Nerd Thoughts – Filmmakers that I used to love

It pains me to say this but the I am putting the Wachowski Siblings on the same shelf as M. Night Shyamalan and Tim Burton – I won’t waste my time and money on your projects again.  Let me back up a bit and explain this shelf.  I use this space for artist that I used to love but for whatever reason, I no longer connect with their work.  M. Night Shyamalan was the first on the shelf. When M. Night broke out with “The Sixth Sense”, I thought we – the film world – had an exciting new voice in the Suspense/Thriller genre.  I believe that Unbreakable was a little hick up and he would be back on track any minute. I enjoyed his next film Signs but began to notice a pattern – that his films needed a “shocking” twist. But these twists were shocking but very predictable.  After seeing the trailers for “The Village”, “Lady In the Water” and “The Happening” I believed that M. Night needed an intervention.  Maybe instead of directing his own work, he need to break out and work with other writers.  I am still waiting for that to happen.

My issue with Tim Burton is a little more complicated.  I really love Tim Burton.  He creates these fantastical worlds that are really like no others. My issue with Tim boils down to his frequent collaborations with Johnny Depp.  In the beginning, they created some of my favorite works from the ’90s “Edward Scisscorhands”, “Ed Wood”, “Sleepy Hollow.” By the early ’00s the magic was gone,  works like “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and “Alice in Wonderland” appeared to show both artist coasting on past ideas.  [Side Note, I haven’t see any either movie and these observations are based on the trailers alone.] While previous films seemed whimsical and color, these newer films were garish and way over the top.  It appeared that the director and actor brought out the worst traits in each other.  A friend convinced me to see “Dark Shadows”, while the movie looked great, the plot was tedious and uninspired.  While, I have occasionally like Burton films [e.g. “Big Fish” and  “Corpse Bride”], other writers were driving force behind the story.

Back to the Wachowski Siblings, “The Matrix” changed the movie game! But since then, I’m going to be generous and say there that their career has been spotty.  I watched the obligatory Matrix sequels. The “Speed Racer” trailer gave me a migraine. Honestly, I found “Cloud Atlas” intriguing but it was faulty. The Wachowski Siblings are fantastic and building worlds and visual images but character and plot development is a major weakness. “Jupiter Ascending” was a mess.  I suspect that the movie was way too long and that the editing of the film made it incomprehensible.  The movie was beautiful but the “plot” was paper thin. So, now we get to the final straw “Sense8.” When this project was first announced, I was super excited because J. Michael Straczynski teamed up with the Siblings to build this world.  I’m four episodes in and I still have no idea what this show is about. I’m official done.  I would let the beautiful of your work fool me again.  I need four friends to vet your work before I ever see anything else by the Wachowskis.

Top 10 Women of Sci Fi – Part 8



(Babylon 5)

I have written about how it took me years to watch Babylon 5 because I naively thought that Star Trek was in the end all be all when it came to science fiction television. Babylon 5 had many fascinating characters including number 8 on my list: Delenn.

Delenn was the Minbari Ambassador on the Babylon 5 station. The Minbar were an interesting species who divided their society three separate castes: Warrior, Spiritual and Working classes. Delenn belong to the spiritual caste but she was so much more that a spiritual being. She starts out as a very mysterious but well-respected figure on the station. During the course of the series she undergoes a major transformation and not just a physical one. She becomes one of the most important people in the class and along with Captain Sheridan, G’Kar, etc helps transforms the known universe.

If you haven’t seen the series, do yourself a favor and check out the wonderful world created by J. Michael Straczynski.