Modern movies to blow 50's directors' minds

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Modern movies to blow 50's directors' minds

Postby xkcd » Sun May 20, 2007 9:08 am UTC

Suppose you reach through time and pull a movie director from the past -- anywhere from the 30's to the 60's, really.

What modern movie do you show him to absolutely blow his mind?

I'm thinking here of special effects, mainly. The concept of CGI will be so foreign that he wouldn't know what to think. At best he'd assume we had really good animators, but probably he'd assume most of the things he was seeing were real.

Here are some initial thoughts:

Return of the King - I would love to screen this for him, and then after it's over ask "Okay, how do you think we did that?" He'd have to assume we staged an actual gigantic battle and found real Nazgul. Or got *really* good at stop-motion. Somehow. P.S. Gollum.

Sin City - A little more subtle. They could attribute a lot of the coloration effects to standard film work, but there's too much in there that would just be inexplicable.

War of the Worlds - Belial's suggestion. A good one. The effects are so good that you forget they're there and assume what you're seeing is real.

Charlie's Angels - Full Throttle - "How did you get those women to flip upside down on motorcycles while gunfighting with a high speed camera swooping around them? Also, please don't send me back to the past where we don't have these things."

Final Fantasy - Advent Children - I've only seen parts of this, but the fight in the weird, luminous forest would be great. They'd have to think animation, but *how*? Toy Story would be a similar choice, probably suggesting, again, stop motion.

The Matrix - Interestingly, I don't think Bullet Time would -- once they realized how it was done -- be completely out-of-reach of someone decades ago. All you need is a bunch of cameras rigged to fire in close sequence. It might not be quite that smooth, but it's doable.

King Kong - This one is an interesting choice for a lot of reasons, but it definitely has top-of-the-line effects and would blow minds nicely (again, they'd have to assume we found actual dinosaurs somewhere).

There are also movies like Spider-Man and X-Men, featuring people melded nicely with extremely big-budget effects. And you can go back to the early days of CGI for things like Terminator 2 and Jurassic Park, although I'm inclined to discount those because they basically had the "what the hell?" effect on their audiences then :)

Then there's the question of what effects in the future would freak us out? There aren't a whole lot of frontiers in terms of things people can easily imagine seeing but can't insert into a scene. But there's stuff like good CGI of actual people -- it'll be interesting when we have biopics of people in living memory that appear to actually star them -- an Andy Serkiss-like actor playing them via CGI. Anyway, discuss!

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1. Are they ever gonna get around to that Ender's Game movie they keep teasing us with? If so, is there a chance they're not going to completely fuck it up?
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Postby shadebug » Sun May 20, 2007 9:45 am UTC

I'd say get fritz lang over to see how much people have raeped his work and called it their own. Actually, you could do that with quite a few directors. How about young kubrick, see if we can't get him to not make eyes wide shut.

Star wars I wouldn't put, because even in episode 3 the CGI just wasn't good enough and the clones with no masks, for instance, were blatant CG. King Kong was still a pretty bad film but certainly miles ahead of the original, so it'd be fun to show the original directors that you can overcook the special effects and still include something resembling a plot.

FFVII is all very well and good, but for animation you gotta go with Finding Nemo for all the water or Monsters inc. for the fur and snow. That or shrek cos I've got a mate who sees that and still can't believe the grass isn't real.

Actually, back on the kubrick front, you could show the nutty professor. I mean, it's all very well and good having one actor in multiple roles, but all those roles being in the same room and interacting seamlessly? That's something interesting.

The other fun one would be Titanic. "Yeah, actually they pretty much just rebuilt the titanic and sank it..."

Surely better than Charlies Angels would be something properly insane martial arts intensive like Kung Fu Hustle. i mean, in Charlie's Angels you can practically see the wires (it's more like you can see where the wires aren't)

So yeah, I'd say show him Star Wars episode one, to show what CG can do with inanimate objects and then show him Titanic to show what insane directors would rather spend their money on..

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Postby Dark Ragnarok » Sun May 20, 2007 9:59 am UTC

Well I think Silent Hill for that one skin removal scene is a good choice. The first movie that got in my head was the film Dead Alive. Probably the goriest movie I've ever seen, but it's an outrageous film to start with. For CGI I personally thought Ryuk in the Death Note live action movie was pulled off very well in comparison to the anime series, or Even Serenity for setting scenes that involve imagination beyond their time.

But over any movie I have ever seen... I'd go with...

Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Action Film For Theatres.

I think it covers the most outrageous film for just whatever is used in it. I think if we repeatedly showed how computers generate a lot of movies eventually the directors would be used to it. But something like that film would make them go "Wtf". Maybe even Fantasia or any horror film would do it.
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Postby Akula » Sun May 20, 2007 10:24 am UTC

Apollo 13, for two reasons.

1. The CGI is really subtle, and I think that the mark of using it best. When it's relatively easy to forget it's CGI, that's when it's at it's best.

2. Showing them that, yes, in fact, we will go to the moon. Why settle for pure fantasy when you can illustrate one of the most amazing (and real) journey's that man has ever taken..

Another one would be Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl.
The hell with LOTR. My Xbox 360 looks more realistic... PotC actually had some very revolutionary CGI techniques, and they were used in a subtle way.

I think that's an important thing in modern movies. Keeping CGI as subtle as possible. When you beat the audience over the head with it, it is so obviously fake that it pulls you out of the experience. LOTR and the newer Star Wars movies are good examples of what not to do. I mentioned Apollo 13 and PotC as good ones. 300 is a recent one that also kept the CGI fairly subtle. I think Forrest Gump might be the bible for this concept. There was a ton of it, but you rarely realize that it's there. This is the reason why the first Matrix is better than the sequels. Just because you CAN spend a whole shit-ton of money on CGI doesn't mean you should... whenever an ENTIRE scene is CGI, you have failed as a film maker. CGI is a great tool to use. But it requires a light and measured touch. Unless you want to commit to making the entire film CGI... which I actually like.
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Postby Belial » Sun May 20, 2007 10:25 am UTC

Pirates of the Caribbean actually came up in the discussion, but didn't really make its way here....

Also, at the rate you folk are answering the extra credit, shadebug is going to murder you all in the deathmatch later....
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Postby German Sausage » Sun May 20, 2007 10:33 am UTC

lock stock. fight club. saw (the first and only the first). trainspotting. irreversible. robot chicken.
fuck effects, imagine how much the storytelling would blow their minds.
-i have enough trouble keeping up with things like lock stock and robot chicken, and saw came as a complete surprise at the end
-the idea that fight club and trainspotting would be appropriate material for films would probably change things pretty significantly.
-youtube. to prove that people will watch anything.
in terms of effects, definitely FFVII and king kong.

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the problem with enders game being a movie is that a lot of what ender feels is pretty clearly laid out in the narration. if we have a child acting this (or even an adult expressing the same issues) there will be a lot of tearing up, seeming hopeless, then biting his lip and doing what needs to be done. this will happen maybe once every fifteen minutes if the movie follows the book. and naked kids fighting one another. thats not great either.

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Postby xkcd » Sun May 20, 2007 10:33 am UTC

Subtlety is really good -- one thing I'm looking for is movies where the effects were used more invisibly/seamlessly than normal but were still extensive. On the other hand, something like Kung Fu Hustle would be fun.

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(Bonus: subtle Arrested Development reference)

Postby xkcd » Sun May 20, 2007 10:37 am UTC

German Sausage wrote:naked kids fighting one another. thats not great either.


Belial, you might want to hide those DVDs.

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Postby Akula » Sun May 20, 2007 10:45 am UTC

German Sausage wrote:fuck effects, imagine how much the storytelling would blow their minds.


You need to watch yourself some Hitchcock.

I think the overall quality of movies has gone up. Your average bullshit movie that will be forgotten in a year is better now than it was in the 50's. But some movies truly are classics.

Besides just computer effects, I think there's a lot to be said just for added efficiency in the editing process brought by computers. You can accomplish more with $500k worth of good editing than with $100 million of CGI.

Another big thing is the miniaturization of equipment. You can fit a camera into more places now.
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Postby Hawknc » Sun May 20, 2007 10:46 am UTC

Got a stutter there, sport?
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Postby Akula » Sun May 20, 2007 10:47 am UTC

Hawknc wrote:Got a stutter there, sport?


I'm pretty tired, but I swear the forum software is just fucking with my head now...

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Postby bbctol » Sun May 20, 2007 10:49 am UTC

Well, he made a good point. Twice.

We should find a B-movie director of random horror films, and show him Grindhouse. He'd be like, "You sawed a chick's leg off just for the movie? Nice!".

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Postby German Sausage » Sun May 20, 2007 11:10 am UTC

hitchcock is a notable exception, (the birds was the movie that made me realise stories didn't always need explaining) but imagine what the guy who directed gone with the wind would think of lock stock...
think about it. if you play gone with the wind at insane speeds, scarlet o'hara is always at the center of the frame. the other characters flow around her. in lock stock there is not even a sole protagonist, let alone a character who is in each scene!
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Postby Messiah » Sun May 20, 2007 11:20 am UTC

xkcd wrote:Subtlety is really good -- one thing I'm looking for is movies where the effects were used more invisibly/seamlessly than normal but were still extensive. On the other hand, something like Kung Fu Hustle would be fun.

xkcd wrote:
German Sausage wrote:naked kids fighting one another. thats not great either.

Belial, you might want to hide those DVDs.

Damn, if I was a mod, how tempting it would be to merge these two posts into one and leave a "learn the rules" smart-ass comment (I don't know what an ass-comment is, but I'll beat you all to it). Of course, I probably couldn't do that, and I'd get my ass(-comment) demoted, but oh, the hilarity.

You'd definitely have to include movies with fast movie animation. It would probably be a little above them, the fast pace is something we're gradually developing, along with multi-tasking. A'la Farenheit 451, where we'll all just end up watching wall-sized screens of loud noise and fast flicking images.

Fight club is a good pick, because it not only has a good storyline, but amazing effects, such as when a strafing camera moves straight through the buildings, and the picture is completely fluid. Gotta throw in a standard action movie which is just nothing more than sex and explosions (a Bond maybe?) to show the lows we've gone to for pure exhilaration. A manga cartoon and a CGI kids movie are both a must also, to show the huge difference in total animation. Something like Akira, and probably Finding Nemo.

As for animation and real life, I think a video like this would do. I can't think of a movie that shows it so seemlessly off the top of my head.
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Postby shadebug » Sun May 20, 2007 11:27 am UTC

I dunno, I'd say films are as good as they ever were, just with more effects. The old stuff was heavily hindered by censorship, but there's still some good stuff out there to see. Just as the new stuff you do get some real crap. Anybody see high school musical? Now that's a modern film that needs a slap. The music is all lip synched, the plot was terribly handled and the acting was dire. Just as bad as any terrible film from the 40s.

I've been studying film in the past few months and I've been surprised how good old films can be as well as the reasons for that. One of the really interesting bits for me was comparing Fritz Lang's M with Fury. Both of them are essentially the same story, the people after somebody doing ghastly things to kids. The difference is that Fury was the one done later and with hollywood backing, so it had a clear cut moral, we knew full well who was in the wrong and what decision everybody should make and they end up making it. In M, however, the lines all become extremely grey, the lynch mob is entirely in the right, the standard justice system is powerless to help and has failed to help already, so what do you do?

So yeah, the point is that old films can be good, they can be very good. Actually, I'd say epic romances will never be all that good as it goes, so gone with the wind is a bit of a bad example. Compare the rom coms of old with new ones and you may well see that the industry's been pretty consistent
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Postby Akula » Sun May 20, 2007 11:28 am UTC

German Sausage wrote:the birds was the movie that made me realise stories didn't always need explaining


This is another thing movies have lost recently. When's the last time a vampire movie came out where they didn't waste your time with some tedious scientific explanation of why the vampires are vampires (a virus, genetic defect, parasite, etc.). Why can't the vampires just be fucking vampires!?

If they remake The Birds, you just know they're going to spend half the movie with some stupid "scientific" reason why the birds are attacking. Again, a virus, genetic defect, some hyper-sonic generator... who the fuck knows. Either way, it's stupid. They just wont let the birds attack because

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Postby German Sausage » Sun May 20, 2007 11:44 am UTC

Messiah wrote:You'd definitely have to include movies with fast movie animation. It would probably be a little above them, the fast pace is something we're gradually developing, along with multi-tasking. A'la Fahrenheit 451, where we'll all just end up watching wall-sized screens of loud noise and fast flicking images.

Fahrenheit 451 is a good example of a slow movie too. i was talking to a friend's mum(yes, thats what we call it these days) about it and she was saying how she remembered it being fast-paced and thrilling, then rewatching it with me and my friend, we all felt that it moved slower than cold honey. the lightning cuts of lock stock would blow someone's mind away,
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Postby Messiah » Sun May 20, 2007 11:46 am UTC

German Sausage wrote:Fahrenheit 451 is a good example of a slow movie too.

There's a movie? Only ever read the book.
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Postby German Sausage » Sun May 20, 2007 11:53 am UTC

book = good, movie = terrible.
but it did mean i saw everything coming in Equilibrium.
EDIT: which would not be a good example to show these directors, because it's just a pastiche of nice ideas. maybe to demonstrate how little we care about context and plagarism?
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Postby Gelsamel » Sun May 20, 2007 12:10 pm UTC

Easily FF7:AC

And 300.
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Postby Narsil » Sun May 20, 2007 12:48 pm UTC

Ha ha, get them stoned and pop them in front of 2001: A Space Odyssey.
In the 30's? Blow their fucking minds.
Even in the 60's it blew its fare share of minds.
Hell, I didn't see it until the 2000's and even then I was amazed.
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Postby anotherangel » Sun May 20, 2007 12:54 pm UTC

Akula wrote:
German Sausage wrote:the birds was the movie that made me realise stories didn't always need explaining


This is another thing movies have lost recently. When's the last time a vampire movie came out where they didn't waste your time with some tedious scientific explanation of why the vampires are vampires (a virus, genetic defect, parasite, etc.). Why can't the vampires just be fucking vampires!?

If they remake The Birds, you just know they're going to spend half the movie with some stupid "scientific" reason why the birds are attacking. Again, a virus, genetic defect, some hyper-sonic generator... who the fuck knows. Either way, it's stupid. They just wont let the birds attack because


yeahhh, I totally agree with this. Everything's got to have a point to it or a reason why in movies now.

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Postby Narsil » Sun May 20, 2007 1:00 pm UTC

anotherangel wrote:yeahhh, I totally agree with this. Everything's got to have a point to it or a reason why in movies now.
That often makes the story more realistic, or at lest that is the intent, but then the movie loses some of its magic. It loses a sort of mythic quality that movies today sorely need.
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Postby Messiah » Sun May 20, 2007 1:06 pm UTC

Narsil wrote:Ha ha, get them stoned and pop them in front of 2001: A Space Odyssey.
In the 30's? Blow their fucking minds.
Even in the 60's it blew its fare share of minds.
Hell, I didn't see it until the 2000's and even then I was amazed.

Mmm, I was just disappointed. The "mind-blowing" imagery was just utter rubbish to me but I guess I grew up in more recent times, and I hate films where the storyline (or lack thereof) is meandering, pointless, slow and meaningless. Needless to say, not one of my favourites.
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Postby Owijad » Sun May 20, 2007 1:07 pm UTC

Akula wrote:You can fit a camera into more places now.


:wink:

I, Robot. Hell, that movie blew my mind.
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Postby Gelsamel » Sun May 20, 2007 1:12 pm UTC

Owijad wrote:
Akula wrote:You can fit a camera into more places now.


:wink:

I, Robot. Hell, that movie blew my mind.


That movie pissed me off.
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Postby Narsil » Sun May 20, 2007 1:14 pm UTC

Messiah wrote:
Narsil wrote:Ha ha, get them stoned and pop them in front of 2001: A Space Odyssey.
In the 30's? Blow their fucking minds.
Even in the 60's it blew its fare share of minds.
Hell, I didn't see it until the 2000's and even then I was amazed.

Mmm, I was just disappointed. The "mind-blowing" imagery was just utter rubbish to me but I guess I grew up in more recent times, and I hate films where the storyline (or lack thereof) is meandering, pointless, slow and meaningless. Needless to say, not one of my favourites.
Ha, if you grew up in more recent times, I'm surprised you are old enough to operate a keyboard. I'm 16.
And while it is long, I did not feel it was meandering in the least. There are so many stories in this movie.
The complicated struggle between Dave and HAL was amazing, and the death scene was one of the most emotional I have ever seen in a movie.
There is also a lot to be said about man and technology, and what we should do with it, where our rights are, and who should decide.

But hey, different strokes, and so on.

Gelsamel wrote:
Owijad wrote:
Akula wrote:You can fit a camera into more places now.


:wink:

I, Robot. Hell, that movie blew my mind.


That movie pissed me off.
I.
Just died a bit inside.

Blew your mind? BLEW your fucking MIND??? The only thing that blew my mind was how one group of dumbasses could so flagrantly disrespect science fiction literature!!
That film did not deserve to have the Asimov name anywhere near it.
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Postby Narsil » Sun May 20, 2007 1:16 pm UTC

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Postby bbctol » Sun May 20, 2007 1:16 pm UTC

Messiah wrote:
Narsil wrote:Ha ha, get them stoned and pop them in front of 2001: A Space Odyssey.
In the 30's? Blow their fucking minds.
Even in the 60's it blew its fare share of minds.
Hell, I didn't see it until the 2000's and even then I was amazed.

Mmm, I was just disappointed. The "mind-blowing" imagery was just utter rubbish to me but I guess I grew up in more recent times, and I hate films where the storyline (or lack thereof) is meandering, pointless, slow and meaningless. Needless to say, not one of my favourites.

The imagery wasn't really that great, I will agree. But come on, the story? It's fucking amazing! The atmosphere! The psychotic computer! It's my favorite movie of all damn time!

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Postby Messiah » Sun May 20, 2007 1:26 pm UTC

bbctol wrote:The imagery wasn't really that great, I will agree. But come on, the story? It's fucking amazing! The atmosphere! The psychotic computer! It's my favorite movie of all damn time!

We have: "tribe" (for lack of a better word) of Apes/Gorillas/Some monkey relative that get forced away from a water hole, then get taught to kill and use tools by a monolith. We have a space voyage where the computer goes nuts and kills people. Then we have him travelling through time or something similarly bizarre. That's about it. I know there's a little bit more I've missed, but that's almost all of it. I just think any movie which can take 20 minutes of almost complete silence while someone drives a shuttle through space is boring. Build suspense properly. Not just with a lack of music, followed by a building chorus of eerie voices. Trip me out with nearly insane ideas. Not just 20 minutes of changing lights and crappy music.
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Postby Owijad » Sun May 20, 2007 1:43 pm UTC

[EDITED, see original post in Gel's quote]in re: I, Robot.

They stole the name of a great book, and made it into an almost entirely different movie. If you walked in expecting the book, you were gonna get disappointed. Big surprise there. It you walked in expecting a movie with fantastic robot fight scenes, and little meaningful plot, you could have a great time.

And this thread is about the special effects, not true-to-original-text-ness. The special effects in that movie were a lot of fun.
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Postby Gelsamel » Sun May 20, 2007 1:48 pm UTC

Owijad wrote:
Gelsamel wrote:
Owijad wrote:
Akula wrote:You can fit a camera into more places now.


:wink:

I, Robot. Hell, that movie blew my mind.


That movie pissed me off.


It was a great movie if you weren't expecting the book.


It was a crap movie if you were expecting a good one :-/.
"Give up here?"
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Hawknc
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Postby Hawknc » Sun May 20, 2007 2:29 pm UTC

I was expecting a Will Smith movie, thus I had a good time watching it.
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Narsil
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Postby Narsil » Sun May 20, 2007 2:47 pm UTC

Hawknc wrote:I was expecting a Will Smith movie, thus I had a good time watching it.
Yes, but they may as well have titled the film "Men in Black III: Robot Rumble"
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EsotericWombat wrote:MORE JUNK THAN YOUR BODY HAS ROOM FOR

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*sees Narsil's sig*
Oh... that.

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crazyjimbo
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Postby crazyjimbo » Sun May 20, 2007 2:48 pm UTC

Narsil wrote:Yes, but they may as well have titled the film "Men in Black III: Robot Rumble"


That title alone would have made the film 100 times better. :)

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Peshmerga
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Postby Peshmerga » Sun May 20, 2007 3:11 pm UTC

I'd say 300 is a good bet.
i hurd u liek mudkips???

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Mighty Jalapeno
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Postby Mighty Jalapeno » Sun May 20, 2007 3:19 pm UTC

Blair Witch Project, and tell them the movie really WAS found in the woods. They might buy it!

Failing that, I recommend something disturbing like "Meet The Fockers", and tell them it made half a billion dollars.

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Hawknc
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Postby Hawknc » Sun May 20, 2007 3:46 pm UTC

crazyjimbo wrote:
Narsil wrote:Yes, but they may as well have titled the film "Men in Black III: Robot Rumble"


That title alone would have made the film 100 times better. :)

Word.

The Matrix would be a good one, both for the effects and the mind-jobbiness of it (to someone from fifty years ago, anyway). Then I'd throw Team America - World Police in straight after it, just to fuck with them.

Extra credit: I was trying to figure out the difference between "bootility" and "bootability". Shadebug's is probably the most logical, so to add to that I'd suggest it is a noun, rather than an adjective, a "booting utility" if you will. A bootility increases the bootability of a program/OS/whatever. I'm probably way off, but my coffee went cold while I was typing this so I hope it was worth it.

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fjafjan
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Postby fjafjan » Sun May 20, 2007 3:50 pm UTC

Peshmerga wrote:I'd say 300 is a good bet.

Any reasonable director would say "wow, you have amazing special effects, now care to show us a story?"
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Peshmerga
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Postby Peshmerga » Sun May 20, 2007 3:56 pm UTC

fjafjan wrote:
Peshmerga wrote:I'd say 300 is a good bet.

Any reasonable director would say "wow, you have amazing special effects, now care to show us a story?"


Yeah, I suppose 300 soldiers holding off the entirety of the Persian Empire while the Spartan Queen battles with corruption in her own city state, while being based off a true story is nothing more than a tech demo.
i hurd u liek mudkips???


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