Posts Tagged ‘preview’

I’m happy for Joss Whedon, after hearing the announcement he’ll write and direct Avengers 2. I like to see a geek inherit the Earth.

But I worry about the franchise in general. Whedon has a tendency to make his villains too comfortable around the heroes. Considering he worked with vampires so long, I’m surprised how quickly he removes his villains’ teeth and makes them just ordinary guys and gals. Perhaps he just likes villains better, like Dr. Horrible. But I’m afraid that, in Avengers 2, Loki will be joining the heroes for a shawarma dinner.

Which one is better?

In the beginning… Later on…
Spike from Buffy Dangerous. You never knew what side he was on. Just kind of hung around because he had nothing else to do.
Danger from X-Men Living embodiment of the Danger Room. Coolest and most deadly new villain in the mutant titles. Just kind of hung around and poked fun of the heroes because she had nothing else to do.

Also:

“The Avengers” fixed the problems of the Marvel prequels

https://whatilearnedbywriting.wordpress.com/2012/05/06/the-avengers-fixed-the-problems-of-the-marvel-prequels/

Editing mistake in Dark Knight Rises:

https://whatilearnedbywriting.wordpress.com/2012/07/29/a-mistake-in-dark-knight-rises/

 

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When something as popular as Twilight invades pop culture the way it has, it’s not hard to write about it with at least a passing knowledge.

I recently wrote a parody of it for an animated sketch. Here’s the video. I hope you like it. But you should be warned there’s some disturbing footage in here:

cartoon parody

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ncjwZ2CJoTQ

When I wrote this parody, there were certain truths I kept to:

1. It’s about the characters. A lot of people rip on Twilight because of the drama. However, the drama is what drew fans to the series. Critics whine that vampires and werewolves should be more visceral, not lingering in love triangles. So I played on that.

My parody is about a Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn video game. So I made the first part of the gameplay about relationships, which I see as the strength (not the weakness) of the books.

2. Take it too far. Parodies work if you take it just far enough outside of the spectrum of what’s acceptable in the book’s real world. The second act of the video you’ll see just how far I pushed it.

3. Prey upon people’s preconceived notions. The interaction between Edward Cullen and Jacob at the end is based upon what pretty much every guy thinks Twilight is. It’s an easy joke, and I’m not proud.

4. End with a 180 degree change. The problem with some parodies is that they just keep doing the same joke over and over. So, I wanted to make sure the last thing my protagonist says is a surprise.

I had the good fortune to interview Vlas and Charley Parlapanides, screenwriters for “The Immortals,” last week in advance of their movie.

They said something that struck me, and I want to share it here. They said that in Hollywood, scriptwriting still has a meritocracy.

“If you have a good script, “ it can get made, Charley Parlapanides said.

“If you do have a big idea, they don’t care who you are,” Vlas Parlapanides said.

This is wonderful news to budding screenwriters. It means that if you have a good idea, you can make it work, providing you can get it into the right hands.

More or less.

They also said that you have to work your ass off and that you usually write 5 movies before your sixth one is sold. And then, there’s no guarantee it will be made into a movie.

Also, they said you are only as good as your last one. So, if it doesn’t make money, no one cares.

What I Learned: It’s not as much who you know. Not when it comes to this. Sure, maybe more people will look at your movie if you are famous, or have some kind of connection. But you don’t have to be anyone to start.

But you have to make yourself someone to keep going.

 

 

 

For my (sometimes inappropriate) humor videos, visit:

http://www.youtube.com/user/verylittleknowledge?feature=mhee


Hangover 2 trailer review

The Wolfpack is indeed back.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RYL_T7f59o8

It’s strange that I’m excited about Hangover 2. It’s not my usual kind of movie. I’m a little late to the party. I only saw the first movie in April. So I already knew about Mike Tyson and some of the other gags. The first one had a great premise, and – as opposed to lots of movies – the payoff was just as good. The acting was pretty good, and I’m beginning to like Zach Galifianakis more each day. One day, I might just let him out of my basement.

I saw the trailer of Hangover 2 in front of Scream 4 (which I reviewed here: https://whatilearnedbywriting.wordpress.com/2011/04/24/scream-4-a-spoiler-free-writers-review/)

First off, I knew they were going to shoehorn in Mr. Chow, that annoying Asian gangster from the first one (Ken Jeong). This time, Stu’s getting married. Which means in part 3, it will have to be Galifianakis.

The trailer was strong in that it didn’t give anything away. Just little snippets and hints. Like the first scene after they wake up. Pieces of the puzzle.

The difficulty in making this movie is that it had to be bigger and crazier than the last, which is quite a feat.

So how does a writer make something that’s bigger and crazier? Some people have complained already that this movie has the same plot. Others have said “Who cares? It worked the first time.”

Really, this is not the type of movie that needs to reinvent itself. Maybe the key is to know your audience, and what their expectations are. And play with those expectations.

One criticism, and it’s a very minor one, is that I fear that too many of their issues might stem from some crazy sex or drug thing. A little too cliche. I’d like to see instead a bevy of strange things that happened the night before, but they should be strange without being just about sex and drugs.

Here’s the following things I want to see them wake up to in their hotel room:

$2,000 worth of Girl Scout Cookies.

A chocolate fountain, but it’s not filled with chocolate.

An alarm, slowly ticking down to something, but they haven’t figured out what yet.

A signature by a celebrity, and they’re trying to make it out. Maybe Ringo Starr signed Zach Galifianakis’ breast.

An empty gun.

One end of a 200-foot rope leading to….?

I actually don’t remember too much about the trailer. Fitting, I know. Perhaps they were trying to make you feel the anesthetic haze. Parts of it are blending with the trailer for the next installment of the Fast and the Furious. By the way, it shouldn’t have been called Flash Five. It should have been called Furious Five, and that way it could have starred Grandmaster Flash.

Disclaimer/background: I’m a traditionalist. I don’t think people should break rules of storytelling unless there’s a good reason. I write comic books, short fiction and children’s books. Just to put my comments in perspective, these are my interests and favorites: My favorite superhero is Spider-Man, and I also like Justice League and Batman. My favorite comic writers lately have been Kurt Busiek, Peter David, and Geoff Johns. I am a huge Transformers fan. In children’s books, I go either simple or meta: either really simple stories or books about stories. In movies and books, I am more impressed with something small that makes me feel something rather than something I’m told is a “must-read” or a must-see.”

I make silly videos and post them here:

http://www.youtube.com/user/verylittleknowledge

Spider-Man can defeat supervillains and criminals, but can he win the fights that really matter?

The story begins when Mary Jane turns down Peter's wedding proposal. 
“The only time you’re there for me is when my life is on the line,” she says. Peter also
 has to let MJ into his life, even the parts that will make her worry. “You and Spider-
Man aren't two separate people. Don't act like what happens in one part of your life 
doesn't affect the other.” 

Aunt May tells him that he has to fight to make a relationship work. But May has her own fight. She develops a rare blood disease. It’s made worse by Peter spending so much time as Spider-Man that he misses picking up her medication in time. On her hospital bed, May tells Peter that she knew he was Spider-Man this whole time, and that he should be proud of who he is. She gives him the inspiration to do what has to be done.

Peter drops everything to be with MJ, helping her get her career back on track. It’s still a rocky road, but he’s going to put her first.

Instead of Spider-Man having to beat up a super villain to save someone’s life, Peter Parker goes into a lab to save his aunt’s life. He works beside his professor, Dr. Curt Connors.

However, Connors has discovered a way to grow his arm back using lizard DNA. The procedure is a success as far as Connors is concerned, because he doesn’t remember the times he blacks out and becomes the Lizard. He holds a press conference advertising his procedure and he is mobbed by amputees wanting his help. Before long, New York is crawling with dozens of lizards, all of which are controlled by the first and most powerful one. Each henchman lizard has slightly different powers, like spitting venom, chameleon scales, and even wings stretching from their arms to their hips.

Peter tells Connors what he’s been turning into. Together, they perfect a serum that will not only save Aunt May’s life, but also keep Connors from turning. There’s a problem: If Connors takes the serum as the Lizard, he will stay as the Lizard forever. Just as Pete is about to take the serum to Aunt May, Connors changes into the Lizard and steals it from him.

Spider-Man battles the Lizard in a lab he built in the sewer, scientific equipment falling all around him. As Spidey forces the Lizard to flee, a huge piece of equipment pins him in rapidly rising water, the serum just out of reach. Summoning all his courage and turning it to strength, Spider-Man slowly lifts the heavy machinery off his back.

He saves May but the Lizard is still at large, and making more mutants. Their final showdown begins at the Connors’ home, and spills into the streets. They fight while leaping on moving trucks and a car carrier careening out of control.
Mary Jane gets to play the hero. She tricks the Lizard during the final fight, saving Spider-Man’s life. Earlier, when May collapses at home, she’s the one who gets her to the hospital.

Mary Jane proposes to Peter in the hospital, and he accepts. Aunt May puts up her hands and says “Finally!”

 

Some notes on this:

https://whatilearnedbywriting.wordpress.com/2010/01/16/spider-man-4-notes-and-spider-man-5/