February 7th, 2009

st dogbert

You'd think this would create empathy, not the reverse...

Apropos of everything, you'd think - well, I would, but maybe that's just me being weird - that someone who had had the experience of dealing with a bunch of really scary stalkers/threateners in the past due to using one's real legal name online, would NOT conclude from this that everyone else in the world ought to be subjected to the same dangers and harrassment as they went through, but would instead be sympathetic to the desire of others to not be stalked/harrassed/endangered IRL due to the online expression of their views.

Sadly, this isn't necessarily the case. "Misery loves company" is an old old saying (going back at least to the 1340s and one Richard Rolle, eremite and mystic, according* to a bunch of anonymous googled-up sources) and it hasn't gone out of date yet, I guess.

Anyways, still working on various promised reviews (plus - of course - other stuff) but I did get around to watching the Disney Atlantis, finally, and - oh man. Ouch. Not quite as bad as a toothache, but-- Hey, you know what's funny? I never saw Nadia nor Laputa but I am familiar enough with the general content of those stories that I couldn't help but wonder (and thus check) if anyone had compared them like Lion King/Kimba. Sure had, but - apparently nobody besides me went "Wow, they're TOTALLY ripping this off from Stargate (1994)!" Because they were, only of course with a much broader slapstick take on things and a less-sympathetic antagonist...and way more plotholes. Anyway, in looking for fannish reviews of Atlantis I found this little gem, which is basically ripped off from the Overlord list and the five-year-old child to review plans, but still funny:

In response to a brief post on Metafilter stating:

It's the plot, stupid. USA Today runs their usual insightful commentary about the upcoming release of Lilo and Stitch. It obsesses over the absence of CGI graphics pointing to Atlantis as evidence for the failure of traditional animation to draw box office. Funny me, I thought that Atlantis bombed because of a plot better left in 50s serial format, a cast of sterotypes rather than characters, and no sense of humor beyind dirty French jokes repeated over and over again. And is huge success of Pixar due to their pioneering animation, or their brilliant comic talent? What causes FX myopia anyway? Granted I can understand why fanboys obsess over the wrong things in a movie. Do the studios set it up by trying to hype each new summer release as the next big technical development (while the artistic development gets trumped by Waking Life and Insomnia?)
posted by KirkJobSluder

someone else replied,

[...]I rented Titan, A.E. the other day and was thinking this same thing. Great effects, which they obviously put a great deal of care and attention into -- it was an almost perfect mixture of 3D and traditional cel animation; really well done. The plot, however, was so inconsistent, dopey, and by-the-numbers that it ruined all the fun for me.

I just don't understand why they do that. I know the target market is twelve-year-olds who don't want to sit through a lot of exposition... but it would've taken so little effort to justify the worst lapses in plotting -- like, for instance, explaining why the bad guys blow up planet Earth in the first damn place, or why the good guy who's been downtrodden miner all his life suddenly knows how to fix a spaceship, or, well, I could go on and on -- and with that tiny bit of extra effort, that wouldn't even cost that much (writers are a lot cheaper than CG specialists) they could've expanded their audience tremendously. To include, say, thirty-year-olds who don't want to sit through a lot of exposition. Just seems like it'd be a cost-effective strategy.

My wife and I decided there should be a new credited position on all films: the Stupidity Filter. Put it right up there with continuity and key grip. This guy's job wouldn't be to come up with new ideas, it'd just be to catch the more egregious plot failures before they're committed to celluloid or pixels.

Think how much better, say, Attack of the Clones would've been if there'd been a Stupidity Filter present:

LUCAS: Okay, so at the end of this romantic scene, we'll have Annakin demonstrate his prowess by surfboarding on the back of a gigantic pig.

STUPIDITY FILTER: No, I'm sorry, pig-surfing is stupid. Besides, there have been surf- and/or skate-boarding scenes in every film aimed at the PG market for the last three years.

LUCAS: Okay, what if instead of a big pig, it was more like an enormous grazing tick?

SF: No. Sorry. Still stupid.

LUCAS: Hm. Ok, skip the surfing -- how 'bout Yoda comes in and kicks his ass in a lightsaber duel?

SF: Well, continuity might have a problem with it, but it works for me.

posted by ook at 8:24 AM on June 19, 2002

--What's also funny - given the way they ripped off the character of the linguist, the character of the general, the expedition, the secret plot and Face-Heel Turn - is that it seems there were people who thought that Stargate Atlantis was ripping off the Disney Atlantis...

Well, funny-stupid, at least.

* I have located the original 1895 edition of Yorkshire writers: Richard Rolle of Hampole and his followers, but the archaic text has of course played merry hey with the OCR and I haven't the time to hunt through all 400-odd pages of it for "gaudium est miseris socios habuisse penarum". So I am taking it on faith that the line is indeed in there, pro tem. I also, obviously, think that ook is dead on with the general and the specific of the Stupidity Filter position in moviemaking, even though he was obviously not right about Shrek becoming so quickly dated, and there were a few typos. The accuracy or inaccuracy of either opinion, however, no more than any of mine, is not affected by the fact that ook has chosen to link his handle with his legal name in his Metafilter profile...