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  • #66634
    Angel Barracks
    Moderator

    I would consider myself a serious gamer, in that non of my games have comedy names like Bigus Dikkus, or Simple Simon, there is no worship of the god Aynuss and so on.

    This was not a problem when watching sci-fi films for inspiration for Angel Barracks, but when it comes to fantasy films for Crom’s Anvil inspiration, why do so many of them seem to think that it needs to be a comedy.
    The Scorpion King, Prince of Persia, The Mummy, even the new Conan had forced funny scenes..

    It is a bit annoying, so I thought I would moan about it, makes me wonder what the general publics perception of the genre is…

     

     

    #66641
    John D Salt
    Participant

    I’m afraid a lot of films are formulaic tosh. Therefore, they must all have a comedy scene, some love interest, a car chase, some clumping effort at building suspense, rolling orange exposions, a scene where a lot of people go over a cliff-edge with their mouths open going “Aaaaaaaaaagh!”, a bunch of scrappy misfits defeating the Big Evil, and a happy ending.

    Since SF (as distinct from sci-fi, fantasy or space opera) is essentially a literature of ideas, it is hard to make decent films of it anyway, and it transposes very poorly indeed to the kind of unimaginative film Hollywood mostly churns out.

    All the best,

    John.

    #66644
    kyoteblue
    Participant

    I like a bit of humor in my drama….

    #66646
    Mike
    Keymaster

    I like a bit of humor in my drama….

    Humour that is in context I am fine with, but forced humour can vex me somewhat.
    Get off my lawn also.

    #66647
    kyoteblue
    Participant

    So you don’t want me to finish mowing it ????

    #66648
    McKinstry
    Participant

    For me the problem isn’t the humor per se, it is the actors delivering the lines. Looking buff in faux period togs doth not great timing or delivery make.

    The tree of Life is self pruning.

    #66651
    Iain Fuller
    Participant

    Mind you Arnie lamping that Camel in Conan was quite funny (we won’t, ahem, go into what was going on with the Llama though!)

    #66652
    Victoria Dickson
    Participant

    Plenty of sci fi contains poor attempts at humour (Jar Jar Binks is a very good example of this), conversely fantasy like Game of Thrones has very little.

    Btw, isn’t The Mummy a horror movie rather than a fantasy one?

    #66655
    Angel Barracks
    Moderator

    Btw, isn’t The Mummy a horror movie rather than a fantasy one?

    Maybe, I always think of it as fantasy given the magical element and the fact it is not horrific!

    😀

    If I was inclined I would check out its category on IMDB or something.

     

    Mind you Arnie lamping that Camel in Conan was quite funny 

    Agreed, it suited the scene and character, and made sense, but it was not done for laughs, it was the kind of thing the character would do, lots of films these days seem to have a comic relief role who engineers and sets up gags and drops one liners for the sake of it.

    Plenty of sci fi contains poor attempts at humour (Jar Jar Binks is a very good example of this), conversely fantasy like Game of Thrones has very little.

    meesa hater that character.

    Not sure how the new Hercules (The one with the Rock, so not really that new) fits into my thinking…
    It had some light moments but also some dark ones, and the lighter moments did not seem contrived.

    The new Conan had some silly moments that annoyed me.

    I want a serious grim dark moody fantasy film dagnammit!
    In the desert with barbarians and cool sets and ….

     

    #66657
    Samantha
    Keymaster

    I think the issue is that, up until Game of Thrones, fantasy is seen as a ‘lesser’ genre than historical or sci fi. However, maybe GoT will help change that.

    I also agree some comic relief in drama is good. (If it was good enough for Shakespeare and Chaucer, it’s good enough for me.) However, it is the stupidity of the comic relief that annoys me. Also, I agree it happens in sci fi sometimes, but not every time. However, fantasy films tend to be really formulaic. And that, in my opinion, makes them dull.

    Never put a sock in a toaster.

    #66658
    Mike
    Keymaster

    However, fantasy films tend to be really formulaic. And that, in my opinion, makes them dull.

    Anyone know a good divorce lawyer?

    #66664
    Victoria Dickson
    Participant

    However, fantasy films tend to be really formulaic. And that, in my opinion, makes them dull.

    Anyone know a good divorce lawyer?

     

    There are no good divorce lawyers, there are only rich divorce lawyers.

    #66692

    Geek humour? If you love Sci-fi/Fantasy, you’re, ipso facto, a geek and everything else follows.

    The media follows stereotyping because it appeals to the lowest common denominator & that’s the easiest way to communicate to the masses.

    How about the way wargaming is depicted in movies/TV? The sad loser in ‘Ground Hog Day’? Even the social cripple Callan in the TV series wargames not to show he is a complete person and to underline his status as an outsider.

    And this great piece of reporting:

    What bugs me about it is the people “interviewed” are trying to be pleasant & helpful & are set up and mocked by the reporter.

     

    donald

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 2 months ago by Deleted User.
    • This reply was modified 4 years, 2 months ago by Deleted User.
    #66698
    Victoria Dickson
    Participant

    Even the social cripple Callan in the TV series wargames not to show he is a complete person and to underline his status as an outsider.  

     

    Hey, don’t dis Callan. 

    He had several girlfriends, and it wasn’t his fault they tended to get murdered.

    He got his promotion to head of the Section because of the hobby, admittedly that didn’t work out too well either.

    Hmmm…

    But Edward Woodward. 

     

    #66703
    Guy Farrish
    Participant

    Samantha mentioned Shakespeare, and he has a lot to answer for – drunken porters, comedy gravediggers and Lear’s Fool etc. It seems that English/Anglo-Saxon audiences have historically found it difficult to deal with more than a few minutes of serious drama at a time, or indeed sex. The way to sneak sex through censorship laws was slapstick comedy a la Carry On Films.  England has had a serious problem with both eroticism and philosophical drama that examines the human condition. ‘Legitimate’ theatre has never done as well as Music Hall, Comedy or Musical Theatre in English speaking countries.

    Appropriate black humour where soldiers/warriors would use it is okay in fantasy/SF film for me, but unless there is a very clever counterpoint of tragedy and comedy, light/dark mood, writers and directors should have the courage to make drama and leave comedy where it belongs, in comedies. There’s no great laugh track in Zulu for example except for the nervous attempts at humour you would expect from soldiers in that predicament.

    I think you are right Mike, there is an odd need amongst mainstream film makers at the minute to slap inappropriate ‘broad’ comedy into any and every film in a formulaic attempt to appeal to some part of a demographic that focus groups must have told them both exists and wants it. Difficult to tell how true this is as that is all that is getting made currently.

     

    Oh no! You’ve set me off on a hobby horse now!

    Curse you!

    #66707

    Hey, don’t dis Callan.  

     

    I stumbled on a cache of Callan novels & short stories recently. They are awfully formulaic & a product of their times. Despite my writing this, the literary & television characters  (both a little different) are compelling. I wonder if the author, not writing for TV, could have used this character to create real literature?

    Regardless, in both genres, Callan is an anti-social psychopath. His only real relationship is with Lonely. Consider this & the nature of their relationship. It’s not pretty. Downright disturbing, really.

    (EW was, of course, an outstanding actor).

     

    donald

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 2 months ago by Deleted User.
    • This reply was modified 4 years, 2 months ago by Deleted User.
    #66711
    Rod Robertson
    Participant

    I’m afraid a lot of films are formulaic tosh. Therefore, they must all have a comedy scene, some love interest, a car chase, some clumping effort at building suspense, rolling orange exposions, a scene where a lot of people go over a cliff-edge with their mouths open going “Aaaaaaaaaagh!”, a bunch of scrappy misfits defeating the Big Evil, and a happy ending.

    Umm! Hyperborean car chases! I like! And no chariots mind you, I want muscle cars and exploding 18-wheeler trucks tearing up the roads of Aquilonia. I want my Conan to be L. Sprague-de-campy!

    Cheers.

    Rod Robertson.

    #66713
    Rod Robertson
    Participant

    …why do so many of them seem to think that it needs to be a comedy. The Scorpion King, Prince of Persia, The Mummy, even the new Conan had forced funny scenes..

    Mike/AB:

    In a world where fewer and fewer people have likely read many Conan novels, movies sell the Conan narrative. Comedy sells movies, which are after all about entertainment and transitory escapism. Those of us who take fantasy seriously are a comparatively small demographic, I would imagine, and thus are not that seriuos a preoccupation for the makers and sellers of movies and TV series.

    It does not help when the lead character runs and rides about Hyperborea nearly buck-naked, ravishing beautiful and compliant damsels and stealing/taking fabulous treasures while dispatching rather one-dimensional baddies. Absurd juxtapositions like that sort of force comedy and formula on movie makers and producers, who are probably not devotees of the genre. If you want serious and realistic sword and sorcery films then you have to ditch the sorcery (not realistic) and you are left with watching the exciting goings-on in an open-air charnel house. Movies like Ironclad I and The Black Death may appeal to the serious students of action-fantasy like us but they are only marginally suited to attracting the patronage of the general public. That may change with time but we’re not there yet.

    Cheers.

    Rod Robertson.

     

    #66737
    Angel Barracks
    Moderator

    Geek humour? If you love Sci-fi/Fantasy, you’re, ipso facto, a geek and everything else follows

    I was not really on about geek humour which I feel is quite different, geek humour being jokes where non geeks will not understand the reference.

    This was about humour being forced into what could and maybe should be a very serious scene.
    It seems that proportionally there are more comedy action films in fantasy than sci-fi.
    Is this because sci-fi has a more serious perception with the focus being on the science, but fantasy being ultimately a fantasy, is deemed not to be a genre to be taken seriously?

    Appropriate black humour where soldiers/warriors would use it is okay in fantasy/SF film for me, but unless there is a very clever counterpoint of tragedy and comedy, light/dark mood, writers and directors should have the courage to make drama and leave comedy where it belongs, in comedies. There’s no great laugh track in Zulu for example except for the nervous attempts at humour you would expect from soldiers in that predicament.

    Indeed, a classic example for me of this is in the Battle Los Angeles (sci-fi) which is not a comedy action film by any stretch, where something happens and one of the marines takes the mick out of another one by cracking a joke that fits the scene.
    It is a bit of humour that is in context and does not feel shoe horned in.

    Anyway, I just wish there were more fantasy films that felt they could be serious and not feel the need to have comic relief characters or forced funny situations…

    When it comes to gaming I am not sure about the balance.
    A lot of Post Apoc sci-fi has silly characters in them as do fantasy games.
    I would think they probably equally share where it comes to comedy figures/rules/scenarios?

    #66739
    Victoria Dickson
    Participant

    Regardless, in both genres, Callan is an anti-social psychopath.

    I don’t know about the books, but on TV Toby Meres was the psychopath, Callan hated having to use violence.   The character on TV got on well with people and built strong relationships with them.  That was sort of the whole point of the series, the reluctant assassin who is a good man with a heart who hates his job.

    All the surviving episodes are available on DVD, well worth a watch.

    #66769

    Regardless, in both genres, Callan is an anti-social psychopath.

    I don’t know about the books, but on TV Toby Meres was the psychopath, Callan hated having to use violence. The character on TV got on well with people and built strong relationships with them. That was sort of the whole point of the series, the reluctant assassin who is a good man with a heart who hates his job. All the surviving episodes are available on DVD, well worth a watch.

    To be honest, Victoria, it’s been a while since I’ve seen the TV programs. I should follow your suggestion & dig them up (Youtube?).

    However, in both genres, the sinister MIWhatever Callan works for use torture and extrajudicial killings are so routine they have a colour-coded filing system. Callan is a sympathetic character by comparison to his sadistic upper-class colleagues and implacable superior but he is an assassin who is complicit in the agencies’ activities. He kills the innocent as well as the guilty, under orders (echoes of the Nuremburg Trials?). It’s made clear he is only good at one thing: killing. This makes him a type of psychopath.

    The point of the series, IMO, is that there are no “Goodies” and that Callan is closest thing to a  hero is actually shocking.

    Again, I point out his relationship with Lonely: loving, in a sense, but also highly abusive & violent. Repressed sexuality as well. The only way to describe it is perverted. The toy soldier aspect is used to suggest that these inanimate, even footling objects, are all he really cares for.

    The series was ground breaking stuff if, as I’ve said, at times formulaic.

     

    donald

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 2 months ago by Deleted User.
    • This reply was modified 4 years, 2 months ago by Deleted User.
    #66774
    Victoria Dickson
    Participant

    Regardless, in both genres, Callan is an anti-social psychopath.

    I don’t know about the books, but on TV Toby Meres was the psychopath, Callan hated having to use violence. The character on TV got on well with people and built strong relationships with them. That was sort of the whole point of the series, the reluctant assassin who is a good man with a heart who hates his job. All the surviving episodes are available on DVD, well worth a watch.

    To be honest, Victoria, it’s been a while since I’ve seen the TV programs. I should follow your suggestion & dig them up (Youtube?). However, in both genres, the sinister MIWhatever Callan works for use torture and extrajudicial killings are so routine they have a colour-coded filing system. Callan is a sympathetic character by comparison to his sadistic upper-class colleagues and implacable superior but he is an assassin who is complicit in the agencies’ activities. He kills the innocent as well as the guilty, under orders (echoes of the Nuremburg Trials?). It’s made clear he is only good at one thing: killing. This makes him a type of psychopath. The point of the series, IMO, is that there are no “Goodies” and that Callan is closest thing to a hero is actually shocking. Again, I point out his relationship with Lonely: loving, in a sense, but also highly abusive & violent. Repressed sexuality as well. The only way to describe it is perverted. The toy soldier aspect is used to suggest that these inanimate, even footling objects, are all he really cares for. The series was ground breaking stuff if, as I’ve said, at times formulaic. donald

    I don’t know if it’s available on you tube, but Amazon has the  DVD box sets at about £20 each, one for the black and white episodes, the other for the colour ones.  Given I’ve watched them both around 5 times so far it worked out as quite a bargain for me.  I may be over enthusiastic about Callan I admit. 

    Wargaming is a negligible part of the series, really, when it comes down to it. I think two episodes feature games being played and two others have figures as plot elements, plus there’s some throwaway lines elsewhere about him having toy soldiers.  No one remembers Jason King as a wargamer, but then I don’t think a lot of people remember Jason King…

    #66822
    Angel Barracks
    Moderator

    I have a feeling the certificate U ones will be the most serious…

     

    #66841

    Again, thanks for the head’s up re: the videos, Victoria.

    It’s been interesting exchanging views with you.

     

    donald

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 2 months ago by Deleted User.
    #66855
    Rod Robertson
    Participant

    Ochoin:

    For your viewing pleasure:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PlmHlJTLLVA

    Cheers and good viewing.

    Rod Robertson.

    #66886

    Thanks, Rod. I don’t think I’d realised the wargaming aspect of the series also tied into the class warfare concerns of the show.

    Wargaming was originally very much upper & middle class in the early days, as you would know, & having a working-class Oik like Callan being in the hobby was a slap in the face to the establishment.

    Really, Victoria was correct: I have to re-visit the show & will do so.

     

    donald

     

     

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 2 months ago by Deleted User.
    #67834

    They made Gimli the butt of most comic relief jokes in LOTR some are in the books.  Many are not.  Given the movies are 3-4 hours long with with a game limit of 11 years in many countries.  I guess they needed some extra humour.

    I have no problem watching movies and that can be as  dry and serious as a heart attack.

    But once we are over in tv land I’ll get bored if I have to watch 24 episodes of super seriousness.

    It doesn’t have to be jokes.  But can be a general quirkiness. (Which shows like GOT does have)

     

    But my personality does like silliness.  Probably why I love Stargate SG1 so much. The at times balls out silliness in some episodes are funner that most famous comedies.  While other episodes are quite dramatic.  They shows had a unique sense of humour I loved (which mostly disappeared in Stargate Universe.  Which is why I can’t stand it)

    #67851
    Mr. Average
    Participant

    Isn’t that the fellow who played Breaker Morant in the Callan program?

    And incidentally, I agree on the tone of the reporter above – but the “rare female gamer” put him pretty squarely in his place, I thought.  It’s not about any kind of gender issue, it’s about being a gamer and having a good time.

    We had a reporter come to our club a few months back, who made the same kind of vaguely sly remarks, but we kind of got one over on her by getting her to play a game with us, and she actually had a great time.  And credit to the local news outfit, they included a shot of her shouting in victory when she rolled a critical hit at just the right moment.

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