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Awake In The Dark
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Old July 11th, 2005, 09:17 PM   #46
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My last stand!

Personally, I can't believe we are still talking about this film. I made a comment because I was so disapointed in it. But, now it has taken on a life of its own. Please let it die! It was a great special effects film and nothing more!

Another film has already taken over at the box office, and WOTWs will never regain the lead. Everyone seems to be a Spielberg fan and trying to make excuses for him! Don't do it, let the film stand or fall on its own three legs! Be intelectually honest here, the film as presented to the movie audiance-------sucked!

Maybe if we stick together, the next one will be better!!!!!!!!!!!! Great special effects, next time put them in a real movie!!!!!!!

Mike
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Old July 12th, 2005, 03:52 AM   #47
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His next one is about Mossad's response to Black September's 1972 Munich Olympic massacre. It will star Eric Bana and Geoffrey Rush. Hopefully there will be a bit more to think about in that one - it's due for release in December.
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Old July 12th, 2005, 07:54 AM   #48
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i ain't no fan =).
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Old July 12th, 2005, 08:21 AM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Teutsch
Another film has already taken over at the box office, and WOTWs will never regain the lead. Everyone seems to be a Spielberg fan and trying to make excuses for him! Don't do it, let the film stand or fall on its own three legs! Be intelectually honest here, the film as presented to the movie audiance-------sucked!
Mike
Yes, I am a Spielberg fan. But I also know he can make a clunker too--look at the sequel to Jurassic Park: The Lost World. That film was total crap---Spielberg on auto-pilot.

"Always" was a mess. The last 2 Indiana Jones films were weak compared to the original[but I still liked the "experience"]

I went into "War of the Worlds" without a whole lot of expectations and I really enjoyed the ride. I guess how one approaches a film before seeing it affects whether or not one picks it apart or just enjoy it for what it is.

It's kind of like something I learned in psychology about hearing "bad things" about someone before hand...you are already disposed to hating it--a quick Google search brought this up.

http://college.hmco.com/psychology/b...ines/ch17.html

Quote:

"First Impressions
Schemas allow us to quickly categorize a person we have just met. The first impression is formed quickly and is difficult to change.
impressions. However, negative information is given more weight than positive information.
Lasting Impressions. First impressions are difficult to change because they shape interpretations of new information. People tend to remember their initial general impressions better than later corrections.
Self-Fulfilling Prophecies. An initial impression can create a self-fulfilling prophecy. People behave in ways that elicit behaviors consistent with their first impression of the person."

So I guess I'm already predisposed to liking the film! :-)


That doesn't really explain the film "Twister" by Jan Debont that I saw years back.

When I saw it in the theaters--I got caught up in it and forgave a lot of the irritating annoying aspects of it. Subsequently when I watched again on DVD, I said to myself..."What the hell was I thinking?" This film is stupid!

It will interesting how this film holds up when I view WOTW on DVD.
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Old July 12th, 2005, 10:43 AM   #50
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Originally Posted by Yi Fong Yu
you mean like M Night's later films with supposed dialogues+char. development? heheheh just kidding. that's another thread altogether (for the record i loved The Village tremendously & think it's his most mature film).

as for the craft of filmmaking, what about david fincher? what about him? i think if he has total control, the final outcome of the film is pretty close to what he envisioned (except for alien3, which was so bad an experience that he never want to do anything with it ever again). look at the man's track record after a3:
I think Shyamalan and Fincher are excellent examples of what I'm talking about.

I quite like Shyamalan, especially Unbreakable and Signs, but he can very easily fall into self-parody, with the slow breathy delivery he forces on his actors and extended, extended backstory monologues (and there are better ways to do character development than backstory - everything that a character does on screen is characterization and character development. People talk of no character development in War of the Worlds - no, there's no backstory to the characters, but they're developing forwards all the time), and he outclevered himself quite a bit with The Village.

And Fincher seemed to spend most of Panic Room reusing visual tricks from Fight Club, but with less effect, although I also didn't particularly care for the story behind Panic Room. Fincher has a good story sense, but he too can easily become wrapped up in the visuals of a film. For me, Fincher has made only one classic and that's Fight Club. Seven is entertaining to watch and well made, but the story falls apart in the second half. The Game was fun, but that's all. They weren't masterpieces, except for Fight Club, which is primarily because he had a very good story to work from, but he also told it in an exceptional manner (which is the Directors job).

Of course, if you really like The Village and Panic Room, you're not going to see those flaws.

As far as Spielberg goes - he's a very good storyteller in that, he knows how to tell a story well. It's not tricks, it's just part of the craft, and he's an excellent craftsman. What he's not always great at is creating a story. But he can make a great movie (Raiders of the Lost Ark - which is the only film of his I consider great; I like Jaws, but I've never really been part of the Jaws fan club) when he has a good story given to him, because he's very good at telling stories. Sometimes he picks good ones, sometimes he doesn't.

Track record is nothing. Sometimes a good director will make a horrid mess. I love Tim Burton films - I'm seeing Chocolate Factory today - but you couldn't pay me to watch Planet of the Apes again. Sometimes a bad director will make a very good movie. Sometimes a director who seems like he's one type of director, actually has another director living underneath. Based on the films he'd made before, no one would believe that Peter Jackson had Lord of the Rings in him, and yet he did. Now he will have a hard time getting away from that and back to what he did before.
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Old July 12th, 2005, 10:55 AM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Teutsch
Personally, I can't believe we are still talking about this film. I made a comment because I was so disapointed in it. But, now it has taken on a life of its own. Please let it die! It was a great special effects film and nothing more!
Woah, Mike. Is this about you or the film now?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Teutsch
Another film has already taken over at the box office, and WOTWs will never regain the lead.
I could care less about the box office. I'm mostly into indie films, anyway. So this horse race mentality belongs with the industry nerds.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Teutsch
Everyone seems to be a Spielberg fan and trying to make excuses for him! Don't do it, let the film stand or fall on its own three legs! Be intelectually honest here, the film as presented to the movie audiance-------sucked!
Or maybe, everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

How about you keep on going trying to convice the people who liked the film that they didn't really like the film, they were brainwashed.
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Old July 12th, 2005, 10:58 AM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Teutsch
Personally, I can't believe we are still talking about this film. I made a comment because I was so disapointed in it. But, now it has taken on a life of its own. Please let it die! It was a great special effects film and nothing more!
I'm not a huge Spielberg fan - I like a few of his films a lot, and I'm indifferent on more. But, as far as War of the Worlds goes, I don't think it was a special effects film at all. It was a film that had some very good special effects in it (though not as many as people remember upon leaving the theater - there's an entire act with almost no Tripods at all), but it wasn't a special effects film. It was a very stripped down character piece, though he was looking at really only one side of a character, but doing so very, very intently. The special effects are nothing for the movie though. If you never see the Tripods at all, just see people reacting to them (which is actually mostly what is going on in the movie), the story still plays out the same, because that's what it's about. How the character's react to what they're seeing, not what they're seeing. Personally, I thought the ending should have been drawn out to it's logical conclusion, but that wasn't a dealbreaker for me. The first half of the film is a gripping as anything I've seen recently.
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Old July 12th, 2005, 12:38 PM   #53
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the reason i used m night&fincher is that not only are the stories and characters strong, there are humane elements that protrude from each of their films, something that has been lacking in the spielberg films as of late.

in 6th sense, you really dug deep into the mother and son relationship despite all the supernatural stuff. in the village, there no supernatural stuff but you really felt the love story between the two main characters despite the ending. it is a very warm and humanistic approach to filmmaking. ironically, the student has become the master. m night was the learner of spielberg but has now mastered the art of compassionate storytelling. spielberg was the trailblazer with humane character relationships like et & the boy, the divorced family in close encounter, the friends on the boat in jaws, father and son in indy last crusade, and so forth. but lately, catch me if you can, minority report, ai, terminal and the latest war of the worlds lack the compassionate view of the human characters in the film. instead, it is dry, cold and calculated "craftsmen" as you said.

as for craftsmanship, i prefer fincher's over spielberg. there is something ineluctably unexplainable about how aesthetically pleasing his camera angles are. there is a consistency, but we already know that. what is interesting beyond his craft is his stories, which are always rich in morality ping pong, yin yang balance. as dark as his films are, they are always "about something" (as gene roddenberry would say). 7 was about several things but i think it was primarily about excess through the 7 deadly sins. it is about how life should be balanced instead of having too many "TOO" experiences. beyond that i loved the humane view of the pitt+gwen couple relationship and the tragedy behind it. i loved the morgan+brad relationship of two partners, each on spectrums ends of their lives (young&old). i also liked how the killer and pitt's relationship is... but i won't spoil it for those of you that haven't seen it =). in my mind, 7 is a few cuts above many films released in that same year. the game was quieter but it was about how you should break free from the mold/grind of life. i think several of his films have this theme but this one nails it home. this is a classic like 7 cause it is teaching the viewer about a lesson, so that by the end, the viewer doesn't walk away feeling just entertained, they feel that it could have changed their lives. just as fight club changed many people's lives, i believe 7, the game also have that same power, taht's why i consider them classics. panic room is about greed, remember the scene at the end when the money flies in a funnel upward? that hits the message home.

as for flaws, i don't think you listed any flaws for me to see =). all you said was the story fell apart in the later half of 7 without any reasons why. i think fincher's films are flawless.

i think tim burton is pretty consistent and if a story happens to match his visual style well, then it's a pretty good film like big fish or batman. he has said in interviews that he can't spot a good story if it hit tim in the face. look at all of his works, no matter how "bad" you think the film itself is, the visuals are always signature burton. that's the one thing he does best. i think he should become a set designer or a production designer instead of a director =).

i don't agree with your assessment about track record. have you seen peter jackson's heavenly creatures? before LOTR came out, when i saw the fantasy sequence in that film or the frighteners, i knew he could do LOTR justice. but as good as LOTR is, it's still lacking in many respects =). i think PJ had great material and he let that material shine through when necessary but still put his big stamp on it in a big way. for example, when he zooms into gandalf's face in fellowship ("is it secret? is it safe?") THAT was classic PJ style. last i heard, he was going back to direct a small picture after king kong.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joshua Starnes
Shyamalan and Fincher
...

tim burton
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Old July 12th, 2005, 03:44 PM   #54
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but lately, catch me if you can, minority report, ai, terminal and the latest war of the worlds lack the compassionate view of the human characters in the film. instead, it is dry, cold and calculated "craftsmen" as you said.

It's all subjective, I suppose. I find Catch Me if You Can to be laced with very real humanity, especially in all of Walken's scenes and towards the end when Di Caprio is finally captured. War of the Worlds is very much about the dark side of humanity, but it too has some very nice moments between Cruise and Fanning. Some films - like say A Clockwork Orange - just won't a fit a compassionate view of humanity, but that's not the only view of humanity possible, unfortunately.

this is a classic like 7 cause it is teaching the viewer about a lesson, so that by the end, the viewer doesn't walk away feeling just entertained, they feel that it could have changed their lives. just as fight club changed many people's lives, i believe 7, the game also have that same power, taht's why i consider them classics. panic room is about greed, remember the scene at the end when the money flies in a funnel upward? that hits the message home.

There's lots of movies that are about a lesson. Life as a House is teaching the viewer about a lesson. It takes more than that to create a classic - it requires a certain ephemeral quality. Seven and The Game are okay, but they don't have the quality like Fight Club, there's nothing in them that has a feeling of something important having been talked about. Panic Room is too, too hamhanded. I felt like I was being hit over the head with it.

as for flaws, i don't think you listed any flaws for me to see =). all you said was the story fell apart in the later half of 7 without any reasons why. i think fincher's films are flawless.

John Doe only works as long as he remains John Doe. As soon as he becomes a person he loses power. Up until the chase in the rain, each murder feels like a logical progression of the story. After the chase in the rain it feels rushed, perfunctary. 7 deadly sins, so we know we've got to get through them all. And then once Doe does turn up, he creates such a build up to what he's going to do and how it's going to change everything for everyone, it seemed like he was talking about killing the world or proving God was dead or something. What he did do was terrible enough for Freeman and Pitt's characters, but that was all, there wasn't anything beyond that. It was a letdown - it seemed like Fincher and Walker didn't really know where they were going.

i think tim burton is pretty consistent and if a story happens to match his visual style well, then it's a pretty good film like big fish or batman. he has said in interviews that he can't spot a good story if it hit tim in the face. look at all of his works, no matter how "bad" you think the film itself is, the visuals are always signature burton. that's the one thing he does best. i think he should become a set designer or a production designer instead of a director =).

Style is all well good - any director's particular visual and storytelling style is going to remain consistent from film to film. There are certainly any number of director's out there who make consistently good looking bad movies, and any number of director's who make mediocre looking good movies, etc. But that's not someones track record. Their track record is whether they made good movies or bad movies and why. Like Fincher, if Burton comes across a good story he'll make a good movie - they're good storyteller's but not particularly good authors - and if he doesn't he won't. And the inability of being able to tell whether a story is good or not is part of their style as well.

i don't agree with your assessment about track record. have you seen peter jackson's heavenly creatures? before LOTR came out, when i saw the fantasy sequence in that film or the frighteners, i knew he could do LOTR justice. but as good as LOTR is, it's still lacking in many respects =). i think PJ had great material and he let that material shine through when necessary but still put his big stamp on it in a big way. for example, when he zooms into gandalf's face in fellowship ("is it secret? is it safe?") THAT was classic PJ style. last i heard, he was going back to direct a small picture after king kong.

I have seen Heavenly Creatures, and it's a good movie, but there's nothing in it to suggest what he was able to come up with in LOTR, and the same with the Frighteners. I was fairly certain he could deal with the psychological elements, but often his and Walsh's work on characterization can go into goofy areas - Jackson in particular has a love of silly over-the-top characterization that has been a staple of his style until now - and there was nothing to suggest that he could really reach the epic levels he needed to for the film - the same way there was nothing in THX-1138 and American Graffiti to suggest that Lucas could write and direct Star Wars. There are of course connections of style between Rings and his earlier films because they were made, but he really made a leap in storytelling style and his ability to direct actors (though certainly some of the broad Jackson still peaks through, especially through Gimli).

He's scheduled to do a small film, The Lovely Bones, after Kong, then we'll see what he does. But, at certain levels, even your small movies stop being small movies because the media won't let them be. Even when Spielberg makes little stuff like The Terminal it becomes a Spielberg movie and lots of stuff (on the part of the viewer) is attached to it before it's ever seen, and the same will probably be the same for Jackson, who has of course realized it. When Bones does come out, 3/4 or more of every article and review about it will take the 'It's not Lord of the Rings anymore' tack because most writers and audiences can't help themselves.
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Old July 13th, 2005, 07:43 PM   #55
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I just saw it, the "Human Evaporation Laser" is very disturbing! And the alien ship horn sounds like a million ferry horns mixed together! If Jak 3's Dark Precursors were instead the martians in this movie and the terraformer was the alien ship in the movie, the game would be rated M.

P.S: I saw the full-rez version of the King Kong Trailer as well! and a news feature on the war between HD-DVD and Blu-Ray used a part of the movie as well! will upload the news feature if anyone wants to see it. (I still need someone to host the file, I don't trust the free services.)
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Old July 14th, 2005, 07:21 AM   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Zhang
I just saw it, the "Human Evaporation Laser" is very disturbing! And the alien ship horn sounds like a million ferry horns mixed together! If Jak 3's Dark Precursors were instead the martians in this movie and the terraformer was the alien ship in the movie, the game would be rated M.

P.S: I saw the full-rez version of the King Kong Trailer as well! and a news feature on the war between HD-DVD and Blu-Ray used a part of the movie as well! will upload the news feature if anyone wants to see it. (I still need someone to host the file, I don't trust the free services.)
Jack,

Wasn't that alien ship horn sound effect awesome? Like I said in my previous posts, the sound design in that movie stands out so much. It's a very high quality mix.

Also the minivan shot was mentioned briefly before, and if there was any doubt still, it was definitely an effect shot. I'd love to see the breakdown for it. I think the whole idea of digital storyboarding really helped with this horrificly short shoot schedule. Supposedly the minivan shot was completed exactly how it was storyboarded.

It must be very advantageous to see how a shot will look before the director even calls action...
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