Does anybody take the movie seriously?

frostytheplebe

Seventh Part of the Seal
300px-Bateson.jpg


This thread gets the Captain Morgan Bateson Award for "Haven't I Seen This A Thousand Times Already?"

The Morgan Bateson AWARD!!! HAHAHAHAHA!! Thats good, I like that! :D
 

J "Phantom" D

2nd Lieutenant
While I personally love the movie and it's not a *bad* movie, it definitely isn't a "good" movie either. But the potential was there, and what pains me more is not that people don't like it but that they chose to disrespect it with crap like "so and so pissing on my childhood" and "they ruined everything..." etc.
Well thought out post. I loved it, and just wow, you have spent a lot of time on the movie. I will add some more when I have time to process that all, but it seems that you are quite on the ball about it.
 

frostytheplebe

Seventh Part of the Seal
Well thought out post. I loved it, and just wow, you have spent a lot of time on the movie. I will add some more when I have time to process that all, but it seems that you are quite on the ball about it.

I don't think there is anything wrong with the movie. Personally, I was interested to see how they'd cast Angel and Hunter. I think those two were cast pretty well. I will admit a little disappointment with no Iceman but oh well.

As much as I like the guy who played him, Paladin's actor was a huge disappointment.
 

Farbourne

Rear Admiral
While I personally love the movie and it's not a *bad* movie, it definitely isn't a "good" movie either. But the potential was there, and what pains me more is not that people don't like it but that they chose to disrespect it with crap like "so and so pissing on my childhood" and "they ruined everything..." etc.

...

Wow. That's a lot I didn't know. Thanks, AD. The movie's rough edges make a lot more sense if, at the time of filming, there were whole elements that later had to be edited out and plot points re-arranged after shooting. I have always felt that many of the movie's failings came from badly written dialog and choppy actors reactions given context of the scenes...maybe the scenes, reactions, and dialog would have made more sense in their original context. Oh well. I guess we'll never see what might have been.

I understand how poor editing can reflect poorly on an actor. The first time I saw Serenity, I had never seen Firefly and thought Inara's character was awful and out of place--just some eye candy the producers had made Whedon include. Then I found out she was a main character and saw all her deleted scenes (they basically ripped out 90% of the love story involving her), and saw the same actress in the TV show, and suddenly she made sense. I wonder if some of my impression of the poor acting in the WC movie was for similar reasons...it was actually good acting in another context. However, I still suspect that I wouldn't have liked Prinze...I haven't liked him in ANY movie that he has appeared in.

It really is sad that many moviemakers don't seem to understand that the most important aspect to making a good movie is not getting the greatest actors, or having the prettiest special effects, or the best director (although all these things are important), but rather is having good script writers AND good and well-controlled script revision processes. So many bad movies would have been better if their script writers had taken a little more time, and so many good movies succeed with imperfect productions qualities or acting because they have fantastic scripts.
 

Vinman

Vice Admiral
In college I had bad movie night, some friends would come over and watch terrible movies like Dracula 3000 and Laser Mission. One Saturday, for lack of DVDs, I threw Wing Commander into the player and we watched that. Aside from some wisecracks about the Kilrathi, Prinze and Lillard, everyone enjoyed the movie and without a hint of irony.

After that we watched Speed Demon.

It's funny, if you go back to chat logs from when Wing Commander was in development, I kept saying things like "I'll believe it when I see it". It was hard to believe, and harder now to believe that we actually got a movie.
 

frostytheplebe

Seventh Part of the Seal
In college I had bad movie night, some friends would come over and watch terrible movies like Dracula 3000 and Laser Mission. One Saturday, for lack of DVDs, I threw Wing Commander into the player and we watched that. Aside from some wisecracks about the Kilrathi, Prinze and Lillard, everyone enjoyed the movie and without a hint of irony.

Did Vision Quest ever make it into your lineup?
 

Dundradal

Frog Blast the Vent Core!
Wow. That's a lot I didn't know. Thanks, AD. The movie's rough edges make a lot more sense if, at the time of filming, there were whole elements that later had to be edited out and plot points re-arranged after shooting. I have always felt that many of the movie's failings came from badly written dialog and choppy actors reactions given context of the scenes...maybe the scenes, reactions, and dialog would have made more sense in their original context. Oh well. I guess we'll never see what might have been.

The night before Arena came out several of us stayed up all night watching WC Academy as well as the movie (in chronological order). It was great because LOAF was giving us a running narrative comparing the final version with what was left on the editing room floor.

Never doubt the power of the CIC to do amazing things....
 

J "Phantom" D

2nd Lieutenant
I don't think there is anything wrong with the movie. Personally, I was interested to see how they'd cast Angel and Hunter. I think those two were cast pretty well. I will admit a little disappointment with no Iceman but oh well.

As much as I like the guy who played him, Paladin's actor was a huge disappointment.
I personally really like the movie, and it is on my all-time top 10 favourites list. However, even I can find a lot wrong with it. If they had fixed up the rough edges (mostly to do with the script. I think the described storyline would have been VERY useful to the proper development of the story) there is no doubt that it would be #1 on my favourites list, instead of 3 or 4.
 

Mace

Vice Admiral
Let me take a stand on the movie;
It could hold it's own without the background of the games. Had the movie be named dreadnought squad 2600AD or something, we would be discussing that the movie was ripped of off wing commander.

As for the esthetic changes, they are explained or some people have found explanations here because of model changes or fandom deduction.

Also take note in the movie and the sets; The tiger's claw hangar looks like the one from the game, the submarine-like doors are also present in WC2, with the exception of the fighters(wich are basically different ships, that has been explained)
The CGI filming changed the look of the ship a bit too dramatic for me, and while ships change(ever compare a strakha, fralthi from WC3 to it's earlier incarnations?) even in the games. the claw looks identical in WC1, Wing Commander 2's intro, the box art and even the cartoon, it looks totally different in the movie. ships are however carying name, i never heard anyone complaining that the enterprise in star trek does not look like the wooden man-o-war from the days of wooden ships. Also please note that the briefing scenes and universe maps deviate in the cartoon and in the movie, the briefing room does not feature a table-wide screen attached to a wall for looking over starmaps, like the cartoon, the briefing maps are holographic projections.

As for the casting,

Lillard represents a perfect version of the maniac from WC2SO2, save the redshot eyes. Tom wilson plays an aged maniac who, like the character "deadpool" from marvell comics jokes around to hide his pain, he gets confronted by this in prophecy, where casey tells him to shove it as he is drinking away his pain over losing another life.

Saffron makes a perfect angel as we see her in WC3

Hunter plays hunter like we know from the game, save the cigar, but that's probably not allowed anymore(same way lucky luke used to smoke a siggaret but now chews on a plant).

Paladin, there is only one man who could have played paladin from the games that is not john-rys davies, Sean connery re-acting in his role he played in highlander 1 and 2, like tom wilson reprises maniac with his role as biff

Blair, well, finding another Mark Hamill is possible, but he would act like himself playing mark hamill playing blair, unless it was you, you'd be disappointed with whoever they casted.

Knight had a minor part, I don't even know who they casted, so why bother?

This discussion does keep it going, when will the day comes when Chris Roberts signs in and awnsers all your questions, or announces a new game, i'm pretty sure he reads some stuff here every now in then, wing commander was his creation, and part of his legacy.
 

frostytheplebe

Seventh Part of the Seal
Let me take a stand on the movie;
It could hold it's own without the background of the games. Had the movie be named dreadnought squad 2600AD or something, we would be discussing that the movie was ripped of off wing commander.


This discussion does keep it going, when will the day comes when Chris Roberts signs in and awnsers all your questions, or announces a new game, i'm pretty sure he reads some stuff here every now in then, wing commander was his creation, and part of his legacy.

Oh man, you are lining yourself up with that one...

Chris Roberts... while it would be cool, I don't think it'll ever happen... but that gives me an idea...
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
Going by what Chris Roberts has said, it seems that during production the movie wasn't intended to be part of the same fictional universe as the games. The original relationship between the two was apparently like the relationship between the Spider-Man comics and movies, where the later compresses and incorporates various plot points from the entire run of the former. The Spider-Man movies had their own interpretations of stories like "The Night Gwen Stacy Died" and "Spectacular Spider-Man 200," like the WC movie had its versions of Bossman's death with Angel on his wing (SM2) and Paladin's work with Special Ops (WC2).

I think it was Chris McCubbin, who did the Confederation Handbook tie-in book, who said all this - not Chris Roberts. Peter Lamont, the production designer on the actual movie, insisted at the time that it was the same continuity.

(And there's good reason for that right there in the comic analogy - one of the building blocks of these superhero worlds is that there *are* multiple continuities to begin with. That pre-existing idea isn't there for Wing Commander.)

A great many of the "inconsistencies" have been fit into the canon, some more believably than others (for example, the "Rapiers" in the movie are a predecessor fighter to the Rapier II's that appear in WC1 and 2, not the same ships, which is certainly plausible,

I don't think it's just plausible, it's necessary: since later games refer to the 'Rapier II' as such then there *always* had to be an earlier unrelated Rapier design (regardless of the movie).

but less plausible is that Bossman is only "thought" dead in the movie and somehow is found to only be MIA, not KIA, and comes back later... I'm not clear on how that could happen, though...)

This is, of course, background that hasn't actually been stated anywhere... but I think immediately of the line from one of the Forstchen novels about how no one ever gets listed as MIA - the family is told they're dead because the alternative of life as a Kilrathi POW/slave/dinner is so much worse.

1) They tried to fit way too many references in there and it was distracting. "Paladin"'s Covert Ops (WC2), Skipper Missiles (WC3), Mandarin Traitors (WC2), Concordia (WC2), The delaying action mentioned in, I believe, Claw Marks (WC1), WC1 storyline (WC1), Marines (WC4), etc.

I'm writing my omnibus post out of order, so I apologize if this doesn't make sense until you've finished reading it... but: I think this is a *trademark* of Chris Roberts. He *loves* high concept stuff and he's excellent at identifying it... but not so hot at integrating it. He went through and picked out all the cool stuff he did in the games and then added stuff he'd come up with that was cool since then (ie, the submarine motif) and put it all together.

I think the consensus is that it is the same "Tiger(s) Claw", but that it has a predominantly different fighter loadout in the movie.

Raptors, Hornets and Scimitars actually show up in the novels description of the Tiger's Claw's complement.

I agree with many of your points. It always seeemed to me that when they made the movie, they made a conscious decision to throw in a bunch of references to the games that would be lost on the casual viewer but resonate with dedicated fans...hence, when they needed a recently dead pilot, they named him Bossman because he dies in the games. When they needed to name the fighters, they called them "Rapiers" because Rapier-class fighters feature prominently in the games. I would well believe the comment that originally the movie wasn't supposed to be a strict prequel with perfect continuity, but rather a re-imagining, and only after the fact (or after people who cared more passionately about the universe got control of things), did they try to fit it in.

It's just a shame that when they decided to throw in references, they didn't have someone who was more careful about continuity suggesting what references to throw in. For example, instead of having Bossman be the recently dead pilot, why not have "Tooner" or "Dribbles" be the recently dead pilot? Same hat tip to people that have played the game, but fits perfectly into the WC1 continuity without needing creative explanation. Or instead of calling the old obselete fighters on the Tiger Claw "Rapiers", and then having to explain that they are a different fighter than the Rapier II that the game players know and love, why not call them "Scimitars" or "Raptors"--which the game already established are aging fighters that were on the Tiger's Claw? And why call the secret Special Forces frenchman "Paladin", when the game has already established that Paladin was (probably) not in special forces at that time, that he was Scottish, and that he was a pilot that had served on the "Claw" for a long time. Why not make your cool frenchman an entirely new character...it wouldn't have detracted from the story of the movie, and hardcore WC fans would probably perfer it, because it requries less explanation within the universe continuity.

One thing we have to understand is that 'our' concept of Wing Commander is different from the one Chris Roberts has - the one he feels like he owns and that he gave birth to. We may see ten thousand alternatives to Bossman and we may have an elaborate backstory created by novels and hint books that we assosciate with that particular character... but for Chris that isn't necessarily the case. To him, Bossman is one of the key characters he put in to his original game. That's why we see Angel, Maniac, Knight, Spirit (cut), Bossman, Paladin, etc. He felt they were characters that mattered.

and they really could have got somebody better for Maniac (Maybe I'm jaded by Tom Wilson's amazing performance as the character. Maniac is supposed to be nutty and over the top, but not annoying)

I think it has already been said, but I do agree that Lillard did a better job of playing the original Maniac than Tom Wilson did.

And I think they could have done without the Rosie character for Maniac, it was bad enough that they shoehorned in the Angel/Blair romantic subplot from WC2 so early, as I thought it was perfectly done in WC2 (a slowly developing friendship that is thrown together through tragedy befalling both protaganists).

I would say that these are two separate and important aspects taken right from - gasp - the original Wing Commander. Maniac's character maturing after he actually suffers through war (destroying the Drayman in WC1) and the player having a crush on Angel.

And the road to Hell is paved with posts like yours.

Don't do this. People are welcome to post whatever they like (on topic) - and this particular discussion is one that's always interesting.

Of course I was bothered by the lack of fur for the Kilrathi and this strange green grass but what bothered me mostly was that they looked so damn cheap, like very bad stop motion puppets from decades ago. I was embarrassed.

So were the people who made the movie.

It's funny, if you go back to chat logs from when Wing Commander was in development, I kept saying things like "I'll believe it when I see it". It was hard to believe, and harder now to believe that we actually got a movie.

The weird thing, in looking back on that material, is that the various rumors and leaks over the years were absolutely genuine. Look back at the "Phoenix Pictures Memo" that was so hotly debated in 1996: https://www.wcnews.com/movie/art3.shtml (I now suspect that Chris Roberts leaked this to Reaver on purpose; that's just how he works...)

There's a log from #Wing-Commander somewhere, too, where someone working on the then-rumored movie in Luxembourg comes in and makes a bunch of claims. We ask where the movie is set (?!) and they say the 'Ulysses Corridor' which confuses everybody. If only we'd known...

No, tell me all about it!! (Vision Quest)

It was the scout ship from "False Colors"!

the claw looks identical in WC1, Wing Commander 2's intro, the box art and even the cartoon, it looks totally different in the movie.

I will note that the Tiger's Claw did change completely in Super Wing Commander. I'm not a huge fan of how it worked in the movie (I think the submarine idea is great, but in the wrong place) in general, but I don't think I could expect it to look just like it did in Wing Commander I and on Academy. (Does anyone remember when everyone complained about Academy on this exact point instead of praising it? Why'd they change the whole front of the ship?!)

Also please note that the briefing scenes and universe maps deviate in the cartoon and in the movie, the briefing room does not feature a table-wide screen attached to a wall for looking over starmaps, like the cartoon, the briefing maps are holographic projections.

I think these are supposed to be different sets. In the movie we only ever see bridge table where the Captain and the XO work (and then brief Wing Commanders)... the only briefing scene for ordinary pilots happens on the flight deck. (Remember Wing Commander III - Captain Eisen briefs Colonel Blair with a holographic table... Blair then gives a traditional briefing to his pilots.)

This discussion does keep it going, when will the day comes when Chris Roberts signs in and awnsers all your questions, or announces a new game, i'm pretty sure he reads some stuff here every now in then, wing commander was his creation, and part of his legacy.

I think the one really special thing that everyone forgets about Wing Commander is what it means that the film was made by Chris Roberts. In *every* other case of game-to-movie, the film exists because the rights owner wanted a quick way to cash in on their IP. Mario Brothers, Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter, Dungeon Siege, Max Payne, etc. all started based on the realization that their publisher could get several hundred thousand dollars in trade for the film rights.

That didn't happen on Wing Commander. Chris Roberts believed in the project and did it himself... which was no small task. He took a huge risk acquiring the rights for it in the first place (supposedly giving up his stake in EA in trade) and then building his own production company and effects house to make the thing. It's a weird labor of love in a sea of movies that exist because of their names alone.

That's not a judgement, one way or the other - but it alone impresses me, and helps me understand how much care he put into the whole of the series from day one.
 
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Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
Oh man, you are lining yourself up with that one...

Chris Roberts... while it would be cool, I don't think it'll ever happen... but that gives me an idea...

I spoke to Chris Roberts a few months ago and he was still interested in doing Wing Commander again, if EA would support a project.
 

privfan

Commodore
I've always seen the movie as a retelling/re-imagining of the WC universe
like the new battlestar galactica

but the last time I mentioned anything on the subject I was blasted

I do like the movie though when watching it as a retelling
 

Tigerhawk

Captain
I've always seen the movie as a retelling/re-imagining of the WC universe
like the new battlestar galactica

but the last time I mentioned anything on the subject I was blasted

I do like the movie though when watching it as a retelling

Y'know, I like that sentiment, the retelling. I'd not thought about it that way before.

I'll have to grab the movie again at some point and watch it. I've only ever seen it once and, truth be told, wasn't impressed with it...then again, it's been a good number of years. I'm older and (supposedly) wiser now...have'ta pick up a copy somewhere and give it another whirl in the DVD tray.
 
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