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Re: Random Thread

Posted: Fri May 24, 2013 9:32 pm
by Dennis196492 ... hread=6502

Ladies and Gentlemen, John Boorman's Lord of the Rings.

Altough it's not the actual screenplay (I know, disappointing, whatever) this is an fairly detailed sumary of it.

WARNING: lots of dumb, perverted, unecessary stuff.

Re: Random Thread

Posted: Mon May 27, 2013 10:54 pm
by Garrett Gilchrist

Re: Random Thread

Posted: Tue May 28, 2013 3:33 pm
by danebckr
I'm not good at this whole forum thing. I'm still wondering where I type in the IRC channel address. You kids today, I swear.

Did anyone see Star Trek: Into Darkness yet? There constant rehashing of the original series really took me out of the whole experience. Hell, he even made a Star Wars reference in it! We get it Abrams, you're the king of all nerds. Jerk off. Plus the story was a classic "domino script". This happens so as to make this happen so as to make this happen so we can get to the action. It's a series of events that look alright at first, but when put together to serve a coherent storyline, they just don't add up. Domino Script. It begins with a single event, falling into another event, and so on and so forth until the last plot device falls into place. Sure, it was pretty while it lasted, but stepping back and looking at the end result, all you see and get is a big mess.


Re: Random Thread

Posted: Tue May 28, 2013 4:57 pm
by Garrett Gilchrist
I didn't see Star Trek Into Darkness, but I saw the first film. I am no fan of Star Trek - most of my friends in high school were and are. I found Next Generation very dull, and while I'm somewhat impressed by the original series I can only appreciate it on a schlocky B-Movie level, which generally isn't the level on which I appreciate anything.

I have never been terribly impressed by anything J.J. Abrams has done, and I'm wondering what the reason is exactly that he has such huge, unchecked power in Hollywood at the moment. I felt his first Star Trek film was good enough, acceptable in a mass-audience way, if not really my kind of thing. I've felt that about most J.J. Abrams things I've seen - they're nothing I'd really want to actually sit through either. Not everything he's done has been a massive success, and Cloverfield was an amazingly bad movie. There must be some compelling behind-the-scenes reasons why he's such a big deal. I mean, obviously it's all studio politics anyway. And he's made money. Lots of money.

I haven't really disliked his work either, and I haven't seen a ton of it. He's clearly a talented filmmaker and producer, and so I don't feel too qualified to talk shit about him. But Star Trek [2009] reflects a larger problem, so talk shit I shall.

Star Trek [2009] didn't feel like any Star Trek series or movie I've seen. It filled in a lot of blanks when I heard that J.J. Abrams wasn't a Star Trek fan, and was much more into Star Wars, and certain Steven Spielberg movies that everyone liked back then. I'm not the first or last to say this, but Abrams essentially turned Star Trek into Star Wars, and created a film which makes almost no sense whatsoever. It's a lot of running around and absolutely no logic, with events that should take months happening in the space of two hours, much like how in pretty much any Batman film, the hero faces villains he's had nearly 75 years of history with, and instead faces them once, often for just a few minutes, and then kills them. In this case, Captain Kirk -- I literally just typed Captain Jerk without even meaning to -- runs around and screws up literally everything for a couple hours and then becomes a Starfleet Captain or something. Meanwhile the overall tone is 50% Star Wars, 50% lens flare, and 0% Star Trek. There are, at least, a lot of Star Trek references, which apparently now counts as the same thing.

These are unfortunate films. Well-made and diverting, but less than meaningless, in that they actually destroy whatever meaning the old TV series had, and star actors without a fiftieth of the stage presence that the original series actors had ... and I don't even like the original series actors. It's a reference, a movie called Star Trek because that sells tickets. It's playing the Hollywood game, but creating nothing new for a new generation to love, the way Star Trek and Star Trek: The Next Generation did. It's destroying the old and replacing it with absolutely nothing.

I suspect that a J.J. Abrams Star Wars film is the one thing that could actually be worse than The Phantom Menace and the films and TV series and merchandise and expanded universe that followed it. And I am certainly aware that almost no one will ever call it out as such. For me, everything that Star Wars was had been destroyed by what it became, and movies I loved as a kid are less than meaningless now, and exposed as lacking any meaning in the first place. But at least the prequel trilogy came by its awfulness in a legitimate way. It exposed George Lucas' imagination, and the limits of his abilities as a writer and director. It showed what his mindset was, the influences Star Wars came from, and to what extent he'd actually thought this stuff through.

A J.J. Abrams Star Wars film will not be a bad movie, by any technical standard. It won't be slow-paced and full of flat line readings. There will be running and shouting and action and wacky misadventures. But it will be essentially meaningless. It will come from nowhere, a copy of a copy. It will be Star Wars like you've never seen it before, something completely new, and diverting for the two hours you're watching it.

It will be The Muppets, I suppose. You know, the 2011 movie whose creators included Flight of the Conchords director James Bobin and co-writer/star Jason Segel. The creative team behind that movie were clearly fans of The Muppets. They wanted to recreate and reference the 1976-1981 TV show. They wanted to show, maybe, how it had influenced their own work. But they weren't Jim Henson, or Frank Oz, or Jerry Juhl, or Paul Williams, or so on. They were imitating The Muppets on a very surface level - what they looked like, what the "set" of the old show looked like. They referenced the Muppets as something that died out in the 80s, and if that was funny it didn't matter that it was insulting. They brought their own sensibility. And suddenly it felt like a Flight of the Conchords episode - certainly all the songs sounded like that - or a Jason Segel film. And these old characters were brought out like dusty old relics, to star in a movie which didn't have the same writing style, didn't have the same soul or feel. It had a soul, but an entirely different soul. It's the difference between classic Looney Tunes shorts and Looney Tunes: Back in Action. Or Space Jam.

They copied the show. And maybe as kids they were influenced by the show. But they weren't influenced by the things that the show was influenced by. They didn't grow up among the same influences and ideas, and didn't understand the context the show came from, or what it was really trying to accomplish. So they copied the thing. On a surface level.

Star Trek [2009] doesn't even go that far. They copy the characters, to an extent, but try to fix them. Pump them full of adrenaline. Exaggerate them. Make them extreme versions of something sort of like somebody's idea of what they were supposed to be. And stick them into an action film which makes even less sense than action films do. They've copied a copy of a copy. There is no attempt to understand the context the original series derived from, because that context, and those ideas, are considered archaic and uninteresting. This needs to be a film jam-packed with excitement, and larger-than-life characters and events. Not large and complex - large and paper-thin. The idea is not to do Star Trek, because Star Trek is broken and wrong. The idea is to do a modern film called Star Trek, that will satisfy a mass audience, and Star Trek fans, who have sat through bad movies before and don't apparently mind being pandered to with little references.

The name Star Trek sells tickets. And making a fun, exciting film of Star Trek is a difficult process, and the fact that the film is as good as it is should be applauded. I'm sure the sequel is fun as well. It is a miracle that any film gets made and isn't terrible.

Star Trek, as a film, didn't do anything for me, but neither did any of the real Star Trek films. So this isn't my fight. But it bothers me how properties from years past are resurrected as context-free memes to sell tickets through nostalgia. We copy the thing, rather than the circumstances that brought it into being, and thereby create meaningless films that actually destroy the meaning of the original.

Star Wars and Star Trek were based on and inspired by other things. Other concepts. Other films and books. In Star Wars' case the influences are famous - Lensman, Dune, Kurosawa. The influences for The Matrix were obvious too. But these films created something new and exciting with their influences, something that rose above the moviegoing fare of the day and excited audiences in a way they hadn't felt before. 2001: A Space Odyssey did that too, without needing to sacrifice all logic and pacing [unless you mean in the other direction].

I wonder if a film could really make a big splash now, and rise above the blockbuster fare we see all the time, impress people and really seem to change things. The Lord of the Rings did it, so I suppose it's never too late. The Phantom Menace changed things, in the wrong way. It showed what was possible- a completely digital world where anything is possible and nothing is worth caring about. Our mass media grows ever stupider, ever more divorced from any context.

J.J. Abrams' work does not rise above. It's exactly what the studios want to see, on TV and on the big screen. Perhaps that's why he's so successful. It's different, in its way. It's nice to look at. One could and should call it art.

And I will reserve my right not to ever care about it.

The WB network, like FOX before it, started out appealing to black audiences, and then stopped once it started making real money. In early 1998, the WB premiered a show called Dawson's Creek, appealing to white teenage girls and sending a very clear message about who it was targeting now.

I'm not a white teenage girl. If I were, I might have watched J.J. Abrams' other show, Felicity. But I recall seeing a portion of what I think was the premiere of Dawson's Creek.

Dawson was played by James Van Der Beek. He was a filmmaker, attending USC for awhile.

I also attended USC, a very mainstream, top film school, which I didn't fit in at. Around the same time, even. I grew up loving Star Wars and Jim Henson. I grew up and bit and discovered Terry Gilliam and Kurosawa. I loved British comedy. Monty Python, The Young Ones.

So, Dawson wants to be a filmmaker. And he says - I looked this up on IMDB - "All the mysteries of the universe, all the answers to life's questions can be found in a Spielberg film."

I remember thinking that was the phoniest thing, that a filmmaker would idolize Steven Spielberg. It felt like a gourmet chef idolizing Applebee's, or Chili's. Perhaps that's too cruel. Steven Spielberg is one of our great filmmakers. He made a lot of movies I loved as a kid, and movies I enjoyed as an adult. But Steven Spielberg has always been synonymous with the mainstream. His films were impossible to avoid, and aimed at the widest audience possible, like Jurassic Park and E.T. They were movies we loved, but a film student should demonstrate that he's actually sought out movies on his own, in his spare time. Movies that not everyone around him has seen. If you love Steven Spielberg, as a filmmaker, to the exclusion of all else, it would feel like you haven't seen very many movies. Or have only watched movies put in front of you by your family.

I thought, what bad writing. What a paper-thin character. A filmmaker whose chief influence is Spielberg. No one like that could exist. A filmmaker would be pretentious and try to turn his friends on to something they haven't heard of. In real life he would be a pod person, choosing to say Spielberg so that he doesn't offend anybody with his actual feelings and choices, if he even has any.

Over the years I've met a few filmmakers who legitimately worshipped Spielberg, well into their 30s. Formative experiences with Indiana Jones and so on had left them wanting to recreate those films themselves. I still wonder if they're pod people. They talk and feel like pod people. But they do exist. These people tend to also still like Star Wars. Most industry people in Los Angeles feel like pod people anyway - living a carefully constructed life, desperate not to offend - so who can tell the difference?

As far as he's admitted to the press - and stop me if I'm wrong - J.J. Abrams' chief inspirations as a filmmaker appear to be Spielberg films. With a little bit of Star Wars thrown in. Super 8, which I didn't see, was designed as a Spielberg tribute.

Cue Dawson's Creek theme.

Re: Random Thread

Posted: Wed May 29, 2013 10:13 am
by Garrett Gilchrist
Harmy has released a video for his new in-progress restoration of the original Star Wars. This is some of the first footage from the 35mm-transfer "Saving Star Wars" project that's actually been publicly released, although footage has been circulating privately.

Re: Random Thread

Posted: Wed May 29, 2013 2:35 pm
by Garrett Gilchrist
Former forum member Warren Blyth posted this on FB:

"Randomly suggested that putting out a zine about films might be more interesting than long emails. a friend agreed, kinda. and i saw that my domain expired tomorrow - which has all congealed into a mad excitement to start my own zine! and invite any friend who wants to write (or make art) about film to contribute.
so if you're interested, lemme know."

Re: Random Thread

Posted: Thu May 30, 2013 1:30 pm
by Garrett Gilchrist
You can buy animation art from "It's the Cat," by Mark Kausler - a veteran animator and one of Dick Williams' favorites.

Here's the Facebook page.

Re: Random Thread

Posted: Sat Jun 01, 2013 6:45 pm
by Garrett Gilchrist

Pulp Fiction is running on television right now in a censored version, something of a fool's errand. Last time I spotted Pulp Fiction on television, a huge chunk of the film was cut out after Marvin gets shot, removing the whole section where Travolta and Jackson have his blood all over their clothes. This version has profanity redubbed, by actors including Jackson himself, and includes the "Elvis or Beatles" scene to add some extra time.

EDIT: Rear projection cab driver scene's back in too.

Re: Random Thread

Posted: Sun Jun 02, 2013 4:33 pm
by Garrett Gilchrist
DMCJ brings us "A true, definitive soundtrack album for Magical Mystery Tour."
Part 1 -
Part 2 -
75 minutes of FLAC-o-rama for your burning pleasure.

Re: Random Thread

Posted: Sun Jun 02, 2013 5:06 pm
by SmarTeeMackxs
Tell him about depostfile because, Unfortunately, I could only download the second part and was denied the first.