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December 23, 2012: Episode VII 
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Post Re: December 23, 2012: Episode VII
Episode VII has stiff competition for 2015 already:

Avengers 2
Justice League
Avatar 3
Fantastic 4 reboot

and probably other big films will be announced later for that year so Disney better gets this right to start with !

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Mon Dec 24, 2012 9:49 pm
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Post Re: December 23, 2012: Episode VII
Disney is also behind the Avengers and all other Marvel movies, so it's a cinch that they'll be staggering their releases to avoid competing with themselves.

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Mon Dec 24, 2012 10:22 pm
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Post Re: December 23, 2012: Episode VII
As someone who was sorely disappointed by the Star Wars Prequels, I'm somewhat hopeful these will be good. The Star Wars universe is one of the most fully formed and fleshed out fantasy setting ever imagined - the stories that can be told there are literally endless in scale and scope (as evidenced by the Knights of the Old Republic computer games, which were set 4,000 years BEFORE the Star Wars films). I'm personally hoping for something considerably darker in tone (not necessarily content) than what we've seen previously, say in line with latter Harry Potter movies (that are also essentially aimed at kids but are nonetheless fairly dark in tone only) and of course the only genuinely good Star Wars film: The Empire Strikes Back.


Wed Dec 26, 2012 12:26 am
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Post Re: December 23, 2012: Episode VII
I don't think Lucas deserves all the bashing, I enjoyed the prequels well enough, but it's for the best if the new films go in a different direction, perhaps Disney will take a page from the upcoming Star Trek sequel.


Wed Dec 26, 2012 12:59 am
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Post Re: December 23, 2012: Episode VII
I absolutely think it was "Time" in his mind to sell the rights. I also think there were a lot of factors, including: Money/tax considerations (obviously...I don't care who you are, if you own a business of this magnitude, it is absolutely a consideration...and probably the biggest one), family, a change in attitude, etc.

I am also looking at the future with a smile on my face. Lucas can be "creative director," offering ideas and such, while a new director blends his own take while mixing elements of the past. The best director in my mind, would be someone who "grew up" on the original star wars, while having the tenacity to take what he loved and use that to create something that is his...blending old and new.

Anyway you look at it, Disney is now the "Apple" of the movie/distribution/character world. They own all the Disney characters, theme parks, marvel universe (save Spiderman that Sony paid megabucks for), Pixar, and now Lucasfilm (characters, video games, toys, etc...i know Fox still owns rights to original trilogy for a while). I think we are all safe buying up Disney stock for a while.


Wed Dec 26, 2012 1:07 am
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Post Re: December 23, 2012: Episode VII
iamed77 wrote:
Ugh. I am so tired of commentaries on Star Wars and gratuitous references to "Doctor Who." How about a review for THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH? I've been waiting for the Best Picture reviews to continue, but at this pace I'm thinking it might never happen.


Hello I77.
I feel your pain.
I am getting tired of the Lucas bashing. I get the impression that on one on this forum has any time for Lucas.
I would like to put the following thoughts out there.

I would invite anyone to be please tell me why people are so offended by Lucas.
It can't be the money grabbing thing. I am aware of loads of billionaires out there and they are not as universily hated as Lucas is.
It can't be for his movies. Movies can be easily ignored.

I suspect that there is small amount of jealousy out there.


Wed Dec 26, 2012 6:26 am
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Post Re: December 23, 2012: Episode VII
p604 wrote:
iamed77 wrote:
Ugh. I am so tired of commentaries on Star Wars and gratuitous references to "Doctor Who." How about a review for THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH? I've been waiting for the Best Picture reviews to continue, but at this pace I'm thinking it might never happen.


Hello I77.
I feel your pain.
I am getting tired of the Lucas bashing. I get the impression that on one on this forum has any time for Lucas.
I would like to put the following thoughts out there.

I would invite anyone to be please tell me why people are so offended by Lucas.
It can't be the money grabbing thing. I am aware of loads of billionaires out there and they are not as universily hated as Lucas is.
It can't be for his movies. Movies can be easily ignored.

I suspect that there is small amount of jealousy out there.



I have no beef with George Lucas. In fact I have no opinion of him one way or the other. The six STAR WARS films are fine in their own right, but the amount of energy devoted to them by certain segments of the movie-going public is nothing short of exhausting. Especially to people like myself who really don't care that much.

My point was that I want to know what James thinks about TOM JONES and KRAMER VS. KRAMER and RAIN MAN. I was very excited when he began the series, but he hasn't posted anything since AN AMERICAN IN PARIS almost two years ago. I understand personal commitments may decrease the frequency of such reviews, but every time I see yet another commentary about STAR WARS, I throw up my hands in exasperation.


Wed Dec 26, 2012 10:31 am
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Post Re: December 23, 2012: Episode VII
Newsflash: Berardinelli's tastes skew heavily toward the realm of nerdery (Star Wars, Star Trek, Dr. Who, etc.) and always have. I don't want to be in the habit of bursting bubbles, but know what you're getting into when you read a critic's writings.

As far as I know, there haven't been any big news events relating to Kramer Vs. Kramer lately to merit special attention now over any other time. If JB hadn't written commentary about the big Star Wars-related news at some point, we'd have to send paramedics to his house just to make sure he and his family haven't been kidnapped.

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Wed Dec 26, 2012 1:38 pm
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Post Re: December 23, 2012: Episode VII
Newsflash: I've been reading James' reviews since 1997, so I know what to expect.

He started the Best Picture series and I would like to see him finish the project. That's all I'm asking. STAR WARS and it's associated fanboy culture are more topical and relevant today. I get that. But I hate to burst any bubbles: KRAMER VS KRAMER is a far superior film to STAR WARS and I've wanted to read James' review of it for 15 years. Excuse me for being impatient.


Wed Dec 26, 2012 1:49 pm
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Post Re: December 23, 2012: Episode VII
I think it's a strong performance from Dustin Hoffman but an otherwise unremarkable treatment of the subject matter. To each his own.

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Wed Dec 26, 2012 2:10 pm
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Post Re: December 23, 2012: Episode VII
ardendulou wrote:
The Disney label is a hard one to get past, but there is hope from the first Pirates of the Carribean movie. The right director can make a good mature movie that Disney will green light. I could also point out that Pixar mostly runs Disney productions, or something like that.


If the Lucasfilm acquisition is anything like their Marvel Studios deal they inked two years ago, I wouldn't be surprised if Episode VII opens with the usual Fox fanfare and logo, but with the addage "Distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures" at the end of the credits. (Paramount's deal required that Disney use their logo in the film and marketing materials for The Avengers and Iron Man 3 as well as that $115 million upfront. And if Disney irons out a deal for another Indiana Jones movie with Paramount, I expect a similar result.)

Or like Marvel's post-Paramount sequels, Thor: The Dark World and Captain America 2 where the Disney logo is nowhere to be seen. Just open with the Lucasfilm opening proper.


Wed Dec 26, 2012 4:05 pm
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Post Re: December 23, 2012: Episode VII
If these movies don't open with the extended Fox fanfare and the Lucasfilm logo, that's a dealbreaker.

The extended fanfare has trained my brain for 27 years to expect "A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away..." immediately thereafter. Disney cannot do me like this.

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Wed Dec 26, 2012 4:21 pm
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Post Re: December 23, 2012: Episode VII
When will Disney open the Star Wars theme park?


FWIW, I wouldn't go to Kramer vs. Kramer-land.

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Wed Dec 26, 2012 5:21 pm
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Post Re: December 23, 2012: Episode VII
Awf Hand wrote:
When will Disney open the Star Wars theme park?


FWIW, I wouldn't go to Kramer vs. Kramer-land.


Hello Awf Hand
Why not just rename Disney World as Star Wars Universe


Wed Dec 26, 2012 7:24 pm
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Post Re: December 23, 2012: Episode VII
I'm surprised it took J.B. so long to get around to writing about VII. He warns us: "Expectations can be a bitch. Expect too much in a case like this and disappointment isn't just likely, it's guaranteed," and "Be careful what you wish for. You may get it."

Personally, I don't see the concern here about expectations. To echo what seems to be a common sentiment around the internet, what is the worst that can happen? Disney dumbs down the sequels, includes annoying buffoons for children, and just generally takes a dump all over the Star Wars legacy? Because that cat has left the bag long ago. After the prequels, it is actually impossible for Disney to further lower expectations.

So I say bring it on. In the worst case scenario, we'll get the sequels to the prequels. In which case I might catch it on TV a few years after they come out.

Far more likely though is that Disney will not risk another clunker like the prequels with so much of their money on the line. They paid $4bn for Star Wars, and if I'm not mistaken, that is before spending a cent on production and marketing. That's an average of $1.3bn per movie + all costs before they break even (though I don't know the details of what else that deal includes eg games, TV shows) but the point is that Disney is looking to do Avatar kind of business from the sequels. They will not screw around. They will hire big names: top directors, top actors, top screenwriters. And we will probably get a solid sort of franchise "reboot" which Hollywood has lately perfected the art of. And you know what? That's something worth looking forward to.


Thu Dec 27, 2012 12:19 am
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Post Re: December 23, 2012: Episode VII
I would say that the greatest likelihood is movies that are acceptable but unremarkable. Which would suck.

I'm personally hoping (realistically so, I think) that what we get will be of a similar level of quality to the better Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes. Something not necessarily mind-blowing in their originality, but respectful of the previously established stories while forging their own territory.

And I would suggest to people who think it can't possibly be worse than the prequels... come now. Anybody with a wider than average reference pool for movies knows that there is much worse than the prequels lurking out there.

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Thu Dec 27, 2012 3:50 am
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Post Re: December 23, 2012: Episode VII
Ken wrote:
I would say that the greatest likelihood is movies that are acceptable but unremarkable. Which would suck.

I'm personally hoping (realistically so, I think) that what we get will be of a similar level of quality to the better Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes. Something not necessarily mind-blowing in their originality, but respectful of the previously established stories while forging their own territory.

And I would suggest to people who think it can't possibly be worse than the prequels... come now. Anybody with a wider than average reference pool for movies knows that there is much worse than the prequels lurking out there.

Agreed, at the very least you have to admit the prequels are nowhere near the level of cinematic ineptitude as say the Twilight films.


Thu Dec 27, 2012 3:56 am
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Post Re: December 23, 2012: Episode VII
iamed77 wrote:
Newsflash: I've been reading James' reviews since 1997, so I know what to expect.

He started the Best Picture series and I would like to see him finish the project. That's all I'm asking. STAR WARS and it's associated fanboy culture are more topical and relevant today. I get that. But I hate to burst any bubbles: KRAMER VS KRAMER is a far superior film to STAR WARS and I've wanted to read James' review of it for 15 years. Excuse me for being impatient.


There are reasons the Best Pictures feature got put on the back burner (and the number of ReelThoughts have diminished to 1-2 per month). At first, it was related to the rigors of taking care of an infant. Over the past 15 months, however, it's been because I have been writing novels. I'm currently putting the finishing touches on the second book of a planned trilogy. The first book should see publication in either late 2013 or early 2014. (Depends on whether the publisher wants to wait for the third book to be written before publishing the first one.) It takes an inordinately long time for publishers to turn around a final draft into something that reaches bookstore shelves. More on this as it gets closer to publication and when I'm contractually allowed to write in greater detail about it.

As for the Best Pictures series, I'll probably re-start it at some point but jump around a bit. THE GREATEST SHOW was a stumbling block because I dislike it rather strongly and avoided re-watching it.

As for writing a commentary on Episode VII, you wouldn't believe the number of e-mails I received asking my opinion...


Thu Dec 27, 2012 10:54 am
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Post Re: December 23, 2012: Episode VII
Thanks for the writing the article as it is interesting to surmise what Lucas' reason were for divesting the best cash cow Hollywood has ever invented. I am not sure I would accept the reason that he was worn down by griping and demonizing as Conrad Hilton says in a episode of Mad Men "I have become wealthy enough to be immune to jealousy and criticism" This was the same guy who was condescendingly lecturing Hollywood studios about bias for not giving him a John Carter budget for Red Tails. Even though predictably a period piece with no major stars still has not made it's money back validating the studio position that it was a 20 mil movie not 70 mil which Lucas sunk into it.

I see George Lucas as someone who has succeeded as a merchandiser but has completely bungled the film franchise since The Empire Strikes Back. Why he didn't become a Cubby Broccoli and release new films every few years like Bond with up and coming directors is still a mystery. Why he made prequels that would not have passed the sniff test when he was younger hungrier director in the early 70's makes you wonder if the producing partner he got rid of after Empire was a vital influence in the series to hold Lucas's worst tendencies in check. I am thinking he realized the game has passed him by and he had become like Willie Mays looking old with the Mets and Johnny Unitas stumbling around in the Chargers backfield which would explain Indiana Jones 4. I give him credit for walking off the field and handing the ball to a younger and more creative group rather than being carried off.


Thu Jan 03, 2013 8:10 am
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Post Re: December 23, 2012: Episode VII
Vexer wrote:
I don't think Lucas deserves all the bashing, I enjoyed the prequels well enough, but it's for the best if the new films go in a different direction, perhaps Disney will take a page from the upcoming Star Trek sequel.


ITA. Both in terms of Lucas bashing (to get an idea of some pretty out there hysteria, I recommend The People vs. George Lucas, which is available on Netflix streming.), and in terms of hoping the new films go in a different direction like Star Trek did. The only things they should keep IMO are: the opening title sequence and scroll, even the pan down through the stars would be a welcome call back, and cameos (but cameos only) by Fisher, Ford, and/or Hamill would be great (think Nimoy's appearance in Star Trek.) I could do without another trip to Tattooine especially.


Sat Jan 05, 2013 3:46 pm
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