Overall Recommendation:
2.0 stars
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5 Stars:
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4 Stars:
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3 Stars:
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2 Stars:
100.0%
(1)
 
1 Stars:
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Premise:
5.0 stars
(1)
 
Story structure:
2.0 stars
(1)
 
Character:
1.0 stars
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Dialogue:
2.0 stars
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Emotion:
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5 out of 6 people found the following review helpful:

not an improvement

Overall Recommendation:
2 stars
 
Premise:
5 stars
 
Story structure:
2 stars
 
Character:
1 stars
 
Dialogue:
2 stars
 
Emotion:
1 stars
 
August 21, 2011
This version gets into the action quickly – perhaps TOO quickly. Titus is introduced on page one with no description – not even an age.

In terms of story, structure, and dialogue, the new first and second acts are very similar to the original, but without the wolf. But many of the fun features – like those elephants – have been dropped. And many of the action/description blocks are now VERY long and dense, which makes the script much harder to read even when the wording hasn’t changed from the original.

(Note that keeping description blocks to four lines makes for more white space and an easier read.)

This draft really addresses only one of the major AS notes: the zombies now have a supernatural origin. However, it isn’t a very satisfying one: the Empress Poppaea simply creates one on page 18, Nero unleashes it on Titus because he’s annoyed with him on page 22, and then both Nero and Poppaea pretty much vanish from the story until page 86 while the zombies do their thing and Quintus makes his play for power.

Poppaea’s supernatural ability comes out of the blue, and the implications aren’t explored. Should we assume that this is the first time she created a zombie? If so, where did she learn how to do it? Is the goddess an interested party here, and, if so, why? Doesn’t Poppaea realize what the zombie’s going to do to the city once she creates it? How did she plan to stop it once it’s killed Titus? Didn’t she think that far ahead? Does she have other magical powers? If so, why can’t she use them to STOP the zombies? Making her (and maybe the goddess) a bigger part of the story might make this initial zombie-making both more plausible and more interesting.

The villain isn’t significantly different and doesn’t drive the plot in any new way. Octavius (a gladiator) is the new head zombie, rather than the Emperor, but operates much the same way. Poppaea could be considered a villain here, since she makes the first zombie, but she does it very casually and then vanishes from the story. Nero here is very similar to Flavius in the first act of the original: he sics the first zombie on Titus because he’s jealous and annoyed with him. But this seems more childish than villainous. When he orders the city burned at the end, it seems he’s just going through the motions: burning down Rome is in Nero’s job description.

Titus isn’t very different here, but is less likeable. He just grunts at Lucius on page one and insults him on page 2. On page 12 he rejects Lavinia because he’s “not in the mood” and on page 13 he yells at her: “SHUT YOUR MOUTH NOW!” At which point you’ve just lost two of your four quadrants.

The new dialogue doesn’t integrate well with the old. A line like “For what it is worth, I thought it was brilliant...you know until the almost getting blown to pieces bit at the end” sounds like Ron Weasely in the Harry Potter movies.

And Titus just sounds peevish when he says “I’m sick of it all. I just want to be done with all of this. All of you. I don’t know why I should keep risking my neck to save yours.”

Overall, this draft fails to effectively address the AS story notes and improve on the original.
 

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