Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Film and the Economy

Relating to my previous post, I stumbled upon this interview with Don Starr, CEO of production company Grosvenor Park, who gives his take on how the unstable market will affect Hollywood. While it's pretty obvious studios will have to make cuts, he offers unique predictions about the future of big-budget and independent filmmaking.

It's a quick read. Check it out.

DVD Junkie #2: Metalocalypse

If you're in your twenties and have had access to either a television or a computer at some point in the past decade, there's a good chance you've watched adult swim, the late-night block of unusual television aimed at that golden 20-30 male demographic. Adult swim has gone through many changes through the years, and today I'll be reviewing one of the most highly-evolved adult swim shows - Brendan Small's bite-size hardcore sitcom, Metalocalypse.

Adult swim cornered the late-night stoner market back in the early 00's (I hear we're calling it "the Naught-ies" now, what will they come up with next) with offbeat original animations and dubbed episodes of Cowboy Bebop. The seed for the spinoff network was actually planted half a decade earlier - coming from that bizarre Hanna-Barbera bastardization cum bewildering talk show "Space Ghost Coast to Coast", which in turn came close on the heels of the trippy MTV animation block "Liquid Television". For those of you who remember, back in the early nineties Liquid Television launched Bevis and Butthead, Aeon Flux and has the distinction of being one of the first times TV specifically aimed their programming at chemically altered teenagers who needed something to do after they'd run down their cassette tapes of "Dark Side of the Moon". It was a winning formula - and even back in pre-TRL MTV (which when I think back on it now seems sort of lawless and free - Kurt Loder reported actual news, MTV showed actual music videos, and MTV was like an awesome older sibling instead of some squealing soulless preteen) Liquid Television stood out as something different, something weird, and as something that resonated with small town younguns with nothing better to do than sit in their wood-paneled basements and watch horrifically distended people jumping through bleak, dystopian landscapes.

then and now... aww, now I've gone and made myself sad :(

Space Ghost Coast to Coast latched onto that early market, and slowly that early pioneer of the bizarre Adult Swim format cultivated those stoner kids into a powerful niche of the market, right as they were being alienated from MTV by the channels increased focus on new, more impressionable pre-teen (or ... ugh ... "tween") viewers. The kids who so desperately wanted their MTV in the 80's and 90's had now been flatly dumped by it, and were ripe for the next big thing.

As Adult Swim's market share grew, Cartoon Network, and specifically Williams Street (the company that develops the lion's share of Adult Swim's original content) realized there was real money to be made tailoring shows to kids zonked out of their minds on weed and cough syrup, so they gave Adult Swim a great deal of autonomy (even officially breaking Adult Swim into its own channel so that it wouldn't skew the ratings for kid-friendly Cartoon Network). Williams Street in turn started developing more of their own shows, expanding the Space Ghost formula into an entire line of sometimes downright bizarre shows. That format morphed and grew, and has now found a profitable and influential place with the youth - where those disaffected high-as-balls teenagers have moved from their friend's basement to their dorms to their very own couches with their very own bongs, watching adult swim the entire time.

In any case, the Adult Swim format is hard to pin down and even harder to perfect. it's either brain-poisioningly stupid or absolutely brilliant, with very little in between. The good thing is, when they do it well, it's very entertaining and appears effortless, even to those of us not high as a kite. The bad thing is, for every Venture Brothers or Harvey Birdman out there, there are something like fourteen "Tim and Eric Awesome Shows". Usually they're short-lived, and universally seem like they're a hell of a lot more fun to be in than to watch. Which wouldn't be hard. Sometimes it seems like the execs just throw whatever they can at the wall and see what sticks. I mean, their target demographic would literally watch a test pattern and be heartily entertained for 15 minutes anyway, so why not experiment? And in the same way experiments sometimes create the epic failures that make up much of Adult Swim's original programming, they also, once in a great while, create something truly magical.

This is what the average Adult Swim viewer watches.
(Oh look, Zombie, it's your new best friend!)

Before Metalocalypse, Brendon Small was better known in the world of Adult Swim for his series "Home Movies", which was one of the first shows aired on Adult Swim and follows the trials and tribulations of Brendon, an elementary school student and budding filmmaker who dealt with his (actually quite depressing, when you think about it) life by grabbing his mom's vhs recorder and making movies with his friends. As much as I'd like to think that Home Movies was 100% biographical, my trusty friend wikipedia tells me that the real Brendon Small actually had a lot more to do with music - attending to the prestigious Berklee college of music. Taking that and the fact that he plays a good number of instruments on Dethklok's songs, the guy isn't too shabby of a musician, and the fact that he created a show so firmly based in music comes as no surprise.

Metalocalypse is one of the later Adult Swim shows, and is definitely one of the places where the disjointed narrative format and ludicrously mundane plots combine to create the unexpected magic that Adult Swim is famous for. The story of the show is roughly this: The most influential band in all of history, which just happens to be of the soul-rending black metal variety and covered in spikes, called Dethklok, has their every move watched by a secret tribunal of world leaders. And that's basically it. The tribunal watches, and Dethklok does a lot of navel gazing and texting. Oh sure, every once in a while they awaken a hellspawn troll or cause the death of thousands through their elaborate (and spiky) stage shows, but the very substance of Metalocalypse is that there is none. The Hollywood ideal of incite>conflict>resolution is left by the wayside. This is nothing new for Adult Swim's lineup, but the way in which Small executes the show is just about flawless.

*sigh* they grow up so fast...

Metalocalypse knows itself and its own potential in a way that not many Adult Swim shows can pull off - the characters are fully formed, the style is rock solid, and despite the apparent lack of forward motion, upon watching both seasons as whole works, there is a definite sense of trajectory. Side characters like Dr. Rockso, the rock 'n' roll clown (who, as you soon learn, does cocaine), have actual arcs through multiple episodes, and even though it is definitely a show meant to be watched out of order, without continuity, it shows a fundamental maturity that many adult swim shows lack. You care about the characters in a way that you're never even allowed to on a show such as Sealab 2021 or Aqua Teen Hunger Force. and also, unlike these shows, the watchability is not diminished by sobriety, which gives it a serious advantage over its more disjointed cousins.

But one of the best things about Metalocalypse is the fact that it has made metal accessible to just about anyone, regardless of personal music tastes. Personally, metal has never been my forte, honestly. I've always known as much about metal as I know about Mixed Martial Arts fighting and French New Wave: i.e., just enough to get me laid. But metal has never been that far from my heart either - from my brother's earnest garage-band practice sessions, to the long-haired, black-shirted metalheads that dotted much of my early love life, to the truly awesome music videos that come from the genre. While not a fan, I am a friend and sibling of fans, and have grown up with an interest in and understanding of the culture that goes along with it. I may have some predisposition to enjoy this show because of my anecdotal experiences with metal and its resulting culture, but still, I have seen people who think Metallica is too hardcore for their tastes become fans of the show, and not in spite of the music that is so close to the show's core.

Metalocalypse is metal taken to its distant yet logical conclusion, and paints a world that has been depicted in music videos for years - Metal is king, and all the world bows before it. As a complete universe, it has a smack of real fanboy glee about it, actually. One thing you can tell about the creators of this show is that they had a hell of a lot of fun creating this metal universe - the attention to detail, the inside jokes, the sly poking of fun at the stoic Scandinavians - not only did they know what they were talking about, they really enjoyed talking about it too.

Dethklok itself is a warped composite of many different bands in the metal and hardcore worlds - there are theatrics and all manner of musical styles that Dethklok touches on. And Metalocalypse is structured similarly to one of those "Hard Day's Night"-esque band vehicles - just about every episode has a song that is performed in a music video style and the song ties in with the plot. Just one aspect of that they poke fun at, which I'll take a minute to explain, is Scandinavian Black Metal - a genre that is not so much misunderstood as truly and abjectly pretty terrifying when you get right down to it and in real life has involved murder, burning down churches and all manner of crazy stuff. There are many different styles of black metal, of varying intensity, but for those of you who didn't have the experience of growing up with an older brother or the luck to be considered irresistible by every barrel-chested guy with an unruly goatee and a slayer t-shirt within a five block radius, here's an example which should give you a good introduction to Scandi black metal - Dimmu Borgir's "Progenies of the Great Apocalypse" (Slightly NSFW, if a brief glimpse or three of a topless woman on a chain or a guitar solo that rocks so hard it ends the goddamn world isn't kosher in your workplace):

Now mind you, ye uninitiated in this darker side of rock, this is the melodic end of black metal and is honestly on the lighter side of the genre. Metalocalypse takes these theatrics and turns them into something truly magical - the "videos" involved in each episode are clever pastiches of these styles - using popular metal video elements like 1-2 frame alternating cuts, meat lockers, bold colors, the undead, and buckets and buckets of bloody violence.

Metalocalypse is worth a watch, even if you don't have any stake in Adult Swim or the bizarre animations that have so marked growing up in the current generation. Actually, I'd go as far as saying Metalocalypse would be an excellent entry point for someone looking to start watching the Adult Swim animation lineup (the Venture Brothers is an excellent place to start as well), and as a parting gift, here's another awesome metal video: Lair of the Minotaur - "War Metal Battle Master" (NSFW if your boss has something against hot topless zombies or sepia gradient filters):

The second season of Metalocalypse was just released last week as a soul-crushing DVD, with a lot of extras and all sorts of hardcore stuff for $20.99 on Amazon. The perfect Christmas gift for grandparents, young children, or your local youth pastor. It can also be seen most nights on Adult Swim in a rotating lineup.

Also, for those interested, a huge 10th anniversary boxed set of Home Movies has been released for the holiday season on Amazon for $99.99.

DVD Junkie is a weekly review of TV Series on DVD. Kosmic has the most packed DVR you ever did see, and agrees that Bloodrucution makes an awesome song name.

Black List '08 released: Hollywood's hottest screenplays of 2008

The annual Black List is a polling of 250 industry insiders of the hottest, most passed-around screenplays over the last year. These are the ones people are talking about - crossing over producers desks and onto actors' laps. It's an interesting, interesting read, just to check out all of the different loglines that are piquing Hollywood's interest.

1. The Beaver by Kyle Killen
A depressed man finds hope in a beaver puppet that he wears on his hand.
Status: Steve Carell is attached to star.

2. The Oranges by Jay Reiss and Ian Helfer
“A man has a romantic relationship with the daughter of a family friend, which turns
their lives upside down.”
Status: Anthony Bregman (Thumbsucker) and Media Rights Capital will produce.

3. Butter by Jason Micallef
“A small town becomes a center for controversy and jealousy as its annual butter carving contest begins.”
Status: Jennifer Garner is in talks to play Laura, Michael De Luca Productions producing.

4. Big Hole by Michael Gilio
“An old cowboy goes on a mission to recover his money after a million dollar sweepstakes scam cleans out his entire bank account.”
Status: Aversano Films (Failure to Launch) is producing.

5. The Low Dweller by Brad Ingelsby

“A man trying to assimilate into society after being released from jail discovers that someone from his past is out to settle a score.”
It’s Like: Unforgiven, only less geriatric. And much less forgiving.
Status: Relativity, Energy Entertainment, Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way and Tony and Ridley Scott’s Scott Free Productions will co-produce.

6. F***buddies by Liz Meriwether
“A guy and a girl struggle to have an to realize they want much more.”
Status: Montecito Picture Company producing.

7. Winter’s Discontent by Paul Fruchbom
“When Herb Winter’s wife of fifty years dies, the faithful but sexually frustrated widower moves into a retirement community to start living the swinging single life.”
Status: Sony’s Atlas Entertainment producing.

8. Broken City by Brian Tucker

“A New York private investigator gets sucked into a shady mayoral election.”

9. I’m With Cancer by Will Reiser

“A autobiographical comic account of one man’s struggle to beat cancer.”
Status: Seth Rogen is producing and signed on to co-star.

10. Our Brand Is Crisis by Peter Straughan
“Based on the eponymous documentary. James Carville and a team of U.S. political consultants travel to South Abecome President of Bolivia.”
Status: Warner Bros and George Clooney’s Company producing.

INGLORIOUS BASTERDS by Quentin Tarantino
“American soldiers, French peasants, French resistance, and Naziscollide in Hitler
occupied France.”

“After thirty years of marriage, a middle-aged couple attends an intense counseling weekend to decide the fate of their marriage.”

GALAHAD by Ryan Condal
“A revisionist twist on the King Arthur legend from the knight Galahad’s perspective.”

THE WEST IS DEAD by Andrew Baldwin
“During the Great Depression, a group of semi-outlaws go on the run from the law when forced to vacate a town as the Hoover dam is constructed.”

MANUSCRIPT by Paul Grellong
“A contemporary thriller about three bright, young New Yorkers with boundless literary ambition who will stop at nothing to get what they want.”

THE TUTOR by Matthew Fogel
“A twenty three year old recent graduate decides, at his mother’s insistence, to tutor his ex-girlfriend’s younger sister for the SATs. When they begin a romantic relationship, his ex-girlfriend moves in love with our anti-hero as well.”

SUNFLOWER by MishaGreen
“Two young women struggle to escape from and exact revenge on the deranged college professor who holds them hostage.”

NOWHERE BOY by Matt Greenhalgh
“The story of John Lennon’s rise from lonely, Liverpool teenager to iconic rock star.”

“A couple tries to maintain a long-distance relationship.”

THE AMERICAN WAY by Brian Kistler
“Two brothers are affected by their parents’murder, leading one to the FBI and the other to a life of crime.”

THE DESCENDANTS by Nat Faxon& Jim Rash
“A newly widowed father -also one of the richest men in Oahu, Hawaii -takes off with his two Kauai.”

RAINDROPS ALL AROUND ME by Reed Agnew & Eli Jorne
“A socially awkward high school teacher learns to ‘dumb it down’in order to fit in with those around him.”

“The outlandish journey of a young man in search of love and whathe’s meant to do with his life.”

A COUPLE OF DICKS by Mark Cullen & Robb Cullen
“Two veteran LAPD detectives attempt to track down a stolen, mint-condition, 1952 baseball card that one of the ddaughter’s upcoming wedding.”

GAY DUDE by Alan Yang
“A comedy about the friendship of two high school seniors that’s torn apart after one comes out of the closet.”

“A teenage apprentice in a macabre circus for the dead yearns to bring his true love back to life, but not before encountering the many dangerous and mysterious gothic characters that stand in his way.”

UNDERAGE by Scott Neustadter & Michael Weber
“A seventeen-year-old seduces a twentysomething man and then blackmails him into being her boyfriend in order to exact revenge on her high school aged ex.”

CODE NAME VEIL by Matt Billingsley
“Based on actual events. A young CIA agent struggles to maintain his morality while navigating dangerous and absurd conditions in 1980s Beirut.”

“A relapsed alcoholic loses his job and his wife and decides to live on his front lawn while selling all of his belongings in a yard sale.”

THE FOURTH KIND by Olatunde Osunsanmi
“A woman investigates an extraordinary number of unexplained disappearances from one small town in Alaska.”

FOXCATCHER by E Max Frye & Dan Futterman
“Based on the true story of John du Pont, a paranoid schizophrenic who was heir to the du Pont fortune. After building a wrestling training facility named Team Foxcatcher on his Pennsylvania estate, Du Pont shot and killed Olympic gold medal-winning grappler David Schulz.”

THE PHANTOM LIMB by Kevin Koehler
“A troubled private detective uncovers a blackmail scam involving a gangster who runs a brothel that caters to amputee fetishes (and other taboo sdoctor who performs the body modifications.”

“When an upper class dysfunctional New York family learn their youngest daughter has joined a cult in the midwest, they recruit a cult deprogrammer and go on the road to save her while both parents and siblings confront their issues with one another.”

THE F-WORD by Elan Mastai
“Two best friends struggle with falling in love without ruining the bond between them.”

UP IN THE AIR by Jason Reitman
“A ruthless human resources executive, whose job is to fire people, looks forward to the only joy he has in life, his millionth frequent flyer mile, a goal he pursues with zeal as the rest of his life falls apart around him because he is constantly on the road.”

BACHELORETTE by LeslyeHeadland
“Ten years out of high school, three unhappy single friends come together as bridesmaids at a classmate’s wedding, get drunk, get high, andwhile romancing new and old loves and settling old business.”

JONNY QUEST by Dan Mazeau
“Young Jonny Quest travels the world with his scientist father, adopted brother from India, Bandit the bulldog, and a government agent assigned to protect them while they investigate scientific mysteries.”

THE KARMA COALITION by Shawn Christensen
“A professor embarks on a quest to uncover the truth behind his wife’s death before the world ends.”

KEIKO by Elizabeth Wright Shapiro
“A white teenage girl, who was adopted and raised in Japan by Japanese parents, travels to America to find her long lost father, comedian Dana Carvey.”

KNIGHTS by Nick Confalone & Neal Dusedau

“A kickass British adventure where knighted celebrities (an entrepreneur, a soccer player, a musician, and an actor) are called upon to defend their country.”

TWENTY TIMES A LADY by Gabrielle Allan & Jennifer Crittenden
“Based on the book by Karyn Bosnak. After realizing that she has had twice as many sexual partners as the national average, Ally swears off new guys and decides to back and visit the previous twenty guys and find out if she overlooked anyone.”

CLEAR WINTER NOON by John Kolvenbach
“A hit man released from jail in his seventies tries to make amends for the innocent life he took.”

“Based on the novel by Tom Robbins. An irascible, world-weary CIA operative is duped by his boss into helping re-place a listening device back in Russian hands that is vital to spying on them.”

ROUNDTABLE by Brian K Vaughan
“In modern day, Merlin attempts to assemble a bunch of knights to battle an ancient evil.”

“A writer struggling with drugs and his girlfriend’s death leaves New York for Los Angeles where he falls in love with a teacher and straightens out his life.”

“Emmanuel Lewis and Gary Coleman save the world from an evil madman.”

THE LAYMAN’S TERMS by Jeremy Bailey
“In the midst of the Great Depression, a prodigal son returns home to face his demons and resurrect the dust bowl town he left behind. But the arrival of a mysterious woman soon threatens his way of life when he discovers she is being hunted by the very same Chicago gangsters he used to run with.”

THE MALLUSIONIST by Robbie Pickering & Jace Ricci
“A wannabe illusionist travels cross country with his young son to compete against his archnemesisin a Vegas magic show.”

PLAN B by Kate Angelo
“A woman sets out to be artificially inseminated and falls in love.”

WHAT IS LIFE WORTH? By Max Borenstein
“Based on the memoir of Kenneth Feinberg, a dramatization of his involvement in the 9/11 victims compensation fund.”

ACOD: ADULT CHILDREN OF DIVORCE by Ben Karlin& Stu Zicherman
“A grown man finds himself still caught in the crossfire of his parents’ divorce.”

BAD TEACHER by Lee Eisenberg & Gene Stupnitsky
“After being dumped by her boyfriend, a foul-mouthed, gold-digging seventh-grade teacher sets her sights on a colleague who is dating the school’s model teacher.”

THE BIRTHDAY PARTY by Charles Randolph
“The true story of former Assistant United States attorney Stanley Alpert’s kidnapping by petty thieves and how he bonded with them in a Queens, NY apartment in 1998.”

CHILD 44 by Richard Price
“Based on the novel by Tom Rob Smith. An officer in Stalinist Russia’s secret police is framed by a colleague for treason. While on the run with hiswife, he stumbles upon a series of child murders and launches his own rogue investigation.”

“The story of Linda Lovelace, the first mainstream porn star who eventually overcame her past, found happiness in suburbia and led a crusade to stop pornography.”

EASY A by Bert Royal
“A good-natured high school student uses the rumor mill to personal advantage by pretending to be the school slut.”

GRAND THEFT AUTO by Jason Dean Hall
“Facing foreclosure on his repo yard, a young ex-con resumes a life of crime only to get blamed when his uncle’s coke deal gets hijacked. Caught in double crosses between Russian mafia, Yakuza, and the ATF, the young ex-con kidnaps a crime boss’s daughter and steals car after car on a Vegas bound suicide mission to retrieve the stolen drugs.”

“When an email predator dupes a man out of his son’s college fund, the man travels to Nigeria to confront those who ripped him off.”

GIANTS by Eric Nazarian
“A teenager with Marfan Syndrome comes to terms with his estranged father, his overworked mother, and the possibility that he very well might die during his upcoming procedure.”

LONDON BOULEVARD by William Monahan
“Based on the book by Ken Fruen. Fresh out of prison, Mitchell lands a legitimate job as a handyman for a rich actress who’s eager to reward him with cash, cars, and sex. But Mitchell can never truly escape his violent past or the dangerous world of loan sharks, drug addicts and other bottom-feeders.”

SHRAPNEL by Evan Daugherty
“Two mortal enemies square off on a hunting trip to the death.”

YOUR DREAMS SUCK by Kat Dennings & Geoffrey Litwak
“An awkward teen with no self esteem regains his self-confidence after joining a Dance Dance Revolution team.”

MEMOIRS by Will Fetters
“Two college students who’ve experienced recent loss fall in love and heal their fractured families.”

“Jerry seems to have it all — money, women, and a ridiculously easy job as a greeting card writer — until a tiny mistake at work unravels his life. Having lost everything he had — but never earned —he’s forced to confront who he really is and start again from scratch.”

AFTER HAILEY by Scott Frank
“Based on the novel by Jonathan Tropper. After a twentysomething man’s older wife dies, he remains in suburbia and struggles to raise her teenage son from a previous marriage.”

THE BLADE ITSELF by Aaron Stockard
“Based on the novel by Marcus Sakey. Two former childhood friends, who made their reputation committing petty crimes, are reunited years later, forcing one of them to decide how far he will go to protect his past.”

FRESHLY POPPED by Megan Parsons
“A teenage girl who works at a movie theater tries to decide to whom she wants to lose her virginity.”

GAZA by Frank Deasy
“A British woman goes to Gaza to recover the body of her dead daughter and comes to
understand her daughter’s political ideals.”

“Two orphans, raised by a CIA operative to be assassins, become targets themselves.”

MAN OF CLOTH by Josh Zetumer
“When an English minister’s family (wife and youngest son) are unjustly punished and sent off to a prison colony in Australia, the minister and his oldest son travel to Australia to re-unite the family. Upon arrival though, the minister is informed of their death, and quickly vengeance is the only thing that can quiet his hurt.”

GROWN MAN BUSINESS by Justin Britt-Gibson
“An older man who was a gangster in his youth returns to his neighborhood after a long absence to find the boys who murdered the son he abandoned years previous.”

HOW TO BE GOOD by Cindy Chupack
“Based on the novel by Nick Hornby. A woman having second thoughts about her husband is pleased when he begins following a guru, but when her husband invites the guru to live with them, her point of view changes entirely.”

IRON JACK by Johnny Rosenthal
“A renowned novelist’s comic quest for hidden treasure in the 1930s.”

THE HERETIC by Javier Rodriguez
“The Roman Catholic Church asks a former inquisitor to assassinate rebel monk Martin Luther.”

UNLOCKED by Peter O’Brien
“A female CIA interrogator is duped into getting a terrorist to provide key information to the wrong side, thrusting her into the middle of a plot to plan a devastating biological attack in London.”

“A haunting erotic fairy tale about Lucy, a student who drifts into prostitution and finds her niche as a woman who sleeps, drugged, in a ‘Sleeping Beauty chamber’ while men do to her what she can‘t remember the next morning.”

“A lonely journalist finds love and inspiration in a quirky, unlikely manner –covering the misadventures of a young boy’s ‘protest’ of an animal rights movement.”

A TALE OF TWO CITIES by Beau Willimon
“Based on the novel by Charles Dickens. Set in Paris and London during the French Revolution, English aristocrat Sydney Carton sacrifices his own life for his unrequited love Lucie Manette and Frenchman Charles Darnay.”

THE SPELLMAN FILES by Bobby Florsheim & Josh Stolberg
“A family of private investigators use their gumshoe skills to crack cases and pry into one another’s personal lives.”

“The tumultuous and doomed love affair of Jazz Age icons F. Scott Fitzgerald and Zelda Sayre.”

“A seventeen-year-old high school kid meets a ‘hologram’ of himself at thirty-seven-years-old and benefits from their friendship.”

47 RONIN by Chris Morgan
“Forty-seven samurai seek vengeance upon a regional lord who is responsible for the death of their master.”

THE ZERO by Stephen Chin
“Based on the novel by Jess Walter. After a New York City policeman shoots himself in the head following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, he is assigned to work for a shadowy agency at ‘Ground Zero’ and quickly finds himself drawn into a sinister government plot.”

“Based on the book by Julian Rubinstein.”

THE DEBT by Jane Goldman & Matthew Vaughn
“Based on the Israeli film HaHov. Three Israeli Mossad agents discover that a war criminal is still alive and set out to pursue him.”

“A crime boss asks his trusted lieutenant to determine if his young mistress is having an affair (and to kill her and her lover if she is.) The lieutenant confirms the affair but, entranced by the girl, chooses to let them live. Discovering this, the crime boss orders the lieutenant killed, only he escapes and seeks vengeance.”

BOBISM by Ben Wexler
“A shy college student discovers that life in one thousand years will be based on his blog — and he has to stop aliens from the future who want him dead.”

DEADLINE by Soo Hugh
“A discredited journalist navigates dangerous politics to find a missing aid worker.”

BOBBIE SUE by Russell Sharman, Owen Egerton, & Chris Mass
“A hard charging female ambulance chaser becomes the face of a prestigious law firm when an important client is sued for sexual discrimination.”

“A female clothing designer struggles to find love and success after turning thirty.”

“Based on a true story. The controversial love affair between an oil baron and his adopted daughter destroys the empire they built together.”

“A loser discovers a book on how to stop an alien invasion and is thrust into action to stop a real one.”

I KILLED BUDDY CLOY by Nick Garrison & Chase Pletts
“When a terrible act of violence shatters Ray’s hum-drum existence, his sociopath uncle lures him down an absurd, vengeful path.”

HEARTSTOPPER by Dan Antoniazzi & Ben Shiffrin
“A romantic comedy, with a serial killer.”

JAR CITY by Michael Ross
“Based on the film by Baltasar Kormakur. A police detective’s investigation of a murder leads to the uncovering of secrets in a small town.”

SAMURAI by Fernley Phillips
“Set in Japan during the 150 Year War, a ronin out for justice teams up with a ninja and a green-eyed English boy to rid Japan of an evil Lord. Their partnership becomes the stuff of myth.”

THE MOST ANNOYING MAN IN THE WORLD by Kevin Kopelow & Heath Seifert
“A man travels across the country with his annoying brother in order to get to his own wedding.”

“Based on true events. Legendary filmmaker Fritz Lang contends with a mounting police investigation into the death of his first wife, the growing threat of the Third Reich, and a caustic relationship with his female collaborator; all leading to the production of the film M.”

MOTORCADE by Billy Ray
“The President of the United States and his motorcade are attacked during a visit to Los Angeles.”

ONCE UPON A TIME IN HELL by Brian McGreevy & Lee Shipman
“A gritty, contemporary retelling of THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO set in the underworld of the Hell’s Kitchen Irish mob.”

‘TIL BETH DO US PART by Jon Hurwitz & Hayden Schlossberg
“The friendship of two twentysomething men is put to the test when one of them becomes engaged.”

THE SCAVENGERS by Nate Edelman
“Based on the play Playboy of the Western World by J.M. Synge. A ne’er-do-well Irish twentysomething becomes infamous when he commits a haphazard murder and catches the fancy of a brazen barmaid who, bored with her small town existence, sees him as the rebel he always wanted to be and follows him on the run.”

“A dark, sophisticated take on Sherlock Holmes and his trusted number two, Dr. Watson.”

“A dark comedy blending stories of teen love and municipal corruption set against the backdrop of a town plagued by a serial killer that decides to profit the only way it can — by creating a festival and economy around the fact that they have a serial killer.”

SWINGLES by Jeff Roda
“After their best friends get engaged, a dedicated bachelor and a high-strung lawyer team up to help each other get dates by giving revealing insights into the opposite sex (thus inventing ‘swingling’) but complications ensue when they fall for each other.”

“A Los Angeles cop escorts a Korean gang leader back to South Korea. When the gang leader escapes, killing the cop’s partner in the process, he teams with a young Korean gangster in a bloody pursuit of revenge that takes them through the dangerous and exotic underworld of Seoul.”

Special thanks to SlashFilm for posting the list.

Good to see BKV's Roundtable on the list - I'd love to read that one. And how long now has Inglorious Bastards been making the rounds? It seems like I've been hearing about that one for years and years...

Which are you most interested in seeing?

The Writing Wire for 12/10: Move to Minnesota, write a romantic comedy

- Ken Levine blogs about the best new way to sell your spec script: move to Minnesota.

- Living the Romantic Comedy recently posted a great piece on current genre trends and tips on avoid the recent cliches of romantic comedies in your scripts.

- Former Trailer Trash spotlight and shitty movie from the future Fast and Furious has been moved from a summer release to April 2009, usually a sign that the studio thinks it's a turd. You can check out my analysis (and ripping apart) of the trailer over here.

- Alex Cox is working on a Repo Man sequel?? Awesome, but... where were you like, 20 years ago?

- Tween vampire flick Twilight is given the puppet treatment over at Slashfilm.

- WIRED posts their list of the 20 worst TV and film duds of 2008.

- I finally get around to linking to FreeWilliamsburg's excellent December movie preview. Better a week late than never, they say!