Friday, March 28, 2008

This Might Be Fun...



But I am looking at all this stuff on the web and wondering why all these films (including some I'm dealing with) feel they have to parody pulp and serials and so forth...

Hmmmm... I have to say I think that's a mistake. Comedy is hard (and not pretty).

6 comments:

Ryan said...

I think it's the special effects. Most people figure that bad special effects are more forgivable in comedy, and they are more willing to admit they don't have the technical skills to make good effects than they are willing to admit they aren't funny.

Cunningham said...

That's a fair comment, and I think you're right. In this particular trailer (and I apologize for picking on it), I have to say that many of the images are cool (especially in the B&W sequences taking place in Metropolis), and a serious film with that backdrop would "play" well to the audience.

Oh well....

Ryan said...

Not that I meant to rag on the effects in that clip. And sometimes I like effects that are fake but interesting, you know? If you haven't seen it, check out sideshowmonkey.com for some examples of effects that are creative, but not always realistic.

Tony said...

You hit the nail on the head. Parodying pulps is scraping the bottom of a pretty shallow barrel. Why not make something new?

I think Sky Captain and Indiana Jones prove it's feasible.

Is this piece really a parody? At this point, even a straight-up pulp homage looks like a parody.

Cunningham said...

I think we've all nailed it by saying that everyone thinks parody is the way to go for retro/pulp material like this...

And yet we do have Indy and Sky Captain as examples as to how it could be done "correctly" (being a word and a half word).

But let's take this a step further and say that LOST is pulp. It's done in a real manner, but essentially it's a "lost world" scenario - pulp. So I would class it as NewPulp - a genre scenario done with full characterizations and new and unusual storytelling techniques.

My final point is that you can have stylized pulp material and not feel the need to make fun of it. I, for one, want to see an action-adventure world in B&W with zeppelins overhead and monstrous skyscrapers and video phones, populated with multi-dimensional characters that are "real."

Making it serious doesn't necessarily take the fun out of it.

Paul Salvi said...

The bad pulp-based movies, funny and serious aside, fail at simple. The plot of Star Wars is Kill Death Star. Raiders is Keep Ark From Nazis. Rocketeer: Keep Rocket From Nazis. Those movies are all funny and serious because they work, because you care, because you know what you're supposed to care about, because they're simple.

For me, Sky Captain doesn't work. I could not, with a gun to my head, tell you what Sky Captain was about. Monarch of the Moon, I'm the kind of guy they made that movie for and it did nothing for me, because it lacks clarity -- straightforward goals -- and thus gives you nothing to latch onto emotionally.