Down in Front: - This week, SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD.

Discussion in 'Fan Films, Fan Audio & SciFi 3D' started by Teague, Apr 6, 2009.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
Moderators: AdamBertocci
  1. Teague Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 9, 2006
    star 4
    Hey folks. Some of you might recall a show called Geekza that Chris Hanel and I started a couple years ago, which had evolved into an entirely different beast by as recently as a few months ago. We'd get together over a live Talkshoe audience and discuss various aspects of pop culture through the geek filter, and good times were had by all. Some of the Geekza episodes that people enjoyed the most were in the style of commentaries, where we'd pick a movie, sync up the MP3 with the DVD, and play forth, having a rousing conversation about the film in perfect sync with the film in question.

    Well. Jones is dead. I killed him. Most of the regular listener types know this.

    A while back, apropos of nothing, it seemed, we dropped a commentary track for Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Another college try from a few bored folks looking to relive their glory days, perhaps? Their glory days of, you know, a couple months ago? :cool: Not quite.

    Since Geekza's demise, we've been up to no good behind the scenes - snatching up snazzier equipment, planning a PR attack on the world, and our subsequent domination of it - with a brand new show devoted entirely to commentaries. Teague "Fig" Chrystie, Michael "Dorkman" Scott, Brian Finifter, and Trey Stokes - responsible for three of IGN's ten favorite fan films of all time - reviewing and discussing movies for your enjoyment, your sexual release, and your iPod.

    Right now we're in what I call "beta," where we're only announcing the show on a very few sites, waiting to see if anyone finds a kink in the chain or anything like that. In a couple of weeks, we're going to do our best to get the world's attention, and we'll take all the help we can get, so if you enjoy the show, please swear your undying allegiance to us, because we can use you.

    In the meantime, check out the site, subscribe in iTunes, and pop in a DVD - we have to apologize in advance, because we love to start these things off with a depressing bang. As such.

    The Phantom Menace commentary is available now!
  2. VaporTrail Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 19, 2002
    star 6
    Fig is his own energy drink.
    You guys are fun to listen to, it's like a professional radio show.


    You're totally right about the lightsaber reveal, too. Oh, if only we could change the prequels.
    EDIT: Did you have an audience in the background?
  3. bobaandy123 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 21, 2005
    star 3
    But can it power an aircraft carrier?

    :D
  4. ShadowDuelist Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 21, 2006
    star 4
    Heh, I got sort of tangentially mentioned, even though you got it all wrong. Heres a quote of my post:

    Still, it's cool you remembered that. Anyway, do more, it was fun to listen too.
  5. Vidina Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 11, 2006
    star 4
    Couldn't find it in iTunes, so I'll wait for it. I usually tune in on some podcast every night to fall asleep to(nothing bad meant), and my iPhone is what I'm using, and since I couldn't find you, you'll have to wait for my tune in.

    Great using TPM for a first one though, I'm anxious to see what you guys thought of it, in real time :p I'll definitely subscribe to it, once it's released on iTunes.

    If you've already launched it there, I'm not finding anything on you guys, searching for "Down in Front". I find all sorts of things, but not you guys.
  6. Teague Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 9, 2006
    star 4
    We're not indexed on iTunes yet, but you can certainly subscribe to us. There are instructions at the bottom of the TPM post. :D
  7. Teague Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 9, 2006
    star 4
    Starship Troopers, anyone?

    Little known fact - Trey was the freaking creature animation supervisor for this movie. Oh yeah. You do want to listen to this.

    The RSS feed is acting up a bit, so this'll auto-load into your iTunes sometimes tonight or tomorrow, if you'd rather wait for the world to make good on it what it clearly owes you instead of downloading it right now. But why would you?

    Enjoy. [face_dancing]
  8. TrowaGP02a Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 24, 2004
    star 4
    You know what, I'm totally doing this tonight.
  9. VaporTrail Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 19, 2002
    star 6
    Weren't the creature effects in this movie a pretty big deal when it came out? Not sure about awards or anything, but I remember at least seeing stuff about it on TV way back when.

    I'll try to give it a listen.
    I don't have a copy of it handy (which I totally should, DVD's only $5), but I've seen it enough to follow along like I did with TPM.
  10. Teague Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 9, 2006
    star 4
    It's weird how well these work as stand-alone discussions of the movies in question.

    Lemme know how it goes, free-heading and all.
  11. MasterZap Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 11, 2002
    star 4
    Starship Troopers is one of my favourite movies, and I just don't get the people that didn't "get" it, but I assume it's kinda like a corrolary to Poe's Law... i.e. that there is no satire so "obvious" that you don't need to spell it out to at least some people.

    /Z
  12. DorkmanScott Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 6
    The problem is that it isn't like Starship Troopers is a movie that's so over-the-top that it can be "obvious."

    Armageddon came out the next year, and I think you would be hard-pressed to demonstrate that Troopers was "obviously" more ridiculous an action movie than Armageddon. Ditto Face/Off, Con Air, Volcano, Alien: Resurrection, The Jackal, or Anaconda, which all came out in '97 with Troopers. Not to mention the mother of all unintentional farces, Batman & Robin.

    None of those movies were being absurd "on purpose," but they were all pretty absurd. So when Starship Troopers is exactly the same level of absurd in a year like that, how is it supposed to be "obvious" that this is the one out of the lot that's doing it intentionally?

    I would say that the appropriate corollary to Poe's Law would actually be "It is impossible to make a straight-faced satire of Hollywood action movies so ridiculous that it cannot be mistaken for the real thing." Especially in hindsight, as Starship Troopers seems pretty straightforward compared to the ludicrous things that characters say and do in action movies now.

    EDIT: Also, as Fig pointed out, these commentaries actually have very few occasions where you would have to be watching the film to understand what we're talking about. For the most part we actually say what's happening before using it as a launching point of discussion. So if anyone out there is hesitant to get on board because they don't really have two hours to re-watch a movie, I don't think it's strictly necessary. As long as you're generally familiar with the film, the conversations mostly hold up on their own.
  13. bobaandy123 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 21, 2005
    star 3
    I've listened to both standalone. Both were very funny and made sense even without the movie.
  14. FX_guy Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 7, 2002
    star 3
    Don't forget The Last Action Hero, a movie that mocked other action movies, including itself.

    It too had a hard time making fun of the silly cliches of the action genre, many audiences seemed to assume it was just another cliched action movie, and it bombed. Of course, its competition at the boxoffice that summer was Jurassic Park, and that probably didn't help.

    I think Zap's right, it's sort of a Poe's Law corollary... it's hard to make an action movie deliberately dumb enough to be dumber than the movies that were meant to be taken seriously.
  15. DorkmanScott Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 6
    See, that's one that I find myself not comprehending how people couldn't understand it's a satire -- because unlike Troopers, it was making constant winks to the audience.

    The incoherently angry (black) police chief demanding his badge, Ahnold's acknowledged invulnerability, "There's always a guy in there," the kid knowing and calling out for us the predictable plot twists five scenes in advance. Danny DeVito played a cartoon cat! If Troopers had had a sense of clear self-awareness like that, then I would understand Zap's insistence regarding the obviousness of its satirical nature.

    Considering the box office bombitude, though, I think the real issue is that most people never even bothered to walk through the theatre door to watch LAH, only seeing that it starred the Governator and was directed by McTiernan, writing it off and thus never discovering that it was certainly supposed to be ridiculous.

    While on the subject, we should totally do a Last Action Hero ep.
  16. VaporTrail Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 19, 2002
    star 6
    I think the propaganda messages are the most satirical part of the movie. The story on it's own seems to be taking itself pretty seriously.

    The attitude and culture of the military in general is a reflection of the propaganda, but as much as we know the ads are all full of it, so do they ("Just doin' my part"), but they still seem to believe in the underlying message.

  17. elemental_fantasy Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 6, 2006
    star 4
    Great commentary!! I actually learned a bit from listing to it. That was funny and it made things a bit more enjoyable while watching TPM! lol
  18. MasterZap Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 11, 2002
    star 4
    You don't agree that there is a distinct difference in tone? There is to me.

    But let me acknoweledge that our own outlooks colour our perception;
    I'm a humorous witty guy. Pretty much every sentence I type should be taken with a nudge-wink and a snicker. Since text is an imperfect medium, I've learned through (painful) experience to add smileys everywhere to indicate this.

    Movies are a more high-bandwidth medium than text, with facial expressions, body language, etc. to set tone in a myriad of ways. Maybe it's just me, but I see sarcasm in so many things ;)

    Well, first of all, I'm not so sure Armageddon is meant as seriously as you seem to think. I see a bit of "nudge wink" there as well. Not to the extent that it is a "parody" or "satire" in any way, but it is making a bit of fun of itself, and I have always painted that as intentional, not accidental. It's a fun romp, and taken as such, quite nice. Taken "seriously", it's a bad movie.

    These are much more clearly intended seriously. On a continuum, you would have Starship Troopers in the "satire" corner, Armageddon somewhere in between, and these towards the other side. All IMHO.

  19. Teague Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 9, 2006
    star 4
    So you both think the same thing about both movies. Zap finds both funny offhand, and Dorkman thinks they're both acceptably summer-movie-realistic.

    Hm.
  20. DorkmanScott Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 6
    Irony and sarcasm depend somewhat on the "words" being used, so to speak, particularly as they relate to the context in which they're being said.

    If your grandma is in the hospital and very sick, and you ask me how she's doing, in my mind the sarcastic response would be "she's almost ready to run that marathon," or something else that is obviously untrue and absurd. It doesn't even require a smirk or body language, it's obvious sarcasm.

    Contrast that with "she's dead," which besides being in awful taste is too close to the possible truth to be "obviously" sarcastic. Body language and smirking won't necessarily help there -- it might just make the person assume that she's dead AND you're being a jerk about it.

    The problem with Troopers (and Armageddon, if we grant that it's a satire and I'm not sure that I do), is that they're too close to the "possible truth" of their context.

    A good example of a smirkless yet obviously sarcastic action film is Team America: World Police. You could argue that the "smirk" is the fact that it's done with puppets, but I would argue that it's actually done almost completely straight-faced with puppets. It's not a smirk, it's a context. Put live actors in those roles and it would be almost indistinguishable from any Bruckheimer flick (and as Trey will no doubt be about to point out, legend has it they originally wanted to remake Armageddon shot-for-shot with puppets, bringing this whole convo together with a pretty bow).

    Really, everything the South Park guys they do with an almost completely straight-face, it's the context in which they do it that makes the satire obvious. They're a good example of how to do it right, IMO.
  21. FX_guy Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 7, 2002
    star 3
    I believe The Day After Tomorrow was also under consideration, for the same reason. Tho I don't know that firsthand, obviously that was long before I was part of the project.

    My $0.02, I don't actually think Armageddon has a lot of self-mockery in it, I just think it's Bay's style to make everything as big as it can get, from the explosions to the emotions to the number of angles he uses to cover a simple dialog scene.

    While sometimes I find it ridiculous how far he'll go with something... I have to admit other times it actually works. But I'm pretty sure he's not putting us on. I suspect he means it.

    The current viral hit Michael Bay Cereal on the other hand, that's mockery. ;)
  22. VaporTrail Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 19, 2002
    star 6
    I'm on the fence with regards to The Core.
  23. elemental_fantasy Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 6, 2006
    star 4
    Just curious, you guys were being somewhat sarcastic in TPM commentary? ---- like --- the bad guys didnt do anything wrong??? Why they went back to the palace?

    But as I previously said, it was funny and VERY insightful, though I like TPM, it was cool to hear a real commentary track by real people. And Mike Scott, dude, ROTFL!!! I would love to hear a EP2 and EP3 commentary from all you guys! Actually, I think Mike would be GREAT doing a single Angry Armageddon commentary! :D
    And great comments on Alderan coverage. I thought the same thing...

    I still havent seen starship troopers. Parts, but was never into that kinda Genre.
  24. FX_guy Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 7, 2002
    star 3
    Uh, no?

    I asked the question at the exact moment it occurred to me. The movie was nearly over, and I hadn't seen the supposed "bad guys" do anything worse than walk around and scowl. I honestly wanted to know if anybody could name an actual "bad" thing they had done. As I recall, nobody could.

    So if Ep One is supposed to be setting up the world of SW for us, then apparently Star Wars is about bureaucrats who talk about maybe doing something someday, and crazed murderers called Jedi who travel from planet to planet hacking things to bits, because they clearly believe they're above the law.

    I'm not sure that's what George was going for, though. :)
  25. MasterZap Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 11, 2002
    star 4
    I don't disagree, but... I dunno how to put it. To me, the total gung-ho attitude of the people in Starship Troopers, and their total oblivious attitude to the how propagandist the propaganda sounds, down to the chiseled jaws and, heck, the whole air of it... *is* that context of which you speak.

    I know, I know - seriously meant movies has been made which have just as stupid behaviour, just as stupidly good looking unrealistic people (fantastic 4, anyone?), but... I dunno. There's something about the tone. I dunno, I can't really explain what it is, in words. It's just the whole careless attitude of everyone to events (and when they are supposed to care, the overacted melodrama thereof) that does it for me. I dunno. I can't really explain it, but to me it's plain.

    I don't think Armageddon is satire exactly in the same way as Troopers are; Troopers is a political commentary on fascism and how it is bad (amusingly, the film was accused of promoting exactly that by the "don't get it" crowd, sigh), whereas Armageddon is just your run of the mill action flick, that "doesn't take itself too seriously" at parts, with a bit of nudge-wink attitude towards the audience. IMHO. (Obvious things that comes to mind is the whole bruce willis shotgun-on-the-oilrig hunt sequence, or just the launch bit itself, complete with two spaceshuttles doing roll manouvers within feet of eachother, LOL).

    To me, Armageddon winks at itself, whereas Deep Impact (one "possible truth") does not.

    Is it the fault of the sarcastic film that other non-sarcastic films (that are eerily similar) have been made? I think not.

    Let me ask you this; Did you think Snakes on a Plane was intended to be sarcastic? And was it successful in portraying that it was what it was?

    I think Team America is a good example of a similar film to Troopers; it is equally a political commentary, as well as a commentary on the genre itself (which Troopers isn't, to the same extent, it is not a "genre joke" like Last Action Hero is).

    Yes, being done with puppets does help the casual viewer "get" it's a comedy, but I think the same movie, played live action, would probably read just as well as the satire it is. Yes, the puppets help drive it home even for the dense ones, but most normal people would get it anyway, methinks.

    I think it would; there would still be a tonal difference. Man, I can't explain why, I just feel it. Perhaps coz I'm a comic genius?



    But day after tomorrow is not satire. Perhaps doing it with puppets would somehow put the focus on some implausibilities in the plot, but I'm not sure it would even be funny. (I actually hold Day After Tomorrow as one of my favourite movies as well, but I do not consider it in the slightest a satire of anything, or even attempting humor.)

    Well, I think you give Bay less credit than he
Moderators: AdamBertocci
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.