The Anti-Climax

sop

The Sopranos is arguably the greatest television show of all time and has arguably the most controversial final scene of any television series.

At the core of The Sopranos’s final scene is the anti-climax.

The audience comes into the scene at Holsten’s expecting that something must happen to Tony. This is the last scene of a long-running mob show. Someone has to get shot or arrested.  But if look at the scene with no such expectation, you see it is a scene of a man sitting down to have a meal with his family. His daughter is late and some unknown man continues to stare at him before heading into the bathroom. Then the scene is over as he looks up. Fade to black.

What we have here is Act One of a story with no Act Two or Three. The normal world of Tony Soprano eating with his family and then a stranger appears. What does he have in store for Tony? Why does he continue to stare at him? Does he shoot Tony after leaving the bathroom? We will never get those answers. I do not have much interest in the answers to those questions. But I do have a very vested interest in the power of the Fade to Black and the lack of finite resolution.

David Chase could have given us three other endings here. He could have had the stranger in the Member’s Only jacket blow Tony’s brains out in front of his family for the shocking ending. He could have had the cops burst in and arrest Tony. He could have had Tony’s daughter park her car neatly, join her family and send the show off on a warm message.

But he chose none of those paths. Instead, Fade to Black as a door opens. The abruptness of the ending is what gives it its lasting appeal. The audience’s expectations are shattered and it is for the better of the show. Would anyone discuss the ending to this day if Tony were shot in the head? Or arrested? I know of people who dislike the ending and thought it was a middle finger to the fans.

But it was anything but that. David Chase rewarded his audience’s intelligence with an enriching ending. I found the ending to be reflective of how events pan out in life. Often times in life, we do not get the answers that we seek. Yet we can still be satisfied with what happened.

I do not think every story should have an ambiguous ending like The Sopranos. It requires a certain build-up. Those who paid attention to The Sopranos can see why it had to end the way it did. The abruptness of death is referenced throughout the final season.

There are lazy writers who write ambiguous endings because they don’t want to spend the time to figure out what the best ending for their story. They hide behind ambiguity and use it as a shield from criticism.

The anti-climatic ending can be a powerful story-telling tool in the right hands.

Star Wars Episode 7: A New Hope (Spoilers)

I got around to seeing the new Star Wars. Thoughts and feelings below.

THE LIGHT SIDE

john-boyega-finn-force-awakens

The new design of the storm troopers was sleek. The opening shot with the First Order’s ship eclipsing Jakku was neat. John Boyega’s Finn stole this movie and gives me some hope for the future of this franchise. There were complaints about having a black storm trooper before this movie came out. I never thought storm troopers were one race. I’d assume there were black people in that universe. Eventually, one of them would want to be a storm trooper or be forced into being one.

I know for a fact that J.J. Abrams wanted these new Star Wars films to be more diverse. He mentioned it in interviews before Episode 7 came out. John Boyega as Finn is the good kind of diversity. They made a new character, cast a good actor, and wrote him well. There’s the other kind of diversity where they change old character’s races. An example of this would be Michael B. Jordan cast as Johnny Storm. I prefer making new characters over changing old ones to reflect our current feelings on diversity. I don’t want black Peter Parker, but I’m fine with Miles Morales.

Finn is the real bright spot of this movie. He has lots of flaws. He’s a liar. He’s self-interested. He thinks with his dick. He had several opportunities to leave the story, but he decides to stick around because he thinks Rey is hot. That’s a good flaw. I don’t think he won one fight in this movie. Some random stormtrooper kicked the shit out of him. Kylo Ren slashed him up too. He struggles unlike some other people in this movie. But I’ll get to her later.

I liked the humanization of the storm troopers in this film. There’s a sadness to them now. In the original Star Wars movies, they were faceless mooks. Now they were kidnapped as children and then brainwashed to fight for the Empire. Every storm trooper is a victim now. It’s a shame none of the heroes give a damn about this new backstory. Finn tells his story of being reprogrammed to fight for the Empire. No one hesitates to blow these guys away. Even Finn who hesitates from killing early on in the movie is fine with killing the stormtroopers. This was a contradiction.

I will continue to call the bad guys from this movie, the Empire, through out this post because I don’t know why they decided to rebrand themselves as the First Order. Did Supreme Master Snoke think The Empire was old hat? Did he take a marketing course at Sith Academy? Maybe they were forced to rebrand because all the Empire imagery was banned like how after World War 2 all the Nazi imagery and symbols were banned in Germany.

Luke Skywalker looked cool for the minute we saw of him. Mark Hamill looks great for his age now.

I felt like Harrison Ford cared about his role as Han Solo and put forth some effort. BB-8 had a cool memorable design. I liked the acting by Daisy Ridley as Rey.

THE DARK SIDE

forceawakens9-large

Episode 7 is a bad movie.

It’s not prequel bad, but it’s still bad. The prequels are what happens when you give an idea guy complete control of a movie. Lucas wanted to play around with computer graphics and make money. The story and dialogue came second to that. That becomes very apparent once you analyze the prequels. Here’s one example of that. Count Dooku. He’s an all-powerful Jedi who joins the Sith. His betrayal of Jedi is the backbone to the plot of Episode 1: Attack of the Clones. Yet he is nowhere to be found in the predecessor, The Phantom Menace. Not one mention of Count Dooku. It would have helped to see him be good before he was bad. Lucas made the story up as he went. I still have no idea who the Phantom Menace was. Darth Maul? Sidious? The Sith? Nute Gunray?

You can’t fault Lucas too much because of all the money he made off of the prequels. Congrats to him on his success.

Episode 7 is Spider-man 3 bad. It’s bad like Ghostbusters 2. Iron Man 2. Blade Trinity. The Dark Knight Rises. Avengers: Age of Ultron. Thor 2. Matrix:Reloaded.

Do you know what all those movies have in common? There’s no heart in these movies. They don’t do anything new. They are boring. They have story structure and characters. But they fail to innovate or challenge the audience. They are made to not offend lovers of the originals.

The first rule of story-telling is to ask yourself one question; Is this a story worth telling? The answer to that for the prequels was no. It doesn’t matter how Anakin Skywalker becomes Darth Vader. We don’t need to see that. But we were given it. It ruins the impact of Luke rejecting the Emperor’s offer at the end of Return of the Jedi.

He says he’s a Jedi like his father before him. But then we see his father was a child-murdering lunatic in the prequels. Even when he was a Jedi, he was a crappy one. This is not a person who deserves to be redeemed. The prequels take all the weight out of the words that Luke speaks here.

But to get back to this new Star Wars, I wanted to be okay with these new movies. J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek was a good popcorn flick, but no depth lied beneath all the lens flare and action. So I set my expectations low for this film. When I watch a movie like The Transporter, all I expect is a fun time at the theater. I turn my brain off and sit back for an hour and a half. But this movie was putting me to sleep. I wanted to check my phone to see how long was left in the film because it felt like a waste of my time.

This is a retread of A New Hope that we didn’t need. I’m surprised nobody in the movie pointed this out. Old General Leia should have been pissed that all her work in the original trilogy has been undone. Here she is thirty years later still fighting the Empire and a masked guy wielding a lightsaber. It’s like they accomplished nothing in the original trilogy.

Why did this need to be a New Hope again? We have a vibrant universe with thirty years worth of stories to rip off. The Expanded Star Wars Universe had to have something more worthy of the screen than this film. When the movie started off with a guy giving his droid important information that the Empire wanted, I rolled my eyes in the theater. Couldn’t they think of anything else? You can do anything with Star Wars but instead, you rehash the old.

Why do we have to be on a desert planet in the start of this film? Can’t we start in a place we’ve never seen before? With characters, stakes, and situations that are new to Star Wars? Do we need to see the 2015 version of Darth Vader entering the Rebel ship and capturing Leia?

After this opening scene, we are introduced to our main “character”, Rey. I put the word, character, in quotations because Rey is not a character. Characters have flaws. They learn and they change. Someone needs to get in contact with Rian Johnson, the director of Episode 8. We need to get Rey a flaw, just one flaw. So the next one won’t be boring too.

Rey is good at everything. She won a light saber fight with a guy trained by Luke Skywalker and Supreme Master Leader Snoke. She can fly the Millennium Falcon without ever flying it before. She knows more about it than Han Solo. She does not need help when she is attacked by thieves. Luke got attacked by Sand People in A New Hope and needed Ben Kenobi to save his dumb ass. Rey does not need help from anybody. She kicks ass! She’s so cool that Han Solo offers her job on the Millennium Falcon. Chewbacca likes her. Finn falls instantly in love with her because she’s so beautiful.

You can’t be intelligent, hot, a great fighter, a great pilot, a great Force User and loved by everyone. That’s a not a person. Finn is a liar and somewhat of a coward. He fears the Empire. Po, a great pilot like Rey, shows mental weakness when he gives up the location of BB-8. Luke was whiny. Han Solo was selfish. Leia was mean and bossy. Rey is better than everyone at everything.

Rey has one moment of vulnerability in this movie. She runs away after touching Luke’s lightsaber. She wants no part of her destiny. Then she is captured. I thought at this point a flaw was about to show up. She stayed on Jakku because she feared her destiny. But then she with no help from anyone resists same torture that Po succumbed to and then uses a Jedi Mind Trick to escape. Han Solo, Chewie, and Finn are their way to rescue her but she didn’t need their help. She escaped herself because she’s awesome.

Remember how in A New Hope Luke was screaming for C3PO to save them from the trash compactor? If Rey was there, she would have climbed those walls, and then beat Darth Vader in a light saber fight. And then blew up the Death Star with no one’s help. What she accomplishes in this movie took Luke three movies to accomplish. When Luke fights Darth Vader for the first time, Vader is toying with him. He dominates Luke. Luke gets in a few lucky hits but that only pisses Vader off. Luke loses his hand and then decides to jump to his death than join Vader. Only through sheer luck does he survive the events of Empire.

ttf5v7q

Compare that man to Rey at the end of her first fight. She stands over the injured Kylo Ren, with not a mark on her.

Why should I care about this character? In the end, she finds Luke. It’s implied she is going to be trained by him. But what is there left to teach Rey? I bet in episode 8 she will be teaching him about the force. I hope Rian Johnson will rectify this situation with Rey and make her shitty at one thing. Just one.

Luke exiling himself is a rather strange story development. It leads to us having the teaser ending, but why would he do that? His nephew murdered children so Luke decides to go look for the first Jedi Temple. Why don’t you stop him? Don’t you care about the people being murdered? What’s going to be at the first Jedi Temple that could help? A secret Jedi technique? Do you need that against Kylo Ren? He lost to Rey and she was a Jedi for like two minutes. Surely you, a Jedi Master, can whup his ass and end this conflict? Is the secret Jedi technique for Super Master Commander Snoke?

I don’t even want to get into Supreme Kam Chancellor Snoke. His name is Snoke. I think that says enough.

Why did Luke’s lightsaber call out to Rey? How come when she touched it, it showed her visions? Didn’t do that to Luke. He would have seen visions of the prequels and probably decided the Jedi life was not for him. Where did that orange alien thing get Luke’s lightsaber? I know it will be a story later on, but I want to know now. That’s a more interesting story than the events of this movie. Was the hand still attached? Was it in the back of that chest?

Why did Han Solo and Leia name their kid after Obi-Won’s fake name? I had no idea Ben meant that much to them. Han Solo didn’t seem all that sad when Ben died. Now he names his kid after him. This is not a big deal. It was just something I was wondering. Why not name his kid after his good buddy, Chewbacca? Chewbacca Solo has a nice ring to it.

The Starkiller is bad fanfiction. A bigger badder Death Star that can destroy five planets at once. This was the best they could do? They were writing this script for over a year. I expect better than Death Star except bigger. My five-year-old cousin could have come up with that.

I hate being so down on this film. I wish I could have taken it for the ride it was trying to take me on. But this was a ride I’d been on before.

Episode 7 is going to make lots and lots of money for Disney. It does not matter if it is a good movie or not. It does sadden me because I felt this was a squandered opportunity to do something new with Star Wars after the disappointment of the prequels.

Maybe the next one will be good. Rian Johnson is a good writer. His work on Breaking Bad’s Ozymandias shows that he’s a competent director. Maybe he’ll turn this whole ship around and set us on a course for good storytelling.

Hopefully.

If not, oh well. We’ll always have the originals.
—-

Ants underrepresented in the media, says new study.

According to a new study released by some educational institution, ants are the most underrepresented group in all forms of media.

Ants account for the same amount of biomass on the planet as humans do, but they make up less than 1 percent of all biomass seen on film. Cars Tomuk, ant expert and the lead researcher for the survey, was disturbed by the findings.

“Even in the few films that ants are in, they are the butt of a joke. Most ants in films and television shows are killed by terminators for laughs. This is very problematic. Ants deserve to be treated with respect like any other species,” said Mr. Tomuk.

Of the 350 films included in the study, only one featured ants in a prominent role. But according to Mr. Tomuk, Marvel’s Ant-Man also has many problems.

“Marvel had a chance to go out and get an ant for the lead role but instead they went with the safe choice, Paul Rudd. Paul Rudd is not an ant. He does not know what it is like to be a pupae or how to live in an ant colony serving your queen every day. The daily life of an ant can be demanding. Does Rudd know anything about that? No. We need more films about the genuine ant experience. ”

The findings of this survey came as no surprise to the ant community. We reached out to a prominent worker ant of an molehill in Antrim, New Hampshire for comment.

“It’s about time America woke up! It’s 2015! There are trillions of ants living in this country and they should be able to watch television shows about their lives and their experiences,” said Colony Ant of Molehill MSXVMXXX.

“Millions of ants live in the white house right now! They live right under it! But no ant has ever been elected president! This is supposed to be the land of the free! But the only freedom ants have is the freedom to be stepped on by the boot of oppression. Billions of ants will be crushed this year. But does any one care? Will the government do anything to stop it? The senseless slaughter of ants is encouraged by the current regime. And it will not stop until ants stop fighting over sugar cubes and start working together for a better future for ants everywhere. ”

Progress may be coming for ants in Hollywood. Film studios have responded positively to the survey. Disney and Sony are the ones taking major steps towards species diversity. Sony has announced an all-ants version of Ghostbusters coming to theaters and garbage cans this summer. Disney is re-releasing A Bug’s Life on Blu-Ray with a special documentary on how the film changed bug cinema forever.

1214176165_63a3dfaf55

Age of the Superhero.

Spoilers for Avengers: Age of Ultron

The Avengers was a great spectacle. It wasn’t the best shot movie or the most well-acted. It was a great time in the cinema. A nicely-executed pay off to Marvel’s patience with their franchises. Also a great big pay off to Disney. So what comes next?

Avengers: Age of Ultron is what they came up with. Thanos was teased at the end of the first Avengers, but he needed more time in the kitchen. A hell of a lot more time since he’ll be in two more movies. So they microwaved up some Ultron for us. They left him in a bit too long. He’s not bad. Just a little soggy.

The Good
-The Party
Everything about the party scene. From Thor’s reaction. We’re able to stay with the characters. The cameos are cute and don’t overstay their welcome. And this was back when the Cap language joke was really funny. The hammer scene was on point. And then Ultron makes his horror movie entrance. This is the best stuff in the movie.

-The Vision
The character was introduced late, but I liked what I saw of him. There was potential constrained by the faults of the movie. But this is about what’s positive. I want to see him explored deeper. It’ll have to be done in future films. I don’t know where Marvel will fit it in. Better not be in Captain America 3. I don’t want it boggled down by that.

The Bad

-TOO MANY CHARACTERS!!!
The biggest flaw in Age of Ultron is the amount of central characters in its cast. The Avengers had less and Hawkeye got shafted. So the answer to that was to add three new good guys and a villain. Along with makin

I have no idea what the hell Thor was doing in this movie or why he was even there. He wanted Loki’s staff and then went into a lake. And came back to make Vision because he had a vision. It was weird. I felt like I missed a scene.

I believe this movie needed to make a choice between the twins or Vision. Having both only reduces what can be done with character development for the entire cast I’d lean toward cutting the twins. Vision is a great parallel to the human-hating Ultron. More cameos should have been cut back on too. I love War Machine but he shouldn’t have returned after the party scene.

With more story space for the characters, this film could become a worthy successor to the Avengers. Now it only will be at the box office for Disney.

-Lack of gravitas
This is the biggest threat the Avengers have faced thus far. Ultron wants to make mankind extinct by dropping a meteor on the planet. But you could not tell for a second that anyone was worried by the way they were talking. A one-liner here. A one-liner there. Lightening up scenes to relieve tension is good writing. But this went over-the-top. Ultron was far funnier than I expected him to turn out.

I thought he was going to be a cold calculating robot. One that would relentless in his mission to the point of exhausting the Avengers. Attacking their personal and physical flaws all while building his final solution for mankind. My own fault for expecting that. The first trailer didn’t have Ultron as a funny guy.

There were Ultron bots that never seemed to be a threat to anyone. They were there to be smashed. I can’t recall a single Avengers struggling against them. The only person who dies is the guy with 15 minutes of screen-time. The characters need to take the situations a bit more seriously.

-Looking Ahead Too Much
They built for Black Panther, Infinity War, Thor 3, and Captain America 3 in this movie. It bottle-necked the film to have to include all these scenes. I don’t know whether to blame Joss Whedon or big wigs for this, but I want it to stop. Please.

That’s it for my thoughts on A2: Ultron Day. This was in the middle tier of Marvel films. If you don’t like superhero films, don’t bother. And if you do, then you’re going to see it anyway.

So writing this was completely pointless.

captain-america-avengers-age-of-ultron-costume2

The Middle

three-act

Act 2 sucks so much. It’s this big double act where a bunch of stuff happens that leads up to the end. Act 1 is simple. There’s people and then horrible things happen to them. Then they do something about. Act 3 is also easy.
It’s seeing if they won or lost in the end.

Act 2 is what happens in-between. The middle of a story is the most boring part. Ratings dip in the middle of television seasons after huge season premieres and then bigger season finals. The audience

I’ve learned that Act 2 is a test. It’s a test to see if your story has enough meat to it. If you fail that test, you have to go back to the drawing board.

I really struggle with Act 2B. Pages 60 to 75 are a killer for me. I had a person gives me notes on a screenplay and at page 60-75 they had nothing to say. My story lost all its energy and sputtered wheels for fifteen pages. They got back into the story for the last twenty, but I knew I lost them for that fifteen pages.

I thought out-lining would help but it somehow became even worse. I’m going to have rethink my entire Act Two philosophy. Stuff happens is not good enough to help me work through this weakness of mine. I’ll have to read more scripts.

Or just write bullshit until it turns out awesome.

Fuck the Middle.

Bustin.

ghostbusters

Sony can’t win.

Sony announces female leads for new Ghostbusters reboot.

People are angry.

Sony announces they’ll have a male-focused reboot too.

People are angry.

No matter what Sony does with Ghostbusters, nobody is happy.

Except for Channing Tatum. He’s happy because he gets to star in a Ghostbusters movie. Congrats on being the only person happy, Mr. Tatum.

I was against any more Ghostbusters beyond a cartoon or comic book series. Ghostbusters is stupendous comedy film. It has aged great. Ghostbusters 2 was not up to par but it’s in the upper echelon of afternoon Comedy Central movies so it wasn’t a complete failure. With the death of Harold Ramis, Ghostbusters 3 is a depressing venture. It seemed best to let the franchise lie.

But money always makes a way. So here we are in 2015 with not one but two Ghostbusters reboots on the way. I’m going to refer to the female led version as Chickbusters and the male focused one as Dudebusters henceforth.

Chickbusters pissed me off initially because of Melissa McCarthy. Once it was announced, I knew she’d be in it and I’m not a fan of her style of comedy. I wouldn’t call it comedy even. The rest of the cast I’m not familiar with, maybe they can salvage that film. Paul Feig offers some encouragement. Anyone behind Freaks and Geeks is a person I can get behind. But Melissa McCarthy is a lot to overcome.

Now Dudebusters has the Russo Brothers directing. They directed Captain America: Winter Soldier and I thought that movie kicked a lot of ass. In fact it kicked the most ass of 2014. I’m neutral on Tatum. I don’t seek out movies with him in it, but I don’t hate him in movies he is in. He’s not a minus like Ms. McCarthy.

I’m making two sure bets about these movies. Neither will be better than the original Ghostbusters. And nobody will be happy with either of them after they’re released except for Channing Tatum.

What Sony should do is make an all-black version next called Ghostbustas with Busta Rhymes in the lead role. That’s where the real money is.

I am Jack’s Smirking Revenge

Ah. Fight Club.

The movie Roger Ebert didn’t quite get. He gave Fight Club two and a half stars. I know he’s dead and you have to respect the dead, but he was off about this one.

vlcsnap-2015-02-26-21h41m08s136

This was a movie that appealed to the generation that came after rather than the one before. Fight Club intitally struggled to find an audience.The book was lining up warehouses until David Fincher decided he wanted to make a movie out of it. Marketers had trouble advertising this satirical film. They couldn’t figure out how to entice audiences to check it out. Its box office numbers reflected that. Dark comedies are one of the harder genres to make trailers for. But after the home release, it gained its own almost Project Mayhem-esque cult following.

This movie is fucking hilarious and revels in absurdity. It’s about a guy so bored with his life that beats himself up and starts a cult, and then shoots himself in the head. The humor is lost on some audiences that focus on Tyler Durden’s philosophy or get turned off by the violence. If you listen to his words and nothing else, the movie comes off as propaganda for the destruction of capitalism and modern civilization. This movie gets much better with rewatches after the twist is out of the way. You can focus on Tyler as a malevolent force rather than his own person. His nihilistic philosophy is extreme and not to be imitated. Which of course had led to people seeing him as a wise man

The contemporary erosion of the masculine identity is a theme this movie examines. There’s the scenes with the protagonist at the testicular cancer help group. Here we have this man, Bob, with giant bitch tits hugging and crying. By the end of the movie, he’s dead. And his name was Robert Paulsen. In life he had lost everything because of his cancer. In death, he was to be remembered. He was a name repeated by the members of Project Mayhem. Just an interesting arc I noticed this time around.

The men in the film are these lost souls doing mindless work. What are they supposed to be? What are they as men supposed to do? They go back to the basics. They beat the living shit out of each other. And through this violence they bond. The violence is a way to express their rage at the world that’s told them they were special when they were not. It’s almost an after thought to everything else going on in this film. As I think about it, it’s more about how isolation, repetition, and lack of direction can drive a person insane

The writing is so strong in this film. The movies does commit a huge screenwriting no-no. It’s narrated by the protagonist. But like most writing rules, that one is meant to be broken. To take the narration out of this would be akin to ripping out a person’s spinal cord.

Below I’ll share a few of my favorite quotes.

“When people think you’re dying, they really really listen instead of waiting for their turn to speak.”

“How much can you know about yourself if you’ve never been in a fight?”

“We’re a generation of men raised by women. I wonder if another woman is really the answer we need.”

“The condom is the glass slipper of our generation.”

“It’s only after we’ve lost everything, that we’re free to do anything.”

“Working jobs we hate to buy shit we don’t need.

I have not read the book by Chuck Palahniuk. I’ll get to it one of these days.

Palahniuk is writing Fight Club 2 now. It will be a graphic novel. I’ll definitely pick that one up. I want to see where he takes the characters as the story was mostly focus on young men in their 20s and 30s. Palahniuk is now 53. What more does he have to say about masculinity with these characters? Will Tyler Durden return? Will we find out the Narrator’s name?

Good luck to you, Mr. Palahniuk. I look forward to Fight Club 2.

Vertigo

vlcsnap-2015-02-05-23h05m57s231

I’ve been trying to increase my cinema I.Q. by watching one hundred of the greatest movies ever. I’m about forty movies in. I took a break after Thanksgiving as I became very busy. I settled back in with Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo

I’ve seen this movie called the greatest movie of all time. It’s consistently in top 10 lists that I find online. This is the only movie of the forty or so I’ve seen thus far that I was disappointed by. That’s not to say that this was a poor movie, but I saw nothing meriting it to celebrated above films such as Tootsie, Godfather, Casablanca, Lawrence of Arabia or, Some Like It Hot. The movie kept my attention for the duration.

I expected a detective mystery from the opening scene so I paid more attention to the details of the plot. It wasn’t until around the halfway point that I realized it was a tragic love story. From what I gather, it’s a movie that is more appreciated with subsequent viewings after you know the ultimate outcome. I’m hoping to see what those top critics across the world see when they view this film.

I could also attribute my lack of amazement to the non-conventional nature of the plot. I stop movies every 30 minutes and take note of all the plot information that was delivered in that time. I try to keep a mental idea of scene length and frequency. This movie is too different for a standard breakdown.

I want to see something more modern so I’m deciding between watching Raging Bull and Annie Hall. I’m leaning towards Annie Hall as I have not seen anything of Woody Allen’s yet.

The Old Hat.

I used to be in a film club back in college. Our first year we struggled to complete a short film. I must have wrote this script about three to four years ago. The only locations available to film in were the college so I tried to think of a college story that could happen. Out came this script. We didn’t end up shooting this script. I can’t recall what we did instead, but I learned a lot from writing this little script. So I’m posting it.

FADE IN:
INT. SMITHSONIAN HALL – DAY

The inside of a standard college educational building. Recently painted white walls, and bland grey tiles. COLLEGE STUDENTS rush out of classrooms.

STEPH LEAF, 18, a brunette girl, walks a bit behind everyone. She stuffs her notebook into her dull purple purse. Suddenly a HAND grabs her arm!

She is whisked away into a dark, isolated corner where the lights are dim.

A HOODED FIGURE spins her around.

ERIC
It’s gone.

STEPH
Eric?

The man pulls his hood down REVEALING that he is ERIC DERING, 19, a Yankees fanatic who acts half his age.

Steph covers her mouth and averts her eyes! It’s the worst bed head that’s ever been in this or any universe. His hair stands on its edges, like he’s out of a Japanese anime.

Eric pulls the hood back down and starts banging his head into a nearby wall.

ERIC
I’m nothing without that hat. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing.

Eric bangs his head into the nearby wall.

STEPH
Stop!

Eric slumps to the floor. Steph sits down next to him.

STEPH (CONT’D)
Can’t you get another one?

ERIC
Yeah right, Steph! Another 1962 Vintage Yankees hat? Like my grandfather just has another one of those lying around, Steph! Oh gosh. What if my grandad finds out? He’ll kick me out of his will or worse, he’ll tell grandma! And she’ll tell Aunt Tes. And she’ll tell Uncle Riley. And then he’ll say “Not now I’m watching the game!” I HAVE TO FIND THAT HAT, STEPH! WHERE IS MY HAT?! OH GOD! WHERE DID I LEAVE IT!

Eric’s freaking out! Steph grabs him!

STEPH
Chill! Can you do that?! Please. Stay chill and I’ll help you find it!

Eric nods his head. Steph lets go of him. Eric opens his mouth wide. Steph stares him down. Eric shuts his mouth.

STEPH (CONT’D)
Be cool.

ERIC
But-

STEPH
When did you notice it was gone?

ERIC
This morning. I can’t

STEPH
Okay. Run me through your daily routine.

INT. ERIC’S ROOM – THIS MORNING
We see Eric sleeping in his bed. His room is disturbingly filled with Yankees Memorabilia. His walls are plastered with Yankees posters from the franchise’s history. His sheets are Yankee sheets. His chair has a giant Yankee TEDDY BEAR on it. Eric’s fast asleep under the covers with his butt in the air.

ERIC (V.O.)
My usual routine for Monday. First I wake up for my morning class. I get up and make my bed first thing. I wan to start my day off good.

STEPH (V.O.)
Mmm hmm.

An alarm goes off and it scares the bejeesus out of him!

Eric flops out of bed like a fish. He’s only wearing underwear! Derek Jeter’s wide grin smiles from the center of his bum. He panics and runs right into his Yankee Teddy Bear. He holds his back in pain and limps toward the bathroom.

INT. ERIC’S BATHROOM- DAY
Eric’s bathroom is the same as his room, Yankees stuff. There’s even Yankees toothpaste.

ERIC (V.O.)
Then I like put on deodorant. And then like brush my teeth. And try to catch a quick shower.

Eric stumbles into the room, still holding his back. He gazes into the mirror and tries to fix his horrendous hair. He takes out SPRAY DEODORANT with Alex Rodriguez on the side of it.

It’s empty. He shrugs his shoulders and chucks it behind him. It lands on a large pile of empty canisters.

He grabs his toothbrush. He brushes vigorously, so vigorously that it FLIES out of his hands and straight into the toilet!

Eric glances down into the toilet bowl. It’s filthy. Greenish-brown with a yellow tint.

He PLUNGES his arm into the depths of the toilet, splashing water all over himself.


STEPH (V.O.)

Can you get to the hat already?

ERIC (V.O.)
Oh. Okay.

INT. ERIC’S ROOM – LAST MONDAY MORNING

ERIC (V.O.)
I usually keep it in a special safe place. Nobody would ever think to look.

Eric unzips the back of the teddy bear. He checks to see if anyone’s around then pulls THE HAT of it. The hat is beat up and has several stains of questionable origin on it.

Eric breathes in the scent of the hat. Then places it on his head like a crown. It covers his head completely. He looks like a normal person now. Eric walks out of the room, beaming.

INT. SMITHSONIAN HALL – DAY

STEPH
So you had the hat when you left your house today?

ERIC
Yeah! That was the last time I saw it.

STEPH
What was the first class you took today?

INT. SOCIOLOGY 101 – THIS MORNING
Boring lecture. Eric is in the back. His legs are propped up on his desk with his cap over his face. He’s snoring up a storm. He sporadically scratches his crotch to the disdain of the GIRL sitting next to him.

ERIC (V.O.)
My socialism class.

STEPH (V.O.)
Sociology.

ERIC (V.O.)
No. I took that last semester.

Steph sighs.

INT. SMITHSONIAN HALL – DAY

STEPH
Wait! Isn’t that the class with The Chad in it?!

ERIC
Who?

STEPH
The Chad. Eric you don’t know The Chad? He’s the biggest guy on campus! Really big. Not the good kind of muscly big. Not that I like muscles on guys that much anyway.

Steph extends her arms to show his size. Eric’s lost.

STEPH (CONT’D)
He definitely stole your hat!

INT. SOCIOLOGY 101 – THIS MORNING
THE CHAD, a behemoth of a man, waddles in behind Eric. He belly-laughs to himself then swipes Eric’s hat off his head.

ERIC (V.O.)
How can you be so sure?

STEPH (V.O.)
He’s a Red Sox fan, Eric! How could you not know that?

The Chad carefully places a Red Sox Hat on Eric’s head.

INT. HALLWAY- AFTERNOON

Eric gasps!

ERIC
A Red Sox fan?! That explains this!

Eric whips out a Red Sox hat out of his backpack.

ERIC (CONT’D)
That son of a gun! I’ll throttle him! I’ll knock his block off!

Eric pops up from the floor with reinvigorated energy with his dukes up.

STEPH
Do you even know where he lives?

Eric deflates like a popped balloon back to floor.

ERIC
It’s over. I’ll never get it back.

STEPH
(rolling her eyes)
He’s a sophomore so he lives in Parker Hall.

Eric springs back up.

ERIC
To Parker Hall!

Eric kicks open a door in front of him and sprints away!

STEPH
(to herself)
Idiot.

INT. OUTSIDE THE CHAD’S ROOM- DAY
A yellow door with a Boston Red Sox 2004 World Champions poster is seen. Below the poster is “THE CHAD’S CHAMBER” written in red marker.

Eric zooms down the hallway past the door. Steph walks down the hall and stops at the Chad’s door.

STEPH
(panting and yelling)
Eric! His room’s down here!

Eric walks back to Steph. He bends over and pants.

ERIC
Hat. I gotta get it back.

STEPH
You got that figured out?

ERIC
Course I do doll.

STEPH
What did I tell about calling me, doll?

ERIC
Sorry.

ERIC (CONT’D)
So here’s the plan. I’ll knock on the door. He’s a Red Sox fan. He’ll attack me out of sheer jealousy since his team sucks complete balls! Worse than the Mets! And they really suck! Then I’ll put the boots to him. He’ll beg for mercy. I’ll kick him while he’s down and get the hat back.

STEPH
Put the boots to him? Have you seen this guy?

ERIC
The bigger they are, the harder I hit.

Eric rolls up his sleeve and flexes his stringy arms.

STEPH
Right. Go stand over there. I’ll get your stupid old hat.

ERIC
Oh. I see where you’re going with this. You’ll lull him into a false sense of security and then I’ll clobber him.

Eric winks at her and then sneaks down the hallway out of sight.

Steph shakes her head and knocks on the door. Tremendous footsteps shake the hall way. The Chad swings his door open. He’s squeezed into a quadruple extra large Red Sox t-shirt. He glowers down at Steph. Inside of his room, in the middle of his desk is ERIC’S HAT.

The Chad’s voice is deep and booming.

THE CHAD
Who dares to touch The Chad’s door?!

STEPH
I do.

THE CHAD
What business do you have with The Chad, woman?

STEPH
Are you like serious with this third person talking?

THE CHAD
The Chad is eternally serious.

STEPH
You took my friend’s hat.

THE CHAD
The Chad have not a clue what speak of woman.

Steph points at the hat. The Chad tilts his massive body slightly to the left to block the sight of it.

THE CHAD (CONT’D)
That is the Chad’s hat.
You expect me to believe you of all people would own a Yankees hat?

THE CHAD
The Chad doesn’t expect you to believe anything. The Chad expects you to get out of the Chad’s face, stop wasting the Chad’s time and skee-daddle!

The Chad slams the door closed.

STEPH
Right. Okay. I’ll leave.

Steph turns and starts to walk away.

THE CHAD (O.S.)
You better!

STEPH
I’ll go home. Fire up my computer, go online. Maybe hop on twitter! So many people on there these days. Maybe I’ll tweet at the Red Sox. They’ll love to know all about how one of their biggest fans is starting a Yankees hat collection.

The Chad’s door bursts open!

THE CHAD
(Panicking)
No! Not Twitter! The Chad will become a laughingstock in front of all the Red Sox Nation! Woman have mercy on The Chad!

The Chad grovels at her feet.

STEPH
Give me the hat.

ERIC (O.S.)
(yelling)
It’s clobbering time!

Eric runs down the hall, right into a FAKE PLANT! He topples it over and falls flat on his face! The Chad and Steph shake their heads.

THE CHAD
Just like a Yankees fan to get riled up over nothing.

The Chad hurls Eric’s hat out of his room.

THE CHAD (CONT’D)
Here! Take it! I don’t want the hat of a team that hasn’t won a championship in years. Haha! Suck it Yankee Doodle!

ERIC
(picking himself off the floor)
Yeah well, at least I can see my own feet.

THE CHAD
(almost crying)
Hey! Shut up!

The Chad scurries away and slams the door shut. Steph holds her nose and picks up Eric’s hat. She hands it to him.

Eric grasps it like it is his first born son. He kisses the hat then smells it. Steph nearly vomits.

ERIC
I missed you.

He places it on his head. The universal order has been restored.

EXT. OUTSIDE PARKER HALL- LATE AFTERNOON

ERIC
Thanks Steph. I don’t know what I would have done without your help.

STEPH
Just promise me, you won’t lose it again.

ERIC
Sure thing doll.

A strong wind whisks the hat right off Eric’s head.

ERIC (CONT’D)
NOOOOO!!!

Eric runs after it. Steph rolls her eyes and heads off in the opposite direction

FADE TO BLACK.

M7MA9A4405