Lee's Movie Info - Box Office & Beyond


Browse by Title | by Person


   • Daily Weekend
   • Yearly All-Time
   • DVD Sales Rentals


   • You Predict (BOFC)
   • Accuracy Compare
   • Ticket Adjuster


   • ReviewMatch
   • Visitor Reviews
   • Release Schedule
   • DVD Releases
   • Watch Trailers
   • Article Archive
   • Oscar Winners
   • Script Pitch


   • Play Now
   • Update Board


   • Newsletters

   • Links


The Army of Nine
Reclusive and extremely successful writer Jack Milbury (Russell Crowe) has had a lot of bad things happen to him recently; he has written three weak books in a row and he made some improper choices when he invested in the stock market (at the suggestion of his wife, played by Penelope Cruz). He is desperate for something good to happen in his life. He knows that he will be broke in a few months and that he will lose the only woman that loves him if he goes bankrupt.

One day when riding home on the train, he sees a book that a mystery man (Kevin Spacey) has left on a passenger seat. Jack could not find the man, so he brings it home. Since he cannot come up with good ideas himself, he uses the mystery man's ideas (with a few alterations) to try to turn his life around. Will this desperate effort save Jack and his structured upper-echelon lifestyle, or will he return to the streets where he spent the majority of his dreaded childhood? This story is a little bit like A Beautiful Mind (Crowe as a recluse) and Secret Window (a writer is faced with a dilemma of stealing a story). This story would mostly take place in New York. The main theme is that bad people are able to turn their lives around if they try hard enough.

-- Script Pitch III Host Commentary --
by Lee Tistaert and Stephen Lucas

Lee's Analysis:

An obvious comparison is going to be Secret Window, which I thought was diverting mostly because the director applied a silent, eerie tone. There were some mysterious touches that worked in the writing, but the ending was eventually obvious even for those who didn’t think that much; the movie was basically saved by Johnny Depp and the director’s mood.

Casting can be a big function of whether a story works or not, as the actors either convey the characters’ mindsets or they don’t; but then again, it all starts with a script. And here, I like Crowe as a writer and Spacey is barely ever anything but a good sign, but there’s also the caution of playing off ideas that have already been written previously.

Stephen's Analysis:

At first glance, you’re planning on writing a script to mimic Steven King’s "Four Past Midnight" (the novel that was turned into the Johnny Depp film, "Secret Window"). What seems like a fairly normal dilemma (a writer with writer’s block) paired with another ordinary woe (financial instability) may not really produce much excitement. Without diving into the mystery of the book Jack finds on the train, I don’t see this script taking off.

I think it would be interesting for him to try and track down Spacey’s mystery-man character and discover where the brilliant ideas came from. That’s just a suggestion, but that’s the writer’s job now: to add excitement to this pitch. Though I wouldn’t be totally against seeing a film like this, I may not be altogether happy that I saw it. As a side note, Crowe and Cruz seem like an extremely incompatible and unappealing pair.

Rating: C

© 1998 - 2008 Lee's Movie Info.  All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Contact