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The spoiler-filled, enter at your own risk, we mean it now, Dark Knight Rises thread

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Re: The spoiler-filled, enter at your own risk, we mean it now, Dark Knight Rises thread

Post  Seamaster on Wed Dec 19, 2012 4:10 pm

I have to ask a dumb question. If she'll hate the movie because of a main character dying in the last scene, why does she love Thelma and Louise (even though she won't watch the latter movie again)? Perhaps she will react to There Will Be Blood the same way?
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Re: The spoiler-filled, enter at your own risk, we mean it now, Dark Knight Rises thread

Post  Iago on Thu Dec 20, 2012 6:39 am

Well, the difference is that she saw Thelma and Louise many years ago, and she has grown more senstitive about such things since then. Plus, she liked the whole female-empowerment angle, and that may have helped her forgive the ending. (Plus, technically, you do not see them die, as it freeze-frames triumphantly as they take the air.)
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Re: The spoiler-filled, enter at your own risk, we mean it now, Dark Knight Rises thread

Post  Seamaster on Thu Dec 20, 2012 5:06 pm

That's true. They might have lived. I've always been wondering when the sequel would be released.

Female empowerment aside, Thelma and Louise is a good buddy-on-the-road-in-America movie. I liked it when it first came out and I still like it today. It also showed that Ridley Scott was capable of making other types of movies.
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Re: The spoiler-filled, enter at your own risk, we mean it now, Dark Knight Rises thread

Post  Iago on Fri Dec 21, 2012 10:42 am

Sarcasm aside, my point was simply that you do not actually see their death, but only imagine it. And the final image of their holding hands into the freeze frame is very triumphant -- unlike the more ironic freeze frame that ended Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

Thelma and Louise surprised a lot of people who thought that Scott was only capable of genre fare (or rather, sci-fi/fantasy films, since Thelma and Louise is still a genre film.) But I was less surprised as I am a huge fan of one of his Eighties films; his first non-fantasy or historical film, Someone to Watch over Me. I would love to see a Blu-Ray for that one, but it is pretty neglected nowadays. Though The Duellists is coming out on Blu in January!
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Re: The spoiler-filled, enter at your own risk, we mean it now, Dark Knight Rises thread

Post  Seamaster on Fri Dec 21, 2012 4:04 pm

I've found that too. Ask the average person about Ridley Scott and they instantly think Alien. Even blockbuster films like Gladiator and Black Hawk Down don't seem to resonate. The latter is one of my favourites.

I knew what you meant about the freeze frame. Sometimes I just can't help myself. It is indeed triumphant. So much so, that I think it deserved longer screen time. I would have like to have seen it hold into the start of the credits.
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Re: The spoiler-filled, enter at your own risk, we mean it now, Dark Knight Rises thread

Post  Iago on Sun Dec 23, 2012 5:04 am

The DVD and Blu-Ray editions of Thelma and Louise include a special feature showing the ending with a shot of the car as it falls into the canyon. Scott deleted that shot at the last minute and decided to do the freeze frame instead. What a difference that made in the emotional impact of the film! Just that one brief shot alone would have destroyed how the movie resonated with the audiences of the time, so he definitely made the right call.

I have always liked some of Scott's "lesser" films. In addition to Black Hawk Down, which is a great adaption of an otherwise "unadaptable" book, I have a soft spot for 1492 and even White Squall as well. Of his more recent films, Kingdom of Heaven, at least in its extended "director's cut" version, stands nearly as tall as any of his Eighties classics (or late Seventies through early Nineties, to include Alien and Thelma and Louise.)
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Re: The spoiler-filled, enter at your own risk, we mean it now, Dark Knight Rises thread

Post  Seamaster on Wed Jan 02, 2013 9:43 am

Bowden's Black Hawk Down is written with typical journalistic flair and I can only believe it achieved the purpose Bowden had in mind when he put pen to paper: to tell the story of a battle that most of the world had never heard of. What better way to make that story accessible than to write it as a narrative rather than an historical account?

From what I have read, Bowden did his research. Of course, as with any author who writes about their home team, one must understand that bias when reading. Still, I thought he did a good job and Scott a good job of bringing that story to screen. I enjoyed both the book and film. Was the book really unadaptable, though? I will have to reread. I thought the book laid a pretty good framework from which to develop a screenplay.
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Re: The spoiler-filled, enter at your own risk, we mean it now, Dark Knight Rises thread

Post  Iago on Wed Jan 02, 2013 12:39 pm

Oh, I was not calling the book "unadaptable" as a critique; I loved the book, and enjoy Bowden's writing in general (Killing Pablo was also excellent, though I do believe it would also be difficult to adapt into a film.) The issue with the book in terms of translating it to the screen is that it covers so many details and so many individuals that it is difficult to keep the names and roles straight in your head while you read it without frequently consulting the index to refresh your memory. A fairly faithful adaption of the book would have over a hundred primary speaking parts, and none of them could really be considered "main characters" for the audience to latch onto as hooks. So right off the bat, if you want to make a movie that is faithful to the events and the people involved, you are nearly guaranteed something that would be interesting but otherwise completely incomprehensible. The screenwriters (and Scott was involved in the development process) solved that by condensing the narrative and the people involved, freely making composite characters out of several different individuals.

For instance, Josh Hartnett's character, while named "Matt Eversmann," is really a composite of different people, not just Eversmann himself, and the events that happen to Hartnett's character in the film happened to different people. But by combining those elements into the one character and casting an instantly recognizable character in the role, it gives viewers something that is much easier to follow than the book was.


Often, the key to adapting books or novels that are so overwelming in detail is to discard absolute fidelity and worry more about translating the material into something that works on screen. Phillp Kaufmann has been particularly successful at that, as his adaptions of The Right Stuff and The Unbearable Lightness of Being worked so well precisely because he was unafraid to jettison things. In the latter case, Kundera's book is roughly half sex and half political musings; Kaufmann fearlessly eliminated most of the politics and against all odds, the finished product worked beautifully. On the other hand, when presented with material that was designed with an ultimate film adaption in mind, like Michael Crichton's Rising Sun, he failed miserably. In that case, he jettisoned things that he should not have, namely, the whole point of the book!
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Re: The spoiler-filled, enter at your own risk, we mean it now, Dark Knight Rises thread

Post  Seamaster on Wed Jan 02, 2013 4:00 pm

I never read Rising Sun, although I didn't think much of the film.

At any rate, I understand your points. It has been some time since I read Black Hawk Down or watched the film and I have never done both close to one another. I should do so.
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Re: The spoiler-filled, enter at your own risk, we mean it now, Dark Knight Rises thread

Post  Iago on Wed Jan 02, 2013 4:43 pm

Like most Crichton novels, Rising Sun is written on an agenda; the plot merely provides a device for Crichton to deliver his thesis, which in this case was about how Japan at the time was manipulating the markets. The murder mystery simply provided an engine to motivate the main characters into moving through the world and learning about it as they went. Kaufmann largely stripped the politics out of it and was left with a bland mystery that could not stand on its own. Stripping much of the political musings out of The Unbearable Lightness of Being worked because the characters and their interactions were perfectly interesting without the diegetical pontificating, but in the case of Rising Sun the material was weak sans its message.


I have to admit that when I read Black Hawk Down, I struggled with it at first because I spent so much time backtracking to remember who each character was as the story jumped from person to person. After the first hundred pages, I realized that being a bit confused as to each person's identity in no way diminished the impact of the tale, so from that point on I just barreled through it and stopped worrying if I could not remember who someone was.
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Re: The spoiler-filled, enter at your own risk, we mean it now, Dark Knight Rises thread

Post  Seamaster on Thu Jan 03, 2013 9:59 am

The irony with Black Hawk Down is that our confusion as a reader almost mirrors the confusion the troops (and others) must have felt on the ground, in the air, or back at base. Political agendas aside, war is brutal and cruel. I feel for all who serve or have served.
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Re: The spoiler-filled, enter at your own risk, we mean it now, Dark Knight Rises thread

Post  Iago on Thu Jan 03, 2013 10:31 am

Absolutely.


Apropos of not much, did you ever get to see Ti West's follow-up to House of the Devil: The Inkeepers? I thought that it was a bit disappointing, though I do want to give it a second chance sometime. On the other hand, West directed one segment of the anthology V/H/S/ that was stellar; a true slow-burn classic. I would not want to spoil it, but it works precisely because it moves slowly and deliberately, not even showing much horror or suspense at all for most of it. It also uses repetition very cleverly to set up expectations that are suddenly and shockingly thrown out the window.
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Re: The spoiler-filled, enter at your own risk, we mean it now, Dark Knight Rises thread

Post  Seamaster on Mon Jan 07, 2013 11:20 am

No, I haven't gotten around to that one yet. So many films on the To See list.
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Re: The spoiler-filled, enter at your own risk, we mean it now, Dark Knight Rises thread

Post  Iago on Mon Jan 07, 2013 11:55 am

I "see" you there. If you get to the biggie screens, I did catch Django Unchained last weekend and it is well worth the trip.
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Re: The spoiler-filled, enter at your own risk, we mean it now, Dark Knight Rises thread

Post  Seamaster on Tue Jan 08, 2013 1:41 pm

I had been wondering about that film.

Have you made it out to see The Hobbit, or are you not going to bother? I did, and I was lukewarm about the movie. In short, I found it hard to care.
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Re: The spoiler-filled, enter at your own risk, we mean it now, Dark Knight Rises thread

Post  Iago on Tue Jan 08, 2013 3:53 pm

I did not hate it, but I did not particularly like it, either. It was pretty much what I expected: a bloated mess. While the fanboys are defending Jackson as most (but not all!) of the added material still comes from Tolkein, the problem is that while the material may (arguably) be accurate to Tolkein's overall chronology, it makes for a narrative mess. It just does not work as a story.

To me, the problem can be summed up in three words: Radagast the Brown. When Jackson & Co. adapted The Fellowship of the Ring, they made the difficult choice to jettison one of my favorite characters, Tom Bombadil. (My dream movie always had Tom Baker playing that part!) But the reality is that the whole experience with him is paranthetical to the main story; you can cut the entire thing out and lose absolutely nothing that affects the main narrative, and in fact it improves the narrative by eliminating the extraneous material. But now with The Hobbit, they actually ADDED a character who does not even appear in the book, and gave him pretty significant screen time as well. It completely derails any hope of a coherent narrative. So what they did right with the original trilogy, they did badly, badly wrong with this one.

That said, it was worth seeing in 48fps. I would not want to see most movies that way, but it did give the 3D an extreme sense of depth.
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Re: The spoiler-filled, enter at your own risk, we mean it now, Dark Knight Rises thread

Post  Seamaster on Wed Jan 09, 2013 10:41 am

Adding elements does not necessarily have to make the narrative incoherent, but I did struggle with The Hobbit. I suppose there is a small chance it will make sense as a whole when the trilogy is released and it can viewed in combination with The Lord of the Rings. But that reminds me of Lucas and his pleas around his pre-trilogy. In the end, it didn't really add up, and I suspect that's going to be the case here as well.

While I respect that The Hobbit is a kid's book, that is another problem I had with the movie. I found it too childish. Even bloated, the film lacked depth and any real sense of urgency. I suppose a quest to take back a lost kingdom doesn't stand up to a quest to prevent the end of the world, but I felt the film really dragged. That said, the scene with Gollum was very good and was the best part of the film. Although it will not be true to the book, I actually hope we see more of Gollum if the add-in is to the same quality as we saw in this first entry.

I did not see the film in 48 fps, but I've heard from people that I really should. I might just give it a second viewing, as it will be the only chance for me to see what the 48 fps is or is not about.
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Re: The spoiler-filled, enter at your own risk, we mean it now, Dark Knight Rises thread

Post  Iago on Wed Jan 09, 2013 1:26 pm

Adding elements does not inherently make a narrative incoherent, but when those elements do not directly affect the primary narrative, and are in fact completely paranthetical to it, then they cannot help but fracture the story. Which is precisely how I would describe the story of The Hobbit: fractured. And it was no Fractured Fairy Tale, either! That would have been infinitely more entertaining.

If you do try 48fps, do some research first. There are multiple theatrical 3D formats out there, and they do not appear to work equally well for 48fps. The comparisons that I have read suggest that Real3D is the best for it, and that is how I saw it. Again, I would not want most movies shot that way (or in 3D at all, for that matter) but for certain "event" movies it makes an interesting experience. To me, it greatly increased perceived depth; normal 3D tends to look a bit layered to me. That is, rather than truly 3D, it tends to look like multiple layered 2D planes. But at 48fps, many objects took on a truly "solid" three-dimensional look that normal 3D lacks, at least for me. Worth a look, anyway; I will be curious if your feelings about the film as a whole change on a second viewing.
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Re: The spoiler-filled, enter at your own risk, we mean it now, Dark Knight Rises thread

Post  Seamaster on Thu Jan 10, 2013 10:37 am

I was going to go to one of the theatres listed on this page: http://www.thehobbit.com/hfr3d/, and confirm with the theatre staff that I was going to a 48 fps viewing. For example, I'm not sure that the IMAX theatres show 48 fps. Some do, but my understanding is that it is quite rare to find an IMAX theatre showing 48 fps. Perhaps if we were in LA, where they have a plentiful list of HFR-ready theatres, but we're not . . . .

Your mention of fairy tale made me think of Pan's Labyrinth -- one of the modern great fairy tales.
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Re: The spoiler-filled, enter at your own risk, we mean it now, Dark Knight Rises thread

Post  Iago on Thu Jan 10, 2013 12:50 pm

Well, if that list shows an Imax theatre, it is one that is showing it at 48fps, so you should be good. Not sure if the Real3D theatre locator will help:

http://reald.com/content/theatre-locator.aspx


Here would be a negative view from a "hater":

http://blog.vincentlaforet.com/2012/12/19/the-hobbit-an-unexpected-masterclass-in-why-hfr-fails-and-a-reaffirmation-of-what-makes-cinema-magical/

I have not had a chance to read through it yet . . .
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Re: The spoiler-filled, enter at your own risk, we mean it now, Dark Knight Rises thread

Post  Seamaster on Fri Jan 11, 2013 9:25 am

Pretty lengthy read. The summary comments he links to actually say the same thing, only much more briefly. I'll see what I think when I check it out.

The multiple format is actually interesting because the only reason I'm going for a second viewing is to experience HFR 3D!
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Re: The spoiler-filled, enter at your own risk, we mean it now, Dark Knight Rises thread

Post  Rozzinator on Fri Jan 11, 2013 12:17 pm

Have you guys watched this video on things that were weird/wrong with this movie Smile pretty funny had to pause a few times while watching to think about it
http://www.wired.com/underwire/2012/12/dark-knight-funny/
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Re: The spoiler-filled, enter at your own risk, we mean it now, Dark Knight Rises thread

Post  Iago on Sat Jan 12, 2013 4:38 pm

I did see that one, and it has some pretty funny parts.

Red Letter Media also devoted an episode to it, but it is pretty lengthy and rambling, so instead I offer their briefer take on the problems with Prometheus:

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Re: The spoiler-filled, enter at your own risk, we mean it now, Dark Knight Rises thread

Post  Iago on Sat Jan 12, 2013 4:41 pm

If you have the time, though:





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Re: The spoiler-filled, enter at your own risk, we mean it now, Dark Knight Rises thread

Post  Iago on Sun Jan 13, 2013 8:37 am

Ah, they got me. Universal Horror collection $79.99 at Amazon US. Order placed!
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Re: The spoiler-filled, enter at your own risk, we mean it now, Dark Knight Rises thread

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