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The Pop Culture Wing of Hot Corner Harbor

Friday, December 26, 2014

The Contrasting Cases of Guardians of the Galaxy and John Carter

Over the course of Christmas Day, I was watching movies with my family. And by some chance, we decided to cover a double feature of two recent science fiction blockbusters, namely Guardian of the Galaxy and John Carter. I had seen both before (in fact, I wrote my thoughts about Guardians here), but watching them back-to-back gave me a reason to compare and contrast the two.

Obviously, the two films enjoyed vastly different levels of success. While Guardians just became the highest grossing film of the year, John Carter barely made back its budget, likely ending any chance at a franchise. What exactly caused such a

Well, there probably isn’t one simple answer. Or rather, there is: Guardians is just a better victory overall. But that’s not too helpful unless we break it down into the minutiae. And while there are several reasons that Guardians is better, I’d like to focus specifically on one specific storytelling aspect.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

How I Would Adapt Avatar: The Last Airbender (Book One)

One of the greatest shows on television is coming to an end this week, and for the second time. And yes, even though Legend of Korra is a cartoon, I will firmly defend its and prequel series Avatar: The Last Airbender’s collective spot as the greatest show on television (I realize I haven’t not seen every show on television, but bear with this hyperbole for a moment).

For that reason, I wanted to write something about the show. I couldn’t think of anything for the current episodes, though. Which is when I turned my thoughts towards the future of the franchise, including possible adaptations.

I realize that the M. Night Shyamalan film exists, and is a large failure. I haven’t seen it myself, but I have reason to avoid it, though. However, I don’t think the failure was on the part of the source material based on its quality, and I am of the opinion that anything could work as a movie if you do it correctly.

So yes, I think a Last Airbender movie could work; however, you would have to do it pragmatically. Something like the Scott Pilgrim movie (the gold standard for adaptations, in my mind; the movie stands out just as much as the source graphic novel) could work, where the changes are all necessary to fit the medium, but make sense in the context of the story just as well. It lost a lot of the detail of the comic, but still made for a fantastic movie by just simplifying a lot of the plot in sensible ways.

With that in mind, what would be essential in a pragmatic adaptation of The Last Airbender? What if we wanted to reduce Book One to a single movie (that was longer than 100 minutes), or possibly even a two-part film? Well, in season one at least, we have these episodes:

Monday, December 15, 2014

Some Belated Thoughts on Big Hero 6 and Interstellar

It took me a while to see these two movies, and even longer to write down my thoughts on them, but I may as well do it. I’ll mark spoilers when I get to them.

It seems weird to think of these two movies as related; they’re about as different as you can get. They were released on the same day, and that’s about it (unless you want to count the fact that I saw them close together as another relation, in case you think my viewing pattern makes them more similar in some way). But I feel like these movies are so different that they almost represent polar opposites in some way.