A HERO'S SPARK: the final book in the Wicked Women series!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Even a potentially bad movie can hold a compelling story at its heart.

Good morning!

So the saga of my thumbs has reached a hilarious peek.  I'm chronicling that over at my humor blog,  It can only happen to Sarah!

But since I was really laid up last night after my cortisone shot, I had the time to watch a made for TV disaster pic called, "Impact." 

I know...not normally what I go for.  But David James Elliott was the star and he's one of those guys I'll pretty much watch in anything.  (By the way...DJE fans?  the picture at the top of this blog...I'm obsessed because this is so a picture of Quinn from my new book.  What movie/TV show is this from?  A FREE COPY OF DREAM IN COLOR to the first person who can tell me, and hook me up with a copy of said TV show/movie.)

Okay, now that my shameless begging it out of the way, let's move on.

There are a lot of movies out there, and I've watched many of them.  There are great movies that were meant to be great.  There are great movies that weren't expected to be great, but wound up being awesome.  ("The Princess Bride" fits into this category.)  There are movies that were supposed to be great, but fell short, and everyone knows it, even if they won't admit to it.  (Lost in Translation comes to mind.)

Of course, there are also movies that are pretty bad, and were sort of meant to be bad, and yet, I love them, but not for obvious reasons.

One of my favorite movies is "Heaven's Burning" a goofy, violent, buddy picture starring Russell Crowe.  I admit it, I watched it at first because of Russell Crowe.  It's early in his career, and filmed in Australia by Australian film makers.  The plot is as convoluted as it is simple.  I'm not going to give you all the details, just go rent it.  It's one of those of inadvertently hilarious movies.  But, and here's my the end, you'll be cheering for the main characters and you'll weep at the very end.  Rent it, I promise you won't regret it.

I'm being serious.

Even bad movies can have a good story.  Take the movie I watched last night.  "IMPACT." It had all the elements of being a potentially bad flick. 

Made for TV? Check. 

Overly dramatic, yet completely unclear title?  Check.

Disaster film?  Check.

Improbable science and/or technology?  Check

Continuity issues?  In spades.  (The whole world is shut down, but a guy can get from Germany to Washington DC in the span of  one scene?  Right.)

However, I sat through all three read that right...all three hours of the movie.  Not because I love David James Elliott.  That was the reason I rented the movie in the first place, but not the reason I watched it.  I watched it to the very end because, when you stripped away all the explosions, all the military and scientific jargon, all the made up jargon, what you had, at the heart of it all, was a story about a man trying to make life safe for his kids. And when you put DJE with have magic.   (It didn't hurt that the young boy who played his actor by the name of Owens Best, was completely disarming and wonderful.)

So for me, it was well worth the three house I sat in bed watching this movie.  I found myself drawn in, in spite of the highly unlikely plot.  (Which wound up being a tiny bit of a rip off of the movie "Armageddon.") And yes, I teared up at the very end.

It's the same with books we read, isn't it?  Maybe you don't like a certain genre of book, but you pick one up and you get sucked in because when you peal back all the bits you don't care for, at the heart, there's a compelling story.  As writers, reading books that aren't necessarily in our genre is a good idea.  You can pick up inspiration everywhere, and reading is so vital to writing.

If you lived in a world where everything was exactly the one way you liked things, that would be boring.  You have friends who are different from you, right?  Step outside of your circle of what you love and take a look at something you think is going to stink. 

At the heart of it, you might find something very worthwhile.  And that, my friends, will help you grow as a writer.

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