Troperiffic Tuesday!: The Almighty MacGuffin

Chick 1 says:

What do the Ark of the Covenant, the Maltese Falcon, and Unobtanium all have in common?  They are all versions of the MacGuffin, one of the most commonly used tropes of all time.  The MacGuffin is simply what they are after; what the hero is chasing, trying to find, or trying to protect.

The MacGuffin has been a trope in stories for as long as there have been stories (see the Golden Fleece in Jason and the Argonauts) but it was first given its name by Alfred Hitchcock who credited one of his screenwriters with the term.  The MacGuffin is the external motivation for the hero’s journey but has little to do with the hero’s actual character arc.  In its purest form, the MacGuffin could be replaced with any other item and the story would remain essentially the same. Read more

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Quote of the Week

Are you scared?  Well, don’t you worry.  If they could get a washing machine to fly, my Jimmy could land it.

Blanch Lovell (Jean Speegle Howard)

Apollo 13 (1995)

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Troperiffic Tuesday!: Stuff Blowing Up

Chick 1 says:

In continuing to explore my friend’s own personal genre of Men of Honor Blowing Stuff Up, this week we look at … Stuff Blowing Up.  Explosions are such a staple of movies that they are basically a subgenre of tropes.  And the reason for their rampant use isn’t nearly so deep or complicated; explosions are cool and people, especially men, like them.  They’re an awesome way to anchor an action set piece and they look great visually.  Should you put explosions in your movie?  Unless you’re working on a Jane Austen adaptation the answer is yes!  And even then you should at least consider it.  (I think I just invented my own genre.) Read more

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Randomness: Happy Birthday, Gene Kelly!

Chick 1 says:

Happy 100th Birthday, Gene Kelly!  You’ve given me many happy hours over the years.

Choosing what clip to share is incredibly difficult when there are so many great moments.  Most people associate Kelly with the movie Singing in the Rain and its iconic title number.  And that is a classic routine.  And just as fascinating behind the scenes. (Kelly had a fever of 103 while performing; they added milk to the water to make it show up on camera) But as awesome as it is, I don’t think it’s the best number in the movie cause the film is packed with great performances.  Read more

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Trailer Trash: Downton Abbey

Chick 1 says:

As a peace offering for no Troperiffic Tuesday this and last week, I was going to post the new trailer for Season (or Series if you’re British) 3 Downton Abbey.  But apparently, it’s been taken down.  Boo for NBC Universal.  Yay for beautifully-costumed British period piece soap operas!  So it’s out there somewhere and for now I’ll just be happy knowing it exists.

I promise a trope next Tuesday!

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Review: The Campaign

Chick 1 says:

I’m not a huge fan of R-rated comedies or R-rated movies in general.  Mostly because I’m a bit sensitive to violence and vulgarity.  I don’t mind that others enjoy it, it just makes it harder for me to enjoy those movies.  There are plenty of exceptions.  I thought Tropic Thunder was hysterical!  But after arriving at the theater too late to see The Odd Life of Timothy Green and not really up for the intensity of The Bourne Legacy, I decided to check out The Campaign.

While there were some laughs in the trailer and Zach Galifinackis seemed endearing, I had mediorce expectations for this movie.  And that turned out to be pretty accurate.  There are some laughs and they are peppered throughout the story, some bigger than others.  But there are also some missed opportunities for laughs, like the baby punch (which is quite funny).  There are a series of clips afterwards with all the news shows discussing the scandal and they fall flat.  So much untapped fodder there.  Read more

Posted on by Chick 1 in Reviews, The 2010s 2 Comments

Quote of the Week

I’m the Doctor.  I’m worse than everybody’s aunt.

The Doctor (Matt Smith)

Doctor Who (2010)

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Troperiffic Tuesday!: MST3K Mantra

Chick 1 says:

It’s time to give you a little help with all these tropes I’ve been dishing out so this week we will discuss How To Deal With Tropes.  Because, let’s face it, learning about tropes can really screw with your ability to enjoy a movie or tv show.  You start realizing that almost everything is a trope and suddenly everything seems cliched and you can tell the entire plot of a movie from the trailer.

It’s OK.  You can move past this.  And the MST3K Mantra can help.  Read more

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I Can’t Wait!: Random News from the World of Geeks

Chick 1 says:

The Hobbit: In case you haven’t heard, after much speculation Peter Jackson confirmed that The Hobbit will be expanded into three movies instead of the originally planned two.  Despite my love and trust for Jackson and the whole Lord of the Rings team, my response to this announcement is a big weary sigh.

I know they had lots of extra footage from Lord of the Rings, thus the 3 hour theatrical releases and the 4 hour extended cuts (which I consider the True Movies) but the Lord of the Rings books were more than 3 times longer than The Hobbit.  Once again they have lots of extra footage, as well as details they want to pull from the Appendices; Tolkien wrote volumes of notes about Middle Earth outside of his novels.  Although I remain skeptical, I already know that Jackson, et al will be getting a lot of my money over the next couple of years.  They probably just tripled the amount.

Doctor Who: Yippeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!! Read more

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Troperiffic Tuesday!: Big Damn Heroes

Chick 1 says:

It’s the moment we go to the movies to see; the Damsel in Distress, or the Mentor, or the Innocent Bystander is about to be killed by the Big Bad, but at the very last second the lead bursts in and saves the day, making him the Big Damn Hero!

The entrance of the Big Damn Heroes is one of the most popular tropes in movies today, especially big blockbuster popcorn movies.  It creates a huge rush of adrenaline and rightly so.  As conflict is the heart of all drama, waiting until the last minute to rescue the victim makes maximum use of this tension.  And it’s usually accompanied by a swell in the music. Read more

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