Monthly Archives: March 2010

3D

I’m not convinced.

I mean I can see it, I know it’s different to a 2D film … I’m just not convinced it actually adds anything to the proceedings.

So far I’ve seen three of the new generation of 3D films UP, AVATAR and ALICE IN WONDERLAND*. UP I saw twice, once in 3D and once in 2D and I can’t honestly say it made a difference to how awesome it is. AVATAR I spent half the film (which is a looooong fucking time) opening and closing one eye, just to see if I cared.

I didn’t.

I quite like 3D in theme parks, but even then most of the rides have moved on to spraying water at you and having things crawl over your legs. For a three minute ride, 3D is exciting and cool (ish), for an hour and a half to three hours it’s a bit fucking dull. After a couple of minutes or so of  being impressed, my mind just seems to blot it out and it all goes back to 2D.

I just don’t really see the point of it, especially since I now have to wear glasses for the cinema. 3D just means having to wear two pairs of glasses – which feels very silly. I don’t know what I’m expecting really, I guess I wanted a significantly enhanced cinema experience … but I just don’t think it is.

Mind you, I don’t really see the point of HD TV either; but that;s probably because I can’t be bothered wearing glasses at home and everything remains vaguely blurry no matter what the resolution.

3D – does it excite you?

—————————————————————————————-

* Christ, what a mess. When was that supposed to be set? Bonkers? That’ll be post-Second World War then? No wait, they seem to be wearing American clothes from the 19th Century, but talking with English accents. Plus it seems to flick between Alice in Wonderland, Hook and The Wizard of Oz for no particular reason. Does anyone know what type of story they want to tell? And I couldn’t understand a fucking word Johnny Depp says. And what exactly were the rules concerning shrinking/expanding dresses – they did or didn’t depending on how little attention anyone was paying? Mandy pretty much summed it up afterwards:

Why didn’t they tell us she needed the Jaberwocky’s venom to get home? At least then she’d have something to do.”

I know ‘it was all a dream’ has become a cliché but it’s a million times better than the main character being convinced everything is a dream until the last ten minutes. It’s a really odd choice to have a character walking around going:

“None of this is real, nothing that happens matters, I don’t really care what happens to me or anyone else.”

Thrilling.

I’m very probably wrong about this, since I know fuck all about clothes – they just didn’t look very Victorian to my ill informed eyes.

Categories: Industry Musings, Random Witterings | 6 Comments

Just for the Record – DVD

Looky, looky, Just for the Record, the film based on the script wot I wrote, is available for pre-order on Play.com:

http://www.play.com/DVD/DVD/4-/13953134/Just-For-The-Record/Product.html

For those of you with short memories, who weren’t paying attention or have recently joined us, Just for the Record is a feature film starring Danny Dyer, Rik Mayall, Sean Pertwee, Billy Murray, Steven Berkoff, Colin Salmon, Victoria Silvstedt, Craig Fairbrass, Philip Davis, Lisa McAllister, Roland Manookian and well, lots of people really.

This is the trailer:

Based purely on that trailer (and possibly the one which preceded it) 3 directors and 2 producers have already threatened to sue me, each believing the respective director/producer characters are based on them.

I did suggest a disclaimer at the beginning of the film:

THE CHARACTER OF HARLAN NOBLE IS IN NO WAY BASED ON XXXX’

… but apparently that’s not good enough.

Personally, I find this threat of legal action from so many diverse sources to be a refreshing affirmation. I’ve obviously nailed the characters for so many people to see themselves reflected in them.

Curiously, no writers have got upset yet.

For those who can’t work it out from the trailer, which is entirely plausible, this is the synopsis:

In 2008 an independent production company set out to make the micro-budget feature film ‘Just For The Record’.

Armed with a stellar cast of top TV actors, the world’s most advanced digital camera and a quirky location to die for … what could possibly go wrong?

A lot, as it happens.

A year after the film has been abandoned, the cast and crew reunite for a series of interviews about the ill-fated production. It’s a constant round of accusations, recriminations and humorous anecdotes as everyone tries to answer the central burning question: Why did the film fail and whose fault was it?

The interviews reveal a host of possible candidates:

For a start there’s the alcoholic, womanising and mostly incompetent Producer. Then there’s the wunderkind Director who doesn’t make films, he creates experiences – bad ones; the writer who’s read every screenplay book going without actually managing to develop any talent; the editor hired more for his ability to annoy than his editing skills and the DOP who would struggle to understand a ZX Spectrum, let alone a state of the art camera.

Mix them all together with a two week night shoot, a budget smaller than most films’ catering bill, an incompetent crew, a cast who can’t stand each other and a location which proves to be dark, inaccessible and downright un-filmable … and you have the perfect conditions for laying a cinematic turd.

JUST FOR THE RECORD is a warning to anyone thinking of making a feature film on the cheap. By turns hilarious, tragic and poignant the direct to camera interviews of the cast and crew expose what it’s really like in the seedy, cash strapped and ultimately thankless world of micro budget filmmaking.

Reminiscing about every stage of the process from conception through scripting, casting, preproduction, shooting, editing and ultimately giving up in despair – this pathetic tale will entertain, inform and warn off anyone thinking of getting involved in a similar project.

JUST FOR THE RECORD is a how-not-to manual which proves you can have all the talent in the world … or you can have a micro-budget movie.

So there you go.

And here it (nearly is), available for pre-order now:

http://www.play.com/DVD/DVD/4-/13953134/Just-For-The-Record/Product.html

And due for release on the 17th of May.

Buy it before anyone has a chance to review it.

Categories: Just for the Record, Progress, Publicity | 6 Comments

Social reminder

So, is anyone going along tomorrow?

In the words of Piers:

Sara Baroni and myself have taken it into our heads once more to organise a writers’ social.

So if you’d like to come down the pub and chat about writing for stage and screen and radio and perhaps even game-controller, who knows?, we shall be at the Knights Templar in Chancery Lane on the evening of Thursday 18th March 2010.

7pm till closing; all welcome.

I’ll be there, be lovely to see anyone who fancies a chat.

Not with me, obviously. I won’t be actually talking to anyone but feel free to wave.

From a distance.

Categories: Someone Else's Way, Writing and life | 6 Comments

What happens when you give me a 30 day deadline

Day 1: 30 days to go, but no time to waste. Open Final Draft, new document, title page: TITLE by Phillip Barron and some contact details in the bottom corner.

There, the perfect start.

That’s enough for today, I think.

Day 2: What the hell is this about again? Better look at the treatment.

Hmm.

Ah, right. I see.

That makes no fucking sense. Who signed off on this piece of shit? Better go back to basics, time to get the index cards out.

Where the fuck are my index cards? Right, I’ll go buy some new ones and start fresh tomorrow.

Day 3: Oh there are my index cards, on the index card shelf. What fucking idiot put them there? Never mind, you can never have too many index cards.

Mind you, 47 packets is perhaps edging in the direction of too many.

Right. Index cards. 8 cards, two for the first act, four for the second, two for the third. Give each one a title which describes the action in each sequence.

No, I can’t be arsed.

New plan, jot down some scenes and pin those fuckers up.

After lunch.

And perhaps a film.

Day 4: So what did I achieve with the index cards in the forty minutes back at my desk between lunch and tea?

Eight cards for the first act. Good, very good.

Two for the first half of act two. Bad, very bad.

Three for the second half of act two. Hmm.

One for act three, which just says ‘hero saves the day’.

Frankly, that’s shit. I’d better redo them.

Day 5: Have now completely re-done all the index cards. They’re exactly the same, just on red cards instead of blue. Fuck this, it’s the weekend. I’ll start again on Monday.

Day 6:

Day 7:

Day 8: Cool, enjoyed that. I’m feeling refreshed now and ready to start work. Step one, tackle those damn cards.

Nope, they don’t look any better in green.

Do you know what? I’m not feeling it today, I’ll try again tomorrow.

Day 9: Goddamn it (especially for Lucy) will somebody please write a fucking blog? I’ve read everything I possibly can, watched half of YouTube and am now researching cabbage for no fucking reason. I need to procrastinate people, sort if fucking out.

Guess I’ll have to do some  work.

Wow, I’ve written 43 pages! I’ve earnt my bed tonight.

Day 10: Deleted 43 pages – they were fucking awful.

Balls, the whole week’s ruined now. I’ll start again next week.

Day 11:

Day 12:

Day 13:

Day 14:

Day 15: Okay, 16 days to go. Loads of time. Right, where am I? Title page? Check. Index cards … I’m not sure about the green. No, fuck it – forget the cards, just write. Write like the wind.

Write like the wind? What the fuck does that mean?

Ten hours later, I’ve designed a machine which can transcribe random gusts and squalls into seven different languages.

Feelin’ good – I’ll sleep well tonight.

Day 16: Okay, so … title page, check.

Actually, I’m not so sure about the title.

No, for fuck’s sake don’t dick about. Write, just fucking write. 15 days left. 110 pages in 15 days …

I can’t do that kind of maths. It’d be much easier to divide it by ten.

Day 17:

Day 18:

Day 19:

Day 20:

Day 21: 110 pages in 10 days – 11 pages per day. Easy.

Mind you, it’s Sunday today.

Day 22: 110 pages in 9 days – 12 and a bit pages a day. Best do 13 today to be on the safe side.

Fuck, I can’t work in this house – too many distractions.

Day 23: Have relocated to the Caribbean.

It’s nice here. I like it. Should be able to get loads of work done.

Mind you, I’m tired after the flight. I’ll start fresh tomorrow.

Day 24: Bollocks! I’ve left my index cards at home. Now what the fuck am I going to do?

Was there anything on them? I can’t remember. I can’t even remember what colour they were. Right. Fuck. Okay, when’s the next flight home?

Day 25: No time to write today, flying home.

Day 26: Green. The index cards are green. Or at least they were, I’ve just re-done them in yellow.

Looking good.

Day 27: 4 days. 4 fucking days and I’ve done nothing. Not one fucking thing. This calls for some serious thinking.

Not thinking, writing! It calls for some serious fucking writing.

110 pages divided by 4 days … that’s 27 and a bit pages a day. That’s do-able.

Isn’t it? Okay, write.

Write, write, write.

Day 28: 18 hours of writing yesterday. 18 fucking hours!

Only got five pages to show for it, but hey! 18 hours, eh? Not bad, not bad.

Five shit pages, mind you; but I’ll re-write them later.

Maybe.

Still, I’ve done some work! I’ve actually done some fucking work!

Shit work and not enough of it, but it doesn’t fucking matter. I’m off the bottom and swimming for … something.

Right, right, right. 105 (ish) pages in three days – 35 pages a day. That’s going to be fucking difficult, better think tactically.

Day 29: Ha ha! Fuck me, I’m clever. I’ve relocated to the Maldives! That means I’m now 5 hours ahead of the UK.

5 hours! I’ve got an extra five hours to work before the deadline!

But wait, it gets better. I told the producer I’m still in the Caribbean – 5 hours behind the UK. That means I’ve got an extra 10 hours to work! 10 hours! That’s practically a whole day!

Unfortunately I spent 11 hours on a plane getting here, but that’s not the point.

Better get some sleep, big day tomorrow.

DAY 30: What the fuck happened to the month? I had 30 days to write this script and I’ve done nothing. Fucking nothing.

Except for 5 shit pages.

I think I’m having a heart attack. I’ve gone blind with panic, my heart’s hammering like crazy. Fuck. Fuck!

Type. Just fucking type.

Faster. Type fucking faster.

Day 31: It’s 1 minute past midnight (Caribbean time). 1 minute ago I emailed the script. I did it, I made the deadline – sort of. Fuck knows what the quality was like, I guess time will tell. What the fuck happened? How did I manage to waste a whole month?

What a twat.

I’ll tell you this, I’m not doing this again. Next time someone gives me a 30 day deadline, I’m doing five pages a day from day one.

Would that be enough? 5 x 30? Is that 110?

Yeah, probably.

Anyway, time to unwind and relax before the next project.

True, it’s due in seven days, but hey – I can’t work all the time, can I?

Categories: My Way, Random Witterings, Sad Bastard | 8 Comments

Conflict resolution

A number of years ago I spent most Tuesday and Friday nights wearing a skirt whilst other men in skirts tried to grab, punch, stab and hit me.

Sometimes with sticks.

To the uninitiated, as Mandy was quick to point out, it looked very, very gay. Not like a proper martial art at all. And in a way it wasn’t. In fact, the top dogs of the Ki Aikido Federation were adamant it wasn’t a martial art, more a physical philosophy … and there’s some truth in that.

One of the main principles behind defending an attack was: Put yourself in your partner’s place. From a martial art perspective this meant the safest place to be when someone is trying to hit you is beside and slighty behind them. Almost as if you’re trying to see the world from their perspective.

If someone tries to stab you with a knife you can kick, punch, slap or otherwise knock it out of their hand or you can try a fancy arm block/lock – but they aren’t half dangerous to apply and standing in front of someone who’s trying to stab you is silly.

A bit like standing in front of a rampaging bull. Bullfighters wait until the last second then simply step to one side and turn to face the same direction as the bull.

Same in Aikido.

Except the bulls are pointy and called knives.

Knife comes towards you, step to the side, drape a comforting arm across your assailant’s shoulders, grip the knife wrist with the other and hurl him to the floor.

Ideally, when someone attacks you in any way, you want them lying on the floor – preferably regretting their attack and wondering what the hell just happened. The beauty of Aikido is you gently encourage them to throw themselves at the floor.

You don’t stand in front of them, meet strength with strength and bodily hurl them down. No, no, no. You step aside, allow them to move past you. Agree with them, take them in the direction they want to go … at first. Once you’re both moving at the same speed in the same direction, you’re in control. You make yourself the centre, make them orbit around you and decide which part of the floor you’re going to plant their face into.

And here’s where the physical philosophy comes in – you can apply that technique to meetings.

Next time someone gives you a note you know for certain won’t work – agree with them.

“Yeah, sure, we could do that.”

Look at the note from their point of view – why are they asking that? Is it the change itself they want or is there some other reason? If changing x messes up y – instead of defending y, take a good look. Do you need y? What happens if y changes or is totally removed? A lot of times you’ll find you’re resisting a change because you’re wedded to a different idea when you don’t need to be. If that’s the case – change x and fuck y.

But what about those times when changing x is wrong? Well, again, agree with them … at first.

“Yeah, sure, we could do that.”

Then slowly move them off course, one little nudge at a time.

“Yeah … although, if we change x, does y still work? Oh, hang on though, if we change x and y we’re going to have to get rid of a, b and c. Shame, I think we both agreed a, b and c were the best bits. Ah, and d to g will have to be different. Be a lot of work but … perhaps if we use a different alphabet?”

By this point most people will decide they don’t want to change x after all. Now’s the time to be magnanimous.

“Shame, changing x is a good idea but … maybe we can use it in the sequel?”

And there you go, the note giver has completely changed their mind without you once having to say no or call them names. In most cases they won’t realise you talked them out of it and they’ll think it was their idea to discard the note.

Not that I’ve ever done this to you, of course. With you I’ve always implemented every note because they’re thoughtful, intelligent and benefit the story. It’s those other idiots I have to steer, not you.

Not that the phrase ‘other idiots’ implies you also are an …

Fuck it’s getting dark in this hole. Keep digging!

Categories: My Way, Random Witterings | 2 Comments

Superman fucking Returns

I accidentally saw the last few minutes of Superman Returns on BBC Three Saturday night and sweet fucking Christ I’d forgotten how painful that film is. Four years later and it still upsets me. It’s just one bad decision after another, all wrapped up in millions of dollars. A boring, tedious, pointless, uninspiring mess of a film … and yet, and fucking yet, people actually like it; proving, once again, there is no such thing as a good or bad film, just a series of opinions.

Of course, everyone’s opinion save mine is utterly wrong and the sooner humanity accepts that, the sooner we can move forward into a glorious, Phill-led future.

Sadly, until that date we’re stuck with me ranting here for no good reason.

Superman fucking Returns.

I cannot express how excited I was about this film when it came out. A new Superman film, finally! A Superman film with modern effects and bells and whistles. A modern take on Superman for the new Millennium.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Richard Donner’s film. I love Lois and Clark, I loved Smallville (until I got bored), I even love George Reeves’ Superman – despite him being a totally different Superman to the one I grew up with.

And that’s the key point, each incarnation is different.

Superman has been in constant publication since 1938. 72 years of new stories, new adventures; and the main reason for that is each successive generation of writers reinterprets the character for their audience. Superman now is not the same as Superman ten years ago and quite dramatically different to Superman of 1938. This reinvention keeps the character fresh and alive – it’s really, really fucking important to keep the character relevant to the current generation. Character stagnation is death.

So why in the fucking name of fucking fuck would you do a sequel to a 70s film in 2006? Specifically, why would you keep all the characters looking and sounding like their 70s versions?

Seriously, that fucking film, one stupid decision after another. Do you know how long it took me to be disappointed? Do you? Of course you fucking don’t, I haven’t told you yet.

34 seconds.

34.

Seconds.

Probably. I haven’t actually timed it, but literally as soon as the very first thing came on screen.

Probably 34 seconds.

I can’t remember the exact words, but there was this odd bit of captioning about a wise old scientist on a … something awful, something stupid, something shit.

But hey, never mind, it’s just a random bit of text – don’t let it spoil the film.

Ooh, ooh, the music starting. They’ve used the original John Williams score! They’ve kept the same music! I love this fucking … hang on.

Fucking twats.

No they haven’t used the John Williams version. They’ve used the version from Superman II. You know, the version recorded with a smaller orchestra and then mixed badly.

Still a great tune, but a bit bland compared to the original. The theme tune to Superman the Movie is a visceral, stomach-churningly moving piece of music which makes your balls clench involuntarily and the hairs on your arm stand on end.

The Superman II version merely sounds good. There’s a big fucking difference and these guys are using the watered down version.

Or there’s a channel missing on the soundtrack. Either way, it’s a bit disappointing; but never mind. The film might still be …

Oh no, it’s not. It’s a pile of shit.

I went into this film knowing I hated the new Superman costume – it looks wrong in every way; but I figured if that was the only thing I hated about the film then I could live with it. I mean, for fuck’s sake – those stupid hotpants, the tight neckline, the big clunky plastic symbol … how the fuck would that be invisible under a shirt and tie?

And the cape. The fucking cape. Even as kids we had to grant a bit of license when it came to the cape – there was no fucking way you can store that much material under a suit without it looking like you’ve got a huge fucking arse. I mean Vic Reeves style; but hey – we’ll forgive that one lapse of logic. Maybe the cape is made of some fine material, like silk or something alien?

Not in Superman Returns, oh no. It’s made of fucking leather. Leather! For fuck’s sake! He’d need a separate suit carrier all the time just to hoike the fucking thing around. And where does he keep those chunky fucking boots?

Alright, so the boots are always a bit suspicious on Superman – surely he doesn’t wear them under his shoes, does he?

But the colours? Jesus! Superman is supposed to be about setting an example – he wears bright colours so he’ll be seen, so people will know he’s there and not be afraid because he has nothing to hide. Same reason he doesn’t wear a mask – he wants to be trusted. So why the fuck would  he chose these dull, muted, stand in the shadows colours?

Let’s gloss over the fact Brandon Routh looks about 12 – that’s probably just me being older and curmudgeonly, but how the fuck do they manage to make him look skinny? He’s a decent sized guy, and he’s wearing a muscle suit under the blue suit – how does he still look fucking skinny?

Not that you get to see him very often since he’s been almost exclusively replaced with a CGI model. A fairly bad one. Most of the fucking film looks slightly less realistic than Tom and fucking Jerry for fuck’s sake.

And the plot, the fucking plot.

He’s been away for five years. Why? Why the fuck? To see if Krypton really has been blown up? Of course it fucking has, his father told him. His father fucking took him there, back in time, to see its destruction. Even Lex fucking Luthor knows it’s been blown fucking up. Why the fuck did Superman suddenly decide to toddle off and check it out for himself? Again?

And it takes him five years to get there and back? It took him 12 last time. This is meant to be a direct sequel to Superman II remember, so what the fuck happened? Did he get halfway there, realise Marlon Brando wasn’t lying to him and just come back?

So he goes off to check out if something he already knows is true is actually true and lo and behold, it is. What a twat.

Then he meets Lois, who’s possibly the blandest version of that character imaginable, and finds out she’s got a kid. A four year, three month old kid.

He left five years ago after shagging her, she’s got a four year, three month old kid … ring any fucking bells? No, apparently not. Apparently Super-Arithmetic isn’t one of his fucking powers.

And why the fuck would you put a super-kid in the fucking film anyway? Why? Why? Fucking why? What was the next film supposed to be? Superman and Son? Do you want to see James Bond taking his precocious five year old kid to work? No? Captain Kirk? Kid in the corner of the bridge being cocky and peeking up Uhura’s skirt?

Of course fucking not. No one in their right fucking mind gives the hero a kid – especially not in the first film of a new franchise.

George Lucas, I’m looking at you.

Added to that Lois has got a new boyfriend who thinks he’s the kid’s dad (even though the audience knows he’s not. Unless they’re retarded), who’s a nice, handsome (certainly as handsome as Superman) guy with a steady job, a pilot’s licence and generally all-round wonderfulness. I like this guy and I feel sorry for him.

Meanwhile, Superman, the champion of Truth, Justice and the American Way (whatever that means) is mooning around outside their house using his x-ray fucking vision to spy on Lois and her family. Is this right? Is this how you want a paragon of good, selfless behaviour to behave? Anyone feeling inspired by this pretty boy, tiny logo-ed gimp?

Seriously, this is going to go on for a while – you might want to stop reading now.

The fucking plane sequence. A computer generated hotpants-wearing Superboy catches a computer generated plane – by the fucking wing … surprise sur-fucking-prise it rips off. Well fucking duh!

And the worst bit about that?

In real life it probably wouldn’t rip off. The funny thing about planes, the thing that makes them actually fucking work, is they get picked up BY THEIR FUCKING WINGS! The fuselage doesn’t provide any lift, it just hangs from the fucking wings – you probably can pick one up by one wing; but the point is, it looks fucking wrong.

Personally, and I feel vindicated by watching toddlers pick up model planes, I think the natural way to pick up a plane is by the bit between the wings … which probably would fucking break. Maybe. I don’t fucking know. Picking a plane up by the wings just looks fucking stupid.

Wait, go back a bit. After being a twatty 70s version of Clark Kent for fucking ages (Clark Kent is no longer the same man either. You know that Superman/Clark Kent speech in Kill Bill? Hasn’t applied to Superman since the 80s), when we finally get the musical stabs and the Superman fanfare, when twatty Clark finally rips open his shirt … they cut away! They fucking cut away before you get a chance to see the S-shield properly. Fucking cunts.

And Jimmy Olsen. For fuck’s sake! A bow-tie on a twenty something in the 70s was fucking stupid, but maybe just about understandable. In 2006? What the fuck is he wearing? Why is he dressed like my great-granddad?

Annoyingly, Matt Smith’s Doctor looks great in a bow-tie; but he’s the fucking Doctor and can wear what the fuck he likes – Jimmy Olsen is late teens/early twenties (despite Superman having been away for five years) he looks like a dick. And acts like one. And talks like one.

And don’t get me fucking started on Lex Luthor. For fuck’s sake. Lex has probably changed the most since his creation, specifically in John Byrne’s 1986 reboot when he went from a mad professor who’d develop a billion dollar robot to rob a bank (huh?) to a billion dollar industrialist who was so powerful and politically connected Superman couldn’t touch him. It’s the perfect villain for Superman, someone he can’t punch or pick up and fly to jail – it’s a great choice. That’s why every version since then has used the same character. Yes, he’s still changed subtly in different interpretations and been updated continuously, but in the main he’s the same character because it’s a fucking excellent version.

But no. Superman Returns goes with the land obsessed 70s Luthor.  I swear to God you can see what Kevin Spacey is thinking in every scene:

“Just say the words and take the fucking money.”

I bet he kept himself sane by sitting down at night and working out how many good films he could afford to make with the money they’d paid him for this limp toss. I mean, what exactly was Lex’s fucking plan? Eh? What?

He grows an island, wiping out millions of people and then plans to sell the land to … who? The fucking dead? Does he think they’ll run out of burial plots? One of his bland, moronic henchmen  (or possibly the girl with the dog) even says – how are you going to keep the land? They’ll send the fucking army after you. To which Lex mumbles something about having advanced alien technology to fend them off.

What fucking technology? The ability to grow an island? Is that fucking it? So when the entire combined forces of the United States descends on you, you’re going to grow a fucking island at them? What the fucking fuck?

The plan is so poorly thought out, the fucking henchmen have nothing to do but sit down and play cards while they wait for Superman to turn up and kick the crap out of them.

And this whole fucking island is laced with Kryptonite, right? A material which radiates energy which is poisonous to Superman … radiates.

As in ‘gives off’.

Yet some fucking how he doesn’t notice until after he’s landed on it and wandered around for a bit. Then he whimpers a bit and gets the fuck kicked out of him – a truly pitiful spectacle and not for the right reasons. I didn’t feel like this was a low point for poor Superman. I felt embarrassed. Get up, you whining pussy. Then, after being unable to stand whilst on the island, he can suddenly pick it up and fly it into space.

WHAT. THE. FUCK?

When I saw that SUPERMAN: DEAD headline I was quite pleased, because at least the fucking film might be over – but no, we’ve got a bit more of restraining-order-Superman breaking into Lois’ house to stand in her kid’s bedroom while he sleeps. That’s just fucking creepy. It’s weird. Superman shouldn’t be creepy and weird.

And to finish off we have cartoon Superman flying off into a cartoon sky to the watered down music.

What a crock of shit. What a wasted opportunity of a film. It’s a mess from beginning to end. How? Why? Bryan Singer’s X-Men films were awesome – what went fucking wrong?

And can I just point out, if anyone is still reading this (you fools) that in no way am I saying I could do better. I can’t. I don’t think I’d want to even try and write a Superman movie, but for fuck’s sake. Come on! They should have just binned this piece of shit movies to protect the brand.

And you know what? You know what the worst fucking thing is? I will unhappily sit through this tedious monstrosity every time it’s on telly because I fucking love Superman, even bad Superman, almost as much as I enjoy complaining about bad movies.

Oh, and by the way, none of the above is really a spoiler; since the only way to spoil your enjoyment of this film is to fucking watch it.

I’m really sorry, I had to get this out of my system. Again.

Maybe the next one will be better?

Categories: Rants, Sad Bastard | 55 Comments

Implement a B-A-B-C story tell

That was a note I got recently on a script.

“Implement a B-A-B-C story tell.”

Of course, at the time, I nodded blankly like a Radio One DJ at a Physics lecture.

“Uh-huh, yeah. Got you.”

But later on, in the privacy of my own idiocy, I realised there would be a problem applying said note to the script. Namely, what the fuck does it mean?

Implement a B-A-B-C story tell.

What? What the fuck? What does that mean?

B-story, A-story, B-story, C-story … repeat until the end of the script? Really? Surely not.

Maybe B-C is B-A’s brother and they think I should be telling the untold story of the A-Team’s sibling rivalry?

Does that sound likely?

I’m stumped. Yes, technically I could have just asked … probably still could, but I don’t want to look stupid in front of the individual concerned.

As opposed to looking stupid in front of the thousands hundreds tens of readers here.

Come to think of it, I think the note giver did mention reading this blog so … oh fuck it.

What does it mean?

One of you must know, with your university educations and your fancy lectures and book learning. Surely, one of you must have come across the fucking phrase before:

Implement a B-A-B-C story tell – what the fuck does it mean?

Help me.

Categories: Sad Bastard, Someone Else's Way | 9 Comments

Caprica – does it get any better?

Well, does it?

My normal approach to TV viewing is to not bother until everyone else is going on about it so much I feel obliged to go and buy the first series on DVD. Having completed (and mostly enjoyed) BSG at almost exactly the same time as Caprica started, I thought I’d watch it from the offset. The problem is, more often than not, I’m not.

Watching it, that is.

I tend to find I put it on with the best of intentions and instantaneously find myself reaching for the laptop, just in case there are any new posts in forums I don’t actually participate in. Caprica continues merrily in the background without really intruding on my world.

Occasionally I glance at the screen in case something might be happening, but generally I let it talk to itself in the corner.

This isn’t how I normally watch telly. In fact, I usually deride others for doing exactly this during soap operas. People insist on putting them on and then proceed NOT to watch them. They chat, they make phone calls, they do their online shopping and basically stop me from watching something I actually want to watch. As in, you know, look at with my eyes whilst listening with my ears.

Hence my conclusion people don’t actually watch soaps, they just talk about them afterwards.

And that’s how I feel about Caprica – it’s a bit soapy.

Mandy asked me to define this term, and I can’t. I’m not sure exactly what it is, but it’s something along the lines of:

  • not having a point
  • having long continuous storylines which don’t feel like they’re likely to end
  • characters who don’t really change, learn, grow or achieve except over the course of years and years and years
  • not really telling a story, just showing us some people in a setting
  • some other stuff I can’t think of right now

Of course, these points apply to some of my favourite shows and fail to apply to some soaps, or at least don’t apply to all soaps all of the time. So what the hell is it? What is it about soaps which shut my brain down and make it incredibly difficult for me to focus on?

Some people might label me a soap snob, and maybe that’s true of the UK continuing dramas – the ones I know are labelled as ‘soaps’ and could perhaps be dismissing out of hand; but why do I look at Caprica and react as if it’s a soap? Even a big robot can’t hold my attention and that’s unheard of for me.

Part of it might be just a preference thing. In an ideal world I prefer stand alone episodes which build into a longer story over time. The single story is there to entertain you, the longer story is to make you come back for more. Caprica doesn’t have any single stories and perhaps as a consequence I don’t feel entertained?

I like to see a beginning middle and end. It feels satisfying. I also like having a larger arc, because it keeps things moving and means you have to watch every episode. I want both. If I had to choose  one, I’d choose single episode stories because at least then I feel entertained, if not motivated to come back.

Oh, I’ve just had a thought, perhaps my interest in a series is something to do with the concept of the show? Soaps rarely have a simple concept which describes each episode, the series arc and allows you to imagine what kind of stories they might be telling:

DOCTOR WHO: time travelling alien and companion arrive in a new location and have an adventure.

EASTENDERS: some people live in houses, generally they tend to be a bit miserable. Occasionally they kill each other.

STARGATE: bunch of wise-cracking, gun-toting military types arrive in a new location and have an adventure. Oh and they’re trying to find weapons and/or technology to fight off the really bad guys who are pissed off and coming this way.

CORONATION STREET: some people live in houses, generally they make fun of each other and have the odd affair. Occasionally they get a bit serious.

LOST: a bunch of writers desperately try to pad out six seasons of 22 episodes about exceptionally good looking people being stuck on an island. The aim is to be mysterious, but since people keep guessing the plot on forums they’ve been forced to make shit up to the point where they don’t really know what’s happening any more.

Christ, this is a long-winded non-sensical post about things I haven’t really thought through.

In a nutshell – does Caprica get any better? I’m up to episode four or five, am vaguely interested in the overall arc but suspect I’ll get more pleasure from reading the Wiki entry than (not) watching every episode.

Is it worth sticking with?

Categories: Random Witterings | 10 Comments

Blog at WordPress.com.