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jack Spencer Jr

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11-May-2006
Last activity
5-Aug-2006
Posts
142

Post History

Post
#232087
Topic
If Star Wars flopped....
Time
If Star Wars had flopped, I'd say that going to movie theaters would have died out within a decade. At the time, Hollywood was bent toward gritty realism. The fantasy Star Wars offered completely turned that around overnight, helping to establish the blockbuster that Jaws started a few years earlier. This was a major contributing factor to the success of Star Wars. It came out at just the right time. It is possible that another fantastic film would have filled the void, but who can say? Nearly all of the fantastic films that were made after Star Wars were made because of Star Wars. If it weren't for Star Wars and its box office, most studios would have been to skeptical of such fare's ability to make any money. As such, public interest in movies would start to wane and movies would gross less and less and eventually it would all but cease to be. Like Drive-ins. There are still a few around. I know of two near where I live, if an hour and a half drive is close. But they aren't as popular as they used to be. Movie theatres would shrink down to those art houses where people would go to see movies on the big screen as a curiosity

And let's not forget the mechandising. Fox simply gave Lucas the merchandising rights, since they had lost so much on Dr Dolittle a few years earlier. Movies has been exploited before with merchandising tie-ins, but I think it's safe to say that Star Wars was merchandised like no film before it.
Post
#231011
Topic
Quit Whining
Time
Originally posted by: Nanner Split
Seriously, sometimes I have to take a step back and look at just how bass-ackwards it is to be a Star Wars fan. It's not like being a fan of any other movie. Whatever happened to the days when people just...made movies? Not going back and constantly adding pointless shit to them. These are MOVIES; just give us our movies as they first came out. Is that really so much to ask?


Well, this kind of thing has been happening with movies for years, and I would imagine that other forms of storytelling have had changes. The Hobbit had been revised several times after publication. King Kong had an entire scene removed after it's premiere. Heck, even the original Star Wars had a few changes after its initial release, notably in the sound track when you compare the mono to the stereo. The difference is, the Special Editions were changes made, like 20 years after the fact. Which seems to be an awful long time to just let it lie and then try to fix it again.
Post
#230769
Topic
Quit Whining
Time
He banned himself? That is pretty funny. I mean, really, really funny. Like when a jerk comes in the chat room and tries to hit on all the girls and one girl says that if he wants to see her webcam to hit alt + F4. Except there was no girl here. It was his own stupidity. That's really funny.
Post
#226736
Topic
A Scanner Darkly - First 24 minutes
Time
Originally posted by: Invader Jenny
I cannot stand the animation that they did for this film. It's the same crappy photoshop rendering animation that they used for those insurance commercials and I hate them. It looks cheep and it is annoying.


It's called "rotoscoping" and has been used for decades. the old Max Fleisher Superman cartoons used rotoscoping to get realistic movements.

However, I agree that it can look cheap. it may still cost millions, but it looks like they shot a movie and then traced it frame by frame to make it animated. Sometimes like in the 70's Lord of the Rings, I wonder why they did that.
Post
#223311
Topic
Is Dune a good movie?
Time
You mean the theatrical film directed by David Lynch but he had his name removed, right?

I thought it looked like it had potential, but the story was too big, much too big for a feature film. The recent mini seires might fare better in spite of the lower budget, but somehow I get the feeling that Dune is a story that works best as a novel.
Post
#222093
Topic
George ruined the drama in his own stories.
Time
Perhaps, but what the Kurtz comment lead me to believe is that 1) making Star Wars is a lot of hard work so he was looking for some corners to cut. This is understandable. I'm led to believe that he had a heart attack making the first one, so i can understand him wanting to make it easier. I don't have to like what he produces when making it easier on himself, but I can understand. 2) Unfortunately, where he decided to cut corners was the story. He was still drawing on Campell, hence the whole chosen one/balance to the force crap in the prequels. I guess he felt that if he drew on old myths, it would make writing easier since the story was already written thousands of years ago. All he had to do was steal it. Problem is, the story is what made Star Wars such a success. there were literally hundreds of Star Wars wanna be's in the last thirty years, and only a handful even come close. The main reason was that many of the other movies had piss poor stories and relied on the special effects to hold the audience interest. And it did for an opening weekend and then tapered off and then no one bothered to think of them much after that. With this approach, Lucas has made Star Wars into the worst knock off of Star Wars. This boggles the mind.
Post
#222060
Topic
George ruined the drama in his own stories.
Time
You know, the more I think about it, the more pissed I get. This helps explain the SE. Lucas was treating them as effects movies, and nothing more. If the Star Wars movies were just eye candy popcorn flicks, then updating the effects would be a good move. Over time, the effects would look dated, so they would need updating to keep them fresh. And if effects was the only reason to watch the movies, then minor changes to the story wouldn't matter because the story was crap anyway, so any change is likely to be for the better.

Unfortunately, Star Wars is much more than a special effects flick and Lucas simply fails to recognize this.
Post
#221782
Topic
George ruined the drama in his own stories.
Time
It's both.

See, what made the OT such a success that it'll probably still be talked about in another 30 years is that it had layers, pretty much like Kutz says in the quotes above.

On the surface it's an action-packed adventure movie for kids. Loads of popcorn-munching fun. But underneath that, there the character drama, morality message stuff. Here's the thing, you could have just one or the other of these things. Sometimes that can be good, but often it's not so good. All action is shallow like one of those inflatable kiddie pools. Like a roller coaster, it can be fun the first couple times, but before to long it becomes "been there, done that." The deep stuff can be just pretentious or diadactic and other long words we don't use in Health class. Basically it becomes just... boring.

Star Wars took these two elements and put them together. The results was greater than the sum of its parts. It gave the shallow action more depth and nuance and kept the deep philisophical wankery exciting. As a result, it was one of those stories that appeals to all ages.

How's that?
Post
#221731
Topic
George ruined the drama in his own stories.
Time
Originally posted by: Guy Caballero
I'm sorry I just don't see the trilogy (including Empire) as that type of story. A happy ending is the appropriate ending. Just my opinion.


Not to disagree with you or nothing, but at the time of that concept, there were plans for a third trilogy to come after the OT, so that downer ending would not have been the end. And if Lucas had stayed the course and kept putting one out every three years, we probably would have had the ninth and final movie in 2001.

That actually boggles my mind just thinking of it.

Post
#221716
Topic
George ruined the drama in his own stories.
Time
That and the prequels failed to do much of the drama stuff because they did it so corny. I guess if we knew exactly what went wrong with the prequels, we would be able to make stories of unique power on our own, but the characters just felt so fake. I didn't like them very much because I did not believe them. however real characters were made in the OT was absent in the PT. We weren't spying on people living their lives, we were watching actors give performances. It fails to resonate. Which would be one problem, but the PT also undercut the OT, says he drifting back toward the topic.
Post
#221700
Topic
George ruined the drama in his own stories.
Time
Originally posted by: Tiptup
I think I agree with Kurtz that Raiders of the Lost Ark was very light on the pregnant story elements. It was a much more straightforward film and not much actually happened on the screen that truly spoke of deeper things. Sure, you had characters with "pasts," but those pasts were never explored in detail. In other words, Raiders had many possibilities for subtext, but practically no real subtext was ever explored or specifically mentioned. Still, the dialogue and acting in Raiders were great, causing all of us to love the characters, and the action was very fun to watch. It deserved to make the money it did, but I can easilly see a shallow guy like Lucas arguing that it proves that people want mindless, feel-good action and nothing else.


Right. Or to put it another way, Raiders didn't have that much, but then it didn't need that much. But Star Wars is not Raiders, so what's good for one may not be good for the other.
Post
#221612
Topic
George ruined the drama in his own stories.
Time
Originally posted by: Tiptup
Yeah, that would be hard but not too hard. For a quick and messy example: Give Obiwan multiple pupils and have a number of them disappear along with Obiwan at some point, then have Obiwan return just as some masked villain appears, calling himself Darth Vader, hunting down the Jedi in some fashion. Then you have Obiwan state that he knows who the evil man behind the mask is, but never actually openly declare his identity onscreen.

I was thinking that Obi Wan had two apprentices, which is unusual for a Jedi, sort of showing Obi Wan's flaw which leads to the fall. Have it revealed that Vader is Obi Wan's apprentice, but have numerous clue that point to the other guy was Vader. But never state it explicitly. In the case of the prequels, intentionally misleading people would not be a bad thing.

Actually, an interview with Gary Kutz reveals what went wrong with star Wars starting with Jedi. It was Raiders of the Lost Ark.

IGNFF: Well what were the original outlines for the prequels? Since they can be compared and contrasted now that the first one's out there, and the second one's soon to be out there. Were there major differences from what you saw, from the original outlines of prequel ideas?

KURTZ: Well a lot of the prequel ideas were very, very vague. It's really difficult to say. I can't remember much about that at all, except dealing with the Clone Wars and the formation of the Jedi Knights in the first place – that was supposed to be one of the keys of Episode I, was going to be how the Jedi Knights came to be. But all of those notes were abandoned completely. One of the reasons Jedi came out the way it did was because the story outline of how Jedi was going to be seemed to get tossed out, and one of the reasons I was really unhappy was the fact that all of the carefully constructed story structure of characters and things that we did in Empire was going to carry over into Jedi. The resolution of that film was going to be quite bittersweet, with Han Solo being killed, and the princess having to take over as queen of what remained of her people, leaving everybody else. In effect, Luke was left on his own. None of that happened, of course.

IGNFF: So it would have been less of a fairy-tale ending?

KURTZ: Much, much less. It would have been quite sad, and poignant and upbeat at the same time, because they would have won a battle. But the idea of another attack on another Death Star wasn't there at all ... it was a rehash of Star Wars, with better visual effects. And there were no Ewoks ... it was just entirely different. It was much more adult and straightforward, the story. This idea that the roller-coaster ride was all the audience was interested in, and the story doesn't have to be very adult or interesting, seemed to come up because of what happened with Raiders of the Lost Ark and the Indiana Jones films – and the fact that that seemed to make a lot of money and it didn't matter whether there was a really good story or not – that wasn't what this kind of film was about. We had serious differences about a lot of that.

(KUTTZ: ) There's a lot of undercurrent in Star Wars that, if you take it on the surface, a four-year-old can really enjoy it – but there's a lot else going on, under there. In that sense it's multi-layered, and Empire is as well. That's the thing that bothered me a bit about Jedi and certainly about Episode I, is that those layers, those subtexts – they're all gone. They're not there. You accept what's there on the screen – it either works for you as a surface adventure, or it doesn't. But that's all there is. There's nothing to ponder.


KURTZ: I think probably for better. But, I don't know, because as I said, he had gotten into this mode of saying that the audience is interested in the rollercoaster ride and that he could make just as much money, and it doesn't have to be complicated, doesn't have to have as difficult a story. There are a lot of other people who do that all the time – that's they're kind of movie making philosophy, the sort of Jerry Bruckheimer approach to movies. A lot of Hollywood movies have been based on the idea that the story is the subtext of the action, so that's certainly nothing new. But it's not very satisfying, I don't think, personally. But, you can make a lot of money, and if that's what you want to do, then you do it that way.


I find this all rather interesting. First of all, who'd've thought it was Indiana Jones that ruined Star Wars and to be honest, I thought Raiders had that undercurrent Kutz speaks of. Maybe it wasn't as deep, but it was there, so why the hell Lucas thought it wasn't important baffles me.