Rarely does a director ask, “What if I took all kinds of characters from other movies and threw them into a historical movie to see what history would be like?!!?! LOL?!”
War Horse tackles this startlingly experimental narrative landscape with aplomb!
First off: the goofy kid who was the main character. It’s Goofy from all those Disney cartoons! He rarely speaks, has a positive attitude, and he likes wearing vests. No other character in the universe could have believably given such a goofy grin while gazing at a newborn foal. Only Goofy could have pulled that off!
Possibly the most dramatically noticeable character is the Obi-Wan Kenobi character (from Star Wars) who leases War Horse from the goofy kid. He uses Jedi mind tricks to get the kid to let the horse go, and then later, when he is shot down in battle, he simply vanishes, just like Obi-Wan would have done if this alternate history were real!
Around the time when War Horse goes to war, the Black Stallion enters the film. This scene-stealing character catches the eye of all horsers throughout the film (move over War Horse–there’s a classic horse character on screen!). You may ask yourself, what is the Black Stallion doing in the middle of World War I? Alternative history kapow!
Oh, and then there’s Defense of the Dark Arts instructor Remus Lupin, from the world of Harry Potter. In this alternative history, he is a very lenient landlord. He could have expelled Goofy’s family for not having the rent, but instead he gave them many months to plant and harvest a crop in order to come up with the late rent–with no interest! That’s pretty cool, especially since he could have easily hexed them (he didn’t even stupefy them for fun–wait a minute, maybe he did, because they sure acted stupid sometimes!).
I’m still trying to figure out what movie the alcoholic apologist character is from. She is played by Emily Watson, whose performance makes a compelling argument for it being okay to drink away your farm, so long as you have seen some stuff that you can’t talk about.
It’s fun to see all these characters interacting with each other on screen, but it’s even more compelling to see how these characters changed history itself! The most striking impact is that the Germans and the French both speak English! Throughout the film, your mind is pleasantly baffled by the sheer awkward potential of so many Europeans sharing a unified language! Why, it boggles the tongue! You might ask, “How can one even tell the difference between the English and German soldiers in this film?” Well you can’t! It’s alternative history!
Another striking impact on history is that the world’s economy becomes even more unstable than in our reality. At the beginning of the film, 30 guinea is a huge price to pay for a thoroughbred, whether or not the horse can plow a field. But it’s just an hour into the film and already 30 guinea isn’t nearly enough to pay for the horse (which is why Obi-Wan just leases War Horse, instead of making a purchase)! Yet, we can assume that since Goofy’s parents didn’t lose the farm after their turnip failure that the 30 guinea windfall from leasing War Horse was suddenly enough to pay the rent. Oh, please, let us continue to live in a reality where Goofy is just a cartoon because I don’t think I could handle such extreme fluctuations!
I think the War Horse character should have gotten more lines, but despite this weakness, I still give this movie 30 stars for its innovative approach to story telling and the beautiful use of the Black Stallion character!
I’ve finally seen the latest Lord of the Rings movie and I’d like to review it. It’s called Lord of the Rings: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 7, Part 2.
Well, first of all I just want to say: boy am I confused!
I mean, I know there’s a lot of backstory, but sheesh! In case you didn’t see the first 10 films, there were a bunch of rings and Sauron gave them out to all these people and elves and gnomes and jeez, I guess Harry Potter had to destroy them and it takes him like 11 hours of film just to destroy the first one!
However, skip centuries into the future and the predictable hobbit is still traveling around, hunting down rings and killing them. That’s when this movie takes place. And by this time, the rings are getting much craftier! Sure, there’s one he finds and puts around his neck as per the standard operating procedure, but the other rings disguise themselves as a cup and a tiara!
But this doesn’t stop Harry Potter because after centuries of Gandalf’s training in hunting down rings, he is so badass that he can just sense them (but don’t confuse this with having had Jedi training–that’s a completely different film series).
In the films just before Part 7, Part 2, we saw what terrible things happened to the elves–they’re all slaves of humans and have grown all shriveled and short! Of course, they do revolt and some become cool again (like Dobby, who is pretty much the Golem of elves), but they can never grow tall again, or speak in dark ominous tones. So sad!
Because of what happened to the elves, you may have been worried that an equally horrendous fate had happened to the gnomes, but no! They are still hanging out collecting gold in caves. No worries!
But I know what you’re thinking because it’s pretty much in the title of the film: what are the Deathly Hallows??!! Well, think no more. They are basically a bunch of evil things that make someone better than everyone else if they have them, so obviously they need to be destroyed! Even though the job of hunting rings is pretty taxing, Harry Potter takes on the extra job of hunting down the Deathly Hallows. And I know these jobs don’t pay well because Harry Potter lives in a tent!
If Harry Potter didn’t already have to worry about all those rings, he probably could have handled the three Deathly Hallows easily. However, by the end of this film Harry Potter and his two friends, Samwise Gamgee and the vampire slayer character, are all corrupted and aren’t able to do their jobs well, because they just have too much work to do and get really crabby all the time.
When it comes time to destroy the Resurrection Stone, Harry Potter just leaves it in the forest.
When it comes time to destroy the Elder Wand, Samwise is all, “Think what we could do with it!” It is only with the strongest fortitude Harry Potter can muster on the spot that he can bring himself to break the twig-like Elder Wand.
Of course, the third Deathly Hallow is kept close to Harry Potter–the Cloak of Invisibility. He is either completely corrupted by the evil rings and/or hallows and can’t bring himself to destroy it, or he just figures since he carted around a ring of invisibility for so long, a cloak of invisibility is no big deal.
I found this latest film to be an action-packed romp. I would have liked to have seen more of Gandalf, but I understand if he can only be brought back from the dead so many times. Shelob’s part, too, was kind of diminished, I thought. All in all, though, I’m looking forward to the prequel that comes out soon, called Lord of the Rings: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Part 1 the First, which tells the story of how Headmaster Gandalf came across Harry Potter’s uncle’s place.
The Super Release Party occurred on November 9, 2010, at the Hideout, in Seattle.
Over 50 superheroes were in attendance, and Tom Hansen (author of American Junkie) and Lauren Hoffman (author of When You I Feel Because) were guest readers. Any super villains that attended were on their best behavior.
The Super release party video was produced by the talented team of Arianne Garden Vazquez and Chris Hammersley.
Vincent Truman created this mash-up of performances based on or in support of Super. The original performances came from civilians and superheroes from all over the world who wanted to support the book.
I can’t thank Vincent enough, especially as he was only hours off of his fantastic project, The Observatory, when he started putting this video together (a DVD of his recent play will soon be available in case you didn’t catch it in Chicago).
It’s been hinted that Vincent Truman may even do another of these Super Mash-Ups, so if you’re interested in contributing content, contact firstname.lastname@example.org for details or just post a YouTube video based on Super and send me the link.
Quotes from my novel are up on the Super page of my Web site. I’m also printing a few here. Exclusive content, some of it!
“That’s the bad thing about cable–it takes longer to decide nothing’s on because you have to flip through more channels.” -Alabaster Wight
“You’d think time travel would be a pretty cool power to have but it’s not. Most of the time, you’re told what to do by various versions of yourself who are from some future time in which you’ve really messed things up.” -Apostolos
“Anti-Terrorist Bomb Squad is highly entertaining to play, but it fails miserable as a socially responsible video game.” -Jerboa
“I know Superheroes aren’t supposed to drink so much, but lately that’s the only way I can get out of the costume.” -Alabaster Wight
“That’s funny. I usually keep the rock slab in the closet.” -Auslander
Oh, and if you’re interested, ask me about the Super Action Team–it’s an opportunity for you to receive my undying gratitude for doing very little work to help me promote my book.
This list is, of course, final. If you were thinking of making one of the best movies about time travel in the near future, you’re too late, unless it’s autobiographical. Because then you’d be a time traveler. So you could change time and stuff. Get it? Never mind.
1. Timecrimes. When you watch this, at first you’re all, that’s some freaky stuff! Then, you’re all, Soylent Green is people (except people is me)! And finally you start to figure everything out, and it’s still interesting. Even without time travel ability, I can already tell it’s better than the Tom Cruise knock-off version that’s scheduled to come out in 2012.
3. Primer. Brilliant film, though I still can’t figure this one out. That bit about the party confuses me. What exactly happened there?
4. The Sticky Fingers of Time. Like any movie that combines time-travel with bisexual adventures and bionic parts, this movie is a classic.
5. Back to the Future. It’s just a very fun movie. It’s like the first Matrix, only from a different decade, with different technology, and a totally different plot.
6. Time Bandits. Honestly, I don’t remember this movie. I remember enjoying it, but I couldn’t tell you what happened. I just included it in this list because I know someone will be all, “Hey, what about Time Bandits?”