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Thread: Are You Effing Kidding Me?

  1. #26
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    I was already in shellshock about Star Wars 10 years ago so... I'm kind of already looking at this glassy-eyed without much left to twitch about. Actually what I think about more is why we haven't seen any more grand epics that could inspire a whole generation and make the imagination soar... I don't want to think Star Wars was such a fluke that people can never be inspired like that again. Who's taken up that cause? Let the next generation make their mark on history. That's what I want to see.

  2. #27
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    Quote Originally Posted by demagogue View Post
    Actually what I think about more is why we haven't seen any more grand epics that could inspire a whole generation and make the imagination soar...
    The Matrix

    Can't think of much else. (LOTR doesn't count, right?)

  3. #28
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2007
    Location: free koki
    Quote Originally Posted by fett View Post
    No wait, what? There doesn't need to be anymore SW movies. The last three were so fucked up it would have been better left alone.
    Man, it's like watching Thi4f get announced all over again. We all get attached to works we like, but it gets counterproductive when you'd rather have nothing new ever come from a franchise rather than risk a disappointing title being churned out. Especially with something like Star Wars, a pretty vast universe, at this point, with plenty of room for telling new stories with new casts and all.

    Seriously, if the trailers come out for an Episode VII featuring Jar Jar Binks having buttsex with Ewoks while Dart Vader screams NOOOOOOOOOOO, then we don't watch it. But if the planets align and Disney puts out a good new Star Wars movie - I'd reckon they have a better shot than Lucas at this point - score.

  4. #29
    Classical Master 2008
    Registered: Jun 2002
    Location: Civitas Quinque Ecclesiae HU
    Maybe they will make a third Star Wars movie. That would be cool.

  5. #30
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    Quote Originally Posted by henke View Post
    The Matrix

    Can't think of much else. (LOTR doesn't count, right?)
    The Matrix was a bit sullied by its sequels, but take those away and it was definitely thought provoking. Not quite "May the Force be with you" quasi-religious inspirational -- where some people are building an entire worldview & way of life on it, even if they don't say that's what they're doing -- but it was something. (There is more to reality than what we see, and what we do see, normal suburban life, is just a cynical facade to keep us from our true potential. Nice little commentary on life.) As far as popular culture goes, though, people are more likely to mention *Inception* to talk about mind-bending reality, even though I don't think that movie offered as much. But I don't know if The Matrix left much in its wake culturally except people remember it was a thought provoking movie, and slow motion superhuman kung fu looks cool.

    LOTR would definitely count. It's in the DNA of basically all post-war fantasy. But I don't know that the movies added much on top of what was already there from the original books, and (re)popularizing it.

    As far as kid's movies go, I'll give credit to Pixar for always having top notch & meaningful stories. But so many of the interesting adult movies to me this decade have been almost documentary-like, Syriana, Charlie Wilson's War, Primer (trying to be "realistic" even when it's fantasy), or The Wire (to take a tv show)... not really inspirational to a higher world, or offering any world view, as just very true to life & not shirking from the world we've got.

  6. #31
    Mistaken for a man
    Registered: Jun 2000
    Location: Helsinki, Finland
    Quote Originally Posted by demagogue View Post
    But so many of the interesting adult movies to me this decade have been almost documentary-like, Syriana, Charlie Wilson's War, Primer
    YOU HAVE GROWN UP! *pitchforks and torches*

  7. #32
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    Quote Originally Posted by demagogue View Post
    As far as kid's movies go, I'll give credit to Pixar for always having top notch & meaningful stories. But so many of the interesting adult movies to me this decade have been almost documentary-like, Syriana, Charlie Wilson's War, Primer (trying to be "realistic" even when it's fantasy), or The Wire (to take a tv show)... not really inspirational to a higher world, or offering any world view, as just very true to life & not shirking from the world we've got.
    Arguably, that in itself is a world view. At least Syriana is very political and critical, as is The Wire - these are not *neutral*, even if they can be said to be documentary to some extent. There's a definitey satirical streak to Charlie Wilson's War, which again isn't neutral.

    It's interesting you bring up this kid/adult thing, because as much as I love the original Star Wars movies and the universe, it does strike me as fairly childish, for want of a better world, with its simplistic morality and its fairytale motifs. And perhaps that sort of epic fictional universe that captures our imagination tends to be more doable if geared towards the child in us. That doesn't need to be bad at all, but I cannot imagine a phenomenon like Star Wars originating as an IP primarily geared towards adults, even if you might end up being able to tell mature stories within it.

  8. #33
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    Quote Originally Posted by Thirith View Post
    Arguably, that in itself is a world view. At least Syriana is very political and critical, as is The Wire - these are not *neutral*, even if they can be said to be documentary to some extent. There's a definitey satirical streak to Charlie Wilson's War, which again isn't neutral.
    Yes that's what I meant to say. I don't even think actual documentaries are neutral. They're "realist", but that's different from value-neutral, and I agree it's a worldview in itself. That's what I meant -- This is where I'm finding something like a worldview for this decade... Star Wars was like a samurai kind of ethos, discipline, loyalty, and the inner potential of individuals. Syriana & The Wire & Game of Thrones are everything is connected in a circle of cynical realism and you have to protect your own, and knowing the dark truth is your power over it. I guess we can thank 9/11 for it being a rather dim decade, where the realist movies are telling us what the world is like and fantasy/scifi is increasingly completely escapist for its own sake. Actually I could translate the meaning of Disney buying Star Wars into this noble worldview being cashed in for pure escapism.

  9. #34
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    You had these sort of stories in the '60s and '70s too, though. Especially '70s cinema was full of paranoia stories. It's probably more that following Star Wars the big producers realised just how much money there was in blockbusters for the whole family, so those were on the rise throughout the '80s and perhaps even '90s. Even in post-9/11 stories like Syriana, The Wire and Game of Thrones are still pretty much the exception, unless you're a pinko leftist HBO whore like myself.

    Actually, it might be a bit different with TV, because it's only a fairly recent development that TV is widely seen as a legit medium for more mature fare. But then, TV doesn't lend itself as well to big, epic storytelling of the Star Wars kind, simply because it costs so much more. It'll be interesting to see how the Star Wars TV series handles this.

  10. #35
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    Yes, you're agreeing with everything I'm thinking, so it's funny you phrase it like a "counterargument". Yes, this was totally the trend of late 60s-70s, everything in the dark shadow of JFK / Civil Rights / Vietnam / Nixon (in the US anyway)... Yes, this fare is the "exception" of our decade, but it's the *relevant* category (at least I was talking about what movies provide inspiration or a worldview, not which ones are most popular), like movies have been segregated into the "meaningful" and the "escapist", and it's the meaningful exceptions that are the ones giving us a credible worldview for our era, dim as it is; and the escapist majority are just that, escapism with not much meaning or ethos, sort of nihilistic even... Get your thrill, don't think too much about it, and come back next week for the next one (which was also a lot of direct post-war cinema of the 40s-50s too.)

    It is interesting the direction tv has taken in the last few years, taking on deeper & more credible themes and practically overshadowing cinema on that. I don't doubt these things swing in cycles, and sometime there will be a resurgence of a kind of inspiring spiritual ethos in film that clicks. But it's not clicking now. I'm not saying it's a perfect theory that explains all movies of the last decade either, just a knee-jerk perception about it.

  11. #36
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    Makes you wonder whether something like The West Wing which, while it isn't blind to the realities of the world, is still fundamentally idealistic could work on the big screen. Or perhaps we just need a Frank Capra for the 21st century.

    Star Wars has something special, though, and I'm not sure whether any other IP has quite the same kind of magic that Star Wars at least used to have. It's not surprising that the first of the recent series of Lego games was Star Wars - there's just nothing else that is as iconic and as much part of our shared culture.

  12. #37
    verbose douchebag
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: Lyon, France
    I will never understand annoyance aimed at sequels / re-boots. Even if it turns out awful, the original films still exist = NO NET LOSS.

  13. #38
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2000
    Location: tall bikes and tattoos
    Fett, I love you. You know I love you.

    But that doesn't change the fact that you sound like a 20-year old who had their first bad break up and is convinced that love is forever cruel and pointless.
    Quote Originally Posted by fett View Post
    How exactly are those sequels going to work though? Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher at 70 trying to reprise roles (which neither of them will do). A whole new story set in that universe? It would have to be awfully compelling to square with a universe that spawned some of the most beloved sci-fi/fantasy characters of all time.
    As a fan of the extended universe, nobody should understand more than you the appeal of new stories set in the Star Wars universe. There is no reason "the story of the next generation" wouldn't resonate with the public.
    Quote Originally Posted by fett View Post
    As for the Blu-Ray, I've seen these movies a million times. Am I really going to go ga-ga over yet another version just because it's on Blu-Ray? I might watch it once. Not worth it to potentially have what was once a great story cocked up by the same team that made Speed Racer or whateverthehell.
    First off, my man Fafhrd covered how wrong your last sentence is, including the fact that Speed Racer is actually awesome (which is slowly starting to be realized by the very film opinion establishment that originally rejected it).

    And shitting on Disney is stupid, because there really isn't a better example right now of an entertainment company that has its shit together. They lost their way pretty severely for awhile there, yeah, but Eisner is long gone and Disney has their mojo back.

    But as for the rerelease of the original trilogy--which is totally now going to happen at some point, regardless of hurdles--it isn't really about whether or not you would buy them or watch them. A rerelease of the original trilogies would be a crucial step in correcting the now-tarnished Star Wars legacy. Imagine returning to a world in which Han always shoots first, and conflicting versions are available but largely ignored as fringe manifestations of a misguided man's delusions. Imagine having the films as you grew up with readily available for future generations.

    The original trilogy has steered away from being the movies we once fell in love with, and there is now the opportunity to steer them back.
    Quote Originally Posted by fett View Post
    And that demographic that actually gives a shit about the books? They manage to put almost every single one that's released in the NYT Bestseller list for about 20 years running. It's a substantial group in terms of support and money. It's not that the franchise can't survive without them, because the masses will go see anything with Star Wars plastered on it. But they're largely the group that continued to buy merchandise and clamor for new movies during the 80's and 90's and Lucas has regularly disregarded and disrespected that. This feels like more of the same. I guess I can see the gain in him not being able to fuck with it anymore, but it will likely just become another insipid movie franchise rather than being held apart as the cultural phenomenon it was/is.
    I really think you're relentlessly focused on right now as opposed to what could happen in the future. You guys fell in love with the original trilogy and have had to deal with Lucas aggressively pissing all over everything, and so you guys have clung to glorified (but quality) fan fic as "the real Star Wars" and the closest you'll ever get to more of what you fell in love with in the first place.

    Fair enough, and who can blame any of you? But remember back when there was only the original trilogy and you really, really wanted more Star Wars movies?

    Well now you will get them, except unlike the prequels these have a fighting chance of actually being good. And if they are, you'll be on board like all the non-crazy EU fans.

    I'm not the Star Wars fan that you are, but the original trilogy once meant a lot to me and the concept of new films unsullied by the complete control of Lucas is pretty appealing.

    Yes, you had your heart broken and you were utterly wronged and it sucked. But that cute girl across the bar is giving you the shy smile and, hey, who knows?

  14. #39
    Southquarter.com/fms
    Registered: Apr 2000
    Location: The Akkala Highlands
    Quote Originally Posted by faetal View Post
    I will never understand annoyance aimed at sequels / re-boots. Even if it turns out awful, the original films still exist = NO NET LOSS.
    Agreed 100%. This pretty much covers it for my opinion on Thief 4 as well.

  15. #40
    ZylonBane
    Registered: Sep 2000
    Location: ZylonBane
    Quote Originally Posted by faetal View Post
    I will never understand annoyance aimed at sequels / re-boots. Even if it turns out awful, the original films still exist = NO NET LOSS.
    So your alien brain is incapable of processing the emotions of *Intense Disappointment* at *Misplaced Anticipation* and *Wasted Opportunity*.

    Don't you have some *Juice* you should be *Squeezing*?

  16. #41
    Moderator
    Registered: Dec 1999
    Location: Everywhere
    Stitch - you make great points, and I could agree with them all in theory. But the practical problem that most are ignoring is - how can new Star Wars movies even work? I will be first in line to find out, but I suspect that while they will be set in the same universe, they will not be akin to anything we love about the early films. The charm of Star Wars is the bad acting, bad haircuts, cheesy dialogue, campy cantina/Jabba scenes, etc. A modern version (as we saw with the prequels) will attempt to "fix" all those things.

    Here's what I *might* buy into - movie adaptations of the X-Wing series. Or movies set during the era of the Sith Empire. Or movies set 1000 years after the events of ROTJ. But they still won't include the characters that are essentially what made Star Wars, well, Star Wars. One of the reasons the prequels felt so foreign is because we fell in love with those characters from the originals, and nothing else is really going to compare. It's not like Dukes of Hazzard or A-Team or Bond where you can change actors and go on. As iconic as those characters are, I think people are seriously underestimating exactly how iconic and culture shifting were the characters of Mark Hammil, Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford, etc. There aren't another trio of characters in all of cinematic history more beloved or iconic. We've learned the hard way that Star Wars just really doesn't work without them. The EU reflects the same thing, as books featuring those characters far outsell peripheral characters or prequel novels. And honestly, the writing is quite a bit better in some of the prequel books. But people want Luke Skywalker.

    My kids are going to love it no matter what, and for that I can be grudgingly thankful that it's going to be around for a long time.

    For the record, I have no beef with Disney. I'm a huge Pixar fan. But Disney has a tendency to run things into the ground and miss the point completely. Pirates of the Caribbean is a perfect example of this. I'm not one of those people that want more movies, because history demonstrates that they're never as good. Name any series you want. Did the Matrix get better? What about Spiderman? Batman? Iron Man? Doesn't it make anyone else nervous that Peter Jackson is trying to squeeze three movies in between The Hobbit and LOTR? If something is good, and respected, it's better to leave it alone. I love the Wire because they told the story and ended it. I hate Lost because it did the opposite - and that's not a minority opinion.

    The truly sad thing here is that in the world of sci-fi/fantasy, long lasting franchises tend to go all over the place, contradict themselves, re-boot constantly, and forget what they were all about to begin with. It's why I'm not a huge comic fan, and Star Trek annoys me - there's no consistent story that follows through from beginning to end. Not so with Star Wars. Great care has been taken for many years to ensure consistency and continuation of character development, politics, and sub-plots. I would absolutely not be in favor of trading that for new movies, even if they're great. The EU fans have lived for 20 years now with the idea that the Thrawn trilogy is episode 7-9, and that will be tough for me to let go of, frothing at the mouth SW fan that I am.

    I'll go see the movies, I'll take my kids, and I'll be happy a new generation can discover that universe, but I highly doubt I will consider it part of the series that I love and have invested so much time in (reading, playing, RPG table-tops, collectibles, etc.). Who knows? I don't completely HATE the prequels or the Clone Wars cartoons, but I do hold them FAR apart from the EU that's been carefully built and maintained not only by fans but by Lucasfilm. Hopefully I'll be able to do the same with the Disney films.

  17. #42
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    Quote Originally Posted by fett View Post
    Stitch - you make great points, and I could agree with them all in theory. But the practical problem that most are ignoring is - how can new Star Wars movies even work? I will be first in line to find out, but I suspect that while they will be set in the same universe, they will not be akin to anything we love about the early films. The charm of Star Wars is the bad acting, bad haircuts, cheesy dialogue, campy cantina/Jabba scenes, etc. A modern version (as we saw with the prequels) will attempt to "fix" all those things with newer movies.
    Did we see he same films? I agree that this is an element in some of the OT, but for one thing, Empire Strikes Back is a genuinely good film. Not "Good for Star Wars." There are lots of people who consider Return of the Jedi to be the weakest of the OT, in part because of the heavy cheese you mention. And the prequels tried to fix that? If anything, the prequels were often more cheesy, had worse acting and dialogues. (Can't speak for the haircuts, mind you.)

  18. #43
    verbose douchebag
    Registered: Apr 2002
    Location: Lyon, France
    Quote Originally Posted by ZylonBane View Post
    So your alien brain is incapable of processing the emotions of *Intense Disappointment* at *Misplaced Anticipation* and *Wasted Opportunity*.

    Don't you have some *Juice* you should be *Squeezing*?
    I didn't say that. But I do know that the disappointment of the second trilogy did nothing to harm my joy of the first three films and didn't *take* anything from me. Those films might have been better in an alternative universe, but there was nothing in this one which was replaced by them.

  19. #44
    ZylonBane
    Registered: Sep 2000
    Location: ZylonBane
    Quote Originally Posted by faetal View Post
    I didn't say that.
    You said that you will never understand annoyance aimed at sequels/reboots. I just described the precise source of that annoyance, which is really quite trivial to understand.

    For humans, that is.

  20. #45
    Moderator
    Registered: Dec 1999
    Location: Everywhere
    I didn't say they were *bad* films. I said part of the charm is the campiness. It was unintentional campiness. You're saying the love story in ESB was sophisticated writing and cinema? We must have different definitions. It got even worse in ROTJ. But it's part of what I love. Harrison Ford is practically rolling his eyes while delivering some of those lines. The prequels tried to be better, and because Lucas sucks, he made them even worse. It's because you can't intentionally replicate a movie like that - it's the lightening the bottle thing.

    Here's my hoity toity bottom line: Is this (or any sequel?) being made because there is legitimately an artistic need to continue the story? Or is it being done simply for money? I know films have to make money. But ideally a sequel meets both of those criteria (LOTR). Sadly, they usually do not. At it's root, film is an art form and should be done for that reason - it's what produces the best stuff (i.e. Star Wars - Lucas almost went broke and assumed it would be a bomb. But he had an *artistic* need to make it - not a financially motivated one). Don't blow what I'm saying out of proportion here. There is ALWAYS a financial concern, but can anyone honestly name a single franchise that has gone on for 6 films because there was an artistic need to continue the story? Can anyone even name a franchise that has more than 3 films that were worth watching?

  21. #46
    Southquarter.com/fms
    Registered: Apr 2000
    Location: The Akkala Highlands
    IMO - what makes the prequels especially difficult to accept are the fact that there are some awesome, classic Star Wars elements to them. The pod race sequence is phenomenal, a total rush, probably on par with the original speeder bike chase on Endor. And the saber duel between Maul, Obi Wan, and Qui Gon was probably the best lightsaber battle in all six films. And lots of Boba Fett and Jedi Knights everywhere. Without all this good stuff, you could just dismiss the films completely.

    But then you have Jar Jar, and young Anakin, awful dialogue, lame political storylines, and bathroom humor that you never would have seen in any of the original movies. A total desecration. It's like suddenly introducing muppets into one of the original movies. Oh, wait.

  22. #47
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2000
    Location: tall bikes and tattoos
    Quote Originally Posted by Thirith View Post
    Did we see he same films? I agree that this is an element in some of the OT, but for one thing, Empire Strikes Back is a genuinely good film. Not "Good for Star Wars." There are lots of people who consider Return of the Jedi to be the weakest of the OT, in part because of the heavy cheese you mention. And the prequels tried to fix that? If anything, the prequels were often more cheesy, had worse acting and dialogues. (Can't speak for the haircuts, mind you.)
    Yeah, exactly. The original Star Wars trilogy was wildly successful because it was able to do character-driven populist fantasy on a level that was previously not really possible, and it knocked it out of the park. It was a bit of a right time/right place sort of thing and as such its charms aren't as novel as they once were, but the elements that made it connect with audiences thirty years ago--the imagination-made-real nature of the world, the perfectly executed heroic journey story beats, the interplay between the characters, the themes of a struggle against an overbearing and corrupt authority structure--all these have aged remarkably well and still resonate today.

    Naysayers dredge up the prequels as proof that more Star Wars isn't a good thing, but the prequels are bad movies that only resemble the original trilogy on a superficial level. The prequels aren't complete abominations of cinema, but they do lack the effortless character-driven storytelling that made the original trilogy so successful.

    There is absolutely no reason more Star Wars movies can't connect with the magic of the original trilogy, assuming they are placed in the right hands.

  23. #48
    Moderator
    Registered: Dec 1999
    Location: Everywhere
    So how could they handle the casting correctly? Completely new story with new characters in the same universe? Jump ahead 200 years? Re-cast the original actors? I can't envision any of this working very well for long-time fans (again, not that it won't rake in millions regardless).

  24. #49
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2000
    Location: tall bikes and tattoos
    Quote Originally Posted by fett View Post
    For the record, I have no beef with Disney. I'm a huge Pixar fan. But Disney has a tendency to run things into the ground and miss the point completely. Pirates of the Caribbean is a perfect example of this. I'm not one of those people that want more movies, because history demonstrates that they're never as good. Name any series you want. Did the Matrix get better? What about Spiderman? Batman? Iron Man? Doesn't it make anyone else nervous that Peter Jackson is trying to squeeze three movies in between The Hobbit and LOTR? If something is good, and respected, it's better to leave it alone. I love the Wire because they told the story and ended it. I hate Lost because it did the opposite - and that's not a minority opinion.
    Sequels that were better than the film before it:

    Spider-Man 2
    The Dark Knight
    Toy Story 2
    Empire
    Gremlins 2
    Superman 2
    Terminator 2

    Yeah, the list of sequels with storytelling bloat and diminishing returns would be far longer, but so what? Sequels are like non-sequels: some are good, some are bad. It depends on the talent involved.

    Regardless: I think we can all agree that a trilogy of 2.5 hour Hobbit movies is a dubious prospect.

  25. #50
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2000
    Location: tall bikes and tattoos
    Quote Originally Posted by fett View Post
    So how could they handle the casting correctly? Completely new story with new characters in the same universe? Jump ahead 200 years? Re-cast the original actors? I can't envision any of this working very well for long-time fans (again, not that it won't rake in millions regardless).
    New story, no recasting, building off events from previous movies.

    THIS REALLY ISN'T THAT COMPLICATED

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