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If you had to choose, would you prefer a script that... 
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Gaffer

Joined: Sat Jan 19, 2013 2:06 pm
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Post If you had to choose, would you prefer a script that...
A - Has an interesting premise, story, themes, and characters, but is full of plotholes, inconsistencies, and lapses in logic

or

B - Has a bland/cliched premise, story, themes, and characters, but is airtight and logically sound?


Sun Sep 21, 2014 12:01 pm
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Auteur
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Post Re: If you had to choose, would you prefer a script that...
I'd definitely pick B, because originality matters a lot less to me then the film actually making freaking sense. Snowpiercer was the textbook example of A, interesting idea, but far too many plot holes and lapses in logic to be much good.


Sun Sep 21, 2014 12:41 pm
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Director
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Post Re: If you had to choose, would you prefer a script that...
It really depends a lot on the execution of the idea. The Terminator is a great example of A; it is a most interesting story, but it is also full of plotholes. Cameron's direction is so good and the craftsmanship on the film so solid that it is easy to get wrapped up in it and forget the plotholes.

Yet there's something to be said for option B as well. I recently saw a film called Charley Varrick; it was a genre film, and really tight in its plotting with no real lapses in logic. It was also really good. A genre film can take a well-worn premise and work within its confines while being exceptionally fun and entertaining. In fact, I've always said that if you can't enjoy a well crafted genre film such as a detective story, musical, western, or war film then you really lack an appreciation of basic cinema.

So TL;DR...craftsmanship matters.

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Sun Sep 21, 2014 1:13 pm
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Post Re: If you had to choose, would you prefer a script that...
Good question. I think everyone on the forum knows which answer I'd choose, but there are plenty of entertaining films that go with Option B and work out pretty well.

Anything involving time travel, whether it be the Terminator films, Looper, or X-Men: Days of Future Past, of course there are paradoxes and holes you could poke. That's just the nature of the concept.

As everyone knows, I'm an "ideas" kind of guy. Movies can do a lot for me if they aim high and challenge us to think, even if they run into some inconsistencies along the way.

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Sun Sep 21, 2014 2:02 pm
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Post Re: If you had to choose, would you prefer a script that...
I'd generally go for Option A, IF (and it's a big IF) the various issues aren't glaringly obvious while watching. If the plot holes, inconsistencies etc take you out of the film, effectively ruining the experience, then no. So the craftmanship is extremely important - and the question becomes can what's happening effectively distract (via great dialogue, action, engaging story) paper over the problems?


Sun Sep 21, 2014 4:51 pm
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Post Re: If you had to choose, would you prefer a script that...
Very interesting thread and a chance to write about the paradox that concerns one of my favorite movies.
I' d definetely choose A if the execution is worthwhile.
The most classic example of A that comes to my mind is one of the most entertaining films I've ever seen, Hitchcock' s North By Northwest. I first watched it when I was a little kid and I have rewatched it many times over the years. I gradually realised that everything that take place in the movie is preposterous . From the kidnappers following Kaplan without having any idea who he is and what he looks like to the elaborate methods they use to get ride of Thornhill instead of just shooting him, up to the final scene, nothing really makes sense if pure logic is applied. Yet the Hitchcock touch is so strong that we happily accept everything and go along for the ride.
I expect consistency from a documentary and not so much from a work of fiction.


Sun Sep 21, 2014 5:51 pm
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Assistant Second Unit Director

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Post Re: If you had to choose, would you prefer a script that...
I go with Option A if the problems aren't glaring.


Sun Sep 21, 2014 8:16 pm
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Director

Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2012 7:44 pm
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Post Re: If you had to choose, would you prefer a script that...
There's bound to be some disagreement about which movies fall into which categories. I think North by Northwest certainly falls into group B. The material is generic, but the execution is so solid that it's a really fun movie.

But I think the OP needs a little revision. Honestly, if a movie has a bland premise, story, themes, AND characters, that's a bad movie. I mean, I really don't see how anything good can come from that. Many movies instead are really interesting in one or two of those areas, bland in the other two. For instance, the films of David O. Russell and Robert Altman sometimes have bland stories and premises, but the characters and themes are so terrific that it doesn't matter. So it really isn't A vs. B. There are many shades of gray here.

Category A is basically a movie that's great in every way except maybe has a few leaps in logic. Category B is a bad movie, except somehow logical? The odds are not so evenly stacked :? . It's 4 vs. 1. For me, it's pretty simple. The OP mentions 5 aspects of a script; if 3 of those are great, I'd say a pretty good movie is likely enough. If 4 of those are great, well, that's a lot better.

Leaps in logic have to be judged on a case by case basis. The fewer the better, though. But category B just isn't good. If all of those things are bland, airtight logic won't help you.


Mon Sep 22, 2014 2:11 am
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Post Re: If you had to choose, would you prefer a script that...
Either extreme usually stinks, but I lean more A than B. While most of fiction is fabricated to seem real, I'm usually accepting of logical bobbles unless realism is one of the major objects of the film. For me it is generally about interesting stories. However, the very worst movies often seem to be extreme A. Extreme B is usually just boring.


Mon Sep 22, 2014 8:37 am
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