I think I’m ready for the big time! I think I can make it as a prime time, or even big screen, writer! Take a gander, and take a pick:
HE is a former ___________ (police officer/hit man/gangster/CIA agent/FBI agent/thug/law abiding citizen) who wanted nothing more than to ___________ (forget his past, retire in peace/start a new life/raise a family), until THEY___________ (killed his wife, killed his wife and children/killed his dog/framed him for the murder of his family/took his family hostage). Now they’ll ___________ (live to regret taking everything from him/never see him coming/ wish they’d never heard his name/die slowly and painfully). Things will never be the same!
The only problem is that they’re too often the same. The above scenario is the plot for:
- The Punisher
- Kill Bill (Female Protagonist)
- The Brave One (Female Protagonist)
- Max Payne
- A Man Apart
- Urban Justice
- Hard to Kill
- Out for a Kill
- Law Abiding Citizen
- Death Wish (1, 2, 3, and 4)
- Last House on the Left (a modern re-imagining of ‘The Virgin Spring’)
That’s the short list.
There’s nothing Hollywood loves more than death women (or dead women and children) as the motivation behind 1- 1/2 to 2 hours of the goriest, scariest, vilest deathfest you can image. Add a dead pet (furbaby) and you’re GOLDEN! I haven’t even included the films that lead to revenge due to the death of an old friend.
It’s why I’m making a pitch for films like ‘Black Swan’. Destruction doesn’t always come at the end of a bullet or from sharp edges. It’s sometimes quiet and calm. It smiles and embraces you. It’s the destruction we’ve openly welcomed into our hearts and homes and it’s every bit as dangerous as the blood and gore found in revenge films. You’ve probably already read the synopsis for “Black Swan” – sweet and innocent Nina auditions for the role of the Swan Queen only to find out that she’s considered “too innocent” to play both the “White Swan” and the seductive “Black Swan”. Lily, Nina’s understudy for the role, helps her find her ‘dark’ side by taking her out on the town and showing her a good time. At times, Nina can’t tell if Lily is real or if she’s nothing more than a being she’s constructed to help her find her inner black swan. The movie going audience may, at times, end up just as confused as Nina.
Why does Lily continue to show up at just the right time? Is she trying to help Nina, or clear the path for her own ascent as the Swan Queen? Mila Kunis’ performance will make you forget about her ‘Meg Griffin’ and ‘Jackie Burkhart’ roles. It’s hard to believe that Kunis’ Lily is portrayed by the same actress – this role makes it evident that Kunis has an impressive range. Portman, as always delivers a solid and engaging performance. To say anything more constitute gushing over Portman’s incredible work. With many films I find myself wondering if casting did it’s job and found just the right people and put them in just the right roles. Not this time, the casting is on point.
There will be other days to catch films about avenging the deaths of beloved family members and furbabies. This box office moment should belong to “Black Swan”. It’s a psychological thriller that gives from the moment the film opens until it closes … Still not convinced? FINE! There’s nakedness, too! How’s that?