TSJ’s Thoughts on His Second Novel THE FREEZER
What Really is the Most Dangerous Life Form in the Solar System?
Before I begin, here are a few basic facts about me that you might already know by now:
I love movies.
I love genre movies — thrillers, action, adventure, horror, science fiction.
I love sagas, series, and trilogies. Call them what you want; I love to revisit characters and storylines that captivated my attention in the first film.
While writing the blog entry “Where Has the Character-Driven Action Film Gone?” (found here) I mentioned the idea of a trifecta — or “triple” — in film history. There are few directors who can create successful film after successful film. Having one critical and commercial hit is difficult enough. Having two in a row is even harder. And three? Nearly unheard of.
I decided to create a list of the greatest triples in film history. Even the concept seemed absurd, however — what gives me the right to create such a list? Who am I to say one director created a “better” trifecta than another? Moreover, how does one define success or failure in the creative/artistic industry? Sometimes a box office hit can be a critical failure, or vice versa. Well, to be blunt, this is my blog. I’ll write what I want. However, to identify triples and narrow the field it was necessary to create a list of criteria that I would follow.
Forty-Seven. Can’t really believe it, but there it is. It’s been quite a ride so far.
I couldn’t have been born at a better time, really. I was born in 1970 and grew up with the explosion of science-fiction films that coincided with the birth of modern f/x. I also had the benefit of discovering novelists from the Golden Age of Science Fiction — Isaac Asimov, Fred Pohl, and Robert Heinlein to name just a few.
People often ask me about my favorite movies. I try to watch a lot of thrillers and horror, especially in the Science Fiction genre, I like to talk about movies, and I enjoy reviewing great ones on my blog. So, I figured that this might be a good place to write an article about my top three films of all time.
Counting down from Three to One …
When I learned of Wes Craven‘s passing in the Summer of 2015, it hurt.
He was one of the originals. He was a horror director who helped create the “slasher” genre, but he did so with more backstory and style than some of his peers. A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET brought us Freddy Krueger, one of the greatest villains of all time.
So many films of the slasher genre involved teenagers being teens, and having to deal with the repercussions of bad or questionable choices. When this movie appeared I was fourteen years old and among the age demographic that Craven had targeted. (I was perhaps a tad on the young side of the demographic, but the movie had a greater effect on me because of it.) Nightmares are by nature scary and intangible things and have the potential to impact in emotional and scarring ways. Wes Craven tapped into this in a very effective way, and Freddy’s history ensured that he was an invincible villain. Freddy became iconic and instantly recognizable around the world.
(Originally published by TrekWeb on 14 February 2012)
J.J. Abrams and writers Bob Orci and Alex Kurtzman did in 2009 what I thought impossible: they rebooted a franchise with over forty years of history, including seventy-nine episodes, six motion pictures, four spinoffs, an animated series, countless books, comics, video games, and references in popular culture. It seemed a task that only a fool would tackle. To face the criticism of rabid fans — a group in which I include myself — and the most critical eyes focused on every bit of the film, including story, f/x, sound, acting and music, a failure could have potentially resulted in complete disaster for the franchise and also the death of careers. But J.J. & Co. faced it head on, with fresh eyes, a new perspective, and with intense creativity.
A TSJ #ShortMovieReview
MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS is a well-crafted and fast-paced film with a fantastic cast and a compelling story.
#Thriller #Action #Movies
First, I have to define the concept. A “Character-Driven Action Film” would be a sub-category of the action genre, set in any time or place that focuses on the character and history of the leads as much as it does on the action elements of the story. Simple enough, right? Right.
So where have these movies gone?
I watched THE TERMINATOR on the weekend.
I had to.
It was calling me.
I use the phrases “watershed film” or “watershed book” quite a lot. That’s the point of this entire blog. What are the movies/books/tv shows that influenced me in the years leading to my first attempts at writing fiction? Hell, even the name of this blog — “Life After Gateway” — is a nod to my favorite Science Fiction novel. This blog is dedicated to the books and movies that inspired me in my creative/formative years. A few TV series, some fantastic authors, and a small selection of short stories helped along the way. Certain teachers were invaluable too.