Good Plot, Bad Movie

I have had many a disappointing time at the cinema in my life, usually with sci-fi or horror, probably because they’re my two favorite genres from childhood and expectations ran high.  And so many a movie I was excited to see just didn’t work.  Since I came of age with movies in the seventies and eighties, many come from those decades and many have no saving grace.  For instance, I was quite excited to see The Hindenburg when it came out, only to be bored to tears.  Problem is, there’s not much you can do there.  Since the destruction of ship happened in mere seconds, most of the screen time must be filled with dull fiction.  With a ship like the Titanic, you’ve got enough time to center the entire movie around the sinking if you want to, as in A Night to Remember.   But other movies I saw and thought, “This is bad but it could be good, really good.  They’re just doing it wrong.”

For instance, in 1979 I was excited, very excited, for one movie and one movie alone, Star Trek: The Motion Picture (coincidentally directed by the same man, Robert Wise, behind The Hindenburg).  I mean I was excited because the anticipation among fans was at a fever pitch.  It’s kind of funny because looking back, it wasn’t that long from series to movie.  The show ended its three year run in 1969 and less than ten years later production on the movie began.   To me now that seems like no time at all.  A show ending in 2002 and getting the big screen treatment now would seem pretty normal.  But at the time, it felt like Star Trek had ended decades before and now, finally, we were going to see it again.

My brother and I went early, as in opening weekend early.  We got our tickets and settled in for a great time revisiting characters we loved.  The movie began with the Klingons chasing a mysterious electrical cloud and firing into it to no avail until the cloud fired back and destroyed the Klingons.  Frankly, it was a great opening and I still think it ranks as the best opening to any of the Star Trek movies.   And on top of that, the Klingons looked so different!  No longer were they just some skinny guys with black hair and goatees, now they were actually made up to look alien (although now it’s kind of funny because they gave them bald pates which look odd compared to the Klingons of Next Generation and later).   After that, the main story began and… and… didn’t move at all.   It just kind of sat there for the next two hours until the credits rolled and my brother and I got up and thought, “Eh.”

The thing is, though, I kept thinking what a cool idea it is.  The idea that a probe we sent out in the 20th century, the real life Voyager, is actually discovered by an alien life that takes its message of welcome and peace to heart and charts a course for Earth.   And not just a cool idea for a sci-fi film in general but a particularly cool one for Star Trek because in Star Trek they’re always “seeking out new life and new civilizations” and in this story, it’s seeking them out.  What a great bit of turnabout.  The problem was that Robert Wise fancied he was directing 2001, Part II and took exceptionally long takes of everything.  I mean, look, it’s great to see the Enterprise again after a whopping ten years but do we have to spend seven or eight minutes of screen time while Kirk and Scotty taxi to the damn thing and fly around it?  And this kind of thing repeats itself throughout the movie.  Long, long takes of inaction where the viewer is supposed to admire the beautiful effects and the viewer does but at a certain point we just need Spock to communicate with the damn thing and go home.

Add to that some of the worst costume design in the history of the Star Trek universe (the security details look like football players from 1920 and Kirk and the officers are forced into powder blue jumpsuits with floating buckles at the waist) and a total lack of feeling for the interaction of the characters from the show and you’ve got a trek that feels more like a trudge.

And yet…

I’m telling you, there’s a good movie there just waiting to come out.   Forget the over-the-top action of the recent reboot, make the next installment a reboot of this plot but without the trudging sensibility.   Streamline it, cut out the loving attention to inaction and bring the thing in in under two hours.  Do that, and you’ve got a movie.  Really, you do.

Leaving the high-minded Star Trek behind, there’s another movie so renowned for its sheer awfulness that to list it here may seem disingenuous but I’m here to tell you Ed Wood was onto something with Plan 9 from Outer Space.  Now, on my own site and elsewhere, I’ve gone to bat for this movie many a time.   No, I’m not here to tell you it ranks with the best of Ophuls but I am here to tell you this: Watch Manos: The Hands of Fate without the MST3000 crew wising it up and see how much you can get through without either running from the room or kicking in your television.  Manos is awful, truly and horribly awful.  Plan 9 is not awful, it’s bad and yes, there’s a difference.  Plan 9 is rushed and Ed Wood wrote pretty horrible dialogue.  Also, he didn’t waste film so practically every first take made it into the movie and even so, it’s got a good pace to it and, by God, it’s entertaining – on its own, I mean.  It is!  It’s just not written well and Wood gets performances so varied in quality that it’s literally distracting to hear some of the actors say their lines (but not Dudley Manlove, that guy had a great voice).   So I acknowledge all of that but still, that story could work.

The story of Plan 9 is no more or less ridiculous than any host of other sci-fi plots from the fifties.   Some of the most revered sci-fi films of the decade (in fact, of all time) have men switching heads and arms with flies, giant ants attacking the southwest and an alien and his robot friend popping in to say, “make peace or we’ll kill you.”   Heck, old Ed even managed to jump the gun on George Romero by several years by raising the dead, even if he didn’t know what to do with it.   Now imagine a modern day director, perhaps someone with a feel for horror or sci-fi (I’ll let someone else suggest who) taking the time to tell the story of an alien race using the recently dead as a makeshift army.  Given how popular zombies are in today’s horror fiction, I’m surprised someone hasn’t pounced on it sooner.  The difference is, the movie would have thousands of zombies instead of, you know, three.  See, that’s what Ed did wrong.  He’d come up with an actual workable idea and then under-deliver to the point where you ask, “why’d you even bother?”   So, yeah, three.  An alien force comes down and decide to put us in our place with a dead old couple and a giant dead police detective.  Okie-dokie.  But with an effects budget in place, actors receiving good direction and a modern day take on the old notion of aliens hating us for our warring ways, it could work as a fun piece of sci-fi entertainment.

Now let’s go with two examples, one from horror and one from adventure, that don’t necessarily feature a single movie but rather a character that still hasn’t gotten the best he possibly could.  The first is Dracula.  Now, there have been a ton of movies featuring this character and some have been quite good but I still think about the book and the diary entries and the description of the count and I think, “Surely someone can make this work!”  Now, like I said, there are a lot of great movies with this character and my favorite is the 1958 Hammer version, known in the states as Horror of Dracula.  So I’m not saying the character has never been done well.  What I’m saying is that a direct adaptation of the book, like Francis Ford Coppola’s 1992 version, has never fully succeeded cinematically.

There’s a great story there to be told but when Coppola attempted it in his version he went with an ill-advised opening “explanation” of Dracula that tied in Mina as a kind of long-lost star-crossed lover.  And that’s not really the story at all.   Nevertheless, Gary Oldman and Anthony Hopkins gave two magnificently big, playing-way-back-to-the-rafters, over-the-top performances that were salt-cured and honey glazed with a pineapple slice on top and thank God they did because the rest of the movie feels as undead as the lead character.  Oh, and Tom Waits.   Loved Tom Waits in that.  But come on, surely someone can make a Dracula movie that actually works from the source book and produces something good.  Right?  Right?  [shrugs]

Okay, now, for the last one, I nominate Tarzan as a character with a damned promising plot that keeps getting the shaft.  Recently, I had to write up a Johnny Weismuller Tarzan movie for TCM’s main website and as I watched it (Tarzan and the Amazons, by the way) I was thoroughly entertained by its sheer silliness.  Honestly, it was a fun watch and I thought how the Tarzan movies, after Tarzan of the Apes (both the 1918 and 1932 versions), became on the fly serial movies and how the big-budget, prestige production of Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes, with Hugh Hudson directing Christopher Lambert and Andi Glenn McDowell-Close was just a big bore and it struck me, “Someone needs to do this again and finally get it right.”  Yes, it needs the big budget.  No, it’s not Masterpiece Theatre.  The idea that the 1984 version treated it as if it was a serious meditation on civilization and empire is ridiculous.  This is Edgar Rice Burroughs, by gum, the man who gave us John Carter!  So let’s do the novel, Tarzan of the Apes, and let’s take it seriously with a big-budget and first rate talent but let’s not forget it’s an adventure and make it an exciting and thrilling spectacle as well, something Tarzan on celluloid has always been denied.  There’s a good story there, let’s do it.

When I see a movie with a good plot that doesn’t work I’m disappointed, not because it’s bad but because there was so much potential.  One of the reasons I prefer not to write pans of movies (rather, I like to recommend movies I think are good) is because in most movies that don’t succeed, there’s something that could be good if it had been done just a little differently.  From Star Trek: The Motion Picture to Tarzan, there are many elements that are splendid but don’t work given the dreck surrounding them.  Still, you can see the promise right there in front of you.  More movies than you think could be good if just a few things had been done differently, except  of course Manos: the Hands of Fate.  That’s just awful.  Really, just awful.

Except for that twist ending.  That… could work.  Maybe.  Right?

188 Responses Good Plot, Bad Movie
Posted By Wednesday’s Child : June 27, 2012 9:40 am

Coppola’s Dracula, yes. I have never forgotten how disappointed I was after seeing that one in the theater opening weekend. It made such an impression on me that I can remember who I saw it with and the conversation we had while standing in the ticket line. Some (okay, many) films are bad and you’re just not that surprised, but that one was the definition of wasted potential.

Posted By Wednesday’s Child : June 27, 2012 9:40 am

Coppola’s Dracula, yes. I have never forgotten how disappointed I was after seeing that one in the theater opening weekend. It made such an impression on me that I can remember who I saw it with and the conversation we had while standing in the ticket line. Some (okay, many) films are bad and you’re just not that surprised, but that one was the definition of wasted potential.

Posted By Greg Ferrara : June 27, 2012 9:45 am

Wed, there was so much there to like but it just didn’t work. I think Coppola threw too much into the mix and frankly, Keanu Reeves was a fatal choice.

Posted By Greg Ferrara : June 27, 2012 9:45 am

Wed, there was so much there to like but it just didn’t work. I think Coppola threw too much into the mix and frankly, Keanu Reeves was a fatal choice.

Posted By dukeroberts : June 27, 2012 9:52 am

You sure do not like Robert Wise much. We’ve discussed him before. Anywho….the director’s cut of Star Trek: The Motionless Picture is better. It’s not as….motionless. There’s still the long take of taking in the Enterprise, but that’s for the sake of majesty, Greg! It’s a tighter movie than the original theatrical version. And that Persis Khambatta…wow! I think the first Star Trek movie is the most like the TV show in that it tries to explore a philosophical question instead of just having action. Of course, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan is the best Star Trek movie.

The Coppola Dracula movie had quite a few good things about it, but some serious things were wrong with it. The romance plot and the romantic leads. Who thought it was a good idea to cast Keanu Reeves? And Winona Ryder wasn’t much better.

I think the first Tarzan movie with Johnny Weissmuller is a great starting point. They got sillier and sillier as they went along. I have longed for a good Tarzan movie for quite some time. I think if it were made in the spirit of the recent John Carter movie it could be pretty good. I felt John Carter was poorly maligned. It was quite fun and pulpy.

Posted By dukeroberts : June 27, 2012 9:52 am

You sure do not like Robert Wise much. We’ve discussed him before. Anywho….the director’s cut of Star Trek: The Motionless Picture is better. It’s not as….motionless. There’s still the long take of taking in the Enterprise, but that’s for the sake of majesty, Greg! It’s a tighter movie than the original theatrical version. And that Persis Khambatta…wow! I think the first Star Trek movie is the most like the TV show in that it tries to explore a philosophical question instead of just having action. Of course, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan is the best Star Trek movie.

The Coppola Dracula movie had quite a few good things about it, but some serious things were wrong with it. The romance plot and the romantic leads. Who thought it was a good idea to cast Keanu Reeves? And Winona Ryder wasn’t much better.

I think the first Tarzan movie with Johnny Weissmuller is a great starting point. They got sillier and sillier as they went along. I have longed for a good Tarzan movie for quite some time. I think if it were made in the spirit of the recent John Carter movie it could be pretty good. I felt John Carter was poorly maligned. It was quite fun and pulpy.

Posted By Greg Ferrara : June 27, 2012 9:55 am

Duke, I love so many of Wise’s movies. Here are just some: Curse of the Cat People, The Body Snatcher, The Day the Earth Stood Still, The Desert Rats, Run Silent Run Deep, The Andromeda Strain. I just don’t like Hindenburg very much. Sound of Music I’m willing to concede I might like much more when I watch it again and as for Star Trek, well the whole point of this post is that there’s a lot of great stuff there! It could be a lot better, and brisker, than it was.

And I’m in total agreement, like I said in the post, that a great John Carter-esque Tarzan needs to be made. There’s a lot of great adventure potential there.

Posted By Greg Ferrara : June 27, 2012 9:55 am

Duke, I love so many of Wise’s movies. Here are just some: Curse of the Cat People, The Body Snatcher, The Day the Earth Stood Still, The Desert Rats, Run Silent Run Deep, The Andromeda Strain. I just don’t like Hindenburg very much. Sound of Music I’m willing to concede I might like much more when I watch it again and as for Star Trek, well the whole point of this post is that there’s a lot of great stuff there! It could be a lot better, and brisker, than it was.

And I’m in total agreement, like I said in the post, that a great John Carter-esque Tarzan needs to be made. There’s a lot of great adventure potential there.

Posted By Jenni : June 27, 2012 10:01 am

I recently tivoed a movie off of TCM, and sat there watching it, bored, bored, bored. The film was STORM OVER JAMAICA, starring Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna. I don’t know if they were married yet when they made this film, but man, it was a tediously slow soaper. Travers played a boarding school teacher in Jamaica, the students looked like they ranged from 2nd grade up to 8th grade. The headmaster,played by Alexander Knox, had a hot, younger wife, who became a “cougar” wanting to have a relationship with Travers’s teacher. Throw in a bratty girl student with lots of issues due to neglectful parents, and a beautiful small plane crash survivor, Virginia McKenna, who has to recuperate at the school’s infirmary…the story moved so slowly, I kept wondering what the director could have done to make it sizzle, to make it more interesting. Near the end of this flick, I could’ve cared less about any of the characters or how their lives would go on. At least the costumes were fine,no floating belt buckles! And we did get to see some beautiful beach shots. If TCM airs it again, don’t say you haven’t been warned!

Posted By Jenni : June 27, 2012 10:01 am

I recently tivoed a movie off of TCM, and sat there watching it, bored, bored, bored. The film was STORM OVER JAMAICA, starring Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna. I don’t know if they were married yet when they made this film, but man, it was a tediously slow soaper. Travers played a boarding school teacher in Jamaica, the students looked like they ranged from 2nd grade up to 8th grade. The headmaster,played by Alexander Knox, had a hot, younger wife, who became a “cougar” wanting to have a relationship with Travers’s teacher. Throw in a bratty girl student with lots of issues due to neglectful parents, and a beautiful small plane crash survivor, Virginia McKenna, who has to recuperate at the school’s infirmary…the story moved so slowly, I kept wondering what the director could have done to make it sizzle, to make it more interesting. Near the end of this flick, I could’ve cared less about any of the characters or how their lives would go on. At least the costumes were fine,no floating belt buckles! And we did get to see some beautiful beach shots. If TCM airs it again, don’t say you haven’t been warned!

Posted By Greg Ferrara : June 27, 2012 10:15 am

Jenni, I’ve always loved Virginia McKenna (just recently watched her again in Carve Her Name with Pride) so I’m sure it would be a frustrating watch for me, wanting it to be better.

Posted By Greg Ferrara : June 27, 2012 10:15 am

Jenni, I’ve always loved Virginia McKenna (just recently watched her again in Carve Her Name with Pride) so I’m sure it would be a frustrating watch for me, wanting it to be better.

Posted By swac44 : June 27, 2012 10:16 am

I remember being disappointed by Star Trek: The Motion Picture too, and the reason was also plot-related: it was the same plot as a second-season episode of the original show called The Changeling, where an old Earth probe called Nomad is picked up by the Enterprise, where it’s discovered that its original mission of exploration has been changed to one of destruction. I know they’re not exactly similar, but at the time it seemed like a cheat just to take an old Star Trek story and spiff it up with a new script and new special effects, when what we really wanted was more Klingons, or Romulans, or Tribbles or whatever else we loved from the show’s universe, without simply rehashing one of its lesser episodes. At least Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan took off from an older story and took it somewhere new and exciting.

This post reminds me, there’s a Johnny Weissmuller day on TCM in Aug., maybe I’ll have to rearrange my work schedule for that day…

Posted By swac44 : June 27, 2012 10:16 am

I remember being disappointed by Star Trek: The Motion Picture too, and the reason was also plot-related: it was the same plot as a second-season episode of the original show called The Changeling, where an old Earth probe called Nomad is picked up by the Enterprise, where it’s discovered that its original mission of exploration has been changed to one of destruction. I know they’re not exactly similar, but at the time it seemed like a cheat just to take an old Star Trek story and spiff it up with a new script and new special effects, when what we really wanted was more Klingons, or Romulans, or Tribbles or whatever else we loved from the show’s universe, without simply rehashing one of its lesser episodes. At least Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan took off from an older story and took it somewhere new and exciting.

This post reminds me, there’s a Johnny Weissmuller day on TCM in Aug., maybe I’ll have to rearrange my work schedule for that day…

Posted By Greg Ferrara : June 27, 2012 10:25 am

swac, there are so many episodes of TOS that could make great jumping off points for a movie. Kind of along the lines of the plots we’re talking about, The Doomsday Machine could have made a great movie.

And there is a Johnny Weismuller day coming up, which is why I had to write up Tarzan and the Amazons. Yeah, they’re all silly but, I don’t mind saying, they’re pretty enjoyable to watch.

Posted By Greg Ferrara : June 27, 2012 10:25 am

swac, there are so many episodes of TOS that could make great jumping off points for a movie. Kind of along the lines of the plots we’re talking about, The Doomsday Machine could have made a great movie.

And there is a Johnny Weismuller day coming up, which is why I had to write up Tarzan and the Amazons. Yeah, they’re all silly but, I don’t mind saying, they’re pretty enjoyable to watch.

Posted By Jeb : June 27, 2012 10:38 am

Coppola’s Dracula may have its flaws, but IMO it is a work of art compared to Kenneth Branagh’s Frankenstein. I’ve never laughed so hard at a movie that was not supposed to be funny.

Posted By Jeb : June 27, 2012 10:38 am

Coppola’s Dracula may have its flaws, but IMO it is a work of art compared to Kenneth Branagh’s Frankenstein. I’ve never laughed so hard at a movie that was not supposed to be funny.

Posted By changeling : June 27, 2012 11:28 am

I was disaòppointed by AVATAR for instance….it’s simply such an “arrogantly” overrated flick, it’s not funny!!!!! The STARTROOPER series was clumsy 2. What are the directors of these kind of crappy movies trying to do? Indoctrinate us and, if so, on what may I ask!!

Posted By changeling : June 27, 2012 11:28 am

I was disaòppointed by AVATAR for instance….it’s simply such an “arrogantly” overrated flick, it’s not funny!!!!! The STARTROOPER series was clumsy 2. What are the directors of these kind of crappy movies trying to do? Indoctrinate us and, if so, on what may I ask!!

Posted By dukeroberts : June 27, 2012 12:01 pm

Jeb- So true. What a terrible movie.

Posted By dukeroberts : June 27, 2012 12:01 pm

Jeb- So true. What a terrible movie.

Posted By Greg Ferrara : June 27, 2012 12:03 pm

changeling, I think Avatar could have been so much better if anyone other than James “Tin Ear” Cameron had written the script. He needs to develop the story and let someone else write the words because, man, he’s just no good at it.

Posted By Greg Ferrara : June 27, 2012 12:03 pm

changeling, I think Avatar could have been so much better if anyone other than James “Tin Ear” Cameron had written the script. He needs to develop the story and let someone else write the words because, man, he’s just no good at it.

Posted By Greg Ferrara : June 27, 2012 12:05 pm

Jeb and Duke: Another vote in the same column. Brannagh’s film is awful. Brannagh rushes from scene to scene with so little regard for letting anything worthwhile play out that I felt like I watched a two hour long trailer.

Posted By Greg Ferrara : June 27, 2012 12:05 pm

Jeb and Duke: Another vote in the same column. Brannagh’s film is awful. Brannagh rushes from scene to scene with so little regard for letting anything worthwhile play out that I felt like I watched a two hour long trailer.

Posted By Arthur : June 27, 2012 12:16 pm

Going off on a bit of a tangent. . .What does the first Star Trek film, the first two Alien films, Pitch Black, The Thing From Another World, Galaxy of Terror and a host of other sci fi flicks all have in common?

A band of warriors venturing out from their sanctuary into a cold, inhospitable environment to challenge and subdue a monstrous threat to all society. In fact, it is the oldest story in the English language, Beowulf.

And in many of these tales once the monster is subdued then either its parent or offspring somehow must be dealt with.

Posted By Arthur : June 27, 2012 12:16 pm

Going off on a bit of a tangent. . .What does the first Star Trek film, the first two Alien films, Pitch Black, The Thing From Another World, Galaxy of Terror and a host of other sci fi flicks all have in common?

A band of warriors venturing out from their sanctuary into a cold, inhospitable environment to challenge and subdue a monstrous threat to all society. In fact, it is the oldest story in the English language, Beowulf.

And in many of these tales once the monster is subdued then either its parent or offspring somehow must be dealt with.

Posted By Arthur : June 27, 2012 12:17 pm

Prometheus is in that vein too.

Posted By Arthur : June 27, 2012 12:17 pm

Prometheus is in that vein too.

Posted By Greg Ferrara : June 27, 2012 12:18 pm

Arthur, I’m curious to see Prometheus but will most likely wait until DVD to do so.

Posted By Greg Ferrara : June 27, 2012 12:18 pm

Arthur, I’m curious to see Prometheus but will most likely wait until DVD to do so.

Posted By Ghijath Naddaf : June 27, 2012 12:39 pm

Is there any decent Version of Jack London´s White Fang.
It´s such a great Book.
I only saw that terrible Lucio Fulci Version,that had nothing
to do with the book.

Posted By Ghijath Naddaf : June 27, 2012 12:39 pm

Is there any decent Version of Jack London´s White Fang.
It´s such a great Book.
I only saw that terrible Lucio Fulci Version,that had nothing
to do with the book.

Posted By Greg Ferrara : June 27, 2012 12:40 pm

Ghijath, I’ve read the book but never seen any movie version of it so I can’t say. Love the book, though.

Posted By Greg Ferrara : June 27, 2012 12:40 pm

Ghijath, I’ve read the book but never seen any movie version of it so I can’t say. Love the book, though.

Posted By Heidi : June 27, 2012 12:44 pm

My favorite movie that could have been so good, but wasn’t, is the Giant Claw from 1957. It is a great movie, in that it has a good story line, the science sort of makes sense, the actors do a bang up job, the plot moves-and at a good pace. The story is believable. A test pilot is flying a plane and catches sight of something. He calls it in, but no one else saw it, and on top of that antoher plane flying too ends up disappearing. No one believes his story until more planes disappear. It is something from an antimatter galaxy! A giant bird to be exact, that is terrorizing the skys of earth! The only problem with the movie is the horrible, despicable thing the studio did to the actors, which is give them a sock puppet for the giant anti matter bird.
The fist time I saw the movie I was really into it. I said to my husband, this is good! Then the bird was “caught on camera.” I changed my mind. But, the movie IS good, it is the creature that sucks. The actors were told to play it straight, the creature would be the most hrooific they could imagine. Just act horrified when you are supposed to be seeing it. Well, the picture was over budget (I guess that can happen when you have a good story and good actors) so instead of the promised Harryhausen-esque creature, they got a sock puppet. The acotrs said they snuck out of the theater in the premier because they were so horrified.
I think it would be a great movie to re-do. Up to date with a really killer monster. Give the poor people a taste of what should have been.

Posted By Heidi : June 27, 2012 12:44 pm

My favorite movie that could have been so good, but wasn’t, is the Giant Claw from 1957. It is a great movie, in that it has a good story line, the science sort of makes sense, the actors do a bang up job, the plot moves-and at a good pace. The story is believable. A test pilot is flying a plane and catches sight of something. He calls it in, but no one else saw it, and on top of that antoher plane flying too ends up disappearing. No one believes his story until more planes disappear. It is something from an antimatter galaxy! A giant bird to be exact, that is terrorizing the skys of earth! The only problem with the movie is the horrible, despicable thing the studio did to the actors, which is give them a sock puppet for the giant anti matter bird.
The fist time I saw the movie I was really into it. I said to my husband, this is good! Then the bird was “caught on camera.” I changed my mind. But, the movie IS good, it is the creature that sucks. The actors were told to play it straight, the creature would be the most hrooific they could imagine. Just act horrified when you are supposed to be seeing it. Well, the picture was over budget (I guess that can happen when you have a good story and good actors) so instead of the promised Harryhausen-esque creature, they got a sock puppet. The acotrs said they snuck out of the theater in the premier because they were so horrified.
I think it would be a great movie to re-do. Up to date with a really killer monster. Give the poor people a taste of what should have been.

Posted By Greg Ferrara : June 27, 2012 12:50 pm

Heidi, I love that movie. And the bird is kind of hilarious to look at. In fact, I’ve seen its picture used quite a bit online in a kind of winking “isn’t this so bad” way. The film’s still good but could be much better with better effects, agreed.

Posted By Greg Ferrara : June 27, 2012 12:50 pm

Heidi, I love that movie. And the bird is kind of hilarious to look at. In fact, I’ve seen its picture used quite a bit online in a kind of winking “isn’t this so bad” way. The film’s still good but could be much better with better effects, agreed.

Posted By DBenson : June 27, 2012 3:13 pm

Disney’s animated “Tarzan” may not have been true Burroughs, but it deserves credit for finding a way to plausibly tell most of the story from the gorillas’ angle.

But as a frustrated writer, I look at a lot of movies and think, if only . . .
– If only Steve Martin could have risked making “Roxanne” closer to the original Cyrano de Bergerac, instead of removing all the danger and heartbreak.
– If only the Disney people didn’t hedge their bets with cute comedy in “Hunchback of Notre Dame.”
– If only Robert Altman got that “Popeye” is SUPPOSED to be unreal and unnaturalistic.
– If only “The Boy Friend” didn’t have such a sarcastic attitude towards itself.
– If only a whole bunch of movies were written the way I would have written them. This includes Three Stooges features.

Posted By DBenson : June 27, 2012 3:13 pm

Disney’s animated “Tarzan” may not have been true Burroughs, but it deserves credit for finding a way to plausibly tell most of the story from the gorillas’ angle.

But as a frustrated writer, I look at a lot of movies and think, if only . . .
– If only Steve Martin could have risked making “Roxanne” closer to the original Cyrano de Bergerac, instead of removing all the danger and heartbreak.
– If only the Disney people didn’t hedge their bets with cute comedy in “Hunchback of Notre Dame.”
– If only Robert Altman got that “Popeye” is SUPPOSED to be unreal and unnaturalistic.
– If only “The Boy Friend” didn’t have such a sarcastic attitude towards itself.
– If only a whole bunch of movies were written the way I would have written them. This includes Three Stooges features.

Posted By Tom S : June 27, 2012 3:40 pm

Avatar would have been better if every single thing about the plotting and storyline had been different, the dialog I can live with

Posted By Tom S : June 27, 2012 3:40 pm

Avatar would have been better if every single thing about the plotting and storyline had been different, the dialog I can live with

Posted By Arthur : June 27, 2012 3:56 pm

Basically, everyone is saying how they would have made a particular movie differently. But as the saying goes, hindsight is 20-20. They have been doing focus groups on films, aka previews, as far back as Gone With the Wind if not before. And films are often changed after the preview to make it more marketable, but still no one can accurately predict a hit or a miss.

All that being said, the Hindenburg was terrible. And Gray Lady Down about a submarine in peril starring Charlton Heston was pretty clunky. As for Star Trek, when it was first on TV it gathered a small, rabid follwing in the years leading up to the moon landing. And when it was removed, a movement was immediately launched to bring it back to the tube. The lords of TV stubbornly refused to do so. Eventually, though, it made it to the big screen.

I think the problem with the film is that it was written too self-consciously. Whereas the TV series had truly “gone where none had gone before, in that it was the first hour long space opera, the film was a typical Hollywood establishment attempt to manufacture a blockbuster based on a past success. Hence, it suffered from what is today a common Hollywood ailment, sequelitis!

Posted By Arthur : June 27, 2012 3:56 pm

Basically, everyone is saying how they would have made a particular movie differently. But as the saying goes, hindsight is 20-20. They have been doing focus groups on films, aka previews, as far back as Gone With the Wind if not before. And films are often changed after the preview to make it more marketable, but still no one can accurately predict a hit or a miss.

All that being said, the Hindenburg was terrible. And Gray Lady Down about a submarine in peril starring Charlton Heston was pretty clunky. As for Star Trek, when it was first on TV it gathered a small, rabid follwing in the years leading up to the moon landing. And when it was removed, a movement was immediately launched to bring it back to the tube. The lords of TV stubbornly refused to do so. Eventually, though, it made it to the big screen.

I think the problem with the film is that it was written too self-consciously. Whereas the TV series had truly “gone where none had gone before, in that it was the first hour long space opera, the film was a typical Hollywood establishment attempt to manufacture a blockbuster based on a past success. Hence, it suffered from what is today a common Hollywood ailment, sequelitis!

Posted By dukeroberts : June 27, 2012 4:37 pm

Avatar would have been better if the plotting, storyline and dialogue had been different.

Posted By dukeroberts : June 27, 2012 4:37 pm

Avatar would have been better if the plotting, storyline and dialogue had been different.

Posted By dukeroberts : June 27, 2012 4:41 pm

A new Star Trek series was to be the cornerstone of a new Paramount television network in the mid to late 70′s. The network idea fell through, but the new Star Trek series blossomed into the Star Trek film franchise.

Posted By dukeroberts : June 27, 2012 4:41 pm

A new Star Trek series was to be the cornerstone of a new Paramount television network in the mid to late 70′s. The network idea fell through, but the new Star Trek series blossomed into the Star Trek film franchise.

Posted By AL : June 27, 2012 5:49 pm

and don’t forget the X-FILES movies! and the awful film version of HAZEL FLAGG.
like the man said: Instead of re-making Classics (which usually turn out to be feeble disasters), why not take the Failures, correct their mistakes, and give us what Should have been…AL

Posted By AL : June 27, 2012 5:49 pm

and don’t forget the X-FILES movies! and the awful film version of HAZEL FLAGG.
like the man said: Instead of re-making Classics (which usually turn out to be feeble disasters), why not take the Failures, correct their mistakes, and give us what Should have been…AL

Posted By Arthur : June 27, 2012 6:31 pm

AL I think that that is what they did with The Hulk. dukeroberts, yes, “franchise.” Just the use of that term implies cynical mediocrity not artistry. Before James Bond there were very few sequels, now they appear a staple of American cinema.

Posted By Arthur : June 27, 2012 6:31 pm

AL I think that that is what they did with The Hulk. dukeroberts, yes, “franchise.” Just the use of that term implies cynical mediocrity not artistry. Before James Bond there were very few sequels, now they appear a staple of American cinema.

Posted By Anonymous : June 27, 2012 6:38 pm

Imho, if an American movie delivers lots of money to the production company, then there will be sequels. I really think the creativity needed to make wonderful films has taken a hit due to the ease of just making a sequel. Jaws was a huge blockbuster at the box office, yet a well-crafted movie. However, the sequels weren’t so great, especially that one with Michael Caine in it-the paycheck offered must have been too good to refuse, yet the sequels were still made. It’s like that old saying about going to back to the watering trough too many times, eventually it will be empty.

Posted By Anonymous : June 27, 2012 6:38 pm

Imho, if an American movie delivers lots of money to the production company, then there will be sequels. I really think the creativity needed to make wonderful films has taken a hit due to the ease of just making a sequel. Jaws was a huge blockbuster at the box office, yet a well-crafted movie. However, the sequels weren’t so great, especially that one with Michael Caine in it-the paycheck offered must have been too good to refuse, yet the sequels were still made. It’s like that old saying about going to back to the watering trough too many times, eventually it will be empty.

Posted By Greg Ferrara : June 27, 2012 7:11 pm

Dbenson, I watched Roxanne again recently (last four months or so) and was pretty unimpressed. I liked it fine when it came up but it dated pretty badly. It seems like a throwaway romcom now so I guess I wish, too, that he’d got a little darker.

Posted By Greg Ferrara : June 27, 2012 7:11 pm

Dbenson, I watched Roxanne again recently (last four months or so) and was pretty unimpressed. I liked it fine when it came up but it dated pretty badly. It seems like a throwaway romcom now so I guess I wish, too, that he’d got a little darker.

Posted By Greg Ferrara : June 27, 2012 7:14 pm

Basically, everyone is saying how they would have made a particular movie differently.

Well, that’s not what I’m doing or the intention of the post. I’m not saying, “I liked Jaws but here’s what I would have done differently.” I’m saying there’s a general consensus that these movies failed and I’m trying to figure out why.

I think the problem with the film is that it was written too self-consciously.

That’s exactly right. It was all stoic reverence and hero-worship which, thankfully, went away for the second installment when we got back to some wonderful ham acting and the characters as they were on the show.

Posted By Greg Ferrara : June 27, 2012 7:14 pm

Basically, everyone is saying how they would have made a particular movie differently.

Well, that’s not what I’m doing or the intention of the post. I’m not saying, “I liked Jaws but here’s what I would have done differently.” I’m saying there’s a general consensus that these movies failed and I’m trying to figure out why.

I think the problem with the film is that it was written too self-consciously.

That’s exactly right. It was all stoic reverence and hero-worship which, thankfully, went away for the second installment when we got back to some wonderful ham acting and the characters as they were on the show.

Posted By Greg Ferrara : June 27, 2012 7:16 pm

Duke, on the making of doc on the DVD for Star Trek: The Motion Picture (the main reason to get the DVD, by the way – and yes, I’ve gotten plenty of DVDs just for the extras, not for the movie) they show several tests for the tv show pilot. I know they were only tests but, damn, they looked weak.

Posted By Greg Ferrara : June 27, 2012 7:16 pm

Duke, on the making of doc on the DVD for Star Trek: The Motion Picture (the main reason to get the DVD, by the way – and yes, I’ve gotten plenty of DVDs just for the extras, not for the movie) they show several tests for the tv show pilot. I know they were only tests but, damn, they looked weak.

Posted By Greg Ferrara : June 27, 2012 7:21 pm

Arthur, it’s true, sequels were never as big a deal in the golden age but they were still there, it’s just that most people thought of them as series, like The Thin Man or later with the Bond movies. It was hits like Jaws and Rocky that really got the sequel train running.

And why do they keep making The Hulk? No other comic book character has been given so many chances and never really come out on top.

Posted By Greg Ferrara : June 27, 2012 7:21 pm

Arthur, it’s true, sequels were never as big a deal in the golden age but they were still there, it’s just that most people thought of them as series, like The Thin Man or later with the Bond movies. It was hits like Jaws and Rocky that really got the sequel train running.

And why do they keep making The Hulk? No other comic book character has been given so many chances and never really come out on top.

Posted By kymeholmes : June 27, 2012 8:22 pm

Sadly, I’m pretty sure it will be a very long time before we see another big budget adaptation of Tarzan or anything else by Edgar Rice Burroughs. John Carter’s box office failure pretty much assures that.

Posted By kymeholmes : June 27, 2012 8:22 pm

Sadly, I’m pretty sure it will be a very long time before we see another big budget adaptation of Tarzan or anything else by Edgar Rice Burroughs. John Carter’s box office failure pretty much assures that.

Posted By Arthur : June 27, 2012 8:26 pm

Did not see The Hulk, but I thought the consensus was that the reboot was better.

Yes, the Thin Man movies. I think there were four of them. I like movies not TV shows because in movies anything can happen because there is no tomorrow. But in TV shows, and sequels, their episodic nature, and the imperative to preserve the stars, takes away from the excitement.

Posted By Arthur : June 27, 2012 8:26 pm

Did not see The Hulk, but I thought the consensus was that the reboot was better.

Yes, the Thin Man movies. I think there were four of them. I like movies not TV shows because in movies anything can happen because there is no tomorrow. But in TV shows, and sequels, their episodic nature, and the imperative to preserve the stars, takes away from the excitement.

Posted By tdraicer : June 27, 2012 8:39 pm

The big problem I have with Bram Stoker’s Dracula is that Stoker’s Dracula is a rapist monster not a long-lost love.

There are quite a few films I’d like to be able to re-edit, convinced I could make them better (for me anyway). Maybe one day we will all have the tools to customize films to our own tastes? (Of course, then we’ll lose a common reference point, but I’d still love to get my hands on Lynch’s Dune…)

Posted By tdraicer : June 27, 2012 8:39 pm

The big problem I have with Bram Stoker’s Dracula is that Stoker’s Dracula is a rapist monster not a long-lost love.

There are quite a few films I’d like to be able to re-edit, convinced I could make them better (for me anyway). Maybe one day we will all have the tools to customize films to our own tastes? (Of course, then we’ll lose a common reference point, but I’d still love to get my hands on Lynch’s Dune…)

Posted By Arthur : June 27, 2012 8:44 pm

Dune would have been a lot better if Sting played the lead instead of the villain. And I just saw, on youtube, where they have a version of Star Trek (1979) edited down to 67 minutes.

Posted By Arthur : June 27, 2012 8:44 pm

Dune would have been a lot better if Sting played the lead instead of the villain. And I just saw, on youtube, where they have a version of Star Trek (1979) edited down to 67 minutes.

Posted By Greg Ferrara : June 27, 2012 8:45 pm

tdraicer – Yeah, exactly. I mean, this whole Mina/Vlad as star-crossed lovers thing, I just hated it. Coppola talked and talked about how he was making the book and then he didn’t. I’m surprised he didn’t hold a press conference saying, “This movie isn’t about Bram Stoker’s Dracula. [pauses to wait for translation] This movie is Bram Stoker’s Dracula.”

tdraicer and Arthur – Dune has many problems not the least of which is that David Lynch was hoping to make more and thought he could expand further with sequels and he was working with a studio that was cutting budget and running time as he worked. It was a bad situation all around.

Posted By Greg Ferrara : June 27, 2012 8:45 pm

tdraicer – Yeah, exactly. I mean, this whole Mina/Vlad as star-crossed lovers thing, I just hated it. Coppola talked and talked about how he was making the book and then he didn’t. I’m surprised he didn’t hold a press conference saying, “This movie isn’t about Bram Stoker’s Dracula. [pauses to wait for translation] This movie is Bram Stoker’s Dracula.”

tdraicer and Arthur – Dune has many problems not the least of which is that David Lynch was hoping to make more and thought he could expand further with sequels and he was working with a studio that was cutting budget and running time as he worked. It was a bad situation all around.

Posted By Brian : June 27, 2012 10:30 pm

I remember walking out of the theater after seeing Star Trek the motion picture and being surrounded by fans who were trying to convince themselves it was good. Finally I just said “that movie stunk”! What a disappointment it was.
Years later, with the aid of two magical devices called VCRs, I edited the movie down to a watchable 50 minute “episode”, but it still bored me, just not as much.
I used this same technique on the seventh Trek movie with far better results. That actually made a decent “episode”.
Since my VCRs went the way of the dinosaur, so did my tapes…and my last looks at Trek 1 and 7.

Posted By Brian : June 27, 2012 10:30 pm

I remember walking out of the theater after seeing Star Trek the motion picture and being surrounded by fans who were trying to convince themselves it was good. Finally I just said “that movie stunk”! What a disappointment it was.
Years later, with the aid of two magical devices called VCRs, I edited the movie down to a watchable 50 minute “episode”, but it still bored me, just not as much.
I used this same technique on the seventh Trek movie with far better results. That actually made a decent “episode”.
Since my VCRs went the way of the dinosaur, so did my tapes…and my last looks at Trek 1 and 7.

Posted By Greg Ferrara : June 27, 2012 10:35 pm

Brian, I used to edit stuff down all the time. Actually, I still do on my computer. I’d never claim that what I did was better than what the filmmaker did, I was always just curious how I could make something work differently than it was done. Some results were okay, others weren’t but either way, it’s a great way to get a handle on editing and what’s absolutely important to the story and mood and what isn’t.

Posted By Greg Ferrara : June 27, 2012 10:35 pm

Brian, I used to edit stuff down all the time. Actually, I still do on my computer. I’d never claim that what I did was better than what the filmmaker did, I was always just curious how I could make something work differently than it was done. Some results were okay, others weren’t but either way, it’s a great way to get a handle on editing and what’s absolutely important to the story and mood and what isn’t.

Posted By dukeroberts : June 27, 2012 10:40 pm

Greg- You are correct sir. The clips from the proposed TV show do look weak. I have the DVD too. Actually, I have all 6 of the Kirk/Spock/Bones movies.

There were six Thin Man movies. I guess the difference between sequels and a film series is that sequels expand on the previous story, possibly? But don’t film series do that too? So was Bride of Frankenstein a sequel and Son of Frankenstein a chapter in the film series? Was Son of Kong a sequel? Were there any other Kong movies in that old series?

And if you haven’t seen The Avengers yet, they get Hulk right. He is the highlight of the movie.

Posted By dukeroberts : June 27, 2012 10:40 pm

Greg- You are correct sir. The clips from the proposed TV show do look weak. I have the DVD too. Actually, I have all 6 of the Kirk/Spock/Bones movies.

There were six Thin Man movies. I guess the difference between sequels and a film series is that sequels expand on the previous story, possibly? But don’t film series do that too? So was Bride of Frankenstein a sequel and Son of Frankenstein a chapter in the film series? Was Son of Kong a sequel? Were there any other Kong movies in that old series?

And if you haven’t seen The Avengers yet, they get Hulk right. He is the highlight of the movie.

Posted By Greg Ferrara : June 27, 2012 10:42 pm

Duke, it’s a tricky question. Certainly some sequels further the story (the Godfather, Star Wars, Back to the Future movies) while others simply take the same characters and put them in a new situation (Indiana Jones, Ripley, James Bond, Nick and Nora Charles) while still others just use the same brand name (Airport, Friday 13th). I think sequel/series is probably more interchangeable than we think.

Posted By Greg Ferrara : June 27, 2012 10:42 pm

Duke, it’s a tricky question. Certainly some sequels further the story (the Godfather, Star Wars, Back to the Future movies) while others simply take the same characters and put them in a new situation (Indiana Jones, Ripley, James Bond, Nick and Nora Charles) while still others just use the same brand name (Airport, Friday 13th). I think sequel/series is probably more interchangeable than we think.

Posted By Doug : June 27, 2012 10:45 pm

My most recent “Good plot-bad movie” came out just a few years ago:
“The Unborn”, from David S. Goyer. The film delves into the Jewish
myth of “The Dybbuk-a dead soul which possesses a live person, much like a demon.
Solid Gary Oldman performance. Odette Yustman very good as the victim/lead. Carla Guigno has a few good scenes. A strong back story which could have been the plot for a blockbuster ala “The Exorcist”.
But…
The first major problem on the DVD: all of the jump scares are shown in the opening before the credits! Why would they do that?
Also, the Dybbuk has power, then doesn’t and then at the end has the power of a demigod, able to jump from person to person.
I don’t want to spoil it (Ha!) but they perform an exorcism on a person who is the target of the Dybbuk, but isn’t possessed. It would be like Father Merrin tossing Holy water on Regan’s Mother. To drive the devil out of Linda Blair. And showing that before the opening credits.
I have the 1937 Polish/Yiddish film of “The Dybbuk” and it is much better, closer to the original myth. That could be remade!

Posted By Doug : June 27, 2012 10:45 pm

My most recent “Good plot-bad movie” came out just a few years ago:
“The Unborn”, from David S. Goyer. The film delves into the Jewish
myth of “The Dybbuk-a dead soul which possesses a live person, much like a demon.
Solid Gary Oldman performance. Odette Yustman very good as the victim/lead. Carla Guigno has a few good scenes. A strong back story which could have been the plot for a blockbuster ala “The Exorcist”.
But…
The first major problem on the DVD: all of the jump scares are shown in the opening before the credits! Why would they do that?
Also, the Dybbuk has power, then doesn’t and then at the end has the power of a demigod, able to jump from person to person.
I don’t want to spoil it (Ha!) but they perform an exorcism on a person who is the target of the Dybbuk, but isn’t possessed. It would be like Father Merrin tossing Holy water on Regan’s Mother. To drive the devil out of Linda Blair. And showing that before the opening credits.
I have the 1937 Polish/Yiddish film of “The Dybbuk” and it is much better, closer to the original myth. That could be remade!

Posted By Greg Ferrara : June 27, 2012 10:46 pm

Doug, I never saw The Unborn but, wow, does it sound all over the place! I think I’ll give it a pass.

Posted By Greg Ferrara : June 27, 2012 10:46 pm

Doug, I never saw The Unborn but, wow, does it sound all over the place! I think I’ll give it a pass.

Posted By dukeroberts : June 27, 2012 10:47 pm

The Director’s Cut really is alot better.

Posted By dukeroberts : June 27, 2012 10:47 pm

The Director’s Cut really is alot better.

Posted By Cary Watson : June 27, 2012 11:11 pm

I’ll nominate John Carpenter’s They Live. Great concept of aliens controlling society through advertising, but the execution was terrible. A ludicrous amount of time was spent showing Rowdy Roddy Piper beating the tar out of people. At times I felt the title should have been changed to John Carpenter’s Wrestlemania. Speaking of Robert Wise, he did a great job with The Haunting. Here’s a link to a piece I did on it at my blog.

http://www.jettisoncocoon.com/2012/05/film-review-haunting-1963.html

Posted By Cary Watson : June 27, 2012 11:11 pm

I’ll nominate John Carpenter’s They Live. Great concept of aliens controlling society through advertising, but the execution was terrible. A ludicrous amount of time was spent showing Rowdy Roddy Piper beating the tar out of people. At times I felt the title should have been changed to John Carpenter’s Wrestlemania. Speaking of Robert Wise, he did a great job with The Haunting. Here’s a link to a piece I did on it at my blog.

http://www.jettisoncocoon.com/2012/05/film-review-haunting-1963.html

Posted By Christopher : June 28, 2012 2:53 am

I love Tarzan and The Amazons in its mythical style,its closer to Burroughs , than the MGMs .It would make an interesting remake .While I love it as is,House Of Dracula(Universal 1945) is a concept that could make it as an elborate production…All the famous monsters converging on a good doctors(a good christian doctor as hinted at in the original film)house at once,weary of their ways and seeking a cure.His blood saves them,their blood drives him mad..so a sacrifice is made..

Posted By Christopher : June 28, 2012 2:53 am

I love Tarzan and The Amazons in its mythical style,its closer to Burroughs , than the MGMs .It would make an interesting remake .While I love it as is,House Of Dracula(Universal 1945) is a concept that could make it as an elborate production…All the famous monsters converging on a good doctors(a good christian doctor as hinted at in the original film)house at once,weary of their ways and seeking a cure.His blood saves them,their blood drives him mad..so a sacrifice is made..

Posted By Greg Ferrara : June 28, 2012 8:52 am

Cary, I too like parts of They Live and not so much other parts. The setup feels too long and behind the dumpster fight scene with Roddy and Keith is ludicrously long. Also, if you need special glasses to see the message then how does it have any effect on you without them? Human eyes reflect visible light and see along that very narrow spectrum. If we can’t see it without the aid of special glasses that reveal the message, we can’t see it, period. And if the answer is some pseudo-science mumbo jumbo about how we take it in subconsciously then why don’t we also take in the horrific visage of the aliens subconsciously? Just like the signs, they’re visible with the glasses. So if the signs have an effect on us without directly seeing them, how come the aliens’ horrifying appearance doesn’t? And talk about a long buildup for a rushed, quickie, blow-everything up ending. I was quite disappointed.

Posted By Greg Ferrara : June 28, 2012 8:52 am

Cary, I too like parts of They Live and not so much other parts. The setup feels too long and behind the dumpster fight scene with Roddy and Keith is ludicrously long. Also, if you need special glasses to see the message then how does it have any effect on you without them? Human eyes reflect visible light and see along that very narrow spectrum. If we can’t see it without the aid of special glasses that reveal the message, we can’t see it, period. And if the answer is some pseudo-science mumbo jumbo about how we take it in subconsciously then why don’t we also take in the horrific visage of the aliens subconsciously? Just like the signs, they’re visible with the glasses. So if the signs have an effect on us without directly seeing them, how come the aliens’ horrifying appearance doesn’t? And talk about a long buildup for a rushed, quickie, blow-everything up ending. I was quite disappointed.

Posted By Greg Ferrara : June 28, 2012 8:53 am

Christopher, in my article for Tarzan and the Amazons I mention how it’s probably closer in spirit to Burroughs than a lot of other stuff. I do so wish John Carter hadn’t been marketed so badly, we might have a good Tarzan coming out soon otherwise.

Posted By Greg Ferrara : June 28, 2012 8:53 am

Christopher, in my article for Tarzan and the Amazons I mention how it’s probably closer in spirit to Burroughs than a lot of other stuff. I do so wish John Carter hadn’t been marketed so badly, we might have a good Tarzan coming out soon otherwise.

Posted By Arthur : June 28, 2012 9:22 am

I agree “They Live” was an excellent idea that really was executed poorly. The mention of John Carpenter made me think of his remake of The Thing. It made my skin crawl. I could not watch it. And as for the Godfather, did anyone see the Italian film Mafioso (1968). Godfather II borrowed heavily from it and got all the attention but Mafioso, I felt, was a much better movie.

Posted By Arthur : June 28, 2012 9:22 am

I agree “They Live” was an excellent idea that really was executed poorly. The mention of John Carpenter made me think of his remake of The Thing. It made my skin crawl. I could not watch it. And as for the Godfather, did anyone see the Italian film Mafioso (1968). Godfather II borrowed heavily from it and got all the attention but Mafioso, I felt, was a much better movie.

Posted By dukeroberts : June 28, 2012 10:16 am

I can only think of two John Carpenter movies that I’ve actually liked: Elvis and Halloween. So many people love The Thing, Escape from New York and Big Trouble in Little China. I do not.

Posted By dukeroberts : June 28, 2012 10:16 am

I can only think of two John Carpenter movies that I’ve actually liked: Elvis and Halloween. So many people love The Thing, Escape from New York and Big Trouble in Little China. I do not.

Posted By Bruce : June 28, 2012 11:43 am

What about every Lovecraft adaptation? I have yet to see anything that even approaches the quality of the orignal stories. Most of them are so changed from the source, they are unrecognizable.
I also had the exact same experience as Greg with The Hindenburg,the very first film to be shown in a brand new Budco theater (two screens & surround sound!) that had just opened in our town.

Posted By Bruce : June 28, 2012 11:43 am

What about every Lovecraft adaptation? I have yet to see anything that even approaches the quality of the orignal stories. Most of them are so changed from the source, they are unrecognizable.
I also had the exact same experience as Greg with The Hindenburg,the very first film to be shown in a brand new Budco theater (two screens & surround sound!) that had just opened in our town.

Posted By Ghijath Naddaf : June 28, 2012 12:29 pm

Assault on Precint 13 was his Masterpiece ,in my opinion.
But i also can´t get the love for “They live”or “Big Trouble…”

Posted By Ghijath Naddaf : June 28, 2012 12:29 pm

Assault on Precint 13 was his Masterpiece ,in my opinion.
But i also can´t get the love for “They live”or “Big Trouble…”

Posted By Juana Maria : June 28, 2012 1:12 pm

Duke Roberts:When I watched “Escape From New York” for the first time it was after the Sept.11,2001 terrosts attacks in NYC. I kept thinking about the Twin Towers and how they feature so prominately in the film,that the terrorist attack a plane. I know there have been a lot of terrorist movies over the years,but until the 9/11 attacks I never took the seriously enough. I feel that certain movies almost predicted what was so to happen in the future. With movies such as “Suddenly” and “the Manchurian Canadate” both with Frank Sinatra,they foreshadowed what was to occur with the JFK asassination.Of course,I watch “Escape from NY” for Lee Van Cleef and Isaac Hayes,because they were so cool. It’s funny some of the movies I was aching to see,after I saw them I was really disappointed,”Titanic” for example,once Leo Mania died down,so did my interest in that film! There are plenty of other movies that I now love that I thought I wouldn’t. Sometimes there are movies that are awful and you can’t think of any nice things you say about them. Some movies are so bad that they are actually good! They are the stuff MST3K makes fun of,and righly so.No,not all movies are perfect,some are just to make us feel good. Some don’t make us feel good at all,I remember reading this article about the really depressing movies that were out for a time,the person labeled them:”Vodka and razorblades”. Hey,if a movie is really bad–walk away,turn it off,or just remember it is all just a movie,unless of course it is based on real events. Not all movies are for all people. We can choose what we like.
Greg Ferrara:I am glad I am not the only one who thinks certain movies could’ve been better if done a different way. Thanks for the article.
Brian:VCRs have not totally “gone the way of the dinosaurs”. I’ll have you know we have a DVD/VCR player in out living room. We used to have about 2 or 3 VCRs at one point but the stupid things break and it is just cheaper to get a new DVD player than have such ancient tech repaired! Oh!The looks the girl gave us at the store when we mentioned our VCR broke.”No one has those anymore!” Wrong! We do.

Posted By Juana Maria : June 28, 2012 1:12 pm

Duke Roberts:When I watched “Escape From New York” for the first time it was after the Sept.11,2001 terrosts attacks in NYC. I kept thinking about the Twin Towers and how they feature so prominately in the film,that the terrorist attack a plane. I know there have been a lot of terrorist movies over the years,but until the 9/11 attacks I never took the seriously enough. I feel that certain movies almost predicted what was so to happen in the future. With movies such as “Suddenly” and “the Manchurian Canadate” both with Frank Sinatra,they foreshadowed what was to occur with the JFK asassination.Of course,I watch “Escape from NY” for Lee Van Cleef and Isaac Hayes,because they were so cool. It’s funny some of the movies I was aching to see,after I saw them I was really disappointed,”Titanic” for example,once Leo Mania died down,so did my interest in that film! There are plenty of other movies that I now love that I thought I wouldn’t. Sometimes there are movies that are awful and you can’t think of any nice things you say about them. Some movies are so bad that they are actually good! They are the stuff MST3K makes fun of,and righly so.No,not all movies are perfect,some are just to make us feel good. Some don’t make us feel good at all,I remember reading this article about the really depressing movies that were out for a time,the person labeled them:”Vodka and razorblades”. Hey,if a movie is really bad–walk away,turn it off,or just remember it is all just a movie,unless of course it is based on real events. Not all movies are for all people. We can choose what we like.
Greg Ferrara:I am glad I am not the only one who thinks certain movies could’ve been better if done a different way. Thanks for the article.
Brian:VCRs have not totally “gone the way of the dinosaurs”. I’ll have you know we have a DVD/VCR player in out living room. We used to have about 2 or 3 VCRs at one point but the stupid things break and it is just cheaper to get a new DVD player than have such ancient tech repaired! Oh!The looks the girl gave us at the store when we mentioned our VCR broke.”No one has those anymore!” Wrong! We do.

Posted By Jenni : June 28, 2012 1:43 pm

In it’s funky way, I have to like Escape from NY because they filmed it where I used to live near, St. Louis! One of only a few movie claim to fames for that city, in having a film made there.

Posted By Jenni : June 28, 2012 1:43 pm

In it’s funky way, I have to like Escape from NY because they filmed it where I used to live near, St. Louis! One of only a few movie claim to fames for that city, in having a film made there.

Posted By DBenson : June 28, 2012 3:34 pm

Seriously, is there really such a thing as a BAD story idea (as opposed to offensive or over-familiar)? A lot of great films sound lame in synopsis:

– Prospectors nearly starve and slide over cliff in lonely cabin (comedy)
– Bar owner improbably runs into ex-lover and her husband in exotic outpost.
– Sheriff has doubts about meeting guys who want to kill him.
– Captain bears grudge against specific whale (drama)
– Crazy opera fan lives in sewer.
– People recall rich publisher was a real jerk.
– Voyeur with binoculars watches even creepier neighbor.
– Farmgirl hallucinates two fake men, a talking lion and lots of midgets
– Southern belle ticked off by disinterested man, arrogant man, and Civil War

Posted By DBenson : June 28, 2012 3:34 pm

Seriously, is there really such a thing as a BAD story idea (as opposed to offensive or over-familiar)? A lot of great films sound lame in synopsis:

– Prospectors nearly starve and slide over cliff in lonely cabin (comedy)
– Bar owner improbably runs into ex-lover and her husband in exotic outpost.
– Sheriff has doubts about meeting guys who want to kill him.
– Captain bears grudge against specific whale (drama)
– Crazy opera fan lives in sewer.
– People recall rich publisher was a real jerk.
– Voyeur with binoculars watches even creepier neighbor.
– Farmgirl hallucinates two fake men, a talking lion and lots of midgets
– Southern belle ticked off by disinterested man, arrogant man, and Civil War

Posted By dukeroberts : June 28, 2012 3:45 pm

Let’s be PC about this, DBenson. “Farmgirl hallucinates two fake men, a talking lion and lots of ‘little people’”. There. That’s better. :)

Posted By dukeroberts : June 28, 2012 3:45 pm

Let’s be PC about this, DBenson. “Farmgirl hallucinates two fake men, a talking lion and lots of ‘little people’”. There. That’s better. :)

Posted By Richard Harland Smith : June 29, 2012 3:29 pm

Ha ha… look at that dork behind Uhura. What a dork!

Posted By Richard Harland Smith : June 29, 2012 3:29 pm

Ha ha… look at that dork behind Uhura. What a dork!

Posted By Juana Maria : June 29, 2012 6:22 pm

Richard Harland Smith:Your comment is directed at Duke Roberts isn’t? Him and all those who love Captain Kirk! Personally,I think Captain Kirk is not the greatest captain there ever was for any story! Hey! At least Captain Ahab was going to give his men that big coin! As for men in navies throughout history,they have to serve their captains or mutiny like they did on “the Bounty”. DBenson,is behind the times,they prefer to be called little people. I’m short too,and I don’t want to be called a midget!I’m 4’9″ so I feel them.I know exactly what movies DBenson is talking about even without their titles! They are:”The Gold Rush”(Charlie Chaplin);”Casablanca”;”High Noon”;”Moby Dick”;”Phantom of the Opera”;”Citizen Kane”;”Rear Window”;”The Wizard of Oz”&”Gone With the Wind”. I’m a film fan,what else can I say.

Posted By Juana Maria : June 29, 2012 6:22 pm

Richard Harland Smith:Your comment is directed at Duke Roberts isn’t? Him and all those who love Captain Kirk! Personally,I think Captain Kirk is not the greatest captain there ever was for any story! Hey! At least Captain Ahab was going to give his men that big coin! As for men in navies throughout history,they have to serve their captains or mutiny like they did on “the Bounty”. DBenson,is behind the times,they prefer to be called little people. I’m short too,and I don’t want to be called a midget!I’m 4’9″ so I feel them.I know exactly what movies DBenson is talking about even without their titles! They are:”The Gold Rush”(Charlie Chaplin);”Casablanca”;”High Noon”;”Moby Dick”;”Phantom of the Opera”;”Citizen Kane”;”Rear Window”;”The Wizard of Oz”&”Gone With the Wind”. I’m a film fan,what else can I say.

Posted By SergioM : June 29, 2012 6:57 pm

I was talking to some friends about this idea films with great premises bur are undone bad execution and the two off the top of my head that I would pick are, first, The Long Ships directed by Jack Cardiff with Sidney Poitier and badly miscast Richard Widmark. Great idea about a Moor and Viking after a lost treasure. Great premise but terrible movie. Simple minded and shoddy with practically no action. And did I mention Lionel Jeffries as the eunuch in blackface? I wish I could remake that film.

The other would be Stuart Rosenberg’s The Laughing Policeman with Walter Matthau. Great opening scene with a guy coming on board a bus and killing everyone with a machine gun. After that the film gets very routine and tiring with no mystery. The killer and reason why he did it is solved out pretty early in the film though it doesn’t make whole lot of sense. Wish I could remake that film too

Posted By SergioM : June 29, 2012 6:57 pm

I was talking to some friends about this idea films with great premises bur are undone bad execution and the two off the top of my head that I would pick are, first, The Long Ships directed by Jack Cardiff with Sidney Poitier and badly miscast Richard Widmark. Great idea about a Moor and Viking after a lost treasure. Great premise but terrible movie. Simple minded and shoddy with practically no action. And did I mention Lionel Jeffries as the eunuch in blackface? I wish I could remake that film.

The other would be Stuart Rosenberg’s The Laughing Policeman with Walter Matthau. Great opening scene with a guy coming on board a bus and killing everyone with a machine gun. After that the film gets very routine and tiring with no mystery. The killer and reason why he did it is solved out pretty early in the film though it doesn’t make whole lot of sense. Wish I could remake that film too

Posted By Greg Ferrara : June 29, 2012 10:22 pm

Juana Maria, thank you. And Duke, I like Escape from New York and The Thing but I’m glad you mentioned Elvis because that’s a really good biopic that feels mostly forgotten now, and it shouldn’t be.

Posted By Greg Ferrara : June 29, 2012 10:22 pm

Juana Maria, thank you. And Duke, I like Escape from New York and The Thing but I’m glad you mentioned Elvis because that’s a really good biopic that feels mostly forgotten now, and it shouldn’t be.

Posted By Greg Ferrara : June 29, 2012 10:24 pm

Dbenson, I agree. A great writer, director and actors can pull together even the lamest of plots and make it work.

Posted By Greg Ferrara : June 29, 2012 10:24 pm

Dbenson, I agree. A great writer, director and actors can pull together even the lamest of plots and make it work.

Posted By Greg Ferrara : June 29, 2012 10:25 pm

Ha ha… look at that dork behind Uhura. What a dork!

I’m thinking, “Why’s there an Andorian in the crew?” [far right]

Posted By Greg Ferrara : June 29, 2012 10:25 pm

Ha ha… look at that dork behind Uhura. What a dork!

I’m thinking, “Why’s there an Andorian in the crew?” [far right]

Posted By Greg Ferrara : June 29, 2012 10:26 pm

Sergio, I’ve always been curious to watch The Laughing Policeman. Kind of still do now just to see that opening scene. Never heard much about it otherwise, which would confirm that it wasn’t executed very well.

Posted By Greg Ferrara : June 29, 2012 10:26 pm

Sergio, I’ve always been curious to watch The Laughing Policeman. Kind of still do now just to see that opening scene. Never heard much about it otherwise, which would confirm that it wasn’t executed very well.

Posted By SergioM : June 30, 2012 7:22 am

It is available on DVD. I’m sure you can get it cheap ftom Ebay

Posted By SergioM : June 30, 2012 7:22 am

It is available on DVD. I’m sure you can get it cheap ftom Ebay

Posted By Juana Maria : June 30, 2012 7:25 am

Greg Ferrara:Thank you for writing me and you’re welcome! I like “Escape From New York” not for the terrorists of course,but for Lee Van Cleef! People don’t talk about him enough as far as I’m concerned. Being a “Trekkie” I too noticed the Andorian in the crowd! Uhura has always been so lovely in my opinion,the actress Nichelle Nichols is a very beautiful woman,and I have seen her in other films besides “Star Trek” movies. Such as “Mr. Buddwing”,”Snow Dogs”,and “Are We There Yet?”. As for the “The Laughing Policeman”,I don’t want to watch people being machine gunned on a bus! You said it wasn’t executed very well,I would say the people on the bus were executed very well.(Frown) :(

Posted By Juana Maria : June 30, 2012 7:25 am

Greg Ferrara:Thank you for writing me and you’re welcome! I like “Escape From New York” not for the terrorists of course,but for Lee Van Cleef! People don’t talk about him enough as far as I’m concerned. Being a “Trekkie” I too noticed the Andorian in the crowd! Uhura has always been so lovely in my opinion,the actress Nichelle Nichols is a very beautiful woman,and I have seen her in other films besides “Star Trek” movies. Such as “Mr. Buddwing”,”Snow Dogs”,and “Are We There Yet?”. As for the “The Laughing Policeman”,I don’t want to watch people being machine gunned on a bus! You said it wasn’t executed very well,I would say the people on the bus were executed very well.(Frown) :(

Posted By Arthur : June 30, 2012 4:56 pm

BTW in Escape From New York the female terrorist on the plane looks just like Patty Hearst and one of the president’s advisors is a dead ringer for Richard Nixon. And yes Van Cleef was pretty good in that film.

Posted By Arthur : June 30, 2012 4:56 pm

BTW in Escape From New York the female terrorist on the plane looks just like Patty Hearst and one of the president’s advisors is a dead ringer for Richard Nixon. And yes Van Cleef was pretty good in that film.

Posted By jbryant : July 1, 2012 1:20 am

Greg: THE LAUGHING POLICEMAN is definitely worth a look, flaws and all. It plays beautifully for a good hour or so, then gets a bit bogged down as the solution to the mystery starts coming together. I love the long sequence near the beginning of the cops and medical examiner investigating the scene of a bus massacre. It smacks of reality, as does a subsequent hospital scene. Throughout, Rosenberg maintains a dense soundtrack of overlapping dialogue and ambient sound that’s quite reminiscent of Altman. Some of that dialogue is perhaps more banal than necessary, but it’s in keeping with the realistic tone. Walter Matthau (still chewing that stick of gum from CHARLEY VARRICK) is typically great, and Bruce Dern steals the show.

I once had an idea for remaking ATTACK OF THE 50 FOOT WOMAN, but Christopher Guest beat me to it.

Posted By jbryant : July 1, 2012 1:20 am

Greg: THE LAUGHING POLICEMAN is definitely worth a look, flaws and all. It plays beautifully for a good hour or so, then gets a bit bogged down as the solution to the mystery starts coming together. I love the long sequence near the beginning of the cops and medical examiner investigating the scene of a bus massacre. It smacks of reality, as does a subsequent hospital scene. Throughout, Rosenberg maintains a dense soundtrack of overlapping dialogue and ambient sound that’s quite reminiscent of Altman. Some of that dialogue is perhaps more banal than necessary, but it’s in keeping with the realistic tone. Walter Matthau (still chewing that stick of gum from CHARLEY VARRICK) is typically great, and Bruce Dern steals the show.

I once had an idea for remaking ATTACK OF THE 50 FOOT WOMAN, but Christopher Guest beat me to it.

Posted By Richard Harland Smith : July 1, 2012 1:41 am

“Why’s there an Andorian in the crew?”

He was there for the job fair that morning.

Posted By Richard Harland Smith : July 1, 2012 1:41 am

“Why’s there an Andorian in the crew?”

He was there for the job fair that morning.

Posted By dukeroberts : July 1, 2012 2:04 am

I thought he was there for the free Romulan ale and lemon poppyseed scones.

Posted By dukeroberts : July 1, 2012 2:04 am

I thought he was there for the free Romulan ale and lemon poppyseed scones.

Posted By Greg Ferrara : July 1, 2012 9:42 pm

Hello everyone. Been without power and internet for days now. Only sporadic cell service. Thanks for comments, hope I can respond at length soon.

Posted By Greg Ferrara : July 1, 2012 9:42 pm

Hello everyone. Been without power and internet for days now. Only sporadic cell service. Thanks for comments, hope I can respond at length soon.

Posted By robbushblog : July 1, 2012 11:47 pm

dukeroberts and robbushblog are one and the same. WordPress will no longer allow me to post comments as dukeroberts. Boo on them.

Posted By robbushblog : July 1, 2012 11:47 pm

dukeroberts and robbushblog are one and the same. WordPress will no longer allow me to post comments as dukeroberts. Boo on them.

Posted By Juana Maria : July 2, 2012 10:51 am

Duke Roberts:Romulanian ale and lemon poppyseed scones! Sounds good to me! I love poppyseeds! Back to the good plot,bad movie theme, I can think of a couple of Westerns that were near to impossible to watch:”Billy the Kid” with Robert Taylor,those eyebrows are just not Billy the Kid to me. There is “Yellow Tomahawk” with Lee Van Cleef,the only reason I watched it in the first place! Then,there are “Broken Arrow”,”Drums Along the Mohawk” and a lot of let’s kill all the Indians we can movies. Not a good plot at all! If it weren’t for my favorite actors being in one of those movies I wouln’t watch them ever!

Posted By Juana Maria : July 2, 2012 10:51 am

Duke Roberts:Romulanian ale and lemon poppyseed scones! Sounds good to me! I love poppyseeds! Back to the good plot,bad movie theme, I can think of a couple of Westerns that were near to impossible to watch:”Billy the Kid” with Robert Taylor,those eyebrows are just not Billy the Kid to me. There is “Yellow Tomahawk” with Lee Van Cleef,the only reason I watched it in the first place! Then,there are “Broken Arrow”,”Drums Along the Mohawk” and a lot of let’s kill all the Indians we can movies. Not a good plot at all! If it weren’t for my favorite actors being in one of those movies I wouln’t watch them ever!

Posted By Juana Maria : July 2, 2012 4:13 pm

I’m such a Trekkie for knowing this,but on “Star Trek”,the Federation considers Romulian ale to be illegal. Now that doesn’t mean “Star Trek” characters don’t drink it,even those who wear Federation uniforms,you just don’t tell everyone. It’s sort of like how people make and drink moonshine in this country. People drink it,you just don’t tell everybody about it! I have often wonder what was in those glasses on the show. Blue Kool-ade? The Cardassians have some kind of liquor too. I know the Klingons drink,probably something nasty.

Posted By Juana Maria : July 2, 2012 4:13 pm

I’m such a Trekkie for knowing this,but on “Star Trek”,the Federation considers Romulian ale to be illegal. Now that doesn’t mean “Star Trek” characters don’t drink it,even those who wear Federation uniforms,you just don’t tell everyone. It’s sort of like how people make and drink moonshine in this country. People drink it,you just don’t tell everybody about it! I have often wonder what was in those glasses on the show. Blue Kool-ade? The Cardassians have some kind of liquor too. I know the Klingons drink,probably something nasty.

Posted By robbushblog : July 2, 2012 9:34 pm

Actually, I believe Broken Arrow is the opposite of a “Let’s kill all the Indians” movie. It’s about a man trying to make peace between whites and Indians.

Posted By robbushblog : July 2, 2012 9:34 pm

Actually, I believe Broken Arrow is the opposite of a “Let’s kill all the Indians” movie. It’s about a man trying to make peace between whites and Indians.

Posted By Juana Maria : July 3, 2012 9:58 am

Robbushblog:A thousand pardons! You are right! I meant “Blood on the Arrow”,sorry there are a lot of Westerns with the word arrow in them. I have literaly watched hundreds of Westerns by now and it is easy to get confused with the titles. Thanks for the correction. Are you a Native too?

Posted By Juana Maria : July 3, 2012 9:58 am

Robbushblog:A thousand pardons! You are right! I meant “Blood on the Arrow”,sorry there are a lot of Westerns with the word arrow in them. I have literaly watched hundreds of Westerns by now and it is easy to get confused with the titles. Thanks for the correction. Are you a Native too?

Posted By Juana Maria : July 3, 2012 10:16 am

To those who were talking about”The Laughing Policeman”. I checked it out on YouTube. They have a trailer for it. I skipped the part were there is the massacre. I saw Bruce Dern in the clip. He had a big mustache and looked like Jason Lee from “My Name is Earl”. Didn’t he? Anyway,besides watching that trailer,it is not likely I would waste more than a few minutes to watch that film!

Posted By Juana Maria : July 3, 2012 10:16 am

To those who were talking about”The Laughing Policeman”. I checked it out on YouTube. They have a trailer for it. I skipped the part were there is the massacre. I saw Bruce Dern in the clip. He had a big mustache and looked like Jason Lee from “My Name is Earl”. Didn’t he? Anyway,besides watching that trailer,it is not likely I would waste more than a few minutes to watch that film!

Posted By Greg Ferrara : July 3, 2012 3:04 pm

Wait, now I have to start calling you Rob instead of Duke? Why is wordpress not letting you post as Duke anymore? Did you say something about its mother? You did, didn’t you? What did I tell you about that? [shakes head]

Posted By Greg Ferrara : July 3, 2012 3:04 pm

Wait, now I have to start calling you Rob instead of Duke? Why is wordpress not letting you post as Duke anymore? Did you say something about its mother? You did, didn’t you? What did I tell you about that? [shakes head]

Posted By robbushblog : July 3, 2012 7:30 pm

Yes. Yes I did. You know how I get sometimes. I start hurling insults at mommas left and right. WordPress is very bitter. You can still call me Duke though. There’s no harm, no foul in doing that.

Posted By robbushblog : July 3, 2012 7:30 pm

Yes. Yes I did. You know how I get sometimes. I start hurling insults at mommas left and right. WordPress is very bitter. You can still call me Duke though. There’s no harm, no foul in doing that.

Posted By Arthur : July 5, 2012 8:45 am

Broken Arrow eventually became a TV show.

Posted By Arthur : July 5, 2012 8:45 am

Broken Arrow eventually became a TV show.

Posted By robbushblog : July 5, 2012 9:12 am

Juana- I think it was a great-great grandmother on my dad’s side who was Sioux. We’ve been told there was some Cherokee back a ways as well, but we haven’t been able to verify that yet.

Posted By robbushblog : July 5, 2012 9:12 am

Juana- I think it was a great-great grandmother on my dad’s side who was Sioux. We’ve been told there was some Cherokee back a ways as well, but we haven’t been able to verify that yet.

Posted By Juana Maria : July 5, 2012 9:31 am

Robbushblog(or Duke):Osiyo! That’s Cherokee for hello. I’m part Cherokee but very proud of that! In my heart I am a Cherokee!

Posted By Juana Maria : July 5, 2012 9:31 am

Robbushblog(or Duke):Osiyo! That’s Cherokee for hello. I’m part Cherokee but very proud of that! In my heart I am a Cherokee!

Posted By SergioM : July 5, 2012 10:12 am

@ Juana

A bit too sensitive are we?

Posted By SergioM : July 5, 2012 10:12 am

@ Juana

A bit too sensitive are we?

Posted By xweaponx : July 5, 2012 9:22 pm

As I said in the other Blog: Robert Wise? Good Director, but he was never handed a viable property with ST:TMP. It was just a hash of half-written scripts. The reason why the 2009 version fared better, especially with fans, was that over 30 years of Trek was referred to, and used.

There were no qualified writers for ST:TMP, but in the new version they used the same World Building that has made the recent FRINGE story arcs so interesting- Not that time paradoxes had not been used in all Trek television shows, but in those cases the timeline is always returned back to “Normal”- what if, for once, it was not? And so they are able to write hundreds, thousands of new stories out of the original.

Posted By xweaponx : July 5, 2012 9:22 pm

As I said in the other Blog: Robert Wise? Good Director, but he was never handed a viable property with ST:TMP. It was just a hash of half-written scripts. The reason why the 2009 version fared better, especially with fans, was that over 30 years of Trek was referred to, and used.

There were no qualified writers for ST:TMP, but in the new version they used the same World Building that has made the recent FRINGE story arcs so interesting- Not that time paradoxes had not been used in all Trek television shows, but in those cases the timeline is always returned back to “Normal”- what if, for once, it was not? And so they are able to write hundreds, thousands of new stories out of the original.

Posted By robbushblog : July 5, 2012 9:57 pm

I liked the 2009 Star Trek, but I also think it was a little “Star Wars-ized”. Kid is raised by uncle, never knowing his father. He yearsn for something more. He becomes a leader in a respected galactic academy or order very quickly. He even encounters a giant Yeti-like creature on a snowy planet before meeting a wise, old teacher with pointy ears. I think there are more similarities, but I can’t remember them right now. Oh wait! The home planet of one of the main characters is destroyed. The villain has something to do with the death of the lead’s father. Okay. That should do for now.

Posted By robbushblog : July 5, 2012 9:57 pm

I liked the 2009 Star Trek, but I also think it was a little “Star Wars-ized”. Kid is raised by uncle, never knowing his father. He yearsn for something more. He becomes a leader in a respected galactic academy or order very quickly. He even encounters a giant Yeti-like creature on a snowy planet before meeting a wise, old teacher with pointy ears. I think there are more similarities, but I can’t remember them right now. Oh wait! The home planet of one of the main characters is destroyed. The villain has something to do with the death of the lead’s father. Okay. That should do for now.

Posted By Greg Ferrara : July 6, 2012 7:55 pm

Duke, I never really gave the new Star Trek plot much thought but, hey, there are a few Star Wars parallels there. I hope the next one has a little less action but I know that’s a foolish hope. I just want them to be more like the shows and less like the latest action/adventure.

Posted By Greg Ferrara : July 6, 2012 7:55 pm

Duke, I never really gave the new Star Trek plot much thought but, hey, there are a few Star Wars parallels there. I hope the next one has a little less action but I know that’s a foolish hope. I just want them to be more like the shows and less like the latest action/adventure.

Posted By Arthur : July 6, 2012 9:28 pm

BTW the spaceship in 2001, which came out in 1968, was profoundly different from the Spaceship Enterprise in Star Trek which premiered in 1966. The Enterprise had the smooth, sleek lines of the spaceships in the ’50s scifi flicks, while the spaceship in 2001 was more modular looking. Star Wars took that style even further, and all sci films since seem to follow in that trend with all sorts of attachments and protruberances on the hull. Hence, the Enterprise in the first Star Trek movie, despite all the time the camera spent admiring it, actually looked “outmoded,” so to speak.

Posted By Arthur : July 6, 2012 9:28 pm

BTW the spaceship in 2001, which came out in 1968, was profoundly different from the Spaceship Enterprise in Star Trek which premiered in 1966. The Enterprise had the smooth, sleek lines of the spaceships in the ’50s scifi flicks, while the spaceship in 2001 was more modular looking. Star Wars took that style even further, and all sci films since seem to follow in that trend with all sorts of attachments and protruberances on the hull. Hence, the Enterprise in the first Star Trek movie, despite all the time the camera spent admiring it, actually looked “outmoded,” so to speak.

Posted By robbushblog : July 7, 2012 11:43 pm

I’ll take the Enterprise over any other spaceship, with the possible exception being the Millennium Falcon. I mean, it did the Kessel run in less than 12 parsecs, for cryin’ out loud!

Greg- I hope that the new movie will be more like one of the old episodes too. Hopefully there will be less of an accent on the action/adventure and more on the relationships between the crew and a more interesting story. Of course, Star Trek: Insurrection was like a really long episode and it was pretty boring, but that was a movie based on the far more inferior Next Generation show and its weak sauce captain. :)

Posted By robbushblog : July 7, 2012 11:43 pm

I’ll take the Enterprise over any other spaceship, with the possible exception being the Millennium Falcon. I mean, it did the Kessel run in less than 12 parsecs, for cryin’ out loud!

Greg- I hope that the new movie will be more like one of the old episodes too. Hopefully there will be less of an accent on the action/adventure and more on the relationships between the crew and a more interesting story. Of course, Star Trek: Insurrection was like a really long episode and it was pretty boring, but that was a movie based on the far more inferior Next Generation show and its weak sauce captain. :)

Posted By Greg Ferrara : July 11, 2012 8:00 am

Of course, Star Trek: Insurrection was like a really long episode and it was pretty boring, but that was a movie based on the far more inferior Next Generation show and its weak sauce captain. :)

[looks at bait... ponders response. agrees Insurrection is really boring... walks away from bait to face off another day]

Posted By Greg Ferrara : July 11, 2012 8:00 am

Of course, Star Trek: Insurrection was like a really long episode and it was pretty boring, but that was a movie based on the far more inferior Next Generation show and its weak sauce captain. :)

[looks at bait... ponders response. agrees Insurrection is really boring... walks away from bait to face off another day]

Posted By Muriel : July 25, 2012 11:44 am

Coppola’s Dracula: I watched it because it was supposed to be “faithful” to the book and I’d read the original book a few times. I turned it off after 30 minutes. I only stuck with it that long out of disbelief. Old fashioned gothic horror and big budget technicolor just don’t go along. (That’s aside from the crazy interpretation.) The reason the 1931 movie “Dracula” works, even if it has little to do with the Stoker’s book, is the black and white photography. Gothic Horror is a black and white world, not a color world. Same goes for all those mummy movies, ghost stories like “The Uninvited”.

Posted By Muriel : July 25, 2012 11:44 am

Coppola’s Dracula: I watched it because it was supposed to be “faithful” to the book and I’d read the original book a few times. I turned it off after 30 minutes. I only stuck with it that long out of disbelief. Old fashioned gothic horror and big budget technicolor just don’t go along. (That’s aside from the crazy interpretation.) The reason the 1931 movie “Dracula” works, even if it has little to do with the Stoker’s book, is the black and white photography. Gothic Horror is a black and white world, not a color world. Same goes for all those mummy movies, ghost stories like “The Uninvited”.

Posted By swac44 : July 25, 2012 12:17 pm

I’d say Hammer Studios did pretty well by portraying Gothic horror in colour, although I find their films have a unique approach to colour photography that is distinctly their own. Kind of muted, at least until the claret starts flowing. I’ve only seen a couple of them projected in 35mm (a lovely print of Countess Dracula comes to mind), but wish I’d had more opportunities to see them theatrically.

Posted By swac44 : July 25, 2012 12:17 pm

I’d say Hammer Studios did pretty well by portraying Gothic horror in colour, although I find their films have a unique approach to colour photography that is distinctly their own. Kind of muted, at least until the claret starts flowing. I’ve only seen a couple of them projected in 35mm (a lovely print of Countess Dracula comes to mind), but wish I’d had more opportunities to see them theatrically.

Posted By Ghijath Naddaf : July 25, 2012 12:40 pm

Well,now i saw Twins of Evil.
What a great Fun Movie.
I always saw the Hammer Gothic´s less as Horror Movies,
but as brilliant Pieces of 60th and 70th Pop Art.
The only Hammer Movie that scares me when i was a Kid,
and still gives me the Creeps today,is the Jimmy Sangster written,and Seth Holt directed “Scream of Fear”.
For me the sariest Hammer Movie,and a Horror Masterpiece.

Posted By Ghijath Naddaf : July 25, 2012 12:40 pm

Well,now i saw Twins of Evil.
What a great Fun Movie.
I always saw the Hammer Gothic´s less as Horror Movies,
but as brilliant Pieces of 60th and 70th Pop Art.
The only Hammer Movie that scares me when i was a Kid,
and still gives me the Creeps today,is the Jimmy Sangster written,and Seth Holt directed “Scream of Fear”.
For me the sariest Hammer Movie,and a Horror Masterpiece.

Posted By Ghijath Naddaf : July 25, 2012 12:42 pm

Sorry,wrong thread.

Posted By Ghijath Naddaf : July 25, 2012 12:42 pm

Sorry,wrong thread.

Posted By robbushblog : July 25, 2012 2:13 pm

Muriel- You will no doubt be excited to know that NBC will be airing a Dracula series sometime next year starring Jonathan Rhys Myers as a whiny, lovesick Drac looking for revenge on somebody or something somewhere. It should be….blech….Twilighty, probably.

Posted By robbushblog : July 25, 2012 2:13 pm

Muriel- You will no doubt be excited to know that NBC will be airing a Dracula series sometime next year starring Jonathan Rhys Myers as a whiny, lovesick Drac looking for revenge on somebody or something somewhere. It should be….blech….Twilighty, probably.

Posted By bOb : March 31, 2013 7:58 pm

Greg. I enjoyed your article and the commentary that follows. I wasn’t going to add to the comments until I saw where you panned Greystoke The legend Of Tarzan. Holy smoke! I thought I was the only one in the world who didn’t like it. At least among those who generally like Tarzan movies. The first 30 minutes or so I liked, it was Burroughsian, then it began to go downhill and when they got to London, the rest was a disaster. Christopher Lambert is one of the worst choices to play Tarzan that I have ever seen.
Tarzan and the Amazons is an enjoyable Tarzan picture, but I always thought how much better it would have been if they had added a sequence at the end having Tarzan rescue everybody in the arena, fighting a lion, like Burroughs often wrote in his Tarzan books. The Amazons in the hidden city must have had an arena where they sentenced intruders and lawbreakers to death at the claws and talons of lions. Don’t all lost cities have one?

Posted By bOb : March 31, 2013 7:58 pm

Greg. I enjoyed your article and the commentary that follows. I wasn’t going to add to the comments until I saw where you panned Greystoke The legend Of Tarzan. Holy smoke! I thought I was the only one in the world who didn’t like it. At least among those who generally like Tarzan movies. The first 30 minutes or so I liked, it was Burroughsian, then it began to go downhill and when they got to London, the rest was a disaster. Christopher Lambert is one of the worst choices to play Tarzan that I have ever seen.
Tarzan and the Amazons is an enjoyable Tarzan picture, but I always thought how much better it would have been if they had added a sequence at the end having Tarzan rescue everybody in the arena, fighting a lion, like Burroughs often wrote in his Tarzan books. The Amazons in the hidden city must have had an arena where they sentenced intruders and lawbreakers to death at the claws and talons of lions. Don’t all lost cities have one?

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