Amph Can these Hollywood careers be saved? Sarah Jessica Parker

Discussion in 'Archive: The Amphitheatre' started by Nevermind, Feb 29, 2012.

  1. MandalorianDuchess Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 16, 2010
    star 3
    Well, the prequels were a continuation of the work he started with Star Wars, and in their own way they were also vibrant and arresting - though certainly for some people with very strict or specific expectations, nothing he could have done would have been enough.

    I think there's more wit and true ingenuity in the prequels that almost anyone (including "professional" critics) gives them credit for; in their own way they are some of the most beautiful movies of the last 15 years.

    Don't think there's anything else that even comes close, unless you start looking at other independent filmmakers like Woody Allen or Francis Coppola.

    I hope that when Lucas is no longer with us, the people who have been so incredibly cruel to him over the years (even if only in the online forums) will realize how much his genius and visionary talent will be missed - he'll always be remembered as one of the most unique filmmakers of his generation, or any other generation of American filmmakers.
  2. Drac39 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 9, 2002
    star 6
    I don't think anyone has been overly cruel to Lucas. There is reason for anger and hostility towards him. The original classic films that people grew up with have been edited and lessened in quality to match the inferior prequels. Lucas would be as good as gold if he released the original cuts of the films and gave them the reverence they deserve.

    As for the PT. I can take it or leave it really. I like some things about it but the scripts and dialogue are mundane and boring and the special effects become overkill. I think it works as a preface rather than an actual part of the saga.
  3. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    It's a dumb question. Lucas is nearing the end of one of the most successful combined film and business careers since Walt Disney.

    Lucas's billions are based primarily on the commercial value of licensing the Star Wars name. And the long-term value of the Star Wars brand depends on its reputation, which in turn will depend on keeping Star Wars movies in the marketplace.

    Lucas turns 70 in two years. In 12 years, he will probably be dead. What he does during his lifetime is entirely up to him of course, but I think the more interesting question is: what are his plans for the Star Wars licensing brand and Star Wars movies and television for after his death? Does he have a succession plan for the business? Does he plan to hand it over to his children as a family-owned enterprise?

    The more likely solution is that he will sell everything to a major studio or conglomerate. You have to think the biggest contenders would be Disney or Rupert Murdoch's empire. If he does it within his lifetime, I would guess he will do it within the next five or six years. If it were Disney, he could arrange for a giant multi-billion dollar trust for his children and simply pour cash and Disney shares into it and then live out the remainder of his days making his small movies and earning some kind of vast fee as an executive creative consultant to Disney's Star Wars brand.

    This is a critical time for Lucas. If my theory is correct, then one of the reasons he is doing this theatrical run of 3D Star Wars releases is possibly to demonstrate the ongoing value of the brand to prospective suitors for his business. He closes out with the 3D OT, turns 75, and then he either sells the business or feels immortal and goes into production with a new set of Star Wars film. The brand will demand that. Someone will need to make a new series of movies.

    Disney is not making any headway into sci fi on its own and sports three plus decades of high profile flops. Star Wars would neatly solve some of its problems, and Lucasfilm ltd/ILM, etc., could probably be run as something comparable to Pixar, with the licensing effort folded directly into Disney.

    Plus, I'm an old man, but I would love to see a stand-alone Star Wars theme park. That's the only thing really missing from the brand.
  4. Yodaminch Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 6, 2002
    star 6
    I disagree. The 'raped my childhood' being the most obvious. There has been a lot of unnecessary bile aimed at Lucas since the Prequel Trilogy and ever since. And plenty of people hopped on the hate GL bandwagon just because it was popular. When Lucas asked why he should bother making more blockbusters just to get more of that hate, he had a very good point.

    He made movies and he changed existing movies. I still don't get how this is akin to killing your puppy for some fans. First off, he made it. His characters, his property. He financed the bulk of it and went through hell to do it. For that reason alone, I respect his right to change whatever he likes. That said, as the consumer, I have the right not to support those changes financially. That's pretty much the extent of fan's rights. Demanding that lucas do this or do that is a bit much.

    Would I like it if he released blu-ray clean ups of the original trilogy in the original form? Yes. But I'm not about to take hostages and demand he do it either.

    I agree with others, Lucas' career does not need saving.
  5. MandalorianDuchess Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 16, 2010
    star 3
    Well, if "cruel" is not quite the right word, there sure have been a lot of harsh things said about him and/or the prequels - like what you just said about the prequels. I don't think they're "inferior" by any stretch of the imagination - quite the contrary. I think they're deceptively sophisticated, in a way that most kids will probably not appreciate until they're much older. Though it is also clear that some adults don't really get them, either.

    Would I like to see the original cuts of the OT on blu-ray? Well, I certainly wouldn't mind, but I don't see it as being such a HUUUUGE deal, either. I am perfectly happy with having a copy of the films in an HD format. I don't mind the details all that much. They're his movies... simple as that!!

    Perhaps one of these days, you will try looking past the surface of the prequels and actually get to enjoy what lies just beneath. It's actually pretty darn good - but again, many of the "truths" we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view.

    Remember, "your focus determines your reality". ;)

    That's about the only thing on which I agree with you. I do think Lucas will want the SW brand to continue, and hopefully with as much input from his children as possible. Though I'm not sure how attached the Lucas kids are to the SW stuff, creatively speaking. (Yes I do know about one of the daughters writing something for the CW or what not).
  6. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    Which part do you disagree with? I wrote that Lucas is one of the greatest movie moguls since Walt Disney, and that he will eventually die. I assume you agree with that. And then I speculated about what his plans might be for continuing Star Wars after his death:

    1) transfer management/ownership to his children or

    2) sell the business to a third party and then transfer cash and the buyer's stock to his children through estate planning mechanisms.

    With my personal preference on 2. How do you think he will handle transferring the Star Wars brand to new management?
  7. MandalorianDuchess Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 16, 2010
    star 3
    Well, yeah, now that you mention it, I agree with that. ;)

    What I meant was that the part about the theme park was the only thing about which I was very enthusiastic. Everything else is stuff I haven't really spent a lot of time thinking about - I neither agree nor disagree with it, I just haven't really given it a lot of thought.
  8. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    It's something worth thinking about. Lucas has had a great career. When I think about "saving it" I think about his legacy and what happens to Star Wars after his death. I may or may not outlive George Lucas, but if I do I hope that there continues to be Star Wars content.
  9. MandalorianDuchess Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 16, 2010
    star 3
    Well, to some extent, the really important stuff is done. That was the saga, and getting it done the way GL wanted. I'm going to assume that no matter who controls the rights to SW after Lucas is one with the Force, the EU will continue, and possibly even some TV presence, whether it's the CW or some live-action show. And, of course, the merchandising is almost certain to continue for a long time to come.

    Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but hasn't Lucas already pledged to give away about half his net worth to charity after his death? I could have sworn I read something about that.
  10. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    Lucas has given away a lot of money. I'm sure he's one of the country's biggest philanthropists, and I'm sure he'll be even more generous through his estate giving. His four(?) children only need a tiny fraction of his estimated $3 + billion net worth in order to live an extremely high end lifestyle.
  11. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    Lucas was giving away money even before he was rich; most of the cast & crew of ANH received cash bonuses on top of whatever they'd originally contracted for.

    And yeah, this is the "errr we need to fill a spot" name on the list. Lucas' name was going to become immortal the second ANH hit theatres and what, exactly, has the man not accomplished? He's raised several children to apparently successful & happy adulthood, founded what today are the titans of special effects, sounds, and editing, completely changed the direction of what was previously a moribund pair of genres (science fiction and fantasy) and made them centerpieces of American cinema, got incredibly rich yet has never hoarded his money...so, what, getting divorced is his big fail? Putting him in the company of morons like Lindsey Lohan is insulting to say the least.
  12. CloneUncleOwen Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2009
    star 4
    What I'd like to sprinkle on Gary Kurtz wouldn't pass for magic dust.

    I can see why you, as a filmmaker and novelist, are so disgusted. This miserable has-been intellectual rapist
    has, for decades, been pimping his bungled past to anyone who will listen, conveniently leaving out details
    such as his laughable, sophomoric script-meddling and his near-bankrupting of George Lucas.

    George has a succession plan.
  13. MandalorianDuchess Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 16, 2010
    star 3
    How did Kurtz nearly lead GL into bankruptcy? I'm not sure I've heard that one yet...
  14. SithLordDarthRichie London CR

    Chapter Rep
    Member Since:
    Oct 3, 2003
    star 8
    Given that the Live Action Series may not even start filming until he's very old or after he's dead, Star Wars will have a continuation. The EU will exist without him, he doesn't have huge input into most of it anyway.

    Lucas' career has been good, it's more his reputation that needs saving after a Prequel Trilogy that could have been considerably better and a poor Indiana Jones movie for which the blame was largely aimed at him. If indy 5 is a lot better and he stops messing with the original SW movies I think fans will cut him some slack.
    It's clear he made better movies when they were directed by others and he listened more to the opinions of those around him who knew better. Now it seems he has lots of people who tell him what he wants to hear and so the failings of his work can't be rectified as they could in the past by someone better able to fix them. TCW has tried and largely succeeded in rectifying most of the problems the Prequels had (poor character relationships/development mainly) and Lucas had a big hand in the earlier series.

    Lucas himself said in a way he has turned to the Dark Side because he has become the thing he spent his early career fighting against, a powerful studio executive. He's made lots of money and will undoubtedly be remembered, the question is whether he wants it to be for his great early work or his later not-so-good work.
  15. MandalorianDuchess Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 16, 2010
    star 3
    In my experience, it was just a small (but vocal) minority that were unhappy with the prequels and Indy 4. Most of the people I know IRL and have met when I've seen the movies in theaters were very happy with them... especially the younger kids when their parents take them to watch the prequels.

    The vast majority of the critics are older folks who simply don't realize that these movies were aimed mostly at younger viewers, and that for most of its intended audience, the movies work just fine.

    I love the prequels. I love Indy 4, and think it would be a fitting end if they never actually made Indy 5. I don't think anyone who recognizes both the source material that was the main inspiration for these movies, and the fact that they're intended mostly for younger viewers, will ever truly appreciate them for the fun, enjoyable movies that they really are.
  16. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    The production of Empire. Lucas left Kurtz in charge and to say it was a bad move is being nice to Kurtz. :p
  17. Rox Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 24, 2000
    star 6
    I don't think his career needs to be saved by any means. He has had a very lucrative and successful run. I do think that him tinkering with Star Wars has left a bad taste in a lot of peoples mouths but you can't hold that against him. It's his intellectual property the man can do whatever he wants. I know Indy 4 was kind of lame but it wasn't all bad.

    I'm interested in seeing what kinds of projects he produces in the future. Small stuff like Red Tails(which wasn't bad) can turn his "image" around.
  18. Chancellor_Ewok Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2004
    star 6
    I agree. I imagine that he would. Its a little out of date, but I read a book a couple of years ago about the life of George Lucas called Skywalking and one of the things that it talked about was how George recognized fairly early on that he is not business oriented, but he that sought out and hired people who ARE business oriented to manage the money and merchandising side of Lucasfilm, and that he listens to their advice, so yes I would think that in the intervening thirty years they have thought carefully about what happens to Lucasfilm, and to Star Wars, after George Lucas, and have plans in place for when that day comes.
  19. MrZAP Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 2, 2007
    star 5
    I agree very much with this, and I'd like to touch on his reputation if I may. Personally, I've never been very mad at him for the prequels- the only one I dislike overall is II, and even then I still like elements of it- but I'm quite irked by the recuts. I wasn't always; I mean, I think my original exposure to the films was from the 1997 re-releases, which are what made me love them, so there is that. But as I've gotten older, and thought about it more, and I think more importantly become a creative type myself who fancies the idea of being a creative-writer at least part-time, I've soured on the idea. Not just with his special editions- though those are the most prominent examples- but of recuts in general.

    Because as someone who writes myself, and who is also a consumer, I think the most fair- for everyone- solution is to let the writer have as much control over the product BEFORE it is released, at which point they completely lose control over it. They can make sequels or prequels or spin-offs or whatever, but they can't directly alter the original work. It seems self-indulgent to me, when a writer should never be writing for themselves; at least not if they care about being a commercial writer. They need to write for sake of the audience. So it just seems like a no-brainer to me that he should be allowed to have as much influence as he wants until release, but none after. It's fair to let him (or her) try to fulfill their creative vision, and so maybe if they want to delay the release they should be allowed to. Obviously this is all easier for literature than it is for film and television, because it's cheaper, but I don't think it's justifiable to change the rules either. But then, after the final product is released, just sit back, take your money, and let the fans enjoy it. Please.

    For me at least, it is this blatant disregard for this from Lucas that draws my ire. A Director's Cut is justifiable in certain situations, if the film was cut in a way that the director had no control over, but that wasn't ever Lucas's situation. He almost seems to be tinkering for the sake of it, which to me at least is just stupid.

    I'll never say he "raped my childhood" or whatever because I think that's sensationalist jargon and at the end of the day, it is just a bunch of movies. And I can't really justify attacking his near carte-blanche control of the prequels either since I'm in favor of the auteur idea myself. And there's plenty that I have to be thankful to him for. But that doesn't mean he's infallible, and I am absolutely unhesitant to call him out on something I think he deserves to be called out on, whether I'm simply a fan or not
  20. MandalorianDuchess Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 16, 2010
    star 3
    This idea seems so ludicrous, I don't even know where to begin... as far as I know, writers have ALWAYS had some freedom to revisit their writings, and many books are frequently updated or otherwise altered and presented in new editions. I'm not saying that this happens with a lot of books, just that it seems like a fairly frequent practice that has been used for almost as long as books have existed, to the best of my knowledge. If the author thinks it is pertinent, and the publisher doesn't have any reason to object, then why on Earth can some creative mind not update their own work? Ridiculous, imho.

    Lucas really had no control over the limitations of the technology at the time of filming some of the stuff; and there are also other cases where he simply may have had a change of mind for whatever reason. But, more importantly, he has total control over the movies because he owns them, and in the case of every one but the first one, he financed them largely with his own money. So he has every right to make changes to them, if he so desires. To argue otherwise seems absolutely ludicrous to me.

    And I may not always agree with every change that's been made; I may wish that the original cuts of the movies were more easily available... but at the end of the day, that doesn't deter or diminish my appreciation for the overall saga, in any way whatsoever.

    I think fans in general should be more appreciative with the stuff Lucas has done, if you don't like it then don't watch it, but otherwise please don't argue that independent filmmakers shouldn't have the right to make changes to their works. The very notion seems positively un-American to me. We have always lived in a society that cherishes individual freedoms. Lucas can make changes to his movies, those who don't like them can opt to not watch them or not buy them. Everyone has their own right to enjoy their respective freedom, imho.
  21. MrZAP Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 2, 2007
    star 5
    First off, I already don't buy the recuts. You're not suggesting I do anything I don't already do. I'm certainly not seeing the 3D re-releases. But- and this may sound arrogant; I don't really care- the fact that they exist at all is offensive. I don't care about making him say sorry or undoing what he's already done, because making him do the former is stupid and childish and he can't for the latter. I would like him to stop all future efforts, however. And the fact that he owns them really doesn't meany anything to me whatsoever. This doesn't apply only to Lucas and Star Wars, but for all creators, and obviously this doesn't just include visual media like film, television, and theatre, but also includes works of literature. Once it is released as a finished product for the audience, it becomes the property of the audience, at least in spirit; I obviously have no objections to the creators receiving hard-earned money for their work, nor their right to have a say in future derivatives from the work like sequels and so on. I think of it as a kind of Finished Product Clause or something of that nature, because as mentioned I usually highly prize the right of the creator to do their thing.

    As for Lucas in particular and his inability to control technologies of the time; I don't have a problem with it. I think that counts as not having full control, since I believe he really did think it could have been better. I don't think he should have needed to do SO MANY new cuts- he should've just waited until he could do all of the changes, and then done so once- but I get the business perspective of wanting re-releases and so on and don't fault him for it. It's for narrative changes where he clearly just changed his mind that I have a problem. He can't just keep changing the story itself.

    Personally I appreciate Lucas a lot. He's responsible for one of my favorite franchises after all, of which I'm a huge fan. I value his contributions from when he first came up with the original idea, to when Episode III was released and beyond, even though I don't agree with every decision made along the way. And I like 5 out of 6 of the films overall, and the one I don't like still has elements I like. I think he's done a rather good job and I give credit where credit is due. But that has to go both ways, for things I like and things I dislike. He seems to very much want to be an auteur, and have as much control as possible to make it as close to his visions as he can. Fine by me, at least in theory. But having full control means you really do have to take the blame for things when they go bad.

    I know this is going on rather long, but I feel I should address this directly.

    I really do want ALL writers of works (notice how I've been trying to avoid talking specifically about film as much as possible) to have as much control as possible in their work. I said before that I write myself, and I would be remiss in saying otherwise, because I know my writing style, and it is very exacting and meticulous, and I craft stories in a way that they simply shouldn't have a word changed or put out of place. I don't consider myself the kind of person who would be able to bear being a hypocrite. So I'm very, very supportive of all writers who want their stories told, and want all the steps taken to do that. It's just that I think the time where a writer is creating a work has a specific beginning and a specific end, and you shouldn't try to fudge the end. If it wasn't as good as you wan
  22. SithLordDarthRichie London CR

    Chapter Rep
    Member Since:
    Oct 3, 2003
    star 8
    The originals were aimed at kids too, but they were a lot better and critically acclaimed (at least they are now). I don't see why you can't make a kid's movie and have it be good, Pixar do it all the time.
  23. MandalorianDuchess Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 16, 2010
    star 3
    That's exactly what the problem is, imho. You'd be all for taking away the artist's freedom to do what they wish to do with their works. So from my point of view, you're coming from a point of view where it would be OK for audiences (among others) to take away creative freedom from those who make their living from their creative work.

    I don't think there's anything wrong with voting with one's wallet, obviously.

    But other than that, I don't believe for a minute that anyone (studios, producers, or armchair critics) should have the right to intervene with an artist's creative control (although there are a few cases where a studio or financier does have some legal right to insist on certain things, such an agreed-upon running time or MPAA rating).

    In the past, those who felt they had a greater right than the artist's right to creative freedom have been responsible for all kinds of disasters, from the butchering up of Erich Von Stroheim's "Greed" to destroying the original ending of Orson Welles' "The Magnificent Andersons", to cite two of the most obvious examples.

    So I guess on that point we can only agree to disagree.

    ...and many of us think those movies are good movies. And many of the kids who watch them think so, too. It's generally just a few critics (mostly in their 30s and 40s) who don't like them, for whatever personal reason or bias, imho.
  24. Penguinator RPF Modinator and Batmanager

    Manager
    Member Since:
    May 23, 2005
    star 6
    MrZAP, are you talking about the "death of the author" concept?
  25. Nevermind Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 14, 2001
    star 6
    Eddie Murphy

    Career high points: "Beverly Hills Cop", "Dreamgirls"

    Career low points: "Dr. Doolittle 2", "Meet Dave"

    "How to fix it: There's a common theme here with many of the people on this list, that the best way to repair a career is to relinquish some control to collaborators. Tom Cruise is Tom Cruise because he continually takes chances on directors, picking them because they seem like they will be a challenge or because they do something he's never done before, and it's kept him relevant and allowed him to pull himself out of career tailspin repeatedly. Eddie Murphy's so controlling that he doesn't even shoot wide shots in public for his movies anymore, preferring to have his head digital added to a stand-in's body. His best recent work was in "Dreamgirls," where he trusted Bill Condon, and that trust paid off in a major way. He needs to do more of that, and he should look closely at how Alan Alda, his "Tower Heist" co-star, reinvented himself after "M*A*S*H*" as a world-class prick, something that's served him well for decades now. Murphy could have a very different career in drama if he was willing to go dark, and the right director could finally get him some of that critical acclaim he says he doesn't care about, but which he so obviously does."

    - Drew McWeeney

    The word is that his latest movie "A Thousand Words" is a real bomb.

    It's too bad; in the two movies that he moved beyond his loud-mouthed hipster persona--the first "Nutty Professor" and "Bowfinger", Murphy was quite good. But like a lot of modern comics, he has trouble showing emotion in his roles. We're tired of your old schtick, Eddie. Move on.