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Old 01-10-2018, 09:10 AM   #16
cynwulf
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"Star Wars" was heavily influenced by Arkira Kurosawa's The Hidden Fortress and loosely follows the plot. This explains the Samurai influence (Vader's armour and helmet, the Jedi, light sabres, etc). Flash Gordon, the French comic book series Valerian and The Fighting Devil Dogs TV serial (with the villain "the Lightning" being a possible influence for Vader) are also said to be possible influences.

Regarding the use of CGI special effects: It was used to produce the death star 3D map (on a PDP-11). CGI was not used elsewhere (not for targeting computers, etc). I recall reading that it took half a day to process just the spinning ball and trench attack simulation and it crashed several times before they could get it right.
 
Old 01-10-2018, 03:35 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cynwulf View Post
...It was used to produce the death star 3D map (on a PDP-11)...
That was the second computer I used ("used" meaning "submitting a stack of punched cards and waiting").
 
Old 01-10-2018, 07:23 PM   #18
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You're right ... I forgot that graphic. I remember the green-screen display in the fighter. (I really didn't know how they did the globe image.)
 
Old 01-11-2018, 08:14 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by sundialsvcs View Post
Star Wars: The Last Jedi is supposed to be "the one movie that everyone on Planet Earth will see." But, I walked out on it last night.

The Star Wars franchise is not in good hands with The Mouse. Even though they have unlimited amounts of money to spend on movies, theme parks and such, they are playing hell with the central characters – especially, in my view, Luke Skywalker.

Now, part of the problem, of course, is that Disney waited too long. The (surviving ...) original actors are frankly old, and Mark Hamill hasn't kept himself up nearly as well as Sir Alec Guinness did. But, the character himself is completely changed. I come away completely agreeing with Hamill's obviously later-redacted comment:

In the first Mouse film, Luke has disappeared into hiding, yet he somehow leaves behind (in two pieces that are miraculously re-united minutes before the cliffhanger ending) an interstellar map pointing out his location. (Neither did the movie bother to explain why everyone was going to all odds to find him. Doesn't he have a Facebook account? ) But, when he is actually found, he seems surprised. Furthermore, there never was any good reason either for him to "go and stay gone," or to remain on a picturesque cliff-side with no obvious source of food. And then, sometime after the series of scenes that finally made me "balk and walk," (I am told that ...) he basically does nothing. You would fully expect the character who drove all three of the Lucas episodes would be front-and-center now. But that character is now nowhere to be seen. Not only does he not participate, he doesn't want to.

(The last movie that I walked out on was Terms of Endearment, even though Jack Nicholson's a great actor and the movie won several Oscars.® Suddenly, he had turned into "a good actor, reading his lines." It wasn't the actor's fault – it was the screenplay.)

I'm also tired of the repeated "Melted Mask" re-appearances of the Last Bad-Guy, Darth Vader nee Annakin Skywalker. Once again this is not true to this character's story, and the Disney films really have no other arch-villain with which to replace him. (I can easily anticipate that Kylo Ren will become a good-guy at the end of the next installment, although I hope they leave out the Ewoks.)

They did make two excellent casting choices in Adam Driver and Daisy Ridley. (Be sure to check her out in Murder on the Orient Express!) There is movie magic when these two play close-camera scenes together, and The Mouse might finally be figuring out that he shouldn't be wearing that mask (designed to look good on a doll action-figure, no doubt ...) that his character, unlike Darth Vader, has no technical reason to wear at all. Both of these actors are g-o-o-d at what they do ... when you can actually see Adam's face. (Otherwise, she's playing to a doll.)

Maybe Star Wars has fallen victim to "sure-thing disease." The Mouse is confident that moviegoers will watch anything that's got the logo on it. (Although SW: Rogue One bombed badly.) They've got all the money in the world to spend, and no one to tell them, "no."

Except, maybe, me.
See, here’s the thing, though: you walked out, so you didn’t see the character arc or any development. You decided it was bad because it wasn’t “your” Luke Skywalker as well - the things he was doing weren’t in his character (and, to set this straight, he didn’t ‘leave a map’ to himself. It was speculated that he was at the first Jedi temple - the map was supposedly to that, not HIM specifically).

But here’s what you’re missing: Luke was on that island for like 30 years. Maybe throwing a lightsaber over his shoulder or acting like nothing matters isn’t in character for ROTJ Luke, but you know who it is in character for? Yoda. Yoda, who spent 30 years on an isolated planet reflecting on the rise and fall of the Republic, the Jedi, etc. Yoda, who did the same exact thing to Luke that Luke does to Rey.

A lot of people think the movie is bad for their own reasons, and fine, whatever. It’s a space fantasy, hardly the most consequential thing in the universe. But definitely watch the whole thing at some point - both to get the ENTIRE story, and to see at least two of the most impressive scenes in any of the movies combined.
 
Old 01-11-2018, 10:53 AM   #20
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To my way of thinking, it was both unnecessary and un-wise to bring back any of the original cast members in the first place. As I said, they were by now too old and frail (except for Harrison Ford) to do again what they had done in their youth, and the franchise didn't really need them. "Swords and Sorcery (in) Outer Space" is a universal theme. They easily created a new hero and a new anti-hero, and supporting cast, and made fine casting decisions.

But they did bring the characters back, including the one character – Luke® – that the other three movies were about. He was a simple hero, but he was a (classic, story-book) hero. But as Disney's screenwriters have treated him, and as Hamill rightly observed, Luke Skywalker® is now a quitter. Furthermore, although he's present in the story, the story doesn't revolve around him. He runs away ... and appears determined to stay away forever, no matter what might happen to his sister, who still isn't wearing her own light-saber (and, alas, now never will). You simply must never do that to the hero who gave you three blockbuster movies and whose character was central to all of them.

"What Luke Skywalker® would have done," if one of his students turned rogue, would be to briefly re-group his forces and go back on the counter-attack. He would continue to see the good in his student just as he perceived the good in his father. He would have gone accompanied by his friends and allies, but, at the pivotal moment, he would have stepped forward alone. Perhaps he would have supported Rea just as Obi Wan supported Luke, and passed out of the story (in the last movie) in a similar way. He never would have retreated; never have become a hermit, never would remove himself from the center of the fight. And, as he taught students, he wouldn't have done it as Yoda did. (After all, he's not a puppet.) But, all of that is entirely gone. "My Luke" isn't there anymore.

If you're going to re-use a hero, be faithful to the character. Don't re-write him.

Last edited by sundialsvcs; 01-11-2018 at 11:04 AM.
 
Old 01-11-2018, 11:21 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sundialsvcs View Post
To my way of thinking, it was both unnecessary and un-wise to bring back any of the original cast members in the first place. As I said, they were by now too old and frail (except for Harrison Ford) to do again what they had done in their youth, and the franchise didn't really need them. "Swords and Sorcery (in) Outer Space" is a universal theme. They easily created a new hero and a new anti-hero, and supporting cast, and made fine casting decisions.

But they did bring the characters back, including the one character – Luke® – that the other three movies were about. He was a simple hero, but he was a (classic, story-book) hero. But as Disney's screenwriters have treated him, and as Hamill rightly observed, Luke Skywalker® is now a quitter. Furthermore, although he's present in the story, the story doesn't revolve around him. He runs away ... and appears determined to stay away forever, no matter what might happen to his sister, who still isn't wearing her own light-saber (and, alas, now never will). You simply must never do that to the hero who gave you three blockbuster movies and whose character was central to all of them.

"What Luke Skywalker® would have done," if one of his students turned rogue, would be to briefly re-group his forces and go back on the counter-attack. He would continue to see the good in his student just as he perceived the good in his father. He would have gone accompanied by his friends and allies, but, at the pivotal moment, he would have stepped forward alone. Perhaps he would have supported Rea just as Obi Wan supported Luke, and passed out of the story (in the last movie) in a similar way. He never would have retreated; never have become a hermit, never would remove himself from the center of the fight. And, as he taught students, he wouldn't have done it as Yoda did. (After all, he's not a puppet.) But, all of that is entirely gone. "My Luke" isn't there anymore.

If you're going to re-use a hero, be faithful to the character. Don't re-write him.
I don’t want to spoil anything, but you should really watch to the end of the movie. You might be pleasantly surprised.

TBH, a lot of what you stated that you heard second-hand isn’t correct about Luke in the film.

Just a suggestion, I’m not some crazy SW nut that hates everyone that has a problem with the movie. 🙂
 
Old 01-11-2018, 04:19 PM   #22
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I think sundialsvcs has a point, though I would have sat through it to the end and then posted my thread from a more informed position. Perhaps it's just a US thing to take not liking a film seriously enough to actually get all riled up about it and leave before the end...?

I have a wife, a child, and other younger relatives, so yes I've had to sit through worse dross than any Star Wars film...

I also think the old characters should have been left out and they should have just started anew, without any of the original 4/5/6 characters.

Personally I think 95% of "Hollywood" is just shite. It can be entertaining, but it's still bad nonetheless. There are a few gems and of course many disagree as to what those are as well, but the rest is just bad.

At the moment, I don't think the problem is with actors - there are more than enough great actors in Hollywood, in that respect it's in a better state than ever before, it's the production companies and to some extent "celebrity" directors, the former of which are just rehashing the same tired old thing over and over and watching the money roll in and the latter (when they are involved - not really in the case of Star Wars) who seem assured that their very name guarantees an instant hit.

Thus Star Wars 7 in particular was a rehash, because no one dared to change the formula. 8 just seemed to be shrouded in speculation and sensationalism pre-release. I don't know what the fuss was about, I haven't bothered to find out - as I said, I'll wait for the DVD. The key is in money spinning franchises - "serials" really where people will just want to see the next installment regardless of the critical reception. Marvel Avengers is another classic example. None of the films were a patch on Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight Trilogy, yet they still sell by the bucketload 10 years on, no matter how predictable, samey, cliched and repetitive it's all become.

Disney are, of course, taking Star Wars down the very same route - it's a well proven money spinning franchise. It won't be left alone, it won't be spared, so expect more and more films and also more spin off films. George Lucas, to his credit, excercised at least some restraint with his creation and it least it was his "baby" and whatever we think of 1/2/3 they were exactly as Lucas intended them to be (with much less interference from the production company than 4/5/6 in fact) - those days are gone.
 
Old 01-11-2018, 07:55 PM   #23
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cyn, what UK shows/movies do you like? I completely agree about your Hollywood comment.
 
Old 01-12-2018, 02:56 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sundialsvcs View Post
Star Wars: The Last Jedi is supposed to be "the one movie that everyone on Planet Earth will see." But, I walked out on it last night.
...They've got all the money in the world to spend, and no one to tell them, "no."

Except, maybe, me.
I decide what I see and what I don't thanks, and no, never seen any "Star Wars" or "Star Trek" movies and don't plan to either.

I'd be happy to "tell them no" and would too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cynwulf View Post
...
Personally I think 95% of "Hollywood" is just shite. It can be entertaining, but it's still bad nonetheless. There are a few gems and of course many disagree as to what those are as well, but the rest is just bad.

...
Ain't that the truth cynwulf. Absolutely.
 
Old 01-12-2018, 04:13 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by ChuangTzu View Post
cyn, what UK shows/movies do you like? I completely agree about your Hollywood comment.
My TV hardly goes on these days. There are some reruns of "The Black Adder" on one of the obscure freeview channels. An early 80s comedy from the less politically correct days...

I think the British film industry is still pretty much as dead as it has been for the last several decades. Making it in the US and getting into US films seems to be the only objective for most British actors. Anything we do make is "export grade", i.e. "gritty drama" with typical working class stereotypes and lovable toffs or glorification of assorted scum lords ('gangsters')...

Zulu 1964 (the film that made Michael Caine), but actually with Stanley Baker in the starring role (and as producer), is superbly done.

The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957) Actually British/American production is also great and featuring Alec Guinness doing what he does best (Guinness actually hated Star Wars and refused to talk about it or interview once the film was done - apparently they had to pay him a lot to come back and do the voice-overs and "ghost" appearances in Episodes 5 and 6.).

Carol Reed’s The Third Man (1949) goes without saying.

Get Carter (1971) another Micheal Caine film, albeit an "underworld" themed one, but excellent nonetheless.

Any of the Monty Pythons are also worth a watch.
 
Old 01-12-2018, 07:58 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urbanwks View Post
Just a suggestion, I’m not some crazy SW nut that hates everyone that has a problem with the movie. 🙂
So, you won't mind that I took a light-saber to your car? You needed a new car, anyway ...
 
Old 01-12-2018, 08:06 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cynwulf View Post
Disney are, of course, taking Star Wars down the very same route - it's a well proven money spinning franchise. It won't be left alone, it won't be spared, so expect more and more films and also more spin off films. George Lucas, to his credit, excercised at least some restraint with his creation and it least it was his "baby" and whatever we think of 1/2/3 they were exactly as Lucas intended them to be (with much less interference from the production company than 4/5/6 in fact) - those days are gone.
I still have fun watching what they continue to do with Batman®: literally everything from Adam West (RIP) ("nadanadanadanadaBAT-MAN!" ... "POW!" "ZOWIE!" ... still by-far my favorite version of it) ... to horribly-underexposed trying too-hard to-be serious films where the best parts (and the best acting ... how could you play Batman himself?) go to the villains ... on and on and on to ... to ... Lego® ?!?!

I know that far too much costuming attention goes into: "How will this character look as a doll action figure?" Masks are very popular because it's much harder for the injection-molding industry to produce a convincing face.

And you can clearly see this in the three(!) movies that they made from one book, The Hobbit: "How will this sequence look as a video-game or an amusement-park roller coaster ride?" Considerable sequences in all three installments were really nothing more than that, and had no parallel whatsoever to Dr. Tolkein's children's-book.

Last edited by sundialsvcs; 01-12-2018 at 08:09 AM.
 
Old 01-12-2018, 09:14 AM   #28
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. . . Dr. Tolkein's children's-book.
The Hobbit is for serious readers, not just a children's book
 
Old 01-13-2018, 09:57 PM   #29
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The Hobbit is for serious readers, not just a children's book
Well, yes, everything that Dr. Tolkein wrote was "serious," but this book was considerably lighter and less complex – much more of a straight story of Wizards and Dragons. I think that there was absolutely no reason for Hollywood to make three movies out of it, except that they knew that they could. But, although the characters found themselves on a video-game / amusement-park ride each time, otherwise they were pretty faithful to the book.

Last edited by sundialsvcs; 01-13-2018 at 09:58 PM.
 
Old 01-13-2018, 11:07 PM   #30
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I am a big fan of Tolkien's books. They were, as our British friends would say, smashing good stories, but they were not great novels. The characters were one-dimensional--all good or all bad, with no more nuance than a Bugs Bunny cartoon--but the stories absolutely rocked.

I think that so far I've read The Lord of the Rings five times.

As for movies, I have this thought, which I believe has general application: Once a movie becomes a "franchise," it goes to not a very good place. Creativity no longer matters; it's all about the marketing.

We have become a society of shallow.
 
  


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