Friday, March 2, 2007

I Ruin A Really Boring Three-Hour Movie For You

Lisa and I saw Zodiac this evening — because Wild Hogs was sold out :-) — and I don't get the reviews. Mainly it's the favorable comparisons to Seven and Fight Club that I'm at a loss to explain. Not that Zodiac isn't good: it's a wonderfully filmed portrait of its protagonists' growing obsession with solving the Zodiac killer enigma. But as a character study, and unfortunately, by design, it's not a study of the movie's most interesting character, it doesn't really explore any new territory, in the sense that Seven and Fight Club were, for their flaws, completely original visions. The whole theme where our otherwise irredeemable character gets lost in a puzzle for its own sake, then still fails to be redeemed, is nothing I haven't seen before, and the genre's conceit — at least the mystery is solved at the end — feels tenuously attached to Zodiac. Let's just say it's worth the ticket price, but I won't be bothering to watch Zodiac again when it makes its basic cable world premiere.

Zodiac did inspire me to reach into the newly popular "serial killer as twisted moral guardian" genre and come up with this movie pitch. Tell me what you think.

So there's this killer, right? And what he does is he sneaks into movie theaters showing important, critically-regarded films and he takes a seat behind the philistines who can't shut the hell up. I think you see where this is going. He kills the talkers in all sorts of gruesome, needlessly complicated ways, then makes some sort of wisecrack. He doesn't take himself too seriously.

I've got the first page of the script, too.


We open in a somewhat crowded movie theater, playing the classic film "CITIZEN KANE." Near the back, we see RAY, 25, glasses, T-shirt, exquisitely good-looking, watching the movie silently because, even though "CITIZEN KANE" is slightly more boring than watching grass grow, he's polite to everyone else in the theater. Sitting next to him is THERESA, who is also respectful and quiet, and, again, incredibly attractive.

In the row behind them, there's a middle aged MARRIED COUPLE, fat, ugly, drooling slobs stuffing their fat, ugly, drooling faces with popcorn and soda. There's also three slutty, mildly-retarded TEENAGE GIRLS a few seats to the right.

Ohmygod, I can't believe this is in
black and white.

I know! Like, am I gonna have to read
this, too?

Ohmygod, like you've got the cutest
cell phone!

No, like your cell phone is so much cuter!

Lemme take a picture of you two with my
cell phone!

(loudest stage whisper ever)
What did that guy say?


What's a rosebud?

Oh, I bet it's his sled.

Suddenly, a CRAZY KILLER jumps out from the back row. He runs up to the couple and shoots both of them in the head! Then he shoots the three teenage girls.

(turns around)
Hey, do you mind? We're trying to watch the movie.

Sorry. My bad.
And it's just like that, over and over, for the next eighty-nine minutes. Three words: best movie ever.