Discover Amazing Screenwriting Websites With The Ultimate Guide

May 21, 2013 at 6:25 pm

The Screenwriting Spark

HUNDREDS OF SCREENWRITING WEBSITES AWAIT!

As part of The Screenwriting Spark launch, I’ll be showcasing some of the big features the new screenwriting site has to offer thus far.  First up:

THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO SCREENWRITING WEBSITES

This page is home to hundreds of screenwriting websites, blogs and resources from around the world.  I had a lot of fun researching all of these wonderful sites.  Every entry is given a category so you can find the type of site you’re looking for quickly and easily.

The page itself is separated in alphabetical order but you can also view these sites by category here.

What I love the most about The Ultimate Guide is that it will continue to evolve.  Passionate screenwriters are launching new blogs everyday.  Be sure to submit your site if it’s not part of the guide.

Check out more great features on The Screenwriting Spark here.  Don’t forget to subscribe for email updates on all the latest sparks.

10 Summer Blockbusters To Look Forward To in 2014

May 20, 2013 at 8:44 am

10 Summer Blockbusters To Look Forward To in 2014

THE HYPE IS BUILDING…

Every summer, as the big movies approach, I always feel like the following summer won’t stack up. In 2012, we got the ultimate superhero team up as Marvel unleashed The Avengers. Christopher Nolan completed his legendary Batman trilogy with The Dark Knight Rises. Spider-Man returned to the big screen with a completely new look. How would 2013 top that?

How about Iron Man 3, Star Trek Into Darkness, Man of Steel, Pacific Rim & The Wolverine?

COUNTDOWN | Top 10 Summer Movies 2013

Now that Marvel’s Cinematic Universe has kicked off with Iron Man 3, I think it’s time to look ahead and see what’s coming. Here are 10 big 2014 summer movies to look forward to:

10. ALL YOU NEED IS KILL

Tom Cruise returns to science fiction after saving the world in 2012’s Oblivion.  All You Need Is Kill is based on a novel of the same name by Hiroshi Sakurazaka with illustrations by Yoshitoshi ABe.  Here is a brief plot description from Amazon.com:

“There’s one thing worse than dying. It’s coming back to do it again and again… When the alien Gitai invade, Keiji Kiriya is just one of many raw recruits shoved into a suit of battle armor and sent out to kill. Keiji dies on the battlefield, only to find himself reborn each morning to fight and die again and again. On the 158th iteration though, he sees something different, something out of place: the female soldier known as the Bitch of War. Is the Bitch the key to Keiji’s escape, or to his final death?”

Sounds wonderfully strange.

REVIEW | Oblivion, Prometheus, Moon & Independence Day

10 Summer Blockbusters To Look Forward To in 2014 | Movie Preview

9. GODZILLA

I loved Gareth Edwards ‘Monster’.  Now he gets to make the mother of all monster movies (with respect to Guillermo Del Toro’s Pacific Rim.)  Godzilla is THE monster.  Hopefully they can erase the memory of Roland Emmerich’s 1998 adaptation starring…  Mathew Broderick.

10 Summer Blockbusters To Look Forward To in 2014 | Movie Preview

REVIEW | A Monster amount of character

8. DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES

Speaking of erasing bad memories… Rise of the Planet of the Apes was one of my favorite surprises of 2011.  It was a brilliant reboot that made me forget all about Tim Burton’s attempt.  This was Ceasar’s story and I loved his story.  Andy Serkis gave us one of the best motion capture performances of all time.  I can’t wait to see what the apes have planned for us in 2014.

10 Summer Blockbusters To Look Forward To in 2014 | Movie Preview

REVIEW | Rise of the Planet of the Apes

7. FAST & FURIOUS 7

Rumor has it, Jason Statham will join the cast for the seventh installment as a villain.  This time, Saw alum James Wan takes over for director Justin Lin.  This series has seen unprecedented longevity and now boasts a cast that may rival The Expendables by Fast 9.  Will see if a new director can keep things fresh for Dom and his team.

XTRA | Fast Five is Rock Solid

6. TRANSFORMERS 4

I loved the first Transformers but I really hated the sequel Revenge of the Fallen.  The third installment was a return to form but now all bets are off.  Michael Bay is currently redesigning Autobots and Decepticons.  He’s bringing in an entirely new cast including Pain & Gain‘s Mark Walberg.

XTRA | Big Blockbuster Blogging: My first Transformers 4

REVIEW | Transformers Dark of the Moon?  Apology accepted Michael Bay

10 Summer Blockbusters To Look Forward To in 2014 | Movie Preview

5. CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDER

Marvel’s Cinematic Universe will certainly get a big boost when Captain America returns to the big screen.  I say that because the film will feature many prominent members of S.H.E.I.L.D.  The organization was one of the main ways Marvel connected their films from Phase One.  S.H.I.E.L.D was absent from Iron Man 3 and more than likely won’t be a major part of Thor: The Dark World either.  This may be the film that updates us on the universe as a whole as well as Captain America’s adjustment to the modern world.

Note: This isn’t technically a summer movie with an April release date but lets face it…  It is.

COUNTDOWN | Top 10 Moments: Marvel’s The Avengers

10 Summer Blockbusters To Look Forward To in 2014 | Movie Preview

4. THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2

I enjoyed The Amazing Spider-Man.  The reboot managed to retell Peter Parker’s origin story without feeling like a shot for shot remake.  Andrew Garfield IS Spider-Man now.  His next challenge?  How about Jamie Foxx as Electro and Paul Giamatti as Rhino?  Not too mention the first appearances of Mary Jane Watson, Harry Osborn and his famous father Norman.

This has all the makings of a fantastic summer movie.

XTRA | Larger Than Life Movie Villains Revealed!

10 Summer Blockbusters To Look Forward To in 2014 | Movie Preview

3. X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST

When Brett Ratner created X-Men: The Last Stand…  He literally destroyed the series.  Major characters were killed off and the whole thing felt like a rushed mess.  When you do that, it’s pretty difficult to create a sequel.  What did they do?  They brought in Matthew Vaughn to create a prequel.  The result was X-Men: First Class.  A fantastic movie that reminded us that the X-Men franchise has a lot left to give.

I don’t think anyone saw Bryan Singer returning for the follow up.  Regardless, the man who brought the X-Men to life before Ratner killed them all is back!  Now we get to see mutants from the past and present in one giant movie.  It may not be as big as The Avengers but this movie will definitely flex it’s Superhero muscle.

10 Summer Blockbusters To Look Forward To in 2014 | Movie Preview

2. TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES

I still can’t believe this movie is happening.  I grew up with Ninja Turtles.  I had the action figures, the bed sheets, the Halloween costumes…  You name it.  I absolutely love the movies as well. (The first two at least.)  The thought of seeing the Turtles in a new live action movie with TODAY’S technology is thrilling to say the least.  The child in me is smiling.  I’ll be there on opening day.

10 Summer Blockbusters To Look Forward To in 2014 | Movie Preview

XTRA | Hey! Jonathan Liebesman!  How about some Ninja Turtles Concept Art!

XTRA | Why the new Ninja Turtles movie is off to a great start

XTRA | Awesome Ninja Turtles Fan Art

1. GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY

Who are The Guardians of the Galaxy?  I struggled putting this above Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles but it’s the unknown that intrigues me.  What does Marvel have up it’s sleeve?  No doubt this film will set the stage for The Avengers 2 and the villain Thanos.  Big superhero movies are normally reserved for well known franchises.  This is definitely a risk but I’m on board.  I love the idea of a Marvel movie set in space with characters I know nothing about.

10 Summer Blockbusters To Look Forward To in 2014 | Movie Preview

XTRA | I’m glad I don’t know anything about Guardians of the Galaxy

COUNTDOWN | Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase Two: 10 Things I’m looking forward to.

XTRA | Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase Two Round Up

Which Summer movie are you excited for?

Game of Thrones Moment: Second Sons

May 20, 2013 at 8:38 am

Game of Thrones Moment: Second Sons | Season 3 Episode 8 Review

SEASON 3 EPISODE 8
SECOND SONS

Last week I was admittedly disappointed in the episode as little forward progress was made in the majority of the story lines.  Game of Thrones usually follows up slower episodes with huge moments…  And that’s exactly what happened in ‘Second Sons’.

Leaving behind most of the stories and characters we visited last week, this episode focused on three main threads.  All of which gave us incredible moments yet none of them won the episode.  If you’ve been reading my recaps this season you know exactly which moment I loved the most.

Before we got that that moment, we got to see Gendry’s arrival at Dragonstone play out…  The poor guy found out he’s not on vacation in the worst way.  The thought of a leech to the nuts is absolutely terrifying.  (Though not as terrifying as Theon’s experience last week.)  We’ll see what his… ahem…  King’s blood will accomplish through Melisandre’s scorcery soon enough I’m sure.  Are we destined for a super smoke monster or something worse?

Back in King’s Landing, Tyrion and Sansa got married in a ceremony laced with Joffrey’s mischief.  He’s an asshole.  Still, putting up with the King’s antics led to one of the best moments of the season.  Tyrion stabbing that knife into the table and threatening the King was fantastic.

Daenerys has really grown this season.  Last year, she spent the majority of her time trying to win people over without much success.  Now, she gets what she wants and managed to get the titular second sons to join her cause with ease.  No dragons required.  She just had to be hot apparently.  Side note: What ever happened to the Warlocks that were hunting her?

Those three stories were awesome but I HAVE to award the moment of the episode to the White Walker!

Game of Thrones Moment: Second Sons | Season 3 Episode 8 Review

FINALLY A WHITE WALKER APPEARS IN SEASON 3!

If there is one thing that frustrated me about Season 3 it was the absence of the characters that ended season 2 so brilliantly.  A whole army of White Walkers marching on The Wall only to disappear without a mention for 7 episodes.  I thought for sure Jon and Ygritte would spot a few as they scaled The Wall.  They didn’t.

I’m not sure how they will factor into the final 2 episodes of the season but I’m glad to see they haven’t been forgotten entirely.  Although, it did feel a bit random to have one attack Sam and Gilly considering there is an army of them roaming somewhere in the North.

Regardless, watching him shatter like that was pretty fantastic.  These guys are probably a huge drain on the shows budget so saving them makes sense.  I would have been happy with a mention before now but I’ll take it.  Welcome to Season 3 White Walkers!  It’s about time.

COUNTDOWN | Best Moments: Game of Thrones Season 2

XTRA | Screenwriting & The Game of Thrones Theme

CATCH UP:

Episode 1 Moment: Valar Dohaeris

Episode 2 Moment: Dark Wings, Dark Words

Episode 3 Moment: Walk of Punishment

Episode 4 Moment: And now his watch is ended

Episode 5 Moment: Kissed by fire

Episode 6 Moment: The Climb

Episode 7 Moment: The Bear and the Maiden Fair

Wrath of Star Trek Into Darkness

May 16, 2013 at 9:28 pm

Star Trek Into Darkness Review

WARNING!  HUGE SPOILERS DISCUSSED IN THIS REVIEW
STOP READING IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS!

I recently had a debate with my friend John about J.J Abrams’ Star Trek and how it compares to the original series.  The basic setup was simple:  I never saw the original series and therefore, my first exposure to the characters (other than pop culture references) came when the reboot was released in 2009.  John grew up watching The Original Series and was extremely disappointed when they rebooted the universe he adored.

What followed was a 3 part series where we went back and forth discussing the pros and ‘I have the’ cons of Star Trek.

ROUND ONE: One Trek…  One No Trek

ROUND TWO: One Trek…  One No Trek

ROUND THREE: One Trek…  One No Trek

Obviously, I was beyond excited to see Star Trek Into Darkness.  I couldn’t wait to see J.J would take these characters next.  John has repeatedly sworn not to see the sequel until someone loans it to him or it appears On Demand free of charge.

I bought my ticket a week in advance and caught a matinee on opening day.  So how was Star Trek Into Darkness?

I liked Star Trek Into Darkness a lot but I found myself thinking about our friendly debate often as the story progressed.

FINAL SPOILER WARNING… 

A few months back, in an effort to better understand TOS, I took it upon myself to finally sit through The Wrath of Kahn.  A movie many would agree is the best Star Trek movie of all time.  I can’t make that claim as I haven’t seen them all but I did enjoy it.  When it was revealed that Benedict Cumberbatch was actually Kahn, I couldn’t help but think about our friendly debate.

John didn’t like the idea of rebooting Captain Kirk and his crew.  He can watch his Star Trek whenever he wants on DVD.  As soon as it was revealed that Kahn was indeed a part of this rebooted universe I smiled and thought:

“John is absolutely going to hate this movie.”

I won’t know for sure until he sees it but even I had to admit it would be strange.  To love a group of characters only to have them reinterpreted would be frustrating to some.  Personally, I’m thankful that I watched Wrath of Kahn first because it was my first chance to truly compare the two universes.  I’m obviously not as attached to the original series so I actually appreciated what J.J Abrams did with Star Trek Into Darkness.

Wrath of Star Trek Into Darkness | Review

Separating the two Kahns was difficult at first.  I kept picturing Ricardo Montalban but Benedict Cumberbatch has created a truly memorable villain here.  He’s ruthless yet sympathetic to a certain degree.  A man driven to do whatever it takes to save his family.  He’s a relentless foe with a booming voice and a worthy adversary for the crew of the Enterprise.

Speaking of which, the rest of the crew evolves accordingly in this film.  Obviously, we are once again thrust into the captain’s seat with Kirk still learning humility as a commanding officer.  By his side, the ever logical Spock who still questions virtually every decision Kirk makes.

It’s a relationship that mirrors the original series but Star Trek Into Darkness also takes liberties that may or may not upset the hardcore fans.  For the most part, I don’t know the difference but I do know I liked it.

I read a little online after I saw the film and many people were upset with the very idea of a new Kahn.  Weren’t people hoping Kahn would be the villain?  It’s strange because I found myself wondering why they didn’t change Kahn more…

There are so many nods to The Wrath of Kahn here including major plot points.  In our debate, I defended J.J Abrams’ rebooted universe because it threw out the rule book.  They used time travel to create a reality where both universes would co-exist.  As evidenced by old Spock’s return to warn new Spock about Kahn.

Why go to such great lengths to create a new Star Trek universe where anything could happen yet still go back to a tale we’ve already seen.  Star Trek Into Darkness is basically bizarro Wrath of Kahn.  There are obviously BIG differences but this movie functions more as a homage.

Still, I liked that they brought back Kahn.  I really liked that they included an impending conflict with the Klingons…  I liked Star Trek Into Darkness.

It was great to see these characters on the big screen again.  Even though I had an idea where the story was going once Kahn revealed himself, there were still plenty of surprises in store.  Not too mention some pretty amazing action sequences.

Star Trek Into Darkness

All in all, this summer is off to a great start with Iron Man 3 leading off and Superman on deck.

As for our debate?  I still believe they have done enough to please new fans like me while respecting fans of the original series.  No matter what you do, you can’t please everyone.  There will always be people who dislike movies like this.  It doesn’t matter what Star Trek universe you call home.  Some movies aren’t for everyone.

This movie was for me.  Perhaps my friend John will see it someday and enjoy seeing a new vision of Kahn on the big screen.  (He probably won’t.)

Overall, I thought Star Trek Into Darkness was a fantastic sequel that doesn’t quite live up to ‘the original’.  Multiply that by about a million and that’s probably how John felt about the 2009 reboot.

I get it now.

Click here for more reviews.

XTRA | Between Bilbo & John Harrison There Is Sherlock

COUNTDOWN | The Best of J.J Abrams

Short films, animation, trailers and more from around the web

May 14, 2013 at 7:25 am

The Post Short Films

Have you watched a short film today?

MAC ‘N’ CHEESE

Directed by Tom Hankins, Gijs Van Kooten, Guido Puijk & Roy Neiterau

When you find yourself running scared and running out of energy, there’s only a few options left to outrun your opponent through the southern desert. Stopping at nothing, watch these two guys wear each other out and rip through boundaries hitherto unbroken. Enjoy the ride! (Vimeo)

Click here for more.

THE GIFT

Directed by Carl E. Rinsch

The Gift is a Sci-Fi short with a savage Chase sequence on it. (Vimeo)

MOBIUS

Directed by Vincent Laforet

A short film about a photojournalist who stumbles upon a cartel execution and supernatural events in the the “Zone of Silence” in Mexico. (Vimeo)

Click here for more.

PIVOT

Designed & Animated by Kevin Megens, Floris Vos, Arno de Grijs, André Bergs

When a man is witness to a murder and takes pictures of the killer, he has to run for his life. During the chase he is able to turn the tables and the prey becomes the hunter. All resulting in an unfortunate ending. (Vimeo)

Click here for more.

MORE FROM AROUND THE WEB

WEBSITE| I love short films | A great site full of high quality short films.

SHORT FILM | Miniature Melbourne

SHORT FILM | Lost In Manhattan

TRAILER | Self Inflicted | Click here for more.

DO YOU HAVE A PROJECT YOU WOULD LIKE TO PROMOTE?

Email me at jason@theathleticnerd.com and be sure to include links to your project/website. (Note: I don’t review submissions)

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