User Information

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length

Author Topic: Opening scene  (Read 835 times)

Ronoc
Mar 30, 2020, 01:57:09 PM
Topic on: Mar 30, 2020, 01:57:09 PM
Q
The first time I saw Predator (1987), I missed about  the first 30 seconds. So I missed the scene of the alien ship dropping some pod off down to Earth.
I saw it on rented VHS at a friend's house, and the tape box was just a generic one from the store. So I had no idea what the movie was about going into it. I recognized Arnie of course once it started.

To this day I still think the movie was better for it. I thought it was just a solid Arnie actioner for a good while into the movie. Then it became ????? Then of course you can imagine how the last 30 mins blew my mind.

Anyone else think the opening scene was unnecessary, and a bit too much of a spoiler?


Gr33n M4n
Mar 30, 2020, 10:29:28 PM
Reply #1 on: Mar 30, 2020, 10:29:28 PM
Q
I think the intro was great but simple. It had you thinking about what the ship dropped on earth, and it added to the suspense and mystery until we actually saw the creature.

« Last Edit: Mar 30, 2020, 10:33:06 PM by Gr33n M4n »

SuperiorIronman
Mar 30, 2020, 11:15:19 PM
Reply #2 on: Mar 30, 2020, 11:15:19 PM
Q
The opening sets up the threat in a way that others don't, the threat isn't that it's a super strong alien with advanced technology, the threat is that it's an alien that causally kicks ass and leaves just as quietly as it arrived. Dutch may be a tough guy with a mission to complete but the Predator only cares as much as anything can reasonably provide a challenge. It's king shit and it knows it which also sets up it's fall when Dutch tricks it at the end. The reveal of the ship helps inform the audience the creature is intelligent and later on kind of full of himself. He knows he's king of the jungle and it's what helps sell his eventual downfall because outside of sheer strength and intelligence none of that technology or intelligence saved him from a falling log.

And even then this also builds up as to what's behind the mask and that's really important for a Predator film. We know what's on the other end of it by now but at the time all of the build up of an advanced creature that views us as little more than game sets a bit of expectations. Then all of a sudden it's the mother of all ugly crab monsters and it helps subvert expectations especially seeing as how a lot of rubber suit creatures are humanoid. You just expect to see something you can empathize with. A lot of the setup for the creature's unmasking is done in the little things it has and does before it gets into a fist fight with Arnold.


Ronoc
Mar 31, 2020, 12:20:52 AM
Reply #3 on: Mar 31, 2020, 12:20:52 AM
Q
But if his technology isn't his threat, then why bother showing it at the start.
If you don't see the ship then you have no idea who he is, or his capabilities.
If you see the ship, surely he's less of a badass, because you know he has all this advanced tech that just makes it a walk in the park for him.
And because Predator is a movie with a big 'reveal', I think not knowing he was an alien adds to it.
Also, while watching the movie and having no clue what's hunting them, less still suspect an alien, puts you right in the shit with Dutch's squad.
When you know from the start it's an alien, then you're more of just a spectator. "What cool thing will the alien do next!?"


acrediblesource
Mar 31, 2020, 02:48:33 AM
Reply #4 on: Mar 31, 2020, 02:48:33 AM
Q
If they didn't show the spacecraft, then  you'd think the predator were some kind of concoction made by the military to create a super soldier. LMFAO


SiL
Mar 31, 2020, 03:44:35 AM
Reply #5 on: Mar 31, 2020, 03:44:35 AM
Q
The script starts without the ship.

I like it how it is, but I definitely see how completely removing any trace of the alien organism before it shows up could add an extra layer.



Gr33n M4n
Mar 31, 2020, 05:39:24 AM
Reply #7 on: Mar 31, 2020, 05:39:24 AM
Q
The Pred didn't need his technology to be a threat or look badass. He man handled Arnold Schwarzenegger like he was nothing.


Ronoc
Mar 31, 2020, 09:45:24 AM
Reply #8 on: Mar 31, 2020, 09:45:24 AM
Q
I definitely didn't think it needed either of those devices. The foreshadowing was a bit heavy when actually showing a spaceship, and as for expectation, I think it worked well when you were as lost as Dutch and co.
Too bad I'll never get the chance to see Predator again without knowing what's going on :(


It's there for two reasons:

Foreshadowing:
https://literarydevices.net/foreshadowing/

And genre expectations:
http://www.umontanamediaarts.com/MART101L/genre-and-the-power-of-expectation

Apparently these storytelling devices weren't necessary for your enjoyment. But I bet they worked for most people.

TC


Huggs
Mar 31, 2020, 12:02:41 PM
Reply #9 on: Mar 31, 2020, 12:02:41 PM
Q
I don't see any issues with the opening. It's basically the same as the opening for The Thing.

The music cues as the ship appears out of the darkness and then something falls to earth gives the movie an ominous start. It's one of my favorite moments of the film.

« Last Edit: Mar 31, 2020, 12:16:34 PM by Huggs »

SiL
Mar 31, 2020, 12:03:02 PM
Reply #10 on: Mar 31, 2020, 12:03:02 PM
Q
I mean it's kind of obvious from trailers, pop culture, posters, etc.


TC
Mar 31, 2020, 12:36:11 PM
Reply #11 on: Mar 31, 2020, 12:36:11 PM
Q
@Ronoc

Did you ever see the movie (or read the comic) Cowboys and Aliens? What a great title! It sets up the audience’s genre expectations to accept the conventions of both the cowboy film and the sci-fi film. What do you think audience reception would have been if it was just called “Cowboys”? A lot of annoyed patrons, that’s what. Because the expectations of those who love westerns but hate sci-fi would have been defied.

But back to Predator: The spaceship flyby tells the audience that this is a sci-fi story, so expect some sci-fi action.

Believe it or not, there are people that love war films but hate sci-fi. I know some of them. To them, sci-fi is cheesy, escapism for adolescent boys who can’t deal with real life, whereas war films are real life business for men (even if so-called “real life” is Rambo!). You don’t want that type of viewer settling into your movie only to be confronted halfway through by a bug-eyed monster from outer space sporting a ray-gun. As the filmmaker, you’d only be setting your movie up for a 1 star rating.

Not every viewer is going to be as embracing as you are, willing to accept whatever the filmmaker serves up.


I mean it's kind of obvious from trailers, pop culture, posters, etc.

True, these things do a lot to "position" an audience for the story (if you'll excuse my marketing-101 speak). The choice of title is also good for this. Alien is a great title. Snakes on a Plane is a great title. Gigli is not.

Trailers and posters do a lot to establish genre expectations for your story, but they are remedial, an adjunct. Most storytellers who take pride in their craft want the actual story and its title (which I consider an important part of the story) to be a standalone work of its own, without all the marketing bumph that goes to with it.

TC


Ronoc
Mar 31, 2020, 01:36:44 PM
Reply #12 on: Mar 31, 2020, 01:36:44 PM
Q
I get all that, but as I say, I saw the movie in total isolation. This was in 1987/88, video rental, when I was 11. I hadn't seen the poster, hadn't seen any trailers, no idea of it's existence. Just popped round a friend's house, and it was starting. So I'm talking about a case like that. Going in blind.
I remember years later seeing the full movie, and was very surprised to see that they revealed the protagonist in the very first scene! I thought it was a mistake to be honest. Like I said it worked for me being as in the dark as much as Dutch.
But of course yeah, people like to know what they're about to watch, at least even just the genre


426Buddy
Mar 31, 2020, 01:44:59 PM
Reply #13 on: Mar 31, 2020, 01:44:59 PM
Q
Always loved that opening shot, it actually disturbed me a little as a kid.


molasar
Mar 31, 2020, 01:59:22 PM
Reply #14 on: Mar 31, 2020, 01:59:22 PM
Q
I remember years later seeing the full movie, and was very surprised to see that they revealed the protagonist in the very first scene!

Even if you did not see its posters or trailers before watching it the first time, they did not reveal anything. You just saw a space ship dumping something on the Earth and it could be anything. A robot, an alien tech, a probe, a mutagen, etc.


 

Facebook Twitter Instagram Steam RSS Feed