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  1. Joe Wong

    For the love of movies: The Past, Present, and Future of Cinema and what makes us fans

    You are correct - I must have flipped them around in error!
  2. Joe Wong

    For the love of movies: The Past, Present, and Future of Cinema and what makes us fans

    I love how there are so many differing opinions on films! Captain America: The Winter Soldier (the one where Redford has a major role) is generally considered one of the best in the MCU (#3 for me). Even amongst MCU fans, there are different rankings for individual entries. Take Iron Man 3, for...
  3. Joe Wong

    For the love of movies: The Past, Present, and Future of Cinema and what makes us fans

    Yep, while making a film for the art is a noble aim, ultimately, directors, actors and other production personnel want to make a living or become financially secure. If taking on a franchise film makes them a lot of money, or provides opportunity to do more work, then that's a good reason...
  4. Joe Wong

    For the love of movies: The Past, Present, and Future of Cinema and what makes us fans

    Franchise films do have to follow a basic foundation, since they’re usually based on existing IP, eg. comics, or the original film. If you’re making a film about Superman, you can’t just take away his ability to fly! Unless it’s built in as part of the story… but ultimately, he has to be able to...
  5. Joe Wong

    For the love of movies: The Past, Present, and Future of Cinema and what makes us fans

    For sure, there's more at stake with a big budget film - losing $100m on a $200m film is a bigger deal than losing $10m on a $20m film, based on magnitude ($100m vs $10m). But if a director makes a set of films that lose $10m each time - that's not a good track record either. Ironically, if I...
  6. Joe Wong

    For the love of movies: The Past, Present, and Future of Cinema and what makes us fans

    And the film for which he won his Oscar for Best Director is a remake of a Hong Kong film, Infernal Affairs, spoken in Cantonese.
  7. Joe Wong

    For the love of movies: The Past, Present, and Future of Cinema and what makes us fans

    Yes! Aside from the stylised violence in QT's films, his dialogue is what distinguishes him from many other writers. Case in point: Inglorious Basterds. I've always considered the film as essentially a series of long conversations. But what a series of conversations!! He uses dialogue to set...
  8. Joe Wong

    For the love of movies: The Past, Present, and Future of Cinema and what makes us fans

    Movies are ultimately a business, when we get down to it. Studios are unlikely to keep spending money on small/moderate budget pictures if they lose money. Heck, they'll stop a "big-budget" franchise in its tracks if there are diminishing returns (eg. the Divergent series). Blame the audience...
  9. Joe Wong

    For the love of movies: The Past, Present, and Future of Cinema and what makes us fans

    Defining films and novels by genre is always fascinating to me because many do combine tropes from 2 or more genres. Often one genre dominates and that’s where it’s put under. A great example is Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, which by and large is an adventure film, but contains more humor...
  10. Joe Wong

    For the love of movies: The Past, Present, and Future of Cinema and what makes us fans

    I think there’s a tradition that stories set in space are lumped into SF and non-historical stories with medieval trappings are “fantasy”. I do label Star Wars as a fantasy that happens to be set in space. Many of its concepts (Force = magic, Jedi = knights, lightsabre = sword, etc.) are common...
  11. Joe Wong

    For the love of movies: The Past, Present, and Future of Cinema and what makes us fans

    Good question about actors, Reggie. A frequent discussion I have with my wife is the list of "best actors who haven't won an Oscar". Off the top of my head, and by no means exhaustive: Stanley Tucci Edward Norton Amy Adams Toni Collette Robert Downey, Jr Glenn Close Joan Allen Alan Rickman...
  12. Joe Wong

    For the love of movies: The Past, Present, and Future of Cinema and what makes us fans

    Why are franchises of interest to studios? Because it's familiar IP. If it's popular as well, then even better. So yes, the older series like Andy Hardy may have been done quickly and cheaply, but they still relied on the familiarity audiences had with the IP. In today's world, with film...
  13. Joe Wong

    For the love of movies: The Past, Present, and Future of Cinema and what makes us fans

    Indeed... I've never seen them, but non-horror "franchises" included a series of Andy Hardy films (16 in total, 1937-58) and a series featuring Ma and Pa Kettle (10 from 1947-57), amongst others.
  14. Joe Wong

    For the love of movies: The Past, Present, and Future of Cinema and what makes us fans

    Agree about the shaky first half and very well done second half. I'm not typically a fan of stories that go back in time, as it reduces the suspense. For example, with Rogue One, we already know the outcome of the mission. But the characters and their ultimate fates (plus the final battle) are...
  15. Joe Wong

    For the love of movies: The Past, Present, and Future of Cinema and what makes us fans

    Agree with many of your points. I'm not a super-fan, either. I didn't mind what what they did with Han or Luke in the first one. Especially if the reasons are that Harrison Ford was sick of Star Wars and was coming back out of obligation (or pay check), and that JJ Abrams said that having Luke...
  16. Joe Wong

    For the love of movies: The Past, Present, and Future of Cinema and what makes us fans

    Re: Star Wars... Not to get too in-depth on the merits or otherwise of the sequel trilogy (since it's been discussed aplenty), but the lack of a cohesive vision across the 3 films is what made it (overall) disappointing for me. I enjoyed The Force Awakens, even though many elements were...
  17. Joe Wong

    For the love of movies: The Past, Present, and Future of Cinema and what makes us fans

    The Truman Show is one of Weir’s best, IMO. It was so prescient and ahead of its time. I also liked Green Card!
  18. Joe Wong

    For the love of movies: The Past, Present, and Future of Cinema and what makes us fans

    1976 was a competitive year for Best Picture. When the likes of Network, All The President's Men, and Taxi Driver (which are some of the most acclaimed films of all time, and which could probably win any other year) are not even crowned BP, that speaks to the quality.
  19. Joe Wong

    For the love of movies: The Past, Present, and Future of Cinema and what makes us fans

    I don't recall the marketing (I was living in Australia at the time), but that would have been a nice surprise, indeed! In the scheme of things, it does feel like a missed opportunity, but it was just perfect timing since Arnold was one of the more popular film stars around that time, so it was...
  20. Joe Wong

    For the love of movies: The Past, Present, and Future of Cinema and what makes us fans

    I haven't seen the Alien prequels yet... given their middling reviews and how Alien3 and Alien: Resurrection were poor follow-ups. I was initially curious about Prometheus due to Ridley Scott returning to the franchise, and even bought it on Blu-ray, but haven't gotten around to watching it...
  21. Joe Wong

    For the love of movies: The Past, Present, and Future of Cinema and what makes us fans

    The 2-note motif from Jaws is effective, memorable, and justly famous, for its simplicity as well as for its indicator of dread. I do find that, given what Williams had to live up to (the Oscar-winning score from Jaws), his work on Jaws 2 is even more creative and beautiful. Individual pieces...
  22. Joe Wong

    For the love of movies: The Past, Present, and Future of Cinema and what makes us fans

    Great points - I had forgotten Ash was the conduit for the company's objectives. So the company is aware, and just placating Ripley's concerns at the debrief. I do have to wonder, though, why it took them 57 years to send a team to investigate the alien ship? Maybe I'm just thinking about this...
  23. Joe Wong

    For the love of movies: The Past, Present, and Future of Cinema and what makes us fans

    I agree that they should know stuff about the planet (or the spot they chose to colonise, at any rate), since they've been there a while to make it livable. But what Ripley brings is knowledge of an alien species. They initially didn't believe her story of an alien that killed her crew. But, in...
  24. Joe Wong

    For the love of movies: The Past, Present, and Future of Cinema and what makes us fans

    I do prefer Aliens over Alien. Maybe because I watched it first, and in a cinema as well (one of my top cinematic experiences). I thought Alien was good, but a little slow at the start, and the characters were less interesting. It also didn't match the relentless suspense and intensity that...
  25. Joe Wong

    For the love of movies: The Past, Present, and Future of Cinema and what makes us fans

    For Aliens, maybe they did want to get rid of her (why not simply fire her?), but I thought the reason they asked her to go back was because she seemed to have knowledge of what could be happening on the planet LV426. If she was wrong, then little harm done. And her reason for going was endless...
  26. Joe Wong

    For the love of movies: The Past, Present, and Future of Cinema and what makes us fans

    Agreed with your point about long form TV having a team of creators who map out the story from start to end. This provides consistency of vision and a clear direction. I haven't seen The Sopranos, but the fact that producer/showrunner/writer/director David Chase oversaw the series from start to...
  27. Joe Wong

    For the love of movies: The Past, Present, and Future of Cinema and what makes us fans

    I also found RDJ memorable in many of his 80s films, like Back to School (1986), even if it was a supporting role in a typical 80s high school comedy. And my wife thinks he should have won an Oscar for Less Than Zero (1987)!
  28. Joe Wong

    For the love of movies: The Past, Present, and Future of Cinema and what makes us fans

    Re: RDJ... His career choices (or, opportunities) have been informed by his very public battles with drug addiction as well. Some of those mid 2000s films are great, but they were just the first steps back. Not many were willing to take chance on him, until Iron Man came along. Maybe the MCU...
  29. Joe Wong

    For the love of movies: The Past, Present, and Future of Cinema and what makes us fans

    I love your anecdote! I love discussing movies, which is probably why we're here in the Movies forum on HTF! We may not always agree, but I like hearing different viewpoints, because it may point out something I had missed or hadn't thought about. Some of my fondest discussions occurred during...
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