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Chen G.

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Everything posted by Chen G.

  1. Mine is the same but different: I have no problem with long-running film series that also do a lot of world-building (Star Wars, Middle Earth films, Harry Potter, etc) but I don't like series that split into multiple sub-franchises and spin-offs. It needs to be a single narrative told across multiple entries that one can watch from beginning to end, where the "cinematic universe" envelopes the story rather than the opposite.
  2. Fair. I think a lot of the shots in the trailer involving her with Kylo are visions, too.
  3. Was there such music at all? The scoring process had wrapped up quite some time ago. Even if it were to launch during the sessions, something is telling me that scoring this kind of trailer isn't really Williams' style. I mean, how do you apply thematic material intelligently to a trailer such as this? The actual trailer music, while it utilizes his themes, applies them like mood music.
  4. She hadn't seen Snoke, though. Not that it violates the rules of the universe of the film, but I think they might shy away from doing that because of the audience's expectation of how a dream vision works. A ground battle with AT-ATs on an outlandish planet. a young person training with an old sage in a remote location. a plot line involving a pair of characters, the evil Empire, and a tidy but dangerous location (canto bight) and a character of shifting allegiances, played here by Benicio Del Toro. A space battle, one that most likely occurs during the rebels' escape of an imperial attack on their base. All that said, I'm still onboard for the film. I believe a lot of the similarities are the result of the starting point set by The Force Awakens. I think that our tendency to find these parallels doesn't speak to the film itself, but rather to the franchise: it's getting old.
  5. It's mostly the change of tone. The idea that Darth Vader was Luke's father was clearly not in anyone's head during Star Wars. In that film, he is just lord of the Stormtroopers under Tarkin. At one point, the twist was going to be that Vader revealed that Ben killed Luke's father. As for George Lucas: he isn't given screenwriting credits in the film.
  6. Indeed! No. It's a completely stand-alone film. The continuity between it and Empire Strikes Back, not to mention the prequels, is very cluncky and it doesn't feel like Empire does, either. Empire Strikes Back is the Star Wars movie that George Lucas was least involved with shaping (hence it's the best). He wasn't even involved in the screenwriting. Just the laying down the foundations for the story.
  7. Its not the two melodies are thematically connected, per se. It's that - in the single time that the melody appears - Williams weaved hints of the Imperial March in and out of it. I don't believe it's foresight on Williams behalf: just an dramatic avenue that the music explores. "The Jedi Steps" is essentially Luke's theme. It just was inverted. If it recurs in The Last Jedi and attached to something other than Luke, we may begin to think of it as a theme.
  8. True. I was just poking fun at it. I don't think, however, that JJ will make Episode 9 as dark, so we are yet to see how it all works as a series.
  9. Because dark side! don't you see? It's Evil! Foreboding! Dark Middle chapter! Its too much Like Empire Strikes Back if only by virtue of the tone it seems to be going for.
  10. If it isn't Williams (and sure doesn't sound like him), it really isn't indicative of what will be in the film. I doubt he'll make a theme out of it. Just a single musical moment.
  11. He also said it to Luke: "Anger, fear, aggression - the dark side of the force are they." It was stupid in 1980 just as much as it was in 1999, except in 1999 Lucas drove it home by insisting on it. As for the trailer: looks very nice. I'd hazard about deducting anything about the film's actual look: film tends to be re-graded for the trailer. I hated the porgs when I heard the idea, I hated them when I saw the first pictures, and I hate them now that I've heard one. Doesn't gel with the rest of the trailer, and I doubt it will in the actual film. As for Kylo killing Leia - the scene in question seems to be part of the space battle shown in the first trailer which, it appears, takes place early in the film. I doubt they'll do it then.
  12. You're making it sound like it's a small, house-bound drama. If anything, The Force Awakens has a greater scale than the original Star Wars, and the brass in that score is incredibly "epic." A lot of it again is down to the performers: it's a smaller section and different kind of horns. Don't worry, I'm not easily offended. I'm not saying the score is impercievable or doesn't enrich the film. I'l clarify myself: a lot of scores operate on the audience without making them conscious of the music, but with most of the scores that we would consider "epic" there is at least one or two moments where the audience becomes conciously aware of the music. The Force Awakens doesn't do that.
  13. Yes, but in his attempt to lend cohesion to the narrative, he tends to take one theme and use it WAAY too often. I watched Empire Strikes Back the other day (it's the holidays here now) and it's just flooded with the Imperial March. It's got to be up of twenty five statements of it. Same for Attack of the Clones with the love theme.
  14. I'm re-watching Peter Jackson's King Kong now (it happened to pop up on the TV). It's definitely too long, but outside of its theatrical release I don't care quite as much as I used too. Still a damn good film: great writing in the beginning to establish Ann as a likeable character within her first minute onscreen (helps her seniors, down on her luck but optimistic), a great recreation of the film of New York of the period. The sea voyage is laden with a portentous sense of inevitability. It's all either close-ups of stern faces or montages of coal-feeding, engines turning and a ship cruising through misty oceans, all leading up to a great reveal of the island. I'm loving the otherworldly design of the island. Without a word of dialogue, one can get a real sense of history to the dwellings of the natives and to Kong's lair. Andy Serkis' motion capture performance is inspiring. Great emotional core to this film, augmented by one of James Newton Howard's best scores. I've yet to get to the famous action scene with the V-Rex, but I don't need to convince anyone how great it is.
  15. Generally, too many storylines and the film feels fragmented, which I am worried will happen here. But we'll see. As for Attack of the Clones, I'd say two wrongs don't make a right. God, do I hate that film something fierce.
  16. There's actually a truth to that. Batman Begins takes over an hour to show us Batman, as does Dark Knight Rises. They way I explain these films to others is as dramas about a guy called Bruce Wayne, who simply happens to dress up and fight crime. I find it untrue in regards of the Dark Knight. That's much more of a superhero film, crossed with a crime drama.
  17. Possibly. Mostly I think it's a result of the nonlinear storytelling: this film is going to feature a Rey/Luke thread, a Finn/Rose one, a Kylo/Snoke one and possibly a Leia/Poe one. I think you illustrate a point of view that a lot of people, including critics, uphold, which is that - since The Force Awakens was a good film - inevitably The Last Jedi will be, too. But as George Lucas showed us - Star Wars has, by its very nature, a potential to be incredibly stupid. Assuming it will be awesome is not a good starting point for forming an honest opinion. Empire Strikes Back was made in a time when the perception of continuity in film was different. Today, you form an aesthetic for a franchise and if you change it, you do it incrementally across multiple pictures.
  18. But that would take all the fun out of us fans creating such edits for ourselves. There's also some fun to be had with layering the different alternate takes over one another. When The End of All Things meets the Cracks of Doom, Sammath Naur, The Lord of the Rings symphony and A Composer's Journey, its a real ear bleeder.
  19. Errr.... I have no problem with long running times, but when a sequel is significantly longer than its predecessor - that's not a good sign. Its also breaking character in terms of the aesthetics of the franchise.
  20. Well said. And it's true of other genres, as well. I think it's the underlying reason for why people like and/or find Empire Strikes Back the best of the Star Wars films: Its the most serious of them that's also well made.
  21. Ah, yes. Well, In Hebrew its the same word for both meanings.... And yes, all films, regardless of tone, need to be earnest. I get it. Like I said, I do see flaws in The Dark Knight, and I have a stronger emotional reaction to the other two. The parts that resonate with me emotionally, which often involve either Bruce, Alfred or both of them, are framed in the Dark Knight like transitions into and out of scenes involving the Joker. What The Dark Knight did incredibly well for me was generate suspense. It didn't touch me in the way that the other two did.
  22. Yes, but I still like them fine. "Song of the Lonely Mountain" has a great melody and some nice colors, and "I See Fire" has an appropriately solemn feel to it. Both could have been better, sure, but I still like them fine. When I watch the movies or listen to the scores in sequence, I continue to watch/listen through the credits music.
  23. I should make my point a little more articulate: The more sincerely serious the film is - the better it is, to me. Now, yes, because "serious" is the new currency of Hollywood blockbusters (although you're seeing a big kickback to that with the likes of the Marvel films) a film can be made to be artificially serious (see: Man of Steel), which is awful because it comes off as making fun of the notion that genre films can be serious. It couldn't have been put more eloquently than by Ben DeLoose: "And than you've got other action films[...]that are completly superficial in the way that they're 'serious.'" When the film is serious, and sincerely so, it puts the audience in a more emotionally involved state. In other words, it elevates the film from just an "action" film, to an "action drama". Now, I can like a "fun" movie, either as the occasional "palette cleanser" or when its fun to the point that I can frame it as an action comedy, a-la most of the big Marvel releases. If its doing neither this nor that, I ain't going. It just isn't for me, as an adult.
  24. That's the main issue with The Force Awakens, and I feel about it more strongly. Maybe its because I'm thinking of it as a cinematic tool first, and as an album experience, second. Its an issue that's part in the writing, part in the ensemble (both in quantity and quality), and part JJ's editing. There are many scores, where "needs more epic" is a nitpick, but with Star Wars is a central part of the aesthetics of the music. There is never a moment in this film where the audience's attention is drawn to the score. No moment where the music hits the audience over the head. It happens all over the place in previous Star Wars films. It happens in the Middle Earth scores. It happens in Braveheart. It happens in the Force Awakens - but only in the very end, really, and even than it does so using existing themes, rather than establish anything new. So, yes, The Last Jedi needs more epic. If it achieves this, the Force Awakens could be framed dramatically as the music "finding its way again", as it were. But something tells me that the issue lies with Williams' writing, itself. And we know the ensemble stays the same, as well.
  25. "It doesn't matter what the film is about, it's how it is about it" - Roger Ebert. We have serious films about space samurai-wizards, and about hairy-footed little people. Surely we can have serious superhero films. If anything, the modern setting of most superhero films makes it easier to make them serious. But than again, there's always something like Man of Steel... They most certainly are. Especially The Dark Knight which is credited as being a virtually perfect film, where its far from it. They're still preety damn brilliant.
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