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*He is not a secret agent. Not at all.



As readers here know, I am a huge fan of two writers known particularly for their unique approaches to dialogue. One is known for girls what kill vampires and mad scientists with penchants for blogging and singing. The other is Aaron Sorkin.

I've been waiting patiently for something Sorkiny since the end of his rather flawed Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip and his pretty good Charlie Wilson's War. Eventually, he popped up on FaceBook with some falderol about writing a movie about FaceBook. At first, I thought it was a hoax. Then it was apparently confirmed by the industry rags. I was still doubtful. Now, I've had at the script about the social network, imaginatively titled The Social Network. I'm still not entirely inclined to believe that Sorkin's doing this.

It seems reasonably Sorkiny. It plays that way in my head. I might be bringing my expectations to the reading though.

The dialogue was fairly dull and sometimes just went on in the worst case of talking heads I've seen maybe ever. Pages and pages with nary a direction of any kind. Then, at other times, it kicked into life again. At 162 pages, it could maybe do with some culling.

I'm waiting for his Trial of the Chicago 7. That sounds more like it's in his wheelhouse, you know.

In the meantime, comes this news, that he's going to do a rewrite on Moneyball. This is also a non-fiction flick, based on a book about Oakland A's manager Billy Beane. This script's had a little history going on after director Steven Soderbergh took Steve Zaillian's script and dulled it up. Apparently Soderbergh took out anything that didn't really happen, down to even cool dialogue.

The studio thought that sucked. I think they're probably right, as the subject matter...much like the FaceBook flick, doesn't really lend itself to film at first glance. It's basically about baseball scouting, not playing baseball...finding people to play it and how Beane did it differently from everybody else at that time.

So now, Sorkin, I guess, is going to go through and undull it. This could work. Recall Sports Night. He can make this stuff interesting.

Here's the thing that's really buggin' me about the stuff Sorkin's doing. None of it is really coming out of his head. It's all adaptations and rewrites and mostly all non-fiction. There's an IMDB credit for Follies, based on a Sondheim music, but's not pure Sorkin. Not like A Few Good Men, The American President or any of his TV series.

Aaron...go write a pilot. Get back in the game. All this adaptation stuff feels like playing it safe after taking quite the drubbing over Studio 60.

That is all.
©2024 Michael Patrick Sullivan
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