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Old 04-07-2014, 07:03 PM   #511
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Default Re: Movie Thread

The main two reasons why I would say I'm 'jaded' by comic book/action movies are:

1. Stakes

First off, there's never really any threat of danger for the 'corps heroes'. We all know that Arnie is going to kill the bad guy or that Spidey is going to save the day. The whole premise of action/hero movies is inherently flawed since no matter how bad things get the hero is going to prevail. The exceptions to this rule are usually both commercially and critically successful.

The other problem with 'stakes' are that in every movie now the 'hero' has to save the world (or universe). It used to be, 'save the girl', or 'save the town/city', but the stakes have kept going up and up and up so now it's 'save the world!' every hotdamn movie.

How many times am I supposed to care about some macguffin 'doomsday device' which is going to wipe out the world that only the hero can stop?

Some of the best movies of all time, even in the action/sci-fi genre (Aliens, Die Hard, The Empire Strikes Back, The Matrix, The Wrath of Kahn), didn't even involve saving more than a few people or even self preservation. In Aliens the crew were just trying to save themselves. In Die Hard John McClain's main motivation is to save his wife (and the hostages, but mostly his wife). In Empire you cared about the corps heroes; there was no 'death star'. The Matrix was about finding 'the one', the reveal and then saving Morpheus. The whole 'save humanity' crap didn't come in until the less successful sequels. Wrath of Kahn was about Kahn vs. Kirk; the whole 'Genesis' thing didn't come into play until the end. It was Kahn vs. Kirk for 90% of the movie---and SPOCK DIES (later retconned, but still).

Even The Dark Knight was not just about 'saving the city', but deeper philosophical concepts. It was Batman vs. the Joker; 'valor' vs. chaos. 'Doing the right thing no matter what' vs. 'watching the world burn'. Oh yeah, and critical characters (Rachel and Harvey) were killed off!

The point is, the best/most beloved movies of the genre usually work because of...

2. Character development (or lack thereof). As stated above, most fans love movies because they care about the characters.

This has carried over into TV BIG TIME. The most beloved shows of the last 10+ years (The Sopranos, The Wire, Breaking Bad and Mad Men) were renowned for character development. It matters. It matters a whole hell of a lot.

Those shows also killed off or had bad things happen to key characters throughout their runs. They were 'realistic', or at least didn't have 'everything is okay!' gold ribbon endings.

Movies try their best to accomplish that, but only have 90-150 minutes to do it... it's tough and only gets tougher as they cater to fans and/or action junkies.

Those are the toughest hurdles that movies have to clear.

Honestly, I think most super hero stories would work better as TV shows. With the right financial backing and casting they could really work. It worked for Smallville.

Last edited by NSMaster56; 04-07-2014 at 07:47 PM.
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Old 04-07-2014, 07:36 PM   #512
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Default Re: Movie Thread

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Originally Posted by NSMaster56 View Post
Character development (or lack thereof). As stated above, most fans love movies because they care about the characters.

This has carried over into TV BIG TIME. The most beloved shows of the last 10+ years (The Sopranos, The Wire, Breaking Bad and Mad Men) were renowned for character development. It matters. It matters a whole hell of a lot.

Those shows also killed off or had bad things happen to key characters throughout their runs. They were 'realistic', or at least didn't have 'every wins!' gold ribbon endings.

Movies try their best to accomplish that, but only have 90-150 minutes to do it... it's tough and only gets tougher as they cater to fans and/or action junkies.
Great points

It used to be TV was the shallow escapism (I am not talking sitcoms - check out 60s "drama" like Bonanza on TV Land), whereas movies through the 70s were where you got serious character development (Godfather I & II, Chinatown, Nashville).

The summer blockbuster flipped that with Jaws and Star Wars in the mid-70s - now the big money in theaters is making movies (Gravity/Avatar) that are short term immersive experiences in the theaters but revealed as little more than the visual effects on even a 70" HDTV. OTOH you get long narrative threads with The Sopranos, Mad Men, Game of Thrones, and Breaking Bad (R.I.P. Hank) where treasured characters die.

Cannot wait to see if Mad Men rallies from a middling season 6 as its starts up again on Sunday

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Honestly, I think most super hero stories would work better as TV shows. With the right financial backing and casting they could really work. It worked for Smallville.
Maybe, but as stated above they have become special effects extravaganzas - that is the trap movies are in with a "can you top this?" arms race on special effects
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Old 04-07-2014, 07:51 PM   #513
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Default Re: Movie Thread

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Cannot wait to see if Mad Men rallies from a middling season 6 as its starts up again on Sunday
I forget who said it (someone on Grantland or who does MM recaps), but Mad Men is like a good/long novel (or even encyclopedia).

It's a slooooooooooooooooooooooooowwwwwwwww burn.

The Wire and Breaking Bad were more like a series of books. Sagas/volumes. Each one tells its own story that adds up to something bigger.

I think you really have to view them differently than other hit shows.

I don't like MM as much as the other shows, but I appreciate the narrative.

But yes, I agree with you. Last season was lacking. At least the women have never been more interesting or foxy!
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Old 04-07-2014, 10:22 PM   #514
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Default Re: Movie Thread

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Then college and the Army must just be a factory for homosexuals.
I didn't ask; they didn't tell.
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Old 04-07-2014, 10:25 PM   #515
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Default Re: Movie Thread

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just finished re-watching Alien and Aliens again after a long time of not seeing them. Those are two really good movies.
Indeed. Each fir different reasons.

Alien is the ultimate scare. Plus, the parasitic nature of the face-hugger & chest-burster is the creepiest thing ever.

Aliens is one of the best action movies ever made. The head-mounted cameras is what makes it feel like we are right in the thick of it all.
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Old 04-07-2014, 10:40 PM   #516
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Default Re: Movie Thread

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Indeed. Each fir different reasons.

Alien is the ultimate scare. Plus, the parasitic nature of the face-hugger & chest-burster is the creepiest thing ever.

Aliens is one of the best action movies ever made. The head-mounted cameras is what makes it feel like we are right in the thick of it all.
Aliens is in my top 3. That is how you do a sequel.
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Old 04-07-2014, 10:44 PM   #517
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Default Re: Movie Thread

@NSMaster56 @Atlanta Dan

Character development IS the key to a movie/show. If we don't have empathy (or at least, sympathy) for the protagonist, the movie/show isn't nearly as powerful.

Dan, The Godfather I & II are a seven hour journey into Michael Corleone: from an innocent young man to a heartless don. I always watch them back-to-back (like one long movie). Probably my favorite movie (singular) ever.

NS, the interesting dynamic in The Dark Knight was not necessarily Batman vs. Joker; it was that Batman believed in the inherent good inside of people, while the Joker believed that all people were evil at heart. The "two boats & detonators" was going to play out to either prove Batman right or prove Joker right. It wasn't about Batman's strength, money, or gadgets; and, it wasn't about Joker's cunning; it was about what the people (normal old people) would do.
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Old 04-07-2014, 10:45 PM   #518
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Default Re: Movie Thread

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Aliens is in my top 3. That is how you do a sequel.
Aliens, Godfather II, & Empire are the three best sequels ever.
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Old 04-07-2014, 11:07 PM   #519
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Default Re: Movie Thread

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@NSMaster56 @Atlanta Dan

Character development IS the key to a movie/show. If we don't have empathy (or at least, sympathy) for the protagonist, the movie/show isn't nearly as powerful.

Dan, The Godfather I & II are a seven hour journey into Michael Corleone: from an innocent young man to a heartless don. I always watch them back-to-back (like one long movie). Probably my favorite movie (singular) ever. .
Agreed - it is that, Chinatown or Dr. Strangelove for me.



Godfather I & II were recut for TV (it runs on AMC sometimes) with additional footage (scenes where Sonny meets with Tessio about whether Clemenza was involved in the Don being shot - sets up Tessio being the capo that flips) and narrative going from all the DeNiro as young Don in Godfather II, then Godfather I, then all the Michael as Don in Godfather II. Lays out the rise and fall of the Corleones (I prefer to think Godfather III was never made).
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Old 04-07-2014, 11:16 PM   #520
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Default Re: Movie Thread

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I don't like MM as much as the other shows, but I appreciate the narrative.
Part of the appeal of Mad Men for me is that I was growing up in the 60s and remember more and more of what is discussed as that decade progresses (for most of you who are too young to remember - no year you have lived through was as batshit crazy as 1968) as I got older

Since I thought You Only Live Twice was the greatest movie ever made when I saw it (I was a kid) I loved this scene to end season five (bad Don returns)

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