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Friday Flix: The Importance of Being Human

April 29, 2011

Sometimes you don’t even have to watch a movie to be inspired by one!  In this case I was reading Roger Ebert’s review of the movie, “Hanna,” which since it’s from Focus Features will have already left the two theaters it was playing in by the time this entry airs.  Anyway, Ebert says:

[Director Joe] Wright and his writers, Seth Lochhead and David Farr, do something else that’s effective. They introduce an element of reality. Too many action films exist always at the same unremitting level of violent fantasy. Here, he arranges for Hanna to come across an ordinary British family on vacation. There is a daughter named Sophie (Jessica Barden), who I believe must be the first girl her age Hanna has met; indeed, this is her first encounter with a family, and it’s all strange and unfamiliar. The touch of reality brings into focus how peculiar her life has been.

I thought about this for a minute and realized this summed up perfectly why I hated the last two “Bourne” movies but liked the first one.  The first one had a touch of reality when super amnesiac agent Jason Bourne bribes a girl for a lift to Paris.  They eventually fell in love and opened a bike rental shop or something.  As Ebert was saying with “Hanna,” having him interact with a normal person set up the great contrast between them and it let him exercise some emotional range.

But then in the second one they killed the girl off early in the film.  From there Bourne had less personality than Arnord Schwarzenegger’s Terminators.  All he did was go around killing hired goons for vague reasons while highly-regarded actors shouted at each other in the command center, waiting to cash their paychecks.

By killing the girl in the second film, the touch of humanity was lost.  That dose of reality was gone because Bourne no longer had to deal with any real human issues.  He was just a machine and it didn’t take long for me to get bored with it.  Especially when everything’s done on computers nowadays, it’s really hard to generate effects that make me go “Holy shit!”  Most of the time it’s more like, “Wow, that looks fake.”

Effects have never been as important as human characters and human stories.  That’s why whether it’s a movie or a book, you need a dose of humanity if you want anyone over the age of 16 to give a shit.

Monday is big important (and vague) news!


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  1. Good point, it’s important to keep the human element, and therefore, the connection.

  2. I agree. I liked the first Bourne movie. Oh and on the publishing front, did you know that Levi Johnston (the guy that boinked Bristol Palin) got a huge book deal? It kinda makes me sad that this hockey dork gets a big book deal and authors such as ourselves languish in the wings with the cobwebs. Oh America…(in Lady Gaga’s words)…I’m caught in a Bad Romance…

  3. Great post. I completely agree. In fact, the humanity is my favorite part of writing. The best books are equally about plot and character development I find.

    ❤ Gina Blechman

  4. So true. I agree completely about the Bourne films. If they killed off the girl, they needed to replace her with something equally compelling. That girl from “Ten Things I Hate About You” just didn’t cut it. Also, the shaky camera-work gave me a headache!

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