A New Trailer Drops for the "Witnesses" Movie

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Doctor Scratch
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A New Trailer Drops for the "Witnesses" Movie

Post by Doctor Scratch »

Wow, I can hardly wait until October! Luckily, we can at least help to bide the time with this latest trailer of the movie. Friends, I have to tell you, this is a real doozy, and it makes me more excited than ever for the actual full-length feature.By all means: you should take a look at the trailer for yourself, but for my money, these are the highlights:

--The trailer, of course, opens with shots of the much-touted scene where Joseph is running through the woods with the plates cradled in his arm--almost as if he's running a football play. My, look how spry he is! And that was supposedly the "real-life" replica version of the plates--weighing somewhere in the neighborhood of 50 lbs. When they fall to the ground, roughly 22 seconds in, they clatter rather....softly. Hmmm. So, maybe movie Joseph Smith was *carrying* the full-weight plates, but they used the lighter facsimile for dropping them?
--Perhaps the best moment of the whole thing is at around 38 seconds, where Joseph Smith punches his attacker! ROFLOL! Roll that back and play it again: wtf? They need to fire their foley artist, because the sound effect they are using is downright comical. It sounds like a punch landing in a cartoon or something. Maybe they are going to insert "KAPOW!" and "WHAMMO!" like on the old Batman series, with Adam West?
--It's remarkable how much of the footage is devoted to scenes of people holding, admiring, fondling, and stroking the plates.
--Always nice to see the formidable Don Bradley! He's looking well, I see.
--At the 1:11 mark, we get a shot of Joseph Smith with his arm around who I assume is Martin Harris (?) and they seem to be smiling at a glowing personage or object of some sort. Cool. Does this mean that supernatural material will appear in the film? Are they looking at Deer Jesus? A floating Elohim? This is exciting.
--The final montage, at 2:54, features a lot of screaming, crying, and what have you. So, there will evidently be some emotional moments.
--The shots of nature are quite nice, such as the crane shot towards the end that shows a crowd listening to Joseph Smith (?) holding forth on some matter or another.

Granted, this is only a trailer, but I don't have high hopes for this film to succeed as propaganda. I doubt it is going to convince anyone that the witnesses are truly reliable. Perhaps it will humanize them (or make them seem lame), but I really don't see this as the kind of thing that is going to strengthen testimonies. Then again, come October, we will have the opportunity to evaluate the movie as cinema. How will it stack up against such notables as The RM or Saturday's Warrior? Patience will have to be the order of the day for now, I fear.
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Re: A New Trailer Drops for the "Witnesses" Movie

Post by Icarus »

I liked it when Joseph smacked that guy with the plates. The sound was from the video game Street Fighter. Obviously a highly professional quality.
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Re: A New Trailer Drops for the "Witnesses" Movie

Post by Gadianton »

Thanks for that scholarly summary, Dr. Scratch.

I've now reviewed the trailer myself. I advise anyone with a questionable amplifier to keep the volume reasonable because that "punch" that Dr. Scratch refers to as a "KAPOW" must have clipped. It might blow something.

So far, the material indicates that the witness moment will only be implied, and they lacked the stones to portray Moroni directly. I predicted this years ago. (although Reverend Kishkumen reminisced on this matter in scholarly color far more vivid than my offerings)

There is a lot of commentary from scholars, which is interesting. It seems to indicate that they couldn't risk communicating their aims through the writing narrative and acting and they felt they needed to explain to us what's going with a heavy hand.

The final montage the B.H. Robert's Chair refers to crescendos with strings, a choir, a bell, and Harris: "I'm sorry Joseph!". That's pretty dramatic. I mean, it's pretty formulaic, like it could be X-men or anything else. I don't want to say that's bad out of the gate, I'm actually far more interested in the feeling that went into the film and applaud that part of the creative process far more than scholars telling us what we're supposed to think. But it does make the grandeur of the event derivative, and dependent on tropes and predictable film scoring. There's scary dramatic and music talent at BYU actually. with the beautiful forest shots Doctor Scratch mentioned I couldn't help but think of Aaron Copeland's Appalachian Spring. I dunno. Somebody should break free and attempt to capture a grandeur of the event beyond basic blockbuster formula.
Lou Midgley 08/20/2020: "...meat wad," and "cockroach" are pithy descriptions of human beings used by gemli? They were not fashioned by Professor Peterson.

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Re: A New Trailer Drops for the "Witnesses" Movie

Post by Doctor Scratch »

Icarus wrote:I liked it when Joseph smacked that guy with the plates. The sound was from the video game Street Fighter. Obviously a highly professional quality.


Ah, yes: you're right! Maybe that accounts for the sound? It's the plates, and they are clearly magical, so that's the sound they make when you hit somebody with them? I.e., it's the punching noise from Street Fighter? Perhaps one of the sound editors really hates the Mopologists, and this is his/her secret way of taking a dig at them--i.e., by dumping this side-splittingly funny "easter egg" into the movie without them noticing?
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Re: A New Trailer Drops for the "Witnesses" Movie

Post by Everybody Wang Chung »

Dr. Scratch,

Thank you for this find. The trailer was hilarious. This is going to be a horrible movie. Awesomely horrible.

The punch sound made me laugh out loud. The fight scenes were very amateurish and Joseph’s acting was spectacularly bad.

Where in the heck did the million dollars go? Sound effects? DCP’s slush fund?
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Re: A New Trailer Drops for the "Witnesses" Movie

Post by Doctor CamNC4Me »

Doctor Scratch wrote:--Perhaps the best moment of the whole thing is at around 38 seconds, where Joseph Smith punches his attacker! ROFLOL! Roll that back and play it again: wtf? They need to fire their foley artist, because the sound effect they are using is downright comical. It sounds like a punch landing in a cartoon or something.


My word that was awesome. They could literally lift any number of sound effects from WSHH and get a true-to-form smack to the face audio rather than resorting to, what is that? A 50’s era soundman recording himself smacking two bricks together?

Wait. Did they, did they download that effect for free from here?

https://www.freesoundeffects.com/free-t ... ch-426855/

- Doc
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Every record...falsified, every book rewritten...every statue...has been renamed or torn down, every date...altered...the process is continuing...minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Ideology is always right.

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Re: A New Trailer Drops for the "Witnesses" Movie

Post by Philo Sofee »

I LOVED it! That sound effect really makes it all worth it for em! LOLOL!!!!!! Too much! Whee! And of course as Gad pointed out, the scholars have to be there every step of the way...... :rolleyes: I said long ago they are NOT going to give full portrayals of Martin Harris. It will be interesting to see if they do, but they won't. You have to edit it for time, so why not throw out all the actual realistic truth and leave just the faith pomotin materials? Oh, and add the sweet spiritual music to get yer emotional juices flowing! Why yes, by all means.Yeah Don Bradley really doesn't look healthy to me. I hope he is all right.......
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Re: A New Trailer Drops for the "Witnesses" Movie

Post by moksha »

Doctor Scratch wrote: And that was supposedly the "real-life" replica version of the plates--weighing somewhere in the neighborhood of 50 lbs. When they fall to the ground, roughly 22 seconds in, they clatter rather....softly.

It would make sense to use the light version so that the D-rings did not rip apart when it landed. Rejoice O audience, we do not have to use our spiritual eyes and imagine the plates.
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Re: A New Trailer Drops for the "Witnesses" Movie

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Seems pretentious like unto Legacy, the movie made for the semi-deaf. I still have a ringing in my ears from that ____. Anyway, I like the allusions to the late 60's batman series with Adam West and Burt Ward. My earliest memories are seeing SOCK and POW and other superlatives on that show as Batman and Boy Wonder (Joseph Smith) were taking on Penguin and the Joker. My older brother loved batman and I played robin when he would let me. Do I hear Joseph Smith: Men in Tights a la Robinhood: Men in Tights as a sequel?

Incidentally, I thought no one could see the plates and live, yet the audience is shown the plates, in their dull goldish (tumbaga) splendor. Shouldn't we be destroyed?
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Re: A New Trailer Drops for the "Witnesses" Movie

Post by Gadianton »

ncidentally, I thought no one could see the plates and live, yet the audience is shown the plates, in their dull goldish (tumbaga) splendor. Shouldn't we be destroyed?


you jest but you bring up a great point. Showing the plates as fully completed with writing falsely props up the witnesses as credible.
Lou Midgley 08/20/2020: "...meat wad," and "cockroach" are pithy descriptions of human beings used by gemli? They were not fashioned by Professor Peterson.

LM 11/23/2018: one can explain away the soul of human beings...as...a Meat Unit, to use Professor Peterson's clever derogatory description of gemli's ideology.

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Re: A New Trailer Drops for the "Witnesses" Movie

Post by Dr. Shades »

Susan Easton Black. . . what hast thou done?

She--who should know better, considering her status as emeritus professor of church history--states that critics have resorted to saying that the witnesses saw the plates with their "spiritual eyes."

THAT'S A BORDERLINE LIE!! The implication, of course, is that the critics invented this from thin air. Not so; Martin Harris said this point-blank and critics are merely reminding us what he said.
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Re: A New Trailer Drops for the "Witnesses" Movie

Post by Nomomo »

The Trailer is over the top ridiculous!
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Re: A New Trailer Drops for the "Witnesses" Movie

Post by DrW »

Far from the dramatic film the Interpreter Foundation claims it to be - from its trailer, The Witness looks more like a mocumentary of the Joseph Smith story and a textbook example of Poe's Law in action.
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Re: A New Trailer Drops for the "Witnesses" Movie

Post by Physics Guy »

It looks as though Smith swings the plates in their cloth bag to knock out his attacker. I'm iffy about how that would work, because it doesn't look as though he has much room to swing the bag of plates. Weight-in-bag-based martial arts are not my thing, so I could be wrong, but my feeling is that you'd want more room to swing a heavy weapon, to get it up to enough speed.

The plates are supposed to have weighed, what, fifty pounds? That's more than a cinder block, which is around thirty pounds. If I had a cinder block in a bag, I don't think I could just swing it at a guy from the ground like that. What Smith does in this trailer looks more to me like what someone could do with a brick in a bag—maybe two bricks, tops. A brick weighs around five pounds.

Evidently this film is going to show the plates to the viewer. That's going to hamstring the film as apologetics directed at non-Mormons, because it's too obviously begging the question of whether the plates were real. I mean, it might make it convincing that people who had really seen and touched ancient plates would behave as the Mormon "witnesses" did, but it's not going to do anything to persuade non-Mormons that only people who had really seen and touched ancient plates could have behaved as the witnesses did. To do that, you'd need a completely opposite film: one that showed Smith trying to bamboozle people with fake or non-existent plates, and the people nevertheless reacting as the Mormon "witnesses" did—and it all being totally unbelievable. If a film pulled that off, and really showed that bamboozled or corrupted people behaving like the Mormon witnesses would have been ridiculous, then you'd have an impressive argument for non-Mormons.

As it is, a film that shows the plates as real is only speaking to Mormons. And it may well shore up some wavering testimonies by giving Mormons a clear picture of how it could have all really happened, with real plates and real people. That kind of thing can be quite reassuring, I think—and perhaps not unreasonably. One of the most nagging worries that a wavering Mormon must have, it seems to me, is a suspicion that the whole story about the "coming forth" of the Book of Mormon is just unrealistic, to the degree that there is no way that it even could have happened, because it can't even be staged in full detail without obviously coming apart at the seams. Staging the story and showing that it doesn't collapse in contradictions would legitimately put such fears to rest.

It's not entirely clear to me yet, though, whether the story presented in Witnesses will in fact hold together without collapsing.

Once you see that loose stack of plates on the screen, you might be thinking, "Yes, that's right, it could have been just like that—see, it works!" But you might also have a hard time not thinking, "That doesn't look like a lot of text there. Could those few plates really hold the whole Book of Mormon?"

Above all, once you see those people handling the plates on the screen, you might be thinking, "Of course they were firmly convinced, because it happened like that—they really handled the things!" But you might also have a hard time not thinking, "If they'd seen and handled something solid like that, why didn't anyone describe the plates in more detail? Why do I have to look at imagined models of the plates instead of being able to see multiple original sketches and detailed descriptions by the people themselves?"

In short, the more vividly real Witnesses makes it all look, the more people may find themselves asking: How come Witnesses is so much more impressive ... than the actual witnesses?

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Re: A New Trailer Drops for the "Witnesses" Movie

Post by Doctor CamNC4Me »

https://www.freesoundeffects.com/free-t ... ch-426855/

I just can't enough of the fact they used that 'kpow' sound effect. Seriously. Click on the link and you'll see they most likely used the 'free' sound effect.

KPOW! SMACK! BAP!

Image

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Last edited by Doctor CamNC4Me on Fri Feb 28, 2020 10:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
In the face of madness, rationality has no power - Xiao Wang, US historiographer, 2287 AD.

Every record...falsified, every book rewritten...every statue...has been renamed or torn down, every date...altered...the process is continuing...minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Ideology is always right.

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Re: A New Trailer Drops for the "Witnesses" Movie

Post by kairos »

If truth in advertising is important there must be a scene toward the end where Joseph Smith is seen orally dictating the Book of Mormon with his seer stone in the hat, Olive dutifully copying while in the background the golden plates are seen a far off nestled safely in a hollow log about 1/2 mile from the house.


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Re: A New Trailer Drops for the "Witnesses" Movie

Post by Stem »

Its perhaps sad to think they have put or are putting such effort into this. The witnesses and the plates are all useless elements of the story. The plates remained some conceptually silly items that sat hidden while Joseph dictated the Book of Mormon, apparently. Even Skousen tells us Joseph didn't translate anything. The Book of Mormon is a 19 century production. There's no denying the elements that suggest as much. If the plates are old and contain the Book of Mormon story they contain a wholly different version of it.

The silly things disappeared and haven't been seen since, apparently. The 8 witnesses saw plates. Well, what does that matter? The 3 witnesses were visited in vision by an angel? How is anyone to take that seriously? The voice of God said something to them. What does that mean because as it is the voice of God has said millions of things to millions of people. If God lied to the 3 witnesses by suggesting that the English Book of Mormon is a translation of the ancient plates, then the story only works against the religion.

The Church would be better off if there were no plates ever mentioned, nor no witnesses.

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Re: A New Trailer Drops for the "Witnesses" Movie

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Image

Yes, Dewey, Cheetum, & Howe, why don't you take a look at this Witnesses film for us. We may have a copyright lawsuit.
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Re: A New Trailer Drops for the "Witnesses" Movie

Post by Dr Moore »

Put on your believing hats, people. Wake up. Open your eyes.

The plates fell to the ground and settled, open to the air, in a sack which is clearly shown as torn nearly to the corner seam. Viewer is meant to know that the sack is open at the top and also open at the bottom. Joseph grabs the top of the sack, which knots itself around 50 pounds of metal plates, and swings the flail, connecting audibly with his attacker's jaw.

All of this is a diversion for the critics, a red herring.

This is a work of pure genius. Layers and layers wrapped around the WITNESSES motif.


  • Joseph's attacker is the FIRST witness to the plates. He witnessed them bodily, with his head.
  • We know there were 3 attackers in the woods that night. While we may not be shown all 3 witnessing the plates in like manner (head-to-metal), we are left to assume that all were repelled by the plates as a physical weapon.
  • This scene reveals that Satan, in his vain effort to interrupt the restoration's millennial ushering, was made a TYPE and SHADOW of the 3 witnesses to come. His emissaries were made the first trio of physical witness to the plates and their "power."
  • Can you imagine a more forceful juxtaposition? Satan, desperate for a body, is physically warded off by the plates. Satan, desperate for followers, is spiritually warded off by the plates. Simply magnificent. Bravo!
  • The sack itself is, of course, a metaphor, a clue. The gospel and the restoration, to critics, is an open sack, things go in one end and fall out the other. It appears useless and ridiculous.
  • But, and the batman "pow" sound effect draws attention to this point as if to wake you up. The gospel and restoration, miraculously and securely knotted in the hands the prophet Joseph, and wielded by Joseph, becomes a great thing, whether a medieval flail or the power of convincing.

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Re: A New Trailer Drops for the "Witnesses" Movie

Post by Tom »

Notice how the plates and the bag look at about 22 seconds in (after they're knocked from the actor's arms). The plates are clearly exposed and you can see a ring. Now check how the plates/bag look at about 33-34 seconds as Joseph tries to reach for them. I see a bag, but I don't see the plates. At 35 seconds in, we see the exposed plates again. At 36 seconds, Joseph grabs the bag and pulls it toward him. I don't see the plates. Then we see the exposed plates again at 36-37 seconds. Is there a problem here?
Last edited by Tom on Fri Feb 28, 2020 11:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: A New Trailer Drops for the "Witnesses" Movie

Post by Lemmie »

I wonder if they’ve tried the film on a focus group. They might get some laughs in all the wrong places.

And those plates reminded me of nothing more than the little bags of chocolate coins wrapped in gold foil that I used to put in my kids’ Easter baskets when they were tiny. For a million dollar plus project, that prop is a little cheesy.

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