Re: I owe Anthony Lane an apology

1

Hold me, like you did that night on Naboo!



Posted by: Kieran | Link to this comment | 05-19-05 10:03 PM
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[redacted]


Posted by: [redacted] | Link to this comment | 05-19-05 10:08 PM
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3

"We also need better hologram communication technology."

At last, a revenue model for bloggers.


Posted by: Gary Farber | Link to this comment | 05-19-05 10:16 PM
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It's probably criticism enough to say that the only enjoyable part of the movie was the child-killing, and that was off-screen


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 05-19-05 10:31 PM
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5

Here's the script.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 05-19-05 11:01 PM
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6

Ewan McGregor should have used the accent he had in Trainspotting.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 05-20-05 1:57 AM
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Has anyone noticed how much worse the names have gotten? True, I was a child -- but Han Solo always seemed like a pretty cool name. Now we've got Count Dooku.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 05-20-05 9:16 AM
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I've heard that Lucas lets his kids help in the naming.

Dooku's no good, and Grievous and Sidious are a bit unsubtle, but I think "Sith" is genuine onomatopoetry.


Posted by: tom | Link to this comment | 05-20-05 9:20 AM
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But Sith was around in the first three movies -- I think all or most of those names are pretty good.

I can't think of any names from the new films that aren't laughable.

This may just be a preference for the familiar over the unfamiliar. But then again, "Mace Windu."


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 05-20-05 10:03 AM
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I don't see what the problem is. "Mace Windu" isn't the best name for a glass cleaner, but it's not terrible.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 05-20-05 10:06 AM
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Sounds more like the order you give to your henchman when you want him to do some property damage: "Mongo, Mace Windu!"


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-20-05 10:09 AM
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Mongo only pawn in increasingly disappointing space opera.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 05-20-05 10:18 AM
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And seriously, what are parents thinking when they name their child mongo? Like any occupation other than henchman is open to them.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 05-20-05 10:18 AM
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And percussionist, apparently:

"I have two sons, one's named Mongo and the other is Tito," Grammy-winning Latin percussionist Pancho Sanchez told Rolling Stone in 2001. "You know how much you respect a man if you name your son after him. Everything I do and have done can be traced back to those two men. They're my heroes."


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 05-20-05 10:28 AM
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All I have to say here is "Bob Geldof"


Posted by: Austro | Link to this comment | 05-20-05 10:34 AM
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I played hooky to see this yesterday and while SF is full of geeks, apparently they were all dreaming of Tatooine when I arrived at the 11:15 AM showing, so it was a nearly empty theater.

As the film unfolded, the bad guys were revealed as Grievous and Dooku. And then I realized, of course! Boris Badenov and Dr. Evil were already taken. As was Mister Hanky, the Christmas Poo. (Though in all fairness, he's kind of a turd of glad tidings.)


Posted by: moira | Link to this comment | 05-20-05 10:44 AM
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we should think of names for the next three movies. Or not, since that's really geeky.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 05-20-05 10:48 AM
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18

Text Threadkiller.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 05-20-05 10:49 AM
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Text Threadwinner.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 05-20-05 10:49 AM
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20

Sith => Seth => evil evil bad.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 05-20-05 11:39 AM
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21

Major Talon would be good.

Speaking of the "whoever would name their kid" question, whoever would name their kid "Grover?"

Really.


Posted by: Tripp | Link to this comment | 05-20-05 12:02 PM
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Old-time Cub fans, perhaps.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 05-20-05 12:12 PM
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People who want their kid to have the baddest nickname in town:

"What up Dawgg? I'm G Rover."


Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 05-20-05 12:15 PM
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Or maybe Baby Ruth candy bar fans, but sometimes I wonder if Grover Norquist would have grown up so, um, determined if he had been named something like "Michael?"


Posted by: Tripp | Link to this comment | 05-20-05 12:17 PM
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I suppose I should talk. "Griffith Lyle" is my moniker, but that was a family thing.


Posted by: Tripp | Link to this comment | 05-20-05 12:22 PM
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26

I'm surprised there hasn't been more comment on the scene where Darth Vader breaks his bonds, leans back, and screams to the sky "Nooooooooooooo!".

You just can't do that in movies anymore and be taken seriously. You just can't.

Futurama had a great parody of this when Calculon shows a movie clip where he does as above. Then, he says slyly to the interviewer "The script had me saying 'yes', but I decided to improvise the 'no'".



Posted by: skippy | Link to this comment | 05-20-05 3:11 PM
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You know the "YEAAAAH" in "Won't Get Fooled Again" was supposed to be a "No". I guess this Calculon character is the anti-Daltrey.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 05-20-05 3:17 PM
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28

Calculon is teh roxxs


Posted by: w/d | Link to this comment | 05-20-05 3:20 PM
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This was also a major defect of the Fellowship of the Ring movie – recall Gandalf's death in Moria. The problem with this cliché is not just that it's a cliché, it's that no one ever does that in real life.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 05-20-05 3:22 PM
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30

I plan to scream a "no" or some such when I die.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 05-20-05 3:24 PM
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Not really the first thing you want St. Peter to hear. There's no irony in Heaven.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 05-20-05 3:45 PM
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I'll explain that I got cut off before I could finish my sentiment: "Nooooooooooo! I have to stay on Earth and perform good works!"


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 05-20-05 3:47 PM
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George Lucas couldn't write dialogue for mimes. A restraining order needs to be issued to keep him at least 100 feet away from any pen, pencil, keyboard or other writing implement.

On the other hand, compared to Phantom Menace and Killer Clones From Outer Space, Revenge of the Sith was a marked improvement. 99.5% less Jar-Jar! Now I'm looking forward to Episode XXVII: The Merchandising That Ate the Galaxy....


Posted by: Dan Someone | Link to this comment | 05-21-05 4:03 PM
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"This was also a major defect of the Fellowship of the Ring movie recall Gandalf's death in Moria."

Um, Gandalf didn't scream either "yessss!" or "nooooo!" when he fell. He yelled his line from the book: "fly, you fools!"

This might also work better in real life, but only if you're crossing an abyss with a Balrog nearby.


Posted by: Gary Farber | Link to this comment | 05-21-05 9:04 PM
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When it seems like it's going to rain I'm partial to: O treachery! Fly, good Fleance! Fly, fly, fly!


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 05-21-05 10:19 PM
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36

I like "I fall upon the thorns of life! I bleed!".


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 05-22-05 1:16 AM
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Farber, it was Frodo and company who screamed "no" in response to Gandalf's death. Remember?


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 05-22-05 8:10 AM
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"Farber, it was Frodo and company who screamed 'no' in response to Gandalf's death. Remember?"

True, but they weren't falling. However, if one wants to object to Frodo's "noooo!," I gots no problem. Personally, though, I'd be hesitant to make an argument that anything at all in Middle-Earth is like "real life." (Ditto events "in a galazy far far away.") To point out the obvious, both universes are stone fantasies; observing that they're not realistic, well, grand grasp of the obvious there. Of course, if that bothers one, or some specific aspect does, so it goes. Suspension of disbelief is not mandated by law, and likely a good thing. (And, yes, it shouldn't be hung by the neck until dead.)


Posted by: Gary Farber | Link to this comment | 05-22-05 8:16 AM
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I don't think my criticism clashes with even a generous suspension of disbelief. Unless the movie is expressly set in Clumsy Dialogistan, or whatever.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 05-22-05 8:34 AM
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40

'Twas me.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 05-22-05 8:35 AM
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No, I was still primarily on skippy's point from 26.

I'm not at all inclined to defend Lucas's dialogue, which I agree tends towards the obvious and banal, although in this case supposed Tom Stoppard was a dialogue polisher, and a separate coach handled the actors, which I think made for some relative improvement from the previous two films, but I agree, not to any point of praiseworthiness.


Posted by: Gary Farber | Link to this comment | 05-22-05 9:19 AM
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I wasn't commenting on whether "noo" was an appropriate thing to say in real life. It's more of a meta level problem with how movies per se work and don't work.

It's kind of like how you can't say the actual words "rock and roll" in a rock and roll song anymore without it sounding silly*.

*with the obvious exception of Tenacious D


Posted by: skippy | Link to this comment | 05-22-05 3:56 PM
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Oh, and also, I don't see the FOTR example as similar. Frodo was yelling at an actual event, in the moment.

It's only the abstract cursing-to-the-sky-at-the-cruel-cold-universe "Noooo!!!" that is verbotin (sp?) in my book.


Posted by: skippy | Link to this comment | 05-22-05 3:59 PM
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I wasn't commenting on whether "noo" was an appropriate thing to say in real life.

Neither was I. I was trying to convey that having your character say "noo" (even in Frodo's position, which as you point out isn't analogous to Vader's) isn't a good idea, because it is not what someone would do in those circumstances. For "someone", read "a sentient inhabitant of imagined world", if you like. If we can relate to such a being at all, it probably has enough in common with us that it doesn't flick on the trite-switch in moments of extreme trauma.

From the looks of things, each of the three of us (skippy, GF, me) has been talking past the other two. Ideas promulgated: about 1/2. Sweet!


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 05-22-05 4:53 PM
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Responding to a complaint that such-and-such behavior is unrealistic by observing that it was behaved in a fantastic world misses the point: it's a fantastic world, but the actors are still actual people, not angels or lions.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 05-22-05 8:34 PM
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"Ideas promulgated: about 1/2. Sweet!"

If only we could get the rest of our world up to that kind of hit rate we'd be rockin' in paradise, baby!

For the record, I actually thought Standpipe and I were pretty much in agreement, and it was Gary who was mucking things up with all sorts of nuance and complexity.

More seriously though, knowing that Gary Farber is a pretty huge SF fan more broadly, I was a bit surprised to see him arguing that we can't draw any parallels between the events of a fictional Star Wars universe and our own actual universe. Isn't that the one of sci-fi-storytelling's strong points*?

Or am I missing his point that since Star Wars is actually *fantasy*, not sci-fi, this doesn't apply?


Posted by: skippy | Link to this comment | 05-23-05 12:00 AM
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