Thank you to everyone who commented on my poll regarding my character name issues. After conferring with my agent this morning (we were already planning to talk over my proposal for book three--I didn't call her over this) I emailed the copy chief and suggested changing the text to avoid the problem. With her consent, we're going to change the characters' last name to one without an s. Simple, but I wasn't sure there was time for it.
Finally, I stayed up too late last night to watch HELLBOY II: THE GOLDEN ARMY. It was an interesting movie, and there were a lot of interesting non-human creatures in it, but overall it was a failure on a number of levels.
As a big, summer adventure movie, it was a failure. The plot coupon structure never really works well, and the antagonist is the same boring martial arts guy we see in too many films. The final fight scenes, against the magic robots and the sword fight on the Giant Useless Gears, were pretty tedious.
On an acting level, it failed. The human actors weren't given much of interest to do, especially Jeffrey Tambour. The characters who did have to carry the weight of the story were hampered by the makeup. Abe Sapien plays a large part in this film, but the latex mask the actor wears can't convey any feeling at all. Johann Krauss--basically an animated suit--tries to get by with over-emphatic vocal tones and hand motions. And it didn't come across.
For instance, the scene where Sapien falls in love with the Seriously Stoned Elf Princess could have been wonderful, but instead it fell flat.
The movie also contradicted itself. For instance, the film shows the alienness of the non-human world at the same time it shows Hellboy as, essentially, a human being with devil-red skin and a tail. As a child, he begs for a story before bed and pleads for a snack. As an adult, he's stuck in a very *normal* relationship with a fellow agent, with very *normal* conflicts.
But there were several interesting opportunities here that never got explored--probably they couldn't have been explored because it was a big-budget summer release. Mainly, I'm thinking about the characters' tendency to put the entire world at risk for the person they love.
But, duh! you do not transition from a story where the world discovers Hellboy (by his own design--he's tired of living in hiding) and then rejects him as the demon he is to a story where the characters say "To hell with the world--save the person I love!" It implies a causality that the filmmakers almost certainly didn't intend.
The parts that worked, though, really worked. The scene at the base of the Brooklyn Bridge was marred by the Hero-Saves-Infant sequence, but the forest God itself was fucking fantastic. That's the creature that should have been in CLOVERFIELD. That creature needed its own movie--it was way more interesting that Goth Karate Elf.
Feh. Now I'm going to take the spray bottle of vinegar to clean off the blinds in the bedroom, so I can feel that I've accomplished something today.