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  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by EndelNurk View Post
    The Western genre is steeped in the ideas of rebellion against the state. I have never enjoyed the genre, in part for that reason. Firefly and Serenity is the first time I have ever enjoyed a Western and the reason is because the Alliance are horrifying and the Firefly crew are not. A pair of them are hiding from abuses by the Alliance, the rest are there for travel, survival, or getting rich but even then they do not take from those that have more need than they do. As Mal says: "May have been the losing side. Still not convinced it was the wrong one."
    I think you may be reading Mal's statement wrong. It's not really a defense of being a generally nice guy (as Mal points out several times in the series, he's not a nice guy). Since Firefly (and Serenity) are heavily based on the American Old West (and Western genre), you need to look at it in light of that. A lot of American frontier people felt very similarly to Mal after the American Civil War. For example, compare Mal to the outlaw Jesse James. Jesse James fought as a Confederate guerrilla who committed hit and run attacks against Union soldiers. After the war, he became one of the most famous robbers and murderers of the American West. The statement "May have been the losing side. Still not convinced it was the wrong one." might as well have been said by James himself.

    See also American Old West.

  2. #42
    Lesser Hivemind Node TillEulenspiegel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poindexter View Post
    It's not really a defense of being a generally nice guy (as Mal points out several times in the series, he's not a nice guy).
    Funny thing is, Mal repeatedly claims this, but his actions tell a different story. Jayne is the man that Mal claims to be (neutral and self-interested), but Mal is firmly Chaotic Good. Maybe not "nice", but certainly Good. A very slightly grittier version of Han Solo.

  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by TillEulenspiegel View Post
    Funny thing is, Mal repeatedly claims this, but his actions tell a different story. Jayne is the man that Mal claims to be (neutral and self-interested), but Mal is firmly Chaotic Good. Maybe not "nice", but certainly Good. A very slightly grittier version of Han Solo.
    While I agree that Mal's actions don't match with his description of himself, my point is that his quote about being on the losing side, has nothing to do with his morality; It's simply a description of how he feels about the war/government, that fits with the theme of Firefly being a futuristic Old West.

  4. #44
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    You're absolutely right in that the viewpoint is one that's raised in most Western stories. My entire point, however, was that I don't like more Westerns because I dislike the character's motivation in struggling against the side that I see as the rightful winner in that conflict. In Firefly, it is the Browncoats who I see as having just cause in that war and so I feel more comfortable empathising with those characters. As I say, this is the only western that I can ever remember having enjoyed. I acknowledge that that's a minority opinion as many people love those stories, but I hope I've managed to give some explanation as to why I feel that way.

    @TillEugenspiel I quite like Nathan Fillion's reading of the crew (which I only read yesterday due to the discussions raised in this thread) that Mal keeps the crew close to him as they each represent an aspect of his persona that he's lost during his struggle. Jayne's selfishness, for example, reflects Mal's own selfishness that he had to lose during the Unification War.

  5. #45
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    This isn't out yet but should be worth keeping an eye out for: http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/video...er-spy-traiker

  6. #46
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Xercies's Avatar
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    I'm surprised about all the british actors and they are all speaking english since I thought the director was Swedish.

  7. #47
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    I just today watched There Will Be Blood, the one starring Daniel Day-Lewis as an Oil Prospector around the turn of the century. It's an excellent film and Day-Lewis absolutely deserved all the awards he won for it.

  8. #48
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Xercies's Avatar
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    Just watched Fargo, excellent excellent film, is there a film from the coen brothers i won't like? Probably not. Was really surprised about the dark humour running through this flick, but more surprised about how kind of brutal it is. There is quite a few deaths in it. Of course the characters in it are brilliant, and all have that weird oddness and not exactly right emotions to the situation they are in that the coen brothers are quite famous for. Thought the main character by the end was a little stupid, if he thought about it a bit mroe he could have turned it around in his favor. Also Aww at the cop couple.

  9. #49
    Lesser Hivemind Node Spacewalk's Avatar
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    Watched Deathsport yesterday. Plastic sword fights, tits, Richard Lynch, gratuitous use of motorcycles and David Carradine in a role that Christopher Lambert was born to play. It's an enjoyable watch if you like the kinds of films that Roger Corman is involved with.

  10. #50
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Rii's Avatar
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    Let Me In
    I'm forced to agree with the majority: this American adaptation of the Swedish novel is just as good as the superlative Swedish adaptation Let The Right One In. I went back to watch the latter film right after Let Me In, in fact, and having done so I honestly can't say which version I prefer. They each have their strengths. Let Me In shifts the ages of all involved slightly, allowing the bullies to be more menacing and thereby making their bloody fates more palatable. the Swedish film has the more suitably austere and foreboding atmosphere and, predictably, exhibits restraint where the American film prefers to relish in detail. The relationship between 'father' and vampire in the American film is slightly more complicated and in that respect effective. Regardless of the version one sees, this is definitely one of the high-water marks of the vampire genre.

    Later this year we'll see whether Fincher's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo can pull off the same trick. Noomi Rapace's portrayal of Lisbeth in the Swedish version is going to be hard to top.

    Sucker Punch
    This is not a great film. I'm not sure it's even a good film. But one thing is certain: there's a hell of a lot more here than most critics and audiences are willing to grant. The target of the titular sucker punch is its - and Snyder's - core audience: male geeks. They came expecting hot, skimpily clad chicks prancing around in videogame cutscenes and instead they got beaten over the head with a story about the objectification and exploitation of women, about disassociation and agency and all that other stuff that the folks going to see this film absolutely do not want to think about. And it's a story that pulls no punches. If you'd asked me at the halfway mark how the rest of the film was going to unfold, I would've been off by a mile, and so, I suspect, would most.

    The film's resemblance to a video game - and a spectacular one at that - is, I suspect, no accident. Indeed, for the right writer at the nexus of gaming, feminism and film studies I suspect there's a Master's thesis waiting to be written here. And yet for all that, as a film it has significant issues at virtually every level, from script to acting to editing. Oh I don't know what to think about this one, but I shall be buying it on Blu-Ray, if only for the steam-powered Nazi zombies.

    Snyder has yet to make a film that I can give two unqualified thumbs-up to, but nor has he made a film that I believe is without merit, and for making this, a film which he must've known was going to take fire from all directions, he has certainly earned my respect. I'll be following whatever he does next with interest.

    Quote Originally Posted by Xercies View Post
    I'm surprised about all the british actors and they are all speaking english since I thought the director was Swedish.
    It's not particularly unusual. English allows one to reach the broadest audience. Cultural imperialism in action.

    Certified Copy has an Iranian directing a film in English, Italian and French. xD
    Last edited by Rii; 03-07-2011 at 01:05 AM.

  11. #51
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    Tinker, Tailor is also one of the most British stories imaginable. The lack of influence of Britain after the war, especially compared to the US, is a vital part of the George Smiley stories. Not sure I could imagine it in a different language. I certainly couldn't imagine it even in US accents.

  12. #52
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Rii's Avatar
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    I'm not familiar with the story, but it occurs to me that the same thing - of Britain suddenly finding itself a second-rate power between two goliaths - underpins the 007 mythos.

  13. #53
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    Perhaps, I don't know the books at all and am even pretty ignorant of most of the films. 007 and Smiley are hugely different, which changes the tone of the stories entirely, at least compared to the film version of Bond. I understand that the books paint him as being a little more cerebral. Smiley is a tired, old, beaten and betrayed man. He is also the most clever man around, and one of the most honest which is why he is put into the situations that Le Carre writes about. The story is also part of a larger struggle with a particular individual in Moscow who Smiley regards as a personal adversary. The (a)morality and symmetry in the stories are beautiful. I obviously have no idea how much of that will end up in the film but I think it would be tremendously difficult to make it into a stinker.

  14. #54
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    "the Swedish film has the more suitably austere and foreboding atmosphere and, predictably, exhibits restraint where the American film prefers to relish in detail"

    Pretty much what I took away from the films, yeah. I think I preferred Let the Right One In for this reason, but also because its staging of the scene in the swimming pool was just something else entirely.

  15. #55
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    I've mentioned previously that I'm digging through classic noir in the hope of discovering some lass well-known gems, and one that might be of interest to RPS types is Dark Passage, with Humphrey Bogart. The first third of it is filmed from a first-person perspective, and it's done a lot better than the dumb first-person section of the Doom movie.

  16. #56
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Xercies's Avatar
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    Watched The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, really good thriller I have to say, takes its time with it but it definitely grabs you. The sexual assault things are a bit tough to watch but its good its like that, basically it puts it in cold light. Shot pretty beutifully(by this point i think Swedish directors have a really good eye for shots) and satisfying enough as a standalone piece while also serving up a sequel. Haven't read the books so I can't say whether its faithful or not but don't particularly mind.

  17. #57
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Rii's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xercies View Post
    Watched The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, really good thriller I have to say, takes its time with it but it definitely grabs you. The sexual assault things are a bit tough to watch but its good its like that, basically it puts it in cold light. Shot pretty beutifully(by this point i think Swedish directors have a really good eye for shots) and satisfying enough as a standalone piece while also serving up a sequel. Haven't read the books so I can't say whether its faithful or not but don't particularly mind.
    Unfortunately they changed directors for the sequels and it shows. They're still worth watching on account of Noomi Rapace's superlative performance, though.

    I haven't read the books either - the first one has been sitting in my pile for months now. :o

    On a related note, although the trailer for Fincher's version is promising, the poster leaves a sour taste in my mouth:





    I know the latter is probably just marketing, but if it's an accurate reflection of Lisbeth's portrayal and the relationship between her and Blomkvist in the film, I shall rage.

    EDIT: Ok, that's an interesting framegrab from Youtube there...
    Last edited by Rii; 08-07-2011 at 11:37 PM.

  18. #58
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Xercies's Avatar
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    That trailer almost looks like a shot for shot remake of the film to be honest. Its David Fincher so I may have a look, I mean he is probably the one I would say wouldn't mess it up to much. The thing is though I really don't see the point of remaking these films. The same with Let The Right One In, I just never went to the English remake, because 1) The Swedish original made such and impact that its up there as one of my favourite films and 2) It just smacks of cultural who gives a fuck. Its endemic of a culture that is very scared of subtitles on films. Oh know I have to read while watching a film, get away!

    One thing I have to say, the diologue is very fast in the beginning of TGWDT but I didn't have any problems reading it and looking a the pretty visuals, usually there is nothing "exciting" going on the screen when people talk anyway so I don't get that reason either.

  19. #59
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    That's quite the poster. Huh.

  20. #60
    Lesser Hivemind Node Oak's Avatar
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    I can see that lady's boobs.

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