Sunday, November 07, 2004

"Project: Greenlight" memories and Gothika

A few years ago, I submitted Hot Coffee, Warm Donuts, Cold Blood into the first Project: Greenlight.

This has been wandering around my mind of late.

As part of the entry, for those who don't know, you had to read three other screenplays and review them.

I read one that was something like a cross between Clerks, a really boring movie about driving all over the place and, say, Glen Or Glenda?. Suffice it to say, I don't recall the title. It was however, one of those "_____ and _____" style titles. It was the least surprising screenplay there. It was bad in a very trite, expected kind of way.

I also read one that I believe was called something like "The Curse Of Bambino". It was a decent, even promising, screenplay about a group of rabid Red Sox fans who dig up The Babe and bury him behind home plate at Fenway. It had some major plot holes, but it had a lot of potential. I've thought about it a number of times recently, for obvious reasons, and feel ambivalent for the guy... He's clearly a Red Sox fan, so he must've been thrilled, but then, not much chance that script'll get bought now, though, eh?

The third was called "Welcome To Hell" and it was weird amalgam of say The Phantom Of The Paradise, A Boy And His Dog and, well, Black Roses. Does that help you? Well, ok, remember, this movie was written with no regard for any known proper or vernacular English syntax. It was about, well, a death metal band that sells its souls to become the biggest sensation since, let's just stick with The Beatles. Anyway, along the way, their great Satanic success brings about the apocalypse and assorted other bits of unpleasantness.

This comes to mind now, because I just saw Gothika, and, for one of the few times, think that guy might have hope as a screenwriter. If Sebastian Gutierrez can get someone to write a check to make that movie, then anyone can get someone to.

Yeah, there's always the nagging desire to write something like "Gothika makes 'Welcome To Hell' seem like Citizen Kane" or whatever bit of hyperbole. Unfortunately, it is merely, well, about as good, and most of the time I'd be mean that itself as a truly gross form of hyperbole, but I'm actually serious.

First of all, "Gothika" means nothing. You could, as logically, have named the movie "Chimpanzee".

Secondly, the dialog is ass.

No, an ass... even a chimpanzee's ass... would speak in more plausible ways than the characters in that movie. It's like a string of bad clichés tied together in ways that make little sense. It's like a Xerox of a cliché. It's the kind of movie that makes you appreciate how good Robert Downey Jr. and Charles S. Dutton are. Their lines aren't less stupid than anyone else's, they just have the magic touch that makes them sound better.

Not only that, it has the single biggest plot hole I've ever seen. Half the movie is spent wondering how they thought it made sense.

For the curious, it's the ghost girls identity and her ignorance of it. Perhaps earlier drafts made sense of this, but the movie itself makes none at all.

Not only that, but it's one of those obnoxious movies where the camera moves around and around and bounces all around, well, except in the shower scene. We might have seen naughty parts... and, well, Lord knows what would happen if the public at large were just able to rent a video and see Halle Berry or Penelope Cruz's bosoms!

There's no point to all of this. It's crap. The worst kind of crap.

And they paid people to make it.

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