Thursday, 25 June 2015

Guardians of the Galaxy Script Breakdown

Dir- James Gunn
Year – 2014
Running Time – 116 Minutes
Screen Writing Genre – Golden Fleece (Epic)

The Film

Picking one of Marvel’s more obscure franchises may have seemed strange but it allowed the studio to venture into a relatively empty area of the market at the time. Guardians of the Galaxy remains one of the most critically acclaimed marvel movies and uses some clever music and a great script to keep things fun and fast moving.

What’s in a name?

It’s not rocket science here. It’s a film about the Guardians of the Galaxy. It does imply the ideas of sci-fi, space and super heroes so job done.

What makes it great?

The core of why the film works so well is a light hearted and consistent script backed up by some excellent performances from the cast. Any time things begin to get too serious there is always a moment of humour around the next corner. It helps the audience to think they are having a great space adventure and it works incredibly well.

Guardians of the Galaxy as an (Epic) Golden Fleece Movie

Though it might seem strange, Guardians of the Galaxy doesn’t really fit into the ‘Super Hero’ movie genre as you need ingredients such as the power being a ‘curse’.
The film is about a rag tag band of rejects crossing the galaxy in search of treasure (either the stone, or the money from selling it).

Of course, along the way they discover there are more important things and after some bumps in the road that stop them from progressing they learn some life lessons. If that’s not an epic Golden Fleece story then I don’t know what is.

Time Line

Opening Image – Earth 1988, a young boy is in a hospital corridor. He looks isolated and alone.

Theme Stated – Our theme is that of finding companionship and not being afraid to believe in people (the right people), and commit. We soon see that Star Lord has been looking for ‘companionship’ with many different alien females throughout the galaxy.

Set-Up – The set up mainly gives us the back story for Star Lord. We also see the infinity stone, Ronan and Thanos. All the future guardians are introduced except for Drax.

Catalyst – Star Lord tries to sell the infinity stone but is rejected when the buyer finds out Ronan is involved and is soon arrested after a scuffle with the other guardians. Now he is locked into the fate of the stone.

Break into Two – The guardians are taken to the Kiln. Once the doors shut there is now no way back.

Debate – It hits outside of traditional structure but once in the Kiln there are So many questions for the group to consider. What is the stone? How can they sell it and to whom? How do they break out of the prison? Should they trust Gamora?

B Story – The B story concerns the characters beginning to trust one another. We see Drax gradually accept Gamora and Star Lord and Gamora’s friendship develop here.

Fun and Games – What’s more fun that a prison break? We get to see all the guardians doing their thing as they break out of the Kiln.

Midpoint – The guardians arrive at Knowhere. The stone explodes and now the team realise just exactly what they are dealing with. The fun and game are over.

Bad Guys Close In – Ronan arrives, shortly followed by the Ravagers. Nebula gets hold of the stone, Drax is left for dead and Gamora drifts into space. It is a crushing defeat for the team.

All is Lost – Star Lord goes through just how much the team has lost.

Dark Night of the Soul – After realising the need for the suicide mission the team recover and decide to fight together to try and save the galaxy.

Break into Three – Now recovered and with a plan, the guardians unite with the Ravagers and Nova Core to try and take down Ronan.

Finale – The battle for Nova begins. The bad guys begin to get knocked off and Nebula is despatched. The guardians unite to channel the power of the stone and Ronan is defeated. Star Lord is finally ready to open the last gift from his mother.

Final image – The guardians are united in friendship. There is a bond of trust between them and Star Lord has now grown up and accepted his role in the universe. The group who were once outcasts and loners are now surrounded by friends. Mirrored with the opening image we’ve gone from Star Lord as an isolated child in a dark corridor to a man surrounded by friends with whole galaxy available to explore.

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

The Grand Budapest Hotel Script Breakdown

Dir- Wes Anderson
Year – 2014
Running Time – 99 Mins
Screen writing Genre – (Epic) Buddy Love

The Film

Wes Anderson’s 2014 tale of fantasy and whimsy is a refreshing and original story told expertly. The critics loved it and it picked up numerous nominations for best film across the board. Perhaps unfairly overlooked for the best screenplay Oscar, it none the less picked up a host of other awards for its visual style and design.

What’s in a name?

The name gives us a pretty good idea where the film is going to be set and also that it will be a whimsical tale. There isn’t much more to it but it also hints at an older time and place. It’s simple but does the job well.

What makes it great?

A very strong script and some great performances throughout the cast make the story come alive. The beautiful cinematography and the unique way the aspect ratio is changed and used helps the film move along like a series of well-staged and beautiful paintings that our cast move in and out of. The whole things looks like a fairy tale and certainly takes the audience to another place.

The Grand Budapest Hotel as an (Epic) Buddy Love Movie

The Grand Budapest Hotel falls into the Buddy Love genre due to the main relationship between the two lead characters. It’s a tale of friendship as two very different people find friendship during an epic quest that takes them from an old hotel to snow covered fields and mountain peaks. Though not lovers there is even a tragic end for one of our much loved characters.

We also have the key ingredients of an ‘incomplete hero’ and a ‘counterpart’ in our two heroes and a ‘complication’ which draws them together in the tale of the missing Will and painting. 

Time Line

Opening Image – A grey cemetery followed by an author and a book. The book opens and we start the story of the hotel.

Theme Stated – Our theme is based around the idea of age and memories. The hotel is described as an enchanting old ruin. The film is primarily about the experiences we have with the ones we care about and how we remember them.

Set-Up – We see our fantasy land, the hotel and meet our key characters. We are walked around the hotel and a tone of melancholy is also set.

Catalyst – Zero begins to tell his story and his job interview starts around minute 12. It is his choice to enter the world of the GBH.

Debate – The debate is around whether Zero fits the GBH. Should he be hired? What actually is a lobby boy? He is of course and then Mr Gustave asks him to accompany him to one of his beloved guest’s mansions.

Break into Two – Once the train arrives at the mansion we are beginning to enter the realms of no return. Once the Will is read there is no turning back and Gustave and Zero are now locked in for the duration of the tale.

B Story – The B story is mentioned right on queue and then put off until later. It is of course the story of Zero and Agatha.

Fun and Games – There’s a game of hide and seek going on with the painting and lots of different chases. There’s even a jail breakout to plan to show us some of Mr Gustave’s charm in action.

Midpoint – Our story gets more serious as Zero in the modern day starts to cry. He now begins to tell the story of himself and Agatha.

Bad Guys Close In – Dmitri begins to close in on Gustave and Zero as he goes on the hunt for the painting and people who stand in his way. The stakes are raised in this section as a crucial document is found to be missing. People begin to die thanks to Dmitri’s thug and Gustave breaks out of jail.

All is Lost – All alone and without equipment and supplies Gustave and Zero are lost and in danger. When there is no perfume available Gustave loses his cool properly for the first time.

Dark Night of the Soul – Gustave realises he has lost his cool and gone too far. He apologises and the two friends makeup and continue their journey.

Break into Three – Running across the snow they find the magic phone box and ask for assistance from the society of the cross keys.

Finale – More people die and the thug chases Zero and Gustave to the observatory. Dmitri realises the painting is missing and the mountain section culminates in the ski chase back down. Zero then pushes the thug off the cliff to save the day. (Note, Zero is making things happen here rather than Gustave)

We see the final fate of our characters and the story begins to fade out.

Final image – Zero now older and back in the present. The story is told and we are now wiser to the stories and memories held within the hotel and why it is so important to him.

Thursday, 7 May 2015

The Empire Strikes Back Script Breakdown

Dir- Irvin Kershner
Year – 1980
Running Time – 124 Mins
Screen writing Genre – Golden Fleece (Epic)

The Film
The Empire Strikes Back is the most critically popular Star Wars film and also the one with the darkest edge. Our epic space trilogy becomes a bit smaller here and relationships and issues are worked out in place of space battles. It also features one of the best reveals of all time and was nominated for technical awards at the Oscars, Baftas and Golden Globe ceremonies. It picked up wins for sound and music.

What’s in a name?

The second Star Wars movie has a great and fitting title. It is indeed the film where the Empire takes revenge on the Rebel Alliance for the destruction of the Death Star. It hints at a more serious and dangerous film and one where the heroes may be under greater threat than before.

What makes it great?

Aside from all the Star Wars magic the thing that really sets it up as an all-time classic is the atmosphere and tone. The music plays a huge part as sinister scores sweep across the scenes building tension and creating a more sombre and down beat sound. The dramatic opening battle and the epic final light sabre dual between Luke and Vader bookend a strong piece of Sci-Fi where the characters are placed at the forefront.

The Empire Strikes Back as an (Epic) Golden Fleece Movie

It’s a fairly straightforward one here. It’s an epic journey across time and space for our hero Luke which has constant stops and bumps along the way. Friendship and companionship is the key ingredient and the group of heroes all have different skill sets to aid in the quest of our much duller main hero. The key thing to remember is that this is Luke’s film and the others are the supporting cast.

Time Line

Opening Image – A Star Destroyer sends out probe droids looking for the Rebels. We see the Empire is very much still around, strong and looking for revenge.

Theme Stated – The theme throughout the film is one of companionship and friendship. Continual sacrifices and risks are taken by the main characters as the film progresses to save the friends they love.

Set-Up – We see the Rebels on Hoth trying to regroup, The Empire looking for them and the friendship between our main protagonists. The Han and Leia romance is hinted at and we see Luke showing some new Jedi powers.

Catalyst – When Luke lies in the snow and sees a vision of Ben Kenobi he is given a new direction to head in. Luke now knows what the next step is he must take.

Break into Two – The Rebels evacuate Hoth after the Empire assault and Luke heads to his new destination away from the fleet. We are now entering a new and strange world unlike what we have experienced before.

Debate – This happens later than usual but concerns Luke’s faith in his Jedi training. Numerous times he ponders on what he is doing and why he is there. The debate section keeps recurring throughout Luke’s training as he doubts his abilities, culminating in the ‘All is Lost’ Moment later on.

B Story – Hiding in the asteroid Han and Leia’s love story begins properly and they kiss before being interrupted by C3PO

Fun and Games – We have a game of follow the leader between Luke and Yoda and the Millennium Falcon crew play hide and seek with the Empire.

Midpoint – The Emperor reveals himself for the first time and the plot to convert or kill Luke gets underway. Luke gets Yoda to agree to train him and says “I’m not afraid” to which Yoda replies “You will be”. Everything just got even more serious.

Bad Guys Close In – The Falcon runs from the asteroid as it’s revealed to be a big worm thing and immediately back into danger. Luke encounters the Vader phantom in the dark hollow. Things are beginning to fall apart.

All is Lost – Luke can’t lift the X-Wing, loses faith and considers it an impossible task.

Dark Night of the Soul – Yoda lifts the X-Wing and Luke now understands the power of the force. He also senses his friends in danger.

Break into Three – We arrive in another new environment – Cloud City. All the pieces are in, or heading to the same place and we are set for our final run down to the end of the movie. C3PO is blasted to add a bit of danger and Luke runs to save his friends.

Finale – Luke fights Vader and barely escapes with his life and the big secret is revealed. The rescue mission to save Han fails and our heroes are in a bad place. As the film acts as the run in to the ‘All is Lost’ moment across the trilogy this is to be expected.

Final image – The Rebel fleet, now back together, with Luke and friends damaged but recovering. The Rebellion is preparing for the final assault and has re-gathered their strength. The ‘Dark Night of the Soul’ moment of the trilogy has now passed.