Monday, August 1, 2011

Cowboys and Aliens and a Challenge for You


Cowboys and Aliens worked for me. I mean absolutely. I went because it is so my genre(s). My wip (work in progress) is a combo science fiction/western/fantasy. If they'd given Jake (Daniel Craig) a magical creature for a companion, I'd have been in geeky mash-up heaven.

You should probably see the film before you read this blog because I don't want to spoil the story for you. So go see it. I'll wait....

I think what worked so well was the ordinary coupled with the unexpected. (Did you see the movie yet? Well quit reading now if you don't want spoilers!!!) They made out like the aliens were like the cowboys... well, they were actually bandits, but I guess saying cowboys sounds catchier. In one early scene, from far away you see the lights of torches and then horseback riders holding torches come into view. Soon after, there's a similar shot of lights in the distance, but this string of lights is a little too high to be riders.

Sure enough, they're a fleet of space ships. And guess what! They start lassoing everybody they can. Yep. Just like cowboys to cattle. Ha! Funny-scary-brilliant. Okay, so maybe they ought to have more superior technology than that, but it was unexpected--mixing the mundane with the strange and it worked for me.

And guess why the aliens were here. Go on guess! Gold. :-)

So, here's your challenge for the week. Write something where you mix the ordinary with the unexpected. Maybe create a bit of comedy in your story. Or an interesting first line for your novel. Perhaps you'll come up with a weird concept for a flash fiction piece.

Also see my review at "Catholic Once Again."

9 comments:

Joylene Butler said...

I haven't seen it yet, so I'll come back and read later. Interestingly, the critic on the morning news said Daniel looks particular yummy in this film, she didn't like it. Her reasons weren't clear either. She said credibility and plot were a problem. I like to judge for myself.

DRC said...

I'm like Joylene. I don't read much from Critics. I like to go and decide for myself. I haven't seen the film yet, but it's on my list of things to do. As soon as I saw the trailer, I knew this was something completely different and it is a must see for me.

Amanda Borenstadt said...

Yes, Joylene, Daniel was hot. He does the lone cowboy thing very well in this.

And yes, there were plot problems which I think would have been dumb in a novel, but I can easily ignore in a fast paced film.

It's a movie where you truly feel you were entertained and amused if you go along for the ride. It is what it is and it's fun if you don't pick it apart as you would a novel plot. The problems for me were mainly stuff like- the aliens wouldn't really do "such-n-such".

DRC~ Oh yes, it is something different! :) It was super cool and I think you'll enjoy it.

nissa_loves_cats said...

I love watching the promos for that film. Though I wish they had cast Colin Firth in some role in the film, then my mom would take me to see it since she's got a major crush on Colin.

(The last two films I saw in the theater were Colin Firth films. I had to go to Mamma Mia when Hancock was playing next door! But then the girl in Mamma Mia was cute, I like Christine Baranski and Abba music, and when I finally got to see Hancock it wasn't as great as I thought it would be though the drunken superhero idea was cool.)

Amanda Borenstadt said...

Nissa~ No, no Collin Firth. Not even in an alien costume. :P
But I think you'd enjoy this one. I also did a review on my Catholic blog and talked about the religious content. And more spoilers. http://catholiconceagain.blogspot.com/2011/08/cowboys-and-aliens-christian-review.html
Maybe Colin will make the sequel, "Cowboys and Aliens Meet the Calm English Gentleman".

Shelley HW said...

Oh this DOES sound like Geek Heaven, which, coincidentally, is RIGHT UP MY ALLEY tOO!

I loved Wild Wild West, the me with Will Smith, so if this is anything lie that, ... sigh.

Daniel Craig is also awesom-ness and he brings awesom-ness to the screen.

Amanda Borenstadt said...

Shelley~ Oh yeah, I'm a big Wild Wild West fan- the old old TV show (which we rent from Netflix regularly) and the film. Though the film's not as good as the show- except it has Will Smith and I've got a thing for him. :D

Anyway- yeah, I guess it has a little of that feel to it.

I should totally do a comparison post on those plus Firefly (awesome show)... oh gosh, there are probably other western/sci.fi mashups I should think of. :)

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I haven't seen it yet, but I'm not sure I'm planning to either--no matter how hot I think Daniel is.

Okay, maybe that will be the swaying factor. :D

Amanda Borenstadt said...

Stina~ If you like Daniel, this is a must see. I didn't even know I liked him until this movie. :)

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