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Plot Device

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About Plot Device

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  • Birthday 03/15/1980

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    http://sandwichboardroom.blogspot.com
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    North America

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    Scriptwriter
  • About my avatar
    Shel Silverstein is my 2nd favorite children's poet (behind Dr. Seuss). And the "personal photo" is NOT me, just a secondary avatar.
  • Favorite visual art
    Film
  1. Ouch! That's right!! New members are required to make a minimum of (I think) 5 "reply" posts in already-established threads before they are allowed to launch their own threads. Hmm ... Try posting here and there throughout the forum to get your "minimum" fulfilled. (Just make sure they are them "real" posts with real substance is all. Some newbs try to fake it by posting the word "Hi!" and that's it.)
  2. I second this nomination whole heartedly. And I offer my reasons in the A&F discussion thread for this film. http://artsandfaith.com/index.php?showtopi...mp;#entry169743 A truly worthy film. And one of Frank Capra's best, imho.
  3. I am happy to "second" this nomination for the Top 100 List. I saw this film by mere chance as a child on broadcast TV on a Saturday afternoon, back in the days when there were ONLY the three networks, and PBS, and maybe one or two independant stations. It deeply touched me and I still vividly remember it all these years later. There are even whole stretches of dialogue that I still remember from it, and I promise you I only saw it once. Every character was so compelling, especially the female lead. Frank Capra had such a feel for women's roles and he crafted them into rich and believable characters of both depth and darkness. While I regret I haven't seen ALL of Capra's filmography, I'd be willing to bet that this one is perhaps the very darkest of his career. This film explores in a chilling and gritty way the selfish evil hidden just below the surface of all people. And yet in spite of that it DOES offer hope for humanity, as all good Capra films do. I second this nomination because I think an exploration of our own proclivity toward evil is the most significant spiritual exercise of all.
  4. Okay. I can live with this reply. Thanks.
  5. What I'm REALLY tring to say, Alan, is: I need a very firm explanation of "spiritually significant." And I am not finding one anywhwere on the web site. Can you pin down what "spiritually significant" means? I have made two nominations up above that some people might not agree to be "spiritualy significant," depending on how they are treating the definition. So if you would clarify what the working defintion is supposed to be, I might consider withdrawing my two borderline nominatons.
  6. Alan, can you post in this thread the criteria and guidelines we should be following for considering/nominating a film? (In other words, can you put EVERYTHING in this thread so we don't have to go hunting for it in all the links?) I'm sure the criteria is listed SOMEWHERE here at A&F, but I don't know exactly where it is. What I'm saying is: you've certainly outlined the date ranges of films, but I want to know what kind of merits we should we be zeroing in on. Thanks.
  7. Autumn in New York http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0174480/ http://artsandfaith.com/index.php?showtopic=19192&hl= http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autumn_in_New_York_%28film%29 http://boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=autumninnewyork.htm Richard Gere stars as a successful and complacent playboy who falls for a twenty-something Winona Ryder. It holds up for brutal scrutiny his idealized and self-satisfied lifestyle of unbudgeable bachelorhood, serial boyfriend-hood, thoughtless two-timing and "playing the field" (especially with women half his age). The film exposes how the weightier ramifications of infidelity and a lack of commitment almost always fall far more heavily upon the woman than the man, harming her permanently on both social and emotional levels, yet leaving him free to walk away to his next conquest. The film does not ever once mention God or spirituality, but it does drive home the need for women to be protected from predatory men. It also insists that the best protection should ideally come from her own family. And yet on the man's sdie of the fence, it puts forth that the much-admired playboy life Gere has built for himself should be discarded by contemporary men and no longer strived for as their ultimately wish-fantasy. It instead advocates that men should seek to foster the virtue of self-control (although it never once used the word "virtue") and be more conscious of the vast, deep, and life-changing damage they are capable of inflicting on women through their own selfishness.
  8. Autumn in New York http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0174480/ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autumn_in_New_York_%28film%29 http://boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=autumninnewyork.htm Richard Gere stars as a successful and complacent playboy who falls for a twenty-something Winona Ryder. It holds up for brutal scrutiny his idealized and self-satisfied lifestyle of unbudgeable bachelorhood, serial boyfriend-hood, thoughtless two-timing and "playing the field" (especially with women half his age). The film exposes how the weightier ramifications of infidelity and a lack of commitment almost always fall far more heavily upon the woman than the man, harming her permanently on both social and emotional levels, yet leaving him free to walk away to his next conquest. The film does not ever once mention God or spirituality, but it does drive home the need for women to be protected from predatory men. It also insists that the best protection should ideally come from her own family. And yet on the man's sdie of the fence, it puts forth that the much-admired playboy life Gere has built for himself should be discarded by contemporary men and no longer strived for as their ultimately wish-fantasy. It instead advocates that men should seek to foster the virtue of self-control (although it never once used the word "virtue") and be more conscious of the vast, deep, and life-changing damage they are capable of inflicting on women through their own selfishness.
  9. The Good Son http://imdb.com/title/tt0107034/ http://artsandfaith.com/index.php?showtopic=19191 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Good_Son_%28film%29 http://boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=goodson.htm A very young Elijah Wood stars as a troubled pre-teen boy grieving over the recent death of his mother. His father reluctantly leaves him behind with cousins while he goes to Japan on business. Wood makes friends with his same-aged cousin played by Macaulay Culkin who turns out to be a brilliant yet secret sociopath. As Culkin diabolically frames Wood again and again for his own heinous crimes, including cruelty to animals and causing a multi-car pile up, Wood pleads to his non-spiritual and cooingly sympathetic child psychologist that it's really Culkin who has been doing these things, and that the boy is "evil." She kindly smiles and says: "Oh, but I don't believe in evil." To which Wood replies in a simultaneously dark yet frightened tone: "You should." The film never once mentions God or any form of spirituality EXCEPT for that one crucial exchange between Wood and the psychiatrist. It instead very cleverly points out how things can go alarmingly wrong on a moral level when a child (Culkin) is raised by loving parents who provide a nice home, a good education, and yet only choose to teach him about facts and science (the kind of science that does NOT believe there's such a thing as evil). It dismantles the foolish assumption that compassion and character will arise naturally as an incidental bi-product of a loving environment. The total vacuum of any overt moral teaching leaves open the gateway for Culkin to flourish in the capacity of finely calculated evil. He was taught from a very early age to think with accuracy and precision, and he uses those skills with lethal success. The film is an excellent treatise on the doctrine of the inherent evil of mankind, and a compelling argument for the need to actively train children in morality --and possibly even religion and spirituality-- starting at a very young age.
  10. Plot Device

    The Good Son

    The Good Son http://imdb.com/title/tt0107034/ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Good_Son_%28film%29 http://boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=goodson.htm A very young Elijah Wood stars as a troubled pre-teen boy grieving over the recent death of his mother. His father reluctantly leaves him behind with cousins while he goes to Japan on business. Wood makes friends with his same-aged cousin played by Macaulay Culkin who turns out to be a brilliant yet secret sociopath. As Culkin diabolically frames Wood again and again for his own heinous crimes, including cruelty to animals and causing a multi-car pile up, Wood pleads to his non-spiritual, yet cooingly sympathetic child psychologist that it's really Culkin who has been doing these things, and that the boy is "evil." She kindly smiles and says: "Oh, but I don't believe in evil." To which Wood replies in a simultaneously dark yet frightened tone: "You should." The film never once mentions God or any form of spirituality EXCEPT for that one crucial exchange between Wood and the psychiatrist. It instead very cleverly points out how things can go alarmingly wrong on a moral level when a child (Culkin) is raised by loving parents who provide a nice home, a good education, and yet only choose to teach him about facts and science (the kind of science that does NOT believe there's such a thing as evil), foolishly assuming that compassion and character will arise naturally as an incidental bi-product of their own love. The total vacuum of any overt moral teaching leaves open the gateway for the boy to flourish in the capacity of finely calculated evil. He was taught from a very early age to think with accuracy and precision, and he uses those skills with lethal success. The film is an excellent treatise on the doctrine of the inherent evil of mankind, and a compelling argument for actively training children in morality --and possibly even religion and spirituality-- starting at a very young age.
  11. Bruce Almighty http://imdb.com/find?s=all&q=bruce+alm...mp;x=13&y=7 http://artsandfaith.com/index.php?showtopic=2485 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bruce_almighty http://boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=brucealmighty.htm Bruce Almighty is described by its distributors as a "supernatural romantic comedy." It's primarily a rom-com, and the issue/obstacle that comes between the story's lovers (Jim Carrey as local TV news correspondent Bruce, and his girlfriend Jennifer Aniston as kindergarten teacher Grace) is Bruce's self-absorption and life-owes-me-a-living attitude. But this self-focus is challenged when God, played by Morgan Freeman, decides to allow Bruce to BE God for one week. Before sending Bruce off to his new role as the Almighty, he explains to him "the rules" about being God, such as no one can know he is God, and he cannot violate anyone's free will. Bruce --already grossly self-centered-- uses his new powers to embark upon a hyper ego trip of re-ordering everything (including the sizes of not only the moon but even Grace's breasts) to his liking. And his ultimate feat is to exact cruel revenge upon his TV station colleague Evan (Steve Carell) to the point where Evan loses his anchor position so that Bruce can get the job instead. But he simultaneously offends Grace by his mounting egocentricity, and she ultimately breaks up with Bruce. My favorite line in the movie happens as Bruce pleads for God's help in winning Grace back. When God reiterates "the rules," Bruce asks: "How do you make someone love you without violating their free will?" To which God laughingly replies: "Welcome to my world, son!" The remainder of the film is Bruce relenting of his narcissism and trying to get Grace to forgive him. The climax involves a truly touching and even profound scene that explores the concept of prayer. Without giving away the end, I will merely say that Bruce gets "saved" by ... Grace. And he also gets saved by blood. The film's overriding message of reliance upon God, and its many clever inside puns based upon Bible passages make it a delight for the Evangelical Christian. But even people of other faiths can enjoy this film since it keeps the entire "God" concept fairly generic while still illuminating profound truth through its undeniable humor.
  12. No. Not too late to make such a call. From my understanding, in order to be a success, this movie needed to gross about $120M in its opening weekend (only because the budget was a staggering $210M). My general rule of thumb has always been that you need to achieve about 50% of budget on opening weekend in order to NOT be a flop. That's because from opening weekend onward you will suffer drops of roughly 50% each successive weekend until you dwindle away to nothingness. By starting out so low on this first weekend, their overall domestic take will probbaly only be about $80M is they're lucky. Foriegn will probably be another $80M. So they will fall heart-breakingly short of even breaking even. The after-market of cable TV and DVD sales will NOT be enough to salvage anything. When I first heard six months ago that this film was proving to be THE most expensive comedy of all time, I began to worry-- if only for Tom Shadyac and any future attempts he might make to infuse his Christian faith into his films. Liar, Liar offered a rather generic (yet amiable) morality, while Bruce Almighty had overtly Bibical concepts in it. I feared mightily for the future of Hollywood's "closet Christians" who covertly try to slide their faith into their work. And I wondered "Why the heck is this film costing so much???" And then I saw on TV last week a special about the film, and the answer was at last made clear. The runaway finances of this film can be blamed upon two factors: 1) The proper care and feeding and housing and wrangling and transport of animals costs loads to maintain and even more to insure. As a comparison, I believe part of what bankrupted Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch was his Citizen Kane-like menagerie of exotic animals all over the property. 2) The added effort to make the film "green" also cost a lot of money. Shadyac insisted that whatever they built had to be recycled, and that they needed to leave the countryside unscarred after they left. Shadyac was trying to adhere to an ultra-conservative take on the Boy Scout's motto on camping outdoors: "Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints, kill nothing but time." Focusing JUST on Point#1 about the animals here in my post, there was a SERIOUS plot flaw that was annoying me all throughout the movie, and I think they sacrificed plot coherence to try and apease a bang-for-your-buck mentality. That plot flaw was that nobody believed Evan in spite of the fact that all those animals --even dangerous animals like rhinos and large cats-- were mysteriously following him around everywhere (and the authorities were all up in arms about his ark, but had no concern about wild animals running around). It was almost as if the animals were invisible to everyone else but him, but we know that wasn't the case. God was invisible to everyone else but not the animals. And so the frustration of no one believing him was NOT cinematically credible. That lack of credibility was a huge detriment to the plot. If only the filmmakers had REFRAINED from having ANY animals show up until much much later in the story, our sympathy for Evan's inability to convince everyone (including his wife) would have worked better. And also, a key moment for Evan's wife was a direct rip off (okay, it was an homage) from Field of Dreams when Evan's wife was trying to lovingly convince him that maybe he should comply with the court order to take down the ark. But then she looked up and saw ALL those wild animals suddenly making their way toward the ark in pairs. And THAT was what convinced her. And then she turned to Evan and said "Don't you DARE take down this ark!" THAT should have been the very first time in the film that animals should have shown up. It would have worked so much beter plot-wise. BUT ........ I'm thinking they felt the need to justify the long-term housing of the animals on the set and wanted to get as much out of the animals as possible (more bang for your zoological buck) and stuck the animals in much sooner. Also to get some laughs. And also to get some earlier-than-that-Field-of-Dreams-moment kiddie appeal happening so the kiddies don't get bored and tell Mommy they wanna leave. But it just ruined the plot for me.
  13. I just tried it. The last line was the stumper.
  14. The tree log scene was badly done in the 1970's version--no suspense, not fast or tense enough. And the giant snake was just dumb looking. Jessica Lange was very good and did what she could with bad material. The script wanted to emphasize the sexual attraction by Kong toward her, which is ridiculous. And so I appreciated Jackson's version which went for a Diane Fossey take on the relationship between Kong and Ann. If anything, the set-up of Act 1 was pretty good in the 1970's version--the whole oil exploration thing.
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