Avengers Infinity War…Meh

Image result for avengers infinity war

Just saw it and, sorry Marvel, not every little thing you do is magic.

I have been a fan of the Marvel movies for quite a while now. Most of the films have been well-written stories, elegantly executed. But here’s the thing, you have to start with good writing. The special effects, acting, production design, and music can all be top drawer–but if the writing is lacking, go home.

Now, naturally, I am a writer so perhaps I’m somewhat biased. But isn’t that where it all starts? Can you even tell a fictional story on film without a script? And there’s little excuse for Hollywood when you consider that the writer is usually the guy or gal who gets the smaller paycheck and the least amount of credit. Case in point; who wrote Captain America The Winter Soldier? I don’t know either and would have to google it.

What is specifically wrong with the writing of Avengers Infinity War? Well, I am working hard to refrain from spoilers here so I will speak generally. The story is one long downer, heroes are defeated time and again from the first scene to the last. Now, I am not opposed to tragedy as a thing, and I do understand that this movie is part one of a two-part tale wherein the second act can be the uplifting victory the audience now craves. However, even in tragedy, there MUST be levity! Why? Because the audience can easily become numb to the protagonist’s pain and emotionally check out before the movie is done.

For me, that was Avengers Infinity War. The film opens with such despair that one must steel oneself against further tragedy and by the time the movie reaches its horrific climax, I’d ceased to care. I actually regret the three hours I kept my butt in the chair as I was bored ninety minutes in. Yes, great characters that I have come to love perished. Only the sad thing was I didn’t feel anything when they did, and that is a great waste of fine acting talent if there ever was.

So, get it together Hollywood! Focus more on your story and less on your special effects. Just because you can make a big budget movies doesn’t mean you should unless you have a good tale to tell. And good storytelling always starts with the lowly writer.

By Clayton J. Callahan

So, I Just Saw Star Wars VII…

Nope, there will be no spoilers here so you may feel free to read on.

Star Wars Awakens

Was it good? Yes, but I’m not here to write another review as there are plenty of them out there already. Was it as good as the first time I saw Star Wars back in 1977? Of course not! There is simply no way to recapture youth. When I first saw that movie, I was a very different person living in a very different world, and you simply cannot relive the past.

Oh, but we do try.

As I look at the big budget movies of the past several years I’m noticing a distinct pattern; Guardians of the Galaxy, and other Marvel movies that had their genesis in comic books now thirty to fifty years old, Star Trek, with a new version of the original cast of characters who graced our TV screens back in the late 1960s, add to that The Lone Ranger, Jurassic World, the Robocop reboot and the latest Terminator movie and I’m sure you get the idea. Do I blame Hollywood? Hell no! Hollywood only makes what people will buy, and right now nostalgia is selling like hot cakes.

Now a part of me is happy to see a new coat of paint on a favorite old automobile. Part of me is actualy happy to shell out a few bucks to relive my past. But another part of me is downright frustrated. I know for a fact that there are some kick-ass new stories being told (Yes, mine– but not just mine) that are not getting any room to breathe because of all the dinosaurs that still roaming the Earth. If you have not read the comic book Saga, go out there and buy a copy. If you have never heard of D. Wallace Peach, Sheron Wood McCartha or April Aashime, you are missing out on some good novels.

Today’s world is not out of fresh ideas or new talent. We just need to push past the nostalgia to find it.