Hey, you know what would make a great television series?
Do tell! But here are the parameters:
1) It should be something in the scifi or fantasy genre. In the case of the latter, ONLY if it is completely different from Game of Thrones (as it would invite the inevitable unflattering comparisons).
2) It must have the potential to sustain a rich storyline (oh, about five seasons worth).
3) It should be set in our contemporary world or in a very near future setting.
4) It should not be expensive to produce (ie. huge space battles, alien armies, etc.)
5) Most importantly, it should have, at its heart, some very interesting characters.
Any novels, short stories, comic books, or graphic novels immediately come to mind?
Looking forward to checking out your suggestions.
My ex used to complain I was too critical of movies. Some of my friends complain that I am too critical of movies. Hell, many of YOU complain I’m too critical of movies. In my defense, I just have a problem with lazy writing. And, clearly, I’m not the only one. Yesterday, I received the following email from my writing partner, Paul, who had evidently just finished watching The Dark Knight Rises. And, boy, was he pissed:
“Can you please explain Bane’s plan to me? Anyone? Please? He told Bruce Wayne that he was going to make him watch Gotham burn, as a fulfillment of the weird martial arts cult that was in the first movie. ’Cause Gotham is a symbol of human corruption, right? So he kidnapped a Russian scientist, the only one in the world who knew how to turn Wayne’s fusion reactor into a weapon, expressly for this purpose – ie, to blow up the city. Okay, cool. But then when he seized the city, and the reactor, he didn’t blow it up. Instead, he trapped all the police underground, then opened the prisons, armed the criminals and let them take over the city as part of some kind of any-corruption campaign. Wait…uh, what? Was that supposed to be sarcastic? Was he creating a utopia or bringing Gotham to it’s knees? If the former, why did he say he was going to make Bruce watch it burn? He should have said, I’m going to make you watch Gotham become a perfect society free of corruption and run by the people. Although, really it wasn’t the people, but criminals he let out of jail and armed. Um, shit, wait, it must have been sarcastic. But then he really did want to destroy Gotham, so why not just set off the bomb?
And how come his Russian scientist, though the only person in the world smart enough to weaponize the reactor, was not smart enough to realize it was unstable and would eventually blow up on its own anyway, when the Morgan Freeman character figured it out no problem?
And what exactly did Bruce do differently when he finally was able to jump across that gap and climb out of the pit? Jump with hope? Jump without hope? What the fuck was that old guy mumbling about? The mix was so bad I couldn’t understand half of what anyone said. I suppose if I’d been watching it in a studio with Dolby 7.1 surround I wouldn’t have had any problems, but like an ignorant plebe I just watched it with the sound that comes out of my t.v. Anyway, when he finally jumped across, he didn’t even take a running start, but somehow managed to cross a gap he couldn’t cross previously with a good full head of steam. Why, exactly?
And lastly, am I really the only person in the world who still asks these kinds of question?. Should I just go ahead a get that lobotomy so I can enjoy movies again? Because, I swear to god there was actually a time when I enjoyed movies. Or did I just dream that?”
Heh. I responded by directing him to Cookie Monster’s review, and that Honest Trailer for The Dark Knight Rises.
Then, Rob Cooper weighed in with his thoughts with this admission: “ I stopped watching most Hollywood movies years ago. They are empty vapid cheap noisy and stupid. No, no one cares.” and proceeded to liken them to fast food.
Paul’s response: “Yeah, but where did it all go wrong? Hollywood movies used to be good, didn’t they? Even summer action blockbusters. Nowadays people say “it’s one of those movies where you just have to turn off your brain and go along for the ride.” But when did that start? When did that become okay? There’s a difference between suspension of disbelief and just accepting shit that doesn’t make sense. Are there giant plot holes in Jaws, and Close Encounters of the Third Kind that I’m not remembering? Or Die Hard? Or Aliens? Star Wars (the original) was arguably a little silly and, if you believe the legends, a complete rip off of some asian movie no one’s ever heard of [The Hidden Fortress - editor], but it basically adhered to an internal logic, didn’t it? Or was I just way more innocent back then?
What happened? When did we start down this road? Was it when Indiana Jones somehow miraculously survived on the outside of that Nazi submarine? A lot of people have defended that, saying it was forgivable because it was in the over-the-top spirit of the adventure being portrayed, and maybe they’re right, but in that moment did Spielberg unwittingly plant a terrible seed? Did a generation of film makers look at that and say “shit, that didn’t really make sense, so why should I bother?”
To which Rob replied: “I have always contended that great movies and really bad movies have been and are made by individuals with a strong singular vision able to rise above the river of shit rushing at them from studios. And it’s usually earlier in their career when they are still listening to a few smart people around them. You do point out some of the great films of the past but there was a whole shitload of crap made back then too. Didn’t you scoff a little when Superman flew backwards around the Earth to turn back time and save Lois? The problem now is that Hollywood movies are rarely made by individuals anymore or if they are, they are made by 300 pound gorillas who have reached a point of impenetrable hubris. Corporations now produce most movies. And they would argue that tent poles have gotten so expensive that you couldn’t possible trust 300 million dollars to one person’s opinion. Further to Hollywood’s sad demise is the failure of anything that even attempted originality this past summer. Of course corporations would call anything without a 2 or 3 in the title original. Pacific Rim had nothing original in it. It was a blender mash up of previous brand name crap. I do think there is a bit of us getting older and the older you get the more things wear out. Been there done that. I watch my kids consume a variety of things, music, books, movies, TV, that I see as reused garbage but they are seeing fresh and new for the first time. I also have been going back to watch some of my favorites from the past with them only to find they are pale and lame and do not hold up at all. They look at me like I’m crazy and I feel like my grandfather ranting about times when coffee was a nickel and they walked ten miles barefoot though the snow to school.”
Seriously. LIfe’s too short to watch crap.
On that note, I’d like to remind everyone that our Supermovie of the Week Club reconvene next Monday with another super-themed film. We’re going all the way back to 1978 for this gem: the epic mystical masterpiece…Dr. Strange!
And, yes, he IS happy to see you. VERY happy.