The Random Thoughts Thread

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topherH
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by topherH » Tue Aug 18, 2020 2:03 pm

I guess the last four episodes of Clone Wars > Episode III

Maybe.
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Oxnard Montalvo » Tue Aug 18, 2020 3:45 pm

since someone brought up Star Wars, some friends and I have been ranking the 11 Star Wars movies to try and get a consensus out of it. if anybody here has seen all 11 SW movies, I ask that you please give me your ranking so that I may add on to our lists. thanks!

here is the consensus so far
ESB - 9pts
ANH - 14pts
TLJ - 18pts
RO - 28pts
RotJ - 30pts
Solo - 38pts
TPM, TFA - 45pts
RotS – 49pts
AotC – 57pts
RoS - 63pts

movie ranked first gets one point, movie ranked second gets two points, so on and so on
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by topherH » Tue Aug 18, 2020 4:11 pm

Empire Strikes Back
A New Hope
Return of the Jedi
Rogue One
Revenge of the Sith
The Last Jedi
Force Awakens
Solo
Phantom Menace
Rise of Skywalker
Attack of the Clones
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Rock » Tue Aug 18, 2020 4:51 pm

IV
V
VI
Rogue One
Solo
III
VII
I
IX
VIII
II
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Captain Terror
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Captain Terror » Tue Aug 18, 2020 5:02 pm

Rock wrote:
Tue Aug 18, 2020 4:51 pm
IV
V
This is the correct order.
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by The Nameless Two » Tue Aug 18, 2020 5:04 pm

I haven't seen Solo or The Rising Skywalkers or whatever but

Empire Strikes Back
A New Hope
Force Awakens
Return of the Jedi
Phantom Menace
Revenge of the Sith
Attack of the Clones
Rogue One
The Last Jedi

Basically, what I'm trying to say is... The Last Jedi stinks!
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by DaMU » Tue Aug 18, 2020 5:19 pm

A Newish Hope
The Empire Strikes Out
The Fast Jedi
Rerun of the Jedi
Revenge of Exactly One Sith
The Force Is Groggy
Rogue One or How I "Fixed" a Plot Hole and Missed the Whole Damn Point
The Spooky Menace
Solo and Friends!
Defense of the Clones
♪ I See a Skywalker Risin' ♪
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Oxnard Montalvo » Tue Aug 18, 2020 6:33 pm

The Nameless Two wrote:
Tue Aug 18, 2020 5:04 pm
I haven't seen Solo or The Rising Skywalkers or whatever but

Empire Strikes Back
A New Hope
Force Awakens
Return of the Jedi
Phantom Menace
Revenge of the Sith
Attack of the Clones
Rogue One
The Last Jedi

Basically, what I'm trying to say is... The Last Jedi stinks!
I can't include you in our consensus unless you've seen all 11, apologies. but Solo and RoS were my no. 11 and no. 10 respectively so maybe you're better off.

my rankings were
1. Star Wars - earnest, intentionally puerile counter-programming to the pessimism and iconoclasm of Lucas’s peers. could have failed in hundreds of different ways but didn’t. expertly draws from an eclectic mix of pop culture to construct its own fictional universe, every throwaway detail hinting at a wider world and grander narrative. though imo this is more effective the more it remains suggestive. it is hard to retain that mystique when new entries into the SW franchise feel compelled to over-explain every inch of it. probably one reason why I never got into the EU, let alone the infamous prequel movies.

2. The Empire Strikes Back – probably spoiled us by allowing the franchise to “grow up” only to return to kid-friendly hijinks in the next one. a finely crafted piece of pop cinema, literally no one dislikes this movie.

3. Return of the Jedi – admittedly benefits from nostalgia. could have aimed for something more poignant (every moment of uncertainty from the last movie is resolved without much fuss) but still hits the spot for me. even if it didn’t, Mom decided to name our dog Wicket so I have no choice now but to embrace it, flaws and all. Lucas wanted Star Wars to be for kids and the fact that everything resolves in an unambiguously cheerful manner speaks to that. plus all the toy-worthy sequences. I do miss collecting the toys.

4. The Last Jedi – made me wish Rian Johnson had more movies to make his own Star Wars. I don’t love it (won’t elaborate cuz there is so much TLJ discourse already) but the people who rank this above Return of the Jedi probably have a stronger case to argue let’s be honest. Rey and Kylo fight scene was kinda sexy ngl.

5. Rogue One – it was okay.

6. The Phantom Menace – suckass movie but gets points for getting released when I was at the carefree age of 8 years old (back when Fukuyama believed the end of history was upon us) and for not having so many green-screen sets. plus you get a sense of Lucas enjoying his toys, before knowing how much his fanbase was going to hate him.

7. Revenge of the Sith – I don’t care how many good ideas this movie had, it absolutely feels like it was directed by a rich, bored man sitting in his chair. gets points for sounding good on paper except for the fact that I don’t need to know how Darth Vader came to be. could have at least made for a interesting story of (to quote Rian) "how entitlement and fear of loss turns good people into fascists" if it weren't for Lucas's absolute dogshit storytelling abilities. if you don't want to write credible human beings or direct actors, you probably shouldn't be making these kinds of movies.

8. The Force Awakens – one of my friends has this phrase that I absolutely hate her for which is, “TFA was a big group therapy session for Star Wars fans”. and you know, maybe (maybe!) rebooting back to (and I can’t stress the next word enough) familiar territory would be an okay thing to do IF you plan on going somewhere interesting beyond that. IF you have some new ideas for the next step. having now seen The Rise of Skywalker, I can say with confidence that isn’t what happened. sure, it was a pleasant movie the first time I saw it. JJ’s most noteworthy quality as a filmmaker might be his eagerness to please the audience in the moment. and if you are looking for a director to helm a mainstream franchise, it isn’t the worst quality to have. but once the novelty fades… well…… maybe this wasn’t JJ’s fault since the suits just needed something out fast and on-time and unlikely to cause much consternation so as to capitalize on the Lucasfilm sale asap. and JJ just does what JJ does best which is please the suits (and the audience (in the moment)). the folly of building a multi-part series around release dates.

9. Attack of the Clones – Citizen Kane for incels

10. The Rise of Skywalker – borderline fascinating in its vulgarity and cynicism. rarely have I seen a movie with so much contempt for its audience released on such a wide scale. simply breathtaking.

11. Young Han Solo – fails to justify its own existence. inconsequential enough to be forgotten. one of my friend’s insistence that “this was a movie for the fans” might be the most damning critique of all.
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by The Nameless Two » Tue Aug 18, 2020 7:56 pm

Oxnard Montalvo wrote:
Tue Aug 18, 2020 6:33 pm
I can't include you in our consensus unless you've seen all 11, apologies. but Solo and RoS were my no. 11 and no. 10 respectively so maybe you're better off.

my rankings were
1. Star Wars - earnest, intentionally puerile counter-programming to the pessimism and iconoclasm of Lucas’s peers. could have failed in hundreds of different ways but didn’t. expertly draws from an eclectic mix of pop culture to construct its own fictional universe, every throwaway detail hinting at a wider world and grander narrative. though imo this is more effective the more it remains suggestive. it is hard to retain that mystique when new entries into the SW franchise feel compelled to over-explain every inch of it. probably one reason why I never got into the EU, let alone the infamous prequel movies.

2. The Empire Strikes Back – probably spoiled us by allowing the franchise to “grow up” only to return to kid-friendly hijinks in the next one. a finely crafted piece of pop cinema, literally no one dislikes this movie.

3. Return of the Jedi – admittedly benefits from nostalgia. could have aimed for something more poignant (every moment of uncertainty from the last movie is resolved without much fuss) but still hits the spot for me. even if it didn’t, Mom decided to name our dog Wicket so I have no choice now but to embrace it, flaws and all. Lucas wanted Star Wars to be for kids and the fact that everything resolves in an unambiguously cheerful manner speaks to that. plus all the toy-worthy sequences. I do miss collecting the toys.

4. The Last Jedi – made me wish Rian Johnson had more movies to make his own Star Wars. I don’t love it (won’t elaborate cuz there is so much TLJ discourse already) but the people who rank this above Return of the Jedi probably have a stronger case to argue let’s be honest. Rey and Kylo fight scene was kinda sexy ngl.

5. Rogue One – it was okay.

6. The Phantom Menace – suckass movie but gets points for getting released when I was at the carefree age of 8 years old (back when Fukuyama believed the end of history was upon us) and for not having so many green-screen sets. plus you get a sense of Lucas enjoying his toys, before knowing how much his fanbase was going to hate him.

7. Revenge of the Sith – I don’t care how many good ideas this movie had, it absolutely feels like it was directed by a rich, bored man sitting in his chair. gets points for sounding good on paper except for the fact that I don’t need to know how Darth Vader came to be. could have at least made for a interesting story of (to quote Rian) "how entitlement and fear of loss turns good people into fascists" if it weren't for Lucas's absolute dogshit storytelling abilities. if you don't want to write credible human beings or direct actors, you probably shouldn't be making these kinds of movies.

8. The Force Awakens – one of my friends has this phrase that I absolutely hate her for which is, “TFA was a big group therapy session for Star Wars fans”. and you know, maybe (maybe!) rebooting back to (and I can’t stress the next word enough) familiar territory would be an okay thing to do IF you plan on going somewhere interesting beyond that. IF you have some new ideas for the next step. having now seen The Rise of Skywalker, I can say with confidence that isn’t what happened. sure, it was a pleasant movie the first time I saw it. JJ’s most noteworthy quality as a filmmaker might be his eagerness to please the audience in the moment. and if you are looking for a director to helm a mainstream franchise, it isn’t the worst quality to have. but once the novelty fades… well…… maybe this wasn’t JJ’s fault since the suits just needed something out fast and on-time and unlikely to cause much consternation so as to capitalize on the Lucasfilm sale asap. and JJ just does what JJ does best which is please the suits (and the audience (in the moment)). the folly of building a multi-part series around release dates.

9. Attack of the Clones – Citizen Kane for incels

10. The Rise of Skywalker – borderline fascinating in its vulgarity and cynicism. rarely have I seen a movie with so much contempt for its audience released on such a wide scale. simply breathtaking.

11. Young Han Solo – fails to justify its own existence. inconsequential enough to be forgotten. one of my friend’s insistence that “this was a movie for the fans” might be the most damning critique of all.
All good, I just wanted to make it clear that I think The Last Jedi totally bowls
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Jinnistan » Tue Aug 18, 2020 8:34 pm

1. Star Wars - obviously the only Star War film that works as an actual film.

2. Empire - the only Star War sequel that works as a legitimate sequel

3. Return - the first truly fan service film, if we're being honest, where it felt like the toys were taking over the plot, but I feel obligated to elevate it for its Freudian closure.

4. Rogue - the closest to being a great stand-alone Star War, and reeks of studio meddling to both soften its scruffiness and lessen its independence.
DaMU wrote:
Tue Aug 18, 2020 5:19 pm
Rogue One or How I "Fixed" a Plot Hole and Missed the Whole Damn Point
I swear that without this irritating detail it may compete for #3.

5-11. Who cares, really? *bill murray sweep of slate*
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Melvin Butterworth » Tue Aug 18, 2020 9:18 pm

Jinnistan wrote:
Tue Aug 18, 2020 8:34 pm
1. Star Wars - obviously the only Star War film that works as an actual film.

2. Empire - the only Star War sequel that works as a legitimate sequel

3. Return - the first truly fan service film, if we're being honest, where it felt like the toys were taking over the plot, but I feel obligated to elevate it for its Freudian closure.

4. Rogue - the closest to being a great stand-alone Star War, and reeks of studio meddling to both soften its scruffiness and lessen its independence.
Well, this sounds about right.
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by DaMU » Tue Aug 18, 2020 10:15 pm

The Nameless Two wrote:
Tue Aug 18, 2020 7:56 pm
All good, I just wanted to make it clear that I think The Last Jedi totally bowls
Bowls a strike, it does!
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by DaMU » Tue Aug 18, 2020 10:20 pm

Anyway, I think it works against the series that it became a sort of cinematic uber-myth and the Saga Against Which Others... etc. ; at this point, I try to view the films as a shaggy creative baton-race of swashbuckler pastiche that revisits core themes and ideas from different times and angles.
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Charles » Tue Aug 18, 2020 11:19 pm

I can't believe people actually kept giving a shit about Star Wars after Disney literally said they were going to make a Star Wars movie per year for as long as they could. It's pretty much the most overt admission of a shameless, soulless cash in there ever was, and people still watch that drivel. I appreciate the original trilogy for actually having that grand, epic feeling evoked in the best posters of the 50s and 60s. I also appreciate the following trilogy, if not for their craftsmanship, for having some of the strongest plot points and driving ideas in almost any big movie franchise ever.

What is the Disney saga even about though? Why watch it aside from the name and all the stuff they copied from the Lucas movies? I've seen the one with the pointless casino scenes, and it's pretty obvious that these movies have not been written by passionnate people. These aren't stories that ever lived in anybody's heart. It's Disney seeing estimating that the red number would probably be smaller than the green number, and signing that document.

I would rate the spirit of the prequels over the original trilogies, but each individual movie of the original trilogy above all the prequels, and the prequels over the middle movie (I think?) of the Disney trilogy. Haven't seen the other two.
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Melvin Butterworth » Wed Aug 19, 2020 3:12 am

Charles wrote:
Tue Aug 18, 2020 11:19 pm
What is the Disney saga even about though? Why watch it aside from the name and all the stuff they copied from the Lucas movies? I've seen the one with the pointless casino scenes, and it's pretty obvious that these movies have not been written by passionnate people.
I think the Casino scene does reflect passion, a passion for social messaging at the expense of story-telling. We meet the evil 1% selling weapons to both sides (sorry Mattel, they're on to you!). Albert Maltz once penned a piece warning his communist cohorts that putting moral over story would ruin the story and lessen the effect of the moral (for which he was savagely "disciplined" by his comrades) writing,
Most writers on the Left have been confused. "The conflict of conscience," resulting in wasted writing or bad art, has been induced in the writer by the intellectual
atmosphere of the left wing. The errors of individual writers or critics largely flow from a central source, I believe. That source is the vulgarization of the theory of art which lies behind left-wing thinking: namely, "art is a weapon."

. . .

The total concept, "art is a weapon," has been viewed as though it consisted of only one word: "weapon." The nature of art—how art may best be a weapon, and how it may not be, has been slurred over. I have come to believe that the accepted understanding of art as a weapon is not a useful guide, but a strait jacket.
https://blog.bestamericanpoetry.com/the ... ehman.html

Razorfist covers the incident in his video below.



Why do we take that that half-hour detour to Casino Planet? Passion. Passion for moral over story. This is why "woke" cinema typically sucks. It's in the same straight jacket in which Godsploitation movies are trapped. You can't start any "blasphemous rumours" when you're trying to bring people to Jesus, so Godsquad movies are predictably rigid, orthodox, and flat. Ditto for anti-capitalist, gender-thumping, equity-hawking artists. The story winds up as the snail crawling along the edge of an ideological straight razor. The hackery. The hackery.
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Ergill » Wed Aug 19, 2020 4:27 am

Melvin Butterworth wrote:
Wed Aug 19, 2020 3:12 am
I think the Casino scene does reflect passion, a passion for social messaging at the expense of story-telling. We meet the evil 1% selling weapons to both sides (sorry Mattel, they're on to you!). Albert Maltz once penned a piece warning his communist cohorts that putting moral over story would ruin the story and lessen the effect of the moral (for which he was savagely "disciplined" by his comrades) writing,



https://blog.bestamericanpoetry.com/the ... ehman.html

Razorfist covers the incident in his video below.



Why do we take that that half-hour detour to Casino Planet? Passion. Passion for moral over story. This is why "woke" cinema typically sucks. It's in the same straight jacket in which Godsploitation movies are trapped. You can't start any "blasphemous rumours" when you're trying to bring people to Jesus, so Godsquad movies are predictably rigid, orthodox, and flat. Ditto for anti-capitalist, gender-thumping, equity-hawking artists. The story winds up as the snail crawling along the edge of an ideological straight razor. The hackery. The hackery.
I agree. God is terrible.
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by DaMU » Wed Aug 19, 2020 4:36 am

Yeah, gotta be honest, been observing things for a while, and this God fella seems to be winging it.
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Ergill » Wed Aug 19, 2020 4:41 am

DaMU wrote:
Wed Aug 19, 2020 4:36 am
Yeah, gotta be honest, been observing things for a while, and this God fella seems to be winging it.
Season 1 was interesting if a little rough (and everyone's hair and clothes are somewhat outdated). Really lost its stride at season 295.
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Jinnistan » Wed Aug 19, 2020 5:01 am

Does this make JJ Abrams the Milton we deserve?

Is Bong Joon-Ho the Boccaccio we need?
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by DaMU » Wed Aug 19, 2020 5:06 am

Ergill wrote:
Wed Aug 19, 2020 4:41 am
Season 1 was interesting if a little rough (and everyone's hair and clothes are somewhat outdated). Really lost its stride at season 295.
:up:

It might be time to bring that old style back. Circularity! Setup and payoff. That's narrative, baby. (puffs cigar)
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Oxnard Montalvo » Wed Aug 19, 2020 7:11 am

Charles wrote:
Tue Aug 18, 2020 11:19 pm
I can't believe people actually kept giving a shit about Star Wars after Disney literally said they were going to make a Star Wars movie per year for as long as they could. It's pretty much the most overt admission of a shameless, soulless cash in there ever was, and people still watch that drivel. I appreciate the original trilogy for actually having that grand, epic feeling evoked in the best posters of the 50s and 60s. I also appreciate the following trilogy, if not for their craftsmanship, for having some of the strongest plot points and driving ideas in almost any big movie franchise ever.
the first three Star Warses were such a formative experience for my movie-fan self that I'll probably keep watching any new movie for curiosity's sake if nothing else. although I'd probably be a better person by not giving Disney my money.
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Thief » Wed Aug 19, 2020 1:12 pm

Main topic aside, I've never understood the criticism against the Canto Bight scenes in TLJ. I really have no issues with them, and I think they do advance the themes and plot of the film, as far as Finn, Rose, and the overall scope of the Force goes; at least as far as Rian Johnson intended.

FWIW, this is my rough ranking...

The Empire Strikes Back
Star Wars

Rogue One
The Last Jedi

Return of the Jedi
The Force Awakens

Revenge of the Sith
The Rise of Skywalker

The Phantom Menace
Solo

Attack of the Clones


I don't know if I'm willing to get into the whole Star Wars discussion, mostly because it's been already beating down to oblivion (not necessarily here, but all through the Internet) but if I were to point fingers, I would point to Disney's executives or whoever oversaw the whole sequel trilogy project. You can't do these kind of three-film project without establishing a general story consensus among the three directors that were supposed to be involved (JJ, Rian Johnson, Trevorrow). You can't pretend to give each of them the freedom to take the story wherever they want to, only to back out when they do precisely that, just because some people didn't like it. You can't have it both ways.
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Melvin Butterworth » Wed Aug 19, 2020 1:21 pm

Oxnard Montalvo wrote:
Wed Aug 19, 2020 7:11 am
the first three Star Warses were such a formative experience for my movie-fan self that I'll probably keep watching any new movie for curiosity's sake if nothing else. although I'd probably be a better person by not giving Disney my money.
My curiosity has been... ...satisfied.
Thief wrote: You can't do these kind of three-film project without establishing a general story consensus among the three directors that were supposed to be involved (JJ, Rian Johnson, Trevorrow). You can't pretend to give each of them the freedom to take the story wherever they want to, only to back out when they do precisely that, just because some people didn't like it. You can't have it both ways.
A paradoxical lesson. Give one person too much power over a collaborative medium and you may get the Prequels. Give a committee too much power and you may get Disney Wars. Of course, if the one person with a singular vision is a Spielberg or a Kubrick, you may do OK. Also, if you have the right committee contributing you may get the miracle that was the '77 film.

Is it all just a matter of luck? Is it simply a question of putting actual talent (multiple or singular) in charge? Or is there a legitimate "sweet spot" in a Goldilocks Zone of administration (not too many cooks, but not a tyrant either) that is statistically more conducive raising your odds of making a better film?
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Thief » Wed Aug 19, 2020 1:44 pm

Those are interesting questions that maybe I don't know the answer to. I would say that, as "bad" as the prequels were, at least they had thematical integrity and cohesiveness, in the midst of their own mess, which is something that the sequel trilogy lacks, at least between TLJ and ROTS.

I think the *only* thing that Disney, or whoever was in charge of the whole project, needed to do was to set a basic template: characters will start here and end here, and let the writers/directors fill in the blank. By not doing at least that, they set themselves up for the mess that happened, especially since they dumped Trevorrow, and got back to JJ for the last one.
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Oxnard Montalvo » Wed Aug 19, 2020 1:53 pm

Thief wrote:
Wed Aug 19, 2020 1:12 pm
I don't know if I'm willing to get into the whole Star Wars discussion, mostly because it's been already beating down to oblivion
that's okay, I just wanted your lists. and frankly the results I've gotten aren't very surprising.
ESB - 15pts
ANH - 20pts
TLJ - 41pts
RotJ - 45pts
RO - 46pts
Solo - 70pts
TFA - 71pts
RotS – 72pts
TPM – 79pts
AotC – 100pts
RoS - 101pts
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Thief » Wed Aug 19, 2020 1:58 pm

Oxnard Montalvo wrote:
Wed Aug 19, 2020 1:53 pm
that's okay, I just wanted your lists. and frankly the results I've gotten aren't very surprising.
ESB - 15pts
ANH - 20pts
TLJ - 41pts
RotJ - 45pts
RO - 46pts
Solo - 70pts
TFA - 71pts
RotS – 72pts
TPM – 79pts
AotC – 100pts
RoS - 101pts
Ahh, it's ok. You can see that I already jumped in full, LOL.
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Oxnard Montalvo » Wed Aug 19, 2020 2:07 pm

Thief wrote:
Wed Aug 19, 2020 1:58 pm
Ahh, it's ok. You can see that I already jumped in full, LOL.
I got friends who are always willing to talk about Star Wars for hours and hours. but they're also deeper into the fandom than I am (the books, video games, cartoon series, so forth). if there is any part of the "lore" I'm intensely interested in it's the behind the scenes stuff so if they ever publish a tell-all on the making of the Disney trilogy, I'd be all for it. I wanna know whose idea it was to bring back Palpatine. I assume he was in a glass box that said "Break in Case of Fan Backlash"
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Captain Terror » Wed Aug 19, 2020 2:24 pm

Oxnard Montalvo wrote:
Tue Aug 18, 2020 6:33 pm
1. Star Wars - earnest, intentionally puerile counter-programming to the pessimism and iconoclasm of Lucas’s peers. could have failed in hundreds of different ways but didn’t. expertly draws from an eclectic mix of pop culture to construct its own fictional universe, every throwaway detail hinting at a wider world and grander narrative. though imo this is more effective the more it remains suggestive. it is hard to retain that mystique when new entries into the SW franchise feel compelled to over-explain every inch of it. probably one reason why I never got into the EU, let alone the infamous prequel movies.
I've been composing and deleting replies to this for days, so I'll just keep it short and say that you nailed it. The Clone Wars were SO much cooler when I could imagine what they were like, as opposed to the "actual footage" that we were later shown.

A few years ago I entered a fantasy world where there is only one Star War movie, and I like it here.
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Charles » Wed Aug 19, 2020 2:49 pm

Just to be clear, I wasn't criticizing the Canto Blight scene in that movie; it's just the only one I remembered.

Oh, the hyperspace ram was absolute perfection though, so there's that.
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Thief » Wed Aug 19, 2020 3:07 pm

Charles wrote:
Wed Aug 19, 2020 2:49 pm
Just to be clear, I wasn't criticizing the Canto Blight scene in that movie; it's just the only one I remembered.

Oh, the hyperspace ram was absolute perfection though, so there's that.
In general, it seems to be the most polarizing sequence in an already polarizing film, with a lot of its detractors claiming it is pointless.
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Melvin Butterworth » Wed Aug 19, 2020 4:12 pm

Charles wrote:
Wed Aug 19, 2020 2:49 pm
Just to be clear, I wasn't criticizing the Canto Blight scene in that movie; it's just the only one I remembered.
Really? You said,
I've seen the one with the pointless casino scenes, and it's pretty obvious that these movies have not been written by passionnate people.
So, it was pointless and passionless, but these are not criticisms?
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Charles » Wed Aug 19, 2020 4:18 pm

I mean that people were focusing on that scene, but I only mentionned it to identify which one I was talking about. The overall movie, and the rest of the series from what I heard, doesn't feel like it had a point, without having to focus on that scene in particular.

It just sounds like they were throwing references to the previous series everywhere without having anywhere to go. The returning villain in the last movie being half explained by the opening crawl is a better indication of that. That saga was not planned.
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Melvin Butterworth » Wed Aug 19, 2020 4:32 pm

Charles wrote:
Wed Aug 19, 2020 4:18 pm
I mean that people were focusing on that scene, but I only mentionned it to identify which one I was talking about. The overall movie, and the rest of the series from what I heard, doesn't feel like it had a point, without having to focus on that scene in particular.

It just sounds like they were throwing references to the previous series everywhere without having anywhere to go. The returning villain in the last movie being half explained by the opening crawl is a better indication of that. That saga was not planned.
I could see what Johnson was after - he was being clever and subversive, but he was basically pissing all over the prior instalment and he didn't commit fully enough to his premise. The "burn it all down" idea is an interesting one. Rey and Kylo could've joined up and left the rebels and the empire behind. That would've have been a ballsy move.

At any rate, it's not so much that there wasn't a plan as there was a conflict of visions. If I were JJ Abrams, I would be pretty pissed at Johnson.
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by DaMU » Wed Aug 19, 2020 4:57 pm

Good reminder that I should watch The Last Jedi again since I finally got my new blu-ray player. :up:
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Thief » Wed Aug 19, 2020 6:25 pm

Melvin Butterworth wrote:
Wed Aug 19, 2020 4:32 pm
I could see what Johnson was after - he was being clever and subversive, but he was basically pissing all over the prior instalment and he didn't commit fully enough to his premise. The "burn it all down" idea is an interesting one. Rey and Kylo could've joined up and left the rebels and the empire behind. That would've have been a ballsy move.

At any rate, it's not so much that there wasn't a plan as there was a conflict of visions. If I were JJ Abrams, I would be pretty pissed at Johnson.
I rewatched both The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi the week before watching The Rise of Skywalker, and remember thinking they both worked pretty well together. Did Johnson took risks? Of course, he did; but he did it by building up on what JJ gave him on the first installment. As risky as some of his choices were, I never got the feeling he was "pissing all over" the previous film, specifically.

As for JJ being "pretty pissed at Johnson", maybe he is/was, but it would've been a moot point because he was never intended to finish the story. He could've stomped and pouted at whatever Johnson did, but then Trevorrow could've taken the story in a whole different direction, maybe "pissing all over *both* prior installments" and neither of them could've done anything. That would've been Disney's call, to give free reign to each director, and that would've been it. But by going back to the writer/director of the first film, it undoubtedly puts both JJ and Johnson in complicated positions. I mean, it's understandable that JJ would feel compelled to go back to the story he started and that he probably had in mind when he wrote/directed TFA, which is why I think they should've gone with another writer/director. I also would argue that a better writer would've/could've built upon what Johnson did to advance the story, instead of backtracking and messing up so many things, but I digress. By going back to JJ, the overall sequel trilogy feels fractured, with Johnson left alone like an "outcast". It was all poor choices from the top down.
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Melvin Butterworth » Wed Aug 19, 2020 7:26 pm

Thief wrote:
Wed Aug 19, 2020 6:25 pm
I rewatched both The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi the week before watching The Rise of Skywalker, and remember thinking they both worked pretty well together. Did Johnson took risks? Of course, he did; but he did it by building up on what JJ gave him on the first installment. As risky as some of his choices were, I never got the feeling he was "pissing all over" the previous film, specifically.

As for JJ being "pretty pissed at Johnson", maybe he is/was, but it would've been a moot point because he was never intended to finish the story. He could've stomped and pouted at whatever Johnson did, but then Trevorrow could've taken the story in a whole different direction, maybe "pissing all over *both* prior installments" and neither of them could've done anything. That would've been Disney's call, to give free reign to each director, and that would've been it. But by going back to the writer/director of the first film, it undoubtedly puts both JJ and Johnson in complicated positions. I mean, it's understandable that JJ would feel compelled to go back to the story he started and that he probably had in mind when he wrote/directed TFA, which is why I think they should've gone with another writer/director. I also would argue that a better writer would've/could've built upon what Johnson did to advance the story, instead of backtracking and messing up so many things, but I digress. By going back to JJ, the overall sequel trilogy feels fractured, with Johnson left alone like an "outcast". It was all poor choices from the top down.
I think the biggest knock on these movies is that they're just not very good. They're not just bad as Star Wars films. They're just not very good films.

I think that observation that the prequels at least had a story to tell (an arc covered by the three films) has something to it. The new films are a grab bag of nostalgia, preachy social messaging, and plots that don't really go anywhere.

There is no excuse for these films to be this bad. This is a franchise Disney spent billions to purchase and a story that has all the complexity of macaroni and cheese. Now the brand is damaged. The toys aren't selling any more. The tickets aren't selling. The Star Wars module at Disneyland was a dud before COVID hit. They really fucked things up. Johnson and JJ and Kathleen and the rest of the braintrust don't deserve a pass on this.
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Thief » Wed Aug 19, 2020 7:46 pm

DaMU wrote:
Tue Aug 18, 2020 5:19 pm
Rogue One or How I "Fixed" a Plot Hole and Missed the Whole Damn Point
Pardon my ignorance, but can you expand on this? I suppose you mean that...
...by emphasizing the alleged Death Star weakness, it minimizes the relevance of Luke's use of the Force in Star Wars by saying "any pilot with a good enough aim could've done it", right?
Just curious.
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Rock » Wed Aug 19, 2020 7:57 pm

Melvin Butterworth wrote:
Wed Aug 19, 2020 7:26 pm
I think the biggest knock on these movies is that they're just not very good. They're not just bad as Star Wars films. They're just not very good films.

I think that observation that the prequels at least had a story to tell (an arc covered by the three films) has something to it. The new films are a grab bag of nostalgia, preachy social messaging, and plots that don't really go anywhere.

There is no excuse for these films to be this bad. This is a franchise Disney spent billions to purchase and a story that has all the complexity of macaroni and cheese. Now the brand is damaged. The toys aren't selling any more. The tickets aren't selling. The Star Wars module at Disneyland was a dud before COVID hit. They really fucked things up. Johnson and JJ and Kathleen and the rest of the braintrust don't deserve a pass on this.
Tickets aren't selling? Didn't Rise of Skywalker make like a trillion dollars or something?
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by DaMU » Wed Aug 19, 2020 8:11 pm

Thief wrote:
Wed Aug 19, 2020 7:46 pm
Pardon my ignorance, but can you expand on this? I suppose you mean that...
...by emphasizing the alleged Death Star weakness, it minimizes the relevance of Luke's use of the Force in Star Wars by saying "any pilot with a good enough aim could've done it", right?
Just curious.
My issue is that the Death Star weakness was never a plot hole. It was a deliberate plot element that commented holistically on the shortsightedness of oversized imperial war machines. Trying to justify and recontextualize it as something more sabotagey implies that the creators thought this was an issue that needed addressing after decades of fans wondering "How did such a glaring weakness get past the Empire?" When the fact that this design flaw got past the Empire is in itself commentary. Like the old man says, they were planning for large-scale assaults and simply didn't pay attention to these crucial smaller details. They think in terms of large-scale assaults because they are fascist goons who only see power on their own terms.

The series continually comes back to this idea of fascist powers who don't realize how much they tether their powers to small exploitable weaknesses. A droid army dependent on a single ship to power all its robots. A second Death Star's shield generator built by carpenters ignorant of local indigenous tribes (that one was a big ol' whoopsie). A "dreadnaught" with surface cannons designed for capital ships instead of "a single light fighter!" You could argue this is all contrived video game writing (SLIPPY: "Target the flashing yellow thing to take down the whole ship!"), but the charitable interpretation is that these films view fascists as, on a certain level, close-minded to the blind spots that their mindset creates.
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by DaMU » Wed Aug 19, 2020 8:12 pm

Rock wrote:
Wed Aug 19, 2020 7:57 pm
Tickets aren't selling? Didn't Rise of Skywalker make like a trillion dollars or something?
It made a billion dollars. Underperformer but still profitable. *TFA*, *R1*, and *TLJ* were the biggest hits of their respective years. Meanwhile, *The Mandalorian* and *Clone Wars* are doing big numbers on Disney+. But yeah, the wars in stars are over or some such thing.
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Oxnard Montalvo » Wed Aug 19, 2020 8:15 pm

in this age of environmental catastrophe I'm not going to mourn a reduction in sales of plastic figures. (that was one of the reasons I stopped collecting)

I know Mandalorian has high viewership if that means anything.
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Captain Terror » Wed Aug 19, 2020 8:21 pm

DaMU wrote:
Wed Aug 19, 2020 8:11 pm
the creators thought this was an issue that needed addressing after decades of fans wondering "How did such a glaring weakness get past the Empire?"
Amen. I might add that if a weakness is only discovered after spies steal the plans and upload them into a droid for analysis, it can hardly be called "glaring". It's not like any schmo was gonna fly by and think "I bet I'd start a chain reaction if I fired a shot in that there hole." Not once in my 100+ viewings has the Death Star's weakness ever bothered me.
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Thief » Wed Aug 19, 2020 8:24 pm

DaMU wrote:
Wed Aug 19, 2020 8:11 pm
My issue is that the Death Star weakness was never a plot hole. It was a deliberate plot element that commented holistically on the shortsightedness of oversized imperial war machines. Trying to justify and recontextualize it as something more sabotagey implies that the creators thought this was an issue that needed addressing after decades of fans wondering "How did such a glaring weakness get past the Empire?" When the fact that this design flaw got past the Empire is in itself commentary. Like the old man says, they were planning for large-scale assaults and simply didn't pay attention to these crucial smaller details. They think in terms of large-scale assaults because they are fascist goons who only see power on their own terms.

The series continually comes back to this idea of fascist powers who don't realize how much they tether their powers to small exploitable weaknesses. A droid army dependent on a single ship to power all its robots. A second Death Star's shield generator built by carpenters ignorant of local indigenous tribes (that one was a big ol' whoopsie). A "dreadnaught" with surface cannons designed for capital ships instead of "a single light fighter!" You could argue this is all contrived video game writing (SLIPPY: "Target the flashing yellow thing to take down the whole ship!"), but the charitable interpretation is that these films view fascists as, on a certain level, close-minded to the blind spots that their mindset creates.
Thanks. Those are some very good points.
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by DaMU » Wed Aug 19, 2020 8:26 pm

Captain Terror wrote:
Wed Aug 19, 2020 8:21 pm
Amen. I might add that if a weakness is only discovered after spies steal the plans and upload them into a droid for analysis, it can hardly be called "glaring".
Good point! I didn't even think about that, that it takes considerable infiltration and analysis to even find that weakness. (It's not like the Empire put up a sign that said "PLEASE DON'T USE WEAPONS NEAR EXHAUST PORT."
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Stu » Thu Aug 20, 2020 2:46 am

Never saw Rise Of Skywalker owing to the weak reviews, but I did hear about its basic plot points, and given JJ's obsession with surface-level nostalgia & empty "mystery boxes" (aka the Chekhov's Gun that never ends up firing), it's about what I expected, and I think Patrick H. Willems put it the best in a couple of videos he made below about Star Wars/JJ:
"Everything he works on is driven by the "mystery box"; giving us questions we want answered, so we keep watching. It's a principle that the conclusion determines the main idea of the story, so if Abrams never writes an ending, and never tells us what's in the box, what are these stories actually saying? Who is JJ as a storyteller? And if we strip away the mystery boxes and lens flares, what is there underneath? The Abrams "mystery box" isn't the mysteries, it's the stories themselves; he doesn't know where they end, and he isn't interested in figuring that out. He's made a career out of beginning stories, then leaving them up to other people to conclude. He's one of his own protagonists stuck in Season 2; he hasn't quite figured out who he wants to be, or what he's trying to say."

"This is a movie with no new ideas; it's only about Star Wars. Every time it had to make a decision, it had the same answer; just do a thing we've seen before! If the audiences recognizes it, it's good enough! What JJ does throughout this entire movie is mistake nostalgia for storytelling; he thinks just because the audience has an existing emotional connection to a character, location, or image, then all you need is to just string a bunch of those together. But, if you strip away all the nostalgia coming from the audience, then you're left with a meaningless scene for the characters. What was originally exciting about Star Wars is the way that it combined so many influences; Westerns, samurai movies, pulp Sci-Fi adventure. Rise Of Skywalker's only influence is... other Star Warses. It's just recycling itself, turning into a human centipede, cloaked in Jedi robes. As we all know, George Lucas loves it when stories "rhyme", but, there's a difference between rhyming, and just repeating what we've already heard before. The defining image of the original film is Luke looking out on the two-sunned horizon, yearning to go out there and have new experiences and adventures. But, over the past couple of years, Star Wars has come to feel like if Luke had just stayed inside, and played with his toys the entire movie."
He really should just move to directing only, and leave the writing side of things to people with greater skill in that department.
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Melvin Butterworth » Thu Aug 20, 2020 8:19 am

Stu wrote:
Thu Aug 20, 2020 2:46 am
Never saw Rise Of Skywalker owing to the weak reviews, but I did hear about its basic plot points, and given JJ's obsession with surface-level nostalgia & empty "mystery boxes" (aka the Chekhov's Gun that never ends up firing), it's about what I expected, and I think Patrick H. Willems put it the best in a couple of videos he made below about Star Wars/JJ:
"Everything he works on is driven by the "mystery box"; giving us questions we want answered, so we keep watching. It's a principle that the conclusion determines the main idea of the story, so if Abrams never writes an ending, and never tells us what's in the box, what are these stories actually saying? Who is JJ as a storyteller? And if we strip away the mystery boxes and lens flares, what is there underneath? The Abrams "mystery box" isn't the mysteries, it's the stories themselves; he doesn't know where they end, and he isn't interested in figuring that out. He's made a career out of beginning stories, then leaving them up to other people to conclude. He's one of his own protagonists stuck in Season 2; he hasn't quite figured out who he wants to be, or what he's trying to say."

"This is a movie with no new ideas; it's only about Star Wars. Every time it had to make a decision, it had the same answer; just do a thing we've seen before! If the audiences recognizes it, it's good enough! What JJ does throughout this entire movie is mistake nostalgia for storytelling; he thinks just because the audience has an existing emotional connection to a character, location, or image, then all you need is to just string a bunch of those together. But, if you strip away all the nostalgia coming from the audience, then you're left with a meaningless scene for the characters. What was originally exciting about Star Wars is the way that it combined so many influences; Westerns, samurai movies, pulp Sci-Fi adventure. Rise Of Skywalker's only influence is... other Star Warses. It's just recycling itself, turning into a human centipede, cloaked in Jedi robes. As we all know, George Lucas loves it when stories "rhyme", but, there's a difference between rhyming, and just repeating what we've already heard before. The defining image of the original film is Luke looking out on the two-sunned horizon, yearning to go out there and have new experiences and adventures. But, over the past couple of years, Star Wars has come to feel like if Luke had just stayed inside, and played with his toys the entire movie.
He really should just move to directing only, and leave the writing side of things to people with greater skill in that department.
I remember watching his Mystery Box TED Talk and thinking that it expressed contempt for storytelling. "What's in the box? Who cares, it doesn't matter, just keep the seals clapping for fish." He really seems to buy his own B.S., like those people who both promote and believe "The Secret." JJ's TED was the hack playwright's Mein Kampf (i.e., he casually revealed his evil plan to rule the world in a conspicuous public disclosure). With Star Wars he just remade ANH and left some EZ-Mac mysteries for someone else to solve (e.g., who is Rey? where is Luke?). I didn't really like JJ's first SW film (another fucking Death Star?), but he did set the ball well-enough for someone else to spike it. And boy did Johnson spike it (Rey is no one, Snoke is smoked, Luke is a bitter old hopeless man drinkin' blue milk straight out the titty).

There is a theory of artistic production which is anti-plot, which sees "plot" as confining. Ronald D. Moore's Battlstar Galactica veered all over the place, because RDM liked rolling with ideas that sounded cool.
If what Ronald D. Moore says on the podcast commentary for "Kobol's Last Gleaming Part 1" is to be believed, how he originally wanted it to end was for Baltar to go down a long dark tunnel in the ruins on Kobol, at the end of which he finds Dirk Benedict, who introduces himself as "God". Oh, and Baltar also hears an actual Jimi Hendrix recording playing during all this, and when "God" asks him if he recognizes the tune, he says "yes". And Moore claims to have had absolutely no idea what any of this was supposed to have meant, but the other PTB were barely able to talk him out of it.
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I think JJ basically falls in the camp. One of the best criticisms of JJ is that his fast-paced action films are just one step ahead of their plot holes. Fast pace, lens flares, and nostalgia. Where RDM seems to be a sucker for Romantic invention (just listening for his muse to give him some random pseudo-profound development), JJ is an outright carnival barker directing people to the Mystery Box tent.
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by DaMU » Thu Aug 20, 2020 4:33 pm

I'll give Abrams and his co-writers credit for seeing that they were really leaning on the original film and processing that by making at least three lead characters fanboys who are deeply invested in recapturing/possessing the legacy of the last generation. Rey's big into Luke and the Jedi, Kylo reveres his grandfather's melted mask and insists "that lightsaber belongs to me!" Hux is clearly a new Tarkin, but also clearly a wannabe, a soft-faced boy overeager to wear Daddy's shoes, basically this galaxy's Large Adult Son, and him screaming like a Twitch streamer during his fascist rally-- intended or not-- evokes something true (to me) about the intersection of possessive fans and fascists as frightened people who beat back their fear through aggressive policing and control of what they value. Tradition as an enforced refuge. Again, not sure how intentional all of this is, let alone if it absolves the film of how aggressively it evokes the prior films (e.g. the Hosnian destruction / Alderaan redux is a dramatic dud). But the flick (and the two sequels) don't seem barren and mercenary so much as good-intentioned but haphazard (your mileage may vary on which ones are the most miscalculated).

I don't know if their un-spined narrative but dynamic execution is better or worse than the prequels' backboned narrative with stodgy, unconvincing execution. Call it a push. We'll always have the originals. Or the first two.

Either way, Star Wars. It's a thing. What are ya gonna do.
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Charles » Thu Aug 20, 2020 6:46 pm

DaMU wrote:
Thu Aug 20, 2020 4:33 pm
I don't know if their un-spined narrative but dynamic execution is better or worse than the prequels' backboned narrative with stodgy, unconvincing execution.
I will reiterate that I think the stodgy prequels are better. With the wealth of cinema available to us now, mere quality isn't enough. The spine of the prequels is much too strong to ignore. Not to mention the horribly dark tone of the third movie, which is something you never see in blockbusters. They're not allowed to end on such an apocalyptic note. I think that's why there's a renewed interest in the prequels. I don't know what people will have to come back to in 10, 20 years with the sequels. What can be found in these movies that can't be found in equally well made, different franchises, yet not in the rest of the saga?
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by DaMU » Thu Aug 20, 2020 7:37 pm

I'd give you that the political backbone is strong, but I honestly think the character work is pretty dismal both on the page and as performed. Good-in-theory moments hampered by bad dramatization and halting developments (the nadir is Padme basically shrugging her shoulders at Anakin killing children and kissing him later for the sake of Later Plot Developments).

The prequel renaissance online is also occurring in part because children who grew up with the films are now adults and posting, and because the Clone Wars series have done the thankless work of mortaring the loose bricks for the prequels. Ahsoka Tano is as popular in online spaces as Luke and Leia. There's also entire large online forums and movements devoted to rehabilitating the bad dialogue and bad acting as intentional camp (r/prequelmemes). It seems to have worked, bizarrely enough. Whatever. If the movies are making people happy, that's not a bad thing. Sincerely.

I suspect something similar will happen with the sequels in ten years' time, when the high emotions of disappointment have faded and reconsiderations / re-evaluations will take place.
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Re: The Random Thoughts Thread

Post by Melvin Butterworth » Thu Aug 20, 2020 8:05 pm

DaMU wrote:
Thu Aug 20, 2020 7:37 pm
I suspect something similar will happen with the sequels in ten years' time, when the high emotions of disappointment have faded and reconsiderations / re-evaluations will take place.
Not necessarily. This franchise has taken on enough water to potentially sink.
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