What Will You Do With Your Life? Part One: Things Fall Into Place

I have one academic year left in my program.   I am most nervous and excited about this prospect.  It seems so far away and yet so close.  I have some CINEs under my belt, and I look at my progress.  What do I know?

Well last quarter I wrote one HELL of a paper on Bram Stoker’s Dracula.  So far, this is my best paper for the cinema studies program.   I gave it a LOT of time, consideration, and efforts.  I was more than willing to push for the 15 page mark, AND I wanted to have the best paper I could have.  I love a challenge.

Now I want to know my future.  Working on my fourth CINE (737c – New Hollywood) and I want to know I’m heading in the right direction.   A professor told me things will fall into place.  I certainly hope so, but also I’d like to feel the power of the CINEs working on me.

Where am I going?   Don’t know yet.

Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen

Transformers 2: Rise of the FallenAfter I saw Transformers 2 Revenge of the Fallen, I had a lot of blah feelings for this film.  Quite frankly the quality of the content left me underwhelmed.   The quality feels suppressed in favor of stylistic looks: Sexy actress (Megan Fox), fighting robots, and the start of a hero’s journey.  Transformers 2 looks fantastic on the big screen, yet refuses to offer the reader a glimmer of a worthy plot, realistic characters or even fun.   It does offer some racist imagery disguised as the comedy relief duo of the robot duo Skids and Mudflap.

I wanted to love this film.  I came to the theater with a positive expectation.   After all, writers Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman worked on the 2009 Star Trek film, and I loved that film.  Star Trek had the right mix of cast and story.   I left the theater loving the experience and wanting more.

I wanted to believe that the writers grew in leaps and bounds from the first Transformers film, and would infuse Transformers 2 with the power they gave Star Trek.

What I saw was a very incoherent story along with some rather annoying characters.  I was willing to deal with Sam’s (Shia LaBeouf) spazzy personality, and he contrasts Mikaela’s (Megan Fox) calm personality, but it pushes from  to uneven and unrealistic.   It’s not even fun to watch.

My question to myself is how toes Sam keep this gorgeous woman?  Would he not do what she asked?  When Mikaela asks Sam why he can’t say “I love you,” and Sam refuses to say it, I knew that he took her for granted.  That rung so untrue.

I question the use of certain returning characters, such as Major William Lennox (Josh Duhamel), Robert Epps (Tyrese Gibson), and Seymour Simmons (John Turturro).  I felt they were added not for continuity, but simply because they could be.  I saw no point in where their characters  or the acting could be useful to the plot.  I saw a contractual obligation, and not a hint of usefulness in their roles.

Skids and Mudflap did not come off as funny, but rather annoying, racist, and very useless to the plot.   In comparison Jar Jar Bink’s pales  to the ghetto stank of Skids and Mudflap.   Somewhere they are supposed to funny, but the laughs are with them, they are at the duo.

I do love the effects.  I think they look great.  Seeing Optimus Prime in action looked more than impressive.  He kicked robot butt, however, that one scene does not make the film work, nor does it make the film worth watching.

FILM 707: Screenwriting

I took  my first graduate screenwriting course in fall 2008.   Quite an eye opening experience.  I learned about putting down ideas and organizing them BEFORE I wrote out the pages of the screenplay.  I also leaned that as a writer you must rewrite multiple times!

Editing was a challenge to understand.  Why cut your own material?  Do you really have to?    Yes, you MUST learn to edit and cut.   I have scenes that could drag on for days.  I cut pages/scenes down for clarity and to keep the script fresh.  I need producers, directors and actors to read my work with pleasure.

Also, I looked at the sentence length.  Dialog that consists of a few sentences appears choppy.  Likewise sentences too long are rather tedious.  Been working on revisions while summer quarter keeps the mellow pace.

My First CINE

I took CINE 705 (History of Cinema) on a lark.  I didn’t want to take the required art history component of my then major, Contemporary Writing at that time.   I thought about taking an elective.

CINE 705 seemed so interesting.  After all, what did I know about film history?  What would I learn about the history of film?   Needless to say I put all questions aside, registered for the class and enjoyed it immensely.

My first taste of Cinema Studies, or CINE was a mixed bag.  I loved it.   I also felt VERY nervous about the final paper, which I did well on, BTW.   After passing the class, I revised the paper and submitted it to the Cinema Studies department.  Now I’m going for my MA in Cinema Studies.