Bren’s writing and movies blog

Because I have an opinion about creativity and know how to use it

Posts Tagged ‘Hollywood critique’

Important details

Posted by brenatevi on July 21, 2008

Soldiers and cops, Hollywood cannon fodder. Virtual lives meant to be thrown away without a thought, and never, ever mentioned after they die their on-screen deaths. This has always bothered me. From the time I was twelve until I graduated from High School, I was a Navy brat. Marines lived in the military housing I grew up in. I was in NJROTC (think military school without leaving home.) My step-dad was first a Damage Controllman on the USS Shreveport, and then a cop at the Naval Air Station in Memphis (Yeah, I know; a Naval station in the middle of the continent.)

So yeah, the military and police are important to me. It also feels like sloppy writing. You go through the motions of ending these virtual lives, and then just forget them as if they didn’t happen? Please, take a bit more effort than that. I admit that most of the time writers are constrained by their media. A TV show has a lot less time to deal with story than a movie, and a movie less time than a novel. And sometimes the structure of the show or movie leaves less room. Compare Babylon 5 and Stargate SG-1, both very good TV shows, but structured very differently. B5’s shows were structured more like chapters in a novel than SG-1, which tended to stand on their own legs. Because of B5’s structure, I think there was more room for little moments like showing all of those that died in a battle, or the funeral scene after the Earth Alliance attacked B5. After a particularly vicious attack on SG-1, they went out for ice cream. Maybe it’s the structure, or maybe B5 was better written. What do I know?

I do know that both Dark Knight and Iron Man got this right. While Iron Man didn’t brood on it, Tony Stark acknowledged their bravery, realizing that they were killed because of him. It’s such a small thing, yet to me, very important. Dark Knight had the same thing, if even better done, with one of the scenes hinging around a cop and the question, “How many of your friends have I killed?” There were other scenes, but that was the one that stuck with me.


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