Overall Recommendation:
3.7 stars
(28)
5 Stars:
10.71%
(3)
 
4 Stars:
57.14%
(16)
 
3 Stars:
28.57%
(8)
 
2 Stars:
0%
(0)
 
1 Stars:
3.57%
(1)
 
Premise:
3.7 stars
(25)
 
Story structure:
3.3 stars
(25)
 
Character:
3.6 stars
(25)
 
Dialogue:
3.4 stars
(25)
 
Emotion:
3.1 stars
(24)
 
 
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0 out of 0 people found the following review helpful:

Competing in the Big Leagues

Overall Recommendation:
3 stars
 
Premise:
5 stars
 
Story structure:
2 stars
 
Character:
3 stars
 
Dialogue:
2 stars
 
Emotion:
3 stars
 
December 10, 2012
OK, let me start by saying I think you have a great premise here and the amount of work and dedication you've put into this project is commendable. I also always list things I like at the end, so hang in through my suggestions and recommendations because I really do like this project.

Competing in the "Big Leagues" is a play on words, but also refers to the fact that the film industry is very very tough and the critics are very unforgiving at times. That being said, I think you've got something here, so don't give up.

From a writing standpoint, I made several observations that I think might help ...

Concerning the structure, the beginning starts out well and the "inciting incident" happens very quickly. We know where the character is at from the start. Good work.

As the story moves on, you have some very good pivotal points throughout, though I did have some trouble identifying them at first and where you were going. This is probably just me, so don't worry.

The main factors I see that are going to be a problem are the wrap of what could be considered your second act and the rather long last act / epilogue.

Whenever a writer has what I call "parallel plots", i.e. two (or more) plots running at the same time, it can be very difficult to master them all effectively. In this story, you have the main character facing two challenges: Overcoming his umpire training and service, and then you have him trying to overcome the barriers between he and Amy.

Throughout the story, I think you handle these reasonably well. The key to the execution, however; is making sure that the two plots' key points and especially the climax, happen concurrently in most cases. The way you have them here is that the umpire service is completed, but then you go on another five minute romp to bring the date situation where you need to bring it to continue the story to its final act.

I recommend that you integrate the date bits and concepts more into the previous story so that the "breakup", if you will, happens the night before he completes his service. This could play well in that he achieves what he thought he wanted and realizes it is not as satisfying because of the things he's been lacking in his life.

Another item I want to cover is "Target Market". As much as many writers don't want to bother with this sometimes, it is vital to writing and producing. The question is: Who are you targeting for this film? When I first saw it, I thought it was geared for a kid / family movie. If this is the case, I would recommend toning down or removing much of the swearing. If you are targeting a more mature crowd, then you'll need some different humor.

The humor style is more simplistic and dependent upon a slight goofy tone with almost a slapstick feel to it (without the hitting). This is good for a younger audience, but a more mature audience is going to need something more engaging and material that stands out beyond the competition.

Personally, I liked a lot of your humor, but knowing the industry, I can tell you that if you are going to write for the more mature audience, it's going to have to step it up some to really compete (and I DON'T mean by adding raunchy jokes - most times that's just writers being lazy because they can't come up with anything else). More situational humor with very clever twists is a good start, like you did with the clown bit introduction.

So, to sum this second writing point - find the Target Market(s) and adjust accordingly.

Another concern I had was Amy, who seemed too accommodating to Rob for her character. She seems a bit underdeveloped and some of her decision making was a bit curious or even unrealistic at times. For her to be ready to marry this guy in Vegas seems totally out of place from a first date, especially when he just got done telling her he was not a good guy and gave a bogus bat to Timmy. More on this later.

The last point I want to mention on writing is the execution, which I'll cover more in the next section of directing observations.

Overall, I liked what you did here. But knowing what's too much or too little is always a challenge. Also, the pacing and timing of your key dramatic elements is vital to the story's success.

As an example of execution:

The date scene where Amy and Rob are discussing "personal" matters --- You have Rob open up, basically saying that he's not a good person and that she is. Then you have her share something personal. Then he comes back, saying basically the same thing again.

Not only does this sound strange from a "movie" conversation standpoint, but this is a major dramatic point here, but is not treated as such. Basically, this confession is a big step for him, but also should place their relationship in jeopardy. For her to continue on as if he didn't even say this is not only anti-climatical, but also unrealistic, given the character you've created her to be. In my estimation, this statement should be a major turning point, (especially when you focus on Rob not seeing himself correctly earlier in the story).

These are a few areas I thought were a bit overdone:

The girls in the bar scene - a bit too long on the first shot.
The term "man" in the bar scene from those girls, way too overdone.
The guy who says "a***ole" all the time. Not only was this a bit too much, but although I know you were trying to make it a humorous quirk of his, I think you need to find something a little different, like "you saved my glutes", or perhaps totally original where he makes up a word that he continually uses. The key to this is the word must be understood by the audience with no explanation and unique at the same time.

There are others, but the thing is that much of the above will be adjusted by the creative staff when prepping / shooting the film.

If you are interested from a director's standpoint:

Great job with no budget!!! I can appreciate the film and did enjoy it.

A few things for reference:

Humor generally needs to be 1) Introduced, 2) Built Up, 3) Anticipated, and then 4) Executed. Shock humor is good in some cases, but you have a few areas that could have used the above mentioned steps.

The girl vomiting at the party was totally lost as she appears out of nowhere and there is no setup to the bit. I would have suggested

1) Introducing her earlier as someone drunk
2) Build up her "mini character" as someone who is somewhat airheaded or out of control
3) Lead the audience to the Anticipation that something is coming
4) Execute the bit with dramatized focus

Another example that I actually thought was pretty funny, but it got lost in the execution:

When Rob is arrested, you have a guy take the glass immediately from Rob and then drink from it. Very funny.

The thing is that the bit is totally upstaged by everything else going on. Most viewers are focused on Rob and his reaction.

So, I would have suggested the same steps as above for the vomiting girl, and then during the final execution, time it so that it allows camera focus outside of the time we want to see Rob's reaction.

All this being said, be assured that there were also many things I liked about what you've done here:

I loved the other "ump" trainee trying to get the calls right (safe and out). Well written, well executed.

I liked the people passed out in the bed.

Well done on Rob's journey as he strives to get a handle on what the trainer is trying to show him.

I thought the music choice was good.

I like the clown task and the way you introduced it. Well done. The only thing I HIGHLY recommend is that you make the child without the balloon a brat and not a sweet girl. I don't have time to give lessons on industry PR, but trust me, it gives a very poor impression for the trainer who is supposed to be an admirable character and not sadistic in nature and you risk many in the audience disconnecting from that character.

I thought the prison game was an excellent concept and very timely in the story. (I think I might lose the weenie thing though :)

Overall, I think this can be a great movie with some further work.

I know it is very difficult to get feedback, especially when it involves restructuring, and ESPECIALLY when we feel like we're "done".

You mentioned you rewrote the end from other feedback. Not knowing what the end was before, I can only suggest that you take what I've mentioned previously under consideration. I honestly want to see you and this project succeed.

Thank you for reading and for your hard work and dedication to this project.

I wish you the best.

James
 
0 out of 0 people found the following review helpful:

Good title

Overall Recommendation:
4 stars
 
Premise:
No rating
 
Story structure:
No rating
 
Character:
No rating
 
Dialogue:
No rating
 
Emotion:
No rating
 
December 13, 2011
I watched the first trailer. Didn't like it. Trailer 2 was good. I will check out the movie.
 
0 out of 0 people found the following review helpful:

Hilarious!

Overall Recommendation:
5 stars
 
Premise:
4 stars
 
Story structure:
5 stars
 
Character:
4 stars
 
Dialogue:
5 stars
 
Emotion:
5 stars
 

Kat

December 06, 2011
Well, I laughed my ass off. This is a brilliant script, and the actors are genuine and lovable as well. Matthew did a wonderful job with his $0 budget. Very well-rounded, thoughtful, and entertaining.
 
0 out of 1 people found the following review helpful:

It seem s more about a troubled player than an Umpire

Overall Recommendation:
1 stars
 
Premise:
1 stars
 
Story structure:
2 stars
 
Character:
1 stars
 
Dialogue:
1 stars
 
Emotion:
1 stars
 
November 18, 2011
 
0 out of 0 people found the following review helpful:

Good storyline, good characters

Overall Recommendation:
3 stars
 
Premise:
3 stars
 
Story structure:
5 stars
 
Character:
3 stars
 
Dialogue:
3 stars
 
Emotion:
3 stars
 
November 11, 2011
Story is good for a movie, since the character hates empires and now has to be one, what i see this movie needs is humor, to be successful, but the rest is good!!
 
1 out of 1 people found the following review helpful:

A lot of potential!

Overall Recommendation:
4 stars
 
Premise:
5 stars
 
Story structure:
4 stars
 
Character:
4 stars
 
Dialogue:
3 stars
 
Emotion:
4 stars
 
October 18, 2011
There is something about the concept that is very appealing. Many films have been made about the sport of baseball, but I can't recall any directly about the umpires. Having Rob absolutely hate umpires is a nice set-up. While the setting in the film was clearly not as big as it would be if made by a producer with the right ability, it was still well done considering it was filmed on a no budget.

The test film was good enough to give the audience a solid idea of how good the real film could be, with an actual budget, quality actors, and larger locations. These three things alone would make a huge difference to the story itself.

Amy was a good love interest, but I think her relationship with Rob needs more zing, more fight, more romance. The test film came out pretty short at about 70 minutes. There's room for additions, to develop the characters a little more along with their relationships. Using the proper locations would add a little screen time, the sweeping shots of excited fans in the stadiums, among other locations, like the park. But another half an hour could be devoted to the main characters so their relationship is a little more interesting.

The little girl in the park with the clown (Rob) and balloons was priceless!

I think because these weren't professional actors that a lot of the humor failed to come across, but I could tell where it was supposed to be. If the right actors were matched to the roles, I feel that the film would come across as far funnier.

But for a no budget test movie, it was nicely done!
 
0 out of 0 people found the following review helpful:

I liked it

Overall Recommendation:
4 stars
 
Premise:
2 stars
 
Story structure:
2 stars
 
Character:
3 stars
 
Dialogue:
3 stars
 
Emotion:
3 stars
 
October 07, 2011
If you can get past the story line I liked it for a low budget movie well don Matt!!
 
0 out of 1 people found the following review helpful:

I watched it all the way through

Overall Recommendation:
3 stars
 
Premise:
2 stars
 
Story structure:
2 stars
 
Character:
3 stars
 
Dialogue:
2 stars
 
Emotion:
2 stars
 
October 02, 2011
It's been a few weeks since I watched this, but I must say it was a little weak. When a movie takes several minutes to get to the main line of action it looses the viewers attention. Movie goers are much more savvy than they were a few years ago.

In this movie the main character is forced to react before he begins his line of action, not act. In a great movie we see what the main character is up to in the opening scene. Think of some of the best recent movies, UP, we know in the opening scene that the main character wants to be a great adventurer, but in the process he changes. This movie allows the character to change and grow, but only after he is forced to do so
 
0 out of 0 people found the following review helpful:

Played right down middle.

Overall Recommendation:
4 stars
 
Premise:
3 stars
 
Story structure:
3 stars
 
Character:
4 stars
 
Dialogue:
5 stars
 
Emotion:
No rating
 
September 24, 2011
note: this is a preliminary review on the first half

Baseball and comedy... it aint Major League and it aint Naked Gun, but it could be. I like the the blending of standard elements with the irreverent tone.... the character "who's an asshole" ha ha ... in real-life is semi likeable in the movie to the audience. I can clearly see elements of both the afforementioned movies being blended here. This would normally be a bore but the dialogue and good acting warrant further investigation. His cell-mate was very funny with the overt references to body parts and a little homophobia added in. I've watched the first half and I'll prob post a final review with a bit more detail.
 
0 out of 0 people found the following review helpful:

Pretty good overall.

Overall Recommendation:
4 stars
 
Premise:
4 stars
 
Story structure:
3 stars
 
Character:
4 stars
 
Dialogue:
4 stars
 
Emotion:
3 stars
 
September 01, 2011
Pretty good overall. Obviously with limited resources its hard to make an accurate depiction and there could be some minor tweaks but I'm sure that would come with better production. Well acted.
 

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