What’s this site for? Is this… like… reviews or something?
Something like reviews, yeah. More like critiques.
Specifically, I want to focus on the writing in these books/movies/theatre shows. Rather than commenting on technical aspects or acting, I want to look at the story itself and whether it could be saying it better.
I will, however, round out each article with a “Is This Worth Seeing” section, because after a 500-word rant you might start thinking it’s not worth seeing, when in fact it is. It just could be better. And shouldn’t we want everything to be as good as it can be?
Who are you to go around making fun of other people’s work?
First, I’m not trying to make fun of anything. At least, not to take cheap shots at it. I think everything should be subject to examination, because that is the best way to learn from the mistakes of others so we don’t have to repeat them.
As for who I am:
1) I have a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy, which taught me to think about things rather than accept them at face value or superficially.
2) I have a Master of Arts in Creative Writing, which taught me to look at how stories are constructed, where their strengths and weaknesses are, and how to improve them.
3) I’ve also been involved with theatre in some form or another for the last dozen years. And I watch a lot of movies and play a lot of games, so between them I have a solid grasp of cliché and become sad when they’re used a cheap way out when there are so many better options.
4) Finally, I’m an opinioned jerk, and I figure that if these shortcomings are annoying me, they might be annoying others as well. And if they’re not, they should be.
There is always something to improve, and we should be searching these out and implementing them to stave off the rising tide of mediocrity.
How often are reviews posted?
At least once a week, hopefully. More if I find something to review. Less if people hate the site or it begins consuming all my time.
Well, what sorts of stories do you like, then, you picky git?
It actually doesn’t take much. A spark of originality, mostly. Some new or interesting idea will redeem an otherwise mediocre story in my eyes, or a fun new character (like The Dark Knight, a clunky script and far too long, but an excellent idea pitting a physically-strong hero against a villain who can’t be defeated by strength).
By the same token, a story that is predictable and uses tired or unoriginal characters or plots will shit me to tears. To that end, I’ll prefer an awkward but original idea (like The Social Network) to a perfectly-executed but unoriginal film (like The King’s Speeech).
On the whole, I want something that flows well together and where every part strengthens the whole and works toward the ending. I’m fairly plot-driven like that: I’d always rather see the characters in action than sitting around just talking.
And there needs to be something at stake, otherwise why should I care?
And if they can examine or analyse their genre while they’re in it (Hot Fuzz), all the better.
Some examples of good storytelling that come to mind right now are Firefly and Serenity; Red vs Blue: Reconstruction; and Watchmen. That doesn’t mean that these are perfect (except Serenity, of course, which is), just that they do most things right.
Do you have another question? Write it below!