Review of: Not Cops (rewrite) 

reviewed by harriet nyborg on 07/01/2011
Credited Review
harriet nyborg
Officer, that boy was coked up in my car when I got there Credited Review
Jake! What up home slice? I’ve been hoping to get one of yours since you reviewed mine. Oh, the sleepless nights I’ve spent pacing the grounds, throwing my hands to the heavens asking, ‘When? When oh fickle Fortuna will I be assigned something by Jake. And then there you were. Well man, you made my day. Thanks for that. Really good seeing you again. You take care of yourself.

What’s that? I gotta read this thing now? Mother f… Huh? No. No I didn’t use profanity I said ‘If it’s from Jake it must be good.’ Alright cowboy. Let’s get our mosey on.

So I guess I’ll just write my thoughts as I read it and then I’ll see if I have anything good to say at the end. Start counting my 100 words… NOW!

I remember the first version of this was well received, and I probably read some of the reviews, but I don’t remember anything about them. I find drafting to be harder than 1st drafting. Anyway…

Good first scene. I think Joelshould be more explicitly unlikable in some way. It’s the first time we meet the main guys and (depending on the tone – I’m only on page 3) without him being a brat or whatever they come off as pricks. That may be the point. Let’s see.

I’ve been smiloing, but the first time I laughed was during the campaign video.

Ah, I see what you did there with Joel. Just writing this stuff as I read it. It may not apply a few pages later.

What are they wanted for?
Fuckin’ crime, man!

I’m really digging the humor. This line reminds me of Big libowski (sp).

It’s a girl.
She’s the guy. – clever

Pg 15: this IS from…

I’m on og 26. We’re in the diner but the first act ended awhile back and I never said anything. I think the one thing that is missing is some kind of deeper motivation for cole and Joel 1 to go crooked in the first place. James is always kind of wishy washy about it but he goes along with it. Corrupt cops is a big deal, its gonna be tougher to play it for laughs unless you justify it a bit more. Anyway, that’s just a small thing. Also I felt like you were losing James for a bit there when Alex first came but he’s back now. Enjoying it thus far.

PBR. Good Lordy.

Pg 49: her head her dad’s chest

If Alex is so protective of her father why did she agree to steal his money? There’s a twist coming down the chute here I suppose.

About ½ way. It’s funny throughout, but the pacing slowed down a bit when they were just waiting around. It’s picked up again now.

I’m what they call in the academic world ‘not smart’ so I’ll admit thereare some things I kind of don’t get. I love Joel as a character, but I never got why their father wanted him to follow them around. He’s 15. I love him in the story, but I’m obviously missing something about why he’s there to begin with. Also love the captain, and I’ll suspend disbelief, but, I mean, even in fictional comedy world everyone knows that cops have rules and one of them most sacred is you don’t get the gun until you are a cop. It’s a small thing, I guess. Being picky. And, you know… not smart. So… yeah.

What does Sean want? What are his motivations? How is he going to change. My impression of him is a likeable, but unscrupulous fellow. I’m not sure how he’s going to change as a character. Or even if he is going to. Love the character. Not sure of the arc. His thing is just being the driving force behind he dirty coppage, but even then he kind of was very noncommittal about it when he was playing video games. He never had a good reason to go bad, and so now that he’s ‘bad’ what’s his deal? What else does he want? Presumably Alex and the money and to get away with it. Feels like there should be something less shallow, even if he is a shallowish guy.

Once they have the money at the pool house, James seems to have taken on Sean’s persona. He’s very gung ho about things all of a sudden.

61: They driving

pg 72: is convertible

76: My own BS suggestion, not that you asked: So James is going on to the Latino, who should be very rough and punked out looking. And he opines that the dude doesn’t even understand him. And then Latino responds with something profound and philosophical, perhaps even in a British accent. I’m just spitballin’.

Hey, now that I’ve read the subsequent 80% of that scene I think it doesn’t work. It’s just straight expository.

Okay, one thing that hasn’t been sitting quite right for me is Chief favoring James in his quest to become an officer. It didn’t seem right, even in the context of a comedy, that he gave him a gun and now he didn’t even have to go to academy. I know Chief is at times emblematic of corruption etc on the force or maybe just a kind of oblivious simplemindedness, but I think he would work best as a lovably idiotic, yet benign bafoon. He is at his best when trying his hardest and inevitably falling victim to his own numbskullery. When he becomes part of the problem, I am forced to love him a little bit less, and I want to love him a lot. You created a funny character in him. Exploit that shit. Don’t turn it against itself. That’s my two cents.

At an red-lit

I’m gonna guess some of these third act scenes are newer, because they have a few typos still. Just a few.

Say you are a roofer, what do you
do? You start a roofing company.
You don’t know stump about a
roofing company, you’re just a
goddamn roofer. But if you put on a
nice shirt and convince everyone
that you know about running a
roofing company, you can probably
figure it out along the way. And
maybe one day you can stop roofing
altogether and make more money
selling chimneys, I don’t know. I
want to be mayor. ------ This is pretty much my philosophy towards my screenwriting. Well said.

90-91: I understand what’s going on, but I feel like your action here could be clearer.

The End!

Okey dokey. SO I liked this a lot. Hence, I will tell you things I didn’t like first:

Take drama out of your thing there, this is a comedy. Your title is kind of… meh. Right? You can do better than Not Cops. I feel like the pacing slowed down in the second half overall. Plot and story wise the third act is good, but for me I had to read a few things a few times ion order to really understand what you meant. I think you could even it out a bit. I’m going to j0rk off to your dialogue in a second but in my ‘you suck’ section I want to make sure to point out it gets a bit expository sometimes. You never really set up a good motivation for me for them to gpo bad in he first place. I didn’t tet a sense of the widespread corruption in the dept. And I never had a reason to excuse succumbi9ng to it as opposed to rising above it. It fits their characters, but detracts from them as protagonists.

Now the stuff I liked. You have great unique characters and really funny dialogue. That’s the important thing, right? I laughed throughout. The plot was very intricate and well thought out. Very nice. That’s tough to do, so good job. The best parts outside the humor for me where when things were busy and moving forward. These guys are better when they are under pressure and kind of actively on the run than when they are temporarily safe. Keep them in constant peril.

JAKE!JAKE!JAKE! Good job man. I’m so undisappointed in you. The buildup was totally worth it. I’ll sleep well tonight deep in the heart of Nyborg manner. Best best best of luck.

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