Jump to content
Amentep

The Blockbuster Oscar Bait Movie Thread

Recommended Posts

6 hours ago, Keyrock said:

What really killed my interest in the Star Wars movies is how much the series leans on deus ex machina. It's a useful plot device, but only if used sparingly. The amount of times the heroes in Star Wars are put into an unwinnable situation and I guess it's all over now... BUT WAIT! Incredible coincidence and luck happens! (which, of course, can be hand waived away as the will of the force, or whatever) It's a get out of jail free card the series' writers use way too often to get out of corners they've written themselves into, which leads to lazy and, quite frankly, terrible writing.

Trying to recall many instances of that in the movies and not coming up with that much, well at least in the O/PT movies.


Why has elegance found so little following? Elegance has the disadvantage that hard work is needed to achieve it and a good education to appreciate it. - Edsger Wybe Dijkstra

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I though they did a pretty decent job of establishing force powers before they became plot relevant, most of the time, which is a pretty good defence against them being classic deus ex machina. eg Luke and the training drone foreshadows the Trench Run and Darth Vader and Obiwan establish that force users can sense each other. There's lots of plotforce moments though which don't really involve The Force as such- the Millenium Falcon breaking down near to Bespin where Lando just happens to be, Han finding Luke in the snowstorm on Hoth (potential force = deus ex machina there) and some more general plot issues too like the time it would take the MF to reach Bespin at sublight.

Coincidences and even dei ex machinis aren't necessary indicative of bad storytelling anyway. The Eagles turned up very conveniently in both The Hobbit and LOTR (and the goblins clearly hadn't read apochryphal Napoleon quotes either and conveniently turned up just before the dwarves and elves came to blows); and Gollum just happening to grab the Ring and accidentally fall into Mt Doom was more convenient than anything I can think of Force related in any Star Wars.

(slightly off topic for this thread but the TV series Legion poked fun at the deus ex machina concept by having a character literally build machines to act as plot devices/ plot drivers multiple times)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

^ Here are a few from the new trilogy:

* Our heroes are being chased by tie fighters with seemingly no escape on Jakku. OH NOES! But wait, the Millenium Falcon just happens to be sitting right there in a junk heap AND it's open AND fully operational. What luck!

* Our heroes have been captured by Nu Empire and are presumably about to be executed. OH NOES! But Nu Rebel Alliance happens to show up in X-Wings st that exact moment with no foreshadowing or explanation whatsoever and shoot down the stormtroopers with bizzarro stormtrooper accuracy.

* Ship gets blasted apart and Leia is sucked out into the vacuum of space. Guess she's dead (pun intended) OH NOES! We already knew Leia was force sensitive, but she has never once been shown to use force powers... Until it's revealed she's Space Mary Poppins. Also, somehow she didn't instantly explode as the air in her lungs escaped into the emptiness of space. Must be another force power she was never shown to have.

* Finn and Rose get cornered by Nu Empire troopers and are hopelessly overwhelmed. Guess they're done for. OH NOES! But wait, best selling action figure BB8 somehow took over a AT-ST... at some point... off-screen. Also, this particular AT-ST is a fan of the Fast n Furious franchise and comes equipped with a nitrous boost to help them escape.

* Rose is about to get blown to smithereens by 3 tie fighters. OH NOES! Suddenly, literally from out of nowhere, the Millenium Falcon appears with Rey - Galaxy's Greatest Gunner manning the turret. TRIPLE KILL!

* Nu Rebel Alliance is trapped in a cave behind a giant door with no escape until the door is blasted open by Nu Empire. OH NOES! But wait, there was an escape tunnel at the back of the cave all along.

* Finn and Rose went off on their side quest and failed and got captured because they are bumbling idiots. OH NOES! But wait, they have a cell mate and he just happens to have the exact set of exceedingly rare skills necessary to complete the side quest.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh man, the Eagle rescues always bothered me on LotR. I don't remember it being well explained in the books, either. Why didn't they just jump on an eagle at the beginning of the journey? Also Frodo is an unreliable narrator who passes out at the most important parts. 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I concur that the Eagle rescue was bollocks.

I mean, I guess the reason Radagast never just had the Fellowship hop on the backs of the eagles and fly to Mt Doom is that the Istari were in Middle Earth to guide the mortals via subtle ways, I guess by saying "good job" and giving them a star sticker every time they did something good and saying "no no no, bad mortals" *finger shake* when they did something bad. They really weren't supposed to get directly involved, not that that ever stopped Gandalf or Sauraman.

Edited by Keyrock
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Hurlshot said:

Oh man, the Eagle rescues always bothered me on LotR. I don't remember it being well explained in the books, either. Why didn't they just jump on an eagle at the beginning of the journey? Also Frodo is an unreliable narrator who passes out at the most important parts. 

Just expanding what Keyrock said above: in the book Unfinished Tales, Saruman, Gandalf the other wizards were ordered to go to Middle Earth and help/guide the people in their conflict with Sauron. Iirc, they were expressly forbidden to solve the problem on their own, because the people of Middle Earth had to fight for what was theirs or something like that. I guess that includes calling the Eagles.

For me the funniest thing though is that all the problems Sauron caused after his boss (Melkor) was defeated could have been easily prevented. Again, I don't know if I remember this well, but in the Silmarillion when they capture Melkor they order Suaron to cross the ocean to face judgement. Sauron initially regreted his crimes, for real, but then he realized that if he went there he would be severely punished and then he decided to stay. And this was stupid, because the guy who arrested Melkor (with the help of an army) didn't consider himself with the authority to arrest Sauron, although Sauron was of a lesser status than Melkor. 🤦‍♂️

  • Like 1

sign.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Any one of the Valar could have just showed up in Middle Earth and said to Sauron "Bro, you need to cut that **** out." and he would have had to cut that **** out because the Valar's power level is OVER 9000, Sauron' even with the One Ring, is maybe at like 500. But they have their rules and all that, except when said rules get expressly broken by Melkor et cetera et cetera.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not really what I'm talking about regarding traditional story telling with respect to serials and heroic adventure, but since you've went with comparing my statements to portrayals of character with respect to race and gender and poor/disrespectful portrayals of same, I'm done trying. 

With respect I never said that anyone couldn't dislike those elements in Star Wars, I was trying to state why they didn't bother me. The stories are pure pulp. Expecting Shakespeare is folly. IMO.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I thought the eagles made sense. They had to sneak into mordor, the eagles were just there to get them out. It was understood there was no making it out otherwise. The eagles were used sparingly because moving against the forces of Morgoth was costly, plus the eagles themselves are sentient and self-preserving.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it's perfectly reasonable to hope for Star Wars to aspire to slightly better and more internally consistent storytelling, especially 40 odd years later.


Free games updated 3/6/19

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Keyrock said:

^ Here are a few from the new trilogy:

For sheer contrivance value none of those come close to comparing to Gollum falling into Mt Doom- highly dextrous guy gets his heart's desire, a ring which has some semi direct ability to influence circumstances/ its holder and first thing he does is fall into lava, the one thing that can destroy the ring and the one thing it would avoid at all costs. If that ending happened in something less well regarded and more consistently badly written like the SW sequels it would be utterly pilloried, especially if Space Don Henley and friends turned up ten minutes later to rescue the heroes from certain death. It gets forgiven in LOTR because the rest of the story is good enough to forgive its flaws.

Similar sort of thing in Breaking Bad when Gus gets blown up and walks out of the room apparently unharmed, it's a highly unrealistic event in an otherwise highly 'realistic' (= maintaining verisimilitude) series which is forgiven because the rest of the series is good, and because it doesn't have long term consequences. Have the same thing happen in GoT S8 however and people would be screeching about it for years even if it ultimately had no impact on the story.

14 minutes ago, injurai said:

I thought the eagles made sense. They had to sneak into mordor, the eagles were just there to get them out. It was understood there was no making it out otherwise. The eagles were used sparingly because moving against the forces of Morgoth was costly, plus the eagles themselves are sentient and self-preserving.

In LOTR I'd generally agree, since they were established in The Hobbit (well, book wise; movie wise not so much).

Besides, anyone with any sense knows that instead of flying the ring into Mt Doom on an Eagle it would be far more sensible to trebuchet it in. Even the physics agrees, if a trebuchet has the force necessary to fire a 90kg projectile 300m then it can, ipso facto, fire a 25g ring for a distance of ~1000km. Indeed, you might actually want to add a bit of extra weight.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you shot the ring to mordor with a trebuchet, the eagles might just knock it out of the air. I hear they are unionized and are entitled to some of the labor of destroying the ring.

  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I didn't have any problem with Rey in Force Awakens. She was portrayed like Luke and Anakin were in their first movies, capable and powerful. It's in the second movie where my problems start. Luke lost his friend, his hand and lost a fight against Vader. Anakin lost his hand and lost against Dooku, but more importantly he was starting to lose his inner fight between light and dark. With Rey there's nothing like that. She just goes on and wins, always. If you have a character who always wins, then there's no suspense anymore.

I am kinda hoping Rey would indeed turn to the dark side. Maybe because everything comes so easily for her, she couldn't connect to normal people or their struggles anymore. She would grow prideful and see everyone else as inferior. But I really doubt it happens.


This post is not to be enjoyed, discussed, or referenced on company time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So far Rey has lost the fight she tried to pick with Snoke, didn't get the training she was looking for from Luke, and got saddled with Kylo Ren and Finn.  So I'd argue she's on trajectory to be just as much a loser as Anakin (lost the fight he tried to pick with Dooku and Obi-Wan, didn't get the relationship he wanted with Padme, was saddled with Jar Jar Binks) and Luke (lost the fight he tried to pick with Vader and Palpatine, didn't get the training he wanted from Yoda and didn't get the relationship he wanted with the Princess because she turned out to be his sister, and was saddled with C-3P0, the biggest buzzkill droid in the galaxy). All she needs really at this point is to pick another losing fight and to make a bad relationship choice, and they've given her three good candidates for the later, if not the former (Finn, Po, Ren). 😛

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, Hurlshot said:

Oh man, the Eagle rescues always bothered me on LotR. I don't remember it being well explained in the books, either. Why didn't they just jump on an eagle at the beginning of the journey? Also Frodo is an unreliable narrator who passes out at the most important parts. 

don't get us started on lotr and silmarillion.

the thing is, we will admit it is unfair to read lotr as literature. lotr is myth. symbols is much more important than plot or prose or character development in myth. descending from the heavens on mighty wings, lotr eagles is the boon granted to the faithful. why? same reason as serpents in a garden with a tree o' knowledge and lethal mistletoe arrows and vulnerable heels. 

am always annoyed when folks defend lotr as literature. is not good literature. insofar as revealing truths 'bout the human condition, lotr sucks. is a frequent brutal read with little concern for meaningful character development. nevertheless, lotr and silmarillion ain't literature. myth. 

"the lord of the rings is of course a fundamentally religious and catholic work." -- tolkien

you folks who likes lotr but hate religions were duped, which we suspect were kinda the point. tolkien brought faith to the faithless w/o most o' such folks ever being the wiser. get a bunch o' jaded existentialists to believe in good and evil and heroic sacrifice and whatnot? congrats to tolkien as a myth builder and guerilla catholic proselytizer. even so, as literature, lotr is kinda lame. eagles? 

*snort*

HA! Good Fun!


"Those who won our independence by revolution were not cowards. They did not fear political change. They did not exalt order at the cost of liberty. To courageous, self-reliant men, with confidence in the power of free and fearless reasoning applied through the processes of popular government, no danger flowing from speech can be deemed clear and present, unless the incidence of the evil apprehended is so imminent that it may befall before there is opportunity for full discussion. If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."--Justice Louis Brandeis, Concurring, Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
31 minutes ago, algroth said:

Better trailer than the last one I reckon. I'm still not sold on it though.

deniro effective playing jerry langford has nostalgia appeal, but am otherwise unimpressed.  

maybe if we were a bigger fan o' joaquin phoenix we could overlook everything else. falling down with a love story, but absent all the uncomfortable race stuff? am not certain what is the direction.

HA! Good Fun!


"Those who won our independence by revolution were not cowards. They did not fear political change. They did not exalt order at the cost of liberty. To courageous, self-reliant men, with confidence in the power of free and fearless reasoning applied through the processes of popular government, no danger flowing from speech can be deemed clear and present, unless the incidence of the evil apprehended is so imminent that it may befall before there is opportunity for full discussion. If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."--Justice Louis Brandeis, Concurring, Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 minutes ago, Gromnir said:

deniro effective playing jerry langford has nostalgia appeal, but am otherwise unimpressed.  

maybe if we were a bigger fan o' joaquin phoenix we could overlook everything else. falling down with a love story, but absent all the uncomfortable race stuff? am not certain what is the direction.

HA! Good Fun!

I suppose the hook to the film is "how does a person end up the Joker", essentially. I don't necessarily mind it as a premise, and I do think Phoenix is a great actor too and always a pleasure to watch, but I felt with the last trailer that the way they were going about it was a tad soapy and contrived, though granted, one needs to see these scenes in their context as they can appear very different if removed from the same.


My Twitch channel: https://www.twitch.tv/alephg

Currently playing: Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, algroth said:

I suppose the hook to the film is "how does a person end up the Joker", essentially. I don't necessarily mind it as a premise, and I do think Phoenix is a great actor too and always a pleasure to watch, but I felt with the last trailer that the way they were going about it was a tad soapy and contrived, though granted, one needs to see these scenes in their context as they can appear very different if removed from the same.

it's an origin film, so yeah, is gonna be 'bout origin. while we kinda do mind the premise, am more concerned with how part o' the origin.

am gonna admit, do a joker origin is, in our mind, inherent flawed. has been a few dc joker origins over the years, and they has all been justifiably unsatisfactory. just one bad day schtick? then there would be a whole lotta jokers, and there ain't. everybody is a joker? then character ain't genuine unique. the joker is an improbable and elemental monster and trying to humanize is a mistake. don't need an origin and provide origin is gonna disappoint a significant % of audience regardless o' what happens in the movie. sure, everybody who ever read more than a few batman joker stories wonders 'bout origin, but is best to leave up to audience imagination. joker is grendel. 

bigger concern is the how. a tad soapy is understatement, but how do you avoid? if you start with a monster, then there is no movie. gotta find some way to break arthur fleck beyond reason. am not seeing a way to get to conclusion w/o resorting to contrived and soapy and trailers has not relieved our concerns so much as amplified 'em.

inventing the abbotts and we own the night are just a couple j. phoenix stinker performances... not just bad direction but bad acting. the weird quasi-english accent for commodus in gladiator were more than a little distracting. am not sure what he were doing in the village. admitted, the dialogue as written were terrible in the village, but phoenix weren't even trying. etc. j phoenix is so beloved by critics, but am a bit more ambivalent.

HA! Good Fun!

  • Like 2

"Those who won our independence by revolution were not cowards. They did not fear political change. They did not exalt order at the cost of liberty. To courageous, self-reliant men, with confidence in the power of free and fearless reasoning applied through the processes of popular government, no danger flowing from speech can be deemed clear and present, unless the incidence of the evil apprehended is so imminent that it may befall before there is opportunity for full discussion. If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."--Justice Louis Brandeis, Concurring, Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
50 minutes ago, Gromnir said:

it's an origin film, so yeah, is gonna be 'bout origin. while we kinda do mind the premise, am more concerned with how part o' the origin.

am gonna admit, do a joker origin is, in our mind, inherent flawed. has been a few dc joker origins over the years, and they has all been justifiably unsatisfactory. just one bad day schtick? then there would be a whole lotta jokers, and there ain't. everybody is a joker? then character ain't genuine unique. the joker is an improbable and elemental monster and trying to humanize is a mistake. don't need an origin and provide origin is gonna disappoint a significant % of audience regardless o' what happens in the movie. sure, everybody who ever read more than a few batman joker stories wonders 'bout origin, but is best to leave up to audience imagination. joker is grendel.

Yeah, I agree. Josh reacted to the Joker trailer in a tweet saying he found this sort of approach better than the "embodiment of chaos" he's portrayed as in The Dark Knight and I strongly disagree because of what you say above - the uncertainty might make the character less of a character, but it also makes him more effective and interesting as an element of its respective film. It also frees the character from the constraints of being his own singular crazy and act more as a symbol or part of a myth instead, to go back to what you were discussing relating to Tolkien and the likes. It reminds me somewhat of the overwhelming tendency there is today amidst audiences to desire for the rational explanation even when there is no need of one that Lindsay Ellis talks about and mocks in the likes of the following:

So probably I spoke too soon about not having any problems with the conceit itself. 😄 That said, appealing to that setting and character's iconography to tell this Falling Down story in a day and age where radical sentiments and hate crimes seem to be on the rise and where these franchises are such a major part of the cultural mainstream could yield interesting results, though as you put it, the bigger concern is how, the "tad soapy" was a cheeky understatement on my part, and given both what we've seen so far as well as the director's track record and so on, I'm not particularly confident.

Edited by algroth
  • Like 3

My Twitch channel: https://www.twitch.tv/alephg

Currently playing: Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey, at least it will wipe away the Jared Leto Joker period, so that's something.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I saw Beauty and the Beast in theater. Something felt off and sub-par the whole watch. It wasn't until I watched Lindsay Ellis' video that it really sank in just how bad they mangled the narrative. I think in the back of my mind I was sort of implicitly defaulting back to my conception of the film, and was leading myself along. When you really break down it's newly contextualized take, the whole thing becomes utterly hallow and nonsensical. Not that the original didn't have it's issues, but it was more of it's message being askew than it's foundational structure.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 minutes ago, injurai said:

I saw Beauty and the Beast in theater. Something felt off and sub-par the whole watch. It wasn't until I watched Lindsay Ellis' video that it really sank in just how bad they mangled the narrative. I think in the back of my mind I was sort of implicitly defaulting back to my conception of the film, and was leading myself along. When you really break down it's newly contextualized take, the whole thing becomes utterly hallow and nonsensical. Not that the original didn't have it's issues, but it was more of it's message being askew than it's foundational structure.

I haven't seen it. Of the recent slew of live-action Disney adaptations I'm only really interested in Cinderella for the Branagh factor, and maybe Pinocchio once it releases due to Guillermo del Toro (if he's still making it). When it comes to Ellis I like watching her work even if I disagree or have little interest on the films she talks about just because of how much she packs into her reviews from a sheer theory perspective. They're always nice food for thought.


My Twitch channel: https://www.twitch.tv/alephg

Currently playing: Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...