TCM Genre movies schedule...

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Klaus, Sep 27, 2011.

  1. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I just saw Rollerball, a film I've never seen before. Not bad, kind of an interesting corporate-dystopia story in a '70s kind of way, and with some decent moments of satire and humor. But there was some heavy-handed exposition here and there, and the sequence with the central computer was about as silly as other such sequences in '70s dystopian movies (although at least this computer didn't blow up and cause the whole society to collapse the moment it was faced with a paradox; it just sat there and bubbled). And the problem with dystopian movies is that sometimes there aren't really any likeable or admirable characters. Hard to cheer for Jonathan's half-hearted defiance of the system when he has no problem participating in the murderous bloodsport the system created, or to care about the fate of John Beck's character when he was such a casual racist.

    Perhaps the most dead-on bit of futurism in the movie was anticipating the technology to have the same program showing on TVs in every room of your home. I see commercials these days that look a lot like that scene.
     
  2. Mr. Adventure

    Mr. Adventure Admiral Admiral

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    The computer scientist in Rollerball deals with computers the same way I do and got about the same results. :lol:

    Jonathan E wasn't just handed his fate, he errrrrnrd it.

    I realized I never watched this movie all the way through, and man, does it ever drag out by the end! It's too bad it's straddled with the 70s roller derby fad following Kansas City Bomber and Unholy Rollers. James Caan is no Raquel Welch or Claudia Jennings and it's always been a bit cheesy.

    EDIT: I had forgotten to mention the scene with the decadent rich blowing up trees, I've always found that scene memorable and a bit haunting.


    Near Dark still holds up well and that bar scene is still pretty memorable. Barely recognized Adrian Pasdar in the lead, he didn't even sound the same.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2012
  3. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Wow, showing your age with that reference. And so am I by getting it. ;)

    But that's one thing that bugged me. What was his fate?

    It seems the most he achieved was a token show of defiance. Maybe he'll get some people to ask questions and not be so complacent about accepting things. But what has he "won," exactly? If he stays in the game, he won't survive much longer. The system will still beat him down eventually. I think it would've been a better ending if he'd quit then and there after choosing not to kill that last guy, just dropped the ball and walked away. Then he would've been quitting on his own terms, for the right reasons. He would've been making a statement that putting a ball in a hole wasn't worth more than a life. Winning the game in spite of everything doesn't really count as a victory, because it's still reaffirming the game's validity as a structure. The game itself was part of the problem and he should've chosen to stop playing, right at the moment where he'd clearly triumphed and it was unmistakably his own choice.
     
  4. Mr. Adventure

    Mr. Adventure Admiral Admiral

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    I think it's probably meant to be a pyrrhic or ambiguous "victory". A lot of 70s films have bleak endings.
     
  5. Scroogourner

    Scroogourner Admiral Admiral

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    Having missed the movie, I may not be getting the full implication of your statement here. I've always been able to tune multiple TV's to the same channel. Do you mean it was some kind of on demand thing?
     
  6. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Caan's character put a compact videotape-like item into a slot next to the big-screen TV in his living room, and a video montage of his ex-wife began to play on that screen (as well as three smaller monitors above it, with different images on two of them). He then moved from room to room, and in every room, there was another big-screen TV array that was already active and showing the same video as soon as he entered. So all the TVs in his house were networked to the same source, and he could move from room to room and see the same continuous program without interruption.

    Naturally, the idea was the Fahrenheit 451/Max Headroom kind of thing where everyone in the dystopian future is being constantly numbed by the opiate of ubiquitous television and nobody reads books anymore -- although it didn't go quite that far, since the characters could actually turn off their TVs.
     
  7. Scroogourner

    Scroogourner Admiral Admiral

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  8. Mr. Adventure

    Mr. Adventure Admiral Admiral

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    Friday July 27th
    0800p Dick Tracy (1990)
    0955p Dick Tracy Special
    1030p Dick Tracy (1945)
    1145p Dick Tracy vs Cueball
    0100a Dick Tracy's Dilemma
    I'm sensing a pattern here.....
    0215a The Gamma People
    0345a Wild Wild Planet

    Saturday July 28th
    Noon Green Hornet Serial Conclusion
    It appears there's not going to be more serials on Saturday....

    Monday July 30th
    1015a The Land That Time Forgot Doug McClure!
    1200p Mysterious Island Crabs!
    0200p The Golden Arrow "Literally a cast of thousands!"
    0400p Jack the Giant Killer
    0600p The 3 Worlds of Gulliver Super Dynamation!
    0245a Sinbad the Sailor(1947) - Fairbanks but no Harryhausen...
    0445a A Thousand and One Nights - Phil Silvers!
     
  9. RJDonner&Blitzen

    RJDonner&Blitzen Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    No more serials? That's a shame. I love serials. :(
     
  10. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    Help! I stupidly managed to miss the final chapter of THE GREEN HORNET. (I had the DVR set to tape the usual three eps, not four.)

    So how did it end? Spoilers welcome!
     
  11. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    The cliffhanger resolution was a total copout. At the end of chapter 12, the Hornet and Banks were fighting in a building that was burning to the ground, flames and smoke surrounded them, and the walls caved in on them. At the start of chapter 13, the building had suddenly stopped burning down, and the Hornet pulled Banks out from under the collapsed wall and they had a long, calm conversation with just a quiet crackling of distant flame outside.

    So let's see... I don't remember all the details, but:
    Monroe decided to have his man deliver a bomb to the Sentinel offices to blow them up, and the man had Casey put it in Britt's safe even though she was suspicious. Then the Hornet found out about the bomb and showed up at the office, but for some reason Casey forgot what a big supporter of the Hornet she was and resisted his demands to show him where the bomb was until there was just one minute left. They got it out of the safe and the Hornet threw it out the window, saving the Sentinel (too bad for whoever was in the building across the street, though). He left his calling, err, disk on the bomber guy he knocked out, but Casey took it and put it in the drawer.

    The Hornet and Kato get a lucky break and manage to follow the bad guys back to Monroe's office. Later, once the bad guys are out, they come in and discover rather easily that the voice of "the Chief" is coming from a phonograph in the closet. Bizarrely, the Hornet is able to impersonate a member of the gang's voice to manipulate the gang, and then impersonates the Chief's voice successfully, even though he sounds nothing like the people he's mimicking. (I wonder if this plot point was a consequence of poor sound reproduction technology in the era -- maybe people couldn't hear voices clearly enough over the phone or a speaker to be sure who they were, which is why these impersonations could be passed off as credible.) Anyway, it leads to a classic bit of "Hero arranges for villains to off each other so his hands are technically clean" hypocrisy -- he and Kato open the safe and use the voice impersonations to convince the bad guys that they're being double-crossed by one another, so they all conveniently shoot each other while our brave heroes hide in the closet.

    Britt leaves a note from the Hornet with Axford, saying that his work is done and he's leaving now. The city gives Britt a commendation for the Sentinel's work in busting the rackets, and Casey puts the Hornet's seal on the commendation, saying he deserves the credit. She suggests that maybe he isn't really gone but is hiding in plain sight and laughing at how stupid everyone else is. Britt: "Miss Case, you're positively psychic." The End.
     
  12. Agent Richard07

    Agent Richard07 Admiral Admiral

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    All the chapters are available on YouTube.

    [yt]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ssLjgdjy4OE[/yt]
     
  13. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    Thanks, Christopher, AgentRichard!

    I actually caught the beginning of Chapter 13 before the recording stopped. Did it bother anybody else that the circus was in flames, wild animals were on the rampage, pandemonium reigned . . . and the Hornet just takes off to his next adventure without doing anything about the disaster?

    Granted, he could hardly snuff out the flames with his super-breath, but it was odd how the entire catastrophe gets swept under the rug so that that the Hornet can rush off to deal with the bomb at the Sentinel . . . .
     
  14. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Yeah. And not only that, but the whole disaster was Mike Axford's fault for going off to confront the racketeers himself rather than calling the police. So he's personally to blame for millions in property damage, probably the deaths of a lot of animals, and perhaps even the deaths of people.

    Of course, I'm assuming all that zoo-disaster footage was stock from some earlier movie and they wrote the chapter around it. Still...
     
  15. Klaus

    Klaus Vice Admiral Admiral

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    They may go back to serials in September... it's almost time for "Summer Under the Stars", where they show a single star's movies each day all month. It's a fun time unless you don't like the star lol... though there are only a handful of sf/f movies all month.
     
  16. Scroogourner

    Scroogourner Admiral Admiral

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    TCM has a bunch of Sinbad and adventure movies on today.
     
  17. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    Good point! I'd forgotten that Axford was responsible, not the gangsters!

    More post-mortem: Is Lenore Case the most-underutilized female lead in history? Did she do anything except answer the phone and chirpily defend the Hornet the whole series? Heck, I don't think she ever left Reid's office.

    She was no Lois Lane . . . or even Margo Lane!
     
  18. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    She did help out slightly with the bomb in Britt's office in the final episode, but not as much as one would've expected given her previous support for the Hornet. And yeah, I think you're right -- her every scene was in either Britt's office or her own outer office.

    (Also, according to the credits in episode 1, she was actually Leonore Case here rather than Lenore.)

    For what it's worth, on radio, Casey didn't learn Britt was the Green Hornet until 1948, and this serial was made in '39 and released in '40. So her role would necessarily have been more limited than it was by the time the '60s TV series came along. Plus it was the '40s and she was a secretary. Lois Lane was a reporter and Margot Lane was a socialite. Secretary was a more constrained role.
     
  19. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    Still, you'd expect her to get kidnapped by gangsters, or try to figure out the Hornet's true identity, or flirt with Reid or something. She didn't even meet the Hornet until the very last chapter . . ..
     
  20. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I gather that the serial was a pretty literal adaptation of the radio series, perhaps even a direct remake of some of its episodes. And a weekly series could drag out things like that a lot longer and have Casey get involved in the stories a lot more intermittently or gradually.

    But if so, then yes, it was a weakness, and it goes to show how unwise it is to adapt something too literally, since what works in one format or medium may not work in another. Casey's small role here was a disappointment and a waste of an interesting actress.

    But the actress, Anne Nagel, did return in the second serial, so maybe she had more to do there. It also brought back the same actors as Axford and Kato, though Britt was recast (as was the Hornet's voice) and Jenks was replaced by a different reporter. (And the bad guy was the same actor who played Perry White in the Superman serials!)