Wednesday, July 9, 2014

There's More Than Michael Bay & Shakespeare

Like a week ago there was an article about the 10 greatest (of many) problems with the latest Transformers movie.  To which I commented that it would be nice if society would stop rewarding people for making crap.  To which someone said, "Well tell us the next time you go to watch Shakespeare, K?" 

Because clearly the only two options in the known universe are Michael Bay and William Shakespeare, right?  And word to the wise, I don't really like Shakespeare.  Unless it's Bill Shatner doing it and then I appreciate it ironically.  I mean I watched that Joss Whedon version of "Much Ado About Nothing" last year and spent most of the movie wondering what the fuck they were talking about.  I mean let's face it there's so much of Shakespeare that's dated these days.  In many cases even the core concepts are dated like "A Merchant in Venice" which is basically a lot of anti-Semitism.

OK, so I'm not going out to watch Shakespeare anytime soon if I can help it.  But again that doesn't mean Michael Bay is my only other option.  That's the problem with the world today.  People support crap, complain it's crap, and yet don't seem to realize there's an alternative that doesn't involve the Immortal Bard.  By that I mean there's a difference between say X-Men Days of Future Past, which has a story (even if it's not entirely logical) and Transformers 4, that's just 3 hours of blowing shit up.  The point being:  action movies don't have to be dumb!

The problem is those people who don't care about the distinction.  "It's an action movie, not Shakespeare!"  That doesn't mean it can't have a mostly coherent plot.  Or characters who are more than cardboard cutouts or racist stereotypes.  Or women who do more than run around in their underwear.

This kind of stereotyping is a problem for those who write genre fiction.  There's the idea that every sci-fi story has to involve spaceships or robots.  Or every fantasy story has to involve dragons and magic.  Or that every superhero story should be like the campy Batman show from the 60s and aimed at kids. 

Anyway, don't just settle for the lowest common denominator--demand better!  That's the only way you get better movies.  I mean if Batman & Robin hadn't been such a dismal failure we'd probably still think superhero movies are just cheesy 2-hour toy commercials.

And here's your Shakespeare:


  1. I hate it when people say movies don't have to be well-written to be enjoyable. If you don't care about the characters then the action is meaningless. Great points Pat.

  2. I like Shakespeare. I just recently rewatched Julius Caesar (Charleton Heston). I like the line when Julius tells the soothsayer, "The Ides of March have come!" meaning that only a few days earlier the soothsayer had thrust himself before Caesar and prophesied to "Beware the Ides of March!" Anyway, the smartass soothsayer replied to Caesar, "Aye, and they have not gone." Which was a fancy way of saying, "Watch your back you lummox!" Which of course he didn't because that self same day on his throne while saying "I am constant as the Northern Star!" and going on and on and on, his friends stabbed him to death.

    1. Charlton Heston Shakespeare sounds worse than Shatner. But I'm sure my youngest sister has watched it because she has some thing about Charlton Heston, which is just downright weird.

  3. I agree. It's like some people have given up on logic and just want their happy button pushed. It's possible to have an entertaining movie that also makes sense. It's been done before. Demand more from your entertainment

  4. Bravo. I have absolutely nothing more to add. This was great.

  5. I think we're just in an extreme society, right now. It's got to be all one way or all the other. It's not just movies. You only have to look at the Tea Party to see it all in action.



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