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Awake In The Dark
What you're watching these days on the Big Screen and the Small Screen.


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Old August 8th, 2005, 02:39 PM   #16
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I remember "Tour of Duty". At that age I couldn't get around the fact that they couldn't show blood on TV. Comparing the sanitized version with "Platoon" and "Full Metal Jacket" was too much to ask.
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Old August 8th, 2005, 03:28 PM   #17
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*SPOILER AHEAD*

i think moore ron (oops, i meant ron moore ;) did develop a lot of the back stories.

for example, the latest episode had starbuck playing pyramid. they explained her backstory in the first season, and now we actually get to see why she was almost a pyramid player =). pretty good backstory. plus, we get a glimpse of how starbuck's past as an artist? that was kinda weird =).

also, colonel tye almost committed suicide had it not been for adama. i thought that back story was awesome.

PS i thought some of the action are awesome. like when one of the "toasters" lept over apollo and he blasted him right on time.

PPS i also liked how they show it's pretty hard to take down just one of them toasters.
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Old August 10th, 2005, 01:56 AM   #18
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Well, backstory is as backstory does; they show events, but not motivations. Although the Colonel suicide/drinking thing was a good touch, it was predictable that he had a skeleton; and this one I've seen so many times. But, like I've said I do look at BSG and I'm keeping it on my give it a chance list.

As for the battles, yeah they are good. I've always thought though, feel free to disagree, a non-human mech/digital/cyborg/whatever pilot could cream a human pilot in a dog-fight. Since the non-human thingee wouldn't have to wait on a targeting system, it would become the targeting system?!You see what I'm saying? Is that possible? I mean, the Cylons don't have to hear a tone for missle lock, they would automatically fire, speed of the computer targeting system wouldn't be delayed by human pilot having to use senses and tactile mechanics (pressing the button/s), was just a thought.

Tour of Duty; yeah, it can't really compare to Platoon (this movie is just awesome, my physics professor and my class looked at it like everyday for a week during class time!!) and Full Metal Jacket. But, my point was they developed the characters to a point you knew how they would react and why they would react as they did, where they came from, family, religion, blah, blah, blah: on an aside you don't have to show blood to show war, check out "My Name is Ivan", or "The Cranes are Flying" (they're old but pretty good Russian Classics). It just goes to show the differences in expectations and standards for programming/media today as opposed to yesterday; everyday becomes yesterday at some point.

The one cyclon, yeah that was awesome. Definitely shows they are a force to be reckoned with, but I wonder why don't they just attack in full force if they are that powerful; obviously they would wipe the humans off the face of the galaxy. The whole human cylon thing is very interesting though, since it begs the question is it really alive and where does it get a soul from? Likewise, the cylons. Are they alive? Or just sentient, non-soul containing automatons? Ala Frankenstein? Wonder if they will get around to explaining these concepts in BSG? Hey, just because the show doesn't work 100% for me doesn't mean I'm not into it, :-)

One thing I'll raise, and I'm not trying to start a war here, so I ask for understanding. So, my qustion is: why do minorities always have to be the bad guy (in general)? But, especially since, in BSG, asian's (other minorities as well) aren't even that populous in the crew. Wouldn't it have made more sense for the clones to be caucasian? Fit in better? Being female makes sense, but not sure about the rest? Anyone care to offer an opinion?
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Old August 10th, 2005, 03:34 AM   #19
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It's a good role regardless of whether it's a villain. It's not an Uhura role.

The main thing in western cinema and TV is that the leads are usually caucasian. The rest can be whatever. And everyone has to be good looking.

That said, I think the casting is pretty good within those parameters. All of the characters have something to do and have more than one dimension.
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Old August 10th, 2005, 05:33 AM   #20
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Hmm... in the original Col Tigh was African American, in the new one he's Caucasian. But they made Starbuck female. The lead Cylon character (Baltar's girlfriend) is a blonde. I think "Boomer" was African American in the original too? I don't think we can really draw any conclusions from any of this....

If I had to pick one detail that bugs me, it has to do with all the trouble they have identifying the humanoid cylons. Geez, we've seen that when a cylon has sex their backbone glows! You'd think there would be some rather obvious anatomical difference to observe there! ;-)
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Old August 10th, 2005, 08:05 AM   #21
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i fail to see how one can distinguish backstory and motivation. backstory IS the motivation of some characters. it's because of ti's alcoholism that pushed him on the verge of suicide. that's motivation. it's his verge of suicide that pushed him to thank adama because adama rescued him.

re: technobabble (dog-fights in space). that's what ron moore is trying to get away from. he used to work on star trek and every single week was an episode of star trek that used esoteric terms to get out of bad plotting. ya know, those stories of when the ship is about to fail but someone devises a concotion of reconnection somn in the plasma relay/coil/blablabla to cure the problem. then you wonder, they didn't they do that in the first place. the focus isn't on the technical details of SF. the focus of ron's BSG is on characters.

re: platoon/fmj. no matter how deep those characters are, it's only 2 hours. you're getting a mere glimpse of them. with BSG in season2 we're logging more than 14 hours. there's just no comparison. it's like going to the dentist and trying to get a haircut.

re: machine soul. see that's pretty much the soul of the show. ron moore doesn't want to explain the whole thing. he wants you to think about it. those are the marks of a classic. if he explained everything it'd be stupid. asking questions is the first step towards englightenment. look at the X-Files. season1-5 they kept you in the dark. season6-9 when they started to answer ALL the questions, all the fans tuned out. most fans think the series finale is the dumbest thing ever because it explained everything.

re: minority. that's always been the case. according to the latest US census, blacks are around 13%, hispanics are around 15% and every other minority falls below 3% of the US population. i see a lot more black and hispanics in more positive role-model positions than before, but those in the 3% range (like asians) don't get to see any. plus, the positive role models are limited because those who are in power in the hollywood system are mostly still white. when that changes and audiences vote with their $, that's when more minorities will be in more positive roles.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Krystian Ramlogan
Well, backstory is as backstory does...

As for the battles, yeah they are good. I've always thought though...

Tour of Duty; yeah, it can't really compare to Platoon...

The whole human cylon thing is very interesting though, since it begs the question is it really alive and where does it get a soul from? Likewise, the cylons. Are they alive? Or just sentient, non-soul containing automatons? Ala Frankenstein? Wonder if they will get around to explaining these concepts in BSG? Hey, just because the show doesn't work 100% for me doesn't mean I'm not into it, :-)

why do minorities always have to be the bad guy (in general)? But, especially since, in BSG, asian's (other minorities as well) aren't even that populous in the crew.
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Old August 10th, 2005, 02:41 PM   #22
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Personally, I don't care what "race" the leads or any other characters, are in any given movie. Although, I do notice that there are lots of white faces in most of the recent hollywood movies I've seen. As far as cacasions in ALL hollywood positions of power goes, doesn't SONY own one of the major studios? It seems to me that there are many african american actors who get lead roles. As far as asian stars go, I would mention jet li, chau yun fat, maggie chung, and jackie chan, all of whom have had a fairly strong showing with positive roles in western films, but it's been explained to me that the sort of positive roles they get (warriors n such) is part of the problem. I wont dispute this point, being caucasion myself, i don't pretend to understand what it feels like to be a minority in the west. I think, though, you would be hard pressed to find a young actor of any race or hue, who would feel slighted or exploited if they were given an action lead in a picture.

I do think, though, that if people feel left out that things should be changed.
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Old August 10th, 2005, 11:10 PM   #23
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Sony USA is now just as big as Sony Japan. just because it's sony doesn't mean it's Japanese. sony haven't been a Japanese-only company for more than decade now. and i believe you're referring to Columbia/Tristar their film division.

you can name names, but the sad fact is that none of the stars you listed are in positive films that don't stereotype them. an example of a film that goes against type is antwon fisher. but you can't list that for any of the asian film stars. jet li, jackie chan are stuck in the stereotypical kung-fu action flicks. if they try and break out everyone just laughs at them. jackie chan has said in several interviews that he'd like to be the asian deniro. i think even hong kong/asian newsmedia don't take him that seriously. as for jet li, he'll never break out of the action kung-fu films in the west. the latest film had jet li acting like a dog. how demeaning is that? the worst part is, both of them continues to take part in furthering the stereotype. it's all about $. it's the same as fat. anytime he tries to break out of his HK "hit-man" mode the west don't like it. remember anna&the king with jodie foster? *sigh*. i don't even think she's been in any large hollywood productions. plus, asian females are typically stereotyped as dominatrixes (lucy liu) or exotic sex objects.
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Old August 11th, 2005, 01:22 AM   #24
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Backstory VS Motivation.

This is what I'll say using your example. Alcoholism is not what makes someone want to kill themselves, it's what "caused" the alcoholism in the first place that will drive someone to commit suicide.

The alcoholism is the manifestation and it can be seen through backstory (usually an event as seen in BSG where Adama provides a situation which allows an easy out, but does not resolve the problem since we do NOT know what the problem is at this time, we can guess maybe), however the motivation is what caused the alcoholism, or allows the alcoholism to continue or crop up again (as alluded to in BSG's last episode, but again we do not know what caused the alcoholism, perhaps we will find out?).

This is what I mean by backstory and motivation; we usually see events (backstory) in films/television and as an audience we are shown a point of view (via a specfic sequence) that is supposed to carry us towards the realization of why a character acts as they do (motivation), however it is usually done without truly explaining the characters motivations.

One can always argue though for compression of the facts, the directors choice/s of viewpoint, linear timeline, limited time, etc. to justify why things may be done without a full disclosure of the characters motivations.

My example, Spider Man/Peter Parker. What is his backstory? What is his motivation?

Backstory: science student Peter failed to use his powers responsibly (was selfish) resulting in the death of his beloved uncle ben.

Motivation: with great power must come great responsibility - his credo - said to him by his uncle ben which he ignored and then was taught in the worst possible way (so he becomes selfless as Spiderman).

If backstory were motivation, then after avenging his uncle Peter could have gone on his merry way and made some money. But, his motivation remains and he lives up to his credo without having to relive his failure/guilt again and again since he tries to prevent anyone having to experience his loss.

The Spidey thing works because there's also a ton of irony in his situation.

There is a difference, some writers just chose to ignore it or perhaps some of them just don't understand the distinction between them; a fine line to walk sure, but a line nontheless.
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Old August 11th, 2005, 02:36 AM   #25
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in this case, ron moore chooses to uplift characterization in the present and slowly peel back the bacstory.
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Old August 11th, 2005, 09:36 AM   #26
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edit: O/t post I wish I'd never made.
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" When some wild-eyed, eight foot tall maniac grabs your neck, taps the back of your favorite head against a bar room wall, and looks you crooked in the eye, and he asks you if you've payed your dues, well, you just stare that big suker right back in the eye, and you remember what old Jack Burton always says at a time like that, 'Have you paid your dues, Jack? Yes sir, the check is in the mail."

Last edited by Michael Gibbons; August 11th, 2005 at 02:23 PM.
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Old August 11th, 2005, 01:18 PM   #27
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actually, deniro is very well versed. check out his backlog of films he has done on imdb. mobster/italian themed is not the ONLY thing he is known for. he's a good actor period regardless of the various "isms" people wanna tack onto him.

regardless of what i use as terminology, the fact remains. asians in hollywood cinema are very under-represented and when they are represented, they are stereotyped.
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Old August 11th, 2005, 01:35 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yi Fong Yu
as for jet li, he'll never break out of the action kung-fu films in the west. the latest film had jet li acting like a dog. how demeaning is that?
Did you even see the movie? It was one of the best performances Li has ever given - he goes from traumatized, brutalized beast to awakened man, so that at the end he is able to choose to be a man and not a beast, and he gives the entire performance with his face, having very little dialogue. The scene with Victoria, when she takes his collar off and he doesn't know what he's going to do when she takes it off, it's filled with apprehension created entirely by Li's performance.

Li could quite easily have a career as a dramatic actor - like his much honored Hero co-star Tony Leung has had - if he choose to, but he's never wanted to go that route; though as he gets older, he seems to be choosing more and more actorly roles.
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Old August 11th, 2005, 01:47 PM   #29
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edit: O/t post I wish I'd never made.
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" When some wild-eyed, eight foot tall maniac grabs your neck, taps the back of your favorite head against a bar room wall, and looks you crooked in the eye, and he asks you if you've payed your dues, well, you just stare that big suker right back in the eye, and you remember what old Jack Burton always says at a time like that, 'Have you paid your dues, Jack? Yes sir, the check is in the mail."

Last edited by Michael Gibbons; August 11th, 2005 at 04:43 PM.
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Old August 11th, 2005, 01:49 PM   #30
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yesh, but ya gotta agree with me that the majority of the movie spent fighting/being a dog, that's humiliating no matter how dramatic a few scenes can be.
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