This week I was having a discussion with a friend about whether directors are really storytellers at all or if they are helpless without a good script. I don’t think you can have a good movie without a good script. It’s the foundation of all great films. I remain perpetually baffled that movies spend $20 million on a special effect but won’t drop a quarter of that on a script. Some directors are just not great storytellers, but there are some who, when given something solid to work with (like Bob Gale’s great script for Back to the Future) can take those words and bring it to life in a way that exceeds anything printed on a page. Robert Zemeckis is absolutely at the top of the list of these “storytelling directors”.
Back to the Future, over 30 years after its release, still holds up as one of the great action comedies of recent memory. The film is full of iconic moments from the hoverboard chase, to Johnny B. Goode, to every time Christopher Lloyd bellows “GREAT SCOTT!”, but my favorite scene is the climactic clocktower set piece. CineFix in an Art of the Scene piece from a few years ago does a wonderful job of breaking down the nuts and bolts of how one of the most iconic scenes of the 1980s came to life. What’s probably most stunning is how much of the clocktower scene are practical effects. In an age when CGI has taken a lot of the ingenuity out of F/X work, you don’t see this kind of brilliance anymore. Back to the Future worked so well because it blended a great script, a great director, Michael J. Fox in his breakout role, and old-fashioned movie wizardry to tell a time-traveling tale that has, over the decades, become timeless.
Greetings, Time Killers. The storm that smacked us Friday knocked out power to half a million people in my area and it appears my neighborhood is the last on the list to get power restored. Frustrating, but not much I can do. I did have to attack the sentient creature that had been born in the blasted Hellscape of my fridge. Twas an epic struggle and I emerged nauseous and triumphant. So at least nothing is threatening to displace me as Lord of Apokolips. I will keep trying to update the Twitter and Facebook KT pages (@sleeplessdave on Twitter and Facebook.com/KillingTime2014) from my phone.
Hi, all. I just wanted to pop on the laptop I am borrowing in the house where I have taken refuge, to let you know that site updates may be spotty for a few days. Huge thunderstorms hit the mid-Atlantic region of the States last night. There were several lightning strikes in my neighborhood, trees struck, the power is not expected to be back for days, but thankfully no one was hurt. I can try to keep updating the Twitter and Facebook KT pages (@sleeplessdave on Twitter and Facebook.com/KillingTime2014) from my phone. I’m sorry, but not too much I can do about it. When I get back home, blowtorch out whatever has grown in the fridge, and get the wireless working again, we’ll be back up to speed.
Another new trailer out of Gamescom; this time for Final Fantasy XIII: Lightning Returns. I put 20 hours into the first Final Fantasy XIII and then got distracted and never went back. From talking to others, the game gets dramatically better later on, so I’m thinking of returning and trying FFXIII-2 because these were the games that dragged me back into console gaming. Plus they’re purty.
Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII from Square Enix will be available in North America on February 11, 2014 and February 14 in Europe.As Lightning, it is your mission to save souls so they may be brought to a new world. However, with only thirteen days remaining, not everyone can be saved. Armed with all-new weapons, player customization and battle abilities, you are in a race against time to fully understand your destiny. It all ends here.