Star Wars Episode 7??

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Re: Star Wars Episode 7??

Postposted on Wed Nov 07, 2012 9:53 am

Forge wrote:His direction isn't so bad, it's his dialog-writing that causes pain.


Did you see the prequels?

--No, I'm not making the usual cheap-shot. I'm not talking about the overall quality of the films, the pacing, the acting, the dialogue, Jar-Jar, the completely interminable plot-plodding or even the green-screen.

I'm talking about absolutely lazy film-making. All of those films are stuffed full of conversations, and if you watch those scenes you should notice something: It's just over the shoulder shots of talking heads, reverse, repeat. Back and forth, for what must be approaching over an hour and a half of screen-time if you include all three films.

That isn't even bad direction, as he plainly wasn't even trying. I don't have a word for it other than lazy. It's kind of embarrassing, actually.

clone wrote:the reason the last 3 Star Wars movies were so disappointing at the box office and in the eyes of the majority of non 8 years who watched it is because the series never grew up.


That's simply untrue. They weren't disappointing at the Box Office at all. Phantom menace was #1 in the box office for 1999 and Revenge of the Sith was #1 for 2005. Attack of the Clones was #3, but it nearly beat Two Towers and was still 75% of the #1 for 2002 (Spider-man).

As to the "non 8 years old" perhaps they didn't like them because they were terrible. Plenty of those non 8 years desperately wanted to love the first prequel. Many people watched it several times trying to convince themselves they liked it before they finally submitted to the truth.

It wasn't that it didn't "grow up," it's that it clearly regressed into absolute silliness. Lucas left the identifiable symbols of our own history in favor of pod-racing plot detours, Dual-dual-wielding droids with asthma, riding dinosaurs, bizarre retro-50s space diners and absurdly racist aliens with idiotic and incomprehensible motivations.

He replaced the all-encompassing mysticism of the former film with a theme and plot destroying incoherent rationalism.

It's like he tried to grow up but, much like the lost boys of Neverland, had no idea what actual adult even looked like. The best he could do was poorly mimic Captain Hook and the Pirates, mere caricatures themselves and only foils at that. He knew the appearance, and even somewhat the forms, but the actual essence completely escaped him.

ludi wrote:I skipped Cabin in the Woods after reading a couple reviews and deciding that it wouldn't be edifying in any possible way, but according to those reviews, the very intention was to subvert the entire teen camp-horror genre, so I'm not sure how you went in expecting Serious Commentary.


Cabin in the Woods is actually VERY "Serious Commentary." It's probably the best movie I've seen all year, as I'd have to say I enjoyed it better than the Avengers.

I highly recommend you watch it.

Vrock wrote:The success of the original trilogy was that it appealed to both groups simultaneously. This was lost with Episode I.


Exactly. The amount of depth to the original trilogy is why it had the lasting presence it did. If it was just what clone says it is, why would it have a following that is akin to a religion (and in some countries actually IS).

clone wrote:I'd prefer not use him to be honest to do a new Star Wars film no matter how much of a fan he is of the series, and to be clear he is a huge fan of it.


I have to say I agree here. Whedon ought to be developing his own IP, not doing superbly competent executions of the IP of others.

clone wrote:yes and no, the success of the first Star Wars was sealed when the imperial cruiser flew onscreen in the first scene, because Star Wars came out when special effects could sell a movie


But that doesn't explain the lasting presence, especially given the existence of younger people who never saw those movies in the box office in the first place but rather much later in life on VHS/DVD/Fan-edits. If those movies affected them the same way in 1992, 1997, or 2007 the same way it did to theater-goers in 1977, it simply can't be the novelty of the special effects.

1 - 3 "failed" because they were just like the previous 3 but released into a market where special effects couldn't save them.


Again, Lucas "failed" all the way to the bank. The market response was completely fine, it was the lasting presence of those movies that was not.
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Re: Star Wars Episode 7??

Postposted on Wed Nov 07, 2012 10:58 am

Glorious wrote:
ludi wrote:I skipped Cabin in the Woods after reading a couple reviews and deciding that it wouldn't be edifying in any possible way, but according to those reviews, the very intention was to subvert the entire teen camp-horror genre, so I'm not sure how you went in expecting Serious Commentary.


Cabin in the Woods is actually VERY "Serious Commentary." It's probably the best movie I've seen all year, as I'd have to say I enjoyed it better than the Avengers.


Joss co-wrote Cabin in the Woods but his co-writing buddy was the director. People either seem to "get it" and love the movie or not get it and hate it. No middle ground. I'm not sure it was all about subverting anything or even being serious commentary. It was more like an homage to the genre and an attempt at a slightly different take on the typical formula. I appreciated that for the horror aspect they hit specific expected scenes and then moved out of the way to the next thing without lingering on them. The movie seemed efficient to me.

As for why the 1-3 movies sucked, this is my thoughts on it:

Star Wars
Director: George Lucas
Writer: George Lucas

Empire
Director: Irvin Kershner
Writers: Leigh Brackett (screenplay) and Lawrence Kasdan (screenplay), George Lucas (story)

Jedi
Director: Richard Marquand
Writers: Lawrence Kasdan (screenplay), George Lucas (screenplay), George Lucas (story)

Phantom Menace
Director: George Lucas
Writer: George Lucas

Attack of the Clones
Director: George Lucas
Writers: George Lucas (screenplay), Jonathan Hales (screenplay), George Lucas (story)

Revenge of the Sith
Director: George Lucas
Writer: George Lucas

Every Star Wars movie that Lucas has directed has sucked. And, when he doesn't have help in the writing, it sucked. You'll make a case for the original Star Wars but if you look at it objectively, you're looking at it with nostalgia in saying it was a great movie. It was new, it was innovative, it just worked. But Empire and Jedi were so much better in every regard it makes the first one look like, well, not as bad as the 1-3 ones, but it ain't great. Look at Indiana Jones, those movies were more consistently good than episodes 1-3 and have a larger mix of people involved and no Lucas directing.

I don't care WHO is involved in Star Wars 7, it'll be better than 1-3 by virtue of not having Lucas being so heavily involved.
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Re: Star Wars Episode 7??

Postposted on Wed Nov 07, 2012 11:12 am

Cabin in the Woods is in the same class as Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. It's got a healthy dose of homage/parody/tribute to the genre, but also knows the genre well enough to be a good film in said genre. Maybe it's got a little less than Shaun of the Dead on being a good horror film, but it's still pretty good.
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Re: Star Wars Episode 7??

Postposted on Wed Nov 07, 2012 11:19 am

Scrotos wrote:I'm not sure it was all about subverting anything or even being serious commentary.


Really?

So you don't think there is any message in how the manifestation of the elder-god was a human fist instead of a cthulhu-tentacle?

superjawes wrote:Cabin in the Woods is in the same class as Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz.


I like both of those movies, but Cabin in the Woods is doing and saying a lot more than either one of them. It may have less of the homage and comedy elements, but that's because they're trying to say something very specific. That aspiration doesn't necessarily make it better than the Edgar Wright oeuvre, but it certainly makes it different.
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Re: Star Wars Episode 7??

Postposted on Wed Nov 07, 2012 12:32 pm

Glorious wrote:
Scrotos wrote:I'm not sure it was all about subverting anything or even being serious commentary.


Really?

So you don't think there is any message in how the manifestation of the elder-god was a human fist instead of a cthulhu-tentacle?


Um, no? I wasn't aware that any of the movie referenced the cthulu mythos. "Elder god" isn't used only to apply to that. Hell, think even Bill Watterson used the term in a Calvin and Hobbes sunday comic.

Even if you go the cthulu route, it's not like Lovecraft himself had tentacles for arms. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Cthul ... ecraft.jpg

Modern interpretations also are all over the board as to what the hands look like, being clawed, webbed, or regular. Check Google image search: https://www.google.com/search?q=cthulhu ... 7&bih=1006

But still, the hand could be anything. I didn't watch anything in the commentary that indicated it was special because it was a human hand. If anything, at that point they were running out of money and that was the cheapest to implement!

And hey, isn't man supposed to be made in the image of Elder God? In that context it would make perfect sense. And you don't know what other limbs or appendages the being possessed, too.
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Re: Star Wars Episode 7??

Postposted on Wed Nov 07, 2012 12:56 pm

Scrotos wrote:Um, no? I wasn't aware that any of the movie referenced the cthulu mythos. "Elder god" isn't used only to apply to that. Hell, think even Bill Watterson used the term in a Calvin and Hobbes sunday comic.


You're misreading me. I deliberately said "elder-god" not Elder God.

My point is that the movie is very clearly saying that we, the audience, are the elder-gods of the movie.

Scrotos wrote:But still, the hand could be anything. I didn't watch anything in the commentary that indicated it was special because it was a human hand. If anything, at that point they were running out of money and that was the cheapest to implement!


I've never heard the commentary or really seen anything about the movie that isn't already inside of it. The text itself is sufficient.

It wasn't just that one scene, it's what underlies the entire movie: The archetypes (characters) of the ritual (movie) die according to a dogmatic formula (cliched plot) to satisfy the elder-gods (the audience).

Scrotos wrote:And hey, isn't man supposed to be made in the image of Elder God? In that context it would make perfect sense. And you don't know what other limbs or appendages the being possessed, too.


Again, you're missing what I'm saying by misreading my reference to the movie's "elder-god" into the very specific Derlethian "Elder God." I was being generic when I said cthulhu-tentacle too, that's why I didn't say "Cthulhu's tentacle." And, if you really want to be pedantic, Cthulhu isn't even an Elder God anyway.
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Re: Star Wars Episode 7??

Postposted on Wed Nov 07, 2012 1:16 pm

Ok, I get ya now. I don't normally delve that deep into analyzing movies, truth be told. My wife the english major tends to break things down like that.

I guess you can read into it as much as you want. Though I didn't see anything where the writers explicitly stated what they were doing with the ending or that kind of theme, that don't mean it wasn't there or isn't a valid interpretation. Heck, they had a whole segment devoted to the pot equipment so the commentary was kinda all over the place!
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Re: Star Wars Episode 7??

Postposted on Wed Nov 07, 2012 2:41 pm

Scrotos wrote:I guess you can read into it as much as you want.


I'm just "reading" it. We shouldn't need the help of others to understand what's plainly before us.

Scrotos wrote:Though I didn't see anything where the writers explicitly stated what they were doing with the ending or that kind of theme, that don't mean it wasn't there or isn't a valid interpretation.


Why would they have to, and where would they do so? The entire movie implicitly speaks for them.

They led you to the water, why should they have to drink it for you as well?

Scrotos wrote:Heck, they had a whole segment devoted to the pot equipment so the commentary was kinda all over the place!


What do you expect? They're being paid to just talk over the movie they made, with only the barest presumption that they'll even talk about the movie itself. Is it surprising in the least that they treat it like a get-together and just gab about whatever comes to mind when they're watching it?

What would you do? Prepare an entire script to read in order to explain a movie you just exhausted yourself making, or just chill and ramble on about it with the buddies you made it with?
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Re: Star Wars Episode 7??

Postposted on Wed Nov 07, 2012 3:09 pm

I don't think Whedon or Nolan would be a good fit for the Star Wars franchise. I think that people think of Nolan as a good fit because his films have been so excellent, but I don't see him even wanting to work on Star Wars. He demands a lot of creative control, which means that he won't get along well with Disney and won't get along well with Lucas, who is supposedly still somewhat involved in the production of future Star Wars. While I can see Whedon doing fine collaborating with Disney and Lucas, I can't really see him making a Star Wars movie. I think people assume Whedon could do Star Wars because he did Serenity, which was also set in space. The gulf between these two properties is enormous. Serenity and Firefly have more in common with the Western genre than they do with Star Wars. I worry that Whedon directed Star Wars film would be too silly.

My first choice would be Ridley Scott. He's done epics, he's done sci-fi. I don't know if he could work with Disney, but I don't know why not.

Unfortunately, this being Disney means that they will likely hire a no-name director. Disney hasn't been about creating quality entertainment since Walt died. The modern Disney is a well-oiled profit machine and they know that they'll make a killing on Star Wars 7 no matter how good it is. They won't hire a director who has an established reputation because he will be too expensive. They'll hire someone cheap with a little bit of experience in film and perhaps some TV experience (like Joss Whedon for The Avengers) and hopefully that guy will do a good job.
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Re: Star Wars Episode 7??

Postposted on Wed Nov 07, 2012 3:18 pm

TurtlePerson2 wrote:They won't hire a director who has an established reputation because he will be too expensive.

Even for star wars, I think a star director would fill more seats by their name alone. Not to the degree that they'd fill seats in a new IP like Inception, but I think it'll still make a difference.
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Re: Star Wars Episode 7??

Postposted on Wed Nov 07, 2012 3:19 pm

Scrotos wrote:As for why the 1-3 movies sucked, this is my thoughts on it:

Star Wars
Director: George Lucas
Writer: George Lucas


There is a critical element present in the original movies that wasn't in any of the subsequent ones: Marcia Lucas.

I don't think you can understand the success of the original trilogy without her.
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Re: Star Wars Episode 7??

Postposted on Wed Nov 07, 2012 3:26 pm

Scrotos wrote:I don't normally delve that deep into analyzing movies, truth be told.


Sorry, I'm not writing an analysis of a story; I'm looking for entertainment. For me, personally, I am entertained by passively consuming movies/video media. Other people are entertained by breaking them down. That's fine, I have no problem with that. You've interpreted the movie a certain way that I haven't. What's "plainly before us" is highly subjective and you shouldn't assume that what you see or how you interpret something is 1) obvious and 2) how other people see things.

As for the commentary, why shouldn't they also talk about their thoughts and motivations? Whedon and the other guy did talk about their inspirations and script writing process and that type of stuff, it's just that I don't recall them talking about the theme you picked out. When I watched Prometheus and listed to Ridley Scott's rambling commentary, he would pick apart certain scenes and talk about how he approached them, why he made certain choices, what theme he was trying to get across, stuff like that. Watching some of the deleted or alternate scenes and then rewatching them with the commentary was likewise interesting to see what they cut from the story, how it altered the story, and why they made those choices. In addition, many movies are now made with a "making of" crew documenting things as well or dedicated featurettes that examine various aspects of the movie in detail including the story and directing.

I'm not trying to be condescending with explaining this. You seem to dismiss the commentary which makes me think that perhaps you caught one or two bad ones and now avoid them with intense cynicism. I find that some are quite interesting. For example, the original cut of Daredevil made it into an excellent movie before the producers forced changes to make it appeal to a larger audience. It was interesting to hear the director/writer explain how a good movie was turned absolutely mediocre by the people fronting the money. Those who are very passionate about their craft and project aren't worn out after the movie and welcome a chance to expound on things they weren't able to get through properly in the movie for one reason or another.

Anyway, this is all a distraction from the real subject which is: Lucas sucks.
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Re: Star Wars Episode 7??

Postposted on Wed Nov 07, 2012 3:30 pm

grantmeaname wrote:
TurtlePerson2 wrote:They won't hire a director who has an established reputation because he will be too expensive.

Even for star wars, I think a star director would fill more seats by their name alone. Not to the degree that they'd fill seats in a new IP like Inception, but I think it'll still make a difference.

Do keep in mind that the Star Wars purchase also means a LOT for mechandise. Avengers generated a lot of marketable toys, and Star Wars has historically had a lot of toys out there. The name is also pretty strong. I haven't heard ANY fan of the movies say that they will "boycott" the Disney movies, either, meaning that you are likely guaranteed a solid opening weekend at the box office.

So...with that in mind, Episode VII has a lot of money riding on it. Disney would probably pay a ridiculous amount for a known director over a no-name one so that these movies hook enough fans, kids, etc. to make ridiculous amounts of money.

That doesn't mean that Whedon and Nolan are a shoe-in or that Disney WILL pay stupid money for a writer/director, but they'll be meticulous with their choice, and a known name will get extra butts in seats on opening night.
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Re: Star Wars Episode 7??

Postposted on Wed Nov 07, 2012 3:32 pm

Glorious wrote:
Scrotos wrote:As for why the 1-3 movies sucked, this is my thoughts on it:

Star Wars
Director: George Lucas
Writer: George Lucas


There is a critical element present in the original movies that wasn't in any of the subsequent ones: Marcia Lucas.

I don't think you can understand the success of the original trilogy without her.


Interesting. Her influence on Lucas or her skill as a film editor? Though is her skill so great that her not being involved on the 1-3 movies the reason that they sucked? I'm thinking that the writing/directing was bad enough that even the greatest film editor would have had problems turning those into movies that stood the test of time.
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Re: Star Wars Episode 7??

Postposted on Wed Nov 07, 2012 3:33 pm

TurtlePerson2 wrote:I think people assume Whedon could do Star Wars because he did Serenity, which was also set in space. The gulf between these two properties is enormous. Serenity and Firefly have more in common with the Western genre than they do with Star Wars. I worry that Whedon directed Star Wars film would be too silly.

Nah, people assume he could do Star Wars because Star Wars was basically camp western plot lines set in space with an overarching good vs. evil theme running in the background (Serentiy, Firefly), requiring equal treatment of multiple primary characters with diverse backstories and motives (numerous Whedon projects), in which a rag-tag band of unwilling heroes ultimately unite for a showdown of the little guy versus the overwhelming odds (Serenity, Avengers) without taking themselves too seriously in the process (numerous Whedon projects).

I keep reading these posts by people who speak of the entire franchise as though it was Serious Business, and I assume they must be confusing 30 years worth of the FacFic universe with the original movies.
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Re: Star Wars Episode 7??

Postposted on Wed Nov 07, 2012 3:51 pm

scrotos wrote:Sorry, I'm not writing an analysis of a story; I'm looking for entertainment. For me, personally, I am entertained by passively consuming movies/video media. Other people are entertained by breaking them down. That's fine, I have no problem with that. You've interpreted the movie a certain way that I haven't. What's "plainly before us" is highly subjective and you shouldn't assume that what you see or how you interpret something is 1) obvious and 2) how other people see things.


You didn't say that you didn't see it, you said you weren't sure if it was there.

It is there. In spades.

scrotos wrote:As for the commentary, why shouldn't they also talk about their thoughts and motivations? Whedon and the other guy did talk about their inspirations and script writing process and that type of stuff, it's just that I don't recall them talking about the theme you picked out. When I watched Prometheus and listed to Ridley Scott's rambling commentary, he would pick apart certain scenes and talk about how he approached them, why he made certain choices, what theme he was trying to get across, stuff like that. Watching some of the deleted or alternate scenes and then rewatching them with the commentary was likewise interesting to see what they cut from the story, how it altered the story, and why they made those choices. In addition, many movies are now made with a "making of" crew documenting things as well or dedicated featurettes that examine various aspects of the movie in detail including the story and directing.


I'm not saying they can't, I'm saying they didn't and that filmmakers rarely do. A commentary isn't a lexicon to the movie, and it's unfair and rather silly to expect it to be.

scrotos wrote:'m not trying to be condescending with explaining this. You seem to dismiss the commentary which makes me think that perhaps you caught one or two bad ones and now avoid them with intense cynicism. I find that some are quite interesting. For example, the original cut of Daredevil made it into an excellent movie before the producers forced changes to make it appeal to a larger audience. It was interesting to hear the director/writer explain how a good movie was turned absolutely mediocre by the people fronting the money. Those who are very passionate about their craft and project aren't worn out after the movie and welcome a chance to expound on things they weren't able to get through properly in the movie for one reason or another.


My problem is that you seem to treat the commentary as some sort of lexicon to the movie, which it isn't.

scrotos wrote:I'm not trying to be condescending with explaining this. You seem to dismiss the commentary which makes me think that perhaps you caught one or two bad ones and now avoid them with intense cynicism. I find that some are quite interesting. For example, the original cut of Daredevil made it into an excellent movie before the producers forced changes to make it appeal to a larger audience. It was interesting to hear the director/writer explain how a good movie was turned absolutely mediocre by the people fronting the money. Those who are very passionate about their craft and project aren't worn out after the movie and welcome a chance to expound on things they weren't able to get through properly in the movie for one reason or another.


Ok, so they COULD, and others DID. What relevance does this have to your apparent idea that because they didn't in this case it wasn't there?

Just because they were more interested in talking about Fran Kranz's weed apparatus at the time of the commentary doesn't mean that the movie doesn't have a very clear message.

scrotos wrote:Her influence on Lucas or her skill as a film editor?


Both.

scrotos wrote:I'm thinking that the writing/directing was bad enough that even the greatest film editor would have had problems turning those into movies that stood the test of time.


The writing process for the original movies was completely different than the writing process for the prequels. As you even noted, he didn't even really write the last two movies of the original trilogy. Beyond just that, a lot of people had their input on the first movie. You can read his original scripts and ideas online, google "Journal of the Whills" and you can see Lucas obviously had a lot of help and direction.

By the time of the prequels Lucas just locked himself in skywalker ranch and hammered the things out by himself. And it shows.

What I am saying is that the writing/directing/editing probably wouldn't have been as bad had other people, like Marcia Lucas, still been involved.

Whatever Lucas is or was, he is not an island. No man is.

Too bad he tried to be one anyway.
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Re: Star Wars Episode 7??

Postposted on Thu Nov 08, 2012 10:28 am

Look, last thing I'll say about Cabin in the Woods: It isn't Finnegans Wake so please stop treating it like it is. It's just a movie. For a third time, I don't analyze this stuff for entertainment purposes so you don't need to justify your enjoyment of doing so, it's ok! I never said that because the commentary didn't mention it, your opinion was incorrect, I was just musing that it didn't seem to be a theme they were pushing.

If a co-writer and/or director of the material isn't an authoritative source on that very same material, I don't know what is. Certainly not a random viewer of said material. Also, I think you're misusing "lexicon" to be authoritative source rather than the actual meaning which I don't see applying how you seem to want to use it. Or at least, your use of that word confused me.

------------------

The main feeling I have when I look back on the prequels is sadness. They could have, should have, been great. But like you say, the originals were more of team efforts and, I dunno, maybe hubris caused him to do it himself to prove himself to everyone. Who knows. I just have hope for the 7th rather than resignation when I was waiting for the 2nd and 3rd to be done and over with.
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Re: Star Wars Episode 7??

Postposted on Thu Nov 08, 2012 12:36 pm

ludi wrote:
TurtlePerson2 wrote:I think people assume Whedon could do Star Wars because he did Serenity, which was also set in space. The gulf between these two properties is enormous. Serenity and Firefly have more in common with the Western genre than they do with Star Wars. I worry that Whedon directed Star Wars film would be too silly.

Nah, people assume he could do Star Wars because Star Wars was basically camp western plot lines set in space with an overarching good vs. evil theme running in the background (Serentiy, Firefly), requiring equal treatment of multiple primary characters with diverse backstories and motives (numerous Whedon projects), in which a rag-tag band of unwilling heroes ultimately unite for a showdown of the little guy versus the overwhelming odds (Serenity, Avengers) without taking themselves too seriously in the process (numerous Whedon projects).

I keep reading these posts by people who speak of the entire franchise as though it was Serious Business, and I assume they must be confusing 30 years worth of the FacFic universe with the original movies.


Which western themes would you say were in Star Wars? Obviously the series has visual similarities to the Western genre with the character Han Solo, but I would argue that the similarities end there. Western movies generally fall into a few different sub-genres with a couple of themes.

The first theme is the idea that technology ends the western way of life. This can be seen as either a good thing or a bad thing. Consequently many western films prominently feature railroads as a symbol of technological progress. Sometimes these railroads are seen as an unwelcome intrusion on the idyllic western life-style (Blazing Saddles, Jesse James movies, Once Upon a Time in the West, etc.) Other times the railroads are seen as a sign of progress. For example, in the classic Western "High Noon," the townsfolk explicitly mention that the train is a sign of progress. Obviously the death star is not a train as it doesn't show technological progress helping people or a lifestyle being slowly choked out by technological progress.

The second big Western sub-genre is the knight-errant adaptation. In medieval times there were stories about wandering knights who would enter a kingdom and save its people from oppression. There are a lot of examples of this (A Fistful of Dollars, The Magnificent Seven, etc.) Obviously this isn't similar to Star Wars as neither Han Solo nor Luke Skywalker are wandering heroes.

Star Wars is actually very similar to the historical epic genre. It has more in common with "Spartacus" or "Lawrence of Arabia" than with any Western film. The other big influence for the original Star Wars trilogy is obvious. The counter-culture movement was raging in the 1960s and its influence on Star Wars is undeniable. Episodes 1-3 were obviously influenced by historical epics. With the Galactic Republic paralleling Rome in some ways.

I'd also like to address your point about Firefly/Serenity being about good vs evil. I've only seen the complete Firefly series once and I've seen Serenity a couple of times, but I never got that impression. I would argue that it's actually about order vs freedom. Serenity made that pretty explicit I think. Star Wars on the other hand is clearly a good vs evil situation.
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Re: Star Wars Episode 7??

Postposted on Thu Nov 08, 2012 1:15 pm

Scrotos wrote:Look, last thing I'll say about Cabin in the Woods: It isn't Finnegans Wake so please stop treating it like it is. It's just a movie. For a third time, I don't analyze this stuff for entertainment purposes so you don't need to justify your enjoyment of doing so, it's ok! I never said that because the commentary didn't mention it, your opinion was incorrect, I was just musing that it didn't seem to be a theme they were pushing.


...Because they didn't talk about it in the commentary?

Scrotos wrote:If a co-writer and/or director of the material isn't an authoritative source on that very same material, I don't know what is. Certainly not a random viewer of said material. Also, I think you're misusing "lexicon" to be authoritative source rather than the actual meaning which I don't see applying how you seem to want to use it. Or at least, your use of that word confused me.


You know what, you've pissed me off enough that I used google:

http://www.joeutichi.com/profile/joss-whedon-interview/

Whedon Interview wrote:It was the 2009 remake of Friday the 13th that first set Whedon’s mind racing on what would become The Cabin in the Woods. “I did walk out, but I found it fascinating that the movie opens with a group of expendable teens, which Jason kills – not, by the way, very inventively – and then the movie starts, and an even more expendable group of teens shows up. It was as hateful as anything I’ve seen. There’s an element of this ‘torture porn’ promulgation that’s made me as angry as I can remember being.”


Whedon Interview wrote:He regrets having called it a “hate letter” to horror. In fact, he says, it’s a sonnet, to some of the genre’s best examples. “The joke of the whole thing is that this is the silliest movie I’ve ever made, and Drew and I just had an enormous amount of fun with it. The political message was very clear to both of us. It was just, ‘this is how we feel; this is a really fun way of expressing it; how can we figure in a unicorn?’”


Whedon Interview wrote:Whedon remembers outlining his premise to Lionsgate by ranting about the ills of the Saw franchise. It was only as he glanced around the room, at a wall full of Saw movie posters, that he realised they had produced the movies. “But you know, they’re not precious about it. They love horror, and if they didn’t they wouldn’t know how to market this film.”


Or you can read:

http://www.totalfilm.com/news/joss-whed ... -the-woods

Another Whedon Interview wrote:And on the things he hates about lame horror, Whedon said: “The things that I don’t like are kids acting like idiots, the devolution of the horror movie into torture porn and into a long series of sadistic comeuppances. Drew and I both felt that the pendulum had sung a little too far in that direction.



I never said ONCE that they weren't authoritative. I said, repeatedly, that just because they chose not to talk about it in the commentary doesn't mean it wasn't there.

If you can't understand the obvious difference between the two concepts no wonder you can't understand what I (and Whedon) are saying about the movie. :roll:
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Re: Star Wars Episode 7??

Postposted on Thu Nov 08, 2012 3:22 pm

TurtlePerson2 wrote:Which western themes would you say were in Star Wars? Obviously the series has visual similarities to the Western genre with the character Han Solo, but I would argue that the similarities end there. Western movies generally fall into a few different sub-genres with a couple of themes.

The first theme is the idea that technology ends the western way of life. This can be seen as either a good thing or a bad thing. Consequently many western films prominently feature railroads as a symbol of technological progress. Sometimes these railroads are seen as an unwelcome intrusion on the idyllic western life-style (Blazing Saddles, Jesse James movies, Once Upon a Time in the West, etc.) Other times the railroads are seen as a sign of progress. For example, in the classic Western "High Noon," the townsfolk explicitly mention that the train is a sign of progress. Obviously the death star is not a train as it doesn't show technological progress helping people or a lifestyle being slowly choked out by technological progress.

The second big Western sub-genre is the knight-errant adaptation. In medieval times there were stories about wandering knights who would enter a kingdom and save its people from oppression. There are a lot of examples of this (A Fistful of Dollars, The Magnificent Seven, etc.) Obviously this isn't similar to Star Wars as neither Han Solo nor Luke Skywalker are wandering heroes.

Star Wars is actually very similar to the historical epic genre. It has more in common with "Spartacus" or "Lawrence of Arabia" than with any Western film. The other big influence for the original Star Wars trilogy is obvious. The counter-culture movement was raging in the 1960s and its influence on Star Wars is undeniable. Episodes 1-3 were obviously influenced by historical epics. With the Galactic Republic paralleling Rome in some ways.

I'd also like to address your point about Firefly/Serenity being about good vs evil. I've only seen the complete Firefly series once and I've seen Serenity a couple of times, but I never got that impression. I would argue that it's actually about order vs freedom. Serenity made that pretty explicit I think. Star Wars on the other hand is clearly a good vs evil situation.


I always thought that Star Wars was more influenced by The Seven Samurai than westerns: http://www.tcm.com/this-month/article/1 ... murai.html

Indeed, the reference you made to The Magnificent Seven is pretty influenced by it as well.
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Re: Star Wars Episode 7??

Postposted on Thu Nov 08, 2012 3:25 pm

More like Joseph Campbell's hero's journey.
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Re: Star Wars Episode 7??

Postposted on Thu Nov 08, 2012 3:35 pm

Scrotos wrote:I always thought that Star Wars was more influenced by The Seven Samurai than westerns: http://www.tcm.com/this-month/article/1 ... murai.html

The article you linked begins with a dissertation on mutual influence and thematic similarities between samurai movies and westerns.
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Re: Star Wars Episode 7??

Postposted on Thu Nov 08, 2012 3:51 pm

ludi wrote:The article you linked begins with a dissertation on mutual influence and thematic similarities between samurai movies and westerns.


Well, Kurosawa loved westerns. So I'm not even really sure what Scrotos was trying to say, as Yojimbo and Seven Samurai were obviously influenced by westerns themselves.

For an "authoritative" statement:

Akira Kurosawa wrote:Good Westerns are liked by everyone. Since humans are weak, they want to see good people and great heroes. Westerns have been done over and over again, and in the process a kind of grammar has evolved. I have learned from this grammar of the Western.
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Re: Star Wars Episode 7??

Postposted on Thu Nov 08, 2012 3:51 pm

Ok, here's some of the highlights of our exchanges from my point of view:

Glorious wrote:So you don't think there is any message in how the manifestation of the elder-god was a human fist instead of a cthulhu-tentacle?

I like both of those movies, but Cabin in the Woods is doing and saying a lot more than either one of them. It may have less of the homage and comedy elements, but that's because they're trying to say something very specific.

My point is that the movie is very clearly saying that we, the audience, are the elder-gods of the movie.

I'm just "reading" it. We shouldn't need the help of others to understand what's plainly before us.

Scrotos wrote:Though I didn't see anything where the writers explicitly stated what they were doing with the ending or that kind of theme, that don't mean it wasn't there or isn't a valid interpretation.


Why would they have to, and where would they do so? The entire movie implicitly speaks for them.

I'm not saying they can't, I'm saying they didn't and that filmmakers rarely do. A commentary isn't a lexicon to the movie, and it's unfair and rather silly to expect it to be.

My problem is that you seem to treat the commentary as some sort of lexicon to the movie, which it isn't.

I never said ONCE that they weren't authoritative. I said, repeatedly, that just because they chose not to talk about it in the commentary doesn't mean it wasn't there.


You never bothered to clarify how you were using "lexicon" and if I were interpreting you incorrectly. For the record:

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/lexicon

1. a wordbook or dictionary, especially of Greek, Latin, or hebrew.
2. the vocabulary of a particular language, field, social class, person, etc.
3. inventory or record: unparalleled in the lexicon of human relations.
4. Linguistics a.) the total inventory of morphemes in a given language. b.) the inventory of base morphemes plus their combinations with derivational morphemes.

A commentary isn't a dictionary to the movie? A commentary isn't a vocabulary to the movie? A commentary isn't an inventory of a movie? A commentary isn't... no, I am just not understanding what you're talking about if my assumption is incorrect.

I'd also like to point out that none of your interview examples are talking about the audience of the movie being the elder-god. I don't make the jump that because it's a humanoid fist at the end, that's the completely obvious conclusion.

I apologized for misunderstanding what you were saying in regards to cthulu. I tried to explain how I consume media and that you shouldn't make assumptions about what's "obvious." I even tried to apologize if you took offense that I didn't agree with your OPINION. But your nerdrage knew no bounds. Whatever bit of crazy you decided to go off on could not be quenched by such simple entreaties.

What I've previously written is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever seen. At no point in my rambling, incoherent responses was I even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this thread is now dumber for having read it. I should be awarded no points, and may God have mercy on my soul.

So, I offer you this: You have won. I accede to your opinion and I agree that not only were the themes that you pointed out obvious, but that I am a moron for not realizing it sooner. I also am sorry for using the movie commentary as a lexicon (?!?) when it most assuredly is not. I also recognize that the interview quotes you pulled up completely and totally support your notion that the movie was very deep and totally about the audience as being gods.
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Re: Star Wars Episode 7??

Postposted on Thu Nov 08, 2012 4:01 pm

Glorious wrote:
ludi wrote:The article you linked begins with a dissertation on mutual influence and thematic similarities between samurai movies and westerns.


Well, Kurosawa loved westerns. So I'm not even really sure what Scrotos was trying to say, as Yojimbe and Seven Samurai were obviously influenced by westerns themselves.

For an "authoritative" statement:

Akira Kurosawa wrote:Good Westerns are liked by everyone. Since humans are weak, they want to see good people and great heroes. Westerns have been done over and over again, and in the process a kind of grammar has evolved. I have learned from this grammar of the Western.


Yeah, but as far as Star Wars being similar to a western, I thought the primary influence from Lucas was actually Seven Samurai. Yes, there was trading back and forth of influence, but you got Star Wars and Magnificent Seven as both closely modeled after Seven Samurai and the whole rag-tag group versus overwhelming odds thing. Just sayin', I don't see Star Wars as primarily a space western.

And while the article does talk about the influence going both ways, it then goes on about specific westerns and other movies that were directly influenced by Seven Samurai and then gives Star Wars as not only an example, but lists some specific bits in the movie as well besides the thematic stuff. Heck, weren't the first sketches of Darth Vader based on samurai armor? That doesn't scream "western influence" to me.

Don't take my word for it: http://www.moongadget.com/origins/kurosawa.html

Star Wars borrows a lot of great stuff from Yojimbo, including the cantina scene: several men threaten the hero, bragging how wanted they are by authorities. There's a flash of blade and suddenly an arm lies on the ground. Mifune is offered "25 ryo now, 25 when you complete the mission." (A ryo is a gold coin.) Jeremy Bulloch, the actor who played Boba Fett, said the character was based on Clint Eastwood's version of The Man With No Name. You can hear a little cowboy-spur jingle when Fett enters the dining room in The Empire Strikes Back, soft and subtle enough that it's probably meant to trigger our emotional association with the character without our conscious awareness.

Lucas' affection and admiration for Kurosawa may have influenced his decision to visit Japan sometime in the late 1960s, when he scouted for a potential location to shoot his first feature film, THX 1138 (released 1971). Lucas borrowed the name "Jedi" from "Jidai Geki" (literally "period dramas", movies about samurai). He may have found additional inspiration in Leiji Matsumoto's Uchu Senkan Yamato ("Star Blazers", 1974) and movies by Ishirô Honda (the inventor of Godzilla), in particular Uchu daisenso ("Battle in Outer Space," 1959). Webmaster L. Mangue's Reverse References essay makes a convincing argument that Kairyu daikessen ("The Magic Serpent," 1966) is among the strongest influences on the basic story of Star Wars; A New Hope.


And something for Ned's reference: http://www.moongadget.com/origins/myth.html

:D
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Re: Star Wars Episode 7??

Postposted on Thu Nov 08, 2012 4:12 pm

scrotos wrote:You never bothered to clarify how you were using "lexicon" and if I were interpreting you incorrectly. For the record:


What I am saying is abundantly clear from context even if you don't understand my usage of the word "lexicon."

You just decided to get in pedantic pissing match with me because I had the audacity to disagree with you and say that the movie was intentionally a subversion and serious commentary on the genre.

I still have no idea why. I've already supplied two different interviewers from the creator that back up my statement in full. You don't call your movie a "hate letter to horror" if you aren't trying to express some pretty strong views about that genre.

You evidently think if it isn't in the commentary, it doesn't exist. That's asinine.

scrotos wrote:A commentary isn't a dictionary to the movie? A commentary isn't a vocabulary to the movie? A commentary isn't an inventory of a movie? A commentary isn't... no, I am just not understanding what you're talking about if my assumption is incorrect.


Reference definition #2, I am saying that the commentary is not the complete symbolic vocabulary to the movie. If you don't understand what I am saying, fine. I'm not your teacher.

scrotos wrote:I'd also like to point out that none of your interview examples are talking about the audience of the movie being the elder-god. I don't make the jump that because it's a humanoid fist at the end, that's the completely obvious conclusion.


I'd like to point that despite how you say you're bowing out of this discussion, that I've "won", you'll end your entreaties, etc... You still can't stop getting these meaningless pedantic digs in.

I never said that humanoid fist is the only clue, or even all that important. I simply asked you why you thought they did that as a colorful illustration. What I am saying about the movie is evident throughout the entire film, and I've told you that several times.

scrotos wrote:I even tried to apologize if you took offense that I didn't agree with your OPINION.


Dude, I responded to Ludi, very politely saying that I did think that Cabin in the Woods was serious commentary.

You said: "I'm not sure it was all about subverting anything or even being serious commentary."

Then, when I asked my simple question about the human fist, you decided to go UBER-PEDANTIC ULTRA-ASD mode on what I said.

Don't do that unless you actually know what you are doing.
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Re: Star Wars Episode 7??

Postposted on Thu Nov 08, 2012 4:17 pm

Scrotos wrote:Yeah, but as far as Star Wars being similar to a western, I thought the primary influence from Lucas was actually Seven Samurai. Yes, there was trading back and forth of influence, but you got Star Wars and Magnificent Seven as both closely modeled after Seven Samurai and the whole rag-tag group versus overwhelming odds thing. Just sayin', I don't see Star Wars as primarily a space western.


But what I am saying, and what I think ludi is saying as well, is that the Seven Samurai and Yojimbo were both very clearly influenced by westerns themselves.

Thus, saying...

Scrotos wrote:I always thought that Star Wars was more influenced by The Seven Samurai than westerns


...doesn't make a whole lot of sense.

AND, for heaven's sake, your citation even says: "Jeremy Bulloch, the actor who played Boba Fett, said the character was based on Clint Eastwood's version of The Man With No Name."
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Re: Star Wars Episode 7??

Postposted on Sat Nov 10, 2012 1:36 pm

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Re: Star Wars Episode 7??

Postposted on Sat Nov 10, 2012 5:11 pm

.
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Re: Star Wars Episode 7??

Postposted on Sun Nov 11, 2012 11:06 pm

The originals were on the whole better than the prequels although Revenge was decent enough. Yes the thematic timeline needs to go darker into the broader expanded universe to complete the archetypal circle. We've got Thrawn, the Yuuzhan Vong, and New Jedi children to flesh out, and the storytelling would benefit from adult wisdom and guidance. Well, just a little :)

For director, I am going to risk the flames and suggest that Christopher Nolan may not be up to the task. A speculative genre like SF, in particular near-fantasy space opera, does not lend itself readily to a zeitgeist or noir POV which is his genius. The ones which worked such as Dark City (Proyas) were "grounded" on near-earthly themes, and Star Wars is as far out and spacey as it gets. Someone with a wide dynamic range in talent and track record (sorry not Tim Burton) and with an ear to match his sight (nope not Rob Marshall), and who also knows how to energetically portray a huge and disparate cast both both intimately and at scale within a highly musical and mythical epic (sorry about Abrams - he's Trek).

I am thinking of balanced yet ground-breaking directors like Wolfgang Petersen. Or (gasp) Joel Schumacher - but only if he can show he can do authentic opera in space as well as on earth. Joss Whedon would make a decent fallback for he is great at story and visuals and has the right SF schtick. But like Ron Howard (Apollo 13), Mike Newell (Potter 4), and Jon Favreau (Iron Man), Whedon is a question mark when it comes to skill in integrating an all-important score. If we want only the richest possible exceptional experience then only the fully exceptional will do.
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