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Week In Review

The 168 Turnaround: Ch-ch-ch-changes

A&E NEWS: August 14 –  20, 2011

CHANGES:  If you read Tuesday’s post, then you know that I’ve been considering making a few changes here at http://www.zsroe.com.  There’s still time to vote in the polls and give your opinion, as these changes will not take effect until after I return on September 5th from a week’s holiday.  Exactly how things will be modified is still up in the air, though I assure you the changes will not be severe (www.zsroe.com will not become a haven for those of the “fapping” persuasion).  Stay tuned.

MACHINE GUN PREACHER:  I’m going to sound like a real ass saying this, but I’m really tired of these inspirational “true stories.”  Take Machine Gun Preacher, for example, a film about a former drug-dealing criminal (Gerard Butler) who radically changes his life and then decides he’s been called (by God, I suppose) to Africa.  Once there, he makes it his mission to help kidnapped and orphaned children.  Look, aside from the fact that a) Gerard Butler will never be able to pull off a believable American accent, and b) it’s a little problematic to always tell stories of black people needing white people to save them, Machine Gun Preacher looks like a pretty compelling bit of business.  But it really irks me that the film is being sold on the fact that it’s based on an “inspiring true story.”  That a story is based on true events does not make it a better story.  A powerful story is achieved through powerful storytelling—everything else is just set dressing.  In any event, you can view the trailer below:

RICH WRITERS:  For most writers, big money is nothing but fantasy.  For the lucky few, however, writing can be worth millions.  Earlier this week, Forbes.com listed last year’s highest earning authors.  At the top of the list was thriller writer James Patterson, pulling in a cool $84 million.  Other names on the list included Danielle Steel ($35 million), Stephen King ($28 million), and Stephenie Meyer ($21 million), among several others (for the full list, click here).  To be honest, James Patterson taking the top spot came as a complete surprise—for one reason or another, his writing has never interested me.  Mind you, it doesn’t hurt that he released ten books last year (though don’t be fooled: his books are now often co-authored).  As for the rest of the writers on the list, Stephen King is the one whose writing impresses me most.  But you knew I’d say that, didn’t you?

VIDEO OF THE WEEK: 25 Greatest Unscripted Scenes in Films
Sometimes the best moments in a film come directly from the actors and not from the script.  Improvisation is a hell of a skill for an actor to master, and a skill I’ll always wish I had.  Here are some of the best unscripted scenes in recent cinematic history (warning: contains coarse language).

The 168 Turnaround is a week-in-review column, a place for me to reflect on the week’s most interesting pop culture news items.  If it mattered to me or I think it might matter to you, then it will be here.  If I’ve overlooked an important news item, or if you have a comment or question, please leave a response below.  Thank you for reading.


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