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jedi_bendu

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Join date
4-Jul-2020
Last activity
2-Mar-2021
Posts
384

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Post
#1414034
Topic
<strong>Star Wars: The Bad Batch</strong> (animated series) - a general discussion thread
Time

It seems like half of people are in love with the Fennec Shand animation model, the other half hate it. I’m okay with it - it differs only slightly from what Fennec looks like in live action - but I think we need to see it in motion, and in the final product.

Tarkin’s model is similarly very sharp-edged, more so than either his Clone Wars or Rebels designs, and in the trailer I thought it looked fine.

Post
#1413412
Topic
The Marvel Cinematic Universe
Time

rocknroll41 said:

Great episode last night! PREDICTION: Episode 8 will be a flashback to how this all started and will be called “Behind the Scenes” or “The Making of WandaVision” or something to that effect

Well done!


Elizabeth Olsen deserves an award for her acting in WV. It’s given her the chance to show incredible range! Paul Bettany and Kathryn Hahn have been great too (I don’t know what it was about episode 8, but I really noticed how well they do subtle changes in their faces and voices). And then, there’s the costume design: designer Mayes C Rubeo has risen to the challenge of covering different time periods and genres and that deserves to be recognised at an awards ceremony too.

SPOILERS:

I can’t believe we might be seeing Wanda fight the dead corpse of the man she loves reincarnated as a billion dollar killing machine. She’s not in the best mental state for that right now.

This show is nuts, in a very good way.

Post
#1412905
Topic
Your favo[u]rite directors
Time

Stardust1138 said:

How am I just seeing this? I certainly do! Haha

I’d recommend starting with Stalker. What were you thinking?

I like your choices too. I need to watch Greta Gerwig. Little Women looks so good! Agnès Varda is another. A friend recommended her to me.

What do you recommend by Ken Loach, Damien Chazelle, and Bong Joon-ho?

I just got my first films by Hayao Miyazaki the other day. I’m really looking forward to watching his work. I got Nausicaa and the Valley of the Wind and My Neighbour Toroto.

I wrote that list late at night, and completely forgot that I’ve already seen Ivan’s Childhood. Some really striking compositions in that film. I own Stalker on blu-ray, so that probably will be my next port of call - then because I’m a sci-fi fan, I think I’ll watch Solaris next. I remember seeing a clip from the film - the long driving scene - which totally mesmerised me.

With Agnès Varda, I’d recommend you start with Cleo from 5 to 7, which is my favourite of her films. Ken Loach, start with Kes, then The Wind that Shakes the Barley (my favourite I think), and his most recent ones I, Daniel Blake and Sorry We Missed You are very good as well. Damien Chazelle, I honestly don’t think it matters where you start (I haven’t seen his debut, about the two people meeting on a park bench, yet though). Bong Joon-ho: I became interested in him after Parasite, then you could always go back to some of his earliest films like Memories of Murder. However, Snowpiercer from 2013 is a great companion film to Parasite: while Parasite visually depicts wealth inequality on a vertical scale, and in modern day Seoul, Snowpiercer visually depicts wealth inequality on a horizontal scale, and in a post-apocalyptic world. You’ll understand what I mean about vertical and horizontal if you see the films.

Post
#1412166
Topic
Random Pictures and Gifs (now with winning!) [NSFW]
Time

Stardust1138 said:

Thank you kindly, jedi_bendu! I use my phone (Samsung) but I use all natural lighting as I never use flash or even filters unless it feels absolutely necessary.

Me too, and also me too. I have Samsung Galaxy S7, and although I do a bit of photography on my Canon DSLR, more often than not I use my phone - for the wider aspect ratio and because unless you’re zooming in, there’s not much of a difference in quality.

A photography thread is a nice idea! As well as photography in general, I do railway photography as a hobby (or did, up until 2020…) so I could maybe post some shots in there too.

Post
#1411961
Topic
A few reviews . . (film or TV)
Time

FILM REVIEW // Super 8 (2011)

JJ Abram’s 2011 film Super 8 - both a homage to and collaboration with Steven Spielberg - may be corny and cliché, but I enjoyed it quite a bit. Spielberg produced the movie, which not only contains the most famous iconography from Close Encounters and ET (friends riding bikes, technology behaving strangely, big spaceships, etc.) but also - like many of Spielberg’s films - contrasts the world of children, adults, and in this case, extra-terrestrials. The story follows a group of young teenagers in 1979 filming a homemade zombie film, who witness the event which leaves an otherworldly, monstrous being loose in their home town.

Perhaps the highlight of the film is early-on: the ‘inciting incident’ of the story, which comes in the form of a train-crash-turned-action-scene. It may be unrealistic as hell - explosions all round, heavy train wagons sailing into orbit and one making the noise of a truck (??) - but it’s absolutely SENSATIONAL. The sound effects and sweeping camera shots come together perfectly to make a whole other level of satisfying destruction (I see why JJ was previously hired for Mission Impossible…). The sinister antagonists are the US Air Force, and it was good to see Noah Emmerich (from The Truman Show) again, in the role of the bad guy.

The film is about a tortured, lost and embittered alien, but the emotional centre is a human story. Like many movies before it, Super 8 uses extraordinary events which help the main characters (Joe and Alice) improve their troubled family relationships. This worked well for me - several scenes are really touching, and Elle Fanning, Joel Courtney and Kyle Chandler all play their roles really well! There are a couple of the moments where the film screams ‘symbolism’ and overdoes it; overall I found myself wishing JJ’s writing was more original. But although it follows a tried formula, Super 8 contains the essential ingredients for an entertaining and emotionally engaging movie experience.

Post
#1411799
Topic
General Star Wars <strong>Random Thoughts</strong> Thread
Time

Rodney-2187 said:

Would anyone here be interested in a Star Wars voting thread? Not just another thread where everyone ranks the movies, but one where the placement would have point values. Someone would then add up all the points to make a general consensus of everyone who participated.

It could be just the movies, or could include the animated series and The Mandalorian. Maybe the Ewok movies and Holiday Special too. All of that would have to be decided in advance so everyone is on the same page. Going by the name of this community, pretty sure the Original Trilogy movies would come out on top, but it would be interesting to see how everything else placed after that.

I’d support that. Sounds fun.

Post
#1411088
Topic
<strong>Star Wars: Hunters</strong> - a new 'free-to-play' arena combat video game
Time

I’m not massively into games, but I was watching part of the Nintendo Direct stream on YouTube when this was announced. They showed very little footage, but those character designs are interesting. I heard it’s set between ROTJ and TFA - it seems that Lucasfilm may be dedicating most of their upcoming projects to bridging the gap between the original and sequel trilogies.

Not my area of expertise, but a lot of people seem very unhappy about Zynga’s attachment to the game. What’s going on there?

Post
#1410989
Topic
Which Vader vs. Luke Duel is Better?
Time

Yeah I’m pretty much agreed. The fight in Empire is better in general, with a tense build-up, that awesome moment where orange gas is being pumped out everywhere while the two fight, then seeing an enraged Vader later on. It’s always crystal clear who has the upper hand. But, just because of the moment when Luke attacks Vader in ROTJ, with the tragic choral music, I’m kind of leaning towards that. It’s peak Star Wars.

Post
#1410878
Topic
Awesome Star Wars art (pic heavy!!)
Time

In GMT, I’ve just missed Star Wars concept artist Doug Chiang’s birthday by 20 minutes (born this day in 1962)… but here are some of my favourites from his work over the years.

First, some very McQuarrie-esque paintings for The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones: Naboo starfighters in the clouds (he likes aerial paintings too), Obi-wan facing off against destroyer droids in a more colourful Trade Federation ship hallway, and Slave I on Kamino.


One of Doug’s most famous pieces, used for the cover of the ‘Art of The Force Awakens’ book - the imposing figure of Kylo Ren on Starkiller Base. Following that, we have an unused concept of a First Order drill, which was to carve out a hole into Maz Kanata’s Takodana castle. Doug Chiang was also the designer behind the Tie with folding wings, which was conceived for The Force Awakens but used instead in The Mandalorian as the ‘Tie Outlander’.


Lastly, a design for the Ring of Kafrene in Rogue One which I really like, and Doug’s painting of the Razor Crest (which I believe he designed) for Chapter 1 of The Mandalorian.

Post
#1410772
Topic
The new Star Wars comics - general discussion thread
Time

Might try and get my hands on the Shadows of the Empire comic run to read in preparation for this. I’m sure Charles Soule will have drawn a lot of inspiration from it.

"it builds into something much bigger, and that’s what the best comic crossovers and big stories do. They tell a great story in and of themselves, but they’re also the start of something, and they open a lot of new doors. And this story will absolutely do that.” Prequel to The Book of Boba Fett perhaps? In any case, we’re getting some of the best Star Wars comic creators working on this - Soule, Alyssa Wong, Ethan Sacks and Greg Pak. It really should be “epic”!

Post
#1410549
Topic
A few reviews . . (film or TV)
Time

FILM REVIEW // Wonder Woman 1984 (2020)

Off the back of saying Breathless is overrated, I am continuing to commit film buff sacrilege: I think Wonder Woman 1984 is a better film than most people give it credit for. I suppose it’s kind of a beautiful mess, but I was easily able to forgive the nonsensical plot points because I liked the themes and characters so much. Given that I am having to accept the premise of an immortal woman with magical powers whose main weapon is called the ‘lasso of truth’, for me it is not a stretch to accept the premise that there is an ancient magical stone which can grant people’s wishes. I’m also perfectly willing to accept that Diana Prince’s long-dead boyfriend Steve - played by Chris Pine - can come back to life through the the magic stone, because of the compelling story opportunities that it provides (although be prepared, the way in which Steve is reincarnated is… odd). If you’re already put off by this, I doubt the film will exceed your expectations.

However, if skepticism can be laid aside, I think WW84 has a lot to offer. The movie absolutely screams a clear moral, “Be careful what you wish for”, but I really liked the theme of an ideal world or object actually turning out as dangerous and destructive, when self-interest takes over - as much as it was overly preached in the climactic scene. I also took a liking to the villains of the story, Barbara Minerva and Maxwell Lord - played brilliantly by Kristen Wiig and Pedro Pascal respectively - who represent widespread personality problems. Barbara represents the loner whose lack of self-confidence means they never see that they’re really a good person; Maxwell represents the businessman whose drive for profit and success strips them of humanity. We can look at the characters more deeply than this, too: Barbara is truly well-meaning, hard-working and kind, but she measures her worth in popularity, and because she has no friends, these things don’t seem valid. Casting a chilean actor to play a character who may seem like a Trump caricature is particularly interesting to me: impressively, WW84 reserves villain backstory until the end of the film, and we learn that Maxwell Lord - born Maxwell Lorenzano - was a poor immigrant child who never fit in and who nobody trusted, and who became so obsessed with American capitalist culture and adopting the ‘white businessman’ persona that it took over his personality. Gal Gadot plays a great wonder woman, shamelessly ‘heroic’ in an era of many morally grey anti-heroes; it is her warmth and compassion for others, combined with her journey of self-empowerment, which makes her a better role model and inspiration than the likes of Captain Marvel. Lastly, for positive thoughts, there are some truly stunning wordless sequences in WW84, beautifully directed by Patty Jenkins (the romantic ‘invisible jet’ scene was a highlight for me) and I have been playing Hans Zimmer’s glorious soundtrack on repeat for several days.

Wonder Woman 1984 admittedly has its fair share of contrived and expositional dialogue, but its saving grace is being delivered by high-caliber actors rather than the cast of The Room. In any case, the movie clocks in at 2 and a half hours, so I’m reluctant to complain about dialogue which is straight to the point. I also didn’t mind when scenes or performances went over-the-top, because this is a primarily fun film. As for things I genuinely didn’t like, there ARE silly plot points that are too noticeable to be ignored, and Barbara Minerva becoming ‘Cheetah’ comes absolutely out of nowhere, which was a let-down - Barbara notices Diana’s cheetah-skin-patterned high heels at one point, which is… something, but the writers could at least have given her a fascination with cheetahs early-on in the film. Overall, WW84 has heart; it has occasional clever and well-placed jokes, sweeping and inventive action sequences, memorable characters, great setpieces, and the right amount of compelling and emotional moments. I generally don’t cry at films, but some bring me close - and a scene in which we see Maxwell Lord for the last time brought me close. Despite all the hate it gets, that’s proof for me, at least, that Wonder Woman 1984 definitely did SOMETHING right.

Post
#1410496
Topic
A few reviews . . (film or TV)
Time

FILM REVIEW // Breathless (1960)

I’m about to commit film buff sacrilege: I think Jean-Luc Godard’s Breathless is overrated. The story follows a young criminal and chauvinist named Michel - based on the real life Michel Portail - who steals a car, kills a policeman, and goes on the run, hiding out with his American girlfriend. I like film realism, so I appreciate Godard’s efforts to ground scenes in Breathless in the authentic and everyday. He even went the length of filming a couple of scenes entirely in long takes, using a secret camera hidden in a mall pushcart (it’s pretty obvious which scenes; just look out for the trademark wobbly tracking shot and canted angles). However, with so many passers-by looking directly into the camera, the scenes instead come across as completely artificial - and I think Godard’s reach for thoughtful, intellectual dialogue backfires when it seems stilted and amateurish as hell (“Which do you like best: my eyes, my mouth or my shoulders?” is an odd example). Perhaps the latter point is because I was dependent on subtitles rather than performances. I did like how the film dipped into the gangster genre, but the accompanying music by jazz pianist Martial Solal - as cool and stylish as it is - did not fit the tone of the film for me. Some dramatic scenes ended up as pathetic, particularly the ending. The characters are morally indifferent and often rather enigmatic. Although Breathless is a memorable film, I simply wasn’t engaged at all.

If you’re interested in how Breathless revolutionised the form of cinema and low-budget filmmaking, you should absolutely check it out; it is undoubtedly a watershed work in film history. But if you’re someone in it for the plot and a good evening’s entertainment… maybe not.

Post
#1410220
Topic
Your favo[u]rite directors
Time

In no particular order…

Stanley Kubrick
Ken Loach
Agnès Varda
Rian Johnson
Bong Joon-ho
Greta Gerwig (I know she’s only done two films, but as far as I’m concerned, she’s a genius)
Damien Chazelle
Christopher Nolan
Denis Villenueve
Akira Kurosawa
Dave Filoni
Hayao Miyazaki

I have a hunch Andrei Tarkovsky will be added to this list once I actually get round to watching any of his films. Stardust1138 will approve.

Post
#1410110
Topic
Mr. Liquid Jungle and his big fat Clone Wars multi media Journey! ....or something!
Time

For post-Clone-Wars, I recommend James Luceno’s novel ‘Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader’ which follows Vader hunting down a pair of Order 66 survivors. I haven’t yet read ‘Labyrinth of Evil’, but that, the Episode III novelisation and The Rise of Darth Vader are often regarded as the ‘Dark Lord trilogy’ as they follow Anakin/Vader before, during, and after the events of Revenge of the Sith.

Post
#1409929
Topic
Your ideal Star Wars Sequel Trilogy
Time

DisneyRetconnedMeOut said:

Maybe we just didn’t need more movies in the Skywalker Saga. But no matter what I did, there would have been a plan. You can deviate from the plan a bit if you want, but there needs to be one. You can’t go from movie to movie not knowing what’s coming next or you wind up with Episode IX. That was how they really failed.

Agreed. Although a good trilogy or franchise isn’t totally dependent on pre-planning - the original trilogy, for example - I think it really helps. I know this is more important for TV shows, but hell, take Star Wars Rebels: by the time you reach the end of season 4, it’s obvious that things have been set up from the start of the series. The OT worked better partly because it had George Lucas as a guiding force, whereas JJ Abrams’ mindset when making TFA must have been “ok, how do I make this one movie really really good and make sure there’s stuff for the next director to follow on with”.

A friend of mine told me recently that he thinks sequels to “finished stories” are always a bad idea. Sometimes they work out, but more often they simply damage the ending of the originals. Having Luke, Han and Leia as failures, broken and separated from each other was the best way to make a ‘passing of the torch’ story compelling - and that’s the problem. I might enjoy TFA as a film, but I can never watch the ending of ROTJ the same way again.

Post
#1409704
Topic
<em>The Mandalorian</em> Discussion Thread - * <em><strong>SPOILERS</strong></em> *
Time

Quattro Bajeena said:

It really makes you think, huh? I guess some holocaust stupid analogies are worse than others.

Yes, you’re absolutely right! The comparison of concentration camps to concentration camps, a juxtaposition made to remind people that we must never repeat the mistakes of the past, is completely fair, while comparing conservatives to people who were attacked and persecuted because of their religion is not. Bang on.

Post
#1409693
Topic
<em>The Mandalorian</em> Discussion Thread - * <em><strong>SPOILERS</strong></em> *
Time

theprequelsrule said:

The bigger question is should you lose your job for being “provocative”.

If you’re a celebrity with a massive following and employed by a giant corporation with a reputation to uphold, then probably, yes


Also I’ve noticed myself that Pedro and Gina always seemed to publicly get on well, behaving friendly in interviews, liking and commenting on each other’s social media posts. I meant her relationship with cast and crew in general might be more tense after being fired from the show, but perhaps that’s not the case. Anyway, including Pedro was a bad example.

Post
#1409630
Topic
<em>The Mandalorian</em> Discussion Thread - * <em><strong>SPOILERS</strong></em> *
Time

Wexter said:

Thank you for a thorough answer, however, I respectfully disagree on several accounts.

You’re very welcome. Like you, I doubt that Gina meant the image as openly anti-semitic, but it was foolish to slap such a graphic image on her twitter without looking into it. Same goes to BLM Oxford - it must be the extreme analogy that attracts people who are looking to make a point about extreme wealth inequality, which I suspect was the motive for both Gina and the BLM group.

As for this whole topic in general, I love the character of Cara Dune - a refuge from Alderaan having to find purpose again in the aftermath of the war - and I think a recast is best. I wondered if it’s possible for Lucasfilm to have fired Gina and told her, ‘If you stop sharing offensive stuff for good we’ll consider re-employing you’, but honestly I don’t think the relationship between her and the cast and crew (particularly Pedro, who is staunchly anti-Trump) would ever be the same again. There are plenty of other actors who would love to take on the role.

Speaking of Pedro Pascal… he recently did a couple of posts to support his sister Lux, who has just come out as a trans woman, and in an interview Lux said that throughout her whole journey to this point he was concerned for her wellbeing and always very encouraging. The difference between supporting trans people and mocking them is simply one of kindness. We’re lucky to have him.