Black Swan – mini review

Saw Black Swan tonight. It was everything I wanted it to be… almost. Intense, dark, sexy, twisted. I enjoyed it, but in the end I was a little bit “that’s it?”. Why? Story. Again. Sure, all the parts are there, but the whole wasn’t greater than their sum. I’m not sure the characters did anything […]

Paranormal Activity 2 – the sequel

Paranormal Activity is particularly tricky to sequel, I think, because it used a narrative trope that’s especially troublesome for character development, and challenges basic film vocabularies. Yet it succeeded — for me, it’s the film that squeezed the most storytelling success out of the auto-chronicled narrative conceit.

My hope is that the producers of Paranormal Activity 2 spent some time thinking about why Paranormal Activity worked so well, what they did right in their use of the auto-chronicled narrative conceit, and how they can creatively and artistically build on the original to make this sequel as compelling, if not more so, than the original.

Until we get a chance to judge for ourselves, we’ll have to guess from the trailer…

Percy Jackson: The Lightning Thief – A lesson in storytelling?

(aka: Percy Jackson: The Story Thief) “Percy Jackson and The Olympians: The Lightning Thief” – a review about mismanaging story *** NOTE: Spoilers galore. *** I am not one of those “the movie is never as good as the book” guys. Ever read Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep (the source material for Blade Runner)? […]

on defining "high concept"

Every so often I see a conversation about “high concept” films or screenplays that goes something like this: “That was a high concept film.” “High concept? It was a bunch of explosions and giant robots! What’s so high concept about that? “That’s poster-child high concept. By definition.” “No, high concept means a concept with high […]