YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Wed Feb 13, 2013 4:02 pm

Image

A Comparison of Scarface (1932) & Scarface (1983)
Lines You Might Remember (If not, fake it!)

1932

Tony: Hi, Poppy. Hello. Hey, what's all the time biting you? You afraid of me?
Poppy: Well, that outfit's enough to give anybody the yips.
Tony: Nice, huh? I got three more. Different colors.
Poppy: I see you're going in for jewelry. It's kind of effeminate, isn't it?
Tony: Huh? Yeah. I got them in an auction. A bargain.
Poppy: You sure are a funny mixture, Tony.
Tony: That's the first time you smiled.
Poppy: Yeah?
Tony: Well, how do you mean, you think I'm funny?
Poppy: You just are, that's all. What else are you doing with all your money? I hear you're getting a new car.
Tony: Mmm-hmm. It's different. It's got bullet-proof glass and a steel body. And I got myself a new house, too. Come up sometime?
Poppy: Yeah, I'll bring my grandmother.
Tony: No kidding. You come up?
Poppy: Why don't you get yourself a girl, Tony?
Tony: Well, I'm working on that now.
Poppy: Yeah? Well, don't tire yourself out.


Tony: Listen, Little Boy, in this business there's only one law you gotta follow to keep out of trouble: Do it first, do it yourself, and keep on doing it.

Tony: There's only one thing that gets orders and gives orders. (points to Tommy Gun) And this is it. That's how I got the south side for you, and that's how I'm gonna get the north side for you. It's a typewriter. I'm gonna write my name all over this town with it, in big letters!
'Johnny' Lovo: Hey, stop him somebody!
Tony: Get out of my way Johnny, I'm gonna spit! (starts firing)


Tony's Mother: He hurt you. He hurt you. He hurt everybody.

(Angelo is answering the phone for Tony)
Tony: Hey, hey. Get a name. Get a name.
Angelo: (speaking into telephone) What's your name? No, no, I no wanna know what's your brother's name, I wanna know what's your name. (angrily) Oh, you do, huh? Listen, I come on over there, I smack you right in the teeth! I get you, you brother...
Tony: Hey! What's the matter? That's no way to talk. Talk nice. Tell him to state his business.
Angelo: Go state your business! (hangs up phone)


Tony: I'm not hungry. Except for you. You got something I like.
Poppy: Yeah. I'm nice with a lot of dressing. You work fast, don't you Tony?


Tony: (Holding a tommy gun) Lookit, Johnny, you can carry it around like a baby!

Cesca: The police are here for you! It's all my fault, I shouldn't have come...
Tony: Your fault, my fault, who cares? So long as you're here.


Tony (to the cops): Don't shoot. I got nobody. My steel shutters don't work.

Inspector Ben Guarino: I told you you'd show up this way. Get you in a jam without a gun and you squeal like a yellow rat. Come on, climb into this.

A Google search for scarface 1932 quotes

1983

Elvira: Can't you stop saying 'fuck' all the time?

Tony Montana: You think I'll kill two kids and a woman? Fuck that! I don't need that kind of shit in my life!

Tony (to people in restaurant, as he staggers out stoned and drunk): Whattaya lookin' at? You're all a bunch of fucking assholes. You know why? 'Cause you don't have the guts to be what you wanna be. You need people like me. You need people like me so you can point your fucking fingers, and say "that's the bad guy." So, what dat make you? Good? You're not good; you just know how to hide. Howda lie. Me, I don't have that problem. Me, I always tell the truth--even when I lie. So say goodnight to the bad guy. Come on; the last time you gonna see a bad guy like this, let me tell ya. Come on, make way for the bad guy. There's a bad guy comin' through; you better get outta his way!

Frank Lopez: (to Tony) Remember I told you when you started--the guys who last in this business--are the guys who fly straight, low-key, quiet. And the guys who want it all--chicas, champagne, flash--they don't last
Tony: You finished?


Elvira: Lesson number two: Don't get high on your own supply.

Mama Montana: You know, all we hear about it in the papers, it's animals like you and the killings. It's Cubans like you who were given a bad name to all our people, people who come here and work hard, and make a good living for themselves. People who send you to school...
Gina: No no Mama, that is all you're saying that's your son.
Mama Montana: SON! I wish I had one. He's a bum.
Gina: No.
Mama Montana: He was a bum then, and he's a bum now! (to Tony)Who do you think you are? Hmm? We haven't heard a word from you in 5 years. (cinco anos) You still gonna show up here and throw some money around and you think you can get my respect? You think you can buy me with jewelry?


I left out the most famous line, because you already know it without it being typed here. :D

A Google search for Scarface Quotes.

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Gort/YTMN left the forum due to trolling on August 25, 2018.
I had fun. Thanks for reading!

"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

Rematch Resurrection Catalog for Rounds 1-4 New post 180721 -- YTMN's Remake Rematch Thread.
Thread Resurrected 21 Jul 2018. Thread abandoned 1 Aug 2017. Thread COMPLETE 25 May 14 (2d time!)


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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by dreiser » Thu Feb 14, 2013 2:19 am

Just from that 1932 quotes sample there, I can see how many of the original lines Stone tweaked and contemporized for 1983.
"I hate the dark, the sharks liars. And the stems of cherry..."

Like Someone in Love (Kiarostami, 2012) 4/10
Killing Them Softly (Dominik, 2012) 2/10
The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm (Pal/Levin, 1962) 6/10
The Dark Past (Mate', 1948) 7/10
New Rose Hotel (Ferrara, 1998) 3/10
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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Thu Feb 14, 2013 3:27 am

dreiser wrote:Just from that 1932 quotes sample there, I can see how many of the original lines Stone tweaked and contemporized for 1983.
I'll bet if you watched them side-by-side starting and stopping one and then the other, you'd find a lot of scenes, costumes, maybe even sets that were homages to the 1932 film all through the 1983 version. De Palma's film isn't a copy, but his closing title of dedication is dead serious.
Gort/YTMN left the forum due to trolling on August 25, 2018.
I had fun. Thanks for reading!

"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

Rematch Resurrection Catalog for Rounds 1-4 New post 180721 -- YTMN's Remake Rematch Thread.
Thread Resurrected 21 Jul 2018. Thread abandoned 1 Aug 2017. Thread COMPLETE 25 May 14 (2d time!)


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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Thu Feb 14, 2013 3:33 pm

Image

A Comparison of Scarface (1932) & Scarface (1983)
Yeah, That's Right, Weblinks

Below are links to pages that I found while researching Scarface. Some you might find interesting. Others are goofy. Still others are just weird.

Image We always begin with the Wikipedia.

Armitage Trail.
Scarface novel. (They're waiting for you to write this article.)
Howard Hawks.
The 1932 film.
Brian De Palma.
Oliver Stone.
The 1983 film.



Image NEWSY sorta LINKS:

For a couple of years there have been rumors of:
EXCLUSIVE: We Know Where The New Tony Montana Hails From In Universal’s ‘SCARFACE’ Remake. Posted on 12.5.12 by El Mayimbe

Scarface Remake Will Tackle Mexican Drug Cartels. published: 2012-12-05 11:14:37 Author: Kristy Puchko

New 'Scarface' movie set in Mexico among drug cartels. Published Thursday, Dec 6 2012, 9:42am EST. By Hugh Armitage. "The third version of the classic crime film will recast Al Pacino's Tony Montana as a Mexican immigrant, reports Latino Review."

But people were only wondering in 2011: 'Scarface' Set For Third Big Screen Remake? September 22nd, 2011 12:54pm EDT. "[Deadline.com] reports executives at Universal Pictures are planning a new version of Scarface with producer Martin Bregman, who worked on the Pacino film, with a new character and setting."

The Movie "Scarface" Remake! on 27 Sep, 2011 At 09:47 PM. "The project is in the early stages but it being described as not a sequel or outright remake of the 1983 Al Pacino version, nor the 1932 Paul Muni-George Raft movie."

Elvira: Nothing exceeds like excess.

Looking for a nice 10,000 s.f. bungalow for a few months?
'Scarface' House On The Rental Market For $30,000/Month. Posted: 10/24/2012 3:53 pm EDT



Image ACADEMIC sorta LINKS:

Informal scholarship over at the tropes page. If you get your head stuck in it, don't blame me.

Some of these want you to pay to read the whole article. Most of the academic treatments I found are like that.
"Scarface," "The Great Gatsby," and the American Dream Roberts, Marilyn. January 2006. Literature Film Quarterly;2006, Vol. 34 Issue 1, p71. -- This one says you can read it courtesy of your public library.

Here's a pdf online: HUMANIZING THE GANGSTER: AN EXAMINATION INTO THE CHARACTER FROM HAWKS’ TO DePALMA’S SCARFACE. Nicholas B. Kirby. A Masters Thesis. Auburn University. Already the kid is off on the wrong foot by writing "examination into the character" instead of something else. Wonder if he got the degree.

enotes.com offers Little Caesar, Public Enemy, and Scarface Launch the Gangster-Film Genre, but only if you subscribe.

Well, looking for those was kind of tiring and unproductive.



Image REVIEWS and INFORMATION:

From December 1983 Roger Ebert's review of the film. "'Scarface' is one of those special movies, like 'The Godfather,' that is willing to take a flawed, evil man and allow him to be human."

Peter Bradshaw wrote for The Guardian, Thursday 20 August 2009 for a big-screen re-release: "After a quarter of a century, a return to the big screen now further magnifies the brutal unsubtlety of Brian de Palma's 1983 gangster movie, itself a reworking of Howard Hawks's 1932 film."

A blurb at The Chicago Reader.com very briefly details this idea: "Howard Hawks's 1932 masterpiece is a dark, brutal, exhilaratingly violent film, blending comedy and horror in a manner that suggests Chico Marx let loose with a live machine gun."

Scarface (1932) a digest of several reviews, in a series of reviews examining "Crime Pays" posted by Rebecca Cullers and Jessica Wolpert on xroads.virginia.edu. And here is the home page for the gangsters overview, if you're interested.



Image MISCELLANY and TRIVIA:

More quotes. And even more quotes. Even more quotes, but this time wif pictures. A Google search result.

While Googling I saw the automatically generated search string scarf face, and I couldn't resist looking.

Scarface Fanart. Another lazy Google search result.

If you're into that sort of thing: Become Tony Montana, the gangster who defines leisure suit cool, in this classic Scarface Costume for Men. Scarface Costume features a white suit jacket, burgundy shirt and white suit pants.

If you're into that sort of thing but don't have that kind of cash: How to Make a Scarface Costume. "Things You'll Need--Suit with wide lapels and slightly bell-bottomed pants. Shiny, button-down shirt. Gold chains with at least one medallion. Toy assault rifle. Wig or scissors and hair gel. Reddish-brown eyeliner."

Fancarpet photo collection.

Scarface Towel Set - For the Bath / Beach ~ 2 Pieces. Guaranteed to be extra dry. Imagine the licensing fees.

For those holiday occasions.

scarface movie youtube search results.

Do you know more about Scarface than anyone ... would need to? Test yourself with amc's Scarface Ultimate Fan Quiz! I didn't take this, because I don't know that much.

If your level of knowledge is simply more than most people would need to know, try this one. FunTrivia hosts this one.

YTMN: Say goodbye to my little links!




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Gort/YTMN left the forum due to trolling on August 25, 2018.
I had fun. Thanks for reading!

"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

Rematch Resurrection Catalog for Rounds 1-4 New post 180721 -- YTMN's Remake Rematch Thread.
Thread Resurrected 21 Jul 2018. Thread abandoned 1 Aug 2017. Thread COMPLETE 25 May 14 (2d time!)


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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by dreiser » Fri Feb 15, 2013 2:22 am

I saw Bobby Driscoll in The Window last night. Kid had a perfect face for Peter Pan, just like you would imagine it from the cinema. The movie was part of this year's Noir City program in San Francisco, but I was unable to attend that night. TCM to the rescue. :P
"I hate the dark, the sharks liars. And the stems of cherry..."

Like Someone in Love (Kiarostami, 2012) 4/10
Killing Them Softly (Dominik, 2012) 2/10
The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm (Pal/Levin, 1962) 6/10
The Dark Past (Mate', 1948) 7/10
New Rose Hotel (Ferrara, 1998) 3/10
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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Fri Feb 15, 2013 3:44 am

dreiser wrote:I saw Bobby Driscoll in The Window last night. Kid had a perfect face for Peter Pan, just like you would imagine it from the cinema. The movie was part of this year's Noir City program in San Francisco, but I was unable to attend that night. TCM to the rescue. :P
Aw, it would have been wonderful to see it projected on a big screen...just for the experience of it. Glad you got to see it, anyway. I wonder if TCM shows it often. The version I have is a test download from Vudu. I watch it on TV, but from my computer.

You know, the next Rematch has a character named Becky Driscoll. These weird coincidences just keep cropping up. :D Of course, Bobby Driscoll was a famous actor at the time Jack Finney wrote Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Perhaps Finney was subconsciously influenced by that. Same initials, even.

I have only the 1983 Scarface review to go, and that will wrap up what I started 2 weeks ago with your fine words. Expect it Saturday.
Gort/YTMN left the forum due to trolling on August 25, 2018.
I had fun. Thanks for reading!

"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

Rematch Resurrection Catalog for Rounds 1-4 New post 180721 -- YTMN's Remake Rematch Thread.
Thread Resurrected 21 Jul 2018. Thread abandoned 1 Aug 2017. Thread COMPLETE 25 May 14 (2d time!)


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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by dreiser » Fri Feb 15, 2013 4:03 am

YouTookMyName wrote:I have only the 1983 Scarface review to go...
Should be good.
"I hate the dark, the sharks liars. And the stems of cherry..."

Like Someone in Love (Kiarostami, 2012) 4/10
Killing Them Softly (Dominik, 2012) 2/10
The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm (Pal/Levin, 1962) 6/10
The Dark Past (Mate', 1948) 7/10
New Rose Hotel (Ferrara, 1998) 3/10
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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Sat Feb 16, 2013 7:24 pm

dreiser wrote:
Should be good.
I'm not sure of that, but I worked on it very carefully. And it spawned a fifth essay, too.
Gort/YTMN left the forum due to trolling on August 25, 2018.
I had fun. Thanks for reading!

"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

Rematch Resurrection Catalog for Rounds 1-4 New post 180721 -- YTMN's Remake Rematch Thread.
Thread Resurrected 21 Jul 2018. Thread abandoned 1 Aug 2017. Thread COMPLETE 25 May 14 (2d time!)


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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Sat Feb 16, 2013 7:25 pm

Scarface (1983) dir. Brian De Palma
Image

IMDb link RT-link

Year: 1983 Director: Brian De Palma Cast: Al Pacino, Michelle Pfeiffer, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Steven Bauer, Robert Loggia Length: 42 days 13 hours 170 min. Color/Stereo

I think I'd better begin with the disclaimer that I put in my review of the 1932 film:
YTMN's Own Disclaimer
My generic dislike of films about thugs, crooks, and politicial types likely keeps me from seeing all the possibly good points of this film. Especially the characters themselves. I'm doing my best. I bought a DVD of The Godfather two years ago in case I ever got the unlikely urge to want to see it. I still haven't watched it and feel no urge to do so.
Image
The Second Scarface Film (1983)
Years before I ever sat down to watch this film I knew the line, "Say hello to my little friend," although I'd never seen the clip, and had no idea where the line came from. Oddly, I think there was more discussion of this film after my post saying that I had watched it than there has been for any other in this thread. Scarface has clearly become a cultural touchpoint for the 1980s, and for those who enjoy gun porn, from that era and others. Sure, The Matrix outdoes the guns in this film, but I wondered as I watched De Palma's Scarface whether I might not be able to find some claims somewhere on the internet that the Wachowskis were inspired by Scarface when creating the over-the-top assault weapons scenes in their film.

While I re-watched the film for this thread it seemed even more likely to me that Brian De Palma was doing everything tongue-in-cheek, but with outward seriousness. The ending of the film is so clearly not to be taken seriously, though, and I got that idea on first viewing. Pacino's Tony Montana is certainly not an affectionate portrayal of a Cuban immigrant criminal. At every turn he and his cohort are made to look like buffoons. But I'll bet that didn't stop the film from looking like a glorious advertisement for a certain type of job, to some youngsters.
Image
On second watch the ending of the film seems even more tongue-in-cheek than it did the first time through. It's as if Tony Montana's screen life has ended and we are in some bizarre dream sequence where the normal rules of physics no longer apply. It's as if he put a bullet through his own head when he realized what he had done to his sister by killing Manolo, and this is the final sputterings of his dying brain...reflecting how he wishes he had died. But that's all in my head. The movie overall isn't that deep. Neither is the ending. Tony Montana is a man of surface, not depth, and so the film about him constantly lingers near the surface, as well. Plus, there are some things that seem as if De Palma is making fun of the way Hollywood treats crime flicks in the first place.

As I was finishing this review I looked at the Wikipedia article about it, which includes this tantalizing assertion:
Anonymous Wikipedia Contributor wrote: At the middle of the film, Martin Scorsese turned to Steven Bauer and told him, "You guys are great – but be prepared, because they're going to hate it in Hollywood...because it's about them."
This is attributed to the source "Scarred for Life". The Palm Beach Post. October 11, 2003. So I'm not the only one who ever got that idea.

Clearly, I don't revere this film to the degree that our friend dreiser does, and that's why I asked him to write an essay about his overall positive feeling for the movie. To provide a little balance.

Here are some aspects of the film that I like:
Image
Like: Tony Montana is so greedy and stupid that he thinks he can do what the banker has been doing by laundering his ill-gotten funds, and do it better and cheaper. So he does. Only his way is merely cheaper, because he winds up in a sting. Serves him right. People who have no doubts about their capabilities get that kind of outcome a lot in real life, too.

Like: A set decoration in the final scene, a globe with the words "The World is Yours" jutting out from it, is in a Deco style, perhaps in homage to the 1932 original of this film.
Image
Like: This film's homage to Alfred Hitchcock that involves a bomb underneath a car. The sequence ends in a surprising way the first time you see it. The construction of this sequence is unlike that of any other in the film, and follows the Hitchcock Rule of Suspense to the letter. Although the sequence overall doesn't fit in with the rest of the film, it is a rather nice diversion up until the "final shot" of the sequence. It establishes that, despite earlier indications, Tony Montana does have one self-imposed rule on his behavior. Weird as it is, his rule allows him to kill the bomb expert to keep the bomb expert from killing a woman and her children; although as one reviewer pointed out, Montana doesn't originally have any qualms whatsoever about killing the father of the family, even though the man has done nothing to him.

Like: The plot and cinematic homages to the Hawks film. Among these are: 1932 -- Tony Camonte puts steel shutters all around the periphery of his apartment in case the cops come; 1983 -- Tony Montana has his compound surrounded by security cameras which he monitors personally from his office. 1932 -- a travel agency's lighted advertising sign reads "The World is Yours"; 1983 -- the same message appears on the advertising display of a blimp. In both films the Tony character lies dead at the end of the film with this motto suspended above him. 1932 -- Tony Camonte has a car built with steel walls and bullet-proof glass in the windows; 1983 -- Tony Montana buys a sports car and has it outfitted with armor, guns and bullet-proof glass. There are many others.
Image
Like: Montana is shown to be bad simply because of his acts. At the same time he is human. The way he woos Elvira is so much like a horny teenager that it's almost cute. Almost, because look who's doing it. But this leads to humorous clashes of his Elvis Presley type of taste in clothing and cars and her somewhat more upscale taste in the same. I like this aspect of the Montana character, but there is an entry that continues the idea below in the don't like section.

Like: In classic you-do-the-crime-and-you-pay-for-it plotting, Tony Montana bites it at the end of the film. But if Howard Hawks wanted Tony Camonte to die in a hail of bullets, my God, how Brian De Palma amped that up. It's just over the top ridiculous. Compare that to the novel where Tony's brother, Ben Guarino, who doesn't know he's Camonte's brother, fires a single shot that takes out the booze lord. Montana gets really cut up by the bullets. I know that people are not as easy to stop with bullets as most movies show, but this goes overboard in the other direction! Course I guess it could be the coke and the adrenaline.

Like: This is probably too similar to a couple of the other points, but Tony Montana is driven totally by greed from the beginning. And that's what does him in. He never wavers from wanting more than he can justify. Frank tries to warn him about that early on, but Tony doesn't think it applies to him. He sees only the good guy when he looks in the mirror. Montana over-reaches on every possible occasion, and eventually an overwhelming wave of death is dispatched specifically for Tony Montana by a South American drug lord all because Tony has one rule: he won't kill kids. But that refusal is what does him in. The greedy always want everything done their own way in the movies. Maybe in real life, too. Sosa turns out to be greedier than Montana.
Image
Like: Thinking of the aspect listed immediately above, instead of the Law (as in the 1932 film, and the novel), it is the Devil who comes for Tony Montana in the end. Be careful who you eat with. The food may be poisoned.

Ambivalent about: The aspect that Roger Ebert mentioned in his December 9, 1983 review:
Roger Ebert wrote:DePalma and his writer, Oliver Stone, have created a gallery of specific individuals, and one of the fascinations of the movie is that we aren't watching crime-movie clichés, we're watching people who are criminals.
I almost agree with this, because it was clearly De Palma's intention. Except that: in Hollywood, criminal activity and intent have become cliches, and had already become cliches by 1983. You can find any character in this film on the droning TV crime shows of the 1960s, for Pete's sake. What makes this film different for the time is that we see people who are criminals behaving in ways that hadn't been shown on the screen. It isn't that the characters aren't cliches and cardboard cutouts so much as that in our mind's eye we get to see a chainsaw remove a guy's limbs, and we see scenes surrounding this that make it a lot easier to imagine the spewing blood and shredded body parts. "Whoa! That's new!" Sosa is and was a cliche. Even the henchman Manny is a cliche. Elvira, the gangster's mol is a cliche. Frank is a cliche. The sweating Ernie guy is a cliche. Tony hiring Ernie is a cliche. The characters and most of what they do are cliches, and were when the film came out, no matter that the famous Rogert Ebert argued otherwise in 1983. I think he was on a post-viewing high.
Image
... and some aspects that I don't care for:

Don't Like: Too long. In fact it is so long that I was actually glad when it was over. Both times! Another reviewer described it as "bloated" and that's just the word that kept coming to mind while I watched. Too much of something is too much. And too much of a good thing is...still too much. There also exist about a half hour of deleted scenes which De Palma didn't include. Thank goodness. Of course if you were really into the film, it might not be long enough!! I think the extra duration comes from two additional plot threads that Stone put in related to Señor Sosa and his organization. In case you didn't notice, Montana makes himself Sosa's slave, but he's too dumb to realize what he's done. He sees only the cash. He realizes the danger too late. Because, you know, if you fuck with him you're fuckin' with the best. He can't be wrong, can he?
Image
Don't Like: Pacino's performance as Tony Montana is so bizarre. I can't say that I like it. It's as if he's doing Cheech Marin imitations all the way through the film. I kept wondering if Pacino would have so gleefully portrayed a stereotypical Italian immigrant. Somehow I doubt it. But maybe he has in other movies. Movies that I haven't seen. I'm just pretty sure without ever having seen the film that Michael Corleone isn't such a putz. Still, as I wrote in a comment after my second viewing, the bizarre nature of the Tony Montana peformance isn't as obvious the second time through. I'm not sure why. But it was a welcome change!

Don't Like: Being manipulated into feeling sympathy for Tony Montana. I think it may be related to Ebert's comment, quoted above. Usually this is a response you get to an underdog character, but for some reason when Tony shoots Frank I feel "good riddance" even though I think about Tony, "you fucking pig, you don't just kill someone because you want to fuck his chick!" The movie has me thinking the way Tony talks. Ha ha. Why should I feel any sympathy for either gangster? How does the script manipulate me into pulling for Tony over the other bastard? Anyhow, it's so over the top that it makes me doubt that there are truly people like this. Until I read the next headlines out of Mexico.
Image
Don't Like: Elvira. In the Howard Hawks version of the story at least Poppy has some core to her that is likeable. Elvira is a drug-addicted opportunist who doesn't even like herself, much less anyone around her. And I can't recall what happens to her. Does she leave Tony? I think so. Does she come back after the desertion in the restaurant? I'm not sure. So...does she wake up in her mansion the morning after to find bullets and bodies everywhere? A quick check with Wikipedia tells me that "After a fight, Elvira leaves Tony." Hmm. So that was it. It didn't stick.

I added a fifth Essay post to this Rematch to cover some concerns that linger for me. If you think I'm being too harsh on this film, please read my disclaimer above!




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Gort/YTMN left the forum due to trolling on August 25, 2018.
I had fun. Thanks for reading!

"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

Rematch Resurrection Catalog for Rounds 1-4 New post 180721 -- YTMN's Remake Rematch Thread.
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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Sat Feb 16, 2013 7:28 pm

A Comparison of Scarface (1932) & Scarface (1983)

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Remaining Questions About Scarface

I originally had included these thoughts in the 1983 review, but it made it way too long. So I moved them here.

Don't Like: This is another of the films I've seen that has no redeemable character. Sure, in terms of traditional literary storytelling there is a certain kind of moral redemption in Tony's assassination of the mad bomber, in order to save the lives of a woman and her children, but look how he saves them! It's all screwed up, self-negating stuff, and I think part of it is a test for the viewer. Are we using Tony Montana to point at and say he's the bad guy (as he claims during a drunken tirade in a restaurant near the end of the movie)? Trouble is, he is a bad guy, and he does things to prove it that hardly anyone in our twisted culture would ever do. I suspect it's usually the less savory among us who claim that everyone is evil in some way, as an attempt to make themselves feel less of their own onus about murder commited by them or in their name.

One of my neighbors in Memphis (who I barely knew, even to wave 'hello') left town, but didn't move away. His apartment stayed unused for several weeks. Eventually, I asked another neighbor if she knew where he had gone. She said that he had actually told her: that he was flying a small plane loaded with cocaine from Colombia to Florida, ditching the plane with its load in the Florida woods, and that he would be paid a million dollars for his work. After that he would disappear. I have no idea what really happened, but I've always figured that he disappeared all right, as soon as he ditched the plane and met the gunmen who were there to greet him. Quick way to save a cool million dollars. Kill the greedy pilot who believed your blue sky promise of lots of money. If I had already seen De Palma's Scarface (which I couldn't do because it hadn't been made yet) I'd have been even more skeptical of the crazy man's chances of surviving his one-shot job. Clearly, my imagination was and is influenced by what I "know" from watching criminal characters on TV and in the movies.
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A final thought or two: I spent 23 years of my life (1981 to 2004) producing motion pictures on video, many of which were used to train people how to perform certain job tasks. At first I wanted to use Right Way-Wrong Way comparisons. But I ran across some research that seemed to prove fairly well that you should show only Right Way scenes. Showing the wrong way and then the right way is confusing to the brain. Written instructions don't have the same effect. But seeing the wrong way, even if it's followed by the correct way to do the task, seems to mislead the brain, and the juxtaposition of the two makes it confusing to a significant number of viewers, even when it is clearly pointed out which is the correct way.
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It's difficult to imagine that the brain of the technical viewer is completely different from and totally isolated from the brain of someone viewing what is ostensibly entertainment. I'm all for leaving morality up to the viewer to determine, except I know that human minds are different, and they don't all work "like mine." People who don't grow up in an environment with some sort of moral compass that they can imitate and follow might be seduced by the glitzy sort of thing that you see in Scarface. I'm also not into telling people what they ought to do or how they should live, but I'm not convinced at this point in my life that giving a few hints and suggestions is itself not morally wrong. If it is not, then failing to provide those hints in something like this film is probably a mis-step, although artistically justifiable. Reading about the strong influence that the film has supposedly had on hip-hop culture doesn't exactly reverse my suspicions, either.

Certainly I can be charged with the error of thinking that I'm somehow above those who aren't as smart. That isn't what I intend. The film has pretty much the same effect on me that it would have on anyone, I think. But I have certain personal rules in place that would keep me from imitating this artwork. Most people do; but that statement doesn't apply to everyone. In fact, it doesn't even apply to all the people in my family, much less in the world. I'm not into governments censoring anything, but maybe, sometimes, artists should exercise a little self-censorship. Maybe it isn't as stupid or cowardly as I believed it was when I was a 20-something.

In my middle 20s I devised what was a very coherent story dealing with a small group of people successfully taking over the US government (at least for a while) and establishing The People's Republic of America. I wanted to write a novel and a screenplay about it because the story idea really excited my writer's instincts, and felt like it might be publishable, but I recalled the copycats who imitated a Rod Serling novel and movie, and claimed to have put bombs on a plane. And the mechanism for the takeover in my novel idea seemed a little too plausible. As much as I hated not to write the tale, it seemed that it was better, in case no one else had thought of this plan, to not suggest it. Of course, I felt that it was silly of me to think that I might have some idea that no one else had ever thought of. But worse than the suspicion that I was being arrogant, was the feeling that I was exhibiting artistic cowardice of the worst kind, for censoring myself.
From wikipedia
After the made-for-television movie The Doomsday Flight was released in December 1966, a rash of copy-cats phoned in ransom demands to most of the largest airlines. The fictional plot concerned an airplane with a bomb aboard. If the plane landed without the ransom money being paid, the aircraft would explode. The bomb was set with an altitude trigger so if the plane dropped below four thousand feet, it would detonate. The show was one of the highest rated of the television season, but both Serling and his brother Robert, a technical advisor on the project (a specialist in aviation), regretted making the film. Serling himself was truly devastated by what his script had encouraged. He told reporters who flocked to interview him, "I wish to Christ that I had written a stagecoach drama starring John Wayne instead."
att. to pg 101, Douglas, John and Mark Olshaker (1999). "Magnum Force". The Anatomy of Motive: The FBI's Legendary Mindhunter Explores the Key to Understanding and Catching Violent Criminals. Pocket. pp. 101. ISBN 0-671-02393-4.
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Okay, I'm sure I missed some of the points that you really like. The next few sentences might draw some negative comments: But my gut reaction is that these are films that possibly should never have been made (especially the 1983 version, at least not exactly in the way it is presented) because they inadvertently glorify a way of living (killing others) that I cannot approve of (and that's because I don't think killing people is very good for society). That notion on my part doesn't mean that either one is not a fine film, well-made. It means that everything about the films comes to me through that intellectual and emotional filter. It's really hard for me to watch the 1983 film, even harder than it is to watch the Hawks film. I won't even bother seeing the second Scarface remake if it comes about.
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But I still say "thanks" to dreiser for recommending the two films. I think the Scarface Quickmatch stretched me analytically, in the same way that the 3:10 to Yuma Rematch did. In this case, I saw two crime genre films that I'd never have watched of my own volition, including one that I had been avoiding for decades. I enjoyed the pre-code film in a historical sense. And, I have to admit, I had to make myself watch the De Palma a second time. I needed to in order to make notes. But on the upside, through the discussion surrounding this pairing of movies I discovered Blow Out, which is now my favorite De Palma film.

To all the readers of this Quickmatch I say: I hope I passed, in your estimation. I did my best to treat these movies as if they were films I would have picked out to entertain myself on a Friday evening spent in solitude!



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"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Sat Feb 16, 2013 7:59 pm

Now there will be another gap in posting until I get the Invasion of the Bodysnatchers Find-It post ready to go. And after that I have to grab stills from all four movies. So I expect there will be a posting hiatus of a few days to a week.

However, if I can get the INV Find-It post done soon, I'll get it stuck into a slot here just in case someone wants to read or watch while I do this thing over the next two months. :D
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"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Sat Feb 16, 2013 9:47 pm

This is the initial post for the Multimatch between Invasion of the Body Snatchers(1956), Invasion of the Body Snatchers(1978), Body Snatchers(1993), & The Invasion(2007)
This Multimatch is Complete as of 29 March 2013
Selected by Colonel Kurz
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Essays for the Multimatch of Invasion films.
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"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by dreiser » Sun Feb 17, 2013 2:56 am

Elvira leaves Tony after their embarrassing row in that restaurant. Afterwards, you can see Tony asking if she's shown up when checking in on the phone twice with his crew.

And I already mentioned my fondness for Sosa. He's never anything but straight up with Montana, even telling him from the beginning "don't ever fuck me, Tony." Sosa is the wholesale muscle without which the protagonist would never have built his fortune. It is only when Montana's greed and cheap nature cloud his judgment into thinking he can wash his own money that the wheels start to come off. He gets busted and the cartel boys see a way to have this vulnerable Cuban take care of their dirty work.

I figured Gort would not respond to these movies favorably. He has made no secret in the past of his disdain for gangster/mob pictures. I think both Hawks and De Palma have delivered films here exhibiting much more craft than what's usually associated with the genre.

Props to the OP for all the work he put in on my matchup recommendation.
"I hate the dark, the sharks liars. And the stems of cherry..."

Like Someone in Love (Kiarostami, 2012) 4/10
Killing Them Softly (Dominik, 2012) 2/10
The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm (Pal/Levin, 1962) 6/10
The Dark Past (Mate', 1948) 7/10
New Rose Hotel (Ferrara, 1998) 3/10
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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Sun Feb 17, 2013 3:13 am

dreiser wrote:I think both Hawks and De Palma have delivered films here exhibiting much more craft than what's usually associated with the genre.
I agree wholeheartedly.
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"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Sun Feb 17, 2013 10:15 pm

Well, I guess that's all the Scarface discussion. Somehow expected more.

I have auto grab stills from the 1957 Invasion flick. Will pull them from other(s) today. A meeting that I thought would happen this afternoon apparently wasn't supposed to! That's two hours that I have unexpectedly!
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"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by dreiser » Mon Feb 18, 2013 2:29 am

It also dawned on me yesterday that Gort was quite right when he called out the bomb moment in Scarface as De Palma's obligatory Hitchcock sequence. Having seen the film so many times it just surprised me that never occurred to me before. Probably because I get so immersed in the gangster construction of the picture.
"I hate the dark, the sharks liars. And the stems of cherry..."

Like Someone in Love (Kiarostami, 2012) 4/10
Killing Them Softly (Dominik, 2012) 2/10
The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm (Pal/Levin, 1962) 6/10
The Dark Past (Mate', 1948) 7/10
New Rose Hotel (Ferrara, 1998) 3/10
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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Mon Feb 18, 2013 12:17 pm

dreiser wrote:It also dawned on me yesterday that Gort was quite right when he called out the bomb moment in Scarface as De Palma's obligatory Hitchcock sequence. Having seen the film so many times it just surprised me that never occurred to me before. Probably because I get so immersed in the gangster construction of the picture.
Drei, you go to festivals a lot. Have you ever had the opportunity to see the '83 film on the big screen?

Also, how did you first learn about the picture? I heard of it through the regular advertising channels, and from film-student friends, and colleagues who were in the production business when it first came out.

When you first saw it was it projected or on video?

And did you love it from the start, or like I did before my sons were born, even before you saw it? Also, did you see the Hawks film for the first time before or after you saw De Palma's adept update?
Gort/YTMN left the forum due to trolling on August 25, 2018.
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"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by dreiser » Mon Feb 18, 2013 2:04 pm

YouTookMyName wrote: Drei, you go to festivals a lot. Have you ever had the opportunity to see the '83 film on the big screen?

Also, how did you first learn about the picture? I heard of it through the regular advertising channels, and from film-student friends, and colleagues who were in the production business when it first came out.

When you first saw it was it projected or on video?

And did you love it from the start, or like I did before my sons were born, even before you saw it? Also, did you see the Hawks film for the first time before or after you saw De Palma's adept update?
When I first saw the film, it was in Germany. I had no clue about the extreme violence, I was just an eager enlisted man out to see a good movie. I saw the Hawks version several years later out of my love for Pre-code movies.
"I hate the dark, the sharks liars. And the stems of cherry..."

Like Someone in Love (Kiarostami, 2012) 4/10
Killing Them Softly (Dominik, 2012) 2/10
The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm (Pal/Levin, 1962) 6/10
The Dark Past (Mate', 1948) 7/10
New Rose Hotel (Ferrara, 1998) 3/10
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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Wed Feb 20, 2013 3:04 am

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A Comparison of Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956), Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978),
Body Snatchers (1993) & The Invasion (2007)

Where Can I see It?

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The Jack Finney novel The Body Snatchers is available new, but you can find any number of used copies if you google 'body snatchers jack finney,' after which you can add your favorite online bookstore if you want to narrow the search.
Barnes & Noble. -- Amazon.



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Video Discs

The movies are all available in DVD format. Three are available for the time being in Blu-ray format. The 2007 film is even still available as HD-DVD.

1956 DVD: Amazon. -- DeepDiscount.
1956 Blu-ray: DeepDiscount. -- Amazon. -- Walmart. -- CDUniverse.

1978 DVD: DeepDiscount. -- Amazon. -- Target.
1978 Blu-ray: DeepDiscount. -- CDUniverse.
1978 BRD-DVD combo: Amazon.

1993 DVD: Amazon. -- DeepDiscount.

2007 DVD: DeepDiscount. -- Amazon.
2007 Blu-ray: DeepDiscount. -- Amazon.




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Soundtracks

Certain of these can be found on CD. Some even on LP, perhaps, from used item vendors.
I found only two available right now. The 1978 soundtrack is available as mp3s or a CD. The 2007 soundtrack is (for the US) an import CD.

1978 CD: Amazon. -- CD Universe.
1978 mp3: Amazon. -- iTunes.

2007 CD: Amazon.


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Other Sources

Netflix
-- 1956 DVD. -- 1978 DVD. -- 2007 DVD and Blu-ray. (No 1993 film at Netflix)

iTunes -- 1956. -- 1993. -- 2007. (No 1978 film at iTunes)

Amazon Instant Watch -- 1956. -- 1993. -- 2007. (No 1978 film on Instant)




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Do You Like Posters?
from MoviePoster.com. -- from MoviePosterDB.com. -- from AllPosters.com. -- from Art.com.




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Gort/YTMN left the forum due to trolling on August 25, 2018.
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"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Sat Feb 23, 2013 4:45 pm

I've been working away on the Invasion of the Body Snatchers reviews, essays, watching the films and taking notes, and I looked at the box for the DVD of the "1957" film, as I've been calling it. Most sources, including this box, say the film was released in 1956. So I've gone back and changed 1957 to 1956 everywhere but the graphics. I might change those later, or leave them as a point of discussion for those who want to quibble over when the film should be said to have been released. :D Even IMDb uses 1956 as the release date, but I saw 1957 on something and started using that. Fortunately, notepad++ has a global replace feature!

And, Kurz, if you're reading this, it's fun to make the comparisons based on your original reason for recommendation. Truly, it is. Not only that -- your idea works well.

The first scheduled post in the Multimatch is next Tuesday, but I might get one review done today, and if I do I might post it. :shifty:
Gort/YTMN left the forum due to trolling on August 25, 2018.
I had fun. Thanks for reading!

"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Sun Feb 24, 2013 3:21 am

A Comparison of Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956), Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978),
Body Snatchers (1993) & The Invasion (2007)

Body Snatchers (1993) Abel Ferrara
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IMDb link RT-link

Year: 1993. Director: Abel Ferrara. Cast: Terry Kinney, Meg Tilly, Gabrielle Anwar, Reilly Murphy, Billy Wirth, R. Lee Ermey, Forest Whitaker. Length: 87 min. Color/Stereo. $13,000,000 (estimated budget). $428,868 (gross income, USA).

This is not the best film of the four. But, like all four, it has its good moments and good aspects. The photography is interesting, if not innovative. The sound mix and recording are well-enough done. The special effects don't lack anything particularly. The reversed effect of creeping tendrils is well thought out and well-executed. My problems are with the Ritalin-laced cast. No, they aren't really on that drug, but they seem to be, all except one or two characters. As a film it is not terrible by any means. But it has that SyFy ambiance that says, "We got enough money to make a movie, so we did."

The reason for setting this outing on a military base was unclear to me at first. Later it occurred to me that the closed-in, bounded characteristic of a military base mimics the small town setting of the novel, and first film. Remember that the second film is set in a city, as a contrast to the small-town venue of the first film. In film number three, the main character is female, a teenager, and her family are civilians going to military bases during the summer, so that Dad can inspect toxic chemicals stored there under the auspices of the EPA. I'm not even sure that plot point makes any sense. But it gets Steve, Carol, Marti and Andy Malone to some army base in the South.
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According to an entry on TV Tropes (scroll to the bottom), there was no political intent to this film. I'm not sure I agree, but I find very little written about it by Abel Ferraro or anyone else. If they were just making a scary movie, then great. If not, then the choice of a military base for the setting has some mouth-watering parallels to culture in the early 90s, which you can read about below.

I notice upon re-reading for re-writes that I've written more about the film under the "Like" category than I have in the other category. This would be misleading without me pointing out that the sharp-eyed reader will notice that much of what I like about this movie is one thing or another that I can impose on it if I want to, which means that the best stuff isn't necessarily there. This should have been an excellent horror film with the pedigrees of the crew members (you'll be able to see that from the tech posts entries). Maybe the weakness is in the cast. Now, here's an interesting statistic or two: at IMDb the film gets a 5.8 with 9,448 users voting. At RottenTomatoes 28 critics have it at a fresh 71%, while 13,489 users have rated it a mere 37% positive.

Here are some aspects of the film that I like:

Like: This version is aimed at people under 30, and the main characters are young folks. All the other versions have characters who are in their late 30s and early 40s at the center of the tale. So the youth angle was the major add-in for version #3.
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Like: Even though I don't like the extreme low contrast between the pre-pod and post-pod people in this remake, I can see a possible commentary on the Ritalin culture that started developing in the late 1980s as more and more kids were diagnosed as having ADHD, and given drugs to "correct" the problem. I like this, if it's an actual commentary, because it points out that we live in a culture where certain voices are always trying to "normalize" everyone. We're all supposed to act alike, with very few variations. Should we exist outside these artificially-drawn boundaries, we have some syndrome or affliction that needs treating. Usually with a pill. Maybe the movie didn't intend to say that, but it says that to me!

Like: Another possible commentary that the film could claim to embody is the early 1990s dawning of the notion that everyone is sleep-deprived. In the 1980s people began to work long hours, and party long hours, as if what the Andy Malone character in the movie says is true, "When you go to sleep you die." Here is an interesting take on that idea. I learned of it when writing my novel Zomboys in 2006, and ran across it again while researching the tropes that appear in these four films. Fortunately, fatal familial insomnia is rare beyond rare. The characters in this film, except for the Doc, don't seem to fight sleep with the verve of their counterparts in the other three films. As a horror trope it works in all the films because, as one character says in two of the films, "You'll have to sleep sooner or later." That's true. You can't not sleep forever. So if sleeping is the "weapon," they've got you.

Like: There is a possible commentary on all-volunteer military service. According to some online sources, including this one, volunteerism has become the way about half the nations of the world populate their military services. The rest still rely on conscription, or forced military service. If there is any terror for the majority of us concerning service in the military, it's not the specter of your own death. Instead it is the specter of what you might be told to do if you remain alive that is terrifying. I've seen interviews with military veterans, and read research study digests that make it clear that killing someone, even a "sub-human enemy" during wartime leaves an individual emotionally scarred. There is also the possibility of injury that won't kill you, but will make you wish in dark moments that you had died, for the rest of your life.
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A majority of those seeing the 1956 film when it came out, and even a large segment of the 1978 audience, would have been military veterans who did not volunteer to go. This applies to the men. but many of the women would have had soldier husbands during the war years. I also learned that "The U.S. came close to drafting women during World War II, when there was a shortage of military nurses. However, there was a surge of volunteerism and a draft of women nurses was not needed." So this means that the 1956 audience contained a number of women viewers who knew what military service was like. The military was not alien to the audience of 1956. It was somewhat more alien to the audience of 1978. By 1993, the military had become "other" to most Americans, and possibly to many people world-wide. See the next comment below...

Like: The post commander's goth daughter comments, while looking at soldiers training, "They actually volunteered for this crap." The all-volunteer military following 1974 led to a culture in which the military was not "almost all of us serving by conscription for a little while" but career men and women who actually chose to become soldiers. They were "the other" by default, and by choice. They were, thus, people who would let themselves be used for the political ends of other people, and would not question that use. To many people that seemed weird at the time. So, in this film it is the military who impose the pods on others. Oddly, it seems that the pods are being dispatched only to other military bases at the end of the film. There is nothing said about spreading the infestation to civilian population. The metaphor, if there is one, is muddy. Is it a comment on conformity and taking orders in military organizations? When it comes to pre-pod people and post-transformation people maybe the film asks: what's the difference? From an outsider perspective, of course.
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Like: A line that the character post-transformation Pete uses to try to smoke out normal-Tim Young, who is trying to take off in his assigned helicopter. He tells Tim, "Oh, by the way, I fucked your girlfriend." Tim makes no emotional response to this, which convinces pod-Pete that he is actually talking to pod-Tim, and the guys with Pete let him take off. I'm not saying that this works dramatically, but it's clever.

Like: This film continues the themes of substitution found in the novel and the first two films. Here is an interesting essay (is this our Rouge?) about that aspect. Until I read the introduction to this I hadn't noticed that, for Marti, her stepmother was already an unacceptable substitute for her real mother, now dead. Her half-brother, who is six, also declares that Carole Malone is not his mother. (Keep in mind that the boy has seen her original body deflate on her bed, and another woman who looks like her stand up in the closet.) The pod-people seem somehow more evil and threatening in this film than in the first two. It isn't all just in the viewer's internal response to the various duplications. But that thought also trends into one of the things I don't like about the film, which you can read below.

Like: The ultimate creepy moment in this remake is when the mom character asks her untransformed husband, "Where you gonna go, where you gonna run, where you gonna hide? Nowhere... 'cause there's no one like you left." Obviously, she's exaggerating that last part. But they repeat the lines at the end. Slowed down so the voice is, what, sinister?
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Like: The montage of splodin' trucks in the convoy carrying pods to other destinations. This happens at the end of the film. Just before the "Fight all you want, it's hopeless," ending.

Even if I'm just helping out the producers by adding all these cool ideas, I have to give the writer and production crew some credit for at least making something that can stimulate my imagination to that degree.


But there are some aspects that I don't care for:
Don't Like: As I hinted in the opening paragraphs, many of the cast members seem to be on methylphenidate-class drugs right from the beginning. The actor playing Tim Young, Marti Malone's love interest, makes his character seem like a kid who was diagnosed ADHD in 1981 in 1st grade, and has been on the drug ever since. Maybe this is to make viewers suspect that he might be a pod-person. But there is no need for any character to say the line, "You can fool them if you pretend to have no emotions," because for the most part no one shows any. Perhaps I'm merely saying that the characters seem weakly portrayed.
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Don't Like: Misdirection is one way for a storyteller to build a surprise ending for a story. Leaving something out is one surefire way to employ misdirection. (Agatha Christie uses this in one of her murder mystery novels, where one person clearly seems to be the murderer in the early chapters, then at the beginning of the next chapter following the murder you learn that he can't possibly be. Except Christie has neglected to tell you what happened in a 30-minute gap that she leaps over between chapters!) Exactly when Steve Malone becomes a pod-person isn't shown. So you aren't supposed to be sure he is. Except his daughter is sure he is. The transformation is like Becky's transformation in the 1956 film: inconsistent with the world set up in the rest of the film. And in this 1993 remake it doesn't work, because as soon as he returns to his kids you know what he is. You know before Marti knows. If this is done to set up suspense, it backfires.

Don't Like: In the novel the pod-people don't act particularly different. In the '56 film they don't act particularly different, either; only close family members seem to notice the differences in their transformed loved ones, but they are reported to be emotionless. Since in this film most of the characters are emotionless to begin with, momma Malone has to be quietly sinister to become one of "them." This leads to inconsistencies, such as when the little brother or the father act and talk more naturally than they did before, even after becoming pod people. Sort of a paean to the '56 film; and sort of just an inconsistency. My personal opinion is that they could have done better, but it was an artistic decision...and those don't always pay off as we would wish. Perhaps that decision was necessitated by the actors involved.
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Don't Like: Things happen on the screen all during this film, but they don't draw the viewer in (at least not this viewer). Horror films need to do this, I think. So do science-fiction films, because both need to create a world that seems internally real enough to support the weirdness that eventually has to happen. This one starts off with weirdness, and stays there. Maybe the lack of differentiation between the pre- and post-transformation states of these characters is what makes it seem like a wet noodle of a flick. Maybe it's the plotting, although the story makes some sense.

This is one to watch if you are a completist, or if you are doing a Remake Multimatch. Miss it if you hate acting that could be described as "wooden," even though I get the sense that the director wanted this style. As I said above, given the prior successful horror production experiences of a huge number of crew members, this should have been the 71% positive film that the critics said, rather than the 5.8 or 3.7 that viewers give it. You have to wonder at such a discrepancy!



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"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Tue Feb 26, 2013 12:58 pm

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A Comparison of Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956), Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978),
Body Snatchers (1993) & The Invasion (2007)

In the Cutting Room
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I'm unable to locate biographical information for most of the editors for these films. And images are just as hard to come by.

1956: Robert S. Eisen Editor. He edited 20 titles between 1954 and 1966. Besides the subject of this Rematch, the only other film he edited that I've heard of is Rodan from 1956. But his job must have been to re-edit the film for American audiences. The initial editor of Rodan was Kôichi Iwashita, who also was the editor for Ikiru in 1952. The year 1956 was a banner year for Eisen. He edited six films that year. Eisen is also known for a crime drama from 1955, The Big Combo and a war movie also released in 1956, Screaming Eagles. Sadly, I am unable to locate any images of him, or any biographical information.


1978: Douglas Stewart Editor. Stewart has editorial credit for 49 titles, split between theatrical and television work, with the bulk for the small screen. Yet, he won an Oscar in 1983 for The Right Stuff, his last work as editor. He was also the film editor for John Wayne's last film, The Shootist. His first editorial job was a feature, The Hitch-Hiker released in 1953. He lived from 1919 to 1995, and died at age 75, 12 years after retiring from the cutting room.


1993: Anthony Redman is credited for 49 titles to date. His gig just prior to editing Body Snatchers was to cut Bad Lieutenant for director Abel Ferrara. His career has been spent editing television and theatrical films, but from 1991 to 1999 he worked exclusively on theatrical releases. These were all lower-budget, B-movie types. He has worked with Abel Ferrara on a number of films. Redman has worked steadily since 1974. In that year and 1975 he edited 7 episodes of the cult TV series, Kolchack: the Night Stalker.


2007: Hans Funck, and Joel Negron are both credited as Film Editor. That must be why the film seems to have at least twice as many cuts as it really needs. Funck was the editor of 2004's Downfall, and of the German film The Experiment released in 2001. He has 38 editorial credits beginning in 1996, and continuing to this year. Joel Negron has worked on the editorial staff (as assistant editor) of 16 features, and has editor credit on 17 other titles. He has worked with Tim Burton on four films, three as assistant editor, and as the supervising editor of Sleepy Hollow. He was editor for two of the Transformers films, as well as the Karate Kid remake. So far his editing career has stretched from 1987 to 2013.






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"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Thu Feb 28, 2013 2:39 pm

A Comparison of Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956), Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978),
Body Snatchers (1993) & The Invasion (2007)


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What Are We Afraid Of?

This set of films found its way into this round of Rematches because Colonel Kurz wrote an interesting line on 25 Jul 2012, when he recommended them
Colonel Kurz wrote:Each of the four versions of Invasion of the Body Snatchers is instructive on what caused paranoia at the time it was made.
The idea of looking at what fears may have found their way into the fabric of each film was enough to hook me. I didn't expect great movies in terms of all-time-everyone's-top-ten-list material. But I thought maybe the four writers would have something to say even if they didn't know what they were saying. There are five writers, if we include Jack Finney's original novel, although he helped out with the 1956 film.

It is widely known, or believed, that in the 1950s everyone in America was afraid of Russian Communism. There was, for some people, a Communist under every bush. But they didn't look different from us, and they didn't sound different from us. They were US citizens who identified with the goals of communism, and who, it was believed, would naturally associate with the Soviet Union. Also, social pressure to conform to a standard was much higher then than it would be 20 years later.

Time Zero -- 1954
So, it is natural now, as it was natural then, to look at Jack Finney's 1954 novel The Body Snatchers and think of brainwashing by communist agents, and being surrounded by an ideology that is slowly and inexorably taking over. If we in America believed so much in our system in those days, why did we seem to put out the message that "they" were winning? Because they were treacherous, I guess. They were capable of using insanely devious tactics, of smiling while they brainwashed us against our will. And all we had to do to let them take over was...go to sleep. Stop being vigilant. A person loses all resistance when she goes to sleep.
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Time + Two Years -- 1956
In Finney's novel, maybe it was communists. Who knows? In the 1956 film, maybe it was McCarthy's ilk. Perhaps it was fear of free-thinkers, or maybe the artistic type's rebellion against social norms. The general fear was of being kidnapped by communists and "brainwashed" (I had some interesting interpretations of that term when I was in elementary school, and they were scary to me). Of being brainwashed in such a way that you barely noticed. That your beliefs would be changed from the inside out, and you wouldn't even notice. That was a situation that was even scarier to your neighbors than it was to you. The fear was that you could be made a Godless Communist entirely against your will. That's how scary they were. I've read that Don Siegel claimed that he did not make a movie about McCarthyism or Communists. But the ideas fit well.

And how do you tell people are being taken over in this movie? They give up. They become listless and apathetic. They quit doing what makes America great. They stop tending to business, stop being personally neat and tidy, stop trying their damndest to Build for Tomorrow. That, my friend, was a terrifying thought.

Time + 24 Years -- 1978
By 1978 there were more nuclear devices worldwide, and the international rhetoric was harsher, even though it was ratcheted down a notch in terms of words used. But there were other enemies by that time. Yet, these were still enemies from within. The Hippies had birthed the free love era, and use of drugs (beyond alcohol) as recreation became a part of that mantra. There suddenly didn't seem to be any rules anymore. And these new enemies were not always silent. Sometimes they would point fingers and howl at you if you were one of the old guard or a sympathizer. They howled in print, they howled on TV, while their fingers jutted out accusingly at the end of a stiff arm, toward you and your old-fashioned ideas.
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Of course, the finger-pointing and shrieking were going on in both directions, so the upstarts were receiving just as much hollering from the oldsters as they were giving to the old guard. That's what gave the film its broad appeal in 1978: no matter who you were, there were people trying to take over your mind and make you be one of them. Attempts at conformity were going in at least two directions, perhaps more. At the end of Kaufman's film there is the scene where one of the "good guys" turns on Veronica Cartwright's character, moving her to tears. She trusted Matthew, and now he's gone over to the other side! (The way we used to say it was "Sold out.")

Yet, we know that sooner or later Nancy Bellicec must sleep! So, does that say that everyone is a sell-out? Or does it say to the Old Guard: "We've lost the war. We've actually lost the war!" while saying to the Youth Patrols: "You'll never change the world! It's hopeless!"?

Time + 39 Years -- 1993
By 1993 the military had begun to occupy a different status within US culture. I'm no historian so it's possible they were in such an ambivalent spot before WWII, but after the war it took them decades to work down to being untrusted again. After WWII they were the protectors, the victors over Fascism. But by the late 1980s they had not been able to vanquish our Communist foes. They had turned on us in the civil rights era, and at Kent State University in the 1960s. We heard that they had been illegally used to change regimes in other countries. People didn't hold military service in very high regard. Thus, the appearance of the pod people on an Alabama military base has a potential core meaning for the 1993 film. Perhaps the writers are suggesting that people fear the military. Or, that they fear military service and the perceived loss of self that must occur when your job is to take orders.
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Once again, if this is the artistic suggestion, then it's another enemy from within.

Time + 53 Years -- 2007
By the turn of the century we were less afraid of people as unseen enemies and more afraid of microbes. There had been the avian flu scare of the 1990s when the specter of the Spanish flu outbreak of 1918 was waved about like a light saber. We had heard of Ebola, and there was Human immunodeficiency virus. In 2000 the notion of viral-borne disease combined with the notion of the living dead, and gave us 28 Days Later with its "rage virus." Scary movies would never be the same. The infected were allegedly not zombies, but it was too much fun. Who cared?

For the latest film version the alien microbe is described as a spore-like entity, but for some reason the docs in the film keep referring to it as a virus. The writers of the 2007 film also brought the so-called War on Terror into play: the non-transformed are arrested as if they are terrorists in this film! A scary idea, of course. The three earlier films had less of a mixture of sources for paranoia, but this one tried to mix it up, and it was to the detriment of the project, I think. I'm not sure whether the German-born director was attempting to turn The Invasion into an art film. Regardless, the studio bosses took over and re-did much of the film, or so I hear:
Someone at IMDb wrote:Originally wrapped in early 2006, the film underwent massive reshooting in 2007. The reason for this was the studio which didn't liked the cut director Oliver Hirschbiegel delivered. To change that, Andy Wachowski and Lana Wachowski were brought in for rewrites and James McTeigue to direct the new scenes.
Another source insists that the entire last third of the movie was re-done.
For that reason there are two directors, one uncredited. That will make any film a bit schizoid.
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But the 2007 film retains the enemy within, although he's a bureaucrat, now. A man from the CDC, charged with providing what is sold as vigilance against a new flu virus, but is actually the alien virus itself. The better to persuade you to join us. This plays off a recent fear among Americans that vaccines are not truly beneficial. There is also the interesting complication in this film that not everyone is subject to getting the infection. Some are immune! Naturally immune!

As I watched all four movies through to take notes, another thought occurred to me: I wonder if those who grew up in Asian cultures, the ones where submission to the larger social structure is admired, find the pod-people as scary as Westerners do.





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"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Wed Mar 06, 2013 11:34 pm

I'm about to put up another tech post. I've worked on this off and on all day long. It's really hard to focus when you're taking pain relievers, I guess. having a cold at the same time isn't helping.

So, if you find typos that I missed, feel free to chuckle at them. I've been over it at least 5 times and found new ones every time through. :D
Gort/YTMN left the forum due to trolling on August 25, 2018.
I had fun. Thanks for reading!

"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

Rematch Resurrection Catalog for Rounds 1-4 New post 180721 -- YTMN's Remake Rematch Thread.
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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Wed Mar 06, 2013 11:34 pm

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A Comparison of Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956), Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978),
Body Snatchers (1993) & The Invasion (2007)

Design and Such
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A few people selected from the Full Cast and Crew listings for 1956:
Ted Haworth the production designer for the Don Siegel film won an Oscar in 1958 for Best Art Direction-Set Decoration for Sayonara. Haworth was nominated five other times. His career began in 1950 on a film entitled Pepe. His last screen credit was a year before he died, for the 1992 release Mr. Baseball. Haworth had 34 credits as Production Designer, intermingled with another 32 credits as Art Director. Strangers on a Train, Marty, Some Like It Hot, The Longest Day, Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid, Those Daring Young Men in Their Jaunty Jalopies, and *batteries not included are a few of his gigs that I recognize. I've even seen six of those I listed.
Joseph Kish, Set Decorator on the 1956 production, was born in what is now Serbia in 1899. He died in Hollywood at age 69. Like Ted Haworth, he got into the movie buisiness rather late in life, but he earned 134 credits for set decoration between 1942 and 1966. He was nominated five times for Oscars, and won in 1966 for Ship of Fools, but his chances were twice as high that year, because he was also nominated for The Slender Thread. I read through his list at IMDb and I think I've seen ten of the pictures he worked on. I've heard of many more.
Emile LaVigne Make-up. His first listed film at IMDb, although it says "Uncredited" is Jack Haley's makeup artist on The Wizard of Oz. His first screen credit is Fort Apache. Overall, Mr. LaVigne is credited for 110 titles, many of them as makeup artist for a specific actor or actress. Click on his name to see how many of the titles you recognize. If you're a Western fan you'll recognize many more titles, of course. But LaVigne worked across genres.
Milt Rice has a credit for Special Effects on the 1956 release. It's one of 39 credits listed at IMDb. There are so many of renown that I won't take up space putting them in here. But I've seen 12 of them over the years. Oh, and I've heard of more of them.
In addition, Don Post is listed as uncredited pod effects specialist. Just think, without this man whose name didn't even get put on the film itself, there wouldn't have been a film to watch. Now, surely, any number of others could have done the same job and there would have been a film, but someone had to do this specific job...and Don Post is thought to be the one. Not only that, he designed masks for the Halloween series of films that were in use after he died. He also designed the stillsuit used in the David Lynch film of Dune. Post died in November 1979, but his influence appeared on the screen through 1984. Oftentimes, only writers' credits outlive them in that way!
Carmen Dragon has the credit Composer and Conductor on this film. He also has 20 other credits as a member of the music department, often as the uncredited composer of stock music tracks. He was the orchestrator for The Great Dictator, but doesn't have screen credit for that. Dragon has composer credit for 20 titles, including the 1956 Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Dragon won an Oscar in 1945 for the 1944 film Cover Girl. He also has a star on the Walk of Fame. I had never heard of his name before I read it on this film's opening credits.


A few people selected from the Full Cast and Crew listings for 1978:
Denny Zeitlin Original Music. This man was so worn out by the process that he refused all other film scoring offers.
Charles Rosen Production Design. Among his 40 credits listed at IMDb are some well-known films. You may have heard of, if you haven't seen, The Producers, A Separate Peace, My Favorite Year, The Toy, Flashdance, Free Willy, and Private Parts. I've heard of these, and even saw 4 of them. Rosen has a nomination for a Primetime Emmy. His last project was in 2008. He died in 2012.
Doug von Koss is credited as Set Decorator for the 1978 Body Snatchers remake. His listed credits span 1972 to 1988. Before he worked on the Kaufman film, von Koss decorated sets for Play It Again, Sam and The Conversation. In 1983 he worked in the Art Department for Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi. That was his second gig on a George Lucas piece. Von Koss was prop master for American Grafitti in 1973.
Aggie Guerard Rodgers. Costume Design is what it says on her credit line, although she was Agnes Anne Rogers in those days. She has accumulated 52 such credits over the years, starting with American Grafitti in 1973, and including The Conversation, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Beetlejuice, Benny & Joon, Holes, and Rent nestled in among her various projects.
Ben Burtt Special Sound Recording. That's the credit he has on this picture, but his career began as uncredited sound designer on Death Race 2000 in 1975. His next sound design project was Star Wars. These days he continues to work on Pixar films. A quote attributed to him is good advice from my perspective:
Your success as an artist, to say something new, ultimately depends on the breadth of your education. My recommendation would be to major in an area other than film, develop a point of view, and then apply that knowledge to film. Because if film is all you know, you cannot help but make derivative work. I found that what I had learned about sound, history, biology, English, physics all goes into the mix.
Burtt Awards include Oscars for E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. His greatest tribute ever, of course, is that I told all my colleagues that what I wanted to achieve in the soundtracks for my hundreds of industrials and instructional videos was "Star Wars sound." That's not the tribute. The tribute is that all my clients were very impressed with the soundtrack mixes, and they usually didn't notice the soundtracks on the videos they commissioned.


A few people selected from the Full Cast and Crew listings for 1993:
Joe Delia, his 13th film score. He's up to 45 at this writing. In 1976 he got his start writing music for Abel Ferrara's 9 Lives of a Wet Pussy, which is not about a kitten.
Peter Jamison, Production Designer, has 36 credits with that job, and 11 as Art Director. One of the 11 is Mullholland Drive. The same year he did Body Snatchers he was production designer for The Beverly Hillbillies. His last project was the 2006 film The Darwin Awards. He died at age 66 in 2010.
Linda Spheeris Set Decoration. She has 57 credits so far, ranging from Crazy Mama in 1975, to four films released in 2012. Set Decorators can apparently work on a lot of films, perhaps simultaneously, depending on the various shooting schedules. If you watch Dexter you've seen her work. Same goes for The Last Starfighter, The Little Rascals, Point Break, and Jeepers Creepers II. She has been nominated in the category of Outstanding Art Direction for three primetime Emmys. She won for the 1998 TV film The Rat Pack, and was nommed for her work on Dexter (2006).
Margaret Mohr is the credited Costume Designer for the 1993 invasion film. She has 40 screen credits, stretching from 1991's Perfectly Normal, to a 2010 television movie. Most of her work has been on TV films.
Phil Cory, Special Effects Supervision. This film has 9 special effects people, including Cory. He began working for a TV series called Circle of Fear in 1972, and graduated to TV films and B-movies. By 1980 he was working in somewhat higher class films. Annie apparently required his talent for special effects, as did Real Genius, Glory, Flatliners, Die Hard: With a Vengeance, The Aviator and The World's Fastest Indian, his latest IMDb listed credit, which is from 2005. I found no biographical information for the man.


A few people selected from the Full Cast and Crew listings for 2007:
Jack Fisk Production Designer. Fisk has credits under the categories of Production Designer, Art Director and Director that range back to 1971. He was the man nominated for an Oscar for doing the production design for There Will Be Blood. He was also nominated for a BAFTA for that film, and won an Art Directors Guild award. In his list of 16 Production Designer credits there are several films that are popular at the corrie. He has worked with Brian De Palma, Terrence Malick, and David Lynch during his career.
William Aldridge, Special Effects Co-ordinator. Also known for the 2009 Star Trek film, he began as a special effects assistant on Halloween III. This was followed by The Goonies. He has been special effects coordinator or crew on three Die Hard films. He has a credit as pyrotechnician on The Fifth Element. If you look at his filmography you'll see that he fills many different positions from film to film.
Caty Maxey Art Director, along with James F. Truesdale. Maxey has 13 art direction credits, and six as production designer. Truesdale has been art director on 27 titles, and I count 10 of his that I have seen. The most recent is Life of Pi from 2012.
Jacqueline West is the credited Costume Designer. She has been nominated and has won a few awards for her work. West began with Rising Sun in 1993, and has worked consistently, for higher and higher budget films over her career. Many of her projects have been for Oscar-nominated films. This at least means that someone has noticed her work. Her latest Oscar-winner project is Argo.






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"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Sat Mar 09, 2013 9:46 pm

A Comparison of Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956), Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978),
Body Snatchers (1993) & The Invasion (2007)

The Invasion (2007) dir. Oliver Hirschbiegel
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IMDb link RT-link (161 reviews at 20%, 232,632 viewer votes at 42% positive)

Year: 2007 -- Director: Oliver Hirschbiegel with uncredited James McTeigue -- Cast: Nicole Kidman, Daniel Craig, Jeffrey Wright, Veronica Cartwright, Jackson Bond -- Length: 99 min. Color/Stereo -- $80,000,000 (estimated budget). $15,071,514 (gross income, USA).

It is very difficult to write a review (a fair one) for a film that really fails to grab you in any significant way. But your friendly neighborhood one with no name must try.

This fourth film seems to change almost everything except the aspect of falling asleep and coming under the control of the invading organisms. I guess having the virus come from outer space is also similar to the other versions, but it's a "virus." There are no pods. The virus invades the human body in the form of what is shown as a microscopic, pollen-looking structure, although the script refers to it as a "virus" on many occasions. But there are fewer actual differences than outward appearances would suggest.
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The point-and-shriek pod-people are gone after appearances in versions Two and Three. The protagonist is female, as in 1993. The virus is the add-in for this one. In Film Four the entire force of the US government is put behind the invading life-forms. Spouses and friends of the transformed still notice them being different. The first person we hear from is a woman, one of Dr. Bennell's patients, who says that her husband is not her husband.

The overall feel of the film is a lot like the 2008 The Day the Earth Stood Still. The mechanism to spread infection is vomiting by transformed humans, as in 28 Days Later. Be wary if someone with dull affect offers you a drink (they threw up in it a little, first). Or, they might just throw up in your face, or even hold your mouth open as a target while they do the dirty deed. Icky, huh?

And, this fourth version shifts back to the city.

Here are some aspects of the film that I like:

Like: Despite the major changes to the essence of the Finney story, there are more similarities retained than I thought at first. This became apparent on my second or third viewing for this thread. The names Bennell and Driscoll are kept. Carol Bennell is a doctor, a Psychiatrist played by Nicole Kidman. Ben Driscoll is another doc, played by Daniel Craig. Bennell has a cute-as-a-bug son, Oliver, who becomes a critical link in the story later. But there are many changes, too. The prime villain is Dr. Kaufman, who used to be Bennell's husband, and is Olly's father. Henry Bellecec becomes a foreign doctor. "Based on" in the titles should have been changed to "Suggested by," methinks.
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Like: For once I don't cringe to see an actress involved in action scenes, and I think it's because all the action stuff stems from what you might expect a woman (or any man in general, actually) to face in a plausible situation. Filmmakers have the unenviable task of keeping their fantasy worlds approachable. We're not supposed to identify with Batman. Batman is for inspiration of awe. But we need to identify with the characters in any version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers since that's where the horror comes from. Kidman does things that seem plausible in the midst of the fantasy world of The Invasion that I can imagine her doing in certain situations in real life.

Like: Adapting a more recent cinematic meme (that of viral infections) to a story that is from the middle of the last century is quite clever. But it's merely a kudos to the attempt. Now, it's a bit daunting to realize that I was around (although only 4) when the first film came out, so both that film and this update are responses to new ideas that happened during my lifetime. HOWEVER: I frankly don't understand why the producers didn't simply cast off more of the Jack Finney baggage, the way the creators of the 2008 The Day the Earth Stood Still did. Oh, wait. I think I do. That film lost its connection to the original title. This film doesn't exactly lose its connection to Finney's ideas, but in trying to keep them it goes south. Looks like this entry should have been in the group below!

Like: The film uses terrorism and the Patriot Act (neither around in the 1950s, 70s or early 90s on our home soil for the US) to provide the "guilty because we think you are" ambiance of the uninfected being arrested by the police. Somehow, in all four films the police (or soldiers) fall under sway of the pods or the virus first, and then they use their tacit power to get at those who haven't slept in a while. There is definitely a "don't trust authority" vibe in Jack Finney's novel, and this gets played up in all four film versions. In this film those who are not yet transformed are arrested, taken away and given sedatives to make them sleep and transform. The aim is to create a world where everyone is alike, and there is no dissent. See the next entry.
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Like: They threaten the life of a child (and I am happy to spoil it to you that the kid doesn't get murdered). But they threaten him with death. They being the viro-poids. "There's no room in our world for someone who is immune," is the line, I think. And it's spoken by someone who has protected little Oliver up to that time. Creeps. Meanwhile, there are others who are able to sleep, awaken and be themselves. This is due to a childhood infection with an encephaline virus (alien viral form is susceptible to immune response generated by earth-based virus...okaaay). The viro-poids don't like that and forcibly arrest these immunes...and not to give them a sedative, either. Unless it is an overdose of sedative.


...and some things I don't care for:
Don't Like: If you do away with the pods, and the vegetable origin of the transformation, why do we need to see bodies mid-transformation covered in spider-webby stuff? This just seems dumb.

Don't Like: Is the flashback your fave literary and cinematic structure? This film has a pre-title sequence, then after the titles there is a flashback that lasts 72 minutes, before winding up where we started, and trying to change all our perceptions.
Image
Don't Like: The happy ending. Normally, I do like happy endings. Hank can tell you that I chickened out on a downer ending for one of my novels because I fell in love with the characters; so I tend in that direction. But in this case the happy ending seems box-office driven rather than driven by the story. Version one has a potential (but uncertain) happy ending. Versions two and three have "Hang it up, buddy," downer endings. And four has the typical Hollywood denoument. You know, like on a TV series where everything has to be the same all the time for the sake of re-run syndication after the show goes off the air? So they tell a story that gets put back together at the end. It's not as dumb as the happy ending for Jack Finney's original novel, though. I'll give it that. If 28 Days Later had done the same at the end, it would have really cheapened the movie to the point that it wouldn't be the cult hit it is. Note: The Invasion isn't even a cult hit, while the 1978 version of the story is.

Don't Like: Overall, the film is there on the screen, and things happen, but nothing seems to matter. At least the characters are more animated before they are transformed than those in the 1993 version, but not by much. Film acting in the 1950s had not become disaffected to the degree it would in the 1960s. So it's easier to spot the pod people in the 1956 film. The 1978 film has several rather animated actors, so when they become pod people you can tell. By 1993 the "normal" people are so tamped down that the effect is all but lost in transformation. And the 2007 version fails to bring some joy of life back to the main characters before they are transformed. It's a film, and it may be fair to make us work to understand subtext, but the character transformations shouldn't be left to subtext. I can see that for sure after watching two films that try that tactic.

Don't Like: The film sets up some very thoughtful premises. And then ignores the hell out of them. Perhaps the idea is that I will think about them later, rather than asking the filmmakers to waste valuable screen time with exposition and careful statement of premises as if this were a philosophy class. Or, perhaps, the writers and crew never noticed that they raised these points at all!
Image
This film is in the same category as the 1993 version: watch it if you are a completist, a Nicole Kidman or Daniel Craig fan, or if you are making a Remake Multimatch of all four of these films. It isn't a bad movie at all, it just seems to have an unfulfilled promise. If what I've read is true, that the last third of the film was reshot, maybe all that jiggering ruined something that the original team had going. But if what they had going was so great, then why did the suits toss that out and redo a lot of the film?

There is still some social commentary in the film as it is. Perhaps there used to be more, and the movie got magnificently Amberson'd by the studio. You can still find some points of interest if you look for them, but they won't leap out at you. (It would be terrible to discover that the studio jiggering actually improved the film.)

Once again we have RottenTomatoes figures that stimulate head-scratching: 20% of reviewers liked the film, 8 out of ten reviews panned it. Yet, 42% of readers vote that they like the movie. At IMDb the readers have given it 5.9 stars, slightly better than the response at the Tomato patch. Am I a reviewer or a watcher in this case? By either measure, most people would be expected to find less to like than to dislike about The Invasion.





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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Mon Mar 11, 2013 4:24 am

Reviews continue!
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"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Mon Mar 11, 2013 4:24 am

A Comparison of Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956), Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978),
Body Snatchers (1993) & The Invasion (2007)

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978) dir. Philip Kaufman
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IMDb link RT-link (42 reviews at 95%, 33,151 viewer votes at 73% positive)

Year: 1978 Director: Philip Kaufman -- Cast: Donald Sutherland, Brooke Adams, Jeff Goldblum, Veronica Cartwright, Leonard Nimoy, Kevin McCarthy, Don Siegel -- Length: 115 min. Color/Stereo -- $3,500,000 (estimated budget). $24,946,533 (gross income, USA).

The second film based on Jack Finney's novel The Body Snatchers changes a lot. Location, for one thing. No longer are we in sequestered small-town Santa Mira, but in the middle of thriving and thronging San Francisco. Whereas everyone knew everyone else in Santa Mira, hardly anyone really knows anyone in San Francisco, and that changes the invasion dynamic altogether. Still, the recognition of changed people is the same: loved ones of the transformed notice a change in them, but can't say what exactly is different.

If you Google the title, this film piles up on top, several layers deep. It has become "the" version of the story that people identify first. It's safe to say that it has achieved ownership of the brand by this time. Whether it is superior to or inferior to the 1956 film is a pointless question. This is not only a remake, it is an update, a transplanted mutation of the original story. It is told for a different day, to people who largely dwell in different circumstances from those who saw the 1956 movie. San Francisco wasn't as large in 1956 as it was in 1978. Many 1956 "Santa Mirans" would have relocated to San Francisco or Los Angeles by 1978. This film was made for the people who lived in that world. They needed the bejeebers scared out of them, and Philip Kaufman set out to do it.
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In the commentary track to the Kaufman film, someone points out that Nancy Bellicec is disturbed because people are interacting with one another, which they don't normally do. In the metropolitan world of 1978 SF this is the suspicious behavior! To have human interaction is "weird." To meet with fellow humans outside of work, family, or parties is just not done. Unless you're selling Amway or something. But that's work, sort of.

Clearly, the reviews aggregated at RottenTomatoes suggest that this is the best of the four films. It has a totally depressing ending, but that is part of what has driven it to cult film status. In 1978, no one I talked to who had seen both films at that time liked the Kaufman. Yet, time has dubbed it the better film. I'm not sure I'd call this the best of the four. But it is not the worst, and that's for sure.

As the first remake, this film retains the pods. But Kaufman adds a prologue that takes place under the credits, showing the gelatinous creatures leaving their dead home-world and spreading out across the darkness of space. And then, some arrive at earth and fall upon it. Some of these arrive in San Francisco, where they adapt the biology of the plants on which they land to create a life form that can assimilate the living creatures around them.

On balance, I'd say this film is a caper in the soup. Rather than, that other thing. As a reviewer has pointed out, it expands on a lot of the assets of the first film.

Here are some aspects of the film that I like, and some that I don't care for:
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Like: Jack Bellicec is so enthusiastic that when he pods out you can really tell it. The change in him is more like what we experience in the first film, where acting was still a bit more, well, acting-like. But there is a transition, also. Some lower-key characters, such as Matt Bennell are harder to figure out. Maybe this is more the way it would go in real life, but I like to see the transition between normal and transformed be projected a little sharper.

Like: Kevin McCarthy has a window-pounding reprise of his role from the 1956 film. The script even keeps the character name the same. Yeah, he's been pounding on windshields for 22 years! But he gets run over. Probably by a pod person who decides to finally shut him up. In the 2007 film there is a homage to this scene, when we meet the first Cop, who won't let Dr. Carol Bennell near the woman who has been run over.

Like: The dog-man. Even before Spaceballs there is a half-man-half-dog created by a pod that can't make up its mind. This raises a refrigerator logic question: how does a pod tell what to become? If a man and his dog sleeping together can become a mog, then why not part-tree-part-human? Why not a dat (part-dog-part-cat)? Heck, why not a rat (part cat, part rat)? This was eight years before Cronenberg would bring us the man and fly fused at the level of DNA, so movie people still thought in terms of what happened in the 1958 fly movie as a potential fusion of two species.
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Like: As completely dumb as it is, the ending sequence is handled well. The first time you see it you may not leap ahead and figure it out.

Like: The film skewers the oddities of the late 70s: things like therapeutic mud baths, and psychologists writing so many self-help books, the crafts movement, and indoor greenhouses. That kind of thing. Then again, in the 1970s people wouldn't have seen this as skewering, but as being "current."

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Don't Like: Shrieking pod-people -- it is just silly. Although I think it's meant to be symbolic of the silliness of finger-pointers in society. Surely it's intended to be a comedic, if creepy touch. Comedic. Surely.

Don't Like: Although there is a dramatic reason for doing it, there is an inconsistency to the presentation of the pods in progress that bothers me. For example, the first pod person we see is stone still except for opening its eyes. The pods that grow up around Matt Bennell as he sleeps on the roof of his apartment are wiggling the whole time. Shouldn't they either be still or wiggly? The animatronic effects are good for the wiggly ones. This is not refrigerator logic, but something I noticed on first viewing, by the way. Most of the inconsistencies didn't really show up until second or third viewings.

Don't Like: The ending is kind of dragged out. Bennell runs around on those catwalks for a very long time, chopping at suspension ropes. I got the idea after the first one was cut. There's no need for me to belabor this point.

Don't Like: I can't imagine why anyone would buy an album of Danny Zeitlin's musical score. By itself it would seem rather unmusical, to me. It fits well with the film, although it seems more like sound effects most of the time, and less like music. That's another thing the movie skewers without intending to. The avant garde musical forms of the 1970s.
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If you are going to watch only one version of this title, watch this one or the 1956 film. If you want a strong sense of humor, better go with the 1978. The humor is subtle, maybe unintentional, but I think it's placed in the film on purpose. There are a few potential surprises in this movie for those who don't know the story in advance. If you do know the story, it's fun to make comparisons with the 1956 story or the novel.

The ending is surprisingly bummer-like, but when I think back on it depressing endings were very popular with movie-makers in the late 1970s and all through the 1980s. Films were supposed to carry a social message, and downer endings were considered to be more literary, and better writing in that day. That's one thing that made Star Wars so refreshing. Apart from the orchestral score. It didn't have a totally bummer ending. This movie's ending will send chills up and down your spine the first time.

The special effects created in 1978 are a far sight better than what could be pulled off in 1956, and the higher budget that Kaufman got for his film helped. For every flaw that you can spot or dream up in this film, you will also find something that is done well.




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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by dreiser » Mon Mar 11, 2013 4:33 am

YouTookMyName wrote:The ending is surprisingly bummer-like, but when I think back on it depressing endings were very popular with movie-makers in the late 1970s and all through the 1980s. Films were supposed to carry a social message, and downer endings were considered to be more literary, and better writing in that day. That's one thing that made Star Wars so refreshing. Apart from the orchestral score. It didn't have a totally bummer ending. This movie's ending will send chills up and down your spine the first time.

The special effects created in 1978 are a far sight better than what could be pulled off in 1956, and the higher budget that Kaufman got for his film helped. For every flaw that you can spot or dream up in this film, you will also find something that is done well.
I much prefer the '78 version. Some of it is nostalgia probably because I saw the movie as a kid during its theatrical release. The ending is one of my favorites in all of motion pictures.
"I hate the dark, the sharks liars. And the stems of cherry..."

Like Someone in Love (Kiarostami, 2012) 4/10
Killing Them Softly (Dominik, 2012) 2/10
The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm (Pal/Levin, 1962) 6/10
The Dark Past (Mate', 1948) 7/10
New Rose Hotel (Ferrara, 1998) 3/10
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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Mon Mar 11, 2013 6:21 am

dreiser wrote:
I much prefer the '78 version. Some of it is nostalgia probably because I saw the movie as a kid during its theatrical release. The ending is one of my favorites in all of motion pictures.
I assume this means '78 over '56. So, just wondering, have you seen either or both the other two versions?
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"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by dreiser » Mon Mar 11, 2013 7:59 am

YouTookMyName wrote: I assume this means '78 over '56. So, just wondering, have you seen either or both the other two versions?
Seen all of 'em. I saw the '56 as a much older man. Not the same impact at all.
"I hate the dark, the sharks liars. And the stems of cherry..."

Like Someone in Love (Kiarostami, 2012) 4/10
Killing Them Softly (Dominik, 2012) 2/10
The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm (Pal/Levin, 1962) 6/10
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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Sat Mar 16, 2013 4:12 pm

A Comparison of Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956), Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978),
Body Snatchers (1993) & The Invasion (2007)


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whyPods?

The novel and three of the films use plant-like pods as the life form that becomes a replica of a human being, right down to the tiniest detail...except without emotions. I got to wondering "Why plants? Why pods?"

Why not have the alien life form in every version be spores, or a viral particle as in the 2007 film? How come pods were (and maybe are) so attractive as the invading organism? Maybe there is something creepy about being taken over by some "other" that functions at its most skin-crawly intensity when there is a visible thing outside the body that becomes "you" in a slimy, wiggly process.

First of all, the transformed creatures are supposed to be without emotion. We don't generally think of plants as having emotions, although some botanical researchers claim to have evidence that they do. We're working with general public perceptions, here. So, maybe plants turning into people without emotions seems to make some kind of primal sense (unless you think about it).

Maybe most of the time something you can see (or could see if you knew where to look) is creepier than something invisible. So, a plant pod would be creepier than a virus. The thought of people who have already been transformed sneaking around and placing a pod beneath your bed or in a closet while you're away, is unsettling. The thought that these sneakers would be people in your family, or your trusted neighbors is also unsettling. And the idea that the object you don't know about would take away everything you are while you slept the next night, is even more unsettling. It almost hurts to contemplate yourself as a dried up mound of gray fluffy fibers.
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But maybe there is a slight salve in being able to see the pods: a person's most-likely real-life similar experience would be to have a lover find a different lover. Isn't that kind of what Dana Wynters's cold gaze at the end of the movie suggests? "I don't love you anymore." We often "didn't see it coming." I certainly didn't prior to my wife's suggestion that we needed to be divorced! Here, in novel and flicks, there is a visual cue to anyone who looks for it that the transformation is taking place.

Finally, pods are something alien to us even here on earth. They don't have to float down from space. We just wouldn't expect anything vegetable to emulate or to become something animal here on earth. And because the pods of the story are separate physical things, there is the possibility that characters can catch someone they care about in mid-transformation, and stop it. And characters do just that in all the versions of the story. But the least-alarming on-screen presence is in the 2007 iteration. That movie uses a virus as the thing that causes the transformation. Invisible viruses are not that terrifying. All we can see is the results of their ravages. There is no prior suspense-building thing to look at and dread.

At any rate, the thought that your son is not your son, your husband is not your husband, you may not be who you used to be is alarming enough. The pods in the movies simply represent a concrete symbol of this impending change. And once you're set up for that, you get, "They're here! You're neeext!"




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What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Sat Mar 16, 2013 4:31 pm

dreiser wrote:
Seen all of 'em. I saw the '56 as a much older man. Not the same impact at all.
I saw all of them as an older man. I believe I saw the 1956 film on TCM. Then I borrowed the '78 from the local library. Didn't see the fourth one until I committed to this topic, and got it from teh Frix. I couldn't watch the '93 version until the package of all four films arrived in my mailbox from Amazon.

It would be interesting to see the '78 at the theater. I had a chance when it came out but I wasn't interested.
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"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Wed Mar 20, 2013 3:15 am

Image

A Comparison of Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956), Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978),
Body Snatchers (1993) & The Invasion (2007)

Other Information on teh Netz

Image We always begin with the Wikipedia.
The Novel:
The Body Snatchers.
Jack Finney, author of the original story.

1956:
The First Film Adaptation.
Don Siegel, the director.

1978:
The Second Film Adaptation.
Philip Kaufman, the director.

1993:
The Third Film Adaptation.
Abel Ferrara, the director.

2007:
The Fourth Film Adaptation.
Oliver Hirschbiegel, the director.




Image NEWSY sorta LINKS:

The Sad Lesson Of 'Body Snatchers': People Change by Maureen Corrigan. "Finney started out in advertising before he became a science-fiction and suspense writer, and maybe that background accounts for the pithiness of his writing and the intensity of his images — images that bore into your brain like a parasite."

New 'Invasion of the Body Snatchers' remake stars Nicole Kidman. Hugh Hart. Published 4:00 am, Thursday, August 9, 2007

'The Body Snatchers' remake: they're coming to get you... Tuesday 09 October 2007.




Image ACADEMIC sorta LINKS:

"The Body Snatchers" and other Alien Pods from DarkRoastedBlend. "It's hard in some ways to read Finney's book today. Not that it's not a good or even great book, because it's that and much more. Finney's restrained style is there, his wry sense of humor is there, his enviously lean prose is there, but if you'd never read "The Body Snatchers" and picked up a copy only today, you'd fail to see its incredible uniqueness against the now-ubiquitous theme."

Jac Finney's Invasion of the Body Snatchers #46 from "Thrillers: 100 must-reads." Written by James Rollins. Examines the probability that the novel deals with Racism as much as it deals with Communist invasion. "This same mimicry and deception is what Bennell witnesses in the
pod-people when they drop their masks, revealing their true nature. So, it isn’t just the extremes ofMcCarthyism that give this novel power, but also
the racism prevalent at the time. How can anyone read the above section and not squirm? It forced both sides of the racial divide to wonder who were wearing masks of hypocrisy and what lurked beneath them."

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) by Tim Dirks. "The film had a few preliminary titles: Sleep No More, Better Off Dead, and They Came From Another World before the final choice was made."




Image REVIEWS and INFORMATION:

Philip Kaufman’s Invasion Of The Body Snatchers, and the enduring power of the scream by Ryan Lambie 7 Dec 2011 - 11:03. "Remarkably, though, the 70s Body Snatchers almost equals the brilliance of Siegel’s original – and this time, its downbeat conclusion isn’t sullied by a studio-enforced epilogue, as the residents of San Francisco come under silent attack from plant-like, other-worldly organisms."

Film Review: Invasion Of The Body Snatchers (1956) by Nigel Honeybone, posted on 02/21/2012. "While mid-fifties movies like Forbidden Planet (1956) or This Island Earth (1955) remain favourites among fans, most ‘hardcore’ film buffs are more likely to cite Invasion Of The Body Snatchers (1956) as the best genre film of the period. Based on the novel The Body Snatchers by Jack Finney, it’s basically a variation on the old alien possession theme which had already been used in several fifties films like Invaders From Mars (1953), It Came From Outer Space (1953), The Quatermass Xperiment (1955) and Quatermass II (1957)."

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978) posted Thursday, November 17, 2011. "So there are four versions of “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” out there: one from 1956, one from 1978, one from 1993 and one from 2007. The question now is which version is the best? That’s an easy one: Philip Kaufman’s 1978 version. While the first iteration of “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” is a superb film, it suffers from a slapped on happy ending that the director of that film never wanted but was stuck with by producer interference. The 1978 version is a far more pure and unmolested take on the story, following four relatively normal individuals in their futile attempt to survive the takeover by the pod people."

Body Snatchers (1993). Review from Racksa and Razors.com. "Bottom line here is that at first I wondered if this film was a sequel to Invasion of the Body Snatchers as the story is totally different but sadly just another remake. It is rather boring and pointless but a few good performances here and there but nothing to brag about either. It is a good look at a dysfunctional family however, it makes you think you'd prefer it that way after what is happening to everyone."

Science Fiction Classics: The Stories that Morphed Into Movies edited by Forrest J Ackerman. A review of the book. "Science Fiction Classics: The Stories that Morphed Into Movies offers up 13 stories, one full novel and one novel excerpt later shot as movies or portions of movies. Authors include names like Bradbury, Campbell, Kuttner, Siodmak and Weinbaum, so it's hard to go entirely wrong. Since the stories appeared between 1918 and 1963, and half the movies were released in the 50s, you cannot expect the latest in cyberpunk or virtual reality."

The Book. Buy your own copy.

Must See: Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978) from io9.com. "Sights you'll never unsee: Pulsating embryonic Donald Sutherland pod complete with porn star mustache and 'fro. Obese man wearing a tiny, tiny towel receiving full body mud rubdown from Veronica Cartwright. Leonard Nimoy and Jeff Goldblum coming dangerously close to a full on sissy slap fight."

Invasion 1978 Script. Actually, this is a transcript of the dialogue with character names added. It is hardly the "script" of the movie.

Re-Make/Re-Model: Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) vs. Body Snatchers (1993). Jesse Cataldo May 6, 2012. "Ferrara claimed to go back to Jack Finney’s original story for his source material, but the allegory he comes up with is just as vague but as in Siegel’s version, only for entirely different reasons. This is mostly because it’s never clear exactly what Ferrara is railing against. In the original the blankness felt like a conscious choice, an example of a director playing his material close to the vest. In this case it feels simply unhinged, giving the film the loose feel of a manic rant."




Image MISCELLANY and TRIVIA:

Puppeteer Parasite from TVtropes.org.

Film: Invasion of the Body Snatchers from TVtropes.org.

Fridge Brilliance and Logic in these films, from TVtropes.org.

Headscratchers from TVtropes.org.

YourMileageMayVary entries for these films from TV tropes.

1956 trivia page at IMDb.
1978 trivia page at IMDb.
1993 trivia page at IMDb.
2007 trivia page at IMDb.

Tumblr tags "body snatchers."





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If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Sat Mar 23, 2013 6:05 pm

A Comparison of Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956), Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978),
Body Snatchers (1993) & The Invasion (2007)


Image
Really? Four Film Versions?

The notion that enemies could be secretly infiltrating our organization or our country is scary to many people. During the Cold War period people were afraid of communists in a number of ways: it was believed that these people would stop at nothing to bury us; they looked just like us, so it was hard to tell them apart from friends; and everyone knew that the communists had perfected brainwashing, so that you could be made into one of them almost overnight, and you'd never even know it! That last part was probably the most chilling, especially to me as a kid.

When Colonel Kurz recommended this series of films I think he already knew that there are four. I knew of only two! It was fascinating to me that every 10 or 20 years someone has decided to make a new film from Jack Finney's novel. And I wondered what is the big attraction to this idea?

There are differences between the films, although they all use the core idea that an alien organism has found its way to earth, and is taking over people for, apparently, the fun of it. Finney's original thoughts are that the alien pods take over planets for the simple reason that life tries to survive and to reproduce and to perpetuate its kind. There is no "reason" to it, in the Classical Greek sense. It's reasoning that leads us to the conclusion; the imperative to survive is there in the stuff of life right, from the beginning. The same idea is expressed in Jurassic Park when Dr. Malcom says, "Life will...find a way."

Okay, so ignoring the plot holes and inconsistencies of the source material, why four versions of this story (five if you count the novel)? I think it's because we never stop worrying about unseen enemies. Those that you can see are less worrisome in some fashion. The ones who "look like us" are frightening because they can get right up beside you without alarm bells going off, and then you've got a knife in the back. Or your kids have been snatched. Or, to put it in a more mundane and more common form, your spouse or partner has suddenly and unexpectedly been wooed to another lover while you thought everything was okay between you.
Image
Plus, the type of transformation changes as we go along (there is another essay about "The Vector"). There is an increasing need to explain the source of the aliens from film version 1956 through film version 2007. Over the 50 year historical span, not only does the vector or source of the situation change, but the outcome reverts back to something quite similar to Jack Finney's original ending in the novel. At the end of the novel the pods simply waft into space because of Miles Bennell's determination not to be taken over. Lame. The 1956 film discards that, and the re-written ending has people discovering what's going on in Santa Mira after a pod-filled truck has turned over on the highway. Maybe they will win. It isn't clear. The 1978 version has all of "us" being defeated. In 1993 the bleak ending is repeated with the final words being, "Where you gonna run? Where you gonna hide? There's no one like you left." But at the end of the 2007 film a cure for the viral infection is found, and publically distributed, solving the problem.

Each version turns out to be "about" something different. And that's what I will try to look at in "Reflections of Paranoia." The message is different, because the perceived enemy (the "vector" symbolizes this in each case) is different in each case. The perception of human power is different in each case. Yet, we don't have four totally different movies!

Over the course of the years the general theme of what we can do changes from: if we resist they will leave (novel); to, if we are vigilant we might defeat them (1956 film); to, our way of life is over, and it's just a matter of time until they get me (1978 film); to, hang it up, all is lost no matter what we do (1993); to, if we know them we can defeat them (2007 film).




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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Sat Mar 23, 2013 9:28 pm

A Comparison of Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956), Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978),
Body Snatchers (1993) & The Invasion (2007)


Image
...now, Zombies!

While working through this Multimatch I had occasion to watch several zombie films. That got me to thinking about similarities between zombies and pod-people. I have no idea if Jack Finney was familiar with the notion of "zombis" that had made some inroads into American pop culture by that time. Prior to 1968 there wasn't the modern notion of zombies at all. The 1950s zombie was a resurrected dead person, devoid of any emotional affect, and subject to the whims of a master.

Of course, zombies didn't even pretend to laugh, the way pod people would do. But pod people were only laughing to deceive the still-human into sleeping. "It won't be different, except it will be better." That sort of thing.

We have here a comparison between being possessed and being dispossessed. The pod people are possessed by the collective mind, while zombies have no mind. They are dispossessed by (of?) what we would call a mind. They are possessed only by hunger, and the somehow-operative lower functions of their dead brains. Either condition is frightening to the American mindset. Although not to all Americans. There are people worldwide (even here) who would rather fit in than to strike out on their own. In America, especially the America of the 1950s and since, the iconoclast is revered. You're exhorted from your pre-walking days to not let anyone think for you (except maybe your domineering parents).

Could it be that the biggest fear-inducing feature of both the pod people and zombies is that you would be forced to become one of them via a well-placed pod and a restful night's sleep, or by a bite? After that you would ultimately have no control over your mind or body. You would find yourself behaving in ways that you would never behave if you were still in control.
Image
People are more comfortable pretending to be zombies. You don't find pod people Halloween costumes.
But zombies and the ideas thereof have undergone a lot of change over the past half-century. Modern zombies are the creations of writers who are beginning to examine what it would be like to be a zombie. Thus, the popular notion of a zombie has changed, not only due to Romero's 1968 film, but because of our incessant desire to understand the things that fascinate us, whether real or imagined. Zombies are the focus of mindlessness in this decade, but maybe pod people will return to the public imagination someday. It stands to reason that someone might write a tract from the standpoint of a pod person at some time in the future. Maybe they aren't as enslaved to the collective mind as it has seemed up until now. Then, there might be a resurgence of pod people films to rival the current fascination with the walking dead.

In both states, the person you were is dead. As a zombie, the same body, ravaged by makeup effects gets to its feet and shambles along. As a pod person, your memories and shape have been stolen in the night by a plant. It has everything you were except your emotions, yet it now possesses a connection to all other pod people worldwide. A collective connection that the zombies in Warm Bodies crave. Yet, don't be deceived: you are dead in either case. As a zombie, physically dead. As a pod person, you are now replaced. What you used to be is a ball of gray fluff and goo that will be unceremoniously tossed into the back of a trash van. Dead. In either case you are dead.

Maybe that's the ultimate fear that the Invasion films induce, and that zombie films stir up. The fear of death.
Image


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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Sat Mar 23, 2013 9:31 pm

A Comparison of Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956), Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978),
Body Snatchers (1993) & The Invasion (2007)


Image
The Vector

Jack Finney's novel has an explanation of how the pod transforms itself into a replica of a living thing (or in one case, some tin cans on a haystack). There is no contact. Finney mentions that they fell from the sky onto some farmland outside Santa Mira, California. By the time Dr Miles Bennell learns of the pod people they are already all around him. The pod people have a sense of who is not transformed, but they don't shriek in order to indicate a non-alien. If the target human is awakened before the transformation is complete, the pod person returns to gray fluff and goo. If the transformation finishes, the essence of the human goes into the pod person and the human turns to gray fluff.

Each film claims to be based on Jack Finney's novel, although the films borrow from earlier films as well as the novel. The Don Siegel film uses the same non-contact mechanism. There is no explanation in the film of where the pods came from other than that they fall from the sky. A pod person places pods near a sleeping human, who becomes the target for the pod. The pod and person don't have to be really close by. If the target wakes up before the transformation is complete, the pod person stops forming and becomes gray fluff, as in the novel.

In the 1978 film the pod seems to need to be fairly close to the person to be replicated, but there is still no necessary contact. There can be contact between the space spores (that look like gelatin, because that's basically what was used by the special effects department to represent the spore clusters), and the flowers from the pods. Not only can the transformed pod-people sense who is not yet an alien, but when they sense humans they point at them and shriek like a swine in order to alert others to follow the human. The tin cans idea may have found new life in one 1978 scene where a sleeping homeless man and his sleeping dog have a pod placed near them. Later in the film there are two quick shots of a dog with the homeless man's face.

The Abel Ferrara version uses tendrils that grow from the pod, make contact both externally and through orifices on the target, and then the duplication takes place in the pod. This film picks up the idea of the shrieking alert noises from the 1978 movie. Once again, if the target is awakened and the tendrils pulled away from them, the pod person shrivels up. But the extraterrestrial source of the pods is left to the imagination, except in a line spoken by General Platt about "we" having migrated across expanses of space. We don't see them arrive, just as we don't see them arrive in the novel or the first film. The plants with the pods seem to grow at the bottom of a pond or river in this film.

By 2007, with viruses the most popular disease vector in films, the transformation still takes place when the target falls asleep, but there is no replication, and there are no pods. Instead, the alien virus takes over the person, body and soul. Each period of micro sleep allows the virus to inculcate further into the person's DNA. Waking up stops it, but it is only a postponement of the takeover. Once infected, transformation is inevitable for everyone. One change from the earlier versions: if someone interrupts the process once it reaches the point of goo and fibers, the transforming person and the virus will die. They are one and the same entity, not a pod and a person. Vomiting on someone (as in 28 Days Later) spreads the virus from person to person.

Probably the 1993 film is the least like the novel. The 1956 original is the most like the novel, although not slavishly so. Some believe that the 1978 version best represents the themes of Jack Finney's book.



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If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by Das » Sat Mar 23, 2013 9:43 pm

Hey YTMN, just stopping by to let you know that after catching up on the latest - great work - the amount of effort and research that goes into these is always impressive to me.
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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Sat Mar 23, 2013 9:50 pm

You don't know how much I appreciate that post. :heart: And not only for the kind words. It's just nice to see evidence other than view count that people are reading. When you say you like it, that makes those long hours seem worthwhiler! :D
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"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by Quite-Gone Genie » Sat Mar 23, 2013 10:37 pm

I am also still reading, just not acknowledging as much.
"So, you see, he was condemned to walk in darkness a quadrillion kilometres (we've adopted the metric system, you know)..."
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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Sat Mar 23, 2013 10:43 pm

Quite-Gone Genie wrote:I am also still reading, just not acknowledging as much.
K.

Say, No Way Out is streaming on Netflix currently, so I've seen it, and realized that I saw the last 10 minutes of it before, without knowing what had gone on before!

Your rec Rematch is up as soon as I finish Invasion. I think I've found a source for the novel, which I want to read first, and I'll try to find affordable copies of the two DVDs. Then I'll be good to go!
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"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by Quite-Gone Genie » Sat Mar 23, 2013 10:56 pm

YouTookMyName wrote: K.

Say, No Way Out is streaming on Netflix currently, so I've seen it, and realized that I saw the last 10 minutes of it before, without knowing what had gone on before!

Your rec Rematch is up as soon as I finish Invasion. I think I've found a source for the novel, which I want to read first, and I'll try to find affordable copies of the two DVDs. Then I'll be good to go!
The novel The Big Clock is partially based on Samuel Fuller's The Dark Page, which is fictionally featured as The Dark Deadline in his film The Big Red One. That story made its way around the block a few times.

EDIT: And apparently the film Scandal Sheet was based on The Dark Page. And there was a TV movie remake in 1985.
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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Sat Mar 23, 2013 11:01 pm

Quite-Gone Genie wrote:The novel The Big Clock is partially based on Samuel Fuller's The Dark Page, which is fictionally featured as The Dark Deadline in his film The Big Red One. That story made its way around the block a few times.
Interesting. It's similar to what I learned when I started researching Miller's Crossing.

I was just checking prices, and the ticket for me to do the Clock Rematch has fallen considerably. If it weren't for shipping I could now get both DVDs and the book for $3.00 total! :shock:

I'll have to research possible sources for The Dark Page.
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What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
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If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Wed Mar 27, 2013 1:23 am

Image

A Comparison of Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956), Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978),
Body Snatchers (1993) & The Invasion (2007)

The Writers
Image
For all these, Jack Finney gets credit as a writer for his 1954 novel. There seems to be some contention over which year it was published, though.
His most popular novels are "The Body Snatchers" (1955) and "Time and Again" (1970), although throughout his career he published nearly 50 novels that encompass the noir, thriller and comedy genres.
Finney died in 1995 at age 84.

1956: Daniel Mainwaring screenplay and an uncredited IMDb note for Richard Collins who was blacklisted. About Mainwaring, IMDB says
Initially active as a private detective and journalist for the San Francisco Chronicle. First worked in Hollywood in the publicity department of Warner Brothers (1934), later under contract at RKO (1946-50). Writer of hard-boiled crime novels. Often wrote his screenplays under the pseudonym Geoffrey Homes.
He was responsible for the novel and the screenplay that became Out of the Past in 1947.

Collins wrote mostly for television after 1960. He became a television producer, and has 9 credits in that capacity between 1964 and 1987. His best-known film script would be for Riot in Cell Block 11, released in 1954.


1978: W.D. Richter Screenplay. Oscar nom. Thought his name was familiar. He also directed two films, the first was Buckaroo Banzai, which he also produced. Richter adapted Big Trouble in Little China for the screen.


1993: In addition to Jack Finney, this film has two men credited with the screen story, and three for the screenplay! For the story, Raymond Cistheri and Larry Cohen, who is also a director of other films. Cohen wrote and directed the It's Alive trilogy, and the cult film Q.

For the screenplay, Stuart Gordon, Dennis Paoli, and Nicholas St. John. Before he wrote Body Snatchers, Stuart Gordon co-wrote and directed Re-Animator, and wrote and directed Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, and Robot Jox (three films loved by YTMN). Paoli was Gordon's co-writer on Re-Animator.


2007: David Kajganich. This was his first credited screenplay. Since then he has had four additional screenplays produced or announced. Some are currently in production.






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"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by dreiser » Wed Mar 27, 2013 2:37 am

YouTookMyName wrote:1956: Daniel Mainwaring screenplay and an uncredited IMDb note for Richard Collins who was blacklisted. About Mainwaring, IMDB says He was responsible for the novel and the screenplay that became Out of the Past in 1947.
Arguably the best dialogue written for a film noir. Great script.
"I hate the dark, the sharks liars. And the stems of cherry..."

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by Hank » Wed Mar 27, 2013 10:50 am

Just posting to agree with Das... I'm always impressed with what you are doing in here. So thoroughly impressed that it often leaves me without comment on the topic at hand.
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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Wed Mar 27, 2013 1:10 pm

This morning I ordered "supplies" for the next two scheduled Rematches. I think I'll be completing the Invasion Rematch well ahead of schedule.

up next is:
Image
(I got DVDs of the films, and found a location to order the original novel. Genie told me about another novel that I might also read)

and then:
Image
(I got the nook version of the book. Ordered BRDs of the two movies, and I can use the library or Netflix DVDs for grabbing stills)

I'm not sure of the schedules at this point. Each is expected to take 6 weeks for viewing, writing and posting.
Gort/YTMN left the forum due to trolling on August 25, 2018.
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"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Wed Mar 27, 2013 1:11 pm

Hank wrote:Just posting to agree with Das... I'm always impressed with what you are doing in here. So thoroughly impressed that it often leaves me without comment on the topic at hand.
Wow. Thanks.

I try to leave "holes" in my comments for others to jump in. I guess they aren't well-marked. :D
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"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Wed Mar 27, 2013 1:13 pm

dreiser wrote:
Arguably the best dialogue written for a film noir. Great script.
I saw that film on TCM, but I recall very little about it. I need to watch it again, sounds like!
Gort/YTMN left the forum due to trolling on August 25, 2018.
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"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

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Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by Gort » Wed Mar 27, 2013 1:18 pm

YouTookMyName wrote:I'm not sure of the schedules at this point. Each is expected to take 6 weeks for viewing, writing and posting.
It might be nice to do both Rematches concurrently! It won't be the same as when I did 8 at once. That was way too much. But it might keep ennui from setting in.

And I could maybe catch back up to my original sched. I'd like to have the Wizard of Oz Multimatch running at Christmas time.

And this should finish page 26. I think.
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"The wealthy and powerful always remind us that cream rises to the top.
What they fail to acknowledge is that pond scum also rises to the top.
And there is a lot more pond scum in the world than there is cream.
If you become rich and powerful, I hope that you will be cream rather than pond scum." --YTMN

Rematch Resurrection Catalog for Rounds 1-4 New post 180721 -- YTMN's Remake Rematch Thread.
Thread Resurrected 21 Jul 2018. Thread abandoned 1 Aug 2017. Thread COMPLETE 25 May 14 (2d time!)


The Future Unreels
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