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Why can't we enjoy movies as standalone anymore? (In reference to BB)

Discussion in 'Transformers Movie Discussion' started by electronic456, Jan 11, 2019.

  1. electronic456

    electronic456 Well-Known Member

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    This is more of a general movie question, but I think it's one worth talking about now.

    With the discussions of Bumblebee being a reboot, preboot, prequel... Whatever the f you want to call it, I started to think, "Man, there were times when you didn't need to worry so much about cinematic building and just enjoy a movie for what it is." Before I start, I do personally think Bumblebee is viable to start a new iteration of Transformers. So, I'd be okay with the whole reboot thing considering how hard it is keep up with the previous 5 movies.

    Now I don't know what's going to happen forward with TF franchise. I don't know what they're going to do with each movie. "Tie into the Bayverse." Some people fear. Well to be frank, I try not to read into words on the internet all too much. Let's be honest, I'll be very surprised with the Cybertron animated movie if it included plot points such as Sentinel Prime leaving the planet in Ark or the Knights of Iacon. Those would be indicators making me go, "Alright they're trying to make connections there."

    But really, my expectations are... It's going to just show stuff like how the Autobots and Decepticons came to be. How Optimus and Megatron grew apart. All the basic stuff... But I guess it depends on how you approach it and what you're pulling from.

    So basically, what are we expecting really from those movies? Hm?

    When Amy Pascal (aka any backseat producer) said Venom is gonna tie into the MCU, do you honestly believe a word she said? Cause I honestly don't... I know the MCU well enough. If that movie was canon then I would have trouble understanding certain things.... How would people ignore evil splodges(yes I know,it's symbiote) from outer space? Where is Ant-Man in all of this considering his home is in San Francisco, the same place where Venom takes place.

    Do you understand what I'm trying to get across here? It really doesn't matter what universe its from.

    Speaking of which, let's talk about when movies from certain franchises make references to other iterations. The way I see the stuff with Sector 7, the Camaro etc. I can basically view them as just Easter eggs and nothing more. No spoilers, it's like saying the start of Into the Spiderverse is a big connection to the Raimi films. Oh really?

    And keep in mind, even with movies that take place in the same universe like others, there's a thing called 'retconning'. So for those who have seen Aquaman and Justice League, you know there's a difference with the costuming of characters there. Also pay attention to what Arthur Curry says about his mother in both of those movies, see if there's consistency there.

    Plus Aquaman is making a billion dollars soon and they're still planning on making that Joker movie which is not part of the DCEU.

    And using the DCEU as an example isn't the end of it. This also happens with the MCU... There can be things that happen in the movies that make you go "Wait a minute..." Like how does Thor suddenly change character in Ragnarok or... Why does Thanos suddenly look like Bruce Willis in Infinity War? Or why did Scarlet Witch drop the native accent?

    Forget the interviews, where in the movies themselves can they explain those things? Speaking of which, cinematic universe problems can be extended to TV or comics itself. Try telling me if Spider-Man is around doing what he does when the Kingpin is doing his business or when the Punisher just slaughtered multiple people. It breaks up my brain thinking about those things.

    For those who watch Agents of SHIELD, be ready to question some things when Captain Marvel expands the lore of the Kree. It might not add up.

    Finally there's the issue of "It's a sequel"... Well, I think this has been said before. The best sequels DO NOT require you to go back and watch the previous film and get caught up by the lore. Do I really need to understand Batman's backstory from 'Batman Begins' to watch 'The Dark Knight'? Or can I watch this movie, yeah I just enjoy the story. (Hell when I was younger, I didn't even realise The Dark Knight was a sequel. That should tell you something)

    So hopefully, you understand what where I'm coming from. In a time, where we feel like we need to think about the bigger universe around us. I miss the days of 'standalone'.

    If you desperately want that perfect conception of a great continuity, I think writing fanfiction for yourself works better than what other people give to you.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2019
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  2. Dotmshockwave

    Dotmshockwave Decepticon Assassin

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    Everyone (or most) want some sort of huge tie in universe like the mcu has succeeded with. But unfortunately that just is not as easy as it seems. That takes years of planning and extremely hard work to pull off.
     
  3. Charlock

    Charlock Well-Known Member

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    It's this, 100%.

    One of Hollywood's biggest problems is its inability to be independently creative. If one person (studio) comes up with an idea that makes even the slightest bit more money than the last "big thing" did, the powers that be glom onto that new idea and just grind it into dust. You can see this in almost every genre, going back for years.

    I think the best, recent example (other than the MCU and WB/DC's horrific attempt to copy it) was the Nolan Batman films. After that trilogy ended, rather than take from it the lesson they should have, WB/DC only saw dollar signs. So, they kept just the vaguest remnants of that style, called it "being grounded" and crapped out the movies that followed. Then there's the parody movie trend from a handful of years before that, when those folks seriously thought they were making comedies. *shudder*

    It's a vicious, painful cycle that I don't think we'll ever see an end to. Sure, there are brief, shining moments when a new idea comes forward, but unless it makes billions of dollars upon release, the big names see no reason to change what they're doing.
     
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  4. Galvatross

    Galvatross Swamp Lord Shrek-traoridinairre! Veteran

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    Boom! You shouldn't enjoy a movie based on what fictional universe it takes place in.

    If one enjoyed Bumblebee, whether it ends up being a prequel, reboot, or solo film should not make you thing more negatively of it. It means you enjoyed Bumbleee.

    I don't enjoy The Last Knight as much as Age of Extinction or Dark of the Moon and don't consider it a good sequel to the other films. I thought Age of Extinction's ending had tons of potential that TLK ignored or minimized. It doesn't mean I enjoy Age of Extinction or Dark of the Moon any less just because The Last Knight is the follows them. It didn't retroactively ruin my enjoyment whatsoever.

    I don't care whether Sergio Leonne's "Man with No Name" films are all in the same universe or not. They're extremely well made and hugely enjoyable regardless.

    I don't care whether Logan and Deadpool are in continuity with other X-Men films or not. They were hugely enjoyable nonetheless.

    G1 has some great episodes and some boring ones. I don't let the boring ones interfere with my enjoyment of the stuff I do like.
     
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  5. Ash from Carolina

    Ash from Carolina Junior Smeghead

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    It's just the changing nature of entertainment.

    There have been times when almost every movie has been a stand alone movie so even the biggest Hollywood hits didn't get a sequel even if there was something there to make a sequel off of. For example there wasn't a sequel to Gone with the Wind even though they could have spun off a story about what Scarlett would do next.

    Sometimes Hollywood went for interconnected stories because you could use a popular character to sell your other movies. For a while Universal saw a huge success when they decided that all their monsters would live in the same world and they could even cross their monsters over with their most popular comedy team.

    At times the rule has been get one really successful film and make one sequel. Other times the rule has been make one really successful movie and make two sequels.

    While it's tempting to blame the current trend of endless sequels and expanded universes on the success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe it's not the only factor in play. Movies have to keep up with what is popular on TV and streaming. Thanks to binge watching the stand alone episode is no longer as popular as it used to be. People seem to crave things like Game of Thrones where you have to watch every episode and you have to watch them in order. The stand alone episodes you can watch in any order just aren't as popular as they used to be so shows have been attempting to put in that connective tissue that will make someone watch an entire season in one sitting. Movies have to copy that connect things trend if they want people to go out to the movie theater instead of stay home to binge the shows that offer the connectivity people are currently looking for.

    Although I guess you could blame superheroes since the big media consumers of today grew up in the era of comic books where you had to buy each issue instead of skipping around. And on the book front you have people who grew up with connected book series like Harry Potter. It's like people have been preconditioned to go for entertainment that requires a commitment. Even a cartoon like Avatar the Last Airbender was pushing that watch every episode because it tells a bigger story idea.
     
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  6. primal789

    primal789 Prime

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    But do you enjoy The Last Knight less because it's not as connected as you think it could be?I think that's what keeps people from at least saying it's decent for what it is..because I watched the movie and even if I had some disappointments with it, it was very enjoyable and felt fresh while also trying to be a ROTF in a good way and also felt like a 10 years special movie with cameos and surprises but ROTF did it way better ...at the same time it gets a pass too because it's the 5th movie and not many franchises get there I guess so yeah to me it's in between...I would prefer if some would be in one big universe but Bumblebee is wonderful no matter what and I didn't care about the plot holes in TLK..there were some other problems I had with it but I still can say I like the movie and it had me hooked even if the action was not great I enjoyed some concepts..I'm in the minority but the history of the TF stuff is one of my favorite concepts out there.
     
  7. electronic456

    electronic456 Well-Known Member

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    And this is why it bothers me. Don't get me wrong, it's cool going in with the notion 'This and this can happen' but it's also the thing that takes away from being able to focus on the other narrative.

    There has been so many old kaiju movies for example in the past that I probably won't realise if they take place in the same universe and not that I care to understand. Back then Mothra was just Mothra and Godzilla was just Godzilla.

    Godzilla vs. Mothra I think is just a title in which you're expecting the two to fight and pretty much I think that's what you're watching the movie for.

    It's same notion with the Alien vs. Predator movies. Yeah it's cool that two alien icons are facing off against each other. But I'm not going to act like those movies exist in the same universe the standalone Alien or standalone Predator timeline. I mean the start of the first AvP movie is in 2004 which means the events of Alien or Aliens is impossible if that is the case.

    I do want to make note that there was an interesting theory of whether or not Blade Runner takes place in the same universe as Alien cause it begs the question of how advanced human society has become. That right there is interesting world-building.
     
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  8. Stormragetron

    Stormragetron Well-Known Member

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    i couldn't agree with you more .

    i have said several times on different threads , i think of Bumblebee as a great stand alone movie .
     
  9. TheSoundwave

    TheSoundwave Hooked on a Feeling!

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    Interestingly enough, I actually made a post similar to this yesterday in a different thread.

    I think people get way too hung up on canon and continuity these days. I think it's being conditioned by shows that use 'long form storytelling', and even something like the MCU to an extent. Don't get me wrong, I love the Marvel movies, but I love them for other reasons. I think people are becoming more concerned with getting invested into the larger fictional universe of movies/shows than they are getting invested into the individual movie itself. I actually love good world-building in a story, but I don't think it's the most important aspect.

    I think it's a bit telling that the #1 concern with Bumblebee is whether or not it's a reboot. I think it's fine to discuss, but there's really a lot more to the movie. I really don't care what universe it's set in, as long as future movies are just as appealing. I really don't care about the continuity errors (and there are usually ways to explain them away if you need to). My main concern about it being part of the Bayverse is simply that the partsy design aesthetic doesn't come back.
     
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  10. AshleyCuadra

    AshleyCuadra Tieria Prime

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    *claps*
     
  11. johnbonhamatron

    johnbonhamatron Big ol' Nightbeat fanboy

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    I can explain why it really really does matter to me, and from my perspective, it has literally nothing to do with building some kind of MCU rip-off megafranchise.

    Usual disclaimer, personal opinion, yadda yadda yadda...

    Put simply, I really don't like the previous five films, or at least the four of them that I've seen (thankfully, courtesy of other people taking me to the cinema, and my sister having family sharing on her Netflix account, I haven't paid a single penny to watch any of them). If other people like them, good on ya, more power to ya, and all that, but I consider them to be so utterly godawful that they're basically the cinematic equivalent of war crimes.

    So the question is this: if I can't stand the previous films, why would I want to get invested in a series or a storyline that leads into something I consider to be monumentally bad? It'd be like going for a spin in a Bugatti Chiron with the full and certain knowledge that the end of my journey would involve me ploughing into a wall at 150mph. :p 

    So while it might not matter to you (again, you do you, more power to ya, and all that, but don't assume your way is the only way to watch movies), it absolutely matters to me, and a lot of other people.

    If it's a prequel, and the end of the journey is the pish we've had previously? Then I'll go back to not watching live action TF movies. No skin off my nose.

    Having said that, it'd be nice to have Transformers films I actually consider to be good. If it's a reboot, free of the five previous movies, there's at least a chance that can happen.

    So yeah. There's my opinion. You argument might apply to you, but it certainly doesn't apply to me. Opinions, innit.

    I will also say this, though...

    That's not exactly true, though, is it? :p 

    I mean, take Empire Strikes Back, regarded by many as the greatest sequel of all time. And it makes not much sense unless you've seen A New Hope. Who's this Skywalker chap? What's this Rebellion thing, and and what are they rebelling against? Who's that big bugger in black? Why is there a really camp robot? Why is that wheelie bin beeping at everyone?

    Is it possible for a good sequel to not require you to watch the previous movies? Yes. Absolutely. John Wick 2 proves that, as do the Indiana Jones films. But to say the best sequels only do that is incorrect.
     
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  12. electronic456

    electronic456 Well-Known Member

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    Alright fair enough. I can sort of understand from a prequel point of view.

    Empire took a long time to be regarded as one of the greatest sequels though. I mean surely the opening crawl recaps everything to you in a piece.
     
  13. johnbonhamatron

    johnbonhamatron Big ol' Nightbeat fanboy

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    And I can understand yours. We're into subjective territory, so neither of us is actually wrong. :) 

    I confess I had to go and check what the opening crawl says. I must be getting old, I remember a time when I could have remembered that word for word without googling it.

    I blame the internet. :p 

    Anyway, the opening crawl says this...

    ...so it does do a bit of a recap, but it's missing two of the main trinity (Han and Leia), plus Chewbacca and both droids, and it doesn't say what the Death Star was. So it doesn't fill in all the blanks.

    I'll concede I didn't necessarily pick the best example, though. :p  So instead, consider something without an opening crawl like, say, Back To The Future II; I'd argue anyone who goes into that one without seeing the first film is going to sit there going, "What the cock is going on??", especially in the second half of the film.

    So depending on the film, it can go either way on whether or not you need to watch the previous film first, but in either case, the sequel still needs to not contradict the previous film.

    Like, say, if one film in a series states one thing ("We learned Earth's languages from the world wide web"), don't then have a film that contradicts it (Bumblebee fighting in World War II, presumably having not learned English from the internet), whether the movies are more the standalone kind like John Wick 2 or the connected kind like BTTF, because otherwise you'll break the laws of the universe you set up in the earlier films.

    S'one of my problems with Bay's TF films, actually. Literally every one of them from DOTM onwards did exactly that (I can't remember if ROTF did; I've blanked out every single memory of that celluloid atrocity). :p 

    As you said yourself...

    Assuming you meant the overall storyline is an utter pig to follow (do correct me if not!), it's hard to keep up because of that very problem, so I know you already know what I'm talking about. :D 

    But yeah, that's why I firmly believe the notion of audiences wanting a big cinematic universe for every franchise is a huge red herring. Studios might, sure, but audiences not so much. What they want is continuity between movies, and movies that don't take a huge dump over the rules previous instalments set up.

    Certainly I don't. Hell, I've already decided I'm out of the MCU after Avengers 4, so I damn sure don't want another cinematic universe to sit there eating all my free time. I do want them to make sense next to each other, though.

    Also I want them to be good, not cinematic war crimes. :p 
     
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  14. Aernaroth

    Aernaroth <b><font color=blue>I voted for Super_Megatron and Veteran

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    Shhhh shhhh

    Every film is a cinematic universe now.

    There is no escape

    Each product we get you to buy must act as a reinforcing tool for a brand identity that we can sell you again next year.

    You have no hope

    A recognizable intellectual property allows for a reduction of risk by capitalising on an idea that already has proven market potential and a built in cadre of free brand ambassadors.

    There is only the brand

    The development of a brand universe allows for cross platform licensing potential and merchandising opportunities on a more ongoing basis.

    Now and forever

    BRANDS
     
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  15. Pepperonimus

    Pepperonimus Casual Fan

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    My man! I always felt Bumblebee is a standalone movie. I don't really care whether it is a reboot/prequel.

    @Aernaroth merchandise first, haven't that been the case since G1?
    We're talking about Transformers here, a Hasbro brand.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2019
  16. Aernaroth

    Aernaroth <b><font color=blue>I voted for Super_Megatron and Veteran

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    I was speaking more in the general industry sense. Not many films are getting backed by merchandisers the way Hasbro does.
     
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  17. Galvatross

    Galvatross Swamp Lord Shrek-traoridinairre! Veteran

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    For me, it's a little more complicated than that.

    One, we go from the most science fiction of the films in Age of Extinction to the most fanciful. Even DotM was more sci fi than TLK.

    Two, for ensemble Transformer films, DotM and especially AoE really balanced their threads and robots well. RotF has many robots disappear throughout the course of the film. DotM, minus a couple exceptions, is much better in that regard. Age of Extinction manages to keep its robots present in capacity, and they don't disappear for long periods of time unless they have a good reason, too. Lockdown and Optimus Prime are prominent throughout the film. Once they first appear, the Pathetic Dirty Foursome and Galvatron never completely disappear. The Dinobots are prominent in the climax. Ratchet and Brains are important in their scenes, and they have actual reasons to not appear later on in the film; the former gets slain, and the latter wants to enjoy his freedom. Even the Steeljaws and Stinger have their scenes on Lockdown's ship and inside KSI and in Hong Kong. And unlike Onslaught or Dreadbot, Stinger doesn't get killed within a short period of time after being introduced.

    The Last Knight returns to a more RotF-like means of robot appearance, disappearance, reappearance, and prominence. Megatron, Quintessa, Optimus, Hound, Drift, Crosshairs, Dinobots, and Nitro Zeus all disappear for large portions of the film. None of the antagonists are anywhere near as prominent as Lockdown or Sentinel. Had a more RotF-style approach been used immediately after RotF and not after DotM/AoE, I don't think it would have been as jarring.

    Third, and related to this, is that TLK had too much stuff going on, and more going on than the previous films and Bumblebee.

    I don't dislike The Last Knight by the way. It's not an abomination so much as a flawed film that still has plenty of redeeming aspects.

    If anything, I think The Last Knight would have worked much better as a follow up to RotF than as the fifth film, with some obvious edits and character changes to account for its place in the series of course. Quintessa as depicted makes more sense as a being connected to the Fallen and Dynasty of Primes than possibly being the Creator. Cybertron coming to Earth as it did in TLK would have been a visually solid ending to such an OT finale. Cade being the Last Knight makes more sense with Sam's character than Cade's given Sam's whole "destiny" schtick with the Matrix in RotF, and Simmons would have been fine as the Burton character.
     
  18. Autobot Burnout

    Autobot Burnout Your laser fire is merely making me STRONGER!

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    And those people would be wrong.

    The greatest sequel of all time is Godfather Part II.

    Where do I sign up for the Aernaroth Cinematic Universe.
     
  19. electronic456

    electronic456 Well-Known Member

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    Objective. But you're entitled to that opinion.

    I mean have you seen the Top 10 Sequels video by Nostalgia Critic? While it's not my favourite sequel personally, one of the good points (yes, I'm giving to actual credit to him) made by him was the mass appeal, the movie has for both young and old. Godfather Part 2, you need to grow up first before you can even watch.
     
  20. Jalen Frisby

    Jalen Frisby BumblebeeLover

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    There was a time i use to watch Nostalgia Critic, then Deadpool 2 happen, and somethings he got wrong, and..Ugh. Sorry offtopic..