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Adam Corn Jun 14, 2009 (edited Jun 14, 2009)

Wow this is a rare case of not only having almost the complete opposite opinion of Angela but also of her being the one that's more cynical. smile

I thought the first third of Transformers was the best part.  They did a nice job of setting up the "boy and his car" premise that's meant to humanize the movie, and I quite like the first two Decepticon encounters (with the blackhawk and then Scorponok) even though they don't boast the all-out mayhem of later battles.  Though I can't stand Megan Fox's real-life persona I thought she did alright with the material she was given (which admittedly is 50% or more just looking sexy) and - maybe because it was my first exposure to Shia LaBeouf - I found his character amusing, maybe even endearing.  Bonus points for Bernie Mac's great car salesman character.

There's a lot to like about the last third as well of course.  As a Transformers fan from childhood, seeing giant, realistic-looking robots go at each other in such cinematic spectacle was certainly a treat.  That said, though every action sequence is good on its own I found taken all together the end dragged just a bit.

That leaves the middle third, which is for me the weak part of the movie, starting basically from where Sector 7 enter the picture until the time they finally leave the spotlight.  The plot and acting suffer most in this area and the "Autobots around the house" scene drags for a bit.

Steve Jablonsky's score doesn't get a lot of love from soundtrack aficionados but I thought it was quite respectable. There's nothing to marvel at technically, but he gives us a dignified Autobots theme and a rousing action theme, which is good enough in my book.  Also the steady build-up in intensity in the Scorponok battle makes it one of the more satisfying action cues I've heard lately.

For Revenge I am expected something along similar lines.  The final trailer has almost proven already that the action and effects are going to be jaw-dropping, so if they can back it up with a serviceable plot and if Michael Bay can keep the camp to a limit, I expect to walk away satisfied.

Adam Corn Jun 14, 2009

Bossy Administrator Mode: ON

This is just a notice that I'll be closing this thread within the next few days.

The topic itself is perfectly legitimate in its original form, but as implied before I would like to steer away from sprawling, multi-topic threads like this.  There are some really good reviews and discussion of various films in here but new visitors will have almost no chance of finding them when they're buried in such a long thread.  Even for myself as administrator, it's hard to keep track of what was posted where.

I'll leave the thread open for a bit longer so current discussion can run its course, but please post commentary on any later films as separate topics.

Bossy Administrator Mode: OFF smile

Smeg Jun 14, 2009

I think that's really unneccessary and completely don't understand your recent crusade against threads such as this and others that have moved on to topics diverging from the original post. It's a perfectly natural and harmless course for conversation. What's the point of all this "post that in a different thread" crap?

Zane Jun 14, 2009

Smeg wrote:

I think that's really unneccessary and completely don't understand your recent crusade against threads such as this and others that have moved on to topics diverging from the original post. It's a perfectly natural and harmless course for conversation.

Agreed. Conversation tends to meander and go in different directions as it goes along, and that's not a bad thing. Personally speaking, I'd rather have a smaller number of more active threads with a larger number of people participating in them than a message board chock full of empty threads that are specific to one clearly defined topic and one clearly defined topic only. If anything, closing threads like this and trying to police people from going off-topic is only going to dissuade forum members from sharing their thoughts in apprehension of making the thread into a hot topic that will only be closed because it may meander from the original topic that was the initial reason for creating the thread in the first place. If I am talking with someone about their job and after a few minutes the conversation naturally moves to talking about food, I wouldn't tell that person to officially end our previous conversation and start a new conversation about food. On a forum, you just happen to have lots of people talking to one another and the threads might naturally take a different course as they go along.

Angela Jun 14, 2009

For this thread in particular, I suppose I can understand Adam's stance with visitors having a potentially difficult time finding posts on any specific film.  All the same, I thought that it was going along well as far as being a broad yet comprehensive consolidation of all films '09.  The movie aficionados here on STC appear to make up a very small percentage of the overall users - at least, those willing to participate in discussion.  I just didn't think it would be feasible to have 20+ different threads floating about for every movie that's been brought up in this thread already.  And, as Zane states, this could potentially result in a whole lot of empty threads; the more obscure films would likely never top off with more than one or two replies at the most.

Carl Jun 14, 2009

How many visitors have come here for the first time just this year?  (5% maybe?)
How many visitors are regulars since time began (95%....)

I don't think we're confusing any newbies, because we don't have newbies.

Wanderer Jun 14, 2009

I'm sorry Adam but I don't get it either. There simply aren't enough people here to justify a thread for every film or game. And have we *ever* had visitors?

XLord007 Jun 14, 2009

I agree with Adam's take on the first Transformers movie.  For me, the human parts were more interesting than the robot parts, mostly because all of the robots' new designs look the same and the robot fight scenes are shot too close to the action to be able to tell what's going on.  For me, the movie was more of a quaint throwback nerd gets girl story than an ass kicking action movie.  I'm not looking forward to the sequel, but I will probably see it.

On the other topic, I agree with everybody except Adam about not closing threads simply because the natural course of conversation is taking place.

Adam Corn Jun 14, 2009 (edited Jun 14, 2009)

Carl wrote:

How many visitors have come here for the first time just this year?  (5% maybe?)
How many visitors are regulars since time began (95%....)

I don't think we're confusing any newbies, because we don't have newbies.

Sorry but this is so far off the mark I'm going to address it in its own post.

These are approximate numbers, the first set of which you can check for yourself on the forum user list:

26% - Percentage of forum members who registered within the first 6 months of the switch to the new forums (i.e. "when time began")
50% - Percentage who registered in 2008 and 2009

160 - Registered members who have posted 5 times or more in the past year.
900 - Registered members who have visited in the same time frame.

I won't divulge total site stats, but trust me when I say that the number of non-registered forum visitors is far, far greater than either of the numbers above.

There are a great number of newbies who visit the site and they come here every day, not to mention a great number of members who come here regularly even if they don't post that often.

Adam Corn Jun 14, 2009

I'm a little surprised (only a little) by the reaction here and am inclined to think it's more against the very fact of me closing a thread (for the first time) than it is to my reasoning behind the decision.

Zane wrote:

Conversation tends to meander and go in different directions as it goes along, and that's not a bad thing.

Several of you guys are equating internet discussion forums to spoken conversation and that's not accurate.  You don't have people participating in multiple conversations at once as you do on a forum, nor do you have ample time to think about where and what you say before you say it, nor or the things you said recorded ad verbatim for people to look back on and even use as reference for years to come.

Of course it's natural for threads to drift off to various topics.  All I'm asking is to consider whether it's best to post something in the current thread or to give it individual attention in its own thread, and to lean towards the latter when a post seems likely to draw focus away from the current topic.

Personally speaking, I'd rather have a smaller number of more active threads with a larger number of people participating in them than a message board chock full of empty threads that are specific to one clearly defined topic and one clearly defined topic only.

I'd rather have a large number of threads with a large number of posts that are mostly focused on their respective topics, which is what I'm shooting for here. smile

If anything, closing threads like this and trying to police people from going off-topic is only going to dissuade forum members from sharing their thoughts in apprehension of making the thread into a hot topic that will only be closed because it may meander from the original topic that was the initial reason for creating the thread in the first place.

If I was closing threads on a regular basis that might be the case but this is the first time in years of operation of the forums that I've even mentioned closing a thread, so I hardly think it's going to scare people away from posting.  It's not like I'm deleting the thread or anything - everyone's posts are still there for everyone to see and I'm leaving the thread open for a while for current topics to run their course.

Angela wrote:

The movie aficionados here on STC appear to make up a very small percentage of the overall users - at least, those willing to participate in discussion.  I just didn't think it would be feasible to have 20+ different threads floating about for every movie that's been brought up in this thread already.

Angela where on earth is this coming from?  All you have to do is go back a couple pages to see any number of movie threads that have post counts ranging from a half-dozen to a hundred.  I didn't notice a single movie thread that had only a single post.  I think the movie discussion was going just fine when we had separate threads for each movie.  I'd say next to game soundtracks and gaming, it's the most frequently discussed topic here.

Would you guys really say in hindsight that you would prefer to see the threads for Iron Man, Benjamin Button, and other movies from last year all mixed together with that gigantic Dark Knight thread?  Say I just caught Benjamin Button on DVD last night and I want to contribute to a topic or reply to a comment I remember from the forums - it's a lot easier to scan through the topic page for "Benjamin Button" than, for example, it is to search for all the mentions of Star Trek (which I finally saw last weekend) in this long and still expanding thread.

And, as Zane states, this could potentially result in a whole lot of empty threads; the more obscure films would likely never top off with more than one or two replies at the most.

First of all, that's doubtful.  Second of all, what is this phobia several people here have of empty threads?  Is the thought of somebody not posting in one's thread really all that frightening?

Worst-case scenario: Nobody replies to the topic, it gradually falls down the topic list and off the first couple pages, everybody forgets about it.

Best-case scenario: The topic catches fire and gets the individual attention it deserves, in its own, focused thread.

Alternate scenario: The topic doesn't get much attention at first but somebody comes back to it later and it picks up again, either by remembering it from before or by coming across it in a search.  This is a lot more likely to happen if it's in its own thread than if it's buried as a post in some long topic that's overly expansive or barely if at all related.

Again this is not signaling that I'm going to go on a thread-closing rampage.  I'm just saying that this thread and the 2009 gaming one are by nature overly inclusive and make the topics they include harder to navigate and less conducive to conversation than if they had their own individual threads.  So I've decided to take the exceedingly infrequent action of closing them.

Angela Jun 14, 2009 (edited Jun 16, 2009)

Adam Corn wrote:

Angela where on earth is this coming from?  All you have to do is go back a couple pages to see any number of movie threads that have post counts ranging from a half-dozen to a hundred.  I didn't notice a single movie thread that had only a single post.  I think the movie discussion was going just fine when we had separate threads for each movie.  I'd say next to game soundtracks and gaming, it's the most frequently discussed topic here.

I was actually referring to movies brought up in this thread alone; for instance, less prolific '09 titles like The Wrestler, Battle of the Smithsonian, and Drag Me To Hell.  We know that big-ticket titles like The Dark Knight, Iron Man and Kingdom of The Crystal Skull garnered a lot more attention, so yeah, I concur that those were better off with their own threads.  I suppose my initial reasoning for creating this thread (and the 2008 one, for that matter) was to have a designated place to give movies, big and small, an equal place of footing.  It can be far less intimidating to post in an established thread, rather than having to create a whole new thread that may or may not "go over well."  It was just a natural evolution that this became the all-encompassing thread that it's become.

Second of all, what is this phobia several people here have of empty threads?  Is the thought of somebody not posting in one's thread really all that frightening?

I think a lot of people equate an empty thread to a cyber ego-bruising; that you've just created an entirely new topic that nobody's taken an interest in, and now it's only serving to take up space.  And that entry of shame is up there for all to see until god knows when it gets pushed off the page.  Or, if you're the only one posting in the thread (I've had this feeling at times), it makes it look like you're trying to salvage-pimp it.

As said, I thought this thread was pretty much on-rails (up to now, at least. :p) as far as broadly zeroing in on '09 films.  But I can see how certain titles deserve their own thread (again, the bigger ones like Watchmen and Star Trek), and I do think the balance between designated threads and the "Which ones are you looking forward to?" was better struck in 2008.  You're the Boss-Man, Adam, and I do understand and respect your decision.  If need be, go for it; I can always roll with the punches.

avatar! Jun 15, 2009

Whenever I sit down with my friends and talk, we start with topic A, and before you know it we're talking about something only vaguely related. That's how conversations go. It's good for conversations to be organic, and naturally one thing leads to another. Forcing people to stick only to the subject at hand is like being in class. I don't know how many people are registered on STC, but those that really contribute to this site are not so many. If you stifle people's freedom of speech, at least in the sense that you have to stick to the topic at hand, that would be a very bad thing. People are not going to want to start a new post all the time because what they had to say was not related to the topic at hand.

Also, I've said this numerous times before, but if you want people to quickly be able to look up reviews of games, movies, soundtracks... why not add a "Reviews" forum? That seems like the most sensible solution. Also, a "Polls" forum would be great as well.

cheers,

-avatar!

Smeg Jun 15, 2009

Adam Corn wrote:

Personally speaking, I'd rather have a smaller number of more active threads with a larger number of people participating in them than a message board chock full of empty threads that are specific to one clearly defined topic and one clearly defined topic only.

I'd rather have a large number of threads with a large number of posts that are mostly focused on their respective topics, which is what I'm shooting for here. smile

You won't achieve that by dictating how folks post in their discussions. This approach is almost certain to have the opposite effect of what you say you're aiming for.

Adam Corn wrote:

If anything, closing threads like this and trying to police people from going off-topic is only going to dissuade forum members from sharing their thoughts in apprehension of making the thread into a hot topic that will only be closed because it may meander from the original topic that was the initial reason for creating the thread in the first place.

If I was closing threads on a regular basis that might be the case but this is the first time in years of operation of the forums that I've even mentioned closing a thread, so I hardly think it's going to scare people away from posting.

The first time will set a precedent for the future, and possibly persuade others to second-guess themselves before posting as suggested in the above quoted post. I know it does for me.

Carl's numbers may have been off, but the gist of his point was right on if I follow him. The draw of this particular forum is the established community. Nuturing this quality may somewhat stifle its potential for growth, but I don't judge its worth by its size.

Carl Jun 15, 2009

In light of there being many more "passive viewers" rather than "active contributors" the forum then seems more like a one-way show that people prefer to watch rather than participate in. A nd in that case it'd be best to give the cast (posters) the most range of freedom possible to keep the audience entertained.

Zane Jun 16, 2009

Smeg wrote:
Adam Corn wrote:

I'd rather have a large number of threads with a large number of posts that are mostly focused on their respective topics, which is what I'm shooting for here. smile

You won't achieve that by dictating how folks post in their discussions. This approach is almost certain to have the opposite effect of what you say you're aiming for.

Seriously. Just knowing that posts may be reviewed and policed specifically for on-topic content and that threads may be closed if the conversation goes toward the wayside as far as the original topic is concerned makes me want to post even less than I do now, and even that is considerably less than I posted a year or two ago. This isn't NeoGAF or GameFAQs where there are thousands of posters contributing and inflating threads to massive proportions; it's just us writing here, regardless of how many unregistered or new users that don't post visit the site (*waves to everyone*).

Like avatar! said:

avatar! wrote:

I don't know how many people are registered on STC, but those that really contribute to this site are not so many. If you stifle people's freedom of speech, at least in the sense that you have to stick to the topic at hand, that would be a very bad thing.

First the f---ing swear filter, and now the pioneering of "infrequent" thread closings. What's next, code written into the forums that doesn't allow us to post any negative words? No posting on a school night? I am being facetious, natch, but still, the overall point is the same. I can understand closing threads that erupt into internet fights or random porn posts, but you're closing a thread that is comprised of the site's regular, frequent posters having a flame-free and natural group conversation that meandered. It's not like the name of the thread is "Chrono Cross Arrange Album" and three pages in Angie is talking about Pirates of the Carribean and I'm telling people they should eat more nuts and leafy greens in their diet (which they probably should); the general topic is about 2009 films, and most of the posts are about movies or people's experiences with them. Re-reading the thread actually shows the strong sense of community and camaraderie here, which will be stifled in that particular instance by disallowing the thread to continue down its natural path.

I've been posting here for years and as of this post, my 2,464th, I hold the second highest amount of posts of all our registered users. I think that I actively contribute to discussions and make some good threads and am completely comfortable voicing my opinion and feelings about this, but just knowing that I have to worry about what I say and where I say it in case it - God forbid - changes the subject of a thread, well, that almost makes me want to stop posting everywhere except for my sale thread (which can be found here, har, har!). I want to be able to discuss things openly and talk freely without the worry of having a thread closed because a natural, organic, multi-person conversation went off the beaten path and now it's being walled up so we can't post in it anymore.

Idolores Jun 16, 2009 (edited Jun 16, 2009)

I do admit that it's silly for you to jump on the subject like this, Adam, but isn't it also silly to bitch about the change, everyone? If it happened, will it really affect the place in such a drastic way?

I guess I still don't see the problem with having a thread get derailed at times. I'm pretty dumb when it comes to the running of websites; does it affect the functionality and the capacity for smooth operation on your end, Adam? I'm just wondering.

And you gotta admit, it's pretty funny when someone posts a thread and gets nothing but semantically-related puns. smile

Edit: I'm playing Devil's Advocate here, but someone mentioned that people who are indeed just visiting don't contribute over the smaller number of folks that do, while somewhat true, sounds horribly elitist to me.

avatar! Jun 16, 2009

Idolores wrote:

Edit: I'm playing Devil's Advocate here, but someone mentioned that people who are indeed just visiting don't contribute over the smaller number of folks that do, while somewhat true, sounds horribly elitist to me.

No no, I'm not trying to be elitist at all smile
After all, anyone is welcome to say whatever is on his or her mind, which is a great thing about this forum. I'm just saying that it's a fact that the people who contribute the most to this site are few. If say the top 20 posters stopped posting to this site, how do you thing that would change things? My guess is, there would hardly be any postings other than say in the Marketplace forum. If my posts were edited in some way, or threads closed, I personally would be less keen to post. I just feel very strong about open communication, that's all I'm saying. Anyone is welcome to join in a conversation at anytime, so no elitism involved.

cheers,

-avatar!

Adam Corn Jun 17, 2009 (edited Jun 17, 2009)

Once more, please stop equating these forums - or any internet discussion forum - to a spoken conversation.  They're entirely different beasts.  Similar in ways but very different.

I'm not telling anybody to stop discussing what they're discussing!  I'm asking them to carry on the discussion for topics that are only marginally related (in the sense that Star Trek for example is only marginally related to The Wrestler) in new, separate threads.

Even if I close two topics, this is still hardly a forcefully administered forum, compared to the all the ones I've ever frequented at least.  I see threads getting closed all the time and I roll my eyes at it often as well, which is why I have no intention of ever closing a thread unless I'm absolutely sure it's best in consideration to both long-time, active members and visitors.

If we're going to be facetious (I'd say that term is a little generous for certain previous comment), what am I to do if some people next decide we're going to have a "2009 game soundtracks" thread and discuss every single release that comes out for the rest of the year there?  And why have a "Films 2009" thread when we can discuss every film that comes out from here to forevermore in one single, solitary thread?  Yes, I am exaggerating and no, none of that has ever happened.  But neither has there ever been a single (non-retrospective) thread for every released film for the year.  There's no change in administrative policy at work here - if the same thing had happened three years ago I would have taken the exact same action then.

Zane wrote:

It's not like the name of the thread is "Chrono Cross Arrange Album" and three pages in Angie is talking about Pirates of the Carribean and I'm telling people they should eat more nuts and leafy greens in their diet

No, it's like we were talking about Chrono Cross Arrange Album and then a couple of pages in it's Koichi Sugiyama's possibly nationalistic history.  And interestingly enough, the Chrono Cross discussion then grinds to a halt.

I'm not telling people to stop discussing anything.  I'm not telling them they have to stay on topic without fail.  I'm just asking to please consider if a reply or part of a reply might draw massive attention from the original topic, and if so, to post it in its own thread (even when it might possibly only get a few replies).  If the forum community here is as strong as people imply then there's no reason why separate threads won't blossom on their own.

And in this particular - extremely rare case - the topic itself has become so overreaching (though not originally so) that the thread will become more and more difficult to navigate if left alone.  So I would appreciate it if for discussion of additional film releases from 2009, that everyone would consider the logical action of writing about them in separate posts (as some have graciously already done).


Lastly to Avatar, I'm mindful of your suggestion but a review forum won't solve anything in regard to this particular issue and won't go over well for exactly the reasons at play here.  Being able to tag certain posts as reviews is a possible option, which I'll look into more closely after I've taken care of about two dozen other things on the checklist for this site wink

Shoe Jun 27, 2009

Angela wrote:

I think a lot of people equate an empty thread to a cyber ego-bruising; that you've just created an entirely new topic that nobody's taken an interest in, and now it's only serving to take up space.  And that entry of shame is up there for all to see until god knows when it gets pushed off the page.

If 'A cyber ego-bruising Entry of Shame' is one of your biggest problems/worries in Life, then there's probably much bigger reason to take a step back and really look at The Big Picture for awhile.


Nobody's getting any younger nowadays, do you really want to live out the rest of your lives in a Virtual Digital-Shell??

There's more to life than just collecting tons upon tons of new Limited Edition video games and music cd's whose total net worth exceeds the average annual income of people in third-world countries.

Think about it for awhile.


Or don't.  I guess i can now say that I don't care either way.

( ;

Ashley Winchester Jul 23, 2009

To you blue ray dudes and dudette's out there, I've been seeing the Blue Ray of The Usual Suspects everywhere for $10. If you haven't checked the movie out I totally suggest you do.

Angela Oct 2, 2009

Idolores wrote:

Went and saw Monsters Vs Aliens last night. I wasn't particularly impressed.

Would it be taboo to revive this thread?  I gave Monsters vs Aliens a rental today, will check it out over the weekend.

As far as the remaining films of 2009 are concerned, there's actually quite a few more I'm looking forward to - a first for this time of year.  Zombieland has been getting surprisingly excellent reviews, and is being hailed as the next Shaun of The Dead.   Morbid curiosity will likely drive me to see Michael Jackson's This Is It.

In terms of animated films, I'll likely take the opportunity to check out the Toy Story & Toy Story 2 in 3D Double Feature.  (I still can't believe that part 3 is just around the corner!)   I've still got an iffy feeling about Astro Boy, and while A Christmas Carol could go either way, I can't wait to see The Princess and The Frog.  I'm a huge devotee to stop-motion, but something just seems, I dunno..... "off" with The Fantastic Mr. Fox.  Perhaps it's in light of the revolutionary strives that were made in Coraline, but this one looks primitive and drab by comparison.

As far as the big releases go, there's still Sherlock Holmes and Avatar.  But the two I'm now most looking forward to seeing is the U.S. release of Red Cliff, as well as the latest McTeigue/Silver/Wachowski team-up, Ninja Assassin.

Also, based on the trailer, what do you folks think of the direction being taken in The Lovely Bones?

Angela Oct 4, 2009 (edited Oct 4, 2009)

Angela wrote:

I gave Monsters vs Aliens a rental today, will check it out over the weekend.

When compared to the rest of the animated films I've seen this year (Coraline, Up, Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs), I'd nearly forgotten how a Dreamworks movie functions.  Which is to say, pop-culture references galore.  But unlike their past entries, it's the references themselves that manage to make the movie decent.  The Obama "cameo" got a chuckle out of me, as well as the use of Axel F, the "E.T. Go Home" missile (along with a snippet of the classic Williams theme), the Inconvenient Truth remark, and DDR/Pump It Up/Simon played up to Aqua's Roses Are Red.

Other than that, though, this is really rote, by-the-numbers stuff.  The monsters are all generally likeable, but this is predominantly Susan's film.  There's no real hook to make this an especially worthwhile watch, and I was at least expecting more battles involving the titular characters.  Not bad, but it definitely rests on my lower tier of favorites this year. 

And you know, I totally should have seen..... Insectosaurus' rebirth coming a mile away.  The scene actually managed to surprise me.

Jodo Kast Oct 9, 2009 (edited Oct 9, 2009)

Angela wrote:

Would it be taboo to revive this thread?

I don't think so, primarily so I can mention Pandorum, which is my favorite movie of 2009 so far. It didn't do very well monetarily, and many professional critics (people that make nothing) aren't speaking highly of it. But people that actually watch the movie are terrified of it; a few scenes even made me uncomfortable. In terms of originality, I don't know what it stole an idea from, as people are claiming. There are two main ideas in this movie that I have not seen in any other sci-fi movie, nor in any sci-fi book I've read (of the 300 or so). The only thing that I can detect as not original is that the mutants look very similar to the Yuuzhan Vong.

XLord007 Oct 12, 2009

One of my friends dragged me to see Paranormal Activity.  This has to be the most boring horror movie I've ever seen.  It's basically 96 minutes of a couple bickering about what to do about a demon that's entered their house.  Yawn.

Jodo Kast Oct 13, 2009 (edited Oct 13, 2009)

I finally saw a Korean movie from 2009 - Breathless

Like most Korean movies, one can't compare it to anything in Hollywood, because they don't make movies like this. Korean movies are just different. You know, like the difference between game music and normal popular music on the radio. Think of Hollywood movies as the popular music and Korean movies as the game music. I watch Korean movies for the same reason I listen to vgm.

I did feel as if I was watching a Kim Ki-Duk film (that's a good thing).

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