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Monthly Archives: November 2011

What’s the Story?

Book:

d’Artagnon comes to Paris to join the King’s Musketeers. He meets the Three Musketeers, falls in love with a woman who is already married, forgets about her, travels to England to get back some diamonds that the Queen of France gave to the Duke of Buckingham, her secret lover, before the aging and wise King of France notices. Having done this, he forgets about his love and falls in love with Milady. Then there’s a war with England being fought for the affection of the queen between the warrior duke Cardinal Richleau and the Duke of Buckingham which ends when Milady has the Duke of Buckingham assassinated. Plot successful; cardinal still ruling church; Milady executed without trial by our band of heroes.

 

1993 Film:

d’Artagnon comes to Paris to join the King’s Musketeers like his father. He meets the Three Musketeers, discovers the Musketeers have been disbanded, falls in love with a woman, gets arrested, learns of a diabolical plot (Milady is to take a letter to the Duke of Buckingham to forge a truce with the cardinal to usurp the young king’s power), escapes the executioner’s block and travels to the edge of France and stops the treat, then they return to France and reunite all of the disbanded Musketeers to save the king’s life and defeat the evil cardinal. Plot foiled; cardinal punched into the water; Milady committed suicide.

 

2011 Film:

d’Artagnon comes to Paris and meets the Three Musketeers and falls in love with an unmarried woman. The King of France is a young ponce. His wife loves him, but they’re both too frigid to make the first move. The cardinal is the real power, manipulating the young king. The Duke of Buckingham arrives in Paris in a giant airship (a regular ship with a giant helium bladder above it) and is generally a prat. Milady steals the diamonds from the queen and takes them to England. d’Artagnon and co travel to England and break into the Tower of London and get them back, then fly their stolen airship back to France. Plot foiled; cardinal not implicated; Milady still at large.

 

What’s the Problem?

If you were expecting anything like the book, everything.

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What’s the Story?

They’ve cured aging. At twenty-five, everyone stops getting older but the clock on their arm starts ticking down from one year. When it reaches zero, they die. Time has replaced money as currency; they work jobs to get more time, and most people live day to day (meaning that they wake up with less than a day left on their clocks). Time can also be transferred from one person to another by linking arms.

I day left on the clock...

One ghetto-slum man, Will Salas, finds a man who gives him over a hundred years. Being suddenly rich, he heads to the rich district where everyone has hundreds (or thousands, or millions) of years accumulated.

 

What’s the Problem?

This is a solid piece. Made by the director of Gattaca, and with the same slick sci-fi feel. It also deals with those whole issues of the rich ruling class who have more than they’ll ever be able to use, and the slums where people are being exploited to death every day. Nice timing, what with Occupy Wall Street and the global financial crashes.

It’s also interesting seeing the ghetto where the cost of everything keeps going up purely so the poor people stay poor because the system couldn’t handle everyone being rich. For the society to work, people had to be kept poor, even to the point of dying.

It’s also a neat idea, because there is always a ticking clock to up the dramatic tension. Need a scene to be more dramatic? Just show a shot of Will’s arm with less than a day (or an hour, or a minute) on his clock. Instant tension! (Without resorting to Quentin Tarantino’s everyone-will-have-thousands-of-secrets-and-talk-about-them-forever method from Inglorious Basterds.)

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What’s the Story?

It’s like Rocky with robots and a side of abusive parenting.

Hugh Jackman is a washed-up robot boxer (as in, he controls the robot, not he fights against robots). His ex-girlfriend dies and leaves him a kid. Now comes the heartwarming journey where they find a robot together and his son teaches him to be a winner and how to love again or some bollocks.

Right?

 

What’s the Problem?

Surprisingly little. The synopsis above, for instance, doesn’t really happen. Once Hugh meets his kid, the first thing he does is sell him to the kid’s uncle for $100,000. Yep. Sold his son for cash. Sentimental father learns to love again? Nope. Ka-ching? Yep.

And that’s good. Not morally, of course, but in terms of storytelling. Because everyone expected them to have a lovely bonding road movie together and become close and stuff and live happily ever after. Instead, right from the get-go we know that Hugh’s a bit of an arse and has sold his son. He’s basically just babysitting while he waits for aunt and uncle to get back from their holiday, at which point he can hand the kid over and be done with it. Which is a refreshing change of pace.

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What’s the Story?

The Doctor is going to die. Must die. It is a Fixed Point in time. It must happen. And if it doesn’t, the universe will collapse/implode/destroy itself.

At the moment when he should have been shot, however, the person who must kill him doesn’t. This… sort of… breaks existence. From that moment on, time doesn’t exist. All times exist together. And the universe is ending.

Yes, that's the Doctor in a toga speaking to the British Emperor Winston Churchill. What of it?

For once, the Doctor knows the cause of the problem and knows what must happen. He isn’t working it out or improvising or awaiting plot developments. From the first moment, he knows that his entire mission is to find his murderer and convince them to save the universe by killing him.

 

What’s the Problem?

Another Steven Moffatt extravaganza

In the season 5 finale, the universe had just exploded and the episode took place in the “time” as the universe wound down; the last part of the universe to collapse. Because time and space and regular reality had been destroyed, Moffatt could do whatever he wanted in the episode. Characters blinked out of existence. Paradoxes were no longer a problem, because time no longer existed.

This still happened, however, unfortunately...

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