Pacific Rim: Okay, but what’s next?

Don’t get me wrong.

I enjoyed this movie. It’s a day later and I’m still thinking about certain scenes. But just as much as I was moved and thrilled, I was also incredibly frustrated throughout the entire film.

Frustration came from one place and one place only.

I’ve seen this movie before.

I’ve seen it COUNTLESS of times.

It’s Battleship.

It’s Starship Troopers.

It’s Avatar.

It’s Tron: Legacy

It’s any sci-fi action movie where you have a young male hero who has a mentor, a brother, a rival, a clown(s), an evil alien race (or even evil humans) and a love interest. Maybe not all of these, but most of them.

The action and the specifics of the plot may vary and as well as the action. The quality of those specifics may vary as well. Some better than others even (Like I think Pacific Rim was extremely better than Battleship).

 

Now, do not read any further if you don’t want to be spoiled for Pacific Rim, but within the first ten minutes of the movie, if you, like me have seen plenty of these kinds of movies, you already knows how this will turn out.

 

Ready? Okay.

 

This is basically what happens in these movies.

The hero is male.

The hero’s brother will die.

The rival most likely dies (not always, depends on how much of a jerk he is).

The mentor will most definitely die.

Any and all interesting side characters will have absolutely no character development or screen time and will most likely be killed off.

The clown or clowns will survive (the comic reliefs are immune to death, in this case the Kanju research scientists).

The hero will win the girl in the end.

The love interest will either be rescued by the hero or will mainly be supporting the hero, especially near the end, and have no individual plotline, but rather will adapt to the hero’s plotline.

The evil alien race is mindlessly evil and will be vanquished at the end.

The end.

 

And I get it. It works. In a business where you are spending MILLIONS of dollars, if you find a formula that gets the audience coming and spending their money, then hell yeah we’re going to stick to it for as long as possible.

But I’m so BORED and so frustrated.

And I don’t think I’m the only one.

I feel like there needs to be a movie revolution. I even think we might even be on the brink of one, but I could just be stupidly idealistic.

But I cannot be the only one who thinks Hollywood can’t continue to make money if they continue in this direction.

I cannot be the only one who thinks…

“If only they just __________ in this movie, it’d be so much better.”

I’ve been doing this a lot lately in movies I enjoyed but felt they weren’t reaching their potential. Expecially with Tron:Legacy (If only they just did more with TRON’s character…) and with Pacific Rim.

Such as:

If only they developed the Chinese and Russian pilots a bit more, their deaths would have been worse and thus created a higher impact.

If only the aliens had another reason for what they did that wasn’t just to destroy all life on earth (god that is getting so boring).

If only the hero’s brother wasn’t killed off and was actually an interesting and dynamic element to the plot.

If only the heroine had more of a role other than the hero’s backup and eventual love interest at the end.

If only they had a more complicated end game other than jump in the portal and explode (we did this already with The Avengers).

If only they actually cared more and showed that they cared more when people died (seriously, five people died in the first battle in Hong Kong, and they said no time to mourn, but they had a few seconds to celebrate apparently, and the father told the damn Idris Alba character that he was with his SON, and yeah, he didn’t do much to protect the boy, did he? nor did the father show much reaction at his death, there was reaction but I wanted a stronger one without being melodramatic.)

If only, if only, if only…

Oh, and the MAJOR “If only” that I use in almost ALL fantasy/sci-fi action movies I watch nowadays.

If only the main hero was a woman.

Man. MAN.

With that single change alone I’d watch that movie ten times in a row and pay every time. I’d just rent out the movie theater. I would LOVE them so much that I would personally mail the movie makers a damn THANK YOU letter.

I wonder if I’m the only one. I wonder if I am delusional. I don’t think I am. And I know for sure this is what I want very, very much.

And damnit, if they’re not going to take the formula to the next level, to the evolution, then I guess I have to give it a shot.

Again, I hate saying crap and having nothing to show for it. But I am serious.

I want this. And I am going to go for it. Unless of course, someone goes for it before I do.

Which by all means…

PLEASE DO!!!

Thank you.

Flash Fiction Challenge: EPIC GAME OF ASPECTS REDUX!

That title needed CAPSLOCK hardcore.

Okay, so over at Terribleminds.com, like every week, there’s a flash fiction challenge. And there’s a prize involved. If you noticed, I like to enter when there’s a prize involved. I’m really shallow with my writing.

ANYWAYS!

Here’s my entry. The aspects, chosen randomly were: Alien Invasion/Revenge/Sea Monster.

By far the weirdest thing I’ve ever written. Thank Chuck for that.

Enjoy!

Continue reading

Unofficial Guest Post (or perhaps a Guest Link?)

I woke up late today and I was going to hammer down a post before it got any later.

But then Chuck Wendig over at Terribleminds.com answered a question I asked him via Tumblr and really it’s better than anything I can come up with today.

So get over there for your daily dose of blog wisdom if you haven’t already.

 

Chuck Wendig Exhorts You To Care Less.

 

Can’t really put it any better than that.

A Tiny Update and Not So Tiny Excerpt (BEASTS: Chapter One)

I’m facing an interesting dilemma.

I feel good. I feel great.  I’m no longer alone. I’m living in a wonderful home with a loving family. Everything’s fantastic!

And I’m hardly getting any writing done because of it.

I’ve read it before how comfort can be deadly. I’m seeing first hand how that can be true. I’m also realizing just how much visualizing and fantasying your dream coming true is also dangerous.

Because feeling like I already have everything I wanted means I don’t feel any urge to do anything to get it, because in my head I already have it. Tricky, eh?

That said, I’m not giving in without a fight. I may have missed a week of blog posts, but I finally finished the first draft of the first chapter of my YA novel, BEASTS, which I’ve been working on since early February.

Needless to say, this is a cause for celebration.

So since today is Monday and that means Excerpt day, in order to make up for my unannounced absence, here is the entire chapter in all its flawed glory.

Who knows how much it’ll change when I finally send it off to agents (hopefully within a decade), but I’m not going to touch it again until the rest of the book is written.

Meanwhile, I’m going to contemplate about the actual benefits of suffering.

At least some amount of suffering. I finished reading War of Art by Steven Pressfield, which was amazing and related to what I’m talking about  so there’s a post in me on what I’ve learned from that book as well.

Until then…

Here is Chapter One of my YA Fantasy novel: BEASTS.

 

Warning: The following is over 3k words long. So take a bathroom break, get your mug of hot coffee and a cookie, sit back, relax and enjoy.

 

Continue reading

Excerpt: Beasts Revision

While waiting in the airport for my plane to Atlanta, Georgia, I checked my email and read the latest from the newsletter David Farland’s Daily Kick In the Pants for writers. In this particular email he mentioned all the cliche opening scenes he’s seen way too may times during his time judging the Writers of the Future contest and to avoid them.

One of the cliches he mentioned was the main character waking up and not knowing where he and just overall confused.

Crap.

So while on the plane, I thought of a new opening, which is what follows today. I think this will be my last revision since I really need to get past Chapter One one of these days (weeks, months, etc). It’s a lot shorter and it’s still missing of course, but this is only the beginning. There’s more to come.

Tell me what you think.

And above all, enjoy.

~~~

Nicolai sprinted down the alley, his sneakers skidding on the wet pavement.

They were gaining on him. Their growls grew louder and he could hear their jaws snapping at his heels.

Up ahead loomed a chain link fence.  Jumping onto a dumpster, he leaped and took hold. The lions collided against the fence below him, standing on their hind legs. One took a swipe at him and got a hold of the bottom of Nicolai’s jeans. It tugged him towards their awaiting jaws, but Nicolai  kicked out and smashed one of their noses. The denim broke free and he climbed for the top.

“I’ll get you for that!”

Nicolai, now straddling the fence, looked down and saw that they had reverted to their human forms. The one who yelled sported a broken nose, blood seeping into down his white t-shirt, staining his gold necklaces.

“We’re going to rip you to shreds!”

“A tasty midnight snack!”

One of the trio whispered something into the injured one’s ear. They smirked wickedly, their sharp white teeth reflecting the moonlight. They turned and took off, leaving Nicolai confused. The fence wasn’t that hard to climb.

Not liking this at all, he quickly climbed down the fence and kept moving. The more distance between him and the felines, the better. Problem was, he had no clue where he was. He only arrived to Capital City two nights ago and was still figuring his way around.

Once he left the alleyway, he found himself on the deserted main road. He felt exposed and at risk of being picked up by the cops for breaking curfew, but roaming the alleys was what got him into trouble in the first place. He stuck close to the buildings, hiding in their shadows and avoiding the streetlights.

He glanced at his reflection on one of the darkened store front windows. His blonde hair was greasy and stuck up in every angle.  It’d been days since he could find a place to wash it. The rest of him was in the same state – unwashed and uncared for.

Everything he owned was stuffed into his ratty knapsack and pockets and both were mostly empty.  His stomach growled and his ankle throbbed from where the lion’s claw grazed it, but he didn’t dare slow down. He stuffed his hands into his army jacket’s pockets and kept moving.

The street eventually lead to a plaza. A large stone fountain stood In the center, commiserating the founding of the city. Statues of the founding leaders in their majestic animal forms with the first human mayor standing around a bone dry moat*.

The entire fountain stood in the shadow of a gigantic tree that blocked the moon from view. Several small botiques and a small park surrounded the landmark. A few benches here and there, a water fountain or two, a path for people to walk along, everything beautifully maintained and cleaned.

It would have been the perfect place to stay. He looked up at the tree and wondered if he could sleep in the higher branches, hidden from view.

As he was looking up at the tree, he froze as he realized something was looking back. A set of large amber eyes that seemed to glow in the dark. A blinding white smirk, like a sadistic version of the Cheshire cat grin split the stranger’s face as he chuckled darkly.

“Lost little boy?”