Screenwriter Dreams While Sleeping Through HereAfter

HereAfter Movie poster and review

As a budding screenwriter, I’m a huge fan of Clint Eastwood, the actor, the director, the producer and the environmentalist.

Years ago, I came within rubbing elbow distance of him. My girlfriend and I were at an AT&T Pro/Am Golf Tournament in Pebble Beach, Ca. When I saw him, I nudged my friend telling her that he was coming our way. She said she didn’t think much of him. As he glided by with his own special brand of coolness, Deb went weak kneed and said,

Damn, he’s hot!

He has a undeniable presence. A presence that outshines any actor he shares a scene with on the movie screen.

Being a tomboy, I relished watching him play the anti-hero in all those spaghetti Westerns-Sergio Leone’s trilogy – “A Fistful of Dollars”, “For A Few Dollars More and “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.”

He was stellar in his performances in thrillers and sports dramas. His roles commanded your attention and you knew without a doubt what he stood for.

I only wish that Clint Eastwood’s presence and conviction would have been incorporated into this film.

This movie poses the big question, what happens to us after we die?

The best part of the movie is a spectacular special effects sequence. Marie Le Lay (Cecile de France), a French anchorwoman suffers a NED-Near Death Experience when she gets swept up in a tsunami that hits Indonesia. While unconscious, she experiences visions of angels and a light heavenly presence. She is forever a changed woman.

In England, a pair of inseparable twins, Frankie and George Mc Laren (Marcus/Jason) are once again, trying to cover for their junkie mother from the child protection agency who are just looking for an excuse to take the boys away from her.

When Jason (who is 12 minutes older and more outspoken than Marcus) is killed in a horrible accident, the mother completely loses it and is sent off to rehab and Marcus is placed in a foster home. He steals money from his foster parents to seek out psychics to make a connection with his brother. Instead, he falls victim to a bunch of charlatans.

Marcus starts wearing his dead brother’s baseball cap. He’s about to get on the subway, when his cap gets knocked off his head. Every time, he bends down to pick it up, the cap flits away. Just as he recovers it, a bomb goes off and destroys the train. Jason was looking out for his little brother from Heaven.

In San Francisco, we meet Matt Damon (George), a reluctant psychic who struggles with the emotional turmoil his work causes him. As a child, he was stricken by an infection in his brain which required surgery, As a result, he was “blessed” with psychic abilities which he saw as a curse. When he touches a client’s hands, their dead relatives rush forward with messages from beyond.

He is a lonely man who walks away from a lucrative career as a medium to seek a normal life and gets a job as a forklift operator. He signs up for an Italian cooking class where he is matched up with Bryce Dallas Howard (Melanie), daughter of Director/Producer Ron Howard. Her exuberance and vitality are in stark contrast to George’s humorless, boring character.

Melanie cajoles George into a reading and as a result, her dead father comes forward to apologize for sexually abusing her as a child. She recoils in horror and rushes out of his house, never to be seen again. This further reinforces George’s belief that his psychic abilities are a curse.

George loses his job and his brother Jay Mohr (Billy Lonegan) begs him to re-assume his career as a psychic with the ulterior motive of profiting off of him.

Cecile is so distracted from her NDE that her boss/lover suggests she take sometime off work and start writing her already proposed book about French President Francois Mitterrand. Instead she pours all her energies into investigating and writing, “Hereafter: The Conspiracy of Silence”.

I knew George, Marcus and Cecile’s paths would cross eventually. Unfortunately it took over two long tedious hours for this to occur. While each of them are on a path in search of the truth, they “coincidentally” meet up at the London Book Fair. Cecile is hawking her book; Marcus is brought there by his foster parents who are there to see a former foster child whose working as a security guard and George travels over the pond to initially take a tour of Charles Dicken’s house (his hero) and then on to the book fair.

When the movie mercifully comes to a end, the audience (some people walked out) looked at each other as to say, “That was it?” We kept waiting for something momentous to happen and when it didn’t, many of the moviegoers were disappointed..

“Hereafter” fails on so many levels. The pacing was excruciatingly slow, the script was boring, uninspiring, mechanical and doesn’t leave you with any real answers about the afterlife. It lacked feeling and failed as a drama to compel. The screenwriter Peter Morgan (“The Queen”, “Frost/Nixon”) should have stuck with writing scripts about real people and/or events.

This movie could have been a golden opportunity to explore with conviction Near Death Experiences and the future beyond mortal existence. And to think Steven Spielberg (producer of “Hereafter”) read this script and said he knew the perfect person to direct this! Boy was he wrong!

The guy next to me in the theater fell asleep within the first twenty-five minutes of this stinker. I gotta admit this murky morass of a movie made my eyelids so heavy, I wanted to escape by falling asleep myself. I kept telling myself, this was a Clint Eastwood movie, it’s got to get better, but after what seemed like an eternity, it never did.

Hereafter would never have been made if it wasn’t for all the heavy hitters involved in this movie that flat-lined after fifteen minutes. They should have left this type of movie to the likes of M. Night Shyamaian.

What are your favorite Clint Eastwood movies?

Mine are: “Kelly’s Heroes”, “The Outlaw Josey Wales” and “Magnum Force.”

See you at the movies-

Toni

Toni has placed her dream to get her screenplay, “Divine Intervention” and reality show, “The Bitter Bus” produced on hold while she works on Club B. Toni left 8 Women dream November 2010 to work on Club B full-time.

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  • I’m glad they canned Mel Gibson, not because I dislike him, but Bill Clinton I think will be a much better cameo! I can’t wait to see this movie!

  • Dottie Withington

    Great synopsis.

    • Toni Schram

      Thanks Dottie for checking us out and commenting.

      Toni

  • Laurie

    That could be Will, hadn’t thought of that. No one can say he isn’t cool, but he is looking at the end of the road. Interesting. Thanks for checking out 8 women dream.
    Laurie

  • Will

    In the previews it looked odd. Didn’t realize Eastwood was the director. That bums me out. The guy should stick to the tough guy stuff. Maybe he is fearing death or something. I think his other movies are cool tho.

    • Toni Schram

      I agree with you Will, Clint should stick to the tough guy stuff! As screenwriters, we’re constantly being told, write WHAT you know.

      Thanks for stopping by our website.

      Toni

  • Woot Wooter

    Fantastic website you have. I stumbled across it in Yahoo Buzz. I like Clint Eastwood.

    • Toni Schram

      Thanks Woot Wooter for checking out our website!

      Another Clint Eastwood fan! Whoo Whoo!

  • Remy G

    Pale Rider and two mules for sister sarah. Awesome! Sorry the new movie was a flop, he’s done great directing stuff in the past…and yeah HOT! xox Rem

    • Toni Schram

      “Two Sisters for Sarah” with Shirley McClaine as the nun was a classic. This is one of those movies that when I come across it, I stop what I’m doing and enjoy watching it one more time. I love the bantering between Clint and Shirley’s character.

      Clint really has had a solid, prolific, varied movie career.

      Love ya-
      Toni

  • awww bummer I was hoping this one would be good! Well I won’t rush out to see it now ;) What have you seen lately that you DO recommend my darling screenwriter friend?

    Loads of love!
    Lisa

    • Toni Schram

      “Red” was rather enjoyable and you could definitely tell that the stars enjoyed each others company while filming it.

      Yesterday, I saw “Waiting for Superman” a documentary on the pitiful state our education system is in. It’s a real eyeopener that breaks your heart and hurts your soul.

      Rayne recommended “Catfish”. I’m going to put that on my list along with “Due Date” (Robert Downey Jr.) flick.

      Love ya-
      Toni

  • Veronica

    As I read your post, I am thinking, “wow” this sounds like a great movie. And I actually am anxious to find out where and when it was playing.
    You discribed the movie perfectly. It was when I got to the point of the guy next to you falling to sleep and your heavy eyelids that I was disappointed. Oh well I guess he can’t do everything well.

    I too love clint eastwood, he is a fabulous actor.

    • Toni Schram

      Welcome back V!

      Welcome to the unofficial Clint Eastwood Fan Club! He is indeed a fabulous actor.

      Back at you sister~
      Toni

  • Laurie

    I love Clint Eastwood. Too bad. Sooner or later everyone in Hollywood, in life for that matter bites it. I’m sure he’ll come back from it. How old is he anyway?
    Good job sha-ram
    Love, WC

    • Toni Schram

      Mr. Eastwood is now 80 years old.

      You’re right, we all make missteps in life, work, relationships, etc, I’m sure he’ll go on to make more Academy Award worthy films.

      Love ya-

      MC DD

  • My ex gets up every week to come read your reviews and information about Hollywood and the movies. We both love your honest look and stories behind the scene – like meeting Clint Eastwood.

    Great post.

    Cath

    • Toni Schram

      Please thank your ex for his support!

      You know me Cath, I’ve always been honest (and some say too blunt) with my opinons and beliefs.

      I really wanted this movie to be something special not only because of the subject
      matter but because it was one of Clint Eastwood’s babies.

      The movie critics on http://www.rottentomatoes.com only give it a meager 51% approval
      rating.

      Love ya-

      Toni

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