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Everything posted by Sal

  1. WAG has good solid storytelling behind them. All of their movies have been pretty solid, though the fact that LEGO Batman and Ninjago are both derivative might not have helped them. They are terrible at marketing though, at least with their animated films. I think they're too used to a lot of their adult fare (especially stuff like DC or HP) basically being sold to an already established audience. They still have to try with LEGO since most LEGO fans aren't into LEGO to watch movies... they're in it to build.
  2. Monday, IT 4,2 mln

    What I'm really wondering is how much MLP's release in 2 weeks will affect Ninjago. In one way they have a similar set up as both are movies based on shows that have several seasons. Though I do think they dropped the ball on a MLP movie. If they had released it two years ago it would have been in a much better position to make money. The series popularity has been on a gradual decline for a while.
  3. Monday, IT 4,2 mln

    Anecdotal, but I've seen no interest in Kingsmen 2 from anyone I work with. The reaction to the trailer for it on IT was actually just a couple of people mentioning they need to watch the first one cuz they heard it's good. While this part is anecdotal it does seem to match the general lack of hype online. I was expecting the sequel to a well received film to be getting more response. If WB had done a better job marketing Ninjago, I think it would have been poised to go over Kingsmen this weekend, considering there's been a lack of family films the past month.
  4. One of the things I'm actually wondering is whether or not this actually needed to be rated R. Granted, it's entirely possible that I've mostly gotten used to a lot of rated R horror basically devolving into blood splatter and gore, so something that's actually relatively light on the gore content may just come across as less "R" to me by now.
  5. I don't think this movie is really intended to necessarily be a big hit here, tbh. It makes sense that they'd make it though because Ninjago is apparently pretty much the only foothold LEGO has in several Asian countries despite their numerous attempts to break in with their toys over there. They're probably really just hoping to schedule a release in Japan and China to boost sales and hope to force more expansion of their other products. Ninjago actually has a pretty large fanbase even here in the US compared to LEGO's other lines. Apparently it was partly the popularity of Ninjago line that led to Chima line going under (Ninjago fans HATED Chima). The big worry I'm seeing is in the commentary of the LEGO fan communities. Some fans are not happy that the movie is a reboot and not in continuity with the Ninjago cartoon (which is not a surprise, considering Ninjago is going into its 8th season). Lego may also be hoping to get more kids hooked into Ninjago via the movie with the possibility that they will then watch the cartoon (which coincidentally has just gone up on Netflix recently). They literally release a new bunch of sets with every season of the cartoon and are showing no sign of stopping anytime soon. If they get even a small percentage of the kids who see this movie to get their parents to buy them new Ninjago sets every season, it'll be more than worth it for LEGO. Not sure why WB would be behind it considering as far as I know they only get a percentage from sets of their own properties... but they may have some kind of deal in place where they get revenue from Movie sets or else they may have worked out something to get a higher percentage on the DC sets (perhaps they even got a higher cut of the LEGO Batman sets or something).
  6. I really wanted to say that too. Luckily someone already had. I've seen a lot of people comparing IT to Stranger Things as though Stranger Things was somehow responsible for IT. But it wasn't even responsible for the new release considering it was in production already before ST was released. Also count me among the people who think there wasn't a lot of 'unnecessary' content in the book. There's some of King's works that really do feel longer than need be (the unabridged version of the Stand slows down a lot at certain parts) but IT, to me, has always been a gripping read all the way through.
  7. But they don't really use half the budget. They just take half the budget they would have used for animation and instead use it to spam people with their marketing campaign. Also you treat Illumination like it's some tiny studio when in fact it is owned by Comcast and Comcast's method has always been to spam the hell out of their marketing. If you want an example of a studio that makes great films with a relatively low budget, look at Laika instead of Comcast. Not to mention Illumination fails on coherent storytelling. Part of their problem is that there's plenty of good potential story in their stuff, but their method is to just throw everything at the wall and hope it sticks with someone. Take Sing. It had way too many feature characters for any particular character's storyline to get any real focus. I look at it and think about how Buster could have been a much more powerful lead if they'd just buckled down, dropped like two or three of the other character's 'main cast' storylines and focused on one or two instead. They could have easily made him way more likeable and his scenes with his sheep friend and with the old woman working for him were among the best parts of the movie. It would have been really rewarding to see them tie the elephant girl's plotline in with his a bit more instead of having it just feeling like they introduced the potential early on and then remembered it was there near the ending. The frustrating thing about Sing is how much potential it had and how it lost a lot of the cohesiveness by throwing their net too wide. Likewise, with SLoP, Illumination drops the ball on making Max a likeable character. I honestly hated that character. The best character in the movie was Jenny Slate's character who was likeable and charismatic. Illumination failed to even throw in the most basic 'save the cat' moment to make the character sympathetic before showing him being a total dick, so he just comes across as a total dick. Those lines near the end of the movie where they're like "remember that time Max helped you with such and such thing?" That was something they should have SHOWN at the beginning, not tried tacking on at the end to make use like the character when the movie's already over. Also, to the person who was saying that Illumination is making a point about how assholes sometimes succeed in real life. While true, is that a really a point we need to make in a kids movie? It's in a lot of movies for adults and in real life all the time. In fact, showing kids that it's okay to be an asshole, you can do crappy stuff to people and still be rewarded is part of the reason there's so many people who feel perfectly comfortable being assholes and racists nowadays, because they've been told over and over again that behaving that way is okay and it'll get you rewarded. And just as a note, I've torn Disney and Pixar holes for pulling stuff similar to this (I hate Incredibles with a passion and TGD and Cars2 should never have been made. Even Brave was mostly forgettable. Frozen rode high on Idina's song but was a victim of lazy story structure.) And I won't even get started on Dreamworks because they've put out some great movies but also a lot of dreck. I am not a one studio fan.
  8. Also, while there's nothing wrong with animation for kids, saying that animated movies are trying too hard to be serious overlooks the fact that animation is a medium not a genre. You can use animation to tell serious stories, in fact in much of Europe and Asia that's fairly common. It's only here in America that people seem to think seriousness in animated stories is somehow a weakness.
  9. "I'm different, I'm strong, I'm going to follow my own path" IS common in storytelling but newsflash, that's not PC or pro-diversity storytelling if the main character is a straight white guy like in 90% of the films with that plot.
  10. As someone in the animation industry, Illumination films are also just bad for Illumination's constant bragging about its lack of rewrites and the fact that they have such disrespect for American animators that they talk about how they can pay overseas people less and still make lots of money by outsourcing our jobs. Most other companies also outsource our jobs but at least they don't brag about it in front of us. Illumination's numbers come primarily from their marketing and the fact that they can flood the market several months in advance and put their movie merch out half a year before the movie release on everything under the sun. They had SLOP stuff all over petstores and Minions all over the place well before the movies came out. It'd be more surprising if they opened low, frankly. They do just enough with the story that people generally don't dislike the movies but never do anything particularly interesting. Also they utterly fail at the concept of making relatable main characters and most of their main characters are people I would want to punch if I met them in real life. The fact that Seth McFarlane's character in Sing has no redeeming qualities yet still gets rewarded in the end is one of the worst things I've seen in a movie.
  11. Usually 'so bad it's good' movies tend to be movies that were trying to be serious but came off as silly for some reason. I'm not sure if this fits that.
  12. When I was staying at a hotel last week, short versions of the Ninjago trailer played literally every commercial break on Comedy Central... which struck me as an odd place to be heavily marketing it.
  13. I think it'll do pretty well this opening weekend. We haven't had much available fare for families for the past month so they should be ready to go to something new. Whether that'll hold up with more releases coming out soon is something we'll have to see.
  14. Did you seriously just say Latinos didn't exist during that time period? You do know that Latino doesn't refer to 'mestizo' (mixed race latin-american native with european) but rather to the population of Latin America as a whole, right? One does not need to have any European blood to be Latino (several latin countries have a high population of afro-latinos, for example). ALso "latino" is not a race, it's just a generalized description used for natives of latin america, the same way "Asian" isn't a race, but Chinese is. The Maya, for example, existed in latin america since 2000BC, well before medieval times in Europe. So yes, there may not have been Latinos IN Europe in Medieval times, but they absolutely did exist. They didn't just magically spring into being when Europeans arrived in Latin America. As for your other comments... there was actually a fair amount of contact between China and the rest of Asia and Europe, even dating fairly far back. It was more common for Europeans to travel to China than vice versa though. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chronology_of_European_exploration_of_Asia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Europeans_in_Medieval_China There were also diplomatic missions to Europe from Asia in the 1200s As for Africa... there was a lot of contact between Europe and Africa. Several European nations had dealings with Nubia and other wealthy African nations. http://www.history.ac.uk/reviews/review/619 http://afroeurope.blogspot.com/2010/08/history-of-black-people-in-europe.html In fact in some European countries, like portugal, by the end of the 1500s the population was about 6-7% black in non-isolated regions. https://www.publicmedievalist.com/uncovering-african/ Of even greater interest is that the Christian Church had already converted most of Nubia by the 1200s. There are also accounts on record of black people living in Europe in the 1300s. There are also books covering specifically whether or not black people served as knights during Medieval times (hint: they did). The Moors regularly interacted with the Spanish around that time. There were those called the Moriscos who were Moors who converted to Christianity and served the Spanish in the capacity of knights. Most of them were purged during the Inquisition, however. http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/videos/africans-in-medieval-britain/ https://books.google.com/books/about/Knights_on_the_Frontier.html?id=Rm_OEacyT8IC&hl=en But you know one thing that absolutely didn't exist in Europe during Medieval times, yet that no one seems to have a problem with having show up in LOTR or other "medieval based fantasy"? Tomatoes. Those came from the Americas. Oh yeah. Also Dragons and Elves. Those too. But hey, no one complains about having Dragons, Elves or Tomatoes in Medieval Fantasy. Only Black people, Asians and other POC. Cuz lol, heaven forbid we have unrealistic elements in our fantasy stories am I right?
  15. Maybe your college was an exception because when I was homeless and the only options for food were churches, there was like one out of all the churches I ever got food handouts from that didn't make you sit through a sermon and prayer before letting you eat.
  16. Here's the thing about most of those statues... They weren't PUT UP right after the civil war. They were put up at two different points, in the 1930s, with the repeal of Jim Crow and in the 50s during the civil rights movement. This makes it pretty clear that their existence has nothing to do with wanting to preserve history. They exist because at the time they wanted to send a message to people who supported civil rights, to intimidate them into silence. And as far as I can tell, the majority of effort to take them down is just centered around putting them in museums anyway, so it's not like they're destroying history or some ridiculousness like that. re: GWTW, I think context here may be important. Were the showings in response to the current stuff going on? If so, I can see why it might be uncomfortable. In general I think it's an instance where it needs an introduction slapped onto it to say it's not indicative of current values/thought, so people don't go getting the idea to glorify some of the stuff in it (as WB did with releases of racist cartoons a while back, to put them in proper context).
  17. Thumbnails

    Just an assignment I've been doing work on.
  18. This is actually an interesting one to me because my GF works for LEGO. Apparently Ninjago is one of their best selling lines. In fact when it originally came out, it was meant to run for a year to two years and then be retired as most of their lines are, but the fanbase for it proved to be so large and vocal that they've kept it going for almost 8 years now. A year after it came out, they produced a TV series which has also been ongoing for 7 seasons, though it looks like the movie will be either a retelling or a reboot of the series rather than a continuation. More importantly to LEGO, and probably more important for the movie, is that Ninjago is the LEGO property that does well in Japan and Asia which has proven to be a difficult market for LEGO to break into for some reason. Considering the sheer number of sets coming out for this movie - many of which are already out - it's entirely possible that the movie itself only seriously matters to get people to buy the updated sets. (It'll probably work too, considering how well Ninjago already sells. Their new green dragon set is pretty cool and I actually want it myself). Two of the writers on the movie have also written for the Ninjago TV series (as well as writing for The LEGO Movie). I'm curious if they'll try to release this in China, and how well it will do in Japan.
  19. Animation in progress

    Working on getting the animation cleaned up and smoothed out for this, but it was a fun bit of practice.
  20. Indeed. Surprise! Granted most of them come from a Broadway background so we're talking folks who love people like Daveed Diggs and Rory O'Malley more than big name movie actors. Most of them went to see Moana primarily because of Lin-Manuel Miranda and went to see Frozen because of Idina Menzel. This is not a GA demographic, admittedly. But there are plenty of insular communities who do find the presence of certain less mainstream actors to have a lot of appeal because they come from theatre.
  21. Anurian Designs

    This project is taking on shape going forward and I'm happy with some of the overall changes and expansion in the designs. Story-wise it's very close to being done, I'll be moving into finalization of more background and environment in the near future. I've contacted at least one musician for work. The format of this is still in a state of flux. It may be fully comic, but may contain animated segments as well. Actual pencils of some initial designs for this race. And coloured versions of the updated designs:
  22. Meeting with Rafael Rosado

    Tomorrow I'll be attending a lecture and getting a chance to talk to storyboard artist and animator Rafael Rosado. He did primarily animated series (notably he storyboarded on Animaniacs, Pinky and the Brain, Teen Titans and Transformers Prime, among others). I'm looking forward to this, as well as discussing on the idea working with him on something in the upcoming future.
  23. Because I like Broadway? Seems like a pretty shallow reason to ignore someone, but whatever floats your boat.
  24. There was none. I have a lot of friends who are huge Book of Mormon fans. That's not surprising itself either when you consider Josh Gad only got his role in Frozen because of his connections via the BoM creators who were working on Frozen at the time. I love his work on that musical (not so much on Frozen, but he was barely in it and Olaf's design was ugly as hell). So why wouldn't I (or other fans of BoM, especially those who have forked over hundreds of dollars to see BoM several times) hesitate to pay like 10 bucks to see a Broadway actor we like in a movie?

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