General Q&A, Thoughts Opinons, about the style and direction of epic fantasy films

Discussion in 'Archive: The Amphitheatre' started by Glockenspiel, Aug 31, 2002.

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  1. Glockenspiel Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2002
    star 1
    I didn't want to start a pure LOTR discussion thread, but rather open a thread where to discuss styles of these fantasy film trilogy movie things, maybe help answer why directors do certain things, I'd like to know. But this thread is reserved mostly for gripes or ranting on things you don't like, maybe more in general about fantasy filmmaking. And no, this isn't a thread for sixth grading trolls to make stupid remarks on how a film sucks or kicks ass or comment on better and worse, this is for people who like the films but are confused or dislike the way things are done, and maybe others can clarify it or put a different spin or view. I'll start saying I like the movies of course but here's what I don't like or understand.

    Horror movie scaled violence as opposed to realistic violence. A director will have a hero go beserk and chop limb after limb off the bad guy until finally decapitation, but oh sorry, were not allowed to have one of the main villians (Saruman) get his throat slashed as in the novel, so instead he must be pushed off a high tower and fall to his doom upon a spike, like in the billion other movies ever made. Why? Why can't stuff like this simply mimic the book and be done with it instead of over dramatizing it until it becomes insulting? And then you can feel it coming. The pusher will say his hip to the times action line before sending the pushee to his doom. "You are the weakest link. Goodbye!."

    Making the sidekicks so dimwitted and moronic. I bet this goes further back than Jar-Jar Binks or Peregrin Took, back to the days William Shakesphere or some ole' playright is responsible for starting the trend of adding in unecessary 'comic characters' to deter from the myth. Homer never had any characters in his Odyssey that "made with the yuk yuk", why do directors think the audience need them? Is our tale boring to you? Does our tale make you bored baby, why not some s***s and giggles baby, yeah!

    Why are the soundtracks so overused and bad? Milk the bovine a little more would you please, I need calcium! Attack of the Clones has a small portion of "Duel of Fates" or my name for it Darth Maul Theme! , but...there's no dueling of any kind going on?! The jet bike scene is confusing, you need such intense music for a half a minute scene in which Anakin consults a Jawa? Even worse, FOTR had two songs used again and again and again almost until it parodied the whole production, do we have to hear chanting every time Nazgul approach to know these dudes are evil and dangerous? It gets kind of silly. Then the hero music kicks in and it becomes "cow tippingly silly." Heros do heroic deed. Hercules: The Legendary Adventure starring Kevin Sorbo kicks in. Heros do heroic deed. Hercules: The Legendary Adventure starring Kevin Sorbo kicks in. This goes on, mind you, until your friend or random stranger embarrases the hell out of you by sarcastically going DA DAD DA DA DADADA NANANANANANANANA DADADAAAAA followed by snickering by a whole lot of folk. wouldn't expect people to take a story involving monsters or aliens, little people or laser swords, words like Elf and Jedi with the utmost seriousness... but can't the soundtrack just 'shut it' for a while and let the actors or atmosphere provide the emotional feel? They do it stuff like Godfather, Braveheart, Seven Samurai. Maybe because it's fantasy that attitudes like "oh this can be cheesy, hey it's just fantasy." arise? Well don't by golly! Don't!
  2. Mastadge Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 1999
    star 7
    The biggest problem with most fantasy films are that the directors do more than play it safe: they play it with a grain of salt. They make a movie, but during it they keep winking at the audience as if to say, "It's okay, you don't need to take it seriously, it's only a fantasy movie." The good ones are the ones that DO take themselves seriously.

    And, for me, Conan the Barbarian is the best fantasy movie yet, eclipsing Lord of the Rings. And you'd probably like it, too -- perfect music, and the bad guy is not merely throat-slit, but actually decapitated by the hero at the end!

    Yes, fantasy films have the ability to be good once they get rid of the campy attitude. There are two things, though, that drive me nuts:

    Excessive CGI: It is my opinion that CGI should be used to augment special effects, or do what COULD NOT be done without it. When possible, though, "real" effects look more, well. . .real than CGI effects, even if they are somewhat more expensive.

    Action: A big problem in today's world of quick cuts and all is that the action suffers. Extreme closeups, and cameras angling all over the place at extreme speed, don't help an action scene. They hurt it. It's cool when used with moderation, but for the most part the camera should pull back and let us see the actors moving in longer sequences; show us that they can actually move and fight. Lord of the Rings, Gladiator, and Blade II all made use of different but similar techniques that allowed actors to not really have to know what they were doing, and even if they did, we couldn't tell because of all the CGI and wacky camera stuff.
  3. DARTHPIGFEET Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jan 24, 2001
    star 4
    Well it's taken me 3 years to write my first book which is part of a epic fantasy trilogy. I really want to get it published but most of all I want it to be made into a film.

    I think it's an awesome story and it goes very deep into action, drama, and horror. Anyway if it is made into a film this is the following rules that I would insist on

    1. Shot completely digital. The things in my stories require lots of complex shots and scenes which would be cost prohibative with film.

    2. Only use CG on scenes and characters which can blend both CG along with life action together without knowing the difference.

    3. Lots of Bluescreen to create epic long shots and to create detailed background which couldn't be made on the set.

    4. NO AND I MEAN NO quick/jerky/bad lighted scenes. I want my audience to be able to see what is going on in the frame and not wonder. You can build tension just as good without using quick close up shots, rather quick medium shots.

    5. Keep the movie going and don't dwell on issues and situations. Just keep moving and keep the pacing constant and not slow down.
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