Category Archives: Features

No Matter How Well He Does, Is Jimmy Kimmel Ultimately Doomed to Fail at the Oscars?

jimmy-kimmelThe Oscars might be the apex of hosting gigs for personalities, because it’s the biggest audience and the most publicity and the greatest prestige, and so everyone wants to do it, but almost every time, they are doomed to fail, because that’s how all this works. Neil Turitz examines past hosts to address his predictions for Jimmy Kimmel this Sunday.

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Writing the TV Pilot: Does Your Character Need to Change?

The Wire ExcerptGreat writing begins with getting your vulnerabilities out on the page — the parts of you that you don’t normally express, the truths that you don’t normally look at, the characters that exist inside you: both the beautiful ones that you want to share with the world, and also the ones that scare or disgust you, who often represent parts of you that you don’t want to believe are possible, or that you’d never express in the outside world.

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The State of the Comic Book Industry (Part One)

X-Men ExcerptWhat has become of the comic book industry? Neil Turitz analyzes the state of comic books in 2017 and how it has gotten to where it is in the first part of his six-part series. First, an overview of the industry — its rise, fall, and renaissance.

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Is There Another Writers’ Strike on the Horizon?

Writers' StrikeThe Writers Guild of America’s contract is ending soon and another strike is a distinct possibility. The writers have clear demands and are not afraid to shut down if an agreement they like cannot be reached.

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“Logan” Film Review: An Epic Superhero Finale That Bleeds With Emotion and Carnage

logan-excerptJames Mangold’s Logan finally gives Jackman an opportunity to spread his claws and partake in all the graphic dismemberment that Wolverine fans deserve and that’s pretty much what diehard fans have been craving for the past decade and a half.

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When Bad Marketing Ideas Become Reality

The Great Wall ExcerptThere are certainly more than a few movies that do bad box office because of marketing failures, but what dictates a successful marketing campaign? Neil Turitz examines examples of good and bad movie marketing choices to determine why some are more successful than others.

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“Fist Fight” Film Review: Comedy Lands a Couple Good Jabs, But Not a Knockout

fist-fight-excerptFist Fight delivers everything you expect to the point where it is predictable and unimaginative — but you watch it anyway because it has some talented, funny people in it. It feels like the kind of comedy that Hollywood made because they felt like this is exactly what the audiences wanted.

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Lady Justice Looms Large as EEOC Gears Up for Potential Lawsuit Against Major Studios

Ava DuVernay ExcerptAfter an investigation, the EEOC is preparing for either a settlement or a lawsuit against major studios discriminating against female directors. This is a good thing because if diversity is not achieved or strived for naturally, then it must be demanded without hesitation.

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The Case For “Moonlight” in the Wake of the “La La Land” Ba-Ba-Backlash

moonlight-excerptEveryone seems to be suffering from La La Land fatigue, but it hasn’t necessarily paved the way for Moonlight to take the lead in the Oscar race because everyone is focused on turning their backs on the musical spectacular, so now is the better time than any to give the case of why Moonlight should win…and why it won’t.

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Writing the TV Pilot: What Makes a Pilot Successful?

OTNB ExcerptThe success of television series grows from the same place, by growing their unique structure organically from their characters, and from the voice of their writers, rather than imposing an external structure upon them.

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The Effect of Writing Contests on Hollywood (Final Part)

screenwriting excerptIn the final part of Neil Turitz’s analysis of Hollywood writing competition, he speaks to several people who have seen success from the competitions, as well as a judge for numerous competition, to give new perspectives on the experience and outcomes.

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I Love You and I Like You: A Letter to Television’s Best Couple

Ben and Leslie ExcerptIt’s Valentine’s Day so here’s a heartfelt letter to the best TV couple of all time: Leslie Knope and Ben Wyatt from Parks and Recreation. From the little town of Pawnee, Indiana to hearts across the world, this is how and why they’re the best when it comes to TV love.

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XX Film Review: A Fierce and Frightening Foursome of Female-Directed Films

xx-excerptThe quartet of films helmed by an all-female crew including Roxanne Benjamin, Jovanka Vuckovic, Karyn Kusama, and musician-turned-director Annie Clark (a.k.a. St. Vincent) deliver four very different kind of scares that, although not pee-in-your-pants terrifying, keep in tradition of the horror anthologies before it.

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Things Just Ain’t What They Used to Be: Movies Studios from the 90s to Now

Glengarry Glen Ross 2

What is up with the lack of original content being produced these days? Neil Turitz takes us back to a time when not every movie was a sequel and looks at how we got to where we are.

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Ansel Elgort, Anthony Mackie Highlight Actors Lacing Up for NBA All-Star Celebrity Game

Anthony MackieThe NBA Celebrity Game announced its rosters and the pressure is now on, though it’s nothing an Avenger can’t handle.

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What Becomes of the Ousted Studio Head?

Lynton 3What do former studio heads do after they have been pushed out of their leadership roles? Neil Turitz analyzes the current state of studio execs careers and some potential moves to be made in the near future.

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Fifty Shades Darker Film Review: The Heaping Pile of Garbage All of Us Wanted

fifty-shades-excerptFifty Shades Darker is the latest serving of the bland relationship adventures of the overwhelmingly basic Anastasia Steele and her painfully dull billionaire beau Christian Grey. As expected, the movie is terrible on all fronts — not “so bad that it’s good” terrible, but “I wish this franchise never existed” terrible.

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The Effect of Writing Contests on Hollywood (Part Two)

screenwriting excerptIn the second part of our series looking at screenwriting competitions, Neil Turitz examines the variation in the different contests and advises how to find the best one for each individual writer.

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A Cure For Wellness Film Review: No Remedy For This Long, Drawn-Out Thriller

cure-excerptAfter being known primarily for the box office spectacle that is the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, it’s refreshing to see Verbinski take a nihilistic and Gothic turn with A Cure For Wellness, but there are too many ideas here and how they are sorted makes the movie a wonderfully art directed mess.

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John Wick: Chapter 2 Film Review: Unapologetically Rougher, Louder, and Wickier

JW2_D35_2333.cr2If you didn’t get enough brutal bone-crushing action and inimitable gunfight choreography in the first John Wick, then John Wick: Chapter 2 will quench that thirst for more violent bloodlust and good ol’ fashioned stone-faced Keanu Reeves acting.

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The Lego Batman Movie Film Review: A Sweet Skewering of the Superhero Genre

lego-batman-excerptAnimated spin-offs tend to work very well and The Lego Batman Movie is no exception. Keeping in spirit with its predecessor, director Chris McKay balances mature wit and child-like silliness to tell a surprisingly heartfelt superhero tale.

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Why oh Why Do Any Movies Come Out Super Bowl Weekend?

Lego BatmanSuper Bowl weekend always delivers a blow to the box office, with movies taking extreme falls from previous weekends. What’s the formula surrounding this time of year with movie releases and are there any movies that are immune to the damage inflicted by the Super Bowl? There just might be.

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Batfleck Returns, Or Not

Batman Ben Affleck ExcerptNeil Turitz discusses how Ben Affleck stepping down as the director of the upcoming Batman film impacts its potential, the DCEU at large, and Affleck’s career.

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Rings Film Review: An Unsurprisingly Unnecessary Horror Sequel

rings-excerptAfter 12 years, you would think that the world would be ready for another Ring movie. More than that, you would think that would be enough time to develop a juicy story that could build on top of such an iconic franchise — but don’t hold your breath. The world would have been fine without this excruciatingly boring sequel.

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The Space Between Us Film Review: Just Your Average Tale of Intergalactic Teenage Love

space-excerptThe sci-fi romance has the making of a sweet, old-fashioned Disney tale, but lacks another layer of magic and charm to make it a fully effective, well-rounded movie. It has its moments, but it will eventually blend into the late January/early February movie dumping ground.

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Launch Pad Alum Caitlin McCarthy Named One of the Top 100 Indie Writers

caitlin m excerptLaunch Pad Pilot Competition alum Caitlin McCarthy has netted herself on the Top 100 Indie Writers in the World in a new book out by Del Weston and Theresa Weston. The book is the first of two taking readers on a trip through the minds, creativity processes, and lives of some of the most incredible screen and scriptwriters working today.

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The Effect of Writing Contests on Hollywood (Part One)

screenwriting excerpt In this three part series we will look to examine where the screenwriting contest came from, how they operate, how they have become so important, some of the people they’ve helped, how some reps use them to scout new talent, and more.

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The Must-Stream Movies and Shows New on Netflix in February

unnamedNetflix is packing the shortest month of the year with as much quality content as possible to keep us entertained for the next 28 days. A duo of smash hit animated comedies, a classic epic, and a timely Oscar-winning biopic are all on offer starting on the first.

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12 Movie Trailers That Might Air During Super Bowl 51, Including “The Fate of the Furious”

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2Star-Lord, Jack Sparrow and Dom Toretto will likely appear, but what about Christian Grey or the Power Rangers?

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All This Great Television Content Is Creating a Bubble, and It’s Bound to Burst

stranger-things-excerptThe television landscape is not as pie in the sky as you might think. This bubble of peak TV is going to burst. It’s not a question of if, it’s a matter of when, and how we’re going to adapt to the new reality when it does.

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