Storytelling Successes – I Heart Agent Carter, So, So Much

Having at long last concluded season 2 (and sadly it seems the final season) of the excellent Marvel’s Agent Carter, I maintain my conviction I would rather have seen this show continue than Agents of SHIELD (although I will give AoS one point of credit over the movies: there are tangible stakes to the characters). Yes, it is a prequel series, and there are a lot of inherent issues with prequel series. However, really the only two known quantities of “Agent Carter” are that Howard Stark lives long enough to settle down, get married, and produce Tony Stark, and that Agent Carter herself founds SHIELD and lives a very long, very kickass life. A guessed quantity is that Agent Carter’s brother Michael is not actually dead, and that’s because otherwise it would be really difficult for Sharon Carter to be Peggy’s great-niece. But overall, I think the show was a storytelling success.

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A Comic Book/Movie Entry – 10 Things I Didn’t Learn From the JLA Prequel

Oh yes, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice has spawned a bonus entry. Despite 2.5 hours of run-time, there was an awful lot I did NOT learn from this movie.

1) Why are the Kryptonians such morons? Not only did the Kryptonians programmed their ships with forbidden knowledge of genetically engineering monsters, they included the technology to utilize that knowledge, and have absolutely no security protocols to prevent anyone from commandeering the ships, even prisoner ships!

2) What was Lex Luthor’s motivation? The Joker in The Dark Knight had a more clearly articulated motivation.

3) What the hell was Lex Luthor smoking/snorting/injecting? The Joker in The Dark Knight was less manic.

4) Who the hell in their right mind would give Lex anything he wants (technology, contracts, secrets, etc.)? Lex is obviously mentally unhinged. I don’t care if he’s a genius the Board of Directors should have shunted him away a long time ago.

5) Why include important side characters from the comics just to unceremoniously kill them off without even naming them?

6) Why can’t the film-makers give Lois Lane something meaningful to do?

7) What the hell was going on with Flash?

8) Did any of the film-makers actually read “The Dark Knight Returns?” I know some claim to have, but if so, how did they miss Batman not only not killing anyone but also directing his followers not to use guns?

9) How exactly was Superman supposed to come across as a bad guy?

10) How exactly was Batman supposed to come across as a good guy?

I have seen the “JLA” trailer, by the way, and I have some thoughts on that and a bunch of other trailers dropped at San Diego ComicCon as well.

Confidential to DJX – six months already? Awesome! Keep on keepin’ on!

A Movie Entry – It’s All Been Done

*Wham* *wham* *wham*

That is the sound of my forehead connecting with my desk as I see one of YouTube’s many random videos it thinks I’ll like is a teaser trailer for a remake of Pete’s Dragon. Like an idiot, I clicked on it, and then watched the trailers for a remake of The Jungle Book. And then I saw an article about a proposed Flatliners reboot. My desk can’t take the punishment, nor, I suppose, can my head. At this rate the only movies released will be superhero movies and remakes/reboots of mostly ’80s/early ’90s movies (for some reason; I don’t understand why movie studios are targeting Generation X instead when millennials are supposed to be the ones spending the money).

I know that not all movies are art. Movies are made to make money. I get that. Some movies seem to be immune to this current trend of sequels, prequels, remakes, reboots, or reinterpretation. This rarefied group is often referred to as “the classics” and while people debate endlessly what are the best movies ever made, I’m using the American Film Institute’s updated 100 greatest movies list. Out of these 100 movies, not a single one has been remade or rebooted. Only five have had sequels made, and one of those sequels is also on the list.

It seems any movie is fair game whether it was good, bad, or just mediocre, although the classics are largely (but not entirely *cough* Psycho *cough*) left alone. There are a lot of movies that are while not necessarily classics or flawless or won Oscars or awards are nonetheless something that really can’t and really shouldn’t be duplicated or improved upon or expanded upon. Has this trend of reboot/make/interpretation/sequel/prequel produced anything worthwhile?

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A Movie Entry – To Paraphrase Mel Brooks

Franchising, franchising, franchising. Where the real money from the movies is made.

I’m probably pretty slow on the uptake for not recognizing the trend in movie-making. Movie studios I think prefer to make sequels because there’s a certain guaranteed return. Prequels are a logical extension of that thinking, and franchising is just the logical extension of that thinking.

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A Media Entry – The Trouble With Prequels: Doc Brown Benchmark

I have a lot to say about the tendency of Hollywood to produce prequels, especially in lieu of actually greenlighting an original idea (this also holds for remakes, reboots, and reinterpretations). But while I’ve gone on (and on and on) about why prequels generally turn out to be a terrible idea, I haven’t put forth any constructive criticism on how to determine if a prequel might actually be an idea worth exploring. Luckily, I’ve thought of a litmus test, a benchmark, if you will.

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Storytelling Failures – The “Hobbit” Trilogy: Wasn’t This Supposed to Concern a Hobbit?

Why yes, I am going on about this again.  There’s 8+ hours of movie to  dissect here, so brevity is but a pipe dream (and my Muse is pushing me to finish).  The next criterion for my Storytelling Failures is plot.  And because there is just so much to get into, I’m splitting this up into “the book’s plot” (you know, the one that’s actually in the book; pretty simple – bumbling fellow goes on a long, strange trip to kill a dragon and get treasure; hijinks ensue) and “movie only subplots.”

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A Movie Entry – The Trouble With Prequels: The Sequel

Hey, if Hollywood does it, I can too.  So there.  Last time I explained in some detail why a prequel was a harder movie to pull off than a sequel and why prequels so often fail.  I used the “Star Warsprequels to illustrate my point.  I came up with four ways prequels fail.  I’m modifying and generalizing them slightly for this new rant:

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