Getting Desensitized to Epic Films


#1

Is it just me or is everyone else starting to feel less excited when watching an Epic style films these days.

Are we having to much of what used to be a good thing?

Just got back from the movies, watched The Last Samurai.
I was sitting there almost to the point of falling alseep waiting for a good part to come. And that was During the Big final Battles towards the End.

I just had no interest in it.

I think the Lord of the Rings Films made me desensitized to any battles with no more than 400,000 soldiers all running at each other.

We been getting to many of these types of movies lately and many more are comming.

Hollywood is making good use out all this CG craze.

For the first time in my life I feel like watching a cheesy drama love story with no one getting killed.


#2

big battles look cool but storywise they lack somewhat lotr was cool and all but there wa sno real final conforntation good vs evil everythings resolved type thing i suppose if sharky was in that would have been it but he wasnt so it isnt lol i like how the matrix handeled it u have the big final fight 1 on 1 which is how all great fights are

anywho i think studios have a formula for epics and that leaves them slightly stale nowadays


#3

Originally posted by commy
[B]big battles look cool but storywise they lack somewhat lotr was cool and all but there wa sno real final conforntation good vs evil everythings resolved type thing i suppose if sharky was in that would have been it but he wasnt so it isnt lol i like how the matrix handeled it u have the big final fight 1 on 1 which is how all great fights are

anywho i think studios have a formula for epics and that leaves them slightly stale nowadays [/B]

It’s called punctuation, it can be your friend.


#4

unless uve a point dont post its hardly a secret that i cant type for toffee and dont use punctuation in my posts if it bothers u so much send me a pm otherwise dont post


#5

I see what SuperMax is saying, and like with all film trends he’s right. You always get a lot of “me too’s” after something works.

It’s hard to really call anything epic after LOTR. I mean, 9+ hours of story. That’s epic, and they didn’t appear to scimp on anything.

I enjoyed the Last Samuria, but it did feel somewhat “lesser” then epic. Especially after having seen RotK the week before. I watched the Patriot(Braveheart 2) last weekend, hadn’t seen it since it came out years ago, and it felt pretty strong in the “epic” sense. Some of it just depends on whether or not you can get into the story, and your enthusiasm for the film when you sit down to watch it. In other words, if you think you’ll be bored and nothing can compare to LOTR epic-ness, you probably find yourself being bored.


#6

The format for a lot of epic films is very formulaic, so in following those usually set-in-stone aspects, your audience is not going to be surprised by the outcome very often.

So you need to throw some surprises in along the way, and if you don’t do it in an engaging fashion, your epic can only be judged on whether it at least seemed bigger or more fx-filled than the last epic.

I think coming up with those surprises works much better than simply fx-ing things up, but that doesn’t seem to be the general trend. I mean, I skipped SPIDEY in the theatre on the basis of how the CG looked, but when I finally saw it on DVD, I was able to overlook (for the most part) how non-credible that whole aspect was, because I actually enjoyed the live-action to some degree. The fx totally failed any suspension-of-disbelief test, but I liked the movie regardless (same thing could be said about the old Quatermass movie 5 MILLION YEARS TO EARTH, or THE MAN WITH THE X-RAY EYES for that matter, so in this instance it isn’t just an anti-CG rant … I can always save that for another thread, one that focuses on the MISuse and OVERuse of CG when a more traditional methodology would be more effective.)

GLADIATOR had some not so hot moments in the FX dept (and in the hysterical editing and too-trendy shutter speed depts as well), but for me it overcame that on many other aspects, the more meat&potatoes ones that seem to sometimes get shunted aside in favor of bigger and cooler fill in the blanks.

But most large scale pics seem enslaved by the formulaic approach, so you get movies that play out the way most TV used to … 5 minutes in, you know who is going to be revealed as the bad guy and just twiddle thumbs waiting for the next big set piece sequence, sort of like a Roger Moore Bond movie where the setpieces are pretty much all there is to recommend (or to stick around for.)

As for epic kinds of movies that worked on their own w/o overreliance on gimmicks, I guess I’d think of pics that may be a little on the small side. GLORY was a well-told, well-shot tale, not terribly innovative but IT FELT HONEST.

THE AGE OF INNOCENCE feels like a real epic, and not just when they have a room full of dancers … it feels epic even when you’ve just got two people in a room together, from the art direction and the shooting and the performances.

I still haven’t ever gotten through more than a half hour of PEARL HARBOR or TITANIC, so I don’t know about those. But if you look at an old 60s wwii epic, IN HARM’S WAY, you’d be staggered by the risks they took. Your second lead, Kirk Douglas, who is supposed to be the rogue 2nd hero type under John Wayne, rapes a girl, who I think then commits suicide.

Try selling that today, you’d have all these exec-types saying that you alienate the audience with a move like that. Well, that’s fine, that kind of act SHOULD alienate the audience. But if you tell that story properly, then the fact the audience responds to it means IT IS WORKING – which is more than I can say for a lot of the stuff being done now.

They seem to fail for lack of daring, because market research says, ‘do something different and you alienate x-percent of your audience, and you can’t do that because your movie cost so much you need ALL of the potential audience.’ Well, throw out the background 8000 spaceships (or better still, do them as photo cutouts or in silhouette, nobody’ll see the difference anyway) and you won’t spend as much. Better still, tell the story RIGHT STUFF style with non-stars and you’ll spend a LOT less. But no, stars are ‘protection’ for the investment. Spend 25mil for an actor to guarantee a 20mil opening weekend. I think that 'tude is more about “minimizing loss” than “making profit,” but hey, it ain’t my money, so I guess I shouldn’t bitch anymore about it.

EDIT ADD-ON: since LOTR keeps coming up in this thread, I suppose it needs to be acknowledged. I thought the first one was slow but good in parts (sean bean is AWESOME in just about everything), but TWO TOWERS put me to sleep and I skipped the third one altogether. Now this is a series I was looking forward to, in part due to the director’s committment and passion for it, and STILL it just came off as routine and dragged out to me. Stuff that works wonderfully in MAGNIFICENT 7-style flicks just didn’t engage me emotionally in the slightest here, so maybe the over the top scale Scale SCALE they push in LOTR works AGAINST audience involvement. (The huge cast of thousands stuff in Kubrick’s SPARTACUS right before the big battle DID work for me, but maybe that’s because it had a tangible sense of reality to it, whereas fantasy epics ain’t selling reality.)


#7

Originally posted by commy
unless uve a point dont post its hardly a secret that i cant type for toffee and dont use punctuation in my posts if it bothers u so much send me a pm otherwise dont post

:surprised :surprised :surprised


#8

As far as Last Samurai, seems you were only interested in the battles. Many epics are not about the battles (even if they do have them) but usually they might have lots of talk, story and character development.

made me desensitized to any battles with no more than 400,000 soldiers all running at each other.

Nut that would be wrong. If you had an epic in ancient times, or the Middle Ages, or the Civil War, etc. if you had 400,000 soldiers it would look utterly ridiculous as most of the times clashing armies were smaller.

It’s not about the numbers but how it’s presented.

We been getting to many of these types of movies lately and many more are comming.

I wouldn’t say lately, every year we get a fair share, sometimes more sometimes less. It’s not exactly a trend. Probably the only time was late 60s and the 70s when the focus of movies changed. But we’ve had them, stuff like Gone with the Wind, Lawrence of Arabia, Ghandi, Glory, etc.

i think studios have a formula for epics

Not necessarily since many epics are based on real events so many portray that even if the ending is not happy or conventional.


#9

Tell you the truth, I left the theater after seeing the 3rd LOTRs movie in awe that the vision of the thing hadn’t been lost in the massive amount of VFX (roughly 3 times the first movie at about 1300?).

Last Samuri I skipped becuase I had a feeling it was a John Woo/Tom Cruise thing (again) and after MI2 I felt like I had had enough of actions for actions sake.

“Never mistake motion for action”
Quote by Ernest Hemingway (not that I read much of his work, but I liked this quote):


#10

Originally posted by commy
unless uve a point dont post its hardly a secret that i cant type for toffee and dont use punctuation in my posts if it bothers u so much send me a pm otherwise dont post

Maybe you should learn to use punctuation before you post.


#11

maybe u should quit posting comments about people in threads for no reason other than to annoy them, stop diluting the thread with ure personal thoughts on my mastery of the english language. Like ive said if you have a problem with my posts that isnt related to the topic pm me


#12

yeamoviezlieklotrareboringcuzbadscenariofrodoringinfirebadguydiestheproblemwith unconstructed posts is that we don’t always have the time , or the will to try and decrypt them.

Back to topic

That’s quite what I feel too. I become more and more accustomed to that “whoa!!! AWESOME! overwhelming!” feeling on which the superproductions base their action scenes, and I just want more and more, or unless it feels dull; and the fact is that we almost reached the roof in this matter, with LOTR and Matrix. We’ll have to find something new to tickle the consumers…


#13

an epic is a great story.

was Homer’s The Oddesy an epic because of blockbuster FX (ok, i know 2 things with that)

I skipped the last samauri because the story looks like an excuse to have some samarui fights, and even those dont look that great.

a film doesnt haveto sit me down and make me go ‘whoa’ to make it an epic. its gota be wantable for a start.

so a great FX flick with pants story is just that, pants.

great story is a great film, so long as there are no heanious mistakes.


#14

Originally posted by SuperMax
[B]

I think the Lord of the Rings Films made me desensitized to any battles with no more than 400,000 soldiers all running at each other.

We been getting to many of these types of movies lately and many more are comming.

Hollywood is making good use out all this CG craze.

[/B]

I tend to agree with you on this. The large battle craze is getting to be a little much. Especially when the characters and the story don’t match what our eyes see in the battles. (The battles just seem too big for what we’ve been told is the situation.)

Personally, the most jaw-dropping aspects of the Lord of the Rings series (in terms of FX) were the absolutely beautiful locations. Rivendale, Helms Deep, Isengard, Ministerith (Sp?) were all so spectacular. The huge battles just seemed so ho-hum after a while.


#15

I totaly agree there by ROTK id seen 3 battles all near the same and while its still nice its nothing wow anymore, especialy when the armies are so small and blurred the only real skill is in the AI where as the individual characters and backgrounds never get tiring because there so diverse. i loved the ‘empty’ rivendale its great to see the contrast between the FOTR where its all magical and lifey and ROTK where its dark and empty almost like the place itself is dead :slight_smile:


#16

Originally posted by commy
maybe u should quit posting comments about people in threads for no reason other than to annoy them, stop diluting the thread with ure personal thoughts on my mastery of the english language. Like ive said if you have a problem with my posts that isnt related to the topic pm me

Maybe he was trying to help you. Your neverending sentences are stinging all of our eyes.


#17

Unlike in other epic films, where I figure the good guys will win no matter what, in TLOTR there was enough build up leading to the battles that showed the hopes and fears of the characters, that when the battles finally did occur, I actually worried that the characters were going to get hurt or killed.

But this concern was more for the more ordinary characters who rose up to be extraordinary despite the horrific odds. I thought the overwhelming numbers of villians presented appropriately communicated the hopelesness the good characters felt.

In summary: Using CG, good. Using punctuation, better.


#18

Originally posted by Ivyn
Maybe he was trying to help you. Your neverending sentences are stinging all of our eyes.

well it didnt bother me, and theres alredy a post about spelling and grammar, and bluephoenix shared his oppinion in that thread.

Personally, I think bad grammar and spelling represents a lack of intelligence. Not only that, but I suppose typing two extra letters for the word “cause” is too large of a burden for some. That means you have to rule out the ‘typing fast’ excuse, because if you’re going to get lazy over two letters, you obviously can’t type that fast.

this is his words, he think commy aint intelligent:wise:


#19

try www.kindergarden.ops :rolleyes:


#20

personally i think the quality of films is slipping down hill…i havent seen last samuri, but imo LOTR x 3 just arent great films, sure they have loads of fx in them, but the pace of them is flat, the acting by some is poor, the characters are almost 2d (gollum aside)…perhaps they stuck to the book (which was dull)…dunno, but im struggling to think of a recent epic that i actually thought was a good solid film. Even gladiator has some vomitous moments, the ending is one. Perhaps hollywood cant fight its way out of a cliche anymore, too much cheese, too much money, not enough magic. I havent even seen the last matrix, and to be honest, that really doesnt matter to me…

Amelie is a brilliant film, why can they not get anywhere near that amount of depth into an epic anymore?