Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Klaus, Sep 27, 2011.
^ Of course.
TCM really needs to schedule a Richard Matheson film festival. They've got enough choices to go for days, never mind one evening!
Finally got around to finishing this. It was a historical artifact, all right, but not that interesting. It seems that mostly they had the actual participants in these events re-enact their own experiences on camera, but the viewpoint character/narrator, the press liaison in charge of covering UFOs, was played by an actor. And I have to wonder why, because the "actor" they cast is every bit as robotic and expressionless in his delivery as the real people.
Also, unlike Project U.F.O., there are no special effects used to dramatize sightings, except for some animated radar-screen blips. Sightings are dramatized, but we're only shown the people seeing things, not what they're seeing.
There are a couple of actual UFO films shown, in color in contrast to the B&W of the rest, but in the film proper, we're only given split-second glimpses. They do show them in full and do some slow motion, zooming, and freeze-framing, and, well, they're dots. The witnesses describe seeing metallic objects looking like saucers, but they're freakin' blips of light. I have to wonder if they looked like saucers to these observers because they had blurry vision. More likely just because they'd been conditioned to expect to see saucers because of all the media hysteria over UFOs at the time.
One of the witnesses said he was confident that if he'd had his camera beside him and ready to film the moment he spotted the objects, there would be clear proof that would answer the question of what he saw. Today, most of us carry video cameras in our pockets and record things at a moment's notice, so if he'd been right, we would surely know it by now.
Thanks! I just ordered it. Great price, too.
Greg, if you decide to start a Kickstarter for a Richard Matheson Channel, you can count on me.
Nah, those stories are all true. It's just that the aliens saw how our technology was developing and backed off their appearances accordingly.
I just watched that Duck and Cover educational short. Turns out it was the infamous "educational" film for classrooms about hilariously inadequate ways to protect yourself from The Atomic Bomb. "Even a newspaper can protect you from a bad burn!" Yeah, right, if it's printed on lead sheets, maybe.
"Paul and Patty know what to do when the atomic bomb hits. Now they're among the few survivors left to forage for uncontaminated scraps of food in the post-apocalyptic wasteland. Now let's see how Paul and Patty hoard weapons and ammunition to fend off rival bands of scavengers! Oh, but wait! Patty's hair is falling out from radiation poisoning. She should have ducked and covered in the doorway like this girl!"
And now I'll have that insipid jingle stuck in my head...
^ I think I've seen clips of that short over the years.
Sounds like your "channeling" Tom Servo and/or Crow T. Robot.
Here's the film...
Oh, man! I've heard about this film for decades, and I've seen snippets, but nothing prepares you for the "real deal"!
I just had to make some MST3K "theater shots" for anyone and everyone to "riff". Here's the "title card" and the "before and after" frames of the animated turtle sequence.
Dig in, gang!
Okay, I'm game...
"Coming this fall to ABC... Daffy Duck and Arthur Byron Cover team up as mismatched detectives!"
Where does the monkey keep his matches?
So... was this all an elaborate suicide on the monkey's part?
Mercy! That last one had me rolling on the floor!
Not exactly genre, but I am watching The Fifth Musketeer from 1979. No relation to the Salkind movies from the same decade.
The only really interesting bit is that it has Alan Hale Jr. cast as Porthos and Cornel Wilde as D'Artagnan. Both actors starred in At Sword's Point in 1952 as Porthos Jr. and D'Artagnan Jr. respectively. So from a certain point of view, they starred in their own prequel 25 years later playing the fathers of the roles they originated. Neat bit of casting that.
And for the record Alan also played Porthos in the movie Lady in the Iron Mask, also from 1952. Must have been odd going into one of those casting calls, "Porthos Jr.? I just finished playing his father at the studio across town!"
Too bad he wasn't available for Enterprise.
I watched Robert Wise's Helen of Troy the other day. It was one of the first Cinemascope epics, with lush scenery and huge outdoor and indoor sets recreating Troy and Menelaus's palace, but for some reason they skimped on the casting, avoiding any big names. Helen and Paris were played by foreign actors who barely spoke English and whose voices had to be dubbed, and aside from Sir Cedric Hardwicke as Priam, the rest of the cast was largely minor talents, including some girl nobody had yet heard of named Brigitte Bardot -- who played Helen's maidservant in the first act and was a lot more stunning than Helen, supposedly the most beautiful woman in the world, was. (I probably would've found Rosanna Podesta's Helen more attractive if she hadn't been such a pale blonde. Did they even have blondes in ancient Anatolia?)
The weirdest bit of casting for me was that Odysseus was played by Torin Thatcher -- yes, the chubby-faced bald guy who was Marplon in Star Trek: "The Return of the Archons" and the villain in The 7th Voyage of Sinbad. He was actually pretty good in the role, though, since it stressed Odysseus's role as a thinker and trickster rather than a warrior -- basically the guy who did all the planning and used his puppet Agamemnon as a figurehead.
While a lot of the story was taken pretty faithfully from Homer and Virgil, they took a very revisionist approach to Paris, making him a heroic figure who comes to Sparta to make peace, falls in love with Helen, and saves her from the cruel Menelaus, rather than someone who came to claim Helen as his prize and either seduced or outright abducted her as in the myths. Which makes it odd that they kept the ending where Paris dies and Helen goes back with Menelaus, since that makes it a tragic ending where Helen's pretty much trapped in an abusive marriage for the rest of her life. If they were going to be that revisionist, why not change it further so that, say, Paris and Helen flee the sack of Troy and go to live happily ever after on that island they were talking about running away to earlier in the film?
They were also pretty revisionist with Cassandra, since her family stopped doubting her prophecies about halfway through the film. Which means she was marginalized in the final act. I was hoping she'd be the one given the line "Beware Greeks bearing gifts" (since Laocoön wasn't in the movie), but they gave it to Helen instead. Also, she was played by a teenager who inexplicably remained a teenager throughout the 10-year course of the war.
This is the third Robert Wise film I've seen with a musical overture, though the first chronologically -- the others being West Side Story and Star Trek: The Motion Picture (which was one of the last films with an overture). Does anyone know how many of Wise's films had overtures?
Just finished Panic in Year Zero! I'm not sure if it was a movie or a survivalist tract. It was about a family that was out camping when nuclear war struck (they didn't duck and cover!), and that tried to survive in the breakdown of society. And Milland's character had all these cold, ruthless, every-family-for-itself survival strategies already at his beck and call as if he'd been planning for the apocalypse for years. At times it seemed like his whole family was being held hostage by this paranoid strongman, however much he paid lip service to believing in law and order and civilization (just, y'know, not at the moment).
It's also the nuclear apocalypse as written by Charles Dickens, since -- due to the low budget -- the family keeps coincidentally running into the same people they'd tangled with before.
That movie played often on TV when I was growing up. I admit it always spooked me a bit since my family would often go camping in the hills for the weekend. It was all too easy to imagine being in that situation once the mushroom clouds starting rising over Seattle and Tacoma . . ..
To be fair to the Milland character, people planning ahead for World War III was a pretty common pastime back them. This was the era of the backyard bomb shelter, remember. Milland's character was hardly the only American dad who was kept awake a nights wondering how he was going to protect his family after the Bomb . . . .
^Yeah, but were all of them so focused on hoarding supplies and guns and hiding in a cave in the woods and letting everyone else go hang, rather than joining together with their fellow survivors to work for the common good and restore order as quickly as possible?
You've never watched an episode of Doomsday Preppers have you?
Just my point -- the movie felt like a piece of survivalist propaganda. What I'm saying is that it's hard to believe that the average 1950s suburbanite would've embraced the kind of kill-or-be-killed survivalist planning that we associate with fringe mindsets today.
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