Dragons and Hot Tub Time Machines

Regular blogging isn’t easy.  Maybe for some folks, but I am an entertainer.  I can’t just type any ol’ thing on my computer and expect to get away with it.  No, I have to be engaging, clever, witty, insightful.  Maybe not all four at the same time, but at least one.  And probably two if I want to be taken seriously.

There’s a lot of pressure being a world-renowned novelologist, gang, but, as the old saying goes, heavy is the Autobot that bears the Matrix.  But I carry on.  I give, and all I ask in return is that you buy my books, tell your friends about my books, and otherwise see to it that I don’t have to work a regular nine-to-five job ever again (not that I’ve ever worked a nine-to-five job).  But enough about me.  Let’s talk about my opinions.

So I saw HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON this weekend, and it was great.  Utterly fantastic.  I think Dreamworks has really come into their own recently.  I hate to use the word maturity but it seems like they’re more confident in their stories, less dependent on pop cultural references.  Not that there is anything wrong with pop cultural heavy films like Shrek.  But in the long run, I think it’ll have trouble aging well where How to Train Your Dragon is a classic in the making.  Great story.  Great characters.  Cool scenes.  Wonderful design and animation.  Beautiful music.  Thrilling action.  Just a wonderful movie from top to bottom.

Also, there’s just an amazing epic giant dragon battle at the end that is spectacular.  I am looking forward to the new CLASH OF THE TITANS, but I’ll say that after Dragon, Clash is going to have some stiff competition.

Animated features truly are an art form, and it’s a shame that so many people don’t appreciate it.  AVATAR is a cartoon, but in order to get any respect at all, it has to dress itself up with real people and a photo realism.  Whereas Dragon, because it’s a cartoon that dares to look like a cartoon, will always play second fiddle.

In particular, I’d like to give credit to the acting in the film.  Not just the voice acting, but the animated characters.  Their expressions, their body language, their every movement conveys emotion and reality that makes it possible to forget that they’re cartoons.  This IS award winning acting, and while I’m not going to suggest real actors are going anywhere soon, I will say that the acting of these animated characters is every bit as subtle and wonderful as anything any live actor puts on screen.

So it’s an amazing film on every single level, and that’s that.  The next time you’re watching an animated film, try to notice everything.  Notice the costumes, the character designs, the set designs, the music, the dialogue.  Notice every single thing you aren’t supposed to notice and realize just how damn amazing these kinds of movies are.  Then sit throught the credits and realize that hundreds of people were involved.  They worked hard to enterain you, and they do it for the love of the art form.  May The Mighty Robot King watch over them.

Also saw HOT TUB TIME MACHINE.  Funny, funny movie.  Thoughtful too, in its own way.  Really made me laugh.  Great to see a return of the R rated comedy.  I have nothing against PG13, but it’s nice to watch a movie where people can swear and boobs can be seen.  Sure, Hot Tub Time Machine is vulgar and crude, but that’s part of its charm.  And swearing and nudity doesn’t necessarily mean a stupid movie.  Even if that movie is silly.  Hot Tub Time Machine is a ridiculous movie executed in a great way, and it just goes to show that no matter how dumb an idea might be, it’s all about the execution.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go write the next chapter of my retired supervillian from Neptune story.

Fighting the good fight, Writing the good write,

Lee

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4 Comments

  1. Jesse
    Posted March 30, 2010 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    Retired supervillian from Neptune? I’m so there.

    I really wanted to see the Dragon movie after seeing it’s obscenely high score on rotten tomatoes and now I want to see it even more.

  2. Posted March 30, 2010 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    Can’t wait to see Hot Tub. And you’re absolutely right about the R rated comedy…I can’t wait to see the epic epic of epicness, though–Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. Thoughts on that one?

  3. Rippley
    Posted March 30, 2010 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    I bet if you added up all the man hours you put into each book, you would see that you work more than eight hours a day. I mean, you have to spend time concocting the next idea into a plot. Then, you spend eight months, or more, writing a draft. Countless hours editing and revising and editing and revising your manuscript into a palatable work of art. After the creation and design, you have to convince your publisher, or another publisher, that this manuscript is as good as the last, and will make them some money. The publisher takes your work, throws it at everybody and their brother, all so it can be sent back to you with demands for various changes. You make the changes. They send it back with more demands. You do as they bid. Then they decide they liked the original manuscript better, but want changes. After you’ve narrowed down the problem–the changes they wanted– (more work, more late hours) you give them a successful script. Your publisher publishes your new book, and then off to every B&N in the nation for book signing events. You’ve spent hours on the road. Hours at the B&N cafe, writing “Dear so-and-so, Thank you for being a loyal reader. I’m sorry but the Nameless Witch has no name (and even if she does, I can’t reveal it). Best wishes, A.Lee—-” Hand cramps.

    The script was published. The books were signed. Now off to Convention X to sign, no, sit for hours waiting for a few people to come by and ask “Who are you? Nope, I’ve never heard of you. I’ll check out one of your books, maybe. Is it fan fiction based on something here at the convention?”

    To top it all off, you spend your spare time writing a blog and updating your fans on twitter, and concocting the next big story. So, basically you work all day, every day (with a few coffee breaks in between). My poor math skills say 24/7 is greater than 8/5. Basically, you are overworked and under paid without the chance of a raise.

  4. Zovesta
    Posted April 20, 2010 at 4:05 am | Permalink

    …Yep.

    That’s all I can say.

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