• Entertainment Rants

    Wonky World Building and JJ

    All storytellers have different strengths and weaknesses. In telling a story, they’ll play to their strengths, and hopefully that compensates for their weaknesses. But what happens when a storyteller’s weakness is storytelling? I can’t fault director JJ Abrams’s ability to make visually stunning movies (lens flares and all). But his storytelling is terrible, which is born from his appalling world-building. Word-building is paramount to me. Get it right, and you can sell me anything. I’ll believe immortals are living among us who can only die if they lose their head; I’ll believe an eccentric inventor builds a time machine out of a DeLorean; I’ll believe an archaelogist is retained by…

  • Entertainment Rants

    Finding Connection

    I had a discussion with somebody once about movies now compared to movies from my childhood (1970s–80s), and she said you tended to have a fondness – out of nostalgia – for things you grew up with. I thought about that, and while I agree that you do develop that emotional connection, the truth is there were a lot of great movies coming out when I was growing up. Here’s a small list off the top of my head (but which I’ve revised and put in chronological order): The Godfather (1972), The Exorcist (1973), The Godfather: Part II (1974), Jaws (1975), Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977),…