Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Screenwriter Cynicism

I'm on day three of the migraine from hell. Can't look at a computer monitor or television screen for very long and every noise sends pulsing daggers through my temple so I basically have had plenty of time to sit in the dark with a damp rag over my eyes and THINK.

What about? Well, are elephants really the only mammal that can't jump? When I take a shot of tequi--, I'm mean an aspirin, how does it know where the pain is? Do women need bras in space? And, does there come a time in every screenwriter's life when they can longer watch a film without dissecting it like an eighth grade science experiment?

I know an engineer who drives down new streets while wondering about the subgrade of the road, an auto mechanic who can't ride in my truck without observing every ping or knock, and a chef who simply cannot go out to eat anymore -- everyone else's food sucks.

Yeah. We're doomed.

A lot of aspiring screenwriters sound just like that chef. Look at any wannabe screenwriting board and you rarely find anything positive. I wonder if, having never opted or sold or produced anything of their own, some of these writers aren't just a little bit full of themselves. On the other hand, I don't have to win a Heisman Trophy to tell you when a college football game sucks.

Films have faults and I hate spotting them. I really, really wanted Eddie Kim to get his butt kicked in Snakes on a Plane or, at the very least, lose his family jewels to a set of exotic fangs (get your mind out of the gutter - I mean a snake). But he didn't and even my son's girlfriend left asking why we didn't get to see the bad guy face justice.

Fortunately, the film's shortcomings didn't stop me from enjoying Snakes on a Plane but I can't say that about all films and I'm growing increasingly concerned that I may be in danger of becoming the kind of writer who nit picks her senses out of the thrill of the moment.

Do doctors ever miss how attractive some people are because they've examined so many bodies that when they pass a hottie they're thinking, "that gal's excessively large mammary glands could mean thyroid disease" or "that guy took one too many little blue pills"?

Okay, that's just silly. Doctors must still find people attractive so filmmakers can surely still enjoy a movie and a bag of popcorn.

There's hope. There's always hope.

But it does give me an idea for the worst sequel ever (like I said, I've had way to much time to think) -- that guy in Snakes on a Plane whose unzipped pants became a reptilian buffet -- what if he'd had one too many little blue pills and the snake that bit off his willy survived the fall from the plane and wound up in the sewers of Los Angeles? Since the snake is still in mating mode from the pheremone soaked leis and all dangling wiggly things look like kin folk to him...

Somebody get me Samuel L. Jackson's number so I can pitch Snakes on Viagra in a Toilet!

Or -- maybe I'll just sit here in the dark and think.


Mystery Man said...

Hehehe... I'd pay to see that sequel! I admit, I had a somewhat good time laughing my way through SOAP, but even when something's supposed to be so bad it's good, I couldn't help but think of a thousand ways it could've been more smart and fun about being bad. And I couldn't agree more with you about Eddie Kim.

BTW, I hope you feel better, MaryAn. I really do.


wcdixon said...

Have you tried Zomig? I was a migraine sufferer, well I guess still am, but this stuff literally 'finds' the pain - it has yet to not work within an hour (did that make sense?).

And you meant 'his snake' didn't you, oh queen of the gutter.

MaryAn Batchellor said...

Haven't tried Zomig, WC, but willing to try anyting since my usual remedies didn't work this time. Thank you very much but bow before gutter royalty, you rogue, lest I smite you.

Anonymous said...

we rented Inside Man last night and I couldn't help myself, yes I do tear movies apart now ha!... btw, we bought the Texas car and we just sign a Texas tax redemption form, we just pay an OK excise tax of 3.5% here, so the car cost us less.. we got drinking cash now!

MaryAn Batchellor said...

Hey! Congrats on the beetle!

Inside Man was a puzzling view for me -- had to watch it twice (on DVD) to figure it out and still not sure I get it. My sons liked it though.

mernitman said...

Hey, nice entendre post on the Mystery Man site... Hope that migraine's history by now.

Sam Jackson said...

I'm tired of this motherf*ckin' headache in Mary An's motherf*ckin' head!

Sam said...

Oh yeah, hope you feel better soon!

MaryAn Batchellor said...

Thanks, Sam. Hey I have a great film idea! How do you feel about meerkats?

Anonymous said...

methinks sumtimes women dont need bras, period. hope elephants cant jump, cuz if they can i'd be flattened the day im caught in the pathway of a stampeding herd!! there comes a time in e'ery over-analyzers life when they dissect e'erything like an insect..i should know :(

ne'er mind doctors, do people with so much angst tend to miss out on how attractive people r on the inside simply cuz they almost love that feeling of constant ve-no-mo-si-ty????

chris said...

I posted a bunch of migraine prevention stuff on Mernit's blog a few months me if you want some ideas. It's all teeth grinding at night, I swear to you. And till you can stop that, there's Excedrin Migraine, I take three of them when I wake up w/the pain.

amy said...

My husband designs sound systems for large and small performance spaces. He has also spent over half of his life as a sound engineer. He can't go to a concert without critiquing the sound or feeling the need to be working at the event.

wcdixon said...

hope the migraine has abated...geez I hope so.

Curious your take on the the whole MySpace thing?