6.05.2012

BAMF Of The Week: Joss Whedon

JOSS WHEDON
"Write it. Shoot it. Publish it. Crochet it, sauté it, whatever. MAKE."

It's hard to ignore Joss Whedon. While he occasionally gets lost in the cracks of fandom, cult, and short-lived shows, it's impossible to turn a blind-eye to the brilliance that is Whedon. And with the success of The Avengers, it's clear that Whedon is ready for some long-due, wide-spread recognition. But to all the people who love spaceships, aliens, and anti-heroes, we've had Whedon on our radar for a long time. Why? Because the man's a fucking genius. He is to sci-fi what Taratino is to the gangster genre. His worlds are always well-developed. His characters are always complex and relatable. And you always cry when someone dies. He knows how to develop actual arcs, something that seems completely foreign to scripts these days. It makes every character an important, essential part to the story, where they might otherwise exist solely for some pre-slotted comic relief. Instead, they're all full, well-developed, relatable people. Every character will give you a reason to love them at some point, and a reason to hate them. Ensemble casts are really where his strength lies--but damn, do they shine. Oh, and did I mention he's created some of the scariest fucking monsters ever?

The real essence of his work, however, lies in the utter humanity of it all. There's always a very human element to the way the characters relate to each other, to the way they speak to each other, to the way they fuck up and redeem themselves. And he does it all with crisp snark and engaging dialogue. As Melissa says in her review of The Avengers: "You would never mistake the dialogue in a Whedon project with any other. It would be like saying a Kawasaki sounds just like a Harley-Davidson." Amen, sister.

Best Works: The Avengers (2012), Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog (2008), Firefly (2002-3). I know, I know. But where the hell is Buffy the Vampire Slayer? I have many reasons to watch Buffy. There's a strong, attractive female lead, there's a crap-ton of badassitry, Anthony Head is in it, and there's a lesbian supporting character. Not to mention, it's the show that single-handedly put Whedon on the map. All the things in the world I love. I just...haven't quite got around to it yet. I know. Stab me with a stake and let's be done with.

Worst Works: He's Joss Whedon, bitch. Bad script isn't in his vocabulary.

Best Quote: Whedon is a master of words and it's hard to pick one epic monologue from another. However. It's imperative that everyone watches the following clip. I know I do a lot of talk about badass women, but. This. Fucking. This.


Other than that, I'm in the middle of Dollhouse (2009) and I have yet to see The Cabin in the Woods (2011). Onto the to-do list!

27 comments:

  1. He is totally great! I'm so happy THE AVENGERS came out awesomely and he was able to bring his snarky dialogue and strong female characters to a more mainstream audience. You are very kind not to include the BUFFY movie in "Worst Works", by the way. I think that movie's kind of fun but I know it's pretty much universally reviled. To be fair, the project was taken away from Whedon so the final product isn't really his thing.

    And yes, BUFFY the show is pretty great! It's a big undertaking, though, I understand it would take you a while to get to it. When you do, I hope you enjoy it!

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    1. I agree! The Avengers was a big boost for him, in my opinion, since he seems to have been regulated to the sidelines of fandom lately. I haven't actually seen the Buffy movie, but that's for good reason. I haven't heard a good thing about it. And if you take creative license away from Whedon, shit's gonna go down.

      I really do have to get on that. I think it's on Netflix? I have no excuse.

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  2. "Bad script isn't in his vocabulary." Sorry M. I have to disagree ever so slightly. Having recently watched Alien Resurrection, which Whedon wrote, I must find fault with at least one of his scripts. Quickly rushing to his defence though, Ripley did have quite a good character arc (strong female lead!); but what is more interesting is that the first script he wrote didn't include Ripley (presumably something to do with her frickin' dying at the end of the third film) but FOX told him to re-write to include Ripley.

    We can only imagine how much better Resurrection might have been if they had gone with Whedon's original script (and if the producers choice Danny Boyle had directed it instead of JPJ).

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    1. Eh, everyone's got one bad egg in the basket. Let me rephrase: I've craftily avoided anything bad he's written, thus willing it into nonexistence. That is interesting that it didn't initially include Ripley, though--kinda makes you wonder what it could've been.

      And Danny Boyle = also the shit.

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  3. To true M. "He's Joss Whedon, bitch. Bad script isn't in his vocabulary." I'm game to ignore Alien Resurrection, as soon as you take the mans freedom away, you can't expect the best.

    I'm also with you on the, haven't gotten around to Buffy bandwagon. I keep meaning to, just it's a lot of time. Easier to rewatch Firefly. :).

    Also, go see The Cabin in the Woods. That is a testament to how badass Whedon is. Gonna go see it again this weekend, cause I happen to be next to a theater that gets things slowly.

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    1. Is it bad that when I read "as soon as you take the mans freedom away" I saw "you can't take the sky from me"? I love me some Firefly. There is nothing I love more than a good Firefly rewatching.

      I've been told I have to see it! I really must get on that. Even though I'm pretty sure it's out of normal theaters by now. Still. I need to find!

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  4. Just watched Alien Resurrection. If you're a Joss Whedon and Firefly fan I would recommend you watch it. You can see Firefly beginning to form amongst the rubbish Whedon had to add in to bring back Ripley. I'll post my review at the end of the weekend, it compares the two mostly.

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    1. I've got to get on that. I've been meaning to rewatch the whole Alien series for Prometheus anyway. I love me some Firefly. End of story. I'll be sure to keep an eye out for your review!

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  5. Is it any wonder that Joss is the god of my idolatry? He is the best and I am so happy that there are girls growing up in a world with him as a cultural force. I did not know about this speech and I thank you for sharing this. It is important that everyone hear these words.

    And thank you for the most amazing shout out. You rock, my home girl, you rock. I am so sorry I did not get here sooner.

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    1. I'm with you there! Completely. We need about 20 more Joss Whedons in Hollywood to compete with the male-centric movies that come out over and over. Don't get me wrong, I'd love to see more women directors in this world. However, when it comes to giving men and women equal play, Joss is really the man. You can't get equality like that anywhere else.

      And you're welcome! Your quote was literally just too good NOT to use.

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  6. Awesome points. You're right. Joss could never write a bad script.
    - Maurice Mitchell
    The Geek Twins | Film Sketchr
    @thegeektwins | @mauricem1972

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    1. Thanks! I agree, his script writing skills make me green with envy. That man knows what he's doing.

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  7. Great blog, glad Melissa sent me your way!

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    1. Thank you! Melissa is definitely a BAMF among women.

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  8. "'So why do you write these strong female characters?' Because you're still asking that question." is one of my favorite quotes ever. Whedon is freaking awesome! I have been watching Buffy since the weekend after I saw Cabin in the Woods. It's so fantastic. It's a wonder how he's able to craft characters that you care so deeply about while also just being super funny/clever. Every time I see an episode is coming on that he wrote/directed I know it's going to be on the best. I guess that's enough Buffy gushing for now but yeah you should definitely watch it. It's on Netflix instant watch.

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    1. Agreed! Completely. Whedon is the shit. End of story. His ability to create lovable characters--even out of mercenaries, thieves, and the bloodthirsty vampires--is amazing. His truly under appreciated humor carries his movies. I'll check out Buffy pronto! I'm still on Dollhouse, dammit.

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  9. I love Joss' work. Thanks for sharing his great words.

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  10. He's also awesome enough to cameo in a couple guys' YouTube video as a bathroom coach of all things. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3pyuFfKPCvY

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    1. Whaaat? Reason 204 why Joss Whedon is amazing.

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  11. Agreed! He is terrific. Firefly is my favorite. I haven't seen Buffy yet, either, but I have a feeling it's just a matter of time before I succumb to pressure from other Whedon fans and watch it. :-) How could I miss a series with a strong female lead that's chock full of badassery?

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    1. Firefly's my favorite too! I can't help it. It's just way too amazing. And I agree with your last sentence completely. I'm in the exact same boat. Must get on Buffy!

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  12. Replies
    1. Thanks! I'll check yours out as well!

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  13. Worst Work: Alien Ressurection

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    1. Touche, salesman! Still one I have to check out. Or, you know. Actively avoid.

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