Did you like the Wing Commander movie?

Do you like the Wing Commander movie?

  • Yes

    Votes: 30 61.2%
  • No

    Votes: 19 38.8%

  • Total voters
    49

G Man

Rear Admiral
When you see the title for this thread, you may think "How unoriginal" but I'm asking this because I think I need to know before I offend anyone any further. Personally I just cannot see this as a good film, and I consider it totally seperate from the main Wing Commander canon (but then it was a reboot of the story).
 

G Man

Rear Admiral
Actually, screw this. I decided I didn't want to bother starting this debate as just I was posting it but now I can't delete it. This was going to be a poll thread.
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
I can't argue that it's an amazing film, but I think it's a neat addition to the Wing Commander universe... and it spawned a bunch of worthwhile things (the Confederation Handbook, the superior novelization of the movie, etc.) I think there are some really impressive things about it--like the art direction and the casting--that are worth looking at outside of being a Wing Commander movie.

I also think it's very interesting to think about--why decisions people don't like were made, how the shooting script came apart and was edited into what we saw and so forth. It also stands alone in the video game movie patheon... it's the only one that wasn't some producer buying an IP and filming it but was instead the actual game's creator fighting to get the movie made himself. It's an interesting story from that perspective.

Edited to add: I find it's surprisingly popular among ordinary sci fi geeks. The one question we get more than any other when we go to a regular sci fi convention representing WCNews.com is from regular Trekkies/Star Wars fans/etc. asking if there's ever going to be another Wing Commander /movie/.
 

Prometheus

Spaceman
And how well did it do with non Wing Commander fans

I used to think with non-Wing-Commander fans it must have done much better. They don't know what it's all about, it's just some new space movie for them, so there you go.

But over the years I hear from non-Wing-Commander fans they also hated the movie. Some of them didn't even know it was based on a game.


Then even later I found many Wing Commander fans online (this forum) who seem to like it. That was quite surprising to me, as from my viewpoint a Wing Commander fan had twice as many reasons to not like the movie as the average "space movie" viewer.


Back then, when the movie came out, if its title had been something along the lines of "Space: Above and Beyond" I think I would have liked it - at the time.
On the other hand, I realize that back then, when I was younger, I was somewhat "immune" to bad acting. It just didn't register on me at all (except when it was waaaaaaaay down there which doesn't realistically happen that often.)
 

G Man

Rear Admiral
Is it really true that a lot of people went to see it in the cinema just because of the Phantom Menace trailer before it and then apparentely didn't stay watch the film? I find that a little hard to believe (buying a ticket for a trailer seems idiotic to me, forget that today everything's on the internet) and if it's true wouldn't it have made a fair bit of money from this?
 

G Man

Rear Admiral
I used to think with non-Wing-Commander fans it must have done much better. They don't know what it's all about, it's just some new space movie for them, so there you go.

But over the years I hear from non-Wing-Commander fans they also hated the movie. Some of them didn't even know it was based on a game.


Then even later I found many Wing Commander fans online (this forum) who seem to like it. That was quite surprising to me, as from my viewpoint a Wing Commander fan had twice as many reasons to not like the movie as the average "space movie" viewer.

Again, I'm probably digging myself in deeper making people like Wedge009 think I'm a troll but I imagine most people who haven't heard of the games taking a glance at this and immediately pegging it as some Direct-to-Video kind of movie that you'd find in a bargain bin or in a late-night TV slot (actually I believe it's on one of the Sky Movies channels at the moment).
 

Prometheus

Spaceman
I find that a little hard to believe (buying a ticket for a trailer seems idiotic to me, forget that today everything's on the internet)
When Phantom Menace and the Wing Commander movie came out, there still weren't that many people who had internet access, and even for those who had (in my impression it was during the big internet explosion that happened in the years of 1998-2002, suddenly everybody was getting Internet, while previously it was only the very rich or very geeky people who had it), downloading a trailer wasn't something you could do that easily. The internet was really damn slow (for most people) back then.
 

AD

Finder of things, Doer of stuff
Is it good and how it fits in the WC canon are two things entirely separate. I admit I enjoy it, but more in the sense that LOAF talks about in his post. There are things that didn't work as intended in the film. A lot of it is editing. Some of it is acting. Some of it is production design decisions.

If someone is going to bring it up, it may as well be me since I was reading a thread the other day on another forum from someone who is a non WC fan that didn't like it: Seriously, there is *not* sonar. However, the structure of the film has so many people absolutely convinced that everyone starts whispering to not be heard by the Kilrathi after Paladin shushes them. *No he doesn't.* This is a case of the movie's production design working against it. It's abosolutely meant to reference the old Sonar pings and depth charge scenes of old WW2 sub movies but people have selective memory of the scene and insist it's some "sound in space" thing. Was it a good idea? In retrospect, obviously not. In reality , it's not a valid complaint since it's just a sensor/radar scene.

People also go on and on about fighters falling off the deck. Sure there are dips when they leave the end of the flight deck. There are possible reasons for this but as a design decision it references scenes in old WW2 movies again. I have no problem with the idea of a ships artificial gravity causing this but a lot of people hate it = "haha there's no gravity in space..." (which isn't really true either but that's a different physics based thread for another time). Sure it some respects it takes the production design too far since it seems to alienate so many people... but it also seems to turn them into idiots. The associated claim is that Rosie's fighter falls off the end of the deck straight down into space after the crash. Hunh? The fighter *IS NOT* pushed off the deck. It's pushed into a space between the side of the flight deck and the main larger part of the hull. We don't know where it is. Probably there's some way they can retreive it later and salvage the parts, but they just didn't have time in the heat of battle with others waiting to land.

Anyway, sometimes when some get so worked up here it's not because they love the film as exemplary cinema. It's because as WC fans you owe it to understand why it didn't work out as intended and how it fits in with the rest of the series. Read the novel. You can imagine the ships look however you want.

I need to run off to work now, but I'd love to talk about this more later... seriously. Yeah, I know I'm wierd that way.
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
Is it really true that a lot of people went to see it in the cinema just because of the Phantom Menace trailer before it and then apparentely didn't stay watch the film? I find that a little hard to believe (buying a ticket for a trailer seems idiotic to me, forget that today everything's on the internet) and if it's true wouldn't it have made a fair bit of money from this?

It's an urban legend--one of those things that somehow went from being a joke at the time to being a REAL THING THAT HAPPENED TO MY FRIEND'S BROTHER'S ROMMATE'S COUSIN! (No, the movie didn't have a big opening weekend...)

What people are misremembering is that FOX actually put out a statement (at Lucas' request) a few days before Wing Commander came out saying that the Phantom Menace trailer *wasn't* exclusive to Wing Commander. (Actually, the first person I remember joking about the trailer making Wing Commander a success was Chris Roberts himself...)

(I will admit to having paid to see a movie for the trailer once--I bought a ticket for Cloverfield to see the Star Trek teaser on my lunch break. I'm sure similarly huge nerds in 1999 may have done that with the Phantom Menace trailer... but not in any widespread box office-affecting way.)
 

G Man

Rear Admiral
When Phantom Menace and the Wing Commander movie came out, there still weren't that many people who had internet access, and even for those who had, downloading a trailer wasn't something you could do that easily. The internet was really damn slow (for most people) back then.

I appreciate that, but I just thought it was slightly odd to get in your car (or whatever) and go to your local multiplex and buy a ticket to watch a trailer and then go home again, not even giving the film a chance. To imagine thousands of people doing this just makes it seem strange (but as Bandit's explained that probably didn't really happen).

But I won't judge BanditLOAF because of his "on my lunch break" explanation, which seems fair enough as long as he doesn't mind about the value for money factor (who cares about a few bucks at the end of the day, I suppose). Although surely the Star Trek trailer was on the internet as well?
 

Prometheus

Spaceman
Well I've never heard of the Phantom Menace trailer thing specifically being related to the Wing Commander movie, but I definitely have heard of people who buy tickets for some random movies just to see the Star Wars trailer at that time.
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
Hah, yeah, my office was next to the multiplex at the time... I knew it would be online officially the next day, but I figured it'd be kind of funny to skip lunch and see it on the big screen.

(The story gets stranger still, I suppose--in fact it was already online at various movie news sites, having been bootlegged with a handheld camera at a midnight show the night before... by my brother, who lives on the other side of the country.)
 

G Man

Rear Admiral
I don't think this was the only place that said it but it's IMDB page says:

"This was one of only three films that was released with the theatrical trailer for Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999). Many people paid admission to see the trailer and then walked out of the theater."

The meaning of "many" is always flexible so it doesn't necessarily mean it's saying the majority of people only went to see it for the trailer.
 

frostytheplebe

Seventh Part of the Seal
I don't think this was the only place that said it but it's IMDB page says:

"This was one of only three films that was released with the theatrical trailer for Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999). Many people paid admission to see the trailer and then walked out of the theater."

I went to see it twice in the theater, I never saw that. I find it very hard to believe people would pay $10 to go see a 2 minute preview and then walk out when they could JUST DOWNLOAD IT ONLINE!

Plus we all know how accurate IMDB is :rolleyes:
 

G Man

Rear Admiral
IMDB is accurate as people make it, not every single one of the millions of pieces of information it has is going to be totally accurate. I imagine it's pretty accurate with entries for all the famous films, not so much with more obscure films and video games (it's not exactly a video game database)
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
Well I've never heard of the Phantom Menace trailer thing specifically being related to the Wing Commander movie, but I definitely have heard of people who buy tickets for some random movies just to see the Star Wars trailer at that time.

FOX did, indeed, attach the trailer to Wing Commander hoping that it would attract more interest to WC... but Lucasfilm complained and FOX ultimately put out a statement that the trailer could be attached to any movie coming out that week. They didn't actually change their instructions to theaters, though, so most everywhere Phantom Menace stayed with Wing Commander.

(And why do I know this crazy thing? Chris Roberts actually forwarded several fan sites his e-mail conversation with a FOX rep explaining that they put out the statement to satisfy George Lucas and that the trailer would still be with Wing Commander regardless, hoping we would unofficially let people know what was going on.)


I went to see it twice in the theater, I never saw that. I find it very hard to believe people would pay $10 to go see a 2 minute preview and then walk out when they could JUST DOWNLOAD IT ONLINE!

Yeah--you can say it was before everyone had internet access... but I bet that as a group, insane Star Wars fans with money to burn were fairly well connected in 1999. :) Actually, I remember the various Phantom Menace teasers being the first internet video that I could just click on and watch...

Movies didn't cost $10 in 1999, though. :)

(I think I saw Wing Commander in theaters five times... one of those was the Austin premiere, which was a pretty incredible experience. The others were Chris Reid and I trying to note down all the little details like the ship names from that one screen because we knew it'd be months or years before we could get it on home video.)
 

Prometheus

Spaceman
Well, in my experience it's really bad concerning rumours.

Just think of how often you see a movie being "announced" there, usually some kind of remake, to come out in the next couple of years, but it doesn't happen; and in many cases you propably could say the rumour was unfounded in the first place.

However, then you'll have Wikipedia referencing IMDB, giving those rumours more credability and so on...
 
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