback with Naomi and the minotaur. And I love, love, love your visual description of the site, all the skulls, all the noises. That's truly excellent.

But you can cut stuff like Naomi talking to herself. "Is man without love...a beast?" Too on the nose. She's talking to herself. Cut it.

You often have characters acting out of character. For instance, all the Greeks refuse to go into the tunnel. And then, after the old man dies, they all go in the tunnel? I didn't believe that.

"Tomb robbers of the demon's son." I love that dialog!

One thing you really have to watch out for is your repetition. I feel like you have Hackett and Naomi discuss smuggling the minotaur out over and over again. They discuss it in the cave, they discuss it in the truck, they discuss it in the hotel.

"Your eyes never lie, like I said, they're your weakness. Tell me I'm wrong." Awesome dialog. The Naomi-Teddy dialog on his introduction is fantastic, too.

In general I love the Greece scenes, but I think you can take some air out and add more excitement. They're smuggling it out of Greece! You're missing an opportunity there for some cool scenes. We need visual conflict from the smuggling, not people talking about how they are worried.

The scene in Naomi's townhouse needs work. Voice machine: "You have six messages. First message." And then after the message you write that she hits the button six times and every message is the same. Okay. Are we listening to the message? Then you got to write out that dialog.

Do you realize that's going to be funny? Six times is like OCD insane. I think humor is okay, but you might not intend it here. Anyway, write out the dialog. Write out what happens. She gets more and more impatient, hitting a button, going to the next message, and the next one, and the next one.

The really funny thing is that when she and the Professor talk on the phone, he doesn't say anything! He's desperate to talk to her and then when he talks to her, he says nothing specific. "We must protect Asterius. Don't do anything."

Naomi announces to Teddy that she has given notice. She's quitting. Why? They just discovered a frickin' minotaur. Is that when you would give notice? I didn't believe that.

Your secondary characters have poor introductions and are not well-developed. I'm thinking of Leeza and Artie. Leeza isn't introduced at all, really. When we meet her she has no dialog. We're told she's a bitchy blue blood (in blue jeans?), but how do people watching the movie know that's what she is? When she finally has some dialog, I didn't care for it. She's Jealous Woman. Really she's just a plot device, the first kill. I didn't believe she was in a relationship with Hackett. He killed her really easily.

Naomi: "I'm not sure I want anything to do with this anymore." She's already given notice! Why is she saying this now? And then her next sentence, she's all excited about cutting open the minotaur? "Why don't we just do it tonight?" What does she care, she quit. Off screen she quit.

Artie is like Igor. You could almost give that guy a humpback. He seems like he's in a different movie. Hackett becomes a mad scientist really quickly. His character arc isn't believable at all. I think the Hacket, Leeza, and Artie characters all need some work.

I was also unhappy with the Naomi-Teddy love affair. It was way too easy. I think this should be more like the romance in the Mummy, or the Princess Leia-Han Solo romance. His Girl Friday. We need some romantic conflict. They broke up before, right? We need a little antagonism, some sparks. They're saying "I love you" in the middle of the screenplay. It's way too easy. This should be like a B storyline.

In general I think you need to work Teddy into this movie a lot more. This needs to be a star type role, on par with Naomi, I think. Look at your Mummy template. If you want us to care about their love affair, he can't be a second tier character. He has to be vital throughout the screenplay. He needs to be a hero.

I love your science talk. It's very good. I love your research in general. "Remarkably airtight. It's like he was stored in a sealed jar. Embalming salts. The Greeks predate even the Egyptians."

I was dismayed that you did not describe the monster in specific detail after he was unwrapped. He looks like a corpse, right? He looks like a horrible, ugly corpse? Or does he look like he died yesterday? You're brilliant with description, but we had none on the monster himself. "It's almost as if he's just...just sleeping." Sleeping? It's a 3000 year old corpse. Right?

Hackett's quest for immorality came out of thin air. You need to set this up. He went from a nice, sensitive man to a smuggler to a madman who believes in immorality to a man who kills his girlfriend in a sacrifice to a dead corpse. I mean that's a hell of an arc! And I didn't believe it for a second. Keep it grounded. Keep it real. Set it up.

I thought it was really odd that he hooked up monitors to the corpse. Monitors? That's almost a farce. We all know the minotaur is going to wake up. But I don't think your characters should know it. And if he knows it, why is he attaching monitors? You need to set that up a lot. I found it kinda silly.

Your monster doesn't stand until page 80????? No way. That's way, way too long. We need the monster to arise. Page 40, page 50, page 60, maybe. Page 80 is like the third act.

It still needs a lot of work. But it's well worth your time as this is the sort of idea that can really get investors excited. Nice job. Keep working it.
 
2 out of 3 people found the following review helpful:

Beautifully written and captivating

Overall Recommendation:
5 stars
 
Premise:
5 stars
 
Story structure:
5 stars
 
Character:
5 stars
 
Dialogue:
5 stars
 
Emotion:
5 stars
 
March 31, 2011
Richard Guimond isn’t just a writer, he’s an artist, and his screenplay is like a canvass that draws you in and holds your attention. I’ve never read a screenplay before that was so easy to lose yourself in. From the first time Naomi discovers Asterius in the labyrinth, until the final showdown between Asterius and the authorities, Richard writes so vividly that you almost forget that you are reading a script. The pacing is perfect. The dialogue is taut. Each scene is like its own little screenplay. Richard instinctively knows when to begin a scene and when to end it in order to ring out every drop of tension and suspense. The ending is fulfilling and not contrived. Asterius is a work of art, and Richard has expertly painted every stroke.
 

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