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Norma's Corpse

Extreme polarisation in modern film reception, aka TLJ didn't suck that badly

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The only Star Wars movies I would call flat-out "hokey" are ROTJ and the prequels. ESB is not hokey, as is TFA, for the most part, perhaps because they are the most "polished" films in the series. Bits and pieces of SW and TLJ can be reasonably described as "hokey", though.

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I think that's the one that started with a tiny TV screen and then the X-wings fly out of it onto the big screen.  I saw that trailer before "William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet" and the existence of that trailer almost made that movie bearable.  Almost.

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1 hour ago, Stefancos said:

There's nothing hokey about E.T.

 

I haven't watched that in ages (although I have fond memories of it), but I do vaguely recall it being quite saccharine.

 

I'm not passing judgement - just trying to recall the film. I'll have to rewatch it a couple of times, first.

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22 minutes ago, Chen G. said:

 

I haven't watched that in ages (although I have fond memories of it), but I do vaguely recall it being quite saccharine.

 

I'm not passing judgement - just trying to recall the film. I'll have to rewatch it a couple of times, first.

Sweet yes saccharine no.

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10 minutes ago, Chen G. said:

I'll take your word for it, for now.

 

I really don't recall the film all that well.

My word is correct yours is ......artifical

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5 hours ago, John said:

The only Star Wars movies I would call flat-out "hokey" are ROTJ and the prequels. ESB is not hokey, as is TFA, for the most part, perhaps because they are the most "polished" films in the series. Bits and pieces of SW and TLJ can be reasonably described as "hokey", though.

That's true!

 

Rian Johnson should give me the theatrical cut and I would cut it down. The only tool you need to make TLJ an excellent film are scissors.

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Again, this is all on very, very vague memory on my part, so I can't agree or disagree untill I get around to rewatch the damn thing, preferably a couple of times.

 

16 minutes ago, Brundlefly said:

The only tool you need to make TLJ an excellent film are scissors.

 

You'll also need to add polish to some of the special effects. They looked better in The Force Awakens. And you'll need to go back in time and give the actors of the baddies (Gleeson, Christie, Serkis) to be less deliciously evil. And you'll need to add a death scene for Finn because when Rose intervenes its, its...well, its...uh...dramatically inept. Yes, that's how we'll put it, dramatically inept!

 

And you'll need to find a way to keep the film coherent in spite of cutting it down: how do you get Rose to make an impression on the audience or convey the significance of her locket, if you were to cut her sister's overlong heroic death scene? what do you do to remove Canto Bight and how do you get around it?

 

Fan edits are an uphil battle.

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3 hours ago, Margo Channing said:

Star Wars, followed soon after by The Empire Strikes Back, and then Return of the Jedi. See it again... for the first time.

If you think you've see the Star Wars trilogy...you haven't.

Er...:blink:

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1 hour ago, Chen G. said:

 

I haven't watched that in ages (although I have fond memories of it), but I do vaguely recall it being quite saccharine.

 

 

The goodbye scene in particular is very melodramatic. Spielberg is known to go overboard at least once per movie. In fact, one of the reasons why certain people don't like Spielberg is because of his sentimentalism. To others three cubes of sugar is still not enough ...

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I love sentimental cinema, but it has to be a) earned, b) built-up to and c) in-character.

 

Again, I won't be judging E.T on that issue until I've got around to see it again.

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Chen, I'm unclear on something: will you be delivering an opinion on E.T. first, or will you be watching it again -- preferably a couple of times -- before you do so?  I don't think you've spoken to this point yet.

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5 hours ago, JoeinAR said:

None of the sentimentality in E.T. comes across as false. It's as genuine as it comes in films. That is why saccharine is a poor choice of words. E.T. is sweet. The real thing. And John's score, one of his tickets to heaven, is a rare and beautiful work virtually unmatched

Except for the lingering shadow of plagiarism that was settled. 

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A lingering shadow which loomed so... tenuously, that I'd actually completely forgotten all about it till you brought it up again. 

 

Yep, E.T.'s music was completely ruined by these revelations, Arpy :nod:

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12 minutes ago, Quintus said:

A lingering shadow which loomed so... tenuously, that I'd actually completely forgotten all about it till you brought it up again. 

 

Yep, E.T.'s music was completely ruined by these revelations, Arpy :nod:

Oh, I absolutely love the music, I bought the expanded set the day it was released, but still in the back of mind is that feeling that perhaps it was plagiarized. It hasn't dampened my feelings towards the music.

 

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It literally never occurs to me, because I don't put any stock into the matter. There's a lot of bullshit cases brought to court and settled. Look at the Blurred Lines case for example. It was absolutely ridiculous, but they had to pay up.

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11 hours ago, Chen G. said:

I love sentimental cinema, but it has to be a) earned, b) built-up to and c) in-character.

 

Again, I won't be judging E.T on that issue until I've got around to see it again.

 

I'm not passing judgement on E.T. or Spielberg's affection for sentimentalism. I'm merely want to point out that some directors are more known for exaggerating emotions than George Lucas.

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I wouldn't use those words synonymous. Lucas usually directs like an alien who has seen human behaviour for the first time an hour before the shoot. The result may be hokey or occasionally even inspired but they don't have anything to do with Spielberg re-appropriating corny clichés from old MGM movies for dramatic effect. That's more cunning emotional manipulation - often misguided, as several Amblin films testify - but in some cases, it just works.

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33 minutes ago, Alexcremers said:

Some people accuse the first Star Wars movie for being overly dramatic (hokey). 

 

Really? At no point does Luke burst into tears in that film. He does in Empire Strikes Back, but there it works. If anything, Lucas is - in the films he directed - stifling the emotion of his characters.

 

One of the main drawbacks I find in that film from a dramatic standpoint is the way in which Ben's death is nestled between two action setpieces, so the film doesn't grant the characters and the audience any time to mourn him. Its kind of like the way old Disney cartoons (Bambi especially) depicted death: they would immediately cut away to something happy to "drown out" the sadness and not let it linger.

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2 hours ago, Chen G. said:

One of the main drawbacks I find in that film from a dramatic standpoint is the way in which Ben's death is nestled between two action setpieces, so the film doesn't grant the characters and the audience any time to mourn him. 

 

Really? I always thought that was a genius move on Lucas' part. It made old Ben seem like he's only one little facet in the course of history. The film treated him as if he's not all that important and it made the universe of Star Wars bigger.

 

2 hours ago, publicist said:

I wouldn't use those words synonymous. Lucas usually directs like an alien who has seen human behaviour for the first time an hour before the shoot. The result may be hokey or occasionally even inspired but they don't have anything to do with Spielberg re-appropriating corny clichés from old MGM movies for dramatic effect. That's more cunning emotional manipulation - often misguided, as several Amblin films testify - but in some cases, it just works.

 

True.

 

2 hours ago, Margo Channing said:

Oh fuck... I loved that movie my whole life, but now I realise it sucks!

 

Wow, you're easily swayed, Drax.

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16 minutes ago, Quintus said:

Sentimentalism in movies has never been an issue for me, especially if it's earned and well measured - in which case I positively enjoy it. I'm a sentimental person, see. 

 

There is no clear-cut sentimentality for me. The Amblin examples from the 80's and 90's i mentioned (as well as old MGM or FOX movies they refer to) often are corny, but sometimes - i.e. in tandem with a pushy Horner cue - they work. I hate the 'Terms of Endearment', 'Steel Magnolias' or 'Fried Green Tomatoes'-kind that presents itself as especially insightful about the human condition but mostly are just cheap plot machinations ('The Notebook' is another egregious example). Nowadays it's even worse: hardly any schmaltz but instead too much solemnity and drab seriousness (especially aesthetically) in film and tv.

 

The last good tear-jerker with a good help from a hard-working score was 'Wolf Totem'. 

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