The One Ring Forums: Off Topic: The Pollantir:
How do you feel about fight scenes in movies/television?


Poll: How do you feel about fight scenes in movies/television?
I generally enjoy them 5 / 5%
I generally don’t enjoy them 5 / 5%
Whether or not I enjoy really depends upon the individual plot 22 / 23%
I enjoy them if they’re funny 3 / 3%
I don’t enjoy when they’re supposed to be funny 1 / 1%
Other 2 / 2%
I am female 19 / 20%
I am male 10 / 10%
I am under 35 years old 8 / 8%
I am over 35 years old 21 / 22%
96 total votes
 

The Grey Elf
Grey Havens


Apr 8 2019, 12:49pm


Views: 5717
How do you feel about fight scenes in movies/television?

Personally, fight scenes bore me with few exceptions. I am curious to know if anyone else feels the same and if opinions differ based on gender or age.

Whether flying fists or a shoot-out or whatever, with very few exceptions, I find myself zoning out into you’ve-seen-one-you’ve-seen-them-all la-la-land. Meaning no disrespect to the talent and skill of those who choreograph and perform these scenes, I cannot summon the attention and feelings of suspense/excitement fights are supposed to generate. I fully understand such scenes are often necessary, but any more, when one surfaces, I feel only impatience because it takes storytelling time away from what I’d rather be watching, typically character moments.

I’ve never seen this topic discussed before so wondering what others on Torn feel.

Thank you for all who reply. Smile




(This post was edited by The Grey Elf on Apr 8 2019, 12:51pm)


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Apr 8 2019, 1:04pm


Views: 5648
Sometimes fight scenes are necessary.

In action shows and movies especially, a fight scene might be an important element of the story. And a good, well-choreographed bar fight can be entertaining in its own right (see the original Star Trek episode "The Trouble with Tribbles"). In Firefly, Malcolm Reynolds starts a fight in a bar on Unification Day as a way of showing his contempt for the established order and to demonstrate his generally ornery nature.

"I reject your reality and substitute my own." - Adam Savage


The Grey Elf
Grey Havens


Apr 8 2019, 1:28pm


Views: 5644
That fight falls under “funny”

so, ya, that’s a rare one I enjoyed Wink




Darkstone
Immortal


Apr 9 2019, 2:41am


Views: 5585
Depends.

Sword Master Bob Anderson said every fight should tell a story. Unfortunately, most fights in films today are so badly edited you can't tell what's going on, who's fighting whom, or where the participants are located in relation to each other. (Plus most fights take place between dark clothed individuals, at night, in an ill-lit location.) Many blame directors for over-using a flurry of cuts in an attempt to convey action and excitement. But it really goes back to Anderson's statement regarding storytelling. If you feel bored during a fight scene it's because the filmmaker has failed to utilize the fight to communicate a story. That is, the scene is "full of sound and fury, signifying nothing".

******************************************
Character is what we do on the internet when we think no one knows who we are.


The Grey Elf
Grey Havens


Apr 9 2019, 11:14am


Views: 5553
In other words

a fight scene should by rights tie into what I value most, character and story, rather than simply be a poorly executed action sequence. Cliches and shortcuts = Tongue




Annael
Immortal


Apr 9 2019, 1:59pm


Views: 5540
what he said

half the time these days I have no idea what's even going on. I do enjoy a well-choreographed fight scene. I think my favorite has to be Black Widow taking on four men while TIED TO A CHAIR. It went on just long enough (most go on far too long) and made the point that this lady is not one you mess with.

Also, Coulson listening on the phone to the fight sounds as if he's on hold listening to Muzak was hilarious.

Same with car chases. Too many, too long, too much mayhem (cars do not explode that easily) seems to be the rule these days, and I'm usually bored.

I am a dreamer of words, of written words. I think I am reading; a word stops me. I leave the page. The syllables of the words begin to move around … The words take on other meanings as if they had the right to be young.

-- Gaston Bachelard

* * * * * * * * * *

NARF and member of Deplorable Cultus since 1967
my blog: https://jodybower.com/myths-archetypes-in-film/


(This post was edited by Annael on Apr 9 2019, 1:59pm)


Annael
Immortal


Apr 9 2019, 2:04pm


Views: 5533
on the issue of fight scenes that go on too long

the final swordfight between D'Artagnan and Rochefort in Lester's "The Four Musketeers" was good even though long, because both combatants tired during the fight and by the end could barely stand, making it far more realistic. The swordfight on the ice with everyone slipping and falling down ditto. (Although I wince imagining the bruises . . . I think those falls were real, and no stunt doubles.)

I am a dreamer of words, of written words. I think I am reading; a word stops me. I leave the page. The syllables of the words begin to move around … The words take on other meanings as if they had the right to be young.

-- Gaston Bachelard

* * * * * * * * * *

NARF and member of Deplorable Cultus since 1967
my blog: https://jodybower.com/myths-archetypes-in-film/


The Grey Elf
Grey Havens


Apr 9 2019, 3:10pm


Views: 5527
Speaking of favorite movie fight scenes

one of mine, a classic partly because it sends up duels in general, is Indiana Jones facing the sword-swinging baddie in RoLA and dropping him with a shrug and a bullet. Cool (Though I guess this is more accurately a chase scene interrupted by a fight.)

Totally get enthusing about the Black Widow fight though part of its appeal has to be the novelty of a petite woman schooling villains in badassery.

So we’re back to fight scenes being elevated by humor.




The Grey Elf
Grey Havens


Apr 9 2019, 3:15pm


Views: 5524
Favorite Middle-earth fight scene?

Just throwing this out there if anyone’s still reading.Wink

I personally don’t have one off the top of my head, but I suspect it would involve either Aragorn or Sam (elves seeming to have an unfair advantage over most others, sorry Legolas Laugh).




Ataahua
Superuser / Moderator


Apr 9 2019, 7:14pm


Views: 5506
Is that possibly the best character introduction in a movie?


In Reply To
I think my favorite has to be Black Widow taking on four men while TIED TO A CHAIR.


Not only was it cool to watch, it told us a lot about her.

Although Vigo smouldering in a corner of The Prancing Pony has to be right up there. Cool

Celebrimbor: "Pretty rings..."
Dwarves: "Pretty rings..."
Men: "Pretty rings..."
Sauron: "Mine's better."

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauron’s master weapon led to its own destruction. Which just goes to show, kids - if you want two small and noble souls to succeed on a mission of dire importance... send an evil-minded beggar with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.


Ataahua's stories


Lissuin
Valinor


Apr 9 2019, 9:37pm


Views: 5500
The shield maiden of Rohan and a hobbit against the Lord of the Nazgűl.

I just re-read that scene and got choked up, as I always do, and the film sequence was well done.


Ataahua
Superuser / Moderator


Apr 9 2019, 10:00pm


Views: 5497
The Battle of Helm's Deep.

From build-up to finish, it's wonderful - critical to the story and superbly told, with great moments from Aragorn. Cool

Celebrimbor: "Pretty rings..."
Dwarves: "Pretty rings..."
Men: "Pretty rings..."
Sauron: "Mine's better."

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauron’s master weapon led to its own destruction. Which just goes to show, kids - if you want two small and noble souls to succeed on a mission of dire importance... send an evil-minded beggar with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.


Ataahua's stories


Hasuwandil
Lorien

Apr 13 2019, 4:33am


Views: 5446
Drama by other means

When I was younger, I was attracted to the chaos and drama of warfare. I still like a good fight, but I think a good fight needs a reason. I've gotten to the point where I don't really care for punching, slashing, or explosions for the sake of punching, slashing, or explosions. It seems to me that many fight scenes lack an adequate reason, goal, or both. (Of course, if the background is, say, the First World War, there may be a good reason for there to be no apparent reason or goal for the fighting.) What's worse, too many war scenes these days are filmed and edited in such a haphazard manner that, even if there was a purpose to the fighting, it would be impossible to tell what that purpose was from the film. Also, they tend to go on longer than is necessary. One thing that strikes me as odd is that, although I would expect film to have a stronger impact on me, being a visual medium, I actually tend to find written military history more interesting than fictional—or even supposedly historical—battles portrayed on screen. Not that I've seen every war film there is to see.


As for fight scenes that I actually like, the fight between Inigo Montoya and the Man in Black in The Princess Bride has always been one of my favorites. I also like the Battle of Hoth in The Empire Strikes Back, although why the Empire needed to land ground troops to destroy a generator that, for some reason, was totally exposed instead of tucked deep inside an ice cave is beyond me. Perhaps it was ray-shielded, but even if the Empire didn't have any kinetic weapons per se, couldn't they have just fired a dozen or so probe droids at the generator?

As for Tolkien's battles, I tend to find them enjoyable, but not especially memorable. The ones that most impressed me from my reading were the Battle of the Pelennor Fields and the fight in the Tower of Cirith Ungol. From the Peter Jackson movies my favorites were the Battle of the Hornburg and the Battle of the Pelennor Fields, especially when the Rohirrim charged. Long as the Battle of the Hornburg was in the theatrical version of The Two Towers, I felt the payoff was too short. Éomer shows up with Gandalf, and then it's over.


Annael
Immortal


Apr 14 2019, 2:16pm


Views: 5327
Aragorn vs. Lurtz

the bit where Lurtz throws a knife and Aragorn deflects it with his own sword . . . which was real.

I did love the whole long, single-shot scene of the Fellowship battling Orcs at Ammon Hen. Impressive cinematography, that, especially for pre-drone-camera days.

I am a dreamer of words, of written words. I think I am reading; a word stops me. I leave the page. The syllables of the words begin to move around … The words take on other meanings as if they had the right to be young.

-- Gaston Bachelard

* * * * * * * * * *

NARF and member of Deplorable Cultus since 1967
my blog: https://jodybower.com/myths-archetypes-in-film/


CuriousG
Half-elven


Apr 14 2019, 3:36pm


Views: 5322
Wonder Woman; Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

I fall into the camp of wanting fight scenes to have a purpose and advance the story somehow. For that reason, I find Diana charging the German lines very moving because she goes from a sheltered, naive debutante to someone who can take control of a situation with courage and leadership. On the surface, it's not much of a fight since the German bullets bounce off her, but that doesn't matter. Something about the music, the camera angles, and what we've seen of her so far as an audience just make that scene moving to watch. As far as kinetics go, her later climactic battle is more fun to watch, but I think there's an underdog element in her charging the trenches that stirs up a lot of emotion.

I'm not a fan of martial arts movies as a genre where they just seem to fight to show off their skills, impressive as they may be, but Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is in a category all its own, where the fights are not only beautifully choreographed (like swooshing around the top of a bamboo forest), they are playing out the tensions in relationships between characters, and those relationships evolve over the movie, so it's not "just another fight," but story progression.


Aunt Dora Baggins
Immortal


Apr 16 2019, 9:37pm


Views: 5204
Super-hero fight scenes make me sleepy

When I go to superhero movies with my family I have a terrible time staying awake during over-the-top action scenes. I think it's a kind of sensory overload making me shut down.

Realistic fight scenes disturb me.

Comic fight scenes, as in Cat Ballou, are OK but only mildly funny.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
GNU Terry Pratchett
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"For DORA BAGGINS in memory of a LONG correspondence, with love from Bilbo; on a large wastebasket. Dora was Drogo's sister, and the eldest surviving female relative of Bilbo and Frodo; she was ninety-nine, and had written reams of good advice for more than half a century."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"A Chance Meeting at Rivendell" and other stories

leleni at hotmail dot com
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



Aunt Dora Baggins
Immortal


Apr 16 2019, 9:41pm


Views: 5204
I agree about the Princess Bride

That was some beautiful choreography, and humorous banter. One of the very few fight scenes I enjoy.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
GNU Terry Pratchett
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"For DORA BAGGINS in memory of a LONG correspondence, with love from Bilbo; on a large wastebasket. Dora was Drogo's sister, and the eldest surviving female relative of Bilbo and Frodo; she was ninety-nine, and had written reams of good advice for more than half a century."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"A Chance Meeting at Rivendell" and other stories

leleni at hotmail dot com
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



Thor 'n' Oakenshield
Rohan


Apr 17 2019, 5:48pm


Views: 5098
Wonder Woman has some of my favorite fight scenes

When she storms the German trenches, that was brilliant.

"We are Kree"


Mari D.
Rivendell


Apr 17 2019, 7:33pm


Views: 5087
Yes, if you can't tell what's going on it becomes meaningless ...


In Reply To
Sword Master Bob Anderson said every fight should tell a story. Unfortunately, most fights in films today are so badly edited you can't tell what's going on, who's fighting whom, or where the participants are located in relation to each other. (Plus most fights take place between dark clothed individuals, at night, in an ill-lit location.) Many blame directors for over-using a flurry of cuts in an attempt to convey action and excitement. But it really goes back to Anderson's statement regarding storytelling. If you feel bored during a fight scene it's because the filmmaker has failed to utilize the fight to communicate a story. That is, the scene is "full of sound and fury, signifying nothing".


... and also, I get bored by such scenes if they are so fast I can't tell what the stakes of an individual move are. Then, for me, the fight moves become meaningless.

Brutality or mere display of physical power or skill in martial arts don't fascinate me anymore. The repetitiveness. (Also if it were a battle of wits, or fighting to by finding the right reaction/words defuse a verbal fight ... then I could at least learn something, but when am I ever going to be in the position of an action hero?)

I like fight scenes when they actually advance the plot and you see the strategic significance of both the moves within a fight and of the fight within the plot. A fight that interests me actually needs to tell a story.

> Non-native English speaker. If you reply to one of my posts feel free to help me improve by quoting + correcting the quote in CAPITAL letters :-)
> Thanks everyone for your kind answers to my many questions! It's a delight for me to read them.


(This post was edited by Mari D. on Apr 17 2019, 7:42pm)


swordwhale
Tol Eressea


May 7 2019, 3:29pm


Views: 4337
Black Widow...

LaughLaughLaughLaughLaugh

That was one of the best.

I've done just enough medieval swordplay and martial arts to appreciate the difficulty of a well choreographed fight.

As a storyteller, I see the external conflict reflecting the internal one. Hard to show internal conflicts in a visual medium like film.

There are some actors, like Dwayne Johnson or Chris Hemsworth who can take a fight scene to a level of hilarity we had no idea existed...

That said, action just for the sake of action is pointless.

bigger on the inside...

Na 'Aear, na 'Aear! Mýl 'lain nallol, I sűl ribiel a i falf 'loss reviol...
To the sea, to the sea, the white gulls are crying, the wind is blowing and the white foam is flying... (JRR Tolkien, Legolas Song of the Sea)

Aue, aue,
Te fenua, te mālie
Nā heko hakilia
We know the way
(Te Vaka, Moana soundtrack)

Member of Horse Manure Movers Local 101, Raptor Wranglers & Rehab, and Night Fury Trainers Assoc. Owned by several cats and a very small team of maniacal sled dogs... sorry Radagast, those rabbits were delicious...






swordwhale
Tol Eressea


May 7 2019, 3:30pm


Views: 4336
WW, Tiger...

oh YES!

bigger on the inside...

Na 'Aear, na 'Aear! Mýl 'lain nallol, I sűl ribiel a i falf 'loss reviol...
To the sea, to the sea, the white gulls are crying, the wind is blowing and the white foam is flying... (JRR Tolkien, Legolas Song of the Sea)

Aue, aue,
Te fenua, te mālie
Nā heko hakilia
We know the way
(Te Vaka, Moana soundtrack)

Member of Horse Manure Movers Local 101, Raptor Wranglers & Rehab, and Night Fury Trainers Assoc. Owned by several cats and a very small team of maniacal sled dogs... sorry Radagast, those rabbits were delicious...






Cirashala
Tol Eressea


May 8 2019, 8:54pm


Views: 4292
I love the phone call!

I about died during that one! Sly That was such a funny fight scene!

My writing and novels:

My Hobbit Fanfiction

My historical novel print and kindle version

My historical novels ebook version compatible with all ereaders

You can also find my novel at most major book retailers online (and for those outside the US who prefer a print book, you can find the print version at Book Depository). Search "Amazing Grace Amanda Longpre'" to find it.

Happy reading everyone!


Cirashala
Tol Eressea


May 8 2019, 9:16pm


Views: 4289
In order for a fight scene to work

it has to do 2 things:
1. Be realistic within the context of the setting (Helm's Deep did this well), and

2. You have to be personally vested in the characters and the outcome.

In LOTR, we are vested in the success of the Fellowship members, where if they won we'd be thrilled and relieved and if they lost, we'd be devastated. We are also vested in the outcome as well, because we know the stakes are very, very high, and if even one major fight fails, then we know that the world will descend into darkness and ALL those characters we care about will die.

Additionally, with few points (the Army of the Dead being a little TOO effective at literally wiping the field clean-would have liked for that to take more than three seconds), LOTR did well at making fight scenes very realistic. It was gritty, it was hard, and people died-including some we cared about (like Theoden, Boromir, Gandalf, or sitting there wondering if Eowyn was going to survive, or seeing the numbers of elves and Haldir and all the younger boys fall and the army falling further and further back and wondering of Legolas, Aragorn or Gimli were going to join them).

The two big LOTR battles (and the Amon Hen fight) especially had us sitting there wondering if our heroes were going to make it out alive. Also, the suicide ride Faramir took after his father ripped him a new one for no good reason also leaves us on the edge of our seats because we sense what the riders sense- that this is sheer suicide, and they're charging straight into a ruthless massacre and we do not know in that moment if Faramir is going to survive or not, and HE thinks he's going to die, but he does it anyway.


Just like how Frodo and Sam are pretty darn sure that the world is going to end and all will come to ruin, and they still go anyway. They fight on to Mt. Doom because they said they would do it, and they're going to even if all fails and it makes no difference.


LOTR fights accomplished the two essential rules for fight scenes above- realistic, and made the audience vested in the outcome and the characters who must achieve their goals, or perish in the process.

There was little doubt that our heroes' lives in LOTR were in mortal danger many times, which is often absent in superhero movies because you sit there and go "Well, the baddies are putting up a good fight but come on-our heroes have out of this world superpowers so of course they're going to win", which causes them to be incredibly boring (unless they're comically funny, which makes them slightly tolerable).

If you don't care all that much about the character and they aren't convincingly in any mortal danger during the fight, then the fight scene is completely pointless, IMHO.

My writing and novels:

My Hobbit Fanfiction

My historical novel print and kindle version

My historical novels ebook version compatible with all ereaders

You can also find my novel at most major book retailers online (and for those outside the US who prefer a print book, you can find the print version at Book Depository). Search "Amazing Grace Amanda Longpre'" to find it.

Happy reading everyone!


(This post was edited by Cirashala on May 8 2019, 9:16pm)


Omnigeek
Lorien


Dec 19 2019, 4:32pm


Views: 1526
Yes, indeed -- every scene should tell a story


In Reply To
Sword Master Bob Anderson said every fight should tell a story. Unfortunately, most fights in films today are so badly edited you can't tell what's going on, who's fighting whom, or where the participants are located in relation to each other. (Plus most fights take place between dark clothed individuals, at night, in an ill-lit location.) Many blame directors for over-using a flurry of cuts in an attempt to convey action and excitement. But it really goes back to Anderson's statement regarding storytelling. If you feel bored during a fight scene it's because the filmmaker has failed to utilize the fight to communicate a story. That is, the scene is "full of sound and fury, signifying nothing".


I agree completely. I love a good fight scene in a movie when it's integral to the story and done well. I'm bored to tears with the frenetic flurry of contemporary cinema. Good fight scenes IMO include the afore-mentioned "The Trouble With Tribbles", the mud pit in "Heartbreak Ridge", John Wayne's scenes in "Mclintock!" and "Big Jake", and the finale of "Enter the Dragon" to name just a few. Bad ones include pretty much every one in Jar Jar Abrams' and Ruin Johnson's feeble entres into the Star Wars universe and Michael Bay's Transformers series.


Solicitr
Gondor


Dec 29 2019, 7:51pm


Views: 1419
In that sense

Bob Anderson is correct, every fight should tell a story. And the modern directorial fetishes of quick-cutting, shaky-cam and dim lighting made murkier by digital grading typically ruins that.

OTOH Anderson himself is largely responsible, on his own because he's held his position atop the totem pole for so many decades, for the fact that virtually all screen melee combat is crap in terms of realism. Far too often the story to be told is "badass hero one-shots endless waves of mooks" (vide Aragorn at PJ-Pelennor). This requires, among other things, that armor has all the protective value of wet papier-mache, and that swords are useful weapons against harnessed opponents. Toss in "battles" that devolve into little paired-off wild-swinging single combats (yes, I'm looking at you, Gladiator) and no conception of ancient or medieval tactics... GRRR! Mad

Dear God, it's not like there aren't enough qualified consultants/choreographers from the HEMA world available.

Honorable exceptions: Ironclad, Maximilian


Paulo Gabriel
Lorien

Jan 3, 7:30am


Views: 2773
I agree in part...

but Gladiator has some really good points in it's favour, as well. It's a reasonaly well-made movie, by most standards.