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  1. I am a genius

    Posted 24 Dec 2016

    Posted 11 April 2005 - 05:45 PM

    Post #18, page 2 "Final Countdown"


    In keeping with my theory that sequels in an episodic saga should follow each other quickly in time, and also have individual climaxes that wrap up their own story, here is how the movie that precedes Star Wars should end: Those rebel spies have benn trying to get plans to the Death Star, and have been having lots of adventures and close scrapes along the way. In the end, they manage to beam the plans to a ship waiting in orbit, thus foiling their enemies and they think that they have just saved the day. It tells it's own adventure, with the goal achieved, while simultaneously leading into the next film, (Star Wars).
  2. Best new show on TV ever

    Posted 25 Oct 2011

    There's this totally wicked new show on TV! It has like these dinosaurs from Jurassic park, and it's also like this cool movie Avatar that was in like 3 dimensions with depth and also things would even come out of the screen at you, but this new show is only 1 or 2 dimensions but has the evil Avatar guy in it to help you make the connection, only he is cool now, but still like totally bad ass.

    The future like totally sucks cause we have totally ruined the environment by drinking too many starbucks and shit and also burning fossils instead of batteries. So the world has turned into Blade Runner except no Harrison Ford or robots. But there is this excellent plan where humans go back into the primordial and primeval world to commune with nature and shit, and FIX all the things where we went wrong. But first we have to kill off all the dinosaurs, because remember that the most important part of co- exist is exist, so enough already with the don't kill other species shit, OK? We know it's all eco and shit cause the buildings have this cool wooden rustic look like they are made out of for real trees and shit, and all the technology is like appropriate technology and not like over the top. Also everywhere inside the compound is like a renaissance faire and every meal is a barbecue.

    Also there are like these totally bitchin teen agers who don't even take shit or advice from ANYONE! They rock, and the main son is like way sullen and is all like dad you suck and don't even tell me what to do. I even think he used to be in a rock band. Plus he was only there like 2 hours and scored this hot bitch already, even though he is really totally sensitive cause he totally misses his old girlfriend that he had to leave behind. But she'll show up again in a future episode and then he'll have to choose. It'll be like Sawyer and the Jack and that chick who was in real life shagging that hobbit actor. Who will he choose? Only that is in a future episode and we haven't go there yet. I can't wait!

    Also I forgot that there are these OTHERS like in Lost, but they are really sixers, and also they have these wicked petroglyphs which will for sure become important in future episodes as has been foreshadowed already in a subtle way. Cause the evil Avatar guys son has run away and is totally writing these messages in code because he knows what is really going on.

    I love these shows where you have to be smart and like think about it and there are family dramas and action too, and dinosaurs, and also an important message about environmentalism without the preaching and the chicks with hairy pits. Like hot chicks can care about earth too you know. And who are the sixers? They seem like the bad guys, but ARE THEY??

    Check Terra Nova out if you like hot action and also cool drama! This show has it all!!!!

    Five stars (Out of five) I wish I could give it 10 out of 10, but my ratings only goes to five.
  3. Narnia

    Posted 30 Sep 2006

    The Chronicles of Narnia - The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe

    A very long title - the film makers are clearly proclaiming that "This is a film of IMPORTANCE"! I suppose they are also making sure to jam the word NARNIA in there too. Can't expect the illiterate masses to remember the name of the book and connect it with that Narnia place without hitting them over the head with it now can we?

    Doesn't matter though! The marketing department probably forced the film makers to put "Narnia" in the title. (These would be the same kind of experts who knew that Harry Potter would be a flop unless they cleverly changed "Philosopher's Stone" to "Sorcerer's Stone.") Anyway, I'm ready! After all, this is a world famous book which has been in print CONTINUOUSLY for 56 years, and this film adaptation is budgeted at 150 million US dollars. How can it not be the greatest thing ever? Also, after all of the positive reviews that at least 9 of you have absolutely gushed out over the last few months, I am really looking forward to it.

    Let's go...

    The film does start out differently from the book. Hmmm... Now, I'm wondering if it's fair to compare the film with the book, because it shouldn't really be necessary to have read the book to enjoy the film. On the other hand, this book is deservedly famous, and was written with extreme care by a highly educated person, (first-class honors in Greek and Latin Literature, Philosophy, Ancient History, and English Literature, an English teacher at Oxford, and a professor of medieval and renaissance literature at Cambridge, etc) so if an adaptation is going to diverge from the original in any way, there had better be a good reason.

    The opening two sentences of the book state

    Once there were four children whose names were Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy.
    This story is about something that happened to them when they were sent away from
    London during the war because of the air-raids.

    This film starts out by proclaiming

    There were once some heroic airmen who were on a dangerous mission against some
    evil people who were trying to shoot them down.

    Strange! Why are we flying WITH the Germans who are having to dodge searchlights and anti aircraft fire sent up by the nasty British? This start is all wrong according to the standard rules of children's stories. While the book introduces the heroes in the first sentence, the film introduces a bunch of Nazi pilots in the first scene, and shows everything from the Nazi point of view thereafter. Whose side are we meant to be on, anyway?

    Ok, we know that modern youth will not have any connection to the Blitz, or Evacuees, (most of them have probably never heard of World War 2 for that matter) and this scene is meant to explain how London was dangerous in 1940 because of the bombing. Therefore I suppose it's important to the story to show the effect of war. But why not show the enemy as advancing faceless hordes rather than flying with them in the opening scenes?

    Not only that, but the CGI is dreadful, and totally overdone. The scene goes on and on and on. Let's look at the pilots, let's watch them flip the bomb toggles, let's follow the bombs down one by one... Why? Only because we can. Look, with computer graphics we can do anything! Yeah, terrific... except that the CG quality of these scenes might have been acceptable ten years ago, but these days it looks like a low budget history channel documentary. Maybe that's what all this is supposed to be; a bit of a history lesson.

    However, if the film makers are striving for some sort of historical feeling, (yes, those aeroplanes are clearly Heinkels), why is the rest of the scene totally historically inaccurate? For instance, why is Edmund standing by an open window, with no blackout curtains in sight? Why are all the family taken by surprise by this massive 1000 bomber attack when we all know they had radar back then, and air raid warnings, and air raid wardens and all the rest of it? Are we meant to assume that the Pevensie family are a clueless bunch of morons, who still don't know what it means when the air raid sirens go off?

    Not only that, but while everybody is running about in confused panic, Susan just happens to come across Lucy cringing in her bed. Yet another bizarre scene! Has Lucy never been in a raid before? Is Susan not used to looking out for her little sister? She certainly acts surprised to see Lucy in bed, (she actually acts surprised that she even has a little sister at all, to be honest.) Then Mummy leads the kids to their air raid shelter in the garden (hooray, maybe she has some sense after all), but then insists on waving her torch around in the air while the enemy planes are directly overhead (Oh, well, I guess not). She might as well just shine a big X on her house for the bombers to aim at. It's all absolutely beyond stupid.

    That's all just petty nitpicking, you might argue. But this 5 minutes or so was SPECIFICALLY ADDED TO THE STORY BY THE FILM MAKERS! It was never in the book. They thought it critical that we should see all this, and yet not important enough to bother to be either intelligent or accurate while doing it. Why? Well, it will just look more exciting this way. Shut up.

    Another part of this scene that is "over the top film making" is the time it takes for the family to run from the back door of the house to the shelter. They show us an overhead view revealing that everybody will have to traverse about 15 meters, and yet it takes forever for them to cover the distance. We see them running from above, we see them running from the side, we see close ups of their faces, we see close ups of their feet, they run towards us, they run away from us...(Actually, the film makers seem to love this sort of time and space dilation, because later in the film they will do it again. More about this down the page.)

    We jump to the train station, where the children are tagged and sent off by themselves. There is a moment here in the film when there is a slight attempt to explain where they are going, and this whole "Evacuee" thing. At one point, Edmund looks up at a sign which states:

    "Help the Children. Housing Evacuees is a National Service".

    Unfortunately, to be able to actually read this informative message requires use of the "pause" button on the DVD player, since the sign is on screen for less than a single second, and for most of that second the sign is obscured by 2 people who walk in front of it. If the point of having this sign in the film is to help explain why all these children are leaving the city to live with total strangers, why doesn't the director have the sign on the screen long enough for the audience to be able to read it? It would only have taken another second or two!

    These many additions that the film makers are making to the original story - do they have a point? Almost... but it's more likely that the director merely wanted some cool aeroplanes and a teary eyed train station scene, rather than thinking about what it might add to the story. For instance, the teary eyed departure might imply that there will be a joyful reunion at the end of the adventure. But no, in the end it's just a pointless extra scene, largely irrelevant to the story.

    All this extra stuff becomes even more interesting when we think back to something that Peter says very early on with intense fervor. He exclaims "Why can't you just do what you're told!" Odd that the script writers would write a line like this, and yet for the first time I am in agreement with them... Why can't they just do what they have been told! The book is excellent, and has been a classic since it came out in 1950. What exactly is the purpose of all this CG bomber stuff, and train station drama? Does Peter's staring at the soldiers indicate some sort of desire help in the fight against evil? Will we see a parallel later in the Narnian war, when he has the chance to help there? Not the slightest hint of it. Quite the opposite in fact. So what exactly IS the point of these scenes?

    Maybe the point is we are supposed to learn something about the characters. Well, we see that they are all pretty clueless, and mostly unpleasant to one another. Mummy yells at Edmund, Peter yells at Edmund, Susan is unpleasant to Lucy, Edmund snaps at Susan "Get OFF me!", Susan snatches the train tickets out of Peter's hands, Edmund whines about having to go away, and Peter snubs him back immediately. Are we supposed to be sympathizing with these children? Is this constant bickering and whining the only trace of character that they possess? Only Lucy is remotely likeable at this stage.

    Lewis, in the book, made an effort to tell us a bit about the characters of the four children with a simple bit of dialog after they arrive at the professor's...

    "You might find anything in a place like this. There'll be hawks." said Peter
    "Badgers!" said Lucy.
    "Foxes!" said Edmund.
    "Rabbits!" said Susan.

    No tedious descriptions of each child. No long boring conversations. However, this exchange is a powerful prediction of each child's personalities. Peter thinks of hawks, which are noble birds. Lucy thinks of badgers, faithful, friendly and hardworking. Edmund thinks of foxes, which are sly and not trustworthy. Susan thinks of rabbits, which are shy, sweet animals. Lewis concisely describes the children, and then illustrates their personalities through their actions in the book. Then, Lewis begins to write the main adventure of the book in the first few pages. The film makers ignore all this, for reasons of their own.

    The film also decides to change secondary characters, too. Mrs Macready is made to be rather unpleasant, the house is full of oppressive rules, and Professor Kirke is a scary and remote fellow, (at least at first).

    However, the Professor Kirke of C.S. Lewis was

    a very old man with shaggy white hair, and they liked him almost at once; but on the first
    evening when he came out to meet them at the front door he was so odd-looking that Lucy
    (who was the youngest) was a little afraid of him, and Edmund (who was the next youngest)
    wanted to laugh and had to keep on pretending he was blowing his nose to hide it.

    We've fallen on our feet and no mistake," said Peter. "This is going to be perfectly
    splendid. That old chap will let us do anything we like."
    "I think he's an old dear," said Susan

    The manor house, rather than being full of rules about "no shouting", "no running", "no touching", and "no disturbing the professor", is described thus:

    "There's sure to be a row if we're heard talking here" said Lucy.
    "No there won't," said Peter. "I tell you this is the sort of house where no one's going to
    mind what we do. Anyway, they won't hear us. It's about ten minutes' walk from here down
    to that dining-room, and any amount of stairs and passages in between.... I'm going to
    explore."

    If you prefer the film's version of events, you can hardly prefer the film's children. Having been told the rules, they immediately start to break every one of them - they shout, they run, they touch, they disturb the professor. And they CONTINUE to be unpleasant to each other; Edmund whines, Susan bosses him about, Peter snaps at him, Susan sighs histrionically. These are to be the noble Kings and Queens of Narnia are they? Is there any inherent decency in these whining brats?


    *Next Part*

    In the book, the children explore the house, all of them see the wardrobe together in the spare room, but only Lucy bothers to check inside it. The game of hide and seek comes later. In Lewis' version, Lucy is only out of the others sight for a second or two, not the "count to 100" we get in the film. This makes her claim in the book to have been "gone for hours" more astounding than it becomes in the film. In the book, there wouldn't even have been time to make up the story about Tumnus, much less experience it for real.

    Enough, you say! Maybe the film makers aren't that interested in following the book EXACTLY. Maybe they want to make things a little bit different when they tell the story this time! Okay, fair enough.

    Why, then would the director take this line from the book:

    There was nothing else in the room at all except a dead blue-bottle on the window-sill.

    and decide it was an extremely important item and choose to include this ONE detail, to the exclusion of all the others? AHA, they seem to be saying, you may think that we haven't actually read the book, but you see here? We have! Except, unable to leave well enough alone, they have to have a CGI blue-bottle actually DYING on screen as we watch! Why? Because they can. You see, with CGI we can do anything!

    Let' s talk about the wardrobe. It is supposed to be perfectly ordinary. Neither Lucy nor anyone else expects anything strange inside it. That is the whole point about the wardrobe: it's a perfectly ordinary thing which leads UNEXPECTEDLY to an extra-ordinary realm. And yet in the film it's obvious that the wardrobe is "important" the moment it shows up. The camera zooms in on it, we are nearly bludgeoned to death by the awed look in Lucy's eyes, and the crappy new age music. It is even covered by a sheet, which is removed in ultra dramatic super slow motion! I'm almost waiting for the flashing neon sign to light up on the door saying "This Is The Magical Wardrobe"!! It's all very subtle, isn't it? (Hint to the director - It isn't the magic wardrobe YET you tosser!)

    Inside, we meet Tumnus. It's snowing, and has been snowing continuously for one hundred years. Do you think you should be wearing some sort of jacket, Mr. Tumnus? But Tumnus is a faun, he doesn't feel the cold! What's he wearing that scarf for then? What is he carrying an umbrella for then? Why does he have a nice warm crackling fire in his nice warm house for then, if he doesn't get cold?

    The Tumnus cave scene doesn't make much sense either. In the book, (sorry to have to keep bringing that up), Tumnus realizes on his own that what he is doing is wrong as he is talking with Lucy. He tells Lucy what he WAS planning on doing, but that he can't go through with it now. Even though he says that if the witch finds out she'll turn him into stone, he takes Lucy back to the lamp and sets her free, all of his own accord. Tumnus of the book is basically good. Lucy likes him because he is basically good.

    In the movie, he admits that he IS in fact kidnapping Lucy RIGHT NOW. He feels a bit bad of course, but he is still going to do it. Lucy wants to go home, but "It's too late for that now," Tumnus says. Even when Lucy give him the chance to do the right thing, ("Mr. Tumnus, you wouldn't...") he won't immediately redeem himself until Lucy more or less shames him into letting her go. He doesn't really make up his own mind, as he does in the book. He isn't as likeable, for this very reason, and yet the whole point of his character is that he is MEANT to be likeable.

    It feels like a lot more of this scene was filmed, but then edited out. When Tumnus says "You've made me feel warmer than I have felt in a hundred years," there is something we've obviously missed. What has Lucy done to make him warmer than he has been in 100 years? In fact, she hasn't done anything, not that we've seen, anyway. Itís as if the filmmakers figure that if they can show the main stuff, the magic will arrive by itself. Thatís a sloppy way of telling any story, let alone one with such potential for enchantment.


    Next, Edmund enters the wardrobe and meets the witch. The witch says "You're the sort of boy I could see one day being the prince of Narnia, maybe even king" So does Edmund ask what or where Narnia is? Nope, cause it's all part of this "You're already supposed to be anticipating the story" thing that the film makers have going, the same way they expect us to know the wardrobe is special before we've even had a look inside. OBVIOUSLY this is Narnia, people! Everybody already KNOWS that! Stop being dumb!

    Let's go back to the real world and have a bit more character development, . The kids accidentally smash a window playing cricket. What's the best thing to do? Run like hell of course! Do they think of owning up, being honest, facing the music like decent children? Hell no. And these are the future Kings and Queens of Narnia remember. Of course, before they run for it, they have to fight about whose fault it is.

    So for no apparent reason they decide to run away, and end up in the wardrobe room, and of course decide to hide in the wardrobe. Why? Macready is suddenly chasing them. She sees them go into the spare room, and is following them. But of course, when she gets there, she won't think to look in the wardrobe, even though it's the ONLY place to hide in the whole damn room. That's clever scriptwriting! Especially since Macready will no doubt realize that the wardrobe was covered a couple of days ago and now the sheet is in a heap right next to the thing. Totally stupid.

    Also, since the children are supposed to be HIDING in there from the wicked Macready, why are they all SHOUTING so much? Doesn't anybody writing the script think for a single second? The whole scene from start to finish makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.

    Okay then, how did the children end up in the wardrobe in the book? Macready was showing a bunch of tourists around the house, (because the house was "so old and famous that people from all over England used to come and ask permission to see over it. It was the sort of house that is mentioned in guide books and even in histories.")

    and the children are just trying to stay out of their way:

    "Look out! Here comes the Macready and a whole gang with her."

    "Sharp's the word," said Peter, and all four made off through the door at the far end
    of the room. But when they had got out into the Green Room and beyond it, into the
    Library, they suddenly heard voices ahead of them, and realized that Mrs Macready must be
    bringing her party of sightseers up the back stairs-instead of up the front stairs as
    they had expected. And after that-whether it was that they lost their heads, or that some
    magic in the house had come to life and was chasing them into Narnia they seemed to find
    themselvesbeing followed everywhere, until at last Susan said, "Oh bother - let's get into
    the Wardrobe Room till they've passed. No one will follow us in there." But the moment they
    were inside they heard the voices in the passage-and then someone fumbling at the door-
    and then they saw the handle turning.

    "Quick!" said Peter, "there's nowhere else," and flung open the wardrobe. All four of
    them bundled inside it and sat there, panting, in the dark.

    The urge to be polite and stay out of the way, plus magic get them to Narnia, not a broken window, and trying to avoid blame. And at least when they are hiding in the wardrobe, they keep still, and quiet. It is the Narnian sunrise, lighting up the darkness in which they are all quuietly crouching, which lets them know they actually have made it into Lucy's woods.

    When they arrive at Tumnus' house, the door is open and there is some snow across the sill, but there is zero sign of any trouble. It's not like the door is torn off it's hinges and Tumnus' possessions are strewn over the place. Well, it's a good thing we already know the story, because the children already seem to know it! Lucy looks shocked and the rest of them try and stop her from running up to the cave. Obviously something horrible has happened - Oh my God, the door is open! How can the children possibly sense danger? Hold on, you say! It's because Lucy KNOWS that something might happen to her pal Tumnus, remember?

    Correct! Except that Lucy looks around and then wonders "Who could have done this?" I guess she forgot that Tumnus himself his told her this was what might happen. Did she forget that he told her about the witch and everything, and didn't Lucy herself asks if he will be all right? If Lucy isn't an idiot, then the film makers are.

    What are the children to do? Well, they follow the robin, and meet the beaver. They learn the history of Narnia, the prophecy, and what their place in the story is. This decision to follow the robin (and the beaver,) is a significant moment, because it marks the LAST TIME the children, (Kings and Queens of Narnia mark you) make a single decision in the film. From this point on, the promise of fantasy is mortally wounded by its insistence on delivering a pre-defined story dressed up in fancy clothing. The children happen upon a magical world. The potential for story here is ever widening. Remember Peter in the train station looking at the soldiers, and most likely wondering what it would be like to go and actually do something and fight the enemy. These are children who have presumably been listening to Churchillís speeches on the radio. "Fight them on the beaches... never surrender... finest hour" and all that. Why doesn't Peter at least want to do something? If he doesn't, what exactly is the point of all that war rubbish we've been watching at the beginning of the film?



    *Next Part*

    All right, back to the film, and dinner at the beaver's. The children are served some "fish and chips", which look pretty disgusting - dried fish, complete with heads and scales, covered in either snow or salt and some shriveled bits of potato. Lucy looks fairly dismayed, and nobody eats any of it. What's the point of this scene supposed to be?

    Well, in the book the dinner is quite different:

    You can think how good the new-caught fish smelled while they were frying and how the
    hungry children longed for them to be done before Mr Beaver said, "Now we're nearly
    ready." There was a jug of creamy milk for the children (Mr Beaver stuck to beer) and
    a great big lump of deep yellow butter in the middle of the table from which everyone
    took as much as he wanted to go with his potatoes, and all the children thought - and I
    agree with them - that there's nothing to beat good freshwater fish if you eat it when it
    has been alive half an hour ago and has come out of the pan half a minute ago. And when
    they had finished the fish Mrs Beaver brought out of the oven a great and gloriously sticky
    marmalade roll, steaming hot, and at the same time moved the kettle on to the fire, so
    that when they had finished the marmalade roll the tea was made and ready to be poured
    out. And when each person had got his (or her) cup of tea, each person shoved back his
    (or her) stool so as to be able to lean against the wall and gave a long sigh of contentment.

    Not only is it different in the original, it is a foil to Edmund and the Turkish Delight. With the beavers, Lewis emphasizes wholesome food and the healthy hunger the children feel. They are completed satisfied by the meal. Edmund, however, is not satisfied by the unwholesome Turkish delight, (and never will be) but will always need more and more to satisfy his greed. Lewis also tells us that Edmund does not really enjoy the beaver's meal, despite his hunger, because his taste has been tainted with the "evil magic food." So we see that this scene of dinner at the beaver's house WAS meant to have a point (and a counterpoint) - but unfortunately the film makers seem to be utterly unaware of it.

    Edmund goes off to find the witch. The scene with Edmund and the statues as he is entering the witches castle is very odd, but the oddness only comes about later in the film. We see him draw a moustache on a stone lion, but later, after the lion is un-frozen, we see the lion with spectacles drawn on his face. Add this to our list of complaints - extremely poor continuity. I assume Edmund drew the spectacles, but why on earth don't we see him do it? And WHY does he do it? Well he does it in the film because he did it in the book, but why does he do it in the book?

    Edmund does this because he thinks the lion is Aslan, and that the witch has already defeated him. (The children in the book know Aslan is a lion by this point).

    "Probably," he thought, "this is the great Lion Aslan that they were all talking about
    She's caught him already and turned him into stone. So that's the end of all their fine
    ideas about him! Pooh! Who's afraid of Aslan?"

    He took a stump of lead pencil out of his pocket and scribbled a moustache on the lion's
    upper lip and then a pair of spectacles on its eyes. Then he said, "Yah! Silly old Aslan!
    How do you like being a stone? You thought yourself mighty fine, didn't you?" But in spite
    of the scribbles on it the face of the great stone beast still looked so terrible, and sad, and
    noble, staring up in the moonlight, that Edmund didn't really get any fun out of jeering at it.

    The film makers didn't get the point of all that, but they did understand that Edmund drew a moustache on a statue, and that's enough. Stop complaining!

    Edmund rats out his family, and all of Narnia, and the wolves and the witch set out in the sleigh to catch the three good children and the beavers. The chase across the ice is another poorly executed scene, similar to the run across the lawn to the air raid shelter that occurred at the beginning of the film. We see the sleigh, (which turns out to be Santa) about 100 meters behind the kids, approaching at a full gallop. It should overtake our heroes in about 5 seconds. Yet 45 seconds later, the sleigh still hasn't caught up with them. It hasn't even gotten any nearer. What the hell happened? (Piss poor editing is what happened.)

    Luckily the heroes have seen "The Fellowship of the Ring", and hide in a little hollow just below the road like the hobbits did when the black riders were after them. How original! Unlike the hobbits, however, they don't hide in the hollow BEFORE the enemy has sighted them, so that their clever ruse might actually work. But it DOES work, even though the sleigh is only a few meters away, parked on the trail!. Yes, the director can make anything happen.

    Five seconds later, Lucy the genius states "Maybe she's gone," (even though we haven't heard the slightest bit of evidence that the sleigh, the six jangling reindeer and the enraged witch have moved off..) Absolutely ridiculous.

    Luckily, of course, its actually Santa's sleigh. Santa's gives out a few presents. "Juice of the fire flower will cure ANY INJURY!" he says gravely. Let's hope their are no intelligent children watching, because they might remember this line later, when it might be incredibly apropos to do so. Peter and Susan get some weapons. Too bad the children don't say what they are really thinking - "But Sir, we aint fighting, not for you and not for Narnia. We thought we had made this pretty damn clear. Thanks, but no thanks, we don't need the sword, the bow, or the dagger."

    Next comes another absolutely stupid scene. The river is melting, (because of the coming of spring), but they must get across it to meet with Aslan. They are all at the top of a waterfall and the river below is obviously unsafe. So instead of crossing up where they are (where the river is still frozen, and is a much shorter route), they decide to climb down an icy precipice to cross where it is melting, and will then have to climb UP the cliff on the other side. Any reason for this? I guess this allows the CGI guys to show off their stuff again or something. Who the hell knows?

    The wolves show up and surround the children. Peter thinks about defending them all with his new sword. Susan goes back to her whining ways screaming "Just because someone in a red coat hands you a sword doesn't make you a hero! Just drop it!" Why didn't she say that to Santa? I thought maybe she had accepted her role in this adventure, now that it seems fated that she will have to see it through to the end.

    Peter decides to ice-pick the floe they are all standing on. Don't worry about reality... instead of the inevitable smashing of the ice at the impact point, (we have all smashed ice before have we not?) the sword goes into the ice like a toothpick into a warm turd. Well, the ice breaks up everywhere (except where the sword cracked it of course.) Everybody is submerged into freezing water and crashing ice floes, but don't worry, even though the wolves didn't survive the swim, the beavers and the children do of course. How convenient.

    "Don' t worry dear" says Beaver, "Your brother has got you well looked after" Well, he doesn't actually, but I guess we can ignore that for the moment. Well, now it's spring. The best part about this is that we are FINALLY outside of the green screen studio, and actually on a real set. No more fake winter scenes, and heads cut out on and pasted on a fake background. I have been amazed so far at the number of talking heads superimposed on poorly executed CG backgrounds. From
    Mrs. Macready sitting on the horse buggy, to the witch in her sleigh, to the children looking out over the wintry landscape, almost none of it has looked remotely real. Why the hell did they bother to shoot this film in New Zealand? We haven't seen any of it yet!

    The children approach Aslan in the camp. "Why are they staring at us?" asks Susan. Wait, don't tell me! I know! Because of the prophecy! You are the Kings and Queens of Narnia, you stupid cow. Have you not been watching the film? Have you not been listening? These creatures have been waiting 100 fucking years for you to show up!

    Peter walks up to the Centaur, draws his sword like a dweeb, and pointing it at nothing, says is a peculiar stilted voice "We-have-come-to-see- AS-LAN" What are you going to do with that sword, cut his head off? Put the sword away, you idiot. You aren't going to fight anyway remember? And why are you speaking like that? Something wrong with your tonsils, old boy? Oh look, everybody is bowing down, you'd better bow down too.

    What! Edward has betrayed us? "My fault" Says Peter. "I won't own up to breaking a window with a cricket ball, (I'm the kind of guy who runs away and hides), but I'm different now." Oh, really? I wonder what caused this sudden change?

    Susan and Lucy decide to splash each other in a stream. Oh no! The evil wolves surprise them and want to "Kill them quickly." But not so quickly that two little girls can't run past them up the stream bank, grab the magic horn, blow it and then climb a tree before the wolves can just bite them both. But they don't climb quite high enough to stop their feet from dangling inches above the wolves' sharp teeth. Look at this scene carefully. It's an easy tree to climb, but the girls have made the effort to NOT CLIMB quite high enough to be safe. It's more exciting this way says the director.

    Luckily Peter arrives. "Watch OUT!!" yells Susan. This is standard film dialog these days, along with "This is bad", in obviously bad situations, or "RUN!" when everybody is already running, or "Hold On" when somebody is holding on to a swinging rope, or "Quickly!!" when time is obviously running out. It adds to the tension of the scene, say the experts. Luckily the wolf manages to hurl himself directly onto Peter's sword and impales his own heart. That took some skill actually, well done wolf! Sorry, I mean well done Peter. Now you can become a knight. After you clean the blood off your sword of course.

    All right, I've had enough! Yet another Lord of the rings rip off at the witch's camp. As if the camera diving down the side of the witch's castle as she leaves in her sleigh, the tracking shots, the hiding in the hollow below the road, etc, wasn't enough, now we have a bunch of orcs beating on their weapons with hammers, readying themselves for battle. Hey it was cool in Saruman's factory, it will be cool here too. Just stop arguing with me and do it, I'm the director of this film god damn it!

    So they rescue Edmund, and Aslan gives him a bit of a lecture. "Youíve been a naughty boy haven't you? Well, I guess you just ratted out me, your family, and the whole country to the evil witch, but never mind." This is touted as a religious allegory isn't it? Wasn't Judas consigned to the lowest level of Frozen Hell, to be chewed forever in giant Lucifer's disgusting toothy mouth? None of that for our Edmund though.

    While Aslan is on the stone table, the witch whispers in his ear that she is going to kill Edmund anyway. Incredible that Lucy and Susan, hundreds of meters away hear this whisper and give each other shocked looks.

    After he is dead, Lucy unscrews her bottle of magic potion. Quite intelligent for a change, actually. "Nope, it's too late" says Susan, who is suddenly an expert in these matters. Don't even try. When Santa gave you that bottle, it was just a McGuffin, or whatever you call it. So Lucy doesn't even make the attempt. "There's no time" says Susan "The others must know" Why is there no time? Did I miss something? Oh who cares.




    Peter is leader, Good thing he has leadership skills. "There's too many of them" he shrieks, "Fuck the prophecy, let's go home. I may speak with a British accent, but I am really a Frenchman! Let's run away, it's too hard, we won't fight them on the beaches, in the fields or streets, we will surrender! Let us therefore brace ourselves to just give up and if Narnia lasts for another 5 minutes, men will say, 'this was their weakest hour". Even the damn beaver suddenly changes his mind and wants to haul ass.

    Aslan shows up, kills the witch, and the enemy simply give up. "It is finished" He says. Well that was easy. Can we go home now?

    150 million bucks and a classic beloved book. How could anybody fuck anything up this badly? Well, by ignoring most of the salient parts of the story, adding a bunch of stupid scenes that were never there in the first place, dropping in a bunch of pointless computer graphics, and a bunch of overly dramatic music you would have a good start. Then by forgetting logic, story, pacing, editing, and internal consistency you could just about manage to do what Andrew Anderson accomplished with so much effort. The result is a movie about magic that never feels magical. He understood, (somehow) that "this book was very popular,", (but I doubt if he ever understood why), "So if I just kind of copy bits of it in my movie, the film will be popular too!" It can't fail.

    The thing is, he was right. It COULDN"T fail. It's like shooting fish in a barrel. I wonder if there will be a sequel?
  4. The Story So Far

    Posted 11 Mar 2006

    In the beginning...

    A guy named Darth Plageiouous has an apprentice named Darth Sideous.

    Sideous kills Plageiouous and decides to TAKE OVER THE GALAXY, and our epic tale commences...

    He influences the force to create Anakin on the planet Tatooine. He waits 8 years on the planet Naboo. Meanwhile, he gets a temporary apprentice named Darth Maul. He changes his own name to Palpatine.

    Episode 1 Begins.

    Palpatine organizes a blockade of his own planet, in order to somehow get made chancellor of the senate. He "Wants that trade treaty signed!", which will somehow make him chancellor.

    But, unexpectedly, the Queen Amidala gets the Jedis to come and help her out. Qui Gonn and Obi Wan rescue Amidala from Naboo, but (unforseen by everyone) they luckily end up on Tatooine where they luckily happen across the aforementioned Anakin. They take Anakin to Coruscant, and Palpatine ends up chancellor anyway, (depite the fact that his "sign the treaty" plan fails). Also the Jedis have Anakin, which may or may not have been his plan in the first place. But the first phase of his fiendish plan is now in place - he now runs the Senate! He also controls a Droid Army, Yipeee!

    Episode 1 Ends.

    Now that Maul is dead, he gets another temporary apprentice named Dooku / Tyrannus / Sifo Diaz. Dooku, (As Sifo) ordrs up a clone army from a bunch of alien looking spacemen. Sideous STILL requires a dead Amidala to fulfill his 'Take over the Galaxy' plan, as well as this Clone Army, and Drioid Army so he...

    Episode 2 Begins.

    ...Attempts to blow up Amidala, but fails. Had he succeeded, what would have happened? Obi Wan and Anakin are assigned to protect her. Sideous now hires Jango, a famous bounty hunter, and father of the aforementioned clone army, to try and kill Amidala again. Jango hires some useless alien chick to use some kind of centipedes to kill her in her bed.

    This plan is thwarted by the Jedi, who capture the useless alien chick , and as she is about to reveal who hired her, is killed by Jango. Luckily Jango uses a special dart, so unique in all the galaxy, that it is instantly recognized by a short order chef, who (with skills like that) should really be working in the CID department of the intergalactic space-police. Could he recognize a Curari dart from the Amazon rain-forests of Earth, a FN-FAL casing from Kolwezi, and a gaffi stick from the Jundland wastes? Just asking...

    Using this information, Obi wan goes to the mysterious planet Kamino (which doesn't exists in the records) and finds the aforementioned Clone Army. Meanwhile Anakin takes Amidala (who is also called Padme) back to Naboo for her protection. Also Anakin is really trying to get a root with Padme, but she ain't into it. Meanwhile, Jango goes to that Bug Planet, where the Bug Men are building a Death Star. Obi Wan follows Jango to the Bug Planet, and runs into the aforementioned Dooku, who is up to something devious. Meanwhile, Anakin senses that his mother is in trouble, so he goes to Tatooine and watches her die, and kills a few sand people. Anakin and Padme sense Obi wan is in trouble and go to help him. Unfortunately they are all caught, but are rescued Yoda and the mysterious clone army, who are now working for the good guy side.

    Sideous's plan is really fucked now since, A) Amidala is still not dead, and B.) The good guys know about the Clone Army that he tried so hard to keep hidden. Also there are some separatists involved in all this mess too.

    At the end, Padme decides that Anakin is in fact worth the price of a root, so they get married.

    Episode 2 Ends.

    A quick review of the situation so far. Either Sidious's plans are going horribly wrong ( ie Amidala is not dead, the Jedi have Anakin, Anakin is in love with Amidala, the Jedi know about Kamino, know about Jango, and know about the Bug Planet, and know about the Clone Army) or else this was his cunning plan all along. But if this was his plan, he should have let Useless Alien Chick just tell Obi Wan that Jango Fett of Kamino hired her, and not bothered with all the rest of his convoluted plan of darts and missing planets.

    Meanwhile, a war starts up between separatists and the rest of the galaxy.

    Episode 3 Begins.

    Anakin kills Dooku, despite all his Jedi training. The Jedi don't want Anakin to be a Jedi, much to Anakin's surprise, despite the fact that he is a psycho killer of Sandpeople, Dooku and is illegally married, and has knocked up his wife too, all of which are "against the Jedi way".

    Anakin is dreaming that Padme will die. Palpatine tells Anakin that he can stop Padme from dying, but in order to learn this trick, Anakin must become a Sith. No problem, says Anakin. Palpatine reveals himself as a Sith, and kills a bunch of Jedi's. Anakin kills a bunch of cute little kids, but doesn't consider himslef a bad guy, in fact quite the contrary. Then he goes to Volcano Planet to kill those Trade guys, who have outlived whatever use they ever had.

    Padme follows Anakin to Volcano planet and Obi Wan hitches a lift, because he knows Anakin is a rotter. Anakin chokes his wife, kills the Trade guys, and starts a fight with Obi Wan, because from his point of view Obi Wan is evil, (even though Obi Wan has never massacred Sand People, decapitated a defeated foe in cold blood, rooted the girl he was meant to be protecting, disobeyed his vows and gotten married, sliced off his own boss's hands, killed a bunch of 8 year olds, and throttled his own wife, and slaughtered those Trade guys). So Obi Wan leaves Anakin for dead and goes home.

    Yoda gives up and goes to live in a swamp. Fuck the galaxy he says, I'm outta here. Me too, says Obi Wan, fuck 'em! Padme gives up too. Fuck all of you, I'm just going to lay down and die, I don't give a fuck and I don't care! But wait, Padme has 2 kids! Let's hide them from Anakin, and send one to live back on Tatooine with Anakin's Mum's Husband's kids. Very clever.

    Episode 3 Ends.

    20 years pass, but nothing worth mentioning happens.

    Episode 4 Begins.

    Luke Skywalker, son of Anakin intercepts secret plans from sent his own sister, and meets up with Obi Wan. They both meet up with loveable scoundrel Han Solo, and rescue Luke's sister from their own father. Obi Wan is killed, and the Death Star is blown up. Sidious's plans are screwed again!

    Episode 4 ends.

    3 years supposedly pass by, and nothing happens.

    Episode 5 begins.

    Han Solo and Luke's sister are deeply in love, only neither one bothered to metion this for 3 years. Anakin (Now known as Darth Vader) want's to get his son back and chases Han Solo and Luke's sister across the galaxy in order to torture them so that Luke will rescue them and get captured. Luke is learning to become a Jedi "like his father", but it is taking way too much time and effort, so he gives up, and is almost captured by his dad. He also learns what a rotter his dad is, and learns that Obi Wan and Yoda have lied throguh their teeth basically the whole time they have been speaking to him. But Solo has told Luke's sister that he loves her (sort of), but he is taken away frozen in carbonite. We must rescue him!

    Episode 5 ends

    3 more years supposedly pass, and nothing happens. Lando and Chewie go to rescue Solo, but get sweet fuck all accomplished before the next movie starts. In fact Chewie appears with Luke's sister later on in a different place, though this one is never explained.

    Episode 6 begins

    The plan to rescue Solo is a huge shambles. But wait, Luke appears, and because of his 4 day course in Jedi Ass Kicking, he defeats all the foes and escapes. Also Jango Fett's own son (father of all the Stormtoopers) is on the scene and is killed accidently. Well, that rounds things off nicely.

    There is a new Death Star! Solo and Luke's sister got to the Planet of the Teddy Bears to help destroy the sheild protecting Death Star, and a chap named Lando goes to destroy the actual Death Star itself. Luke goes to the space station to see if his father really is as bad as everyone makes out. Well, the teddy bears turn out to be some bass ass dudes, and Anakin recognises that he has been a bit of an ass all these years, and decides to go straight. "Fuck you, Sidious, you wanker, I'm changing sides again! From my new point of view the Sith are evil and so are you! Into the bottomless pit you go ! Yippee!"

    Written and directed by George Lucas...

    Did I miss anything?
  5. An elegant movie

    Posted 3 Dec 2005

    Star Wars is and always was the best film of the series. Look at it this way: Had any one of the other 5 films in the series been released first, none of the rest of them would have been made.

    If you say, "wait, that's not fair, because with 'Empire Strikes Back' the audience needed the previous movie..." or something along those lines, I would agree with you - but that is exactly what elevates Star Wars above the rest of them. It stands alone as a kick ass piece of cinema, while simultaneously leaving the door open to a sequel. However, if no next movie had been forthcoming, nobody would have felt jipped. Say that about any other film in the series that you want to elevate as 'the best. Star Wars needs nothing from anywhere. No sequel is required to 'wrap things up', no prequel is required to 'set up the situations'. The characters themselves are mostly dynamic - Luke goes from hick to Hero, Han goes from mercenary to hero, and I guess you can point out that Ben turns into Obi Wan. Sure, Leia and the robots are stagnant, but so what?

    People have started to try and nitpick Star Wars in the now, in an effort to divert recent criticism away from 'The Empire Strikes Back'.

    "Look, " they seem to say, "you can nitpick any movie if you try hard enough." Maybe, but you can't nitpick the original to the lower level of the rest of the films.

    What is there really to dislike and nitpick? Why did the rebels shut down the main reactor in the opening chase? Better that, than be destroyed. Why entrust the extremely valuable plans to a little robot? The Princess was grasping at straws, certainly, but things were desperate. What was her bullshit plan? I assume to get the plans off the ship in the hopes that Artoo would somehow manage to find Obi Wan Kenobi. If Artoo couldn't find Obi Wan, then finding practically anybody else would be better than giving them back to the Imperials. I got the impression from the movie that most people were anti-empire, the same way most German's were anti Gestapo in World War 2.

    Why does Leia sometimes have a British accent? Assume that the has two personas - Official Princess Performing Her Duty (British), and Human Princess As Herself (American).

    Is it lucky that the droids were found by jawas? Not really - the jawas seemed to spend their days looking for metal in the desert. Is it lucky that the droids ended up with Luke? Sure it was, as was Luke's stumbling on the Princess's message. However, without Luke or the message, there would be no story.

    Why did Obi Wan change his name slightly? For purposes of the plot, old Ben has to be somewhat mysterious and incognito, but Luke has to be able to work out who he is. If you really need a legitimate reason for the name change, how about 'The ignorant hicks on Tatooine can't pronounce Obi-wan, so he is known as old Ben and can't be bothered to correct the dumbshit locals?

    Why does Luke express an interest to get off Tatooine, and then balk when he is given the chance to escape? I suppose the same sort of thing could be said of Solo - he said was only in it for the money, but he came back to help anyway. In guess nobody knows what they want until they are actually up against reality . In defense of the Luke situation, it gave the plot the impetus of dead family and the burned out farm, (those smoking skeletons are still the most hard core 5 seconds in the entire 13 hours of the saga), and opened his eyes to the reality of the war. Everybody is involved, whether they choose to be or not.

    Why so many Imperial Cruisers around an insignificant hick planet? They are waiting to get those plans. Why would anybody live on Tatooine anyway? Hell, why would anyone live in Phoenix, Lower Hut, Broken Hill, etc? Why is the whole planet of Tatooine a desert? Because it is supposed to be a alien planet and be strange (and boring!).

    A quick change of subject - Star Wars is the only movie in the saga with self imposed technological limitations. Examples are big ships in orbit, and smaller ships as surface to space transports. Small ships with no hyperdrive. Ships seem to actually take time to plot their courses through hyperspace, and seem to actually take time to get across the galaxy to their destination. I kind of like that.

    Some of the best dialog in the movie is between when the Falcon comes out of hyperspace until it gets sucked into the Death Star. From the mention of charts and asteroids, the signal indicating the fighter is coming at them, the discussion about space convoys and deep space, arguing about the impossibility of building a space station the size of a Death Star, to the realization that the tractor beam has got them and Obi Wan suddenly shows his wisdom, it's all right there. The Star Wars universe becomes momentarily more believable and legitimate.

    Why doesn't Leia scream and rent her hair when Alderaan is destroyed? The same reason that decent British chaps merely think it's a damned nuisance when some catastrophe happens. Not everybody makes a fuss. What would the point be?

    Why do 4 Tie fighters attack as the heroes are leaving the Death Star? Well, besides the fact that it looked super cool and was fun, I assume that those 4 tie fighters were constantly patrolling outside the death star anyway (we saw them every time we saw the death star, remember), and attacked without orders. No others were launched. Darth and Tarkin wanted Leia to go to the secret base, and assumed she wouldn't if she was suspicious as to an easy escape, suspecting a tracking device. The tie fighters were supposed to add a bit of realism to the subterfuge. Naturally they didn't know she planned to go straight to the base anyway. Of course there was a risk of destroying the Falcon, but it had just outwitted 3 Imperial cruisers off Tatooine, so the risk was pretty small.

    Why did Leia go straight to the rebel base if she knew they were being tracked? Having the Death Star come to the rebels was easier than trying to hunt through the entire galaxy for it 6 months from now. The Death star was operational and had just blown up a planet. She wanted it destroyed as soon as possible, and not have it floating around blowing up other innocent planets. Of course, this is also back when "small fighters couldn't get deep into space on their own". So we are back to the first answer again. Also, if the Imperials has time to examine their station, they might find all the weaknesses and fix them. The attack had to be done immediately.

    Why is Luke allowed to fly? Luke claims to be a pilot ,and there is an extra ship, you can either put the pilot in the ship and hope for the best, or have one weapon less in the fight. World War One - plenty of guys going to Flanders with little flight experience and zero combat experience. It's war, matey.

    Why the strategy in the trench? The rebels strategy in the trench wasn't bad; send one guy down the trench fast, with a couple of guys behind him going slowly to keep the distance between the enemy and the bomber as great as possible. The only other option was to wait for the enemy fighters to drop in behind the bomber and then drop in behind the enemy fighters and everybody shoots everybody down. But the point of the mission was to give the bombers time to fire the torpedo, not just to shoot down tie fighters. A lot of guys were going to be sacrificed so that one guy could fire that torpedo, no matter what strategy they used. Haven't any of you guys heard of Barnes Wallace and the Dambusters raid of World War Two? Same thing.

    Why isn't the guy from the rebel base more pissed off when Luke switches off his targeting computer? They are all professionals, and keep cool and in control at all times. (Like Porkins, who dies without making a fuss)(or the "stay on target" guy, who doesn't make a fuss either). Wedge already said that hitting the target was "impossible, even for a computer". Luke not only claimed that it was in fact possible, he claimed to have done a similar thing before. Maybe Rebel base guy remembered that. Anyway, Luke needed to use the Force to round off the story, and to show that he is starting to be a Jedi Knight.

    Why didn't Chewie get a medal? Luke and Han rescued the Princess, and Luke destroyed to death star, with Han helping out. Chewie did jack, except freak out in the garbage masher.

    Anyway, it is in keeping with the racist Star Wars world that droids and aliens are inferior and can be shot in bars without repercussions, be called a "thing" to their faces, made to wait outside, forced to wear restraining bolts and be zapped when they act up, told to "shut up", be bought and sold by jawas, can't go into escape pods because they are without value, and can have their memories erased at any time. "Nobody worries about upsetting a droid". Probably nobody worries about upsetting aliens either.

    Star Wars is a fantastic film. It had a fantastic 'feel' to it. The ships seemed truly massive, the distances across the galaxy vast, the planets strangely unpopulated, the technology bizarre. (like the super advanced Holograms, yet with the picture quality of a poorly tuned 1950's TV set.) As far as I can remember, it received nothing but rave reviews from every direction, and from all ages. It was so popular that it played in cinemas non-stop for over a year.

    None of the other films even come close to that.

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