Thursday, June 15, 2017

Transgressing the standards

I watched Wonder Woman last night and it was okay. There were moments in it that I enjoyed and there were moments that I didn't and, yet, I cannot help feeling a cynical distaste that they were merely check-boxes on an imaginary build list on how to make a relatively competent movie.

Now, as you may already know, I've got a selective taste. One where upside down is despised, Frequencies is appreciated and Bucky Larson is adored. To which, most of you would probably respond with, huh? How is it that Bucky Larson gets a thumbs up while being, quite clearly, a terrible film? I'm not sure ...  I would like to think that this video from Vox goes a long way to explaining this: 

But, now, back to why I was indifferent about Wonder Woman. I think the main issues I had were that Gal Gadot was miscast in the lead role. Her acting ability is very limited and she was unable to create a character which was either charismatic or interesting. Yes, she looked very striking in her vogue cover girl make-up but that's not enough to sustain my interest over the course of a 2+ hour movie. The funny part is that the younger versions of her earlier in the movie conveyed a lot more character and personality than the final product. Make no mistake: Wonder Woman (and every other franchise) are merely products designed to separate you from your money. As the producers / owners of this movie, they would like to try and point out that little girls finally have a strong female role-model to look up to - but that is just silly. I'll give you just a small list of present-day strong female leads/heroes/ass-kickers: Black Widow, Angelina Jolie in Tomb Raider/Salt/Wanted, Gamora (from Guardians of the Galaxy), Lucy, Super Girl,  Hit-Girl (from Kick-ass) ... and plenty more. From my vantage point, it seems pretty clear that strong female leads are pretty well-catered for - it's just that marketeers like to try and confuse us with statements to the contrary. Could it be that I'm simply being sexist because I didn't love the movie? Scientist man says otherwise.

I guess the problem I have with most big films today is that the plots are actually approached very scientifically. I will now divulge the blockbuster hero formula:

  • If it's the first in the blockbuster film series, it will *always* be an origin film and spoon-fed to the audience so they're not too confused while sipping their gallon of coke
  • There will always be an unexplained element of the origin story which will always be resolved by the end of the film
  • If the protagonist is from another country/world/time, there will be classic fish-out-of-water humor inserted
  • Whatever the main protagonists' main character traits are, there will be contrasting side-characters there to counter-balance those traits (e.g. naive vs worldly wise, rambunctious vs cautious etc.)
  • There will always be humorous side-kicks to distract the audience from the boring / limited acting range of the main character
  • There will be a 'you had the power inside you all along' moment
  • The arch-nemesis will always be one-dimensional and driven to do bad things ... because reasons
  • Slow motion is your friend
  • The End of the world plot is your friend
  • The final 10 minutes will be a CGI excrement-fest, with smoke, wind, lightning and random explosions that will frighten small children
Notable examples: both Guardians of the galaxy films, Wonder Woman, Thor, Hulk, Avengers, Black Panther (one would presume), Green Lantern, Brave, Captain America, Iron Man 2, The Force Awakens.

In all honesty, I did extract some enjoyment from Wonder Woman ... but it feels like I was forced down that path through subversive mentalist techniques. It's getting to a point where it feels like we're moving towards mass-brainwashing; where the intended agenda is prefaced years in advance so that finally, upon its release, the only possible assessment you could ever settle upon is that of complete adulation and acceptance. I can't be the only one, can I?

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Cover reveal and release date!

Things are looking good for my next book. So good, in fact that I can now do a cover and book title reveal!

So, the official title for the next book is
Zed: Walking the Dead
and the current release date is tentatively set at 
March 11th

Let me know what you think of the cover for my new novel in the comments section. I am very happy and very excited to see what you make of this novel. I feel it is my best and hopefully you will too.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Harrison Ford has lived too long

For any original Star Wars fan, they will be undoubtedly aware of Carrie Fisher's (nee Princess Leia) passing. Unfortunately this was not enough to thwart the release of The Force Awakens but, at least, we won't be having her cameo in any future films, will we? 

Image result for rogue one princess leia
Computer graphics have yet to surpass the Uncanny Valley
I stand corrected. Unfortunately I can categorically declare that Harrison has lived too long. We have been subjected to a rehash of his role in Indiana Jones (the horror), The Force Awakens (such pretty horror) and apparently we will soon be subjected to a disappointing rendition of an aging blade-runner attempting to interact coherently alongside the talented Ryan Gosling's antics. One would expect Gosling to play out the role as an emotionless rendition of a blade-runner from Brooklyn. 

Trey Parker is a goddamn soothsayer by this point. It's not that I don't want to have Harrison Ford acting - I just don't want him raping the good will of the films that had made him successful in the first place. Apparently I am in the minority on this as I haven't yet noted the expected droves of people shrieking in horror at the announcement / release of these films. Even if I have the tiniest of inclinations to see these abortive cash-ins, I cannot rightly support this. We are all dumber for wanting to watch or, dare I say it, enjoy them. I watched The Force Awakens (for free) recently and even with a steady stream of Rum flowing through my veins I was unable to extract any enjoyment from the experience. The film was a hollow facsimile of A New Hope with a story which held no gravitas or emotional weight. At this point I liken Star Wars to the abusive husband who promises not to hit you but still does.