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Gilbert Roland
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Posted: 03 October 2014 at 11:27pm | IP Logged | 1  

While I understand that introducing Galactus as an intelligent being in that Fantastic Four movie would've probably made it into a two part movie, it shows that in these adaptations by introducing the pretense of the story within the hard fiction model, in grounding these stories in our reality, the grandeur and epic wonder that was part of the original story in the comics is lost in translation.

The original Star Wars movie in my opinion had those aspects in spades, and once we as the audience saw and experienced that on the big screen, it set the standard for movies within it's scope would be measured by from that point on.

JB made a really great point from another post, where he talked about the scene in Star Wars where Luke (and we as the audience) saw the Millennium Falcon for the first time. Where we a the audience marveled at the ship, Like took one look at it and said it was a piece of junk! That was perfect, in my opinion, of showing something on screen without the need to ground it within our context of reality,but rather, to place it firmly within the reality that was created within that movie! That method could have worked just fine within the Marvel movies if the people behind their creation would have chosen that approach to the material they had before them.

It may be too late to approach Doctor Strange like that, but at least I would think it would serve the material better than the approach they are currently on. By the numbers that these movies have earned at the box office, it would be a difficult argument to convince them otherwise.


Edited by Gilbert Roland on 03 October 2014 at 11:33pm
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Michael Roberts
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Posted: 04 October 2014 at 12:03am | IP Logged | 2  

it shows that in these adaptations by introducing the pretense of the story within the hard fiction model

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None of the Marvel movies comes close to being hard science fiction. If you want to accuse them of overexplaining things, you might have an argument, but you keep showing ignorance of what hard science fiction is when you refer to the "hard fiction model". Marvel movie pseudoscience regularly violates laws of thermodynamics and conservation of mass and conservation of energy and even simple physics. No one should confuse it with real science. 
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Gilbert Roland
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Posted: 04 October 2014 at 9:26am | IP Logged | 3  

"But you keep showing ignorance of what hard science fiction is when you refer to the "hard fiction model".

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How then, do you define hard science fiction then (I did make a mistake in my wording, I should have worded it as 'Hard SCIENCE Fiction'. So my apologies for the error)? From my viewpoint, that's exactly what the recent Marvel Movies have been. Hard Science fiction is supposed to use a logical, credible grounding of the current knowledge of proven theoretical and technical scenarios and phenomena as the basis to  launch into more unproven situations. It's from this point that I have the opinion that I have (the two recent Thor movies may be the only things that can give us a glimpse of how they may handle things, but even then, the same problems of grounding things at the expense of the awe and wonder from the source material was more than prevalent.


Edited by Gilbert Roland on 04 October 2014 at 10:11am
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Stephen Churay
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Posted: 06 October 2014 at 5:59am | IP Logged | 4  

Hard science fiction needs to follow what we currently know as being
scientifically accurate. In my eyes, a man being injected with a super
soldier serum in bathed in "vita-rays" doesn't qualify as hard science
fiction. A man being showed in Gamma radiation and turning into a
monster doesn't either.I could almost buy Thor's bifrost in the movies
as hard science fiction, but throwing a hammer that magically comes
back to you and only you can pick up, blows it for me. The only one
that plays close to the definition, is Iron Man.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 06 October 2014 at 6:42am | IP Logged | 5  

The only one that plays close to the definition, is Iron Man.

••

Not really. The poundings Tony takes in the suit would reduce him to something like pudding pooling up in the legs. Even without that, the kinds of acceleration we've seen the suit accomplish would at the very least knock out anyone wearing it. And, of course, the moment we invoke "special technology" to get around such things, we step away from "hard science."

(Some may recall this was what particularly infuriated me about GRAVITY. Being sold as "realistic" -- and even endorsed by Neil deGrasse Tyson! -- the movie is actually a cascade of impossibilities.*)

_____________

* Unless, as I have also noted before, the movie is taken as pure fantasy, and the Sandra Bullock character actually dies at the end. But that's not how it was sold, is it?

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Don Zomberg
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Posted: 06 October 2014 at 9:07am | IP Logged | 6  

Well, she does thank "God" for saving her ass in the end, so maybe it is a fairy tale. But hey, filmmakers never want it both ways, do they?

Edited by Don Zomberg on 06 October 2014 at 9:08am
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Brian Floyd
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Posted: 06 October 2014 at 10:21am | IP Logged | 7  

Well, now they're saying it won't be Phoenix in the role.
Don't know their source, but over at another board someone
is saying it could be Ethan Hawke.

Personally, I don't think that's a good choice at all.
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Brian J Nelson
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Posted: 06 October 2014 at 12:04pm | IP Logged | 8  

"Being sold as "realistic" -- and even endorsed by Neil deGrasse Tyson!" 

As a fan of the man, he did not endorse the movie.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/06/03/everything-wrong-wi th-gravity_n_5440727.html

I got to see him speak live at Drake University last winter, he definitely was not a fan. 
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Michael Roberts
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Posted: 06 October 2014 at 12:06pm | IP Logged | 9  

(Some may recall this was what particularly infuriated me about GRAVITY. Being sold as "realistic" -- and even endorsed by Neil deGrasse Tyson! -- the movie is actually a cascade of impossibilities.*)

-----

Although he enjoyed the movie, Tyson did pick at the movie's scientific accuracy on Twitter:


(He somehow misses that Bullock's character was a medical engineer.)


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Conrad Teves
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Posted: 06 October 2014 at 12:20pm | IP Logged | 10  

JB>>Being sold as "realistic" -- and even endorsed by Neil deGrasse Tyson! <<

Perhaps before he'd seen it?  Even Phil Plait thought it was going to be awesome (and realistic?) before he actually saw it.  Hope springs eternal, I guess.  Check out Tyson's twitter feed from when it came out.  He said enjoyed the movie, but complained about the accuracy extensively.  Excerpts:   http://www.buzzfeed.com/adambvary/neil-degrasse-tyson-trolle d-gravity-on-twitter#21pvajl.  

Obviously "enjoying" the movie is an endorsement,  I enjoyed it too--just not as "hard" science fiction.  Even ignoring the plot, on the science alone it's clearly a fantasy.  Any marketing to the contrary was clearly misleading.  I wonder if the marketing people could even tell it wasn't?

JB>>The poundings Tony takes in the suit would reduce him to something like pudding pooling up in the legs. <<

The survivability of impacts and depiction of inertia for super and non-super folks alike has indeed been positively cartoonish, to be sure.

I think the problem with term "realistic" these days, is that the fx folks are getting so good at showing crazy or impossible stuff, that it may, at first blush, actually seem realistic.  Iron Man's repulsors (as depicted in the movies) are clearly violating several laws of physics, but at first blush don't seem to be, because we saw it right there on the screen, and it looked like it happened!  No bluescreen edges or nothin'!  For tech stuff, they have largely mastered inducing suspension of disbelief.
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Olivier Droz
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Posted: 11 October 2014 at 9:06am | IP Logged | 11  

I would envisage it as I did with a Thor movie : "ok, but ...", very skeptical. But the villain is soooo excellent that everything works. Not only the actor (who should deserve a bigger check than RDJ), but also how they make him use a very satisfying density of 

tricks. Hence I would say that a DrStrange movie will work if the villain is cool. Having just read again some of the first episodes, I don't see right now which one would induce a megahit. Any idea ?
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Andy Mokler
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Posted: 12 October 2014 at 12:54am | IP Logged | 12  

In terms of timeless casting, would Vincent Price be a good choice for Dr. Strange?  
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John Byrne
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Posted: 12 October 2014 at 8:41am | IP Logged | 13  

-- and even endorsed by Neil deGrasse Tyson!

++

Perhaps before he'd seen it?

••

'Fraid not! He's over on CinemaSins contributing to an "Everything That's Wrong with…" on GRAVITY, and STILL calling it a terrific movie.

I fear he has swallowed the Hollywood Kool-Aid. A champion of science, yet he allows gross inaccuracies on his version of COSMOS.

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John Byrne
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Posted: 12 October 2014 at 8:46am | IP Logged | 14  

JB>>The poundings Tony takes in the suit would reduce him to something like pudding pooling up in the legs. <<

The survivability of impacts and depiction of inertia for super and non-super folks alike has indeed been positively cartoonish, to be sure.

I think the problem with term "realistic" these days, is that the fx folks are getting so good at showing crazy or impossible stuff, that it may, at first blush, actually seem realistic. Iron Man's repulsors (as depicted in the movies) are clearly violating several laws of physics, but at first blush don't seem to be, because we saw it right there on the screen, and it looked like it happened! No bluescreen edges or nothin'! For tech stuff, they have largely mastered inducing suspension of disbelief.

••

I have no problem with impossible physics, or sound in space, or asteroids tumbling so close together they bump into each other --- as long as we're talking fantasy. Science-fiction can be soft or hard (don't swing at the easy ones!), but the closer it gets to the latter setting, the more accurate it has to be. Dr Strange can whisper a spell and make his dinner table dance. No prob. But GRAVITY shows us stuff that it pretends is real, and almost grotesquely is NOT.

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Shaun Barry
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Posted: 12 October 2014 at 6:32pm | IP Logged | 15  


The thought hit me the other day... Marvel Studios has proven they don't mind mining past superhero films for casting choices (see Jon Favreau and Chris Evans as examples), which made me wonder:

Would Ioan Gruffudd make an acceptable Doctor Strange?

Seems to me he'd make a much better Stephen Strange than a Reed Richards!

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Conrad Teves
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Posted: 13 October 2014 at 5:16am | IP Logged | 16  

JB>> Science-fiction can be soft or hard (don't swing at the easy ones!), but the closer it gets to the latter setting, the more accurate it has to be.<<

Former astronaut Garrett Reisman and head of SpaceX's manned spaceflight division (who's expertise in EVA is unimpeachable) has a nice take on the movie.  (Note the amusing story about Neil Armstrong at the end)  http://www.forbes.com/sites/quora/2013/10/17/what-does-a-rea l-astronaut-think-of-gravity/

This particular passage hits the crux of the problem:

"But the question that most people want me to answer is, how realistic was it? The very fact that the question is being asked so earnestly is a testament to the verisimilitude of the movie. When a bad science fiction movie comes out, no one bothers to ask me if it reminded me of the real thing."

Therein lies what I think is the single biggest mistake they made in Gravity.  They felt free to mix and match a lot of spot-on accurate with a lot of dead wrong.  Had they simply set it in a futuristic setting, they could have gotten away with practically all of it, and thus removed the unfortunate clash of inaccuracies paired with otherwise masterful storytelling.  I mean even the most-glaring-even-a-novice-can-tell pieces of bad physics were on subtext.  E.g.,  Bullock letting go of Clooney.  Incredibly unrealistic, but since the story was all about letting go and moving on...

As for Dr. Strange, my biggest fear is they'll try and explain what he does and wreck the mystery.  Even if the writers think it's some kind of ultra-science, they shouldn't mention it.  Explanations and magic don't go together.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 13 October 2014 at 9:21am | IP Logged | 17  

I mean even the most-glaring-even-a-novice-can-tell pieces of bad physics were on subtext. E.g., Bullock letting go of Clooney. Incredibly unrealistic, but since the story was all about letting go and moving on...

••

Again, after seeing GRAVITY I came to the conclusion it works only as a complete fantasy. From the moment Clooney's character makes his return (and perhaps earlier), it's all about Bullock's character dying. She does not survive the movie. She dies and goes to Heaven, where she can be reunited with the lost daughter she won't stop talking about.

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John Byrne
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Posted: 13 October 2014 at 9:23am | IP Logged | 18  

Would Ioan Gruffudd make an acceptable Doctor Strange?

••

Part of the problem with an accurate casting of Strange is an element even Marvel forgot, over the years: he is not a young man. He really should have a face with some miles on it.

Ah, well! At least they haven't cast Johnny Depp yet!

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Eric Ladd
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Posted: 13 October 2014 at 11:06am | IP Logged | 19  

I could see someone with a Sam Elliott or Donald Sutherland look to them in the role. A weathered face would be welcome. 

Personally, I would like to bridge the gap between the viewing public and the actors playing super heroes a bit more. Right now, everyone playing a hero is a pretty person. They look good and anyone in a support role is average, portly, etc. I would like I see some heroes with more "Everyman" in their appearance.
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David Miller
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Posted: 13 October 2014 at 11:50am | IP Logged | 20  

Sutherland or Elliott go well beyond "weathered" into the realm of senior citizen. I don't think I ever pictured Dr. Strange as a man in his seventies.
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Ted Pugliese
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Posted: 13 October 2014 at 12:28pm | IP Logged | 21  

"Ah, well! At least they haven't cast Johnny Depp yet!"

Careful there...
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Brian J Nelson
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Posted: 13 October 2014 at 12:31pm | IP Logged | 22  

Since he is over 50, I don't see Johnny Depp is being too old for the part. At 41, I think Ioan Gruffudd could easily fit the age of Dr Strange as well. Strange is a playboy with a god complex prior to his spiraling descent after the accident. I actually like Julian McMahon as this part of the origin really reminds me of his Christian Troy from Nip/Tuck.

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Conrad Teves
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Posted: 14 October 2014 at 10:17pm | IP Logged | 23  

Current casting rumor seems to be Ewan MacGregor : http://www.aintitcool.com/node/69125

Hm.  His American accent in The Island was pretty forced.  Dunno.  If they didn't make him do that, he can certainly play big enough.
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David Miller
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Posted: 14 October 2014 at 11:20pm | IP Logged | 24  

I'm down with Ewan MacGregor. Although I think he'd be better cast as a villain. 
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John Byrne
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Posted: 15 October 2014 at 6:00am | IP Logged | 25  

I'm down with Ewan MacGregor.

••

Hollywood's other game: if they can't convince themselves to cast a Black actor, they'll cast a White one who looks nothing like the character.

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