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Archive for July, 2010

**Spoilers** for the movie The Legion

I’m fascinated by Angel and Apocalypse stories. I love the idea of angels walking around us or coming down to protect some special person because that person is key in the up and coming Apocalypse and the survival of the human race. It’s most likely because I want to be that “special” person and how cool would it be to have an Angel hunt you down and protect you from the forces of evil. Okay, if it happened it probably wouldn’t be that cool and you’d wish that you were never chosen but still…cool!

A couple weeks ago I watched Legion and before I get started on this film I just have to say quickly that I haven’t watched The Prophecy yet but it’s next on my queue (right after a movie about a Norwegian farmer who orders a German mail order bride). Okay. I liked the idea of Legion and I was really excited to see Paul Bettany playing Michael and as expected the movie was pretty silly. I laughed quite a bit, which is probably not what the actors and director were trying to get at but hey, at least I wasn’t furiously throwing tomatoes at my television, and I was entertained.

However, here is where I had a problem. The movie had little character development where it mattered. It explained more about the secondary character’s background than the main characters. Of course, the secondary characters were still lacking but I understood more of who they were. I wanted to know more about the main characters. Why should I care about them? Who are they? What makes them so important that Michael would defy God, tear off his wings and join the ranks of Man? I also wanted to know more about Michael.

I was alright with the Joseph, Mary and Jesus concept (cliché but whatever) but I wanted to know more about those characters in this story. Jeep loved Charlie even though she was carrying another man’s baby but I didn’t understand why he loved her and what exactly she thought about him. And what exactly made her and the baby so special? I think this would have been easy to explain or show, which is preferable, but the film would rather show zombie-angel’s, gun fights and fights with razor sharp wings. There were a couple scenes where there was an excellent opportunity for Charlie to speak with Michael, or vice versa, and develop an amazing relationship while explaining plot gaps. But it never happened.  I want more story!

This has been my problem with a lot of movies, and some stories, lately. Their focus is on special effects and fight scenes. I understand that people do want to see the newest advancement in technology – and wow-factor brings in the audience – but it’s the story that makes the movie memorable. It feels like Sci-Fi and Fantasy movies are falling flat and not making money because there is too much focus on the effects. I would love to see more Sci-Fi/Fantasy movies and there can be so much creativity and excitement in them if only someone would take the effort to make a quality movie. I’m tired of remakes, reboots and the easy romance and action story that is so formulaic you barely remember what you watched a week later. Yes, 3D can be cool but if I don’t care about who the main characters are, I’m probably not going to spend the extra $3-5 dollars to watch them run around in a pretty forest.

I find that when and if I go to these movies I lower my expectations for plot and character development so I can enjoy it. I’m not going for the special effects even though I know I’ll be disappointed. However, do the film makers cut back on story because people go for the effects or do people go for the effects because they don’t expect much of a story?

And then again, there are those times where you just need to turn off your brain because it’s been working way too hard.

What are your thoughts about Legion and/or lack of plot and character development in movies? Please avoid talking about Avatar and Twilight because they are just too easy of targets.

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JulNoWriMo

Just a quick post from me. I’m trying to convince myself to write a website review for a homework assignment and the convincing is only partially working.

For all those wonderful people that have some spare time to write, today is the first day of JulNoWriMo. Just like NaNoWriMo but for July. I would totally do this but I should probably focus more on the last bit of my grad program. I will be joining in November with as many friends as I can gather.

Here is the link for July: http://julnowrimo.com/

I hope you have a blast and please write in and let me know how it is going for you if you try it!

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