Saturday, September 25, 2010


I saw "The American" at the theatre the other night with my dad. I do declare that it was possibly the best action movie I have ever seen. However, the crowd did not so much agree with me: my fellow movie-goers, upon departing, discreetly shared--in their softer-than-usual, movie-theatre voices--such sentiments as: "It had no plot!"; and the ineffably deep, "So... stupid."

Fools! The American may have had only as many action scenes as a man who has lost both index and middle fingers can count on one hand; but it was filmed by someone who actually possessed a sense of cinematographic composition, the musical score was inestimable, and the emotions created by this combined effort were beautiful.

And let's face: George Clooney? Hands down.

The American was so good, in fact, that I immediately devised a strategy whereby I could combine its general plot and character arc with that of a story idea I had been brewing. The resulting pastiche is, I do believe, genius.

However, there are moral problems here. The American isn't just a movie that already exists; it is a movie based on a book ("A Very Private Gentleman" by Martin Booth) that already exists. I'm not sure whether adding aliens, near-lightspeed travel, and weapons of mass destruction removes it suitably from the realm of plagiarism or not.

It doesn't really matter, anyway. I won't have time to get around to this larceny for a few months yet; and by that time, all of you will, I hope, have forgotten this brief observation. Then, when "A Very Private Intergalactic-Faring American" is published, you won't even notice what a thief I am.

However: weigh in, o-readers! Is it fair to jive off someone else's material this hard? Or is it inappropriate creatively in addition to its distastefulness linguistically?




    I think that's sufficient. :-)

  2. An excellent source, Alex. Thank you!

    Now, just drink this potion of forgetfulness...


  3. I didn't know Orson Scott Card was a Mormon!