Do Story Trilogies Always End in War?

I just blazed through Hollow City, the sequel to Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As I neared the end, I noticed a trend in sequels, especially ones that lead to a trilogy: War.

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I don’t think I’m giving away too much when I read that the peculiars in the book were gearing up for a war against the hollows. (There’re plenty of other twists in the book that will keep you guessing). Now, I don’t know if the peculiar series will be a trilogy or keep going, but I do know they’re following a trilogy pattern set forth by many previous books.

Let’s face it. Sequels need to be more than their predecessor. Bigger. Flashier. With more risk. Some story trilogies handle this by piling on the villains. (Think about the orginal Batman movies. You have Joker in the first one. Then Penguin and Catwoman int he second. By the third, the landscape is littered with villains.)

The smarter story trilogies go for the “war” arc. In the first book, it’s only the protagonist up against the ropes. He or she has to face amazing odds. By the sequel, though, the landscape of conflict broadens. Often book two (or movie two) is a prelude to war. Characters are gearing up. The final payoff comes in the final installment where all hell breaks loose.

Don’t believe me? Here are some examples.

Hunger Games: This one is almost the template for the war arc. Book one is only Katniss. By book two, she’s swept up in a conspiracy to use her as a leader for the resistance. Then book three is all about the war.

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Uglies: Still my favorite book series, it too follows the war arc, although a bit more slowly. In book two (Pretties), Tally leaves the rebellion to go “undercover” in the city. Yet it completes the cycle by making her a super-weapon to help fight the war in the third book (Specials).

Lord of the Rings: True, both the second and third books have wars, but the scope expands. Two Towers has Rohan fighting for survival and the force against them seems gargantuan. Yet this battle seems teeny when compared to the epic clash for Gondor in Return of the King. Think about it. This book series started with nine companions, yet broadened to take on the whole world of Middle Earth.

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Star Wars: I’m only going to look at the original movies (Episodes IV through VI), though I imagine this war arc would apply to the prequels. True, the rebellion attacks and destroys the Death Star in Episode IV. Yet this was just Lucus going for broke. Who knew if he’d ever get funding for the remaining movies. Then compare the rebel force from New Hope to the rebels at the end of Empire Strikes Back. A complete scale up. The rebels are preparing for a massive battle that happens, surprise, in the third movie (Return of the Jedi).

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Does this war arc hold true for any other books or films? You tell me. Comment below if you have any other stellar examples.

Tim Kane

What Happens When a Giant Wants to Eat You?

I’ll be honest, I don’t keep up with Anime. Recently, I stumbled across an awesome series in Japan called Attack on Titan. The long and short of this series involves giants (called Colossus) that like nothing better than to gobble up us poor humans.

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Apparently, this series has gone viral in Japan. There are hundreds of photos of people pretending to be giants and eating other people.

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Then the Titan phenomenon reached a new level with Subaru. The car company created a commercial with the colossi attacking the vehicle. Watch it on YouTube.

So be careful the next time you’re driving through Japan.

Tim Kane

How Does Your Body Move After Death?

There are actions on your body long after death. Many I wasn’t even aware of until after seeing “Danse Macabre”. When this first started, I thought… Uh Oh. This is going to be some artsy piece where someone “interprets” the movements of a corpse. No way. Nearly all the movements the actor/dancer portrays seem genuine and believable. I say nearly, because the rigor on the table leading to the fall is staged, but for a good reason. It leads to an incredible image of the person falling down the drain with her blood.

Here are some stills from the film.

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I had never considered how a person’s feet would slide after being hanged. This is a  detail that is typically lost when we think of a hanged person. Many of the movements in this piece walk the line of morbid and beautiful.

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This, as I said, was the most staged position. The rigor led to the body falling off the table. Yet the scene that followed was astounding.

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We go from a view of the drain to a shot of the body, curled up, falling away. Stunning.

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I had never considered this rather pedestrian movement of the body. Quite literally, it is lowered into a casket. I’d never thought about how the body was placed in there.

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The most beautiful, and surprising movement, came from an interior shot of the casket. As it is being moved around, the body slides. I’d never even contemplated that.

Here is the full video. It’s about 9 minutes.

Tim Kane

Three Films That Will Scare the Pants Off You in About a Minute!

We all like to be scared, but sometimes it takes too long. To be able to build atmosphere and reach the scare in just a few minutes is a feat. Look at these three films, that scare you in ever decreasing amounts of time.

Sukablood scares you in 6 and a half minutes. It’s a twist on a fairytale and teaches you not to suck your thumb.

Suckablood – short fairytale horror from BloodyCuts.co.uk on Vimeo.

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Mama is a preview of a film by Guillermo Del Toro. He manages to scare the heck out of you in 2 minutes.

One Last Dive is the fast scare in town. It goes from normal to terrifying in 1 minute.

One Last Dive from jasoneisener on Vimeo.

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Check these out and see if they scare you.

Tim Kane

Do Not Try Vine If You Want To Preserve Your Free Time

I have to say, after only a day of downloading the vine app for iPhone, I am thoroughly addicted. Not heard of vine? Neither did I until I saw it in Wired Magazine. Vine is an app that lets you share 6 seconds of video on Twitter. At first I thought it might just be a video version of Instagram. But no. It’s far more.

It was the stop-motion animation aspect that brought it home for me. The interface is do simple, it’s ridiculous. Touch and hold the screen to record. Remove your finger to stop. So progressive taps will yield stop motion. Here are a few of my endeavors.

First I just wanted to animate something. I grabbed my daughter’s LPS and animated it into my coffee cup. Not terribly great, but it got the job done. Click link to see.

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Next, I planned to drain my coffee cup of liquid to reveal a surprise. I call this Jaws coffee. Click link to see.

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Finally, I thought about what would happen if I could turn my hand completely around. A trick I’ve always longed to do. Click link to see.

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I accomplished nearly all these in about 20 minutes. Plus, now I’m constantly thinking of how I can do more. My mind’s stuck on Vine. Help, please.

Tim Kane