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    Guest
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  • Writing Again
    Guest replied
    Re: ya for cornfields

    yes, so the alternative is to sentence him to death. coincidently, the fbi is in total agreeance.
    Look at it this way, I will draw a parallel.

    In one scenario the kidnapper is close to you and has a gun pointed to your son's head. He demands you put down your gun or he is going to shoot.

    If you put down the gun you are defenseless. The kidnapper will in all likely hood shoot you and the kid and there is nothing you can do. If you are dead you can't even cry.

    My reply would be, "No. You shoot him you die. Let him go I let you go." Or at the least let him go and take me as a hostage.


    In the other scenario the kidnapper is a hundred miles away and demands money. The kidnapper is going to demand all the money you can get, not just a small part of it. In other words he is going to leave you monetarily defenseless.

    If you give him the money the chances are the kidnapper will kill your son, have all of the money, and you are once again helpless, only alive and able to cry about it.

    The money, in this case, is the only weapon, the only gun you have. I personally would not jump right into a reward situation. I would issue the same proclamation I would were my gun to be demanded.

    "Give me back my son unharmed or every cent I can beg, borrow, or steal, will be put on your head as a bounty."

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  • Guest
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  • writerly
    Guest replied
    Re: ya for cornfields

    Yet the corn field scene in North by Northwest remains one of the most memorable scenes in all of film history and works completely because of the sheer skill with which it is created. Audiences love it and don't question it because they love it so much.
    here here. LOVE that scene. pure genius.

    i agree that something seems "off" about RANSOM. Just like THE MISSING had a sucky ending.

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  • Guest
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  • Vigorish9
    Guest replied
    Re: goose

    yes, so the alternative is to sentence him to death. coincidently, the fbi is in total agreeance.

    vig

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  • Guest
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  • Writing Again
    Guest replied
    Re: goose

    I could not find the script either.

    But to my mind, anyone who believes a kidnapper is going to be base enough to threaten a child's life, and then be honorable enough to keep his word and return the child alive and unharmed if the money is delivered is just plain naive.

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  • Guest
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  • Vigorish9
    Guest replied
    Re: goose

    no. i think that the wife had it right.

    vig

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  • Guest
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  • Deus Ex Machine
    Guest replied
    Re: goose

    The kidnappers tell Mel if they don't get their money they will kill the boy.

    The FBI tells Mel they will take over and get the boy back.

    Mel sees the FBI blow the money exchange, the kidnappers do not get their money and the kidnapper tells Mel with a look that his son is going to be killed.

    And you think Mel had no reason to think the FBI were not going to get his son back or that the kidnappers would kill his son?

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  • Guest
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  • Vigorish9
    Guest replied
    Re: goose

    so I could be wrong. I was always under the impression that Gibson's character offered the bounty because he was convinced paying the ransom would not secure his son's release. " wolfy

    that is true and adds to my point. they set it up that the audience knew that the kid would die; but still, gibsons character did not know.

    vig

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  • Guest
    Guest

  • Wolfy262
    Guest replied
    Re: goose

    I've tried looking for the script online, but haven't managed to find a copy - yet. It'd be interesting to find out what was "originally" written as opposed to what appeared on screen.

    According to a Roger Ebert review (on imdb) "The FBI kidnapping expert (Delroy Lindo) wants Gibson to pay the ransom. He tries to, but an FBI helicopter interrupts the ransom drop, and Gibson becomes convinced (by the look in a gang member's eyes) that the kidnappers have no plans to return the child alive. That's when he devises his daring plan, which horrifies his wife and angers the FBI, but puts the ball squarely in Sinise's court."

    That is pretty much how I remember it - but it's been years since I've seen it, so I could be wrong. I was always under the impression that Gibson's character offered the bounty because he was convinced paying the ransom would not secure his son's release.

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  • Guest
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  • Vigorish9
    Guest replied
    Re: goose

    is the real irony in this discussion that no one has actually read the script, even after this discussion? so, the movie did the job well enough that the audience accepted the decision.

    but since we are critics, screenwriters, one another's so called peers and readers, did the crafting of the 'script' have major problems, some problems - were the problems not large enough - how do movies translate on screen.

    this is the twist in the posts. if you don't have that data base that facilitates the screenwriters ability to assimilate how it transfers from page to screen, writing will always be a hobby.

    there are ring words from critics, readers, etc.. that allow an individual to deduce certain things on how to apply advice or how to ignore it.

    screenwriting is fact checking. ransom's script didn't do it. but the movie did. 'to me', the movie didn't eithe.

    after reading the script i can tell from practical experiece certain persepectives on how someones critique applies in the world of hollywood or the world of structure. done once, it's a mole hill. done repetively, hundreds of times is mountain of data. so research is more than reading a book on dogs while writing rover.

    obviously this isn't the golden goose, but simply another way of developing a skill.

    and how that skill set translates to execs, readers etc and their credibility. so you can have a better chance because a discernning man is rooted in trends.

    vig

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  • Guest
    Guest

  • Pandoraisme
    Guest replied
    Re: goose

    It's been a long time since I viewed Ransom, and I haven't read the script... but I remember thinking I'd kick Mel's ass if he were my husband.

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  • Guest
    Guest

  • Writing Again
    Guest replied
    Re: goose

    I believe the premise succeeded because there are a lot of people who believe it is the right thing to do and would hope they had the guts to make that decision.

    There is no percentage in kidnappers returning someone who can help identify them. The safest thing for the kidnappers to do once they got the cash would be to kill the victim.

    The motivation for the protag to act the way he did could have been increased to make it more believable, true. But it is possible there are a lot more people in the world who would want to do it "Mel's way" than you might guess.

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  • Guest
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  • sc111
    Guest replied
    Re: goose

    I didn't read either script but in Ransom what Vig is bugged by is the character's choices and I have to agree that, when watching it, it seemed his choice was forced to serve the 'using the media' hook. As a result, it was hard to feel compassion for a protag taking such a risk with his kid's life. In fact, the Dad's choice did not really save the kid, what bought the kid time was that a couple of the kidnappers didn't have the heart to hurt him after the ransom drop off was bungled. That's plot manipulation. But at least in Ransom there was a story to follow.

    Matchstick Men, really disappointed me because there was little story and the second act dragged till the twist. Not to mention the antag (his partner) virtually disappeared from the film after the first act. If it wasn't for Nic Cage being amusing with all his charcaters tics, the film would have been worse.

    But all plots and characters are manipulated to serve the story and plot. In good films the manipulation is seamless.

    We watched Godsend with Deniro on DVD this weekend and the twist was so obvious, it looks like it was lifted from a Law & Order episode and forced into this story. Then the DVD offered all four of the other endings -- a total of five endings including the one they used - - and they were all lame.

    Which leads me to ask - - what is Hollywood thinking? How can all these good actors and directors NOT notice the script they're working with is weak. I know, I know-- it's "only entertainment" but one is not entertained when you can figure out these plots 20 minutes into the film. So maybe the plot isnt complex, okay, then you need engrossing characters, but they're few and far between, too.

    Sigh.

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  • Guest
    Guest

  • Wolfy262
    Guest replied
    Re: goose

    As I remember it, Mel's character is established as a risk taker who's used to getting his own way. It's also indicated that he has commited a criminal act in running his air business.

    He is prepared to pay the kidnappers, but the botched ransom drop convinces him that the criminals plan to kill his son regardless of what he does.

    The police seem unable to catch the criminals.

    In that light, offering the ransom money as a bounty against anyone who'll get the kidnappers seems like a reasonable act.

    As it turns out, he gets the kid back alive.

    It was the right call.

    I also think that the vigilante in all of us wishes we had the guts to do something like that.

    The act of offering a bounty didn't seem unkind or cruel to me, but it's been a long time since I've seen the film.

    That's just my take on it.

    Edited to add: I haven't read the script, so I don't know how the incident is handled there. I think what they do in the film works fine. It could be that Mel's character was much more callous in the script, and was rewritten to humanise him. In the film he doesn't just refuse to pay the ransom - he offfers it as a bounty when it becomes clear the kidnappers will kill the kid even if he gives them the money.

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  • Guest
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  • Vigorish9
    Guest replied
    Re: goose

    ransom was made with a headline actor, a very generic idea, nothing original. it is one of those scripts that possibly 7 out of ten readers would have a problem with it. trash can stuff.

    i'm talking purely in the script form. just a general condemnation of the crap shoot of getting the right eyes to read a script.

    kind of like the ugly duckling who can never get the cute guy until she's resurrected by a make over and self esteem.

    matchstickmen really pissed me off. ransom not so much. i was curious so i read the script and i could see myself saying something organic, and technical jargon with prosy book tutorial seminar type things that would completely obliterate the core of it's crediblility and charge someone 200 bucks for my review. and then bam, greenlit.

    vig

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  • Guest
    Guest

  • v i o l e n t c a s e s
    Guest replied
    Re: goose

    vig, it's been a while since i've seen ransom and reading what you wrote, i can see what you're saying. my question is why all of a sudden, "ransom"? it was a totally forgettable movie, wasn't it? i can see debating something that's considered great or popular or a current hot topic but "ransom" doesn't fit the bill.

    unless you have something up your sleeve and are working on something related.

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