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Old May 11 2014, 04:23 AM   #16
Flying Spaghetti Monster
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Re: Are the Star Wars prequels really that unpopular?

In addition to the story issues, and the lack of "fun" heroism, I think there was simply too many CGI type effects. The original trilogy was innovative.. every single film-making department had a hand n the overall effect that the films had, and somehow it all came together.

The people that did the CGI in the prequels did a fantastic job, but even with all that great work, the simple fact is that there was too much of it, and the human eye is less willing to embrace these effects as seeming real if it is the only technique. The original films used every trick in the book starting with things that had a real physicality to them, such as unique sets, distinct locations, and awesome, finely detailed models, and with the idea that these things could be a bit dirty and gritty made it all seem just so real. Often, in the prequels, the CGI background would be very impressive, but the eye couldn't be fooled because it was almost all CGI, all the time, like when Anakin and Padme step into that tunnel just before the droid factory and the aliens are in the walls.. since it all was fake-y the scene certainly wasn't as creepy or interesting as the producers thought.
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Old May 11 2014, 04:29 AM   #17
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Re: Are the Star Wars prequels really that unpopular?

TalkieToaster wrote: View Post
On IMDB the prequels have average ratings of 6.6, 6.8, and 7.7 out of 10, respectively. On Rotten Tomatoes they have critical ratings of 57, 67, and 80 percent, and audience ratings of 60, 60, and 65 percent. So, despite all the bashing they get, the numbers indicate that most people like the prequels. Obviously popularity doesn't prove quality, but it seems to me like there's a discrepancy between the amount of bashing they get and the overall opinions of the general public. I think sometimes movies get a reputation for being more unpopular than they actually are, and this is a good example.
There's another context too...the one that makes the original series teflon against criticism and held on a pedestal by fans and casual fans alike..their popularity is golden. By comparison a 60% rating is hardly anything to get excited about.

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Old May 11 2014, 04:29 AM   #18
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Re: Are the Star Wars prequels really that unpopular?

Joel_Kirk wrote: View Post

Also, I do have to laugh(?) and applaud at Lucas for putting Natalie Portman in her leather outfit in Episode II, when he was against 'sexing' up Carrie Fisher in A New Hope. (Note: Carrie Fisher was, IMO, very attractive in Episodes 4 and 5).
Carrie Fisher insisted that she wear more feminine costumes in the VI (which ultimately led to her famous slave bikini) because she thought her wardrobe was too masculine in V. She wanted a powerful statement of femininity, which is quite true and what she got (and it speaks about the difference between a man in charge telling her to do it, and her own agency to make that decision for herself).

Portman's a feminist herself like Fischer and found no problems with the outfit because she felt that Padme was a realized human whom the audience could empathize with, while still simultaneously being able to hold her own with a blaster, much like Leia, and not just a piece of eye candy.
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Old May 11 2014, 05:24 AM   #19
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Re: Are the Star Wars prequels really that unpopular?

Isn't feminineantifeminism another word for selfloathing?
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Old May 11 2014, 05:37 AM   #20
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Re: Are the Star Wars prequels really that unpopular?

I think the fact that the prequels remain a point of discussion more than fifteen years after Episode I speaks to their popularity.
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Old May 11 2014, 11:09 AM   #21
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Re: Are the Star Wars prequels really that unpopular?

Nightowl1701 wrote: View Post
Guy Gardener wrote: View Post
One thing I never noticed before in my last 70 viewings of Star Wars A New Hope, is Carrie Fisher pleading with Tarkin not to blow up Alderaan in an English accent... I mean wtf?? Where the #### did that come from? And where the #### did it go?
She only does it around Tarkin, not around Vader or anyone else. She was mocking him, I think - and drops the accent instantly when she realizes what he's about to do.
IIRC the story behind that is that Fisher had already spent some time over here either going to school or stage work (I forget exactly) and had picked up a bit of an accent, which took her a while to shake during filming.
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Old May 11 2014, 11:18 AM   #22
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Re: Are the Star Wars prequels really that unpopular?

Ancient Mariner wrote: View Post
I think the fact that the prequels remain a point of discussion more than fifteen years after Episode I speaks to their popularity.
I think the fact The Clone Wars series was so popular didn't hurt either. Even without the Disney deal it kept the toys on the sale 7 years after Sith, 7 years after Jedi what was there?
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Old May 11 2014, 12:43 PM   #23
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Re: Are the Star Wars prequels really that unpopular?

The prequels, especially TPM & AOTC seem to have been written rather hurridly and without much passion or interest, for having had almost 20 years to think it over and come out with it.

ROTS seemed to be mildly improved, if only in response to fan criticisms. The acting AND writing continue to be attrocious. Annie's Dark Side conversion in the name of Love was absurd and his lack of hesitation in killing "Yuenglings" made no sense. But the absolute worst has to be everything on Mustafar (sp.?) - everything from Annie's arrival to his getting torched was so corny! The long-awaited sabre fight was boring, it went on for so long. Some of it even looked stupid. Everything that came out of Annie's mouth was just arbitrary nonsense. And the convenience of Vader's famous outfit apparently being ready for use, and - seemingly - right off the shelf gave me the impression that there must be others using it, besides Annie.

The only STAR WARS movie that I find unwatchable is ATTACK of the CLONES. Even the payoff of pinball Yoda demonstrates what a joke this movie is. When I want "background noise" if I'm cleaning up the place, or painting, I'll put on the French soundtrack to this movie. In fact, my recollections of this movie are usually such that I forget that the actors actually speak American. What's worse is that I'm much more interested in what's being shown in the background, anyway, than the "story" I'm presented with. I never bought Hayden as Annie, but you know ... I watch all the STAR WARS movies arbitrarily, occassionally. And to be honest, this entire saga kind of sucks, really ... but I still have a soft spot for it.
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Old May 11 2014, 12:47 PM   #24
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Re: Are the Star Wars prequels really that unpopular?

Cyke101 wrote: View Post
Padme was a realized human whom the audience could empathize with
Good one.

Ancient Mariner wrote: View Post
I think the fact that the prequels remain a point of discussion more than fifteen years after Episode I speaks to their popularity.
It speaks to the ubiquity of the Star Wars brand, which isn't quite the same thing.

What speaks to the "popularity" of the prequels is the performance of the Clone Wars film that followed them. (We all remember that film, right? Where were you when?) It's a good job the cartoon it was meant to launch eventually acquired a decent reputation, or Lucas would basically have gone down in history as having managed to sink the proverbial Titanic of SF franchises.
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Old May 11 2014, 12:51 PM   #25
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Re: Are the Star Wars prequels really that unpopular?

BigJake wrote: View Post
Of course the other possibility is that review "scores" on aggregators may not be quite the scientific guide to popular opinion that some people think they are.
Of course, these possibilities are not mutually exclusive.

TalkieToaster wrote: View Post
I think sometimes movies get a reputation for being more unpopular than they actually are, and this is a good example.
There's a bandwagon effect. I know someone who paid to see TPM nine times in the theater. Nowadays, if the prequel trilogy is brought up in any context whatsoever, within about a nanosecond this guy is slamming them in sneering mockery. It's like, who pays to see a film they hate nine times over? Surely after the first two or three times at most you would stop coming back?

BigJake wrote:
It's a good job the cartoon it was meant to launch eventually acquired a decent reputation
This was the occasion of another hilarious historical about-face ( not unlike the case of the integrity-challenged movie reviewers who recanted their initially positive prequel reviews when they noticed which way the wind was blowing ). After initially damning TCW, the hate machine figured out at some point that TCW could fit into its "anything is better than the prequels" mentality and started insisting that the cartoon, which they originally hated, was giving them what they had wanted from the prequels. The dissonance was glorious. People always know what to do when they've found their witch.
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Old May 11 2014, 12:52 PM   #26
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Re: Are the Star Wars prequels really that unpopular?

Set Harth wrote:
After initially damning TCW, the hate machine figured out at some point that TCW could fit into its "anything is better than the prequels" mentality
The... "hate machine"?

Is it a pretty hate machine?

Because I remember the entertainment media, pretty and not, doing pretty much everything it could to boost the prequels. Like so.

I know someone who paid to see TPM nine times in the theater.
Damn. Poor sucker.

People always know what to do when they've found their witch.
I... uh... "found their witch"? I've missed out on a reference-worthy Pop Culture Moment here, it would seem...
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Old May 11 2014, 01:52 PM   #27
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Re: Are the Star Wars prequels really that unpopular?

BigJake wrote: View Post
Ancient Mariner wrote: View Post
I think the fact that the prequels remain a point of discussion more than fifteen years after Episode I speaks to their popularity.
It speaks to the ubiquity of the Star Wars brand, which isn't quite the same thing.
Which is why I didn't say, "Star Wars remains a point of discussion." The amount of time and energy spent still discussing the quality and popularity (or lack thereof for each), the plot and characters, and impact of the prequels themselves is certainly indicative of their popularity.

The Clone Wars helped, certainly. And yes, yes I do remember exactly where I was when I watched the movie.

But honestly, aside from the Anakin-Ahsoka banter (Sky Guy? Really? ), and the Padme subplot, it's not nearly as bad as it's made out to be, either.

BigJake wrote: View Post
I know someone who paid to see TPM nine times in the theater.
Damn. Poor sucker.
I've got that beat ... twice over.
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Old May 11 2014, 01:56 PM   #28
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Re: Are the Star Wars prequels really that unpopular?

Nightowl1701 wrote: View Post
Pondwater wrote: View Post
Blame Jar-jar Binks.
For Episode I, ok. For Episodes II-III, blame George Lucas, Hayden Christensen and Natalie Portman (in that order) for completely failing to emotionally invest us in the trilogy's 'hero' or in his doomed romance.

You can not blame Hayden or Natalie for George's poor directing. He literally told people to stand in a certain spot, say their lines and that was it. When asked about context or background for why they felt a certain way, George would simply say, just say the lines.
Acting is a job, period. We glorify these people and think of them as gods, but are mere mortals who need a paycheck. And ultimatly, an actor depends on the director to direct them. If that doesn't happen, they can't do anything. As someone who has done a few years at a theaterschool, I kinda know how it works.

Blame George, because he is a visual storyteller. He tells stories through images, not dialogue. It's his thing. That's why Star Wars movies directed by George look good, but suffer from badly deliverd dialogue, since actors had no clue what the feelings behind the dialogue was.
Honoustly, of the OT, A New Hope was the worst when it comes to acting.
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Old May 11 2014, 02:01 PM   #29
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Re: Are the Star Wars prequels really that unpopular?

Mage wrote: View Post


You can not blame Hayden or Natalie for George's poor directing. He literally told people to stand in a certain spot, say their lines and that was it. When asked about context or background for why they felt a certain way, George would simply say, just say the lines.
I wonder if that had something to do with the green screen filming process? People have to move during action scenes but if there's more work involved it might explain why people were standing around hardly moving during dialogue heavy scenes.
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Old May 11 2014, 02:03 PM   #30
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Re: Are the Star Wars prequels really that unpopular?

Ancient Mariner wrote: View Post
The amount of time and energy spent still discussing the quality and popularity (or lack thereof for each), the plot and characters, and impact of the prequels themselves is certainly indicative of their popularity.
No. It illustrates the ubiquity of the brand: the Star Wars brand had enough goodwill while the prequels were rolling out that people kept going to see them -- and the media kept gamely trying to talk them up, Set Harth's beliefs about a "hate machine" notwithstanding -- in the hopes that they would improve, and no matter how clear it got that they were poor movies. The brand was popular, it was part of the pop culture conversation and people engaged with it simply to be relevant. The prequel movies lived largely on its accumulated goodwill and the gullibility of small children.

By the time the Clone Wars movie came out, that goodwill was spent. And unsurprisingly it tanked, hard.
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