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Old September 26 2010, 03:29 AM   #31
Christopher
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Re: 1931 Frankenstein....

Silvercrest wrote: View Post
Actually, Spider-Man was done once before. The '70s version with Nicholas Hammond.

And it proves your point pretty well.
Twice, actually. Around the same time, there was a live-action Japanese Spider-Man series (or Supaidaaman) from Toei. It had nothing in common with the original aside from the costume and some of the powers; Japanese Spidey got his powers from aliens from Planet Spider, and he used a giant robot to battle an invading alien army. But it handled the action better than the American show. The shots of Spidey climbing walls were better, using split-screen effects to hide the wires and winches that were sometimes obvious in the US show. The stunts and fights were much better because of the Japanese experience with martial-arts films and shows; Japanese Spidey used a form that I suppose could be called a kind of spider kung-fu, actually moving in a fairly arachnid-like way, and his fights involved a lot of leaping and climbing. In that respect, the Japanese version was a more convincing and authentic Spider-Man than the US version, even if everything else about the show was something totally different.
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Old September 26 2010, 10:11 AM   #32
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Re: 1931 Frankenstein....

Warped9 wrote: View Post
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I love all the old Universal Monster movies, even the later not-so-great ones. My favorite is Wolf Man. Larry Talbot is such a tragic character and Lon Chaney Jr is amazing in the role.
I'm looking forward to this one. I've got it on order.

I like quite a few older films. I don't judge them strictly by current standards, but more what it seems they were trying to achieve. And some of them still work well even by today's standards. I also like to see things as they began and before they became cliches.
Standards were no different back then; only technology was different (and styles, of course, but style is style-- neither superior nor inferior). In fact, since the lack of technology required that more effort be put into artistry, an argument could be made that movies of that era are superior to what we have now.

Kelso wrote: View Post
RJDiogenes wrote: View Post
I love all the old Universal Monster movies, even the later not-so-great ones.
Agreed!

I go through my Universal Monster Legacy set at least once per year.
I have those sets, too. I love them.

HunterB5446 wrote: View Post
I love those old movies, they are great. I haven't watched them since I was a kid, but I do have to admit they are not easy to watch sometimes. They are clasic for a reason, but I prefer my blood and guts movies. I grew up with Jason; Freddy and Mike, but I have a ton of respect for those older movies. It's not their fault visual effects sucked back then.
Visual effects did not suck back then. As I mentioned above, the artistry was amazing. Frankenstein does not suffer for lack of CGI any more than van Gogh suffered for lack of Photoshop.
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Old September 26 2010, 04:18 PM   #33
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Re: 1931 Frankenstein....

RJDiogenes wrote: View Post
Frankenstein does not suffer for lack of CGI any more than van Gogh suffered for lack of Photoshop.
Well-said!
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Old September 26 2010, 04:48 PM   #34
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Re: 1931 Frankenstein....

Christopher wrote: View Post
RJDiogenes wrote: View Post
Frankenstein does not suffer for lack of CGI any more than van Gogh suffered for lack of Photoshop.
Well-said!
Believe it or not I'd be inclined to say that about quite a few older films. What gets me about the 1933 King Kong isn't the f/x limitations, but rather the ideas behind them, what they were trying to convey. Ditto with something like Forbidden Planet and the 1968 Planet Of The Apes. Then you get to 2001 which effectively says, "screw cgi---lookee what we can do."


I have is the 75th anniversary edition of Frankenstein which includes a number of documentaries. One looks at the emergence and evolution of those early films. It's remarked upon that it's curious these films came out and became popular when they did. It's possible that in some respect they were a distraction from the real trails and horrors many people were dealing with at the time. It's also speculated that in a way these films were a subconscious expression of the horrors faced by survivors of WW1, where thousands of soldiers who would have died of their injuries before now survived but with terrible disfigurations.
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Old September 26 2010, 08:12 PM   #35
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Re: 1931 Frankenstein....

Greg Cox wrote: View Post
Yeah, the 1931 DRACULA has aged very badly--and that's coming from one of the world's biggest vampire freaks. It's an incredibly creaky, stagebound production redeemed by a great cast: not just Lugosi, but also Edward Van Sloan and Dwight Frye.

To be fair, the early Transylvania scenes are nicely creepy and atmospheric, but once Dracula gets to London, the movie turns into the old Balderston-Deane stageplay and gets incredibly static. The whole middle of the movie is pretty much a chamber-room drama, with the characters standing around talking about all the interesting things happening offstage. "Look! Out the window! I just saw a wolf running across the lawn!"

Granted, the Carfax Abbey sets at the ends are pretty cool, and the Renfield's death is nicely staged.

P.S. The 1931 Spanish-language version, which was filmed simultaneously with the Lugosi version, is livelier and arguably better directed. And the actress who plays Lucy wears a much skimpier negligee!

Alas, the guy playing Dracula in the Spanish version is no Lugosi.
OT, I've started collecting everything that I can get that David Manners appeared in. When we moved to Nova Scotia we found out he spent his summers in the house across the road from ours and our house appears in his novel Convenient Season. If nothing else it makes a neat display in the library and there's some fun flicks there too.
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Old September 26 2010, 08:16 PM   #36
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Re: 1931 Frankenstein....

Starbreaker wrote: View Post
Frankenstein is a great film. I've got the set of the first six Frankenstein films, but this one is a classic.
Is that the Universal Frankenstein pack that came out around 2004/2005? if so I have that set too.
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Old September 26 2010, 08:53 PM   #37
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Re: 1931 Frankenstein....

Forbin wrote: View Post
If I may move the genre slightly sideways, I also recommend “Tarzan and his Mate,” which I find amazingly more compelling than the original Weismuller Tarzan film. Plus, ya know, Maureen O'Sullivan has that little nude scene.
Only it's not her you see swimming nekkid -- she was doubled by Olympic swimming champion Josephine McKim.
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Old September 27 2010, 12:37 AM   #38
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Re: 1931 Frankenstein....

Warped9 wrote: View Post
Believe it or not I'd be inclined to say that about quite a few older films. What gets me about the 1933 King Kong isn't the f/x limitations, but rather the ideas behind them, what they were trying to convey. Ditto with something like Forbidden Planet and the 1968 Planet Of The Apes. Then you get to 2001 which effectively says, "screw cgi---lookee what we can do."
I think the special effects in those movies are way, way cooler than the overdone CGI we have these days in movies like "Gi Joe: The Rise of Cobra" and "Star Wars Episode III - Revenge of the Sith". When I watch special effects in newer movies like those, I just feel like I'm looking at a computer game.

With those older flicks, the animation and handcrafted puppets/props and screen work may not have been photo realistic, but they had an otherworldly quality that made them mesmerizing and charming. Another good example is the Ray Harryhausen stop motion stuff which was just brilliantly surreal.

I have a lot more appreciation for creatures and surroundings rendered through camera tricks and meticulous puppeteer work than some of the slick, modern computer generated stuff. I get bored when everything I'm looking at just looks like state-of-the-art computer graphics. They may look 'fake', but the made-up creatures and surroundings in movies like the 30s Kong and 2001 sure feel a lot more real and have a physicality that overblown CGI creations can't come close to matching.
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Old September 27 2010, 02:20 AM   #39
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Re: 1931 Frankenstein....

I can appreciate well crafted CGI. Still, sometimes I really miss good model work. In terms of science fiction in film to my eye nothing has ever equaled the awe I felt seeing the Enterprise depicted in ST-TMP.
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Old September 27 2010, 02:49 AM   #40
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Re: 1931 Frankenstein....

Chemahkuu wrote: View Post
Starbreaker wrote: View Post
Frankenstein is a great film. I've got the set of the first six Frankenstein films, but this one is a classic.
Is that the Universal Frankenstein pack that came out around 2004/2005? if so I have that set too.
Yeah. I'd like to pick up the rest of the sets if I can find them.
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Old September 27 2010, 02:57 AM   #41
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Re: 1931 Frankenstein....

RJDiogenes wrote: View Post
I love all the old Universal Monster movies, even the later not-so-great ones.
Same here. I'm not quite so fond of Chaney, though, who strikes me as much more limited a performer than Karloff or even Lugosi - though he was certainly a better Frankenstein's monster than Lugosi was. Okay, so was Glenn Strange.

Lugosi supposedly passed on playing the Monster in the original film, objecting to the make-up. Evidently his career choices were somewhat more limited by the time the fourth or fifth sequel rolled around.

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Old September 27 2010, 03:37 AM   #42
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Re: 1931 Frankenstein....

Lugosi was brilliant as Igor in Son of Frankenstein, of course it helps to play off of Rathbone. Love the Wolfman best. Chaney hits it perfectly and you really feel for the charceter. Something totaly absent from the recent remake.
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Old September 27 2010, 03:07 PM   #43
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Re: 1931 Frankenstein....

Starbreaker wrote: View Post
Chemahkuu wrote: View Post
Starbreaker wrote: View Post
Frankenstein is a great film. I've got the set of the first six Frankenstein films, but this one is a classic.
Is that the Universal Frankenstein pack that came out around 2004/2005? if so I have that set too.
Yeah. I'd like to pick up the rest of the sets if I can find them.
I didn't bother with the rest, just the 1931 Dracula individually.
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Old September 27 2010, 03:37 PM   #44
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Re: 1931 Frankenstein....

scotpens wrote: View Post
Forbin wrote: View Post
If I may move the genre slightly sideways, I also recommend “Tarzan and his Mate,” which I find amazingly more compelling than the original Weismuller Tarzan film. Plus, ya know, Maureen O'Sullivan has that little nude scene.
Only it's not her you see swimming nekkid -- she was doubled by Olympic swimming champion Josephine McKim.
DAMMIT!!
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Old September 27 2010, 03:43 PM   #45
Admiral Buzzkill
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Re: 1931 Frankenstein....

Chemahkuu wrote: View Post
Starbreaker wrote: View Post
Chemahkuu wrote: View Post

Is that the Universal Frankenstein pack that came out around 2004/2005? if so I have that set too.
Yeah. I'd like to pick up the rest of the sets if I can find them.
I didn't bother with the rest, just the 1931 Dracula individually.
It's rather remarkable that Universal's Frankenstein led to quite a few generally well-regarded sequels - some better, some worse - and their Dracula petered out rather quickly (okay, okay, like Lon Chaney all you want to but you can't claim that his turn as "Count Alucard" was either his or the bloodsucker's finest hour ). Particularly so when you see how much more continually renewable variations of Dracula have been in popular culture since then.
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