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The Art of Michael Bedard

Virginie LedoyenIntoFineArt Online Gallery - Reproductions of old masterpieces including Impressionists like van Gogh, Renoir, Monet; academic art like Alma Tedma, Bouguereau, portrait, still life, pets, creative painting [1,123 items] [Wholesale] [Ship From: China To: Worldwide] [Since 1988] [Conditional 90 days] [Secure ordering] [24 hour phone staff] (30972 503)Search: Books Used Books Collectible Books Kids' Books Spanish Books Magazines All Products Browse: Choose a subject: Arts & Photography Biographies & Memoirs Business & Investing Children's Books Comics & Graphic Novels Computers & Internet Cooking, Food & Wine Engineering Entertainment Gay & Lesbian Health, Mind & Body History Home & Garden Horror Law Literature & Fiction Medicine Mystery & Thrillers Nonfiction Outdoors & Nature Parenting & Families Professional & Technical Reference Religion & Spirituality Romance Science Science Fiction & Fantasy Sports Teens Travel --------------------- Audio Books Bargain Books Christian Books e-Books & Docs Large Print Oprah Spanish-LanguageCuracao II7.How to Prevent and Treat Diabetes with Natural MedicineMichael Murray, Michael LyonsStrikerView the large imageBuy this Art Print at AllPosters Gifts for wine lovers including corkscrews, decanters, personalized gifts and other wine gadgets and accessories.TrainingLandscapes:Beach and Ocean, Mountains, Lighthouses, Waterfalls, Desert, Canyons, Gardens, France, Greece, USA and Italy.Jennifer DayEyvind Earle GalleryMore from this issueSingle page formatPrint full articlePrint this pageDownload as PDFE-Mail this URLComment on this articleFlame the authorPraise the authorSurvival of the Fittest: ExtinctionWritten by HopeTodd Slavkin & Darren Swimmer, further cementing their reputations as the horror guys on staff (Visage, Accelerate) craft a MotW episode wherein the monster is human, the continuity is present in full force, and there's a brand new shine on an old, old formula. The word for the day? Organic. Extinction, like Accelerate (teleplay by Peterson & Souders, story by Slavkin & Swimmer) hinges on an early reversal to set the story in motion. Reversals are fantastically effective when it comes to giving exposition in as short a time as possible- in this case, we get a quick start with Jake-the-latest-mutant and his best pal Van whipping out a little meta vis--vis Lana's state of perpetual stalkage. That's a wink to the audience- the production office knows they do it, and much like AlphaLana's rip on her dead parents in Nicodemus signaled a brake on those monologues, it's likely that this signals an easing back on the ubiquity of Miss Lang's appeal.There's the meet and greet, then the Lana in jep (and red swimwear) sequence, terminated not by Lana's ability to fight back (though it was in evidence, continuity!) nor by Clark's intervention. Reversal! Van whacks the mutant, and that sets the whole story in motion. In five minutes of screen time, Slavkin & Swimmer told us everything we need to know about the A line in this episode: there's a mutant killer, he has some way of knowing who is a mutant, and he's not interested in rehabilitation. Maximum effect in five minutes- a reversal can be a screenwriter's best friend.But what about the bizarre set up? Lana got into an SUV to drive to the other side of the school, where we know the Smallville High pool is located. My guess is that Van and Jake's conversation with Lana was scripted indoors, probably in a school hallway, but that didn't have the necessary visual impact and was changed accordingly. If Lana drives away, Jake literally *can't* attempt to continue a conversation; if Lana walks away, he could, in theory, still follow. If he follows her down a hall, and the next shot is in the pool, then the surprise attack loses its impact. Likewise, if the initial encounter takes place at, say, The Talon, additional problems crop up- how do Van and Jake get to the pool so quickly without seeing one another? Why is Lana leaving work to take a quick swim? Logistically, the drive to the school natatorium from the school parking doesn't make sense, but screenwriting-wise, it was a necessary bit of fantasy.So, the teaser tells us everything we need to know about the A line, and the opening of Act I in the Torch office with Clark, Pete and Chloe takes care of the rest of the exposition. Every bit of backstory we need is dispatched in the first 10 pages of the script (Chloe's database, Jake's origins, the person to talk to about Jake,) which means unlike Accelerate, which got bogged down with hashings and rehashings of Emily's origin, this episode is already running at full-tilt. And the scene in the Torch did more than expose two major elements of the episode in a completely organic way, it also brought forth a wonderful example of both continuity and character development. Clark and Chloe's I quit/you're fired! argument from Witness is resolved, which allows 1) Chloe to fully participate in more Clark-related storylines and 2) Clark to begin to move into position as the guy who will one day win a Pulitzer for his work at the Daily Planet. The second is important, and highlighted in this script, because whereas Clark used to spend most of his time laying stories out and investigating the school lunch menu, we actually see him actively *investigating* the article. Which is a lovely, organic reason for Clark to be poking around to find the shooter for his other, more heroic motives. It's almost as if he has a secret identity forming Meanwhile, in the B line, Lex is making sense of his own mortality again in an organic storyline that uses the legitimate frame of life insurance as the overt conflict. Beneath that, however, is a deeper examination of the powerplay between Lionel and Lex. Never have so many smiles been shared between the Luthor men, and their sterling push and pull on the subject reveals a Lex who is genuinely re-evaluating his life long before his B line intersects with Clark's A line.Like all good scripts, in Extinction, each of the subsidiary stories feed into, and draw from, the A line. The attempt on Lex's life (in the A line) both reveals something that has been hinted at since S1 (Lex is a mutant himself,) and is the catalyst for a new awareness on an old storyline (continuity!) Having Lex reconsider his many amazing escapes, and reconsider Clark's part in them, was a stroke of brilliance.Each season turns the continuing storylines over- in first season, Lex wanted to know *how* Clark saved him. In second season, Lex wanted to know *why* Clark saved him- in third season, it's shaping up that Lex wants to know *if* Clark saved him. That if is an incredibly important question for Lex to ask now because the audience knows about his Chamber of Clark Kent. For us to continue to believe that Lex genuinely has not figured out Clark's secret, Lex's focus must change, or they risk making Lex Luthor, sooooper genius, look like an idiot. Not a place they want to go with a future arch-villain.It also fundamentally changes Clark and Lex's relationship. Lex has always had a damsel complex- he attached himself instantly to the people who saved him. With Clark, it was a pretty swift move because Clark is a good guy. However, it didn't work out so well with Desiree in Heat, or with the late (?) Dr. Helen Bryce-Luthor. This builds on Lex's awareness in Phoenix that he alone saved himself, and it puts Lex and Clark on a moreequitable foundation. If Lex allows this friendship to continue (and there are no signs that he won't,) it's because he *wants* to be friends with Clark, not because he *needs* to be. That's a fundamental shift for Lex, and an absolutely necessary one. A Lex who needs Clark can allow himself to be manipulated; a Lex who wants Clark can exert equal force *against* him.Chloe's D line with Lionel Luthor exhibits the same characteristics; serving as continuity and character development. In Exile and Phoenix, Chloe still had a compelling reason to give absolutely nothing to Lionel- she allegedly didn't know where to find him. Now that Clark is home, she *has* to produce something. Having had a summer of keeping Clark's confidence and time to rethink her hasty decision to join forces with the elder Luthor, she continues to maintain her spine re-implantation by attempting to resign. Continuity again comes into play- with LexCorp merged back into LuthorCorp, Lionel has power over Chloe's father and as is his Machiavellian wont, he uses it. Chloe knew from the first moment Lionel showed up in the Torch offices that he was dangerous; now she's getting a taste of it. It's a situation she has to handle on her own for now- she can't very well tell her father what's happening, nor can she tell Clark. Accentuating the theme of consequences for this season, Chloe sold her soul, and now the devil's come to claim his prize.Likewise, Chloe's enthusiastic, but blinkered, focus on the mutants in Smallville dovetails into the A line at three points: her interest allows Clark to develop as a character by giving him that journalistic shield, that interest allows Van to access all the information he needs to make his kills and to reveal Lex as a possible mutant, and it allows Lionel to use that loose information to further tighten the screws on her. One of the best applications of storyline intersection in this script is the revelation scene, when Clark tells Chloe *her* database provided Van with the information he needed.Not only must she face the consequences of her own actions, it's a great growth moment for Clark. He comes on as self-righteous as ever, but when Chloe admits her mistake, he apologizes. He realizes there are shades of grey and guilt, and he understands that he can't just talk to his friends like that. It was especially nicely done because Clark had absolutely nothing, outside strengthening his friendship with Chloe, to gain from apologizing, as opposed to similar scenes in previous seasons (see also, Drone. )The A line provided a chance for all the focus characters (Clark, Lana, Lex, Chloe) to reconsider themselves. We've covered Lex and Chloe, which leaves Clark and Lana's C line. The story for Extinction has actually been done on this show before, in the S1 episode Hug. The focus then was Clark and Lex, but then, as now, it hinged on Lana's involvement. Putting Lana and Clark in opposition to each other allows the show to examine possibilities: how would Lana react if she knew Clark was the meteor show? How will Clark handle his sense of responsibility, even when it's unwelcome? In Hug, Lana felt that Kyle Tippet had attacked her, in Exinction, she felt that Van had helped her.In neither case do Clark and Lana come to an actual meeting of minds, but in both cases, the resolution tells us a lot about them as people. Unlike Lana, Clark does know that some meteor mutants use their abilities for good, but he has to examine his own divergent feelings and differentiate his acts of heroism from Van's acts of vigilantism. Lana, unlike Clark, has no reason to believe that any meteor mutant is worthwhile, but she has to examine conflicting information- meteor mutants are squarely in the bad column, but two people about whom she cares, Clark and Lex, may well be mutants themselves. (And an aside- I really sort of expected Lana to be in Chloe's file, too. Lana wore that necklace for 15 years, and every freak, geeker, and zoid in the tri-county area has her on their stalker speed dial. Since little Miss Lang is most afraid of being left alone, wouldn't it be delicious if the meteors ensured she would *never* be left alone? Monkey's paw, my friends, monkey's paw.) Extinction wasn't all perfection, however. Unlike the odd drive to the school pool, which was necessary to the story and can be explained metatexually, Clark's breastplate o'lead is a genuine error in the script. Though we know Clark can run to Metropolis in a flash (heh!) we also know from Phoenix that though super he may be, he can't do two things at once. We cut directly from the Kent farm to the school, where Clark has lured Van for their final showdown. We know that Van has to travel at normal speeds, and one assumes that the school isn't a couple of hours from The Talon. It hasn't been established that Clark has been stockpiling lead in his attic at home, Google tells me in just .27 seconds that the lead mining in Kansas happens in the extreme southeastern portion of the state, and even at superspeeds, it takes Clark a full minute and a half of screen time to get to Metropolis.His clock starts at the moment he tells Van to meet him at school; from that point, he has to run to a lead mine (because I doubt Fordman's keeps it on the shelf, just in case, and disassembling and melting down enough bullets to make a breastplate would take an even greater amount of time than just ripping a hunk out of the earth and pounding it into shape,) fashion it into a breastplate, and arrive at the school *before* Van does, which is frankly ridiculous. That's the only inorganic element in a script that otherwise does a fantastic job covering all of its bases. (Chloe's database feeds Van and Lionel; Van's obsession with the mutants gives him the scanner long before it's necessary for Clark to use it to contact him, etc..) Points off for that, because Slavkin & Swimmer proved they can work an element like that into a script; for some reason, with the breastplate, they just didn't. It was especially glaring considering the loving three-minute bullet-making montage we enjoyed with Van.Likewise, the introduction of Lex's possible healing/wellness mutation was marred by the fact that he just spent three months on an island, stricken with malaria. Lex's assertion to his father that he has never gotten sick since the meteor showers directly contradicts canon. It wouldn't have weakened the storyline for Lex to say, I've only been sick once since then, and it's remarkable how quickly I recovered when I had more than grubs and rain water to sustain me. The fact that he survived the wreck, then three months with malaria with no medical attention, is absolutely remarkable, and that could have been used to bolster Lex's contemplation.If Slavkin & Swimmer have a weakness, however, it's in dialogue. That's not to say that they write clunky dialogue; they really don't. But these guys are story and character driven writers; the dialogue is utilitarian. Only Lionel's dialogue really stood out in this episode- his distinctive linguistic style is integral to the character, and again, Slavkin & Swimmer are great character writers.Overall, I think this was a great script, and a good hour of television. The performances (I really enjoyed the use of the full ensemble, the fluid integration of the female characters, and Clark's interactions with Chloe and Lana) and the actual stories told were great both for this hour, and for propelling the season forward. However, the strong pace set early in the episode faltered in the editing- we didn't need to see every single step of Van's bullet-making process, and the turgid length of that sequence slowed the story just when it should have been accelerating, as did the repetitive use of bullet time (using it to parallel what happens to a regular slug in Clark's hand as opposed to a kryptonite slug was effective; we didn't need another running scene- that was too much.) The length of time it took Clark to recover from his injury made the elder Kents seem a little dim. The bullet's out, it's not established he's breathing again, but Martha runs away with the slug, and Jonathan just leans over Clark and watches him and watches him and watches him, when a more reasonable course of action would be to check for a heartbeat, check for respiration, etc.. While I certainly enjoy the slow editing when it gives us Clark and Lex gazing at each other interminably, I'm less impressed when it drags an excellent script into the realm of merely good television.Screenwriting: B+ (Would have been an A except for the direct contradiction of canon.)To Watch: B-Next Week: Clark and Lana get skintastic at Camp Crystal Lake, but don't worry- nobody ever gets lucky listening to REM.Michael Bedard has received worldwide acclaim for his humorous and allegorical artwork. In just over 15 years, Bedard has establsihed himself as a world-renowned pop artist and animator. His best known works are art posters, includining the ducks made famous in his poster, Sitting Ducks . Bedards characters manage to convey universal messages that are sometimes gentle and sometimes biting, but always wonderfully effective in getting human foibles - in an intellectually comical way.Dolores Del RioWith advanced search you can find specific art prints the convenient way.User Comments:ekohenNew MexicoKunstdrucke BedardRT PersonalsWomen in Jazz - Pictures - Posters - Art Prints - Photographs

 

 

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