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(io9)   The good news: There are ten influential science-fiction and fantasy movies that inspired a lot of film makers. The bad news: They tried to copy the wrong things from them...and most of them copied them badly   (io9.com) divider line 73
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7064 clicks; posted to Geek » on 20 Aug 2013 at 6:07 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-08-20 04:37:01 PM  
The short version:

What people take away from Sci-Fi blockbusters: the visual effects
What io9 wants them to take away: substance and/or plot elements.

Also fails to mention the classic Sci-Fi movies that really inspired EVERYONE: Metropolis and King Kong.
 
2013-08-20 05:08:11 PM  
Well, that was a waste
 
2013-08-20 05:18:54 PM  
I'd like to see a "Close Encounters" that focused on the government officials that were chasing the answer. Spielberg kind of touched on this with his "Taken"  miniseries, but then just when it was starting to get good the story got all new-agey and I lost interest.

I want a good hard-conspiracy story told from the point-of-view of those who were trying to keep it a secret.  I think that would be a helluva story.
 
2013-08-20 05:21:26 PM  

nmrsnr: The short version:

What people take away from Sci-Fi blockbusters: the visual effects
What io9 wants them to take away: substance and/or plot elements.


Came here to say pretty much this.  It's as if it's easier to copy good visuals than good writing.
 
2013-08-20 05:35:04 PM  
I think most of those boil down to one or two or three primary items.  Mostly, it's that film makers don't take away the character elements from these films (mostly).

In Close Encounters, some of the best scenes were those that simply focused the camera on some obscure unnamed character or characters.  Some of these films seemed like they were simply filming people about their daily lives (like suggested in Alien).  This kind of thing is what made those films awesome.  Sure, we needed the visual effects and the aliens and such but the gritty realism added so much.

One thing that was missed with the James Cameron films - he really goes to great lengths to make some things plausible and realistic as possible.  Look at Aliens - practically every prop in that movie, no matter how obscure, had a legitimate function and wasn't just tech decoration.  And there was some logic to the design of the vehicles and structures.  *That* is what other film makers are failing to take away from Cameron.  Adding a sense of realism gets people into the story and makes for an epic film.
 
2013-08-20 05:51:58 PM  

UberDave: One thing that was missed with the James Cameron films - he really goes to great lengths to make some things plausible and realistic as possible. Look at Aliens - practically every prop in that movie, no matter how obscure, had a legitimate function and wasn't just tech decoration. And there was some logic to the design of the vehicles and structures. *That* is what other film makers are failing to take away from Cameron. Adding a sense of realism gets people into the story and makes for an epic film.


And then he went and threw it all away with Avatar.
 
2013-08-20 05:57:30 PM  

scottydoesntknow: UberDave: One thing that was missed with the James Cameron films - he really goes to great lengths to make some things plausible and realistic as possible. Look at Aliens - practically every prop in that movie, no matter how obscure, had a legitimate function and wasn't just tech decoration. And there was some logic to the design of the vehicles and structures. *That* is what other film makers are failing to take away from Cameron. Adding a sense of realism gets people into the story and makes for an epic film.

And then he went and threw it all away with Avatar.



Pretty much.  But most of those directors were not near as good as they were in when they were younger.
 
2013-08-20 05:59:37 PM  
The thing that made Chris Eccleston terrifying in 28 Days later was not his inhumanity.  It was his unbending dedication to his men, and the absolute love he had for them, that made him terrifying.  He was nothing but completely human.

That and being a symbol of hope and salvation that is actually certain doom.  Like the part daylight played in Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
 
2013-08-20 06:00:09 PM  
fc02.deviantart.net
 
2013-08-20 06:01:45 PM  
i105.photobucket.com
 
2013-08-20 06:11:20 PM  

nmrsnr: The short version:

What people take away from Sci-Fi blockbusters: the visual effects
What io9 wants them to take away: substance and/or plot elements.


Yep this article was ridiculously stupid.  As if there aren't other movies exploring the nature of reality and so forth.
 
2013-08-20 06:27:12 PM  
Yes there are no movies before these that did these things, and there have been none since that use the elements they should have 'copied' like character development. Also penguins fly.
 
2013-08-20 06:32:17 PM  
Nothing from Lucas, I see.
 
2013-08-20 06:33:18 PM  
I modeled most of adult life on lessons learned from Laserblast....
 
2013-08-20 06:36:17 PM  

SpdrJay: I modeled most of adult life on lessons learned from Laserblast....


Ice Pirates for me.
 
2013-08-20 06:42:25 PM  

The All-Powerful Atheismo: nmrsnr: The short version:

What people take away from Sci-Fi blockbusters: the visual effects
What io9 wants them to take away: substance and/or plot elements.

Yep this article was ridiculously stupid.  As if there aren't other movies exploring the nature of reality and so forth.


I think it makes a valid point.  I'm writing something similar right now about television shows learning the wrong things from success and trying to crank out pale imitations of what's worked before.
 
2013-08-20 06:42:38 PM  
My take on the article is the author doesn't know much about science fiction.
 
2013-08-20 06:44:18 PM  
What too many on that list needed not to do was make too many sequels.

Predator, Alien, Star Wars and especially Matrix were ruined or broken by wretched sequels.
 
2013-08-20 06:50:06 PM  

Nemo's Brother: What too many on that list needed not to do was make too many sequels.

Predator, Alien, Star Wars and especially Matrix were ruined or broken by wretched sequels.


The only one I agree with is the Matrix.

Predator 2, while sub-par to the first one, was an interesting take on a Predator running rampant in a city instead of a jungle. I enjoyed it. Plus it had Gary Busey.

Aliens was a complete genre shift, and that seems to be why most people who don't like it (and y'all are few and far between). The first was survival horror. The second was action. They each worked perfectly in their respective genres and complaining that one doesn't fit into the other is like complaining that a square peg won't fit into a round hole. It's not supposed to.

Empire Strikes Back is arguably the best of the trilogy. They took a step down with RoTJ sure, but I've met very few people who will say that ESB was not the best one.
 
2013-08-20 06:59:57 PM  

scottydoesntknow: Nemo's Brother: What too many on that list needed not to do was make too many sequels.

Predator, Alien, Star Wars and especially Matrix were ruined or broken by wretched sequels.

The only one I agree with is the Matrix.

Predator 2, while sub-par to the first one, was an interesting take on a Predator running rampant in a city instead of a jungle. I enjoyed it. Plus it had Gary Busey.

Aliens was a complete genre shift, and that seems to be why most people who don't like it (and y'all are few and far between). The first was survival horror. The second was action. They each worked perfectly in their respective genres and complaining that one doesn't fit into the other is like complaining that a square peg won't fit into a round hole. It's not supposed to.

Empire Strikes Back is arguably the best of the trilogy. They took a step down with RoTJ sure, but I've met very few people who will say that ESB was not the best one.


I'd be willing to bet he was talking about the prequels for Star Wars.
 
2013-08-20 07:01:14 PM  

UberDave: One thing that was missed with the James Cameron films - he really goes to great lengths to make some things plausible and realistic as possible.


Like constantly lit round counters on military rifles.  Because no soldier is worried about being spotted in the dark?
 
2013-08-20 07:03:59 PM  

simplicimus: SpdrJay: I modeled most of adult life on lessons learned from Laserblast....

Ice Pirates for me.


Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone
 
2013-08-20 07:06:30 PM  

Vlad_the_Inaner: UberDave: One thing that was missed with the James Cameron films - he really goes to great lengths to make some things plausible and realistic as possible.

Like constantly lit round counters on military rifles.  Because no soldier is worried about being spotted in the dark?


Xenomorphs don't have eyes and it was red light so it wasn't going to blind them in dark corridors. I'd love to have a round counter on my rifle.
 
2013-08-20 07:09:33 PM  
That article was bad an subby should feel bad. Okay, let's say people copied the stuff

1) People should copy a happily married husband having a psychotic breakdown and leaving his wife and kids without anyone seeming to care.

2) Copy corporate control over the people, complicity, and how we view reality. Okay, so we still have a core plot element to a lot of movies about people growing up and maturing, sci-fi films with greedy corporations and governments (many of which are on the same list), and Dark City.

3) More movies about post-apocalyptic scenarios. Like... The Matrix. I Am Legend... the Fallout games (which aren't movies, but imo function just as well as storytelling devices if not better), Planet of the Apes, and Dr. Strangelove. The last two which are superior to Mad Max when it comes to the end of the world and the 'wild abandon' the characters show.

4) You already pointed out people have copied the film you said people don't copy.

5) You complain about people copying visual elements but you go ahead and say "The actual texture that makes future L.A. feel like a real place, and not just a painted façade."... so... people should copy visual elements... betterer? And characters have constantly been portrayed on sci-fi films since Blade Runner (and before) as having no way out of a bad situation.

6) More stories about working-class people in sci-fi and the evil corporations that screw them over. So, like the Matrix, the Resident Evil movies, and Moon?

7) Noone copies good characterizations which makes a person seem incredibly real. So like... Moon? Where Sam Rockwell was more real than any character in Aliens? Or maybe the cast of Serenity where people seem to come from different walks of life, easily relating to real people in the present?

8) Not really a Sci-Fi movie, so you fail there too. But noone copies a lot is at stake in sci-fi movies since LotR? I mean I'm pretty sure that's what the basis of multiple sci-fi movies were before. Let's say... Star Wars? How about some of the better Star Trek movies? You know, lots of high stakes and risks involved or else the universe is doomed?

9) Tim Burton did it first. No, Batman wasn't an amateur making mistakes in 1989, but he was far more realistic and made sure that 1960's campy Batman stayed in the 1960's. If anything, if it weren't for Tim Burton's Batman movies (the first moreso than the second), we wouldn't even have Batman Begins. But if you want to go with superheroes having to destroy their life in order to become a legend... you need only look at the Spider-Man movies. In fact that's a pretty crucial plot element in several comic books, and was never unique to Nolan's Batman trilogy.

10) The soldiers are the real monsters. Pretty sure this has been a plot element in Alien 3, Predators, and Oblivion. And that's just off the top of my head.

TL;DR this chick has no idea wtf she's talking about.
 
2013-08-20 07:21:54 PM  

scottydoesntknow: Nemo's Brother: What too many on that list needed not to do was make too many sequels.

Predator, Alien, Star Wars and especially Matrix were ruined or broken by wretched sequels.

The only one I agree with is the Matrix.

Predator 2, while sub-par to the first one, was an interesting take on a Predator running rampant in a city instead of a jungle. I enjoyed it. Plus it had Gary Busey.

Aliens was a complete genre shift, and that seems to be why most people who don't like it (and y'all are few and far between). The first was survival horror. The second was action. They each worked perfectly in their respective genres and complaining that one doesn't fit into the other is like complaining that a square peg won't fit into a round hole. It's not supposed to.

Empire Strikes Back is arguably the best of the trilogy. They took a step down with RoTJ sure, but I've met very few people who will say that ESB was not the best one.


I kind of misspoke on Alien. I liked Aliens, but Alien 3 and the Alien v Predator are garbage.  RoTJ is good too but the prequels are awful.  Don't like Predator 2 though.
 
2013-08-20 07:24:55 PM  

scottydoesntknow: Vlad_the_Inaner: UberDave: One thing that was missed with the James Cameron films - he really goes to great lengths to make some things plausible and realistic as possible.

Like constantly lit round counters on military rifles.  Because no soldier is worried about being spotted in the dark?

Xenomorphs don't have eyes and it was red light so it wasn't going to blind them in dark corridors. I'd love to have a round counter on my rifle.


How about if you were a soldier on night patrol in the hills Afghanistan?

This is about as  the DING a M1 Garand makes as it ejects it's empty clip.  The round counter constantly visually says 'here I am", the Garand merely audibly says 'here I am (if you didn't notice the gunshot) AND I am out of ammunition'.

/of course with the aliens rifle, the interface designer could have blinked the LEDs when the clip was empty.
 
2013-08-20 07:25:11 PM  

Nemo's Brother: scottydoesntknow: Nemo's Brother: What too many on that list needed not to do was make too many sequels.

Predator, Alien, Star Wars and especially Matrix were ruined or broken by wretched sequels.

The only one I agree with is the Matrix.

Predator 2, while sub-par to the first one, was an interesting take on a Predator running rampant in a city instead of a jungle. I enjoyed it. Plus it had Gary Busey.

Aliens was a complete genre shift, and that seems to be why most people who don't like it (and y'all are few and far between). The first was survival horror. The second was action. They each worked perfectly in their respective genres and complaining that one doesn't fit into the other is like complaining that a square peg won't fit into a round hole. It's not supposed to.

Empire Strikes Back is arguably the best of the trilogy. They took a step down with RoTJ sure, but I've met very few people who will say that ESB was not the best one.

I kind of misspoke on Alien. I liked Aliens, but Alien 3 and the Alien v Predator are garbage.  RoTJ is good too but the prequels are awful.  Don't like Predator 2 though.


Ohh, well yea then we're in complete agreement. They all showed that with enough success, people will butcher and destroy everything you hold dear in the pursuit of money.

Predators was surprisingly good though.

/Don't forget Alien Resurrection
//Because if you forget it, you're doomed to repeat it
 
2013-08-20 07:32:06 PM  
What they should have copied: The working class characters in a spaceship that felt like it had seen some lightyears. And the evil corporation that is screwing them over.

images2.wikia.nocookie.net

You're slacking, Fark!
 
2013-08-20 07:33:19 PM  

Mike Chewbacca: What they should have copied: The working class characters in a spaceship that felt like it had seen some lightyears. And the evil corporation that is screwing them over.

[images2.wikia.nocookie.net image 323x446]

You're slacking, Fark!


Already pointed that out in my wall of text. :P
 
2013-08-20 07:33:28 PM  

Vlad_the_Inaner: scottydoesntknow: Vlad_the_Inaner: UberDave: One thing that was missed with the James Cameron films - he really goes to great lengths to make some things plausible and realistic as possible.

Like constantly lit round counters on military rifles.  Because no soldier is worried about being spotted in the dark?

Xenomorphs don't have eyes and it was red light so it wasn't going to blind them in dark corridors. I'd love to have a round counter on my rifle.

How about if you were a soldier on night patrol in the hills Afghanistan?

This is about as  the DING a M1 Garand makes as it ejects it's empty clip.  The round counter constantly visually says 'here I am", the Garand merely audibly says 'here I am (if you didn't notice the gunshot) AND I am out of ammunition'.

/of course with the aliens rifle, the interface designer could have blinked the LEDs when the clip was empty.


I'm sure someone will find a way to incorporate a round counter into the cco.
 
2013-08-20 07:37:46 PM  

Weatherkiss: Mike Chewbacca: What they should have copied: The working class characters in a spaceship that felt like it had seen some lightyears. And the evil corporation that is screwing them over.

[images2.wikia.nocookie.net image 323x446]

You're slacking, Fark!

Already pointed that out in my wall of text. :P



Well there's your problem!

Don't you know that Fark is a glorified picture book???
 
2013-08-20 07:42:05 PM  

red5ish: My take on the article is the author doesn't know much about science fiction.


Well, it's i09, that's kind of a given.

They're sort of the "your mother decided to have a look at what the kids are watching these days, and bases all her opinions of vampire movies as if the tropes originated in  True Blood" of science fiction.

Mike Chewbacca: What they should have copied: The working class characters in a spaceship that felt like it had seen some lightyears. And the evil corporation that is screwing them over.

[images2.wikia.nocookie.net image 323x446]

You're slacking, Fark!


Nope.  Firefly was a western in space.  Criminals with their own spaceship doing what they want are not "working-class", they're essentially the opposite.  High mobility, no one telling them what to do, conflicts can realistically resolve in their favor if they're clever or ballsy enough.

I mean, good show, and actually an example of a show that people have imitated unsuccessfully, but not really what the complaint is talking about.
 
2013-08-20 07:42:17 PM  

Mike Chewbacca: Weatherkiss: Mike Chewbacca: What they should have copied: The working class characters in a spaceship that felt like it had seen some lightyears. And the evil corporation that is screwing them over.

[images2.wikia.nocookie.net image 323x446]

You're slacking, Fark!

Already pointed that out in my wall of text. :P


Well there's your problem!

Don't you know that Fark is a glorified picture book???


I did only start visiting threads for the pictures, so you have a point.
 
2013-08-20 07:54:27 PM  
7) Aliens

What everybody copies: The thing of the wisecracking badasses going into a meat-grinder and getting killed one by one. The notion of a sequel that raises the stakes (and number of threats) from the first movie.

What they should have copied: Everybody, including arguably James Cameron himself, failed to duplicate a big part of what was so great about this film: the way it establishes all of the characters as living, breathing people with deft brushstrokes. The fact that even as it pivots from military movie to horror movie to action movie, the people always feel totally real.


If you enjoyed the movie and have not read  "Aliens - Colonial Marines Technical Manual", get your hands on a copy.  This is a tie-in for the movie, not the terrible "Aliens: Colonial Marines" game.

ecx.images-amazon.com

Geeky schematics, excellent flavor text, and insights into the political and economic milieu of the military-industrial dystopia of the Alien-verse.
 
2013-08-20 08:12:21 PM  

simplicimus: SpdrJay: I modeled most of adult life on lessons learned from Laserblast....

Ice Pirates for me.


Don't get caught or they'll cut you balls off?
 
2013-08-20 08:26:28 PM  
In before sword and the Sorcerer
 
2013-08-20 08:40:09 PM  

simplicimus: SpdrJay: I modeled most of adult life on lessons learned from Laserblast....

Ice Pirates for me.


Preventing space herpes is very important.
 
2013-08-20 09:21:09 PM  

PainInTheASP: I'd like to see a "Close Encounters" that focused on the government officials that were chasing the answer. Spielberg kind of touched on this with his "Taken"  miniseries, but then just when it was starting to get good the story got all new-agey and I lost interest.

I want a good hard-conspiracy story told from the point-of-view of those who were trying to keep it a secret.  I think that would be a helluva story.


The Hunt for Red October?

Granted, it was a submarine and not extraterrestrial stuff, but still.

It sounds trite, but the book is way better than the movie.  The book had all sorts of conspiracy-hiding going on by various organizations on both sides.  The movie... didn't.
 
das
2013-08-20 09:22:24 PM  
So, all movie makers should make is art films??
 
2013-08-20 09:23:17 PM  
Yes, because  28 Days Later  is the first zombie movie, EVER, and George A. Romero never made any movies that focused on the idea that the other survivors were the real enemies and that the zombies were just a force of nature that brings out the base behavior of humanity.

Also, Aliens  is totally original, there were no epic fantasy movies before  The Lord of the Rings,  and everything cool in movies MUST have come from Asia.

/Once again, io9 is full of suck.
 
2013-08-20 09:40:08 PM  

ZeroCorpse: Yes, because  28 Days Later  is the first zombie movie, EVER, and George A. Romero Richard Matheson never made any movies that focused on the idea that the other survivors were the real enemies and that the zombies were just a force of nature that brings out the base behavior of humanity.

Also, Aliens  is totally original, there were no epic fantasy movies before  The Lord of the Rings,  and everything cool in movies MUST have come from Asia.

/Once again, io9 is full of suck.


FTFY
 
2013-08-20 09:41:26 PM  
Hack writer. There is nothing dystopian about Blade Runner. There is nothing about that movie that is presented as the Utopian Ideal later exposed as a lie. If anything it is a Frankenstein's monster (playing God/what is it to be human) story set in a cyberpunk semi corporate-state.

HIs point about the visuals is true as they were definitely copied by the cyberpunk novels and follow on movies. Heck, the Matrix (mentioned in the article) follows this setting type, although the second film fits this closest with its worldly set of characters.
 
2013-08-20 09:52:12 PM  

Vaneshi: simplicimus: SpdrJay: I modeled most of adult life on lessons learned from Laserblast....

Ice Pirates for me.

Don't get caught or they'll cut you balls off?


They don't castrate clergy. Just in case.
/So I'll lie a little.
 
2013-08-20 10:02:55 PM  
Weatherkiss:
Moon? Where Sam Rockwell was more real than any character in Aliens?

He was literally the only person in the movie.  He got a lot of screen time.  Aliens had a cast of dozens, most of whom had at least a few moments of characterization.
 
2013-08-20 10:14:04 PM  
10) 28 Days Later
What everybody copies: Everybody copied the zombie hordes and the fast zombies and the sense of zombie rage instead of zombie apathy

is this where I come in and say "ZOMG they weren't zombies! they were alive but infected!"
/carry on
 
2013-08-20 10:57:17 PM  

red5ish: My take on the article is the author doesn't know much about science fiction.


The author of TFA won a Hugo Award last year for her short story Six Months, Three Days.
 
2013-08-20 10:59:02 PM  

anfrind: red5ish: My take on the article is the author doesn't know much about science fiction.

The author of TFA won a Hugo Award last year for her short story Six Months, Three Days.


tempest.fluidartist.com
 
2013-08-20 11:14:12 PM  

Nemo's Brother: scottydoesntknow: Nemo's Brother: What too many on that list needed not to do was make too many sequels.

Predator, Alien, Star Wars and especially Matrix were ruined or broken by wretched sequels.

The only one I agree with is the Matrix.

Predator 2, while sub-par to the first one, was an interesting take on a Predator running rampant in a city instead of a jungle. I enjoyed it. Plus it had Gary Busey.

Aliens was a complete genre shift, and that seems to be why most people who don't like it (and y'all are few and far between). The first was survival horror. The second was action. They each worked perfectly in their respective genres and complaining that one doesn't fit into the other is like complaining that a square peg won't fit into a round hole. It's not supposed to.

Empire Strikes Back is arguably the best of the trilogy. They took a step down with RoTJ sure, but I've met very few people who will say that ESB was not the best one.

I kind of misspoke on Alien. I liked Aliens, but Alien 3 and the Alien v Predator are garbage.  RoTJ is good too but the prequels are awful.  Don't like Predator 2 though.


I interpreted your comment as Alien 3 and on are suckie. AvP are not included in the Aliens universe. And the Star Wars Prequels are horrid. But the Predator series is actually good. Including the new Predators movie.

Also, when I was a young kid, I loved RotJ and placed Empire at the bottom of the trilogy. But as I grew up, I noticed how good Empire was compared to the other two. Now I love Empire as well as New Hope and RotJ.
 
2013-08-20 11:18:46 PM  

NYRBill: 10) 28 Days Later
What everybody copies: Everybody copied the zombie hordes and the fast zombies and the sense of zombie rage instead of zombie apathy

is this where I come in and say "ZOMG they weren't zombies! they were alive but infected!"
/carry on


To be fair:

Recently, most of the "zombie stories" feature infected zombies, not "risen from the dead by mystical means" zombies.  Makes it a bit more real (since we're getting close to that point vis-a-vi bioweapons and making it a disease explains away a lot of "zombie" behaviors) and a bit scarier.
 
2013-08-20 11:24:29 PM  
"bullet time," the slow-mo fighting that combines kung-fu with treacley ordnance.

Setting aside the misspelling, what the hell does that even mean? Cloyingly sweet firearms? A gun that shoots honey?
 
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