Friday, August 31, 2018

Announcing The Mc's on Movies Podcast!!!

Calm down, ladies. The bear is spoken for.

That’s James and I, just two dudes with Irish last names who like to talk about movies.

We’ve been friends for a long time. James; my brother, Donnie; my oldest friend, Kyle; and I called ourselves the four-horsemen growing up. Though we rarely rode horses, unless those plastic ones at the mall count.

The four-horsemen. Kyle has since turned
into a vampire and no longer appears in photographs. 

Our childhood included all the normal boyhood shenanigans (you know, long bike rides down country roads, video game marathons, sinking possessed demon clown dolls into ponds, backyard football, etc.) and through it all, we discovered and developed a love for film. Whether it was peeking through the gaps in our fingers at a horror movie our babysitter wasn’t supposed to let us watch or sitting in the bed of a truck at the drive in, we consumed all that we could. From classics like Aliens or The Lion King to the wholly inappropriate for children Troma movie The Toxic Avenger, the four-horsemen watched it all. If there was a big movie, we were there.

And we loved every minute of it.

In spite of that, watching the movie was never my favorite part.

That was reserved for the moments afterword, when the four of us crammed into a booth at some unfortunate fast-food joint to discuss what we’d just watched while chowing down on whatever we could get off the dollar menu.  We were probably a little too loud as we laughed or mused about our favorite parts and definitely a little too obnoxious when we commiserated with one another about the disappointments. But those moments were some of the most fun I ever had.

So in a twist you probably saw coming, the Mc’s on Movies Podcast isn’t about the movies we review, it’s about camaraderie, the good old days, the inside jokes, the rants and endless arguments, the off the wall theories and speculation. It’s about putting on our rose-colored glasses and reconnecting with a simpler time for an hour every week. It’s about hanging with my best friends.

As we metaphorically cram into that booth at the fast-food joint, we hope you’ll join us, but even if you don’t, we’re still going to have fun.

You can find our podcasts at any of the links below:



Tuesday, August 14, 2018

A Writer's Perspective: What makes Infinity War special.

The culmination of over ten years of hard work and 19 films, Avengers: Infinity War is massive in nearly every way, from its 2 billion dollar Box Office to its larger than life villain, Thanos. 

Me rolling into Taco Bell

For such ambitious storytelling with dozens of characters fighting for screen time, a movie like Infinity War usually wouldn't work (I’m looking at you, The Amazing Spider-Man 2), but it does and one major reason why is the use of Character Goals to create conflict.

Infinity War’s overarching conflict is actually quite simple. Powerful super-villain wishes to kill half population of the universe and our beloved heroes must unite to stop him. Thanos’s effort to collect the Infinity Stones to practice population control provides the main thrust of the plot, but in general terms, this kind of conflict has been done before (in the previous Avengers movies for example). Yet, Infinity War never feels repetitive or stale. And this is where character goals come in.


With dozens of characters appearing in this one movie, there isn’t much time for character development. In fact, very few characters besides Thanos and Thor have any development at all. And the filmmakers know that, so they build tension by giving every major character a goal inside the larger goal of stopping Thanos. These goals are stated openly by the characters and are often in opposition to the goals of at least one other character. Here is a breakdown of a few of the most important:

All of these conflicts are resolved as the plot unfolds (some more dramatically than others), but there are enough to keep the characters interesting and sustain tension as the film builds toward the climatic final struggle against Thanos.

One could argue that Infinity War works because it builds on stories and characters already developed in previous films or because the filmmakers developed the heck out of Thanos*. Those are solid arguments, but I believe it’s the use of character goals to create conflict that propels Infinity War from a good film to a great one.   

*There’s a sayin' that in order to write an antagonist well, an author must understand that the antagonist sees themselves as the hero of his or her own story. The filmmakers of Infinity War took that to heart.