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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
True and true

thesithempire
Rivendell

Mar 7 2011, 9:40am


Views: 381
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True and true [In reply to] Can't Post

Entmaiden: I agree.

Maiairmike: So long as I could take my dog to NZ, I'd accept! Cool

As regards the SW prequels, I think the concepts were fascinating, and even more complex and layered than the original trilogy, but the execution was unfortunate. Lucas is not a writer, by his own admission. A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back are brilliant because he gave his rough outline to others to write. Those films are very much collaborative efforts by the likes of Marcia Lucas, Gloria Katz and Bill Huyuck, Gary Kurtz, Lawrence Kasdan, Irvin Kershner and others (Coppola, etc.) Even the actors--who all had great chemistry together--had a large say in their characters (Anthony Daniels made 3PO a fussy butler instead of the used-car salesman Lucas had envisioned). Back then, as a humble man and filmmaker, Lucas surrounded himself with creative people and took good advice.

Now, Lucas surrounds himself with yes-men, and, forgetting his limitations, megalomaniacally set about to write and direct the prequels. The results were a very, very mixed bag with some great scenes, and, sadly, some horrificly bad ones. In between a film that audiences were struggling to understand about taxation and Trade Federations strolled in a giant buffoon who escaped off the set of Sesame Street, and proceeded to dominate the picture. Who in their right mind would've thought that would be a good idea for the most anticipated film in movie-history?! Shame because Liam Neeson's fantastic, and the kid's not bad either (although he's hampered by dialogue that makes him sound half his age), and there's some decent elements in play foreshadowing what's to come. But the narrative was too obliquely sketched and Jar Jar has no place anywhere near a Star Wars film. It is arguably a better film than Return of the Jedi, which suffers from some of the worst writing, and poorly thought out ideas (many of which are recycled), and should never have been filmed as it was, particularly as Han and Leia have nothing significant to do in the 2nd half of the film. The Luke/Vader/Palpatine drama saves the story (but just barely because there's not a single tangible reason Luke would be tempted to turn to the dark side. He's not interested in power, which seems to be the only carrot Palpatine can wield, and this weakens the most important part of a film that's lacking in a lot of areas).

Come the 2nd film, Attack of the Clones, and what should be an intriguing mystery/love-story is ruined by the fact that the mystery is never adequately solved (you'll need to read the books to find out who Syfo-Dias is, and why the Jedi so readily accept the Clone Army--which is fine for those of us who do--but you shouldn't have to), and the love story is so clunkily conveyed that it's clear Lucas has no idea how real human beings actually speak in such situations. Recall that in both American Grafitti and Star Wars, it was his wife who wrote those characters, and gave them flesh and blood and hearts and souls. Lucas just put them through their plot paces. Without someone qualified to take her place, you get speeches about sand, and awkward lines about which one's more in love with the other. It doesn't help that Natalie and Haden are not experienced actors at this point to deal with Lucas' lack of vision and poor choices (directing Haden to act like a stalker was not only not in keeping with the character in the last film, but not endearing to audiences, who should care about this guy). But even Ewan McGregor's Obi-Wan is a bit of a jerk, so you've got a film that's visually interesting (though unfortunately shot on outdated first-gen digital cameras, which makes it look awful and dated), but emotionally vacant. Padme's remote; Obi-Wan's remote; Anakin's just weird. No one else gets enough screen time to qualify, and there doesn't seem to be much chemistry between the leads, even when they are together.

Finally, in Revenge of the Sith, things improve b/c Lucas is actually pretty good at doing the more dark, autocratic side of humans (being emperor of his own franchise, he's had practice) and Palpatine (one of the few characters who's consistently brilliantly written -- picking up a theme here?), and Vader shine, though once again, the latter's hampered by a conversion that doesn't quite ring as true as it should (Anakin goes 0 to 60 from "What have I done?!" to "I will do whatever you wish!" and running off to kill younglings.) Nevertheless, the last film has a sense of urgency and a palpable feeling of tragedy and inexorable fate that raises the film to the level of ANH and TESB. Natalie, Haden and Ewan are all considerably improved, individually and together. It should go without saying that Lucas had a liason for the actors onboard this time, and someone a bit more qualified to go over the script. It helps too that Lucas at least thought out Anakin's temptation, and weaved it over the course of the three films.

The Clone Wars animated series continues the trend of being excellent to just so-so (though part of being a billionaire is the fact you no longer have to be consistently good so long as you have a name brand franchise and pawns to do your will.) With the six films set for blu-ray this year, there's some hope ("a new hope"?) that some editorial changes will be made, and along with the lost footage, we might see some improvement of the weaker elements of the weaker films... but that may just be a pipe dream, as much of the problems lie in the very skeletons of these films, their scripts. But hey, every little bit helps, so we'll see what, if anything was done with the benefit of hindsight to improve matters.

Subject User Time
Interesting News on Sir Ian Holm... Maiarmike Send a private message to Maiarmike Mar 3 2011, 8:39am
    Very interesting indeed, Maiarmike... Patty Send a private message to Patty Mar 3 2011, 9:40am
    Yeah... I love Ian Holm... but Peter Jackson... Owain Send a private message to Owain Mar 3 2011, 9:40am
        While I agree... Bound Send a private message to Bound Mar 3 2011, 9:55am
            Right Maiarmike Send a private message to Maiarmike Mar 3 2011, 10:00am
                Have not gotten back or Kangi Ska Send a private message to Kangi Ska Mar 3 2011, 10:01am
    Perhaps... Pipe Dream Send a private message to Pipe Dream Mar 3 2011, 10:33am
    His notification has just been delayed grammaboodawg Send a private message to grammaboodawg Mar 3 2011, 11:17am
        mods up to the "Menel" Earl Send a private message to Earl Mar 3 2011, 2:32pm
        Optimism Appreciated Groppe Send a private message to Groppe Mar 3 2011, 5:29pm
            Howdy Groppe! grammaboodawg Send a private message to grammaboodawg Mar 4 2011, 1:33am
    I sure hope they can reconnect the communication link sphdle1 Send a private message to sphdle1 Mar 3 2011, 12:38pm
    he's almost 80 Welsh hero Send a private message to Welsh hero Mar 3 2011, 3:27pm
    Well rings7 Send a private message to rings7 Mar 3 2011, 4:17pm
        You may be rambling, but you make sense./ Patty Send a private message to Patty Mar 3 2011, 4:19pm
    This brings up the question of a London filming...maybe for both Eruonen Send a private message to Eruonen Mar 3 2011, 4:28pm
        This is just what I hope is in the cards./ Patty Send a private message to Patty Mar 3 2011, 6:32pm
            Sorry, but no thank you thesithempire Send a private message to thesithempire Mar 3 2011, 8:21pm
                I think you´re a bit equivocated... Ruijor Send a private message to Ruijor Mar 3 2011, 10:51pm
                    Not my implication thesithempire Send a private message to thesithempire Mar 3 2011, 11:00pm
                        Yup duats Send a private message to duats Mar 3 2011, 11:29pm
                            James Cosmo -- Holy crap, yes! thesithempire Send a private message to thesithempire Mar 3 2011, 11:50pm
                                Thanks duats Send a private message to duats Mar 4 2011, 12:03am
                                    I don't know Milknut Send a private message to Milknut Mar 4 2011, 12:22am
                                        Thoughts duats Send a private message to duats Mar 4 2011, 12:37am
                                            Duats hits it on the head thesithempire Send a private message to thesithempire Mar 4 2011, 1:38am
                                                I never noticed that Arwen Skywalker Send a private message to Arwen Skywalker Mar 6 2011, 3:12am
                                                    What you brought up about trauma affecting Theoden is interesting. taekotemple Send a private message to taekotemple Mar 6 2011, 5:50am
                                                        Frodo and Pippin thesithempire Send a private message to thesithempire Mar 6 2011, 9:54pm
                                                            Very well put - a good analysis of scriptwriting vs. performance. // squire Send a private message to squire Mar 6 2011, 10:15pm
                                                                Thanks! thesithempire Send a private message to thesithempire Mar 6 2011, 10:46pm
                                                                    Yeah, well... Maiarmike Send a private message to Maiarmike Mar 6 2011, 11:02pm
                                                                        True and true thesithempire Send a private message to thesithempire Mar 7 2011, 9:40am
                                                                    I think you also have to factor in entmaiden Send a private message to entmaiden Mar 6 2011, 11:07pm
                                                        PSTD Arwen Skywalker Send a private message to Arwen Skywalker Mar 7 2011, 8:55am
                                                            A more realistic portrayal: Kangi Ska Send a private message to Kangi Ska Mar 7 2011, 9:57am
    The longer they take... Ruijor Send a private message to Ruijor Mar 3 2011, 4:41pm
        Same thoughts as Ruijor Maddie Send a private message to Maddie Mar 3 2011, 5:04pm
    OMG what would be amazing if he gets the chance! sushiking Send a private message to sushiking Mar 3 2011, 6:01pm
    It would be nice... Donry Send a private message to Donry Mar 3 2011, 6:30pm
        I hope too KAOS82 Send a private message to KAOS82 Mar 4 2011, 12:25am
    OMG! What are they waititng for?!? Call him back, now! xxxyyy Send a private message to xxxyyy Mar 4 2011, 1:43am
    Old Post of mine that could indicate where Jackson & Co are headed Faramond Send a private message to Faramond Mar 4 2011, 5:47pm
    Ian holm... Namssil Send a private message to Namssil Mar 4 2011, 6:29pm
    Ian Holm willowing Send a private message to willowing Mar 5 2011, 5:03am

 
 
 

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