Initial reaction to WC movie in '99

X_FIREFALCON

Spaceman
Fun and innocent enough topic here that I figured I'd share my reactions to the movie:

All in all, I liked the Wing Commander movie and always have.

Sure, trying to get all of its little nuances to fit into the game series, or "canon" on the subject, can be a little ugly (from Angel's name changing from Jeanette to Angelique or just plain Angel, to Taggart ditching his Scottish ways in favor of French, to Blair, Marshall, and Taggart meeting each other prior to meeting on the Tiger's Claw, etc.), so it's probably taken a bit of flak from its fanbase for those discrepancies over the years.

One thing I've heard over and over again is that they wanted to have something akin to "World War 2 in space," and I'm not sure it necessarily came across that way (at least to me); it seemed to be more of a sci-fi action flick to me (like Space: Above & Beyond, or Starship Troopers, or something like Star Wars, etc.), as does Wing Commander itself in general.

I felt the acting was pretty top notch. Personally, I'm not a fan of Lillard or Prinze, Jr. (or the list of Hollywood titles they've done together for that matter), but I thought they both did a pretty good job in Wing Commander. The movie Rapiers left a bit to be desired, in my opinion...not very aesthetically pleasing (though I suppose one could argue they were functionally adequate). Of everyone in the movie, though, without a doubt my favorite characters were Taggart (Tcheky Karyo) and Angel (Saffron Burrows), both of which I thought played their parts convincingly and helped suck me back into things even if some of the other little discrepancies or less impressive qualities (like the Kilrathi themselves unfortunately) threatened to disconnect me from the movie. And even though I'm not a fan of Lillard or Prinze, Jr., like I say...I could buy the charisma between the two being good buddies and I could also buy the pseudo-complex love story between Blair and Devereaux.

The movie is not without its flaws, but my honest opinion is that it was - for the most part - well done and a beautiful tribute to the Wing Commander Universe (at least in spirit). I own a DVD of it as well, of course, being the closet-case fan I am. :) And my personal feelings (everyone is welcome to disagree) is that it was a more well done movie than all three of Lucas' latest installments and one of Hollywood's better sci-fi movies of recent history.

Sure, maybe it didn't live up to everyone's expectations or failed to draw in a whole new crowd of would-be Wing Commander fans, but I think despite all its flaws that it was a good smile, wink, and nod to a fantastic series. And considering the list of video game movies that have been made and continue to be made over time, I think many of us can agree that it could have been profoundly more catastrophic than some think it was.

Being the WC fan I am, I see it as a warm tribute to Wing Commander; to those out there who aren't WC fans, I'd have to say that the movie itself was probably entertaining and a fun ride that many missed.

And lastly considering how many years it's been since an official WC game has been made, I'd have to say that if it indeed marked the ending of the Wing Commander series, then I myself could not think of a more fantastic or tasteful way to say goodbye to a beautiful story and series that we all fell in love with over the years. :)

- FireFalcon ~};^
 

Maj.Striker

Swabbie
Banned
FleeBalls said:
There is no bigger WC fan than me, but I didn't see this movie again for years.


What does that mean? That you weigh more than other wing commander fans? There is no way you can truly measure who "enjoys" Wing Commander more than others.
 

X_FIREFALCON

Spaceman
Bandit LOAF said:
Angel's name was Jeanette in the movie.

As is always the case, you would know better than me in all matters Wing Commander, LOAF. :) I don't have any tangible evidence to back up this claim...only that I don't believe we hear or see the word "Jeanette" once in the movie that refers to Angel. Even Blair continues to call her "Angel."

I also read on some (perhaps unauthentic) site that referred to her character as "Angelique Devereaux," or alluded to the fact that it was printed on the nose of her craft or some such thing.

Perhaps the only conclusive evidence would be reading the end credits of the movie. And even then, you just know they'll have it read something like "Lt. Cmdr. 'Angel' Devereaux."

If I'm wrong, then I do apologize for unintentionally pointing out a change that didn't exist. At any rate, none of this is neither here nor there. Point is - regardless what the case is, I still loved the movie, I love the series, and I'm happy to be a fan, even if I'm somewhat continually dwarfed by others' level of fandom and superior knowledge base in all things Wing Commander. :)

Respectfully,
FireFalcon ~};^
 

LeHah

212 Squadron - "The Old Man's Eyes And Ears"
X_FIREFALCON said:
I don't have any tangible evidence to back up this claim...only that I don't believe we hear or see the word "Jeanette" once in the movie that refers to Angel. Even Blair continues to call her "Angel."

Just because they don't say Jeanette doesn't mean they changed her first name. It just means they didn't say it is all.
 

ChrisReid

Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
Maj.Striker said:
What does that mean? That you weigh more than other wing commander fans? There is no way you can truly measure who "enjoys" Wing Commander more than others.

Yeah, at the very least, you'd think the "biggest fan" would be the person who enjoys all things Wing Commander rather than some things and not others.


X_FIREFALCON said:
As is always the case, you would know better than me in all matters Wing Commander, LOAF. :) I don't have any tangible evidence to back up this claim...only that I don't believe we hear or see the word "Jeanette" once in the movie that refers to Angel. Even Blair continues to call her "Angel."

All the characters' identities are described in detail in things such as the Official Confed Handbook companion or the novelizations based on the movie. They all clearly show her first name is Jeanette.
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
All the tie-in merchandise called her Jeanette -- the novel, the Confederation Handbook, the official site, the action figure, etc.

Her nose art in the actual movie is a painting of an angel with "JEANETTE" and "DEVEREAUX" on each sides (and 'ANGEL' above).

Then of course there's the scene in the movie where she explains to Blair why her callsign is Angel. It loses something like this:

Angel: You know why they call me Angel?
Blair: No.
Angel: It's my first name.
Blair: Oh.
 

FleeBalls

Spaceman
ok, ok, ok...maybe I'm not the "biggest fan" of WC. I guess I'm used to being the biggest WC fan in the room at any given time, so that's how I've come to think of myself. No offense to anyone intended. I do like WC though.
 

LeHah

212 Squadron - "The Old Man's Eyes And Ears"
See, I'm in this room all the way over in Connecticut. We're not in the same state, let alone same room - and I think I'm a bigger fan than you. :(
 

X_FIREFALCON

Spaceman
You guys are (as always) right...this time about the whole Angel name thing, so sorry for bringing it up.

I could point out, though, that that serves as another minor flaw of the Wing Commander movie...the fact that if you're not a fan and just some joe shmoe watching it, you'd think her name is actually "Angel," and it doubles as her callsign. As far as I can remember, we never hear her referred to by any other name. In the games, characters would refer to her as Jeanette every now and again, and then there'd be those times where she'd start speaking sweet French expressions into Blair's ear, or mixing her dialogue up with such phrases - none of which were in the movie. And perhaps the most intimate scenes between Blair and Devereaux (after she ejects and then again at the end when Taggart brings her in and she's in sad shape), she calls him "Chris" and he continues to call her "Angel." If you take the movie as her name being "Angel," those scenes seem that much more intimate...if you take that she's calling him by name and he's calling her by a callsign...well, that just seems increasingly more distant to me. Maybe they just kept her as "Angel" so people who aren't fans weren't confused with her having multiple names?

Anyway...like I said - I still love the movie. And I was clearly wrong in what I said before, so sorry about that, fellas. It was wrong to assume they'd make such a gross oversight.

At any rate...none of it matters for anything more than nitpicking arguments no one necessarily wants to have; my comments were meant only in passing and for reasons people other than me might argue the movie; I didn't mean to dissect it myself in the process - only comment on its potential flaws to others, then go on to glorify it.

So then, going back to the topic at hand - Jacob, I'm one of the people who saw it, liked it, then over time realized there were things that one could nitpick; but even with its flaws (like the misspelling of "Tolwyn" in that one part), I still think it was a watchable and enjoyable sci-fi movie and a nice tribute to Wing Commander. I'll try to let others who didn't enjoy it commence with the nitpicking while I sit down and just enjoy watching it for the upteenth time. :)

My apologies to LOAF, LeHah, and everybody else for mentioning a flaw of the movie that was only superficial and self-interpreted at most.

- FireFalcon ~};^
 

FleeBalls

Spaceman
Angel

I popped the movie in last not (despite the fact that i was disappointed with the movie I did buy the DVD because it is still WC and therefore I support it) and I still couldnt tell you what her name is. One thing's for sure- this angel is much hotter than the Angel from WC2. And in the end, that's what really matters, isnt it?
 

Maj.Striker

Swabbie
Banned
FleeBalls said:
One thing's for sure- this angel is much hotter than the Angel from WC2.

But not hotter than the Angel from WC1. :)

And in the end, that's what really matters, isnt it?

If hot chicks were all that mattered in a movie then there about six gabillion movies in the bottom of bargain bins across the world that are being vastly devalued.
 

ChrisReid

Super Soaker Collector / Administrator
X_FIREFALCON said:
I could point out, though, that that serves as another minor flaw of the Wing Commander movie...the fact that if you're not a fan and just some joe shmoe watching it, you'd think her name is actually "Angel," and it doubles as her callsign.

That still ignores the scene where she explains to Blair why people started calling her Angel. Any average viewer would understand that everyone is using callsigns, like "Maniac," and then understand that Angel is indeed also a callsign, because she goes into a big story about how she got it as her callsign.
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
ChrisReid said:
That still ignores the scene where she explains to Blair why people started calling her Angel. Any average viewer would understand that everyone is using callsigns, like "Maniac," and then understand that Angel is indeed also a callsign, because she goes into a big story about how she got it as her callsign.
Yep. Of course, the story itself made no sense in explaining the origin of the callsign (she was told her parents were angels because they were dead, so she decided to call herself an angel, because... what, is she dead too?), but at the very least it made clear that it was a callsign.
 

AD

Finder of things, Doer of stuff
Quarto said:
Yep. Of course, the story itself made no sense in explaining the origin of the callsign (she was told her parents were angels because they were dead, so she decided to call herself an angel, because... what, is she dead too?), but at the very least it made clear that it was a callsign.

I kinda took it to mean that she felt she belonged with her (dead) parents. It was as if she had died along with them but was condemned to inhabit a mortal body apart from those she loved. At the same time, It's a constant reminder of the things that are important in life and the reasons she's fighting.
 

Maj.Striker

Swabbie
Banned
I agree with Quarto...the explanation of the callsign was not needed nor did it really make sense. I think just about everyone understood that the pilots were calling each other by their callsigns. In Topgun...no one thought "Goose" was his real name. :) If anything I think the explanation of the callsign detracted from the movie and could have been used to establish more of a relationship with the minor characters of the film (Hunter comes instantly to mind).
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
Yeah, I didn't understand what Angel meant at all. I guess what throws me off is how she phrased it -- do you know why *they* call me Angel? It doesn't make sense that anyone else would know about or appreciate her sob story -- it seems more likely that she gave herself the callsign based on whatever her strange childhood experience was and that the actual reason everyone calls her Angel is that she painted an Angel on the nose of her Rapier. :)

I would agree that the movie heavily implied that Hunter's name was Hunter rather than St. John. While the tie-in merchandise lists his correct name, his dogtag (that Maniac reads out loud) says "Lt. Hunter" on it.
 

Mordrid

Spaceman
I was extremely excited when I heard it was coming out. Showed up to the theater early, watched it, and left the theater pretty dissappointed. At the time, I hated it. It veered so far away from the WC univerise as I saw it. I had a feeling like Chris R. probably didn't want the movie to stray so far, but producers / etc. changed his vision. Guess it just didn't "feel" Chris Roberts.

But since then I've watched it several times (as a matter of fact I watched it again last week), and it has really grown on me. Aproach it with an open mind and it's a fantastic movie. I kind of think of it now like the new Battlestar Galactica. Give it a chance, keep in mind that the base story is different, and you'll be entertained. That doesn't mean it's my dream version of a WC movie, but entertaining none-the-less. I still woulda killed somebody to be an extra.. :p

-Dj
"Mordrid"
 
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