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RE: WHAT IS EPIC?

 
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RE: WHAT IS EPIC? - 9/7/2013 1:04:01 AM   
Shifty Bench

 

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Someone ought to tell Sir Patrick Stewart that he is using the term wrong in those Money Supermarket ads.

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Post #: 31
RE: WHAT IS EPIC? - 9/7/2013 5:27:29 AM   
Bloke from Oz

 

Posts: 5919
Joined: 6/12/2006
Well somebody's got to answer the OP with some serious responses , so I'll go first.

Films which I think definitely fit into the "epic" category are

Titanic
Ben-Hur
LOTR/Hobbit films
The Ten Commandments
Gettysburg
The Great Escape
Troy
2001: A Space Odyssey

I haven't seen Gone with the Wind or Spartacus, but I'm certain they would also be included here as well.

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Post #: 32
RE: WHAT IS EPIC? - 9/7/2013 8:59:42 AM   
Dannybohy


Posts: 1374
Joined: 7/1/2009

quote:

ORIGINAL: Bloke from Oz

Well somebody's got to answer the OP with some serious responses , so I'll go first.

Films which I think definitely fit into the "epic" category are

Titanic
Ben-Hur
LOTR/Hobbit films
The Ten Commandments
Gettysburg
The Great Escape
Troy
2001: A Space Odyssey

I haven't seen Gone with the Wind or Spartacus, but I'm certain they would also be included here as well.


My own requirements normally dictate that a decent span of time is covered. weird that isn't it. I am trying to think of a movie I would allow on my list that doesn't cover a long enough time span. So anyway, Titanic wouldn't be allowed, but yes your list is pretty much the kinds of movies I consider Epic.I would throw a few more of those Sunday TV movies in too, like Samson and Delilah.

Surely Starwars is Epic?

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Post #: 33
RE: WHAT IS EPIC? - 9/7/2013 9:47:36 AM   
galvatron


Posts: 1292
Joined: 1/10/2005
I just tend to think it's a film/novel with a grand scale. So it might be something like Anna Karenina which is long love story or Doctor Zhivago as it takes a long while to tell a complex story, or something like Troy which is on a massive scale. I love a good epic, but they're easy to get wrong!

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Post #: 34
RE: WHAT IS EPIC? - 9/7/2013 10:20:54 AM   
Dannybohy


Posts: 1374
Joined: 7/1/2009

quote:

ORIGINAL: galvatron

I just tend to think it's a film/novel with a grand scale. So it might be something like Anna Karenina which is long love story or Doctor Zhivago as it takes a long while to tell a complex story, or something like Troy which is on a massive scale. I love a good epic, but they're easy to get wrong!


Like Troy, which surely shows that Epic does not mean quality

Warhorse, that's Epic
Saving Private Ryan

Surely running time of a movie cannot factor into it being Epic ?

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Post #: 35
RE: WHAT IS EPIC? - 9/7/2013 12:16:20 PM   
horribleives

 

Posts: 5105
Joined: 12/6/2009
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quote:

ORIGINAL: Olaf

quote:

ORIGINAL: directorscut


quote:

ORIGINAL: Olaf

Anyone who uses the word 'epic' as a descriptor of quality rather than scale should have their computer taken away forever. They belong in the same 90s-lingo circle of hell as people who use the word 'flick' as a noun for a film.


Epic post man, but the word "flick" or "flickers" has been used to describe films since the dawn of time.


Slavery used to be a socially acceptable thing as well, but only bellends support slavery and use the word 'flick' in the year 2013.



I think the point was that using the word 'flick' instead of 'film' has been going on since long before the '90s. You're quite right though, anyone who uses it is a bell-end.
As for 'epic', anything that's long and/or covers a period of time over a few years tends to be called epic these days - both Zero Dark Thirty and The Place Beyond The Pines were referred to as such recently but they're pretty far removed from films that fit the classic mould of 'epic-ness' (Ben Hur, Titanic, Digby: The Biggest Dog In The World etc).
Oh and anyone who's ever used the phrase 'epic fail' (or even worse, 'cringe' as an adjective) is an even bigger bell-end than those who say 'flicks'.

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Post #: 36
RE: WHAT IS EPIC? - 9/7/2013 1:08:50 PM   
Dannybohy


Posts: 1374
Joined: 7/1/2009

quote:

ORIGINAL: horribleives


quote:

ORIGINAL: Olaf

quote:

ORIGINAL: directorscut


quote:

ORIGINAL: Olaf

Anyone who uses the word 'epic' as a descriptor of quality rather than scale should have their computer taken away forever. They belong in the same 90s-lingo circle of hell as people who use the word 'flick' as a noun for a film.


Epic post man, but the word "flick" or "flickers" has been used to describe films since the dawn of time.


Slavery used to be a socially acceptable thing as well, but only bellends support slavery and use the word 'flick' in the year 2013.



I think the point was that using the word 'flick' instead of 'film' has been going on since long before the '90s. You're quite right though, anyone who uses it is a bell-end.
As for 'epic', anything that's long and/or covers a period of time over a few years tends to be called epic these days - both Zero Dark Thirty and The Place Beyond The Pines were referred to as such recently but they're pretty far removed from films that fit the classic mould of 'epic-ness' (Ben Hur, Titanic, Digby: The Biggest Dog In The World etc).
Oh and anyone who's ever used the phrase 'epic fail' (or even worse, 'cringe' as an adjective) is an even bigger bell-end than those who say 'flicks'.


that's two people now who have listed Titanic! dammit its just a big ship! and spans a day or two?.

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Post #: 37
RE: WHAT IS EPIC? - 9/7/2013 1:45:28 PM   
Bloke from Oz

 

Posts: 5919
Joined: 6/12/2006

quote:

ORIGINAL: Dannybohy


quote:

ORIGINAL: horribleives


quote:

ORIGINAL: Olaf

quote:

ORIGINAL: directorscut


quote:

ORIGINAL: Olaf

Anyone who uses the word 'epic' as a descriptor of quality rather than scale should have their computer taken away forever. They belong in the same 90s-lingo circle of hell as people who use the word 'flick' as a noun for a film.


Epic post man, but the word "flick" or "flickers" has been used to describe films since the dawn of time.


Slavery used to be a socially acceptable thing as well, but only bellends support slavery and use the word 'flick' in the year 2013.



I think the point was that using the word 'flick' instead of 'film' has been going on since long before the '90s. You're quite right though, anyone who uses it is a bell-end.
As for 'epic', anything that's long and/or covers a period of time over a few years tends to be called epic these days - both Zero Dark Thirty and The Place Beyond The Pines were referred to as such recently but they're pretty far removed from films that fit the classic mould of 'epic-ness' (Ben Hur, Titanic, Digby: The Biggest Dog In The World etc).
Oh and anyone who's ever used the phrase 'epic fail' (or even worse, 'cringe' as an adjective) is an even bigger bell-end than those who say 'flicks'.


that's two people now who have listed Titanic! dammit its just a big ship! and spans a day or two?.



Have you had a good long look at the film? I strongly dislike Cameron and I think he's a fucking ego-maniac, but I'll readily admit he succeeded in bringing a story of 'epic' size and scope to the screen with that film.

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Post #: 38
RE: WHAT IS EPIC? - 9/7/2013 1:59:14 PM   
DONOVAN KURTWOOD


Posts: 9234
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How The West Was Won could be described as EPIC. More recently i would consider Cloud Atlas to be very EPIC.

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Post #: 39
RE: WHAT IS EPIC? - 9/7/2013 7:04:23 PM   
porntrooper

 

Posts: 2616
Joined: 6/9/2006
From: Sheffield
I think within film the term 'Epic' is often overused.... "Woah, Pacific Rim looks epic!"

And I'll admit to occasionally using it incorrectly when referring to the look, scope, scale and promise of a movie.

I think really, it refers to movies that have a bigger, grander scale and scope, not just within story telling terms, but within production too. So, in that respect, although Titanic covers a relatively small timescale, it certainly delivers the 'Epic' when referring to the scope of production and story being played out on screen.... recreating the ship, the detail, the granduer, the horror of the sinking, the drama etc in the way he did was epic in scope and story, although not in time. Honestly, I dont think time factors in to it for me. An epic could span a few days if the scope is there.

Troy, Gladiator, Cleopatra, Spartacus, Cloud Atlas, Gangs of New York, Saving Private Ryan would be movies I think of that have both scope in story and within the production process, doing things in terms of production that are out of the norm (Gangs of New Yorks sets, Gladiators Effects, Titanics Effects and Watertank stunt work, Private Ryans brutal detail etc). I think a lot of films aim for it by using spectacle and effects work. Films such as Man OF Steel, Pacific Rim, Avengers seem to aim for 'Epic' by creating larger than life scenarios, but in many ways they're as run of the mill in terms of production (shooting, stuntwork, effects work etc) as most other films, they just manage to do it with a little more flair and imagination I guess, but I wouldn't call them 'Epics'. I guess the original Star Wars would be classed as an 'Epic' by me, cos I think it was approaching a story that was bigger than anything ever attempted at that time (apart from maybe 2001) in that genre. It was also doing new things in terms of production scale, with effects work far beyond anything else at the time. Avatar may be a more recent example of an 'Epic' within the sci fi genre, but only in terms of production, certainly not in terms of scope in the story.

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Post #: 40
RE: WHAT IS EPIC? - 11/7/2013 2:18:04 PM   
sharkboy


Posts: 6289
Joined: 26/9/2005
From: Belfast
Roger Ebert's thoughts on the subject:

quote:

What you realize watching Lawrence of Arabia is that the word epic refers not to the cost or the elaborate production, but to the size of the ideas and vision. Werner Herzog's Aguirre: The Wrath of God didn't cost as much as the catering in Pearl Harbor, but it is an epic, and Pearl Harbor is not.


So, on that basis how would you define Titanic or Avatar? Neither had particularly lofty ideas - both spins on the basic "boy meets girl, boy overcomes adversity to be with girl" story - but they had pretty sweeping visions, not least Avatar where the vision was so big that it had to be delayed until the technology caught up with it. Or should Cameron's desire to create an almost life-size Titanic set and film in a huge tank fall more under "elaborate production" than "vision"?

And how about the use of technology? Would, say, Gandhi be less of an epic if instead of employing a million extras for the funeral scene, they'd had the same technology that allowed Peter Jackson to create massive digital armies?

Classically, an epic is a narrative that relates the story of a hero or heroes, the trials or adventures they have and the triumphs they achieve. So, literally (in every sense of the word), perhaps an epic is not just about scale, but also a portrayal of heroic deeds or grand gestures?

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Post #: 41
RE: WHAT IS EPIC? - 12/7/2013 1:25:42 PM   
clownfoot


Posts: 7932
Joined: 26/9/2005
From: The ickle town of Fuck, Austria
Wasn't Epic a pretty shitty Wing Commander clone released on the Amiga?



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Post #: 42
RE: WHAT IS EPIC? - 12/7/2013 1:26:45 PM   
Deviation


Posts: 27284
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From: Enemies of Film HQ
quote:

ORIGINAL: clownfoot

Wasn't Epic a pretty shitty Wing Commander clone released on the Amiga?




You're an ancient man bro.

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Post #: 43
RE: WHAT IS EPIC? - 12/7/2013 1:33:07 PM   
MonsterCat


Posts: 7934
Joined: 24/3/2011
From: St. Albans, Hertfordshire

quote:

ORIGINAL: horribleives

I think the point was that using the word 'flick' instead of 'film' has been going on since long before the '90s. You're quite right though, anyone who uses it is a bell-end.



Guilty as charged.

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Post #: 44
RE: WHAT IS EPIC? - 12/7/2013 1:40:10 PM   
clownfoot


Posts: 7932
Joined: 26/9/2005
From: The ickle town of Fuck, Austria
quote:

ORIGINAL: sharkboy

Roger Ebert's thoughts on the subject:

quote:

What you realize watching Lawrence of Arabia is that the word epic refers not to the cost or the elaborate production, but to the size of the ideas and vision. Werner Herzog's Aguirre: The Wrath of God didn't cost as much as the catering in Pearl Harbor, but it is an epic, and Pearl Harbor is not.


So, on that basis how would you define Titanic or Avatar? Neither had particularly lofty ideas - both spins on the basic "boy meets girl, boy overcomes adversity to be with girl" story - but they had pretty sweeping visions, not least Avatar where the vision was so big that it had to be delayed until the technology caught up with it. Or should Cameron's desire to create an almost life-size Titanic set and film in a huge tank fall more under "elaborate production" than "vision"?

And how about the use of technology? Would, say, Gandhi be less of an epic if instead of employing a million extras for the funeral scene, they'd had the same technology that allowed Peter Jackson to create massive digital armies?

Classically, an epic is a narrative that relates the story of a hero or heroes, the trials or adventures they have and the triumphs they achieve. So, literally (in every sense of the word), perhaps an epic is not just about scale, but also a portrayal of heroic deeds or grand gestures?


Finally. Justification for Starship Troopers' epicness...

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Post #: 45
RE: WHAT IS EPIC? - 16/7/2013 9:12:43 PM   
Dr Lenera

 

Posts: 4012
Joined: 19/10/2005
Epic the animated movie is NOT crappy.

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Post #: 46
RE: WHAT IS EPIC? - 16/7/2013 9:57:00 PM   
Dannybohy


Posts: 1374
Joined: 7/1/2009

quote:

ORIGINAL: Dr Lenera

Epic the animated movie is NOT crappy.

You need to put that in UNPOPULAR OPINION shirley!?

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Post #: 47
RE: WHAT IS EPIC? - 17/7/2013 11:02:15 AM   
Dude McNude


Posts: 37
Joined: 10/7/2013
Can I throw the term 'intimate epic' into the mix?

I've seen it used quite a bit by critics, usually to describe films with large scale, but romantic undertones.

Things like "The English Patient".

Also, I haven't really read up on the true definition of the word 'epic', at least in relation to cinema, but I always assumed it had more to do with the themes in the story, rather than the scale of the picture itself.

Lindsay Anderson talked a lot about this, in relation to his film "O' Lucky Man!", which he considered to have the qualities of the 'epic', while still remaining relatively small scale in it's approach. It was about the journey the character went on, rather than what went on within the frame.

Anyway, interesting topic, nonetheless.

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Post #: 48
RE: WHAT IS EPIC? - 17/7/2013 2:28:02 PM   
Coyleone


Posts: 568
Joined: 13/10/2008
I've always thought of 'Epic' as something with huge scope, whether that means in time, story, production etc. Usually it would be a combination of those. Place Beyond The Pines struck me recently as being really epic, even without the huge sets, effects etc, purely because of the themes and the spanning of generations etc.

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Post #: 49
RE: WHAT IS EPIC? - 17/7/2013 4:10:00 PM   
blacktea

 

Posts: 2
Joined: 16/7/2013

quote:

ORIGINAL: rich

Epic is a literary term and people should stop using it in every day life to describe stupid and mundane things, which are by definition not epic.


What's wrong with using it all the time? better say epic than fine, cause everyone will think you hated it

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Post #: 50
RE: WHAT IS EPIC? - 17/7/2013 4:18:11 PM   
Dannybohy


Posts: 1374
Joined: 7/1/2009
quote:

ORIGINAL: blacktea


quote:

ORIGINAL: rich

Epic is a literary term and people should stop using it in every day life to describe stupid and mundane things, which are by definition not epic.


What's wrong with using it all the time? better say epic than fine, cause everyone will think you hated it


James May described something that was good as Epic on the last Top Gear!!....

< Message edited by Dannybohy -- 30/7/2013 4:20:48 PM >


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Post #: 51
RE: WHAT IS EPIC? - 28/7/2013 1:57:41 PM   
england_cmr


Posts: 77
Joined: 1/4/2008
From: Whistler, British Columbia
I think for me what makes a film Epic is a) Lotta Locations b) Lotta characters c) Long time period.
I think if it has at least two of these things it'll feel epic.

e.g. Titanic - long time period, lotta characters, not so many Locations though.

One film for me that I think should have felt epic but didn't for some reason is Skyfall. Don't get me wrong, I think its brilliant, but I think it could be the lack of many characters. Or something. I don't know, I just thought despite all the globe trotting it still felt a bit 'small'.

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Post #: 52
RE: WHAT IS EPIC? - 30/7/2013 12:16:24 PM   
AxlReznor

 

Posts: 1623
Joined: 2/12/2010
From: Great Britain
An ensemble cast with a massive scale usually longer than the traditional movie and often dealing with large events like wars, disasters, etc. but can also be something like The Aviator. And there are also things like "Crime Epics" and "Epic Westerns" that are often completely different to the usual kind of epic you see, beyond the lush photography, large cast and extended running time.

Some of the films I love that I consider epics (though some of them may be debatable, but it has nothing to do with quality, as there's a lot of epics that I find awful)...

Red Cliff
Doctor Zhivago
The Last Emperor
Ran
Man Of Steel
The Dark Knight Rises
Cloud Atlas
The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy
Schindler's List
Gladiator
Avatar
Apocalypse Now
Braveheart
Gangs Of New York
The Aviator
Princess Mononoke
Lawrence Of Arabia
Letters From Iwo Jima (but not Flags Of Our Fathers, strangely)

And the list goes on and on... basically, movies that are huge in more than just budget.

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Post #: 53
RE: WHAT IS EPIC? - 30/7/2013 2:13:18 PM   
galvatron


Posts: 1292
Joined: 1/10/2005
Just thought of two full on epics IMO:

Once Upon A Time in America - what a movie!

and

Cinema Paradiso, great stuff.

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Post #: 54
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