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Chen G.

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Everything posted by Chen G.

  1. Boorman claims he went to the Centenary Ring just before Excalibur, which is where he got the idea of using all that music. I never knew what to make of this claim: how the hell could he have gotten tickets in time?
  2. I hate talking about movies in terms of so-called "narrative efficiency." Movies are not dragster cars: they're under no obligation to get through their plot as quickly as possible; which is, sadly, exactly what The Rise of Skywalker does. I've never seen a movie paced quite like that: it goes by in a blur, and its completely joyless (and stakeless) for it. When a movie treats itself as an inconvenience to its audience, to the degree that it feels compelled to make the end-credits arrive as soon as possible, how can it be anything but mirthless? That alone would be sufficient reason to write the movie off: you just can't settle into any situation or feeling and enjoy it. But I also take issue with what the movie feels like it "needs to do": The nonesensical plotting; the soap-opera-parody level of dramaturgy, hinged so completely on who's-related-to-who-and-how-much; the utter moral bankruptcy of redeeming the murderous neurotic Kylo Ren for giving CPR to a girl once... Not that Attack of the Clones is necessarily better with its tedium, hokey acting and that awful "to be angry is to be human", but still!
  3. Ultimately, if you start psychoanalysing Luke's actions to the 'nth degree it doesn't hold water anymore, but in the heat of the moment, I thought it was plenty effective. Holko will wring my neck, but in the Todesverkundingungscena does it really make sense for Siegmund to contemplate killing Sieglinde in her sleep? If you pause the piece and start psychoanalysing it to death, probably not. But in the moment, its a stupendous dramatic turn of events. Not to put too many superlatives on The Last Jedi's treatment of this storyline: even here, I think there was a lot more there to mine. In particular, I think it would have been much more powerful for the movie to end with "yes, it is time for the Jedi to end." But, still, that part of the movie works more than not.
  4. It was also used in some old Flash Gordon serials. Weird. A great piece, of course. Not as great as Tristan or Die Walkure, but great nonetheless. One needs to be in a Parsifal mood: its very slow and pensive.
  5. I think that's a huge conceptual issue with the movie. If the entire film was about repeated assasination attempts against Padme, it would make both Anakin protecting her and Obi-Wan's investigation have a lot more urgency. But alas...
  6. I think that storyline gets more credit than it deserves, honestly. I mean, its great that you enjoy it, but for me, the fact that no more attempts are made on Padme's life kinda puts the fire out from underneath Obi Wan's investigation. Its like "Oh, chill out, Obi Wan, clearly whomever it is who tried to kill Padme had given up!" Sure, the detective story kinda morphs into "the hell is this Clone army?!" but then that "mystery" gets...shoved under the carpet, never to be resolved. Also, the answer of who's behind Padme's assasination attempt is disappointing: "Ah, right, the bad guys from the previous film! And this new character - not introduced until this point - who we could guess was 'it' unless for the extremly clumsy device of letting Windu promise us he isn't."
  7. Abrams definitely set-up Luke being reluctant to rejoin the conflict. Johnson just took it further with cutting himself off from The Force and with the backstory of him having contemplated killing Kylo.
  8. Sadly, those who don't want to be convinced, won't be convinced...
  9. I think its easy to make too much of those moments, and ignore the ways in which they are filmed and how they sit in the narrative. The charred remains of Luke's family isn't something the camera lingers on too much and too close-up, and its not something that continues to burden Luke: the movie doesn't dwell on it, which is why the film almost got rated G regardless. Similarly, Snoke's actual bisection happens out-of-focus. We later do get a closeup of his corpse, though. It earned the film a PG-13, but not with flying colours, so to speak. The edgiest moment in the films is probably still Anakin being set alight, because the camera dwells on it and on its aftermath.
  10. I keep on going back and forth between the two. Its basically a debate between over the top whackiness (The Rise of Skywalker) and tedium (Attack of the Clones). I think whackiness wins. Both films are about the same degree of decadent, too.
  11. I'd mention the use of the Tarnhelm music for the description of the waning of Valhalla, but Holko would have my guts for it... Relying too much on the theme associated with the Force is definitely an issue of those scores, though. The repitition is so great that it makes banal out of the glorious.
  12. The movie has its upsides for sure: every movie does. I actually like the tableaux of Curoscant and Naboo and how the plot is constructed such that we see a fair amount of it. Its nice to kind of have some quiet time in the Republic before it goes to the gutter... Other than that and some of the things you mentioned, though, I definitely think its the worst prequel; and probably still the worst Star Wars entry.
  13. Did he? I'm far from a Lucas apologist, but that doesn't particularly sound like him. He'll take shots at the competition, but not like this. Oh nevermind, he said this of Spiderman 3! Can't blame him... The "Well, it's not 'Star Wars'" remark doesn't seem to have been Lucas', but the reporter's.
  14. That's the other thing, too: this would be all but incomprehensible to an audience who isn't very well-versed in Harry Potter.
  15. Is it? Watching it, I didn't at all get that this was a straightforward plot about magical beasts that only got "hijacked" by Grindelwald's introduction at the end: instead, all throughout there would be these asides to the Magical Congress or to Credence, with absolutely no explanation until near the very end as to what these have to do with the main plot. The subplots in these kinds of "well-made-play" type stories often get criticised, and - to be fair to that tendency - obviously in any story with multiple storyline threads there's bound to be a weaker link. But usually the different subplots are connected in some way to the main plotline from the start; they don't only start connecting at the end.
  16. That stuff didn't bother me in the least. It was just...incredibly ill-concieved as a story. Terribly so, I'm sorry to say!
  17. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Umm, I thought this was supposed to be...good? Like, this was the proverbial "good one" followed by a disappointing sequel, which may or may not have caused people to retroactivelly look unfavourably on this film. Right? My memory is that the critical reception at the time of its airing was quite positive. But its...not good; and I'm not saying that in hindsight - this is the first I've laid eyes on this and its...bad? Like, quite bad. I still think the issues do not lie with the direction: they have everything, however, to do with this abysmal screenplay. I don't really care that the title is about Fantastic Beasts and that the film in fact sets-up a Dumbeldore vs. Grindelwald conflict: the film is whatever it is, not what its title may suggest. But is this film really about either of those two subject? Its very hard to make out: even having seen the second film, I had a hard time understanding when Credence would work his way out of being an aside and into this little thing called "the plot" and the same is true of so much of this film. Also, as a prequel of-sorts its incredibly ill-concieved. We typically give prequels a hard time for having been made a long time after production on the previous entry had concluded, but in this case I think there's the opposite issue working against the film: precisely because this came so shortly after Deathly Hallows, Rowling remained still so immersed in her own creation that she didn't accomodate at all for an audience who would be coming to this having not seen Harry Potter. And I'm not talking like a passing acquitance with Philosopher's Stone: one need to be pretty into Potter to make much sense of this at all. Maybe I'm overstating the point due to my sheer surprise: I do think its reasonably well-directed, and performances are quite nice and there's a lot about it that's admirably different to Harry Potter. But the plot is so incredibly difficult to follow and even more difficult to invest in. A bad movie!
  18. Well, Parsifal is Lohengrin's prequel, after all...
  19. I know of at least three whose responses were a bit ambivalent.
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