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Old 09-16-2008, 03:54 PM   #76
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Default Re: Do you think a Superman film scence can hold as much emotion as this?

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I think you guys are reading too much into what I'm saying. I'm not saying there shouldn't be a mythological element to a Superman movie--of course there should be, but not Jesus specifically.

Neo, Harry Potter, and Luke Skywalker are based on what Lord Raglan called the "Hero Pattern" and the story of Jesus fits the Hero Pattern as well, as do other religious figures like Moses, Buddha, and Muhammed, as well as mythological heroes like Hercules. Superman also fits the Hero Pattern, so of course there are similarities between Superman and Jesus, just as there are similarities between Jesus and Harry Potter, Neo, and Luke Skywalker, and just as there are similarities between Superman and Muhammed. Does that mean that Superman is an Islam analogy? Of course not. Superman isn't a Christ metaphor just as he's not a Muhammed metaphor. Superman is a hero that fits the common structure of most heroes, but he is his own hero. A movie shouldn't go out of its way to connect Superman to Jesus specifically because, yes, it "ruins" the movie, or more specifically, diminishes the amount of great story material that could be used that doesn't fit into a Jesus metaphor. Donner used the Jesus metaphor and Singer used it because he did whatever Donner did. I want something new, something better.

The most powerful, emotional, resonating dilemma for Superman to go through is not that of a god desiring to be human. Superman was raised on Earth by Earth parents and so he is human, emotionally speaking. He doesn't desire to "be human," necessarily, he simply desires to belong, to have purpose, which is a completely human desire that all of us feel--we don't need to be gods to feel that. Such a dilemma was explored to perfection in Superman For All Seasons and it's the dilemma that will make movie audiences fall in love with Superman again.
Very well said.

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Old 09-16-2008, 05:26 PM   #77
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Default Re: Do you think a Superman film scence can hold as much emotion as this?

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I think we kind of agree here, but are just coming at this topic from different angles. You used the word "economy." I agree that's the right perspective in which to view TDK, but I would use a harsher word: lazy. "Economy" of storytelling in cinema is really a way of saying shortcuts. Shortcuts are lazy and uncreative because they are easy to think of--it's a lot easier to just write a monologue rather than constructing a progression of events that communicates the same point--and, worse yet, the audience doesn't feel shortcuts--they destroy emotion and audience investment.
Now that I've got a bit more time to read all your (very interesting!) points, I shall respond more accordingly, LOL.

TDK was edited with fairly quick, economical cuts to maintain a feeling of tension throughout the film, as well as to keep it intimate. The character explain a lot to each other, and thus, the audience. Some of it could have been cut, but the film is long enough, really. I think we can give him some slack in terms of using the word "economical" instead of "lazy."

And I dunno if you're aware, but a good number of people here were confused over whether or not Joker lied about the locations of Rachel and Harvey, because Batman says nothing when he finds Dent at Rachel's location, and he doesn't tell anyone about it on-screen. Even Gordon presumably finds out about the deception off-screen.

I agree that Nolan doesn't usually use visuals alone to tell the story, but he is a master of overlapping dialogue with visuals to really give a punch.

Case in point: The Prestige. Angier says, "Cutter knew. But I said it was too simple, too easy" when he discovers that Borden had been using a double in his magic trick all along. In response, Borden says, "Simple, maybe. But not easy." And we see in flashback, the finger-mangled Borden cutting off the identical finger on his twin. Bordon does not explain the flashback, but the audience understands his verbal correction in a different light because of that insert.

And also in the end, when Cutter is repeating the opening lines of the film, the audience understands it differently because of everything that has occurred. He says, "Now you're looking for the secret. But you won’t find it because of course, you're not really looking. You don't really want to work it out. You want to be fooled." And the audience sees nearly a hundred of the Angier copies drowned in glass containers, which the voice-over renders even more shocking than it already is.

Curiously enough, there is another medium where the juxtaposition of dialogue and image can really affect how the viewer interprets the story. Comics. I felt that the scene in TDK where Gordon is organizing the bank seizures with Lau doing a voice-over, reminded me of comics more than any other comic book movie out there. Could they have separated the two? Yes, but it smartly binds the two related mini-stories together (cause Lau would have to explain the situation to the mob sometime anyway) in a very tension-laden scene.

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The most powerful, emotional, resonating dilemma for Superman to go through is not that of a god desiring to be human. Superman was raised on Earth by Earth parents and so he is human, emotionally speaking. He doesn't desire to "be human," necessarily, he simply desires to belong, to have purpose, which is a completely human desire that all of us feel--we don't need to be gods to feel that. Such a dilemma was explored to perfection in Superman For All Seasons and it's the dilemma that will make movie audiences fall in love with Superman again.
Very good point.


I don't think that a Superman movie needs a moment of heroic acknowledgment the way TDK did. In TDK, I felt it it had to end that way because we have to know that Gordon understands why Batman does what he does. He is the only witness to Batman's true heroism, and throughout the film, Gothamites have been on the fence as to whether or not Batman is actually doing good.

And I did feel that SR had a moment of emotion that was about on par with what we're discussing. When you see all of the well-wishers outside the hospital, it nearly brought a tear to my eye. Nearly, because we weren't shown enough contrast in the rest of the film to make that scene powerful. To really make that scene, Singer should have shown that Superman's return was actually unwelcome in the public. And THEN by having those well-wishers, the audience would be realize that Superman was accepted after all.

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Old 09-16-2008, 05:36 PM   #78
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IMO, in SR, that scene had good potential but didn't work at all. It was just so brief and the story was more foccused in Lois and Jason than Superman as a hero.

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Old 09-16-2008, 06:27 PM   #79
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Default Re: Do you think a Superman film scence can hold as much emotion as this?

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I think you guys are reading too much into what I'm saying. I'm not saying there shouldn't be a mythological element to a Superman movie--of course there should be, but not Jesus specifically.

Neo, Harry Potter, and Luke Skywalker are based on what Lord Raglan called the "Hero Pattern" and the story of Jesus fits the Hero Pattern as well, as do other religious figures like Moses, Buddha, and Muhammed, as well as mythological heroes like Hercules. Superman also fits the Hero Pattern, so of course there are similarities between Superman and Jesus, just as there are similarities between Jesus and Harry Potter, Neo, and Luke Skywalker, and just as there are similarities between Superman and Muhammed. Does that mean that Superman is an Islam analogy? Of course not. Superman isn't a Christ metaphor just as he's not a Muhammed metaphor. Superman is a hero that fits the common structure of most heroes, but he is his own hero. A movie shouldn't go out of its way to connect Superman to Jesus specifically because, yes, it "ruins" the movie, or more specifically, diminishes the amount of great story material that could be used that doesn't fit into a Jesus metaphor. Donner used the Jesus metaphor and Singer used it because he did whatever Donner did. I want something new, something better.

The most powerful, emotional, resonating dilemma for Superman to go through is not that of a god desiring to be human. Superman was raised on Earth by Earth parents and so he is human, emotionally speaking. He doesn't desire to "be human," necessarily, he simply desires to belong, to have purpose, which is a completely human desire that all of us feel--we don't need to be gods to feel that. Such a dilemma was explored to perfection in Superman For All Seasons and it's the dilemma that will make movie audiences fall in love with Superman again.
Point I, about the hero, we are in complete agreement. That was my whole point. That he isn't 'Jesus' he's a 'messianic character.' People can identify that as Jesus if they so choose, he is by far the most famous messianic character, but it really fits in a lot of different mediums. It's the idea that one person was raised for a purpose grander than the person himself, and that they do it even though they don't always want to. I find it perfectly acceptable to have bits of a Christ allegory, not because I'm particularly religious, just because it makes a good story. Try not to think about it like it's supposed to hit you as religious, just think of it in terms of Superman. A father sends his son from a dying planet so that he may save another. That's a good story! Many of these types of heroes have backgrounds in prophecy, a sense of destiny that is inescapable. Superman's and Jesus's happen to be through their father (maybe Hercules too?). Harry Potter and Neo's come from oracles. Po-tay-to, po-tah-to. Don't think of it as a Christ figure, just as a Messianic one.

As to your second point: Yes Superman is emotionally Human, but he understands he really isn't. No matter what he does, he won't be Human. Superman does what he does not because he has to, and not because he wants to, but because he feels it's his responsibility. While he could technically hang up his cape at any moment, he really can't, even though he may want to. He would love to get away and work on a farm (a la Kingdom Come), but he can't. Much like Jesus (just an example! not trying to make a point) asked his father to let him not be crucified, he knew that it was necessary for the good of everyone else. His personal responsibility to the rest of mankind outweighed his personal desire.
That's what Superman feels. He has Human emotions but a Superhuman destiny. How can he cope with that?

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Old 09-16-2008, 09:33 PM   #80
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It's actually not. The words themselves are on the dramatic side, but if you pay attention to the visuals, Nolan wraps up several subplots while Batman and Gordon are talking, and they all of them relate to the speech. It was a more economical way of doing it all at once rather than do it the way LOTR: ROTK did it, which was to take an extra 20 minutes wrapping everything up.
It being economical doesn't make it brilliant. Almost anyone worth their salt can slap dialogue that has some semblance of meaning over a visual. The reason you don't see more of it is that A, it's somewhat cheap a form of storytelling, and B, it's exposition, exposition, exposition.

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Nolan may not be a very visual storyteller, but I just adore the way he's able to juxtapose timelines, images, and dialogue together to construct a story on screen. It's just really fascinating how he does it.
I know it's there. The relevance is there, because the relevance is obvious. It's economical, but it's just not that clever to me. If anything, it strikes me as comparatively lazy. As a director, he seems of late to be more interested in his little "flairs" than in actually resolving or exploring a concept. And that's fine, and it tends to work well enough, but it's like he thinks if he gives this random "pearl of wisdom" in dialogue, that you'll see how deep it is, when it's really a simple concept, or just stating the obvious. The whole "Dark Knight speech" is a prime example of this. An obvious visual meaning does not need to be accompanied by a similarly obvious, over expository speech, that at best, sounds like it belongs in a piece of musical theatre. My main issue is with the speech itself, not with the use of visuals or the timeline.

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Old 09-17-2008, 06:54 AM   #81
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Default Re: Do you think a Superman film scence can hold as much emotion as this?

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It being economical doesn't make it brilliant. Almost anyone worth their salt can slap dialogue that has some semblance of meaning over a visual. The reason you don't see more of it is that A, it's somewhat cheap a form of storytelling, and B, it's exposition, exposition, exposition.



I know it's there. The relevance is there, because the relevance is obvious. It's economical, but it's just not that clever to me. If anything, it strikes me as comparatively lazy. As a director, he seems of late to be more interested in his little "flairs" than in actually resolving or exploring a concept. And that's fine, and it tends to work well enough, but it's like he thinks if he gives this random "pearl of wisdom" in dialogue, that you'll see how deep it is, when it's really a simple concept, or just stating the obvious. The whole "Dark Knight speech" is a prime example of this. An obvious visual meaning does not need to be accompanied by a similarly obvious, over expository speech, that at best, sounds like it belongs in a piece of musical theatre. My main issue is with the speech itself, not with the use of visuals or the timeline.
And here is why we don't have just one flavour of Ice Cream.

While this style of film-making leaves you a bit cold, to me it's more like reading a good book with illustrations.

Nothing wrong with you not liking that style and nothing wrong with me liking it. Just different tastes.

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Old 09-17-2008, 06:12 PM   #82
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Exactly. So why did they feel the need to include so damn much of it?
Because it fit. Alot of great works in the post 90's cinema include dialogue heavy scripts. People enjoy it. By what means is it a negative? Maybe the most engaging scene in the film is dialogue heavy in the interrogation room. You act like it's a bad thing. If dialogue was a bad thing we wouldn't have movies like Pulp Fiction, etc.

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Old 09-17-2008, 06:27 PM   #83
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Default Re: Do you think a Superman film scence can hold as much emotion as this?

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And here is why we don't have just one flavour of Ice Cream.

While this style of film-making leaves you a bit cold, to me it's more like reading a good book with illustrations.

Nothing wrong with you not liking that style and nothing wrong with me liking it. Just different tastes.
Yup. Just a different kind of filmmaking. Before sound, we had silent films and so stories had to be told entirely through images. But now we have sound, so why not use it?

It's just a different way of telling a story, but as long as a story is conveyed via moving images and/or sound (depending on the technology ) in real-time, it's all film.

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Old 09-17-2008, 06:38 PM   #84
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It's not that there's dialogue, or that there's a lot of it...it's that the dialogue that IS there, is awkward, forced, etc, etc, etc. It doesn't flow, even though the movie does around it. And I find that, as a piece of writing, very awkward, and inappropriate for the moment.

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Old 09-18-2008, 01:18 AM   #85
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It's not that there's dialogue, or that there's a lot of it...it's that the dialogue that IS there, is awkward, forced, etc, etc, etc. It doesn't flow, even though the movie does around it. And I find that, as a piece of writing, very awkward, and inappropriate for the moment.
I've head no one else complain about any "awkwardness" ... that scene's dialogue isn't forced at all. It fit thematically, and it was really elegant and fitting. The dialogue was what accentuated the powerful images in the scene. Together they played together to make a great UNIQUE Batman ending. Not just plain Batman standing on a rooftop of Gotham with heroic music in background plainly stating the obvious that Batman's a hero. We get an educated monologue driving home to the audience Batman is more than a hero. He's a symbol. For better or for worse. No matter the current popular opinion, he'll always be there. And the delivery from Oldman was out of this world. The dialogue could've very easily felt into an awkward feeling without Oldman's excellent delivery, accompanied along with the strong visual images.

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Old 09-18-2008, 01:22 AM   #86
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Default Re: Do you think a Superman film scence can hold as much emotion as this?

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I've head no one else complain about any "awkwardness" ...
then allow me to second the guard's opinion.

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Old 09-18-2008, 01:41 AM   #87
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then allow me to second the guard's opinion.
2 people. 2 people who I might add think they're good professional screenwriters who can do it better than the pros.


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Old 09-18-2008, 01:44 AM   #88
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Default Re: Do you think a Superman film scence can hold as much emotion as this?

I really liked that final speech in TDK because I feel it seperates batman from the other heroes and really confirmed what he set out to do in the first one, become more than a vigilante, or a legend as AL Ghul said. Thats just my opinion of course. I also think your right GRIn Reaper. I know a lot of people who are usually in writing that rip apart literature or essays because they feel they can do better, and I think thats what you have with them, they "write" scripts or whatever it is they do and feel that they can do it better.

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Old 09-18-2008, 02:08 AM   #89
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Default Re: Do you think a Superman film scence can hold as much emotion as this?

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2 people. 2 people who I might add think they're good professional screenwriters who can do it better than the pros.

so our opinion is wrong?

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Old 09-18-2008, 10:46 AM   #90
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Default Re: Do you think a Superman film scence can hold as much emotion as this?

Wow, you'd think the way people are moaning about the scene Guido had shot first, again.

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Old 09-18-2008, 12:53 PM   #91
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its greedo, man. not guido.

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Old 09-18-2008, 01:00 PM   #92
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then allow me to second the guard's opinion.
Thirded. It also seemed out of character for Gordon.

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Old 09-18-2008, 01:26 PM   #93
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Default Re: Do you think a Superman film scence can hold as much emotion as this?

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its greedo, man. not guido.
Sorry, my star wars geek card has just been revoked.

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Old 09-18-2008, 03:41 PM   #94
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Default Re: Do you think a Superman film scence can hold as much emotion as this?

Hell just froze over because I am almost totally on The Guard's side when it comes to this issue. When you are right your right, it doesn't matter who it's coming from.

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Old 09-18-2008, 03:50 PM   #95
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so our opinion is wrong?
No not for your opinion. But the fact you always pick away at **** and act as if you could do it better. Guard as well. When you're sitting at home on a message board typing away like the rest of us, as opposed to writing a script for the most successful and best Batman / Comic Book movies to date. So yeah ... that's my point.

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Old 09-18-2008, 03:51 PM   #96
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Thirded. It also seemed out of character for Gordon.
Not really. There were several points in the film where he shows great, almost blind, admiration of Batman. He starts to doubt him during the last hostage situation, but Gordon definitely admires Batman more often than not.

- "I like to remind them that he's out there."
- All the instances where he lets Batman survey a crime scene before the MCU, even when Ramirez gets upset.
- "He's in control."
- "Well, maybe Batman will save you."
- "Thank you." "You don't have to thank me." "Yes, I do."
- "No, you can't. You're NOT."

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Old 09-18-2008, 03:53 PM   #97
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It wasn't out of character from Gordon at all.

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Old 09-18-2008, 03:57 PM   #98
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I don't know about it out of character but I just didn't dig it. At the end of the day it was a great movie and I had bigger problems with the film than that one little overly obvious speech at the end.

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Old 09-18-2008, 03:59 PM   #99
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What was overly obvious about that speech? What's wrong with a speech? It was meant to be inspirational. Ideal. The images alone without the dialogue would've been as powerful, and would've drove hom the point of calling him "The Dark Knight"?

Probably not.

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Old 09-18-2008, 08:48 PM   #100
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We're in trouble when "Hero lied to his city about the truth and got himself in even more trouble for no apparent good reason than "drama" is considered "inspirational".

I could give two ****s about whether anyone's complained about "awkwardness". I know that people have, because I've seen the threads where it was discussed. The scene's dialogue is forced, simply because it's not natural in the least. People do not talk like that. Gordon doesn't talk like that at any point in either previous movie. Hence...forced. It is also an element that is forced into the story. Completely shoehorned. There is no natural reason for Gordon to stop speaking like a human being, and to begin speaking like someone who is reading his lines from a prompter, written by a writer who doesn't have the first clue what "subtlety" is. At that moment, the character may as well wink at the audience and say "I totally know I'm in a movie".

What was overly obvious about the speech? Well, the main thing that makes me think this, I suppose...is that it clearly STATES THE OBVIOUS, because apparently Chris Nolan STILL thinks his audiences are just stupid, stupid, stupid and have to be TOLD what is going on at every step of the way.

"He's a watchful guardian. A silent protector. A dark knight".

No ****, Jim, thanks for telling us, as we've been seeing him do that for two films now. It becomes "showy" dialogue for the sake of it. Do we really need to see Gordon rattle of three completely random "metaphors" for what Batman is simply because it's the end of the movie?

Elegance is the attribute of being unusually effective and simple

The dialogue is not "elegant", because it's not simple, and it clearly isn't unusually effective, because apparently Gordon has to drive the point home with a long ass speech that essentially repeats it's concept. The delivery from Oldman, yes, that was ok, but decent at best. It's no great piece of acting, though.

But what's the point of arguing with people who have made up their minds that since THE DARK KNIGHT was a good movie that EVERY SINGLE PART of it must be nearly perfect? I'm not going to play that game, and I'm not going to sit here and argue about whether the dialogue was elegant, or thematically relevant anymore. Thematically relevant to what, exactly? An angle they forced on the character because they weren't respectful enough to figure out how they could play with the idea of a hero who was hunted and still have Batman be faithfully rendered and IN character?

Yeah. Ok.

So, Batman can take people not liking him because he was a dumbass and lied to cover up a murderer's actions so that the people of Gotham, instead of having real hope, could have some false hope for the sake of pointless melodrama? That's supposed to impress me? Sorry. It doesn't. Nor does a writer who thinks that all he has to do for a powerful scene is write a long line of obvious, over expository dialogue that simply says what things are instead of making any real, deeper exploration of a concept, and then juxtapose that with some images that make vague sense in context.

That said, it's not that bad. It's those who think it's sheer brilliance that makes it such a bummer.

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