Friday Flix: Man of Steel

friday flix jae scribblesIt’s that time of the week again. This week with Friday Flix we go super—at least Superman is in this one. Was I excited for a new Superman movie? Definitely yes! Did the movie live up to my expectations? Well, let’s just say Man of Steel was Man of Stilted. Disappointed? I was too.

I mean something produced by Christopher Nolan should be awesome, right? That’s what I thought, too. Let’s just say if you like spectacle more than you like story then this movie is for you.

The description from IMDB.com :

A young itinerant worker is forced to confront his secret extraterrestrial heritage when Earth is invaded by members of his race.

Kind of sounds boring already, doesn’t it? So what is it about Man of Steel that was Man of Stunk? Let’s get started!

THE THING ABOUT BACKSTORY

Backstory is not a bad thing. If you have been in writing long enough you understand that while backstory is necessary you don’t want to clutter up the beginning of your story with a lot of flashbacks and info dumping. If you caught any of the previews, you know Man of Steel will do a little bit of backstory because it’s necessary to understand where Superman is coming from—especially those who don’t know much about the Supes.

However, the problem with backstories or flashback is that it slows the story down. You’ve got to know when to put it in and when it’s appropriate. If you just put it in there willy nilly you’ll bore your readers and your story won’t have much meaning.

The issue I had with the backstory in Man of Steel was that the writers spent hardly any time having us get to know Clark Kent in the present. We see a lot of scenes of him rescuing people, and an awful lot of brooding, but there weren’t very many of those getting-to-know-you moments except in flashbacks.

I guess the point they were trying to make the movie is that he was kind of a misfit/loner in the beginning, uncertain of himself. But it doesn’t work well for a movie if your main character is just breathing and not interacting because we can’t see what’s inside of his head on screen.  We didn’t really get to connect with Supes and so when supposedly important battles would happen, I found myself not caring because they hadn’t created any real meaning. The only affinity I had for Supes was young Supes. In fact, part of me wished we could just watch that part of the movie instead.

Oh wait, they’ve done that.

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Friday Flix: Roswell

friday flix jae scribblesWelcome to another edition of Friday Flix. Since the BFF and I recently visited New Mexico, interesting in watching Roswell spiked, and as it’s available on Netflix, I gave it a go. I knew what this show was going into it (teen drama) but I’d watched Dawson’s Creek back in the day, so I figured it would probably be something like that.

For those that don’t know, here’s the Roswell description from Netflix:

In Roswell, New Mexico, human/alien hybrids Max, Isabel and Michael closely guard their true identities from enemies while forging romances with classmates and gradually discovering their destiny to save their home planet.

Seems like the perfect formula for a teen drama right? Girl meets boy who’s not human, and he’s the forbidden fruit, but he can’t stay away from her and no one can know their secret. (Sounds like a few other familiar plots out there, right?)

ROSWELL THE CITY

Having been to Roswell in person, they didn’t do a bad job pretending the part of California they filmed in was New Mexico. But I did notice the mountains in the background a lot (not really the case in Roswell), and sometimes the city looked way bigger than it actually was. But for those that have been dying to know, no, there isn’t a Crashdown Cafe in the real Roswell. Not even anything close. In fact, the real Roswell could take lessons from the show on how to promote tourism when it comes to restaurants. Not that I’m complaining too much. Big D’s Downtown Dive is still calling my name with those ridiculous Monte Cristo sandwiches.

monte cristo

Mmm… I still love you!

Anyways, I’d be willing to let these details go if the rest of the story was more interesting. And it was… for awhile. I made it 10 whole episodes before I decided lits (life is too short).

LEADING MAN

“I’m boring… so boring…” via Wiki

Roswell was out right in the height of major WB (now called the CW) popularity. We had Dawson’s Creek, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Smallville for that matter. So a lot of these characters feel the same across the teenage drama-verse. Which is interesting to note a lot of this stuff is almost formulaic, but in the right hands can be fantastic, and in the wrong, boring.

Okay, if we’re being honest, I probably couldn’t stand a re-watch of Dawson’s Creek for the same reasons. The leading man. He had mysterious going for him, but once we realize he’s an alien pretending like he knows anything about what’s going on, blaaaah… He’s got that too perfect character vibe. He could be a robot and show the same amount of emotion. By episode ten I’m already ready for Liz to break up with his “yes-let’s-get-together-no-wait-I’m-an-alien-so-we-can’t” attitude.

Supposedly the leading man, Max, has loved Liz his whole life and risked everything saving her life, but risking a romance is too dangerous. Why? It worked out all right for Superman. Geez, it even worked out for Edward and Bella. I guess Max’s excuse is, well, I want to protect you from the difficulty being with me could be. *eye roll* *gag* I know, it’s all for drama, but Max is a robot who probably likes feeling like he has to suffer. *yawn*

“Did someone call my name?”

Let’s take Clark Kent from Smallville in the almost exact same situation. You know more than anything he wants to be with Lana (then Lois). And he’ll take whatever risks necessary, even to his own detriment. He’s a character of action. And when he can’t have Lana, he tries dating other girls in the meantime to see if she’s really the one.

Maybe that’s the problem. Roswell is too much about their relationship while Smallville is more about the superpowers and the relationship is a subplot. I don’t know. Feel free to disagree with me in the comments. Max is just dry, boring toast. Period.

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