Dale Kutzera

Words and Pictures

Oh, Snap!

I watched “Allied” the other night, a 2016 film starring Brad Pitt and directed by Robrt Zemeckis. If you haven’t heart of the film starring one of Hollywood’s biggest names and a director of such modern classics as the “Back To the Future” films and “Forest Gump” then welcome to the new reality of show-biz. Names and track records don’t amount to peanuts these days (save for the international market […]

The Last Jedi: Story Gripes

I found the last Jedi a rather tedious movie-going experience. And it did not improve with age. As a student of story-structure, I thought I’d apply some story-analysis to the film and examine why I felt the writers involved made some poor decisions in the construction of the story. 1) Tone. The new generation of Star Wars creatives have clearly forgotten that the original film was a bright, happy antidote […]

Playing the Field

Television used to be a weekly thing. You would check in once a week on your favorite characters and their crazy goings-on. There has always been a surrogate-family quality to television. It is one of the appeals of the medium: it’s like having a really active social life without the messy aspects of actually knowing someone. But television of today has taken the idea of surrogate-relationships to new heights. We […]

The Vanishing Credit Sequence

Have you noticed that little button at the bottom of your Netflix-streamed program? The one that says “skip intro?” I sure have. I wonder if Netflix has kept track of me fast-forwarding through the credit sequences of “House of Card” or “Walking Dead.” Once upon a time, a credit sequence was a cherished part of every television show. The familiar theme song told everyone in the house that “Brady Bunch” […]

Why did Bladerunner 2049 Fail?

There’s a lot of chatter over the past couple weeks on why the movie “Bladerunner 2049” under-performed at the box-office. Was it the lack of marquee-names? The film’s almost 3-hour running time? The fact that it’s been 30+ years since the original film came out and that wasn’t all that popular to begin with. “Bladerunner” does hold a warm spot in the hearts of cineastes, primarily for its production design. […]

The Game of Plots

Many have been enthralled for weeks as another cycle (can we call them seasons when they are so short?) of Game of Thrones has been unleashed into the world. The HBO series is sort of old fashioned in its one-ep-per-week schedule, unlike the other popular sci-fi summer show, “The Defenders,” which Netflix drops as a bundle. By coincidence, I came across the season 5 of GoT at the library and […]

The Summer of 2017 Box Office

Interesting article over at Deadline on the summer of 2017 box office: It has been a rather banal summer, with no film rising to a word-of-mouth frenzy. The closest thing to that was the smash hit Wonder Woman, a film I couldn’t quite embrace. It had its moments, and the lead is easy on the eyes, but the plot was mediocre and the visual effects slap-dash. There were retreads like […]

The Peril Imperative

I’ve been binging on the first season of “Expanse” lately and really enjoying it…and also asking myself why I enjoy it. It’s a good instinct for a writer to have—to disconnect from the experience of watching something to study why you’re watching it.  With the Expanse, there are some key factors that hold my attention: I like science fiction, spaceships are cool, explosions are cool, and there are a couple […]

“That’s a Great Idea” and other Lies

The film biz is a strange one for many reasons. High on the list is the quirky boss-employee dynamic. Most jobs involve a person going to an office or factory and performing some function that has an established standard of quality. A boss is present to ensure that those under his/her supervision meet that standard. Employers and employees could go on in this way for years or decades. Some old-school […]

Lame Scenes

Here’s one of my top ten frustrations with writing: Breaking a story in a manner that results in no lame scenes. I’m a plotter, not a pantser, and one of the most derided aspects of plotting is that is forces the writer to adhere to a list of beats or scenes. Many seat-of-the-pants writers find the process confining. They want to dive into the jazz-improv of writing. I can’t really […]