12-28-2013, 04:02 PM
Forget the 2007 parody film of the same title.

I am talking about the real type of epic cinema--something that is big and epic in scale, scope and grandeur.

Here's Wikipedia's description about epic cinema:

"In cinematography, epic film is an epic genre that emphasizes human drama on a grand scale. Epics are more ambitious in scope than other film genres, and their ambitious nature helps to differentiate them from similar genres such as the period piece or adventure film. Epic historical films often take a historical or imagined event, or a mythic, legendary, or heroic figure and add an extravagant, spectacular setting and lavish costumes, accompanied by a sweeping musical score, and an ensemble cast of bankable stars, making them among the most expensive of films to produce. Some of the most common subjects of epics are royalty, superheroes, great military leaders, or leading personalities or figures from various periods in world history. Epics tend to focus on events that will affect the lives of many people, such as cataclysmic events, natural disasters, war, or political upheaval.

Epic films are expensive and lavish productions because they generally use on-location filming, authentic period costumes, action scenes on a massive scale and large casts of characters. Biographical films are often less lavish versions of this genre.

Sometimes referred to as costume dramas, they depict the world of a period setting, often incorporating historical pageantry, specially designed costuming and wardrobes, exotic locales, spectacle, lavish decor and a sweeping visual style. They often transport viewers to other worlds or eras, such as classical antiquity, biblical settings, the Middle Ages, the Victorian era, the American Frontier, the Prohibition era or the Gilded Age. Films involving modern battle sequences (war films) are also common settings in the epic film genre, as are westerns, and science fiction films set in space, on earth or other planets, with science fiction-oriented battle scenes on a massive scale or with a futuristic or post apocalyptic backdrop.

"The term "epic" originally came from the poetic genre exemplified by such large works as the Iliad, Epic of Gilgamesh, or the Odyssey. In classical literature, epics are considered works focused on deeds or journeys of heroes upon which the fate of a large number of people depend. Similarly, films described as "epic" typically take a historical character, or a mythic heroic figure. However, there are some films described as "epic" almost solely on the basis of their enormous scope and the sweeping panorama of their settings such as How the West was Won or East of Eden that do not have the typical substance of classical epics but are directed in an epic style.

When described as "epic" because of content, an epic movie is often set during a time of war or other societal crisis, while covering a long span of time, in terms of both the events depicted and the running time of the film. Such films usually have a historical setting, although fantasy or science fiction settings have become common in recent decades. The central conflict of the film is usually seen as having far-reaching effects, often changing the course of history. The main characters' actions are often central to the resolution of the societal conflict."

Anyway, are there any movies that are epic in scale, scope, and grandeur just like films such as Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings films?

You guys can think of any if you want. Peter Jackson's LOTR, along with Ridley Scott's Gladiator pretty much set the standard for more modern epic cinema.

But can you suggest any contenders for other movies that are epic in scale, scope and grandeur?

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12-28-2013, 06:37 PM
I really liked Ridley Scott's Kingdom of Heaven.
Easily one of great stature and presentation. Not just with costumes, sets and cinematography, but you won't believe the cast once you read all their names.
The dialogue isn't hashed up cheese but quite engaging and practical.
Never a boring part in the movie.
Although, I remember the film score went under a lot of pain and suffering that they had to use a lot of temp scores and whatnot for the final product.
Hans Zimmer & Patrick Cassidy's collaboration for Hannibal's "Vide Cor Meum" is used prominently in the film.
Most people who don't know film scores or even classical music will revere the scene as "gaudy and beautiful" while most of us who know the song from Hannibal will find that to be about the only part that's rushed in production.

That's the only beef I have with the film. Recycled music.
It's like if Quintin Tarantino was hired as a second unit director or something. :notgood:

Some internal/scene/group/p2p/thingy did a wonderful hybrid using different regional encodings of the available blu-rays and made the best version out there with all the best video+audio quality and retained the musical interludes.

I would probably throw in Antoine Fuqua's King Arthur.
The character development's and progression of the story is quite uplifting and gives you a false sense of honor that you know you will never be able to share in the real world.

I find those movies to have quite an impact once they're finished. The conflicts and the heroes really stand out and make you want to get some cool armor and swords to walk around in.

In that same respect where the heroes end up fighting not only for their lives but of that of an entire nation and for the future, Edward Zwick's The Last Samurai is really damn good.
Whether or not you're a Tom Cruise fan, you won't deny that that film overshadows his past and lets you watch it while separating his scientologist identity from his character.
Ken Watanabe provides a unique character pivotal to crisis and story. He's quite the esoteric anti-hero.

I would like to throw in Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy.
From the beginning to the end, the development's have been more than challenging and emotional for the emo hero. The weight of risk VS. reward for the freedom of the city has definitely impacted the whole spectrum of the people of Gotham City.
The unfolding of Wayne's saga as the caped crusader proved that being a super hero isn't just about action sequences and fame and witty banter between foes.
It was such an endearing reboot to watch. It could have ended on any of the first two films and still resonated with that glimmering and heavily-sympathetic note that each one had at the end before the end credits.
Had Nolan only done the first one, it would still be a perfect film.
Had Nolan only done the first two, it would still be a perfect duology.
But since he ended it on three, it's the perfect trilogy.
I don't think if he did a fourth Batman, it would be all that great and successful. I'm quite pleased to hear he finished it on the third one.

I find most epics to be largely accentuated on the internal struggles of not only the heroes but the societal structure as well.
Freedom of religion VS a singular partisanship.
Civilized unity VS martial belligerence.
Justice VS revenge.

To some degree, I would call James McTeigue's V For Vendetta a comical epic. It delivers a well rounded environment where a dire change is needed and a hero must be created to fight for what used to be right and sound with the world.
And also for efficient usage of Tchaikovsky's Overture of 1812.

A much larger scope, The Matrix trilogy can easily be an epic trilogy to substantial proportions for so many reasons beyond the visible story and character progression.
So many of the underlying elements to the whole franchise speak easily with nerds, geeks and even ordinary people alike.
The embedded reflections of our real world in ways of religion, mythology and culture are easily decoded throughout the entire trilogy, and mostly not by mistake, either.

V For Vendetta is somewhere on the scope of playing the board game, "Risk"; while, the Matrix trilogy is among the lines of playing "Axis and Allies".



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