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The Aluminum Falcon

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23-Nov-2010
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4-Apr-2018
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Post
#1148777
Topic
Doctor Who
Time

^Same Handman. He’s a really stellar performer, and I’m afraid that the writing has never matched the calibre of his talents.

Personally, I didn’t like this year’s Christmas special at all.

spoilers ahead

It was full of the types of bizarre, convoluted choices that Moffat seems to indulge in… (1) What was the purpose of having “fake” versions of the companions come back through Testimony? It just seemed dramatically unsatisfying, especially considering Bill didn’t actually die! (2) Furthermore, the First Doctor was more or less just used for jokes about how the show has progressed but not much more… (3) Returning to Rusty, that Dalek from that all right episode at the beginning of Capaldi’s run seems like a weird detour. (4) What was the purpose of connecting The Captain to the Brigadier? I understand fan service, but really, this comes out of nowhere… and the character hasn’t been regularly on-air since the 70s. (5) Lastly, the ending for the WW1 soldier seemed to come out of absolutely nowhere; I don’t recall them even acknowledging that it was Christmastime beforehand.

That being said, I really liked the first two seasons of Moffat’s run (Series 5 and 6). They felt fresh with a whimsy, fairy tale aspect that the previous seasons lacked. They were also grounded with a set of characters: Rory, Amy, and River that we actually gave a damn about.

But it seems like after that, he dabbled far too much into fan service and convoluted time travel shenanigans. Doctor Who seems to have gotten so muddled in its own continuity that I don’t dare think what it might be like for a first time viewer to try the series out now. What, for example, would a new viewer think about the Brigadier reference in this episode? It’s just a weird, unnecessary callback. More crucially, ll the fake-out regenerations in the past few seasons just undermine dramatic tension; we don’t want to be hyper-aware of the fact that the Doctor can always regenerate himself out of trouble. This, of course, doesn’t mean there aren’t occasional gems… Heaven Sent is extraordinary, but, for every one of those, you have a Robin Hood episode.

Overall, these problems would have been more acceptable if you had better characters to latch onto. Bill was great, but Clara certainly was not. Say what you want (I think Jenna Coleman is a fine performer), but her character has a different personality each season! It’s hard to get emotionally involved, and, indeed I didn’t when she showed up (ala Amy Pond) in Capaldi’s swansong.

I think The End of Time, The Time of the Doctor, and, certainly, The Parting of the Ways were all superior to this.

Post
#1080711
Topic
Last movie seen
Time

Wonder Woman (2017)- Who would have suspected that DC would finally get it right with their fourth movie? Great stuff here - a charismatic leading lady, a colorful supporting cast, a touching love story, and a well-developed screenplay with gasp clear structure and actual set-ups and pay-offs despite the occasional cringey dialogue.

It was also not to see a superhero film, which isn’t Disney-fied (read: everyone joking all the time, faceless bad guys, endless actions, no real developed dialogue scenes, and characters with love interests but no sexuality). Here’s a movie instead in the tradition of Raimi’s first two Spider-Man films, Iron Man, Batman Begins, Logan, and, perhaps most pertinently, Superman '78.

I think it’s the best superhero film in recent memory and keep in mind, I walked in expecting that I’d probably hate it. Go check it out (for the record, my critique of this being an excellent movie has nothing to do with it ALSO being the first female superhero film, directed by a female).

Post
#1078321
Topic
Ranking the Alien films
Time

My cents, in terms of different cuts of the Alien films:

Alien (1979) - Theatrical cut, hands down. Even Ridley Scott prefers it.

Aliens (1986) - Theatrical cut is better paced but is missing crucial scene of Ripley finding out about her daughter. Special Edition severely suffers in pacing because it throws in material that Fox cut for time, as well as additional deleted scenes. The Fox TV cut, which has some but not all special edition material (thankfully omitting the shake-and-bake colony scene), likely resembles the cut that Cameron originally wanted to release in 1986.

This cut can be assembled by playing with the seamless branching on the BD. Also, I believe a preservation of it might be coming eventually.

Alien 3 (1992) - Assembly Cut almost feels like a different movie from the theatrical cut with far more character beats and an intriguing subplot. Ideally, however, the perfect cut would resemble the workprint more (no mysterious egg on the Sulaco, theatrical crash, no basement scene, etc.).

Alien: Resurrection (1997) - Theatrical cut wins again. Special Edition is just an oddity created by the studio.

Prometheus (2012) - The theatrical cut is so deeply flawed that I prefer to watch fan edits of this one. Prometheus Unbound is the best iteration I’ve found of all the ones available, wonderfully tight with the characters of Vickers coming across as far less 2D. For a “Special Edition,” which throws in all available material, I would recommend Agent9’s Prometheus: Special Edition.

SPOILERS FOR FILM CURRENTLY IN THEATER

In terms of Alien Covenant, I figure an ideal cut would just remove the 3rd act Alien throwback stuff on the spaceship near the finale, and better edit the Walter/David fight so the “twist” wasn’t so obvious. Hopefully, there’ll be deleted footage to play with here.

Post
#1032473
Topic
TFA: A Gentle Restructure
Time

Sir Ridley said:

So here’s my take on Finn’s line “They’ve done it”, redubbing it as “They’ve found us”, including animation on the mouth to make it bite together a bit on the “us” rather than the original open mouth “it”.

https://youtu.be/IVI_sDK6SXk

What do you think?

Really good results actually! That was the one slightly off part of the edit. If HAL 9000 agrees, could there be a V2 audio track with this little tweak?

Post
#1032302
Topic
Star Wars saga - Extra Extended Edition (1080p)
Time

^…^ said:
4) a “trick” like the one used by TMBTM in his War of the Stars II - where the frames have big shades of one or two colors - of which the following is the best one - I can see the point of his choice, and it worked pretty well in a way; still prefer less-than-perfect recolors, though!

To be honest, I strongly prefer the 4th option. Moreso than the other options, it comes across as a “deliberate creative” stylistic decision. 😉

3 inescapably looks like B&W footage that was computer colorized, and I have suspicions that 2 would as well to a lesser extent. 4 is so radical that you can almost buy the filmmakers intended it to be that way. Grade the hues just a tad more subtly, and I think you’ve got yourself a scene!

Not only that… even Han’s “girlfriend” and Chewie “nice muzzle” is a nice shot. I think this is the only piece worth of recolor in the whole cantina scene - not that because the rest in uninmportant, but because it will take SO LONG and SO MUCH WORK to restore colors, and result will be always not so good 😦

Glad to hear that part of the cantina scene will be restored. Should be cool.

Again, choosing your battles wisely, those seem like good sections to colorize. I might also advocate for using a colorized original arm shot instead of Adywan’s for authenticity, but this comes down to your judgment.

Post
#1031304
Topic
Star Wars saga - Extra Extended Edition (1080p)
Time

^…^ said:

UPDATES

  • New “Bail Organa” uploaded, links updated; feedbacks are welcome!

Good results on that Bail Organa scene and also the extended Dooku scene from the PS2 game. Technically, the compositing on the former’s quite nice considering the source. Audio work is also seamless and doesn’t sound rough in the slightest.

Really, it’s funny to see someone other than Jimmy Smits in the role! 😃

  • Added also Rogue One to list of extended editions

For this, hopefully, you won’t need to deal with time-coded deleted scenes again. But, I guess that’s supposing we get any deleted scenes at all.

In any case, as you’ve noticed, a lot of alternate shots are out there already and worthy of integration.

Post
#1030726
Topic
Superman I-III extended TV cuts: Where have the preservations gone?
Time

Chewtobacca said:

captainsolo said:
Also the Donner cut was upgraded with slightly better video and has dtshdma 5.1.

Are you sure about the better video? According to Blu-ray.com, the video transfer was re-used, and my disc from the anthology set certainly seems to be the same VC-1 transfer that was on the stand-alone disc.

Ditto, unfortunately.

Post
#1030564
Topic
Rogue Zero - What was changed, reshot, etc in Rogue One?
Time

Ronster said:

  1. Bor Gullet was originally conceived to delve in to Jyn’s past not to find out if Bodhi Rook was telling the truth. From Concept art book.

Didn’t know. Appended my post to fit.

I still don’t believe that tie fighter on the gantry was ever a marketing shot. It was like that before they developed the Tie-Strikers no doubt. I don’t see the point in lying about it. It’s actually a fairly small thing although it was visually superior in the trailer. My gut feeling tells me Jyn had a mexican stand off with that Tie Fighter and shot the pilot through the glass with her blaster. That’s my speculation on it.

Sorry, but there’s really nothing to substantiate that and the official word has been consistent about straight-up admitting that it was a marketing ploy. Also don’t believe there’s a conspiracy at play. If anything, the official line makes Disney look worse than your speculation.

The only possible lie I could buy would be that the happy ending was never filmed; if it were actually filmed then scrapped, the official line that Disney was steadfast in supporting their deaths does make the Mouse House seem better/more artistically supportive.

Post
#1030489
Topic
Rogue Zero - What was changed, reshot, etc in Rogue One?
Time

As reported by Screen Junkies and a few other sources, the TIE fighter was just inserted into already shot footage of Jyn walking across the platform. Apparently, the trailer company added it themselves, and Lucasfilm liked the result enough that ILM was asked to refine it. I find this relatively believable, considering the same angle is used sans TIE fighter in the finished film.

Also heard from a fairly reliable source (not online) that the first Vader scene (with him standing in front of the monitors) and Krennic talking about immeasurable power is nothing more than the original version of the Bast Castle sequence. The original Vader actor apparently didn’t move quite right, hence why there are two actors credited.

From this information, the official narrative, which may very well be true, is that the most affected sequences by reshoots were:

  1. The beginning with the added introductory sequences to Jyn, Cassian, and Bohdi; it originally cut from the flashback to the briefing sequence, which, as per the original teaser, had more explicit verbal exposition of Jyn’s character which became redundant when she was given an action-packed introduction. K2-SO was also introduced further down the line, as seen in an early trailer: “The Captain says you are a friend.”

  2. Saw’s stuff was retooled with Saw now having a different appearance. This was because Jyn’s character arc may have been changed in reshoots (more on that down below). Note how his prevailing message in the teaser is negative towards Jyn pursuing rebellion: “What will you become if you continue to fight?” instead of the completely opposite positive message in the finished film actually encouraging Jyn to join the rebellion’s cause: “Save the rebellion. Save the dream.” Bor Gullet was originally used to explore Jyn’s background/past, not Bohdi’s.

  3. The heist of the Death Star plans was heavily truncated in order to avoid bloating the third act when the space battle was heavily expanded. This included such simplifications as making the archive and the transmitter in the same building on Jedha. You can see the original transmitter building (to where the crew was running) in some shots in the trailer. Most definitely reshot was the confrontation between Jyn and Krennic (possibly happened on the beach originally); the effects get ropey enough that it seems they were composited in.

This all does not discount alternate shots, also confirmed by the official narrative (particularly Ben Mendhelson’s interview about lots of alternate takes), which can be chalked up to Gareth Edward’s knack for experimentation. They’d play a scene radically different ways (eg. Krennic pulling a blaster to Tarkin’s face) and pick the best result.


(SPECULATION) Jyn’s Character Arc

As alluded to above, I personally suspect that the reshoots were predominantly done to make Jyn’s character arc more consistent.

In the finished film, Jyn transforms from the adamantly neutral party (“You can stand to see the Imperial flag everywhere?”/ Jyn: “Not a problem if you don’t look up.”) to a full fledged hero, who sacrifices herself for the cause of the rebellion. It’s a well-worn but undeniably effective character arc, not unlike that shown in a movie like Casablanca (minus the literal sacrifice bit). Crucial to altering this arc was the addition of the scene with the “look up” line above, as well as completely retooling Saw’s relationship with her by reshooting the Jedha scenes between the two to change Saw’s message to “Save the rebellion. Save the dream.”

I propose that in the original cut of the film, Jyn transformed from an anti-Imperial violent lone loose cannon (not unlike Saw) to a team leader. This is substantiated by Felicity Jone’s early promotional description of her character as someone who wants nothing more than to “bash stormtroopers’ heads in,” a characterization not quite apparent in the final film.

Indeed, Cassian was changed as a result; originally described as a recruiter (again, not in the final film), he was likely the one who saw the potential in her, trusting her enough (as seen in an early trailer) to help pilot the ship to Jedha and support her during the briefing. Saw’s part would be to convince her character that she needed, unlike him, to use less extreme methods, lest she follow in his footsteps (which leads to alienation and bodily damage).

The final point to understanding the original arc and perhaps the key reason that it proved ineffective dramatically is knowledge of the shooting screenplay’s happy ending. It seems a natural conclusion that if Jyn’s arc was to become a leader; she would be “rewarded” by film’s end with a position in the rebellion. That being said, because Edwards was given permission for all the characters to sacrifice themselves, it no longer satisfyingly concluded her arc. They shifted the arc in reshoots to better fit the ending (which they realized was one of the most potent parts of the whole film).

Post
#1030297
Topic
Everybody's Top Ten Favorite Movies
Time
  1. The Third Man (1949) dir. by Carol Reed
  2. Touch of Evil (1958) dir. by Orson Welles
  3. Vertigo (1958) dir. by Alfred Hitchcock
  4. Notorious (1946) dir. by Alfred Hitchcock
  5. Citizen Kane (1941) dir. by Orson Welles
  6. Before Sunrise (1995) dir. by Richard Linklater
  7. The Bad Sleep Well (1960) dir. by Akira Kurosawa
  8. Once Upon a Time in America (1984) dir. by Sergio Leone
  9. The Terminator (1984) dir. by James Cameron
  10. The Empire Strikes Back (1980) dir. by Irvin Kershner