Well, that just proves that Bradbury is a treat for ALL the senses, doesn't it? Hmmm? Just as well you don't have the salt, kiddo...not good for the arteries, you know.
Agreed with Pterran.
Yes, very true singthebody.
Now I have mixed feelings about seeing the film version of Something Wicked This Way Comes. I definitely don't want to be disappointed because I was so moved when I read the book.
I do think that Tim Burton would do a wonderful job with a film adaptation of the book. I must disagree with some of the other members by saying that I absolutely loved Big Fish.
My daughter and I enjoyed Big Fish. I have read that the book is better than the movie (my daughter is reading it now, and enjoying it), but I did enjoy the movie.
On SWTWC, I really did like the movie, but film and the novel are two different media with different strengths and weaknesses, so they will be different. It is one of my favorite books, also, and I felt the movie did a very good job capturing the spirit of the novel.
Many times which one we like best (movie or book) depends on which one we experienced first. Sometimes it just depends on what we like about a book or movie. Typically, if there is a great book that a movie is based on, the movie doesn't match up to the book. A book leaves much more open to our imagination than a movie does. In a movie, sound and visuals are defined for us; in the book, those are totally left up to our imagination. Because of that, I believe we can make a novel more a part of us -- we invest who we are and what we are, into the book in a way we simply cannot do in a film.
For me, the movie SWTWC was a very, very good visualization of the book. It captured the spirit of the book, it captured the relationship between Jim and Will, it captured the relationship between Will and his dad, and, of course, I liked the depiction of Mr. Dark in the book and movie.
[This message has been edited by Mr. Dark (edited 03-08-2004).]
When it comes to putting a story on film, it has to be done by someone who loves the story. If there is no emotional investment, it'll stink.
Point in Case: Stephen King's "The Stand". I had read the book several times before it came to TV as a mini-series. I thoroughly enjoyed each time for several different reasons, based on my life at the time. I was eager to watch the show, but expected to be let down. I wasn't. Not in the least. Stephen King wrote the screenplay. There was emotional investment in the story. Now, when I think of something from the story, it's the movie I see in my head.
If anybody is going to make a Bradbury movie, he/she needs to truly love RB's work. That is the only way justice can be done to a story.
That IS the key, isn't it? It is very easy to tell which movies were screenwritten by random hired guns when compared with someone who actually cares about the original work.
I really like the film version of SWTWC. It's one of my favorite books and I try to catch the movie every time it's on.
I've said it before on this message board, but I would like to say it again. For one of the best adaptation's of Ray's work in a film, check out THE WONDERFUL ICE CREAM SUIT, directed by Stuart Gordon. Ray wrote the screenplay (which was actually used and followed), and the entire cast in this comedy is great. It's a fine film for the entire family. Sadly, it was released directly to video by Disney, with no theatrical release except for a few very limited showings in theaters (one was here in Chicago, a benefit for a local theater). Ray has referred to it as "the best film nobody has ever seen."
[This message has been edited by Richard (edited 03-09-2004).]
[This message has been edited by Richard (edited 03-09-2004).]
If they do a remake of the film it must be done in black and white don't you agree?
Also perhaps updating the setting to a 50's type of look with no particular time to place it when it is happening.Sort of a dream experience we all have had at one time or another.
That's really funny that you ask that. SW was one of the few books I read entirely in black-and-white. It was almost kind of jarring to see the color film. I picked up a book the other day of which the first sentence is, "Something wicked was afoot." Not exactly the same, but it has its own ring to it.
NOTE: I must definitely be getting old. How did I get on MC rather than SWTWC? My message to you: Enjoy your youth. Enjoy your youth! :-)
While the arguments are different, I also see SWTWC as a color film. I always see Autumn in color. I might be able to see "The Pedestrian" in B&W, but I see most of Bradbury's work as being done in color.
Here's my original entry:
I guess I'm odd-man-out on this one. I definitely see Martian Chronicles as a color movie. There are just too many references to the red planet for me to see it as a B&W film. I thought B&W was great in "Raging Bull" and "Schindler's List," but I see Martian Chronicles as a color film.
Interestingly, Bradbury, in the conversation between Spender and the Captain on why Spender was willing to kill humans to preserve the Martian's Taoist/Buddhist/AmerIndian sense of balance in religion uses the idea of color to show how the Martians were able to live successfully in a way Americans/Earthlings could not. They managed to combine science and religion into a kind of whole, rather than seeing them as two separate things definitionally antagonistic to each other:
". . . at base, science is no more than an investigation of a miracle we can never explain, and art is an interpretation of that miracle. They never let science crush the aesthetic and the beautiful. It's all simply a matter of degree. An earth man thinks, 'In that picture, color does not exist, really. A scientist can prove that color is only the way the cells are placed in a certain material to reflect light. Therefore, color is not really an actual part of things I happen to see.' A Martian, far cleverer, would say, 'This is a fine picture. It came from the hand and the mind of a man inspired. It's idea and its color are from life. This thing is a good.'"
This passage doesn't "prove" the movie should be in color, but I have always seen the book in color when I read it, and when I envisage a movie of it, it is a color film.
It's kind of like the Paul Simon song, "Kodachrome," where he sees one world in B&W and the other in color. The color, Kodachrome, is what gives life richness in that song. He doesn't want the Kodachrome taken away.
Also, Bradbury uses color as sometimes an only descriptor of an object in this book. The bullets are silver. In the opening passage from "The Green Morning" he uses color to describe the entirety of the setting.
I may be alone on this, but I definitely see The Martian Chronicles as a movie that needs to be in color.
[This message has been edited by Mr. Dark (edited 03-13-2004).]
I have both read the story and watched the movie many times. I love the opening of the movie, watching the train coming into view all huffing and puffing with mystery and terror. I thought the movie well done, except I never liked the spiders, but then I don't like spiders anyway. I can't imagine there being a better way to shoot this story than was done by the Disney folks, except it continues to amaze me why someone purchases the rights to a story and then proceeds to change the story. I save the annual viewing of SWTWC for Halloween.
SWTWC remains my absolute favorite book and the one that got me interested in science fiction/fantasy (see "what story got you started thread" for a more poetic dissertation).
But my delight in the book made me a harsh critic of the movie--when I saw it in high school I had only read SWTWC two Halloweens in a row.
I didn't like the spiders being substituted for the Montgolfier or how Charles Halloway's job had to be upgraded from janitor to librarian. I didn't like how Miss Foley's wish was modified (younger but blind)--better to have given her EXACTLY what she desired to illustrate the true horror of a wish come true!!
And I REALLY didn't like how Mr. Dark had a long-standing personal grudge against the Halloway clan. It seemed to detract from the message you have to beware the dark (yet impersonal) temptations in this world.
[In horror fiction a general threat can be more frightening than a personal threat for you know not what dark shape the horror may take, the sly shadow it can cast. . .]
But that said I do enjoy the echo of October in just about every frame and how coldly evil Mr. Dark could be, his voice rarely about an icy timbre.
For me SWTWC is a novel of a slow evil that creeps into town and gradually takes root, its intracies only being vaguely glimpsed by Will and Jim over the span of a week until at last Mr. Halloway knits the fibers together to realize the dark web which engulfs them.
Too long for just a movie. Better a 4-6 hour miniseries to allow the chapters to play themselves out.
And at least retore the rooftop battle with the Dust Witch!
Doctor's prescription: Watch it if you've never read the book and then read the book for a deeper appreciation.
For good Bradbury viewing, watch or rent the animated version of THE HALLOWEEN TREE. Leonard Nimoy is brilliant as Mister Moundshroud (and would make a great Mr. Dark in my opinion, too).
I must have commented on the film version of "Something Wicked" at one point or another, but I have no idea which message it would be listed under at this point....
I do like the film very much, despite a few shortcomings, and watch it every autumn right around Halloween, if not on the actual holiday itself. The opening of the film, with the images of autumn on-screen and the haunting and melancholy musical score and narration, is just about perfect, and sums up the feeling of the season for me.
Don't know how many of you were aware of this, but the film was extensively altered after its initial previews--some of the material was scrapped entirely, and many other scenes re-shot. The spiders didn't appear in the original version at all--but the balloon may have. If you look at the scene where one of the boys runs over the porch roof to the other's window, you can see a shadow blotting out the moonlight that looks very much like the shape of a hot-air balloon.
I was wondering, how many of you have seen this film with the commentary track? (I'm not sure if it appears on the current DVD--it is included on my old laserdisc "special edition.") The discussion is provided by a couple of the people who worked on the film, as well as Mr Bradbury himself. I would say that probably 75 percent of the conversation involves the artistic and technical details of the film-making process (which I find fascinating, myself), and the rest is Ray. He does talk about how the film you are watching is different than the one that was originally shot, and why the changes were made.
Hey, if anyone is interested in having a VHS copy of this picture, with the commentary track running, just drop me an e-mail through my profile. I'd be pleased to help out--as I said, I find this behind-the-scenes information to be most informative, and would be happy to share.
I believe the current DVD release is without commentary. (I don't own a copy, but there is a review on Amazon.com that says the only extra is a theatrical trailer).
Disney are supposedly issuing a new DVD of the movie in August. I hope they give us more extras. If they do, they are guaranteed at least one sale.
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