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BS: Ten films that got it wrong

Victor in Mapperton 21 Mar 08 - 05:40 PM
autolycus 21 Mar 08 - 05:47 PM
Little Hawk 21 Mar 08 - 05:51 PM
Sorcha 21 Mar 08 - 05:53 PM
PoppaGator 21 Mar 08 - 05:54 PM
GUEST,lox 21 Mar 08 - 06:00 PM
Little Hawk 21 Mar 08 - 06:13 PM
Leadfingers 21 Mar 08 - 06:14 PM
Victor in Mapperton 21 Mar 08 - 06:24 PM
Rapparee 21 Mar 08 - 06:31 PM
John on the Sunset Coast 21 Mar 08 - 06:52 PM
John on the Sunset Coast 21 Mar 08 - 06:55 PM
Victor in Mapperton 21 Mar 08 - 06:57 PM
Slag 21 Mar 08 - 07:06 PM
John on the Sunset Coast 21 Mar 08 - 07:27 PM
McGrath of Harlow 21 Mar 08 - 07:27 PM
Victor in Mapperton 21 Mar 08 - 07:57 PM
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Subject: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Victor in Mapperton
Date: 21 Mar 08 - 05:40 PM

Found this, thought it may be of interest. So what other films got it wrong ?

10,000 B.C.
Director Roland Emmerich is usually a stickler for realism (sending a computer virus via Macintosh to aliens in Independence Day). So we hate to inform him that woolly mammoths were not, in fact, used to build pyramids.Woolly mammoths weren't even found in the desert. They wouldn't need to be woolly if that were the case. And there weren't any pyramids in Egypt until 2,500 B.C or so.


Gladiator
Emperor Commodus was not the snivelling sister-obsessed creep portrayed in the movie. A violent alcoholic, sure, but not so whiny. He ruled ably for over a decade rather than ineptly for a couple months. He also didn't kill his father, Marcus Aurelius, who actually died of chickenpox. And instead of being killed in the gladiatorial arena, he was murdered in his bathtub.


300
Though this paean to ancient moral codes and modern physical training is based on the real Battle of Thermopylae, the film takes many stylistic liberties. The most obvious one being Persian king Xerxes was not an 8-foot-tall Cirque du Soleil reject. The Spartan council was made up of men over the age of 60, with no one as young as Theron (played by 37-year-old Dominic West). And the warriors of Sparta went into battle wearing bronze armor, not just leather Speedos.


The Last Samurai
The Japanese in the late 19th century did hire foreign advisers to modernize their army, but they were mostly French, not American. Ken Watanabe's character was based on the real Saigo Takamori who committed ritual suicide, or "seppuku," in defeat rather than in a volley of Gatling gun fire. Also, it's doubtful that a 40-something alcoholic Civil War vet, even one with great hair, would master the chopsticks much less the samurai sword.


Apocalypto
This one movie has given entire Anthropology departments migraines. Sure the Maya did have the odd human sacrifice but not to Kulkulkan, the Sun God, and only high-ranking captives taken in battle were killed. The conquistadors arriving at the end of the film made for unlikely saviours: an estimated 90% of indigenous American population was killed by smallpox from the infected Spanish pigs.


Memoirs of a Geisha
The geisha coming-of-age, called "mizuage," was really more of a makeover, where she changed her hairstyle and clothes. It didn't involve her getting... intimate with a client. In the climatic scene where Sayuri wows Gion patrons with her dancing prowess, her routine - which involves some platforms shoes, fake snow, and a strobe light - seems more like a Studio 54 drag show that anything in pre-war Kyoto.


Braveheart
Let's forget the fact that kilts weren't worn in Scotland until about 300 years after William Wallace's day and just do some simple maths. According to the movie, Wallace's blue-eyed charm at the Battle of Falkirk was so overpowering, he seduced King Edward II's wife, Isabella of France, and the result of their affair was Edward III. But according to the history books, Isabella was three years old at the time of Falkirk, and Edward III was born seven years after Wallace died.


Elizabeth: The Golden Age
In 1585, when the movie takes place, Queen Elizabeth was 52 years old - Cate Blanchett was 36 when she shot the film - and was not being courted by suitors like Ivan the Terrible (who was dead by then). And though the movie has her rallying the troops at Tilbury astride a white steed in full armour with a sword, in fact she rode side saddle, carrying a baton. She was more of a regal majorette than Joan of Arc.


The Patriot
Revolutionary War figure Francis "The Swamp Fox" Marion was the basis for Mel Gibson's character, but he wasn't the forward-thinking family man they show in the flick. He was a slave owner who didn't get married (to his cousin) until after the war was over. Historians also say that he actively persecuted and murdered native Cherokees. Plus, the climatic Battle of Guilford Court House where he vanquishes his British nemesis? In reality, the Americans lost that one.


2001: A Space Odyssey
According to this film, in year 2001 we would have had manned voyages to Jupiter, a battle of wits with a sentient computer, and a quantum leap in human evolution. Instead we got the Mir Space Station falling from the sky, Windows XP, and Freddy Got Fingered. Apparently the lesson here is that sometimes it's better when the movies get the facts all wrong.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: autolycus
Date: 21 Mar 08 - 05:47 PM

i recall having a conversation with a host at talksport (UK commercial radio station) [when it was still called talkradio].

he was insisting that people could legitimately learn history from Hollywood films. He wasn't having it when I said that they are not supposed to be historically accurate.

As I'm not at heart an American-basher, I don't pursue that thought with arguments - don't want to be misunderstood.

Ivor


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Little Hawk
Date: 21 Mar 08 - 05:51 PM

The only thing that really surprised me on your list was that Roland Emmerich was not responsible for ALL of it.

After all, he made Independence Day and I still think it was about the worst movie I have ever seen. Period. No mistake that man made would surprise me.

I didn't know about the kilts, though.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Sorcha
Date: 21 Mar 08 - 05:53 PM

Ben-Hur, 10 Commandments, The Robe....I could go on.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: PoppaGator
Date: 21 Mar 08 - 05:54 PM

Nice list of insights. "2001" is my favorite.

The most recent "historical fiction" film I saw was "The Other Bolyn Girl." I've read that it features many inaccuracies, but I don't know exactly what was true and what was false. I love to see a ctrique of thisd film similar to the ten listed above.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: GUEST,lox
Date: 21 Mar 08 - 06:00 PM

Film Starring Errol Flynn and (yup) Ronald Reagan in which they play US army cavalry bluecoats, whose job it is to heroically round up the Brown Family, in particular that notorious terrorist John Brown, for causing all that trouble over a few slaves ...

Of course they win and of course they are representing American values and not capitulating to extremists ...

And they may well have set the benchmark for the hearty healthy swarthy manly grin in the process.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Little Hawk
Date: 21 Mar 08 - 06:13 PM

The German admiral Gunther Lutjens was portrayed as a fanatical and sycophantic Nazi and Hitler-worshipper in the 1960 film "Sink the Bismark". Although the film was quite fair and accurate in most respects, it was dead wrong in its loopy portrayal of the supposed fanatic Nazi Gunther Lutjens. In real life Lutjens was pretty much the diametrical opposite of the man portrayed in the movie. He was simply a capable and loyal career soldier in the German navy, a rational and reasonable man who did his duty as best he could under the Nazis but harkened back to a previous age in Germany, and he was not a very enthusiastic Nazi-backer (he went out of his way to protect the lives of a number of Jewish people that he knew or who were in his general vicinity during the war). He was no Nazi fanatic. It is a shame that the movie slandered an honorable man in the way it did.

The revision of his character was probably done so that English and American audiences would feel some emotional satisfaction in seeing a great ship and over 2,000 men go down to death and destruction in the cold, cruel sea.

They erred, I think. It would have been an emotionally much more gripping film if the deaths and the courage on both sides had been dealt with as what they were: not political events, but the terrible tragedies that happen to brave young men on both sides of a conflict in time of war.

They got some other little details wrong here and there. The explosion and sinking of the Hood was impressively done, but not too accurate in a visual sense...as they did not show the ship breaking in two before it sank. They just showed some large explosions, a hell of a lot of smoke...and then no Hood in sight anywhere. The real ship took over 1 minute to slip beneath the waves following the fatal hit that blew up its rear ammunition magazines, and its forward hull towered skyward like a tall building before it sank...a dramatic sight which one wonders how they could possibly have neglected to put in the movie!

They showed at least one smaller British ship, a destroyer, getting sunk by the Bismark the night before the final battle. That never happened.

Again, it was probably done to imbue the audience with a greater sense of urgency that the Bismark must be sunk ASAP.

They didn't (in my opinion) give enough lines to the Bismark's captain Lindemann...another good naval officer who happened to have the bad luck to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, but did the best he could under the circumstances.

These are minor points of criticism, however. On the whole the movie "Sink the Bismark" was exceedingly well done, and mostly quite accurate as well...rather typical of most British war films of that era.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Leadfingers
Date: 21 Mar 08 - 06:14 PM

Just about ALL the Hollywood films about the Second World War - Clark Gable in Burma - An American ship getting the Enigma machine etc etc etc .


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Victor in Mapperton
Date: 21 Mar 08 - 06:24 PM

What about the ten worst films ever made !

My list.
Pearl Harbor.
Batman and Robin.
Cocktail.
Apollo 13.
Aliens.
Saving Private Ryan.
Titanic.
Gangs of New York.
Waterworld.
Pretty Woman.

Well that's coming from someone who's favourite list includes the original "League of Gentlemen" with Jack Hawkins. "Thunderbolt and Lightfoot" and "The Lavender Hill Mob".


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Rapparee
Date: 21 Mar 08 - 06:31 PM

I don't think it's the point of movies to get it right. The point of movies is entertainment. Look at "10,000,000 BC" -- Farah Fawcett looks fetching in a brief leather costume, but Homo was not yet Neanderthalis, much less Sapiens, back then AND dinosaurs were long extinct.

I could go on, but I'll only give a few more examples: Birth of a Nation; Tora, Tora, Tora; In Harm's Way; Sands of Iwo Jima; Apocalypse Now; Full Metal Jacket; The Longest Day; The Alamo; El Cid; Lion In Winter; A Man For All Seasons....

Some of these are very very good movies, but they are not factual history. They are entertainment.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: John on the Sunset Coast
Date: 21 Mar 08 - 06:52 PM

At last someone got it right. All of these historical films (and I'm surprised no one mentioned 1940's 'One Million BC') are entertainments, not documentaries. License is taken for dramatic effect. If you want history, read a book on the subject. Thank you, Rapaire.

BTE, I believe the move you are referring to is 1966 movie "1 million Years B.C." starring Raquel Welch, altho' Farrah would have been good too.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: John on the Sunset Coast
Date: 21 Mar 08 - 06:55 PM

Last line again:
BTW, I believe the movie you are referring to is the 1966 movie....


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Victor in Mapperton
Date: 21 Mar 08 - 06:57 PM

Good point. They do entertain, but the younger generation today read less books (which tend to record history with a little more accuracy) and tend to acquire their historic knowledge from the silver screen (or DVD)

It takes as long to include the historical facts as it does to create glamorous lies !


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Slag
Date: 21 Mar 08 - 07:06 PM

Wow! This thread is like a great big giant bulls eye painted on the broad wall INSIDE the barn! Can't miss. A better question would be "When did Hollywood ever get it right?" Answer:   seldom!

re 2001: A Space Odd-at-sea (or Idiocy, etc.). Well, 2001 AD has come and gone and here we sit Earthside and the only people in space are just a handful of scientist aboard a low orbit laboratory. And yet the movie did get somethings right and for that I applaud them. Sound in space? There is none. No air ( the medium ), no sound! That was one of the most glaring error of the Star Wars series. Ridiculous spaceships that sound like jet fighters for the most part, replete with Doppler effect and all. When they turned they didn't pivot as you would in space, they banked as you would against a wall of thick atmosphere. On and on. The glaring errors are too numerous to mention.

And in regards to human presence in space, do any of you remember the X- program? The Bell X-1 and 2 which showed the way beyond the sound barrier and culminated with the X-15 rocket plane? It was launched from a high flying B-52 and reached a top altitude of 50+ miles? That's IS space brother! It just didn't attain orbital velocity. Do we remember who those pilots were? Sad and why? All because Eisenhower (the original PC'er) didn't want the taint of the military on the fledgling space program. Remember the stupid Vanguard program? Explosion after ridiculous explosion trying to get a US satellite into orbit all the while the Jupiter C and other capable rockets of the military, tried and true, were kept out of the picture. When the ridicule of Ike became so great in the World press, he finally relented and allowed the Jupiter to take our first satellite into orbit. And even then, like a petulant child, Ike continued on with the Vanguard ( not really a civilian-sounding name is it?) throwing millions into it until they finally got it to place an object into orbit. And then the program was scrapped.

Do any of you remember the X-20 "Dyno-Soar"? It was a proposed space shuttle of the early 1960's using technology derived from the X-15. That got scrapped because it was essentially military. Well, this may be big time thread drift but the point I'm trying to make in this little rant is that but for idiots like Eisenhower we WOULD have had a presence on the Moon and possibly even Mars by the mid 90's. Should I mention the moanings from the "Great Society" which decried the exorbitant cost of our Apollo program (which amounted to about $5.oo from every American citizen). No, I thought not. Well, 2001: A Space Odyssey got it RIGHT. It's just that America didn't.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: John on the Sunset Coast
Date: 21 Mar 08 - 07:27 PM

Victor, it is not the fault of filmmakers that (young) people don't read as much as those of the past...but that's another discussion.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 21 Mar 08 - 07:27 PM

They are entertainment.

But there's no clear line between entertainment and propaganda. Birth of a Nation had some very powerful results, for example in giving the Klu Klux Klan a new lease of life.

I don't see 10,000 BC having any equivalent effects, but there are still films where it matters that they should be basically truthful.

So far as woolly mammoths go, it might be nonsense, but it's not self-contradictory nonsense to have them in Egypt. after all, elephants aren't native to England, and I've seen a good few here in my time. And the car I drive was made in France.

Though if they'd wanted to use pachyderms to build pyramids a few thousand years early, there were still elephants in North Africa in those days, who would have been easier to obtain.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Victor in Mapperton
Date: 21 Mar 08 - 07:57 PM

Yes I fully understand the point your making John, but in my opinion (not that it's worth a lot) I do feel if a film maker goes to the bother of taking a major event in history which the majority of us are aware of it tends to lead you to believe it's going to be a reasonably accurate account. they should tell it as it happened, if not then give it another title.
I enjoyed JFK ad Nixon, I felt both were reasonably accurate.

There will be a block buster within the next decade recalling the events of September the eleventh 2001. I imagine it will be a historically accurate account of the events of that day. (I know a few low budget films have already been made about it) directors know people today do expect more than they did a decade ago.

Hope this makes sense to you !


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Little Hawk
Date: 21 Mar 08 - 07:59 PM

10 WORST films ever??? That's tough. I can only go on what I've actually seen, and I've probably managed to avoid seeing the 10 worst.

Well...of those I have seen, how about for a start...

Independence Day
Pretty Woman
Heaven's Gate
Pearl Harbour
Godzilla (I mean the one that was set in New York where he doesn't even look like the traditional Godzilla at all...man was it AWFUL!!!)
The Alamo (John Wayne's attempt to do the story)
The Postman (has to be sat through in its entirety to be believed...)

Titanic? In one way (the blasted love story) it was one of the worst movies ever. On the other hand, it was a rather good technical rendition of the ship hitting the iceberg and sinking and all that...so I can't call it one of the 10 worst films ever...just not one of the best either.

I liked Gangs of New York. Liked it just fine.

Quest for Fire was pretty clumsy in some respects, but not a total waste of time...

I liked Aliens too.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Maryrrf
Date: 21 Mar 08 - 08:08 PM

"The New World" starring Colin Farrel as Captain John Smith (the story is set in Jamestown) potrays a romance between John Smith and a very sexy and voluptuous Pocahontas which according to all evidence was not the case. She was a little girl of around 10 years old when she supposedly saved Smith's life when he visited the Indian settlement. There is no indication that they were ever lovers.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Victor in Mapperton
Date: 21 Mar 08 - 08:29 PM

Just a thought, what about a thread "Ten World Leaders who got it wrong"

Only thinking out loud.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Micca
Date: 21 Mar 08 - 08:35 PM

One of THE GREATEST balls ups is .....
Ta Da


" Krakatoa, East of Java"......


EVERYONE knows that Krakatoa is WEST of Java!!!!!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Big Mick
Date: 21 Mar 08 - 08:39 PM

Here is one of the best essays on the real history of the kilt that I have seen. So many things in the Celtic/Gaelic history of Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and England are subject to what we want them to be as opposed to what they were. I include the dress, the customs, the religious practices, and the druids in this. These films just entertain based on what the public wants to believe of the times.

All the best,

Mick


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Victor in Mapperton
Date: 21 Mar 08 - 08:51 PM

Excellent article. I once heard the Scots who are renowned for the bagpipes actually copied them from the Irish. And the Irish who are famed for the harp actually copied the French.

I have probably got this wrong as I usually do, so no shouting at me please, I stand to be corrected.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 21 Mar 08 - 09:12 PM

Victor, did you get up on the wrong side of the bed today? Does anyone actually take movies seriously? Not very often. Schindler's List, maybe. Most of them, no. Go reread what Rapaire said earlier. He got it right.

They do entertain, but the younger generation today read less books (which tend to record history with a little more accuracy) and tend to acquire their historic knowledge from the silver screen (or DVD)

That's quite a broad generalization, and I have to respond: Not the young people in my house, or a lot of houses. I've taught my kids to view these critically and not accept whole what they're viewing. Their friends seem to have picked up the same message at home--this is what I am aware of when I hear them talking about films.

LH, Independence Day is a campy hoot, and it's so busy casting nods to other films of the genre that though I haven't seen it all the way through, despite it's almost constant airing on the satellite channels, I have to laugh at it. Let me ask--what part of it did you believe, that makes the rest of it so offensive to you?

I can't say one way or the other whether little girls grew up wanting to be streetwalkers so they could encounter the Cinderella story of Pretty Woman. It's a dopey story. Sometimes if I pass over when flipping channels I'll watch bits of it. The clothes are fabulous, once the movie gets going. Julia Roberts in that red dress--I suspect that is what keeps people going back to watch it.

Films made from books and short stories come under scrutiny for their similarities and differences to the original written word. This is good and bad--the liberties that film makers take to give sad books happy endings is a form of bowdlerization, as far as I'm concerned. But to be fair and realistic, you simply can't take the flexibility and internal thoughts from a book and make it work on the screen without materially changing the way in which you convey the message. You're using two dimensions and sound versus ink on paper. The result needs to be judged on its own merits. A case in point, To Kill a Mockingbird. Both are excellent productions, but they are different in many ways. They had to be, because of the different mediums where they occur. Are they factual? They're fiction, set in a period. I suppose when it comes to Mel Gibson films, it's buyer beware. :)

On a kind of related note, I detest the programs turning up now on various History channels that have inserted modern actors in costume to portray these historic figures. I feel like they are liable to get it wrong, or build in cultural biases by doing it that way, when it is supposed to be "fact."

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Rapparee
Date: 21 Mar 08 - 09:19 PM

Actually, the most accurate movie I ever saw was "Mars Attacks."


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Victor in Mapperton
Date: 21 Mar 08 - 09:33 PM

There you have it. That's me told off !

No, I got out of bed on the same side as I normally do. Walked to the newsagent got my papers came home fed the birds, did my crosswords went to the local market and bought a few things, Oh sorry, I almost forgot I allowed people to express an opinion and exchange their points of view. Fairly average day really.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 21 Mar 08 - 09:39 PM

You asked! It's silly to pick out some of those items from the sea of "wrong things."


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Padre
Date: 21 Mar 08 - 09:50 PM

Slag:

The X-1 pilot was Chuck Yeager (retired BG, USAF) - and Scott Crossman piloted one other of the X series aircraft


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: freightdawg
Date: 21 Mar 08 - 09:50 PM

Victor,

wassup with Apollo 13 and Saving Private Ryan?

If you read "Lost Moon" the movie was practically spot on. SPR was not supposed to be a documentary - just tell a good yarn. Spoke volumes about the waste of war, even a just war fought to eliminate a tyrant bent on destroying the world.

Just my two one hundredths of a dollar.

Freightdawg


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: John Hardly
Date: 21 Mar 08 - 10:05 PM

Rapaire,

Do not be telling me that cave women did not look like Raquel Welch and Daryl Hannah (clan of the cave bear). What is there left to believe in?


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Little Hawk
Date: 21 Mar 08 - 10:18 PM

Hey, Stilly, I realize that Independence Day was a campy hoot, as you put it, but it still totally annoys me from beginning to end. Everything in it annoys me. I think it expresses too many quintessentially American myths that just want to make me gag...even if they are doing it tongue in cheek.

Anyway, it was absolutely not what I want to see in a science fiction film. I should have read the reviews first, found out what it was like, and saved myself the ticket price, obviously. ;-) I would not have minded so much had I not spent 10 or 12 dollars on it!

As for Pretty Woman, it's not just dopey, it's totally creepy. It's downright sick and I can feel my gut lurch just thinking about that movie. It expresses something so completely ugly about humanity and life that it makes me truly and deeply angry.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 22 Mar 08 - 06:33 AM

"I don't think it's the point of movies to get it right. The point of movies is entertainment."

I just KNEW someone would say that! One of the most miserable, wrong-headed cliches ever! In my opinion there is room for 'poetic licence' but no excuse whatsoever for ignorance and stupidity!

Presumably, a movie that got its facts right would not be entertaining?


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Folk Form # 1
Date: 22 Mar 08 - 06:49 AM

I grew up in the 60s watching blackand white films made in the 50s how Britain single-handly won the war against Germany. Scarse mention is made of the Americans, who made up the bulk of the D-Day invasion, and no mention of at all of the Russians who, probably, more than anyone, defeated the Germans. Leaving things out is sometimes as misleading as putting wrong things in.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Folk Form # 1
Date: 22 Mar 08 - 06:50 AM

The worst film ever made is The Deerhunter. Racist and stupid. What was deNero thinking?


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 22 Mar 08 - 07:20 AM

Silly, Do you not think your comment towards Vic was a little harsh ?

He is entitled to his opinion. It comes across somewhat pompous, arrogant and a touch self-righteous.

Shimrod, I could not agree more. Excellent post.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: catspaw49
Date: 22 Mar 08 - 07:50 AM

Yeah......LOL.........These threads always run the same way. Its the beauty of the entire BS section. Everybody gets to bring out their own ox and other can gore at will and then the fun really starts as everyone falls all over each other to take a stab. Kinda' like watching a Demolition Derby..................

Oh yeah......All you guys picked sucky films.....Mine are all great works for the ages. And remember, books always get the history right!!!



Spaw---NASCAR Voter


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 22 Mar 08 - 08:15 AM

We watched "Pan's Labyrinth/El laberinto del fauno" last night. Wonder where a film like that one falls in the ox goring? Since the thread has that sort of Spanish thing going for it, as catspaw points out...


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Peter T.
Date: 22 Mar 08 - 08:18 AM

Roland Emmerich a "stickler for realism"!!

Today's horse laugh. Remember Stargate? (Erich von Danigen lives......) and the sheer ridiculousness of "The Day After Tomorrow" (completely bogus history).

("There can only be one RA!! HAHAHA).

yours,

Peter T.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: ard mhacha
Date: 22 Mar 08 - 08:34 AM

The film Enigma was another parcel of lies, this film had the good old Yanks recovering a German Enigma code machine from a submarine which led to the deciphering of the German secret codes.
We all know they had nothing to do with it, the source of the code breaking was the result of a break through in Bletchley Park in England.
Rocking Reeler did you ever see the part played in the second world war by some Hollywood actors, the biggest shirker of all was the mighty John Wayne.
Hollywood was the home of twisted history.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: autolycus
Date: 22 Mar 08 - 08:46 AM

Shimrod, there's a vast gulf between "ignorance and stupidity" and "not getting it right". The film makers often know what they're doing. They use factually correct and incorrect; which just depending on what they need for the film they're making.

Can't you hear the Hollywood director/producer saying,"We can't have (something factually correct).Who's going to (want to) watch (whatever)?" e.g. ugly women in 10.000 B.C. (or practically ever)


The following is a citation about film saved by inaccuracy.

Someone is quoted saying "History is lame".
i www.cracked.com/article_15014_11-movies-saved-by-historical-inaccuracy.html - 51k -


btw, Sherlock Holmes never says in print "Elementary, my dear Watson."

I rhink it is the line everyone "knows" is because it's the last line of the first Holmes film, one audiences would have left the cinema remembering.

Inaccurate but potent.



Ivor


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 22 Mar 08 - 10:07 AM

John Wayne the draft dodger.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: autolycus
Date: 22 Mar 08 - 10:30 AM

Taht should have read "Holmes sound film"

Ivor


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Rapparee
Date: 22 Mar 08 - 11:33 AM

"The Green Berets."

Film is theater (or theatre, if you prefer). Aristotle discussed this in his "Poetics" and it hasn't changed since. Tragedy, comedy (meaning non-tragedy), farce, spectacle -- it's all there and it's all here.

I think that the problem is that today we blur the line between entertainment, the catharsis of theater, with reality. More, we view reality through the lenses of our own prejudices and preconceptions which have been at least partially shaped by ubiquitous entertainment. Perhaps we should reserve entertainment -- movies, television, etc. -- for special occasions held only a few times a year.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 22 Mar 08 - 11:37 AM

Silly, Do you not think your comment towards Vic was a little harsh ?
He is entitled to his opinion. It comes across somewhat pompous, arrogant and a touch self-righteous.


Guest Guest, I said nothing harsh or arrogant--that came ENTIRELY from the tone of voice you chose when you read my post. It was not included in my writing. So go examine your attitudes before you jump on one of many who have brought criticism to the initial premise of this discussion. You must have a fairly sour view of the world of you read my post in any way other than a frank statement of polite disagreement. It's a good-natured, silly, non-academic discussion where a few rays of erudition shine through. If you thought it was impolite, blame yourself and the voices in your head. I can't control those.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 22 Mar 08 - 11:47 AM

Independence Day was entertaining. I like a science fiction movie, with some humor that shows me things I haven't seen before.

Like wise "the Day after Tomorrow" was what if the same process occured to us that cause the intact Mammoths we have found. The science was a stretch but there wouldn't have been much drama had the icecaps taken 10 years to form.


The "Chick Flick" part of Titanic, with the Celine music was truly dreadful.

Three of my ten worst movies are Costner's

The Postman
the silly and tedious Waterworld.
the incredibly slow moving and disjointed "Dances With Wolves."

It seems that a lot of the choices for worst move here are over 2 hours long. I don't think that is coincidence. It takes a lot of material to fill two hours on the other hand the narrative of a good movie is simple and straight forward and there is a certain pacing required. For example in Titanic, we are waiting for the big moment we know is to come, and I don't mean the one where the peasant sketches the rich lady's boobs. Sappy music and too long, love scenes are a distraction, as are scenes of a cuckold trying to kill a man who will be dead in an hour or so anyway.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: autolycus
Date: 22 Mar 08 - 12:07 PM

There's also little accounting for the naivete of swathes of populations.

Just as some will send baby things to a meedja station when a character in a soap opera has a baby, so people see films (and don't read books), and think what they're watching is true in every particular.

Ans to repeat what I said near the start, when I said to a national radio host that you couldn't rely on films for your history, he said you could.


   Ivor


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Sorcha
Date: 22 Mar 08 - 12:09 PM

Finally watched most of '300' last night....I laffed a lot! LOVED Xerxes 'get up' and the silver masks. Parts of it are almost farce. Pretty good flick tho.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 22 Mar 08 - 12:26 PM

"Shimrod, there's a vast gulf between "ignorance and stupidity" and "not getting it right"."

Right. So we fall back on hypothesis B then:

The Film Industry is wilfully ignorant, has contempt for its audience and is happy to spread misinformation.

Perhaps that's why I don't find many films entertaining ... ?


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Little Hawk
Date: 22 Mar 08 - 12:59 PM

Spaw, when I read your post on this thread I was reminded of Woody Allen copulating with a Sicilian goat atop a seedy car rental place somewhere in New Jersey. Please be a good fellow and stop doing that, okay? I don't need those scenes in my head.

Jack, a man cannot technically be a "cuckold" when he is only provisionally engaged to a girl who can't stand him anyway and he hasn't even been with her yet. Not in my opinion, anyway. No doubt he thought he was a cuckold, but I believe he was in error about that. Be that as it may, your point about it being a useless distraction to the worthy plot of a movie about the Titanic is right on. ;-)

Strangely enough, I differ from your choice about the 3 lengthy Kevin Costner movies on one key point. I agree with you on the first two...but "Dances With Wolves" is one of my favorite movies of all time. I think it's absolutely wonderful, but then, I LOVE movies about American Indians...and maybe you aren't all that interested in them. Of all the movies about American Indians ever made, "Dances With Wolves" is my favorite.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 22 Mar 08 - 01:25 PM

Offhand I can't think of a single Hollywood product that had its history right. All the technical advisors and fact checkers are interested in is that they don't show something that will get them sued. As long as it passes Legal, everything's okay.

And I have to put up with Curmudgeon's ranting during films mostly about anachronistic weaponry, but also uniforms, clothing styles, not to mention the actual historical facts of the film. (It bothers me, too, but I only EXPECT entertainment. Plus his knowledge of historical weapons and uniforms, etc. is much more broad than mine.)

And it's not just history -- there hasn't been a single Dracula film that was even close to Bram Stoker's book. (Gawd, and we won't even mention other books.)

Linn


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 22 Mar 08 - 01:26 PM

As for "Dances With Wolves", "Black Robe" was a much more accurate portrayal of American Indians.

Linn


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Little Hawk
Date: 22 Mar 08 - 02:00 PM

Yeah, "Black Robe" was probably more accurate. But I still like "Dances With Wolves" better.

What if we were to show some respect for a change to the makers of historical films for the great many things they DID get right....a simply tremendous amount of work goes into making a feature film, you know. Do you think it's easy? Do you figure you could do better? How would you like it if you put in a simply incredible amount of work over 2 or 3 years to do an authentic period film, got about 10,000 things right, and then heard nothing from people but endless bitching about 2 or 3 little technical or cultural mistakes you made?

Hmm?

Think about that. It's a lot easier to criticize than it is to create something.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 22 Mar 08 - 02:03 PM

The Film Industry is wilfully ignorant, has contempt for its audience and is happy to spread misinformation.

Parts of it anyway. A big portion of it turns out the same thing over and over and target males age 15 to 27. Those aren't the movies I watch and they're the ones I'm not patient with when my 16-year-old turns them on. If he wants to watch Adam Sandler in Mr. Deeds then he also has to watch the original with Gary Cooper to see why I object to that toady little schmuck and what he's doing to a classic.

It's not a one-way operation here. He and his sister have introduced me to some very interesting programs and films that they think are well done. I thought Napoleon Dynamite was a hoot, and I'd have never seen that on my own. I probably wouldn't have started watching the Miyazaki animated films if they hadn't told me how much they enjoyed them.

Films are art, and not all art appeals to everyone. Some of it is throwaway, mass produced (like the stuff that hangs on the walls of cheap motel rooms), and some of it is thoughtfully conceived and produced and may not end up with a wide audience, but those who discover it enjoy it (and ends up in museums). Sometimes you get lucky and your vision captures a wide audience.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: autolycus
Date: 22 Mar 08 - 02:06 PM

Not all films are art, SRS. Just entertainment.

   Ivor


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 22 Mar 08 - 02:12 PM

"Little Big Man" was so much better than "Dances with Wolves", I can only assume that you have not seen the former or a head injury prevents you from recalling it. ;-)

"Dances With Wolves" wasn't about Indians. It was about liberal guilt. It was a totally oversimplified, unrealistic transplantation of a California liberal into a romanticized version of the old west.

As self indulgent self-agrandizing over-hyped actor director shite it made Brave-heart look like a Discovery Channel documentary. ;-D


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Folk Form # 1
Date: 22 Mar 08 - 02:19 PM

Of course, when it comes to films getting it wrong, quite a few playwrights play hard and loose with the truth, including Willy Shakespere. Poor old Lady McBeth, who was nothing like the witch described in the play.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Little Hawk
Date: 22 Mar 08 - 02:24 PM

I like "Little Big Man" a lot...although its loopy portrayal of George Armstrong Custer is WAY over the top...but that fit just fine into the overall plot which was strong on satire and humour to get a message across. "Little Big Man" has some wonderful moments in it. It also has a lot of mythology...but again, that works within the overall approach of the film. Faye Dunaway plays a most enjoyable role in that one.

"Dances With Wolves" is a very different approach. I didn't just like it, I loved it. I loved the slow way it meandered along...just like real life...and then suddenly something unexpected happens...just like real life. I think it was a masterpiece, just an absolutely beautiful film.

Looks like we'll have to keep disagreeing on this one, Jack. ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Little Hawk
Date: 22 Mar 08 - 02:29 PM

By the way, for the BEST film about Custer...watch "Son of the Morning Star". That is a truly balanced and accurate account of the Custer episode. It shows both his great flaws and his humanity. He was an interesting character, a man whose ambition and recklessness eventually led to his downfall. The most ironical thing is, he loved the open West that his military campaigns were helping to destroy.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Big Mick
Date: 22 Mar 08 - 02:38 PM

Even with its inaccuracies, I much preferred Rob Roy. I felt like Braveheart was just escapist entertainment.

HEY MAGGIE!

Very nice job with:"It's a good-natured, silly, non-academic discussion where a few rays of erudition shine through. If you thought it was impolite, blame yourself and the voices in your head. I can't control those." More than a few folks need to read that one for comprehension.

Mick


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Little Hawk
Date: 22 Mar 08 - 02:42 PM

Simply as a movie, as entertainment, Braveheart was pretty good. But I would not have taken it to be much in terms of real history. Rob Roy did have a considerably more authentic feel about it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 22 Mar 08 - 02:46 PM

Rob Roy was a much better movie in my opinion, the acting alone made it light years beyond Brave Heart.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Slag
Date: 22 Mar 08 - 03:15 PM

Yes Rap, Mars Attacks got just about everything right. Thank you.

SRS, you keep hitting those nails on the head and you will have built a theater! Remember these guys? :) and :( ? That's what movies and the theater are all about. If you want accuracy then watch documentaries and critic the same. Film makers take great liberties at time and accentuate different aspects of their subject for effect. They don't tell the whole story. They don't give every one's point of view. It IS about entertainment and it IS about box office receipts! Big $$$ and if the public WANTS "stupid" and if the public PAYS for "stupid", why it's STUPID they shall have! For my self, I'm not really into STUPID so I spend my entertainment $$$ elsewhere, for the most part.

If you are getting your history from the movies, that just might be STUPID!


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 22 Mar 08 - 03:19 PM

Thanks, Mick. :)

Baggage is often a problem for actors. Back when Mel Gibson was just starting out, remember the great reception he got with Gallipoli and especially The Year of Living Dangerously?

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: heric
Date: 22 Mar 08 - 03:30 PM

The Secret.

(And it's a documentary to boot.)

Reefer Madness

Atonement


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: gnu
Date: 22 Mar 08 - 03:39 PM

If it is now open to vote for best movie... Never Cry Wolf. There are some scenes lost on those who have never been north, but, I have, and I was entertained.

"How do you fight boredom, Tyler?"


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: meself
Date: 22 Mar 08 - 03:47 PM

'By the way, for the BEST film about Custer...watch "Son of the Morning Star".'

Read the book - it's largely excerpts from original documents - letters, diaries, interviews, etc. - By far the best book I've read on Custer and the Battle of the Little Bighorn, and I've read a fair bit on the subject. Warning: it's harrowing.

I agree with you about the movie.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Little Hawk
Date: 22 Mar 08 - 03:55 PM

Gallipoli was a darned good movie, as I recall.

Here's another one I loved: "The Man Who Would Be King" You can't do better for a great adventure film with perfect casting. It was even BETTER than the Rudyard Kipling short story it's based upon.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 22 Mar 08 - 05:11 PM

Yes, I thought that 'Dances with Wolves' was rubbish too! Not only does it portray the Sioux as loveable hippies (who could, of course, 'kick ass' when really, really provoked) but it demonised the Pawnees. This latter tribe did become mercenaries for the US Army but they really hated the Sioux - and with good reason!

A proper perspective is provided by George E. Hyde's book, 'The Pawnee Indians' (Univ. of Oklahoma Press pb. ed. 1988 [first pub. 1951]). He shows that the semi-sedentary tribes of the Pawnee confederacy, in their earth lodge villages, were, from the end of the 18th Century onwards, often decimated by disease (particularly smallpox). And in this weakened state they were continually and mercilessly preyed on by the Sioux who killed their warriors, massacred their women and children and plundered their corn fields and horse herds. It's really no wonder that they allied themselves with the white men when the opportunity presented itself (not that it did them any good in the long run).

But if you believe Kevin Costner and 'Dances with Wolves' the Pawnees were wicked, venal mercenaries. This is positively libellous and if I was a Pawnee I wouldn't be very happy!


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Don Firth
Date: 22 Mar 08 - 05:55 PM

I won't even touch swordplay in movies (like shooting fish in a barrel), other than to mention that probably the best fencing in any movie to date was in the 1940 rendition of "The Mark of Zorro" with Tyrone Power and Basil Rathbone (the duel in the alcalde's study). Both Power and Rathbone were pretty good fencers in real life, so they knew what they were doing. Major goof, however, was that the weapons used were modern light-weight fencing sabers, strictly for sport fencing (no cutting edge, of course), and probably didn't come into common usage until about a hundred years after the period being portrayed. You can buy ones just like them out of any fencing equipment catalog. Also, both Power and Rathbone were fencing the modern Hungarian-Italian style of saber-play pretty much developed by Italo Santelli, who hadn't been born yet when Diego Vega and Captain Estaban Pasquale tried to slice-and-dice each other.

Be that as it may. . . .

A couple of Great Moments at the Movies:

1. In "Independence Day," when the alien space ship blew up the White House, the audience cheered!! Kinda makes you wonder.

2. In "Armageddon," OY! Where to start!??

a) Picking an oil drilling team to go into space and blow up a killer asteroid?
b) The decision to blow up the asteroid in the first place, so that instead of the earth getting punched out by one big rock, it gets thoroughly shot-gun blasted by a rain of smaller rocks ("A fine mess you got us into this time, Ollie!")?
c) The space shuttles (not equipped with the big orange fuel tank) go all the way to the incoming asteroid under power, zipping and zooming about like fighter planes!
d) Then, they crash-land on the asteroid and nobody gets killed, and one of the shuttles is still space-worthy, so they can get off again.

There's much more, but even if I were a young man, I probably wouldn't live long enough to list them all.

Best line in the movie (as close as I can recall it):   Having planted the nuclear bombs deep inside the asteroid, they prepare to blast off. And the engines won't fire! Obligatory quick cuts to the timer ticking off the seconds before the bombs explode. Determining that the problem is electrical, a Russian cosmonaut in the crew starts to open an electrical panel. An American astronaut objects, saying something like, "That's a military secret!" (Military secret on a space shuttle? As if that's a matter of any importance when they're all about to be vaporized!). The Russian shoulders her aside and says something like, "Secret, schmecret! They're all made in Taiwan!" He then bangs the thing with his elbow and suddenly the engines fire! And they're well away (just in the nick, of course) before the bombs blow.

Lotsa fun, though!

Don Firth

P. S. One of the best movies ever made was "To Kill a Mockingbird."


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Victor in Mapperton
Date: 22 Mar 08 - 06:09 PM

My favourites still include "Thunderbolt and Lightfoot" and the Original "League of Gentlemen". No fact here, just two great films.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Rapparee
Date: 22 Mar 08 - 06:10 PM

Don, you mean that swinging from the chandelier is NOT part of fencing? And here all along my fencing coach has assured me that it was.

Here's a documentary with a mistake that caused my wife to exclaim "I don't think so!" out loud:

There's a film shown at Culloden Battlefield about the battle. In it, one of the British soldiers is shown using a musket with a percussion lock. It's like the jet contrails in the sky during the chariot race in "Ben Hur" (the Richard Burton one).

I said it elsewhere and I'll keep saying it: if you want to KNOW a subject, read several books about it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Little Hawk
Date: 22 Mar 08 - 06:17 PM

The Pawnees have been getting very bad press in western movies for as long as anyone can remember for some reason. Kevin Costner was simply following a very long established movie tradition in that respect. The truth, I suspect, is that the Pawnees and Lakota treated each other with a similar utter brutality and lack of regard...they were traditional enemies.

From the point of view of either side...the other were "the bad guys".

Costner befriended one group of Indians in the movie, just as Champlain did in Canada in the early days...and he fought the other group. That sort of thing happens in an adventure story, and we are always set up to see from the point of view of one side. It makes for a good story with some dramatic impact. This was not a movie which attempted to show the home life of both Lakota AND Pawnee. The Pawnee were simply there to drive the action.

Sure, I agree that the Lakota were over-idealized in Costner's film. No argument there. I still love the movie anyway. It works as a dramatic story.

The Pawnees DID serve as mercenaries to the White armies against a whole series of their traditional Native foes...and they were hated bitterly for it...but from the Pawnee point of view it seemed like the right thing, and the smart thing, to do. What the Pawnees didn't realize was that allying yourself with the Whites was like allying yourself with a rattlesnake. He'll bite YOU as soon as the larger problem is out of the way. But I think the Pawnees were doomed to disappointment no matter what they did. There was no way out for those people, and not for the Lakota or Cheyenne either. Not for any of them. They were all doomed to disaster by the White expasion into their lands.

Another western tribe that fought as mercenaries for the Whites a great deal was the Shoshones, under their great chief, Washakie. Again, they were not loved for it by their neighbours, the Lakota and Cheyenne (among others), but again, they probably figured it was the smart thing to do under the circumstances. Shoshone scouts served on most of the military campaigns of the post Civil War period, helping White army columns find and devastate the villages of "hostile" tribes.

This does not mean Shoshones or Pawnees were bad people. It simply means they decided to make a deal with the new devil...so to speak...against the old devil...just as did the tens or hundreds of thousands of Mexican Indians who allied with the Spaniards against the Aztecs in the 1500s.

They sided with the new White devils (the devil not yet known) against the fellow Native devils they already knew....a gamble. It was a gamble that didn't pay off well in the end for any of them.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Little Hawk
Date: 22 Mar 08 - 06:19 PM

As for "Armageddon"...whoof! Pretty bad movie, that was. But I won't deny that it had some okay action scenes. I just couldn't take it at all seriously.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: alanabit
Date: 22 Mar 08 - 06:51 PM

A movie which really pissed me off in Germany was "Die Edelweiss Piraten".
The Edelweiss Piraten was a group of young people in the early forties, who daubed anti Nazi slogans on walls in Köln and sang anti Nazi songs. That alone was dangerous enough and was more than enough to get yourself hanged from the railway bridge in Ehrenfeld, which was the fate of about a dozen of them.
To make the film "more exciting" a lot of cock and bull was added about them having guns and offering armed resistance. It pissed me off big time, because it undermined the point that simply getting caught daubing slogans or singing anti Fascist songs was dangerous enough in itself. It was so stupid to make a film, which almost went some way to justifying the authorities brutal repression. It did not make the film more exciting. It completely undermined its credibility. The Edelweiss Piraten were quite heroic enough without all that bollocks with the gunplay being added.
I have a strong suspician that chucking in a bit of shooting is what poor writers and directors are doing in many films nowadays when their imaginations are not up to the task of making films exciting.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 22 Mar 08 - 07:00 PM

Armageddon is about as bad as a big budget science fiction movie can possibly be, for the reasons already mentioned, gravity on the comet/asteroid, the silly timing, the spliced in scenes of Tyler and Affleck after they both had successes in other films, etc etc etc.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Little Hawk
Date: 22 Mar 08 - 07:01 PM

Sounds typical, alanabit.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Slag
Date: 22 Mar 08 - 07:12 PM

Quick! This thread is bogging down! Cut to the chase! Blow something up (preferably with the protagonist casually walking away with great balls of fire back lighting him)!

In Pawnee, the word for "People" is "Pawnee". Oddly enough, the word for "The People" in the Lakota is "Lakota". In the Pomo dialect it is "Pomo" and in Yokuts it is "Yokuts". See a pattern here? Hence the brutality. Kinda like "Gook" or , well, you get the picture. I don't want to offend anyone by siting examples. The point is, if you want to justify abuse and maltreatment, first you dehumanize the other guy!


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Little Hawk
Date: 22 Mar 08 - 07:19 PM

Exactly, Slag. ;-) They were ALL under the impression that they themselves were the real "people"...meaning "the good guys".

The Whites were under precisely that same impression. That's why they had a Declaration of Independence that proudly stated "all men are created equal", but in actual practice that did not include Native Indians, Asians, Muslims or Blacks (or women, for that matter).

Same basic flaw in perception there...


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Severn
Date: 22 Mar 08 - 08:04 PM

The American Civil War has been served abysmaly by Hollywood. "The General" is wonderful for Buster Keaton's creativity, but most films were dreck the likes of "Kansas Pacific" with characters like Quantrill nothing like they originally were.

But then, with all the movies made about The James Brothers and Billy The Kid (who looked like Paul Newman, Kris Kristofferson AND Michael J. Pollard, among others, at one time) we could spend some good hours on just those.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 22 Mar 08 - 08:11 PM

Hmmm. What do you think of William Shatner's version of the Andersonville Trial? :)

(I know, I lobbed a real stink bomb into the thread, but I think ol' Willie Boy actually wasn't so bad in that.)

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Folkiedave
Date: 22 Mar 08 - 08:12 PM

In the film Braveheart a lone piper is seen set against the evening sky in silhouette. He is playing highland bagpipes - the sound is uillean pipes.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: John Hardly
Date: 22 Mar 08 - 08:26 PM

First it's that cavewimmin didn't look like Raquel Welch. Now I'm being told to believe that Zorro couldn't possibly disrobe a woman with a single flick of the sword.

Why even watch movies anymore?


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Little Hawk
Date: 22 Mar 08 - 08:41 PM

Good point, John!


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: GUEST,Guezzt
Date: 22 Mar 08 - 10:10 PM

You can always follow Dave Barry's Pearls of Wisdom #1:

The badness of a movie is directly proportional to the number of helicopters in it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Little Hawk
Date: 22 Mar 08 - 10:19 PM

Except for Black Hawk Down...


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Slag
Date: 22 Mar 08 - 11:31 PM

Did I actually spell "citing" s-i-t-i-n-g, "siting"?


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 23 Mar 08 - 12:12 AM

Yup. But we figured it out. :)


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 23 Mar 08 - 01:05 AM

>>>The American Civil War has been served abysmaly by Hollywood. "The General" is wonderful for Buster Keaton's creativity, but most films were dreck the likes of "Kansas Pacific" with characters like Quantrill nothing like they originally were.
<<<

This may be worthy of its own thread, but how can Hollywood possibly do a decent job of a civil war movie. Unless it is a soap opera like "Gone With The Wind". It would have to offend at least one third of the country.

Here's an idea, make one called "The War of Northern Aggression" It could be a three hour polemic about how the war was not about slavery at all but about States Rights and freedom of choice.

It wouldn't be a hit with everyone. It would probably offend three quarters, but about ten or fifteen million southerners would probably buy the DVD. If there is gore and sex you'd get a decent foreign market. Seems like a good next project for Mel Gibson.

By the way, all that said. "Glory" was a great movie.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Little Hawk
Date: 23 Mar 08 - 01:19 AM

The way to make a truly great film about the American Civil War is dead simple. Just show in an even-handed way what happened on both sides of the line. Respect the humanity, the courage, and the sacrifice of both Northerners and Southerners. Give credit to all who served bravely for the cause they believed in. Make a movie that HAS no bad guys in it, and that has no axe to grind.

That does not take genius...just honesty and evenhandedness.

A good movie does NOT have to have evil people on one side of the confict to be a good movie.

Clint Eastwood recently did two powerful movies about Iwo Jima...the first from the American viewpoint, the 2nd from the viewpoint of the Japanese defenders. He showed the humanity, patriotism, and courage on both sides. That's smart. It's more than smart, it's wise.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 23 Mar 08 - 04:20 AM

"read ... books (which tend to record history with a little more accuracy)" . . .

I think not.

History is written by the winning side. The winning side wants to put itself in a good light, so it frequently lies about how it won.

Anything William Shakespeare wrote about monarchs and royal power struggles is pretty much tripe. He was writing FOR the Tudor monarch of the time, who had acquired the throne by an ancestors' deceitful action (Henry Tudor predating his reign by one day to make all those who fought for Richard III into traitors, to name but one), and would have probably been executed if he'd told the real truth. As for Richard III's alleged murder of the 'princes in the tower', that was debunked almost as soon as the Tudor line was off the throne, but STILL manages to find its way into history books printed now.

History is mainly boring. There are large chunks of politics that just won't make good entertainment. Imagine writing a screenplay for the 100 years war. It would get pretty boring, the same sides bashing each other for 80 years. Then there's the 37odd years of political wrangling that interspersed it (I can do maths, the 100 years war was actually 116 years long).

There are considerably more than 10 films that got it wrong. There are even more that deliberately got it wrong because it was not 'good entertainment'...

Worse than that, there are thousands of books that have 'got it wrong' because they were written from the winners' perspective, not as an accurate record of what actually happened.

As for 'The Other Boleyn Girl' - I've not seen the film but I have read the book, and it is a very good book. It is not historically accurate - it is classified as 'historical fiction' and won the 'Parker Romantic Novel of the Year' award in 2002, so quite clearly it is not meant to be an historical record - it is however, a fictionalised account of actual events, for which contemporary evidence still exists, as shown by the author's notes and large list of source materials.

The skill in writing historical novels and screenplays is to fill in the gaps that contemporary references allude to, or suggest, or miss out. That some prefer to fill the gaps in with wild imaginings and exciting events just panders to the human desire to be titilated and shocked.

Oh - and if 'cavewimmin' had looked like Raquel Welch and those other skinny actresses, they wouldn't have lasted the winter. It's more likely that your average 'cavewommin' was shaped more like Roseanne Barr ([pre-surgery) or Miriam Margolyes.

LTS


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Folk Form # 1
Date: 23 Mar 08 - 04:34 AM

ard mhacha, I know full well how gung-ho John Wayne dodged the draft. He was exempt because of his large[?] family. I don't mind that at all; but for someone who was so gung-ho all his life, you would fought he would have volunteered anyway.

A point I would like to make is that I think films should be historically accurate. People see a film about a certain historical character and think it accurate. I know I do unles I know otherwise. You can still make a good film by keeping to the truth, as Michael Collins will show you. [I threw that in for you are mhacha.]


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 23 Mar 08 - 05:20 AM

Rockin' Reeler, you said "You can still make a good film by keeping to the truth, as Michael Collins will show you".

Maybe you want to correct your statement. In the scene in which Dáil Éireann is meeting in secret, Collins is referred to as the Minister for Intelligence. In fact, he was the Dáil Minister for Finance and the Director of Intelligence for the IRA, the roles had no formal link, and neither position had control over the other.

Harry Boland did not die in the manner suggested by the film. His last words in the film - "Have they got Mick Collins yet?" are however, based on a well-known tradition.
In the film, Collins heads the delegation to London that negotiates the Anglo-Irish Treaty; in reality, it was led by Arthur Griffith, with Collins as his deputy.

The character of Edward "Ned" Broy of the Dublin Metropolitan Police is a composite of many different police officers. The real Broy was a member of G Division, an intelligence branch of the Dublin Metropolitan Police, based not in Dublin Castle - as in the film - but in Marlborough Street. Michael Collins' main agent in Dublin Castle was David Neligan. Like Broy, he also survived the conflict and later headed the Irish Special Branch. In the film the character is killed during bloody sunday.

In the film Collins is told that Frank Thornton was shot in West Cork, a week before his own trip to Cork. Thornton however was wounded in an ambush outside Clonmel County Tipperary, a day before Collins himself was killed.The film is ambiguous in the scene involving Collin's assassination, only showing the assassin asking de Valera if he has a message for Collins.

It then cuts to the assassin returning to meet Collins and telling him where de Valera will meet him the next day. Neal Jordan denies on the DVD documentary that it was his intention to portray De Valera having anything to do with Collins' murder. The film depicts a carload of hardline northern unionist detectives sent to "deal" with Collins and the IRA being blown up in Dublin Castle. In fact, no killings of police took place in Dublin Castle and car-bombs were unknown at the time.

Some commentators have contended that the filmmakers were trying to draw a connection between the Irish War of Independence and the later Troubles, when car-bombs were common. Neil Jordan has also denied this. In the movie, the surrender at the end of the Easter Rising appears to take place outside the General Post Office, whereas it actually took place on Moore Street. Collins says "I would have followed him through hell..." in reference to de Valera; in reality, he was referring to James Connolly, comparing him to Pádraig Pearse.

Connolly was a realist, Pearse the direct opposite. I would have followed him [Connolly] through hell had such action been necessary. But I honestly doubt very much if I would have followed Pearse — not without some thought anyway."

A statement in the film that the Irish Free State was formed at the beginning of 1922, following the Dáil's approval of the Treaty, has since appeared as fact on various websites,[citation needed] even though the Irish Free State did not officially come into being until December 1922.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Folk Form # 1
Date: 23 Mar 08 - 06:43 AM

Ok, you seem to know what you are talking about. I take it all back.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 23 Mar 08 - 07:01 AM

Didn't know ol' Willy Wobblestick wrote historical books, Liz:-) Thought he wrote plays to entertain the people of the time (that is IF he did, but that's a whole different topic!) that referenced some event in history. I guess that makes him very similar to the point in question - A Hollywood screenwriter of his day!

I look at history books in the light of the point I once saw in the newspapers years ago. One of the mainstream ones had the headline 'Train unions holding the country to ransom'. The chap on the street corner was holding up the 'Morning Star' proudly proclaiming 'Train union heroes hold out against capitalist government'. Both had an element of truth but did not give the full story. Most history books are very similar.

Historical fiction however does not purport to be factual and as such can be far more entertaining as well as presenting the events of the day in a far more entertaining manner. Same with films or 'true stories'. I don't think anyone realy believes that the silver screen gives us facts. I would also doubt the validity of anything I saw in a newspaper or heard on the news, but then again I may be more cynical than most.

Back to the original title - The one that got it the most wrong must be the Muppets Christmas Carol. I find it very difficult to believe that a frog ran a business in Victorian England...

Happy Easter

Dave.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Slag
Date: 23 Mar 08 - 07:37 AM

Did you know that Wayne did seek to enlist and his recruiter friend told him that he could do more good for the war effort by making the movies he made? They were great propaganda for our side. Others like Gable and Stewart opted to fight and they never faulted Mr. Wayne fro his patriotism. You may not care for John Wayne as a person and you may not even agree with his brand of patriotism but know wherein you speak. The man was a patriot and served his country.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 23 Mar 08 - 08:31 AM

Nice excuse Slag, still it doesn't hold any water. He dodged serving his country on the battlefield and played the role (sorry attempted to) of a cardboard figure with a speech impediment.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Maryrrf
Date: 23 Mar 08 - 09:06 AM

A friend of mine who is a textile and costume specialist says the studios do hire historical wardrobe consultants for most historical films, and then proceed to ignore their recommendations in most cases!


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: meself
Date: 23 Mar 08 - 11:16 AM

I remember talking to an anthropologist who was a consultant for - I believe it was titled Shadow of the Wolf (with Lou Diamond Phillips). She was indignant that the director had chosen to ignore her point that the more aesthetically-appealing tent (or snowhouse?) they were using in the movie was not found in the eastern (Canadian) Arctic, where the movie was set, but rather in the western (Canadian) Arctic ...

That's showbiz, folks.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 23 Mar 08 - 11:22 AM

The way to make a truly great film about the American Civil War is dead simple. Just show in an even-handed way what happened on both sides of the line.

Little Hawk, there was one. Made by Ken Burns, with the name The Civil War (a many part documentary, but it did what you suggest.)

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: GUEST,Jack the Sailor
Date: 23 Mar 08 - 12:00 PM

Documentaries aside, since when has fair and balanced, right down the middle been entertaining? For it to be a good movie, it has to be a good story. For it to be a good story, we need someone to identify with. For us to have some to identify with the film has to have a point of view. To have a point of view, it has to pick a side.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: john f weldon
Date: 23 Mar 08 - 12:40 PM

I thought I posted this one...

Forrest Gump

...?


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Little Hawk
Date: 23 Mar 08 - 01:03 PM

"since when has fair and balanced, right down the middle been entertaining?"

Since ever for me, Jack. The movies I most appreciate are those that show the humanity of the protagonists on BOTH sides of a war or some other struggle in an equal fashion. Their deaths and their sufferings are then far more poignant and tragic and carry far more emotional impact...and they remind us of everyone's common, shared humanity.

That's far more moving than your standard good guys/bad guys nonsense that you see all the time.

A good guys/bad guys story is fine, though, for a fictional story that just gives us some lively action and suspense...that's basically just for fun. I've got no problem with that.

But when I see a film that is purporting to show us something about history...I do not want to see one side demonized just so we have a "bad guy" to detest. It's stupid, and it's usually inaccurate. It gives no respect to people.

A story where you end up understanding and caring about the people on both sides of a battle can just break your heart...and from that, you learn something.

You don't learn something from just watching another exercise in..."Oh, aren't they all evil? Now let's watch them all get killed and cheer when they do." That's just priming people to go out and fight the next stupid war is what it is.

Here's a movie that did show both sides quite fairly, I think: The recent Alamo film a few years back. It was by far the best depiction yet of that episode. Crockett was acted brilliantly in that film...not a cardboard hero, but a man who wished he could escape the burden of his popular legend, yet was willing to rise to the occasion on behalf of those around him. Santa Ana was shown as what he was...an extremely arrogant autocrat, somewhat out of touch with reality...but many of the other Mexicans in his staff and his army were shown with real sympathy by the screenplay...like the ones who pleaded with Santa Ana to spare Crockett's life after the battle...like the brave Mexican general who crossed his arms proudly and waited to die as the lines broke around him at San Jacinto. That movie honored both sides and treated them as human beings. I like to see that in a movie.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Little Hawk
Date: 23 Mar 08 - 01:21 PM

Another movie that showed both sides fairly:

"Son of the Morning Star" (a biography of George Custer)

Because it showed both sides fairly, it was by far the best film ever about the Custer episode and the Battle of the Little Big Horn. You could see how his own recklessness led him eventually to disaster, and you could see his various character flaws...as well as his strengths, but the whole movie was not a setup just to make you detest George Armstrong Custer...which is what most of them have been since the 60's.

Before the 60's, of course, they made movies in which history was grossly rewritten to totally whitewash Custer and in which Indians served only as multiple moving targets on a firing range. The one with Errol Flynn was a classic among those...and it was good rousing entertainment, unquestionably, like all the films Flynn did...but it was absolute tripe as history.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Bee
Date: 23 Mar 08 - 02:06 PM

Some 'historical' movies I just won't watch because I know they'll annoy me with glaring inaccuracies about things I actually have studied. Others, I'll put up with for whatever redeeming qualities they may have (like Denzel Washington, fer example).

I confess to being overly eyerollious when watching American made movies in which the Noble American Saves The World Single Handedly - with a girlfriend. Canadian snobbery, no doubt.

And, most damning... I really liked Waterworld and The Postman!


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Don Firth
Date: 23 Mar 08 - 02:27 PM

"Eyerollious." Absolutely brilliant, Bee!

I saw the television production of the Andersonville trial with William Shatner (way back). I thought Bill actually did a pretty good job! Up until then, I hadn't seen him in anything but "Star Trek" and one episode of "The Twilight Zone." Since "Andersonville," it's been kinda downhill. . . .

Yeah, Rapaire, swingin' on chandeliers, running up and down stairs, slipping on carpets, tripping over furniture, and tightrope walking along balcony railings are all essential techniques of swordplay—for movie actors (your maitre d'armes didn't teach you all this!?? Well, there goes a potential acting career!). Every now and then you spot and actor who maybe actually took a fencing lesson or two (stage fencing) when in drama school (if they actually went to a drama school). But trying to work in a little good swordplay while you're hanging onto a curtain with your teeth and swinging outside of a window three stories above a cobblestone street is not real easy to do.

The villain, at this point, realizes that he cannot prevail against your brilliantly conceived parries, so he slashes the curtain (especially clever of him when he does this with a French small-sword that has no cutting edge), sending you hurtling to the street below with the piece of curtain still clutched in your teeth, to land in a cart full of hay that just happened to be passing by. Just a temporary set-back. You leap out of the hay cart and bound up the stairs to have another go at the villain.

(Jeez, that's not bad! I might just turn my hand to screenwriting!)

With the exception of the duel scene in "Monsieur Beaucare" with Bob Hope in the title role (supposed to be a complete farce and a vehicle for Hope to clown it up), probably the most "over the top" movie duel scene was in "Scaramouche," between Stewart Granger and Mel Ferrer.

The movie bore only the vaguest resemblance to Rafael Sabatini's novel, which was one of the Sabatini novels that got me interested in fencing in the first place (I read it in high school). Sabatini's novels are so well and accurately researched that the background in Scaramouche of the lead-up to the French Revolution also got me very interested in history. The character portrayed by Granger was far different from the André-Louis Moreau that I knew, and although the movie was a spectacular romp, it was pretty sad compared to what it could have been. But that's Hokeywood.

Don Firth

P. S. I saw a pretty good duel scene in the Seattle Repertory Theater's production of "Hamlet" a few years back:   the sword-and-dagger match between Hamlet and Laertes in the final act. The actors brought it off very convincingly without a lot of gratuitous swashbuckling*. The Seattle Rep apparently has a pretty good fight coach.

*Swashbuckling = swash from the neck up, buckling from the knees down.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Don Firth
Date: 23 Mar 08 - 02:51 PM

In the movie "Excalibur" (1981), they were wearing full suits of plate armor rather than chain mail. This kind of armor didn't come into wide use until about 500 years after the period being portrayed.

Great music, though. From "Carmina Burana" by Karl Orff.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 23 Mar 08 - 02:53 PM

Sometimes, though, the inaccuracies detract so much from the film that it's impossible to just sit back and enjoy the entertainment part of the film. Especially when accuracy wouldn't cost any more or change the plotline.

Alas, some people actually DO get their history from movies and believe everything they see on television, read in a magazine (or newspaper) or see on the internet. They'll never learn critical analysis nor do they want to. Some are like my mother (pushing 80) and believe anything someone in authority (especially male) says -- doctors, teachers, clergy...politicians, fer-pete's-sake.

Linn


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 23 Mar 08 - 03:01 PM

Geez, "Excaliber"! Uther Pendragon made love while wearing his armor.

Just finished rewatching "Ladyhawke" (which I enjoy for the cinematography and the wonderful horses) while Curmudgeon curmudged about the fantasy armor (metalicized bubble wrap?) and fantasy weapons...and the fact that Matthew Broderick made it through the sewers with clean clothes, clean face and didn't encounter a single turd. I did point out to Tom that it's FANTASY

Oh, and Michelle Pfeiffer had new clothes every night (which we never saw flutter down from the parapet when she made her escape by returning to the form of a hawk).

Linn


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Don Firth
Date: 23 Mar 08 - 03:21 PM

I didn't watch the show all that consistently, but at least in one episode of "Babylon 5," I saw a small space ship (fighter craft type) fire its small attitude jets and rotate, pointing it's nose in another direction, but it kept going in the same direction it had been going, moving sideways relative to its attitude, even though it did have airfoils (the ship was designed for both space and in-atmosphere flying). It didn't actually change its direction of travel until the pilot fired the main engines.

Bloody amazing!! They got it right!! Newton must have sat up in his grave and blinked in amazement.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: GUEST,Jack the Sailor
Date: 23 Mar 08 - 04:00 PM

Yeah Babylon 5 did get some of the physics right. They didn't have gravity in any craft that wasn't spinning.

But they did have all those "magic" super-aliens, and of course "hyperspace" But ya gotta sacrifice something for the sake of drama. You couldn't have much interstellar interaction if they had to use light sails or hydrogen ramjets and the diplomatic junkets were 160,000 year round trips.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Don Firth
Date: 23 Mar 08 - 05:04 PM

Jack, a bit of thread drift.

Some of the recent writings of theoretical physicists such as Michio Kaku (Hyperspace and Parallel Worlds) keep science fiction aficionados such as myself panting after the notion that some manner of faster-than-light interstellar travel might not be totally impossible.

Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, in books like The Mote in God's Eye and sequels, had a pretty interesting method of FTL travel with their "Alderson points." Find the Alderson point near a massive body such as a star, and with the proper gizmo in your engine compartment, you could punch the button and transfer instantaneously to the Alderson point near another star (the transition left you a feeling a bit sick, dizzy, and disoriented for a few minutes, but you recovered with no apparent ill-effects).

But within a given planetary system, you'd have to slog along with hydrogen ramjets, light sails, or other "conventional" propulsion systems. They even justified aerodynamic space ship design by positing that most main-sequence stars would have a planetary gas giant (lots of hydrogen in its atmosphere) in their proximity, and they could use it as a refueling station, skimming through its atmosphere with the jet intakes agape.

You'd be in deep doo-doo though if the Alderson point were inside the corona of the star, such as a red giant or blue giant.

Of course, all of this takes place a couple thousand years in the future. . . .

Jerry and Larry hatched this up over a large supply of beer with a physicist friend of theirs name Alderson, who said he had the figures to at least indicate that there may be some such point near a massive body, but Jerry (an old drinking buddy of mine from back in the 60s) was a bit fuzzy about whether or not he thought there might be anything to it. Good story gimmick, though.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Bee
Date: 23 Mar 08 - 05:21 PM

Damn it, Don, I'm starting to notice that you know or have met far too many of the people that exist in the zone bubble of 'famous people I personally have taken notice of, therefore recognize their names'. (A zone bubble because there are giant-gas-planet sized zone bubbles of famous people that everyone else seems to have heard of, of whom I am only able to look blank and repeat "Who?")

Yes, I read far too much science fiction starting about ten. I had a beautiful friend who had no interest in reading anything at all. Her dad had a monumental collection of sci-fi and fantasy, starting with all the pulp Amazings and F&SF and Astounding and so on, every Ace Double ever printed, and stacks of everything else. He used to hand me about forty pounds of paperbacks every Sunday after church.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Jeri
Date: 23 Mar 08 - 05:23 PM

Don, Harlan Ellison was an adviser on Babylon 5. He's always complain about explosions in space going 'BOOM' because there was no air to carry the sound. He found out they DO make a noise, just not the big one you hear in a lot of movies/TV shows.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Charley Noble
Date: 23 Mar 08 - 06:15 PM

Here's one that got it right, a German World War 2 film called "The Bridge" in 1959. Here's a link to a summary: Click here!

I first saw it while in college in the early 1960's and it may have provided me some insight on what war might really be like.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 23 Mar 08 - 06:30 PM

To my mind the best SF film ever was the David Lynch version of 'Dune'.

Yes, I know that it was universally panned at the time it came out but it's very weird, has got great visual flair and is an homage to Herbert's original book. I also feel that it's a genuine SF fan's film - not just a soap opera or thriller with great bleeding chunks of genre SF stuck on with wall-paper paste - as most TV and movie 'Sci-Fi' appears to be.

I seem to remember that, at the time it came out (mid 80s?), Harlan Ellison claimed to have been banned from from the press screenings (or whatever they're called) because the studio knew that he would LIKE it. He suggested that this was because the film took so long to make that the studio management changed part way through. The new management couldn't bear to see something made by the old management succeed - so they only invited critics who they knew would hate it and give it poor reviews.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: freightdawg
Date: 23 Mar 08 - 06:31 PM

Little Hawk,

According to one of your earlier posts, you must have loved "Das Boot." I don't think I've seen you mention it in this thread. Powerful, powerful movie about a U-Boat from the German side, and by the end of the movie when the boat is finally destroyed (just after reaching its berth) you actually feel agony for the German sailors.

Best war movie I've seen, hands down.

And Victor, (or anyone!) no one has said what was wrong with Apollo 13. Did you want the astronauts to die? What's the problem? Enquiring minds want to know!

Freightdawg


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Victor in Mapperton
Date: 23 Mar 08 - 06:50 PM

Apollo 13 saw the Hollywood Hype Machine go into overdrive. Sorry I don't do the G.W. Bush hand on heart stuff. Maybe it suited you.

Accurate enough account of the incident, but well milked on the tear in eye stuff.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: GUEST,Jack the Sailor
Date: 23 Mar 08 - 07:04 PM

Don

Talk about getting it right!
Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle as a writing team are my favorite science fiction authors. Lucifer's Hammer was brilliant, "The Post Man, in my opinion, was a cheap unauthorized ripoff of a small part of the brilliant novel..

I'm quite familiar with the Alderson points and have read both of them describe the theory. I hope I don't embarrass you by pointing out that according to "A Mote in God's Eye" red giants don't have coronas. And indeed the exploration team used and Alderson point within a Red Giant to transit into the Mote, which became an essential plot point for the book in that the properties of the Red Giant enabled the blockade which prevented the war of extermination of the Moties.

Of course their ships could only travel within the Sun with the help of the radiation field which I now forget the name of. Was it a "Sinclair Field?" Larry and Jerry loved Scottish engineers even more than Rodenberry did.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: GUEST,Jack the Sailor
Date: 23 Mar 08 - 07:08 PM

I'd have to count "Apollo 13" and "The Right Stuff" as two movies that pretty much got it right. Of course the source material was brilliant.

On the other hand. "A Beautiful Mind" sacrificed a lot of truth for the story, all in honor of creating a more sympathetic hero.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Charley Noble
Date: 23 Mar 08 - 08:46 PM

"Das Boot" was indeed another movie that got it right.

Loved "Ladyhawke" and never worried about its reality.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: The Walrus
Date: 23 Mar 08 - 09:04 PM

I was amused by the title of this thread - I can't think of many films that have "got it right" (there must be some somewhere).

W


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Big Mick
Date: 23 Mar 08 - 09:05 PM

As a fella with a bit of a background that I don't talk much about, I always crack up when I see the Rambo movies, and all those spawned by it, with the huge toadsticker with all the little gizmo's in it. When I walk into a surplus store and I see these (again, as a result of the movie) and the GI Joe wannabees with them strapped on, I usually chuckle. The blades we carried in those days were usually one of a couple depending on what we were doing. The issue blade looked like a streamlined Kbar, with some significant differences in terms of salt water immersion, edge holding abilities, ability to cut different ropes and cables, ability to be hammered and split things,reflection, etc. But it had to retain the lightweight ability for in close fighting. Quite frankly, many of us carried an additional blade for the "in close" work that was a Fairbairn Sykes or modeled on one. There is, quite frankly, no blade that is better for up close and personal jobs than that one. The Brits get the prize. This thing was designed for the Brit Commandos in WWII, and has never been improved on. One shot down beside the clavicle, and a good rocking motion will sever exactly what one needs severed and end the fight very quickly.

The original Rambo dealt well with an issue that needed to be dealt with, and his skills were pretty accurate, but the knife just always makes me chuckle.

Mick


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Little Hawk
Date: 23 Mar 08 - 10:32 PM

Yeah, "Das Boot" was one of the finest war movies of all time. "The Bridge" was also very good.

The Germans tend to make exceedingly good war movies, because they lost the two world wars. That results in them treating the subject of war seriously as what it really is...an enormous tragedy for all concerned.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: autolycus
Date: 24 Mar 08 - 05:58 AM

JUst heard from an art expert on the beeb, that Michaelangelo stood on planks just below the ceiling when doing the Sistine Chapel.

So those films (never mind jokes and cartoons) having him painting it while lying on his back are - how shall I put it - wrong.

Historically, factually, wrong.


Ivor


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 24 Mar 08 - 07:21 AM

Jeri - thanks for clearing that up... I've always wondered why, if in the vacuum of space, 'no-one can hear you scream', explosions come over loud and clear!

LTS


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: alanabit
Date: 24 Mar 08 - 08:52 AM

LH - Dominique Horwitz's "Stalingrad" deserves an honourable mention too.
I have just finished watching the DVD set of "Band of Brothers", which I had only previously seen bits of (dubbed) on German TV. For me, that also made war look like the horrible tragedy it is. The men, who did all that, are in their final days now. I am quite sure that no film can fully convey that experience, but I am glad that there are people, who are willing to make the effort.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 24 Mar 08 - 12:13 PM

To shift gears I will suggest a charming little biographical film called 84 Charing Cross Road, though by reading a blurb about the book itself, it looks like fiction crept into this movie as well. The film includes the war years, but the book seems to start several years after WWII.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Skivee
Date: 24 Mar 08 - 01:09 PM

JFK- People treat it like an evenhanded documentary that exposes stuff HIDDEN FROM YOU BY THE DARK FORCES OF THE SHADOW GOVERNMENT, or the mob, or Castro, or NASA, or the Boys Scouts, or a bunch of right-wings gay guys in New Orleans!!!!!!
Stone changed facts and invented others to make the conspiracy theories look better.
He used psuedo-documentary format while showing his "facts". By this, I mean that he shot certain scenes using grainy film and "that damned shakey-cam" to make images that he spun out of whole chothe look like it was shot at the time...that the film you saw was authentic. An example is the shot with the railroad overpass.
His "foreward and back to the left" to support the second gunman theory speech was very effective as cinema, but factually wrong. There is NOTHING in the way that Kennedy slumped after the headshot tht shows he was hit from front right (the grassy knoll) If he was, his skull would have been blown out on the left side instead of the front right. All his skull and brain injuries were consistant with a shot to the rear right of the skull.
The famed "magic bullet" arguement is a willfull misinterpretation of an illustrator's shortening the path of the bullet so that the illustration would fit within the format of the image. Kennedy was sitting higher and to the rear right of Connoly, on a jump seat that sat him higher than the regular seatting. When the shot elements are lned up as the were that day, there is no squigle in the tragectory. Nova has done an excellent job debunking Stone's chicanery.
The big speech at the end of the film was not given by Garrison (Kostner). Garrison wasn't even in the courtromm when it was given by one of his staff.
Occum's razor occassionally needs sharpening.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 24 Mar 08 - 02:17 PM

O.k., here's some commentary on the topic from one of the creators, not movies, but Showtime cable TV. The key quote (for those who don't read all of this):

. . . when you consider the historical facts that "The Tudors" have played fast and loose with. And Michael Hirst, the show's creator and writer, will defend every single decision.

"Showtime commissioned me to write an entertainment, a soap opera, and not history," said Mr. Hirst, taking a break in an office at Ardmore Studios, near Dublin. "And we wanted people to watch it."

It [also] seems there have been practical moviemaking reasons for [some of] the misrepresentations. [etc.]



The Royal Life (Some Facts Altered)
By ANITA GATES
Published: March 23, 2008, New York Times

For a guy playing Henry VIII, Jonathan Rhys Meyers was looking very skinny in his jeans, relaxing in a trailer on the Irish set of Showtime's steamy period drama "The Tudors." The series, which critics could take or leave but many viewers are eating up (the costumes! the sets! the sex scenes!), returns for its second season next Sunday.

"I have got absolutely no physical attributes in common with Henry VIII," Mr. Rhys Meyers acknowledged as he made tea. "So everything has to be more about his energy, more about power, more about confidence."

He had just filmed a scene set shortly before Henry and Anne Boleyn's wedding, which history tells us took place when the king was in his early 40s. Mr. Rhys Meyers is 30. "Henry is 30," too, this season, he said with a playful gleam in his eye. "He's going to stay 30 for a while."

He will also stay slim, although Mr. Rhys Meyers has been eating voraciously to put on a few royal pounds. "You don't want to see a skinny guy in a big fat suit," he said. "Unless it's Eddie Murphy."

The king's physical appearance may be a minor point, really, when you consider the historical facts that "The Tudors" have played fast and loose with. And Michael Hirst, the show's creator and writer, will defend every single decision.

"Showtime commissioned me to write an entertainment, a soap opera, and not history," said Mr. Hirst, taking a break in an office at Ardmore Studios, near Dublin. "And we wanted people to watch it."

It seems there have been practical moviemaking reasons for the misrepresentations. Take Henry's sisters. In Season 1 Gabrielle Anwar played one, Princess Margaret, who marries an older man, the King of Spain, against her will. As any number of Internet history buffs will tell you, it was Henry's other sister, Mary, who did that, and the older man was the King of France. So didn't the writer do his research?

As it turns out, Mr. Hirst was well aware of both facts. But the list of characters already included a Princess Mary, Catherine of Aragon's little daughter. "I didn't want two Princess Marys on the call sheet," he said, because it might have confused the crew. " 'Which one do you mean, Michael? Who do we dress?' "

As for Margaret/Mary's husband, "The Tudors" had shown a French king in a different context in Season 1. Mr. Hirst feared that viewers might be confused, so he just chose another European country.

Liberties were also taken with the death of Thomas Wolsey, archbishop of York and the king's right-hand man. According to historians Wolsey fell ill and died in Leicester in 1530 on his way back to London to face charges of treason. In Season 1 Wolsey committed suicide there, despite religious strictures against it.

Mr. Hirst defends his decision, contending that this might have been the way things really happened, and that Henry would have covered it up. Wolsey certainly had motive.

"He was going to come back to a show trial," Mr. Hirst said. "And the best that he could get would have been a public beheading in front of all his enemies and a jubilant crowd."

Mr. Hirst also wanted to give an acclaimed actor, Sam Neill, a powerful scene: "I didn't want him to go out with a whimper. I wanted him to go out with a bang."

History will continue to be altered in Season 2, beginning with Pope Paul III, played by Peter O'Toole. The pope who refused to let Henry divorce his first wife and excommunicated him was Paul's predecessor, Clement VII. But last season Clement, played by Ian McElhinney, had a few short scenes.

Mr. Hirst worried that viewers might remember and react negatively to the casting change, so he just set up a papal succession. But in reality by the time Paul III was elected, in October 1534, Catherine was long gone, and Henry and Anne had been married roughly a year and a half.

Mr. Hirst decided that any confusion created by the changes is outweighed by the interest the series may inspire in the period and its figures. To that end, he wants to emphasize the similarity to the current era.

"I mean, who is Henry but a man who's married to an older woman who falls in love with a younger one and wants to marry her?" Mr. Hirst asked. "We've seen that."

Natalie Dormer, who plays Anne, found it easy to see her as a contemporary. She said there were strong likenesses between her character and a more recent British royal beauty: Diana, Princess of Wales.

"They were both incredibly image conscious," said Ms. Dormer, 26, who was sitting in a dressing room, wearing a 16th-century-style ivory dress. "Anne Boleyn shook up the court in an aesthetic way."

Just like Diana, who used glamour to court the news media, Ms. Dormer said, Anne made it clear that she was bringing "a certain je ne sais quoi, a sophistication" to the court. So far, the historical Anne and the Showtime Anne have not noticeably diverged. (She really did contract and survive what was known as the sweating sickness.) But anything can happen.

Anne will do historically accurate things, like marrying Henry, giving birth to a daughter (the future Elizabeth I), losing her husband to Jane Seymour and losing her head to the executioner. The season will also bring Thomas More's fall from grace, which really occurred.

Just the other day Mr. Hirst swore that there would be no further historical adjustments this season, at least nothing significant that he could think of. Oh, except the plot to kill Anne Boleyn. He invented that to illustrate how much the English people hated her.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: irishenglish
Date: 24 Mar 08 - 02:19 PM

I'll start by saying I haven't read this entire thread. The subjectiveness of what movies I myself like, will differ with everyone else, or maybe we might sometimes agree on one in particular. What has always irked me is not that someone well versed in ancient Mayan culture has a problem with a particular scene in Apocalypto, for example, because sometimes, that comes from a real academic approach, but rather, movies that pass themselves off as being authentic, and true to the "real" story, that are anything but! Titanic was among the worst offenders of this-I remember them going on and on about the historical accuracy, when you didn't have to be an expert to know that so much of it was utter bullshit. By and large, I am always dubious of "historical" movies, but I also know that sometimes, you just have to let it go and try and enjoy the movie, and enjoy the silliness. Now, that being said, don't get me started on The Perfect Storm.....


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Little Hawk
Date: 24 Mar 08 - 04:18 PM

So...how did you like "The Perfect Storm"? ;-) Great re-enactment of a true-life tragedy, eh? Man, it can't get much better than that, can it?


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Wesley S
Date: 24 Mar 08 - 04:22 PM

And accurate too. That water really looked wet to me.......


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Little Hawk
Date: 24 Mar 08 - 04:23 PM

And cold too...


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Wesley S
Date: 24 Mar 08 - 04:29 PM

And did you notice that the fish looked really...fishy? Now THAT's attention to detail.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: irishenglish
Date: 24 Mar 08 - 04:46 PM

Well...that final scene with Clooney looking up from the wheelhouse whilst underwater was just too much for me, just like parts of Titanic. I guess in hindsight my distaste for this movie was not so much accuracy, but execution. They got a lot of things right, such as baiting the lines, and the general going on's of a longhauler catching swordfish in the Atlantic. But it could have been so much better. The directors want heroes, so they have to make a scene with someone trying to lock the boom in place look like an epic LOTR battle sequence. The book was fascinating, but this was an example of what I talked about in my previous post-for this movie, I could not suspend belief and just enjoy-the story was to real for me to do that personally. Independence Day was just a very basic storyline that a lot of people could have written, but was done in a way that was just fun, a movie I would still watch while relaxing at home. The Perfect Storm was one where they had all the tools in place to make a real event come to life again, but which had an open ending. No one really knows what happened, so when they showed that enormous wave, I was expecting, that's it, that's how they will end it, by just showing this enormous wave. Instead they had to show Wahlberg floating to the surface and Clooney somehow whilst drowning watching him go, in the big dramatic moment that felt completely tacked on, and completely unnecessary.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Don Firth
Date: 24 Mar 08 - 04:56 PM

Bee, your comment got me to thinking that, at one time or another, I have met a whole bunch of pretty well-known people. It's a combination of having been around long enough to attain geezerhood and, I guess, inadvertently being at the right place at the right time. I've met lots of well-known singers because I have attended folk festivals where they were and had a chance to chat informally with many of them. And I have also attended a number of science fiction conventions ("Cons"), and they're always crawling with authors. If you don't meet them in some workshop or other, just stagger into the nearest cocktail lounge, and there they are.

####

Right you are, Jack. It has been about 25 or 30 years since I've read The Mote in God's Eye and I guess I've forgotten some of the plot points, such as blockading the Moties. If I recall correctly (where the hell is the book? It's on my bookshelves somewhere!), it was the Langston field, a sort of variation on "shields up!" that enabled them to hang out in the photosphere (not the corona) of the red giant without frying, and nail the Moties at the Alderson point.

I knew Jerry Pournelle in the late 50s and early 60s when he was working at Boeing (space stuff—very hush hush) and going to grad school at the University of Washington. He quaffed regularly at the infamous Blue Moon Tavern, often with his wife, Roberta, and he frequently came to song fests and hoots. Jerry's quite conservative and pretty militaristic, and we used to argue politics a lot, but we were good friends and enjoyed the discussions (yelling matches?). One of the songs I did (still do) was "Bonnie Dundee," and he once presented me with a couple of pages of verses beyond the four that I sing;   historically very interesting, but it made for one helluva long song that got kind of boring after a bit.

He and Roberta left for California in the early 60s, and it was a few years later that I learned that he was doing some fiction writing. I had finished all of the James Bond novels and had read all the Matt Helm novels that had come out so far, and I picked up a paperback novel entitled Red Heroin, written by somebody named Wade Curtis. It was set in Seattle. That ought to be a snort, I thought. By the time I'd got a dozen pages into the thing, I had encountered some real places that I knew well, and a few people whom I was sure I knew, but by other names! "Who the hell is Wade Curtis?" I thought, then checked the back of the title page. Copyright by Jerry Pournelle. Ah, SO! Now it became obvious. Until then, I didn't even know that Jerry was interested in fiction writing.

His stuff started appearing in "Analog," and then The Mote in God's Eye came out, followed by Lucifer's Hammer, Oath of Fealty, and Footfall, also co-authored by Larry Niven, whose novels I had also been reading.

When Footfall hit the shelves in 1985, I learned that Jerry and Larry Niven would be in Seattle, autographing books at Tower Books. I hadn't seen Jerry in about twenty years, so my wife, Barbara, and I went to the book signing. I bought a copy of the book and Barbara and I stood in line. Finally when we got up to the table where they were signing books, Jerry looked up at me. He did a perfect double-take, jumped up and started pumping my hand, and yelled out "Firth, you son-of-a–bitch! How the hell are you?" Jerry has a voice like a bull-horn, and when he gets excited, it rises in pitch. I think he shattered the plate glass windows in the front of the store! I introduced Barbara, he introduced Larry, then he said, "Can you stick around until we're finished here? A couple of friends will be dropping in in a few minutes and we're all going out to dinner. Can you and your wife join us?" Sure!

That was a very memorable evening. It seems that the friend was Frank Herbert (!!). And he was accompanied by Mildred Downey Broxon (Too Long A Sacrifice), whom I had never met, but whose late husband, Bill Broxon, I had known. He and his first wife, Dottie, had hosted several song fests at their large house.

Jerry and Larry, Frank Herbert, Mildred Broxon, and Barbara and I wound up holding down a table at Ivar's Salmon House on the shores of Lake Union for several hours. Jerry commented that, at far as he knew, Footfall was the first science fiction novel to receive a "six figure advance," and that when he got his share of the check, he and Roberta went out to a very nice restaurant to celebrate. They had an expensive bottle of wine with their dinner, and Jerry said that he thought "I'd like to get another bottle of that wine. But it's so damned expensive!" Then he suddenly realize, "I can afford another bottle! Hell, I can afford a whole case!" At which point, he realized that, if he wasn't actually filthy rich, he still wouldn't have much in the way of money worries from now on!

Frank Herbert concurred that this was a very nice feeling to have, and that he, too, was enjoying that rather pleasant sensation of shock and amazement. He lived in Port Townsend, just a ferry ride and an hour or so's drive from Seattle, but he had just returned from Los Angeles, where he'd been working with a bunch of Hollywood writers on the script for the movie adaptation of Dune. He was pretty happy with what they had come up with so far, but he was apprehensive about the inevitable cuts. "And there will be a lot of them, I'm afraid. If they use the shooting script as it is right now, the movie will run a good eight hours!"

I didn't get much of a chance to talk to Larry Niven, but Barbara did. They were sitting at the other end of the table.

It occurred to me a couple of times that evening that I was sitting here having dinner with some of the Olympian Gods of science fiction! Frank Herbert insisted on picking up the check, which, by that time, must have been susbstantial!

Sadly enough, Frank Herbert died not long after that, following an operation for pancreatic cancer.

I wasn't aware until I checked just a few minutes ago, that there are two film versions of Dune:   one, the David Lynch version (one DVD, two hours and seventeen minutes) and a television mini-series version (three DVDs, a few minutes short of five hours). Mixed reviews on both versions (some pretty outspoken partisanship involved).

I think I have to check this out!

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: GUEST,Jack the Sailor
Date: 24 Mar 08 - 05:10 PM

I'm kind of with Irishenglish on "The Perfect Storm" Especially since, I'd read the book. The tacked on stuff didn't ad anything for me. On the other hand the movie did strike a chord with me having grown up with slightly smaller versions of those boats around all the time.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: GUEST,Jack the Sailor
Date: 24 Mar 08 - 05:13 PM

Don,

Great story about Pournelle and all. At the time Footfall came out, I shared his politics, especially his support for Reagan's Star Wars. I was a young, idealistic business major. Thank God I grew out of that. :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Bee
Date: 24 Mar 08 - 05:22 PM

Don, that's a wonderful account of a great evening.

I've actually seen both versions of Dune (I liked the books), and had the same complaint about both, and that is that they both seemed to go overboard on theatrics (in the oldfashioned sense, as opposed to special effects) and hammy acting. Mind you, I'd watch both again, since at least they didn't do too much damage to the story line of the books, and they were both visually pleasing. If you've ever seen Fellini's Cassanova, the movie tended to have that sort of feel.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 24 Mar 08 - 05:40 PM

Don, are you writing your book still? And is this in it?

Maggie, who wants to read that book and would like to have it signed by the author at a big book signing event.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Slag
Date: 24 Mar 08 - 06:44 PM

Don F., Wow! Pournelle and Niven, absolute top drawer in S-F. They actually have scientific backgrounds and they know how to move a story along. Crazy Eddy! As for The Postman, I had read David Brin's compelling story several years before the movie and so I was expecting good things but the inner-workings of the mind is a hard thing to portray on the screen. I have to admit my bias as I helped along the movie with prior knowledge. I thought it was a pretty good movie that ended on a bad leg. Check out Brin's Uplift Wars series. Really great stuff.

Back to John Wayne. Wayne was no great actor. He could only play himself. Whether it was Genghis Khan or Davy Crockett it was always John Wayne you got. But what was it about him that packed movie houses? He was always bigger than life and his roles always represented high ideals. Cardboard? Well, yeah, his acting was stiff. Two dimensional? Isn't that true of the entire medium? Cellulose? What actor isn't? And, he WAS an actor. I may detest George Clooney and he sure looked fine going down in that boat but I'll give him his due! He is a mighty fine actor.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Charley Noble
Date: 24 Mar 08 - 09:48 PM

Anyone for a definitive discussion of Cold Comfort farm?

Can you name all the cows (hint: start with "Feckless")?

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Grab
Date: 25 Mar 08 - 09:48 AM

A bit late to this one.

You can't really count "future history" in this, I think. So "2001" is out. As has previously been pointed out, there's nothing in there that's incompatible with space investment at the time it was written, or with physics. Even now, if we were to send astronauts long distances, the 2001 system is still one of the best bets (nuclear-powered propulsion for speed/power, mounted at the end of a long shaft to keep it away from the astronauts, and keep the astronauts in some kind of cold-storage to solve provisioning problems).

The best you can do is ask for some compatibility with physics. So yeah, points to "Babylon 5" for spacefighters following regular physics and designed sensibly for space combat (it doesn't need to be aerodynamic and you do need to be able to see everything, so pilots are strapped in upright and look out of a full-length flat window). On that theme, "Apollo-13" deserves points for attention to details like a cluster of fragments continuing to follow the module after the accident (no air resistance to get rid of them).

Ironically, the films that got it most right for me were the Lord of the Rings series. (Ignoring CGI elves and stuff, of course.) OK, they were in a fictional world, but they managed to add the details that turned it from pure fantasy into a world that you could live in. (Helped no doubt by Viggo Mortensen's tendency to sleep outdoors in costume, complete with sword.) So costume doesn't just include armour and a big sword, but also a utility knife for day-to-day use, sewing kit, tinderbox, proper layered outdoor clothing (convincingly used instead of clean and ironed), and so on. The specials on the DVDs are hugely impressive in showing the lengths they went to to make this a living world, as opposed to the "Conan the Barbarian" or "300" version of fantasy with under-equipped men wandering around in loincloths.

"Saving Private Ryan" is a slightly different case, being fiction set in a real past. I don't think there was much wrong with it historically. OK, it didn't reflect the real-history facts of withdrawing a soldier after his brothers were killed, but the fictional elements are set in a pretty much historically-accurate situation. From memory, I think a lot of British-made war films from the 50s and 60s also fall into this category, because many of the actors (and certainly the extras and crew) would have been in the war and on principle wouldn't have taken liberties with the facts, although censorship at the time would have prevented the "bodies-blown-apart" reality of SPR.

Graham.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 25 Mar 08 - 10:08 AM

I don't know, Graham. Even when I read the Lord of the Rings books, especially as a kid the first time through, I always wondered what they found to eat along the way. There is no way they carried all the food they needed and they didn't spend their entire trip hunting and foraging. They spent time cooking and eating, but not acquiring food. For me, it was those essentials that first forced me to suspend disbelief in order to enjoy the narrative and action of the stories.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 25 Mar 08 - 10:27 AM

To Don Firth,

Fascinating post, Don!

I was a great Niven fan for many years - but I could never stand Pornelle's politics, I'm afraid. I also think that Niven has lost his way a bit recently - his work doesn't seem to have the wild exuberance that it once had; those early 'Known Space' stories that he did mainly for Fred Pohl's magazines ('Galaxy', 'Worlds of If' etc.), back in the 60s, are incredible.

I don't suppose you've met Jack Vance, have you?

Sorry about the thread creep ...


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Little Hawk
Date: 25 Mar 08 - 01:31 PM

You can't spend half a movie showing people acquiring their food, preparing it, and cooking it, Stilly. At least you shouldn't. ;-) Nor can you spend half a movie showing people slipping off in the underbrush to relieve themselves or sleeping.

Those parts mostly get edited out, because we'd rather watch the more interesting stuff, okay?


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 25 Mar 08 - 01:56 PM

Yet could could mention at least once in hundreds and hundreds of tedious story how they provisioned themselves.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Little Hawk
Date: 25 Mar 08 - 02:50 PM

Oh, you want to keep the argument going, eh, Jack? ;-)

Okay. Here's how they did it. You note that in the land of Middle Earth there is a tremendous amount of unspoiled wilderness and uninhabited land. Agreed? That means there is undoubtedly a tremendous amount of wild game roaming around: deer, rabbits, wild goats, and many other such furry (and feathered) creatures, all of which make good eating. There's also a lot of plant life...more good eating for those with good hunting and gathering skills. Strider (Aragorn) is a character who has spent many years in the wilderness as a Ranger, and he knows how to find food and hunt. Legolas with his incredible skill with the bow can bag a deer or rabbit any time he sees one. The hobbits also know a bit about fishing, small game, and gathering. Gandalf has further tricks up his sleeve, all kinds of them. You're telling me these guys can't find enough food in the wilderness to sustain them while they're traveling?

I think they can. Just one deer could sustain the entire party for a few days if much of the meat was smoked in strips over a fire and packed.

They would survive the same way Indians did when they traveled in small hunting bands.

As for putting in some scenes of the hunting and gathering...yeah, they could've done that...but I think they were already dealing with a very big story and a limited amount of time to fit all the action in, weren't they?


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: ard mhacha
Date: 25 Mar 08 - 02:51 PM

Guest when referring to the many mistakes in the Michael Collins film tells us that the detectives sent down from Belfast to sort our hero out raised one hell of a laugh in our local cinema.
Guest also deserves praise at sorting out the numerous mistakes throughout the film.
As an old friend remarked to me many years ago, "when you go to The Pictures leave your brains at home". It was `The Pictures` in our locale.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: autolycus
Date: 25 Mar 08 - 03:51 PM

Must have been mentioned on other threads, but worth another outing.

The film's called Krakatoa: East of Java.

Whereas................ it's West of Java

(apart from if you go East far enough - just thought I get to that thought first.)

Ivor


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Wesley S
Date: 25 Mar 08 - 03:58 PM

By the way - In Lord Of The Rings they mention elfen bread. One or two bites fills a normal person. It's flat as I recall and compact. Just the thing for a late night dinner when you are avoiding Orcs and don't want to light a fire.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Little Hawk
Date: 25 Mar 08 - 04:10 PM

Yes, the Elven bread is called lembas. It is, as you say, very compact and very concentrated, and it's light in weight. A small square of lembas can sustain a person for a day or two, so you could get by with a backpack of lembas and some fresh water, no problem, and no need to even light a fire except if you needed the warmth.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: GUEST,Jack the Sailor
Date: 25 Mar 08 - 04:21 PM

>>>Oh, you want to keep the argument going, eh, Jack? ;-)<<<

No I was just wryly pointing out that your argument referred to the movies while SRS's comments were about the book.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: irishenglish
Date: 25 Mar 08 - 04:22 PM

And let's not forget the scene with Golum disgusting Samwise by eating a raw fish, while Golum is horrified at the taste of cooked fish.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Little Hawk
Date: 25 Mar 08 - 04:39 PM

Yes, lots of nice fishes to be caught, yeesssss, my precious!


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Don Firth
Date: 25 Mar 08 - 07:13 PM

No, never met Jack Vance. But at the Norwescons I attended over a period of years, I met such folks as Samuel R. Delaney, Vonda McIntyre, F. M. Busby, Octavia Butler, Anne McAffrey, Orson Scott Card, L. Sprague and Catherine de Camp, and whole bunches of others. More names than I can remember. Once when I was heading into the men's john between workshops, Stanley Schmidt (then, editor of Analog) was just coming out and he held the door for me. Whether any of them would remember me is highly doubtful. I was merely one of many hundreds of people in attendance (dozens of people in Star Trek uniforms, at least five fully costumed Darth Vaders, and one young woman who could not be called "svelte" by any means being Red Sonja or some manner of Amazon warrior, carrying a huge broadsword and wearing a chain mail bikini. Considering her rather generous proportions, a bikini of any sort was not all that flattering, and I've never been able to figure out what sort of battle protection a chain mail bikini would afford. But what the hell! She was having her fantasy weekend, so more power to her!).

Yeah, Maggie, I'm still working on the book. The first draft is getting pretty huge-ish, and I'm going to have to do some heavy-duty editing. My first idea was to write a history of the folk scene in the Pacific Northwest, then when I got into it, I discovered that this would take far more in the way of research and general digging than I felt I wanted to do (blind men and elephants and all that!), so I decided to make it more of a memoir, or collection of personal reminiscences. The first draft has a lot of stuff that probably doesn't really relate all that much to the folk scene (such as when Walt Robertson went to visit Fred Melberg and brought his dog with him.   The dog spotted Fred's pet skunk—fully loaded—got a bit too aggressive with Skyo Grundoon Skunk, and Skyo defended himself by Dropping The Bomb. Doesn't really relate all that much to the folk scene, save that Walt was there at the time. But I'd hate to leave it out).

So I kinda doubt that the evening with Jerry and friends should really be included. But if I were to change my focus and do an autobiography (every detail I can think of), it would wind up being pretty big. I have a copy of Isaac Asimov's autobio—two volumes, both pretty thick—but he's Isaac Asimov. I'm not sure who'd necessarily want to read something that hefty about an obscure Northwest singer of folk songs, no matter how handsome and charming. Too thick to use to prop up the short leg of a table, but it should make a dandy door-stop.

< rant on >
As to Jerry Pournelle's politics, Jerry was always well-informed and he always had the facts and figures right there. Check him out and he's accurate. He's got the data. Arguing politics with him was a bit like trying to argue with William F. Buckley, except, as I mentioned earlier, Jerry's voice tends to go up in pitch when he gets excited. We argued politics a fair amount over many a beer at the Blue Moon, and I must say that, unlike arguing with a lot of hard-charging conservatives, I learned a lot from Jerry.

That isn't to say that I wound up agreeing with him. Our different political viewpoints sprang, not from the collection of shallow bumper-sticker slogans that so many people take as Gospel, but from differences in our deeper philosophical positions. An example of this is that I've always believed that humans and human societies can improve (in fact, I've always taken that as a given in science fiction, and much good SF deals with that). It's not guaranteed that we will. But I believe we can. We should strive for perfection, even if we know that "perfection" (however we define it) is unattainable; nevertheless, humanity would be far better for the striving than it would otherwise be

Jerry, on the other hand, seemed to have the viewpoint that humans and human societies may have the capacity to "improve" (whatever that means), but human nature is such that they won't. There will undoubtedly be scientific discoveries and technological improvements, but Man himself and human societies will always have the same negative aspects—as will any alien species we might happen to meet. So we'd better stay on our guard and prepare for the future with this in mind.

Now, I'm not sure that I'm stating Jerry's ideas accurately (he'd have to do that for himself), but that's how they struck me. Thinking back over many conversations, I think I'm quite probably more optimistic about the future than Jerry is.

But—he may be right!

Lemme put it this way:   I may have missed out on a lot of good reading, but I have not read all of Jerry's stuff. Case in point. While browsing the shelves in a favorite bookstore some years ago, I noted that Jerry had compiled an anthology of stories entitled "There Will Be War." I looked at it for a moment, muttered something like, "Oh, crap, Jerry!" and stuck it back on the shelf. He's come out with something like eight volumes of stuff with the same title, same theme.

He seems to accept the idea of the inevitability of war. That "there will be war," and "there will always be war." I ask "Why? If we fancy ourselves to be intelligent beings, can't we do better than that!??"
< rant off >

But getting back to our regular broadcast:

Barbara and I watched "Robin Hood. Prince of Thieves" (NetFlix) last night. They played kind of fast and loose with the Robin Hood legend, but it did have some pretty interesting twists to it. Kevin Costner was Kevin Costner, Morgan Freeman was marvelous, and I'd pay just to watch Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio breathe. Alan Rickman (the Sheriff of Nottingham) can play villains like no other actor, Geraldine MacEwan was a real snort, and Sean Connery makes a cameo appearance (took a second to recognize him!). No mention of the villainous King John, however. Pretty good swashbuckler. Fun!

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Little Hawk
Date: 25 Mar 08 - 08:09 PM

I think the same way you do about that, Don, and yes, I think that is the fundamental difference.

There are really 2 basic philosophies out there when you get to the very bottom of it.

One is based on the presumption that people are basically rotten, and one must plan around that...and it will always be that way.

The other is based on the presumption that people are basically good, and that we are moving always toward attaining perfection...and that we will someday.

I subscribe to the latter.

Religious groups also tend to focus on either one or the other of those viewpoints. They either assume we're all miserable "sinners" or they assume we're shining angels who have temporarily lost our way.

Again, I subscribe to the latter viewpoint. I think humanity is basically good. This doesn't mean I don't expect bad behaviour from people....I do...because I know that most people are afraid. To the extent that they are afraid, their essential goodness tends to get crushed and blocked from expressing itself or reaching its potential.

A conservative takes that as normal, I guess. I take it as an abberation. A temporary malfunction in consciousness. If I didn't think there was a soul and an afterlife, however, I would have a pretty dark view of humanity.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 25 Mar 08 - 09:58 PM

Don, set up a blog and start publishing some every day. Do it in the order you want, and one of these days someone will approach you about putting it into a book. Happens fairly often now, from what I hear when I listen to radio interviews with people who got books out that way.

I'm about due to start rereading the LOTR one day soon. After I reread Moby Dick. I remember occasional mentions of food, and as has been pointed out, you don't need to spend all of your time taking a meal break. They don't mention a lot of general maintenance things. But for all of the times that they get wet and lost and separated from their stuff, this backpacker always wondered at the state of their possessions after each scrape. :)

My son is 16 now, and over the years I've had a very liberal view of watching movies with the kids. Sex and sophisticated ideas are in there with the comedy and drama. There are a couple of "beginnings" to our movie viewing. When they were about 10 and 13 I checked out a copy of Blazing Saddles from the library, and as it was running realized it was the uncut version. Not that I was looking for the other, but I had to explain a number of gags and references as we watched it. I realized this was a great opening to any number of things that I wanted them to know about. Also years ago, my first DVD player was on a computer I bought in about 1999. I picked up a copy of the animated film Chicken Run, and we watched it with the computer screen turned around to the living room. I realized it had a lot of references to other films so a couple of weeks later I taped Stalag 17 and had them sit down to watch it. They kind of fussed about it, until they saw how bad Peter Graves was. :) Anyway, that movie ended, and before they could think about leaving the room, I popped Chicken Run into the player, and they watched with new understanding the beginning of the movie as it panned over the chicken coops and landed on . . . number 17.

"Oh!" was the answer when they saw this. It clicked.

Dylan was about 12 when we were watching James Garner in Support Your Local Sheriff and as it got to a scene with a view down on the street as he's alone waiting for the gang to come to town, Dylan commented "That's just like in High Noon." Of course it was! And he got it!

There's more to it than just recognizing intertextuality, though that is important (I think.) Understanding the significance of that shot of the man alone in the street is also important.

A few weeks ago I was flipping through the channel guide and Dylan commented "Look--Vertigo, and then Rear Window! Are you going to turn on Vertigo?"

I asked him "Do you want to watch the last 30 minutes of the movie? I've really created a Hitchcock addict!"

"I can stop any time I want," he said.

We read Frankenstein a couple of years ago, the last bedtime book with him (we read out loud around here for years, and I still kind of miss it). Every time the film comes on or is referred to in some way, I see his head pop up, recognizing the reference. This is good. I like cultivating cultural literacy in the kids--they're getting the modern stuff in spades, and I'll contribute a solid background.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Little Hawk
Date: 25 Mar 08 - 10:05 PM

That's excellent, Stilly. That's how young people learn to think...rather than just idly absorb whatever new and ephemeral thing the pop culture is throwing in front of them this week.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Slag
Date: 25 Mar 08 - 10:14 PM

Well Don, I am truly jealous and I am NOT a jealous person by nature. I would have loved to have sat down with Mr. Pournelle and chewed the fat a while. I remember in one of his works he mentioned the 'Danes and to beware of them ( the Mundanes, that is). He also mentioned that he would himself like to have sat down with Niels Bohr or Albert Einstein but thought that a lesser light as himself would be inflicting his limited person upon so great a mind and would have wound up wasting the time of the greater intellect. I would have disagreed with him on a couple of levels but I appreciated his sentiment.

It was Pournelle's writing (and I assume a correspondence in his actual life!) that introduced me to Pimm's Cup or Pimm's #1, one of the first cocktails, kind of a gin sling. Up until recently it has been hard to find but worth the hunt.

Oh, you've probably already guessed that I pretty much agree with his politics.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Don Firth
Date: 25 Mar 08 - 11:25 PM

Yeah, Slag, Jerry's pretty good at spotting a cockamamie idea (and I have to admit that liberals—we liberals—are often pretty prolific at coming up with them—uh—but we're not the only one's, of course) and showing you why it won't work. I remember one occasion when the subject was a recent famine in or around India, and someone (not me) cited all the surplus grain that the U. S. had stored away at the time and said, "Why don't we ship all of that to India?" implying that the reason we didn't was some vast capitalistic conspiracy. Jerry took all of this in without saying much, but he pulled out a notebook and pen and made a few notes.

The following evening, he came into the Blue Moon ("And the usual crowd was there…."), and when he got his schooner of beer, he flipped open the same notebook. He'd done a little research and he'd crunched the numbers. He proceeded to inform us that the amount of surplus grain in the U. S. at the time was such that it would take all the merchant ships that the U. S. had some twenty years to ship all that grain to India, and it would be enough to feed the famine-stricken portion of India's population for about three days.

We certainly didn't disagree on everything, but we did tend to look at things quite differently. We were good friends, though, and I knew that if I ever got into a bind, I could pretty well count on him for help. And he, me.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Don Firth
Date: 25 Mar 08 - 11:27 PM

Maggie, I will definitely look into the blog thing. That's a good idea. Thanks!

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 25 Mar 08 - 11:36 PM

Google bought the blogspot site, so if you have G-Mail you can set up a blog with very liberal space and design features. Your G-mail address doesn't need to be your blog name. I've heard about several books that came from blog origins (now that blogs are more than just the lunatic fringe).

I was at a web conference meeting today about writing for the web and using blogs. The one thing that doesn't fit my ideas of good writing is what they suggest for web writing--chopping everything into little one and two sentence "paragraphs" because people who are looking at the web scan in such a way that dense paragraphs drive them off, unless it is exactly what they were looking for. So if you can manage a few short sentences or a bulleted list to describe the contents of your blog, then those who are interested will wade in, and those who aren't interested won't. But at lease those who are interested will know from your introduction that the material is more dense than one commonly finds online (where five to eight lines is plenty for a "paragraph," thank you very much!)

Good luck!

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Escapee
Date: 26 Mar 08 - 12:56 AM

" Bambi" was the worst. Deer can't even talk. Usually.
SKP


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 26 Mar 08 - 01:25 AM

Don

I've read a few of Jerry's space war books, seven or eight books at least and I would say that the philosophy you describe carries into the books. The empire in "A Mote in God's Eye." Is a traditional monarchy. I've read Pournelle describe such as a good system of government, better than most.

One of my complaints about Pournelle's science fiction, is that he has his armies using conventional, chemical powered guns mortors and RPG's
rather than something more high tech. But he spun good yarns so I read them anyway.

Apparently he believes the British Empire was the height of human civilization never to be surpassed. He has a point. I hope he is wrong.

My philosophy is more like Niven's vision. I think that technology and the expansion of knowledge can relieve man of many of the problems that human nature creates.

From a science fiction author's perspective especially one that creates a series of works in the future, it is probably best to believe that man will not evolve too much. The present day reader needs to be able to identify and supermen do not make for good protagonists.

___

I agree with pretty much every thing you said. Though I must point out that Gary Oldman gives Rickman a challenge for the best actor in the villainous roles category.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 26 Mar 08 - 07:51 AM

Thanks Don for some interesting thoughts. You couldn't have summed up my feelings about Jerry Pournelle's fiction any better (and I'm sure that he's the nice, dependable person you say he is).


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Grab
Date: 26 Mar 08 - 08:23 AM

SRS, that's only relevant for "Fellowship". The extended version actually shows Aragorn coming back with a deer one night (can't remember if it got included in the cinema version). And after "Fellowship" they're either with armies (which have baggage trains), on long rides/runs somewhere (so carrying little/no food), or it's Frodo and Sam living off lembas bread in Mordor where there's nothing else to eat anyway.

There's no mention of them digging camp toilets either, but I don't consider that spoils the books or the films. ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: GUEST,The black belt caterpillar wrestler
Date: 26 Mar 08 - 08:53 AM

To turn a documentary into a fantasy just include a scene with a steam locomotive!

I've seen some that were less authentic than Jack the Ripper driving a Morris Minor about.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: A Wandering Minstrel
Date: 26 Mar 08 - 09:03 AM

Its only a minor niggle but in the otherwise excellent Discovering Neverland, Johnny Depp (with quite a convincing scottish accent ) appears clean shaven. Unfortunately, contemporary pictures of J.M. Barrie reveal he had a handsome handlebar moustache.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: GUEST,Dazbo at work
Date: 26 Mar 08 - 09:43 AM

I was going to mention Das Boot but others got there first.

Band of Brothers supposedly was very accurate (compared to the book) but there's been plenty of controversy about how accurate the book was (and others by Stephen Ambrose too).

It's a long time since I saw it (30 years) but The Duelists struck me as being accurate sword play - at least they were using proper heavy swords.

I believe Cromwell and Waterloo were pretty accurate too, and The Battle of Britain ("Repeat Please" a great moment!!)


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: alanabit
Date: 26 Mar 08 - 10:43 AM

"Waterloo" was was excellent, particularly bearing in mind that Rod Steiger had less physical similarity to Napoleon than I have to Dougls Fairbanks Junior. Apparently a lot of the dialogue came from the historical records.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: GUEST,dazbo at work
Date: 26 Mar 08 - 11:05 AM

Reading that again it isn't quite what I intended to say which was: Band of Brothers (tv) is faithful to the book; however, there is argument over the accuracy of the book.

Hope that clears it up (well it does for me!!!)


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 26 Mar 08 - 11:30 AM

The Other in film is more often than not locked in historic pockets that don't faithfully represent their experiences. History is told by the winners, and how they characterize those they defeated is usually the problematic reason for this. Case in point, you probably won't often see the photo that exists of Sitting Bull (b. ca. 1831) and his wives in an automobile. His history and that of commercial autos barely overlap (prototype cars had been around since the mid 1850s, but the year of his death, (Dec. 15) 1890, is about when they started appearing around the countryside). Another example, it has been generally accepted that in transcribing his notes from interviews with Black Elk, John Neihardt removed Black Elk's reference to "radio" because it didn't suit to have that modern concept of broadcasting voices mentioned in the discussion. These are small examples from a scholarly world, but they illustrate that if it can happen in the academy where the attempt to teach history is generally based upon "facts," that what is out there in popular culture is all the more compromised. The Indian adoption of western technology, clothing, and practices just isn't shown in many films because the filmmakers prefer their Indians as either hostile savages or childlike tribes about to be chucked out of an American Eden.

List members have mentioned Mel Gibson's problematic portrayal of "history" in Braveheart and Oliver Stone's Kennedy re-imagining. My point in this commentary is to suggest that there are degrees of other and Other when it comes to story-telling in film. People don't have to work too hard to find out about the chronology of Kennedy's last day, but you have to work a lot harder, and you have to have a good guess to even know to look, to find what is left out of the story of American Indians and other indigenous people in Hollywood films. This is just one category of an underclass in Hollywood history. Immigrant populations are another group that for a long time were rarely depicted favorably (the darker the more negative--Social Darwinism at work). Population critical mass is changing that for representation of Spanish-speaking immigrants.

I have to get to work so I'll stop here. Some of this has been discussed already, but something brought it to mind so I thought I'd put this idea into play.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: GUEST,Chicken Charlie
Date: 26 Mar 08 - 12:44 PM

Sorry, but the "it's just entertainment" argument doesn't work for me. Regardless of WHY a film is made the way it is, people who see it will have their perception of reality shaped by it. Evidently no one in Hollywood understands a damn thing about geography, chemistry, mathematics or logic. I have my own list of anti-favorites, but I seem to foggily recall doing this before on another thread, so I'll go back to work now.

Except to say that while Pearl Harbor (it's entertainment, right?) was to my mind just a sappy movie, it was the Military Channel/History Channel "expert" guru/shooter dudes who approved the statement that NO American planes got airborne during the attack, thereby dissing the guys who did get off the ground and the ones who were killed or wounded trying to.

It may seem hyper-something to slam "Glory" for racism, but they did conveniently kill off the Denzel Washington character, who in reality won a medal (Medal of Honor, I think ...) for bringing the flag back. Did we omit that so Matthew Broderick/Col. Shaw would look even better? Oh, surely not, and if we did, it was just entertainment.

CC


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Little Hawk
Date: 26 Mar 08 - 01:19 PM

Who the heck says that no American pilots got airborne at Pearl Harbor???? It's been common knowledge as far as I know for the last 67 years that a few American fighter pilots did get airborne during the attack and they shot down a few Japanese planes. (not that they necessarily managed quite the sort of extraordinary and impossible aerobatics you see in the film "Peal Harbor" where the fighters do things in some scenes that were aerodynamically impossible, such as flying in a sustained 90 degree bank between some buildings without losing any altitude).


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Bee
Date: 26 Mar 08 - 02:47 PM

Don, if I may make a suggestion: you could combine your memoirs with a bit of your folk knowledge by footnoting copiously. Whenever an anecdote includes a person you already know something interesting about, or who connects to someone or something interesting, you include a brief mention as a footnote. Of course,
I'm a person who loves footnotes and appendices and annotations.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Don Firth
Date: 26 Mar 08 - 03:54 PM

Yeah, good suggestion, Bee. I am footnoting and endnoting a lot in the first draft and it's getting a little chaotic. I'm thinking that the thing is going to have to have an index and possibly even an appendix. I've even flirted with the idea of including a CD.

Sometimes I have disturbing dreams about trying to play the guitar, juggle, and type on my computer all at the same time. I wake up exhausted!

Movies:   A few weeks ago, I got the Platinum Series Special Extended Edition set of all three "Lord of the Rings" movies, complete with all kinds of extra features (sitting across the room, still in its shrink-wrap), and I'm waiting for a time when I can lock the doors, board up the windows, take the phone off the hook, then stoke up the computer and poke the first DVD into the drive, and not emerge until I've watched all three of them, along with the special features.

####

I haven't stayed in touch with Jerry all that much since that evening at Ivar's Salmon House that I described above, but I do check into his web site (Chaos Manor) from time to time. I just did this morning and read the rather disturbing news that he is undergoing radiation therapy for some manner of brain tumor. It doesn't stop him from taking long walks, and he seems to be writing a lot despite this.

Jerry has been into computers for a long time, has written a couple of books on the subject, and was a regular columnist in Byte magazine for years. Right now, he seems to be having computer problems—missing .dll files. I'm having the same problems and my computer is currently running at the pace of continental drift—click on something, then pick up a crossword puzzle book to amuse myself until the computer decides to respond. I'm still using Windows XP. Jerry is using Vista and is considering switching to a Mac. He makes the following comment:
"Vista really sucks!"
On the health issue, let's keep a good thought for Jerry, okay?

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Bee
Date: 26 Mar 08 - 05:27 PM

Good thoughts from me.

I was never able to 'get into' Pournelle's writing much, except when he was writing with Niven. Although, I could almost tell where Larry left off and Jerry kicked in.

And good luck with the memoir and the time to watch LOTR. ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: GUEST,Jack the Sailor
Date: 26 Mar 08 - 05:35 PM

Niven is a lot more fun. What an imagination!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Little Hawk
Date: 26 Mar 08 - 05:47 PM

Do you recall the scene, Jack, in "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World" where David Niven and some American guy (can't remember who) drive each other slowly around the bend over a day or so and finally get into a hilarious fistfight out in the boondocks somewhere...hilarious because they are both so utterly incompetent at engaging in fisticuffs! The battle of the supernerds, you could call it. :-) At one point they both haul back to deliver a mighty roundhouse punch and end up punching each other's fists, like a man punching his own reflection in the mirror...which causes them both to recoil, howl in agony, and dance around clutching their hurt right hands....

This is followed by further incompetent efforts to maim one another. Much panting and puffing, very little result. Even the Three Stooges were better at fistfighting than these two guys were.

It makes for a nice antidote to the kind of thing you usually see in the action movies.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: GUEST,Jack the Sailor
Date: 26 Mar 08 - 05:59 PM

No doubt LH that that one was good.

But...

The best ever "non action" scene in a movie.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Little Hawk
Date: 26 Mar 08 - 06:21 PM

True. But that sort of thing can only be praised in a society that has lost all concept of honor. And that's sad.

However, it's still a great scene. Perfect for an Indiana Jones movie.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 26 Mar 08 - 06:45 PM

Do you recall the scene, Jack, in "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World" where David Niven and some American guy (can't remember who) drive each other slowly around the bend over a day or so and finally get into a hilarious fistfight out in the boondocks somewhere

Just about everyone else in the world was in that film except David Niven. Maybe you're thinking of Terry Thomas? Wasn't he stuck with Milton Berle? (Been a long time since I watched that one.)

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Little Hawk
Date: 26 Mar 08 - 06:50 PM

You are absolutely right, it was Terry Thomas I was thinking of.

That movie had its moments, but it gets hard after awhile to listen to people yelling at each other in a frenzy, which is what most of the characters do most of the time.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: GUEST,Jack the Sailor
Date: 26 Mar 08 - 06:54 PM

What concept of honor would compel a man to go up against an expert swordsman armed only with a whip when there is a perfectly good gun at his hip?


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Greg B
Date: 26 Mar 08 - 07:00 PM

I found Pearl Harbor annoying because WW2 piston-powered aircraft
just didn't FLY that way. The CGI creations behaved like spacecraft
in Star Wars flying in a vacuum, not like aircraft flying in the
air. The angles of attack were all wrong, they went WAY too fast,
and they wouldn't know what an accelerated stall was if it (or
the ground) smacked 'em in the face.

The real aircraft, using real pilots, were few and far between.

I have flown in (and flown) one of the ACTUAL aircraft used in
that film, in Tora Tora Tora, and in Midway. A replica of a 'Kate'
torpedo-bomber, built from a bastardized North American AT6 (on
which, in fact, the Zero was based).

Pretty effective at stopping the games at the local soccer fields
when flown down the railroad tracks at a few hundred feet on
a Saturday morning, torpedo and all.

At the other end of the spectrum you have movies like 'The Blue
Max' where real good pilots risked everything.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Little Hawk
Date: 26 Mar 08 - 07:03 PM

In a society with a strong concept of honor, both men would use similar weapons. If one was lacking such a weapon, the other would provide it before the fight started. That's what 2 Samurai would do. And why? Mutual respect, that's why.

But I am talking in very idealistic terms here, so feel free to raise your eyebrows in disbelief, as I realize the present age of human development is completely unfamiliar and out of sympathy with such concepts. The only thing that counts now is "winning"...and that's an ethic that at heart I despise. It's completely unworthy of the warrior credo.

Within the context OF an Indiana Jones tale, though, it worked fine for him to shoot his opponent and I have no objection to the scene. It fits the movie perfectly.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Little Hawk
Date: 26 Mar 08 - 07:13 PM

The flying scenes in "The Blue Max" were wonderful. It's a delight to see the real airplanes doing the real stuff.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Big Mick
Date: 26 Mar 08 - 07:30 PM

What concept of honor would compel a man to go up against an expert swordsman armed only with a whip when there is a perfectly good gun at his hip?

***laughing like hell!!*** Yep, Jack, that is my philosophy exactly!

Mick


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: GUEST,Jack the Sailor
Date: 26 Mar 08 - 07:54 PM

>>>In a society with a strong concept of honor, both men would use similar weapons. If one was lacking such a weapon, the other would provide it before the fight started. That's what 2 Samurai would do. And why? Mutual respect, that's why<<<

I think that's where most movies get it wrong. I think that type of "honor" has been pretty rare through history. Every storied battle I can think of pitted a stronger foe against a weaker one. But in a lot of cases it was better weapons and "sneaky tactics" that won out. I'll bet the French say that Henry V "cheated at Agincourt.

Doc Holiday was not only faster than most. But he had the best guns available at the time and he cared for them like children. Should he have limited himself to using only the weapons he was faced with?

In WWI the brits beat the Germans by inventing the tank.

In WWII the Germans gained the advantage by building better weapons and having better soldiers. The allies countered with superior weapons and better and better pilots and other specialized soldiers.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Little Hawk
Date: 26 Mar 08 - 09:05 PM

All correct, Jack, and I am not arguing the point with you. If I were conducting warfare in a modern war, I would do exactly as the Germans, the Japanese, the British, the Americans, and all the rest of them did...I would use the most effective weapons possible at the time, and I would attempt to minimize my own losses and maximize those of the enemy by every means possible.

I simply made a philosophical comment about chivalry, that's all. I like it as a concept. I prefer societies, few though they have been, which embrace the concept of chivalry seriously, and make an effort to live up to it. The notion appeals to me.

In the west of the 1800s, for example, it was thought to be cowardly cold-blooded murder to shoot a man in the back...any man...and people were despised for doing it, even if they did it on behalf of the law. Robert Ford, the killer of Jesse James, was despised for it, even though Jesse James was a notorious outlaw. Now if Robert Ford had shot Jesse face to face, with Jesse armed and fighting back...then people would have admired him greatly for it. People in the west still had some sense of honor about stuff like that.

I can relate to that. Just winning is not as good as winning with courage and honor. People in the 1800s knew that, and that's why they did not like Robert Ford one bit for shooting Jesse in the back of the head while he was unarmed and dusting off a picture.

You follow? I'm not talking about how to win a war here nor am I attacking the Indiana Jones film, which was great. I'm talking about matters of personal honor in one-to-one combat, and I am simply expressing some philosophical ideas about it. I'm saying that we live in a very cynical age, and we do. People's lack of idealism now is just tragic. People act like they don't believe in anything anymore, and I'm thinking maybe they don't.

To imagine that I am suggesting, however, that we use the old chivalrous notions to fight a modern war campaign is to misconstrue what I am talking about. Given the nature of our weapons now, it's impossible to be chivalrous in the larger scale of modern war...except when it comes to how you treat a defeated enemy after the battle...and that's still quite important.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Little Hawk
Date: 26 Mar 08 - 09:06 PM

By the way, I saw the new film about Jesse James and Robert Ford just last week, and I think it's absolutely great.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 26 Mar 08 - 11:51 PM

You should read the book, LH, it's one of the best I've ever read. Ron Hansen is a great writer.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Little Hawk
Date: 27 Mar 08 - 01:16 AM

Thanks for the tip.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Grab
Date: 27 Mar 08 - 06:54 AM

Re the Indiana Jones scene, Spielberg originally *did* have him taking on the swordsman with whip and fisticuffs - the film still exists. But Ford called bullshit on it and suggested doing it how the now-iconic scene plays it. Which was the right thing to do for the film and the character, incidentally.

Harrison Ford, saviour of crap scriptwriters and half-assed directors. Sometimes in the one body, in the case of George Lucas - as HF is supposed to have said, "You can write this shit, George, but I can't say it."

Since things have drifted onto the Western scene, I loved the Costner and Kilmer version of Tombstone. I've no idea how historically accurate it is, but I can't imagine anyone doing Holliday better than Val Kilmer - a borderline psycho who doesn't much care about risks because he knows he's dead anyway, and who just happens to be on the right side because of who/what his friends are. Mind you, I'd watch anything with Val Kilmer - the guy even nearly made that Batman film OK (although not quite).

I'm not sure about your assertion about backshooting, LH. Although the concept of the showdown on Main Street is baked into the Western genre, I understood that most folks shot with handguns *were* shot in the back or side, not the face-to-face showdown we'd like to imagine. More likely still would be the "Unforgiven" scenario of ambushing them with rifles.

Graham.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: GUEST,Dazbo at work
Date: 27 Mar 08 - 10:56 AM

The story I heard about the indiana jones fight (one of those TV making of shows if memory serves) was that on the day of the shoot Harrison Ford had Delhi Belly (the shits) and didn't want to do anything too energetic or lengthy so opted to shoot the guy serendipitously making a classic scene.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: GUEST,Jack the Sailor
Date: 27 Mar 08 - 01:14 PM

Graham,

Tombstone with Val Kilmer and Kurt Russell is one of my favorite movies the acting was brilliant.

In WYATT EARP, Costner played Costner with a gun.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Grab
Date: 27 Mar 08 - 01:22 PM

Sorry Jack, I should have remembered that it wasn't Costner in that one. I could see Kurt Russell's face as well! Ah well.

Graham.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Little Hawk
Date: 27 Mar 08 - 01:54 PM

Tombstone was a lively piece of entertainment and Val Kilmer made a great Doc Holiday...again from the entertainment point of view.

"Wyatt Earp" with Kevin Costner was a far more realistic and accurate story of Wyatt Earp's life, and I think it's a very underrated movie...precisely because it went more for reality instead of for Hollywood action entertainment. My compliments to Mr Costner for that.

Either movie (Wyatt Earp or Tombstone) is just fine if you take it on its obvious merits and don't expect it to deliver exactly what the other one does.

People are so fond of picking on Kevin Costner unnecessarily, in my opinion, that I think they ought to form a national club of nitpickers and award gold stars to the people who come up with the nastiest critique of him at meetings, then all go out in the parking lot and have a circle jerk together afterward.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Little Hawk
Date: 27 Mar 08 - 01:57 PM

Well, well. I just got the 200th post there without even meaning to.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: GUEST,Jack the Sailor
Date: 27 Mar 08 - 02:15 PM

Its not nitpicking. He does not act. I don't know whether or not he can act because he does not even try.

I know it worked for John Wayne. But Costner is no John Wayne.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Little Hawk
Date: 27 Mar 08 - 02:29 PM

I'd halfway agree with you on that, Jack, Costner does tend to play "himself" most of the time...but Kevin Costner has done some great movies in his time. I would also say that he did in fact act quite well in some of them. He certainly acted well in JFK, for instance, as far as I'm concerned. He certainly came across well in the one about Elliot Ness.

He hit a point, though, where he became enormously and universally popular...and that's really dangerous for anyone in show biz....because what happens quite soon after that is that a reaction sets in against it, and people can't wait to see their old hero fall from the dizzying heights.

The negative reaction began to set in sometime after "Dances With Wolves", around about the time the Robin Hood film came out...and admittedly, Kevin Costner was miscast as Robin Hood. So that was when he began to appear vulnerable.

And what happened after that? An absolute feeding frenzy of Costner criticism became the soup de jour of the media. Let's all get together and screw Kevin Costner, said the critics and the public. After all, WE were the people who just couldn't get enough of him. WE were the people who put him on the cover of "People" magazine as "sexiest man in the world" only a year or two ago.

Nothing like that can last. People get embarrassed over their own adulation of someone. They decide their hero is not God after all, and they're out to get him from then on. It's like what happened to Springsteen after 1985. Remember? By 1987 you couldn't sell a Bruce Springsteen album in a record store to anyone for 5 cents! The poor guy had become toooooo popular...he got overexposed...and then the reaction set in.

People don't see how they do it. They build up their heroes large...way too large...then they turn on them like dogs when they see them showing a sign of weakness.

It's mean. It's petty. It's nasty. I don't like it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 27 Mar 08 - 02:57 PM

These things go in cycles. You'd have sworn a year ago that Mel Gibson was dead meat, but I see he has a film in production and another slated for later in the year.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 27 Mar 08 - 03:21 PM

Mel Gibson made a very loyal following with the "Christ" movie. He didn't lose any of it with his drunken comments.

Little Hawk.

I made up my mind about Costner from watching is movies. Wyatt Earp may have been realistic in all other respects, But he should not have been portrayed with the attitude and demeanor of a California liberal.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Little Hawk
Date: 27 Mar 08 - 08:09 PM

Oh, so? So now you're dissing California liberals are you, Jack? Humph! Next you'll be making demeaning remarks about chimpanzees and calling them "monkeys" and "poop throwers". Yeah, yeah, I know how it works... ;-)

My opinion of Costner has also been formed by watching his movies, naturally. I thought some of them were great...and I thought some of them were okay...and I thought some of them were just downright mediocre or even close to being a complete disaster (like The Postman).

But it all depends which ones.

My general impression is that he was mostly far more effective in his movie parts when he was younger. Some actors and actresses are like that. They have something in their youth that gets lost after awhile. You can say that about some singers too, while others age like fine wine.

But I think people have been unnecessarily cruel to Kevin Costner since not too long after the Robin Hood film came out. I don't think they are disposed to give a fair chance to anything the man does now, simply because it's become cool and fashionable not to. He unwittingly assisted in that process by trying to make a series of futuristic, overblown epics that didn't come off well (Waterworld, The Postman...). In the case of the Wywatt Earp film I think he did a fine biography of the man's life, though. It's the only film I know of that seriously attempted to depict Earp's whole life, rather than just building a drama around the brief events in Tombstone and the gunfight at the OK Corral (an event that took less than half a minute in real life).

A western he did that I was not very impressed with was "Open Range".


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 28 Mar 08 - 12:46 AM

I watched a few minutes of Kurt Russell as Wyatt Earp in Tomabstone on a cable channel this evening. Looked interesting. The couple of minutes I watched saw him rout Billy Bob Thornton as a crooked card dealer. Saw Bill Paxton in it also. He's an interesting actor.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Grab
Date: 28 Mar 08 - 06:31 AM

Costner's not always been bad. "If you build it they will come" ring any bells? And Untouchables was good too, although that was very much an ensemble piece.

But he certainly did have a run of bad films - seems like he chose stuff which sounded "big-budget box-office" but which in fact were all badly-written dross. A great actor could maybe have carried them, but Costner wasn't good enough for that.

Having said that, as a yachtie I loved Waterworld. That was *the* most beautiful boat!

Graham.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: irishenglish
Date: 28 Mar 08 - 10:51 AM

Costner has been in some clunkers for sure, but the one that I really enjoyed him in was Thirteen Days-I loved that movie!


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: RangerSteve
Date: 28 Mar 08 - 02:53 PM

I guess I'll come to the defense of "WaterWorld", too. There are only a few movies I've seen, where every character, major or minor was interesting, and worthy of his own movie. "The Fifth Element" and "The Outlaw Josie Wales" are two others. And it was always nice to look at. And the story wasn't bad. I'm still not sure why so few people liked it, but it's probably true, Costner got famous and needed to be shot down.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Little Hawk
Date: 28 Mar 08 - 03:06 PM

That's it exactly. The critics simply decided it was time to trash Kevin Costner, because he had become too famous and popular, and they went after him with a vengeance...and people in general simply jumped on the bandwagon.

Waterworld had a number of good points. It was a pretty decent action and sci-fi film, and it did not deserve the amount of abuse it got from the critics.

After that the pattern was established. If Kevin Costner did any new movie, specially a big movie...everbody was just waiting to pan it unmercifully, their mouths watering at the prospect.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: GUEST,Jack the Sailor
Date: 28 Mar 08 - 04:00 PM

The most glaring problem with Water World was that it did not have a protagonist that the audience could identify with. Same with The Postman and to a lesser degree the same with Wyatt Earp. Costner is like a cool California robot on the screen reading the lines and mailing it in.

People who don't like Costner as an actor dislike him because he does not act.

>>The critics simply decided it was time to trash Kevin Costner, <<<

because everything he does is the same character and Kevin Costner, not acting makes a great crazy Iowa part time farmer and a pretty decent washed up catcher, but is not so good as a post-apocalyptic hero or an English legend or a Western Icon.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 28 Mar 08 - 04:09 PM

Here is YouTube program (Charlie Rose) with an interesting take on acting. It't the entire show, but watch the first 4 or 5 minutes.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 29 Mar 08 - 05:26 AM

A point that seems to have been missed from the discussion about 'Waterworld': In a post-apocalyptic world, where did the baddies get the petrol for the jet-skis?


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Little Hawk
Date: 29 Mar 08 - 05:33 PM

They appeared to be getting it off the huge oil tanker that was serving as their home base. I don't know if that would be possible without a small onboard refinery operation...beats me...I don't know enough about that sort of thing....but that's obviously where they were getting the fuel from.

If what you're saying, Jack, is that Kevin Costner suits some roles far better than he suits others...I would have to agree. ;-) Even John Wayne genuinely suited some of the roles he played, despite not acting. Now take Clint Eastwood. Does he act? Or does he just play Clint Eastwood? Somehow it works in his case. Perhaps Clint is, in himself, interesting enough or intense enough that he can't help but be interesting to watch. That's how he strikes me. He's never boring.

Does Charles Bronson act? If he does, I don't know if I've ever noticed it...he seems about as impassive as an actor can possibly get. In Bronson's case, it doesn't work for me. I get absolutely bored watching him.

The only movie I ever saw him in where I liked the part he played was "The Magnificent Seven".


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Skivee
Date: 29 Mar 08 - 05:38 PM

where did the baddies get the petrol for the jet-skis?
Shimrod, my friend. Do you remember that big-=ass tanker "The Exxon Valdez" that was their base of operations? They had lots of oil. Maybe your point was that oil isn't petrol, in which case I agree with you. I guess we were to assume a method of cracking the crude.
Another reason that the movie was "pre-trashed" was that the budget doubled from about $60million to over $120 million. This was because most of the sets were destroyed in a storm off Kuwai.
I remember that the film was getting bad press for the budget before completion, as if Kostner was somehow responsible for the weather.
That being said, it's not one of his better films...essentially "The Road Warrior" on water. brain candy.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Little Hawk
Date: 29 Mar 08 - 05:45 PM

Yes, that's exactly what it was..."The Road Warrior" on water. The fact that they had to film it all on water made the filming very difficult and expensive, so the film went WAY over budget, and that got it a lot of bad press.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 29 Mar 08 - 05:51 PM

Bronson did act in Magnificent Seven he was brilliant and believable as a bad ass whose heart was touched by those kids to the degree that he willingly died for them. I am guessing that in his life at the time, Bronson really loved kids and he let that part of his personality shine through his usually cold movie exterior.

Eastwood has acted in Unforgiven, Line of Fire and Million Dollar Baby. When his characters have and arc and decisions to make in a movie. He portrays the feelings and the thought process.

Costner is OK when the rule suits who he is, But after Field of Dreams he tended to choose roles based on an ego which is much larger than his range.

When an actor gets hot he gets lots of roles and then he gets to show how good he is.

I am glad that Jim Cary got "Spotless mind" that Russell Crowe got A Beautiful Mind and that Matt Damon got a lot of the roles he got.
Matt's buddy Ben, has shown less range but is still good in some roles.

Actors hate being typecast, but some, especially Costner deserve to be. Governor Arnold is the classic example of a movie star who doesn't act. But he has been smart enough only to take roles that suit the personality he projects.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Little Hawk
Date: 29 Mar 08 - 05:57 PM

Schwarzennegger has indeed been very astute in that respect, just as you say, Jack. I also agree with you about Eastwood...the man can definitely act. He just sort of gave the impression in a kind of superficial way that he couldn't act for a certain period of time there, just because of the specific roles he was in...but he can. No question about it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 29 Mar 08 - 06:06 PM

I usually get stunned looks when i say this out loud, but I think that Al Pacino gets a lot of roles that he is not capable of portraying. What he does he does well. It just doesn't apply to all roles.

Now Kevin Spacey can act. But he should never have played Bobby Darin.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 29 Mar 08 - 07:18 PM

Kevin Spacey is a real interesting character. He likes to take risks. I'm waiting to see how this Bridge project of his comes out (Shakespeare, half the company from the U.S., half from the U.K., with performances in London and Brooklyn and one other international locale each year).

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: GUEST,Chicken Charlie
Date: 29 Mar 08 - 08:25 PM

Maybe Bobby Darin shouldn't have played Bobby Darin. :)
Just a thought.

I see we have basically drifted from criticizing movies to criticizing actors, which I don't have a problem with--some people even get paid for doing that.

The distortion of history in "Untouchables" --viz., the "where's Nitti?" "He's in the car" thing is absolutely overwhelming to me.

"Wyatt Earp" is, as far as I know, more historically accurate than "Tombstone," but Kilmer is the only "Doc" who so far has been allowed to say the line actually attributed to D.H. when the Earps told him he didn't have to go to the Corral, i.e., "That's a helluva thing to say to me."

CC

PS. I have absolutely no idea why or if ANY of this is significant! :)


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Skivee
Date: 29 Mar 08 - 10:00 PM

Puchino and DeNiro both do a superb job in HEAT. It's a GREAT heist film with solid story, cast, cinematography. All the charaters have depth and the actors play off each other in a really goosebumpy sorta way. Oh, and lotsa stuff blows up.
Errr, maybe I should start a BS thread about "Ten Films That Got It Right"


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Little Hawk
Date: 29 Mar 08 - 10:59 PM

I agree with you about Al Pacino, Jack. He's perfect for some roles...not so good for others.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Barry Finn
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 02:48 AM

Sean Connery has never disappointed me, maybe his roles weren't great but he was great for his roles.

I just saw the Other Bollen Girl. Liked it alot, the acting was good, the secenery great, the costumes good, the weapons even had me. Course I'm a sucker for this type of shit too.
What I don't like is forgettin the true history & having to go back & check the facts so I don't remain confused. It's sometimes just worth the effort to go see a flick if I feel compeled to to get it right later. I know some of it was off, like when do they play Trad Irish music at an English wedding & since when was Westin Wind a Trad-getry song & not Burns, timing there was off too. Poor Jane Seymore doesn't see her end coming at all, oh I better just read the real history all over again.

The worst of the lot are the war flicks. Is it because when a film is being made & it gets help from the military & the price one pays is that the military has to ok it if they're donating, that they can't get anything right. The war flicks IMHO are the worst. It's so bad that I can't even stomack the preview or the titles. If they filmed the truth I guess then none of the age group they're showing to (the same age as those that'd sign up) probably would never sign. Maybe if they'd film more of the truth, the rest of us would make enough of a cultural shift that war would be to grotesgue to start but then that would put an end to war films, holywood wouldn't like that

Barry


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: autolycus
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 05:28 AM

i From: GUEST,Chicken Charlie - PM
Date: 26 Mar 08 - 12:44 PM

Sorry, but the "it's just entertainment" argument doesn't work for me. Regardless of WHY a film is made the way it is, people who see it will have their perception of reality shaped by it


For me, that is one of the more interesting threads in this thread ! !

Several people have made a point like that.

CC's view doesn't, in turn, work for me.

How you see a film 9or anything) depends on several elements: your previous knowledge, education, agenda, relationship to (in this case) films and film-making, your idea of authority re facts and history.

If an audience's perception of reality is shaped by films, that's the audiences's lookout.

Part of the answer is education. If audiences, aka the general public, were better educated, they's have a better idea of what films and film-making were about, how the sociology of knowledge works, how the mass media work, even, heavens, how the society they live in works.

And they would be proactive rather than reactive in relation films (if not the whole of their life. because they would have been even-handedly critical (as distinct from against-everything critical).

Hollywood has no particular reason to be really interested in historical accuracy at all times. Nor does the audience. They have turned up basically because they want to be entertained. So why the hell should the audience think what they've seen is historically true.

As the car sticker had it, "If you think education is expensive, have you tried ignorance."

Harumfph


Ivor


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 11:28 AM

Ivor, how very postmodern of you!


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: GUEST,jack the Sailor
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 12:19 PM

Ivor my problem with CC in most of his roles or for that matter, Pacino in a lot of his, is in the allocation of finite resources that is movie making and movie watching, it is wasteful. There are fewer films being made. There are a finite number of good scripts, good characters, good directors. To see one of those movies diminished with acting that does not properly portray the character or in Pacino's case that it is so over the top and distinctive that even a suave sophisticated, rich lawyer come off like that pathetic little man, 35 years ago, holding a bank full of people hostage to buy a sex change for his boyfriend.

I want to be entertained. I don't want to indulge an ego which is unaware of its ability. I want the film makers to put someone in a role that brings something to that role.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: autolycus
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 04:28 PM

SRS, I think i say 'thank you' except I dunno what you mean. Can you help please?


: GUEST,jack the Sailor - PM
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 12:19 PM

Ivor my problem with CC in most of his roles or for that matter, Pacino in a lot of his, is in the allocation of finite resources that is movie making and movie watching, it is wasteful.

Reminds me of something.

Oh yeh. Capitalism.


Ivor


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 05:36 PM

"Shimrod, my friend. Do you remember that big-=ass tanker "The Exxon Valdez" that was their base of operations?"

Oh yes! Shit! I'd forgotten all about that ... silly me ... Just shows how much attention I was paying, doesn't it?

STILL (no pun intended), I wonder how easy it would be to get petrol from oil while floating about in the sea (he said defiantly in the face of overwhelming humiliation).



I'll get me coat ...


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: GUEST,Jack the Sailor
Date: 30 Mar 08 - 05:45 PM

Indeed it is, but is is bad capitalism.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 31 Mar 08 - 01:03 AM

Ivor,

How you see a film (or anything) depends on several elements: your previous knowledge, education, agenda, relationship to (in this case) films and film-making, your idea of authority re facts and history.

These are pretty basic arrows in the postmodernist's quiver. Also called post structuralism. Understanding that through experience, language, semiotics (the "sign" and "signifier" you may have seen reference to at some time or other), cultural activities, etc, everyone has a somewhat different understanding of the meaning of a work, whether on the printed page or on the screen.

If an audience's perception of reality is shaped by films, that's the audiences's lookout.

What is reality? Whose reality? Is the narrator reliable or unreliable? It is the "audience's lookout," as you say. Not only understanding the story, but understanding the film, if I can make a distinction.

It was an interesting remark.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Grab
Date: 31 Mar 08 - 06:31 PM

God, don't tell me some people liked Waterworld for the acting and characters?! Hell, when I said I loved it, I spent the entire movie watching the boat. It was a damn sight more interesting and better looking than anything else on screen. I do remember dozing off a few times - guess that must have been when they started acting.

Graham.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Little Hawk
Date: 31 Mar 08 - 10:15 PM

"These are pretty basic arrows in the postmodernist's quiver."

Whoof! Jeezus Liberty, Stilly, now there's a sentence that would reduce your typical pretentious afternoon Latte clatch of post-Yuppies at Starbucks into stunned silence, knowing that they had been outmaneuvered verbally and metaphorically and left basically in the dust, as it were, for the rest of the day. Holy sophistry, Batman! Could William F. Buckley Jr. even have matched that? I wonder.

What I want to know is, how come Ebert's getting paid so much to write those brilliant movie reviews when it oughta be you???

Zowie. ;-D


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 31 Mar 08 - 11:04 PM

I let the answer fit the context, LH. :) If I was going to put on my postmodernist hat, I might as well pull out the mask as well.

I've been writing book and film reviews for years. They're scattered all over the Internet.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 01 Apr 08 - 01:16 AM

Little Hawk,

The last day of March, and this evening my son and I watched Equus. I hadn't seen it since when it first came out--I knew it was powerful, but it hit me all over again. I'll borrow from Eliot

April is the cruelest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.


I figure this 16-year-old can understand it all, and I might as well contribute what I can to his liberal education. He asked if we can get A Clockwork Orange after reading a review of a film that opened a couple of weeks ago. I don't remember which it was now, I think the new film is a pale imitation. I'll pick Clockwork up at the library or get it through NetFlix. I'm glad he wants to do his own comparing, not only taking the word of the reviewer, or perhaps, taking the reviewer's meaning and looking back to the original.

April, and a young man's fancy turns to mindbending and psychoanalysis dramas. . . I'm quite impressed that young Daniel Radcliff (Harry Potter) took on this role on stage. He clearly wants to be a serious actor after all of the Wizardry is over.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: GUEST,Chicken Charlie
Date: 01 Apr 08 - 05:53 PM

But my dear autolycus, if people were educated, they would not buy faulty products, so we wouldn't need the Fair Trade Commission. If they were educated, they would not fall for snake oil salesmen, so we would not need the Pure Food and Drug Administration. If they were educated, they would not fall for various cons, and would not need the police. If they were educated, hey, the world would just be hunky dory, or however you spell that.

I don't live in the ideal world. I live in the real world, where young men see an anti-war piece like Apocalypse Now and enlist the following day because they saw a lot of things blown up in that movie and wanted to have fun blowing up more things. So much for the ability of audiences to always draw correct conclusions from "entertainment."

On another tack, I would maintain that several major wars have been waged because the perpetrators were force-fed a distorted view of history. Admittedly it's a long way from there to caring whether every historical detail in a given movie is accurate or not, but that's a continuum, and I would just as soon stop the distortion wherever it occurs, rather than trying to determine an aribtrary point at which it's OK to get it wrong in the name of entertainment.

Gladitorial games were also "entertainment," after all.

At least I don't have to come up with a reply to Jack the Sailor, who has a problem with "CC." I thought (briefly), "Ooops, someone has a problem with me. Oh, dear! How shall I make amends? How shall I correct my wicked, puerile, Philistine ways?" Then I realized--shrewd deducer of deductions that I am--that he meant Kevin Costner. I did have to look at a reference to see if it's Costner or Kostner, so I can't laugh at that confusion. But Cevin Costner? Now THAT is just pure entertainment.

KK


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Little Hawk
Date: 01 Apr 08 - 06:05 PM

Stilly - Cool! I suspected you might be doing something along those lines in the field of writing. I'm beginning to think we have someone here who can even outdo Amos when it comes to that sort of thing. We should arrange to have a "write-off" between you two and see who can reduce whom to gobsmacked speechlessness first...or better yet, get you to pair up and do movie and book reviews together the way Siskel and Ebert used to.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 01 Apr 08 - 06:10 PM

I'll admit it Charlie, I was thinking with my ears. I have no valid excuse. But if I were a member of Bush's Cabinet I would blame it on Bill Clinton.
But, and this is a big but!
If I were Kevin Costner, I might blame it on the script.


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 02 Apr 08 - 12:20 AM

Most of us can see from the way Amos rattles off his epic little pomes that anyone walking into a competition with him has their work cut out for them. He flits along the left-hand side of the page while I pile it higher and deeper from margin to margin. We might be apples and oranges.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Ten films that got it wrong
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 02 Apr 08 - 10:27 AM

Or bagels and croissants.


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