Saturday, April 30, 2011

HTTPresents--Adaptations: You're Doing it Wrong

Film adaptations are a very polarizing subject, and for a lot of people it goes beyond the movies themselves, with the supposed increase in the quantity of adaptations signaling a proportionate decline in the quality and originality of Hollywood as a whole. However, this “plague” of book and television adaptations, reboots, and remakes is about as new as the lightbulb. A brief glimpse at the 83 year history of the Academy Awards reveals that the overwhelming majority of films that received the award for Best Picture are adaptations of some kind. I'm well aware that not all adaptations are Oscar-worthy, but my point is that they are nothing new, they are not going anywhere, and like any other movie they can run the gambit from inspiring art to something you might find in a diaper. What I'll be discussing is not so much what separates the Oscar winners from the diaper contents, but how our experience with the source material can color our views of a movie, and how adjusting your perspective can help you better appreciate a solid adaptation.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

HTTProject Update: April

As the month of May draws near, it's time for our second HTTProjects Update. Even with all of us in school, this was still a really exciting and really productive month as we worked hard at planning things for the ever nearing summer. Before I get into that, though, I want to give a few updates on this blog, which serves as a... say, scholarly arm of HTTProductions. This blog will be our twentieth, all of which I am very proud to be connected with. We've gone from one post a week to two posts and now three, and Hunter, David, and I are going strong with tons of ideas to keep things going and a lot of plans for future guests.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


The MPAA is not one of my favorite things. They are a biased and wholly ridiculous organization that has far too much influence on artistic creativity. They routinely cut out parts of movies that are ‘overly sexual’, while at the same time allowing violence to go basically unchecked. They act like they are the moral high ground of our society, our protectors of democracy, and yet they hide behind closed doors and a strict privacy policy. If there is anything more hypocritical, I have yet to find it. However, if the MPAA was the only problem, it could be fixed. The problem we have here is censorship.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Nontraditional Story Structure

We are all too familiar with the traditional story structure, the three acts, the main character, along with a cast of supporting, taking his or her journey to self discovery and along the way finding the errors of their ways and by the end of the story are better for the experience.

This type of story structure is usually called the Hero's journey. The Hero's journey usually begins the story by introducing to the audience the main character or protagonist and due to whatever plot device or background the writer feels is most beneficial to the story the protagonist sets off on his or her journey to right the wrongs, save those who are in danger, or to simply over come some hang up that the protagonist has acquired due to the original plot device. Along the way the protagonist meets up with the cast of supporting characters, either one by one or in a group setting, each bringing something important to the story.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

HTTPicks: Run Lola Run

To finish off our slew of new features this week, I'd like to present the first of HTTPicks, a joint feature with HTTPreviews. While the latter covers reviews for recently released films in theaters (see other Hunter's great Scre4m piece!), this will focus on "older" films we happen across for the first time and enjoyed enough to try to spread the word. These picks will focus more on overall themes and opinions rather than ratings (there will be plenty of that for the numerous summer movies this year). For our first installment, I'll be talking about two films I recently watched: Run Lola Run and Island of Flowers.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Editorial: Materialism with Modern Culture

One of my favorite actors is Joseph Gordon-Levitt. I find his underwhelming style to be fantastically intriguing. From one of his earliest appearances in ’10 Things I Hate About You’ to ‘Inception’ in 2010, he has only bettered himself in the realm of acting. However, this is article isn’t about Mr. Gordon-Levitt. Its about a specific passage from one of my favorite of his films, called ‘(500) Days of Summer’. In ‘(500) Days’, he works as a greeting card writer while trying to woo a new employee. Predictably, the film is about the evolution of the main character and the ideology of love. One particular scene stands out:

Tom [speaking about greeting cards]: This is lies. We are liars. Think about it. Why do people buy cards? It's not because they want to say how they feel. People buy cards because they can't say how they feel or are afraid to. And we provide the service that lets them off the hook. You know what? I say to hell with it. Let's level with America. Or at least let them speak for themselves. Right?

Sunday, April 17, 2011

HTTPreviews: Scre4m

This is the first of our second new feature: HTTPreviews, where we will provide our opinion on the latest releases in theater, along with an out of 10 ranking. This summer is sure to be a big one with several sequels and superhero/comic movies releasing, so we'll have plenty to review in the coming months. For some releases, we'll even do joint, head-to-head views when two of us have differing opinions. For now, enjoy Hunter B's reaction to this weekend's Scre4m...


Admittedly, I have a soft spot for self-deprecating humor. People that are self-aware and are able to make fun of themselves are usually the funniest people in the group, not to mention they realize their limitations and are unafraid to push them. With that, I have a confession to make: I love the Scream horror series. This series shares a couch with self-deprecating humor and self-awareness, and they are completely comfortable around each other. With that in mind, a friend and I went and saw Scream 4.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

HTTPresents: The Influence of Tarantino

                                             Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez, courtesy AP

Welcome to our first post of HTTPresents, a new feature where friends and colleagues will write weekend guest posts. No doubt the words of the three of us can grow tiring at times, so we'll switch things up with fresh blood! Our first guest is Shannon, notably known for her well-informed comments on our posts. She is as big a film enthusiast as us and we're proud to have her posting with us, so check out her thoughts on the oh-so unique director Quentin Tarantino below:
While he isn't exactly universally loved, Quentin Tarantino's influence on cinema over the last twenty years, American and British cinema especially, is indisputable. Tarantino has reignited careers of the forgotten and given work to unknowns while leaving an indelible mark on film and pop culture with his  instantly recognizable set of tropes and techniques. While he did not invent things like non-linearity, profanity,  stylized violence, criminal characters, or a habit of paying “homage” by including concepts and scenes from older films, he most certainly popularized them, and 1994's Pulp Fiction, Tarantino's first big hit and the one he may never be able to top in terms of recognition and cultural impact, is among the most beloved and instantly recognizable films of all time.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Importance of Supporting Characters

Disclaimer:(The ending to the 1980s film Chan is Missing is revealed in this post.) SpoilerAlert!

When asking the question what are the importance of characters one must first ask what are the role of characters in films today? What purpose do these support characters play in the overall plot of the story? Are they just there to help move the story along, or do they sever a deeper more fulfilling purpose to the story?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Intentionally Original

In follow up to my pilot post over the originality of ideas, I wanted to further elaborate on what requirements fulfill the desire for the idea of a creation project to be intentionally original, so far as what that word means. In the original post I stated that any idea that comes from your mind is inherently original because, to put it crudely, there's no such thing as mind reading. For an idea to come from your subconscious it is influenced by all of your experiences and memories and opinions until it is molded into something wholly you. It is understandable, however, to mistakingly take this as meaning all ideas are original, and it would likewise be foolish of me to try to claim that all ideas are original. The difference, then, lies in the intention.

Saturday, April 9, 2011


I preface this article with a disclaimer: I’m a peculiar person, with a peculiar sense of humor. So, most likely, this writing about comedy will not fully relate to you. Now that we’re past that, I can get to the fun stuff.

Comedy is one of the greatest things that humanity has ever created, and yes, I am counting medicine and pornography. Comedy makes the worst situations into the best situations. If I’m having a bad day, I watch Eddie Izzard’s giraffe sketch or Kevin Hart’s Shaq falling sketch, and I literally cannot stop laughing. In fact, I’m writing this as I watch Kevin Hart. Oh Jesus, this man is funny.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Joss Whedon and the Artistic Community

The artistic community is as strong as ever, and Joss Whedon proves that. From cult television series like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Dollhouse to the writers' strike independent -and totally awesome- web series Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along-Blog to the new high of his career as the director of every comic fanboy's dream, The Avengers. Whedon's career not only shows us how encouraging and simply artistic the artistic community can be when rallying behind someone who cares, but also that Hollywood notices and isn't afraid to boost him even higher. While I'd love to do a full profile on Joss Whedon's career thus far, admittedly I haven't seen a lot of Buffy or Angel (though I'm a big fan of Dollhouse). Instead, I'm going to talk about the community he represents and how cooperative and successful it can be.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

3D and the Rise of the Proletariat Cinema

James Cameron's Avatar marked the dawn of the new age of Proletariat Cinema. With it taking in over 2.5 billion dollars the masses have spoken. “We want something that looks cool over something that has a fresh plot and meaning.” With us moving in to this new age, films, which are already on the decline and have been for quite sometime, will be almost non-existing.

The definition of proletariat, that relates to this blog, is the class of people who are unintelligent, unenlightened and most of all, uncaring about important issues in modern day society. The proletariat class do not watch films, they watch movies. Before this new age of Proletariat Cinema they wasted their money on the action, horror, and pointless romantic comedy of the day. In the past the Proletariat Cinema did not threaten the film industry simply because the vast majority of these movies only made their budget or only doubled it. The few that did make far over what they spent became the bar setters for that genre of movie but still did not threaten films as a whole.