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Movie News and Trailers 2 - The Sequel


#541

Maybe. Just basing my thoughts on the trailers, the core idea is good on it’s own. Really, you could even set it in the past, too.


#542

That’s what I think as well. I agree with Steve’s point that they probably did it so they don’t have to be bound by realism and essentially create whatever situation they need to.

However, John Wick did that without really having to move it to an imaginary time period.


#543

Most fiction ignores the bits of reality they don’t like.

And a lot of stories aren’t as bound by era as they might first appear. Sherlock Holmes has investigated crimes in the past, present and future. If he hasn’t gone to space yet then it’s only a matter of time.

Creative choices are down to the individual.


#544

#545

The reviewer thinks Iron Man 3 was awful, I liked it. Especially the Ben Kingsley twist.


#546

Oops


#547

That’s what happens when you stupidly don’t inform people that you’re going to use their name for a tagline joke. These days most people are happy to clear that sort of thing, it’s the doing without asking causes problems.


#548

That’s just dumb. Did they sue Avenue Q?


#549

Original network Fox Kids (US)
Scottish Television (UK)
Original release 6 May 1999 – 21 July 2001
Sherlock Holmes in the 22nd Century is an animated television series in which Sherlock Holmes is brought back to life in the 22nd century. The series is a co–production by DiC Entertainment and Scottish Television and was nominated for a Daytime Emmy for Special Class Animated Program.[1]

The concept series was created by Sandy Ross, a Scottish Television executive, who came up with the idea while skiing in Aspen, Colorado in 1996.

Of several. I’ve recommended mixing Scotland and Colorado for a long time, to despicable silence.

Or do you mean “The Future Detective”?


#550

I don’t know, Jonny, I think the description that they use “two different science-fiction ideas” is kind of wrong. The first really mixes a sci-fi setting with a non-sci-fi idea (the “hospital”, as has been pointed out, could be in the present).

With the second one, you could easily summarise the basic idea as “in the future, people can be enhanced mentally and physically”. The latter is not necessarily needed, but I don’t have a probem with it.

Where the trailers are concerned in general, I’m rather more interested in Upgrade, I have to say. It’s like a really shlocky early William Gibson kind of thing, and we haven’t really had a lot of those, so why the hell not as a low-budget action movie?

With Artemis, I’m less bothered by the different sci-fi ideas rather than whether the genre mix will work where the resulting tone is concerned. It’s gangster comedy in a dystopian setting, and the latter kind of requires a seriousness that clashes with the former. Maybe that artsy vibe that comes with Foster and Golblum will make it work, but I kind of doubt it.


#551

Looper mixes two different concepts, Hancock does, too. Granted, you have to actually watch both of them to know that. I don’t see why there should be a problem having more than one thing, but I guess simplicity is sometimes easier.


#552

SPOILERS (of course), but who hasn’t seen those movies?

Those are two great examples of where mixing two concepts is not the best idea. Looper is the most obvious. By making the kid into Akira - essentially mixing Time Travel with Telekinesis - it introduces unnecessary complications into the story. Set in the future already with flying motorcycles and an economic depression. It already has a lot of elements that are connected to each other. Time travel fits better into the story than the telekinesis. Technology is moving forward. Time travel could arise and the organized mob could take advantage of it. Telekinesis just sorta lays there like… where’d that come from?

Growing up reading comics and science fiction novels, they mix up stuff all the time, but the best science fiction doesn’t really do that. In those, everything is usually connected by a central core idea. There are a whole lot of different ideas in ALTERED CARBON, of course, Artificial Intelligence and Souls stored in a device found in some Alien Technology. However, they all emerge from the stack and the virtual immortality it provides.

Though I like Looper, I have to recognize that it would have been much more streamlined without the telekinesis. The kid grows up to be the guy who’s killing all the old loopers because this one runner killed his mom in the past. We didn’t need the added “mutant” angle to explain why this kid could take over in the future.

Honestly, that bit of storyline didn’t make a lot of sense. If the Rainmaker (was that his name) wanted to save his mother, then he should’ve just killed the Loopers in the future - then they would never have gone to the past to kill his mom - the whole Looper system was idiotic, but that’s another thing. It’s acceptable as the premise of the whole story.

In Hancock, it actually is a great film until it starts introducing a lot of different stuff into the story. From the opening to the scene where he rescues the hostages in the bank robbery, this is actually a pretty great superhero movie with a few misjudged comic moments. It’s really got a terrific dramatic set up as the relationship between Ray and Hancock grows. Then, you have the wife who is afraid Hancock will bring some trouble to the family, but at the same time is developing an attraction to him.

Now, right after the bank rescue, you can tell the filmmakers basically restart the movie. The dinner scene is all exposition and set up and, really, they start introducing ideas entirely unnecessarily at that point. Hancock doesn’t age, he’s been around since at least the 30’s and he has amnesia because of some unknown reason when he was inexplicably injured.

Then it just goes off the rails as a story the moment Mary throws him through a wall. It’s not just mixing two ideas. It’s mixing two ideas with a lot of bullet points each. The aforementioned immortality and inexplicable amnesia and injury plus they were created to do what. exactly? - protect something and then settle down to live a mortal life… even though they still seemed to live forever even without their powers when they were together. I can’t really explain it and I’ve seen the movie numerous times because I still generally like it.

However, what I really probably would have liked more is the development of conflict in Ray and Hancock’s relationship as feelings grow between Hancock and Mary and then, as Ray discovers their infidelity, Hancock’s enemies threaten the family - maybe even take their son Aaron hostage to force Hancock to either help them commit crimes or stay away from their crimes. Forcing Hancock to lose his newfound popularity because now he actually cares about someone.

We didn’t need Hancock’s backstory. We didn’t need an ultimately pointless superhuman battle between Mary and Hancock. We didn’t even need for Hancock to have a physical weakness. The elements for a fairly distinct and satisfying superhero story were all set up in the first act. The introduction of new mysteries and another superhuman didn’t help anything.

For Looper, virtually nothing would change if the telekinesis was removed. There would’ve needed to be a different method for the death of the gunman who found them at the farm, but the kid could’ve just hid and shot him in the back with his mother’s shotgun achieving the same thing for the plot and the internal development of the story.

At heart, I think both films would’ve been improved if they simply stuck with one central premise. Looper would’ve only been slightly streamlined, but Hancock would’ve drastically changed.

Essentially, though, I think the introduction of these things makes the movies easier to write. And it’s not like they aren’t appealing ideas, too. It’s a challenge for the writer and the story development process. People get bored so they start introducing things to pump it up or solve something.


#553

That’s great and all…but reading it reminded me that Star Wars is the quintessential multiple-elements story, and fans generally don’t seem to mind. The basic story, in the first one, is the Rebellion against the Empire. And the inexplicable Jedi stuff is just kind of tossed in there. It’s totally unnecessary to the plot.

Really, that’s what made me paranoid about Rogue One, that it might create a generation of fans for whom the Force is an unnecessary tangent. But right from the start, you realize in A New Hope that the Jedi are essential to the story. And in Empire Strikes Back, you realize why Vader is so important. And that, personally, is what I love about the Empire reveal, not so much that Vader is Luke’s dad, but that he’s no longer just a bogeyman. And that’s the difference, I think, for how I tend to perceive these things. It’s the depth of the storytelling that always gets me. It’s not just whether or not it looks shiny, has a cool hook, easy to digest. And not to be dismissive, but I often think this is the general checklist for other viewers. If it’s complicated and earns that level of investment (because the two are not synonymous), I dig it. Star Wars was the big prototype for me in that regard. By the time I watched the original trilogy for the first, second, third, fourth, fifth, etc. times, all three movies had already been released. I had the whole sweep to enjoy, and there was a huge story! And it eventually settled on what happens between Luke and Vader, and how that kind of detaches from the original story. (Which, again, is what Last Jedi is about, too.)


#554

Not really news, but a good interview with Anthony Hopkins.


#555

I’m looking forward to Lear, but I wish it weren’t on until 11:30PM on a Monday night. I’d think it would make more sense to put it on Sunday night ahead of the Bank Holiday, but I guess they didn’t want to clash with A Very English Scandal on BBC One.


#556

That’s true, although I think Star Wars may not actually be a sci-fi movie in the way Jonny meant. It takes more from the genre of fantasy, really. On the other hand, it’s certainly true that in the case of Star Wars, what made it special is the mixture of a future setting and the idea of a mystic force added to that.

Whereas I completely agree with Jonny that Hancock would’ve worked far, far better without the immortals plot. That was when the movie went off the rails.

Which just goes to show that, as usually with these things, you can do pretty much anything if you do it well.

I don’t know that that’s true, either. Some novels do that, they’re all about one core concept, like The Stars My Destination. But look at Dune, which mixes a lot of elements, or Neuromancer, or Hyperion. These novels all work in different ways, and I always think it’s a mistake to think about these things in too normative a way: you don’t have to follow one particular rule to create “the best” science fiction, it all depends on execution.

I do think that movies often work better when they are more restrained to one central idea; they don’t have the space to breathe that novels do. And I suspect that mixing elements works better if one of the elements is already established as a concept with the audience, so you don’t have to explain a lot about it for the audience - take a well-known trope and add an idea to it that gives it a different take.


#557

#558

Watch him do Fountainhead as a dizzy rom-com.


#559

It will be damn hard to top this:


#560

If he makes libertarians hate Ayn Rand as much as he’s made geeks hate Superman, then it will be worthwhile.