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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

It Was The Worst Of Mickey Rooney....(2)

Okay.
I'll close it out with this one, then we will be on to other things.
It was 1987.
The Pantages Theater in Hollywood.
I had read that Mickey Rooney would be starring in a production of "A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To the Forum".
Sounded pretty good to me.
My favorite, probably the best musical-comedy ever written, starring one of the most gifted actor-comedians who ever lived.
I felt no need to share this with anyone, so I flew solo.
It was a Wednesday night.
Got a great seat.
Eighth row, orchestra.
The lights went down.
Over the public address system, we heard "Welcome to the Forum".
I'd seen many productions of this show.
I knew it very well.
I'd never seen it start that way.
I can't really tell you why, but it seemed a little off-putting.
I let it slide.
They played the Overture, got done, and out came Mickey.
He went into the opening number, which is traditionally broken up by his narration of what we are about to see.
Right off the bat, from his first piece of narration, I began to hear lines that I had never heard before.
This continued.
Throughout the show.
He seemed to give himself permission to give the show a complete rewrite.
And proceeded to improve none of it.
He turned it into dreck.
"Forum" is a very difficult show to pull off well.
It's all in the hands of the lead actor.
The character, Pseudolus, is a slave in ancient Rome.
What drives the entire action of the play is Pseudolus's desire to be free.
A very intricate plot evolves from that, and in any good production of it, you have to see the wheels turning in his head.  Constantly.
It's all about his thought process.
The more you see the wheels turning, the better the show is.
With Mickey, you NEVER saw the wheels turning.
Why?
Because he didn't give a crap about wheels..
He copped an attitude, that he shared with the audience, called "Do you believe this shit I'm trapped in?"
He had no respect for the material.
For the greatest, most intelligent musical-comedy ever written.
He had no respect for it.
Which is probably why he chose to rewrite most of it.
He added a ton of new jokes that weren't in the script.
And they were all, without exception, groaners.
I know this, because I kept hearing the audience, and me, groaning.
As did Mickey.
At one point, he went down to the edge of the stage, right at the footlights, and said "Hey folks, don't blame me.  I didn't write this stuff!"
At that moment, I wanted to stand up from my seat, and shout back at him "Yes you did!!"
I restrained myself.
To this day, I don't know how, but I did.
I understand that Larry Gelbart, the co-book writer on "Forum", tried to get an injunction, or at least to sue.  He just wound up discouraging people to see it.
Mickey let that show die a totally pointless death.
Apparently, there was no one around him who could tell him "No".
To this day, it was more torture than I've ever chosen to sit though in an evening of theatre.
And I sat through "The Addams Family".

To sum up, with all the great work he did, that evening almost totally put him in the minus column for me.
Almost, but not quite.
He did all that great work.
For so long.
All he needed was someone to keep him in line.
So over all, he was better than he was not.
But that "Forum" experience made it awfully close.     

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

My books ,"Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not
e-books. But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one. If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at macchus999@aol.com.
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube, and my 4-hour interview at the Television Academy's Emmy TV Legends Website.
Here's the link:  www.emmytvlegends.org/interviews/people/mark-rothman
Add to this, my new Kickstarter project, "Another Network".  Please check it out at Kickstarter.com
*****

Thursday, April 17, 2014

It Was The Worst Of Mickey Rooney.

Okay.
Let's put aside for a moment that he made "Andy Hardy Comes Home" in 1958, when he was 38, and the boat had long since sailed, and he was way too long in  the tooth.
Let's put that aside.
Let's put aside the fact that over the next three years, he had enough clout to star in, and in one case, even co-direct, three Grade Z cheap features:
My personal favorite, "The Big Operator"---ironic, because, of course, physically, he was anything but big.
Even though he wore big clothes.
He played the King of the Underworld.
And he cast, as the sympathetic romantic leads, Steve Cochran and Mamie Van Doren.
That's right, Steve Cochran and Mamie Van Doren.
Two people who were never before or since sympathetic in anything.
It was as bad as it sounds.
He then did "The Private Lives of Adam and Eve", in which he played the Devil in the form of a snake.
Again, with Mamie Van Doren as Eve.
Adam was played by Martin Milner.
Something which I'm sure he points with pride on his resume.
What was it with Mickey and Mamie Van Doren?
One can only form an educated guess.
He immediately followed this one up with "Platinum High School".
Now, who was more platinum than Mamie Van Doren?
Only she wasn't in this one.
They got, and "introduced" Yvette Mimieux.
This was just about the time Mamie started her fling with baseball phenom Bo Belinsky.
Plus, she was obviously too old for high school, so it didn't make sense on multi-levels.
But if Bo was out of the picture, I'm pretty sure Mickey would have handed her pom-poms.
But let's put ALL that aside.
And let's put aside the two really crappy sitcoms he starred in and was in charge of, "Hey Mulligan!", and "Mickey".
All you needed to make them work were good writers he would listen to.
But let's put that aside.
And let's put aside the "Mickey and Marty" movies.
Mickey went on the Tonight Show with Johnny to explain his idea for his "Mickey and Marty"  movies.
Marty, in this case, being Marty Allen.
Marty had been undergoing one of his handful of separations from Steve Rossi.
Mickey was going to take up the slack.
As Mickey was describing the kind of cornball movies he planned to make with Marty, the audience just fidgeted, and the camera cut to Johnny, who did one of his famous takes right into the camera.
And right there, right at that moment, it was the end of the "Mickey and Marty" movies.
But let's put that aside.
Let's put it ALL aside, until next time, when I get to the one thing I can NEVER put aside.
Until then....

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

My books ,"Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not
e-books. But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one. If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at macchus999@aol.com.
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube, and my 4-hour interview at the Television Academy's Emmy TV Legends Website.
Here's the link:  www.emmytvlegends.org/interviews/people/mark-rothman
Add to this, my new Kickstarter project, "Another Network".  Please check it out at Kickstarter.com
*****

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

It Was The Bet Of Mickey Rooney...(3).

"He did so many wonderful things after 1949, where, on TV, he was usually the top billed guest star, or in the movies, where he wasn't.
The Dick Powell Theater, perhaps the last and greatest anthology series, had him star four times.
He was great, and different, all four times.
He did a half-hour filmed episode of the Alcoa Theatre, called "Eddie".
Solo.
On the telephone.
He owed bookies money, and they were threatening to kill him.
Telephone acting is the hardest.
You have to convey who the character on the other end of the phone is, and what he's saying.
You can't cheat like Bob Newhart or Shelley Berman, and repeat what the other character has said.
Mickey won an Emmy for "Eddie".
He did an episode of "Hennesey" and just shone.
I recently saw him in an episode of the Milton Berle show.
He wiped Uncle Miltie off the screen.
In that one hour, he became Mr. Television.

The movies?  Where to begin....
"Requiem For a Heavyweight"
Jackie Gleason, Anthony Quinn, Rooney, and Julie Harris.
Arguably Gleason's greatest performance.
He managed to make you hate him and care about him at the same time.
And much of the hatred and caring came through the  eyes of Mickey Rooney's character.
You don't give your greatest performance alone.
Gleason and Anthony Quinn apparently detested each other.
Their acting styles completely contrasted.
Gleason just got up and did it.
Quinn had to "Soak it in".
Gleason mocked Quinn for this.
Later, when asked who the best actor he ever worked with was, Quinn shot right back with "Mickey Rooney".
And it wasn't a shot at Gleason.  He meant it.
Mickey certainly held his own in the scenes he had with Buddy Hackett in "It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World".
In 1969, Carl Reiner made a film starring Dick Van Dyke called "The Comic".
It was about the silent film era.
Van Dyke played a combination of Stan Laurel and Harry Langdon.
Mickey Rooney played a character named Martin "Cockeye" Van Buren.
Cross-eyed.
It was his version of Ben Turpin.
There was a lot of  "silent" footage.
Mickey was a great physical comedian.
He threw moves that Ben Turpin was never capable of.
All Turpin had was his crossed eyes.
It made sense that Rooney would be a great silent comedian.
He WAS one.
When he was a kid.
In scores of "Mickey McGuire" movies.
"The Comic" turned very dramatic as the silent era ended and their careers crashed.
There is this this great scene that takes place in the present.
Van Dyke and Rooney, now both old, are sitting on a park bench, facing the one theater in L.A. that still showed silent movies.
Mickey is still cross-eyed.
They are bemoaning their current place in the world, and the world in general.
Rooney, pointing to his own eyes, says "When people stopped laughing at these, they started killing each other."
Pretty haunting stuff.
Then there were more awards, nominations----"Bill", The Black Stallion"
Wonderful work.
It's almost a shame that next time I have to start taking a crap on him.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

My books ,"Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not
e-books. But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one. If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at macchus999@aol.com.
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube, and my 4-hour interview at the Television Academy's Emmy TV Legends Website.
Here's the link:  www.emmytvlegends.org/interviews/people/mark-rothman
Add to this, my new Kickstarter project, "Another Network".  Please check it out at Kickstarter.com
*****

Friday, April 11, 2014

It Was The Best Of Mickey Rooney....(2)

As Mickey Rooney grew into adulthood, as much as he could grow,  a hard-and-fast rule began to  develop:  The more control he had over a project, the more star power he had to exert, the worse the project would come off.
This was particularly true with movies.
Past 1949, if Mickey Rooney was the star of the movie, name over the title, the bigger abomination it was.
I'll discuss this more when we get to "The Worst of Mickey Rooney",
Conversely, the smaller the part he had in a movie, the better the movie was, and the  better he was in it.
In 1957, there was a serviceable service comedy called "Operation Mad Ball".
This was essentially a good movie, with some lovely moments in it.
Jack Lemmon and Ernie Kovacs were the two main stars in it.
I always thought that Lemmon was overrated, and Kovacs was a great TV innovator, but not that much of a screen presence.
The story was simple:
World War Two was over and the G.I.s wanted to celebrate the closing of the Army hospital by secretly attempting to throw a wild party.
Mickey Rooney  had two scenes as Chief Supply Officer Yancey Skeebo, both with Lemmon and Dick York, in his pre-Darren Stevens days, where they were trying to convince Mickey to move papers around in order to get the supplies they needed.
Skeebo had apparently memorized the Almanac.
And all the information at his fingertips.
In these two scenes, he completely wipes the floor with Lemmon and York, thoroughly improves the picture, and walks off with it.
Those scenes are on YouTube.
Just type in Mickey Rooney Operation Mad Ball, and enjoy.
He did a small part as the Japanese neighbor in "Breakfast at Tiffany's".
It might strike some as rather racist, because he had those oversized buck teeth.
But he was hilarious.
He had major success on early TV.
He starred in an episode of Playhouse 90, written by Rod Serling, called "The Comedian"
They showed it on a PBS series called "The Golden Age of Television"
Beforehand, they showed an interview with John Frankenheimer, who directed it.
In it, Frankenheimer noted that during the two-week rehearsal process, Rooney was brilliant.
But he was differently brilliant each time.
He constantly strayed from the script.
Just as he did when he did with Tony Randall when they did "The Odd Couple".
And none of the strayings were as good as what Serling wrote.
Frakenheimer called him on it.
Rooney replied "The only time I do it word for word is for ol' Willie Shakespeare, boy!"
Frankenheimer played him: "Well that's all well and good, but you see this line here?  Well there's a man in the booth who pushes the buttons, and until he hears this line from you, he's not going to push the button that gives you your close-up.
According to Frankenheimer, from then on Rooney was letter perfect.
If you want to see just how  Emmy-Winningly perfect he was, the entire kinescope of "The Comedian" is on YouTube, and it, and he, is brilliant.
I have more praise to heap on Mickey Rooney, and  I'll do it next time.  

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

My books ,"Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not
e-books. But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one. If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at macchus999@aol.com.
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube, and my 4-hour interview at the Television Academy's Emmy TV Legends Website.
Here's the link:  www.emmytvlegends.org/interviews/people/mark-rothman
Add to this, my new Kickstarter project, "Another Network".  Please check it out at Kickstarter.com
*****

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

It Was The Best Of Mickey Rooney.....

Yes, the man had character flaws:
Boorishness, especially in public, and I'm told, in private.
Poor judgment.
A total lack of discipline.
Yet, he probably had more raw talent than anyone else who ever lived.
When "The Odd Couple" was being planned as a TV series, it was Tony Randall's choice as to who would play Oscar.
Tony had performed the play in Las Vegas opposite Mickey.
Tony thought Mickey was the greatest thing since sliced bread, even though Mickey had a tendency to stray from the page and the action.
But Tony easily guided him back to civilization.
And to Tony, it was worth the effort.
That's how much he thought of him.
So when Garry Marshall asked Tony who he wanted as Oscar, Tony immediately shot back with Mickey Rooney.
On the TV stage, it was easier to yell "Cut!", and eliminate the straying.
After major wincing, Garry proposed that Tony write down on a piece of paper any other name, and sight unseen, Garry would be fine with him.
And that's how Jack Klugman was born.
Garry had worked with Mickey on a TV movie called "Evil Roy Slade".
Mickey did some really good work in "Evil Roy Slade".
Garry just couldn't stomach being around him.
As Jack Klugman was quite instrumental in launching my career, it must at least be somewhat attributed to how much people didn't want to be around Mickey Rooney.
So I owe him that.
But all of this is transcended by the wonderful work he displayed over a career that outspanned everyone else's.
 Where to start?
I guess chronologically.
"A Midsummer Night's Dream", where still  child, he played Puck.
Brilliantly.
"Boy's Town", opposite Spencer Tracy.
Exceptional.  Easily sharing the screen with Tracy.
"Young Tom Edison".  Great.
All those Andy Hardy movies, which I've always been a sucker for.
Evocative of a time in this country that probably never existed, but boy, did you wish it did.
The Mickey-Judy "Let's put on a  show" musicals.
She was his female match when it came to talent, and I was always in awe watching the two of them together.
"The Human Comedy".  The film adaptation of the William Saroyan play, where as a young teenager, Mickey had a job at Western Union, delivering telegrams.
This was during World War Two.
And I'll never forget the scene that depicted the first time that he had to deliver a telegram to a family, informing them that their son was killed in battle.
It seemed to torture Mickey's character more than the family.
It has always been haunting to me.
There will be a part two of this, because we have barely scratched the surface.
You'd think maybe I'd covered it, but really I haven't
And we will eventually get around to "The Worst of Mickey Rooney"
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

My books ,"Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not
e-books. But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one. If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at macchus999@aol.com.
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube, and my 4-hour interview at the Television Academy's Emmy TV Legends Website.
Here's the link:  www.emmytvlegends.org/interviews/people/mark-rothman
Add to this, my new Kickstarter project, "Another Network".  Please check it out at Kickstarter.com
*****

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Kickin' And A-Startin'.

In the 1980's, I had an idea for a movie.
A comedy/drama.
It was to be a combination sequel/homage to the film "Network".
You know---"I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore"
Except instead of taking place backstage at network news, the arena was backstage in the world of sitcoms.
There were just as many back-stabbings and moronic, evil executives in that world as well.
Because I have the worst poker face in the world, when I tried to pitch this movie to the current moronic, evil movie executives at that time, they were able to read me well enough to know that the morons in the movie that I was referring to were, in fact, them.
And it's continued that way all this time.
So this movie, in screenplay form, has been languishing for about thirty-five years.
My friends who are familiar with my entire output as a writer contend rather unanimously that this is the best thing I have ever written.
This says one of two things about me as a writer:
1) That I have not improved one iota since the 80's, or
2) That I completely had my shit together back then.
I choose to think the latter.

Not too long ago, I was made aware of a website called Kickstarter.com
I'm sure many of you have heard of it.
I figure that this is the last chance for me to get this movie made.
Being a sequel to "Network", it's called, appropriately enough, "Another Network".
I'm trying to raise $225,000 to get it made well.
I implore you, I beseech you, to at least go to Kickstarter.com, type in "Another Network" where it says Search Projects, click on it, watch the fifteen minute video of me being interviewed about it (rather entertainingly, I think), read the details provided, and if you feel at all generous towards me, make a pledge to help me get this movie made.
Tell your friends.
Spread the word.
If I don't reach my goal, it won't cost anybody a thing .
If I do, your pledges will be activated.
And think about how happy you'll be.
At least for me.
And how happy this relatively old man will be if you come through.
And I promise you that I will make it my business that this movie gets seen.
And that you will be proud to be a part of it.
Once again, I will be leaving this post up for at least a week, for maximum exposure.
If you have any questions about it, ask them in the Comments section, or e-mail me about them at macchus999@aol.com

Yes, this is Passing the Hat on  very large scale.
Fortunately, Kickstarter has provided me with a very large hat.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

My books ,"Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not
e-books. But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one. If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at macchus999@aol.com.
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube, and my 4-hour interview at the Television Academy's Emmy TV Legends Website.
Here's the link:  www.emmytvlegends.org/interviews/people/mark-rothman
Add to this, my new Kickstarter project, "Another Network".  Please check it out at Kickstarter.com
*****

Monday, March 31, 2014

Hey There, Bunky.....

One of the funniest people ever died last Tuesday.
His name was Eddie Lawrence.
Maybe you'd know him better as "The Old Philosopher"
Maybe you wouldn't.
But his Old Philosopher routine was as funny as I can remember.
And this goes back to my childhood.
It was usually in the form of a comedy album.
Perhaps the first clean one ever, of course not counting Redd Foxx and Belle Barth.
But I always thought it worked better visually.
He did all the major TV variety shows with it----Sullivan, Steve Allen, Carson, and invariably killed.

For the unfamiliar, I'll paraphrase an example of what he did from his New York Times Obituary:

(With the soft strains of "Beautiful Dreamer" in the background)
“Hey there, Bunky, you say you lost your job today?
You say it’s 4 a.m. and your kids ain’t come home from school yet?
You say your wife went out for a corned beef sandwich last weekend — the corned beef sandwich came back but she didn’t?
You say your furniture’s out all over the sidewalk cause you can’t pay the rent and you got chapped lips and paper cuts and your feet’s all swollen up and blistered from pounding the pavement looking for work?
Is that’s what’s troubling you, fella?”
(Then, as "Beautiful Dreamer" gave way to a marching band playing something boisterous by John Philip Sousa, he bellowed).
“Then lift your head up high!
Take a walk in the sun with that dignity and stick-to-it-iveness, and you’ll show the world, you’ll show them where to get off!
And you’ll never give up, never give up, never give up ((whap! whap!) — that ship!”
Then he'd do two or three more versions, with different jokes, but always followed up by never giving up that ship.

There is a live performance of this on YouTube.
Just type in Eddie Lawrence The Old Philosopher, and click on the one where you can see his face.
NOT one of the album covers.
An album cover will be at the beginning of that one too, but it's not the icon.
You all owe yourselves this.
Some people a little younger than me might be familiar with some of this because Soupy Sales, on his TV show, when he went to the radio to check the weather, would "stumble" across a cut from one of Eddie's albums.
Or he'd have Pookie the lion mime him.

Eddie Lawrence also had a very good part in the Broadway musical "Bells Are Ringing" and the distinction of writing the book and lyrics for the shortest running musical ever to open on Broadway.
It was "Kelly", and it ran one night.
Lawrence sued to prevent it from opening, after changes he didn't approve of were added.
It sounds like he had taste.
I also vaguely remember him briefly hosting a kiddie show on TV, not unlike "Howdy Doody", or maybe he was filling in for Buffalo Bob.
And whenever he did the live commercials, or when the kids in the Peanut Gallery were starting to bug him, he would mildly threaten them with "Thumps"
As in "If you kids keep this up, you'll be getting your thumps"
Or, If you don't buy these Tootsie Rolls, you're gonna get your thumps".
Occasionally he'd call them "your little thumperinos"
It made me hysterical.
He had a brief but memorable part in the film "The Night They Raided Minsky's"
He played one of the burlesque comics.
On the burlesque stage, he appeared in the sketch commonly known as "Crazy House".
In it, he played the patient in a hospital room, and people would come in and do crazy things
As each punchline was reached, Lawrence would punctuate it by yelling "Nurse! Nurse!", and rolling his eyes and his fingers.
As far as I'm concerned, he stole the picture right there.

He will be sorely missed, but it's really nice that he made it to be 95 years old.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

My books ,"Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not
e-books. But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one. If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at macchus999@aol.com.
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube, and my 4-hour interview at the Television Academy's Emmy TV Legends Website.
Here's the link:  www.emmytvlegends.org/interviews/people/mark-rothman
 
*****

Monday, March 24, 2014

Officially Legendary.

A while back, (last September, to be precise,) I wrote an eight part series of articles entitled ""Why I Am Not Babaloo Mandel".
It was essentially a response to my former writing partner Lowell Ganz's 4-hour interview at the Television Academy's Emmy TV Legends website.
I followed it with a post entitled "Coda".
In "Coda", I informed my readers that I had just completed my own 4-hour interview at the same website.
I was told that it would probably take a few months before the interview would be put up on the website.
Well, a few months have since passed.
It is now March, and the interview is now online at the website.
Here's the link:  www.emmytvlegends.org/interviews/people/mark-rothman
It covers a lot of ground about my life and career.
It deals with a lot of what I covered in the "Babaloo Mandel" articles, in a somewhat less gritty fashion.
I essentially followed my late mother's advice with this one----"You should make a nice appearance", and "Speak out loud, and with expression".
People who have seen it say I look great, so that takes care of the first.
And I can't think of a time when I have not spoken out loud and with expression.
So at least on that level, she'd be pleased.
Maybe less so when I made fun of her here and there.
I'm also hearing that the interview is very entertaining.
The interviewer is always instructed not to laugh, thus she didn't.
But I had the cameraman and the boom-mike guy in stitches.
I know this because I could see it, and they told me afterwards.
I don't think you can hear them, though.
If you watch the first part, and then want to see the second part, it can get tricky.
Just click where it says "Interview" underneath where my picture is.
The same applies to the third and fourth parts.
If you're still having trouble, e-mail me, and I can try to guide you through it.
I'm not going to post again this week, because I'd like to have this one be at the top of the blog, to call as much attention to it as I can.
But I'll be back next week.
 
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

My books ,"Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not
e-books. But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one. If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at macchus999@aol.com.
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube, and my 4-hour interview at the Television Academy's Emmy TV Legends Website.
Here's the link:  www.emmytvlegends.org/interviews/people/mark-rothman
 
*****

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Calculations.

I went out for lunch with one of my friends here in Detroit last week at one of those restaurants that had lanterns over each table.
Kind of an upgraded Applebees, with better food.
The miracles of the 21st Century have eliminated two of my biggest weaknesses in life:
The GPS, which has neutralized my lack of any sense of direction behind the wheel, and my newly acquired app for a restaurant tip calculator, eliminating my inability to figure out how much of a tip  to leave, based on service received.
This week, the Malaysian Airliner is the top news story.
Last week, at the restaurant, it was the Ukraine.

I love intelligent verbal sparring with waitresses.
Call me sexist if you must, but I don't derive the same enjoyment verballizing with waiters, nor do they with me.
The young waitress we had that day was sharp as a tack.  We were making each other laugh repeatedly.
Part of good waitressing is how good a show you can put on.
It's not just about schlepping out food.
And she was brilliant at it.
We were having a grand old time.
I had already set her at 22% on my tip calculator
Then, I said to my friend, in front of the waitress,  You know what bugs me about this whole Ukraine situation?  It's knocked Chris Christie off the front page."
I consider the whole Chris Christie story just about the most compelling story of the last few years.
Perhaps not the most important, but certainly the most compelling.
It's classic Good Guys vs. Bad Guys.
You can't beat it.
And it's still unraveling.  Nothing should knock it off the front page.
This very sharp, very intelligent waitress stared at me and asked "Who's Chris Christie?
She hadn't a clue.
Then I asked "Do you  know what the Ukraine is?
She stared at me blankly.
I said "You know.  A  crane.  A bird.  And it goes  "Ooh, ooh".  Just like Gunther Toody."
Like I had a prayer with that one.
I learned the hard way that intelligence doesn't necessarily translate to knowledge.
And in this case, to have no respect for knowledge.
And this may seem a little harsh, but my only recourse was to roll down  my tip calculator to 13%.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

My books ,"Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not
e-books. But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one. If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at macchus999@aol.com.

And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.

*****

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

I See Nothing.

Cynthia Lynn died last week.
Until last week, I had no idea who Cynthia Lynn was.
That's because her only claim to fame was as Helga on the TV series "Hogan's Heroes".
I only watched "Hogan's Heroes" the first time it was on.
That's because I found it to be almost as big an atrocity as the Holocaust itself.
It was ostensibly based on Billy Wilder's great "Stalag 17".
But even though that film had it's comic touches, it was very much a serious movie.
The premise of "Hogan's Heroes"" was to portray Nazis as comic buffoons.
As idiots.
As non-threatening idiots.
In "Stalag 17", there was always menacing danger lurking.
My reaction to that singular viewing of "Hogan's Heroes" was quite similar to the first act audience's first response to "Springtime For Hitler" in "The Producers".
Except  that I never recovered from it.
It's as if it was produced by Max Bialystock.
How does a Jew, who lost many of his ancestors to what went on in Concentration Camps, react to witnessing funny, silly Nazis?
If you're me, you're outraged.
And you don't watch again.
That's why I never heard of Cynthia Lynn.
Robert Clary is now the sole surviving member of the "Hogan's Heroes" cast.
You'd think he'd be particularly sensitive to the same concerns that I've had, since he spent most of his childhood in Concentration Camps.
But I guess a gig's a gig.
In the early 90's, I lived near Scottsdale Arizona.
One night I watched the A&E documentary about the murder of Bob Crane.
I realized that it took place about two miles from my house.
It was easy to track down.
So whenever friends would come to visit me in Scottsdale, I'd take them on a guided tour of the front of the apartment where Bob Crane was murdered.
That consistently provided me with more laughs than ""Hogan's Heroes" ever did.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

My books ,"Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not
e-books. But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one. If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at macchus999@aol.com.

And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.

*****

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Report Card---"Prisoners"

This will be the last Report Card for the past movie season.
Then, next week, we will go back to real life.

"Prisoners" is essentially a two-part episode of "Law and Order---Criminal Intent"
That was a show that I really liked a lot.
And the quality here is pretty much at that level.
The main difference is that the father of the two kidnapping victims (Hugh Jackman), not a criminologist, is the savant equivalent of Vincent D'Onofrio on "L&O----Criminal Intent".
All that's missing is Jackman stooping way over like D'Onofrio to interrogate his witness.
And the cop running the investigation (Jake Gyllenhall) is a bit of a lunkhead.
I found this to be an interesting twist.
I found this to be a very good movie, although it really felt more like a really good TV show.

On to the scoring: 

Is it interesting?

Extremely.
A+.

Compelling even?

Sometimes.
A.

Is it controversial?

It's not really that deep.
B-.

Is it a story worth telling?

It is a ripping yarn.
A+.

Is it good storytelling?

Extremely.
A+.

Is it well written?

The writing serves the story very well..
A.

Is it well cast? Well played?  Well shot?

I love Hugh Jackman, and he's terrific in this.
Gyllenhall is okay.   It's shot well.
B+.

Is it too long? Too short?

It's long, but doesn't feel it.
A+.

Is it believable? Do you care about the characters?

Jackman seems a little too smart, but that's easily overlooked.  You certainly care about the characters.
B+.

Is it predictable? Does it surprise you?

It manages to stay ahead of you, except at the very end.
B+.

Do you think about it after you've seen it?

It's not really that kind of movie.
B..

Is it funny?

Occasionally
B..

Would it have been worth the thirteen bucks it would have cost to see it in the movies?

It really felt like television.
C.

Is it impressive ?

Somewhat.
B+.

Overall grade: A-.

 The enjoyment here is purely while you watch it.  Not at all what you bring away from it.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

My books ,"Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not
e-books. But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one. If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at macchus999@aol.com.

And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.

*****

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Report Card---"Before Midnight"

This movie got a nomination for Best Screenplay.
It would have gotten my vote for Best Boring Screenplay.
That's about it.
After I saw it, I learned that it was the third of a trilogy.
I can't imagine what the first two were.
The first hour or so is merely amiable chatter among a husband and wife and their friends.
Then the friends go away and things get less amiable, and slightly more interesting.
Slightly more interesting than Really Boring.

 On to the scoring: 

Is it interesting?

Asked and answered.
C-.

Compelling even?

Never.
F.

Is it controversial?

Only on the issue of "How did they get three movies out of these characters?
F.

Is it a story worth telling?

Not once, much less three times.
F.

Is it good storytelling?

Totally out of balance.
F.

Is it well written?

Only when the couple starts arguing.
B-.

Is it well cast? Well played?  Well shot?

Not particularly, on any level.
C.
 
Is it too long? Too short?

WAY too long.
F.

Is it believable? Do you care about the characters?

Life can certainly be this tedious, but why immortalize it?
And no, I don't care about the characters.
F.

Is it predictable? Does it surprise you?

I was surprised when it made it's turn and got sort of interesting.
B.

Do you think about it after you've seen it?

I just barely recall it now.
F.

Is it funny?

No.
F.

Would it have been worth the thirteen bucks it would have cost to see it in the movies?

I keep trying to come up with new ways of saying "No", but no.
F.

Is it impressive ?

Never.
F.
Overall grade: C-..

 The celluloid definition of "artsy-fartsy".
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

My books ,"Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not
e-books. But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one. If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at macchus999@aol.com.

And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.

*****

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Report Card----"42"

This is the other ennobling film dealing with racial intolerance that I'm reporting on this week.
Unlike the others, I thought "42" was magnificent on almost every level.
It deserved an Oscar nomination, at least.
And based on the way the voting went, it should have won.
I thought that just in terms of importance, it deserved more than the others of it's ilk.
Everyone, of every generation, knows what went on with slavery.
But we have to keep reminding kids, who think that baseball was always integrated, how important Jackie Robinson was.
And "42" did a wonderful job of that.  

On to the scoring: 

Is it interesting?

Thoroughly.  And I knew all about it.  Imagine those who didn't.
A+.

Compelling even?

Totally.
A+.

Is it controversial?

It cuts it's teeth on controversy.
A+.

Is it a story worth telling?

Vitally
A+.

Is it good storytelling?

Excellent.
A+.

Is it well written?

Very.  Much was based on things that were actually said.
A.

Is it well cast? Well played? 

Harrison Ford bought tremendous presence to Branch Rickey.  The kid playing Jackie Robinson wasn't as interesting as Robinson himself.
B+.

Well shot?

I'm separating this question for the first time.  The shooting and the art direction in particular were so magnificent that it must be discussed separately.  I don't know how they managed to do it, but they managed to recreate, brick by brick, all the old ballparks that have been torn down that Robinson played in.  And all the teams' uniforms were perfectly recreated.  I know that this only matters to a rabid baseball fan, but I am one.  Care was taken.
A+.

Is it too long? Too short?

Never an issue.
A.

Is it believable? Do you care about the characters?

Of course, and of course.  I was a little surprised that, even though his character appeared in the film, nothing was made of Red Barber's expressing his reluctance to continue calling the games for the Dodgers.  Barber was from the Deep South, and had later expressed his regrets about feeling that way. Thus, his function in the film was as a mere sportscaster.  It makes me wonder if a scene about this was shot, but ended up on the cutting room floor.
B.

Is it predictable? Does it surprise you?

Not really an issue.
No Grade.

Do you think about it after you've seen it?

Only about Red Barber, and how good Harrison Ford was.  Where was his nomination?
A.

Is it funny?

When it tries to be, which isn't often.
B.

Would it have been worth the thirteen bucks it would have cost to see it in the movies?

It depends on how big the TV screen in your house is, and whether you have HD.
B+.

Is it impressive ?

Totally.
A.

Overall grade: A.

This one was criminally ignored.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

My books ,"Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not
e-books. But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one. If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at macchus999@aol.com.

And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.

*****

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Report Card---"Lee Daniel's 'The Butler' ".

Now that the Academy has rolled over and played dead for a picture ennobling the Black Experience, this and the next post will deal with two films with similar themes that the Academy completely ignored.
Beginning with "Lee Daniel's 'The Butler' ".
You kind of know you're in some sort of trouble when you give a possessive credit in the title to a director you've never heard of.
Seems, what's the word, pretentious?
This pretty much sums up the film.
I disliked it less than I disliked "Twelve Years A Slave", a dead horse that I will continue to flog at any opportunity, but that's not saying much.
This "Butler" film is essentially two movies.
One follows the butler character as he serves various Presidents in a career in the White House spanning generations.
The other follows his son, who has morphed himself into an Eldridge Cleaver type.
It's difficult to determine which is less interesting.
They each give each other a run for their money.
I was a little less impartial to the Butler's story.

On to the scoring: 

Is it interesting?

On rare occasions.
C-.

Compelling even?

Never.
F.

Is it controversial?

It seems to strive for it, but it really isn't.
C-.

Is it a story worth telling?

I saw no need.
D.

Is it good storytelling?

It was told rather tediously.
C-.

Is it well written?

There wasn't much to work with, and the writing certainly didn't transcend it
C-.

Is it well cast? Well played?  Well shot?

I suppose all three.  That's the kindest thing I can say about it.
A.

Is it too long? Too short?

A little long.
B-.

Is it believable? Do you care about the characters?

I cared about the butler.  I didn't  care about his son.
B-.

Is it predictable? Does it surprise you?

You don't even think about it in those terms.
C-.

Do you think about it after you've seen it?

Not a bit.
D.

Is it funny?

Never.
F.

Would it have been worth the thirteen bucks it would have cost to see it in the movies?

Maybe if you're black.  Maybe.
C-.

Is it impressive ?

It didn't impress me.
C.

Overall grade: C-.

It was really just pageantry..
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

My books ,"Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not
e-books. But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one. If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at macchus999@aol.com.

And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.

*****

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Rothman's Osar Picks. Part Three.

Best Picture;  This is essentially a recap of the Report Cards I did on each of these movies.
But at least it's all on one page.

American Hustle"----I enjoyed the hell out of it.  Much better than I enjoyed David O. Russell's other films.  Mostly excellent.

 "Captain Phillips"---Pretty dopey.  Really doesn't belong here.

 "Dallas Buyers Club"---Starts slowly, and builds very effectively.  Very impressive.

"Gravity"---Really, really doesn't  belong here.

 "Her"---Utterly imaginative.  Spectacularly executed. Wouldn't bellyache too much if it won.

 "Nebraska"---Far and away the best film of this and most years.

 "Philomena"---Haunting and effecting.  Some other year, perhaps.

 "12 Years A Slave"---Bringing up the rear.

 "The Wolf of Wall Street"---Bringing p the rear of the rear.

So where's "Blue Jasmine" and "August Osage County"?
They both got jobbed.
But I say "Nebraska".

Enjoy the show.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

My books ,"Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not
e-books. But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one. If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at macchus999@aol.com.

And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.

*****

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Rothman's Oscar Picks. Part Two.

Best Actor and Best Actress:
(Again, my personal choices.  Not predictions.  I haven't the slightest idea who the voters will choose.)

Best Actor:

Christian Bale, "American Hustle"---Boy, is he good.  And versatile.
Only problem is, he's not Bruce Dern.

Leonardo DiCapri, "The Wolf of Wall Street"---Just an excuse to be loud and showy.  Certainly not Dern.

Chiwetel Ejiofor, "12 Years A Slave----Quite convincing playing an African.  Being one might have helped.  Not Dern.

Matthew McConaughey, "Dallas Buyers Club"---Good in every and all the things he did last year.
But nothing overwhelming.  Not Dern.

Bruce Dern, "Nebraska"---Had the very good taste to be Bruce Dern.  And to dominate and own the screen in a great movie.

Dern, Dern, Dern, Dern, and Dern.
I can't say it often enough.
.
Best Actress:

Amy Adams, "American Hustle"---I'm tired of her.  I think she's a one-note actress.

Cate Blanchett, "Blue Jasmine"---An incredibly nuanced performance.  Stunning.

Sandra Bullock, "Gravity"---What the hell is she doing on this list??

Judi Dench, "Philomena"  I love Judi Dench.  And she was wonderful in this.  But she totally underplayed it, making it less eye-catching.

Meryl Streep, "August: Osage County"---Streep is the great scenery-chewer of all time.
And there is certainly what to be chewed here.  She chews it up and spits it out like it was Wrigley's Spearmint.

A two-horse race.  Blanchett and Streep. Either choice would delight me.  Put a gun to my head, and I'd have to go with Streep.

Next time, Best Picture.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

My books ,"Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not
e-books. But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one. If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at macchus999@aol.com.

And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.

*****

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

My books ,"Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not
e-books. But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one. If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at macchus999@aol.com.

And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.

*****




----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

My books ,"Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not
e-books. But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one. If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at macchus999@aol.com.

And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.

*****

Friday, February 21, 2014

Rothman's Oscar Picks. Part One.

Unlike years past, this year I have seen every nominee an every film up for the major nominations.
So I'm not doing any guessing here.
These are my choices.
Not my predictions of who will win.
Only who I think should.

We'll begin with Best Supporting Actor:

Barkhad Abdi, "Captain Phillips"----He was quite convincing playing an African.  Being one might have helped.

Bradley Cooper, "American Hustle"---Way overshadowed by Christian Bale.

Michael Fassbender, "12 Years A Slave"---Nobody impressed me in this.   Including him.

Jonah Hill, "The Wolf of Wall Street"---Nothing I haven't seen him do before, except less gross than this.

Jared Leto, "Dallas Buyers Club"---Very impressive as a transgender.  I don't know enough about him to know what he is really like, but he scored well here.

A very thin selection to choose from .  If Paul Giamatti had been nominated for "Saving Mr. Banks", he'd easily get my vote.
As it stands, I'd give it to Jared Leto.

Best Supporting Actress: 

Sally Hawkins, "Blue Jasmine"---Way overshadowed by Cate Blanchette.  I barely noticed her.

Jennifer Lawrence, "American Hustle"---Just great.  Maybe this generation's Alec Guinness or Peter Sellers.  A total chameleon from role to role.  And great every time.
 
Lupita Nyong'o, "12 Years A Slave"---Very effective, and quite convincing playing an African.  Being one might have helped.

Julia Roberts, "August: Osage County"---Very powerful, very showy, but I think ultimately miscast.
Her role required someone older-looking and frumpier.
 
June Squibb, "Nebraska"---Wonderfully funny.  If the competition wasn't stiffer, she'd have my vote.

It has to be Jennifer Lawrence.  Hands down.

Next time, Best Actor, and Best Actress.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

My books ,"Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not
e-books. But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one. If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at macchus999@aol.com.

And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.

*****

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Report Card---""Nebraska"

This is the last Report Card I will do until after the Oscars are given out.
Then, I'll do a few more.
But by doing "Nebraska" now, I will have covered all the major nominations.
And the next three posts will have my choices and reasons for who should receive the awards.
And this last one is easily the best.
I've seen a lot of wonderful movies this past season, but "Nebraska" is the only perfect one.
"American Hustle" had it's story hole.
"August Osage County was slightly miscast, and wasn't even nominated.
Nor was "Blue Jasmine"
"Dallas Buyers Club" started out way too slowly.
"Nebraska" surpassed all of these.
By being perfect.
 
On to the scoring: 

Is it interesting?

Fascinating.
A+.

Compelling even?

Totally.
A+.

Is it controversial?

Only in that I keep telling everyone how perfect it is..
A+.

Is it a story worth telling?

Over and over..
A+.

Is it good storytelling?

Wonderful. 
A+.

Is it well written?

Perfectly.
A+.

Is it well cast? Well played?  Well shot?

Yes, yes, and yes.
Bruce Dern was brilliant and compelling.  June Squibb as his wife, was a complete hoot.
The cinematography was magnificent.
A+.

Is it too long? Too short?

Perfect.
A+.

Is it believable? Do you care about the characters?

Perfect, and perfect.
A+.

Is it predictable? Does it surprise you?

Never, and always.  Perfect.
A+.

Do you think about it after you've seen it?

Often.
A+.

Is it funny?

Brilliantly.  And it's not a comedy.
A+.

Would it have been worth the thirteen bucks it would have cost to see it in the movies?

I'm sorry I didn't see it that way.
A+.

Is it impressive ?

Perfect.
A+.

Overall grade: A+.

I guess this has been a bit of a spoiler alert for my choice for Best Picture.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

My books ,"Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not
e-books. But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one. If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at macchus999@aol.com.

And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.

*****

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Sid And Shirley.

Back to more Report Cards next time.

It's simple.
This week, we lost two of the most talented people who ever lived.
I mean two of THE most talented.

Shirley Temple, aside from brightening up the lives of an entire generation who desperately needed it, did it in a manner so incandescently that the word "dazzling" is a major understatement.
Talent just oozed out of her.
Singing, acting, making you care about her, making you feel that she cared about you, and most interestingly, dancing.
Witness when she shared the screen with Bill "Bojangles" Robinson to dance with him.
He taught her what he knew, and she instantly caught on.
Robinson himself was astounded.
Then, she grew up.
And it was all over.
What was there as a child wasn't really there as an adolescent or an adult.
But her talent as an adult wasn't a creative one.
It was a talent for living an honorable, successful life.
My favorite song that she sang in one of her movies is "I Love To Walk In The Rain".
Someday soon, I hope that it will be raining outside, and I will have the opportunity to walk in it.

When network television was in it's absolute infancy, one man made it almost instantly enormously popular overnight.
That man was Milton Berle.
And he caught the excitement and immediacy of live television, and rode that wave for several years.
But talent-wise, Berle was no more than a middleweight.
The Berle Show was basically shlock.
A couple of years later, one other man single-handedly turned television into an art form.
He was easily the most sophisticated, glib,  physically gifted, and gut-busting funny sketch actor.
He was also the most sophisticated and gut-busting pantomimist.
I'm including Chaplin here.
He was the best interpreter of written material.
The better the material, the better he interpreted it.
Even to the point of improving it, in an improvisatory way.
Live.
In front of America.
It literally became Comedia Del' Arte, in the best sense.
That man was Sid Caesar.
He did satires of foreign movies in very convincing phony Italian, German, Japanese, and Russian gibberish, when most of his audience had never even SEEN a foreign movie.
Jackie Gleason attempted some artfulness, but was a distant second, and far more broad.
Then, people started getting TV sets in Wyoming.
And they weren't interested in art forms.
NOBODY in Wyoming had seen a foreign movie.
They were interested in Lawrence Welk, who knocked Caesar off in the ratings.
And it was over.
Caesar never lost his creative talent, but never recaptured his success.
And I understand that it  embittered him.
And he never again had a talent for living a contented life.

Sid and Shirley both lived long lives chronologically, but their losses, in the same week, are  staggering.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

My books ,"Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not
e-books. But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one. If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at macchus999@aol.com.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Report Card---"Blue Jasmine"

To be molested as a child is about as terrible a thing that can happen to a person.
To be accused of molesting a child when you didn't, in public, is a close second.
One of these things involved Woody Allen.
After reading all the pertinent things to be read about the matter, I'm inclined to think the latter.
It's not a firm judgment.
Just an inclination.
I saw 'Blue Jasmine" a few weeks ago, and nothing about this case has changed anything about my reaction to that film.
Woody Allen is that rare kind of filmmaker who can turn out five stinkers in a row, and I will  get in line to see the next one.
That's how great the great ones are.
"Blue Jasmine' is right up there with his greatest:
"Broadway Danny Rose"
"Crimes and Misdemeanors"
"Bullets Over Broadway"
"Manhattan"
"Radio Days"
"Annie Hall"
"The Purple Rose of Cairo"
"Zelig"

It is absolutely exceptional.
It's his take on the Bernie Madoff scandal, with a touch of Blanche DuBois thrown in.
That it wasn't nominated for Best Picture by the Academy is disgraceful.

On to the scoring: 

Is it interesting?

Fascinating.
A+.

Compelling even?

Totally.
A+.

Is it controversial?

Only in that it wasn't nominated.
A.

Is it a story worth telling?

Better than the real version.
A+.

Is it good storytelling?

Wonderful.  Great intercutting between past and present.
A+.

Is it well written?

Tops.
A+.

Is it well cast? Well played?  Well shot?

Beautifully cast.  Cate Blanchette was magnificent.  Nice turns by Alec Baldwin, and, of all people, Andrew Dice Clay.
A+.

Is it too long? Too short?

It seemed all too brief.
A+.

Is it believable? Do you care about the characters?

Totally, and totally.
A+.

Is it predictable? Does it surprise you?

Never, and always.
A+.

Do you think about it after you've seen it?

It's quite haunting.
A+.

Is it funny?

Very.  But that's not what's great about it.
A.

Would it have been worth the thirteen bucks it would have cost to see it in the movies?

Yes.
A.

Is it impressive ?

I was in awe.
A+.

Overall grade: A+.

I would have sat through ten stinkers in a row to stand in line for this one..
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

My books ,"Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not
e-books. But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one. If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at macchus999@aol.com.

And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.

*****

Saturday, February 8, 2014

A Few Words about Jay.

No, I'm not done with the movie Report Cards, but this is far more topical.
And if not now, when?
I've mentioned before that I've had a couple of personal dealings with Jay Leno in the past, and found him to be extremely pleasant and ingratiating.
I remember seeing him as far back as the early 70's at the Comedy Store and the Improv in L.A., where he worked far hipper, much like he did when he guested on "Letterman", and was as funny as just about anybody.
I think it's pretty apparent that he got some unfairly bad press from the media and from Conan O'Brien, when he reclaimed "The Tonight Show".
It is, after all, a business.
And show business at that.
I watched Jay's interview on "60 Minutes" and was somewhat taken aback by something he said.
When asked if he had felt "screwed" by NBC, he posed the question "If you were told in your 20's that you'd end up making millions of dollars, and then get screwed over and over, would you constantly scream 'I'm always getting screwed!' ?  Or would you take that deal and shut up?"
I must say it stopped me in my tracks for a moment, considering that I have had something of a reputation for crabbing about being screwed over the years.
But then, I recognized that it was not a level playing field.
I've never made the kind of money Jay has, he has far more options than I do, and I've been screwed far more often than Jay and Conan put together.
And usually (not always), I at least have a pretty good public face about it.
Anything to justify crabbing, I guess.

In his early days hosting "The Tonight Show", I never missed Jay's monologues.
And I thought he was quite brave to do essentially 20 minutes of it every night.
And you could tell that he loved it, and I loved it.
It certainly outshined Letterman's, who to this day, looks like he's phoning it in.
And Jay's Vegas act is nothing short of sensational.
Far more about storytelling and sharing life's intimacies with you.

All of this being said, he lost me along the way as a "Tonight Show  (And 10pm)
viewer, and I never returned.
I think it began with the snarky "Jaywalking", the very unhip sketches, and the more and more formulaic nature of the monologues.
My wife Tivoed the final week, but the only one I wanted  to watch was the final show.
The farewell.
It was, of course, an event.
Billy Crystal put together a faux Von Trapp Family, in costume, singing special lyrics to "So Long, Farewell"
It was brilliant.
Then, he brought out celebrity Von Trapps.
Jack Black, Kim Kardashian, some basketball player from the L.A. Clippers, Cheryl Crowe, Jim Parsons, Carol Burnett, and to close, Oprah.
I don't know if there were any tiffs about order of appearance, but it seemed right.
All of the celebrity Von Trapps came out in civvies.
No costumes for them.
Think of how much funnier it would have been if they were all in costume.
Think of how difficult it would have been to convince them to do it.

Jay then did a very touching, heartfelt farewell from his desk.
It made me like him even more.
But at no point did it make me feel that I'd missed anything by not watching the show for all of this time.
Then, they quite anti-climactically had Garth Brooks close the show with some shit-kicker song.
As the show business saying goes, "I wouldn't give that spot to a leopard"".
And Brooks certainly made the least of it.
But the show certainly lived up to  it's billing as an event, and I was very glad I saw it, and very glad for Jay that it was as good as it was.
It's the way you'd want to remember him.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

My books ,"Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not
e-books. But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one. If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at macchus999@aol.com.

And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.

*****

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Report Card----"Captain Phillips"

"Captain Phillips". like "Gravity", is also an amusement park ride.
This one is sort of like "Pirates of the Caribbean"
It is much more of a ripping yarn than "Gravity".
But there are two significant problems with it.
All the promotion for it, and the interviews with the real Captain Phillips create a spoiler alert.
You know he'll end up fine.
Also, Captain Phillips, portrayed by Tom Hanks, is essentially a shmuck and a putz.
There are fully insured ships carrying cargo through Somali Pirate infested waters, where the crew can be armed with weapons to defend themselves.
Yet, Captain Phillips knowingly and willingly commands ships that aren't insured for weaponry.
This is known as 'Asking for it".
Or perhaps "Captain Phillips is not a good enough captain to gain employment on one of those weapon-insured ships.
It leads, in any case to "shmuck and putzdom'

On to the scoring: 

Is it interesting?

Very.
A-.

Compelling even?

Not really
C.

Is it controversial?

Only in what I've already mentioned.
D..

Is it a story worth telling?

Why not?
A-.

Is it good storytelling?

At least you briefly got to see the good Captain's home life when his wife drives him to the airport.
"Gravity" cried out for such scenes.
B+.

Is it well written?

Not bad.
B.

Is it well cast? Well played?  Well shot?

They sure got Africans who sounded like Africans.
I guess that's why they got all those Oscar nominations.
I'm curious to see how they would tackle other roles.
C-.

Is it too long? Too short?

A little long.
B-.

Is it believable? Do you care about the characters?

It happened.  I didn't care.  In the end credits, it said that Captain Phillips went back to sea.
Probably in another of those uninsured ships.  So I cared even less.
C-.

Is it predictable? Does it surprise you?

You didn't need no crystal ball for this one.
D.

Do you think about it after you've seen it?

Just about how anyone can be nominated for an acting award because of accurate casting.
D.

Is it funny?

Occasionally.
B.

Would it have been worth the thirteen bucks it would have cost to see it in the movies?

Not even in Somali trinkets.
F.

Is it impressive ?

It didn't impress me.
C.

Overall grade: B-.

Another one that didn't deserve it's Best Picture nomination.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

My books ,"Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not
e-books. But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one. If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at macchus999@aol.com.

And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.

*****

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Report Card----"Gravity"

"Gravity" is a glorified amusement park ride.
It didn't do much for me.
I saw it on my 60-inch HD screen.
Some people that I know told me that to really appreciate it, you have to see it in IMAX.
I can think of very few movies that wouldn't be better in IMAX.
But they sent me a regular DVD, so that's how I'm judging it.
It takes two very well-known actors and put them in spacesuits and space helmets, has them hurled into outer space, and expects you to care about them purely on that basis.
Not me, Charlie.

On to the scoring: 

Is it interesting?

Just barely.
C-.

Compelling even?

Never.
D.

Is it controversial?

No.
D.

Is it a story worth telling?

I really don't think so.
D.

Is it good storytelling?

This is where it really fails.
The movie starts with Clooney and Bullock already suited up, already in space.
It required scenes between them before they left the ground, to establish a relationship of some kind.
Antagonistic, affectionate, SOMETHING.
But no.  We're already in space when the movie begins.
F.

Is it well written?

It didn't even seem written.
D.

Is it well cast? Well played?  Well shot?

How do you not like Clooney?  How do you like or believe Bullock?
It was supposed to be a technical achievement.
I guess it was.
In IMAX.
B-.

Is it too long? Too short?

Pretty long.
C-.

Is it believable? Do you care about the characters?

It was all too technical for me., and I couldn't care less about Bullock.  It was really her movie anyway.
D+.

Is it predictable? Does it surprise you?

You pretty much know where it's headed.
D.

Do you think about it after you've seen it?

Not at all.
D.

Is it funny?

It tries occasionally, but no.
D.

Would it have been worth the thirteen bucks it would have cost to see it in the movies?

It is to laugh.
D-.

Is it impressive ?

Technically, yes.
B+.

Overall grade: C.

That this was nominated for Best Picture and others were not, is criminal.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

My books ,"Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not
e-books. But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one. If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at macchus999@aol.com.

And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.

*****

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Report Card---"Mud"

"Mud" is a much, much better version of "Labor Day".
A criminal on the run with people(in this case, kids) who believe in him.
There was certainly no reason to make both movies.
There was really no reason to make either movie.
Even though "Mud" was much better than "Labor Day', that's like saying it was the smarter bear in the zoo.
If you call a movie "Mud", you kind of expect there to be a whole lot of mud in it.
Actually, it's Matthew McConnaughey's name in the movie.
Yet, there also is a whole lot of mud in this movie.  
 As I've said, this is McConnaughey's year to be in every movie.
They probably tried to get McConnaughey for "Labor Day", and he probably read it, saw that there was no place for him to take off his shirt, so he passed on it.
So they got Josh Brolin.

On to the scoring: 

Is it interesting?

Fairly interesting.
B+.

Compelling even?

No.
D.

Is it controversial?

No..
D.

Is it a story worth telling?

It's still the same old story....
C.

Is it good storytelling?

Good enough
C.

Is it well written?

No memorable dialogue.
D.

Is it well cast? Well played?, Well shot?

McConnaughey is very good.  I kind of understand why everybody wants him, aside from the shirt issue.  It's well shot.
A.

Is it too long? Too short?

Length is not a problem.
A.

Is it believable? Do you care about the characters?

Yes, and yes.
A.

Is it predictable? Does it surprise you?

I'm not really ahead of it.
B+.

Do you think about it after you've seen it?

I barely remembered that I saw it.
D.

Is it funny?

No. 
D.

Would it have been worth the thirteen bucks it would have cost to see it in the movies?

Not mine.
D-.

Is it impressive ?

No.
F.

Overall grade: C+.

Just a way to fill two hours.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

My books ,"Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not
e-books. But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one. If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at macchus999@aol.com.

And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.

*****

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Report Card---""Labor Day"

Josh Brolin plays an escaped convict who foists himself on a mother and her kids.
They develop a fear-love relationship.
I didn't care about any of it.
I've seen worse movies than this.
And I've seen far better movies than this.

On to the scoring: 

Is it interesting?

Sometimes.
B.

Compelling even?

Never.
F.

Is it controversial?

Not at all.
F.

Is it a story worth telling?

I really don't think so.
D..

Is it good storytelling?

It's hard to tell a weak story well.  The use of several brief flashbacks told from Brolin's point of view was very confusing and very annoying.  Very.
C-.

Is it well written?

It's hard to write interesting dialogue for a weak story.
C-.

Is it well cast? Well played?, Well shot?

Brolin is kind of interesting.  I don't even remember anyone else in it.
It's shot serviceably.
B-.

Is it too long? Too short?

Way too long.
D-.

Is it believable? Do you care about the characters?

Sort of, and sort of.
B.

Is it predictable? Does it surprise you?

Predictable, no surprises.
F.

Do you think about it after you've seen it?

I barely remembered what I saw.
D.

Is it funny?

No.  A little levity might have helped.
D.

Would it have been worth the thirteen bucks it would have cost to see it in the movies?

Why not give it to charity instead?  Adopt a tiger or a polar bear or some other animal that's about to become extinct.  This movie should become extinct soon enough.
F.

Is it impressive ?

Never
F.

Overall grade: C-.

Just a time waster.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

My books ,"Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not
e-books. But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one. If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at macchus999@aol.com.

And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.

*****

Friday, January 24, 2014

Report Card---"The Wolf Of Wall Street"

Martin Scorcese:
Mean Streets

These are movies that are unmatched in their artistry.
Scorcese is a national treasure.
He is the best we have.
So how did he come up with a piece of shit like "The Wolf of Wall Street"?
"The Wolf of Wall Street" is a movie about excess, made excessively.
It's nearest comp is ""American Hustle".
It shares the same theme:  The Big Con.
But it is flabby.  It is vulgar.
It spends most of it's time depicting the spoils of the successful con.
Debauchery.
Drugs, women, more drugs, alcohol, more women, and more drugs.
After about fifteen minutes, we get it.
Far more than fifteen minutes is spent on it.
Did I say flabby? vulgar?  Let me add "bloated".
"American Hustle" tells a great linear story.
"The Wolf of Wall Street" doodles and dribbles.

On to the scoring: 

Is it interesting?

Only occasionally.  Less so as it goes forth.
C.

Compelling even?

Never.
F.

Is it controversial?

I keep asking how it got nominated for Best Picture.
F.

Is it a story worth telling?

We've heard it before.  Better.
F.

Is it good storytelling?

It makes a major left turn from the point.
D.

Is it well written?

Loud is no replacement for Literate.  But there are snatches of good dialogue.
C.

Is it well cast? Well played?, Well shot?

Everyone and everything is over the top.
D.

Is it too long? Too short?

A good hour could be cut out and wouldn't be missed.
D-.

Is it believable? Do you care about the characters?

I'm sure stuff like this has happened.  I didn't care about anybody.
D.

Is it predictable? Does it surprise you?

Predictable, no surprises.
F.

Do you think about it after you've seen it?

Mostly about my disappointment in Scorcese.
D.

Is it funny?

It tries----and mostly fails.
C-.

Would it have been worth the thirteen bucks it would have cost to see it in the movies?

They would have to pay for me and for my popcorn.
F.

Is it impressive ?

Never
F.

Overall grade: D-.

I'm simply astounded.
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My books ,"Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not
e-books. But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one. If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at macchus999@aol.com.

And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.

*****

Followers

About Me

Hi. I am, according to my Wikipedia entry,(which I did not create) a noted television writer, playwright, screenwriter, and occasional actor. You can Google me or go to the IMDB to get my credits, and you can come here to get my opinions on things, which I'll try to express eloquently. Hopefully I'll succeed. You can also e-mail me at macchus999@aol.com. Perhaps my biggest claim to fame is being responsible, for about six months in 1975, while Head Writer for the "Happy Days" TV series, for Americans saying to each other "Sit on it."