Snowpiercer (2013), John Wick: Chapter 1 (2014)

I’m just now getting over my crimson wave. I’ve been so zonked. I’ve been pigging out – well, more than normal – so now that I’m done, I’m back on track. I hope.

I got back into Headspace, which for me, is a big accomplishment. I’ve started putting reminders on my phone as well. Habits take 3 weeks! I will constantly remind myself of that.

School starts next week. Meep. Luckily my program posts the syllabus before the term so I read over them quickly. I’ve really taken a step back and looked at what I did wrong last semester, i.e. not participating as fully as I could have. I am determined to not repeat that disastrous first semester.

I watched Snowpiercer and John Wick last night. They’re both really excellent films. I definitely need to watch them again. There’s tons of stuff I probably missed.

Snowpiercer had a brilliant cast and had a surprisingly believable storyline. Your first thought is people on a train barreling through the snow. What the fuck? It’s a science fiction feature grounded in enough reality to make you question a lot of things going on in the world today. When it all came together in the end, I was like “whoa.” Knocked me breathless. It had the right amount of action, and enough mindfucking to make you go crazy. Then on a filmmaking level, 1 of my first comments was how difficult it must have been to choreograph everything in such a tiny space. And yes, I mainly chose it for Chris Evans. I might be smart but I can do things for dumb reasons!

Keanu Reeves is gorgeous and was 1 of the reasons why I wanted to watch this movie as well. John Wick created a fun mythology that not a lot of films like to explore. Other films like to assume things of its audience, but John Wick remixed it and made it work. I like the idea that everybody knows everybody in the underworld, that there’s a hotel that caters specifically to assassins and there are guys that come out to clean up all the dead bodies. That was clever. I’m a little annoyed by the “raining during a funeral” trope, and then when someone’s loved one dies, someone’s gotta come out of “retirement” to do “one last job,” but they’re all just ways to get the story moving.

I’ve been so judgmental about storytelling recently. In everything, I’ve been writing and consuming. I’m hoping by letting my inner critique play, it will reflect in my own work.

Speaking of TV, I’ve been marathon-ing “Once Upon a Time” as well and I like what I’ve seen so far. Kinda mad at myself for putting off seeing it. I’ve been inwardly critiquing their storytelling as well. I’ve surreptitiously been working on a similar premise for a novel: fairy tales, but not as we know them. It’s not new, truthfully. I’ve freely lifted ideas from Angela Carter’s Bloody Chamber and Other Stories. I may need to rewrite some back stories to make it not as similar to “Once” too. But that’s the point, isn’t it? To make something established your own. That’s how they did it in the oral tradition, and with urban legends. As long as you got the gist of the story, the story can be told however you like. Why not have some fun?

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