Sunday, September 2, 2018

Blogs and Ends: The Critics are Still Wrong Edition

Just watched Warcraft for the first time and I thought it was a pretty good action/fantasy movie.  It delivered everything it was supposed to.  Pacing was good. Action was pretty tight.  The game centric easter-eggs didn't bury the story.

I was a little curious as to why it failed at the boxoffice so I checked Rottentomatoes



Of course.

I was wondering briefly if it had suffered the fate of Gods of Egypt and undergone an SJW spasm attack on Twitter and then the critics were too frightened to give it the middle the 77% possitive it deserved.  I mean shit, it way the fuck better than The Last Jedi.

I held my nose and checked LolKotaku as that is pretty reliable indicator of these things.

From the very beginning, the film throws the viewer into the action without properly explaining who any of these characters are or why we should care.

This is especially apparent on the Alliance side. Lines like: "Your majesty, we must summon the Guardian at haste!" serve as character introductions. This is just poor storytelling.

The first act is literally "humans react to orc attack". We don't get to know these guys before the action starts, which is very problematic: everything from their personalities to their actual role in the kingdom feels rushed and improvised.

This is something Lord Of The Rings did well - we spent a good twenty minutes hanging in Hobbiton with Frodo and the gang before the shit hits the fan. In Warcraft, there are no quiet moments before the storm.

Okay, so let's treat it as a straight war film with no room for character development. Even then, it fails pretty badly. We're never shown the orcs attacking villages in detail, so the stakes feel incredibly low.

Again, this is something Lord Of The Rings did well: by briefly focusing on a few fleeing peasants and their weepy, armour-clad sprogs, you really felt engaged in the fates of the humans. Warcraft has none of that. It's just a bunch of lords in castles arguing about the need to respond to the invasion. Ho-hum.

As you can tell the critic is a stuffed shirt and a Gamma Jackwagon. But some of this is fair.  And I wan't seeing any of the code words that would indicate they had run afoul of the Ministry of Truth.  So in this case I'm assigning it to the category of Critics only liking what their cast likes.  By cast I mean lower-middle class Brooklyn liberals.

Always beware the lower-middle class, they are the most insecure and status conscience people on Earth.

I know it did well over seas and in theory a film that cost a 150 million to make and grossed north of four hundred million world wide would be viewed as having done okay and probably merited a sequel but most of that FBO was in China. 

Money that gets made in China...Stays in China.  I suspect it lost something on the order of 30 million or so, when all was said and done. 

Pity.  I rather liked it.

Recommended with Confidence.


Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan

We'll start with the obvious, this is not Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan.  This is somebody else's Jack Ryan.  They didn't mess around with Jack's background too much.  Former Marine Corps officer, had his back torn up in a helicopter crash.   Had a doctorate and made a small fortune on Wall street before joining the CIA. They got all that stuff right.  What they got completely wrong is the character, this guy as presented is simply not the guy from the Tom Clancy novels.

Now Greer they got completely wrong.  Instead of an Admiral he's now a Muslim convert.

Cathy they messed around with a little too, she is now an epidemiologist instead of an ophthalmic surgeon.  But that is actually okay, since it gives her something to do when the bad guys are messing around with Ebola.

Favorite character was Matice.  A tough as nails field officer.  John Hoogenakker gets a big thumbs up for his performance here.  Within a minute of meeting Matice you know perfectly well you could see him eating a sandwich and joking while sitting right next to the body of a guy he'd just killed.  I've known guys like Matice.

The episodes tend to run eighty percent boredom and twenty percent action.  They did sweat the details, I can't fault them for that.  It just doesn't feel like something Tom Clancy wrote.

Recommended with Reservations.



Steven Johnson said...

I'm halfway into Jack Ryan. Really hated Greer being a Muslim. But props to Amazon for showing a horrific Muslim terror attack and making it horrific, not an excuse to show how France really had it coming.

Mr. Bee said...

"Really hated Greer being a Muslim."

Standard PC boilerplate. If something bad is done by victim class "X" members, then you've got to have a "good" character of that class. Which is why PC sucks. It's so predictable.

Cataline Sergius said...


I think the most effective detail was the aftermath of the terrorist attack.

I've heard stories about the first responders having to deal with the emotional impact of all the cellphones of dead people ringing.

You don't have to be a genius to work out that on the end of the line is a desperate family member who is trying to get in touch with a loved one who has been killed.

It had impact to see it on the screen.

Like I said, they did their homework and sweated the details.

Chris Lutz said...

Clancy wrote thrillers with the foundation being that the gov't/establishment was competent and working for the interests of the US. In today's world, that takes a mighty be suspension of belief. Therefore, whatever they do, isn't going to be Clancy-esque.

Greer being turned into a Muslim is annoying. But, based on Clancy after 9/11, you could see him add a character like that.