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I Ain't Afraid of No Pedeconferences
July 22, 2012 5:24 PM   Subscribe

If Aaron Sorkin had written Star Wars, Avatar, Ghostbusters, Twilight, and Harry Potter.
posted by WCityMike (53 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite

 
Well, I just watched the Star Wars sand scene one so far but the writing, acting, and direction is all improved from the original.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:31 PM on July 22, 2012 [11 favorites]


I feel like I missed something. Like a familiarity with Aaron Sorkin.
How on note are these?
posted by Mezentian at 5:39 PM on July 22, 2012


I like this new world we now live in where we make fun of Aaron Sorkin. It feels .... it feels ... liberating, yes, liberating.
posted by benito.strauss at 5:41 PM on July 22, 2012 [16 favorites]


As a straight male, I've never been more attracted to Annakin Skywalker in my life.
posted by Effigy2000 at 5:43 PM on July 22, 2012 [8 favorites]


Several of these were definite improvements on the originals.

But were they improvements in a relative way or in an absolute way?
posted by kyrademon at 5:50 PM on July 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


Wow, I have rarely wanted to claw my eyes out at dialog more. Unfortunately, they get the Sorkin writing pretty well, so it's not just the low production values.

People don't talk like that in real life!
posted by wierdo at 5:52 PM on July 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


Not to defend Sorkin, whose stuff I don't like much, but people never spoke like Shakespeare in real life either.
posted by shakespeherian at 5:57 PM on July 22, 2012 [11 favorites]


I'm sorry, what? No, really, what? I....does someone actually make movies that sound like this?
posted by Canageek at 5:59 PM on July 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


not to put too fine a point on it but this whole thing feels top-down and weird

like, i never even knew who this guy was except that he made a "west wing" that people liked, and now he is apparently a Public Laughingstock

hmmmmm
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 6:00 PM on July 22, 2012


I think we should all continue to excoriate Aaron Sorkin for writing dialogue that is overloaded with technique and which is not realistic in any way, because in everyday parlance I speak exclusively in action movie jargon. COME GET SOME!
posted by mightygodking at 6:06 PM on July 22, 2012 [6 favorites]


For that matter, they don't talk in real life like they do in Twilight, Attack of the Clones, or Avatar.

I'll take the position that if you must have your characters say things that are banal, obvious, or completely meaningless, you might as well have them try to be entertaining about it.
posted by kyrademon at 6:06 PM on July 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


like, i never even knew who this guy was except that he made a "west wing" that people liked, and now he is apparently a Public Laughingstock

He's an extremely economically and critically succesfull TV and film writer but a lot of vocal people don't like his style, and some misogynistic writing in his scripts. He is far from a laughingstock though.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 6:08 PM on July 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


I don't believe that dialogue that sounds more like firecrackers on the fourth of july is entertaining, but that may just be me.
posted by wierdo at 6:09 PM on July 22, 2012


Having watched the first two, they seem more like Mamet than Sorkin - too much quipping and interrupting, not enough factoid-dropping and monologuing.
posted by lunasol at 6:10 PM on July 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


The youtube rabbithole lead me to this.

That is all.
posted by Algebra at 6:11 PM on July 22, 2012 [4 favorites]


I think we've reached Peak Sorkin.
posted by vidur at 6:12 PM on July 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


@furiousxgeorge

okay but when people try to hide the affiliations of the content they spread, it makes the content itself look hinky and suspicious
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 6:14 PM on July 22, 2012


Bearing in mind that we are comparing it to the immortal "I don't like sand" soliloquy from Attack of the Clones, I will definitely take the firecracker barrage.
posted by kyrademon at 6:16 PM on July 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


Why does a Sorkin/Gotye mashup feel inevitable?
posted by malocchio at 6:16 PM on July 22, 2012 [5 favorites]


Sand, sand? sand, sand SAND SANNNDDDD SANDD!! SSAAADASNNDNDNDNDND!!!
posted by zephyr_words at 6:16 PM on July 22, 2012


Having watched the first two, they seem more like Mamet than Sorkin

Darth Vader. That's my name. You know why, Mister? 'Cause you drove a speeder to get here tonight, I drove an 80 trillion dollar Star Destroyer. That's. My name.
posted by The World Famous at 6:21 PM on July 22, 2012 [12 favorites]


Sand, sand? sand, sand SAND SANNNDDDD SANDD!! SSAAADASNNDNDNDNDND!!!

Sand in my shoooooes...Sand from Havanaaaa...
posted by Hey Dean Yeager! at 6:24 PM on July 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


And now I know I can forever skip the West Wing with a clear conscience.
posted by adamdschneider at 6:24 PM on July 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Why does a Sorkin/Gotye mashup feel inevitable?

Now and then I think of political drama
Like when you did Bartlett for America
I told myself that you were right for me
But felt so lonely in your company
But that was fandom, it's an ache I still remember

The you got addicted to a certain kinda cocaine
Like so much smugness to the end, always the end
So when your new show could not make sense
Well I said that I could still be a fan
But I'll admit that I was glad that it was over

But you didn't have be so crap
Make it like girls are bad and that they are useless
I don't even need your love, but you treat me like a moron
And that feels so rough
No, you didn't have to stoop so low
Have a mary sue rant insanely
And then change history
Guess that I don't need that though
Now you're just some writer that I used to know
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 6:34 PM on July 22, 2012 [16 favorites]


Now I'm waiting for a Sorkin/Call Me Maybe mash-up.
posted by suburbanbeatnik at 6:35 PM on July 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Come on, man. I have to get some work done sometime.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 6:40 PM on July 22, 2012 [9 favorites]


Displeased you I have, oh feckless Wan?
posted by hal9k at 6:45 PM on July 22, 2012


I'm with Alludes that this feels overly top-down; like they came up with the concept without ever getting a good feel for what makes Sorkin dialogue sound like Sorkin dialogue. So after watching one of those, I feel ... unsatisfied somehow. Like you offered me a burger but gave me a baloney sandwich.
posted by RobotHero at 6:59 PM on July 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


A baloney sandwich?
posted by The World Famous at 7:01 PM on July 22, 2012 [7 favorites]


Maybe I don't read enough comic books to make trenchant comparisons on dialogue in media as opposed to real life, but last time I checked no one was treating most creators of action movies as auteurs and sparkling luminaries of the intelligentsia like they do with Aaron Sorkin, MGK.
posted by Apocryphon at 7:01 PM on July 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Colbert asks Sorkin about his style (skip to 4:00 mark).

(and an older one)
posted by rh at 7:04 PM on July 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


like they came up with the concept without ever getting a good feel for what makes Sorkin dialogue sound like Sorkin dialogue. So after watching one of those, I feel ... unsatisfied somehow.

I thought the Avatar one was the most Sorkiny. Includes random walking and talking. Not sure if you hit that on in your sweeping survey of the links before you wrote your comment.
posted by fleacircus at 7:10 PM on July 22, 2012


Not that I think any other filmmakers should get a pass. Would love to see similar parodies of the styles of say Joss Whedon or even Christopher Nolan.
posted by Apocryphon at 7:12 PM on July 22, 2012


A baloney sandwich?
posted by The World Famous


No thank you. I just had one.
posted by RobotHero at 7:21 PM on July 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Maybe I don't read enough comic books to make trenchant comparisons on dialogue in media as opposed to real life, but last time I checked no one was treating most creators of action movies as auteurs and sparkling luminaries of the intelligentsia like they do with Aaron Sorkin, MGK.

Sorkin has been getting bitchslapped for his style practically since The West Wing first came on the air. (Here is a decade-old piece which manages to get his style better than the linked Youtubes above.) Yes, Sorkin relies on his personal dialogue and writing quirks. So does Mamet. So does Joss Whedon. So does Jonathan Nolan. So does Amy-Sherman Palladino (and one of the comments on those Youtubes got it right when they noted that the girls' writing sounded much more like Palladino than Sorkin). So does Woody Allen. So does just about every screenwriter, especially those who write entertaining dramedy.

Critiquing Sorkin's treatment of female characters is a critique worth making, because that's engaging with the substance of his work. But a lot of criticism of Sorkin devolves to "I hate his talky-talkiness and here's a lot of examples of that - and also his female characters!" and that is just a waste of everybody's time because Sorkin's personal style is value-neutral; you like it, you don't like it, whatever, but it's how he writes his stuff and complaining about it is like complaining about how J.J. Abrams uses lensflare; all the complainant is doing is complaining for the sake of complaint because once you say "well Sorkin's characters talk fast and interchange in this sort of way" that's basically the end of the complaint!
posted by mightygodking at 7:22 PM on July 22, 2012 [5 favorites]


But making fun of writers' creative quirks is fun and funny because it reminds all of us that we all have different styles and tastes, and sometimes that's okay to laugh at.

We already had a serious discussion about how out-of-touch he is substantively with regards to understanding modern media in The Newsroom. This is just continuing to dig at his style. I'm certainly open to spoofs of other would-be auteurs.
posted by Apocryphon at 7:28 PM on July 22, 2012


I don't think they're complaining. Why would they use Attack of the Clones and Twilight as starting points if they were complaining?
posted by RobotHero at 7:34 PM on July 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Not to defend Sorkin, whose stuff I don't like much, but people never spoke like Shakespeare in real life either.

The question is, did people speak like Marlowe or Robert Greene or any of other Shakespeare's contemporaries?
posted by Apocryphon at 7:39 PM on July 22, 2012


yeah.
posted by pearlybob at 7:44 PM on July 22, 2012


My expectations are not being met.
posted by germdisco at 7:53 PM on July 22, 2012


Peak Sorkin was confirmed for me last week as I sat at a traffic light listening to his interview with Terry Gross. She was clearly (but very pleasantly) laughing at him while asking about how unrealistic his dialogue and plot points were, and he kept on answering lightheartedly, as if she wasn't (very pleasantly) asking him to stop writing at us as if we were children.

It was surprisingly interesting mainstream radio.
posted by mediareport at 8:00 PM on July 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


World Famous, that's exactly what I was thinking. The dialogue in these parodies is more "Everybody needs money unobtainium! That's why it's called money unobtainium!" than anything else.
posted by kandinski at 8:11 PM on July 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Sorkin's personal style is value-neutral; you like it, you don't like it, whatever, but it's how he writes his stuff and complaining about it is like complaining about how J.J. Abrams uses lens flare

What? Style isn't "value-neutral", not now, not ever. Style determines how a piece feels, how it builds, how it flows. Disliking a writer for their style is one of the main central reasons to dislike a writer. Plenty of excellent criticism has been written about various authors' various styles. LOST would have been better without a lot of J. J. Abrams's stylistic quirks, and the Sorkin pieces I've seen would have been — well, not better, but less deceptively flawed — without Sorkin's.
posted by Rory Marinich at 8:25 PM on July 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


wierdo: "People don't talk like that in real life!"

You know, thinking about it more, I realize I lied. Tweakers talk like that in real life. Perhaps that's why it's so grating to me.
posted by wierdo at 9:22 PM on July 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


I've got to say, the girl playing Hermione in the Harry Potter one nailed the crazy eyebrows overacting that Emma Watson used to do. Well done.
posted by town of cats at 9:38 PM on July 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Every single one of these is substantially better than the original.
posted by Bwithh at 9:39 PM on July 22, 2012


PEOPLE WILL YOU please learn how to balance your LEVELS.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 9:52 PM on July 22, 2012 [4 favorites]


I thought they did a pretty good job, except that they forgot to include the word "Okay" every 60 seconds. (And I'm a huge fan of Sorkin, faults and all.)
posted by mmoncur at 9:58 PM on July 22, 2012


Every single one of these is substantially better than the original.

Yeah, even with the Ghostbusters scene, which is by far the best movie on the list. The drawn out dialogue just makes the final "Yeah I'm the keymaster" punchline even better.

Now someone write one for, "Are you a god?"
posted by furiousxgeorge at 10:06 PM on July 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


I don't love the way he writes women on the whole, but I think Sorkin's a pretty good dialogue writer. As shakespeherian noted above, people in real life don't talk like characters on stage. Aaron Sorkin is just an unusually visible example of someone who writes in a theatrical idiom and has acheived crossover success.


(Slightly Irrelevant HBO Sidenote: I watch "The Newsroom" with the exact same level of half-squicked/half-intrigued as I did "Girls" for very different and oddly similar reasons.)
posted by thivaia at 10:53 PM on July 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


Reminds me more of Dragnet. And of course Mathnet.
posted by pete_22 at 5:05 AM on July 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


Having watched the first two, they seem more like Mamet than Sorkin - too much quipping and interrupting, not enough factoid-dropping and monologuing.

Making fun of Sorkin dialogue is the new making fun of Mamet dialogue.
posted by aught at 5:54 AM on July 23, 2012


These were great. Thanks for posting.
posted by KokuRyu at 2:21 PM on July 23, 2012


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