One hot night in the summer of 2012, I was standing in my bathroom looking at myself in the mirror with roommate. It was three in the morning, he was a little hammered and we were taking inventory on our looks, as gay men do at that hour on a Wednesday night.
Can a certain level or type of violence actually make a popcorn action film less enjoyable and/or null the would-be happy ending? Arguably there should be some kind of proverbial line in the sand when it comes to casual carnage in 'just for fun' action pictures.
The rescheduled, heavily cut, and seemingly dumped January release may look and feel like both a punchline and a 'why they hate us' representation of everything wrong with popcorn filmmaking. But unlike certain re-imagined fairy-tales, it didn't cost $200 million. It cost just $50 million.
If you've been paying attention to the various trailers being unleashed in the wake of Breaking Dawn -- Part 2 last November, you'll notice a fevered pitch by the studios to plant their flag in the sand in the newest 'hot' sub-genre.
If history repeats itself, something out there to be released this year will change the game. If the pattern holds we will have a major smash hit that will not only make a lot of money for its studio but will also blaze a trail in terms of what the next decade of blockbusters will look like.
A company that made its billions partially by catering to young females has now set its course for young boys almost exclusively. If you look at Disney's release schedule over the next two years, you'll see a clear pattern.
Trudy was audibly frustrated. "What I can't figure out," she said, "is why this even got the attention it did. You're an average woman who grew up feeling freakish and came to terms with her looks over time. That's the universal story, right?"
There exists at least a handful of comic book adaptations that either completely eschew or compartmentalize the origin material. Be they successful as art or not, they represent the idea that it is possible to start (or restart) a comic book series without retelling the same origin.
From Sugar, I learned that our most vital development happens through commitment to the work, even if that work comes out misshapen or in terrible need of a copyedit. Even in the flaws, there is a buried truth -- it's that second beating heart that you needed to see for yourself.
This weekend is surely as shining an example as anything that the mainstream film landscape has somewhat self-corrected. We may like to say 'they don't make 'em like they used to.' That may have been true for a time, but it's not true anymore.
That afternoon, Julia Child mastered French cooking, Meryl Streep and Amy Adams mastered Julia Child, the ill could walk, the young could dream, all could laugh and Nora Ephron, in her inimitable way, had orchestrated the whole thing.
We are unprepared for a future where writing more often than not consists of quick reports and write-ups, persuasive pitches and creative presentations -- in other words, a world that does not require an introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion.