Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by JD, Dec 11, 2020.
OK I've never watched these movies so wasn't sure what rules they play by.
Rule of Funny, basically. On the one hand, while the toys almost always fall limp when a human enters, the climax of the first film showed that they could choose to move in front of a human. On the other hand, Buzz Lightyear spent much of the first film believing he was a real Space Ranger instead of a toy, yet he still fell limp along with the rest as if it were an involuntary reflex.
Though I guess maybe it is a reflex, but one you can overcome with sufficient effort.
Perhaps, & this is just me theorizing like a good Star Trek fan would, if a toy doesn't know it's a toy, the falling limp reaction IS involuntary. Only with self awareness comes the ability to be fully actuated enough to choose it, & the intelligence to know it's necessary.
You know... Him thinking that is even sillier now, because he might be a toy based off a cartoon version of a movie performer, none of whom would think they were an actual space ranger, a thing that might not even really exist lol
Much like a video game character suddenly realizing they can have their own agency and will, like in Tron, and more recently like Free Guy
The characters in TRON, at least the original, were not video game characters, since video games back then weren't advanced enough to have human characters. They were forced to play in computer games by Sark and the MPC as a form of execution, but the "Programs" themselves were anthropomorphic embodiments of entire computer programs -- for instance, Tron was a security program, Yori was an input/output program, Peter Jurasik's character was an accounting program, etc. The conceit was that the programs were lookalike avatars for their programmers, without the programmers' knowledge -- sort of as if the programmers' creations inherited part of their souls or identities. It was a very fanciful, symbolic depiction of what went on inside a computer, dating from a time when computers were far more unfamiliar and mysterious to the average person. It was sort of like the TV series Reboot, where the world inside the computer had its own emergent life and society that the User on the outside had no idea existed. It was also kind of like how Pixar's Inside Out and the sitcom Herman's Head featured anthropomorphic embodiments of a person's emotions and drives existing in a figurative world inside their brain.
This is one of the things the sequel got entirely wrong about TRON. In Legacy, the Programs actually were deliberately created artificial life entities within a designed VR environment, which is a complete change from the more figurative, almost mystical approach of the original. (The other main thing it got ridiculously wrong was painting Kevin Flynn as some kind of anti-capitalist champion of free software, when his entire motivation in the original film was to prove that his intellectual property had been stolen so that he could get the money he was owed for it.)
I liked Tron Legacy, shame it didn't get another sequel. The whole idea of Quorra was an interesting one and she ended up in the real world.
It was okay as a self-contained movie, but flawed as a sequel to TRON, because it didn't quite get what the original film was doing. I made the mistake of watching the original film the day before I saw the sequel, and it made the disconnect between them all too clear. It would probably work better as a sequel if you didn't have a clear memory of the original. (Although it still would have its disappointments, like how drab the virtual world was. The filmmakers took the originals' monochrome color scheme for the characters and extended it to the whole world, in contrast to the original where the environments were vividly colorful.)
Maybe the biggest disconnect is that Legacy did the usual thing of trying to make CGI look photorealistic, while the original TRON's aesthetic was the opposite, trying to make live action look like CGI and embrace the stylized, unreal aspects of it. Back then, the fact that CGI looked totally unlike anything real was seen as a virtue, not a flaw, because it introduced a whole new visual language. The original tried to embrace that novel visual style as best it could using live action and hand animation interspersed with limited CGI. Essentially, from an aesthetic and production standpoint, it was approached as an animated film, not a live-action film. It just incorporated footage of live actors as one of its animated elements.
I wish Legacy had done the Grid sequences as full CGI, because that would be the realization of what the original film was trying to approximate but lacked the technology to do for real. Basically the animated TV series Uprising was closer to the spirit of what the original filmmakers intended (aside from keeping the sequel's drab color scheme).
I just watched it this morning, and I freaking loved it.
I watched the film last night and found it enjoyable.
Only thing is, for a movie about a Space Ranger, I'm surprised it spends all time on a single planet.
I think doing it that way worked as a story. Buzz Lightyear defines himself as a Space Ranger, so the way to bring complication to his life and force him to grow as a person is to take space out of the equation and tell the story about how he gradually comes to accept that (although the nonsensical "We're suddenly part of galactic civilization again despite losing our only warp crystal" ending undermined that). I give Pixar full credit for not doing the expected and obvious story. Still, it does feel difficult to reconcile with the character depicted by the toy.
However, apparently the conceit is that the toy is based on the animated series based on the movie, and the animated series could have done what a lot of them do, semi-rebooting the universe to depict its own more kid-friendly version. For an ongoing series, after all, you want the character to be more consistent from episode to episode, so that show would've probably just gone with Buzz being a pure Space Ranger, telling the kinds of adventures he was presumed to have before the movie. Although the movie introduced a more Toy Story-like version of the spacesuits in the end, plus a spaceship that looked like the box the Buzz toy came in. That implies that the film was the origin story for the Buzz that the toy was based on, and the bulk of his Space Ranger adventures would've been after the movie -- even though, again, that makes no sense in the context of everything that preceded the ending.
I really don't get the hate for the film. It was fun. Felt like a Pixar flick, although longer than they usually do, and it looked great.
I liked the film in and of itself. I did not like it as an explanation for the Toy Story character. But I can easily divorce the two in my head.
I don't get the hate either. Why can't we just enjoy films for what they are an not have to dissect them so much?
That's a non sequitur. Dissecting and analyzing films is not the same thing as "hate." Heck, if anything, people are more motivated to dissect the films they love -- just look at the conversations on any Star Wars or Star Trek fan board. Analysis and critique are basic parts of how audiences engage with fiction, both good and bad.
And we're under no obligation to "enjoy films for what they are." The films have to earn our enjoyment, and if they're unsatisfying, then of course we're going to say so, because that's our right. That's not "hate," it's just having standards. True, there are those who attack and hate blindly, but it's grossly unjust to lump in every dissatisfied customer with the likes of them.
Oh no I get that just with the internet those voices get amplified a lot more and more people tend to post hate blurbs of any film they don't like which snowballs that effect. It's fine to say you don't like a film just with the internet in some places that gets amplified a bit more, that's the kind of thing I was getting at.
Generally, I am of this opinion but analysis of film and fiction has been ongoing for a long time. The fact that it gets called "hate" to sit down and analyze a film for why it doesn't work for a person is par for the course. I've listened to podcasts for nigh 15 years about film analysis and commentary. Some of it is definitely hateful, and some is equally praising and celebrating the accomplishment.
And some individuals, myself included, cannot just sit down and enjoy films any more. Analysis and dissections' are 100% a part of my daily life and have been for decades now. That's my personality. That's why I'm less likely to keep on with something if I don't like it; I don't need to ruminate on it because I don't like it.
tl: dr-expect analysis.
I don't mind analysis. In fact I enjoy it. It's the wave of 'this is terrible and everyone should hate it because I do' that I find generally irritating. And this film was getting it's share of that.
Yeah, but it's false to say that the only alternative to that is to "just enjoy films for what they are."
Never said that either. Just that I enjoyed it and didn't understand the hate wave following it around. I follow plenty of people who rate films, games, etc.
I can really sit down and dissect my entertainment and I do for some things, but I've spent too much time looking at the negatives in what I find entertaining. I don't have that kind of time anymore. If I enjoyed it, great. Spread the joy. If it has issues I might say I was meh on those bits or highlight what I thought worked even if I didn't overall enjoy something but I refuse to sit there and be like 'I hate this and you should too'.
That's the part of this internet hate machine for media I just don't understand.
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