General Films thread
8 January 2014 at 21:27 #24084
@phaseshift I would be very happy to go through all six episodes of Quatermass and the Pit. As well as being very, very scary, it’s a rare surviving example of a live TV serial.
A lot of the show was pre-recorded on 35mm, then during broadcast they basically pointed another 35mm camera at the monitor. They did a similar thing for Quatermass II (which is why that also survives), but that didn’t work as well. You can see all episodes of Quatermass II, but some bits are what would be technically described as ‘a bit iffy’. 🙂
Quatermass Experiment is lost to those without a time machine; that’s why they did the ‘live’ restage.8 January 2014 at 22:13 #24092PhaseShift @phaseshiftTime Lord
A vote for common sense! It’s great isn’t it?
You’re absolutely right about Quatermass II being intact. Don’t know what I was thinking about because I purchased the box set of everything remaining a few years ago. Quatermass II is a lower quality (iffy indeed), and there are only 2 episodes of Quatermass Experiment which are slightly worse if anything.9 January 2014 at 04:25 #24102
I didn’t really like the TV version of Quatermass and the Pit, much prefered the film.24 January 2014 at 14:02 #24594
Favourite films of mine: Star Wars, the Hobbit, Tripods, The Thing (to me the only true lovecraft film yet), Alien (alright that´s another, via the Giger theme), The call of cthulhu (makes 3) and recently Apollo 18 (brilliant). I am also a massive fan of Harry Potter and most Science Fiction films.
@jimthefish What Version of Frankenstein? I´ve seen most of them.24 January 2014 at 18:44 #2460024 January 2014 at 21:37 #24608
I only just caught up with your reference to Quatermass and the Pit. Please, please, do go through the episodes. That is one of my very favourite shows. It managed to capture a real sense of…evil. And through its references to the race riots of 1950s London, it made a powerful social statement as well. Andrew Morell was perfect as Quatermass…possessing a civilised gravitas that was essential to Quatermass, with a world-weary contempt for military and political gamesmanship. Anthony Bushell as the slightly unhinged Colonel Breen was excellent, as was Christine Finn as Barbara Judd, working as a scientific equal (which was, in itself, fairly advanced for 1950s TV). Perhaps only Cec Linder as Matthew Roney did not quite capture the right note, but even then, the company of actors worked together tremendously well.
It was truly haunting and powerful at an emotional level that allowed (and still allows) you to look beyond the small budget. By comparison, I have never really taken to the 1967 movie directed (I think rather poorly) by an otherwise good director (Roy Ward Baker). Yes, it had a bigger budget, better effects and colour, but it lost the sense of emotional dread and the social commentary on race, that the TV version had. In a funny sort of way, I would compare the TV version and the movie version with the Hartnell TV version of Doctor Who’s “The Dalek Invasion of Earth” (lacking colour and effects but full of a haunting power) and the Cushing movie version (with colour, a budget and effects, but with none of haunting power of the original TV story).24 January 2014 at 21:59 #24610
Damn! I meant, of course, Andre Morell.
And @bluesqueakpip, I do encourage you to write about Quatermass. I can guarantee you would have a dedicated readership of one (and I am sure many more).24 January 2014 at 23:48 #2461324 January 2014 at 23:55 #2461525 January 2014 at 05:24 #24620
I disagree with your assessment that the film version of Quatermass and the Pit is badly directed.25 January 2014 at 10:27 #24625
No, not badly directed, but, in my opinion, rather poorly directed by an otherwise good director, who had done some exceptional work. You only have to compare the way he directed “A Night to Remember”, which is a film of tremendous emotional impact, or “The October Man”, shot on a small budget, but which captures a sense of paranoia extremely effectively. By comparison, his “Quatermass” film is strangely “flat” in my opinion, with too many exposition shots of characters walking, of vehicles arriving, yet many scenes that called for a quiet, dramatic tension are rushed. Personally, I found the style of filming more expressive of late 60s TV than of cinema.
But, as I say, that is simply my opinion. Why did you feel it worked better than the 50s TV production?26 January 2014 at 07:25 #24684
I just found the original to be really slow and plodding. It could be that I saw the film first and was just used to seeing the film move at a faster pace, but I saw the two Dalek films first and that didn’t affect my enjoyment of the serials they were based on.
It also didn’t help that I found Rooney (the hero in a way) unlikeable. He came off as an obnoxious yank, rather like Brian Donelvys Quatermass in the first two films (who was meant to be unlikeable, Rooney wasn’t). The actor from the film did a much better job.26 January 2014 at 14:33 #24695Anonymous @
Hello and welcome. The Frankenstein version we were all talking of above was a 1972 made-for-TV job called Frankenstein – the true story, which had McCallum in it as Henry Clerval. And judging by the scenes with the hand, then his Clerval is nothing like the one in the book, so that ‘true story’ line is clearly bollocks for a start. It’s not a great version of the story by any stretch but I clearly saw it at a very young age and there’s a number of things in it that have a lasting impression — the hand, for one. But also a shot of a curiously disfigured and mottled ear on ‘the monster’ — who, if I remember, wasn’t that monstrous in it at all….26 January 2014 at 15:50 #24697
Actually, I don’t disagree with anything you say. And I can understand your perspective. A lot does depend on comparisions and context, and I too, felt that Cec Linder did not quite strike the right note in his portralyal of Roney.
But watching episode one again over on the other thread, I actually felt I may have been a little unfair to him on my first viewing. So, let me encourage you to re-engage with the show again, watching it week by week over on the new thread.28 January 2014 at 10:40 #24803
@Wisht Thanks, it´s an Hommage to my old commodore 64.
@jimthefish I remember it dimly, have to rewatch it. Not quite like the book. They often took endeavours rather to interprete Horror classics instead of following the book. They tried to give it a psychological turn here. Maybe they should have had a look at Mary Shelley´s letters, propably Percy´s too or the first draw of the book. It was begun during a holliday in Swiss. To check Lord Byron would also not be amiss. The frightening stuff not Don Juan.30 January 2014 at 12:02 #24874
Hi @jimthefish – not to disinter a now dead conversation from the crypt…. but I wonder if your memory is of Ian Ogilvy rather than David McCallum…?
Came across Matthew Sweet talking about Amicus films on the radio and they mention this – “… and now the screaming starts!”
8¬030 January 2014 at 13:09 #24875Anonymous @
Damn, why haven’t I seen this film? It looks awesome. I suppose Ogilvy and McCallum would have looked pretty similar in those days but I’m pretty convinced that it was McCallum — largely because I remember thinking ‘but this is Ilya Kuryakin. He’s not going to let himself be killed by that hand’. So, I think I’ll still be going with Frankenstein as the likely candidate.
But I really, really want to see this now…30 January 2014 at 15:20 #2487930 January 2014 at 18:07 #24885hollahbrace @hollahbrace
If you are interested in Dr. Who and fan fiction please check out this fantastic short film: Another Day, Another Dimension.
The short film is a collaboration between the students of Coryton Primary School Cardiff and the University of South Wales and your support would mean everything to them! Please like and follow our Facebook and Twitter accounts to keep up to date with everything to do with the project and where you can buy merchandise and the final product on DVD!
Holly.31 January 2014 at 14:15 #24901Anonymous @
Well, it’s a kind of a Who connection (and Peter Capaldi also gets a namecheck) but here’s a nice-ish couple of vintage interviews with Peter Cushing in this blogpost. But I thought I’d better just stick it in the more general films thread anyway…2 February 2014 at 19:22 #24952
Philip Seymor Hoffman was found dead today.9 February 2014 at 11:17 #251309 February 2014 at 11:58 #25132
After the passing of Philip Seymour Hoffman, I was hoping that ‘Synecdoche New York’ would be repeated on TV. No sign yet though.
In my view it’s a brilliantly bonkers concept.
My favourite film shown on TV over Xmas was ‘Rare Exports’ which was refreshingly different & creepy.10 February 2014 at 22:14 #25185
I love movies… I think I’ve spent most of my life in front of a screen, not sure if that’s a good thing or not. It took take an insane amount of time (and post space) to list all of my favorites so I’ll keep my list short to my top eight. 🙂
1. Lord Of The Rings Trilogy
2. The Matrix Trilogy
3. Reservoir Dogs
4. The Labyrinth
5. The Dark Crystal
6. Fight Club
7. Anything from Studio Ghibli ( I know that’s cheating, but there’s too many to mention!)
8. Scrooge (1951, with Alastair Sim)11 February 2014 at 03:28 #25193
@faegrl. re’ no 7 I cheat in just the same way in such lists. Otherwise it would have to be a very long list of favourites.
Janette11 February 2014 at 11:37 #25198Anonymous @
@faegrl – Brilliant No.1 choice 🙂
I’ll be honest I was never a big fan of the book. I loved the story but it was just too long winded for me, taking 3 or 4 pages just to describe a tree (ok, slight exaggeration 😉 ). Personally, I agree with the changes/cuts PJ made with the movies – what a huge relief it was to watch FOTR without Tom Bombadil prancing around 😀
I wasn’t overly impressed with The Hobbit: AUJ but eagerly await the DVD release of TDoS
Re Studio Ghibli, I’ve only seen a few but agree, it’s a tough choice to find a favourite so I’ll go with Spirited Away as it was the first one a watched.
Another of my favourite films is Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s Micmacs a tire-larigot. It’s a rather splendid ‘revenge’ comedy – for UK viewers of a certain age, think The Wombles meets Hustle 🙂11 February 2014 at 11:43 #25200
I loved the LOTR books and loved the films for what they are. I am also enjoying the Hobbit films. TDoS is much better than AUJ though, unlike many fans I really enjoyed the extended party scenes, it was the over the top action stuff that bored me.
If I had to choose a favourite Studio Ghibli I would be torn between Kiki’s Delivery Service, (the first I watched), Spirited Away, or Howl’s Moving Castle though that takes far more liberties with the source material than P.J does with LOTR. I have not yet mastered the courage to watch “Grave of the Fireflies”.
Janette11 February 2014 at 11:56 #25202
I really enjoyed the extended party scenes
Which are in the flaming book!
It really annoyed me at the time that so many critics were complaining about the songs (and the dwarves sing! twice!) and then went on to mutter darkly about deviations from the book. Make your mind up. Do you want a faithful adaptation (which would include songs) or not? You can’t have it both ways.
My own attitude is that a film isn’t and never can be a truly faithful adaptation of a book; they’re not the same medium. The writer/director has to take the book as their source material – and then work out how to tell their own version of the story.
The extended version of Unexpected Journey has even more songs, btw. 😉 Also a nice little scene of a very young Bilbo whacking Gandalf with a toy sword.11 February 2014 at 12:23 #25204Anonymous @
It really annoyed me at the time that so many critics were complaining about the songs
Pretty much all the criticisms annoyed me, the only one I’d defend was using Azog (who’s dead in the book) as the ‘big bad’ when his son, Bolg, would’ve made more sense.
I seem to remember a few critics being annoyed by the ‘recycled’ music as well. OK, so ‘The Shire’, ‘The Taming of Sméagol’, ‘Rivendell’, ‘Caras Galadhon’ and ‘Saruman the White’ were re-used as well as a very, very brief reprise of the Mordor theme but that’s the whole point of leitmotifs 🙂
Some of the critics then went on to praise John Williams’ score for the Star Wars films! Yeah, no recycled music in those films 😉11 February 2014 at 12:46 #25207
@bluesqueakpip. I loved the song especially “Far over the Misty Mountains”. It is one of my favourites. We currently have both sound tracks on our Play list as well as all the LOTR ones. (Just merchandising victims I know.) LOTR fans even outdo Who fans when it comes to Arsery. (I was trying to recall what the letters stood for today when commenting on another site about impossible to please fans) No wonder P.J and Moffat are friends. They both have to deal with the same rubbish from over possessive fans.
@fatmaninabox. The criticism that annoyed me most was the accusation that PJ only made three films for money. I will swear that steam starts puffing from my ears now every time I hear it because anyone who knows anything at all about P.J. or artists in general would know better.
Janette11 February 2014 at 16:26 #25210Monochrome Dimension @monochromedimension
I like the LOTR movies and I also like the books. Yeah I have a few complaints about the movie adaptation but nothing major. I also like The Hobbit movies (well, obviously can’t say for part 3 yet!); even though there are quite a few changes in it. Love Smaug, even though they’ve changed him into a Wyvern! lol And Radagast! I was so happy when I found out Radagast was going to be in the movies (despite the fact he doesn’t appear in book of The Hobbit), I had wanted him to be in LOTR… and then found out McCoy was playing him and I was even more happy!
Though why does Gandalf have Radagast’s staff in Fellowship? That’s a bit worrying… I hope they’re not going to change the book’s canon too much. Radagast was meant to appear in LOTR.11 February 2014 at 20:28 #25216
@janetteb – Yep, my Studio Ghibli favorites are a huge list to itself, as I’ve seen almost every one of their films and loved all of them save for two. My list would be: My Neighbor Totoro, Kiki’s Delivery Service, Castle In The Sky, The Cat Returns, Howl’s Moving Castle, My Neighbor’s The Yamadas, Nausicaa Of The Valley Of The Wind, Princess Mononoke, Pom Poko, Spirited Away, Porco Rosso, The Secret World Of Arrietty, and Ponyo On the Cliff By The Sea. Ah… I did watch Grave Of The Fireflies… only ONCE, because at the end of that one I was bawling like a baby! I ran to my mother in tears, after viewing that one! I don’t usually get that affected by films. So, I keep my copy of that at the bottom of a drawer, because even the cover will cause me to tear up. LOL!
@fatmaninabox – I have a confession… I didn’t finish the books either, for the same reasons! My older brother introduced me to the films first and by the time I got to buying the books, I was too impatient with the long winded stuff, wanting to read all of the “good parts” of the films.
I have seen the first “The Hobbit” and I was kind of disappointed by it. I do love the song and scene of “Far Over The Smokey Mountain”, it was my only favorite part of The Hobbit movie. I haven’t seen the second movie yet, so… no spoilers, please. I hope that it’s better than the first. I hear the The Hobbit book is way better and may buy that one.
As for the music… I’m such a nerd and bought all three soundtracks for LoTR. And I listen to them as I write my blogs or books. LOL! I love the music, the story, the characters, the quotes, everything about LoTR. And I wish Lothlórien actually existed, because I would love to live there. I even tried my best to learn Elvish for a year, but then forgot to keep up with it. I may try again someday soon. See, I’m a basket case for LoTR. If it were a religion, I’d so join it! “The Church of Gandalf” sounds very nice. :-p11 February 2014 at 22:08 #25221Anonymous @
I had no choice but to read LOTR as I had to do a book review on it when I was at school. My English teacher was livid when she read my rather damning report. She was American and the rollocking she gave me taught me a very valuable lesson – never, under any circumstances, criticise Tolkien or Shakespeare within earshot of an American English teacher 🙂 Although I didn’t really enjoy the book, I found (and still do) the appendices fascinating. I’ve got ‘the map’ and the Hobbitses family tree as wallpapers somewhere in the dusty corners of my PC – may have to dig them out.
I’ve only seen the first Hobbit film and found it a little slow (was a bit miffed that they changed Gandalf’s taunting of Tom, William and Bert 🙁 ) but to be fair, FOTR had a similar pace. If The Hobbit is anything like LOTR, it will get better with each movie.
The soundtrack is superb. I recently ‘acquired’ the complete LOTR soundtrack – 10.5 hours of Howard Shore – fantastic. Admittedly, I’ve done a bit of re-editing as the track ordering isn’t quite the same as in the films – yep, I’m really that sad 🙂 I also overdubbed Bernard Hill’s recital of ‘Where is the Horse and Rider’ as it wasn’t included for some reason despite the inclusion of Ian McKellan and Ian Holm singing ‘The Road Goes Ever On’ and Bilbo’s ‘Party Music’.
I’ll join you in The Church of Gandalf, but only if, ahem, ‘Pipe Weed’ is part of communion 😉11 February 2014 at 23:20 #25222
I always liked the writer Helene Hanff’s story about Lord of the Rings. She was, at the time, acting as a book reader for a major movie studio, writing reports on properties that they might bid on for options.
She got handed Lord of the Rings. In fact, she got handed the proofs of Lord of the Rings. Everyone was so convinced that this was a hot property that the studio had paid someone to ‘borrow’ the printer’s proofs over the weekend. Whatever happened, these proofs had to be back early Monday morning.
So she had to not only read all three volumes (plus appendices) between Friday evening and early Monday morning, she had to make notes and write a report on characters (all the main characters), plot (how many sub-plots?), settings (they go where?) and potential-as-a-film. While good at most types of English lit, she wasn’t even a fan of the type of heroic sagas that Tolkien based Rings on.
Did I say she had to do all this by Monday morning?
She said her bill came in at:
Fellowship of the Ring: Double standard charge.
The Two Towers: Double standard charge.
Return of the King: Double standard charge.
Mental torture: Quadruple standard charge.
Apparently the studio paid up…
🙂11 February 2014 at 23:32 #25223
@fatmaninabox – Ah, I see that as extremely lucky that you had an American English teacher who is that passionate about British literature. I am American and didn’t have much luck with that! My entire English education was rubbish and I had to learn about all of the great stuff on my own, via internet or relatives, as my school stayed focused on American literature the most. We had Poe and Dickens, but that was it. I’m quite miffed about that, because I enjoy Shakespeare so much, and it’s sad that I had to be introduced to it by a internet search engine called “Ask Jeeves” (before Google ever existed). HOWEVER, if I had to read the LoTR books for a report, I would have gained my first failing mark in class, for sure. I do sympathize!
Hey, I have the map of Middle Earth as well! That’s pretty cool. 🙂
And you’re right, the tracks aren’t in order of the movies, yet I’m too lazy to edit mine. I don’t think you’re sad at all, just very tenacious, which is a good trait to have.
Ha! I’m sure they would include pipe weed in this church. I would only enjoy that activity if I can swap the weed for tobacco instead. But to each his or her own. 😉12 February 2014 at 04:24 #25229Arbutus @arbutus
I must confess to having been a huge Tolkien geek as a teenager. I read The Hobbit first, aged around eleven, and went on from there. There was a time when I could have quoted tremendous swaths of dialogue from the books, especially any lines spoken by Eowyn, who was my absolute favourite.
My son enjoyed the books as well, and we have enjoyed all the films pretty much unreservedly, as I don’t mind lots of atmosphere at the expense of forward motion (which I agree does happen), and can happily accept the film versions on their own terms.
My son so loved the Hobbit that about five years ago, he decided to dress up as Thorin Oakenshield for Halloween. Long before the movie of course, and most of his friends had no idea who he was– they all thought he was Dumbledore! He told everyone who asked that he was “Thorin son of Thrain son of Thror, King under the Mountain”. He very earnestly couldn’t believe that they thought he was Dumbledore. “Didn’t they see the Arkenstone? And my sky blue hood?” 🙂21 February 2014 at 16:49 #25596Marinus lost his keys again @marinus-lost-his-keys-again
Anyone else here’s ever seen The Mouse that Roared ? I only heard about it due to Hartnell’s role in it, but despite Billy’s screentime not really being all that much, it was an absolute blast and I’d recommend it to anyone.12 March 2014 at 17:08 #26362
Neil Gaiman Meeting with Joseph Gordon-Levitt to Discuss ‘Sandman’ Movie24 March 2014 at 06:51 #26577
I think I may have found the most pointless DVD extra ever. I bought The Graduate recently and it includes what the back cover describes as “4 original widescreen excepts”, basically 4 scenes from the film presented in widescreen, even though the film itself was a widescreen copy. Like I said, completely pointless.30 April 2014 at 18:03 #2727230 April 2014 at 19:57 #2727330 April 2014 at 23:02 #272771 May 2014 at 03:02 #27279
Sad news indeed. I last saw him in “Made in Dagenham” just a few weeks ago so this really took me by surprise. Has been a very long time since I saw Mona Lisa and I have yet to watch “Pennies from Heaven.” It is on my list so maybe next week’s exercise entertainment.
Janette1 May 2014 at 06:18 #27280
I know that he regretted making it but I always Loved Bob in Super Mario Brothers.1 May 2014 at 12:13 #27281Anonymous @
Bloomin heck…just when I thought things couldn’t get worse…I go to hospital…I come out of hospital ….and I find Mr Hoskins has died!! Oh I hope he’s in another time line…in another timey universe cracking his jokes and looking his ‘look’.
A minute for Bob
Puro5 May 2014 at 17:56 #27378Craig @craigEmperor
So the friend I was supposed to be seeing for lunch today came down with some sort of vomiting thing. I really didn’t think I had that effect on people but obviously I do. Instead I’ve been catching up on lectures by Neil deGrasse Tyson on YouTube and watched a couple of movies. And I finally got around to watching “Warm Bodies”, the zombie love story between R and Julie (star-crossed lovers, they even have a balcony scene, just in case you didn’t get it).
It’s been on my list for a while but I’ve been avoiding it as I thought the whole idea was a bit stupid. And it IS stupid, really, really stupid. But at the same time it’s the best movie I’ve watched this week – it’s really, really charming, brilliantly played, and I had a grin on my face most of the way through. So if you’re looking for something non-taxing and darkly funny that will make you smile it comes recommended. Great soundtrack too. But don’t show it to the kids, it’s still pretty scary.15 May 2014 at 00:38 #27529
Swiss artist HR Giger has died aged 74
16 May 2014 at 18:09 #27544
Going to see Godzilla tomorrow!!16 May 2014 at 18:42 #27545
I hope you enjoy it, but I am not sure the movie could possibly be better than your leaping Godzilla gif. Brilliant!16 May 2014 at 19:02 #27546
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