Thursday, July 22, 2010

Fuck Inception.

"Hey, if I have 'rules' instead of 'plot,' 'characters,' 'theme,' or 'anything resembling the human experience,' can I make sixty-three million dollars, opening weekend?"

Yes, yes, you can.

"Don't worry; it may sound like shitty writing, but actually, it's excused by the rules. (Or is it? (What is 'real,' anyway?))"

Seriously. Every single scene is either 'world-building exposition' or 'boring, incoherent action.' The Last Airbender is guilty of the same crimes, but most intelligent audiences understood that it was a punch-line...at the time.

Is it still a 'twist ending' if it's the most clich├ęd, parodied twist in the book? The twist is that they actually used that ending.

Without spoiling anything that the film doesn't spoil by existing, in the first place--I can state that by the end, nothing means anything. The film would be 'masturbatory,' but it doesn't give the impression that anyone had a nice time doing it.

Fuck Inception.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

A Reason for Fingers.

Without our fingers,
it would be harder to count
haiku syllables.

Another word we need.

Vapt, n., The distance between a theme park guest and their lap-bar; exactly wide enough to make the guest feel both, 'unsafe' and 'fat.'

Friday, July 16, 2010

Fuckin' rock stars...

In the Rock 'n' Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith, the eponymous band is late for a concert. They drive off in a limousine, and beckon us to follow them in a limo of our own.

So there are two tensions in the story:

Will Aerosmith make it to their concert on time?

...and...

Will we see them perform in concert?

We veer through LA's highways--which are deserted. No sign of Aerosmith's limo, but we can hear their music. And then we arrive backstage...and walk into a gift shop...

...and walk out of the attraction.

We don't see a concert. We don't even see Aerosmith again.

So to answer the second tension:

Will we see Aerosmith perform in concert?

No.

What about the first tension?

Will Aerosmith make it to their concert on time?

We never find out.

It's weird that Imagineering would set up such a specific tension and not bother answering it. It's like telling a joke without ever giving a punch-line.

IMAGINEERS
Why did Aerosmith buy a chicken for Thanksgiving?

GUESTS
I don't know; why?

The Imagineers walk away.

That can't be it. Imagineers are professionals. They may make the sorcerer's hat (a symbol of hubris) the icon of a theme park, but they understand that a story is comprised of 'a beginning,' 'a middle,' and 'an ending.' Surely I'm missing something.

Let's think back to the last time we saw Aerosmith. Well, it was in the pre-show room. But that wasn't our last encounter with them, was it?

We heard them--that is, "their music"--while we were driving. And when we arrive backstage, the music ends. That was our last encounter with them.

...did Aerosmith fucking play their concert without us?

Thursday, July 15, 2010

An eventful day.

My meeting with my professor went well...

...and I've applied to teach English at two LA community colleges...

...and it's hot enough to fry a slab of sidewalk on the sidewalk...

...and I'm spending the rest of the night 'being really sick,' 'listening to musicals,' and 'reading comics.'

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A word we need.

Lobweek, n., A week where you coincidentally run out of everything--detergent, shampoo, frozen dinners, and so on--resulting in a ruinously expensive trip to the grocery store.

Monday, July 12, 2010

One of the dumbest conversations I've ever had.

The context: my friend and I belong to a pro wrestling message board. On the board, there’s a series of articles called “the Hall of Shame.” These articles profile the dysfunctional lives of professional wrestlers.

Two “Hall of Shame” articles are mentioned in this conversation.

The first profile was on Davey Boy Smith, who allegedly drugged his wife, and then proceeded to rape her.

The second profile was on Jim Neidhart, who adopted Tyson Kidd when he was ten years old. Now Tyson Kidd and Nattie Neidhart (Jim Neidhart’s birth-daughter / Tyson Kidd’s adopted sister) have been dating for nine years.

Don't worry--the conversation's about 'incest,' and not really about 'pro wrestling.'

Without further ado...

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Work update.

I have (arguably too) many coals in the fire.

In an effort to appeal to a broad audience, I've started a web-comic that makes inside jokes about professional wrestling. It even has a snappy title: "a Wrestling Comic." If this doesn't earn me a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, nothing will!

The (long novella / short novel) was on halt, because writing is hard, and re-writing is harder. But today I broke the block, and the second chapter is 3,600 words strong. Alas, they're only strong in numbers...

I have a scene about juggling clowns, and I've started breaking it down into a shot-list so's I can storyboard it.

Also, I'm applying to teach English at an LA community college. But if ever there was a time to have one bitchingly grammatical cover letter, it's now--and the current draft is only 'kvetchingly grammatical.'

Oh, and sometime this week, I'm going to pitch sketch shows to one of my favorite professors.

So things are afoot, dear blog, and I have not forsaken you. I just don't want to spend much time with you, is all. Nothing personal; it's me. You're great.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

"...and me."

Tonight I karaoke'd "the Rainbow Connection" in my Kermit voice. They shut off the music, and I led the room in an a capella rendition.

Life-goal: realized.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Toy Story 3 flopped in Russia.

I liked Toy Story 3, but I think it's one of Pixar's weakest offerings. Most of its successful humor and pathos derives from call-backs to the first two films.

"Hey, remember that time that Andy was playing, and Woody stopped One-Eyed Bart (portrayed by Mr. Potato Head), and he had an attack dog, with a built-in force field? Well, this is what it looked like in Andy's imagination!"

"Hey, remember that time Jessie had to deal with being abandoned by Emily? Well, she'll face the same fears with Andy!"

"Hey, remember when Andy was little kid, Molly was a baby, and Buster was a puppy? They're all much older now!"

"Hey, remember when we met the little green aliens in a claw machine? They won't really do anything in this movie, but if we make a call-back to the claw machine, you won't mind a deus ex machina!"

Again: I was moved by all of this. I love the series dearly. But it was the cheapest way of evoking emotion, and unlike Toy Story 2, I don't think that Toy Story 3 can stand on its own.

This article supports my suspicion. An audience who doesn't know the previous films is utterly disinterested. And I'd argue that that's a sign that Pixar hasn't so much "made a third movie" as "made a tribute movie."

Which is fine. But surely anyone could have come up with a touching scene where Andy gives his toys away. What makes Pixar great is that it tries not to rest on its laurels (except in the theme parks--grrr), and it's disappointing to see this encouraged in the Toy Story 3 reviews.