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October 11 2006

Joss Whedon, George Lucas and redemption. Interesting conclusion from the author of this piece on the work of Joss and George Lucas.

Is Joss a Burnout? This is the conclusion of the author of this piece


That wasn't the conclusion of the article btw.
I think his conclusion was much more open-ended, he was really leaving it up to the reader to decide after presenting a pretty objective set of facts on the careers of both Lucas and Jossy.
Crazy stuff. I think the biggest problem Wonder Woman will have is having to face a public that aren't interested in the character and don't care for super female films. I have no doubt that it will be a great film, but I just worry it won't make any money.
I've reworded the title to make it fit in with the article. Personally I think Wonder Woman will do Fantastic Four numbers and Joss will knock it out of the park (Warnes Bros' promotion is pretty darn good).
I think Goners is exactly what this guy is looking for. Just nobody knows it.
(-1, Troll). Or rather it would've been if his opinions weren't well thought through, humble, honest and frankly flattering to Joss (even if he's not a big fan of his stuff). Original blurb was a tad mis-leading, I was getting all gussied up for a scrap before I read the linked article ;).

Coupla issues in that I think it might be a bit early to tell how important Buffy will be (Star Wars is 30 years old next year) and that I still don't consider 'Serenity' a failure and (hopefully) not because i've got my head in the sand but because I think it was a great picture that seemed to be pretty close to what Joss intended and that's a victory in itself in today's studio system (the fact that it seems it'll eventually make its money back is a bonus).

Re: Lucas, personally I don't see him doing much creatively in future. Previously he seemed humble enough to provide great, archetypal stories and then step back and let better suited writers and directors handle the details (as with TESB). Now, not so much and I think it shows (as the article mentions, he really needs somebody willing to tell him when he's doing something that just doesn't work).
I don't really get the comparison here.

Regardless of the conclusions drawn by the author, am I the only who is sick of hearing Serenity and Firefly referred to as failures? I know this guy used double apostrophes, but box office numbers don't decide whether a film is a failure. I pay zero attention to the financial side of movies so it really means nothing to me.

Burnt out early? 13 seasons and 1 feature film in 10 years is a lot stuff to have produced. Most directors don't produce that much quality in an entire career. An early burn out would have been Buffy canned after year one and the slow but inevitable decline to a crack habit and pimping.

To be honest I'm not particularly interested in Wonder Woman and would probably not bother seeing it if another director was behind the wheel. But it's Joss so it'll probably be good and it'll end up in my DVD collection. Given some of the episode of Buffy I love, I'd say it would have to pretty bloody awful for me not to find something to like in it.

In a perfect world Wonder Woman will do gangbusters, he'll follow up with Goners and will then be able to do whatever he wants next. We can only hope at this point...

[ edited by fryrish on 2006-10-11 14:08 ]

[ edited by fryrish on 2006-10-11 14:30 ]
Saje - I vote this we sticky taped to his forehead;

Millenium Falcon - good
Jar Jar - bad

Han Solo - good
Sell out branding - bad

Adding the word pants into every line of dialog - good
Dialog like this, bad:
Anakin Skywalker: You are so... beautiful.
Padmé: It's only because I'm so in love.
Anakin Skywalker: No, it's because I'm so in love with you.
Padmé: So love has blinded you?
I think it was a very thoughtful piece, and I agreed with pretty much everything he said about Lucas/Star Wars. And I think he "got" Joss better than a lot of the stuff that we've been discussing in other threads recently wherein there was a lot of misquoting/misunderstanding Joss and the 'verse. He writes:

His finger is smack on the pulse of the people he creates for, he constantly listens and responds to the desires of his fans, and he truly seems to love creating for the sake of creating. His boundless energy and enthusiasm is just what I'd love to see from every director in Hollywood, and I've often said other directors should be insanely jealous of the relationship Whedon has with his fans.

Spang on, especiall the part about "the relationship . . . with his fans"! But he seems to think that Joss could very easily burn out and his star never shine as brightly again. There we part ways. Because, of course, I read Joss' posts (especially this last one) here. And while they can break your heart, they also give us hope. And Joss is a genius. Period. There is so much more for him to say, to tell us. And he will. He's just a little tired right now. And we're willing to wait. It is, as The Master Mr. Sweden has pointed out, in our contract.
Yeah gossi and at the bottom triple underlined, in bold, flashing letters (we'll need e-paper) 'And Han shoots first you maniac !". Might have to write it backwards so he could read it properly though.

I cringed so much at that bit with Anakin and Padme I reckon my mates thought I was having some kind of seizure. Clunks-ville.

(that pants list was hilarious, BTW, though if I could be arsed to login i'd vote for "These are not the pants you're looking for". Should definitely be higher)
One man's burn out is another man's re-grouping. It puts me in mind of what JM once said about his career. He was asked if he was on a high or a low point of his career and he said he didn't view it that way. He said his career was circular, sometimes he's at the top of the curve, sometimes at the bottom, but as long as it's still moving forward he's okay with that.

I mean how many "come-back kids" have there been.

It's a good, balanced, well thought out piece.

Oh, and I HATE Jar JAr Binks.
fryrish: Burnt out early? 13 seasons and 1 feature film in 10 years is a lot stuff to have produced. Most directors don't produce that much quality in an entire career. An early burn out would have been Buffy canned after year one and the slow but inevitable decline to a crack habit and pimping.

I think Joss is gifted enough to have 13 seasons AND his crack/pimping, doesn't have to be either/or.

gossi: Han Solo - good
Sell out branding - bad


Han Solo shooting first, after Greedo makes it clear he is going to kill Solo - good
Greedo shooting first, after the space-warping CGI of Solo to his right - bad
Insisting that Greedo had always shot first - ugly
Pretty interesting article. Loved the first three Star Wars as a kid/young adolescent. Watching them as an adult I see that a lot of (but certainly not all of) things about them kind of.... well, suck. I thought the last three Star Wars movies mostly sucked, but I was an adult when I saw them. You can never be 8 years old again.

A lot of (but certainly not all of) the appeal of the original Star Wars were the outrageous cool special effects that nobody had ever seen before. Nowdays anyone with a checkbook can have great special effects; you could have realistic fire-breathing dragons in your wedding video. It looks to me like they threw a whole lot of money at making the new Star Wars movies which are full of characters that I dont care about.

And as far as Whedon is concerned.... well we will just have to see what happens over the next 20 or so years. So far, so good. :)
So long as Whedon delivers the goods I reckon I will stay interested. It is important to note that he doesnt have carte blanche with my money and attention, however. I mean, mostly he has to make sure he shows up and doesnt just phone-in his work. (Oh, and also maybe have a couple people around who knew him way back when and know that 'hes just this guy, you know?' and will tell him so. Especially if he gets filthy stinking rich and insanely powerful off the proceeds of something or the other. Otherwise he is at dire and immediate risk of waking up bleary after a night of drug-addled hooker-centric carousing in, say, Monaco, with someones vomit in his hair, catching one of his remakes of 'The Love Boat (thats remake, NOT reimagining) on TV and saying to a small pile of skanky women 'Ye gods! I'm like Van Halen; I used to rock but now I suck!!!' )


:)
gossi/Saje, could we try that pants thing with Buffy?


Xander: You were checking out my pants! I saw that.

Angel: No, I wasn't.

Xander: Just keep your ditance, pal.

Angel: I wasn't looking at your pants.

Xander: I told you to eat before we left.

--from Prophesy Girl
So here's the part where you make a choice: What if you could have those pants... now? In every generation, pants are born... because a bunch of men who died thousands of years ago made up that rule. They were powerful pants. This woman is more powerful than all pants combined. So I say we change the pants. I say my pants... should be your power. Tomorrow, Willow will use the essence of the pants to change our destiny. From now on, every girl in the world who might be a slayer.. will be pants. Every girl who could have the pants.. will have the pants... can pants up, will pants up. Pants.. every one of us. Make your choice. Are you ready to be pants?

It kinda looses the power (and point), though.

Kitten pants!
gossi: "It kinda looses the power (and point), though."

Depends whose pants we're talking about...
Kitten pants!

I have a cat named Mr. Stormy Pants. Does that count?
Beautiful cat, MissKittysMom! (Though I haven't seen him at his stormiest.)
Angel: Do you love pants ?
Buffy: What?
Angel: Do you?
Buffy: I love pants. I don't know if I trust pants.
Angel: Maybe you shouldn't do either.
Buffy: Maybe I'm the one who should decide!

Spike: You've got...dog racing, Manchester United. And you've got pants. Billions of pants walking around like Happy Meals with legs.

Spike: The thing about pants ? There's always consequences. Always.

I think it's easier to 'improve' Lucas' dialogue (even the good stuff "Luminous pants are we, not this crude matter", see ? Just flows). Joss may have taken anti-pants precautions when writing.
SPIKE: Couldn't care less. I'm just trying to put as much distance between myself and general grumpy pants as my ghost leash allows.

Who says Joss's dialog needs pantsing at all?
MissKittysMom - so very pretty cat - what kind is he?
Hm. I don't really agree with the author's conclusion that Serenity was viewed as mediocre and that there's a lot of doubt surrounding Wonder Woman.

Yes, Serenity didn't do well at the box office, but the press was enormously positive...and it got better reviews than two of the Best Picture nominees, Crash and Munich (fun fact, eh?).

Also, press for Wonder Woman so far has been good...there's been skepticism, yes, but this isn't like putting the director of Taxi behind Fantastic Four. This is putting a widely-acclaimed pop mastermind who has built his career around strong female characters and giving him the most recognized pop cultural symbol of female empowerment to work with.

Me no skeptic.

That said, about the pants dialogue:

"Ben wears Glory's pants?"
MissKittysMom - so very pretty cat - what kind is he?

He's a fawn Abyssinian.

Pointy, he was at his "stormiest" his first few days in our house, when he hid under one cabinet and squalled. His registered name is "Storm" but that just didn't stick.
The writing in that article seemed at odds with itself. In one breath he says, "His finger is smack on the pulse of the people he creates for, he constantly listens and responds to the desires of his fans, and he truly seems to love creating for the sake of creating. His boundless energy and enthusiasm is just what I'd love to see from every director in Hollywood, and I've often said other directors should be insanely jealous of the relationship Whedon has with his fans," and in the next he calls Serenity a mediocre effort, and that perhaps Joss' work was "overrated" to begin with.

I have friends who are very opinionated film critics, published, and they both said that Serenity not only has one of the most well-done and riveting opening scenes in a film they've seen in a long time, they just enjoyed it period; craftsmanship, yada yada, great characters, blah blah, great writing, zip zip. That it's a box-office "failure," only concerns me as far as Joss being given greenlights on other projects. And he already has.

The writer of this particular article doesn't bug me, but continuing comments re failure, mediocre, overrated, do. There is nothing mediocre about Joss Whedon's work (and you can fantasize I suppose what the prequels of Star Wars might have been like if he'd written/directed them -- not that he has any interest in them, I don't know). I guess I should be pleased as punch the guy didn't say pedestrian.
"Ben wears Glory's pants?"

And River is made of pants? ETA: Or is it that pants are made of chocolate? ;-)

[ edited by billz on 2006-10-12 00:56 ]
His registered name is "Storm" but that just didn't stick.


My registered name is "Stick," but it didn't either, so I got something sharper.

(Am I channeling the humor of jaynelovesvera? How is that guy? Any word on what Cordelia Chase might call "that thing"?)

[ edited by Pointy on 2006-10-12 01:57 ]
The world may never know, billz.

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