REVIEWS: The Phippsian Reader

Tom Russell twopointthreefivefilmwerks at
Sat May 14 12:19:45 PDT 2005

phippsmar... at wrote:
> >
> > This is the way the story feels.  Here you have characters (and
> author) >grappling with the enormity of disaster.  Just a few scenes,
> the character split up >into groups, where they talk about their very
> impotence.
> This wasn't so much padding as pacing.

Wasn't trying to imply padding-- I thought the simplicity of it was
wonderful, tragic, and true.

> Actually, it was Deja Dude the Younger.

I'm sorry-- I should have read it again before I wrote about it, to
refresh my memory.

> Or perhaps I was just writing a review of The Day After Tomorrow in
> entertaining a way as possible.  Does it not bother you that the
> science in the movie was a bit misleading?

Yes, but not as much as it bothers me that the issue of global warming
itself has been all but ignored by the Bush Administration.  (And
that's my political outburst for the day)

 The original Ice Age did
> not happen because cave men were burning fossil fuels: it presumably
> happened the way my story describes.  Okay, see, I do have an
> over-inflated ego: I'm saying my story is, in one way, better than
> Hollywood movie.

No, you're saying it's better than a Roland Emmerich movie.  In which
case there's no ego involved at all.

  But that's what movie reviewers are usually implying
> anyway when they complain about a bad movie script: they're implying
> that they could do better if they had the chance.

I disagree that they're all "armchair directors".  Some artists say
that anyone can criticize, but it takes an artist to create.  This is
true.  But a bad movie is still a bad movie.

> Actually, I think the story I wrote on Wednesday, CSI: Netro.polis,
> better.  I actually don't think LNH Asia: 2 Slow 2 Serious or LNH
> The Week After Next work as separate stories.

I actually read the second first and the first second, and the second
worked for me, stand-alone.

> Speaking of Roland Emmerich, one is faced with the same conundrum
> regarding the movie Independence Day: there's no way that mankind
> have been able to fight an enemy as powerful as the aliens were
> established to be at the beginning of the movie.  Mankind should have
> been dead at the end of the movie.  The fact that mankind not only
> survived but won is nothing but a cheat, a way to salvage a happy
> ending even though millions, if not billions, have died.  To a lesser
> extent the Day After Tomorrow has the same problem: I mean Canada's
> gone, Europe is gone, Russia, presumably, is gone... but, hey,  they
> saved cancer boy!  Yay!  How can you take these movies seriously?
> deserve to be satirized.

This is very, very true.  I think I'm a little more forgiving of some
Emmerich stuff (Godzilla is a sin that can never be forgiven) than I
used to be, basically because my wife likes Emmerich and I was letting
my brain get in the way of having a good time.  One becomes much less
crabby if one allows themselves to enjoy films that are minor, just
fun, or kooky.  Not a matter of lowering standards, per se, as
realizing that not every movie or book has to be life-changing.

> I have no idea what you are talking about.

Charles Dickens used to write under the name Boz, and was generally
regarded as a humourist.  He would write little character sketches and
his first book, the Pickwick Papers, is marvelously silly.  His next
book, Oliver Twist, was a marked difference and while Dickens was still
Dickens-- for example, the characters still oftentimes verge onto being
caricatures-- some of his readers, at the time, thought he had gone
high-brow.  That he was trying to be taken seriously.

A more modern example would be Stephen Speilberg.  Makes a lot of fun
movies-- Jaws, Indy Jones, ET, Hook (okay, so I'm the only one that
liked Hook)-- and then wants to be taken seriously-- AI, Minority
Report.  He was a lot more fun before he went pretentious; at the time,
some Pickwick fans thought Dickens had done the same thing.

I'm just saying that the "Bozs" (the early Dickens, early Spielberg,
etc.) have value, too, something which is overlooked in a lot of art.
Usually when an artist matures in his work, some of that early mayhem
and fun is gone.  I'm just saying that I don't think that's the case
with you.

> > More than any other work-- and certainly more than any "serious"
> in the imprint-- >Phipps's work is what validates the LNH as a
> breathing, and important venture.
> No.  Is it too late for you to go back and finish Net.Heroes on
> without the zombies?  I know you had plans for the Nameless Ones.
> not sure why you got sidetracked into doing zombie fanfic.  If you
> could go back and salvage that series, maybe explain what the zombies
> had to do with the overall plot then that would be a more important
> venture than my pseudo movie and TV reviews.  Your stories have
> elements of subtle humour that make them worth reading even when they
> are mostly serious.

Thank you for the compliment.  I think, though, that NHOP is behind me.

> Martin


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