Sunday, November 30, 2014


I've had no choice but to come to the conclusion that I'm a storyline snob.

I say this because I've looked at the stories I've seen recently that have been re-imagined, and I hate them.  Several of these have gotten critical acclaim...and I still hate them.  Take Maleficent - this is the retelling of the story of Sleeping Beauty in an entirely different way.  It re-makes the story so that Maleficent isn't an evil witch, but rather just a misunderstood dark hero who was wronged.  It has won praise from lots of critics, yet I see this as a corruption of the story.

The tale itself could be wonderful...on its own.  Unfortunately, the filmmakers had to coopt the original because they relied on it to draw in business.  Using Sleeping Beauty as a context, they knew they could count on all the folks who saw and loved the first movie to come see this new version.  To me, the new version twists the story into something it was never meant to be.

This isn't the first movie I've had this reaction to.  Star Trek Into Darkness had the affect on me since it took one of the greatest villains of all time, Khan Noonien Singh, and made him one dimensional, even taking away his raison d'etre by not having Kirk strand him and his wife.  This event was what made Khan so terrible, yet the filmmakers treated it like just another plot device, easily discarded if it was inconvenient.

Why am I like this?  I wish I knew.  I wish I could mindlessly accept stories, but a large part of my enjoyment rests on a story's consistency.  If a story is nonsensical within its own universe, I have trouble.  I think part of this is due to the implied laziness of it - it requires effort to maintain the same plot elements so that a universe makes sense.  Another part is the suspension of disbelief - the story must work for us to enjoy.  I have to be able to say, "I could see that happening within that universe."

Perhaps I'm the only one.  Maybe others can accept these things and think I just overthink them.  I could be in a company of one.  Does anyone else have this problem?

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