Musings on writing, lessons learned by an aspiring professional, book reviews, movie reviews, an occasional t.v. show review, and unashamed opinion.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Why I love movies

I watched a movie yesterday.  I do that sometimes.  Okay, I do it a lot.  But guess what?  It totally got my creative juices going.  The movie was The Expendables, and holy crap, I've got to find more time to write!
Quick review of the flick: The Expendables is about a mercenary group called, of course, the Expendables, headed by a freakin ripped Sylvester Stallone.  (Also including Jet Li, Jason Statham, Bruce Willis, and a bunch of wrestler dudes I don't know).  They get this job offer to take out a small army trafficking drugs in the Caribbean, and the boss (Stallone) goes to scout out the island where the drug op is.  To make a long story short (spoiler warning) They chose not to take the job.  However, there is a girl that serves as their contact on the island, and they decided they need the rescue her.  That's it.  About the simplest plot they could have come up with.

So I thought the movie was okay.  Probably won't ever watch it again.  But that isn't the good part.  The good part is how I thought of a gazillion ways to make the story better--like adding magic, among other things.  Also, it got me thinking a lot about mercenary tales, and how it is really hard to have a merc with morals.  I mean, these dudes spend their time killing people for money... what kind of soul does a person like that have?

This was one thing that bugged me about the film, though they did have a nice little scene with Mickey Rourke, where he is remembering a time where he could have saved a life and chose not to.  He regretted it, felt that he damned his soul by letting a woman commit suicide.  Anyway, it was a nice scene, and I believed he felt remorse, but I wasn't buying Stallone's character for a second.  I just don't think someone like him (at least not from the glimpse of him we see in the movie) would feel anything at the loss of life.  Course, I don't really know, having never shot at people for cash.  And I don't have bulging muscles like him, so maybe I'm too disconnected from his way of life to judge.  Hmm...

My point: despite The Expendables' light plot, the movie really got me thinking.  This is why I can justify watching a movie (sometimes) rather than writing.  Now I have a story in mind of mercenaries using magic.  Not original, but I can make it my own with great characters and plot.  My one problem is that I honestly believe a merc is a bad dude.  So I'll have to go the anti-hero route and have a group of guys that are bad, but still fun to be around.  (Funny mercs have already been done with Schlock, so can't do that).  And I'll have to write it under a pen name so as not to offend anyone I know!

And that is why I love movies.


  1. I've been wanting to see that one!

    I love merc stories with morals! That was the allure for The Losers movie. A commando team done wrong makes for a great story line.

    Book wise, I've been meaning to read Clive Cussler's The Oregon Files series. A secret merc group that hires itself out to the CIA and other agencies to kill the bad guys. Good guys doing what needs to be done, where it needs to be done. I can get into that!

  2. You're going to finish your WIP before you start this one, right? I need closure on that. And we all know it's all about me.

  3. Oh yes. I will finish what I'm on first, and then i've got that YA military scifi to write. This mercenary tale is a ways down the road. I usually think about books for a year or two before I write anything. I did write down some notes, though. It's going to be a fantasy thriller set in the cold war. Oh, and there's a necromancer Russian.