Posts Tagged ‘dramaturgery’

So, I didn’t think that I especially cared very much about The Avengers 2: Robo-Boogaloo and after seeing the teaser trailer I actually still kind of don’t. But I also kind of do, because even though the adventures of a bunch of super-powered guys who shoot and punch shooting and punching a bunch of robots doesn’t have a huge amount of appeal for me, puzzles about story DO have some appeal for me.

I am, therefore, going to play a game – based on what we’ve got here in the trailer and the very little we know about what’s definitely in the movie, I’m going to see if I can figure out what happens in it.

Strictly-speaking, this is me just improvising – I am sort of talking my way through the sort of movie that I might make if I knew these things had to be in it. Don’t count it as a real prediction (though, if I turn out to be exactly right, or close to right, or even better than the movie that actually comes out, definitely call me up to work on all of your movies, you guys know I am a genius, right?); this is the idle speculation game.

Let’s play though. (more…)

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Fine!  It was fine.  A fine movie.  It had some exciting space adventures, people flew around in ships and shot each other with lasers.  There was some kind of power-exploding MacGuffin, that was great.  The character stuff was for the most part exceptional.  Groot was there, he was awesome, Rocket Raccoon was awesome.  My favorite was actually Drax the Destroyer!

(“We just established that blowing up the ship I’m on isn’t saving me.” “When did we establish that?” “Like three seconds ago!” “I wasn’t listening to that part, I was thinking about something else.”)

Hahahah.  Excellent use of Dave Bautista, finally we’re seeing him live up to the potential he revealed as Bronze Body Man in The Man with the Iron Fists.

A good time was had by all.  I am going to write a few things here, because it is in my nature to be a Debbie Downer, and a natural enemy of all that is good and fun, so if you HATE FUN, by all means, keep reading.

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I saw this movie the other day.  It…could have been worse, I guess, but it also could have been better.  On the one hand, I guess if you’re going to use the Comanche as a plot point, it’s nice that the war is started entirely by greedy white guys, and propagated by a white guy who can’t admit that he did anything wrong.  That’s a step forward.  On the other hand, a hundred Comanche get massacred and it doesn’t have any bearing on the story at all, the Lone Ranger just wants to rescue that lady, Tonto just wants to get his revenge.  No Comanche massacre was required for either plot OR story in order for that to happen.

It’s especially galling because let’s be real, that entire movie was just a set up for an amazing 20-minute railroad battle climax set to Hans Zimmer’s orchestration of the William Tell Overture.  And that part was great!  It was fantastic!  But also literally every single minute before was interchangeable plot filler.  I heard that they were going to have werewolves in it originally, I wish there had been werewolves.  That’s the thing about this movie; if you’d taken out the Comanche massacre and put in some outlaw werewolves instead, it would have been exactly the same movie.

Anyway, I’m not going to talk about any of that, or even about why did Johnny Depp play Tonto, or any of it.  Instead, I’d like to take a few minutes and talk about Frame Stories.

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I think the way to describe the “best” narrative – that is, the narrative that, regardless of its content, is the most structurally-sound, streamlined, well-put-together – is that it is both unexpected and inevitable.  While watching it, you can’t predict the outcomes of the events you’re seeing onscreen, but once you’ve seen it and you look back on it, you realize that it couldn’t possibly have happened any other way.

What I think is interesting about this is that it seems to describe two different modes of appreciating a movie, so what I’m going to do is assume that this is (as it intuitively seems) a correct assertion, and proceed from that to elucidate what I think are the two fundamental elements of narrative.  Some of this is going to seem pretty obvious, but just because a thing is obvious doesn’t mean it isn’t worth exploring a little bit.

Those two elements are Plot and Story.

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braak

This fucking show.  Okay, so, let me be clear about one thing right at the front here:  I like all of the actors on this show.  Nicole Beharie, Clancy Brown, that Handsome Guy, John Cho.  Even Orlando Jones!  I didn’t think I’d like to see Orlando Jones, because I think of him as being kind of a silly guy, but no, Orlando Jones is great!  Everyone on this show is great, the diversity of the cast is great, I hope they have long and happy careers.  I even don’t have a problem with them having a long career on THIS show.  I don’t want Sleepy Hollow to get kicked off the air or anything, I am not petitioning for the DESTRUCTION of Sleepy Hollow.

I want Sleepy Hollow to be a better show, that’s all.  All those actors that I like, all that chemistry that’s so great, it deserves a better show behind it.

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braak

W - MillerThe Wolverine was pretty okay, but I think we can all agree that there was room for improvement, and I think we all know what that improvement is. To that effect, I am going to write a treatment for the third installment of the Wolverine series. I am actually torn between this title and also Wolverine 3: Wolverine with a Vengeance, except I’m not sure how much vengeance I really want to make use of. Don’t worry about the title. Here we go.
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wonder-woman602

braak

You know, it’s more than a little bonkers that we’re going to see Rocket Raccoon and Groot the Sentient Tree in the movies before we see Wonder Woman, that we got two Tomb Raider movies and an adaptation of a board game, they’re going to do Batman vs. Superman and probably the Flash, a prequel to Alien that nobody was asking for, THREE Hobbit movies, et cetera and so forth.  Wonder Woman is a well-known property.  It is insane that Warner Brothers thinks they can’t make a Wonder Woman movie that would be good!  I mean, first of all, it CAN’T be that they think they can’t make a GOOD movie, since producing a movie against all prevailing signs against its quality has never even slowed down a major movie studio.

But still, though, it can’t be that hard, right?  To make a Wonder Woman movie that isn’t terrible?

Well, wait, let me see if I can do it.

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