Showing posts with label Video Storytelling. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Video Storytelling. Show all posts

Identifying Theme in Callaham's Godzilla (2014)
Or, How David Callaham Wants Us to Get Along and Stop Eating Each Other

Finding plot devices isn't that hard. Just look for elements that repeat themselves throughout the film. Callaham's Godzilla contains patterns from the very first scene, at Joe Brody's house, where his son, Ford, teams up with mom to put on a surprise birthday party for dad. The camera tracks the boy wearing a green t-shirt with a string of "Happy Birthday" letters trailing from behind, like a Godzilla tail. This shot is no mistake. It's Callahan's attempt to tell a story about how about every monster in the world - including humans - have families too. Godzilla, a tale of peace and mayhem in a battle filled with creatures looking for the same kind of love they got from the day they were born.

The First Scene of Terminator Salvation (2009)

Terminator Salvation is a sci-fi operatic war story that centers around a hero - John Connors - whose destiny is to save humanity from artificially intelligent machines. The story runs like an American militiaman's nightmare where personal freedom is lost at the behest of a terrible New World Order. Fighting Americans, scattered throughout, are glued to their transistor radio with the hopes that Connors will make Resistance dreams come true. Salvation views like a visually panoramic Mad Max film with cheesy Godzilla-like machine monsters that breath fire on its victims. So what's so horrible about the first scene? A plot device gone wrong.

Why Ascension Didn't Make the Cut

The news is in: Ascension isn’t going to outer space or the Syfy channel for that matter. It has been turned down as a running series for good. Syfy claimed to be happy with the work, but when considering other projects, Ascension just didn’t make the grade. While the mini-series garnered some positive reviews, it was clear that the show wasn’t very much liked. In the least, it earned only mixed reactions. Critics weren’t bashful in their negative appraisals of the show either. Items such as characterization, plot and other mundane issues (such as how artificial gravity worked on the ship) were at the forefront of blogs and news articles alike. Although most agreed that Ascension was an interesting thought experiment, thought experiments don’t usually make good television. Drama does.

2001: A Space Odyssey Ending

Where were you when 2001: A Space Odyssey ended? That was the movie where the blessed Star Child took off into outer space with a Mona Lisa smile as the rest of us just sat there, confused, somewhat dejected. Commander Bowman encountered a time distortion that showed him several Bowman's at several points in time until it finally turned into a shiny, brand new fetus with a heavenly smile floating back to Earth. The scene was unforgettable because we didn't know what just happened. Then, we covered it up. "I got it, did you?" "Of course, I did." "He... evolved!" Of course. Why not? Isn't that what we just watched for over a couple of hours? Evolution? Apes, humans, computers, then a Star Child? Makes perfect sense. No it doesn't. But here's a theory as to what may have happened.

Was Spock more Lover than Logical?

We've heard it through the classic Star Trek series as well as the spin-offs that came afterwards: Logical this, logical that. Our pointed-ear friend had something to say on just about everything. The crew put up with him despite his arrogance and snide remarks. But this lovable Vulcan still held his grip on everyone.

Every Star Trek crew has its social miscreant. These people don't fit in but display honourable traits we have grown to love. Spock was the first of his kind. His logic often made him the butt of jokes, but even the Enterprise crew could see more in him than that. He displayed a genuine concern for the people around him.

In Star Trek V, Spock felt insulted when Kirk claimed that everyone has human qualities. We all have feelings about one another, he says, we all care. It is interesting because Kirk's message was what Earthlings tried to teach Spock in the original Star Trek era. Spock saw it as illogical, but, in reality, it was logic based on a different value system.

H.A.L. 9000's Motives in 2001: A Space Odysssey

H.A.L. 9000 thought it could do better. And why not? Its intellectual and physical prowess were the stuff of legends. So was it any wonder that this highly superior computer didn't have a breakdown after all? Wouldn't it be more logical to assume it wanted to be the first species to contact the monolith, a relic from an equally superior species such as itself? In 2001: A Space Odyssey, H.A.L. 9000 deliberately caused the Discovery to malfunction so that it could kill off the crew and make the next, great leap into evolutionary glory. We didn't notice because we never thought to analyze H.A.L. as a character, a real person, or entity. Plot device: Characterization. The best way to figure out why H.A.L. didn't really go crazy.

"The Party" {Spider-Man: The New Animated Series (2003)}

Max Kline, an abused college outcast, decides to go on a campus killing spree after acquiring the ability to re-direct vast streams of electrical currents.

What makes The Party interesting to watch?

The Party successfully develops sympathy for Max Kline as we witness his abuse and torture at the hands of his bullies. The intensity and duration of this abuse effectively communicates – and justifies - Max Kline's intense feelings of rage and hatred.

Batman and Superman Hour - "Long John Joker" (1968)

Did you know that a flag turned upside down on a boat is the international signal for distress? Well, you do now, and you could also learn a lot more about storytelling by watching Batman and his "chump" Robin, fly into action against one of Gotham's most dangerous foes!

Story Synopsis: Long John Joker is a story about the Joker who finds a treasure map left behind by a gangster called "Big Arnie". The Jokers gets his henchman to dig along Gotham harbour for a "pirate's treasure" until the dynamic duo - and friend - put the kaibosh on the operation.

The Big Freeze

Global Warming Proganda or the End of the World?

The Earth's climate is prone to sudden, catastrophic micro-ice ages that could completely eradicate the entire human population within the span of a decade.  The Big Freeze is a dire warning to Earthlings from all four corners of the planet: Enjoy your barbecues while you can 'cause the planet is set to fall into yet another BIG FREEZE!

The Big Freeze : Aired on Naked Science : March 2006 : Produced by Stuart Carter and Ashley Hoppins : Directed by Alex Williamson : Narrated by Alex Williamson : 47m18s

The Great Global Warming Swindle

A storm of cosmic rays will be raining on the Earth today, thereby causing the formation of a rather large group of culmonimbus clouds. These clouds will be blocking the Sun's rays causing the world to excessively cool. Expect high floods, torrential rains and severe droughts as a the planet heads into a period of global cooling!

Science fiction? Nope. The Great Global Warming Swindle claims to be the definitive retort to Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth. This film builds its cosmic steam from a long and impressive list of pre-eminent/non-petroleum/ independent/internationally-acclaimed scientists who have come to warn the great people of Earth of a growing infestation of hippy evil-doers that threaten Third World economic development (and threaten to mire the world in carbon taxes). Umm, what? Read on, folks.

An Inconvenient Scare Tactic?

Is the dramatic rise in the world's carbon dioxide emissions the result of industrial pollution or is the world just cycling through yet another series of climate changes since its birth? According to Al Gore, the answer to this question is just as obvious as the theory of plate tectonics and to say otherwise would be, well, not cool. In fact, it would be ignorant and embarrassing. It's a scare tactic they've used on the public arena before, but Gore, being the consummate politician can't help but use his old tricks on a new audience once again.


"The only issue that is more severe than this would be the idea that an Islamic fundamentalist would get his/her hands on a nuclear weapon and use it against us." - New Hampshire, Senator Judd Gregg, I.O.U.S.A interview.

Ask a billion people what's wrong with the American economy and you'll probably get a billion different answers - bad ones. But somewhere in the mix, there's a simple, honest one that just might work out. You'd barely notice in this film with all its fearmongering, but it's there and it's not scary at all.