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Author Topic: 20 years later, the movie "Total Recall" still kicks butt  (Read 22533 times)
Innuendo
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« Reply #75 on: June 27, 2010, 03:09:52 PM »

They don't greenlight movies where the script calls for human evil to finally, absolutely, and conclusively win.

Re: The Forgotten. I had 'forgotten' (no pun intended) that when I watched the movie it was the version with the alternate ending.

All right...I'll try again. A movie where human evil finally, absolutely, conclusively wins...hmm....

The Usual Suspects.

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Renegade
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« Reply #76 on: June 27, 2010, 04:33:52 PM »

They don't greenlight movies where the script calls for human evil to finally, absolutely, and conclusively win.

Re: The Forgotten. I had 'forgotten' (no pun intended) that when I watched the movie it was the version with the alternate ending.

All right...I'll try again. A movie where human evil finally, absolutely, conclusively wins...hmm....

The Usual Suspects.



I LOVE when the bad guys win. It's such a refreshing change. And that was a spectacular movie!

For evil winning, "The Empire Strikes Back". Hoth base destroyed. The rebellion routed. Luke gets his ass handed to him by Vader. Good only wins in that it isn't completely destroyed. Still, The Usual Suspects is a much better example of the bad guys winning.

Evil kind of wins in a lot of horror movies. Or at least they leave it open for the evil to return in a sequel. Saw. Friday the 13th. A Nightmare on Elm Street. The Evil Dead. etc. etc.

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Innuendo
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« Reply #77 on: June 27, 2010, 06:09:09 PM »

[quote author=Renegade link=topic=23067.msg210798#msg210798 date=1277674432
For evil winning, "The Empire Strikes Back". Hoth base destroyed. The rebellion routed. Luke gets his ass handed to him by Vader. Good only wins in that it isn't completely destroyed. Still, The Usual Suspects is a much better example of the bad guys winning. [/quote]

Excellent example except for the fact 40hz wanted an example where there wasn't a sequel where the good guys came back from behind and won. So, Return of the Jedi nullifies Empire. Although, Empire is one of the best movies *ever* that ends with the bad guys winning.

Quote
Evil kind of wins in a lot of horror movies. Or at least they leave it open for the evil to return in a sequel. Saw. Friday the 13th. A Nightmare on Elm Street. The Evil Dead. etc. etc.

More excellent movies, but 40hz gave himself the 'loophole' of the movies listed having to be *human* evil winning.

Here's another example, 40hz, of a movie where human evil wins & no sequel to bring the bad guy to justice: No Country For Old Men.


[/quote]
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Innuendo
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« Reply #78 on: June 27, 2010, 06:09:43 PM »

For evil winning, "The Empire Strikes Back". Hoth base destroyed. The rebellion routed. Luke gets his ass handed to him by Vader. Good only wins in that it isn't completely destroyed. Still, The Usual Suspects is a much better example of the bad guys winning.

Excellent example except for the fact 40hz wanted an example where there wasn't a sequel where the good guys came back from behind and won. So, Return of the Jedi nullifies Empire. Although, Empire is one of the best movies *ever* that ends with the bad guys winning.

Quote
Evil kind of wins in a lot of horror movies. Or at least they leave it open for the evil to return in a sequel. Saw. Friday the 13th. A Nightmare on Elm Street. The Evil Dead. etc. etc.

More excellent movies, but 40hz gave himself the 'loophole' of the movies listed having to be *human* evil winning....AND no sequels where the good guys can come back to attempt to vanquish the bad guy another day.

Here's another example, 40hz, of a movie where human evil wins & no sequel to bring the bad guy to justice: No Country For Old Men.
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« Reply #79 on: June 27, 2010, 06:15:18 PM »

40hz, here's a double-shot for you!  Grin

Pitch Black...

...a movie where not only the unapologetic psychopathic murderer survives at the end but a child dies in a graphically violent scene by being swarmed by the alien creatures.
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40hz
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« Reply #80 on: June 27, 2010, 08:58:32 PM »

One minor point: the human qualification in 'human evil' isn't a loophole. Morality only applies to human beings. You can't apply human morality to non-human entities. The evil wolf is only 'evil' in our eyes because he does us harm. But in a more universal scheme of things, he's only a hunter securing food and protecting his territory. So the wolf is no more immoral for hunting human prey than we are evil for raising cattle and eating hamburger.

Of course to a cow, we are evil in the same sense the big bad wolf is evil to us.

Evil is a big topic. For the purposes of what I'm talking about, Hollywood is only concerned about the evil we do to each other. The cosmic forms of evil are cut more slack because our moral standards do not apply to them.

---------

Re: Usual Suspects.

( One of my all time favs BTW! Great film.  Thmbsup )

Close, but no cigar.  smiley  

   
« Last Edit: June 27, 2010, 09:39:22 PM by 40hz » Logged

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« Reply #81 on: June 27, 2010, 09:25:38 PM »

Re: No Country for Old Men.

Can't speak to that since I haven't seen it.

But after careful thought, I do know of one movie where evil does absolutely triumph: Chinatown. I bounced it off a few film buff friends, and they said that AFATK, Chinatown was unique in that respect. The ending was (and remains) controversial. There were major battles between Roman Polanski and Paramount Pictures to change the ending from what Polanski wanted to a more "happy ending" where good triumphed.

The fact that didn't happen contributed greatly to Chinatown's unique position in American film history.

The concluding: Forget it Jake! It's Chinatown. has got to be one of the most chilling lines ever uttered in a movie.  

--------------
UPDATE: see my post further down. This was not the ending that was in the script when they started shooting...

    


  
« Last Edit: June 28, 2010, 03:45:14 PM by 40hz » Logged

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« Reply #82 on: June 28, 2010, 09:01:53 AM »

Can't say that I agree with you, 40hz regarding Usual Suspects.

Chinatown was going to be another one I was going to mention. I've got a whole list over here if you have the desire. cheesy

Here's a few more:

The Wicker Man

There Will Be Blood

The Skeleton Key

P.S. And do see No Country For Old Men. The main Bad Guy in that movie takes being bad to a whole new level.
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superboyac
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« Reply #83 on: June 28, 2010, 09:43:30 AM »

Usual Suspects blew my mind when I first saw it.  I still remember watching it:  i was home from college, and the premium channels (HBO, Cinemax) were having one of those free preview weekends.  It was late, like 2am in the morning.  This movie I'd never heard of came on, usual suspects.  So I was watching it and half falling asleep, but it started getting really interesting.  Then the ending came and i was blown away.  One of the most fun movie experiences ever.  My other top movie experiences were The Game, Jerry Maguire, and Gladiator.  not because of the movies necessarily, but the experience (I have stories for all of them).

I miss the days when going to the movies was really special and fun.  I know I sound one like one of those old geezer back in the day types, but I do miss that.  In college, there were always sneak previews of movies, and for broke college kids, that was really fun.  The anticipation, not knowing what the movie was about AT ALL, all the people...it was good stuff.
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superboyac
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« Reply #84 on: June 28, 2010, 09:47:35 AM »

I personally didn't find No country for old men all that interesting.  I know I'm one of the few, but hey.  I also found it a little funny that No Country and There Will Be Blood turned into a whole rivalry for no apparent reason.  All of a sudden, you either liked one or the other.  i even wrote an article about it:
http://aram.dcmembers.com...s-no-country-for-old-men/
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« Reply #85 on: June 28, 2010, 10:10:55 AM »

One very cool film no sci-fi buff should miss is this relatively low-budget picture:

Avalon-  released in 2001 and directed by Mamoru Oshii, who also was responsible for the great animae classic Ghost in the Shell.

Sounds great 40hz. I love Asian films, especially the Japanese. If you want originality then look East rather than to Hollywood.

Having said that, anyone remember Critters and The Last Starfighter from the 80's?
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40hz
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« Reply #86 on: June 28, 2010, 11:06:25 AM »

@Innuendo

I didn't say bad guys winning was the criteria. I said human evil left triumphant.

There's a subtle but very real difference between someone being bad and someone who is evil.

There's an interesting idea writer Arthur Machen once proposed that true spiritual evil is very rare. Even more rare than genuine saintliness. Because whereas the saint was trying to regain what had been lost in The Fall, the truly evil were attempting to seize something never meant for mankind to have. They were attempting to "take heaven by storm" and in doing so, they repeated the sin which led to the war in heaven and the fall of mankind. This took them beyond the human inheritance of "original sin" (with hope for redemption) and placed them with the "fallen" angels who were damned without hope of salvation. In short, evil is something beyond what mankind should be capable of. Evil is the sin of angels. Human evil was not a part of the plan for creation.

Even if you don't buy into the Christian symbology he uses, you can still get the gist of what he's saying.

Evil is a really really really big deal. Badness is more a major annoyance.

Interesting distinction.    

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40hz
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« Reply #87 on: June 28, 2010, 11:35:56 AM »

I miss the days when going to the movies was really special and fun.  I know I sound one like one of those old geezer back in the day types, but I do miss that.  In college, there were always sneak previews of movies, and for broke college kids, that was really fun.  The anticipation, not knowing what the movie was about AT ALL, all the people...it was good stuff.

Fortunately, with the advent of big screen TV monitors and home theater systems you can recreate a bit of the theater if your lucky enough to be able to afford it.

Get a Netflix subscription and you're in good shape.

But the one thing you need to do to really make it enjoyable is gather a group of fellow movie buffs and all watch it together. Without a small group in attendence, it won't feel the same. Six is a good number. Big enough to feel like a crowd. Small enough to allow for a single discussion about the movie afterwards.  

Learn how to make real movie popcorn, and have everybody take turns supplying the 'beverages of choice' so one person doesn't go broke hosting if you're doing it regularly. (Good venue for homebrewers to show off their latest creations too!) Watch and enjoy. Just don't be surprised if you see the sun coming up before you're done discussing. Especially if it turned out to be an exceptionally good film like The Usual Suspects. (Breakfast anyone?)

You can even do your own film festivals, hall of fame, etc. Take turns recommending and selecting. Maybe even have the person recommending do a little presentation afterwards about the making of the film, the director, or what have you. Just keep it fun. Movies are supposed to be a form of entertainment.  

And if you don't have a fancy media setup, don't let that stop you. Just invite fewer people and sit closer to your old "tube."  
« Last Edit: June 28, 2010, 11:47:55 AM by 40hz » Logged

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superboyac
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« Reply #88 on: June 28, 2010, 12:16:16 PM »

40hz, I love reading what you write...

I like your suggestion.  There's only one individual who I'd want to watch movies with right now in that manner, but maybe we might be able to muster up a couple of more people.  All we would really need is like 3 couples.  I've done things like "movie nights" before, but it's very hard getting a good discussion going, especially if people don't care about the more difficult things to discuss like story, building tension, irony, etc.  Then, you just watch fast and furious and the comments are "well! that was cool!" ok...fascinating.
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40hz
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« Reply #89 on: June 28, 2010, 12:36:44 PM »

^ I feel your pain. Once you get out of college, those great ad hoc debate and discussion groups seem to disappear from our lives. If we're not careful we end up discussing nothing but our jobs, financial investments, and children. And ten years later we wonder why the new 20-somethings all think we're boring? 

Fortunately, I've been blessed with a few bright friends that still love a good intellectual discussion and are interested in just about anything. Art, movies, string theory, the latest DNA research...bring it up and they're all over it, sharing as much as they know - and eagerly soaking up what they don't. It's great.

Needless to say, I don't have a lot of area friends like that. But at least I have some.  Online gatherings like DC help fill that gap for most of us. But it still can't beat a good F2F conversation IMHO.


Either way, it's usually a smart move to seek out "the community" whenever you can. There's a lot of truth to the notion "We're better together." as the Polyphonic Spree song said.
  
 
Thmbsup
 
« Last Edit: June 28, 2010, 12:39:59 PM by 40hz » Logged

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« Reply #90 on: June 28, 2010, 03:39:57 PM »

Addendum:

Regarding Chinatown...

The original screenplay had a different ending. Roman Polanski changed it during the production of the film.


So I guess it's once again correct to say that Hollywood didn't OK Polanski's ending when it put the script into production. It was only when nearing completion that the ending got changed to what eventually became the released version.

Ok...I'm gonna go back to my earlier assertion that Hollywood doesn't greenlight films where human evil absolutely triumphs over good.

That's my story - and I'm sticking to it!  Thmbsup

(At least until I find the time to watch No Country for Old Men, There Will be Blood, Skeleton Key and re-watch Wicker Man to see if it happened in any of those. Thx Innuendo!  Thmbsup Grin)

« Last Edit: June 28, 2010, 03:59:26 PM by 40hz » Logged

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« Reply #91 on: June 28, 2010, 06:42:24 PM »

The Wicker Man

The Skeleton Key

Exactly two that I was going to mention, I was also going to mention Burnt Offerings because I seem to remember an ending similar to Skeleton Key but I wanted to review it first, (then again maybe it's ending is 'too' supernatural to be classed as human.)

I wouldn't necessarily have classed the ending in No Country For Old Men as evil/bad guy winning because it's left too open, it's not final.  Hollywood could go on to make 13+ sequels as usual.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2010, 06:51:56 PM by 4wd » Logged

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« Reply #92 on: June 28, 2010, 07:04:28 PM »

@40Hz:
Can you tell me how 'No country for old men' ends? I went to the theater to see it and was send out because I was snoring too loud. Rented it twice but I cannot get past the halfway point, before falling asleep. With 'There Will be Blood' I fell only asleep once.

Now I do not consider myself a movie-buff or average joe public. The first section I always look for in a videostore is the alternative movie section, because I enjoy well and/or diversely written stories. But I truly do not understand why both these movies were so highly regarded.

@Innuendo:
Which 'Wicker man' do you mean?
The most recent one with Nicolas Cage is hardly worth the trouble. Then again, I am not impressed by the latest works of N.C. in the first place. The first release was way more disturbing to me.
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« Reply #93 on: June 28, 2010, 07:36:17 PM »

@Innuendo:
Which 'Wicker man' do you mean?
The most recent one with Nicolas Cage is hardly worth the trouble. Then again, I am not impressed by the latest works of N.C. in the first place. The first release was way more disturbing to me.

It would have to be the first, as you have said, the remake was crap.

Then again, 40Hz can always use the 'out' that The Wicker Man (1973) was not a production of Hollywood and therefore not bound by their ridiculous taboos  Wink
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40hz
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« Reply #94 on: June 28, 2010, 10:17:07 PM »

@Shades -

re: No Country for Old Men

Can't say or tell you anything about it. As I said, I haven't seen it yet.  Wink
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« Reply #95 on: June 28, 2010, 10:48:53 PM »

@4wd -

re: 40hz's "out"

I think some if you might be misunderstanding my intentions when I speak about Hollywood taboos.

I'm not trying to prove a point about what makes a good or bad movie. Nor am I making a statement about the superiority or inferiority of the mainstream American movie industry.

When I mentioned these "no go" story elements, it was in the context of trying to account for the general lack of originality and the reluctance on the part of the industry to take chances when it came to movie plots. And the reason for this reluctance is twofold: the desire not to offend mainstream public sentiments (i.e. money) and fear of censure by a small but highly vocal 'moral' and conservative collective (i.e. money).

In a nutshell, if it's something that will impact the box office, or draw the public wrath of legislators or the religious, it's not going to be considered for production until those concerns can be minimized. Hollywood is mainly looking to make "4-quadrant" type 'perennial hit' movies. They're rarely looking to make great ones.

Again it's no knock from me. It's just how they perceive their business environment. And American moviemaking is a business.

I didn't come up with these taboos on my own. Many screenwriting books and seminars either hint at or come right out and talk about the issue of "unacceptable" topics. It comes as a shock to many hopeful writers that American movie studios are not all that liberal or open to radical or disturbing ideas for movies - even though virtually all of them would deny it if asked.  

This is one of the reasons why some truly great books get bad screen adaptations. Many of the wild and dangerously thought provoking elements that made the book so great won't be allowed in the screenplay.

Simple reality of the trade: Wanna sell your script to a US studio? Avoid certain topics and images.   Cool


 
    
« Last Edit: June 28, 2010, 10:57:40 PM by 40hz » Logged

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« Reply #96 on: June 29, 2010, 07:19:24 AM »

I wouldn't necessarily have classed the ending in No Country For Old Men as evil/bad guy winning because it's left too open, it's not final.  Hollywood could go on to make 13+ sequels as usual.

Not sure what you mean....it seemed pretty final to me.

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« Reply #97 on: June 29, 2010, 07:22:38 AM »

Can you tell me how 'No country for old men' ends? I went to the theater to see it and was send out because I was snoring too loud. Rented it twice but I cannot get past the halfway point, before falling asleep. With 'There Will be Blood' I fell only asleep once.

See my spoiler above for No Country For Old Men, but I agree....both that and There Will Be Blood were way longer than they needed to be....and neither one had a real, proper ending, IMHO.

Quote
The most recent one with Nicolas Cage is hardly worth the trouble. Then again, I am not impressed by the latest works of N.C. in the first place. The first release was way more disturbing to me.

Yes, I was referring to the original, but even the remake has the bad guys winning. I don't know what to think about Cage. He was making some pretty good movies there for awhile. Oh well, at least he's off making Disney movies now so I won't have to put up with him anymore. smiley
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« Reply #98 on: June 30, 2010, 06:41:56 PM »

Let's also not forget Howard Hawks original screen adaptation of by John W. Campbell, Jr.'s 1938 sci-fi novella Who Goes There.

...

It's a good enough story that his film was remade two additional times. Carpenter's 1981 version (relocated from the North Pole to Antarctica) kept the original vibe and resulted in that rarest of all Hollywood creatures: a remake that compared favorably with an original. The 1998 edition was long on special effects and name actors, but somehow didn't quite capture the eerie feelings of isolation and weirdness that the previous two versions produced. Maybe this is just one of those pictures that benefits from slightly stilted dialog, lesser acting talent, and B&W photography.

Going back to one of the earlier posts, Carpenter's 'The Thing' is one of my all time favourite films, (right up there with Alien), but I hadn't heard of a remake in 1998.

Can you give me link in IMDB to it please?

Also, get ready for The Thing (2011) - I just hope it turns out better than the plot summary.
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« Reply #99 on: June 30, 2010, 06:55:06 PM »

I just hope it turns out better than the plot summary.

That shouldn't be too hard.
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