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Old 28-02-2013, 09:44
Ted Cunterblast
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well there's good dialogue and there's ... all sorts in between .

Good dialogue is great , Goldfinger has some great examples , Skyfall not so much .

as for Tarantino - I'm not sure it even counts as dialogue most of the time , it's monologues , characters giving tediously long monologues on their theories about Jews , Superman , whatever !

For sure there is badly written, pedestrian and just plain boring dialogue that can drag a movie down.

But I am not really talking about the difference between good and bad, more about those people who just seem to switch off when there is no mayhem happening on screen and get bored, whilst crucially not even paying attention to what is actually being said.

I personally believe that well written dialogue is the main strength of Tarantino's movies, and always get irked when he is tagged with that 'violent movie maker' tag.

The actual instances of violence in his movies (Kill Bill movies aside) actually make up about 1% of the running time. Look at Reservoir Dogs...very, very little actual violence, and the famous ear cutting scene happens off camera. I always find it odd that for a film with so very little actual violence in it to have garnered Tarantino a reputation for being a violent filmaker.

And by the same token, considering that his first movie was 99% dialogue and 1% violence, I find it even stranger that a lot of Tarantino fans critiscised Inglorious Basterds for being too talky...! What exactly were they expecting from him?

However, I have to say he does not aways get it right...Death Proof did not do it for me at all...I cannot recall one single line of dialogue from that film, or indeed any memorable dialogue scenes or monologues.
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Old 28-02-2013, 12:20
ChrisToria
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I know people who say this, I have friends who say this in face. I lent someone a copy of "The Dark Knight" and we all know how filled with variety it is, action, good dialogue, story...yet they said it was boring because there was too much talking and "nothing happening".

Dialogue is something happening, I love movies centered around character development and dialogue is one of the only ways of truly adding depth to characters and relationships. Some of my favourite movies are very wordy and dialogue driven with very little in terms of "action".

I find it strange though, surely too much action is a bad thing anyway....overkill is a terrible thing to see in films, too many explosions and car chases would remove any reason for them happening in the first place. Eh....give me these "boring" flicks any day of the week and leave your 'Die Hard 2' DVD's in the bargain bins.
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Old 28-02-2013, 14:55
Vol
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One of the main reasons I consider Quantum of Solace to be so bad is its action:story ratio. If I remember correctly in the first act alone you have a lengthy car chase, followed by a lengthy footchase/fight, followed by another short fight and then a boat chase with hardly any dialogue/plot development in between them.

As a result of all this action I found myself bored during what should've been pretty cool set pieces later in film - such as the plane chase and the world's most flammable hotel...
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Old 28-02-2013, 17:44
theonlyweeman
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Inglorious Basterds didn't work for me because the dialogue dragged, and it seemed as though Tarantino spent 20 mins saying something he could have said just as well in 10. There were three 20 min conversations that could have easily had the same effect in 10 (or even 5) mins. And the film just became boring, the dialogue wasn't as good as Tarantino fans think it was, and I couldn't sit through the 2 and half hour running length in one go...
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Old 28-02-2013, 18:10
Ted Cunterblast
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Inglorious Basterds didn't work for me because the dialogue dragged, and it seemed as though Tarantino spent 20 mins saying something he could have said just as well in 10. There were three 20 min conversations that could have easily had the same effect in 10 (or even 5) mins. And the film just became boring, the dialogue wasn't as good as Tarantino fans think it was, and I couldn't sit through the 2 and half hour running length in one go...

I have to disagree. I think the two main scenes, such as the opening farmhouse scene and the scene in the bar, are good examples of how well-written dialogue scenes can build and create tension.

In both of those scenes they start out relatively calm and innocent. The fact that the initial dalogue may seem to be just general chit-chat and pleasantness hides the notion that behind it something could possibly happen. Then elements are introduced to add twists to the scenes, such as the gradual revelation that Waltz character actually knows that the farmer is hiding something, and in the bar scene the introduction of the german officer who joins the table. The tension is therefore racked up as the scene progresses.

Therefore I believe the scene needs to be a decent length to first of all lull the viewer into a false sense of security, then gradually introduce elements into the scene to grip the viewer.
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Old 28-02-2013, 18:34
Trsvis_Bickle
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I watched Glengarry Glen Ross with a friend once, and the whole thing went completely over her head, and she just described it as a film about people talking, and used that classic phrase 'nothing happened'. It really makes you wonder what she expected to happen, and also maybe it says something about the state of modern cinema, how movies are sold and marketed, and what people expectations are from watching a movie.
Stonking film, isn't it? It's practically a filmed stage play but utterly compelling. Up there with Twelve Angry Men (which is of course a stage play).
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Old 28-02-2013, 18:35
theonlyweeman
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I have to disagree. I think the two main scenes, such as the opening farmhouse scene and the scene in the bar, are good examples of how well-written dialogue scenes can build and create tension.

In both of those scenes they start out relatively calm and innocent. The fact that the initial dalogue may seem to be just general chit-chat and pleasantness hides the notion that behind it something could possibly happen. Then elements are introduced to add twists to the scenes, such as the gradual revelation that Waltz character actually knows that the farmer is hiding something, and in the bar scene the introduction of the german officer who joins the table. The tension is therefore racked up as the scene progresses.

Therefore I believe the scene needs to be a decent length to first of all lull the viewer into a false sense of security, then gradually introduce elements into the scene to grip the viewer.
I thought the dialogue in the farmhouse scene was good, (I didn't like the bar scene) but do I think it needed 20 mins worth of it? No. If they'd perhaps got it down to 10-13 mins it could have the same effect and the film would have not dragged so much
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Old 28-02-2013, 19:21
tombigbee
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The dialogue is the best thing about Tarantino's films. Inglourious Basterds and Pulp Fiction are where he's at his peak in this regard. I'd prefer it if he reined in the violence to be honest. I think the shootout towards the end of Django Unchained was a bit over the top.

Personally I prefer violence to be understated or off camera most of the time as it can have a much more powerful effect that way.
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Old 28-02-2013, 22:17
Andy L Mitchell
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I think what's the point if you are not going to listen to the talk-talk stuff. For me, good dialogue is as important as action, and if there's a lot of action it's boring.
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Old 28-02-2013, 23:16
theonlyweeman
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I wasn't saying that dialogue was bad, but 20 mins of raw dialogue where the conversation just meanders and nothing really happens, becomes tedious. And when you have two or three 20 minute long scenes like that, the film becomes a chore to sit through.

I like Aaron Sorkin, his films are mainly people talking in rooms, but he seems to have found the perfect balance between having clever, funny dialogue, and having something actually happen. So whilst his films are dialogue drive and a good 90% of every film is dialogue, it doesn't feel like it because there's always something going on (or it always feels like something is going on, even though it isn't necessarily). Also, he caps his conversations at 5 mins and they're still as effective and funny as anything I've head from Tarantino...

Having excellent dialogue is good, it's essential but it needs something to break it up. It is possible to have films that rely too heavily on dialogue.
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Old 01-03-2013, 10:35
Iggyman
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I love well written dialogue scenes (watch the superb TV series 'Breaking Bad' for many fantastic exchanges). However, badly written dialogue is of course boring, which is why many find Skyfall boring - it's the writing, it's just plain awful.
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Old 01-03-2013, 11:04
bazzaroo
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This post could use more dialogue....
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Old 01-03-2013, 14:09
Virgil Tracy
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For sure there is badly written, pedestrian and just plain boring dialogue that can drag a movie down.

But I am not really talking about the difference between good and bad, more about those people who just seem to switch off when there is no mayhem happening on screen and get bored, whilst crucially not even paying attention to what is actually being said.

I personally believe that well written dialogue is the main strength of Tarantino's movies, and always get irked when he is tagged with that 'violent movie maker' tag.

The actual instances of violence in his movies (Kill Bill movies aside) actually make up about 1% of the running time. Look at Reservoir Dogs...very, very little actual violence, and the famous ear cutting scene happens off camera. I always find it odd that for a film with so very little actual violence in it to have garnered Tarantino a reputation for being a violent filmaker.

And by the same token, considering that his first movie was 99% dialogue and 1% violence, I find it even stranger that a lot of Tarantino fans critiscised Inglorious Basterds for being too talky...! What exactly were they expecting from him?

However, I have to say he does not aways get it right...Death Proof did not do it for me at all...I cannot recall one single line of dialogue from that film, or indeed any memorable dialogue scenes or monologues.
well I just saw Die Hard 5 , and that is exactly what I did - whenever they were talking I just zoned out , because the dialogue was so boring .

so I really think the quality is the key .

I'd say Tarantino does overdo the 'dialogue' in that some scenes just go on way past the point , he needs to learn to edit !

I think when some filmmakers get too fond of themselves they just ramble on and on , Denis Potter was the same in his later works , too self indulgent .
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Old 01-03-2013, 14:41
RebelScum
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well I just saw Die Hard 5 , and that is exactly what I did - whenever they were talking I just zoned out , because the dialogue was so boring .

so I really think the quality is the key .
But you zoned out because the quality of the dialogue of that particular movie was boring, not because you think all dialogue is boring.

I really don't see how the op could make it any clearer than;

Originally Posted by Ted Cunterblast
For sure there is badly written, pedestrian and just plain boring dialogue that can drag a movie down.

But I am not really talking about the difference between good and bad, more about those people who just seem to switch off when there is no mayhem happening on screen and get bored, whilst crucially not even paying attention to what is actually being said.
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Old 01-03-2013, 14:47
roger_50
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Again Rebelscum, like in the previous page, it's still a relevant point to add to the general subject of people not liking dialogue so it's absolutely fine to bring up in a thread like this.

Are you always this anal about thread discussion? Do you go around like some member of the DS Thread Topic Police, getting agitated when conversation naturally develops to other logical angles? It's quite amusing.
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Old 01-03-2013, 15:02
RebelScum
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Again Rebelscum, like in the previous page, it's still a relevant point to add to the general subject of people not liking dialogue so it's absolutely fine to bring up in a thread like this.
Sure, it's a relevant point, if you say it is then surely it must be. Even when he OP has stated, twice, that it isn't.

Are you always this anal about thread discussion? Do you go around like some member of the DS Thread Topic Police, getting agitated when conversation naturally develops to other logical angles? It's quite amusing.
Awe, you had to get personal didn't you. Shame on you.

Anyways, I find fairly interesting that on a thread that is essentially about how some people process certain types of information (regardless of the quality of the information), that the point of the thread itself has been missed by some posters. Now, that is amusing.
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Old 01-03-2013, 15:07
roger_50
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No-one's getting personal, relax. Just a natural observation of how you're telling people they're missing the point when they're not - they're simply adding to the conversation.

It's just the way you're getting agitated about it, you're making it sound like we're randomly making posts that have no link to the subject whatsoever; it's not the case. It's pertinent to talk about how poor a lot of dialogue is in many films these days, and that tbh it's hard to blame people who'd rather just watch action scenes and be entertained.

And not just downright sloppily-written dialogue, but that mushy, overly-sentimental, predictable crap that occupies nearly every drama made for the masses. Give me a nonstop dialogue-lite action-fest any day of the week over 95% of modern mainstream films tbh.

There's a cause & effect going on. Mainstream cinema has gone mostly downhill over the last 20 years or so, especially in terms of decent dialogue.

It doesn't surprise me that there are those who feel they don't have the time for it and would rather just see splodes.
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Old 01-03-2013, 15:30
RebelScum
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No-one's getting personal, relax. Just a natural observation of how you're telling people they're missing the point when they're not - they're simply adding to the conversation.
Adding to the conversation and being relevant are two different things. If you start a thread about bad drivers and I come in going on about cars, makes of cars, the mechanics of cars, etc I'm adding to the conversation, but its not relevant to bad drivers.

It's just the way you're getting agitated about it, you're making it sound like we're randomly making posts that have no link to the subject whatsoever; it's not the case. It's pertinent to talk about how poor a lot of dialogue is in many films these days, and that tbh it's hard to blame people who'd rather just watch action scenes and be entertained.
Like the way you keep asserting I'm agitated. Can you also tell if I'm hungry?

And not just downright sloppily-written dialogue, but that mushy, overly-sentimental, predictable crap that occupies nearly every drama made for the masses. Give me a nonstop dialogue-lite action-fest any day of the week over 95% of modern mainstream films tbh.

There's a cause & effect going on. Mainstream cinema has gone mostly downhill over the last 20 years or so, especially in terms of decent dialogue.

It doesn't surprise me that there are those who feel they don't have the time for it and would rather just see splodes.
See, off you go on a tangent. None of what you say is untrue, but it has zero relevance to the thread, which to be blunt is about stupid people who would find even the most exquisite piece of dialogue boring. What you consider adding to the topic, is essentially changing the topic. And whilst I would never undermine any of your opinions, theres nothing wrong with highlighting that fact, as what you are doing by changing the topic, perhaps without realising it, is undermining the OP's point.
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Old 01-03-2013, 15:31
roger_50
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And there's nothing wrong in me highlighting you've got it completely wrong and that it IS relevant.
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Old 01-03-2013, 15:39
Virgil Tracy
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But you zoned out because the quality of the dialogue of that particular movie was boring, not because you think all dialogue is boring.

I really don't see how the op could make it any clearer than;
I haven't heard anyone say they think all dialogue is boring , I'm assuming there's a reason they don't pay attention to the dialogue in certain movies , and I gave my reasons for the problems I had with dialogue in certain movies including the ones the OP mentioned .


I really don't see how I could make it any clearer
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Old 01-03-2013, 15:45
RebelScum
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I haven't heard anyone say they think all dialogue is boring , I'm assuming there's a reason they don't pay attention to the dialogue in certain movies , and I gave my reasons for the problems I had with dialogue in certain movies including the ones the OP mentioned .



I really don't see how I could make it any clearer
Your point was clear enough the fist time.
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Old 01-03-2013, 16:09
gashead
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None of what you say is untrue, but it has zero relevance to the thread, which to be blunt is about stupid people who would find even the most exquisite piece of dialogue boring. What you consider adding to the topic, is essentially changing the topic. And whilst I would never undermine any of your opinions, theres nothing wrong with highlighting that fact, as what you are doing by changing the topic, perhaps without realising it, is undermining the OP's point.
But there's no objective measure of what counts as 'exquisite' dialogue, so your argument that the OP is talking only about - and therefore the thread has to confine itself to - such is ridiculous. Even if that was the OP's intention, just because he mentions Skyfall and Tarantino films as having, in his opinion, good dialogue, doesn't make it so, so people are quite entitled to come in and disagree, which in turn will generate debate about what constitutes good and bad dialogue. It's also interesting that at least four posters made comments that are as simplistic as 'people who don't like dialogue scenes are idiots' and you didn't pick up on that. Long dialogue scenes are neither good nor bad, they just are. Some are fantastic, some are awful, and it's for each person to decide for themselves. It's nonsense to criticise people who say they don't like them without qualifying the comment, just as it's ludicrous for arthouse darlings to criticise the likes of Michael Bay for being all about the action without at least acknowledging that he's bloody good at it.
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Old 01-03-2013, 16:25
rionia
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Its worse when someone complains, when watching Les Miserables, thats there's too much singing
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Old 01-03-2013, 18:24
RebelScum
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But there's no objective measure of what counts as 'exquisite' dialogue, so your argument that the OP is talking only about - and therefore the thread has to confine itself to - such is ridiculous. Even if that was the OP's intention, just because he mentions Skyfall and Tarantino films as having, in his opinion, good dialogue, doesn't make it so, so people are quite entitled to come in and disagree, which in turn will generate debate about what constitutes good and bad dialogue.
I get that dialogue is subjective. What may be great to me seem poor to another. That seems to me a healthy standard, and probably what many people consider the norm. But the OP wasn't talking about what you or I may consider to be the norm. To the precise, he was talking about

But the issue is there seem to be a lot of people who just don't seem to actually get dialogue at all
So, the op seems to be talking about people whose default position is "dialogue = boring".

As for relevance, take an earlier poster whose accretion was that the reason these people find dialogue boring is because the quality of dialogue has decreased in the last 20 years. Whilst the concept itself is worthy of a discussion of its own, it's irrelevant to this thread, because, the people the OP seems to be talking about would also find 20+ year old move dialog boring.

It's also interesting that at least four posters made comments that are as simplistic as 'people who don't like dialogue scenes are idiots' and you didn't pick up on that.
I didn't pick up on that because, as unpalatable as it may be, within the context of the thread they are probably right.

Long dialogue scenes are neither good nor bad, they just are. Some are fantastic, some are awful, and it's for each person to decide for themselves. It's nonsense to criticise people who say they don't like them without qualifying the comment, just as it's ludicrous for arthouse darlings to criticise the likes of Michael Bay for being all about the action without at least acknowledging that he's bloody good at it.
Well yes, it would be just as small minded to have an "action = boring" default position.
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Old 01-03-2013, 18:48
degsyhufc
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For arguments sake I could start a thread about 'The quality of dialogue in film is diminishing' and I would guess that people would make the argument that some people are stupid or ignorant and just want to watch action blockbusters anyway

So there would be crossover in that thread.


I would also bet that there would be a comment about starting a thread about a topic that is already being discussed in a current thread.


I don't see a reason why this thread can't evolve to discuss both.
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