Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Predictable Plots: How do people do it??

When asking friends and family about a certain film that we've watched or a book that they've read, some of them usually reply with a complaint of the narratives predictable plot.

"You can see the ending from a mile away!!" a critic once complained.

Seriously. How do people do this. There's something seriously wrong with me because no matter what I do, whenever I try to foretell a story's ending, using hints and clues from the scenes that precede it, I always get it wrong. Except for Slumdog Millionaire but that doesn't count.

Even while watching a movie that shows a plethora of cliches, I still tell myself, that maybe, just maybe this movie will be different? I have faith that it will not end the way it should. That it will break the formula, subvert the genre, turn it on its head. So when I predict the plot my mind usually thinks up the most ridiculous conclusion.
90 percent of the time I'm wrong and can't help feeling guilty for my incompetence to play psychic, but still I cling on to the Hope.
The Hope that the writers of this movie or tv show or whatever will think that "hmmm we should do something different. Make them think this way, then boom hit them with a plot twist. They'll never predict this!"
This has only happened to me a few times, when my ridiculous conclusion is correct and other people are impressed by the ending that they "could have never predicted".

But unfortunately most of the time my prediction is wrong, and it means the movie sucks.

Monday, July 20, 2009

TV SHOWS: True Blood and Glee

I usually try not to watch TV series. Unlike movies, TV shows seem to go on forever with no end in sight and I need a bit of closure. But there's a number of tv series that have appealed to me because:

a) They have interesting, well-written characters.

True Blood and Glee are the most recent examples. But in the past I've also loved watching Grey's Anatomy and Desperate Housewives (my guilty pleasures).

b)They have an interesting concept or idea

Again True Blood comes to mind. One show that succeeded at this but after a few seasons later, eventually failed, was Lost. Season One for that show was so gripping, I had to cancel or postpone evrything that I had to do on the night it's on. But after a while it became to complicated, I got well...umm..lost. I'm very impatient and it was bound to happen sooner or later. If they got out of the island after the first few seasons and became a series about the aftermath of the tragedy and how it affected everyone involved, then yeah I would have kept watching. But no, they stayed on that island then I just became bored.

Right now, I'm following True Blood. Instead of waiting for the series to come on TV (which hasn't happened yet here in Australia) I decided to just purchase the DVD set, which I admit has an incredibly cool cover art. So I'll probably write a review soon about the first season, when I finish of course.

Glee does not show here in Australia until September. Sad face. But they had an advance screening last night and I can't wait for the series!
I do not own the images. Links here: 1 and 2

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Movies that I Hate: Slumdog Millionaire

I've been looking through my past film reviews and found that all of them are positive, how boring.
Everyone loves to read a negative review, I know I do.
So I've put together a bunch of films that I truly despise and unleash the Anton Ego within.

Slumdog Millionaire

Contrived to the point of absurdity. Okay, I can live with the fact that every question in the gameshow was related to a significant event in his life, but to take it further and have the questions asked chronologically, in sync with how his story unfolds. Contrived, contrived, contrived!
And it stuck to this formula throughout the entire movie. It was so unbelievably predictable, it was almost painful.
In a couple years, people will question what possessed them to actually enjoy and highly praise this movie. I believed the film's success is a reflection of the current state of the world. Economic recession. Rags to riches story. BOOM. Feel good movie of the year.
The other problem I had with the film was the lack of chemistry between the two leads, Jamal and Latika. I'm referring to the older ones of course (I thought the young actors' performances were the closest I can get to authenticity). I hated them together. I was with them intially when they were still young but as they got older, I just got bored. I was actually hoping that they would not be together. The actors were so bad and why would a boy who grew up in the slums all of a sudden acquire perfect English language skills with an accent to match?

My other problem was that they such heavy subject matter to deal with that it grounded the film to harsh, cold reality. But then aspects of unreality and "fairy-taleness" were weaved into the film which then creates this annoying contradiction (suspend reality, go back to reality. Repeat).

I don't really loathe the movie, I just think it did not live up to the hype and I found that the recognition it received was not well deserved. It's a very flawed film.
I'm a very big supporter of small films that make it (and win) against the big dogs. I'm usually in full support of the underdog, but in this case, I just did not find myself enjoying the film or find it worthy of its accolades.

VERDICT: 3.5/10

Monday, July 13, 2009

New Blog!

I've noticed that I have becoming more off topic with my blog posts, so I've decided to create another blog, for everything else I have been talking about that isn't about film, music or art.

It's called iWant iNeed iBuy

Link here

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Obsessions: Popular Penguin Novels and the Retro Trend

These days it's all about the retros, the vintages and the classics. We've all become obsessively nostalgic and trouble ourselves in searching for and buying products that have that romantic, good-old-days appeal. Here's a rundown of my own, personal retro/vintage loves:


From Breakfast at Tiffany's to Twilight. And Andy Warhol, who is currently the artist that I am obsessed with, wore them too.


An extract from a small note in the back pocket of the Moleskine:

"Moleskine is the legendary notebook used by European artists and thinkers from the past two centuries, from Van Gogh to Picasso, from Ernest Hemingway to Bruce Chatwin."

Genius marketing. We all want to be connected to legendary artists like those mentioned above and this concept alone triggers inspiration for aspiring artists and writers like me.

Popular Penguins

The collection of novels include classics and modern, fiction and non-fiction and are considered to be the creme de la creme of the literary world, so you're reassured that it will be a very good read. The instantly recognisable cover design of Popular Penguins evoke nostlagia and if I see someone, especially a younger person around my age, reading one of these orange and cream novels, I would consider them tres, tres cool. (apologies for the random french phrases but talking about these reminds me of old Parisian bookshops).
Grand, old movie theatres

These are such a breath of fresh air from boring, uninspiring multiplexes that conquer even the smallest of towns. Nothing beats the experience of watching a film inside a place with a history. I love that old-Hollywood feel and my local old deco cinema, the majestic Randwick Ritz, is definitely one of my favourite places to go to see a movie. It's also usually much cheaper than the multiplex.

What are your vintage/retro obsessions?

PHOTO LINKS 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6


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