Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people. - Eleanor Roosevelt

Saturday, July 19, 2008

"Is it Hollywood, or just me?" and other happenings

What is it about the summertime that makes people flock to movie theaters? Is it the heat? Is it the highly anticipated and advertised blockbusters that the industry starts drilling into our brains a season or two in advance?

Whatever the reason is, I've gone to the movies in the past two weeks more than I have in years. Last Saturday I saw Wall-E, this Friday I saw The Dark Knight and the following day (today) I saw Kung Fu Panda. That's almost a record for me. It's not like this is the first summer the movie industry has hyped up its productions. Last summer I saw one movie, and that was Ratatouille, which was hyped up and with good reason, because it was great. That was the only movie I saw last summer.

This summer it seems like I can't keep up with all the stuff that sounds good enough to be worth the ticket price. These observations raise a lot of questions for me, however.

Is this a new generation for Hollywood's marketing? Am I just tired of not going to the movies? Are the new movies just that good that I can't wait to see them?

I just don't know. All I know is that this summer I've been gobbling up movies left and right in the theater, regardless of the annoying teenagers and crowds and the ticket prices. Matinees help, as they bring the price down to just $5, and there are less crowds. But is Hollywood just making better movies, or am I just not that bothered by teenagers, who used to annoy me, but now just make me laugh with their cluelessness?

Anyway, All three movies I mentioned earlier in this post were great, with The Dark Knight, the latest Batman installment, as the highlight. Truth be told, before Christian Bale wore the Batman suit, I didn't even like the genre. Even when Christian Bale wore the suit, I wasn't interested in the movie, as much as I was in seeing him, but Batman Begins was such a good movie, that I got a little bit more into it enough to sit through the movie and be entertained. Now that The Dark Knight is finally out, and I saw it, I am looking forward to more Batman movies with Christian Bale and the rest of the great cast. It's a shame Heath Ledger won't be able to reprise his role as The Joker, because he was absolutely phenomenal.

On the subject of writing, I'm still working on fiction by reading about fiction, reading other people's fiction, and writing my own fiction. I'm getting frustrated with the different opinions being thrown at me... some are too positive to be helpful, especially when there are slightly negative ones, and some that are completely negative. I just don't know who to listen to. I know that you can't please everyone, but it's confusing all the same. I'm still taking the critiques and using them to improve and build on what I have already, and hopefully the story will begin to get mostly good reviews very soon.


Elisabeth said...

I;m looking forward to seeing Wall-E when it eventually either comes out on iTunes or in theaters in Penang. I haven't heard one person who disliked it yet! Kung Fu Panda has also been recommended to me, but I can't bring myself to watch it because I haven't yet gotten over the silliness of the name and what that must mean for the movie (I haven't seen any previews).

I love that you are taking your writing so seriously these days. Back in the day I remember that when I asked you about writing, it seemed more like some kind of distant dream rather than a real goal to be actively working on. Also, on those critiquers... ignore all of them, good and bad, unless they say something specific about what you've done right or wrong. Ego stroking is nice and bashing sucks, but you're not there for either, and I'm assuming they should know that, if it's the kind of site that I think it is.

When I was in writing and art workshops in college, my least favorite kind of feedback was, "I liked it." (Unless it was from a couple of the professors who I thought to be gods) There is nothing you can do with that! All works can be improved. And even if they think it's the best it can be, at least they can tell you why they like it so that you can learn from that and add it to your toolbox.

Reem said...

Oh "I liked it" drives me up the wall! It's like "Guess what? I like it, too! But that doesn't help me now, does it?"

Kung Fu Panda is not the best title, I agree, but the movie is just really funny and cute. Wall-E is just great... I think you'll love it. Speaking of titles, I thought Dream Girls was one of the cheesiest, most Barbie-ish titles ever slapped on a movie. I voiced this opinion once, and it upset this one guy so much, he all but picked me up and threw me out of the atmosphere! Just a funny story I wanted to share involving movie titles not to one's taste ;)