Help My Treatment Of The Batman Get Noticed … PLEASE!

Friends, I know this is crazy.  It’s crazy.  I get it.  But I’ve written a treatment for The Batman.  It’s good.  Seriously.

I know what you’re thinking.  “Scott, you teach high school English in Central Illinois.  You have no connections to the movie industry.  You’ve gone batty.”

Yes, but remember I have a few things going for me.  First and foremost, I’ve been reading Batman for over 37 years.  I literally know this character better than I know myself.  I know his history, his persona, his potential.  I also have a firm grasp on what’s come before, his position in the new shared DC cinematic universe, where this universe seems to want to go, and where the fans would like to see Batman himself go.  I’ve taken into account Ben Affleck’s desire to perhaps leave the franchise, and I’ve given him an out if he wants it.  I realize Joe Manganiello is getting positive response in potentially playing Deathstroke, and so the assassin is still Batman’s primary antagonist.

I’ve got a treatment that develops characters amidst nonstop action.  And though Batman and Deathstroke are the major players, I’ve got a story that logically utilizes virtually Batman’s entire mythology — both hero and villain.  Yes, I’m serious.

But here’s the problem: I’m an outsider.  I’ve tried reaching everyone associated with the film via email and Twitter to no avail.  I have no agent.  I have no Hollywood union.  I have no connections to that world at all.

Another problem?  I can’t share the actual treatment online.  If I posted the treatment to the Internet, the plot would be spoiled, and the studio would have no interest in making that movie.  I somehow need to capture Hollywood’s attention enough to make them want to get in touch with me and read the treatment.

That’s where you come in.  I need you — each and every one of you — to share this post.  My hope is that you’ll share it, you’ll say you believe in me, and it will build so much strength that Matt Reeves, Ben Affleck, Zack Snyder, and the rest of the film’s creators won’t be able to help but take notice.

All I want is a chance to share my treatment of The Batman.  If you know me at all, you know I’ve spent a lifetime preparing for this opportunity.  Please help me succeed in making it happen.

BatScott

Passengers – A Movie Review

I love the recent resurgence of space movies.  To me, it’s a sign that we are regaining a societal urge to explore the stars once again.  Could this reflect a renewed dissatisfaction with Earthly events?  Perhaps.

Passengers did not initially demand my visit to the theater.  Honestly, I like Jennifer Lawrence, but she’s not “must-see” in my world.  The same can be said for Chris Pratt.  Both are immensely likable and charismatic, but both are also super-hot in Hollywood right now, which led me to believe Passengers could be nothing more than a vehicle for their stardom.  I did not expect an actual story with real weight.

I could not have been more wrong.

The premise is a rather simple one.  The Avalon is a star cruiser traveling 120 years to a distant colony planet founded by a mega-corporation.  5,000 passengers are on board, but they are in hibernation for nearly the entire journey, as are the 200+ crew members.  In fact, the passengers are not due to awake until 4 months before arrival.  Everyone they knew back on Earth will be long dead by the time they start their new lives.  Unfortunately, Chris Pratt’s character wakes up 90 years too soon due to a glitch in the system.  He is literally the only living person aboard the ship until … he isn’t.  That’s when Jennifer Lawrence’s character comes into play.

The story is a little bit of a romance, a little bit of a mystery, and a little bit of a thriller all wrapped up under the guise of science fiction.  There are also deeply complicated morality issues present in the story, which I definitely didn’t expect.  In fact, I think it was brilliant to cast such likable actors in roles that, at times, prove morally troubled, yet are always sympathetic.  Truthfully, this is one of those movies that inspires the viewer to start asking, “What would I do in that situation?”  “Would I really be any different?”  I appreciate films that subtly demand introspection.

So, yes, Passengers definitely had far more story than I anticipated, and that really delighted me.  Even better?  It’s a good story.  It’s a story that is easy to invest in.  These are characters who are easy to invest in.  There are questions of cause and effect, actions and consequences, internal versus external motivations, and morality that add a wonderful layer of depth.

And, as you would expect, there are also some jaw-dropping special effects.  I won’t spoil it for you, but there are a few scenes where gravity comes into play, and I’ve never seen anything quite like it.  Again, I won’t spoil it for you because it’s better to have it as a surprise, but it’s very, very cool.

Honestly, other than a few hokey lines of dialogue at the very end, I have no complaints about Passengers.  The performances were engaging, the special effects were top-notch, and the story proved incredibly complex, especially in terms of cause, effect, and morality.

Image result for passengers poster

(Did you enjoy this review?  Check out Scott William Foley’s short stories HERE!)

Nocturnal Animals – A Movie Review

When I first heard about this movie, I thought it sounded really interesting so I immediately ran to the source material, Tony and Susan.  You may remember I reviewed that novel back in October.  (You don’t?  No worries.  Click HERE to read the review.)

Sadly, I didn’t make it to the theater in time to see the film, but I did manage to finally watch it the other night on DVD.

If you’re unfamiliar with the premise of the movie, Susan Morrow is a successful art dealer and gallery owner.  Her marriage seems strained at best, and business seems to be on the decline.  This is particularly troublesome because she and her husband live a rather lavish lifestyle.  Susan appears introverted, troubled, tense, and perhaps even a touch cold to the outside world.  She soon receives a manuscript from her first husband; they divorced twenty years ago.  It’s his first novel ever to be published, and he wants her to read the advance copy.

She begins reading the novel which is titled Nocturnal Animals.  Immediately, she recognizes the many parallels between the main characters and her own life with her ex-husband.  Like the source material, the film’s novel features a family man named Tony who is driving along a deserted road with his wife and college-aged daughter.  They get into an altercation with some punks, and things get very upsetting very quickly.

The movie proceeds to focus primarily on Tony’s story but also visits Susan as she reads the novel and reflects on what purpose her ex-husband is trying to achieve by sending it to her.

So, the big question … should you see this movie?

On the one hand, it is every bit as thrilling as the novel.  Aaron Taylor-Johnson plays Ray, the primary thug destroying Tony’s life, and he perfectly encapsulates Ray’s insanity and utter evilness.  I couldn’t believe it was the same actor from Godzilla and Avengers: Age of Ultron.  Taylor-Johnson is oddly charismatic and frightening in this role.

Jake Gyllenhaal plays both Tony from the novel and Edward, Susan’s ex-husband.  I haven’t seen many of Gyllenhaal’s movies, but he really impressed me in this onel.  By far the best performance I’ve seen from him.  He totally delivered Tony’s tentativeness, his torture, but also his obvious intelligence.  This is a man on the brink … but we don’t know exactly what brink, which is what makes him so mesmerizing.

Michael Shannon portrayed Bobby Andes, the main detective trying to pin down Ray and his band of cronies.  Shannon did well with Andes, but there wasn’t much of him in the movie.  Not as much as I remember from the book.

Finally, Amy Adams played Susan Morrow.  We all know Adams is a superb actor, but she simply wasn’t given much to do as Morrow.  The movie’s version of Morrow rendered her aloof and a touch disassociated.  Always immaculately dressed with impeccable hair, Morrow appeared too perfect, too rigid, too restrained.  In fact, if we’re being honest, I saw her more as a facsimile of Tom Ford himself than an interpretation of the book’s Morrow.

Speaking of which, Tom Ford, the director, has created a beautiful film.  He provided an engaging and horrific rendition of Tony’s awful circumstances.  Everything involving Ray, Tony, and Bobby Andes oozed suspense.

Unfortunately, his take on Susan Morrow turned her into someone unrecognizable from the book and ultimately unlikable.  You see, in the book, Susan taught college English.  She read most of Nocturnal Animals on her couch.  She really came off as a regular person with relatable characteristics.  By turning her into a statuesque, terse business woman, Ford transformed Susan into someone for whom the audience could not sympathize.  Perhaps he did this on purpose.

Also, Susan’s world in the movie is pristine, avant-garde, and, in some cases, strange.  For example, the very beginning of the film starts off with a show at her gallery, and it is … discomforting, to say the least.  I can’t decide if Ford simply suffused his own world into Susan’s, or if he purposefully wanted us to subconsciously side with her ex-husband as she read the novel.

Though Nocturnal Animals looks great throughout, and though the scenes involving Tony and Ray were riveting, the parts focusing on Susan detracted from the movie as a whole, interrupted the suspense, and lacked any emotional resonance.

Image result for nocturnal animals movie poster

(Did you enjoy this review?  Check out Scott William Foley’s short stories HERE!)