Matrix Resurrections: What’s the Point?

If Alien: Resurrection is any indication, a sequel (part 4, no less) in any franchise with the word “resurrection” in the title will surely be a letdown; Matrix: Resurrections is a dud. So, what about Matrix 4 makes it so underwhelming? There are lots of things, but in broad strokes: The movie couldn’t decide what it was about It was relentlessly self-referential to the point of parody. It even makes fun of the fact that the film itself doesn’t know what it is about The motivations and goals of most of the players in the plot are unclear. The big…

Continue reading

Wheel of Time, Episode 1 Analysis

Before I begin, let me say that my expectations for this show were low, simply because it is the year 2021, but also because the author of the source is now dead and the production is being funded by Amazon. I wouldn’t have bothered watching had my subscribers not specifically asked me to watch and review it, and were I not a fantasy author myself. I’ve read the Wheel of Time book series. It’s not my favorite, and I think some of the middle books are among the worst I’ve read, but I have a lot of affection for the…

Continue reading

The Problems with Letting Hollywood Adapt Books

Problem 1 – The producers and executives don’t really WANT to adapt anything. Rather, they adapt things because they already have a proven track record, making production simpler and less of a gamble. Twilight was a huge hit, so of course, a movie adaptation will also be a huge hit. The studio is most interested in making a movie that people will watch, not making a faithful adaptation of a book (or anything else). Problem 2 – The creatives who work on the films don’t really WANT to adapt anything, either. They want to make their own vision, with their…

Continue reading

Dune 2021 – Review

I gave up on seeing a faithful adaptation of Frank Herbert’s immensely popular Dune years ago. The way Herbert constructs the book and strange worldbuilding and philosophy that underpins the entire series make it, I believe, unfilmable. That conclusion hasn’t stopped the many fans of the book and the universe from clamoring for another visual adaptation, and so in 2021, we finally got a big-budget film of Dune directed by Denis Villeneuve (who also directed Blade Runner 2049, which I still have no plans ever to watch). Sort of. What was released this week was part 1 of, I presume,…

Continue reading

Adaptations

It’s not hard, or at least, it shouldn’t be when you have 100 million + dollars to fling around. So why so much failure? Because “Hollywood,” as the collection of producers etc. that run the business, doesn’t care a lick about the stories that they adapt. They adapt things like books and movies for two reasons: There is already a built-in fanbase (in other words, some guarantee on a return on investment). The key elements of the story have already been filtered in the free market to have wide appeal. In other words, the book was already successful, so a…

Continue reading

The Coming Creative Boom

The Corona-Chan quarantine might bless us with a baby boom, but it will also bless us with a creative boom, and in the “right” direction. Hollywood has had to halt its productions. They might lose 20 billion dollars. They’ve put their feature movies onto streaming platforms, just so that they get seen and the brands can maintain some value. Hollywood and its giant apparatus represents the last remaining tower, however dark and menacing, of the corporate period in art. It takes lots of money and lots of people to make art on that scale, and virus is a perfect menace…

Continue reading

The Epistle of Captain America – The Pop Cult is Truly a Cult

If you needed more proof that the obsession with fictional corporate franchises has a religious overtone to it, here is a major filmmaker advertising just that. When my viewers were upset about the corporate destruction of Star Wars, calling the franchise a cultural institution, I thought it a bit hyperbolic – after all, these are just stories, and you can’t uncreate what George Lucas did. I see things better now. Star Wars is part of the religious reverence for popular franchises. When Disney makes a Star Wars movie that undoes the stories of the Lucas era, it really is like…

Continue reading

Disney Star Wars may provoke an artistic renaissance

Not because it’s good. Oh no, it was very, very far from good. And yet it may be the shock that wakes people up from the cultural stupor of the corporate period and gets them to either stop consuming entirely (starvation) or gets them to look at non-corporate alternatives, most of which are fare more original and better executed than the drivel that has been pooped out by Disney the last few years. That incentive could drive lots of money – and therefore talent – back to writing classic stories. The meta-narrative of Disney Wars, which has primarily been about…

Continue reading

Feeding Molech for a Trophy

Very rarely does something appear truly devilish to me, but this one really seemed strange, even crazy. I’m curious if those who don’t share my faith get the same vibe, but for sure there is something… off about her voice. It sounds compelled, if that makes sense: Of course, there is more to this than that. First, she makes the trade obvious – she is successful because having an abortion allowed the opportunity to be so; she would not have the trophy had she not aborted her child. She says, “Thank God or whomever you pray to.” An image comes…

Continue reading

There’s Nothing “Nerdy” About Watching Star Wars

A new Star Wars movie came out recently – another piece of weird corporate fan-fiction with the creator happily disinvited from participation – and I noticed something: People (mostly my facebook friends) were posting about seeing the movie, but with an odd sentiment attached to it – the use of the word “nerd.” “Getting my nerd on.” “Time to let loose my inner nerd.” “Time to be a bit nerdy.” Let me say, there is absolutely nothing nerdy about going to see a movie in the most popular film franchise in the history of humanity. It is decidedly a normal…

Continue reading