Had a conversation with a friend recently about some of the things that I’ve been watching recently. He quoted/paraphrased me to his blog. So I decided provide a more detailed write up of my thoughts, and have cross posted them below:
1- Arrow does a better job with its series episodes that Marvel SHIELD. I happen to love Whedon, but SHIELD comes across as the step child of the Marvel universe, whereas Arrow (based on DC’s Green Arrow comic series) has reimagined the hero and yet paid homage to the rest of the DC universe. There series is chock full of references to things you would recognize from other DC movie franchises (Batman, Flash) as well as references to things that come only from the Comics. SHIELD has done the same, but lacks the same chemistry between its main characters (which is unfortunate, because Whedon is known for excellence in casting.)
2. Cloud Atlas (http://amzn.to/1j1BPus) was fantastic. Although the first 20 minutes is very confusing, and it takes great concentration to unravel the mystery of the series, by the conclusion you a pattern emerges and the final scenes are emotionally impactful. I was tenuously interested when it was in the theatre, but opted to skip. While it’s not the kind of movie that suffers greatly from that decision (and is still an excellent watch at home or via online streaming), I think it was worth the price of theatre admission.
3. Ender’s Game, on the other hand, greatly abbreviates the plot. While it is essentially true to the essence of the novel, the novel is quite literally too big a story for the big screen. They render the epic story down to a watery plot that omits much of the moral weight of the novel, as well as reducing the impact of Battle School on Ender (reducing his stay from years, in the novel, down to a mere 28 days in Battle School, in the movie…) Despite the loss of critical world building scenes, the movie still highlights the essential elements from the novel, remains true in spirit and provides a visual spectacle that one can appreciate.