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Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Report Card---"Hidden Figures"

"Hidden Figures" is a great, great movie on so many levels.
Its closest comp is "Apollo 13".
But "Apollo 13"was merely one-dimensional in comparison.
"Apollo 13" was simply about a space flight that has gone wrong and has to be rescued.
And going in, we all know that it will be.  So it's very predictable.
"Hidden Figures" is about something no one ever knew anything about.
Three young black female genius mathematicians  were responsible for figuring out how to get
John Glenn into orbital flight. Without help.
In 1962.
When Florida was essentially still as segregated as Selma Alabama.
And these women  had to deal with that on a daily basis.
Now we all know that he succeeded, but none of us knew this horrible back story of the indignities these women had to suffer.
It is a tribute to brilliance.
And there is as much tension as "Apollo 13".
This is just much better story telling.

On to the scoring:   

Is it interesting?


Compelling even?


Is it controversial?

Extremely, considering how shabbily these women were treated.

Is it a story worth telling?

Of course.

Is it good storytelling?

First rate.

Is it well written?


Is it well cast? Well played?

It's got Kevin Costner as the boss, who was totally unaware of these women's problems, but steps right up to fix it when he is made aware..  He is a great presence.  It has Jim Parsons doing a great turn as the adversary, as he keeps watching these women stealing his thunder.  And it has Octavia Spencer, who has as much right to bake a shit pie and bring it in for Parsons as she did in "The Help".
The cast is uniformly top-notch.

Well shot?


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

I couldn't tell, but it didn't matter.

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


Is it too long? Too short?

It never dragged.

Is it believable? Do you care about the characters?

Extremely and totally.

Is it predictable? Does it surprise you?

You knew how it was going to end, and that didn't hurt it one bit.

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

Only that it was exceptional

Is it funny?

When it needs to be.

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

I'd have sprung for the dough on this one.

Is it impressive?

About as impressive as you can get.

Overall grade: A+.

It's a two horse race now for me, between this and "Manchester By The Sea"

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.



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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."