Movie Review - What they did right and wrong

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Movie Review - What they did right and wrong

Post by Deus1138 » Mon Feb 18, 2008 12:10 am

Overall, I loved it!

First, I'll tell you what they got right:

The cast: They did a great job casting Mike and gave him a good supporting cast.

The car: Get over it, Trans Am fans. The new Mustang is awesome.

The look: The show looks like the old series. The cinematography is spot on: the camera angles, the shots of the car driving towards and away from the camera. This was something greatly missing from the last Knight Rider movie and that god awful show, Team Knight Rider.

The sound: The original series always mixed in some cool contemporary music to fit the mood of that show. Sometimes it was music you'd hear on the radio. Sometimes it was stuff made just for the show. But it was always good.

The feel: They just got it right. All the elements I mentioned before just came together and made it feel like an old episode of the original series. That last movie was horrible. Nothing about it felt like a Knight Rider episode, even with the original KITT and Hoff. And don't even get me started on the Power Rangers, I mean Team Knight Rider.


Ok, now the bad:

I have only two criticisms about the show. I can deal with the nano-tech body of the car that repairs itself. But I wish they would stop the car from morphing. I would prefer to see mechanical changes in the exterior vs. morphing changes. Make the tail wing pop up out of the back (like in the original series) instead magically morphing. For me, that just made KITT too much like the car in that short lived crappy show called VIPER. I'm cool with the nano-healing and color changing. Just, make the bigger changes happen mechanically.

The plane: When I saw the girl lean in to kiss Mike when he was sitting in KITT, I noticed the camera shaking and thought they were showing that they were moving. I first thought, "They're in the old semi!!" But alas, no! They were in a plane, ala Team Knight Rider. Please... for the love of god, don't do anything they ever did on that awful show. From now on, please... have KITT deploy from a semi!!!

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Re: Movie Review - What they did right and wrong

Post by Very Disappointed » Mon Feb 18, 2008 12:28 am

It sounds like there may have been some interesting parts later on, but I turned the show off after the first half hour. I really enjoyed the original Knight Rider and was hoping to see something as good this time around. However, I have no interest in seeing a show where the hero is in bed with two women the first time we meet him, the police woman is a lesbian who picks up women and spends the night with them, and the invulnerable car is so concerned about not hurting anyone that it can be chased away by a villan who simply stands in the middle of a wide street and shoots bullets that don't harm the car at all. Hollywood has once again taken what could have been a great cinematic vehicle and tried to use it to force their liberal agenda on the American public.

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Re: Movie Review - What they did right and wrong

Post by PHOENIXZERO » Mon Feb 18, 2008 12:44 am

Viper actually wasn't that short lived and survived for something like four or five seasons in syndicated distribution or whatever if I remember correctly. But yeah, the morphing did give me Viper flashbacks just as I thought it would.
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Re: Movie Review - What they did right and wrong

Post by Wedgewalkr » Mon Feb 18, 2008 1:39 am

Said something like this on another thread, but thought I'd mention it here as well.

The needless titilating stuff in the beginning like Mike with 2 girls and agent Rivai being lesbian, I wasn't a big fan of either. As a Christian who tries to look at the world from a Bible-based moral perspective, I was disappointed. It felt a bit like perhaps these little bits were unnaturally forced into the movie and thus onto the audience (though one never knows the intentions of others unless they tell us).

I will agree with what some have said that at least with the Mike and the ladies bit, it was relevant to his character. It shows that he's a guy who's just let himself go...a guy who we later learned was raised to be a decent person, but lost his way somewhere along the line.

Agent Rivai being a lesbian had, from what I can see, no real purpose (at least as far as the pilot goes).

But for those who kept watching (not judging those who didn't per se, just saying), notice how after the first 15 minutes or so, that stuff was gone, never to return. My theory is that that stuff was put in at the beginning to entice the non-Knight Rider fan, 15-25 year old male demographic...to get their attention and keep them watching long enough for the true content of the show to interest them. Maybe I'm wrong, but that makes sense to me.

Not only did that stuff go away, but there was a reference to Jesus and the Golden Rule (KITT quoted from Matthew). It wasn't super integral to the plot, but it was a nice addition.

And in a world where you have shows that have abandoned the basic "good vs evil" theme, and even look down on it, a show like Knight Rider, where a guy and his companions go around doing good...living out the mantra that one man can make a difference...a show like that is a refreshing change of pace.

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Re: Movie Review - What they did right and wrong

Post by Lost Knight » Mon Feb 18, 2008 1:49 am

Very Disappointed wrote:It sounds like there may have been some interesting parts later on, but I turned the show off after the first half hour.


Congratulations, because I stopped reading your post after the first sentence. You didn't watch it; I can't take your opinion seriously. Take care, now, bye-bye, then.
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Re: Movie Review - What they did right and wrong

Post by Scott Kirkessner » Mon Feb 18, 2008 2:01 am

Well said Lost Knight.

As for Ruvai being a lesbian and Mike being in bed with two girls - people grow up and please un-prude thyself. There were no sex scenes, anything explicit, or even two girls kissing. It was to show that a) nobody's perfect and we all have our vices and flaws (Mike) and orientations (Ruvai), and b) it's the 21st Century.

The only thing bothered me was the transformation into attack mode. It had no explanation, and was very lack luster. Changing colors was more detailed than attack mode. Other than that, it was a action packed series with very proper character development.

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Re: Movie Review - What they did right and wrong

Post by Lost Knight » Mon Feb 18, 2008 2:17 am

Wedgewalkr wrote:The needless titilating stuff in the beginning like Mike with 2 girls and agent Rivai being lesbian, I wasn't a big fan of either. As a Christian who tries to look at the world from a Bible-based moral perspective, I was disappointed. It felt a bit like perhaps these little bits were unnaturally forced into the movie and thus onto the audience (though one never knows the intentions of others unless they tell us).


With all due respect to your beliefs, Wedgewalkr, I'm glad edgy type of stuff like that was included because it stirs up controversy and established right away that David Andron is going to establish Knight Rider in the 21st century, whether people agree with it or not.

I think just about everybody agrees that KR should be and has to be darker and edgier (after all, how can it not be?). Part of the edginess comes in the form of our main characters not being goody-goody in a world of sunshine and rainbows. The world is different nowadays, and more liberal than it ever has been; the Pilot is just reflecting off of that.

Mike Traceur's little apparent threesome is today's equivalent of Michael Knight's picking up a new girl every week back in the '80s. It shows that he has the same womanizing traits as his father, which is possibly even something genetic. As you've said, it establishes his character. Nobody's an angel here, not even the good guys. And frankly, if '80s television wasn't so conservative back in the day, I truly feel that we would have seen similar situtations and character establishments. We're now past the days of The A-Team where the characters can fire off endless machine gun rounds and never actually kill anybody.

As for FBI agent Carrie Rivai, yes it's true that establishing that she's a lesbian was not particularly relevant to the overall plot, but it does have a purpose because it establishes her character. It gives her a small extra layer of depth that we wouldn't have if she were to be straight, because the audience wouldn't have thought twice about it in that case. Her character didn't even have all that much relevance/lines in the overall movie, so she needed as much depth as she could get to keep up with Mike, Sarah and Charles.

Furthermore, any complaints about the sexuality are also countered by the Bible reference, as you pointed out, Wedgewalkr. It's just a 2-hour pilot, and there's only time to explain so much. The same goes for the political references of the telepic. People are also complaining that the telepic shouldn't even tread water in that territory; and I say to those of you who think that: How can you possibly ignore major global issues like the war in Iraq, for example? It's almost irresponsible and silly to actually ignore it, especially when the plot revolves around preventing bad guys from stealing technology that can start another war!! You simply cannot ignore the war and terrorism as a whole with a franchise about fighting crime in the 21st century. Saving the damsel in distress' father's farm from being taken over by corrupt law enforcement is small-time. Modern audiences don't want to settle for that. I'm convinced if the Pilot only focused on that, people would be complaining that the show isn't in touch with the times.
Last edited by Lost Knight on Mon Feb 18, 2008 2:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Movie Review - What they did right and wrong

Post by Michael Pajaro » Mon Feb 18, 2008 2:22 am

Loved the opening credits. The music, the graphics, everything about it.

I did not think I would like the self-healing skin, but it was actually pretty cool. Better than cool. OK, I really liked it a lot. The morphing, less so.

The voice: Terrible on 3 counts:
1. Val Kilmer had awkward phrasing at times.
2. It almost seemed that the 2-D graphics guys didn't have time to re-sync KITT's voice modulator to Val's new recordings, so the graphics didn't match the voice. I found it distracting.
3. KITT sounded more like a voice-over than an integrated character. They need to process/filter the soundtrack better.

I liked all of the driving shots, I thought they was very well filmed with a lot of nice details. I particularly liked the Vegas reflections on the car.

The musical score during most of the action scenes were great. But when they tried to get sentimental, it just went into sappy-mode.

Cast was very good all-around.

Most of the humor worked. Mike playing with moving the seat around? Funny.

Forget the commercials; it was still a bit long. A good 10-20 minutes could have been cut out to make it move along faster. Would have played better as a 90-minute event.

Overall, it did feel very Knight-Ridery. All of the elements are in place for a good series, but I think it could use a little more car action.
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Re: Movie Review - What they did right and wrong

Post by spto » Mon Feb 18, 2008 2:25 am

Things they got right:

- Not giving KITT a built in personality. I think they did the right thing by making KITT out to be a pure computer program as i'm sure they'll give him a personality to fit with Mike if the show is picked up.

- The look and feel of the show was spot on though I did notice the CGI heavy effects which is a no no in this day and age but overall it was tastefully done.

- Making this a sequel and passing on the legacy of Michael Knight onto his son. I at first thought the whole "Traceur is Michael's son" bit was hokey but they handled it well and I can see some guest spots by Hasselhoff in the future. I can't remember but is Garth dead? If not, it'd be neat to see Hasselhoff portray an older Garth trying to take down Knight's son.


Things they got wrong

- The plane the plane!!! UGH!

- The morphing of KITT could become a cheap way out for the writers to get out of sticky situations. I just hope it doesn't become a crappy tacked on thing like SPM was in the original series.

- Lack of Turbo Boost, OK I know this is a new car for the new millennium but please bring back this feature for old times sake!

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Re: Movie Review - What they did right and wrong

Post by Crazy Eights » Mon Feb 18, 2008 2:29 am

You're absolutely right!
How can there be a KITT without turbo boost.
Also the original KITT was bullet proof without fancy computers, their technology regressed!
I thought, quite liked the plane as it was like a modern update of the semi.
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Re: Movie Review - What they did right and wrong

Post by msKEN » Mon Feb 18, 2008 2:29 am

Michael Pajaro wrote:Forget the commercials; it was still a bit long. A good 10-20 minutes could have been cut out to make it move along faster. Would have played better as a 90-minute event.


The running time with out commercials was 1 hour 19mins and 25 seconds... or 79 mins
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Re: Movie Review - What they did right and wrong

Post by Lost Knight » Mon Feb 18, 2008 2:34 am

Michael Pajaro wrote:1. Val Kilmer had awkward phrasing at times.
2. It almost seemed at time that the 2-D graphics guys didn't have time to re-sync KITT's voice modulator to Val's new recordings, so the graphics didn't match the voice. I found it distracting.


Oh, yes. I definitely noticed that in one particular scene. The voice line was almost flat at one point when Val was still speaking. I forgive them on this, though, because we all know the circumstances surrounding Will Arnett's departure, and all of the last-minute changes and tweaks.

To add to that complaint, at times I found it difficult to actually hear what K.I.T.T. was saying. I found myself raising the volume slightly at times. And this wasn't because they were establishing what his voice sounded like inside the Knight 3000 as opposed to outside; it sounded like just plain bad dubbing. The musical score/background noise and voices seemed to drown out K.I.T.T.'s voice.
Last edited by Lost Knight on Mon Feb 18, 2008 2:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Movie Review - What they did right and wrong

Post by Michael Pajaro » Mon Feb 18, 2008 2:36 am

msKEN wrote: Would have played better as a 90-minute event.

The running time with out commercials was 1 hour 19mins and 25 seconds... or 79 mins


My point being, a "one-hour" show is only maybe 47 minutes of actual program time. A "90-minute event" would give us 60-70 minutes of footage.
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Re: Movie Review - What they did right and wrong

Post by spto » Mon Feb 18, 2008 2:42 am

Lost Knight wrote:
Oh, yes. I definitely noticed that in one particular scene. The voice line was almost flat at one point when Val was still speaking. I forgive them on this, though, because we all know the circumstances surrounding Will Arnett's departure, and all of the last-minute changes and tweaks.


Pardon me for asking but what happened to Arnett? I tried to stay away from spoilers and stuff so I don't know what happened to him.

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Re: Movie Review - What they did right and wrong

Post by Rockatteer » Mon Feb 18, 2008 2:53 am

Deus1138 wrote:I have only two criticisms about the show. I can deal with the nano-tech body of the car that repairs itself. But I wish they would stop the car from morphing. I would prefer to see mechanical changes in the exterior vs. morphing changes. Make the tail wing pop up out of the back (like in the original series) instead magically morphing. For me, that just made KITT too much like the car in that short lived crappy show called VIPER.


Actually the viper morph was mechanical. It had panels opening, things popping out, etc. In my opinion the Viper morph was much better than Kitts morph.

I agree with you though, I'd rather have a mechanical transformation rather than a straight computer morph.
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Re: Movie Review - What they did right and wrong

Post by Lost Knight » Mon Feb 18, 2008 3:05 am

spto wrote:Pardon me for asking but what happened to Arnett? I tried to stay away from spoilers and stuff so I don't know what happened to him.


No problem, I did generalize that. Will Arnett had a contractural conflict of interest. This was discovered at almost the last minute after he had completed all his voice-over work for the Pilot. He does voice-overs for GMC commercials, a company of which is a direct competitor of Ford. Being as one of Ford's vehicles is the new K.I.T.T., he couldn't be involved with the production. I believe someone in his camp made the screw up and didn't notice this from the get-go.
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Re: Movie Review - What they did right and wrong

Post by Lost Knight » Mon Feb 18, 2008 3:10 am

Rockatteer wrote:Actually the viper morph was mechanical. It had panels opening, things popping out, etc. In my opinion the Viper morph was much better than Kitts morph.


Actually, to be 100 percent accurate, NBC's version of Viper (where it first premiered) featured the nanotechnology during the morphs. You can see the metal of the car actually scaling and smoothing itself out into the Defender. After the series was canceled on NBC and was resurrected on the UPN network, the morphing was changed to resemble a more mechanical look, à la Super Pursuit Mode. Apparently different network, different style.
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Re: Movie Review - What they did right and wrong

Post by Michael Pajaro » Mon Feb 18, 2008 3:23 am

Oh! One other thing they did right: In keeping with the tradition of the original, the voice of KITT does not receive on-screen credit! Neither at the beginning nor the end.
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Re: Movie Review - What they did right and wrong

Post by scottab21 » Mon Feb 18, 2008 3:29 am

Lost Knight wrote:
Rockatteer wrote:Actually the viper morph was mechanical. It had panels opening, things popping out, etc. In my opinion the Viper morph was much better than Kitts morph.


Actually, to be 100 percent accurate, NBC's version of Viper (where it first premiered) featured the nanotechnology during the morphs. You can see the metal of the car actually scaling and smoothing itself out into the Defender. After the series was canceled on NBC and was resurrected on the UPN network, the morphing was changed to resemble a more mechanical look, à la Super Pursuit Mode. Apparently different network, different style.


"Actually"... Viper was no different from TKR, KR2000, 2010, or ANY other spinoff/ripoff of the original series. What we got with this pilot was finally in the true spirit of Knight Rider. From the story, to the characters, to the car, this WAS Knight Rider! I seriously can't wait for a series...

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Re: Movie Review - What they did right and wrong

Post by davejames » Mon Feb 18, 2008 4:27 am

Right:

The car looked great.

The cast was likeable and engaging.

Kilmer sounds good (although I agree he needs to inject some more humor and personality into the voice).


Wrong:

The car didn't DO anything. Over the course of two hours, we see it morph a few times... and drive really fast. That's about it.

I understand they didn't want a turbo boost, but what about a smokescreen or oil slick or driving on two wheels? Does the car do anything fun at ALL? Where were all the cool 80s car stunts?

Even the transformation into Attack Mode was dull. As dorky as SPM was, at least that transformation was exciting to watch unfold, with all the parts whirring and sliding into place under some cool sound effects. But here we basically just watch a spoiler morph out of nothingness (yeah, like THAT's more believable than a turbo boost. lol).

Visually, there wasn't much of ANYTHING exciting to look at here. Even something as simple as bullets bouncing off the car was handled better on the original. The low-tech shower of sparks was a thousand times more exciting than these squishy CG bullets.


I do think there's some potential here for a series, but they really need to amp up the action and fun. And, you know, actually do some cool things with the freakin car.

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Re: Movie Review - What they did right and wrong

Post by Michael Pajaro » Mon Feb 18, 2008 4:35 am

Just throwing out another random thought...

The plot itself was very "appropriate." Very straightforward, nothing too complicated. We're dealing with a show about a talking car, so I didn't want it to be too intricate or heavy-handed. About the only significant change I would make would have been to introduce Mike's mother earlier, so that when she gets killed we're not just sympathizing for Mike, but we would care more as well.
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Re: Movie Review - What they did right and wrong

Post by Deus1138 » Mon Feb 18, 2008 10:10 am

True, the car didn't have a personality, but neither did the original KITT in the first 4 or 5 episodes. So in that sense, they are staying true to to original series.

No turbo boost! I know, I was disappointed too. But just because we didn't see it doesn't it mean it isn't there. Again, look back to the original series: I don't remember seeing turbo boost in the first episode and the first several times we saw turbo boost, all it did was make the car go faster. It was sort of a super pursuit mode before KITT got super pursuit mode.

Someone mentioned the show got a little sappy sometimes when they tried to make it emotional. That's also totally in keeping with the original series. Seriously, watch it now. Don't rely on what you remember the show being 20 years ago. The acting and dialog was downright cheesy sometimes.

Someone else mentioned in another thread that KITT had a MAC wireless keyboard. I didn't notice that, but I do remember the original KITT had some pretty cheesy computer animation on his in dash tv's, some of which was obvisiously written in BASIC, because you could see the command "Run" typed in underneath some of the early effects.

I think we're all in agreement, the healing exterior via nano technology is cool. The original KITT had a nearly invincible shell, but that was later compromised by people who got the formula. This is a good way to go back to that feature via new technology. But we also all agree the morphing needs to go. I would even be ok with the car using it's nano tech to hide the creases and gaps where the spoilers and fins come out until they need to. Come to think of it, I think the original KITT pulled that off somehow before nano tech. Anyway, no more morphing. Make everything fold out or pop up mechanically.

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Re: Movie Review - What they did right and wrong

Post by optimus » Mon Feb 18, 2008 10:31 am

I'll just say this....the execs wanted it to be a HUGE disappointment just like Bionic woman and half today's shows are, with exception of Sarah's Chronicles which is great, so please put down your bourbon and mistresses to get a real life.

Let's compare both original premier's to get this going.....

We were blown away by KITT's upper and lower dash. His voice was human. It didn't wait for the garage door, just bashed though it. Micheal flipped out when KITT was driving while he was alseep then KITT told Michael to act as though he had a disability to get out of a ticket. There's more following humorous and serious Michael and KITT interaction including Micheal's sheer will to stop the bad guys even though he's seriously hurt. He turbo-boosted through a semi then jumped over one. KITT took out a plane's wing on the runway then finally ricocheted her bullet to her death too. IN short, KITT was the FUTURE! OH yeah, you never saw Michael in bed with a woman.

Now, the new premiere......

This KITT is just plain, nothing else. Dash is just a revised ONSTAR with his voice box resembling a heartbeat monitor on life support lol. That's one quick-ass garage door opener that KITT should have just plowed through. Cars do not squeal tires on wet pavement nor does ONSTAR know where every vehicle is unless all driver's needed emergency. A morphing? Where cause I didn't see it other than bad colors. IN short, KITT used other computer's abilities instead of having it's own supercapabilites and couldn't outrun a 5000lb SUV so it barracaded it. PLUS, Michael is a complete whack out job compared to dad. For a former Navy seal(or whatever special unit it was), he humiliates it with that hairdo and awful apartment. Wakes up with women in bed, gambler, and very suprised they didn't have him wearing earrings too.

The old KITT blew the new one away again! Glen Larson should be ashamed at himself for executive producing this one! The old KITT was pure cinematography while the new one has too much green-skinned filming.

3 out of 10. It was a huge disappointment.

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Re: Movie Review - What they did right and wrong

Post by FuzzieDice » Mon Feb 18, 2008 10:37 am

I agree with you both Lost Knight and Scott. Very well said re: some of the reactions to the "political" or "religious" aspects of the show. Count me in agreement here as well.

I enjoyed the show for what it was: About KITT, a talking car, and Michael Knight's son who is taking on the legacy. So many parallels to the original pilot. It was fantastic!

Also did you guys catch the reference when Mike's "investors" said they'd show the mechanic in the Navada desert and THEN him? Another reference! :)

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Re: Movie Review - What they did right and wrong

Post by Deus1138 » Mon Feb 18, 2008 10:57 am

Ok, Optimus, we get your point. You didn't like it. You don't need to make the same post over and over on multiple threads to get our attention.

To me, you seem like the kind of person who is critical of a show just so you sound smarter than you really are. You have to dislike the show to make it seem like you know something the rest of us don't.

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