Uncyclopedia:Pee Review/UnScripts:Night At The Museum: Real Version (2nd)
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- I can probably get this over the weekend. --Hugs and kisses, Black_Flamingo 11:08, April 3, 2010 (UTC)
|Humour:||5||Ok, review time! So while I enjoyed many aspects of this article, I think I've identified a number of things that readers might find problematic. Generally speaking, the writing is a little unfocussed and your concept a bit implausible, among other problems. However, there are some great ideas, and with a few changes I reckon you can get this article into much better shape.
One of the biggest problems with your humour is that you too often rely on jokes about how boring the film is. While this is perfectly reasonable, I feel the fact that this is a made up film kind of detracts from that. If you were making such jokes about a film everyone had seen, you could make more specific and observant jokes, and readers could probably identify with it better. However, the exagerrated dullness of this fictional film isn't particularly funny on its own, because we have no actual film to compare the exagerration to. I hope you can see what I mean. I feel you should try to use this fictional film to satirise the film industry itself. You already get a few jabs at pretentious film critics and the whole sequel culture in Hollywood and this I liked. But there is room for so much more. To give you an example, I wasn't much of a fan of the bit were Ricky Gervais breaks the 4th wall. It was a little silly, and it seemed your only rationale for doing it was to make a point about how bad the film was. This may not have been your intention of course, but it's how it came across to me. It also felt like an untapped satire resourse, and you could easily make fun of Gervais here. You should make it more clear that the only reason he's in it is because he's a famous face, and he thinks that just the fact that he's in the film is enough to impress people, even if he doesn't do anything worthwhile. The reason I feel this would be funnier is because it's something the reader can relate to - Gervais does a lot of self-serving cameos and namedropping - whereas just making fun of a fictional film is difficult for anyone to really identify with. At the same time you also get some satire in there.
I enjoyed the jokes about how critics are impressed by slow scenes where nothing happens, despite the fact that everyone else finds them incredibly tedious. But again, you need to make your target of mockery wider here - just making fun of a made up film isn't enough as I've said. You need to develop them, widen your scope, insult the entire art-film genre, the moviegoing public and of course the pretentious critics. For instance, you have several parts where nothing happens onscreen, and it's mentioned in the script that this is to impress the critics. Like when you say: "look nothing's happening, aren't I radical?" I will go into this in a lot more detail in concept and prose but for now I will just say - this would work better if you changed the narrative voice a bit. Write the script in the style of the writer, who clearly thinks he knows how to make a good art film. Have him put something like: "this slowness is very thought-provoking and intelligent, and only people of superior intelligence will understand it." Then make it clear in the audience-note-thing that everyone in the audience finds it painfully dull. Do you see how this would make more sense? This way it is clear the writer thinks he is impressing people, but obviously isn't. It would also give more of a reason for these little divergences, which would never appear in any professional script.
Another way you can get around this problem of relying on jabs at a fictional film for humour is to use more subtlety. Throughout the article you tend to simply state outright that the film is boring. For instance, in the Awards section you inform the reader that the script is "really boring". Instead of this, try subtlely suggesting that the film is boring and letting the audience work it out for themselves. For example, "the writer decided to include various other notes in the script, such as what the audience were doing and his rationale behind certain scenes. This extra padding was inserted by request of the producers, so that people would actually have something to read" - is funnier than just saying "I put extra stuff in because the film is really fucking boring". While that isn't the funniest joke in the world, I hope you can see what I mean.
As I will likely mention in concept, I think you should focus more on this idea of having extra notes in the script (ie. audience reactions). But for now I will say that you need to get to the script part faster. Basically, I think the Awards section is the weakest part of the whole article, and putting it right at the start would act as a real put-off to anyone reading this. The awards it won read pretty much like a list, so if you don't get rid of the whole section, I would recommend rewriting this as prose. Lists are lazy, predictable and are discouraged by HTBFANJS - an inavaluable guide I'm sure you'll agree. Writing prose instead will surely allow you to cover the subject matter properly, and hopefully will lead to the discovery of a few more jokes. Also, this whole part is pretty implausible. Why would a sequel to Night of the Museum - that was a critical failure - win any awards? If you can find a way around this, by all means keep it. However I feel the article would do better without this whole section.
Finally, one other problem readers could potentially have is the fact that there are a lot of really bad jokes throughout the piece. Now, I know this was your intention (because the film isn't supposed to be funny), but if possible, I would suggest trying to make some bad jokes that are at least a little bit funny. I anticipate how difficult this might be, but if you're going for a tragically unfunny film, it would certainly be beneficial to do it in a so bad it's funny kind of way (your T-rex joke is a good example of what I'm talking about. Although the joke is stupid it's still funny - funnier than a fat guy wanting a doughnut or needing the toilet, to use examples from the script).
|Concept:||6||Although the idea of a realistic sequel to Night at the Museum isn't hugely interesting or original, I feel the saving grace is the inclusion of the extra parts of the script - ie. the audience's reactions. However, I feel the concept is currently a little shaky as it is. I really like the idea, however I had some problems understanding exactly why it was there. As I've said, no script would ever have such information, as they are written before the film is even made. I think you simply need to work on how the notes came to be on the script, to make it more plausible. One idea I had was that the writer has gone along to the premier, and written down how people reacted. This would also help to tie it in with another problem the script has, which is the little divergences on the part of the writer (for example, the part where you say "look! I'm indie! I'm arthouse! I'm emotional and weepy and weird!") There are many lines like this where you veer from the actual script (ie. information that an actual script would have), and as they are they damage the plausibility of the fictional film. However, to tidy all this up without much work, you could write the script as if the writer is really impressed by what he's doing, but then as the audience notes show, everyone is thoroughly unimpressed. I've already mentioned this a little above. So for instance, he'll say something like "a 3 minute static shot of some neanderthals which will really go down well with the critics" but then the audience notes will show how boring everyone finds it. This, I feel, will help tie together all the little loose ends and quirks of your script. Of course, it's up to you what you do, but I would recommend foucssing on this as the central concept, and relying on the satire mentioned above as your main source of humour. The two should work well together, as you can get lots of jokes in about how directors pander to critics and how audiences are easily bored. As I've said, you do make these jokes already, but doing this should really help to focus all your jokes into one flowing, coherent piece.
Apart from that, there are just a few other issues with plausibility, largely stemming from lack of explanation. Although by the end it is clear that the writer decided to make it realistic in contrast to the others because he wanted to impress the critics, but I feel you need to establish this more at the start. For instance, were the previous films criticised for being unrealistic? Or did the writer just guess that critics prefer that sort of thing? The reason doesn't really matter, but you should explain it nonetheless. Establish everything about your article in the opening. Explain that it was to impress critics (or whatever you decide), that it includes what the audience are doing (and hopefully explain why it includes this) etc.
|Prose and formatting:||5||A major problem here is the way you've written the article. Basically, the way the script is written seems very unprofessional. I think you need to have more of a think about who the narrator is. It seemed to me, a more straight, professional sounding narrator would work better. You regularly use ameteurish phrases like "lots of CGI", and broken, chatty sentences like "Mark is reading a magazine by an Egyptian mummy. (No, not written by the mummy. I know that would be cool, but it's not what I meant. He's standing next to an Egyptian mummy.)" These only detract more from the plausibility, as they don't sound like they've been written by a professional and successful scriptwriter. I would suggest making it more dry and encyclpaedic. However, if you do want to keep the voice the way it is, try making it sound a bit more knowing. This article's narrator is a good example of what I mean. Note how he reveals himself to be an idiot through the misconceptions he makes, rather than through poor writing skills.
Whatever you choose to do here, make sure it's consistent. That is the key. So in addition to that, you need to have a play with some of the random divergences from the actual script. Lines like: "because seeing someone who needs the loo badly is hilarious to us" confused me because I couldn't tell exactly who had written this. It clearly wasn't the writer, because it was a jab at how unfunny the film was. To keep it in line with the ideas I've discussed so far, you should try something like: "Someone needing the loo is hilarious" - so it's clear the writer himself is saying this. Like he's commenting on his own script as he writes it, explaining exactly why he's doing everything. Then the punchline - the audience-note-thing reveals that no one actually found this funny. This leads me to my next point...
These descriptions of what the audience is doing, despite being my favourite part of your article, are a formatting nightmare. I think the best thing to do with them would be to include them as footnotes. This is an article that uses footnotes wonderfully, and you might want to have a look to see what you can achieve. This would be good for the flow of the article I feel, as currently all the little divergences from the script can be a bit interruptive. Again, it's up to you. Another idea would be to make them look more like notes by using a different colour or font - so it seems someone's added them in after seeing how the audience react or something. If you do this, I would recommend keeping the script itself (and the writer's little divergences I talked about above) in courier, and then maybe colour the audience notes red. Either way, I feel this would really help your problems with plausibility and focus, as well as tidy up a lot of the awkward prose.
Generally speaking, your scenes are too short - you rush through a lot of them without explaining much. Of course, I understand that nothing is really happening. But I still feel you could describe things in more detail, particularly the bit where something nearly happens but doesn't. I found this scene a little unclear. Instead of just reeling off information about the scene - eg. "Mark is there, Mark is fat, Owner is there." - Describe what's going on. Ie. "Two men are stood facing each other. The first man is Mark, an overweight man in his mid-30s. He is attending an interview. etc. etc." It's always good to expand and go into more detail because you may come across more jokes. It is hard to realise jokes in rushed writing. There are a few issues with clarity that I feel stem from this. For instance, the award you mention called "longest contents in comparison with actual dialogue". This is a very cumbersome sentence and it was difficult to understand what you meant by it. I think what you're getting at is that the film is really long despite it having very little dialogue, but you need to make that clear. Just take your time when working out prose, and try reading it out loud to get an idea of how it flows.
A final formatting note - your use of capitalisation in the headings. There is no right way to do this, but generally titles don't have a captial letter at the start of every word. Either just capitalise the first word, or key words. So This Scene Is The Same As The Last One, But From A Different Angle should be This Scene is the Same as the Last One, but from a Different Angle. Little words like "on" and "a" shouldn't be capitalised.
|Images:||4||Right, first of all your main image is ok, but I would recommend trying to make it look a bit less ameteurish. If you don't have any chopping skills you can always saunter over to RadicalX's corner and make a request as I'm sure you're aware. I would recommend a poster that establishes how boring the fim is going to be, and just generally looks more realistic. Right now it pretty much just looks like it was thrown together on MS Paint in about 10 seconds. It wouldn't hurt to include some jokes in it as well (eg. a humorous cast list, funny quote from a review, or a funny subtitle).
Your other images could also be better. While the images themselves are fine, it's your captions that could do with a little work. The stuff I said about satire and widening your scope in the humour section are all relevant again here. They need to satirise the whole blockbuster/sequel culture more, rather than just make jokes about how boring this made up film is. For a good idea of what I'm talking about, take a look at this.
|Final Score:||25||Ok, so despite all those horrible yellowy numbers, I think you've got some really great stuff here. I really hope my comments are useful because I would very much like to see this article finished and its potential reached. The key questions to ask yourself when editing are "who is writing this?" and "how can I satirise a broader subject?" But apart from that I am confident you will have no problem. Anyway, that's me done, if you want me to clear anything up or take a look at changes, please leave me a message.|
|Reviewer:||--Hugs and kisses, Black_Flamingo 14:50, April 4, 2010 (UTC)|