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Patrick Swenson
Posted on Sunday, July 24, 2005 - 08:40 pm:   

Okay, here's the deal. I'm listing some of the SF summer movies below. You've been told (by someone who has the power to back it up) that you MUST sit through ONE of the ones you haven't seen, regardless of the long-term effects on your psyche, under penalty of death...or something. Which one would it be, and why? Lucius, could be tough one for you. :-)

WAR OF THE WORLDS
BATMAN BEGINS
STEALTH
THE ISLAND
FANTASTIC FOUR

That's all you get to choose from...
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Steve Parker
Posted on Sunday, July 24, 2005 - 08:53 pm:   

Well, I thought The War of the Worlds was the biggest missed opportunity ever (see my posting in the What You're Reading topic).

I thought Batman Begins was 'the dog's bollocks' (means 'awesome') - I got very swept up in it.

That leaves Stealth, The Island and Fantastic Four. Sooooo...

I'll go with The Island. I've read mixed reviews, but they lean towards the positive. Ewan McGregor is my countryman so I should support his efforts. And apparently it's action-packed. :-)
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mastadge
Posted on Monday, July 25, 2005 - 09:12 am:   

I've seen none of them, so far.

I've no interest in War of the Worlds. I don't like Cruise, and I don't care for much of anything Spielberg's done in the past couple decades.

I am interested in Batman Begins, being a comic book geek and all, but I have yet to care for anything from Christopher Nolan.

Stealth I have the least interest in of any of them.

Fantastic Four are characters for whom I've never cared much, and the previews pretty much sucked. Really have no interest.

The Island . . . well, Michael Bay is hardly among my favorite directors -- no grasp of character or plot, and seemingly unable to hold a camery steady for any more than a second and rarely that long -- but at least he knows how to blow things up impressively. If I'm going to have to spend a couple hours of my life watching a pointless movie, it may as well have fairly attractive leads and pretty visual effects. In other words, I'd rather watch pointless pyrotechnics by Michael Bay than by almost any other director.

So I'll go with The Island.
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kathy s
Posted on Monday, July 25, 2005 - 01:09 pm:   

I think I'll take death rather than see any of those.
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James M. Pfundstein
Posted on Monday, July 25, 2005 - 02:43 pm:   

I enjoyed _Manbat Begins_ but I wish (a.) that the makers of the Manbat movies would settle on one antagonist per movie and, you know, have a plot, and (b.) that Christopher Nolan's face did not display such a dopey expression at rest. It was a relief when he put that mask on.

I also enjoyed _War of the Worlds_, so my standards are obviously grievously low. Its resemblance to _Wild Strawberries_ or _La Dolce Vita_ was not marked, but I didn't expect anything else. It was certainly than the old George Pal opus, and its biggest problem (a civilization this advanced hasn't discovered antibiotics?) is hard-wired into the source material.

When I was a kid I enjoyed the Fantastic Four comics, but not in a very serious way. I felt the same way about the movie. And so did my kids (who charitably accompanied me)-- except for the enjoyment part.

I'll probably go to _The Island_, if only to see a discussion about biotechnology more sophisticated than anything I'm likely to see on C-SPAN.

Having seen the trailer for _Stealth_ I already feel like I've seen the movie. Actually, I feel like I've already seen the movie several times, but I'm having that experience a lot this summer.

JM("Monca Vita")P
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Patrick Swenson
Posted on Monday, July 25, 2005 - 10:17 pm:   

All right, Kathy, death is yours. :-)
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Patrick Swenson
Posted on Wednesday, August 03, 2005 - 12:39 pm:   

Okay, who saw Willy Wonka? Thoughts? I had higher hopes for it (maybe because of Tim Burton), but I really didn't like it that much. The new Oompas (played by one actor) drove me crazy. I thought there'd be no singing and chorus-line Oompa numbers. And I really didn't like Depp's take on Wonka. TOO out there.

I did enjoy the additions, the material from the book left out of the original movie.
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Jim Van Pelt
Posted on Saturday, October 01, 2005 - 08:52 pm:   

I saw Serenity tonight. Since I'm a fan of Firefly, I really hoped it would measure up, and it did. It's straightforward space opera with that weird Western/Asian tang. Lots of funny lines, good characters, interesting plot, drama, surprises, and the opportunity for sequels.
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Patrick Swenson
Posted on Monday, October 03, 2005 - 12:35 am:   

It's one of the best SF movies I've seen in a loooong time. Yes, I was a fan of FIREFLY too, but I think it's very accessible to non-fans. They'll become fans soon enough after this one!
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Nancy Jane Moore
Posted on Monday, October 10, 2005 - 09:28 am:   

Here's another rave for Serenity, one of the best movies of any kind I've seen in awhile. I was also a Firefly fan, so I was pretty much holding my breath. I wasn't sure it was possible to do what made the show good in a two-hour movie, but they pulled it off. And I agree with Patrick that non-Firefly fans should be able to follow it, though I do wonder if all the character development comes through if you don't already know the characters. It's hard to do enough of everyone in an ensemble cast in two hours. The non-Firefly-fan reviewers seem happy, though.

Much as I enjoyed it, I would still have preferred five years of Firefly -- 100 hours of story as opposed to two hours, especially since Joss Whedon is the master at using the series format of television to tell nice long stories. But obviously he can make a good movie, too.

Nancy
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Patrick Swenson
Posted on Monday, October 10, 2005 - 12:59 pm:   

Absolutely, Nancy! Definitely would've preferred the series to go on. But maybe the series can return somehow? Or other long projects...a miniseries, or more feature films...

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Chris East
Posted on Wednesday, October 12, 2005 - 05:57 pm:   

Serenity was excellent--actually, I liked it better than the series. Whedon's shows tended to really hit their stride in the second season; since Firefly didn't get a second season, I expect he put a lot of the projected material for later episodes into Serenity, and it really gives you an idea of how amazing Firefly could have been. Oh well...when will the networks learn?

Chris
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Patrick Swenson
Posted on Friday, October 14, 2005 - 12:10 am:   

Agree, Chris. When will the networks also learn not to put good genre shows on Friday nights opposite Sci-Fi Channels Friday lineup of SF? Kiss of death.
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Lou Sytsma
Posted on Monday, October 17, 2005 - 07:41 am:   

Serenity rocked. I weep at the thought of Lucas having let Whedon do a dialogue polish on the Prequel Trilogy.
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Jim Van Pelt
Posted on Monday, October 17, 2005 - 09:17 am:   

It's almost hard to picture a STAR WARS movie with Whedonesque dialogue in it. The mind reels (in a good way).
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Patrick Swenson
Posted on Friday, October 21, 2005 - 01:04 pm:   

Ha, Jim! How amazing would that have been?!

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