Film and Episodic Content Discussion Thread

Discussion in 'Random Thoughts' started by purr1n, Jan 8, 2020.

  1. Boops

    Boops Friend

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    Can’t decide what the worst thing about Kenobi is:
    - the script
    - the performances
    - the pacing
    - that the gravitas of the whole package suggests that the creators think they’ve made something great when really it’s extremely mediocre.
     
  2. crenca

    crenca Friend

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    Like any television show it's uneven, but some of them are quite good and creative. Mando is up there with Rogue One, Empire, etc. for me, if nothing else because it is a genuinely fresh take/character/scripting.

    Boy you said it. She's so unconvincing I found myself hitting the rewind a few times to confirm what I just watched was really that bad. Your also right about this new broken Kenobi - it's like watching the brat-who-needs-a-spanking become the Dark Lord, I simply can't get to the minimum "suspension of disbelief" to stop cringing.

    Why is this happening? How much does Kathleen Kennedy's cramming her wokeness down our throats account for it (50% maybe?)? Can Disney keep losing the plot this much yet keep investors looking the other way at this basic artistic incompetence?
     
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  3. ColtMrFire

    ColtMrFire Writes better fan fics than you

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    Woke ideologues having infiltrated the studios. They spend most of their time thinking about victimization narratives, woe-is-me sob stories, and using superficial diversity quotas in place of actual talent, skill or ethics. I'm not that familiar with Deborah Chow's work (the director/show runner), but I do know she checks two diversity boxes. There's nothing wrong with diversity when the person is actually talented, but it's clear she's not the right fit for this show. Audiences don't care that an Asian American female made Obi-Wan, they care about whether or not the show is good. But for the woke ideologues, many of which don't even like movies, it's a win. They get their quota, even if it sets her career back because of how incompetently made the show is. I guess in the realm of bad television it doesn't matter.

    I could list half a dozen filmmakers off the top of my head that would've been a better fit, but most of them don't have the correct skin color or genitalia...
     
  4. Boops

    Boops Friend

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    Chow directed two pretty good eps of The Mandalorian (I didn't know this, but Google said so) along with a bunch of other award-winning stuff I haven't seen, so it seems like she has the resume. Moses Ingram (Jedi hunter lady) was pretty great in Queens Gambit and in a small part in the recent Coen brother MacBeth movie. Could be bad fit, but they are both qualified on paper to do the job.

    Worst performance by a mile is the Leia kid, and it's not her fault. The things the script is asking her to do are just too much and it shows. Poor kid.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2022
  5. Wilson

    Wilson Socially Anxious Volleyball

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    FFC in the 70s was unstoppable. His career never recovered fully from One From The Heart, which did not deserve the spleen spilled on it.
     
  6. wbass

    wbass Almost "Made"

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    Oof, Obi-Wan Kenobi... The Mandolorian was pretty good. A 3/4 on the whole, sometimes quite good, sometimes a bit slack. It never felt essential to me, but it was charming and did some fresh things in the Star Wars sandbox (fleshing out the Tuscan Raiders, for example).

    Rogue One, IMO, is the one successful entry in the Disney range of Star Wars-y product. That wasn't a story that was begging to be told either, but it was well (and diversely) cast, pretty well scripted, has some great set pieces, and overcomes a few duff moments by ending well. Plus, it basically nailed the used future thing. It's kinda wild how much the finer points of production design matter with these things.

    Won't repeat the various criticisms of Kenboi above, but, yeah, it's pretty un-cinematic. Feels like Disney is taking everything Star Wars out of the oven before it's fully baked. They rushed the sequel trilogy like all hell. I believe they announced a release date for Force Awakens the same day they signed the Lucasfilm deal.

    The Inquistors in Kenobi are all kinda corny, and the dialogue doesn't help. It takes a certain kind of actor to sell such lines. Jake Lloyd and Hayden Christensen certainly couldn't wrap their tongues around the prequel dialogue. It's a weird combo of gravitas and pure hambone that can get a line like "I will destroy you!" across. British actors seem to thrive here. Maybe b/c of the accent, maybe b/c most are reparatory trained and not trying to method anything. Anyway, you can be a damned good actor and still flounder in genre stuff.

    Kathleen Kennedy's production CV is absolutely nuts. But something isn't clicking with Lucasfilm. Disney's a sealed vault, so who knows if the story of how badly they're slaughtering the golden Star Wars goose will ever come out. But I'd wager a lot of it comes down to trying to make these huge purchases pay off for the stockholders and some kind of calculus that regular releases are more profitable than the obsessive (for better and worse) detail of the original and prequel trilogies.

    But, Jesus, at least we could have a little imagination. Episode 2 of Kenobi is... Blade Runner planet. Episode 3 is... some dusty hillsides outside LA? A lot of The Mandolorian was shot on soundstages using Volume for the backdrops and looks pretty solid. Kenobi is a step back in a bunch of ways. I'm sure Covid screwed up production royally, but still...
     
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  7. crenca

    crenca Friend

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    What makes Kenobi in particular, and Disney's stewardship of the whole Star War's universe/franchise so bad? Folks here have pointed to many things, but I want to suggest that at the core is Disney's loss of a basic humanism.

    @wbass is right to point to the torture of the child Princess Leia in the latest Kenobi episode (#4) as incomprehensible from just about any view:

    https://www.superbestaudiofriends.org/index.php?members/wbass.7274/#profile-post-29848

    What makes this scene so cringingly banal, offensive, gratuitous, and artistically poor (as in really really bad - the writing, the delivery - everything about it) is that there is not an ounce of believable humanity in it. Before you can be an artist, and to then go on and artistically portray the conflict of good and evil within a humanistic context, you first have to have a mature grasp as to what it means to be human. George Lucas' Star Wars, however unintentionally/unconsciously, had an essentially (if incoherent) Jungian grasp of good, evil, humanity, etc. It is something that most everyone recognized and found compelling, even if it was easy to poo poo other aspects of the story/writing/acting/etc.

    Disney's Star Wars has none of this. Disney's Star Wars is just bumbling in the dark as to what good and evil even means, how the fact of good and evil fits into being human, and how the context of this drama might effect a narrative of characters-in-action within a story arc.

    Is it because Disney has decided that being "woke" is what it means to be human? Is it something more general, perhaps the bean counters have driven out all the real artists? Is it because a comfortable majority of Disney's consumers have themselves forgotten what it means to be human and don't even notice?
     
  8. ColtMrFire

    ColtMrFire Writes better fan fics than you

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    The artists were never really in charge. They were always at the mercy of the bean counters... it's just that the old guard had slightly more common sense back then, and Hollywood still understood that the old storytelling methods worked and made them money. Now they don't care... woke ideologues who wont have a job in 6 months anyway don't care if the studio is in the red. So they have no incentive to do anything other than parrot twitter so they have another job in 6 months.

    Remember that many of the people placed in positions of power in the industry (Disney or otherwise) are just stunningly stupid people first off, who have zero creative instincts and just piggy back off what the latest social media/woke trend is. They in turn are forcing writers, who may have some talent, into destroying the ideas and scripts for these shows and movies, since the writers have little to no power. Instead deconstructing old heroes and storytelling methods, in favor of a kind of cultural Marxism.

    It is about pushing modern political ideologies more than telling earnest, effective stories that people want to see. But when you have people in charge who have good, creative instincts and the power to keep the morons away, you end up with movies like Top Gun Maverick (talking about Cruise btw, who likely the last person in Hollywood with the power and creative juice to make these kinds of movies).

    Disney is still under the influence of these woke lunatics, but the tide is slowly turning, as woke is becoming more a joke every day and there are people inside these studios who want to go back to "cocaine and capitalism", it just takes a while for these things to manifest. Remember, the stuff you see today is often put into development years prior, so you are seeing stuff that was "in" 2 years ago, but may not be relevant when it is actually released.
     
  9. crenca

    crenca Friend

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    I'm going to have to see this new Top Gun movie now.

    What do you think is the explanation for Rogue One & Mando, though I know you were not impressed with the latter. Is it just a case of some creativity & humanity sneaking through mostly by accident?
     
  10. ColtMrFire

    ColtMrFire Writes better fan fics than you

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    I'm not really a fan of Rogue One and think its overrated, but to be fair, it's worlds better than what would come later. I think that was just a lucky break, because those occasionally do happen. Mando was Jon Favreau and his desire to repair the damage Disney had done, but I'm still not really a fan... again though, it's better than most of the other stuff.

    I think there are some things that slipped by Favs though, like Kenobi, because I have a hard time believing he'd sign off on that. Apparently he's the real person running Lucasfilm now but it's hard to say how much control he had over Kenobi since that was put in motion some time ago. I have a hard believing he had anything to do with that travesty.
     
  11. ColtMrFire

    ColtMrFire Writes better fan fics than you

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    So OUTER RANGE was a disappointment... it took me about 3 and a half episodes to bow out, realizing the show was using the LOST mystery box nonsense to propel the story forward, endlessly teasing us with long drawn out plot lines that weren't interesting enough to care, weird character beats that felt random, and annoying characters that constantly do stupid things and don't resemble living, breathing human beings (this is a constant pet peeve of mine in modern storytelling, characters that act like no actual human would ever act). Worst of all, none of it is earned. It's as if the writers' main goal was to be "dark, serious and profound" without laying the groundwork to make these mysteries compelling... throwing weird, random shit at the screen doesn't earn my respect.
     
  12. Riotvan

    Riotvan Got lost for three weeks at Delft City Hall

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    Been watching a couple of episodes of Night sky. So far it’s promising. Slow paced but not boring.
     
  13. Pharmaboy

    Pharmaboy Friend

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    I'm starting to agree with you about OUTER RANGE. I'm badly stalled out midway through episode-3. Certain scenes just ring so false and are so off-putting that the emotional equity these characters/actors have developed w/me is fast disappearing.

    The cast is borderline asounding, but the writing and all-over-the-place tone are wearing me out. An actor I always like, Will Patton, is given some of the most absurd dialogue and "motivation" I've ever seen. This is a good actor being purposefully embarrassed by bad writing.

    As for Josh Brolin, IMO he has matured into one of most solid and resourceful actors, always able to walk the dotted line between lead & character roles. Yet he's at least partially wasted here.

    The only actor in this cast who continues surprising me is Imogene Poots. She's a fine actor, and appears to have some of the best, least compromised dialogue in this production...
     
  14. ColtMrFire

    ColtMrFire Writes better fan fics than you

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    Patton in particular is written badly, he just doesn't seem human. Poots I'm afraid is annoying as all hell, the character I mean...obtuse isn't the same as mysterious.
     
  15. wbass

    wbass Almost "Made"

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    I should say that I find diverse casting a positive development in Hollywood, especially in a fictional universe like Star Wars. Some growing pains to be expected, especially as Disney semi-clumsily tries to cover all bases, but if more viewers can get excited and see themselves in these stories, that's all to the good.

    What I'm talking about is more a failure of imagination in the conception of Kenobi. I'd wager that the idea behind child Leia almost being tortured was "Let's do the rhyming thing where we replay adult Leia being interrogated in A New Hope!" And that led them to this very dubious story beat where our main bad has to somehow walk a line between, "Maybe I'm evil enough to scar a little kid for the rest of her days" but also "Maybe I'm hesitant to do so, b/c you're going to see my change of heart/redemption arc in two episodes." I do think Ingram--by all accounts an accomplished actor--is out of her element in this series, but many actors would be flummoxed by trying to thread such a needle.

    It doesn't help, either, that Kenobi can't seem to decide what it is tonally: a family-friendly romp or a semi-gritty war drama in the mode of Rogue One. The Goonies or even Stranger Things can put (slightly older) kids in some peril, but b/c they're clearly in fantasy modes, we don't end up thinking anything actually awful is going to occur. Kenobi, in playing around with things like PTSD and torture, but also being kid-centric, is mixing its tones badly.

    Hopefully, these perpetual remixes of the old stories and characters will finally exhaust themselves. Every franchise and series now wants to be both fresh and familiar, and that's a real tightrope to walk and often just leads to bland and boring. I say, Bring on the Old Republic already, b/c at least that sandbox hasn't been shit in too much yet.
     
  16. yotacowboy

    yotacowboy McRibs Kind of Guy

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    I didn't search too hard to see if there's mention ITT, but I quite enjoyed Archive 81. Funny, too, how I'm not the only one that stalled on outer range on ep.3.
     
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  17. ColtMrFire

    ColtMrFire Writes better fan fics than you

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    Diverse casting has been going on for quite some time in Hollywood, since the 60s. Hollywood didn't suddenly become more progressive in the 21st century. They've been this way since the civil rights movement. The problem is those minority characters were not given a ton of depth, because it has always been rubber stamp activism with those people. They cast diverse, but give them nothing to do.

    Hollywood now thinks portraying them as "victims" qualifies as "depth", when in reality it just puts a spotlight on how "different" they are, when they should be equal. A huge problem is white writers are afraid to write minorities, since they are guilt ridden and think they don't have the right to portray those people... I've literally had two different white writers tell me this. So again, you get the casting, but without any effort to make them well rounded, probably for fear of being canceled... so the character is slathered in the basic activism checklist of the day and with the typical victimization narratives (the latest is the new Predator film called "Prey", go watch the trailer to see what I mean). Even Tarantino said he felt he didn't have the right to make Django Unchained, and this is man who made Jackie Brown. Sydney Portier told him not to be afraid of his own story. It really just comes down to fear of being canceled. The social media mob has gotten so deep into people's heads.

    Diversity isn't enough, you need well written characters who aren't culturally pigeonholed, and who have the same attention to detail as white characters. IMO it is way more disrespectful to cast a minority and then give them nothing to do (or worse, miscast them like the girl in Kenobi), than to not cast them at all. At least the latter allows for some mystery, which is powerful and can be harnessed later by someone more respectful/talented.
     
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    Last edited: Jun 9, 2022
  18. Pharmaboy

    Pharmaboy Friend

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    I liked ARCHIVE 81 a lot--everything about it worked for quite a ways into the season. The acting was routinely excellent IMO, as was the writing. The whole videotapes seen years later thing may not be totally new, but it sure felt fresh to me.

    I can't wait for season-2.

    And FWIW, a shout-out for the terrific evil baddie played by Martin Donovan. He's rounding into one of those nuanced evil characters (of the type often that was often played by Max von Sydow) that really helps drive a story.
     
  19. purr1n

    purr1n Burned out

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    Hi, I'm Lt. Token Asian Dude. No one knows my name or rank. However, from how I conduct myself, you can tell that I'm @ChaChaRealSmooth's very smart and hardworking cousin who attended Harvard, I mean Starfleet Academy where I excelled and graduated #6 in a class of 329 in the year 2248. I'm so good at the techie things that I do on the USS Discovery that I will never be promoted. I will also never have sex with hot aliens. Only senior officers who are white or black women get to do that.

    stuff.jpg

    Personally, I'd much rather this character be a random white guy. I don't care about diversity that much in TV shows or movies. It's the white people in Hollywood who seem to care more about diversity much more than Asians. My kids and I laughed hard when we found out last month was Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. We were like WTF LOL? Oh, it's to make white people feel better about themselves. We Asians don't need this shit. Just pay me what I'm worth.
     
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    Last edited: Jun 10, 2022
  20. Riotvan

    Riotvan Got lost for three weeks at Delft City Hall

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    Sorry to disappoint but Netflix canceled it already. It's fucking idiotic, they have a show that checks all the boxes while also being well written and acted and then axe it.
     

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