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Old August 23 2008, 03:06 PM   #1
Extrocomp
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How old is too old?

After watching The Mummy yesterday, I started wondering whether the fans of the The Mummy would be able to watch the original 1932 movie on which the new one is very loosely based. Would someone from Generation X or Y or whatever be able to enjoy black and white King Kong after seeing Peter Jackson's spectacular remake? I was born in 1987 and I can't stand to watch anything black and white. I do remember watching at least part of the original King Kong though. The oldest movie I can remember watching completely is The Wizard of Oz.

Is anyone else here the same way? What is the oldest movie you could watch? Could you watch a sci-fi/fantasy movie made in the 50s? How about the 40s or 30s? Is there a point when the special effects and music become so dated that you can't stand to watch it? I don't even know if movies have changed noticeably between the 30s and 50s.

I used to enjoy the original Transformers cartoons. In fact, it was my favourite show. But when I tried to watch t again years later, there were lots of errors in the animation and the plot holes and continuity errors were enormous. I haven't seen Star Trek The Animated Series in a long time but I remember not liking it because of the quality of the animation. Lots of things were the colour and in some actions I couldn't tell what was happening even after rewinding it many times. I dare not watch a cartoon from the 60s. What about you guys?

How about novels? They don't age as much as movies do, but the writing style of a novel written more than a hundred years ago might be quite different from a novel written today. Science fiction novels tend to age more than other genres. Can a novel ever be too old to read?

Comics change noticeably every decade. I can't stand the "Silver Age" superhero comics of the 60s. I don't like the art, I hate it when heroes and villains talk to themselves in long monologues and the plot holes really annoy me. At some point comics started being written for adults, but at this point they were kids-only. To make it worse, they usually get reprinted in black and white. Does anyone here read old comics?

Video games are young medium. I got into them pretty early but I can't enjoy a game made before 1990. Way too pixelated. What's your threshold?
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Old August 23 2008, 03:50 PM   #2
T'Baio
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Re: How old is too old?

Extrocomp wrote: View Post
...after seeing Peter Jackson's spectacular remake?
Honestly, you kind of lost me right there. But...

Extrocomp wrote: View Post
I was born in 1987 and I can't stand to watch anything black and white...Can a novel ever be too old to read?
Yeah...you lost me. I try not to be so myopic.
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Old August 23 2008, 04:13 PM   #3
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Re: How old is too old?

I was born in 1980 and have yet to find anything that is 'too old' for me to watch.
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Old August 23 2008, 04:19 PM   #4
Forbin
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Re: How old is too old?

Not too long ago I watched "Wings" thinking, okay, I'll try to suffer through a silent film.
I was a WONderful film!!

Try Buster Keaton's "The General." Not an expletive or fart heard (or anything but music), but you'll never stop laughing.
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Old August 23 2008, 04:35 PM   #5
Lapis Exilis
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Re: How old is too old?

One word - Metropolis.

If you can't watch that, you really shouldn't call yourself an SF fan.
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Old August 23 2008, 04:36 PM   #6
Harvey
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Re: How old is too old?

I was born in 1987 and have yet to find anything 'too old' to watch. But I'm a cinema geek if there ever was one.
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Old August 23 2008, 04:49 PM   #7
Brandonv
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Re: How old is too old?

I was born in 1983, and I don't have a problem watching old movies. I like both Forbidden Planet and The Day the Earth Stood Still. I have yet to see Metropolis, but I am guessing I should wait now and see if they release a new DVD that incorporates the recently found footage.
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Old August 23 2008, 05:13 PM   #8
Frontier
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Re: How old is too old?

On one level, I can relate to what you're saying Extrocomp.

That said, I can enjoy the rare older film. The 1939 King Kong. To be honest, I enjoy it more so than the recent remake. Oh on a visual level, give me the new any day. But on a story level? There is just something better about the old.

That said, I don't find many older films I truly enjoy. There are some. There are always exceptions. But in the majority, the older a film is, it either falls into one of two categories - it's a classic or it's forgotten. Classic films are so good for one reason or another, you can look past whatever "flaw" it has compared to today. That said, my personal rule of thumb is that if a film is older than 1975, I tend to avoid it. Unless of course it's a classic, or is recommended, or what not. But by and by, I find films from 1975 or earlier less enjoyable as a whole. But that's not to say there is anything wrong with them. It's just my preference.

So... I understand what you're saying, but I don't think you can be so absolute about such things. There are always exceptions. If you find the right older film, you'll see what I mean.
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Old August 23 2008, 05:13 PM   #9
msbae
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Re: How old is too old?

I wish Hollyweird would start making movies in B&W again. It would allows Filmmakers to use so many tricks that Color just doesn't allow, especially with Light and Shadow effects.
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Old August 23 2008, 05:18 PM   #10
Timewalker
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Re: How old is too old?

Extrocomp wrote: View Post
After watching The Mummy yesterday, I started wondering whether the fans of the The Mummy would be able to watch the original 1932 movie on which the new one is very loosely based. Would someone from Generation X or Y or whatever be able to enjoy black and white King Kong after seeing Peter Jackson's spectacular remake? I was born in 1987 and I can't stand to watch anything black and white. I do remember watching at least part of the original King Kong though. The oldest movie I can remember watching completely is The Wizard of Oz.

Is anyone else here the same way? What is the oldest movie you could watch? Could you watch a sci-fi/fantasy movie made in the 50s? How about the 40s or 30s? Is there a point when the special effects and music become so dated that you can't stand to watch it? I don't even know if movies have changed noticeably between the 30s and 50s.
Hmm... I'm not sure which is older, Wizard of Oz or Lassie Come Home, but I think those are the oldest movies I've seen.

I have seen SF/F movies made in the '50s. In fact, there is one fantasy movie I watch every year: The Ten Commandments.

As for black-and-white TV shows... I grew up with black-and-white. I was six or seven years old before we had a color TV. One of my favorite shows was the old Richard Greene Robin Hood series that was made in the '50s. I must say that I much prefer it in black-and-white instead of the colorized version I saw many years later. That series looks ridiculous in color!

I do wish some of the old Doctor Who stories had been available in color... but considering how many of the early season episodes are lost, it's great to have them any way we can get them!

I used to enjoy the original Transformers cartoons. In fact, it was my favourite show. But when I tried to watch t again years later, there were lots of errors in the animation and the plot holes and continuity errors were enormous. I haven't seen Star Trek The Animated Series in a long time but I remember not liking it because of the quality of the animation. Lots of things were the colour and in some actions I couldn't tell what was happening even after rewinding it many times. I dare not watch a cartoon from the 60s. What about you guys?
Yikes! I agree that the Animated Series animation isn't great. But that was never the most important thing, anyway. Just like the other ST series, the story and characters were the most important things.

And why would you "dare not" watch a cartoon from the '60s? They don't bite. They won't steal your soul. I know I vastly prefer '60s cartoons to the modern stuff.

How about novels? They don't age as much as movies do, but the writing style of a novel written more than a hundred years ago might be quite different from a novel written today. Science fiction novels tend to age more than other genres. Can a novel ever be too old to read?
Sometimes it's just the individual style of one writer that can put one off reading an older novel. For example, I cannot stand Jules Verne, H.G. Wells, or even Tolkien. But I've read and enjoyed Charles Dickens, Robert Louis Stevenson, and I love Shakespeare.

No, I don't think a novel can ever be too old to read. That's not to say there aren't plenty of novels that are too bad to read... but that's not the same as saying they're too old.

After all, if you're going to discriminate against literature on the basis of age, you must surely start with the ancient classics and the Old Testament. Are they "too old to read?"

Comics change noticeably every decade. I can't stand the "Silver Age" superhero comics of the 60s. I don't like the art, I hate it when heroes and villains talk to themselves in long monologues and the plot holes really annoy me. At some point comics started being written for adults, but at this point they were kids-only. To make it worse, they usually get reprinted in black and white. Does anyone here read old comics?
Again, we mostly disagree completely. I love '60s comics. I also enjoy '70s comics. Anything more modern isn't really my cup of tea, generally. The only exception I've found in printed comics has been The Crow. But I agree that it is very annoying when comics that were originally in color get reprinted in black and white.

Video games are young medium. I got into them pretty early but I can't enjoy a game made before 1990. Way too pixelated. What's your threshold?
I'm afraid I don't play enough video games to be much of a connoisseur. I just know what I like. And some of my favorite games are definitely from the late '80s.
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Old August 23 2008, 05:50 PM   #11
jonnyskywatcher
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Re: How old is too old?

I would say some things are too old to look at the same way as when they came out, just as some things have become too popular to view the same way as when the first appeared. When watching Metropolis or The Day the Earth Stood Still I enjoy them, but I can't watch them the way as if I had been alive when the came out. For me at least, instead of being more critical, I'm more accepting of older films.

Books have to be a lot older and depend a lot on the author. I for one find Charles Dickens perfectly understandable except for some vocabulary that is out of date. Shakespeare, too, as long as you don't get hung up over the out-of-date words and phrases is not too hard to understand what's going on.
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Old August 23 2008, 05:53 PM   #12
Starbreaker
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Re: How old is too old?

I sat through Nosferatu and enjoyed it, so that says it all.
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Old August 23 2008, 06:32 PM   #13
msbae
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Re: How old is too old?

Extrocomp wrote: View Post
Video games are young medium. I got into them pretty early but I can't enjoy a game made before 1990. Way too pixelated. What's your threshold?
As a Game Designer who grew up with Atari and the NES in the 1980's, I resent this remark!

Those old classics are almost always 3 billion times better than most games today. The Designers were forced to focus on gameplay instead of the graphics. That's why Mario, Metroid, Zelda, classic Mega Man and Atari's arcade classics are eternal. That is also why today's new Madden game is immediately forgotten the moment the next one is released. When the only real differences every year are new stats and new graphics, there's not much to keep you coming back year after year.
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Old August 23 2008, 06:45 PM   #14
V
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Re: How old is too old?

Its not a matter of age but quality

The original "King Kong" is a cinematic masterpiece, not just science fiction

no, even Peter Jackson's...decent-quality remake, can not quite compare to the original

it's not just visuals its storytelling and pacing: why do you think the early Doctor Who series were so popular? The props were laughably bad and cardboard but they just played through that. THat's why I was a fan of Doctor Who (particularly the 4th Doctor) since the early 90's.
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Old August 23 2008, 07:18 PM   #15
M'Sharak
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Re: How old is too old?

Extrocomp wrote: View Post
I was born in 1987 and I can't stand to watch anything black and white.
Whether something is in color or in B&W makes no difference to me. I can and will watch anything back to the earliest experimental moving pictures.

How about novels? They don't age as much as movies do, but the writing style of a novel written more than a hundred years ago might be quite different from a novel written today. Science fiction novels tend to age more than other genres. Can a novel ever be too old to read?
Here, there can be a difference. Back to Jonathan Swift and Laurence Sterne (in the 1700s) English is very much like what we use today. Some expressions come and go, but the language is modern, so anything between that time and now should not be too old. Older than that can become more and more problematic, the farther you go.

That something is science fiction matters not at all. Jules Verne is as good today as he was when the stories were written.
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