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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Ghost Rider. (An offensive, bratty mayfly-ish rant)

   
Author Topic: Ghost Rider. (An offensive, bratty mayfly-ish rant)
Flaming Toad on a Stick
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Wow, that movie sucked. Really really bad. Like really. They took talented actors and turned them into crap with bad directing and bad writing. Seriously, one of the worst movies I have ever seen. That is all. Goodnight.
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Elmer's Glue
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The story was empty. That was my only problem with it.
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stihl1
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My problem with your rant is your use of the words "talented actors." There were none in the movie. Nicolas Cage plays one role in every movie: Nicolas Cage. Ghostrider happened to be Nicolas Cage in a motorcycle suit. Same bad accent, same bad Elvis impersonator act. He hasn't done any real acting in years.

And yes the plot was empty. But it's an introductory comic book movie. They are often like that. Look at Xmen, Daredevil, etc. Mostly the marvel movies. The whole point of the first movie is to tell the backstory and introduce the characters. Which is all this movie did.

That being said, it still had some cool moments, and great effects.

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Verily the Younger
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[Dont Know] I enjoyed it. I don't say anyone in it did a spectacular job in their role, and you'll never hear me claim it was great cinema. But it was fun to watch, and it gave me an enjoyable Friday evening.
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GaalDornick
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I agree with stihl and Verily. First, Nicolas Cage really annoys me. Everyone else in my family likes him, I can't stand him as an actor. But I thought the movie partially succeeded in doing what it seemed like it was trying to do, which was make a cool, fun movie. It dragged in some parts, but it was mostly fun.
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Lord Of All Fools
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I just don't see anything in Ghost Rider to make a movie about.

Is the comic that good?

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pH
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Nicholas Cage makes me cry on the inside.

-pH

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Occasional
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I am tired of movies made after cartoons (yes, I do mean to call them that). Can't they make any after good books anymore? There are tons of Sci-Fi books out their just dying to be made into block buster movies.
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porcelain girl
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Ghost Rider is a really cool character, but the comics were never really well written to begin with. Really bad choices were made all along the way in the making of the movie, too.

A lot of comic books have just as good premises, characters, and story telling as great sci-fi novels.

Comics are simply a lot easier to make into movies because they already come storyboarded. *shrug*

I'm not saying there aren't a lot of great stories out there (unillustrated) that should be movies... I'm saying there are also great comic books and also that a lot of people in the industry are LAZY. Extremely lazy. I've more or less stopped helping industry folk harvest films from the genre since I get paid way less than they do, and I am essentially doing their job for them without a consultant or finder's fee. Unless they are hot. Because while I am poor, I am still incredibly shallow.

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FlyingCow
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quote:
There are tons of Sci-Fi books out their just dying to be made into block buster movies.
Nine times out of ten I wish they'd just lay off making SF books into movies.

I mean, I'd much rather they make a bad adaptation of Punisher or Ghost Rider than of say... Starship Troopers or I Robot.

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Chris Bridges
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I don't understand the dismissal of comics as literature. How many awards, acclaims, Pulitzers have to go to a comic book before people stop assuming that comics = bad?

Especially science fiction fans, who have been fighting their own ghettoization since the beginning.

I like good stories. Why should it make a difference what format they come in?

There have been very few good movies based on comic books. There have also been very few good movies based on science fiction books. More often than not the problem is not with the quality of the source material but with the changes necessary to translate it to a movie, with changes made by people who don't understand the source material, and changes made to make the movie more "marketable."

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Synesthesia
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Kabuki is a total work of art when it comes to comic books.
Then you have Sandman to consider. So not all comic books are bad.
But, many comic book movies can be annoying.
I thought the spidermen were good.

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SteveRogers
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quote:
Originally posted by FlyingCow:
or I Robot.

i-Robot was a pretty good movie. It just didn't have much of anything to do with the book for which it was named. Don't hold that against it. It was still fun cinema.
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FlyingCow
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Meh. Then call it something else and use different character names. Same with Starship Troopers. Neither were adaptations - they were more "superficial borrowing", if anything.

But whatever.

In response to Chris, though, yes, comic books have the potential to be pretty damn great...

...in spite of themselves.

For every Art Spiegelman, there are four Rob Leifelds.

Every time comics as a whole start gaining some respectability, the industry goes and clearly reminds everyone that comics are about money and not art.

I mean, you have Neil Gaiman winning awards for Sandman and an upswing in respectability... then you have Superman killed and brought back as four different people, complete with sealed plastic bags, promo cards, foil covers, alternate covers, multi-comic crossovers, etc.

Sure, comics as a medium can achieve great heights - just as film can. But film also churns out cookie cutter crap in mass quantity (read: Gigli, Glitter, From Justin to Kelly, Free Willy 37, Rocky 5000, Alien v. Predator v. Freddy v. Jason v. Declining box office sales, etc, etc.)

Most movies are schlock. Most comics are schlock. Most of just about everything is schlock.

A friend of mine was fond of saying "90% of everything is crap" - and that' probably a conservative estimate.

I'll defend the idea that a comic book can be as worthwhile as the novel, short story, film, poem, or other medium. But I'm not pointing to Ghost Rider or Punisher when I'm making that argument. By the same token, I can defend the merits of film as a medium... but I'm not going to use Spice World as my prime example.

So, yeah. Ruin Ghost Rider, and I don't mind. Ruin Hulk, and I don't much care. It's not like the source material was high literature. I'd much prefer the money-grubbing Hollywood execs to keep their focus on crap like that (Hey, why not make a West Coast Avengers movie!) than to take a more quality example of the genre and destroy it (cough, cough.... V for Vendetta... cough).

[/rant]

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stihl1
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I like comics, I think they are valid literature. And an extension of cultural mythology that's been with humans since time began. THat being said, rarely do they translate well. Especially the characters with the goofy costumes and outrageous premises. Sometimes that stuff is better left in the book.

That being said, I'd love to see a Sandman movie. I thought Sin City was done very well. The Crow was excellent, one of my favorite movies. There are valid stories in comic books, once you get around the flamboyance.

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RunningBear
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HEY HEY HEY!

V For Vendetta is THE best movie ever.

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Corwin
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quote:
Originally posted by stihl1:
Nicolas Cage plays one role in every movie: Nicolas Cage. Ghostrider happened to be Nicolas Cage in a motorcycle suit. Same bad accent, same bad Elvis impersonator act. He hasn't done any real acting in years.

I'll just give a few of his last movies: Adaptation, Matchstick Men, Lord of War, The Weather Man. If all of them seem the same role, and none of them "real acting" to you, well then, you're pretty hard to please.
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Chris Bridges
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I'm not defending Ghost Rider -- haven't seen it yet -- I'm just annoyed at the prevalent attitude of "See, movies based on comics suck" with the implication that its the comics' fault for being an inferior source of material, when the reality is "shallow, mismanaged movies based on comics suck." I didn't see "Starship Troopers" and think "see, movies based on science fiction books suck," I thought, "wow, did they even read the book?"
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stihl1
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quote:
Originally posted by Corwin:
quote:
Originally posted by stihl1:
Nicolas Cage plays one role in every movie: Nicolas Cage. Ghostrider happened to be Nicolas Cage in a motorcycle suit. Same bad accent, same bad Elvis impersonator act. He hasn't done any real acting in years.

I'll just give a few of his last movies: Adaptation, Matchstick Men, Lord of War, The Weather Man. If all of them seem the same role, and none of them "real acting" to you, well then, you're pretty hard to please.
Nicolas Cage is like Jack Nicolson. They both play the same character in every movie, themselves. Jack Nicolson this works for since he's fascinating. Nic Cage not so much, the crappy elvis impersonation and bad accent doesn't cut it.

So I guess I'm hard to please.

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Corwin
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Me too. I just happen to like Nicolas Cage. [Big Grin]
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Counter Bean
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Can you imagine a faithful translation into cinema of a robot novel? It would consist of a series of interview and lectures with the main character putting it all together in the end. I shudder to think of it.
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Glenn Arnold
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"Nicolas Cage plays one role in every movie"

That's not true. In Adaptation he plays two roles.

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Corwin
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Lol, good one! I mean two.
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FlyingCow
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I dunno, Chris. Choice of comic book has a lot to do with it.

I mean, Ghost Rider's major claim to fame is that he looks cool. If you go back through its history, there's all manner of contradictions in plot and origin, whether he's good or bad, and even who the Ghost Rider even is. But, he's cool to draw, fun to look at, and adolescent boys like to see a demon kick the crap out of people.

It's not going to make high cinema.

It's not that comics in general are shallow and bad, it's just that some of the comics being chosen are shallow and bad. Hulk (big green guy smashes things), Punisher (badass guy shoots people), Ghost Rider (cool flaming skull), etc. are guilty pleasure comics - like cotton candy, they taste sweet but have no real substance.

You can't really expect any filmmaker to be able to make a substantive, quality movie from that source material. So, those movies call for me to check my brain at the door. I actually enjoyed Punisher and parts of the Hulk, because I wasn't expecting much. I'm going into Ghost Rider the same way.

And Bean Counter, a faithful translation of a positronic novel would admittedly not be very compelling on film. The logical answer would then be not to make a movie based on that novel series.

The same goes with Starship Troopers. Something like 70% or more of that book was spent alone in the main character's head while he was miles away from any other marines, done in flashback with long discourses on the nature of citizenship. The movie was about armies of troops using machine guns on giant bugs - so, why couldn't they just make that movie, call it "Giant Bugs from Outer Space," and not use any of the characters' names?

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erosomniac
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quote:

The same goes with Starship Troopers. Something like 70% or more of that book was spent alone in the main character's head while he was miles away from any other marines, done in flashback with long discourses on the nature of citizenship. The movie was about armies of troops using machine guns on giant bugs - so, why couldn't they just make that movie, call it "Giant Bugs from Outer Space," and not use any of the characters' names?

Because it's clear that the movie's writers, who had obviously read and understood Heinlein's novel, disagreed with its authoritarian, pro-military premise and elected to lampoon it masterfully instead?
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FlyingCow
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But that's not what they did, eros. The movie in no way resembled the book aside from a couple superficial plot points and the names. The movie they made was "Giant Bugs from Outer Space!"

If anything maybe put a subheading "inspired by Robert Heinlein's Starship Troopers", but even then it bears such little resemblence to its source material that people who read the novel would be wondering if the writers had read the same book.

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erosomniac
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quote:
Originally posted by FlyingCow:
But that's not what they did, eros. The movie in no way resembled the book aside from a couple superficial plot points and the names. The movie they made was "Giant Bugs from Outer Space!"

If anything maybe put a subheading "inspired by Robert Heinlein's Starship Troopers", but even then it bore very little resemblence to its source material.

I think you were either not paying attention to the book, the movie, or both, because the parodied similarities are pretty obvious. [Dont Know]
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FlyingCow
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They took a SF book, eliminated its theme, eliminated the motivations of all the characters, eliminated the technology, and fabricated a love story.

That's like saying "We took this military-issue WW2 Jeep, gave it a VW bug shell, a Subaru engine, a Honda Accord interior and a Porsche spoiler... but we're still going to call it a Jeep."

At what point do you change something so much that it ceases to be what it once was?

Also, parody relies on its audience being aware of the subject matter and source material. The vast majority of the Starship Troopers audience was not - having only the movie to draw from. So, why choose to parody something very few people were familiar with?

They could have made the same movie with different character names and title, and it probably wouldn't even have been compared to Starship Troopers outside of people looking specifically for connections.

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Rakeesh
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Personally, I don't think the movie makes it as a parody of the novel for the reasons FC mentions.

However, if the film was a parody of the novel, I would hardly call that masterful. While sometimes funny, the parody (if it was there) did not come close to even approaching the depth, thoughtfulness, and structure the novel did in making its point.

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Boothby171
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Well, someone's working on "Watchmen" as a comic-to-film adaptation. That should be fun, at a minimum.

And as far as Hollywood turning Sci-Fi to crap, I have in my posession a copy of the script for the thankfully never produced Alfred Bester's "The Stars My Destination," written for the screen by William Wisher and David Giler (both, I believe, of "Mortal Kombat" fame!) You will probably never read a bigger piece of absolute shite than this steaming drek-pile. I think all they kept from the book was the names of some of the characters. Other than that...nothing. Gully Foyle even gets the girl, in the end! And Jaunting? You honestly don't want to know.


--Steve

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erosomniac
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quote:
Originally posted by FlyingCow:

Also, parody relies on its audience being aware of the subject matter and source material. The vast majority of the Starship Troopers audience was not - having only the movie to draw from. So, why choose to parody something very few people were familiar with?

What are you talking about? Starship Troopers is arguably Heinlein's most famous novel (it's either that or SiaSL, depending on who you ask). It's still required reading for a significant portion of our military. Of the people I know who saw the movie, I'd guess more than half had either read the book beforehand or read it shortly thereafter.

quote:
Personally, I don't think the movie makes it as a parody of the novel for the reasons FC mentions.

However, if the film was a parody of the novel, I would hardly call that masterful. While sometimes funny, the parody (if it was there) did not come close to even approaching the depth, thoughtfulness, and structure the novel did in making its point.

The point was Heinlein (as he often [always] did) took himself and his ideas very seriously in Starship Troopers; critics of his writing like to point this out over and over again, and the "depth, thoughtfulness, and structure" of the novel are used as reasons to say, "Welp, there's Bobby Heinlein, at it again! What is it this time? Uberauthoritarian governments with a yen for corporal punishment, or an Australia allegory? Hur hur!"

The movie is the antithesis of the novel: trite, underacted, gratuitous, pointless and degrading in every single possible way. It's this attention to detail that shows Starship Troopers, the movie, was a deliberate act, rather than a horribly failed attempt at a screen adaptation (e.g. Bicentennial Man, I, Robot).

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FlyingCow
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quote:
Starship Troopers is arguably Heinlein's most famous novel
That means nothing.

Ask ten random people on the street to name ten SF authors, and most won't be able to come up with Heinlein. He's not exactly a household name.

To go further, Ender's Game is OSC's most famous novel, but I'm not foolish enough to think that more than a small minority of the movie-watching public will have read the book before the movie comes out. And if only the people who have read the book come out to see the movie, it will be a box office flop.

SF is a small genre, and Heinlein hasn't been a bestseller in decades. And the fact that a "significant portion" (as vague as that may be) of our military is required to read it doesn't boost the numbers all that much.

The movie made $54 million domestic - at a conservative estimate of $7 per ticket, you're talking close to 8 million domestic viewers while it was in the theater. Throw in foreign numbers, and you come to a grand total of $121 million in box office sales, or roughly 18 million viewers. This doesn't even factor in rentals or dvd purchases/viewings.

Do you honestly think that more than even a small minority of these people read the book before seeing this movie? The majority likely hadn't even heard of the book before the movie was announced, and I'd venture to say that a goodly portion hadn't heard of the book after they'd seen the movie, either.

As parodies go, it was pretty obscure in the "general moviegoing public" sense.

I mean, I could make a movie entitled "Dante's Divine Comedy" and parody it to my heart's content. The fact that it's the one of the most famous pieces of literature ever written doesn't mean that the average person would even be able to name its three parts, let alone be able to appreciate the parody.

No, Starship Troopers did not have an eye towards making a biting parody or satire, nor did it have an eye towards adapting a book. It was looking for money. Hot young actors! Shower scene! Dina Meyer topless! Lots of guns! Giant insects! It was practically a flashing neon sign for a go-go bar as much as it was a movie.

But regardless of all of that, if you're making a parody, you don't call it by the original's name. Mel Brooks didn't call his parody Star Wars. Galaxy Quest didn't call itself Star Trek. Hot Shots didn't call itself Top Gun. Mafia! didn't call itself Goodfellas.

By calling it Starship Troopers, using the same character names, place names, and a few parallel plot points, and giving Robert Heinlein a writing credit, you're not making a parody.

The problem is, if the names were all changed, and the title was changed, making it a true parody... no one would have seen it as such, because the vast majority wouldn't have connected it to its source material. Because the majority hadn't been exposed to the source material.

It was nothing more than a bad movie made from a pretty decent book.

quote:
The movie is the antithesis of the novel: trite, underacted, gratuitous, pointless and degrading in every single possible way. It's this attention to detail that shows Starship Troopers, the movie, was a deliberate act, rather than a horribly failed attempt at a screen adaptation (e.g. Bicentennial Man, I, Robot).
I agree. Trite, underacted, gratuitous, pointless and degrading in every single possible way. It was obviously deliberate. But it was either a horribly failed attempt at parody, or a horribly failed attempt at adaptation, because it doesn't work on either level.

Looking up parody on dictionary.com, I do find that it does fall into that category in one sense, though: "6. a poor or feeble imitation or semblance; travesty: His acting is a parody of his past greatness."

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erosomniac
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The first definition on dictionary.com is "a humorous or satirical imitation of a serious piece of literature or writing." It meets the definition of parody perfectly.

quote:
No, Starship Troopers did not have an eye towards making a biting parody or satire, nor did it have an eye towards adapting a book. It was looking for money. Hot young actors! Shower scene! Dina Meyer topless! Lots of guns! Giant insects! It was practically a flashing neon sign for a go-go bar as much as it was a movie.
...duh? FC, you're walking ALL over the point and still not seeing it.

quote:

But regardless of all of that, if you're making a parody, you don't call it by the original's name. Mel Brooks didn't call his parody Star Wars. Galaxy Quest didn't call itself Star Trek. Hot Shots didn't call itself Top Gun. Mafia! didn't call itself Goodfellas.

...

......

[ROFL] Look harder, dude. Seriously.

quote:
I agree. Trite, underacted, gratuitous, pointless and degrading in every single possible way. It was obviously deliberate. But it was either a horribly failed attempt at parody, or a horribly failed attempt at adaptation, because it doesn't work on either level.
I maintain the movie is fantastic viewing, especially for fans of the novel. I'd even go so far as to say that if you can't appreciate the movie, you didn't understand the novel, or the movie, or both. [Wink]
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FlyingCow
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And I maintain that you're off your rocker. To each his own, I guess.

If you want to consider it parody, that's your prerogative. Laughingly telling me to look harder doesn't make it anything close to good parody, or even marginably passable parody. It's almost like a third grader's attempt at parody after seeing the definition in a book.

quote:
FC, you're walking ALL over the point and still not seeing it.
The point is that it was a schlock movie, intent on making a splash at the box office and not caring at all whether it was effectively doing anything. You're giving the writers far too much credit.

They made a bug movie. Nothing more, nothing less. If the same writer/director combo made Ender's Game, it would also likely just be a bug movie, replete with space marines machine-gunning insectoids. It was a popcorn-seller B movie crafted to line pockets, not any sort of worthwhile attempt at parody or satire.

Granted, you can see it as such a worthwhile attempt, but people also see Elvis and Tupac at the grocery store - it doesn't mean they're actually there.

quote:
I maintain the movie is fantastic viewing, especially for fans of the novel.
You can maintain what you want, too, but most fans of the novel panned it when it came out. Along with I, Robot, it's become among fans a textbook example of what *not* to do.

quote:
Because it's clear that the movie's writers, who had obviously read and understood Heinlein's novel, disagreed with its authoritarian, pro-military premise and elected to lampoon it masterfully instead?
I did want to come back to this comment of yours, as well. I dug into this a little more.

The truth is that the director never read the book past the first couple of chapters, and the original story was not supposed to be about the book (It was originally titled Bug Hunt during it's early development). The novel title was tied in later when someone mentioned to Verhoeven that there were some similarities to the book, and the names were changed to match.

So much for it being designed as a parody and critique of Heinlein's message. [Roll Eyes]

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Foust
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<i>t's not that comics in general are shallow and bad, it's just that some of the comics being chosen are shallow and bad. Hulk (big green guy smashes things), Punisher (badass guy shoots people)</i>

Garth Ennis' run on Punisher was <i>awesome.</i>

That's all.

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erosomniac
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quote:
Originally posted by FlyingCow:
I did want to come back to this comment of yours, as well. I dug into this a little more.

The truth is that the director never read the book past the first couple of chapters, and the original story was not supposed to be about the book (It was originally titled Bug Hunt during it's early development). The novel title was tied in later when someone mentioned to Verhoeven that there were some similarities to the book, and the names were changed to match.

So much for it being designed as a parody and critique of Heinlein's message. [Roll Eyes]

Except that Edward Neumeier, who wrote the screenplay before anyone else touched it, based it on the novel intending for it to be satire, much the same way he intended Robocop to be a satire on what he viewed to be the inevitable future of capitalist America.

The same Wikipedia article you're quoting mentions the following:

quote:
A prominent theme of the film is the human practice of senseless violence without reflection or empathy, which parallels the senseless aggression of the "Bugs." As such, the movie attracted widely divergent responses. The film included visual allusions to propaganda films, such as Triumph of the Will and wartime news broadcasts. However, this satire was embedded in slickly produced action sequences with clever special effects. Some wonder whether the satire went unnoticed by an audience who may have treated the movie as a simple gung-ho action movie.

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aspectre
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"The point was Heinlein (as he often [always] did) took himself and his ideas very seriously"

Heinlein played* with his ideas, and let the readers decide what to do with them. Except maybe the underlying TANSTAAFL -- ThereAin'tNoSuchThingAsAFreeLunch -- it would be very difficult to reconcile the various philosophies presented in
The Puppet Masters (1951) Starship Troopers (1959)
Stranger in a Strange Land (1961) Glory Road (1963)
Podkayne of Mars (1963) Orphans of the Sky (1963)
Farnham's Freehold (1965) The Moon is a Harsh Mistress (1966)
Even for Glory Road (in which the protagonist doesn't think highly of the American political or military leadership) somebody always has to pay the bill. Though for that novel, the hero had already paid a big price in Vietnam by the time the book begins.

* He thought the people who took Stranger in a Strange Land as a Truth-filled HippieHandbook rather than as a Candide-like satire to be complete nutcases. He even turned his previously open property into a fenced compound to keep them away.

[ February 26, 2007, 03:31 AM: Message edited by: aspectre ]

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erosomniac
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quote:
Originally posted by aspectre:
"The point was Heinlein (as he often [always] did) took himself and his ideas very seriously"

Heinlein played* with his ideas, and let the readers decide what to do with them. Except maybe the underlying TANSTAAFL -- ThereAin'tNoSuchThingAsAFreeLunch -- it would be very difficult to reconcile the various philosophies presented in
The Puppet Masters (1951) Starship Troopers (1959) Stranger in a Strange Land (1961) Glory Road (1963)
Podkayne of Mars (1963) Orphans of the Sky (1963)
Farnham's Freehold (1965) The Moon is a Harsh Mistress (1966)
Even for Glory Road (in which the protagonist doesn't think highly of the American political or military leadership) somebody always has to pay the bill. Though for that novel, the hero had already paid a big price in Vietnam by the time the book begins.

Unless you correlate the publication dates of those works with his biography, and then a consistent outline of the evolution of his philosophies emerges.

quote:
* eg He thought that the people who took Stranger in a Strange Land as a Truth-filled HippieHandbook rather than as a Candide-like satire to be complete nutcases. He even turned his previously open property into a fenced compound to keep them away.
The irony!
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FlyingCow
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Again, even if the writers were attempting satire, they were doing it as a work separate from Starship Troopers, and had titled it Bug Hunt. (A new and original work, attempting to very loosely parody a separate, if obscure to the general public, source work)

That would have been more in line with Robocop's ultraviolent take on the future of humanity that had been written previously.

Instead, half way through this process, Bug Hunt was instead turned into an adaptation of Starship Troopers. It adopted the name, the names of all the characters, and a handful of plot points. The problem is, it's identity was still Bug Hunt... with a thin supplementary identiy of Starship Troopers overlaid. Thus, it became both bad satire and bad adaptation.

You can't both attempt to satire a work and attempt to be that work at the same time. It's one or the other. If you try to do both, neither succeeds.

You can either draw a portrait or a caricature - try to have one work serve as both achieves neither goal. Starship Troopers was drawn as a caricature, then touched up with the trappings of a portrait and sold that way.

You can argue that the movie adaptation of Starship Troopers was a satirical commentary on society, perhaps, while being a terrible adaptation. I could maybe go that far (though it was pretty heavy-handed and clumsy, even in that sense).

But as far as it being a satirical parody of Starship Troopers itself, it didn't divorce itself enough from the source material to work on that level. And as far as it being an adaptation of Starship Troopers, it divorced itself too much.

Had no one mentioned to Verhoeven the similarities between Bug Hunt and Starship Troopers, the movie Bug Hunt would have likely had the same amount of financial success without the stigma of being an awful adaptation.

Unfortunately, now the "I don't need to read the book, since I can see the movie" crowd will either a) have loved the movie and hate the book, thus reinforcing their opinion of SF books, or b) have hated the movie and decided to skip the book, having reinforced their opinion of SF books.

Way to go Verhoeven. [Roll Eyes]

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Rakeesh
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quote:
A prominent theme of the film is the human practice of senseless violence without reflection or empathy, which parallels the senseless aggression of the "Bugs."
This is definitely not one of the themes of the book. Almost the opposite, actually. In the book there is quite a lot of violence, but almost as a rule it is thoughtful and reasoned, within the story's perspective.
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FlyingCow
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I'm guessing that was a theme of Bug Hunt, not the aftermarket "Starship Trooper adaptation" add-on.
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Temposs
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I would like to point to The Family Man as an example of a movie where Nick Cage does his best to step out of his usual role.

Actually, in this movie he sort of plays two roles as well. The one before/during his "dream" where he's a cutthroat, selfish businessman. And the one during/after, where he's a loving, devoted husband and father. To me he seems very versatile in this movie.

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DevilDreamt
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I didn't think the Ghost Rider movie took itself very seriously, and that made it more fun to watch.

"The Stars My Destination" by Alfred Bester is the first Sci-Fi book I ever read, and I am glad they didn't make it into a crappy movie.

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Samprimary
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The second I saw the gobberment newsreels in the Starship Troopers movie, I knew they were having a joke at the expense of Heinlein's book.

quote:
You can't both attempt to satire a work and attempt to be that work at the same time. It's one or the other. If you try to do both, neither succeeds.
I don't get it. Why does the satire automatically not work.
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FlyingCow
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It's not that satire doesn't work, in the general sense. For instance, you can authentically recreate a satirical work, thus adapting the work and maintaining the satire. Adaptation by its very nature does not preclude satire.

The problem is the focus of the satire. You can not both adapt and parody the same work at the same time - you are either being faithful to the work's essence, or you are running counter to it.

On the one hand, you can attempt to adapt a work, to translate the work from one medium to another, essentially making the new version *be* a reflection of the source material in a new medium. Sin City is an almost fanatical example of this, where the director was attempting to create the source material on film as closely as possible to how it was on paper.

On the other hand, you can attempt to satire or parody a work, to poke at it and expose it, to countermand its purpose and achieve an effect apart from and thematically very different from the source work - often taking a serious subject more lightly or humorously. Dr. Strangelove is a good example of this, where the heavy dramatic themes of war and nuclear politics are painted with absurdist strokes.

The goals are at odds with one another. You can either preserve the identity of the source material, or you can deconstruct and lampoon it. You can't do both.

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Samprimary
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But you said that 'if you try to do both, neither succeeds.' That's what I don't get. You will have one or the other. And you could very well imagine a hypothetical scenario in which the production minds in charge of the movie version of starship troopers decide that they are going to lampoon Heinlein's ideals while still maintaining that their product is going to be an adaptation of the book.

Obviously, they are trying both. On account of the fact that it's so far removed from the ideals and concepts of the book, it only means that it fails as an honest adaptation. Still works out fine as a parody, though.

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AutumnWind
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I disagree.

It fails as an adaptation, obviously.

It fails as a parody, because of its identity as an adaptation. If you are making an adaptation, it precludes your parodying the source material.

A caricature is not a portrait is not a caricature. If you paint a portrait, and it is an unfaithful representation, it's a failure. If you draw a caricature, but it instead looks like a bad portrait, it's a failure.

Had "Bug Hunt" been made, those "in the know" might have been able to view it as a parody of the Starship Troopers novel (though the masses would have seen it as a high budget B movie). Had a Starship Troopers adaptation been released, and Bug Hunt followed shortly on its heels, it would have been viewed as a parody in the vein of Spaceballs or Hot Shots.

As it is, it's just a bad movie. The fact that there was a sequel is even worse. (But then, they made another Underworld movie, too... :shudder:)

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Counter Bean
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My instructor in German told me once how she got so frustrated with her husbands German speaking family for criticizing her enunciation that she deliberately tried to make fun of them by over-enunciating to the point of the ridiculous. The result? They all complemented her on her enunciation.

The point? Trying to mock the values in Heinlein by over-emphasizing them gets them just right to my ears.

The commercials and network were not unfamiliar from other Heinlein novels like Stranger, which existed in the same time line as Moon is a Harsh Mistress and Cat who Walks Through Walls, which had Hazel Stone and Colin Campbell who had been a Starship Trooper.

I found the technology disappointing, I wanted to see MI! But certain other aspects, like the coed service actually rang true with Heinlein values.

The problem with hippy's and Stranger comes not from the free love or nudity aspects, Heinlein was an early practitioner of both, it was that they missed the entire point. Valentine Micheal Smith had power that came through discipline, others could acquire it as well if they practiced the discipline and could wrap their minds around the concepts. There is nothing incongruous about this, nor is the book a joke, the groups parodied were holy rollers (Fosterites) and it came from a consistent fear that Heinlein had of warm body Democracy and the aggregate stupidity and laziness of those warm bodies. In some ways his sympathies were all Left Wing, but he is viewed as right wing because his stand for personal liberty and love of the military.

I have no trouble whatsoever following the thread of his political evolution through his writing, it is entirely consistent from his first attempt at a novel.

[ March 02, 2007, 02:09 PM: Message edited by: Counter Bean ]

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