Wednesday, September 05, 2012

New Episode of THE NARRATIVE BREAKDOWN now live!

This time, James and our friend Jason Ginsburg discuss generating and developing science-fiction and fantasy story concepts and ideas. I had the pleasure of seeing both The Avengers and Prometheus with Jason and James this summer (and Jason's wife Wendy), and our guest host knows his stuff. Please check it out on iTunes, and rate and review the show if you enjoy! 

While I'm here, a quick Summer Movie Report Card:

The Avengers:  A-. Maybe a little bit too long, but Joss Whedon's dialogue and sense of humor + great relationships + terrific action + shawarma = the most enjoyable thing I've seen this year, I think.

Prometheus: D+ -- and even that is entirely based on how pretty the whole thing was, most especially Michael Fassbender (though still not as wonderful as he was as Mr. Rochester, because my word, his Mr. Rochester!). The characters were idiots (especially as scientists!) and the plot made no sense at all. But truly a nice use of the film's CGI budget. Maybe it will be redeemed in the Director's Cut.

The Dark Knight Rises:  B-? After the brilliant intensity of The Dark Knight, that thrilling and terrifying examination of the worth of human beings as a class and as individuals (through the Joker's nihilism vs. Batman's goodness vs. Harvey Dent's whole journey), this came off as a little bit scattered to me, with too many stories to cram in, not enough time to develop any of the relationships, an all-over-the-place economic vision, and not as much thematic coherency as the previous movie. I also think the story put itself at a disadvantage by having to spend so much time convincing Batman to come out of retirement . . . It starts slow and then has to cram things together later, with many, many plot holes along the way. But wonderful visuals, as ever, and all the actors acquitted themselves nicely, especially Anne Hathaway.

If you're a Christopher Nolan fan, you must see this -- useful for punctuating conversations as well: The Inception Button.

Ruby Sparks:  B+. I have quibbles with the ending, but up until then, this is a smart and thoughtful take on writing, relationships, and the dangers of creating or applying the former through/to the latter. I loved the sequence where he was creating Ruby's character especially. And hooray for a female screenwriter and co-director! Highly recommended for writers and people who love them.

Beasts of the Southern Wild I don't even know how to grade this movie, it's so unlike anything else I've ever seen. An A for its heroine and her performance, for sure; an A for the beauty of its visuals; an A for originality and imagination; a N/A for plot structure.

The Amazing Spider-Man: B+. The best parts of this by far to me were the conversations between Peter and Mary Jane, when the real spark between Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone seemed to imbue their characters as well. Those also seemed like the only times Andrew Garfield smiled -- I wanted to love him, wanted him to be my fun-loving Spidey superhero, but his performance seemed to actively resist offering any emotional warmth to me as a viewer, which left me a bit confused. But a good, creepy villain and Martin Sheen being wise are always pleasures.

Still would like to see (and now might have to catch on DVD):  The Bourne Legacy, Premium Rush, The Campaign, Brave, Seeking a Friend at the End of the World, Snow White and the Huntsman, Searching for Sugar Man. Anything else you'd recommend?

1 comment:

  1. Surprised you don't have "Moonrise Kingdom" on your list, it was a emotionally true if stylized portrayal of childhood love. "Celeste and Jesse Forever" was an interesting take on the romantic comedy; Rashida Jones carries the movie in wonderful fashion and Andy Samberg isn't very Andy Samberg-ish, if that might scare you away.