Top critical review
Good concept, lacking in execution
July 22, 2010
Perhaps it's because I was expecting this book to be more of an alternative screenwriting 'manual' that would be more scholarly in approach and avoid the simplistic cliches that plague nearly all of the other 'manuals' out there, but I was somewhat disappointed in this book. While engagingly written, it mostly consists of plot summaries of the films it covers, with some commentary on how they differ from the 'classical' approach to storytelling, but little serious analysis beyond what a perceptive viewer would have already noted with a viewing or two of these films, and some experience with Field et al's "paradigm". Above all, I was hoping this would finally be the book to go into depth about the true underlying principles behind the medium of cinema, as not just a means for telling a story, but as a temporal, audio-visual art form, but Murphy didn't use the opportunity he had with this book to do this.