The Avengers Trailer Synopsis – Warning! Contains Spoilers, Sarcasm, Disappointment


Gee, Michael Bay really laid low on the lens flares this time… Did I get the wrong trailer? They’re fighting the Transformers? I did click on the Avengers trailer. Wait..Whedon is directing this. Why does it look like a Transformers film? Seriously, the city street blowing up, the low bass sounds causing doom and gloom…Villain make kaboom. Looks like purple rain…

Oh it’s Loki. Damn, was hoping for Prince. We knew this from the other film, now what…

Oh Noes! Get good guys! Reach into the bag and pull out the wallet marked Bad MotherSHIELDer. (Just remember, The Hoff was once Nick Fury too. Yikes!) Don’t worry. Nick Fury has a plan, and if he were an animal, he’d be all…

Watch as the amazing Tony Stark channels Whedon patter. Or is Stark,the Chosen One? Into each generation, a billionaire genius philanthropist is born, somehow without being an alcoholic…

So it’s more of this…

And less of this…

Hungover, eating donuts, wearing robot parts. If only we could blend the two…

Grumpy Cap is grumpy, because new Cap is grumpy and not morale boosting. Probably can’t get banana flavored super soldier serum at the local VA.  You think regular veterans have problems getting benefits? How about one that can’t prove who he is? (Just wait till he hears that he has to buy his own adamantium shield.)

Ooooh inevitable Team Drama in a room with a round table! What could that remind you of? (Please don’t let that be Rick Jones in the background…) Besides the inevitable, We’ve brought you here because you need to fight ORRR We’ve brought you here because you didn’t fight as a team and we’ve had our butts handed to us.

Wait! More posing and battle clips to the Inevitable Rock Song soundtrack tie in. We haven’t seen that before in a trailer. (If you want to make it world shaking wagnerian scale… use operatic. Seriously, this dude did.)

Sad, no spy intrigue or black ops for Black Widow just spandex, butt shots, and acrobatics… Did the KGB have an olympic fanservice division? It would explain EVERYTHING.

Hawkeye = Spear Holder, This is my bow! I have no speaking role, despite having some of the best lines out of the entire print run of Avengers. Come on! He went deaf once and was on Letterman!

(Still have that issue in a box somewhere. And I think that was Letterman’s actual hair … it’s a great issue!)

Thor – Cosmic Man Candy. Laughs, swings hammer. Looks intense, swings hammer.  It’s like a phallic perfume ad. Look above, think operatic singing. See? Right there. Perfume ad for  Mjolnir, the scent of Victory.

Oooh inevitable tense dialog for When Things Go Wrong, also Explains Team Name.

Flashy lens flare logo which will be branded down to the molecular level on all merchandising goes here…

Then the inevitable dash of humour  along with the now cliche trailer ending with a Very Loud Sound at end. (At least it wasn’t an explosion or something flying out of the screen for 3d effect… guh.)

If you didn’t notice it, there was way too much Hollywood on the trailer. Seriously. Take the themes from tvtropes.org and apply Avengers stickers onto them, and that’s what you get.

How about something with a little more? Why did Iron Man 1 work, and Iron Man 2 didn’t? Character development. Why did Fantastic 4 #1 work, and #2 didn’t? Character development.

Team books sell. Team movies sell. From what I’ve seen here, it looks more like sell-out. I hope I’m wrong. But if the movie plays out like the trailer… I hate to say it, but might have to wait for the remake. What? Why? It took 4 Batman movies before Chris Nolan got it right.  Think about it. And I do hope that I’m wrong about all of this, and that the Avengers movie will be amazingly good.

Frankly I was more entertained by this retro Avengers trailer.

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Oscar Picks


Here’s Oscar Picks from my room mate and I.
The initials DH are for dark horse odds.

Best Picture:
P: Inception DH: The Social Network
C: The Kings Speech DH: Winters Bone

Best Actor:
P: Colin Firth DH: Jeff Bridges
C: Colin Firth DH: Jesse Eisenberg

Best Actress:
P:Natalie Portman DH: Michelle Williams
C:Jennifer Lawrence DH: Natalie Portman

Best Supporting Actor:
P:Geoffry Rush DH: Jeremy Renner
C:Christian Bale DH:Geoffry Rush

Best Supporting Actress:
p: hbc aka Helena dh:haylee steinfeld
C: Haylee DH:Melissa Leo

Best Animated:
P:Toy Story 3 DH: How to Train Your Dragon
C:Toy Story 3 DH: The Illusionist

Best Director:
P:Cohen Bros DH:Russel
C:David Fincher DH:Coen

Best Adapted Screenplay:
P:True Grit DH:The Social Network
C:The Social Network DH:True Grit

Best Original Screenplay:
P: Inception DH: Kings Speech
C: Inception DH: Kings Speech

Rules: First pick gets 2 points, dark horse picks gets 1 point, neither win, lose a point.

I’m still here,
Pearce

Follow up post on this maybe tomorrow or eventually.

Inception is not a new story


Inception is not a new story. For generations now, sci-fi readers have read stories revolving around the concept of ‘everything you think you know is wrong’. Whether this is in dream fashion, or virtual reality, or misplaced memories. I’m not saying that Inception is a bad story. Trust me, if I could get my stories as elegant and well structured as Inception, I would be quite happy as a writer. Characters are plausible and tragically human.

It’s also not a matter of this being a summer blockbuster. I’m of the opinion that Nolan is the film world equivalent of Genghis Khan and Rupert Murdoch for simultaneously invading and cornering the right market for this film. The timing of other ‘soft’ sci-fi into mainstream (Battlestar Galactica, Kings) has actually softened the masses and made them ready for this story. Any type of hard science is interspersed between major parts of character development. The special effects are not eye candy, they literally are mind blowing as they all support the main story. (It’s nice to hear from those people around me that they are going to a film because of the story and not because of the THINGS GO BOOM ON BIG SCREEN effect.) The timing and pacing of the film also play a great role. Tension and buildup to the pivotal points are not overdone but interweave beautifully.

Inception definitely makes it to my list of all time favorite films, and I can’t wait to see it again. Oh yes, one of the best parts about this brilliant piece of work, it poses more questions than answers. But until you’ve seen it, you don’t have those questions in your head, or do you?

So if you liked Inception, head on over to your local library… (that’s where all the books sleep) Recommended reading – Jack L. Chalkers Wonderland Gambit trilogy, where literally everything you think you know is wrong.

I’m still here,
Pearce

UPDATE!!!
As per this website, Disney comics Scrooge McDuck actually preceded Inception. Read at your own discretion, spoilers involved.

More proof that no story is original.

Batman and the Big Screen OR How I learned to love the Reboot and ignore continuity.


Movie Reboots, some are justified, others not so much. There comes a point and time when a stories progression does not go any further. A new angle must be portrayed about it, a new perspective to renew the masses interest. This is why fiction works so well, re : Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. The only way this would work for non-fiction is getting someone elses viewpoint, essays on how this has influenced what, etc, etc.

Batman is a favorite character of mine to read, in all forms of written and graphic story form. The different interpretations of the modern day Prometheus/Vulcan through the tragic character of Bruce Wayne have literally sold tonnes of comics. So lets look at Batman on the screen shall we?

Adam West, portrayal of all things 50/60’s and ideallic optimist melodrama, playing the most upbeat camp version of the Caped Crusader. Love it. It’s camp and brings so many influences to other popular pulp heros in decades to come. If you don’t believe me, just look at your main protagonist, and see when they exclaim for effect only.
(And yes, I’m missing some of the original black and white serials, as well as animated, just go with me on this.)

When they finally announce they are going to do a Batman film, I’m in high school. And everyone is wearing the t-shirts, listening to Prince’s soundtrack, it’s hip and cool. Finally I get my peers around me interested in the stories that I have been reading for years. I get to see the film, and it’s dark and twisted as Tim Burton can only tell. I’m seeing art-deco skylines of Gotham city. I’m loving it, as Keaton is portraying the Worlds Greatest Detective. I even had a neighbor ask me if I saw the film first, I replied no, and he asked, ‘So you know who batman is, right?’ Yeah, in all the forms ans stories.

Next try at the films is Kilmer, in another incarnation, but influenced from both Keaton and West, as the Caped Crusader. Battling for ideals set to soundtrack from U2 and Seal. Is it Bruce Wayne behind the cowl, or is it Batman trying to strive for normal life? Or is it just another reason to put more money into a franchise? Think we know the answer on this one.

And Clooney, it wasn’t his fault. This was high action Caped Crusader built for mass marketing. There is a real life rant happening if you catch me at it, and I’ve had my Vitamin B Calm complex pills. All I can restrain myself was that when the idea of putting nipples on Batmans outfit became a concern, the story telling was put way off to the side. Any film maker who has got themselves involved that much into the look of a movie, should go back and tattoo the script to the inside of their eyeballs to get their focus done right.

Then the gap, the inevitable ‘what did we do?’ So the fans waited. And waited. Executives pitched, no one was buying it. Eminem as Bruce Wayne? (Yes that was pitched at one point and time.) No, they finally got what was important to the fans. For years, fans speculated how it would be done, who would play the best batman, what script. Who’s batman would this be? I’ve always wanted Millers’ future history of the Dark Knight Returns, but without the background or history established, it would not be a hard hitting story on film.

And thus came the reboot.

Justification for reboot always, always comes from the fan base. Nolan was not so much of a reboot, but more of returning the series to the roots of the primary readership. He was giving the fans what should have been done in the first place. Nolan took all of the graphic novels that he could get his hands on and incorporated als much mythos into his interpretation of the Dark Knight. He should win more awards for doing this. He’s honored not only every writer who has penned Batman, but also every reader. And the most important part of his story writing strategy, it’s what every Batman fan would do themselves.

So which strategy do we go with? Which Batman, because there are so many different flavors. From the written/drawn material, it’s just a matter of which writer is portraying them. The Caped Crusader was more for marketing material and adjusted from the original source due to content and comics code. A hero that would base his whole actions on the fears and superstitions of criminals? No! We can’t have that, it’s too dark and grim, he must fight the good fight in the daylight. It was the only way that the story could be told for that time period. Later 70s to 80s moved away from that towards better storylines, mysteries, and thus Batman grew into the title of Worlds Greatest detective. These days however, we require our characters to be realistic. We want to see sweat stains, bad breath, aching muscles. Why? It makes them human and identifiable. Worlds Greatest Detective is hard to portray unless you have a compelling mystery. Caped Crusader works good for a younger audience. But Batman, the Dark Knight, weighing and spending billions on vigilante gear so he can deal with the survivors guilt. Bruce Wayne, dark and brooding in the cave, on the Gotham skyline with a cape that’s 80 feet long. That you can get a lot of material off of, spend years writing about.

Frankly I’m of the opinion that the current term of movie reboot is quickly turning into nothing more than a marketing gimmick for pitching a movie. It paid off in the past, so we tweak it and resell it. This is dangerous if it isn’t handled correctly. There have been quite a few failed reboots that no one wants to talk about. There have been recent rumors of Rebooting the Buffy the Vampire Slayer series. Without the main best brains behind it. Gee, can we get Kilmer to play Giles? Oh wait, are we just doing this for the money? Or for telling a story in film format?

But I’ve learned to love the reboot. The recent return of Star Trek to the original series was a brilliant move. The latest movie honors the old series and changes the whole story universe. A federation without the Vulcans as a large influence? The Vulcans as an endangered species? Why hasn’t Q shown up yet and fixed this whole mess? When done properly, it gives the fan base enough to discuss amongst themselves and gather new fans to support or try all the different versions. Thats another reason why I love it, it renews interest, it revitalized the following, and it helps make people passionate about proper storytelling.

Do these series as a whole break continuity? Yes. Will I keep watching them? Yes.

What about the glaring plotholes? You ask.

I reply, ‘If the story is well told and it has captivated you, then ignore the plotholes. It’s allowed Doctor Who to continue as long as it has. Why do you want to stop enjoying a series?’

However, if you reply something about nipples on Batman outfits, I’ve got a few choice words to share with you.

I’m still here,
Pearce

Avatar, Basterds, Recycled Storylines, and Why Jar Jar would never survive against a samurai sword


Avatar, huge special effects, weak story. This is what I’ve heard so far.
I’ve yet to see the film, but hearing from so many other sources, I pretty much know what it’s going to be about.

(The following has been recopied from a posting on Matt Wallace’s blog,
http://www.matt-wallace.com/
I liked the flow I was going with, so decided to use it for my own blog And expanded on it. If you haven’t read his Next Fix, do yourself a favor, go buy 2 copies give one to a friend who likes great stories.)

I expect the huge conversations long shots between 2 characters, building of tension and then sudden bloody violence from any Tarantino film. He’s taken the parts of low budget mid 60’s – 70’s films and distilled them into a format which he calls his own. Its all the parts of modern cinema that no on else uses, but it works for compelling character development. And yes, we needed more of the Basterds in the film. But the secondary story of the heroine in Inglorious Basterds did feel like the other side of the popular late 70’s books that you would flip over and get a somewhat similar story. Its also hilarious about the last chapter of the film that pokes fun at the whole film industry.

Cameron does a lot of innovative new technology into the film industry, and it’s funded by the viewers of the film. That’s his venue. The Abyss lead to better underwater technology, which lead to better underwater subs, which lead him to Titanic, and Kate Winslet side boob. Avatar may lead to… 3d in home entertainment? Or if following the same progression towards side boob shot of some japanese popstar/waif in Battle Angel Alita scheduled for 2011?

But yes, we need more celebration and concentration on good scripts and story telling. Best version of Avatar I saw was 1998 film The Beast http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Beast_(1988_film) it follows the same story line. Soldier fighting in war, gets exposure to the perspective of the enemy, realizes what he was doing and rebels. Think this is on page 12 of ‘generic war story for large screens’.

But it sells.

And there aren’t enough well selling war stories that can be recycled. Can you imagine a reboot of Bridge on River Kwai starring Will Smith and Martin Lawrence? Studios would put money into a comedy like that. But a reboot of River Kwai starring Hugh Laurie and Warren Ellis doing the treatment on the script? That’s big film budget investment, but great story investment which will get people to talk about how great that film is for generations.

While we’re at it, can we send Pixar films a new story outline? The ‘outcast with distinguishing feature comes back and saves tribe’ storyline has been used too many times. I think they ran out of dead horses to flog in the late 90’s.

Also while we’re at it, can we get Lucas to rewatch the Kurosawa films? I’m quite sure Jar Jar was never a character in the samurai genre.
http://www.moongadget.com/origins/kurosawa.html
Yes, do yourself a favor and read the above link, you’ll thank yourself if you have ever enjoyed the Star Wars films. Essentially a character that is primarily concentrated for one portion of the audiences entertainment and does not move the story or affect the other characters is nothing more than a marketing gimmick. Yes, I’m still bitter over the prequel films.

At least I can still watch Yojimbo or Das Boot, thankfully there are escapes from the modern marketing machine. You won’t find them in your local video store, because when was the last time you saw ‘guaranteed to be there’ when its referencing Key Largo? We need a shift in direction from the large big budget film towards the smaller independant film makers. It’s up to you to decide, choose well.

I’m still here,
Pearce

It’s My Birthday – NaNoWriMo Day 27


I’m less than 1000 from finishing the word count, but not the story.
I should be able to get to 50k words today, do a quick epilogue then save it 3 different spots, and then submit to the word counter at NaNoWriMo.org

Been very very busy, between work, writing, tiny projects and other parts in life. It’s also been a very trying and painful year, but in some regards it’s been very good for me. I was getting stale and like a pond without moving water, stagnant. But with all changes and experiences, there comes some pain, and growing pains are evident. It hasn’t been easy, but anything worthwhile to work on, never is easy. I’m working on myself and who I am.

I’m also embracing more creative thoughts and ideas. For example, today is my birthday, and a working theory I have is that you can either kick someone today and get away with it, or slap someone or get away with it IF it is your birthday. It’s a working theory, it works for me today. I’ll let you know how well it flys tomorrow.

I’m still here,
Pearce