Sunday, 26 October 2008

Sunday already?

So this weekend didn’t really play out the way I planned it. A couple of drinks after work on Friday ended up with me not getting home until the early hours of Saturday morning, which meant the first half of Saturday was pretty much a write-off. Then I made the mistake of going to see Saw V – that’s seven quid plus 90 minutes of my life I’m never getting back.

Saw V was bad enough to get it’s own little rant. Okay, what was I expecting from the fifth in a franchise that only really had one film in it to begin with? Well, to be honest I’ve enjoyed the other sequels. Yes they get progressively less interesting with each film, but each one managed to do something cool with the story by the end and usually featured some good performances. Also, I kind of liked it that there was a new Saw film every Halloween – it made me feel like there was some order to the world. And I think Darren Lynn Bousman did a great job to get a perfectly functional film made in a year, three years in a row. If you’ve ever watched any of the behind the scenes stuff on the DVDs it was clearly a nightmare working to such a tight schedule. But I’m not going to attack the director of Saw V, David Hackl, as it was his first film as director and, to be honest, the problem wasn’t with the direction, it was the script.

First off, it was very, very dull. A continuation of the previous film only you don’t care about any of the characters and you’re not given anyone new to identify with. It’s also not as clever as it thinks it is. And it thinks it’s way cleverer than the audience, so much so that the characters have to speak aloud their thoughts to themselves whenever they work out a part of the plot, just in case we didn’t get it from the flashbacks they’ve shown us a hundred times. And the flashbacks are the worst thing about this film. It plays like one of those flashback episodes in TV shows when they would use a weak framing device to play clips from previous episodes. That’s what most of Saw V is, because we obviously were all dying to know how they set the traps in Saw 2 so really want a ten minute scene explaining it.

Terrible film. Will I go and see Saw 6 next year? Probably.

Okay, where am I with writing? I finished the rewrite I was doing last week and everyone seems pretty happy with it so that’s good news. Andrea read The Dark Room and it is good, but perhaps not as perfect as I was hoping it would be. Most of the criticism she had was as I expected – it has suffered from me not planning it out like I usually do and despite being a really tough first draft it looks like the second draft will be even tougher as a result. Also, there was one terrible oversight on my part – what I thought was a film about three characters is actually about two. And it’s not something I can sort out easily.

At first I was thinking maybe I’d rework the script before getting more feedback, but actually I think I’d be better off getting as much feedback as I can first then doing a proper rewrite. So I’m going to spend today making some tiny amendments and then I’ll hopefully be able to post the first ten pages later on. That way I might at least manage to something productive this weekend.

Just as I'm finishing this blog I noticed Neil Gaiman's latest post is titled Saturday? Already? although I suspect we have different reasons for feeling time is moving too quickly at the moment.

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