It's been a long time since I read Lewis Carroll's two classics, as it has been since seeing the two successful versions Disney has made of the tale... the animated 1951 classic and the Oscar-winning Tim Burton live-action film. As such, I am familiar with the world and characters, but only passingly so. My recollection of the books is that they were full of weird quirkiness and wonderful language... "The Jabberwocky" remains a favorite poem of mine. The old 1951 film was weird absurdity made accessible for a '50s Disney audience... so long as Alice remained a relatably normal surrogate, they could get away with a lot. And the 2010 version... I remember it won Oscars for Costumes and Art Direction and very deservedly so. I remember little about the movie other than I wasn't bored and it was a fun feast for the eyes, in other words, a mid-range Tim Burton movie. I say all of this because you have taken on an intellectual property, so I think it's important to give context of the strengths and weaknesses of that property. I like Alice in Wonderland, I expect kid-friendly weirdness, verbal wit, quirkily absurd characters, and lots of imagination. The weakness of the property is that it has always been light on plot or deep characterization. As such, no one really remembers what the story was about. These are the elements which I would want to see and the issues that would need to be fought for a successful update to occur. The first scene of the script gave me great hope that this would occur. A wrap-around involving Lewis Carroll and his precocious niece Alice is a great way to get us into the story. I am reminded of the opening to 1935's BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN. This scene has charm, wit, character... and then we go into Wonderland and the goodwill built up by that one scene is quickly gone. My complaint with the bulk of the script is that it is not a film script. It might well be a viable stage production, but tit is not at present a movie. This is made obvious because it is formatted as a play. In a film script, we would have description of what we are seeing, which is important because a script tells the craftsmen what to make and the audience what cool stuff they are going to see, which is a big part of what an audience wants from an Alice in Wonderland movie. Next, the script is dialogue-driven to the point wherein I'm not watching a movie, I[m reading a play. It si not structured like a film, in the sense that I don;t get a driving narrative. It just goes from one character to the next, without Alice having any driving motive. Now, this is a drawback of the initial property, as Alice is a pretty passive protagonist on paper, but it is also a flaw of the property that would need to be conquered to make a good movie. On stage, or in print, not such a big deal. On film, deadly, not to have a central driving motive for the lead, or at least to be aware that you'll have to get around this issue. Another issue for a film is that I didn't feel we got introduced to any of these characters she meets. Of course, we all know them in concept, the Caterpillar, the Mad Hatter, the Queen of Hearts, but we don't know your version of them. As a result, my investment is minimal. Final problem is one I imagine any musical will have, I don't know what the music is for the songs, so that makes the whole thing hard to grasp. Ah, well, nothing I suppose that can be done about that. Final analysis: good opening. But is this a stage musical or a film. If it's the former, fine. I'm not the person to judge that. If it's the latter, then this needs to be rewritten as a film script.
This was really funny. Not so much in any specific one-liners, but in the overall tone and set-up. I can immediately this, and see how it would be done. It's kind of become an old joke to take classic horror movie shenanigans and play them for deadpan laughs, but the joke is still funny, so why not do it with a cult of Cthulu. The loser teenager who just wants to get with the cute girl while his dad is pushing him into the family business is another stock set-up, but it is one most people can identify with, so it still works. I can see this being done as an old 90s sitcom like SABRINA THE TEENAGE WITCH, or it could be really done up with gusto in a modern cinematic style. If there's a complaint, it's the one I would have with almost any pilot episode... it is all set-up and no pay-off. I'd want to know what you were going to do with the story. That said, the set-up is good. A stuffed animal cthulu, an evil cult eating endangered species burgers which they get at the supermarket, all of this is funny because it takes evil and sets it comically amongst the mundane, making it comically humdrum. One other mild complaint (which is really a requirement due to the sort of comedy) is that the characters don't have any real depth yet. That said, it's a wacky comedy, so it would be impossible to have it otherwise, at least with this first episode. Great job!
If the first test is: "can the person write", then you have passed that test. It is clear that the writer knows his world, his characters, and what he is doing with them. The dialogue fit the tone of the piece, the action scenes were clear and exciting. This seems to be some sort of fantasy world in which monsters and beasts intermingle with local politicians and stupid horny teenagers. That's fine. I don't know where this is going or whether it will make any sense onscreen, but I have no dount that the same could be said of a person initially reading the scripts for STAR WARS, BUFFY, HARRY POTTER, UNDERWORLD, or LORD OF THE RINGS. Those all worked out fine. I can't otherwise critique these 15 pages... if the rest of the script works, then they're fine. If it doesn't, then I doubt the first 15 pages were the issue.
A women's self-defense instructor uses her wits and fists to take down a trio of serial rapists.