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Mr. Beaks's Brief Encounter With Joseph Kosinski, The Director Of TR2N!!

Beaks here...

It's rare that I find myself giddy to drive down to Long Beach at 6:30 AM on a Saturday morning, but that's where some of the brightest minds in the entertainment industry were this past weekend. The occasion? 5D: The Future of Immersive Design. Hopefully, I'll be able to pull together everything I learned at the breathtakingly ambitious conference - convened by visionary production designer Alex McDowell - for a semi-comprehensive report by Wednesday. Failing that, I'll just regurgitate the most brilliant ideas, which would only consist of a complete transcription of every panel and the keynote address by MIT's Henry Jenkins! Before I get lost in my notes, I should single out my very brief, off-the-cuff conversation with Joseph Kosinski, the immensely gifted commercial director who's been charged with putting a 21st Century spin on TRON. If you're unfamiliar with Kosinski, go to Anonymous Content's website and check out his reel (the directors' names are listed to the right); you'll see some familiar ads (e.g. his "Mad World" spot for GEARS OF WAR) and some maybe not-so-familiar spots (I'm especially enamored of his "Baby" commercial for Chevrolet). Visually, he's undeniably talented, but what sets him apart is his background in mechanical engineering and architecture. Those nifty contraptions you see in Kosinski's commercials? He designed and built many of them himself. This is precisely the kind of nerd you want directing TR2N. (And that's the official title, so let this be the official end of my complainin'.) After he wowed the audience during the "Narrating Space" panel at 5D, I approached the stage and called Kosinski down for a quick Q&A. I didn't want to mess with the informality of the conference, so I didn't stick a recorder in his face. To his credit, he didn't run away when I identified my press affiliation; in fact, he was kinda jazzed to talk about the movie (albeit in as vague a sense as possible). Here what I got out of him:

1) Lisberger is involved as a consultant. Kosinski couldn't be happier about this. He mentioned that Lisberger (and, presumably, Syd Mead) initially wanted the light cycles to have external riders, but they couldn't convincingly pull it off with the technology of the early '80s. So those light cycles you saw in the Comic Con test footage essentially reflect Lisberger's original design. 2) The Comic Con teaser was shot in stereoscopic 3D, and the film will be, too. Kosinski is particularly excited about the look of the game grid in this format. 3) Shooting TR2N will be a "twenty-four month" process, but Kosinski's already been at it for a while now. He didn't give me an exact date, but he seems confident that the movie could be ready for late 2010. 4) As we reported last week, WATCHMEN's Michael Wilkinson is designing the costumes. He officially joins the production this week.

It's not much, I know, but I like the mystery surrounding this project. It makes me nostalgic for the pre-release hype from 1982. What's different this time is that the script (from LOST writers Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis) is just as important as the design. Hopefully, we'll be able to tease out a few more bits of info from Kosinski before he goes under for the next year. And if you're inclined to complain about the lack of precise information, you should know that Kosinski was a veritable spoiler-machine compared to production designer Rick Carter, who sat on the conference's last panel and spilled not a goddamn thing about James Cameron's AVATAR. I will say, though, that every time I discuss this project with his colleagues, they get very excited. And when a guy like Alex McDowell says AVATAR will be a game-changer, I get very excited.

Readers Talkback
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  • Oct. 6, 2008, 2:24 p.m. CST


    by Annie The Pod Racer


  • Oct. 6, 2008, 2:31 p.m. CST


    by SPECTRE007

    Oh, will Tron 2 please not suck?

  • Oct. 6, 2008, 2:33 p.m. CST


    by SPECTRE007

    The only problem I have with the new lightcycles though, is that they can make curved turns and seem to weave and zigzag. It just seems wrong to not have that turn on a dime, right angled cuts.

  • Oct. 6, 2008, 2:47 p.m. CST

    Tron 2

    by Kirbymanly

    Every time I see that "Tr2n", it drives me out of my mind.

  • Oct. 6, 2008, 2:49 p.m. CST


    by PorkChopXpress

    I like the new lightcycles. Stands to reason that this many years later and with all the advances in computing power, the game world would have changed significantly. Hence the awesome landscape and more nimble light cycles. I'm really looking forward to this, Tron is in my top 5 favorites of all time.

  • Oct. 6, 2008, 2:49 p.m. CST

    well, that all sounds cool except....

    by Gabba-UK

    the bit about the script being written by some of the guys from Lost which went from a great opening series to making as much sense as Gov. Palin thinking that dinosaurs were around during the time of Adam and Eve. I'm fairly certain that Rev. Emms, my Religious Education teacher, didn't cover that during the term we did the bible. Then again there was a Polar Bear on the island so maybe has something to do with it.

  • Oct. 6, 2008, 2:51 p.m. CST

    Avatar will Disappoint.

    by Redfive!

    That thing is still 14 months away,and I have a feeling its not gonna be as great as everyone hopes it will be.This might be Camerons Phantom Menace.

  • Oct. 6, 2008, 3 p.m. CST

    That link to AC leads to AICN.

    by Gilkuliehe

    Not being a prick, I can go to AC on my own, just thought you might want to fix it, Beaks. Looking forward to the 5D design report, sounds pretty fucking interesting.

  • Oct. 6, 2008, 3 p.m. CST

    I was there

    by fight the new world order

    I really enjoyed the Dreamworks Animation presentation. Monster vs aliens looks like a lot of fun. Same kind of energy and vibe I got when I watched Monster House. I don't know saw if you saw me there. I am 6'4 blonde and I was in a suit.

  • Oct. 6, 2008, 3:16 p.m. CST

    AC Link

    by mrbeaks

    Doesn't want to work. just go here:

  • Oct. 6, 2008, 3:32 p.m. CST

    Wouldn't it make more sense, visually . . .

    by parallax_r

    . . . to call it T2ON instead of TR2N? At least the 2 looks somewhat like an R...

  • Oct. 6, 2008, 3:40 p.m. CST


    by eric haislar

    What is this Lord of the Rings? How does this movie take 2 years of just shooting?

  • Oct. 6, 2008, 3:41 p.m. CST

    Avatar is going to bomb so hard it'll be funny

    by Sithdan

    Nothing with this much hype delivers the goods. Not one second of footage of this thing has leaked yet and everyone expects it to be the Second Coming. From what I've read it sounds like a lot of CGI (you know, that stuff that "ruined" the SW prequels) and preachy environmental messages. As if the grim state of the environment (and of the economy, for that matter) isn't exaggerated enough by the media already.

  • Oct. 6, 2008, 3:44 p.m. CST

    The Success Of Avatar, Like Any Movie, Is All In The Story!!!

    by Media Messiah

    The problem with most movies today is there are too many cooks in the kitchen!!! The producer's kid weighs in, his wife, his mistress, his secretary, the stripper giving him lap dances, etc., the director's girlfriend has an opinion too, and over 200 move execs, and at least one or more of their family members, friends, sexual partners and so on, have something to say: "Change this, change that... add this, or that" and as a result, you get a mesh mash of ideas, none of which add up to anything???!!!<BR><BR>I think that is why so many tv series these days are better than movies as there is not enough time for these side people to weigh many scripts are delivered shortly before the actual shooting of episodes. Aside from the initial concept stage of the series, there isn't too much time to get everybodies' two cents in and there is such a high volume of episodes and different series being created and or evolving, the process escapes the over development period that most major movies go through: A process that can last for years??? And you can understand why so many cooks are in the kitchen. When 150 million dollars or more is on the line, making a single movie, with a single studio's fortunes routinely on the line, at least several times a year, this will happen. Everybody wants to tell you what is wrong with a project and how to fix it, leading to endless re-writes and changes. That is why I am for smaller budgets for the typically big budget, high concept films.<BR><BR>If they wanted, you could do a super hero film for 65 million dollars comfortably, or less. Look how great Heroes, a TV show is, from week to week...with a budget I would guess is about 1.5 to 2 million an episode??? Its success, in terms of entertanment value, is all in the story, plot and character arcs.<BR><BR>Will James Cameron jinx Avatar by taking too long to make this, his latest film??? In his case, I don't think so. He has the power to be the sole creative engine and tell various other producers on the project, as well as studio execs with their frequent last minute ideas to butt out, and they will listen to him because this movie is being sold on his name, not so much even the concept. It is solely about James Cameron's involvement that greenlit this one before anythng else. Further, this isn't so much an investment in the story either, it is an investment in the technology, R& was True Lies and Titanic (the latter of which helped build a studio production facility in Mexico for Fox, and charged it back to the film least half its worth), even T2 and The Abyss were used to innovate special effects and digital filmmaking...and for Avatar it is about 3D innovations!!! Yes, this time, the investment is for future 3D ventures in film, both theater and home based entertainment. Cameron is the director/writer/producer of Avatar...and it is his single vision that we will see on the screen, but whether it is a success as an entertainment or not, lays solely, or mostly, in the script. These days, special effects teams rarely fail us, but writers and directors, producers and the ever present studio chieftains, often fail the majority of the time!!! I trust that Cameron will deliver an interesting film, as he, unlike Lucas or the Wachowski Brothers, is not attempting to sell-out by dumbing down his film to sell toys!!! Whether this will be a film for us to love or not, I don't sounds like Cameron is making his 2001: A Space Odyssey...a film that had great effects, but had little entertainment value, emotion, sense of adventure, or heart. Hopefully Cameron will bridge that gap and give us a serious speculative science based story, one with the added dimension of a beating heart, a beautiful intriguing mind, and a elegant and yet explosive soul.

  • Oct. 6, 2008, 4:05 p.m. CST

    Is that pronounced "turtoon"

    by bswise

    As in turd + cartoon = TR2N?

  • Oct. 6, 2008, 4:10 p.m. CST

    PS--My Reason For Smaller Movie Budgets

    by Media Messiah

    Less risk...and brings less interference from studio heads and investors. Thus, that will lead to better productions and give us scripts with a linear vision. In other words, the less meddling, the better the production, but it will only arrive with smaller budgets and smaller risk. People interfer, more than not, when they know their jobs are on the line. And the higher the budget of a fiilm, the more people want to be involved, sometimes unnecessarily!!! Again, the cure is simple. Cut the budgets down, and you will have less of that madness. <BR><BR>Ultimately, it is about being economical with a story. Look at Eagle Eye for instance??? They spent tens of millions of dollars, just in the first 20 to 35 minutes of the movie, for what??? It would have been better to give us a slow build to the action...and in doing so, they could have saved that extra money for another film. I mean, did we have to see 2/3rds of those car crashes...and all those cranes going crazy??? One or two would have been good enough, in terms of the crane action...and ten car crashes would have served to make one's point...not 25 plus...and much later in the film, another 25 plus??? I could have shot Eagle Eye for half the budget. You may all recall it was originally titled War Games and Enemy of the State, before they decided to merge it with Die Hard 4 and XXX 2: State Of The Union???

  • Oct. 6, 2008, 4:19 p.m. CST

    TR2N and Avatar

    by Fawst

    First off, I agree with the fact that it should be T2ON, but based on the font they use, the TR2N does look good.<br><br>Regarding Avatar, has it really been hyped? ANYWHERE? And by anywhere, I mean anywhere that Johnny Six-Pack is going to hear about it? Cuz I sure haven't seen that. The geek community knows about it, but all we know is what we heard about back when Jurassic Park came out and CGI became a game-changer, and what little tidbits we've heard about since. Keep in mind, we're all geeking out because it's the first Cameron film (you know what I mean) since Titanic. The hype will hit the fan when it's closer to release. You KNOW the media is going to start dropping the "Will it live up to Titaniclolrz??!" bullshit fast and furious at that point.

  • Oct. 6, 2008, 4:31 p.m. CST

    You think 2001: A Space Odyssey had nothing but great effects?

    by Knuckleduster

    Fuck you.<p> I happen to agree about movies having insane and unnecessary budgets these days, and that they lead to too much interference. That's why I'm so worried about Batman 3. Get out while you can, Nolan. Don't go down the same path Raimi did.

  • Oct. 6, 2008, 4:52 p.m. CST

    Seconded (what Knuckleduster said)

    by MapMan

    MM, You started to lose me when you said something about Heroes being a great TV show. You really dropped off the map when you criticized 2001.

  • Oct. 6, 2008, 5:15 p.m. CST

    whoaa there on 2001

    by T 1000 xp professional


  • Oct. 6, 2008, 5:17 p.m. CST

    '2001' is hardly above criticism

    by thethedew

    My buddy and I watched it with his kids last weekend, and started a drinking game where we had to drink every time we had to suppress the urge to yell 'get on with it!' at the screen. But that's what you're gonna get when you watch a Kubrick film. <p> And to the kids credit, they liked the film; but I think they liked '2010' (a better piece of pure entertainment) much more.

  • Oct. 6, 2008, 5:21 p.m. CST

    SithDan's an idiot....

    by TheWaqman

    America's economy is doing bad at the moment. And all you can say is Hollywood is exaggerating it? The Republican's favorite defense.

  • Oct. 6, 2008, 5:28 p.m. CST

    Yes!!! 2001 Has Nothing More Than Great Effects!!!!

    by Media Messiah

    Despite popular lore, that movie, 2001, is a sterile bore anti entertainment!!! I have seen documentaries that are more entertaining than that snooze fest!!! A much better, and very underrated film is Silent Running, directed by Douglas Trumbull...the same guy who, ironcally, provided the special effects for 2001. And don't try to claim 2001 was so cerebral that I didn't get it. I love cerebral films. 200l was just a bad film that got acclaiim from the critics because Stanley Kubrick directed it. If Joe Nobody had directed that film, it would have gone nowhere. Hell, even THX: 1138...also a very cerebral film, was much, much better, and that was sterile and emotionless too!!!<BR><BR>If you want to see a great Kubrick film, see Lolita...but 2001: A Space Odyssey was only a hit because drugged out Beat Poets and Hippies, many of them film critics at the time, saw it and loved it because it played into their pseudo intellectually laced drug highs!!! They also loved H.R. Puff 'N Stuff too, for the same reasons, Magic Mushrooms trippy colors, and LSD fueled mind trips!!!

  • Oct. 6, 2008, 5:30 p.m. CST

    Hi. I'm a talkbacker, and I hate everything.

    by dr sauch

    We know NOTHING about either one of these movies, except that they have great talent attached and they are making people in the know excited. I know that we should check our excitement, but saying that these will bomb is simply absurd. Maybe you fatties wouldn't hate everything if you did not write things off before you had a shred of evidence.

  • Oct. 6, 2008, 5:34 p.m. CST

    I for one love TR2N

    by I am_NOTREAL

    It reminds me, happily, of SE7EN

  • Oct. 6, 2008, 5:52 p.m. CST


    by SPECTRE007

    Kubrick wasn't the Kubrick of latter days when he made 2001. He had done Spartacus and Strangelove, but the critics didn't love 2001 just because Kubrick directed it. But clearly the critics were wrong, and were waiting for Media Messiah to come along and correct the world.

  • Oct. 6, 2008, 6:02 p.m. CST

    I Agree With You 100% Spectre OO7. I Am Right!!!

    by Media Messiah

    Although meant with heaps of sarcasm, I agree with your comments nonetheless. The same critics that loved 2001 hated the original Star Wars and The Wizard of Oz. In fact, many of them hated Forest Gump and have changed their reviews on all of those films. So if they could be wrong there, then why couldn't they be wrong in reverse about their sparkling reviews of 2001: A Space Odyssey???

  • Oct. 6, 2008, 6:07 p.m. CST

    holy mackeral you guys are nuts

    by robamenta

    2001 is incredible. do u know it was made at the same time of the original star trek? just goes to show what you can achieve if u are determined enough. the effects are better than any film even today

  • Oct. 6, 2008, 6:17 p.m. CST


    by MapMan

    Dude, you must be trolling. In case you're serious, maybe try reading the A.C. Clarke novel it is based on. It may help give you a better appreciation of it. There are big words in it though - some with more than 2 syllables - so bear that in mind...

  • Oct. 6, 2008, 6:24 p.m. CST


    by sokitome

    I have been coming to this sight for 10 years and that is the stupidest post i have ever read. 2001 is a cerebral masterpiece. I'm sorry it didn't have explosions every 10 seconds. I cannot believe you claim to like cerebral movies or understand them and you can't appreciate 2001. It's boring to morons like you obviously cause you can't understand it. Wow, I didn't think the hate on these talkbacks could get any worse but saying 2001 sucked! You probably think Citizen Kane was a boring snooze fest since all they did was talk in that.

  • Oct. 6, 2008, 6:34 p.m. CST

    Media Messiah - Amen on the Success of Avatar Post

    by Alice Cooper Stalker

    You had a lot of great points in that posting. Rarely does anything of any intelligence come from these postings.

  • Oct. 6, 2008, 7:17 p.m. CST


    by Earthquake WestCoast

    TR2N works visually as a font. If you see the font and you can't tell that's suppose to be "TRON 2" then you're just sad! Btw....Bruce Boxleitereirewhat'shisname NEEDS to be in the sequel, otherwise that will suck! Also, AVATAR will probably SUCK! I don't see girls going to see that film. Girls are the only reason TITANIC made the amount it did. And James Cameron's other films usually make below $200 million. That's not even in "Pirates of the carabbein" range! Cameron is OVERRATED! Avatar comes out next year, and MOST mainstream people don't even know about it. The marketing sucks on that film! Too much secrecy usually always BACKFIRES. Btw...TRON 2 BETTER HAVE SOME CUTE/PRETTY GIRLS IN IT WEARING SOMETHING TIGHT!

  • Oct. 6, 2008, 7:21 p.m. CST


    by Earthquake WestCoast

    The trailer they showed for the film was amazing! Hopefully they don't change a thing from that scene! Looking forward to seeing Jeff Bridges again. It would be cool if they got the same music composer and really cool if they got Journey back to sing a song. BTW....TRON 2 BETTER HAVE SOME CUTE/PRETTY GIRLS IN IT, AND THEY SHOULD BE WEARING SOMETHING TIGHT! Like Lori in the first one. :)

  • Oct. 6, 2008, 7:27 p.m. CST

    Should be TRON 2 and TR2N

    by Gungan Slayer least it's not a shitty remake of TRON, so it's ok. and they better not fucking change their minds and make it a remake....anyway...yes, that Comic-Con Teaser was THE SHIT man. Best teaser surprise ever! Bring it on Jeff Bridges (and hopefully they'll bring the rest of the folks back as well)

  • Oct. 6, 2008, 7:28 p.m. CST

    Thank You Alice Cooper Stalker!!!

    by Media Messiah

    Thank you for your kind words. This industry is out of control in terms of its budgeting for films and overlong film development and production schedules. It shouldn't cost a vast fortune to make a film. I recall a news report within the last 5 plus years, which claimed that Paramount only made 20 million dollars for a specific year, after costs, taxes and staff salaries. Now, that is either creative book keeping, or mismanagement of the company, and perhaps both??? If you are in the business of makng profit, Paramount, in respect to its film production division could simply sell its production lot and make billions from the realty alone and operate as film studio from a virtual standpoint, a virtual entity without a physical location save for meeting offices. The business model is all wrong here, if we are to believe they only made a 20 million dollar profit for their film slate??? And with the cost of advertisements, prints, and film distribution, excessive budgets for films must be stopped. Better to spend more money on advertisements and promotions than endless amounts of money on a film budget. If you don't have good to excellent script and direction, 200 million dollars isn't going to help you make it better. Paying the right writer, a million dollars...and the right director 3 million dollars to execute the film properly, may...and most likely will, do just that, not the annual budget of a small school diistrict!!!<BR><BR>Take Speed Racer, they had could have saved money by going with practical effects, real world locations, pre-existing cars (redressed) and real stunt work. In addition, the filmmakers, could have, and should have, ended the film with Speed's racing team winning the race...but no, we got at least 25 minutes of another race and an extra scheme by the villains--adding at least 25 million dollars to an already overly inflated budget???<BR><BR>I recall James Cameron saying you never build a set that you will only show a glimpse it is costly. Now, Speed Racer was mostly all digital, but there are costs in animating all those digital sets and all that digital action...including filming, compositing shots, and rendering them. When faced with such costs, better to cut out the fat and get to the point of the story, than to linger on without aim. I mean, how many times did we need to see the Mach 5 jump and flip. Then Racer X' car...jump and flip...and a plethora of other vehicles do the same??? At some point, over indulgence becomes wasteful and pointless, robbing audiences of a feeling that they have seen something unique in a given sequence or sequences...when you make the mistake of repeating themes and stunts ad nauseam, even those that are digitally becomes a self parody!!!

  • Oct. 6, 2008, 7:30 p.m. CST

    Two frickin' years?

    by GeorgieBoy

    I want it NOW!!!!!!!

  • Oct. 6, 2008, 7:42 p.m. CST

    Is this cat any relation to the great Jerzy Kosinski?

    by Uncle Stan

  • Oct. 6, 2008, 7:44 p.m. CST

    Media Messiah, you do make some interesting points...

    by raw_bean

    ...but they're too easily overlooked when you shallowly dismiss one of the cinematic greats. And I'm not talking about Speed Racer.

  • Oct. 6, 2008, 7:51 p.m. CST

    awesome, can't wait

    by The Amazing G

  • Oct. 6, 2008, 7:56 p.m. CST

    MapMan And Sokitome--2001: A Space Anomaly!!!

    by Media Messiah

    I am not a troll...I was simply respondng to someone's mention of Avatar. I never read Arthur C. Clark's 2001: A Space Odyssey, although I have heard that it was very good and had additional information that helped the story make great sense, however Kubrick was said to have been forced to remain cryptic in his telling of the story, one which supposedly speaks of real information about relics and certain secreted information about Mars and other space bodies in this solar system of ours. Arthur C. Clark having recently said that "There is large life on Mars." His exact words from rumored inside information.<BR><BR>I love Clark's interviews, and always liked him as he seemed like a nice guy and was very intellegent, brilliant in fact. Stanley Kubrick's last film Eyes Wide Shut helped to expose secret societies, and some say his outing of that culture, may have led to his death??? Whether this is true or not, I don't know...but I find it strange that he died on the eve of releasing his last film that he claimed was about a couple cheating on each other, something the film never focused on, rather its sole focus was a secret society...and the involvment of very powerful people. His timely death whch allowed the studio and others to re-edit his film...and perhaps change its ultimate intent. I admire Kubrick for outing these people, the secret societies, as he did with Strangelove...outing crazed Generals and Government Bureaucrats, most with a messiah complex...and their finger on the button and ready and willing to use it, just give them an excuse, any excuse!!!<BR><BR>It is a true artist that makes a statement on the condition of humanity...and that is when they, our best, and Kubrick certainly did it there, and elsewhere, but an artist is not always successful, nor should we be treated as automatons who must cheer all of their works because the masses do, because sometimes the masses are those who elected George Bush and Dick Cheney!!!

  • Oct. 6, 2008, 10:24 p.m. CST

    So, Media Messiah...

    by 11ZOMBIES

    ...are you trying to say that 2001 was not an artistic success? If so, I'm really not sure I've ever disagreed with an opinion as much as I do that one. I don't really care what others think of the film, but to me 2001 is Kubrick's ultimate statement on the condition of humanity. I've watched it dozens of times and it continues to reveal itself to me with each viewing. You do make a good point about the masses, but I find that your view of that particular film is in lockstep with the popular opinion of those masses that you mentioned. Interesting. Also, can't wait for TR2N.

  • Oct. 6, 2008, 11:44 p.m. CST

    11Zombies: I Love The Beatles, Prince, The Police, etc.

    by Media Messiah

    ...but The Beatles, Prince, The Police, Trent Reznor, Nirvana and many more, for all their truly great songs, they also have some bad songs too. My point??? No one artist, or their music, movies, on, and so forth, is beyond rebuke...nor are every last one of their works. In regard to film, I love Hitchcock, but everything he did was not always great, just the vast majority of his works. I love Rod Serling, but not every episode of The Twilight Zone was great, however the wealth of them were better than anything ever produced for television. I could go on with examples...but I dare to be different, and I dare to be the boy who said The King Has No Cloths...and in this case, 2001: A Space Odyssey, I say, The King Has No Cloths On.<BR><BR>Further, I don't like the taste of alchohol, some people say they love fine wines and the way they taste. I just say they are a bunch of drunks who want to get high. To cover their drinking problems, they wish to appear sophisticated, chic, and worldly, hence the need to say that wine is culturally relevant and intellectual. It's aged grape juice with a kick of alcohol!!! What's the difference between that, Beer and Weed??? Nothing but engineered perception--the difference is all in the presentation, but it all leads to the same end.<BR><BR>I dare to tell the truth as I see it, but it is my honest truth as I see it, no more right or wrong than yours, if your view is indeed an honest one, and I have no doubt that it is, and not just the popular opinion fed to you by the status quo, i.e., the societal Brain Trust, the same people behind the housing crisis, the fuel crisis, and the pending second depression, failing to deliver prompt aid after Katrina, and the ongoing war that should not have happened (Where are the WMDs, the links to 911, and the old Iraqi Government, and the threat to the U.S. from Iraq, which none existed???). My point??? Sometimes the Brain Trust needs a bullet to the they are in error, and fine wine is just grape juice, and 2001 is banal.<BR><BR>As a kid I was always in the minority about 2001, but I often am in the minority because I like to share my opinion as I see things, no matter how uncomfortable it may make others feel.<BR><BR>PS: I can't wait for Tron 2 also.

  • Oct. 6, 2008, 11:54 p.m. CST

    That's Clothes, Not Cloths. Sorry, I'm Dyslexic!!!

    by Media Messiah

    It's difficult, but kind of fun, because it helps to make me different, and helps me to see things, from words, and numbers, to the world at large, from a different view...and it can be lonely and frightening sometimes, but it can also be enormously enlightening.

  • Oct. 7, 2008, 12:53 a.m. CST

    Media Mess Maker

    by deanbarry

    Your quote "Further, I don't like the taste of alchohol, some people say they love fine wines and the way they taste. I just say they are a bunch of drunks who want to get high. To cover their drinking problems, they wish to appear sophisticated, chic, and worldly, hence the need to say that wine is culturally relevant and intellectual. It's aged grape juice with a kick of alcohol!!! What's the difference between that, Beer and Weed???" You are the one who is HIGH little muss sunshine. I like the taste of alcohol. It DOES NOT make me an alcoholic. Fucknut. You have a right to your opinion, but how about keeping it relevant to the topic instead of preaching about the virtues of abstinence and the evilness of liqour.

  • Oct. 7, 2008, 1:21 a.m. CST

    Dean Barry: I Was Talking About My View

    by Media Messiah

    If drinking alcohol is honestly something you find to be wonderful...and if you don't have a drinking problem, then I believe you. However, there are those that do, I have seen them at wineries as I live near Napa and a relative works in the industry...and most people I see in, and around, that industry, including the customers, are a bunch of drunks. If you are not one of them, then know my words are not meant for you. It's still grape juice!!!

  • Oct. 7, 2008, 1:27 a.m. CST

    i like me some grape juice

    by deanbarry

    but only in moderation good sir. i know what alcoholism can do to a family, as my grandfather was one, and don't take the subject lightly. I just didn't understand your statement in context to the subject at hand.

  • Oct. 7, 2008, 1:35 a.m. CST

    Media Messiah & Wine

    by DGrayson

    Messiah, I happen to be involved in in the film industry, and share many of your views. However your thoughts on the viticulture industry seem to conflict with your previously stated views on film. If a winemaker changes his process and crop at the expense of mass production to achieve better taste, that should be evidence of art, not commercialism. I find this to happen far more often in the wine industry than Hollywood (admittedly less so in Napa than in other regions). If vinyards are only interested in catering to alcoholics than why bother changing flavor at the expense of cost. Why not just operate like Twentieth Century Fox or William-Morris, and cater to the lowest common denominator?

  • Oct. 7, 2008, 1:37 a.m. CST

    Didn't the Messiah turn water into wine?

    by deanbarry

    I'm just say'n :)

  • Oct. 7, 2008, 3:41 a.m. CST

    Anyone that says Avatar will bomb

    by kwisatzhaderach

    is an idiot. Did you learn nothing from Titanic? Cameron knows what he is doing.

  • Oct. 7, 2008, 3:46 a.m. CST

    Ebert on 2001: A Space Odyssey

    by kwisatzhaderach

    "Only a few films are transcendent, and work upon our minds and imaginations like music or prayer or a vast belittling landscape. Most movies are about characters with a goal in mind, who obtain it after difficulties either comic or dramatic. “2001: A Space Odyssey'' is not about a goal but about a quest, a need. It does not hook its effects on specific plot points, nor does it ask us to identify with Dave Bowman or any other character. It says to us: We became men when we learned to think. Our minds have given us the tools to understand where we live and who we are. Now it is time to move on to the next step, to know that we live not on a planet but among the stars, and that we are not flesh but intelligence." Just about sums it up really.

  • Oct. 7, 2008, 4:06 a.m. CST

    DGrayson...Bought And Sold Perception Is A Psi-Ops

    by Media Messiah

    Soda Pop has many flavors, but it is still Soda Pop...and Fermented Grape Juice (Wine) is still Grape Juice regardless of its many flavors. But again, it is about selling perception, not reality. However perception can become reality for those who believe the illusion they are being sold, hence the many flavors of Wine (Grape Juice)...and the many flavors of Beer, and the many flavors of Spirits. The point is, it is still all about getting high, no different than smoking Weed. It's a bottled psi-ops, subliminal programming that tells us to look at it as something other than the obvious. Getting high, whether on Crack, E, Weed, Huffing, or Alcohol: pick your drink, including Wine (Grape Juice), is still getting high (a buzz/ getting drunk, etc.)!!!<BR><BR>So why disguise the obvious??? Simple denial!!! Even alcoholics like to fool themselves into believing they are not alcoholics. And wineries like to fool themselves into believing that they are something more than fancy enablers, dressed up bars and and high-end liquor stores...nevertheless, they are just that!!!<BR><BR>Napa only accounts for 4 percent of all Wine produced in California and brands like 2 Buck Chuck, Gallo, and others, use the business model you speak of: they are no different than Fox and William-Morris, they cater to the lowest common denominator too!!! They also produce so-called Fine Wines via other label names just for reputation and image...just like Fox attempts to win Academy Awards each year for some of its to tier films, while making comic book based movies out the back door...and some William-Morris clients try to win Oscars, while most take any film they can get, they don't have to be good, they just have to pay the's all the same, industry notwithstanding--it all amounts to just a glass of Welcher's Grape Juice, dressed-up to be something more than what it really is...and everybody that is a part of ths shell game, is drunk driving all the way to the bank!!!

  • Oct. 7, 2008, 4:10 a.m. CST

    Roger Ebert Hated Forest Gump & Loved Phantom Menace!!!

    by Media Messiah

    Ebert changed his review on Gump after a growing backlash!!! His word means nothing to me based upon his increasingly curious reviews that suggest he has often been bought off or is just plain wrong!!!

  • Oct. 7, 2008, 4:16 a.m. CST

    Joe Elliott You Are Right!!!

    by Media Messiah

    I suggest that they hire Johnny Depp to star in Tron 2 and get Bruckheimer to produce--that should bring in the dollars at the box office!!!<BR><BR>Still you are correct about the industry practice of padding film budgets. Case in point, Superman Returns. There is no way in hell that Superman Returns cost as much money as they claim, unless someone embezzled the money, because it sure wasn't on the screen!!!

  • Oct. 7, 2008, 4:21 a.m. CST

    Joe: 2001 Cinematography Was Great!!!

    by Media Messiah

    Once again, I agree with you. 2001, looks as crisp and clear it must have back then. The film looks like it could have been shot in the here and now!!!

  • Oct. 7, 2008, 4:47 a.m. CST

    Dean Barry

    by Media Messiah

    My Grandfather was an alcoholic too. A good man, but an alcoholic. I think everyone has their addictions. I guess that is why I avoid most things that are addictive...but God blessed me in 2 areas in terms of drinking, he gave me an allergy to alcohol...and gave me a bad I stay away from it. Once when I was in highschool, before I started to become allergic, I would drink a cup of wine everyday before school because several teachers and admistrators were trying to really destroy my life. The drinking helped me not to feel them, and I was comfortably numb, just like that Pink Floyd song. This went on for a month...and then one evening on a impulse, I went for a bottle and then I heard a voice that told me "If you take another drink you will become an alcoholic" I broke the habit, rght then and there. And although I tried alcohol about a dozen plus times since then, as a mild curiousity, I was able to control it. I even got drunk about 6 times, as an experiment to understand why people get drunk. I wanted to know if I was missing something??? Was this an aphrodisiac??? Would women like me better...and would I fit in easier??? Was there something to getting buzzed or high that was fun or cool, even transformative??? Soon, experiment after experiment, I found out it felt horrible. I was an ocassional drinker for appearance sake so I could appear cool and fit in, until I developed my allergy...but I never liked the taste of alcohol, not one bit, so just drink straight grape juice, soda tea or whatever else!!!

  • Oct. 7, 2008, 5:03 a.m. CST

    Joe, I Must Admit Without Kubrick, Stars Wars...

    by Media Messiah

    ...would not exist. The look, the lighting, the sets, miniatures and some costumes influenced the look of Star Wars...even the orchestrated classical soundtrack was glimpsed from 2001. Lucas used temp tracks of classical music to score Star Wars until John Willaims was brought in to score the film on the recommendation of Steven Spielberg.<BR><BR> Kubrick and I would have gotten along just fine. He was close to his family and even had his production studio within blocks of his home because he had panic stress disorder...something I have. I like him very much, especially since, even though a director, he ironically didn't go Hollywood.<BR><BR>PS: Lucas tried to hire Douglas Trumbull, the effects superviser for 2001 to do Star Wars but he refused the invitation. Instead, Trumbulls underling, John Dykstra, took the job and created Trumbull's only imagined motion control camera...with which Dykstra was able to shoot the X-Wing/Tie Fighter dog fights with, which previously would have been impossible to film.

  • Oct. 7, 2008, 5:09 a.m. CST

    That's Classical "Style" Soundtrack

    by Media Messiah

    The symphonic sounds of the classical orchestrations reflective of the 2001 soundtrack made a big enough impression on Lucas that they served to influence his need to have something similar for Star Wars.

  • Oct. 7, 2008, 5:09 a.m. CST


    by Maniaq

    Seriously, if they don't get that - and (more importantly) WHY - then the wrong people are in charge of this project, regardless of which director is attached

  • Oct. 7, 2008, 5:36 a.m. CST

    Next thing you know

    by kwisatzhaderach

    someone will pop up on this thread and say that The Dark Knight is better than 2001.

  • Oct. 7, 2008, 5:37 a.m. CST


    by kwisatzhaderach

    looks fine when you see the proper logo.

  • Oct. 7, 2008, 5:44 a.m. CST


    by LaserPants

    Its also to destroy AVATAR, which I predict is going to bomb. If not bomb, then, "underperform."

  • Oct. 7, 2008, 5:48 a.m. CST


    by kwisatzhaderach

    I wouldn't predict anything until you see the Avatar trailer.

  • Oct. 7, 2008, 5:55 a.m. CST

    'Performance' of Avatar...

    by Ghostball

    Who gives a fuck, as long as it fucks our eyeballs in the Oh Nine.

  • Oct. 7, 2008, 5:56 a.m. CST

    DGrayson...Do You Know Any Script Buyers???

    by Media Messiah

    Not that I have a script in the industry standard format...but, I was just wondering??? I'm still trying to get around the red tap of "Get a entertainment lawyer...and get him to submit your work to a agent." That's job enough alone, and a headache, I'd rather write instead!!!

  • Oct. 7, 2008, 6 a.m. CST


    by kwisatzhaderach

    And you know it will.

  • Oct. 7, 2008, 6:09 a.m. CST

    Avatar is going to be the Star Wars of the 21st Century

    by zapano

    God know why but I have a feeling Tr2n could be great as well.

  • Oct. 7, 2008, 6:12 a.m. CST

    Avatar Is Going To Be The Matrix Sequels Of The 21st Century

    by LaserPants

    Nevermind that the Matrix sequels were also of the 21st century.

  • Oct. 7, 2008, 6:13 a.m. CST

    Will Robodaddy Be Shot Old Yeller Style In AVATAR?

    by LaserPants

    He's king of the world! The world of diminishing returns, that is.

  • Oct. 7, 2008, 6:27 a.m. CST

    heheh - MM, ignoring your comments about 2001...

    by Maniaq

    There was a little movie came out in the late 70's by a young director who was a part of a film making community. He shared his ideas with that community and they in turn shared their ideas with him, on all their various projects. <p> There was a lot of input from a lot of different people - people like Francis Ford Coppola, Steven Spielberg, Brian DePalma, Martin Scorsese, John Milius, Gloria Katz and Willard Huyck - that helped shape his script. Even his wife helped him write it! <p> That movie was Star Wars. <p> The phenomenal success that followed meant that the filmmaking community that spawned it soon went their separate ways and a "Golden Era" of movies came to an end. <p> You were trying to make a point that "too many cooks" tend to spoil modern films - I just wanted to point out that historically, the approach actually led to some pretty decent films - while having carte blanche to do the film his own way with no input from anyone else can lead a director to produce something more along the lines of The Phantom Menace...

  • Oct. 7, 2008, 8:12 a.m. CST

    "Unt vere is the Light Cycle Lebowski?"

    by Stuntcock Mike

  • Oct. 7, 2008, 8:28 a.m. CST

    old lightcycle could zigzig!!!

    by supergenius

    Spectre007 has a "problem" with the light cycles being able to to make curving turns? WATCH THE ORIGINAL MOVIE! After one of the enemy cycles explodes blowing a hole in the wall of the game grid, Flynn and company make a break for it through the crack. Hell, one scene shows them going around 3 huge CURVES as if on a mountain road. They weave back and forth, too. The only time they make the 90 degree sharp turns is on the game grid. So if the new light cycles didn't have the ability to weave and zig zag it would actually be inaccurate to the original and I would be the one pissed off. I think everyone should be required to view the original TRON again before posting to any talkbacks on the subject.

  • Oct. 7, 2008, 8:36 a.m. CST


    by Diagnostic

    you are awesome.

  • Oct. 7, 2008, 10:18 a.m. CST

    I hope the computer world doesn't look too real

    by Mr Nicholas

    CGI is photo-real now, but the clean, geometric, untextured style of Tron looked awesome and really set it apart from reality.

  • Oct. 7, 2008, 10:19 a.m. CST

    Well, you know . . .

    by parallax_r

    . . . That's just your opinion, man...

  • Oct. 7, 2008, 11:12 a.m. CST

    I'm torn about this

    by Abominable Snowcone

    TRON was cool because THAT computer world LOOKED cool and NEW. In the reality of 1982, computers were still innovative, relatively new and mysterious, and certainly not on everybody's desktop. Yet. Flash to 2008, and everybody is familiar with computers. We're not all experts, but most of us are familiar with how they work and what they're capable of. They aren't enigmatic any longer. For TR2N to be successful, it's got to give us something new. It's got to do something different to make brains light up and our eyes pop out. You could re-do the lightcycles just about any way you want, but they aren't going to stimulate anybody because we've already SEEN lightcycles, and kids today have seen plenty of other things similar to lightcycles.

  • Oct. 7, 2008, 3:28 p.m. CST

    The Grid's Look


    I'm not at all worried about it. It will have it's own energy and style and it will be updated. That teaser had a nice look. I highly doubt it will be photo real reality, if at all anything it might be based on 3d fractal CGI technology with really sleek and sharp geo shapes. Really I just hope the story is good. I hope Flynn's terminally ill and that is the reason why he has gained interest to returning into that world. So he can cheat death. Somehow he is the bad guy now, but I want to see him redeemed by the end if he is the bad guy. You can't end it sour.<P> I'm worried about them going for a world wide virus epidemic, but maybe that isn't so bad, maybe the virus is so Flynn can expand the grids world or the reality of it, by sucking off of the memory of the world servers for a few seconds. Since Programs live in a world of microseconds. Time is not the same there. If there was a way to take all the information stored on the world servers- A way to actualize that stuff. To make it Tangent in the Grid world. Then Reality on the grid would be equal to or greater than Reality here.<P> They could spin that angle. But I don't think they need a virus to do that. What they need is a program that can understand what it is seeing even if it's just a fragment of that object- Like we can. We can look at an embroidered letter- not even the entire letter on what looks like the hat- We assume it's a hat because in the image it has that button thats on the top of a hat. We can see that and know what we are looking at, and maybe even from our own experience in the world - even if the Word the letters contained in isn't fully in view- We might know exactly what that word is on that hat. An example: Seeing only a portion of a RedSoxs hat. We know what it is because we are familiar with the logo and what a hat looks like. We can do that almost instantly, but computers can not. They don't have analytical skills like that yet. <P> Maybe Flynn's trying to teach a program how to do that, and it needs all the input it can get to pull it off. It has to suck down all the images and text information on the net to develop that ability, and once it has it. It can bring any object imagined into reality. Just like the first film only instead of taking real objects and pulling them in. It can take digital representations of the those objects and realize them truthfully. Giving Flynn his heaven if you will, his place to escape death, a reality not unlike our own. <P> Think of how fustraiting it would be to explain wanting a burger to something and you can't have it because, well they don't understand what a burger is or how to realize it for you.<P> So the virus could be a a massive data collection routine sent across the planet to digest as much information as it can, problem is it needs to stay involved with the worlds servers to keep this information constantly streaming. You could call it a virus that can't be removed. This is one you have to live with, unless you can replace all the harddrives in the world. It is not erasable. Writing Zeros to the drive doesn't work. The sector where it imbeds itself as data is protected.

  • Oct. 7, 2008, 3:46 p.m. CST


    Dr. Lora Baines: Well, here goes nothing. <P> Dr. Walter Gibbs: Interesting! Interesting! You hear what you just said? "Here goes nothing." <P>Dr. Lora Baines: Well, I meant— <P> Dr. Walter Gibbs: "Whereas what we propose to do is to turn something into nothing, and back again. So you might just as well have said "Here goes something, and here comes nothing!" <P>Well the next logical step is create something from nothing. All you need is an image or several million images of something too pull it off. I wonder where you can find several million images of one particular thing just by typing it in?

  • Oct. 7, 2008, 5 p.m. CST

    Maniaq: Lucas Encouraged Coppola To Do The Godfather

    by Media Messiah

    Although you are right about friends collaborating on films, invitng or giving input, filmmaker to filmmaker, artist to artist, friend to friend...that is a far cry from meddling executives from McDonalds, Coca Cola and some Fortune 500 bankers who have bought into a film studio and have no filmmaking or artistic experience assuming the role of studio executives and producers, and trying to give, even forcing, their collective artistic input into a film...not just a, "Here's my advice" friendly thing "Take it or leave it" but a "Change the script, or have no choice!" <BR><BR>When Alan Ladd Jr. greenlit Star Wars, he said to Lucas, "I don't understand your Star Wars script...or what a Jawa of a Wookie is, but I loved American Graffiti so I trust the man who made that film. Go make your movie and here is your budget." Ladd had the common sense to realize that he did not understand Lucas' thought process but he knew that the man who made the second film to gross 100 million dollars at the box office, that being American Graffiti, and the same man who told Coppola to make the Godfather, the first 100 million grossing film at the box office, maybe knew what he was doing back then??? Has Lucas since become a wreckless Jedi who won't listen to good advice??? Yes!!! But Spielberg did collaborate on story and sequences with Lucas on Attack Of The Clones...the problem is, both men need to bring in some new fresh blood to the creative process, people like Joss Whedon and Christopher Nolan, etc., to assist with those invited collaborations, instead of shunning them, the new talent, just because they can.

  • Oct. 8, 2008, 8:05 p.m. CST

    "Take Speed Racer, they had could have saved money"

    by half vader

    "by going with practical effects, real world locations, pre-existing cars (redressed) and real stunt work." <p> Hahahahahahahahahah ha. Yep. That woulda made it cheaper, sure... (wipes tear from eye). <p> Or were you talking about the scared producer's (because you sure do talk like one) version where it wouldn't have been the SAME film at all, just a cut-down, amputated version. It's not the pre-90s man. If you can write it you CAN actually imagine it. Someone takes ADVANTAGE of that to finally make the live-action cartoon everyone's been talking about for aeons, and you want to send things back a few decades. The original was silly and over-the-top, and they completely honoured it. You used a very bad example. So tell me exactly how much they would have saved on the multiple concurrent units shooting in all those locations or just a couple of units dragging around the world for months on end, and just the sheer redundancy of all that entails for a non-photoreal aesthetic... And if I had a dollar for every forest-for-the-trees twit who marked it down for "realism" and "believable physics"... <p> Did it occur to you even once that maybe the film they wanted to make WAS cheaper this way? Even in the digital world they could have used much more 'convincing' techniques and more complicated methodologies, but they didn't. A lot of the background stuff was just a Quicktime vr! WHY was that again? <p> And "his exact words" and "from rumoured inside information" is an oxymoron, the way you've written it. <p> 2001 is probably the clearest example of Kubrick cutting to the quick. YOU know people aren't unfeeling. HE knows it. And for all the moronic bleating about it being 'boring' he actually gets ON with things rather than dwell on soap-opera stuff that is beside the thrust of the film - and you complain because he's NOT patronising you? And the parts that showed the tedium of space travel (this HADN'T been shown before, remember) were BORING? What a moronic and redundant thing to say - all of you! 2001 IS the work of a true artist - who didn't think it necessary to simplify and pander to one side or the other of the human condition. There are plenty of movies that are about people being lovey-dovey. Why would he patronise the audience by shoehorning sentiment into a story where it doesn't belong? People ignorantly call Kubrick cold because he actually shows the other sides of humanity without watering it down, uncomfortable (NOT unsympathetic) or not. Eyes Wide Shut is a typical example of poeple missing the point. The sunshine and roses stuff has already happened. That film is about later on when things get complicated. And it's a lot more honest and to the point than other films about the same thing with their histrionics and Oscar-baiting. I think people will look at that one differently when time has passed. Maybe another decade. Clockwork Orange fits the same thing - what happens when and after the shit goes down/everything goes to pot. Seeing how we got there is sometimes beside the point. <p> 2001 was based on a Clarke short story named "the sentinel". Then he wrote the novel and the screenplay while working with Kubrick. And as for "additional information that helped it make sense" both Clarke and Kubrick were in complete agreement that space and aliens are not only "stranger than we imagine, but stranger than we CAN imagine" and also agreed that literally showing an alien was redundant (and if you know Clarke's writing, 2001 the movie is VERY true to his style). Everyone misunderstands the monoliths too. They're likewise SYMBOLS. That's why they're devoid of detail, a hole through which consciousness enters and comes out/away changed, every time it happens in the film. The literal interpretation of new/alien concepts. It's that shape because it's a visual pun on perfection - the mathematical golden formula/proportions. It's not necessarily supposed to BE anything. They're signposts, symbols, literal manifestations of symbolic markers/stepping stones. <p> I humbly think though that he stumbled a bit with the film's most admired shot - the jumpcut between the bone and the satelite. We get the whole audacious leap in terms of evolution/technology and so on so yes it works, but what everyone misses (including me) is that it's not a geosynchronous satellite (Clarke's famous concept/invention), it's a BOMB. Which makes the cut still work, but with an incredible level of irony, showing the leap form one weapon to another. Much more powerful, again both literally and figuratively. Maybe they shoulda stuck a little nuclear or laser symbol on there to make it clearer... <p> I could start a drinking game here for every time someone says something inane about 2001. I'd be plastered in no time and ironically in the same mental state as the rest of you.

  • Oct. 8, 2008, 8:13 p.m. CST

    But I do agree with you MM

    by half vader

    On Supes. There was definitely a discrepancy going on there. Although it's hard to remember (I worked on it) what comes from the net and what was internal when you're hearing both every day, at one point there was something about not worrying that our budget would include the tens of millions already spent on the previous iterations, including Cage's pay-or-play. Magically days later our budget was 'cut' by the same amount. Crew/production stuff on that movie was not excessive/irresponsible. So speculate from there...

  • Oct. 8, 2008, 8:23 p.m. CST

    Kubrick as photographer

    by half vader

    The idea through inference that what he accomplished with pictures and music could have been better accomplished with words is beyond me. I don't think you guys thought this through. Would any of those scenes works BETTER with dialogue? WHY did he choose sound and image? Thousand words and all that. ESPECIALLY with "boring" 2001. Remember Chuck Jones' criticism of modern animation as redundant/"animated radio" (where they TALK bout things instead of SHOWING/animating it? There's a lot of complaining about the how and nearly none about the WHY. Yes everything's subjective and all, but don't criticise a guy who knew just what he was doing when you haven't considered the REASONS yourselves or offered abetter alternative. Radio can give you words. Film gives you sound AND picture. Why WOULDN'T you use everything at the medium's disposal ESPECIALLY for such ambitious projects as 2001 where words alone are absolutely inadequate? Grrrrr.

  • Oct. 8, 2008, 8:32 p.m. CST

    And MM, can you imagine

    by half vader

    what would have happened if Lucas HAD made Apocalypse Now? And it was another classic like American Graffiti and SW? And then went on to do the prequels anyway? <p> How much MORE fucked-up would fanboy minds be?! <p> Oh and I guess you've read that SW making of book and seen some docos- I love the cheeky nod in Apocalypse of Harrison Ford's character being called Lucas. Although fanboys would rip it a new one these days for its indulgence (despite the irony)... <p> Oh and I meant modern TV animation (60s through 80s at the time of the quote from memory). Sorry.

  • Oct. 9, 2008, 2:42 a.m. CST

    Half Vader

    by Media Messiah

    I think the sequel to American Graffiti was a bit of a light weight nod to Apocalypse Now in some way...a failed one. I hope Lucas takes back Apocalypse Now, by writing something with that kind of flavor again. It seems like he has unfinished business there, thanks to Coppola stealing Lucas' Apocalypse Now script, and directing it himself. In some way, I think Apocalypse Now, was a unspoken sequel to American Graffiti, and showed us the unexpected path that one of the characters might have taken. There is some belief that all of Lucas' early films were based on his life, directly, and or, metaphorically, from THX:1138 to American Graffiti and Star Wars...and finally, as I said, Apocalypes Now, would have addressed his fears of the Vietnam War at the time...something that Graffiti briefly addressed towards the climax of the film.

  • Oct. 9, 2008, 4:01 a.m. CST

    Speed Racer, Superman, And 2001

    by Media Messiah

    You don't have to drag around the world shooting a film. You simply pick a geographical area of the world to shoot, a particular city, for instance, and you re-dress locations to serve the shots, they do it all the time, it's called filmmaking. I assure you, in Iron Man, they did not fly to the Middle East to film it, and they didn't shoot a party scene in Dubai either. It was all shot in a limited area.<BR><BR>When I looked at some of the old real racing footage of the 50s and 60s cars that were briefly shown in Speed Racer and on the DVD, and the old and real racing uniforms, I said to myself "Wow....they should have used classic cars from that period and re-dressed them, or at least used newer experimental cars that car companies regularly build as prototypes, and show at annual car shows, this--to shot this movie?" These vehicles are ocassionally used for films when filmmakers request assistance, the filmmakers behind 2010, did just that. Also they, the producers of Speed Racer, could have gotten ahold of more recently retired race cars for the film. You seem to believe that it is hard to film second unit racing footage when Tokyo Drift and the other Fast and the Furious films, as well as copy cat rip-offs prove that car racing films can be shoot with low budgets. I live right next to a race track, a very famous one, so I know the Wachoswkis could have contracted to film the movie on location, at various current, and or, old race tracks, and saved a mint. They could have, and should have, only used CGI where needed. Instead, they abused the process and turned the film into looking like a Jason Pollack painting/a cluttered multi-colored MySpace page/and a over stuffed Skittles commercial!!! Speed racer the film was sloppy. The original show was partly inspired by James Bond films. People got killed...and our heroes shot machine guns. It was about cloak and dagger, and many of the villains were smart. The Wachowskis turned the movie into a film version of the more recent a disrespectful Americanized and produced Speed Racer cartoons, having little to do with the original.<BR><BR>As far as 2001 being boring, those long sequences of no dalogue were not bold, they could have been edited down to a 3 minutes lap dissolved montage, one quickly communicating Kubrick's message that being out in space can be long, tedious and lonely...but carrying on overlong stretches was, is ridiculous, and if not that, it was at least unnecessary!!!<BR><BR>Filmmaking is, or should be, about being economic with story and execution. They built huge sets for Superman Returns, like the giant Kryptonite island set, which could have been entirely green screened, or the Fortress Of Solitude??? Hello, why not Green Screen it...and save the big bucks for something that the story really more action...or more dialogue shaped through scenes meant to re-establish Superman's relatationship with Lois Lane, the stilted romance and what was, and what was, is well, show us expansive scenes of Smallville, Clark's life there with his parents and peers, and the his trip to Krypton. They filmed that scene, the Krypton return, and cut it??? A scene that some say cost about 5 million dollars??? How is it that Iron Man, a film that cost much less, actually looks more expensive on screen...or even the Transformers??? Let's look at the downed airplane sequence from Superman Returns, they should have used that sequence later on in the film to better advance the story. That sequence should have come in the climax...with Superman called to rescue Lois Lane, who has come to believe that humans don't need Superman anymore. Her printed articles having convinced many of the same thing, so when the plane comes down in the baseball arena, it would have served to show that The Man of Steel is still relevant, having saved the lives of so many not only in the aircraft, but in the arena itself. What better way to use such a sequence, instead, they used it to re-introduce Superman to the world that he had abandoned, robbing us, the audience, of the sense that the people in general, and Lois, were right in feeling they didn't need him anymore. The whole movie, if you are going to go with such a theme, should have been a build-up to show that Superman was indeed needed, and what better way to show it than that sequence, but showing it too early, as they did, took away the chance for a steady build-up of action, and left us all curious as to why everyone would not be more than happy to have him back??? Better writers would have spotted this flaw, and moved around the proceedings to address that better. Superman should have returned to a world post 911 where Lex Luthor was running for President and was beloved by everyone for saving the world apparently a time or two...and Lois should have been his lover. Lex, setting thing up to make himself a indispensable humanitarian, captain of industry and politician, one who is hiding a secret agenda, that Superman must figure out and expose before it is too late. Now that would have been one hell of a interesting movie, an economical one, and a good one. <BR><BR>Again, why was Iron Man a better movie??? Answer, because they had a better script and a better director, with a budget that said director, knew he had to work with in a clever fashion, smart and funny lines abound, with a story that said something about greed, what is wrong, what should be right, love, loyalty, betrayal, and the state of the human condition...that in order to get the most bang for his buck while giving us somethng more to think about other than a visual toy commercial, like Speed Racer and Superman Returns!!!

  • Oct. 9, 2008, 9:21 a.m. CST

    TR2N and Avatar? -- Oh, yeeeaaaahhhh!!!!!

    by JDanielP

    These flicks can't get her soon enough!

  • Oct. 10, 2008, 12:03 a.m. CST

    "It's called filmmaking" & "they should have"

    by half vader

    Well, that's a pretty snooty comment that completely ignores the original points about it being Speed Racer/the core conception of it being a "live-action cartoon" in the first place and budget in the second. Using Iron Man there is disingenuous, apples-to-oranges and inappropriate. Most of Speed Racer did the same thing then by shooting on stages and using plates (cheaper still than your limited location argument) if you want to argue bout semantics. Jesus. <p> And if you wanna talk financial responsibility, let's chat about how it's LESS financially responsible now often to NOT do things digitally rather than practical. Don't get Favreau's commitment to the old-fashioned stuff (which I do love) mixed up with arguments about his budget-mindedness, for fuck's sake. Commitment to quality OVER commitment to a 'responsible' budget is another thing you keep confusing. Sure He committed to that budget, but you can't argue that budget would have been millions LESS without so much practical stuff. And it WOULD NOT be the other way around for Speed Racer. Make up your mind, for God's sake. It's also part of the reason they only made a simplified resin replica of one full robot in Transformers. <p> And you give yourself away with the stuff about redressing classic cars or 'experimental prototypes' (generally they're just called concept cars) and retired race cars. Basically you have a subjective point of view, which was that Speed Racer should have been a 'heightened' version of a regular car movie (I'm stretching your words there but hopefully you get my point), - NOT this type of movie, which for once followed a clear concept of what it would be from start to completion. The whole idea of this film was exactly that it WASN'T a regular car/action movie with effects bolted on. If you don't enjoy that, i respect your point of view. But you can't say it's a failure or inconsistent; in that it was entirely successful in accomplishing what IT/the filmmakers set out to do and being the type of film THEY wanted it to be. <p> I guess where disagreement comes in is that you don't think it's faithful to the ORIGINAL cartoon and I emphatically do (like Lord of the Rings, 'true' to the source rather than being a literal-minded failure like say, the 1st Harry Potter film). I also think that the most important part - the story - was successful in that it honoured the pitch and tone (and fun) of the original (you're upset they had weapons but not machine guns - really?!). I guess you wanted complete literalism. For a film based on a cartoon! Again, if you want to talk semantics, I could say it WAS. Anyway... <p> You're lecturing on even second/multiple units going on location and redressing being cheaper than two or three guys with a quicktime vr setup (the best way to accomplish the requirements for the simple/stylised background plates) and comping the drivers on back at the (cheaper) stage or in post??? You are too funny. And didn't notice how MANY locations they used for interiors and exteriors, even DURING say, a single race. Again, your rationale for it being a DIFFERENT film is getting in the way of 'solutions' to achieve THIS type of film. It was always meant to be more Sin City, not McQueen's Le Mans. They also shot in Germany for budget. You certainly can't say that they weren't financially responsible in terms of getting the most bang for the buck in the complete service of the film THEY were making. We don't live in the seventies anymore, and SHOULD take advantage of the tools available to get MORE artistic intent (story, visuals etc) for the agreed budget). At the end of the day all of your arguments are reductive and don't serve the core creative filmmakers - even producers have that as their goal! You're thinking like a suit, who wants to change and reduce things DESPITE the filmmakers' intent. <p> "3 minutes lap dissolved montage"! Oh boy. The different mood and effect that technique would achieve in the context of that film would be both a failure in terms of relaying the intent of those sequences (they would TRIVIALISE the tedium and regimented grind by compacting and abstracting it) - and conversely, 3 MINUTES of montage ("we need a fucking montage" indeed!), would actually through the length EXTEND the perception of time passed making it seem MORE interminable than what you argue against! Please, enough with your armchair criticism on film technique - thinking it didn't work for you is one thing, actually giving an awful example of WHY AND HOW THAT DOESN'T actually WORK AND lecturing Kubrick of all people on appropriate techniques makes a fool of yourself. Perception of time through technique in film is not something taken lightly - especially in Kubrick's case. And you forget (even after I mentioned it) that these points would have been even MORE crucial when the film was released, and nearly no-one had ANY knowledge that this type of tedium and endless routine was a large factor in space travel. You think he should have done it just for audiences viewing it decades later rather than both types of audience? Whatever... <p> Of course filmmaking should be responsible. But fiscal responsibility that distorts the whole reason for film - an medium for artistic expression and intent - and the reasoning for the individual film in question - is redundant, cutting off the nose to spite the face, the tail wagging the dog etc. I'm not saying for a second you shouldn't be frugal, but you give some lousy examples that betray any actual knowledge of the process and misunderstanding of what you HAVE read and watched. Iron Man is a BAD example in budget terms. 140 to 175 depending on who you believe, but if you look at it in terms of BUDGET, it's a fairly 'small' scope movie. Look at what Transformers did with the same dough. As I said (before you get carried away), I'm talking about budget. Not figurative quality. It makes no sense for you to even tie the budget in with your argument about iron man. Once you pay for the writers, good lines or bad cost the same. Stop muddying your point. And you don't think it's strange that such a budget-minded director as Favreau went from sub 10 million dollar pics with GOOD WRITING to Zathura which was 65mil to 140-170 is a similar arc to say, Singer or even Cameron? Just so you know, I loved Iron Man. The action scenes were pretty lousy, but character/story is the most important thing, and that was great -except for completely fumbling an important character at the end. After building Pepper so well as a strong and equal person (even to the extent of having her always higher in the frame than even the SHIELD guys - heels aside), she's reduced to literally standing around saying "What's going on" and pushing a button. Not to mention the sharp ending of the movie being diluted by a weak tack-on tease after the credits that doesn't have as much to do with good film-making as satisfying comic readers with an ad. Beats are also very important to directors and it sure doesn't work from that standpoint - it's more like Avi Arad said we must have an advertisement in there for comics fans - hey! More Awesome product soon! You talk about going against the grain eh? There you go. And a LOT of people called 2001 boring and self-indulgent in 68 and a ton of fanboys roll that one out in every single talkback about it, so don't think for a second you're any sort of renegade with YOUR self-indulgent "Emperor's new clothes" garbage. <p> Too funny - the stuff about Superman. You on those sets were you? Your criticism there is entirely idiotic. I WAS on those sets, remember? And I also know that the island set might have been big, but there's a load of difference between a set that's mainly wood and styrofoam, with mold-and repeat pieces and an organic structure vs say an architectural affair. It's a helluva lot less complicated, and CHEAPER. And I guess you didn't see any shots of it with the GREENSCREEN behind it! As for the fortress, oh my God man. Not much of that was built at all. I sure don't know where you came up with that one. HTat set was half a stage in size, and nothing compared to it's scope on screen. The Daily Planet was a facade with a lot of plywood and a lot of paint weathering and texture. The trainset WAS huge (and done practically, which was entirely appropriate), but one of the reasons we go to the movies - to see the sort of things we can't see in real life. But again you take the myopic view, and don't contrast it with a James Bond-level film. You contrast it with Iron Man, which had a MUCH smaller scope. You say things about wanting to retread MORE old ground from Donner's film (are you KIDDING me? like they didn't do that enough?!) and want the plane rescue to be a CENTREPIECE when it's already a repeat of the original sequence? Anyway, there WAS a scene that would have upped the ante and showed the world why Supes was the man, but it was cut. Things YOU would have liked, like an inexpensive bit underground with lots of pipes rather than more above-ground mayhem (financially responsible, see?!) were in there to keep things down, but curiously you don't mention that stuff (which DOESN'T work). But I agree with you - for a flick called Suprman Returns, sometimes you DO need to be literal and show the place you returned from. Still don't get that one, and don't understand the rationale of Singer specifically pointing out we wouldn't even see it as an extra. And my God the DVD and Blu-rays are shitty quality, which has NOTHING to do with it being shot digitally. <p> Hey, I'm not going to bother defending the story or the director's intent except to say that some of your own ideas are amazingly short-sighted and don't take into account the knock-on effect or balancing and streamlining literal and thematic concerns and you keep vacillating between how they could've fixed THAT film, and your ideas about essentially a DIFFERENT film (hmmm, I see a theme here). Did I think it was a great story? Let's just say not everyone on a film chooses a project after getting to look at a script, and also that a script is generally NEVER finished before it is made. But even so, that doesn't mean they don't do the best they can and give the highest quality possible. But the point here is to address you saying moronic things about something you haven't bothered to actually think about, and making definitive-sounding statements based on hearsay rather than fact. I don't know where all the money went (and you also fail to mention they made the fiscally responsible decision to shoot it O.S. just like Speed Racer to SAVE MONEY), but it sure wasn't wasted on things like the making of the sets as you carelessly maintain. Look before you make a leap, buddy. <p> Finally, yeah. "More American Graffiti". I agree, and gotta admit I continually forget it was even made. Saying Coppola "stole" Apocalypse is a stretch though, considering...

  • Oct. 10, 2008, 12:25 a.m. CST

    Joss Whedon - how quickly we forgive, and forget

    by half vader

    that he fucked up Alien 4 so horrendously. The worst sins in that film come from writing and plotting worse than anything Alien 3 may have done... But then MM, how can love such a thin, literal take on the whole whole western metaphor already done by Star Wars, Han Solo etc. (considering love for SW), Trek, Galactica and so on (even Kurosawa) in Firefly is beyond me. And you say story is the most important thing, too! Execution was cool at times but what a fucking stunted concept. Captain Mal was just this generation's Dash Rendar. THERE"S some "Emperor has no clothes" for ya! Oh the irony... <p> Are there any browncoats around here? There's gonna be a lynchin'! In my defence I'll say one thing. Yep, there's nothing new in the world, and if you're gonna do it, do it well. So fair enough, and I have nothing against it on that level. It may be my own failing that I just can't see past the tired concept and outrageously literal interpretation of its various inspirations, but I'm definitely not speaking against an honest attempt at something Whedon was/is passionate about. And I really like Fillion.