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Scritch the Cat

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Everything posted by Scritch the Cat

  1. As an origin story, this film seems ill-equipped to establish the characters as they are in the games. Robotnik/Eggman is supposed to have motives beyond just wanting to stop Sonic; it's really Sonic who's supposed to try to stop him. The backstory they wrote, with Sonic having convenient world-warping abilities and electrical powers that cause EMP blasts, rests on factors that aren't even in the games. They're taking things out that are near and dear to the brand identity, and adding things in that make it something else entirely; something with so much weight as to potentially hold it back from becoming what people want. Oh, and before anyone says something like "Adaptations that change things up are valid; just look at Into the Spider-verse", do bear in mind the real circumstances behind that. Both in graphic novels and movies, the more zany takes on the mythology were added only after the core version was well-established. Before the first Raimi movie came out, Spider-Man may have been a broadly identifiable cultural icon, but I'm guessing most people didn't know his origin story or much about his enemies. We got that and the short-lived "Amazing" reboot to retell his origin; only after those did they try to go wild with things like Peni Parker and Spider-Ham. You need to do a conservative version of the story in any medium before you can do a subversive version in the same medium; that may not be an objective truth, but it is the way that series actually happened.
  2. While a trailer under five minutes long can't convey an entire movie's contents, I can and will criticize it for not showing some of the best a movie has to offer--or if what we saw is the best, I don't care to see the worst! At least one of the following is true: The movie is bad or the trailer is bad. Whoever was in charge of this has very little grasp of what makes Sonic appealing to its core demographic, as evidenced by how we only get little glimpses of Robotnik looking like himself and never hear him called that in the trailer, and very little else of what's in the games. I don't want to be told there are "Easter Eggs"; I want to be shown.
  3. I for one liked it. I didn't request a dick joke but I did laugh at it. I may sour on this movie if they ever do a better fanservice movie in the future, but until then I'm going to enjoy it for what it is.
  4. At least Paramount Casey looked and acted like we wanted when he put on his hockey mask. Paramount Robotnik...we'll see.
  5. It still pains me that the second Paramount TMNT movie is the one that flopped. It's only fair to mention that Mirage purists who hate the Fred Wolf cartoon might not make up the bulk of the TMNT fandom, but they are a vocal minority, since the second movie borrows liberally from the Fred Wolf cartoon and not much from Mirage. Of course, the first Paramount TMNT movie didn't have much from Mirage either, so there probably wasn't much love lost from one film to the next. It's really too late for this movie to have the sort of eye-candy fan-service that Detective Pikachu did. Even if they make Sonic's design great, and alter the design of the badniks, the plot simply isn't such that it can take a lot of visual cues from the games. Of course, having a bunch of Pokemon in a Pokemon film is probably more important than having a bunch of game characters in a Sonic game; the huge amount of monsters is what sells the brand. Same with Transformers; it's based on toys so a Transformers adaptation has to have more robots than just Optimus Prime and Megatron. But while Sonic's appeal isn't necessarily dependent on multiple characters, including more things from the games would be a good way to show they actually care about the fans. Because as I said before, there really isn't anyone else to target. There are children who aren't fans yet, but a lot of the things the present fanbase likes would appeal to them too, so I lump the two together. Meanwhile, even if this film somehow does well with critics, that isn't going to translate into a lot of adults who don't care about Sonic going to see it.
  6. Don’t prejudge us. I for one enjoyed the movie’s comedy and action even if the story was alternately predictable and forced via dues ex machines. Yes; it helps that for them, “realism” just meant giving Pokemon detailed textures instead of making them look human, and that there were a lot of them, but those things just make it an unabashed Pokemon movie; good has to come from elsewhere. The bottom line for me is that I laughed at jokes in DP’s trailers the first they debuted, and had I not, no amount of Pokemon looking accurate would have made me like it. Meanwhile, though I deduced early on that this film took a minimal approach to Sonic, I would be willing to give it a pass if I laughed. I didn’t laugh at anything in the trailer.
  7. Truly. Except at least some of the Bayformers robots resemble their counterparts in other Transformers universes. This movie can get a pretty paint job, but ultimately that isn't going to do much more on its own besides put it on the same level of respectability as so many other live-action films starring CGI characters, and that it took longer to get there will remain a point against it compared to them. Worse still, many consider Detective Pikachu to have finally gotten the formula correct, and when you combine that with how we've already gotten a good taste of the joke quality the film will feature, this film is going to feel dead on arrival. As for merchandise, I must say that they're between a rock and a hard place there. Sonic toys won't sell if they're too ugly, but if they're fixing his design by making him more like his game counterpart, going too far in that direction is also a risk, since he'll resemble a toy many people already own. That is of course before we remember that a lack of game elements limits the potential for toys.
  8. I personally can respect a creative vision that breaks with what the fandom was partial to, if not necessarily enjoy it, provided that I can perceive what's actually visionary about it. Looking back on it, Sonic Boom counts as such. The creators were making a sincere attempt to alter the characters' designs to fit with what their personalities had more or less become in the core series by that time, for whatever that was worth. It's important to remember that while the original Sonic and Eggman designs are appealing in their own right, they weren't originally designed specifically for the sort of roles they ended up playing in the original games; likewise, the original games' focus was narrow enough that their personalities, along with those of newly created characters, could be little more than trivia. Spin-offs and the 3D games would change this. Aside from the obvious animal empathy, Sonic's motives and personality in the original games could be presumed to be almost anything, but he since developed a canon love of adventure for its own sake, so BRB gave him "adventurer" garb. Tails was initially little more than a Sonic clone who could also fly, but he eventually gained a gadgeteer personality so they gave him goggles and gloves. Knuckles wasn't in a great position to perform feats of strength in the old games focused more on fast platforming, but later games would diversify into mechanics that more enabled him to do so, thus he got a redesign that buffed him up--well; part of him. Eggman began as an unfocused whimsical design, got placed into a villain role more-or-less arbitrarily, but evolved into an egotistical imperialist, so they broadened his chest to imply arrogance and gave him a more militaristic outfit. Amy started as an NPC, became an "urban" character in SA, and got some development into a more athletic character since, so they gave her a less cumbersome outfit and longer limbs. The choices this movie makes do not seem to display any such vision. Giving Sonic a more realistic design to convey his super-speed might qualify as a "vision", albeit a controversial one, but nothing about Sonic being "realistic" suggests that his body and mouth have to be shaped like those of humans. Likewise, nothing about Robotnik, as he is re-conceived in this movie, mandates him not wearing red and having a mustache the whole movie, and the way Carrey is playing him actively suggests he'd be fine making outlandish robots of the sorts he uses in the games, instead of the iDrones we see in the trailer. No; the sense I get from this project is that it lacks vision, and while that wouldn't be so bad if it was more willing to respect the source material, since it isn't it instead seems to be striving mostly to copy what other movies do, and unfortunately it seems to choose as it's inspiration the sorts of movies that aren't well-liked but are cheap to make.
  9. According to the most recent claimed leak on Reddit, there are remixes of both the Sonic 1 and 2 and Generations intro/invincibility/outro themes, and Starlight Zone's theme, and those may well be worthwhile. If I could choose one thing it would be an extended Crush 40 cover of the Freedom Fighters cartoon theme, though this isn't the most dignified place for that to debut.
  10. Oddly enough, many of the debates are the same circular ones as were had before the trailer debuted. Lots of defenses of this movie being minimalist set in our world because it's an origin story, met with rebuttals that this movie still isn't doing everything it could to function as such; for example that Carrey only looks like game Robotnik at the end and his robots look generic.
  11. •People disparaged Sonic's design; particularly his teeth. Other issues have been raised, like how few game things are in this, the joke quality, and the bizarre choice of "Gangsta's Paradise" as a trailer theme, but overall Sonic's design attracted the most scorn. Lots of memes, articles, and trailer downvotes. •Tim Fowler promised to fix the design. Discussions arose over whether this movie will need to be delayed to fix it, whether it was even possible, and whether they put a bad-looking Sonic in the trailer on purpose just so they could heed reactions to gain support, and might already have a better model to replace it. •Detective Pikachu released to wide acclaim, further damaging this film's image in comparison.
  12. I found Out of the Shadows to be a sufficient "apology film", if only because the first took such a half-assed approach to the brand that it's sequel's enthusiasm felt charming, and I read somewhere that they are going to reboot the brand. It might not be fully animated, but the turtles themselves probably are, and they can do that brand just fine set in a realistic New York City. Then again, maybe not. One of the hallmarks of TMNT is its Fantasy Kitchen Sink, and when movies next establish the brand well, it might be time for a space travel movie, or a time travel movie, or a multiverse travel movie, or at least a conventional travel out of New York City movie.
  13. I'm distraught that there still is no update on saving those statues in Australia. With as organized and passionate as Sonic fans are, I'd expect them to have tracked down what that guy wants as a trade.
  14. I think he means more CGI models and more elaborate ones. I must say, when I read Shrek's Donkey likening this movie's Badniks to the Bayformers, I was worried--but what we got in this first trailer were even duller than I imagined. So yes; I think Michael Bay would have improved this movie's visuals, though he sure wouldn't be my first choice.
  15. You know what's fucked up? I wish I could say these filmmakers are way off in terms of understanding what people love in this series, and they are, but with the insidious myth of the Sonic Cycle still haunting Sega's games and giving the supporting cast a raw deal, I can forgive the filmmakers a little more for thinking they aren't important and maybe even that they repel some fans. Of course, that still doesn't explain or excuse the ugly design choices or poor writing.
  16. It factors so much, in fact, that it's the whole reason why they did it that way. Maybe they weren't planning on Shrek's Donkey leaking that it was just the post-credits scene, so putting it in the trailer was just a way to bring in fans in hopes that it will be more of the movie. Meamwhile it's at the ending to bait a sequel hook, for a sequel they'll likely spend more to make more accurate. Such won't happen, though, if not enough people support this first film, so these are effectively shady mind games.
  17. "It's for kids" translates to "I think kids are useful idiots", it seems every time I read or hear it. Plus even if they were playing on the idea that kids are ignorant, shouldn't that have implied they could have used the game design and not had any issue with it seeming unrealistic? As for the conspiracy theory about them intentionally debuting with a bad design, while I won't say 100% that it is true, to the people who are skeptical because they think these people aren't clever enough [Note: I originally had a double negative; sorry.], I argue that these days they don't have to be. This campaign was not launched in a vacuum. In the past several years, plenty of people have observed the following: 1) Nostalgic fandoms tend to get vocally irate at new iterations of their favorite media that they think deviate too much. From Ninja Turtles to Ghostbusters to Star Wars to JEM to Disney animated movies, just about every new twist on an old property can be guaranteed to attract at least some scorn. This is well-known enough that in a few cases, creators have already trolled the objectors. 2) Sonic's fandom has a reputation for being extremely irate and overprotective of some ideal, even by fandom standards. Maybe that's mostly based on Chris Chan and that kid who screamed like a distressed piglet, but its the reputation Sonic's fandom has, nonetheless. And then there's also the vocal Sonic hatedom, and the hatedom of Sonic's fandom. The lines between the three were already starting to blur as a result of this series trying so many different things, and then Sega's meme-happy marketing exacerbated that further. 3) The Sonic Boom spinoff first got teased using silhouettes of the characters, and predictably, got slammed and mocked. In particular, Knuckles' unbalanced physique got a lot of mockery. Now consider the first things we saw of this movie were a poster of Sonic's new design in a likewise silhouetted athletic pose, showing off the muscle tone in his legs. Shortly after, another poster with those legs hanging over the Golden Gate bridge and not much else. Finally, when the official Twitter account for the movie opened, the pivotal post was a picture of Sonic's blue legs, buffer than ever, little else again, and text calling attention to focus-training his lower body. Also consider the different levels of musculature we've seen so far, the rather extreme differences in how the mouth is handled even between scenes in that trailer, plus concept art that gave him a side mouth and a white patch of fur to kind of hoax the illusion of a mono-eye. The reason I believe the conspiracy is that I don't think having to rush out a new model, different from the merchandise ordered so far, is actually a worry for them, because they already have that model ready and were testing how people reacted to a different one. I think these people were clever enough to conspire, but not clever enough to conspire well. If they'd done it well, they'd have covered their tracks better, by not letting multiple versions of their Sonic design leak into the public. As it stands, I think at the very least, there is reason to believe we will get something in the final product that looks less horrific than Sonic's mouth in that shed scene--but that actually means very little to me. Really, whether or not they conspired to get to this point, right now what they're doing amounts to handing us a barren bucket so they can spit in it. No matter how elaborate or simple their plan is, their current intent is to get people to applaud them for listening to criticisms and making some design changes, and likewise no matter how radical their design changes are, that still isn't going to make the movie itself enjoyable. Indeed, I suspect that if the trailer was the first thing we ever saw of this movie, Sonic had his game design or something close, but everything else was as it is now, the buzz about this movie would be negligible. It would be seen as generically bad, rather than spectacularly bad, and it would likely come and go with little uproar. I expect badness from this film; the only thing ambiguous to me at this point is how mad people will get at it.
  18. Possibly the toy industry is going through a rough time right now. Toys R Us died, video games have captured a lot of the attention physical toys had, the sort of cartoons that are made to sell toys are less common now, and while that bit about games might make Sonic toys sell better, his games aren't all that popular anymore. This movie might be intended as a gateway to other Sonic things, with Sega not being picky about what those things are. Sonic Boom was going to be their big attempt to bring in new fans, but a terrible first game and Cartoon Network's inexplicably stupid scheduling made it fail quickly. This is another try, and while it doesn't look good now, maybe it'll succeed at endearing Sonic himself to children.
  19. A misrepresentative meme helped convince Sega to throw out most of the playable cast, and posting it is banned here for a reason. We don't need any more misrepresentative memes screwing over the series. Particularly not ones that promote the old myth that Sonic fans will never be pleased. Even if that was true, the conclusion Paramount should have drawn from it was that the brand is too risky to capitalize on. But it's not true. The myth exists because Sega's supposed attempts to fix Sonic have generally been about throwing things out, many of which weren't even unpopular, and adding new things to replace them, many of which ARE unpopular. Attacking the customers rather than taking their actual complaints into consideration makes one a useful idiot to bad businesspeople. The easiest answer is "People who already bought Sonic and Baby Sonic". There are, of course, concerns about the costs of manufacturing such merchandise, but if they don't want to, what that says to me is--for the record--they aren't so convinced of their own brand that as to go in deep with their first movie. Profit isn't just about how much you earn; it's about how little you invest. These 3d-animated-animal-in-live-action-world movies keep getting made, despite their mediocre-to-bad receptions, because they're cheaper to make than a fully animated film. If what merchandise it does have flies off the shelves, that will be a sign they can do more with next movie. I'm not convinced it will, though. It exists in a world where they core Sonic brand also does, and the game design looks a lot better.
  20. While we're on this, I will note that DP actually plays with the Uncanny Valley deliberately at points; mixing foreign traits in with familiar ones in the case that a Pokemon gets the role of being a menace. There's a vision to it. Whether the realistic Pokemon are cute or scary, putting textures on the models is still a pretty unambiguously logical step to take in making them realistic. With the Sonic movie, though, even if you can get over the hump and tolerate it's desire to be realistic, their choices don't play into that at all. Nothing about realism mandates that every bipedal animal has to have a human-shaped body or human-shaped teeth, and while realism might rule out the conjoined eyes, it doesn't justify giving Sonic nearly immobile eyes that are the same basic oval shape when he's wisecracking as when he's screaming in fear.
  21. Having just seen it myself, I can say the movie is at least more beginner-friendly than any past Pokemon movie, since those were just longer episodes of the anime, set around clear points in its continuity. That places a huge requirement on knowing who characters are and what makes them tick. With DP all of the characters are new and introduced in the movie. However, it gets more "just go with it" in later acts, and I called outright bull on some parts of the finale--and I know the Pokemon canon well. None of that changes, though, that DP's jokes got a laugh out of me in the very first trailer released, while none of Sonic's did--or that I want to give Pikachu a big hug and think movie Sonic looks like he's in pain from having been mutated in the womb.
  22. I'm seeing it in a few hours, and expect the audience reaction to the Sonic trailer will be the first of many treats!
  23. Are you sure he was talking about dancing? Because say what you will about those human teeth; they sure look squeaky clean! Of course the difference is that the Monster Trucks were supposed to be scary. Sonic in this film was supposed to be so lovable that they're making a baby doll of him.
  24. Well what did I tell you?! Robots are coming to get us, and Sonic is the hero we deserve to need to deserve!
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