Joaquin Phoenix Scripts

Many child actors live notoriously troubled lives.

The stress of fame, and the challenge of creating emotions for a performance takes its toll on downloadyoung minds, all too frequently resulting in alcoholism and mental illness.  Often times these troubles mean the end of the performer’s career, but there are exceptions. Joaquin Phoenix is certainly no stranger to adversity. When he was still very young, he lost his brother River who was also a performer. Joaquin Phoenix has been admitted into rehab, and has publicly claimed to be narcissistic, manic, and unstable. Despite all this, his career is a brilliant example of how to turn dark circumstances into an incredible career.

Phoenix’s specialty is characters who are troubled like him. Brooding, and unpredictable, his performances reach beautiful empathetic heights and frightening lows, but they rarely feel phoned in. His performance as Johnny Cash is legendary although he did not receive an Oscar for the role. Merrill, his character in M. Night Shyamalan’s Signs,  provides real depth and humanity in a film often criticized for its heavy handed subtext. The commonality amongst each of his performances is a sense of desperation. In Her Theodore aches for love and understanding, in The Master,  Freddie searches for truth to calm his storming mind. It is rare that an actor can operate in such delicate places without crossing over into parody or melodrama, and while Phoenix may owe some credit to those who wrote the script or directed his performance, it is impossible to overlook his abilities. 

Here are some of Phoenix’s finest performances:                                                                        

Best Screenplay Nominees (That Didn’t Win)

What do the films North by Northwest, 2001 A Space Odyssey, Star Wars and Saving Private Ryan all have in common? None of them received the annual Academy Award for best screenplay, but they were all nominated.

Many frustrated filmmakers have questioned how the Academy makes its decisions, but regardless of how political some claim the awards to be, they are certainly the most coveted honors in the film world, except maybe a good opening weekend. The category of Best Screenplay is used to honor the writers of exceptionally excellent scripts, an art that is perhaps as nuanced as the actual filmmaking itself. After all, its possible to make a bad movie with a great script, but all the CG in the world won’t fix a poorly written screenplay.

Throughout the years, a number of films have fallen just short of the honor, but have been remembered fondly while the winners have faded away. Of course, the popularity of the film is immaterial to the quality of it’s writing, so perhaps these hopefuls got precisely what they deserved. A point of curiosity: not a single nominee that lost Best Screenplay, won Best Picture, and most Best Screenplay winners didn’t go on to win Best Picture with the exception of Annie Hall which received both.

   

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Rick Hoffman Gets the Laughs

159px-Rick_HoffmanRick Hoffman is all New York, from his Brooklyn accent to his attitude. He may have moved to Los Angeles for a film career, but his soul is pure New York.

Rick’s career started inauspiciously, as he nervously flubbed his only two lines in his very first film, Conspiracy Theory. Fortunately, his co-star Julia Roberts and director Richard Donner laughed, and the “flubs” were kept in the picture.

Between 1997 and 2007 he made 15 films, including Lethal Weapon 4, The $treet, Philly and Blood Work. Another ten years were spent doing character bits on many top shows, including Law and Order SVU, CSI: Miami, Without a Trace, Crossing Jordan and The Practice, to name a few.

These days this quirky, versatile character actor with the rubbery face can be seen on television, playing the role of attorney Louis Litt on USA Network’s series, Suits.

  1. (2007) Smiley Face
  2. (2007) The Condemned
  3. (2007) Hostel: Part II
  4. (2007) Postal
  5. (2005) Jake in Progress
  6. (2005) Hostel
  7. (2004) The Day After Tomorrow
  8. (2004) Our Time is Up
  9. (2004) Cellular
  10. (2002) Andy Richter Controls the Universe
  11. (2002) Blood Work
  12. (2001) Philly
  13. (2000) The $treet
  14. (1998) Lethal Weapon 4
  15. (1997) Conspiracy Theory

Best Scripts About Fighting

download (11)At the heart of every script is a conflict, and it is this conflict that drives the decisions of the characters. How the characters choose to reconcile this conflict is what gives the story its meaning. These conflicts manifest themselves in a variety of ways, sometimes as a single man versus seemingly overwhelming odds, or as a difficult choice a character must make that forces him to sacrifice something he loves. Sometimes this conflict manifests itself a little more directly, in the form of fists striking flesh, and feet shuffling to dodge blows, and when this happens the release of tension can be truly cathartic.

There are few images more compelling than a physical struggle between the sources of conflict in a film, and there are a number of ways this device can be used effectively. In films like David O’ Russell’s The Fighter the physical violence is only a manifestation of the internal conflicts of the film’s protagonist, whereas in Bronson the titular character relishes fighting as a way to garner the fame he desperately craves. In both cases it is a nebulous and abstract conflict giving rise to absolute primal resolution. This is the power of a well designed cinematic fight; it is truly raw.

A discussion of great movies about fighting would be incomplete without a mention of Sylvester Stallone’s first film which he wrote, produced and starred in, the immortal Rocky. Rocky is a beautiful example of the poetry of violence magnifying the conflict of a narrative, in this case the ambition of the hero vs. the insurmountable odds against him. In all these cases the violence comes when the hero is left with no recourse and the tension must find release. It isn’t always powerful, but when it is, its as poignant and poetic as any love story, and the push and pull between two foes locked in combat is closer to the posturing of new romance than one might think. These are some of the most impactful examples of the genre, though not as impactful of course as a punch from Tommy Conlon, Tom Hardy’s hard hitting character in Warrior. That guy ripped the door off a tank!

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Marlon Brando – The Quick Rise and the Long Fall

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Marlon Brando was born in Omaha, NE in 1924. He was a rebellious child who was, early on, thrown out of military school. In the early 1940s he left for New York, first to study the Stanislavsky Method with Stella Adler, and later working at The Actor’s Studio with Lee Strasberg. By 1943 he had his first Broadway role, in Bobino, then in I Remember Mama the following year.

It was 1947 when he was given the role that made him a household name: the sullen and brutish Stanley Kowalski in Broadway’s production of A Streetcar Named Desire. With the success of this role, the world beat a path to his door. In what would become de rigeur for Brando, he rejected all of Hollywood’s overtures, choosing to continue his work on Broadway for several more years.

It wasn’t until 1951 that he made his first film, reprising his role as Stanley in the Elia Kazan movie of Streetcar. A hugely successful film, he was nominated for, but did not win, the Academy Award for Best Actor (although his three co-stars – Viven Leigh, Karl Malden and Kim Hunter – won their respective awards, and the picture was voted Best Picture.)

His next films – Viva Zapata!, again with Kazan, Julius Caesar and The Wild Ones, were all commercially successful and well received critically.

In 1954 he gave what was, in the view of many, his finest performance, as washed-up boxer Terry Malloy  in Elia Kazan’s On the Waterfront. A commercial and critical success, Brando won his first Academy Award. He was thirty years old and had, perhaps, reached the pinnacle of his career.

A number of failed projects followed, interspersed with a few commercial successes, like Guys and Dolls, where he co-starred with Frank Sinatra, and Sayonara, for which he received yet another Oscar nomination. In 1958 he co-starred with Montgomery Clift in The Young Lions, another well-reviewed commercial hit.

As he piled up the failures – The Fugitive Kind, Mutiny on the Bounty, Napolean, One-Eyed
Jacks, The Ugly American, The Chase, A Countess from Hong Kong, Reflections in a Golden Eye, Candy, Quiemada!, The Nightcomers
– he became increasingly unpopular with studio heads. He had become outspoken about his profession – declaring acting a “neurotic, unimportant job” – and very publicly played the role of arrogant and disrespectful anti-star, much to the dismay of the studios and directors who paid his salaries.

It was over the objections of Paramount Studios management that Francis Ford Coppola chose Brando for his role as Don Corleone in the 1972 classic, The Godfather.  His performance in the film was tremendously well received by both the critics and the public, and he won his second Academy Award. Unfortunately, he squandered much of that adulation when he chose to send a fake Native American spokeswoman – really a Hispanic actress dressed as a Native American – to receive the award, giving her the opportunity to make a speech about the history of the US government’s “crimes” against native peoples.

After a few movies that he made – by his own admission – just for the money (including the well-reviewed Last Tango in Paris, Missouri Breaks with Jack Nicholson and Superman,
(for which he earned $3.7 million for a tiny role) he was cast as Col.Kurtz in Coppola’s Apocalypse Now.

After just one more appearance, in 1980′s The Formula (in which he appeared in only three scenes) he disappeared from Hollywood and retired to his private island in the Pacific, emerging only once to play a supporting role in the anti-apartheid drama A Dry White Season, for which he won another Academy Award nomination.

In 1992, after several family tragedies drained his finances, he went back to work, appearing in a series of forgettable films, including Christopher Columbus: The Discovery, Don Juan DeMarco with Johnny Depp, The Island of Dr.Moreau,and The Brave, which was Depp’s directorial debut.

In 1998 he co-starred with Martin Sheen, Charlie Sheen, Donald Sutherland and Mira Sorvino in Free Money, after which he again disappeared to his island. In 2001 he re-emerged to make his final film appearance, in Frank Oz’s The Score, with Robert Deniro, Angela Bassett and Edward Norton.

In 2004 he passed away, the result of pulmonary fibrosis. He was 80 years old.

Brando’s films:

  1. (1950)   The Men
  2. (1951)   A Streetcar Named Desire script
  3. (1952)   Viva Zapata! Script
  4. (1953)   Julius Caesar
  5. (1954)   On the Waterfront
  6. (1954)   The Wild One script
  7. (1954)   Desiree
  8. (1955)   Guys and Dolls
  9. (1956)   The Teahouse of the August Moon
  10. (1957)   Sayonara
  11. (1958)   The Young Lions script
  12. (1960)   The Fugitive Kind script
  13. (1961)   One-Eyed Jacks
  14. (1962)   Mutiny on the Bounty
  15. (1963)   The Ugly American
  16. (1963)   Bedtime Story
  17. (1965)   Morituri
  18. (1966)   The Chase script
  19. (1966)   The Appaloosa
  20. (1967)   Reflections in a Golden Eye
  21. (1967)   Countess from Hong Kong
  22. (1968)   Candy
  23. (1969)   The Night of the Following Day
  24. (1969)   Queimada!
  25. (1971)   The Nightcomers
  26. (1972)   Last Tango in Paris
  27. (1972)   The Godfather
  28. (1976)   The Missouri Breaks
  29. (1978)   Superman The Movie
  30. (1980)   The Formula script
  31. (1980)   Apocalypse Now script
  32. (1989)   A Dry White Season script
  33. (1990)   The Freshman script
  34. (1992)   Christopher Columbus: The Discovery
  35. (1995)   Don Juan DeMarco script
  36. (1996)   The Island of Dr. Moreau script
  37. (1997)   The Brave script
  38. (1998)   Free Money
  39. (2001)   The Score script

Richard Linklater Scripts

download (17)Richard Linklater’s films are a sort of challenge to the film industry. His willingness to depart from traditional techniques and narratives and to do so in such a radically independent way have established him as a perfect of example of what independent filmmaking could be. Linklater is a totally self-taught screenwriter, director and producer and has won numerous awards for his films including several Austin Film Awards. He has been nominated for the Academy Award for best adapted screenplay twice, as well as awards at Cannes film festival and Independent Spirit.

His career began with a $3,000 super 8 feature called It’s Impossible to Learn to Plow by Reading Books but his first real fame came in 1993 with Dazed and Confused which also helped launch the career of a young Matthew McConaughey. The film followed the exploits of young people dealing with disaffection and apathy which became a recurring, prominent theme in his work.

With Waking Life Linklater brought the idea of lucid dreaming into prominence, and developed a rotoscoped animation technique he would later perfect in, A Scanner Darkly. A few years later, he experienced some mainstream success with School of Rock. In 2011 he worked with Jack Black a second time in the para-documentary Bernie which featured stellar performances by a cast of non-actors who had actually experienced the events of the film. In 2013 he completed his “Before” trilogy with Before Midnight with Ethan Hawke reprising his role from Before Sunset and Before Sunrise.

Linklater’s strength as a writer comes from his ability to capture the essence of people like him: artistic, alternative and hip kids with something to prove. His legacy as a filmmaker serves as a powerful testament to the potential of independent film, and the proper ways to go about making them.  Here are some of his best scripts.

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The Best Scripts About Giant Robots

Almost a genre in its own right, films about giant robots that attack the earth or fight for humanity’s survival are a staple of the summer blockbuster. Until recently, traditional or stop motion animation were some of the only ways to depict action on this scale so films like the cult classic Robot Jox were largely scorned for being more corny than awe inspiring.  In Japan however, the “mecha” animation genre became extremely popular and spawned dozens of titles including favorites like Robotech, Voltron, and the Gundam franchise which explored the relationship between the honor of  traditional combat and the devastating power of modern weaponry. Huge mechanical monsters were also featured heavily in another Japanese franchise,  the Godzilla films, which included metal behemoths like Mecha Godzilla and Jet Jaguar . Meanwhile in the US, the Transformers animated series and the often belittled Go-bots series developed passionate following in the form of youngsters who were equally passionate about the series’ corresponding action figures, provoking accusations that the cartoons were essentially 30 minute commercials for toys.

As computer graphics developed, it became possible to depict widespread destruction more realistically and with greater detail than ever before. In 2007 Michael Bay brought the Autobots and Decepticons to the big screen for the first time since Transformers: The Movie, and its astounding commercial success made it clear that more heavy metal slugfests were sure to come. While the quality of Roberto Orci and Ehren Kruger’s writing in the Transformers series is sometimes called into question critically, there is no questioning these films’ technological achievements, or the delight they bring to their fans. In 2013 Pacific Rim, writers Travis Beacham and Guillermo Del Toro combined many of the tropes of the aforementioned Japanese titles and brought them to eager fans all over the world.  As new generations of filmmakers are inspired by these images and concepts, there’s simply no telling what sort of  mechanized wonder may be yet to come.

Until then, here are some of the best examples of scripts that involve these mechanical titans. 

 

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Martin Sheen’s Many Movies

640px-Sheen,_Martin_(2008)One of the finest actors in recent decades, on both the big and small screens, Martin Sheen has multiple Emmy (10 nominations, 1 win) and Golden Globe (8 nominations) nominations and awards.

Born Ramon Antonio Gerardo Estevez in Dayton, Ohio, he suffered an injury at birth that left one of his arms inches shorter than the other, and with limited range of motion. Growing up one of ten children in Dayton, Estevez wanted to be an actor, despite opposition from his father. In his early 20s he borrowed money from a Catholic priest and moved to New York City to pursue a career, after deliberately failing the entrance exam for the University of Dayton.

Over his career to date Sheen has narrated or appeared in 115 feature films, narrated or appeared in 41 documentaries and starred or guest starred in 33 television shows. That has not stopped him, however, from his political and social activism. In fact, Sheen is quoted as saying that “While acting is what I do for a living, activism is what I do to stay alive.”

His political activities have caused him to be arrested 66 times (as of 2010) for protesting and acts of civil disobedience, including trespassing at a Nevada nuclear site.

Sheen has shown himself capable of playing presidents, priests and privates, generals, gangsters and grandfathers. Here’s looking forward to many more scripts to come.

This is the master list of Sheen’s commercial movies.

  1. (2014) The Amazing Spider-Man 2
  2. (2014) Trash
  3. (2014) The 33
  4. (2014) Unity
  5. (2012) Seeking a Friend for the End of the World Script
  6. (2012) The Amazing Spider-Man
  7. (2012) Bhopal: Prayer for Rain
  8. (2011) Stella Days
  9. (2011) The Double
  10. (2010) The Way
  11. (2009) Echelon Conspiracy
  12. (2009) Love Happens
  13. (2009) Imagine That Script
  14. (2009) The Kid: Camacho
  15. (2008) A Single Woman
  16. (2007) Talk To Me Script
  17. (2007) Bordertown
  18. (2007) Flatland: The Movie
  19. (2006) The Departed Script
  20. (2006) Bobby
  21. (2004) Jerusalemski sindrom
  22. (2003) Mercy of the Sea
  23. (2003) The Commission
  24. (2002) Catch Me if You Can
  25. (2001) O Script
  26. (1999) Ninth Street
  27. (1999) Lost & Found Script
  28. (1999) Storm
  29. (1999) A Texas Funeral
  30. (1998) Family Attraction
  31. (1998) Stranger in the Kingdom
  32. (1998) Gunfighter
  33. (1998) Monument Ave.
  34. (1998) Shadrach
  35. (1998) A Letter from Death Row
  36. (1998) Free Money
  37. (1998) No Code of Conduct
  38. (1998) The Thin Red Line Script
  39. (1997) Truth or Consequences, N.M Script
  40. (1997) An Act of Conscience
  41. (1997) Hostile Waters
  42. (1997) Spawn Script
  43. (1996) The War at Home Script
  44. (1996) Entertaining Angels: The Dorothy Day Story Script
  45. (1996) Project ALF
  46. (1995) The American President Script
  47. (1995) Sacred Cargo
  48. (1995) Dillinger and Capone
  49. (1995) Captain Nuke and the Bomber Boys
  50. (1995) A Hundred and One Nights
  51. (1995) The Break
  52. (1995) Dead Presidents Script
  53. (1995) Gospa
  54. (1994) Guns of Honor
  55. (1994) Hits!
  56. (1994) Grey Knight
  57. (1994) Boca
  58. (1993) When the Bough Breaks
  59. (1993) My Home, My Prison
  60. (1993) Ghost Brigade (aka The Killing Box)
  61. (1993) Fortunes of War
  62. (1993) Hear No Evil
  63. (1993) Hot Shots! Part Deux
  64. (1993) Gettysburg Script
  65. (1993) A Matter of Justice
  66. (1992) Running Wild
  67. (1992) Original Intent
  68. (1991) Touch and Die
  69. (1991) The Maid
  70. (1991) JFK Script
  71. (1990) Cadence
  72. (1989) Marked for Murder
  73. (1989) Cold Front
  74. (1989) Beverly Hills Brats
  75. (1989) Nightbreaker
  76. (1989) Beyond the Stars
  77. (1988) Da
  78. (1988) Judgment in Berlin
  79. (1987) The Believers
  80. (1987) Siesta
  81. (1987) Wall Street Script
  82. (1986) A State of Emergency
  83. (1986) Shattered Spirits
  84. (1985) The Fourth Wise Man
  85. (1984) Firestarter
  86. (1983) Enigma
  87. (1983) In the King of Prussia
  88. (1983) Man, Woman and Child
  89. (1983) The Dead Zone Script
  90. (1982) Gandhi
  91. (1982) That Championship Season
  92. (1982) In the Custody of Strangers
  93. (1981) Loophole
  94. (1980) The Final Countdown Script
  95. (1979) Apocalypse Now
  96. (1979) Eagle’s Wing
  97. (1976) The Cassandra Crossing
  98. (1976) The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane
  99. (1975) The Last Survivors
  100. (1975) Sweet Hostage
  101. (1974) The Legend of Earl Durand
  102. (1974) The California Kid
  103. (1974) The Missiles of October
  104. (1974) The Execution of Private Slovik
  105. (1973) When the Line Goes Through
  106. (1973) Badlands Script
  107. (1973) The Conflict (Catholics)
  108. (1972) No Drums, No Bugles
  109. (1972) Pickup on 101
  110. (1972) Rage
  111. (1972) That Certain Summer
  112. (1970) Catch-22 Script
  113. (1968) The Subject Was Roses
  114. (1967) The Incident

5 Scripts Tarantino Borrowed From

Quentin Tarantino is known as much for his ability to recreate tropes and concepts from his archival understanding of pop culture, as he is for his directing. A Tarantino movie to the keen observer plays like a potpourri of blaxploitation dialogue, kung fu action, and the stares of grizzly cowboys in westerns. Each of his films features almost too many references and homages to count like Kurt Russel’s vest from Big Trouble in Little China popping up in Death Proof, or the black and white suits his characters always wear made famous by John Woo. Here are five great examples of films that inspired Tarantino.

See if you can figure out how Q.T. remixed elements of these films into his own.

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