PDA

View Full Version : Flashback: ESB blasted in NY Times (June 15, 1980)



Beast
05-22-2002, 03:41 PM
I just thought with as much as critics (professionals and amatuers) complain about AOTC and TPM not being any good, or not being in the same vein as the original movies. That we all should be reminded how badly the original saga was seen by movie critics. This review is from the June 15th 1980 issue of the New York Times. :)

"The Empire Strikes Back" Strikes a Bland Note
By VINCENT CANBY

The Force is with us but let's try to keep our heads. These things are certifiable: "The Empire Strikes Back," George Lucas's sequel to his "Star Wars," the biggest grossing motion picture of all time, has opened. On the basis of the early receipts, "The Empire Strikes Back" could make more money than any other movie in history, except, maybe, "Star Wars." It is the second film in a projected series that may last longer than the civilization that produced it.

Confession: When I went to see "The Empire Strikes Back" I found myself glancing at my watch almost as often as I did when I was sitting through a truly terrible movie called "The Island."

The Empire Strikes Back" is not a truly terrible movie. It's a nice movie. It's not, by any means, as nice as "Star Wars." It's not as fresh and funny and surprising and witty, but it is nice and inoffensive and, in a way that no one associated with it need be ashamed of, it's also silly. Attending to it is a lot like reading the middle of a comic book. It is amusing in fitful patches but you're likely to find more beauty, suspense, discipline, craft and art when watching a New York harbor pilot bring the Queen Elizabeth 2 into her Hudson River berth, which is what "The Empire Strikes Back" most reminds me of. It's a big, expensive, time-consuming, essentially mechanical operation.

Gone from "The Empire Strikes Back" are those associations that so enchanted us in "Star Wars," reminders of everything from the Passion of Jesus and the stories of Beowulf and King Arthur to those of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn, the Oz books, Buck Rogers and Peanuts. Strictly speaking, "The Empire Strikes Back" isn't even a complete narrative. It has no beginning or end, being simply another chapter in a serial that appears to be continuing not onward and upward but sideways. How, then, to review it?

The fact that I am here at this minute facing a reproachful typewriter and attempting to get a fix on "The Empire Strikes Back" is, perhaps, proof of something I've been suspecting for some time now. That is, that there is more nonsense being written, spoken and rumored about movies today than about any of the other so-called popular arts except rock music. The Force is with us, indeed, and a lot of it is hot air.

Ordinarily when one reviews a movie one attempts to tell a little something about the story. It's a measure of my mixed feelings about "The Empire Strikes Back" that I'm not at all sure that I understand the plot. That was actually one of the more charming conceits of "Star Wars," which began with a long, intensely complicated message about who was doing what to whom in the galactic confrontations we were about to witness and which, when we did see them, looked sort of like a game of neighborhood hide-and-seek at the Hayden Planetarium. One didn't worry about its politics. One only had to distinguish the good persons from the bad. This is pretty much the way one is supposed to feel about "The Empire Strikes Back," but one's impulse to know, to understand, cannot be arrested indefinitely without doing psychic damage or, worse, without risking boredom.

This much about "The Empire Strikes Back" I do understand: When the movie begins, Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) and their gang are hanging out on a cold, snowy planet where soldiers ride patrols on animals that look like ostrich-kangaroos, where there are white-furred animals that are not polar bears and where Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) almost freezes to death.

Under the command of Darth Vader, the forces of the Empire attack, employing planes, missiles and some awfully inefficient tanks that have the shape of armor-plated camels. Somehow Han Solo and Princess Leia escape. At that point Luke Skywalker flies off to find Yoda, a guru who will teach him more about the Force, Yoda being the successor to Ben (Obi-Wan) Kenobi (Alec Guinness), the "Star Wars" guru who was immolated in that movie but whose shade turns up from time to time in the new movie for what looks to have been about three weeks of work.

As Han Solo and Princess Leia wrestle with the forces of darkness and those of a new character played by Billy Dee Williams, an unreliable fellow who has future sainthood written all over him, Luke Skywalker finds his guru, Yoda, a small, delightful, Muppet-like troll created and operated by Frank Oz of the Muppet Show. Eventually these two stories come together for still another blazing display of special effects that, after approximately two hours, leave Han Solo, Leia and Luke no better off than they were at the beginning.

I'm not as bothered by the film's lack of resolution as I am about my suspicion that I really don't care. After one has one's fill of the special effects and after one identifies the source of the facetious banter that passes for wit between Han Solo and Leia (it's straight out of B-picture comedies of the 30's), there isn't a great deal for the eye or the mind to focus on. Ford, as cheerfully nondescript as one could wish a comic strip hero to be, and Miss Fisher, as sexlessly pretty as the base of a porcelain lamp, become (is it rude to say?) tiresome. One finally looks around them, even through them, at the decor. If Miss Fisher does much more of this sort of thing, she's going to wind up with the Vera Hruba Ralston Lifetime Achievement Award.

The other performers are no better or worse, being similarly limited by the not-super material. Hamill may one day become a real movie star, an identifiable personality, but right now it's difficult to remember what he looks like. Even the appeal of those immensely popular robots, C-3PO and R2-D2, starts to run out.

In this context it's no wonder that Oz's contribution, the rubbery little Yoda with the pointy ears and his old-man's frieze of wispy hair, is the hit of the movie. But even he can be taken only in small doses, possibly because the lines of wisdom he must speak sound as if they should be sung to a tune by Jimmy Van Heusen.

I'm also puzzled by the praise that some of my colleagues have heaped on the work of Irvin Kershner, whom Lucas, who directed "Star Wars" and who is the executive producer of this one, hired to direct "The Empire Strikes Back." Perhaps my colleagues have information denied to those of us who have to judge the movie by what is on the screen. Did Kershner oversee the screenplay, too? Did he do the special effects? After working tirelessly with Miss Fisher to get those special nuances of utter blandness, did he edit the film? Who, exactly, did what in this movie? I cannot tell, and even a certain knowledge of Kershner's past work ("Eyes of Laura Mars," "The Return of a Man Called Horse," "Loving") gives me no hints about the extent of his contributions to this movie. "The Empire Strikes Back" is about as personal as a Christmas card from a bank.

I assume that Lucas supervised the entire production and made the major decisions or, at least, approved of them. It looks like a movie that was directed at a distance. At this point the adventures of Luke, Leia and Han Solo appear to be a self-sustaining organism, beyond criticism except on a corporate level.

MTFBWY and HH!!

Jar Jar Binks

Beast
05-22-2002, 04:06 PM
This review proves somthing I have noticed from the beginning, and that Lucas has been saying from the beginning. These movies are for kids. Most of us grew up loving the OT, cause we saw them as kids. These new ones will never have that magic for most of us, because we arn't kids anymore. Alot of the opinions about the prequels being bad, sound just as bad as this adult movie critic, reviewing Empire Strikes Back. We lost that innocence that we had in our youth. Kinda sad, if you ask me. :(

MTFBWY and HH!!

Jar Jar Binks

bigbarada
05-22-2002, 04:11 PM
The depth of this guys ignorance of the film has me wondering if he even watched it at all before tearing it apart. What planes and missiles did the Empire use in the battle of Hoth?:stupid:

Hey, Vince, don't blame Lucas or Kirshner just because you are too dense to figure out a simple plotline.

I've read similar bad review for ANH and ROTJ also. Especially ANH which was completely torn apart by critics. I'll do some research to try and dig up a couple of those reviews.

Anyway, Star Wars wasn't considered a masterpiece and GL wasn't considered a genius until all the kids who grew up with the trilogy started writing magazine articles and movie reviews of their own.

bigbarada
05-22-2002, 04:15 PM
Originally posted by JarJarBinks
This review proves somthing I have noticed from the beginning, and that Lucas has been saying from the beginning. These movies are for kids. Most of us grew up loving the OT, cause we saw them as kids. These new ones will never have that magic for most of us, because we arn't kids anymore. Alot of the opinions about the prequels being bad, sound just as bad as this adult movie critic, reviewing Empire Strikes Back. We lost that innocence that we had in our youth. Kinda sad, if you ask me. :(

MTFBWY and HH!!

Jar Jar Binks

I agree, too many of the criticisms of AOTC sound an awful lot like this guy's criticism of ESB. "It was cold/heartless/soulless etc." The funniest one I have read is that AOTC has too many Special Effects or is "sensory overload." Huh? Are the guys who said this really the same kids who grew up on the saga? They sound like the same, old, crotchety farts who panned the OT during their initial release.

JediTricks
05-22-2002, 06:00 PM
Nothing personal to those who disagree with me, but this crap about "these movies are for kids" is ridiculous, IMO of course. I remember being a kid and watching the adults around me go nuts for ESB while I only sorta liked it, and then these same adults went even MORE nuts for ROTJ (which I liked a lot more, because "Luke won!"... hey, I was 7, what do you expect?) - some of them were so enthralled with the "lovable Ewoks" that they bought all the various Ewok collectibles.

The idea that it's "just a movie for kids" is a big fat cop-out as I see it - Star Wars transcends the very notion because it's accessable to everybody. Lucas bases some of that statement on what he based Star Wars upon originally - movie serials - but what Lucas seems to have forgotten is that many of those serials were made to appeal to all audiences, not just those plopped down at the Saturday matinees.


This review sounds like a trumped-up version of the review of many kids I knew had for the film when it first came out, yet most of them embraced it years later. ESB is not for everybody on the first viewing, its power is that it affects you in the depth of its story and characters rather in the number of its F/X - and sometimes, it takes a while for that to set in.

bigbarada
05-22-2002, 06:18 PM
Who said that Star Wars was just for kids? Not me.

I just stated that kids seem to be able to appreciate a movie for what it is, not for it's critical acclaim or box office tallies. I think many adults are simply too jaded and cynical to truly appreciate a Star Wars movie. Especially the "nitpicker" crowd, who not only insist on tearing apart the movie piece by piece; but try to ruin it for everyone else as well.

2-1B
05-23-2002, 03:00 AM
Yeah, I agree that the movies aren't just for kids. :D

As a kid, I HATED the Yoda ESB sequences, I found them so boring. Now I wouldn't even think of skipping past them, they are really a treat.

Fast forward to 2002 when AOTC was made "for kids" . . . then what am I doing in the theater totally enjoying it at my age? :happy:

Beast
05-23-2002, 03:07 AM
I never said that they are only for kids, but they are made for kids. But just like any movie that is made for kids, adults can enjoy them as well. But it is obvious that many of us lost a little bit of the innocence and wonder that these kinda movies were made to tap into, as we grew up. :)

MTFBWY and HH!!

Jar Jar Binks

bigbarada
05-23-2002, 03:39 AM
Any hack writer can come up with a script that only appeals to adults. Making something that only appeals to kids takes a little more work, since many adults have lost touch with that part of themselves.

However, it takes a truly talented writer to come up with a story that appeals to all ages across the board. That's why the truly great "kids" film have been entertaining to adults as well. Funny how just because a movie has no bad language, extreme violence or sex/nudity then it is automatically considered a "kids movie" by the media. :rolleyes:

stillakid
05-23-2002, 03:42 AM
Originally posted by bigbarada
Who said that Star Wars was just for kids? Not me.

I just stated that kids seem to be able to appreciate a movie for what it is, not for it's critical acclaim or box office tallies. I think many adults are simply too jaded and cynical to truly appreciate a Star Wars movie. Especially the "nitpicker" crowd, who not only insist on tearing apart the movie piece by piece; but try to ruin it for everyone else as well.


Hey I resemble that remark! :rolleyes: Don't worry about thinly veiling those comments. I'm not that blind. :cool:

What would you have us do? Reduce our comments to "yippee" "neato" "nifty"? Commentary and critique go beyond the superficial emotional reaction and into the "nitpicky" details that are combined to create a much larger story. Just because kids aren't really capable of articulating the specifics of what they found to be "cool" doesn't mean that they are brain-dead to a quality story. So just because an adult doesn't worship every note of the symphony, it isn't an indication that the music is too simplistic for him. It means that he has the capability to see beyond the immediate visceral reaction and comment on the variety of elements that go into creating a work of art. Why is that a bad thing? Unless it's too disturbing to look too deeply into what you believe. I suppose it's much safer and a lot more fun to keep things simple.

Beast
05-23-2002, 03:49 AM
No, Stillakid. It's just most of the so called OT purists, look beyond the exact same things they are complaining about in the new movies. Since they grew up with the movies, they seem to overlook anything wrong with them.

Bad acting, it was there too, but as a kid did you care?
Cheesy dialogue, yep it was there also. Again, did you care?
Imperfect Special Effects, can we say Yoda? :D
Movie omages, Star Wars was based on Movie Seriels.
Do I really need to go on?

MTFBWY and HH!!

Jar Jar Binks

bigbarada
05-23-2002, 03:55 AM
Originally posted by stillakid



Hey I resemble that remark! :rolleyes: Don't worry about thinly veiling those comments. I'm not that blind. :cool:

What would you have us do? Reduce our comments to "yippee" "neato" "nifty"? Commentary and critique go beyond the superficial emotional reaction and into the "nitpicky" details that are combined to create a much larger story. Just because kids aren't really capable of articulating the specifics of what they found to be "cool" doesn't mean that they are brain-dead to a quality story. So just because an adult doesn't worship every note of the symphony, it isn't an indication that the music is too simplistic for him. It means that he has the capability to see beyond the immediate visceral reaction and comment on the variety of elements that go into creating a work of art. Why is that a bad thing? Unless it's too disturbing to look too deeply into what you believe. I suppose it's much safer and a lot more fun to keep things simple.

Oooh, touche, nice of you to end it with another thinly veiled jab.;) Actually, my thinly veiled jab was aimed at JT, but I guess you just got in the way.:)

Anyway, the way I see it, my real life is stressful and frustrating enough. Star Wars is my hobby because it helps me to relax and takes me away from the real world for a while. Why would I want to make my mode of relaxation and fun as stressful as my regular, everyday life? What's the point of a hobby if it just frustrates and angers you? Thus I leave the deep scrutiny to other matters (everything else) and just enjoy Star Wars for what it is. A fun series of movies with a really awesome toy line. You're right on one thing; it is more fun to just keep things simple.

stillakid
05-23-2002, 04:11 AM
Originally posted by JarJarBinks
No, Stillakid. It's just most of the so called OT purists, look beyond the exact same things they are complaining about in the new movies. Since they grew up with the movies, they seem to overlook anything wrong with them.

Bad acting, it was there too, but as a kid did you care?
Cheesy dialogue, yep it was there also. Again, did you care?
Imperfect Special Effects, can we say Yoda? :D
Movie omages, Star Wars was based on Movie Seriels.
Do I really need to go on?

MTFBWY and HH!!

Jar Jar Binks

Hmm? I'll consider what you say...if I see a list of cheesy lines and examples of bad acting. I actually prefer the classic puppet Yoda to the CG version. While digitial gives the little guy a lot more possiblity of motion, it didn't look as real (because it wasn't) as an actual 3D object in space. Maybe one day CG will get there, but it's not quite there yet for some things. The fx weren't really imperfect in the OT. I believed them all and was never "taken out" of the story because of a bad effect. I take that back. There is a bad matte painting in ESB with Leia in a window, but that's the only one coming to mind. I find much of the CG work in TPM and a scant bit in AOTC to be slightly less than satisfying. Models and puppets still strike me as "better" fx even though CG offers more creative possibilities in terms of look and movement.

So, yes, you do need to go on. :)

stillakid
05-23-2002, 04:13 AM
Originally posted by bigbarada


Oooh, touche, nice of you to end it with another thinly veiled jab.;) Actually, my thinly veiled jab was aimed at JT, but I guess you just got in the way.:)


"Watch that crossfire, boys.":p

Beast
05-23-2002, 04:13 AM
Originally posted by bigbarada
Oooh, touche, nice of you to end it with another thinly veiled jab.;) Actually, my thinly veiled jab was aimed at JT, but I guess you just got in the way.:)

Anyway, the way I see it, my real life is stressful and frustrating enough. Star Wars is my hobby because it helps me to relax and takes me away from the real world for a while. Why would I want to make my mode of relaxation and fun as stressful as my regular, everyday life? What's the point of a hobby if it just frustrates and angers you? Thus I leave the deep scrutiny to other matters (everything else) and just enjoy Star Wars for what it is. A fun series of movies with a really awesome toy line. You're right on one thing; it is more fun to just keep things simple.
Well said Big Barada, that's exactly the same thing I like to do. Just enjoy the movies as an escape from the stress and annoyances of real life. I love all 5 of the movies, almost equally so that sometimes it's hard or impossible to say which I prefer. I really loved Phantom Menace, and I thought it fit in perfectly with the entire saga. It was nice to have a really light hearted Star Wars tale, with and undercurrent of the coming changes to the galaxy. I can look beyond any of the so called flaws to the movies, and just love them for what they are.

Of course you all have rights to your opinions, but like BigB said, what's the point of having a hobby, that frutrates and angers you? It seems to be the exact opposite feelings, to the ones you would think you would have from a hobby, somthing that is supposed to be fun. If you hate the movies, then why spend so much time complaining about them. Find a movie series you like, and go sing it's praises. If you hate the toys, quit collecting them and find yourself somthing you enjoy more. But don't look down upon the people that enjoy both, as if they don't know what they are talking about. I have been a Star Wars Fan since 1977, and I loved The Phantom Menace and Jar Jar Binks, and I love the Saga toys. I don't think there is anything seriously wrong with enjoying these things. But from as many complaints as I hear, there must be in other people's eyes. :)

MTFBWY and HH!!

Jar Jar Binks

bigbarada
05-23-2002, 05:04 AM
I had a great time during the premiere of TPM; but what was even more fun was stocking up in the clearance aisles two years later. Where I got my Queen's Starship for $25 and JarJar with Kaadu for $3. I think the clearance aisle is the Star Wars fan's best friend.:)

All this with no one telling me why I should hate the movie, and I am glad for that.

Anyways, I scoured the internet for a review of ANH for it's initial release but could only find SE reviews done by guys who grew up with the movies. I was looking for critics who grew up with crap like Casablanca and Gone With The Wind to get a truly elitist, "looking down their nose at you" review.

I did run into several glowing reviews of TPM, written by lifelong Star Wars fans to boot. So NYAAAAAHH!!!:p Don't you just love mature discussions?:)

JediTricks
05-24-2002, 06:06 PM
I honestly do not understand this backlash of fans who get angry at other fans who don't agree with their SW point of view. I don't embrace most EU, but I don't yell at EU fans when they discuss SW with me, or tell them that they've somehow changed because SW is one thing and their viewpoint is another. I don't get that - it was like this in the AOTC title threads and Ep 1 dislike threads - why are so many other fans interested in projecting their viewpoints onto others and then yelling or nagging at them when they don't fit their profile?

SW is a vast, multi-faceted fictional universe, being a SW fan doesn't mean that you have to love EVERY part of SW.

darthvyn
06-04-2002, 04:36 PM
Originally posted by bigbarada
I was looking for critics who grew up with crap like Casablanca and Gone With The Wind to get a truly elitist, "looking down their nose at you" review.

what's wrong with Casablanca? that movie is amazing. as for Gone With the Wind... what's wrong with Casablanca?

RooJay
06-06-2002, 08:42 PM
Originally posted by JediTricks
I honestly do not understand this backlash of fans who get angry at other fans who don't agree with their SW point of view. I don't embrace most EU, but I don't yell at EU fans when they discuss SW with me, or tell them that they've somehow changed because SW is one thing and their viewpoint is another. I don't get that - it was like this in the AOTC title threads and Ep 1 dislike threads - why are so many other fans interested in projecting their viewpoints onto others and then yelling or nagging at them when they don't fit their profile?

SW is a vast, multi-faceted fictional universe, being a SW fan doesn't mean that you have to love EVERY part of SW.

Amen to that! That point does of course go both ways though! I have been involved in several of the discussions you mention, and one of the things that struck me was the insistance of several that my views are somehow wrong or that I should believe as they believe. Particularly those very people in the Ep. dislike threads who DO dislike that movie. Those people for some reason tend to be the more vocal in their viewpoints (even in the face of supporting evidence! :crazed: ), and seem to be very insistent that only their vision of Star Wars is true, and everyone else, including George Lucas himself, MUST be wrong! It really is funny! I for one just don't get it. But what can ya do? Some people are just too stubborn and love to argue, and will never be willing, or able to see the flip side of things! :) Several times during those discussions you mention, and several others like it, I had people outright arguing with me that I MUST be wrong regardless of what kind of evidence I had to support my views (sometimes even because of my evidence!) simply because they didn't believe the same as I do! LOL!
I agree with you one hundred percent that SW is a vast, multi-faceted fictional universe, and being a SW fan doesn't mean that you have to love EVERY part of SW. Of course it's also true that being a SW fan doesn't mean that you can't love EVERY part of SW too.;) It'd certainly seem to help in my opinion!:D

I also think JJB was right in his earlier post; while it's true that Star Wars can certainly be enjoyed by adults and kids equally, or people of ANY age for that matter, I do believe that the whole saga was originally intended as a story aimed at kids. I believe that Lucas has even been stating such from the beginning!:) I think he's stated on numerous occasions that he intended for Star Wars to present new heroes and new myths to children that would inspire them the way that stories from his youth, and from even further back, inspired him. Pretty neat how that works out! A lot of us even think he succeeded!:happy:

JediTricks
06-06-2002, 09:46 PM
Originally posted by RooJay
Amen to that! That point does of course go both ways though! I have been involved in several of the discussions you mention, and one of the things that struck me was the insistance of several that my views are somehow wrong or that I should believe as they believe. Particularly those very people in the Ep. dislike threads who DO dislike that movie. Those people for some reason tend to be the more vocal in their viewpoints (even in the face of supporting evidence! :crazed: ), and seem to be very insistent that only their vision of Star Wars is true, and everyone else, including George Lucas himself, MUST be wrong! Let me ask you if I've got what you're saying:
A- someone in a thread makes a point they believe in, you reply with a differing point. (That is fine by you, right? You're just countering a point.)

B- someone replies to your point with yet another different point rebuffing your counterpoint. (This is a personal attack on you, is trying to force you to change your opinion under duress, and has no validity because the respondant is crazy and/or narrow-sighted and of course wrong.)

Have I got it? That's what I'm getting from your statement. But how is that attacking YOU personally, how is this any different from what you did in section A there? How is your point the FINAL say on the issue, what makes your viewpoint the RIGHT viewpoint for everybody to accept, why should anybody accept your evidence as the ONLY facts of the matter?

bigbarada
06-06-2002, 10:26 PM
Originally posted by darthvyn


what's wrong with Casablanca? that movie is amazing. as for Gone With the Wind... what's wrong with Casablanca?

I liked Casablanca, but I was referring to the classic movie crowd of the late 70s who blamed GL and Speilberg for destroying the movie industry for making movies that were too popular with the "simple-minded mob.":rolleyes:

I understand what RooJay was getting at, JT. I also get tired of the film-school students who love to use their recently aquired education to "prove" their opinions. Or the "I work in movies," "I've written screenplays," "I once brought a director a cup of coffee so I know what I am talking about" arguments.:rolleyes: Movies are a matter of subjective taste, not a science. The minute they become a science is the minute they become irrelevent, IMO. What makes a good movie is also dependent on the person, not some checklist in a director's manual. Thus no one can really say "you're not supposed to like this movie, because according to such and such, it's a bad film."

To add credence to the idea that these movies were made for kids all along, here is a quote from GL from an article in the Los Angeles Times, dated June 20th, 1976 (so no one can say that GL's revisionist post-SW viewpoint tainted this one):


"I suppose it's science fiction," Lucas says, "But we don't explain anything. We take all the hardware for granted. The story really is an action adventure, a fantasy, Buck Rogers updated. It's aimed primarily at 14- and 15-year-olds, in the way that 'American Graffiti' was aimed primarily at 16- and 17-year-olds."

RooJay
06-07-2002, 01:05 AM
Originally posted by JediTricks
Let me ask you if I've got what you're saying:
A- someone in a thread makes a point they believe in, you reply with a differing point. (That is fine by you, right? You're just countering a point.)

B- someone replies to your point with yet another different point rebuffing your counterpoint. (This is a personal attack on you, is trying to force you to change your opinion under duress, and has no validity because the respondant is crazy and/or narrow-sighted and of course wrong.)

Have I got it? That's what I'm getting from your statement. But how is that attacking YOU personally, how is this any different from what you did in section A there? How is your point the FINAL say on the issue, what makes your viewpoint the RIGHT viewpoint for everybody to accept, why should anybody accept your evidence as the ONLY facts of the matter?

No. You haven't got it. What constitutes a "personal attack" on me (your words not mine in this case) is when those people try to imply, or flat out tell me that my views are somehow less valid or incorrect. Especially in response to my perceived "attempt to rebuff" their initial point with my counterpoint.

You don't have to like me or believe in my views, but you certainly have to respect me.

stillakid
06-07-2002, 01:46 AM
Originally posted by bigbarada


I liked Casablanca, but I was referring to the classic movie crowd of the late 70s who blamed GL and Speilberg for destroying the movie industry for making movies that were too popular with the "simple-minded mob.":rolleyes:

I understand what RooJay was getting at, JT. I also get tired of the film-school students who love to use their recently aquired education to "prove" their opinions. Or the "I work in movies," "I've written screenplays," "I once brought a director a cup of coffee so I know what I am talking about" arguments.:rolleyes: Movies are a matter of subjective taste, not a science. The minute they become a science is the minute they become irrelevent, IMO. What makes a good movie is also dependent on the person, not some checklist in a director's manual. Thus no one can really say "you're not supposed to like this movie, because according to such and such, it's a bad film."

To add credence to the idea that these movies were made for kids all along, here is a quote from GL from an article in the Los Angeles Times, dated June 20th, 1976 (so no one can say that GL's revisionist post-SW viewpoint tainted this one):




Hey, that's me in that reference again! ;)

Two things. I thought we had that "I'm in film, so I have some 'training' to see things others don't" and you "are in comic art, so you see things there that I don't" understanding. :confused: There are established elements that are used as accepted tenents of writing a story. In the same way, there are certain, um, conventions that filmmakers use to create that particular art. The same way comic book writers have their own conventions which define "good" or "bad." Nobody is telling you to like something or not like something because "it" has "problems." That's your choice and nobody can take it away from you and no one here has ever asked you to not like a Star Wars movie (as far as I can tell.)

So, anyway, having said that, I believe that what Roojay was getting at specifically was that silly "debate" over whether or not George and Co. outright plagerised (sp?) certain elements in the prequels. There is plenty of evidence to support that assertion and Roojay has an agenda to dismiss it as "opinion."

Now it is quite apparent, through many discussions here, particularly in the Jesus thread, that "Belief" is the point where "fact" and "opinion" collide. There are facts, there is truth, but one's "interpretation" of those two things is dependent upon and serves an individual's desire for the world around them to "be" a certain way. That might mean that a person wants there to be a supernatural power out there influencing our daily lives or it could manifest as a desire that George Lucas is a creative genius who doesn't need to steal material from others.

Or the other way around.

Whatever the case may be, it is a distinctly human weakness to taint "truth" and "fact" with our own prejudices to serve our "belief." While it is difficult to have a truly open mind, as we take our baggage with us into every situation, it is possible to approach something like "movie critique" in such a way as to set aside the rose colored glasses and see a film for what it is and what it isn't, based upon those "accepted conventions" of modern storytelling. It can be approached in a measured, empirical, and almost scientific manner.

Now, "negative" critique isn't meant to dissuade a person from "liking" or "enjoying" a story or film. I myself fully enjoy watching Independence Day despite the numerous story incongrueties. I like the movie, but at the same time, I'm not afraid to admit that the flaws exist. Big deal. Do the flaws influence my liking the film? No. It would have been nice for the flaws to not be there, but oh well. I like that movie for what it is.

When it comes to a Star Wars film, I place a higher standard on it. The initial film set the bar and I expect the subsequent films to live up to it. When they don't, or elements of them don't, I am less likely to blow them off as I might with other non-Star Wars films. But that's my choice. Wanting the films to all be really good would never erase the problems that really are there, but everyone makes the choice to either like the movies or not despite that.

But denying the "problems" in the first place is an act of shear desire to "believe" something in particular and maintain a desired perspective on the world. That state of mind, I just don't understand.

That's the situation in a nutshell. :)

JediTricks
06-07-2002, 02:49 AM
Originally posted by bigbarada
I understand what RooJay was getting at, JT. I also get tired of the film-school students who love to use their recently aquired education to "prove" their opinions. Or the "I work in movies," "I've written screenplays," "I once brought a director a cup of coffee so I know what I am talking about" arguments.:rolleyes: Movies are a matter of subjective taste, not a science. The minute they become a science is the minute they become irrelevent, IMO. What makes a good movie is also dependent on the person, not some checklist in a director's manual. Thus no one can really say "you're not supposed to like this movie, because according to such and such, it's a bad film."

To add credence to the idea that these movies were made for kids all along, here is a quote from GL from an article in the Los Angeles Times, dated June 20th, 1976 (so no one can say that GL's revisionist post-SW viewpoint tainted this one):

"I suppose it's science fiction," Lucas says, "But we don't explain anything. We take all the hardware for granted. The story really is an action adventure, a fantasy, Buck Rogers updated. It's aimed primarily at 14- and 15-year-olds, in the way that 'American Graffiti' was aimed primarily at 16- and 17-year-olds."
First, I'm going to defend myself here - not to BB's comments directly, which are not claiming I'm guilty of this - but to others who have: I try very hard with every post not to tell anybody their opinion is wrong unless they show valid reason that they themselves don't believe what they're saying. Just because my viewpoint about AOTC might agree with these "film students" who hoist their beliefs as fact does not mean that I am them - I am damn well tired of having my stated opinions thrown into the stereotype barrel here! I'm sick of it in the movie forums and I'm sick of it in the toy forums, and not only am I sick of having it done to me, I'm sick of seeing it done to everybody else here! (BTW, and this too is not aimed at any one poster, the first person who tries to jump on that statement gets about as much sympathy from me as Adolf Hitler would, if you think using my words to slap me in the face is going to get you brownie points, think again buster. Use your own point of view to get your point across!) I may not agree with your opinion, but that doesn't mean I'm part of this "opposition" you appear to have built up in your mind = as if every issue is just 2-sides, yours and theirs, it's not, everybody has and deserves their own opinion to be taken on its own face value rather than lumped in with a stereotype's.

Now, back to BB, so "14 and 15 year olds" are "kids"? I dunno, it feels to me like when McCallum and Lucas talk about "kids movies", they're really referring to 6-11 year olds, the "key toy-buying demographic" according to some companies. 14/15 seems like an age when a person really begins to form their outlook on adult life, you're neither an adult nor a kid, and "teenager" isn't much help at all.

(BTW, I think the above paragraph about 14/15 year olds is really just about point of view, BB might think of 14/15 year olds as kids and thus, it strengthens his argument, while I think of that age group more as young adults and thus it strengthens my argument - yet neither point of view is more correct without some way to go back and ask Lucas what he meant at that time.)

---

RooJay, if I haven't gotten it right, perhaps that's not all about me, you may want to reconsider how some people such as myself are taking your words. You might not want to try to read everything as an implication of something else, these are text forums and if you don't take some things at face value, you're could end up projecting feelings onto those statements that aren't there. And BTW, when you go into a thread whose title you already don't agree with, of COURSE you're going to meet with people who feel your viewpoint is wrong to them, that doesn't mean it's an attack, that's part of discussion and disagreement.

And as for respecting you, you've not really earned that with me, and if you're demanding it that's certainly not going to get the desired effect. You accused me of some pretty heinous acts and never backed up your statements even when I specifically asked you to in this post: http://www.sirstevesguide.com/forums/showthread.php?postid=97807#post97807

As for your views, you have a lot of them, I don't agree with some I've seen but I really don't care to make a blanket statement about your views as a whole, you have no real idea what I think about your views.

bigbarada
06-07-2002, 08:31 AM
I guess, I tend to see kids as anyone 19 and under, young adults as early to mid twenties. Just me I guess.

JT, I really don't have as much of a beef with your viewpoints as I do with the aforementioned film students. Aside from the confusion as to what exactly you do like about Star Wars, which I'm sure is plenty and I'm not qualified to dismiss anyone's fandom because it doesn't agree with mine. Which I know I have done in the past and for that I apologize. Now, the film students who try to pass off their opinions as fact get no sympathy from me. And I'm really tired of the "you only like it because you don't know any better," based arguments. Thinking ANH is the best of the movies is opinion. And I can pretty much bet that GL doesn't see it that way. All five movies have been equally trashed by critics when they premiered thus lack of critical acclaim doesn't make the prequels bad films. The only reason that the OT gets such great reviews now is that all the kids who grew up with the saga wrote all the SE reviews. Most of them even confess that SW is why they are in movies to begin with, so how can you expect an "objective" review of SW from them?

Like when stillakid used the "DaVinci" example to try to dismiss my statement that AOTC was what I always imagined a SW movie would be like. I felt the same level of frustration that you have now, with all the "oh you're so eloquent, stillakid" comments that followed. (Just FYI, drawing cartoons actually does take a lot more skill than drawing realistic pictures. Anyone can act like a copy machine and draw what they see, however twisting reality in a way that is both appealing and full of character takes real skill. However, there are so many copycat cartoon artists out there that people don't realize that.) My main complaint is that many people seem to overestimate the OT's influence. I was NEVER impressed with the OT movies not even as a kid, I was however impressed with Ep1 and Ep2. I was a bigger fan of the toys as a kid because I felt the OT movies lacked imagination. As an adult I'm becoming a bigger fan of the PT movies versus the PT toys, since it is impossible for the toys to truly capture the wonders I've seen in the film.

I've also begun practicing the "if you don't like the thread topic, then don't post in it" concept. There are many threads in the Ep2 movie section that I just won't open, because I don't need someone trying to convince me why I should hate the movie. In fact I try to stay away from a majority of the movie discussions, because I loved Ep2, end of story. I don't want someone to point out all the flaws, or inconsistencies or illogical moments, because they either don't matter to me or don't exist because I don't agree that they are flaws or illogical moments. Again, just more opinions that I am not interested in hearing.

My basic philosophy on opinions: just because you have the right to express yourself, doesn't mean you necessarily have anything worthwhile to say. AND just because you have and opinion, doesn't mean that I HAVE TO listen to it or respect it. I have to respect your right to form an opinion but not the opinion itself; especially if I believe that it is founded on ignorance or worse... arrogance.

stillakid
06-07-2002, 10:19 AM
Originally posted by bigbarada
(Just FYI, drawing cartoons actually does take a lot more skill than drawing realistic pictures. Anyone can act like a copy machine and draw what they see, however twisting reality in a way that is both appealing and full of character takes real skill. However, there are so many copycat cartoon artists out there that people don't realize that.)


That was a very definitive statement. Is that an opinion or a fact? And what credentials do you have to make that assertion? How would you respond to a "realistic" artist who would dispute your claim? How can you possibly be so "arrogant" to make such a definitive statement regarding something you claim to be "qualilfied" in yet freely dismiss other (mine) "critique" regarding something I'm "qualified" in? I really don't get it? :confused: I love Danger Girl. It is drawn very very well, and the story is superb. But then again, I'm not a "qualified" comic-book afficienado so I can't see the problems that are there. Right?

And nobody in any of those threads is trying to get you or anyone else to "hate" the prequels. Admit the flaws, maybe, but you stated yourself that you don't want to hear about them. Two very very different topics there: bringing up problems to discuss vs an attempt to get someone to "hate" the movie because of them. Don't go lumping those things together and then accuse "us" of trying to do such a thing.

2-1B
06-07-2002, 12:02 PM
Originally posted by stillakid
There are established elements that are used as accepted tenents of writing a story. In the same way, there are certain, um, conventions that filmmakers use to create that particular art. . . . Nobody is telling you to like something or not like something because "it" has "problems." That's your choice and nobody can take it away from you and no one here has ever asked you to not like a Star Wars movie (as far as I can tell.)

What's to say that we have to accept such tenants? Is Chris Nolan a fool for doing Memento the way he did when a lot of people just couldn't get it? I'd say no . . . and with Star Wars, this is the kind of thing I just talked about in "Tycho's thread" so I'll try not to repeat myself too much :D but some of the "problems" that I enjoy discussing with people just aren't "problems" to me. To make it personal stillakid, you and I had a nice little discussion on Anakin's AOTC "erraticness" and I thank you for it. In that case, a "problem" did not exist as a matter of fact, we just came away from that part of the film with different opinions. And that's cool, there have been other discussions I've had with people where I thought they were wacky in how they perceived different aspects of the films in general. So I'll throw out a countering viewpoint for consideration. But I can't do it from the basis that my thoughts on it are based on fact because they are not. :)



stillakid
So, anyway, having said that, I believe that what Roojay was getting at specifically was that silly "debate" over whether or not George and Co. outright plagerised (sp?) certain elements in the prequels. There is plenty of evidence to support that assertion and Roojay has an agenda to dismiss it as "opinion."

Oooh, that was a doozy! :D PLEASE don't take this question as sarcastic, because it's not meant to be - do you think I have an "agenda" to dismiss some of those claims as opinion?
Because I looked at the Dinotopia pics and found the similarities to be pretty striking, while having just watched the 5th Element (not sure if you saw my post on that ;) ) I can dismiss the plagiarism claim and only find general similarites.


stillakid
While it is difficult to have a truly open mind, as we take our baggage with us into every situation, it is possible to approach something like "movie critique" in such a way as to set aside the rose colored glasses and see a film for what it is and what it isn't, based upon those "accepted conventions" of modern storytelling. It can be approached in a measured, empirical, and almost scientific manner.

I did that with AOTC and was delighted. No rose colored glasses in my reviews, I think that's an unfair generalization. :)


stillakid
But denying the "problems" in the first place is an act of shear desire to "believe" something in particular and maintain a desired perspective on the world. That state of mind, I just don't understand.

I would say "No" to that generalization for the same reasons I cited that problems do not exist as matters of fact, rather some people just don't see them. Not because they refuse to see them, but because they honestly don't believe some of them exist. I fit that mold, some problems I agree with ya on, other problems I don't - but I certainly don't want to be looked down upon as "refusing" to see them. :)


JediTricks
First, I'm going to defend myself here - not to BB's comments directly, which are not claiming I'm guilty of this - but to others who have: I try very hard with every post not to tell anybody their opinion is wrong unless they show valid reason that they themselves don't believe what they're saying. Just because my viewpoint about AOTC might agree with these "film students" who hoist their beliefs as fact does not mean that I am them - I am damn well tired of having my stated opinions thrown into the stereotype barrel here!

I appreciate your viewpoint JT. :) I try to do just that, I like to throw out some of my opinions and I try hard (although perhaps not always efficiently enough ;) ) to just illustrate why I feel that way. If people agree with me, fine, if they disagree, even better, but I like to be clear. We shouldn't be stereotyping anyone's opinions, which is what I fear has happened (including my "problem" evaluation earlier :D )


RooJay
No. You haven't got it. What constitutes a "personal attack" on me (your words not mine in this case) is when those people try to imply, or flat out tell me that my views are somehow less valid or incorrect. Especially in response to my perceived "attempt to rebuff" their initial point with my counterpoint.

You don't have to like me or believe in my views, but you certainly have to respect me.

Now that sounds pretty inflammatory, at least to me that is. :)
You don't need to demand respect in a forum liek this, there's already a sticky posted at the beginning of each one. Just because you post a "rebuff" doesn't mean anyone has to accept it. I throw out counterarguments often and it doesn't yield a magical change of opinion from someone. Seriously, that last sentence is pretty confrontational, I would rethink your phrasing of it. :)

bigbarada, about the "film student" observation, I get the same impressions from some musical minded folks. I respect others' opinions, but when some people complain about how bad an album is from their level of "expertise", I often think, "so why not go off and make your own since you have such knowledge?"

Sorry for the lengthy post, but I just wanted to hammer away on a few ideas. :D

bigbarada
06-07-2002, 12:16 PM
Stillakid, go ahead and love Danger Girl's artwork. It doesn't bother me one bit. I'm not saying your wrong or somehow misguided for liking it. It's your taste and I can understand what it is you like about it. Art is a very subjective topic. That's why the saying "one person's garbage is another's treasure" was created. I can see flaws in Campbell's style on Danger Girl; but I don't think I have the right to ruin your enjoyment of the book because of my opinions. Just like I am sure that there is plenty of negatives you can come up with for the Herobear and the Kid comic page that I posted, however, I don't need to hear those.

I don't enjoy digging out the flaws of ANY movie and discussing it, I would rather focus on the stuff that I liked. Movies that have overwhelming flaws I simply do not talk about.

However, it seems that we have gone way beyond discussing the merits of the Star Wars movies and resorted to personal attacks (something I am just as guilty of) thus I don't really feel that we have anything left to discuss. We are obviously way too divided on the films and if we haven't agreed to disagree yet then we never will. So I will remove my overwhelmingly-positive views of the movies from your discussions, go ahead and dissect away.

billfremore
06-07-2002, 12:27 PM
Originally posted by Caesar

bigbarada, about the "film student" observation, I get the same impressions from some musical minded folks. I respect others' opinions, but when some people complain about how bad an album is from their level of "expertise", I often think, "so why not go off and make your own since you have such knowledge?"


This is very similar to how I feel as well.
I'm not trying to attack someone in particular, I'm just generalizing

When I was in University I lived with 6 other guys in a house and we frequently had discussions about every topic under the sun.
I enjoyed the discussions but hated the debating that went on (the debating always outnumbered the discussions) mostly because we had 4 guys whose cynicsm, expertise in every subject and general bull-headedness lead to attacking other opinions and automatically refuting them without even considering the other's point.

I believe as a result of this I have a knee-jerk reaction to anyone who badmouths or criticizes anything.

So to anyone who I "attack" in the future, my apologies.

You know after I've typed this I've realized this has been very cathartic for me and I feel I've gained a better understanding of myself.

Thanks SSG forums! ;) :)

(by the way stillakid, I never understood people's opinions on CGI looking more fake than rubber masks but after careful consideration I see your point, I may not agree with it but I do see it):)

bigbarada
06-07-2002, 12:38 PM
I agree with pretty much everything you said Caesar. Personally I am just not that interested in arguments or discussions. Why I never joined the Debate Club in high school. I prefer to focus on the positive side of things. (even though life in general can make me overwhelmingly negative at times) However, I see criticisms as focusing almost primarily on the negatives. I don't come to these forums to argue different viewpoints; however, arrogant posts anger me enough to pipe in a lot of the time. I come to these forums to get information, discuss upcoming events/toys and basically socialize with people who share my likes and dislikes of SW, not to raise my blood pressure over someone's overly negative criticism of the saga.

Yes, there is a giant rift growing between Star Wars fans. It is inevitable and it will probably be the death of this hobby for many.

stillakid
06-07-2002, 01:37 PM
BB -- Where are the myriad of "positive" threads? The "positive" comments? If so many people are interested in talking about the "good," where are those posts? There are a lot of posts that try to explain away the "negative" ones, but rare are the outright glowing discussions about the films being great.

To be fair, I'm sure that many of them are started with a post like this: " {fill in the blank} is great! I loved this about the film!"

but then are quickly followed up by someone else's post saying something like this: "Are you nuts?! How can you not see that {fill in the blank}?"

Which then results in a "discussion," sometimes heated, where each side is trying to convince the other that they are wrong. Sometimes both are right. But, you know what, sometimes one of them is wrong. Not everybody can be right all the time and not everyone's opinion is an informed one. That doesn't mean that a person should cease enjoying the films because of something someone else says, but the point is, is that someone's argumentative defense may be fundamentally flawed due to misinformation or just a flat out desire to maintain a positive outlook on the "hobby." And that's okay! But "we" aren't trying to cause the "death" of the hobby for anyone. We're just talking about the details. :)

I am very curious about something else you said though:

but I don't think I have the right to ruin your enjoyment of the book because of my opinions. Just like I am sure that there is plenty of negatives you can come up with for the Herobear and the Kid comic page that I posted, however, I don't need to hear those.

a) you weren't ruining my enjoyment of the book and in fact, I was looking forward to being "educated" by someone who appears to have a greater knowledge of the craft than I. The more involvement a person has with something increases the credibility of their opinions in my view.

b) "I don't need to hear those." :confused: You don't want to hear criticism from anyone about the things you enjoy? At all? Why not? Just not interested or you're afraid that hearing such things could undermine your own feelings and potentially result in your not liking it anymore? Just typing the words here makes me sound facitious and saracastic, but I'm not trying to be. I am genuinely curious.




Caesar -- Thank you for that well spoken response! I'll take your points to heart. Specifically, concerning Memento, he didn't break the "conventions" of storytelling. It was a well thought out and very solid script merely rearranged in an interesting way. All of the elements of plot and character were present and handled well. "Convention" does not mean "cookie cutter." The common term of "Hollywood film" is used in the same negative way to describe a "conventional" story. It's not about painting by numbers, but crafting all the varied elements that are used in filmmaking to create one cohesive piece. When one or two of those elements take priority over all the others (ie, the actors or the special fx or even the "director's vision") then the project will not develop into it's full potential. We've grown so accustomed to seeing paint by numbers movies (ie, Air Force One), that when something original emerges, it only appears to be breaking "convention" because the term itself is being undermined.



Billfremore -- For the most part, I don't mind CGI vs Rubber masks. Often times rubber masks just don't look all that convincing when just thrown on top of a human body. I call that the Star Trek Alien syndrome myself. Sometimes CGI is the only way to "better" realize an alien and get it to do what you want it to. However, when placed side by side, I can usually tell which character is computer generated and which was shot on set. CGI often suffers from a distinct lack of true realism. Many of the Yoda closeups just should not have been done in AOTC. We already know exactly what a real closeup on Yoda is supposed to look like (from the OT) and the CGI rendition was obviously very different.

bigbarada
06-07-2002, 07:58 PM
Originally posted by stillakid
BB -- Where are the myriad of "positive" threads? The "positive" comments? If so many people are interested in talking about the "good," where are those posts? There are a lot of posts that try to explain away the "negative" ones, but rare are the outright glowing discussions about the films being great.

That's just the problem as I see it. Not enough people are interesting in talking about the "positive" elements of any of the Star Wars movies. Check out some of the threads in the Classic Trilogy section and you see threads like "Why can't we see the T-16 from the outside of the homestead?""Why weren't all the ewoks killed by the DE2 blast?" and many other nit-picky questions were the person asking doesn't really want a well-thought out answer. All they want to do is whine and complain about something. I was able to tolerate it when I first started visiting these boards, but now I've pretty much decided that I should stay out of any kind of movie discussions since people seem incapable of discussing positive elements about anything.





a) you weren't ruining my enjoyment of the book and in fact, I was looking forward to being "educated" by someone who appears to have a greater knowledge of the craft than I. The more involvement a person has with something increases the credibility of their opinions in my view.

As you said, I don't have the credentials to educate anybody about "good and bad" comic art. I'm a completely self-taught illustrator (artist is too far of a stretch for what I do, IMO). And I prefer many modern comtemporaries over the "established" great artists. I prefer Norman Rockwell to Leonardo DaVinci, Charles Shultz to Michaelangelo, Bill Watterson to Picasso.


b) "I don't need to hear those." :confused: You don't want to hear criticism from anyone about the things you enjoy? At all? Why not? Just not interested or you're afraid that hearing such things could undermine your own feelings and potentially result in your not liking it anymore? Just typing the words here makes me sound facitious and saracastic, but I'm not trying to be. I am genuinely curious.

To be perfectly honest, just about every comic artist will tell you to ignore comments from non-artists (especially family members); because people will always judge your work based on their own drawing skills. If they don't possess any drawing skills then they tend to be overly impressed with mediocrity or overly critical of experimentation. Although I AM interested in hearing what people like and don't like; but I'm also a little disheartened by the overwhelmingly positive comments to my work on Elfwood. I know I am not that good. And was hoping for a little more constructive criticism that would help me become a better artist.



Many of the Yoda closeups just should not have been done in AOTC. We already know exactly what a real closeup on Yoda is supposed to look like (from the OT) and the CGI rendition was obviously very different.

I actually preferred the CGI close-ups to the puppet from the OT and TPM. I really hope that GL decides to go back and replace those puppet shots with CGI shots. The CG is more expressive and subtle in my opinion, basically a "living" work of art. The puppet just looks like a puppet. What I am saying is that they both look fake, I was never fooled by the puppet as a kid and Yoda has never looked real to me, thus given a choice I find the CGI Yoda to be far more interesting to look at.

Just a question stillakid, how do you rate the PT on it's own merits? You've said many times that you hold the PT to a higher standard because of the OT. Okay, for a moment pretend that the OT doesn't exist. Pretend that TPM was the first in the series. How do you rate the movies under that alternative universe situation? (hey, you forced us to realistically consider the "dancing chicken" argument).

stillakid
06-07-2002, 09:55 PM
Originally posted by bigbarada
"Why weren't all the ewoks killed by the DE2 blast?"

What is the "DE2 blast?" I'm not familiar with that abbreviation. :confused:



Originally posted by bigbarada

Just a question stillakid, how do you rate the PT on it's own merits? You've said many times that you hold the PT to a higher standard because of the OT. Okay, for a moment pretend that the OT doesn't exist. Pretend that TPM was the first in the series. How do you rate the movies under that alternative universe situation? (hey, you forced us to realistically consider the "dancing chicken" argument).

That's a tough one to answer mainly because I've already got the OT in my head. The "dancing chicken" scenario was an add-on to an existing situation. Your question requires me to "subtract" information from my consciousness. I'm not sure I can do that accurately.

But in the interest of science, I'll give it a shot. ;) There are so many variables to consider, like are we assuming that I'm seeing TPM for the first time in this day and age, and if so, have I been exposed to the "Star Wars" knockoffs that have proliferated since the 1970's? If I have never seen a Star Wars film, but had seen movies like ID4, Aliens, Close Encounters, etc, then I would be quite underwhelmed by TPM. While the production design would be moderately interesting, it certainly wouldn't be out of the ordinary in comparison to those other sci-fi offerings. AOTC would be an interesting "sequel," but I might not be drawn to make it a "hobby" as the story and characters thus far have been terrifically uninvolving.

In scenario 2, those other films don't exist so TPM would present a fresh new take on sci fi in this day and age. Again, the story would underwhelm me, but I would be more taken with the production design as I, and everyone else, would not have seen anything like it before. AOTC would be more of the same.

Scenario 3, we're back in 1977 and Lucas begins the saga with TPM. Assuming that TPM is the same movie as the one we own today, as a kid, I would probably react a lot like I did back then when I was about 8. The fighting stuff would stick with me, but undoubtedly, just as my son does today, that Tatooine sequence would bore me to tears. As a kid, I would probably react to it in much the same way that I do today, albeit with a less critical eye for the details, but aware on some level that it's a glossy surface with not too much depth going on underneath.

JediTricks
06-07-2002, 10:57 PM
BB: "I really don't have as much of a beef with your viewpoints..."
- Hmm, I wonder what of mine beef you do have?!? ;) Actually, I didn't get the impression you were going after me on that, it's just that I've heard very similar statements applied to my comments by others and I wanted to get it out in the open for anybody to see, that's why I made sure to show that I wasn't responding to any direct claim of yours.

"Now, the film students who try to pass off their opinions as fact get no sympathy from me. And I'm really tired of the "you only like it because you don't know any better," based arguments."
- A friend (VT of our MM forums) pointed out to me that these forums really are all about opinions, whether stated or not. He's far more blunt and less-diplomatic than I am, so this was in the middle of chastizing me for saying "IMO" - and the like - too often. I've come to realize that he's right about that, even some of the facts posted here are little more than opinions, so I rarely get bothered by someone saying "TPM had the best fight scene, no question"... until they actively attack my personal viewpoint directly. So while I know what you're talking about there and have even been annoyed by AND guilty of knowitallism in the past, I've found that VT's attitude makes the forums more fun to me; unless someone's facts are well-backed-up, I take 'em as opinions no matter what they want.

"I've also begun practicing the "if you don't like the thread topic, then don't post in it" concept. There are many threads in the Ep2 movie section that I just won't open, because I don't need someone trying to convince me why I should hate the movie."
- Same with me (except for how I feel about Ep 2 of course). What I don't understand is why someone would go into a thread that's got a title they already don't agree with and then get flustered when other posts don't see it his alternate way.

"I don't want someone to point out all the flaws, or inconsistencies or illogical moments, because they either don't matter to me or don't exist because I don't agree that they are flaws or illogical moments. Again, just more opinions that I am not interested in hearing."
- With Ep 1, since I didn't like it that much, I was VERY interested in reading and discussing the opinions of those who didn't think like I did because I wanted to like it. I put a LOT of time into discussing Ep 1, but except for tiny detail things, I didn't really get much more out of it. I guess ultimately, if you already like it, you're at the top of the hill already, but for someone like me, there's a lot of pressure to "climb that hill". With Ep 2, I've stopped buying into that and I've found that while I'm still a LITTLE open to viewpoints trying to change my mind, I've taken more of your philosophy about the matter and it works for me even if I never really like the film.


Caesar: "You don't need to demand respect in a forum liek this, there's already a sticky posted at the beginning of each one."
- IMO, respecting someone and respecting their rights are 2 different issues. I don't have to respect a person to respect their rights - I always try to respect people's rights in here.


stilla: "Where are the myriad of "positive" threads? The "positive" comments? If so many people are interested in talking about the "good," where are those posts?"
- I've noticed that many people I know will recognize the good in something as inherent and feel it unneccessary to discuss it further - sometimes I do this too. Rarely in the SAGA forum will I post something like "I think Ani HD's plastic lightsaber is great" because it seems unneccessary to me - I already think most people might agree with me on it and if not, they can bring it up themselves. Yet when something I feel is great that I think few people would agree with, that's when I'll bring up something positive like "I think Jar Jar from the Kaadu beast set is a pretty good figure".

Interestingly though, when I bring up "negative" details like "I don't like gimmicky features" or "I hate Hasbro Zam speeder's cockpit", it's not because I want people to be down on the toys, it's to do 2 things:
1) to find out if I'm alone on an issue;
-and-
2) to let Hasbro know what I think, which is meant to help IMPROVE the line in the future. (With the films, it's mostly just that first one though.)

BB: "That's just the problem as I see it. Not enough people are interesting in talking about the "positive" elements of any of the Star Wars movies. Check out some of the threads in the Classic Trilogy section and you see threads like "Why can't we see the T-16 from the outside of the homestead?""Why weren't all the ewoks killed by the DE2 blast?" and many other nit-picky questions were the person asking doesn't really want a well-thought out answer. All they want to do is whine and complain about something."
- First off, please read the above 2 paragraphs of mine as they relate to this too; and I think that last sentence I quoted from you says a lot about why this forum schism is widening - I KNOW you have a misconception there about some of those people because I'm one of them and I don't want to just "whine and complain". Beyond that, I never assume people don't want a well-thought-out answer to their so-called nit-picky questions. When I ask a question like that, I'm mostly seeing if people see it too, but I'm always interested in seeing what someone who sees it differently has to say. I relish a well-thought-out answer that doesn't try to insult me - but that's me, I dunno if it's that way for other non-positive authors.

BTW, I took the thread of the T-16 issue as a challenge to see if I could craft a way around/through the issue, and I did to a degree, I satisfied my own curiosity and perhaps in the process gave some others a new concept to ponder. It's the same with the Sifo-Dyas thread, I bought what a few of them were saying, fleshed it out and posted that, and so many more folks posted as if I had never said anything, but I still buy my take on it and I never would have figured it out if it hadn't been for that thread.


Stilla, I think BB meant the DS2 blast discussion here in the CT forum.

bigbarada
06-08-2002, 12:17 AM
Yeah, I meant DS2.:o

When someone tries to bring up an issue I try my best to come up with a logical answer. However, then I get accused of rationalizing or get my ideas dismissed outright because a logical explaination doesn't seem to be what the thread starter wanted. Why ask a question if you don't want an answer?:confused: It sometimes seems that many ask these questions in order to marshal support for their position and they are not really open to dicussion. Many seem to be trying to use these questions to furthur their viewpoints that the prequels are screwing everything up. Which they are not! (vt is right, JT, it feels good to know that the "IMO" is implied:) )

In any case, I still watch TPM from time to time and like it just as much three years later as I did when I first saw it. End of story, no more discussion necessary. I know you have listed ID4 as one of your favorite movies, stillakid. I cannot stand that movie, there are so many logical fallacies throughout the plot that I can't even watch it anymore. However, you enjoy it so that is fine, no need for me to bring that stuff up.

There are people who love the prequels and people who hate them, why not leave well enough alone?

JediTricks
06-08-2002, 02:30 AM
I don't see all of it as being left "well enough alone" (IMO implied, yes? ;)), I ask some of these same questions of the originals as I do the prequels, I've just had 25 more years to form conclusions about the OT and therefore have less questions to ask. If you ever see a thread from me about a film asking a question that seems negative like my "What was up with Poggle's language?" thread, that's a point I'd like to discuss with anybody who has an opinion on it who isn't going to try to tear me down to express it.

But of course, I fully bow to your wishes not to be a part of the discussion as well.

stillakid
06-08-2002, 08:43 AM
Originally posted by bigbarada
Many seem to be trying to use these questions to furthur their viewpoints that the prequels are screwing everything up. Which they are not!

Yes they are! ;)

I think that I, after careful consideration of the issues, rant against the inconsistencies in some kind of twisted, 11th hour, against-all-hope desire to influence GL to make it all right again before the Prequels are wrapped up. While there is no way to be certain, it appears that he was swayed by public opinion for Ep II as Jar Jar's presence was reduced to about 2 minutes of screentime and not one mention of Midichlorians anywhere. Just as with the "dear Hasbro" forum, I think that it's, well, not "important," but a "goal" nonetheless to ask George to get his act together.

AOTC was better than TPM in many ways, but with some of the lame suggestions I've seen for Ep III in magazines and forums (ie, watching Hayden go into the mask), it doesn't seem to be out of hand to get on a soapbox to lobby for a Prequel that doesn't completely destroy the OT and require major "fixing." Especially since I am one of what appears to be a minority, at least on these forums, though out in "real" life, casual viewers tend to agree that there are "problems" that aren't merely "opinions."

If I can "turn" a forumite or two to my "side" then it's just a larger chorus to get GL's attention, but "convincing" others to "hate" the new movies isn't the intention. It's great if other people find the movies to be good enough to enjoy thoroughly, but I'm only interested in seeing a great story onscreen, and I know that the potential is there for it all to be really really good, not just "okay."


In an aside, I just watched the "making of" documentary on the DVD release of American Graffiti yesterday. George says straight up that he had no interest in writing another screenplay after THX. He hates writing or at least he did at the time of the interview, which wasn't so long ago. Really?:rolleyes: It doesn't show at all.:rolleyes: Then why in Hades didn't he go back to his friends and get help with the Prequels?

bigbarada
06-08-2002, 05:16 PM
I don't do interviews with average people on the street so I have no idea of, nor do I care about, whether they like the series or not. In my mind there is nothing wrong with the prequels as they are. If someone has a problem with them, then that is merely their problem not mine. So what if Ep3 comes out and flops financially? Who cares? As long as they all get released on DVD then I'm not worried about their success or whether others even like them or not. So what if SW is seen as a joke and GL as a wash-up? Does it really matter? SW has ALWAYS been seen as a joke.

I'm perfectly willing to accept the prequels exactly as they are, there is nothing wrong with them. GL's act is together as far as I'm concerned. As for your little "insurrection,";) count me out. Not in the least bit interested.

As for that American Graffiti quote, if you would read more GL interviews you'll notice that he tends to just say what he's feeling at any given time. Just like he told reporters that he had no interest in making a sequel to Star Wars, just like he told Carrie Fisher on the set of SW that he never wanted to make a movie like that again. Just like he said that ROTJ was it, no more SW movies. Just like he said that there would be three trilogies.