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7 reasons why 'X' is better than 'Y' 
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Post Re: 7 reasons why 'X' is better than 'Y'
Ken wrote:
So, in theory, if Alien is 9 levels tall and Aliens is 12 levels tall... Aliens is only 3 levels tall unless it stands on the shoulders of Alien!


Why putting it simple when you can put it in a complicated way? Yes of course: Aliens only exists because of Alien. Symphonic rock only exists because of symphony and rock. Art Tatum was only better than Fats Waller because he was his pupil. Quentin Tarantino's body of work only exists because the 1970s existed. Nothing exists on its own - as if grown out of nothing. Everything is based on something. What exactly is your point? Aliens sucks? O.K. then please say it and if you don't mind: explain why.

BTW: It is not my fault that the movie title "Alien" is almost synonym to "strange". Please, Ken, you can do way, way better than that.


Tue Dec 06, 2011 11:00 pm
Post Re: 7 reasons why 'X' is better than 'Y'
Threeperf35 wrote:
Why putting it simple when you can put it in a complicated way? Yes of course: Aliens only exists because of Alien. Symphonic rock only exists because of symphony and rock. Art Tatum was only better than Fats Waller because he was his pupil. Quentin Tarantino's body of work only exists because the 1970s existed. Nothing exists on its own - as if grown out of nothing. Everything is based on something. What exactly is your point? Aliens sucks? O.K. then please say it and if you don't mind: explain why.

BTW: It is not my fault that the movie title "Alien" is almost synonym to "strange". Please, Ken, you can do way, way better than that.

Oh, don't mind me. I just saw the opportunity to be a pedantic knob for a minute. Plus, it's a kinda-sorta reference to Isaac Newton, one of the great pedantic knobs of human history.

My opinion of both Alien movies is that they're thoroughly decent, but they're not something I find myself compelled to revisit. I have to assume that at least some of their reputation is because cinema is not exactly teeming with thoroughly decent science fiction, and people take what they can get.

Man, I thought I was avoiding an ass-blistering by staying away from the Batman stuff and MGC's usual troll bait.


Tue Dec 06, 2011 11:10 pm
Post Re: 7 reasons why 'X' is better than 'Y'
Ken wrote:
Man, I thought I was avoiding an ass-blistering by staying away from the Batman stuff and MGC's usual troll bait.


Hey, no problem. Ha, I was thinking of Newton as well - because Einstein had put him into place for good. And Hawking probably will be the next step - but I degress.
Anyway: please help me out here: who is MGC?

Peace - no harm done.


Tue Dec 06, 2011 11:21 pm
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Post Re: 7 reasons why 'X' is better than 'Y'
Platoon is better than Full Metal Jacket because:

1: Platoon is given added weight by the fact that unlike Stanley Kubrick, Oliver Stone wasn't devising some fantasy. But was drawing on his own life.

2: Platoon seems more realistic. I can't say this with 100% certainty since I never was in Vietnam (born too late and more likely than not I would have tried to get a college deferment). But based on what I've heard from soldiers who fought there, of the Hollywood takes on Vietnam, Platoon is the most accurate.

3: The first half of Full Metal Jacket is gut wrenchingly effective all the way through. The second half is inconsitent. Platoon maintains a consistency of mood all through

4: Full Metal Jacket seems over-directed in spots. Platoon never does (unlike some of Stone's later films).

5: The acting in Platoon is all-around better. In FMJ, Vincent D'onofrio and R Lee Ermey gave good performances. The rest of the cast kinda took a backseat. In Platoon everyone from Berenger and Dafoe to Sheen and supporting actors like Keith David and Johnny Depp were quite good.

6: The symbolism in Platoon is less obvious. Even the more stand-out symbols (Dafoe's Jesus Christ pose, Sheen's "son of two fathers", the religious references) are integrated well into the story. In FMJ they tend to leap out.

7: Platoon's ending was better. It wasn't a totally happy ending at all. But it offered a certain sense of hope and optimism. FMJ's attempt at a nihilistic ending was better done by Apocalypse Now (which may be my favorite movie of all time) although I did enjoy the last scene of the Marins walking through all the destruction around them and singing Mickey Mouse.

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Tue Dec 06, 2011 11:57 pm
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Post Re: 7 reasons why 'X' is better than 'Y'
Ken wrote:
Man, I thought I was avoiding an ass-blistering by staying away from the Batman stuff and MGC's usual troll bait.


Thanks for that.


Wed Dec 07, 2011 12:32 am
Post Re: 7 reasons why 'X' is better than 'Y'
Threeperf35 wrote:
Anyway: please help me out here: who is MGC?

MGamesCook wrote:
Ken wrote:
Man, I thought I was avoiding an ass-blistering by staying away from the Batman stuff and MGC's usual troll bait.


Thanks for that.

^^^ MGC.


Wed Dec 07, 2011 1:08 am
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Post Re: 7 reasons why 'X' is better than 'Y'
Jeff Wilder wrote:
Platoon is better than Full Metal Jacket because:

1: Platoon is given added weight by the fact that unlike Stanley Kubrick, Oliver Stone wasn't devising some fantasy. But was drawing on his own life.

2: Platoon seems more realistic. I can't say this with 100% certainty since I never was in Vietnam (born too late and more likely than not I would have tried to get a college deferment). But based on what I've heard from soldiers who fought there, of the Hollywood takes on Vietnam, Platoon is the most accurate.

3: The first half of Full Metal Jacket is gut wrenchingly effective all the way through. The second half is inconsitent. Platoon maintains a consistency of mood all through

4: Full Metal Jacket seems over-directed in spots. Platoon never does (unlike some of Stone's later films).

5: The acting in Platoon is all-around better. In FMJ, Vincent D'onofrio and R Lee Ermey gave good performances. The rest of the cast kinda took a backseat. In Platoon everyone from Berenger and Dafoe to Sheen and supporting actors like Keith David and Johnny Depp were quite good.

6: The symbolism in Platoon is less obvious. Even the more stand-out symbols (Dafoe's Jesus Christ pose, Sheen's "son of two fathers", the religious references) are integrated well into the story. In FMJ they tend to leap out.

7: Platoon's ending was better. It wasn't a totally happy ending at all. But it offered a certain sense of hope and optimism. FMJ's attempt at a nihilistic ending was better done by Apocalypse Now (which may be my favorite movie of all time) although I did enjoy the last scene of the Marins walking through all the destruction around them and singing Mickey Mouse.


Thanks for that, Jeff. Awesome post!!

By a massive coincidence I was going to compare the two films you had done, but the other way around -


Full Metal Jacket is better than Platoon because -

1. It seems to me to be more realistic than Platoon, even though I have literally no evidence to back that up. In typical Oliver Stone style, most of Platoon's moments of violence seem to have political or moral messages whereas in real life violence is usually just gratuitous. I think FMJ captures this better.

2. The chaotic cast of characters in FMJ seems to me to be more realistic than the conveniently placed ones in Platoon. I think FMJ captured the element of random chaos better than Platoon, which seems to be almost too tidy in its characterisations (with the good and bad father figures).

3. The first half of FMJ knocks the socks off 99% of films ever made

4. Although the second half of FMJ doesn't grab in the same way, I believe this intentionally encaptures the moral chaos of war (see point 2). FMJ is more raw and fearsome in this respect. And funnier too.

5. Platoon may be a man's films. But FMJ is a man's man's film. (I'm drowning here as you can tell)

6. FMJ seems to me to be more timeless whereas Platoon looks and feels like an 80s film. Maybe that's owed to the casting of Charlie Sheen I don't know, but in that case FMJ did a better job picking lesser known actors.

7. I like Platoon but looking back I am suspicious of the way the characters can broadly be reduced to good guys and bad guys with particular reference to the Barnes and the Defoe character.

In FMJ no-one is by definition good or bad. Everyone is both. I like this because it respects the audience and think that this is the film's greatest achievement.

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Wed Dec 07, 2011 5:31 am
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Post Re: 7 reasons why 'X' is better than 'Y'
Jeff Wilder wrote:
2: Platoon seems more realistic. I can't say this with 100% certainty since I never was in Vietnam (born too late and more likely than not I would have tried to get a college deferment). But based on what I've heard from soldiers who fought there, of the Hollywood takes on Vietnam, Platoon is the most accurate.


I've gotten to know a Vietnam vet over the past few months. Hardcore jarhead. Says oorah at the end Marine commercials.

Couple weeks back I asked him what he thinks the most realistic war film is. His immediate answer was Platoon. Then he paused, got that thousand yard stare...then said, "Yeah...Platoon."


Wed Dec 07, 2011 1:22 pm
Post Re: 7 reasons why 'X' is better than 'Y'
ram1312 wrote:
I've gotten to know a Vietnam vet over the past few months. Hardcore jarhead. Says oorah at the end Marine commercials.

Couple weeks back I asked him what he thinks the most realistic war film is. His immediate answer was Platoon. Then he paused, got that thousand yard stare...then said, "Yeah...Platoon."


Hmmm, I don't know if a hardcore 'Nam vet is the best person to tell. Sounds like a contradiction? Well: anyone who gets that true thousand yard stare is severely shellshocked. I dare to doubt his judgement.
Perhaps he wants Platoon to be the most realistic war film, because it glorifies and honors the soldiers (which is by no means a bad thing), but not in such a patriotic way as ,say, We Were Soldiers.

I apologize in advance if the following is disrespectul to any war vet (It doesn't mean to be). I already experienced extreme physical violence first hand and the total distortion of awareness that comes with it (of course this is just one small part of actually being in a battle, to say nothing of the entire war experience): Long a go I had a severe motorcycle accident (I'm fine now BTW). I can think of at least two movies that do a much better job of portraying that experience: When Tom Cruise gets shot twice in Born on the Fourth of July, and of course the two great battle scenes in Saving Private Ryan. That doesn't make them the most realistic war films - but I went out of Platoon like: "Yeah, O.K. Nam was a bad call, I get it." I went out of the other two movies like "Holy S***! - War is hell for the rest of your life!" (never mind the over-sentimental and ultra-patriotic bits in Saving Private Ryan). But that's just me.


Wed Dec 07, 2011 3:15 pm
Post Re: 7 reasons why 'X' is better than 'Y'
Threeperf35 wrote:
Hmmm, I don't know if a hardcore 'Nam vet is the best person to tell. Sounds like a contradiction? Well: anyone who gets that true thousand yard stare is severely shellshocked. I dare to doubt his judgement.
Perhaps he wants Platoon to be the most realistic war film, because it glorifies and honors the soldiers (which is by no means a bad thing), but not in such a patriotic way as ,say, We Were Soldiers.


Respectfully, sir, I think you might be missing the point a little bit. I think it's obvious that a Vietnam vet (my Dad is one) is going to answer that question in the context of Vietnam. In other words, I'm sure (based on a number of veterans' assesments) that Platoon is most realistic depiction of the Vietnam experience. As you said, a Vet is indeed biased in a sense, and isn't looking for a 100% accurate depiction of battle or guns or terrain, but rather more of a feeling. That's what Platoon seems to get right.

Threeperf35 wrote:
I already experienced extreme physical violence first hand and the total distortion of awareness that comes with it (of course this is just one small part of actually being in a battle, to say nothing of the entire war experience): Long a go I had a severe motorcycle accident (I'm fine now BTW). I can think of at least two movies that do a much better job of portraying that experience:


I want to stress that I certainly don't think you're wrong. At all. As you said, you experienced those movies based on what you've experienced in life. Plenty of vets certainly dislike Platoon. I agree with you that the other two films you mentioned are far more sweeping in their breadth and depth. Platoon, in every way, is a smaller film that those two.


Wed Dec 07, 2011 3:48 pm
Post Re: 7 reasons why 'X' is better than 'Y'
Shade wrote:
Respectfully, sir, I think you might be missing the point a little bit. I think it's obvious that a Vietnam vet (my Dad is one) is going to answer that question in the context of Vietnam. In other words, I'm sure (based on a number of veterans' assesments) that Platoon is most realistic depiction of the Vietnam experience. As you said, a Vet is indeed biased in a sense, and isn't looking for a 100% accurate depiction of battle or guns or terrain, but rather more of a feeling. That's what Platoon seems to get right.


Well that is actually what I was thinking: Platoon seems to be able to get the overall feeling and state of mind of a 'Nam vet right. Not that it depicts the battle experience in the most realistic way (the two examples of sequences in movie I mentioned before definitely do a better job), but very likely the spirit is there. Again: I feel a little bad talking about war vets. Taking the risk of sounding corny: they deserve our utmost respect. I mean it. BTW: my dad was a WWII vet.


Wed Dec 07, 2011 4:29 pm
Post Re: 7 reasons why 'X' is better than 'Y'
NotHughGrant wrote:
7. I like Platoon but looking back I am suspicious of the way the characters can broadly be reduced to good guys and bad guys with particular reference to the Barnes and the Defoe character.


Yea, I think this is what seals the deal for me. In my teenage years I would've said Platoon was better than Full Metal Jacket hands down. It's got the easier story, the riveting battle scenes and the likeable protagonist. However, looking back I can't help but fault it for simplifying everything a bit too much. perhaps Stone never meant it to be so obvious but, c'mon, the "bad" guys sit around, drink beer and listen to country music while the "good" ones listen to rock and smoke dope. Obviously the point is to show the culture shock Stone experienced and how he feels about the 60s counter culture, but the whole message is handled with the subtlety of a jackhammer. The idea that Sheen's character would be torn between Barnes and Elias never really resonates and I think that ultimately hurts the movie in the long run. It's clear who the good guys are, so what's the point?

On the other hand, Kubrick refuses to show anything so simple. Where as Sheen was a nice kid who was equally idealistic and naive, Matthew Modine's character was an absolute jaded smart-ass who wanted to push buttons. He's not an easy guy to get behind but I don't believe that was ever the point. He was the typical, young male soldier who had to prove how much of a man he was by talking about sex and violence. That didn't mean he, nor the other soldiers, weren't affected by what the saw. A lot of people view the film as nihilistic but I think Kubrick deserves more credit than that. Really, I view more as a critique on the expectations of how a soldier is supposed to act. How can we possibly train young kids to kill and expect them to be unaffected by the violence they encounter?

Don't get me wrong, I think both films are very well made. Platoon deserves most of the acclaim it gets. I just think Full Metal Jacket merits more watches. Admittedly I wish Kubrick was a bit more sympathetic towards his characters, but I believe he gave us something far more deep than Stone did.


Thu Dec 08, 2011 8:25 am
Post Re: 7 reasons why 'X' is better than 'Y'
rblount27 wrote:

However, looking back I can't help but fault it for simplifying everything a bit too much. Perhaps Stone never meant it to be so obvious.... but the whole message is handled with the subtlety of a jackhammer.


Stone obvious? Subtle? Have you ever seen an Oliver Stone movie? :)

Subtle is not in the man's vocabulary.


Thu Dec 08, 2011 8:32 am
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Post Re: 7 reasons why 'X' is better than 'Y'
rblount27 wrote:
NotHughGrant wrote:
7. I like Platoon but looking back I am suspicious of the way the characters can broadly be reduced to good guys and bad guys with particular reference to the Barnes and the Defoe character.


Yea, I think this is what seals the deal for me. In my teenage years I would've said Platoon was better than Full Metal Jacket hands down. It's got the easier story, the riveting battle scenes and the likeable protagonist. However, looking back I can't help but fault it for simplifying everything a bit too much. perhaps Stone never meant it to be so obvious but, c'mon, the "bad" guys sit around, drink beer and listen to country music while the "good" ones listen to rock and smoke dope. Obviously the point is to show the culture shock Stone experienced and how he feels about the 60s counter culture, but the whole message is handled with the subtlety of a jackhammer. The idea that Sheen's character would be torn between Barnes and Elias never really resonates and I think that ultimately hurts the movie in the long run. It's clear who the good guys are, so what's the point?

On the other hand, Kubrick refuses to show anything so simple. Where as Sheen was a nice kid who was equally idealistic and naive, Matthew Modine's character was an absolute jaded smart-ass who wanted to push buttons. He's not an easy guy to get behind but I don't believe that was ever the point. He was the typical, young male soldier who had to prove how much of a man he was by talking about sex and violence. That didn't mean he, nor the other soldiers, weren't affected by what the saw. A lot of people view the film as nihilistic but I think Kubrick deserves more credit than that. Really, I view more as a critique on the expectations of how a soldier is supposed to act. How can we possibly train young kids to kill and expect them to be unaffected by the violence they encounter?

Don't get me wrong, I think both films are very well made. Platoon deserves most of the acclaim it gets. I just think Full Metal Jacket merits more watches. Admittedly I wish Kubrick was a bit more sympathetic towards his characters, but I believe he gave us something far more deep than Stone did.


Yes. Looking back I like FMJ for the simple reason it conveys what I think would be the utter confusion of a young man being hauled off to a brutal training camp, and then posted to war.

In Platoon the characters, for better or worse, are rounded personalities who broadly know who they are and why they are. FMJ shows the soldiers-elect basically getting f*cking pulped in training before being released into war like deranged wasps.

It's this that strikes me as more reaslitic than Platoon. The soldiers never really have any idea of what they are really doing, just what they have been told and conditioned to do. Confusing brutality mixed with dark humour then ensues. Modine's speech about "wanting to meet interesting new people from all around the world.......and kill them" seems more honest than Sheen's idealism.

Having spoke to many people who are fighting in Afghanistan now, this seems to be the theme. And as you imply, there is not s single bona fida bad, or good, guy in FMJ. It takes balls to do that in a war film. Or any film.

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Thu Dec 08, 2011 9:35 am
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Post Re: 7 reasons why 'X' is better than 'Y'
V for Vendetta is better than any other comic superhero adaptation from the last decade because -

1. It's the only one that takes a really adult theme. It's easy to have a bad guy, or limited group of bad guys, but a superhero film where an entire government is the adversary is pretty unique.

2. Hugo Weaving lends more charisma to the protagonist than any other superhero from the past 10 years I can think of.

3. Despite its rightwing detractors I actually think it is reasonably politically neutral. It may be anti-Christian to some extent, but it is also broadly libertarian.

4. The themes, for my money, are actually updated from the 80s to the 2020s very well indeed.

5. John Hurt is awesome playing against type as the bad guy.

6. 'V' has a mixture of camp and menace that I think is unmatched. He is equally at home bumbling through poems than he is running people through with knives.

7. It's set in England ;)

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Thu Dec 08, 2011 9:52 am
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Post Re: 7 reasons why 'X' is better than 'Y'
NotHughGrant wrote:
5. John Hurt is awesome playing against type as the bad guy.


How was that "against type"? He played Caligula in I, Claudius and a cold unrepentent murderer in From The Hip.

I'm not a huge follower of Mr. Hurt's work, but my impression is he can get away with playing villains as easily as heroes, which is a nice strength because when you see Hurt on screen, you have to wait and see whether you will be applauding his character or hissing at him.

I would have never pigeonholed him as a "good guy" by default.

====

I will say that I do like V For Vendetta quite a bit, but one difference that I think it suffers compared to other "superhero movies" is that he is always trapped behind the mask and is never allowed to intigrate with society; he is always the outsider. When casting Batman, they generally cast Bruce Wayne and then see how he looks in the suit. I would say that Nolan's Batman features are superior (IMO).


Thu Dec 08, 2011 10:34 am
Post Re: 7 reasons why 'X' is better than 'Y'
NotHughGrant wrote:
V for Vendetta is better than any other comic superhero adaptation from the last decade because -

1. It's the only one that takes a really adult theme. It's easy to have a bad guy, or limited group of bad guys, but a superhero film where an entire government is the adversary is pretty unique.

2. Hugo Weaving lends more charisma to the protagonist than any other superhero from the past 10 years I can think of.

3. Despite its rightwing detractors I actually think it is reasonably politically neutral. It may be anti-Christian to some extent, but it is also broadly libertarian.

4. The themes, for my money, are actually updated from the 80s to the 2020s very well indeed.

5. John Hurt is awesome playing against type as the bad guy.

6. 'V' has a mixture of camp and menace that I think is unmatched. He is equally at home bumbling through poems than he is running people through with knives.

7. It's set in England ;)

While I respect everyone's right to hold an opinion, you're really going into territory that involves my buttons being pushed with this one... :evil:


Thu Dec 08, 2011 4:53 pm
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Post Re: 7 reasons why 'X' is better than 'Y'
johnny larue wrote:
NotHughGrant wrote:
5. John Hurt is awesome playing against type as the bad guy.


How was that "against type"? He played Caligula in I, Claudius and a cold unrepentent murderer in From The Hip.

I'm not a huge follower of Mr. Hurt's work, but my impression is he can get away with playing villains as easily as heroes, which is a nice strength because when you see Hurt on screen, you have to wait and see whether you will be applauding his character or hissing at him.

I would have never pigeonholed him as a "good guy" by default.

====

I will say that I do like V For Vendetta quite a bit, but one difference that I think it suffers compared to other "superhero movies" is that he is always trapped behind the mask and is never allowed to intigrate with society; he is always the outsider. When casting Batman, they generally cast Bruce Wayne and then see how he looks in the suit. I would say that Nolan's Batman features are superior (IMO).


Well I think NHG is pointing to the fact that John Hurt played Winston Smith in 1984 and now in V for Vendetta he's playing the Big Brother character, but I take your point about Mr. Hurt's career.

Incidentally, John Hurt is my favorite actor. God I love his work

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Thu Dec 08, 2011 5:00 pm
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Post Re: 7 reasons why 'X' is better than 'Y'
JamesKunz wrote:
Incidentally, John Hurt is my favorite actor. God I love his work


I can't say who my favorite actor is, but John Hurt definitely is brilliant. Another bad guy role (to further support that he didn't play against type in V for Vendetta) was in The Hit, where he played one of the professional hitmen. Excellent movie. I also loved his short but great scenes in Contact. Always a pleasure seeing this man on screen.


Thu Dec 08, 2011 5:45 pm
Post Re: 7 reasons why 'X' is better than 'Y'
Threeperf35 wrote:
JamesKunz wrote:
Incidentally, John Hurt is my favorite actor. God I love his work


I can't say who my favorite actor is, but John Hurt definitely is brilliant. Another bad guy role (to further support that he didn't play against type in V for Vendetta) was in The Hit, where he played one of the professional hitmen. Excellent movie. I also loved his short but great scenes in Contact. Always a pleasure seeing this man on screen.

He was also pretty good in Jake Speed.


Thu Dec 08, 2011 6:23 pm
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