Thursday, November 27, 2008

What, When, Where this Weekend - Australia, Milk, Four Christmases, Transporter 3

What, When, Where is a weekly guide to select screenings, discussions and events in the NYC-area of interest to screenwriters.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Opening this weekend...

AUSTRALIA, written by Stuart Beattie and Baz Luhrmann, dir. by Baz Luhrmann

Premise: Set in northern Australia before World War II, an English aristocrat who inherits a sprawling ranch reluctantly pacts with a stock-man in order to protect her new property from a takeover plot. As the pair drive 2,000 head of cattle over unforgiving landscape, they experience the bombing of Darwin, Australia, by Japanese forces firsthand.

Playing at: Loews Kips Bay, Clearview Chelsea

I've always really liked the energy and visual style of Baz Luhrman's Red Curtain trilogy (Romeo + Juliet, Strictly Ballroom, Moulin Rouge) and even went so far as to catch the opera he directed on Broadway a few years back. I'm a little cautious, though, to see him trying something so... straight-forward looking. But I'm in. I trust him, even without John Leguizamo.

MILK, written by Dustin Lance Black, dir. by Gus Van Sant

Premise: The story of California's first openly gay elected official, Harvey Milk, a San Francisco supervisor who was assassinated along with Mayor George Moscone by San Francisco Supervisor Dan White.

Playing at: Loews Village VII, Clearview Chelsea, Lincoln Plaza Cinemas

Great buzz, and I like Gus Van Sant. I'm in for this one, too.

FOUR CHRISTMASES, written by Matt Allen and Caleb Wilson, dir. by Seth Gordon

Premise: A couple struggle to visit all four of their divorced parents on Christmas Day.

Playing at: Everywhere.

Okay, I don't like Vince Vaughan. Don't think he's funny. Sorry, everyone. I tried, but he still just grates on me. No interest in this one, but it'll do well enough.

TRANSPORTER 3, written by Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen, dir. by Olivier Megaton

Premise: Jason Statham is back in the third outing of 'The Transporter'. This time he's hired by a criminal mastermind to go on a mission to deliver a 'package'. With Frank Martin now electronically rigged, he must complete his mission or die!

Playing at: All over.

Gotta love the use of quotation marks in that synopsis.

First movie was bad. Second was even worse. Third one seems to be a car commercial. No thanks.

The "plot" centers around a "device" that's been placed in "Jason Statham's" "car". It won't "allow" him to get more than "75 yards" from the "car" or he'll "die". Which means plenty of gratuitous shots of his new Audi. Drive Audi!

Note, the director's last name is almost Megatron. Damn, that guy just missed out.

What are you doing/seeing this weekend?

Happy Thanksgiving!

Taking a cue from screenwriter and blogger Ken Levine, the League would like to share a few things we're thankful for:

Cake Man:
- Batman movies – especially BB and TDK
- Movie soundtracks (for sale/download)
- Netflix
- Weekend morning matinees at AMC/Loews
- Email query letters
- Screenwriting software
- A writers group that even helps me write letters to women (though, come to think of it, all those relationships have ended poorly)


- Family
- Screenwriters League
- Feedback
- Boston Bruins
- Matt Cassell's recent confidence
- Good health
- Friends
- My apartment
- Obama


- The writing gods have not forsaken me
- That I didn't have to choose between writing and boyfriend
- Friends and ridiculous email threads that cheer me up at work (Thank you, Onyx, for making me look up what teabagging means)
- Being warm, full, dry, clothed, and relatively happy

- The Delete Key
- Bad Blockbuster movies that make me feel better about my own work
- Writing something that makes me laugh, even if I cut it later.

King Suckerman:
- My friends and family.
- Brotherhood, The Wire, Homicide: Life on the Street, Oz, Flight of the Conchords, Californication, 30 Rock, Weeds and The First 48.
- Anything by Pelecanos, Connelly, Lehane, Ellroy, Simon and Price. Great entertainment, even greater motivation.
- My cat.
- This blog, for motivating me to keep writing.
- My job. It's a job, but it's a pretty cool one.
- The Replacements, Talking Heads, Rolling Stones, PIxies, Beatles, Mission of Burma, Gang of Four, Wilco and a ton more musical acts that make up the soundtrack to my writing.
- SILENT CITY. It feels nice to have 60 or so pages in my hands of something I've written. Might not be good, but it's mine.
- Anything by Chandler, Hammett, Thompson, MacDonald and Goodis. The classics of crime fiction.
- The Miami Dolphins finally winning a few games. Jeez.

- Antigravity Cats.
- You, dear readers. You! YOU! (But not you...)
- The League, not only for putting up with all of my delays in sending around screenplay pages, but encouraging me despite that.
- Sweet, sweet vinyl reissues of the Mission of Burma catalog.
- Having my 33 1/3 proposal just about finished...
- ... as well as the spec script I mentioned earlier.
- The New York Giants 10-1. Just keep stompin' them out. AM I RIGHT?

Would you like to share yours?