Thursday, February 21, 2013

"These Words of Mine"

An impassioned plea to a Young Lady who's scared to publish her stories.

You wrote you are scared to submit your stories for publication on ffn.

May I say something?

I am, too.

Every single chapter I wrote, I was scared to publish it. Every time.

So I can understand how you feel.


I've gotten PMs that say that this-or-that chapter has saved somebody's life. For real. I've gotten three marriage proposals off of chapters I've written (so, writing may be a good way for you to meet new people, if that's something that'd be nice for you).

What's it worth to you, to be scared to write that chapter, and to publish it, and then get a ho-hum or a mean review? Or to get a really good review? Or no review at all?

When if you didn't publish it, that one person, who thinks she's all alone in the world, doesn't read your chapter that would've meant something to her, and so she checks out, instead, because you didn't publish your chapter because you're scared to?

What's it worth, somebody's life? I've saved lives, writing my silly, terrible stories that mean something to somebody somewhere. You can, too, you know. There are very, very few writers. You publish your story here, you automatically become one of the top ten percent of the members here on ffn.

Write your stories and publish them. They mean something to you. They'll mean something to somebody else who reads them. And then you'll get that PM or review, and you'll know why you did it, even if you were scared.

... "These Words of Mine" is a song by Natasha Bedingfield.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Movie review/first impressions of "Warm Bodies"

Awwww! (geophf wipes away a romantic tear)

Or as R says: "Nailed it."

So, the difference between the movie "Twilight" and the movie "Warm Bodies" is that Summit grew up a little bit. Also, the fan base, albeit slavish, I suppose, was NOT twenty-two million screaming fangirls demanding their Edward be this and their Bella do that. I think, knowing that Warm Bodies didn't have such a huge fan-base is maybe what saved this film from descending from something that's purely rote (which it was: rote and predictable), to something that's a chore to watch.

R's movie also had the advantage of a sure hand behind the camera, that is: the crew. In Twilight, ... I mean, props to the director (who was: Catherine Hardwicke who CO-WROTE Thirteen with Nikki Reed) for taking on this behemoth, but a behemoth it was, and it was formulaic because why? Because every girl reading Twilight had to reexperience what she felt reading the book when she went to see the film, and so, anticipating that she wouldn't (because she wouldn't), she screamed her head off throughout the entire production of the movie, blaming any and all targets for her anticipated grief.

Oh, good grief!

The thing is, without Twilight, there wouldn't have been this Warm Bodies. Summit took a (pretty assured) huge gamble in bank-rolling, not the movie Twilight, but bank-rolling all the anticipated grief associated with producing this movie. And it paid off.

It paid off in this movie.

And Twilight was the first go for Summit to see what it's like. Breaking Dawn, which I did not see, was universally panned, and why? Because they wanted to get it right.

A movie (of this calibre) is not for getting right. A movie is to go to watch, and watch the dude be stunned into silence by the cute, sweet girl, and for the girl to be cute and sweet. THAT's what these movies are for, people who are producing these movies.

I mean, look at your metrics. Look at your target audience. Your target audience does not want to see a bunch of posers pretending to be serious, your target audience (which is (pre)teen girls) wants to see the guy eat the boyfriend's brains and then hold hands with the girl afterward when she makes ga-ga eyes at him and then strips down to her bra and panties because the only time it rains the entire movie is right before they have to go upstairs to go to bed!

Am I right or am I right!

Now "Warm Bodies" WAS (pretty) faithful to the source material (fortunately dropping the dialogue between R and the guy who REALLY should've been the zombie, but there ain't no justice) (and, okay, WHY was Julie hanging out with this loser? was it because he was the last air-breather on the planet? STILL not a good enough reason in my book), but it did what good movies do (Blade Runner/Ridley Scott, Sense and Sensibility/Emma Thompson/Ang Lee), it DROPPED the stuff that was unnecessarily demotivating (de = un, motivate = moving ... and a MOVie needs to MOVE!), and RUBBED our faces in the stuff that CONNECTED us to the movie and to the characters, whereas Twilight rubbed our faces in what was demotivating (Edward: "We shouldn't be friends" as he presses his mug into the camera) and skimped on the stuff that would connect us to the characters and the film (which was ... what, again?).

Which was ... what, again? Warm Bodies had some source material that Twilight didn't have. And that was: strong, unconflicted characters. Julie knew what she liked and what she didn't (her bf, the jerk), and R did, too. AND R was guilty as hell ... of being a zombie with his pet human, but he was trying harder than any other living person out there to be the best he could for Julie.

Not that she deserved it, from a zombie point of view, because she kept trying to escape, and kept getting into trouble.

But look at in from her point of view: you're in zombie-infested waters. Wouldn't it be prudent to get the hell out once your captor left to get you some food? So she may not have been all 'aww, shucks!' for R (and she was all aww, shucks for him), but she was a consistent character and a strong one at that, who knew she was a charmer, and used those charms (the make-up scene: foundation and blush, ... a classic!), and knew she was a tough girl, and could kick ass, and save R right back from the bonies and stand up to her totalitarianistic dad, of all people.

Two good, strong leads (one zombie, one human), two very credible side-kicks (one zombie (M), one human), and some gun-play, some running, some driving in a little red Z and you have yourself a movie that was just the right length with just the right amount of feel-good fun.

And that's what we want in a movie, right, folks?

After all, if we want anger, shouting, tears, erudition, and deep thoughts, we'd be reading "My Sister Rosalie" right now, wouldn't we.

geophf, with "Warm Bodies" movie review, signing off.

... oh, and p.s.: you did get it, right? "R and 'Julie" ... that is to say: "R" as in "Romeo," and "Julie" short for "Juliet"? Like I said: an "awww" movie