There’s a line that goes something to the effect of “it’s not a good book, but there’s a good book in there”.
It’s a good line. The most recent high-profile example of this sort of thing is probably Harper Lee’s “Go Set A Watchman”. The editors read that, said the line, then that got turned into To Kill A Mockingbird. (Of course, now, there’s reason to argue that the better book is the first one… or that Go Set A Watchman isn’t a good book, but there’s an entirely different good book in there.)
It’s true for movies as well. I remember watching, for example, Iron Man 2 and thinking that the movie with Robert Downey in it wasn’t that good, but I *REALLY* wanted to see the Whiplash movie. Or The Road Warrior or Mad Max. You can kinda see what George Miller is going for.
Luckily, in the case of George Miller, he *FINALLY* got to make the movie he wanted to make when Fury Road got greenlit. (Personally, I think that Beyond Thunderdome is a masterpiece, but I understand that I don’t have a whole lot of people who agree with me on that one.) You’ve got the guy who is/feels responsible for the deaths of his loved ones. He’s wandering in the world and just trying to get to someplace where he can maybe be less haunted and, on his way to this imagined utopia, he finds himself responsible for people again. He doesn’t want to be! He actively fights against it. But the call will not be refused and he’s responsible for them… and, of course, some of them die. He fails again. At least he’s pretty good at revenge. After all of the right people are killed and he gets the survivors to the promised land… he moves on. He can see it, but not enter it. And then it happens again. Forever. And it took George Miller four attempts to finally figure out the story he wanted to tell.
What brought this on was me watching some Clint Eastwood clips on the youtube and stumbling across the axe handle scene from Pale Rider. (Content warning: violence, machismo)
It wasn’t a good movie, really. But, dang, there was a good movie in there. It turned into Unforgiven, I think.
After he figured out the story he wanted to tell.
So… what are you reading and/or watching?