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Wednesday, August 10, 2022

‘A League of Their Own’: There’s Still No Crying in Baseball — Just Room for Fixing Old Errors

Amazon’s new A League of Their Own TV series has many notes. It is, on the one hand, clearly adoring of the movie, frequently quoting various lines, images, and scenes from it 30 years later. And on the other hand, it is an attempt to cover many subjects — particularly regarding race and sexuality — that the movie didn’t, or in some cases couldn’t.

This new League(*) is interesting and fun in many ways, with a strong cast highlighted by D’Arcy Carden from The Good Place. But in attempting to improve on perfection — or, at least, to point out the imperfections of the mainstream movie studio comedy system of the early Nineties — the show reveals some large flaws of its own.

Created by Broad City star Abbi Jacobson and Mozart in the Jungle writer Will Graham, the series opens in 1943. The men have been off to war for more than a year, and Carson (Jacobson) is leaving small-town Idaho to try out for a new women’s baseball league. Like Davis’ Dottie Hinson, Carson is a power-hitting catcher with a husband serving in the military overseas, and even runs to catch a train in the opening minutes like Dottie and her sister Kit do in the movie. The similarities end there, though. Dottie loved to play but ultimately viewed baseball as an adventure to enjoy until her husband could return to resume their real life together. Carson sees it as a means of escape from a life that increasingly feels wrong to her as she realizes that she’s queer.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 10, 2022 at 03:33 PM | 67 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: a league of their own, baseball in television

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   1. Perry Posted: August 10, 2022 at 03:56 PM (#6091092)
It's paywalled.
   2. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: August 10, 2022 at 04:06 PM (#6091096)
This is gonna be really, really awful, isn't it?
   3. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 10, 2022 at 04:14 PM (#6091098)
This is gonna be really, really awful, isn't it?

Yeah, I pretty much never watch remakes if I really liked the original. It's just a really bad idea to remake really good movies.
   4. Zach Posted: August 10, 2022 at 04:19 PM (#6091103)
There was an old woman on the street I grew up on that had been a professional ballplayer in her youth. Heck of a golfer in her old age, too.
   5. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 10, 2022 at 04:32 PM (#6091104)

It's paywalled.


The article is not. The show is.
   6. cHiEf iMpaCt oFfiCEr JE Posted: August 10, 2022 at 04:43 PM (#6091106)
And on the other hand, it is an attempt to cover many subjects — particularly regarding race and sexuality — that the movie didn’t, or in some cases couldn’t.

The original covered race and did it expertly. Although the clip was brief and no words were spoken other than "Right here," it made very clear to the audience that no Blacks were permitted to play.

EDIT: That said, I've been reading Sepinwall's reviews of TV shows since The Sopranos and he's usually pretty solid.
   7. Hot Wheeling American Posted: August 10, 2022 at 05:09 PM (#6091114)
It's just a really bad idea to remake really good movies.

I always remember Siskel's tv review of Cop Land in which he expressed a wish for remakes to focus on movies that didn't quite work, but where the idea or story was solid. It's a rhetorical question, as I get that money is seemingly only thrown at 'IP' that already exists in some other form, but did the world really need a new Ben-Hur in 2016?
   8. Perry Posted: August 10, 2022 at 05:12 PM (#6091115)
The article is not. The show is.


The article was for me. Maybe I've linked to too many Rolling Stone articles in the past and exceeded my limit, although it didn't say that, just that I needed to subscribe to keep reading.
   9. villageidiom Posted: August 10, 2022 at 05:17 PM (#6091117)
Tangent based on this show, or at least based on TFA's review of it...

To do a TV series of a film, particularly a good film, and especially if you want the TV series to run a long time, you pretty much need to do a deeper dive into the characters. You might even need to introduce characters who weren't in the film, but even with the characters from the film you need to make them far more than one-dimensional characters.

But, like, doesn't that necessarily force the show down paths that the film wouldn't have dared to tread? That scene in ALOTO where a Black fan throws the ball back, underscoring that there was plenty of talent being kept off the field... that's like 10 seconds of the film that makes a point, but we've got a lot of ground to cover so it's just going to make that point and move on. In a TV show they have more aggregate time to spend, so it makes sense to me that it's going to dive deeper into that, maybe introduce regular characters that deal with that issue from different perspectives.

I think the challenge comes in that the film is unabashedly a comedy but not without drama, but the Serious Subjects can be touched on for 10 seconds because at the end of the day it's a 2-hour comedy. Just a quick head nod and then This Is Not The Time Or Place For This Discussion. For a TV show to deal with Serious Subjects it's in danger of shifting from comedy to drama - which on its own will make some people hate it - or playing Serious Subjects for comedy, which IMO is a very challenging path to navigate.

M*A*S*H will probably be held up as the standard here, as their dramatic turns hit harder because the show was otherwise so light. But they dealt with a relatively narrow set of Serious Subjects, and just kept coming back to them. Few TV comedies - based on films or otherwise - get this right.
   10. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 10, 2022 at 06:08 PM (#6091129)
The other thing is that however good it is, it will keep being compared to the movie, and in all likelihood, fall short. Why not just make a show about the league with a different title, and totally different characters. It's like a Hercule Poirot movie I saw recently with John Malkovich (ABC Murders I think). It was a legitimately good movie, but he was completely un-Poirot like, and they changed his backstory in such a meaningful way, that I just couldn't like it. If they just made a detective movie with a similar, but not identical plot, and a new character, it could have been really enjoyable. Unlike the Kenneth Branagh "Murder on the Orient Express", which was just a travesty.
   11. Banta Posted: August 10, 2022 at 06:23 PM (#6091134)
Why not just make a show about the league with a different title, and totally different characters.


Because then it wouldn’t get made. IPs are the “movie stars” of previous eras, almost nothing is green lit that doesn’t have a recognizable name and most products (they aren’t films or shows, at least not first) now are produced backwards - they don’t have an idea and develop it, they have rights to a franchise and they hire people to make it.

If it isn’t a remake/soft reboot/sequel of an existing film/tv show, then it’s based on a novel or comic book. At the most you’ll get something like Stranger Things, an original idea that’s highly derivative (then they’ll milk it for all it’s worth and more). There’s still good stuff made independently but the studio system is completely creatively bankrupt with the exception of a few offerings here and there, which are borderline miracles.
   12. cardsfanboy Posted: August 10, 2022 at 06:25 PM (#6091135)
Yeah, I pretty much never watch remakes if I really liked the original. It's just a really bad idea to remake really good movies.


I think taking a good movie and fleshing it out with a tv series using the stream budget and not being forced to overly long seasons is actually a pretty good idea. The movie told it's story, the series can do more development of characters, tack on more nuanced drama, approach things that weren't covered etc. I don't see any reason to make another movie of this, as the original did it's job very well, but I'll never turn down a good series in a genre I like.
   13. cardsfanboy Posted: August 10, 2022 at 06:29 PM (#6091137)
I always remember Siskel's tv review of Cop Land in which he expressed a wish for remakes to focus on movies that didn't quite work, but where the idea or story was solid. It's a rhetorical question, as I get that money is seemingly only thrown at 'IP' that already exists in some other form, but did the world really need a new Ben-Hur in 2016?


I won't bad mouth remaking good movies (The Fly , Invasion of the Body Snatchers and even the Thing are all remakes of already good movies-- and if I think harder, there are probably better examples out there) but I agree, there are a ton of good stories/ideas out there that got made but failed on delivery that can be remade into genuinely good movies with the right creative people. And I wish they would go after that than too many 20 year old movies that the effects/subject just didn't age well.

Edit: although the Ben Hur analogy still stands, you don't need to remake a "great" movie.
   14. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: August 10, 2022 at 06:46 PM (#6091141)
If it isn’t a remake/soft reboot/sequel of an existing film/tv show, then it’s based on a novel or comic book.

I don't really understand why so many comic book movies get made. Sure, for some of the big Marvel franchises, I get it. But how much of a built-in audience does a title like "Kingsman" bring with it? I didn't even know that was based on a comic book when I saw it (on a plane).
   15. Zach Posted: August 10, 2022 at 07:22 PM (#6091153)
fleshing it out with a tv series using the stream budget and not being forced to overly long seasons

Counterpoint: padded out season long plot arcs are the bane of streaming shows.
   16. Hombre Brotani Posted: August 10, 2022 at 07:43 PM (#6091158)
I don't really understand why so many comic book movies get made.
Because comic books are already storyboarded movies, which makes them easy to present. You don't have to pay people to come up with new ideas -- takes too much time -- you just have to buy the rights to the comic book. The book's audience would be considered a built-in demographic they can hope will have interest, and build from there. It's just easier.

They're not here to make art. They're here to make money.
   17. caspian88 Posted: August 10, 2022 at 08:19 PM (#6091164)
It's perhaps worth noting that sequels, remakes, and reboots are nothing new.

To take the Ben-Hur example, not only was the film adapted from the novel, but the 1959 film with Charlton Heston was itself a remake of a very successful 1925 silent film. The 1959 film was directed by one of the assistant directors on the 1925 film and certain shots were explicitly imitated in the later film.
   18. Banta Posted: August 10, 2022 at 09:04 PM (#6091166)
Every 16 said plus comic books are also a perfect source for a CGI action extravaganza that have been shown to gross billions of dollars. They do cost a lot too but for whatever reason(s), the film industry likes to bet big. There’s definitely a case to be made for making a bunch of millionish dollar films and “nickel and diming” your way to success. Horror movies (Bloomhouse being a big name here) have found a lot of success with this. Spend five or ten million and if it finds a big audience you’re golden, even if it doesn’t, it’s not really hard to gross 30 to 50 million domestically. But there’s not the same level of “prestige” in that and maybe there’s a concern of over saturation (that somehow doesn’t exist with comic book movies). I also think it’s like most industries that there’s a tendency to copycat trends. The bubble will burst eventually though, it always does.

17, absolutely, they’ve been repurposing existing properties since it was practically possible, but there’s no denying the frequency has increased substantially in the last couple decades. And again, it’s because it works (as far as making money goes).
   19. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: August 10, 2022 at 09:29 PM (#6091172)
IPs are the “movie stars” of previous eras, almost nothing is green lit that doesn’t have a recognizable name and most products (they aren’t films or shows, at least not first) now are produced backwards - they don’t have an idea and develop it, they have rights to a franchise and they hire people to make it.


Even worse, they take a story they really want to tell (usually woke-ified for modern-day audiences) and just staple the existing IP on top of it. Yeeccchhh!

There’s definitely a case to be made for making a bunch of millionish dollar films and “nickel and diming” your way to success.


Bruce Willis made approximately ten trillion movies in the last few years of his life (actually 19 since 2021, including an even dozen in 2022 alone [!!]), and the business model was simple: pay Bruce a few mil to show up, pay the rest of the cast and crew 15 cents, and sell the movie to some misbegotten streaming service or cable network for $4-5MM. Profit!
   20. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: August 10, 2022 at 09:40 PM (#6091178)
The growth of the overseas markets, particularly China, is another major factor for the proliferation of comic book movies. Simple narratives and special effects sell a lot better than culturally nuanced plots and character development.
   21. cardsfanboy Posted: August 10, 2022 at 09:43 PM (#6091179)
Movies have always used other material for their stories, comic books is just another format to borrow from. I don't get the people who think "they need to stop comic book movies"... that would be like saying "they need to stop making movies from books." It's just a dumb thing. You find a story you like and think can be made into a movie, use the story regardless of what medium it came from. Comic book has as much if not more variety of genre as books. Using comic books gives you more options not less.
   22. cardsfanboy Posted: August 10, 2022 at 09:45 PM (#6091180)
The growth of the overseas markets, particularly China, is another major factor for the proliferation of comic book movies. Simple narratives and special effects sell a lot better than culturally nuanced plots and character development.


Anyone that thinks comic books don't have nuanced plots has never read any of them. And anyone who thinks they are about effects also hasn't realized how many movies are comic books. I mean Romeo and Juliet is a non-nuanced plot that a good six issue spider man arc would destroy in nuance.
   23. Banta Posted: August 10, 2022 at 10:06 PM (#6091182)
I think the pushback against comic book movies is specifically about fatigue over generic super hero movies (which can often be very narratively simple, or dumbed down to be). And that fatigue is only a perception, as they certainly aren’t slowing down at the box office. I agree that comic books can be very intricate with a diverse amount of stories.

Another part of the criticism is over what movies get wide releases and see success in theaters. Big budget action tentpoles (and kids animated films) increasingly dominate. I was looking back at the 1991 top ten and it is sequels and remakes, Terminator 2 led the box office, Robin Hood Prince or Thieves was second, but you also had more adult dramas/thrillers like Silence of the Lambs and Dances with Wolves. Those movies now would most likely be direct to streaming where it would be harder to say how well they do. The conversation is so much more segmented in the internet age, so perception can be that everything is comic book movies (because movies in theaters, even post COViD, get more media attention) and that gets a natural pushback. (That doesn’t mean that there aren’t a ton more comic book movies now, there are and 30 years ago they were basically a niche).

It’s worth noting that the big hit comedy is essentially dead though. The Naked Gun 2 1/2 was 9th in the box office in 1991. You’d never see that now. It’s a relatively recent phenomenon though, as even ten years ago you had stuff like The Hangover. So maybe they’ll make a comeback, but they are the one genre that is probably most suited to streaming.
   24. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 10, 2022 at 10:19 PM (#6091184)
Because then it wouldn’t get made. IPs are the “movie stars” of previous eras, almost nothing is green lit that doesn’t have a recognizable name and most products (they aren’t films or shows, at least not first) now are produced backwards - they don’t have an idea and develop it, they have rights to a franchise and they hire people to make it.

Right, and that's why Hollywood is at an all time low in terms of quality. Remakes and comic book nonsense. Who cares?
   25. cardsfanboy Posted: August 10, 2022 at 10:20 PM (#6091185)
It’s worth noting that the big hit comedy is essentially dead though. The Naked Gun 2 1/2 was 9th in the box office in 1991. You’d never see that now. It’s a relatively recent phenomenon though, as even ten years ago you had stuff like The Hangover. So maybe they’ll make a comeback, but they are the one genre that is probably most suited to streaming.


I just looked at the top grossing movies by year and even the ones listed as comedy are almost all action comedies, cartoon or remakes (the grinch)


Link for list of top grossing movies.
   26. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 10, 2022 at 10:24 PM (#6091187)
Movies have always used other material for their stories, comic books is just another format to borrow from. I don't get the people who think "they need to stop comic book movies"... that would be like saying "they need to stop making movies from books."

How about they need to stop making Batman and Spiderman movies? Why would anyone go to see the 12th one? What's possibly new?

Also, comparing comic books to books is ridiculous. There are bad books and great books. There are no great comic books. I thought comic books were simplistic crap when I was 10.
   27. The Duke Posted: August 10, 2022 at 10:25 PM (#6091188)
One wouldn't think it, but the recently released mini-series on the making of The Godfather (The Offer) is nothing short of spectacular. It's not really about The Godfather, more about all the personalities swirling around The Godfather . It's a tremendous period piece with all kinds of references to movies being made at the time. A few great performances and a pretty compelling story. Not sure how true it really is, but it's great fun. You don't really have to like The Godfather to like this.

The Jimmy Caan scene certainly seems true to me
   28. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 10, 2022 at 10:27 PM (#6091189)
One wouldn't think it, but the recently released mini-series on the making of The Godfather (The Offer) is nothing short of spectacular. It's not really about The Godfather, more about all the personalities swirling around The Godfather . It's a tremendous period piece with all kinds of references to movies being made at the time. A few great performances and a pretty compelling story. Not sure how true it really is, but it's great fun. You don't really have to like The Godfather to like this.

The Jimmy Caan scene certainly seems true to me


Haven't seen it, but they're telling a totally different story, so it's not a remake in any sense.
   29. cardsfanboy Posted: August 10, 2022 at 10:48 PM (#6091193)
There are no great comic books. I thought comic books were simplistic crap when I was 10.



Okay, now I know why you are 42nd greatest monster, seriously somehow you received brain damage as a kid. And now think you are Niles Crane.
   30. Benji Gil Gamesh VII - The Opt-Out Awakens Posted: August 10, 2022 at 11:32 PM (#6091202)
There are no great comic books.
I'm not even an aficionado, and Watchmen and The Dark Knight Returns say hi.

You don't have to like the genre. But that's the equivalent of a classical music fan declaring "there are no great rock and roll albums" and that you "thought rock and roll was simplistic crap" when you were 10 in 1970.
   31. SoSH U at work Posted: August 10, 2022 at 11:48 PM (#6091205)
Regardless whether there are great comic books, I don't think the person who said this, "Comic book has as much if not more variety of genre as books" is really in a position to accuse others of brain damage.
   32. cardsfanboy Posted: August 10, 2022 at 11:53 PM (#6091208)
Regardless whether there are great comic books, I don't think the person who said this, "Comic book has as much if not more variety of genre as books" is really in a position to accuse others of brain damage


You fight absurdity with absurdity. But the thing about comics is because it combines art with literature it's able to do things that neither is capable of doing.
   33. mex4173 Posted: August 11, 2022 at 01:07 AM (#6091215)
I have concluded that no great art can be done with paint because of all the terrible kindergarten finger paintings.
Comic books are an art form not a genre.
Get back to me when you've heard of Maus.
   34. Banta Posted: August 11, 2022 at 01:49 AM (#6091219)
The average movie goer seems to care about these comic book movies, as they still are massive draws at the box office. Four of the top ten films this year are comic book movies. Along with the sixth Jurassic Park movie, the fifth Minions related film, the video game Sonic sequel, another video game movie Uncharted, and then the lavish Elvis biopic in 10th. Top Gun Maverick though has beaten them all out this year and has been hailed as sort of a return to a more traditional action movie, yet it’s still a sequel/soft reboot.

And that’s why we won’t get new things. The Elvis movie won’t survive being in the top ten nor will even Uncharted by the time the year is over, most likely with Black Panther making half the list comic book movies. Avatar 2 comes out around Christmas, but may still crack the top ten too even though I’m not sure anyone even really likes Avatar. Going to the movies is mostly about watching the fancy flashing lights now. I think Scorsese was the one who said they’re like an amusement park ride and he’s absolutely right. What this says about our culture at large is debatable.

I even like a lot of the MCU movies (and series), having young kids I see most of them, and they’re all mostly adequate shallow entertainment, the fast food of cinema. Tastes pretty good, but no lasting value and if it’s all your consume, you’ll probably die. That said, I do completely agree with snapper about having 12 Batman movies in the last 30 years, it’s long past the point of me actually actively wanting to see any more and if it suddenly stopped, I’d probably be happy about it.

As for comic books, there’s probably few things that are as underestimated and overestimated in terms of complexity. And with everything, I’m sure there’s great examples and trash. I have never really been into them, but I’ve had enough conversations with fully grown intelligent adults who sing their praises and have outlined some of the stories so I feel like there is real narrative value there (to say nothing of the actual artwork). Those aren’t the mostly aren’t the ones being turned into movies though and if they are, they’re being greatly simplified. There’s more potential in tv shows probably for great adaptations, but there’s probably thousands of great novels that I could say the same thing about.

Regardless, I still do pine for original ideas in TV and film that aren’t just adaptions or continuations. I’ve always loved film as a art form by itself and it does sadden me that it’s basically just a medium now for regurgitation, at least at the level where real money is spent. With the available resources and technology, there’s great potential for new stories of limitless imagination, but as long as nostalgia is profitable, I don’t see much changing anytime soon. Even though I do feel comic book movies will run their course to an extent, the remake/reboot cycle seems harder to shake the more IPs are centralized among a few massive companies.
   35. Hombre Brotani Posted: August 11, 2022 at 03:18 AM (#6091222)
There are no great comic books. I thought comic books were simplistic crap when I was 10.
Okay, now I know why you are 42nd greatest monster, seriously somehow you received brain damage as a kid. And now think you are Niles Crane.
Snapper has always been the oldest person in the room.
   36. SoSH U at work Posted: August 11, 2022 at 07:56 AM (#6091226)
You fight absurdity with absurdity.


I don't think you do that. Also, your absurdity came first.

   37. BDC Posted: August 11, 2022 at 08:19 AM (#6091227)
To get back to the very idea of a League of Their Own series: it could be good or bad, naturally. But some well-regarded TV series have been based on movies, and sometimes movies that you would have been very skeptical could be the basis for good series. villageidiom mentioned M*A*S*H: I remember thinking when the series premiered that it would be so watered-down for TV that it would never have much impact, and … I was wrong :)

Others in that line would include Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Bates Motel, and Fargo.
   38. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 11, 2022 at 08:37 AM (#6091228)
But the thing about comics is because it combines art with literature it's able to do things that neither is capable of doing.

That seems highly dubious. What are the great messages comics have delivered us that neither literature nor visual art could?

I have concluded that no great art can be done with paint because of all the terrible kindergarten finger paintings.
Comic books are an art form not a genre.
Get back to me when you've heard of Maus.


I've heard of Maus, think we might have read some of it in school, so what?

They're not an art form, they're illustrated story books. Conceptually not much different than other children's books.
   39. Lonnie Smith for president Posted: August 11, 2022 at 08:39 AM (#6091229)
It's almost entirely batshit crazy now, but I'd include the first season and change of Cobra Kai (spun down from the Karate Kid movies) as being better than expected and a thoughtful use of elapsed time since the movies.
   40. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: August 11, 2022 at 08:46 AM (#6091231)
Snapper has always been the oldest person in the room.

And I thank God for that. Our society has become increasingly juvenile and I'm thrilled never to have been juvenile, even when I was one.
   41. Lassus Posted: August 11, 2022 at 09:21 AM (#6091233)
Bloomhouse

Blumhouse, correcting you because I knew the dude in college, not well, friend of friend. Kind of a coked-up CA super-rich kid, but had the drive. His dad was the art dealer who "discovered" and promoted Warhol initially.


There are no great comic books.

I'm late to the thread so the fact that this is dumb has already been covered.


Our society has become increasingly juvenile.

My niece's class started algebra in 4th grade. We were all juvenile compared to them.


I've heard of Maus, think we might have read some of it in school, so what?

Juvenile is defined by a lack of growth, which your dismissal of Maus as art and literature illustrates. You're juvenile right now.


Conceptually not much different than other children's books.

What novels have you been reading lately?
   42. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: August 11, 2022 at 09:29 AM (#6091234)
Going to the movies is mostly about watching the fancy flashing lights now.

Co-sign. The real stars of contemporary pop cinema aren't the actors on the movie poster; it's the team of CGI animators.
   43. Lassus Posted: August 11, 2022 at 09:30 AM (#6091235)
That said, I do completely agree with snapper about having 12 Batman movies in the last 30 years, it’s long past the point of me actually actively wanting to see any more and if it suddenly stopped, I’d probably be happy about it.

I think you're right that the comic book movies with run their course. Part of the reason they are so successful now is the age thing. The age group of the comic renaissance and the advancement of tech came together to actually make comics work live-action. We are coming off the honeymoon period of MCU's massively successful run. I mean, She-Hulk came out 1980. When you loved that book as a 13-year-old, you're now the age where these properties can be successfully made.

There are a lot of valid complaints about the direction of mass-market art that are centuries old and I even I worry about how beaten down individuality comes. But cycles happen, and I don't mind being optimistic about these sorts of things. I also am massively biased against "OMG EVERYTHING IS WORSE NOW" and push back on that even when containing accuracy. Which is IMO practically never, of course.
   44. Lassus Posted: August 11, 2022 at 09:41 AM (#6091236)
Back on topic, League of Their Own is getting pretty good reviews online so far prior to its release date tomorrow. I also decry remakes, but I think turning this into a fleshed-out series is a great idea. I mean, it's going to have same-sex relationships in it, so people will cry over that.
   45. My name is Votto, and I love to get Moppo Posted: August 11, 2022 at 09:48 AM (#6091239)
t's almost entirely batshit crazy now, but I'd include the first season and change of Cobra Kai (spun down from the Karate Kid movies) as being better than expected and a thoughtful use of elapsed time since the movies.


You're right, the first season or two was fun, but now it's a show that I completely hate-watch. It's like, hey, there was a school riot involving 40 students, a kid ended up in a coma, but hey, let's go on like everything is fine. Also, it was ridiculous that two grown men tried to ruin a teenager's life 35 years ago, and now they are still trying to ruin the lives of teenagers.
   46. cardsfanboy Posted: August 11, 2022 at 09:50 AM (#6091240)
That seems highly dubious. What are the great messages comics have delivered us that neither literature nor visual art could?


Didn't say it can deliver messages, said different ways. Issue five of Watchmen is a unique storytelling concept that probably couldn't be done in any other medium. The first and last panel are similar and it works that as a mirror image throughout the rest of the story, it's a unique visual concept you can't deliver through a book, or even a movie.

I've heard of Maus, think we might have read some of it in school, so what?
It's also considered one of the greatest comic books ever.
   47. cardsfanboy Posted: August 11, 2022 at 09:52 AM (#6091241)
Back on topic, League of Their Own is getting pretty good reviews online so far prior to its release date tomorrow. I also decry remakes, but I think turning this into a fleshed-out series is a great idea. I mean, it's going to have same-sex relationships in it, so people will cry over that.


You mean like 19. ?
   48. Biscuit_pants Posted: August 11, 2022 at 10:07 AM (#6091244)
But some well-regarded TV series have been based on movies, and sometimes movies that you would have been very skeptical could be the basis for good series.


I think the difference between some of the examples you gave as successful and a lot of the modern remakes is they are not trying to modernize or take it in a different direction. I am a big Lord of the Rings fan and as of now I do not plan on watching the new series. The mention they modernized the story. I don't get how you modernize a period piece, even in a fantasy word that is well created. This might work if it was previously done poorly but to modernize what has been really successful and well done seems arrogant. To me if you want to introduce some modern issues in an already successful book/movie/franchise you do it in a way that is in the background that is both instantly recognized by the modern viewer but does not take over the story.

The league of their own reboot has a ring of modern issues taking over instead of being presented as an issue in the background of a broader story. Maybe like you with MASH I will be surprised and it is done well.

I do like period pieces that tell a story that could not be written at that time (or even 20 years ago) but not when it is portrayed in a modern way and they just look like they dressed up funny. I thought the Imitation Game did a really good job of this, telling a story and leaving in parts of his life that could not have been added to a movie 30+ years ago but not taking away from his accomplishments or modernized how homosexuality should have been perceived and accepted at that time.
   49. BDC Posted: August 11, 2022 at 10:41 AM (#6091252)
Yes, very interesting, Biscuit Pants. That historical dynamic can get very complicated, the more so when the original is a historical fiction.

Fargo has been taking it in the other direction, setting seasons further back in the past instead of modernizing, though the same problems with anachronism apply. Of course even in its first season, Fargo was loosely related to the movie: basically "noir in a cold climate" with a certain tone and visual style.
   50. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 11, 2022 at 11:12 AM (#6091256)
I am generally against remakes BUT I think sometimes a fresh take works, particularly after a long time an we can modernize things a bit. I like to share films with my kids and some are timeless, but others are very of the moment and haven't aged well, so it's good to get an update.

I also think going from a movie to TV show can work. I had trepidation about High Fidelity being remade - it's a film and book I loved - but they did a fantastic job with it as a series, updating it with a twist (the protagonist is a female now) but still giving winks and nods to the original (THEN CANCELLED IT AFTER ONE SEASON, WTF)


To get back to the very idea of a League of Their Own series: it could be good or bad, naturally. But some well-regarded TV series have been based on movies, and sometimes movies that you would have been very skeptical could be the basis for good series. villageidiom mentioned M*A*S*H: I remember thinking when the series premiered that it would be so watered-down for TV that it would never have much impact, and … I was wrong :)

Others in that line would include Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Bates Motel, and Fargo.


These are great examples.

Anyway, I love baseball, and I love the original A League of Their Own, so I'll check this out.
   51. Lassus Posted: August 11, 2022 at 11:37 AM (#6091258)
Re: New LOTR series: The mention they modernized the story. I don't get how you modernize a period piece

I assume that's "they"; from what I read people (not you) are pissed due to non-white characters, calling that "modernization".
   52. Biscuit_pants Posted: August 11, 2022 at 12:30 PM (#6091276)
I assume that's "they"; from what I read people (not you) are pissed due to non-white characters, calling that "modernization".


Not sure. The they I had saw was an interview with someone connected to the show, I do not remember if it was a writer/director/producer. I do not read what people who have not seen the show yet say about the show since usually what they are complaining about is the trailer.

If all that is meant by modernization, is that everyone does not look Norse or English, it was not what Tolkien was going for (I know he was trying to write a pseudo history for the British) but it is also not that big of a deal.
   53. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: August 11, 2022 at 01:07 PM (#6091279)
One wouldn't think it, but the recently released mini-series on the making of The Godfather (The Offer) is nothing short of spectacular. It's not really about The Godfather, more about all the personalities swirling around The Godfather . It's a tremendous period piece with all kinds of references to movies being made at the time. A few great performances and a pretty compelling story. Not sure how true it really is, but it's great fun. You don't really have to like The Godfather to like this.

The Jimmy Caan scene certainly seems true to me


I finished it last night. I loved it. I will probably re-watch at some point.
   54. Banta Posted: August 11, 2022 at 01:42 PM (#6091287)
Blumhouse, correcting you

Heh, my brain was telling me there was something not right when I wrote it, but my, I guess gut, plowed on anyway!

With the Lord of the Rings show, it is also my perception that a lot of the initial backlash has been solely based on the color of the skin of the characters, which has been become the basis for presuming that something is “modernized” or “gone woke.” I do think that forced diversity can be an issue, but no more than any other extracurricular consideration that takes away from the original artistic vision. And the complaints about “woke” probably greatly outnumber the actual examples of it at this point.

Which brings up A League of Their Own. Correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems like the show is going to have integrated black players when in reality none existed. This sort of thing is an example (and if they aren’t doing this, I apologize) of “modernization” which I do find “problematic” - whitewashing (uh, or I guess it’s the reverse?) history seems like a moderately dangerous (as much as a show can be “dangerous”) way to obscure the less savory aspects of our past and therefore erase the lessons learned from it. But, as with everything, I don’t think there’s a hard and fast rule: you make the townspeople in Beauty and the Beast different races that didn’t exist in fake 17/18thish century France, I’m not sure why you would care, beyond some subconscious racism. The new Game of Thrones apparently has a person of color playing a Targaryen, who are known for their bleach blonde hair and pale skin… that seems a little more like diversity for the sake of it at the expense of the original idea, but does that have any actual impact on the characterization or story? Like a black James Bond, which I don’t see any reasonable problem with, I’m not even sure Ian Fleming ever specified Bond’s skin color, it was probably just presumed. As long as he’s British, then I don’t see an issue. However, you change him into a woman, then you’ve basically invented a new character with IP clothing. In the last Bond film, they had a female 007 but James Bond still existed, he had just retired. That’s perfectly reasonable but the anti-woke crowd was on the offensive about that.

Basically, from what I can tell, most “modernization” attempts are half-assed pandering that don’t go as far as some would want and are the death of cinema and morality to others. LGBT inclusion is the best example, its usually very minor or subtlety hinted at, but it’s enough that some people freak out while the more liberal decry that there still isn’t well rounded representation. It’s all a bit disgusting to me because it’s clearly not organic at all and the result of big data telling studios what ingredients they need to appeal to the most amount of people. Again, it’s almost a miracle when legitimately good films and shows are made in this environment.

Sorry, I’ve been quite wordy on this topic, but I rarely see the middle ground of the conversation. It’s either woke or anti-woke (or just don’t give a crap).
   55. cardsfanboy Posted: August 11, 2022 at 02:16 PM (#6091295)
Which brings up A League of Their Own. Correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems like the show is going to have integrated black players when in reality none existed. This sort of thing is an example (and if they aren’t doing this, I apologize) of “modernization” which I do find “problematic” - whitewashing (uh, or I guess it’s the reverse?)


I get the point but considering it's going to be a multi-episode and they are probably hoping multi-season show, having at least one integrated player allows them to also somewhat co-opt the Jackie Robinson storyline into their own work. This is historical fiction, not history. If they stay segregated, it's going to put pretty much all the protagonists in a bad light for allowing it to happen, even though realistically that is the way it would have been regardless of their belief on the matter.
   56. bookbook Posted: August 11, 2022 at 02:19 PM (#6091297)
Snowpiercer is another strong, different series than the pretty good movie it was based on,

I, too, would like to see more new, different material get video treatment, but an awful lot of good material gets made in this way.
   57. Banta Posted: August 11, 2022 at 02:29 PM (#6091300)
55, I get your point too, especially with regards to historical fiction, but it still doesn’t quite sit well with me. I mean, for one thing, it seems a tad disrespectful to Jackie Robinson himself, taking away his “first” (even considering it’s a different league and also not real). I personally wouldn’t mind some moral complexity for our protagonists, and having them grapple with their support of (or silence to) segregation could make for interesting television. Plus, if you wanted to make a show about integration, then you could just do that. The premise of this is women fighting for sports equality, bringing race into it certainly muddles the focus. As a show, you can have multiple plot lines and they do at least seem thematically related, but I think you’re making it more difficult and a lot of writers are likely not up the challenge, based on the quality of most stuff I see out there.

That said, it doesn’t sound like anything that automatically kills a show for me. I’ll accept almost any historical inaccuracy or contrivance if the writing is still solid, but in practice, the more things like this that are heaped into a show, the harder that becomes.
   58. villageidiom Posted: August 11, 2022 at 04:18 PM (#6091334)
Haven't seen it, but they're telling a totally different story, so it's not a remake in any sense.
I mean, so is A League Of Their Own (the TV series). It's different players & different stories.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems like the show is going to have integrated black players when in reality none existed.
Based on TFA, it doesn't sound like they will, but rather they're going to deal with the lack of integration throughout the season by including a (regular? recurring?) Black character who isn't allowed to play in the league.

--------------

For those who want "good material, poorly executed" films to be remade, can any of you give some examples?
   59. cardsfanboy Posted: August 11, 2022 at 04:24 PM (#6091335)
For those who want "good material, poorly executed" films to be remade, can any of you give some examples?


Simply because I read something the other day about it, Copland was a movie that Siskel gave as an example back in the day. But as of right now, my brain can't think of any. My brain says there are several science fiction movies out there that description can apply.

edit: checking it's wikipedia though, it seems like it was considered good so I might have the wrong movie as an example.

Edit: Oops, that was post 7. that I read. LOL>
   60. PeteF3 Posted: August 11, 2022 at 04:49 PM (#6091345)
Westworld. Oh, the original movie wasn't "poor," but it wasn't perfect, but it was indeed an awesome idea. The show isn't perfect either but it's definitely a reinvention as far as remakes go.
   61. Biscuit_pants Posted: August 11, 2022 at 05:26 PM (#6091353)
For those who want "good material, poorly executed" films to be remade, can any of you give some examples?


Things that were re-done because technology made it better or at least more accessible but the original wasn't bad examples are Dune, Battlestar Galactica, and The Fly.

Examples of movies that were not that good redone much better: Oceans 11, The Avengers (1998), and to bring it back a bit The Lord of the Rings.

Movies the deserve a remake: John Carter of Mars, Battlefield Earth, Soldier, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, The Time Machine, The Last Airbender, Alexander the Great, Pearl Harbor, and they are bound to get a Fantastic 4 right one of these times, right?

Obviously tastes may vary
   62. Cris E Posted: August 11, 2022 at 05:35 PM (#6091356)
Several swings have been taken at Dune. A lot of stories where too much had to be cut would make good series. Biographies, for example, can take more time than movies allow. Most historical stuff doesn't fit well but lends itself to 6-12 episode runs like Band of Brothers or The Pacific. Of course the move to 2.3 or 3 hour movies is more common because creators know that many viewers will be on their couches, not in theaters. Time was that Lawrence of Arabia was wildly unique for being long and now you get 230 minute directors cuts all the time.

EDIT: Most times you have a story with more details than minutes you have trouble. A lot of bad movies might have been quite a bit better if given a little more room during edits. (Or a lot less room: enforced concision can be a blessing.)
   63. Hombre Brotani Posted: August 12, 2022 at 05:27 PM (#6091402)
One wouldn't think it, but the recently released mini-series on the making of The Godfather (The Offer) is nothing short of spectacular.
I actually... hated it? Studios need to stop trying to make Miles Teller a star.

It's kind of amusing that people will complain about sequels, but be geeked about rewatching the same stuff, or stuff about the same stuff, over and over again. As good as the first two "The Godfather" movies were, we didn't then need another eleventy billion mafia movies about family and loyalty. They're not all exactly the same movie, except they are.

Movies the deserve a remake: John Carter of Mars, Battlefield Earth, Soldier, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, The Time Machine, The Last Airbender, Alexander the Great, Pearl Harbor, and they are bound to get a Fantastic 4 right one of these times, right?
Netflix is doing "The Last Airbender," but since it's Netflix, we might not want to hold our breath. "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" was so awful that fans would welcome a sequel -- the vision of the three-story-tall submarine rising out of Venice canals that only go a dozen feet deep gets replayed constantly in my head.
   64. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: August 12, 2022 at 07:40 PM (#6091413)
For those who want "good material, poorly executed" films to be remade, can any of you give some examples?


Dune. I mean the Dino Delaurentis one. And the re-make was fine. not great, but fine.

edit; NVM.

   65. BDC Posted: August 13, 2022 at 01:42 PM (#6091472)
The Wild Wild West was a sharp, offbeat TV series made into a ghastly bloated movie. It could be be remade well, but at this point the idea has probably been blighted forever :(
   66. Miserable, Non-Binary Candy is all we deserve CoB Posted: August 13, 2022 at 05:20 PM (#6091488)
Movies the deserve a remake: ,Battlefield Earth,


Have you ever *read* Battlefield Earth?
It got **exactly** the movie it deserved; no remake can ever top what they managed to create to do homage to L. Ron Hubbard's "gift" for storytelling.
   67. Hombre Brotani Posted: August 13, 2022 at 09:49 PM (#6091528)
We watched the first episode of the show last night.

Better than expected.

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