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Kung Fu Panda 3

February 29, 2012

At the end of Kung Fu Panda 2, there’s a short scene–one of those useless appendixes that serve no purpose other than to set up the potential for a sequel.

This one showed that, secreted high up in the mountains, there was a whole colony of pandas in exile, and one panda who turns around and says, in a revelatory tone, “my son is alive!”

Cute, but troubling. We had just finished watching a movie where Po searches for his parents as a way of determining who he really is (stupid, to me, but perhaps more resonant with an adopted kid). Revealing that Papa Panda is alive doesn’t really add any more to the narrative and seems to suggest that the next installment will be the same story emotionally, only with different players. One of the problems with sequels: the characters never seem to have learned anything from their last escapade when the next movie starts.

Here’s my take: instead of redoing the narrative about finding who you are through your parents, the story should be about the pandas reintegrating into a society that’s moved on without them–and Po’s status change from “odd foundling” to “speaker for his people”. How to integrate martial arts into this narrative? Maybe some of the racism could manifest itself physically, forcing Po to defend his family at the cost of appearing biased toward them/ethnocentric. Pushing this idea to its logical conclusion, the Five would side with Po, and perhaps be forced to disband due to their perceived loss of impartiality.

The really brilliant feat, of course, would be pulling this off in a way that’s understandable to Kung Fu Panda’s target audience, and not preachy.

On the growing presence of Social Media

August 30, 2010

In response to the question, “How pervasive will social media be five years from now?” Biz Stone says:

I hope it’s less pervasive. I hope we can get sophisticated enough so that people aren’t hunched over computers, spending hours looking at their friends’ photos. Instead of doing that, the information you want will come to you, allowing you to save money, save time, or serendipitously meet up with a friend.

Because computers–all technology, really–should contribute to quality of life rather than downgrade it. I like Clay Shirky’s idea of “cognitive surplus” used in this fashion: if it’s something that can be done by robots, then if we’re still doing it the old-fashioned way, it had better add something to our lives that can’t be replicated by having a robot do it for us. That extra energy could (and should) be directed towards more productive activities.

Quote from Inc.com’s article, “Social Media Grows Up“.

Francis Ford Coppola, on Preparation

April 3, 2010

How he got ready to make The Godfather:

While I lean towards that sort of preparation by natural instinct (and, I suppose, a certain amount of occupational training), it’s still mind boggling to come across someone who puts hole reinforcers on both sides of the page and ultimately creates a 3 or 4 inch binder which he then proceeds to carry around in a dedicated tote….

On Nudity

March 20, 2010

There is a difference between being naked and being nekkid. Naked is when you have no clothes on. Nekkid is when you have no clothes on–and you’re up to somethin.

Lewis Grizzard

Goal for February 8-12, 2010

February 8, 2010

Ok, let’s get all cheesy and motivational here, as per last month’s entry. This week, my goal is to purge, clean, and organize my room.

The hallmarks by which I will recognize the achievement of this goal:

    *Room is free of extraneous “storage” and contains only the stuff I use on a daily basis or love enough to have near me at all times.
    *Room has no dust on any surface.
    *The desk is clear of everything except lamp, basic office supplies, calendar, and cell phone.

This is stage one of my room reorganization. Stage two requires moving furniture around and new curtains!

Vocabulary: Propitiate!

February 5, 2010

Came across this word in a dreadfully (but amusingly) politically-incorrect book on Troyes in 1250 A.D. Propitiate is a verb, which, according to the Merriam-Webster, means:

to gain or regain the favor or goodwill of: appease; synonyms: pacify

It’s from the Latin for propitious, or propitiare.

And while I’m at it, propitious means, more or less, favorable/auspicious. M-W link for your convenience.

Oh, hell.

January 28, 2010

It would appear that I am repeating my previous blog’s habit of posting an announcement about an impending post, then summarily forgetting to do so. Go me.

I also appear to have missed a week in posting. One of my New Year’s Resolutions was to post at least weekly. But look! I have a plan!

I hereby announce a rough schedule of posting topics in order to motivate myself to write here more regularly:

Monday: Goal for Week/Quote
Tuesday: Poetry
Wednesday: Paintings/Photographs
Thursday: Short Story
Friday: Short Films/short scene

Now then–the mere work of sticking to it commences. (I could do without the dorky shadow quotes in the box. Oh well. Maybe on one of my procrastinatory binges…?)