This is a full spoiler discussion of Star Trek: Into Darkness so beware.
Audiences are generally distrusting of “rip offs.” I, for one, can’t stand Family Guy. I find it derivative of The Simpsons in a nauseating way and have never seen an episode that rivals the craft that made The Simpsons great at its height.
But surely we can tell the difference between stealing and retelling. A retelling is a conscious act. Did Peter Jackson steal from the 1933 King Kong when he had his Kong make his last stand on top of the Empire State Building? Of course not. We expected as much.
Why then do people seem so shocked that Star Trek: Into Darkness retells key moments from Wrath of Khan? Continue reading →
I associate Writer’s Block with the inability to find an idea worth writing. I find, however, that the affliction that more often hits me is “Writer’s Boredom.” I have the idea, I’m pretty sure it’s a good one, and I (theoretically) want to write it–but I just can’t bring myself to do it.
By and large, I try to get my daily tasks done as efficiently as possible so that I have more time each day to write, but when “Writer’s Boredom” sets in, I find myself more enamored with the daily tasks that I know to be (ultimately) busy work. I’ll spend more time on them because I want to avoid staring at my writing doc for five seconds before the pull to procrastinate online wins me over.
How can Star Wars learn to be Star Wars again? Here is my daily tip for whoever is listening at Abrams and company on how to recapture what the prequels lost.
Tip:Start with myth not story
I already see it: they have to bring Vader back. Luke has to be an Obi-Wan like figure. It should be about Han and Leia’s children.
What makes Star Wars great is the mythic qualities. A boy coming of age by redeeming the evils of his father set against a backdrop of a new society coming into being by ending the evils of a previous generation’s government.
The mythology of the prequels was already set by default. It had to be the opposite: a boy falling into evil, a society falling from democracy to fascism.
There is no natural mythology for Star Wars 7-9 to draw upon. If Abrams wants this new trilogy to be what the old one was then he and his writers have to find a simple human story that follows naturally after Luke’s story and can be told across three films.
I don’t know what that story is or could be, but what makes this more exciting than the prequels is that the right story is out there and we do not already know it. They just have to find it.
Have a listen to Hans Zimmer’s new Superman theme (from Man of Steel).
I was skeptical of the choice to use Zimmer/James Newton Howard for Nolan’s Batman trilogy when Danny Elfman’s theme from the Burton movies seemed so iconic.
I now far prefer the music from Nolan’s films.
Having said that, Danny Elfman is not John Williams, and I’m not sure anything could ever compete with his Superman theme. I will, however, wait until I see this music in the context of the film before offering a final judgement.
With the third season of Game of Thrones in full swing, it’s time to start savoring how this game is being played before our eyes. If it hadn’t already, the game has now become almost too complicated for casual viewers to follow. So here I am going to start keeping score to see who really deserves the Iron Throne.
Each week I will attempt to award one character with the “Move of the Week” title and punish one character with the “Pawn of the Week” title. Though I’ve read the books, I will choose these awards as a viewer of the show (who assumes no knowledge of future episodes/plot events). Continue reading →
Everyone keeps wishing me a Happy Easter…but the only resurrection on my mind today is happening at 9pm EST on HBO.
Here’s my question to fantasy fans…is A Song of Ice and Fire different from all the rest? Don’t get me wrong. I adore the story and the characters, and while I have some issues with Martin’s writing style, I consider it to be top notch work. However, I get the sense that we are elevating Martin’s epic to a Tolkienesque level by suggesting that his brand of fantasy is unique or darker or better written. Is it really? Many people are down on fantasy for its repetitiveness and unoriginality; so many novels seem like Tolkien ripoffs that many would assume that there aren’t any other titles worthy of the HBO treatment as GoT is. I don’t think I’d say GoT is the first non-Tolkien epic fantasy to be truly ‘unique.’ Continue reading →
Here is a bit of a change of pace for today. I wanted this post to be more visual than we are used to here. This is a pdf of the post. Now you can print and share the post far more easily. Let me know what you think!