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Author Topic: The Movie Thread Reloaded  (Read 51854 times)

jhkim

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Re: The Movie Thread Reloaded
« Reply #450 on: December 29, 2020, 03:22:37 PM »
I think they also wanted to show Themyscara again.
The problem with superhero movie sequels is that they're past the 'origin story', but there's a lot of backstory that need to be explained for someone new jumping into the series.

Actually, I feel that it's an annoying trend to always have an origin story as the first movie. One of the reasons I liked "Spider-Man: Homecoming" was that it rebooted without trying to do the origin story again. Likewise, while Guardians of the Galaxy has a flashback to pre-origin, it starts with Star-Lord already as superhero-y as he's going to get. Origin stories have their place, but characters don't need to start with their origin story. That's not how it is in most of the comics.

I think needing to start with origin stories was mostly because mainstream audiences weren't used to superheroes, so they need an explanation to handle "How could someone possibly be a superhero?"  But once one accepts that, then we can just start with characters already as superheroes.

Ratman_tf

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Re: The Movie Thread Reloaded
« Reply #451 on: December 29, 2020, 04:45:56 PM »
I think they also wanted to show Themyscara again.
The problem with superhero movie sequels is that they're past the 'origin story', but there's a lot of backstory that need to be explained for someone new jumping into the series.

Actually, I feel that it's an annoying trend to always have an origin story as the first movie. One of the reasons I liked "Spider-Man: Homecoming" was that it rebooted without trying to do the origin story again. Likewise, while Guardians of the Galaxy has a flashback to pre-origin, it starts with Star-Lord already as superhero-y as he's going to get. Origin stories have their place, but characters don't need to start with their origin story. That's not how it is in most of the comics.

I think needing to start with origin stories was mostly because mainstream audiences weren't used to superheroes, so they need an explanation to handle "How could someone possibly be a superhero?"  But once one accepts that, then we can just start with characters already as superheroes.

I think the thing the recent Marvel Cinematic Universe got right is that it brought non-comic fans up to speed on the characters though their origin stories. As a comic fan, I'll roll with the idea of an amazon princess who fights crime, but that's a huge buy in for Joe Movie Goer, and needs some explanation so they can get into the concept.

Once the MCU movies had established a world full of super hero stuff, they could relax the origin stories a bit. It helps that Star Lord is (in the first movie) more a Star Wars type character than a superhero character.

Plus, I think the origin story is the strongest story for these characters. It tends to be personal, simpler and a more coherent story. Once you start adding in comic bizzareness like star gods and invisible jets and time travelling versions of existing characters side-by-side with their current versions, things get a little too bizzare for the average moviegoer.
I think the MCU managed to wrangle comic bizzareness towards the end, but I don't think they could have kept it up for much longer. And now that the Infinity War arc is over, I expect the movies to either back way off and kind of soft-reboot, or flounder and finally fall off the pop culture radar.

(Plus, Robert Downey Junior carried that franchise on his back. With him retiring from being Tony Stark, I think the franchise is going to lose an important keystone that kept the edifice standing.)
« Last Edit: December 29, 2020, 04:47:45 PM by Ratman_tf »
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jhkim

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Re: The Movie Thread Reloaded
« Reply #452 on: December 29, 2020, 06:10:28 PM »
I think the thing the recent Marvel Cinematic Universe got right is that it brought non-comic fans up to speed on the characters though their origin stories. As a comic fan, I'll roll with the idea of an amazon princess who fights crime, but that's a huge buy in for Joe Movie Goer, and needs some explanation so they can get into the concept.

Once the MCU movies had established a world full of super hero stuff, they could relax the origin stories a bit. It helps that Star Lord is (in the first movie) more a Star Wars type character than a superhero character.

Right. Yes, this sounds what I was trying to say. I would add that with so many more mainstream superhero movies in general, this need for an origin story can be relaxed even outside the MCU. That is, after a decade of mainstream superhero movies, Joe Movie Goer is now more accepting of the idea of a crimefighting superhero - and doesn't require as huge a buy-in.


Plus, I think the origin story is the strongest story for these characters. It tends to be personal, simpler and a more coherent story. Once you start adding in comic bizzareness like star gods and invisible jets and time travelling versions of existing characters side-by-side with their current versions, things get a little too bizzare for the average moviegoer.
I think the MCU managed to wrangle comic bizzareness towards the end, but I don't think they could have kept it up for much longer. And now that the Infinity War arc is over, I expect the movies to either back way off and kind of soft-reboot, or flounder and finally fall off the pop culture radar.

It depends on the character, of course, but I often find that the origin story isn't very strong. I feel the origin story formula tends to be very expository - trying to explain all the qualities of the character, instead of just showing them.

A good intro story, I think, is a simple story that shows off the character in their classic action. It shouldn't involve complexities or bizarreness, but rather a clean story about who they are. Like an introduction to Sherlock Holmes doesn't have to focus on his childhood or how he became that way -- it should rather show off Holmes being Holmes.

Ratman_tf

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Re: The Movie Thread Reloaded
« Reply #453 on: December 29, 2020, 06:41:55 PM »
A good intro story, I think, is a simple story that shows off the character in their classic action. It shouldn't involve complexities or bizarreness, but rather a clean story about who they are. Like an introduction to Sherlock Holmes doesn't have to focus on his childhood or how he became that way -- it should rather show off Holmes being Holmes.

Sure, but Sherlock Holmes has a lot less buy-in than a superhero. If Sherlock Holmes dressed up as a wombat and had a belt full of gadgets, there would be a lot more questions compared to him being just a really good detective.

It also doesn't help that IMO the superhero sequel movies, with very few notable exceptions, have been much less entertaining than the first films which tend to feature origin stories. I can't tell if that's because the sequels are bad, or because they're not origin stories though. Still chewing on that one.
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jhkim

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Re: The Movie Thread Reloaded
« Reply #454 on: December 29, 2020, 07:25:19 PM »
A good intro story, I think, is a simple story that shows off the character in their classic action. It shouldn't involve complexities or bizarreness, but rather a clean story about who they are. Like an introduction to Sherlock Holmes doesn't have to focus on his childhood or how he became that way -- it should rather show off Holmes being Holmes.

Sure, but Sherlock Holmes has a lot less buy-in than a superhero. If Sherlock Holmes dressed up as a wombat and had a belt full of gadgets, there would be a lot more questions compared to him being just a really good detective.

It also doesn't help that IMO the superhero sequel movies, with very few notable exceptions, have been much less entertaining than the first films which tend to feature origin stories. I can't tell if that's because the sequels are bad, or because they're not origin stories though. Still chewing on that one.

I think there's a survivors bias here. Movies that suck tend to do poorly in the box office, and not get a sequel produced. So the first movie of a franchise tends to be better, even if the later movies are strictly average.

That said, I'm not convinced that sequels are so frequently inferior - though obviously that is subjective taste. Personally, I thought Superman II was superior to the original; X2 was superior to The X-Men; The Dark Knight was better than Batman Begins; Captain America: The Winter Soldier was superior to The First Avenger; and Ant-Man and the Wasp was superior to Ant-Man. Plus there are some very good non-origin standalones like Black Panther and Spider-Man: Homecoming. There are plenty of bad sequels as well, though, but I think those are enough to make the record mixed.

HappyDaze

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Re: The Movie Thread Reloaded
« Reply #455 on: January 02, 2021, 07:52:57 PM »
Saw Monster Hunter. Amusingly, it shows us how Rifts does SDC/MDC. In the other world, 
the MDC monsters are immune to bullets and even an anti-armor rocket from our (obviously SDC) world, but are vulnerable to swords and arrows from their own world.

Lurkndog

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Re: The Movie Thread Reloaded
« Reply #456 on: February 08, 2021, 12:05:08 PM »
I finally got around to seeing Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. It has some good moments, but not nearly enough, and the story inexplicably goes off the rails about two-thirds of the way through, leading up to a very underwhelming ending. Ultimately, it's an alternate history of the Manson murders, told from the perspective of people with almost no involvement. There's some nice character work, but it really doesn't come together in the end.

HappyDaze

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Re: The Movie Thread Reloaded
« Reply #457 on: March 18, 2021, 07:14:33 PM »
Just finished the 4h+ Snyder version of Justice League. I liked it far more than the Whedon version. Better characters and the story felt like it fit together a lot better. Of course, both of things are made easier when you double the run time, but I found it enjoyable.

Lurkndog

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Re: The Movie Thread Reloaded
« Reply #458 on: March 19, 2021, 06:41:15 PM »
I'm about halfway through it. So far I think the Snyder Cut illustrates that Joss Whedon had the right idea. Comparing scenes, it is clear to me how much more effective Whedon's edits and dialog are.

Some of the stuff added for the Snyder cut is nice, but it is wildly uneven. There are some nice new effects, but also a lot of places where the effects look rushed and unconvincing. Four minutes in, there is a lovingly crafted shot of the new Steppenwolf, followed immediately by a poorly-photoshopped shot of Lex Luthor standing in a pool of water that wouldn't have passed muster on Hercules and Xena.

Story-wise, it's also hit and miss. There's a scene where Barry saves Iris West, but it's not that great, and then we see Barry crushing on Wonder Woman. There is a lot more interplay between Cyborg and his dad, and most of that is good, but overall the movie is still just way too damn long. And IMHO, the things that were weak in the theatrical cut are still weak in the Snyder cut, they're just drawn out twice as long.

Spike

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Re: The Movie Thread Reloaded
« Reply #459 on: March 19, 2021, 10:24:49 PM »
Well. I just rewatched The Man from U.N.C.L.E.

... The film by Guy Ritchie, not the old TV Show (which... I guess I should watch?).

I am reminded that Alicia Vikander is... an actress. 

No, I seriously have to wonder how she got so much press and so much attention (even, I believe, an award for playing a robot or something), all the up through her reprisal of Lara Croft.  She made zero impact on me the first watch through this film (four years ago?), and knowing who she was for the second watch through I realized all her BEST scenes were ones where she didn't speak*, or spoke only a little to accentuate the physical acting. I assume she was cast for her (lack of) height, in order to make Armie Hammer look even bigger, which in turn was to make up for the tall, and more importantly massive, Henry Cavill, having to be impressed by Hammer's size/physicality.

Still, its a damn charming movie, though one does wish they'd put more time in for the Villian, played by Elizabeth Debricki (Spelling?), who ironically is taller even than Armie Hammer I believe.





*For Stalkerish Trufans of ms Vikander, that's actually meant to be somewhat complimentary.  She did and OUTSTANDING job with the more silent, physical parts of her acting, while her dialog delivery was... adequet.
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Lurkndog

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Re: The Movie Thread Reloaded
« Reply #460 on: March 22, 2021, 10:00:10 AM »
Ultimately, I don't think the Snyder Cut fixes Justice League. That's because the problem with Justice League is that it has Death of Superman jammed into the middle of it. Death of Superman is an end-of-cycle storyline, and they're putting it into the origin, and that doesn't work. All it does is bring the movie to a crashing halt for a half hour.

It doesn't do any justice to Death of Superman, either.

Pat

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Re: The Movie Thread Reloaded
« Reply #461 on: March 22, 2021, 10:48:13 AM »
Ultimately, I don't think the Snyder Cut fixes Justice League. That's because the problem with Justice League is that it has Death of Superman jammed into the middle of it. Death of Superman is an end-of-cycle storyline, and they're putting it into the origin, and that doesn't work. All it does is bring the movie to a crashing halt for a half hour.

It doesn't do any justice to Death of Superman, either.
There seems to be a pattern. Synder likes certain stories and wants them to recreate them, but then he doesn't bring along enough context. Miller's Superman v. Batman fight from Dark Knight Returns is another example. They're dropped into stories about other things, without enough development to make them compelling.

Ratman_tf

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Re: The Movie Thread Reloaded
« Reply #462 on: March 22, 2021, 06:43:23 PM »
Makes me think of Star Trek, Into Darkness. A lot of that movies drama relies on having watched Wrath of Khan, and the characters established in that film.
But Into Darkness is a reboot, and that characterization hasn't been established for these characters. Culminating in the utterly cringey scene where Spock calls out "Kaaahn!" over the death of a character he didn't really seem to like in the first place.  :o

I'm going to star calling it a Drama Hijack, where a story tries to borrow drama from another source without putting in the work to build up it's own characters and situations.

---

I do kinda want to watch the Snyder cut, after watching the RLM review. Leads me to believe that if it's still not good, it's at least palatable with some interesting scenes.


« Last Edit: March 22, 2021, 06:46:32 PM by Ratman_tf »
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Lurkndog

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Re: The Movie Thread Reloaded
« Reply #463 on: March 23, 2021, 09:27:09 AM »
Makes me think of Star Trek, Into Darkness. A lot of that movies drama relies on having watched Wrath of Khan, and the characters established in that film.
But Into Darkness is a reboot, and that characterization hasn't been established for these characters.
Yes! Also, Ricardo Montalban in The Star Seed was bigger and more muscular than Shatner, he looked like he could kick Kirk's ass. Benedict Cumberbatch is a fine actor, but not nearly so physically intimidating.


I do kinda want to watch the Snyder cut, after watching the RLM review. Leads me to believe that if it's still not good, it's at least palatable with some interesting scenes.
If you want to watch it, watch it. Just don't pay a lot of money to watch it.

Lurkndog

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Re: The Movie Thread Reloaded
« Reply #464 on: March 23, 2021, 10:02:49 AM »
There seems to be a pattern. Synder likes certain stories and wants them to recreate them, but then he doesn't bring along enough context. Miller's Superman v. Batman fight from Dark Knight Returns is another example. They're dropped into stories about other things, without enough development to make them compelling.

They come across as fan service, rather than a fully-fleshed storyline in their own right. And they rob future movies of stories that could be great if done at the right point in the series.