Having had a look at my busy schedule and dreary night job, it does appear that I am available for hire.
Right now I have two completed scripts available for sale. A third script is in the rewrite process and should be completed and polished by the end of 2009. A fourth script is under way, approximately two thirds of the way toward a finished first draft.
Joe Bob the Messiah - A cult nestled in the back woods of upstate New York is preparing for the imminent arrival of their messiah. Coincidentally, at that very moment, a grifter fleeing the police lands in their midst in spectacular fashion, causing a huge case of mistaken identity.
She Hates the Idea - A professor of anthropology struggles to make his name in the field. That quest takes a bit of a detour when a female student takes a strong interest in him outside of class. And of course there's the matter of that demon he accidentally summoned in his cellar.
Natural Tendencies - A recent college graduate can't catch a break. His day job is outsourced, he's fired from his night job and his car is repossessed. At his low point he accidentally kills what turns out to be a mob hitman. Lacking any better options he decides to step into the role of the killer.
Hive (1st draft) - A criminal investigator for the IRS makes a startling discovery during an investigation. Bound by rules and an inability to get anyone to believe her, she has to figure out what to do with a potential threat to everything she knows.
I've been dropping little mini rants in my reviews about bad behavior in movie theaters for a while now. You've all experienced it. You go to a theater to enjoy a movie and have to deal with some ignoramous who apparently can't grasp the frighteningly complex concept that the noise they make disturbs people trying to actually watch the movie.
Here's the part I don't understand. Why does anyone go to a movie if they have no intention of paying attention to it? I can't count the number of times I've had to sit next to a couple of people who held a conversation through the entire movie. Or better yet the people who take a call on their cell phone and chat merrily at full volume. I don't know what ticket prices are like where you live but the standard price here is $7.25. If I spend that kind of money on something I would like to actually get what I paid for. If these idiots want to talk, they can stand outside the theater and do it for free. I can say they are idiots because if they had any brains they would have realized the advantages of not spending seven bucks to have a conversation.
Let's go over a few examples. Last week during Mission: Impossible 2 I got to sit next to a gaggle of giggling teenage girls. Now I know they were giggling along because they were sharing their romantic fantasies about Tom Cruise. There's nothing wrong with them having these thoughts. Let's face it, that has a lot to do with why his movies generally rake the money in. My only request is that I don't actually have to listen to it.
Several weeks ago I was watching U-571. By an incredible stroke of fortune I was seated directly in front of an elderly couple. I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest that neither had great hearing. I know this because they spent the entire movie discussing what was going on at just shy of a shout. Let me give you a taste of what I had to listen to.
Old Guy: "Why did that sub blow up?"
Old Woman: "The sub blew up?"
Old Guy: "Yeah, there was a big explosion. Why is that?"
Old Woman: "Maybe they had engine trouble."
Old Guy: "No that was the other sub."
Old Woman: "Which sub blew up?"
Old Guy: "I think it was the American one."
Old Woman: "Why did it blow up?"
Old Guy: "That's what I'm asking you."
Old Woman: "I don't know. Is that guy dead?"
Old Guy: "Which guy?"
Old Woman: "The skinny one."
Old Guy: "They're all skinny."
And so on and so on. Every few minutes we had to turn around and glare at them. This quieted them down for approximately 30 seconds when the next question was posed. I didn't bother yelling at them to shut up because if they couldn't hear the explosions they certainly weren't going to hear me.
Many times I've sat at the opposite end of the row from a couple of lovebirds pawing each other rather than watching the movie. Now, I don't want to condemn this time honored tradition but let me offer a couple of pointers if you actually want to do this. First, don't go to the big popular movie. There are way too many people around for you to be properly affectionate. You want to pick the movie that has been either slammed by the critics or been out for two months. They should be adequately deserted. Second, try and get seats in the back corner of the theater. Privacy is your friend. Picking a seat in the exact middle of the theater is not giving you the best tactical position for the kinds maneuvers you have in mind.
Cell phones are the latest and most popular way to annoy the hell out of me during a movie. I mentioned them earlier but these are truly some of the most offensive of theater morons. Not only don't they have the courtesy to shut off the phone when entering the theater, they actually answer the ringing phone (which is always set for maximum ringing volume) after fumbling about for ten rings or so before finding where they put it. Most of the time they don't even have the sense to whisper at this point. They talk on the thing as if they're sitting in their living room. On the bright side I'm glad to note that the majority of movie goers generally react quickly and viciously to these offenders.
Theaters need to consider solutions to the cell phone problem. I have a couple suggestions. One solution is to create a device that would essentially jam transmissions to and from cell phones. Anybody trying to use a cell phone in a theater with this device would just get a blast of static in their ear. The other solution is bring back ushers. Except I don't want skinny pimply faced teenagers with flashlights. I want them to hire 300 pound ex-NFL linemen with nicknames like Skullcrusher. These men would be under orders to bodily remove offenders as roughly as possible. This would also be my solution for dealing with seat kickers.
Finally let me address the parents out there. Those of you with babies really need to think twice before bringing them along. Some babies will sleep through anything so there probably isn't a problem with bringing them along. However if you have a baby that starts screaming every time it hears a loud noise you have no business taking it to the movie. Movies are loud. It shouldn't take to much thought to recognize that this will result in a crying baby and murderous thoughts from those sharing the theater with you.
Those of you with young children need to actually check the rating for a movie. It's there for a reason. Your six year old daughter doesn't need to see Deep Blue Sea. Trust me, she will not react well to what appears on the screen during a violent R rated movie and as cute as you think she is, I don't share that opinion while she's screaming and crying. Of course you will have to deal with the inevitable nightmares that follow so justice will be served in its own way.
The point of my rant is simple. You are not special. Everyone paid the same amount of money as you did to see this movie. They want it quiet so that they can enjoy the movie. If you can't grasp this simple concept then your dumb ass doesn't belong in the theater.
Those of you who read the reviews at this site are probably wondering about the snide comments we tend to make during movies. Don't those fall under the realm of my complaints? They do and they don't. They do apply in that we do speak during the movie. However, we don't speak loudly. We try not to sit near other people. We go to movies on Tuesday night when the theater is nearly empty. My point still holds. Be considerate of the people around you in a theater. That's all I ask.
With pre-production on Star Wars Episode II getting into full swing I thought it was time to go and get the facts on what's going on. With that in mind I contacted Lucasfilm Ltd. to speak to the main man, George Lucas, and pick his brain on the state of Star Wars today.
Batman: Hi, this is John Shea calling from TNMC Movies to speak to George Lucas.
Receptionist: Who is this?
Batman: Just tell him John is calling from TNMC Movies.
Receptionist: Do you have an appointment?
Batman: No, I don't need an appointment, I just want to ask Mr. Lucas a few questions.
Receptionist: I'm sorry but you need an appointment. *click*
It was clear that Lucas intended to stonewall me on the tough questions so I decided to try a different approach.
Batman: What will the title of Episode II be, Mr. Lucas?
George Lucas: Stop sending me these emails.
Batman: Really? Can you tell me what role Jar Jar Binks will play in this movie?
George Lucas: If you send me any more messages I'm going to call the authorities.
Batman: That's fascinating. Have you settled on an actor to play Anakin yet? If so, who?
George Lucas: This is your last warning. I'm calling the police. There are laws against spam now, you know.
Batman: Wow, that's pretty cool. Considering that you want to increase the number of special effects shots from the already astounding 2,000 used in Episode I, do you feel that you have enough time to complete the movie by May 2002?
George Lucas: Mail Delivery Subsystem Error: Unknown Recipient. The email you sent (Subject: "Please, please, please, please let me interview you!!!") was undeliverable. The addresses had permanent fatal errors
Batman: That is just amazing. You've said before that Boba Fett will appear in Episode II. How much can we expect to see him this picture?
Lucasfilm Admin: Further attempts to contact this address will result in prosecution under SB881 Virginia Computer Crimes Act, the law from your area enacted to curb the practice of "spamming." If found guilty you could be fined upwards of $25,000 a day. This is your last warning.
Clearly I was probing a little too deeply for Mr. Lucas' comfort at this point so I decided to end the interview there. I would like to thank Mr. Lucas and the friendly folks at Lucasfilm for allowing me this chance to ask some important questions about Star Wars. I'm sure fans of the series will be delighted with the information.
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