Movies are cool as well

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Narratorway
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Re: Movies are cool as well

Post by Narratorway » Sat Dec 03, 2016 11:51 am

I actually don't know what the adverts were like. I haven't reliably watched tv in well over a decade. I can say it's far more drama than comedy.
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Re: Movies are cool as well

Post by Narratorway » Wed Dec 07, 2016 3:23 am

Kingsman is not a very good movie, but it's also a really awesome not a very good movie. It's like if someone wrote the most generic uninteresting movie adaptation of that hilariously terrible James Bond Jr. cartoon from the late 80's/early 90's, but lost the rights and gave it to a director who used the plot exclusively as an excuse to stage the most ridiculous action sequences possible.

The first act's a tough sit, cause it's all pointless buildup and training montages that amount to fuck all, but then there's this gonzo action moment in the middle of the second act that comes in outta nowhere and feels like it was from a completely different movie. Then it's all boring shit again until the third act finale, which ends on another balls-to-the-wall action shoot-out/massacre and its weird as hell, because all these crazy action moments feel like there from a completely different movie that was just edited in Jeffrey Ho style. That's actually kind of an apt comparison really, because these crazy action moments feel a lot more at home in an east asian action film than the insufferable borefest that is every other part of this movie.
Last edited by Narratorway on Wed Dec 07, 2016 7:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Ringwraith

Re: Movies are cool as well

Post by Ringwraith » Wed Dec 07, 2016 5:34 am

Although it is kind of cheating to set your long action set piece to Free Bird, really.
That instantly makes anything awesome.
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Thomas

Re: Movies are cool as well

Post by Thomas » Wed Dec 07, 2016 10:51 pm

Watched the 2009 Wonder Woman film, it was sufficient. The Golden Age of DC Animation ended with the TV shows*. It mostly underlined how much I want a defining Wonder Woman film. The trichotomy should be something better than Light, Dark and The Woman.



*Which they're bringing back - Young Justice!
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Thomas

Re: Movies are cool as well

Post by Thomas » Thu Dec 15, 2016 10:05 pm

After seeing Rogue One I have never been so glad that The Force Awakens exists and never so aware that The Force Awakens was a piece of crud.

Rogue One shows you what an ambitious Star Wars film can do, what a film that's willing to be its own film and tell it's own contained story can do and I'm still buzzing an hour after seeing it. My benchmark for a Star Wars film was if I wanted to play a game set in its world, and Force Awakens never really managed that (everywhere looked like Britain or a previous Star Wars film.) Rogue One smashes right past that benchmark. I'm actually sad right now that EA are never going to commission Bioware to make a KOTOR-esque long before prequel about Jedda at it's heights. I want to walk it's streets get involved in the religion and the politics and the hotpot of it's people. I want to creep around Eadu and play Scarif in Battlefront.

It's funny, because on an emotional level, almost none of the arcs in Rogue One feel earned. But the overall arc is so good and the sense of awe and scale is so incredible that it doesn't matter.

The ending sequence where the plans are passed on like a baton as Vader mows down Rebel after Rebel is just incredible.It makes the whole story worthwhile and have a genuinely strong self-contained theme about the power of throwing everything you have in hope because if you push yourself beyond then just maybe, maybe that might be the slim thread that tips the scales.

The Imperial villain is a fantastic character, he's charismatically petty, which I've never really seen before. He's not fighting out of loyalty to the Empire, he's building a frigging Death Star so he can get a promotion. It's wonderful. On the other hand they bring back Moff Tarkin with CGI and it's super ugly and obvious.

And when the film takes risks, I mean it takes risks. It's mixing in a whole new level of symbology into the Star Wars universe. It's creating opportunities for myth out of full fabric, it adds plotting which actually fills a hole in the original films. It brings in this Tibetan vibe to the force and emphasis the religion side of it way more. And in the same way the Empire has used a lot of British symbology to establish it's identity, this film uses a lot of American symbology. I can see people being pissed about it (it's not subtle, just like the Imperials accents and being called 'Imperials' isn't subtle), but it totally makes sense and American's are going to have to take their lumps with it.

It's good enough that it gets much further in elevating itself from spin-off to main franchise film than I could have thought. It doesn't get there of course, not close, but it's by far and away the best non-original trilogy Star Wars film.
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Narratorway
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Re: Movies are cool as well

Post by Narratorway » Sun Dec 18, 2016 2:04 am

Holy shit, they should have called this one Attack of the Clones! Got-dayum ILM, you got brass tacks on ya trying to pull the shit ya did in this movie!

I'd heard just enough to know there were going to be a pretty fair score of cameos in this film, and a lot of these would simply have to be realized through straight up CGI and my assumption was that these cameos would be brief. For the most part, I was correct...for the most the part. However...there is one character who is a legit character in this movie. Plot relevant, multiple lines, multiple scenes...and he's entirely CGI...and looooooooooks iiiiiiit. Oh wait, Thomas already spoiled it for you guys. Yeah, it's Tarkin.

The movie's fun, but the main character is literally the worst part of it. Everything in this film is interesting except her...and that Inigo Montoya she hangs around with. Everyone else is allowed to be a...person, in a...world, that's...realized. But those two are just movie devices. The beginning of the third act has her making these--ahem, attempting to make these grand 'hope' speeches to a bunch of people she's never met before and it's supposed to be because of this arc the movie tries to tell us happened where she stopped being jaded and started to believe in something greater than herself...but that never happened, so they mean nothing coming from her, but because hero's journey I guess I'm just supposed to buy into it? Point is, her character is flat and not engaging and it's a shame we had to watch the movie through her boring ass eyes. Same for her latin boy-toy.

Oh yeah! Before I forget. There is one absolutely inexcusably fucking atrocious line uttered by one of the legacy cameos. The dialogue's just fine in the movie, so this particular one just hits ya like...

Image

Jesus guys...the fuck were you thinking?
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Retsam

Re: Movies are cool as well

Post by Retsam » Sun Dec 18, 2016 2:54 am

I also saw Rogue One, and yeah, it was good.

I wasn't really bothered by Tarkin's CGI: actually, I didn't realize they hadn't found someone who really looked like the original actor. Granted, I didn't have the greatest seat (was on the far side of the theater), so take that with a grain of salt. (Though Leia's CGI was bad enough that I noticed that one) Similarly, I have no idea what "not-subtle" American ideography Thomas is talking about, or what terrible line Narratorway is alluding to, either. (Maybe the last line? I can see why someone might find that awkward, but it felt fine to me)

I also think the main character's attempted arcs were the worst part. The two characters themselves weren't bad, in my book; had the movie simply not given them arcs, I would have been fine with it, but it's clear that there was supposed to be a character arc, but there it just wasn't there. Each of them have a moment where their characterization suddenly does a 180, (the "Hope speech" moment that Narratorway mentions for the female lead, and the doesn't take the shot moment for the male), but the lead-up to that moment is conspicuously absent; making the shift rather jarring.

On the other hand, the minor characters were great; I just wish we took a bit more time with them. I really liked them... but I'm not sure I knew any of their names at the end of the movie. The movie was just too "busy" to really get to know them. The droid was phenomenal, my favorite character.

I'll say, I'm not sure this movie would work if you're not already a fan of Star Wars, even more so than Force Awakens. The difference between this and TFA, is that TFA was its own story, with a bunch of nostalgia pandering tacked on. This film has nostalgia in its DNA: it's nostalgic without feeling like pandering, because the nostalgia is built into the DNA. I loved it for that - I got nearly emotional seeing TIE fighters and X-Wings and Star Destroyers battling, since this Era of Star Wars was such a huge part of my childhood - but if you don't share that nostalgic attachment, I'm not sure it works.

In that vein, I enjoyed the little nods to IV (RIP Red Five and Blue Squadron), and just how well the continuity works, despite that this is an unplanned prequel based on a few sentences of the opening text crawl of a movie written and shot 40 years ago. If you took someone who didn't know anything about Star Wars and showed them this film (maybe with better face CGI) and then A New Hope, I don't think they'd notice that this part was bolted-on 40 years later, and the story would probably feel wrong to them without it.

Extreme nitpicking: minor plothole edition - the R2/C3PO cameo doesn't make a ton of sense. 3PO complains about being left behind, but shouldn't they be going with, since they're on the Tantive IV at the start of IV?
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Narratorway
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Re: Movies are cool as well

Post by Narratorway » Sun Dec 18, 2016 3:26 am

Retsam wrote:Similarly, I have no idea what "not-subtle" American ideography Thomas is talking about, or what terrible line Narratorway is alluding to, either.
Vader's 'choke' pun.

Image

Hell, the way they framed it is unironically stupid. Also, now that you bring it up...

Leia - aside from 'wow, that cg don't play' - doesn't make sense so far as I can tell. That cruiser was jettisoned from the dreadnought leading the attack, meaning she was one it when they showed up in the first place. What the hell was she doing there?
Last edited by Narratorway on Mon Dec 19, 2016 2:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Thomas

Re: Movies are cool as well

Post by Thomas » Sun Dec 18, 2016 7:42 am

The arcs of the two central characters are odd because the arcs are literally not in the story anywhere. They've got a lot of 'look how these two have changed' bits, but hoping you'd just assume there was a reason.

I'm super interested by Retsam not seeing any American parallels. If anyone else does or does not see it, could you let me know?
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Narratorway
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Re: Movies are cool as well

Post by Narratorway » Mon Dec 19, 2016 1:11 am

I'm assuming you're referring to the shit that went down on Planet Jedi-but-spelled-differently-but-no-it's-fucking-Planet-Jedi.
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Re: Movies are cool as well

Post by grahams_xwing » Mon Dec 19, 2016 9:51 am

Thomas wrote: The ending sequence where the plans are passed on like a baton as Vader mows down Rebel after Rebel is just incredible.It makes the whole story worthwhile and have a genuinely strong self-contained theme about the power of throwing everything you have in hope because if you push yourself beyond then just maybe, maybe that might be the slim thread that tips the scales.
This somehow managed to make the 'do the plans' get to the Rebel leaders tension work. Which considering the audience already have this knowledge is pretty impressive. Although even at this point I was still waiting for them to drop the ball and put in a massive continuity error - so perhaps that's where the tension came from.
They really do appear to have done a decent job of saying - 'Right final act, we need to get from 'here' to 'here' lets put aside the last 5 minutes to resolving it in a decent movie way'


Overall I very much enjoyed it. The opening act was a bit loose and careening, might have taken 'show don't tell' ethos a little too far.The character arcs were laughable as noted by other commenters.
BUT - this was a goddamn STAR WARS film with emphasis on the WARS. As a massive Space/Sci-fi nerd (completer of Xwing, Tie Fighter and X-wing Alliance - see displayname) the sheer amount of zooming X-wings, Star Destroyers, TIE Fighters and shuttles massaged a very geeky part of my hindbrain. The ground battle(s) were clever, engaging and stuff full of disposable characters, thanks to whichever editor snipped the death scenes down to their minimum btw - several very quick or out of shot deaths and only one of the main guys tried to do a Lord Of the Rings arrow moment, meaning the thrust of the action was the objective not the people involved.

Finally - The Force Awakens (for me) was a rehash of A New Hope - same plot beats - almost the same plot. As if it was a test that a new audience liked the original films 'you like big space things blowing up planets right?' Rogue One was very much more it's own movie, sure there were the call backs (I loved Tarkin myself and was braced for a terrible Leia but wasn't too dissapointed), R2 & 3PO are fan service, the 'I have a bad feeling' line is the same.
Also, we've done the 'shield must come down for x' plot before, and the smashing a star destroyer into stuff.

BUT - the use of unseen shots from the first film in the fleet battle made me exclaim to a complete stranger beside me in the cinema. Reading reviews that tiny section seems to be getting a great reaction.


Certainly the best non original trilogy film to date, and there will be people out there (perhaps those who are much fresher to the universe) who will place this film somewhere in their top 3
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grahams_xwing
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Re: Movies are cool as well

Post by grahams_xwing » Mon Dec 19, 2016 9:56 am

Narratorway wrote:
Oh yeah! Before I forget. There is one absolutely inexcusably fucking atrocious line uttered by one of the legacy cameos. The dialogue's just fine in the movie, so this particular one just hits ya like...

Which line was that? Was it one of the multitude of characters ramming the 'Hope' thing down our throats, cos I started glazing over at the inspirational shite after a while. The people are fighting for their lives and the galaxy's freedom - they're not just nice gentle liberals... You don't need a vague concept of Hope to insipre you when fighting for survival?
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Retsam

Re: Movies are cool as well

Post by Retsam » Mon Dec 19, 2016 4:30 pm

grahams_xwing wrote:
Narratorway wrote:
Oh yeah! Before I forget. There is one absolutely inexcusably fucking atrocious line uttered by one of the legacy cameos. The dialogue's just fine in the movie, so this particular one just hits ya like...

Which line was that? Was it one of the multitude of characters ramming the 'Hope' thing down our throats, cos I started glazing over at the inspirational shite after a while. The people are fighting for their lives and the galaxy's freedom - they're not just nice gentle liberals... You don't need a vague concept of Hope to insipre you when fighting for survival?
He answered that in the comment quoted below.
Narratorway wrote:
Retsam wrote:Similarly, I have no idea what "not-subtle" American ideography Thomas is talking about, or what terrible line Narratorway is alluding to, either.
Vader's 'choke' pun.

Image

Hell, the way they framed it is unironically stupid. Also, now that you bring it up...

Leia - aside from 'wow, that cg don't play' - doesn't make sense so far as I can tell. That cruiser was jettisoned from the dreadnought leading the attack, meaning she was one it when they showed up in the first place. What the hell was she doing there?
I didn't have issue with that line and actually it was the favorite line of the film for a few friends I went with one of whom is a huge Vader fan (or perhaps second only to "Are you kidding? I'm blind!"). It felt appropriately ominous to me, rather than feeling too much like a joke. So...

Image

WRT Leia; she's mentioned earlier as the one that Bail Organa "would trust with his life" (spoiler: he is trusting her with his life, and it doesn't go well) to go find Old Ben Kenobi ("the old friend from the republic"). So she's supposed to be on the Tantive IV for that mission, then the rebels decide to commit their entire fleet at the unexpected Battle for Scarif. Either the Tantive IV is sent to participate in the battle and there's just no time for Leia to get off (or she doesn't want to), or perhaps using Leia on the Tantive IV to deliver the plans was always the plan, for the sake of the "diplomatic mission" excuse. (Obviously the Empire knows that's bantha fodder, but for everyone else it makes bad PR for the Empire: they can't exactly say "we're attacking this ship to reclaim the stolen blueprints for the superweapon that we totally don't have)"
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Thomas

Re: Movies are cool as well

Post by Thomas » Thu Dec 29, 2016 11:22 am

You know, it's incredible how well Star Wars stands up visually
http://sfdebris.com/videos/films/starwars.php

Every sci-fi film from back then looks dated. Heck, Bladerunner looks dated. Yet most of the visual design of Star Wars, CRT monitors and dorky hats aside, would look fine in a modern work.

Some of it is because Star Wars has defined what sci-fi looks like, some of it must be because there are so many expanded universe Star Wars works since that it's too familiar to feel old, but there's also an incredible craft and skill that went into the set and costume design for that film.
Last edited by Thomas on Fri Dec 30, 2016 12:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Retsam

Re: Movies are cool as well

Post by Retsam » Thu Dec 29, 2016 8:00 pm

Yeah, that's something that stood out to me in Rogue One. Despite how far special effects technologies have progressed, the space battles look virtually identical from how they looked 40 years ago.
Ninety-Three

Re: Movies are cool as well

Post by Ninety-Three » Fri Dec 30, 2016 6:21 am

Over the holidays I did my first-ever watching of Die Hard. It was alright, but what I'm here to say is that it is not a Christmas movie, fight me nerds. It's set on the 24th, it has a Christmas carol and a Santa hat in one scene, but if that makes Die Hard a Christmas movie, ET is a horror film and Tropic Thunder is sci-fi.
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Daemian Lucifer

Re: Movies are cool as well

Post by Daemian Lucifer » Fri Dec 30, 2016 7:33 am

Ninety-Three wrote: It's set on the 24th,
Otherwise known as christmas eve,widely recognized as part of christmas.Unless you are saying that christmas carol isnt a christmas story either,because it too is set on chrismas eve,with only the epilogue being on christmas day.
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grahams_xwing
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Re: Movies are cool as well

Post by grahams_xwing » Fri Dec 30, 2016 9:20 am

Daemian Lucifer wrote:
Ninety-Three wrote: It's set on the 24th,
Otherwise known as christmas eve,widely recognized as part of christmas.Unless you are saying that christmas carol isnt a christmas story either,because it too is set on chrismas eve,with only the epilogue being on christmas day.
Besides, I'm not sure most people claim Die Hard is a Christmas Movie because of it's themes or setting. It's no Elf or anything. More that it's a action film with a vague Christmas setting and therefore it's been on (certainly UK) TV every Christmas since it was first aired in 1809 (close enough) - this has placed it into the mind of many Brits as a 'Movie to watch at Christmas', or ' A Christmas Movie'
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Narratorway
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Re: Movies are cool as well

Post by Narratorway » Tue Jan 03, 2017 5:06 am

Thomas wrote:Every sci-fi film from back then looks dated. Heck, Bladerunner looks dated. Yet most of the visual design of Star Wars, CRT monitors and dorky hats aside, would look fine in a modern work.
Technology is - by nature - very time-specific, so anything explicitly technological is going to automatically be dated regardless and Star Wars is no exception. Tatooine holds up because it's very tech-low, but the tech that is featured absolutely does not hold up. Neither does literally anything on the Death Star, from the panels they use to the silly woosh sound effect of their fake-fast doors. Star Wars holds up visually because it's special effects were literally revolutionary, George Lucas is a film tech nut and it was released by a major motion picture studio, all factors contributing to the film being exceptionally well cared for and preserved over the years, but in terms of actual production design, it's 70's through and through and looks it.
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Wide And Nerdy

Re: Movies are cool as well

Post by Wide And Nerdy » Tue Jan 03, 2017 5:23 pm

Wow that one scene with the Hope speech, everything was wrong with it. Not just that the character, who was in it for herself, would suddenly care about a faction that has treated her coldly, but that said faction would suddenly listen to her rousing speech. I buy her as a badass but there's absolutely nothing suggesting she has the crowd rousing/leadership abilities she exhibits later.

It might have helped if it was clearer beforehand that many of the rebels were impatient and just itching to do something like this, waiting for the leaders to finally let them off the leash, such that they're willing to jump at any excuse to do so. I could have easily bought that.

I would have liked it if the prudence and patience of the leadership was validated a bit more. Like maybe she succeeds but the Rebellion pays a terrible price for it. For me thats what made Empire great. The hero runs off half cocked and for once is shown that running off half cocked does more harm than good. That theme is undercut in Disney Star Wars which is generic formula with a Star Wars skin.

But otherwise, I enjoyed Rogue One. I think the new droid is my favorite yet, at least in the movies. They need to find an excuse to bring him back or another just like him.
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Thomas

Re: Movies are cool as well

Post by Thomas » Tue Jan 03, 2017 7:17 pm

:p Completely agree on the hope speech. It's amazing to me how many emotional arcs in Rogue One fail to come off and yet I still like it I also didn't buy that the two protagonists were in love by the end, nor the father's death moment
Narratorway wrote:
Thomas wrote:Every sci-fi film from back then looks dated. Heck, Bladerunner looks dated. Yet most of the visual design of Star Wars, CRT monitors and dorky hats aside, would look fine in a modern work.
Technology is - by nature - very time-specific, so anything explicitly technological is going to automatically be dated regardless and Star Wars is no exception. Tatooine holds up because it's very tech-low, but the tech that is featured absolutely does not hold up. Neither does literally anything on the Death Star, from the panels they use to the silly woosh sound effect of their fake-fast doors. Star Wars holds up visually because it's special effects were literally revolutionary, George Lucas is a film tech nut and it was released by a major motion picture studio, all factors contributing to the film being exceptionally well cared for and preserved over the years, but in terms of actual production design, it's 70's through and through and looks it.
I mean the visual design of the technology still doesn't feel dated and I still think it doesn't. You can focus on individual things like the light-filled control panels and yeah, those are dated ideas, but in Star Wars it still comes together. It was actually that example which made me think of it, because I can't watch an episode of Star Trek from any series and not be drawn out by how old fashioned the future looks (despite some revolutionary ideas), with Star Wars I don't feel it.

Except for the hats. It's amazing how dated the overly big sloped ones feel - but that also highlights the fact that Stormtroopers still don't feel dated, hats and all. In fact Captain Phasma or w/e looks more dated than a normal Stormtrooper. The Rogue One blacks ones pulled it off a little better.

It's the same with the starships. When I look closely the grey colour looks dated and their blockiness, but I still buy them as the future, maybe even more than a lot of modern sci-fi ships.

I think the fact a lot of things in Star Wars are made to look old in the future helps them a lot.
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Re: Movies are cool as well

Post by Narratorway » Wed Jan 04, 2017 2:16 am

Okay, if you're comparing it to Star Trek, I guess have to agree. A tv show produced in the early sixties has production design that doesn't hold up as well as a theatrically released film from the late seventies.

Image
Vulture

Re: Movies are cool as well

Post by Vulture » Wed Jan 04, 2017 10:53 am

Narratorway wrote:Okay, if you're comparing it to Star Trek, I guess have to agree. A tv show produced in the early sixties has production design that doesn't hold up as well as a theatrically released film from the late seventies.
The point stands if you compare Star Wars to TV shows and films that came after it too. They often look more dated, even if the technology is less ' out of date'. Thomas is right I think that it is a more self consistent universe with a definite aesthetic, and the tech fits in to that seamlessly. Also that the tech that is recognisable is rarely pushed to the fore front. You don't get anachronistic computers the size of a room with flashing lights which are meant to be impressive in old scifi. The computers are never really shown or explained at all, just what they are used for.

Other films are rather more ' our world with trappings ', and the trappings look dated.
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Re: Movies are cool as well

Post by Narratorway » Thu Jan 05, 2017 4:57 am

Maybe I misunderstood him because I said as much already. I disagree that it holds up to time, but I do not disagree that it fits with the setting. It's hardly unique to Star Wars either. Truth is, most sci-fi from the late 70's/early 80's were like that. They were made in that small pocket after the Space Race, but before the personal computer, where technology wasn't romanticized/dramatized, so their representation in movies was very pragmatic and felt appropriate.
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