AHHH, THE MONOMYTH.

IT IS A FASCINATING ACADEMIC PURSUIT; A JOURNEY INTO OUR CULTURAL HISTORY, TO THE TIES OF COMMUNICATION THAT BONDED OUR EARLY CIVILIZATIONS. IT EVEN EXPLAINS HOW OUR STORYTELLING ROOTS ARE DIRECTLY BORN FROM THAT SHARED HISTORY. YES, THE LESSONS AT THE CORE OF THE MONOMYTH ARE MANIFOLD, RICH, AND TEXTURED; A THOUSAND VERSIONS OF A HERO’S JOURNEY, ALL BOUND BY THE HUMAN CONDITION, ALL CRUCIAL TO OUR UNDERSTANDING OF WHY WE TELL STORIES IN THE FIRST PLACE. SIMPLY PUT, THE HERO’S JOURNEY IS VITAL TO OUR HUMANITY.

AND NOW IT’S A TOTAL FUCKING CRUTCH.

A LOT LIKE HULK’S DISMISSAL OF 3 ACT STRUCTURE, THE PROBLEM WITH JOSEPH CAMPBELL’S THE HERO WITH A THOUSAND FACES IS NOT IT’S LACK OF ACCURACY, BUT INSTEAD WHAT WE DO WITH THE INFORMATION IT PROVIDES. CHIEFLY, THE FACT THAT OUR SOCIETY HAS OVERTLY ADOPTED THE BOOK’S BREAKDOWN OF THE HERO JOURNEY AS SOME KIND OF READY-MADE APP FOR “PAINT BY NUMBERS” STORYTELLING. HULK’S NOT EVEN REALLY SURE HOW MANY PEOPLE WHO REGULARLY CITE THE HERO’S JOURNEY HAVE ACTUALLY READ THE DAMN BOOK PAST A FEW CHAPTERS. IT’S ACTUALLY OBVIOUS BECAUSE THE BOOK’S REAL VALUE IS DEEPLY, EVEN MADDENINGLY ACADEMIC (AT TIMES IT GETS DOWNRIGHT ANTHROPOLOGICAL). THE TRUTH ABOUT CAMPBELL’S LAUDED BOOK IS IT ACTUALLY DOESN’T HAVE A TON TO DO WITH ALL THOSE NEAT THE LITTLE DIAGRAMS AT THE BEGINNING, IT’S MORE INTERESTED IN CULTURAL DEDUCTION BASED ON THOSE CONCEPTS. BUT SINCE THOSE DIAGRAMS ARE ALL WE SEEM TO REMEMBER IT IS THUS ALL WE SEEM TO TAKE FROM IT: UNIVERSAL STORYTELLING MADE EASY.

QUITE FRANKLY,  IT’S HURTING MORE THAN IT’S HELPING.

HERE ARE THE REASONS WHY:

FOR STARTERS, THERE IS A FUNDAMENTAL ERROR MADE IN HOW WE INTERPRET THE APPARENT “SIMPLICITY” OF THESE MYTHS, MAINLY THAT THEY ARE ACTUALLY NOT SIMPLE WHATSOEVER. THE UNIVERSAL BREAKDOWN OF THEM MAY BE SIMPLE, BUT THE STRUCTURE ON DISPLAY IS ANYTHING BUT. FOR INSTANCE, YOU’LL NOTICE THAT ONE OF THE MAIN REFERENCED MYTHS IN THE BOOK, THE EPIC OF GILGAMESH, IS ANYTHING BUT PAINT-BY-NUMBERS.

PICTURED: JAPANESE INTERPRETATION OF GILGAMESH. WARNING: THIS INTERPRETATION IS JAPANESE.

THE 12 TABLET EPIC OF GILGAMESH IS ACTUALLY PRETTY FUCKING COMPLEX EVEN THOUGH IT’S CONSIDERED THE ROSETTA STONE FOR THE HERO JOURNEY. SURE IT CONTAINS BIG PICTURE REFERENCE POINTS (THE PASSING INTO THE STRANGE WORLD, THE CALL/RETURN, ETC), BUT THESE AMOUNT TO NOTHING BUT THE LOOSE STRUCTURE OF THE WORK AND ARE BY NO MEANS THE ENGINE OF THE NARRATIVE OR PLOT. NO, WHAT DRIVES THOSE ARE THE DYNAMIC THEMES IN PLACE: THE IN-FLUX RELATIONSHIP WITH ENKINDU, WHICH ARE BORN OUT OF STOPPING GILGAMESH FROM ENGAGING IN HIS MORE, UM, SORDID ACTIVITIES (RAPE MOSTLY). THERE’S ALSO THE QUEST FOR IMMORTALITY (L’MORTE D’ARTHUR ALERT!), SOME OTHER STUFF ABOUT RELIGION, PROSTITUTION, DREAM STATES, YOU NAME IT. HULK HAS EVEN READ MORE ANALYSISSESS OF GILGAMESH AND ENKINDU AS HIDDEN LOVERS THAN YOU WOULD IMAGINE IS POSSIBLE (OH, COLLEGE KIDS!… ACTUALLY THEY MAY HAVE A POINT WITH THAT ONE). THE POINT IS THERE’S A SHIT TON GOING ON IN THE STORY BEYOND IT’S FUN LITTLE ABILITY TO BE OUTLINED IN TERMS OF THE HERO’S JOURNEY. THESE ARE THE THINGS THAT MAKE THE WORK COMPELLING AND INTERESTING, NOT THE MERE FACT THAT IT TOO MOSTLY FITS WITHIN THE CONFINES OF MONOMYTH CLASSIFICATION.(1)

YET, GILGAMESH ONLY SEEMS TO SURVIVE IN OUR CULTURAL CONSCIOUSNESS BECAUSE OF THE CAMPBELLIAN HERO DIAGRAM AND OUR DESIRE TO TALK ABOUT IT IN THOSE VERY SPECIFIC AND UNIVERSAL TERMS: THE CALL! THE REFUSAL! THE TRIALS! THE RETURN! YAY!

YAY!

NOW, IS MOST OF THAT STUFF IN GILGAMESH? ABSOLUTELY.

IS THAT WHAT MAKES IT A STORY? EH, MAYBE.

IS THAT WHAT MAKES IT A GOOD STORY? NO.

IS THAT WHAT MAKES IT A WELL-TOLD STORY? FUCK NO.

THIS SPEAKS DIRECTLY TO WHAT HULK BELIEVES IS THE GREAT FUNDAMENTAL ERROR OF ACADEMIA. WHAT PEOPLE DON’T SEEM TO REALIZE IS THAT WHEN YOU ACADEMICALLY TRY TO BOIL NARRATIVE ELEMENTS DOWN TO THEIR MOST BASIC ELEMENTS, YOU ARE THEREFORE  BOILING DOWN STORYTELLING TO THEIR MOST BASIC ELEMENTS! HULK MEAN… GAAAHHH. THAT’S ALL YOUR DOING! AND THE INTENTION OF THIS ANALYSIS IS TO FIND SIMILARITIES AND UNDERSTAND CULTURAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL INCLINATION! WHICH MEANS IT IS NOT THE KEY TO UNLOCKING STORYTELLING, BUT A KEY TO MAKING YOUR STORY AS SIMILAR AS POSSIBLE TO EVERYTHING ELSE OUT THERE.

SERIOUSLY, IT'S NO BETTER THAN THIS

THERE IS A GREAT VALUE TO THE CAMPBELLIAN BREAKDOWN, SPECIFICALLY CONCERNING  THE FORMATIVE NATURE OF CULTURE AND WHY WE VALUE/TELL THESE STORIES, BUT IT IS ACTUALLY THE FURTHEST THING AWAY FROM A HOW-TO GUIDE. WHOEVER ARE THE FOLKS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE ORAL TRADITIONS BEHIND STUFF BEOWULF AND GILGAMESH, THEY WEREN’T SITTING DOWN SAYING “OKAY, OKAY, NOW HE HAS TO REFUSE THE CALL AND THEN BY TABLET 2 THE NEXT BEAT SHOULD…” GAAAAH. SMASHY! WHAT’S SO INTERESTING ABOUT THE HERO’S JOURNEY IS THE WAY THESE THEMES AND DYNAMICS SEEPED NATURALLY OUT OF THESE DIFFERENT STORIES, NOT THAT EVERYONE FELT OBLIGATED OR WAS PURPOSELY TRYING TO DO IT.  THE HERO’S JOURNEY SECRETLY HAS NOTHING TO DO WHATSOEVER WITH GOOD STORY STRUCTURE! JUST THEMATIC CONTENT!

IF THERE IS ANYTHING THAT HULK SO DESPERATELY WANTS TO CONVEY TO ALL OF YOU IN THIS BLOG IT IS THAT THERE IS A STARK DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE LANGUAGE USED IN THE BROAD STROKES OF CATEGORIZATION AND THE LANGUAGE WE SHOULD USE FOR PRACTICAL APPLICATION.

IT’S LIKE THE MYTH OF 3 ACT STRUCTURE VS. HULK’S PREFERRED METHOD OF FLOW STRUCTURE (MULTI-ACT WORKING ON CHARACTER/RELATIONSHIP CENTRIC ARENAS THAT ARE NOT MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE). OR POST-MODERNISM VS. THE PRAGMATISM OF CONSTRUCTIVE IDEAS. OR ACTION’S “COOL” DESIGNATION VS. THE POWER VISUAL CAUSE + EFFECT STORYTELLING. IN A STRANGE WAY THESE ARE ALL THE SAME ONGOING PROBLEM OF BAD LANGUAGE. (2) THE WAY WE BREAK THINGS DOWN AND DESCRIBE THEM ARE NOT NECESSARILY HELPFUL TO UNDERSTANDING HOW TO CONSTRUCT THEM. YET WE CONSTANTLY MISTAKE THESE MODELS OF DESCRIPTION FOR “HOW TO”S AND THUS WE KEEP RUNNING INTO THE SAME BASIC STORYTELLING PROBLEMS AGAIN AND AGAIN.

WE HAVE TO REFORM AND BROADEN OUR MODELS. WE HAVE TO REVISE OUR LANGUAGE. TO PUT HULK’S ‘CATEGORIZATION VS. PRACTICAL APPLICATION” ARGUMENT INTO METAPHOR: KNOWING THAT A HOUSE IS MADE FROM WOOD WITH PLASTERED WALLS AND A ROOF DOES NOT ALLOW ONE TO SIMPLY BUILD A HOUSE, YOU HAVE TO UNDERSTAND HOW TO LITERALLY “BUILD” AND SHAPE THOSE THINGS, NOT JUST KNOW THAT THEY EXIST AND WHERE THEY SHOULD MORE OR LESS GO… WAIT THAT METAPHOR WAS TERRIBLE… HULK CAN DO BETTER… MAYBE… HULK’S TIRED… UM… FINE, THAT’LL DO HULK. THAT’LL DO.

BACK TO THE TOPIC AT HAND: EVERY YEAR WE SEE MOVIES THAT DESPERATELY CLING TO THE HERO JOURNEY MODEL, AS IF IT IS THE ONLY THING THAT MATTERS.

SERIOUSLY, HOW MANY MOVIES HAVE WE SEEN THAT ARE BEAT-FOR-BEAT THE SAME STORY AS STAR WARS? IT DOESN’T HELP THAT THERE ARE LITANY OF WRITERS WHO SIMPLY EQUATE STAR WARS WITH THE ONLY EXISTING MODEL OF THE HERO’S JOURNEY (HINT: IT’S NOT) AND THEN JUST REGURGITATE IT AS IF THEY WERE PHOTOCOPYING THE SCRIPT AND CHANGING THE NAMES ( ERAGON TAKES THE PROVERBIAL CAKE ON THAT ONE, THOUGH TO BE FAIR, STAR WARS TAKES A STUNNING AMOUNT OF ITS DYNAMICS FROM DUNE). BUT SINCE IT IS SO SEEPED INTO OUR CONSCIOUSNESS, WE SEE IT ALL THE TIME.

THERE ARE ALSO THE NOW UBIQUITOUS COMIC BOOK ORIGIN STORIES, WHICH HAVE BECOME UNIVERSAL IN THEIR CONSTRUCTION (EXCEPT HULK’S ORIGIN. HULK’S IS TRULY UNIQUE… IN THAT IT’S A BLATANT RIP OFF OF DR. JEKLL & MR. HYDE). THERE IS RARELY A SUPER HERO ORIGIN THESE DAYS THAT FEELS INTERESTING OR DIFFERENT. THE ONE EXCEPTION? ONE OF THE REASONS THAT THE IRONMAN MOVIE WORKS SO WELL IS THAT IT KNOWS WHEN TO COMPLETELY AVOID THE BEATS THE HERO JOURNEY THAT DON’T MATTER TO THE STORY IT WANTS TO TELL. THINK OF HOW MANY BEATS IN THE “HERO JOURNEY” WOULD NOT BE CALLED FOR WITH THAT CHARACTER. THEIR SOLUTION? THEY JUST DON’T USE EM! INSTEAD, EACH STEP OF TONY’S JOURNEY TO BECOMING SHELLHEAD IS AN ARTICULATED, CHARACTER-BASED MICRO-STEP; A SINGULAR DECISION THAT DEALS WITH THE MOMENT AND IS DIRECTLY RELATED THE SITUATION AT HAND. WHICH MAKES IT REAL FUCKING WRITING.

LASTLY, THERE’S HULK’S FAVORITE EXAMPLE OF THE PAINT BY NUMBERS VERSION OF THE HERO’S JOURNEY… VIDEO GAMES.

FORGIVE THE FOLLOWING NON-MOVIE DIGRESSION, BUT NOTHING SHOWCASES BACKWARD THINKING QUITE LIKE THE OBLIVIOUS WRITING OF VIDEO GAMES (MORE IMPORTANTLY, THIS SHIT WILL GET FUCKING HILARIOUS).

FIRST OFF, PLEASE KNOW THAT HULK LOVES HULK SOME VIDEO GAMES. THEY’RE FUN, UNIQUE, AND IMMERSIVE. BUT THE STORYTELLING CRAFT IS USUALLY NOT FIT FOR EVEN THE WORST HOLLYWOOD MOVIES. EVEN THE COMPANIES THAT SUPPOSEDLY DO IT WELL, LIKE BIOWARE, ARE REALLY TELLING THE SAME EXACT STORIES WITH THE SAME EXACT CHARACTERS IN THE MOST NON-INTERESTING WAY AS POSSIBLE. AGAIN, IT’S NOT A MATTER OF THINGS MERELY BEING SIMILAR, BUT THAT THEY ARE ALL SO SIMILAR IN THE MOST ROTE, SOUL-CRUSHING WAY POSSIBLE. THEY NAKEDLY USE THE MONOMYTH MODELS AS HOW-TO GUIDES.(3)

THE BIOWARE CHART HULK JUST LINKED TO ABOVE ACTUALLY LED TO VERY FUNNY SITUATION THAT HAPPENS OFTEN ENOUGH TO BE ONE OF HULK’S FAVORITE THINGS EVER. SEE, WHEN THE PEOPLE RESPONSIBLE FOR THESE HERO-JOURNEY REGURGITATIONS ARE  CALLED OUT ON IT, THEY SOMETIMES HAVE THE GALL TO DEFEND THEMSELVES IN A RATHER PISSY WAY, OFTEN WITH FAUX-INTELLECTUAL SMUGNESS.  SOMETHING AKIN TO “UH, SORRY GUYS IT’S CALLED “THE HERO WITH A THOUSAND FACES” AND IT PROVES ALL STORIES ARE THE SAME STORY. PSSSSH. IDIOT.”

SERIOUSLY, HERE IS EXACTLY HOW BIOWARE WRITER RESPONDED [VIA MESSAGE BOARD AT THAT]: “So I’m supposed to believe someone is smart enough to do a big Excel spreadsheet with color coding and stuff but not smart enough to know about Campbellian archetypes? Yeah, guys, every BioWare game has the same plot! See, things are kind of normal, and then things change and you have to go out and do stuff, and you go to crazy weird places! Aaaaaand so yeah, totally the same story. That’s asinine.”

HULK WOULD SIMPLY REPLY: “YES. HULK TOO IS FAMILIAR WITH THIS BOOK YOU SPEAK OF. THAT’S BECAUSE WE ALL READ IT IN, LIKE, 9TH GRADE. AND THAT’S REALLY NOT WHAT THE BOOK IS SAYING, BUT THANKS FOR PLAYING!” AND THANKFULLY A LOT OF WRITERS MADE IT 10TH GRADE WHERE THEY READ SHAKESPEARE OR T.S. ELLIOT OR SOMETHING AND THE WORLD OF NUANCE OPENED UP.

HULK MEAN, THAT IS SERIOUSLY WHAT THE WRITER THINKS THAT CHART IS SAYING? THAT UBER-SPECIFIC CHART THAT DETAILS EXACTLY HOW THEY’RE DOING THE SAME EXACT GAME OVER AND OVER? UGH. HIS PURPOSEFULLY SARCASTIC ARGUMENT DOESN’T EVEN MAKE SENSE. HE STARTS ARGUING FOR THE SAMENESS OF CAMPBELLIAN ARCHETYPES AND THEN PROCEEDS TO SARCASTICALLY ARGUE THE CRITICS ARE OVER-TYPIFYING SAID SAMENESS? WHAT!??! HULK CONFUSED. AND THE FUNNIEST FUCKING PART IS THE WAY HE MAKES FUN OF HOW THEY’RE SUMMARIZING “STORY TELLING” IS ACTUALLY FAR MORE INDICATIVE OF HIS OWN APPROACH.

SERIOUSLY, HERE ARE THE WRITER’S OTHER COMMENTS SUMMARIZED IN AN ARTICLE IN EUROGAMER.

Weekes said the “intro, four planets, finale” structure familiar to BioWare games is picked for a number of good reasons.

Firstly, it’s “easy” in the sense of QA, as areas can be culled if they’re not ready in time for launch with minimal impact on the final product.

Secondly, “players understand it”. Weekes explained that four is a golden number of objectives for an area that may confuse, overwhelm and frustrate once exceeded.

Thirdly, “There’s nothing wrong with it.”

“It’s a structure, like any other,” he wrote. “Humorously snarking that our games have a beginning part that is streamlined and introduces you to the game, a middle that allows you the freedom to go to several places and have adventures, and then a tightly focused ending is like riffing on how romance novels generally start out with two people being attracted to each other but having emotional issues, then gradually building trust, then having a complication that splits them up, and then in the end they get together and are happy.

“People who create fiction in any form use a structure appropriate to that form. They do it because their audience understands and responds on an emotional level to that structure,” he concluded.

HULK DOESN’T REALLY MEAN TO SINGLE THIS WELL-MEANING PERSON OUT… BUT SERIOUSLY, THAT IS THE RESPONSE?!??!?!? DO THEY NOT SEE THAT THEY ARE STARTING OFF ON THE COMPLETE WRONG FOOT IN THEIR APPROACH TO DESIGNING A GAMING “WORLD AND STORY”?!?!??!?!

GET READY...

IT’S “EASY”? FUCK RIGHT IT’S EASY. HULK GLAD TO SEE YOUR FIRST INCLINATION IN STORYTELLING IS OPTING FOR THE EASIEST POSSIBLE PATH, YOU KNOW, FOR “PRAGMATISM” OF COURSE. NOTHING INANE ABOUT THAT!

AND “PLAYERS UNDERSTAND IT”? WHAT?! THEY WOULDN’T BE ABLE TO UNDERSTAND GOING TO VISIT MORE WORLDS OR NOT BEING OPEN TO CHARACTERS WHO DON’T FIT IN WITH THE SAME LAZY ARCHETYPES? ARE YOU ACTUALLY IMPLYING THAT THEY WOULDN’T BE ABLE TO UNDERSTAND A NEW KIND OF CHARACTER? ESPECIALLY WHEN YOUR GAMES “CHARACTERIZE” BY SIMPLY HAVING SAID CHARACTERS GIVE UNIFORM, LONG-WINDED MONOLOGUES WHERE THEY SPELL OUT THEIR PERSONAL HISTORY, PEOPLE’S CUSTOMS, AND WHAT THE HAD FOR BREAKFAST, ALL BY TALKING DIRECTLY TO THE CAMERA? YEAH, PLAYERS SOOOOOOO WOULDN’T UNDERSTAND SOMEONE CHARACTERIZED IN THOSE COMPLEX, SUBTLE TERMS. GOSH DAMMIT. HOW THE HELL CAN THE DEVELOPERS AIM SO LOW AND THINK THAT’S WHAT MAKES THEM SUCCEED?

AND THEN “THERE’S NOTHING WRONG WITH IT”? NO, EVERYTHING IS WRONG WITH IT. YOU ARE GOING ABOUT YOUR STORYTELLING ASS-BACKWARDS. YOU’RE LOOKING FOR THE SIMPLEST AND EASIEST WAY TO MAKE WHAT YOU DO LOOK AND FEEL LIKE EVERY SINGLE OTHER THING ON THE PLANET. YOU SAY THERE’S NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT? READ HULK’S LAST SENTENCE AGAIN. YOU ARE NOT GETTING TO THE HEART OF STORYTELLING. YOU ARE CASUALLY, EVEN CAVALIERLY MILKING IT AND YOU’RE NOT EVEN REALIZING IT. AND FUCK, UNLIKE MOVIES, VIDEO GAMES HAVE AT LEAST 8-30 HOURS OF STORY TO TELL AND THEREFORE SHOULD HAVE TO EMPLOY FAR DIFFERENT STRATEGIES (LOOK AT TELEVISION!). BUT INSTEAD THEY JUST OPT FOR CUT + PASTE NOT ONLY BECAUSE THEY THINK IT’S THE EASIEST WAY PLACATE THE GAMER AND JUST FUCKING GET ON WITH IT, BUT BECAUSE THEY’RE MISINFORMED THAT THIS IS THE RIGHT THING TO DO. AND THE HUMOROUS SNARKING IS PERFECTLY ALLOWED: NOT BECAUSE YOU EMPLOYED THE SIMPLE STRUCTURE YOU DID, BUT BECAUSE THAT’S ALL YOU EMPLOYED. SO UNFORTUNATELY, YOUR BELIEF THAT WHAT YOU’RE WRITING IS “STRUCTURALLY SOUND” AND THEREFORE GOOD, COMPLETELY OPENS UP YOUR LAZY-ASS STRUCTURALISM TO BEING VIEWED BY HULK AS SO OBVIOUSLY AND HIDEOUSLY EMPTY. A;LJSDFL;ASJKDF;AJSD

… SORRY, HULK GOT SMASHY, IT’S OVER NOW, IT’S OVER… YOU CAN COME ON OUT OF THERE.

HULK BROUGHT ALL THIS BIOWARE/VIDEO GAME STUFF BECAUSE THIS IS OBVIOUSLY THE MOST EXTREME EXAMPLE OF THE HERO’S JOURNEY GONE HORRIBLY, HORRIBLY WRONG. THE IRONY IS THAT WHILE BIOWARE IS CLEARLY F-ING UP THEIR APPROACH TO STORY IN ONE WAY, THEY HAVE ACTUALLY HAVE REALLY MADE STRIDES IN THE “INTERACTIVE” PORTION OF STORY GAMING, BY GIVING YOU THE OPTION TO, SAY, KILL CHARACTERS AND RESHAPE THE NARRATIVE. GAMERS REALLY RESPONDED TO IT. IT IS EXACTLY THE KIND OF FORWARD-THINKING THEY SHOULD IMPLORE WITH THEIR STORY STRUCTURE AND WORLD BUILDING, BUT BECAUSE “THE HERO’S JOURNEY” SAYS IT’S A-OKAY, THEY ARE PERFECTLY HAPPY JUST DOING THE EASIEST POSSIBLE THING.

THE HERO’S JOURNEY HURT THEM MORE THAN IT HELPED.

NOW MOST MOVIES ARE NOT SO WOEFULLY OFFENSIVE AS THIS EXAMPLE, BUT THE SAME EXACT THINKING IS AT PLAY. TO WIT, LET HULK FOCUS ON POPULAR MOVIE TROPES AND EXPLAIN THE 7 FUN WAYS PEOPLE USE THE HERO’S JOURNEY TO RUIN STORIES:

#1 – PEOPLE ARE HEROES SIMPLY BECAUSE THEY ARE THE MAIN CHARACTER FOR SOME REASON… AND THEY ARE GETTING CALLED TO ADVENTURE OR SOMETHING

WHAT MAKES A HERO? THERE SEEMS TO BE SOME CONFUSION OVER THE MATTER. WE KNOW ONE OF THE GREAT THINGS IS THAT A HERO COULD BE ANYONE. EVEN YOU! IT’S A NICE THOUGHT AND HAS SIGNIFICANT NARRATIVE VALUE, BUT THE PROBLEM IS THAT WE A MISTAKE IN THE ASSESSMENT AND SAY ANY OLD HUMAN QUALITIES WILL DO… EVEN “NONE.” WE DO APPARENTLY THIS TO ENSURE THAT THE MAIN CHARACTER IS A CONDUIT FOR AUDIENCE DESIRES AND AS A RESULT WE CREATE MAIN CHARACTERS WHO ARE JUST VACUOUS, BLANK SLATES. YOU KNOW THE ONE HULK IS TALKING ABOUT (PSSSST… MOST OF THEM). OR HELL MAYBE IT’S JUST LAZINESS. THESE CHARACTERS ARE PICKED TO BE HEROES BECAUSE, WELL, THAT IS WHAT THEY THINK HAS TO HAPPEN IN ORDER TO TELL A HERO STORY.

YOU REMEMBER THE END OF RATATOUILLE WHERE THE CRITIC ANTON EGO SURMISES THAT HE WAS MISTAKEN ABOUT SOMETHING OF GRAVE IMPORTANCE: IT’S NOT THAT “ANYONE COULD COOK BUT THAT A GREAT COOK COULD TRULY COME FROM ANYWHERE”? IT’S SPEAKS DIRECTLY TO THIS PROBLEM. IT’S NOT THAT ANYONE CAN BE A HERO, BUT THAT A HERO CAN COME FROM ANYWHERE. BUT THE KEY IS THAT THEY HAVE TO HAVE SOMETHING INSIDE THEM. A SPARK. A YEARNING. REMY THE RAT WAS SOMEONE WITH AN INNATE ABILITY (SMELL) AND A DESIRE (APPRECIATION OF FOOD BEYOND HIS ENVIRONMENT). HE NEVER HAD A SENSE OF BELONGING. LUKE SKYWALKER? SAME THING. HE HAD THIS SAME HUMAN YEARNING FOR ADVENTURE BEYOND HIS FARM. AND YET WE CONSTANTLY MISAPPLY THIS “ANYONE CAN BE A HERO” TROPE TO MEAN THAT ANYONE WITH A VACUOUS PERSONALITY CAN  BE A HERO/MAIN CHARACTER SIMPLY BECAUSE SOME OLD MAN SHOWS UP AND TELLS THEM THEY ARE. WE ARE TREATED TO HERO AFTER HERO YOU COULD BASICALLY RENAME THEM MILQUETOAST MCBLANDERSON.

SO NOW HULK IS GOING TO DO ONE OF HULK’S FAVORITE THINGS TO DO ON THIS BLOG AND BRING IT BACK TO INDIANA FUCKING JONES. THE GREAT THING ABOUT INDY IS THAT DUDE’S A FUCKING CHARACTER. FUNNY, SMART, FLAWED, AND AWESOME. YES, YOU WANT YOUR MAIN CHARACTER TO WORK AS A CONDUIT, BUT THAT DOESN’T MEAN THEY HAVE TO BE AN EMPTY SHELL, IT MEANS THEY ARE A FLESH AND BLOOD PERSON WHO WE CAN BE HUMAN WITH, NOT HUMAN FOR. IF PROJECTING OUR DESIRE TO BE IN THEIR SITUATION ONTO THEM AS THE ONLY MEANS OF IDENTIFICATION, THE THE CHARACTER IS A COMPLETE FAILURE. THERE HAS TO BE A REASON WE WANT TO BE LIKE THEM. THEREFORE, THEY SHOULD HAVE A FUCKING PERSONALITY. SO DON’T BE AFRAID TO THROW IN SOME DRAMA INTO THAT CONDUIT! DON’T WASTE YOUR PERSONALITY ON SECONDARY CHARACTERS (THOUGH THEY SHOULD OBVIOUSLY HAVE THEM TO). DON’T USE YOUR MAIN CHARACTER AS SOMEONE WHO IS ONLY FUNCTIONAL IN TERMS OF PLOTTING. AND OOH, OOH AND DON’T FORGET! WHEN WRITING HEROIC CHARACTERS ALWAYS REMEMBER: EXASPERATED = GOOD! BUT WHINING = BAD! SO TOE THE LINE!

#2 – REFUSING THE CALL FOR THE ENTIRE DURATION OF THE MOVIE

COUGH* GREEN LANTERN* COUGH. HOW MANY MOVIES, IN AN EFFORT TO SLAVISHLY STICK TO THE HERO JOURNEY MODEL THROW IN AN OBLIGATORY AND WHOLLY UNNECESSARY SCENE(S) WHERE THE CHARACTER DENIES ANSWERING THE CALL FOR NO GOOD REASON WHATSOEVER? THERE IS NOT A MORE HOLLOW EXERCISE IN WRITING. WHY DOES THIS HAPPEN SO MUCH? EITHER BECAUSE (A) THEY ARE FOLLOWING THE HERO’S JOURNEY AND THINK THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO, OR (B) BECAUSE THE WRITER THINKS IT WILL MANUFACTURE DRAMA, WHEN REALLY THEY ARE GIVING US NO SET UP FOR THIS BEHAVIOR WHATSOEVER. CUE IMAGINARY GREEN LANTERN DISCUSSION:

WE NEED A LANTERN! C’MON RING, PICK A FEARLESS GUY!”

“BUT THIS GUYS IS SECRETLY AFRAID OF EVERYTHING!”

“RIGHT, WE CAN’T JUST HAVE HIM KICK ASS IMMEDIATELY HE HAS TO FIT THE HERO MODEL AND DENY THE CALL! SO HAVE HIM DENY WHAT HE CAN OBVIOUSLY DO FOR SOME REASON… UM…YEAH THIS MAKES NO SENSE, BUT WHO CARES. LET’S GET ON WITH IT.”

“THIS IS GOING TO BE THE PLOT FOR THE ENTIRE MOVIE.”

“WELL, SHIT.”

OKAY, OKAY, THIS ISN’T EVERY MOVIE. OCCASIONALLY, A MOVIE CAN HANDLE THE REFUSAL IN AN OKAY WAY AND GIVE LEGITIMATE REASONS WHY THE MAIN CHARACTER WOULDN’T WANT TO JUST ABANDON THEIR LIFE AND GO TO THIS CRAZY ADVENTURE, BUT THOSE OCCASIONS ARE FAR MORE RARE THAN THEY SHOULD BE. BECAUSE USUALLY THE REASONS EXPRESSED ARE BASICALLY: “I CAN’T GO WITH YOU, IT’S CRAZY! THIS IS WEIRD!” OR SOMETHING. HINT: IT’S NOT WEIRD. IN FACT, YOUR AUDIENCE WILL ALREADY KNOW THAT THIS IS EXACTLY WHERE IT IS GOING SO EMBRACE ECONOMY AND GET IT ON WITH IT. DON’T DEVELOP YOUR CHARACTER WITH ONE SINGULAR REFUSAL EITHER, AS IF ANSWERING THE CALL IS THE SOLUTION TO ALL THEIR PROBLEMS. DEVELOP THEIR CHARACTER EVOLUTION INCREMENTALLY INSTEAD.

REMEMBER, ONE OF THE DELIGHTFUL THINGS THAT NO ONE SEEMS TO REALIZE IS THAT IN STAR WARS, LUKE SKYWALKER REFUSES THE CALL FOR APPROXIMATELY 38 SECONDS OF TOTAL SCREEN TIME. SERIOUSLY. WATCH THE FUCKING MOVIE. HE SAYS NO TO BEN KANOBI, IMMEDIATELY REALIZES HIS AUNT AND UNCLE ARE IN DANGER, SEES THEIR CHARRED CORPSES AND SAYS “THERE IS NOTHING FOR ME HERE NOW, I WANT TO BE A JEDI LIKE MY FATHER”… IT’S LIKE, 38 FUCKING SECONDS. LOGICAL A, B, C STORYTELLING, DONE WITH ECONOMY, DOES WONDERS FOLKS.

#3 – OVER-RELYING ON THE WISE OLD CRONE

OBI-WAN KANOBI AND YODA. WONDERFUL CHARACTERS. AND NOW EVERY MOVIE HAS THEIR NOT-NEARLY-AS-GOOD VERSION OF THEM. WORSE, THE THINGS THEY ARE REALLY GOOD AT HAVE NOW BECOME THEIR SOLE, GRATING DUTY IN MOVIES: THEY’VE BASICALLY BECOME EXPOSITION MACHINES. FUCK, BEING A MOVIE’S “YODA” HAS ACTUALLY BECOME SHORTHAND FOR AUDIENCES. OF COURSE ANYTIME THIS IS TOO PAINFULLY OBVIOUS, WE DO THE EQUALLY OBVIOUS THING AND TRY TO BRUSH OFF THIS LAZY WRITING WITH A DUMB JOKE: “DO THIS THING. IT’S YOUR DESTINY.” / “HEY, EASY YODA!” … CAUSE THAT WILL WORK [READ: SARCASM].

HOW MANY TIMES HAVE YOU SAID TO YOURSELF “I’LL FORGIVE THIS BLATANT APING OF [INSERT POPULAR MOVIE] BECAUSE AT LEAST SELF-AWARE BLATANT APING!” … HULK GONNA WAGER NOT A LOT.(4) AND HULK CAN USUALLY TELL YOU THE EXACT MOMENT EACH ONE THESE CRONE MENTORS WILL BE KILLED OFF TO SEND THE MAIN HERO ON HIS WAY ALONE (JUST BECAUSE THEY’RE SUPPOSED TO). LOOK, HULK DOES MEAN TO IMPLY THAT USING A FIGURE IN YOUR STORY THAT IS THE CRONE FIGURE ISN’T SUPER-USEFUL, BUT FOR PETE’S SAKE, TRY TO HIDE WHAT YOU’RE DOING. DO NOT JUST “MAKE A YODA FIGURE.” IN CASE HULK HAS TO KEEP REMINDING YOU THAT WAS NOT WHAT THE CHARACTERS IN STAR WARS WERE SOLELY ABOUT EITHER. REMEMBER THAT YODA WAS FIRST INTRODUCED TO US AS “BATSHIT INSANE LITTLE ANIMAL” AND IT WORKED BEAUTIFULLY. SO IN YOUR OWN STORIES GIVE THEM INTERESTING AND UNIQUE STUFF TO DO. GIVE THEM A ROLE IN THE STORY BESIDES BEING THE CRONE. ASK YOURSELF, “HOW CAN I MAKE THIS CRONE UNIQUE?”

#4 – MISTAKING THE NOTION OF “THE TRIALS” FOR “THE HERO FIGHTING A BUNCH OF THINGS”

HULK HOPES THIS ONE IS PRETTY SELF EVIDENT, BUT HERE GOES: THE TRIALS ARE NOT A SERIES OF FIGHTS. THIS IS NOT TO IMPLY THAT THE TRIALS CANNOT CONTAIN A SERIES OF FIGHTS. IN FACT, A SERIES OF FIGHTS ARE USUALLY PRETTY SWEET. BUT WHAT EACH FIGHT SHOULD DO IS HAVE SOME SORT OF THEMATIC RESONANCE AND REFLECT ON A PERSONALITY DEVELOPMENT OF THE MAIN CHARACTER HERO TYPE PERSON. FOR EXAMPLE, ONE FIGHT COULD ADDRESS HIS PRIDE. ONE FIGHT COULD ADDRESS HIS LUST (IN GENERAL THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS WORK GOOD FOR THESE KIND OF PERSONALITY-MADE-PHYSICAL BRAND OF OBSTACLES). ONE COULD ADDRESS HIS ACCEPTANCE OF DEFEAT, TEACH HIM LOSS, HUMILITY, OR WHATEVER HE MAY NEED TO GO FORWARD AS A BETTER, MORE COMPLETE PERSON.

THE POINT IS THAT THE TRIALS CANNOT BE EMPTY EXERCISES IN NEATO ACTION. THIS IS A STORY AND STORIES DEVELOP. GOING BACK TO STAR WARS, REMEMBER HOW FUCKING PYSCHOLOGICAL LUKE’S TRIALS ARE DURING HIS TIME ON DAGOBAH? THERE’S, LIKE, NO ACTUAL FIGHTING. HE’S BATTLING HIS PERSONALITY AND HIS MIND, TRYING TO MOVE ROCKS AND HAVE SELF-CONTROL. AND IT’S ALL SO INCREDIBLY FANTASTIC. SO REALLY EACH TRIAL SHOULD BE TREATED AS IT’S OWN MINI-STORY ADDRESSING THE CHARACTER COMPONENTS OF THE LARGER JOURNEY… AND YES YOU CAN USE ACTION TO DO THAT, BUT INTEGRATE THEM TOGETHER. DON’T JUST MAKE AN EMPTY SERIES OF “COOL” FIGHTS.

#5 – MEETING THE GODDESS / WOMAN AS TEMPTRESS

HULK, YOU GOT YOUR FEMINISM IN MY HERO’S JOURNEY COLUMN! DARN TOOTIN’ HULK DID. DEAL WITH IT CAUSE IT’S FUCKING IMPORTANT.

WHY? BECAUSE WHILEWRITING SO MANY PEOPLE LOOK AT HERO JOURNEY MODEL AND GO: “WHEN IT COMES TO WOMEN WE CAN JUST WRITE THEM AS THE GODDESS/TEMPTRESS (READ: MADONNA/WHORE)? SWEET! THANKS MONOMYTH!” UGH. HONESTLY, THESE TROPES ARE AS OLD AS TIME BECAUSE A LOT MEN HAVE NOT BEEN ABLE TO GET OVER THIS DYNAMIC SINCE THE BEGINNING OF TIME. AND PLEASE KNOW HULK IS NOT DERIDING THIS BAD HABIT OUT OF SOME MODERN, REVISIONIST P.C. INCLINATION. NOT AT ALL. THE TRUTH IS THERE HAVE BEEN INTERESTING, HUMAN DEPICTIONS OF WOMEN SINCE JUST ABOUT FOREVER (PROOF? ATALANTA FOR ONE, NOT A MISSPELLED CITY BUT THAT FIGURE OF GREEK MYTH. ALSO SEMIRAMIS, AND AS FAR AS ACTUAL GODDESS CONDUITS GO HATHOR WAS PRETTY COOL). THE PORTRAYAL OF WOMEN IN MOVIES/MEDIA IS HUGE OTHER BALL OF WAX, ONE THAT HULK CAN’T WAIT TO WRITE ABOUT IN FULL, BUT THE POINT IS THAT THERE IS A CAPACITY TO WHICH THE GODDESS/TEMPTRESS MODEL HAS ALWAYS BEEN OUTDATED. SO IF YOU’RE STILL WRITING WOMEN WITH JUST THESE BASIC ARCHETYPES IN MIND, FUCKING STOP IT.

AGAIN, GOING BACK TO STAR WARS, THAT MOVIE WAS ACTUALLY PRETTY GOOD ABOUT AVOIDING THAT SHIT. WELL… SORT OF. IT’S NOT EVEN LIKE LEIA IS A PERFECT EXAMPLE OF FEMINISM, BUT SHE WAS AT LEAST PRETTY DAMN GOOD. LEIA IS A FULLY-FORMED AND INTERESTING CHARACTER WHO WASN’T INTERESTED IN BEING EITHER GODDESS OR TEMPTRESS, WHO STILL HAD THE INNATE CAPACITY TO BE BOTH. WHICH MADE HER, YOU KNOW, A HUMAN BEING.

YET THE MADONNA/WHORE IS STILL EVERYWHERE THESE DAYS. YES, A LOT OF TIMES IT’S BECAUSE THE MALE WRITER SERIOUSLY VIEWS WOMEN THIS WAY, BUT MOST OF THE TIME IT’S UNINTENTIONAL! WHY DOES THAT HAPPEN? BECAUSE EITHER A) THAT’S WHAT THE HERO’S JOURNEY SAYS TO DO OR B) BECAUSE THEY JUST HAVE NO IDEA HOW TO DO ANYTHING ELSE. SO WHENEVER HULK READS THIS UNINTENTIONAL HORSESHIT HULK ALWAYS GIVES PEOPLE THE SAME ADVICE: “FUCK IT, JUST WRITE HER LIKE LEIA.” IT SOUND SO STUPID AND SIMPLE, BUT THE PERSON WHO CLAIMS TO HAVE NO IDEA HOW TO WRITE WOMEN INSTANTLY THEN ‘GETS IT. ” LEIA IS THAT MUCH A CENTRAL AND POSITIVE FIGURE. THIS TRICK ISN’T SOME MAGIC CURE-ALL EITHER, BUT IT INSTANTLY MAKES THEIR FEMALE CHARACTERS LIKE 50% BETTER.

HULK KEEPS BRINGING UP STAR WARS FOR A REASON. IT OUR MAIN CULTURAL TOUCHSTONE FOR THE HERO’S JOURNEY AND WE CAN’T EVEN IMITATE IT PROPERLY. WE’RE LOOKING AT THE MOST BASIC CONTENT AND MOTIFS AND NOT THE ENGINES THAT REALLY DROVE IT’S SUCCESS, LIKE ITS SENSE OF ECONOMY, THE POWER OF ITS CHARACTERIZATION, THE HUMOR OF ITS CRONES, THE PSYCHOLOGY AT PLAY IN THE TRIALS, AND ITS STRONG FEMALE LEAD. WE’RE LITERALLY MISSING THE BEST STUFF ABOUT IT BECAUSE WE’RE TOO BUSY LOOKING AT HOW IT FITS THE HERO’S JOURNEY ALONG WITH EVERYTHING ELSE. GUESS WHAT FOLKS? THE SEEKER: THE DARK IS RISING FITS THE HERO JOURNEY EVEN BETTER, BUT NO ONE IS FUCKING INTERESTED IN COPYING THAT. WHAT MAKES THE ORIGINAL STAR WARS TRILOGY SO AWESOME AFTER ALL THESE YEARS IS NOT HOW IT’S THE SAME, BUT HOW IT’S STILL TRULY DIFFERENT.

#6 – BLATANTLY USING THE ELIXIR REMEDY / DEUS EX MACHINA

THIS ONE SORT OF DEALS WITH THE “RETURN WITH ELIXIR” COMPONENT, BUT BASICALLY HULK JUST WANT TO POINT OUT THAT WAY TOO MANY STORYLINES RESOLVE WITH DEUS EX MACHINA. ANYTIME YOUR BIG HERO STORY SOLVES PROBLEMS THE WAY ENTOURAGE DOES, YOU SHOULD PROBABLY JUST STOP DOING THAT.(5) BECAUSE THERE IS NO DEVICE IN POPULAR STORYTELLING THAT, WHEN USED POORLY, CAN FEEL SO DAMN CHEAP TO EVEN THE MOST UNAWARE AUDIENCES.

LOOK. DEUS EX MACHINA IS FUCKING HARD. NO TWO BONES ABOUT IT. HULK RECOMMENDS THAT EVEN MOST INTERMEDIATE WRITERS SHOULD STAY AWAY (HULK INCLUDES HULK-SELF IN THIS). THAT IS BECAUSE CHANCES ARE YOU WILL DO IT IN MEDIOCRE FASHION AND WILL THUS FAIL. BUT THAT’S OKAY. THERE ARE BETTER WAYS TO SOLVE STORY PROBLEMS.

IS THERE A WAY TO DO IT RIGHT? OF COURSE. BUT YOU SORT HAVE TO DIRECTLY ENGAGE THE THEME. FOR MOST OF ITS RUN, LOST WAS A SHOW THAT HANDLED THEIR MOMENTS OF DEUS EX MACHINA IN A KIND OF BRILLIANT WAY. MOST OF THE TIME, THESE “SAVING THROWS” WOULD TIE DIRECTLY INTO SPIRITUAL OVERTONES OF THE SHOW. BUT THAT ALONE IS NOT WHAT MADE IT WORK.  IT WORKED BECAUSE THE SHOW SET UP THEIR MOMENTS OF DEUS EX MACHINA WITH THE APPROPRIATE SENSE OF NEED AND LONGING. THEY ADDRESSED THE VERY IDEA AT THE THEMATIC CENTER OF THE DEVICE AND WHETHER OR NOT DIVINE WILL/INTERVENTION/WHATEVER-YOU-CALL-IT PLAYS A PART IN THEIR LIVES. AS A RESULT THEY COULD SEAMLESSLY INTEGRATE THOSE MOMENTS OF DEUS EX MACHINA INTO THE CHARACTER’S CATHARSIS. LIKE AS JOHN LOCKE BEGS AND PLEADS FOR A SIGN FROM GOD, HIS EMOTION SWELLING, AT HIS WIT’S END… CUE: LIGHT FROM THE HATCH. THEY GAVE THE MOMENT CHARACTER-BASED MEANING, NOT PLOT MEANING. THE SUCCESS OF DEUS EX MACHINA NEVER LIES IN THE DELIVERY, BUT IN THE SET-UP AND IT’S IMPORTANCE TO THE CHARACTER TURNS.(5)

LET’S GO BACK YET AGAIN: REMEMBER THE HAN SOLO “YEEE HAW KID! NOW LET’S BLOW THIS JOINT!” MOMENT FROM STAR WARS? OF COURSE YOU DO. IT WORKS BECAUSE THEY SPEND THE ENTIRE MOVIE SHOWING HOW HAN DOESN’T DO STUFF LIKE THAT AND HAVE THE CHARACTERS TUG AT HIS HEART STRINGS TRYING TO GET HIM TO DO STUFF LIKE THAT. THE LAST MOMENT OF SET-UP SETS IT UP PERFECTLY, AS HE SHUFFLES AWAY WITH ALL HIS MONEY GRUMBLING TO A RELUCTANT CHEWY “I KNOW WHAT I’M DOING.” THE FILM THEN SPENDS THE EXACT RIGHT AMOUNT OF TIME AWAY FROM HIM SO YOU COMPLETELY FORGET, UNTIL THE VERY SECOND HE STREAMS IN, STARLIGHT-BEHIND-FALCON, AND SAVES LUKE. IT’S A BEAUTIFUL, GORGEOUS MOMENT BUT IT WORKS BECAUSE OF ALL THE GREAT CHARACTER SET-UP!… GOSH… HULK KEEPS WRITING ABOUT STAR WARS AND KINDA FALLING IN LOVE WITH IT AGAIN… THIS AFTER SWEARING IT OFF… OH WELL, THAT’S WHAT HAPPENS WITH GOOD THINGS.

OH YEAH... HULK KNEW THERE WAS A REASON. AND IT FITS OUR NEXT POINT:

#7 – “THE RETURN” APPARENTLY JUST MEANS THE CHARACTERS SHOULD JUST COME HOME AT THE END

PERHAPS WE CAN MAYBE BLAME THE ODYSSEY FOR THIS ONE, BUT THERE IS DEFINITE LACK OF UNDERSTANDING FOR WHAT “THE RETURN” ACTUALLY MEANS AND IT IS RESPONSIBLE FOR DOZENS OF HYPER-POINTLESS ENDINGS. WRITERS GET IT STUCK IN THEIR HEAD THAT WE SOMEHOW HAVE TO RETURN HOME AND THIS MAGICALLY BRINGS THINGS  FULL CIRCLE… YEAH… “THE RETURN” MEANS A THEMATIC RETURN. NOT A LITERAL ONE. YET WE SEE MOVIES THAT RETURN THE ACTION OF THE HERO TO “HOME” AND THINK THAT INHERENTLY IMPLIES SOME KIND OF MEANING. BUT UNLESS YOU GIVE THE RETURN THEMATIC RESONANCE AND HAVE TRULY CHANGED THE CHARACTER IT MEANS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.

HULK’S PERSONAL FAVORITE FOR THE NONSENSICAL, “LITERAL RETURN” OCCURS IN THE OPPOSITE OF THE ORIGINAL STAR WARS TRILOGY… ALSO KNOW AS THE PREQUELS. THOSE MOVIES ARE ALL TERRIBLE FOR HUNDREDS OF REASONS, BUT IN THIS SPECIFIC CASE THE RETURN TO NABOO IN THE PHANTOM MENACE IS DOWNRIGHT BIZARRE. THAT IS BECAUSE, ASIDE FROM PICKING UP A LITTLE ANAKIN SKYWALKER, THEIR JOURNEY TO CORUSANT YIELDS ABSOLUTELY ZERO RESULTS THAT AFFECT THE PLOT, SITUATION, OR CHARACTER. SERIOUSLY. THEY RETURN BECAUSE THEY HAVE NOTHING LEFT TO FAIL AT AND ABSOLUTELY NOTHING IS DIFFERENT ABOUT THEIR SITUATION WITH THE TRADE FEDERATION, OR THEIR PERSONAL SITUATIONS OR CHARACTER GROWTH. EVEN WHEN PADME SHOWED UP IN THE SENATE AND BEGS HER CAUSE, THE SENATE BASICALLY LIKE “WHAT? NO! OF COURSE NOT. YOU CAME ALL THIS WAY FOR THAT? WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU?” SO THEY JUST GO HOME TO REALLY START DEALING WITH THE ISSUE. AGAIN. DOWNRIGHT BIZARRE.(6)

BUT THE SADDEST PART IS WE SEE THE EMPTY “LITERAL RETURN” ALL THE TIME. AT THIS POINT HULK URGE YOU TO NOT EVEN BOTHER. IT DOESN’T FIT WITH MOST STORIES ANYWAY, EVEN FOR SOME BIG EPICS. NOT TO GET TO LITERAL, BUT IT MAKES WAY MORE SENSE IN CLASSIC MYTH OR AN INTERGALACTIC COMMUNITY OR SOMETHING, WHERE GOING ON ANY KIND OF JOURNEY IS SOME GIANT UNDERTAKING. WE NOW LIVE IN A TRANSIENT, NOMADIC, AND WHOLLY INTERCONNECTED SOCIETY SO HULK ARGUES THE THEMES AREN’T AS RESONANT. WE ARE INTERCONNECTED ALL THE TIME. SO THE THEMATIC POINT OF THE RETURN, TO HAVE A CHARACTER “STUCK TWO WORLDS,” IS ACTUALLY OUR MODERN CONSTANT, SO GO WITH THAT.

WHEN IT COMES TO YOUR ENDING JUST HAMMER HOME YOUR DAMN THEMES, IT DOESN’T MATTER WHERE THEY ACTUALLY ARE LOCATED. AND AS FAR AS YOUR PLOTTING GOES YOU DON’T NEED TO HAVE IT COME TOGETHER IN SOME UNIFIED MOMENT OF BIZARRE AMALGAMATION (THOUGH IF YOU CAN DO THAT WELL ENOUGH, IT PUTS YOU UP THERE WITH THE GENIUSES. DR. WHO IS A SHOW THAT DOES THIS QUITE WELL, BUT REMEMBER, PULLING IT OFF IS A HIGHWIRE ACT. SO TREAD CAREFULLY). JUST BE SURE ALL YOUR CHARACTERS/BEATS HAVE PLAYED A FULL PART IN THE STORY BY THE TIME OF THE ENDING BE SURE THAT THINGS YOU’VE INTRODUCED HAVE NOT BEEN DROPPED OFF THE FACE OF THE EARTH. ECONOMY AND FOCUS FOLKS. THE RETURN IS A THEMATIC ONE.

NOW THIS IS A FILM ABOUT HEROES! NOTE: HULK SO WORRIED YOU MIGHT ACTUALLY THINK THIS THAT HULK JUST GOING TO CLARIFY HULK JOKING

PERHAPS A BETTER TITLE FOR THIS ARTICLE WOULD HAVE BEEN “A BETTER WAY OF APPROACHING THE HERO’S JOURNEY” BUT SOMETIMES IT’S BETTER TO JUST DIVE IN AND START SMASHING SHIT. WE HAVE TO LOOSEN UP THE WAY WE DEAL WITH THESE STRUCTURAL MATTERS BECAUSE THIS WEIRD SENSE OF FORMALISM IS CRIPPLING OUR ABILITY TO FOCUS ON MORE PRODUCTIVE FORMS OF STORYTELLING.

WARNING: THIS DOES NOT GIVE US CARTE BLANCHE TO DEVOLVE OUR MOVIES INTO A STORY-LESS, BAY-ESQUE MALAISE OF ACTION, (7) BUT WE HAVE TO REMEMBER THESE ARE INTRODUCTORY FORMS OF STRUCTURE DESIGNED TO HELP US UNDERSTAND THE THEMES AT PLAY. THEY ARE NOT “THE RULES.” SO DON’T BE SO DAMN RIGID WITH THEM OR THINK THEY DO ALL THE WORK FOR YOU. EMBRACE A CHANGE TO THE MODEL WHEN IT SUITS YOUR CHARACTER IN THE STORY. REMEMBER, THERE’S NO “REFUSING THE CALL” IN INDIANA JONES AND HE’S STILL A DAMN HERO. HE’S SIMPLY LIKE “THE ARK OF THE CONVENANT? FUCK YEAH, I’M IN.” AND EVERYONE WAS TOTALLY COOL WITH THAT.

BEYOND THAT, IT IS IMPORTANT AS A CULTURE TO CONSTANTLY EVALUATE OUR TRIED AND TRUE SYSTEMS. THIS IS NOT AN INVITATION TO DISAPPEAR UP OUR OWN ASSHOLE WITH REFLEXIVE ACADEMIC TALK, BUT WE HAVE TO BE MORE PERCEPTIVE TO WHAT ACTUALLY HELPS US DO THINGS. AND THE POPULARIZATION OF THE HERO’S JOURNEY IS SIGNIFICANT TO OUR CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING, BUT NOW OUR OVER-RELIANCE ON IT FOR PRAGMATIC STORYTELLING HAS REACHED A KIND OF CRITICAL MASS.

WE ARE SIMPLY TELLING STORIES WRONG.

“SO HULK, WHAT DO WE TURN TO INSTEAD?”

HULK ARGUE YOU ALREADY KNOW EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE HERO BUSINESS AND THE BASICS ARE INGRAINED. SO HULK GOING TO ASK YOU TO APPROACH YOUR STORY STRUCTURE IN A MUCH SIMPLER, BUT FAR MORE HELPFUL WAY; ONE THAT WILL GET YOU TO WRITE SMARTER, MORE ECONOMICAL STORIES WHILE STILL CATERING TO YOUR PERSONAL IDEAS AND NOT STALE BULLSHIT.

LET’S TURN TO THE SOUTH PARK GUYS. CLICK ON THIS FUCKING LINK, IT’S JUST 2 MINUTES LONG AND IT’S INVALUABLE. CLICK ON IT:

http://vodpod.com/watch/15380496-matt-stone-and-trey-parker-crash-an-nyu-writing-class

HULK THANKS A FRIEND FOR SENDING HULK THIS VIDEO, BECAUSE TREY PARKER AND MATT STONE JUST DID MORE FOR ANY SINGLE STORY YOU WANT TO TELL THAN ANYTHING THE HERO’S JOURNEY WILL EVER DO.

THAT IS BECAUSE THE HERO’S JOURNEY TELLS YOU THE BEATS IN A GENERAL ORDER BUT IT GIVES YOU NO IDEA HOW TO LINK THEM. IF YOU USE THE HERO JOURNEY THEN THE VAST MAJORITY OF YOUR STORY IS CONSTRUCTED WITH AN “AND THEN”!!!! BECAUSE OF THIS, OUR HERO STORIES HAVE BECOME SEGMENTED NONSENSE. PEOPLE HITTING OBVIOUS AND REPEATED BEATS WITH NO FLOW.

LINKING THINGS TOGETHER IS THE SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT FACTOR IN CRAFTING A WELL-TOLD STORY. THIS IS WHAT HULK MEANS BY “FLOW” STRUCTURE. IT’S LIKE CLIMBING STAIRS: EACH SCENE SHOULD LEAD TO NEXT AND SO ON IN A WAY THAT ADVANCES THE PLOT, CHARACTER, OR THEME. EVERY PLACE SHOULD MAKE SENSE.

SO IF YOU ALREADY “GET” HEROES AND COME UP WITH YOUR OWN BEATS AND IDEAS (THAT’S THE EASY PART ODDLY ENOUGH), THE THING YOU HAVE TO TO THEN LEARN IS HOW TO LINK THE STORY COHESIVELY.

DO EXACTLY AS THEY SAY: LINE UP EVERY SINGLE BEAT IN YOUR STORY. THEN REWORK THE BEATS IF THE ONLY WAY YOU CAN LINK THEM IS WITH THE PHRASE “AND THEN.” IT SHOULD ALWAYS BE “THEREFORE” OR “BUT.”

DOING THIS CREATES A SINGLE STORY; TIGHT, ECONOMICAL WRITING THAT IS GOOD FOR YOUR IDEAS, RATHER THAN AUGMENTING YOUR STORY TO FIT SOMETHING THAT IS THE EQUIVALENT OF TWO-THOUSAND-YEAR-OLD CLIFF NOTES ANALYSIS, WHICH AGAIN, WAS REALLY SOMETHING THAT WAS MADE TO INVESTIGATE WHY WE CREATED MYTH AND NOT FOR HOW-TO INSTRUCTION. IF YOU ARE TAKING WHATEVER IDEAS YOU HAVE AND JUST PLUGGING THEM INTO THE HERO’S JOURNEY THEN YOU ARE DOING IT WRONG.

WOW… THIS ARTICLE CAME OUT SARCASTIC AS FUCK, BUT THAT’S OKAY.

SOME THINGS CALL FOR IT.

OUR RITUAL BUTCHERING OF THE ACADEMIC WORK OF JOSEPH CAMPBELL IS ONE OF THEM.

STAY IN SCHOOL!

ENDNOTES!

(1) AND DEPENDING ON THE TRANSLATION, GILGAMESH IS KINDA PRETTY TOO…  IN CASE IT’S NOT OBVIOUS HULK LOVES GILGAMESH. YOU SHOULD READ IT. SERIOUSLY, IT’S ONLY  128 PAGES… OR IN HULK-TERMS, HALF AN ARTICLE.

(2) GASP! A MONO-PROBLEM! THINGS JUST GOT REFLEXIVE UP IN THIS BITCH.

(3) THIS IS ALSO NOT TO IMPLY THE BIOWARE GAMES DON’T DO SOME THINGS WELL. THEY ACTUALLY DO A BUNCH OF THINGS WELL. BUT FOR VIDEO GAMES IN GENERAL, THE QUALITY OF THE GAME PLAY DIRECTLY EFFECTS THE DEGREE TO WHICH WE ARE WILLING TO ACCEPT SHIT STORY AND CHARACTERIZATION. THE GOOD NEWS IS THAT HULK REALLY BELIEVES THAT THINGS ARE GOING TO CHANGE IN THE NEXT FEW YEARS. MORE AND MORE ARTICULATE AND INTELLIGENT PEOPLE ARE COMING INTO THE FOLD WHO 1) GREW UP ON STORY-BASED GAMING AND THEREFORE RESPECT THE FORM AND 2) MORE AND MORE WRITERS/FILMMAKERS ARE RECOGNIZING THE UNIQUE STORYTELLING OPPORTUNITIES THAT GAMING AFFORDS (BECAUSE IT IS EXPERIENCED INSTEAD OF WATCHED). WE’VE ALREADY STARTED TO EXPERIMENT (BIOSHOCK, ROCK STAR’S OUTPUT, ETC) AND WHILE WE’RE NOT THERE YET, THINGS ARE LOOKING UP.

… THEN AGAIN, BADASSDIGEST READER “THEMACNAUGHTON” POINTED HULK IN THE DIRECTION OF THIS:

… OKAY, ABANDON ALL HOPE.

(4) THIS DOES NOT INCLUDE FILMS THAT DIRECTLY USE THESE TOUCHSTONES TO INVERT THE MEANINGS FOR COMEDY PURPOSES AND YET STILL INFORM THEIR OWN STORIES. THINK OF EMPEROR ZERG’S “I AM YOUR FATHER” MOMENT FROM TOY STORY 2 OR THE POINT BREAK SCREAM AND FIRE IN THE AIR REFERENCES IN HOT FUZZ. THERE ARE WAYS TO DO EVERYTHING, BUT GUILE AND INTENTIONS ARE KEY.

(5) WHICH FEEDS BACK INTO ENTOURAGE. THE SHOW FAILED FOR MANY REASONS BUT CHIEFLY BECAUSE THERE WERE NEVER ANY REAL SET-UP TO THESE MOMENTS OF RELIEF BECAUSE THERE WERE NEVER ANY REAL STAKES. TRY AS THEY DID, THERE WAS ALWAYS AN AIR OF INVINCIBILITY. PARTIALLY BECAUSE THE MAIN CHARACTER ROUTINELY REMINDED EVERYONE THAT HE DIDN’T CARE IF HIS WHOLE WORLD DISAPPEARED, SO QUESTION ENTOURAGE WRITERS, WHY THE FUCK SHOULD WE? SERIOUSLY, THE SHOW’S GREATEST MOMENT DANGER, HULK SHIT YOU NOT, WAS THE THREAT OF DRAMA AND TURTLE’S WIENERS ACCIDENTALLY TOUCHING DURING A  THREESOME…. WHICH IF YOU ASK HULK, WAS WHAT BOTH CHARACTER SECRETLY WANTED ALL ALONG*

*IN SOME BIZARRE UNIVERSE THAT EPISODE ENDS WITH THEIR WIENERS TOTALLY TOUCHING, THUS IGNITING THE BEGINNING OF A SERIES-ALTERING PLOTLINE WHERE THEY FALL IN LOVE, MOVE TO WE-HO AND ADOPT CHINESE BABIES. HONESTLY, HULK WOULD RATHER LIVE IN THAT UNIVERSE BECAUSE OUR UNIVERSE IS ONE WHERE PEOPLE THINK THAT SHOW IS GOOD**

** BY THE WAY, THE SHOW IS ALSO THE MOST SEXIST PIECE OF SHIT ON THE PLANET. JANE LYNCH WILL FOREVER HAVE HULK’S RESPECT FOR PULLING OFF HER WAY-MORE-STINGING-THAN-YOU-THINK “WHY I’M A LESBIAN” JOKE IN FRONT OF MILLIONS (NOTE: THE CAST ACTUALLY THOUGHT SHE MEANT THAT AS SAYING THEY WEREN’T THAT ATTRACTIVE. SHE MEANT THEY WERE HORRIBLE, SEXIST HUMAN BEINGS. WHICH IS PERFECT).

(6) OKAY NOT GO ALL FAN-FIC ON YOUR ASS BUT THEY COMPLETELY MISSED THE BOAT ON STRUCTURING THAT MOVIE IN THE BEST POSSIBLE WAY. ONE SMALL CHANGE COULD HAVE AFFECTED SO MUCH: PADME SHOULD HAVE STAYED ON NABOO AND DEALT WITH THE FACT HER PLANET WAS UNDER FUCKING ATTACK. QUI GON SHOULD HAVE LEFT OBI-WAN THERE TO PROTECT HER AND THEY COULD HAVE DEVELOPED A FRIENDSHIP AND SHE COULD HAVE HAD A SCHOOLGIRL CRUSH. MEANWHILE, QUI-GON WOULD HAVE BEEN THE ONLY ONE TO GO BACK TO THE SENATE AND GET STRANDED ALONG THE WAY ON TATOOINE. HE FINDS A NEW, BETTER PADAWAN IN YOUNG ANAKIN AND THEIR STUPID MISSION TO CORUSANT COULD HAVE STILL FAILED. BUT HERE’S THE REAL KEY, WHEN THEY RETURNED ALL THE TENSION AND GOT ON WITH THE REST OF THE STORY (INCLUDING THE TWO OTHER MOVIES) IT WOULD HAVE ACTUALLY COME TOGETHER IN A WAY THAT MADE SENSE. ANAKIN ENTERS AS THE DARK STRANGER WHO LOVES PADME, THE OBI-WAN CRUSH EVAPORATES, OBI WAN IS PISSED THERE’S A NEW PADAWAN AND EVERYONE WOULD HAVE REAL MOTIVATIONS. BUT INSTEAD THEY GOT TO TRAVEL TOGETHER IN A BIG, NOT FUN AND USELESS GROUP! ALSO GET RID OF JAR JAR. ALSO  THEY SHOULD HAVE DONE A MILLION OTHER THINGS. WAIT, WHY THE HELL IS HULK EVEN DOING THIS? YOU CAN’T POLISH A TURD. ASSUMING THERE IS ONE PROBLEM THAT FIXES THE PREQUELS IS LIKE SWATTING A MISQUITO AND CALLING THEM EXTINCT.

(7) IN A SMALL AND TOTALLY-INCORRECT WAY YOU HAVE TO ADMIRE HOW MUCH BAY JUST DOESN’T GIVE A SHIT. IF HE WAS INTERESTED IN ART HE COULD MAKE BRILLIANT ANTI-MOVIES. SADLY, HE IS NOT.

WHAT IF HULK TELL YOU THAT THERE ONE SINGULAR THROUGH-LINE TO THE VERY NATURE OF CRITICISM?

HULK READ LOT OF MOVIE CRITICISM. AND HULK MEAN LOT. HULK POSSIBLY EVEN READ YOUR BOOK/COLUMN/SITE TODAY. AND OVER DOING THIS LAST TWENTY YEARS OR SO, HULK BEEN LOOKING FOR ONE SINGLE THROUGH-LINE HELP EXPLAIN WHY CRITICS SAY THE THING THEY DO. SPECIFICALLY, HULK INTERESTED WHAT CAUSE SOMEONE TO HAVE SEEMINGLY BIZARRE OPINION. IT NOT EASY THING DO. LOTS PEOPLE COMING FROM DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVES AND HAVE ALL SORTS VALUES. AND IT ESPECIALLY DIFFICULT WHEN TRYING DECIDE IF IT YOUR OWN BIAS GETTING IN WAY. YET HULK DESPERATE KNOW WHY PEOPLE RESPOND TO MOVIES WAY THEY DO. AND MORE IMPORTANTLY HOW THEY THEN PROCESS AND EXPLAIN THOSE RESPONSES. THE ANSWER NOT JUST RELATE MOVIE CRITICISM, BUT UNIVERSAL CRITICISM. HULK BELIEVE CENTER AROUND ONE THING:

TANGIBLE DETAILS.

OK. HULK KNOW YOU THINKING “TANGIBLE DETAILS? DUH, OF COURSE! WHAT YOU IDIOT? OF COURSE THE FREAKIN’ DETAILS MATTER!”

HULK KNOW. HULK KNOW. IT SOUND BROAD AS HECK, BUT HULK ACTUALLY TALKING ABOUT VERY SPECIFIC WAY THE OBVIOUS, TANGIBLE DETAILS OF MOVIE DIRECTLY AFFECT HOW THE AT-LARGE CULTURE DIGEST IT. SO ALLOW HULK MOMENT ILLUSTRATE EXACTLY WHAT HULK MEAN… OKAY MORE THAN MOMENT. OVER 4000 WORDS AND LOTS OF TANGENTS. HULK SORRY, BUT VERY SIMPLE CONCEPT OFTEN THE HARDEST KIND TO JUSTIFY.

SO…

GIVEN: OUR ABILITY PROCESS THINGS INHERENTLY LINKED TO AMOUNT OF INFORMATION WE UNDERSTAND. MOST OF US QUASI-EXPERTS IN SOME WAY AT SOMETHING. OUR FAVORITE TV SHOW. BEER-BREWING. OUR FAVORITE SPORTS TEAM. WHATEVER, CHANCES ARE IT SOMETHING.

BUT THEN THERE LARGE NUMBER THINGS OUTSIDE THAT AREA WE QUASI-EXPERTS IN. AND MANY OF THESE THINGS STUFF WE ALL HAVE TALK ABOUT IN FORM OF PUBLIC SOCIALIZING. THE PROVERBIAL CAMPFIRE. STUFF LIKE ELECTIONS, THE SUPERBOWL, POPULAR TV SHOWS, BIG NEWS EVENTS, HIT MOVIES, RESTAURANT CHAINS. THE USUAL STUFF. AND OFTEN THESE UNIVERSAL SUBJECTS THROW US INTO CONVERSATIONS THAT WE MAY OR MAY NO HAVE STRONG KNOWLEDGE ABOUT.

"THE NYE METS ARE MY FAVORITE SQUADRON"

IN ONE WAY, IT OKAY IF NOT KNOW LOT ABOUT CERTAIN SUBJECT. THERE ACTUALLY SUBCONSCIOUS WAY IN WHICH MOST OF US ABLE PROCESS SIMPLE GOOD OR BADNESS OF JUST ABOUT ANYTHING: MOVIES WORK ON LARGELY VISCERAL LEVEL. FOOD CAN TASTE GOOD OR NO TASTE GOOD. SPORTS TEAMS HAVE WINS AND LOSSES. PRODUCTS CAN SIMPLY WORK OR NO WORK. THERE WAY WE UNDERSTAND SOME FORM RELATIVE VALUE OF ALL THESE THINGS.

BUT WHEN COME TIME ACTUALLY EXPLAIN THEM, NOT EVERYONE HAVE LANGUAGE/VERNACULAR TO BEST EXPRESS WHAT AT PLAY. SO ONLY WAY CAN EXPLAIN ANYTHING BY PRESENTING EVIDENCE. AND EVIDENCE 100% DEPENDENT ON THINGS WE NOTICE. AND THOSE THE TANGIBLE DETAILS.

… and FOR MOST PEOPLE, IT NOT ALWAYS THE RIGHT DETAILS PER SAY, BUT INSTEAD THE ONES THAT SIMPLY STICK OUT MOST.

THE FILM THAT MAKE HULK FIRST THINK IN THESE TERMS ACTUALLY SPIDER-MAN 3. MOST PEOPLE AGREE THAT SPIDER-MAN 3 PRETTY MUCH SUCK. OK? GOOD. MOVING ON. THE REAL REASON IT SUCK IT BECAUSE IT FORGET MOST BASIC ELEMENTS OF STORYTELLING 101. IT HAVE ZERO NARRATIVE STEAM AND ENERGY. IT CONFUSED ABOUT CHARACTER MOTIVATION. IT  SIDETRACK PLOT CONSTANTLY. THESE SIMPLE SCREENWRITING PROBLEMS. BUT WHAT THE ONE THING TONS PEOPLE POINT TO AS WHY IT SUCK?

EMO PETER PARKER.

NEVERMIND FACT MOST PEOPLE NOT KNOW WHAT "EMO" ACTUALLY MEAN

HULK HATE SAY IT, BUT THE SAD TRUTH THAT THE “EMO PETER PARKER” SEQUENCE THE ONLY ONE IN FILM THAT ACTUALLY HAVE SENSE OF HUMOR AND PALPABLE ENERGY. SERIOUSLY, HULK ARGUE IT THE ONLY “GOOD” SEQUENCE IN FILM. WATCH IT AGAIN BELOW. HULK THINK MAGUIRE DELIVERING GREAT COMIC PERFORMANCE. ESPECIALLY SINCE THE REAL JOKE THAT THIS WHAT A “CONFIDENT” PETER PARKER ACTUALLY LOOK/ACT LIKE. HILARIOUS.

BUT GIVEN THAT REST OF FILM HAVE NO ENERGY + FUN SCENES WHATSOEVER, IT THEREFORE NOT FIT TONE OF MOVIE WHATSOEVER. IT SIMPLY WAY, WAY DIFFERENT. THEREFORE, IT TANGIBLE TO EVERYONE WHO SEE IT. IT BECOME DEFAULT THING PEOPLE POINT OUT WHEN TRYING EXPLAIN WHY THE MOVIE (WHICH THEY ABSORBED ON VISCERAL LEVEL) SUCKED. TRUST HULK, EVEN IF THE EMO PETER PARKER SEQUENCE NOT IN MOVIE, PEOPLE STILL BE TALKING ABOUT HOW MUCH SPIDER-MAN 3 COMPLETELY AND WHOLLY SUCKED. IT JUST THE THING THAT STOOD OUT TO EVERYONE.

OKAY, THAT NOT EVEN THE ONLY REASON. THE OTHER BIG THING PEOPLE POINTED TO THAT “IT HAVE TOO MANY VILLAINS!” NO. NOT AT ALL. IT JUST IT HAVE VILLAINS WHOSE PLOT-LINES GO NOWHERE AND HAVE NOTHING DO WITH EACH OTHER. THE DARK KNIGHT HAVE TWO VILLAINS AND WORK CAUSE THE VILLAINS STORIES INTERTWINED AT KEY POINTS AND CONSTANTLY DRIVE NARRATIVE FORWARD. HULK RECENTLY TALK ABOUT REASON FIRST KUNG FU PANDA WORK SO WELL THAT THE FIVE MAIN CHARACTERS MOTIVATIONS AND PLOT ALL TIE INTO EACH OTHER SEAMLESSLY. AGAIN, IT GO BACK TO STORYTELLING 101. BUT IN SPIDER-MAN 3 EVERY CHARACTER JUST SORT OF DOING OWN THING REGARDLESS OF WHATEVER ELSE GOING ON. AND RAIMI HAD NO INTEREST IN VENOM SO STUDIO FORCED IT ON HIM TO BOOT. AS RESULT, THE SCENE WHERE VENOM AND SANDMAN “TEAM UP” LAUGHABLE IN ITS LAZY CONSTRUCTION. IT COULD NO GIVE LESS OF SHIT. AGAIN, IT NOT THAT THERE ARE TWO VILLAINS. IT THAT THE TWO VILLAINS JUST NOT DONE WELL WHATSOEVER. THE “TOO MANY VILLAINS!” MANTRA SOMETHING NOTICEABLE TO MOVIE-GOING PUBLIC BECAUSE THE PRIOR SPIDER-MAN MOVIES SUCCEED GREAT WITH JUST ONE VILLAIN.

BEING “EXPERT” JUST MEAN YOU ABLE MAKE THE LESS TANGIBLE DETAILS, WELL, TANGIBLE. MANY MUCH-BETTER CRITICS AND HULK SPENT LIFE TRYING FIGURE OUT MOVIES. SO MAYBE HULK CAN TELL WHEN SUBTLE TONE SHIFT AFFECTING AUDIENCE ENJOYMENT. OR WHEN CHARACTER SUDDENLY ACTING OUT OF CHARACTER. OR WHEN DIRECTING DECISION BEING MAKE FOR WRONG REASON. OR IF WRITER’S CERTAIN PERSONALITY TIC COME SHINING THROUGH AND DISRUPT ON THEMATIC LEVEL. OR HOW SOME SORT PRODUCTION HISTORY COMING INTO PLAY. BEING AWARE THIS STUFF THE VERY GOAL BEING CRITIC.

MORE IMPORTANT THAN ALL OF THIS, HULK FINALLY LEARN THE ABILITY TELL DIFFERENCE BETWEEN GOOD-INSANE NIC CAGE AND BAD-INSANE NIC CAGE. +5 CRITIC EXP. POINTS!

“WAIT A MINUTE” YOU MAY SAY TO HULK. “ISN’T THERE AN OLD SAYING THAT “NOBODY KNOWS ANYTHING” IN THIS BUSINESS?”

EXCUSE HULK, BUT THAT HORSESHIT. LOTS PEOPLE KNOW THINGS. IT JUST THERE MORE PEOPLE THAT NOT KNOW THINGS AND THEY HAVE TENDENCY FUCK THINGS UP. BUT WHEN CAPABLE PEOPLE INVOLVED IN PRODUCING, DIRECTING, ACTING, EDITING, AND THEN MARKETING… THE SKY THE LIMIT. LIKE WITH INCEPTION. THAT MOVIE IN ENTIRETY, EVEN THE CORPORATE NON-MOVIE STUFF, HANDLED PERFECTLY. SO TRUST HULK: SOME PEOPLE KNOW THINGS.

HULK ONCE BRING UP “TANGIBLE DETAILS” THEORY IN ONLINE FORUM TO EXCELLENT FILM CRITIC DEVIN FARACI. HE SEEMED AGREE WITH THEORY AND MUCH TO HULK’S SURPRISE, HE OFFER EXACT SAME ANECDOTE HULK OFTEN USE WHEN PROFESSING HULK’S OWN IGNORANCE ABOUT STUFF: NOT KNOWING SHIT ABOUT CARS.

REALLY, HULK KNOW NOTHING ABOUT CARS. HULK KNOW HULK’S CAR EITHER GO BROOM BROOM OR THE ENGINE LIGHT COME ON AND MAKE FUNNY NOISE. BUT OF COURSE THIS NO STOP HULK MAKING BROAD STATEMENTS LIKE, “THIS CAR HANDLE GOOD”, “THIS CAR SUCKS” , OR “THIS CAR LOOK COOL.” IT USUALLY BASED ON OBVIOUS THINGS LIKE APPEARANCE OR SIMPLE FEEL. MEANWHILE, A REAL GEARHEAD WOULD BE ABLE TO ARTICULATE THE PROBLEMS OR BENEFITS OF SAID CAR WITH, YOU KNOW, ACTUAL ACCURACY.

THIS IMPORTANT BECAUSE HULK NO WANT YOU THINK HULK BEING POMPOUS BOUT THIS STUFF. HULK NOT SAYING PEOPLE WHO TALK ABOUT MOVIES POORLY = COMPLETE IDIOTS WHO SHOULD NO BE ALLOWED. NOT IN SLIGHTEST. IT OFTEN JUST ARTICULATED LESS GOOD.

”]EVEN IF SOME PEOPLE MAY BE SAYING SOMETHING “IDIOTIC” IN TERMS OF CINEMATIC UNDERSTANDING, THAT NOT MAKE THEM IDIOTS. THEY MAKING SNAP DEDUCTIONS ABOUT SOMETHING OUTSIDE THEY FIELD. HULK TRYING SHOW WITH CAR EXAMPLE THAT SOMETHING WE ALLGUILTY OF. WHICH MEAN IT ALWAYS IMPORTANT THAT WE COLLECTIVELY UNDERSTAND WHEN WE GIVING OPINION THAT NO MAY BE WORTH MUCH. SELF-AWARENESS = CRITICAL.

BUT OF COURSE, NOT EVERYONE ACT ACCORDINGLY. AND EVEN MORE PEOPLE LACK SELF-AWARENESS. GOING BACK TO THAT ONLINE FORUM HULK MENTION EARLIER, THE REASON SUBJECT OF “TANGIBLE DETAILS” COME UP IN FIRST PLACE BECAUSE OF WHAT HULK FIND BE FUNNIEST TREND FOR FILM ARGUMENT AROUND… THE OLE’ “WHAT ACTORS LOOK LIKE” ARGUMENT.

FOR SOME REASON, THE INTERNET LOVE FANTASY CASTING. AND THIS ALWAYS REALLY FUNNY TO HULK CAUSE IT SEEM LIKE MOST FOLKS WHO ENJOY DO IT, PURELY BASING IT OFF PHYSICAL APPEARANCE AND NOTHING MORE. AS IF IT ONLY THING INVOLVED IN ACTING AND NOT ACTUAL, YOU KNOW, PERFORMANCE AND SKILL. THIS MOSTLY HAPPEN WITH COMIC READERS FOR SOME REASON (WHICH HULK COUNT AMONG THEIR MEMBERS… OBVIVOUSLY… THAT OBVIOUS, RIGHT?), BUT HULK HAVE SHOCKING NEWS FOR FELLOW READERS: PHYSICAL LOOK HAVE ABSOLUTELY NOTHING DO WITH IT. SO STOP IT.

PUT IT THIS WAY, EVER WONDER WHY THERE NOT LOT PEOPLE OUT THERE COMPLAINING ABOUT GWENYTH PALTROW NOT BEING NATURAL REDHEAD IN PEPPER POTTS ROLE AFTER THE MOVIE COME OUT? IT BECAUSE SHE FUCKING FANTASTIC IN THOSE MOVIES. SHUT EVERYONE RIGHT UP. MEANWHILE HULK SEE ALL THE TIME LOTS COMIC READERS SAY THE REASON JESSICA ALBA NO GOOD IN FANTASTIC FOUR THE “SHE NOT LOOK RIGHT” OR “SHE A BRUNETTE. IT IDIOTIC!” WHY, YOU RIGHT! IT HAVE NOTHING DO WITH FACT SHE TERRIBLE, TERRIBLE ACTRESS.

THIS SORT OF “LOOK BASED EVALUATION” INSANITY HAPPEN ALL THE TIME. REMEMBER THE CRAIG NOT BOND PEOPLE WHO HAD GIANT CAMPAIGN GET DANIEL CRAIG UN-CAST AS BOND BECAUSE HE HAVE BLONDE HAIR. THE HUMANITY! EVER WONDER HOW SAD THAT CAMPAIGN GET? ONCE MOVIE COME OUT AND BECOME HUGE REBOOT SUCCESS EVERYONE LOVE THEY CLING TO FACT THAT HAPPY FEET OUTPERFORMED IT AS “EVIDENCE” THEY RIGHT…

HULK HATE BREAK TO YOU BUT CRAIG PRETTY INCREDIBLE BOND

THE BEST PART THAT THIS SOMETIMES HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH ACTORS. THE O.C.D. “LOOKS BASED” TANGIBLE DETAIL THING ONCE APPLIED TO MICHAEL BAY’S TRANSFORMERS MOVIE. IN CASE FORGET, THERE ONCE TONS OF PEOPLE ONCE SIGN BOYCOTT THEY NO SEE TRANSFORMERS MOVIE IF OPTIMUS PRIME HAD FLAMES. THIS HAPPENED. AND IT ACTUALLY KIND OF POPULAR DESPITE NO ONE FROM DREAMWORKS EVER TAKING IT SERIOUSLY. AND THIS MAY SOUND CRAZY, BUT WILLING WAGER MOST PEOPLE SIGNED IT ACTUALLY SAW MOVIE ANYWAY.

TAKE THAT!

BACK TO REA- LIFE ACTORS: THE ACTUAL QUALITY OF ACTING ONLY AFFECT THESE VIEWERS ON SUBCONSCIOUS LEVEL. IT NOT TANGIBLE DETAIL TO THEM. SO TO EXPLAIN WHY JESSICA ALBA RUB THEM WRONG WAY THEY CLING TO PHYSICAL DETAILS. IT HAPPEN ALL THE TIME. O.C.D. COMIC NERDS CLING TO PHYSICAL LOOKS TO EXPLAIN CASTING CAUSE THEY JUST SIMPLY NOT FAMILIAR WITH ACTING.

BUT THE IMPORTANT PART THAT IT NOT LIKE THEY INHUMAN EITHER. VAST MAJORITY CAN GET OVER PHYSICAL DETAILS HEN ACTOR ACTUALLY GOOD. LIKE THE AFOREMENTIONED PALTROW. AND REMEMBER WHEN HUGH JACKMAN “TOO TALL” FOR WOLVERINE? NOBODY GAVE SHIT WHEN HE AWESOME. IDRIS ELBA” TOO BLACK” BE NORDIC GOD? THAT RIDICULOUS CLAMOR DIE DOWN AS SOON AS THEY SEE HOW BADASS HE IN IT. NOPE, IT ONLY COME UP WHEN THESE VIEWERS TRY EXPLAIN BADNESS. HALLE BERRY “SUCKED” AS STORM CAUSE OF HER HAIRDO. RIGHT. IT HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH HER CHARACTER HAVING NO PLOT/MOTIVATION. THE “LOOKS” THING ABSOLUTELY MOST PERFECT EXAMPLE PEOPLE CLINGING TO THE TANGIBLE DETAILS ARGUMENT.

BUT THAT JUST EXTREME EXAMPLE, RIGHT? HA-HA-HA LET ALL LAUGH AT THOSE DUMB COMIC NERDS ALONE IN THEIR MOM’S BASEMENT EATING BOOGERS (HULK HATE THIS STEREOTYPE WITH PASSION OF THOUSAND SMASHES) WHO SO BENEATH THE UNDERSTANDING OF ESTEEMED CINEPHILES LIKE US!

OKAY. HULK RAISE YOU WITHTHE SUPPOSED BELLWETHER-AND-BASTION-OF-QUALITY… THAT RIGHT, EVERYONE’S FAVORITE FILM CRITICISM LIGHTING ROD, THE OSCARS!

OR AS IT KNOW IN HULK'S HOUSE "THAT THING BETTY MAKE HULK WATCH"

UGH. HULK SORT OF UPSET WITH HULK-SELF CAUSE HULK USE THINK OSCARS ACTUALLY MATTERED. OH THEY MATTER IN HOLLYWOOD BUSINESS SENSE. THEY OFTEN GIVE MORE VIEWERSHIP GOOD FILMS AND HELP SPUR CAREERS MANY TALENTED PEOPLE. IN THAT SENSE HULK APPRECIATE THE WORTH. BUT HULK USE THINK THERE THINGS LIKE INJUSTICES AND TRAVESTIES. LIKE WHAT ACTUALLY WON IMPORTANT FOR SANCTITY OF UNIVERSE OR EVEN SOME KIND OF INDICATOR OF RELATIVE QUALITY. IT NOT TRUE.

THERE OLD ADAGE ABOUT OSCARS AND THAT YOU “SWITCH THE WORD ‘BEST’ WITH ‘MOST.'” AFTER SEEING VOTING PROCESS UP CLOSE HULK TELL YOU IT ABSOLUTELY TRUE. MOST ACTING. ALWAYS THE BIG BOMBASTIC PERFORMANCES WIN. VOTERS LOVE TANGIBLE EVIDENCE LIKE ACTOR PUTTING ON WEIGHT OR “GOING UGLY.” EVEN EXTREME EXAMPLES OF METHOD ACTING WILL DO. OR PERHAPS MOST COSTUME DESIGN. PICK YOUR PERIOD PIECE DU JOUR! MOST SCEENWRITING. PICK MOVIE WITH MOST MEMORABLE DIALOGUE, IGNORING CHARACTER MOTIVATION AND STORYTELLING 101 STUFF. JUST THE STUFF AVERAGE MOVIE-GOER KNOWS THE WRITER DID. HECK, EVEN MOST PICTURE WORKS. LOOK HOW MANY FLAWLESS FILMS HAVE LOST TO THE MOST EPIC ONE (MOST OBVIOUS L.A. CONFIDENTIAL VS. TITANIC). AND TITANIC AT LEAST HAVE SOME KIND HISTORICAL RELEVANCY. THERE REASON SO MANY OTHER BEST PICTURE WINNERS NO GO ON BECOME HISTORICAL GREATS.

AND SOME DIDN'T AGE WELL 1 SECOND AFTER BEING ANNOUNCED

BUT THE BEST EXAMPLE OF “TANGIBLE DETAILS” THEORY ALWAYS THE BEST EDITING CATEGORY. EVERY YEAR IT GO TO “MOST EDITING” WHICH USUALLY SOME FILM WITH LOTS OF RAPID CUTS OR MULTIPLE STORYLINES. IT SAD REALLY. FIRST OFF, THE BEST EDITING COMPLETELY INVISIBLE. WHEN YOU NO NOTICE IT THEN IT ACTUALLY A PROBLEM UNLESS THERE SUPPOSED TO BE LITERAL THEMATIC DEDUCTION TO BE MAKE BY CUT (THINK THE BONE/SPACESHIP TRANSITION IN 2001). SO HOW HELL EVEN JUDGE EDITING? HULK THINK TOM TWYKER’S HEAVEN MIGHT BE BEST EDITED MOVIE EVER, BUT MOST PEOPLE HAVE NO IDEA WHAT HULK EVEN TALKING ABOUT. YOU MAY THINK TWYKER’S RUN LOLA RUN MUCH BETTER EXAMPLE BUT THAT JUST A MOVIE WHERE THE EDITING/STYLE HYPER-TANGIBLE. MEANWHILE THOSE WHO SEEN HEAVEN SAY STUFF “IT SO SLOW AND BORING!” HULK PLEAD IF YOU EVER WATCH IT, PAY ATTENTION TO THE EDITING. IT KNOW EXACTLY HOW LONG HOLD A SILENCE. GREAT STUFF.

BUT THE EDITING ANALOGY TRUE EVEN WITH MAINSTREAM STUFF. HULK MENTIONED TITANIC EARLIER AND THINK IT ONE OF JAMES CAMERON’S SECRET WEAPONS. NO, HULK NOT TALKING ABOUT LENGTH OF MOVIE, BUT STYLE WITHIN SCENES. HULK GIVE CAMERON LOT OF CRAP FOR OTHER WELL-DESERVED REASONS, BUT HULK ACTUALLY THINK HIS INDIVIDUAL SCENES EDITED WONDERFULLY. HE THE ANTI-MICHAEL BAY IN THIS ARENA. HIS CUTS VERY DELIBERATE AND PACED. HE NEVER RELY ON TWO SHOTS WHEN ONE WILL DO. HIS CINEMATOGRAPHY ALWAYS HAVE GREAT SENSE GEOGRAPHY AND HIS EDITING CONFORM TO KEEP THAT IN MIND. HE NEVER RUIN IT BY CUTTING IN CLOSE TOO MUCH. BUT WHEN PUBLIC INSTEAD WHEN TALKING ABOUT WHY CAMERON’S ACTION SCENES GOOD MOST PEOPLE REFER TO THE “WHAT” HAPPEN, NOT THE SUBTLETIES OF HOW. IF ANYTHING THE “WHAT” OF CAMERON’S ACTION OFTEN 13-YEAR-OLD-ESQUE. “AND THE MECH WARRIOR THING CAN TAKE OUT THE BAYONET LIKE A KNIFE AND FIGHT THE THING!” AND SUCH. OR A DUMB CHARACTER BEING LIKE “I GOT A GUN TOO BITCH!” THAT STUFF INSIPID. HULK ARGUE WHAT THEY SUBCONSCIOUSLY RESPONDING TO REALLY WELL-EXECUTED ACTION MISE EN SCENE.

AND TRUTH = EVEN EXPERTS HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO FREAKING IDEA WHO BEST EDITORS ARE. THERE BEEN SO MANY MOVIES SAVED IN EDITING ROOM BY PEOPLE WHO NOW JUST THANKLESS HEROES. READ PETER BISKIND’S “EASY RIDERS RAGING BULLS” WHICH FULL OF GREAT STUFF ABOUT THE EDITING DECISIONS BEHIND CLASSIC FILMS. THE MOST FAMOUS EXAMPLE WHEN MARCIA LUCAS CONVINCE GEORGE TO EDIT STAR WARS FOR PACE INSTEAD OF THE RHYTHMS OF THE ACTORS. IT CHANGE MOVIE FROM WHATEVER EVERYONE CALLED “A COMPLETE BORE” TO, WELL, ONE OF MOST ENTERTAINING MOVIES EVER. AND SHE CHANGED FUTURE OF EDITING IN PROCESS.

IMPORTANT NOTE AS TO THE IMPORTANCE OF THIS KIND OF CONVINCING POWER: GEORGE LUCAS DIVORCED HIS EDITOR/WIFE MARCIA IN 1983 AND PROMPTLY NEVER MADE ANYTHING GOOD AGAIN.

SHE LIKELY THE ONLY PERSON WHO COULD HAVE STOP THIS!

FINE, HULK WILL DO THING. STAR WARS TANGENT! HULK ARGUE IT MAY BE MOST COSTLY DIVORCE IN HISTORY OF POPULAR CINEMA. IN NEARLY ACCOUNT OF WHY GEORGE LUCAS NOW SUCK IT ALL STUFF LIKE: HOW HE SURROUND SELF WITH YES MEN, HOW HE GOT OLDER/ISOLATED/OUT OF TOUCH, HOW HE REALLY NOT GOOD AT DIRECTING IN FIRST PLACE, HOW HE COME MORE INTERESTED IN THE TECH NOT THE STORY… THE ONE THING NO ONE EVER, EVER, EVER SEEM MENTION THAT HE LOST MOST IMPORTANT CREATIVE PARTNER ON PLANET. WHO ELSE COULD HAVE TOLD MOST POWERFUL/INDEPENDENT PERSON IN HOLLYWOOD, “NO.” NO ONE. AND IF ANYONE WANT CLUE AS TO WHAT KIND PRESENCE SHE HAVE SHE THE REAL INFLUENCE FOR LEIA: SMART, SASSY, DEFIANT, FUN. THIS EXAMPLE OF ANOTHER ONE OF THOSE ANNOYING TANGIBLE DETAIL THINGS. ONLY IT NOT SUBCONSCIOUS TONE THING, BUT JUST RESEARCH BASED (AND GUESS HOW LITTLE RESEARCH GO ON BEFORE AN OPINION SHOUTED THESE DAYS). SO UNLESS READ UP ON HISTORY OF HER INVOLVEMENT OR UNDERSTAND A LOT ABOUT HOW CRUCIAL EDITING TO PROCESS TO THE FILMS THEN AVG. JOE STAR WARS FAN JUST WOULDN’T KNOW (AND NO HULK NOT GOING GET INTO SPECIFICS OF DIVORCE WHICH GEORGE TEND USE PAINT MARCIA IN BAD LIGHT, BUT IT MORE GRAY AREA THAN THAT). HULK ARGUE MOST STAR WARS NERDS KNOW NOTHING ABOUT MARCIA LUCAS AND SHE PROBABLY ONE OF 3 MOST IMPORTANT PEOPLE INVOLVED WITH CREATING WHAT WE KNOW TO BE STAR WARS. HULK IMAGINE EVEN LOT OF FILM NERDS DISMISS HER EDITING ACUMEN AND THINK SHE JUST “THAT LADY GEORGE LET HELP.” HULK CALL BULLSHIT. IT IDEA FOSTERED BECAUSE SHE RETIRED FROM FILM AFTER THE DIVORCE SO IT JUST SEEM LIKE THAT. BUT BY ALL ACCOUNT SHE REALLY TALENTED. NOT JUST FROM STAR WARS ORIGINAL TRILOGY EDITING EITHER. HOW ABOUT HER INVOLVEMENT WITH SCORSESE CLASSICS ALICE DOESN’T LIVE HERE ANYMORE AND FUCKING TAXI DRIVER? STARTING TO GET PICTURE NOW? END TANGENT!

OKAY. FORGET MOVIES. HOW BOUT THE MOST POPULAR FORM OF SOCIAL INTERACTION ON PLANET?

SPORTS!

YA HEAR THAT MOVIE NERDS? SPORTS!

FORTUNATELY, SPORTS HAVE STATISTICS WHICH HELP ILLUSTRATE CRITICAL ARGUMENTS, BUT MOST FANS NOT TAKE TIME DELVE INTO ACTUAL METRICS TO UNDERSTAND THE SUBTLETIES. THEY SIMPLY WATCH AND THINK “HE GOOD” OR “HE SUCKS” BASED ON OBVIOUS, TANGIBLE DETAILS. THAT WHY “BIG GAME” MOMENTS SO VALUABLE TO PLAYER’S ESTIMATED WORTH. IT JUST BECAUSE THEY THE MOMENTS WHERE THE MOST EYEBALLS SEEING WHAT REALLY JUST SMALL BITS EVIDENCE IN METRIC TERMS. BUT THOSE MOMENTS MAKE THINGS MEMORABLE AND SHAPE CONCLUSION, RATHER THAN THE 98% OF OTHER EVIDENCE WHICH MAY BE CONTRARY. MOST OBVIOUS AND WIDELY USED EXAMPLE = JETER’S “GUTSY” PLAY AT SHORTSTOP; AN OPINION BASED ON FEW AMAZING PLAYS IN BIG GAMES. BUT ALL ADVANCED SABREMETRICS SHOW HIS RANGE ACTUALLY TERRIBLE. STILL, THE PUBLIC REVERT TO THE TANGIBLE DETAILS.

NO WORRY, HULK WONT GO ON WITH SPORTS TALK EVEN THOUGH THERE THOUSANDS GREAT EXAMPLES (HULK ADORE SPORTS METRICS). THE POINT =  NO MATTER WHAT ARENA OF CRITICISM THE MORE KNOWLEDGE, EXPERIENCE, SENSE OF HISTORY YOU HAVE THE BETTER YOU BE AT ACTUAL DIAGNOSIS AND EVALUATION.(1) WE ALL KNOW THIS TRUE OF CONCRETE + TANGIBLE THINGS LIKE BEING CAR MECHANIC OR DOCTOR. BUT FOR SOME REASON, WITH INTANGIBLE THINGS LIKE ART OR MOVIES AND OTHER THINGS IN SOCIAL EXPERIENCE, THE PUBLIC FORGET THIS OR EVEN OUTRIGHT DESPISE THE “EXPERTS.”

WHY?

SERIOUSLY, LET’S DO THIS. WHY DO SO MANY PUBLIC MOVIE GOERS RESENT CRITICS? WHY THEY THINK THEY “OUT OF TOUCH?” CRITICS SEE HUNDREDS MOVIES A YEAR. THEY MORE “IN TOUCH” WITH WHAT HAPPENING IN MOVIES THAN ANYONE ELSE ON PLANET. THEY SEE EVERYTHING! HULK NOT TRYING PRETEND THEY PERFECT HUMAN BEINGS. OF COURSE SOME CRITICS CAN BE PATRONIZING ASSHOLES. BUT THAT NOT HAVE ANYTHING DO WITH WHAT THEY ACTUALLY SAYING ABOUT MOVIE AND MORE IMPORTANTLY, BEING AN ASSHOLE NEVER THEIR MOTIVATION FOR WRITING SOMETHING ONE WAY OR OTHER. IT ONLY AFFECT STYLE. MEANING THE PROBLEM NOT ACTUALLY THEIR CRITICISM. WE ALL ADMIT ARMOND WHITE = RAGING ASSHOLE AND SEEMINGLY BACKWARD IN EVERY ESTIMATION, BUT WHEN LOOK CLOSE THE MAN HAVE METHOD TO HIS MADNESS.

HULK NOT JOKING

THAT WEIRD CONSUMERISM/INVERSE PRODUCTION VALUE TAKE = ACTUALLY HOW HE THINK. HE LOVE BRINGING IN RACIAL/SOCIO-ECONOMICAL NON-SEQUITUR INTO EQUATION. ABSURDISH? SURE. BUT IT NOT LIKE HE UNEDUCATED, HE SEEN EVERY FILM IMAGINABLE. AGAIN, IT JUST MEAN OUR PROBLEM NOT HIS CRITICISM, OR EVEN THAT HE TANGENTIAL WITH ARGUMENTS. IT JUST CAUSE HE AN ASSHOLE ABOUT IT. STILL, SO MANY PEOPLE CONFUSE THE TWO. THE BIGGEST ARGUMENT LOBBED AT CRITIC DISSENTERS THAT THEY JUST CONTRARIANS, OR HAVE AGENDA, OR JUST LIKE PISSING PEOPLE OF.

DOES ARMOND WHITE LIKE PISSING PEOPLE OF? YUP.

BUT HULK NO THINK THAT THE REASON HE GO ONE WAY OR ANOTHER ON MOVIE. IN FACT, HULK NEVER MET NOR READ A CRITIC WHO WRITE A PIECE ONE WAY OR OTHER FOR SOLE PURPOSE OF JUST TRYING GET RISE OUT OF PEOPLE. NOT FUCKING ONE. THERE CRITICS WHO MORE ANTAGONISTIC THAN OTHERS, BUT ANTAGONISM NEVER THE REASON FOR THAT OPINION IN FIRST PLACE. TRUST HULK. TO SIT DOWN AND ACTUALLY WRITE REVIEW THAT NOT ACTUALLY WHAT THINK… IT JUST IMPOSSIBLE. YET THE BELIEF THAT DISSENTING CRITICS NOTHING MORE THAN AGITATORS SO INCREDIBLY COMMON. HULK NO GET!

AND WHY EVEN GET ANGRY WITH CRITICS FOR DISSENTING OPINION?

IS IT CAUSE NO UNDERSTAND WHAT THEY SAYING? NOT GET THE REFERENCE POINTS? CAN NO IMAGINE HOW SOMEONE ACTUALLY THINK LIKE THAT? HULK WANT KNOW WHY THAT AUTOMATICALLY MAKE THEM WORTHLESS? TO TURN TABLES WITH FAMILIAR ANECDOTE, HULK SOMETIMES RESENT CAR MECHANICS (LOWER-CASE-R-RESENT. NOT SERIOUSLY) CAUSE HULK NOT GET LANGUAGE OF CARS AND WHAT THEY EXPLAINING TO HULK. HULK FEEL LOST. BUT HULK NO THINK THE MECHANIC USELESS AND “OUT OF TOUCH” WITH CARS, DO HULK? NOT AT ALL. HULK CAN NO GET ANGRY AND ASSUME THEY IDIOT THEY NOT KNOW ANYTHING. THEY AUTOMATICALLY KNOW MORE THAN HULK (AND GETTING “TAKEN ADVANTAGE OF” ANOTHER SITUATION BASED ON ECONOMICS. THIS PURELY CONVERSATION ABOUT KNOW-HOW SO THAT NO RELATED). SO WHY WE DO SAME WITH PROFESSIONAL EVALUATORS OF ART?

YOU ASSHOLE. YOU JUST HAVE AGENDA AGAINST AMERICAN-MADE CARBURETORS! ... HULK NOT EVEN KNOW IF THAT MAKE SENSE AS JOKE

ULTIMATELY, HULK REALLY ONLY FEEL TRULY QUALIFIED TALK ABOUT 7-8 TOPICS WITH ANY SORT OF CONFIDENCE. SAID TOPICS IN ORDER = MOVIES/MEDIA/LIT, COOKING, THE EDUCATION SYSTEM, BASKETBALL, HISTORY, SOCIOLOGY, OCEANOGRAPHY (HULK HAD ENCOMPASSING EDUCATIONAL PATH, OKAY? DEAL WITH IT), AND ARMCHAIR PSYCHOLOGY. NOW THERE STILL TONS OTHER SUBJECTS HULK INTERESTED IN, BUT ANYTHING OUTSIDE THOSE  7-8 AND HULK SORT OF TALKING OUT HULK BUTT. EVEN 7-8 SEEM LIKE LOT. AND OF THOSE HULK OFTEN GET IN MOST TROUBLE WITH PSYCHOLOGY (HENCE THE “ARMCHAIR” ACKNOWLEDGMENT). THERE MANY TIMES HULK SAY SOMETHING HULK THINK TRUE OF PSYCHOLOGY AND THEN ACTUALLY QUALIFIED PERSON SAY “UH, ACTUALLY HULK, NO SMASH ME, BUT IT REALLY LIKE THIS.” AND THEN HULK EMBARRASSED AND STUFF AND SMASH SELF OUT OF SHAME.

HULK SUSPECT THE PROBLEM THAT EVERYONE SEE MOVIES. IT BIG SOCIAL COMMUNITY THING AND IMPORTANT ONE AT THAT. MEANWHILE, NOT EVERYONE SITTING AROUND TALKING ABOUT TRENDS IN OCEANOGRAPHY.(2) MEANWHILE ” EVERYONE” SAW AVATAR. PERHAPS IN MORE PROBLEMATIC FASHION, THEY GET SEE EXACT SAME MOVIE YOU DO. THIS MEAN FILM CRITICISM MORE DEPENDENT ON WHAT OTHER FILMS SEEN AND PROCESSED BEFORE IT AND HOW FAMILIAR CRITIC WITH FILMMAKERS. WHICH JUST MEAN ANY INTANGIBLE DETAILS IN MOVIE SEEM EVEN MORE IRRELEVANT TO CASUAL OUTSIDER. BUT OF COURSE SEEING TONS MOVIES = CRITICAL. IT ALLOW CONSTRUCT PERSPECTIVE. A SENSE OF FILMIC TRENDS. NARRATIVE. UNDERSTANDING. ALL THAT GOOD STUFF.

BUT EVEN IF THE “EXPERTS” = THE QUALIFIED ONES, EVERYONE STILL HAVE RIGHT THEIR OPINION ON MOVIES. IT ULTIMATELY JUST A CONVERSATION AFTER ALL. IT NOT LIKE OTHER ARENAS WITH TANGIBLE LIFE/DEATH THINGS WHERE ONLY QUALIFIED PEOPLE ALLOWED PARTICIPATE. YOU CAN NO PRACTICE ARMCHAIR HEART SURGERY. YOU CAN NO “SORT OF” BE DOCTOR…

THOUGH HULK KNOW A GUY

HONESTLY, HULK FEEL LIKE HULK JUST NOW STARTING GET COMFORTABLE WITH FILM CRITICISM. IT TOOK DECADES REALLY. IT HARD LEARN HOW DIGEST WHAT OFTEN EMOTIONAL REACTIONS. BUT EVEN CONCEPTUALLY, MANY YOUNG PEOPLE THINK JUST CAUSE STUDYING IT THAT MEAN THEY AT HEIGHT OF UNDERSTANDING. HULK WARNING ALL FILM STUDENTS OUT THERE. SORRY, IT TAKE LOT LONGER. TRUST HULK, WHO OFTEN LOOK BACK AT COLLEGE PAPERS AND GROAN. BUT EVERY YEAR HULK GET SHARPER IN ABILITY TO EXPLAIN IDEAS, THE VISCERAL REACTIONS, AND THE SUBCONSCIOUS FEELINGS THAT MOVIES ALWAYS ELICIT. THE EDUCATION NEVER STOP.

SO TAKE IT FROM HULK. WHEN DEALING WITH EVERYTHING OUTSIDE THOSE 7-8 TOPICS HULK KNOW ABOUT (OR WHATEVER CASE FOR YOU), IT AMAZING WHAT GOODWILL COME BY SIMPLY STARTING STATEMENT WITH “MAYBE HULK JUST TALKING OUT BUTT HERE, BUT [INSERT OPINION HERE]”

IN THE MEANTIME, SAME ADVICE ALWAYS:

SEE MORE MOVIES.

HAWKEYE CONVINCE HULK WATCH ROBIN HOOD... AGAIN

ENDNOTES:

(1) AND YES, THERE ALWAYS SOME ADDED AMOUNT POLITICAL OR PERSONAL MOTIVATION MIXED UP IN THIS. THEY EVEN MAY PROMOTE AGENDA (BUT THAT RARER THEN MOST THINK. UNLESS IT ACTUAL POLITICS IN WHICH CASE JUST GIVE UP). BUT HULK THINK THAT THE FOUNDATION. FOR EXAMPLE, IF SOMEONE DEVOTED CHRISTIAN WATCHING MOVIE THEN THINGS THAT BECOME MOST OBVIOUS TANGIBLE DETAILS TO THEM = THE THINGS THAT DEAL WITH OR FLY IN FACE OF THEIR BELIEFS. AND THAT WHY THEY RESPOND TO THEM. IT THE MOST OBVIOUS EXAMPLES OF WHAT “WRONG” WITH THE MOVIE, EVEN IF IT NOT THE LANGUAGE OF MOVIES BUT INSTEAD PERSONAL THEOLOGICAL LANGUAGE.

(2) THIS THE CHIEF PROBLEM WITH POLITICS. POLITICS OFTEN CONCERN SO MANY THINGS THAT SUPER-INTERESTING BUT ACTUALLY HAVE NOTHING DO WITH POLITICS. THEY SEPARATE ARENAS THAT REQUIRE EXPERTISE. BUT BECAUSE SO MUCH AT STAKE IN POLITICS (READ: POWER), EVERYTHING BECOME POLITICIZED IN EFFORT “SIMPLIFY” FOR MASSES. BUT INSTEAD STRIVE FOR CLARITY, THEY GO FOR SIMPLICITY AND THOSE PESKY SUPER-OBVIOUS TANGIBLE DETAILS. LIKE WITH GLOBAL WARMING EVERY COLLOQUIAL CONVERSATION SEEM RELY ON SINGULAR EXAMPLES AS “PROOF” ONE WAY OR OTHER. WHILE EXAMPLES MAY BE “TRUE” IN + OF THEMSELVES, THEY NOT INCLUDE THE COMPLICATED-YET-STILL-COMPLETELY-FIGURED-OUT SYSTEMIC REALITY OF HOW WEATHER ACTUALLY WORK. IT ASININE… AND HULK WOULD SAY “HULK NOT WANT GET POLITICAL FOR FOLLOWING” BUT SCREW IT CAUSE THE FOLLOWING ACTUALLY NOT POLITICAL STATEMENT WHATSOEVER. WHEN TREATED IN PROPER TERMS OF SYSTEMIC SCIENTIFIC EVALUATION, GLOBAL WARMING = SCIENTIFICALLY UNDENIABLE. ABSOLUTELY EVERY SINGLE PIECE OF “EVIDENCE” TO CONTRARY = PURE JUNK SCIENCE. THEY WILL SHOW SINGULAR EXAMPLE OF HOW WARMING TREND NOT HAPPENING IN SPECIFIC SPOT AS “PROOF,” BUT IF LOOKED AT FURTHER EVEN IN MOST CASUAL WAY THEY THEN REALIZE THAT THIS NON-WARMING TREND OCCURRING BECAUSE OF GEOGRAPHICALLY ADJACENT SPIKE IN WARMING TREND. FOR EXAMPLE AN OCEAN TEMPERATURE COOLING IN THIS LITTLE PART OF SEA NOT BECAUSE GLOBAL WARMING A HOAX, BUT BECAUSE THE WARMING TEMPERATURE MELTING THE GLACIER RIGHT NEXT TO IT AND SPILLING COLD WATER INTO THIS LITTLE PART OF SEA. AND IT NOT “EVENING THINGS OUT” BUT CAUSING MASSIVE DEVASTATION TO BOTH THE WARMING LAND AND THE COOLING SEA. AND THEN BOTH REACTIONS JUST MAKE THE CYCLE GROW STRONGER. IT OMISSION OF RELEVANT INFORMATION AND ANY SCIENTIST WORTH DAMN IGNORE IT.*

*HULK REALIZE THIS CRAZY TANGENT BUT IT JUST SO DAMN PERTINENT AND HULK SICK TO DEATH OF HEARING THAT THIS A “SCIENTIFIC DEBATE.” NOPE. IT A MANUFACTURED ONE. DON’T BELIEVE HULK? HULK WAS APPROACHED 30 TIMES BY VARIOUS SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS MASKING OIL COMPANIES AND OFFERED CASH TO WRITE ANTI-GLOBAL WARMING PAPERS… STRAIGHT CASH… 30 FUCKING TIMES… AS COLLEGE STUDENT. GO WORK THAT ONE OUT FOR SELVES. THE POLITICIZATION OF A SCIENTIFIC ISSUE = JOKE.

LET GET THIS OUT OF WAY, HULK ONCE THE BIGGEST STAR WARS FAN EVER.

HULK GREW UP ON THE MOVIES. CHERISHED EVERY VIEWING. HULK PLAYED EVERY GAME, KNEW EVERY NAME OF SHIP, THEIR CLASS, AND DESIGNER. HULK KNEW EVERY BLASTER, CITY, PLANET, AND SYSTEM. YOU NAME IT, HULK KNEW IT. HULK PLAYED X-WING. TIE FIGHTER. X-WING VS. TIE FIGHTER. ALL THE REBEL ASSAULTS. EVERY DARK FORCES/JEDI KNIGHT. THE TERRIBLE MOVIE TIE-IN GAMES, THE LEGO SERIES. HULK EVEN READ BIG CHUNKS OF EXTENDED UNIVERSE (BUT RARELY ENJOYED). TO BOOT, HULK HAVE EXCELLENT LONG TERM MEMORY AND JUST AS HULK REMEMBER LOTS OF THIS USELESS DATA, IE HULK CAN RECITE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BOSSK’S STANDARD RIFLE AND HIS CONCUSSION RIFLE FROM THE GAMES… YUP, IT THAT NERDY.

MORE IMPORTANTLY, IT ONE OF THOSE THINGS THAT BOND HULK WITH FATHER, BROTHER, AND FRIENDS AT SCHOOL. THERE BLOOD TIES TO THIS THING.

BUT NOW… HULK DONE.

IT TOOK A LOT FOR THIS HAPPEN: THREE ATROCIOUS PREQUEL MOVIES, WHICH HULK FIRST ATTEMPTED TO DEFEND OUT OF SOME KIND OF MOROSE SENSE OF HONOR. IT TAKE HUNDREDS OF ANGRY, ANGRY FANS GIVING HULK CRAP WHEN HULK TRY BRING UP EVEN THE SLIGHTEST NITPICK, FANS WHO NO UNDERSTAND A SINGLE CINEMATIC COMPONENT OF ANYTHING. IT TAKE TIME AND PERSPECTIVE. IT TAKE MATURATION. IT TAKE SOME ASSHOLE STEALING HULK’S 70’S/80’S ERA STAR WARS TOYS FROM THE HOUSE. IT TOOK THE LUCAS LICENSING FIRM TO GO FROM JUST BEING OPPORTUNISTIC TO OUTRIGHT GLUTTONOUS. IT TOOK THE WELL-CRAFTED PIONEERING NATURE OF LUCASARTS GAMING BECOME A RUSHED-PRODUCTION NIGHTMARE OF HALF-THOUGHT-OUT SHIT PILES. IT TOOK TERRIBLE TV SERIES, THREE FAMILY GUY PARODIES, THREE ROBOT CHICKEN PARODIES,  AND APPROXIMATELY 40,000 INTERNET VIDEOS WHICH SHARE THE OCCASIONAL WELL-OBSERVED. BUT MOSTLY THE VIDEOS OPERATE AS SOME KIND OF NONSENSICAL AND INANE POP CULTURE MASH-UP… IT TAKE A VADER APPEARANCE IN NIGHT AT THE FUCKING MUSEUM 2.

EVERY BIT OF CLEVERNESS AND JOY HAVE BECOME NOTHING BUT A RECYCLING OR RECYCLING OF RECYCLING. HULK ENJOYED THESE BITS LESS AND LESS FREQUENTLY OVER TIME AND NOW THERE JUST NOTHING THERE. NO REACTION. HULK FIND NOTHING CUTE ABOUT ANY OF IT. HULK SEEN EVERY PARODY IMAGINABLE. IT JUST SEEM SO PAVLOVIAN, SO HOLLOW. LIKE THE SATURATION POINT = LONG SINCE PAST. FAMILIARITY INDEED BREED CONTEMPT… AND STAR WARS NOW BEYOND FAMILIAR. NOT JUST THE PROPERTY, BUT EVERY PERMUTATION, INTERPRETATION, OBSERVATION, AND JOKE.

SO HULK JUST DONE.

THE FEELING NOT NEW. HULK HAVE FRIENDS WHO REACH THAT POINT IN LAST FEW YEARS AND HULK ALWAYS DEFEND IN SOME WAY EVEN THOUGH HULK STARTED FEELING SAME WAY. HULK SAY “YEAH, IT SO TIRED NOW BUT PEOPLE STILL ENJOY IT. NO NEED CRAP ON IT!” HULK ALWAYS TRY TO HUMANIZE AND APPROXIMATE THE STAR WARS EXPERIENCE.

BUT TODAY IT FINALLY HAPPEN.

HULK FIND HULKSELF IN MIDST OF “STAR WARS DAY” … HULK FIND THIS ODD CAUSE HULK NEVER FREAKING HEARD OF IT BEFORE. AT FIRST HULK TRY GET THROUGH IT. HULK SEE A FEW CLEVER WELL-MEANING JOKES ONLINE. BUT ULTIMATELY HULK HAVE TURN OFF TWITTER, WHICH SUDDENLY ALIVE WITH STAR WARS NONSENSE. HULK BASICALLY SHUT OFF INTERNET AND JUST IGNORE WHAT MAKING HULK ANGRY…. REALLY… REALLY ANGRY.

WHEN HULK FINALLY START AFTERNOON WORK ROUTINE AND TURN ON ESPN… THEY ALL THERE… BOBA FETT… STORMTROOPERS… VADER.

HULK SMASHED TV AND HURL IT INTO HORIZON (READ: HULK JUST SWEAR LOUDLY AND SHUT IT OFF).

THIS NOT SOME TEMPERAMENTAL, A.D.D. REACTION. THIS NOT GETTING SICK OF SOMETHING IN SIX SECONDS. THIS NOT THE ENJOY-AND-DISPOSE CULTURE AT WORK. IT YEARS OF BUILDUP. WHAT HULK ONCE FELT STAUNCHLY DUTY-BOUND TO DEFEND, HULK NOW WANT NOTHING TO DO WITH.

STAR WARS ONCE SHINING LIGHT IN HULK’S LIFE. BUT IT GONE SUPERNOVA, EXTINGUISHED INTO NOTHINGNESS, REPLACED BY BLACK HOLE OF CULTURAL NADIR.

NOW IF EXCUSE, HULK GONNA START WATCHING DR. WHO NOW.