Monday, April 29, 2013

How I Met Your Mother: "The Bro Mitzvah"

Quick Review: One of the best payoffs in this show's history.

Episode Synopsis: Barney's bachelor party has the gang pulling out all the stops in an effort to make it legendary.  -tvguide

Spoiler alert. Now, there are times when I'm not going to try as hard to prevent you from proceeding on ahead. This is not one of those times. If you were a child of the 80's, you especially do not want to be spoiled. In fact, I won't even make a vague reference to what will most definitely get spoiled. Do you see what I'm doing here? I am so committed to you remaining unspoiled that I am eschewing an opportunity to make what is, in my mind at least, a clever reference of the episode. If you don't know how big a deal that is, let me assure you, it's not a big deal. Not really.  But let's act like it is a big deal so I can totally milk it for sympathy. Anyway, I'm spoiling everything from this point on.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

This Open Letter to My Page-A-Day Calender

Dear Page-A-Day Calender,

First, I want acknowledge that yes, I've had you for a year and a half and you are still only on May. I get that you're upset. You are, after all, a page a day calender and yet I seem to have not held up my end of the bargain. Every day you provide a new amusement, and in exchange, I keep you up-to-date by removing the outdated pages.

I get it, I do. I have many, many things occupying my time. You only have one. From your perspective, as an entity created with a single purpose, it's hard to conceive of a world outside the need to remove a page a day. Why would you? For you, existence begins and ends with the calender year.

Monday, April 15, 2013

How i Met Your Mother: "Romeward Bound"

Quick Review: We're mainly getting setup this week.

Episode Synopsis: Lily must decide if she's willing to ship out to Rome to be the Captain's art consultant. -tvguide

Spoilers ahead, so it's probably best that you watch the episode first before you read my commentary on it. Otherwise, you will be spoiled, and there will be nothing to do but sit in an Italian cafe in an angsty, existential crisis, your world in black and white as you sip coffee and ponder the meaning of it all. There may or may not be a scooter involved. I don't know. Do you want a scooter involved? Because if you don't, and one shows up, then that's just adding insult to injury.

Friday, April 12, 2013

The Smart Choice is Boring

I caught Olympus Has Fallen a while back, and if you're looking for some mindless entertainment where a bunch of stuff blows up and people get killed, then you're in luck. This movie will definitely deliver. If you were disappointed in the latest entry into the Die Hard franchise, then you might like the fact that Olympus is pretty much Die Hard in the White House. You'll probably spot several moments lifted straight from that 80's classic.

While watching the movie, I couldn't help but be bothered by several important plot elements. Now, I realize that going to an action movie for the plot might be counter-productive, but I am a writer, and plot matters to me, even with an action movie. Many action movies, Die Hard included, have a plot dependent upon one thing: characters making stupid choices. In order to have our hero be the only one capable of stopping the bad guy, everyone else in the movie has to make the exact wrong call at the exact wrong time. It's a staple of the genre.

Naturally, Olympus Has Fallen presents several moments in which the plot is advanced by the characters' poor choices. Some of these choices are understandable, others are downright frustrating, but in the end, they serve the plot. Because had everyone made the right call, the movie would have either been very short or very boring. As frustrating as it is, sometimes we have to endure these illogical character choices if we want our action movies, and I'm going to explore this idea using Olympus Has Fallen. Not only am I going to examine the poor choices, I'm also going to look at one very smart choice and examine its impact as well.

I'm going to go deep into spoiler territory from here on out, so don't proceed if you don't want to be spoiled.