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Harry Potter And The Reluctant Yank, Part A

(I’m already doing a numbered series, as not to confuse, maybe.)

Cinema’s blog, movie date 130428:14

From news articles I’ve read that after August we may not even have a post office, that’s supposed to be when all the “debt” comes to a head. You see, thru a certain political party, the USPS now has to accrue savings 75, that’s SEVENTY-FIVE years before an employee retires. That is 10 years before any employee is even BORN, add 16 more before they’re able to work. And then prices will skyrocket to mail anything. So we may finally be rid of junk mail, but also the ability to send hand written holiday cars & letters.

Anyway, and that was quite a tangent, I decided to go for quality on my netflix cue and hacked away all the 2 star films and ones that I had less than 10 of. 3 is a lame rating out of 5. It’s wishy washy okay. I always like a review system with an even number of options. 50% or 51%, shit or good. The only 3’s I have left are part of series.

I couldn’t deny it was time to rent the harry potter films, mostly because I was impressed that such a large cast made 8 films. The closest I can think of was Roger Moore as bond for 7, but that’s mostly him. Was Q, M & Money Penny consistent within that?

The first film I just let “wash over me,” I didn’t try to figure anything out, which is tough. My mind wants to plot crunch. And the first 3 movies were tough because the magic was too random for me. A mythology has to develop rules within itself. You have to know a vampires rules or Jason if you have to kill them. There has to be a limit what you can make disappear or specifics on what you can pull out of nowhere? This movie was all over. But there is a puzzle to figure out. Tons of characters are introduced and I think you can have too many characters. That’s what sells the action figures, unfortunately.

I learned from the tons of Star Wars figures I still have and am reluctant to sell. For a long time I thought about calling my eBay handle “should_I_sell_blue_snaggletooth?” I now am selling 3/4 of my collection quite easily, a lesson in collecting and what their real long-term value is when the series takes a turn from the creator(s).

Who the hell sends their kids here to such a dangerous school?! And a 7 year school when you’re 11? They haven’t even learned the “basics” of high school? Are you really going to teach sorcery to a bunch of kids that want to get laid, play video games and eat junk food?

I did think the sorting hat was interesting. High school is like that: you’re wither a jock, a geek (without perfect grades), a stoner or in the academic decathlon. There are many factions… familiar to me within the geeks.

In the second movie, I did figure out the puzzle, or big bad and I just considered it a kid’s movie that spelled it out. I knew there were bigger things for Snape and like most movies there would be something important he was hiding for him to act odd but not all outright evil.

I of course loved Moaning Myrtle. Can’t wait to see the porn parody.

The films went on long and it was tough for me to get thru. I was bored and restless. It was literally watching a british tv season of 6 episodes in a sitting.

The third movie was trickier for me to figure out and I’m not sure I did. Everything just happens quickly whether or not and of course people leave the movie saying they figured things out. I bet if the theater paused the movie before it’s secrets unraveled and handed out a written, I’d bet 3% really got it.

There are so many red herring characters, but I did pay attention to what I call card counting people. Like blackjack there are high cards and low cards. A character will come in and do good (high card) or do something bad (low card). There are ancillary characters that kinda say “hi” (middle) that you take for granted. CSI taught me not to mentally “blow off” those people.

If you have a time traveling device, THAT should be the big deal here! I understood later where the plot and mythology needed to go, but at least dispatch the device if you’re not going to use it!

Wow, that was a lot and quick. I’ll have to go to part 2…

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2013/04/28 Posted by | Single malts | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What the hell do you want now? Inspirational writing 3 of 10

Wanter’s Blog, desire date 130315:23

So we have all these people in your story. Do they all just sit and watch tv all day? Sit in a coffee shop and stare at their phones or laptops?

NO, all these people want something. Something big, a story worth writing about often involves someone’s life work or life goal. And chances are the story/ book/ movie is about what each of them want and what they’re willing to do about it, or the consequences of not doing something. Or likely you’ll show how people screw things up.

A well crafted story will combine steps 1 & 2. An introduction of a character will instantly start piling a list of things they want or have to do (by the end of the story). Certain action figure/ video game/ comic book driven stories often pile on all the good guys and bad guys in rapid succession, which I think is hack. You can tell they‘re trying to get as many action figures out of it as they can.

Each person should get more time to develop than a parade of 1) hey, I wanna get laid, 2) hey, I’m the tough guy who’s going to kick ass for our cause, 3) hey, I’m the sarcastic sidekick, 4) hey, I’m the girlfriend of the protagonist and mother of the group. Yeah, these are overused story elements, the better writer can turn these elements on their ass and make something no one has seen before. Yes, we know now the girlfriend kicks ass and the guys are shlubby wimps. You know people who defy movie/ tv stereotypes, use them!

This is the part of the story where the leading male/ female sings the ballad of how they have to save their country, but they also want crazy sex and if there were only someone out there that can help with both.

Sometimes it’s not all about the big goals. There was an episode of Community based on the group looking for a purple gel pen, and 1 person (Annie) basically holding everyone hostage til she gets her favorite thing back. But out of it came a lot of discussion and revelations from the group.

A good story can have people on the same “side” that want things that conflict with each other. A lot of times it comes in the form of a competition, or someone has to get the 1 promotion. Tickets are selling fast for a show and who can get a pair?

Sometimes the need is an accident that disturbs our character’s every day life. There’s an earthquake. A couple is having problems, the wife gets on a plane and then it’s hijacked.

And chances are a protagonist will even be content with the way things are (at a “low“ level). This thing that happens disturbs that and they have no choice but to act. Many characters have their caretakers actually killed or living area literally wiped out. They have nowhere else to go. They have no family left. The crew is enjoying their snacks when they get dispatched to an emergency call. You and all your friends get fired instead of laid off so the bought out company wouldn’t be responsible for your unemployment.

The real trick is to not broadcast the ending by the character’s need. We know the single guy starring with Drew Barrymore is going to wind up with her at the end. We know the poor guy will get a job and money. We know the team that can’t get a win will take the championship. The trick is to make the goal interesting enough to hang in there, but there may be an unexpected result. A whodunnit is only good when you can’t figure it out in the first 20 minutes.

Okay, so now what do we do, team leader?

 

2013/03/15 Posted by | Writing course in 10 sessions | , , , , , , | Leave a comment