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The Mist (2017) – TV show review

20 Aug

The Mist title.png

I dont know if you remember that episode of the Simpsons where Homer is Barbecuing a pig and then Lisa trows it of a hill and Homer runs after it? The pig goes trough all kinds of dirty places and Homer said “Its just a little dirty its still good” until the pig is shot trough sewage drain and he says “Its just a little airborn, its still good” and Bart says “Its gone”. Homer replies: “I know.” It was from the time when The Simpsons was still funny.

I think we can all recognize that when it comes to fandom. We as fans WANT something to be good. We try over and over again, feeling more and more dumb and dirty for each attempt.

Sometimes we talk about “jumping the shark”. The point where a show became too bad to watch. But lets be honest, how many of us watched way beyond that point, hoping that the show would at some point redeem itself? Get back on track?

I am a huge fan of the Mist movie. I even wrote an analysis of it here on my blog which is one of my most read blogentries. So I guess many others loved it as well. I read the novella cuz I loved the movie so much I wanted to examine the differences and similarities. To muse on the contrasts and reflect on the similarities. Great concept, story, characters, settings. Both entertaining and deep. Huge fan of the Mist (2007) and the novella.

Then I learned of a TV show and yes I got excited. I saw potential in it. There are many aspects of the movie that could be explored. The Mist may have appeared other places with other people having to survive it. We can learn more about the creatures, where they come from, what was the cause of it. Perhaps explore other parts of humanity. Even be more postive towards humans? Be different, but also the same?

So I saw the TV show and from very early on I realized that this show was bad. “Cringe”, I think people call it. When you start to move around in the chair because of what you are watching. There is a lot of cringe in this show.

The Plot:

I only watched 8 episodes. I dont know how many there are and how many there are going to be. At episode 5 I started to just skip fast trough it. I gave up. Just to see if there was ANYTHING worth watching. So in fairness I may just have watched 4 episodes.

This is what I gather from the plot. A town somewhere in the US have people living in it. There is a family of a dad, a mom and daughter. The mother is controlling for reasons I havent grasped. But she seems to have some experience in the past that may be revealed later. The daughter is an average daughter. Wanting to live her life, but feel tied down a bit from her mom.

She has a gay/queer friend that says gay/queer things. She has a crush on a jock who is the son of the Sheriff in town. The father is a stoic man.

Then the daughter wants to go to a party to meet the jock. The mother says no, the father says yes. She goes. She brings her gay/queer friend. The gay/queer friend experiences some homophobic treatment at the party and then the girl gets date raped.

Meanwhile an eccentric woman notices some natural anomalies of animals behaving strangely and goes to the library to find out what it means.

A black man has amnesia. A drug addicted woman is bitchy. Both goes to jail by the angry sheriff.

Then the mist comes. And with it nothing follows.

The characters.

What can be said about the Mist (TV show) that probably has been said many times by others already? The show is very politically correct. What some will call Social Justice Warrior themed. Its about all the bad stuff people think and do. How racist we are. How rapey we are. How violent we are.

The common pop-misantropic entertainment we are served constantly now. Then again, that was kind of the point of the movie to wasnt it? But the problem is that its done “too on the nose”. The TV show is hammering it in. It lacks tacked. It lacks tone. Its dumb.

Take for instance the scene where the gay/queer kid experience homophobia. 

Homophiba

The scene is that the gay/queer kid is at a party and behaves “gay”. A jock gets annoyed by that and starts aggressively talk homophobic to the kid. The kid then replies with overly sexual gay references and the jock gets more annoyed until he gets physical.

This is “too on the nose”. The scene is not believable at all. First of, I am way older than the people in this. I come from “a different time” where homosexuality wasnt talked about and presented as much as now. Even back in the day this was NOT normal behavior.

And now, in the [current year], the stigmatization of being a so called “homophobe” I would guess would be even worse.

Let me tell a tale. When I was your age, back in the 1990s, we had sex-ed. And we was also told about homosexuality. After we learned about the “normal” sexuality, we also were taught about the “other type”. We saw an information video where two gay people (one lesbian and one gay) were talking to this “liberal open minded person” about their attractions. They were floating down a river on a bed, while talking about being attracted to the same sex. Our class began to laugh out loud.

The teacher got annoyed by this and stopped the tape and started to moralize to us about how bad it is that we laughed at this.

“1 in 10 are gay, so the odds are there are atleast two gay people in this class”, he said. “Think about how they feel when you laugh like that.”

I raised my hand and said “But we werent laughing about the gays we were laughing about the stupidity of the presentation.” It was cringe.

Let me share another tale. Many times in my life I have been “accused” of being gay. I am slightly effeminate and there are other signs aswell. And once someone said to me “Haha. You are gay. You are so gay!”. Behind him stood his allies. I said “You think I am gay? So what? We live in 1999. Nobody cares anymore.” And he shut up.

Yes! The [current year] argument is old as bleep! It was even valid in 1999. Now over 18 years later we are STILL suppose to belive that this is the strife of the common gay man?

This is NOT how homophobia works! Homophobia is usually more subtle. It comes in the shape of coldness and gossip. Not outspoken bigotry and violence. Yes, there are exceptions, but usually it would be a faux pas to do it in public. At a party at least… in 2017.

And that just one of the many “too on the nose” social commentaries this show has. It portrays men has dumb, women as strong. People in power (sheriffs) are one dimensional asshats. I am surprised to say that at least the clergy is not been showed to be pedophiles and bigots as of episode 4.

But the cardboard box characters with simplistic and cliched social commentaries may have been forgiven IF the setting and the problems in the mist was interesting. If the PLOT beyond the character´s touchy-feely narrative was mysterious and intriguing. But it isnt.

The Mist (TV) is not the mist.

A question I am sure I am not the first to ask is this: Why buy a license to a franchise/setting and then run in a completely different direction with it? It happens constantly. People buy the rights to a concept and then change up the concept so its only that concept in name.

The Mist (TV show) is one of those things. Its like I bought the right to the Terminator (1984) franchise and said “But instead of having it be about killer cyborgs from the future, lets have it be about space-pirates from the past!” or Resident Evil (1996) franchise and said “Instead of having it be about zombies being created by a virus, lets have it be about space pirates from the past that are homophobes and racists!” or the mist (2007) “but instead of having it be about mysterious creatures in a fog, lets have it be about date rape and homophobia!”

Why sell something, as something else, if its not? Because the license is a selling point? Fine, but for how long will people pay attention if the concept is in name only? I lasted about 4 episodes. Others probably not more than 1 episode. Perhaps some are still watching, hoping.

Angry Cochroaches

Angry cockroaches!

The mist movie and novella had giant creatures in it. Sometimes referred to as “Lovecraftian” as they are “beyond imagination”.

There were giant spiders with acid webs, huge tentacle like things, big poisonous flies, dinosaur like creatures.

In the show there are… ghosts, some kind of black thing, angry earth coackroaches, and fog. Lots and lots of fog. No huge creatures, no dangerous small creatures. Just fog and some kind of mutation thing effect.

Most of the time its silence in the Mist (TV), where as in the movie the creatures where all around outside. In the TV show no creatures attacking. There are ghost in the fog, and if people go out into the mist, sometimes they seem to experience some kind of poetic punishment for their past crimes. Or something. I dont know.

At one point a guy walks into the mist and mutates into a huge moth. Why? What does that mean? What does that have to do with the Mist movie or novella?

AngrySomething

Interessting enough, but WHAT DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH THE MIST?!?!?!?!

It makes no sense in the context of the movie and novella. These things were never seen in those. But as I said in the beginning, as a fan of the franchise, I wanted to love the show, so I start to fill in the gaps right? Try to make the puzzle pieces work and fit into the previous movie.

I think “Well, I guess this could be a part of the mist. I mean they weren that much outside?”, “Perhaps they are trying to say that the mist has some kind of mutation quality and that those creatures we saw in the movie, were mutated earth creatures? That could work. That could work. Its still good. Its still good.” 

But then after 4 episodes, and a narrative that does not explore the mist, but instead these cardboard box characters I do not care about and the events that unfolds are uninteresting as well, I just start to wonder: When will this have ANYTHING to do with the Mist movie?

Everytime a character that may have some kind of explanation arrives they kill him off, often by other characters, NOT creatures or fog. The mist is usually about 10% of the show. The rest of the time its about sitting gloomily and talk about nothing. Ive lost completely sense of time. Are we on day 1, 2, 3? The motivations of the characters are sporadic. Anger and forgiveness thrown out whenever the writer feels like it.

And all I feel is bored and confused which makes me annoyed. This show could either be more faithful to the original works or they could have called it something else or they could tie in the relations quicker or have had more interessting characters and drama. Why introduce a rather edgy or provocative subject like teenage date rape and then just ignore it? What was the point of that?

Even though this is a TV show a plot cant be set-up in episode one and then brought back in episode 9 or 10 or season 3. There has to be some connection with these things. Not just set-up, stretch out or ignore.

I just cant say “Its still good.” anymore. This show is directionless and pointless and not even entertaining. But oh, how I wished. Oh, the good will I had. How difficult could it be to make the same, with new characters and perhaps a slight bit of deeper exploration into “arrowhead project” or what the creatures are? Do as any teen school cheater. Copy-paste others work, then add some words of your own. Its that simple. 

Board

When watching the Mist (2017) I feel like this girl here. Slightly bored and disgusted.

 

Ah-ha!

Blog 2.0 – Dont go out into the Mist. There is nothing there!

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Top 14 Clichés we hate – (Doctor Dee and Me Talk About Movies and TV part 18)

13 Aug

So this is the first episode after Top 10 Changes to Doctor Dee n Me Talk about Movies & TV. Lets see how many of the changes we broke in the very next episode.

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The list:
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#1: Anyone can die -trope (mostly TV and serials)
#2: Women beating men with ease (when there should be no reason as to why)
#3: Angry (and often loudmouthed) black guy.
#4: Comic relief characters
#5: Forced or tagged on romances
#6: Unresolved plots or premisses (TV)
#7: Dust villains 32:40
#8: Framestories or telling the story backwards
#9: Keeping something a secret so the villain can get the upper hand.
#10: Killing henchmen to show they mean business.
#11: Mixing up the narrative and point of view to make it unclear what is real or not.
#12: Missunderstood anti-hero (he is just damaged)
#13: Creepy girls (or children) in horrormovies
#14: Secrets being told without any real precautions.

Blog 2.0 – You suck!

Top 10 Changes to Doctor Dee n Me Talk about Movies & TV- Part 17

21 Jul

The changes are:
1) Understand and appeal to the biggest and broadest YouTube demographic.

2) Make it clear we are atheist and liberal

3) Make a lot of top 10 lists

4) Always talk about what is trending NOW.

5) Be cynical, critical and patronizing about other peoples work.

6) We are gonna add laugh track to make it easy to understand when we are funny.

7) Lots and lots of jokes based on cultural references of current pop-culture.

8) Name our videos strategically and make grimaces on every thumbnail.

9) Have lots of wikipedia and IMDb facts/ data so we seem like we know what we are talking about.

10) No videos should last more than 10 min

Blog 2.0 – Top 10!

Norwegian Movies – Part 1 & 2 (Doctor Dee n Me Talk about movies & TV Part 15 & 16)

29 Apr

Part 1 is about good Norwegian movies. Its short.


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Is about bad Norwegian movies. Its looooooong.

Movies

Blog 2.0 – 99.99999% of Norwegian movies SUCK!

Alien3 (1992) – The Alien Franchise talk (Doctor Dee n Me Talk about movies & TV Part 11)

27 Mar

Soooo…

Alien3 is hated by many, here is our drunken defence of Alien3.

 

….

We also make fun of the Anyone can die trope that is so popular now. Especially in Game of Thrones and Walking dead. But other shows has it to… especially that Alien invasion show… Falling Skies? But its not as annoying as in Game of Thrones and Walking dead.

Bruised ring

Blog 2.0 – Come on, mo fo, everybody has to die.

Aliens (1986) – The Alien Franchise talk (Doctor Dee n Me Talk about movies & TV Part 10)

22 Mar

Aliens (1986) an action masterpiece. Here is why AndyAce83 thinks its overrated. Doctor Dee loves the movie though. It gets a bit nerdy…

 

 

………….

 

Rate, subscribe and comment!

Bruised ring

Blog 2.0 – A bit nerdy.

Alien (1979) – The Alien Franchise talk (Doctor Dee n Me Talk about movies & TV Part 6)

17 Mar

A new series of Doctor Dee n Me Talk about movies & TV Part 6 is uploaded to utub and its grrrreat. This time we are talking about the alien franchise in preparation for Alien: Covenant (2017). In this first episode we talk about Alien (1978)


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Enjoy

 

Bruised ring

Blog 2.0 – Takes away the excitement.

The New DC movie universe and why I hate it.

26 Dec

Sooo…

I am gonna jump on the bandwagon of hate for the new DC movie universe or “DC Extended Universe” as its called. Why? To establish the problems, so future installments, and unavoidable reboots, may avoid these issues.

I will first point out what I belive to be the flaws of the DC Extended Universe, then I will compare DC movies with Marvel movies, and then I will give suggestions for improvement and damage control. Just so I just dont become a complainer, but also a constructive problem solver. We can all bitch, but that won´t fix.

NB! There will be spoilers, mostly from DC Extended Universe.

The problems of the new DC cinematic universe

The main problem I have with the new DC movie universe is that they took all the parts of the established DC world, put it in a box then, threw it out again to change it up. Change is all well and good, but they changed it up BADLY. In the prossess of whatever idea they had, they removed the charm of the established characters and they removed the sympathy.

This is Jimmy Olsen in BvS (2016). Why? Because he is called Jimmy Olsen.

This is Jimmy Olsen in BvS (2016). Why? Because he is called Jimmy Olsen.

An example of this can come from Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016). Why did they choose to make Jimmy Olsen a CIA spy that they killed off? Why?

Fine, “everybody loves” the “anyone can die” fad that came with Game of Thrones (2011) (I hate it), then why couldnt they just have killed of the original Jimmy? The good naive photographer. BAM, dead.

No they had to make him completely new, with a untold backstory. What happens then is that I dont care. I dont know this Jimmy Olsen. I know the original one, not whomever that guy was.

I have observed a reaction by the people wanting to like the DC Extended Universe on this. They try to say “That wasnt really Jimmy Olsen” or “That wasnt really Lex Luthor. Its his son”. But it probably was both those characters, cuz everything is different in this new DC Extended Universe. And its not for the better.

Same with the Man of Steel (2013) thing. They changed up the elements. Everything happens in strange new ways. The result is, we dont know them, but they think we will like them cuz they are named after the original ones. But I dont care for the new Lane. I dont care for the new Superman. One can´t just change characters characteristics and backstory and expect us to still know them.

Another problem with these DC Extended Universe movies are that they try to cram in too many things in one film. They cant keep focus.

Best example may be Batman vs Superman. It wasnt really Batman vs Superman – Dawn of Justice, but more like Batman vs Superman vs Lex Luthor vs GiantOrc – the Death of Superman with special guest star EVERYONE IN DC COMICS.

BVS

And I am amazed that there are fanboys out there claiming its “smart”. Its not smart, its mind numbing. You can see they tried to be smart… I guess.

Too much is going on, and the “complexity” that the DC movies wants to have is but a percentage between over the top action scenes. Here I would like to mention Man of Steel.

Remeber this scene from Man of Steel? Classic Superman, right there. Avoiding conflict, but then destroying the truck in a passive aggressive way. You are my hero!

Remeber this scene from Man of Steel? Classic Superman, right there. Avoiding conflict, but then destroying the truck in a passive aggressive way. You are my hero!

Man of Steel (2013) wanted to portray Clark Kent/Superman has this dark character. But all we got was a mopey guy, with some real anger issues. For most of the movie is goes around like a drifter, doing nothing heroic. Not even random “save the cat” moments is seen. Just him looking gloomly at things, trying to find himself.

That would have been okay, if we still felt that he was good. But not only is there no scenes of kindness and understand, but we do see the polar opposite. An almost psychopathic Superman destroying an assholes truck just because he can.

We needed to see Superman do some good, but I guess that wouldnt be “dark” enough? “Complex” enough? Yes, it would! As Man of Steel is portrayed he is an unsympathetic emo asshole we (at least I) feel nothing for. That´s not complex. Complexed would be him struggling by both doing good and bad things. Saving a cat and destroying a truck. Not really knowing what to do. As I remember he did one good deed. That was to save a busload of children in a memory from his childhood. The rest of the time he glooms and destroys. He destroys trucks and he destroys cities.

That is one of the things Batman vs Superman does a hell of a lot better. It shows Superman being Superman. He saves people. He does good.

But then New DC movie universe fans may say
But that is the point! To show how a god can be indifferent. To show the destruction that such power could bring. You are just too dumb to understand it.

Well there already is a character like that. He is called Mr Manhattan. And I did not see enough full frontal nudity to belive Superman was him.

Let´s compare DC Extended Universe with Marvel Cinematic Universe

(or; Is AndyAce83 a Marvel fan boy?)

You may think I am a marvel “fan boy” just because I prefer the marvel movies? Hell no! I love Batman (1989) Batman Returns (1992), even Batman Forever (1995) and I dont hate Batman and Robin (1997). I love The Dark Knight (2008). I love the Reeve´s Superman movies. In retrospect (after watching Man of Steel) I can appreciate Superman Returns (2006) too.

Its not a DC vs Marvel thing. Its just BAD movies. They are. They really, really are.

I am amazed that people defend those movies. They lack charm, they lack plot, characters, any sense really. In fact I loved BvS compared to Man of Steel cuz Superman did at least to do some good there. The plot still made no sense but at least Superman was SUPERMAN.

The argument I often get when I talk about the problems with this new DC franchise is that DC is darker than Marvel. And darker always equals smarter, to some. But DC isnt always dark.

Although I prefer the darker versions of DC there has been lots of campy DC versions to. Like the Batman TV show from 1960s. The movie is awful, in my opinion. Campy nonsense. Batman fighting a shark bomb from a helicopter is what I remember.

This is an iconographic scene from the Batman (1966 film)

This is an iconographic scene from the Batman (1966 film)

We also have the Batman: Brave and the Bold show. And the old Reeve Superman movies were colorful, with lots of comedy.

Same goes with Marvel. Although they have been very lighthearted, there has been lots of dark elements too. Like the death of Gwen Stacey in Spiderman. I still remeber that from reading it as a kid. Gwen died, and Spiderman becomes angry. He goes to his friend, and the son of the man who killed Gwen, who I think had a drug habit. The friend is on his feet begging Peter Parker for help, but Peter Parker turns a could shoulder.

Amazing! I wish THAT would have been the story from the new Spiderman movies. But no… “Just bland, lets cram, all we can”– type movie.

BvS is far better than Man of Steel. And it has its moments. I saw elements I liked, but then I also saw a giant orc thing and a plot that didnt make sense.

Its better that a movie sucks completely than a movie that taunts with great moments combined with utter idiocy. BvS should have been rewritten LOTS. I dont know how hard it could be to do that? Writing is the cheap part.

Why don´t the scriptwriters do a better job? Perhaps I should find the BvS script and see how it was? Perhaps it would have been better than whatever I saw.

I liked Afflecks Bruce Wayne. I didnt mind the eccentric (again) Lex Luthor. What I minded was the stupidity of the plot.

I am not a “fanboy”, I just stat my opinion. I voice a very real concern that for the next decade we are gonna get sub-par DC related movies cuz they decided (come hell and high tides) to continue a DC film universe that is very flawed.

One can compare any movie with any other movie based on certain elements. One can also compare certain movies with other certain movies based on genre.

Although one can´t compare DC Superhero movies with Marvel Superhero on style alone (which I dont) and say “DC is dark therefor boring. Marvel is colorful therefor fun”. That is not what I am saying.

But as superhero movies go, we can compare them on certain elements. I.e Plot. The plot of the DC movies do not make sense. Characters motivation is unexplained, they do stuff for no reason. Take BvS. The core of the movie was suppose to be Batman fighting Superman, right? This is the “main story”. And what were their motivation for doing this?

Superman gets this “elaborate” (but not smart) staging from Luthor and Batman… For some reason? He had a axe to grind? It was very unclear. And then the BIG resolution is that Superman says his mothers name. That isnt clever. And then the giant orc comes, right? Why? Why was doomsday there? Luthor created him, right? Why? Reason?

I think Lex says something like “If man can´t kill God then the devil may”. Fine, but didnt he create Doomsday, during the battle between B and S? I think so. I cant remember, I only seen the movie once. Then WHY? Why did he create Doomsday, while his first plot still where in action?

Here is the problem: BvS crams TOO many things into the same movie. The doomsday or “death of Superman” plot should have been its OWN SEPARATE MOVIE. But no… Cram it in at the end.

Then we can compare it to Marvel movies. I would perhaps use The Avengers: Age of Ultron. A movie I also just seen once.

That movie, to me, didnt either make much sense. Ultron appears and then he wants to destroy humanity. He has a monolog, and then he goes on a killing-spree.

And then the avengers start battling him in grandiose battle sequences. I didnt like Age of Ultron much… But, unlike BvS… Its lighthearted tone makes it more entertaining. The style of the movie, makes the nonsensical plot easier to swallow.

So this in an example of how the style of Marvel movies works better as a superhero movie, than this new series of DC movies.

Since DC movies are more “dark”, “serious”, “heavily themed” then it also DEMANDS better SCRIPTS, PLOTS, CHARACTERS etc.
But they dont. And that is the problem. Nolan´s Batman, was good, not just because it was dark and heavily themed alone, but because they were WRITTEN WELL.

I prefer the campyness of Marvel. At best I get depressed by DC, at worst I get bored and suicidal. I remember watching Man of Steel and wishing I was in one of those 1000 crumbling buildings. hahahahoooo… But seriously… New DC movies suck. I still have hopes for Suicide Squad though. Not watched it yet… Gonna wait for the 4 hour edition 😉

How can we fix this?

If I was creatively in charge of this new film series, I would have decided to do a soft reboot. Ignore Man of Steel, and perhaps also BvS. How? I dont know.

Make a Sandman cameo and reveal it was “all a dream”. This is how the DC universe would have been if a emo dreamed it. Perhaps add that there may have been some real prophetic parts in those dream (have the events reoccur in the new movies, only better.

Keep the stupid parts away (like giant orcs and lex luthor being an idiot) and keep the great parts (like Bruce Wayne and Clark Kent having a real problem with each others philosophies).

Yeah! That sounds brilliant. Have Dream come in and retcon. Being that the character is a DC character it could work. REBOOT. Superman lives. He is not a emo. Lane is not a cardbord box character, but a bitchy besserwisser journalist fighting to get her voice across in this new media landscape where important voices are drowned by PEWDIEPIE.

So it was all a dream. It was Bruce Wayne´s dream based on events before. That is that Superman really fought Zod. But he took the fight to the nevada dessert (as he should). But Zod destroyed metropolis, but NOT with the help of Superman.

So the evidence of how kryptonians could destroy the earth is still in the continuity. And Bruce Wayne can still be afraid of Supermans power.

Zod may have gotten killed, but NOT directly by superman or atleast superman had to do it for the sake of humanity, not a family in a corner.

Lex Luthor is a megalomaniac but NOT a joker without the makeup. He did not create a orc thing. He just stays in the background, paving way for criminals all over the world. He only cares about money and power. On the surface he is nice. Very concerned about nature, and wants to help in nature disasters he created etc. He wants to rule the world as he feels he is entitled. “He is the smartest man on earth, why do only stupid people rule”, he thinks.

So we want Superman to be dark. Fine. But lets make him completely good non the less. But lets explore that he cant be many places at once. He has god like powers, but he isnt every present. He is bound by is body and time.

I have this scene where he is with Lane. She knows he is Superman, but since Man of Steel is a dream, she learned this over some time.

They have an argument as she smokes. Cuz she should smoke. She is stressed out constantly. Daily Planet is not doing well, and her latest piece… perhaps on Lex Luthor was refused as she didnt have the evidence or something. She bitches to him about something mundane. Could it be he didnt do the dishes?

As she does that Superman hears 3 pleads for help 2 children are in mortal danger in Metropolis. She bitches, he knows he cant save them. He just knows they need help. So in a fit of frustration he does what many would do, and would usually be harmless. He hits is hand on the table. But since he has super strength the entire table gets smashed. Lane gets scared, but so does Superman.

Yeah… It was aaaaalll a dream. Thanks Sandman. You saved the DC universe. He is the true hero.

Conclusion

I would describe the new DC movies as having “prosopagnosia*”. Its the disorder where you see the familiar faces, but the emotions are not awoken by it. Like seeing your daughter but not feeling that she is your daughter. Its a real condition. Same her. I know its suppose to be Superman, but I dont feel anything. I dont know him. Its not really Superman.

Less is MORE! It should be written on the door of the scriptwriter room of DC film universe.

 

(*Blog update 29 of april 2017 – Its called capgras syndrome when one recognize someone but there is no emotions towards it. I knew it was wrong when I called it prosopagnosia I just couldnt find what it was really called.).

Blog 2.0 -  I should be the scriptwriter/ show-runner for DC.

Blog 2.0 – I should be the scriptwriter/ show-runner for DC.

A fight against big brother or two minutes of hate?

20 Aug

Sooo…

I made a video…

………………….

And here are some youtube comments during debate.
OnlineDebate

I find it fascinating how some people are so passionate about defending bullying.
MoreOnlineDebate

Like we lose our freedom  if some children cant be cruel to other children. What is the end goal here, anyway?

 

Movies

Blog 2.0 – Dont agree with me? CUCK!!!

10 Cloverfield Lane (2016) – An analysis

3 Aug

TitleOfMovie

“It’s the end of the world and he’s upset about a dead pig.”
Emmett about Howard (10 Cloverfield Lane)

10 Cloverfield Lane -Introduction

One of my most read blog entries on Andy´s Mercury Comments is my analysis of The Mist (2007). I guess more people than me saw that movie as an interesting piece.

Since that one was such a success, Ill try to do a “blood-relative sequel” to that blog entry, by now analyzing 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016). Is it as good as The Mist? No, not really. But it has it´s moments, touches on some of the same themes, and there are questions that at least I felt was left unanswered.

The main question I had at the end was: Was Howard really the bad guy?

Let´s look at the movie again, and look for the pros and cons of Howard being the villain in the movie. I will also talk a little bit about the ending, and how I didnt like it. I expect you have seen the movie, when reading this. Meaning there will be spoilers.

Also, you may be thinking “AndyAce83 looks to much into a stupid movie” or “its just a movie, why do you care?” and all that other nonsense. If you dont care, then dont read it.

10 Cloverfield Lane -Plot summary

The story is about a woman (Michelle) who leaves a relationship with a man. She seem to think that it´s cuz “she flees the problems”, perhaps cuz she grew up with a violent dad. She then get run out of the road by a car and wakes up in a bomb-shelter, tied to the wall. In there she meets Howard, the builder of the bomb shelter, who tells her that the world has gone to hell, for reasons not specified. The bombshelter also have another inhabitant, the easy going, sympatic Emmett who forced himself into the shelter when he knew problems where coming.

They live in this bombshelter for an unknown amount of time. At times it is nice and at times it goes well, and at times they fight, and it gets clear that Howard is suffering from some kind of mental problems. He shows anger and a need for control. Sometimes downright threatening behavior.

It is then revealed that Howard had a daughter as he shows Michelle a picture of her. Michelle then sees signs of dangerous activity in a closed down room where someone has scribbled “help me” on a window and some bloody ear-rings. Emmet says that the daughter in the picture is not really Howard´s daughter, but a girl who had gone missing. A girl named Britney.

This leads to the conclusion that Howard is a mentally unstable murderer and that Emmet and Michelle needs to flee. Their escape plans is stopped though as Howard discovers a home-made hazzard suits. In a confrontation Howard shots Emmet, a struggle follows where Howard is badly burned and blown up in the bombshelter, while Michelle leaves the shelter only to discover that Howard was right. There has been an alien attack. She goes into a big show down with the aliens, killing a space-ship like creature and drives away. On the radio she hears pleads for assistance and she decides that drive towards that. Implying she no longer runs away from her problems.

10 Cloverfield Lane -The analysis

Michelle: What are you gonna do to me?

Howard: I am gonna keep you alive.

When we analyse a movie, as with most intellectual pursuits, we have to ask the question: What do we really know? What did we really see? Which of the characters can we really trust? Who´s narration can we belive?

In 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016) we see certain things and other things are told to us. Scriptwriting 101 says “show it, don´t tell it” and so it is reasonable to belive that if something isnt shown there may be a reason for it.

It may be cuz we are not suppose to know (like what was in the briefcase in Pulp Fiction (1994) or what was in Norman´s diary in Psycho (1960).) or it may be just because of temporary suspense. 

Like Hitchcock himself said:

“There is a distinct difference between “suspense” and “surprise,” and yet many pictures continually confuse the two. I’ll explain what I mean.

We are now having a very innocent little chat. Let’s suppose that there is a bomb underneath this table between us. Nothing happens, and then all of a sudden, “Boom!” There is an explosion. The public is surprised, but prior to this surprise, it has seen an absolutely ordinary scene, of no special consequence. Now, let us take a suspense situation. The bomb is underneath the table and the public knows it, probably because they have seen the anarchist place it there. The public is aware the bomb is going to explode at one o’clock and there is a clock in the decor. The public can see that it is a quarter to one. In these conditions, the same innocuous conversation becomes fascinating because the public is participating in the scene. The audience is longing to warn the characters on the screen: “You shouldn’t be talking about such trivial matters. There is a bomb beneath you and it is about to explode!”

In the first case we have given the public fifteen seconds of surprise at the moment of the explosion. In the second we have provided them with fifteen minutes of suspense. The conclusion is that whenever possible the public must be informed. Except when the surprise is a twist, that is, when the unexpected ending is, in itself, the highlight of the story.”

In this quote we can learn a lot about narration, why something is revealed and something is left out. I would like to add though that sometimes supsence can be kept by also NOT showing something. That in narration, what isnt shown, but told isnt always true, and may be deliberate ways of keeping suspense or keep us guessing.

Keeping this quote in mind, let´s look at what we see and not see in this movie to ask the question: Who is really the villain in 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016)?

Violent or reasonable?

Violent or reasonable?

The first thing I noticed is that although it is clear that Howard is on edge and suffers from some kind of mental issues, never do we see him behave violent towards Michelle. She is violent towards him on several occasions, but he is only violent towards Emmet. At least not before things excalate to complete chaos towards the end. And even then, he doesnt really hurt her. IF that is just pure luck for Michelle or his intentions is left uncertain.

It also seem to be a misconception that the first loud crashing sound we hear, before introducing Emmet as a character, is when he tried to get in. But that is not the case. That is the sound of Emmet destroying one week of food, for reasons never explained other than he “is sorry for that”.

We never see Emmet fighting his way into the bunker. It is said that by Emmet that he bruised his arm when that event took place, but again, we did not see that happen and the question then is: If that is false, why is Emmet the one who looks like he has been in a car accident? In fact Howard shows no signs of being in the accident that he says he was a part of.

Also the suspicion Michelle has towards Howard is from the very beginning. She tells Emmet her concerns, before he puts any seeds in her mind. She tells him that she was run off the road by Howard. She thinks she is been kidnapped, even when all evidence point to the fact she is not. She seems to be looking for evidence that Howard is evil.

Stop Talking!

Stop Talking!

We often observe Howards reaction as psychopathic in nature. He is angry, semi-paranoid, demands respect and becomes more and more unhinged as the story progresses. But saying he is a psychopath one also is forgetting that he is under a lot of strain himself. He is not happy being in the bombshelter either. Which we see when Emmet makes a joke about how long they may be staying there. The clenching of the fist may seem threatening, but it can also be a sign of claustrophobia.

What many people seem to think is the clear reveal of Howard´s villinous behaviour is when he shoots Emmet after he says he wanted the gun. It seems cold and is a violent act. That may be true, in peace times. But this movie takes place in a more extreme situation. Howard is a millitary man. He sees the bunker as his ship. He even says so at one time. “All on deck.”

In the military one is taught that one has to deal with mutiny is a very harsh manner. Cuz if people do not follow orders, that could lead to even more dangerous events. Like we see at the end, when the entire “safe space” is blown up cuz of Michelle´s mutiny.

What I am trying to say is that although we see this as a harsh and immoral act, we see this with civilian eyes in peace time. They do not live in that context. They live in war times, with limited resources with a group of people conspiring against each other. Howard may have acted by a moral-code for survival, not a humanistic one we are used to.

Also I dont think that Howard doesnt show regret and pain after he shot Emmet, as he is clearly even more unstable and childlike (regression) after the events.

So why do I think Emmet may be more insidious than what is seen explicitly? The first reason is that he is the only one who looks like he has been in a car accident. His wounds also seem to have had proper care at the hospital. His arm in the sleeve looks professionally taken care of. Also he is the only one who shows ability for manipulation as when he manipulates Howard into thinking the showercurtain may be contaminated or when he windes up Howard at the dinner table. He does seem to be biding his time, looking for a good time to take control of the bunker. And what he states just before he is shot; “I wanted your gun. So I was thinking about making a weapon, to get it.. From you. I wanted her to respect me, the way she respects you.” could just be the truth. Perhaps he believed his “honesty” and apology would be accepted. So he wasnt playing a hero, but tried to manipulate again. But all in all, not very much evidence to go on.

Fear? More like teenage boredom.

Fear? More like teenage boredom.

But if we think that Emmet has his own unstated agenda, then its more safe to assume that he is lying when telling Michelle that the girl in the picture with Howard is not his daughter. A statement that is the catalyst for Michelle disbelief in Howard. If we look at the picture of the girl in the picture, do she really look like she has been kidnapped?

And if we look again at the other evidence of the written “help” window. Michelle says it was written on the inside of the window, but

Written on the inside or the outside?

Written on the inside or the outside?

to me it does not look so at all. It´s written in mirror image. Of course it could be possible that the girl was smart enough to write in a way that was easily read on the other side, but still it´s written the wrong way. My theory is that this is written by the crazy women from earlier who tried to get into the bunker. She even started to bleed when she bunked her head into the window, which could explain the blood. Although this goes against Michelle´s statement, which was that it was written on the inside of the window.

The way I see it there are three possible interpretation of this movies event.
1) That Howard was the psychopath as he is clearly the most unstable.
2) That Emmet is the subtle manipulator, growing the seeds of suspicion in Michelles mind wanting to take over. But he failed at his last attempt at manipulation. Perhaps not recognizing the extreme situation and Howard´s military background.
3) Neither of the men are really dangerous, but Michelle´s baggage from her childhood makes her paranoid, which causes all of the conflict in the bombshelter.

After writing this I am starting to lean on the last one.

10 Cloverfield Lane – Original script

After writing this analysis I decided to read the original script called “The Cellar” to see if anything was made clearer in that script and to do some reality checks. Was I reading something into this movie not intended? Am I trying to hard to make a simple story more complex than it is?

A script is the blue-print to a movie, but sometimes radical changes is made to the original idea. This seem to be the case with this script.

“The Cellar” made Emmet (called Nate in the script) a unsympathetic character who wants the control and gets the control after he gets the gun. When he gets control he is rude and dominating.

Michelle is less sympathetic as well as she distrusts Howard instantly, and never trust him in the entire story. She also has loyalty to Emmet/Nate for reasons that seems to be that he is more handsome than Howard.

At the end of the story its made very clear that Howard only had good intentions for Michelle, but her hatred for her father clouded her judgement.

This could be what 10 Cloverfield Lane tries to tell also, but more subtle. But I guess that is just a guess.

10 Cloverfield Lane – The ending

Would this have been the best ending? Just a cut to black after that?

Would this have been the best ending? Just a cut to black after that?

Although its not relevant to my main analysis I still feel I should give my thoughts on the ending as I really felt it crashed a lot with the rest of the movie.

Most of this movie is a suspense thriller about people attacking each other in extreme situations. Very well made too, I must say. But after Michelle flees the bomb-shelter the movie changes from thriller to sci-fi action movie. The change is abrudt and rather strange.

I would have preferred a more quick ending or at least a more ground based one. It just becomes too comic-book like. I could accept and even understand the need for a bit of a monster-mash thrill as this is a Cloverfield-franchise movie. But even the original Cloverfield movie was far more ground-based in its action scenes than 10 Cloverfield Lane.

10 Cloverfield Lane -Conclusion

I may see too much in this movie. I admit that. But that is what I like to do. I think too many people look for flaws in films, instead of trying to think that the flaws or “plot-holes” may be intentional red-herrings. One needs to have a bit of trust in the movie makers.

I liked the movie, but felt the ending was a bit too much. I wish they could have ended it on a bit less action oriented way. The script ended rather anti-climatic. But something in between would perhaps have been the best.

 


If you liked this blog entry you can also watch my youtube videos “Doctor Dee and Me Talk About Movies and TV” where I talk about movies. Its not as focused as this entry though, but there may be some interesting perspectives there as well.

 

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