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-   -   A three film comparison/face-off... (http://www.trekbbs.com/showthread.php?t=198589)

Warped9 December 29 2012 07:14 PM

A three film comparison/face-off...
 
Based on discussions I've followed and participated in over the past couple of years I'm intrigued by a comparison of sorts and opinions of folks here. I do hope we can keep the discussion civil and focus our (potentially) negative remarks in regards to the films themselves and specifically why something didn't work for us. "It sucked huge" might be an opinion, but it isn't very informative, specific or helpful. On the flip side s criticism of a film shouldn't be taken as a personal attack against someone who might like the film, so please just let it go.


Three films, all in genres I generally like, have drawn a lot of polarized opinion. So I'd like to see some other views on them.

The Dark Knight Rises (2012) - Lots of us like Batman, but not everyone liked Christopher Nolan's take on him and his world. I liked Nolan's overall take, but while I think there's a fair story in TDR I think it needed to be fleshed out more. A lot is made of serious issues not being well addressed in the film, but this is after all a superhero film and you're not likely to see serious issues addressed there beyond broad strokes. This is essentially entertainment and not a documentary. TDKR also suffers in comparison to The Dark Knight (which, honestly, has a lot of its own issues) and yet that film is considered a near masterpiece. After all is said and done, even with its missteps, it was a decent enough film and entertaining and I think it's the best of the lot. Nolan made an effort to make Batman and his world seem more realistic than other films of the genre, but he still took genre specific liberties so it really can't be compared to truly dramatic films that address issues

Prometheus (2012) - The early Alien films (particularly 1 and 2) are considered classics and as such cast a rather large shadow to step into. Prometheus certainly follows in terms of visual impact and cinematography---it's a gorgeous film to look at. I didn't find it a bad film to watch either although I have reservations over how some of the characters behaved. Again, like TDKR, the this film needed to be fleshed out a bit more and have some things made a bit more clear to eliminate confusion. It's fine to raise questions, but not everything should be left ambiguous. Again, like TDKR, this is an ambitious film that needed its creator to step back and give it a critical look before releasing it as is. Prometheus also compares with another ambitious film, Avatar, which I think was a lot more disappointing. I still quite enjoyed Prometheus, but it could have been better with some clarifications and a little smarter thinking. This one comes in second.

Star Trek (2009) - This should have been a no-brainer: revisit and reboot TOS, my absolute favourite television series overall. It could have been done...but it wasn't. My issue isn't that it was rebooted---that was practically inevitable. My issue is that everything that I love about the original series and Star Trek in general went missing here. In previous films spun off the original series I can critique every one of them to some extent or other yet they all still managed to resonate with the original subject matter to some degree or other. Rather than criticize every single thing I disliked I think I can summarize by saying that the intent was to remake Star Trek into something else, to effectively make it more like another franchise, Star Wars. The argument has been used that ST09 is similar enough to TOS' lesser episodes and hence it's still faithful. I reject that view because those lesser efforts were in the minority and thus not truly representative of the majority of better work that enthused so many people and made the show popular. Would it not have been better to emulate and evoke the likes of "The Corbomite Maneuver," "Balance Of Terror" and "The Doomsday Machine" rather than the likes of "I, Mudd" and "Spock's Brain?" Hell, it isn't even on the level of "Spock's Brain" which has a legitimate SF story at the heart of it. At any rate I didn't recognize anything of what I love about TOS in ST09---the film and its elements had simply been pushed too far afield into a form that irritated me.

I hope I've been specific and civil enough. :)

Anyone else?

Warped9 December 29 2012 07:17 PM

Re: A three film comparison/face-off...
 
Although I much prefer Prometheus over Avatar that could have been a legitimate discussion in itself.

It is the same basic issue, though, in regards to which film works most effectively for you and why.

Nerys Myk December 29 2012 07:20 PM

Re: A three film comparison/face-off...
 
Though I've yet to see Prometheus, I did enjoy Star Trek more than DKR. With Star Trek they really recaptured the essence of TOS. A deft blend of action, comedy and something to think about.

BillJ December 29 2012 07:25 PM

Re: A three film comparison/face-off...
 
I have to go with Star Trek 2009.

The Dark Knight series is so deliberate in its presentation that it veers way to often into downright Dulls-ville. Prometheus, while the most visually stunning of the three, just feels wrong. Every action just seems to be driving us toward people getting eaten by monsters, whether it makes sense or not.

While I'm pretty harsh towards Star Trek 2009, it is the most entertaining of the three. And that's why I watch TV/movies to begin with.

Admiral2 December 29 2012 07:30 PM

Re: A three film comparison/face-off...
 
Star Trek: Still ain't seen it. Still don't intend to, because the trailers sucked huge. And I don't care what people think of me saying that.

Dark Knight Rises: Good but not great, and kinda slow compared to Begins and Dark Knight. Bane reminded me more of the Toxic Avenger than the Bane from the comics, and frankly "The comic Bane wouldn't have worked" doesn't qualify as an explanation for me, because it's always something said by some lame studio exec too afraid to actually try it and find out for sure. That's why we get things like Galactus and Parallax as giant gas clouds in movies. Anne Hathaway's portrayal as Catwoman was better than I expected.

Prometheus: My favorite of the three, because unlike a lot of people I had no problem understanding the motivations and agendas of the characters involved and on top of that it really was visually stunning. The only off thing for me was The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo turning herself into The Girl With The Half-Assed Abdominal Scar.

And of course, there was Charlize Theron doing the mummy-wrapped pushups. :drool:

Warped9 December 29 2012 07:34 PM

Re: A three film comparison/face-off...
 
Quote:

Warped9 wrote: (Post 7460506)
Although I much prefer Prometheus over Avatar that could have been a legitimate discussion in itself.

It is the same basic issue, though, in regards to which film works most effectively for you and why.

In some respects Avatar could have co-existed in the Alien universe, that is until we get a look at the blue alien Navi. The cutesy analogy they were going for was like being hit over the head repeatedly with a mallet. And while nice I wasn't all that impressed with its visual elements or the conceptual ideas since, a) they can do practically anything with cgi today, and b) all the concepts were already old-hat in SF literature easily ten to fifteen years ago when I read them.

None of the concepts were particularly new in Prometheus either, but I liked how they came off better. And I liked the more effective building of tension. Even flawed I could still be engaged by Prometheus. Avatar just made me yawn mostly.

Quote:

Admiral2 wrote: (Post 7460605)
Prometheus:...unlike a lot of people I had no problem understanding the motivations and agendas of the characters involved and on top of that it really was visually stunning...

Agreed.

M'rk, son of Mogh December 29 2012 08:44 PM

Re: A three film comparison/face-off...
 
Star Trek had the LEAST problems for me, so it was number one (I actually love it)

Batman had a lot of dumb plot contrivances that I hated, while Prometheus had as many dumb character contrivances that I hated. I'd give both of those an easy thumbs down (though at least Prometheus was gorgeous to WATCH, but you need a little more than visuals these days. Batman had very little to recommend as far as I'm concerned.)

Gaith December 29 2012 09:09 PM

Re: A three film comparison/face-off...
 
Star Trek: lighthearted space adventure
Prometheus: silly space horror
TDKR: grim crime thriller


... These are very different genres; I find it difficult to make useful comparisons across such distances. But I voted for Trek.

Warped9 December 29 2012 09:18 PM

Re: A three film comparison/face-off...
 
Quote:

Gaith wrote: (Post 7461010)
... These are very different genres; I find it difficult to make useful comparisons across such distances. But I voted for Trek.

Well Trek and Prometheus are both space adventure. But it all comes down to which film was the most satisfying. My experience was the reverse of how the voting is skewing this early on. I found ST09 was not only disappointing as Trek but also as a film.

Shurik December 29 2012 09:55 PM

Re: A three film comparison/face-off...
 
Star Trek was two hours of pure fun and I enjoyed every single second of it. It was a space adventure movie and there weren't lot of those in past decade or so.

Out of the three Nolan's Batman movies, I liked the first one the most. TDKR was just average and way too long.

Prometheus is the disappointment of the year for me, one of the worst movies I've ever seen. It was pretty to look at, but the look of it is the only positive thing I can say about the movie.

BillJ December 29 2012 10:06 PM

Re: A three film comparison/face-off...
 
Quote:

Warped9 wrote: (Post 7461040)
My experience was the reverse of how the voting is skewing this early on.

You are on a Star Trek message board. But I think even websites like Rotten Tomatoes rank the 2009 film pretty high. :shrug:

trekkiebaggio December 29 2012 10:15 PM

Re: A three film comparison/face-off...
 
Star Trek was the most fun, it wasn't perfect but the positives outweighed the negatives for me. Prometheus I was hugely disappointed by and I wouldn't choose to watch it again. The Dark Knight Rises was good and I'd probably watch it again but the more I think about it the more the problems bug me.

Enterprise is Great December 29 2012 11:52 PM

Re: A three film comparison/face-off...
 
Haven't seen Prometheus yet, loved TDKR a lot but for me Star Trek 2009 is my favorite.

Set Harth December 30 2012 12:08 AM

Re: A three film comparison/face-off...
 
Quote:

Admiral2 wrote: (Post 7460605)
Star Trek: Still ain't seen it. Still don't intend to

You're missing out. It actually made some people weep ( and in a good way ).

kirk55555 December 30 2012 12:11 AM

Re: A three film comparison/face-off...
 
Quote:

Set Harth wrote: (Post 7461787)
Quote:

Admiral2 wrote: (Post 7460605)
Star Trek: Still ain't seen it. Still don't intend to

You're missing out. It actually made some people weep ( and in a good way ).

Well, it almost made me weep, in a bad way. It is officially the worst movie I've ever seen (with The Dark Knight being a very close second). If you haven't seen it, don't. You'll be a happier, more well adjusted person.

As for the main question, I haven't seen Prometheus. The dark Knight rises was horrible, but slightly less so than TDK, since it atleast felt like something was happening sometimes and didn't lull you to sleep, even if the plot was still stupid.


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