I'm torn about how many stars to give this book. If you are completely new to screenwriting, then this would be a five-star book. Otherwise, I'll give it four because it's easy to understand and allows you to start breaking down the movies you watch quite easily.

However, if you've written screenplays and understand basic three act structure, the advice is a little naive — as in, "The Theme has to be stated on page 5." "Page 30 is where the 'B' story comes in." Well, maybe, but not really in a lot of cases. Also, the card method is fine if you are just starting out, but again, if followed to a tee, "methods" like this often lead to formulaic plot points created in a way that is not organic to the story, but created, nonetheless, so you can check off "that card," and feel like you're making progress.

I wished he used more "good" movie examples — when you are relating advice and showing examples using the movies BLANK CHECK or STOP, OR MY MOM WILL SHOOT! you aren't aiming high enough. Those are not benchmark scripts from which to learn.

Overall, it's a good book to make you start thinking about film in terms of structure, and I also appreciated the breakdown of the ten different "types" of movies. I've seen it before somewhere, but it's nice to have it in a book to reference. Also, the chatter about loglines was good.

A grammar note — holy crap, the exclamation points in this book are outrageous!!! Note to all screenwriters who write books about screenwriting — stop using excalmation points. Right now. It doesn't emphasize your point, it only makes you sound like a fifteen year-old girl. If we don't know your point is important, it needs to be rewritten so it has weight. It does not need to be followed by a giddy exclamation point. I counted eight on one page alone, and that was just the page I bothered to tally.

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