Is it a sign of getting too old that I want less adventure in my movies?
I was watching “Up” and “Toy Story 3” lately, and it struck me that the parts of the plots that injected action into the story were the least interesting.
Other people might have thought the same thing. When you talk about “Toy Story 3,” do you talk about the extremely lengthy escape scene or do you talk about the tearjerking ending? When discussing “Up,” do you talk about an evil explorer trying to catch a bird, or do you talk about the sad, quiet moments when the filmmakers told the story of Carl’s life in silent snippets?
I liked both of these movies. But, as my wife said, the adventure parts of it seemed “too grand.” They got in the way of the fantasy.
In place of the goofy action in the previous installments, like dueling with the evil Zurg, “Toy Story 3” had actual danger. To a degree, this made the action all the more important. But at the same time, to stretch that out into overly elaborate action movie quests just made it less important.
It had the fantasy of toys being alive, and how they get through life. Whereas the first two were fun and light, this one had a bleakness in every aspect of it. It wasn’t as uplifting as the other two.
And “Up” didn’t lift me up at all. Take the idea of an old man tying balloons to his house to make it fly. Where is he flying? Is he going somewhere or is he trying to get away from something? Both, as it turns out. That should have been enough to give it the whimsy of some of the best non-violent children’s stories.
But instead, the heroes are fighting against a villain who gets killed at the end. Not the fantasy I wanted. It began perfectly. It ended perfectly. Throughout the middle, I kept thinking “What is going on here?”
Maybe this was because “Up” and “Toy Story 3” were both made for 3D.
They had to have extra action. There were a lot of shots that seemed like they were supposed to come out at you.
With regards to 3D: What filmmakers need to realize about their new toys is that a decade or three down the line, no one’s going to care about whatever technology you created. Yes, color and sound were both huge for movies, and both had detractors at the time. But the technology is supposed to compliment the movie. The movie shouldn’t be a slave to the technology.
But anyway, even in other movies, I want less action, and more characterization. I hear about a great idea for a time travel story or whatever, and then I lose interest when it devolves into “just another reason to fight.” The fantasy elements are not fantasies by themselves, but MacGuffins to get people to fight. A plot device for violence.
Maybe I should learn from this. All of my comic books, of course, involve violence and struggle. Perhaps these struggles should be more internal and interpersonal.