Colussus:The Forbin Project on AMC Tonight

Johnny Angell

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It's coming up pretty quick. 9:30pm CST, I just noticed it. This is a great movie. At least there's only one commercial break.
The trilogy of Colussus books are great too, but boy did the author go if in an unexpected direction with the 2nd and third books.
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Dick

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"At least there's only one commercial break..." Ah, how easily we all resign ourselves to encroaching quality loss. There should be NO commercial breaks on AMC. I refuse to watch them anymore. TCM or nothing.
 

RobertR

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Yeah, I abandoned AMC for the same reason, Dick. Also, was it in OAR, or Pan and Scam?
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Jack Briggs

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It was pan'n'scan, Robert. And I agree: the encroachment of commercials has ruined AMC for me.
What I like about watching Colossus is the 1970ish take on high-tech. It's fun to watch in the same way as watching William Shatner as Kirk on TOS speaking into a communicator that doesn't look anywhere near as sleek as a typical modern cell phone.
But the film is actually pretty good. Now, if only TCM would screen the thing.
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RobertR

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To elaborate a bit more on the film's tech aspects, Jack, I get a chuckle out of how SF writers from the 40s to the 70s so completely missed the boat on the SIZE aspect of computers. They all assumed that "more and more powerful" had to mean "more and more GARGANTUAN". The computer in Colossus looked like it occupied most of a cubic MILE, for crying out loud. Didn't it ever occur to anyone that making the signal pathways many MILES long would have a tendency to make a B I G computer rather slow?
At least the film depicted the advantage of networking.

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[Edited last by RobertR on November 03, 2001 at 01:59 PM]
 

Jack Briggs

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Or, for example, even the great Robert A. Heinlein could miss the boat: In The Door Into Summer (my sentimental favorite), he posited that the household/domestic robots of the "futuristic" year of 1970 were programmed via the use of "Thorson Memory Tubes." Vaccum tubes! And the transistor had already been invented when the novel was written (in 1958). Despite all that, I just love that book.
And about those gargantuan computers you mention: There is, in fact, a rather large mainframe computer that controls the spaceship in a little movie I'm rather fond of.
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Mark Philp

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It's a fine movie, but I'll never watch it on AMC. In fact, I gave up watching AMC completely. Do you really think that if they get away with "just one" commercial break that they'll stop there? I predict that within a year or so they'll be just another channel that uses movies to fill in the time between commercials. Instead of being thankful that there's only one break you should be outraged and writing to them.
Go ahead pick up that pen and write to the lady at the top:
Ms. Kate McEnroe, President
American Movie Classics
200 Jericho Quadrangle-3rd Floor
Jericho, NY 11573
Let her know that (to quote another great film) "I'M MAD AS HELL AND NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANYMORE!"
 

Steve Christou

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Colossus is one of my favorite classic SF movies, and I was lucky to catch a full widescreen showing on the UK SF channel recently, replacing my crappy old P/S copy, and it looked fantastic, seeing the full image for the first time ever was great.
I love that bleak ending.
Chilling stuff.
I would love to have this classic SF on DVD.
 

Johnny Angell

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Slight OT, but I'm wondering if anyone has read the book that the movie is based. I've read the trilogy (Colossus, The Fall of Colossus, and Collossus and the Crab). It's a fascinating trilogy which goes in a totally unexpected direction after the first book.
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Danny Knapp

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I saw this movie last year on television. It totally freaked me out! Although I know that there's no way computers (at least on our current level) can do ANYTHING like that in the movie, it still left an impression.
To me, the movie is almost (NOW I'M STRETCHING A BIT BUT BEAR WITH ME) the same kind of AI Computer domination we see in the Matrix except on a more primitive level here. Of course, it's even worse...since everybody knows what's happening but is helpless.
A.I. has been the subject (or part) of quite a few movies. Tron, WarGames, A.I.
, The Matrix, Terminator, etc...
One question:
Is Colussus: The Forbin Project book better than the movie? I don't read very often but I would if somebody recommended it!
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Johnny Angell

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Danny, I would highly recommend reading the Colossus trilogy, as I mentioned above. As for being better, I'd have to say the movie was a good adaption of the first novel. They are entertaining and not a "heavy" read.
They were out of print a couple years ago, when I decided I wanted to read them again, but I was able to find them used on the internet without too much trouble.
Since you liked the movie, you'll probably like the book. Like most novels, it has 'more' in it then the movie could represent in less than 2 hours. Read them in the order I listed them above. And be prepared to be surprised in direction the novels go after the first one.
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Steve Christou

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Dave, I don't think that the cold emotionless murderous supercomputer Colossus is going to sulk and switch off, because its creator told it to piss off, erm you were kidding right?

I haven't read the books, but I assume Colossus is still in control in all three books.
I have the original movie tie-in paperback of Colossus, with the movie poster on the cover, I think I'll finally get round to reading it.
 

RobertR

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Slightly OT, but I always thought the Cylon voices in Battlestar Galactica cheapened the Voice of Colossus. In fact, I remember someone seeing Colossus for the first time after BG, and he blurted out, "it's a Cylon!"

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DonMac

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I like the original film, but Colossus is something I think would, in the right hands, be perfect for a remake.
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"It is the customary fate of new truths to begin as heresies and to end as superstitions." - T. H. Huxley
 

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