Avengers: Age of Ultron

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Re: Avengers: Age of Ultron

Postby MrElzebub » Tue May 05, 2015 11:46 pm

Ikoma wrote: Kill character A in order to have an impact on character B.



I think this is exactly why it worked for me. It had the impact the director stated he was going for. And it didn't even have that impact fully at the moment it happened. There is a nice close up of Hawkeye and the moment of realization but that wasn't what really sold it. What put the final touches on the value of this character death was Hawkeye's homecoming. There is a beautiful moment between Hawkeye and his wife that would not have carried a fraction of the weight and emotion it did.
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Re: Avengers: Age of Ultron

Postby keithcurtis » Tue May 05, 2015 11:53 pm

Noble Bear wrote:
clintmemo wrote:Over analyzing this, when you have a violent movie, there are only 4 possibilities:
1) Don't kill anyone (The A-Team)
2) Kill people that don't matter* (typical action movie)
3) Kill someone that matters (typical Joss Whedon movie)
4) Kill everyone that matters (Friday the 13th)

Are there any other possibilities that I haven't thought of?

* by matter, I mean "matters to the viewer," someone that the viewer is supposed to like and not want to die.

Note that this does not address how you kill them, just who you kill.


Speaking for myself, these deaths were done correctly:
  • Most Shakespeare (e.g. Hamlet, MacBeth)
  • Breaking Bad
  • Game of Thrones
  • Dumbledore
  • Saving Private Ryan
  • Sons of Anarchy (for the most part)
  • Owen, Bureau, Vader, & Palpatine.

Most deaths that are done wrong in my view, are usually treated as some variation of a TOS Red Shirt wherein the death is rendered because that's the only way to communicate stakes, apparently, or follow a - for want of a better example - Walking Dead model where is done for cheap drama.


Interesting list. I agree with many of your choices. I would not have guessed that you would put Owen and Beru on there, given your previous posts. I do disagree strongly with the characterization of Walking Dead deaths, since trying to find any point in going on, any meaning in life, in the face of pointless death is pretty much the theme of the show. Also, I can't personally agree with Dumbledore. I do understand the dramatic need and all that, and agree totally with the need to kill him off, but in my case, I thought what was actually going on was telegraphed so thoroughly that it really didn't come as a surprise or have any impact.
I agree completely with the Red Shirts. I cried when Spock died*, but I don't think a single other Star Trek character death made me bat an eye*.

I was going to bring up Shakespeare earlier, but for every Hamlet, there's an Edmund, who dies pretty much so he has a reason to confess everything and resolve the plot. Or even worse, a Cordelia, who remains steadfastly loyal, rescues her father, and dies offstage of apparently nothing other than surplus characters to requirement. Or the Fool, who might possibly have died to facilitate a costume change. (spoilers!) Maybe all of Titus Andronicus, which is filled with death and gore for the sake of being filled with death and gore.

It's funny what makes something work well for one person, but fall flat for another.


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**Except Tasha Yar, whose passing was met with a very strong feeling of relief.

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Re: Avengers: Age of Ultron

Postby keithcurtis » Tue May 05, 2015 11:59 pm

MrElzebub wrote:
Ikoma wrote: Kill character A in order to have an impact on character B.



I think this is exactly why it worked for me. It had the impact the director stated he was going for. And it didn't even have that impact fully at the moment it happened. There is a nice close up of Hawkeye and the moment of realization but that wasn't what really sold it. What put the final touches on the value of this character death was Hawkeye's homecoming. There is a beautiful moment between Hawkeye and his wife that would not have carried a fraction of the weight and emotion it did.

Yeah, you can read a lot into the ending as written. Quicksilver starts off the movie nearly killing Hawkeye, Hawkeye really dislikes him. When Quicksilver winds up sacrificing himself (we seem to be out of spoiler tags on this point), he's very clearly dealing with a lot of baggage there. How do you deal with that? How do you carry survivor guilt, compounded with the fact that you were pretty much hating on the guy? Added to the mind games he went through and agents he probably killed in the previous movie, Hawkeye's dealing with more issues than anyone but Widow. And more powerfully too, since her issues are (almost) told, but never shown.

I understand the reasons for the death, and to a large extent agree with them. The only thing that sours it a little is a completely selfish desire to have Quicksilver int he Avengers.

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Re: Avengers: Age of Ultron

Postby K-Mech » Wed May 06, 2015 5:08 am

keithcurtis wrote:Yeah, you can read a lot into the ending as written. Quicksilver starts off the movie nearly killing Hawkeye, Hawkeye really dislikes him. When Quicksilver winds up sacrificing himself (we seem to be out of spoiler tags on this point), he's very clearly dealing with a lot of baggage there. How do you deal with that? How do you carry survivor guilt, compounded with the fact that you were pretty much hating on the guy? Added to the mind games he went through and agents he probably killed in the previous movie, Hawkeye's dealing with more issues than anyone but Widow. And more powerfully too, since her issues are (almost) told, but never shown.


Especially since just a few minutes earlier Hawkeye was muttering to himself about shooting Quicksilver in the back and "no one would ever know"...

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Re: Avengers: Age of Ultron

Postby clintmemo » Wed May 06, 2015 8:07 am

K-Mech wrote:
keithcurtis wrote:Yeah, you can read a lot into the ending as written. Quicksilver starts off the movie nearly killing Hawkeye, Hawkeye really dislikes him. When Quicksilver winds up sacrificing himself (we seem to be out of spoiler tags on this point), he's very clearly dealing with a lot of baggage there. How do you deal with that? How do you carry survivor guilt, compounded with the fact that you were pretty much hating on the guy? Added to the mind games he went through and agents he probably killed in the previous movie, Hawkeye's dealing with more issues than anyone but Widow. And more powerfully too, since her issues are (almost) told, but never shown.


Especially since just a few minutes earlier Hawkeye was muttering to himself about shooting Quicksilver in the back and "no one would ever know"...



I didn't really see Quicksilver as "sacrificing himself." I think he was just doing his normal shtick and failed. That's why his last words were "didn't see that coming."
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Re: Avengers: Age of Ultron

Postby Cantor » Wed May 06, 2015 8:51 am

clintmemo wrote:
K-Mech wrote:
keithcurtis wrote:Yeah, you can read a lot into the ending as written. Quicksilver starts off the movie nearly killing Hawkeye, Hawkeye really dislikes him. When Quicksilver winds up sacrificing himself (we seem to be out of spoiler tags on this point), he's very clearly dealing with a lot of baggage there. How do you deal with that? How do you carry survivor guilt, compounded with the fact that you were pretty much hating on the guy? Added to the mind games he went through and agents he probably killed in the previous movie, Hawkeye's dealing with more issues than anyone but Widow. And more powerfully too, since her issues are (almost) told, but never shown.


Especially since just a few minutes earlier Hawkeye was muttering to himself about shooting Quicksilver in the back and "no one would ever know"...



I didn't really see Quicksilver as "sacrificing himself." I think he was just doing his normal shtick and failed. That's why his last words were "didn't see that coming."


This. Absolutely this.

The problem is that the Quicksilver character didn't get the same attention that the other new characters got. Hawkeye has that whole conversation (the 'good talk' as he so eloquently put it) with SW. Nobody has the same conversation about joining the team with Quicksilver. He wasn't an Avenger. He was just there for the ride, doing what he does because he likes moving fast. Now, in hindsight, we see why it's SW who gets the talk.
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Re: Avengers: Age of Ultron

Postby keithcurtis » Wed May 06, 2015 9:01 am

Which is a shame since her character fell so flat with me.

And yeah, "sacrifice "might be too strong a word, since he didn't intend to die. But he definitely ran into danger to save a child and former enemy. I think that's close enough to give Clint the guilts.

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Re: Avengers: Age of Ultron

Postby Noble Bear » Wed May 06, 2015 10:45 am

keithcurtis wrote:
Noble Bear wrote:Speaking for myself, these deaths were done correctly:
  • Most Shakespeare (e.g. Hamlet, MacBeth)
  • Breaking Bad
  • Game of Thrones
  • Dumbledore
  • Saving Private Ryan
  • Sons of Anarchy (for the most part)
  • Owen, Bureau, Vader, & Palpatine.

Most deaths that are done wrong in my view, are usually treated as some variation of a TOS Red Shirt wherein the death is rendered because that's the only way to communicate stakes, apparently, or follow a - for want of a better example - Walking Dead model where is done for cheap drama.


Interesting list. I agree with many of your choices. I would not have guessed that you would put Owen and Beru on there, given your previous posts. I do disagree strongly with the characterization of Walking Dead deaths, since trying to find any point in going on, any meaning in life, in the face of pointless death is pretty much the theme of the show. Also, I can't personally agree with Dumbledore. I do understand the dramatic need and all that, and agree totally with the need to kill him off, but in my case, I thought what was actually going on was telegraphed so thoroughly that it really didn't come as a surprise or have any impact.
I agree completely with the Red Shirts. I cried when Spock died*, but I don't think a single other Star Trek character death made me bat an eye*.

I was going to bring up Shakespeare earlier, but for every Hamlet, there's an Edmund, who dies pretty much so he has a reason to confess everything and resolve the plot. Or even worse, a Cordelia, who remains steadfastly loyal, rescues her father, and dies offstage of apparently nothing other than surplus characters to requirement. Or the Fool, who might possibly have died to facilitate a costume change. (spoilers!) Maybe all of Titus Andronicus, which is filled with death and gore for the sake of being filled with death and gore.

It's funny what makes something work well for one person, but fall flat for another.


_________________________________
*Yes I did. Shut up, all of you. :cry:

**Except Tasha Yar, whose passing was met with a very strong feeling of relief.



Owen and Beru
This was one I struggled with. Originally, I had felt their deaths were trite, but forgave it, given the pulp roots. Later, I recognized that given what is revealed later, the deaths work in the larger situation; had ep 4 stood alone, I doubt I'd include them.

Walking Dead
Here, I should have picked another example. I don't like WD, but the problems I have with the storytelling don't center on death at all but on the application of development, foreshadowing, and larger plot structure. I think these things lead to trite, meaningless deaths, but the deaths themselves are not the issue in the same way.

Shakespeare
Here I trust your experience well above my own. Mostly, I just wanted to include instances that felt right to me.

Dumbledore
On reflection, I guess it only worked for me by comparison. Since Harry had been stripped of family/father figures before in fashions that read as capricious to me, having Rowling actually lay out a structure (something, anything) to which his passing was a kind of fulfillment of plot events, it made sense in the moment.

Yar
I was crushed by her death, but I think that's only because I was, like, 13 at the time, and was incredibly attracted to Denise Crosby.

Spock
Had I thought of it at time, I would have quickly included this. His passing was one of the best done in film.
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Re: Avengers: Age of Ultron

Postby Ikoma » Wed May 06, 2015 3:57 pm

Since I love this topic, I'm gonna wade back in. You cannot have realistic fiction and not have death. Death is a part of life. So... anyone who is arguing characters (main or background) should never die is up in the night with their pants on backwards. But death in real life is often random (though not always). Guy gets hit by a car on the way to work. Seven year old gets cancer. One way to look at this problem is that death in fiction can NEVER be random (on a meta level). The creator put it in. It may be organic to the story, but it was put in their. Even if it is the natural and understandable consequence of the situation and actions of the characters, the creator choose the situation and the characters. They could have changed situation X to save character Y.

Whedon's problem is that he often has character X die in a random and unmotivated way to affect either the audience (Wash from Serenity) or another character (Penny from Dr. Horrible). In the Age of Ultron, Quicksilver dies because HE runs into danger. Sure, you could argue he thought he could get out of it. But his death ultimately reflects on choices his character made. And when Whedon (or any creator does this, I have no issues). Buffy's death(s) say something about her. I think Coulson's death says something about him (he stood up to a god & had to know what the potential outcome was.) But Whedon often does NOT do this. He uses death with no meaning to get the result he wants.

Penny's death says nothing about her. It's there just to get a desired response out of Dr. Horrible.
Wash's death says nothing about him. It's there just to get a desired response from the audience. But I think Book's death in the same movie DOES say something about Book. Hence why it gets almost NO fan backlash.
Tara's death says nothing about her. It's just there to get a desired response from Willow.
Jenny Calendar's death says nothing about her. But it does say something about her killer (Angel) so I don't have a problem with it (but I understand why some might feel it fits Whedon's tic.)
Joyce Summers death says nothing about her. It's just there to get a desired response from Buffy (though I love this one for different reasons).

We could go on and discuss Anya's death, or Angel's, or other Whedon casualties I cannot think of at the moment, but I think you should be able to see the trend here.
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Re: Avengers: Age of Ultron

Postby Noble Bear » Wed May 06, 2015 4:12 pm

Truth is stranger than fiction because fiction has to make sense.

Death must be properly structured for or else you're doing it wrong. It's capricious and arbitrary, sending the message that the only true rule your universe has is "because I say so". Serenity alone is riddled with bad choices.

Book was treated like a glorified plot device and killed off like a glorified plot device. It was stupid and wrong.

Wash could have died heroically in the battle, like maybe he gets fatally wounded trying to out maneuver the reapers (gets shot/ struggles through the pain/ "leaf on the wind"/ dies); instead he get killed by deus ex machina AFTER the fight. This was also stupid and wrong.

Simon actually SHOULD have died. He was gut shot in a western, which is itself a mark of death. He was also critically wounded in a film where half the cast was getting offed anyway. Yet miraculously, he lives. This was also very stupid and wrong.
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