Braden’s Ten Commandments for Nerd Movies

I – THOU SHALT TREATITH THINE AUDIENCE WITH RESPECT

Blessed: The Dark Knight

SINNER!: Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen

Your audience is the most important part of your movie.  They are smart, observant, easily put-off, and–most importantly–not babies.  Do not assume that a plot hole will go unnoticed or that poop jokes are funny.

II – THOU SHALT TREATITH THE SOURCE MATERIAL WITH RESPECT

Blessed: The Lord of the Rings Trilogy

SINNER!: Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within

If the source material is well-respected enough to be made into a movie, then the source material is more important than your “artistic vision.”

III – THOU SHALT NOT DISTRACTITH THINE AUDIENCE WITH POINTLESS VISUAL STYLIZATION

Blessed: Sin City

SINNER!: Hulk

I do not want to watch a comic book.  I want to watch a story that was told in a comic book.

IV – THOU SHALT ADHERITH TO THINE OWN ESTABLISHED LAWS OF PHYSICS AND REALITY

Blessed: The Matrix

SINNER!: Superman: The Movie

The rules of reality have to be rewritten for any nerd movie, but this is not carte blanche.  Just because I’ll buy that a human-looking alien is invincible and can fly doesn’t mean I think reversing the Earth’s rotation causes time to move backwards.

V – THOU SHALT ADHERITH TO THINE OWN ESTABLISHED CANON

Blessed: Iron Man 2

SINNER!:  Highlander 2: The Quickening

It is insulting to watch a sequel and be told by the filmmakers that something or everything in the previous film had no significance.  Now please refer to Commandment I.

VI – THOU SHALT RELYITH PRIMARILY UPON STORY

Blessed: The Bourne Trilogy

SINNER!:  G.I. Joe

I don’t go see movies to be presented with some computer animator or choreographer’s portfolio.  If the plot isn’t front and center, it’s worthless.

VII – THOU SHALT NOT FLOODITH THY MOVIE WITH TOO MANY LEAD CHARACTERS, NOR SHALL YOU GIVITH THY TITLE CHARACTERS A SUPPORTING ROLE

Blessed: Spider-Man 2

SINNER!: Spider-Man 3

We love to see our favorite characters make appearances on the silver screen, but dedicating too much of the story to too many of them results in a nasty, thin, filmy feeling reminiscent of that time in 7th grade I didn’t rinse off in the shower well enough.

VIII – THOU SHALT NOT MAKITH THY LEAD CHARACTER A WHINY TOOL

Blessed: Casino Royale

SINNER!: The Star Wars prequels

Nobody likes a whiner.  If you want your lead character to be strong but conflicted, make sure he has a pair.

IX – THOU SHALT PLANITH AHEAD WITH THY SUPPORTING CAST

Blessed: The Harry Potter series

SINNER!: X-Men 3: The Last Stand

If you’re going to tease me with a cameo of a character of whom I want and expect to see more in a sequel, be prepared to stick with the casting decision.

X – THOU SHALT REBOOT FROM THE BEGINNING OF THE STORY

Blessed: Star Trek

SINNER!: Superman Returns

If you’re going to reboot a franchise, then reboot the franchise and start completely over.  That is not the same Clark, that is not the same Lois.  Don’t try to tell me they are.

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