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Showing posts with label admitting mistakes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label admitting mistakes. 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.