Thursday, May 13, 2010

Movie Ranting...

I read Maureen’s post yesterday about how she forgave the mistakes she saw in the movie because the movie overall was so good. Today I’m having the opposite reaction. I can’t forgive any of the mistakes I saw in the movie I just watched because overall the story telling was so completely lazy. This movie… Iron Man 2.

Now I know what you’re thinking, why would I expect anything from this movie? But I remembered vaguely liking the first and based on the previews I had seen there was going to be a large emphasis paid to the love story (which is all I really care about.) The love story in Iron Man is a boss/secretary dynamic. I love the boss/secretary story. Love it!

So here I have Robert Downey – sexy arrogant brilliant guy – my ultimate weakness. A boss/secretary love dynamic. And the vague memory that the first one was good.

What did I get… GARBAGE. Now some will like the film for what it is. Cool scenes, crazy action, Mikey Rourke (Had they given him a real plot line would have been excellent.)

But all I could see is what they didn’t give me. No real plot. No understanding of what 3 of the major characters were even doing in this film. Lazy, lazy motivations for everyone. Introductions of characters with no lead into who they were or why they were there. And a love story that climaxed about as hard as soft serve ice-cream… after it had melted for a minutes.

So I’m here to rant against crappy story telling. Jon Favreau (the director/guy from Swingers) - I know - sat around with his buddies back in the day and talked about what made a movie good. He probably called out big budget busts like these. Now he’s responsible for directing this!

I spend hours, I spend days making sure all the elements of my plot works. I struggle with the beginning, middle and end. I try to give surprise, suspense and action. And I make damn sure (or my critique partner or agent or editor does) that the freakin’ story makes sense.

How did this guy watch this movie the first time fully edited and say… Yup! That works.

And why is it that I’ll struggle and struggle to make a story “perfect” on the hope that an NY publisher might buy it for a couple of thousand dollars… and someone thought it was okay to spend millions on this piece of crap and no one gets called on it.

People will go, spend their money, get a lazy half-assed story with some special effects and call it a day. I say NO! I say it’s time movie makers with their million dollar budgets become accountable to a higher standard. Good action movies can be made. Doubt me? Watch Star Trek.

Come on Hollywood. JJ Abrams can’t be the only action storyteller left can he?

Phew… rant done.


Eileen said...

Amen, sister! With all the money they spend on special effects, couldn't there be a little spent on making a decent story to hang those effects on? Also . . . with the bazillions of people who want to write screenplays, you can't tell me that what makes it on the screen is the cream of the crop. I don't believe it.

I don't totally understand the movie-making process. I do get that a lot of times there's a good script that passes through so many hands on its way to the screen that it gets ruined, but really it happens way more often than it should.

Stephanie Doyle said...

Eileen - you're so right. But what kills me is that sometimes all it takes is 1 line. 1 look. 1 moment that can add depth and layers to a person's character.

Why can't I have special effects AND depth. Do they have to be mutually exclusive?

Eileen said...

No. They don't. You brought up Star Trek. I give you Pan's Labyrinth. Amazing special effects, but they were only there in service of the story. Not the other way around.

Maureen McGowan said...

Oh, that is disappointing. I really liked the first one.

This cracked me up... "a love story that climaxed about as hard as soft serve ice-cream… after it had melted for a minutes"

Sinead M said...

That is really too bad about IronMan 2.
I recently(don't laugh) watch both GI Joe and Transformers 2 and both were AWFUL.
Truly terrible, every conversation was disconnected, they couldn't even be bothered to connect plot points, but things went boom and both movies made money.

I think we need to blame teenage boys(and possibly my husband) who'll see a movie regardless of whether it's got a great story.

Karen W said...

Another awful movie to me was Sherlock Holmes. Sure, I like looking at Robert Downey Jr, but the who movie just seemed sort of... pointless.

I'm hoping to rent Legend this weekend.

Eileen said...

Sinead, you can probably add my boyfriend to the list with your husband. He appreciates a good story, but he sees it as secondary to everything else. Sigh. I guess opposites attract, right? ;-)

Maureen McGowan said...

the first Transformers movie was enough for me to know I really, really didn't want to see the second one. Oh, how I disliked that Transformers movie.

And GI Joe? Well, that's one that I wouldn't consider unless it got 2 thumbs up from Sinead -- which I now know it didn't. She's my barometer for action movies.

After I saw the reviews and a few comments, I decided to skip Sherlock Holmes, after having been VERY excited to see it. Maybe if I hadn't been so busy when it came out I might've gone anyway... Now, will wait until it hits the movie channel.

Molly O'Keefe said...

that bums me out because Iron Man 1 was really fun. But I think there is this push for franchise and sequel - when one makes money, two must make a lot of money. It's a rare director that steps away from the franchise - the director of Twilight comes to mind.

The second transformers was so so bad. Like it was literally written by twelve year old boys and then edited by monkeys. Crazy. Crazy actually that I saw it.

It's why we all need to go see those small movies - we need to vote with our money because it's the only vote that matters out there. No one cares about awards or acclaim. Or great storytelling unless it makes some money.

Simone said...

Good rant, and I'd totally get on board, except that I hate the romance in Iron Man. I detest Gwyneth Paltrow. Actually, I hope that Mickey Rourke just kills Pepper Pots and gets it over with. THAT'S a script.

But back to what you're saying - yeah, lazy storytelling. It doesn't have to be that way. You could actually try, you know? If The Dark Knight can do it...

Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree more. An absolutely despicable ham-handed insertion of "Avengers" characters, no doubt with the aim of starting yet another comic book-based movie franchise as a spinoff. When it first happened, my wife looked at me and said, "what the hell? Who are these people? What's going on?" and I had to admit I had no idea.

I do have to thank you for cluing me into the romance subplot. I had no idea there actually was romance of any kind in this film video game.

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