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(io9)   This fascinating infographic will help you pinpoint the exact point at which a movie goes off the rails   (io9.com) divider line 71
    More: Interesting, vignettes  
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8608 clicks; posted to Entertainment » on 03 Feb 2014 at 1:04 AM (32 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-02-03 11:11:18 AM

Gunther: Weatherkiss: Wait a few years and you'll start seeing blogs from adults about how TPM was misunderstood and underrated because it was awesome when they were kids.

Kids who saw it when they were ten are twenty five now. I don't see many twenty five year olds arguing that it was misunderstood and underrated.


I just realized that I'm twenty-four now, and that means I saw it when I was nine, and I still think it wasn't very good.

/although Natalie Portman oh yeah
//plus Liam Neeson's beard was awesome
 
2014-02-03 11:22:43 AM

LonMead: What I find incredible is that there are so many writers setting their stories in "New York City", like it's a real place.

Trust me... I've been there.


Scenario: New York City!  Apartment building in New York.  Black guy lives in the apartment.  Nice black guy, middle class black guy, button-down sweater type a guy, smokes a pipe....right, right...harmless black guy.  Benson!  Benson! We got Benson in this apartment...Across the hall from him?  Paraplegic kid in a wheelchair...Huh?  You don't need a real one, Artie, you get any cute kid and stick him in a wheelchair. What?  F*ck the unions!  The kid's in a wheelchair here, black guy across the hall.

/stop me if you've heard this one.
 
2014-02-03 11:24:56 AM

farkeruk: 15. The script goes off the rails in the third act

THIS is about the biggest sinner of all. Thing is, anyone can come up with the idea for a story. Anyone can create a setting, characters, and a problem for those characters to be up against. It's the endings that wreck stories. And there's so many films that don't do a good ending or 3rd act. They collapse into a festival of action or some deus ex machina rather than having an ending that fits what has happened before.

One film critic reckoned it was about how movies are constructed as a project - to get funding, you need the stuff for a trailer and a big name cast, when movies should start with a good script.


Applies to series as well.  George Lucas is probably the most notorious offender with Eps 4, 5 & 6.

Applies to books too.  The third installment of The Hunger Games comes immediately to mind.  Twilight (don't laugh) definitely fits the bill.  George R R Martin is another author who can't figure out how to wrap things up so he keeps arbitrarily extending the middle act.
 
2014-02-03 11:28:13 AM

Iczer: It doesn't start off with "Directed by Michael Bay/Uwe Boll"? The hell...?


HEY!

You forgot Roland Emmerich.
 
2014-02-03 11:50:46 AM

Ostman: FTFA; The script favours style over substance.

This isn't always a problem, I find. Just to take "The Fifth Element" as an example, that film was mostly just style, but I'd still watch it right now because it looks so damn good.
Usually it's a bad thing, but if it's done right the result can be just as good as Clerks*, for different reasons.

*Or whatever your thinky movie of choice is.


Somebody in TFA's comments mentioned what I'm sure is a quotation, but is worth repeating here:

"First, learn the rules.  Then, break them in a meaningful way."
 
2014-02-03 12:20:11 PM

fusillade762: When I think of a movie going off the rails I always think of this:

[www.freecodesource.com image 354x500]

Actually that movie pretty much goes off the rails about halfway through. Then at the end the train gets up, has a cigarette and explodes in an orgy of insanity.


Which is why it's so damn good.

/Same with Hitoshi Matsumoto's next film, R100
 
2014-02-03 12:28:07 PM

farkeruk: 15. The script goes off the rails in the third act

THIS is about the biggest sinner of all. Thing is, anyone can come up with the idea for a story. Anyone can create a setting, characters, and a problem for those characters to be up against. It's the endings that wreck stories. And there's so many films that don't do a good ending or 3rd act. They collapse into a festival of action or some deus ex machina rather than having an ending that fits what has happened before.

One film critic reckoned it was about how movies are constructed as a project - to get funding, you need the stuff for a trailer and a big name cast, when movies should start with a good script.


The biggest sin is that it only has 3 acts. http://badassdigest.com/2013/12/11/hulks-screenwriting-101-excerpt-th e -myth-of-3-act-structure/
 
2014-02-03 12:57:47 PM
Applied the list to porn.  Some fit rather well -- problems in both porn and standard movies.  Others describe every porn movie ever made.
 
2014-02-03 01:05:39 PM

MayoSlather: I get annoyed by antagonists who are impossibly well planned, and the protagonist must respond by doing something even more unbelievable to win.

It usually happens near the climax, and it cheapens so many films, some of which have good believable tension up to that point. It kills suspension of disbelief right at the crescendo of the film.


Aka "Xanatos gambit". IRL real criminals/villains have about one contingency plan, tops, and its often just "start shooting indiscriminately".
 
2014-02-03 01:06:49 PM

Tyrone Slothrop: farkeruk: 15. The script goes off the rails in the third act

THIS is about the biggest sinner of all. Thing is, anyone can come up with the idea for a story. Anyone can create a setting, characters, and a problem for those characters to be up against. It's the endings that wreck stories. And there's so many films that don't do a good ending or 3rd act. They collapse into a festival of action or some deus ex machina rather than having an ending that fits what has happened before.

One film critic reckoned it was about how movies are constructed as a project - to get funding, you need the stuff for a trailer and a big name cast, when movies should start with a good script.

The biggest sin is that it only has 3 acts. http://badassdigest.com/2013/12/11/hulks-screenwriting-101-excerpt-th e -myth-of-3-act-structure/


HULK MIGHT HAVE HAD A POINT, BUT ALL CAPS AND STUPID SHOEHORNING IN OF FIRST-PERSON CHARACTER MAKES IT DAMN NEAR IMPOSSIBLE TO READ.

It's a shame, because he largely makes sense apart from eye-liquidating presentation.
 
2014-02-03 01:08:42 PM

nohit: Applied the list to porn.  Some fit rather well -- problems in both porn and standard movies.  Others describe every porn movie ever made.


This is a surprise?

"Sorry Bob. We axed that 'script' thing you wrote. We needed room in the budget for three more giant black dicks. Gotta stay competitive."
 
2014-02-03 01:51:29 PM
Star Trek (2009) has all of the problems.
 
2014-02-03 02:12:13 PM

Dr Dreidel: Michael Bay


Based on the list, Michael Bay submitted 22 scripts
 
2014-02-03 02:24:03 PM
More screen writers need to borrow Dramatica from the library.
 
2014-02-03 04:48:16 PM

Fano: Weatherkiss: Strongbeerrules: So, Phantom Menace defined?

Or just misunderstood?

Wait a few years and you'll start seeing blogs from adults about how TPM was misunderstood and underrated because it was awesome when they were kids.

The tide started to shift a year or two ago when dolts started to claim that the prequel trilogy was no less dumb than the original trilogy. That's right, they had to tear down the good ones in order to make the bad ones seem not so bad.

Best is when they say they were crap that you only remember being good because you were 8. That's neat, because ADULTS of the time thought they were great.


4,5,and 6 were good, never great. They had some original SFX and did things no one had done before. But great? Acting was crap. Story was ok, films plod along.

/42, 6 when Star Wars came out. Took me 30ish year to realize the movies just weren't that good.
 
2014-02-03 09:41:48 PM

Hebalo: Fano: Weatherkiss: Strongbeerrules: So, Phantom Menace defined?

Or just misunderstood?

Wait a few years and you'll start seeing blogs from adults about how TPM was misunderstood and underrated because it was awesome when they were kids.

The tide started to shift a year or two ago when dolts started to claim that the prequel trilogy was no less dumb than the original trilogy. That's right, they had to tear down the good ones in order to make the bad ones seem not so bad.

Best is when they say they were crap that you only remember being good because you were 8. That's neat, because ADULTS of the time thought they were great.

4,5,and 6 were good, never great. They had some original SFX and did things no one had done before. But great? Acting was crap. Story was ok, films plod along.

/42, 6 when Star Wars came out. Took me 30ish year to realize the movies just weren't that good.


Hey look, it's that guy...

Seriously though, not every film can be art house Oscar bait. Are the original trilogy great films? No. Are they incredibly entertaining and created a new sub-genre of sci-fi? Yes.

I watched Shindler's List once and thought it was a fantastic film, but only once. How many times have I watched Star Wars? Not sure how many times.
 
2014-02-03 10:32:35 PM

Gleeman: Hebalo: Fano: Weatherkiss: Strongbeerrules: So, Phantom Menace defined?

Or just misunderstood?

Wait a few years and you'll start seeing blogs from adults about how TPM was misunderstood and underrated because it was awesome when they were kids.

The tide started to shift a year or two ago when dolts started to claim that the prequel trilogy was no less dumb than the original trilogy. That's right, they had to tear down the good ones in order to make the bad ones seem not so bad.

Best is when they say they were crap that you only remember being good because you were 8. That's neat, because ADULTS of the time thought they were great.

4,5,and 6 were good, never great. They had some original SFX and did things no one had done before. But great? Acting was crap. Story was ok, films plod along.

/42, 6 when Star Wars came out. Took me 30ish year to realize the movies just weren't that good.

Hey look, it's that guy...

Seriously though, not every film can be art house Oscar bait. Are the original trilogy great films? No. Are they incredibly entertaining and created a new sub-genre of sci-fi? Yes.

I watched Shindler's List once and thought it was a fantastic film, but only once. How many times have I watched Star Wars? Not sure how many times.


Apparently for many, the journey to the Dark Side is complete. It isn't enough that the Prequels are bad, retroactively the Original Trilogy was terrible by every measure and in no way influenced film and pop culture for decades. I just rewatched ROTJ tonight, and my wife got to see it for the first time. She was pretty impressed. I was noticing how it didn't drag at all and there were no sequences that went on for eternity as in the prequels. Compare Luke's duel with Vader and the interminable duel with Vader and Obi Wan in ROTS. Anyway, I guess this is the new meme, Star Wars was never good or interesting.
 
2014-02-03 10:43:57 PM
http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/return-of-the-jedi-1983

Ebert's review of ROTJ, the WORST of the OT. Love this quote:

"One thing the Star Wars movies never do is waste a lot of time on introductions. Unlike a lot of special effects and monster movies, where new creatures are introduced with laborious setups, "Jedi" immediately plunges its alien beasts into the thick of the action. Maybe that's why the film has such a sense of visual richness. Jabba's throne room, for example, is populated with several weird creatures, some of them only half-glimpsed in the corner of the frame. The camera in "Jedi" slides casually past forms of life that would provide the centerpiece for lesser movies. "
 
2014-02-04 02:12:53 AM
Persnickety: Applies to books too. The third installment of The Hunger Games comes immediately to mind. Twilight (don't laugh) definitely fits the bill. George R R Martin is another author who can't figure out how to wrap things up so he keeps arbitrarily extending the middle act.

TV too. LOST was terrific for the first 4 seasons but it started to go off the rails in S5 with scenes that we'd seen happen before redone with the actors being older and new characters added that shouldn't have been there etc. until it dove right off the cliff with the last season, including that hideous final scene in the church.

/Finally not bitter about the last two seasons
//OK, still just a little bit
 
2014-02-04 10:38:05 AM

Fano: Star Wars was never good or interesting.


They're practicing for the Abrams films, which will undoubtedly kick ass.   But in case they suck, these folks don't want to be caught off guard, looking all excited about something.
 
2014-02-04 11:12:22 AM

thamike: Fano: Star Wars was never good or interesting.

They're practicing for the Abrams films, which will undoubtedly kick ass.   But in case they suck, these folks don't want to be caught off guard, looking all excited about something.


Ah, that DOES explain it.
 
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