Quotes: Tough Act to Follow

Boy, you're gonna carry that weight
Carry that weight a long time...
The Beatles, "Carry that Weight"

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'I had the freak of luck to start high on the mountain and go down sharply while others were passing me'—so Mailer wrote, describing the time after Barbary Shore when he unexpectedly joined the rest of us down on the plain. Now the descent, swift or slow, is not agreeable; but on the other hand it is not as tragic as Mailer seems to find it. To be demoralized by the withdrawal of public success (a process as painful in America as the withdrawal of a drug from an addict) is to grant too easily a victory to the society one has attempted to criticize, affect, change, reform
Gore Vidal, "Norman Mailer: The Angels are White"

There has just been too much Star Trek for a while. I remember the moment the franchise peaked. The moment, to me, was when Kirk and Picard were on the cover of TIME Magazine. I literally walked in the next day to the office and said, ĎWe have peaked. Itís down hill for quite a while from here.í You reached this kind of critical mass in popular imagination. You were now on the cover of TIME, and all the old stuff about the Trekkies was kind of gone by the wayside. It had gone from being a subculture of a subculture, to now this legitimate nationwide phenomenon. It was Americana. Kirk and Picard are big heroes, and everyone loves them. You canít sustain that, so it just started falling off.

I think your lessons are learned instinctively and it becomes a problem if you start to have favorites or reject certain things. You have to be flexible—your failures are as important as your successes and your successes can freeze you as much as your failures can. It may be kind of a hippie-sounding thing but I really believe it.

Beverly D'Angelo: You can't nostalgic for ten years earlier! Are you nostalgic for 1992?
Jon Favreau: I am...
D'Angelo: Well, that's just depression. That's not nostalgia.
Favreau: ...but that has more to do with my career.

Letís put it this way, it would even be more enjoyable and pleasurable if I had announced my retirement from the business but since I want to go on and do other things after this, human nature being what it is, you think "How am I going to top this?" Really, the odds are Iím not, ever.
Vince Gilligan on the critical success and widespread popularity of Breaking Bad

Nintendo at that time approached another company and asked them if they would make an N64 version of Metroid and their response was that no, they could not. They turned it down, saying that unfortunately they didnít have the confidence to create an N64 Metroid game that could compare favourably with Super Metroid. Thatís something I take as a complement to what we achieved with Super Metroid.

I sometimes consider going back to making webcomics, but AMD would always be hanging over my head. Even when I did Zombies of the Living Dead - which is only like twenty comics - I had people yelling at me every day because I was wasting my time with that and not with finishing AMD.
Sean Howard on A Modest Destiny

It seems like there will always be new Batman cartoons and new movies offering up new approaches to the character. And DC Comics will keep doing crazy new crap to Batman like pretending he's dead when he's really back in caveman times. The sad truth is that the pinnacle of Batman storytelling has already been reached, and anything that follows has been and will be but a shadow of perfection. The perfection of which we speak is'' Batman: The Animated Series.

In any successful artistís career, thereís a moment where they transition from youthful hunger to having it made. Itís usually a rough point as well — itís rarely flattering for the artist. Itís where the spectre of 'I liked your old stuff better' really raises its head, and thereís a fairness to it, because that hunger and desperate, frantic need to get noticed and to succeed has a peculiar and enticing effect on art. When every book could be your last you scramble madly to write them, to say everything, to make an impact. Once youíve properly, clearly succeeded, wellÖ itís not that you turn to crap, but thereís less urgency. You take a very different sort of risk. Failure isnít quite as terrifying, and so you start creating things where the possibility of failure is accepted.
Dr. Phil Sandifer on Neil Gaiman

I read a review once that said, one good song can make an album, but one great song can kill it....'Story of a Girl' isn't a great song, exactly, but it's certainly a career-killer. No one was interested in this band's other music and to be honest, I have no idea why you decided to watch this far into the review.
Todd in the Shadows, "One Hit Wonderland"

The scene where Sisko and Picard meet reveals the one advantage TNG has over DS9: Patrick Stewart. He manages to convey with a simple look more than Avery Brooks does with the entire scene.
Doc Oho on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine'' ,"Emissary"

George Lucas galloped into the 1980s on a stallion made of diamonds and the tears of lesser men. After pummeling into submission everyone who ever told him his ideas were "terrible" and "unprofitable," Lucas had Hollywood literally holding its breath to see what he would come up with next. What new gilded nugget of merchandisable inspiration would erupt from his bearded skull like an oblong T-shirt cannon?... Studio heads were prepared to battle each other on nitro cycles in Thunderdome just to see what Lucas was going to bring to the table. And Howard the Duck was what he came up with.

The expectations going into Millennium were huge. Chris Carter had largely build The X-Files up from nothing. However, he was approaching Millennium as a known quantity Ė an almost mythic figure. This was Chris Carter at the height of his creative power. Fox would convince him to abandon his original plan to wind down The X-Files after five years, and would convince him to keep the show on television at the same time as he tried to launch a major motion picture franchise. Fox was eager to bring Carter on board, and hopeful that he could recreate the magic that made The X-Files such a hit. Itís not for nothing that The Simpsons Spinoff Showcase, airing in May 1997, dreamed of a world where the future of Fox lay at the feet of Matt Groening, Chris CarterÖ and Melrose Place.

...This high-profile launch undoubtedly created unrealistic expectations. Millennium premiŤred just before Halloween to over seventeen million viewers — a record for Fox at the time. This audience would have likely been unsustainable even if Millennium were accessible and populist..."The Pilot" gets the show off to a strong and confident start, even it is hard not wonder whether Millennium — like its protagonist — might end up crushed by the weight cast upon it.

The movie was a surprise hit that gave Needham a directing career, (Sally) Field a career outside of television, (Jackie) Gleason a great supporting role, and (Burt) Reynolds a shitload of money...In the end, Smokey and the Bandit is one of the best car films of all time, and a fun, mindless chunk of entertainment. Itís Hal Needhamís best movie, which doesnít bode well for me, since I have five more movies to go.

A great director is somebody who doesnít draw attention to himself and in the case of Tucker, Coppola is trying WAAAAAY too hard... The soundtrack is always blaring big band music and other music from the day and the camera is constantly doing some flashy trick. You canít just have a two shot of Jeff Bridges and Joan Allen talking on a phone, we have to have Joan Allenís giant superimposed head over a shot of Jeff Bridges talking in a phone booth. We canít just have Tucker get the inspiration for a car and express it through acting or writing. No, we have to have Tucker spinning on a stool going 'WOOOOOOO!!!' while the camera spins along with Tucker and that transitions to a spinning magazine shot which then transitions to a newsreel type montage. Only its not done in a traditional black and white newsreel of the day. We have to mix in black and white with color and have Tucker walk in a seamless transition from his living room to his automobile plant all the while Benny Goodman is blaring over the soundtrack. After twenty minutes I was psychically pleading with the Francis Ford Coppola of the past to calm the fuck down. In this case, I really donít want someone trying to make the next Godfather. I would rather have some unknown who is more content with telling a good story than going through a filmmaker mid-life crisis.

1998. One year ago, Final Fantasy VII singlehandedly transformed video games forever and ushered in the Golden Age of Square. SquareSoft was now officially a Big Deal. A very Big Deal. Super Mario RPG, Chrono Trigger, and Final Fantasy VI had all been hits, but Final Fantasy VII was a phenomenon. Quite Possibly the Greatest Game Ever Made.

But there was one small issue.

Final Fantasy VIII. There was no avoiding it. It had to happen. Square was now faced with the unenviable task of producing a sequel that could live up to and surpass Quite Possibly the Greatest Game Ever Made.

See, Resident Evil 4 is the missing link between Kill Switch and Gears of War. It was the transitional piece that led the the sixth generation of consoles into the seventh, and it determined how action games were going to work in the seventh: widescreen TV ratios, QTE, stop n' pop, and scripted spectacle events weren't representative of the action genre until Resident Evil 4 popularized them... It's a mishmash of each and every good idea they could have thrown into a third-person, action-oriented horror game — and I guess that's why it killed the series. It's everything it could have been, and it's everything it should have been.

The only problem with that is: the only place the series could go from there was someplace... stupid.
George Weidman on Resident Evil 4

Maybe when you're someone like Andrew Lloyd Webber who has reached the pinnacle of your career and you've pretty much conquered every aspect of your chosen profession (made tons of money, earned lots of critical praise, won lots of awards, been sued by Faye Dunaway, etc. etc.) you just go 'FUCK IT, BRING ON THE RAPPING CATS!'
Jezebel, "Cats To Get Hip-Hop Makeover Featuring Rapping Cats"