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Creation Date: March 1st, 2010 07:15 PM
Blue Ghost Blue Ghost is offline
Musings of a Knight of the Imperium.
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In Moot Member Blogs Why D&D films are garbage Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #592 New March 14th, 2020 09:54 AM
Dungeons and Dragons, as I was reminded by timerover51, are designed as power trips for pre-teens and older.

I don't like them for all of the afore mentioned reasons in my Fantasy entries' i.e. a mish mash of time periods and technologies from classical era to the renaissance.

I never saw the D&D feature film, but it looked like garbage. And where I didn't see it, I did see that dim witted cartoon on Saturday mornings. If you liked it, then I'm sorry for trashing it.

To me Boorman's Excalibur, Ridley Scott's Legend, some of the Ray Harryhausen films and others, had it right. Again the people who made stuff like the D&D film or that movie "The Kingdom of Badassdom" (or whatever it was called), didn't have being true to the genre and audience in mind, but had a placation agenda to put forth the cooperation social message.

I don't mind social cooperation messages. They've been around forever. What I don't like about today's fantasy films coming out of Hollywood today is that unlike say Harryhausen's efforts to keep true to the legend, and not make a film that would try to be as juvenile as the audience, the sociologists who make today's fantasy and scifi try to be as hip as the immature brats they're placating to.

Example; Boorman's "Excalibur" has issues well fitted plate mail didn't come around until the Renaissance, but, it is a fantasy film so we give it a pass. None of the characters try to be as hip or immature as the teens who snuck in to see it.

But hey, you can't argue with success, and teen dollars keep going to see this trash movies. Whatever. Thank goodness for games from the 80s.

So, not only do you have sociological and social psychology encoded into the scripts by way of story and characters, but the film makers intentionally make their movies immature to try and be as cool or with-it as the acne pocked audience they want to capture.

I was streaming Danny Kaye's "The court jester" the other night, and where it's a comedy that has some singing and dancing in a medieval setting, it's kind of silly, but is tasteful, and doesn't try to crass to identify with the audience. Compare that to "A Knight's Tale" where you got the proverbial white knight falling for a sueprmodel mix-ethnic woman who barely has enough muscle to lift a hammer, much less work a smith, and then at the end goes into a flatulence competition with the main character. I don't care about the ethnicity thing, but would it not have been more realistic and palpable if she were the daughter of a smith and of mixed parentage? Would it not have been more endearing and made a longer lasting film if the squire had tried to save his knight, and then promise to take his place after a dubbing? Yeah, it would have.

But again, it was made as a dark comedy and not a film of the period which it was meant to represent. Largely because Hollywood knew it was losing its audience to games, specifically platform video games, not neccesarily computer games. So they essentially made a joke movie replete with the joisting audience doing the wave. Whatever. And yeah, I think it's appropriate to get angry with it because not only are you playing fast and loose with history, which I think most people might have forgiven, had it not been for all the body function and pop culture gags. That verse Danny Kaye's film which was just a light hearted parody that didn't feel the need to add crass blue humor.

And now, it's not just because I'm older. I didn't like the original Ghostbusters, I didn't like Chevy Chases Vacation with the dog urinating on the sandwhiches or the implied incest French kissing gag, nor any of the other junk that came out at that time. Yeah, I am uptight when it comes to social presentation. And including pre-teen blue humor in what could have been mainstream films for all there could have been high quality long lasting films, just got shat on as of the late 80s. No one cares about art anymore. Truly. As long as its technically competent, then throw any poor tasting gag you want in there. I say that because I do think a little repression of bad conduct is needed.

Even though my first memories are of walking down a staircase in Sacramento, having gone to a protestant church, having grown up with Americans as the odd duck in a predominantly white society with enclaves of black America, I can safely say that I have really disliked the plummeting of American culture from tasteful to tasteless.

I'll say this as well, if I had gone to pitch Aida as a feature film to some studio, even though it's about two lovers from different ethnic circles, it would get shot down because it had no Nazis as bad guys. The current version offered by Deutsch Gramophone was shot at the San Francisco War Memorial Opera House, and I happen to be at that exact performance. A great opera that might have made for a great film.

Sociologist Hollywood, to me, is riding a successful wave crest that I think is a swan song. As the foreign box office blooms, the domestic keeps plummeting forcing higher ticket prices because of dumber and tasteless films.

Again, thank goodness for games. But, sadly, I will not be able to shoot frame one of anything I want, and even if I were given the opportunity, I would be inundated with marketing and sociologist input unwanted input, mind you.

That, and I remember all the egomaniacs I encountered; directors, not so much producers who were typically more easy going though iron fisted when it came to spending money. Everyone thought they were a genius, and still do. And yet I don't recall anything coming out that's worthy of praise of any kind.

In short, films and TV are not market driven as such, but driven by the sociological market to address fears, angers, fantasies, and put forth messages about society, not politics, that are deemed necessary.

I shrug my shoulders at it now. I didn't like films starting when I was watching the Halleluiah Trail in Sacramento all those years ago, and now absolutely hate them save for a few scifi and fantasy films I have in my library. And even then I see them through jaundiced eyes.

Mister Miller, on the odd chance that you're in the middle of producing a Traveller movie or TV series, then good luck to you. I would have pushed all my anger and other misgivings aside to be part of your project alone, and no one else's.

All the best.
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