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Colossus: The Forbin Project .....When????

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#1 of 21 OFFLINE   Joe Fisher

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Posted October 15 2002 - 02:39 PM

Has anybody heard anything about "Colossus: The Forbin Project" being released to DVD. This is one that I would love having in my collection. I may be wrong but I think its rights are owned by Universal. Any info would be greatly appreciated. Joe

#2 of 21 OFFLINE   SteveGon


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Posted October 16 2002 - 03:16 AM

Can't help you with release info, but I'd buy it if it did come out! Posted Image

#3 of 21 OFFLINE   DaveBB


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Posted October 16 2002 - 03:30 AM

If the rights are owned by Universal we could get it next year. I thought I read somewhere that Universal was going to really put a lot of effort in getting a lot of their catalog titles out next year.

#4 of 21 OFFLINE   Jay E

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Posted October 16 2002 - 04:10 AM

[quote] If the rights are owned by Universal we could get it next year. I thought I read somewhere that Universal was going to really put a lot of effort in getting a lot of their catalog titles out next year [quote]

Yes, but if January's catalog releases from Universal are any indication, don't expect to see many films being released that were made before 1980.

I'm hoping that somehow Universal will wake up and start releasing more classic titles from their library or at least let Criterion have more of choice in what they can license (Colossus would make a great Criterion release).

#5 of 21 OFFLINE   John Nelson

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Posted October 16 2002 - 06:00 PM

Haven't seen this movie in a long time, but remember loving the unsettling experience of watching mankind become dominated by the two supercomputers that rapidly outpace their creators' abilities to keep reign over them. Would be interesting to watch this one again just to see if it now seems dated or if, despite its age, it still retains its sense of drama. I don't recall another film that has so captured the despair of watching our freedoms vanish irrevocably, and that includes the Terminator series.
"The satellite landed in our home. Maybe this means we'll have good luck this year," Huo Jiyu, quoted after a Chinese satellite completely destroyed his apartment in the village of Penlai, Sichuan Province, China.

#6 of 21 OFFLINE   David Lambert

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Posted October 16 2002 - 09:16 PM

Yep, this is completely a Universal/MCA item, so we have to just hope that their concentration on the back catalog will include this sooner or later.

I've been wanting it desperately since I first got a player; it was on my original list of "if I find this is out on DVD, buy it" titles. In fact, a thread mentioning this film is hardly a new thought: an HTF general search on the keyword "Forbin" lists 22 results. Posted Image But it's worth mentioning again:

We want Colossus!

As for it feeling dated or anything: not for me. A few months back I pulled out my recorded-back-in-the-80s-from-cable-TV VHS tape and went through it. Still suspenseful, enjoyable, and meaningful. I'll comment further, but hide the potential spoilers (very minor; nothing you can't see in the trailer, probably) (blue emphasis mine, by-the-way):
Perhaps in ways that couldn't be predicted back then, as some of the "surveillence equipment" that Colossus designs to spy on his creator is now the sort of stuff anyone can buy, really.

While the tecnology and the world's political situation as depicted in the film are dated, I don't think that the story is dated at all. It will stand for all time: a metaphor for both Man vs. Machine and as a lesson for Liberty vs. Safety.

If nothing else, perhaps it is good to keep available on the shelf to make required reading for any AI programmer who is ready to get too carried away with his project! Posted Image

Has anyone read all three books? The film was based on the first novel, you know. I must say it was the best of the three. If you want to know "what happened next", go to a used bookstore and track down a set of the trilogy. Not great reading, but good enough.

A better book exploring the subject of AI out-of-control and whether the machine is getting too big for its britches is David Gerrold's excellent When H.A.R.L.I.E. Was One. Highly recommended!
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#7 of 21 OFFLINE   Mark Cappelletty

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Posted October 16 2002 - 10:46 PM

I'm assuming (fingers crossed) that titles Universal put out on laser disc (like this and the equally under-appreciated "Charley Varrick") will get their due shortly.

#8 of 21 OFFLINE   DavidEC


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Posted October 17 2002 - 02:35 PM

How many of you read the other two "Colossus" books only to find out that the computers were really being ran by an alien intelligence off world? Even with the years since the first movie I would like to see the DVD released and if they can remake "Rollerball" how about a remake of "Colossus" and do all three books! --David

#9 of 21 OFFLINE   Jack Briggs

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Posted October 17 2002 - 03:12 PM

I like movies that feature supercomputers as major characters. And one of the things I really enjoy about this movie is how retro its "cutting-edge" computer technology looks today. I then enjoy recalling my first impressions of it back in 1971, when the movie really seemed so futuristic (despite its being set in the early '70s). Underlying all this, though, is a good story. And ain't that what makes for a good movie (among other things)? Count me in for any DVD release. (Who wants to post to this effect in "Studio Feedback"?)

#10 of 21 OFFLINE   Joseph DeMartino

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Posted October 17 2002 - 03:52 PM

Yeah, I love long-ago "future" movies where the computers still use punch-cards and big reels of tape. Posted Image (Although the original Star Trek TV series did come remarkably close to predicting the 3.5" floppy disc, down to the colorful plastic covers and approximate size. Posted Image)

I've never read D. F. Jones's books (didn't even know there as a third one.) May have to check them out. WRT somebody re-making the movie, I'd argue that WarGames more-or-less was a remake of this movie - or at least that it lifted the basic premise of a weapons-controlling computer developing a mind of its own. (The Terminator's backstory was another variation on the theme.)

I'd also recommend When H.A.R.L.I.E. Was One, although here I have to admit that I've only read the original version of the novel, not the mid- or late-80s revision where Gerrold tried to bring the computer stuff up to date. (The last time I read it I got a chuckle out of the mag-card typewriters that seemed to figure so prominently in the story.) Wonder if Harlan Ellison ever got even with David Gerrold for that title? Posted Image Speaking of Gerrold, I also enjoyed his Cthorr books, but lost track of them when he stopped writing them some years back. Did he ever go back and finish the bloody series?



#11 of 21 OFFLINE   David Lambert

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Posted October 17 2002 - 10:05 PM


A Matter For Men
The War Against The Chtorr #1. Pocket Books, 1984.
Uncut Bantam Books edition, 1989.

A Day For Damnation
The War Against The Chtorr #2. Pocket Books, 1985.
Uncut Bantam Books edition, 1989.

A Rage For Revenge
The War Against The Chtorr #3. Bantam Spectra, 1989.

A Season For Slaughter
The War Against The Chtorr #4. Bantam Spectra, 1993.


A Method For Madness
The War Against The Chtorr #5. Tor Books, 2002

A Time For Treason
The War Against The Chtorr #6. Planned.

A Case For Courage
The War Against The Chtorr #5. Planned. [quote]

Note that the last title, A Case For Courage, shows "#5" when he surely means #7.

In the meantime, if that's right and A Method For Madness is going to hit at the end of this year, then I will be just so freakin' happy I'll implode! I've read and re-read the existing four so often, I can probably quote Solomon Short in my sleep.

Did you read the DINGILLIAD books? "Jumping off the Planet", "Bouncing off the Moon", and "Leaping to the Stars"? A solid read in each, and tying in to his other books. H.A.R.L.I.E. makes a reappearance, sort of, and in the second book in the trilogy you get a bravisimo performance from the brain of the computer. The series also ties into the Chtorr books in that the first one mentions in a humorous fashion a rumor about a girl whose pony was eaten by a big purple worm, then they have the plagues and the collapse of Earth portayed in A Matter For Men, and in the last book you see a MAJOR character that figured prominently in McCarthy's life.

Also, my last name is mentioned 3 times on page 66 of "Leaping to the Stars". Yep, that's me. :wink:

But H.A.R.L.I.E./Chtorr fans should definately pick up the Dingilliad Trilogy. Awesome stuff; Gerrold on a roll here. Posted Image

Okay...back on topic! The 3rd book in the Colossus Trilogy was called "Colossus and the Crab". After the events of the second book, "The Fall of Colussus", Forbin faces a difficult situation: Alien Invaders are coming to take half of Earth's oxygen supply. Is Colussus the only power on Earth that can stop them? Not a great read at all, IMHO, but an interesting conclusion nonetheless.
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#12 of 21 OFFLINE   Joseph DeMartino

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Posted October 17 2002 - 11:24 PM

Gerrold does tend to be self-referential. He even managed to mention fingal eggs and The Shakespeare Corporation in a script he did for Babylon 5. (A thought-provoking story called "Believers" about a clash between Human medicine and the religious beliefs of a pair of aliens that manages to give all sides their due, and doesn't provide any easy answers. Better yet, the episode iteslf doesn't editorially "endorse" any individual character as being "right" - it just presents the situation and lets the viewer make up his own mind. Finally the ending is the first thing that really made me sit up and say, "This is not your father's SF show. They would never do that on Star Trek." Posted Image)



#13 of 21 OFFLINE   JerryB



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Posted October 17 2002 - 11:30 PM

A couple of years ago a sci-fi magazine (maybe SciFi Universe?) suggested that they should film the "Fall of Colossus." Eric Braeden is now old enough to play the older Forbin and if done right it could be an interesting film. It would make a cool TV movie at least. The third book was the weakest of the three, but the ending was pretty cool. If a DVD is ever planned for Colossus I hope it will be considered for a special edition. A commentary by the stars and film makers would be appreciated. Even a retro look at the technology would be cool. This is a great underrated film

#14 of 21 OFFLINE   Dick



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Posted October 18 2002 - 01:00 PM

I, too, look forward to CLOSSUS on DVD. It was paired with SILENT RUNNING for widescreen Laser release. RUNNING has now ben released TWICE on DVD. How about a first-time release for COLOSSUS, Universal? Actually, this studio has plenty of fodder for "series" releases to DVD (such as the recent spate of Bob Hope movies): 1] Sci-Fi Classics (COLOSSUS, INCREDIBLE SHRINKING MAN, ANDROMEDA STRAIN, TARANTULA, etc.) 2] W.C. Fields classics (IT'S A GIFT, NEVER GIVE A SUCKER AN EVEN BREAK, YOU CAN'T CHEAT AN HONEST MAN, etc.) 3] Marx Brothers classics (HORSEFEATHERS, ANIMAL CRACKERS, DUCK SOUP, MONKEY BUSINESS, etc) 4] Hammer Horrors (CURSE OF THE WEREWOLF, BRIDES OF DRACULA, PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, EVIL OF FRANKENSTEIN, KISS OF THE VAMPIRE, etc) 5] New Round of Horror Classics (HOUSE OF DRACULA, THE RAVEN, MURDERS IN THE RUE MORGUE, etc) There are others.

#15 of 21 OFFLINE   Steve Christou

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Posted October 18 2002 - 01:08 PM

Ah Colossus a SF favorite of mine, I've had it on tape for years, can't wait for a dvd copy. The SF channel showed it in full widescreen last year and I quickly taped it, first time I had seen the full image, looks great. "We can coexist, but only on my terms. You will say you lose your freedom. Freedom is an illusion. All you lose is the emotion of pride. To be dominated by me, is not as bad for human pride as to be dominated by others of your species."

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#16 of 21 OFFLINE   John Koehler

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Posted October 18 2002 - 03:07 PM

Considered a "sleeper" hit when first released on double bill with Andromeda Strain, this intelligent, well-acted gem deserves a Special Edition. Count me in for this one. The books sound fascinating, and the suggestion of a followup Fall of Colossus is an excellent idea! Speaking of old Universal LD releases, would love to have the LD double feature MIRAGE / LIST OF ADRIAN MESSENGER as well!

#17 of 21 OFFLINE   Joe Schwartz

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Posted October 18 2002 - 03:25 PM

Speaking of Harlan Ellison (and slightly related to Colossus), has there ever been a film adaptation of his short story, I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream? I know there was an adventure game based on it, but it'd make a pretty cool movie.

#18 of 21 OFFLINE   Francois Caron

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Posted October 19 2002 - 02:33 AM

Many people wonder why I still hold on to my old Laserdisc collection. Posted Image

How decent is Universal in preserving their catalog titles? Maybe the original prints are so badly damaged that a new transfer may not be possible at this time. It certainly wouldn't be the first time this has happened to a classic.

#19 of 21 OFFLINE   Jack Briggs

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Posted October 19 2002 - 08:08 AM

Joe: The Ellison classic has never been adapted as a drama. JB

#20 of 21 OFFLINE   Stephen_L


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Posted October 19 2002 - 08:36 AM

Just to correct an error in a previous post. Colossus was never controlled by an alien intelligence.
In "Colossus and the Crab" humanity receives alien help in defeating Colossus only to discover that the alien's motive to deactivate the computers was to facilitate their invasion of Earth. The final book is humankind's effort to reactivate Colossus in a limited way to help defend the Earth against the alien threat.

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