TCM Genre movies schedule...

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

  1. Mr. Adventure

    Mr. Adventure Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2001
    Location:
    Mr. Adventure
    I think movies like Robin Hood and Zorro and Tarzan ride that edge because they really transport the viewer to a different time and place, usually more idealized than reality, with larger than life heroes. The Green Hornet barely qualifies from a SFF perspective in one sense but the way it's packaged it feels right at home. Yeah, you gotta be careful not to get ridiculous but they pass my squint test for "genre" movies.
     
  2. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2004
    Location:
    Oxford, PA
    True story: Years ago, when I was editing a line of original ZORRO novels for Tor, I wanted to market them as SF on the grounds that Zorro was a superhero and that's where the audience was, but I was overruled by my bosses because Zorro wasn't technically sf or fantasy. So the books were shelved in the mainstream fiction section and vanished without a trace.

    To this day, I wish I had fought harder to get them into the SF/Fantasy section . . . ..
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2012
  3. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    The Green Hornet counts as a marginally SF character because of his gadgets -- the Black Beauty with its special engine and other gimmicks, the gas gun, and (in the TV series) the Hornet Sting.

    As for Zorro, I don't think that really counts as SF/fantasy. It's pulp adventure, a genre that has a lot of overlap with comics and SF. Unfortunately "pulp" is no longer really a category in its own right, so it's hard to get all the various pulp-influenced genres grouped together in stores.
     
  4. Scroogourner

    Scroogourner Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2008
    Location:
    Sojourner
    Just turned on Tarzan's New York Adventure, wow, the later movies really get cartoon-ish. Jane has a dish-washing contraption right out of the Flintstones.

    ETA: wow, some nice shots of that flying boat.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2012
  5. Mr. Adventure

    Mr. Adventure Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2001
    Location:
    Mr. Adventure
    Tarzan and his Mate seems to be of a bit higher caliber than many that followed. Probably the best use of that projection-type FX that I've seen. Jane feels a lot more real in this installment, more dynamic and spirited than many of the later Janes, and not such a glamour doll. Is she the only Jane to do a Tarzan-like yell? Does Johnny have a great yell or what? Drags a bit 2/3 in or so where you're waiting for Tarzan to come back but finishes with some good action.
     
  6. Klaus

    Klaus Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2003
    Location:
    Beach condo, Bay of Eldamar
    The scene where she held the two lions off with fire and swinging a rifle butt was pretty cool...
     
  7. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    It's distinctive, certainly, but I don't think it captures the quality of the Tarzan yell Burroughs describes in the books, which is more of a fearsome animalistic roar.
     
  8. Mr. Adventure

    Mr. Adventure Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2001
    Location:
    Mr. Adventure
    ^ aaah, you never agree with me ;)
     
  9. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    Don't get me wrong, it's certainly striking and unforgettable in its own way, and it's become a cultural icon. It's just that once I read the books, I realized that -- like most of the content of the Tarzan movies -- it was really its own separate entity that had little to do with what Burroughs described.

    Heck, even the '70s Filmation animated Tarzan series, which was one of the most faithful screen adaptations of the books ever made (aside from toning down the violence and maybe -- I forget -- being set in a more recent era), used the Weismuller-style yodel-yell -- though Bob Ridgely didn't do it nearly as well as Weismuller did.

    And while Weismuller's yell isn't the terrifying roar Burroughs described, it does have a "jungle animal" sound to it in a different way, now that I think about it -- maybe something more like certain species of monkey or tropical bird.
     
  10. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2003
    Location:
    RJDiogenes of Boston
    I love the Weissmuller Tarzan movies, but after Tarzan and His Mate they definitely become way too family friendly. The first two films are both exotic and erotic and Jane is a strong woman with blood in her veins-- in the later films she is demoted to jungle housewife.

    As for the "genre" issue, I'm happy to have stuff like Tarzan included under that umbrella. Genre is a vague term, unlike Mystery or Science Fiction; really, any work of fiction has a genre. But in the context we use it here, it really means almost-anything-but-mainstream, which pretty much suits my tastes. :rommie:
     
  11. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    Oh, Tarzan definitely qualifies as fantasy/SF -- at least the original books do, with apes having their own languages, all sorts of lost civilizations and tribes of man-apes, etc. The movies have fewer of those elements, but their treatment of a feral human raised by apes is no doubt pretty fanciful -- and the supposed "jungles of Africa" that he operates in don't really correspond to anything in reality. (There's a relatively small amount of tropical rainforest in west/central Africa, but what Burroughs described was more like the South American rainforest, IIRC.)

    A while back there was a TV show called Tarzan: The Epic Adventures that was filmed in South Africa, and there was a pretty blatant mismatch between the fake jungle set on the soundstage and the real African savannah of the location shooting, supposedly within walking distance of each other in story terms.
     
  12. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    I just caught this one. Haven't seen it in a long time. I wasn't sure I wanted to revisit it, but it's actually a pretty good movie, if you can tolerate the musical numbers from Pat Boone, the barely-attempted "Scottish" accents, and the very weak acting from Diane Baker in a role that becomes quite minor after the first act. The script is good, with some clever dialogue, and James Mason and Arlene Dahl are strong leads. There's not a lot of scientific credibility in the story, yet there's some excellent dialogue about how science works as a discipline and why it's important to explore the unknown.

    And of course the "Dimetrodon" iguanas with glued-on sails were a cheesy blast of nostalgia from my childhood. Plus I'm pleasantly surprised to discover that the film never made the mistake of referring to Dimetrodon as a species of dinosaur. (It actually predated the dinosaurs by 30 million years and belonged to the synapsids, the category of animal from which mammals descended, rather than reptiles.)


    The next couple of weeks on TCM seem to be devoid of anything in the SF/fantasy area. The only things I can find with even peripheral genre interest are:

    Requiem for a Heavyweight, Mon. Aug. 20, 10:45 AM: Written by Rod Serling
    The Three Musketeers (1948), Tue. 8/21, 10:30 AM: If Robin Hood counts as a "superhero," maybe the Musketeers do?
    Inherit the Wind, Wed. 8/22, 2 AM: Not science fiction, but it's about science and society.
     
  13. Scroogourner

    Scroogourner Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2008
    Location:
    Sojourner
    TCM is probably laying off the genre stuff until the Halloween season kicks in.
     
  14. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2003
    Location:
    RJDiogenes of Boston
    It seems to me that I saw Journey To The Center Of The Earth not too long ago. It's a great movie. Pure fantasy, but there's nothing wrong with that. You can't go wrong with underground oceans, giant monsters and ancient ruins. :mallory:
     
  15. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    But that's what's interesting about it -- that a "pure fantasy" movie that was so bad with the factual details of science could get it so very right when talking about the philosophy of science and the methodology of the scientist.
     
  16. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2003
    Location:
    RJDiogenes of Boston
    Yeah, that's an interesting juxtaposition. Of course, when the original novel was written it was probably not considered quite so way out. And the confident talk of scientific methodology probably contributes to the willing suspension of disbelief. Or maybe people just wanted to see the monsters. :rommie:
     
  17. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    Well, I don't expect the average moviegoer to geek out over positive affirmations of the power of science and discovery the way I would.
     
  18. Klaus

    Klaus Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2003
    Location:
    Beach condo, Bay of Eldamar
    Here's a present for you then... :D

    [yt]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1C-wCq7zSLE[/yt]
     
  19. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2003
    Location:
    RJDiogenes of Boston
    I think I'll go with "All the universe." :D :bolian:
     
  20. Agent Richard07

    Agent Richard07 Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2001