After the drought comes the flood! and by flood i mean the completion of an article i’ve been working on since september of last year…
Anyone who reads this blog will know that i put a lot of weight on the villain’s shoulders to carry action heavy spectacles (in particular, but by no means exclusively), and i place much of the failures of Age of Ultron, The Force Awakens, and most recently Star Trek Beyond squarely on the antagonists in those movies.
So what pray tell makes a good villain?
Well, just like anything that is inherently subjective, the reasons that make a bad guy good are as numerous as the people who experience their stories, as many people find Kylo Ren to be layered and interesting (i find he’s neither at this moment), or Ultron to be more than just a cardboard cut out bad guy.
So with that in mind, i can only give what i specifically look for in a villain, and what makes them good. Which is exactly what i’m going to do here:
It’s always interesting to see what other people’s opinions are, and in particularly contrarian opinions.
While clicking around i found a youtube channel by the name of Caddicarus, and decided to see what he thought were unpopular opinions of his in regards to gaming. While his ADD editing style and unfunny skits wore on me almost immediately he for the most part gave a good account on his personal tastes and preferences. The video in question follows:
Lets go through them and see if i agree or disagree.
Alright everyone get your groans on, get the lamentations out that Hollywood has no original ideas as they are now just remaking remakes. After all they’re remaking The Lion King with CGI animations, so there will be yet more people talking about how a remake of a beloved movie from their youths somehow has the power to destroy childhood memories, ruin future children’s lives, and blah blah blah.
The only question that i care to answer out of the mess of emotions that usually occur when remakes are planned is:
One of the benefits of the trend of 80’s and 90’s nostalgia taking over day-to-day life, is that things that were previously very hard to find (with almost zero effort) are now all over the place. The best example of which is the movie we have here; while wandering a local HMV i suddenly had the whim to find the first Pokemon movie and it was quite literally in hands reach the moment the thought came into my head.
P:TFM was the first movie i watched without my parents, and man do i remember the hype. Theaters were whole sale reserved to play this movie when it first released, everybody at school was talking about when they were going to see it, i was excited and tried to get any news on it that i could, and me and my buddy went to see it on opening night. Looking at it now, it wasn’t as big an event as i thought it was (even to this day) only grossing a “modest” 240 000 000 (adjusted) dollars world-wide. It didn’t even make it into the top 20 box office earners of 99, even other kids movies like Stuart Little, Tarzan, and Toy Story 2 absolutely clobbered it.
I think part of that had to do with the audience, my buddy and i had to be the only kids above the age of 8 in a theater that could sit a couple of hundred. Most importantly i think that by November of 99 the Pokemon craze had just about reached its peak, as the sharp decline of the box office performances of Pokemon: The Movie 2000 and Pokemon 3: The Movie show. Thus making P:TFM a perfect example of how hype can get you a strong opening (it had the 9th best opening for the 99′ movie year), but won’t guarantee longevity.
But enough of that boring stuff, i know that what you want to know is if Pokemon: The First Movie – Mewtwo Strikes Back * still holds up. I remember being quite satisfied with what i saw when i walked out of the movie, but as we all know our tastes as children were questionable to say the least…
A former coworker once remarked while Under Siege was playing on the tv in the lunch room:
“Nothing clears women out of the room faster than a Steven Seagal movie…”
It proved true in that instance, as the women in the room at the time had all left leaving nothing but men. Aside from that little anecdote, i would be remiss if i didn’t tackle the old adage of how you can put “Steven Seagal is…” in front of his movies for great comic effect:
Steven Seagal is Out for Justice
Steven Seagal is Marked for Death
Steven Seagal is Above the Law
Steven Seagal is… Exit Wounds?
That last example is what i wanted to tackle; yes the rule works for 9 (technically 8) out of his 12 major movies from his 88′-98 “golden age”, it doesn’t work with Executive Decision, Fire Down Below, or the aforementioned Exit Wounds. Not unless you add some sort of noun, preposition, or indefinite article attached to “is”. So for example:
Steven Seagal is an Executive Decision
Steven Seagal is close to a Fire Down Below
Steven Seagal is in addition to Exit Wounds
So remember guys, it’s always important to take any generalized statement with a grain of salt; i mean you don’t want to look like an idiot right?
yeesh. I’m not sure why i delayed the release of the last part of this series for 3 months, as it’s been sitting on my hard drive complete since at least June…
and remember to read parts one and two before starting here.
The last principle to be discussed naturally takes an understanding of the concepts of Introduction and Reinforcement to grasp. As Development/Embellishment is the most abstract, nebulous, and open for individual interpretations of the three guiding principles; thus the viewer should use the previous two to see if their thoughts on development are founded and backed.
To use narrative terms Development is the moral of the score; and much like a story’s moral Development constitutes the reason for the score to exist within the narrative. It is however important to note that development doesn’t only come at the end of the story, as musical themes can grow and change throughout the course of the narrative to better suit the composer’s and story’s needs.
First though i feel it is important to provide the reason why the third principle encompasses both Development and Embellishment of a theme (instead of them being separate). When i say that a theme develops, i generally mean that the music changes in context and meaning throughout the course of the film. Technically the themes can change their tonal colour or melody entirely to emphasise dramatic developments within the narrative. An example of technical development (leading to a complete change of the original theme) is the theme of the Ring Wraiths from the The Lord of the Rings films.
I didn’t want to repost the article in question as i don’t think it merits a repost as to be brutally honest about this blog: not a lot of people give a shit about what i have to say on any subject in particular.
But i want to be as transparent as possible about my views, i’ll always change my views when presented with evidence that contradicts them fairly and reasonably and in the year from when “On Fury Road and Feminism” was posted until now i have exposed myself to a lot of diverse opinions on many issues.
so i added an addendum to that article which i feel clears up and reveals my position on the subject matter in accordance to my current views.