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4 Stars:
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2 Stars:
100.0%
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1 Stars:
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Premise:
5.0 stars
(2)
 
Story structure:
1.5 stars
(2)
 
Character:
1.5 stars
(2)
 
Dialogue:
2.0 stars
(2)
 
Emotion:
1.5 stars
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5 out of 7 people found the following review helpful:

Overwritten!

Overall Recommendation:
2 stars
 
Premise:
5 stars
 
Story structure:
2 stars
 
Character:
2 stars
 
Dialogue:
2 stars
 
Emotion:
2 stars
 
August 24, 2011
style and formatting can improve this script. it is way, way, way overwritten. too many words with huge chunks of black in both the action and dialogue -- slows down the read. industry folks want a fast read.

break it down. ie - every time your camera moves you should have a paragraph break in your action lines. every time you move around in the galley (first paragraph) you can have a break.

and in the first paragraph you move from the sea to inside the galley. see what i mean? it's 2 locations. and during production the sea could be shot on a lake. the galley on a sound stage.

way too much redundancy as well. ie ---
EXT. TYRRHENIAN SEA - DAY

The waves of the Tyrrhenian Sea [you just told us in the heading. no need to tell us again where we are.]
"Oars thrust down into the water in unison..." and then you repeat it. "Two levels of oars row synchroniously [not sure if that's a word] to only the sound of wind and water." WHAT?!

example of what you could just say, "Synchronized oars row." -- i got it!

so many speech dialogues. repeated information and too much exposition. remember, your characters know a lot. they live there. they exist in that time. don't write as if you're telling the audience what they need to know. write as that character (already in the know) would speak.

you could easily cut out 8 pages by taking sharp cutting shears to this. it takes too long to read and i never got to the story itself.
 
4 out of 7 people found the following review helpful:

doesn't address the AS notes

Overall Recommendation:
2 stars
 
Premise:
5 stars
 
Story structure:
1 stars
 
Character:
1 stars
 
Dialogue:
2 stars
 
Emotion:
1 stars
 
August 24, 2011
I’m not clear on the point of this draft since it doesn’t really address the AS notes.

Zombies are now caused by a wolf-man instead of a wolf, but in exactly the same way. The African guide refers to the wolf-man as a “beast from hell” but that doesn’t tell us anything new about its supernatural origins. The “cure” (incomplete in this case) is much the same, involving wolf-man blood.

The Emperor Domitianus takes the Flavius role. He now has a stronger reason to have Titus killed, but is otherwise essentially unchanged.

Asinius takes the Quintus part and is also pretty much the same.

Titus has the same back story, the same actions, and many of the same lines. He rather stupidly sleeps with the Emperor’s mistress, in the Emperor’s palace, and doesn’t even seem to realize that this would tick off the Emperor. He’s no more engaging here and he’s also missing from about half the script.

Thus, the major issues with the original version have not been addressed.

Also, this version includes much unnecessary rewriting of the scenes from the original, with the addition of some unneeded, tedious, and talky new scenes, some of them repeating information we’ve learned earlier or adding extraneous detail. Also the new LONG description blocks are dense and hard to read. (Again, for readability, keeping these to four lines is a good idea.)

The opening scene on board ship increases the budget for no good reason. Nobody wants to build a full-scale working galley for the sake of a 10-second scene.

Pg. 3: “A snort unlike anything Cassius has ever heard emanates from inside.” How can we know what he’s heard before?

The following is one of many overwritten descriptions:

“Cassius’s second in command, ARRIAS a high-ranking officer comes up beside him, flanked by two lesser-ranked SOLDIERS. Cassius glances at Arrias, then back at the crate, stepping nearer to peer inside.”

31 words, which could be 12:

“ARRIAS, Cassius’s second in command, steps up to peer into the crate.”

Pg 6: “It seems Titus that we are not only gladiators today; we are also nannies.” “Nannies” is modern. Nursemaids or wet nurses would be better for the period.

Pg. 8: overwritten and novelistic; leave the shot-by-shot to the cinematographer:

“The sun’s [sun] is blinding as the gladiators reach the exit of the tunnel. They stop, waiting for the proper moment to take the field. Titus holds his hand up to the sky to block the glare. Sweat accumulates on the lock of hair exposed from beneath his helmet and flies off as he shakes his head. The others just squint, waiting for their blindness to pass. Lucius’ jaw drops as the enormity of the place comes into view.”


I got a kick out of your using “editor” in its original sense as an official of the games.

Pg. 9: I liked the Masada line.

Pg. 11: As in the original, how could Lavinia leap into the Imperial Box, which has to be high up enough to protect the Emperor and give him a good view?


19-22: Banquet scene is talky and boring; needs conflict or cutting.

22-24: Bedroom scene is better than the similar library scene in the original. But why is Lavinia taking such a risk, cheating on the Emperor? Titus doesn’t even seem to recognize the risk. Also, she’s throwing herself at a man she’s never even talked to. So she’s a slut and a reckless cheat; why exactly are we suppose to like her, other than she’s hot and can turn cartwheels?

Pg.24: The discovery of Titus with Lavinia certainly gives the Emperor an incentive to kill Titus, and is better than the vague peevish jealousy in some other versions. On the other hand, Titus really brought this on himself, rather stupidly, which diminishes sympathy for him.

25-26: Domitianus seems rather cold-blooded for a man who’s just discovered a gladiator sleeping with his concubine. Maybe make him angrier here?

28-30: The Asinius-Aurelius scene (might want to change those similar names, btw) is long and talky and doesn’t tell us anything we don’t already know. You could get the plague info to Asinius in about 2 lines.

30-32: pointless and boring exposition about the missing doctor

33: “His lungs still work, but he no longer breathes.” So how do they know his lungs work?

32-33: Another dull scene, and all this time Titus is off-stage. All of this could be compressed and get us back to the action faster.

35: Doesn’t Titus doubt that the Emperor has forgiven him? He seems kind of dim here…. The script could use some scenes that show Titus responding emotionally to what's going on around him.

35-38: ANOTHER scene where the characters are discussing what the audience already knows.

38-42: Long dull scenes with the doctor and Quinta and the General – and no Titus.

Pg 48: The first zombie-gladiator fight comes very late.


Pg. 76: Same back story for Titus as in the original, and still late.

Pg. 85: How does Drusis happen to turn up the moment his name is mentioned?


99-101: Titus is hanging out at the hospital while Valerius is leading the fight against the zombies. He shows up with the cure on page 102, and then vanishes again from 103-106.

The ending seems anti-climactic, and I don’t see the point of the end titles.

And I REALLY don’t like Titus riding off with a passive, zombie-fied Lavinia. This feels like necrophilia. There’s not even a suggestion that he’s going off to find a cure for her.

There were a number of mistakes in punctuation, etc., and I found lines like the following anachronistic:

-- The Captain… He’s… Oh, shit…

-- Okay, you were right.

Overall, this draft fails to address the AS notes. The writing is weaker than in the original version, and this version adds very little that’s new and interesting.
 

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