I was looking over my own screenplay yesterday and feeling rather smug about my theme and I got to thinking about what the themes have been of films I've seen this year. Some were memorable because they were either that well done or were my favorite films. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, for example, had a clear theme of redemption and atonement and even though critics didn't rave about this movie, it was my favorite of all the POTC films for one reason: the theme.
I really wish I had taken the time to think about and write down my personal take on the theme of each film I saw in 2011 while it was fresh in my viewing memory. Why? To ask my self, "what was the writer trying to say? Did he get to say it? Did it get lost in production?"
I'm not suggesting that theme should be in your face or that as screenwriters, we should consider every film a homework exercise but since theme is something I've been focusing on as a writer, it sure does seem like a no-brainer that I would have been paying more attention to it as a viewer. Sometimes, I just don't want to be a writer when I'm sitting with popcorn in my lap.
So, here's my proposal. I'm going through my list and trying to figure out the themes of the following films and your thoughts are welcome, solicited, and appreciated. (I did not include any 2011 films that I've seen in 2012 and yes Joyful Noise was seen in 2011, not 2012, because I was in the test audience.)
Oh, and before you start, I should warn you. When my brother was looking for a job, he moved in with me for the better part of 2011 and we had "bad movie days" where we purposely went and saw movies that we knew were terrible. Why? Same reason you slow down when you pass a car accident. (that explains "Drive Angry") And sometimes I take my nieces and nephews to kids' movies... and sometimes I go without them.
Okay, so you're giving me your input on theme. Ready? Go!
ArthurBattle: Los AngelesCaptain AmericaCars 2Cowboys and AliensCrazy, Stupid, LoveDrive AngryGnomeo & JulietGreen LanternI Am Number FourJ. EdgarJoyful NoiseJust Go With ItLimitlessMidnight In ParisNo Strings AttachedRangoThe Big YearThe Green HornetThe HelpThe King’s SpeechThe Rum DiaryThorTransformers: Dark of the MoonMister Popper’s PenguinsMoneyBallOur Idiot BrotherPaulPirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger TidesRioSeason of the WitchSuper 8There Be DragonsUnknownXmen: First ClassZookeeper