Overall Recommendation:
4.0 stars
(1)
5 Stars:
0%
(0)
 
4 Stars:
100.0%
(1)
 
3 Stars:
0%
(0)
 
2 Stars:
0%
(0)
 
1 Stars:
0%
(0)
 
Premise:
4.0 stars
(1)
 
Story structure:
3.0 stars
(1)
 
Character:
5.0 stars
(1)
 
Dialogue:
4.0 stars
(1)
 
Emotion:
5.0 stars
(1)
 
 
1-1 of 1 review
Sort: Newest | Most helpful
2 out of 3 people found the following review helpful:

This One Is For Eastwood

Overall Recommendation:
4 stars
 
Premise:
4 stars
 
Story structure:
3 stars
 
Character:
5 stars
 
Dialogue:
4 stars
 
Emotion:
5 stars
 
May 02, 2011
Hey Donovan, I liked it a lot. It made me laugh out loud in a couple of places and I almost cried in a couple of other places. Very moving. You draw characters very well, I had a real sense of authenticity, like these guys had been to war. I could definitely see Clint Eastwood and Morgan Freeman having a lot of fun with this. I think your dialog is very strong and your sense of humor made this a fun, easy read.

I think there is a problem with your first act. For me your screenplay really takes off on page sixteen. Your Declaration of War scenes are working really well. (And I really like your idea of chapter titles, I think that’s a very nice touch). I like the kids ringing the doorbell and James attacking it with a hammer. I love the cricket scene, that was LOL hilarious. Like something out of the Marx brothers.

I like the fox hole scene. That’s absurd and comical. More great visual humor. One reaction I had though was that they would get in trouble with whoever is managing the rest home. I was thinking, wouldn’t they get in trouble with the authorities?

I thought the sleeping-with-the-urn was a little creepy? It was nice and human--you really get that he misses his wife--but definitely a little weird. Might be a funny visual, though. Hugging the urn, sleeping with the urn. That may or may not work, I’m not sure.

“I’m gonna baptize you in paint.” Funny. “I couldn’t think of anything.”

I thought the drunk scene with James and Lou is awesome. “I can see you, you jackass.”

Your reveal in the end actually caught me by surprise. I thought that scene was written especially well. James anger seemed very authentic to me. Very emotional scene and very well done.

At certain points in the screenplay I worried that there might be tonal issues. In general I like how you shift from drama to comedy and back again. I like the serious war flashbacks and the comical “war” scenes in the present day. I think that’s a really strong idea.

Your bingo scenes are too long, I think. 9 pages of dialog humor and the story isn’t really moving forward.

I think this is a bit over the top: “He stomps over and rips all of the maps and pictures off of the wall. He sits down on the couch and puts his hands to his face in torment.” I don’t know, struck me as melodramatic.

It’s a bit of an anticlimax after James dies. I’m not sure if the scene with Carol and Tim and Lou is working. “We knew him well. His wife was my best friend. We did a lot together, the four of us. We use to bowl together. We played bridge. They came over for dinner every Sunday. We rented old movies together.” This is a little awkward as we have no sense that James liked these people at all. Why didn’t he ask Tim to play in the war games?

I think all this relates to your first act issues. I like your opening montage over the credits, but it doesn’t match up well with his showing up in robe and slippers on Memorial Day. Is James patriotic or not? Is he depressed or not? Is Memorial Day important to him or does he show up in a bathrobe because he doesn’t care anymore? The first scene is comical because he cares too much. And then in the next scene he doesn’t care at all?

I feel like the appearance of Lou is your inciting incident. It’s his appearance that changes James and makes him wake up. That’s what Carol is telling us in that last scene. But we should see this and feel it for ourselves, and we don’t really get that from your first act. As much as I like the opening montage (and it seems designed for a credit sequence!), I feel like it’s not working where it is. We should have a scene or two without Lou, just James, showing he’s depressed and alone (but in a funny way because this is a comedy). Maybe Carol tries to set him up on a date and he lets her have it. You can try a really funny cranky mean scene like Jack Nicholson in As Good As It Gets.

Anyway, I think pages 1-16 need a major overhaul. But the rest of your story is very strong and just needs some tweaking. I could definitely see Time/Warner acquiring this one for Eastwood. I’m sure they are interested in material for him and this is right up his alley. It’s really patriotic and a feel good story. It’s funny, sad, and very touching. Good work.
 

Reviews for