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Author Topic: Disappointed by the Iconic Scene
Santa Mari-a
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A lot of the famous lines from Casablanca seem overhyped to me. In fact, so does the whole movie, but that's another thread.

Tom Joad's farewell speech to Ma in The Grapes of Wrath is another scene that I think has been anthologized too often. When I saw it in the context of the whole movie, it seemed overblown: up to this point, Tom's dialogue seemed pretty plain and realistic, and suddenly he comes out with this mystical semi-poetry.

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ChelleGame
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I always assumed Hannibal was mispronouncing it on purpose, kinda mocking the accent of the census taker/your average hick.

The contender line in OTWF didn't impress me either, but I don't like the movie. I also fail to be moved by "Rosebud," in Citizen Kane.

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Amigone201
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quote:
Originally posted by Santa Mari-a:
A lot of the famous lines from Casablanca seem overhyped to me. In fact, so does the whole movie, but that's another thread.

"This could be the start of a beautiful friendship."
"Play it, Sam." (NOT "Play it again, Sam."
The "Regret it" speech.

All delivered in the same lifeless, flat tone that Bogey spoke all of his lines in. Come to think of it, the same way all actors in the 40s and 50s spoke their lines.

Which is probably why...
quote:
ChelleGame said this:
The contender line in OTWF didn't impress me either, but I don't like the movie. I also fail to be moved by "Rosebud," in Citizen Kane.

Yeah. Actually, On the Watefront was really kind of boring.

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Freshman
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Can I write down an iconic scent that I liked? I enjoyed the "You Can't handle the truth" bit in A few good men. Jack Nicholson and even Tom Cruise were fabulous

an Iconic scene that let me down: "Here's Johnny" in the Shining. Jack Nicholson is awesome in the movie, but the whole bit where he's threatening Shelly Duvall with the axe comes off as slightly corny and silly

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Silas Sparkhammer
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I must be missing the point: do you guys want these lines to be *expressed* in great flaring melodramatic emphasis, with horns blazing and spotlights burning?

You surely know the joke about how "Hamlet" is just a bunch of famous quotes all strung together.

Some memorable lines and scenes *are*, in fact, given emphasis by the director and the actor. Take, for example, "You can't handle the truth!" in "A Few Good Men," or "Fill your hands, you son of a bitch!" from "True Grit."

Other memorable lines are delivered in a more subtle manner, yet are still powerful, sometimes even electrifying. Most of Bogart's performance in "The Maltese Falcon" is that way; the line, "The stuff that dreams are made of" is memorable, but only because of what the characters have been through.

(Trivia: that isn't the last line of the movie. That actual last line of "The Maltese Falcon" is "Huh?")

The best "iconic" moments depend on context, not upon mere volume. Any idiot can bellow, "Stella!" Brando's performance was meaningful because he had already gotten the audience to invest their emotions in the character. Without that, it would have been as empty as a thousand-and-one "Noooo!" scenes in the lesser catalog of forgettable films.

(e.g., I am very fond of "The Man from Snowy River," but the huge echoing "Noooo!" scene, early in the film, is stupid, weak, artificial, contrived, and flat. I far prefer the girl's scream of pure terror, later in the film, when the day dawns and she realizes how close she came to death.)

Silas

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Freshman
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Excellent point, Silas

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Christie
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quote:
Originally posted by Midgard_Dragon:
For me I thought the "Luke, I am your Father." line in Star Wars whichever wasn't at all interesting. Maybe it was different for people when it was a surprise. *shrugs*

No maybe about it. I feel sorry for anyone who didn't get to see the original three Star Wars movies in the theatre when they first came out. Even moreso as this was in the days before the Internet and spoilers were a lot harder to come by! Thankfully.

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Ariadne
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moonlight, the pronunciation of chianti always bothered me, too. Especially since one would expect someone as refined as Lector to pronounce it correctly.

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Eddylizard
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"Made it ma! Top of the world!" from White Heat.

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trollface
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quote:
Originally posted by Christie:
No maybe about it. I feel sorry for anyone who didn't get to see the original three Star Wars movies in the theatre when they first came out. Even moreso as this was in the days before the Internet and spoilers were a lot harder to come by! Thankfully.

Well, I saw the original on video, then wasn't bothered enough to see The Empire Strikes Back at the cinema (I may still have been living in Germany at this point, and I don't think I saw anything at all at the cinema while I was there). When Return Of The Jedi came out, I saw it in a triple-bill, and don't remember being particularly overwhelmed by any of the films.

In fact, I've always thought that that revelation smacked of "huh?" and Obi Wan's "from a certain point of view" speech was retconning, long before I knew the word "retconning".

Not that Lucas would ever do that, you know. Just look at the prequels...

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Christie
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quote:
Originally posted by trollface:
quote:
Originally posted by Christie:
No maybe about it. I feel sorry for anyone who didn't get to see the original three Star Wars movies in the theatre when they first came out. Even moreso as this was in the days before the Internet and spoilers were a lot harder to come by! Thankfully.

Well, I saw the original on video, then wasn't bothered enough to see The Empire Strikes Back at the cinema (I may still have been living in Germany at this point, and I don't think I saw anything at all at the cinema while I was there). When Return Of The Jedi came out, I saw it in a triple-bill, and don't remember being particularly overwhelmed by any of the films.

I can only think of a handful of films that involved and affected me the way the original Star Wars films did. I hope there are other films that did that for you because it is a pretty special feeling that I'm very glad I experienced. Magic [Smile] .

I wonder though since you were only about 6 when Empire Strikes Back came out in the theatre though perhaps your feelings would have been different if you'd been a fair bit older?

ETA: [Confused] did they have home videos in 1980?

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Eddylizard
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quote:
ETA: did they have home videos in 1980?

If by 'they' you mean my classmates with considerably richer parents than mine, then yes.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VCR#The_late_1970s:_Mass-market_success

quote:
was not until the late 1970s, when European and Japanese companies developed more technically advanced machines with more accurate electronic timers and greater tape duration, that the VCR started to become a mass market consumer product. By 1980 there were three competing technical standards, with different, physically incompatible tape cassettes.



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Christie
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quote:
Originally posted by Eddylizard:
quote:
ETA: did they have home videos in 1980?

If by 'they' you mean my classmates with considerably richer parents than mine, then yes.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VCR#The_late_1970s:_Mass-market_success

quote:
was not until the late 1970s, when European and Japanese companies developed more technically advanced machines with more accurate electronic timers and greater tape duration, that the VCR started to become a mass market consumer product. By 1980 there were three competing technical standards, with different, physically incompatible tape cassettes.


I'm not sure what I meant by "they"! Earthlings maybe [dunce] ...oh well...

Anyway I found a great site that talks about vcr's from a UK perspective.

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trollface
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quote:
Originally posted by Christie:
[QB]I can only think of a handful of films that involved and affected me the way the original Star Wars films did. I hope there are other films that did that for you because it is a pretty special feeling that I'm very glad I experienced. Magic [Smile] .

I saw Time Bandits on the same day that I saw Star Wars (so it would actually have been at least 1981 that I saw Star Wars, which would have made me 7ish), and I adored that.

The two other huge films from my childhood were Tron and Ghostbusters, when I was 8ish and 10ish, respectively. Both were, and still are, magical.

I just never really got into the whole Star Wars thing. Don't get me wrong, I thought they were fun, but they were never anything particularly special to me (in my childhood, I'd have rated both Hawk The Slayer and Krull higher). When playing "Star Wars" on the primary school playground, it was never my first choice. And to this day I'll never understand why people would fight to be Han Solo, but nobody (except me) ever wanted to be Luke.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but Han Solo can shoot a gun, wheras Luke can do magic and has such good reflexes that he can deflect bolts that travel at the speed of light with a thin sword. How is Luke not the cool option?

quote:
I wonder though since you were only about 6 when Empire Strikes Back came out in the theatre though perhaps your feelings would have been different if you'd been a fair bit older?
I dunno. I'd have been 9ish when I saw all three at the cinema (which was the first time I saw The Empire Strikes Back), and I'd have marked that out as roughly the right age-range. And I'd have put Time Bandits as skewed at a higher age-bracket.

quote:
ETA: [Confused] did they have home videos in 1980?
Not mine, I have to say, but a neighbour's. And, yes, they were loaded.

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Eddylizard
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Ah good memories. My school never found out who broke their V-2000 by fast forwarding through a dull documentary while the teacher was out of the room. (How the hell was I supposed to know that you had to stop the tape before pressing fast forward? One of the rich kids told me it would work.)

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Silas Sparkhammer
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quote:
Originally posted by trollface:
Correct me if I'm wrong, but Han Solo can shoot a gun, wheras Luke can do magic and has such good reflexes that he can deflect bolts that travel at the speed of light with a thin sword. How is Luke not the cool option?

Mark Hamill's weak, whiny, watery, wimpy, wallowing, wet-behind-the-willy, walk-through performance ("Carrie!") comes to mind.

"I wanna be a Jedi Knight like my father." "I'm a pretty good pilot too, you know."

Solo got all the good lines. "This ain't like dustin' crops, boy!"

Silas

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trollface
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Yeah, but...he can do magic. When role-playing in that manner, you don't keep the people's personalities, you just take on their roles.

Simply put, if I were given the option of either a) being able to do magic and acrobatics or b) having a rusty spaceship and a hairy boyfriend, I'd go for option a every time.

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seriously , everyone on here , just trys to give someone crap about something they do !! , its shitting me to tears.

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Class Bravo
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I saw Napoleon Dynamite for the first time just yesterday and I feel a bit like was described in the OP. Sure, it was a funny movie and I enjoyed certain scenes, but it just seemed like everyone I'd talked to had made it out to be such a huge deal that I was expecting something much more monumental than what it was.
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Amigone201
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quote:
Originally posted by Silas Sparkhammer:
I must be missing the point: do you guys want these lines to be *expressed* in great flaring melodramatic emphasis, with horns blazing and spotlights burning?

[...]

The best "iconic" moments depend on context, not upon mere volume. Any idiot can bellow, "Stella!" Brando's performance was meaningful because he had already gotten the audience to invest their emotions in the character. Without that, it would have been as empty as a thousand-and-one "Noooo!" scenes in the lesser catalog of forgettable films.

You seem to be referring to A Streetcar Named Desire, which, having never seen, I can't comment on. I can tell you, however, that Brando's "contenda" speech in On the Waterfront hardly lived up to its hype. In fact, I can prove it.

This is critic James Berardinelli's take on Brando's performance in that scene:
quote:
...the powerful one-on-one between Terry and Charley where Brando gives his famous "I coulda been a contender" speech. That scene probably represents the best work ever done by either of its participants (Steiger and Brando). The power of the "contender" scene isn't so much in the words as it is in the way they're delivered - the simple pain in Brando's voice is echoed in his eyes and mannerisms.
Now watch a video of the scene, and tell me it's anywhere near as good as Berardinelli describes it:

http://grouper.com/video/MediaDetails.aspx?id=1618927&ml=o%3D7%26fk%3DScreenBites%26fx%3D

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Freshman
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Amigone: I kinda agree. My guess is that it depends on how involved a person gets in the film. I gotta see the whole film to judge, maybe it'll make an impact on me

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christmas tree kitapper
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quote:
Originally posted by trollface:
quote:
Originally posted by christmas tree kitapper:
I feel that way about Rocky Horror: what exactly is the big deal about this movie?

The film itself is okay. Seeing it in the cinema with a bunch of other people also dressed up, shouting and throwing stuff at the screen, is great fun.
While I wasn't dressed up, this *was* how I saw the movie. Still came away with a "I stayed up till 3 am to go watch this?" feeling.

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Macheath
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quote:
Originally posted by christmas tree kitapper:
quote:
Originally posted by trollface:
quote:
Originally posted by christmas tree kitapper:
I feel that way about Rocky Horror: what exactly is the big deal about this movie?

The film itself is okay. Seeing it in the cinema with a bunch of other people also dressed up, shouting and throwing stuff at the screen, is great fun.
While I wasn't dressed up, this *was* how I saw the movie. Still came away with a "I stayed up till 3 am to go watch this?" feeling.
See, that's the problem. The folks who go to Rocky Horror don't stay up to 3 a.m. to watch it. They stay up to 3 a.m. to be a part of it. The movie exists as an excuse for them to get together, bond as a group through ritualization, and cut loose. The movie, in a way, is the least important part of the gatherings. If you don't feel the need to belong to a group, you're more likely to see it as ridiculous or even crazy. If you ARE looking for acceptance, then it can be very appealing. Rocky Horror really puts the "cult" in "cult classic."

Mack da "transylvanian sociologist" Knife

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Silas Sparkhammer
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quote:
Originally posted by Amigone201:
Now watch a video of the scene, and tell me it's anywhere near as good as Berardinelli describes it:

http://grouper.com/video/MediaDetails.aspx?id=1618927&ml=o%3D7%26fk%3DScreenBites%26fx%3D

Yep. It's a great scene. The pain is a big part of it. The character is just coming to terms with the fact that it *isn't* his brother's fault, but his own, that he is a bum. He starts out saying, "You should'a taken better care of me." But by the end, "...A bum, which is what I am, let's face it." That makes the scene both tragic and heroic; he begins to accept responsibility for his own fate.

But, as noted above, it depends on all the rest of the movie. Without the lead-up, Henry V's inspirational St. Crispin's Day speech is still pretty good, but in the full context, it is great. Without the lead-up, Hal 9000 singing "Daisy, Daisy" is stupid; in the full context, it is a biting example of bathos (two conflicting dramatic moods expressed at the same time.)

The same is true of this scene. Alone, out of context, it's okay. But once we know the characters, know what they have won and lost, it attains greatness.

Silas

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chillas
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quote:
Originally posted by GenYus:
Blasphemer! You shall be thrown in to the Great Pit of Carkoon where the Sarlacc shall digest you for a thousand years.

Even as a kid seeing it for the first time, I never got what the big dramatic threat was. You're gonna die from dehydration long before the whole digestion thing becomes an issue.

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ThistleSoftware
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I know I've had this experience with more than one horror movie, where once I finally saw this long-hyped classic scary scene it wasn't that big a deal, but I can't recall any of the particulars at the moment. So I'll add a movie that was the opposite: Jaws. I had always heard my parents and their friends and siblings say that it was terrifying, one of the scariest movies ever, and a brilliant film to boot. So naturally, since I know everything and my parents know nothing, I assumed it would be cheesy and not at all scary. Then I saw it. Even on TBS, edited and with commercial interruptions, it had me gritting my teeth and clutching the arm of the couch I was so nervous. Sometimes the slower pace of older films is so nervewracking, it really adds to the tension.

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Silas Sparkhammer
I Saw V-Chips Come Sailing In


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quote:
Originally posted by chillas:
quote:
Originally posted by GenYus:
Blasphemer! You shall be thrown in to the Great Pit of Carkoon where the Sarlacc shall digest you for a thousand years.

Even as a kid seeing it for the first time, I never got what the big dramatic threat was. You're gonna die from dehydration long before the whole digestion thing becomes an issue.
No, no: it keeps you alive!

(You'd go quite insane before a millennium had passed, but you'd still be alive and able to feel each strand of tissue being eroded by the creature's digestive liquids! Oh, how Lovecraftian!)

Silas

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Aimee Evilpixie
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quote:
Originally posted by Silas Sparkhammer:
quote:
Originally posted by trollface:
Correct me if I'm wrong, but Han Solo can shoot a gun, wheras Luke can do magic and has such good reflexes that he can deflect bolts that travel at the speed of light with a thin sword. How is Luke not the cool option?

Mark Hamill's weak, whiny, watery, wimpy, wallowing, wet-behind-the-willy, walk-through performance ("Carrie!") comes to mind.

"I wanna be a Jedi Knight like my father." "I'm a pretty good pilot too, you know."

Solo got all the good lines. "This ain't like dustin' crops, boy!"

Silas

Aww, Luke's whiny, but I always had a crush on him. I think he's a cutie. And he gets better in the later movies, so it's not like he spends all three movies being a little whiny-pants doofus (unlike Anakin... My gods, this little twerp becomes VADER?!).

Plus he has the Force. The Force is awesome.

Aimee "I wonder what other things he can effect with the Force..." Evilpixie

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trollface
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quote:
Originally posted by ThistleSoftware:
Sometimes the slower pace of older films is so nervewracking, it really adds to the tension.

Please could you tell the makers of modern horror films this? While you're at it, could you point out to them that having something unexpected happen accompanied by a loud noise isn't a decent scare? A simple ball bouncing down the steps in The Changeling is scarier than 99% of the stuff you get nowadays.

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seriously , everyone on here , just trys to give someone crap about something they do !! , its shitting me to tears.

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gnome
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I actually loved Casablanca when I finally saw it... including the final lines. I was blown away and have always understood why it was considered one of the all-time greats.

As for Luke vs. Han, people want to be Han because he's cooler, as simple as that. Luke is a nifty hero and magical and all, but he's not "cool". Until the third movie. Then he gets to kick ass and be cooler than Han for one film. I don't think Mark Hamill has approached that level of cool ever since.

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Silas Sparkhammer
I Saw V-Chips Come Sailing In


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quote:
Originally posted by gnome:
I actually loved Casablanca when I finally saw it... including the final lines. I was blown away and have always understood why it was considered one of the all-time greats.

As for Luke vs. Han, people want to be Han because he's cooler, as simple as that. Luke is a nifty hero and magical and all, but he's not "cool". Until the third movie. Then he gets to kick ass and be cooler than Han for one film. I don't think Mark Hamill has approached that level of cool ever since.

His voice characterization of The Joker for the Batman animated series was Top Notch Cool!

And, yeah, at least Luke finally did grow up; Anakin sure as hell never did. (Obi Wan should have gone and pushed the remnants into the lava, just to finish things off once and for all. Sloppy. Lack of attention to details like that can get you stuck in the desert for eighteen years and then cut in half.)

Also, maybe a matter of personal taste, but I'd rather have a cool anti-gravity spaceship, even if it's just a bulk freighter, than magical powers and a sacred sword. Man, think of the money I could make offering cheap earth-to-orbit hauling for the world's space agencies!

Silas

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MaxKaladin
The First USA Noel


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Of course, people wanted to be Han! He had a hot-rod spaceship (even if it didn't look like much). He had a big wookie sidekick. He had a laser gun. He had a lot of cool lines. He was cool! Luke, didn't really get to do much "cool" stuff until the third movie. Mostly, he just bumbled around screwing up and getting bailed out by people.

Also, from the perspective of those of us who saw them coming out, consider jedi weren't all that impressive in the first movie. We got to see Ben take off some guy's arm, Luke practicing (badly) deflecting laser beams with his lightsaber, some "magic" tricks and a fight between Ben and Vader that really wasn't much of a swordfight. We didn't get to see any of the impressive stuff from later movies that makes Jedi seem so cool. Before the second movie (arguably, before the third) came out, Jedi didn't really look that impressive.

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Christie
The Bills of St. Mary's


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quote:
Originally posted by MaxKaladin:

Before the second movie (arguably, before the third) came out, Jedi didn't really look that impressive.

I disagree. I can still remember sitting in the theatre watching Star Wars and being pretty damned impressed.

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If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs, it's just possible you haven't grasped the situation. - Jean Kerr

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trollface
The Bills of St. Mary's


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quote:
Originally posted by MaxKaladin:
We got to see Ben take off some guy's arm[...]



Cooler than shooting someone under a table.

quote:
[...]Luke practicing (badly) deflecting laser beams with his lightsaber[...]
Did you just read what you wrote? Using a sword made out of light? In a fashion that means he's quick enough to deflect beams moving at the speed of light? So he's not great at it yet - he can react to things that move at the speed of light, and uses a light sabre. Light sabres were always cool.

quote:
[...]some "magic" tricks[...]
Yes magic!

quote:
[...]a fight between Ben and Vader that really wasn't much of a swordfight.
In which Ben deliberately lets himself get cut down, so that his body will vanish and he'll become "more powerful than you can possibly imagine"! Okay, that last one turned out to be another of his porkies, but we didn't know that at the time.

The Jedi were always cool.

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seriously , everyone on here , just trys to give someone crap about something they do !! , its shitting me to tears.

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Midgard_Dragon
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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Here's one for the overrated iconic scene: Phoebe Cates in Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Yeah, she's beautiful, yeah, they're very nice, but it wasn't that great of a scene, IMO.

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Midgard Dragon
-==UDIC==-
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Amigone201
Happy Holly Days


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quote:
Originally posted by Midgard_Dragon:
Here's one for the overrated iconic scene: Phoebe Cates in Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Yeah, she's beautiful, yeah, they're very nice, but it wasn't that great of a scene, IMO.

Since we've seen many, many boobs in those types of movies since then (both literal and figurative), I can see how it would be heading toward old hat.

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Check out my blog! http://fundiewatch.blogspot.com

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