Hatrack River
Home   |   About Orson Scott Card   |   News & Reviews   |   OSC Library   |   Forums   |   Contact   |   Links
Research Area   |   Writing Lessons   |   Writers Workshops   |   OSC at SVU   |   Calendar   |   Store
E-mail this page
Hatrack River Writers Workshop Post New Topic  Post A Reply
my profile login | register | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Discussing Published Hooks & Books » Pushing the Reality Factor in Movies

   
Author Topic: Pushing the Reality Factor in Movies
Crystal Stevens
Member
Member # 8006

 - posted      Profile for Crystal Stevens   Email Crystal Stevens         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I just noticed a couple of things that couldn't possibly happen being done in two particular movies that are out or should be out soon.

First is the characters from the Ice Age movies doing a Christmas movie. Let's look at facts. How can Christmas be celebrated 10,000 or 20,000 years before it ever existed? I realize this is a kids movie, but do we want kids thinking prehistoric animals can celebrate something that hasn't happened yet? It's fine by me that animals in an animated film can understand about human holidays. That's encouraging a child's imagination. But surely even a child should realize the "Ice Age" characters shouldn't be able to do this. I just can't suspend belief that far... even for a children's film.

The other is in the Twilight movies/books. The heroine (who's name escapes me) is going to have her vampire lover's baby???? Let's get real. The guy's dead. There's no way a dead guy can produce sperm let alone get his living girlfriend pregnant... or is she dead and a vampire by this time too? If that's the case, you have two dead people producing a baby. Give me a break!

Posts: 1318 | Registered: May 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
EVOC
Member
Member # 9381

 - posted      Profile for EVOC   Email EVOC         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
HA! My wife hates when I analyze these type of things. She gets mad because I always point out how ridicules it is to expect that the witch in Wizard of Oz would never come in contact with water.
Posts: 724 | Registered: Jan 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Tiergan
Member
Member # 7852

 - posted      Profile for Tiergan   Email Tiergan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The Ice Age one doenst bother me at all. Never would have even thought of it that way.

Twilight well, never read any, and only watched the first(It was on a free preview weekend). Not really my thing. But yeah, that bothers me, dead is dead.

Posts: 1130 | Registered: Mar 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
philocinemas
Member
Member # 8108

 - posted      Profile for philocinemas   Email philocinemas         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I doubt the baby Jesus will be in the Ice Age movie. However, considering that the dates and traditions that NOW surround the celebration have pagan origens, and that this is a movie about talking animals, I can suspend disbelief. [Big Grin]

Regarding vampires, I question how they can even move around when they are dead, so I suppose how a vampire could have active sperm is not the greatest question I have.

My general rule for suspension of disbelief is: Does anything contradict the rules established within the universe of the story?

Talking animals and vampires get more of a pass from me than do many science fiction books and movies.

Posts: 2003 | Registered: Jul 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
mythique890
Member
Member # 8586

 - posted      Profile for mythique890   Email mythique890         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The Twilight movie is based off of things the author wrote in the book, so... yeah. She's LDS, and maybe I see this because I'm also LDS, but she wanted her characters to have kids because it's pretty much paramount in the culture. Meyer sort of crafted her own personal vampire fantasy around LDS values (premarital chastity and the importance of having children). I don't blame her; I try to keep what I write in line with LDS values, too... but I sort of feel like you find it more in the negative space around my writing than in the actual events, if that makes sense to anyone but me.

As far as Ice Age... meh. It's a cartoon and it's for kids. Kids LOVE Christmas. Smart marketing move, though I roll my eyes at it as an adult. I'll still take my 4 year old if she wants to see it, though, once it hits the dollar theater.

Posts: 128 | Registered: Apr 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
LDWriter2
Member
Member # 9148

 - posted      Profile for LDWriter2   Email LDWriter2         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Number one

Since they are dealing with Santa Claus he could have been around back then. It took a huge amount of years to develop what we know as Christmas. Even if it started approximately two thousand years ago, some of it could be from before that.


As to Twilight Isn't that why she said something along the lines of it can't be possible? But I read one series where, after an elaborate ceremony, a vampire did make a woman pregnant. Then there was Angel, I believe that was part of some type of curse. So if Vampires are made up anyway why not make up someway they can impregnate? As I said the whole thing is made up anyway. Vampires do not follow the laws of physics or logic anyway.

Posts: 4847 | Registered: Jun 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Robert Nowall
Member
Member # 2764

 - posted      Profile for Robert Nowall   Email Robert Nowall         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
It's an old joke: "If B. C. is a caveman, how can he celebrate Ash Wednesday?"

Reality is for the birds, most people are reading (or watching or listening) for a little escape from reality. Now, I'm the kind of guy who likes to pick holes in things, even when they're things I like...but most people aren't, and would never look for all the plot problems and continuity errors and such that I do on a routine basis.

If I were doing these "Twilight" things (though neither the idea nor the execution appeal to me), I might try to make it work within its own world, and try to match it up with how things work in the real world---but, much as LDWriter said above, there's something wrong with the notion in the first place.

Posts: 8229 | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Denevius
Member
Member # 9682

 - posted      Profile for Denevius   Email Denevius         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
the only issue i can see with "Twilight" is if a vampire baby violates the rules of the fictional universe the author had written up until then. basically, if the girlfriend conceiving is a deus ex machina, or some kind of hand of god put in simply to resolve plot, then that would be a problem; though a limited one as i don't think anyone considers "Twilight" books strong, well-crafted literary fiction.

however, vampires siring kids isn't anything new. it's quite common in japanese anime about vampires, such as "Vampire Hunter D", or "Vampire Knight". also, does the mythology of "Twilight" state how vampires first came to exist? is it more a biological mutation like in "I Am Legend" or "Daybreakers", or possession like in Anne Rice's "Queen of the Damned"? figures like Dracula or Cain don't actually die, they're just cursed by god, so one would think they're still able to sire a kid if they so chose.

i somewhat remember some of the main vamps in the "Twilight" series referring to themselves as brother and sister.

Posts: 732 | Registered: Nov 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
MartinV
Member
Member # 5512

 - posted      Profile for MartinV   Email MartinV         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
As far as I can tell, the vampires in the Twilight series aren't truly dead. The only similiarity between traditional vampires and the new, disgustingly pretty vampires is the name.

I wanted to use vampires in some of my stories but decided to use a completely different name for them just to avoid my stories getting slapped with a label 'vampire story'.

Posts: 1271 | Registered: May 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Crystal Stevens
Member
Member # 8006

 - posted      Profile for Crystal Stevens   Email Crystal Stevens         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Denevius; When it comes to some of the vampires being brother and sister, I just assumed they both became vampires by getting bit by another vampire, not by being born that way. That thought never entered my mind. I'll admit I never read the books and just saw the first two movies. I thought both sucked big time. I realize the rules may be different from what I think of when thinking of vampires. So yes, the rules of Twilight's vampires may allow for them to reproduce. I've just always thought of the definition of a vampire as someone who died to become that way. Hence the way my thinking works.

I never realized that Meyers was an LDS. I also don't see where this would make any difference in defining what a vampire is. I guess I'm too old fashioned. Also I don't intend to read any of the Twilight books or go see anymore of what I consider movies not worth watching. No disrespect for Twilight fans. It's just how I feel about it.

I hate to say this, but the meaning of Christmas is "Christ's Mass". I honestly don't think Saint Nicholas (Santa Clause) was around before the birth of Christ. After all, he was the first Santa Clause and where the legend came from. Correct? I realize this won't make any difference to kids, but it still bugs me to no end.

Posts: 1318 | Registered: May 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
MAP
Member
Member # 8631

 - posted      Profile for MAP           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Meyers wasn't the first to have human-vampire hybrids. I've seen it in other books too, Vampire Academy comes to mind.

But the idea is rooted in folklore Dhampir

As for Ice Age, yeah, it has very little realism in it. My kids love the one with dinosaurs, but then again my kids love all things dinosaurs.

Posts: 1076 | Registered: May 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
mythique890
Member
Member # 8586

 - posted      Profile for mythique890   Email mythique890         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Being LDS only makes a difference as to her definition of vampires. We're generally a conservative group, so basically she twisted the mythology around until it resembled something she could work with while still maintaining her beliefs.

I'll admit, I have read them, but more out of a car accident-like "I can't look away" than anything else. They were bad, but I can clarify that the whole brother-sister thing is a cover for the fact that there are a bunch of unrelated people sharing a house. None of them are related in any way.

I don't remember if Meyer goes into how vampires were created, but they're definitely dead in her books. Repeated (often) references to the fact that the MC's main squeeze is as cold and sexy as a perfect Greek statue and lacks a heartbeat makes his undeadness clear. She also goes into the reasons why a male vampire and a female human can make babies, but I'm pretty sure it's not a very good explanation.

The thing about things working within the rules of Meyer's universe is that her universe never qualifies for willing suspense of disbelief, IMO.

Posts: 128 | Registered: Apr 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
MattLeo
Member
Member # 9331

 - posted      Profile for MattLeo   Email MattLeo         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Well, even the vampires in Bram Stoker's *Dracula* weren't dead by any reasonable biological definition of the word. They had to feed in order to maintain homeostasis, and could be "killed" by driving a stake through their heart. And of course they reproduced by bringing ordinary humans into their state of existence.

It is clear that Stoker's vampirism was supposed to be an unnatural state of existence, the very prolongation of which was evil. Vampires are undead only in the sense that they are immune from things which *ought* to kill them. Modern authors take a very different position on this of course. One could argue that a vampiric existence is a depicted in most stories is a *better* way of life. It's hard to argue that "killing" a person by making him a vampire is anything but doing him a favor: he gets shiny new powers, eternal life and perpetual youth in exchange for a change in diet. In the absence of any teleological argument that humans *ought to* die, urban fantasy vampirism can't reasonably be regarded as an evil.

The vampires of authentic folklore are very different beasts. They are essentially mindless sappers of vitality, but this material is essentially untapped and unfamiliar to modern readers. Very little of the horror of the folkloric vampire remains in his literary cousin; it would be a rich source of material for an enterprising writer. H.P. Lovecraft wrote a story called *The Shunned House*, about an actual house in Providence Rhodes Island with a history of occupants dying mysteriously. That story isn't even recognizable as a vampire story, but it incorporates creepy bits of authentic New England vampire lore.

By the time Stoker wrote Dracula, Regency and Victorian period writers had already defined the vampire as we know him. Vampires are now so familiar it's hard to find them scary, so it's not surprising that modern vampires tend to be friendly. I think the vampire remains a popular stock character for authors because he provides a well-known package of magical abilities and limitations that the writer doesn't have to work very hard to explain. But since vampires don't exist, every author is free to tinker with that package to suit himself. If Meyers says her vampires are capable of producing offspring with non-vampire humans, you can't possibly regard that as a *logical* flaw in her writing.

As for *Ice Age*, it's a fairy tale, and fairy tales are set in a timeless place that intersects all eras. If you really want to be a stickler, then you shouldn't accept the appearance of chimneys in medieval or earlier settings; anachronistic armor and heraldic devices in Robin Hood stories; stirrups in an Iron Age story; tobacco and potatoes in proto-European Middle Earth.

But in less fairy-tale stories, you really *ought* to be reasonably accurate though. I once critiqued a manuscript set in the Bronze Age Middle East. The characters dueled with bronze scimitars (Oh, for Pete's sake!!!), passed notes on apparently ubiquitous and cheap scraps of paper, rode horses with stirrups, and lived in houses with chimneys. They drank in public houses of a type that didn't exist until the start of the eighteenth century, where they were entertained by dancing girls in belly-dancing outfits that didn't exist until the end of the 19th century. The characters had modern Semitic names, and spoke in a kind of Victorian pulp novel dog-of-an-infidel Arab style. They lived in a vast empire stretching the length of the Silk Road that quite certainly never existed in the archaeological period specified.

So my question to the author was, why set this story in a specific place and time where these things are impossible? Why not simply set it "long ago and far away", where all things are possible? The only possible motivation for setting a story in such a specific place and time is to make use of the actual details (unless you're using a stock setting like steampunk Victorian London or pseudo-Middle Earth). If you aren't interested in getting *any* of the details of a period and place right, then "long ago and far away" is the right place for your story.

Posts: 1295 | Registered: Dec 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Meredith
Member
Member # 8368

 - posted      Profile for Meredith   Email Meredith         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Wow, MattLeo, and I thought I was a history geek. [Big Grin]

When I get around to writing my alternate history, probably next year, I may have to beg you to give it a read for consistnency. Although I am doing at least some research on the people and period.

Posts: 3899 | Registered: Dec 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Denevius
Member
Member # 9682

 - posted      Profile for Denevius   Email Denevius         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
yeah, i haven't read the "Twilight" books either, crystal, so i'm not sure how the universe works. i did see "Dark Moon" (i think that's the title) which a group of women dragged to me because it was a double feature and afterwards we saw "Ninja Assassin" (a bit of a weird double feature combination, though they both had in common being very bad movies).

since i haven't read the "Twilight" books, i suppose i can't say with any authority that they're crappy writing; though my spidey senses warn me that the writing in the series is quite bad.

so like i said, i'm not sure how much difference it makes whether the vampires are actually related, or are related through a shard maker; whether there had ever been a vampire/human conception mentioned at any point in the series before; or whether it was a result of some weird immaculate conception through Edward's spiritual self. i'm almost sure fans of "Twilight" won't care so much if it makes sense, but more how it makes them feel and if they are moved, emotionally, by the conception between Edward and Bella.

Posts: 732 | Registered: Nov 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
MartinV
Member
Member # 5512

 - posted      Profile for MartinV   Email MartinV         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
One curious bit: before Bram Stoker heard of Vlad Tepesh, the Dracul lord of Romania, his initial setting for the novel was to be in southern Štajerska or Steiermark (incidentally, from where my family comes from). Another name for this region is Styria and I've renamed my vampires into Stirians.
Posts: 1271 | Registered: May 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
MattLeo
Member
Member # 9331

 - posted      Profile for MattLeo   Email MattLeo         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Meredith, you can send me stuff to look at any time; just let me know if you're on a deadline.

I don't want to give the impression I'm a prig about historical accuracy. I don't have a problem with authors that get things wrong, particularly if they do so deliberately. I'm sure the writers of Ice Age know that Christmas wasn't celebrated until around the fourth century CE. I'm sure they know that mammoths didn't talk like humans, too.

What bugs me is the author who gets things wrong because he's copying something else that's wrong.

That's why most steampunk I've read leaves me cold. It's not that I don't find that world attractive, but that the authors so often use that world without adding anything new to it. It sometimes feels like the story is pieced together from recycled bits of other stories without much effort in making those bits work together.

When an author sets a story in what he calls "The Bronze Age Middle East", he can be doing one of two interesting things. He can use authentic detail from archaeological sources to make his setting fresh. Or he can take us to a place he's made up entirely on his own which he calls "The Bronze Age Middle East". Both are fine with me. But there's a third possibility: he can be slapping an incongruous label on a story world lifted wholesale from other writers.

I sometimes wonder why an author has gone through the trouble of assembling a novel sized story if he's not going to put any of himself in it.

Posts: 1295 | Registered: Dec 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
KayTi
Member
Member # 5137

 - posted      Profile for KayTi           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
If I might be the wet blanket for a moment, folks - if you want to know what is selling gazillions of copies of books you might consider investing a little time in reading them! If YA fiction isn't part of your target market, that's fine, but if you have any aims to sell to young adult readers (and the crazy TwiMom crossover market that happened at least with this one title) then you should give the book at least 6 or 8 chapters worth of your time. And one very interesting point about the YA or middle-grade market is that every few years there are a bunch of BRAND NEW READERS in your market because kids age out of these categories and move on to other things and a whole new batch of readers comes in to replace them. I'm convinced this is part of what's behind the explosion in YA as an industry in recent years. All sorts of big-name writers are writing YA or middle grade now (to the point of annoying those of us who specialize in it! It's not just a matter of simplifying plot and language!) It's more than a trend.

I read all the Twilight books in a very short period of time about 2 years ago. They are really fast reads. They are very entertaining, very hard to put down. There is some crap in them, yes, but there is a lot to study, a lot to learn about what compels readers in them. My personal opinion about what she does so well in those books is that she has pacing nailed. So many thriller writers miss the mark on this, in my opinion (which is why I don't really love to read thrillers even though I love fast-paced fiction.) In twilight she has the art of speed up speed up speed up, rest, give the reader a break, tension tension tension increase, break, relieve tension, lay groundwork for new level of tension.

I think the author also does an expert job of putting you back in your 18 year old shoes, your first completely irrational love affair, your first experiences with love and relationships. You feel what Bella feels, even if you don't quite like it, it's still quite visceral. If you haven't thrown the book across the room, that is. [Wink]

You might not like the subject matter, the sparkly vampires, etc., but it's worthwhile to look at the stuff that's hot, that's selling hand over fist, in an attempt to understand what the market is interested in.

I saw the fourth movie in the series this weekend (semi-dragged/compelled to in exchange for a girls night out with some friends at a posh theater) and it was pretty lame in many parts, but the thing that kept happening that was fascinating to me was the audience's reaction to different things. There were bits that would have been completely lost on an audience who hadn't read the books, but because the majority of the audience in THIS theater had (and I think this is true of the Twilight series more than most book to movie translations since so many hardcore twilight fans have read the books to death) were snickering at certain inside jokes and groaning or gasping at points that weren't groan or gasp worth unless you realized how the book connected the dots there. The movie fully delivered on the promise the author gives to the reader - it is very true to the plot of the book, more so than most adaptations.

I left the theater shaking my head and itching to read some William Gibson or Neal Stephenson, but as a writer of YA sci-fi, it was an important epiphany to have - the idea that the movie delivered on the book which delivered on the promise the author made to the readers way back in book one (the ultimate consummation of the love affair between the two principal characters.)

FYI, if you haven't already, stay tuned and be sure to read Hunger Games. The movie trailers are already earning huge readership and the book has a similar cult and crossover following.

Posts: 1911 | Registered: Mar 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
MartinV
Member
Member # 5512

 - posted      Profile for MartinV   Email MartinV         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Considering Hunger Games, it is my opinion that the movie will be a disappointment. I checked the previous movies that directior has done and he does mostly family dramas. Hunger Games is suppose to be brutal, not family friendly. I can already see the bloodless movie, full of pretty young stars to be, pretending to kill one another. It won't be Hunger Games at all but Well Fed Games.
Posts: 1271 | Registered: May 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Crystal Stevens
Member
Member # 8006

 - posted      Profile for Crystal Stevens   Email Crystal Stevens         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Kay Ti; It's interesting that you should mention reading YA to understand the market. On this point I totally agree. You have to do that to compete in any genre you choose to write. What I find humorous is that I'm usually drawn to books/movies aimed at younger audiences. The Twilight movies is one of the few exceptions. Maybe the books come across better than the movies. From what I've heard from those that read the books, this seems to be true. But after seeing the first two Twilight movies, I have no desire to read any of the books or go see any more of the movies.

Almost everyone I've talked to who has seen the movies (but not read the books) agrees with me. Bella comes across as a spoiled brat that Daddy lets get her way. That was the message I got from the first movie. In the second movie all I saw was the same spoiled brat pining away for her boyfriend that left her, and then her chasing after him with no regard to her father's wishes.

I can see where this would appeal to teenage girls (and maybe boys too). That dream of getting rid of parental authority and doing whatever they please. Heck I was one of these once myself, but I respected my parent's wishes even though there were times I hated it. In the long run I understand why my parents did what they did. I'm a much better person for it and love them all the more for doing it.

I thoroughly enjoyed "How to Train Your Dragon", "The Incredibles", "The Sorcerer's Apprentice", "Tangled", and most of the super hero movies that have come out (but not all of them). The Harry Potter movies were the best YA movies I've seen in years, but the Twilight movies reveal none of the moral values I've seen in the others. All the Twilight movies say to me is "Hey kids. Let's not honor our parent's wishes and do whatever we d*** well please." What kind of lesson is that? I shiver to think what kind of adults these kids will become with attitudes like that and have already dealt with some of their ilk where I work. Not one of them respect their more experienced co-workers and think only of themselves.

Sorry for the rant. And this isn't the reason for this thread anyway. It's about inconsistancies with known facts in movies and books and not disecting any one movie on it's moral values... or lack of them. So let's get back on track. Okay?

Posts: 1318 | Registered: May 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
wise
Member
Member # 9779

 - posted      Profile for wise   Email wise         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
This was an interesting discussion, I'm sorry I'm late reading it. However, just in case someone is still interested, I'll put my two cents in.

Crystal, I agree with you about animated films for kids. Where is the integrity to the subject matter? For example, "Mulan" was supposed to be set in ancient China. How did a sassy dragon with Eddie Murphy's voice & attitude get in there? It completely ruined the feeling of the film for me. I don't mind a talking dragon, but why doesn't he talk like Confucious? "Aladdin" was the first animated film (to my knowledge) that threw in all those ridiculous modern references to entertain the adults in the audience, but at the expense of an authentic-feeling ancient Arabia. Ever since then, filmmakers have felt the need to "update" their stories. No, thanks. I'm a purist when it comes to some things. What if they remade "Bambi" so that it takes place in a reality show with a gun-toting survivalist shouting "woo-ha!" when he kills Bambi's mother on national TV? What if Thumper sings a rap song as he thumps with his back foot and Bambi gets a tatoo and has an I-POD hanging off his antlers? Would we laugh? Or (hopefully) question what all of that had to do with a cute group of animals in the forest and the growth of a young deer into a responsible buck?

I don't mind a movie like "Monsters" that is completely other-worldly and can throw in everything including the kitchen sink if they want, but there should be a better attempt made to respect a subject matter or historical time period in movies that want to draw from these elements.

"Twilight" is a little different, too, because it has a supernatural element in it. If the author wants her vampires to have viable sperm, then we should allow her to, since vampires are not real anyway. However, I would expect the other "realistic" elements of the story to hold true.

Posts: 95 | Registered: Mar 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Robert Nowall
Member
Member # 2764

 - posted      Profile for Robert Nowall   Email Robert Nowall         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
What did Confucious talk like? However you cut it, it'd probably be some form of Chinese, and if you released a movie with all the dialog in Chinese, its audience would be very limited.

I'd play this let's-stick-in-some-modern-references-for-fun habit back to a literary work: T. H. White's novels about King Arthur collected as The Once and Future King---which is loaded with this sort of thing. (Probably not the proper "point of origin," but not a bad place to start.)

Posts: 8229 | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
MattLeo
Member
Member # 9331

 - posted      Profile for MattLeo   Email MattLeo         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
"Mulan" was supposed to be set in ancient China. How did a sassy dragon with Eddie Murphy's voice & attitude get in there? It completely ruined the feeling of the film for me. I don't mind a talking dragon, but why doesn't he talk like Confucious?
Well, because people have different public and private faces -- especially high class Chinese people. The big problem with the Mushu character is that he represents a lack of faith in the audience -- the studio execs were worried about an epic adventure staring a *girl*, so they wanted to hedge their bets with a bankable star.

They didn't have this problem in the Cantonese or Mandarin dubs -- Jackie Chan was so enthusiastic about the project he offered to do both for free. Here is Jackie singing the training montage song from the moviehttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XLNgvNllU58. Note the song is misidentified as the Wong Fei Hung theme -- which I call the Kung Fu National Anthem:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tv1dg6OHjRE.

Anyhow, the epic movie with insufferable comic relief has a long tradition, going back to Segei Eisenstein's *Alexander Nevsky* (1938) and Akira Kurosawa's *The Hidden Fortress* (1958).

As far as Aladdin's anachronisms, they didn't bother me at all -- in fact I think they're appropriate for the story. Fairy tales take place in a timeless place, and the Genie being magic has access to all time.

Posts: 1295 | Registered: Dec 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
rcmann
Member
Member # 9757

 - posted      Profile for rcmann   Email rcmann         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Um... Bambi having a tattoo would be just as realistic as talking animals.
Posts: 884 | Registered: Feb 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
MattLeo
Member
Member # 9331

 - posted      Profile for MattLeo   Email MattLeo         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Nowall:
What did Confucious talk like? However you cut it, it'd probably be some form of Chinese, and if you released a movie with all the dialog in Chinese, its audience would be very limited...

Limited to the billion plus people who speak Chinese...

[ June 25, 2012, 09:42 PM: Message edited by: MattLeo ]

Posts: 1295 | Registered: Dec 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Robert Nowall
Member
Member # 2764

 - posted      Profile for Robert Nowall   Email Robert Nowall         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Limited to the billion plus people who speak Chinese...
Aargh...something I thought of after I posted and went offline, much too late to stick some kind of correction in.
Posts: 8229 | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
MattLeo
Member
Member # 9331

 - posted      Profile for MattLeo   Email MattLeo         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Nowall:
quote:
Limited to the billion plus people who speak Chinese...
Aargh...something I thought of after I posted and went offline, much too late to stick some kind of correction in.
Sorry. I understood the point you were making, but I couldn't resist a straight line like that.
Posts: 1295 | Registered: Dec 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Crystal Stevens
Member
Member # 8006

 - posted      Profile for Crystal Stevens   Email Crystal Stevens         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by wise:
Crystal, I agree with you about animated films for kids. Where is the integrity to the subject matter? For example, "Mulan" was supposed to be set in ancient China. How did a sassy dragon with Eddie Murphy's voice & attitude get in there? It completely ruined the feeling of the film for me. I don't mind a talking dragon, but why doesn't he talk like Confucious? "Aladdin" was the first animated film (to my knowledge) that threw in all those ridiculous modern references to entertain the adults in the audience, but at the expense of an authentic-feeling ancient Arabia. Ever since then, filmmakers have felt the need to "update" their stories. No, thanks. I'm a purist when it comes to some things. What if they remade "Bambi" so that it takes place in a reality show with a gun-toting survivalist shouting "woo-ha!" when he kills Bambi's mother on national TV? What if Thumper sings a rap song as he thumps with his back foot and Bambi gets a tatoo and has an I-POD hanging off his antlers? Would we laugh? Or (hopefully) question what all of that had to do with a cute group of animals in the forest and the growth of a young deer into a responsible buck?

I don't mind a movie like "Monsters" that is completely other-worldly and can throw in everything including the kitchen sink if they want, but there should be a better attempt made to respect a subject matter or historical time period in movies that want to draw from these elements.

"Twilight" is a little different, too, because it has a supernatural element in it. If the author wants her vampires to have viable sperm, then we should allow her to, since vampires are not real anyway. However, I would expect the other "realistic" elements of the story to hold true.

Actually I thoroughly enjoyed Mulan and Aladdin mostly due to the hip talk of the dragon and the Genie respectively. Who is to say that there weren't people who had that kind of personality back then? I'm sure they had fun too in ancient China. After all, people are people regardless of where or when they lived. Aladdin's Genie could've had connections with the future given his magical abilities. So I saw nothing wrong with how his character was portrayed.

A much older Disney movie did the same thing. Merlin in "The Sword in the Stone" definitely could see into the future. This is brought out all through the movie. So his references to things in present were expected and added a lot more fun to the movie.

Another favorite movie of mine is "A Knight's Tale", which is about jousting. My biggest problem with the movie was the use of rock music. I mean they had the crowd in the opening scene jamming to "We Will Rock You" and then another popular song at a festival in a castle complete with a more modern dancing style of the guests. I like the movie so much that I now overlook these flubs when watching it on DVD. It's a good movie that I can watch again and again. Buuuutttt that modern music sure felt like hitting a chuck hole driving down the highway the first few times I watched it.

Posts: 1318 | Registered: May 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
MattLeo
Member
Member # 9331

 - posted      Profile for MattLeo   Email MattLeo         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Crystal Stevens:
Another favorite movie of mine is "A Knight's Tale", which is about jousting. My biggest problem with the movie was the use of rock music. I mean they had the crowd in the opening scene jamming to "We Will Rock You" and then another popular song at a festival in a castle complete with a more modern dancing style of the guests. I like the movie so much that I now overlook these flubs when watching it on DVD. It's a good movie that I can watch again and again. Buuuutttt that modern music sure felt like hitting a chuck hole driving down the highway the first few times I watched it.

Actually, I thought the music worked perfectly.

Costume movies like that are usually worse than anachronistic. They're twee. Robin Hood is usually depicted speaking in Received Pronunciation, which didn't even exist until the late 1800s. Shakespeare probably sounded more like an educated Midwestern American than a BBC newsreader.

As for music, orchestral soundtracks use instruments, musical forms, even *scales* that wouldn't exist until hundreds of years later. Sometimes the director will go for a more "early music" feel, but usually that's Baroque or late Renaissance because anything earlier just sounds too foreign.

The use of modern pop music captures the way archaic music and dancing would have *felt* to the people at the time, which is new, up to date and sexy, while being hardly more anachronistic than music we're conditioned to accept uncritically in costume drama soundtracks.

Posts: 1295 | Registered: Dec 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Crystal Stevens
Member
Member # 8006

 - posted      Profile for Crystal Stevens   Email Crystal Stevens         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Oh I agree the music worked well... once I adjusted to it.

I like your interpretation of the music used to give us more of a feeling of how music back then affected the people listening to it. I know I would never have made that connection. Thanks.

Posts: 1318 | Registered: May 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Robert Nowall
Member
Member # 2764

 - posted      Profile for Robert Nowall   Email Robert Nowall         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I just saw Brave this afternoon---excellent movie, all the way 'round, deeply moving at times, go see it by all means...but, with this discussion fresh in my mind, certain modern-elements-as-jokes did tend to catch my attention.
Posts: 8229 | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Robert Nowall
Member
Member # 2764

 - posted      Profile for Robert Nowall   Email Robert Nowall         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Another thought on a Pixar movie---which are much on my mind this week, obviously---Ratatouille takes place in Paris, France (mostly), but there's little French spoken except for a few songs playing as background music. Even signs and newspapers are in English.

But on the disks, or at least on the Blu-Ray I have, there's a competing French-dubbed version, where, besides the spoken word, most of the signs and such are in French. (I can get the gist of French, but of the six years I took it in school, I flunked three of them.)

Posts: 8229 | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Crystal Stevens
Member
Member # 8006

 - posted      Profile for Crystal Stevens   Email Crystal Stevens         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Robert Nowall:
Another thought on a Pixar movie---which are much on my mind this week, obviously---Ratatouille takes place in Paris, France (mostly), but there's little French spoken except for a few songs playing as background music. Even signs and newspapers are in English.

But on the disks, or at least on the Blu-Ray I have, there's a competing French-dubbed version, where, besides the spoken word, most of the signs and such are in French. (I can get the gist of French, but of the six years I took it in school, I flunked three of them.)

I would much rather watch a movie spoken in English than read subtitles all the way through. The story is still there even if you know the language should be French instead of English. I watched a Jackie Chan movie than was subtitled like that. I spent more time reading subtitles than watching what was going on on the screen. Not fun. I felt like I missed a good junk of the movie that way.
Posts: 1318 | Registered: May 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Charles P. Shingledecker
Member
Member # 9849

 - posted      Profile for Charles P. Shingledecker   Email Charles P. Shingledecker         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Denevius:
[QB] the only issue i can see with "Twilight" is if a vampire baby violates the rules of the fictional universe the author had written up until then.

As far as I can remember, she DID violate her previous rules in the first three books. Which is why so many people hated the fourth, me included. I felt she turned her entire world upside down, because I'm pretty sure in one of the previous books it explicitly states that vampires cannot reproduce. If it wasn't stated explicitly, it was STRONGLY implied.
Posts: 35 | Registered: Jun 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Robert Nowall
Member
Member # 2764

 - posted      Profile for Robert Nowall   Email Robert Nowall         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Often with foreign-language dubbing---whatever happens to be "foreign" to whatever was intended for the film---the dialog doesn't quite match, sometimes ludicrously.

If the subtitles can be a reliable guide, I watched the Japanese-with-Englihs-subtitles Kiki's Delivery Service...and found one scene, involving hitching a ride with a guy, the English version has one of the hitchhikers say she knows the guy---but, if the subtitles are reliable, there's no such comment in the Japanese version.

That's kind of offensive on grounds beyond concern about cultural diffrences---it's an outright alteration of the creator's intent.

Posts: 8229 | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
MartinV
Member
Member # 5512

 - posted      Profile for MartinV   Email MartinV         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Charles P. Shingledecker:
I felt she turned her entire world upside down, because I'm pretty sure in one of the previous books it explicitly states that vampires cannot reproduce. If it wasn't stated explicitly, it was STRONGLY implied.

(I can't believe I'm going to write this)

Twilight vampires are unable to produce offspring because the bodies of females do not change accordingly. That was why only a mortal could carry a vampire child.

(shoot me now for actually knowing that)

Posts: 1271 | Registered: May 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
rcmann
Member
Member # 9757

 - posted      Profile for rcmann   Email rcmann         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
READY!
.
.
.
AIM!
.
.
.
.
.
"pop"

Posts: 884 | Registered: Feb 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
rcmann
Member
Member # 9757

 - posted      Profile for rcmann   Email rcmann         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
So I take it that vampires in the Twilight universe aren't really dead? They're just really, really, tired?
Posts: 884 | Registered: Feb 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Robert Nowall
Member
Member # 2764

 - posted      Profile for Robert Nowall   Email Robert Nowall         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Mary-Anne: I saw a picture once called "The Land of the Vampires," and, well, they didn't build a fire to chase away the vampires, they hung pieces of wolfbane.

Skipper: Wolfbane! That's Hollywood for you. Any fool knows wolfbane's only used against werewolves.

Mary-Anne: Well, it was a very good picture.

Skipper: Well, maybe so, but a glaring mistake like that makes the whole picture unbelievable.

Posts: 8229 | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Bumbus_McGee
Member
Member # 2644

 - posted      Profile for Bumbus_McGee   Email Bumbus_McGee         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
On the Kiki's Delivery Service comment: Disney is notorious for making creative changes when translating Studio Ghibli films. In Spirited away they gave away a big secret about a half hour early in the movie, which significantly reduced the revelation's impact. And when the character says it in the dubbed version, there was no way she could have known it yet. (I wont mention it specifically in case anyone here hasn't seen it.) Great movies... when watched in Japanese.
Posts: 19 | Registered: Jun 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is not enabled.
UBB Code™ is enabled.
UBB Code™ Images not permitted.
Instant Graemlins
   


Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Hatrack River Home Page

Copyright © 2008 Hatrack River Enterprises Inc. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.


Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.2