Something from Flickr

Labels Labels Labels!

2010 2011 2013 2014 actor type Adam Sandler movies admitting mistakes an Athena Angkor Wat Angola 3 ARRI Alexa art is dead Art is Voice Awesomely Bad believe Best Films of 2010 best movie songs Can Doesn't Mean Do casting conundrums catharsis Center Stage champions change choice cinematography iii cocooning communication failures Conquest Without Contribution Constantine Context is King dance movies death of story Diana Ross Live disclaimer disclosure distribution no man's land dreamkilling dues Ella Fitzgerald is Queen essanay Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind expression film cohesion film continuity film curio film is dead film poetry gaslighting Grease 2 Gremlins grin and bear it guerrilla filmmaking horror human need I Dreamed a Dream I'm Not Here If you have nothing to say you have no business making art image blinded imploding In the Land of the Free In the Mood for Love Independent Spirit Awards 2010 Independent Spirit Awards 2012 inspiration It's About Me ivory towers John Coffey lawrence of arabia learning from mistakes Lensbaby life is hard Listmania loss or gains love lust mamet Max Payne mindache modern princesses Mole Richardson Moonrise Kingdom More Isn't Better morning glory my films National Treasure Netflix on hold nothing ventured notti di cabiria on fire one inspired moment pearl costume photoplay planning problems previews Range is overrated regard dans le vague relating reprehensible media Robert Duvall reigns supreme role of women romantic comedies roundup score scorsese selective focus self set shit shows shorts Shutruk-Nahunte Silent Hill simulator small crews spoofs Step Up story is dead Storyframer storytelling talking into the ocean Tao of Gizmo the gambler Tiger's Nest Tilt-Shift Photography too many movies Tubb City typecasting walk away We had a moment and then it passed whispering into a tree wilder Women In Film Worst Films of 2010 writing is dead You Do It For You You Don't Want What You Want

Blog Roll

Showing posts with label Context is King. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Context is King. Show all posts

Monday, March 07, 2011

More Isn't Better. It's Just More.

Stop the presses: *Transformers 2* was bad. Michael Bay admits it.

WENN: Transformers was 'no good' Director admits

Just in time to promote the next installment in the *Transformers* franchise. --The NEXT installment.-- (This is where we collectively disregard that the last one was awful and the first one little better. =Capitalism operating on audience optimism.1)

For better or worse, I commend Michael Bay for stating what many will not. Fans and filmmakers alike. About their own work and that of others. [I've done this with mine here.] "That was cr*p. [...] It's a B.S. way to make a movie."

Quote of the Article has to go to Shia LaBeouf, however, and his "You lost a bit of the relationships. Unless you have those relationships, then the movie doesn't matter. Then it's just a bunch of robots fighting."

by Andrew Wippler
. . . Perhaps a memo got lost in the shuffle of shooting without a script, but I believe this *was* a Transformers movie. When I go to see Transformers, it's precisely to see big robots fighting. Not empty clichéd human backstory for cardboard cutout characters. Had the first one been heavier on the robots, lighter on . . . everything else, it would have been far less embarrassing.

Cutting To The Chase

If you decide to go ahead and make a movie where you aren't going to bother with character, why not take a page from Luc Besson's School of 5-minute plot set-up followed by 80 minutes of action à la *Taken*. Full of its own ridiculousness, Besson makes no pretense about what his film is: formula action needing minimal plot set-up. Daughter is kidnapped + Dad is former CIA = Dad goes in search of kidnapped daughter, i.e. Heads will roll.

Besson cuts to the heart of what his film is about (and what the viewer wants to see): badass hero setting bastards ablaze. Not down-trodden father with 30 minutes of weak human interest development. Not slow motion hot-girl car-washing scenes or silly eBay-user tracking plotlines or animal cracker on belly moments (yes, I liked Armageddon (I did), but that scene comes off awkward every time).

No bait and switch. No dillydallying. No showing a gun and never using it.

Context is king. As always.

Clash of the Titans
by Hans van Bentem
Exhibit *Clash of the Titans* (2010). COT couldn't entertain (me) even on a cheese level. I understand the why of the remake: bigger, grander, newer effects. Theme: Man on a mission. Man vs. God. But once you've reduced the premise of the original to a mere revenge plot, why then muddle the goal with a nonsensical, everpresent pseudo-love-interest demigod character and story? This isn't an Odyssey. This is a Clash of the Titans: a story where gods battle. That is what we want to see. Release the Kraken!

Trying to be everything to everyone often just comes off as convoluted. Pick one through-line and stick with it. Decide and accept who your audience is. 2010's *Clash of the Titans* tried to soften its chosen blind revenge angle with (a creepy) romance. The 1981 *Clash of the Titans* knew what is was doing in this respect. The Andromeda love story [unattainable and captive love] as motive was both a more sustainable character motivation and a clean way of including a romance (and pretty, young lovers) in an action film.

More isn't better. It's just more.
Why not focus and aim for enough?

"The man with insight enough to admit his limitations comes nearest to perfection." -Goethe

[6/21/12 Edit] 1 My optimism on this front ended with the first *Transformers*. I ventured no further than that. I can't even fathom that they made a second *Clash of the Titans* movie.

Friday, February 25, 2011

I Love Robert Duvall! . . . & Type is Unnecessarily Maligned

This is Acting
I love Robert Duvall. Let me say it again. I love Robert Duvall. He was phenomenal in *The Apostle*, wonderful in *The Godfather*--where he even speaks some spot-on (standard) Italian--magnificent in several other films. Has he ever not been good? A few days ago, I saw him in *Get Low*, where at the end, he breaks your heart with a story he tells. And that moment made the film come together. In all of actordom, he is one who constantly blows me away. He and Katharine Hepburn [The Lion in Winter--I don't know that there *is* better acting than that. Stage Door, calla lilies--wow].

Montgomery Clift in I Confess
Yes, Pacino is great; he was superb in Serpico and The Godfather films and so many others. Clift is great. Judgement at Nuremburg alone is proof of that. Lemmon is great. Wonderful in so many films with Wilder and Mathau, phenomenal in Costa-Gavras' Missing. But Robert Duvall is really the pinnacle for me. Yes, he has his ticks (the outbreath "woos"), but how can he not? Who doesn't? Acting doesn't exist in a vacuum. Some of you has to go into the role. As with any job. What marks great acting or a great acting performance or a great actor for me is not the ever-touted Range but Depth: believability. It is not a character, it is you. You have to be present & present as whoever you are portraying.
Jack Lemmon in The Apartment

When Whoopi Goldberg stabbed a knife into that table in The Color Purple, that moment felt thunderously real. When Beatrice Straight gave her 8-minute monologue in Network (for which she won an Oscar), those emotions felt genuine. [Faye Dunaway and Marlene Warfield were also superb here.] This is the deepest sort of acting. It is not us watching your acting. It is us not even realizing you're acting. It is us believing you feel the things that you are showing us. That's what makes it real. [cf. Robert Duvall!] Much much easier said than done.