The Big Picture: Future Assembly

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Oh cute, Bob thinks himself an actual critic.

Yet he totally misses out on his point - movie within movie continuity has been done to death and has been around for years and years and years and years. So, yeah, nice going there Bob. The big picture, you managed to miss it.

Bob, I'm going to ask this very nicely, I hope you're reading this, and I'm only going to ask because I care.

Whether you absolutely love The Avengers or somehow end up hating it, please keep yourself in the ballpark. Because if you go a bit overboard with hatred like you did for Transformers or Green Lantern, or you go overboard with love like Scott Pilgrim or...or...I don't really have another example, you're gonna have half the comments on your video being giant snarky "I told ya so's" from the masses.

That said, I enjoy this sort of thing, and even in the earliest stages of something small like having Toby McGuire show up in Daredevil, the superhero continuity crossovers have been nice to see, and I'm enjoying the idea of this movie a lot.

We've had a couple other good instances of movie continuity. Kevin Smith's View Askew-niverse handled things pretty well, and you could argue some (some, obviously not all) of the Pixar movies could take place in the same universe (Lotso in Up for instance, could Up and Toy Story co-exist?)

"Indeed, thou art part of a mighty team. A pity that team is called The Justice League and we shall never see that movie." ~ Thor talking to Green Lantern in I'm a Marvel, I'm a DC

SpiderJerusalem:
Oh cute, Bob thinks himself an actual critic.

...He gets to go to critic's screenings and gets paid to critique movies. What else would you call that if not an actual critic?

If the Moses movie tied into Indiana Jones by being the same Ark and having some of the same music then heck yea I'd want to buy a ticket right now. Although I'm kind of greedy and wouldn't mind Mel Brooks in the film somewhere.

The tie in thing is such a good idea it's kind of odd that movies and TV don't use it more often. When it was unclear if the Finder would work as a TV show they had the pilot as an episode of Bones. If people didn't like it then it's just one episode of Bones lost but if people liked it then fire up the new series.

The thing I worry about though is Hasbro because I don't want GI Joe and Transformers together if it's a Micheal Bay film. He might do okay with the Joes but given how poorly he did the Decepticons I don't want Micheal Bay within a thousand miles of Cobra.

Bob, I really hope the Avengers is good, because I get the feeling that you really, really, want it to be.
By the way, I like the idea of a shared-continuity terrorist sect. It's a lot better than using the Russians again.

At 5.09 the women reloads her gun and the magazine just flyes into it, is she psychic ?

Great perspective, Bob. That's what I watch the Big Picture for.

I was going to watch the Avengers before you post your review video of it but noooo, two of my work colleages gotten ill so I'm covering their shift (curse their immune system) everday until the weekend.

OT- Thank god you were joking about the Mozes/ Indina Jones continuity otherwise I would of ranted how using that arc does not make it a continuity. Honestly the whole concept of it is abit of a double edged sword but for now I like it only for super heroes movies.

You know, I bet Tarantino will jump on this. His movies are already a shared Universe, technically, aren't they? Like, didn't Mr. White in Reservoir Dogs mention a thief he'd worked with in the past, who was Honey Bunny in Pulp Fiction? And isn't Tarantinoverse different to our universe because of how WWII ended in Inglorious Basterds?

If he expanded on all this, that'd be really cool.

Wait two weeks? Not only am I going to see it this Saturday I bought my tickets for it last week. I do find it odd that the UK gets the movie earlier but I'm not going to complain because it means I can see it with my fiancee on our engagement anniversary (the best part is I'm not dragging her to see it, it is legitimately what we both want to do that day).

01:42 - Huh, I've got that poster on my wall.

04:59 - It would be very awesome Bob.

Strain42:

SpiderJerusalem:
Oh cute, Bob thinks himself an actual critic.

...He gets to go to critic's screenings and gets paid to critique movies. What else would you call that if not an actual critic?

Justin Bieber sells records and has his own concerts, yet I wouldn't call him a musician.

Hasn't Kevin Smith essentially done this already with the View Askewniverse?

My question is, "when The Avengers gets a sequel (and it will, don't kid yourself), what new superheroes will be in it?" I'd personally like to see how Marvel Studios (and yes, it's wierd saying that) does characters like, say, Ant-Man. Or maybe they'll bring in the Heroes For Hire? Or another possibility, maybe they'll start taking back their toys and do a proper Fantastic Four or Daredevil.

Bob, I'm surprised by you! This seemed like the best time to talk about Jay and Silent Bob who have been living in the Kevin Smith movie-verse since Clerks. I liked the idea of those two stoners going through each of the movies they've made cameos in where Dogma could have just been a fever dream they were having and where Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back could have been...well, another fever dream (at least until the end of Clerks 2).

Other than that earlier instance of inner-movie continuity, I really can't freaking wait for Avengers! I'm off work the night of the midnight showing and will be there in the worlds worst Thor cosplay.

No Bob, you're not the only one to like the ark tie-in idea. I'd be disappointed if Spielberg didn't do that. I am now actively and anxiously expecting this ark scene.

Wow, the Americans aren't getting it until May? I'm going to see it this Friday...
While there's plenty of awesome to be had with cross-overs, given the way Hollywood is right now, I'd rather not have it at all. There's so much opportunity for abuse, and we all know they'll jump at the chance.

Oh, the ambivalence.

To my mind, part of the reason the superhero crossover thing works is the degree to which the different superhero movies are all playing by the same rules (and even that has its limitations- who would want to see Superman show up in Nolan's Batman movies right now?)

(Thank you for standing up and making yourselves visible. OPEN FIRE!... Ahem. Pardon my weird violent fantasy...)

Anyway, before I lost my mind, what I was saying is that we operate on a certain level of disbelief and a certain sense of scale and mood in different movies, even within the same genre. So Bruce Banner turns into a nigh-invincible berserker monster because of some combination of mutagens and gamma-rays and this inventor created an armored suit that lets him fly and fire blasts out of his hands and there's an ancient Norse god who's kinda-sorta an alien and there are a couple of ordinary humans who are so incredibly good at their chosen fields that they tag along with this group and totally aren't out of their depth- okay. Fine. But they're all pretty clearly part of the same bemusingly different version of our world where chance makes individuals into forces comparable to whole army divisions, only less vulnerable. The Hulk may be a bit "woe is me" in his version, Captain America a bit more "basic inherent goodness trumps all", but the differences aren't generally the kind of thing that warrants show-stopping double-takes.

But even between two different action movies, you can have significantly different levels of realism and tone and setting. It would feel downright strange to have a character from "The A Team" show up in something like "Heat", or even have Roger Moore's James Bond show up in a Daniel Craig James Bond movie. Take the example Bob gives- depending on that cop movie, the presence of that cop character might well make the audience cock its head and say "I thought he lived in a city where shoot-outs in the middle of the street were a daily occurrence. Why are our likable young couple shopping at this farmer's market- shouldn't they be cowering in their homes in terror?"

Like many things, I don't mean to suggest that this whole crossover thing couldn't be handled well by skilled and gifted moviemakers, as appears to have been the case with the handling of Marvel's franchises.

But we're not always dealing with skilled and gifted moviemakers. A lot of the time- way too much of the time- we're dealing with the kind of people who thought greenlighting a movie based on Battleship was a good idea. Ham-handed use of this "cross-over" idea sounds like a marketer's dream and every cinephile's nightmare, something that could do harm to whole studios worth of movies rather than simply allowing a bad idea to flicker and die in a single bad movie.

It's like a staple gun. It's a tool. Properly used, it could make work faster and more efficient, but- AH! MY EYE!

Locking things up in even more complicated copyright issues, giving hollywood another reason to not make anything but sequels? No thanks.

And I'll have to wait for the dvd release since I don't want to see it in 3D... But I'm sure every scene will have been released as a separate promo clip by then, so I'll just have to piece them together.

man i hate you so much right now! i would sell my left ball to watch the avengers now :(
instead i have to wait until may 10th... stupid release schedule...
anyhow exited as all hell for the Avengers!

Actually Bob, that's a really really really scary thought.

MMmmyeah, sorry, I like seeing Bob this excited for something but I'm not feeling it. "The future"? Don't you think you're exaggerating a little? To me, continuity is either a cheap gimmick or an impenetrable barrier to entry, depending on how long it's been going. Especially with mashing universes, it just seems like the writers are toying with their own creations, not considering them seriously.

Also, I don't like how studios might handle this - dozens of movies could be shoehorned into the same continuity, purely for cross-promotion purposes, thereby limiting what the writer and director even further. Or, if it's an empty crossover, like the medieval-looking armour or chakram-thrower from Amalur in Mass Effect 3, it makes no sense, it's dubiously crammed into canon, it strains disbelief and wasn't needed.

It's also exhausting. Even with book series, for example, I don't think I'll have the time or willpower in my entire lifespan to enjoy more than... five of them. Potter's already taken a decade off of me, and I'm only starting with Vorkosigan, so regardless of their quality, I'm retching at the sight of any other long-running series.

I think it would also make me risk-averse - if I know something is supposed to run for years, why would I start watching immediately? I don't know if it's any good, I don't want to invest in something long-running if the attention I can give to such works is a limited resource, so I'd rather wait for it to reach a conclusion before diving in. I know a lot of people that avoid series until they have at least a season's worth of episodes - and while TV shows may profit from DVD sales and streaming, movies can't afford to have people miss the box office.

Considering 'The Avengers': I saw the German press release on April, 16th (Europe gets to see the movie a week before the US) and have to say that I, as someone whose knowledge of the Marvel Universe is limited to the five movies before the big team-up, was reeeeaaally surprised.

The movie knows its roots and doesn't even try to approach the characters with a realistic perspective as Nolan did with Batman. The movie is funny, the action is amazing (Transformers this is definately not) and, probably the most important thing, every character gets at least one moment to shine and noone is only 'physically present'. There are some minor downsides (which I won't get into because of spoilers), but they are inferior to the pros. The script even managed to give Bruce Banner a reason to be there.

And yes, it pays off to stay through the credits ;)

Sure looks like Movie Bob is more of a Justice League guy.

SonOfVoorhees:
The idea of crossing a criminal from one movie with a hero from another movie wouldnt work. If you saw that criminal beaten once already why would you want to watch him get his ass handed to him again?

There are some movies where the criminal wins.

One better, cast Harrison Ford as Mosses

Those tiny bits on the floor, that's your brain I just exploded. =)

Just saw Avengers about an hour ago (opened in Australia earlier, lolwut). Have fun waiting USA et al, it's about time you did for once.

There's an after-credits sequence as usual, someone who knows their stuff can tell me who the guy is because I have no idea. Edit: nevermind I googled it.

I'd love to see some well done continuity crossovers. ABC is sorta doing that with throwing the odd Lost reference into shows like Once Upon a Time (McCutchin scotch, Apollo candy bars). I think it could get abused as bad as marvel and dc did in the nineties - Infinity Gauntlet was great IMO, Infinity Wsr and Crusade sucked donkey balls.

As for the nod to Raiders of the Lost Ark in the Ten Commandments movie, I would be sorely disappointed if Spielberg didn't plan on doing that.

Shared universes for superheroes makes me cringe. I don't know why, but it always has. I just hate it completely. So I won't be seeing this one.

There is a legitimate problem with too much continuity from an objective standpoint. It could very well work with The Avengers, because the characters need no real introduction, they're cultural icons that most people who grew up some time in the last 30 years should be somewhat familiar with. Most of the people who will go see The Avengers may have seen all the previous films, some of them might have only seen one or two, and some may have seen none of them, and yet most of the people that will go see it will be able to follow what is going on to some degree.

But continuity in general falls victim to something I would call the "Anime Problem" as it pertains to television. It's hard to air anime on television because most people will stumble upon somewhere mid-way through the series and will have no idea what is going on, and the confusion will lead to people tuning it out. Since most anime have some kind of central story, it makes it hard to get a dedicated fanbase on general television. Bad dubs don't help either.

When you think about the most popular TV series, most of them are very episodic in nature, you don't need to see all the preceding episodes to get what's going on in the current one, for the most part. There are notable exceptions like "Lost", but for every one of them you have a completely failed attempt at story-driven drama like NBC's "The Event". It's also why comedies and cop dramas do the best on network television, because the formula lends itself very well to disconnected episodes.

However, we're not talking about television, but movies. Sequels to popular movies usually do garner some amount of success, but don't tend to last into the third and fourth movies because they don't tend to be that great and it just becomes harder to market it over time. But what Bob seems to be talking about here is not so much direct sequels, but mashups of characters from different movies. This has a pitfall as well, take the "The Departed + The Town" example, people who have not seen both movies will not know the main characters, and so Hollywood will feel forced to re-introduce them and re-establish their characters, and at that point why even bother?

Forcing people to watch all your other movies before watching the one being advertised might be an attractive business model, but I don't ultimately feel it will be successful unless the characters themselves are well-known and don't require a lot of background to the character, scenario, or story. Doing it on a small scale (like the Al-Quaeda idea) might work as a creative thing, but won't really draw any more people to the theaters than if they just did things the way they always did them. Bringing two or more separate plot lines together is a hard thing to do for accomplished writers and often goes wrong (as comic books have taught us), and I think Hollywood might take it out for a spin, but it will go wrong and we will go back to the cookie-cutter stuff before too long.

I'd love that future. It felt so cool when Baccano characters appeared on Durarara. Baccano is passed during the beggining of XX century and some characters become immortal, then in Durarara (today days), a different anime with different story but done by the same author, 2 of the baccano characters appear in it for a brief minute.

Wasn't something like that tried with US Marshals? You know, using Sam Gerard (Tommy Lee Jones) from The Fugitive in a movie that could have just created a new bounty hunter?

I see potential, but see more potential for abuse: trying to draw in comic geeks to a retro themed romance film by naming the characters Ben and May Parker. Besides, the home of continuity (comics) can't get it straight a lot of the time, let alone giving the task to new people perhaps bitter the only way to get their movie seen is to tie it to something more popular.

SpiderJerusalem:

Strain42:

SpiderJerusalem:
Oh cute, Bob thinks himself an actual critic.

...He gets to go to critic's screenings and gets paid to critique movies. What else would you call that if not an actual critic?

Justin Bieber sells records and has his own concerts, yet I wouldn't call him a musician.

Well that's your own thing then, and I'm not gonna argue with you. But regardless of what you think, he does fall under the definition of a musician.

1. a person who makes music a profession, especially as a performer of music.
2. any person, whether professional or not, skilled in music.

Abandon4093:
Bruce Almighty - Evan Almighty.

All the Tarintino movies... many, many more.

This isn't a new concept Bob, people have been doing it for years.

You forgot that guy from Forgetting Sarah Marshall got his own film in Get Him to the Greek. You know, that Russel Brand guy...

Abandon4093:
Bruce Almighty - Evan Almighty.

All the Tarintino movies... many, many more.

This isn't a new concept Bob, people have been doing it for years.

Well, with Evan Almighty, I saw that as the studio wanted to do a sequel, but either they couldn't get Jim Carrey or they realised that it wouldn't make sense to use the exact same characters. However, Steve Carrel's career was on the rise and he had a bit part in Bruce Almighty, so...

Since Bob said we'll have to wait two weeks for the Avengers movie, I figure this episode was made some time back and he's already seen it, so I'm looking forward for his opinion on it on this week's Escape To The Movies.

In any case, I got my ticket right here, and I won't miss this movie for the world.

MonkeyPunch:
The Space Janitor ad is starting to get on my proverbial tits.
I'm on your site already! (and have watched SP) So what more do you want me to do!!? grr

Just be thankful it isn't Game Dogs or Doraleous anymore...

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