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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Final Draft
Final Draft
Other // Unrated // September 18, 2007
List Price: $19.95 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Nick Lyons | posted September 13, 2007 | E-mail the Author
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The Movie:
The tagline on the front of the DVD box for "Final Draft" reads "Some stories should never be written." Isn't it ironic how the tagline so often relates to the film's scripts themselves? Don't you think?

The story: Screenwriter Paul Twist literally locks himself into his studio apartment in order to finish a script that mirrors his own life. The script he's writing revolves around a clown who kills a group of characters. Sounds like an ordinary slasher, but in reality, Paul has written characters based on those who have wronged him (ex-wife, best friend, bully to name a few). Even the clown is based on a real life clown he supposedly saw die in an accident. As Paul battles his demons with words, he slowly begins to lose grip on reality and starts to see people and objects that are not there. Will Paul be able to finish the script? Will he hold on to his sanity? Will anyone watching care what happens? Is this a "Shining" rip-off that beats you over the head with themes and ideas? These questions and more shall be answered.

As you can assume, the script written by Darryn Lucio is not exactly original. It reeks of a certain Stephen King story (cough "The Shining" cough), only there's no axe wielding Jack Nicholson. Instead, we get to watch a killer clown. Speaking of which, the DVD back and cover proudly displays the clown as if he were the main character/villain. This is misleading. In reality, the clown is mostly a side note in the main story. From what I can gather, it seems like Darryn threw the clown in the story in order to get his script noticed. Nothing says sell-out like sticking an evil clown in your script to make cash money.

As for the acting, I feel sorry for poor James Van Der Beek. While his co-stars Katie Holmes ("Batman Begins") and Michelle Williams (Oscar nomination for "Brokeback Mountain") have gone on to bigger and better things, he can't seem to catch a break (much like the character he plays). It's a shame too, as he is a talented actor who deserves a meaty film or television role. Instead, he gets stuck in "Final Draft," where he looks bored every second he is on screen. Someone give him a challenging role, please.

The DVD

Video:
The widescreen (1.78:1) video quality looks identical to a large amount of low-budget indie films, meaning the picture is full of grain with shimmering here and there.

Sound: The English Dolby Digital 5.1 track is too soft to hear as the film is mostly dialogue driven (no screaming or blaring music to be found).

Extras: 1. A music video by Emily Haines titled "Dr. Blind."

2. Trailers for "Final Draft," "Frostbitten," "The Cradle," "Alone With Her."

3. A fairly standard 24 minute Making Of Final Draft that contains interviews with cast and crew, on set footage, scenes from the film, etc. One item of interest: The film was originally titled "Punchy." A wise decision on changing the title.

Final Thoughts:
"Final Draft" is an overly simplistic tale about a tortured writer that masks itself as something deeper. Watch "The Shining" if you want to see a horror film concerning a writer.

Film and television enthusiast Nick Lyons recently had his first book published titled "Attack of the Sci-Fi Trivia." It is available on Amazon.com.

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