An excerpt from my script review for which will be available 11/23/15:
4.) Dialogue and Description
The description was so unoriginal it had to use famous tricks or shots from other movies, referencing them directly.
Page 37 – LASER BEAMS crisscross a corridor a la Oceans 12/Entrapment.
Page 38 – Hacking into the computer terminal suspended just above the floor via a rope that’s inside the air duct. (Mission Impossible?)
Page 43 – …a slow mo power walk…The Right Stuff. Amargeddon. Resevoir Dogs…
Page 45 – …head SPONTANEOUSLY EXPLODES…We’re talking Scanners style…
Page 121 – Suddenly the door splinters. And, The Shining style, heeeeres Michelle.
My issue here?
Using one, maybe two, of these isn’t bad, but by making so many pop culture references you’re building a case against yourself where the reader can ask, “Is this story original enough to warrant making a film?”
Not to mention calling out successful and/or appreciated films can create a comparison where your writing doesn’t win.
If you’re writing a comedy, and these types of references may benefit your tone, but in all other cases please try and avoid them.
You want the reader caught up in YOUR story, not reading a highlight reel of past blockbusters.
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