To the detractors of the bus jump in 'SPEED', let me ask you this...

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Inspector Hammer!, Sep 8, 2002.

  1. Inspector Hammer!

    Inspector Hammer! Executive Producer

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    What's so different about that scene and the coal cart jump scene in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom?
    Nothing IMO. I ask beause a lot of people's major complaint with Speed was that scene, but yet nobody seems to have a problem with the coal cart jump scene. Why is it that people can suspend disbelief for one film and not another?
    What makes it more baffling is that the bus jump in 'S' was done for real, true it didn't jump fifty feet and was not in operational condition afterward, but that bus did jump. If their had been a 30 foot gap there instead of 50 it would have cleared it.
    So what gives?
     
  2. Walter Kittel

    Walter Kittel Producer

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    Several thoughts...
    The coal mine jump was only one of many stunts in Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom, whereas the bus jump was a 'signature' moment in Speed which consequently placed more emphasis upon that moment.
    This is the first thread that I've ever read that compared stunts in these two films, so perhaps the reason that no one mentions TOD is because there is no linkage.
    For me, the least credible stunt in TOD is the amazing raft ride / crash out of the stricken airplane. This stunt completely undermined any plausibility that the film might hope to possess for me. Having swallowed this 'pill', the other stunts in TOD went down much easier.
    Finally, Speed has to maintain a higher standard of believability when compared to TOD, due to the genres of the respective films.
    While I'm not crazy about the bus jump in Speed I had far fewer problems with the stunts in that film as compared to the completely over the top Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom.
    - Walter.
     
  3. Scott Weinberg

    Scott Weinberg Lead Actor

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    I'm a big fan of the original Speed, and I have that "Oh gimme a break" look on my face every time I see the bus jump. Does it mar the film or ruin the experience for me in any way?
    Nope!
    Good point about the Indy cart-jump. But why stop there? Does it ruin the movie for people when Indy outruns a massive wall of water? Or when he should have logically been thrown into the river from the newly-formed river?
    Or when the man actually reaches into another man's heart and casually removes his heart?
    Odd that I'll defend this stuff to the ends of Philadelphia, yet I truly detested that XXX flick, which flaunts the 'unrealistic stunt' gimmick to an almost cartoonish degree.
    Action flicks take place in an almost real world. In a REAL world, the bus from Speed would have exploded almost immediately and Dennis Hopper would have gotten away.
    That's why I watch Die Hard instead of the evening news! [​IMG]
    (I don't know my actual point in relation to the original thread, but I felt like rambling. Thanks and good night.)
     
  4. Inspector Hammer!

    Inspector Hammer! Executive Producer

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    That's easy Scott, Speed and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom are examples of good, skillful action films, xXx is an example of a bunch of stunts tied together with a bad story.
    For me, if an action film is exciting, suspensful, and entertaining I can excuse a few departures from reality because i've already fallen for the story hook line and sinker.
    I used those two scenes because they were the two most closely related to each other, but I guess other scenes work too. I guess what motivated me to start this thread was the fact that everyone calls the bus jump scene too outrageous to take, but my question is why? The bus DID jump in that film, so if it did it for real, why is it unbelievable? The only thing that was added was the gap itself through the use of CGI, the bus though, is real and it is flying through the air.
    I think most that don't care for that scene don't really have a problem with the bus jump itself, but they have a problem believing that it could maintain 50mph and still run afterwards.
     
  5. Peter Apruzzese

    Peter Apruzzese Producer

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    My problem with the bus jump in Speed (I never thought of comparing it to the coal cart jump in Temple of Doom, because I hated nearly every minute of that opus and have managed to flush most of it from my memory) is that it looks really poor on the screen. It was very poorly executed, real or not. (It's as bad as the fire truck bridge jump in A View to a Kill.) If they staged it for real, why didn't they photograph and edit it better?
     
  6. Inspector Hammer!

    Inspector Hammer! Executive Producer

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    Peter,
    I think I know what your getting at here, Jan DeBont was very upset that the bus went higher than he expected, so the front of the bus went out of the top of the frame for an instant. This was the second attempt at that shot so they had to use that take. On the first take, the bus missed the ramp entirely.

    But as for the editing, I see nothing wrong with it. To me that scene is just thrilling within the context of the high octane plot. What part/s of the shot did you have a problem with specifically?
     
  7. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    I never had a problem with the bus jump. It was no more or less improbably than most of the other stunts done with the bus. For me, Speed goes off the deep end when the bus explodes. Here you have a massive explosion and a giant fireball at LAX, where the eyes and cameras of every news organization in town are aimed, and yet somehow Hopper doesn't hear a word about it? The entire last act of the movie depends on an improbability that's much harder to swallow than the bus jump.

    M.
     
  8. Peter Apruzzese

    Peter Apruzzese Producer

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  9. Chris James

    Chris James Stunt Coordinator

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    John, my memory of Speed is a little hazy, but didn't they use a ramp on the jump side to get the bus over? Then during the movie, there was no ramp. Actually, the more I remember, I think they jumped from the lower side to the higher side (go back and look). Either way, the 90 degree turn bothered me more than the jump. I mean, come on! At least CGI the damn helper wheels from under the bus, arg!
     
  10. Bjorn Olav Nyberg

    Bjorn Olav Nyberg Supporting Actor

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    I kinda roll my eyes during the bus jump in Speed as well, despite liking the rest of the movie, and now that I read your comments John, I think I can articulate why a little bit better.
    The thing is, we all knew they would be faking it somehow, even if parts of the shot was done for real then edited together. But the actual jump at the beginning makes it all too obvious that it is staged. I think the reason DeBont dislikes it is not so much because the bus jumps slightly out of frame, but that it jumps to directly up in the air.
    Then it is edited together with other cuts from different jumps.
    The momentum is so radically different in the different cuts, that you lose all sense of an overall flow and sense of momentum throughout the shot making it all too obvious it is edited from different shots.
     
  11. Inspector Hammer!

    Inspector Hammer! Executive Producer

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    quote...
    "Then it is edited together with other cuts from different jumps."

    No, the various angles you see in the finished film were all taken from one jump. They had I think 9 or so cameras in different locations to capture the jump from all sorts of angles. The fluidity of the jump you see in the film is pretty much how it went down during the stunt.

    Part of the problem was that they got rid of everything inside the bus to make it lighter, they made it a little too light. You have to cut them some slack though, afterall no one had ever jumped a city bus before, it was pretty much guess work on their part as to how to do it.

    Peter,
    it's really hard to describe the scene to you so that you can fully understand how the scene played. You'd simply have to see it again for yourself and then tell me what you didn't care for.
     
  12. Mitty

    Mitty Supporting Actor

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    Simple, the Indy movies are adventure fantasies, while Speed is an action movie set in the "real" world.
     
  13. Inspector Hammer!

    Inspector Hammer! Executive Producer

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    I don't know about that Mitty, to me the moment a movie departs from reality it becomes an adventure fantasy, even an action film.
     
  14. Peter Apruzzese

    Peter Apruzzese Producer

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    John,

    Actually, Bjorn's description is how I remember the scene working. I remember thinking, at the time I saw it, that it wasn't edited together very smoothly. It's as if the "money shot" (to me, the ultimate shot would be the bus in the air where you can clearly see both halves of the road) is missing or something. But you're right, I'd have to see it again. I don't own the film, so I'll have to wait for it on cable or something. I think the subway crash at the end is more spectacular than the bus jump.
     
  15. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    I too loved Speed, and yes, I am one of those that always refers to this.... ludicrous scene. Like Scott, this also does not take away from the movie for me, at least not too much.
     
  16. Ken Chan

    Ken Chan Producer

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    The thing that bothers me the most in Speed is when the bus first gets on the freeway, escorted by police cars. It looks like it's going about 25mph.

    //Ken
     
  17. Dick

    Dick Producer
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    INDIANA JONES movies were never meant to be believed. They are first and foremost FANTASY films (the arc producing spirits that can explode and melt heads, etc.) SPEED, on the other hand, presents the action within a "realistic" context, with no (intended) fantasy elements. That is why the bus jump completely drags the movie down for me. It is otherwise a well-edited and quite thrilling experience.
     
  18. Justin Spike

    Justin Spike Agent

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    Perhaps because the Temple of Doom is, among other things, a comedy.
     
  19. Dennis Pagoulatos

    Dennis Pagoulatos Supporting Actor

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    What about Dennis' Hopper's "bludgeon me to death with this Razzie" maniacal laughter just before he vanishes behind the door for what? 1 second? just before a huge explosion knocks Key-anoo 20 feet into a concrete block wall!? Shouldn't Dennis Hopper have been blown to smithereens?? (for real, let's hope!) along with all the shrapnel and chunks of wall (obviously foam or plastic, even in super-slow-mo) that would have really kicked our hero's sorry ass as well in the corridor...
    The bus jump? Well...it seems to turn 45 degrees UP IN THE AIR just before it gets to the end of the ramp for no reason at all...It looks BEYOND RIDICULOUS!! I laughed my ass off in the theater after this one...
    And the entire sequence in Temple of Doom on those carts? Every single frame of that sequence looks impossibly fake! I remember seeing ILM guys bragging about how well that sequence came out on an old Special Effects documentary...meanwhile you can see that every long and medium shot of the carts is full of crappy looking puppets (especially Short Round being pulled from one cart to another, looks like something out of Pee Wee's Big Adventure!)
    Good lord...does any of this take away from my enjoyment of these films?? Actually, I think it enhances them! [​IMG]
    -Dennis
     
  20. Seth Paxton

    Seth Paxton Lead Actor

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