John

The Official Thread to Absorb All the Hostility of JWFan

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2 minutes ago, Chen G. said:

More generally, the film just lacks any form of restraint: you can just feel Rian Johnson saying "more twists, more jokes, more themes, more camera flourishes, more, more, more!" 

 

Ironic, given what a fan of The Hobbit films you are. ;) 

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I thought TLJ was 'polished' the cinematography and design are all top-notch. One thing I did not feel too postive about regarding the aesthetic qualities was the CGI, some of the visual effects weren't as impressive as what Rogue One offered - especially the Crait sequences.

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Exactly what I meant.

 

There's a shot of Poe going into the trenches with a very obvious green-screen that sticks out like a sore thumb. It also features one of the unfortunately-lasting contributions of Attack of the Clones to Star Wars: faux-documentary style of camerawork. Ugh!

 

Which is to say nothing of Canto Bight!

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1 hour ago, Mattris said:

- After having his back sliced open with a lightsaber and being knocked unconscious, Finn wakes up (fully recovered) within an hour, or so. (He could have awoken later in the film at an opportune time.)

 

What a silly thing to complain about.

 

1 hour ago, Mattris said:

- When subjected to any laser-fire or shrapnel, the Resistance bombers' burn-up like they're made of paper.

 

They're full of armed bombs, they're exploding. Why they don't have proper shielding is a good question - maybe the bombs couldn't pass through either?

 

1 hour ago, Mattris said:

 With more powerful engines, why weren't the First Order ships able to travel faster than the Resistance fleet?

 

Guess you haven't paid attention and didn't get the main point of the entire chase. the Resistance is matching the speed of the FO to be just barely out of range. They're small and the Supremacy's huge, so I guess they could outrun it with enough fuel. A proper nitpick to the chase would be why didn't the FO send say 4 smaller Destroyers to go faster and burn their fuel up quicker? Or why didn't the Resistance transfer the fuel from the 2 other crafts and ditch them instead of completely wasting them?

 

1 hour ago, Mattris said:

- How did Rey get from the Supremacy's throne room onto the Falcon? That would have been interesting to see.

 

There's an explicit line in the movie stating she got away on the Supreme Leader's personal shuttle. I don't think seeing it would have added anything to the movie except more runtime.

 

1 hour ago, Mattris said:

- On Crait, why did the Resistance charge the First Order forces with weapon-less speeders? Talk about a suicide mission!

 

There's a shot where the guns on the end of Finn's speeder start melting in the beam. I guess the plan was no fire until at the beam because there's no point. Even the old AT-ATs were blasterproof. Shooting inside the gun could potentially have worked.

 

1 hour ago, Mattris said:

In Snoke's throne room, we saw Hux reach for his blaster to shoot unconscious Klyo. After Luke had made a fool of Kylo on the Crait battlefield, Hux could have given the order to shoot Kylo: I want every gun we have to fire on that man. Do it.

 

In what way would that be an improvement? It would just be for another stupid laugh, and to the further detriment of Hux's character, since nobody would have obeyed him. They have the other magic power boss who just threw Hux to the wall, could choke them with a thought, and they literally just bombarded another magic folk who came out unscathed. So what do you want with this? For Kylo to be dead or for Hux to be even more of a useless goon? It's fine to stay as a little moment which JJ can potentially build upon.

 

1 hour ago, Mattris said:

- Why couldn't Leia supersede Poe's orders to the bomber squadron?

 

An actual legit problem, well done. The problem with a Leia override scene would have been that the squadron either disobeys Poe (so you could complain about further depowering of males) or they disobey Leia to follow Poe, which would depower Leia completely. The problem is not with the scene on the surface, but when you start taking it apart like this and thinking why somebody didn't do this completely logical thing. It's a problem with the script, which I admit could have benefitted from a draft or two more to tighten up and iron out kinks like this.

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Yeah @Chen G., although Lucas had said that he wanted the films to be almost like documentaries, but that often didn't translate well with the static look of the shots he devised. 

 

Plenty of shit is levied against the prequels, but there are several visuals that still hold up even today, Revenge of the Sith I will maintain looks beautiful - yeah there's some out-of-date CGI here and there, but by that film I think Lucas had molded something quite visually stunning out of the flat, green screen, static camera shots from the prior two films.

 

 

 

 

@Holko @Mattris That little moment with Hux's hesitance to shoot Ren felt like the one redeemable thing to his character. He saw Ren come to and quickly hid any intention to kill him. I get the feeling alot of your problems with the film stem from the things that you feel you ought to have seen, 'this should've happened', 'they should've done that'.

 

Yeah, some things I wish they would've done differently, but it comes to a point where you have to accept that it went one way and not another because you'll end up tying yourself in knots resenting something that was beyond your control from the beginning.

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17 minutes ago, Arpy said:

Yeah @Chen G., although Lucas had said that he wanted the films to be almost like documentaries, but that often didn't translate well with the static look of the shots he devised. 

 

Plenty of shit is levied against the prequels, but there are several visuals that still hold up even today, Revenge of the Sith I will maintain looks beautiful - yeah there's some out-of-date CGI here and there, but by that film I think Lucas had molded something quite visually stunning out of the flat, green screen, static camera shots from the prior two films.

 

Outside of those random zoom-in/outs, there’s very little in the way of faux-documentary style in Star Wars: certainly little in the way of hand-held.

 

Revenge of the Sith is one of the better-shot films, yes: I like the long-take at the top of the film. Very cool!

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4 hours ago, Holko said:

Is it inferior?

 

Point is, I don't think anybody expected it to make as much money as the motion picture event of a generation.

 

It's better. I was so bitter at TFA. This one, however...

54 minutes ago, Holko said:

There's an explicit line in the movie stating she got away on the Supreme Leader's personal shuttle. I don't think seeing it would have added anything to the movie except more runtime.

 

We can't just expect this sort of people to pay attention to movies! It's too much!

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3 hours ago, Mattris said:

You make it sound as if I'm 'on the ropes'.

 

But you are.

 

2 hours ago, Chen G. said:

Revenge of the Sith is one of the better-shot films, yes: I like the long-take at the top of the film. Very cool!

 

Really? I (reluctantly) rewatched ROTS with some of my friends a few nights ago, and I'd forgotten how bad that movie is. Such bland cinematography, such lazy greenscreen work.

 

Worst looking Star Wars movie by a large margin.

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1 hour ago, John said:

I (reluctantly) rewatched ROTS with some of my friends a few nights ago, and I'd forgotten how bad that movie is. Such bland cinematography, such lazy greenscreen work.

 

Worst looking Star Wars movie by a large margin.

 

Outside of Empire Strikes Back, Star Wars was never too exceptionally photographed. There are a couple of nice touches in Return of the Jedi, but otherwise it’s very high-key, plain cinematography. So it wasn’t a big bar for Revenge of the Sith to clear. Especially after Attack of the Clones.

 

The use of long takes and extreme close-ups serves Revenge of the Sith quite well, I find; and shooting on digital never hurts, either.

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Kamino looks cool, I guess. 

 

I also guess that I kind of respect Lucas for trying something new with the digital cameras, but as many have said for years, it's hilarious that the two that "pushed the envelope" are future-proofed for all time. 

 

I actually like the look of Phantom Menace, I think it has a nice balance between sets, location, and green screen. Really, its aesthetics aren't that far removed from The Force Awakens, which people seem to be really selective about mentioning. 

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I find Kamino to be hideous.  And that film is just down right unattractive to look at.  By far, IMO, the ugliest of the films (not to mention the worst, which goes without saying).

 

EDIT: I take that back. Kamino is the clone planet right? That's OK I suppose. Bad CGI, but that's par for the course for the PT. It's not objectionable. It's the planet with the flying bugs I find to be eye averting.

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28 minutes ago, Nick1066 said:

It's not objectionable. It's the planet with the flying bugs I find to be eye averting.

 

Oh yes, not to mention it’s a desert planet, so there are cutaways between Anakin on Tatooine and Obi Wan on that planet (I can’t for the life of me recall its name) that leave me confused for a moment: “wait, where are we now?”

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8 hours ago, Nick1066 said:

 

Ironic, given what a fan of The Hobbit films you are. ;) 

 

There is misplaced humor in the Hobbit, but from the amount of cringy humor in TLJ, you could make three more Hobbit movies. 

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2 minutes ago, Nick Parker said:

However, divorced from the plot, Rey is a vulnerable character with interesting depth that's portrayed very economically, thoroughly, and sensitively.

 

Yes. In terms of her skills, she is absurdly gifted. In terms of her internal state, however, she's full of vulnerability and insecurity. Really, I have no real issue with the character.

 

But than, this film wasn't about her, now was it? It was about Luke. He is the protagonist.

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That's not how you determined who the protagonist is. There's no shortage in films where some kind of secondary character or character dynamic steals the show. That doesn't make that character the protagonist.

 

The protagonist is the one who's decisions drive the plot at the most critical junctions: i.e. between acts, and especially in the climax of the third act. He's (or she's) the personification of the narrative thrust. So, If you break down the narrative format of The Last Jedi, it goes like this:

 

ACT I end at around 50 minutes when all the storylines are established: Finn and Rose are en route to Canto Bight; Rey is training with Luke and establishes her Force-connection to Kylo; Poe is having trouble with Holdo. So a long first-act, which is par for the course in this series.

 

ACT II, part A ends with the revelation that Luke is responsible for Kylo turning to the dark and Rey choosing go after him at the 1:20:00 mark.

 

ACT II, part B includes a FALSE ACT III, where Finn confronts Phasma, Rey and Kylo confront Snoke and Poe confronts Holdo, which concludes at about the 1:55:00 mark.

 

ACT III climaxes with Luke confronting Kylo, allowing for the escape of the surviving resistance fighters. After the denoument, the film closes at the 2:23:00 mark.

 

Only one of the turning points of the narrative (the midpoint twist) is driven specifically by Rey, and even that only happens in light of a revelation as to a previous decision by Luke. And the most important turning point - that of Act III, is driven by Luke's decision, and coincides with him completing his arc.

 

So, as part of his "lets surprise the audience in every turn" policy, Rian Johnson spent the majority of the film getting you sold in the Rey/Kylo dynamic, building up to this climax with Snoke, only to go "psyche! you thought the film ends with Snoke? wrong!" and "oh, you thought Rey is the protagonist? Haha, gotcha!"

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3 minutes ago, Chen G. said:

That's not how you determined who the protagonist is. The protagonist is the one who's decisions drive the plot at the most critical junctions: between acts, and especially in the climax of the third act.

 

 

dictionary dot com

Quote

protagonist

[proh-tag-uh-nist]

See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com

noun
  1. the leading character, hero, or heroine of a drama or other literary work.

 

Merriam Webster dot com

Quote

Definition of protagonist

1 a (1) : the principal character in a literary work (such as a drama or story)
(2) : the leading actor or principal character in a television show, movie, book, etc.
b : an active participant in an event

 

oed dot com, the home of the oxford English dictionary

Quote

protagonist, n.

 
Frequency (in current use): 
Origin: A borrowing from Greek. Etymon: Greek πρωταγωνιστής.
Etymology: < ancient Greek πρωταγωνιστής actor who plays the first part, leader < πρωτο-  
... (Show More)

 1. The chief character in a dramatic work. Hence, in extended use: the leading character, or one of the main characters, in any narrative work, as a poem, novel, film, etc.

 

 

Wikipedia dot org, the people's pedia!

Quote

A protagonist [from Ancient Greek πρωταγωνιστής (protagonistes), meaning ' player of the first part, (chief actor)'] is the main character in any story, such as a literary work or drama.[1][2]

The protagonist is at the center of the story, makes the key decisions, and experiences the consequences of those decisions. The protagonist affects the main characters' circumstances as well, as they are often the primary actor propelling the story forward. If a story contains a subplot, or is a narrative made up of several stories, then the character who is interpreted as the protagonist of each subplot or individual story.[3]

 

 

Emphasis on that one, particularly "often," is mine.

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To be fair, there is a school-of-thought that holds that the protagonist is not the one to drive the plot as much as he or she is the one through's point-of-view we see the world of the film: the audience surrogate character. So yes, its a more complex issue (what isn't?), but still.

 

Certainly it can't be defined by "the most compelling character". Namely, because that's more subjective a criterion than "who's driving the plot?" Different people will be more compelled by different character stories.

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30 minutes ago, Chen G. said:

To be fair, there is a school-of-thought that holds that the protagonist is not the one to drive the plot as much as he or she is the one through's point-of-view we see the world of the film: the audience surrogate character. So yes, its a more complex issue (what isn't?), but still.

 

I prefer to think of the audience surrogate as the deuteroganist. I will illustrate with The Lord of the Rings, which starts out simple enough but by the climax it gets more complicated:

PRIMARY PLOTLINE
Protagonist: Frodo
Deuteragonist: Sam

SECONDARY PLOTLINE
Protagonist: Aragorn
Deuteragonist: Gimli

TERTIARY PLOTLINE
Protagonist: Gandalf
Deuteragonist: Pippin

Each of the protagonists stands at the center of his own quest. In each case, we have a deuteroganist — a Dr. Watson, if you will; the reader’s proxy through whom we can observe and ask questions of the protagonist — who grows in importance as the protagonist becomes increasingly inaccessible.

I suppose the existence of a quaternary plotline, with Eowyn as protagonist and Merry as deuteroganist, could also be argued. And indeed, one could go down even further down this road, mapping out more “quests” of rapidly diminishing importance — but I don’t think you’ll really find many.

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Fair point, but its more complex than that, now is it. In The Fellowship of the Ring, Frodo is the audience surrogate, as well; whereas in Return of the King, Sam becomes the protagonist.

 

In that sense, Frodo is what you'd call the false protagonist (Tolkien was really fond of this trick), which is the function Rey fulfils here.

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4 minutes ago, Chen G. said:

But, in Fellowship of the Ring, Frodo is the audience surrogate, as well.

 

That’s sort of what I meant by “it starts out simple enough.”

 

4 minutes ago, Chen G. said:

In Return of the King, Sam becomes the protagonist.

 

Do you have a narrative breakdown for that, too? Just curious. I think most people would be content with considering Sam one of the greatest sidekicks of all time.

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My own father believed that, so, I’ll certainly not press the point.

 

The problem, going back to the Star Wars Sequel Trilogy, is that Rey is surely the protagonist across the trilogy. So plopping Luke into the middle act to have his own private little arc in his own head for two and a half hours really lags Rey’s story.

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I don’t really see any problem with it personally, in the same way that we also spend time with Finn, Poe, Han, Leia, etc in the same movies.  Or, the original trilogy is clearly Luke’s story but we spend significant amounts of time with Han, Leia, Theeepio, Artoo, etc - oftentimes completely independent of Luke, such as a significant portion of Empire.

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