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Monday, November 23, 2015

Report Card-----"Black Mass"

"Black Mass" is Johnny Depp as the notorious criminal-turned-FBI informant Whitey Bulger.
I was vaguely aware of his case.
"Black Mass" lays it out completely.
I don't know why it's called "Black Mass"
It's a particularly off-putting, inappropriate title, and wouldn't lend itself to my wanting to see it.
That being said, there are lots of good things to say about it.

On to the scoring:

Is it interesting?

Pretty consistently.

Compelling even?


Is it controversial?

Nobody really disputes what happened.

Is it a story worth telling?

Absolutely. And it's true.

Is it good storytelling?

Very violent, and gory. Much like his life.

Is it well written?


Is it well cast? Well played?

Yes on all counts.

Well shot?


Did the director put such a personal stamp on it so that no one else could have made it?

I don't think so.

How long does it take to establish the film's locale?

It's immediately and quite colorfully established immediately as South Boston in the mid seventies and then the mid eighties.
Great looking cars.
I miss them.

Is it too long? Too short?


Is it believable? Do you care about the characters?

Yes, and yes.

Is it predictable? Does it surprise you?

I had no recollection of what happened to Bulger. I was somewhat surprised when that information was revealed.

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

Not really, but it doesn't matter.

Is it funny?

When it wants to be, which is often enough.

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

Probably not.

Is it impressive?

Fairly impressive.

Overall grade: B+.

When it shows up on HBO, I'd keep an eye out for 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".
They are all compilations of blog entries that have since been removed from the blog.
So this is the only way you can find them.
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

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



  1. "Black Mass" was the title of the book that the movie was based on, one of several Whitey Bulger books that came out during and after the manhunt for Whitey. If memory serves, "Black Mass" was the biggest seller of the lot, and scored the movie sale on that basis, making the title (misleading though it might be) part of the deal.

    I'll guess that "Black Mass" is wordplay: the story takes place in Massachusetts, and almost everybody in it is a rotten SOB.
    Hey, my guess is as good as anybody's ...

  2. You might be qualified to get a free Apple iPhone 7.

  3. There's a chance you are qualified to get a free $1,000 Amazon Gift Card.



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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 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."