Legend - I just don't get it....?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by KristianH, Aug 17, 2002.

  1. KristianH

    KristianH Agent

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    Hi everyone.

    Well after reading several threads here about "Legend" the movie by Ridley Scott (one of my top favorite directors) I started to wonder what I had really missed?

    Maybe Im to young? I turned 26 this year. But still this is the deal.

    I have read so many threads here about the expectations and appreciations of Legend, specially since it has been a long awaited release on dvd. Well at first I didn't think much about it, but then came banners "Release Legend now!!!" etc.. I guess it all kind of exploded thanks to the release of the "ultimate version". So anyway, my closest friend who is also a big fan of Ridley Scott, had never seen or heard about this movie either. So a couple of weeks ago he had the opportunity to see the movie. He did and he had to force himself through it. He told me that more than once he wanted to turn it of cause it was just unbearably bad.

    Well I thought, he must have had to high expectations of the movie, that can ruin almost anything.
    So last weekend I got hold of the dvd of this movie and thought that now I would see it with an open mind, I set my expectations to nothing..and started.

    After about 30 minutes I fell asleep!! I never fall asleep when watching movies??
    Well the next day I managed to see the rest of it, well forced myself would do it more justice.
    I must be missing something, what is the greatness about this movie?

    To me it was:
    Zero dialogue, I mean when they acctually talked there was no spirit, no thought, no nothing that made it even remotely interesting.
    The characters, how old is this movie? Sure maybe to some ppl pigs are evil minions but hey a "pig man" ? How scary is that?
    Then the story, guy loves girl, girl messes everything up, (not that guy tries to stop girl in any way at all, more than saying hey, sorry, pardon you shouldn't...ahh, Ill walk away) Then lets take a dip in water, ops winter came, lets find some strange little ppl, and OPS I got some armour then we let the sun shine a demon to death. End of story, well of the movie anyway.

    oh and the last but absolutely most weird and confusing thing that sweeped through my mind:

    The "demon"! I mean who's idea was it to make him a mix of Diablo and Jay Leno? (you guys who have played the game Diablo or Diablo II, know what I mean)

    Yeah I know this movie came out way before Diablo etc...but still, from the first view of this demon until the end I just couldn't take my eyes of that HUGE chin.

    Now this movie must totally be a:
    "I saw this when I was a kid and it has emotional value to me thats why I love it."

    Right?

    Last: Im sorry if someone out there is taking offence if Im bashing their favorite movie, but I can't help it, it really was that bad, to me.
     
  2. CaptDS9E

    CaptDS9E Cinematographer

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    Dont feel alone. There are many movies people on this forum and other ones that have been recommended that i thought were flat out bad and others that were really good. It all comes down to your taste in movies. I never thought of buying the movie Amelie but i did and i really enjoyed it. Same with Moulan Rogue. But i disliked Go with a passion. There are a few others that dont come to mind right away

    capt
     
  3. Vlad D

    Vlad D Screenwriter

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  4. Brian Kidd

    Brian Kidd Screenwriter
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    This was one that I missed in its original release, so I wasn't hindered by exagerrated memories from my childhood. I liked it a lot. Sure, it can be a little slow at times, but the production design and cinematography are flawless. I enjoyed it a lot. It's not for everyone and that's okay. I rented 1776 after all the hoopla on the forum and couldn't get through it. It happens.
     
  5. Jussi Tarvainen

    Jussi Tarvainen Second Unit

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  6. Rob W

    Rob W Supporting Actor

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    Now you know why Universal re-cut the film so drastically from the original version - obviously a lot of people didn't respond well to it in test screenings. It was a failure in the original release in theatres, and only got it's reputation over the years from a loyal band of cultists who really responded to the movie.

    I remember working in a cinema during the first weekend of release. Actor Roddy McDowall came to see the film and asked where everyone was. It was pretty empty in the auditorium.
     
  7. Dan Hitchman

    Dan Hitchman Cinematographer

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    I pretty much bought it for the neat visual style and the non-use of CGI to create a fantasy world.

    I mean you've got to admit that the demon's lair was very well lit. They didn't have the budget to build the ENTIRE full sized set so they hid it in shadow and looks wonderful!

    The detailed forest set was also a sight to behold.

    CGI sucks! Or at least it is too much in its infancy to be used so blatantly (ie. Phantom Menace & Attack of the Clones)... as Ridley Scott pretty much said in his commentary. If you can do it real for real-- then do so.

    Tim Curry was a blast too! He really chews up the few scenes that he has. Talk about well done forced perspective! Tim Curry is a fairly short statured guy and never did you feel they were pulling a fast one making him look huge in scale.

    Other than that the characters were un-involving and the plot was thin.

    Dan
     
  8. Scott Weinberg

    Scott Weinberg Lead Actor

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    I think it's one one of the most effective 'fairy-tale'-type movies ever made, particularly in a visual sense. I can see the flaws in the film as clearly as anyone...but they don't stop me from adoring this movie!
     
  9. Jodee

    Jodee Screenwriter

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    Actually the demon reminded me of Satan from South Park. lol

    I kept waiting for him to talk to Saddam Hussein about his feelings.

    I also saw this movie for the first time and I thought it was a real clunker. It was pretty unbearable for me and I can't rid myself of the DVD soon enough.
     
  10. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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    It's an exploration in visual style and mood. This film is just as good (if not better) without the sound. Hell, I don't really get it either, but it's visually mesmerizing.
     
  11. Rex Bachmann

    Rex Bachmann Screenwriter

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    KristianH wrote:


    Quote:



    Now this movie must totally be a: "I saw this when I was a kid and it has emotional value to me thats why I love it."

    Right?






    Wrong. Some of us weren't "kids" when we saw it, so we don't have that excuse!

    The fact is is that there haven't been a whole lot of good live-action fantasy movies, or even a whole lot of fantasy movies, period, outside of the Disney world. By comparison to much of what has been on offer this one is pretty good, believe it or not.

    What made this film a "legend", is not the film itself, however, it is the way in which it was handled at the time of release. The head of the movie studio at Universal at the time was Sid Scheinberg, who insisted on butchering a number of movies to suit his readings of the demographic projections for their success. In short order, films like this one and Brazil were tailored---and I do mean the pun---to suit Mr. Scheinberg's fantasies of what American audiences would want to see. (For example, rock music is substituted for Jerry Goldsmith's score, 'cause Sid thought that would bring in more of the desired demographic. It didn't. If they're too "cool" for a fantasy movie, a quasi-rock score isn't gonna matter to them. Hollywood, get a clue!) In the case of Brazil it caused a storm of controversy that drew in film critics as well as the production principals. (See Jack Thomas's (?) The Battle of Brazil.)

    Legend didn't have such big-name stars attached to it---this came out before Tom Cruise became part of the "power elite" in Hollywood---so the controversies were not as great. Nevertheless, one of the surest ways to create a "must-see" among film fans is to deny them the chance to see the original, intended cut of a film, which is what Mr. Scheinberg did to a number of films, including this one, during the mid-80's. He was on a personal "power-trip" at the time with people like Brazil director, Terry Gilliam. It was a matter of showing everybody who was "boss" at Universal. And it was (intentionally) quite a public display.

    All the average movie aficionado could do in the intervening years has been to read about alternate scenes and expanded narrative in the "European cut". Naturally, fans of fantastic film have wanted to see what they've been denied for a decade and a half.

    It's a good movie, not a great movie, story-wise, but it's in an "underdog" genre and it was denied to its natural viewing public for so long due to nothing more than stupid studio politics (not good business sense).

    Expect to see the same kind of reactions as the DVD release of Paramount's The Keep (1983) approaches in 2003. Another decent, but severely butchered film, the public has never gotten to see the "original cut" of. It will be vastly overpraised by some, and many who've never seen it will have the same reaction as you do to Legend: "What's the big deal?" Some of us will still be able to appreciate that film for exactly what it is, just like this one.
     
  12. Paul Case

    Paul Case Supporting Actor

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    I don't get Legend either. I'm a big Ridley Scott fan but I had never seen this film until it was released on DVD. I bought it the day it came out and sat down to watch it that night with great anticipation. Boy, was I let down! The movie is basically just an empty exercise in art design. Pure fluff with nothing else supporting it underneath all of that hazy fairy tale mist. It is interesting to see how masterfully Ridley Scott put together the visual side of the film, but the movie really is a stinker. I doubt I will ever watch it again.
    I wish Scott would just hurry up and release that Blade Runner SE dvd set to make up for my disappointment over Legend. [​IMG]
     
  13. Vlad D

    Vlad D Screenwriter

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    Rex,

    Very interesting post. I had no idea of the background story associated with this movie. Although I do recall the controversies associated with Brazil. I'm looking forward to seeing The Keep again, especially since I haven't seen it since I saw it in the theaters.
     
  14. Terrell

    Terrell Producer

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    This movie makes me want to drive my car off a cliff. I didn't get it either. This movie is way out there.
     
  15. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    What Fox did in the late 70s early 80s was even worse

    They chopped out things just to cut SOMETHING, sometimes they cut 1 or 2 minutes, up to as much as 10, for NO REASON

    Rocky Horror, they cut out the final musical number for no reason, Highlander had 10 minutes of VERY IMPORTANT scenes lopped without cause too.
     
  16. Dome Vongvises

    Dome Vongvises Lead Actor

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    The movie was very pretty looking. It goes to show how far you can go with great production design.
    The story however.....................................
    Damn period key, got stuck. [​IMG]
    Anyways, the story was simplistic, but that was nonetheless the aim. Legend is a good entry in the genre. We can only hope that more folks build on the lessons learned from this film (a la LOTR trilogy).
     
  17. John P Grosskopf

    John P Grosskopf Second Unit

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    I love THE KEEP as is, though it has only a passing resemblence to the book on which it was based. I love the book as well, and both are favorites of mine in the genre. I was not aware that this movie was not the director's (Michael Mann) cut. Can anyone tell me what was lost, and if the original cut was closer to the book.

    In some ways the movie is better than the book (and vice versa) especially in the ending. Oddly the book has what could be considered a truly "Hollywood" ending, while the movie takes a more somber approach (though still rooted in traditional film dogma).

    I've always appreciated the look of the film and allowed it its flaws because of its style over substance. I've watch my LD of it at least 30 times over the years and I still get a kick out of it everytime I watch it. The soundtrack by Tangerine Dream is one of their best, and sadly not available on liscenced CD.

    Ironically on LD, it was one of a very few Paramount single discs priced at a list of $44.95. Usually they were $39.99, and double discs $44.95. I always assumed it was because they knew they would only sell a small number of copies and tried to get as big a return as possible from the die hard fans of the film.
     
  18. Ben Menix

    Ben Menix Stunt Coordinator

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    I agree. I've been looking for a good cd to play alongside the movie, but haven't found anything that fits really well yet. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
    Ben Menix
    [email protected]
     

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