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How do you see the state of SF on TV and in Movies?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by BobO'Link, Jan 27, 2020.

  1. Blu Eye

    Blu Eye Stunt Coordinator

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    A few of those films I think you have missed in my opinion (I can see this thread going to infinity and beyond):

    Starship Troopers
    The Hidden
    Rollerball (1975)
    Outland
    Dark City
    Frequency
    Repo Man
    They Live
    The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension
    Trancers (very low budget but a fine achievement in my opinion)
     
  2. Blu Eye

    Blu Eye Stunt Coordinator

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    Can you cram that list to 5?

    Don't fancy going through all those silly 50s Sci-Fi movies and can't imagine there was that many good films in that decade :)
     
  3. jcroy

    jcroy Producer

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    Trancers was one of the few films I wanted to buy on laserdisc back in the day. Unfortunately I was never able to find it on laserdisc.

    At best, I was only able to rent out the laserdisc from a local mom-and-pop video store.

    If Trancers was rebooted today, I think it would probably work better as a tv show and not as a series of films.
     
  4. jcroy

    jcroy Producer

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    So far I have not been able to figure out what exactly makes a particular show/film to have a high rewatch value for me.

    Reducing it down to particular tropes is simply not good enough.
     
  5. Blu Eye

    Blu Eye Stunt Coordinator

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    I am not sure, neither.

    Obviously, it has to be entertaining to want to watch it again.

    But what makes it entertaining?

    It's extremely difficult to conclude.

    Is it a combination of story, acting & music combined?

    It is certainly not related to budget and production values or special effects.

    Maybe a process of elimination can get closer to the answer.

    I am not even sure it comes down to personal taste.

    I am embarrassed to admit I like a few very silly movies.

    Road House being one. The plot is silly and the dialogue comical but I can watch it again no problem.

    I do like Patrick Swayze and I think he gives a big presence to a movie.
    I can pretty much watch any of his films even Steel Dawn which I liked.

    A shame he did not do more movies.

    My opinion is an actors presence is a major contribution to what helps a film become entertainment.

    There does not seem to be a formula however as the studios would make money on every film if there was.

    It's a mystery!!!
     
  6. jcroy

    jcroy Producer

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    I really wanted to like Starship Troopers back when it was in its theatrical run. I went to see it three times in the theater in those days.

    (I read the book when I was really young).

    Unfortunately it resembled too much like a long two-hour episode of "Beverly Hills 90210" in outer space. When I picked up the Starship Troopers trilogy bluray set, it further confirmed to me how lackluster it was.
     
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  7. BobO'Link

    BobO'Link Producer

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    Nope... I've seen most of those but none made my "must see" list.

    While I generally like movies from Carpenter I've not seen They Live. It sounds interesting.

    I somewhat "need" to watch Dark City again as the first viewing was interesting but nothing really jumped out.
    I absolutely didn't like Rollerball when I saw it in 1975. I hope to never see it again - even clips.
    Starship Troopers ruins the ideas of the book (which, admittedly, is practically unfilmable as its written). In spite of that I own copies of all the movies in the series. They're all fun little throw away things.
    I liked Trancers but it's just not high on my list of rewatches. It reminds me a lot of Blade Runner and The Terminator, two movies I'd rather watch instead.
    I was somewhat disappointed in Repo Man. I'd heard lots of positive buzz about it so purchased a copy a few years back. It was OK but nothing I was in a hurry to rewatch.
    Outland was OK - something different for Connery.
    I enjoyed Buckaroo Banzai for John Lithgow (he does good "crazies") but otherwise it didn't hit for me.

    I have huge issues with most time travel movies. Few writers take into account the paradoxes involved and deal with them in a logical, believable manner. I often don't bother with a movie if it has a time travel theme because of that. Frequency is one I've avoided due to the theme.

    I'm also not much of a fan of "cop" movies and have avoided The Hidden because that's what it appears to be at the core.
     
  8. BobO'Link

    BobO'Link Producer

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    5, eh? How about 8 (and the ones I cut are worth viewings). These are all true, time tested, classics:

    The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)
    The Thing from Another World (1951)
    The War of the Worlds (1953)
    Gojira (1954)
    Forbidden Planet (1956)
    Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)
    The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957)
    The Fly (1958)

    You must watch Gojira in the original Japanese with subtitles. Do *not* watch the US recut Godzilla, King of the Monsters! before seeing the original. The original is a much darker film.
     
  9. BobO'Link

    BobO'Link Producer

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    I really wanted to like Starship Troopers. After watching it I immediately reread the book because I didn't remember much of the movie being in it - it wasn't. The book is a considerably different story.
     
  10. TJPC

    TJPC Producer

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    Although AI is a special effects wonder, I found it really boring, and to have one of the stupidest and unsatisfying endings I have ever seen. We were left completely cold in the theatre, and I have not been able to force myself to watch the disc version I picked up from a Walmart dump bin several years ago.
     
  11. TJPC

    TJPC Producer

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    What about “Earth Vs The Flying Saucers” ?
     
  12. BobO'Link

    BobO'Link Producer

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    I had to cut something - I really didn't want to cut that one but did... It really needs to be there with the other 8. Every time I'd try to cut one of the others I'd think about the movie, its effects, and overall impact on SF films. Yeah... It needs to be there too. IMHO all of those I originally recommended need to be seen at least once. They're absolutely the cream of the crop of 50s SF with effects that stand the test of time. Some hold up quite well against current CGI work. Earth vs. the Flying Saucers is one of those that really hold up - and the visual effects are stop motion. IMHO some of Harryhausen's best work.

    Out of curiosity... if you were to cut one of those 8 in favor of Earth vs. the Flying Saucers, which would it be?
     
  13. Jeffrey D

    Jeffrey D Supporting Actor

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    Good mention of The Hidden- a fabulous SF/
    horror film.
     
  14. Keith Cobby

    Keith Cobby Cinematographer

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    As a huge science fiction fan i also think the best films seem to be in the distant past. However there are loads of books which might make good films. I suggest Heinlein's Future History series, Harry Harrison's Stainless Steel Rat, and Asimov's Foundation, for starters.
     
  15. BobO'Link

    BobO'Link Producer

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    Foundation could be very difficult to turn into a movie. It's been some time since I read it but my recollection is of something that could, and likely would, be royally messed up.

    I've always felt Heinlein's work was under represented on screen.

    I've never read any of Harrison's "Stainless Steel Rat" stories. In fact, after looking up his works I don't think I've read anything he's written... very odd...
     
  16. Message #36 of 150 Jan 28, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2020
    jcroy

    jcroy Producer

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    Unfortunately I would also have to agree with this.

    Foundation is a decent read. Though I don't see any easy way of turning it into a tv series without becoming too boring.

    What I mean by "too boring", is if you find semi-autobiographical movies like "A Brief History of Time" about Stephen Hawking not exactly exciting stuff.
     
  17. BobO'Link

    BobO'Link Producer

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    I know exactly what you mean. It'd likely be a very "talky" movie with not a lot of "action" sequences and absolutely fall flat with today's ADD audiences.
     
  18. TJPC

    TJPC Producer

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    I would cut all Japanese monster flicks. When I was in my middle teens a group of us would watch “Creature Features” every week end. We found the Godzilla type movies hilarious and did a sort of Mystery Science Theatre for ourselves as we watched. We thought that they were so phoney and cheaply made that they were only good for a laugh. They are the kind of movies that give Sci/Fi a bad name. I am afraid my attitude has not really changed.
     
  19. jcroy

    jcroy Producer

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    For the most part, depending on how far back they go to do such a show.

    A Foundation series starting from the "prelude" and "forward" books, would probably end up resembling the Genius series' first season about the life of Albert Einstein (on the National Geographic channel back in 2017).

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genius_(American_TV_series)#Season_1:_Einstein_(2017)

    Such a tv series would be somewhat boring if you're not familiar with the details about the lives of Albert Einstein or Hari Seldon.
     
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  20. BobO'Link

    BobO'Link Producer

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    I absolutely agree but also argue that Gojira is a completely different type of film than what the franchise devolved into in the 60s. The original Japanese cut is a very dark movie that does not have that cartoony/camp stuff that crept into the series following the Americanization of Gojira by taking out some of the darker elements and injecting scenes with Raymond Burr. You still have the "guy in a rubber suit" for the monster and the standard Japanese miniature work but it's by no means campy. If you've not seen the original, uncut, in Japanese with English subtitles, then I highly recommend you give it a try.
     

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