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Film Discussion

 Post subject: Re: Film Discussion
PostPosted: Sun Oct 06, 2013 10:04 pm 
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Sorry Fredmans, I was too engrossed in a flame war with JayZee that I hadn't responded to your selection. Very good sir! I heartily approve!

Nice to see V for Vendetta get a mention, though I preferred the graphic novel. I wish they hadn't copped out with the natural conclusion to Evey's story in the film!

Apoc, I shall deal with you tomorrow... :gah ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Film Discussion
PostPosted: Sun Oct 06, 2013 10:11 pm 
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Ohhh another one we need to add to the list is Dark City. If you've got the DVD/Blue Ray so put on Roger Ebert's commentary for the film. Like sitting in a class he's teaching.

And great call on 12 monkies. "GET OUT OF MY CHAIR!!!!"

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 Post subject: Re: Film Discussion
PostPosted: Sun Oct 06, 2013 10:23 pm 
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Definitely Dark City - I picked it up years ago from a VHS bargain bin. It's one of those unashamedly "B" A-movies - a bigger budget would probably have wrecked it!!! It's like a grimdark Truman Show, I'll have to check out that commentary...


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 Post subject: Re: Film Discussion
PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2013 11:24 pm 
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Apocolocyntosis wrote:
Hopefully I can ask this without hijacking too much or being accused to heresy, but there are a number of sci-fi classics that really don't appeal to me (blade runner, alien, space odyssey among them). So, what makes blade runner so great? educate me!

I find blade runner slow and dull. Sure it has atmosphere, it's just not enough. I founnd the book more interesting, though I am less keen on the ending. Think i've seen it three times now (not sure which cuts) and i've just ended up getting more bored by it each time!

edit: on a more positive note, i really enjoy Terry Gilliam's films, especially Brazil and Baron Münchhausen.


Blade Runner is an absolute classic of science fiction, but I can appreciate where you are coming from. It isn't an entertaining film in the way say Raiders of the Lost Ark is, something that harmed the film a lot on its release; people seemed to think they were going to get Indiana Jones in the future which it absolutely isn't. Try to think of it as a detective film, those kind of stories are usually pretty slow while the protagonist tries to make sense of and solve some kind of puzzle. But rather than trying to solve a puzzle Decker is just trying to find out where the replicants are so he can retire them.

It's a slow burn and for me, it's a film that was so way ahead of its time that it took a few decades for people to get it. Here's a few of the things that I think make it great:

1) The city. It is astonishing looking. The effects stand up and look better than some off the naff CGI that continues to plague films even to this day. Take a look at that opening shot and tell me that doesn't look as amazing as it is grim. And it isn't restricted to just model shots, it looks great in all of the practical sets, it's an overpopulated, overpolluted decaying city that you can completely believe exists. Take a look at Decker's apartment, it is overloaded with detail and despite the unnatural film lighting it feels real. People talked about Star Wars being revolutionary for having a "used universe" rather than the pristine clean environments of traditional sci-fi films. Blade Runner takes that to the utter extreme and serves up an abused universe where things don't look like they've just been used; they look 2nd or 3rd hand, close to the point of breakage. There's muck everywhere and rooms are so smoky it's a wonder the people of the city aren't dying of carbon monoxide poisoning. The city is a character in its own right.

2) Doing something different. At a time where Hollywood and the public wanted escapism, this delivered an ultra real, nihilistic kick to the proverbials. And people didn't like that, which is why it failed. Good and evil are not well defined in Blade Runner. Are the Replicants evil or are they actually victims? They were created and thrown away ( a critique on the consumerist society?). Because they had the audacity to escape their enslavement on a colony they are hunted down. And because of their limited life experience they are very childlike, do they deserve to be slaughtered? The reason they come to earth to to attempt to understand why they were created and to extend their lifespan. They're more human than Decker who shows little emotion and isn't beyond shooting a fleeing woman in the back. Even previous anti-heroes like Dirty Harry wouldn't have the balls to do something like that. I hate the suggestion that Ridley Scott inserted that *spoiler* Decker is a replicant. It makes more sense to me that he is human, but everything has been burned out of people living in this horrible future. Look at the way we're going, we've got a society which is all about self-gratification in which people seem to be taking less care of one another. Keep going like this and we'll all be Deckers soon enough.

3) Rutger Hauer. I love watching his performance in this film. Watch it again but have it in mind that Hauer is playing a 4 year old with the mind of a genius. It's magnificent.

4) The music. People talk about the atmosphere of Blade Runner. Part of that is the city, but another large part is the music. I'm not keen on the saxophone piece with Rachel, that instrument always sounds cheezy and sleazy (or is it the other way around?) but the rest of it is flawless. Best of all it flicks two fingers at the perceived wisdom of the time that films need big bold raucous themes that bludgeon you across the head. This is like a dagger slipped between the ribs.

5) That end speech. Probably should have covered this in point 3, but it's so good it deserves a seperate mention. It's beautiful.

6) Themes. Overpopulation, overpollution, mass immigration, mixing of cultures, globalisation, the effects of overindustrialisation, the widening gap between the rich few and poverty of the masses (the Off-World colonies seem to be the Elysium of the 80's), dehumanization, unforseen effects of technology, genetics, corporate dominance, religion (very subtle that one), what is real? and what is it to be human? That's a lot to get into 2 hours!

7) Legacy. David Fincher (whose films I admire) owes his career to Blade Runner, look at pretty much any one of his films and you see filthy living spaces and exteriors where it never stops raining. He's not the only one, there's a stack of sci-fi films that have had the Blade Runner look about them; it's particularly evident in the Matrix which many hail as another sci-fi great. I could go on...


Taste in film is a such subjective thing, so I don't expect to change your mind Apoc! It's like food, you like what you like and there really is no right or wrong (except when it comes to Star Wars v Star Trek Jimmy)! My only hope is that next time you see it, maybe you'll enjoy it a bit more! I recommend you watch Ridley Scott's Final Cut. A lot of the pauses and slower moments have been sliced down so it feels less dreamy and more urgent than earlier versions. I personally wasn't mad on this, although I did appreciate many of the small additions and clean ups of certain aspects of the film. In an ideal world these would have been added in with no trimming of other footage. He did the same thing with Alien, inserted more scenes and yet still managed to shorten the running time so that might be worth a look again!

Good luck!

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 Post subject: Re: Film Discussion
PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2013 11:30 pm 
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I have the 5 versions on DVD in the mega pack from a whiles back. It's amazing to see just how different the feel between the various versions of the film are.

I also have to admit, I actually like the Sam Spade voice over (probably as that's what I first saw renting the unrated cut as a child)

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 Post subject: Re: Film Discussion
PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2013 12:18 am 
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jimmyzimms wrote:
I have the 5 versions on DVD in the mega pack from a whiles back. It's amazing to see just how different the feel between the various versions of the film are.

I also have to admit, I actually like the Sam Spade voice over (probably as that's what I first saw renting the unrated cut as a child)


Yep, that was the version I first watched as well. Must watch it again and see what I think about the voice over these days... And I've got the same box set! It's nice we can agree about something! ;D

That's enough of that for one night, this ain't no love in! Let the normal hostilities recommence! :gah

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 Post subject: Re: Film Discussion
PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2013 12:37 am 
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I'm sorry, I can't possibly pick only five favorite sci-fi movies. There are waaaaay too many good ones. 8) There's not much for to add to comments regarding Star Wars, Blade Runner and Dune, all are among my favorites.

The Bissler wrote:
2) Alien - I know most people prefer Aliens because there is a lot more action, but for me the original is the best. It's beautifully shot and the cast are excellent, and for me that chestburster scene has never been topped in any of the many sequels or spin offs.

I contend that movie makers will never have the minimalist promotion for a movie they way did for Alien when it was released in '79. From what I remember the trailer never showed the Alien in any form. Absolutely brilliant idea which heightened the suspense and terror. I remember going to the movie theater with a friend (this might have been the first R rated movie I went to after turning 17) with a vague idea of what the move was about, but not an inkling of what the alien looked like.

One of my favorites is The War of the Worlds. No, not the recent one with Tom Cruise, but the original released in '53. I know it diverts from the book a lot, but this is a classic. I was probably only about five or six when I first saw it on tv, but it's still one of my favorites. For the time the special effects were great and the scene when you first see a Martian scared the hell out of me!

Another favorite classic from my childhood is the original Planet of the Apes. Lots of great lines and the last scene is truly memorable.

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 Post subject: Re: Film Discussion
PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2013 1:02 am 
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Enemy Mine and Hunter Prey are 2 interesting movies. The second one was meant to have a follow up.


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 Post subject: Re: Film Discussion
PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2013 1:15 am 
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Dwarf Supreme wrote:
I'm sorry, I can't possibly pick only five favorite sci-fi movies. There are waaaaay too many good ones. 8) There's not much for to add to comments regarding Star Wars, Blade Runner and Dune, all are among my favorites.

The Bissler wrote:
2) Alien - I know most people prefer Aliens because there is a lot more action, but for me the original is the best. It's beautifully shot and the cast are excellent, and for me that chestburster scene has never been topped in any of the many sequels or spin offs.

I contend that movie makers will never have the minimalist promotion for a movie they way did for Alien when it was released in '79. From what I remember the trailer never showed the Alien in any form. Absolutely brilliant idea which heightened the suspense and terror. I remember going to the movie theater with a friend (this might have been the first R rated movie I went to after turning 17) with a vague idea of what the move was about, but not an inkling of what the alien looked like.



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 Post subject: Re: Film Discussion
PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2013 3:06 am 
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Nice find, Jimmy. Thanks!

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 Post subject: Re: Film Discussion
PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2013 10:51 am 
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I always loved the music on that Alien trailer. One of the things Prometheus got right was reworking that music for their trailer. Fassbender was the other thing, the rest was cack. Alarm bells should have been ringing when I realised the one of the writers and creators of Lost was responsible for the screenplay. Six series of utter crap and I still hadn't learned my lesson...

Showing my age now - but my VHS copy of Alien had a trailer for Aliens using that (original version of the) music. It was ace. Out of all the Aliens trailers on youtube I can't find that one. I could be wrong, but I don't think it had any dialogue which every other one I looked at does have.

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 Post subject: Re: Film Discussion
PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2013 3:21 pm 
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The Bissler wrote:
Taste in film is a such subjective thing, so I don't expect to change your mind Apoc! […] I recommend you watch Ridley Scott's Final Cut.


Thanks for taking the time to write that Bissler, i'll give it a look. I read Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep a couple of weeks ago so it's a good time to revisit the film while I have that fresh in mind. What I liked most about the book was the human aspect, the role of animals, Decker's realisation that he felt sympathy for the replicants when he was horrified by the coolness with which another bounty hunter could dispatch them – from what I recall a lot of that was missing from the film (not trying to imply the film should be a copy of the book, they are separate works of-course).

Some of it might have been due to over-anticipation on my part. I didn't see Blade Runner or Alien until I was, maybe, 18–21 (which for me is perhaps not so long ago as others on taccom). Having often heard of them as great films both left me disappointed (though i'm not sure what I expected instead).

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 Post subject: Re: Film Discussion
PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2013 4:12 pm 
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elsmore wrote:
Blade Runner, Alien, absolute classics. I've seen Dune pop up here a few times - I saw it years ago and remember being massively disappointed by Lynch's interpretation of my favourite books. It was partly due to the film being too short to squeeze anything worthwhile in. Maybe if the 15 hour version really exists, it would have been approaching enough time...

Cheers


This seems to be the main reason that people dislike Dune- because its too short. I also have the TV show and I find that closer to the books but it drags on and on. I like the film because It cuts out some of the more long windy parts of the book- Dont get me wrong, in the book they are fantastic, but that's were they belong. Films should be exciting, or at least visually stimulating. People sat around talking politics in film does not do it for me!

I do not think there ever was a long version, there has been rumors of a 5 hour version, but I do believe that they shot around 5 hours worth of footage, and about 2 hours of it was not use, were as the remaining hour of unused footage is either edited in to the god awful Tv version of the film, or has been released on the special edition of the DVD. David Lynch himself shunned the awful tv version (his name has been taken off the credits- it is named as Alan smithee as director, or a name close to that effect!)

I think it was in interview with him that he talks about the bad edits of the TV version, and that they shot the additional footage, but people misquoted this and took it to me he had a directors cut that was 5 hours!
As much as I'd like to think there was a 5 hour version out there, Im still more than happy to just watch the film twice in a row! ;D


I really should watch blade runner again- I have it on DVD as I saw it years back but I never really liked it the first time round, and saw it cheap so grabbed it as I thought it would deserve a 2nd chance. It cant be a bad film, otherwise so many people wouldn't rave about it, but It never really grabbed my attention like the other films on these lists.

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 Post subject: Re: Film Discussion
PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2013 5:25 pm 
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Are we seriously not going to get any back to the future love in here?

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