I watched quite a few movies in the last week or so, including Tin Man, MirrorMask, Titan A.E., and Priest. I guess one of the key things that stuck with me about all of these movies was the imagination involved in all of them. In some ways, all of these movies had ideas that seemed familiar at first glance but were so much more than their market value portrayed.
Take Tin Man for instance. At first glance, it looks like a Wizard of Oz knock off, as though the Sci-Fi Channel was just bored with their typical disaster of the week films that seemed common around that time. As the story progresses, however, you realize that Tin Man pays homage to the Wizard of Oz, but is most certainly not the same story. Some aspects of the story start out with a completely different angle, such as the main character, DG, racing around on her motorcycle and being a pretty handy mechanic. I kind of wish that those aspects of DG’s character and skill set would have been used throughout the storyline, where there was something she could fix or race, but that wasn’t used. The writers may have decided not to pursue those because it could have been rather obvious plot carrots, where you show clear character traits in the beginning just so you can give the character reasons to use those skills later in the story. So I am kind of glad the story didn’t go that direction, but rather built on rather extensive bits of imagination instead. The sheer imagination that it took to build the world and populate the story with the different characters and the different motives amazed me. I was impressed with the level of detail involved in tying everything together and building worthwhile characters.
MirrorMask came from the imagination of Jim Henson and that’s pretty much all I have to say on that. Jim Henson was a pure genius when it came to characters, world building, and sheer imaginative power. Circuses by their very nature have the potential to be a very frightening scene for a lot of people, but even with the masks and the content, the story with Jim Henson and Neil Gaiman was brilliant and imaginative with just the right level of creepiness. The most interesting part about this movie, and the part that stuck with me the most, was that the story was so clear to me as an outsider looking in, but I know that when you’re the one actually living the story, everything gets all sorts of messed up. Watching the movie, I knew exactly what was going on, but I could also see how if I was Helena, everything would be so absolutely confusing and not make much sense because that’s how the real world works. Problems and solutions are so clear to outsiders looking in, but when you’re the one having to trudge through the muck and mire of your life, it’s so difficult to see the right path when every step is a struggle. I enjoyed this movie more than I thought I would and I continue to be amazed at the worlds of Jim Henson.
Titan A.E. had so much potential, but then I think it couldn’t decide what kind of movie it wanted to be. I think if it had stuck to just one type of movie, it could have been great. I didn’t really like the mixing of the Tron-like glowing aliens and I felt like the whole movie was just trying too hard. The story was great, but I kept getting thrown out because of the flip-flopping between the CGI and the animation. If the movie had been 100% CGI or 100% animation, I think it could have been great, but it switched around and I kept getting distracted. I liked the story, but I couldn’t focus on the story long enough to actually figure out how much detail the writers went into with their world and universe building.
I was at least partially surprised by Priest. It’s always fun to me to take a look at the what ifs and what might bes of potential futures when one extreme organization becomes a supreme power, even if that supreme power starts out with the best of intentions. It just goes to show you that absolute power corrupts absolutely, no matter who you serve. I think just about every gamer out there secretly wishes the Monk/Priest class really existed and that they could be part of it. Those special few, chosen by God Himself to smite the forces of evil with their bare hands? Yeah, that’s pretty cool. I like how the story took the vampire mythology and mixed the genre a bit with the sunlight allergy and the human hybrid and the queen. The action was somewhat predictable, but it was a fun movie to watch.
All the movies I watched were rich with seeing the worlds they created through different eyes with extensive imaginations and I hope that my future works inspire upcoming generations to use their imaginations to see things they would never encounter in the real world, or at least magnify those things they do see in the real world to terrifying and horrifying proportions.