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West Side Story Pre-Release Discussion (Spielberg ... 2020?) sponsored by Overlord
It bums me out that he really internalized the criticism of that film to such an extent that he can't even really appreciate the fanbase that it does have.
If we can dream it, then we can do it.
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Someone on Twitter pointed out that this makes the Oscars eligibility date in Feb. 2021 look all the dumber.
home taping is killing music
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Well, it's the Oscars. Trying to make them look any dumber is like trying to drink the ocean.
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You're saying that I can't drink the ocean??

I'll show you...
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Maybe they want to reshoot it without the Elg0rt.
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(09-23-2020, 03:22 PM)Belloq87 Wrote: It bums me out that he really internalized the criticism of that film to such an extent that he can't even really appreciate the fanbase that it does have.

There's little criticism of Temple of Doom outside of niche film dork communities that I'm aware of.  I think whatever his problems are with it, they're probably his own viewpoints, not internalizing what anyone else has to say. 

I'm glad he made it before he completely lost his edge.  It's great.

**West Side Story is a movie that seems like it would have been horribly dated WHEN IT WAS RELEASED. Without significant changes (to the extent it would largely be unrecognizable except for the broad strokes), I don't know how it isn't going to feel almost insultingly cliched and simplistic in 2020 America.

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I love LAST CRUSADE, but it may as well be called INDIANA JONES AND THE REACTION TO TEMPLE OF DOOM.
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(09-23-2020, 06:06 PM)Overlord Wrote: There's little criticism of Temple of Doom outside of niche film dork communities that I'm aware of.  I think whatever his problems are with it, they're probably his own viewpoints, not internalizing what anyone else has to say. 

Plenty of people at the time made a giant fuss about the level of violence and the depiction of suffering of children. And lots of people complained about it being just generally "too dark."
If we can dream it, then we can do it.
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(09-23-2020, 06:10 PM)fatherdude Wrote: I love LAST CRUSADE, but it may as well be called INDIANA JONES AND THE REACTION TO TEMPLE OF DOOM.

Considering that Temple of Doom is a prequel to Raiders of the Lost Ark, in what way is this the case?  Are you just talking about the general similarities between Raiders and Crusade?

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CRUSADE definitely feels like it was attempting to retread a lot of elements from RAIDERS, and it’s something I’m not a fan of. I never want to see another film Indy on a chase with Nazis again. The thing that redeemed that film was Connery and the chemistry he and Ford had. Without it, it would feel like the series had grown tired.
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(09-23-2020, 06:26 PM)mr. stockslivevan Wrote: CRUSADE definitely feels like it was attempting to retread a lot of elements from RAIDERS, and it’s something I’m not a fan of. I never want to see another film Indy on a chase with Nazis again. The thing that redeemed that film was Connery and the chemistry he and Ford had. Without it, it would feel like the series had grown tired.

I assume that by From Russia With Love you were completely over Spectre or the Russians as villains, right?  Same deal with Sauron by Return of the King, the Empire in Return of the Jedi, Magneto in First Class, or physics in the Fast and Furious franchise?

The Indy films, despite how magnificent they are, hearken back to genre pulp stories.  And recurring villains are an overwhelmingly common theme. I'd have absolutely no problem if they rebooted with Starr or maybe Pratt in the WW2 era and they went back to the Nazis as villains.

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It's interesting how much the Indiana Jones movies and the OCEAN'S movies parallel each other. Both first sequels are fairly different from the original films, while the following sequels course-correct back to something much more like those first installments.

I think both series work quite well because of this, actually.
If we can dream it, then we can do it.
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(09-23-2020, 06:35 PM)Belloq87 Wrote: It's interesting how much the Indiana Jones movies and the OCEAN'S movies parallel each other.  Both first sequels are fairly different from the original films, while the following sequels course-correct back to something much more like those first installments.

I think both series work quite well because of this, actually.

You're taunting me by mentioning Ocean's 12, a movie I have repeatedly indicated I despise beyond almost all others, aren't you?

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(09-23-2020, 06:33 PM)Overlord Wrote:
(09-23-2020, 06:26 PM)mr. stockslivevan Wrote: CRUSADE definitely feels like it was attempting to retread a lot of elements from RAIDERS, and it’s something I’m not a fan of. I never want to see another film Indy on a chase with Nazis again. The thing that redeemed that film was Connery and the chemistry he and Ford had. Without it, it would feel like the series had grown tired.

I assume that by From Russia With Love you were completely over Spectre or the Russians as villains, right?  Same deal with Sauron by Return of the King, the Empire in Return of the Jedi, Magneto in First Class, or physics in the Fast and Furious franchise?

The Indy films, despite how magnificent they are, hearken back to genre pulp stories.  And recurring villains are an overwhelmingly common theme.  I'd have absolutely no problem if they rebooted with Starr or maybe Pratt in the WW2 era and they went back to the Nazis as villains.

FRWL had a ton more new elements to make it feel very different from
DN. Whereas TLC retreads not just Nazis but chasing artifacts in a desert again, another white suited villain, bringing back Sallah, etc.

Aside from Connery, I do like that the leading lady is actually a femme fatale.
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Last Crusade does a LOT different from Raiders actually. It's the most emotional with the father-son story (which the other Indy sequels never match), has a different mythology, story arc with the Biblical artifact (the Grail acts as a metaphor for Indy and Henry patching up their estrangement), Elsa's duplicitous nature, more character-driven dialogue, Sallah & Marcus getting to be part of the adventure and finally, it's got more humor.

Also, for me, just because a sequel is different doesn't automatically make it good. Attack of the Clones and Terminator Salvation are far from being good sequels, for example. I respect how they attempted to take a different route with Temple, but the flawed results with the racism, thin story, Willie Scott, uneasy mix of slapstick, gross out gags and darkness make it fall short of the bookending installments for me.
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(09-23-2020, 07:27 PM)ravi Wrote: Last Crusade does a LOT different from Raiders actually.

The "Last Crusade is too similar to Raiders" narrative is something that began popping up in film nerd discussion boards (of which I am a proud member of several) a decade or so ago.  For some reason it really caught fire, despite being somewhat perplexing when you get down to the nuts and bolts of it.  Like you mention later in your post, other than some superficial similarities they are VERY different movies.  Indy's motivations are different, his state of mind at the end of the film is different, the love interest dynamic is completely different, the themes (particularly family) are completely different ... sure, he battles Nazis and visits a desert to find a Judeo-Christian artifact, but I'd argue these are just general parts of the Indiana Jones "genre" and are fairly superficial aspects.

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I can imagine forgetting Ansel Elgort ever existed by fall 2021, so this delay will probably work as intended.
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The point about Bond reprising characters and themes is valid, but I really don't think you can fully separate Spielberg openly called CRUSADE an "apology" for the prior film and the fact the movie is quoting RAIDERS a lot while very consciously eschewing the overall darkness of TEMPLE. The issue is compounded by the fact that Spielberg and Lucas opted to devise the film as the finale of what they came to see as a trilogy. It has the effect of making CRUSADE more of a bookend and TEMPLE more of a black sheep than needed to be the case. One of the more interesting problems CRYSTAL SKULL faced was how to break back out into the "one-off" adventure formula while again influenced by the compulsion to reference RAIDERS and function as a second finale.
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(09-23-2020, 02:00 PM)mr. stockslivevan Wrote: He should probably retire. He's getting ancient and he's no Scorsese.

Such delicious blasphemy... but based on his choices over recent years I do kind of get the sense the hunger isn't quite there anymore.

Time was he'd always have a bunch of irons in the fire and any downtime was just gearing up for his next flurry of activity, but it doesn't really seem that way anymore. Aside from this one, Indy V was the only real Spielbergian blockbuster on his plate, and he gave up on that.

To be fair, it must be a hit to the morale to have basically invented the summer blockbuster, only to live long enough to witness its messy death.
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I wonder if the modest box office for Ready Player One -- which felt like this century's stab at a Jurassic Park-style reminder that the king still wore the crown -- took some of the drive out of him.
Just this guy, you know?
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THE BFG was such a colossal flop that READY PLAYER ONE could reasonably be called a comeback. At least it made money, which is no joke these days for movies that are not Marvel brands but spent Marvel money. And I don't think Spielberg would have put a DC project on his docket if he didn't still have a desire to play in that sandbox.
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I figured ready player one was a solid hit (over $500 million worldwide) that it’s neither a world smash nor anything close to an embarrassment

It was an expensive movie to make though...
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(09-24-2020, 01:14 PM)Richard Dickson Wrote: I wonder if the modest box office for Ready Player One -- which felt like this century's stab at a Jurassic Park-style reminder that the king still wore the crown -- took some of the drive out of him.

The fact that Spielberg was basically 100% remote and largely absent during post production of Ready Player One kind of tells me where his head is at.  Compare that to Cameron, who is hands-on with with  FX artists every single day.

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Under a less established director it might have been considered a surprise hit. That it’s by Spielberg makes it’s box office look less impressive. Even a seemingly hated film like CRYSTAL SKULL was more of a mega hit.

(09-24-2020, 02:43 PM)Overlord Wrote:
(09-24-2020, 01:14 PM)Richard Dickson Wrote: I wonder if the modest box office for Ready Player One -- which felt like this century's stab at a Jurassic Park-style reminder that the king still wore the crown -- took some of the drive out of him.

The fact that Spielberg was basically 100% remote and largely absent during post production of Ready Player One kind of tells me where his head is at.  Compare that to Cameron, who is hands-on with with  FX artists every single day.

Wasn’t that how he worked on JURASSIC PARK too? I recall behind the scenes stuff of him having to do video conference calls with the post-production crew of that film while he was off shooting SCHINDLER’S LIST. That method worked so well for him that he continued doing that for times when he was juggling between blockbuster adventures and dramas (THE LOST WORLD/AMISTAD, MINORITY REPORT/CATCH ME IF YOU CAN, WAR OF THE WORLDS/MUNICH).
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I think that was also how Anderson directed fantastic mr Fox (at least in terms of the animation)
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(09-23-2020, 06:06 PM)Overlord Wrote:
(09-23-2020, 03:22 PM)Belloq87 Wrote: It bums me out that he really internalized the criticism of that film to such an extent that he can't even really appreciate the fanbase that it does have.

There's little criticism of Temple of Doom outside of niche film dork communities that I'm aware of.  I think whatever his problems are with it, they're probably his own viewpoints, not internalizing what anyone else has to say. 

I'm glad he made it before he completely lost his edge.  It's great.

**West Side Story is a movie that seems like it would have been horribly dated WHEN IT WAS RELEASED.  Without significant changes (to the extent it would largely be unrecognizable except for the broad strokes), I don't know how it isn't going to feel almost insultingly cliched and simplistic in 2020 America.

Really? I swear you can't even bring up Temple of Doom these days without someone saying it's racist. Maybe I've just been spending too much time on twitter.

Though tbh everyone I know in real life likes it.

I do find it funny how Spielberg became so apologetic for Doom because he was actually quite supportive of it before the backlash to the film. I think he's apologizing for not giving a fuck while making it (which is partly why it's a fun watch for me), and showing the sadistic side of himself. Hence why he's distanced himself from the film because it doesn't fit the with public image he's cultivated for himself.
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Fantastic Mr. Fox had some pre-release kerfuffle about the animators complaining about Wes Anderson's involvement, if memory serves, but then the movie came out and it was obviously a Wes Anderson movie through and through, so it all got swept up. If it wasn't explicitly his creative voice, he clearly hired the right people to emulate it.

Same for RPO, I'd imagine, if that's how it was done. There's plenty of footage of him on set, directing actors. Considering how much of the movie is CG, who can say?
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To me the relative success of READY PLAYER ONE is impressive because it doesn't belong to a giant brand. The box office of CRYSTAL SKULL had a lot to do with it being able to cash in on the universal love for a franchise returning from an exceptionally long hiatus. Even the critics were shockingly uncritical when you look at a lot of the initial reviews -- people really wanted to see Indy again, and CRYSTAL SKULL enjoyed a lenient grading curve in the near-term (aka the more profitable term) because people were initially responding to what it represented more than to what it was. Had INDY 5 come out three years later, I think you would have seen the disappointment of CRYSTAL SKULL inflict its toll then.
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Spielberg himself is pretty much a brand. As is all the branded content popping up in RPO.

If anything, I think its good-but-not-amazing success is consistent with its good-but-not-amazing branding.
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(09-24-2020, 03:35 PM)mola ram Wrote: Really? I swear you can't even bring up Temple of Doom these days without someone saying it's racist. Maybe I've just been spending too much time on twitter.

Though tbh everyone I know in real life likes it.


You summarized the situation quite nicely.

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Twitter is just a cesspool of MAGAs and virtue signalers. Everyone has to react extremely on all things just to get all those likes and RTs.
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(09-24-2020, 03:35 PM)mola ram Wrote: Really? I swear you can't even bring up Temple of Doom these days without someone saying it's racist. Maybe I've just been spending too much time on twitter.

my recollection of TEMPLE OF DOOM before.... THE INTERNET... was that it was generally seen as the too-outrageous and too-dark entry of the three movies

in my experience, that general take was mostly parroted on during the AICN days

I first saw glimpses of TEMPLE OF DOOM while visiting an old relative for some family gathering.  I think it was playing on TV.  And my reaction was "oh no!  scary and gross!!!"

And obviously I had seen the movie in full once I became more interested in movies.  And I generally enjoyed it while thinking all the conventionally accepted criticisms of the movie. Having grown up owning LAST CRUSADE on VHS, it was a long-time favorite by default.

It wasn't until I rewatched the movie on bluray with a friend on his huge projector about a decade ago that I just FULLY turned around to the delightfully unhinged and mean energy of the movie. I think Willie Scott is great!

I actually think within the general acceptance of the fact that the movie is super regressive in terms of its optics (given the genre that Spielberg and Lucas were inspired by), there has been a strong positive reappraisal toward the movie for a specific time in Spielberg's career. Problematic fave and all that.


(09-24-2020, 03:46 PM)fatherdude Wrote: To me the relative success of READY PLAYER ONE is impressive because it doesn't belong to a giant brand. 

the success of the book, along with its basic premise and geek dressings probably didn't hurt either
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(09-24-2020, 04:17 PM)mr. stockslivevan Wrote: Twitter is just a cesspool of MAGAs and virtue signalers. Everyone has to react extremely on all things just to get all those likes and RTs.

Well put. 

(09-24-2020, 04:17 PM)Nooj Wrote:
(09-24-2020, 03:35 PM)mola ram Wrote: Really? I swear you can't even bring up Temple of Doom these days without someone saying it's racist. Maybe I've just been spending too much time on twitter.

I actually think within the general acceptance of the fact that the movie is super regressive in terms of its optics (given the genre that Spielberg and Lucas were inspired by) ...


What does "super regressive in terms of its optics" mean in the context of Temple of Doom?   Other than the fact that it is set in the '30s (it would have felt pretty silly to insert 80s norms into a movie set in the 30s) what are you referring to? And why do you think there is "general acceptance" of this "fact?"

Given that the direct inspiration of Temple of Doom appears to be Gunga Din, a movie that doesn't seem particularly "regressive" to me (IMHO, the speech given by the Thuggee leader feels like it is 50-70 years ahead of its time ... and possibly inspired by Shylock's famous soliloquy), what "regressive" genre or films do do you think Spielberg and Lucas were inspired by?

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Disparaging the Ernest Cline brand is a brandable offense. Clineheads rise up!
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(09-24-2020, 05:17 PM)Overlord Wrote:
(09-24-2020, 04:17 PM)Nooj Wrote: I actually think within the general acceptance of the fact that the movie is super regressive in terms of its optics (given the genre that Spielberg and Lucas were inspired by) ...


What does "super regressive in terms of its optics" mean in the context of Temple of Doom?   Other than the fact that it is set in the '30s (it would have felt pretty silly to insert 80s norms into a movie set in the 30s) what are you referring to?  And why do you think there is "general acceptance" of this "fact?"

Given that the direct inspiration of Temple of Doom appears to be Gunga Din, a movie that doesn't seem particularly "regressive" to me (IMHO, the speech given by the Thuggee leader feels like it is 50-70 years ahead of its time ... and possibly inspired by Shylock's famous soliloquy), what "regressive" genre or films do do you think Spielberg and Lucas were inspired by?

aw gee olord, coooool yourself off with some bland ironmanVR levels!

I painted my post primarily in terms of how I personally experienced the shifting discourse around the film over the years online as well as in person.

It's not silly at all to insert contemporary norms into period pieces.  Happens all the time.  And the regressive optics refer to stuff like powerfully memorable images of brown people as savage heart pulling cults, snake/monkeybrain eating foreigners, destitute villagers... and the white man that comes in and saves them with a dizzy dame screaming along in tow.  And clearly, the white savior narrative isn't something that hasn't disappeared.  

These are things that some fans of the film (like me) accept while still enjoying the film. 

Certainly GUNGA DIN is the primary inspiration for TEMPLE OF DOOM, but the idea of INDIANA JONES himself (as far as I'm aware) is heavily based on the old adventure serials (the genre I was referring to) that its creators loved as kids.  And as with many older works, conventionally accepted tropes of a time are going to be regressive as time marches forward.  Is that controversial?
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