Why the 3rd movie falls short

Blade--Trinity-jessica-biel-243898_1920_1283It’s not uncommon knowledge that the third movie in most respective trilogies are generally considered the worst of the bunch. We see this in Spider-man 3, X-men: the last stand, Alien 3, Karate Kid 3, and the list just doesn’t stop. This seems wrong. The third movie should have the most stakes, have the most pathos with the characters, and have the most spectacular ending of all of the movies. At least that’s what should be happening. Instead, something always seems to get in the way of a great trilogy. I offer a list of potential causes of this fall in quality and ways to fix future third installments.

  1. They switch directors

When a filmmaker pours their heart and soul into a couple of films and they’re well received and make good money, a third installment is logical. However, many directors are also tired of the material and desire to go off to other projects. This leaves the studio in need of someone to wrap up the franchise and this is where the problem begins. Either they hire a director who’s too scared to take chances and go the extra mile with the property, which leads to an uninteresting and repetitive movie, or the new director takes it in a completely different director leaving the project feeling foreign and disconnected. Example: Iron Man 3.

2. The current director is being forced to do it

Maybe the studio manages to get the same guy back. Wonderful. But is there anything else that can really add to the franchise. Sometimes the studio then forces the director to make certain decisions that they aren’t confident in. Sam Raimi did not want the character Venom in Spider-man 3. However, Sony wanted to shoehorn him in for more ticket sales and that element ended up crippling the movie beyond saving. Often times studios begin to believe that they know best or that the main goal of a film is to make money. This mindset leads them down a path that leaves their films sloppy and sometimes even hated by fans. It happens more than you’d think.

I now realize as i’m writing this that there are many more reasons that these trilogies fail and I really don’t feel like going into detail with every one. So, I will now rapid fire the rest that I can think of.

Directors loose their minds, ex: The Matrix Revolutions. First timers get bullied, ex: Alien 3. The idea is exhausted, ex: Robocop 3, Jaws 3-d. An unforeseen tragedy hurts the production, ex: The Dark Knight Rises (which I love but just imagine if Ledger was in it). Falls into self parody, ex: Terminator 3. It wasn’t good to begin with, ex: Transformers: Dark of the Moon. Over-reliance on jokes, ex: Pirates of the Caribbean: at world’s end, Batman Forever, Rush Hour 3. And finally, going in the complete wrong direction, ex: Superman 3, X-men: the last stand, Blade Trinity, and so many more.

Thanks for reading. If you like what you read, slap your email in the follwo box so we can drum up some conversation. If you did not like it then comment on how wrong I am about the movies in the lists. I love it either way. Cheers guys.

 

I love you The Weekly Planet

weekly planetSo I was going through some of my podcast subscriptions last night and I decided to listen to the latest episode of the weekly planet. James and Nick are probably my favorite internet personalities and I always eagerly await the new episodes. So I was listening last night and much to my surprise, they briefly spoke of my Chris Pine is Hal Jordan theory.

Chris Pine is ALSO Hal Jordan theory

I just wanted to thank them and tell them that I genuinely appreciate it, no matter how small it may seem to them. Also, if you enjoy my articles, you will probably enjoy the podcast The Weekly Planet and/or Mr. Sunday Movies youtube channel. If you do not like my articles then you also may very well enjoy the podcast because it’s much better than this thing. Also, follow them on twitter and tell them Dylan says thanks or Fuggedaboutit!

Thanks for reading. Leave a comment on something you agree with or passionately disagree with so we can get some conversation going. Cheers guys.

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Christopher Nolan’s Unknown Trilogy Part 2

chris nolan again 1We’re back folks. Here to finish the utter madness that began yesterday on this very site. If you recall, we were discussing the connections of The Prestige, Inception, Interstellar and that they’re secretly a trilogy. We already covered the plot and the characters (link to part 1 at the end of the paragraph)  so now we’r e gonna cover the themes and some more specific connections. Now, we continue.

http://moviedogma.net/2016/01/21/christopher-nolans-unknown-trilogy/

Themes

There are so many themes that are ever-present in Chris Nolan films. Themes of betrayal and sacrifice, but, in these three movies, the theme of greatness. In The Prestige, Robert Angier claims that he chases Borden’s secret so that he can ruin him for killing his wife. It is revealed at the end that he didn’t do it for that as all. He did it for “the look on their faces”. He wanted the greatness. The recognition. The legacy. This is greatness out of desire. In Inception, Cobb prides himself on being the best extractor. So when Mr. Saito comes to him with the task of performing inception, he can’t help but except. Even though his only friend and partner warns him that it is just too hard to be done. Cobb takes manages to complete the inception on time and without any trace under some pretty terrible circumstances. This shows greatness out of obligation. It merely serves as the means to very personal ends for Cobb. Now we move to Interstellar with Cooper, a trained pilot and engineer. Cooper loves to fly but can’t do it due to past complications. So he farms to make ends meet. That is until he is offered the chance to do something great. To save the world from complete extinction of all human life. Cooper excepts even though he very much doesn’t want to. He does it because he needs to. Everyone will die if he doesn’t go. This is greatness out of need. The progression of greatness and it’s role in these stories shows very much haw greatness goes in the world of film making. You start out wanting the greatness for the notoriety and for the reputation like Angier. You then need greatness as a means to keep yourself relevant and in the public eye, even if it’s just so you can get back to making more movies, much like Cobb. Finally, on the end of your career, if you want to keep making movies, you have to do something great. Otherwise you become irrelevant and out of work. There are far too many to write down here. Write in the comments if there’s others you want to talk about. But now, we’re gonna wrap this up and tie it all together.

Finale

I think that these three Christopher Nolan movies do not, in fact, take place in separate fantastic worlds. I believe they all take place in the same world of wonder. I propose that it began as a result of the people backing Nikola Tesla as opposed to Thomas Edison. This pushes technology far beyond what it is now and into a modern era of amazing tech and large corporations. Enter Inception. With the advancement of technology at this new accelerated rate, dream sharing was invented. This and many other miracles of the modern age lead to the growth of the super corporations. Corporations such as Proclus Global, Saito’s company, and Fischer Morrow, Fischer’s company. All of this industry eventually collapsed in on itself and the earth’s overpopulation began to take a toll on natural resources. Many years pass and we get Interstellar. A world where amazing technology exists but there is no time for the “useless machines” anymore. This is a world that has seen the age of wonders fall and now live as farmers. However, there is still some hope. NASA secretly working underground with state of the art inventions. Inventions that were clearly left over from a previous age of wonders. Now that the earth has been abandoned, the age of wonders will return for the Christopher Nolan Trilogy of Humanity.

Thanks for reading. Cheers guys.

 

Christopher Nolan’s Unknown Trilogy Part 1

christopher_nolan_moviesAlright. I’ve been cooking this one up for a little while now. We all know and love the Dark Knight Trilogy and we also know that they are the only series of films Mr. Nolan has written and directed. Right? RIGHT? Wrong. I propose to you that the films The Prestige, Inception, and Interstellar are secretly a trilogy about the progression of mankind. This is based on themes, character traits and the clear arc of the stories. No, I can not prove any of this and no, i’m not entirely sure about it either. However, I think there is strong evidence to support this theory, too much evidence to fit into one article. This will be finished in part 2 tomorrow. Tune in to find out. Without further adieu, we can begin.

Characters

This is where there is the most evidence seems to lie. Let’s start with The Prestige. Alfred Borden and Robert Angier are really both the main characters in the film so this makes the characteristics much more abundant. The main characters have obsessions with doing something many think to be impossible and that he feels compelled to do no matter what. Angier wants to perfect the Transported Man, Cobb in Inception wants to perform the titular act, even though most think it to be impossible. Cooper from Interstellar is initially very confident in his mission but it does turn out that the man who sent him (Professor Brand) though it would fail. Speaking of Michael Caine’s characters, they all have the same arc in each film. In each film, Michael Caine’s character steers the character in the wrong direction and tries to convince them that their way will not work. In The Prestige, Cutter is so positive that Borden uses just an ordinary double in his trick and convinces Angier to get one for his. This turns out to be a huge mistake and causes Angier most of his professional career. In Inception, Miles tells Cobb that there is no way to get back to his kids by going into people’s dreams. This turns out to be a bad suggestion because that is exactly what Cobb does to get back to his Children, something that would’ve been impossible without performing the Inception. It seems that Professor Brand is steering Cooper in the right direction in Interstellar, but it turns out he had no faith in the plan, which then turns out to be the right course of action. The one acting constant throughout all three films has the exact same character arc and all of the main characters have very similar and equally as obsessive and morally grey personalities. Maybe this is just a coincidence. Maybe it’s all just superficial. But more evidence lies in the plot.

Plot

All three of these films have different plots on the surface, but if you look a little deeper, you’ll find they have very similar beats. All three films follow leads with dead wives who are just trying to get back to their kids. Alfred Borden tries to get out of prison and back to his daughter before he is hanged. Cobb, who is on the run for a murder he didn’t commit, is trying to re-unite with his children before they don’t need him any more.  Cooper just tries to get back from his mission to his two kids before they grow up. The time period is also very clearly spelling an arc across the films. The Prestige, a Victorian era story, is about a man who uses a futuristic idea to try to perform an impossible feat. Inception, a modern story, is about a man who uses state-of-the art technology to try and preform Inception, a seemingly impossible feat. Interstellar, a story set in the future, is about a man who uses old fashion ideas to perform an impossible feat. If that isn’t a clear three part story, I don’t know what is.

Thanks everyone. Make sure to tune in tomorrow for the follow up and conclusion of this theory. Tomorrow we will cover the overarching themes of the movies and smaller, more specific plot details that connect them. Cheers guys.

Is Gambit in trouble?

Gambit-Casting-Call-Production-StartSometime next year it has been said that the X-men spin-off film from Fox, Gambit, will be released. Though the character is more than worthy of some attention, I don’t think this is the kind that he needs right now. I personally see the Gambit movie failing badly and i’m not sure that there’s anything that can be done at this stage to save it. So, we’re doing another “Ups and Downs” today except this one will steer far more towards the latter.

Ups

First of all, Gambit is a super interesting character. His past is full of heartbreak and tragedy and his morals are flexible, making him more more interesting than, say, Captain America. I also think that Channing Tatum is a good choice for the role and he seems more enthusiastic than most comic book movie actors. Doug Liman, however, may be the saving grace of this movie. He’s made some spectacular action films in the past, including Bourne Identity and Edge of Tomorrow (Live, Die, Repeat). However, no matter how talented the cast and director are, I’m not sure this movie can be saved.

Downs

Here’s the part that’s not sitting too well with me. To start, it’s written by the guy who wrote the 2014 Robocop reboot which isn’t a terrible movie at first glance, but beneath it is the worst type of movie that gets made today. Unnecessary and Safe. They took no risks and it wasn’t anything to be proud of in the end. Do we really want a safe movie with a character as cool and unpredictable as Gambit? Speaking of the character, he doesn’t really fit the universe. Gambit is so radical, extreme 90’s that putting him on screen could turn out laughable. Maybe it’s the head gear, maybe it’s the metal gauntlets and knee pads, maybe it’s his blacked out eyes, but there is going to need to be a redesign that is both faithful to the character and acceptable for the screen. Fox is notorious for not letting their heroes wear comic accurate suits and most fans are starting to get a bit upset about that with Marvel studios managing to make it work every time. Speaking of Fox, they have a pretty awful track record with their comic book movies. Most of the X-men stuff is pretty great, with the exception of The Last Stand and X-men Origins, but everything else has been between lackluster and terrible. Elektra, all Fantastic Four movies, Daredevil 2003, and most of the Punisher movies. Why are we trusting them with more solo, non X-men movies when those monstrosities are on their record? Also, as much as I like Channing Tatum, his nostalgia and fanboy attitude might blind him from seeing a flawed and generic script.

It’s all yet to be seen and a lot of my opinion on the matter may change when Deadpool comes out. Until then, we can’t know for sure. It’s already been pushed back a year as well so that’s never a good sign. Who knows? Maybe it’ll be the best comic book movie ever made. If you liked this then slap your email in the follow box and leave a comment on how you agree or how i’m completely wrong, or whatever. Cheers guys.

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Christopher Nolan’s “Dunkirk”: The Ups and Downs

chris nolan hans zChristopher Nolan is my absolute favorite director working today. There is no question about it. He makes the movies that I love to see for the first time and then watch over and over again. He is, quiet literally, the reason I love movies. His next film has recently been announced though, as a World War 2 thriller entitled Dunkirk. I was very shocked and immediately excited at the prospect of Nolan tackling the second World War.  Many of the best directors of all time have worked in this time period, such as Stanley Kubrick, Steven Spielberg, Quentin Tarantino, Roberto Benigni, and more. For as many great things that could come out of this new film, I do have a few concerns. So we’re gonna do an ups and downs list right now, starting with ups.

Ups

Many were concerned after Interstellar how Nolan would escalate from such an ambitious story. It was right in front of us the whole time. Tell the true story of the evacuation of hundreds of thousands of allied soldiers from Nazi occupied France will absolutely escalate the ambition. Not only is it an incredibly imperative event of World War 2, but it is not very well known and should be known due to its importance. In addition, Nolan’s fondness for practical explosions, real locations and sets, and overall realism in his movies should add much depth to the story and help the actors give the most authentic performances. Speaking of the actors, the first 3 are fantastic. You have the fantastic Kenneth Branagh, who was a very pleasant surprise, the world renowned stage actor Mark Rylance, and leading them all off will be the increasingly amazing Tom Hardy. Tom Hardy doesn’t give bad performances and I’m happy he’s in the lead, mostly because of his relationship with Chris Nolan. However, I do still have a few concerns about this new direction.

DOWNS

One of the best parts about any Christopher Nolan movie is the ending. They are shocking, exciting and often very very satisfying for the viewer. The thing that makes them so great, though, is how no one sees how or what is coming until it arrives on screen. This movie being based on a true story means that we can go online and read about  the ending right now. It just takes some of the magic away, you know. Also it doesn’t seem link there will be any non-linearity to the structure. This is, again, one of the great joys of the Christopher Nolan film. Half the fun of Memento is piecing it together at the end and then re-watching it. And, as much as I praise Tom Hardy for his acting abilities and good relationship with Mr. Nolan, I wish he would’ve picked someone new. When I saw the cast I was happy until I thought “How cool would it have been if he cast someone he’d never worked with like Michael Fassbender or something to lead?” Again, I think Tom Hardy will do wonderful in the film but I might always have that reservation. Who knows? Maybe Hardy is the only person who could play this part. I guess we’ll have to wait until it comes out. Speaking of which, it comes out among a slew of other films that will make more money than it. They just will. As much as Nolan’s name is respected, it is not as well known as Spiderman. I’m just concerned, for the film’s sake, that is might get slaughtered at the box office.

That’s about it. I am still incredibly excited for the film. It is now my most anticipated for next year and if you agreed with anything I said, slap your email in that follow box and leave a comment to tell me you agree or how i’m completely wrong and it’ll be perfect or how i’m wrong and it’ll be terrible. I’d love to talk with you guys about it. Cheers, guys.

WHY? Is Michael Bay directing Transformers 5?

michael-bayjpgIt is no secret to my friends and family that I am the antithesis of a Michael Bay fan. I hate hits writing, his direction, his racist and sexist stereotypes, and his sorry excuses for modern cinema. Unfortunately, Michael Bay directed films always seem to make much more money than any of them deserve. Granted, he does have his fans out there who do enjoy his movies as “good popcorn fun” but others take as much issue with him as I do and will hopefully agree with the question that I raise here.

  1. When was the last time he made a good movie?

Now this is a little subjective as a question but film making is also a very technical art form. Looking at his movies objectively, they possess bland or disinteresting characters, contrived and repetitive plots, and action scenes that are far too complicated, overwhelming, and frankly quiet exhausting to watch. Yet, we will now break down how technically bad his movies are.

Characters

His characters can be unrealistic, such as Stanley Tucci or John Turturro in the Transformers franchise. They can be flat and very underdeveloped, such as all of the transformers with the exception of Optimus Prime. Or they can be offensive, such as several Transformers, Megan Fox’s character in Transformers, or Ken Jeong’s character from Transformers 3. You’ll notice that all of these choices are from the Transformers franchise and that’s the problem. Not that Bay doesn’t also have offensive stereotypes in his other movies, but it seems that he has the most free will with the characters in Transformers because he makes the most money from them. Money. The root of all evil. The reason Bay still has a job and isn’t smoking crack in an alley somewhere.

Plot

His characters are but a symptom of the overarching problem. This being the plot. He’s quiet literally made the same transformers movie 4 times with very little if any plot differentiation. Red letter media has an amazing video on their youtube channel. In said video, they watch the first 3 transformers movies right next to each other at the same time. During the video they comment on how similar the plots are and how they basically follow the same structure beat for beat. WHAT IS THE POINT? Why would you do that? It serves no purpose and only adds new elements that are superficial at best.

Action Scenes

It also doesn’t help that the plot is littered with action scenes that actually take away from the overall experience. Most all of the action in the Transformers movies specifically is impossible to follow. Most of it consists of large chunks of CGI metal clashing against other large chunks of CGI metal. Then after a few minutes of that nonsense, some nameless robot is dead on the ground. How is the action satisfying if we don’t know what happened, how it happened or who it happened to? They attempted to add some difference to the Transformers for Transformers 4 but that just made them look absolutely impractical and ridiculous. His other sad sad attempt of making the action followable is to shoot every action scene in superfluous slow motion.  This only manages to prolong the torture and make the action slower nonsense. Michael Bay might need to go back to film school or to his friends or on the internet and learn what a long shot is and how not to shoot in gratuitous slow motion. It may be the only way.

I shouldn’t even get this mad because it’s just a movie. A movie that I will not see if I don’t want to but the illogic surrounding the situation is baffling to me. Now I’m not saying that Michael Bay will never make a good movie again. In fact, against my better judgement, i’m marginally excited for his next film, 13 hours.

Thanks for reading and i’d be great if you slapped your email in that follow box and left a comment about how much you also hate Michael Bay, or how i’m completely wrong, or whatever. It’d be much appreciated and i’m always looking for a conversation about the movies. Cheers, guys

 

Chris Pine is ALSO Hal Jordan theory

green-lantern-copy.jpgRecently actor Chris Pine was brought into the DC universe to play Steve Trevor, a friend a love interest to DC’s Wonder Woman. Rumors speculated awhile back that Pine would either play Trevor or the second Green Lantern, Hal Jordan. Warner Brothers later announced that Pine would in fact be playing Steve Trevor in a Wonder Woman film reportedly set in World War I. I propose to you that Chris Pine will later portray Hal Jordan, who in the DC cinematic universe, is the grandson of Steve Trevor.

It would make a lot of since for the two characters to share some relation. Steve Trevor is a U.S. military intelligence officer in the US Army Air Corps and Hal Jordan is an Air Force pilot. Both have military backgrounds and both showed the ability to achieve higher things with Steve becoming the  liaison for Themyscira and Hal being inducted into the Green Lantern Corps. They have mostly similar personalities, with Steve being slightly more endearing and Hal being more sarcastic. Even DC seems to know of their similarities, having Nathan Fillion voicing both of the characters on several occasions. I wish there was more to speculate about but we’ve seen so little of the DC cinematic universe that making any assumptions will sound very far-fetched.  Nevertheless, I believe this is how it can happen…

At the end of Wonder Woman (2017), after she meets and unknowingly falls in love with Steve Trevor and has to defend “Man’s World” from a threat no one else could possibly handle, the destruction and potential fallout caused by battle with whatever villain she faces (presumably Ares) will cause her to be shunned by the public and labeled as a blood-lust filled warrior who has no place on this world. She will then be forced to leave and go back to Themyscira and leave what she’s learned to love. She has to say goodbye to Steve Trevor who loves her as well. Trevor, who brought Wonder Woman here and told the world she was not a threat, is now dishonorably discharged from the military for his alleged “crimes”. Later on, after he’s married someone else and had children, his children  change their last names to distance themselves from their father’s bad reputation. However, his youngest daughter, Jessica Trevor, did not change her name, believing her father to be good. She grows up and marries Air Force pilot, Martin Jordan,  and they have a son, Hal Jordan. Hal enlists in the Air Force and grows up to be their ace pilot.

Enter Batman v. Superman. Wonder Woman, who has been restricted from entering Man’s World ever again, has a dream about the destruction of earth due to the conflict between the Batman and Superman. Though she said she’d never go back, she returns to save the world that hates her. Hal Jordan, who is off world on Oa, learning to use his newly bestowed Green Lantern ring, receives word of the problems on earth and begins his return journey to protect earth, which is in the sector of the universe he must protect. He returns too late for the finale of Batman v. Superman, but he does meet Wonder Woman , who is shocked that she’s meeting a man who reminds her so much of her former love and looks exactly like him. This could lead to her trusting Hal and the reason he joins the Justice League in the first place, a team he really feels no need to join.

I realize that this would take a lot on DC’s part and I’m not sure they’re willing to change the characters around enough to do it. I do, however, think this is potentially the best way to re-introduce Green Lantern into DC cinema and add some more Pathos to the warrior that is Wonder Woman. It’s just a proposal. And if i’m really being honest, Nathan Fillion voice acting never lies to us.  #NathanFilliondontlie

Also, make sure to follow the blog if you liked this theory. I’m always looking to speculate and theorize with people. It’d make me feel like i’m not wasting my time here. Just smack your email in the follow box and leave a comment with your own theory if you’d like.Thanks

Why We Love Mad Max: Fury Road

4142706-mad-max-fury-road-2015-movieLast year, the release of Mad Max: Fury Road was met with overwhelming praise and acclaim. Who would have thought that a fourth installment of an almost 40 year old franchise would be any good at all? Moreover, the production had been pushed back for years and the lead was recast which generally spells death for the film. Much to many, including myself’s, surprise, Mad Max: Fury Road was one of the best action films in years. The action is very practical and grand in scale, while also being very personal and heartbreaking at times. This film surpassed and defied all odds against it but how could it possibly be as good as you’ve heard? I have compiled a single reason that may convince you to see it or at least explain why it has garnered so much acclaim.

  1. Modern Action Movies are GARBAGE

The modern action film has suffered almost as much as the modern horror film. They’re filled with stiff, unlikable heroes, generic and boring plots, bad CGI, and ungodly shaky cam. The 80’s action films are held so close and in such high regard because they have so much thought and effort put into them. The action could not be done on a sound stage with digital mussel flashes.  It had to be done with well choreographed fights,  planned stunts, and practical guns and explosions. This gives a sense of realism and actual stakes for the character and the audience. Speaking of the characters, modern action heroes are missing the point. Nowadays, the action hero is brooding, stoic, and frankly disinteresting. Do you know why people relate to and love John Mclane, Kyle Reese, and Ellen Ripley? It’s because the writers and directors give these characters relatable traits and real personalities. John Mclane who was afraid of flying trying to fix his family problems, Kyle Reese who loved Sarah Conner and his genuine desire to keep her safe, or Ripley with her protectiveness of Newt and fear of the xenomorph. Mad Max: Fury Road provides us not only with Max, who is a lost man, looking for purpose in a wasteland, but also Furiosa, who is desperately trying to save the brides of a dictator and get them to freedom.  This makes them both relatable as characters and makes us as the audience want them to succeed. When they jump between cars and duck from gunfire, we care whether or not it hits them and if they survive the ordeal. If I feel like expanding on these ideas, I will return to this page. For now I leave you with this to think about. Also, watch Mad Max: Fury Road. You’ll do yourself a service.

If you wish to learn more about the history of action cinema, I will recommend you to the good people at Cinefix with a link to their series about the matter. https://youtu.be/BlWMf5YA4Oc

 

So this is a thing that I’m doing.

As a lover of film and a person who is fascinated by the inner workings of the industry and how the entire process comes full circle, I’ve created this blog simply to express ideas and drum up conversation about movies. Theories about hidden plots, scandals behind the scenes, and possible explanations for certain decisions are all fair game here. Often times news breaks, I see a new movie, or just I have an epiphany about a certain film and I want to talk about it with people. I’m here now for that very reason.  I’m equally excited to put my own theories and ideas out into the world as I am to hear from other people.  So spread the word. Movie Dogma is a place for people who can’t stop talking about cinema.