Okay. I may have just figured out this iPod keyboad. Comgratulations are in order.
Watched The Hunt For Red October in a sweaty kitchen in Palma Majorca last night. Until about two in the morning. Not so much to do in Palma.
Good film. Not great, but good on a sweaty night. Interesting writing lessons there.
Set up. When you know it’s coming you can spot it a mile away. We meet a crusty but benign former sailor and the hero asks what he’s been up to lately… The guy then launches into a five sentence description of a rescue submarine that can dock with subs of any hatch type. It’s fairly well hidden, but it’s still as obvious as a drunk pallbearer that this line of dialogue is going to pay off in an hour or so. And it does.
What else in there was worth learning from!?
The second act break is one of the cleanest (ha ha ha) I have ever seen. Angry Russian sub commander Stellan Skaarsgard was set up to be hauling ass after Sean Connery intent on doing him and his submarine grevious bodily harm. At the end of the second act we think everything is hunky dory in that the good guys have managed to get on the Russian sub and all is well.
Until Stellan shows up blasting torpedos at our hardy little band of Heros — who, btw, seem able to drive the Russian sub with no smidgins of training on that sub or the Cyrillic alphabet.
At the act break we see the hero’s world in a good place. He has solved the problem that was started at the end of the first act, namely how to figure out what Connery is trying to do and to help him get it done. Act II ends with our main guys on the Red October all smiles and happy.
They also have a payoff from an hour before — the cook starts trying to blow up the sub. Why a cook knows which two wires will destroy the submarine if you touch them… remained unexplained. So there was a lot going on. A bad guy trying to torpedo us. Another one trying to blow up our reactor.
I seem to remember that the cook came last, in that the hero, a desk jockey, had to shoot him. Point blank. That was harder for the hero than nearly getting blown up by another sub.
End of lesson.
Back to the topless beach.