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canofhumdingers

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7-May-2005
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18-Jan-2020
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Post
#1309623
Topic
<em>The Mandalorian</em> - Season One Discussion - * <strong>SPOILER THREAD</strong> *
Time

Yeah, we know. We’ve discussed it all already. Shogun Assassin is just a film compiled from parts of the first two Lone Wolf and Cub films, edited together for American theatrical release. Magnificent Seven is just “reused material” (to quote you) from Seven Samurai set in the American West rather than Feudal Japan.

Did you know Star Wars (1977) is just a bunch of standard hero and myth tropes jumbled together with a bit of fantasy, western, and samurai genres all blended together? Did you know Fistful of Dollars is just a spaghetti western remake of Yojimbo? Things reuse ideas from previous things. Omg! There’s a reason the word “tropes” exits…

The issue is, how well does THIS media execute those ideas? I thought episode 5 was possibly the weakest so far. I still liked it, but it definitely had some issues with the casting and maybe the directing imo. I still think episode 2 and 3 were the high point so far but this is still a very fun series! I’m sad we’ve got only, what, two more to go this season?

Post
#1309526
Topic
General Star Wars Random Thoughts Thread
Time

Solo - this movie is so much better than it had any right to be! I really enjoy it and honestly don’t have any major complaints. I mean, really, my biggest issue is the modern, punchier blaster sound effects Disney seems to love just don’t sound as Star Wars-y as they should.

I think they did an amazing job with casting Han, Lando, and Chewie! I totally believe these are the guys who grow into our beloved OT characters.

Enfys Nest is awesome. The costume design is great (her whole band of marauders have awesome costumes, love the Native American influences!) and the character is unique and interesting. And her fights, short as they are, are amazing. I love the “feather shields” on her forearms that deflect laser blasts, her staff is wickedly cool, and her fighting style is unique, fun to watch, and believably effective. I love how if you closely watch her fight Becket on the train, you can clearly see she’s intentionally not Using lethal force. She is super aggressive and charges him, pins his blaster down and cuts it in half, then uses the energy pulse side of her staff to knock him away. She could have easily killed him but very clearly chose not to. Just a cool little tidbit that’s easy to miss because it happens so fast.

I could go on about all the things I like in this movie, but to sum it up, this movie somehow overcame some seriously massive obstacles to be a pretty great Han Solo adventure. It’s a shame it “underperformed” because I’d love to see another stand alone adventure or two with these younger versions.

Post
#1309421
Topic
4K restoration on Star Wars
Time

Yeah, they may not be perfect, but they are a massive step in the right direction (regarding color) from every previous release since 2004. I’ll admit it actually goes a long way to healing old wounds, so to speak. Having the fan-made 4K series more than 2/3 done along with official versions that actually look decent again (even if they’re not my preferred versions of the OT), as well as some pretty great new content in recent years has moved my “love/hate” opinion of Lucasfilm a bit further towards the “love” column. If they’d just suck it up and officially release reasonably competent 4K versions of the OOT all would be forgiven at this point.

Post
#1309230
Topic
General Star Wars Random Thoughts Thread
Time

Revenge of the Sith - eh. It’s kinda like TPM to me in that I’m mostly indifferent to it. There’s bits I like alright, there’s bits that I think are pretty atrocious, and then there’s huge segments that I find either quite boring or just sloppy. Thankfully it doesn’t fill me with the sense of frustrated anger and disgust that the last third of AOTC does.

I was surprised to admit that I didn’t hate Anakin’s turn to the dark side this time. Don’t get me wrong, his primary motivation (stopping death) is still lame and the actual turn happens too quickly to be convincing, but I more clearly saw how all the building blocks were there throughout the trilogy leading up to this point and it did actually mostly make sense. And I even give Hayden some real credit. I think had they leaned harder into his trust issues with the Jedi, his infatuation with his own growing powers, his desire to “end the destructive conflict” by any means necessary, and his willingness to break Jedi oathes for his own satisfaction (marrying Padme) and gotten better writers to handle it all and a better dramatic director, this could’ve really worked. And I think Hayden could have pulled it off.

I have to say, this movie looked like absolute garbage. The cgi is far too often just atrocious and the movie looks like a cartoon or video game. The massive amounts of painfully obvious green screen composites really hurt it too.

The sword choreography is still pretty terrible but it’s at least a bit better than AOTC. The actual choreography for the big fight between Anakin and Obi-wan is pretty bad but I will say that I genuinely liked the ferocity, energy, and passion of the fight, even if the actual techniques/moves looked fake. The anger, brutality, and speed in the fight felt appropriate and real for a fight between two close “brothers” who’ve had a devastating, relationship-ending disagreement. The set pieces in the fight are also mostly pretty awesome until they just get too outlandish to suspend disbelief.

Unfortunately the fight is undermined by the preposterous end. The high ground thing is bad enough, but its what happens next that really kinda kills it. Obiwan has dismembered Anakin and won the fight. He calls him his brother and says how much he loved Anakin. Then he flipping sits there and watches him burn and then just walks away while his best friend writhes in agony! It’s so wrong! Anyone with half a heart would’ve realized the fight and argument were over and less important than helping your friend at that point, no matter how much you disagreed with each other! I feel like this portion should been handled differently. Something like, their fight and emotions are reaching a peak when Obi-wan gains an advantage and cuts Anakin’s legs off. Anakin drops his saber and falls off some massive ledge or something. Basically obi-wan thinks he’s assuredly dead, not realizing he survived the fall (and subsequently gets burned by the lava just like in the film). Obi-wan has already seen the security footage of Anakin taking the name Darth Vader, so when he hears of Darth Vader running around with the empire, that’s when he’d realize that Anakin survived. It would also make hiding Luke on Tatooine seem much less stupid on Obi-wan’s part if he thinks Anakin is dead when he makes that decision.

Overall this has been an interesting exercise. The ire and frustration I used to feel towards the prequels is mostly gone. They’re pretty crummy movies but I don’t loathe their existence like I used too. I guess time really does heal all wounds. Not that I ever cared so much that it affected me in any serious way. But I did avoid these movies for so long because they did elicit genuine feelings of anger, frustration, and disappointment. But now I’m mostly fine with TPM and ROTS. I still take exception to AOTC. It just sucks so bad and the third act with the droid factory and Yoda fight just destroy any mercy I might’ve been willing to give it.

I will say that, had George been more of the “big picture, overall story arc” guy and hired truly talented writers and directors and allowed good creative types to reign in some of his more terrible ideas (like anakin building threepio, jar jar, excessive cgi, the droid factory comedic sequence, etc.) i actually think this could’ve been a very good trilogy. The building blocks are there for a great story, but the execution just totally flounders.

Post
#1308873
Topic
What's currently your favorite SW collectable item and why?
Time

Mmm, picking just one is difficult. I’d say if I had to sell off my collection I know the last thing that I’d part with, so I guess it would be my favorite.

The eFx PCR Darth Vader helmet. There are higher quality (and much higher priced) Vader helmets out there, but for the money this thing is spectacular. It’s a replica of the original 1977 helmet and it has a well documented lineage that traces directly back to that original screen-used helmet. Basically, some time after filming Rick Baker cast a mold of the actual screen used helmet (probably in 1978) and that mold was digitally scanned and used as the basis for this prop replica.

Other runners up would be my Hot Toys ESB Darth Vader 1/6 figure, my Mafex Boba Fett figures (both ESB and ROTJ versions), and, of all things, my micro machine collection. I always loved Star Wars micro machines and when they started producing them again when TFA came out, I dove in hard. I was quite disappointed when they canned the line again after R1 but I’m glad we got what we did.





Post
#1308718
Topic
General Star Wars Random Thoughts Thread
Time

RogueLeader said:

What else about the first third of the movie did you feel made it fair better than what you remembered?

I’m not sure other than it didn’t suck as much as I expected it to based on my memories of the film. But I think it’s because the last two thirds (especially the third act) leave such an awful, putrid taste in my mouth that it spoils the whole experience and overpowers any other thoughts or memories I had of the movie. I basically was thinking, “hey, this isn’t as bad as I remember. It’s more or less on par with TPM.” But then the rest of the movie happened…

RogueLeader said:

Do you not like that Anakin slaughtered the Tuskens, or that he told Padme he did and didn’t seem to register that big red flag?

Padme’s reaction (or, really, complete lack thereof) is the problem. “Hey, I just flew off the handle and murdered a bunch of women and children in a blind rage.” “Oh you poor thing, let me comfort you and empathize with your psychopathy.” Interestingly, I found Hayden’s acting during his confession to be quite good. He really comes across as genuine in his anger and it’s quite terrifying.

RogueLeader said:

Yeah, the swordplay definitely feels like a downgrade compared to TPM, not only with the choreography but the location felt less interesting as well. I think it would’ve been an interesting contrast if they had shot and blocked the choreography more akin to the fight scenes in Ridley Scott’s The Duelists. It would have shown how Dooku was a more dangerous opponent than the aggressive Maul because if you made one mistake he would exploit it and kill you. It would have made the duel tense in a different way, and suited Christopher Lee’s capabilities as an actor. I almost feel like they may have been going for this, but it doesn’t feel like it was shot or cut with that in mind.

I’ve not seen The Duelists (but thanks for keying me in, it’s now on my list!) but yes, a more refined, precise, and icily ominous style would’ve suited Christopher Lee far better than the rave party spinning glow stick fights he was saddled with.

Post
#1308582
Topic
General Star Wars Random Thoughts Thread
Time

Attack of the Clones - I think I watched this movie in its entirety 4 times now. I saw it opening night and hated it. I saw it again the next day because we had already bought the tickets and I wanted to give it a second chance. Then I bought the dvd when it came out and gave it a third chance and have never watched it again until now.

My opinion has not changed. I will admit that I was surprised the first third or so fared better than I remembered. I always thought the chase for Zam Wessel on coruscant was boring but I actually enjoyed it this time. And overall I felt much the same as I did about TPM: not great but I don’t hate it.

Then we have the worst, most awkward and unconvincing romance scenes I’ve ever sat through. Then we have Padme comforting Anakin after slaughtering an entire clan of sentient beings. Then we have the droid factory and battle scenes with 3PO where he quite literally becomes a cartoon.

And then Yoda uses a lightsaber.

I hate this movie. It is wholly unredeemable and I have no desire to see it again.

Oh and the sword choreography in this absolutely sucks. It’s a big step down from TPM.

Post
#1308393
Topic
<em>The Mandalorian</em> - Season One Discussion - * <strong>SPOILER THREAD</strong> *
Time

I thought it was good. It’s a familiar and, at this point, kinda cliché story. But I thought it was helped by the characters and some particulars unique in this version. The Mandalorian (the character) has quickly become a favorite of mine, and his growing relationship with the Yadpole is engaging. The Yadpole himself is awesome and while I know they are playing him for all his cuteness is worth, it’s totally working. Cara Dune was another interesting addition and I’d be game for more appearances by her but I’m also ok with this being her only interaction with “Mando”. So yeah, not the strongest episode but still a good one. I still think episode 2 was the best so far. It was nigh perfection, imo.

Also, does “Mando” remind anyone else of “Hondo” or is that just me?..

Post
#1308373
Topic
General Star Wars Random Thoughts Thread
Time

Well, I’m going for it. I’m watching all the “official canon” versions of the theatrically released live action Star Wars films (mostly via Disney+) in preparation for TROS. I haven’t watched the prequels in over a decade and the special editions of the OT in even longer.

The Phantom Menace - you know, I don’t hate it. I don’t particularly like it, but I don’t hate it. It has some good things in it. Obi-wan and Qui-gon are both great casting choices and pretty well acted given the material and environment they had to work with. And Qui-gon is actually an interesting character. Darth Maul is also a positive. He looks cool in a very space-age-medieval Star Warsy way and he’s kinda mysterious and ominous. There’s some decently cool locations, sets, and costumes. Much of what we see on Naboo and Coruscant look like natural extrapolations/evolutions of the kind of designs we see in Cloud City, and that’s a good thing.

The story is also not terrible on paper. It had the potential to be a cool political drama/thriller a la something from the BBC. Unfortunately it falls WAY short of any of that potential and ends up being just incredibly boring for long stretches.

I’ve made some lengthy posts about sword combat in the Star Wars franchise and have been particularly critical of the prequels, so I was curious to see how this would hold up. The combat is not terrible. It’s not very realistic, even for a movie, but it’s fun and engaging and it doesn’t immediately make me roll my eyes or groan in disgust. It’s decent stage combat. And, more importantly, it’s fun and exciting to watch, even for someone who can apply a pretty critical eye to choreographed sword fights.

Overall it could’ve been a lot worse. I doubt I’ll have any desire to revisit it again anytime soon but I don’t recoil at the thought of sitting through this movie again someday.

Post
#1308323
Topic
General Star Wars Random Thoughts Thread
Time

So I’ve been watching Star Wars Rebels with my kids on D+. Four episodes in and it’s pretty darn great for a kids’ cartoon show. It does have some pretty lazy dialogue, though. I swear the writers were taking bets on who could make the most reference to famous lines from the OT in a single episode.

But the characters are good, if not terribly original and the storyline so far is fun and interesting. And, importantly, it just looks and feels like you automatically think a kid’s Star Wars cartoon should look and feel like.

Post
#1308037
Topic
<em>The Mandalorian</em> - Season One Discussion - * <strong>SPOILER THREAD</strong> *
Time

Yeah, I’m loving it too, but I agree they could slow it down a bit. Any of the episodes so far could be easily stretched into two parters, especially this most recent episode.

rocknroll41 said:

Also, minor side note; were the two villagers who first approached Mando meant to be a homage to the Kurosawa “Hidden Fortress” characters that inspired R2 and 3PO? That was my first thought, at least.

Perhaps, but this one was so obviously an homage to (or even blatant copy of) Seven Samurai that I imagine they more likely were inspired by the peasants sent to hire the samurai in that film.

But that makes me want to mention that I’m loving the very clear inspiration classic samurai and western films (which in my mind are often one in the same genre in so many ways) have had on the show. It’s only fitting since those same films were a major inspiration for the creation of Star Wars in the first place, but it’s nice to see the creators going back to the source, so to speak, when looking for inspiration with which to creat new and original Star Wars content.

Post
#1307789
Topic
Maclunkey
Time

But it’s not in cold blood. Even in the original cut, it’s very clear that Han’s in serious poop. He’s held at gun point and Greedo made a not so subtle threat against his life moments earlier (“Over my dead body.” - “That’s the idea…”).

But otherwise, yes. Han shoots. Period.

Post
#1307197
Topic
<em>The Mandalorian</em> - Season One Discussion - * <strong>SPOILER THREAD</strong> *
Time

So after watching the recap at the beginning, and then seeing him use the knife again in episode 3 it finally dawned on me that it’s a vibro-blade (I actually thought his hand was shaking in fear or exhaustion when he held the knife out against the space rhino). So maybe it wasn’t poisoned? I still don’t know that I buy being a vibro-blade is enough to have taken out that huge animal but, you know, mystical space tech… so, maybe?

I enjoyed episode 3 but 2 is still the best so far. I’m enjoying the mandalorian culture so far. I watched the whole clone wars cartoon series on Netflix a while back, but I really don’t remember many details. I wish the jet packs had more sparky and smokey rocket flames a la ROTJ Boba Fett instead of the clean, soulless cgi rocket flames we got…

Post
#1307051
Topic
4K restoration on Star Wars
Time

I’ve never understood copying someone else’s calibration settings (which seems to be very common on A/V forums and groups). It doesn’t account for the variance from set to set, even if they’re the same exact model. And it completely ignores the fact that each tv is in a unique environment with its own lighting.

FWIW, I’ve checked out bits of all the OT and TPM, just in regular HD, and I think the OT color grading is surprisingly nice. I haven’t watched the prequels in over 10 years and the SE has been even longer than that. But I’m so pleased they finally got rid of the garish mess of color grading that was introduced with the DVDs that I’m seriously thinking about watching all the “official cannon” films in chronological order prior to TROS in December.

Post
#1306807
Topic
<em><strong>Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order</strong></em> (Video Game)
Time

Well, i don’t know which systems the reviews I’ve watched were on but there were lots and lots of bugs like characters magically popping into cutscenes halfway through, npcs getting stuck in walls and floors and things, collision detection problems (passing through walls was a common one), and some really buggy ai for bad guys at times. And every single review I’ve checked has exhibited pretty much all of these problems and every reviewer has mentioned them in the reviews. Heck, that jimpressions video has most of all of them.

None of them look to ruin the game, but I figure if I wait a bit most of them will get sorted out hopefully.

Post
#1306616
Topic
<em>The Mandalorian</em> - Season One Discussion - * <strong>SPOILER THREAD</strong> *
Time

Z6PO said:

Tobar said:

Z6PO said:

How can you kill such a giant rhino beast with such a small knife ?

He probably made an educated guess as to where the beast’s carotid artery was.

No bleeding ? Instant death ?!

Yeah I thought maybe he hit the artery too for a split second, but the no bleeding out quickly changed my mind. I still think it’s must’ve been poison. Or maybe he hit the brain (in the neck…?)? Poison still makes the most sense to me.

Post
#1306544
Topic
<em>The Mandalorian</em> - Season One Discussion - * <strong>SPOILER THREAD</strong> *
Time

Man, after a busy weekend working I finally sat down to watch episode 2 last night. What an episode! I’m am 100% hooked and totally onboard for the ride with this show. It’s everything I want out of a Star Wars bounty hunter! I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about the Yadpole, but I am very much digging the “Lone Wolf and Cub” approach they’ve taken. It’s so good.

And the action sequence with the sand crawler was just magnificent! I honestly don’t have a single criticism of this episode. I loved it! And yeah, I assumed the knife had to be poisoned too.

Post
#1306134
Topic
General Star Wars Random Thoughts Thread
Time

That’s an excellent point. Trying to force an explanation when none is really needed has just created more inconsistency. I’m not opposed to the idea of the kyber crystals having some connection to the force, but they way they are going about it just isn’t very good or well thought out.

Like, I’d be ok with them having a kind of presence in the force, like a vibration or something (crystal vibrations are something that plays right into the mysticism angle). I mean, that idea works well with the scene where Chirrut senses Jyn’s necklace in Rogue One.

But having them be semi-sentient and Sith having to bend them to their will to get them to work? And then “bleeding” in response? It’s just dumb.

Post
#1305790
Topic
<em>The Mandalorian</em> - Season One Discussion - * <strong>SPOILER THREAD</strong> *
Time

DominicCobb said:

Yeah the 50 years old thing doesn’t really make sense. I get the ‘some species age differently’ thing, but if that baby is 50 then 900 would be a pretty young age for Yoda to die at.

My wife had the same complaint. But I pointed out to her that perhaps not all species age in the same proportions. For example, a mouse* might spend a smaller percentage of its existence as a juvenile than a human does. This is largely because humans have larger, more complex brains that take much more development and thus we spend a larger percentage of our lifespan as children. Perhaps Yodas have even more complex brains and take even longer to mature?

*according to Wikipedia the upper limit of a common mouse lifespan is about 3 years. They mature into adults in about 6 weeks, thus spending about 4% of their life as a juvenile. Using Wikipedia data of a current normal maximum of 104 year for human lifespan and a maturity of 21 (the Internet gives a range of 18-25) humans spend about 20% of their lives as juveniles).

See also:https://news.vanderbilt.edu/2018/10/30/why-does-it-take-humans-so-long-to-mature-compared-to-other-animals-look-to-your-neurons/

Post
#1305786
Topic
General Star Wars Random Thoughts Thread
Time

NeverarGreat said:

timdiggerm said:

ZkinandBonez said:

It’s a cool idea, but wouldn’t a more mystical reason make more sense in SW? E.g. the idea of bonding with a living crystal if you’re a Jedi, or “bleeding” it if you’re a Sith.

I don’t get why so many people don’t like the new lightsaber crystal lore. It’s such a Star Wars-y concept. They’ve even named them Kyber crystals.

because the inclination against the mystic side of Star Wars is strong among sci-fi nerds

Rather, that the movies never indicate this level of ‘bonding with a living crystal’; Yoda relegates it to the status of Luke’s blaster in being just another distraction from his Jedi training in his test at the tree, and the Emperor casually dismisses it as a ‘Jedi’s weapon’, implying that the Sith wouldn’t use lightsabers at all. Vader presumably only has one because he was formerly a Jedi. The crystal is clearly not bonded too closely to Force users since Han can use Luke’s lightsaber just fine.

Point being, the lightsaber in the OT is merely an elegant weapon from a more civilized age. Giving it a ton of weird mystical baggage actually makes the weapon less elegant in the story, not more.

Agreed.