TCM Genre movies schedule...

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

  1. RJDonner&Blitzen

    RJDonner&Blitzen Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    That's a great month. There's actually a bunch of stuff that I haven't seen, including a couple of interesting-looking silent films. I've seen The Adventures of Prince Achmed before, and it's a pretty amazing format-- unfortunately it's a bit much for a movie. It would work better for a short film.
     
  2. Agent Richard07

    Agent Richard07 Admiral Admiral

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    Still haven't seen The Omega Man, so I'll have to catch that.

    Yeah, I'm surprised to see a number of "recent" movies on there.

    Wow, can't believe it. Feels more like 5 years or so.
     
  3. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I just finished Tarzan the Ape Man. It's basically 100 minutes of casual racism, cruelty to animals, and Stockholm syndrome, but aside from that it's a very well-made film for 1932. There are some really impressive special effects, particularly in the cliff sequence, and some pretty big action sequences. I like how Jane is written and acted in the first act; it was amusing how she said she was done with civilization and intended to be a savage now (foreshadowing?), but then had six huge steamer trunks of belongings carried in (not so much). Basically the Mrs. Howell school of roughing it, I guess. She managed to be both vacuous and strong-willed at the same time, although that characterization was somewhat undermined in retrospect by the fact that Jane didn't really change at all by the end of the movie. What I'd thought was a nice bit of character acting from Maureen O'Sullivan was, I guess, pretty much the only mode she had, aside from scared and screaming.

    I know I saw this movie several times when I was young, but I'm not sure if I recognized that the male lead was a young Commissioner Gordon (Neil Hamilton). He made a pretty good leading man in his prime. But his character -- hoo boy. They kept showing him brutally whipping the African servants to force their compliance, and for a few minutes I allowed myself to hope that they were setting him up as the villain and he'd get his comeuppance; but no, he's actually meant to be a hero. At least he offered a token "Poor devil" for the bearer that fell off the cliff, but only after he and Jane's father addressed their primary concern, the lost supplies. Man, we were a sick and twisted civilization not that long ago at all.
     
  4. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    High praise! :guffaw:

    Pretty expected for 1932, though. Probably more interesting than any Tarzan films that came later, on account of being a pre-code movie.
     
  5. Scroogourner

    Scroogourner Admiral Admiral

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    For pre-code movies, the sequel to Tarzan the Ape Man is really interesting. Jane's swimming scenes!:eek::eek::eek:
     
  6. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Yeah, I thought those scenes would be in this one, but they weren't. So I've reserved the sequel from Netflix.
     
  7. RJDonner&Blitzen

    RJDonner&Blitzen Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    The first two are the best and the only ones to contain nudity. There are also many really sexy scenes, such as Jane's underwear scene in the first one and her very skimpy costume in the second one. I love the ambiance of the 20s and 30s, so I really like this aspect of the films. Some of those pre-Code films are really wonderful. :D

    The racism is, of course, very unfortunate, but it is indeed casual and simply a sign of the times. There is a lack of the mean-spiritedness that characterizes more politically and religiously motivated racism. If I recall correctly, Commissioner Gordon gives the Blacks a few whacks of encouragement now and then, but also tries to save them when they are prisoners of the pygmies. It reminds me of the film Trader Horn (the prototypical jungle adventure movie) where Horn uses some amazing language when talking to the natives, but then is devastated when his friend is killed. The characters still have their Humanity among the unfortunate social norms of the time, which is historically interesting and somewhat touching.

    I disagree about the Stockholm Syndrome, though. It's all about the Adam and Eve fantasy-- wanting to shuck the trappings of civilization and get away from it all. It seldom works in real life, but it's a nice fantasy.
     
  8. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    Tarzan and His Mate is definitely the sexiest of the series, with Jane wearing the most abbreviated outfit. (Heck, even the title is hitting the sexy angle pretty hard.)
     
  9. Redfern

    Redfern Commodore Commodore

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    I DVR'd A Trip to the Moon last night and played it just a little while ago. The biggest thing I noticed was the lack of "dialog cards". Instead. it was narrated by someone with a rather thick French accent. This no doubt allowed the film to run a bit shorter. I had seen bits and pieces over the years, primarily the launch, the landing and the last few shots of their lunar escape (the "shell" topples from a cliff which somehow hangs over Earth). But I had never seen the lecture hall scene, the construction sequence, their audience with the Grand Lunar, or their reception after they safely return to Earth (with a Selenite in chains and forced to dance for the humans' amusement).

    The enslaved Selenite reached terra firma by jumping upon the back of the shell and clinging to it just as the capsule topples over the cliff. With its protuding rib-like pattern upon its torso (probably meant to resemble chitinous plating) I was suddenly reminded of Giger's "Alien" and how it tried to hang onto the escape pod after Ripley had blown it out the hatch. You think that might have been an intended homage to Melies or just a happy coincidence?

    Sincerely,

    Bill
     
  10. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Yeah, the narration was bizarre. It wasn't even taking the place of intertitles; rather than filling in dialogue or information that we couldn't get from the images, it was mostly just describing what we could see. My guess is that the narrator was literally just reading from Melies' script/outline for the film. Which was rather annoying. I would've been happier without it.

    As for the film itself... freaky. It's almost more a live-action cartoon than anything else, in terms of its sensibilities and humor.
     
  11. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Battle in Outer Space was amusingly stupid. First there's the bit about how gravity is caused by atomic motion so freezing things to absolute zero will make them weightless. Huh? Although there was a nice bit about how centrifugal force from the Earth's spin caused them to rise up when their weight was neutralized. And at least the antigravity weapon gave them a novel way to destroy Tokyo.

    Then there were the space scenes. While the rockets were launching, they literally had the actors simulate the effect of acceleration on their faces by obviously putting their hands on the sides of their faces and pulling back! Then, once the rockets get into space, one of the astronauts -- who's supposedly trained for this for months -- unstraps and floats to the ceiling and says "What's going on?", needing to be reminded that weightlessness exists. Except then everybody else just stands up and pulls him to the floor, and that's the end of it. And then one guy says "Doesn't this weightlessness feel strange?" while they walk along perfectly normally into the next room. And from that point on they're walking, sitting, falling, etc. just like they would under gravity.
     
  12. RJDonner&Blitzen

    RJDonner&Blitzen Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    I've only had a chance to watch the first half hour or so. The antigravity stuff was hilarious (I guess you could say it was levity). I also got a kick out of the UN sequence and the mind-controlled guy stealing the ray gun; those had to be the most inept MPs I've ever seen. And then when everyone runs outside: "Look! A UFO! Duck!" And they all scrunch down. :rommie:
     
  13. Mr. Adventure

    Mr. Adventure Admiral Admiral

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    Levity, nice. :)

    Inept, maybe, but that guy who targeted the guy's shooting hand with the falling object had a hell of an aim.
     
  14. J.T.B.

    J.T.B. Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    "Of course you all know that gravity is caused by the motion of atoms." That was great.

    They certainly got their money's worth with the X-15 model kits for the space fighters. It looked like they blew them up with firecrackers when they were hit. I couldn't believe that the protagonists from the moon mission were sidelined for the climatic battle, which was handled by pilots not seen before. It would be like Luke Skywalker spending the last act of Star Wars with Leia in the command center watching/listening to the battle.
     
  15. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    That seems to happen a lot in both Japanese and US monster movies from that period -- the main characters give way to the military for the final confrontation. See Jack Arnold's Tarantula, e.g.

    But yeah, it was a strangely structured movie. I thought the film was over once they took off from the moon. The rest just seemed to be tacked on.
     
  16. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    Indeed. Fifties movies tend to have a much greater sense that, ultimately, these matters are best handled by the proper authorities.

    (Even Invasion of the Body Snatchers was forced to add a tacked-on scene where the military mobilizes in time to possibly avert the invasion.)
     
  17. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Revenge of the Creature too. In both of the first two Creature films, the hero is kind of ineffectual in the climax; he just plays a partial role in rescuing the damsel from the creature and then is just a spectator as others shoot the Creature and it retreats/sinks into the ocean. In the first film, it's just one or two other guys, but in the second, it's the police and military mounting a massive manhunt -- err, gill-manhunt.
     
  18. Greg Cox

    Greg Cox Admiral Premium Member

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    The Blob is slightly different in that, at first, the authorities refuse to listen to Steve McQueen and his fellow juveniles, forcing them to deal with the crisis on their own, but, eventually, the authorities get their act together and mobilize to deal with the Blob.

    Although I think it's still the teens who figure out that the Blob is vulnerable to cold.
     
  19. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^I'll take your word for it. I couldn't get past the world's most boring drag-race scene.
     
  20. J.T.B.

    J.T.B. Rear Admiral Premium Member

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    Good points. Now that I think about it, Star Wars was more of an exception at the time. When it came out I remember talking about it with friends and wondering how Luke suddenly got in the rebel "air force."