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STAR WARS: EPISODE VII Pre-Release - Page 21

post #1001 of 10179
Quote:
Originally Posted by Workyticket View Post

 

You have no idea how close we may have gotten. I could suggest you go onto YouTube and look up Kinect Star Wars (At work, so can't embed videos, unfortunately) and look up Kinect Star Wars... But I won't. That would be bad.

 

 

Oh God, why did I do it?  Why did I do what a guy named Workyticket suggest that I do?  And why did it make me watch an add telling me how to give my hair the "messy look"?

post #1002 of 10179

"Jar-Jar's just so, like, meta, you know?"

 

i-hate-hipsters-27.jpg

 

This is of course twenty years later, where the hipsters of the future are ironically replicating hipsterism of the 2010s and thus causing pop culture to clone itself, then make a Human Centipede of itself.

post #1003 of 10179

I think that's already happening.
 

post #1004 of 10179
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stale Elvis View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrknudsen View Post


Sunset Boulevard isn't a terrible movie because we now from the very beginning that Gillis will end up dead in a pool -- if anything, that makes it more interesting.

 

Wait, what?

 

FFS!

 

Huh?

post #1005 of 10179

Nothing. Fergeddit.

post #1006 of 10179
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jackson View Post

Damnit, I just wrote a, to my mind very elegant, and very long, response to this, but here are the cliff's notes:

 

Star wars prequels are the story of Anikan Skywalker.  We already know his fate, ho hum.

 

Spartacus, Gods of the Arena is the story of Gannicus, a new and original character, who's fate we don't yet know.  Yes, it sets up elements to be in place for Blood and sand, but the heart of the story is about Gannicus.

 

Godfather 2 is a sequel, with prequel elements, and is primarily the story of Michael.  We get flash backs of Vito's rise to power, which contrasts and contextualizes' Michael's story. It's success is in large part due to the skill of Coppula as a film maker.

 

My argument is about functionality, telling a new story about a new character, who's fate is unknown is not a prequel.

 

All of this again has nothing to do with continuing to enjoying a film you have already seen on a rewatch.  It's apples and oranges.  My argument is about the enjoyment of new stories about new characters which may or may not be set in a familiar universe.  That is why Riley Scott was very specific about Prometheus not strickly being an Alien prequel.

 

I think a lot of stories are labeled as prequels for brand recognition, or clarity reasons.  

 

Personally I disagree about Spartacus' focus but more importantly I think the bolded part of your reply goes right to the heart of my argument, namely that a great film maker can make a great prequel. Again I go back to historical films like Lincoln as evidence that the definition you lay forth for a prequel (namely that it revolve around a known character whose fate is established) isn't an impossible obstacle to overcome. It's almost impossible, and it's certainly the case that most of the more prominent examples (the prequels which shall not be discussed especially) have been garbage that to an extent cheapened the legacy of the originals. Nor is it an approach I particularly advocate, for the aforementioned reasons and because, as you said, it's often just a case of awkwardly shoe-horning in elements to coast on brand popularity. My point is only that the idea of a prequel, of further exploring a particular universe or character's fiction to add nuance and fresh meaning to an existing story, is not inherently flawed, but rather easily (really, really easily) abused and bungled in the hands of lazy studios and mediocre creators.

 

EDIT: I'd also like to say, for the record, that my opinion on prequels has nothing to do with my work on the upcoming Casablanca: Origins. PURE COINCIDENCE I TELLS YA!

post #1007 of 10179

I know I'm probably beating a dead horse here...

 

All stories go from point A to point B. A prequel is just a story where Point B is already established. Not all prequel even have to do this. As a reminder,  Temple of Doom is a prequel. However, the END of the movie did not have to link to the "Point B" of the start of Raiders.

 

Since George Lucas was writing a story in which the "Point B" is known, he had the double difficulty of having a set end point at the beginning, as well as have at least part of the story line set before him. (Anakin is Obi-Wan's pupil and turns to the dark side.)  He also had to deal with fan expectations of the story they've already made up in their heads.  However, none of that is an excuse for how poorly written the prequels were. There could have been an interesting story here, he just didn't find it.

post #1008 of 10179

Temple of Doom is a PRETTY GREAT prequel because it has no elements of a prequel whatsoever.

 

So basically I'm saying all prequels should be that.

post #1009 of 10179

Does Temple of Doom even count as a prequel? I mean, technically yeah but other than the year at the start of the film, it plays like any loose James Bond sequel.

post #1010 of 10179
Quote:
Originally Posted by User_32 View Post

Does Temple of Doom even count as a prequel? I mean, technically yeah but other than the year at the start of the film, it plays like any loose James Bond sequel.

 

I would say this is the case.  They really function as self contained stories.   It's like Jungle Jim, you didn't really need to see 'Fury of the Congo' to understand 'The Lost Tribe', or any of the other serials of the 30's and 40's.  

 

Temple doesn't set up any elements for Raiders at all, unless you count specific character traits, which I don't.

post #1011 of 10179

Indy seems more mature in Raiders, so there's that.  Doom came out when I was 8 - I don't think I had any idea it was a prequel until I was about 13.

 

Qui Gon Jin is easily the most interesting character in the prequels - the prequels would have been much more interesting if he had remained the protagonist and Anakin and Obi Wan did side-missions until the end of the second act in Sith, where Anakin kills Qui Gon Jin, which is kind of how it's written anyway, except with Mace filling in for Qui Gon.  This would have eliminated Anakin and Obi Wan from the A-story, thus eliminating the lack of tension, and it would have created an appealing protagonist, which is what the prequels really needed the most.

 

Even more off the hinges would have been to of make Amidalla the main protagonist and have the A-story follow a mystery spy-adventure about Anikan, the droids, and some johnny-come-lately Junior senator love-triangle guy that Palpatine tricks Anikan into murdering.  They do this type of ALL THE TIME in Anime and in like every blockbuster made since 2008.

 

Anyways, the movies should have never been about Anikan and Obi Wan ... it's kind of amazing that the entire prequels were connect the dots when each episode of the original trilogy expanded the SW Galaxy in all sorts of crazy directions.  There was this compulsion to put established characters into the narrative even though historically almost every time that they had added a new characters in the past - Lando, Fett, Jabba, Yoda, Qui Gon, Darth Maul, Mace, Grievious, it was a slam dunk.  They'll prob do it right this time though - Ford, Hamill, and Fischer will be in the movies exactly as much as the teachers were in Harry Potter movies.

post #1012 of 10179

You can't do the prequels with Anakin and Obi-Wan as side characters.  Making Amidala the main character isn't a bad idea, but if you're not telling the story of Darth Vader...what the hell are you making them for?

post #1013 of 10179

$$$.

post #1014 of 10179

Well, gee, that wasn't a predictable response.

post #1015 of 10179

That was reductively snarky, but I don't think it's inaccurate. As awful as they may have been (and as successfully as they may have been subsequently merchandised), the prequels always felt like failures born of hubris rather than simple merch grabs. It was one man's desire to tell his big, crazy, terrible story in the grandest way possible and recapture some of his earlier glory. You look at the guy behind the scenes and see deluded, not cynical. Conversely, I think pretty much every other sidestory/sequel/prequel outside the main films was driven by Lucas' (not unreasonable) desire to acquire the wealth of a small nation. Sometimes it's produced quality work, but I honestly doubt Lucas cares one way or the other, because his only real interest was in completing his six episodes. I think the Disney sale highlights the fact that Lucas only had one story he wanted to tell. If we had gotten three prequels only tangentially related to the original Star Wars under the stewardship of a different creative team, most likely we would have gotten better movies (it's hard to imagine them being much worse), but I think it would have been because Lucas had made the full transition from film-maker to businessman then rather than now.

post #1016 of 10179
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaun H View Post

Sounds like a couple of people still haven't bothered to sit down and watch the Red Letter Media prequel reviews. Any argument you think that will hold up in their favor will be absolutely eviscerated and you'll even be forced to reconsider even the most basic of things that you hadn't even thought of; otherwise, if you have watched them and are still making these cases on their behalf...

The Plinkett reviews are ridiculously overblown and are packed with unfair and hypocritical reasoning. As is this (and every other Star Wars related) thread.

Plinkett was good in those early videos where the self parodying aspect of the ocd aspergers nitpicking approach was front and centre, but after the Star Trek ones he actually embraced the character and started pandering wholeheartedly to the basement dwellers he was originally poking fun at.

And in doing so he's only popularising an approach to film criticism I've come to loathe: this idea that a movie is entirely about the nuts and bolts, and how well it follows the sacred rules of filmmaking. If a movie makes tab a connect to tab b and fit into slot c, it's good, if the tabs don't fit then its bad, and can be proven to be bad at painstaking length! In reality a movie can have every tab broken and still be more interesting than a movie that is constructed flawlessly.

Now I'm not saying the prequels are examples of the latter. But I do think people are often completely lazy and unfair in how they're treated, and it has less to do with the movies and plenty to do with butthurt. Pretty much every half-arsed criticism anyone makes of them is embraced, no matter how little actual thought went into it, because hey it's only the prequels and who needs to think and formulate opinions of their own - Plinkett already did all of that for us!
post #1017 of 10179
Quote:
Originally Posted by Splatoon View Post

I think the Disney sale highlights the fact that Lucas only had one story he wanted to tell.

 

Honestly, I think the sale happened because he came up with a general idea for a continuation and didn't feel like making them. Given that he pretty much turned around and gave most of the money away, I think either he wanted to avoid round two of the criticism he got last time or he didn't feel like spending nine years making them.

post #1018 of 10179

People were bringing up valid criticisms about the SW prequels long before RLM put out the Plinket reviews.  These movies fail on a nuts and bolts story telling level just as dramatically as they fail on a creative level.

 

Just because you enjoy then, or think they are a good baby sitter for your kids doesn't mean they are objectively good films and don't deserve the criticism they have accumulated.  I also don't think you are being fair or honest when you say the reason people criticize the SW prequels has more to do with their own butt hurt expectations than the quality of the films.

 

The movies are lazy, not the valid criticisms.  Also, Lucas whining about the fans hating the prequels is like the kid who blames the teacher when he does poorly on a test he didn't study for.  Lucas should have put more effort into the story and production of the films, instead of cheaply compositing 3 entire films of green screen shots off of a first draft script.  Cheap and lazy.  Hell, the man admits it himself.  He goes on and on in the behind the scenes interviews about how much money he saved and how much easier it was to just sit back and film in a studio.  He whines incessantly about how much he hated filming on location.  Sorry, but that is where a good part of the magic came from in SW 4-6 and Indy 1-3.  

post #1019 of 10179

I haven't watched any Star Wars movie in like 10 years since the last two left cinemas, so I'm hardly coming at this from the angle of a die hard fanboy. If the entire internet thought these movies were amazing I'd be on the other tack, pointing out all the different ways they suck. However the internet doesn't think they're amazing, it thinks they're the absolute worst movies ever made, and never shuts up about them in an endless groupthink circlejerk. The deconstructions are so played out by this point that a defense of the prequels is about the only angle I could find intellectually interesting at this point.

 

Take the 'lazy' accusation. There are many ways they could've been far more lazy and predictable than they actually were. In fact if they'd gone for a lazier plot structure more people might've liked them! The prequels make an honest attempt at doing some quite ambitious things (I say 'honest' because there's no particular commercial reason for doing it) - there is quite a lot going on in them, both in plot and theme, a lot more than in most movies that are supposedly terrible. Much of it is flawed, true, but people would have you believe that nothing works and everything is shit. There is in fact some good stuff in there. But hey good luck getting anyone to acknowledge that for even a brief second between reassuring chants of "it sucks it sucks it sucks". Seeing something as a shade of grey might cause some of that dreaded cognitive dissonance - geek kryptonite!

post #1020 of 10179
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul C View Post

There is in fact some good stuff in there. But hey good luck getting anyone to acknowledge that for even a brief second between reassuring chants of "it sucks it sucks it sucks".

 

In all seriousness, please give some examples and we can discuss. If your arguments are valid then the truth will out.

 

Whereas a lot (most) of the internet geeks come down hard on the prequels and refuse to admit there may be a tiny nugget of greatness somewhere in them, there's also a diehard collective who also defend them to equally overblown proportions because of that little nugget.

post #1021 of 10179
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul C View Post

I haven't watched any Star Wars movie in like 10 years since the last two left cinemas, so I'm hardly coming at this from the angle of a die hard fanboy. If the entire internet thought these movies were amazing I'd be on the other tack, pointing out all the different ways they suck. However the internet doesn't think they're amazing, it thinks they're the absolute worst movies ever made, and never shuts up about them in an endless groupthink circlejerk. The deconstructions are so played out by this point that a defense of the prequels is about the only angle I could find intellectually interesting at this point.

 

Take the 'lazy' accusation. There are many ways they could've been far more lazy and predictable than they actually were. In fact if they'd gone for a lazier plot structure more people might've liked them! The prequels make an honest attempt at doing some quite ambitious things (I say 'honest' because there's no particular commercial reason for doing it) - there is quite a lot going on in them, both in plot and theme, a lot more than in most movies that are supposedly terrible. Much of it is flawed, true, but people would have you believe that nothing works and everything is shit. There is in fact some good stuff in there. But hey good luck getting anyone to acknowledge that for even a brief second between reassuring chants of "it sucks it sucks it sucks". Seeing something as a shade of grey might cause some of that dreaded cognitive dissonance - geek kryptonite!

 

Yeah, people whose opinions about a piece of entertainment are utterly reactionary and ignore any of its actual content or merit because they prefer to take a self-congratulatory position in relation to the popular consensus are just the worst

post #1022 of 10179

These are from way back in the day, but this guy put up some fairly spirited defenses at the time:

 

http://www.lardbiscuit.com/cinema.html

 

I haven't reread them (I'm hoping that when I finally give the series a rewatch I can go in relatively fresh), but while I don't agree with it all I seem to remember thinking that, while some of it is bullshit, he had some reasonable points.


In general though all of the prequels had truly dreadful stuff in them, they also saw me through at least a viewing each while mostly holding my attention (for better or worse), had quite a few memorable sequences and images, as well as a general abundance of oddball ideas. I think having the 'rise of the emperor' subplot driving the whole story while occuring almost entirely offscreen for the first two movies movie was quite an interesting approach that more or less worked. Having sat through quite a few blockbusters recently where I went away feeling like I'd experienced nothing new or memorable at all, I sort of appreciate the memorable oddness of the prequels.

post #1023 of 10179

Ok, well, I'm not the internet, and the opinions I expressed are my own.  Besides, how does "the internet" have an opinion?  Did skynet finally take over just in time for 12-21-12?  People post their opinions on the internet, some are original, some are influenced, some are copied outright, some are well meaning, but wrong, and some are utter nonsense.

 

I posted my opinions based on my impression of those films.  I see what you did there trying to discredit other's opinions as brainless echo chamber nonsense in your vain attempt to defend the defenseless prequels.  

 

On a side note, wouldn't it be interesting to know if someone somewhere has created a super advanced malicious AI named M.A.Y.A.N.,  and released it onto the internet?  SYFY channel, I present you with a missed opportunity.

post #1024 of 10179

I think there is some good stuff in the prequels, but there's a lot of bad that tends to disguise the good. And there are a few things that are both (like Qui-Gonn, who's a completely extraneous character that is simultaneously probably the most compelling performance in the prequels).

 

I think the (creative) failure of the prequels comes from a few things, but a lot of it is that Lucas is telling the wrong parts of the story overall. Very little that happens in Episode I is necessary to the big plot, and the Clone Wars should have had a whole movie. There are too many character origins and too little character development. And a few of the performances are awful.

 

I think of Tarkin announcing the Senate was dissolved with a single line in Star Wars, whereas prequel-era Lucas might have had that be the B-plot of the film.

 

Overall, at some point - probably when we're all old, or at least oldish - I think they're going to remake the prequels, and keep a lot, and could make much better movies out of the same material. But they need to avoid child characters, get better performances out of the adult actors, and reframe the story to focus on adult Anakin.

post #1025 of 10179

I do think it's interesting how hard the prequels get ridden. They are definitely not the worst movies ever made, or the worst movies in their decade. But I can't picture that anyone over 10 years old is going to call these movies "good". After not having seen them since 2005, I watched tPM and AotC with my daughter. The movies are watchable and some individual sequences are good, but Phantom Menace is a dull slog of a movie, and AotC actually was worse than my memory of it and I would include it as bad. If I had to rate them out on a scale of 1 to 10, I would probably give them about 5. Whereas Episode IV, V and VI I would probably give an 8 or 9. (I am in the minority where I don't think that "Empire" is that much greater than "A New Hope" as I would argue that "Hope" as a single story, and only put "Return" on a slightly lower level than those two.)  We have yet to watch Epi III together, so I haven't seen that in so long I don't feel I can rate it.

 

But, returning to topic, the prequels are not horrible awful cinema (I would argue the Transformers movies are worse for example), but they are bad. They are eviscerated more because of the comparison to the original trilogy. 

 

Any new movies will likely have an easier time of it than the prequels. Expectations will be lower, and as they will be compared to BOTH the OT and the PT, they will have an easier time being favored.

post #1026 of 10179
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul C View Post


The Plinkett reviews are ridiculously overblown and are packed with unfair and hypocritical reasoning. As is this (and every other Star Wars related) thread.
Plinkett was good in those early videos where the self parodying aspect of the ocd aspergers nitpicking approach was front and centre, but after the Star Trek ones he actually embraced the character and started pandering wholeheartedly to the basement dwellers he was originally poking fun at.
And in doing so he's only popularising an approach to film criticism I've come to loathe: this idea that a movie is entirely about the nuts and bolts, and how well it follows the sacred rules of filmmaking. If a movie makes tab a connect to tab b and fit into slot c, it's good, if the tabs don't fit then its bad, and can be proven to be bad at painstaking length! In reality a movie can have every tab broken and still be more interesting than a movie that is constructed flawlessly.
Now I'm not saying the prequels are examples of the latter. But I do think people are often completely lazy and unfair in how they're treated, and it has less to do with the movies and plenty to do with butthurt. Pretty much every half-arsed criticism anyone makes of them is embraced, no matter how little actual thought went into it, because hey it's only the prequels and who needs to think and formulate opinions of their own - Plinkett already did all of that for us!

 

Had someone else made the point about the RLM reviews and you replied to them you might have had a point. With me, though, you couldn't have picked a worse person to reply to. I only watched them for the first time in the last month. I tried when they initially came out and didn't get more than 2 minutes in because I couldn't stand how he talked. I also was tired of the constant prequel-bashing, as it'd become old hat and something I was never really fully on-board with. You might be right about his later reviews (I have no idea, I've not bothered) but he was still where he needed to be at the time of reviewing the prequels.

 

Butthurt, you say. You're talking to a guy who never thought Jar Jar was as bad as people made him out to be (scapegoat), didn't realize many people hate AOTC more than TPM, and thinks that Hayden did a great job in the parts that he really needed to. A guy who traveled halfway across country (twice) to go hang out with the dorks lining up at the Chinese and who still has an entire room decked out in primarily prequel shit he accumulated from 1999-2005. A guy who never really understood why midichlorians were such a big fucking deal (I barely flinched when it was brought up the first time I saw it). And I have been a fierce fan since birth. I never thought the prequels were as bad as people made them out to be. I was always able to find redeeming qualities in them and saw each multiple times in theaters. I knew they weren't as good as the old ones, but never expected (nor needed) them to be. I'm what you could consider one of the least butthurt loyal Star Wars fans out there.

 

RLM absolutely destroyed this illusion. He didn't kick the films in the same ways everyone else has been for what seems forever. He dissected them on a very fundamental level, showing structurally (both on a storytelling and filmmaking level) why they are not good movies. It wasn't just nostalgia based, or him ruminating on what he wanted them to be. This was a review, from the POV of basic storytelling, showing how so much of it was done wrong. There was no focus. There was no character development. There were no stakes. It effectively ruins some of the best lessons you're taught in the originals if you happen to watch them in chronological order the first time. It ruins fucking lightsabers. This was not nit-picking. And he backs it up with over 3 hours of examples and reasoning, rather than simply saying it sucks. (And, no, these aren't the worst movies ever made, and I'll still watch them from time to time.)

 

If you honestly can't come to grips with the many (many, many) points he makes, not all of which I agreed with but most, then there's really nothing left to be said. You're in denial, and it's sad. I came to terms with it and you know what? I'm okay with it.

post #1027 of 10179
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaun H View Post
If you honestly can't come to grips with the many (many, many) points he makes, not all of which I agreed with but most, then there's really nothing left to be said. You're in denial, and it's sad. I came to terms with it and you know what? I'm okay with it.

 

The fact that people (and I include myself in this) are or have at some stage been in denial about a movie series is both hilarious and tragic at the same time.

post #1028 of 10179

The prequels do get an especially hard time compared to other, worse action movies.  They came with a legacy unlike any other in film history, which worked against them on both the level of expectations and by providing handy points of comparison for how you do this stuff right.  And mostly, because everyone saw them.  The Transformers films were big, but no one went expecting them to much more than they are and those who would totally loathe them mostly skipped it altogether.  No one missed the prequels, so everyone has an opinion.  

 

Also, from the movie geek perspective, I think there's a generation that sort of came of age with the prequels, and came to realize (however slowly) throughout the trilogy that just being something "good" (which we generally agreed that Star Wars was) isn't enough to make a movie good.  It's not what the movie's about but how it's about it, as the man says.  So they remain a touchstone for a certain type of geek, of the time when you learned that sometimes its best to leave well enough alone, even with the most beloved properties.  Most don't articulate those feelings as well as RLM, though. 


Edited by Schwartz - 12/18/12 at 9:53am
post #1029 of 10179

What I'm arguing for is treating them like normal movies, which is to say with a degree of perspective, and without giving them special treatment because it's Star Wars or lapsing into fanwank about what you think they should've been. I don't buy the Plinkett reviews as the 'last word' (as if such a thing can exist for any movie) because plenty of beloved movies could be torn to shreds by picking them apart on a structural level and putting a negative spin on everything else - Blade Runner is one that I suspect wouldn't hold up very well to such painstaking dissection, or any number of Gilliam movies - and some of the arguments used were logically questionable. I'm hesitant to write that as everyone will go "OH REALLY EXPLAIN HOW" and I frankly just can't be bothered. But then no one bothered refuting that defense I posted either so it balances out. Actually this whole last page or so just show how difficult it is to have even the most basic dialogue about these movies without being swamped with "but it's shit it's shit it's shit!"

post #1030 of 10179
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul C View Post

What I'm arguing for is treating them like normal movies, which is to say with a degree of perspective, and without giving them special treatment because it's Star Wars or lapsing into fanwank about what you think they should've been. I don't buy the Plinkett reviews as the 'last word' (as if such a thing can exist for any movie) because plenty of beloved movies could be torn to shreds by picking them apart on a structural level and putting a negative spin on everything else - Blade Runner is one that I suspect wouldn't hold up very well to such painstaking dissection, or any number of Gilliam movies - and some of the arguments used were logically questionable. I'm hesitant to write that as everyone will go "OH REALLY EXPLAIN HOW" and I frankly just can't be bothered. But then no one bothered refuting that defense I posted either so it balances out. Actually this whole last page or so just show how difficult it is to have even the most basic dialogue about these movies without being swamped with "but it's shit it's shit it's shit!"

 

That's precisely what RLM allowed me to do: stop looking at them through a nostalgia-clouded lense and judge them based on their merits purely as a regular movie.

 

But you go on, pretending all everyone says is "it's shit!" despite the numerous examples we (collectively, not just CHUD) give to the contrary.

post #1031 of 10179
Quote:
What I'm arguing for is treating them like normal movies, which is to say with a degree of perspective, and without giving them special treatment because it's Star Wars or lapsing into fanwank about what you think they should've been. I don't buy the Plinkett reviews as the 'last word' (as if such a thing can exist for any movie) because plenty of beloved movies could be torn to shreds by picking them apart on a structural level and putting a negative spin on everything else - Blade Runner is one that I suspect wouldn't hold up very well to such painstaking dissection, or any number of Gilliam movies - and some of the arguments used were logically questionable. I'm hesitant to write that as everyone will go "OH REALLY EXPLAIN HOW" and I frankly just can't be bothered. But then no one bothered refuting that defense I posted either so it balances out. Actually this whole last page or so just show how difficult it is to have even the most basic dialogue about these movies without being swamped with "but it's shit it's shit it's shit!"

 

 

You didn't post a defense of anything, though.  You complained about the internet.

post #1032 of 10179

Again, the RLM reviews do not treat them like regular movies, it's attempting a systematic takedown; replacing rose-tinted fanboy glasses with shit-tinted ones. Neither is my idea of a balanced assessment.

 

This is the defense I was referring to:

 

http://www.lardbiscuit.com/cinema.html

 

Again I'm pretty sure there's a fair bit of fanboy wank in there and I doubt I agree with a lot of it (at their best these movies would struggle to hit 7/10 even at my most forgiving), but my point is that a checklist of plot mechanics is not the be all and end when it comes to assessing movies, and it's a rare thing to see discussion of these movies in particular get beyond the nuts and bolts level, especially if anyone happens to have an unpopular opinion. In any case everyone seems to be admitting now that these movies get ragged on a disproportionate amount, which is the main point I was making in the first place.

post #1033 of 10179

You're right, the RLM reviews don't treat the Prequels like "regular" movies. They treat them like Star Wars movies. They hold the original trilogy as the standard for Star Wars storytelling and thus critiques the Prequels based on the storytelling successes of the OT. The point is that the Prequels fail on multiple fundamental levels that the OT didn't. This isn't about nostalgia, or rose-tinted or shit-tinted glasses or agenda-based takedowns or any of those bullshit distraction arguments. It's about the fundamentals of successfully telling a story, made all the more bizarre by the fact that the exact same guy made both trilogies and didn't understand why the OT worked.

post #1034 of 10179

Have you seen the RLM reviews?  They do a lot more than dissect plotholes, not that there aren't enough to go around.  He goes on at length, too great length according to many, about how mishandled the characters are, how dull the dialogue is, how the effects are completely busy and overdone while the cinematography and staging is utterly staid and lifeless, how the themes contradict  those of the OT.  

 

I mean, I take your point that they got treated like hate crimes instead of lackluster action movies.  But at the same time, they are really lackluster action movies, as those reviews document exhaustively between the droning voice and serial killer sketch comedy.  You say not everything is about the "nuts and bolts" of moviemaking, but the basic fact is that if your nuts suck and your bolts suck then your movie sucks.  I don't know what you think deserves discussion or praise beyond the basic storytelling level, because it's not as if these movies are not trying to be Malick tone poems or Kubrickian meditations on a theme.  They're trying to be the most archetypal adventure stories possible.  And just failing.  

post #1035 of 10179
So there! Now everybody shut the fuck up and post some rare Princess Leia bikini pics for me to crack one off to.

Thanking you in advance.
post #1036 of 10179

1000

post #1037 of 10179
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul C View Post

Again, the RLM reviews do not treat them like regular movies, it's attempting a systematic takedown; replacing rose-tinted fanboy glasses with shit-tinted ones. Neither is my idea of a balanced assessment.

 

Systematic take down?  Shit colored glasses?  You are placing some serious bias on RLM.  The Plinket review is the most exhaustive, unbiased analysis of these films I have ever encountered.  It's pretty obvious you still enjoy the films.  OK, that's fine, but you are being very obtuse in your view of anyone else's opinion.  You claim the entire Internet is just out to get George and his movies unfairly, and I think that runs pretty contrary to reality.  Would you only accept a rousing endorsement of the prequels as a balanced review?

 

These films are very very difficult to review without any comparison to the original trilogy.  On some level, they earned that.  Lucas knew full well that fans and general audiences alike expected a LOT out of the prequel films.  He needed to deliver, and he didn't.  Judging them on their own merit, the are poorly made films.  Comparing them to the originals, just makes it worse.

post #1038 of 10179
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jackson View Post

You claim the entire Internet is just out to get George and his movies unfairly, and I think that runs pretty contrary to reality.

I'd hesitate to call it completely unfair, but you're goddamn right the internet is out to get George Lucas.
post #1039 of 10179
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Dark Shape View Post


I'd hesitate to call it completely unfair, but you're goddamn right the internet is out to get George Lucas.

 

Thanks, so now I have this vision of a terrified and exhausted George Lucas skulking about like a Peter Lorre character, looking over his shoulder, as a Jackbooted Internet, wearing it's fedora hat pulled low to hide it's face is stalking him.  

 

George runs up to Rick Berman, grabs his lapels, and frantically implores him, "Rick, Rick you must help me!  Riiiccccckkkkk!"  As he's dragged away by the internet to an uncertain doom.

 

This is what you do Shape, you put things in people's minds!

post #1040 of 10179
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jackson View Post
Systematic take down?  Shit colored glasses?  You are placing some serious bias on RLM.  The Plinket review is the most exhaustive, unbiased analysis of these films I have ever encountered.  It's pretty obvious you still enjoy the films.  OK, that's fine, but you are being very obtuse in your view of anyone else's opinion.  You claim the entire Internet is just out to get George and his movies unfairly, and I think that runs pretty contrary to reality.  Would you only accept a rousing endorsement of the prequels as a balanced review?

 

It's not obvious at all because I haven't seen them in a decade, had plenty of problems with them at the time, and ironically enough cut my movie message board teeth arguing against blinkered fanboys way back in 00', before I got bored of the whole thing. But a review is all but 100% focused on negative critiques, even if they're accurate, I don't think it's unreasonable to suggest it's not giving you the full picture, especially when other opinions are available. Like I keep saying, there are much beloved movies that wouldn't stand up to similar scrutiny.

 

My point was that I think there are aspects of the prequels that work and were in fact half decent or at least vaguely interesting or creatively ambitious, which in some regards sets them apart from other bad or even just mediocre movies. What I've been battling against is the flat dismissal of that not particularly radical concept, and also what I see as a sorry trend in film criticism of trying to 'objectively' rate movies as if they're a piece of geometry coursework or something.

post #1041 of 10179

I think the internet and the fans' access to a soapbox has killed Mr. Lucas' enthusiasm quite a bit.  Word around Marin county is he's not a very upbeat guy.  His teenage next-door neighbor told me that Lucas almost ran him over twice with his car and that he never goes outside, and there's general mumblings that he's not chatty, takes up two spots for his classic cars, etc.

 

As people who've been to rich people's houses are well aware, at a certain point it's more fun to buy toys than actually use them.  With the prequels, Mr. Lucas made good strides with digital filming, motion capture, editing, and projecting, but he knows that he can't really top Avatar in terms of a 3D movie, or at least he'll never be first out the gate.

 

And seriously, lets not beat up on this Lucas guy.  Elvis' movies and Vegas years weren't the world-changing, zeitgeist events that Blue Sued Shoes and The Ed Sullivan show were, but they were distinctly Elvis, and they were cool just like the prequels in a whacked-out what-was-he-thinking type of way.  If you're a SW fan and don't dig the prequels in an apologist, hey at-least-they-had-balls type of way, I feel sorry for your mother.

post #1042 of 10179
Quote:
Originally Posted by WendellEverett View Post

I think the internet and the fans' access to a soapbox has killed Mr. Lucas' enthusiasm quite a bit.  Word around Marin county is he's not a very upbeat guy.  His teenage next-door neighbor told me that Lucas almost ran him over twice with his car and that he never goes outside, and there's general mumblings that he's not chatty, takes up two spots for his classic cars, etc.

 

 

This New York Times interview from January pretty much backs what you're saying up. The writer works hard to put a positive spin on things, but Lucas sounded about done then. While I was surprised that he sold out so quickly, you could tell from reading this that the guy wanted out.

Re: the Prequels, I basically agree with everyone. They are substandard films at a fundamental nuts-and-bolts level and none of them are completely satisfying (Though Sith comes the closest IMO), but at the same time there are much worse films out there. I honestly think that Lucas had his heart in them, but I think age and rustiness gave him a vision that just didn't fit Star Wars. I like the Machiavellian aspect of the rise of Palpatine, but not as the major focus of the films; you kind of got the feeling that this is the story The Chin really wanted to tell, and was less concerned with rip-roaring space opera.

Also, I think it's significant that once upon a time he was a punk from Modesto who had unwittingly found himself thrown into the rarified surroundings of Hollywood, and as such he filled those first movies with working-class characters who had stumbled into saving the galaxy: the humble yet naive Luke, the worldly and cynical Han, the unexpected cloud mayor Lando.

Looking at the prequels, virtually all the characters are either severely sheltered and cloistered, dignitaries, or some combination of both. The only character who follows his original brief is Anakin, but even he is stunted by being locked up with the Jedi half his life and generally written as a whiny teenager instead of the hero we've always been told he was (I mean think about it - does Anakin do anything in these films that's purely heroic and changes the universe for the better? I mean as an adult Jedi. He's essentially a puppet from beginning to end, with a nice sideline in whining). They're the creations of a man who's used to wealth, who may cling to notions of working-class life but hasn't lived it for many years.

But at the same time, the films still have moments I love, it's more appreciating the good stuff and being at some kind of peace with the bad (The skip chapter button is helpful here!).  

I just think Lucas fell into the old trap of trying to recapture his old work as an older, changed artist and underestimating just how these changes influence the work in unexpected ways, pulling it away from what the originals were meant to be about. oh, and not directing a film for twenty years. That's gonna be a bit of a stumbling block, too.

post #1043 of 10179
After reading the last day's worth of posts, I just realized I CANNOT wait until they start shooting this puppy so we can stop arguing about the friggin' prequels( for 13.5 years), and start arguing about THIS movie. Let's just all agree the prequels are some degree of not very good and move on.
post #1044 of 10179
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stale Elvis View Post

So there! Now everybody shut the fuck up and post some rare Princess Leia bikini pics for me to crack one off to.
Thanking you in advance.

 

post #1045 of 10179

Well that's pretty much put a crimp in it. Thanks for nothing!

post #1046 of 10179

From a Reuters article on Tikal:

 

Quote:
Yavin 4 and the rebel base return to the Star Wars plot in the forthcoming Episode VII, announced in October by the Walt Disney Co, in which Skywalker comes back to the planet to build a Jedi Knight academy. However, fans said that Disney will likely film those scenes in a studio rather than return to Tikal.

http://uk.reuters.com/article/2012/12/18/oukoe-uk-maya-calendar-starwars-idUKBRE8BH16320121218

 

No idea where the hell this came from, whether it's speculation from the books or actually connected to reality, but it's a thing.

post #1047 of 10179

That was a major plot point/location for the Jedi Academy trilogy of books. If there's no real info to back that up then I'd put it down to media speculation/EU fan bullshit.

post #1048 of 10179

 Anakin does act like a hero when he saves Obi-Wan at the beginning of Sith.


Edited by Chaz - 12/19/12 at 10:14pm
post #1049 of 10179
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chaz View Post

 Anakin does act like a hero when he saves Obi-Won at the beginning of Sith.

 

True, but that got me thinking of the difference between that rescue and Luke et al.'s rescue of Han at the beginning of Jedi. One has emotional resonance, while the other's really just one more action sequence. The relationship among the characters in the rescue from Jabba's palace has been so well established by that point that there's real emotional weight behind what's happening, adding to the drama and suspense. It's like Luke's finally paying Han back for rescuing him at the Death Star in Star Wars and on Hoth in Empire. In Sith, on the other hand, there's little to none of that. Sure, the characters say they're friends and comrades-in-arms, but when have we really seen that? Anakin and Obi-Wan have been apart for most of the two previous movies (as they're apart for most of Sith), and when they're together Obi-Wan's usually condescending and annoyed with Anakin, who's petulant and frustrated back at him. Despite the differences in their personalities, Luke and Han's relationship felt like friendship; Anakin and Obi-Wan's didn't.

post #1050 of 10179
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stale Elvis View Post

That was a major plot point/location for the Jedi Academy trilogy of books. If there's no real info to back that up then I'd put it down to media speculation/EU fan bullshit.

 

I hope so. The Star Wars galaxy has so much potential, I'd hate to see a third round of junior Jedi shenanigans.

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