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post #1201 of 2322 Old 02-28-2014, 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Josh Z View Post

The Exorcist really stands the test of time isn't because it's "scary," but because it has a strong emotional core in the story of a mother dragged to the edge of sanity to save her child. Even if you're not religious (or at least, not Catholic), the demonic possession angle plays on very elemental fears of losing yourself to a mysterious "other," the same way that movies like Invasion of the Body Snatchers or The Thing do. William Friedkin claims that he wasn't particularly religious at the time he made the movie (though author William Peter Blatty is a devout Catholic and has different views about the story.)

Friedkin's direction has an incredible control of atmosphere and tone. For all its supernatural elements, he grounds the story in a very palpable sense of reality. It doesn't take place on some elaborately art-directed studio soundstage. It takes place right next door.

Is it "scary"? I'm too jaded to get scared by any movie, but it's an excellent film that holds up very well even after 40 years.

I agree with your analysis of The Exorcist. It was both brilliantly made and very disturbing. Don't want to watch it very often for this way lies madness. smile.gif

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post #1202 of 2322 Old 02-28-2014, 11:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Z View Post

Why The Exorcist really stands the test of time isn't because it's "scary," but because it has a strong emotional core in the story of a mother dragged to the edge of sanity to save her child. Even if you're not religious (or at least, not Catholic), the demonic possession angle plays on very elemental fears of losing yourself to a mysterious "other," the same way that movies like Invasion of the Body Snatchers or The Thing do.

Friedkin's direction has an incredible control of atmosphere and tone. For all its supernatural elements, he grounds the story in a very palpable sense of reality. It doesn't take place on some elaborately art-directed studio soundstage. It takes place right next door.

The way how you put this into words is spot on and helpful for me to understand your points of view about The Exorcist.
If I bothered to refine my writing a bit more (too lazy) that's exactly what I would like to say in my review, I don't really disagree with anything you guys said when I take into account the period when it was made.
I do concur that it's a well made movie, I still would give it a commendable score if I had to rate my ackowledgement of it's formal qualities.
If I had to rate the entertainment factor, though, it would be pretty low. Entertainment factor being how much it scares, or amuses, or pleases, or immerses, whatever that makes the cinematic experience of any movie worth to me, purely subjective. (here I admit that all the "scariest movie" hype around it might have spoiled my experience)
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post #1203 of 2322 Old 02-28-2014, 01:15 PM
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Originally Posted by kkl10 View Post

If I had to rate the entertainment factor, though, it would be pretty low. Entertainment factor being how much it scares, or amuses, or pleases, or immerses, whatever that makes the cinematic experience of any movie worth to me, purely subjective. (here I admit that all the "scariest movie" hype around it might have spoiled my experience)

"Why you do this to me, Dimmy? Why?"

This line has stuck with me for decades? Why, because it's scary? No. Because it's Satanic? No.

It stuck with me because it speaks to a deeply rooted human link between Mother and Son, and how a Mother's hurt and disappointment can cut a Son to his core. That one brilliant scene of how Karras feels tortured by his Mother's thought that he could take his Mother away from her home despite the fact that he had nothing to do with it speaks VOLUMES.

It is one of the ways that Satan tries to shake his faith during the Exorcism. Simple. Effective. Amazing.

This film is filled with a myriad of moments like these. No offense, but I believe it's possible that the slow development of the story bored you and you didn't pick up on the depth of moments like these.

One of my favorite scenes in the entire film is where Lee J. Cobb has coffee at Ellen Burstyn's house. Not a scary moment to be found. Just two actors acting. Superb.
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post #1204 of 2322 Old 02-28-2014, 01:57 PM
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Well, even though nobody here thinks it's a "scary" movie, the scene where she crabs down the stairs remains "the" scariest thing I've ever seen.

To me, movies like this envelop completely, and once the hook is deeply sunk, really rattle me to the core. Some movies with "more" scares never allow the full immersion.

BTW, a friend and I have been telling each other "Why you do dis to me Dimmy" forever. Its funny but it's also a great scene and Kilgore nailed why.
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post #1205 of 2322 Old 02-28-2014, 02:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kilgore View Post

"Why you do this to me, Dimmy? Why?"

This line has stuck with me for decades? Why, because it's scary? No. Because it's Satanic? No.

It stuck with me because it speaks to a deeply rooted human link between Mother and Son, and how a Mother's hurt and disappointment can cut a Son to his core. That one brilliant scene of how Karras feels tortured by his Mother's thought that he could take his Mother away from her home despite the fact that he had nothing to do with it speaks VOLUMES.

It is one of the ways that Satan tries to shake his faith during the Exorcism. Simple. Effective. Amazing.

This film is filled with a myriad of moments like these. No offense, but I believe it's possible that the slow development of the story bored you and you didn't pick up on the depth of moments like these.

This is starting to enter into highly subjective territory, it's not that I didn't pick up those moments (although it's quite possible that some have missed my attention because I couldn't understand some of the dialogue and had no subtitles on the previous rip I got), this will very much depend on one's own criteria and personal values, in a way it's very much a choice of how one decides to "read" a film.
I picked up that particular line you quoted and although I could see the depth potential of it, it is a common point with a lot of other films.
It does contribute to the emotional and psychological power of it, of course, but I don't value it the same way that you do.
I didn't find the movie too slow, the pace seemed fine to me...

Incidentally biggrin.gif I just downloaded another copy with proper subtitles, will watch it again soon to consolidate, or not, my feelings and thoughts about this movie.
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post #1206 of 2322 Old 03-01-2014, 07:30 AM
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I was one of the first in line to see this film when it debuted in Fort Worth, TX.

I was taken aback at the number of nuns that were in line with me that day.
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post #1207 of 2322 Old 03-04-2014, 09:05 AM - Thread Starter
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The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956), directed by Alfred Hitchcock.

For this first Blu-ray viewing, the setup to this remake of Hitchcock's own The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934) was a bit better than I remember. We follow a sugar-sweet American family in exotic Morocco, slowly becoming aware that they are being watched and followed, involved in a vague conspiracy.

Then sudden murder in the marketplace, all cuteness fled. Strangeness: James Stewart, fearing his son has been kidnapped, conceals it not only from the police, but from his wife, actually drugging her before he can tell her the truth.

Back in London, the tension goes slack and the plot wanders for a while. We have a comic visit to the taxidermist before the rather fine assassination sequence at the Albert Hall. Was Hitchcock quoting Powell & Pressburger here? It looks and sounds just like one of their scenes.

Rather than the big siege and shootout of the first film, we have a fairly dull second climax at the embassy, a let-down after the concert.

Plot holes? Good grief. The "plausibles" are not going to like this one.

When I was young Doris Day seemed dull and soapy-clean. Now she has much more grit, but still lacks spice. Maybe if she had played villains? I've read that the director wanted her because he had liked her in Storm Warning (1951).

Her musical contribution is unlike anything else I remember in Hitchcock. Is that bad because it seems like something a lesser director would do, or good because it introduces another element of off-centered strangeness? I think "Que sera sera" (Oscar winner!) is hard to take.

Edith Head costumes. Score by Bernard Herrmann, who also conducts the London Symphony at the Albert Hall. The "Storm Clouds Cantata" chorale was written for the original film and Herrmann provides a lovely new orchestration. We get a full 12 minutes of the music while our heroes race to prevent the assassination, Mom struggling with the dilemma of whether she should or shouldn't.

Available on Blu-ray. Image quality varies from good to excellent.



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post #1208 of 2322 Old 03-04-2014, 09:27 AM
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I thought Hitchcock's 1956 remake of his 1934 film, The Man Who Knew Too Much, was better than the original. Jimmy Stewart and Doris Day were excellent in it and, as usual, The Master gave us a film that was both suspenseful and entertaining.

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post #1209 of 2322 Old 03-06-2014, 04:31 PM
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Andrei Rublev (1966)

Masterpiece from Tarkovsky.
Period film set in the Middle Age period loosely based on the life of the artist referenced by the title, one of the most important painters to ever live in Russia. This film is dense and quite nuanced, probably unfair for me to describe it's essence in few words because I feel I still haven't dissected all it's substance, I want to see it again soon. Very briefly, it seems an essay about the roles and relationship of Art and Faith in that particular socio-religious construct, about the character of a true artist and it's endurances to remain truthful to oneself no matter what happens in one's life, the implications and symbolisms can be extrapolated to a personal and universal scale. Unlike Solaris and Stalker, Andrei Rublev does never feel like it's dragging it's pace, there's always something happening worthy of attention so, fortunately, no unnecessary torture. Thank to this and the cinematic accomplishment I feel easily emerged in this film, the other 2 are somewaht delicate and fragile in this aspect...

There's just one thing that leaves me cold, I miss some emotional engagement, this aspect very much contributes to the charm and appeal of a work of cinema at least for me. But Tarkovsky works aren't gifted with appreciable degree of sentimentalism (probably judged unnecessary in light of the director premisses) there seems to be a barrier separating the viewer from the characters preventing us from predicting rich/profound emotional cores and relations, his films are relatively cold, emotionally austere and distant holding the viewer in a perspective where it's easier to critically analyse the events than to feel like one is part of that world and is experiencing the human interactions in first hand. The acting is competent but not very deep. Can't really critique but it's very apparent to me in Andrei Rublev, there are several opportunities for potential development of a character or group of characters emotional canvas, but just when this seems to happen or is about to, there's a shift of attention to another subject. Seems like this is inherent to Tarkovsky cinematic language and I noticed this on his previous 2 works as well, not distracting per se, just a particularity of Tarkovksy intelectual stance that affects me in his movies and can either bore or cause fascination or just make me feel emotionally unsatisfied, depending on the movie. Very noticeable when comparing Andrei Rublev and Bergman's The Seventh Seal, a film it shares substantial thematic gist with. Bergman has great generosity of feeling and emotion without becoming cheesy but Tarkovsky in contrast seems distant, almost inert...

This is one of those things that could leave a lot of people bored or unimpressed with Andrei Rublev, but paying attention to the intelectual nuance and great cinematic artistry at display the reward more than overcomes the lack of emotion and fully justifies the movie as it is. This russian director makes very personal cinema, he doesn't flash the juice in our face we have to look for it, otherwise it's hard to figure out what makes his movies singular.

Andrei Rublev is technically impeccable which is amazing considering the difficulty and complexity of moving forward all the logistical resource needed to lift a movie of this scale. Camera and cinematography work are top notch and I already have an idea of Tarkovsky style, the black levels are quite poor but I still like the picture very much, the sound work has the hallmark of Tarkovsky as well, the voices up in the mix to highlight the dialogues a peculiarity that requires just a bit of familiarization, the scenarios are commendable and contribute to the epic scale of the movie. Everything is so well crafted and directed that despite Tarkovsky tendency to put me in a distant and analytical position, I feel engaged in that believable and authentic world as if in a dream.
Without a doubt a major work of cinema.
I love it and highly recommend!
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post #1210 of 2322 Old 03-07-2014, 12:50 PM
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kkl, your posts would be easier to read with clearer paragraph breaks, rather than a big block of text. Do you write them in another program and then paste them into the forum? If so, be mindful of adding extra spacing between each paragraph.

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My opinions are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of my employers, whoever they may be.
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post #1211 of 2322 Old 03-07-2014, 02:23 PM
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Thx for the advice.
I've been neglecting that aspect, but will be more careful about the formatting of my texts from now on.
My latest reviews are becoming larger than I expect, I don't plan to make them this big... ideas just flow from my head into my hands and I'm enjoying writing more and more these little texts.

I feel a bit insecure about the quality of the text though... I initially write in portuguese (my first language) which I post in a forum, then I translate to english to post here and other forums, during this process I often make some modifications to accommodate grammar differences between the languages and add/subtract some lines/ideas.

Reading my amateur review again, I wish I hadn't gone through so much effort just to explain the lack of emotional engadgement I felt during the movie, I tried to put into words something I find difficult to explain, but it was just whimsical flamboyance lol. The result now seems a bit unbalanced and it may be kinda difficult to understand or confusing for readers... I'm not sure if I wrote exactly what I wanted to express, not sure how the text "flows" and how inteligible it is for you, almost seems like I mentioned things that have nothing to do with what I was trying to convey, although it kinda makes sense in my head... my effort to dissect things in a clear and easilly readable way may have resulted in the opposite effect, grrrh...

If anyone has any criticism or comment to point out on my writing (competence, style, ortography, inteligibility, etc,) please do so, I appreciate it!
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post #1212 of 2322 Old 03-07-2014, 08:16 PM
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Originally Posted by kkl10 View Post

Thx for the advice.
I've been neglecting that aspect, but will be more careful about the formatting of my texts from now on.
My latest reviews are becoming larger than I expect, I don't plan to make them this big... ideas just flow from my head into my hands and I'm enjoying writing more and more these little texts.

I feel a bit insecure about the quality of the text though... I initially write in portuguese (my first language) which I post in a forum, then I translate to english to post here and other forums, during this process I often make some modifications to accommodate grammar differences between the languages and add/subtract some lines/ideas.

Reading my amateur review again, I wish I hadn't gone through so much effort just to explain the lack of emotional engadgement I felt during the movie, I tried to put into words something I find difficult to explain, but it was just whimsical flamboyance lol. The result now seems a bit unbalanced and it may be kinda difficult to understand or confusing for readers... I'm not sure if I wrote exactly what I wanted to express, not sure how the text "flows" and how inteligible it is for you, almost seems like I mentioned things that have nothing to do with what I was trying to convey, although it kinda makes sense in my head... my effort to dissect things in a clear and easilly readable way may have resulted in the opposite effect, grrrh...

If anyone has any criticism or comment to point out on my writing (competence, style, ortography, inteligibility, etc,) please do so, I appreciate it!
You can PM if you wish.

Yours was a remarkably thoughtful and fair-minded response to a criticism. Were it that more posters could see themselves as others see them and react to suggestions as gracefully as you have done. It is no wonder, to me at least, that nearly 20 percent of your posts have received a Thumbs Up.
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post #1213 of 2322 Old 03-08-2014, 10:08 AM
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Hey, I'm here just to enjoy the ride, share my love for cinema and learn something from you old-timers.
I think humbleness is a good advisor.
Appreciate the kind words. smile.gif
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post #1214 of 2322 Old 03-09-2014, 02:17 PM
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I did not read this whole thread. I did see a movie a few weeks ago that I had not seen, The Last Detail. It's from the early 70s I believe, with Jack Nicholson as a MP escorting a soldier back to the military jail. Randy Quaid played the young soldier. It was an excellent movie, funny, sad, and very well done.

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post #1215 of 2322 Old 03-09-2014, 03:06 PM
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I did not read this whole thread. I did see a movie a few weeks ago that I had not seen, The Last Detail. It's from the early 70s I believe, with Jack Nicholson as a MP escorting a soldier back to the military jail. Randy Quaid played the young soldier. It was an excellent movie, funny, sad, and very well done.

The Last Detail was based on Darryl Ponicsan's novel of the same name. The film is that rarity of rarities, a picture that is as good as the book it was based on. Carol Kane, who was then only 20, played a hooker.

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post #1216 of 2322 Old 03-09-2014, 03:09 PM
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The Last Detail was based on Darryl Ponicsan's novel of the same name. The film is that rarity of rarities, a picture that is as good as the book it was based on. Carol Kane, who was then only 20, played a hooker.

Yes, she was a young girl then, Randy Quaid probably wasn't much older either….thanks.

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post #1217 of 2322 Old 03-09-2014, 03:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ceptorman View Post

I did not read this whole thread. I did see a movie a few weeks ago that I had not seen, The Last Detail. It's from the early 70s I believe, with Jack Nicholson as a MP escorting a soldier back to the military jail. Randy Quaid played the young soldier. It was an excellent movie, funny, sad, and very well done.

Brief review here: The Last Detail (1973)

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post #1218 of 2322 Old 03-09-2014, 03:22 PM
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Brief review here: The Last Detail (1973)

-Bill

Sorry, I didn't read your whole thread. I did read the first few pages, and will keep reading. Thanks Bill……Bill:D

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post #1219 of 2322 Old 03-10-2014, 07:35 AM - Thread Starter
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Sorry, I didn't read your whole thread. I did read the first few pages, and will keep reading. Thanks Bill……Bill:D

That's ok. I write more than a reasonable person can read.

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post #1220 of 2322 Old 03-10-2014, 07:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Saboteur (1942), directed by Alfred Hitchcock.
Quote:
The "normal" are normally cold-hearted. --Mr Bones, the Human Skeleton

After arson and murder at an aircraft plant, our hero, chased by the police, chases a nest of spies in a wild cross-country pursuit from LA to NY. He falls in love while in handcuffs and, miraculously, she sticks with him!

Can nazis climb on the Statue of Liberty? Think again, buddy.

Actually, "nazis" are not mentioned in the story, just generic "totalitarians". The character of the villains is the oddest part of this tale: we are used to rich, suave baddies, but these guys sing ballads on the road and reminisce about the long golden curls they had as children. The pace bogs down when they are all together and talk on and on.

The good folks are a mixed bag: a gossipy neighbor, a ghoulish truck driver who wants to see accidents, and even our hero who uses an infant as a human shield! But we get decency from the blind man and (some of) the circus performers.

This extra-patriotic jam-packed thriller is somewhere between The 39 Steps (1935) and North by Northwest (1959). It's rich with travelogue and strange situations, and the timing of barely missed disasters is strong throughout. We get 20 seconds of Hitchcock's only Western.

A great sequence is the hunt and shootout in the movie theater, where the alignment of fiction and reality must have tickled the audience. Also note the nice turning camera as our lovers spin on the dance floor, trapped in a public place.

Billy Curtis, last seen in High Plains Drifter (1973), is a comically nasty circus dwarf.

Hitchcock was often very self-critical and although not ashamed of this film -- it was big hit -- in the Truffaut interviews he talked about the problems with it:

  • Bob Cummings is a light comic actor. The audience needs a star of major stature before they are involved with his predicament. (Elsewhere I've read he wanted but couldn't afford Gary Cooper and Barbara Stanwyck. I wonder if that would have been a good idea -- wouldn't Stanwyck have slapped the nazis around and made them cry like little girls?)
  • Priscilla Lane (top billing!) was dropped on him and he thought she was all wrong for one of his pictures. (I think she has a sweet, girl-next-door persona. Not a lot of spice, but this is "innocent and naive Americans" vs "crafty fifth columnists").
  • The head villain is too conventional.
  • The audience's anguish would have been greater if it had been the hero hanging by a thread at the end. (Truffaut said the terror worked anyway).
  • Too much clutter, too much ground covered. (Truffaut: nothing wrong with that).
  • It should have been edited more tightly, but it's hard to find writers who can do that.

Available on Blu-ray with a fine image.



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post #1221 of 2322 Old 03-10-2014, 09:51 AM
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Bob Cummings was also in Hitchcock's Dial M for Murder, so I imagine Hitchcock must have liked him. I also remember him from the Twilight Zone episode King Nine Will Not Return.
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post #1222 of 2322 Old 03-11-2014, 09:13 AM
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And he had his own TV show.
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post #1223 of 2322 Old 03-11-2014, 09:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSUL View Post

And he had his own TV show.
Yes, but that was a comedy. I was referring to Bill's comment that he was a light comic actor. He may be more known for that, but he had many dramatic turns as well.
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post #1224 of 2322 Old 03-11-2014, 09:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kilgore View Post

Yes, but that was a comedy. I was referring to Bill's comment that he was a light comic actor. He may be more known for that, but he had many dramatic turns as well.

I was paraphrasing Hitchcock in that section, his criticism of his own movie.

-Bill

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post #1225 of 2322 Old 03-11-2014, 10:31 AM
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Understood.
I consider Cummings to be a versatile actor, able to sell both dramatic and comedic roles.
His tv show was an opportunity that could not be passed on.
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post #1226 of 2322 Old 03-13-2014, 05:54 AM - Thread Starter
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Fantastic Voyage (1966), directed by Richard Fleischer.

In a very 1960s secret underground base, a disparate team are shrunk to microbe size in a mission to repair a brain clot in a scientist -- from the inside. Secret agent Stephen Boyd is along to catch the saboteur.

It's still pretty wonderful, the sort of adventure every kid dreams about. The very cool Proteus submarine is by Harper Goff, who did the Nautilus for 20000 Leagues Under the Sea. According to the commentary track he did other futuristic vehicles in 1960s SF -- the Jupiter II from Lost in Space and the spacecraft in Planet of the Apes -- but I can't find any credits for those.

It's good that they are briefly matter-of-fact about the miniaturization wizardry. Why flog such an unbelievable idea?

The physics behind this doesn't work at all, but that would be ok if it weren't for a gaping plot hole. Everyone with more than two brain cells begged the producers to revise the script, but the execs (I imagine them with big cigars and pinky rings) waved away the objections: "No one will notice". And yet, small children left the theater asking: "Why didn't they get the submarine out of the body?"

Strong supporting cast: Edmond O'Brien, Donald Pleasence, Arthur O'Connell, Arthur Kennedy.

First prominent role for Raquel Welch, although One Million Years B.C. is usually listed as her breakout. A story from the commentary track: in the scene where she is crushed by the antibodies, all the men have to jump on her and tear them off. They were gentlemanly about it, but that left her with an antibody brassiere. Take 2: they enthusiastically groped her boobs. Take 3, split the difference... and print it!

After much arm-twisting Isaac Asimov wrote a novelization of the screenplay. I read it when I was young and remember it as a better paced SF adventure than the movie. He levered in as much plausibility as he could, even getting the submarine out of the body, I think.

Available on Blu-ray. Good quality, although that reveals flaws in the process shots, which have a lot of errors by today's standards. Informative commentary track.

The first 40 minutes -- per the composer's insistence -- has no music, and this interval is used in an isolated score track for an enthusiastic appreciation of Leonard Rosenman, who they think has been overlooked as a film composer. With Alex North, Jerry Goldsmith and Elmer Bernstein he brought more modern music into what had been classic-based Hollywood. Credit is also due to Lionel Newman, music director at Fox, for mentoring these composers.



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post #1227 of 2322 Old 03-13-2014, 12:58 PM
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A lot of people have mentioned leaving in the submarine, but there's another similar problem for which I see no simple solution: After the first shrinkage stage, the submarine is put in a giant syringe that looks to hold a good 40 gallons or so of saline solution, which is injected into Benes' body after being shrunk to several ccs. That solution will, of course, expand back to the original 40 gallons. The result won't be pleasant. Also, the sub isn't shrunk enough! After the first stage, it appears to be about 1 cm long, and is shrunk by an additional factor of about 50. That would make it about 1/5 mm long. Small, but not microscopic, and way too big. A third stage was needed.
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post #1228 of 2322 Old 03-13-2014, 01:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Asimov tried to cope with some of this in his novelization. Which came out before the movie, leading most people to think he'd written the original story or screenplay.

I forget if he treats the injection fluid, but take the oxygen expelled when they were miniaturized: it's molecules were so small they passed out of the body entirely and expanded in the OR at the end of the hour.

How about getting air from the lungs? What good would macro-air do them? But: they had a miniaturization device on the sub and were able to selectively extend a field into the lungs and shrink the air as it entered the pipe.

This is all obviously stretching, but what can you do?

I thought the two-stage ampule reduction was very clever but never considered the final size.

-Bill

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post #1229 of 2322 Old 03-13-2014, 02:05 PM
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Actually, you can see the sub is way too big in the fourth picture. Compare its size to the diameter of the hypodermic.
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post #1230 of 2322 Old 03-17-2014, 08:20 AM - Thread Starter
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Throne of Blood (1957), directed by Akira Kurosawa.

The famous samurai Macbeth, made with the director's characteristic style and vivid imagery. Often misty and drizzling, rich in dark and tangled woods. (Lady Macbeth: "Hell is murky"). This is more stylized than his other films, drawing on scenes from Japanese mythology and the old Noh dance theater.

I suspect much of this is lost on modern audiences. Like me. For example, according the the commentary, each character's makeup is based on known mask types. The Lady Macbeth part: "woman who is about to go mad".

Despite the stylization and many departures from the text, this is good Shakespeare, particularly fine in presenting the sickness of ambition and paranoia, the dread of supernatural agencies that toy with human lives, and the classic theme of fulfilling an awful fate by trying to avoid it.

Instead of the witches we have a forest demon, singing a dreadful little song about the secrets of human destiny:
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Strange is the world. Why should men receive life in this world? Men's lives are meaningless as the lives of insects.

The terrible folly of such suffering. A man lives but as briefly as a flower, destined all too soon to decay into the stink of flesh. Humanity strives all its days to sear its own flesh in the flames of base desire, exposing itself to Fate's Five Calamities, heaping karma upon karma.

All that awaits Man at the end of his travails is the stench of rotting flesh that will yet blossom into flower, its foul odor rendered into sweet perfume.

Oh, fascinating the life of Man. Oh, fascinating.

Strong female roles are relatively rare in Kurosawa but this is the story to introduce one, with the noblewoman who poisons her husband's mind. They both go mad, conspiring in that blood-stained room.

The massive arrow attack on Toshiro Mifune at the end: no tricks involved, just real marksmen firing real arrows at him. "That's why I look terrified", he said.

Much charging about to little purpose. I feel sorry for the horses, having their heads jerked back and forth during some dialogue scenes.

Criterion Blu-ray with a knowledgeable commentary track.



-Bill

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