Showing posts from August, 2012

100 Favorite Movies (080-071)

This is part three of my 100 Favorite Movies. Counting down from 080-071 . Part One can be seen here:   100-091 Part Two can be seen here:   090-081 Ready for part 3? What you waiting for? Read on... 080  Iron Giant (1999) - A giant robot crashes to the Earth and befriends a small boy in this wonderful animated movie. Set during the Cold War, it's a deceptively simple tale with a powerful message and it works for both children and adults. The animation is old school hand drawn stuff, except for the Giant which was Computer Generated. Surprisingly, this mix of styles doesn't clash and actually helps make the Giant stand out and look different to the world he crashed into. Brad Bird directed and co-wrote the screenplay and it basically got him his gig with PIXAR, directing The Incredibles. This has allowed him to break out into working with real humans with his latest movie being the newest Mission Impossible. With Iron Giant he pitched it perfectly and it has to be sai

Character building

As a reader, there was nothing I hated more in a book than having a main character vomit their entire life history in an attempt to explain some previous reaction or inaction. It's a classic case of violating the SHOW don't TELL mantra that writers all chant to themselves in their darkened basements. It's also just sucky. As a writer, it's important that your characters have some sort of history to make them three dimensional. It informs how the characters would react in a given situation and can allow you to leave a trail of breadcrumbs to entice the reader to follow. Take a classic example from the movies: Darth Vader. Using a nice little bit of misdirection with Obi-Wan Kenobi - telling Luke his father died - the reveal in The Empire Strikes Back that Darth Vader was in fact Luke's father caused the world to choke on its popcorn. From recent internationally best selling books you have the character of Severus Snape. Harry Potter spends almost the entire run

Marvel Comics and Movies

Here's one for the geeks...Marvel Comics was so broke a in the late 80's and early 90's they sold the film and television rights of a host of their major characters to keep afloat. That's why SONY (Columbia Pictures) owns Spider-man and Ghost Rider, Fox owns X-Men/Wolverine, The Fantastic Four and Daredevil/Elektra, New Line (Warner Bros) owns Blade and Lionsgate had the Punisher. Now, after a time, if these film studios aren't producing something using the characters, the rights revert back to the owner... Marvel got their own studio up and running off the back of one of their second tier franchises: Iron Man, which was a massive hit. This year The Avengers became the 3rd highest grossing movie of all time so Marvel Studios is now happily building their Universe on their terms. Sony are not letting go of Spider-man...not yet at least. They just rebooted the Spidey isn't headed back to Marvel anytime soon. Fox have a Wolverine and X-Men movie

100 Favorite Movies (090-081)

This is the second part of my 100 Favorite Movies blog feature. Here I'm counting down from 090-081 . You can read part one here: And now, the countdown continues: 090  Memento (2000) - Christopher Nolan's first appearance on this list but certainly not his last. Memento is a tricky movie about a man, who can't create new memories, searching for the killer of his wife.Guy Pearce plays the man, his body tattooed with notes he makes so that when he wakes up each morning he can continue on his hunt. The movie is smart, and devilishly clever, told basically in reverse, and the ending provides an intelligent little twist in the tale. That word will get bandied about a lot when I describe Nolan's films - intelligent. As a director, Nolan has a grasp for both the intimate details and the big picture. His biggest asset is that he handles everything with intelligence and never "talks dow