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Skull
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« Reply #60 on: July 07, 2011, 12:19:47 PM »

Star Wars brought new special effects techniques to the screen, and higher production values than had previously been seen in space movies, on a scale not previously seen. It had eye candy and attention to detail that surpassed 2001: A Space Odyssey, with lots of action and adventure, and a rousing score by John Williams. I think we forget that this was less than a decade after movies like Green Slime and Mars Needs Women.

I feel slightly different, 2001 is a product from the success of James Bond as the attempt to use "real world technology" slightly modified it into a not too distant future design. I'm dont want to discredit 2001 but the movie would never be made the why we see it if wasnt for the success of Goldfinger (1964), Thunderball (1965) and You only live Twice (1967).

And then there were other films that also adopted the "real world technology" instead the super distant futrue tech as Green Slime and Mars Needs Women... movies like: Way... Way Out (1966) and In Like Flint (1967).

So there was a movement to make a 'realistic' space film even before 2001 (1968); and lets not forget people were intrested about the current technology for the projected moon landing in 1969. This is why we have such movies as: Planet of the Apes (1968), Countdown (1968) and Marooned (1969) (again using an almost realistic science) which was made during the same time and not "Influenced" by the success 2001 (1968).

The success of 2001 has became a major influence with some early 1970's SF movies... Silent Running (1972) and Solaris (1972)... (but the more I think of it; I'm not sure how much beyond that...)

Although I would like to point out that more I see Silent Running (1972) the more I can see the connection to Dark Star (1974), Star Wars (1977), Alien (1979), The Black Hole (1979), Saturn 3 (1980), Blade Runner (1982), etc. Since Silent Running was influenced by 2001 it would be fair to point the other SF movies towards 2001. The only thing 2001 is missing is the "lived in feeling" that Silent Running introduced.


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The technology behind moviemaking began growing by leaps and bounds in the 70s, and the industry was just beginning to see science fiction as more than kids' stuff, and worth putting some effort into. Movies in general were typically smaller and cheaper before the 70s. After Spielberg's Jaws ushered in the blockbuster era just two years before the release of Star Wars, kicking off an annual competition to make the big summer "event" movie that continues today.

I dont think anybody really consider the idea of big summer event films after Jaws was made (there were too many people trying to rip-off the natural monster story), Star Was was held back a few month due to production and it was "blackmail" for it's release date. And the idea of big summer event films didnt stop Superman (1978) and Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979) in making their December release.

The early 80's summer movies was either Lucas, Spielberg, maybe a few James Bond films. I believe most Hollywood producers were so scared of not making any money that they actually pushed the films back a few months. If Hollywood did take the time in considering the major success of Friday the 13th (1980) was mostly based upon it's May release weeks before Empire Strikes Back, then maybe the idea of summer blockbuster films would start to take off. Friday the 13th was an ok slasher film (little boreing at times) and would not do as well if it was relased in the winter dates. On the otherhand everybody seemed to project the success of Halloween (1978) lead towards the success of Friday the 13th.

Maybe early May isnt seen as Summer months but it's typically at the right time when School ends and/or at the point that there's nothing to do in School.

Summer blockbuster films didnt really start until 1986, I believe it was more or less gear towards the idea of Video rentals in December, since a typically summer movie would be released in video in 6 months later. So Predator (1987) and Die Hard (1988) were more or less accidently summer hits. Another unexpected surprise was the success of megaplex, therefore film producters wouldnt feel so threaten against money hogs like Lucas or Spielberg.


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It could also be argued that after Vietnam, Watergate, etc., and the often darker movies the early 70s, people were looking for a movie like Star Wars.

Much of Star Wars' success is a result of it being made in the mid to late 1970s, when conditions were just right, in terms of technology, the industry and the filmgoing public. Earlier, and it might not have looked as good, or gotten the backing it needed. Later, and we might already have been dazzled by some other movie, and not found it as novel or impressive. It was the right movie at the right time.

agree.

:)
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AndyC
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« Reply #61 on: July 07, 2011, 01:25:05 PM »

I feel slightly different, 2001 is a product from the success of James Bond as the attempt to use "real world technology" slightly modified it into a not too distant future design. I'm dont want to discredit 2001 but the movie would never be made the why we see it if wasnt for the success of Goldfinger (1964), Thunderball (1965) and You only live Twice (1967).

And then there were other films that also adopted the "real world technology" instead the super distant futrue tech as Green Slime and Mars Needs Women... movies like: Way... Way Out (1966) and In Like Flint (1967).

So there was a movement to make a 'realistic' space film even before 2001 (1968); and lets not forget people were intrested about the current technology for the projected moon landing in 1969. This is why we have such movies as: Planet of the Apes (1968), Countdown (1968) and Marooned (1969) (again using an almost realistic science) which was made during the same time and not "Influenced" by the success 2001 (1968).

The success of 2001 has became a major influence with some early 1970's SF movies... Silent Running (1972) and Solaris (1972)... (but the more I think of it; I'm not sure how much beyond that...)

Although I would like to point out that more I see Silent Running (1972) the more I can see the connection to Dark Star (1974), Star Wars (1977), Alien (1979), The Black Hole (1979), Saturn 3 (1980), Blade Runner (1982), etc. Since Silent Running was influenced by 2001 it would be fair to point the other SF movies towards 2001. The only thing 2001 is missing is the "lived in feeling" that Silent Running introduced.

My point there was more that Star Wars raised the bar in terms of eye candy, and achieved effects not seen in earlier movies. Things like the starship fly-over or the attack on the Death Star, or even that first shot after the opening scroll, where the camera pans down from the starfield to Tattooine. And by attention to detail, I did not mean realism as much as literal attention to detail, such as on the very intricate spaceship models. Everything looked great.

As far as 2001 goes, I didn't really mean to imply a connection, except to use 2001 as a benchmark for the best looking space movie prior to Star Wars. And compared to movies like 2001 or Silent Running, Star Wars aimed to be a much more accessible movie, forgoing a lot of the artistic and hard SF elements in favour of a simple adventure story with lots of action. Star Wars took the kind of pulp space opera story you'd find in an old serial, and put the kind of effort into it that was previously reserved for weightier fare. That's where Green Slime comes in, as a typical pulp sci-fi flick of a decade earlier, compared to 2001, which strove to be something great. Star Wars was a simple, fun story combined with more cool stuff happening on screen than the best serious science fiction films anyone had seen at the time.

That is what I see as Star Wars' winning combination. Cutting edge special effects on an old-fashioned adventure plot. You didn't have to like science fiction to enjoy Star Wars. You didn't have to follow a complex story to enjoy Star Wars. You didn't even need much of an attention span to enjoy Star Wars. An average kid could see more robots, more ships, more aliens, and more cool space stuff than 2001, Solaris or Silent Running without having to follow the plot or sit through the slow parts. That is where Star Wars was a revolutionary science fiction film - high production values on a simple, straightforward, action-oriented story. Of course, it's harder to appreciate that today, when big, spectacular popcorn movies have become the norm.

And that's one area where I think the prequels failed. The stories got weighed down with political intrigue and other crap, while visual effects have progressed to the point where it's hard to really impress people, no matter how many starships you put on the screen. A gigantic space battle in Episode 3 can't inspire the same awe as a single ship flying over in 1977. At the same time, lightsaber battles have become almost boring, and the story is weighed down by committee meetings, senate debates, holographic conference calls, political maneuvering, a crappy love story, etc.
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Skull
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« Reply #62 on: July 07, 2011, 02:31:16 PM »


My point there was more that Star Wars raised the bar in terms of eye candy, and achieved effects not seen in earlier movies. Things like the starship fly-over or the attack on the Death Star, or even that first shot after the opening scroll, where the camera pans down from the starfield to Tattooine. And by attention to detail, I did not mean realism as much as literal attention to detail, such as on the very intricate spaceship models. Everything looked great.

Oh, your are completly right on target. And this is why Star Wars (1977) is a major influence and Star Wars did set the bar. But I'm saying it didnt start the summer movie trend that we see today.


Quote
As far as 2001 goes, I didn't really mean to imply a connection, except to use 2001 as a benchmark for the best looking space movie prior to Star Wars. And compared to movies like 2001 or Silent Running, Star Wars aimed to be a much more accessible movie, forgoing a lot of the artistic and hard SF elements in favour of a simple adventure story with lots of action. Star Wars took the kind of pulp space opera story you'd find in an old serial, and put the kind of effort into it that was previously reserved for weightier fare. That's where Green Slime comes in, as a typical pulp sci-fi flick of a decade earlier, compared to 2001, which strove to be something great. Star Wars was a simple, fun story combined with more cool stuff happening on screen than the best serious science fiction films anyone had seen at the time.

I dont want to discredit 2001 but I do believe if Stanley Kubrick has never made 2001 we might be pointing our fingers towards Countdown (1968) and/or Marooned (1969). But 2001 was a major success and it's easy to point our fingers at.

Silent Running never had the success of 2001. But if you look the robots and space crafts in Star Wars it screaming more towards "Silent Running" then "2001"

I do see the Green Slime angle as you put it.


Quote
That is what I see as Star Wars' winning combination. Cutting edge special effects on an old-fashioned adventure plot. You didn't have to like science fiction to enjoy Star Wars. You didn't have to follow a complex story to enjoy Star Wars. You didn't even need much of an attention span to enjoy Star Wars. An average kid could see more robots, more ships, more aliens, and more cool space stuff than 2001, Solaris or Silent Running without having to follow the plot or sit through the slow parts. That is where Star Wars was a revolutionary science fiction film - high production values on a simple, straightforward, action-oriented story. Of course, it's harder to appreciate that today, when big, spectacular popcorn movies have become the norm.

I'm not actually sure if it's harder to appreciate today. The movie before the facelift was solid.

Quote
And that's one area where I think the prequels failed. The stories got weighed down with political intrigue and other crap, while visual effects have progressed to the point where it's hard to really impress people, no matter how many starships you put on the screen. A gigantic space battle in Episode 3 can't inspire the same awe as a single ship flying over in 1977. At the same time, lightsaber battles have become almost boring, and the story is weighed down by committee meetings, senate debates, holographic conference calls, political maneuvering, a crappy love story, etc.

You are so right.

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RD
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« Reply #63 on: July 08, 2011, 07:23:10 AM »

Quote
And that's one area where I think the prequels failed. The stories got weighed down with political intrigue and other crap

Agreed. The series went from fun serial matinee homage with high production values to C-SPAN raw feed with high production values.
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AndyC
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« Reply #64 on: July 08, 2011, 07:40:57 AM »

I'm not actually sure if it's harder to appreciate today. The movie before the facelift was solid.

The movie itself still holds up. What's harder to appreciate today is that in 1977, there was nothing else like it.
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Ted C
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« Reply #65 on: July 08, 2011, 10:11:21 AM »

"I seem to remember owning a droid"

Poor R4, always forgotten.
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BoyScoutKevin
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« Reply #66 on: July 09, 2011, 02:23:27 PM »

Happenstance happens.

I just happened to pick up Robert K. Elder's "The Film that Changed My Life" subtitled "30 Directors on Their Epiphanies in the Dark" and director Danny Boyle's choice is "Apocalypse Now." And Elder mentions that "Apocalypse Now" was supposedly to be called "Psychedelic Soldier" and directed by George Lucas, but George Lucas went off to direct "Star Wars," which gets Boyle to mention the change that "Star Wars" brought to the motion picture industry, and that is whereas "Apocalypse Now" is the peak and one of the last films that were part of a film trend that could be called "director cinema." "Star Wars" was one of the first films that was part of a film trend that could be called "producer cinema." Which makes sense, as "producer cinema" continues even today, especially if you consider the films of Michael Bay.

Thus, you could say that "Star Wars' was the end of "director cinema" and the beginning of "producer cinema."

Anyway, I highly recommend the book for a couple of reasons. (1) The questions. Alot of people do not understand the importance of the question, but asking the smart question, for the most part which Elder does here, leads to the smart answer. (2) And whereas these films, most of which are well known and/or popular, have been critiqued before, one of the best people to critique another director's film is another director, which happens here.
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« Reply #67 on: July 10, 2011, 11:48:50 PM »

Star Wars in my opinion, could be a so-called "producer's film" as well as a "director's film" since Lucas was writer, director and producer. The film was entirely his vision in the same way "Citizen Kane" was Orson Wells vision. I don't think it's fair to compare it to a Micheal Bay film because, unlike "Transformers" Star Wars was not written around effects. The technology had to be invented as the movie was being made. The reason that the cut's dictate the action and drive the pace of the movie was simply because Lucas had to fire his editor and re-cut the film from scratch. These fast cuts would influence filmmaking after Star Wars became a hit, but in reality it was an accident. The first cut of Star Wars had a slow pace driven by the actors. Lucas hated the way it turned out. The editor refused to re-cut it and was fired. Lucas, his wife and two editors borrowed from another film cut together the final cut. I think the reason "The Empire Strikes Back" was better is because Lucas wisely turned over the directors seat to his mentor Irvin Kirshner.
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Skull
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« Reply #68 on: July 14, 2011, 12:54:36 AM »

I dont agree with the term Producer's Films since producers has been known to take over, make last minute judgement calls and demand such and such for the role; Orson Welles has issues with producers in Touch of Evil. Although I would love to give Star Wars full credit I still believe the summer blockbuster trend (that we see today) was started by the success of Die Hard. I've also believe the factors of MTV, Multiplex theaters and the success of video rentals has made an impact towards the success of summer movies.

:)
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RD
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« Reply #69 on: July 14, 2011, 08:37:55 AM »

The Blockbuster killed the "director's film" because movies like Jaws and Star Wars didn't go drastically over budget and brought in a huge 100+ million dollar boxoffice take. Films like Heaven's Gate and Apocalypse Now went way over budget, over schedule over everything and didn't earn a large enough profit.
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« Reply #70 on: July 14, 2011, 09:26:39 AM »

Agreed. The series went from fun serial matinee homage with high production values to C-SPAN raw feed with high production values.

That is probably the most concise criticism of the prequels I've seen yet, and hits the mark exactly.
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« Reply #71 on: July 14, 2011, 11:28:14 AM »

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And that's one area where I think the prequels failed. The stories got weighed down with political intrigue and other crap, while visual effects have progressed to the point where it's hard to really impress people, no matter how many starships you put on the screen. A gigantic space battle in Episode 3 can't inspire the same awe as a single ship flying over in 1977.
Well put.  The "wow" factor simply wasn't there in the prequels.  I belive its because Episodes 1-3 didn't raise the bar a single bit from what it was currenlty set at during that time.  Matter of fact a lot of the action sequences just came off as way too fake with the CGI.  Give me a muppet any day over that crap. 

Quote
At the same time, lightsaber battles have become almost boring, and the story is weighed down by committee meetings, senate debates, holographic conference calls, political maneuvering, a crappy love story, etc.
I don't think I'd mind the political maneuvering if they actually spent some time on developing what was in fact interesting.  Tell us why Dooku left the Jedi order.  Tell us more about General Grievous and his Jedi hunting exploits.  Both of these villains come out to equalling a pile of sh!t plot wise.  Episodes 4-6 had an obvious source of evil.  Villain wise the prequels really have nothing going on for them if you really think about it. 
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Skull
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« Reply #72 on: July 14, 2011, 12:18:09 PM »

The Blockbuster killed the "director's film" because movies like Jaws and Star Wars didn't go drastically over budget and brought in a huge 100+ million dollar boxoffice take. Films like Heaven's Gate and Apocalypse Now went way over budget, over schedule over everything and didn't earn a large enough profit.

very close to the truth. (I was going to write a 2 page detail on why I think what happen although it was getting late and I was starting to rambling)

First take account that before and during the 1970's the majority of the theaters had one screen and when a hit movie was played the theater owner would play the same movie multiple weeks. Such movies like Jaws and Star Wars were running in the same theaters for weeks to almost months, so film producters were forced to push their films later in the year.

The early surprise summer hit film is Friday the 13th (1980) it was released in the theater a few weeks before Empire Strikes Back and if Friday the 13th was released at the sametime as Empire Strikes Back, it would flopped and the slasher trend is likely to die by 1981, that's because most of the slasher films made after 1981 were copies of Friday the 13th's success (not Halloween).

In 1982, a major lesson in Hollywood was leaned... Never release a film when Steven Spielberg name is on the poster.

In the in 1970's Spielberg and Lucas had mega success in drawing up big dollars. In 1980 Empire Stirkes Back did extreamly well and then Spielberg and Lucas combined forces for Raiders in 1981 (another mega success)... It was assumed that Star Wars 3 isnt comming out until 1983 and it's looks like another Indiana Jones 2 may come out in 1984 so Hollywood put their big guns into play in 1982 (I believe the first test of the summer films)... Blade Runner, Tron and The Thing and all 3 films were destroyed by a silly movie about a little naked alien that eats candy off the floor... ET. Why? Again most theaters in the early 1980's were still playing with the same limited number of screens.

So because of 1982 Hollywood was cautious upon releaseing "big budget films" when it was against Spielberg and Lucas.

The Multiplex system started in the late 1960's but didnt take off until the later 1970's and it wasnt until the death of neighborhood/drive-in theaters, thanks to success of video rentals in the mid 1980's that finally forced people into multiplex theaters. I believe we started to see the start of the effects in between 1984/1985 but it hasnt been noticable until 1988 when 6 of the top 10 grossing films were summer films. I call this the Die Hard effect because Die Hard was able to over come Who Framed Roger Rabbit which was racing with Coming to America an indicator that these movies were being played in more then one screens.

:)





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Jim H
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« Reply #73 on: July 21, 2011, 01:40:22 PM »

On another note, I remember hearing George Lucas is one of the most important technological pioneers in film for several reasons.  There's a long article about it somewhere on the internet.  Does anyone know what I'm referring to?

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Another big part of the dialog that is lost in the prequels is Obiwan telling Luke that Vader hunted down and exterminated the remaining Jedi.   It seems to me all Vader did was kill a bunch of kids in the Jedi temple.

From my understanding, ALL the Jedi (discounting Obi-Wan and Yoda) aren't quite dead at the end of part III.  Vader hunted down and killed the few remaining holdouts.
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« Reply #74 on: July 21, 2011, 04:29:52 PM »

On another note, I remember hearing George Lucas is one of the most important technological pioneers in film for several reasons.  There's a long article about it somewhere on the internet.  Does anyone know what I'm referring to?

Quote
Another big part of the dialog that is lost in the prequels is Obiwan telling Luke that Vader hunted down and exterminated the remaining Jedi.   It seems to me all Vader did was kill a bunch of kids in the Jedi temple.

From my understanding, ALL the Jedi (discounting Obi-Wan and Yoda) aren't quite dead at the end of part III.  Vader hunted down and killed the few remaining holdouts.

That's right. Obi-Wan did broadcast a warning to any remaining Jedi, so it makes sense that there would be some left. We saw all the Jedi in the temple killed, and the most powerful Jedi shot down by their troops, but there were bound to be others who needed to be mopped up afterward. I believe Palpatine even made a declaration to that effect - "The remaining Jedi will be hunted down and defeated."
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