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Science Fiction & Fantasy Farscape, Babylon 5, Star Wars, Firefly, vampires, genre books and film.

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Old March 16 2013, 03:09 PM   #541
Christopher
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Re: TCM Genre movies schedule...

^Not really last moment, since I listed it weeks ago. But thanks for the reminder.

Also, Creature from the Black Lagoon is on at 3 Eastern.
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Old March 17 2013, 02:23 AM   #542
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Re: TCM Genre movies schedule...

Some strong genre entries in the rest of March (all times Eastern):

Wed 3/20-Thu 3/21:
9:30 PM: 2010
11:30 PM: Forbidden Planet
1:13 AM: A Look Into the 23rd Century (making-of short about Logan's Run)
1:30 AM: 20 Million Miles to Earth
3:00 AM: Marooned

Friday 3/22:
2:15 AM: The Boy With Green Hair (1948 Dean Stockwell film, borderline genre but worth a mention)
11:30 AM: Phantom of the Rue Morgue (1954 remake of Murders in the Rue Morgue, with Karl Malden)
11:00 PM: The Machine that Kills Bad People (aka La Macchina Ammazzacattivi, 1952 Italian film about a demonic camera)

Tue 3/26:
6:30 PM: A Carol for Another Christmas (1964 Rod Serling update of A Christmas Carol, an all-star-cast TV movie made to promote the UN -- rarely seen until recently. Sounds intriguing.)

Sat 3/30:
7:30 AM: Bride of Frankenstein
9:00 AM: Godzilla, King of the Monsters! (1956 Raymond Burr version)
3:15 PM: Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger (Harryhausen's last Sinbad film, 1977)
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Old March 17 2013, 10:32 AM   #543
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Re: TCM Genre movies schedule...

Most of those have been shown fairly recently (and I have many of them on DVD), but there's a couple I've never even heard of. Very interesting.
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Old March 27 2013, 02:27 AM   #544
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Re: TCM Genre movies schedule...

Well, I watched Carol for Another Christmas today. Not one of Serling's better works. I guess the 1964 date should've been a warning sign -- that's about the time of The Twilight Zone's final season, and Serling had really overextended himself by that point from writing the vast majority of its scripts. A lot of the TZ episodes he wrote around this time were just as stilted, verbose, and heavy-handedly preachy as this. I certainly agree with the message Serling was trying to get across, but the strident way he went about it probably didn't do much to lend it credibility.

Although at least they didn't make the Archie Bunker mistake. Archie represented all the values that the makers of All in the Family wanted to critique and deconstruct, but they cast an actor so talented and likeable that he came off as more persuasive than the characters arguing for the writers' own values. Here, though, the Scrooge character, the anti-UN conservative who favors isolationism and a strong defense over engagement and global cooperation, was played rather dully and unsympathetically by Sterling Hayden. Although the main proponent of the pro-engagement, pro-UN position was played even more stridently and abrasively by Ben Gazzara, and written that way by Serling. Even after he tries to end his argument with his uncle and make peace, he renews the argument two sentences later, and never resists an opening to score a point in the moral debate. The Ghosts of Christmas (and any connection to Christmas is incidental here) are somewhat better played -- respectively by Steve Lawrence, Pat Hingle, and Robert Shaw -- but a lot of their material is just as strident. And ultimately it didn't seem to do much good; rather than the wholesale transformation Scrooge had, this guy just ended up being a little bit more open-minded about his nephew's point of view without actually doing anything about it, and was a tiny bit nicer to his (black) servants while still expecting them to serve him (on Christmas day!). So really, what was the point?

I did like the production values, though. There was some nice directing and cinematography, and a nice use of editing, camerawork, and lighting to make supernatural scene transitions in a low-tech but effective way. A good score by Henry Mancini as well.

And it's sad that half a century later, the arguments in the movie are still so topical, that we haven't moved beyond the core debates here about haves and have-nots and whether working together with other nations in the UN represents a sacrifice of national sovereignty and self-interest. Given that, it's particularly sad that the arguments are not more skillfully made. There's stuff here that's worth saying; it just needed to be said better. Which, given what a great wordsmith Serling was at his best, is also rather sad.
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Old March 27 2013, 02:37 AM   #545
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Re: TCM Genre movies schedule...

The original is obviously classic but I wish they were showing any other big G movie. Or a non-Mothra Toho.
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Old March 27 2013, 02:58 AM   #546
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Re: TCM Genre movies schedule...

^I wouldn't exactly call the King of the Monsters! version the original. Nor is it anywhere near as much of a classic.
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Old March 27 2013, 03:13 AM   #547
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Re: TCM Genre movies schedule...

Yeah, Gojira/Godzilla whatever, I don't have these on DVD so I'd like to see something other than it or Mothra, I'd like to see him kick some giant monster ass. Or show something crazy like Dogora.
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Old March 27 2013, 04:10 AM   #548
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Re: TCM Genre movies schedule...

Last year, TCM did have an Ishiro Honda night consisting of Gojira, Rodan, and Mothra in the original Japanese and The H-Man in an English dub. So it's possible they could do something similar again.

Personally I'd like it if they'd show The Return of Godzilla and G vs. Biollante, the first two Heisei-series films, which aren't available on DVD (though Biollante is coming soon, I gather).
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Old March 27 2013, 05:39 AM   #549
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Re: TCM Genre movies schedule...

I remember watching Godzilla vs Biollante on VHS, so many years ago...
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Old March 27 2013, 05:48 AM   #550
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Re: TCM Genre movies schedule...

Christopher wrote: View Post
Well, I watched Carol for Another Christmas today. Not one of Serling's better works.

Although at least they didn't make the Archie Bunker mistake. Archie represented all the values that the makers of All in the Family wanted to critique and deconstruct, but they cast an actor so talented and likeable that he came off as more persuasive than the characters arguing for the writers' own values.
Too bad they couldn't have cast the Archie Bunker actor. Then they could have titled it ...

never mind.

The joke is beneath me.
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Old March 27 2013, 09:37 AM   #551
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Re: TCM Genre movies schedule...

^^

Unfortunately, I missed Carol For Another Christmas. I would have liked to see it. Maybe they'll put it up on On Demand.
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Old March 27 2013, 12:59 PM   #552
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Re: TCM Genre movies schedule...

I remember watching it with my parents. My father was quite sour about the UN angle. But if I remember correctly Dick Shawn's performance as the Imperial We was one of the first times an extreme character compelled my attention.
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Old March 30 2013, 10:40 PM   #553
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Re: TCM Genre movies schedule...

I have a bone to pick with Ben Mankiewicz's commentary at the end of Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger. He claimed that part of the reason the film didn't do too well at the box office was because Harryhausen's stop-motion animation techniques were starting to look old-fashioned in 1977, the year Star Wars came out. But if it weren't for stop-motion, we wouldn't have tauntauns, AT-ATs, the great big asteroid worm creature, the Rancor, etc. And those were in the sequels that came out in the 1980s. The only significant improvement ILM's Phil Tippett made on Harryhausen's technique was that he used computer motion control to add motion blur ("go-motion"). It wasn't Star Wars that rendered stop-motion obsolete, it was Jurassic Park (also Tippett's work).

It is true that Star Wars was a leap forward in VFX techniques, but that had more to do with the use of motion-control to allow camera movement in composite FX shots, and other ILM innovations. There are certainly a number of FX in Eye of the Tiger that look old-fashioned compared to Star Wars, like the static camera work in composite shots, the underwhelming animation of the aurora, and some pretty obvious bluescreening of the cast against background plates shot at Petra in Jordan (the same location used for the Grail temple in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade). But the stop-motion was on a par with the work in Empire and Jedi -- and for that matter, I can't think of any stop-motion creature FX being used in the original Star Wars.
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Old March 30 2013, 11:55 PM   #554
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Re: TCM Genre movies schedule...

I'm pretty sure the creatures on the "chess board" game that Luke and Chewie were playing are stop motion.
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Old March 30 2013, 11:59 PM   #555
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Re: TCM Genre movies schedule...

^Oh yeah, good catch.
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