Thursday, February 18, 2016

Big Dumb Distraction

It's been a tough year so far, creatively speaking.  I'm finding it extremely difficult to get started on anything - there are podcasts I haven't recorded, podcasts I have recorded but can't find the motivation to edit together, a film from last June I still haven't edited together, films to be reviewed - the list is endless.  As for The Sleaze, I've been resorting to rehashing old story ideas all too often in order to keep things going there.  I really don't know what the problem is - it isn't a case of not having new story ideas, it's just that I can't find the energy or inclination to actually write them.  In fact, I seem to be doing everything possible to distract myself from creating anything new.  Take yesterday evening, for example: instead of writing a story, I found myself watching, of all things, White House Down on ITV2.  At first, I told myself, I was only watching the beginning to ascertain whether it was the White House under attack movie starring Gerard Butler, or the one with Channing Tatum.  It turned out to be the latter.  But having determined this fact, I kept on watching it.  Disturbingly, I actually quite enjoyed the film.

Make no mistake, by no reasonable critical standard can it be said that White House Down is a good movie.  It is poorly plotted, with often diabolical dialogue and thin performances from most of the principal stars.  Moreover, its scenario is far too complicated with weak exposition, frequently leaving the viewer adrift without a compass, wondering what the Hell is happening and where it is all going.  These problems are aggravated by some choppy editing which seems to have removed several scenes which might have provided some explanation for some of the more obscure plot points.  In short, it is a big dumb action movie and, as such, delivers the main content such films require: lots of frenetic action involving unbelievable fist fights, frenzied shoot outs in which more ammunition than was used in the whole of World War Two is expended in two minutes and lots and lots of explosions. (If I have one criticism of the action sequences, it is that, in common with many other contemporary action films, it overuses CGI effects which, to me at least, rarely look entirely convincing).   Consequently, it provided the perfect distraction from trying to do anything intellectually tasking.

However, I did find my mind wandering a few times, not to the story I was supposedly writing, but to that TV commercial for Money Supermarket - you know, the 'Big Bad Wolf' one with the bodyguard doing that dance.  I just kept thinking that if only Jamie Foxx's President Sawyer had had a bodyguard like that, the film could have culminated with a dance off between said bodyguard and James Woods' villain, with Woods clutching his groin as be threw some shapes.  (I actually can't think of a more apt dance move for James Woods, who has portrayed some of the sleaziest cinematic characters ever seen, than clutching his groin).  It might have helped distinguish the film from Olympus Has Fallen in the minds of cinema goers and thereby improved its box office performance.  But, to get back to my original point, I'm hoping to shake off my creative torpor by actually editing together the various segments of a podcast that I recorded a couple of weeks ago over the weekend, before preparing a new story for The Sleaze next week.  Unless some more big dumb distractions come along, that is.



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