Thursday, March 20, 2014

"That's a debt I'll never be able to repay."

There is something promising about a warmer day -- with sunshine, a big moon, and lots of fog -- on the first day of spring.  I'm certainly ready for winter to be over.  The older I get the less I enjoy it.  I like there to be sunshine when I'm not in the office.

Today's tales from the script -- I'm going to have to change the name, turns out there's already an entire blog by that name which predates my "spontaneous creation" of said same -- but today I'm going to look at "Catching Fire", the hugely successful sequel to "The Hunger Games."

There will be high level spoilers, but nothing you can't figure out on your own anyway if you saw the first film and understand Hollywood.  Gee, that was cynical for the first day of spring.

"Catching Fire" was a good movie, but...  I have great confidence that the book will be much, much better.  I plan to read it when I finish with the Robert Crais novel consuming my attention.  The reason I believe this is because there were a lot of suggestions of deeper story in the film accompanied by a sense of rushing.  Not exciting rushing, more like being at a staff meeting with a lot of agenda items that need to be checked off so we can go to lunch already.

I really felt like I had just watched the same movie again, but not quite as good.  A remake rather than a sequel.  It was fun, but totally lacked the greatness of THG.  Part of that is sequelitis, obviously.  The world had been created so of course we saw the same goofy clothes, same squalor, same train and forest, etc.  But the other part was that it had the same plot points.  Like it had the same plot points.

I did learn a valuable lesson about pacing.  We watched it in the living room as a family and as a family we had to pause it several times for everything from restroom breaks to getting more chips.  Each time the movie was paused I stopped to think about what I'd been watching and then made a prediction about what was going to happen.  The end result was that the film seemed obvious to me.  There's nothing inherently wrong with being obvious if you're telling a good story, but if the audience gets there before you do it ruins the experience.  I was surprised that such a big budget, award winning film could be so close to the line.

Then my ego took over and I decided it was because, as a brilliant storyteller myself, the best plot line was obvious to me even as it remained occluded from the bourgeois.

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