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Old 09-20-2011, 02:23 PM
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horatio horatio is offline
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Originally Posted by martok2112 View Post
This I will heartily agree with.

It used to just be good guy good, bad guy bad. Their motivations were extreme. Good guy wanted to protect the maiden/town/city/country/world/galaxy/universe because it was his sworn duty. Bad guy wanted to kidnap/kill/conquer/destroy the maiden/town/city/country/world/galaxy/universe because he lusted after the maiden/the maiden knew too much about his horrific plans or he desired at one point to be the leader of town/city/country/world/galaxy/universe, and was stopped in his tracks, so his plans of conquest gave way to wanton destruction. (So one can see why it was obviously more fun for actors to want to play the bad guy in the old days....the bad guys at least had a little more dimension.)

But, today is not like it was in simpler times. Apparently, audiences don't like simple good guy/bad guy stories. Now, they apparently must know their motivations, what drove them to this point, and such. It's kinda like sitting around the campfire, telling ghost stories. You have the story teller. He/she is trying to tell the story. And then you have one or two jackasses sitting around the campfire questioning EVERY SINGLE ASPECT of the story AS it is being told....with the pretense that they're wanting a fully fleshed out novel to be cited to them, as opposed to a simple ghost story.

STORYTELLER: Several years ago, right here in these very woods, there was a man with a hook for a hand.

JACKASS 1: What year?


JACKASS 1: What year does this story take place?

STORYTELLER: I don't know it was several years ago.

JACKASS 2: And how does the man end up with a hook for a hand?

STORYTELLER: It'll be explained in the story. So, anyways, three campers decided to make camp here.

JACKASS 1: What did they do for a living?

STORYTELLER: (shaking his head in dismayed astonishment) WHAT?!

JACKASS 1: What did these people do for a living? I mean, these are humans you are talking about.

STORYTELLER: What the hell does it matter? Anyways, these three employees of a goddamn top-secret agency whose jobs cannot be disclosed to the frikkin' general public for NATIONAL F***KING SECURITY REASONS! decided to make their camp here.

JACKASS 2: Right here? As in "this very spot"?

STORYTELLER: (hangs his head in resignation...takes a deep breath....and then) Alright. Time for a different story.

JACKASS 1: 'Bout time. First story was boring.

(At this point, everyone around the campfire are really shooting Jackass 1 and Jackass 2 the evil eye.)

STORYTELLER: This story takes place in the not too distant future, as in about three minutes from now.

JACKASS 2: Finally, some specifics we can relate to!

STORYTELLER: (tells this story with an ever widening evil grin) A group of campers, on the order of eight, who worked for a multinational corporation decided to have a camp-out, yes, RIGHT HERE on this very spot where we are sitting now. Legend has it that the disembodied souls of two of these campers will walk these grounds in eternal misery, because of their tendencies to annoy those around them who are simply trying to have a good time. Because these two men were so intractable in their ways, and ignorant to just having a simple good time with a simple horror story, the rest of the campers rose up like flesh-craving undead....

(And at this point, the rest of the campers do indeed start to slowly get to their feet....their eyes all locked sharply on the two jackasses)

STORYTELLER:..... and decided to pummel, and bludgeon, and stab, and eviscerate, and maim, and dismember the two JACKHOLES! Blood was flying everywhere....and...

(As the annoyed, bloodthirsty campers close in on the two Jackasses...fear suddenly crosses the Jackasses faces)

JACKASS 1: win! Jeez!
JACKASS 2: Yeah. We'll shut up. Jesus Christ.


(The rest of the campers sit down, relieved that they did not have to actually go through the new narrative. Smiles once more cross their faces as the story teller sets about to his original tale.)

STORYTELLER: Now, several years ago, in these woods, there was a man with a hook for a hand. He got this hook as the result of a prank gone wrong that was pulled on him by some of his co-workers at a logging yard. The prank went wrong in that this guy lost his hand in a dangerous cutting machine. No one ever spoke of it, but this guy certainly did not forget the cruelty of his peers....and he has had a very dim view of humanity in general ever since. Legend has it that he killed all of his co-workers in a fit of rage and revenge, using his hand-hook as the murder weapon. The blood of many was caked on that hook...many of them innocent, some of them, the very ones who pulled the cruel prank. He buried the bodies of his co-workers deep underground. In fact, right under the ground we sit upon.

JACKASS 1: Which hospital did this guy get his hand from?

STORYTELLER: That tears it!

(The group of campers rises up and commences to beating the Jackasses to a pulp!)

JACKASS 2: You just couldn't keep your mouth shut, couldja?

Sounds a lot like these two jackasses were Trekkers to me.
Seriously, I find it horrible when a story cannot be accepted and judged as story. I frankly admit that the whole business on the last pages about nitpicking a few lines to death is already pretty horrible but at least I got the point of the scene.

I think that quite some prequel movies fit into the "explain everything" pattern you have described. I haven't seen the last Hannibal Lector movie because the reviews were abysmal and because I don't understand the benefit of psychologizing the character. Of course something traumatic must have happened to him, you don't eat human flesh out of a whim! Same with James Bond, (and I don't dislike the new Bond movies, I merely like to point out this general pattern) it´s not like you could not have guessed that he is a playboy because of a former love that still hurts.
So why insult the audience with spelling these issues out and why not focus on more interesting things?

To praise ST09 (yes, I can ), it avoided this explanation business. Some rough sketches, yes, but nothing more and IMO the evil stepdad scene was rightly cut out of the movie.

All this might seem like a mere fashion but we should be more serious about it. After all we have thought and still think to a large degree via stories. Gee, there have been long times in history when there was no science or philosophy or whatever and all kind of human thinking occured in stories. Just take the most-read book of all times. What did Jesus do when they did not get him? Tell a story. (That might sound strange to Christians so let me add that Jesus Christ being the son of God told us stories not because he but because we think in stories, i.e. in order that we understand him he has to get down to our level.)
Nowadays we pretend that stories are totally transparent, that we can deconstruct them and so on but we should not feel omnipotent or cynically pretend to be above stupid movies or novels. Stories still rule us and not the other way around.
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