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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2007 10:27 am 
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Crime Against Nature
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Sledge Hammer! wrote:
There were created to be just another big shiny fx laden summer blockbuster and a showreel for what Industrial Light & Magic could do that week, rather than being stories that needed telling led by well rounded and balanced characters (who we care about) to guide us through them. Occasionally you'd get an actor who made it work anyhow, such as Liam Neeson or Christopher Lee, but mostly it all just felt like the visualization of that universe was far more important than any of the characters living in it to Lucas. And that is why he failed.


Lucas is a weird director, in that his storytelling is very good, visually he really understands the camera and how to move int he digital world, but he doesn't know what to do with actors at all. And even worse, he doesn't know how to direct their performances.

Look at how dynamic the ship battles or chases are, but a "humanoid" battle like the end of Ep 1 is just stagnant.

My main beef with the prequels is how there is almost no motivation for anyone's actions other than "it's in the script": Why is the Trade Federations blockading the planet? Why send Jedi for a trade negotiation? Why go through a planet in a strange ship with a useless character? Why land on a hostile desert planet for repairs instead of sending for reinforcements (in all the universe no Jedi are nearby?)? And on and on. None of the actual stories have to change AT ALL. Just the character motivations and specific actions.

In Phantom Menace, Anakin should have been a slightly older, more cocky kid of great skill. He should boast that he can win the part. He should have also promised his mother he'd return right away for her. He should be running all sorts of scams with the other slave kids and should be well-known as the alpha kid there (seriously, what kid with jedi abilities would not be acting out his id?). Then the council's reluctance would make more sense. And it would make more sense for him to steal a fighter at the end (disobeying Qui-Gon) and just plain crash it into the control ship. I'd rather suspend disbelief that he could escape (maybe with great injuries) than try and buy him accidentally saving the day.

In Clones, he could then be this big hero. Make him the tabloid star of the Jedi who keeps topping himself, but also gets more cocky and reckless. And maybe he was too caught up in it all to get back to his mother, or maybe he tried to return after his training and she was gone. Then when he finds her dead it's basically his own fault, and he kills the tuskens because he's mad at himself. He should also HIDE THIS from everyone. Padme would be more apt to fall for this "jedi superstar" than the whiny kid we got.

And finally, there is absolutely no reason for him to go to the dark side in ROTS. But what if Palpatine told him they found out that the Jedi were behind his mother's death in an attempt to cut off the ties to his old life (yet we would see it was Palpatine who did it? Heck, Palpatine should tell him Owen & Beru, etc. were all killed, removing any reason for him to revisit tatooine) What if during the big rescue up front Anakin was trapped in the crashing ship and Yoda/Mace ordered Kenobi to leave him and concentrate on catching Grevious? And then what if the Jedi came to arrest Palpatine while he was telling Anakin the story at the Opera? Wouldn't Anakin have much better motivation at that point to not trust the Jedi at all, and also help Palpatine defend himself? Wouldn't it also make more sense for him to then go to the temple looking for Obi-Wan and just start killing the Jedi who get in his way (since we've already established in the previous 2 films what a superstar badass anakin is)? Obi-Wan isn't there, he goes to find Padme (who is waiting for him on Mustafar) and Obi_Wan is with her. And that's it. In a rage he kills her, he tries to kill Obi-Wan. He loses and now has a reason to hunt down the Jedi across the galaxy (he's looking for Obi-Wan).

Nothing in the scripts was organic at all. And the resolutions and questions raised were terrible.

All this could have been avoided had Lucas just enlisted a real writer to flesh out his stories like Kasdan did. I have better hopes for Indy IV because Lucas ain't writing it, and ain't directing it. Spielberg will get a good performance out of everyone (he just keeps getting better as far as his directing skills go) and at least the script should be serviceable.

J.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2007 12:55 pm 
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Grickle Grass Grower
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Wow, sledge, u creepy boogledong, get off my page. That is EXACTLY how I feel about them.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2007 2:00 pm 
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Toy Otter,

I don't know if you came up with that, or what, but that would have been SO MUCH MORE AWESOME than what we got, it's just pathetic.

Seriously, that just makes SO MUCH MORE sense.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2007 2:46 pm 
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Crime Against Nature
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I just made it up as I was typing it!

Which totally leads me to the question of why no one who saw this stuff during production ever questioned it.

I worked on a lot of Phantom Menace stuff before the movie came out and only had a ton of art and photos to work with, and a detailed outline. Let me tell you, the movie that I had constructed in my head using all the same elements that Lucas had was MUCH cooler than what we got. I was seriously telling everyone how this movie was going to blow away everything.

I got to see it a few weeks before it came out, and even with the crowd I was with who were really pumped up, it was a huge letdown. Because nothing in it surpassed the impact of seeing the photos, let alone the story I had imagined.

Arrgh. Now I'm getting mad at ROTS again! What makes these films sooooo frustrating is that they could have been great! And a lot of the stuff is so stupid it could have been fixed in minutes! Take that "high ground" nonsense at the end: All Lucas needed to do was have Dooku on the top of the stairs at the beginning (which could have echoed Vader in ESB nicely, too) and have Dooku tell Anakin is was useless to continue because he now had the advantage of the high ground. Anakin then makes an amazing Jedi leap and cuts off Dooku's hands. So it wouldn't affect the Palpatine/Anakin exchange that followed, and it would have foreshadowed the Anakin/Kenobi scene at the end. And it ould demonstrate Anakin's confidence that the high ground means nothing to him, and in fact is a demonstration of his power rather than just moving down a few feet from Kenobi.

I still think the "high ground" is one of the most inane things I've ever seen in any movie. Didn't Anakin just make an enormous leap off that falling thing across the lava?

Anyway, nothing in these scripts seems to be thought out at all. Let alone having any artful dialogue, coupled with directionless acting.

Grrr.

J.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2007 4:38 pm 
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I think the underlying problem to all those things (and Jason's right with everything he's said--I'd love those movies!) is that no one was willing to say no to George Lucas. He surrounded himself with Yes Men, and so what we got was the purest George Lucas. Which isn't necessarily a good thing. The Star Wars stuff I've liked the most are the things that he set up and then let other people play with--The Empire Strikes Back (largely written by others and directed by Kershner), The Clone Wars cartoons, etc.

I love GL's vision, but his execution just sucks.

Pretty movies, though. Pretty, pretty movies.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2007 5:10 pm 
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The first half hour (Coruscant battle) is one of the best sequences in Star Wars history (after the Battle/Escape from Hoth, the final Death Star battle (NH), the Rescue of Princess Leia from the Death Star and the battle at the Pit of Carkoon) and perhaps the best sequence in the prequels but after that, the movie just descends into stupidity.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2007 5:37 pm 
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Agh. I hated the first half-hour. The space battle was nothing compared to the Death Star II battle from RotJ IMO, but that could just be my affection for Admiral Ackbar speaking.

One of the things that ended up bugging me about the prequels is that there weren't any superhero ships to root for. They didn't have a Millenium Falcon or an X-Wing...the heroes' ships were all either only there for one movie, or were disposable and destroyed before you could get attached to them. Some cool designs, but without the personality that the OT ships had.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2007 6:46 pm 
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NOTHING in the prequels had the personality of the stuff in TOT for my money.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2007 9:24 pm 
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Quinn wrote:
I think the underlying problem to all those things (and Jason's right with everything he's said--I'd love those movies!) is that no one was willing to say no to George Lucas. He surrounded himself with Yes Men, and so what we got was the purest George Lucas. Which isn't necessarily a good thing. The Star Wars stuff I've liked the most are the things that he set up and then let other people play with--The Empire Strikes Back (largely written by others and directed by Kershner), The Clone Wars cartoons, etc.

I love GL's vision, but his execution just sucks.

Pretty movies, though. Pretty, pretty movies.


Exactly right. McCallum is the worst example of the hollywood yes man, the kind of guy that'll always praise his masters voice no matter what he says or comes up with. Star Wars wise Lucas long since got rid of anyone who would tell him "no, that's a bad idea George", or "I think that needs more work" or whatever, and surrounded himself with too many shrill and spineless sheep like McCallum. Truth is Lucas is a great ideas man, a great visualist, but a poor director, and he outright sucks as a writer and storyteller. He's a guy that desperately needs his stuff to be filtered through other people to bring the best of it out.

Thankfully with Indy at least you have Spielberg, who is someone with a very strong sense of self and with his own vision about the creative process, and who, being both a friend of Lucas, and at *least* of equal stature and on equal footing with him, won't simply agree to stuff for the sake of expediency or because that's the easiest way to solve things. Ford is also known to have his own very strong views of the characters he plays too. So I think Indy is in far safer hands to take the best of Lucas and leave behind the worst aspects, than the prequels ever were. Here's hoping they nail it.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2007 4:58 am 
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Damn, what can I add that hasn’t already been argued and agreed upon? Everyone sees the holes in the stories, plots, character motivations and even the scripted lines but what irks me the most are the visuals! I watch these films and all I see is the computer that created them. In Empire everything seams real because it is, but watching the cartoon like effects of these movies pulls me out of the drama. That bothers me more then stumbled lines and wooded acting. Sometimes I wish Donald Trump would just buy Lucas out so we can all here those two magical words directed at that senile old fool!


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