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November 2, 2021 at 5:12 pm #323geektalkKeymaster
Why Modern Movies Suck – They’re Written By Children
In the second instalment of my series exploring the flaws of modern moviemaking, I’m going to be discovering why smart, mature characters seem to be a thing of the past.
you know as i sift through the endlessriver of sludge that passes for modernentertainment i’ll occasionally comeacross an unexpected gem glistening inthe murky depths like june for examplewhich proved to be a thoughtfulslow-paced and philosophical adaptationof some pretty challenging sourcematerial but one thing that left out ofme while i was watching it was holy [ __ ]isn’t it nice when characters act likesmart mature adults who make sensibledecisions control their emotions andactually take the time to consider theirsituation instead of ridiculoushyperactive teenagers driven by hormonesand emotions that have somehow inheritedthe bodies of grown adults it seems likesome kind of crazy luxury from a bygoneera now but it brought me to a prettyinteresting conclusion about why modernmovies suck harder than tatiana aftertwo lines of cocaine they’re written bychildren four children or rather peoplewith the intelligence attention span andemotional maturity of children and thisfundamental limitation filters throughinto everything they produce which isfine if your idea of entertainment iseating play-doh and farting in thebathtub but for anyone looking forsomething just a bit smarter and moresubtle it’s a bit like going to aburlesque show except the dancers alllook like elizabeth warren and they wantto spend the evening talking to youabout federal tax reform anyway allow meto illuminate you for the purposes ofthis video i’m going to lift someexamples from star trek over the yearsit’s a franchise that’s been aroundlonger than most of us have been aliveso it’s probably a good reflection ofhow writing and character developmenthave changed over the years first uplet’s take a look at the wrath of khanfrom 1982 which is generally regarded asthe best star trek movie ever made thebasic story is that an aging admiralkirk is given command of the enterpriseagain when an old enemy hijacks afederation starship and uses it to gethis hands on a doomsday weapon that candestroy entire planets along the way healso intends to dish out a bit of goodold-fashioned payback on kirk as revengefor leaving him stranded on a barrenplanet decades earlier there’s a lotgoing on here in terms of characterdevelopment but the central story arcfor kirk is his struggle with gettingolder the movie opens up on his 50thbirthday and it’s clear he’s not exactlythrilled about that fact he’s very mucha middle-aged man now stuck in anunrewarding desk job and facing up tothe realization that his best days maybe behind him mccoy even gives him apair of reading glasses as a birthdaygift because he’s too proud to admitthat his eyesight isn’t what it used tobe overall it’s a pretty universalconcept that most people can relate toand empathize with i mean how many of usare trapped in some boring office job wedon’t enjoy wishing we could live a lifeof adventure and endless possibilitieshow many of us are getting older andrealizing we can’t do the things we usedto do and the other younger people areslowly coming up to replace us deep downwe all know it’s going to happen sooneror later even if we’d rather not thinkabout it now consider a similar scenethat star trek beyond from 2016 rips offi mean pays tribute to it’s the samebasic setup of kirk and his friend mccoycelebrating his birthday over a quietdrink and a subdued kirk reflectingunhappily on where he’s at in life thedifference here though is that thisversion of kirk is 36 years old and he’sin command of a starship out exploringthe galaxy he’s literally in the primeof his life doing the things he enjoysmost he should be loving every singleminute of it but because the movie wantsto set him up as a reluctant hero who’sthinking about moving on to new thingsthe best it can come up with is toproject the middle-aged angst of wrathof khan onto a character who’s at acompletely different stage in life itdoesn’t ring true in the slightestbecause it’s trying to force a situationthat can’t happen organically nowconsider the ending for wrath of khanwith his ship crippled and most of hiscrew dead khan triggers a doomsdaydevice in a last-ditch attempt to takehis enemy down with him the desperatesituation forces spock to sacrificehimself to repair the enterprise’s warpcore allowing them to escape the blastat the cost of his own life kirk’sforced to watch his best friend die infront of his eyes unable to help him andit’s interesting to watch his reactionas the realization sinks in he doesn’tscream or cry out or lose control hejust kind of slumps to the grounddevastated and shocked as the cameraslowly pans awayand when it’s time to lay his friend torest he delivers the eulogy with stiffbut stoic composure only wavering onceat the very ends of all the souls i haveencountered in my travelsyes was the mosthuman why because he’s a grown-ass manand he’s the captain of a starship he’sexpected to lead by example and holdhimself together whatever his personalfeelings because that’s how professionalofficers conduct themselves and thatlittle moment when his composure slipsbecomes all the more poignant becauseyou know how hard he’s trying to hide itnow let’s consider how this same sceneplays out in star trek into darknessyeah i think you begin to see thedifference here not only does kirk’sdeath happen in the midst of aridiculous action scene with starshipscrashing into cities buildings gettingflattened and people dying by the tensof thousands thus giving the audience notime to process it before it’s swiftlyundone with a bit of cheap deus extrifica but it’s also very clear thatthe characters in whatever passes formodern star trek very much wear theirhearts on their sleeves running aroundlike frantic lunatics and emergenciesopenly discussing personal relationshipsin front of superior officers andresponding with big emotional outburstsin high stress situations it’s quite acontrast from the more mature andrestrained characterizations from theearlier movies as another example let’sconsider how characters handleinterpersonal conflict like in thisscene from star trek the undiscoveredcountry where it’s revealed that due toa major industrial disaster the klingonempire is on the verge of collapse andis now making peace overtures towardsthe federation naturally this causesquite the difference of opinion abouthow to handle the situation with themore hardline officers seeing this as achance to eliminate their most dangerousenemies once and for all the moreforward-thinking elements on the otherhand want to negotiate an honorablepeace rather than push their opponentsinto a corner and risk a destructivemilitary conflict both perspectives havemerit and the script is smart enough tolet them have their say before revealingthat kirk had been personally chosen byspock to lead the diplomatic initiativenaturally he’s not happy about beingrailroaded into a mission like thispartly because of his professionalmistrust of the klingons partly becausehe’s an agent commander who fears therapidly changing world around him butalso because he has a very personalreason to hate themdaviddavid is deadall of these elements combined togetherto create a strong and veryunderstandable emotional reaction youcan see how [ __ ] angry he is with hisfriend the way he stands at the oppositeend of the table keeping a safe distancebetween them at first it starts withcold accusations but when spock tries toargue his case rationally the realemotions start to come throughdon’t believe them don’t trust themuntil at last it all becomes too muchand kirk finally shows his true colorsthey’re dyinglet them dieit’s a smart well-written scene thatdemonstrates the changing dynamicsbetween the two friends and actuallypaints kirk in a pretty unflatteringlight without completely destroying himas a character he’s an old bigotedreactionary officer from a different eraafraid of change still licking oldwounds and unable to see past his ownprejudices and yet you absolutelyunderstand why it feels this way justlike the debate during the briefingearlier neither side is portrayed asstrictly right or wrong they’re justdifferent perspectives born fromdifferent experiences and both aredefinitely worth listening to but what’smost important to note here is how thetwo men actually conduct themselvesthey’re controlled rational and measuredarguing their points effectively and notsimply shouting over each other yeahkirk’s definitely got an emotional stakein this which quickly comes through asspock presses him but even then hemanages to keep himself mostly undercontrol why because that’s how grown[ __ ] men deal with things real mendon’t fly off the handle at theslightest provocation or start fightingand yelling at each other when theydisagree because losing control likethat isn’t a sign of strength it’s asign of deep weakness and insecurityweakness of character weakness ofself-control and weakness ofself-discipline now let’s consider howkirk and spock resolve their differencesin the new version of star trekfor [ __ ] sake the last example i wantto give you is how the chain of commandoperates in different eras of star trekin the episode gambit from star trek thenext generation the captain and firstofficer of the enterprise are both outof action leaving data to take commandof the ship and warf to act as his firstofficer it’s a change of role for bothmen and unfortunately wharf doesn’t taketoo well to this openly questioning hisdecisions in front of the bridge crewfinallythis prompts data to summon him to hisready room for a good old-fashioned asskick-in like my previous examples thegreat thing about this scene is howrestrained and understated these twocharacters are they don’t yell at eachother or come to blows because theydon’t need to date a calmly but firmlyexplains that worf was wrong to questionhim in front of the crew you continuallyquestion my orders in front of the crewi do not believe this is appropriatebehavior wharf offers the justificationfor his behavioris it not my duty to offer youalternatives and data lets them knowthat [ __ ] isn’t gonna fly with him butonce i have made a decision it is yourjob to carry it out regardless of howyou may personally feel and guess whatmorph recognizes that he was in thewrong apologizes for it and the two mengo back to work with no hard feelingsif you will overlook this incident iwould like to continue to consider youmy friendi would like that as well holy [ __ ]imagine two people dealing withinterpersonal conflict like calm adultprofessionals whoever wrote the dialoguefor this scene deserves a [ __ ] medalit’s an absolute masterclass in thesubtle enforcement of command andauthority mixed in with the conflictbetween two friends having to adjust toa sudden change of roles without evenhaving to raise his voice or resort topersonal attacks data is able toperfectly explain the mutuallysupportive relationship between acaptain and his first officer and makeit clear that he expects that same levelof support from warf disrespect will notbe tolerated and as a contrast to thatconsider how the chain of commandoperates on a show like star trekdiscovery now you get off my ass so wecan get back to workthe [ __ ] would hit the fan well donenumber one well it’s freaking amazingexcuse me freaking amazing evolution’s afickle [ __ ] am i right i’m going i’mgoing get off my asssir get off my ass sir i love how thesepeople are able to just say and dowhatever the [ __ ] they want with zerorepercussions casually back chattingtheir commanding officers and generallyacting like immature morons seriouslythe level of discipline andprofessionalism here is about the sameas a [ __ ] liberal arts collegethey’re like teenagers that havesuddenly been put in command of astarship with no training or preparationthey’re impulsive hyperactiveemotionally unstable unprofessional andgenerally pretty incompetent they’re theabsolute last people on earth you’dtrust your life to and unfortunatelythey’ve become kind of the norm inmodern film and tv so why the [ __ ] doesthis keep happening what happened to allthe adults in the room well from mypoint of view there’s three differentstrands to this answer the first is asimple one money most effects heavymovies are expensive as [ __ ] to make nowand if your film doesn’t rake in a [ __ ]zillion dollars then you might as wellstart learning to code you need toappeal to as wide an audience aspossible particularly the youngerdemographic which means lots of actionlots of energy lots of jokes could bedialogue and fast-paced storylines thatdon’t demand too much brain power notime to waste people go go go the secondstrand is this weird trend towardsinfantilizing modern audiences carefullyshielding them from anything that couldbe considered difficult scary orthreatening whether it’s publicinformation videos commercials orgovernment announcements everything’spresented in this weird childish happyclappy format that looks like the sortof inoffensive crap you’d show tokindergarteners take this us armyrecruitment video for examplejesus take a second to think about thekind of person this video is going toappeal to then imagine how well thatperson would do in a [ __ ] war thefinal and probably biggest strand is thepeople hired to actually write thisstuff i’ve said before that a characteris only ever as smart capable andresourceful as the person writing themand well you don’t need me to tell youthat hollywood creatives these daysaren’t exactly paragons of tough stoicconfident self-reliance they’re the kindof people who consider mean tweets to beon par with mass murder in fact most ofthem have lived the kind of safecomfortable sheltered lives thatprevious generations could only dream ofnever experiencing anything evenresembling hardship adversity or dangerthe kind of stuff that actually buildscharacter self-confidence lifeexperience and generally makes you amore interesting capable person the endresult of all this is a generation ofwriters that are weak fragile spoilednarcissistic emotional and insecurecompletely unable to handle adversityconflict masculinity or anything thatchallenges their own self-image in shortthey’re basically children inhabitingadult bodies and as a result they lackthe experience and maturity needed towrite smart confident capable adultcharacters and well look at the resultsit’s bad enough for people like me whostill remember what quality writinglooks like and now have the dubiouspleasure of watching previously smartmature characters get bastardizedinfantilized and destroyed but what’seven more disheartening is the effectthis is having on people who don’t havethat solid foundation to fall back onthe ridiculous infantile shite thattoday’s writers produce is helping toshape and influence a whole newgeneration of young moviegoers changingtheir perception of what supposedlyheroic characters should be and do andif that’s the case i can’t [ __ ] waitto see what happens when they get outinto the worldanywaythat’s all i’ve got for todaygo away now
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