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Old November 3 2013, 04:11 AM   #16
sttngfan1701d
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Re: Highlander II unused ideas

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Honestly, I always liked the series best. Perhaps I'm just weird, but I've always felt the original Highlander was kind of meh. Not a bad movie, by any means, but not the epic that some people feel it to be. YMMV.
The series did the concept justice once it hit maturity TNG-style. The original movie, while pretty good, was plagued with too much....um....80's. It looks like a music video in the modern sequences and the style was way too over the top.
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Old November 3 2013, 04:49 AM   #17
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Re: Highlander II unused ideas

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To be fair, the series was always presented as an alternate universe, rather than a direct continuation of the first movie.
As are ALL of the film sequels, aren't they? I don't believe any one of them is totally consistent with any other.
Sort of. Highlander II and Highlander: The Final Dimension were both treated as direct sequels to the first movie (with The Final Dimension ignoring Highlander II, for obvious reasons), with both acknowledging the fact that the Gathering happened, but neither has anything to do with the other.

In Highlander II, Connor was the last Immortal until General Katana sent two of his cronies to Earth, whose Quickenings rejuvenated Connor. In The Final Dimension, Connor believed he was the last Immortal until an archeological expedition unearthed Kane and his two henchmen, who were trapped in a cave-in that transpired during a Quickening. So technically they came up with explanations (albeit very stupid or lame ones) for why more Immortals showed up after Connor supposedly won the Prize in the first movie.

The last movie, Highlander: Endgame, exists in the same continuity as the TV series and is a continuation of that universe.
Undead wrote: View Post
Honestly, I always liked the series best. Perhaps I'm just weird, but I've always felt the original Highlander was kind of meh. Not a bad movie, by any means, but not the epic that some people feel it to be. YMMV.
I completely agree with you. I enjoy the first movie, but the series is what really got me into Highlander. I've always been more of a fan of Duncan MacLeod than Connor. The series could be pretty cheesy at times, but overall it was a lot of fun, and did a good job of exploring the concept of Immortals and the Game.
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Old November 3 2013, 05:12 AM   #18
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Re: Highlander II unused ideas

Weren't there 2 movies based on the series?
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Old November 3 2013, 05:15 AM   #19
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Re: Highlander II unused ideas

There were, but only one of them (Endgame) fits in nicely and also brings Connor back to tie elements of the two halves together in some way. The Source is pretty awful.
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Old November 3 2013, 05:34 AM   #20
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Re: Highlander II unused ideas

I actually completely forgot about The Source. Wow, I guess that whole 'pretend something doesn't exist' thing actually works.
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Old November 3 2013, 07:00 AM   #21
sttngfan1701d
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Re: Highlander II unused ideas

Undead wrote: View Post
There were, but only one of them (Endgame) fits in nicely and also brings Connor back to tie elements of the two halves together in some way. The Source is pretty awful.
I actually like Endgame. Mostly anyway. It has some lovely sequences that really fit in with the spirit of the series, and the "modern" portions of the movie have the style I prefer to see. The music was good. The direction was good. The cinematography was good. You get the sense that they TRIED with Endgame. Sure it's undone by stupid Highlander-ish decisions -- the bad guy has a stupid posse made up of bad acting and little else, and they tried to channel Kurgan, again...and they really muddle Connor's story -- but it's not so bad. And it's got Methos and a realistic evolution of Duncan.

The whole "head count" thing in Endgame is dumb because it doesn't make much sense and it kinda cheapens the character of Duncan, who by sheer force of will and skill with a sword defeated many older, more experienced immortals during the series and could've eaten Jacob Kell for breakfast, no sweat.

And this is part of the problem. The best villians Highlander ever had were Kalas and Xavier St. Cloud. They weren't over-the-top blusterers, they were clever. They were skillful. They used their wits and they were truly dangerous. The movie villains are just cardboard silliness. If Highlander is ever rebooted, they need to go back to villains like Kalas.

As for the Source, the less said about that, the better. It was so damn bad I hardly remember it. And it stands as a testament to why new people are needed if Highlander gets a reboot. First, they were stupid enough to make loads of merchandise with the title of the movie years before there was even a script, so even though the concept was retarded, we were stuck with it. Second, we all thought the involvement of Adrian Paul as producer (with script approval) and David Abramowitz (who wrote some of the best stories of the series) meant that it would be gold.

Except...everyone forgot that it was Abramowitz who had a hard-on for the post-apocalypse storyline and was determined to write one after his original idea for the series' 6th season was rejected. And it became clear early on that Adrian Paul was NOT pleased with the script or the shoot, but he probably said "Fuck it...we came this far and waited long enough, let's just do it."

Well they did. And the result was horrible. Instead of more Endgame, we got utter garbage.
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Old November 3 2013, 08:18 AM   #22
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Re: Highlander II unused ideas

This is one of the fundamental differences between movies and TV shows. In a TV show, for a villain to have any kind of longevity they pretty much have to be clever. In a movie, (an action heavy one at least) a villain needs to be simple, at least in their motivation because you don't have anywhere near the amount of screen time with them. The audience needs to very quickly get what they're about, why they're pitted against the protagonist and why they're a threat.

Personally, I liked The Kurgan. He worked well in the film. Just the idea of this barbarian out of the bronze age tromping around in modern times, still acting like the broadsword wielding maniac that he is and yet still able to function in society...albeit in the seedier side, but still. Maybe it's just me, but I found it interesting. However, for a TV series, he'd have been pretty one-note and wouldn't have suited very well. At best he could have been someone talked about and felt more than seen before finally showing up and actually killing someone important before the protagonist takes his head too a season later.
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Old November 4 2013, 02:40 AM   #23
sttngfan1701d
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Re: Highlander II unused ideas

Die Hard had a smart villain. Skyfall had one. So did GoldenEye. TWOK. I think you can have a toned-down yet still well-drawn villain in a film and it would still be effective.

The Kurgan worked for the first movie, yes. The problem is, they kept going back to him again and again. The pilot of the series had a guy named Slan who was nothing but the Kurgan redux. And all Highlander movie villains have been riffs on him in one way or another.
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Old November 4 2013, 06:54 PM   #24
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Re: Highlander II unused ideas

sttngfan1701d wrote: View Post
I actually like Endgame. Mostly anyway. It has some lovely sequences that really fit in with the spirit of the series, and the "modern" portions of the movie have the style I prefer to see. The music was good. The direction was good. The cinematography was good. You get the sense that they TRIED with Endgame. Sure it's undone by stupid Highlander-ish decisions -- the bad guy has a stupid posse made up of bad acting and little else, and they tried to channel Kurgan, again...and they really muddle Connor's story -- but it's not so bad. And it's got Methos and a realistic evolution of Duncan.

The whole "head count" thing in Endgame is dumb because it doesn't make much sense and it kinda cheapens the character of Duncan, who by sheer force of will and skill with a sword defeated many older, more experienced immortals during the series and could've eaten Jacob Kell for breakfast, no sweat.

And this is part of the problem. The best villians Highlander ever had were Kalas and Xavier St. Cloud. They weren't over-the-top blusterers, they were clever. They were skillful. They used their wits and they were truly dangerous. The movie villains are just cardboard silliness. If Highlander is ever rebooted, they need to go back to villains like Kalas.
I agree. Endgame certainly isn't without its flaws, and I'll admit I enjoy it partly because Bruce Payne is a skilled scenery chewer. Personally I liked that both Connor and Duncan have to face demons from their pasts that reflect part of the curse immortality can be. I think Reverend has a good point about the Kurgan, though. For the original film's context, he works even though it's cartoony.
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Old November 4 2013, 07:59 PM   #25
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Re: Highlander II unused ideas

sttngfan1701d wrote: View Post
Die Hard had a smart villain. Skyfall had one. So did GoldenEye. TWOK. I think you can have a toned-down yet still well-drawn villain in a film and it would still be effective.

The Kurgan worked for the first movie, yes. The problem is, they kept going back to him again and again. The pilot of the series had a guy named Slan who was nothing but the Kurgan redux. And all Highlander movie villains have been riffs on him in one way or another.
I said simple, not stupid. Hans was cleaver, charismatic, cunning and funny in that very dry Alan Rickman way but as a character, he wasn't all that complicated. He just wanted all the moneys.

A regularly appearing TV villain needs to be clever so the heroes don't look stupid when they fail to put a permanent end to their activities. The net result of that is usually that they have complicated character motivations, history and some depth that can't be summed up in the average movie. Indeed the good TV villains are the ones you get to know better over time until they become almost protagonists in their own right. In a movie, you need to know fast what a villain is about. Intelligence isn't such a relevant factor.

I can't speak to what the Highlander series did or didn't do since I never really watched it and honestly what little I saw didn't do much for me. However, my point was precisely that characters like the Kurgan work much better in the short form story telling of film than the long form of television.

Last edited by Reverend; November 4 2013 at 11:14 PM.
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Old November 4 2013, 11:31 PM   #26
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Re: Highlander II unused ideas

I'm a huge fan of the franchise, and even I hated The Quickening and the Source. I always lodge the failings of the franchise in its creator's desire to move the story of the franchise forward, which is a good thing; the BAD thing was this desire manifesting in some weird post-apocalyptic story about redemption. The Quickening, the Source, Endgame and the aborted ideas for the TV series' sixth season were all about this; only The Search for Vengeance does the idea justice and IMO it's because the original producers had less to do with it. Endgame had the TV series producers also heavily involved, and that's why it was marginally enjoyable for me. Perhaps not surprisingly, both Engame and SfV had extensive historical flashbacks, while Quickening and Source did not.

Highlander was at its best when examining the differences in how people do stuff today versus how they did stuff in the past, using all of history as a rich background. This, plus some truly great character work in the first movie and series, is what makes the franchise memorable (well, this and the sword fights). I hope that eventually someone will reboot Highlander as a miniseries on some cable network, where we can tell a concise, character-based story over many hours instead of two in the theatres, and where the violence that defines this brand of immortality can be graphically shown (instead of off-shot beheadings, etc.) to illustrate how awful AND awesome it can be.

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Old November 5 2013, 11:43 AM   #27
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Re: Highlander II unused ideas

It's been a while so my memory is a little fuzzy, but wasn't that short lived Highlander cartoon also set in a post-apocalyptic future?
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Old November 5 2013, 04:11 PM   #28
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Re: Highlander II unused ideas

^Yes

Connor dies again and there is a new Ramirez and a new Macleod.
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Old November 5 2013, 04:28 PM   #29
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Re: Highlander II unused ideas

Was The Source really that bad?
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Old November 5 2013, 04:51 PM   #30
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Re: Highlander II unused ideas

Noddy wrote: View Post
Was The Source really that bad?
No, it was worse.
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