Oh, dear. At this point this may be the least favourite Star Wars ‘anything’ I’ve experienced. Everything I expected from a JJA film that followed the reaction to TLJ and so on, and so forth - only… nightmarishly worse? The prequels seem somewhat quaint compared to this lifeless husk.
Yeah now that I’m starting to understand the vibe of the show I’m pretty into it. There’s not much in the way of story but that’s not a bad thing. This was a very fun, half hour western adventure. And it still looks/sounds great.
It looks much better, as if someone actually knew what to do with a camera this time around. So while I consider the first episode to be a complete failure still, the second episode is good. It addresses pretty much all my complaints, so if we get more episodes like this one, I’m on board.
And now that we got a properly paced episode, I can say I do like how compact the show is, so even though that recent one is the very definition of filler in most ways, it’s pleasantly brisk.
Also: good puppet, very glad it’s not that CGI abomination again.
Herzog agrees that the baby Yoda puppet is remarkable: in an interview he described it as “heartbreakingly beautiful,” and at some point during filming when Filoni and Favreau tried to shoot an extra take of a scene with baby Yoda without the puppet so that they’d have the option to use CGI, Herzog called them “cowards” and accused them of having no faith in their own creation (I saw this in a screenshot from a magazine article on Reddit, I’m having trouble tracking it down again).
Al things considered, being called ‘a coward’ by Werner Herzog shouldn’t be much of an insult to most people. “No, Werner, we’re not planning on physically launching people into space to get that shot. Yes, we totally are cowards for not doing so.”
This isn’t really a pilot like in the old days, but I’m guessing that first episode does conform to whatever look they decided on for the entire series. However, there’s still room to play within those first episode constraints - assuming it’s indicative of any - to make the show pop a bit more.
At the end of the day that’s my biggest gripe with The Mandalorian thus far - it didn’t get me excited for more, and Star Wars is something I’m on board with to quite an extent by default.
Well, since I seem to disagree with you even on what’s being discussed here perhaps best to leave it at that 😃 (I still disagree with the expanded edit of your post)
You’re talking specifics about the approach of the cinematography and directing. That’s well and good and all, but in the larger discussion of people talking about whether or not it looks ‘cheap’ in comparison to the films, I think the budgetary information is a necessary disclaimer (whether it’s pertinent to your particular argument or not).
Yeah, I still don’t agree with this argument. I’ve seen garbage craft in horrendously expensive films, just as I’ve seen breathtaking cinematography in films made on the cheap - way cheaper than The Mandalorian’s budget per episode. And I do think the approach (division of work, if you will) does matter.
To be sure, there are some great looking shows (whether your talking about the mere production values or quality of the execution). But again, something like Mr. Robot would be apples and oranges to a show set in the Star Wars universe when it comes to my point, the budgetary limitations.
Yeah, if they made this show on a sitcom budget the CGI wouldn’t be there, but I’d still argue that it doesn’t matter in the context of knowing where to put the camera, or how to frame a shot to tell your story.
When you break it all down, it’s really just shooting drama we’re talking about. I’m a romantic this way, I guess 😃
Not that The Mandalorian is the worst thing ever or anything, mind you. Agree to disagree, either way.
Could be, but to be sure I’d need you to elaborate.
That said, I’m not complaining about The Mandalorian’s cinematography relative to the Star Wars films. It seems lacking to me when compared to other shows, and not the top tier bunch, either.
Then again, when I look at how, say, Mr. Robot was shot, I’m not sure whether there’s any point in putting up an arbitrary wall between film and TV at this point in terms of the craft that’s possible to achieve in either medium. If you can pull it off on a TV show schedule (seems to me like the big challenge), there really is nothing else standing in the way. I suppose this leads us to the discussion on the nature and pitfalls of TV storytelling vs feature film storytelling.
Mostly, I’m just thinking aloud about stuff here.
One has to remember that the episode cost $15 million. A lot for a show, but nothing compared to the budgets we’re used to on the live action films (which are all well over $200 million). I thought it looked very good, considering.
I’m not buying this argument. Budget has little to nothing to do with the quality of the craft - maybe it would’ve been a factor for budgets not allowing to shoot on anything better than your pocket phone, but these days even that isn’t much of an obstacle, and The Mandalorian is one of the more expensive shows out there as you pointed out… So while they did have enough pocket change for decent equipment, this still isn’t about image fidelity, or productions values (which are alright here, even if the filmmaking doesn’t do them much credit): it’s about the skill of visual storytelling. Or, which is the theory I like for this case, the experience (lack thereof) in live action visual storytelling in the case a first-timer.
We’ll see how he fared with his second directing gig down the line. I’m almost more interested in this comparison than in the show itself…
Broom Kid said:
This show looks better than most Marvel movies.
Grieg Fraser shot the thing. Trying to say it looks cheap doesn’t even make any sense to me.
This reminds me of a quote attributed to Slawomir Idziak (he worked with Kieslowski, Ridley Scott etc):
‘Our country was for so many years in seclusion, so somehow we had to use a different system… it was first of all grounded in the film schools, in which we had only two departments: the director department and the cinematographer department, so these two people were at the head of the productions. In Poland the cinematographer is number two, and starts work on the project very early. The director is expecting a collaborator in terms of translating the story he has in mind to a kind of visual work. So it was something very unusual when I all of a sudden realized that here in the West it was the director who was telling the cinematographer ‘put the camera here’. I mean it’s two different professions and I really don’t believe, with some exceptions of course as usual, that it’s possible to have total control of the actors and the flow of the story and deciding about a single particular take and the lens and the visual part of it. In being a director you shouldn’t be too close because very quickly you are losing the sense of the wholeness, the most important element of the profession [and I am someone who has directed as well]. As cinematographer I should be one who observes what happens on the location from the seat of the average spectator. So I really believe in creative group work, and somehow our example in the Polish cinema, where we are really creative partners of the director, is a very good example. It works.’
I wouldn’t say The Mandalorian looks cheap, though - not quite. It’s just really conservative, basic and fairly unimaginative. It seems to make a lot of sense considering this is Filoni’s live action directing debut.
One thought I arrived at after considering why I didn’t really like the show much is that while it does feel Star Wars (makes sense for a Filoni joint), and while all that detail stuff that’s in there works quite well, the filmmaking quality feels subpar. Not even up to snuff if measured against some of the middle-of-the-road shows out there these days. Could be because how conservative it is? First-time live action director probably wasn’t the best choice to start with…
On the plus side, it’s not a Game of Thrones knock-off. No pressure is an accurate observation, but judging from the final shot that could change by the end. I am mildly interested in what they do with the little green guy(?), though.
Also, a few too many references that served no purpose - it was a bit distracting just how much they wanted to parade in front of the viewer. Maybe spread those out in the future? Work them into the script more?
I enjoyed the concept art over the credits more than the episode itself. The pilot was oddly… inert. Didn’t live up to the trailers at all, and I wasn’t taken with those, either. Also had plenty uninspired stock humour, pretty generic writing, lacked visual flair, but I think I might be comparing the cinematography to Yedlin’s work on TLJ, and that’s not a fair comparison.
So overall I’m not impressed.
If we stick to that old hat argument, this new cut is even better than the one we got in '77 since it’s the true original vision made flesh for the first time. A-ha!
Gang, I have bad news.
I just read they fiddled with it yet again and went straight to this thread to check whether that’s a joke.
Honestly, it’s just funny at this point. In a profoundly pathetic kind of way.
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019)
It’s fantastic, of course.
Very much surprisingly, I’d say. First time since… Jackie Brown we get characters, themes and story first, swooning over genre trappings second, and even then that element isn’t overwhelming (though there’re still tons of fanservice and name-dropping). This is a more personal, “legitimate” film than any he’s made up to now.
And I liked that thing he did in it a lot. It’s been appearing throughout his films quite a bit, including another moment in this one, but never in a poignant manner. Really works with the piece.
So yeah, he’s proper (one-off until proven otherwise) back.
From what I hear last time that happened we got Picard: Action Man 😉
Considering how The Burnham-centric the universe in Discovery is, part of me fears this new human macguffin will somehow be related to her. We dodged the Borg bullet once, and this time they rolled out a Borg cannon. Not sure how I feel about that, but I think I’m leaning towards “must we?”
It’s painfully evident they still have no clue how to run a peak TV version of Star Trek if the trailer is any indication. In terms of the writers learning the ropes we’re still at the rough equivalent of TNG season 1, i.e. they seem to be copying a template that has worked elsewhere with little regard to the unique qualities of Trek that need to be adapted for whatever their new approach to storytelling is. This becomes an issue in the context of a show like Picard even more so than in the case of a misfire like Discovery.
I want to be very, completely wrong…
Chabon is running Picard, uh, starting now? Will run soon? Has already been? Does it even matter?
I was about the joke about ‘Banana Splits: The Gritty Reboot’ but I guess I underestimated just how desperate Syfy is.
Could be that - to an extent - this smells like a really thankless job. If you’re Shatner and have alimonies to take care of, there’s money to be made, sure, but if you’re an uncredited (even if recurring) extra, you’re barely a curiosity. Might not be worth the hike if you’re not gung-ho on cashing in on your acting gig that never really worked out.
So… I could see someone making this decision while fully aware of what Star Trek is.
I think it was mainly a case of someone with sufficient access putting some time into this particular investigation. But the time factor does make it pleasantly dramatic 😉
It’s crazy we still don’t know who played parts recurring as many as twelve times on the show. That said, I’m waiting for Larry to dig up some info on the Rigel ladies from Shore Leave next. Lieutenant Bobby can be third 😃
Do you think Riker ever asked the Bynars if he could get a copy of the Minuet program? 😛
It’s more than likely it was his priority number one.
And random Tribbles are nothing new. 😉
Though usually they’re not delegated to carry the entire piece on their own 😉
A cool website devoted to the Trek spinoff that never was, but may yet be?
Are there any recent rumours? This would’ve had to be a 60s show, so that boat sailed a long time ago. And Robert Lansing put the final nail in the coffin in the 90s, so to speak.
Here’s a better site, though:
It’s pretty amazing that not only there’s multiple sites dedicated to AE, but that someone’s still interested in making them now.
This would be the time to stop ‘fixing’ the universe and just embrace what’s already there. Captain Riker is the way to go in terms of fan service. Random tribbles and Gorn skeletons are not.
And he definitely should play Night Bird 😃
So… Frakes just tweeted a trombone - doesn’t seem like it’s a stock photo, either - and Brent Spiner was the first to react to that. And it felt kinda nice considering the possibility for a second. I guess there may be gold in them there (TNG) hills, still. For me, anyway.
I might need to brace myself for serious disappointment while the rational part of my brain is in control pre-media blitz.
The only response that one got out of me was a single chuckle (the bit with the cats) which is odd, because it should’ve been right up my alley. I don’t remember much outside of the fact it didn’t work for me at all. I’ve been meaning to give it another go at some point.
Pattinson will never live down Twilight, no matter what he does, and he has a most impressive post-Twilight resume. It’s not easy to re-invent yourself as a character actor after a hit t(w)een drama, but that’s pretty much what he did. He’s really worth following - it looks like his next film is The Lighthouse, and it looks amazing:
That said, I don’t really care for Matt Reeves all that much. I liked Dawn, somewhat enjoyed the other two, really disliked Let Me In, can’t bring myself to care the least bit about Cloverfield or that Schwimmer vehicle.
Probably a solid choice of a machine-tooled studio blockbuster.
The end of season 2 of Discovery… wasn’t a pretty sight.