Alayna Cole

 

Alayna Cole is an MCA (Creative Writing) candidate who loves to write stories when she’s not studying.

fast-and-furious-7-is-also-going-back-to-los-angelesI’m a writer who primarily concerns herself with the page. I’ve found that there are many benefits to favouring written narrative over alternatives like visual and interactive narrative, but there are also many downsides. And, beyond that, there are innumerable differences that cannot necessarily be put into ‘pro’ or ‘con’ categories. This article concerns itself with one of the key differences between my preferred craft and the visual narrative, specifically live action movies and television programmes.

It is possible for an audience to enter any narrative with prior knowledge of either the story itself, or the external factors that shaped it, and this knowledge can skew a person’s perception and interpretation. When watching a live action movie or television programme, an audience can easily be influenced by their understanding of the actors that they see on the screen, which can lead to a conflation of character and actor. For example, I’m fully convinced at this point that Robert Downey Jr. is actually Tony Stark, with Robert’s real life decisions often staying completely in character. Generally this connection between actor and character is a side-note to the story, something unintentional that only causes small biases with particular members of an audience based on their individual prior knowledge; however, I recently watched a movie where this connection seemed to be actively encouraged and this seriously altered the experience of the narrative for many members of the audience.

Fast-and-Furious-7-Pic

The release of Fast and Furious 7 was surrounded by a lot of hype, following the tragic death of Paul Walker—the actor who plays one of the lead characters, Brian O’Conner—late in 2013.

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GOTG-posterWell, yes it was fun! S’plosions, one liners, music (Cherry Bomb!), abs a-plenty, Groot (‘we are all groot!’ sob!), some good old fashioned heroics, and Rocket the smart-mouthed raccoon.

I watched the film trending on Twitter for days before I went to see it. In our immediacy-addicted world, that’s a lifetime of people talking about the movie.

While the story wasn’t particularly riveting, each member of the rag tag band made up for it with their charms. Zoe Saldana as Gamora was as understated as always and won my vote for the coolest blue/green chick ever. And Chris Pratt as Peter Quill was a wholesome hero. Rocket, however, stole the show. Not only did Bradley Cooper give enormous personality to the role, but Rocket’s Meerkat swagger was hilarious! And then there was Groot: perfect in every way.

So many comparisons have been made to Star Wars, and I don’t really see them as valid. GOTG is its own thing, complete with a winning soundtrack of 70’s and 80’s classics. Ooga Chaka! Let it be…

jersey-boys-movie-trailer-2014I went to see Jersey Boys because I’m trying to be less insular in my movie selections, and Clint Eastwood directed and produced it. He seems to choose stories that deliver decent characterisation and a certain wry humour (after seeing The Other Woman recently, I vomited stereotypes for a week).

I didn’t know a lot of background about the stage version, other than it had been very successful, but I’m old enough to have heard all the Four Season’s music, especially the seventies hit December 1963–which is kind of a legendary song.

Here’s the premise: The story of four young men from the wrong side of the tracks in New Jersey who came together to form the iconic 1960s rock group The Four Seasons. IMBD

So the film…set and costume design was stylish, the acting was decent, and some of the musical moments were sublime. It felt like a gentle movie, a loving rendition, not something truly raw and insightful. Metacritic summed it up well: Jersey Boys is neither as inventive nor as energetic as it could be, but there’s no denying the powerful pleasures of its musical moments”

I found John Lloyd Young’s reprise (from the stage show) of the Frankie Valli role to be lovable but a little dense. Erich Bergen as Bob Gaudio couldn’t transform his suave 2000’s looks to fit into the ’50’s period–it was like watching Gabriel Macht (Suits) in the part. Vincent Piazza as Tommy de Vito had the most impact, but that may have been to do with the fact that his character was so lively. Christopher Walken looked like he was having a grand old time playing the revered mob boss, Gyp DeCarlo

The storyline in very poignant and all about honour among men, and, to a degree, about reaping what you sow. I can appreciate the former, but honestly, I’m not sure that I really relate. For me, the highlight was hearing this…

Movie Trailer

 

Awards

davitt-award  aurealis-award   logo-curtin-university

Peacemaker - Aurealis Award
Best Science Fiction Novel 2014

Curtin University Distinguished Alumni Award 2014

Transformation Space - Aurealis Award
 Best Science Fiction Novel 2010

Sharp Shooter - Davitt Award
Best Crime Novel 2009 (Sisters in Crime Australia) 

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