Author Archive: Mariusz Zubrowski

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Screenwriter’s Compass: Character as True North

Screenwriter’s Compass: Character as True North

| April 30, 2012 | 0 Comments

Reading Guy Gallo’s guide to screenplays, Screenwriter’s Compass: Character as True North, I felt I needed a map around the literary fat. Gallo goes on overlong tangents where he tries to debunk the theories of Aristotle, dramaturgy teachers, and books before him. A lot of what he says in these passages—although sound and somewhat tied […]

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The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games

| April 1, 2012 | 0 Comments

How much better would “American Idol” be if the contestants were forced to partake in a quasi-coliseum death match? A brutal reality show is at the forefront in Suzanne Collins’ novel The Hunger Games. Aimed at young adults, the book occupied a niche alongside works like “Twilight.” But after receiving positive reviews and becoming a […]

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John Carter

John Carter

| March 22, 2012 | 0 Comments

One of my friends has a problem with lying. His popular tall tale is claiming his father, John Carter, has worked as an astronaut, sports coach, and lucrative businessman. In response, the rest of us had invented an origin series for the man who became notable for fighting the good fight as part of America’s […]

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21 Jump Street

21 Jump Street

| March 22, 2012 | 0 Comments

Patrick Hasburgh and Stephen J. Cannell’s television drama 21 Jump Street was notable for a couple of reasons. First, it aired on the Fox Network for 103 episodes, becoming an early hit for the fledgling broadcasting company. Secondly, it sparked Johnny Depp’s acting career. Now, a cinematic adaptation of the same name has been helmed […]

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The Vow

The Vow

| February 15, 2012 | 0 Comments

Although I get a review out of it (thus making the experience a humanitarian effort), I take great pride in knowing I’m one of the rare men comfortable enough with their masculinity to see a movie like The Vow. If its premise—the “true” (at least by Hollywood’s standards) story of love and the lengths some […]

Rampart

Rampart

| February 11, 2012 | 0 Comments

Dave Brown (Woody Harrelson) is uncharitable, misogynistic, nihilistic, and racist, a chain-smoker, a raging alcoholic, and a bad father, but Rampart, the movie he’s thrust into, is astonishingly dull. Helmed by Oren Moverman, it explores the state of the LAPD circa the late ’90s but, despite what its title suggests, the film isn’t about the […]

Safe House

Safe House

| February 10, 2012 | 0 Comments

Daniel Espinosa’s Safe House is a lesson in “Filmmaking with Parkinson’s.” The choppily edited actions sequences—onslaughts of bright colors and enough “shaky-camera” to make Jason Bourne nauseous—are hard to endure. Moreover, they’re built on clichés: Coincidental protests (allowing the protagonists some cover), accidental assassinations, and a handful of close calls. Because the plot isn’t the […]

Joyful Noise

Joyful Noise

| February 4, 2012 | 0 Comments

My neighbor is a borderline Christian extremist. When she’s not bashing homosexuality or quoting the Bible, she particularly enjoys listening to gospel music and watching Tyler Perry movies. Once, being the self-appointed film snob I am, I asked about her obsession with the Madea series. She applauded the franchise’s family-friendly and pro-God morals — completely […]

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Haywire

Haywire

| February 4, 2012 | 0 Comments

Casting for Steven Soderbergh’s latest film, Haywire must’ve started with an all-star poker match. Inviting talents like Channing Tatum, Michael Douglas, Antonio Banderas, Michael Fassbender, and Ewan McGregor for beer and gambling, the director, confident with his hand, decided to raise the ante. “How about we make this interesting? Relativity Media dumped me with a […]

Man on a Ledge

Man on a Ledge

| February 4, 2012 | 0 Comments

Recently, as per my friend’s request, I skimmed through a snuff film he’d found online. “You know, the fact that I don’t bat an eye at this, but have to hold back tears during ASPCA infomercials is sick in and of itself.” “Congratulations, you’ve been desensitized to human violence,” he shot back. It’s true, like […]

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