Random Thought ~ Reused Actors and When the Plot Falls Apart

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First of all, I have to start by saying this post concerns movies. All the way around, it concerns movies.

I’ve been watching the Christmas in July movies on the Hallmark channel. Why? To get into the Christmas headspace to write Christmas stories. Grin. I know when I watch these movies, I’m going to get a happy ending and there will be tension, but the plot is what matters–not the hot stuff or stolen kisses.

Don’t get me wrong. I wish there were a few more stolen kisses and hot moments. I’d love to see them ramp up the sexual tension. No one has to be bound or spanked, but a little heat wouldn’t hurt.

But the thing that’s bothered me this Christmas in July season isn’t that I’m dying for Christmas cookies or a break in the hot temps. Nope. It’s the reusing of actors and the plot holes.

The reusing of actors wouldn’t be bad, but after a while all I can see is who they played in previous movies. Oh, she was a princess in that one. He was a prince, then a plumber, then a corporate raider. I don’t see the character, I see the actor and that ruins the fun of the flick. It kind of drives me crazy.

Then there are the plot problems. How come the boyfriend just let her go? Why didn’t he put up more of an argument? Why didn’t the guy try harder? Why, if he loves her, didn’t he go caveman? Why didn’t she stick up for herself? Why when she DOES stick up for herself, do the powers that be make her look so…cranky?

Maybe I’m too picky as a viewer. Maybe I want too much. Maybe I’m seeing things that aren’t there and hoping for what I’d rather see. I’m not sure.

Do you have those things that drive you nuts about movies? About the all weekend sprees of movies on the same theme? I’d love to know.

Monday Movie Rundown – X-Men – Days of Future Past – the Rogue Edition

Monday Movie Rundown Banner I didn’t join the X-Men fandom until later in the game. I didn’t rush to see the first three movies. In fact, I saw them completely out of order. But this post isn’t about which of those movies was better or what order to watch them in. This one is about X-Men – Days of Future Past, primarily the Rogue Edition. 

I loved X-Men First Class. I thought the writing was snappy and it had a very James Bond flair to it. That was the point, but unlike some, I got it right away. I saw it because I have a thing for James McAvoy. Hey, at least I’m honest. I loved it and devoured the rest of his films.

So when I found out about Future Past, I had to see it. I did. In the theatre, all by myself. It was a great time. But there were moments in the movie that didn’t quite make sense. I kept thinking, why did that cut happen? They were going some where…why didn’t they finish?

It took me a while to hunt down the Rogue Edition of the movie. When I did, all of those pieces I thought made no sense did. The extended pieces with Quicksilver and the better explanation between Kitty and Bobby were great. I recommend viewing both versions of the film, but this one IMHO was better.

Random Thought Thursday ~ When the Outcome isn’t What You Thought

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I’ve mentioned a time or two that I love movies. I love TV, too, but movies are my thing. One thing I’ve noticed is every so often, movies and television shows have a plot that’s easy to figure out. That happens. What might be complicated to me, might be easy to figure out to others. Murder She Wrote is one example. I never knew whodunit until the show revealed it.

But I’ve been thinking about some shows and movies that didn’t quite get to the ending the way I wanted. Now, who am I to say the show/writer/movie/etc was wrong? I’m a writer and I know I’ve got characters who didn’t quite do what I wanted them to do and the ending wasn’t the one I expected.

But there are times when I’ve gotten so emotionally involved in a show/movie that I was upset by the end of the movie.

CONTAINS SPOILERS!! If you don’t want spoilers, then don’t read this part.

For example, I didn’t like the way the character of Credence in Fantastic Beasts. The poor kid was misunderstood and abused. Instead of getting the kid some help, they destroyed him. Wasn’t there a way to talk him down? It felt like the easier answer was to destroy him. Hmm…

Then there’s Night Court. I LOVED that show. From the moment she showed up, I wanted Christine and Judge Harry to get together. They teased at it and that was great, but at the end… that’s when I wasn’t able to stay with the train. Dan, the prosecutor, had chased EVERYONE with a skirt on during the run of the show. The last episode? He’s ready to chase Christine. When was he not? Then Harry chases her, too. I liked that they both did, but I wanted closure. Yes, insert pouty face. Lol. I wanted Harry to get his happy ending.

But that’s how movies and television work. You don’t always get what you want. Is it good storytelling? Copping out? Depends on how you look it it. If you want to be negative, then it’s shortchanging the viewer. For a more positive spin, life doesn’t always work out the way we want.

That doesn’t mean it doesn’t irk me when the story doesn’t take the turn I expect. But that’s a mark of a good show to me. If I’m emotionally involved, then I’m paying attention. It’s worth my time. But then I have odd taste in movies, music and television. I still love Agent Carter and Forever. Neither are on television any longer. Shame.

What about you? Are there shows/movies that had endings you didn’t see coming/didn’t like? Let me know.

Wednesday Book Review ~ The Films of Tyrone Power by Dennis Belafonte, Alvin H. Marill, Henry King (Introduction)

POWER

Tyrone Power – dashing, ingratiating, urbane – became 20th Century-Fox’s foremost leading man

 

almost from the first days that Darryl F. Zanuck became head of the company. The Tyron

 

e Power image was that of the clean-cut, honest and aspiring young American. In the light comedies in which he starred during the early years of his career he generally “got the girl.” As Power matured, however, he became an actor of force and strength. His performances in Nightmare Alley, Witness for the Prosecution and Abandon Ship met with enthusiastic approval from critics and audiences alike. In the summer of 1958 Tyrone Power was appearing in what proved to be his final role, the character of King Solomon, playing opposite Gina Lollobrigida in Solomon and Sheba. Power collapsed after swordplay with George Sanders. He was rushed to a Madrid hospital, but

 

died within an hour. His death, at forty-four, made headline news around the world. The Films of Tyrone Power represents five years of research by the authors and presents many aspects of the actor’s life. Every film in which he acted is recaptured meticulously, along with casts, credits, reviews and production notes. The warm and detailed biographical portrait of the star, his three wives and his many loves, bring him alive, helped by more than four hundred photographs which illustrate the text. The introduction is by Henry King, who directed many of Tyrone Power’s greatest hits.

 

If you’re a fan of Tyrone Power, then this book is a must. The authors list each of Power’s films, including shorts and war time films. Anything you want to know about the movies, it’s there. There are film stills and promotional photos from many of the films as well. It’s thorough and informative.

I’ve always loved Power and this book puts a new spin on the actor. I never realized how well lit he was during his films–meaning the directors tended to work with the lighting for him that’s up to par, if not better than with his leading ladies. The guy wasn’t just an actor, he was an icon, but he was also seen as a pretty boy.  I never looked at him that way, but I’ve come to since reading this book. I don’t discount Power as an actor, though. He still did his job and it shows in this collection of writings about his films.

If you’ve ever wanted to know a little more about Tyrone Power’s body of work, then this book is for you.

Monday Movie Rundown ~ The Lego Batman Movie

Monday Movie Rundown Banner I watched quite a few movies this weekend, but the one that stuck with me for this post was the Lego Batman movie.

I wanted fun and this movie was that. Yes, it’s one gigantic product push, but I didn’t care. I liked the lesson in the movie–you have to allow people to help you from time to time and family comes in all different forms.

It was funny, silly and not at all a normal dour Batman movie. I’m glad I saw it. Will Arnett makes a great Batman and Michael Cera made a good Robin. They played off each other well and like I said, it was fun. If you want a movie that will whisk you away for a couple of hours and will entertain the whole family, then this might be the movie for you.

Wednesday Random Thoughts ~ Most Remarkable Characters with @MeganSlayer

Check it Out BannerNormally on Wednesdays I write book reviews. I have some books I could review, but I’ve had this blog topic on my mind for a while and I thought maybe I’d build up a bit of a backlog for book reviews and take this week off.

Now to the topic…

I love television and movies. I love music, too. While I was in the middle of a M*A*S*H binge, featuring McLean Stevens as Col. Henry Blake and I got to thinking. There are some truly remarkable characters. Is Henry remarkable? Some might disagree, but I think he is. I love the episodes he’s in more than the later ones. I like to laugh and he’s guaranteed to bring the laughs.  Oh, sure, I like Hawkeye and Trapper, but there’s something about Henry .

So in the middle of this binge, the episode where Henry goes home aired. I don’t know about you, but there are certain movies and tv shows I can’t watch when I know someone won’t make it. The episode, Abyssinia Henry, is one of them. I cry each time. I know what will happen. I’ve seen it a dozen times. But Henry is one of those characters I don’t want to see go away. I cry each time. Yes.

Now I’m going to make a huge jump. M*A*S*H is in a level above CSI: Miami, but these two shows have something in common. The loss of a character. Where I’ll cry because Henry doesn’t make it, I cry because Speedle is shot in the line of duty. I started watching CSI: Miami because I liked Wolfe. I won’t lie. I was drawn to him because he’s cute. Well, he is. But I had to get the rest of the plotline and I like to go back to the beginning with series once I know I’ve come in halfway through. So I binged the show’s first two seasons before they were pulled from the air. (They aren’t making any new CSI: Miami episodes and it’s kind of a shame. I liked that show.) Anyway, I watched and came to love Speedle. He’s a punk, cocky and snarky, but lovable. Plus, he’s kind of cute in a rugged kind of way. I had NO idea he wasn’t going to make it. When that episode came along…I was gobsmacked. Again, I cried. I liked this guy. WTH!

The same thing goes with The Fox and The Hound, Where the Red Fern Grows and Eight Below (but in those cases, it’s the dog(s) that don’t make it. I don’t like when the ones I love die.

Now I understand why the writers get rid of some characters and phase out others. You’ve got to evolve. BUT…that doesn’t mean I have to like it. I don’t like change. I really don’t. I’d prefer to have my characters live on forever.

What about you? Are there shows you have a hard time with because of the characters? Is there one or more that are your favorites?

 

Monday Morning Movie Rundown ~ The Conspirator

Monday Movie Rundown Banner I like my share of older movies and the one I’m talking about today isn’t new. But it’s not old. It’s new-ish. At least it is compared to some of the movies I tend to watch.

This week I watched The Conspirator. First, I’m a history buff, so the movies that have a true story running through them (notice I didn’t say are the true story because this is Hollywood and they never get it 100% right) are interesting to me. I know this isn’t completely factual, but I like how movies like this inspire me to go to the library to learn more–which I did.

Second, I could listen to James McAvoy read the phone book and I’d be perfectly happy. Yes, he’s one of my favorite actors. That said, I didn’t realize he was in this film until I got the copy from the library. As Frederick Aiken, he’s quite good. I appreciated him having a Northern accent–hey, he could still read the phone book and I’d be happy, no matter what accent.

I also liked Robin Wright. Most people see her and think of Jenny from Forrest Gump, but I can say for me she became Mary Surratt. I wasn’t watching actors, but it felt like I was there.

Now this is a depressing movie. Truly. You know the president dies. That’s in all of the history books, but when the people behind the scenes are presented, it puts a different spin on what happened. It’s awful no matter what, but these people were people, too. I liked how the director, Robert Redford, ensured each character was human, rather than demonized.

If you want a movie that will make you think and possibly want to learn more about the Lincoln assassination, then The Conspirator might be the film for you.