March 18th, 2013
The Black List Review
Last month, we received a review on the professionally-recognized script hosting web site, The Black List, for our screenplay H.G. Wells’ The Chronic Argonauts. Since the hosting will expire at the end of the month, I thought that I could post the results here for all to see. The screenplay didn’t get a perfect score (nor were we expecting one), but I would say that the average 7.0 score is VERY respectful and something to be proud of. Feedback from this as well as the feedback received from other readers will allow us to improve the story as we continue to pitch.
Black List reviewer (Completed) Feb 12, 2013
Era: 1862, 1887, 1969, distant future
Locations: United Kingdom
Genre: Action & Adventure, Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Based on H.G Wells short story, a good hearted Reverend journeys with a mysterious inventor in what is revealed to be a time machine.
The plotting is quite strong as the author takes some liberties in converting the short story into a more mainstream version. The writing is quite impressive with strong character development; linear storytelling; and clever dialogue. Dr. Nebogipfel jumps off the page with his erratic but charming behavior and sharp wit. Reverend Cook is sympathetic and likable helping form an unlikely duo. Overall story build and stakes are good not great.
While cinematic, the third act does not feel consistent with the rest of the story in terms of size of scope. Although not necessarily the wrong choice; it does feel like a much larger film than the rest of the story. The plotting also feels a bit disconnected from the rest of the story as it takes a rather drastic turn. In fact, despite setting up for a sequel, the very end of the story ends rather abruptly in an unsatisfying way. The time travel element could also be shaped more in terms of connecting the time jumps to give the story even more direction. Cook’s character could use more of an arc especially since he is already so sympathetic in the beginning. Also, story misses out fully capitalizing on the wishfulfillment of having a time machine.
While in the shadow of Wells’s much more famous TIME MACHINE; this story is nevertheless an interesting take on wanting to create a cinematic time travel movie. Although the story does not feel hugely expensive; this will still require a very interesting filmmaker and actors to make it feel relevant and marketable to modern day audiences.