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If I may be permitted to commit a bit of blasphemy, I wonder if losing a lot of those old posts wouldn't really be the worst thing in the world.

Yes, much of it would be valuable to someone trying to find some answers about Bradbury. For the most part, though, it seems most queries are answered right away and maybe that's as it should be. Keeps things fresh, in my opinion. And it'd be nice to bring up some old topics that we've hashed around in the past, wouldn't it?

But a good deal of it, including many of my endless arguments, might be better off drifting around in the ether. After all, none of this is permanent. I kind of see it like John Lennon saw rock n'roll. It lives for the moment and it's utterly disposable. It's not necessary for our casual converstations to be etched in stone.

That doesn't mean the "sweat," as Mr. Dark put it, that we put into these posts, or the moderation, thereof, my dear Dandelion, didn't count for anything. It's more like we had good times once, but we'll have good times again. In fact, losing the old posts can be kind of liberating. We can re-hash the old arguments over and over again!

Best,

Pete
 
Posts: 614 | Location: Oklahoma City, OK | Registered: 30 April 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Oh, wow, you live in Oklahoma City and posted on April 19 about the impermanence of things. Very eerie.
 
Posts: 7175 | Location: Dayton, Washington, USA | Registered: 03 December 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Dandelion,

How very perceptive of you! I didn't even notice it myself but, you're right, perhaps the day accounts for my frame of mind. I've purposely tried to avoid the coverage of the day's events - sadness and anger still linger for me under my hope for the future, so I thought it best to muddle through the best I could. My post, above, is unusual for me, too, in that I have an almost obsessive quest for permanence when I really should know better. Some of you know better than I that only some things last and the rest are only fleeting. That should be the lesson of the day, I think.

Thanks for being so wise.

Best,

Pete
 
Posts: 614 | Location: Oklahoma City, OK | Registered: 30 April 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Miscellaneous Topic...
...living up to its name... I hereto add another miscellaneous posting to the already long list of items:::

Best Movie I Have Seen This 2005 Year So Far::
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''Kung-Fu Hustle''
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It's a surprise all the way around!

But note: You have to get thru the first 8 or 10 minutes. It's Violent. The Ax Gang attacks. And be aware of the couple cuss words (subtitled). The whole movie is made in China and subtitled.

After those few minutes, the movie turns unbelievable in its profound impact on the viewer. You cannot take your eyes off the screen. You become hypnotized by its imaginative style and incredible energy. The story is fascinating and you follow it easily. It's a special effect movie, and they are done with stunning delivery.

I am very hard on movies. I walk out of them in the first 3 minutes. Something kept me here in the theater...and I want to see this treasure again. The ending is unexpected, lovely, touching, and makes you cry.

Should this movie be nominated for best foreign film. I think so! You are horrified, you cry, and you laugh out loud, you are enchanted, and you are amazed. All this, and I give it 4 stars. ****
 
Posts: 3954 | Location: South Orange County, CA USA | Registered: 28 June 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Nard,

Thanks for the review. I keep suggesting it to my wife but she manages to suggest something else to see. I can't understand why. When I saw the previews, and heard the title, I knew it was something I had to see.

Take care,

Pete
 
Posts: 614 | Location: Oklahoma City, OK | Registered: 30 April 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I'm looking forward to "Hitch-hiker's Guide To The Galaxy" which is coming out soon! (Already out in the UK, whence it came.)
A great film that I just saw is "Broken Blossoms", starring Lillian Gish and Donald Crisp, directed by D.W. Griffith, 1919.
Still scanning the horizon for "Sound of Thunder"...
 
Posts: 3166 | Location: Box in Braling I's cellar | Registered: 02 July 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Nice Photo taken of Mars last week, April 26, 2005.
click on, or type into finder:
http://www.msss.com/mars_images/moc/2005/04/26/2005.04.26.082499Ls193.4.gif
 
Posts: 3954 | Location: South Orange County, CA USA | Registered: 28 June 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Cancel all Infopop attacks! It turns out the forums were imported by a HarperCollins employee, using software from Infopop. The powers that be were APPALLED that posts were missing, made assurances that nothing was meant to be lost and that they will attempt to restore those known to be lost, and check to make sure no others were lost. So we don't have to deal with Infopop at all, great relief, as what little contact I had with them showed them to be of no help whatsoever.
 
Posts: 7175 | Location: Dayton, Washington, USA | Registered: 03 December 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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W!O!W!

Dig this photo (taken in the last month ) on Mars by the Rover. Amazing!! A sunset on Mars!

http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov/gallery/press/spirit/200...9_gamma_2sub_800.jpg
 
Posts: 3954 | Location: South Orange County, CA USA | Registered: 28 June 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Very cool, Nard! To actually be looking at the sunset from another planet is astounding.
 
Posts: 774 | Location: Westmont, Illinois 60559 | Registered: 04 January 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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That is neat, I must admit. To see something like that, maybe in twenty years or so I'll be able to see it first hand.
 
Posts: 44 | Registered: 30 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Nard, this picture struck a nerve. I have downloaded and printed it out. It will grace my classroom wall for coming related literature units. Title - "Day's End: MARTIAN SUNSET!" (photo from the Rover, via Nard Kordell)

thanks,f

from MC: "The sky was stained and colored; the clouds were thickened; the mountains took on an iron taint."

How great is that in view of Nard's pic?

This message has been edited. Last edited by: fjp451,
 
Posts: 2699 | Location: Basement of a NNY Library | Registered: 07 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Seen a truly terrible movie of a really wonderful book lately? Here are urls for two of the most uncalled-for remakes ever to hit the silver screen--or any screen--perhaps something should have hit THEM! They are travesties of the books on which they are based and of questionable value as films in their own right.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0110826/ "The Phoenix and the Magic Carpet" (1995)

E. Nesbit's book "The Phoenix and the Carpet" was made as a BBC miniseries twice, once in 1976 and once in 1997. Either they were deemed inaccessible to American audiences, or they plain su¢ked, as to my knowledge they've never been aired in the U. S. or been made available on video in a form playable in the U. S. or Canada. (If anyone knows different, please tell!) I am now thinking of purchasing a DVD burner but if I do I want one that also comes with a player which will record and play in the PAL format as well as the other. Can anyone recommend such a machine? If so, perhaps I can obtain copies of these someplace and see if this movie has ever been made right!

If a reasonably acceptable version exists, the 1995 theatrical film (which I do have on video) is not it. It is a modern American update of the Edwardian children's story. It is not called Five Children and anything as the film features only three children. The older brother has the name of the younger brother (in the book), and the younger brother has the name of someone else who was not in the book at all, causing massive confusion for any viewer who has read the book a mere 10 times or so (I estimate I may have read it over 40.) It has ridiculously bad (laughably bad if you're prone to laugh at such things, but I didn't get many laughs from this) special effects. It's obvious the entire budget, and probably entire reason for the film, was spent on a trip to Tobago, which doubled for the sunny southern shore. The Phoenix looked like a yellow baby chick caught in some horrible nuclear experiment. Sir Peter Ustinov on his last legs lends a bit of dignity. His voice work (he plays the ghost of the grandfather and does the voice of the Phoenix) is the most redeeming feature of this film. Dee Wallace Stone is on hand as the clueless mother. In "E. T.," two boys and a girl hide a space alien and a flying bicycle from her; this time it's a Phoenix and a flying carpet.

The film does contain one point of interest which I wonder whether even the most rabid Harry Potter fans have noted. Okay, I tried to sell this story to the tabloids. They wouldn't touch it, so here it is for free. Since E. Nesbit is J. K. Rowling's favorite author, her works second only unto Elizabeth Goudge's "The Little White Horse," she undoubtedly saw this flick when it came out. Now fast forward the film (believe me, you won't miss much) to the part which takes place in a cave on the island. This part has absolutely NOTHING to do with Nesbit's book and will be known ONLY to the relatively few who viewed the movie. See if the showdown between a Phoenix and a giant serpent to save the life of a young boy to whom the Phoenix is devoted has any little resemblance to a certain incident in "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets," which with good reason certainly puts this film to shame!

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0366450/ "Five Children and It" (2004)

This is also a remake, of a mostly remarkably well-done BBC miniseries made in 1991. In that one, the special effects are somewhat low-budget but earnest, the acting adequate, and the script 85%-95% faithful to Nesbit's work, so one, at least an optimistic one, might think surely with a theatrical budget, they could do better...?

This one just came out on DVD. Since my sister's husband is reading the book to their son, I thought I'd rent it for my sister, Mom, and I, to watch while my sister was visiting. I thought nothing could possibly be worse than "The Phoenix and the Magic Carpet," but in a competition for obnoxiousness this one would give that one such a run for its money one would surely be hard-pressed to name a winner. The sad thing is, to begin with, the special effects were so well-done they obviously had the money to do it right and wilfully chose not to, rather than being pressed into it as perhaps earlier filmmakers were. This budget went on a creepy mansion nothing like the country house in the book, including a mad scientist's greenhouse. There was also a train and vintage (1917--they changed the time period to WWI, losing the story's Edwardian appeal--) automobiles to be found nowhere in the pages of the book.

There was nothing wrong with the cast. Cyril was a bit older than I'd have pictured, and not as cute as the boy in the 1991 miniseries, but his looks and personality were good. I liked the girls who played Anthea and Jane better than those in any of the other films. Celebrated child actor Freddie Highmore came closest to fitting my vision of Robert than the boys in any of the other films, and running circles around them both in terms of acting ability and cuteness. Much has been made of the talents of this child actor, who appeared in the new "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" (which I haven't seen--but sounds like another unecessary remake, grumble grumble) and "Finding Neverland," which I haven't seen but would like to, and he does possess a certain appeal. The baby was absolutely adorable. But none of them could come near saving the movie from a perfectly wretched script.

My mom at least approved of the opening narration of "The Phoenix and the Magic Carpet," drawn directly from Nesbit's book, and didn't start muttering until at least partway into the movie, which also used large portions of dialogue and action from Nesbit. The characters and situations in the Phoenix movie were quite recognizably drawn from Nesbit's. Not so in "Five Children and It," during which Mom was already snapping, "They've got their nerve," before the opening narration was completed! Despite the British cast, story events were rendered so differently as to be almost unrecognizable. Instead of "based on the book by E. Nesbit," whose name appeared in teeny tiny print, the credit should have read, "loosely based on a few pages of the book by E. Nesbit." Kenneth Branagh, as a mad scientist uncle, not in the book, who makes the ghost grandfather, also not in the book, look quite reasonable by comparison, and a boy portraying his son, the obnoxious cousin Horace, were unnecessary uses of screen time. This film at least had a few genuine laughs, but they couldn't have trashed the town as badly as they did Nesbit's poor book! The movie was interesting to watch, in that every deviation from the story made the film less original rather than more so. There were so many "cinema touches" shoving it into the pack of films out there rather than elevating it from them. Of the two, this is probably still the better film, but such a shambles of the book as to be far more distressing to Nesbit's readers. What they did to the poor old Psammead is such a shame as to not bear repeating, so, as Nesbit would say, I will draw a veil over that unpleasant scene without even describing it. It appears in mercifully few scenes, as most of the film is devoted the children's adventures.

To no one's regret, we were interrupted and had to shut the movie off less than an hour in. My sister really loved Freddie and talked about getting the movie to finish watching it later. I found it a shame that Freddie, talented as he is, did not have the opportunity to appear in a halfway decent movie here. I don't know if Mom can stand the torture of watching the rest. I probably will because I rented it, but would not be likely ever to again. If I bought it just to have for the collection, it would have to be for under $5, preferably WAY under! It made the recent remake of "A Little Princess" (also set during WWI, go figure!) look quite literal in comparison, although someone, preferably under the age of 15 and with no acquaintance with Nesbit's works, might like this movie.
 
Posts: 7175 | Location: Dayton, Washington, USA | Registered: 03 December 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Well, we finished "Five Children and It," and yes, bad as it was, there was still considerable room for it to have been worse. Two of the wishes remained recognizable from the book, and they were the exact two everyone would have chosen: the mounds of gold and the wings. The wings were the worst effect in the BBC version, and much better done here, though not nearly so lovely as described in the book, which could certainly have been done had they lost the (Nesbit fans, don't look, and if you do, try not to scream--dinosaur--yes, you heard right--) and other unecessary touches (cousin Horace--a straight ripoff of Sid from "Toy Story," for starters--) and spent the bucks on doing it right. As for the Psammead, he was "real" enough looking in most of his scenes of interaction with the children--enough combination of puppetry and computer animation to look "alive"--it's just that they gave him the TOTALLY wrong look, sound, and personality. Other than that.... I'd just MUCH rather see a well-intended cut-rate version than to see the massive amount time, money, and effort that was blown here to do it wrong! What's more, at the end there were ominous indications of a sequel in the works. Bad, BAAAD news, especially with this being the centenary year of when the stories (really) took place, it would have been such a grand opportunity to do a really GOOD version! Kenneth Branagh's character played a loony professor writing a book called "Difficult Sums for Children," which his publishers decided to make more fun by calling it "Charlie Chicken and Chums" and handing out a free Charlie Chicken with each book. It was a perfect lampoon of the attitude of the filmmakers themselves and their treatment of Nesbit's story.
 
Posts: 7175 | Location: Dayton, Washington, USA | Registered: 03 December 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I went to see the Tom Cruise/Spielberg 'War of the Worlds.'

Great special effects.
Thin plot
Wishy-washy ending
Everyone is just running somewhere else in the movie, that's it.
It sucks...wait for the video, then watch it once.

You'd be better off waiting for some classic theatre in your town to show the original with Gene Barry...
 
Posts: 349 | Location: Seattle, Washington State, USA | Registered: 20 July 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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