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

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

  1. SMOG

    SMOG Vocabchampion ArgueTitan

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    It's true, and the last battle was a bit anticlimactic for me, action-wise. But to be fair, it's more a question of spectacle vs emotional involvement.

    When we watch Tony fly to the middle east to intercede in an ethnic cleansing, we are emotionally involved... we've watched him go through every step of building the armour, we know he has an axe to grind, and the villains are clear-cut. We are in his mind. It's not a HUGE spectacle to see him wipe out a batallion of militants with high tech in a few moments, and then blow up a tank... but it feels very satisfying because we've been with Tony every step of the way leading up to that moment.

    Even the most innocuous and low-budget expression of action can be infused with enormous significance and entertainment value simply by building the story and characters towards that act. George McFly punching out Biff Tannen is only a punch. But it's climactic and audience pleasing at the same time... in ways that a giant wave sweeping over the Himalayas can't achieve. It's what Bruce Lee said about "emotional content".

    I think this is perfectly relevant... because films are often made according to the producer's expectations of their audience, and what audiences are willing to accept. It's really intrinsic to any discussion of the critical or narrative merits of the films. You can't view a film, and especially its success, outside of the context in which it was released. This goes for comparing films and their success levels. The audience is part of that equation.

    Q. F. T.

    I think it's because the media also SHAPES the audience. The more you condition people to accept less, the more they will accept it. Tossing off empty effects vehicles is a process with far less headache involved... too many randomization factors to think about if you let a writer or director have free artistic reign over their project after all.

    That's why it's often only the lower budget projects that you see this lack of artistic compromise... because there are fewer hands in the cookie jar, muddling it up.

    zmog
     
  2. Moonhawk

    Moonhawk Well-Known Member

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    As a lifelong trek fan (I watched repeats of the original series when I was a kid - and followed it all the way to Entrprise) - I can say that the reboot definately is Trek.

    The best thing about it too - you get to have your cake and eat it as the reboot doesnt really mess with established canon.
     
  3. Ironhide2005

    Ironhide2005 PS3tag=DeaDPooLTFW

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    Star Trek was diffently better than Tf 1 and 2 easily. And I am not even a star trek fan BTW Hangover runs laps around these movies.
     
  4. Ash from Carolina

    Ash from Carolina Junior Smeghead

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    True I think Revenge of the Fallen really dropped the ball when it came to emotionally involving the viewer into the film.

    I know Avatar got critically hit for not bringing enough of a new story but even with the old story elements at least there some emotional involvement. As someone who's part Cherokee it's hard not feel it when the Na'vi are forced out of their home.

    Kind of too bad action directors don't go back and watch Aliens again. Just one of the coolest fights in the movies when it looks like all is lost only for Ripley to show up with the loader to fight the Alien Queen. I saw the movie at the theater and the whole place went nuts when those doors opened because the movie had established a connection between the viewer and the characters.
     
  5. Shadow25

    Shadow25 Well-Known Member

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    I'll agree about the emotionally involved part. I did feel drawn into Prime, and did feel a sense of triumph at his (predictable) return, but no one else really drew me in as a character, not even Sam, the main character. The scene where he decides to go ahead even though the Matrix had just turned to dust, and the scene where BB tries to encourage him after Prime's death are examples of a scene that could have added to the emotion. But those kinds of scenes were far and few in between because random and forced humor took up too much time, and kind of destroyed that sense of darkness the first hour (which, with the exception of the length of some college scenes, I thought was excellent).
     
  6. Coeloptera

    Coeloptera Big, bad beetle-bot

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    I cannot agree with this enough.

    We had seen Ripley lose everything, fall in with the Colonial Marines, bond with Newt, be confronted with her greatest fear, then find out there was something even worse responsible for all the death and terror. Then she gets a measure of payback by burning its eggs and leaving it to die, only to be confronted with the horror of the queen following her to the Sulaco.

    We see Bishop, whom Ripley had come to trust, torn in two. She seemingly flees, then we watch the queen threaten Newt, in whom Ripley and we, the audience, have become emotionally invested. Then that door slides up and Ripley comes stomping out, and we realize she can suddenly fight the queen on equal terms and she contemptuously levels an awesome, primally maternal threat at this thing that had destroyed her life and threatened to do it again...

    "Get away from her, you bitch!"

    I have yet to see anyone seeing that for the first time not give at least a little cheer.

    That's how it's done. That's emotional investment in the characters. That's what helps separate a classic from a flash in the pan.

    Notice also that all the involved characters at the end there are female. Kind of starkly contrasts Bay's usual depictions of women, huh?

    - Coeloptera
     
  7. bellpeppers

    bellpeppers A Meat Popsicle

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    And Alien3 takes it all away.
     
  8. Gordon_4

    Gordon_4 The Big Engine

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    We try not talk about that, Alien3 and Resurrection took the franchise, set it on fire and then pissed on the remains.

    Which is s shame because the original treatment was about Hicks and Newt on Earth fighting the Aliens while Ripley was in Cryo-Sleep.
     
  9. SMOG

    SMOG Vocabchampion ArgueTitan

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    Exactly. When a scene in an action movie can take your breath away so completely, before the "action" even starts, that's gold. I think that's something that a lot of director's (including Bay) miss out on... the anticipation of action can be more potent than the action itself, provided your audience is invested in the characters.

    Sergio Leone understood that too... the final stand-offs in his Westerns are such an emotional trip that my adrenalin is pumping before a shot is even fired... the showdown between Charles Bronson and Henry Fonda in Once Upon a Time in the West almost brings tears to my eyes.

    Yeah... it's fan-f***ing-tastic! I REALLY have been wanting to watch ALIENS again, and I have a cinema-enthusiast friend who has never traipsed into that territory, and I know she will LOVE it... especially the way it works in almost unprecedented, unexploitative ways as a "female" action movie.

    It's rare enough that a film can treat a female in an action movie with the same basic integrity and lack of tokenism as a male character... even rarer that it can make that character simultaneously fundamentally female in terms of her motivation and behaviour, without bringing sexuality into it. ALIENS might almost be unique in that respect. Tarantino tried with KILL BILL, but I don't think he really pulled it off.

    This discussion is only reminding me that I need to set that movie night up, stat! :) 

    Shhhhhhhhh! The Alien franchise ended after 2 for me. I like David Fincher, but some things are hard to forgive...

    zmog
     
  10. McBradders

    McBradders James Franco Club! Veteran

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    Alien 3 is cool yo, don't be hating on it.
     
  11. bellpeppers

    bellpeppers A Meat Popsicle

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    Don't get me wrong- I'm not hating on Alien 3.

    Alien 3 was hating on all of us!
     
  12. Darthbane2007

    Darthbane2007 Well-Known Member

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    Do we really have to compare 2 movies? They each did well within their own right, made for 2 different groups of people..
     
  13. SMOG

    SMOG Vocabchampion ArgueTitan

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    Alien3 was not so bad at all, really. It just suffers by comparison to its predecessors, and has a script that severely undercuts your sense of involvement immediately coming off Aliens.

    Were they really made for 2 different groups of people? I think they were both pretty much made for the same, broad, mostly young, crowd... one just balanced the elements more adeptly, and made for a better, more broadly entertaining movie.

    zmog
     
  14. Ash from Carolina

    Ash from Carolina Junior Smeghead

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    It's just in human nature to compare things.
     
  15. Digilaut

    Digilaut Well-Known Member

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    I don't think Aliens and Transformers are really comparable, and I feel Transformers will always be the more 'generic' and less deep movie, no matter who is helming it..

    BUT

    Just because Michael Bay is doing things this way does not mean his movies are the end-all to how TF movies should be made, there's MUCH room for improvement while still keeping it entertaining for everybody who likes them so far.

    And it saddens me there are some people that willingly keep their hands over their ears going 'lalala' and somehow act as if the current movies are 100% perfect and all future TF movies should be like them. :( 

    I mean..I LOVE movie1. I think it's one of my favorite movies of all time. But that doesn't mean I can't see what's wrong with it and that I hope for the future they will make an (even) better TF movie. And I'm a big fan of "fun does not equal quality", so if a movie is fun, more power to you, the enthusiast! :)  Not here to smacktalk people that like ROTF (and that would be hypocrit since I was put in the movie 1 lovers camp).

    But yeah, even though I don't think Transformers will ever be a very deep intellectual movie, doesn't mean it has reached its potential. Bay and ILM and everyone involved have already shown that they can give us kickass looking scenes with cgi characters that blend into the environment, now..let's focus on the OTHER part of the movie: the story, the characters, the emotional ride...and then we could be well on our way to a truly, truly awesome TF movie.


    Just kidding, the Transformers sucks balls, haha!!