Overall Recommendation:
4.2 stars
(5)
5 Stars:
40.0%
(2)
 
4 Stars:
40.0%
(2)
 
3 Stars:
20.0%
(1)
 
2 Stars:
0%
(0)
 
1 Stars:
0%
(0)
 
Premise:
4.8 stars
(5)
 
Story structure:
4.0 stars
(5)
 
Character:
3.4 stars
(5)
 
Dialogue:
3.6 stars
(5)
 
Emotion:
3.4 stars
(5)
 
 
1-5 of 5 reviews
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0 out of 0 people found the following review helpful:

could i ask for a review http://studios.amazon.com/projects/21129

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

j

April 03, 2013
could i ask for a review http://studios.amazon.com/projects/21129
 
1 out of 1 people found the following review helpful:

Strong Concept weakened by underdeveloped characters

Overall Recommendation:
3 stars
 
Premise:
5 stars
 
Story structure:
3 stars
 
Character:
1 stars
 
Dialogue:
2 stars
 
Emotion:
2 stars
 
October 18, 2011
The Temple,

Note to Alex. In re-reading my comments I realize that my tone could easily be misinterpreted as being overly harsh or didactic. For that I apologize. It was not my intention to malign your screenplay. The Temple has huge potential as evidenced by its status here on Amazon.


Overall: The Temple is generally a fun read, written with a strong visual style and reminiscent of many post-modern action/thriller, sci-fi classics most notably Predator, Aliens and war/adventure flicks such as The Expendables and Three Kings (which notably strives for a moral center in an essentially amoral conflict). The concept alone – mercenaries operating in Afghanistan pursue an infamous terrorist into an ancient temple possessed by evil supernatural power – is pure fucking gold.

However, the high concept potential of The Temple is weakened by underdeveloped characters, which are (intentionally or not) reduced to caricatures. Underdeveloped characters in turn reveal an absence of dramatic conflict that hampers the entire execution – so much so – that this reader steadily lost interest as the script went on. There is, essentially, no core story.

There is a tone of post-modern humor revealed in the writing that gives the reader a clue (again intentional or not) that this entire endeavor is not to be taken seriously. The description of Commander Michael Burton, the logical protagonist, illustrates this tone well: … he looks like a comic book hero. A leader of men.

I read this and smiled and thought: Cool. I’m in the hands of a writer who understands willful irony and deftly reveals tone through writing that appears to be joyfully poking fun at genre.

The only problem is that we have a protagonist who may be described as a leader but certainly never really acts like one and that brings me to my next point.

As F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote:

Action is character.

Characters, especially in cinema, are defined by what they do. That is, it’s what characters do that reveal who they are and gives them resonant meaning. And for the most part, the main characters lack resonant meaning because they don’t do anything outside the cookie-cutter roles that they play.

The characters in the Temple don’t seem value their own lives or appear to care about anything. They lack an apparent backstory that would give them something to care about so consequently, it was difficult for this reader to care about them either.

There is no conflict between the principal players – no questioning of events – nothing that suitably humanizes them – nothing that therefore allows the reader (or audience) to connect to the story in any meaningful way. In that sense, the Temple reminded me of a script for a video game.

There is no easy fix for character issues in a screenplay other than to do the hard work of character development. I’d start by writing character biographies and put those details into motion. Focus at first on your three main characters, as they are the characters that drive the plot. Watch Aliens again and consider how memorable Ripley is. She is a character who makes choices that drive the plot.

Keep in mind that The Temple is the kind of high-concept script that, if purchased, will be re-written by Hollywood character pros who know exactly how to create memorable characters. Some writers write characters. Some write plot. Few do both well.

Commander Burton

Commander Michael Burton is your protagonist (clearly as written, the story would NOT occur without his desire to capture or kill the terrorist leader Hassan Bashathiti) and is the leader of this merc unit. His leadership role is lost in this draft. Characters are defined by the choices they make so give him some. Make him have to consider hard options that may very well put his life and the lives of his men in danger. Make him think. Make him sweat. Make him bleed.

Now, here is where the backstory comes into play. If this were my script, I’d deepen the connection between Bashathiti and Burton. Perhaps Bashathiti wiped out Burton’s men in a prior unit giving Burton a burning desire for revenge that clouds his judgment and risks his men. At the very least this would give Burton more motivation to pursue his target – vague promises of money is just not enough. Make Burton’s goals personal and you make him a more compelling character.

Hassan Bashathiti

As of now, he’s a completely underutilized villain. His character should ideally be the most complex and compelling. He could embody the complexities of a war that many Americans (including soldiers on the ground) find baffling like Kurtz in Apocalypse Now.

No matter what, give him a history and a belief system. Make him a fucking legend. Perhaps he’s a ruthless genius fighting for his homeland. I’d even consider opening the script with him doing what he does best – killing infidels – and like I mentioned above, it would help if he had a backstory that linked him dramatically to Burton.

Consider the idea that both Burton and Bashathiti are consumed by hatred and that hatred drives them toward each other (and oblivion) and thus drives the plot toward The Temple.


Megan Keener

Okay here we have another underutilized gem. Megan Keener needs to be stronger. Right now she just sort of ambles along with a group of mercs and really acts like nothing is happening despite the terror of the events going on around her. Maybe she’s a die-hard liberal that abhors war? Maybe she hates men? Maybe she loves the Afghan people? Whatever you decide, she needs to come into direct conflict with Burton and that conflict will help make the story shine. Currently she seems like a device to provide the men information. She needs to be more...

The Mercs

Okay, so we have a team of mercenaries, (I assume they are because that idea is alluded to but never fully explained) who are combat veterans and highly-skilled (why else would they be in the team?) perhaps on the level of Rangers or Delta Force, who are now functioning apparently out of self interest.

All of the secondary characters need to be individuated and defined. Bring them to life by forcing them to make choices that reveal who they are. If they’re mercenaries then make them act like mercs. Most mercs are in it for the MONEY. Why should they risk their lives going into some crazy temple when they don’t know clearly what the reward is?

They love their Commander but how long will that last when they realize they’re on a suicide mission. This dawning realization should give them plenty of choices to make…

I understand your concept that the Temple is drawing them in, but that seemed more like a device to execute the plot than anything else…

I could go on about all the other story elements in The Temple. But in this case the character issues are the most salient problem.

Good work and congrats on placing in Amazon! Don’t be afraid to take the script to the next level.
 
3 out of 3 people found the following review helpful:

A perfect & intoxicating blend of HP Lovecraft & Clive Cussler

Overall Recommendation:
5 stars
 
Premise:
5 stars
 
Story structure:
5 stars
 
Character:
5 stars
 
Dialogue:
5 stars
 
Emotion:
5 stars
 
September 04, 2011
In my opinion, this is truly exceptional. The writing is strong & confident and drives the story forward with dialogue that is taut & crisp and flows realistically with characters who are all diverse, engaging & compelling. This is literate & visual story-telling at its best. The Temple is a magic carpet ride that whisks you away into the tense world and moment-to-moment struggle for existence of a tightly-knit company of seasoned & combat-weary professionals struggling to stay alive amidst the most dangerous theater of war on earth.

As a tag-along & invisible voyeur on their search for their elusive Taliban target, by page five I was so engrossed with the story & characters, I was completely hooked and felt that this could/should be a mini-series like Band of Brothers.

And by the time we get to the Temple, I had this schizoid feeling of not wanting the story to end (I was so enjoying just going along for the ride with guys)... and yet, WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON? And WHAT'S GONNA HAPPEN NEXT??? Never imagined that all hell would soon break loose and/or there would be so much intense (very intense) action just around the next corner, pillar, column... or shadow. Whew! Needless to say, couldn't stop reading & read it from Title Page to final FADE OUT.

Something else I'd like to add is this. I think a lot people have a prejudice against the genre label of Horror; as crappy 80's "slasher" films may be the only (so called) horror film(s) they've ever seen. IMHO, one of the all time great Horror films in Robert Wise's "The Haunting" where the real horror is left to the viewer's imagination. And although we (inside "The Temple") do eventually see the Screamers, the plot is so intricately woven, well-paced & brilliantly conceived; and that there are all the weird SOUNDS and shadows and the blue luminescence... it just built up & compounded the tension, until I found myself eagerly anticipating & wondering WHAT IS IT that is moving about in the shadows? Yikes, and what a great ending! HA! Must admit, it caught me off-guard! Oh, you really nailed it. This is a Classic Horror tale... Howard Philip Lovecraft and Rod Serling would both approve.
 
3 out of 5 people found the following review helpful:

Very well written screenplay with only one problem, lack of different creatures.

Overall Recommendation:
4 stars
 
Premise:
4 stars
 
Story structure:
3 stars
 
Character:
3 stars
 
Dialogue:
3 stars
 
Emotion:
2 stars
 
August 29, 2011
I re-read this film and I found that I really liked that it was different from most zombie/creature films. You were able to keep a great Emotion throughout the film, which is very important with these types of films. I also thought that the Premise was very creative. The only problem with this film, is that there is a lack of different creatures. But this is just my opinion, so I don't think that you should look into it too much. You might love how there is only a very well written Screamer character in your film. I think that this film really deserved all of the exposure that it got. Great job. I am really glad that I re-read your film.

Thanks,

Matthew van der Lee
 
1 out of 3 people found the following review helpful:

Out of half-a-dozen scripts I've read here this one came in forth. The last two I didn't like though the titles sounded good.

Overall Recommendation:
4 stars
 
Premise:
5 stars
 
Story structure:
4 stars
 
Character:
3 stars
 
Dialogue:
3 stars
 
Emotion:
3 stars
 
August 23, 2011
This was the last script that I read, but it came in forth in my selection for movies that I would like to see. I'm downloading more now, and i see where those stack up.

The story was interesting and I would like to see it made into a movie. I think the location would have been better if set in South America, but that's me. That was my only real disappointment. I didn't like a couple of the characters, or maybe it was their names that threw me off. I'm not sure. The emotions seemed too muted, but again, that's my opinion. Overall, it was very good.
 

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