Law & Ordermastermind Dick Wolf is returning to the courtroom with Injustice, a U.S. version of a British format, which will be written by former Friday Night Lights executive producer David Hudgins.
The project, from Universal TV and studio-based Wolf Films, is described as an intricate legal drama/psychological thriller about a devoted criminal defense attorney with a dark past buried deep in his psyche and heart, who juggles his complicated family situation with his emotionally conflicted feelings about representing heinous criminals. The original, created by Anthony Horowitz, ran as a five-episode limited series on ITV1 in summer 2011. It starred James Purefoy as the barrister at the center of the story. (See the trailer below.) Hudgins is executive producing the NBC version with Wolf Films’ Wolf, Danielle Gelber and Peter Jankowski. Horowitz and Jill Green, producer of the original series, will serve as producers.
What do you think? Can this work? Is Dick Wolf talented, lucky, or smart? A genuine TV innovator or a great salesman? Choose your answers carefully because this quiz counts for exactly 0% of your grade.
Warning: Parts of this review are spoilerific, so if you haven’t seen the movie and you read this review and I spoil it for you…well, sorry about that.
Okay, fess up time: I saw this movie over a month ago and am just getting a chance to write the review. So I had to reach way back into the crevices of my brain to remember what this movie was about. Certain parts stuck with me–Bane’s awesome headgear, the uselessness of Catwoman, the fact that Batman always sounds like a ten-pack-a-day-smoker ready to choke on his own phlegm at any moment. My overall recollection of the film is that it was good. More than good. I’d say a very good film that I would easily rent on DVD.
Rent, not own.
Because I had some serious problems with this film. As stated before, the character of Catwoman was useless. There were times during the movie I actually forgot about the character, not just because she was forgettable, but because she was gone. Poof like magic pixie dust, only to come back at a deux a machina moment and completely steal the satisfactory disposal of the main villain. Whywhywhy? What was the point of killing Bane (I guess he’s dead, I mean is anyone really dead in a super-hero movie?) if freaking Batman doesn’t do it?
I also had problems with dear Alfred and the way he was shoved out of 3/4 of the movie. It’s nonsensical and I won’t get into it here; you can go see the movie and find out for yourself why its bad writing because this is a blog post and not a treatise on how proper motivation is necessary for conflict to be believable, and in this case, acceptable. It just made Alfred’s tear-jerking near the end of the film seem manipulative.
Other than those problems, I enjoyed the emotional depth the writing and the actors brought to the movie. I like a good superhero/villain beat-down as much as anyone, but coupled with an emotional arc that makes both Batman and Bane sympathetic and irrational at certain points definitely made for a richer viewing experience. I have high hopes for the continuation of the franchise, which seems to be headed in Robin’s direction. Joseph Gordon Levitt, I will be watching you.
Take Me To The Pilots ’12: NBC’s ‘Infamous’ – by Daniel Fienberg
The Pitch: It’s “Dirty Sexy Revenge”
Quick Response: No. Really. “Dirty Sexy Revenge.” What if “Dirty Sexy Money” had begun with the murder of Samaire Armstrong’s character? [No loss there.] And what if Peter Krause’s character were a cop instead of a lawyer and an African-American woman instead of a man? And what if that interloper returned to the family not to keep them out of trouble, but to get one of them in very deep trouble indeed? What you’d get would be “Infamous.” NBC’s attempt to get in on the Eat the Rich zeitgeist is derivative at every turn, but it’s also yet another midseason drama that introduces plot twists at an almost astounding pace, with characters reversing course and changing their colors two or three times in the opening 44 minutes. Hmm… I used a “but” there as if being twisty were a compensation for being derivative. This is the kind of show that you instantly find yourself distrusting every frame because you know that the truth is like a bet on a roulette wheel: You might get a dose of adrenaline each time your number comes around, but until the ball stops bouncing, *nothing* is going to be the truth, so there’s no point in investing.
In an era where all too many “critics” have never seen a film or TV show they didn’t like, Daniel Fienberg’s approach is a breath of fresh air. He actually seems to be able to differentiate good from bad, and for that he gets 3 thumbs-ups from TVWriter™. (Why 3? Sorry, that’s our little secret.)
As for INFAMOUS, we have to be honest with you. Even if DF had loved it we probably wouldn’t watch. It’s just not our genre, you know? Now if it were funny…
Time now to reach out to everyone about what’s happening with the TVWriter™ Online Workshops. No time to waste, so:
I’m hoping to hold the Basic Online TV and Film Writing Workshop in October, which, yep, is next month.
The 8-week long (one meeting a week) TVWriter.Com Basic Online Workshop covers just that, the basics of TV (and film!) writing, from how to present your idea via loglines and leavebehinds, to character creation and story structure, to the writing of the 1st draft and revisions. We do this via my book (here comes the pitch) Television Writing from the Inside Out,weekly writing exercises, and of course weekly video (and text if you don’t want to do video) chat meetings.
I’m not going to schedule the class until it’s full, which is why all I can say now about when I’ll be holding it is “next month.” The good news about that is that if you enroll soon we’ll get everything sorted and you won’t be left out. The not so good news about it is that my definition of a full class is 6 students, so if you don’t enroll soon there may be a place for you.
The price is $299. Details and the sign-up page, as we like to say in the e-newsletter mailings, are HERE.
For those of you who are ready for the Advanced Workshop, it’s already up and running, as it has been continuously for about a dozen years. The next session of 4 weekly meetings starts September 26, 2012. Your job is to write 10 pages a week on the project you’re most invested in and to read 10 pages a week by each of the other students. My job is to read and make copious notes so we can do the video/text chat thing. Again, the maximum number of students is 6 and there are liable to be several carryovers from the current session, so my advice is to hurry.
The price is $140. For this one, the details and sign-up page are HERE.
I’d also like to take a minute to talk about a class that I give on a kind of “as-needed” basis. It’s called the Larry Brody Master Class and it’s for writers who are working pros, former working pros, or who really, really, really, no kidding, we absolutely mean it, qualified to be working pros and are actively working toward their break.
Up to now, the 4-week long Master Class has been by invitation only, but something penetrated my normally thick skull just the other day: I really don’t know every writer in the world who’s qualified to be in this class. So, as a kind of trial run, I’m throwing this out there to everyone. If you have a finished, or almost finished half-hour or one-hour script and think it’s ready to roll in the Major Leagues, there may be room for as many as 2 of you in the Master Class session that starts next week, September 11, 2012.
Specific info and the sign-up form are on a password-protected page here at TVWriter™. To find out if I agree that you’re ready for the intensity of this particular experience email me HERE and send a sample of your current work. If I fall in love and the 2 remaining places in what is, at most, a 3-student class aren’t filled, I’ll send you the URL and the password. The price, meanwhile, is $279.
I’m really serious about this “Better writing means better TV” business that appears in various places on this site. And even more serious about the “Achieving your dreams means a better life” concept that is the focus of so much of my thinking these days. If these things appeal to you, hey, c’mon, get in touch.