Rumor: Disney Developing New Live-Action Dragon Ball Movie With Asian Cast

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Re: Rumor: Disney Developing New Live-Action Dragon Ball Movie With Asian Cast

Post by ABED » Fri Nov 29, 2019 9:12 am

Anonymous Friend wrote:
Thu Nov 28, 2019 11:25 am
ABED wrote:
Wed Nov 27, 2019 9:26 pm
Anonymous Friend wrote:
Wed Nov 27, 2019 8:42 pm
First, I look forward to any attempt to take a favorite thing of mine to the big screen. Disney is at the top of my, and many other's, lists of companies to do Dragonball any sort of justice. WB has proven they can do similarly with LotRs and Harry Potter. And both of these would be willing to spend the money needed.

Second, as for story, the series can definitely start with the begininng of Z. We don't need loads of explaining who these people are. Saiyan and Namek sagas don't really relate to anything in OG DB. As long as the characters and story are written competently, it's good. Plus, no 2 -2.5 hour film will ever cover everything nerds want it to. Heck, DBZA seems to be enough to let you care able it's characters without having a DBA.
Abridged is NOT dragon ball it's a parody show. You don't care about the characters because it's not that sort of show. It's not a retelling, it's a parody. It presumes you've already seen the series.

And a big part of the Saiyan arc is Piccolo's journey which most of it is predicated on being the former demon king.

Why does this stuff have to be explained over and over? DBZ is not the place to start.
Starting with Z was fine enough for a large majority of US fans and many of them never got around to watching DB. With a decent enough intro we can grasp that Piccolo is a bad guy. And over the course of the film through the power of friendship sacrifices himself for Gohan. We don't need hours of backstory.

As for DBZA, I've watched that with people who've never watch anything else Dragonball related and they get a decent grasp of what the actual show is about. Don't presume the only people watching it are already Dragonball fans.
It was fine because we didn't have easy access to the original series in its entirety, and as others here have pointed out, the stories are sufficiently simple to understand. We may "grasp" that Piccolo was bad, but we don't really feel that history. And the story between Piccolo and Gohan isn't predicated on backstory. We see it develop, but it is even more meaningful after having experienced the full context of his character, not just hearing about it.

Regarding DBZA, understand that I'm not saying it's anywhere close to Mel Brooks' league, Spaceballs works well even if you've never seen Star Wars because knowledge of Star Wars is so ubiquitous even amongst people who have never seen Star Wars. However, that film works even better if you have, and make no mistake, it's not a way to watch Star Wars any more than watching Abridged is a way to watch DBZ.
There is a reason Joker was a smash hit, there is a reason people are asking for #releasethesnydercut. People are starting to get hungry for things to be taken seriously again. Say what you will about Zack Snyder (I personally have enjoyed a fair bit of his films and think BvS Ultimate Cut is the version that should have been in theaters), and while Justice League was acceptable trash full of Weadonisms, I would have much preferred to see his (Zack's) vision of Justice League if not for the sole purpose of artistic integrity which I am a strong believer in.

Now, I understand Dragon Ball is a action/adventure/sci fi comedy but it isn't filled with mindless quips every five seconds that constantly break the tension.
Yeah, that reason is if it has jokes, apparently it can't be considered mature. The reason people are clamoring for dark stuff isn't because they want mature sophisticated material, it's because they conflate grimdark with mature. It's the same reason we got the glut of dark comics in the 90s, and it's ultimately why the bubble burst. DB started off as a gag manga, and it's VERY joke heavy. The names of its characters are pun based, has smiling poo on a stick, and a catfish looking martial arts master who thinks puns are the heighth of comedy. You might want to rethink your thesis.

Also, there is no Snyder cut, Joker isn't as smart as it thinks it is, BvS is fundamentally terrible and broken regardless of which version you see, Snyder's grimdark vision was a step back for the genre, and humor doesn't make things less adult. Zack's vision is some of the most joyless, cynical, and bleak takes on material that is aimed at children I've ever seen, and DB is a story aimed at children, so I don't know what your point is in bringing that up.

The problem has never been the MCU "formula", it's that whenever something hits big in Hollywood, imitators come out of the wood work and usually don't understand what made it successful, so you end up with a glut of god awful imitations. It happened after Watchmen, Scream, American Pie, Dragon Ball, The Dark Knight Trilogy, and the MCU. The reason the MCU worked is because it understood that it's the movies and characters that get people excited about the franchise, not the other way around. They aren't concerned with what anyone else is doing and go their own path.

I unabashedly love the MCU, and think The Last Jedi is one of the best Star Wars films so I don't have the cynical view of Disney's output that many here have. That said, I don't think Disney is the right company to produce a good DB movie.
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Re: Rumor: Disney Developing New Live-Action Dragon Ball Movie With Asian Cast

Post by omegacwa » Fri Nov 29, 2019 9:38 am

ABED wrote:
Fri Nov 29, 2019 9:12 am
Yeah, that reason is if it has jokes, apparently it can't be considered mature. The reason people are clamoring for dark stuff isn't because they want mature sophisticated material, it's because they conflate grimdark with mature. It's the same reason we got the glut of dark comics in the 90s, and it's ultimately why the bubble burst. DB started off as a gag manga, and it's VERY joke heavy. The names of its characters are pun based, and smiling poo on a stick. You might want to rethink your thesis.

Also, there is no Snyder cut, Joker isn't as smart as it thinks it is, BvS is fundamentally terrible and broken regardless of which version you see, Snyder's grimdark vision was a step back for the genre, and humor doesn't make things less adult. Zack's vision is some of the most joyless, cynical, and bleak takes on material that is aimed at children I've ever seen, and DB is a story aimed at children, so I don't know what your point is in bringing that up.

The problem has never been the MCU "formula", it's that whenever something hits big in Hollywood, imitators come out of the wood work and usually don't understand what made it successful, so you end up with a glut of god awful imitations. It happened after Watchmen, Scream, American Pie, Dragon Ball, The Dark Knight Trilogy, and the MCU.

I unabashedly love the MCU, and think The Last Jedi is one of the best Star Wars films so I don't have the cynical view of Disney's output that many here have. That said, I don't think Disney is the right company to produce a good DB movie.
All I was getting at is people are getting tired of the MCU formula and it seeping into other things and it also making its own movies feel very "samey". THAT IS IT.

Dragon Ball is full of comedy but it knows when to be serious. It isn't like the MCU and I don't want it to be.

Also I don't want to turn this into a debate about Zack Snyder but your opinion on BvS is certainly not the only and absolute one. When I first saw BvS I didn't like it. I actually gave it a C- review. But overtime, and completely disregarding the horrible theatrical cut, I have grown to appreciate it and now can say I actually really like it. It seems like a lot of people are starting to turn around on it as well.

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Re: Rumor: Disney Developing New Live-Action Dragon Ball Movie With Asian Cast

Post by ABED » Fri Nov 29, 2019 9:48 am

Honestly, I think the MCU films are becoming even more varied than before and they are taking more chances because they have the trust of the audience.

Does it know when to be serious? This is a series where in the middle of a fight where a main character gets into an argument with one of his attacks for so long that the scene cuts to the villain drinking a ice cream float out of boredom. It seems like people have this idea that using humor makes something more childish and tonally inconsistent, but it's not even the amount of humor, it's how it's used. In inherently silly worlds like those of superheroes or DB, humor can be a great way to tell the audience that the work isn't tone deaf, it understands how silly it is, and I find that makes the more serious moments land harder than if the tone was constantly serious. Serious and dark doesn't make something mature. Humor has a great humanizing quality.

A few extra plot points doesn't make BvS any less of an objective mess. Yes, I wrote objective. There's no issue with liking something that's messy, just acknowledge it's bad. I like plenty of schlock.
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Re: Rumor: Disney Developing New Live-Action Dragon Ball Movie With Asian Cast

Post by omegacwa » Fri Nov 29, 2019 10:19 am

ABED wrote:
Fri Nov 29, 2019 9:48 am
Does it know when to be serious? This is a series where in the middle of a fight where a main character gets into an argument with one of his attacks for so long that the scene cuts to the villain drinking a ice cream float out of boredom. It seems like people have this idea that using humor makes something more childish and tonally inconsistent, but it's not even the amount of humor, it's how it's used. In inherently silly worlds like those of superheroes or DB, humor can be a great way to tell the audience that the work isn't tone deaf, it understands how silly it is, and I find that makes the more serious moments land harder than if the tone was constantly serious. Serious and dark doesn't make something mature. Humor has a great humanizing quality.
The thing is I agree with you. It's just my personal opinion that some of the MCU movies have gone too far and undermined themselves. For instance I feel, now this is only my opinion because it seems a lot of people are head over heels for it, that Thor Ragnarok is not good. It is so wacky stupid that when Asgard falls it feels like it means absolutely nothing.

Also while I agree that the MCU has taken a couple chances, the most recent solo origin movies (Captain Marvel and Black Panther) were horribly formulaic and took no chances whatsoever.

All I'm getting at is the DB is a tough animal to tame. I'm not sure how they would balance the comedy and action, in live action, without it coming off completely stupid and tension breaking. I feel like the manga and anime balance it well, and because it is a cartoon it can get away with more than something in live action would be able to.

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Re: Rumor: Disney Developing New Live-Action Dragon Ball Movie With Asian Cast

Post by MasenkoHA » Fri Nov 29, 2019 10:30 am

omegacwa wrote:
Fri Nov 29, 2019 8:57 am
, there is a reason people are asking for #releasethesnydercut. People are starting to get hungry for things to be taken seriously again. Say what you will about Zack Snyder (I personally have enjoyed a fair bit of his films and think BvS Ultimate Cut is the version that should have been in theaters), and while Justice League was acceptable trash full of Weadonisms, I would have much preferred to see his (Zack's) vision of Justice League if not for the sole purpose of artistic integrity which I am a strong believer in.

Batman v Superman was the equivalent of a 15-year old boy who thinks he’s edgy and serious. Some deleted scenes being put back in isn’t going to save the movie from its ugly cinematography, Superman’s asinine distrust of Batman (this guy is a destructive asshole just like me!), The Ayn Rand masturbatory dialog, or Jesse Eisenberg’s bizarre horribad performance. .
Now, I understand Dragon Ball is a action/adventure/sci fi comedy but it isn't filled with mindless quips every five seconds that constantly break the tension.
I mean the dub kind of was. At least from 1999-2001ish

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Re: Rumor: Disney Developing New Live-Action Dragon Ball Movie With Asian Cast

Post by ABED » Fri Nov 29, 2019 10:36 am

Not sure what you mean by not taking chances with either, but regardless, if you don't like them, that's fine. I'm not here to defend the MCU. I enjoy them and that's enough for me. The one thing I will say regarding Ragnarok is that by going balls to the wall crazy, I felt more for Asgard's fall than if the film had been so self-serious about all of it. It happened in the previous Thor film and Friga's death felt meaningless. It's the same reason I really love DC's Legends of Tomorrow. It's so bonkers crazy and does it so well that the emotional moments tend to land better than if the show had kept going with the more serious tone of the first season. Mileage clearly varies, but humor in DB works so well that we connect to the characters and feel something when they are hurt. I feel more for Piccolo's death because the show is so bonkers crazy that it doesn't take itself so seriously that we are asked to forget that Piccolo is named after an instrument and Gohan is named after food.

I do agree that live action might be harder to suspend disbelief than if everything is a cartoon.
The Ayn Rand masturbatory dialog
BvS's dialog doesn't sound like Rand at all. It sounds like someone with such a superficial understanding of her philosophy thinks Objectivism would say, which if you've listened to Snyder's thoughts on The Fountainhead, you'd understand why.
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Re: Rumor: Disney Developing New Live-Action Dragon Ball Movie With Asian Cast

Post by omegacwa » Fri Nov 29, 2019 10:43 am

ABED wrote:
Fri Nov 29, 2019 10:36 am
Not sure what you mean by not taking chances with either, but regardless, if you don't like them, that's fine.
Hero gets powers, fights villain with same exact powers, humor and quips thrown in every couple minutes. They are designed to be easily digested by the masses. There is basically no difference between the two movies, and in the case of Captain Marvel it didn't have a strong leading charismatic actress to help it along. I don't have a problem with Larson, I just think they could have got a more appropriate actress. For instance Gal Gadot does not embody everything I think of when I think Wonder Woman, but shes charismatic and charming so it kind of pulls you in regardless. I personally think someone like Charlize Theron would have been a better choice for Captain Marvel.

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Re: Rumor: Disney Developing New Live-Action Dragon Ball Movie With Asian Cast

Post by ABED » Fri Nov 29, 2019 10:49 am

Fair enough, I don't agree, and again, I don't have the problem with a ton of humor in superhero movies as you apparently do, but I get what you mean.

If DB was ever made in the Hollywood system it would need humor, lest it ask the audience to take this stuff so seriously that it feels like it's ashamed of what it is. Sometimes I feel like the negative reaction people are having to the humor in these films and TV shows is because they feel like they are being laughed at.
Last edited by ABED on Fri Nov 29, 2019 10:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Rumor: Disney Developing New Live-Action Dragon Ball Movie With Asian Cast

Post by omegacwa » Fri Nov 29, 2019 10:53 am

ABED wrote:
Fri Nov 29, 2019 10:49 am
Fair enough, I don't agree, and again, I don't have the problem with a ton of humor in superhero movies as you apparently do, but I get what you mean.
I don't have a problem with humor at all. Just for me there is a line where it goes from "nice and humanizing" to just plain stupid (for instance Dragon Ball is humorous enough, but the original Z dub felt the need to "punch it up" which is exactly where I feel the line from funny to just plain stupid got crossed). There are also characters who should be the straight man and that is where their humor comes from, not every character needs to be making quips.

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Re: Rumor: Disney Developing New Live-Action Dragon Ball Movie With Asian Cast

Post by ABED » Fri Nov 29, 2019 10:59 am

omegacwa wrote:
Fri Nov 29, 2019 10:53 am
ABED wrote:
Fri Nov 29, 2019 10:49 am
Fair enough, I don't agree, and again, I don't have the problem with a ton of humor in superhero movies as you apparently do, but I get what you mean.
I don't have a problem with humor at all. Just for me there is a line where it goes from "nice and humanizing" to just plain stupid. There are also characters who should be the straight man and that is where their humor comes from, not every character needs to be making quips.
Even straight men can make quips, it's just typically of a different type.

The issue with the dub wasn't ever the "punched up" humor, it's that the humor didn't come out of character, nor was it clever or remotely funny.
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Re: Rumor: Disney Developing New Live-Action Dragon Ball Movie With Asian Cast

Post by JulieYBM » Fri Nov 29, 2019 11:12 am

Hey, I'm just saying, New Nightmare Dragon Ball would be hilarious.

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Re: Rumor: Disney Developing New Live-Action Dragon Ball Movie With Asian Cast

Post by ABED » Fri Nov 29, 2019 11:25 am

I don't have any idea how that would work.
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Re: Rumor: Disney Developing New Live-Action Dragon Ball Movie With Asian Cast

Post by 8000 Saiyan » Fri Nov 29, 2019 12:57 pm

MasenkoHA wrote:
Fri Nov 29, 2019 10:30 am
Batman v Superman was the equivalent of a 15-year old boy who thinks he’s edgy and serious. Some deleted scenes being put back in isn’t going to save the movie from its ugly cinematography, Superman’s asinine distrust of Batman (this guy is a destructive asshole just like me!), The Ayn Rand masturbatory dialog, or Jesse Eisenberg’s bizarre horribad performance. .
Really? I thought the cinematography was okay, and if anything, it shows that Snyder knows his visuals, even if he doesn't really know how to tell a story.
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Re: Rumor: Disney Developing New Live-Action Dragon Ball Movie With Asian Cast

Post by WittyUsername » Fri Nov 29, 2019 1:12 pm

The funny thing is that when it comes to humor and levity in modern blockbusters, there has been criticism towards both ends. Something like BvS was heavily criticized for being overly bleak and unpleasant, with almost no humor or levity to go around, while something like TLJ was criticized for having irreverent humor at various points in the film. Then of course, you have certain people who argue that Marvel films ought to tone down the constant quips.

With that being said, Dragon Ball at its core is a silly franchise made by a guy who specializes in crude gag humor. It does take itself more seriously from the Piccolo Daimao arc through the Cell arc, but at the end of the day, dramatic stories are not Akira Toriyama’s strong suit. If there ever is to be another live action adaptation of Dragon Ball, the obvious expectation would be for there to be plenty of humor to go around, otherwise people will accuse it of trying too hard to take itself seriously. The humor shouldn’t be exactly like the MCU, since Dragon Ball is obviously a very different beast, but it should be there.

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Re: Rumor: Disney Developing New Live-Action Dragon Ball Movie With Asian Cast

Post by funrush » Fri Nov 29, 2019 2:20 pm

Going super serious/gritty with Dragon Ball is the exact opposite of what they should do. Especially since the series itself doesn't get serious until the King Piccolo arc.

Also serious/gritty =/= quality. Dark Knight and Joker are fantastic gritty films. Man of Steel ESPECIALLY BvS comes off like crappy high school fan-fiction a lot of the time, with tons of writing inconsistencies and generally just bleh. I don't know whose idea it was to make Batman an idiot, when his whole power is intelligence? He never even considers Superman might have a mom? Or that Luther is punking him? And he nonchalantly throws Batarangs around as Bruce Wayne?

I propose a Harry Potter approach. The first couple of movies are lighthearted action comedies, and then they get more serious as they approach Z content. The MCU comedy/action hybrid would be perfect for the first couple films, Goku being the center of a fish-out-of-water comedy, with really great action scenes that anchor the films in their source material. You can get through all the source material of the manga in about 7 films if you compress enough.

Dragon Ball Trilogy
  • Movie 1: Search For the Dragon Balls/Red Ribbon. Follows the first arc of DB all the way up to the Pilaf fight, but then you can have the Red Ribbon also be after the Dragon Balls and the conflict with them takes up the final act of the film. Obviously content like Korin's Tower would need to be cut/saved for a later film, but concessions need to happen.
  • Movie 2: Budokai. You combine both the 21st and 22nd Budokais into one tournament. First act of the movie is Goku training with Roshi and Krillin, then they go to the Budokai and Tien/Chaozu are there too. You can play with the bracket in order to make it so Goku can fight Jackie Chun, Krillin, and Tien. & the tournament can just play out similar to how it does in the manga.
  • Movie 3: Piccolo. You can do this one a couple ways. You can have 2 films, one for King Piccolo & a rematch with Piccolo Jr. You could have Goku kill King Piccolo in the first half and have Piccolo Jr. be a twist final boss. You can have King Piccolo die of old age in the opening of the film and have the whole thing be about Piccolo Jr. And then incorporate any loose ends that were somehow missed in the other films, bring Chi-Chi in somehow, Yajirobe, Korin's Tower, Kami's Lookout, etc. Maybe some of those concepts can be introduced in movie 2 instead.
DBZ Quadrilogy
  • Movie 4: Saiyans. This one can play out pretty much exactly how it does in the manga. Maybe the Saibamen get cut if there's not enough time.
  • Movie 5: Namek/Freeza. This one is expensive. Going to space, lots of CG blasts/environments/transformations, the actors will probably be asking for more money too. So the other movies need to be pretty successful to get to this one, but here goes. First act of the movie is the scramble for the Dragon Balls on Namek, like in the manga. Then the fight with Freeza begins and Goku shows up at the last minute in time for the final battle. The Ginyu Force might need to be cut out of this one.
  • Movie 6: Cell/Androids. I think this can go relatively similar too but you might have to cut out 19/Gero and just go straight into the 17/18 stuff.
  • Movie 7: Buu. This arc's big and kind of convoluted, this would be the toughest film to do. Maybe no Super Buu? Maybe cut out most of the Babidi's lair stuff & get straight to Majin Vegeta? This might have to be split into 2 movies if they need to.

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Re: Rumor: Disney Developing New Live-Action Dragon Ball Movie With Asian Cast

Post by Anonymous Friend » Fri Nov 29, 2019 2:40 pm

ABED wrote:
Fri Nov 29, 2019 9:12 am
Anonymous Friend wrote:
Thu Nov 28, 2019 11:25 am
ABED wrote:
Wed Nov 27, 2019 9:26 pm
Abridged is NOT dragon ball it's a parody show. You don't care about the characters because it's not that sort of show. It's not a retelling, it's a parody. It presumes you've already seen the series.

And a big part of the Saiyan arc is Piccolo's journey which most of it is predicated on being the former demon king.

Why does this stuff have to be explained over and over? DBZ is not the place to start.
Starting with Z was fine enough for a large majority of US fans and many of them never got around to watching DB. With a decent enough intro we can grasp that Piccolo is a bad guy. And over the course of the film through the power of friendship sacrifices himself for Gohan. We don't need hours of backstory.

As for DBZA, I've watched that with people who've never watch anything else Dragonball related and they get a decent grasp of what the actual show is about. Don't presume the only people watching it are already Dragonball fans.
It was fine because we didn't have easy access to the original series in its entirety, and as others here have pointed out, the stories are sufficiently simple to understand. We may "grasp" that Piccolo was bad, but we don't really feel that history. And the story between Piccolo and Gohan isn't predicated on backstory. We see it develop, but it is even more meaningful after having experienced the full context of his character, not just hearing about it.

Regarding DBZA, understand that I'm not saying it's anywhere close to Mel Brooks' league, Spaceballs works well even if you've never seen Star Wars because knowledge of Star Wars is so ubiquitous even amongst people who have never seen Star Wars. However, that film works even better if you have, and make no mistake, it's not a way to watch Star Wars any more than watching Abridged is a way to watch DBZ.

"Fine enough" means that even with bothering with anything else, you can understand the plot and characters and motivations. Sure, having all that other stuff enriches your own enjoyment. But, if we're not starting at the very beginning with Goku meeting Bulma, starting at the beginning of Z is the next best thing.

Watching Spaceballs tells you nothing about Star Wars. DBZA is a retelling of the DBZ's story with dozens of hours ripped out and many things repurposed but still gets the story told competently. Like i said, plenty of people who have never watched the actual show have watched Abridged and understand the story just fine.

Make no mistake, while marketing might make some sort of lip service about being for the "fans", we make up such a small, miniscule amount of the audience. Then there's those who would never be happy with whatever they do. Kunzait_83 writes essay level posts about wuxia and such regarding the series and even as a person who has watched the entire franchise several times over (including GT), I didn't notice and don't really care. None of these characters are unique, especially in this day and age. But as long as I get presented a good, accurate characterization of all the everyone and some cool actions scene, I'll be happy. I'd be happier with starting with DB, but I can understand and accept it if they choose not to/
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Re: Rumor: Disney Developing New Live-Action Dragon Ball Movie With Asian Cast

Post by Kunzait_83 » Fri Nov 29, 2019 2:49 pm

omegacwa wrote:
Fri Nov 29, 2019 8:57 am
I agree with this sentiment. I can't believe how many action/adventure/sci fi movies have been "MCUified". It's almost like everything has to be a "joke" now.

There is a reason Joker was a smash hit, there is a reason people are asking for #releasethesnydercut. People are starting to get hungry for things to be taken seriously again. Say what you will about Zack Snyder (I personally have enjoyed a fair bit of his films and think BvS Ultimate Cut is the version that should have been in theaters), and while Justice League was acceptable trash full of Weadonisms, I would have much preferred to see his (Zack's) vision of Justice League if not for the sole purpose of artistic integrity which I am a strong believer in.

Now, I understand Dragon Ball is a action/adventure/sci fi comedy but it isn't filled with mindless quips every five seconds that constantly break the tension.
ABED wrote:
Fri Nov 29, 2019 9:12 am
Yeah, that reason is if it has jokes, apparently it can't be considered mature. The reason people are clamoring for dark stuff isn't because they want mature sophisticated material, it's because they conflate grimdark with mature. It's the same reason we got the glut of dark comics in the 90s, and it's ultimately why the bubble burst. DB started off as a gag manga, and it's VERY joke heavy. The names of its characters are pun based, has smiling poo on a stick, and a catfish looking martial arts master who thinks puns are the heighth of comedy. You might want to rethink your thesis.

Yeah guys. No. Let's not do THIS all-too familiar dance for the umpteenth godawful time.

I'm gonna try and put this as plainly as I can: BOTH the DC and MCU approaches to these movies are absolute crap and are neither are at all what I'd be interested in for Dragon Ball (or basically anything else really).

Tonality in film is nowhere even VAGUELY as binary and rigid as the whole tiresome "DC movies versus Marvel movies" debates online reductively paints it as. Some of the darkest films out there are filled to the brim with laugh out loud hysterical humor and balance gut-check drama and silly whimsy to incredible degrees. i.e. Fargo, American Psycho, Trainspotting, Dr. Strangelove, Man Bites Dog, Brazil, and almost anything else directed by guys like Terry Gilliam or Jean-Pierre Jeunet.

And this is to say nothing of a GIGANTIC swath of Wuxia's output in general. A Chinese Ghost Story is often my go-to example of a Wuxia film that blurs the lines of both genre and clashing extreme tones with outstanding deftness to the point of it seeming almost effortless (swinging to and fro from Evil Dead 2-style gonzo comedy-horror to a sweeping, epic tragic romance and back again... and again and again and again, with a level of fluidity and naturalism that's pretty incredible, to the point where you altogether stop noticing the neck-breaking tonal shifts entirely after awhile).

Reducing tone in film down to a tug-of-war between either "Grimdark, colorless self-seriousness" versus "Featherweight, Disney-approved family comedy." is among the dumbest and most migraine-inducing of all the myriad of dumb, migraine-inducing things to come about from the 2000s and 2010s superhero film glut: to say nothing of being WILDLY lacking in thuddingly basic perspective of even the most BASELINE history of what movies have achieved even in RECENT years (I just saw the new Bong Joon-ho movie Parasite recently, and that's a movie that will have you in stitches laughing while simultaneously having your stomach bound in a knot from both tension and sadness).

Zack Snyder's DC movies suck because, as Masenko noted pretty correctly here, they're basically just a stereotypical 13 year old boy's approximation of what "dark and mature" is supposed to be (and a not particularly bright 13 year old boy at that). They're just as vapid and dumb as the MCU stuff (not to mention every bit as equally un-risque, safe, sterile, and inoffensive: this is hardly John Waters-caliber transgressive cinema we're talking here), but with FAR more clunky writing and storytelling, and oodles upon oodles more unintentional humor: Batman v Superman, in ANY cut, is one of the single most cringe-worthy and godawful trainwrecks to come out of Hollywood in recent memory. Hell, even its TITLE alone is laugh-out-loud unself-conscious in its boneheaded stupidity (the film is ACTUALLY called "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" and its NOT a joke or a parody).

And the MCU films are also no less tedious themselves: but in their case they over-rely upon their humor as a crutch, and moreover are generally speaking just WAY too insubstantial, samey, milquetoast, whitebread, and homogeneous in their general execution for their own good.

BOTH OF THESE approaches are absolutely and fundamentally fucking TERRIBLE (not to mention stiflingly limited) and NEITHER should be cited as creative paths in which something like Dragon Ball should be taken. In no small part also because, of course, Dragon Ball isn't a goddamn superhero story in the first place.

There are so. Utterly. Very. MANY different approaches to ANY kind of high fantasy mix of action, drama, and comedy (not exactly a new or revolutionary mixture there) that one can take that are in NO WAY REMOTELY dependent upon what either the MCU or the DCEU have been doing for this past decade. People (in general overall, not necessarily singling out omegacwa and ABED here) tend to act like genre filmmaking was NEVER a thing that anyone had ever attempted prior to either Iron Man, The Dark Knight, or maybe the 2000 X-Men or 2002 Spider-Man, and like we DON'T have more than 100+ years worth of filmmaking successes and failures (just within even Wuxia ALONE, nevermind film as a broader whole) to draw boundless degrees of inspiration from.

This whole "nothing ever made prior to the mid-2000s or outside of Hollywood superhero tentpole filmmaking matters or is relevant in any way" mentality that so many people often bring into these kinds of discussions are unbelievably moronic and artless, and yes they certainly do indeed help reduce and dumb down the discourse on movies down to basically a tug-of-war over who's preferred theme park attraction (out of roughly two possible candidates) is superior and can rope in a greater number of carny rubes.

Its basically like average fans, nerds, and filmgoers have more or less internalized the hack movie studio executive's mentality in how to approach these things, lurching mindlessly from one recently-successful and "proven" trend to the next, with zero regard whatsoever for even the most basic movie history, context of the material, nuance of craft, or diversity of creative voices and approaches.

For my own part at least, the OVERWHELMING majority of films I would cite as my wanting to see a live action Dragon Ball take its cues from are in no way remotely movies that ANYONE could or would conceivably come within a zillion miles of mistaking for being "grimdark" or "humorless". Dragon Ball's foremost Wuxia forebears are some of the goofiest, wackiest, zanies, silliest stuff you'll ever see this side of a Three Stooges or Marx Bros. film (while also whiplashing violently over to intense drama and often viscerally bloody and harshly brutal fights and action sequences, and then back to absurd silliness again: very much like a little manga/anime known as Dragon Ball).

That being said though: those same aforementioned movies are also movies that in NO WAY fit themselves comfortably (or at all) within the incredibly stifling, rigid, and limited little box that encompasses either Marvel or DC's spate of films. This is why having a broader range of film than simply the past several years worth of superhero summer films is kind of crucial when thinking about or discussing the best or most effective possible approaches for adapting something as creatively offbeat and culturally distinctive as Dragon Ball is.

ABED wrote:
Fri Nov 29, 2019 9:12 am
The problem has never been the MCU "formula", it's that whenever something hits big in Hollywood, imitators come out of the wood work and usually don't understand what made it successful, so you end up with a glut of god awful imitations. It happened after Watchmen, Scream, American Pie, Dragon Ball, The Dark Knight Trilogy, and the MCU.
I'm just curious: what are ANY major examples of superhero films that modeled themselves after the Dark Knight trilogy (I'm assuming with Watchmen you're talking more about comics rather than film)? If you're talking movies in general outside of superheroes, then sure, I can think of a good few examples of non-superhero films that tried to ape elements from Nolan's Batman movies. But within the realm of cape films, what the hell exactly ever tried copying The Dark Knight?

Even Snyder's films, as dumb, bland, and unwatchable as they are, are definitely doing more of their own (very stupid) thing, and aren't really in much the same wheelhouse as what Nolan was up to with his version of Batman (unless we're just conflating ANY movie that's overly self-serious and grim as "Nolan/Dark Knight-esque" in which case... uh, no). And beyond Snyder's DC films, virtually EVERYTHING that's come out of the superhero movie genre has been well within the Marvel mold.

The superhero film genre, contrary to what many of its ardent fans insist, has hardly been a film genre that's been particularly bursting with creative diversity for much of the last 20 someodd years. Everything has largely been fairly rigid takes off of what only a VERY small, tiny, fractional handful of movies (that weren't particularly daring or original in and of themselves to begin with) have been doing, and within the space of maybe a decade or two at most.

There's this idea that a lot of people seem to have had for years now that Nolan's Dark Knight films ushered in some grim, joyless, humorless run of superhero films prior to the MCU: which really began only a year after The Dark Knight, and from there almost immediately asserted its dominance over the superhero film landscape up through to today.

And the reality is that outside of MAYBE Snyder's films (at least if we're gonna make the ridiculous argument that "dark color palette and self-serious attitude" alone are all it takes to be Nolan-esque, a premise that I in NO WAY remotely agree with), I'm not seeing almost ANY noticeable impact offhand that Nolan's Batman films have had on the superhero film landscape. On OTHER Hollywood films outside of superheroes, sure. But not on the cape genre itself, which has been OVERWHELMINGLY defined by Marvel throughout, almost uninterrupted (outside of Warners/DC/Snyder's flailing efforts on their end).

Even the recent Joker film, regardless of one's own views on its level of quality (which I myself have a complex and not very easily summarized view of) owes FAR infinitely more creatively to Scorsese than it does to Nolan: Nolan being about as LIGHTYEARS removed from Scorsese's style as can be.

Unless I'm missing something here (and its very much possible that I am of course), within the context of superhero films, Nolan's Dark Knight Trilogy, for as wildly loved and popular as they are and as influential as they've been on OTHER movies, they largely seem to remain isolated flukes within the superhero film landscape rather than indicative of broader trends within it.
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Re: Rumor: Disney Developing New Live-Action Dragon Ball Movie With Asian Cast

Post by Robo4900 » Fri Nov 29, 2019 3:41 pm

funrush wrote:
Fri Nov 29, 2019 2:20 pm
Going super serious/gritty with Dragon Ball is the exact opposite of what they should do. Especially since the series itself doesn't get serious until the King Piccolo arc.

Also serious/gritty =/= quality. Dark Knight and Joker are fantastic gritty films. Man of Steel ESPECIALLY BvS comes off like crappy high school fan-fiction a lot of the time, with tons of writing inconsistencies and generally just bleh. I don't know whose idea it was to make Batman an idiot, when his whole power is intelligence? He never even considers Superman might have a mom? Or that Luther is punking him? And he nonchalantly throws Batarangs around as Bruce Wayne?

I propose a Harry Potter approach. The first couple of movies are lighthearted action comedies, and then they get more serious as they approach Z content. The MCU comedy/action hybrid would be perfect for the first couple films, Goku being the center of a fish-out-of-water comedy, with really great action scenes that anchor the films in their source material. You can get through all the source material of the manga in about 7 films if you compress enough.
Agreed.

Dragon Ball shouldn't be a pointless, dready, deconstructionist Zack Snyder mess, and much as I don't usually like to yuck peoples' yum... Zack Snyder would give us a movie even worse than Dragon Ball evolution. It'd be the Dragon Ball equivalent of the Michael Bay TMNT films. It'd be utter shit, it would have no interest in being anything to do with what anyone who actually likes Dragon Ball would know to be Dragon Ball, and in general, I think any ideas of a Dragon Ball movie being a Snyder-esque "dark and gritty" thing are the childish ramblings of an edgelord teenager who doesn't actually know what Dragon Ball is, or indeed what makes a good movie.

Honestly... I don't think Zack Snyder is a good filmmaker, really. He's a pretty fantastic DP, but I wouldn't go further than that, really. So, the ridiculous "zack snyder would do the perfect dbz movie!!" nonsense I'm sure we've all seen a lot of online... I have no patience for it, to be honest. See also: Everything Kunzait said about this just now as I was writing this post. (and hey, Kunzait, if you're reading this bit; great post! I decided not to quote that bit in since I don't have much to say and this post is already long enough as-is!)

So, yes, I agree with you entirely. :)

Also, I think a Harry Potter comparison is apt -- different directors would likely be involved from film to film across a project this large, and while they would ultimately form a cohesive whole, each director should be allowed their own voice, and there should be focus on each film being the best possible version of itself, while any ideas of trying too hard to "build a franchise" or anything else that various failed "cinematic universes" have relied on should be tossed into the sea.
And much like the Harry Potter films, no director should be afraid to decide to do something differently from how the last one did things. The reason the third Harry Potter film is the best is because Alfonso Cuarón was allowed the freedom to do whatever he pleased with the film, basically. He wasn't constrained by shooting the film in a way that was similar to Columbus, he wasn't constrained by continuing to do the very rigid, literal adaptation approach from the two prior films... He did his own thing with it. And the next couple of directors were similarly allowed to do their own thing.
funrush wrote:
Fri Nov 29, 2019 2:20 pm
Dragon Ball Trilogy
[...]
DBZ Quadrilogy
One criticism: I would not separate them with any kind of "Dragon Ball" vs "Z" distinction. I would personally just call them all "Dragon Ball", with a subtitle. I dunno if it was in this thread or a private conversation with someone else, but I previously came up with an idea that I'd like to see them named something like "Dragon Ball: The Tale of [thing]". Somewhat inspired by the Viz manga's way of saying "Tale #190" as the chapter numbering instead of "Chapter #190". Just has a fun sound to it that I like.

Anyway, I'm rambling. Point is: Dragon Ball and Z aren't two separate stories, there's no separation there that makes any kind of sense unless you're going into this with the preconceived idea that there is a separation. The only thing that sets them apart is a timeskip, of which there are several in the story, so... Just seems silly to call that a line when the "Z" era is just as connected to the "Pre-Z" instalments as those "Pre-Z" instalments themselves. Hell, the cyborgs storyline is literally a sequel to the Red Ribbon storyline in terms of its setup and the motivations behind it.

So, just call them seven movies that form one saga between them all. That's what I say.
Kunzait_83 wrote:
Fri Nov 29, 2019 3:18 am
[Marvel character talk]
Fair enough. I think the point I was generally making does still stand, even if I could have phrased it better, but I do very much appreciate the history lesson, and this is something I should probably look into more. Thank you. :)
Kunzait_83 wrote:
Fri Nov 29, 2019 3:18 am
This is a killer awesome post. Spot on. :clap: :clap: :clap:
Thanks, man. :)
Kunzait_83 wrote:
Fri Nov 29, 2019 3:18 am
I was gonna say: while its not outside the realm of believability that Disney MIGHT try to go for this, there's literally ZERO tangible substance to hang this on other than a random gossip/rumor site saying "Hey, I heard this from a guy who knows a guy who knows a guy...!"

The fact that something that vague, thin, and insubstantial alone dragged this out to 14 pages is kind of a (sad) telling of how BEYOND desperate/thirsty this fanbase still is for a big budget studio Dragon Ball film: which in essence, basically translates for most into "public validation" for their pet property, as well as the whole sports-like "My team's winning!" mentality that people bring to these corporatized geek franchises and how well they do financially and so on.
Fair.

I will say, having read what I've read of this thread so far (certainly not all of it; I haven't really had the time to keep up with every post), it does seem that people are fairly clear on this not being any kind of reputable news, and most of this talk is hypothetical "Man, wouldn't it be cool if this was real, though?"... Which I think's kinda nice? As you say, this fandom really wants such a movie... I've made no secret of wanting such a movie, if done right... WeGotThisCovered and other such clickbait rumour-mill lies/hearsay are awful, but even though it makes for a poor starting point, I'm digging the actual conversation going on here. :)
Kunzait_83 wrote:
Fri Nov 29, 2019 3:18 am

Agreed. This is a relatively rare case where business (i.e. pandering to the Chinese market) actually has a side-benefit of having a positive impact on (at least one specific portion of) the creative-end for a change: in this case, we actually get Asian actors to play our gang of mystical martial artists borrowed from Chinese myths and legends, instead of Justin Chatwin as the whitest of all Gokus this side of Schemmel's "Ally to Good!" speech.

It'd be a thousand times even more promising if they also went and got seasoned Hong Kong stuntmen and fight choreographers to handle the actual martial arts end of this (including how they're blocked, shot, and edited), but I'm hardly holding my breath on that.

Still though, as sad as it is that we even have to acknowledge this in 2019, Chinese actors getting tapped to play characters rooted in Chinese kung fu fairytales would certainly be more than welcome. God knows Hong Kong has more than PLENTY of phenomenally talented actors and martial arts stunt performers that could more than handily do many of these roles justice.
Agreed. :)
Kunzait_83 wrote:
Fri Nov 29, 2019 3:18 am
To the bolded portion: I'm fairly sure that (given Disney's general track record) that'd basically be the BEST case scenario for this. I don't really foresee something in anyway above that basic appraisal (some trappings of DB, some of the feel, but otherwise a fairly generic, bland summer blockbuster) in store for this kind of project. Largely because that's basically BEEN the very absolute best that they've been putting out there with regards to Marvel and Star Wars and the like.

And this is once again assuming of course that its actually in the pipeline and this isn't just a rumor website doing what a rumor site dies: spreading a rumor.
I still stand by my long-standing view that, while the Marvel philosophy so far has basically been "Let's just make some really solid blockbusters that have likeable characters, entertaining stars, nice visuals, and some poigniant stuff going on under the surface", that is ultimately fine. Every era of... Well, movies in this case, but all media, really... Every era has its vanilla flavour. Right now, that vanilla flavour is basically Marvel movies. And as far as vanilla flavours go... They're generally pretty cleverly-written, they're generally quite positive, they've not really got any toxic messages for children, they're movies we can all enjoy...

They're not challenging movies generally, sure. There's a reason Scorsese isn't interested in seeing these movies, and much as I consider his remarks regarding them being "Not cinema" to be childish, reductionist nonsense, the underlying point that they're not... For lack of a better term, challenging auteur stuff like Apocalypse Now or The Shining or whatever, is valid. Because ultimately, the Marvel movies are just a series of fun movies that the pop culture of 2019 can all enjoy together. They're inoffensive, perfectly entertaining movies that we can escape to and experience some joy in these dark times, and as far as such movies go, I think they're utterly perfect at doing that, so... Even if that's not a type of movie you're interested in (which is totally fair!!), they aren't bad movies. They do what they set out to do, perfectly.

And honestly, this has always kinda been how I've seen Dragon Ball working as movies too, in a way? Don't get me wrong, I'd love to see something weirder, say if Edgar Wright co-directed with an experienced Hong Kong kung-fu director to make something completely different from anything we've seen before, I'd be dancing naked in the streets with the joy this would give me.

But ultimately, like the Marvel movies, Dragon Ball is... Well, it's shounen entertainment media.
Toriyama wrote Dragon Ball to entertain 8-year-olds, much like how George Lucas did Star Wars to entertain 8-year-olds... There are grander intentions, there's a lot of nuance to the details and influences of all this, but ultimately, the reason Dragon Ball hits so big is because basically everyone can enjoy it, it's very positive on the whole, largely free of anything toxic or otherwise unpleasant being depicted in any positive light (let's not dwell on this, but even the Roshi antics that haven't aged well do ultimately consider these antics bad, and he gets comeuppance for them every time), the stories ultimately get most of their depth, not from the narratives themselves, but from the characters' motivations (Namek arc is basically a fairly simple three-way cat and mouse game between the Freeza forces, Kuririrn&Gohan&Bulma, and Vegeta. It's a very simple plot if you want to really break it down. And it works beautifully because of that; the characters all shine brilliantly, and their motivations and interactions are what make it good manga, and indeed good TV).

And yeah, you mention Star Wars... I would argue Last Jedi was quite a challenging approach to this, but that ultimately Star Wars is fundamentally flavoured like the modern vanilla movie. The original Star Wars in '77 was groundbreaking, but everything that Star Wars was, has become a core ingredient of what has become the modern vanilla flavour for movies. So, naturally, modern Star Wars ends up feeling a bit vanilla, because it's a new iteration on one of the core founders of the modern vanilla flavour. Force Awakens moreso than the others, because it was deliberately trying to throw us back with nostalgia after a lot of the lost goodwill from the prequels, but ultimatly even Last Jedi, the most challenging, weird, different, and dark movie in the Star Wars franchise, is still ultimately doing that only in the details, while the overall framework of the film is still basically just a really solid blockbuster sci-fi/fantasy action movie. It's still a Star Wars movie.
So, yes, the new Star Wars movies are somewhat vanilla for today. But go back and watch the original Star Wars; if pop culture had somehow moved on exactly as it did without Star Wars in '77, but they released that movie as-is today, it would've hit big, because it still is a really solid movie we can all enjoy that fits in snugly with what people want out of a modern solid, escapist sci-fi/fantasy blockbuster.

...

Anyway, the point I'm rambling around and failing to really deliver on is this: I think if Disney do this, chances are we'll get something that's very much flavoured similar to the vanilla of our current era. But I don't think that'd give us a bad Dragon Ball movie. The core of Dragon Ball would likely be in there: The characters we adore, the world we love, the comedy action adventure we all want to see given the big screen treatment... It'd all be there. And while it wouldn't be some Scorsese-approved meditation on what it means to be human, I think it'd still be a fun movie we could all share in the joy of. Just like the recent Broly movie, or the first and last Z movies, or the OG DB movies... I think as far as Dragon Ball movies go, Disney would give us another solid entry with a lot of fun performances and memorable visuals.

It would be nice to get something more challenging, but ultimately if we do get another fairly standard blockbuster out of it, it would still be fairly true to Dragon Ball's roots, even if something better is posible if Disney were willing to take more risks.
Kunzait_83 wrote:
Fri Nov 29, 2019 2:49 pm
Tonality in film is nowhere even VAGUELY as binary and rigid as the whole tiresome "DC movies versus Marvel movies" debates online reductively paints it as. Some of the darkest films out there are filled to the brim with laugh out loud hysterical humor and balance gut-check drama and silly whimsy to incredible degrees. i.e. Fargo, American Psycho, Trainspotting, Dr. Strangelove, Man Bites Dog, Brazil, and almost anything else directed by guys like Terry Gilliam or Jean-Pierre Jeunet.

Reducing tone in film down to a tug-of-war between either "Grimdark, colorless self-seriousness" versus "Featherweight, Disney-approved family comedy." is among the dumbest and most migraine-inducing of all the myriad of dumb, migraine-inducing things to come about from the 2000s and 2010s superhero film glut: to say nothing of being WILDLY lacking in thuddingly basic perspective of even the most BASELINE history of what movies have achieved even in RECENT years (I just saw the new Bong Joon-ho movie Parasite recently, and that's a movie that will have you in stitches laughing while simultaneously having your stomach bound in a knot from both tension and sadness).
Your entire post on this is great, but I'd like to particularly draw attention to this and say -- THANK YOU. Tone is far more complex than any kind of idea of "grimdark" vs "light and goofy".
Hell, probably the most intense movie I've ever seen, The Shining, actually has a lot of really nice, wholesome scenes. Scatman Crothers basically exhudes a joyful atmosphere, and while there's the tension of "How is this guy reading the kid's mind?", he pretty quickly has a nice sit down with Danny, shares a story about he and his grandmother, and generally establishes himself as a positive figure... And then of cousre, the scene pivots into more intense territory as they talk about room 237... There's a tone shift...

And going to the source material and its adjacent work, while I have yet to really dig into King's books, it's quite well-talked-about that a hallmark of his style is that while he does instil pants-shitting terror, a large portion of his writing is totally non-scary stuff (unless you find geography scary, which... Fair enough). Usually it's essentially forming a background for the terrifying stuff to take place, such as describing various aspects of Derry, the town in It, but the tone is different in these parts than the terror one would associate with a horror writer like King. Naturally, this is a book, not a film, but... Yeah. Tone is not a singular thing in a film, or any other media for that matter. I think any film that had a singular, static tone would get tiring pretty fast.
KBABZ wrote:
Fri Nov 29, 2019 4:06 am
a bland and nothing score,
This is something that has always bothered me, and I do have some theories on it, if anyone's interested...

I think a lot of the problems with modern superhero scoring is the fact no composers are kept on longer than one movie. No themes are given time to be established beyond one movie, as each new composer throws out the work of the others to just focus on scoring their one movie on its own.

You see this with the Harry Potter movies; first two movies are John Williams putting in excellent work using his masterful interweaving of themes, and even when he changes up his score a lot for the third film's different feel, it still ends up holding together, feeling like a logical progression, and of course him being able to establish the "Toil and trouble" theme with the choir at the beginning helps strengthen that theme throughout the film... Come the next film, he's been replaced by Patrick Doyle (apparently director Mike Newell didn't think John Williams could do a dark enough, epic enough tone... :problem:), all but Hedwig's theme have been thrown out... A new set of themes are established for everything, solid themes, they weave well throughout the film, it's a shame to lose Williams, but honestly Doyle did do good work... Then he gets thrown out, along with all his themes, for Nicholas Hooper in the next film (because David Yates wanted to work with Hooper, who he'd worked with before), who actually ends up throwing out most of his own themes for the one after that... And then the guy working on the last two films didn't really use any themes, IIRC there's talk of him deliberately avoiding using memorable themes outside of the very beginning and very end (he even brings back a few John Williams themes at the end) to instil a hopeless, oppressive atmosphere... Though even at that, there are musical identities for certain characters, most of which ended up getting thrown out and replaced with entirely different identities for part 2... :eh:
Anyway, this all ends up meaning that once you get past the third film, the scoring of these films just becomes a mess that you largely forget the intricacies of.

So, there's a lot of great stuff in a lot of these scores, but they don't tend to tie together between each-other, and in the end, a lot of the "main themes" end up forgotten because they simply don't pop up more than once or twice in the entire chronology of 23-odd movies... And unless you rewatch one given movie a bunch of times and/or listen to the score repeatedly on its own, you just don't get a sense of it. And this is all compounded by the general given direction for a certain style in modern blockbusters, so we end up with certain composers giving particularly distinct work on these films (I think Alan Silvestri's work has been rather excellent, and Michael Giaccino is a long-standing favourite of mine), and that work is often overlooked because they only work on two or three of the, again, 23-odd films in the Marvel franchise... Giaccino has made his work stand out well in the Star Trek movies, and Alan Silvestri at least scored all the Avengers movies as well as Captain America 2 and 3... But a lot of modern blockbusters, particularly superhero films, do end up in this rather awkward rut in terms of their scores. And it is a real shame, especially given the talent behind these movies.
A somewhat self-indulgent thesis on my current outlook on Dragon Ball fandom, which I feel should be below every post I make from now on:

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Re: Rumor: Disney Developing New Live-Action Dragon Ball Movie With Asian Cast

Post by ABED » Fri Nov 29, 2019 4:27 pm

Kunzait_83 wrote:
Fri Nov 29, 2019 2:49 pm
omegacwa wrote:
Fri Nov 29, 2019 8:57 am
I agree with this sentiment. I can't believe how many action/adventure/sci fi movies have been "MCUified". It's almost like everything has to be a "joke" now.

There is a reason Joker was a smash hit, there is a reason people are asking for #releasethesnydercut. People are starting to get hungry for things to be taken seriously again. Say what you will about Zack Snyder (I personally have enjoyed a fair bit of his films and think BvS Ultimate Cut is the version that should have been in theaters), and while Justice League was acceptable trash full of Weadonisms, I would have much preferred to see his (Zack's) vision of Justice League if not for the sole purpose of artistic integrity which I am a strong believer in.

Now, I understand Dragon Ball is a action/adventure/sci fi comedy but it isn't filled with mindless quips every five seconds that constantly break the tension.
ABED wrote:
Fri Nov 29, 2019 9:12 am
Yeah, that reason is if it has jokes, apparently it can't be considered mature. The reason people are clamoring for dark stuff isn't because they want mature sophisticated material, it's because they conflate grimdark with mature. It's the same reason we got the glut of dark comics in the 90s, and it's ultimately why the bubble burst. DB started off as a gag manga, and it's VERY joke heavy. The names of its characters are pun based, has smiling poo on a stick, and a catfish looking martial arts master who thinks puns are the heighth of comedy. You might want to rethink your thesis.

Yeah guys. No. Let's not do THIS all-too familiar dance for the umpteenth godawful time.

I'm gonna try and put this as plainly as I can: BOTH the DC and MCU approaches to these movies are absolute crap and are neither are at all what I'd be interested in for Dragon Ball (or basically anything else really).

Tonality in film is nowhere even VAGUELY as binary and rigid as the whole tiresome "DC movies versus Marvel movies" debates online reductively paints it as. Some of the darkest films out there are filled to the brim with laugh out loud hysterical humor and balance gut-check drama and silly whimsy to incredible degrees. i.e. Fargo, American Psycho, Trainspotting, Dr. Strangelove, Man Bites Dog, Brazil, and almost anything else directed by guys like Terry Gilliam or Jean-Pierre Jeunet.

And this is to say nothing of a GIGANTIC swath of Wuxia's output in general. A Chinese Ghost Story is often my go-to example of a Wuxia film that blurs the lines of both genre and clashing extreme tones with outstanding deftness to the point of it seeming almost effortless (swinging to and fro from Evil Dead 2-style gonzo comedy-horror to a sweeping, epic tragic romance and back again... and again and again and again, with a level of fluidity and naturalism that's pretty incredible, to the point where you altogether stop noticing the neck-breaking tonal shifts entirely after awhile).

Reducing tone in film down to a tug-of-war between either "Grimdark, colorless self-seriousness" versus "Featherweight, Disney-approved family comedy." is among the dumbest and most migraine-inducing of all the myriad of dumb, migraine-inducing things to come about from the 2000s and 2010s superhero film glut: to say nothing of being WILDLY lacking in thuddingly basic perspective of even the most BASELINE history of what movies have achieved even in RECENT years (I just saw the new Bong Joon-ho movie Parasite recently, and that's a movie that will have you in stitches laughing while simultaneously having your stomach bound in a knot from both tension and sadness).

Zack Snyder's DC movies suck because, as Masenko noted pretty correctly here, they're basically just a stereotypical 13 year old boy's approximation of what "dark and mature" is supposed to be (and a not particularly bright 13 year old boy at that). They're just as vapid and dumb as the MCU stuff (not to mention every bit as equally un-risque, safe, sterile, and inoffensive: this is hardly John Waters-caliber transgressive cinema we're talking here), but with FAR more clunky writing and storytelling, and oodles upon oodles more unintentional humor: Batman v Superman, in ANY cut, is one of the single most cringe-worthy and godawful trainwrecks to come out of Hollywood in recent memory. Hell, even its TITLE alone is laugh-out-loud unself-conscious in its boneheaded stupidity (the film is ACTUALLY called "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" and its NOT a joke or a parody).

And the MCU films are also no less tedious themselves: but in their case they over-rely upon their humor as a crutch, and moreover are generally speaking just WAY too insubstantial, samey, milquetoast, whitebread, and homogeneous in their general execution for their own good.

BOTH OF THESE approaches are absolutely and fundamentally fucking TERRIBLE (not to mention stiflingly limited) and NEITHER should be cited as creative paths in which something like Dragon Ball should be taken. In no small part also because, of course, Dragon Ball isn't a goddamn superhero story in the first place.

There are so. Utterly. Very. MANY different approaches to ANY kind of high fantasy mix of action, drama, and comedy (not exactly a new or revolutionary mixture there) that one can take that are in NO WAY REMOTELY dependent upon what either the MCU or the DCEU have been doing for this past decade. People (in general overall, not necessarily singling out omegacwa and ABED here) tend to act like genre filmmaking was NEVER a thing that anyone had ever attempted prior to either Iron Man, The Dark Knight, or maybe the 2000 X-Men or 2002 Spider-Man, and like we DON'T have more than 100+ years worth of filmmaking successes and failures (just within even Wuxia ALONE, nevermind film as a broader whole) to draw boundless degrees of inspiration from.

This whole "nothing ever made prior to the mid-2000s or outside of Hollywood superhero tentpole filmmaking matters or is relevant in any way" mentality that so many people often bring into these kinds of discussions are unbelievably moronic and artless, and yes they certainly do indeed help reduce and dumb down the discourse on movies down to basically a tug-of-war over who's preferred theme park attraction (out of roughly two possible candidates) is superior and can rope in a greater number of carny rubes.

Its basically like average fans, nerds, and filmgoers have more or less internalized the hack movie studio executive's mentality in how to approach these things, lurching mindlessly from one recently-successful and "proven" trend to the next, with zero regard whatsoever for even the most basic movie history, context of the material, nuance of craft, or diversity of creative voices and approaches.

For my own part at least, the OVERWHELMING majority of films I would cite as my wanting to see a live action Dragon Ball take its cues from are in no way remotely movies that ANYONE could or would conceivably come within a zillion miles of mistaking for being "grimdark" or "humorless". Dragon Ball's foremost Wuxia forebears are some of the goofiest, wackiest, zanies, silliest stuff you'll ever see this side of a Three Stooges or Marx Bros. film (while also whiplashing violently over to intense drama and often viscerally bloody and harshly brutal fights and action sequences, and then back to absurd silliness again: very much like a little manga/anime known as Dragon Ball).

That being said though: those same aforementioned movies are also movies that in NO WAY fit themselves comfortably (or at all) within the incredibly stifling, rigid, and limited little box that encompasses either Marvel or DC's spate of films. This is why having a broader range of film than simply the past several years worth of superhero summer films is kind of crucial when thinking about or discussing the best or most effective possible approaches for adapting something as creatively offbeat and culturally distinctive as Dragon Ball is.

ABED wrote:
Fri Nov 29, 2019 9:12 am
The problem has never been the MCU "formula", it's that whenever something hits big in Hollywood, imitators come out of the wood work and usually don't understand what made it successful, so you end up with a glut of god awful imitations. It happened after Watchmen, Scream, American Pie, Dragon Ball, The Dark Knight Trilogy, and the MCU.
I'm just curious: what are ANY major examples of superhero films that modeled themselves after the Dark Knight trilogy (I'm assuming with Watchmen you're talking more about comics rather than film)? If you're talking movies in general outside of superheroes, then sure, I can think of a good few examples of non-superhero films that tried to ape elements from Nolan's Batman movies. But within the realm of cape films, what the hell exactly ever tried copying The Dark Knight?

Even Snyder's films, as dumb, bland, and unwatchable as they are, are definitely doing more of their own (very stupid) thing, and aren't really in much the same wheelhouse as what Nolan was up to with his version of Batman (unless we're just conflating ANY movie that's overly self-serious and grim as "Nolan/Dark Knight-esque" in which case... uh, no). And beyond Snyder's DC films, virtually EVERYTHING that's come out of the superhero movie genre has been well within the Marvel mold.

The superhero film genre, contrary to what many of its ardent fans insist, has hardly been a film genre that's been particularly bursting with creative diversity for much of the last 20 someodd years. Everything has largely been fairly rigid takes off of what only a VERY small, tiny, fractional handful of movies (that weren't particularly daring or original in and of themselves to begin with) have been doing, and within the space of maybe a decade or two at most.

There's this idea that a lot of people seem to have had for years now that Nolan's Dark Knight films ushered in some grim, joyless, humorless run of superhero films prior to the MCU: which really began only a year after The Dark Knight, and from there almost immediately asserted its dominance over the superhero film landscape up through to today.

And the reality is that outside of MAYBE Snyder's films (at least if we're gonna make the ridiculous argument that "dark color palette and self-serious attitude" alone are all it takes to be Nolan-esque, a premise that I in NO WAY remotely agree with), I'm not seeing almost ANY noticeable impact offhand that Nolan's Batman films have had on the superhero film landscape. On OTHER Hollywood films outside of superheroes, sure. But not on the cape genre itself, which has been OVERWHELMINGLY defined by Marvel throughout, almost uninterrupted (outside of Warners/DC/Snyder's flailing efforts on their end).

Even the recent Joker film, regardless of one's own views on its level of quality (which I myself have a complex and not very easily summarized view of) owes FAR infinitely more creatively to Scorsese than it does to Nolan: Nolan being about as LIGHTYEARS removed from Scorsese's style as can be.

Unless I'm missing something here (and its very much possible that I am of course), within the context of superhero films, Nolan's Dark Knight Trilogy, for as wildly loved and popular as they are and as influential as they've been on OTHER movies, they largely seem to remain isolated flukes within the superhero film landscape rather than indicative of broader trends within it.
And if what your take away from my post is I only want the MCU approach, then you missed my point by a mile. I said the same thing Masenko was saying. It wasn't the darkness that was the problem, it was the execution. Although, I will say for the record that putting a one note dark tone over a movie where people where costumes to beat up bad guys is rather pretentious unless you are pointing out the inherent silliness of it.

I'm not that deluded in thinking darkness and seriousness were what made Nolan's films what they were. That's the problem that lead WB down its path towards the Snyderverse and a bunch of other attempts to ape Nolan's approach to wind up as failures. A big problem I have with much of not just Hollywood but of online "criticisms" is they only seem to be able to point out the tangible details. It's not that Nolan's aesthetic was fit for the Dark Knight or his ability to plot or weave a good yarn or direct compelling performances, it was just the darkness and "realism".

I've said this before and I'll say it again, if anything works, it's because of lightning in a bottle. The right talent(s) at the right place and the right time.

To answer your direct question, I wasn't talking about the effect of Nolan's aesthetic on just comic book films which is why I bunched in a number of different films from different genres. Although I would argue that approach was very much applied to Man of Steel. It's not surprising given that film's producers and writers. And of course Scorsese was a bigger influence on Joker than Nolan. That red suit instead of his traditional purple is proof of that, as is the damn setting which is there purely for the homage and not to make any larger point. And yes, I was talking about the Watchmen graphic novel, not the movie. The comic and Miller's Dark Knight Returns helped usher in a deluge of imitators who took only the surface level qualities of "dark and serious" instead of the quality of the material. A bunch of fanboys who took the darkness to be mature flocked to it and the publishers fed that demand. It forgot about younger fans and that's one reason comic books has almost died off as a medium. It's practically a loss leader and a feeder system for the films.

Maybe this post comes off as insecure, but I don't like the idea of anyone coming away from this discussion thinking I don't like a wide variety of films with different tones and films with different tones in the same picture. I don't ask that every comic book movie take Marvel's approach, it works for them. Hell, I'm not even asking for DB to be made. I'd rather it not, but if it was, humor needs to be a big part of it.
Really? I thought the cinematography was okay, and if anything, it shows that Snyder knows his visuals, even if he doesn't really know how to tell a story.
Cinematography isn't about a nice visual. It's purpose is visual STORYTELLING, not the other way around. Generally, the best writing, acting, cinematography, editing, etc. doesn't draw attention to itself. If the visuals don't know how to tell a story, it's not great cinematography.
Last edited by ABED on Fri Nov 29, 2019 5:21 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Saikyo no Senshi
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Re: Rumor: Disney Developing New Live-Action Dragon Ball Movie With Asian Cast

Post by Saikyo no Senshi » Fri Nov 29, 2019 4:45 pm

@Robo4900 I didn't interpret Scorsese or any of the other directors being critical of these movies from an artistic point of view(I mean Scorsese even called them well made), but the larger cultural point these movies have managed to make in the last decade and most importantly Disney's attempts to have complete control over the market. I mean the Irishman struggled to get finance while your average superhero shit gets made on a $200 million budget. And, I say fuck such a system.

Also, these movies are not harmless, silly fun stuff. Oh, boy they are not. Iron Man's imperialism, especially in the 1st film, the US military propaganda in Captain Marvel to name a few are troubling to say the least. Add to that, the inherent fascism that I have observed is ever present in most of these superhero stories, its going to have an impact on the culture. That's the problem here as far as I'm concerned. They are technically fine movies and the people who made them are talented and hardworking people, but the shit Disney is selling to not just the US, but literally most of the world and have been super successful at it is a neoliberal fascist's wet dream.

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