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Artemis Fowl Trailer


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Just came out yesterday, so I wanted to discuss it.  Here's the link if you haven't seen it:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wXlBep9uFjI

For me, being a wee lad of 19, Artemis Fowl was an intrinsic part of my childhood, and was one of the YA series that introduced me to fantasy along with Harry Potter and Percy Jackson.  I was really hoping Disney could do it justice as a film, but I'm not so sure now.  The tone of the film seems off.  Instead of being a darker PG 13 film, Disney seems to be going for the family friendly route.  Honestly, I got a bit of a Spykids feel (shudder) with the brightly colored, high tech weaponry, and the clip of Artemis strolling with the sunglasses on.  He's supposed to be a sociopathic criminal mastermind, for god's sake.  I really hope they don't try to make Artemis into a hero either.  He's not supposed to be a nice person.  He's incredibly ruthless, and constantly manipulates everyone around him.  

Honestly, seeing this teaser trailer reminded me why I'm hesitant about Sanderson's works being adapted to the big screen.  For every successful fantasy adaptation, like the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, or, I would argue, Harry Potter, you've got a dozen that fall completely flat.  Why can't screenwriters stick to the storyline in the source material!?  

As for the Artemis Fowl film, I guess we'll see.  Maybe the trailer's not a good indication of the movie itself.  Who knows.


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I have issues with the trailer, and already have issues with the movie (read: combining the first two books into one movie, making it live-action instead of animated) but solely in the trailer one two things stuck out to me as off ahead of everything else: Butler having hair and the bow scene. Butler being bald was a matter of his professionalism, to the point that Artemis thinks it's strange to see him with hair post-healing in Eternity Code. I also do not remember Butler ever using a bow (if I'm wrong please tell me).

Rewatching it brought other things up:

1. Butler stepping back at the sprite transformation was a big downturn for me. He's supposed to be a nearly unflappable, stoic juggernaut of a bodyguard. 

2. Artemis's attitude seems off. He looks up in wonder at the transformation, awed. That is not the Artemis Fowl I remember, who was careful to bottle up his emotions so no one got a read on what he was thinking. Also his hair was too long compared to the short hair he's supposed to have. Time Paradox shows how much different he looks with any sort of long hair, literally being unrecognizable.

3. They redid the Gnommish language. It looks far too much like English now. That was an entire plot point of the first book, introducing us to Artemis's character and determination as he tried to translate The Book. Now it just looks like stylized English that any layman can read. 

4. Apparently that was supposed to be Julius Root narrating. They cast Root as a female, which (in any other scenario) I would not have an issue with, but the whole thing about Holly being the "test case", as they call it, for Recon was that she was the first female fairy there. It removes some of that power (and later when they eventually do The Opal Deception it ruins the whole "first female major" thing, since Root spent time as a major before getting to commander) that comes from her character arc and her desire to prove herself. Solid characterization, out the window. 

5. The troll fight. How is Disney going to get away with that level of violence in a children's movie that's live-action? Animated is one thing, but this is Disney we're talking about. I don't think they'll do it right, with Butler emptying bullet after bullet into the chest of this feral beast and getting horribly messed up, not to mention the section where he literally tortures the thing with nerve punches.

Now, credit where credit is due: there were some nice visuals and transitions in the trailer alone, and I'm going to enjoy watching the movie regardless of how it turns out, but I will not deny that this would have worked better as an animated TV show a la Teen Titans.

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AAAAAAAHHHHHHH! All the feels. 

Things I liked: I like who they tapped to play Artemis, he looks young enough for the part (That's always an issue with movies with child protagonists). Having Kenneth Branagh direct was also a plus. From what I can tell, they've kept the plot very similar to that of the book. You can see the progression from Artemis meeting the fairy in Ho Chi Minh, to him capturing Holly (I'm guessing around the same time as that scene where he drops something in the hole), to the LEP ships being deployed and everyone fighting each other. And overall, the trailer was cinematic ally appealing. It has nice animation, camera effects, etc. But like everyone else, I'm concerned they may have made the whole thing too family friendly, at the expense of the good parts. 

Things I disliked: I disagree with the decision to cast Judi Dench as Root, for the same reason Invocation listed. Next, Butler looks adequately large and well dressed, but white hair looks weird on him. And seeing him use a bow was strange. In the books, he relied more often on his Sig. I hope Disney hasn't cut the normal guns from this movie in a bid to make it PG. Moving on, to my disappointment, the symbols on those metal circles that kept showing up didn't match the gnommish of the books. That would have been a nice easter egg to include. Some of the symbols at the end that turned into the title looked similar to some letters we're familiar with, but they'd been altered. Finally, I now it's just a teaser trailer, but I was annoyed that we didn't get to see many characters beyond their silhouettes or closeups (looking at you brown eyed person who showed up for two seconds). 

Things I'm unsure about: I am reserving judgement on the scene with the explosion in the restaurant. I will be very concerned if that's a recreation of the opening scene of the Eternity Code. But if it's some other shenanigans caused by a troublesome troll, we're cool. The other thing I'm unsure about is how little we've heard anyone speak. It may be silly, but if Artemis' voice doesn't match my headcannon, I'll be disappointed. Hopefully they acting is okay. 

Edited by Ookla the Paragon
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On 11/28/2018 at 4:18 PM, Ookla the Paragon said:

Moving on, to my disappointment, the symbols on those metal circles that kept showing up didn't match the gnommish of the books.

Yeah, they redid Gnommish for this entirely, according to Colfer's Twitter. I'm sad too.


On 11/28/2018 at 4:18 PM, Ookla the Paragon said:

Things I'm unsure about: I am reserving judgement on the scene with the explosion in the restaurant. I will be very concerned if that's a recreation of the opening scene of the Eternity Code.

It's not Eternity Code. I think that's the troll thing from the first book, right in the beginning. The explosion is probably either the Concusser or the gas tank explosion.

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On 11/28/2018 at 8:18 AM, Ookla the Indefatigable said:

We can take comfort in the fact that It still can’t possibly be as bad as the Percy Jackson movies. 

Don't jinx it....anythiing could happen....the fact that Disney is producing it is a pretty scary thought...

I didn't have sound on and last read the books three years ago, so maybe that effected it, but if I hadn't known it was for Artemis Fowl, I wouldn't have recognized that the trailer was for it in any way besides the basic shape/concept of the runes. It was just so different from anything I ever imagined. 

Edited by Ookla the [your choice]
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23 hours ago, Ookla the Memelord said:

I am so excited, but I am also slightly disappointed. What was the deal with the trench-coat explosion? Also, don't ruin this, Disney. AF was my childhood, along with Eragon and the Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel.

Yes, Artemis Fowl is actually one of the best series I was able to read as a child.

The bow is really worrying to me. I find the shocked face Artemis had and some of the related things really worrying, but I liked the actor, if he is a bit younger then I imagined him. I'm hoping they can do it right!

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I loved AF as a child. Definitly some of my favourite books back then.

But after watching the trailer I'm unsure whether to watch the movie or not. I have so many great memories of this series, the books even still have a place on my bookshelf until today, and didn't wander into the attic, like many others did. I guess curiosity will win, hopefully they will manage to create something worth of the books...

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  • 3 years later...

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