YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Discuss anything you want.
Post Reply
User avatar
dreiser
Posts: 16193
Joined: Sat Feb 27, 2010 11:17 pm
Location: At the Great Northern Hotel w/ you know who.

Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by dreiser » Sun May 15, 2011 2:32 am

I can't bring myself to watch the other versions, and I own the dvd set.
"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
Mod Hip
Posts: 14065
Joined: Sun Mar 28, 2010 8:10 pm

Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by Mod Hip » Sun May 15, 2011 12:06 pm

YTMN wrote:YTMN thinks some films bad.
Bahaha. Love the rhyme. And yeah, I'd read a remake of the remake thread's reboot... well, to the same capacity I read this one - when the film in question is one that I've seen that still interests me.
User avatar
Hank
Posts: 2451
Joined: Tue Mar 02, 2010 12:17 am
Contact:

Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by Hank » Sun May 15, 2011 12:46 pm

YouTookMyName wrote:Would you re-read Remake Rematch?
I'll read it if the time I catch.
I'll read it frontways then read back.
I'll read while playing hacky-sack.
I cannot read it all at once
Too many sentences confront my eyes when I these things behold.
I cannot read them when I'm cold.
I cannot read them when I'm sad.
YTMN thinks some films bad.
And I don't always quite agree; and sometimes his words pester me.

The graphics that he posts are fun (when I can figure what he's done).
He doesn't leave enough white space.
He hasn't learned that space is grace.
He piles in words and photographs; I think he writes and then he laughs to think of all the clever things he did not write. Perhaps he sings it to himself while wringing hands, as every essay just expands.
It seems he never cuts out words but links to everything he's heard about a film or read online.
I'm sure he thinks his essays fine, but I can tell with one peruse that nothing he writes here is news!

(Apologies to Dr Seuss.)
Amazing.
User avatar
YouTookMyName
Posts: 2227
Joined: Thu Jun 17, 2010 1:53 am

Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Sun May 15, 2011 9:15 pm

dreiser wrote:I can't bring myself to watch the other versions, and I own the dvd set.
¿Cual es tus problemas con estas pelliculas?

I'm actually considering the expense of buying the set you have, just to have the older versions. if I decide to own only the '41 film, I'll get it in Blu.

Oh, my Spanish is terrible. please, forgive the multitude of grammatical errors that are no doubt in that one sentence.
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!)


The Future Unreels
User avatar
YouTookMyName
Posts: 2227
Joined: Thu Jun 17, 2010 1:53 am

Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Tue May 17, 2011 3:57 am

I kind of hate to waste a post for making excuses, but I have been working on the essays for the current rematches. That requires building graphics. I spent nearly all evening building some for The Maltese Falcon. I hoped to get some built for Earth and for Apes, too. But I sort of ran out of steam after building the ones for the actors in the three Falcon films.
Image
I know it doesn't look like much, but building each one of these triads required going through frame grabs from all three movies, and also making sure I got the correct character and actor names from IMDb.

Maybe I'll get enough graphics built to post several essays, this week. Of course, I still have to review the two Earth films! I look forward to writing about the 1951 movie, but not so much the 2008 version.

I walked up to the bank and back this morning, a 7-mile round trip, and the temperature was in the 50's F. Not too bad, except the weather forecast didn't mention windy, which it got after about a half hour, and stayed that way for the rest of the walk. I feel slightly less than optimum right now. :( That's probably why I got tired faster than I wanted to.
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!)


The Future Unreels
User avatar
Quite-Gone Genie
Posts: 22842
Joined: Sat Feb 20, 2010 4:36 pm

Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by Quite-Gone Genie » Tue May 17, 2011 4:32 am

No excuses are necessary! I hope you feel better tomorrow.
"So, you see, he was condemned to walk in darkness a quadrillion kilometres (we've adopted the metric system, you know)..."
The Devil, The Brothers Karamazov
User avatar
YouTookMyName
Posts: 2227
Joined: Thu Jun 17, 2010 1:53 am

Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Tue May 17, 2011 1:34 pm

Quite-Gone Genie wrote:No excuses are necessary! I hope you feel better tomorrow.
Thank you.

This morning I awoke without the cough or sore throat I expected! So that's good. :)
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!)


The Future Unreels
User avatar
YouTookMyName
Posts: 2227
Joined: Thu Jun 17, 2010 1:53 am

Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Mon May 30, 2011 5:05 pm

The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951) dir. Robert Wise
Image
IMDb link RT-link

Year: 1951 Director: Robert Wise Cast: Michael Rennie, Patricia Neal, Hugh Marlowe, Sam Jaffe, Billy Gray, Frances Bavier, Lock Martin Length: 92 min. B&W/Mono

I found the making-of documentary about The Day the Earth Stood Still to be as fascinating as the movie. It's on the flipside of the 2002 DVD release of the Robert Wise film. For example, I learned that there is a short story that served as the impetus for making the movie in 1951, but that the adaptation of the short story threw out almost all the original tale and built a new story around a few of the core ideas. The producer wanted to make a movie that was about the dangers of atomic weaponry, but not blatantly about atomic weaponry. They even changed the robot Gnut's name. You can read that short story online.

All the changes made to the story made it more interesting. The writers changed it from an intellectual exercise, and a clandestine enterprise, to one that is very public, without losing the human scale. I never particularly thought of the film as possessing a human scale, until I had the 2008 remake to compare it to. Klaatu gets out among the earthlings on purpose, and against the wishes of the US Government, in order to see how we think, and what we are like as sentient creatures. His operation is a total success. Without throwing in with the humans, he still sees his welfare as tied up with theirs, and does not hold himself totally apart. In fact, when it seems plausible that Gort might go on a rampage and reduce the earth to a burned out cinder, he sends Helen Benson on a mercy mission to see that it doesn't happen!

Yet apart from that sympathetic moment, Klaatu is not here to save the earth. On the contrary, he is here to tell us that as long as we keep our affairs confined to the crust of our own planet, he and his kind have nothing to say. They are only concerned about us taking our warlike tendencies into outer space, which has long been their domain.

Image
To imagine is to literally make a mental image of something: an idea, or a possibility, an unrealized consequence, or a thing that might be built. This film is imagination made more concrete. When you read "Farewell to the Master," all the images are generated by your mind. But when you watch this movie, the images are on the screen...yet they are not so tightly compressed that your own imagination cannot fill in gaps and blanks to make the film even better than it already is. Moreover, the characters you meet in the movie, including Klaatu, are recognizable. You have met people like them. You may be a person like one or more of them. The intellectual capacity of the film lives alongside and co-exists on friendly terms with the human framework of the tale. The film is symbolic of the cold war only because you could pluck Klaatu and Gort out of the movie and replace them with Vladimir and Sasha, and it would play. In that regard, the 1951 original film makes "sense." That aspect of the movie allows you as the viewer to just relax into the story, and let it carry you along. You aren't expected to "get" everything right off the bat. Not everything is explained to you, but a lot of the tale told is emotional, not words. It is fleshed out by those gaps that your imagination fills...because it is allowed to fill them. Not only that, the intellectual ideas of the movie lurk within those gaps as well, and your brain fills those in, too, after you watch. They come from the afterthought you give the movie.

There is more to the film than meets the eye on first viewing.

It is easy to care for the characters Helen Benson and her son Bobby, and even for Klaatu, not because tricks are used to make you like them, but because they are written as archetypes that are shadowed into mid-20th-century life. The style of the day was to reveal the clay feet of gods and goddesses, so Klaatu, as powerful as his race may be, is still vulnerable to bullets. The 2008 Klaatu would turn out to be a far cry from that. An unsympathetic, supernatural being would replace the very mortal Klaatu of Wise's film.

Image
When Michael Rennie's Klaatu disappears from Walter Reed Hospital, a public manhunt is on. It is not done in secret by military organizations. Instead, the public is enlisted to watch for the alien. That's how it was done in those days. I'm not sure people were more naive back then, but they felt more involved. Perhaps this was the civilian social aftermath of World War II. The terror aspect of having someone like Klaatu (or a Communist) on the loose in a city is well-depicted but it is done with economy, as nearly everything in the film is done.

Gort is most frightening when it does not move, and cannot be made to move. Gort perhaps could be a symbol for abject power, so mysterious that it cannot be comprehended at all, much less comprehended easily. Power like that of an atomic or nuclear weapon. I am certain that seeing a nuclear test on a film is nothing like witnessing such a detonation on site. The 1951 film allows your mind to fill in the awesomeness that would accompany having such a powerful automaton in the real world whether it was of extraterrestrial origin or not. Interestingly enough, the human reaction is to encase the robot in an incredibly strong plastic substance; there is a need to keep an eye on Gort, isn't there? Yet, they make the robot an exhibit of sorts, like the small plastic dinosaur I used to have that was encased in a clear plastic rectangle. If Gort can't move, we feel safe from him.

This movie is one of my formative films. It is the first film I ever remember seeing, and today it still plays the same way. Oh, I understand the adult implications that are all through the film, but it still reaches me just the way it did when I was 9 and saw it for the first time on a Saturday night. I even know the exact date: Saturday Night at the Movies, NBC television, showed The Day the Earth Stood Still on March 3, 1962, according to whomever did the research for Wikipedia.

So, you will be surprised that I don't like everything about the film, but you won't be surprised that the list of Likes is far larger than the list of Don't Likes.

Image
LIKE The film has a simple, but not simplistic way of presenting its theme. Based on humans who seem real enough, it approaches several ideas that surround the Cold War environment of the day, and especially the question of what to do about nuclear weapons. It is a clever story because it's a Science Fiction film that has nothing to do with reality on the surface, but beneath the surface it's about the things we fear. And fear is the majority response to affronts such as aliens and Communists. The film dares to question whether that is the correct response to the unknown and alien (whether an alien from earth or from another continent). Klaatu is cut off by the newsman when he urges understanding. That's not what people want to hear. They want to hear a wild-eyed man running through the traffic shouting, "Be afraid! Be very afraid!" This is easy to do, because they already are afraid. It requires no change on their part.

LIKE The film makes the astute observation that our traditional ways of dealing with international politics fail when we are faced with something as new as nuclear devices. This is power beyond belief, beyond imagination. And somehow we fallible humans not only devised the idea, but made the damn thing work, and we are not prepared to know what to do with it now that we have it. It is almost as if something fell onto us from the sky in the way that Klaatu and Gort spin down out of the clouds. It is just as alien to human experience. We had never been able to create a star before. And at that time there was terrible fear that it would eat us all up. Even 9 year old boys felt that crushing fear. All we could do was to ignore it most of the time, otherwise we'd not have been able to go about our daily business of pretending that things were still "normal." Of course, I was born into a world where "Gort" already existed and was loose in the world. The 1951 movie more accurately depicts the terror-stricken environment for people of my parents' generation.

LIKE The casting. When I first saw the film I was like Bobby Benson. I related to him 100%. Although I no longer do, I relate to the character now as I did to my young sons, as a father, I still find him to be a charming character, and well-played by the young Billy Gray. Of course, by the time I saw the film in 1962, I knew Billy Gray as the son, "Bud" Anderson, in "Father Knows Best." It was kind of odd to see a younger version of him on the screen alongside Michael Rennie. I already knew and loved Rennie as "The Third Man" on television. And to my 9-year old eyes, Paticia Neal seemed to be the perfect mom. Nowadays I can see her fear and worry, but back then I only saw her warmth and mom-ness. And I remember hating the "Tom" character played by Hugh Marlowe. I clenched my fists because he was hell-bent on screwing everything up.

Image
LIKE On the commentary track Robert Wise admits that the shadow of the landing spaceship is a real nice touch. He didn't ask for that. The special effects crew added it to heighten the realism. And it works. Film: a collaborative effort, not always under the total direction of the director!

LIKE Nearly everything in the film serves the story. The political aims of the film are secondary or tertiary to the story. And because it entertains you, the political aims are invested in your consciousness while you watch. But they are never wielded like a 2 x 4 and used to beat you about the head and shoulders.

LIKE The writers are ingenious in what they figure out as a show of power on the part of Klaatu's race. If someone came to earth and could do that, wouldn't you tend to listen to what he had to say? Remember also that this was the day of Arthur C. Clarke's postulate that any technology sufficiently advanced is indistinguishable from magic. Yet the film does not imbue Klaatu, Gort or their race with the supernatural powers of gods. Everything is clearly technological. Klaatu has something that allows him to open locks without keys...but it is not the same as 2008 Klaatu's ability to ESP the government agents to death in order to escape from captivity. The 1951 version seems more grounded. Plausible in its overall implausibility.

Image
LIKE That animated flickering gleam inside Gort's lens. There is something chilling about it. Some evocation of harmful power hidden inside that dark oblong. And the ominous motion of the animated glow, twisting and warping, is beautiful.

LIKE The film was made for its time, to be thoroughly modern for 1951, so it stands as a sort of historical document when it comes to rooming houses, TV studios and radio broadcasts.

LIKE Robert Wise managed to make a science fiction film in the early 1950s and somehow avoided all the laborious jargon that such films were saturated with. Furthermore, the script he decided to produce doesn't explain everything away. The items the alien Klaatu uses are not named, nor are their sources revealed, but they are treated by the extraterrestrial as normal objects with which he interacts regularly. His character doesn't go about spewing explanations of how his spaceship gets from one planet to another...he simply corrects Professor Barnhardt's calculations of astral physics and tells him that the calculations work. The mechanism of short-circuiting electric power on the earth from another planet (or, perhaps, from the spacecraft) are not the subject of a single line, much less long-winded lectures that would have made no sense anyway.
Image
This dramatic technique would later make a resurgence in "Star Trek" and Star Wars. I wonder if Roddenberry and Lucas were in any way inspired by Wise's earlier non-explanatory use of technical gadgetry. Whether they were or not, it keeps this little flick running smoothly and everything makes as much sense as most crime dramas of the time.

LIKE The performances are as "realistic" as the writing, creating the believable characters on whom the entire success of the movie hinges. I simply cannot imagine this movie with Claude Rains as Klaatu. That was proposed. The use of lesser-known faces worked out very well. Keeping the character list free of presidents and senators and other better-known politicos was also a smart move. And there is a subtle move on the part of the filmmakers at the end of the film. It's barely noticeable, although in the 50s it might have been more noticeable to adults: the scientists who convene at the spaceship for Klaatu's meeting are from all races, all ethnicities, and are all presented as equals in the world. As a boy of 9 it made no impression on me. It's true that children are color-blind. I simply saw people from different countries, without any prejudice concerning how worthy they or their nations were. It can certainly be argued that I'm reading more into this from the 21st century perspective that I have these days, but I think not.

Image

And what goes wrong?

DON'T LIKE Earth is the least-developed of the planets with intelligent life? What's this supposed to be, in our solar system? Well, given that no one could be sure there wasn't life on other solar planets back in the 1950s, I guess this is all right. But I still don't like it. Too pat. But I guess a lot of Americans might have been feeling flush and powerful after their country had detonated a couple of atomic bombs. By 1951, though, the Soviets had detonated their own atomic devices. Perhaps a lot of people felt the need for Police to come from the sky and give us an ultimatum. I suppose that would have made us feel like we were the junior sentients in the solar system, wouldn't it?

DON'T LIKE The ending comes rather abruptly. Bang bang! "Gort, Klaatu barada nikto." Bzzzm bzzm wheep wheeeeep wheeeeeep! "If you do, the response will be irrevocable. Your planet will be reduced to a burned-out cinder!" UP up and awaaaaay. I think it could have been stretched out a little more without losing its impact. Might have had more impact. But, I guess the producers decided it was time to get the hell out of Dodge by that point, and that's how they edited it. Still, despite my dislike, it's somehow the perfect ending.

DON'T LIKE Special effects and costuming weren't as well done in 1951 as they later could be. The Gort costume is fine, but flawed. A few shots show what appear to be matte lines. Overall, though, they are state of the art for 1951, and have to be respected for that.

DON'T LIKE Because the crowd at one point wasn't moving away as fast as Wise would have liked, he had the scene printed up, removing every other frame. This creates an undercranked appearance. The people now move too fast and too comically. I'd have rather seen them moving naturally, even if slower. But, a decision was made and that's what we see.

DON'T LIKE There is something about the chase through Washington D.C. that rings false. I can't put words to it, but I've always thought that section was a bit tedious and tends toward confusing. And Hugh Marlowe's character in the intercut scenes of betrayal seems a little too hell bent on getting his money-grubbing way. Of course, there are people like that, but he didn't seem entirely that self-centered earlier in the movie.

DON'T LIKE The fact that I've never seen this movie on a huge screen. I hope I get to before I die.

Image
Go back using these buttons.ImageImageImageImageImage
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!)


The Future Unreels
User avatar
kiddo in space
Posts: 13023
Joined: Thu Feb 18, 2010 9:42 pm

Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by kiddo in space » Mon May 30, 2011 5:25 pm

7 mile walk? Woah.

Gort, the Man Who Walks.


*one day I'll watch The Day the Earth Stood Still*
User avatar
YouTookMyName
Posts: 2227
Joined: Thu Jun 17, 2010 1:53 am

Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Mon May 30, 2011 5:28 pm

kiddo in space wrote:7 mile walk? Woah.

Gort, the Man Who Walks.


*one day I'll watch The Day the Earth Stood Still*
One day you'll walk 7 miles.

And one day you'll read the essay posted above. :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.
Thread Resurrected 21 Jul 2018. Thread abandoned 1 Aug 2017. Thread COMPLETE 25 May 14 (2d time!)


The Future Unreels
User avatar
kiddo in space
Posts: 13023
Joined: Thu Feb 18, 2010 9:42 pm

Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by kiddo in space » Mon May 30, 2011 5:30 pm

YouTookMyName wrote: One day you'll walk 7 miles.

And one day you'll read the essay posted above. :D
I'm sure The Earth Stood Still will share a similar fate as Planet of the Apes. That is, I download it, then I let it sit on my computer for a long time, thinking "I have to watch this" every time I open my movie folder, but never bringing myself to finally do it until a long time has passed. Then I come back here, read the essay and talk about it. That'll be a happy day.
Mod Hip
Posts: 14065
Joined: Sun Mar 28, 2010 8:10 pm

Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by Mod Hip » Mon May 30, 2011 5:59 pm

The DC chase did seem a bit out of place in the film the one time I watched it earlier this year, but I took no issue, finding it - if memory serves - a more direct look at the film's ideas regarding military defense, particularly that of the US.
User avatar
YouTookMyName
Posts: 2227
Joined: Thu Jun 17, 2010 1:53 am

Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Mon May 30, 2011 7:14 pm

Mod Hip wrote:The DC chase did seem a bit out of place in the film the one time I watched it earlier this year, but I took no issue, finding it - if memory serves - a more direct look at the film's ideas regarding military defense, particularly that of the US.
Yeah, like with all invasion or monster movies of the 50s the military was on everyone's mind. Many of the male viewers had been in the military by 1951 as an aftermath of the WWII draft. Many still were in the reserves, I guess.

And you can't help but notice the cowboy-like "shoot first and ask questions later" approach that is taken. I'd like to think that this was and is only the celluloid US Army at work; but I really don't know.

What seems out of place about it to me is that it is extraordinarily long and detailed without much dramatic purpose. It's just a prolonged chase. The chase between Klaatu and Bobby really works. So does the Army chase, I guess, but it seems to take too long.
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!)


The Future Unreels
User avatar
YouTookMyName
Posts: 2227
Joined: Thu Jun 17, 2010 1:53 am

Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Mon May 30, 2011 7:14 pm

kiddo in space wrote:
I'm sure The Earth Stood Still will share a similar fate as Planet of the Apes. That is, I download it, then I let it sit on my computer for a long time, thinking "I have to watch this" every time I open my movie folder, but never bringing myself to finally do it until a long time has passed. Then I come back here, read the essay and talk about it. That'll be a happy day.
*plays the Carole King song "Anticipation"*
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!)


The Future Unreels
Mod Hip
Posts: 14065
Joined: Sun Mar 28, 2010 8:10 pm

Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by Mod Hip » Mon May 30, 2011 8:05 pm

YouTookMyName wrote: And you can't help but notice the cowboy-like "shoot first and ask questions later" approach that is taken. I'd like to think that this was and is only the celluloid US Army at work; but I really don't know.
That's what unsettled me about it. 'Course I mean that in a complimentary fashion. Particularly considering Klaatu's ostensibly peaceable attitude (sorely misperceived due to one minor, provoked incident - the one parodied in "Mars Attacks!" - though I suppose I can forgive relative mass panic simply due to certain points of the extraterrestrial message), the frontiersman position taken is scary.
User avatar
YouTookMyName
Posts: 2227
Joined: Thu Jun 17, 2010 1:53 am

Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Mon Jul 04, 2011 2:24 pm

A Comparison of
The Maltese Falcon (1931), Satan Met a Lady (1936) & The Maltese Falcon (1941)

Acting

Image
In order to compare the acting in these three films I think it's necessary to keep in mind that by the time Huston's film was produced, there had been only about 40 years of development in film acting; and only about 13 years of that development dealt with sound-cinema acting techniques. That means that a quarter of the history of film up to that time passed between the 1931 movie and its second successor, while fully 77% of the development of sound acting style passed in the same span!

Because the middle version, Satan Met a Lady was conceived of as a comedy, perhaps it isn't possible to compare the acting style to the two dramatic interpretations of the novel that hit the screen in 1931 and 1941.

When I was a pre-teen I could scarcely stand to watch most old movies on television. I found the acting to be comically broad even in serious drama. I became a teen on the cusp of a new style of naturalistic acting in Hollywood. It isn't that there weren't naturalistic styles present before the middle 1960s, it's just that naturalistic acting hadn't become the standard until that time. It's as if stage acting had translated onto the silent screen as a means to communicate physically a large part of what the actor was doing with his or her role. That made sense for silent film, but even as early as the 1910s there were actors and actresses (Lillian Gish, for example) who understood that the camera amplifies every little thing you do. You don't have to "act," you only have to "be."

The kind of vocal projection that is necessary for a theatrical setting was in evidence in the early years of sound cinema, but even that began to give way to more natural tones of voice. Still, some actors didn't change their style as readily as others, and the stagey kind of acting with broad gestures and artificial voices persisted even past 1941.

So if you make a blanket statement such as: the acting in the 1931 version of The Maltese Falcon isn't as good as the acting in Huston's version, aren't you confusing your preference and "goodness" with the prevalent style of acting at the time the films were made? And let's be realistic here, no matter who plays Sam Spade in these two films, his face is a hyper-mobile paroxysm of convusions. Ricardo Cortez is actually more watchable at times than is Humphrey Bogart with his sneering for no reason. Of course, Cortez has the v-shaped smile that Hammett describes in his novel, and that gets overdone as far as I'm concerned.

Overall, though, I prefer Bogart's performance, if only because it's more nearly what I grew up watching and thinking of as "good acting," which is to say not acting at all, but "being" the character. If you watch both films back-to-back, something that any of us but dreiser might do, it would be more difficult for you to select who played what part best. The acting ranges from beautiful to merely adequate in both films, and not only from role to role, but within each performance. The little story that Hammett concocted requires such a range of emotional states from each and every character that it's a tour de force for any actor or actress to make it through the entire film and give a cohesive performance. These parts would be difficult to play on a traditional stage, where the character arc goes from beginning to end. Remember that films are shot out of sequence, and you might marvel, as I do, that the cast of both films managed to not only present a sort of consistency to their characters, but to range up and down on the emotional scale as well as they do. It would have been practical for each person to play his/her role rather flatly, unmodulated, safely. Yet these troupers allow their skills by whatever acting method they used, to be stretched, tested, and challenged, trusting their instincts to piece together the disjointed filming schedule into a character who we can recognize as Kaspar Gutman, or Dr. Joel Cairo, or Miss O'Shaughnessey.

I can't fault anyone in the two eponymous films for their acting. My expectation was that the earlier film would be abysmal, but it isn't, as long as you keep in mind when it was made. Sound films were only four years old when it came out, the broad style of gesture acting for the silent camera was not yet out of vogue, and these actors still pull off a largely "modern" performance. Of course there are improvements in every area by the time Huston takes the director's chair, so it only gets better.
Go back using these buttons.ImageImageImageImageImageImage
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!)


The Future Unreels
User avatar
Gort
Posts: 9068
Joined: Fri Feb 26, 2010 8:50 pm
Location: Reducing some planet to a burned out cinder.

Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by Gort » Mon Jul 04, 2011 2:43 pm

I think it's about time something else got posted in this thread...if I do say so myself. :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.
Thread Resurrected 21 Jul 2018. Thread abandoned 1 Aug 2017. Thread COMPLETE 25 May 14 (2d time!)


The Future Unreels
User avatar
kiddo in space
Posts: 13023
Joined: Thu Feb 18, 2010 9:42 pm

Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by kiddo in space » Mon Jul 04, 2011 3:25 pm

I remember watching 41's The Maltese Falcon. Although I got distracted at some poit, didn't know what was going on for a while, then connected the dots and could go back to the movie. It needs a rewatch.

Anyways, Peter Lorre FTW
User avatar
YouTookMyName
Posts: 2227
Joined: Thu Jun 17, 2010 1:53 am

Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Mon Jul 04, 2011 4:19 pm

kiddo in space wrote:I remember watching 41's The Maltese Falcon. Although I got distracted at some point, didn't know what was going on for a while, then connected the dots and could go back to the movie. It needs a rewatch.

Anyways, Peter Lorre FTW
Yeah, when I get to comparing characters across the three films you'll get to read about him, and make all your pertinent comments. :up:

Some people have written that the '41 film really has no coherent plot. If they are correct, then your experience of getting lost is likely pretty common! Some of the seeming lack of plot stems from Huston culling certain segments of the novel in order to streamline his story and keep as many of the plot events as possible. A thread or two get dropped when that choice is made. But the '31 version does the same. It simply jettisons different plot threads.

Another thing that might give the film a sense of having no plot is its breakneck pace. There is just so much happening, and for the duration of the film it has a large cast of characters. The relationships between and among the characters is clearer in the '31 version than in the '41 re-remake.

But the bewilderment that we might experience as we watch allows us to closely identify with Spade's own bewilderment. In case you can't tell, he has no idea what's going on, or that any of these people know one another...until we find out. That's also true of the novel. But Hammett could remain within plausible territory and tell us that Spade was bewildered, whereas in a film the character would have to say that he was, or someone would have to observe aloud that he was, and he'd have to agree.
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!)


The Future Unreels
User avatar
Hank
Posts: 2451
Joined: Tue Mar 02, 2010 12:17 am
Contact:

Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by Hank » Mon Jul 04, 2011 10:16 pm

Good to see YTMN is still at it.... since I look up to him so much, I've taking up his mantle of not updating Inspired By...

See what I did? I was inspired by YTMN (and Trip for that matter!) to not update my thread titled Inspired By...

See? Samesies.

Hm.

Yeah, I'm not clever.


I should see the other versions of The Maltese Falcon
User avatar
YouTookMyName
Posts: 2227
Joined: Thu Jun 17, 2010 1:53 am

Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Mon Jul 04, 2011 10:26 pm

Hank wrote: Yeah, I'm not clever.
Of course you are.
Hank wrote:I should see the other versions of The Maltese Falcon
Of course you should.
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!)


The Future Unreels
User avatar
kiddo in space
Posts: 13023
Joined: Thu Feb 18, 2010 9:42 pm

Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by kiddo in space » Tue Jul 05, 2011 5:22 am

It may have been the mango I was eating just moments ago, but this idea about how much acting has changed struck me. I've noticed this more on the films of mexican filmmaker Carlos Enrique Taboada, he made gothic horror movies and in the ones I've seen, none of the characters talk like normal people. Their lenguage is too formal, the words they use are not the ones someone would normally use, I think this is mainly because of the style of the director (and maybe some influence from our culture), but I always found the way people act in his movies quite...fascinating. It feels like another world, not just another era. It works perfectly inside the dimension created in the film, though.
User avatar
YouTookMyName
Posts: 2227
Joined: Thu Jun 17, 2010 1:53 am

Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Tue Jul 05, 2011 8:54 pm

kiddo in space wrote:Their lenguage is too formal, the words they use are not the ones someone would normally use, I think this is mainly because of the style of the director (and maybe some influence from our culture),
I recently watched the Coen brothers film of True Grit. They used the formal language of the day quite well. It also gave me that same odd feeling as I listened. They are terribly easy to understand, and I'd imagine ESL people have little trouble following the dialog in the movie. But to native speakers it sounds the way this director's film must sound to your ears. And that doesn't happen often in American films at all.

How many Spanish-language directors' works sound that way to your ear? Do Buñuel's films have that oddness, that formality in Spanish? I'd think they might, but there's no way I could ever hear it, you know?
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!)


The Future Unreels
User avatar
YouTookMyName
Posts: 2227
Joined: Thu Jun 17, 2010 1:53 am

Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Thu Aug 04, 2011 4:33 am

The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008) dir. Scott Derrickson
Image
IMDb link RT-link

Year: 2008 Director: Scott Derrickson Cast: Keanu Reeves, Jennifer Connelly, Jaden Smith, John Cleese, Kathy Bates Length: 104 min. Color/Stereo

Oh dear. Where do I start? Well, it's kind of pretty in places. It's got awe-inspiring, ID4-scale sets. But like that movie, it misses the mark while remaining interesting to watch. No, wait. I got that wrong. It's missing the marks and it's largely uninteresting to watch.

Surely, someone out there likes the 2008 version of this movie better. Would he or she please defend it? When it was in development I really couldn't see any reason why it might not be as clever and interesting in its own way as the 1951 predecessor. Certainly, in my case, Mr Reeves in the role of Klaatu didn't make me wince at all. And, indeed, he's one of the better-cast actors in this excessive green-fiction misfire. His so-called wooden acting style really fits this conception of Klaatu very well. In fact, in general, I like Keanu Reeves and his acting. Trouble is, I don't care for this Klaatu. This Klaatu is a meddler, busy-body, arrogant and self-righteous unsympathetic prick. Mainly. At the same time, he is the only character in the entire film who undergoes any kind of transformation in the literary sense. Everyone and everything around him, including the earth itself, is as two-dimensional as a piece of cardboard. I might call it one-dimensional, but I can't. Because that would mean it would be a point, and this film has none.

I will admit it: this is the kind of film that gives remakes a bad name.

Image
Surface. Think surface. Because in this movie there is precious little below the surface. Remember the scene where the nervous young trooper approaches Klaatu only to be crushed to death between two cars? (Didn't know you could be crushed to death by having your legs smashed, but what do I know about real death?) Well, that's really the only major symbol in this film. That young trooper is the symbol for "the audience."

In the comparison essays maybe I'll think of some good points, but for now all I can do is put my lists of responses into these categories: Suffices, and Total Misfire. Here are a few.

SUFFICES: It's in color.

Image
SUFFICES: John Cleese!

SUFFICES: The CGI compositing is usually fairly well-done.

SUFFICES: It's only 104 minutes long.

SUFFICES: Keanu Reeves finally found his best-matched role since Ted.

SUFFICES: The GORT design is pretty cool.

SUFFICES: There is a mother. There is a little boy. They are sort of related. You know, much as I dislike the salesman character in the 1951 movie and wonder what he's doing there, I miss him terribly when I watch the '08 recrafted version. Wait. I put this in the wrong section, I think. Maybe.

SUFFICES: Klaatu takes over a human body. Nice touch. Not necessary, but fairly cool in a Sci-Fi way.

SUFFICES: This film allows me to understand that not all remakes are okay. And remakes where the only thing they keep is the title, are among those that are often not okay.

And then, there are some bad things about this film, believe it or not:

Image
TOTAL MISFIRE: Everything in this movie is biiiiig. Is eight-foot Gort scary in the 1951 version? This one needs a...how damn tall is that critter, anyway? And can he expand and contract? What the hell? Oh, and don't forget that Gort comes apart into trillions of little insectoid nanobots that go on a rampage taking apart everything human and of human origin. But this film has biiiiig firepower. A biiiiig spaceship. A biiiiig interrogation chamber. A biiiiig underground facility. A biiiiig military-scientific crowd response to the arrival of the biiiiig swirly sphere. What's the biiiiig idea? The first film works because everything about it is kept on a human scale. The extent of the impact is suggested rather than shown. The alien forces dwarf us in power, not in size. And that is true despite our large-scale response. Klaatu '51 speaks softly and carries a big stick. Helen Benson is a working mother. Bobby Benson is a bright little boy in school. They seem like real people. Klaatu seems like a real, sentient creature.

Image
TOTAL MISFIRE: Did the nano-sects chew up any bio-engineered crops? Did they? Didn't think so. Our writers aren't as thorough and clever as they think, then, are they? What did the mini-bugs do to the Panama Canal? Eh? And before they filled it in (I made that part up) did they carefully remove all the fish and bacteria living in the water to preserve them? What about viri that evolved in response to human biology, so will be destroyed when all humans are destroyed? Did them alien critters really think this thing through?

Image
TOTAL MISFIRE: Klaatu's handlers don't like humans ravaging the earth. But they don't say anything about army ants. Why not? They don't say anything about plagues of locusts. Why not? Long before humans were here (as near as we can tell) locusts and army ants were laying waste the countryside periodically. Face it, green-agenda folks: the biggest danger of human activity is not to the earth. Nope. The earth will survive. Humans may render the environment incapable of sustaining human life, or of sustaining very many humans. But that would be doing us in. The earth was once red hot and had no water other than water vapor, according to scientific theories. At one time the earth had an oxygen concentration so great that insects could be many centimeters in length...but that changed. And we humans evolved in a time when the oxygen percentage in the atmosphere is lower. Although before that, the carbon-dioxide percentage was too high for us to have lived, either. It isn't as if the earth has always been one thing, and always the same thing, and we came along and wrecked it. Instead, several times, over 90% of species were wiped out almost all at once, without benefit of human destructiveness.

On the first Earth Day in 1970, I was watching the events broadcast on TV in my Biology Study Hall room. At the same time I was rating a biological experiment that I had conducted for AP Biology class, wherein I grew out bacterial colonies on agar plates. All the colonies died before covering the entire surface of the agar. Why? Because they generated so many toxic by-products of their growth that they died in their own waste! I thought it was a perfect counterpart to what I was seeing and hearing on TV that day. You can create enough crap that it will kill you. By the way, the agar plates remained largely as they were before. I could have grown other bacterial species on them.

The lesson to be learned from studying past climates is this, and I wrote it before, so I'll quote it: "The earth will survive. Humans may render the environment incapable of sustaining human life, or of sustaining very many humans."

Image
TOTAL MISFIRE: Have you seen Red Planet? Know anything about scientific terminology? Shows that the writers didn't pay attention in Science classes, doesn't it? Same here. These writers were snoozing and then tried to recollect from the pits of fuzziness what they'd heard, but they didn't bother to fracking look anything up.

TOTAL FORCE-FIT: GORT. "Genetically Organized Robotic Technology" GTFO

TOTAL MISFIRE: Enormous marbles fall from the sky, rise up from the water and drill their way up from inside the earth. C'mon. That idea of Spielberg's to have the invading machines climb up out of the earth was the stupidest thing about his remake of The Martians are Coming! The Martians are Coming! Oh, but some of the audience found it spooky, unsettling, and very scary. Poor them. I wonder how many of them regretted liking that feature of War of the Worlds once the copy-cats making the '08 The Day the Earth Stood Still made it show up in this movie.

Image
TOTAL MISFIRE: The writers did a mashup. See, the 1951 version had a clear agenda: atom bums is bad thangs. Be keerful with them atom bums. (Well, maybe throwing in the dialect of my childhood doesn't work here, but I did it , anyway.) The 2008 writers mashed up: anti-terrorism and people's terror at terrorist activities + fear of and worship of technology + fear of and worship of Nature + fear of and worship of alien presences + the general idea that we're bad for the earth + marketing. And it makes a gray paste much like what the nano-wasps leave behind when they're done. The makers of this film did it to Hollywood. Grey goo. Grey goo.

Image
TOTAL MISFIRE: Jacob Benson, the token cute kid, is a poster-child for PTSD. And apparently no one has ever done any therapy with him. IRL would he really be stuck with his step-mother, Helen? Are all his father's family also dead? if so, isn't that a prejudicial slap in the face of African-Americans everywhere? There is nothing wrong with people being raised by or raising people of other races. There is nothing wrong with someone marrying a person of another race. Race is a fictitious concept anyway (see, I paid close attention in Cultural Anthroplogy class). But in this case it's made a shallow motivation for a kid to act out, and it's a silly attempt to make us sympathize with a character who is given nothing to sympathize with. Why couldn't Jacob Benson have been bright, reasonable and inquisitive instead of being Hollywood's racist picture of what degenerate black kids are like? Will, why did you let your kid even play the part?

TOTAL MISFIRE: All right. Now hear this: not everything in the 1951 version of this story is "plausible." But at least the plotting of the film holds together most of the time. The 2008 version "reads" like something that started out 800 pages long, and all they did was remove pages to chop it down to 104 minutes. There seems no attempt to put things together.

Image
TOTAL MISFIRE: This story is not The Day the Earth Stood Still. The earth never does anything very much like standing still at all. At least with the first version you can see where the title came from. For this one you can see that the title came from the original film, but that's as close as it gets! But the writers of the '08 remake borrowed set pieces and moments from the first film to excuse themselves for being unable to think of an original title of their own. They put in the cool touch of having a real human get taken over by one of the glowy-superballs, and it's okay how it's all mysterious and crap about how he gets from the 30s to the 00s. But in changing things beyond recognition, the writers, or the marketing types, felt the need to try to keep the '51 version intact. This might have been a better film if they had simply developed their own ideas instead of tacking on rehashes from Robert Wise's better-done film. It's like taking a 2008 Lexus and using screws to attach fins and chrome strips from some 1950s cars. There is a short story that served as the impetus for making the movie in 1951, but that adaptation of the short story threw out almost all the original tale and built a new story around a few of the core ideas. Those original writers and filmmakers made it work. When the 2008 people threw out the short story and most of the first movie, they didn't fare so well.

TOTAL MISFIRE: They didn't come to visit us to bring a message in our moment of crisis. No, they've been here all along, watching us and reporting back to Big Brother somewhere out among the stars. Or, wait, did they dig up from the center of the earth? Where did these extra-terrestrial busy-bodies come from, anyway?

Image
TOTAL MISFIRE: Okay, so one of the alien spies is not going to leave. Mr Wu (obviously not his real name) is going to stay here and get chewed up by the nanomites because he likes us hoomies after all. Wut? Apparently he has other fellow spies who didn't like us and he's the only one who did, because otherwise why did biiiiig spaceships and robots show up to judge us if he was the only one sending the reports? I think that alien is suicidal. Think about it. "You ought to come blast these creatures to Kingdom Come. BTW, I won't leave with you. I'll stay and die." Signed, Wu. Someone looking at a human who had that attitude would question the person's mental health.

Image
If you watch this film you will not actually be harmed, but if you ignore it you won't miss a thing. For a film student, or perhaps a budding Historian, watching the two films back to back in chronological order will reveal the vast social changes that have intervened since 1951. The films reflect their times, of course, and are both structured for the audiences of the day. Comparing how people of each time view the world is instructive. Both in cinematic terms and in social terms.

Go back using these buttons.ImageImageImageImageImage
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!)


The Future Unreels
Mod Hip
Posts: 14065
Joined: Sun Mar 28, 2010 8:10 pm

Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by Mod Hip » Thu Aug 04, 2011 4:45 am

I genuinely thank you for reassuring me with so much passionate detail that my decision to skip that one was sound.
User avatar
Shieldmaiden
Posts: 7523
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2010 2:19 pm

Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by Shieldmaiden » Thu Aug 04, 2011 5:03 am

I used to have problems loading all the graphics in this thread, but I have lately acquired a new laptop and a new router (faster everything), so I've been having a very good time catching up in this thread. Favorite matchup: Romeo and Juliet! Now I just need to see some more of the movies. :P
Hank wrote:See what I did? I was inspired by YTMN (and Trip for that matter!) to not update my thread titled Inspired By...
I've been waiting so patiently for that thread to come back. :(
Lazzaro felice - Cabin in the Sky - An Autumn Afternoon

Voyage | Female Gaze | MACBETH | Sokurov | Fassbinder | Greenaway | Denis | Sono | My Bookshelf
User avatar
Derninan
Posts: 7547
Joined: Wed Apr 14, 2010 9:24 am

Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by Derninan » Thu Aug 04, 2011 5:11 am

I just read your post on the original The Day the Earth Stood Still, and I must say: that was one of the best pieces I've ever read on one of my favorite science fiction films. Really great, Gort.

Like Mod, I skipped the remake, and I'm glad I did. But I'll read your (seemingly overwhelmingly negative) thoughts on it for my own amusement.
User avatar
YouTookMyName
Posts: 2227
Joined: Thu Jun 17, 2010 1:53 am

Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Thu Aug 04, 2011 12:03 pm

Shieldmaiden wrote:I used to have problems loading all the graphics in this thread, but I have lately acquired a new laptop and a new router (faster everything), so I've been having a very good time catching up in this thread. Favorite matchup: Romeo and Juliet! Now I just need to see some more of the movies. :P

I've been waiting so patiently for that thread to come back. :(
I want to be inspired by Inspired By... again, as well. But I can't say anything about people taking breaks from getting thread posts up regularly. :shifty:

About Romeo and Juliet: thanks. I enjoyed writing that one. Both initially, and when I updated the posts for this thread, I learned a lot about the play while I gathered information from all over.

About seeing more of the movies: it seems that I seem to think everyone has seen these films because I have. Probably , no one else has that delusion. Don't understand why I do, but...
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!)


The Future Unreels
User avatar
YouTookMyName
Posts: 2227
Joined: Thu Jun 17, 2010 1:53 am

Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Thu Aug 04, 2011 12:06 pm

Derninan wrote:I just read your post on the original The Day the Earth Stood Still, and I must say: that was one of the best pieces I've ever read on one of my favorite science fiction films. Really great, Gort.
Wow, that's high praise. I thank you, sir.
Tuesday's Pop wrote:I genuinely thank you for reassuring me with so much passionate detail that my decision to skip that one was sound.
Derninan wrote:Like Mod, I skipped the remake, and I'm glad I did. But I'll read your (seemingly overwhelmingly negative) thoughts on it for my own amusement.
Believe me, I wanted the remake of one of my favorite films to become one of my favorite films. But it didn't happen. There was nothing in the trailer that made me think it wouldn't be good. I blind-bought the Blu-ray 3-disc set because it has an HD transfer of the '51 film; and because I'd paid for it, I watched the 2008 version.

Dis. A. Pointment. :(
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!)


The Future Unreels
User avatar
Shieldmaiden
Posts: 7523
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2010 2:19 pm

Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by Shieldmaiden » Thu Aug 04, 2011 12:59 pm

YouTookMyName wrote:About seeing more of the movies: it seems that I seem to think everyone has seen these films because I have. Probably , no one else has that delusion. Don't understand why I do, but...
I've only seen four of the featured movies so far. :D

But it's good reading regardless.
Lazzaro felice - Cabin in the Sky - An Autumn Afternoon

Voyage | Female Gaze | MACBETH | Sokurov | Fassbinder | Greenaway | Denis | Sono | My Bookshelf
User avatar
Derninan
Posts: 7547
Joined: Wed Apr 14, 2010 9:24 am

Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by Derninan » Thu Aug 04, 2011 4:14 pm

YTMN wrote: TOTAL FORCE-FIT: GORT. "Genetically Organized Robotic Technology" GTFO
Ha!
YTMN wrote:Race is a fictitious concept anyway (see, I paid close attention in Cultural Anthroplogy class).
This just reminds me that I've recently befriended a Cultural Anthopology alumnus from Oxford, and wow, her and I have had some intensely hyper-focused conversations on matters of racial and gender identity. Seriously fascinating stuff and, having never taken an anthropology class, it's become somewhat of a new fascination for me.
YTMN wrote:TOTAL MISFIRE: Enormous marbles fall from the sky, rise up from the water and drill their way up from inside the earth. C'mon. That idea of Spielberg's to have the invading machines climb up out of the earth was the stupidest thing about his remake of The Martians are Coming! The Martians are Coming! Oh, but some of the audience found it spooky, unsettling, and very scary. Poor them. I wonder how many of them regretted liking that feature of War of the Worlds once the copy-cats making the '08 The Day the Earth Stood Still made it show up in this movie.
I (sheepishly, now, heh) count myself among the legions of fans of the Spielberg film. I think it's great entertainment. Why do you find that element so stupid? Implausible? Unnecessary? A splattering of both, and some more?

Either way, another very enjoyable read. In anticipation for Rise of the Planet of the Apes, I'm off to read the Apes remake rematch. I have a soft spot for the early Apes films, as I grew up on them, but am not a fan of the Burton "reimagining." Hopefully the new one is good, though as much as I enjoy James Franco...Franco as genius scientist? Yikes.
User avatar
Colonel Kurz
Posts: 14847
Joined: Wed Nov 17, 2010 3:07 pm
Location: Floating in a most peculiar way

Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by Colonel Kurz » Thu Aug 04, 2011 4:17 pm

Derninan wrote:Franco as genius scientist? Yikes.
Image
User avatar
Derninan
Posts: 7547
Joined: Wed Apr 14, 2010 9:24 am

Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by Derninan » Thu Aug 04, 2011 4:42 pm

Ha, did some douchebag classmate sell a photo of Franco snoozing in class? What a prick.
User avatar
YouTookMyName
Posts: 2227
Joined: Thu Jun 17, 2010 1:53 am

Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Thu Aug 04, 2011 5:27 pm

Derninan wrote:I (sheepishly, now, heh) count myself among the legions of fans of the Spielberg film. I think it's great entertainment. Why do you find that element so stupid? Implausible? Unnecessary? A splattering of both, and some more?
The novel and the 1953 film of The War of the Worlds have the invaders coming from Mars. They fall out of the sky onto the human domain. If the invading machines were buried beneath the soil of the earth...how long ago were they buried there? If the Martians, or whoever, wanted this planet why did they wait until humans had evolved and built cities? In fact, how the hell could they have known that humans were going to evolve and build cities? Were they buried beneath the earth for only a few hundred years? If even that "short a time": why? In general it makes no sense to me. As you know, I'm not a protester on the basis of "plot holes," because as an author I know that you cannot construct a story without plot holes. They make the story go!

If the extraterrestrial invaders decide to descend on us from space that makes so much more sense to my pea brain! If they come from the soil then they aren't aliens. I mean, how many hundreds or thousands of years do you have to be "here" before you're one of Us? This is just a political ploy like having Communists suddenly appear within the Government like in the 50s and 60s. It's to take advantage of the mindless fear of terrorism that Americans have after the airplanes became bombs in 2001. A valid fear, but way out of hand, I think. (And, no I wouldn't be so cavalier about it if one of my family members died, but I wouldn't be cavalier if one of my family members died in any way other than accidentally or by disease.)

There is nothing wrong with having the machines in the Spielberg film come up from beneath the ground. Looks cool. But it's not Wells's War of the Worlds. It's some other story told for some other age. Just don't use his title. Keeping the title is pointless. Just like with this new Day movie. I'm not sure I would have hated it quite so much if they had just made their movie, called the main character Kellnoe or something and forgone making GORT look like Gort. Nah. I'd probably have still thought it was bad.
Derninan wrote:Either way, another very enjoyable read. In anticipation for Rise of the Planet of the Apes, I'm off to read the Apes remake rematch. I have a soft spot for the early Apes films, as I grew up on them, but am not a fan of the Burton "reimagining." Hopefully the new one is good, though as much as I enjoy James Franco...Franco as genius scientist? Yikes.
Thank you, sir. The new movie is certainly getting a lot of good words written about it. Others have already noted that on this board in several places. I might see it, after all.
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!)


The Future Unreels
User avatar
Derninan
Posts: 7547
Joined: Wed Apr 14, 2010 9:24 am

Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by Derninan » Thu Aug 04, 2011 5:45 pm

YouTookMyName wrote:...
I always liked to imagine that (pertaining to the Spielberg version) the huge tripod beasts were, in fact, encased in those pods that bury themselves into the earth, then are given room to expand in the dirt before reemerging. Or that this was a multi-layered process that took the necessary amount of time to pull off, and "now" just happened to be the time when all was ready for attack. Either way, I didn't put much stock into it. I was a wide-eyed 20-year old who merely sat in awe at the marvelous action sequences!

Yes, the new Apes film is receiving surprisingly strong marks. I was gonna see it, anyway, due to my nostalgic love for the earlier films, but now I'm...dare I say...genuinely excited? Maybe not quite, but close!
User avatar
kiddo in space
Posts: 13023
Joined: Thu Feb 18, 2010 9:42 pm

Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by kiddo in space » Thu Aug 04, 2011 6:24 pm

The trailer for Rise of the Planet of the Apes has some hilarious sequences. Maybe the film will have some of those too, after all, we are talking about monkeys fighting people.
User avatar
YouTookMyName
Posts: 2227
Joined: Thu Jun 17, 2010 1:53 am

Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Sat Aug 06, 2011 3:58 pm

The Maltese Falcon (1941) dir. John Huston

Image
IMDb link RT-link

Year: 1941 Director: John Huston Cast: Mary Astor, Sydney Greenstreet, Peter Lorre, Humphrey Bogart Length: 100 min. B&W/Mono

Dashiell Hammett's book was 10 years old by the time John Huston began his adaptation of the novel. It is clear from his script that he went back to the source material. Huston's The Maltese Falcon is different from the two earlier manifestations in many ways, yet in some cases is so close to one or the other of them that you know Huston or his scenic designers must have watched them. It is estimated that Huston had $300,000 with which to pull together his first feature film. This was a low A-film budget, not a B-film budget at all, according to the commentarian on the Warner Video 3-film release.

Just as the previous owners of the screen-writing gig had done, Huston dropped a couple of minor characters, and their plots. But he actually managed to include more incidents from the novel than either of the previous screen-writers had done! Wilmer Cook has almost as large a role in the 1941 film as he does in the novel. In the 1931 version the kid is reduced to the status of walk-on. In the 1936 version the counterpart character is present a bit more, but he doesn't have much to do. The actor playing the role isn't even credited. True, the character doesn't say a lot in the novel compared to other characters, but he doesn't merely stand around silently fingering his pistol, either.

Image
Gutman's daughter, Rhea, (and her important plot function as a distraction for Spade at a critical moment) is missing once again. Leaving out the young girl and the major incident surrounding her streamlines the plot, but it also alters Gutman's character (in the book, Gutman even involves family members in his schemes). Still, it would be hard to notice the absence of a minor character in such a fabulous film.

Apart from his ridiculous facial pyrotechnics, Humphrey Bogart is an excellent Sam Spade. I think he captures the essence of the character better than the earlier incarnations. He's not as much fun to watch as Warren William, and he isn't as leering as Ricardo Cortez. If you read the book and watch either of those performances, you'll see definite Sam Spade characteristics. And they will seem quite accurate. But if you then watch Huston's film, Bogart's Sam Spade will entirely overshadow the two earlier versions.

Image
Mary Astor is a reserved Miss O'Shaughnessy. Her Miss Wonderly ruse is marvelously played, and her performance in the scene where she reveals to Spade that he was the target of a scam (hers...which he already knows, or pretends to) is quite a textbook case of less is more. The funny thing is that once you watch Huston's film, if you re-read the novel you'll likely see Mary Astor as Miss O'Shaughnessy! You may or may not imagine Bogart as Spade, but Astor's performance is that rock solid.

Elisha Cook Jr seems slightly too old for Wilmer Cook, who is supposed to be barely beyond his teens. Twenty-one at the oldest. Still, the actor manages to pull it off. One scene near the end where Cook is so tired of Spade's berating remarks that he weeps is very convincing, and even touching. Huston and his players are not afraid to let the sleazy characters be human beings, which is one reason that the film plays so well time after time.

Of course, the most convincingly-cast roles are Joel Cairo and Kasper Gutman. Peter Lorre's portrayal of Joel Cairo is both prim and rangy; he goes from supreme self-confidence to cry-baby blubbering in an instant on more than one occasion. But he never loses his Fifth Avenue appearance. You can easily imagine that this man takes an hour to get dressed. Everything is in its place, although of a style that has passed out of fashion decades before. You can believe the character is a killer...you just don't know who he has plugged. Even though he is emotional, and volatile, he has a greedy core that would seemingly allow him to do anything.

Image
It's hard to imagine (for me, anyway) that anyone's favorite character in the movie would be other than Kasper Gutman. Sydney Greenstreet is so perfectly cast and plays the part with such relish that the character seems to loom larger than all the rest, both figuratively and physically! He delivers Hammett's pandering dialogue with such ease and naturalness that you can believe a man could talk that way. And his interjected laughs just make the character lovable. You know he's a sleazeball, but you can't help but like him. Dudley Digges is a reliable Gutman in the 1931 film, but he remains an actor portraying Gutman. Greenstreet somehow becomes the treacherous con man and true to his role, takes in even the audience. It is a lovely piece of acting when the usually calm Gutman becomes frantic upon discovering the secret of the Falcon statue they have all risked life and limb to acquire.

I've covered almost all of what I like in the review. But just for the sake of form, here are a few specific things I like and a couple I don't care for in the film:

Like Oh, just about everything. From photography to sound design to casting to editing, this film is very close to flawless. Of course no film really is, and this one has its share of jump cuts, discontinuities and the like. But who sees 'em?

Image
Like The set design. I often don't even notice that about a film, but in this case its such a delight. The places seem real. They seem actual-sized, rather than the usual expansive movie-set sized rooms.

Like The lighting. You see what you need to see. And what lurks in the shadows stays there, unless its supposed to drizzle out into the light. It's marvelous. There is no sense that you have to see everything. Certainly not the first chiaroscuro-lit motion picture, it still seems to me to to be the archetype of them. (Or perhaps it shares that honor with Kane.)

Image
Like The characters are nearly all rounded characters. Even the police detectives come across as having a human side. It isn't as if Huston and company were setting out to rub our noses in the fact that they aren't creating flat characters...it's all done subtly. Sometimes only one hint in one scene keeps the character from being a totally one-dimensional creation. But the fact that it's done at all is amazing. The fact that it works is even better.

No film is flawless, as I wrote above, and I'm not going to make an exhaustive list of all that I don't care for in this movie. I'm going to offer three things that I wish were different among all those things that I think are wonderful. Suffice it to say there are more, but who cares? They are minor flaws.

Image
Don't Like Humphrey Bogart's facial expressions (already mentioned, as it really really bothers me). Too much too soon. And he got cast as an actor who made those goofy faces, I guess. Maybe someone likes them. Always makes me remember I'm watching a movie, though. Just when I'm really getting into a scene, Bogart pulls one of his patented grimaces and I remember, "Oh, of course, he's just an actor. This isn't real." No, that's not the worst part. It's when I look at a grimace and I think, "God, that guy wasn't really much of an actor, was he?" True or not overall, it's true in that moment!

Don't Like The final scene where Spade tells O'Shaughnessy that he's not going to take the fall for her...goes on too long. It's the one case where Huston's economy of storytelling gets tossed aside.

Image
Don't Like Now that I've read the novel, I don't like the cop-out ending that Huston puts on. However, I must say that in the context of the film as a movie, rather than the film as an adaptation, Huston's instincts are well-placed and the ending does the intended job. Makes the "noir" a bit optimistic, though. Justice is served. Well, John Huston was working in Hollywood!

Image

Go back using these buttons.ImageImageImageImageImage
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!)


The Future Unreels
User avatar
YouTookMyName
Posts: 2227
Joined: Thu Jun 17, 2010 1:53 am

Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Sat Aug 13, 2011 2:25 pm

A Comparison of The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)
and The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008)

These essays comparing the films are available. When you get a pointing hand (over the thumbnails, not the text), click on an image to go to the essay post.

ImageImageImage
ImageImageImage

ImageImageImage
ImageImageImage

ImageImageImage
ImageImageImage

ImageImageImage
ImageImageImage

ImageImageImage
ImageImageImage

ImageImage
ImageImage
Go back using these buttons.ImageImageImageImageImage
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!)


The Future Unreels
User avatar
YouTookMyName
Posts: 2227
Joined: Thu Jun 17, 2010 1:53 am

Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Sat Aug 13, 2011 3:07 pm

A Comparison of The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951) and The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008)

Gort and GORT

Image
Locke Martin was a tall man, which got him roles in some Hollywood sci-fi flicks. One of those was The Day the Earth Stood Still. I've read that Martin was a doorman at what was then Grauman's Chinese Theater. The producers of the '51 film thought of him for the man inside the Gort-suit. The very presence of someone inside a foam rubber suit makes the 1951 Gort vastly different from the 2008 GORT. Honestly, I cannot quite follow the convoluted thinking of the people who decided to call their film by the same title as another, while telling a completely different story. They took aspects or character names from the Robert Wise movie and treated them like wooden wedges (shims) driving them into place with an unseen hammer. Oddly enough, they selected only places that didn't need shims!

In "Farewell to the Master," a short story by Harry Bates the robot presence is called Gnut. I'm not sure why the name Gort was chosen, although it is easier to say. If you reverse it you get Trog, and troglodytes were popular creatures in sci-fi of the early 50s (of course I'm just speculating about this because retrospect is...fun). Gort is definitely not a troglodyte, so there might be some tongue-in-cheek irony there. But probably not. In the 2008 title-stealer GORT is not really named by Klaatu. GORT is an acronym (think of those misplaced shims for a moment, won't you?) for "Genetically Organized Robotic Technology". WTF?

The 2008 GORT is composed of countless tiny instectoid nanobots. This is an interesting idea, but why would the GORT have to be organized into a humanoid shape at any time? GORT does not act like Gort. The original robot was a lurking presence. At one point the military decides to encase Gort in a block of transparent plastic material, supposedly as indestructible as the material from which Gort and Klaatu's spacecraft are made. Of course, Gort overpowers the block of plastic and escapes.

Image
GORT is hugely tall, as if being 8 or 9 feet tall isn't imposing enough...especially if you have a deathray in your head. One of my criticisms of this film in the review is that the producers, lacking anything else, chose to rely on biiiiigness."Big is always impressive." This might be true if your audience is 9-year old boys. And maybe that was their audience, for all I know. Maybe everyone involved in the film has a boy of a certain age at home and they picked the kids' brains to see what they wanted in a film.

Gort effortlessly destroys anything that needs to be done away with. Zap, it melts, it's gone. This includes people, later in the film. That shows that Gort has tremendous control over the power and type of ray that comes from the gleaming jewel behind its visor. The GORT has an additional power, if you want to call it that. Between '51 and '08 "nano" becamse a popular concept, so the hulking GORT can come apart into a cloud made up of trillions of tiny metal insects. Somehow nanometrics referring to scale has come to refer to something that becomes myriad little parts. (Sigh)

Image
Keep in mind that I don't dislike GORT. The concept is cool: a "robot" that is actually like a beehive with form. It is certainly powerful. Its presence would be unsettling and anxiety-inducing no doubt. But The original Gort is still scarier than GORT to me. The 2008 film has too much magic in it. And, although I don't usually worry about plot holes in movies, books, or popular songs, the ones in this film are just baffling. There is a plot hole in the '51 version that isn't a show-stopper for me: of all the places in the world where Klaatu could have landed the Big Shiny, why did he pick Washington D.C.? Wouldn't New York, home of the United Nations have made more sense if he wanted to meet with leaders from every country? The entire GORT thing is a plot hole in the 2008 film. Why bother if you have all those little toothy buggies? Why form into a shape that emulates an old film?

Well, Gort is cool. GORT is also cool. My only complaint about GORT is that it was underused in the 2008 film, in that the use made of the technology didn't quite make story-sense to me. Looks nifty. The CGI for GORT is fairly well-done.

Image
And everyone around here knows what I think about Gort. One of my favorite aspects of the '51 suits was something that the producer, Julian Blaustein, thought people were going to laugh at. The legs on the Gort suits flex at the knee with a temporary fold. That was one of the niftiest things I had ever seen when I was a kid and saw the film for the first time. I mean, look, it's metal, right? Solid metal that you can't even cut with a blowtorch (one of the most powerful things in a kid's mind)! But when Gort walks up the ramp into the flying saucer, those knees make this other-worldly flexing movement. Nowadays I see it as a foam-rubber suit. But as a young teenager I saw it as "metal." And that flex looked really "neato."

The 1951 Gort represents unassailable power that cannot be controlled. Power that is, in fact, as Klaatu makes clear in the last moments of the movie, in charge. That's what it felt like with atomic bombs increasing in number by the hour. They were in charge rather than people being in charge of them. The 2008 GORT doesn't really represent much of anything, other than Klaatu's eerie tech companion. A kind of wasted sidekick that can chew the scenery rather effectively. Perhaps my affection for Gort blinds me to any goodness that there is in the character GORT. Are those nanomites supposed to be the environment eating us up for being bad boys and girls?

Image
Go back using these buttons.ImageImageImageImageImageImage
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!)


The Future Unreels
User avatar
YouTookMyName
Posts: 2227
Joined: Thu Jun 17, 2010 1:53 am

Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Sat Aug 13, 2011 4:47 pm

A Comparison of The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951) and The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008)
Klaatu

Image

The character Klaatu appears in both versions of the film, of course, but the function of the character is different in each film. The character is largely emotionless in the 1951 original, but he does smile and appears to be quite human to those DC citizens who are lucky enough to see him. The 2008 Klaatu is emotionless altogether. The remake features a Klaatu who is not a visiting alien, but a human body hijacked by the soul of an alien, apparently, and therefore is largely human. In the 1951 version Klaatu comes to the planet earth in order to deliver a message, a warning. He will not undertake any reduction of earth to a burned out cinder at this time. In the remake, Klaatu is sent to be judge and jury as well as executioner. His task is preordained.

Michael Rennie's version of Klaatu does not bear any ill will toward humans, as long as we mind our own business and remain on our planet. But he and his fellow life-forms from other planets are willing to let us know that they won't tolerate any of our foolishness. He is curious about the world around him, and sees the benefit of getting to know a few of earth's denizens while waiting for inspiration concerning his task. Keanu Reeves plays a Klaatu who comes to earth with a pre-determined mission: destroy all things human, and everything humans have created or meddled with. It's a nifty idea of a mission, I guess, as ideas for alien visitation go; but it is not handled with any kind of sure-handedness. It's almost as if the character is named Klaatu only so that the movie can be called The Day the Earth Stood Still. But Klaatu was in the first movie made from the short story Farewell to the Master, by Harry Bates, published in 1940. Very little of that story was kept by the creators of The Day the Earth Stood Still, beyond the idea of an alien visiting earth, and a giant robot being its companion.

Bates uses a video recording that plays in a new wing of the Smithsonian to provide background, and to recount Klaatu's short tenure on the earth. Here's an excerpt from that section of the story, quoting the voice that "picture reporter" Cliff Sutherland hears playing in the nearly empty museum:
Harry Bates in the Oct. 1940 issue of 'Astounding' wrote:"At last, after exactly two days, in full view of tens of thousands of persons assembled and standing well back, and under the muzzles of scores of the army's most powerful guns and ray projectors, an opening appeared in the wall of the ship, and a ramp slid down, and out stepped a man, godlike in appearance and human in form, closely followed by a giant robot. And when they touched the ground the ramp slid back and the entrance closed as before."
"It was immediately apparent to all the assembled thousands that the stranger was friendly. The first thing he did was to raise his right arm high in the universal gesture of peace; but it was not that which impressed those nearest so much as the expression on his face, which radiated kindness, wisdom, the purest nobility. In his delicately tinted robe he looked like a benign god."
"At once, waiting for this appearance, a large committee of high-ranking government officials and army officers advanced to greet the visitor. With graciousness and dignity the man pointed to himself, then to his robot companion, and said in perfect English with a peculiar accent, 'I am Klaatu,' or a name that sounded like that, 'and this is Gnut.' The names were not well understood at the time, but the sight-and-sound film of the television men caught them and they became known to everyone subsequently."
"And then occurred the thing which shall always be to the shame of the human race. From a treetop a hundred yards away came a wink of violet light and Klaatu fell. The assembled multitude stood for a moment stunned, not comprehending what had happened. Gnut, a little behind his master and to one side, slowly turned his body a little toward him, moved his head twice, and stood still, in exactly the position you now see him."
"Then followed pandemonium. The police pulled the slayer of Klaatu out of the tree. They found him mentally unbalanced; he kept crying that the devil had come to kill everyone on Earth. He was taken away, and Klaatu, although obviously dead, was rushed to the nearest hospital to see if anything could be done to revive him. Confused and frightened crowds milled about the Capitol grounds the rest of the afternoon and much of that night. The ship remained as silent and motionless as before. And Gnut, too, never moved from the position he had come to rest in."
Klaatu doesn't do much in that short story. A couple paragraphs down the line his body is buried. Cliff Sutherland has proof that Gnut has moved, and he sets out to prove it in a way that everyone will believe. As far as anyone can tell, Gnut has been motionless since the murder of Klaatu. The producers of the 1951 film had to have something for Klaatu to do.
Image
So the 1951 Klaatu gets the mission of becoming a messenger to the people of earth, while the 2008 Klaatu has to be the God of Judgment. Rennie's K-man doesn't need to be talked out of anything. The Reeves Klaatu does; and the way in which the '08 visitor is talked out of destruction is very cheap and nonsensical, to my mind. Klaatu's 2008 story purpose is truly unclear. Apparently the nano-gadgets that are supposed to gray-goo humans and their things are smart enough not to reduce cockroaches and microbes to the same state. If we are the problem with earth, why does Klaatu set off a pre-determined course of action that will destroy everything in order to let the earth start over again? Only because the producers thought they had some cool way of presenting what was their agenda from the start: humans are bad for the earth...but we can change.

Rennie's Klaatu is written to be multi-layered, and it makes it possible for the actor to play him that way. Reeves was given a rather flat part with a disingenuous change of heart, and even though he did a good job playing the character, there wasn't much for him to do with it. Between 1951 and 2008 it became de rigeur for aliens to have some kind of magic powers (remember E.T.'s glowing Fingertip of Healing); thus, Klaatu 2008 manipulates helicopters and other human objects by telekinesis. He also deflects beams from the helicopters using his very human flesh hands, which doesn't make much sense. The 1951 Klaatu is a mortal, with mortal powers, and only technological tools allow him to do what he does.

Julien Blaustein put in a few controversial moments that censors wanted to eliminate. One was the resurrection of a dead Klaatu by Gort using a machine on the spacecraft. Blaustein saved that by making an obtuse, anonymous reference to the God of Abraham. At the same time the story made Klaatu a sympathetic character; he is fearsome because he is a stranger, but he is sympathetic because he is willing to give earth a chance. "Perhaps before deciding on a plan of action you'd want to know more about the people here." That's what the alien tells people gathered at a boarding house breakfast table. Klaatu, though alien, is a real person.

The 2008 version of Klaatu has nothing sympathetic about him at all. He is supposed to be threatening; he is, but the producers didn't do a thing to make him anything besides a monster. Even Klaatu's conversion at the end of the film does nothing to make him less of a monster, inhuman and incomprehensible. He remains robot-like all the way through, even to his demise. What of it? He's already been shown to be an adventurous, lone explorer who died in the frozen mountains of India in 1928.

I prefer the 1951 incarnation of Klaatu to the modern update. That's not much of a surpise, is it?


Go back using these buttons.ImageImageImageImageImageImage
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!)


The Future Unreels
Mod Hip
Posts: 14065
Joined: Sun Mar 28, 2010 8:10 pm

Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by Mod Hip » Sun Aug 14, 2011 2:48 am

I don't really have anything to say here, but wanted to express that I am in awe of your passion for the intricacies and subtlest of details of TDTESS (both versions, for better or for worse, really). Good reads!
User avatar
YouTookMyName
Posts: 2227
Joined: Thu Jun 17, 2010 1:53 am

Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Sun Aug 14, 2011 3:33 am

Mod Hip wrote:I don't really have anything to say here, but wanted to express that I am in awe of your passion for the intricacies and subtlest of details of TDTESS (both versions, for better or for worse, really). Good reads!
Thank you. Maybe if I left more unsaid others would say more? :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.
Thread Resurrected 21 Jul 2018. Thread abandoned 1 Aug 2017. Thread COMPLETE 25 May 14 (2d time!)


The Future Unreels
User avatar
kiddo in space
Posts: 13023
Joined: Thu Feb 18, 2010 9:42 pm

Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by kiddo in space » Sun Aug 28, 2011 7:56 pm

I just watched The Day the Earth Stood Still. The best.

Yeah, that's why I bumped this thread.
Mod Hip
Posts: 14065
Joined: Sun Mar 28, 2010 8:10 pm

Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by Mod Hip » Tue Aug 30, 2011 2:08 am

The Big Bang Theory DVD neat gardens, trucks and SUVs in the hallways

...until he meets his new neighbor, Mike looking good plumber.
User avatar
B-Side
Posts: 50661
Joined: Thu Feb 18, 2010 12:14 am

Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by B-Side » Tue Aug 30, 2011 2:12 am

How do they fit those SUVs in the hallways?
no longer on hiatus from movies(!)

next projection | twitter | frames within frames
| letterboxd
User avatar
kiddo in space
Posts: 13023
Joined: Thu Feb 18, 2010 9:42 pm

Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by kiddo in space » Tue Aug 30, 2011 2:14 am

Gabrielle becomes your teen amateur gardener John
User avatar
Trip
Posts: 70527
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2010 7:47 am

Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by Trip » Tue Aug 30, 2011 2:14 am

are you sure the problems aren't UNDER the surface

lolol
Please TRIP and Die
User avatar
YouTookMyName
Posts: 2227
Joined: Thu Jun 17, 2010 1:53 am

Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Tue Aug 30, 2011 2:56 am

kiddo in space wrote:I just watched The Day the Earth Stood Still. The best.

Yeah, that's why I bumped this thread.
I assume you bumped it after you read the reviews and essays. I'm very glad you liked the film.
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!)


The Future Unreels
User avatar
kiddo in space
Posts: 13023
Joined: Thu Feb 18, 2010 9:42 pm

Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by kiddo in space » Tue Aug 30, 2011 3:01 am

YouTookMyName wrote: I assume you bumped it after you read the reviews and essays. I'm very glad you liked the film.
I knew I was forgetting somehting.
User avatar
YouTookMyName
Posts: 2227
Joined: Thu Jun 17, 2010 1:53 am

Re: YTMN Presents a Remake Rematch Thread

Post by YouTookMyName » Sat Sep 10, 2011 7:14 pm

kiddo in space wrote:
I knew I was forgetting somehting.
Well, kiddo, I hope you enjoyed those reviews and essays if you got around to reading them. Here comes one essay for Planet of the Apes.
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!)


The Future Unreels
Post Reply