Sunday, April 4, 2010

Editorial - The 3 Fundamental Principles

Alright kids, I'm going to put on my teacher's hat for this one as it's time to learn about the three fundamental principles of movies.

What's this, a question from the class, well let's hear it, yes you there:

"What are the three fundamental principles?"

Good question Mac, makes me glad you're here well the three fundamental principles are as follows:

Principle #1 - A Good Story: Yes kids, the first principle for a good film is a good story, this above all else is the most important of the fundamental principles, especially when dealing with elaborate special effects and action sequences, as without a good story to tie the special effects together like in Die Hard and the Star Wars Trilogy to use as examples, then the effects become worthless such as in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and nothing more than salad dressing.

Principle #2 - Good Characters: Principle #2 is a good set of well defined characters and I have a good set of examples such as Luke Skywalker from the Star Wars Trilogy, John McClane from Die Hard, the boys and teachers in Dead Poets Society, the MFP cops in Mad Max 1 and the compound inhabitants in Mad Max 2 and Jack Burton in Big Trouble in Little China.

You see kids, characters in a film can become a guide for the audience throughout the film, in a way they serve the story as well, as they're actions in it help to win over the audience's approval or disapproval such as in JJ Abrams's recent Star Trek to use as an example, where I personally didn't care one bit about the crew of the Enterprise.

And finally Principle #3 - A Good Villain: This one is more for the action/adventure/sci-fi/fantasy type of films but these films I've found anyway, you guys might feel otherwise but I've found this to be the case, rely very much on the strength of its villain for its overall success.

And as my example, I'm going to use the one that inspired me to do this editorial, General Zod in Superman II, which is the main reason I feel that that film rises above Superman I, Terence Stamp's Zod contains the exact same powers as the man of steel as well as the woman Ursa played by Sarah Douglas and Non, played by Jack O'Halloran, because of that the film feels stronger and gives you a reason the want to see Superman give them a hell of a fight for control of the Earth.

But sadly, there are some that don't again using the recent Star Trek as an example, all Eric Bana's Nero is bark orders "prepare the weapon", "fire everything" etc etc along with that, the 2006 film adaptation of V for Vendetta, which treated the vile dictator of the UK as a casting gimmick and again bark order and spout out lines that would be more appropriate for Dr. Claw from Inspector Gadget, which most film villains these days seem to be written at the same level as in terms of their dialogue and overall characterization.

Alright kids, that almost makes it a wrap for this class, hopefully you got those notes down and remember what you've learned this class, for I shant repeat myself again, have a nice day.

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