Monday, June 24, 2013

It sure was a beautiful Super Moon.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Daily Krapht – Linsey Pollak – “Carrot Clarinet” | Wordkrapht

Thursday, June 6, 2013

THE ITCH TO PITCH (Part Six): Wesley Snipes is "Customer 57"

Breaking into Hollywood in this day and age is a daunting task for any aspiring screenwriter -- especially those who aspire to originality. Remakes, reboots, reimaginings, and sequels continue to dominate the yearly output of every major studio. Well, I'm broke. Screw originality! Sign me up for the goddamn job! Here are snippets, pitches, story outlines, and casting suggestions for the ridiculous Hollywood sequels I'm ready to write NOW.



"He delivers vengeance right to your face."

-- Dr. Nathan Jordan

Hello, Mr. Snipes! I have a sequel suggestion. This is a no-brainer. Let's fire up a companion piece to the movie that catapulted your career as an action icon, Passanger 57.

Your character, John Cutter, was a former police officer haunted by the death of his wife in a convenience store robbery. He had taken to training self-defense to flight attendants. Then, old friend Sly Delvecchio (Tom Sizemore) offered Cutter the chance to be the vice-president of a new anti-terrorism unit for his company: Atlantic International Airlines. Cutter was reluctant, but Delvecchio and the company's president Stuart Ramsey (Bruce Greenwood) convinced him to accept the offer. Cutter boarded as the 57th passenger on an Atlantic International flight to Los Angeles. Terrorists seized the flight. Cutter fought back. He won. Afterward, Cutter made a quiet escape into the distance with Marti Slayton, an attractive flight attendant who aided in battle against the bad guys.

"Always bet on.... uh.... Sorry, line please?"

Customer 57 will begin with an informative montage during the opening credits. We're shown exactly what transpired in the immediate aftermath of Passenger 57. Newspaper headlines, magazine articles, talk show footage, etc. The gist: John Cutter became a national hero and a household name after saving American citizens from the international terrorist Charles Rane, aka "The Rane of Terror." He was celebrated by the media and his fellow countrymen. The peak of his celebrity came in the form of a banquet at the White House where he received a special medal of honor from the president. John Cutter, American hero. End montage.

Flash forward two decades. Cutter is now head of security at a mall in Glendale, CA. He spends his days chasing shop lifters and scolding inept underlings, hating every minute of it. He settled for the nine-to-five grind long ago at the behest of his wife, Marti. But, Cutter and Marti are on the brink of divorce. She had an affair with her former boss, Atlantic International's bigwig, Stuart Ramsey. Marti is now in the final stages of leaving Cutter, and she's taking their teenaged daughter with her. 

Although their departure hits him hard, Cutter focuses on the upside -- he's free to change jobs. He immediately resigns from his mall post and reaches out to his trusted contact, Sly Delveccio. Still running security for the now financially troubled Atlantic International Airlines, Delveccio is happy to hear from his old friend. He agrees to meet. After a bit of catching up over drinks, Delveccio says he knows of an open position at a high-end private security firm in Downtown, Los Angeles: FUTURE SECURITIES. It's perfect. Cutter accepts.

To his dismay, his first assignment is a dull one. His post is to stand guard at the front entrance of a bank. Every time a person enters he needs to click a tally counter in order to keep track of the customer influx. That's it. Cutter protests the assignment. He wants to do something more exciting. But, with promises of advancement in the firm, and at the insistence of Delveccio, he reluctantly takes the job. After days of monotony, Cutter grows bored. He's caught in a haze of indifference, when...


Cutter looks to his watch. 9:23am. It's going to be another long day. He sighs and rubs his eyes.

A CUSTOMER enters the front entrance.

Cutter clicks the tally counter in his hand and opens his eyes. He notices the number: 57. Bad omen. He looks up.

A doppelganger stands before him -- Cutter is face to face with his own spitting image! This is CUSTOMER 57

Cutter freezes, mouth agape. The sight of his face on another human being is too damn perplexing. No way to react, except...

           What the FUCK???

Customer 57 smiles, winks, and fires a high powered stun gun.

Cutter's hit. He falls to the floor and spazzes out violently until he's unconscious. 

"But, that's MY head..."

With Cutter down, masked henchmen come out of the woodwork and join Customer 57 in robbing the bank. They take care of the remaining security guards and order frightened employees to do their bidding. Customer 57's target is very specific: a handful of safe deposit boxes hidden in a secret room underneath the vault. Once they get exactly what they came for, the robbers hightail it out of there. They leave the rest of the bank's contents completely untouched.

Just as the last henchmen exits the bank, Cutter regains consciousness and follows in hot pursuit. He commandeers a motorcycle from a greasy biker on the street and ignites a high speed chase through Downtown LA. Guns shots! Car wrecks! Close calls! Explosions! This will be the car chase to end all car chases. At least fifteen minutes of screen time. Cutter pays special attention to Customer 57's getaway car, all the while fighting off well-armed henchmen.

Finally, Cutter is relieved to see police vehicles join the pursuit, but he suddenly comes to the realization: THEY'RE ACTUALLY AFTER HIM! A cop car clips his motorcycle tire and sends him flying down an embankment on the side of a highway. He's flung off the bike and tumbles to a halt, bruised and battered. As Customer 57 and the real bad guys get away, hundreds of cops surround Cutter and place him under arrest.

A grueling interrogation follows. LAPD, FBI, CIA; everyone takes a crack at Cutter. During questioning, he's shown security footage from the robbery. It's plain as day, Cutter is the face of Customer 57. He remains steadfast in his innocence. Why would a hard-working patriot such as himself, a man who saved Americans from international terrorists, suddenly take to crime? He theorizes that he's the fall guy in an elaborate hi-tech setup. The authorities mock Cutter, offering their own joke theory: the criminals are really robots from the future! Cutter asks what was stolen from the bank. The authorities feel there's no need to give out that information. They believe Cutter is guilty. End of story. Soon after, they cart him off to prison to await trial.


While in prison, Cutter encounters two types of hard-ass inmates. One, those who remember Cutter as an American hero and respect him for it. Two, skinheads who don't give a shit and want to pick on the fresh meat. Cutter gets jumped in the cafeteria by a group of skinheads on his first night. He's rusty, but his martial arts skills knock them the fuck out. After the fight, he lets them know: "You spun the roulette wheel, motherfuckas! Always bet on black!" Guards rush in and grab Cutter. He thinks he's going to solitary confinement for the fight, but he's actually about to be released. Someone's paid his bail. That someone is Sly Delveccio.

Delveccio and his associates take Cutter straight to the airport. A private jet awaits their arrival. Cutter is worried, he can't leave the state. Delveccio reassures him. They're just flying to Northern California to meet a high-powered attorney who is willing to work pro bono on Cutter's case. 

After takeoff, Delveccio excuses himself and enters the bathroom. This is when shit really hits the fan. After a moment, Delveccio exits the bathroom, but his face has changed. HE HAS BEEN REPLACED BY CUSTOMER 57! Cutter is flabbergasted. He jumps up to blitz the motherfucker, but Delveccio's associates hold him back from attacking. Customer 57's face begins glitch and morph, like the static on a TV set. Huge reveal: Customer 57 slowly removes his face... It's Delveccio wearing a hologram helmet! 

"Surprise, dick-face! I'm your Customer 57!"

Delveccio's associates sit Cutter down in front of a chess board. Delveccio challenges Cutter to a game. With nowhere to run, Cutter accepts. Delveccio controls the white pieces, Cutter controls black. During their battle on the chess board, Delveccio takes the spotlight and goes off on an exposition-laden "Bond villain" monologue. The backstory: Stuart Ramsey has been stealing employee pension money for years, putting it toward CEO and senior executive pay. The Atlantic International upper crust has been paying themselves handsomely while running the airline into the ground. Now that the company is about to go under, the lower tier employees - which includes Delveccio and his associates - have been fucked out of their retirement money. Two decades of loyalty down the drain. So, Delveccio and his associates cooked up a plan to hit the bank in retaliation. They ripped off Ramsey's personal safe deposit boxes. 

A couple of weeks before the plan's execution, Delveccio realized he needed a patsy. That's when Cutter contacted him out of the blue. He found his fall guy. Future Securities was just a shell company, bait for the dupe. Cutter asks, "Why me, Goddamnit? We were friends!" Delveccio explains: ever since the White House dinner in Cutter's honor twenty years earlier, Delveccio has held a festering grudge. He claims Cutter dissed him in front of the president by purposely downplaying Delveccio's role in ending "The Rane of Terror".

Now, the current plan. The jet they're on is heading to an airport near Ramsey's summer home in Napa Valley. The money from the bank just wasn't enough. Ramsey must pay. Delveccio is going to murder him. Cutter will once again take the blame. Since Ramsey is screwing Cutter's wife, there's a rock solid motive. It's the perfect plan. With that bit of information, Delveccio moves his knight and puts Cutter's king is in "check". Cutter is shaken, taking in all this new information. He looks out the window and spots a small single engine plane approaching. He returns his attention to the chessboard... 


Cutter contemplates his move.

          You forgot one thing, Delveccio.

          Oh yeah. What's that?

          Never underestimate the black pawn.

Cutter goes to move his chess piece, but instead stabs Delveccio in the eye with it!

Delveccio screams in agony.

Cutter quickly attacks Delveccio's associates, kicking major ass all over the plane. He pulls the handle on the emergency exit.

Pressure change! Cutter is sucked outside. 

Delveccio and his associates hang on for dear life. 


Cutter sails through the air. He lands on the wing of the single engine plane. 


The PILOT, an elderly white-haired man wearing a wool cap, drinks from a flask. He's startled to scream when Cutter lands on the wing.  

Cutter hangs on for dear life.

           Mothafucka! Let me in!

The pilot opens the door and helps Cutter to safety.

"Awh shit! Drop Zone!"

Cutter immediately calls his estranged wife on the pilot's cell phone. He demands to know the location of Ramsey's house in Napa. Turns out, she's there with him! To make matters worse, Cutter's daughter is there too! Cutter slips into panic mode. They're all gonna die! Time is of the essence! "Put Ramsey on the goddamn phone!" He quickly explains Delveccio's plan and urges Ramsey to take the girls somewhere safe. Ramsey agrees. He says he'll take the girls to his favorite winery. They will hide in the caves with the oak barrels. No one will look for them there. Cutter agrees to the plan. He'll meet them as soon as humanly possible.

"We can get totally loaded while hiding from the bad guys."

After having his eye poked out with the chess piece, Delveccio devolves into a sadistic madman with an eye patch and an itchy trigger finger. He wants everyone dead! Men! Women! Children! The guilty! The innocent! No one is safe! Nothing is sacred! He's willing to kill anyone who gets in his way. Stakes is high.

The rest of the movie morphs into one long chase sequence in which Cutter dispatches bad guys, protects his family, and saves Stuart Ramsey's life. It starts with a crazy shoot out in the Napa Valley caves, continues in sports cars and trucks on the highway, passes through the Redwood Forest, heads over to the San Francisco Bay, and climaxes in an epic boat chase. This boat chase will be the greatest boat chase ever created. At least twenty minutes of screen time. The final showdown will take place in the middle of the Pacific Ocean on a speed boat that's stalled over shark-infested waters. After a long and brutal fist fight between Cutter and Delveccio, Cutter finally body-slams Delveccio into the ocean and watches him get eaten by sharks. Cutter yells, "Checkmate,  mothafucka!" and spits blood. Good riddance.

After the chase, Cutter's name is cleared. He's once again hailed as a hero. Stuart Ramsey, in a desperate attempt to grab positive media attention, tries to shake Cutter's hand and thank him in front of the press. Cutter is blunt. "Eat shit, Ramsey. I don't shake hands with criminals." He walks off into the distance, alone. Saxophone music plays us out. The end.

All right, Mr. Snipes! Thanks for your time. I believe this ridiculous sequel idea would make the perfect balls-to-the-wall follow up to Passenger 57I truly hope you're interested in participating. If not, that sucks. We'll have to resort to plan B and pull a "Major League 2" -- recast the role, Omar Epps style.