The Iron Triangle

Author: Mike Baron
Genre: Script - Mystery
Reviewed by Kevin Tipple

Black Coat Script Library

"In film and television, thousands of fine scripts by established writers are never produced. The Black Coat Script Library is dedicated to presenting some of those scripts." (Back cover)

11080401Frequent readers of my review work here and elsewhere are very much aware of my strong appreciation and admiration for the efforts of Black Coat Press. As foremost a reader and secondly as a reviewer, I have learned quickly that BCP can always be counted on to provide quality books in terms of appearance as well as story. This new division of BCP is no exception.

For those that do not know, and I certainly didn't before receiving this book, (one of three and I will be reviewing) a "script book" is the basic movie or TV show in script form within a bound book. The best and simplest analogy I can come up with is that if you remember reading plays in High School English, this is the same idea. And the effect is the same. Other than scene location explanations, character development and actions are told almost entirely through spoken dialogue. As such, it requires a certain style of writing and narration to make the characters come alive.

It certainly works in the The Iron Triangle which the author refers to as "American Beauty meets Enter The Dragon." (Introduction (page 5) and Back Cover) Set in Fielder's Creek, the action revolves around a small karate school, "Rick's Karate." Owned and operated by Rick Mayer, the school is having serious hard times and placing enormous strain on his already shaky marriage to his beautiful wife, Darcy.

Rick is not that aware of the level of her unhappiness or the multiple reasons for it and he is certainly not aware of the actions of several of his students who are out vandalizing homes and pushing drugs. Using skills he is teaching them in advance of competing in the coming state tournament, they are a part of the rapidly growing crime problem in the small town. The question becomes -- as various matters take their course, resulting in more and more violence and deceit -- will Rick figure out friend from foe in time to save himself and those he cares about?

This was a very enjoyable read and filled with what could be interesting characters if brought to the screen. This murder mystery features numerous fight scenes, which would have to be depicted correctly to raise tension while retaining the overall noir feeling to the work. It could be done, and done well, and hopefully somebody in Hollywood is paying attention.

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November 28, 2004 in Screenplays | Permalink | Comments (0)

Majorca

Author: Steve Englehart
Genre: Screenplay-Suspense
Reviewed by Kevin Tipple

11110403In this recent release from Black Coat Script Library, the setting is the resort island of Majorca. But despite its setting, the universal themes of deceit and murder come through, as does the clash of cultures and beliefs.

None of that is on the mind of Rob and Jenny Kendall, Americans, married, mid 20's when they arrive in the capital city of Palma on the island of Majorca. They have been traveling abroad in Europe and their current destination on the island is the small village of Graciosa. Happily in love, they have spent five months traveling across Europe and now plan to spend the next five months on the island so that Rob can write his novel. As he puts it, "Everybody lies. I lie for a living." (Page 16)

Upon arrival, they settle into the cottage they are renting and soon their doorway is darkened by the presence of Maddox Johns. Something of a village celebrity, he is a poet as well as an alcoholic. Maddox, somewhat annoyed that the young couple has not read his works and really don't know anything about him, still decides to introduce them to his world. A world of strange parties thrown by Maddox for the fellow foreigners where the psychological tension between the characters runs deep with hints of violence and depravity. Soon, playing on Rob and Jenny's own psychological weaknesses, they are separately drawn into a world of adulterous sex, deceit, and murder where they can't even trust each other.

While eroticism and violence are strong elements of this screenplay, the atmosphere of the work is the primary cinematic element. Despite the beauty of the landscape around them there is a dark current of barely repressed violence in the work. The setup of that element would be crucial to the making of this picture and must convey the noir feel of the work. At the same time, the diverse and intriguing cast of characters would require some thought in casting so that the individuals selected could pull off the noir feel of the work. It could be done and done well and hopefully somebody in Hollywood is paying attention.

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November 28, 2004 in Screenplays | Permalink | Comments (0)

War For the Oaks

Author: Emma Bull & Will Shetterly
Genre: Script/Fantasy
Reviewed by Kevin Tipple


11210403A requirement of fantasy often is the element of the quest where someone needs to make a journey or perform a task or service. Either because the person has some inherent and unknown "gift" or just is lucky enough to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, the person is drafted into service. Usually the individual is initially less than thrilled, and that certainly sums up the plight of Eddie McCandry.

Eddie is part of a band and dating the lead guitarist, Stuart. Stuart has become more trouble than he is worth, both professionally and personally. Fueled by jealousy over artistic issues and alcohol, he is ruining any future they had together as well as any future the band had as a group. After another public performance ruined by his drinking and bad behavior, Eddie contemplates leaving the band, which will also require her to end her relationship with Stuart.

Fellow band member and good friend Carla not only is willing to leave with her; she wants Eddie to start her own band. This is something Eddie finds overwhelming and she decides she will think about things on a walk home. Along the way she is confronted by creatures that turn out to be nobles from the Summer Court of the Fey folk. They are going to fight the Winter Court after some of the Summer Court's lands have been seized. Eddie, as a mortal, has been chosen by the nobles of the Summer Court to be present for the coming battle. To enhance their chances of victory, assassins sent on behalf of the Winter Court will seek her out and try to kill her. Having placed her in jeopardy by their selection, the nobles of the Summer Court have selected a creature known as "Pooka" to guard her.

They have made their selection and she has no choice but to do their bidding. Something Eddie does not want to do and makes very clear to one and all. The "Pooka," in the forms of a male human, a large dog, and others as well as having numerous other talents, understands her predicament and soon saves her from assassination. Drawn into a battle she did not want by forces she did not believe existed, she quickly finds out more about herself and her place in the world than she ever thought possible.

Based on the novel of the same name written by Emma Bull, this script features an intriguing and diverse cast of characters and plenty of action and secondary storylines with slight changes to the original novel. What really makes all of this work is the element of magic, which is so prominent it deserves top billing itself. With the use of creatures that can change shape at the blink of an eye, spontaneous combustion, shimmering see through veils, and other things, those wishing to turn this great story into a filmed version will have to have the financial resources and access to technology to develop the project correctly. Otherwise, what is at this point a very enjoyable read would be ruined in a film version. Here is hoping that someone is paying attention in Hollywood to this script and looking to do something different than the normal, run of the mill stuff.

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November 28, 2004 in Screenplays | Permalink | Comments (0)