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Tack said:

I'm going to take a minute to talk about one of my favorite films and my uncanny habit of finding REALLY good showings of it; Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

First, my personal history with the film. One night, I came across the last half of it on AMC, and was totally mesmerized by it. I eventually caught the whole thing, and fell almost hopelessly in love with it. 

A couple of years ago, I actually went to Devil's Tower itself. And, albeit on a 20 inch CRT monitor, I and fifteen others actually WATCHED the film itself at the foot of the mountain. It was one of my favorite film experiences ever.

Then, last night, I went to a showing at the Alama Drafthouse. Oh. My. God!

OK, first of all, we were shown the Duck Dodgers in the 24th1/2 Century cartoon right before. Awesome. Second, the print was... a print! And it was gorgeous, and epic, and had character. And, third... I ought to explain.

A couple months ago I went to a similar showing of Jaws, and there there was a guy who had brought a large collection of Jaws related memorabilia. It inspired me to do the same here, especially since I actually own a couple Starlog issues with Close Encounters-related stories and the Marvel comic. So, I brought them. This got me way farther than I expected. 

Apparently word got around the ushers, and eventually... I got to look at the print myself! Not to mention, I had a great conversation with the projectionist about the art of real film being in decline and the replacing of it by digital prints.

And, if you're wondering what I think of the film after all this... It's still one of my favorite films. 

 Sometimes, it all just somehow inexplicably comes together.

I'd probably end up living in the Drafthouse if I ever get the chance to go. ;)

It'd be nice to see the original CEot3K on the big screen. Like this: (from the annual German 70mm festival last year. I want to cry every time I see photos of each year's event.)

VADER!? WHERE THE HELL IS MY MOCHA LATTE? -Palpy on a very bad day.
“George didn’t think there was any future in dead Han toys.”-Harrison Ford
YT channel:
https://www.youtube.com/c/DamnFoolIdealisticCrusader

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Full analysis coming later.

I finally did it.

All five, in order. Item off of childhood to-do list finally!! Prior to this I had only seen the original and Conquest all the way through and bits and pieces of the others.

POTA-A groundbreaking sci-fi classic that is surprising in its effectiveness to this date. Most important is that it is a small movie, a film that was very risky and yet was able to overcome the negative connotations of sci-fi being B-material by utilizing great performers, layering different writer's opinions through numerous story drafts and most importantly by having a hand at the helm who was totally involved with setting the audience on a foreign territory. It is director Schaffner's insistence upon alienating the audience with Col. Taylor and reliance on new wave techniques in key scenes that keeps the film fresh after all this time.

4/4. In the same year as 2001, a small lesser budgeted film with vastly inferior ape makeup captured the hearts and minds of countless individuals with definite societal criticism. And of course...of freaking course you see Mr. Serling's name involved in the writing. It fits entirely with the way his wonderful mind worked.

Beneath-A strange one. It really feels like the leftover 20-30% they couldn't fit in the first film plus a complete rehash of the original entry in a hour microcosm or so. The feeling is rushed and almost TV-ish in places, due to the studio's insistence for saving money. Franciscus is actually one of the best parts of the film as Brent, who is NOT a Taylor clone but actually a man struggling to grasp this new world being played by a man desperately struggling to make his character mean something in a lifeless script. If you could simply remove the POTA rehash and get right to the final act with the mutants, it would work much better. Overall one cannot escape the rushed quality, especially those awful pull over ape masks!!!!!!!!!!!!!! But the ending is a killer, though handled a bit amateurishly thus preventing the full effect of chilling darkness.

I struggle with this because it has many flaws, but still despite all of them is at least a solid 3/4.

Escape-A return to forthright thinking man's sci-fi, featuring arguably the single greatest moment of screenwriting story innovation. (Topping even Goldfinger's change of the novel's Fort Knox robbery to its irradiation. Oh wait, Paul Dehn also co-wrote that!) It is a brilliant way to continue the ending of the previous film and reenter a parable akin to Boulle's original novel albeit reversed. Of course the reduced budget meant we don't leave L.A. but once you get past that, Escape is a genuinely warm film that takes on even more significance in the the final third when the apes must go on the run from Victor Newman. (Sorry! I just couldn't help it!!)

I just wish it didn't feel so constrained due to budget. 3.5/4

Conquest was the first Apes adventure I ever saw. Even at age 8 the revised ending felt a touch weakened after the events that had gone on through the course of the story. But in it's uncut form the original intent is fully restored, and makes for a small but biting picture.

Soapbox time: Sure it may be short, very low budget, and the third sequel BUT the levels of commentary are so deep, the direct parallels to the rising tensions in the late 60's/early 70's so blatant, and the story so well focused despite a short runtime that the effectiveness of Conquest is never diluted. In fact, it is not only my favorite but arguably as good as if not even better the original.

It is Roddy McDowall's picture. In a tour-de-force performance, he runs the gamut from innocence to enslavement to outrage to conspiring and leading the ape rebellion-all as the son of his original character and in full Ape makeup. And people think these pictures don't mean anything! Good grief, if anyone else did this sans makeup they'd win dozens of awards.

The Blu-ray finally presents this forgotten film in it's intended form. I'd love to see a lossless mono track made, or a print struck of this for theatrical release as a pipe dream.

4/4. This is one of my favorite sci-fi films. When you're older the rebellion is unmistakably presented to mirror the race riots and newsreel coverage of Vietnam.

Battle-Not anywhere near as bad as many claim, but I did see the fully extended BD version. It's very low budget and underdeveloped, but on the whole never downright bad. The series could have easily ended with the previous entry but it was nice to see at least an attempt at closing the story. 

Because they really had to work hard with no money, I felt appreciative and enjoyed the film far more than had the problems simply been due to laziness.

3/4. There were at least references made to continue the story cycle and connect the films. Plus more Caesar which is always good, and the return of the lovely Culp from Conquest who I just always found intriguingly creepy for some reason.

The slipcase BD box is a must for around $15. Transfers finally up to snuff all around and (lossy) original mono finally for all five!

VADER!? WHERE THE HELL IS MY MOCHA LATTE? -Palpy on a very bad day.
“George didn’t think there was any future in dead Han toys.”-Harrison Ford
YT channel:
https://www.youtube.com/c/DamnFoolIdealisticCrusader

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I think all the films, (except Escape) used pullover masks for the extras to some degree. The mistake Beneath made was placing them too close to the camera.

I may the only person on here who gets the Victor Newman reference. ;)

Have you seen POTA recut as a Twilight Zone episode?

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

Where were you in '77?

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You may also want to check out the complete live action PotA television series. It's on the production scale of Battle, but the writing is not bad at all.

“First feel fear, then get angry. Then go with your life into the fight.” - Bill Mollison

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captainsolo said:

Tack said:

I'm going to take a minute to talk about one of my favorite films and my uncanny habit of finding REALLY good showings of it; Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

First, my personal history with the film. One night, I came across the last half of it on AMC, and was totally mesmerized by it. I eventually caught the whole thing, and fell almost hopelessly in love with it. 

A couple of years ago, I actually went to Devil's Tower itself. And, albeit on a 20 inch CRT monitor, I and fifteen others actually WATCHED the film itself at the foot of the mountain. It was one of my favorite film experiences ever.

Then, last night, I went to a showing at the Alama Drafthouse. Oh. My. God!

OK, first of all, we were shown the Duck Dodgers in the 24th1/2 Century cartoon right before. Awesome. Second, the print was... a print! And it was gorgeous, and epic, and had character. And, third... I ought to explain.

A couple months ago I went to a similar showing of Jaws, and there there was a guy who had brought a large collection of Jaws related memorabilia. It inspired me to do the same here, especially since I actually own a couple Starlog issues with Close Encounters-related stories and the Marvel comic. So, I brought them. This got me way farther than I expected. 

Apparently word got around the ushers, and eventually... I got to look at the print myself! Not to mention, I had a great conversation with the projectionist about the art of real film being in decline and the replacing of it by digital prints.

And, if you're wondering what I think of the film after all this... It's still one of my favorite films. 

 Sometimes, it all just somehow inexplicably comes together.

I'd probably end up living in the Drafthouse if I ever get the chance to go. ;)

It'd be nice to see the original CEot3K on the big screen. Like this: (from the annual German 70mm festival last year. I want to cry every time I see photos of each year's event.)

 Wow! Yeah, luckily their print was a 1999 strike of the director's cut, so not only were the colors and visual quality phenomenal, but it was a hybrid of my favorite scenes from the two previous versions. So, Cotopaxi and bathroom scene from special edition and the press conference and yard-destroying scene from the theatrical cut. It was the perfect combination.

I’m just here because I’m driving tonight.

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FanFiltration said:

You may also want to check out the complete live action PotA television series. It's on the production scale of Battle, but the writing is not bad at all.

 Also worth mentioning, when Charton Heston hosted SNL in the 90's, the show went ape. ;)

https://screen.yahoo.com/charlton-heston-monologue-not-mutant-000000573.html

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

Where were you in '77?

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Suburban Beat (1985)

For something starring both Dee Wallace and the Thespian Goddess Extraordinaire Heather, this was rather lame and boring.

It isn't dramatic enough to count as a full drama and not comedic enough to count as a full comedy, so it just falls completely flat as both. Also, there are just too many characters running around, most of whom are dull as dishwater (Heather's meticulously developed and executed character, of course, being the only real exception.).

If only this had been written as a Twin Peaks episode* ...

6/10

 

*No, I don't understand what the hell this has to do with anything, either. Perhaps I just want to see Heather in a Lynch production.

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The only important Heather there is, was. ;P

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

Stepping softly in a danger zone…

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Wow nice analysis captainsolo, thanks I enjoyed reading that. Makes me want to catch up with the couple of parts of the apes saga I've missed and rewatch all the others again.

VIZ TOP TIPS! - PARENTS. Impress your children by showing them a floppy disk and telling them it’s a 3D model of a save icon.

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 (Edited)

With the Apes Saga i only like the first film, i guess that is considered as weird as only liking Star Wars, or just Raiders. Or those who only like the first Alien film, or only like the first Terminator.

I am also probably the only fan of the original film as far as i know have not found anybody else yet, that despises the cgi movies.

That loathes and hates everything that has been done since that Marky Mark movie.

I don't feel a need to have everything prequelized and to know where everything came from or to have every mystery solved.  Especially since such revelations ruin the first movie.

“Always loved Vader’s wordless self sacrifice. Another shitty, clueless, revision like Greedo and young Anakin’s ghost. What a fucking shame.” -Simon Pegg.

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skyjedi2005 said:

With the Apes Saga i only like the first film, i guess that is considered as weird as only liking Star Wars, or just Raiders. Or those who only like the first Alien film, or only like the first Terminator.

I only like Raiders. And I don't think it's that weird to only like the original Star Wars. I've never seen a sequel I thought was better than the first one. (yet)

Dboman said:

I don't care about spelling! I just want to find a mirror!

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Is it weird to like only the first Highlander film?*

 

*Rhetorical question, of course.

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Watched Bambi last night.

Couldnt remember the story... just a series of little bits of business they used to show on the Disney channel when I was a lad.

Now I realize there is no story, just a series of little bits of business. 

Still a beautiful movie.

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WedgeCyan said:

I only like Raiders. And I don't think it's that weird to only like the original Star Wars. I've never seen a sequel I thought was better than the first one. (yet)

For me, Indiana Jones consists of Raiders and Temple of Doom. The only reason I can sort of enjoy Last Crusade is Sean Connery, but it still doesn't feel like an Indy movie to me, and the less said about #4 the better. And Doom only works for me because they tried to do something legitimately different than Raiders.

I also only really acknowledge the first Back to the Future - #2 is entertaining, and #3 is just campy, but neither feels like it belongs in the world established by the first one. I mean, why give Marty such a crippling flaw (the "chicken" thing) in the sequels? That alone makes him feel like a different character than the BTTF1 Marty to me.

I'm not against sequels as a rule (I'd say The Godfather Part II is superior to its predecessor, for instance), but generally, unless they're planned for in advance, they undermine the original.

And superhero/comic book movies tend to be exempt from all this, as they're designed to be continued on and on. Even then, sequels generally aren't as good as the first (the only exceptions that come to my mind there are Spider-Man 2, The Dark Knight, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and X2 - hell, maybe even First Class or Days of Future Past, too), but even the subpar sequels don't usually undermine what the original was trying to do like "standard" sequels tend to.

I guess my point is, I don't see anything wrong with only liking (or acknowledging) the first in a series.

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Akira Kurosawa's Yojimbo, dubbed in English (a DVD5 on ADC). It was actually pretty entertaining in a sincere way and very well scripted. I gotta hear the Rashomon dub next.

So, a new book came out and we learned so much, and it is called, “Anguilosaurus, Killer of the Living”.

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Since when have there been English dubs of Kurosawa films?

originaltrilogy.com Moderator

Where were you in '77?

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Little Shop of Horrors (1986).  Gosh, I love this movie.  I first was introduced to the story when I saw the play back in 2001 at my first college.  I had never heard of it before, and I was amazed at how the story weaved horror, comedy, romance, musical, tragedy, and parody so well and come out on top.  Subsequently saw the film and loved it as well, though I immediately noticed, "Hey, wait a minute!  A happy ending?  I thought it ended in tragedy!"  I later learned that the original ending had been like the Off-off-Broadway and my college's production: a tragedy.  However, test audiences despised the original ending and Frank Oz and his crew had to refilm the ending, this time with a much jollier finish.

And though I understood the reasons for the change, for years I'd wanted to see the deleted ending.  Well, they recently released the deleted ending on BD.  Bought it.  Watched it.  Loved it!  It's fun to see the tragic ending, the way Oz had originally intended to end it all.  Admittedly the happier ending is probably the better ending, at least for a movie, yet it was nice to see things end the way I'd remembered seeing it thirteen years ago at a junior college (minus the surprisingly good special effects, of course).

Gotta add, MySpleen has an incomplete workprint posted recently, as well as the bonus features to a quickly pulled DVD released that included the alternate ending in B/W without permission.  Both are worthwhile downloads.

Something I really wish is that I could see a live performance.  There are a number of songs I remember from the play that were not included in the movie.  I probably will need to purchase the soundtrack for the recent Broadway revival so I can hear those songs again.

Uh, oh.  Baby's awake.  "Feed me, Daddy!  Feed me now!"

EDIT: This link might be interesting to many folks:

http://vimeo.com/user15343437/videos

It includes all or most of the differences between the theatrical release and the workprint (and somehow the uploader obtained a complete workprint, which I cannot find).  It's fun to compare.  The sad ending is present, but is actually shorter than the BD Director's Cut, interestingly.  I think it would be awesome if someone combined the various sources to create an extended cut.  But I suspect that's just wishful thinking.

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The Ten Commandments- Cecil B. Demille's VistaVision 35mm spectacular, an endless biblical epic about Moses leading the Egyptians out of Exodus. A study in excess to make Peter Jackson look like a minimalist, it's a an unbelievably long, bombastic, silly, but often entertaining blend of soap opera romance, old-style Hollywood spectacle, sword-and-sandle battles, dated special effects, and colorful kitsch. It's hugely iconic scenes achieve a certain pop grandeur, but disappointingly, DeMille is no David Lean. The many matte paintings stick out, and the whole film is disappointingly stiff and dull, shot mostly in static long takes with Demille's usually stationary camera. Though seeing it on the big screen would be a cool opportunity, but in spite of the 6K restoration credits, the DCP shown by my local AMC wasn't a dazzler (presumably compressed or something) and the film's sluggish pacing didn't help matters. A classic to some, and probably plays much better on the small screen when you can pause it to get up and get food and go to the bathroom, but time hasn't been kind to it. Still, it's a cultural touchstone, and there's a certain fun to be had. Let my people go!

Freddy vs. Jason- Much better than it has any right to be monster movie mashup. Those looking for the intelligence found in the Craven films will be most disappointed, but if you've stuck with the franchise this long, that likely won't be an issue. Braindead? Sure. But way more fun than you'd expect. Screenwriters Shannon and Swift are obviously fanboys themselves, and they've clearly done their homework, and Hong Kong-bred director Ronny Yu Yan-Tai infuses the proceedings with lots of kinetic razzle-dazzle and the requisite blood and boobs. The characters are annoying stereotypes who exist solely to be killed off in gruesome ways, but it's very stylish-looking and the final showdown delivers what you expect. It is what it is, it knows what it is, and it doesn't pretend to be anything else. And for once, that's good enough.

Ben Hur- William Wyler's sweeping, sprawling, massive biblical epic, seen as a DCP at my local AMC, and not a very impressive one either, curiously muted colors and somewhat muddy. Add to that the fact that you have one of a small handful of films ever shot in super-wide Panavision 65, and they put it on their smallest, dingiest, most pissant little screen in the whole multiplex. Still, I'll never see it 70mm or even 35mm, so a cinema screen is still a cinema screen. Anyway, the film is unwieldy, uneven, sometimes silly, and occasionally dated, but also robust, bold, engaging, exciting, beautiful-looking, sometimes thrilling, and frequently awe-inspiring, and has a well-deserved reputation at the kind of spectacle that CG has all but dulled completely. The kind of thing that cinema is all about, nearly four hours that get your your money's worth the whole time. And that chariot race? Wow. James Cameron, eat your heart out. 55 years later, it's still a breathtaking knockout. I'll never get to see it in 70mm, so I guess this'll have to do. 

No mods ever come to this forum, but if one ever does, they can feel free to attempt to fix the structure of that post. Don't know what the hell happened. God, we need nee forum software :(

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“What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one.”

Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death

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No mods, only Zuul. 

Don’t do drugs, unless you’re with me.

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Fantasia (1940) - Backstory: I haven't seen it since I was 7. I recall seeing it once or twice but never feeling the desire to watch it again. When I was very young, I found it to be incredibly boring and long. Watching it again many years later has been a thoroughly entertaining experience.

Content: The film is split into eight segments, each with a self contained theme or storyline. I've gotta be honest, even as an adult watching only with my partner with no children present, I can recall smiling or even laughing at each segment.

Production: The entire picture is outstandingly animated with gorgeous colors and imaginative characterizations of fictional creatures and inanimate objects. The soundtrack, lovingly selected by a committee including master of ceremonies Deems Taylor, conductor Leopold Stokowski, and Walt Disney himself, shines at every moment, with compositions from throughout time and around the world.

Controversy: Among Disney's animated films, this one may be the most over-looked in terms of controversy. Everyone loves to talk and exaggerate about the sexy hints dropped in Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and the Little Mermaid and the racist stereotypes held in Peter Pan and Dumbo. But Fantasia's main controversy adds up to about 20 seconds of censored images containing a half-donkey (rather than half horse) Black centaurette. The figure, named Sunflower, is a caricature featuring many contemporary stereotypes of Black people, including bad teeth, large lips, a monkey-like facial structure, and a subservient attitude. There are very low-quality bootlegs of these scenes on YouTube if you wanted to see them, for now. I am against censorship in almost every occasion, including this one. I own a collection of the earliest Mickey Mouse cartoons on DVD, and before several of the shorts, film expert Leonard Maltin gives an introduction putting into context some of Mickey's behavior, including smoking and drinking heavily, being very disrespectful to Minnie, and two or three blackface gags. Now I ask, how hard would it have been to have a critic or expert give a little explanation before the film played, and leave history alone? Another minor controversy concerns the overdubbing of Deems Taylor's original narration by a voice double, due to many of Taylor's original soundtracks being lost. I am not as concerned by this for two reasons: a) It's a pretty faithful imitation and b) there aren't many other options, it's along the same lines as many older films are treated for Criterion release: The Gold Rush's original soundtrack was re-recorded, frames were patched from multiple different sources, etc. In the end, I would love to see the original Taylor narration restored and found. If it's lost I'll be disappointed, however, I understand many films are truly lost and I'm glad this hasn't happened to Fantasia.

Conclusion: I don't consider many films to be perfect (Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark, the Breakfast Club, and Duck Soup are among my all time favorites) but I must admit I'm pretty sure I've got another to add to that roster. This is film is the best representation of movies as art I can imagine, and is just as outstandingly brilliant now as it must have been on its original release. It's perfect regardless of the controversy surrounding it. This is truly a masterpiece.

Dboman said:

I don't care about spelling! I just want to find a mirror!

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 (Edited)

Since when have there been English dubs of Kurosawa films?

Since when they were fist released in the states you pretentious schmucks. I thought this crowd cared about alternate versions and such.

So, a new book came out and we learned so much, and it is called, “Anguilosaurus, Killer of the Living”.