The Black List is a site that evaluates and markets screenplays to movie producers and studios. On May 17th, my adaptation of HARD BITE from novel into screenplay received an 8 out of 10 score from one of their professional reviewers. According to verbiage on the site, Black List reviewers must "be strong critical readers, elegant writers, and have minimum one year previous experience reading as, at least, employed first filters (i.e. not interns) for major Hollywood financiers, studios, networks, production companies, agencies, or management companies.
At the end, HARD BITE is compared to to Nightcrawler and Falling Down. I'd agree the vibe is similar. Here's the review converted into Word for easy reading. Screenshot proof below:
Genre: Dark Comedy, Crime Thriller, Film Noir
Paralyzed in a hit and run, DEAN turns vigilante, tracking down and killing irresponsible drivers with the help of his trained monkey SID. When Dean picks the wrong target, he finds himself facing the wrath of the Mexican Mafia and the police.
“Hard Bite” is entertainingly suspenseful, unique and highly unpredictable, with an outrageous, attention-grabbing premise hooks us from the get-go. The starting point is at once thrilling and darkly humorous, and the script plays both angles with a surprising deftness. There is always a palpable tension, as lives are on the line in nearly every scene, and the innocent are not exempt. Nor is Dean himself, putting himself into extreme peril in service of his goal. Yet there is always absurdity at hand to the point where we often have to laugh if for no other reason than shear incredulity. The image of paraplegic Dean with Sid the monkey and a prosthetic arm planning elaborate murder plots is memorable, both horrifying in concept and hilarious in execution. In many ways Dean is a larger than life character, and he always has our attention. He admits he is a serial killer, but insists he is not a monster, and we can believe him. The script gets more serious when we see glimpses of his past, the daughter he lost in the accident that made him who he is. Dean’s humanity is also evident in his relationship with Cinda, who is one of the script’s sweeter and more endearing characters.
Perhaps it is a consequence of Dean’s character standing out so much, but the antagonists are underwhelming and not nearly as memorable. Orella can hold her own in a scene, but overall the Malalindas feel stereotypical and unimpressive. Sometimes they also shift the humor in an off-putting direction, such as Orella’s uncomfortable sex scene with Arturo. It is to be expected that Dean should make some enemies on his quest for vengeance, and in the dark and twisted Los Angeles this script shows us, where 48% of car accidents are hit and run, we get the feeling that somewhere out there in the shadows, Dean may have a truly worthy nemesis to match his coldness and cunning.
"Hard Bite" could grab attention with its high concept, which may be controversial or shocking enough to draw a crowd. Comparisons to "Joel Schumacher's "Falling Down" and the recent "Nightcrawler" would be apt. An audience may get sucked into the story and stay riveted the whole way through.
My note: Less than 5% of Black List screenplays get ranked as an 8.