February 2004 posts

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Qustiona/ Did Angel really get his destiny back in THAW -- sarah, 07:03:24 02/01/04 Sun

In season 4 THAW did he really get his destiny back? Granted he won money and was able to leave with the others dragging him out, but did he really win back his destiny? Because if so shouldn't he have at the end of the season gone about getting the amulet a different way instead of joining W & H which is slowing being shown to him as his making a wrong choice and taking the easy way out?


[> Not necessarily -- Finn Mac Cool, 10:53:34 02/01/04 Sun

The prophecy reads that a vampire with a soul will one day fight to either save or destroy the world, after which he will become human. We can't be entirely certain that Angel is the prophecied vampire. And, even if he is the true vampire with a soul, the prophecy is still very vague. We know that Angel (if he is the subject of the prophecy) will have to face a great many challeges (plagues, fiends, whatnot), and eventually turn the tide of an apocalyptic battle. He's certainly faced a great many challenges, so all that's left is the apocalypse and the shanshu. The only thing joining with Wolfram & Hart did was make us uncertain which side he'll be on (which the prophecy left ambiguous anyway) and how he'll go about playing his role (instead of fighting a demonic overlord to the death, he may simply sign a memo ordering said overlord's death). Nothing has happened that invalidates the prophecy.

Of course, this is all assuming that stopping Jasmine wasn't his destined act, in which case either the shanshu is yet to arrive or the prophecy was partly or totally false to begin with.

[> Destiny - Tautology -- Dlgood, 17:48:19 02/02/04 Mon

In a certain sense, he never got his destiny back, because he'd never lost it.

To have a set "destiny" - to some extent by definition - says that anything that happens to you is part of that destiny. So having his sub-destiny (of being The Champion) stolen was just part of his larger destiny overall.

[> [> Sort of OT, but relevant .. -- Jane, 17:52:42 02/03/04 Tue

Nice quote from Joss I read in today's Vancouver Sun:
"The times are chaotic. For me, I would hope that people look at Angel and gain strength by it. With everything that I do, I hope that they see people struggling to live decent, moral lives in a completely chaotic world. They see how hard it is, how often they fail, and how they get up and keep on trying. That, to me, is the most important message I'm ever going to tell." This quote came from a nice article about Angel's 100th show, complete with cast picture.

BtVS - "Passions" (Spoilers) -- Ultimate Fanboy, 08:28:17 02/01/04 Sun


How was Angelus capable of entering Giles' house in "Passions" if he had set up Jenny's body in such a way?


[> Answer -- KdS, 14:49:30 02/01/04 Sun

We never saw Angel invited into Giles's flat. However, earlier in the episode, Giles talks about having to disinvite Angel:

Giles: Right. (looks the book over) I guess I should do my apartment tonight. (looks up) The ritual go all right?

Willow: Oh, yeah. It went fine.

So one can only assume that ME recognised the issue, and want us to assume that Angel was earlier invited into Giles's home in some incident that we never saw.

[> [> Angel at Giles house .. -- Dlgood, 07:01:26 02/02/04 Mon

Wasn't Angel in Giles' place for "The Dark Age" to get Eyghon out of Jenny's body?

[> [> [> Again, don't think so -- Vickie, 10:20:25 02/02/04 Mon

I believe that scene was at Ethan's costume shop, which appears to be the same set as the magic shop.

If you do nothing else today .. -- dub ;o), 08:49:07 02/01/04 Sun

.. read Macha's essay (long, hee!) on Damage, at Tea at the Ford:


Among other things, it helped me to see why I adored this episode so much, and how big a part Buffy played in it.



[> Belated Happy Birthday, dub! -- CW, 11:07:15 02/01/04 Sun

[> [> Thanks, CW! -- dub ;o), 16:31:48 02/01/04 Sun

[> [> [> Happy Birthday dub! May all your wishes come true! -- Briar Rose, 11:48:00 02/02/04 Mon

[> [> [> [> Thanks, BR! -- dub ;o), 22:52:44 02/02/04 Mon

[> [> birthday? when was it? hope it was happy!! -- anom, 12:28:45 02/02/04 Mon

[> [> [> Aw, thanks anom! -- dub ;o), 22:53:47 02/02/04 Mon

It was last Thursday, the day before Scroll's! Aquarians rule!!


[> [> [> [> you're welcome, & thanks for the info! & belated happy birthday to scroll, too! -- anom, 08:58:35 02/03/04 Tue

[> [> [> [> [> Happy Birthday (late) Scroll! You guys keep forgetting to mention your B-days. Stop that!*L -- Briar Rose, 11:56:01 02/03/04 Tue

[> [> Happy Birthday, dub. -- Arethusa, 06:08:46 02/03/04 Tue

And thanks for the link. It was excellent.

[> Thanks, dub.. -- Jane, 20:08:03 02/01/04 Sun

Thanks for a link to a really amazing site. I went, read, and was blown away. Never would have known about it without you. I immediately added it to my list of favourites. I join with you in recommending that everyone read this essay; as you say it really underscores why "Damage" is such a powerful episode.

[> [> Re: Wow! Great Stuff. Thanks, dub -- Brian, 08:48:35 02/02/04 Mon

[> Belated birthday wishes, WW -- Vickie, 09:45:08 02/03/04 Tue

Sure hope your day was great. Thanks for the link, too. Much chewy goodness!

[> cakes! cakes! (oh yes, happy birthdays, scroll & dub) -- MsG, 02:43:45 02/05/04 Thu

"How can we know the dancer from the dance?" (SPOILERS Angel 5.11) -- sdev, 10:36:27 02/01/04 Sun

I promise it's much shorter than the last one. Although not 82% less manly.

"How can we know the dancer from the dance?" WB Yeats

This episode explores the human psyche and how it gets damaged, and how that damage begets damage. There are three generation of damaged ones Angel, to Spike, to Dana, all interconnected. Can one be healed or heal oneself? How? Can one repair the damage done to others? Is that the transformative step in healing oneself?

The Spike Angel connection is obvious. The connection to Dana is made visually through her distorted visions of Spike as her abuser and the viewers' fears that indeed their current hero is her past torturer. We the viewers are thrown into Dana's point of view and with loathing are made to believe that Spike tortured Dana. Our reluctance to see Spike this way mimics Spike's reluctance to view his own past monstrous acts, which though different than torture of children, nevertheless as he admits, destroyed hundreds of families. Though the viewer may have been relieved at the revelation that it was not Spike who actually tortured Dana, their vision of him is now through his own somewhat altered eyes.

The parallels between Angel and Connor and the damaged child are rife. Connor was brought up in a hell dimension; Dana was put through living hell by her abuse. Both have gone crazy are hurting others and are all the more dangerous for their superhuman powers. Are either capable of a return to normal human life? Can either recover from their damage? Dana and Connor are both part of the cycle of violence that sometimes begins with child abuse, the victim becomes the perpetrator. Angel and Spike, all vampires in fact, are metaphors for that cycle as well. Angel's abuse of Drusilla created Spike who in turn abused others. How does one escape from that cycle?

Angel did not believe that Connor could be saved. He made the morally compromised deal with W&H, stripped his friends of their memories, and rewrote Connor's life because he believed it was the only way to undo the damage to Connor. That decision continues to haunt him and is symbolized by the refusal of the Watcher's Council and Buffy, if one can believe Andrew, to trust him with one of their own, a demented slayer. Angel who did not believe himself capable of helping Connor is now not trusted by others to help Dana who is similarly disturbed. Is Buffy's silent distrust, a severe emotional blow to Angel, a forerunner to Wesley, Gunn and Fred's reaction when they inevitably discover Angel's betrayal?

Instead of Dana, Angel is left in the final scene with the job of putting one of his own back together, the newly damaged Spike. Spike is maimed in the loss of his arms, but the final scene dialogue between Angel and Spike reveal the real damage to both vampires, that they are monsters who for hundreds of years hurt, tortured and killed others without scruple. In this scene it appears that the healing between the brothers, at least, has begun. After Spike's recent saves and refusals to betray or hurt Angel and Angel's own this season, in Just Rewards, Hellbound, Destiny, and Soul Purpose, Angel returns the favor and saves Spike.

Who are the victims here? How do "we know the dancer from the dance?" At the end of the episode Spike says Dana has become a monster like them. Angel demurs and says no she is a victim. Spike says, we were victims too long ago, and Angel agrees. To my mind this is a first and definitively answers the question I have often heard raised are vampires complicitous in their turning. The answer is no. The issue of redemption and the need for it are affected by this statement. If vampires are hapless victims, as I believe they are, what responsibility do they bear for their bad acts, and what do they owe the world upon recovery of their souls? Are they damned to Hell, the question raised in Hellbound and throughout the series? Is redemption about more than an after life, is it about self-acceptance in this life and avoiding personal hell on earth. This would fit well with Joss Whedon the atheist, a sort of secular humanist version of redemption. Is the Shanshu really code for humanity and not for actually having a beating heart.

Dana in her slayer lunacy makes repeated reference to head and heart, on the overt level a reference to how a slayer kills vampires. It also appears to be a metaphorical reference to Angel as head and Spike as heart, a theme played out at the end of the episode. The Head or mind's function is to objectify, whereas the Heart is the opposite it subjectifies. Spike says his evil was in the "crunch" the experiential, sensate, aspect of the moment. Spike is the impulsive and intuitive monster who can still love. His heart has not been damaged. He has retained the subjective capacity to love, and it is that capacity which has fought the monster in him. His quest for the soul and his seemingly quick recovery from ensoulment are the result of this ability to love on the subjective level, the "I did it for Buffy." Now to grow, to become a true hero, he needs to objectify that love so it moves outside the personal, to the world at large. By looking at the damage he has done to others like Dana he is taking a step in that direction. Although he did not personally hurt Dana, he must learn to objectify her experience to the hurt he caused to the world at large and the converse the help he can now provide to others.

Angel is in a more difficult place. He is the monster ruled by the mind, the artistic desire. His monster has the drive and calculation to create. He is contemplative, the antithesis of Spike's impulsive nature. His "art" objectified humanity but lacked the subjective ability to love that tempers that creative drive. Hence he was a monster who savored evil as art. As Angelus, he created monsters. As Angel he slipped into the role of hero wherein he recreates the lives of the hopeless. He gave the hopeless new starts, metaphorically returning a life for one he had taken. This drive explains his obsession with remaking Darla in Season 2. This was motivated by his creative impulse not his love of Darla. Angel started further away than Spike without the ability to love. It is no coincidence that the beginning of his emergence from under the paralyzing self-pitying burden of guilt into a productive being happened when he fell in love with Buffy. Connecting with his heart is what gave him the connection to humanity that he lacked before. Fatherhood for Angel was the perfect melding of the head and heart. Now that has been stripped away. Angel is missing the subjective connections that can make him more human, and now he has a further disconnect from his friends due to the mindwipe . He shies away from the very things Spike embraces.

Also the repeated reference to head and heart suggests the two different styles of Angel and Spike very obviously contrasted in this episode. Angel moves contemplatively. He is the head. Spike is intuitive and impulsive He is the heart. Both styles have their advantages and disadvantages. Spike plunges in and ultimately is critically injured and almost staked. Angel moves laboriously, but only finds Dana through Spike and Andrew, and risks further killing of bystanders by his slowness. But in the end it is Angel who rescues Spike and captures Dana. If the two had put their styles together all would have benefited. In the end it's head and heart.

Further there appears to be some commentary on the new careful corporate style Angel has adopted in contrast to his old style which was closer to Spike's and involved rushing to the scene weapons at the ready. In every episode there seems to be two responses weighed the take no prisoners, eliminate evil, black and white approach versus the half-measures, careful corporate, play the end against the middle style advocated for by the newly enhanced Gunn. This episode began that way as well. Angel wants to act on Eve's betrayal, discovered at the end of Soul Purpose, but is dissuaded by Gunn's advice not to anger the Senior Partners with whom Eve appears to be well connected. So a wait and see strategy is adopted.

How does the new Angel, take your time and compromise, style work? Is it a success? While ultimately Spike and Dana were saved, further "damage" was once again done. Spike's swift intercession prevented more killing by Dana which was happening at a brisk pace. It was risky, impulsive, maybe even stupid, and cost him dearly. Angel's failure to back up Spike, one option for instance, almost resulted in Spike's death and did result in Spike's dismemberment. Not the Angel of old but the new and not improved W&H version of our hero.

Also notable is the operational mark of the Watcher's Council acting rather unscrupulously here. Why did they not rescue Dana themselves with 12 Slayers at hand? Their trademark use and dispose is evident. Spike almost got killed and Dana killed many before she was stopped. At what point did they learn about Dana? Did they know all along that she was a slayer but were not worried before because she was confined. None of this is clear as yet. The Watcher's Council is a parallel institution to W&H. Even though committed to good it still suffers the pitfalls of institutions depersonalized, compromising and grey, unable or unwilling to act swiftly.

Finally the open questions of Chosen are being touched on. What are the ramifications of the Potential empowerment spell Willow performed in Chosen? Is there a problem with "hundreds maybe thousands" of young girls being given enormous unexplained power without their understanding or consent? One dangerous and fatal problem has already become evident. Are there more Dana's out there? The spell in Chosen created a new monster. Is this a consequence, albeit not in the traditional sense, of Willow's magic? Has balance been disturbed?

I also see a parallel between the now dual roles of Angel and Spike, both seeking the coveted destiny of the Shanshu, pitted against one another by Lindsey's artful manipulation. Is there a problem with the Unchosen ones? None of the new slayers were selected by whatever mystical process selected the one Chosen One from among her peers. In the past was the one selected from the many based on forseen merit, ability, or worthiness, or just plain destiny? Is Spike too the Unchosen one and does it matter? Lindsay thinks it matters and is trying to undermine Angel's status with the SP as Champion in residence. Can there be too many heroes or is that a myth to be undermined in both series?

In closing this season is beginning to sound the alarm that humans are the enemy and to examine a series of introspective themes of internal rather than external monsters. Here are the episodes to date viewed in this way:

Conviction - Human villain, Corbin Fries is human. Angel's ended fatherhood.

Just Rewards - Human villain, Magnus Hainsley the Necromancer is a human. Spike and Angel compare pain.

Unleashed - Human villain, young woman turned werewolf and gourmet club of humans. Angel empathizes with the monster in the person.

Hellbound Human villain, Pavayne is human. Spike doesn't want his existence at any price. Can Angel and Spike redeem their past. Is there anything to believe in.

Life of the Party - Lorne's human like need for sleep is explored, his empathy and alter-ego are examined.

Numero Cinco - Human fallen hero, human disillusionment is explored.

Lineage - Cyborgs were humanoid and presumably created by humans, Wesley's relationship to his father is explored.

Destiny - Human villains Eve, Linsey and Sirk. Sibling rivalry is explored and the origins of becoming a monstrous being. How Spike's choice colors who he is.

Harm's Way - Vampire villain and Angel's feared one strike policy. Harmony's need "to matter" and to be social is explored in the context of the corporation

Soul Purpose - Human villains Eve and Lindsey. Human need for purpose, recognition and self-worth are explored via Angel's dreams, deep introspection, and Spike's encounter with Lindsey.

Damage Human villain Dana. Insanity and monstrosity are explored in the context of abuse.


[> Re: "How can we know the dancer from the dance?" (SPOILERS Angel 5.11) -- Irene, 14:21:27 02/03/04 Tue

I really enjoyed your post. I was especially thrilled by the fact that you were the first to point out the vicious cycle of victim/abuser within the vampire community. It brought to mind the movie, "Dolores Clairbourne". In it, Kathy Bates played a Maine woman who had to deal with the fact that she killed her husband (David Straitharn), whom she suspected of sexually abusing their daughter (played by Jennifer Jason-Leigh). The odd thing was that the movie also hinted that Dolores'husband may have also been a victim of sexual abuse, at the hands of his mother.

With vampires - including the Fanged Four - you get that same cycle of abuse.

[> [> Thanks for reading -- sdev, 15:30:05 02/03/04 Tue

Just a quickie .. -- Marie, 02:54:37 02/02/04 Mon

.. to say a big "Thank you, everyone" for your kind wishes. My home pc has conked, and I have to pop into work to do this, so just a few minutes to say that Morgan is well, and very placid so long as he's fed on time! He disappears into the ether when I come into work, though .. very odd, and rather Spike-like!

While I'm here - a belated Happy Birthday to dubdub! Hope it was a good one, sweetie!



[> Nice to see you Marie! -- Masq, 08:29:06 02/02/04 Mon

Glad you saw the congrats Marie thread!

Glad to hear Morgan is doing well. Hope you are too. Hope you can come by and visit again soon!

[> Thanks, Hon! -- dub ;o), 10:23:16 02/02/04 Mon

Wondered how you and the baby were doing .. funny thing, that disappearing of babies happens where I work, too. LOL!


[> marie! great to hear from you! stay in touch! -- anom, 14:41:19 02/02/04 Mon

Was Dana called post-Chosen? -- skeeve, 08:10:41 02/02/04 Mon


[> Don't *think* so -- Vickie, 09:13:17 02/02/04 Mon

Her doctor said her behavior changed "a few months ago" (I think, or maybe 6 months ago?); the former would put the time in the ballpark for Chosen.

We also know her age, which is just a little over 25 years. I thought the actress looked younger.

[> [> Dana was called same time as other Potentials.. -- ZachsMind, 11:17:14 02/02/04 Mon

They were perhaps purposefully vague on the specifics regarding dates, but based on the description, she had been near comatose until very recently when something awakened her. She became violent and they managed to quickly sedate her. That was the condition she had been in since the cratering of Sunnydale. The event which changed this was when the nurse appeared to accidently (and I question whether or not anything's really accidental in Whedon's 'verse) get her prescription mixed with that of another inmate. The reason she didn't start causing problems immediately after "Chosen," besides the obvious reason that there was a summer there and the series was over and the Angel series had other issues to contemplate before acknowledging its place in the BuffyVerse, was that Dana was unconscious until this episode, and apparently under the radar of both Wolfram & Hart, and the Watcher's Council.

This does bring other issues to the forefront however. Was this rewriting of the Slayer line only functional during the time Willow enacted the spell? Are there other Slayers being awakened each and every day? Are ALL young girls throughout the world Potentials? What criteria does the Slayer Force utilize? How many Potentials can be realized until the Slayer Force has been spread too thin? CAN it be spread too thin or is it an infinite force?

These issues may never be fully addressed. It's not fair to assume they will be addressed in the Angel series, because that show is not about the slayer line, nor should it become so. It's nice of them to have an episode occasionally that deals with it, but ultimately Angel is about.. well.. Angel. And his immediate family of choice. Does Buffy and the Slayer line fit there? Not according to Andrew. The Slayer Counsel no longer sees Angel and his friends as allies. Nor should they.

So I still hope for a spinoff someday, in which some characters from the previous series are revisited along with new characters. However, I'm not holding my breath.

[> [> [> Re: Dana was called same time as other Potentials.. -- Gyrus, 11:47:39 02/02/04 Mon

This does bring other issues to the forefront however. Was this rewriting of the Slayer line only functional during the time Willow enacted the spell? Are there other Slayers being awakened each and every day?

Good question. I'm under the impression that the answer is yes, but I base that only on Buffy's statement in "Chosen" that, from then on, every girl who could be a Slayer would be one. Of course, that raises all kinds of other questions, like whether all Potentials will become Slayers at the moment they hit puberty, or if some other factor will determine the timing of it. (Given how early some girls hit puberty these days, there could be some 9-year-old Slayers running around. Egad!)

Are ALL young girls throughout the world Potentials?

Definitely not. Otherwise, there would now be millions of Slayers in the world instead of hundreds or thousands.

What criteria does the Slayer Force utilize?

That's as good a question now as ever, and possibly the one least likely to be answered.

How many Potentials can be realized until the Slayer Force has been spread too thin? CAN it be spread too thin or is it an infinite force?

Given that Buffy didn't seem to lose any of her power when the other Potentials were "awakened", it doesn't seem to be something that is easily diminished by spreading it around. But there could be an upper limit.

[> [> [> [> My theory, one more time. -- skeeve, 07:57:16 02/03/04 Tue

The calling of a Slayer doesn't transfer power,
it creates more.
Each Slayer has the power of every Slayer.
That is why Buffy felt strong after her first resurrection.
She not only felt the effects of her Slayer power, she felt the effects of Kendra's Slayer power.
If this theory is correct, Buffy and her colleagues should be feeling real good about now.

[> [> [> Re: An answer regarding the future of the Slayer line .. -- Ames, 14:08:53 02/02/04 Mon

The issue of what happens to the Slayer line in the future is touched on in Fray, Joss Whedon's graphic novel about a future Slayer a couple of centuries from now. JW has said that Fray can be considered canon, i.e., he means it to be consistent with the current-generation stories of Buffy and Angel.

The details given in Fray are vague and a little unsatisfying, but let me know if you want a spoilery quote.

[> Re: Was Dana called post-Chosen? -- LittleBit, 12:53:57 02/02/04 Mon

I don't believe so .. she got agitated and started showing superhuman strength a few months ago (and keep in mind that "Conviction" is timed only a week or so after "Home") which would coincide with Willow's spell.

[> Don't know if that would be possible .. Are any Slayers "called" any more? -- Rob, 17:33:46 02/02/04 Mon

From what Joss has said, all Potentials just become Slayers now as soon as they're old enough. Dana was obviously old enough, so she would have been activated along with all of the other girls. Meaning, she isn't the result of another Slayer having died. We don't even know if a Slayer dying would call another Slayer now. Those young girls who are Potentials now will one day become Slayers when they reach puberty.


[> [> Re: Don't know if that would be possible .. Are any Slayers "called" any more? -- Anne, 07:53:20 02/03/04 Tue

In Chosen, you can see some Potentials getting there power from the essence of the scythe, and one of this girls is in my opinion definetly way younger than 15(the one playing baseball).And it is said that "every girl that might be a Slayer will be a Slayer" (also in Chosen).

[> [> [> Re: Don't know if that would be possible .. Are any Slayers "called" any more? -- Rob, 08:28:17 02/03/04 Tue

Joss said that she didn't get the power at that moment, but was one of the girls who one day would. Her hitting the baseball was just a sign of the strength she has that will one day be Slayer-ized.


Trivia Question on "No Place Like Home" (spoilers for that Ep) -- Vickie, 10:18:02 02/02/04 Mon

Gang, this is really geeky, but it's bugging the heck out of me. I was rewatching some Buffy Season 5 stuff over the weekend. When I got to the scene where the monks embody the key as Dawn, I noticed that the blonde monk is holding something in his right hand.

You cannot always see it because of the angle, and it's only there for a few seconds. It looks like some kind of stethoscope, maybe, or something else with a round part and a tube or hose attached. Since I don't have one of those magic DVD players that all crime shows have, I can't zoom in on it.

What on earth is this thing?


[> Magic DVD players -- Off on a tangent, 12:49:35 02/02/04 Mon

I was shopping for DVD players at Walmart yesterday and one of the boxes listed a zoom feature, but I didn't pay much attention to it.
Looking at the website today, I note that an Emerson model boasts of "2x/4x zoom" under "Picture Features."

[> OK, what's really spooky is that I was just watching that ep earlier tonight! -- OnM, 21:16:34 02/02/04 Mon

So, and/or thusly, it was no biggee to cue it up again and try to respond to your question.

There are two shots that reveal the object the monk is carrying, but the first one tales place when they are running down the hallway, and there is too much motion to get a clear look at it. In profile though, it does somewhat resemble a stethoscope, so you aren't completely off base.

However, at a time index of between 53 sec to 55 sec on the disc, there is a clear shot. (Just hit the pause button, which all DVD players have.) The object is some sort of pendant (likely a talisman-- there's always one of those, or so I've been told ;-), and is probably needed to cast the corporealization spell for The Key. It's a metal disc, (about 2-3 inches in diameter I'd guess) somewhat shallowly conical in shape, silver to titanium shaded in color, with what appears to be a very dark red jewel (almost the color of the monk's robes, in fact) in the center. It's hanging from a cord, probably made of thin leather, shoestring-like.

That do it for ya?

(Yer welcome-- my player's zoom aims to please.)


[> [> Thanks, OnM! -- Vickie, 07:28:18 02/03/04 Tue

I figured it was a ritual object of some kind, but my brain kept saying "ritual stethoscope?" and freezing up.

What part of X-Men is the third act? -- Doug, 13:48:25 02/02/04 Mon

Andrew: Mr Giles and a few key Sunnydale alum have been tracking down the recently chosen, guiding them, training them, giving them the full X-Men minus the crappy third act.

Ok, I know why this was in here, what with Joss Whedon's history with the first X-Men movie; but since movies don't have screencards that say what act your in, or intermissions to break them up, what part of X-Men is the third act?

Rogue running away?

I don't know.


[> What was Joss's involvment with it? -- Finn Mac Cool, 14:46:03 02/02/04 Mon

Never heard anything about there being a conncection between the two.

[> [> He did some writing work on the X-Men movie -- Doug, 15:02:13 02/02/04 Mon

Almost all of it got undone except for one or two lines; and according to what I've heard Hally Berry (sp?) messed up the "do you know what happens to a Toad when it gets hit by lightning?" line and it came out very different from what Joss inteded. Apparently Joss is a little ticked.

This is what I've managed to gather at least.

[> The climax, I think -- RJA, 16:30:11 02/02/04 Mon

Anyway, this is an interview with The Onion in which Joss speaks extensively about his experience on X-Men (and a few other films like Waterworld and Alien 4 too).

JW: It was the same situation with X-Men. They said, "Come in and punch up the big climax, the third act, and if you can, make it cheaper." That was the mandate on both movies, and my response to both movies was, "The problem with the third act is the first two acts." But, again, no one was paying attention. X-Men was very interesting in that, by that time, I actually had a reputation in television. I was actually somebody. People stopped thinking I was John Sweden on the phone. And then, in X-Men, not only did they throw out my script and never tell me about it; they actually invited me to the read-through, having thrown out my entire draft without telling me. I was like, "Oh, that's right! This is the movies! The writer is shit in the movies!" I'll never understand that. I have one line left in that movie. Actually, there are a couple of lines left in that are out of context and make no sense, or are delivered so badly, so terribly .. There's one line that's left the way I wrote it.

O: Which is?

JW: "'It's me.' 'Prove it.' 'You're a dick.'" Hey, it got a laugh.

O: It's funny that the only lines I really remember from that movie are that one and Storm's toad comment.

JW: Okay, which was also mine, and that's the interesting thing. Everybody remembers that as the worst line ever written, but the thing about that is, it was supposed to be delivered as completely offhand. [Adopts casual, bored tone.] "You know what happens when a toad gets hit by lightning?" Then, after he gets electrocuted, "Ahhh, pretty much the same thing that happens to anything else." But Halle Berry said it like she was Desdemona. [Strident, ringing voice.] "The same thing that happens to everything eeelse!" That's the thing that makes you go crazy. At least "You're a dick" got delivered right. The worst thing about these things is that, when the actors say it wrong, it makes the writer look stupid.


[> [> Thanks. -- Doug, 17:01:54 02/02/04 Mon

Though to be perfectly blunt, the climax to that movie was definitely adequate (though I can easily imagine that Joss's dialogue would have been better).

[> [> [> Re: Thanks. -- Tom, 20:21:22 02/04/04 Wed

I agree that the climax was adequate, but the material that is prior to the climax is much stronger. For example, Logan and Rogue's introductions, the introduction to Xavier's School and most of the material at the school, the fight at the train station: all of those sequences are stronger and more memorable than the climax. Usually with a movie, the climax would be at least one of the more memorable sequences, but in X-Men, I think it might be the among least memorable portion of the film.

Also, Andrew's comment is a typical response from the comic book community to the film and since Andrew is definitely a part of that community, it is not surprising to hear him give the same critism as his peers.


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