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BS: Seen any bad films recently

Dave Hanson 02 Jan 13 - 09:49 AM
number 6 02 Jan 13 - 10:16 AM
Becca72 02 Jan 13 - 10:19 AM
Stilly River Sage 02 Jan 13 - 10:33 AM
Little Hawk 02 Jan 13 - 11:16 AM
SINSULL 02 Jan 13 - 11:19 AM
GUEST,Stim 02 Jan 13 - 11:38 AM
Little Hawk 02 Jan 13 - 11:45 AM
Rusty Dobro 02 Jan 13 - 12:21 PM
GUEST,Stim 02 Jan 13 - 12:56 PM
GUEST,Roger Knowles 02 Jan 13 - 01:43 PM
Little Hawk 02 Jan 13 - 02:04 PM
GUEST,Stim 02 Jan 13 - 02:06 PM
Jack the Sailor 02 Jan 13 - 02:08 PM
Jack the Sailor 02 Jan 13 - 02:12 PM
Will Fly 02 Jan 13 - 02:15 PM
Bert 02 Jan 13 - 02:53 PM
Ed T 02 Jan 13 - 04:34 PM
Bee-dubya-ell 02 Jan 13 - 04:56 PM
GUEST,Shimrod 02 Jan 13 - 06:29 PM
GUEST,Stim 02 Jan 13 - 07:53 PM
Jack the Sailor 02 Jan 13 - 10:54 PM
Janie 02 Jan 13 - 11:24 PM
GUEST,Stim 03 Jan 13 - 02:01 AM
JHW 03 Jan 13 - 06:38 AM
Ed T 03 Jan 13 - 06:46 AM
Ed T 03 Jan 13 - 06:51 AM
GUEST,redhorse at work 03 Jan 13 - 08:45 AM
Becca72 03 Jan 13 - 08:47 AM
Little Hawk 03 Jan 13 - 10:17 AM
GUEST,Stim 03 Jan 13 - 10:52 AM
Little Hawk 03 Jan 13 - 11:11 AM
GUEST,Stim 03 Jan 13 - 11:48 AM
Bert 03 Jan 13 - 01:54 PM
GUEST,achmelvich 03 Jan 13 - 02:06 PM
DMcG 03 Jan 13 - 02:24 PM
GUEST,Stim 03 Jan 13 - 02:59 PM
Jack the Sailor 03 Jan 13 - 03:14 PM
GUEST,Don Gato 03 Jan 13 - 03:50 PM
GUEST,Stim 03 Jan 13 - 04:25 PM
Ed T 03 Jan 13 - 04:28 PM
DMcG 03 Jan 13 - 05:26 PM
DMcG 03 Jan 13 - 06:20 PM
GUEST,Skivee Guesting in 03 Jan 13 - 11:27 PM
GUEST,Stim 04 Jan 13 - 12:13 AM
Little Hawk 04 Jan 13 - 12:46 AM
Little Hawk 04 Jan 13 - 02:07 AM
GUEST,Stim 04 Jan 13 - 03:08 AM
DMcG 04 Jan 13 - 03:13 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 04 Jan 13 - 05:18 AM
Little Hawk 04 Jan 13 - 12:35 PM
Stilly River Sage 04 Jan 13 - 12:40 PM
Little Hawk 04 Jan 13 - 01:01 PM
DMcG 04 Jan 13 - 01:04 PM
GUEST,Stim 04 Jan 13 - 01:50 PM
Little Hawk 04 Jan 13 - 01:56 PM
GUEST,Shimrod 04 Jan 13 - 03:23 PM
Little Hawk 04 Jan 13 - 03:37 PM
GUEST,Stim 04 Jan 13 - 04:09 PM
Jack the Sailor 04 Jan 13 - 06:22 PM
Little Hawk 04 Jan 13 - 07:02 PM
Jack the Sailor 05 Jan 13 - 01:34 AM
DMcG 05 Jan 13 - 01:42 AM
DrugCrazed 05 Jan 13 - 04:58 AM
RangerSteve 05 Jan 13 - 11:18 AM
GUEST,Stim 05 Jan 13 - 11:55 AM
Little Hawk 05 Jan 13 - 12:16 PM
RangerSteve 05 Jan 13 - 02:18 PM
DMcG 05 Jan 13 - 05:00 PM
Jack the Sailor 05 Jan 13 - 07:18 PM
Jack the Sailor 05 Jan 13 - 08:08 PM
RangerSteve 05 Jan 13 - 08:33 PM
Stilly River Sage 05 Jan 13 - 09:02 PM
GUEST,Stim 05 Jan 13 - 10:23 PM
Jack the Sailor 05 Jan 13 - 11:17 PM
LadyJean 05 Jan 13 - 11:23 PM
Jack the Sailor 05 Jan 13 - 11:26 PM
Little Hawk 06 Jan 13 - 10:20 PM
number 6 07 Jan 13 - 12:14 AM
Jack the Sailor 07 Jan 13 - 12:25 AM
GUEST,Stim 07 Jan 13 - 01:36 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 07 Jan 13 - 04:56 AM
Jack the Sailor 07 Jan 13 - 08:23 AM
DMcG 07 Jan 13 - 09:02 AM
GUEST,Lighter 07 Jan 13 - 09:52 AM
Jack the Sailor 07 Jan 13 - 10:23 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 07 Jan 13 - 10:29 AM
Jack the Sailor 07 Jan 13 - 10:54 AM
Little Hawk 07 Jan 13 - 11:46 AM
Jack the Sailor 07 Jan 13 - 12:05 PM
Little Hawk 07 Jan 13 - 01:13 PM
Jack the Sailor 07 Jan 13 - 01:42 PM
DMcG 07 Jan 13 - 01:44 PM
Jack the Sailor 07 Jan 13 - 03:36 PM
Little Hawk 07 Jan 13 - 05:51 PM
GUEST,Guest from Sanity 08 Jan 13 - 02:24 AM
DMcG 08 Jan 13 - 02:33 AM
Little Hawk 08 Jan 13 - 11:00 AM
Jack the Sailor 08 Jan 13 - 03:14 PM
Jack the Sailor 08 Jan 13 - 03:19 PM
Little Hawk 08 Jan 13 - 04:21 PM
Jack the Sailor 08 Jan 13 - 04:58 PM
Little Hawk 08 Jan 13 - 07:04 PM
Jack the Sailor 08 Jan 13 - 07:56 PM
Stu 09 Jan 13 - 12:26 PM
Stu 09 Jan 13 - 12:37 PM
Stu 09 Jan 13 - 12:42 PM
GUEST,Shimrod 09 Jan 13 - 04:18 PM
Jack the Sailor 09 Jan 13 - 06:39 PM
GUEST,Shimrod 10 Jan 13 - 04:05 AM
Stu 10 Jan 13 - 09:48 AM
GUEST,Stim 10 Jan 13 - 11:31 AM
Stu 10 Jan 13 - 11:46 AM
Little Hawk 10 Jan 13 - 11:55 AM
Stu 10 Jan 13 - 12:07 PM
RangerSteve 10 Jan 13 - 08:49 PM
Jack the Sailor 10 Jan 13 - 11:13 PM
GUEST,Shimrod 11 Jan 13 - 04:06 AM
Alaska Mike 11 Jan 13 - 05:06 AM
GUEST,Stim 11 Jan 13 - 02:51 PM
Jack the Sailor 12 Jan 13 - 07:55 AM
GUEST,Stim 12 Jan 13 - 06:11 PM
Jack the Sailor 12 Jan 13 - 06:15 PM
GUEST,Stim 12 Jan 13 - 06:52 PM
Little Hawk 12 Jan 13 - 08:14 PM
Jack the Sailor 12 Jan 13 - 08:57 PM
GUEST,Stim 12 Jan 13 - 10:51 PM
Jack the Sailor 13 Jan 13 - 03:20 AM
alanabit 13 Jan 13 - 04:01 AM
number 6 13 Jan 13 - 10:03 AM
Little Hawk 13 Jan 13 - 03:24 PM
Jack the Sailor 13 Jan 13 - 04:17 PM
GUEST,Lighter 13 Jan 13 - 04:20 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 13 Jan 13 - 05:39 PM
Jack the Sailor 13 Jan 13 - 05:47 PM
GUEST,Stim 13 Jan 13 - 05:59 PM
Jack the Sailor 13 Jan 13 - 06:16 PM
Little Hawk 13 Jan 13 - 06:27 PM
Jack the Sailor 13 Jan 13 - 07:35 PM
Little Hawk 14 Jan 13 - 10:31 AM
GUEST,Stim 14 Jan 13 - 06:13 PM
Little Hawk 14 Jan 13 - 06:39 PM
GUEST,Stim 15 Jan 13 - 03:47 AM
Little Hawk 15 Jan 13 - 12:19 PM
GUEST,Stim 15 Jan 13 - 04:37 PM
Little Hawk 15 Jan 13 - 04:56 PM
Jack the Sailor 15 Jan 13 - 04:58 PM
GUEST,Stim 15 Jan 13 - 05:38 PM
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Subject: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 02 Jan 13 - 09:49 AM

Last night I had the misfortune [ my own fault ] to watch Ridley Scotts incredibly bad ' Robin Hood ' what a pile of shite, not only did Robin Hood [ Russel Crowe ] single handedly unite the Barons of England, he single handedly routed a French invasion [ unknown to English history mind ] and all the while an imposter with nearly an Irish accent !

And once again King John is cast as a villain, whereas in reallity he was a better King than the so called Lionheart and signed the Magna Carta but in this film he changed his mind and just persecuted everyone.

This is even worse than the Kevin Costner travesty.

You could understand it if it was made by an American director but Ridley Scott is bloodywell English.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: number 6
Date: 02 Jan 13 - 10:16 AM

"The Hunger Games" ... absolutely terrible. I struggled through 40 minutes of it before I turned it off.

This movie might be interesting to some someone in the 13 to 15 year age bracket.

biLL


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: Becca72
Date: 02 Jan 13 - 10:19 AM

Cowboys and Aliens - Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford should have been a great combo...but this movie blew.


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 02 Jan 13 - 10:33 AM

I had the 1940 version of Pride and Prejudice in my NetFlix queue and it arrived over the holiday break. Olivier and Garson had a horrible script to work with, hard to believe Aldous Huxley decided to take a hand in that screenplay. The story was so altered and mangled as to make it laughable. Perhaps they thought no one actually read the novel, just heard about it? And Greer Garson at 36, while still a gracious and lovely woman, was way too old to be playing a 20-year-old ingenue. And she's three years older than Olivier, who was playing a 27-year-old character at age 33. I just couldn't suspend disbelief to make that story work for me. :-(

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: Little Hawk
Date: 02 Jan 13 - 11:16 AM

Hmmm. Nope. Well, not since "Ted" (the one about the live Teddy bear...it had its moments here and there, but I wasn't too impressed).


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: SINSULL
Date: 02 Jan 13 - 11:19 AM

Twilight. Vampires for the pimple crowd.


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 02 Jan 13 - 11:38 AM

"Argo". A fast paced string of movie cliches being passed off as history. Swarthy, surly, curly haired bad guys seem like they're about to say, "We don't need no stinkin'badges", the "hostages" have no personalities at all and just bicker with one another, the A-list actors do mostly comic relief.

Kambiz Atabai wrote in What "Argo" gets wrong about Iran in The Daily Beast, "Argo pushes the boundaries of fairness and truthfulness beyond what some would regard as acceptable norms even for a Hollywood movie."

Ken Taylor, the Canadian Ambassador who co-ordinated the operation says,"One magazine here writes it quite properly, that Ben Affleck rewrites history. It was a Canadian Caper, done in cooperation with CIA, but very much a Canadian operation".

It's entertaining, though, and given that our American embassies seem are a sensitive issue right now, it's a big hit, and likely to win Oscars (sorry Peter Jackson, no more for you!)

The thing that grates most though, is that it's a feel-good movie about the CIA. So it goes...


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: Little Hawk
Date: 02 Jan 13 - 11:45 AM

Hollywood should make a movie about how the CIA and Britain's intelligence services conspired to destroy Iran's fledling democracy in the 1950s and replace it with a dictatorship under the Shah. Why? So that western corporations could continue controlling Iran's oil fields, that's why.

And everything else that's happened in Iran since derives from that foreign-imposed takeover of Iran.

I predict Hollywood will never make such a movie. It would NOT make you feel good about the CIA. Not in the least.


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: Rusty Dobro
Date: 02 Jan 13 - 12:21 PM

'Sleepy Hollow' cured my 'if Johnny Depp's in it, it should be a decent film' habit.

Oh, and we gave up halfway through 'Horrible Bosses'.


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 02 Jan 13 - 12:56 PM

"the CIA and Britain's intelligence services conspired to destroy Iran's fledling democracy in the 1950s and replace it with a dictatorship under the Shah."

That's not exactly true, Little Hawk. Check the link I posted above,
you will learn that:

• The film claims that in 1953 a democratically elected prime minister, Dr. Mohammad Mossadegh, was overthrown in a plot that installed the Shah on the Peacock Throne. In pre-revolutionary Iran, the prime minister was always appointed after receiving a vote of confidence from the Parliament. Dr. Mossadegh was appointed to his post by the Shah in 1951 and then again in 1952.

• The Shah did not become king in 1953—he had already been on the throne since 1941 (following the ouster of his father at the hands of the British and Russians).

• The accusation that the Shah was a "puppet" of the West and particularly the Americans is an old canard disproven by the most recent scholarship. To the contrary, the Shah was a strong nationalist whose ambitions led to protracted and intense disagreements between Tehran and Washington over the direction of Iran's foreign and domestic policies.

You should see "The Queen and I", a very interesting HBO documentary
made about meetings between the Shah's wife, Queen Farah, and filmaker Nahid Sarvestani, who had fought for the Shah's overthrow.
I think you will like it a lot.


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: GUEST,Roger Knowles
Date: 02 Jan 13 - 01:43 PM

I stopped watching 'Skyfall' the latest James Bond movie, about 30 minutes after the start. In my humble opinion it lacks continuity, humour and exists only for special effects and loud bangs.
Time for Daniel Craig to bow out, I feel. Judy Dench is far too old to be employed by any government agency, the series has run it's course.


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: Little Hawk
Date: 02 Jan 13 - 02:04 PM

Well, they'll just renew it with another, younger cast, then. Guaranteed.


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 02 Jan 13 - 02:06 PM

The worst thing about that film, for me anyway, was the "James Bond 50 Years" tag at the end. It made me feel so old. It is now the 14th highest grossing film of all time, so be ready for more...


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 02 Jan 13 - 02:08 PM

The Robin Hood movie was good fiction. But it should have had a disclaimer at the end saying that it was. With one saying that there is little or no solid evidence of a real, historic Robin Hood.

I liked Hunger Games. It wasn't a great movie. But is wasn't bad.

I agree about Twilight series. I could watch a vampire movies for teenagers if it was either well acted, well written or well directed.

But a Christian vampire that has a baby who shows less emotional range than your average movie zombie. No thanks.

Prometheus was an ok movie. But certainly a disappointment.

I liked Cowboys and Aliens. Not much of a plot. Just an excuse to have some cool scenes of cowboys fighting aliens.

"The Raven" sucked. Too much contemporary dialog. Not enough Poe(try)


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 02 Jan 13 - 02:12 PM

I haven't seen Skyfall. But I think Craig is a great Bond. He has the size and menace of Connery but can act better than any of the previous ones.

I am so tied of the skinny little Bonds, chosen apparently for their ability to model a tux.


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: Will Fly
Date: 02 Jan 13 - 02:15 PM

"Skyfall" was shite. I was so bored I left at half-time. According to friends who stayed the distance, it didn't get any better.

Hyped to the gills by the media. A huge let-down after Craig's "Casino Royale".


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: Bert
Date: 02 Jan 13 - 02:53 PM

Kenneth Williams: Fantabulosa!

Miserably disappointing. Almost nothing about his genius. Just a sad, rambling account of his private life. I am sure it is not the way he would have wished to have been remembered.


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: Ed T
Date: 02 Jan 13 - 04:34 PM

I watched Cowboys and Aliens free on TV, and Like JtS, found it entertaining, as an alternative-western (I recall many westerns were pretty poor).


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 02 Jan 13 - 04:56 PM

All the bad films I've seen recently have been so bad I've already forgotten their names.


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 02 Jan 13 - 06:29 PM

Just watched 'Avatar' on TV. Absolutely extraordinary visual effects; dismal, cliche ridden plot and script.


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 02 Jan 13 - 07:53 PM

Out of curiousity, I just watched "Kenneth Williams:Fabulosa!"--It's on Youtube in eight parts. I found it quite compelling--a great exploration of character--peeling through the veneer to find glimpses of the soul, and that sort of thing. The acting was likewise compelling. Because it was Youtube, many Kenneth Williams bits and docs popped up--which I watched as well.

I was reminded, once again(second time today), that films are fiction, and even when they are supposed to be about real persons and events, they are in fact only stories made up from "real" pieces.

Even though the character has Kenneth Williams name, and the events, and even the diary, are from his life, the story belongs to the writer, not to him, and another writer, director, and actor could have created a very different film from the same pieces...


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 02 Jan 13 - 10:54 PM

The Hobbit sux orc dix.


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: Janie
Date: 02 Jan 13 - 11:24 PM

Bad films, or films one dislikes? Because I like a film or find it entertaining doesn't necessarily make it a good film, and because I dislike it or don't find it entertaining doesn't necessarily make it a bad film.


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 03 Jan 13 - 02:01 AM

Not sure how much resonance that idea has these days, Janie;-)

I generally try to give reasons for what I think about movies. When someone simply announces that something is "shite" or that it "sucks" I don't consider that much of a response. Same for superlatives.

Also, as a performer and creative person, I don't appreciate it when someone tells me my work sucks, or is shite, and I try to extend some respect to others. Some disagree.

As to what constitutes a good film, well, there's the question. If you are a 17 year old adolescent male(or a 40+ adult male who thinks like one) you could have a different
answer than say, a female educator or psychologist. Someone in the film industry might have a very different perspective than someone who is a scholar of Restoration Comedy, and both could be equally thorough in their evaluations.

I've had a serious movie problem lately, and if someone mentions a film, I am more likely than not to watch it. In fact, if someone mentions a TV series, there is a serious possibility that I will watch it, Netflix and Hulu have opened the door, and there's no closing it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: JHW
Date: 03 Jan 13 - 06:38 AM

Looks as though I'm doing ok ignoring Skyfall and Hobbits and never considered Hunger games.
For old time sake I saw 'White Christmas' (at a proper cinema) on Xmas Eve as I'd not seen it before. Bad move.


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: Ed T
Date: 03 Jan 13 - 06:46 AM

""Bad films, or films one dislikes?""


I suspect the definition of the former differs somewhat, and may be impacted by the latter?


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: Ed T
Date: 03 Jan 13 - 06:51 AM

The reason I found Cowboys and Aliens entertaining is it is unique as it added a futuristic aspect to "the old western" and IMO, did it quite well (it was not too hokey). Added to that, the acting and the story line was (IMO) good.


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: GUEST,redhorse at work
Date: 03 Jan 13 - 08:45 AM

I enjoyed Cowboys and Aliens as a good B-movie.

Prometheus on the other hand was dreadful; pompous, self-important and pretentious, and everything clunkingly signalled. The only good bit was the 8-second clip from "Lawrence of Arabia".


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: Becca72
Date: 03 Jan 13 - 08:47 AM

Sorry, Ed - I couldn't find a plot to save my life and the visual effects were not enough to make it worth the time. I love Harrison Ford but even he couldn't save it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: Little Hawk
Date: 03 Jan 13 - 10:17 AM

A friend lent me a copy of "Horrible Bosses". I managed to get through half of it...then ejected the CD from the machine in disgust and did something else instead. I'd call it a "bad film", you betcha!

Why? Well, it had a dreadful script. Awful dialogue. Very exaggerated characters whom I could not believe in as real people.

Is that enough to qualify as "bad"?

I find these same problems with a great many films these days...the dialogue isn't like that of real people...it's a sort of alternate-reality Bla-bla that sounds "cool" and "funny" to the people who write it because it sets up tension between extreme opposites who are gross stereotypes of some kind, but it's quite unlike most people in real life. I call that very bad scriptwriting. Horrible Bosses is a horrible movie. If I'd acted in it, I wouldn't want anyone to know! ;-) And I'd walk out of the theatre wearing a bag over my head if I'd had the bad judgement to PAY to see it. Fortunately, that didn't happen.


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 03 Jan 13 - 10:52 AM

Did you expect that to be a "good" film, Little Hawk?

The thing is, that there is a big market out there for films that have tension between extreme opposites who are stereotypes-well actually caricatures. I looked "Horrible Bosses" up at Box Office Mojo, and they say it grossed more than $200 million, domestically, and another $90 million worldwide. I didn't need to tell you that. It was made to make money. Like "Bad Teacher"--which, I also shouldn't have to tell you, fits into the same box.

They make a lot of movies, though, LH, and some are really, really good. Do yourself a favor--watch "Safety Not Guaranteed", like I suggested in the other thread. It was made for you..


And, I haven't seen "Horrible Bosses", but I have a really bad feeling that I may watch it tonite (if it's on either Netflix or Hulu).


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: Little Hawk
Date: 03 Jan 13 - 11:11 AM

No, Stim, I didn't expect it to be a good film. I'd certainly never have gone to see it at the theatre. But a good friend lent it to me, you see.... so I thought, "Well, okay, I guess I'll give it a try."

I was expecting it to be a not very good film, possibly with some funny moments here and there. It turned out to be far worse than that. ;-) Which is why I only ended up watching half of it.

I've been watching the TV series "Glee" lately which the same friend lent me. I like some of the musical performances...and some of the characters too. But again, the script writing is really of the same type we've been discussing...the absurd, exaggerated confrontations between extreme stereotypes...and that gets pretty tedious after awhile. It's scriptwriting aimed at an adolescent mindset, and not a very smart adolescent mindset at that.

I enjoy the character "Rachel" in "Glee", though. She's an interesting girl, and a simply phenomenal singer. I'd have fallen madly in love with her type back in High School...matter of fact, there was a girl a lot like her in my school, a really bright girl who didn't fit the typical "cheerleader" mode at all, and I really had a thing about her at the time. She even looked rather like "Rachel" (Lea Michelle), she was serious, and she was smart. I've always liked smart women. She became the class valedictorian in senior year. What has become of her since, I have no idea, but I imagine she did well in life.


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 03 Jan 13 - 11:48 AM

If you like "Glee", there is also "Smash", which is like Glee, only set on Broadway. The story lines are...well, shall we say, typical show business motifs...


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: Bert
Date: 03 Jan 13 - 01:54 PM

Yes Stim, you say. Because it was Youtube, many Kenneth Williams bits and docs popped up--which I watched as well.

The Youtube bits were exactly what was missing from the film. They show the real genius of Kenneth Williams. His personal life as portrayed in the film was just sad. Not what you want to see when you expect Kenneth Williams. The whole point of watching a film about a comedian would be to see the comedian; not to see a dreary account of other aspects of his life.


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: GUEST,achmelvich
Date: 03 Jan 13 - 02:06 PM

i reckon tilda swinton is a great actress and gives an amazing performance in this film which is the most depressing couple of hours i have spent since my cancer diagnosis - 'we need to talk about kevin' - no, we don't.


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: DMcG
Date: 03 Jan 13 - 02:24 PM

One thing that really irked about about Avatar was that every creature on the planet had six limbs except the blue critters. I kept wondering about that happened, genetically.


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 03 Jan 13 - 02:59 PM

Bert-Someone, not sure who, commented that it was a mistake to take his diaries as anything other than simply the sort of the end of the day bitching than one does to a confidant. I think that the film makers made that mistake, and played his writings out as the reflections of a deeply tormented soul.

Also, the film made it seem like his tv appearances were some sort of fall from grace. Watching them, it is, much to the contrary, clear that he was at his best simply telling stories to a audience. As an American, I had only seen him in movies, and I was as delighted by him as the show audiences were.

The film reminds me of Bob Fosse's "Lenny", in which Dustin Hoffman
portrays comedian Lenny Bruce-a brilliant actor,playing out the torments of one of the most influential comedians of all time. Hoffman was everything except funny...


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 03 Jan 13 - 03:14 PM

"One thing that really irked about about Avatar was that every creature on the planet had six limbs except the blue critters. I kept wondering about that happened, genetically. "


Me too
The best I can figure is that Cameron did not think the audience would identify with a love interest that could make love and knit at the same time.


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: GUEST,Don Gato
Date: 03 Jan 13 - 03:50 PM

The 'Imperial Edition' of Caligula which Fopp in MCR were doing for £2.99 with any purchase as a 'festive promotion' (it was either that or The Nightmare Before Xmas). Bad doesn't come into it. I thought it would be the general cut version, but no - totally uncut hardcore tedium from beginning to end. Why didn't I switch it off? A matter of politeness I'm afraid; I had the in-laws over for Xmas and they were riveted from the off. Still, made the Xmas Dr Who look good...


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 03 Jan 13 - 04:25 PM

So let me get this straight, you think that "Avatar" was a bad movie because all of the creatures on the planet didn't have six limbs? Or is it just that it would have been better, had they all six limbs? Would you include humans in that?

And, just to play devil's advocate, do you think Earth would be a better planet if we all had
six limbs? What about spiders?


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: Ed T
Date: 03 Jan 13 - 04:28 PM

Becca72 , I guess we disagree on that one, as such differences are frequent when it comes to personal choice in entertainment.

While many critics were puzzled by the movie, (as it does not fit as a traditional western nor a science fiction flick/plot. Roger Ebert gave it a 3 star. Here is his reasoning (btw, he found the acting "of a high standard" and the movie "well made"):

"Cowboys & Aliens" has without any doubt the most cockamamie plot I've witnessed in many a moon.

The movie will no doubt be popular and deserves success. As preposterous moneymakers go, it's ambitious and well-made. The acting from the large cast is of a high standard, Craig and Ford were more or less born into their roles, and director Jon Favreau actually develops his characters and gives them things to do, instead of posing them in front of special effects.

Yet I feel a certain small sadness. I wish this had been a Western. You know, the old-fashioned kind, without spaceships.We are told, however, that the Western is a dead genre. The last one kids liked was "Rango," an animated cartoon. "True Grit," "Appaloosa" and "3:10 to Yuma" were good, but limited in their demographic appeal. A competent director — Favreau, say — could have ditched the ridiculous aliens and made a straight Western with the same cast, but today there's small chance of that.

Yet I suspect the big audiences drawn to this concept will find themselves more deeply drawn into the conventional Western material in the opening scenes, before the aliens attack.""


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: DMcG
Date: 03 Jan 13 - 05:26 PM

No, that's not the main reason I was unimpressed by Avatar: it was more that they put so much effort into image that they forgot about the story. The result was that despite the graphics it was astonishingly short of imagination. And this was typified by the way the only way they could represent the blue unmeanies was as us in a different colour and with a little vertical distortion. As I've said elsewhere 'Ferngully' had the same story with more intellectual depth.


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: DMcG
Date: 03 Jan 13 - 06:20 PM

Perhaps I should address the six-limbed question more directly. Any successful story requires something referred to as 'suspension of disbelief'. It's what allows us to put up with action movies where all the villains are superb shots unless they are trying to kill the hero. When you lose that, the whole thing falls into a heap. I remember a horror fim which was really scary until one scene with a floating skull in which wires were clearly visible which made the whole audience burst out laughing in cinemas everywhere.

Films like the Harry Potters can get away with scientific impossibilities because that is part of the premise. But when a fim doesn't have that premise, it risks the equivalent of the visible wires effect. And for me, the appearence of one 4 limbed animal when it seems all the rest of the world uses a six-limbed model punctures the image.

That these beings can kill creatures using arrows when we've been told they are almost impossible to kill with armaments doesn't help much either.


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: GUEST,Skivee Guesting in
Date: 03 Jan 13 - 11:27 PM

DMcG, I'm with you on the arm count front.
A very jettisonable story but a clear step forward in image tech.
Still, the whole idea that aliens would look like blue two armed cat versions of humans unlikey


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 04 Jan 13 - 12:13 AM

DMcG-I've considered your comments, and even went and looked up all the creatures, examined their pictures, counted their limbs, and read their back stories. I think Avatar follows it's own rules really well. The term is "willful suspension of disbelief", and for my money, "Avatar" made it a lot easier than many movies.


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: Little Hawk
Date: 04 Jan 13 - 12:46 AM

I absolutely loved Avatar. I've seldom seen a movie I liked better.

But...here's the interesting thing about that...I agree with D. McG that "it was more that they put so much effort into image that they forgot about the story. The result was that despite the graphics it was astonishingly short of imagination."

Yeah. Quite so. And yet I loved the movie anyway, because it presented an "outsider" race who were absolutely beautiful in both their appearance and their philosophy, who lived in an absolutely beautiful natural world (though a dangerous one), and who were the antithesis to the technologically dominated, mercenary, corrupt society we presently live in.

That put something in front of me that I care deeply about and it stood up in the face of the absolute worship of our modern military which is so prevalent in this society we live in. We've been brought up to give our support to a ravening military-industrial-financial system that is a monster, one that is destroying the natural world on our own planet and dominating our lives to the detriment of our own human communities.

The Natives in Avatar were the image of the complete opposite of this corrupt order that is all around us, that dominates us, and oppresses us.

And I found that utterly inspiring, despite the unimaginative and cliche-ridden script that D.McG so rightly objects to.

And regarding Fern Gully....yes, I've heard that the story in Avatar is a ripoff of Fern Gully. However, I've never seen Fern Gully. Therefore that didn't present any problem for me. I can readily see why it would present a problem for someone who has seen Fern Gully.

And why did they make the Natives in Avatar look a lot like us? So we could easily relate to them, that's why. It's a perfectly understandable thing to do when you make a movie intended to be viewed by human beings, is it not? So I don't have a problem with that either.

There was never any indication in the film that the very heavily armoured creatures in Avatar (the ones that charged the troops) or the panther-like predators were "easy to kill" using the Native's large arrows. The only creatures they killed with arrows were a gentle-looking deer-like creature with no body armour and some small wolf-like creatures with no body armour. They appeared intent on avoiding combat with the armoured creatures or the Pantherlike ones.

Likewise, the unarmoured horse-like creatures proved quite vulnerable to gunfire....but not the armoured creatures.

So I see no particular inconsistency there either.

I agree that the plot was lacking in imagination, as was most of the dialogue. The movie still worked for me anyway, because it had idealism about something I DO believe in...for a change...instead of being another propaganda piece to make people worship our own military-industrial complex. I found that to be a breath of fresh air. In Avatar, Crazy Horse and his people (in effect) won the day! The foreign "outsiders" beat the damn Empire and its technological stormtroopers and their businessmen and all their damn high-tech weapons!!! That's a rare thing indeed, and something I was very glad to see onscreen for a change, even if the script could have been way better than it was.


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: Little Hawk
Date: 04 Jan 13 - 02:07 AM

When I say "foreign outsiders" of the Na'avi in the post above, I mean only this: that they were of a type foreign to and outside our familiar Earth civilization. In Na'avi terms, of course, the company and its Marines were the foreign outsiders coming down onto their planet, and proceeding to ruin it, piece by piece.

It's very unusual in movies to present an alien, non-human race as "the good guys", and I appreciated the fact that Cameron decided to do that in order to show the ugly, vicious, merciless nature of our own competitive system by showing what it does wherever it goes, and why it does it: for money and to harvest vital resources, and no regrets about the collateral damage to the locals along the way. This is what we do in the third world, and we do it for corporate interests and to benefit our huge banking institutions.

Someone needs to stand up to that. Someone needs to defeat it. And the Na'avi did just that in Avatar.

Would I rather be one of them than belong to the Empire? You betcha!


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 04 Jan 13 - 03:08 AM

I enjoyed Avatar a lot. I didn't mind that the story line was, shall we say, venerable.

I didn't see "Fern Gully" either, but it struck me that the Na'vi were Indians, she was the Chief's daughter, he was the young Lieutenant-and the Cavalry was going to move them from their tribal lands to a reservation. Could have been a Western, or a War movie, or a Tarzan movie. Funny how story lines jump from one genre to the other.


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: DMcG
Date: 04 Jan 13 - 03:13 AM

I'm glad you enjoy it, LH: there is no reason why people can't find the same film strikes them differently. But I didn't see the societies quite as differently as you do. They were patriachial for a start, with a social structure pretty like ours and in the end they believed violence as 'the solution' to their problem. As if we wouldn't turn up next month with more and bigger weapons ...


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 04 Jan 13 - 05:18 AM

Of course one of the least believable aspects of 'Avatar' was this: If we humans carry on as militaristic, environment destroying oafs, will we, as a species, survive long enough to develop interstellar travel?


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: Little Hawk
Date: 04 Jan 13 - 12:35 PM

We might, Shimrod...

And we might not. I think we'll find out about that fairly soon.

"As if we wouldn't turn up next month with more and bigger weapons ..."

Yes, D. McG. That was the first thought that occurred to me at the end of Avatar. "Those corporate bastards will be back soon, and they'll bring more firepower." Pretty much a guarantee, I'd say. The Na'avi would have one big thing on their side next time though...that forewarned is forearmed. I think the mining company would find it very hard to start up any new effort there if they found the whole planetary society ready and waiting to exterminate them the moment they touched down. The Na'avi could well hold the Earthlings off forever if they were prepared to resist in that fashion....and it would prove far too costly for the Company to mount such long range missions in the face of such ruthless resistance.

That would be the only way possible to stop a successful takeover by the invaders.

North American Indians could have accomplished the same thing against the early White incursions provided they had been united in a common effort instead of divided against each other.

Given that the Na'avi in the film had decided to unite in a single alliance to defend their world, I think their defense might have proven unbeatable, if handled with enough determination, speed, and good planning. The benefit of having a few transformed Earthlings in their own ranks would have been absolutely crucial to that defense, giving them the knowledge of how to combat a technologically equipped enemy.

One more thought. Sometimes violence IS the only solution. It depends upon the nature of the conflict. The only way the English could possibly have been ejected from France at the end of the Hundred Years War, for example, was by violence. They had to be militarily defeated to get them to leave. Thus, Joan of Arc dictated many letters to the English commanders and King requesting that they leave France peacefully with the condition that if they did not, they would be driven out at the point of the lance and sword. They laughed at those requests. So they were driven out at the point of the lance and sword, just as she had warned them.

There are some cases where only the lance and the sword will settle the matter. It depends on whether you're dealing with people who are receptive to reason...or people who are not.

As the situation stood in the film, only violence was going to end that invasion of the Na'avi's world. No other way was even remotely possible. No apology needs to made for using violence in such a case. This is something all animals know and understand, and you can't make them feel guilty about it...


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 04 Jan 13 - 12:40 PM

Black hats and White hats - a classic story that fits into so many film venues.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: Little Hawk
Date: 04 Jan 13 - 01:01 PM

Yup. Black Hats and White Hats.

One thing about invasions, though. Any indigenous populace has a moral right to defend themselves against a foreign invasion of their homeland. That is inviolable. It doesn't mean that every individual on the invading side is a "bad" person....certainly not!...but their cause is wrong if they are trying to take over and rule/exploit someone else's ancestral lands. Land belongs to the people who are born on it...not to some political or mercantile group who come there from somewhere else and try to steal it from the locals.

Thus, the Na'avi have a righteous cause in the film...as is clearly recognized by some of the humans...and the mining company does not. Dead simple. It's not about "good" and "bad" people...or about "good" aliens and "bad" humans. It's about invasion, vandalism, and theft. If Earthlings were fighting a foreign invasion of the Earth, they'd be just as morally right as the Na'avi in Avatar.

And so we have films like "War of the Worlds". (which has still never been done as well as it could have been, and perhaps never will be)


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: DMcG
Date: 04 Jan 13 - 01:04 PM

The trouble with Black Hats and White hats, while classic, is that it rarely recognises we really have to deal with Grey Hats.


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 04 Jan 13 - 01:50 PM

With due respect, Shimrod, I that the whole point of the movie was that when we go out into the universe, we're going to be taking all that militaristic, capitalistic, narcissistic stuff with us.

Science Fiction and Fantasy stuff is nominally "make-believe", but really, its a way of talking about the world we are really in by dressing up the people and their problems and moving them into an imaginary place that is far enough away that we are comfortable.

When, say, Lizzie Cornish starts talking about the way the Belo Monto
Dam in Brazil, and the way we are raping the Amazon Rainforest and destroying the culture of the indigenous people, y'all say, "Shut the F--up, Liz,you crazy old bag". But look closely, isn't Pandora a lot like the Amazon Rainforest? Aren't the Na'vi a bit like the U'wa of the Xingu River, in the Columbian Cloud Forest?


Check the photo-look at the folks, check there tats, and tell me, does it remind you of anyone? Xingu River and it's People


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: Little Hawk
Date: 04 Jan 13 - 01:56 PM

Right on the mark, Stim.


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 04 Jan 13 - 03:23 PM

The point that I was trying to make was this: Earthly resources are finite - but contemporary political/economic systems treat them as though they are infinite. This means that the shit-is-going-to-hit-the-fan in the next two or three generations. We already seem to be nearing 'peak oil' (i.e. the point at which becomes too expensive to exploit remaining reserves of fossil fuels). In addition the climate is changing as a result of global warming. This is already having a deleterious effect on farmlands, and hence, in the near future, will badly affect our ability to feed our ever growing populations. We can only expect such dire effects to get worse.

The degradation of the environment, here on Earth, can only lead to misery, conflict and the destruction of whole populations. I doubt whether anyone will have either the will or the ability to embark on such a stupendously difficult and expensive undertaking as interstellar travel!


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: Little Hawk
Date: 04 Jan 13 - 03:37 PM

Yes, we are facing very perilous times.


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 04 Jan 13 - 04:09 PM

Your preachin' to the choir, Shimrod, and we're all on the same page in the hymnal.


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 04 Jan 13 - 06:22 PM

I am sorry folks but the script of Avatar is not bad. It is perfect.

The soldiers talk like soldiers, the scientists talk like scientists and the exotic natives all talk like Wes Studi.

The pacing is superb. The dialog is minimalist and realistic. There is just enough dialog to tell us what is going on but the bulk of the story is told with action, color, body language and facial expression.

That fact makes me think of another reason the Na'vi are so similar to humans. An extra pair of limbs would make their wonderful dance-like body language much more difficult to read.

James Cameron is by far the best action movie writer/director ever. The action speaks for itself and not a word of dialog is wasted. As evidence, I give you Aliens, True Lies, & Terminator. Terminator was probably the best written action movie of all times. The Terminator was one of the most inhuman characters ever in cinema but it was plausible and consistent in every action once you suspended the disbelief that such a being could exist.


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: Little Hawk
Date: 04 Jan 13 - 07:02 PM

Good points all around, Jack. I think you're right in what you say. But did you mean Terminator II? Or the original film? I think Terminator II was definitely the best action film of all time.


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 05 Jan 13 - 01:34 AM

Terminator II had more action for sure. It was very well written but Arnold's part was a lot less plausible.

We just watched Avatar, the 16 minute extended director's cut. It was even better than the theatrical version. Sully's and Graces characters were more developed. It was also explained how they hunted the armored beasts with arrows, they shot them in the air holes.


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: DMcG
Date: 05 Jan 13 - 01:42 AM

So have we finally got round to saying some of the the things that can make a movie bad. To me, the biggest single thing is whether the movie contains moments where for some reason this 'suspension of disbelief' is broken (And if you want the word 'wilful' in there, be my guest.) The moment can be due to clunky dialogue, or something happening that is impossible within the agreed 'world', or many other things. The important feature is the movie fails if that 'hang on a minute' thought hits you. Occasionally a move may be good enough to recover but usually one event is enough to finish the thing off.

The second thing, rather less important, is how you feel afterwards. Changing media, I find Stephen King stories almost all have this effect on me. I can start reading one, and find it sufficiently gripping that I read all the way through quite avidly then immediately I've read the last paragraph I think 'why on earth did I waste two hours [or whatever] reading that rubbish?'

For me Avatar fails on both counts. Up to now we have concentrated on why the Na'vi don't have six legs. But that could have been a lot less jarring had some other creatures had four as well: giving them 6 limbs was not the only solution. It was the uniqueness that did it for me. But that six-limbedness was again a somewhat lazy way of emphasing we are on a different world. And while making the Na'vi very human to make it easier for us to relate to, that's also a sign of laziness in the script to me. After all, "Beauty and the Beast" manages to make us accept that the visual appearance of the creature need not be the only relevant factor. But ok, let's make them look very human: why do the female Na'vi wear T-shirts for heaven's sake? Why not bare-breasted or burka, or dress in any fashion at all apart from late 20c America? The answer lies much more in box office profits, than in making a good film. Let's not challenge the audience...

Then let's get onto how you feel afterwards. LH for one clearly gets a lot out of it, but for me the sheer naive simplicity of it all made me feel it was a waste of time. What redeeming features do the humans have? What objectional features do the Na'vi have?

Don't get me wrong: I don't think all films need to be 'improving'. "Some like it Hot" is one of my favourites, but it is hardly an intellectual treatise. No, this additional check is more likely to come into play if the actual film was not especially entertaining in its own right.

The final claim for Avatar people make is the great visual effects. While I completely agree on this today, I still wonder. Look at the mechanical bird in "Mary Poppins" during the "Spoonful of sugar" song; or the back projection in virtually every driving scene from films of say the 50's. What was the top end special effect of the time has a bit of a tendancy to look naff fifty years down the line. When it does, the film normally has to stand on other merits. But not always: we can admire the Harryhausen animations today, even though they look well below modern standards and the rest of the films are not usually up to much. So I'm undecided how Avatar imagery might be thought of in 50 years time.


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: DrugCrazed
Date: 05 Jan 13 - 04:58 AM

Hunger Games: "Let's make a film where nothing happens for an hour. Then let's have very little happening for the other hour".

Jackie Brown: Not a bad film per-se, but not a particularly brilliant one. Tarantino films that are in straight order are less interesting.

Oh, and there's the Now Show joke about Avatar from Jon Holmes. "I watched Avatar in 1D. That's where you close your eyes and listen to how bad the script is".


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: RangerSteve
Date: 05 Jan 13 - 11:18 AM

A lengthy hospital stay has given me the chance to catch up on movies I haven't seen yet, courtesy of the TCM cable channel. I read the book "The Mouse that Roared" years ago, but only recently saw the movie. It was good, but, unfortunately, having read the book, it was kind of disappointing at the same time. The duchess was a hot babe in the book. In the movie, she was Peter Sellers pretending to be Margaret Rutherford. Seller's attempts at playing multiple characters in his films works occasionally, but at other times it just sucks.


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 05 Jan 13 - 11:55 AM

My question, in all seriousness, DMcG, is, why did you even watch that movie? It obviously wasn't your kind of movie, and, it was obvious what kind of movie it was. Why do you think that that particular movie should "Challenge the audience"?

There are plenty of movies that challenge the audience. Watch "Tree of Life" or "Melancholia" if you want movies that are visually stimulating and intellectually challenging. Instead of spending your timing complaining about the movie that you didn't like(the top grossing film of all time), spend the time looking for films that are
more engaging.

Only thing, if you want to be challenged, don't expect to like the film, it will probably get you upset. That's why we call it "challenging"...


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: Little Hawk
Date: 05 Jan 13 - 12:16 PM

Hmmm. I'll have to see if I can get a copy of the Director's cut of Avatar, Jack. Sounds good.

D. McG - Stephen King affects me exactly the same way as what you said. His writing is engrossing, it keeps you turning the pages, and when you've finally finished reading the story you get this queasy feeling like you just swallowed a toxic waste dump. That's why I quit reading Stephen King books after the first couple of times. They don't make me feel good. And I don't need that.

"Melancholia" was quite interesting. Disturbing. Very good acting and script. I really liked the Charlotte Gainesburg character, and I think all the parts were played well.

"The Mouse that Roared" had its moments. I'd give it about a 6 or 7 out of ten, I guess.


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: RangerSteve
Date: 05 Jan 13 - 02:18 PM

Someone already mentioned "Sleep Hollow". I agree. I also believe that Tim Burton has an evil twin. On one hand, there's Edward Scissorhands, Big Fish and Corpse Bride, all from the good twin, and Sleepy Hollow and Sweeney Todd from the evil one. I saw Sweeney Todd on Broadway and it was incredible. I was stunned when it was all over. But there was some tongue in cheek humor and bright colors. The movie was dreary and seemed to take place entirely at night in a dense fog. I left the theater feeling angry. Tim Burton owes me 5 bucks (Senior citizen's discount).


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: DMcG
Date: 05 Jan 13 - 05:00 PM

I think I've said quite enough about what I think of Avatar, but I'll finish by answering the straight question why I watched it at all, "since it is clearly not my sort of movie". Well, not really. I enjoyed the first two Terminator films, the latest Star Trek and many others. On television the BBC did an excellent version of The Day of the Triffids in the 60s or so which was repeated fairly recently. Most of the Tennant Doctor Who stories are very good or better. So I have no problem with science fiction per se. And of course many people people proclaimed Avatar as a thing of wonder. So I went to see it in quite a positive frame of mind. That may even be part of the problem: if I had expected less I might have been more forgiving. And the same applies to other kind of films: I can enjoy some horror, comedy, and all the other genres: keep the story consistant and (in the genre) believable and interesting and I will be a happy bunny. But all those conditions are interdependant: if the story is slow or less interesting I am more likely to notice inconsistancies which make it less believable and the vicious circle is under way.


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 05 Jan 13 - 07:18 PM

Are you kidding me? Are you sure you aren't talking about the third Alien Movie?

What redeeming features do the humans have?

Two of them sacrificed their lives for Navi. Three risked their lives. The soldiers acted like soldiers. The business man acted like a business man beholden to his shareholders. Every human character in that movie realistically acted in accordance with the character that was developed for them.

What objectional features do the Na'vi have?

They were rude, impulsive, impetuous and violent. The only wisdom on their side came from a tree.


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 05 Jan 13 - 08:08 PM

There is discussion of yours and other objections here.


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: RangerSteve
Date: 05 Jan 13 - 08:33 PM

I just remembered "Seven". It had Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt, so I figured it's probably good, and the fiddler in my band recommended it. I watched it on my VCR at home, and only stayed with it to the end because I needed to know it had a good ending. My brother saw it in a theater, and his wife begged him to take her home, but he also needed to know it ended well. It doesn't end well. It's one of the biggest downer ending ever. The seven murders, all related to the seven deadly sins, are cruel and way to graphic, with nothing left to the imagination. I had to check the closets afterwards, and as it was getting close to 4AM, I waited until sunrise before I went to bed. I know longer trust my fiddling friend to recommend movies. Avoid it at all costs.


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 05 Jan 13 - 09:02 PM

Avatar has an extended collector's edition. I suppose that is the Director's Cut that you're looking for, LH?

Clearly the good or bad of a film is in the eye of the beholder. One of the worst films I saw was one that probably the rest of you never have heard of. I was looking to see what films Stephen Dillane had made (you may know him as Thomas Jefferson from the HPO John Adams program a few years back) and stumbled upon one called Deja Vu. That is when I realized that rich, well-connected women who fancy themselves to be actresses can buy the services of very good actors to play roles in really stupid films in which said-actress has a staring role. It really was awful, and not only was Dillane paying the electric bill by acting in this, she got Vanessa Redgrave, Noel Harrison and Anna Massey. But Victoria Foyt, who is the wife of some avant garde filmmaker gave a silly, wooden performance in a film that apparently had a screenplay that apparently justified the broken marriages when she and her current husband got together.

Sound odd? It was. It was just plain bad.

SRS


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 05 Jan 13 - 10:23 PM

DMcG-Thanks. I do understand. For that very reason, if I am interested in seeing a film, I avoid reviews, commentaries, etc. I tend not to see stuff, especially the A-List movies, if I hear too many superlatives.

By the way, "Red State" is a must to avoid. It is a hateful anti-Westboro Baptist Church/Gun Nuts/Big Government political rant dressed up as a spatter film. And I like a Hershel Gordon Lewis or John Waters film from time to time.

Little Hawk--I came away from "Melancholia" with a different reaction than everyone else on Earth, because I thought the ending was very uplifting.


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 05 Jan 13 - 11:17 PM

7 was a very good thriller/horror film. Maybe the best ever for acting. Spacy, Freeman and Pitt acted superbly. The writing was very clever and the mental images it creates are nearly permanent. But if you don't like scary movies. It ain't for you.


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: LadyJean
Date: 05 Jan 13 - 11:23 PM

I would give a lot to see a good comedy. I wish somebody would make one. "Man of the Year" was good. Robin Williams at his best. That was a while ago. Since then, every funny movie, I've seen advertised seems to have been made for drunk frat boys. I wish I could still get TCM. I could see "Bringing Up Baby", or "Arsenic and Old Lace" or anything by the Marx Brothers.

Hollywood producers should be tied to chairs and forced to watch a couple of those classics. Maybe they'd get the idea.


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 05 Jan 13 - 11:26 PM

http://www.amazon.com/Avatar-Three-Disc-Extended-Collectors-Edition/dp/B0044XV3R8/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1357446174&sr=8-2&keywords=avatar+extended+collector%27s+edition

this is the version we have LH.

We watched the extended special edition.


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: Little Hawk
Date: 06 Jan 13 - 10:20 PM

Great! Thanks, Jack. I'll get one of those.

Stim - Nope, you didn't have "a different reaction than everyone else on Earth" to Melancholia. I found the ending kind of uplifting too. It was some of the other parts well before the ending that I found disturbing. I've had quite a bit of experience with severe depression from time to time, so I could empathize with what the blonde woman in the film was going through. I did find her general attitude toward the impending catastrophe quite different in some respects from the way I would think about it, but her general philosophy of life was different than mine. She did act well at the end to give some strength and comfort to the young boy and be there for him and her sister.

Their joining together in that way to face it together was uplifting. I felt sorry for her sister's husband who killed himself rather than face the end (he may have felt very guilty for having so confidently assured his wife that there was no danger of a collision).


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: number 6
Date: 07 Jan 13 - 12:14 AM

Avatar (Three-Disc Extended Collector's Edition)

oh good grief

biLL


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 07 Jan 13 - 12:25 AM

It is awesome biLL !!


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 07 Jan 13 - 01:36 AM

I do know that some others felt the same, Little Hawk. A lot just didn't get it, though. Kirsten Dunst is great in just about every movie that she's in, and she tends to be in quirky and off-beat films, which I like.


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 07 Jan 13 - 04:56 AM

I've been thinking about 'Avatar' and other 'SF' films and why I always find them unsatisfactory. It's because, in spite of increasingly remarkable special effects, they are always set in an exoticised version of the present or the recent past and are full of the tropes and cliches (e.g. stylised violence) that can be found in any mainstream cinema product. They rarely, if ever, contain any convincing extrapolation of the sort that can be found in the best contemporary written SF.

Consider, for example, the truly mind-boggling implications of interstellar travel. If it ever happens (I have my doubts) there's a good chance that it will utterly transform our species - it will be the equivalent of an evolutionary step-change. I can't help thinking that star-faring humans will not be anything like mid-20th century American stereotypes (i.e. hard-line, eco-destroying militarists vs 'spiritually enlightened' eco-warriors). In fact, the way things are going, star-farers are more likely to be descended from Chinese people rather than Americans.


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 07 Jan 13 - 08:23 AM

"Consider, for example, the truly mind-boggling implications of interstellar travel. If it ever happens (I have my doubts) there's a good chance that it will utterly transform our species - it will be the equivalent of an evolutionary step-change. I can't help thinking that star-faring humans will not be anything like mid-20th century American stereotypes (i.e. hard-line, eco-destroying militarists vs 'spiritually enlightened' eco-warriors)."

Really? What if we develop hyperdrive technology next week, In Houston Texas? Would that act in its self "utterly transform our species?" I've read Homer and the "Old Testament" the species is pretty much the same in the 3000 years since then. What makes you believe a faster mode of transport will change that?


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: DMcG
Date: 07 Jan 13 - 09:02 AM

Good question that I think the Foundation series answered pretty well. However many of us go, we are likely to end up with a fragmented gene pool. Plus, of course we will have a different environment - a 'g' value say .9 of earth or 1.1 times if we went to a planet of similar size. So there's plenty of reason to think we could change


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 07 Jan 13 - 09:52 AM

If we visit superintelligent species, won't they just naturally want to make our deserts bloom, reverse global warming, show us how to end war, give us a simple home cancer cure, fix up our relationships, reveal new micronutrients and fitness tips, etc.? Free of charge, of course.

That could alter our species, don't you think?


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 07 Jan 13 - 10:23 AM

The foundation series was set so far in the future that the scientist of the time could not trace the origins to mankind back to Earth and the people were pretty much the same as people today.

The blessing and the curse of a technological society is that there is no Darwinian pressure for the species to evolve.

The closest thing in fiction in Science Fiction in movies and TV to what Shimrod was talking about is in the Star Trek vision of the future. Where, with a few glaring exceptions, basically every being that joins Star Fleet gets along with all of the others. The show was designed in the 60's during the cold war and Viet Nam to give a positive vision for the future.

Shimrod, Carol and I recently watched the special features for the Avatar. James Cameron makes no bones at all about wanting it to be a message about today's culture and the pitfalls of technology. That message of Avatar is worth repeating and presenting in such a beautiful and novel way.


Almost all good science fiction is an exaggerated mirror or projected trends illustrating some disturbing aspect of current culture and technology. "The Foundation Trilogy" was about preserving culture during the collapse of an empire. Blade Runner (Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?) Was about isolation in spite of or even because of technology. As I mentioned, Star Trek was a reaction to the Cold war. The lessons of "Soylent Green" and "Dr. Strangelove" are clear enough.


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 07 Jan 13 - 10:29 AM

Do you know something that's going on in Houston that I don't, J the S?

The fact is I doubt that most people (certainly not film directors) are aware of how closely we are adapted to, and tied to, life on this planet that we evolved on. A different planet, orbiting another star, is almost certainly going to have a different atmosphere, biochemical milieu, gravity field, radiation flux etc., etc., etc. So we've got a number of choices: take everything we need with us including, the ability to reproduce all that stuff indefinitely; terraform the alien world (a task likely to take millenia); physically modify ourselves. Surely the last one (if it's in any way feasible) would literally change us (or some of us).

I also suspect that moving beyond the Solar System would have profound psychological effects on our outlook as a species. A bit like the view of Earth from the Moon was supposed to have done after the Apollo landings.

But then, as I said before, interstellar travel is so difficult it probably won't happen for a couple of thousand years, at least - and our species probably won't survive that long.


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 07 Jan 13 - 10:54 AM

I know that if comes from Texas, the commercial aspects will be exploited. :-)

"a different atmosphere, biochemical milieu, gravity field, radiation flux"

You just described Pandora, the moon where the Avatar story took place. The earthlings brought things they couldn't source locally and presumably processed local consumables, such as air and water for their immediate needs. Jake Sully was adapted for the environment, the rest used technology such as the breathing masks.

" So we've got a number of choices: take everything we need with us including, the ability to reproduce all that stuff indefinitely; terraform the alien world (a task likely to take millenia); physically modify ourselves. Surely the last one (if it's in any way feasible) would literally change us (or some of us). "

More animal protein and growth hormones in the food have done that already right here on good old earth. On average we are taller and have better teeth than people a hundred years ago. Who knows what GMO's will do. Not to mention all the little RF radiating computing devices we carry around. But people will still be eating, sleeping and reproducing in the foreseeable future.

People will still be greedy, jealous, selfish, heroic, kind and loving. Human nature will not change. The memes and themes, archetypes and stereotypes, the tropes and dope of storytelling will not change.

As for the species being wiped out in 2000 years, I don't think so. We are way too adaptable. If the planet is here.   We will be here.


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: Little Hawk
Date: 07 Jan 13 - 11:46 AM

I also think we'll be here for a long time, although it's quite possible that we may experience major setbacks...natural or man-made disasters...which temporarily greatly reduce the human population on Earth. If so, the survivors will repopulate the planet and we will continue evolving into the far future, in my opinion, and I think this would happen even if as much as 98% of us were killed in some great disaster.

Jack, you mentioned "The blessing and the curse of a technological society is that there is no Darwinian pressure for the species to evolve."

Ah. Well, I don't think that the Darwinian pressure you refer to is the primary factor in our evolution. I think it is one of the factors, yes...but I don't think it's the primary factor. I think the primary factor is our idealism, our desire for perfection, our appreciation of beauty and of every good virtue that we can understand. I think that is the primary engine that drives the advancement of human civilization...our appreciation of a higher purpose than mere survival and material advantage.

So, you see, I have a more positive view of the potential of mankind than a good many people do. I see us as essentially "good", not essentially cruel. I see our great strength as cooperation and common idealism, not competition and "looking out for number one".

Obviously, so did Gene Roddenberry, and that's why he envisioned the very cooperative future society presented in his Star Trek stories. I think he was on the right track. I don't buy the "dark" view of human nature that is so popular in dramatic fiction these days anymore than I buy the "sinful" nature of man that is so popular in the more extreme forms of religion.

Most of the people I've ever known in my life were basically pretty good people. Yeah, they had their weaknesses...but on the whole, their intentions were more to the positive than to the negative.

If, however, you take those people and you subject them to terrible social conditions of poverty, war, drug addiction, and stress...then you'll see a lot of troubling behaviour as a result. And that's what we see happening a good deal in our world today. The Star Trek society was organized in such a way that no one was in poverty, everyone had free access to medical care, education, and all the physical necessities. Everyone had equal rights and equal access to the necessities and the benefits of that society, and an equal chance to strive for an interesting career.

That's brilliant. That's true social responsibility. If our society had the vision to do that, it would cure almost all the problems we see at present, and I think you'd see an absolute flowering of evolutionary movement forward, because people would be free to unlock the very best in their evolutionary potential.

Our present society, next to the one presented in Star Trek, is barbarous and cruel. We're little better than the Ferengi (who worshipped money and their personal power over other less powerful individuals, and who treated their women as chattels). Well, I guess we're better than the Ferengi when it comes to how we treat our women, at least! ;-) Unless you're living in places like rural India...in which case we might be even worse than the Ferengi.


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 07 Jan 13 - 12:05 PM

" I think that is the primary engine that drives the advancement of human civilization."

I was talking about evolution as a species, not as a culture.

"Unless you're living in places like rural India...in which case we might be even worse than the Ferengi. "

This was Roddenberry's clever way of dealing with archetypical stories while claiming that man could have evolved beyond them. He made the bad guys and flawed beings into aliens.

But then there was Harry Mudd, but he was presented as an aberration in need of rehabilitation.


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: Little Hawk
Date: 07 Jan 13 - 01:13 PM

Rodenberry was required by the very limitations of our present entertainment culture to have some stereotypical "bad guys" to drive the plot in the usual (Bang! Pow! Zap! KA-BLOOOEY!!!) fashion. Thus he had to come up with various unpleasant and heavily armed alien races such as Klingons (later rehabilitated a bit), Ferengi, Romulans, etc.

In a bit more sophisticated entertainment culture than ours, one more appreciative of nuance, he could just as well have had interesting plots without resorting to such stereotypical enemies.

There are, after all, still plenty of interpersonal challenges in life even in a society that is at peace, without poverty, and cooperative. People still get carried away with their personal ambition, jealousy, issues of confidence and self-image, family issues, passion, and all kinds of other emotional issues with other people, and those can play out in ways quite sufficient to drive a drama and keep it very interesting indeed...even in the absence of fistfights, gunfights, and things blowing up "real good".

However, that's not what the TV network wanted, obviously! And probably not what most of the audience wanted either. So Rodenberry gave them what they wanted, and still got his progressive social ideas across anyhow.

As to man's evolution as a species, meaning the ascent from mere animal existence into what we would call civilization, we know only a little about that in its most ancient origins. I think we've barely scratched the surface yet on what could be known about it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 07 Jan 13 - 01:42 PM

As to man's evolution as a species, meaning the ascent from mere animal existence into what we would call civilization. What????

I mean man's evolution as a species, meaning homo sapiens through Darwinian evolution becoming something other than homo sapiens.

Our society may be advancing. Our technology is advancing. But our biology is not. No force is thinning our herd and selecting for desirable traits.


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: DMcG
Date: 07 Jan 13 - 01:44 PM

the people were pretty much the same as people today

Well, I'd say the description of the Mule and the Second Foundationers suggest they were pretty different in some key respects! Now, socially, I'd agree (except perhaps for Second Foundationers, but that was a huge missed opportunity: more about how their society must differ because of their mental abilities would have been interesting, but, hey ho, you can't cover everything.) And though its been probably two or three decades since I read them I don't remember many descriptions of physical appearance beyond how different the Mule looked, so it is quite possible that we merely assume we look the same because it didn't occur to or matter to the author.


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 07 Jan 13 - 03:36 PM

Well Asimov was a big ideas man, not much for details and description. Certainly the politics of bureaucracy in those novels were pretty much like ours.


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: Little Hawk
Date: 07 Jan 13 - 05:51 PM

Our technological advances have so far outstripped our ethical/moral advances that it's put us in danger of near-extinction. So too our industrial advances and our economic systems of exploitation have imperilled the whole biosphere. What we need at this point is a revolution in ethics so we can better handle our technology and industry in a way that benefits all lifeforms, not just a small ruling elite.

I read Asimov's Foundation books, and thought the ideas in them were quite interesting, but I found his characterizations of people to be paper-thin. He struck me as a man who was very good at writing about most things, but not good at writing about human beings so as to depict real personalities in any kind of depth.

And that's a problem I find with the majority of sci-fi writers. They write well about the outer phenomena and outer power structures, but don't seem to have much insight into the inner man. Since the innner man is what I'm really concerned about, this doesn't work too well to keep me interested.

One sci-fi writer who wrote brilliantly about the inner man was H.G. Wells, and I think his writing will forever stand among the very best in fiction. Another who did the same (though little in terms of sci-fi) was Mark Twain.

Jack, you say "No force is thinning our herd and selecting for desirable traits."

Agreed. But that could change any time, couldn't it? And I suspect it will at some point. Nature seems to have a way of periodically "clearing the deck" when a species gets totally overpopulated and out of hand. It can happen locally...and it has (like on Easter Island, for example)...but it can also happen globally. If it does, the scattered survivors will tell stories about it for generations afterward. The stories will gradually become legends...the legends will enter new religions and folklore...and several or many of thousands of years later a bunch of highly educated skeptics, certain of their own status quo and their sovereignty over this world, will pooh-pooh the ancient tales of disaster as "fairy tales" and "myths", insisting that planetary change is verrrrrry slow....taking place over eons...and that nothing like the catastrophic stuff in those legends ever happened, or ever could.


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: GUEST,Guest from Sanity
Date: 08 Jan 13 - 02:24 AM

Seen any bad films recently?

Yeah...anytime you turn on the news....it's as poorly written, with a predictable storyline than the crappiest movie I've ever seen!

GfS


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: DMcG
Date: 08 Jan 13 - 02:33 AM

I would say that, insofar as there was an over-arching premise to 'Foundation and Empire', it was precisely that our existing politics of bureaucracy cannot cope with some of the things that might arise once we are in other environments. For me, while Asimov certainly has big ideas, he does not really explore them enough, so I much prefer John Wyndham. Typically his stories consist of one change introduced fairly early on, then the rest is an exploration of the ramifications of that idea. A really good example of that is "Trouble with Lichen" where a drug is discovered that can increase life expectancy (excluding accidental death) up to say 200 years. Then the rest of the book simply questions what would have to adapt. What happens to employment and retirement? How do youths cope with the idea that they won't get promotions due to seniors retiring? What happens to institutions like marriage and families? Will we split the society so that rich people can buy longer lives but poorer ones can't? And the story is sufficiently intricate that we can consider questions he didn't. What happens to politicians when they themselves have to live with the long term consequences of environmental decisions? What happens to prison sentences? Should a 'life imprisonment' sentence at 20 still apply when you are 200? What do we do about population growth, when we massively extend the child-bearing years but massively reduce death rates? For me, at least, that sort of science fiction is far more interesting than the unimaginitive kind that is simply changing the background from the Mid West to space.


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: Little Hawk
Date: 08 Jan 13 - 11:00 AM

Right with you there, Gfs. The so-called "News" we hear each day has gotten phonier and phonier with each passing decade and now resembles something out of 1984 or "Brave New World" as far as I'm concerned. It figures...because burgeoning fascism and honest reporting and analysis of events are pretty much mutually exclusive in their aims, aren't they?


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 08 Jan 13 - 03:14 PM

"Agreed. But that could change any time, couldn't it? And I suspect it will at some point. Nature seems to have a way of periodically "clearing the deck" when a species gets totally overpopulated and out of hand. It can happen locally...and it has (like on Easter Island, for example)...but it can also happen globally."

No, not really, the herd thinning that occurs in humans is usually anti-Darwinian. War generally takes the healthiest men with the fewest genetic defects. Natural disasters like tsunamis kill randomly. I guess that drought, famine and disease to select for resilience and resistance but even there your chances of survival are way more dependent on luck and available cooperation and assistance than your genetics.

Yes society is evolving. Our genetics are not.


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 08 Jan 13 - 03:19 PM

DMcG, It is OK that you prefer over another for that reason. I prefer authors like Larry Niven who have 200 year old characters and have factors from that be their motivation in adventure stories rather than exploring each aspect in one novel, which is what you seem to be describing.


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: Little Hawk
Date: 08 Jan 13 - 04:21 PM

I'm a lot more concerned about cultural evolution (positive developments in ideals, social responsibility, and social philosophy) than I am about genetic changes, Jack.

Can you describe the sort of genetic type you'd like to see us evolving into in the future? And how would that bear on "thinning the herd"?

Seems to me that the smartest way of reducing the size of the herd would be to raise people's standard of living and their educational levels in poverty-stricken areas, because the birth rate always seems to be highest where the people are the poorest, most desperate, and least educated. (They attempt to cope with existential despair by having as much unprotected sex as possible (it's a momentary psychological refuge), and they attempt to secure their own future by having a lot of kids, some of whom may survive to help them when they're old.)

I'm suggesting reducing the size of the herd by empowering people, helping them, and giving them hope for the future, in other words, not by killing them off through some destructive means such as war, plague or natural disaster.

If we don't do this, we'll reap the whirlwind presently...either by our own hands or by the hand of Nature itself.

I also don't necessarily agree that the physically hardiest people are always the most valuable members of a community. They may be...or they may not...it depends on their moral attitude toward others and toward society, doesn't it? I'd rather have Gandhi as my neighbour than O.J. Simpson....regardless of the genetic comparisons.


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 08 Jan 13 - 04:58 PM

Shimrod was talking about genetic evolution based on the conditions of the planet. I made the point that genetic evolution does not function in a technological society. I think you may understand that point finally. Perhaps you understood and chose to ignore my point. Obviously the difference between genetic and cultural evolution is that culture can be learned by any human infant but genetics are not as malleable.

Physically hardiest? Who said that? If there is a major war, the ones with flat feet, poor eyesight, weak hearts and other "defects" stay home and breed. While in our society people with such defects are raised to breed with transplants, surgery and other extraordinary means.

Perhaps that represents social advancement if not biological evolution.

What I would like to see in human evolution is pointless to express. I have so little influence that my opinion is inconsequential.


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: Little Hawk
Date: 08 Jan 13 - 07:04 PM

Our (yours, mine, and everybody else's here) opinions about most things are utterly inconsequential, Jack, in the larger scheme of things, but I haven't seen much reluctance amongst the Mudcat membership to go on expressing them regardless! I think we all enjoy doing so, being human. We like expressing our opinions, and we are usually almost incapable of not doing so. Every thread on this forum bears witness to that.

I quite agree that genetic evolution does not function (for the most part) in a technological society. I don't particularly care that it doesn't, but I do agree with your position that it doesn't.


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 08 Jan 13 - 07:56 PM

"What I would like to see in human evolution is pointless to express. I have so little influence that my opinion is inconsequential."

The coolest evolutionary step would be lions, tigers, leopards, and panthers the size of housecats


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: Stu
Date: 09 Jan 13 - 12:26 PM

"I quite agree that genetic evolution does not function (for the most part) in a technological society."

Evolution certainly does function in a technological society; why would it not? Our ability to reason is a result of evolution, and the cultural variances arising from that ability (and others) might actually be part of the process rather than being separate from it. You can't stop evolution and it could be construed as typically arrogant for us as a species to think we have reached the point where we have so much influence over the process of evolution we can stop it happening.

The agents of evolution continue to work regardless; technology is simply another environmental factor that may or may not influence natural selection. For instance, does the fertilisation of human eggs outside the body affect natural selection? Does the changing climate mean that certain groups with adaptions to localised climactic conditions enjoy an advantage over those who don't share those adaptions? You'd be hard pressed to find any scientist who would agree human evolution has been arrested in an way. I did read a paper that showed natural selection is alive and well: http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2012/05/human-genetic-evolution/. The actual paper is behind a firewall, but I might be able to get it if anyone's interested.

As for bad films, we watched the Ridley Scott version of Robin Hood at the weekend. It looked great, but Crowe's accent was appalling to say the least, although take the rest as utter fiction despite the presence of historical characters and you can't go far wrong. Crowe was questioned by a chap from the BBC about his accent and he got a bit stroppy when it was suggest he was crap. I can't believe no-one on set told him. Wasn't he supposed to be from Yorkshire? Laughable.


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: Stu
Date: 09 Jan 13 - 12:37 PM

Here's a better link to a page at the Sheffield University website, which was involved in the study: http://www.shef.ac.uk/news/nr/darwin-evolution-natural-selection-lummaa-courtiol


. . . and the website of the project itself: http://www.huli.group.shef.ac.uk/study-pop.html



Saw Hunger Games and thought it was pretty average. Saw the last Batman film and thought it was godawful, not a patch on the previous one.


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: Stu
Date: 09 Jan 13 - 12:42 PM

Sorry . . . but I've found the paper and it's open access - yay!

http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2012/04/24/1118174109


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 09 Jan 13 - 04:18 PM

Has it occurred to anyone that a civilisation capable of interstellar travel might be able to direct and control its own evolution?


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 09 Jan 13 - 06:39 PM

It occurs to me that, interstellar travel would likely be available to only a small percentage of the population and would not likely change the biological evolution of those left behind.

"In a world where we've tamed our environment and largely protected ourselves from the vagaries of nature, we may think we're immune to the forces of natural selection. But a new study finds that the process that drives evolution was still shaping us as recently as the 19th century."

The 19th century ended 113 years ago and we have added most of our significant evolution negating technologies since then.


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 10 Jan 13 - 04:05 AM

"It occurs to me that, interstellar travel would likely be available to only a small percentage of the population and would not likely change the biological evolution of those left behind."

Yes, exactly - it would be a case of 'unnatural selection'!


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: Stu
Date: 10 Jan 13 - 09:48 AM

"The 19th century ended 113 years ago and we have added most of our significant evolution negating technologies since then."

With the greatest of respect, that's not the point of the paper (and research is ongoing according to the website). Point is, despite the technological advances in the 15,000 years leading up to the end of the 19C human evolution had not stopped. There is no mechanism in place to have stopped it then so it continues as it always has. What is an evolution negating technology? The wheel? Fire? iPhones? Antibiotics? We might be able to influence some aspects of natural selection in a small number of cases (using techniques such as artificial insemination) but there's no way the processes that enable evolution are being arrested. Evolution has been an uninterrupted process on this planet for 3.5 billion years - how could it have stopped in the past 113 years in any single species? In fact, without evolution occurring, would it be possible for a population to survive at all? The rate of gene mutations would build way too quickly and there would be no way for them to be discarded; a bit like inbreeding.


"Has it occurred to anyone that a civilisation capable of interstellar travel might be able to direct and control its own evolution?"

I would suggest it would be impossible to control (for instance) the rate of gene mutation in large populations artificially. It might be possible, for a few individuals (as mentioned above) but the technology to halt the mutation, identification and passing on of non-advantageous alleles within even an individual is largely the stuff of fantasy, although might be possible in the distant future.


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 10 Jan 13 - 11:31 AM

Well, Jack, how about Gene Therapy?, According to Wikipedia, which says "The most common form of gene therapy involves using DNA that encodes a functional, therapeutic gene to replace a mutated gene."

Now, by my reasoning, that seems, on the face of it, to be an evolution negating technology, and a pretty deliberate one, at that.

I would suggest that it is actually pretty possible to alter genetic mutation processes in a large population by simply introducing mutagens or anti-mutagens of various sort into that population. The thing is, it doesn't really matter how big the population is, if all are exposed to a product from single source, like, say, Coke, or Tylenol, or McDonald's special sauce, then that will effect the whole population.

As to your thought about, "Evolution has been an uninterrupted process on this planet for 3.5 billion years - how could it have stopped in the past 113 years in any single species?" The answer is, "extinction". And anything that is interferes with or alters the reproductive process in any way can end the game.

The thing is that people toss around the word "evolution" as if they understand it. The fact is that "evolution" is the name we give to a process of adaptation that we have observed--but we don't really understand all that well. We can certainly breed dogs, and we can do a lot of handy tricks by splicing things, be they fruit cuttings or genes, but we don't know very much about the underlying mechanism at all.


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: Stu
Date: 10 Jan 13 - 11:46 AM

"The answer is, "extinction"

Well yes, but that hardly needs pointing out and isn't entirely relevant in the context of this discussion and not what Jack the Sailor was talking about, as his premise is that human evolution has halted in the last 113 years.

If we exposed the entire human race to daily doses of Coke over the next 2000 years we might see some adaptions emerging that enable us to cope with the stress of drinking gassy, sugary drinks; these adaptions would be the result of natural selection though.

The argument over the effect of technology on evolution is not whether it's stopped it or not (it can't at present), it's whether it acts as an agent of natural selection at all.


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: Little Hawk
Date: 10 Jan 13 - 11:55 AM

Back to movies for a moment here...

I saw a good one last night. "Hatfields & McCoys" (the Kevin Costner one). It's 5 hours long, having been a TV series, so I started watching it in the afternoon, had a break at suppertime, and finished watching it after that.

It's quite convincing, seems accurate and faithful to the mountain culture of the time, and it's terribly sad. Once again it is shown that refusing to forgive (if not forget) the past is about the stupidest thing people can do. In this case it led 2 families, their cousins, other relatives, friends, and assorted other people into decades of hatred, bloodshed, and misery, none of which did a thing to resolve anyone's hurt feelings or restore anyone's "honor", but simply ruined a lot of lives.

What a waste! But it is a good movie, well acted throughout, and congratulations to Kevin Costner for treating the subject in a way that shows respect for the people who where involved. He did a great job in this movie, and so did the rest of the cast.

When "Devil" Anse Hatfield finally died (peacefully in bed at an advanced age), 5000 people came to his funeral, and there is a statue of him erected over the graves of himself and his wife.

If you plan to watch this one...make sure you're ready to put in at least 5 hours. Start early. Or do it over 2 days.


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: Stu
Date: 10 Jan 13 - 12:07 PM

Interesting article on the human evolution business here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-12535647


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: RangerSteve
Date: 10 Jan 13 - 08:49 PM

LH - I agree concerning The Hatfields and McCoys. I've read a few articles about the feud and this version seems to follow the true story. I highly recommend it.
LadyJean - I agree with you, too. Slob comedies have taken over the humor world. I'm hoping the trend will die out and old-fashioned comedy comes back.


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 10 Jan 13 - 11:13 PM

From Sugarfoots latest link.

Obviously today Lactose intolerance is not an issue keeping humans from breeding. The significant evolution negating technologies? Things as simple as soy milk and baby formula.



>>> The most obvious example of this is lactose, the sugar in milk. Some 10,000 years ago, before humans started farming, no one could digest this beyond a few years of age.

But today, the rate of lactose tolerance in different parts of the world is a clue to the different histories of farming across the globe. While 99% of Irish people are lactose tolerant, in South East Asia, where there is very little tradition of dairy farming, the figure is less than 5%.


So clearly our technology and inventions didn't stop us evolving in the past. But what about today?

Professor Steve Jones, a geneticist at University College London, said: "In Shakespeare's time, only about one English baby in three made it to be 21."

"All those deaths were raw material for natural selection, many of those kids died because of the genes they carried. But now, about 99% of all the babies born make it to that age."

The bulk of medical and other technological developments which protect us from our environment have come in just the past century. So in the developed world today, what is there left for natural selection to act on?

"Natural selection, if it hasn't stopped, has at least slowed down," says Jones.

But although in the developed world today, almost everyone lives long enough to pass on their genes, many of us choose not to. <<<

Choosing not to is NOT natural selection to say the species is evolving because the average person in Framingham is shorter and fatter with all due respect to the BBC, is nonsense. The taller people could simply be moving to Boston, New York and LA and breeding there. The species would remain unchanged.


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 11 Jan 13 - 04:06 AM

I'm afraid that my previous speculations about interstellar travel will probably remain in the realms of fantasy - as will speculations about the evolution of our species. I suspect that we're at the end of our evolutionary history because we've already exceeded the carrying capacity of our home planet - basically, we're already toast! The point at which we finally die out is, from a long-range historical perspective, a mere detail.


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: Alaska Mike
Date: 11 Jan 13 - 05:06 AM

I went to see the Hobbit and was very disappointed in the movie. Jackson took one of my favorite books of all time and turned it into a piece of crap. I think I'll just read the book again.


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 11 Jan 13 - 02:51 PM

Sorry, Mike. Though I liked "The Hobbit", I know how you feel.

You have to remember that movies are not the book that they are based on. A lot of times, they don't even tell the same story. The safest way to think about it is that the film makers are telling their own story using characters and situations from the book.


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 12 Jan 13 - 07:55 AM

The problem I had with the Hobbit was the pace. 45 minutes in all that had happened was a dragon attack an very long party and two boring songs. That is when we wrote off our two $16.00 IMAX 3d tickets and went home.

Alaska Mike did you know that the Book will be split into 3 movies?

Carol and I plan to rent all three at once and skip over the boring bits.


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 12 Jan 13 - 06:11 PM

Well, I liked the party.


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 12 Jan 13 - 06:15 PM

Yeah Stim, I'm sure that some people did.

I hated Chicago. My in laws love it. I hated it because it is a musical. They love it because it is a musical.


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 12 Jan 13 - 06:52 PM

You ain't got no culture, Jack..


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: Little Hawk
Date: 12 Jan 13 - 08:14 PM

Yeah, I liked the party in "The Hobbit" too. I think I might be a bit like a Japanese, culturally speaking. They aren't bothered at all by very long films with a plot that moves very slowly by North American standards. We North Americans are taught from birth to have a very short attention span and demand ACTION at short intervals. It didn't always used to be that way, though. I think it's a modern phenomenon.

Kind of like American football as opposed to European football (soccer).


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 12 Jan 13 - 08:57 PM

I have better culture than "The Hobbit" and "Chicago" growing in the Tupperware in my fridge that I am afraid to open.

There was no action at all in Lincoln, none! Just talking! It is one of my five favorite films. Excellent writing, no singing, that is what makes it a great American film.


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 12 Jan 13 - 10:51 PM

It did have singing, Jack! They sang, "Rally, Round the Flag" after they passed the ammendment to abolish slavery, and "We are Coming Father Abraham". Where were you?

As to action, they had the freaking Civil War; heaps of dead soldiers and lots of people running around and yelling, which, what with all the Computer Generated Imagery, is the only real action you get in films anymore;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 13 Jan 13 - 03:20 AM

Stim, I see that you are a formidable pedantic smartass! I was wondering what I liked about you. Obviously it was your similarity to me!

Please allow me to correct myself. A little singing is OK, as long as the whole song is not included and the lyrics do not include any exposition of the story or development of the characters.

When, in real life I see a street vendor converted to society lady expressing the feeling that she could have danced all night, or a group of muscular midgets criticizing the prissiness of their host as he tries to preserve his mother's porcelain, I'll give it a second look when I see such things in movies.

It is strange, but I do enjoy that sort of thing live on stage. Oh well! Next topic please.


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: alanabit
Date: 13 Jan 13 - 04:01 AM

I saw the first five minutes of the Polanski film "God of Carnage". It was the longest week of the year so far. Some people can be entertained by cringingly insincere people lying, flattering and performing to each other. I guess that is why "reality" TV and soap opera is so popular. It is impossible not to feel superior to such worms - maybe that is why? Just at the point that the scene could have been ended, an excuse was found to prolong it. It was as if a dentist had just performed a difficult wisdom tooth extraction and then suddenly found another which needed his immediate attention. Even a stupid action film came as a relief after that!


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: number 6
Date: 13 Jan 13 - 10:03 AM

Watched the 1962 movie 300 Spartans last nigh ... so stupid it was actually hilarious ... as bad as it was it certainly was more meaningful, classy than .... Avatar

biLL   ;)


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: Little Hawk
Date: 13 Jan 13 - 03:24 PM

I am so shocked by your scurrilous attack on Avatar, Number 6, that I am going to go upstairs, have toast and jam, and try to just forget about it. ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 13 Jan 13 - 04:17 PM

Forget about what?


Less Miz review. cq (chuckles quietly) Spoiler alert, maybe.


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 13 Jan 13 - 04:20 PM

"The 300 Spartans" couldn't have been worse than "The 300."


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 13 Jan 13 - 05:39 PM

Saw a bad one (well, saw the first part and changed channels) on PBS last night. Dudley Moore makes a pact with a devil. Can't remember the title or who played the devil.


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 13 Jan 13 - 05:47 PM

You are referring to Bedazzled?

The film does have one redeeming feature. It is better written than the Brendon Frazier remake.


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 13 Jan 13 - 05:59 PM

Jack--Anyone who had "Les Miz" spoiled also will be surprised to learn that Dorothy made it back to Kansas, Scarlett went back to Tara, and Pinocchio turned into a real boy. And yep, I guess I can be "formidable pedantic smartass". Sorry about that.


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 13 Jan 13 - 06:16 PM

I am not familiar with the story. But I guess if they had lived it would have been called "LES JOYEUX."


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: Little Hawk
Date: 13 Jan 13 - 06:27 PM

We among the ranks of the culturally sophisticated PRIDE ourselves on being formidable pedantic smartasses. ;-D

Speaking of which, there's an amusing video on Youtube that features Woody Allen in his youth sparring with a similarly youthful William F. Buckley. They're both quite witty.


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 13 Jan 13 - 07:35 PM

this it?


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: Little Hawk
Date: 14 Jan 13 - 10:31 AM

Yeah, that's it. Buckley is interesting to watch, and pretty creepy at the same time. He looks like a man well accustomed to being simply THE most superior intellect that ever walked into a room, and nevertheless willing to indulge the far lesser beings around him with a certain measure of good humour and bonhommie...specially if they are young and female. He's a scary man. (or he was)


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 14 Jan 13 - 06:13 PM

Buckley seemed very much the gentleman to me. Given that he and Woody were pretty much diametrically opposed politically, the tone was anything but adversarial. An even more surprising clip, from Buckley's show, with Jack Keroauc, Lewis Yablonsky, and Ed Sanders, came up on the right. Again the gentleman, Buckley gave ample opportunity for all three to express their views, social and political.


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: Little Hawk
Date: 14 Jan 13 - 06:39 PM

I daresay he thought of himself as virtually the ultimate suave gentleman. You can see it in his demeanor. And, yes, his encounter with Woody Allen on that show was quite genial and friendly all around. They weren't out to score points, but to engage in some humorous repartee.

(He still gives me the creeps anyway...)


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 15 Jan 13 - 03:47 AM

I don't think Buckley ever was out to score points, or at least not exactly. He did not think much of that certain sort of intellectual who did not tolerated differing opinion, however.The fact that he valued the expression of differing opinions is obvious when you check youtube and find clips from over the years, of his appearances with Christopher Hitchens, who would seem to embody everything that Buckley didn't.

When one listens closely, however, they seem to see a lot of things in the same light. Buckley is kind of like that--if you are a certain kind of leftist intellectual, you agree with him, at least in principle, a lot more than you disagree with him.


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: Little Hawk
Date: 15 Jan 13 - 12:19 PM

Hmmm. Interesting. I'll have to take a look at that clip.

I know a guy who is a classically radical rightwinger in his 70s...whereas I am a classically radical leftwinger in my 60s. We both play music. The odd thing is that although we are way apart in our basic political viewpoints, when we discuss things in detail we find that we agree, surprisingly, on a lot of it.

This may be because we both DO believe in truth, justice, honesty, responsibility, and other basic human moral values like that...and we both see a ruling system around us that is riddled with corruption and deceit. We find that we share a great deal in common, despite coming at it from the opposite angle, so to speak.


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 15 Jan 13 - 04:37 PM

I think that there are honest differences between the "conservative" and "liberal" way of addressing issues, and either, or both, may work. However, "liberals" and "conservatives" tend to protect their own interests, always primarily and often exclusively, and generally do it in the name of their higher cause. Liberals see this hypocrisy in Conservatives, and Conservatives see this hypocrisy in Liberals, and both try to exploit it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: Little Hawk
Date: 15 Jan 13 - 04:56 PM

Hear! Hear! You are so right.

When I point this out to many of the people on this forum, they become extremely annoyed and they hotly deny their own culpability in this respect, seeing it only in their opponents across the political divide.


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 15 Jan 13 - 04:58 PM

Y'all need yer own thread.


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Subject: RE: BS: Seen any bad films recently
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 15 Jan 13 - 05:38 PM

We thought about starting a thread about how to figure out if a movie is bad or not, but couldn't thing of a header for it...


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