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Old March 7 2014, 03:13 AM   #61
Yuletide Caroler
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Re: Cosmos - With Neil deGrasse Tyson

That would be most welcome. Keep in mind, it's not a critical issue - as in, it's not something that ruins the experience. It's different and not entirely unexpected. But considering I've watched the original series roughly once a year since the DVDs came out, for me, at least, it's an adjustment.

By the way, for anyone who didn't attend the premiere, and wanted to see the Q&A that followed (with Tyson, Seth McFarlane, Ann Druyan, Brannon Braga, and others), you can watch the hour-long session HERE. Some genuinely enjoyable moments in there.
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Old March 9 2014, 10:10 PM   #62
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Re: Cosmos - With Neil deGrasse Tyson

I'd love to see Neil star in this:
http://www.phys.uconn.edu/~mallett/m...ikeleefilm.htm

Tyson beckons "Come with me..." in a dreamy voice.
Will the rest of us respond? I will.

Take me on that Ship Of The Imagination, I really hate it down here...
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Old March 10 2014, 03:01 AM   #63
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Re: Cosmos - With Neil deGrasse Tyson

I liked the bit about Carl at the end.
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Old March 10 2014, 03:03 AM   #64
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Re: Cosmos - With Neil deGrasse Tyson

I just finished watching it again ... and it was much better this time. Now that I am more accustomed to the difference in styles, this version flows much, much better than it initially did. Tyson really is very, very good. And I just love his personal anecdote at the end of the episode.
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Old March 10 2014, 03:03 AM   #65
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Re: Cosmos - With Neil deGrasse Tyson

The first episode was pretty good, I thought. I agree that the faster pace was a bit off-putting at first (although not as much as the line about "Oh yeah, they also invented sex") but overall, I enjoyed it. The Giordano Bruno bit was kind of pedantic but I tried not to let it bother me too much...

(I did think it was quite ironic that the movie advertised during commercial breaks was Noah. )

Probably my favorite scene in the whole episode was when Tyson returned to the same place where Sagan filmed the intro to the original series. Where is that, BTW?
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Old March 10 2014, 03:49 AM   #66
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Re: Cosmos - With Neil deGrasse Tyson

Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
The Giordano Bruno bit was kind of pedantic but I tried not to let it bother me too much...
Yeah, the evil Darth Pope was a bit over the top even for this nonbeliever. I'm fearful that stuff like that will cause a lot of people just to shut it out on spec.
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Old March 10 2014, 03:52 AM   #67
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Re: Cosmos - With Neil deGrasse Tyson

I thought that was pretty incredible. I hope my kids are as inspired by this as I was by the "maiden voyage."
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Old March 10 2014, 03:53 AM   #68
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Re: Cosmos - With Neil deGrasse Tyson

@ThankQ: "Darth Pope"...

I am not shutting this out on principle. It's 100% possible to be a Christian and yet still fully respect Drs. Sagan and Tyson and all that they are trying to accomplish. There is nothing anti-Christian about science or the love of it. But scenes like that are not exactly helping.

On a completely unrelated matter, I thought Tyson's "ship of the imagination" looked more than a bit like Boba Fett's.

And towards the end of the calendar scene, when the thing crawled out of the water next to Tyson, I kept expecting it to bite him on the ankle.
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Old March 10 2014, 04:03 AM   #69
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Re: Cosmos - With Neil deGrasse Tyson

The one part I wasn't quite fond of was the idea that Giordano Bruno was the only person anywhere on Earth to imagine a more expansive universe of space and time. A thousand years before Bruno's time, Aryabhata had a few ideas of his own about such things, and discussed them in a more pluralistic environment than was available in the Europe of Bruno's day.

But perhaps there'll be time spared for non-European cosmologies in later episodes.
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Old March 10 2014, 04:08 AM   #70
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Re: Cosmos - With Neil deGrasse Tyson

It's promising so far, but the ratio of flash to substance was a little high for me, and some of the astronomical depictions were too inaccurate (like the ridiculous cliche of the asteroid belt as a dense Empire Strikes Back-style clutter). As for the rushed pacing and somewhat superficial coverage, the first episode of the original Cosmos did something similar, presenting an overview or thesis statement of the series as a whole and then delving more deeply into specific topics in subsequent weeks. Hopefully the same will be true here. But I suppose a faster pace is only to be expected if the series is to appeal to a modern audience, let alone one watching commercial television.

Tyson was a pretty good presenter -- not quite as lyrical and soulful as Sagan, but effective and polished, and with a marginally similar vocal timbre to Sagan's. And that bit at the end about how Sagan inspired him helps establish his bona fides as Sagan's successor.

There are things I miss from the original series. It's hard to imagine Cosmos without Vangelis's music. Alan Silvestri's score is grand enough but kind of conventional, without as much personality as the original's mix of stock cues ranging from electronic music to classical symphonies to traditional folk songs.

And very, very little of what we saw was real. The original had terrific effects for its day, but it also spent a lot of time showing us real people and places and objects, and that gave it more of a sense of presence and tangibility. This was mostly CGI and cartoons and a guy on a greenscreen stage, and I'm concerned that might make it less relatable.

Still, it did a good job establishing the mission statement: that science is about questioning assumptions and beliefs, building models, and accepting or rejecting them based on the evidence rather than tradition or preconceptions, and that using that method has revealed profound truths that we had no inkling of before. (Although I think it was a little Eurocentric here and there -- Copernicus wasn't the first person to conceive of heliocentrism, but was preceded by Aristarchus and various medieval Muslim scholars. Copernicus was just the first to embrace and develop the idea fully.) And I could see the political subtext in the Giordano Bruno story -- allegory for how reactionary and fundamentalist thinking in America today is threatening the freedom of scientific thought and education.

The use of animation for historical narratives was an interesting addition to the repertoire of Cosmos, but I felt it got a bit too reliant on dramatization and dialogue rather than a narrator's summary. As with some of the space VFX, there were times when it threatened to undermine plausibility and factual accuracy a bit too much in the name of dramatic effect. But for the most part it worked pretty well, although I'm not a big fan of Flash animation and the way things move in it.

The really surprising thing to me was that Brannon Braga was credited not merely as an executive producer, but the director of the episode and one of the series directors. I've never known him to direct before, and as of this writing he has no director credits on IMDb.
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Old March 10 2014, 04:38 AM   #71
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Re: Cosmos - With Neil deGrasse Tyson

So far this is Brannon Braga's best work.
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Old March 10 2014, 04:44 AM   #72
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Re: Cosmos - With Neil deGrasse Tyson

I watched it with my 11 year old son (exactly the age I was when I saw the original).

He gave it an "A/A-".

I thought it was really good. I wasn't sure how faithful they were going to be to the original. It's a fine line to walk, I imagine.

The Cosmic Calendar was awesome.

Well done.

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Old March 10 2014, 04:52 AM   #73
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Re: Cosmos - With Neil deGrasse Tyson

Tain wrote: View Post
So far this is Brannon Braga's best work.
I'm not sure how meaningful a comparison one can make there, since before he's only ever been a writer, producer, and executive producer, while here he was only credited as executive producer (one of four) and director (a first). Neil DeGrasse Tyson himself was the sole credited writer.

But yeah, it does seem to be one of the better things Braga's been involved with. It's certainly an immense improvement on anything else Seth MacFarlane has produced.

Did anyone catch if the end credits listed the voices in the animated segment? I thought I heard Phil LaMarr at one point.
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Old March 10 2014, 04:52 AM   #74
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Re: Cosmos - With Neil deGrasse Tyson

I really liked the Cosmic Calendar. Man, if I felt like an insignificant speck before, then I surely KNOW I'm an insignificant speck now.

I do feel some of it was a bit "dumbed-down" but this was only the first episode, so as hubby said, it's best to look at the first one as the "primer" for what's to come. I look forward to seeing more.
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Old March 10 2014, 05:14 AM   #75
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Re: Cosmos - With Neil deGrasse Tyson

I love it. The whole idea is to draw people in, to get them interested in science again, and to do it by using real science. Is it stylized? Hell yes, and that's awesome, because science can be about facts and figures, and it can do it with panache. I think it accomplished that goal, and I figure we'll get into the more analytical stuff later. By the time anyone realizes they're actually learning, they'll have already been hooked.

Also, did anyone else cry a little bit when the show first started? I did.
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