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A Few Notes on Movies of the Near Future 155

Posted by timothy
from the because-you-see-you-haven't-seen-them-yet dept.
BenderFan writes "The first review of the next Futurama DVD, The Beast With a Billion Backs (out in the US on June 24), has appeared online. And the reviewer liked it — a lot." (I hope it's as good as Bender's Big Score.) Read on for reader submissions on two other upcoming movies. The Day The Earth Stood Still (with Keanu Reeves, but also John Cleese) is due out in December, and a movie version of Philip K. Dick's The Owl in Daylight is currently being drafted by Tony Grisoni; the interview linked below is appropriately surreal.


Etienne writes "Tony Grisoni is a British screenwriter who has co-written several Terry Gilliam's films (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Tideland, Brothers Grimm and Lost in La Mancha).
He is currently writing the screenplay for 'The Owl in Daylight', based upon the book Dick was planning to write just before he died. The movie is produced by Electric Shepherd Productions, which is run by Anne and Laura Dick, PKD's daughters. Paul Giamatti is co-producing and will take the part of Philip K. Dick."


bowman9991 writes "Keanu Reeves' big budget remake of the 1951 science fiction classic 'The Day the Earth Stood Still' has all the right ingredients to be his biggest hit since 'The Matrix.' SFFMedia asks whether we are looking at another classic or a disastrous Hollywood star studded rehash? Now that the cold war anxieties from the original movie have been replaced with the threat of environmental catastrophe, will Keanu become some type of extraterrestrial Al Gore and ruin the movie?" (John Cleese plays Klaatu's giant 8-foot robotic pal called "Gort.")
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A Few Notes on Movies of the Near Future

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  • by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Sunday May 18, 2008 @01:43PM (#23454772)
    I thought "Bender's Big Score" was mediocre at best - so I'm hoping they've managed to recapture some of what consistently worked in the TV show.
    • On IMDB, it scored far better [imdb.com] than one would expect.
    • by loshwomp (468955) on Sunday May 18, 2008 @01:58PM (#23454900)
      Parent is right on the money. Bender's Big Score only had ghostly traces of what once made Futurama great. I'm hoping they hit their stride again with the subsequent TV movies...
      • wow (Score:1, Insightful)

        by ClintJCL (264898)
        I think it is actually YOU that only has ghostly traces of your original ability to appreciate it. There really is no discernible difference between this movie / 3 episodes, other than that it is a 3-episode arc rather than a 1 episode arc. It continues all the major plot points RIGHT WHERE THEY LEFT OFF, but there are always predictable naysayers like you. The same people who didn't like all the other adaptations movies: Aqua Teen, South Park, Beavis & Butt-head, The Simpsons, The Golden Compass. (I th
        • Re:wow (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Moridineas (213502) on Sunday May 18, 2008 @02:35PM (#23455140) Journal
          Wow, unless you're one of the writers, you really don't need to take it personally! I'm not the gp, but I more or less agree with him. I did enjoy Bender's Big Score, and I bought it, but I've only watched it 1.5 times. I've seen most of the episodes several more times.

          It has nothing to do with the fact that the movie "played like 3 episodes" -- and you throwing that out there is a complete red herring as the GP said nothing about that. In my opinion, it just wasn't quite as snappy. Had some individually really good parts, but the whole thing just didn't seem as seemless. And no, to be clear, I'm not complaining about the episodic nature of the film--I'm talking about individual scene changes.

          Seriously, I don't understand your reply at all. I mean, I understand fanboyism on the Internet and all, but why be so invested in whether other people like a movie or TV show you like? Other people liking or not liking it shouldn't diminish your enjoyment of it at all!
          • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

            by spud603 (832173)

            Other people liking or not liking it shouldn't diminish your enjoyment of it at all!
            By and large I agree with your post, but any psychologist/sociologist will tell you that other peoples' opinions have a lot to do with enjoyment (in a really substantive way).
            • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

              by RockModeNick (617483)
              Yes, unfortunately. Thats why we had to listen to "My Lumps" over and over even when trying to change the radio dial, even though it was garbage to a half decent beat.
            • Re:wow (Score:4, Insightful)

              by Moridineas (213502) on Sunday May 18, 2008 @09:35PM (#23457938) Journal

              By and large I agree with your post, but any psychologist/sociologist will tell you that other peoples' opinions have a lot to do with enjoyment (in a really substantive way).
              I suppose you're right at that. Seems a shame though--I think a lot of people would be a lot happier if we could just like what we liked and disliked what we disliked--regardless of other people.
              • by Kjella (173770)

                I think a lot of people would be a lot happier if we could just like what we liked and disliked what we disliked--regardless of other people.

                Personally I think the world would be a very fucked up place if noone ever listened to the opinions and feelings of others, but YMMV. Doesn't mean you have to agree with everything, but I don't think the world could work any other way without losing something vital like empathy. I think it's entirely natural that if someone sees a movie you love and think it sucks, that you are concerned about why they didn't get the same positive experience you did.

                • Personally I think the world would be a very fucked up place if noone ever listened to the opinions and feelings of others, but YMMV. Doesn't mean you have to agree with everything, but I don't think the world could work any other way without losing something vital like empathy.

                  I disagree. Being self-confident in who you are, what you like, and what you dislike doesn't rob you of empathy!

                  I think it's entirely natural that if someone sees a movie you love and think it sucks, that you are concerned about why they didn't get the same positive experience you did.

                  Perhaps it is natural. I did say "It's a shame." I also think that getting angry and calling people names because they didn't like the same cartoon movie you liked is VERY silly.

                  Likewise, sometimes people disliking something makes other people like it! You know, it's that whole Hegelian dialectic. Thesis and antithesis, self and other. Sometimes people define themselves more by other than by sel

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by howlingfrog (211151)

            It has nothing to do with the fact that the movie "played like 3 episodes"

            It has everything to do with the fact that it played like (actually) 4 episodes. I mildly enjoyed BBS in movie format, but seeing the episodes it got split into on Comedy Central, they were all above average and the fourth was superb. Then I went back and watched the DVD again for comparison, and I'm pretty sure what diminished my appreciation for it was that it messes with the traditional narrative structure--it's a twelve-act s

        • by loshwomp (468955)
          Nah, I've gone back and watched the original episodes on DVD, and they were much funnier. I don't have any problem with the movie format, per se, but in BBS there was too much going on, they were trying too hard, and missing their mark too often. I'm optimistic that the subsequent releases will be better.

          I never saw any of the other movie adaptations you referenced and have no interest in them.
          • by sumdumass (711423)
            Watch the Simpson's movie. I think they got every thing just like the cartoon. It was like a 90-120 minute episode cartoon instead of a movie. It was actually more like one episode wraped around 2 or 3 minor episodes.

            That's what it should be like.
        • by neokushan (932374)
          Come on, the Aqua teen film was beyond BAD, it was terrible, more terrible than words to describe. And why get so upset at someone for not having the same tastes as you? It's not like it matters, he didn't like the film, you did, who cares?
          Personally I agree, the film was all right, but it wasn't as good as normal futurama episodes have been. The Simpsons film was ok as well, but it wasn't as good as the first 10 seasons of the show.
          The south park film I really liked, I don't know anyone that liked the show
          • by Tony Hoyle (11698)
            I don't know anyone that liked the show but didn't like the film

            I love the show.. think the film sucked. Every 2 minutes (literally - by halfway through I was timing it on my watch) someone burst into song just to cover the complete lack of plot. But then I utterly loathe musicals generally.

            • by neokushan (932374) on Sunday May 18, 2008 @04:08PM (#23455802)
              Well that's a fair enough comment I suppose. I'm not much of a fan of singing in films, either and I do agree it's the film's weakest attribute, but at least for me it didn't detract from the rest of it.
              Incidentally, it's what I hate most about family guy these days (don't get me wrong, I AM a fan, it's just a gripe I have), Seth McFarlane blatantly wants to sing for a career and uses any excuse to burst into song...
        • by toad3k (882007)
          He's not imagining it. I'm not a particularly big simpson's or futurama fan, but when I saw both simpson and futurama movies, it was a different. They were dry, meandering, and I didn't laugh a single time. I quit watching both half way through.

          I wouldn't be surprised if one day we find out they were not written or directed by the original creators (groening?), but rather were designed for quick profit. Unfortunately grateful fans coughed up the dough, so they'll do it again.
        • Actually it was just boring. Wasn't very funny, so like others have said I hope it is BETTER than Bender's Big Score.
    • by Spad (470073) <slashdot@noSpam.spad.co.uk> on Sunday May 18, 2008 @01:58PM (#23454904) Homepage
      My reaction was the same first time through, but after watching it a second time and listening to the commentary, I really warmed to it.

      There's an awful lot going on and the plot is pretty complex; I really don't think you can get a full appreciation for it on a single run through - not that is necessarily a good thing.
    • by cgdiaz (1199643)
      Well hopefully its a movie and not what seemed like 3 long episodes put together.
      • hey moron (Score:1, Insightful)

        by ClintJCL (264898)
        Hey moron, it IS 3 long episodes put together. They STATED that that is their INTENT -- to have 66 minutes of video that can either be split into 3 22-minute fullscreen episodes, or 1 66-minute widescreen movie. How can they bring the series back without episodes? So you're whining about something they intended to do. Turn in your fanboy card.
        • by cgdiaz (1199643)
          Fanboy? Because I just watched it without reading every detail posted about the movie and posted my opinnion? All I'm saying is I hope the new movie is more Movie-ish.
          • by ClintJCL (264898)
            Far enough... But it wont be. All the movies are repacking of a the new season. EVERY futurama movie WILL simply be "multiple episodes edited into a movie". Which, honestly, is what a movie based on a tv show SHOULD be. A story is a story. Being snobby about the editing involved just makes it harder to appreciate the story.
          • by hedwards (940851)
            Heh, yeah, your supposed to over analyze every frame and then pretend you got all the jokes. ;)

            The point of the films was that they were going to be chopped up later on with a bit of extra material for TV. The DVDs are just for those of us who don't want to wait for them to show up on TV. I do think that there's a lot to be said about personal taste and expectations that a person has going into it.

            Anybody that had built up their expectations ahead of time, would probably be disappointed though.
        • Turn in your fanboy card.

          I was all ready to write a longer reply, until I realize I had just replied to you already :-)

          Calm down buddy--so somebody else doesn't like a cartoon movie you like--big deal! We get that you're a fan boy, and somebody else commenting on how they didn't like an aspect of the movie hardly deserves their being called a "moron" (and you also seem to think they are a fanboy too? I'm confused). I highly doubt you'd talk to someone in real life like that, so you might consider the same thing online!

    • by elrous0 (869638) *
      You're not alone. I was a HUGE Futurama fan and Bender's Big Score was pretty bland. It started off really bad and got a little better toward the end. But overall, it was pretty weak tea. About the only things I liked about it were the call-backs to my two favorite Futurama episodes ("Luck of the Fryrish" and "Jurassic Bark"). Nice to know the dog got to see Fry again, after all.

      I like to think maybe they were just out of practice, and the next movies will be better. We'll see.

  • by Per Abrahamsen (1397) on Sunday May 18, 2008 @01:45PM (#23454796) Homepage
    Not a single world about HYPNOTOAD. I hope we get another full episode of Everybody Loves Hypnotoad! It was possible the best television ever!
  • Hey Hollywood (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bk_veggie (807894) on Sunday May 18, 2008 @01:47PM (#23454806)
    Instead of doing remakes, such as The Day The Earth Stood Still, how about we take older properties, such as, I don't know, Neuromancer? Or maybe something newer like Cryptonomicon? And while you're at it, could you remotely stick to the source material, unlike that abomination you called I Am Legend? I think the only thing that the movie had in common with the book was the fact he was alone in the city.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by maxume (22995)
      The Cryptonomicon would never fit into a movie. It wouldn't make a very good miniseries either. It might work in a sort of 24 style format, but they aren't going to produce something like that as a one off, they want to be able to write more words and reuse the story next season.

      I liked the book, but it wouldn't translate well, especially if you demand that the visual form stick to the source material.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by PCM2 (4486)

        they want to be able to write more words and reuse the story next season.
        Sounds like Hollywood and Neal Stephenson would get along famously.
      • I vote for a full two or three year run on HBO of an entire series - a la Rome or Deadwood - from Stephenson's Baroque Cycle. Sex, science, swashbuckling, financial intrigue, calculus intrigue (!), cruel violence, funny violence, equal opportunity culture skewering, history, romance, and at least a couple of scenes out of Scooby Doo (only with dire consequences). It would be right up HBO's alley.
    • I know you're using it as a random example of 'cool SF that I'd love to see on the big screen' rather than a specific one, but I think the screen rights to Neuromancer are still in some weird development limbo. I know they were when Johnny Mnemonic came out - that's why Molly wasn't in that movie.

      Also, geeze, I shudder to imagine how long a Cryptonomicon movie would be. It'd have to be cut down to just one of the three plot threads, and just a sketch of that; a typical movie really has about a novella's wor
    • by mykepredko (40154) on Sunday May 18, 2008 @02:59PM (#23455300) Homepage
      Here's my start at one (sorry no list because it ended up having too few characters per line):
      Neuromancer (kudos to parent)/Crytonomicon (kudos to parent)/Ringworld/Rendezvous with Rama (I know but we've been waiting forever for it)/The moat in god's eye/Stranger in a strange land/Childhood's end/The man in high tower/Little Fuzzy/The moon is a harsh mistress/Starship troopers (one that doesn't suck)/The foundation trilogy/The caves of steel or The naked sun (erase "iRobot" from everybody's memory)/Red Mars going to Green Mars going to Blue Mars/The forever war/Ender's Game (I know that's been going on for years as well)/The long ARM of Gil Hamilton/Oath of fealty (I always liked that book)/Have spacesuit will travel/Tau Zero/Gateway/There will be time/Ensign Flandry/Dorsai/Berzerkers/Slan/The weapon shops of Isher/The duelling machine/The demolished man/The fountains of paradise/The city and the stars/Sun diver going to Startide rising/Way station

      Please feel free to add to the list,

      If there are any big hollywood producers out there, remember where this idea came from and I would think that you should be looking for an executive producer that understands this stuff so what you create doesn't suck (my rates are surprisingly reasonable).

      myke
      • Not Sci-Fi but fantasy, I'd like to see the Drizzt saga from Forgotten Realms put on the big screen (In a way that doesn't suck, of course. I'd even be happy with an animated movie!)
      • by roystgnr (4015) <roystgnr@nOspAm.ticam.utexas.edu> on Sunday May 18, 2008 @05:27PM (#23456298) Homepage
        I used to wish my favorite science fiction novels would be turned into movies. That stopped after they fumbled "The Puppet Masters" and pissed on "Starship Troopers". Seriously, "Starship Troopers", one of the few SF books that could have been translated for the big screen with little more effort than "tell everyone to read chapter N, act it out, then read N+1"... How do you screw up a coming-of-age movie with moral debate set among battles between aliens and powered battle suits? Why, to start you cast actors whose next "coming of age" events will be balding and menopause, change as many plot facets as necessary to parody a strawman of the morals you didn't like, and turn the aliens into animals and the battle suits into cannon fodder.

        And you think they could get Mote in God's Eye right? Yeah, it's a tempting thought, but you know by revision 3 of the script, Hollywood would have turned the Moties into Ewoks.
        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by maxume (22995)
          Unless Wikipedia is completely off base, the movie wasn't even based off the book initially:

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Starship_Troopers_(film)#Comparison_with_the_original_novel [wikipedia.org]

          Basically, the made a space-war-bug movie and appropriated the name.
    • Re:Hey Hollywood (Score:5, Informative)

      by morari (1080535) on Sunday May 18, 2008 @03:13PM (#23455414) Journal

      And while you're at it, could you remotely stick to the source material, unlike that abomination you called I Am Legend? I think the only thing that the movie had in common with the book was the fact he was alone in the city.
      Try "The Last Man on Earth". Not only does Vincent Price still have more acting ability than Will Smith can ever dream of, but Richard Matheson was actually involved in writing the screenplay. To be fair, I do believe that Matheson eventually left the project for one reason or another, but it was still a pretty good adaptation.
    • by Bodrius (191265)
      "I Am Legend" was a remake of "Omega Man", not of the original book.

      And in that sense, it was a pretty decent remake.

    • Neuromancer is getting made [chud.com]. Gibson is even on board for the screenplay.
    • I never understand why Hollywood cannot stick to the material that made a property popular in the first place. Take "League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" as a perfect example. As best I could tell, that movie had absolutely nothing to do with the graphic novel on which it was based. They even _added_ characters that weren't in the original material. I just don't know what the point of licensing something is if you don't actually intend to use it? At least they got "Iron Man" right.
  • Quality (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ktappe (747125) on Sunday May 18, 2008 @01:55PM (#23454868)

    (I hope it's as good as Bender's Big Score.)
    I hope it's better. I didn't think Bender's Big Score was their best work. Certainly better than nothing though.
    • Re:Quality (Score:4, Interesting)

      by hedwards (940851) on Sunday May 18, 2008 @04:17PM (#23455858)
      I was mostly happy because it was funny, considering how long it had been it could have been a colossal flop. If you watched the extra features, it took them a bit to figure out how to do some of the voices again, and there were some changes on the minor characters as well.

      But, I'm reserving my judgment for when they get back to doing regular episodes rather than these movies, which will be a while.
    • by Darinbob (1142669)
      I like Bender's Big Score. It had some weak areas, such as too many nods to old episodes and in-jokes. But they made up for that with "Everyone, out of the universe!" line.
  • Spoilers? (Score:5, Informative)

    by antifoidulus (807088) on Sunday May 18, 2008 @01:56PM (#23454888) Homepage Journal
    It would be helpful if there were warnings about spoilers for each review....
  • Is anyone else annoyed that they can't remove idle / entertainment categories from display in preferences? Or do I have some sort of preference set that gives me an older interface without these options, and everyone else has already figured out how to ignore them?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 18, 2008 @01:59PM (#23454920)
    Keanu will be perfect as Gort.
  • All Glory To Steve Jobs... I mean, The Hypnotoad.

    I don't see what's wrong with making a movie for the fans of Futurama as the article says, we're the ones that are going to be buying it anyway. He's implying that in order for the dvd to be a success, it has to increase it's audience size. Phooey I say! er, whaa?

    Anyway, I hope more great canceled shows make "movies" that go right to dvd. I for one welcome our Firefly overlords.
    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      All Glory To Steve Jobs... I mean, The Hypnotoad.
      Aren't they the same being?
  • by Joe The Dragon (967727) on Sunday May 18, 2008 @02:02PM (#23454942)
    You forgot about Stargate: Continuum the next sg1 movie.
  • by rossz (67331) <ogre&geekbiker,net> on Sunday May 18, 2008 @02:04PM (#23454966) Homepage Journal
    I must assume Keanu Reeves will play that robot since that's his acting style, anyway.
    • by owlnation (858981)

      I must assume Keanu Reeves will play that robot since that's his acting style, anyway.
      Hey! I'm a robot, you insensitive clod! And on behalf of robots everywhere I'd like to express how insulted I am and being compared to Ikea Reeves. I've more acting talent in the little diodes on my left side, than he does in his whole body.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I just know they will they will kill the best scene and line (possibly my favourite geek moment ever on film):
      ---
      BARNHARDT
      (slowly, thoughtfully)
      Yes -- that will reproduce the first-
      order terms. But what about the effect
      of the other terms?

      KLAATU
      Almost negligible... With variation
      of parameters, this is the answer.
      ---
      With a blackboard no less.

      "Variation of parameters"...still gets me all warm & fuzzy inside. It'll probably be replaced by some stupid scene with a Mac that has the Apple logo conspicuously di
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by ozbird (127571)
      I must assume Keanu Reeves will play that robot since that's his acting style, anyway.

      Whoa!
  • by fermion (181285) on Sunday May 18, 2008 @02:15PM (#23455026) Homepage Journal
    Is the day the earth stood still. There are no significant special effects that need to be made better. There was nothing wrong with the story. The husband lost at war is as relevant at this moment as at the previous moment. The man who is in love with war and fear mongering and his money at the expense of his country is as relevant.

    Ok, so an argument could be made that this is the right time to remake this movie, even if it guaranteed to be worse given the Mr. Revees has trouble acting his way out of a paper bag, and it just gets worse when he is acting across from someone that is truly competent(see A Walk in the Clouds).

    The fact remains that there are any number of sci-fi horror movies that are more suited to his abilities, could benefit from better special effects, and are screaming for remakes. Simplying going through the MST3K list would net a treasure trove of easy money films.

    • by morari (1080535)
      Agreed.

      All one has to do is go back and actually watch The Day the Earth Stood Still. The plot is still relevant, if not perhaps a little too removed from current parallels for the average moviegoer to realize. The special effects have held up phenomenally well, much better than any instantly outdated CGI will. It's a classic, and cannot be redone or outdone.

      I realize that Hollywood has not been big on new ideas for decades, but recently it literally seems like everything is a remake, a "re-imagining",

    • by Rich0 (548339)
      The fact remains that there are any number of sci-fi horror movies that are more suited to his abilities, could benefit from better special effects, and are screaming for remakes.

      Yes - I think that Santa Claus Conquerors the Martians [wikipedia.org] would be more up Keanu's alley.
    • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

      by hackus (159037)
      Yes and then I hear they are going to turn it into a Al Gore vehicle and make the movie about global warming.

      Good God.

      Since most of the people behind the funding for Global Warming are the Oil companies anyway, you would think the whole "system" is making enough money off of that contrived research.

      Want a free PhD? Just do research on Shell or Exxon's technology to reduce global warming.

      Make me sick. If you are doing that sort of research by the way...

      YOU SUCK IT.

      Now where was I....

      It would have been ni
    • Is the day the earth stood still. There are no significant special effects that need to be made better.

      How about color? I always felt that was a pretty important thing.
  • Oblig. (Score:5, Funny)

    by Grandiloquence (1180099) on Sunday May 18, 2008 @02:23PM (#23455064)
    Oh, the fools! If only the beast had a billion and one backs! When will they learn?
  • by cblack (4342) on Sunday May 18, 2008 @02:55PM (#23455266) Homepage
    Keep making them and I'll keep going to see them. I've actually added to my PKD short story collection to make sure I have the short stories any films are based on. I'm a huge PKD fan and I go to see them when they are in theatres in the hopes that they keep making films based on PKD's works. There is so much good material there.
    I will say, however, that some of the short stories are not well-suited to a movie. "Next", based on The Golden Man SUCKED SO BAD IT HURT MY FEELINGS. Previous to seeing it I was wondering how they could make it a feature-length film. They did so by changing a whole lot, writing a new plot, and removing lots of the PKD themes. Ick.
    • by morari (1080535) on Sunday May 18, 2008 @03:23PM (#23455478) Journal
      Blade Runner was great, but left out every shred of thought (Mercerism, Mood Machines, radiation poisoning, social significance of real pets vs. synthetic ones, etc) in favor of film noir. Likewise, Total Recall was a decent action film, but didn't manage much more. Outside of those, the Minority Report was poorly done and riddled with plot holes, Paycheck just outright sucked, and so on.

      The only film so far that has worked as an adaptation of PKD's work was A Scanner Darkly. One big problem with it was that they left out much of the overbearing paranoia and resulting melancholy in order to instead highlight stoner humor. Though I admit I would have preferred that the ending remained more nuanced, as opposed to the ever-so-convenient voiceover/recap that films seem to like to push on audiences to counter their short attention spans.

      The rotoscoping could have possibly been used to better effect as well. It only really seemed to truly add to the atmosphere on a few occasions. Otherwise the style seemed surprisingly tame given the tone and content of the plot.

      • I was going to argue with you about "Minority Report". Then I realized that there are a lot of plot holes in the film version. If someone hasn't read the short story or knows its background (PDK wrote it in opposition to the death penalty in California) then the movie is disjointed and ultimately pointless.

        I will nitpick a bit about "A Scanner Darkly". The dialog is almost verbatim from the novel. If there's any "stoner humor" in the movie PKD is to blame. The rotoscoping was a good idea, the implement
        • by morari (1080535)
          I realize that much of the terms, phrases and dialogue in general through A Scanner Darkly are accurate to the source. I remember the tone of the book being much more about paranoia than anything however, which doesn't seem to have a serious presence within the film. If you go back and look at my statement again, I merely quip that "they left out much of the overbearing paranoia and resulting melancholy in order to instead highlight stoner humor."

          ;)

      • by Mr. Roadkill (731328) on Sunday May 18, 2008 @04:43PM (#23456052)

        Likewise, Total Recall was a decent action film, but didn't manage much more.
        (damn... got modpoints too. Oh well, there are other discussions...)

        I just recently read "We can remember it for you wholesale", and ... well... yeah, decent action flick that I'll continue to enjoy, but the major twist in the novelette about the memories suppressed by aliens during childhood (and what will happen when they are recovered, and it turns out that he IS the most important person on earth) is what really makes the story. It seems like the standard PKD film-adaptation process is to leave out all the really interesting stuff and just go with whatever lets them do the action or film-noir or whatever kind of genre-flick they've decided to make.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by jasonjacks0n (762945)

        Blade Runner was great, but left out every shred of thought (Mercerism, Mood Machines, radiation poisoning, social significance of real pets vs. synthetic ones, etc) in favor of film noir.

        Yeah, they left out a lot, but they added some things of real significance too..

        Actually, Blade Runner is the only PKD "adaptation" that I like better than the original story. By removing things like Mercerism, they were able to pare the story down to its essence, and make Deckard a replicant. Which if you think about it only makes sense - like they're going to be using actual people to do dirty work like tracking down escaped replicants? Hardly.

        It's actually a little surprising to me that PKD overloo

      • by Boronx (228853)
        Outside of those, the Minority Report was poorly done and riddled with plot holes,

        So was the story.
      • Although a little low budget I was pretty impressed with Impostor:

        http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0160399/ [imdb.com]

        based on yet another PKD short story -good atmosphere and good plot twists and a lot more faithful (I imagine) to the PKD style -Hopefully more PKD fans will see it and mod it up (hint) as one of the few movies that retain the spirit of his work.

        I also liked 'scanner' in all its bleakness, although the scramble suit wasn't quite how I had visualized it.

        I'm just sayin'
    • by gmuslera (3436)
      Im a big fan of PKD books&stories, but the risk that they make to them the same they did with, i.e. Mimsy were the borogoves (pick your own example, there are so many of them), make me wish they never saw PKD work as something suitable for movies.

      But im not very opposed to have original, great sci-fi movies that may end in great books after (like with 2001)
      • "Mimsy were the borogoves" is a story by Henry Kuttner (and, presumably his wife C.L. Moore) and not PKD.
  • John Cleese as Gort? Why not include the Spanish Inquisition?
  • X-Files 2 (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Due in theaters July 25th.
  • I have to say that BBS was IMHO not as good as 2 good original episodes of _Futurama_. I was so psyched, and yet when I watched the DVD I ended up being more like "meh".

    Sort of like my reaction to the revival of _Family Guy_..

    (But _South Park_ is still battin' em out of the park if you ask me.. Lately it seems like they're trying as hard as they can to get Comedy Central to censor them into quitting...)
  • Disaster (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Graftweed (742763) on Sunday May 18, 2008 @03:25PM (#23455490)

    ...will Keanu become some type of extraterrestrial Al Gore and ruin the movie?

    I'm voting for disaster. Let's take a look at some of the changes:

    The original Klaatu - Played by Michael Rennie, a virtually unknown actor outside of the UK at the time, which gave him credibility as an alien when he stepped out of the spaceship.

    He also had to be both menacing when delivering his warning/ultimatum, and compassionate as he goes among earth's people to learn more about them. Eventually he bonds with a little boy and his mother.

    The new Klaatu - Keanu Reeves has received massive exposition, thus ensuring that people see Neo stepping out of the spaceship.

    Also, he has the dramatic range of a cinder block.

    The original theme - It dealt with timeless concepts such as our distrust for different cultures and our natural propensity toward aggression. Which is why it has endured to this day.

    The people whom Klaatu represents aren't worried that we kill one another, their fear is that we extend our aggression as we step out into space.

    The new theme - With the new environmental theme, apparently they are now terribly worried that we destroy the planet and thus ourselves. Or that we start littering space.

    The original Gort - Silent, soulless, impersonal, ruthless and menacing.

    The new Gort - John Cleese!

    Also, I'm sure some of the original's somewhat Orwellian undertones of Klaatu's people creating a race of robots and giving them irrevocable power to control any and all acts of aggression will also be lost. As will his admission that their system, and their own society by extension, isn't perfect. Everything is black and white these days.

    But hey, I'd love to be proven wrong since it's one of my favorite sci-fi movies, but somehow I'm skeptical.

    • Re: (Score:1, Offtopic)

      by The Man (684)
      Yeah, this makes no sense. The original film was excellent. While clearly a Cold War film, it's still absolutely relevant today. And though it was obviously a morality play, it left plenty of room for the viewer to interpret the ideas it contained. Even if it were to be done well, I would question the necessity of a remake, especially with such a lame and overdone theme. But more than anything why does anyone cast Keanu Reeves these days? He's just plain awful - your comparison is unkind to aspiring c
    • With the new environmental theme, apparently they are now terribly worried that we destroy the planet and thus ourselves. Or that we start littering space.

      Even better it appears that they are so worried about our continued survival that if we are going to destroy ourselves they will teach us a big lesson by, er, destroying us.

      I like a movie theme that can be summed up by "If you kill yourself I'll kill you before you succeed!".
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by crimperman (225941)
      > The new Gort - John Cleese!

      and..

      > But hey, I'd love to be proven wrong since it's one of my favorite sci-fi movies, but somehow I'm skeptical.

      Well you're proven wrong on one part anyway. I can find no mention of Cleese playing Gort anywhere except in the TFS above. From the SFFMedia article it links to...

      "IGN reports that Cleese will play a physicist Dr. Barnhardt, a Nobel Prize laureate who helps work out why Klaatu and Gort have come to earth."

      I know this is /. but when the submitter hasn't read T
      • by Graftweed (742763)

        Well you're proven wrong on one part anyway. I can find no mention of Cleese playing Gort anywhere except in the TFS above.

        You're right, thank god. Him playing Gort seemed a bit too silly to be true. I already knew the rest of the info in the summary so I didn't read TFA and assumed it was some new info. My bad.

        Apologies to Mr. Cleese, who according to the article and IMDB [imdb.com] is rumored to be playing Prof. Barnhardt.

        Although if you know the original you'll find this quote from the article quite troubling

    • The cinder block resents the implication that its acting abilities are as bad as Keanu Reeves'. See that, right over there? That is it being resentful. Its a subtle difference, granted, but at least the thing isn't saying "Whoa".
  • Has nobody asked *why*, exactly, the entire second Futurama movie is a 66-minute-long tentacle-sex joke? More importantly, if a tentacled monster from another universe is going to have sex with everyone on Earth, why has nobody made an H.P. Lovecraft reference?
  • If I wanted to be exposed to the hollywood PR/Marketing machine i'd turn on this quaint device called a television, and tune it to any channel (including cspan committee hearings, sadly).
  • by rekoil (168689) on Sunday May 18, 2008 @04:53PM (#23456126)
    Bad submitter - from the article..."IGN reports that Cleese will play a physicist Dr. Barnhardt, a Nobel Prize laureate who helps work out why Klaatu and Gort have come to earth."

    Sigh of relief. I can't imagine Gort being played with any personality, especially humor - he's a world-destroying robot, after all.

    (So is Bender, but he doesn't count)
  • by Chelloveck (14643) on Sunday May 18, 2008 @04:58PM (#23456160) Homepage

    (John Cleese plays Klaatu's giant 8-foot robotic pal called "Gort.")

    Where the fsck did you get that? Both the article and IMDB speculate that Cleese will play the scientist, Dr. Barnhardt. I've seen no mention anywhere of Cleese playing Gort. Cleese could make a good Barnhardt, if it weren't for the fact that everyone will see him as "that guy from Monty Python".

    Of course, the whole thing looks like a train wreck in the making. Nothing good can come of Klaatu being played by Ted "Theodore" Logan.

  • I don't know... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Ristol (745640) on Sunday May 18, 2008 @05:49PM (#23456454)
    "Keanu Reeves was ill the day the Earth stood still..." just doesn't have a ring to it.
  • Poorly written (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Outsdr (929135)
    The Futurama review was so poorly written that I gave up after reading the first paragraph. Anyone can write; few can write well.
  • by Spasmodeus (940657) on Sunday May 18, 2008 @06:08PM (#23456592)
    Thank goodness they've updated The Day the Earth Stood Still to preach about environmentalism, since a commentary on mankind's violent, destructive nature is no longer relevant in these modern times.
  • The two movies I'm most looking forward to this year are Blindness [imdb.com] and The Brothers Bloom [imdb.com] . The former is about society experiencing an epidemic of blindness and it's helmed by Fernando Meirelles (of City of God and The Constant Gardener). The latter is the new movie by Rian Johnson, who last did Brick. Neither of these are specifically sci-fi in any way (especially Johnson's movie) but I'd figure I'd give a heads up to some interesting projects coming down the pike that aren't meant to be gigantic block
  • JMS [wikipedia.org]'s Changeling is supposedly going to Cannes this year, so it should be out sometime before the end of the year. Clint Eastwood is directing and Angelina Jolie is attached as well. The plot sounds a little too horror-y for my taste. Something about a child being replaced with a duplicate. But fans of his work on Babylon-5 might be interested in checking it out.
  • I'm fairly positive Keanu lacks the delta brain wave...

    I also don't get how the people who said BBS wasn't funny are going to "eat their words." Is the new movie somehow going to retroactively make the fist one funnier? Or maybe they'll include an alternate version of BBS where most of the self indulgent bullshit is replaced with actual jokes.

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