Star Trek vs. TF: ROTF, Nostalgia vs. Novelty

Discussion in 'Transformers Movie Discussion' started by Autobot HipHop, Dec 9, 2009.

  1. VaderPrime1

    VaderPrime1 Prepare for termination!

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    People seem to forget that the movieverse is NOT G1, nor is it the same story. It's a totally new storyline that uses G1 names. I don't know why the movies are getting so much flack from G1 fans. TFA wasn't G1, so where's the flack for that or any other show besides G1, I don't get it. If it was all G1 all the time then Transformers wouldn't be celebrating their 25th anniversary this year.

    EDIT: I came across two guys (obviously TF fans) at Wal-Mart that were going on and on about how all the Transformers have changed over the years. One guy kept on whining about the look of the movies and the story. He even went as far to say that Hasbro could die. I just sat back looking at the deluxes, listening to their rants. It was quite funny. :lol  I don't see why people get so bent out of shape.
     
  2. SMOG

    SMOG Vocabchampion ArgueTitan

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    Yes, but the offensive thing about Bayformers 1 & 2 is that they are such BAD MOVIES. I can forgive a new take on Transformers... bad filmmaking is another matter altogether.

    And a contributing factor to the problems with the movies was the poor characterization of the titular characters. In fact ALL the characters, robot OR human were pretty weak.

    There are different ways of looking at this...

    One thing would be that if a live action TF movie were to be made, with state of the art special effects, embodying the childhood dreams of a generation of fans... one would think that capturing the spirit of G1 would be the way to go about it. Understandibly, some folks were disappointed when this wasn't the case. Also the movies sucked. :) 

    This brings us to the second issue... regardless of whether Bayformers represented a different continuity for Transformers or not, the same issues of bad storytelling and poor characterization remain. That is what is being discussed here... in comparing the appeal of Bayformers and Star Trek, it has been rightly noted that more attention has been afforded in Star Trek to capturing the iconic personalities and characters that first put the franchise on the map. Star Trek wasn't a Deep Space 9 reboot after all. ;) 

    It's also sort of absurd to pretend that capturing the essence of G1 wasn't part of the intent with Bayformers, at least in a half-assed sort of way. They didn't cast Cullen as Optimus by accident, nor did a sleek, light-coloured, spoiler-adorned Autobot car just happen to be named Jazz and speak in Ebonics. Nor did the main character just happen to be named S. Witwicky, etc, etc..

    It's just that they didn't do it very well. To compare it to Transformers Animated.. sure it's a different continuity. It's not G1, though there are many similarities and nostalgic touchstones. The difference is that the Animated writers treated their material with a certain amount of deference and made a point of developing their cast of main robots (good and evil) into real characters with personality.

    zmog
     
  3. Awesomus Prime

    Awesomus Prime I rise, you fall.

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    I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Bad filmmaking doesn't earn $800 Million worldwide. I'm sorry. It just doesn't. Both films obviously did enough things right to appeal to A LOT of people.


    You're right. It was an Original Series reboot. But, that's a terrible comparison, since Bayformers isn't a reboot of G1. It's a whole new universe in the Transformers franchise.

    Animated also had 42 half-hour long episodes to do so. Whereas, Bayformers has only had a couple of 2 1/2 hour movies.
     
  4. Ash from Carolina

    Ash from Carolina Junior Smeghead

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    No I'm sorry but bad film making makes lots and lots of money because Hollywood has learned how to package things for maximum profits. I know you want to believe so badly that money somehow means a good film to support your own taste in films, but Hollywood as a business has learned which people to bombard with ads so there is a must see feeling to whatever Hollywood is selling.

    It's just like burgers, clothes, or anything else you buy, quality means nothing and the packaging of the product means everything.
     
  5. Radioactive Ravage

    Radioactive Ravage Ancient

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    Right, so since the first movie came out and was SO TERRIBLE, they decided to do a sequel, which everybody also saw because they remembered that the first one was SO TERRIBLE.

    The first movie was actually well-made. I'll admit the second has its flaws, but neither are the absolute-trash everyone says they are. Hell, if they were, they'd be on some prestigious-website's "Worst Movies of All Time" special. Which they aren't.

    Hey, why don't I quote something that I SAID for everybody so they can hear it again?

    Well, let's face it- unless you want the movies to be like the comics, which possess overdeveloped versions of every G1 character (who, in the first place, where extremely underdeveloped), you're not going to get solid Cybertronian Characters. Because the Transformers franchise has jumped around so much, you basically only have three solid characters- Optimus, stalwart leader, and Megatron, ultimate evil, and Starscream, treacherous bastard. If the movies had been based off of Beast Wars or Animated, we would have gotten great characters- but G1, Beast Machines, RiD, Armada, Energon, and Cybertron have had terrible and minimal characterization. No nostalgia chord can be struck because there haven't really been many characters.
     
  6. SMOG

    SMOG Vocabchampion ArgueTitan

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    Remember, those figures only relate to how many people went to SEE the movies, not how many people enjoyed, liked, respected or felt enriched by the movies. Sadly, this says more about marketing and promotion, the hollywood hype machine, the allure of special effects spectacle and a beloved brand name, and the purely superficial demands of the casual moviegoer. It really has no bearing on how good the movie really is. I myself have made my tiny monetary contribution to Bayformers' success... but I don't think it's good filmmaking. Your logic is flawed. Applying a purely commerical measure of success to an art form only belittles the entire creative process.

    Or... see my sig quote. :) 

    Actually, no. It really is a G1 reboot in most respects... but you miss my point. Star Trek did it right in the sense that it went back to the source. It WAS an original series reboot, and made an effort to capture that original spirit. Bayformers SHOULD have shown greater respect to the franchise it was rebooting/reimagining, but it unfortunately did not. What we are left with is a pile of money, some admittedly great toys, and a colossal missed opportunity.

    :lol  That's a HUGE cop-out, man. As discussed earlier in this thread, it's MORE than possible to build even a large cast of well-developed, likable and distinctive characters within the time constraints of a feature film... even an action film. Predator and Aliens were already mentioned... The Great Escape, Magnificent Seven and Battle Royale also come to mind.

    It's true that you can dig even deeper into a character over the course of a long running series, but that's hardly necessary in most cases. A good film, on the other hand, is often more concise and to-the-point than television.

    Your example of Animated doesn't serve your point... The entire run of Animated probably comes to under 20 hours of running time, including a vast supporting cast of Autobots, Decepticons, humans, villains, etc... often subdivided into countless frivolous filler episodes. Bayformers had about 5 hours... a full quarter of Animated's running time, and barely scratched the surface. In fact, I would go as far as to say that Animated's original 3-parter pilot (about 63 minutes?) contained WAY more character development for the Bots, the Cons and the Humans involved than 2 Bayformers movies combined did. Megatron, Starscream, Prime, Ratchet, Bumblebee, Bulkhead, Prowl, Sari... compare any of them to their Bayformer character counterparts in terms of dialog and personality, and it shows just how poor on that front Bayformers is... and let's not forget TF Animated is a cartoon for young children!!

    Oh, but maybe I'm being too harsh. I mean just look at all the screen time and personality Ron & Judy Witwicky got... because that's what we needed in a Transformers movie... more Ron & Judy Witwicky. :rolleyes: 

    You can argue about the entertainment value of spectacle... of vibrant special effects, lavish production values, base toilet humour and relentless explosions... and you would be right. Bayformers does have that... in spades. However, it's hard to deny that on the plot and character development side, it's awfully weak.

    zmog
     
  7. Awesomus Prime

    Awesomus Prime I rise, you fall.

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    My logic is flawed? ROTF earned $800 Million worldwide by itself. Bear in mind that it was the sequel to the first installment. Everyone who saw the first movie knew exactly what to expect out of the second. You can't say that the promotional campaign somehow "fooled" everyone into thinking that it was going to be anything more than what it actually was.

    Considering how well the movie did, one can assume that it earned as much as it did by means of positive word-of-mouth.
    Says you.

    Well, of course it is. But, did this type of movie really need to go that deep? The movies were able to characterize the TFs that mattered most (Prime, Bee, Megs, and Screamer) just fine. Was there a lot more room for improvement? Hell yes! But, what we got was adequate. Most people got the overall gist of most of the TFs.

    You seem to be forgetting who these movies are meant to appeal to. Pokemon: The First Movie's and Power Ranger: The Movie's plots and character development are rather "weak" as well, but their target audiences loved it just fine.

    Face it, the movies are made to appeal to kids first, and hardcore fans second.
     
  8. SMOG

    SMOG Vocabchampion ArgueTitan

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    The problem with repeating this point is that it's woefully incorrect.

    First point... the G1 Marvel Comics actually tended to have underdeveloped characterizations, due to the large cast, the relatively slow monthly release schedule, and the pressure from Hasbro to introduce new products on a regular basis. A handful of characters got some spotlight time... Blaster, Ratbat, Ratchet... but overall, the Bots and Cons blended into the background even more than they did on the cartoons.

    Second point... contrary to what you say above, the original cast of Transformers first few years was VERY well drawn and remarkably developed... at least on paper. Looking over the Budiansky profiles, one quickly realizes that there has probably never been any children's fiction with such a large and developed cast of distinct and surprisingly layered characters. Not Harry Potter, not GIJOE, not Narnia... and no... not even Beast Wars, though they did fare pretty well with the small cast they had.

    -Hound was the loyal recon man, a dreamer swept up in the beauty of a relatively unspoilt alien world... but more than that, he envies humans... even wishes he was one.

    -Bluestreak maybe the funny guy who talks too much and gets on others' nerves. That's an easy archetype, right? But the real reason he's always putting up such a big show is because he's still traumatized by watching his home city utterly decimated... he has to keep talking about stupid shit to keep himself from getting lost in depression.

    -Thundercracker is a dedicated warrior with an aristocratic pilot's disdain for his groundbound targets... but in this, he also retains some degree of honour, a prideful notion that petty cruelty towards lesser life forms should be somehow be beneath the Decepticons.

    -Soundwave appears to be a loyal retainer... but he's actually every bit as sinister and duplicitous as Starscream. The truth is, he's just much better at hiding it... and at the same time, making everyone elses' secrets his business, and turning that to his advantage.

    -Megatron is more than just "pure evil"... or less, depending on how you look at it. He isn't merely cruel for the sake of cruelty. He simply possesses the canny utilitarian detachment and amorality of a devout corporate imperialist. Everything must become part of the Decepticon order, everything devoted to powering their war machine... in his own words "Everything is fodder".

    The characters are there... they always were...

    The problem was (and this is where you're actually right) that there was no room in the supplementary media (the cartoon, the comics) to explore so many characters in any kind of depth... especially considering the generally low level of the ADD-afflicted episodic writing on the G1 cartoon. In essence, Budiansky created a lot of unusually developed characters who were actually TOO interesting for their own good. They would never get a proper arena to distinguish themselves... that is, other than the arena of a generation of childrens' imaginations. I read the comics and I watched the cartoons, but for me, the real battles of the Transformers occurred between the Tech Specs and my backyard. :) 

    So when you say no nostalgic chord can be struck, or that there are no solid Cybertronian characters... that, sir... is absolute bunk.

    And besides, this completely sidesteps the point that in the first Bayformers, they had all of 5 Autobots and maybe 7 Cons to work with, and nary a wisp of character between them. No solid Cybertronian characters? You can't let Bay & Co off that easily! The characters are there... it's the scriptwriter and director's job to make them "solid", to make them distinct, to make people give a shit about them... even just a few of them...

    zmog
     
  9. SMOG

    SMOG Vocabchampion ArgueTitan

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    Simply repeating the fact that they movie made a lot of money doesn't actually rebuke my points on the issue. Money made does not equal quality, any more than fast food is good food, or shitty repetitive pop music is good music. Duh.

    No, it earned as much as it did for the same reasons the first one did. Hype, flash, marketing, lowered expectations, etc... all the usual culprits. Hell... I went to see it, didn't I? Why, you may ask? I don't know. Boredom? The faint hope that it may be better than the first one. Morbid curiosity? Media brainwashing? Why do I eat junk food, when I know I'm going to regret it later?

    I'm not sure. But if you survey a broad spectrum of people walking out of that theatre... teens, critics, children, G1 old-timers... maybe 50% will tell you that they thought it was garbage, a waste of time, incoherent, offensive... maybe they were indifferent, maybe they went because they were going with friends, maybe they just wanted to check out the special effects or Megan Fox's tits... but it doesn't negate the money they just put in Dreamworks' pockets, now does it?

    Meanwhile, there are truly great films that fail at the box office, due to many factors... bad timing, poor promotion, no recognizable stars, no media buzz, "difficult" themes, foreign language, low budget, a high age-rating... GASP!! But how can this be?? According to the wisdom of the almighty dollar, no good film can do poorly at the box office, just as no lucrative film could possibly be BAD, right? :rolleyes: 

    I sure did. And I'll say it again! And with conviction!! :D 

    There's never ANY reason for a movie to feature poor writing. NEVER.

    A film should always aspire to be the best it can be, in terms of plot consistency, writing, editing, acting, mood, etc, etc...

    This is why PIXAR films are consistently better than most of the standard kids' CGI movies... because they clearly put a strong emphasis on their characters, on their story, on the internal logic and consistency of their world, on the smart details, the emotional attachments, and crafting a story that will appeal to children and adults... and when I say that, I mean on the merits of the story, not simply by throwing some clever one-liners and double-entendres into the dialogue that will fly over the kiddies' heads. They do not subscribe to the notion that just because a film is a "children's film" then it's okay for it to be badly constructed or poorly characterized. A good kids' film should always also be a GOOD FILM. A good action movie should be a GOOD FILM. A good horror movie should be a GOOD FILM.

    There's really no excuse for feeding an audience crap, just because they are too shell-shocked by modern life to even really care. A brain is a terrible thing to waste.

    That's an interesting point of view, regarding a film that was rated PG-13. But hey... kids love racist stereotypes, small horny robots, immaculately polished GM cars, masturbation and drug jokes, college sexual encounters, and Megan Fox's tanned abdomen and heaving bosom, right?

    I think the movie was actually made for 13-17 year old boys with a disposable weekend allowance. And trust me... 13-17 year old boys really DON'T know what's good for them. :) 

    But again, sure... let's feed our kids on stupid Pokemon stuff. They enjoy it, don't they? So they grow up into adults who only consume junk culture and consider "having to think" some kind of unfair chore thrust upon them. Who cares?

    You know what else kids like? Candy. Why shouldn't they eat candy every day, right? Kids love candy, so candy must be good food, right? Hey, you know something else kids like? Spinning around in circles until they get so dizzy they fall down. That must be the height of cultural achievement. Kids also sometimes enjoy tormenting small animals... now that's quality entertainment right there.

    Ahem.

    zmog
     
  10. Radioactive Ravage

    Radioactive Ravage Ancient

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    Another thing- there is a line that can or cannot be crossed. I doubt someone would make a movie about those things. Throughout the ages there have been establishments created for satisfying man's carnal pleasures, etc. We know that the Romans had whore houses, but does that mean they didn't philosophize on some deep things and contribute to the history of mankind? There were people who frowned upon such practices, but they continued and didn't ruin the world. Wow, that was random- disregard that.

    On the OTHER end of the spectrum-

    You seem to imply that one movie alone is ruining America, nay, the world, when there are plenty of other fingers that can be pointed at other media, etc. Check out the gaming forum, for example. Revenge of the Fallen may have had some things wrong with it, but it's not the first movie to do such terrible things to the human brain. I suppose it's because they've tainted Transformers, the last sacred thing on Earth, that you state it so hatefully- and I suppose it is right to bring these things up in a Transformers forum, because it is how such crude and vulgar carnal things have infiltrated our fandom through this movie. But don't blame Bay, blame the audience- they've been accepting that kind of crap in even worse doses before the Transformers franchise was a thought.
     
  11. Radioactive Ravage

    Radioactive Ravage Ancient

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    Kay. So, unless I read every tech spec of each character (all of whom you mentioned were NOT in the movie, except Megatron, but yeah, I was pretty right about that) and then apply it to the characters from the movies, I don't got me a good amount of nostalgia? And I wouldn't say that, just because these characters had good tech specs, they has solid characters. I read the bios of each of each of my Beast Wars characters, swear to Primus, but the personalities that stick in my head are the ones from the show.

    I guess it's a matter of opinion, here. I think we both agree that none of these seemingly "developed" characters were ever portrayed well enough in their animated media to warrant a "developed character" label, but again, most of these shows were supposed to be toy commercials. That's why I say Beast Wars and Animated have the best characters- because their writers treated them like characters. And aren't we comparing Star Trek, a TV show with well-developed characters to G1/Beast Wars/Machines/RiD/Armada/Energon/Cybertron/Animated, which are supposed to have well-developed characters?

    Then again, I could be making excuses. They could have looked past the cartoons and actually pulled from the tech specs, couldn't they? But maybe that wouldn't have worked, because Bay wouldn't WANT the robots to have personality, or wouldn't want such a focus on personality, would he? Which makes this argument less about the development of characters and more about who is a better director. In which case, J.J. is because he made a movie with well-developed characters in it. But then again, it's a space epic, and they kind of NEED well-developed characters in them or else it's just "Ship A fires at Ship B, someone says 'shields are straining, sah!' and so on." While most action movies base themselves on explosions and thrills to keep the audience going.

    So let me pose this question instead of continuing the character debate, because we both have our own opinions on that and both of us are going to support until the end of time- Is the directing of Transformers as an action franchise the right choice, in your opinion And remember, this is a "in your opinion" question because the style choice obviously works for some people and doesn't work for others. Many fans believe that this franchise should be treated as a sci-fi or space epic, which, in my opinion, doesn't work well because they are Robots in Disguise and should be in disguise on our planet, otherwise they're just robots. It needs to be a sci-fi action movie because that's what the idea of the franchise suggests. Now, many fans were overjoyed to hear that a sequel would be coming out after the first movie was received so well, and yes, for those of you who can't remember, it was received well. Critics did enjoy it, Ebert did, many fans enjoyed it, and it was a success in many ways. However, something I, personally, was wary about was the idea that an action movie, especially one with the scale of Transformers, would be getting a sequel- let's face it, not a lot of action movies get sequels- only successful ones. Alien-Aliens I don't really count, since the original was a horror film that evolved into an action franchise, but Terminator, Die Hard, etc have done so with concepts that are shaky PLOTWISE but action-wise and thrill-wise deliver. And, much like the action movies of nowadays, Revenge of the Fallen was not considered a good sequel, mostly because of its pacing (and crude humor and decimation of everything that is Transformers etc etc blah blah blah). And that's the thing- a sequel is never considered to be better, especially with action movies (well, Terminator 2 was pretty ballin')- and movies that DO tend to have good sequels are sci-fi epics, fantasy movies, and superhero flicks, mostly because they can build on the lore presented in the first movie and immerse the viewer more.

    Now, J.J. did immerse his audience, I'll give him that. He presented the lore through the plot and characters and made the audience feel immersed because the characters were characters that were comfortable within their universe. Bay's Revenge of the Fallen, unfortunately, became stuck at a crossroads that it did not clearly take a direct path upon- should we improve upon the lore of the Cybertronian universe, or should we continue to make an action movie by going more over the top? We saw glimmers of both, such as the characterization between Megatron and Starscream, Jetfire, the history of the Fallen, but we were also treated to huge explosions and tight endings, as well as crude humor. We did not totally see a sci-fi film, nor did we totally see an action film- or rather, we did not totally see a sci-fi sequel, nor did we totally see an action film- we were given snippets of both. And that pushed away veiwers because they were unsure if they should have been immersed and cared about the plot to destroy the sun, the strangeness of the Twins, and Prime's death, or were being presented with an action spectacle.

    This technically is not a good comparison to make at all, considering Star Trek was the first in a series, and Revenge of the Fallen was a sequel. There is a frame of reference for the Transformers franchise, but not yet one for Star Trek. But still I say, is the comparison here between nostalgia and novelty, developed characters or sheets of tin foil, or is it the direction of the film, or lack thereof?

    ...Wow. I gotta uncramp these fingers.
     
  12. General Magnus

    General Magnus Da Custodes of the Emprah

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    So we got to the point saying that Revenge of the Fallen is runing the world? Wow... :p  So I guess if people around here want to call me dumb for enjoying Revenge of the Fallen, oh well, let them do, if they are do desperate to do so. Fuck, how do I even type? Me is stooopide after all. Me can´t write cause me likes the Bayformers movies..

    *sigh*

    Tears of impotent rage are funny.
     
  13. doomtron

    doomtron Hunter

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    abrams startrek set the bar a little higher. i love that movie! rotf grew on me
     
  14. Sso02V

    Sso02V Injector Has a Posse

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    Well yeah... But you don't make that much just on some random passerby going "Duuuurrrr... Tramsmoggers, I wanna see it!" That's repeat viewings, that weren't even harmed by the "this movie is the worst thing to ever occur in history" campaign.
     
  15. Ash from Carolina

    Ash from Carolina Junior Smeghead

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    Revenge of the Fallen is more like a poster child film for bad film making.

    There were far worse films out this summer like Wolverine, Terminator Salvation, Street Fighter, Dragonball, and films like that. There were even films that were far more savagely reviewed than Transformers was, for example Revenge's 20% Tomato Meter rating is still far ahead of the Street Fighter's 4% rating.

    But Revenge of the Fallen had all the elements a person needs to argue why spectacle over substance is a bad thing for films even if it makes money. And well it's hard to find a larger ego than Bay's when it comes to taking pride in making bad movies. Perhaps Uwe Boll but his movies are just about totally unwatchable.

    Will bad films drag down the entire world? Nah, we've had periods of bad film making in the past and long as we are still making films we will have periods of bad film making, because everything can't be a masterpiece.
     
  16. Radioactive Ravage

    Radioactive Ravage Ancient

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    Fair enough. I still don't think the movie was absolute trash. And just because I said those things means everyone disregards the post I made right afterward about the real issue with this argument. But heyo, I guess you can only be heard when you're making outlandish statements.
     
  17. Ash from Carolina

    Ash from Carolina Junior Smeghead

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    Far from trash which is why I say the movie is bad but I don't say that it is a terrible movie because that would be a film that has no redeeming qualities what so ever. Flawed yes but I found a list of 40 films this decade that are worse to bring up next time someone makes the insanely stupid statement that it is the worst film ever made.

    Worst Movies of the 2000s: The 40 Biggest Stinkers of the Decade - Inside Movies

    Those films might also help explain why I keep losing my faith in film making.
     
  18. Coeloptera

    Coeloptera Big, bad beetle-bot

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    From Wikipedia, with citations in the article:

    "McDonald's is located in 120 countries and on 6 continents and operates over 31,000 restaurants worldwide.[21] On January 31, 1990 McDonald’s opened a restaurant in Moscow, and broke opening day records for customers served. The Moscow restaurant is the busiest in the world."

    So obviously, McDonald's serves the finest cuisine on the planet.

    Your specific reasoning there is flawed.

    Not that I'm saying what is popular cannot also be good, but stating something is good merely because it is popular is not sound reasoning.

    - Coeloptera
     
  19. Takeshi357

    Takeshi357 "Research"

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    I tried using Twilight as an example on these guys; it didn't work. You're wasting your breath.
     
  20. smkspy

    smkspy Remember true fans

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    This has been an entertaining thread, to say the least.