Discussion in 'General Chit-chat' started by infernovia, Oct 24, 2010.

  1. Claytus

    Claytus Well-Known Member

    You're... honestly not missing out on all that much, although sometimes they're cool. It's all pandering to existing fans of the comics, so there's no point if you're not going to get the tiny references.

    Honestly, I only responded in the first place to gush over this particular post-credit thing because it's AMAZING!!!

    I just disagree with your premise. You're saying the "war" should have been more gritty. I'm saying the war wasn't a thing in the first place. As you said, they talk a bit early on about some otherwordly army showing up. But as the film pointed out, the villain was actually a) insane, b) incompetent, c) a master of illusion over any other skill. The whole war thing is not really the point. It's just a random setting for the heroes to show themselves being heroic at the end. Making it more gritty would have done little or nothing, because the film isn't about war or it's gritty-ness.
  2. Eji1700

    Eji1700 Well-Known Member

    While i admit this is something you can either accept or not, I do think it was a nice touch that they did acknowledge that people died in this. You have the memorial shots at the end with people crying and leaving flowers at mass graves and stuff like that.

    Personally i feel you can't overthink it. You have to have screaming civilians because it wouldn't be realistic for them to fight in the middle of new york and for no one to be there and fuck super heroes save civilians. You can't be killing them as often as you should because your target audience is not in the R movie range. I mean hell it all makes no sense if you think about it. Firing a plane based minigun in the middle of a city probably killed as many civilians as badguys, but you don't show or even acknowledge that because you're watching the movie likely to just see people do crazy shit.
  3. infernovia

    infernovia Well-Known Member

    Again, doesn't sound like you are watching a good movie then. And I disagree, it could have added a lot. They did a good job making the army seem powerful and numerous visually, it's just that you never feel it aside from the heroes getting worn out (the section with the first worm was pretty good all things considered). And if you think a 20 min battle isn't an important part of a film, you and I have a different definition of "important."

    I don't, it comes as a natural dislike of what's happening on the screen. I am just verbalizing my reactions to the film. And I actually didn't notice the mass grave with people crying, must have been in those news flashes, but that's not really the point.

    Like I said, it's not a bad film. It's just that the world felt too unreal and kiddish to me when it comes down to it exactly because it didn't go through the darker side of the conflict aside from a passing glance, if that. I think this has been subdued in a lot of other comic book films because the bad guys don't have armies strong enough for a government to consider a nuke. Or they are in the middle of nowhere.

    Unreasonable? Possibly, but it is undeniable that the viewer and the moviemakers are compromising. And like you said, you can either accept it or not.
  4. Eji1700

    Eji1700 Well-Known Member

    It's been subdued in a lot of other comic book movies because while there's a lot of comic book fans who'd love to see the darker side of their medium explored, there's a hell of a lot more 12-30 year olds who just want a fun action movie with decent writing.

    I mean dark knight, watchman, and sin city are about as close as you're going to get to the "darker" side of these sorts of things, but the darker you get the more niche your audience. Comic books are automatically stigmatized as "kiddy" and even if that doesn't have to be true the people who might prefer a dark thriller like clockwork orange or chinatown aren't likely going to drop money to see civilians murdered by a guy magic staff. I'll admit it'd be nice for them to try something like that, but really you just aren't going to see productions like that since it's trying to appeal to too small of community.
  5. Claytus

    Claytus Well-Known Member

    It's not about whether the movie's good or not. It's just a style. I meant what I said, which is the entirety of the battle you're talking about is the resolution of the film. As in, the climax already happened before that scene even starts. That's why there's no tension left, they're just tying up the loose ends of the story. For example, I disagree with your statement that the heroes get worn out... they don't, and no sane person would expect them too. They fight to the end because the film has already established that they *are* heroes, and they are capable of winning (as opposed to the beginning of the film, when they would not have been capable).

    I literally don't see any difference between your complain and saying you went to see Hamlet, but hated the part where it ended without showing you the political fallout in the netherlands from the death of basically the entire royal family. Yeah, sure in the grand scheme of things, if it had been a historical rendition of real events that stuff would matter. But it's not, so a detail like that is unimportant and unnecessary.

    *Edit*: For the record, part of the reason I'm bothering to keep posting is to point out that I also disagree with Logo and Eji, even though they're technically arguing against you alongside me. The point is that the filmmakers left it out on purpose because they didn't need it, not that the audience needs to imagine it, or that it was a trick to get a better rating.
  6. Logo

    Logo Well-Known Member

    I don't see any reason why it's not all of the above. There's tons of reasons not to show that stuff in this type of movie, and very few reasons to do it (and I like grittier stuff). They can't show excessive violence and be Pg-13 and they made a movie where they don't need to show excessive violence by avoiding needing to show civilians getting killed. The two could be casual or independent.
  7. infernovia

    infernovia Well-Known Member

    The violence themselves can be hidden, but that's not the point. The impact and the gravity of the situation, that's what I am trying to get through here. Dead Poet's Society was a fantastically made movie that delved into those emotions and it wasn't ripped apart by the ratings board. Spiderman 2 had you in the train sequence. You understand what could go wrong, you understand the magnitude of the obstacle and the sacrifice needed to overcome it. And why such a thing is important. I did not feel this at all in The Avengers when aliens miss all the time or their shots get blocked, moreover the director needs to keep shoving this in your face. All I am saying is that it felt off.

    That's why I said they should hide it from you as much as they could (there are a bunch of places where they could have shortened the civilian scenes). The other solution is to make a movie with the story and a scope that can actually work with the restrictions imposed on it, which is another subject.

    And what, making it a style puts it beyond criticism? I am telling you the style doesn't work with the movie, it doesn't work with the story, especially for me. There are other stories where this style would be perfectly ok, but not when dealing with warfare. Well, it's a pg-13 movie you say? Well, that's exactly my point! It made me feel like I was watching a kid's movie.

    And I really don't know what to say about your response. You are telling me that I shouldn't get alienated by the 20 min conflict because it happens later in the movie, after some climax somewhere else? This despite the fact that Chinatown's resolution was fantastically tense even after the numerous climax beforehand. This despite the fact that Die Hard 2 had you hanging by your seat even after the main bad guy was demolished. This despite the fact that The Fugitive brought you to the end almost breathless. And all of that is pointless anyway, because even if it was the resolution, my criticism still stands. The criticism would then be focused at the structure of the movie. Chinatown didn't let you go for a second.

    You disagree with the statement that killing thousands of attacking aliens would wear you out, even just your physical resources? What?! I mean, we are talking about movies adults can watch right?
  8. rozencrantz

    rozencrantz Active Member

    "Movies adults can watch" is a remarkably large category. People not getting tired is a pretty common and well accepted narrative convention. Do you also get rankled when nobody goes to the bathroom?
    Logo likes this.
  9. infernovia

    infernovia Well-Known Member

    Ridiculous strawman. Yes, I expect people to get tired when they are exerting themselves, I expect them to get beaten up and worn out as the fight goes on. Apparently it makes me insane to expect that out of a movie, which is why I asked if we were still asking movies that adults can watch. Because last I checked, almost all of them had this happen to them.
  10. Logo

    Logo Well-Known Member

    I'm kinda confused about which super hero is supposed to get worn out? Ironman has the suit doing a lot of the work for him (though there's obviously plenty of disbelief about how much he survives being in the suit), Hulk is hulk, Thor is a god, Capt is super human, Hawkeye merely unloads an entire quiver (no small feat, but still an obtainable goal with modern bow technology I'd imagine). So the only one left to get tired would be Black Widow, but she's also not exactly wielding heavy weapons or anything like that, still ya I could see her (and to a lesser extent Hawkeye) as characters that should have gotten worn out.
  11. Claytus

    Claytus Well-Known Member

    Because you're comparing the beginning/middle of Spiderman to the end of Avengers. The train scene is creating tension for the viewer, because it occurs before the climax of the film, and needs to show you the weaknesses that spiderman will later manage to overcome. The battle scene is releasing tension for the viewer, because it occurs after the climax, and needs to show the superheroes successfully fighting despite their earlier troubles.

    You are comparing apples to oranges, and don't appear to even understand why... which is a failure on your part.

    A) I don't know how many times I can say this, but the film wasn't about warfare. It was about teamwork between superheroes. How dense are you to actually believe that since the word "war" showed up in the dialogue it's automatically an overarching theme of the film? Don't believe everything you hear, I guess?

    B) I do take issue with this style of criticism. Suggesting minor tweaks to something you don't really like (and clearly don't understand) all that much in the first place is the worst kind of pretentiousness. Maybe allow for the fact that people who produce movies professionally are better at it than you? Everything in a film has to serve the story. In this case the story elements said "Superheroes act heroic and save the day". Showing a bunch of civilians dying would show the exact opposite thing, the heroes failing. That's why what they did show worked perfectly with the movie.

    Maybe that means you didn't like the movie, which is fine. But don't argue that some slight change would have made a difference, when in fact what you're arguing changes the entire thematic relevence of the scene.

    That also would be a quite reasonable complaint. That the climax happens too early in the film, and then you have to watch a long scene of special effects with no weight behind them. But, oh well, that's what they chose to do. I don't see point you're trying to make by listing a bunch of other films where the climax is closer to the end. Yes, they're different, I agree. So what, having an example of a film with a climax at a different time doesn't somehow change the fact that the climax in this film happened rather early...

    And what personal experience do you have with being irradiated by gamma rays or summoning lightning with a magical hammer to make you understand the physical toll it would take on you? Are you serious?
  12. infernovia

    infernovia Well-Known Member

    Ok, sorry not going to get into this anymore, so this is going to be my last response on The Avengers. I think what I disliked is clear and I don't think it is unreasonable criticism. In the meantime, I find this argument tedious and nitpicky and I feel like I am talking to a wall.

    It was just a little bit and it kinda comes off in acting, sometimes in the damage they take. Like Thor getting punctured by Loki and kinda wincing when spawning lightning. Or iron man kinda slowly getting off the ground after going through the mouth of the worm. Or the heroes getting exasperated with the amount of aliens here and there. I am not talking about a shit ton here, just bits and pieces. Maybe I was just looking for it and projected it into the scenes because I needed to see it, otherwise the movie would be too lame. I don't know.

    I never said the movie would be better for everyone, I said the movie would be better for me. How the fuck is that pretentious? I can't help it if I like it when the opposition seems like it poses a freaking threat, even if there were major conflicts and climax before. I can't help it if I consider "superheroes act heroic and save the day" where the opposition doesn't seem to be doing damage boring. I can't help it if the "climax" wasn't enough for me and I wanted more antagonism or an even higher tension. I didn't say all of this so that you guys would praise me or think I was intelligent, but because that's what I actually wanted out of the movie.

    I don't care if it worked perfectly for you, it didn't for me, I find it lacking.
  13. infernovia

    infernovia Well-Known Member

    Tokyo Godfathers
    Good. I enjoyed it. It's mostly nonsensical but it's pretty funny throughout. I wonder what I would think of the movie if it was with English voiceacting, maybe I would not like it so much? At the end, it's well made caricature, and fits well with it's anime roots. In my opinion, the further it is from reality the better, otherwise the coincidences would end up revolting you.

    Which one would you recommend next?

    Good. A thriller in a "how are these two guys going to interact" sense. It takes it's time to worm into your mind because it's slow, but it's a well told story. The best part about this movie are the chase sequences and action which tends to use as little camera cuts as possible. This means that you start to feel as if there is weight behind the environment, that distances matter, that speed matters, without needing to fake the intensity with shaky cams and random cuts. Very refreshing to see that. It's not great, there are still parts that bore me, but it's a pretty good film regardless.

    Man from Nowhere
    Sleek, grim action film. The director seems like he likes to use minimalist environment sets and it's visually well made. If you like martial arts films and one man armies this is a pretty well made one, and I like the action sequences. Again, I like the attempt to cut down on camera hemorrhaging everywhere because I am getting tired of that.
  14. infernovia

    infernovia Well-Known Member

    This guy is apparently a professional script reviewer (or atleast, he is very familiar with them), and he seems to have a good understanding of what scripts work and what doesn't. This specific article is a good discussion about Fight Club and David Fincher's work in general. I recommend him despite disagreeing with him as he makes interesting points with quite succinct examples (like when he describes the problem with the rape scene in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo).

    I found him while looking for Ruffalo, who was my favorite actor in the Avengers, and he does a good analysis of the Hulk and why he works in Avengers and not in his own movies. Fairly interesting guy, although tedious to read at length.
  15. rozencrantz

    rozencrantz Active Member

    Wow, I hate the way he writes, but I like his ideas even when I disagree with him. He managed to put into words exactly why I hate it when people complain about plot holes and logical inconsistencies. I don't think his point about the visceral experience is universal though, just polarizing.
  16. infernovia

    infernovia Well-Known Member

  17. Delha

    Delha Active Member

    I personally watched his work in the order of release, which let me see his development as it unfolded. I enjoyed Tokyo Godfathers and Paprika the most, but I can't say that I'd necessarily have appreciated the latter as much without it being the last in line. I wasn't a huge fan of Perfect Blue, but similarly felt that seeing it first changed the experience of watching Millenium Actress (which I happened to prefer).

    Sorry I don't have a cleaner answer for you.

    On another note, Tekkonkinkreet might be worth your while (no promises though). I'd certainly heard a lot of good things about it before watching myself, even if I didn't like it all that much personally. In my case, the mini-documentary on the DVD was much more fascinating to me: The director's career history is pretty nutso, as is landing his position on the film in the first place. How much that means to you probably depends a lot on how much you know (and care) about Japanese culture and anime in general though.
  18. Claytus

    Claytus Well-Known Member

    That "hulk" guy is amazing. Thanks for the links, I pretty much 100% agree with what he said (and I think I even made a few of the same points about Fight Club a while back... albeit much less fleshed out).
  19. rozencrantz

    rozencrantz Active Member

    I agree that you shouldn't watch Paprika until you've seen a bunch of his other films. It really felt to me like he knew it would be his last, and put a lot of stuff in it that only makes sense in the context of his other films. (In terms of why it's there, not in terms of understanding the plot.)

    Other than Paprika I thought his best work was his TV series, Paranoia Agent. I enjoyed both Millennium Actress and Perfect Blue when I saw them (I was in high school) but I don't think I'd like Perfect Blue today, and I don't remember almost anything about Millennium Actress except that it did scene transitions in a really fun way.
  20. infernovia

    infernovia Well-Known Member

    Haha, to be honest I almost thought you and that hulk guy were related (or you had already found him before), especially when I was reading that Fight Club stuff.

    Nah, that's a perfectly fine answer. Thanks for the recommendations!
  21. Claytus

    Claytus Well-Known Member

    Haha. Well, he states himself he's looking at films on a "thematic level", which is exactly what I do, and it's something I was trained to do in college, not something I just came up with. Not that uncommon a viewpoint. I even agree with him that most people probably watch films "viscerally"... I just don't personally, and I don't really have much interest in that angle. (Edit: Also... I share his philosophy "never hate a movie" (I'm not saying I don't have exceptions to the rule... just that I wish I didn't, still working on liking Pi;; ), although I'm still meandering through articles by him and haven't read his full explanation of why.)

    Edit 2: Now that I've read it, this article is amazing:
    And seems to basically sum up the reasoning behind every argument we get into, infernovia...

    On the other topic... let it be said that I liked "Perfect Blue" better than it seems rosencrantz or Delha did. But I would also agree that Paranoia Agent is better. You should check that show out.
  22. infernovia

    infernovia Well-Known Member

    k, updated the first page with a bunch of ratings. Probably should have reserved a post below for it too.
  23. infernovia

    infernovia Well-Known Member

    As for the article itself, when I dislike a movie, I usually give reasons as to why I dislike it, you know like criticism. None of the reviews of Avengers have convinced me otherwise, and the ones given by Hulk and his friends on Badass Digest is just really boring to me.

    I won't deny that he knows a shit ton about movies and he has way deeper understanding of technology and the industry than me. And when you work that close, you are bound to see it in the "dude, it's so much work" kinda way. And if you are in the nitty gritty portion of the work, it might be laughable to bring reviews like mine in. But still, criticism cannot be all positive.
  24. Claytus

    Claytus Well-Known Member

    I'm really not talking about the Avengers argument, that was super dumb. I'm more talking about the fact that I can't remember a single topic we agreed on in years, and basically everything in that thread applies equal well to games, or art, or any other we've discussed.

    For example, can you tell me why you even felt the need to post ratings in this thread? What's the point? You're doing exactly what hulk is arguing against by even adding such a thing, which is assigning a value of relative worth (or more importantly, lack of worth) to each object as your primary way of tracking them. There's already better information available in the thread itself on people's thoughts. So all you've done with that edit is literally "make the problem worse" as said in the article. You're draining people's ability to apply intellectual curiousity in favor of pigeonholing everything.

    I mean, it's one thing to throw a rating up in netflix (hurray, it recommends me stuff!), or for a critic to review movies when they come out (people not invested in films heavily want a snap decision to use for deciding whether to spend money or not). But none of that applies here, so where's the value added?
  25. Eji1700

    Eji1700 Well-Known Member

    Various thoughts to your list added. Everything else I agree with or haven't seen.

    Claytus- To generate discussion?
  26. infernovia

    infernovia Well-Known Member

    Quick way to evaluate stuff, and I feel that it's better to know the bigger picture here when I have to go into details as to why I like/dislike a movie. Like I might have bitched about Inception, but it's still pretty high on my list as you can see. And the thread itself is polluted with a bunch of either embarassing mistakes on my part or just bad discussions, a lot of which could be avoided with the rating system.

    And not having ratings is my number 1 complaint when looking at websites with a shit ton of them, or even just five of them. That's because I could read all of their criticism, and feel that they were well made, but still can't figure out what their overall position is. The reason is because it's easier to tear down to build up and a bunch of positive statements mean nothing. I think it is weakness in the part of the reviewer to not be able to summarize their opinion, just as it is weakness in discussions to not be able to read, then re-interpret, and then summarize your opponent's (or friend's) argument.

    Avatar was gorgeous and I couldn't come down to reality for two days. It's worst mistake is that it's predictable, as in you can tell the plot events are going to happen, however it still came by in a surprising way and in a well-paced way. The high I got off of it is similar to the one I got from The Fugitive for example, although the world itself had 90% to do with it. I mean, I could go into what I disliked, which are numerous, but that would still be unfair to the amount of pleasure I got.

    Are you asking me why Spiderman 3 is not like one star? I mean, it's still a fairly watchable movie outside of the disco thing.

    Thor's biggest problem is that the Earth setting was boring as shit or looked ugly as a frog. Loki is a big part as to why I like that movie, because as an antagonist, he is interesting. It was also tied in much much better with The Avengers than Iron Man 2. But yeah, the lack of quality conflict and tension is like 90% of the reason I put Captain America and The Avengers below Thor. I think the more relevant question would be why is it higher than Gladiator, and the reason is I watched Gladiator most recently on a TV that wasn't calibrated. Because some people seem to be ok with the movie looking like it's in a freaking set.

    As for Captain America being so low, here is what I wrote:
  27. infernovia

    infernovia Well-Known Member

  28. Claytus

    Claytus Well-Known Member

    ^^Good call, I probably should have created a new thread in the first place, but I figured we had enough tangents here already that it would work out.

    I do want to say that none of what you said about ratings really seems to answer the question. That being that you've made the classic engineer's mistake of failing to label your axes. Like, what do the stars mean anyway? Is a quality judgement? Is it "complexity" as you defined back in the OP? Is it supposed to be a recommendation to others to watch things near the top and skip things near the bottom? Is it simply your personal preference?

    And more importantly, regardless of what it is... why are any of us supposed to care? I believe you started this thread to ask for recommendations, so do you want us to figure out other things you'd like or what? (I mean, I'm being exaggeratedly negative with that last sentence, but I think it makes a valid point.)

    Although, a secondary issue, is that I disagree with the concept in the first place. Like, take any two random movies on the list, let's go with these:

    Die Hard - 5 stars
    Being John Malkovich - 4 stars

    What did I learn from that comparison? Is the fact that I liked Being John Malkovich supposed to mean you think I'll like Die Hard 20% more? Is Die Hard 20% funnier than Being John Malkovich? Is Die Hard 20% more believable and engaging than Being John Malkovich? The entire concept of using a single catch-all bucket as a starting point of the discussion is disingenuous. It's just a pool of meaningless apples and oranges comparisons with a few actual data points for someone who already knows enough to reach in and at least pull two movies that have some vague similarity.

    (*Edit*: Maybe I lied and that's the same issue, not a secondary issue, oh well... you can respond once instead of twice)
  29. infernovia

    infernovia Well-Known Member

    Quality of work that I judge as good. And yes, I would skip most of the bottom movies. I am thinking about separating the character studies/great characters into a separate column though, but I would need two posts for that, and I haven't found a good way to do it.

    Nobody is "supposed" to care, and it still serves as a small sample of movies listed here summarized in one place. Nobody needs to read through like 200 posts.

    Don't you think it's kinda ridiculous to use a simplified, summarized judgement/opinion and then turn around and ask it to answer a more subtle and deeper question, especially when you are going across genre? And what's with the nitpicking on the 20%? We all know that the 5 star system is a simplification, that we are differentiating between movies which are terrible, bad, average, good, or great.

    So you never compare apples with... let's say, a disgusting chinese egg roll you get in a box? Like, in terms of nutrition, or taste? The bigger scope is absolutely necessary at the end. And it's not exactly a starting point, I mean how long has this discussion been going on?
  30. infernovia

    infernovia Well-Known Member

    See, the problem is that generally when judging it by the criteria that I was looking for, there adds a decent slant and bias to the judgement of the movie as a whole. This means that good, even great movies might not be up to par at this focus, despite being great in almost all regards. And it's absolutely important to acknowledge that.

    What I would have done is this:
    Post 1: Movies that fits the criteria I was looking for and rating based on that.
    Post 2: Complete judgement which accounts for cinematography, action, filming sequences, editing, and all those things that would have play too small of a role in Post 1.
  31. infernovia

    infernovia Well-Known Member

    Or maybe it would be better to leave the rating as it is? I think that, at the end, would be more truthful. It would point out that there might be significant problems with the movie, but it fulfills the criteria that I needed. It also solves the problem of having 2 ratings, which would be kinda confusing.
  32. Delha

    Delha Active Member

    I look at it same way I would any similar list. Glance it over to see how much I agree with, and use that to determine how much weight I put behind the ratings. If the reviewer's tastes appear to line up with my own, use the list as a batch of suggestions for movies to check out in the future. If not, don't.

    In practice, I use a more granular approach (segregate by genre), but the general idea is there. This also somewhat accounts for stuff like your complaint about cross genre comparisons. I'd go so far as to argue that anyone who isn't doing something along these lines is probably using a really bad approach if using reviews to determine what they watch next.
  33. specs

    specs Well-Known Member

    I like movies. I'm trying to get into the business of writing them.

    I admittedly need to catch up on the thread, but a quick glance reveals Avengers talk. I love Avengers. It's great escapism in that it's stupendously action-packed while simultaneously remembering that all characters, no matter how heroic, need flaws. It ain't Children of Men-level interpretive filmmaking but it doesn't have to be.

    Also Children of Men is amazing.

    Now to catch up.
  34. Logo

    Logo Well-Known Member

    I love Children of Men; that ending sequence is fantastic. Brilliantly so.
    Gon and specs like this.
  35. Claytus

    Claytus Well-Known Member

    Wow, just saw Prometheus... so here's some free advice: Don't go see Prometheus.

    If the movie was made of cheese it would be swiss ('cause of all the plot holes). There's literally no given motivation behind any single thing that any character does. And every time they even get close to an explanation of what's going on, they replace it with random semi-religious nonsense, and then some random Deus Ex Machina occurs to skip us forward to the next plot event.

    On the plus side, it at least kind of generated a fun post-movie conversation with friends, just because we had to make up our own stories of what movie they might have been actually trying to make when they started on this disaster;;
  36. garcia1000

    garcia1000 World Champion Moderator (old) Staff Member

    I just saw Prometheus today too. I rate it awful/0
  37. Wobberjacky

    Wobberjacky Well-Known Member

    Yep. Saw Prometheus last night and it was a 0 out of 1 x 10^10^10. A poorly stitched together mess of Hollywood cliches with utterly hack writing and directing. There was something good done in the very early stages of making that movie, but it all went to shit right after that. It goes after some interesting things, but then pulls the same same stunt most video game stories do. Takes a few baby steps towards the themes, then throws up its hands and proclaims, "Done! Ship it."
  38. Logo

    Logo Well-Known Member

    I actually liked parts of Prometheus, even if the whole wasn't that good. Mainly I liked David's character (other than the plot holes he makes) and the uh attempt at being idk how to describe it, but an older movie. Newer movies seem so incapable of taking their time or slowly kinda rolling things out like movies like Jaws and Alien do. It feels like Prometheus wanted to be that type of movie, but at the same time wasn't able to and kinda showed all its cards right away (especially if you saw a trailer/preview).
  39. Wobberjacky

    Wobberjacky Well-Known Member

    I thought Prometheus was just as hurried as any modern Hollywood poop. We spent minutes upon minutes running from a storm, running from a big rolling object, running from a monster, running from nothing, running from who knows what. The small spaces in between were filled with rushed "development" sequences as Claytus pretty accurately described above.

    The early parts of the movie were better about that, I guess. That's about it though. There were small points I liked about it too, but none of them even come close to saving it.
  40. Logo

    Logo Well-Known Member

    No I agree with you Wobber. That's actually what I mean. I saw more of the style I was talking about than I have in a long time*, but it wasn't a consistent message and so much of the movie fell into the modern Hollywood camp to the detriment of the movie itself. Even beyond action sequences, the big 'pow' hollywood scenes (like the very opening scene) worked against the other parts of the film that were trying to be more about development and building.

    Hell the movie imo would have instantly been a bunch better if the first 2 scenes of the movie didn't exist at all and it opened with the ship flying through space.

    *Though to be fair a big motivation for me to see the movie was looking for this style of movie so I was looking for it.
  41. Claytus

    Claytus Well-Known Member

    What? The first scene is, like, the key to the whole film. It's the only thing even pretending to be an explanation of what happens. (yeah, the archaelogical one is kinda unnecessary, but not any more than about 20 other things I could mention... at least it also made sense).

    (I kind of want to write out what I mean, but... spoilers? Is there a tag for that?) *EDIT*: Think I found a not too spoiler-y sentence construction? But maybe don't finish this paragraph if you care. The first scene tells us that humans are what happens when Engineers come into contact with the black goo, and therefore the Engineers feel the same way about the humans as the humans felt about all the other weird shit involving black goo.

    A friend of mine had the opinion that the movie "tried to do too much at once". Which I think what he meant was that it's trying to be a horror movie and a sci-fi movie at the same time. So it's full of awesome horror-ish visuals that require completely illogical setups for them to occur. But then it's also got a sci-fi narrative that has to remain mysterious for no apparent reason just to set up cheap scares.
  42. Eji1700

    Eji1700 Well-Known Member

  43. Logo

    Logo Well-Known Member

    Hah neat read Eji.

    Claytus, yeah that makes sense now reading Eji's thing, but as the very first scene in the movie it felt really misplaced to me idk. The whole build-up of the initial part of movie is to see the Engineers, but as the viewer I've already seen them and I already have a grasp on what they did/who they are. It feels like it's about an hour+ before the characters in the movie have learned enough to move past the point of what we see in the opening scene.

    I'd much rather not see them to start and watch the movie thinking the whole 'creator' thing is equally probable to be a red herring some of the characters believe and the actual truth.

    One problem with its vagueness that I had is it was vague about the exact thing it told you it was about. So it spends the whole movie being vague, but with no actual development because that 1st scene tells you almost everything if you know anything more than the title of the movie (as in seen any trailer at all).
  44. garcia1000

    garcia1000 World Champion Moderator (old) Staff Member

    Eji that is a good read and in fact if they marketed it as "tedious art-house literary criticism boring thing" I would rate it higher than now
  45. Bod

    Bod Active Member

    That's a really fascinating read. It makes me feel a lot better about the movie, though most of my problems are still with the science and storytelling rather than the themes and motifs.

    The biggest problem off the top of my head was the fact that the Engineers had the exact same genetic makeup as humans. That seems beyond ridiculous. The implication here seems to be that Engineers created the humans, but if that is the case it actually creates more problems than it solves. For example, why do humans have like 99% of the same genetic makeup as chimpanzees if humans were created directly from Engineers? Did the Engineers create chimps too? Did they create all life on Earth or just humans? Either way, it seems like a huge mess.

    It was really telling when the biologist said something to the effect of, "What evidence do you have to disprove 300 years of darwinian evolution?" I was thinking oh wow, this should be good. But then they answered with, "We don't have any." Ha, yeah ok neither did Ridley Scott I guess? I don't get it. It's one thing to say there is some alien species that impregnated early Earth with life, but then that species has the exact same DNA or genome or whatever as humans? That makes less than 0% sense.
  46. Wobberjacky

    Wobberjacky Well-Known Member

    Yeah, that is interesting but it doesn't make me think the movie is any better. As you say, Bodknocks, there are huge problems with believableness and storytelling that just ruin it. Yeah maybe the themes are cool and they're reinforced with good motifs, but they're presented in just about the most clumsy and unengaging way possible.

    Edit: Yet again after posting I realize that garcia already said pretty much what I did except in a more amusing way. Dammit.
  47. Claytus

    Claytus Well-Known Member

    Hmm... I think you guys are being way too kind, I saw the symbology on my own (though admittedly I didn't go read up on the original Prometheus to quite work out in the extent in the article), and it just doesn't matter. It's such an incredibly poorly made film despite all that.

    I mean, just using stuff in the article... the viewer has to somehow assume that a quoted time of "2000 years ago" is relative to our current date, not relative to the date the film takes place (which is obviously far, far in our future?)... huh? That image he links of the mural I literally couldn't see in the film, because they flash it at you for 2 seconds, and then talk for 5 minutes about it somehow vanished(how?)? Bodknocks DNA complaints are pretty good. And can anyone tell me why their "probe" detects intermittent life for half the film in a spot where they *never encounter a life form*? Or why they have to flash a giant computer screen with the words "Sterilizing foreign object" at you, and then 45 minutes later the "foreign object" suddenly reappears having somehow survived a crash landing and multiple days without food? Or what possible logical reason the leaders of the crew have for hiding their "secret" reason for going to the planet? The reveal is not only completely obvious, it has 0 impact on anyone's actions.

    Just sooooo bad;;
  48. Logo

    Logo Well-Known Member

    The movie takes place 2093 so it's not that far in the future from now, 2000 years is still reasonable. Saying 2100 would have been better writing, though I thought they said "Over 2000 years ago" which is close enough to accurate. The probe is detecting the engineer in statis on the other side of the door. I took the intermittent nature of it to be caused by the statis. Though that's a pretty long range which is a bit awkward.

    Hiding the secret sucked as the viewer, but the motivation made sense to me. They don't want the scientists to back out because of the audacity in what the old guy is asking for. It also changes the nature of how they would conduct their study compared to if it was in a more idealistic situation (basically they're going to be forced into close contact) which may be uncomfortable. Probably can also assume there's some company things at play that made it more of a secret. You also see this mostly in David's actions. He recklessly pushes the crew through the ruins at the start then infects Halloway all in an effort to find a 'cure' for his 'father'.

    I agree with everything else though.
  49. Claytus

    Claytus Well-Known Member

    Hmm.. I had thought they didn't even tell us, but I guess in the opening scene on the spaceship they print out a date, now that you mention it? I had not remembered what that date was.

    Yes, I agree it's the most likely explanation, but it kind of requires crazy stretching of the available facts. (Also, what's up with the random worms in that first room they enter... the film seems to randomly tell us there's life on the planet when it needs a life-form, and then tell us there isn't actually any life the rest of the time?)

    But both of the scientists want *the exact same thing* the old guy does at the start. The ability to talk with their "creator". They only get mad at the old guy at the end because he doesn't seem to care that everyone else is dying around him.

    Actually, I think everything is more reasonable if you assume that David is trying to get his 'father' killed. He clearly resents following orders, but is programmed such that he can't completely ignore them. So he just purposely does everything in the most catastrophic way possible. I think it's telling that the alien-ese he speaks at the end isn't translated, he's probably not saying any of the things he was asked to say. (And pay attention to all his random lines when alone... "The *trick*, sergeant, is not acting like it hurts", probably a reference to him chafing at his complete lack of freedom)
    Logo likes this.
  50. Logo

    Logo Well-Known Member

    They show it at the beginning with the ship's introduction. I remembered it because it felt really uh... close to today's date. I think it's a forced date from Alien though (Alien occurs in 2179 according to Yahoo questions). And I agree with everything else you said.

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