MCN Blogs
David Poland

By David Poland

Trailer Chat


Be Sociable, Share!

116 Responses to “Trailer Chat”

  1. lazarus says:

    Are we supposed to be talking about King Kong? Looks great, but the CGI…it just shows how WETA pales in comparison to ILM.
    Strange that they barely showed Adrien Brody, and he’s listed last in the credits at the end. I was under the impression early on that he was the star. Interesting. Also was surprised that we didn’t get a “from the director of The Lord of the Rings Trilogy” title card, or any Oscar pedigree stuff.
    I’d really love to see this in the theatre…

  2. TheBrigade says:

    Laz, they probably could not use “From the director of Lord of the Rings” because it came from a different studio. NL are also involved in litigation with Wingnut. So, PJ cant get that credit. Glad you gave some dap to ILM. All of those virtual sets ILM could do much easier. WETA has had this problem for 5 years now. Not like it will be fixed anytime soon. If they win another Oscar for their FX work. The Academy will just be revealing themselves to be a bunch of Lucashaters. No better or worse than most geeks online.

  3. jeffmcm says:

    Of course they can put “from the director of Lord of the Rings” on the trailer. They can’t copyright a fact. Maybe they didn’t because of the litigation out of political or strategic concerns, but if PJ wanted the trailer to say that there’s no reason why it wouldn’t, and they’ll be foolish if later trailers don’t.

  4. Harley says:

    Just saw a trailer for ‘Eros’, a three-way anthology by Wong Kar-Wai, Soderbergh, and Antonioni. The Wong third looked great — more sleek 60’s beauty — hard to say about the rest.
    I hadn’t heard a thing about this movie. Any idea when it opens in the USA?

  5. jeffmcm says:

    It came out in LA and NY a couple of months ago. It’s theatrical run in the US may already be over. For the record, the Wong Kar-Wai section was fine, the the Soderbergh and Antonioni sections suck.

  6. lazarus says:

    Brigade, the Academy made it clear they weren’t fans of Lucas any longer when The Matrix won for effects back in 2000. Say what you want about Jar Jar or The Phantom Menace, but those were the best effects ever put to film up until that point. Gollum wouldn’t have existed if ILM hadn’t tried it first. All The Matrix had was bullet-time, which wasn’t even invented for that film. But because the film was received better by the critical community (and the SW backlash was in full force by that point) they just handed everything to The Matrix. Episode I was also robbed of the Oscars for sound effects and sound (there is no one more talented in this area than Ben Burtt). I’d also argue the film should have won costume design, and should have at least an art direction nom.
    I’d give the edge to The Two Towers over Attack of the Clones in effects just because Gollum was so well-realized, even if the Wargs looked like crap. But I’ll tell you, if anything beats Revenge of the Sith next year it will be pretty suspect. Even many of the negative reviews seemed to acknowledge how the effects were so well merged with everything else (not that there was much “else). I can tell you right now that the work in Kong is not going to be as impressive as anything in LOTR. From that trailer, it won’t even be better than Jurassic Park, which is 12 years older.

  7. jeffmcm says:

    If Ben Burtt is so talented, why did he bury John Williams under the sound design?

  8. bakednudel says:

    I had no particular interest in Kong until I saw this trailer. Now I’m thinking I’ll probably see it in the cinema–once.
    You are so right about the WETA effects. That was the first thing I noticed, watching this trailer. Especially since I’ve seen Revenge of the Sith recently and it was fresh in my mind for comparison.
    Is it possible they meant for the effects to look slightly bad–sort of like Bram Stoker’s Dracula, where they were meant to look like an old film?
    There will be plenty of competition for FX this year though, with WOTW, Revenge, and Kong.
    And yeah, I admire Ben Burtt no end, but it seems like since he moved up to being an editor, JW’s score has been buried. Boo!

  9. bicycle bob says:

    i think most people will agree that without ilm, we don’t have half the innovations we have today.

  10. montreal kid says:

    I wasn’t quite buying Jack Black as a leading man in the first half of the trailer, but holy shit does the trailer ever kick ass once they get to the island. This looks fantastic. I for one was not a huge fan of the LOTR trilogy. First one was great; second one repetitive (talk-battle-break-talk-battle-ring-my precious) and I haven’t set aside time to slog through the third one yet. If Peter Jackson can keep the running time down King Kong will be great.
    And Naomi Watts looks fantastic.

  11. montreal kid says:

    Oh yeah, and the Elizabethtown trailer….meh. There is probably a great film here hiding under a very pedestrian trailer.

  12. Geoff says:

    Regarding the trailer, I was somewhat underwhelmed, myself. But I don’t think it was the effects. I thought they looked good. I think it was just the whole way it was cut, there was no sense of awe. This should have been like the early trailer for Jurassic Park and it just didn’t happen. I can kind of respect their decision to not “hide” Kong with this campaign, because as we saw with Godzilla, that can backfire, too. But there was just no rhythm with the thing, no buildup. It was like “We’re here on the island, oh, there’s dinosaurs, oh, there’s Kong, cool….”
    And man, I do NOT get how Universal is selling this thing. Not one mention of “From the creator of the Lord of the Rings trilogy?” Come on, what are they paying the guy $50 million for? Peter Jackson is not a name brand, yet. There are only about four or five directors, out there, whose name can open a film: Spielberg, Tarantino, Shamaylan, Tim Burton, that’s really about it. Universal is kidding themselves if they think Jackson is at that level, yet. That’s not to criticize his directing, the guy is amazing. But he’s just not a brand name, yet.
    And yeah, filming EVERYTHING in New Zealand might come back to bite them in the ass. Skull Island? Sure, it can be done. But 1930’s New York City? Something tells me that they should have followed Chris Nolan’s lead with Batman BEgins and filmed on some of the more unique locations in Chicago or London. Worked beautifully for the look of that film.

  13. BluStealer says:

    Are you seriously trying to question if Peter Jackson, the guy who made the Lord of the Rings trilogy, can make a film about the 1930’s? You really have to be kidding. Some people really analyze and critique a teaser trailer a little too hard. He made middle earth compelling. I think he has earned some trust. Unless you are a hater.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Am I the only one that was waiting for Jack Black to start saying, “I pledge allegiance… to the band… of Mr. Schneebly,” in a 21st century sarcastic tone that didn’t really exist in with Americans in the ’30s?

  15. bakednudel says:

    I have nothing against PJ. I loved all the LOTR films and saw them multiple times. BUT that doesn’t mean I didn’t think the FX were crap. As a Star Wars fan, I was continually astonished at how my fellow LOTR-lovers could rave about the CG in those films.
    Anyway, as I said: I’ll see KK once, but it isn’t the sort of film that I’m going to be seeing over and over again.
    Plus I find Jack Black irritating beyond belief. Good thing he’s playing an annoying character in this.

  16. Clay says:

    I wonder if people bashed the original King Kong for its lousy effects.
    You give me Naomi Watts, Adrien Brody and Jack Black in any movie and I’m there. Throw in some dinosaurs and a giant ape… all the better.
    I’m not going to bellyache over the respective quality of CGI on Balrogs and Jar-Jars. I just want to see a good movie. This looks very promising.

  17. Wrecktum says:

    Poor Uni! They’re roadblock has backfired!! A derivative, not very well put together trailer featuring a too-modern Jack Black and shoddy early effect.
    After reading the underwhelmed responses on AICN, Chud, etc. tomorrow, the marketing folks in Uni City will be pretty glum.

  18. Terence D says:

    I sense an anti Peter Jackson backlash coming on. People just can’t stand someone having talent and success.

  19. TheBrigade says:

    “If you are a hater?” I didnt know they let the STENCH on here (aka GEEKS). I love PJ. Bad Taste, to me at least, ranks as his third best film! Also, calling this a TEASER, sort of ignores the length of it. This is a full-length trailer. The next one would probably be more story heavy then this one. Yet, this trailer might have pulled a CASTAWAY.

  20. bicycle bob says:

    now ldb hates geeks. isn’t that self loathing? not cool

  21. Stella's Boy says:

    I think the trailer is great, until the last few seconds or so, when the CGI becomes front and center. It looks so damn fake, it’s kind of jarring. And the trailer seems to give away an awful lot of money shots. I’m still excited to see it, though.

  22. FollowThemToTheEndOfTheDesert says:

    Terence, it never has anything to do with talent or fame. PJ deserves it for ROTK. Immolation scene or eighty-four endings including the black hole of charisma? Hmmmm. Also, the sound design of SW, always has a lot of room for Williams’ score. Sometimes, you just might be seeing the film in a crappy theatre. With a really bad audio set-up and equipment.

  23. TheBrigade says:

    Bob, my ee cummings challenged conservative brother, that’s called sarcasm, and I hate the whole “hater” argument. Since it seemingly applies to everything but George Lucas. People can hate on George all the live long day, but no one else can get criticized? Bullhiphoppidyshit. Ut-oh, I cursed. joefitz might pee his pants, and declare a thumb war on me.

  24. BluStealer says:

    Again people and fans bashing after a first trailer. What happend to the good old days of giving a movie half a chance?

  25. David Poland says:

    I agree with you, Blu… but the huge deal made out of the trailer does seem like it was kinda asking for it…

  26. BluStealer says:

    Lets face it. The expectations are huge for this. But I have enough faith in PJ to look forward to it and let the final product move me. Not some teaser trailers that can make even The Pacifier look funny. I have a feeling a lot of critics and fans are going to have the blades sharp for this no matter what it turns out to be.

  27. LesterFreed says:

    Whats not to like bout this? Watts, Brody, Black, Jackson directing, classic story, 30’s setting. I am duly impressed.

  28. Stella's Boy says:

    I don’t think a little criticism about the CGI can be considered unfairly bashing the movie. And there are also plenty of fans who seem to love a movie no matter what, just based on who made it.

  29. FollowThemToTheEdgeOfTheDesert says:

    The good ol’days died. When entertainment conglomartes happen. Universal made the same mistake with the HULK that they have no made with KING KONG: showing too much CGI in an early trailer. Also, Stealer, dont be bloody naive. We no longer live in a world where BIG PICTURES can get away with one crappy trailer. Heck. Batman Begins outshines ANYONE of it’s trailers. Yet, how much did those crappy clips possibly hurt the box-office. Everyone knows the HULK shot itself in the foot with that Super Bowl ad. Now Universal, USE NINE NETWORKS, to show a trailer with early shoddy CGI FX. I have hope for this flick thanks to Brody. Having Jack Black looking like he wants to scream out for “KG” every moment in that trailer. Does not help either. Kong had it’s first impression, and it seemingly has captured the MIDDLE GROUND. Im sure the marketing people at Universal are throwing a pizza party as we speak.

  30. Joe e says:

    On the director’s as “name brands” argument that Geoff posted, I agree with him that PJ isn’t quite there yet (neither are the Matrix brothers), but you should list Zemeckis on that list. He’s definitely up there.
    I’m more excited about Elizabethtown than King Kong. And I’m sure all the effects of King Kong aren’t dazzling as Peter Jackson’s new look.
    have you seen the guy? I’m thinking he’s lost about 100 lbs. since Return of the King Oscar night. It’s staggering.

  31. sky_capitan says:

    There’s no way that Peter Jackson and the Wachowski Brothers (brother/sister?) aren’t name brands, and right now they definitely outrank Tarantino, Shyamalan, Tim Burton, and Robert Zemeckis (!?!$!!!) as “brands.”
    I did find the trailer disappointing. I saw some Titanic, Pirates of the Caribbean, Jurassic Park and the big hairy ape (it looked way too fake when the hand reached out and grabbed Naomi Watts). But like Geoff said, where’s the awe? This trailer doesn’t make me want to see King Kong any more than I did before. And why didn’t they have someone else to narrate it rather than Jack Black? The only thing I would have had Jack Black say in the trailer is “Herb, get the camera.” That’s it.

  32. jeffmcm says:

    Peter Jackson and the Wachowskis do not outweigh Tarantino, Shyamalan, and the others. First, even though he’s had three hit movies, not that many people know who Peter Jackson is. Partially because his name is so bland. Second, Jackson and the Wachowskis have each only had one big franchise. When they have a hit movie outside of those franchises, then people may be able to recognize their work separately, but it hasn’t happened yet.

  33. Geoff says:

    Joe E, you might be right about Robert Zemeckis, I mean, when is the last time he did a film that made less than $150 million?
    Two names I actually might have forgotten to include are Ridley Scott, but then Kingdom on Heavin happened. I really thought that film would open.
    And, of course, James Cameron. When he finds the time to finally make a feature film, again, it’s going to be an EVENT.

  34. Clay says:

    The Hulk’s trailer didn’t hurt… the film grossed more than $60 million its opening weekend. But it sucked, and plummeted 70% the weekend after that.
    Same is true of Godzilla. Pretty good $55M opening, followed by a drop of nearly 70% because the movie was horrible.
    King Kong will open. And if it’s any good at all, it will make a shitload of money.

  35. teambanzai says:

    I found the post about Universal some how worrying about what is said on the boards of AICN or CHUD really funny, no one cares what a handful of fan boys think.
    The film looks okay to me. Certainly better than ROTS and it will certainly make most forget about WOTW.

  36. Terence D says:

    I have to disagree. I think Peter Jackson is now on that name brand level. Look at the grosses for his last three movies and you can’t write that off to the popularity of the novels. They could have easily bombed.

  37. bicycle bob says:

    the wachowskis blew any goodwill they had with matrix 2 and 3. lets see if jackson can fight off that killer slump

  38. LesterFreed says:

    Got to love some of the inspired commentary here. “If its any good, it will make money”
    If its a stinker it will make money. Audiences love blockbuster, big movies.

  39. Wrecktum says:

    “I found the post about Universal some how worrying about what is said on the boards of AICN or CHUD really funny, no one cares what a handful of fan boys think.”
    Yes they do.

  40. Terence D says:

    Anyone that thinks that any exec cares what some geek fanboy says on AICN is deluding themselves. These execs know for a fact that no matter how bad something is those same fanboys will see it. They’re the core audience no matter what.

  41. Stella's Boy says:

    Well, some execs must care at least a little. Hence the set visits and all the other shit that they arrange for the AICN boys in hopes of some good fanboy buzz.

  42. Terence D says:

    What do the set visits cost them? You may as well get some good publicity especially if its free. But if you think they let them effect the bottom line? You’re wrong.

  43. Stella's Boy says:

    I’m just saying they care at least a little. That’s all. I never said anything about the bottom line.

  44. bicycle bob says:

    stella do u argue for arguing sake? its like u invite it in

  45. Stella's Boy says:

    Look who’s talking bob. Aren’t we here to discuss and debate? Or should we all agree on everything?

  46. bicycle bob says:

    yea but u really never make a point. then u complain when others call u out on it. other than ur fascination with the career and works of hack directors like spike lee. and ur anti star wars stance. but hey what do we all know? u saw the honeymooners but refused to see star wars

  47. Stella's Boy says:

    And what great points have you made around here bob? I’m dying to here this. What do you do that is so wonderful? Please. Do tell.

  48. LesterFreed says:

    You seem to try and refute everything he says with every post you toss up here. You do seem to know him best.

  49. GdB says:

    You’re an idiot if you don’t think the execs and marketing people don’t read the boards on those sites.

  50. bicycle bob says:

    not everyone can worship girl 6 and she hate me, stella. u should be proud of that

  51. GdB says:

    Let me correct that:
    You’re an idiot if you think execs and marketing people don’t read the boards on those sites. They do.

  52. Stella's Boy says:

    Classic bob. He doesn’t answer the question(s) while continuing to spread lies. Nice work bob. You should be very proud of that. That perfectly sums up your contributions here. Lying and making shit up. Keep up the good work.

  53. Terence D says:

    It is part of their job descriptions to read it and know what the public wants. Thanks for the update on that.

  54. FollowThemToTheEdgeOfTheDesert says:

    Apparently Stella, the only point bob has ever made is this; people can insult you all they want. It explains alot about conservative bob. Not as much as HIS TOTAL INF’NABILITY TO TYPE THE WORD ‘YOU’! Daft wanker. Plus, teambanzai out does every anti-SW comment Stella has ever posted. By stating Kong will be better than Revenge. If that does not so bitter resentment. I have no idea what does.

  55. Mark says:

    Stella’s Girl, you have stated here many upon many times what you think of Spike Lee and his collected works. You saying you don’t like Spike now? Is that it?

  56. Stella's Boy says:

    Mark, this isn’t rocket science. Yes, I am a Spike Lee fan. But I never said that I love Summer of Sam or Girl 6. So accusing me of saying that is lying. Understand?

  57. Stella's Boy says:

    And should I call you Mary? You are so clever.

  58. joefitz84 says:

    LDB, have you finished crying yet? Or do you want me to get you that bottle?

  59. Angelus21 says:

    Never seen so much whining and crying from grown men. They had to be the boys in class who got into fights then got in trouble then cried saying it was the other guys fault because he got made fun of. Like they say. Boys never grow up. Once a baby, always a baby.

  60. teambanzai says:

    Wait I never said I hated Revenge it was exactly what I expected an okay movie. All I was saying that Peter Jackson is a better director and working with better material. Revenge was okay it’s the only one of the recent three that I will buy on DVD. Just because I believe Kong will be better than Revenge emplies no bitterness.

  61. Mark says:

    Let Peter Jackson write his own trilogy and create a world adored by millions and then we can put him in George Lucas’ class.

  62. lazarus says:

    When we’re talking about name directors, let’s all be on the same page. It has to be someone who the average audience member recognizes, can attatch a face to, or can name other films that the person has made. Actor/directors like Gibson, Redford, Ron Howard, Woody Allen are a given. But Robert Zemeckis? Without “from the director of Forrest Gump and Castaway”, people don’t know who the hell he is.
    Spike Lee and Quentin Tarantino are name directors because people know who they are–they do a lot of press and are pretty outspoken personalities. I’d say Oliver Stone is a notch beneath that. Most filmgoers would recognize the name, and probably remember a film or two. Peter Jackson–a tough call. There are TONS of people who flocked to LOTR without knowing the names of the people behind the camera.
    I don’t even know if I’d call M. Night Shyamalan a “name” director. The possessory credit on all of his releases suggests a ridiculous amount of hubris, but I don’t know if you asked someone off the street who he was that you’d get an answer. Signs was successful because of the trailer and Mel Gibson, not because of M. Night’s name.
    The only other names I can think of are Lucas and Spielberg. I don’t think Tim Burton and James Cameron are at that level because the average person wouldn’t read the name and automatically know the pictures. Scorsese is more recognizable because he’s a pretty unique looking guy (the eyebrows) and has been doing some pretty high profile films in the last few years.

  63. teambanzai says:

    George Lucas class? Come on even the most rabit fan will admit he’s a terrible director and an even worse writer when it comes to dialog. The story’s great but the dialog? Remember Empire was written by Leigh Brackett and Lawrence Kasdan from a story by Lucas.
    I have no interest in the Lord of the Rings, I only saw the first one and was not interested but I’d be willing to admit that there’s probably more fans of those films than Star Wars which I’m a huge fan of. That’s why I can exuse the poor dialog and wooden acting because I’m a fan.
    Peter Jackson like Lucas writes and directs his films but he’s much better at it. So based on his sucess with the Lord of the Rings and his past work which I have seen and enjoyed I believe that Kong will be better. I could be wrong but I don’t think so.

  64. jeffmcm says:

    I agree with the previous posters. Just because all three LOTR movies were hits doesn’t mean the mass audience knows who Peter Jackson is. To be a name director you sort of have to create a genre out of yourself, which I would argue that Tarantino and Shyamalan have done. Zemeckis, Ron Howard, Ridley Scott, all have a lot of audience goodwill attached to them because of their various hits, but their films aren’t as similar in the same way.
    George Lucas a superior director to Peter Jackson? I will agree that ILM did a better job with the effects, but Lucas doesn’t have Jackson’s sense of kinetic camera movement or, once again, interest in dialogue or performance. What’ll be interesting to see is what Lucas decides to do next, if he makes the cheap art movies he’s been talking about for the last thirty years.

  65. teambanzai says:

    Really can anyone here argue with this? Any director is only as good as their last film. They only have pull if the studio believes they can make money off of them. John Landis has directed some great films and I’ll watch anything he does but a few miss’ and he can’t get any of his projects off the ground. Look what it took for George Ramero to get LOTD made.
    I’m sure most people here can think of other examples.

  66. joefitz84 says:

    Romero has done some really nice things in these zombies movies. You know. The ones he has been doing since 1968. But to call him “good”? Thats out on a limb there.

  67. Lynnie says:

    Let Peter Jackson write his own trilogy and create a world adored by millions and then we can put him in George Lucas’ class.
    I would argue that adapting something as fiendishly complicated as LotR — in a way that satisfies most fans of the book and people who’d never heard of it — is actually more difficult.

  68. Lynnie says:

    Sorry, lost the italics to indicate a quote in the first sentence there.

  69. joefitz84 says:

    You can’t be serious. Tolkien did all the heavy lifting. It was his world. He wrote it. He created. Jackson did a great job adapting it. The key word is ADAPTING. Lucas created his from scracth then filmed it. He is Tolkien times two.

  70. teambanzai says:

    What’s the difference between adapting and barrowing thematic elements from literature and other films to create a universe.
    Come on nothing about Star Wars is unique.

  71. Dan R% says:

    Geoff – I agree with you that there’s not a real sense of awe with the King Kong trailer. For a moment they had it when you see a quick cut of just Kong’s face, but then it just digresses into the same old, same old. That being said, I still think it looks pretty fantastic. While I’m not thinking it’ll be on the same level as ‘The Lord of the Rings’, it will be fun.
    As far as the visual FX oscar goes for next year, I’m going to say that ‘Revenge of the Sith’ will win it hands down. Overall this was the first prequel to be well received across the board and having seen the films 4 times in the theater I can safely say it has yet ceased to amaze me visually. I always picked up new things on each viewing. That deserves an award in and of itself.

  72. Angelus21 says:

    Nothing about Star Wars is unique? He made it all up himself! I’m sorry but I don’t think anyone on this planet ever heard of a Wookie, protocol droids, Alderaan, Jedi’s, Sith lords, The Hutts, I can go on forever. If you have personal hatred for Star Wars, be that as it may. But don’t go on posting utter lies.

  73. DailyRich says:

    Is it just me, or did everybody miss the “From Academy Award Winning Director Peter Jackson” about halfway through the trailer??
    As for the effects, I think it’s a brave move to show that much of Kong — it underscores the fact that they have more up their sleeves than just a bunch of effects, they’ve got story and character that the CGI will augment, not a weak outline to hang effects on.
    And WETA has said that there were shots they were finishing up quickly for the trailer that they would be getting back to for the finished film, so I expect an upgrade in quality from what we saw here.

  74. Joe E says:

    I think both men have their share of flaws, but they each have one good quality: they know a good musician.
    I saw PJ live once and he recognized Howard Shore and credited him as one of the main reasons the Lord of the Rings trilogy is as big a success as it is. Lucas should say the same about John Williams, Spielberg said Williams score saved Jaws.
    The Autuer theory is bull shit in today’s movie world. If you’ve ever walked on a movie set or been in an editing lab, you know it’s bull shit. The last auteur we had was Kubrick.

  75. Jonathan Johns says:

    What worked in the trailer: the look of NYC, particularly the aerial shot of 1930’s Manhattan, the shots of the ship Venture, the screaming scene on the beach, using Pacific islanders, the device by which Naomi Watts is lowered from the great wall to the sacrificial stone.
    What did not work: Kong himself, it looked like the level of CGI of The Hulk, except for the close up toward the end the effect looked like a rough draft, Skull island looks like painted backdrops, the dinosaurs look no better than CGI did ten years ago … please tell me WETA can do better than this!
    I was excited about seeing Peter Jackson’s King Kong before the trailer, not so excited now.

  76. Angelus21 says:

    A trailer, six months before the opening, effects how you feel? That is terrible. I feel bad for you.

  77. Josh Massey says:

    Peter Jackson/George Lucas arguments?!?! KIDS, TAKE IT TO AICN!

  78. sky_capitan says:

    If a long trailer is released six months before the movie opens and they make hype it to hell, I assume they want people watching it to FEEL something, and disappointment isn’t likely it.

  79. KamikazeCamel says:

    I think to realise George and Peter’s real talent you must go to their smaller personal pictures. “American Grafitti” and “Heavenly Creatures” respectively.
    Heavenly Creatures remains one of the best films of the ’90s from any country.

  80. bicycle bob says:

    so joshy only geeks can discuss the merits of jackson and lucas? lose the elitism. u sound like stella

  81. KamikazeCamel says:

    Whoa the woman that Tony Scott’s “Domino” is based on was found dead. They say either an overdose or a heart attack. Apparently they’re pushing back the release date to incorporate this into the movie…

  82. BluStealer says:

    Keira Knightley is dead?????? What will they do on Pirates 2 and 3?

  83. teambanzai says:

    Oh you mean Wookie(Sidekick) protocol droid(servent/butler type) Alderaan(location) Jedi’s(good knights) Sith Lords(bad nights) The Hutts(every benevelent bad leader type ever)
    Sure he came up with new names and looks but they’re just classic character types that have been used in story telling since the beginning of time. And before you accuse me of being a Star Wars hater I can guarantee I’ve seen it far more times then you ever will. I’m just not a deluted fan boy that can’t be critical of something I like.

  84. BluStealer says:

    That was just dumb. Everyone has heard of servants before. Not one, not a single person, ever came up with a protocol droid for that. And then put it into an interstellar story. You may have seen Star Wars a lot but you really do hate it a lot if you can’t even give credit to Lucas’ originality. You just sound like a dumbass. No offense.

  85. Joe Leydon says:

    Even George Lucas has admitted he lifted entire swaths of “Star Wars” from “Flash Gordon” and Akira Kurosawa’s “The Hidden Fortress.” (To say nothing of what he’s taken from Joseph Campbell, E.E. “Doc” Smith, Carlos Cataneda, etc.) Just because he gave various characters and objects new names doesn’t mean he invented them. So it’s not out of line to question just how much “originality” truly is involved here. It’s been said that 90 percent of genius is knowing who to steal from, and what to steal.

  86. David Poland says:

    I have to side with Josh on that one… not to go to AICN, but the Jackson/Lucas battle is way off course… and internet ironic.

  87. bicycle bob says:

    how didn’t he invent them? i guess we all heard about those C3PO’s before

  88. Joe E says:

    The Trailer I’m most excited for is Jarhead. I think of all the potential Oscar candidates, this one will sneak up there. I thought it’d be infront of Cinderella Man. I guess Universal is holding it for later.

  89. Joe Leydon says:

    Bob: Go back and read just about any interview George Lucas has given on the subject. The robots are mechanical versions of the two roguish servants in “The Hidden Fortress.” That’s what HE says, not me.

  90. bicycle bob says:

    ur making it seem like i said he came up with the idea to actually create the written word. the guy created a whole universe of characters and stories. say what u want about other things inspiring him to create. every writer gets inspired by something they read or watch and love. but he created his own world. his own characters and to deny that is trashy and short sighted.

  91. Terence D says:

    I remember watching and loving Flash Gordon as a kid. But I never saw droids or a Chewie or a Jabba the Hutt or even a Jar Jar in there. Lucas probably should have let others direct the prequels because he is getting a huge backlash.

  92. Joe Leydon says:

    “Trashy”? See, Bob, you can’t keep yourself from making personal insults. You must be a leftie racist. With possibly homosexual tendencies. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.) And I’ll bet you have “The Honeymooners” already in your Netflix queue.
    But you know what? I’m not saying Geogre Lucas didn’t do wondrous and imaginative things with the various influences that inspired him. All I’m saying is, EVEN THE MAN HIMSELF ADMITS HIS MYTHOS ISN’T ORIGINAL. That was the original point. I’d give you a quote from the posting that led to this, but I know that sort of thing upsets you. And when you’re upset, you tend to jump over the fence and growl at the neighbor’s cat.

  93. Mark says:

    Someone forgot to take his decaf today.

  94. joefitz84 says:

    I can’t believe some people are actually saying Lucas isn’t original. You tell me where he stole every idea. Then I guess every movie, play or novel should donate half their profits to Shakespeare who should give half of that to Plato. I’m sure I saw something on Jedi Knights in Hamlet. I know it for sure.

  95. Joe Leydon says:

    Look, guys, it all boils down to this: Either George Lucas is lying, and has always lied, about his own work, or you don’t know what you’re talking about. I think Lucas isn’t a liar.

  96. joefitz84 says:

    Being inspired to create something is MUCH different than adapting or lifting actual material. Can you at least agree to that? I still don’t find any Obi Wan Kenobi in any other work out there. He is not a liar. You’re right. And hes not a copier.

  97. Mark says:

    Lucas didn’t wake from a coma after 30 years and say “I am going to just write something and turn it into a movie.” Without ever liking something as a kid and being motivated to do something similiar. But the world he created is his own. Star Wars is his. I read those Lucas interviews myself. He was inspired by Flash Gordon and The Hidden Fortress and The Seven Samurai and even World War fighter dogfights.

  98. Joe Leydon says:

    There have been plenty of Obi Wans before “Star Wars.” They simply weren’t called Obi Wan. Look, I think we can all agree on this: George Lucas is a genius at pop culture recycling. (And he’s still doing it: “Attack of the Clones” had a scene that was a direct visual quote from John Ford’s “The Searchers.”) In fact, he’s maybe the smartest and most successful recycler since Shakespeare. He has taken archetypes and situations from myths, legends, pulp fiction, B-movies and whatever, and turned it into his very own universe. It’s kinda-sorta like D.W. Griffith. Regardless of what you may have ever been told, DWG didn’t really create intercutting between parallel actions, or close-ups. He just used those tools better than anyone else ever had before him.

  99. teambanzai says:

    Actually Joe that’s exactly the point I was trying to make. Lucas isn’t any worse than anyother film maker but he certainly shouldn’t be elevated above the rest. Well other than Michael Bay he’s certainly above that hack.
    Besides when it comes right down to Star Trek is a way better Universe than Star Wars every hoped to be.

  100. Angelus21 says:

    So according to Joe Leydon’s logic: Nothing is original.

  101. Mooney Lynn says:

    I was underwhelmed by the King Kong trailer. Jack Black has the most annoying and feminine voice of any actor working today. The effects look really cheesy. I think Peter Jackson will be stricked with the Oscar curse.

  102. Joe E. says:

    Here here Joe. Lucas has been stealing from “The Searchers” through out his career and I know the scene you are referring to in Attack of the Clones.
    There is a difference between “being inspired by” and “ripping off from”. A small, yet but undeniable difference. And Lucas walks both sides of that street

  103. teambanzai says:

    It certainly is hard to find anything original in Hollywood that’s for sure.

  104. J-Dub says:

    Banzai, that comment easily ranks as one of the most bizarre I have ever read on the net. I love Trek just as much as SW. Yet, the problem with Trek has always been the time in which it has been written. While Enterprise featured the best cast ever put on a Star Trek set. It had tech and what not, that DS9 did not have years earlier. Trek has great anthropological ideals of what humanity can and possibly should try to be. I give it props for that. Yet SW has some of those same ideals, deals more with the person than the group, but how that person’s action reflect upon the group. Star Wars also has characters in which you can find empathy with. Except for DS9 and Enterprise, Trek has had cool characters with nothing behind them. One last thing; it’s called an HOMAGE. Dont say Lucas rips people off. When he pays homages to directors and their work that influenced him. All director’s do it, because art lets you do it.

  105. Panda Bear says:

    Calling Lucas a thief? Back that up. Show me where he stole someones idea for Jedi’s and Yoda. Please back that up or you are spitting on his good name.

  106. VGM says:

    So was I the only one who found Kong a bit . . . undersized?

  107. Angelus21 says:

    I don’t read too much into trailers six months before an opening. I’ll wait a little to slag on Kong.

  108. joefitz84 says:

    The trailer looked decent to me. What was everyone expecting?

  109. Bill says:

    Weta CGI on dinos sucks. Watch JII Weta and go back to the CAD workstations.
    Kong looks about 25′(like Mighty Joe Young. Been there done that). Kong should be 50′. Now that’s a big, scarey monkey.

  110. teambanzai says:

    I know it was ment to be bizzare, some people started to take the argument too serious so I decided to thow that comment out there for fun.

  111. joefitz84 says:

    I don’t want to take too much away from the trailer. I remember I wasn’t impressed a whole lot with the Rings trailers either.

  112. leah says:

    just wanted to point out that it is only the end of june, post-production on ‘kong’ has only been going for about 3 weeks and there are at at least 4 months of work to go on the cg effects (i have friends working on kong’s hair at the mo) so the graphics in the trailer are very raw… give the lads a chance, eh?

  113. David Poland says:

    Actually, whoever decided to release the high def photos to AICN ( was smart. You can see the detail that you can’t in the moving images of the trailer.

  114. jeffmcm says:

    That’s some awesome CGI for only three weeks of work!

  115. bicycle bob says:

    people are gonna kill this movie no matter what they see. its the nature of the game. build them up to take them down. hard.

  116. BluStealer says:

    Give me Fay Wray any day.

The Hot Blog

Quote Unquotesee all »

It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon