Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Fifty Percent Rule

I propose a new, quasi-quantifiable rule for the determination of quality in movies. I call it the Fifty-Percent Rule. Basically, if you, as a viewer, can enter a movie at the halfway point and find that anything that you missed is either deducible or irrelevant, the movie is necessarily a bad movie.

Much like Modus Tollens, though, just because the first 50% proves important does not mean that the movie is necessarily good. For example: Titanic.

I have developed this rule, as I'm sure many have, compliments of having movie channels available from my cable provider. If you have an hour to blow, sometimes you just throw on the boob-tube, which never provides you with a movie that is just starting. They are somehow always halfway done.

This has actually been a huge blessing in disguise. I can't even count the number of movies that I have watched from the halfway point, thus saving half the time, and made a determination of quality. If it was good, I am now surely motivated to go and watch the first half.

This partially-reversed way of watching has, oddly, proven to be an even richer way of experiencing movies. By knowing what's coming, but not what has been, provides a unique depth to narratives. Almost like you are watching characters fulfill their destinies of which you have perfect knowledge. There's something very tragic to it.

This applies to all forms of entertainment: books, TV shows, plays, even comics. Give it a shot. Pick up a new book and start reading from the 50% point.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Disney's Frozen Taken Off Ice

I guess that it is official, what with Disney setting a release date, although in this day and age, release dates are meaning less and less. Regardless, the studio's rendition of The Snow Queen will be coming out November 27th, 2013. It's nice to hear that their next hand-drawn production hasn't been relegated to development hell, since starting a new project fresh would have pushed any release into 2014, or possibly even 2015.

I also like that they are dipping into the MASSIVE trove of untouched fairy tales for this one, with one of Hans Christian Anderson's coolest stories. But, this is Disney, afterall, so simply calling it The Snow Queen isn't enough. The fact that the original name is well-known and totally badass-sounding makes no difference to a studio that needs to desperately excrete pop-culture bile from every pore in an attempt to prove that they are hip, and as such they are naming it Frozen. Their lameness truly knows no bounds.

There's very little information as yet. We have a single picture, of what is, I'm assuming, the Snow Queen herself, which you can see right here, and a very brief mention in the included video.

The Snow Queen is a dark tale, and I hope that they keep some of that in the film, as opposed to candy-coating the plot like they did for The Little Mermaid. In their defense, the laughable sexism of The Little Mermaid was probably best excised. I'd love to see some shades of The Hunchback Of Notre Dame (which I'm sure would have been named Lunch With The Hunch by Disney's current executive team) or The Lion King, both of which were wonderfully dark in many places.

I shall withhold any judgment until I see who comprises the producing team. I hope that Lasseter et al. are directly involved.