I'm certain this movie will be made... probably by HBO. I'm only slightly less sure that this movie will be made with a big mistake.

In the answer to this question, "How did Trump become the Republican Nominee?" the least interesting part is Trump, himself. Someone born to wealth, with a high opinion of himself, and very little to him, if anything, that could even acknowledge any truly humbling concept. We've seen this kind of person before, in both fiction and reality. They're depressing to comprehend and amusing to watch, but they're not all that interesting beyond that.

It's the same reason I couldn't get into The Lizzie Borden Chronicles. One horrible person does horrible things and, at best, that person looks slightly less horrible in relation to the more blatantly horrible people doing more blatantly horrible things... maybe.

No, the far more interesting and instructive story is that of the world around them that allows them to do what they do. In this case, that world is the Republican Party.
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Remaking World War Z and Jen and the Holograms. Just freaking respect the source material.

I could easily throw the Percy Jackson series into this, but there's just less detail to go into, there. If you've read the book, you know how the story should go, because that's how the story went.

Really, in general, this shouldn't be a difficult concept. If a fandom loves a story, there's a freaking reason. More detail below the cut.
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Repeated Disclaimer: I don't read the comics. I just don't have the money to spend. My main idea of "Batman" is based in Batman: The Animated Series on through Justice League/JLU and even acknowledging Batman Beyond. There's a characteristic of Batman, in these particular fictions, that I find needs more focus in other media.

In the comments of my post on the Silver Age, Smurasaki pointed out Linkara's answer to why Batman doesn't kill the Joker. It's similar to SF Debris's* take on the matter when discussing the Justice League two parter "A Better World". In both cases, it's not our right, as a society, to put that responsibility onto Batman, no more than it's his right to take it on.

That's a good answer for why we shouldn't want Batman to kill the Joker. It's a good answer for why it isn't an injustice for Batman to refuse to kill the Joker.

Red Hood vs Batman** gives an alternate answer. Batman can kill the Joker, but can't stop killing. That's also a good answer. He wouldn't have to become a serial killer over night. But, once you've killed the Joker for the things he'd done or the things he was definitely going to do, how do you justify not killing Marcone? Marcone's ruined lives, taken lives, and it's a given that he will put out more hits on people who's gravest crime was being in the wrong place at the wrong time and potentially having witnessed something that they might, potentially, report to the police. And, what about Two Face? The only thing that holds him back is the flip of a coin that will, with statistical inevitability, land on the wrong side.

It's a good answer for a mature Batman that knows himself and has had time to see the consequences of his actions. It's a good answer for a Batman that already knows how brutalizing people in order to get answers has come to seem normal.

Yet, at some point, early on in Bruce Wayne's life, when he was making his plans to wage a one-man-war, it's worth exploring the question of why he didn't start. Why, when he didn't have that maturity and self-awareness that can only come with time and self-examination, didn't he start?
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Bill is wrong. I'm stating that clearly, right now, with no equivocation. Bill is wrong. I don't want to hear people repeat Bill's argument as though it's true, thinking themselves deep in the deconstruction of comicbooks. More importantly, I don't want movie makers to act with the presumption that Bill's argument represents clarity on Superman.

In Kill Bill: Volume 2, in which we meet the titular Bill that the protagonist wants to kill (I only remember Bill's name because it's in the title), said Bill tells us his theory of Superman. According to Bill, Superman is the real person and Clark Kent is the costume that Superman puts on. This means that Superman is, unintentionally, making a commentary on humanity in relation to himself.

Again, Bill is wrong. That theory isn't there for Bill to be right. That theory is there for Bill to be instructively wrong. Therefore, if you're going to make a movie, remember how very wrong Bill is.
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No, I haven't seen this movie. No, as of the typing of this post and the posting, God's Not Dead 2 hasn't even been released, yet. Technically, I could be taking a risk that my assessment of the problems with this movie is incredibly off. In fact, the release date is this Friday, April 1, AKA April Fool's Day. That means that, technically, we could wind up with a movie that is deliberately misrepresented by the trailers.

We could, in fact, get a movie that deliberately shows the events of the first movie and of the trailer to be the misrepresentation of events by a Christian subculture that has a narrative-driven distortion of events... But, I'm getting ahead of myself.

The trailers for the first God's Not Dead were pretty spot on for the story line. So, using the trailers for the sequel, this will be the story of a High-school teacher put through some kind of administrative hearing, in which either some judge or some effective prosecutor wants to prove that God is Dead.
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The Devil's Advocate, for those who've forgotten, is the movie in which Keanu Reeves plays a small town lawyer with such a winning track record that he's hired by a high-priced, high end, big city law firm. He gets all the trappings of success. And, of course, he works for Satan.

One of the virtues of this movie is that it never plays Al Pacino's character being Satan as a twist to be revealed. It's not stated out loud, but it assumes we already know. With the premise of the movie, the name The Devil's Advocate, and the advertising, we do. So, no need to say it or to pretend to hide it.

Beyond that, this movie is a mass of wasted potential.
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The premise for Small Soldiers comes from a complaint that many of us had as children, delivered via Denis Leary rant. The commercials displayed toys that walk and talk on their own. We got hunks of plastic that, if they were top of the line, had arms and legs that could be moved without breaking them off. We were children and it's not like even the rich kids got the tiny sentient being that they could throw into the toy chest when bored, so that disappointment could be overcome... but never entirely die away.

Denis Leary's very wealthy new owner of a toy company has that same disappointment and that brings us to a good premise for a movie. What if a toy company delivered what the commercials promised? What if we got toys that were sentient but didn't derive some kinky satisfaction from making us believe they were lifeless, soulless, inanimate objects. (There, I've just made Toy Story weird for you.)

As premises go, this has a lot of opportunity to it. And, most of that opportunity is wasted.
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Lucy is the story of a young woman, suddenly forced into being a drug mule for an international mafia, who gets an overdose of a drug that expands her mind, making her get smarter immediately and become a super-powered nigh-deity. Based on the premise and the look of the drug, there's a good case to be made for Lucy being an unofficial sequel to Limitless, in which someone tests out a drug that makes them much smarter.

Both Lucy and Limitless have the same problem in their premise. The notion that you only use 10% of your brain is... I hesitate to be too mean about this, because in my youth I did buy into the notion for a long while. But, it shows a total lack of neurology knowledge. There is no such thing as a part of your brain that you do not use. That said, this might not be a problem for Lucy, depending on what the movie wants to be.

That is the first definite problem. Lucy doesn't know what it wants to be. Does it want to be a thoughtful consideration on a topic, like Ex Machina? Does it want to be an action movie with a semi-smart premise that allows for creative action, like The Matrix? Lucy doesn't know.

The next problem is that Lucy doesn't put the effort into either choice. A good movie could be both. An okay, but entertaining movie might suffer having either distract from each other. In Lucy, each failure distracts from the other failure.
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We started with Beauty and the Beast, which showed us a middle ages village that absolutely must have had personal experience with how expendable the noble class really is. Let's continue with the second most blatant example, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.

The Wicked Queen does some disturbing evil in this movie. Her motivation is simple and disturbing in itself, to be the most beautiful in the land. This is a queen, mind you, with legal authority over all the land. What's more, she's a queen in Europe, during the middle ages, and (as per at least one prayer scene by Snow White) a Christian country, which means that the official line is that she has divine right to rule. And, her primary motivation is to be the most beautiful.

She regularly checks her magic mirror. When the magic mirror's opinion says someone else might be prettier or "fairer" than she, the only option is murder. She commands a woodsman to kill the one the mirror thinks is the only one, in all the land, fairer than she. When she finds out that didn't work, she tries to do the job, herself.
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Disney's had it's Rennaisance. And, like the Rennaisance, it came with an explosion of art, science, and even morality. The moral innovation was expressed in Beauty and the Beast, when the classic hero was made the villain. This was Disney admitting there was a problem with some of their classic movies. The problem they were dealing with, at the time, was that the place they were making for women was not much of a place, with not much room to be an individual.

Well, it's time for Disney to admit that there's another problem.

There's a sin shared by Scar and Jafar and the wicked stepmother and Yzma and Hans. They each made an effort to achieve, for themselves, a higher station.
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(The movie, not the TV series... which I may get to.)

Friday the 13th is, perhaps, the birthplace of the classic slasher-flick. The first movie follows some teens in the reopening Camp Crystal Lake. They come in ahead of the crowds to do prep work and, in horror movie fashion, to be unrealistically oversexed. Also in classic horror movie fashion, they die in gruesome manners.

Oh, spoilers ahead.
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The Cabin in the Woods is Joss Whedon's mix of horror movie and horror movie parody, in which the designated victims of a horror movie are actually the designated victims of a vast technological operation to make them horror movie victims. This is a good premise and it has the potential to be a good metaphor... Yeah, I'll get to that.

Much of my insight comes not from myself, but from two blogposts*. Feel free to read those as well or even read them first to get a good understanding of just how much I'm cribbing. Otherwise, spoilers ahead.
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Terminator and Terminator 2: Judgment Day were good movies. The further sequels... have problems... many problems. Considering those problems, I can see why one particular problem doesn't get discussed, but here we go.

In Rise of the Machines and Genisys, we have two different versions of the origin of Skynet and its decision to destroy humanity. This should be something to explore. But, in both versions, the origin of Skynet's anti-human mission... is Skynet's anti-human mission. I'm not saying that can't be the origin, it would fit along with theme of the first movie, but there's nothing else we ever find out about Skynet.

What it ignores is the element that gives Skynet such story potential. Skynet became self-aware. According to Kyle Reese, it was after Skynet achieved consciousness that it identified humans as a threat and acted accordingly.

Skynet is a chracter, and why haven't we explored that character yet?
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Alright, I've poked my fun, pointed out some problems. It's only right that I try to come up with something better.

The root problem I see in the Star Wars movies, both trilogies, is that they mistake the nature of the conflict between

Jedi and Sith.

Disclaimers: This going to take a lot of analysis and it's going to involve discussion of some Eastern Philosophy, mixing from different sides of a continent that makes other continents look small. Not only is this a lot of culture to smoosh into this conversation, I have a dramatically amateur understanding of the philosophies. I'm not going to go into depth, here. And, do not treat what I say as real knowledge but, if you are interested, a reason to research for yourself.
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The Purge is the home-under-siege horror story set in a not-too-distant America that has declared that, one night out of the year, all crime is legal and all emergency/peacekeeping service is suspended. The surface justification is that this yearly event allows people to "purge" their violent tendencies, thus allowing for a more harmonious and smooth social cohesion for the rest of the year. But, another stated reason is that the yearly event eliminates "unproductive" members of the society.

As a premise, this yields a lot of potential, more than just one home-under-siege horror story, though that should certainly be included.
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[Note: Special thanks to Chris the Cynic for starting me thinking on this one.]

They Live is a classic, low budget movie about an every-man character, trying to find construction work and survive in a very unfriendly economy. The main character, George Nada played by Roddy Piper, happens upon a pair of sunglasses that shows him an unfiltered reality that subliminally controls humanity.

If you haven't seen it, go ahead. It's fun for low-budget schlock entertainment. It's good for discussion on economic and political perspective. You don't have to agree with the movie's perspective, you'll still be entertained at the very least.

There's still room for improvement.
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Back to the Future is a very entertaining story. It has the main character, in painfully awkward manner, finding out that his parents weren't always his parents. But, for all of that, and for the light deconstruction of 50s teen romance tropes, there are still problems that could stand some deconstruction of their own.

One of these problems is Lorraine and George, Marty's mother and father respectively. Part of the comedy of the movie is that George isn't the perfect geek-gets-girl stereotypical story. He's a peeping tom and he's ready to go along with an attempt to trick Lorraine into marrying him.

Lorraine, on the other hand, is framed very well... but she undresses Marty while unconscious. The infatuation that she initially starts, her associating this boy with potential future marriage, all happens while he's unconscious. What else happens is her taking off his pants. She takes an effort to hide that fact from her parents.

This isn't to condemn either of them or to cast them as deserving of punishment. This is to say that they aren't as far from the other problem as framing would seem to claim.
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I referenced this movie in my Evangelizing Advice Tip#3 Evil Jesus*. For those that didn't read it, that tip advises people to look at the actions, attitudes, and statements they attribute to who/what they worship and look at it as though they were by someone else. Check to see if it seems evil when done by someone who isn't assumed to be perfectly good.

At the time, I hadn't actually watched The Encounter for myself. I knew it from a review by an online reviewer/personality, Brother Humble. So, before I expressed my alternative ideas, I wanted to watch this for myself, just in case my impression was off the mark.

I wasn't off the mark. This movie was hard for me to get through precisely because it took the worst of my expectations and went farther with them.

I suppose there is an argument to be made that I'm not the target audience. This is obviously a movie made by conservative evangelical Christians for conservative evangelical Christians, telling its intended audience exactly what they already believe.
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