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Legend of the Rangers Thread...2009 edition

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  • #31
    JDSValen: "... and don't even get my started on the weapons system. I didn't think anything could be dumber than the weapons in David Lynch's Dune but this definitely takes the cake."

    What is the reason behind weapons? To kill? To threaten? To give the feeling of security? Depending on your answer your view might differ from mine. I see a problem in weapon design nowadays. We are very good in making "killing weapons", heck, we can kill Millions in the blink of an eye. Does that make us more able in any way? Is the Kung Fu Master less "good" in his art than the builder of Atomic Weapons? I think the "other" part of weapons is the "human" part (opposed to the mechanical "killing" part, whoever likes Terry Pratchett can read about that, the "new death" being a automatic harvester, while the old one was human shaped). Some weapons are more than killing instruments. The shape and history of a tool gives us the possibility to make statements, from fashion to philosophy. If I choose to carry a revolver and dress in leather I tend to give different commentary than dressing in a Judogi. With regards to this dimension I really appreciate the sound weapons in "Dune". They are the realisation of a "human-centered" war. Machines are stigmatized, so human calculators and tacticans are a reality. In this future (fantasy) wars atomic weapons are a reality, but a reality that is not within scope. Sure, you could kill Millions with atomic weapons, but then you are known as someone who used them and will receive the public fallout of the tabu.

    Which direction is open then? The house Atreides shows a strange backlash to the age of Spartans (IMHO). Not the killing capacity but the bravery, not the quantity but the quality. Brave, honourable Soldiers in Body Shields fight with Swords. Not very realistic in our standards, but again: In a society where machines are stigmatized that kind of bahaviour is held in high regards. We can see that the imperator is very nervous about the House Atreides, even contemplating the fall of his house. That shows another reality of war: The social-psychological dimension. If you think you are on "the right side" you tend to fight harder than if you think you are on "the wrong side". In a future (fiction) where machines are tabu people who are using them are on "the wrong side". Only Paul Atreides could use atomic weapons and get away with that. I don't want to get political, but I think the whole problem of the Irak war is not because of the weapons but because of the social-psychological factors. So even today we can experience that war is not only about "the bigger gun".

    Now onwards to the much hated weapon system on the Ranger ship. I already once explained that viewing an operator pushing a button and telling that the enemy is destroyed is very anti-climatic. We (normaly) want our heros to strife, to make an effort. An realistic weapon system is designed to be effective, not to be "good for the movies". Another real world reason for sword fights instead of "button pushing".

    That whole issue aside I found the reasoning behind the weapon system very "Dune-like". The individual is in the center, the whole machinery is there to support him. To support his senses, not to work instead of him but to support him. With the technology of B5 you could build fully automatic ships, better suited to war and police work than any human crewed ship. So why then the heroic stance of the Rangers? They are modern Knights, fighting "the good fight". They are not Terror Troops, not Soldiers in a Trench, but they are the last hope of the damsel in distress (*g*). So using a fully automatic rifle is not in their image. I don't expect to see a Ranger Suicide Bomber (but I can see them using suicide in defense). In which way could the ranger spirit better shown than in the realized weapon system? Star Trekish with a security officer standing intimidating above the rest of the bridge? Star Warish with personal fighter jets... IN SPACE!!! I really like B5, but I always thought the weapon systems on the White Star boring. I explained that away with "the warrior caste would have done the White Star differently", but I know I am deceiving myself. The weapon system on the White Star was only "there because it was needed", not telling a story in itself. That was changed with the weapon system in LotR. I liked it, although every time I view the fights I feel less excited about it. But I remember the first time I watched, there where spikes down my spine, of excitement. I like that in movies...

    PeAcE
    greetings from austria, best known for its history and fine wine... feels like a wine cellar on a graveyard 8-)

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    • #32
      Originally posted by Jonas View Post
      Stargate: Atlantis is possibly the most offensively stupid and evil series I have ever seen.

      This is hardly fair when there's ghastly abominations like RTDs raping of Dr Who on TV.

      Comment


      • #33
        Just wait till the 11th Doctor gives his debut, then say something about abominations.
        Though at least will be Steven Moffat then all the way...
        What's up Drakh?

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        • #34
          I just rewatched Legend after several years, and it was better than I remembered it to be.

          G'Kar was a little over the top, but in keeping with his season 5 personality.

          As I watched the Weapon system, I think some of the difficulty with it is the actor, rather than the whole concept.
          What a wonderful world you live in. -
          Yeah, well, the rent is cheap, the pay is decent and I get to make my own hours.

          Comment


          • #35
            Originally posted by Ulkosh View Post
            This is hardly fair when there's ghastly abominations like RTDs raping of Dr Who on TV.
            What? I think the Eccleston series is "fantastic." Tennant, eh, maybe 8/10's of that. I'm currently on the Season 3 (Tennant) DVDs.
            Mac Breck (KoshN)
            ------------------
            Warner Brothers is Lucy.
            JMS and we fans are collectively Charlie Brown.
            Babylon 5 is the football.

            Comment


            • #36
              Originally posted by glindros View Post
              I just rewatched Legend after several years, and it was better than I remembered it to be.

              G'Kar was a little over the top, but in keeping with his season 5 personality.
              A little?!?!?! "May I ALSO speak?" In Season 5 he was reserved compared to this.


              Originally posted by glindros View Post
              As I watched the Weapon system, I think some of the difficulty with it is the actor, rather than the whole concept.
              Partly, yes, but wouldn't this have been apparent to JMS watching the finished product before release? Yikes, tone it down, girl.
              Mac Breck (KoshN)
              ------------------
              Warner Brothers is Lucy.
              JMS and we fans are collectively Charlie Brown.
              Babylon 5 is the football.

              Comment


              • #37
                The gun pod went through a lot of conceptual changes, some creative and some forced by budget (sometimes right on set). Originally the script called for a complex chair attached to an armature, suspended in the middle of the spherical holographic room which Myriam’s character, Sarah (the weapons officer) would sit in. It would move in all directions, track eye movement and respond to gestures as well as vocal commands. The room itself would be something similar to those seen in the Minbari cruisers during B5, but as it was a small self contained unit housing a single gunner the holograph would completely surround her for optimal viewing.
                ............
                ......
                ....

                It soon became clear this single prop/set would be more difficult and time consuming to design and implement than many of the full standing sets in the show. But the gun pod concept was also an extremely difficult sell at the time, not only to the network but some of the artists and crew as well. Today of course, the idea of someone sitting in a chair and manipulating complex weapons systems is commonplace (Atlantis) but way back in the year 2000 it was thought the audience would find the scenario boring and confusing!
                ………
                …..
                ..

                With the chair gone, one camp saw Myriam using the pod as a very Zen sort of situation. She would have an almost cold, unnatural calm as she fired and engaged the ships belonging to ‘The Hand’. Not quite like "using the force" but the idea was that her movements would be graceful, elegant, almost ballet like. The other vision wanted her to be more dynamic, aggressive, her movements more like martial arts. That's the idea that won out in the end, and that's part of the reason the Minbari beams got replaced with the energy bullets. Personally I would have preferred if the production had stuck with the traditional Minbari weapons, but it was thought that the image of beams shooting from Myriam’s hands during these more violent movements would be confusing to the viewers
                http://themadgoner.com/B5/B5Scrolls/...m#Screen1_15_3

                The poor lass was told to do it. . . . .. . . .by ‘them’ , because sci-fi fans are easily confused - apparently.

                Comment


                • #38
                  Originally posted by KoshN View Post
                  What? I think the Eccleston series is "fantastic." Tennant, eh, maybe 8/10's of that. I'm currently on the Season 3 (Tennant) DVDs.
                  It took me a while too, to grow accustomed to Tennant, but in the end I liked him better than Ecclestone. Apart from that Ulkosh was referring to Russel T. Davies's work rather than the acting. Obviously a lot of people have a similar issue.
                  Anyways, when you're still in season 3, the best is yet to come.
                  What's up Drakh?

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Originally posted by Triple F View Post
                    http://themadgoner.com/B5/B5Scrolls/...m#Screen1_15_3

                    The poor lass was told to do it. . . . .. . . .by ‘them’ , because sci-fi fans are easily confused - apparently.
                    Great information! That first paragraph is very close to how I envisioned it should be, see my earlier post.

                    Originally posted by KoshN View Post
                    What? I think the Eccleston series is "fantastic." Tennant, eh, maybe 8/10's of that. I'm currently on the Season 3 (Tennant) DVDs.
                    Off topic, but I agree, when Eccleston left after only 1 season I was disapointed but Tenant really turned out to be very good, I again have great reservations about a new guy but hopefully it will work out.


                    Back on topic, I like that point about the actress being a big part of the problem with the "weapon system" I didn't really like her throughout the whole movie, maybe if they had some of the talented actors for this episode like so many they had for the actual Babylon 5 series things would have came out better.

                    If you'll allow me a bad analogy: Imagine if you have a spouse(or whatever) that every year for the first (say)5 (don't know where I got that number from) years of your marriage (relationship, whatever) sculpts/paints/or otherwise creates something truly unique and wonderful for you and then on the next annivesary/time they buy you flowers. The flowers are nice, most people would have been happy to get that but after the great things that came before it it's just meh. Well LotR is that bunch of dead flowers.

                    If that came out without the Babylon 5 tag and didn't have some of the same background settings it would have been an above average SciFi channel movie.

                    I don't think it was terrible but I bought it not realising what it was on DVD and expected Babylon 5 quality and got something else. So I'm both defending and condemning it in the same post. I never claimed I made sense. Understanding is a three edge sword. Don't eat yellow snow.
                    Last edited by Marsden; 03-04-2009, 05:48 AM.
                    "And what kind of head of Security would I be if I let people like me know things that I'm not supposed to know? I mean, I know what I know because I have to know it. And if I don't have to know it, I don't tell me, and I don't let anyone else tell me either. " And I can give you reasonable assurances that the head of Security will not report you for doing so."
                    "Because you won't tell yourself about it?"

                    "I try never to get involved in my own life, too much trouble."

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                    • #40
                      Originally posted by I love Lyta View Post
                      It took me a while too, to grow accustomed to Tennant, but in the end I liked him better than Eccleston.
                      Well, 8/10ths of fantastic is pretty darned good. I like Tennant in the role; it's just that I like Eccleston more.


                      Originally posted by I love Lyta View Post
                      Apart from that Ulkosh was referring to Russel T. Davies's work rather than the acting. Obviously a lot of people have a similar issue.
                      What, specifically, don't people like about Russel T. Davies' work?
                      Mac Breck (KoshN)
                      ------------------
                      Warner Brothers is Lucy.
                      JMS and we fans are collectively Charlie Brown.
                      Babylon 5 is the football.

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        Originally posted by KoshN View Post
                        Well, 8/10ths of fantastic is pretty darned good. I like Tennant in the role; it's just that I like Eccleston more.

                        What, specifically, don't people like about Russel T. Davies' work?
                        Perhaps a topic for a different thread?

                        Jan
                        "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          Originally posted by Marsden View Post
                          Back on topic, I like that point about the actress being a big part of the problem with the "weapon system" I didn't really like her throughout the whole movie,
                          Me either. Acting-wise, she reminded me of Blaire Baron/Carolyn Sykes in The Gathering. Not good.


                          Originally posted by Marsden View Post
                          ....maybe if they had some of the talented actors for this episode like so many they had for the actual Babylon 5 series things would have came out better.
                          I think that the actors who played Dulann, Na'Feel and Firell were fine.


                          Originally posted by Marsden View Post
                          If you'll allow me a bad analogy: Imagine if you have a spouse(or whatever) that every year for the first (say)5 (don't know where I got that number from) years of your marriage (relationship, whatever) sculpts/paints/or otherwise creates something truly unique and wonderful for you and then on the next annivesary/time they buy you flowers. The flowers are nice, most people would have been happy to get that but after the great things that came before it it's just meh. Well LotR is that bunch of dead flowers.

                          If that came out without the Babylon 5 tag and didn't have some of the same background settings it would have been an above average SciFi channel movie.

                          I don't think it was terrible but I bought it not realising what it was on DVD and expected Babylon 5 quality and got something else. So I'm both defending and condemning it in the same post. I never claimed I made sense. Understanding is a three edge sword. Don't eat yellow snow.
                          You're making sense. It had a lot to live up to. Babylon 5 is a very tough act to follow, damned near impossible. I think that Crusade did reasonably well, especially considering all the #@*%##!!! TNT hurdles it faced. IMHO, B5-LotR was a BIG step down from Crusade.
                          Mac Breck (KoshN)
                          ------------------
                          Warner Brothers is Lucy.
                          JMS and we fans are collectively Charlie Brown.
                          Babylon 5 is the football.

                          Comment


                          • #43
                            Originally posted by Jan View Post
                            Perhaps a topic for a different thread?

                            Jan
                            Yeah, or we could just let it go.
                            Mac Breck (KoshN)
                            ------------------
                            Warner Brothers is Lucy.
                            JMS and we fans are collectively Charlie Brown.
                            Babylon 5 is the football.

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              Originally posted by KoshN View Post
                              I think that the actors who played Dulann, Na'Feel and Firell were fine.
                              You're right, that was an over-generalization. But the average "extra" on B5 was better than some other shows main players.
                              Last edited by Marsden; 03-06-2009, 04:27 AM.
                              "And what kind of head of Security would I be if I let people like me know things that I'm not supposed to know? I mean, I know what I know because I have to know it. And if I don't have to know it, I don't tell me, and I don't let anyone else tell me either. " And I can give you reasonable assurances that the head of Security will not report you for doing so."
                              "Because you won't tell yourself about it?"

                              "I try never to get involved in my own life, too much trouble."

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                Originally posted by Marsden View Post
                                You're right, that was an over-generaization. But the average "extra" on B5 was better than some other shows main players.
                                Yes, but B5 had some truly excellent, but not well known, minor actors as supporting players. Personally, I could see Dulann/Alex Zahara, Na'Feel/Jennie Rebecca Hogan or Firell/Enid-Raye Adams transitioning to a B5 episode (if they were still making B5 episodes.).

                                For me, David Martel/Dylan Neal was a little too vanilla, more straight-laced than the Mounty in Due South. Martel didn't have much depth. His best scenes were the ones he had with Dulann. Most of the time Martel was beating us over the head, connecting the dots in the script.

                                Sarah Cantrell/Myriam Sirois was just plain bad. Can't act. That her part wasn't very good, didn't help matters. In several places, she was sooo bad that she was funny.

                                Malcolm Bridges/Dean Marshall, Kitaro Sasaki/Warren T. Takeuchi, Tafeek/Davis Storch and Tirk/Gus Lynch were hardly even there. They were strictly background. Tannier/Todd Sandomirsky was a shadow of the Tannier from Learning Curve.

                                Regarding Captain Bart Gregg/Andrew A. Kavadas, I'm soooooo glad that I didn't win the contest and have my name associated with that trainwreck of a B5 TV movie. Whew!!!!!
                                Mac Breck (KoshN)
                                ------------------
                                Warner Brothers is Lucy.
                                JMS and we fans are collectively Charlie Brown.
                                Babylon 5 is the football.

                                Comment

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