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Elysium trailer looks like the first Sci Fi take on The 1%

Posted April 10, 2013 into Movies by John Birmingham

I've always been a fan of the Stephen King theory that sci-fi and genre work through the issues and fears of the day a lot earlier than literature does. I know there's been plenty of dystopian world building in SF movies over the years, but this is the first I've seen since the emergence of the Occupy movement that seems to be a conscious response to the Dickensian Future meme.

Oh and it looks fkn AWSM. Props to the Space Lizard for the heads up.

A Little Updater.

Apparently I'm not the first person to bring up the 1% thing. Buzzfeed has an interesting feature on the flick, quoting the writer-director Neill Blomkamp (District 9) waving off any deep reference to the Occupy movement:

Blomkamp did not mean for Elysium to directly mirror the Occupy Wall Street arguments. "If you think you're actually making a difference, you're on pretty dangerous thin ice. But you can put ideas in there that are real issues that happening in the world," he said. "If I wanted to make something and actually have it make a difference, I would make a documentary. The film does speak about topics that really have a big impact on me. But I don't know how much the audience takes away from it."

Another tasty nugget from Buzzfeed, the villain of the piece is based on the South African spec ops guys of the 1970s Border Wars.

30 Responses to ‘Elysium trailer looks like the first Sci Fi take on The 1%’

TC mutters...

Posted April 10, 2013

That looks awesome. But your blog name does not (there's at least one word missing somewhere, I'm sure of it).

I'm also sure that there are other sci fi movies where the oppressed take on the 1% though. I'll think on it awhile....

TC would have you know...

Posted April 10, 2013

Tank Girl

In Time

And in hidsight... maybe your blog name does read ok. Maybe I was just reading it with the wrong inference...

TC asserts...

Posted April 10, 2013

You know what? I take it all back.

Can I just leave it as "That looks awesome" and delete the rest of my jibberish?

I look forward to bowing to my Dickensian Scrooge-like masters in the near future.

John Birmingham has opinions thus...

Posted April 10, 2013

Ah TC, bringin the Lulz. By accident.

Nocturnalist ducks in to say...

Posted April 10, 2013

+++I'm also sure that there are other sci fi movies where the oppressed take on the 1% though. +++

It's not a new theme - it goes all the way back to Metropolis. It will be interesting to see how the continuing fallout of the GFC and the Occupy meme will filter through into our stories.

Although there's a solid argument that big-screen treatment of just that movement has already come from The Dark Knight Rises, all that dialogue about how "you'll wonder how you ever managed to ride so high for so long, and leave so little for the rest of us".

Admittedly that film comes at it from the opposite side, with a message that comes across more as "look at how that horrible mob wrecks everything once there's no Authority to beat them into line, much better to leave it up to the politicians and billionaires".

Anyway, this looks like one to catch in the cinema, if only to enjoy that futuristic scenery in full giant size. (My only gripe with things like this and Halo is that if they ever do film Ringworld people will think it's a rip-off.)

Bunyip asserts...

Posted April 10, 2013

"My only gripe with things like this and Halo is that if they ever do film Ringworld people will think it's a rip-off"

Now. Why hasn't that been made into a movie yet? Darn it. Will have to go back and reread it to see suitablity for the genre minded minion.

Matthew K reckons...

Posted April 11, 2013

Totally agree on the Ringworld thing.

But Hollywood has been mining books and comics for years, Robocop stripped ideas off Frank Miller's Dark Knight reimagining of Batman before waaaay the films came out.

Matthew K swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 11, 2013

Hollywood will drink your milkshake. Drink it right up.

BrianC is gonna tell you...

Posted April 11, 2013

Bun, if they ruin that for me. Ima cut a bitch

Bunyip puts forth...

Posted April 11, 2013

I suspect that there will be a queue.

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Barnesm swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 10, 2013

It reminds me of the start of computer game.

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Lulu is gonna tell you...

Posted April 10, 2013

Neill Blomkamp & a villain based on South African spec ops guys of the 1970s Border Wars? I'm there, totally there.

Oh, wait. Does it have the same seasick hand-held camerawork as District 9? If so. I might have to wait until t comes out on DVD.

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Sebben Phil asserts...

Posted April 10, 2013

Can't wait till they take on the torrenters.

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Blarkon mumbles...

Posted April 10, 2013

Perhaps the rich people in the sky are the ones that own Google, who make add money off all the "information that wants to be free" information that the people left on Earth generate but can't sell because the only way you can ethically profit off creative output is to do live gigs and sell tshirts.

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Paul_Nicholas_Boylan is gonna tell you...

Posted April 10, 2013

If you find yourself alone, riding in green fields with the sun on your face, do not be troubled; for you are in Elysium, and you're already dead!

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Barnesm mumbles...

Posted April 10, 2013

and that computer game it reminds me of is Halo.

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HAVOCK21 swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 10, 2013

if it wasnt for me fillin the fkn hole, he'd be the next fkn Bruce willis baby!..YEAH..come get some, fkn god already left fkn Africa etc etc.

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w from brisbane reckons...

Posted April 10, 2013

Writer/director Neill Blomkamp.
As if District 9 wasn't enough of a calling card.
I saw an interview with Matt Damon, he said, Blomkamp sent him the script in the form of a graphic novel. There was no way he wasn't in.

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BobGrrl reckons...

Posted April 10, 2013

I was already going to see it because Jodie Foster and you had to go and ruin a perfectly shallow enjoyment by getting all thinky about it? Bastard.

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John Birmingham is gonna tell you...

Posted April 10, 2013

S'okay, Bobgrrl. Jodie Foster looks hawt.

HAVOCK21 puts forth...

Posted April 10, 2013

Cool. thought I was the only one who thougt she was FKN SPANKEEEEEEEEE!

Guru Bob reckons...

Posted April 12, 2013

Havsy you would be wasting your time there....

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Matthew K is gonna tell you...

Posted April 11, 2013

Nocturnalist:

+++I'm also sure that there are other sci fi movies where the oppressed take on the 1% though. +++

It's not a new theme - it goes all the way back to Metropolis.

For sure. Old idea, goes back years. I think I first noticed it in Soylent Green/Make Room Make Room.

But the observation that we aren't all equal and life on Earth is not fair is hardly original anyway. Now proposing a workable world where all are equal - That's fantasy!

Nocturnalist has opinions thus...

Posted April 11, 2013

+++Now proposing a workable world where all are equal - That's fantasy!+++

Hold that thought for the Player of Games book club session on Friday. I suspect that will be one of the nodes of discussion.

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Murphy puts forth...

Posted April 11, 2013

Haves versus Have Nots. Old as the Cave Men. Never would have drawn a connection between the trailer and the Occupy movement (mainly because I'm fairly certain that they will never accomplish anything of significance).

This film, on the other hand, looks like it is worth seeing. Been awhile since anyone invested some time in the 1970s style O'Neill Colonies.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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Mordwa ducks in to say...

Posted April 12, 2013

Matt K

Metropolis? Damn - here I was about to say Gattica - or the Island, or- or- the Morlocks in the Time Machine - Caliban in the Tempest -

err, there *has* been rather a lot, after all...

the

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The first reporter into Hiroshima

Posted April 10, 2013 into Movies by John Birmingham

As much fun as Hanoi was, I didn't just go there for the wine and cheese. I've been working on a screenplay about Wilfred Burchett, an Australian war correspondent who was the first journo into Hiroshima after the bomb. Burchett was later famous, or perhaps infamous, for reporting some of the hottest conflicts of the Cold War from the 'wrong' side. Because he reported from behind North Korean and North Vietnamese lines, he was traduced in the Western press, and especially in his homeland by News Limited publications. I know. I know. Who'd a thunk it? I was as surprised as anybody.


Interestingly, outside of his own country, his access to Eastern Bloc leaders was recognized as a valuable and important conduit. Henry Kissinger sought him out in the early 1970s to ask his advice about Nixon's trip to China and the course of the Vietnam War. Or the American War as it's known in the host country.
He was a remarkable man, Burchett, and the story of his trip into and out of the atomic ruins is a great one. I've been working on it for a while and the trip to Hanoi gave me a chance to meet with his son, George, to try and get more of an insight into the man than is possible from just reading his extensive published works.
I was very lucky to be able to catch up with George, not just for the purposes of researching the film, but because he proved an excellent host and guide to the Vietnamese capital. He's a significant artist in his own right – the mural in the Park Hyatt at Sydney, if I remember correctly, is his – and he very generously gave me a tour of Hanoi's museum of fine arts. A small but beautiful collection held in an old colonial building, a former boarding school, the museum compresses a couple of thousand years of history down into a couple of hundred paintings and artifacts. There aren't many ways you can gain a quick appreciation for the history of the country in just an hour or so of walking around.
I did a lot of walking around, of course. The old quarter of Hanoi is a walking city. A dangerous one, because of the hell traffic, but negotiable if you keep your wits about you and go with the flow, as counterintuitive as it might be sometimes.
If anyone is looking for a decent holiday spot in Southeast Asia, I'd be hard-pressed to recommend somewhere above Vietnam. I didn't visit the old Southern capital, but my understanding from talking to locals and other tourists is that Saigon is not nearly as pleasant as Hanoi. There are also any number of Western-style resorts dotted up and down the coastline which, again, I did not visit, but which were very popular with those who did.

Orin asked me on twitter while I was over there whether I found myself imagining what the country might look like if the South had won, backed by American power. In fact, that thought never really occurred to me. But what I did find myself thinking, again and again, was what a terrible mistake it was to have come to this country as soldiers and laid waste to so much of it. If the policymakers of the 1960s could see what they were fighting against, how Vietnam would have turned into a stable, comparatively prosperous and happy place, well… I don't suppose it would have changed what they did. But it should have.
All of the blood and treasure that was spilled here? Utterly fucking wasted.

13 Responses to ‘The first reporter into Hiroshima’

Dave W ducks in to say...

Posted April 10, 2013

Mrs W and I went to Vietnam (HCM city and Hoi An, but not Hanoi) after spending a week or so in Cambodia and our experience was of a hyper-capitalist country. This may have just been the contrast from Siem Reap and Phnom Penh, but was enough to influence our decision to go back to Cambodia in a couple of months, rather than see more of Vietnam.

Definitely, however, our trip to the region made me think that US and Australian military efforts were more than just a waste, they were counter-productive. We visited a land-mine museum out near Angkor Wat and it was a horror show of ordnance from every conceivable military-industrial exporter. So much otherwise usable land is unsafe in the region until it has been thoroughly cleaned.

Look forward to seeing the fruits of your South East Asian labours, John.

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Barnesm puts forth...

Posted April 10, 2013

"Because he reported from behind North Korean" holy crap thats not something to be critised for but something to be admired for his courage.

The American War was a mistake, an incredibly costly egregious and depressing mistake surely everyone can agree to that now?

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Murphy asserts...

Posted April 10, 2013

Barnes, I would agree that the war was a mistake at this point. I think most American students of military history probably have arrived at that conclusion as well.

That said, one would be wise to tread carefully on that topic in certain parts of the US.

A year or so ago I finished reading Dereliction of Duty, which was a policy analysis/history of the behavior of the political and military leadership up to 1965. Pretty much lays everything on the doorstep of McNamara, JFK and LBJ. The JCS damned as well for their failure to put aside their interservice bickering and do their duty.

A tragedy of the first order which could have at numerous points in history been avoided stretching all the way back to Woodrow Wilson.

On another note, it was strange to read about this visit to Hanoi while one of my lifeguard peers was visiting family in South Korea as part of her vacation away from her teaching duties in China.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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Barnesm would have you know...

Posted April 10, 2013

You are right Mrurph, apologies if I in any way ment to to lessen the moral cost to the US or seem to inply any disregard for the US citizens who wer involved.

I admit my impressions of how the US getting involved in a war in Vietnam was a mistake was when JB put me onto Barbara W. Tuchman's 'The March of Folly'. As a layman I an concious that it may not stack up well as a historical analysis, and I recognise you have a lot more experince and knowledge about this stuff as a historian than I.

Murphy asserts...

Posted April 11, 2013

Barnes, I did not take it that way. Wars are tragedies because they always pit people against each other as a result of the calculations and miscalculations of politicians, not as the result of any general animosity.

As for experience and knowledge, well, my war was very short (also against a group of people I do not bear any real grievances with) and my knowledge generally comes from dealing with my father plus a degree in Greco-Roman/British History.

Anyway, there was nothing wrong with your analysis at all. It was quite accurate in fact.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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Paul_Nicholas_Boylan would have you know...

Posted April 10, 2013

I've read hundreds of screenplays. Writing them must be a pain in the ass.

Less is more.

Murphy reckons...

Posted April 11, 2013

Screenwriting classes pretty well convinced me that I don't want to write screenplays. Consult and advise on them? Sure. Actually write them?

Pass.

Good luck with it, Birmo.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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damian asserts...

Posted April 10, 2013

I remember the corner in that long exposure night photo. Quite an amazing spot. I walked around that lake in dawn light, with locals taking their exercise. The water is a really vivid green...

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Matthew K would have you know...

Posted April 11, 2013

Orin asked me... what the country might look like if the South had won, backed by American power.

Somewhere on the spectrum between the Phillipines and South Korea?

Much depends on land reform in my opinion which as South Vietnamese administraion was famously corrupt and grasping probably wouldn't have happened.

So. Closer to the Phillipines is my guess.

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Dino not to be confused with mutters...

Posted April 12, 2013

Jacobs Ladder is a good movie about that War.

An interesting correlation is the increase of backyard swimming pools in the USA during the sixties and the use of organo Chlorines in Warfare.

Are they weapons? Are they Chemicals?

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Barnesm ducks in to say...

Posted April 13, 2013

they are chemical weapons

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Dino not to be confused with swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted April 14, 2013

SInce we're talkin' 'bout "Ground Zero"-

How is Kurt Sonnenfeld doing these days?

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Dino not to be confused with mutters...

Posted April 14, 2013

The Road by Cormac McCarthy describes an all to real narrative.

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Felafels, zombies and impossible narrative

Posted March 27, 2013 into Movies by John Birmingham

As a guy who’s, er, enjoyed the experience of having one his books adapted for the screen (and stage, he added, dipping his lid to Mr Bedak and Ms Clumsy) I feel obliged to say a few more words about the Brad Pitt adaptation of World War Z. I have no idea how Max Brooks feels about what’s happened to his book, but I know from a couple of days of super-fan snark on the twitterz that even if he isn’t a hot mess over it, there’s plenty who are.

Fair enough. It is a great book. One of the touchstone titles of the last ten years and it probably played as big a role in revitalizing the zombie genre as Joss Whedon’s Buffy did with bringing the vampire back into the centre of mass culture.

I understand it when fans of a book feel disappointed by the film adaptation. But sometimes that disappointment is inevitable, even if the adaptation is great. Cinema and the novel are two very different forms of story telling, and there is no reason to assume that a faithful translation from one form to the other is desirable, let alone possible.

He Died With A Felafel In His Hand was not a book that would lend itself to a faithful adaptation. The stage play, in all its various iterations, about fifteen of them now, was closer to the original text than Richard Lowenstein’s film, but it was still a thousand miles removed from the directionless vignettes which made up the book. There are about three lines of dialogue in Felafel. Maybe four. There are no characters who survive more than a page, other than the narrator, floating over and through it all. Nobody goes on a journey, except to the fridge, and even that comes with no guarantee of success. Nobody learns. Nobody grows. Quite the opposite, in fact. It was not a book made to be filmed.

Neither was World War Z.

Brooks was inspired by a lot of things, but few more than Studs Terkel’s oral history of WW2, The Good War. If you’re familiar with that book, and you should be if you have any pretensions to civilisation, you’ll recognise it’s form and rhythms in Z immediately.

But what you won’t see is a shooting script.

There are any number of brilliantly realised scenes, but none are connected to each other in any way but at the most rarefied thematic level. Filming Z as a faithful homage to the text would have been a fascinating project for a recent graduate of film school. It could have been a brilliant hour long mockumentary, without the lulz. But it was never going to work as a mainstream feature.

Should the producers have gone so far from the source?

The fuck do I know?

The only question you can legitimately of World World Z, when it’s finally released and you have actually seen it, is whether it is a good film. The question of whether it’s a good adaptation is entirely separate.

36 Responses to ‘Felafels, zombies and impossible narrative’

w from brisbane asserts...

Posted March 27, 2013

I haven't read World War Z.
The movie, District 9, used a post-event oral history motif very cleverly, I thought.
Yeah, book to film. I hope for a good film.
I never expect that it will be a good film 'of the book'.

JB, funnily enough, the first piece of commentary I can remember reading of yours was about the process of developing the film for 'Felafel'. To use my memory to present a grievously poor precis:
You spoke about feeling confident about your creative weight on the project as the author of the book, about writing the first script, about critiquing later script versions, about always expressing your opinion with the confidence of being the 'Felafel' expert.
And as the years rolled by, you continued to involve yourself as the 'Felafel' expert. But, at some stage, after about 5 years, you realised that Richard Lowenstein had spent a lot more time on the film than you had ever spent on the book. That, in fact, he was the creative parent of the 'Felafel' film. And really, you should just shut up.

To me, it seemed a not unwise insight.

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Bondiboy66 asserts...

Posted March 27, 2013

Gone far from the source? Well they kept the zombies...and....nope I'm tapped out, its just the zombies best I can tell. And angry bullant zombies at that - not 28 Days Later turbo zombies or traditional shambling zombies. Oh, and the story name.

I did think the book was in some way filmable (is that a word?) - but it would NEVER fly when a team of Hollywood producers got hold of it, market researched and focus grouped it, then crunched the numbers to see if they could make a Holiday Blockbuster out of it. This, on the other hand, has that potential thanks to what look like stunning visuals and the Brad Pitt Factor.

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Rhino has opinions thus...

Posted March 27, 2013

Dawn of the Cashing In Brad Pitt African Ant Zombies World War.

There ... I've just improved the title.

Will it be World War Z the book? Nope. For all of the reasons that Birmo stated wayyyy better than I could in a snarky comment. However, it will be World War Z the movie ... and that could be a cool thing unto itself.

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Rhino would have you know...

Posted March 28, 2013

OT - blog stuff - on the update profile page, at the bottom, the RSS feed button says, "Personised RSS Feed". Should that be 'personalized". Or, is it supposed to be cheeky? Or is that Oz English?

John Birmingham mutters...

Posted March 28, 2013

Ha.. That's a mistake. But I like it.

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Sparty has opinions thus...

Posted March 28, 2013

book to screen yada yada yada...but they had the chance to make "Not yet another zombie movie". I'm not sure the book or atleast elements as as unfilmable as people make out. Stephen Soderberg did a good job with sprawling narrative on Infection (or whatever it was called) and the badn of brothers style framing could have worked. The looking back AFTER the plague is a strong approach and on the BBC is kind ofcurrently doing with "in the flesh". Brooks owes (and has acknowledged) the debt to Sir John Hacketts alt history "the third world war" and that might have shown the way to go. Scenes like the injured Russian soldiers psot battle would have been incredible - but having said all taht I'll still be there opening weekend...

Barnesm would have you know...

Posted March 28, 2013

"tephen Soderberg did a good job with sprawling narrative on Infection (or whatever it was called)..

Contagion which I thought was one of the best films to show what an outbreak would be like in the modern world, gripping terrifing and compleing film. My favourite character Dr. Erin Mears, played in the film by Kate Winslet. I know there are people out there like that, but I fear there just aren't enough of them.

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ChrisB mutters...

Posted March 28, 2013

JB (& company) you also forgot the book 'Warday' from the mid-80's; Kinda like a buddy film road trip through a nuked and recovered America (with some flashbacks with nuke flashes.) I always though it'd make a good movie, until I realized the documentary-type narrative would be kinda hard to replicate. The one film that did catch the similar vibe was 'Ever Since the World Ended.' None-the-less, I'll prob go watch WWZ.

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Moko mutters...

Posted March 28, 2013

I think if they follow the book directly you end up with a three part movie series spread out over four and a half years. Or if it's something like Star Wars you wait thirty years. And it's done backwards. I hate that.

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Alice swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted March 28, 2013

My biggest problem is that they have made them those silly fast-paced Zombies rather than the Zombies described in the book. I can go along with books and films being totally different to each other but I do feel that on this one the decision to change the nature of the Zombie was misguided

Moko mumbles...

Posted March 28, 2013

Slow moving 'arrrgh arrrgh' zombies aren't really scary or a threat.

Tourist reckons...

Posted March 28, 2013

And an outbreak of traditional zombies would be over almost before it started. Such Z would fall quickly to their natural enemies, decomposition (in hot weather) or being frozen to immovability (in cold weather)... and don't get me started on the smorgasbord it would be for scavengers like rats, dogs and carrion birds.

Moko has opinions thus...

Posted March 28, 2013

Flame thrower and molotovs. Don't even NEED to unpack the ammo.

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Nocturnalist has opinions thus...

Posted March 28, 2013

The closest screen analogue I can think of to the book was that classic Civil War documentary from the 90s. A miniseries in that format would be fascinating, but probably rather hard to pitch without it ending up as, well, Brad Pitt vs angry bullant zombies. It would have had to be someone's very specific vanity project to get made that way.

Actually, you know, the Pitt character doesn't bother me that much, and the zombie hive-swarm actually looks kind of cool - I can get by on those by just mentally changing the title from World War Z to That Hive Zombie Thing With Brad Pitt. What shits me about the new trailer is that whole "we think they have a weakness, and if we can find it we can stop them" bullshit. I have a horrible feeling that they've shoehorned in some stupid zombie-creating McGuffin that Pitt will stick a bomb to in The Nick Of Time (tm) to neatly fix everything in time for the credits.

In related news, anyone seen the Warm Bodies trailer?

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Rob asserts...

Posted March 28, 2013

I think you are all missing the real point. What ever happened to the novelisation of the film? All those years of no VHS and DVDs and instant avi playback makes me long for the time of ashton scholastic catalogs distributed every two months at school in New Zealand. Asking Mom for the money to buy the young readers edition of the Empire Strikes Back novelisation, or getting the return of the jedi picture book and Casette. I'd even settle for the the star wars guide to the solar system. Maybe Max Brooks could write a novelisation of the film and or get Alan Dean Foster to do it for him.

Then again I'm still bummed after reading Felafel and loving the whole Laibach/art/not nazi goth sequence, that that part never made it into the film or any film for that matter.

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Sian is gonna tell you...

Posted March 28, 2013

I can't help but be a bit depressed by the whole WWZ Brad Pitt thing. Brad Pitt, for a start. Why why why. The worst example I can think of with regards to horrendous adaptations is I Am Legend, and I can see troubling parallels with casting the likes of that dickhead Pitt with the casting of Will 'oh we're making sci-fi, the only people who watch sci fi are idiots lets put him in every effing film with even a hint of scifi in it' Smith. I Am Legend is a wonderful, profound novel and they killed it dead. I completely understand that there are myriad difficulties in adapting for film, but come on - that was just awful. And insulting. I'm obviously still angry.

I saw the film version Felafel years ago, but can remember almost nothing about it. In comparison, when I'm feeling the need for a nostalgia trip through my own Taringa uni days, I do pick up Tasmanian Babes every now and then for a reread. I might give the new WWZ movie a miss, I have enough pointless anger (I'm looking at you I am Legend) in my life, I dont' need another vacuous Pitt vehicle to ruin my enjoyment of the novel.

Nocturnalist ducks in to say...

Posted March 28, 2013

+++casting the likes of that dickhead Pitt+++

My understanding is that Pitt is also an EP, and did a lot of the work of getting the thing financed and made to begin with, so I think he's entitled to some slack in that regard.

Timmo is gonna tell you...

Posted March 28, 2013

And in an interview from 2006 that w from brisbane linked on the previous thread (http://www.eatmybrains.com/showfeature.php?id=55) Max Brooks suggested he'd be chuffed to have Pitt play the narrator (i.e. him).

Sian asserts...

Posted March 28, 2013

And yet, I remain unconvinced...

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MarkM reckons...

Posted March 28, 2013

I've not read the book but will now add it to the ever-growing list of must reads (which grows larger the more I read - go figure. Is there a formula for that?)

I have seen various trailers for the movie and am very much looking forward to seeing it. But I'm torn - should I read the book first or watch the movie? Is the disconnect between the two so great it won't matter which way I approach the story? Any advice gratefully sniffed at and most likely ignored.

Barnesm ducks in to say...

Posted March 28, 2013

Book after movie in this case.

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Rob S reckons...

Posted March 28, 2013

I think that an opportunity has been potentially missed as World War Z possibly fits really well with a series of short(5 to ten minute) youtube type films once someone works out the way to finance and distribute high quality content.

The stories are independent and part of the appeal is addressing a huge variety of different scenarios, issues and strategies. The short foramt would mean watcher could then focus on the stories that interested them and they do not need all the details of the other stories to understand what's going on but if you get more indepth there are some common threads.

There is also option to mix up production so that a producer is only engaged for one or two of the viginettes. The narrator is the only constant in the book so there is plenty of scope to mix up the actors and settings which would be very true to the book focusing on a world war.

Barnesm swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted March 28, 2013

Thats a brilliant idea RobS

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pi mutters...

Posted March 28, 2013

Frankly, all artistic links aside, the movie looks like it might be pretty awesome.

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pi has opinions thus...

Posted March 28, 2013

Right... read all the comments.

First things first. Brad Pitt = great actor. As in, one of the best there is of all time. The only problem he has ever suffered from is being too good looking.

But the biggest problem with the actual book? Most of the issues faced with the characters (past the first actual shock part) were psychological. Radio free earth. Shooting in the square 'til the tap on the shoulder. Imaginary controller. Fantastic literary constructs, and especially as a result of the past narrative. But movie? Just doesn't work. Fantastic stories... no film-copy.

Only regret? The Indian commander character from the book. The guy who invented the square maneuver. Don't have the book handy, so don't know his name. fuckin awesome character to see realized... sadly, I doubt it would have made the cutting floor.

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Sudragon asserts...

Posted March 28, 2013

I think 'The Tasmanian Babes Fiasco' would survive translation to the small(er) screen rather well. Perhaps as a 'mini' series.

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w from brisbane puts forth...

Posted March 28, 2013

I don't really understand the appeal of the zombie ouevre. However, trying for some edumecation.
Not a bad list of the top ten zombie films.

Moko puts forth...

Posted March 28, 2013

It's more of a meme now, but it's playing on the ultimate fear of our loved ones turning on us in the most horrible way and us having to kill brutally the ones we love and where, by biological instinct, we are sworn to protect. It doesn't get much worse than that.

w from brisbane has opinions thus...

Posted March 29, 2013

Moko
'a meme' It would seem so. It is interesting that the popular meme seems to carry 2 contradictory elements.
(1) Zombies are a terrifying worst case scenario.
(2) Zombies are funny.
You could write a thesis on that contradiction, I reckon.

I get that they can be horrifyingly scary. I don't get why people enjoy being horrifyingly scared. I am just not a horror guy.

There is also the element of killing sick people that I find a bit icky. Terribly necessary, of course. I reckon part of the zombie appeal is the wish fulfilment aspect that zombies give the healthy a licence to kill. To blow off the heads of people in the street. Boom! It feels good. The gleam in the eye of the audience as a person, just like the person across the street, gets his head fragmented. "I so would like to do that", the audience thinks as one. That is the bit I find the scariest.

I am just too much of a wuss, I suppose.

Moko mumbles...

Posted March 30, 2013

I don't mean the movies are horrifyingly scary, I meant the concept.

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girlclumsy would have you know...

Posted March 29, 2013

I haven't read World War Z - but would it have worked better as a long form TV series, a la "Game of Thrones"?

Not that I'm obsessed with GoT or anything (I totally am), but it seems another example of how movies just can't cut it next to dedicated niche television these days.

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leesargent swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted March 30, 2013

I think what they really should have done with World War Z is made it into a 7 part HBO series and replicated the oral history component of the book as a series of documentaries.

Never falter from presenting the narrative as if it actually happened.

There was an excellent audio version produced from the book that featured actors like Alan Alda, Rob Reiner, Henry Rollins and Mark Hamill.

I was kind of hoping for something like that but instead they've gone with the Hollywood spin on the book.

There are several takes on zombies and the thing is most "zombie" films aren't really zombies as defined by Romero. A lot of them including Zombieland are the living infected with a zombie like virus but zombies need to be the dead reanimated. The thing which is annoying is that Brooks subscribed to the Romero zombies and the movie clearly doesn't.

As Matt Mogk's book (which Brooks does the foreward) says being dead and reanimated is not an enhancing drug, falling to pieces and rotting will only ever slow you down and dull your senses, moreso as time goes on.

So thats the only reason why the bull ant zombies in the trailer annoy me and I didn't have a problem with the basic plot changes but the least they should have done is kept the rules of the book.

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Nez mutters...

Posted March 31, 2013

I decided when I first saw The Shining that I should never expect movies based on books to be true to the source material. I love the book and I love the movie, but they're both completely different experiences to me aside from the Overlook itself. The same could be said of most King adaptions to be honest.

Nobody should ever expect to watch a moving pictures version of books they love, the idea is just idiotic and in my mind reduces the power of the novels, as they will always stand as their own art form with their own identity. Felafel for me as a movie was an okay film that had relatable characters and a narrative. Felafel the book was a perfect series of snapshots into the life that was sharehousing in Brisbane during that time (I swear I'd actually been to a party or two at those houses the descriptions were so familiar). As separate entities both were enjoyable on different levels.

Actually, while I'm at it, let's talk Jack Reacher. In my head while reading the books Jack Reacher always looked liked the actor David Morse. The guy just seemed to fit for me. The Tom Cruise version is shorter yes, but other than that I take no issue. The movie for me is just a good fun, low budget action/crime thriller movie. Each exist quite well independent of each other.

I have friends who say that Tom Cruise has now ruined the whole book franchise for them. When I say to them it says more about their lack of imagination than it does about the height and acting skills of Tom Cruise, it understanding ends up with me being the lone gunmen facing an assault of imbecilic proportions.

Strangley enough, when confronted with Denzel Washington playing a black version of Lincoln Rhyme in The Bone Collector, everyone is fine with that, but we can't have a short guy play a tall guy, that just RUINS everything!

w from brisbane is gonna tell you...

Posted March 31, 2013

Ned.
Well said. The 'felafel' movie, while it did not quite maintain its narrative momentum, was a successful document of a Brisbane share house's heat, randomness, relationship topsy turvy and existential unhingement. And, back in the day, I did go to a party at that collapsing house behind Chardons Corner. Fantastic!

Coincidentally, you menton the books of Stephen King and Lee Child. Both claim the same primary influence: John D. MacDonald's Travis McGee series of Florida crime books. I grew up on them, though they seem very little known today.

They did make a movie of a Travis McGee book, "Darker Than Amber". The quite tall Travis McGee character was played by the shortish Rod Taylor. Taylor was an excellent film actor and the movie was a sincere try, but it was unsuccesssful as a book adaption. That does not affect the pleasure of the books.

Of course, there are performers that disliking provides a short cut to street cred. One of those is Tom Cruise.


He's shithouse, I hate him.


Yeah, but what about, A Few Good Men, Rain Man, The Color of Money, Born on the Fourth of July, Jerry Maquire, The Last Samurai, Minority Report and Collateral?


Oh yeah, but apart from them, he is shithouse.

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TeamAmerica would have you know...

Posted April 2, 2013

FWIW- Viewster sent me an email announcing three newly available movies, and one was 'He Died with a Felafel etc,' so it's available there to watch for free if anyone hasn't yet seen it

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Dropbear reckons...

Posted April 12, 2013

World War Z had so many poignant moments which moved me to tears ..

Redecker meeting Mandella (Spelling is probably wrong);
The 'decimation' of the russian troops.
The closing of the himalyan passes.
The figher pilot downed and escaping, whilst being lead by the radio operator who never existed.
The battle for yonkers.
The women prostituting themselves as they tried to make their way north

etc etc.

Will we see any of these in this movie? No.. Just cgi zombies chasing Brad Pitt who will never have a hair out of place. Meh.. so much meh

All those moments will be lost in time, like [coughs] tears in rain.

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Respond to 'Felafels, zombies and impossible narrative'

Latest World War Z trailer

Posted March 27, 2013 into Movies by John Birmingham

Lookin' a lot more actiony, than shambly. And there's almost no point of contact with the books that anyone can see.

But I don't mind actiony. I've read Z three times, and I'll see this at least once without preconceptions.

25 Responses to ‘Latest World War Z trailer’

Sennafumi mutters...

Posted March 27, 2013

About as WWZ as was I, Robot.

Still I enjoyed that movie and suspect this will be kick arse too.

John Birmingham is gonna tell you...

Posted March 27, 2013

I thinking of writing a post about why the book is unfilmable in any true and faithful sense.

pi mumbles...

Posted March 27, 2013

I'm not sure how many people actually read 'Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep', but you can't get too far a departure from the book as that one. But Blade-runner? Awesome.

DNABeast has opinions thus...

Posted March 27, 2013

I loved reading iRobot and was horrified at the trailor when I first saw it but when I watched the film I realised that it was a single story from the universe the book created. It was great because it built on something wonderful and didn't try to replicate any particular element.

Hopefully WWZ will be the same thing.

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Peter Bradley is gonna tell you...

Posted March 27, 2013

I agree JB the book is almost unfilmable unless you did it in documentary format and even then some of the vignettes would still be lost.

Splosions are good but!

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beeso would have you know...

Posted March 27, 2013

It shares a name and thats about it. Hope the author made some $$

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BrianC mumbles...

Posted March 27, 2013

The book is unfilmable as a movie. You could do it as a TV mini-series HBO might be able to do it right, them or AMC.

I think from watching the trailers the link is this. In the book he's a journo who chronicles the stories of WWZ. In the movie he's a journo who is supposed to find the cause of WWZ. So in both he's a journo investigating WWZ.

Its a link. However tenuous.

John Birmingham is gonna tell you...

Posted March 27, 2013

Is he a journo. I got the impression he was some of 'Transporter' style trouble shooter. UN in the original, but that's never gonna fly in the movie.

pi has opinions thus...

Posted March 27, 2013

Mini-series-wise, it would be just great to see a whole bunch of different stories... some panning out over a couple of episodes, some panning out over a single one. Interviews with the narrator...

Can't do that as a movie though. Reckon they realized that pretty quick.

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Murphy reckons...

Posted March 27, 2013

Anyone else annoyed by the, "I'm scared," whiny brat?

She is gonna get on my nerves if she emulates Dakota Fanning's War of the Worlds performance.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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Timmo puts forth...

Posted March 27, 2013

I haven't read the book/s, but it certainly looks like it's had the full Hollywood treatment. Still, looks super fun... "Zombies on a Plane" anyone?

Rob mutters...

Posted March 28, 2013

I can't get past Brad Pitt on a plane without thinking of Ed Norton wishing for a plane crash. "you know insurance pays off triple if you die in a plane crash'...

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Bondiboy66 swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted March 27, 2013

I too love the book - and despite the almost complete lack of connection to the source material, I will doubtless go see this movie.

Bondiboy66 asserts...

Posted March 27, 2013

Further to my last...it seems aside of the changes to the episodic nature of the book to the one story movie, the biggest shift for mine is the nature of the zombies. Instead of traditional shambling zombies, they seem to have morphed into bull ants. You know when you stomp on a bull ant nest and they all run about going batshit crazy? Well that's what the zombies in this flick look like to me. It will probably make for great visuals, but it ain't the original book by any stretch of the imagination!

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Rhino asserts...

Posted March 27, 2013

Yes, I will be seeing it. That should be enough for all of you to get off your arses and get thee to the IMAX on day one.

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pi reckons...

Posted March 27, 2013

Read the book after I saw the first trailer. Fantastic read. Will see the movie simply because... well... zombies. Certainly no relationsihp to book though. Understandable I guess... I'm not sure how you could ever have put that into anything except a mini-series. Which would bve awesome.

OT. Digg doing a phoenix and going to offer a google-reader clone?

http://techland.time.com/2013/03/26/a-cautiously-optimistic-slow-clap-for-diggs-google-reader-replacement/

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MickH asserts...

Posted March 27, 2013

Whoa!

Oh yes!

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MickH is gonna tell you...

Posted March 27, 2013

Whoa!

Oh yes!

w from brisbane has opinions thus...

Posted March 27, 2013

BTW Mick (and fellow SHIFT ENTER fan). In case you didn't get the memo, the DNABeast has enabled SHIFT ENTER for the line break option in comments.
Cheers.

MickH mumbles...

Posted March 27, 2013

oh really thanks

and i have no idea why i mangaed to post twice

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Sparty has opinions thus...

Posted March 27, 2013

BBC has new zombie series set after an outbreak. Serious and good.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00szzcm

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MickH asserts...

Posted March 27, 2013

Hey Murph!

Its obvious you're not a parent because most kids that age will get really scared when they see Mum and Dad scared and they are out of there normal environment. I don't see anything wrong with her reaction.

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Murphy asserts...

Posted March 28, 2013

I get that, Mick. Thing is, a legitimately scared kid doesn't act like Fanning or this brat in this upcoming film.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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Barnesm asserts...

Posted March 28, 2013

One way I could imagine them doing it would be if they did it in the way of Ken Burn's The Civil War TV series.

Imagine that.

I agree that trying to turn this book in to a movie, this looks like a reasonable attempt. But I would have loved to have seen it translated over 12 2hr epsiodes. After all you can't have to much zombies.

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Respond to 'Latest World War Z trailer'

New Star Trek trailer

Posted March 22, 2013 into Movies by John Birmingham

Scuse me for dropping this in a stand alone entry. It should have gone into the entry below, but I suspect we have a few issues to work thru related to hosting multiple vids in one post.

26 Responses to ‘New Star Trek trailer’

Blarkon has opinions thus...

Posted March 22, 2013

Looks like a fun film. I'll see it the day it comes out. But it doesn't seem like a Star Trek film (unless there's some moral or ethical dilemma that the crew face beyond "how much arse are we going to kick). Star Trek, when it's great, is about ideas. Undiscovered Country has an excellent space battle, but it's a better story about not being able to give up old hatreds. Kahn has the Genesis Device - has the good guys unwittingly develop the ultimate doomsday weapon where you can go and terraform an enemy planet into a human ready utopia.

Say what you want about the plots of the Transformers films (which have been generally rubbish), the technical execution of the "blowing shit the fuck up" of the Transformers films was excellent. The destruction of Chicago in TF III was mind blowingly good - especially the bits inside the collapsing sky scrapers.

(I'm a huge fan of both franchises - though I've never really warmed to the "bayformer" designs)

BrianC asserts...

Posted March 22, 2013

I agree, I'll definately see it probably a couple of times. The underlying theme seems to be Revenge/Vengance/Justice and what the crew will be prepared to do get it. I hope they spend some time defing and prioritising the difference between those concepts. That would take it from being an 'slopdy SciFi to a good trek film.

Barnesm ducks in to say...

Posted March 22, 2013

To be fair the bits I have discover talk a lot about betraying the principles in this case The Prime Directive to save friends in this case Spock. Which is effectively Star Trek III.

and thats just in the first 15 minutes.

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JG mutters...

Posted March 22, 2013

Thanks, John.

Looks alright although I prefer the original version.

JG

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Lobes reckons...

Posted March 22, 2013

I thought the heading said "New Stark Trek Trailer". My first thought was "awesome, Iron Man is going to be in the new Star Trek movie!"

John Birmingham is gonna tell you...

Posted March 22, 2013

Naked.

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John Birmingham has opinions thus...

Posted March 22, 2013

An, er, trekkin' somewhere

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Lobes mutters...

Posted March 22, 2013

I thought the heading said "New Stark Trek Trailer". My first thought was "awesome, Iron Man is going to be in the new Star Trek movie!"

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HAVOCK21 has opinions thus...

Posted March 22, 2013

DAM!...whos the blonde!!!!!

Blarkon ducks in to say...

Posted March 22, 2013

Alice Eve.

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DNABeast reckons...

Posted March 22, 2013

My first reaction to seeing that the bad guy is Sherlock Holmes was that the Star Trek crew are fucked. There's no way they're going to be able to beat that guy.

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zeniph ducks in to say...

Posted March 22, 2013

havent seen a star trek movie at cinema since the Search for Spock - but this I'll see.

Barnesm mumbles...

Posted March 22, 2013

go see the first reboot as well in preparation for this one.

zeniph mumbles...

Posted March 22, 2013

thank you - shall heed your advice

MickH asserts...

Posted March 23, 2013

the first reboot was awsome Zen

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AgingGamer puts forth...

Posted March 22, 2013

You had me at Star Trek. Karl Urban has nailed the character of "Bones". The man can do no wrong. However I'm yet to see Dredd.

Barnesm puts forth...

Posted March 22, 2013

Dredd was pretty Fraking awesome for those of us who grew up reading the comic. Even wiped the horrible stain that was the Stallone Dredd movie.

MickH mumbles...

Posted March 23, 2013

Totally agree Barnsey,

Was much closer to the comic and i thought the cast selection rocked. Andreson was always my hero.

I hope they make more

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tqft would have you know...

Posted March 22, 2013

Explodey shoot 'em up Star Trek is my kind of fun.

Hopefully there will also be some plot & thinky.

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Sparty mumbles...

Posted March 22, 2013

Very very worried about trek. I say statrek but based on trailers there seems very little startreking. Makes "Going boldly, strange new wolrds etc" seem irrelevent.

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xenodyssey mutters...

Posted March 23, 2013

It looks very entertaining but not a lot like Roddenberry's idea of Star Trek. I mean from the flags hanging from the buildings they still have the same old nation states? They still wear ties??? In the 23rd Century.

Other than that it does maintain the tradtion of the Trek movies. Evil/demented bad guy. Mass destruction. Enterprise crashing/blowing up (every third or so movie).

At least I've been enjoying the prequel regular comic series, some interesting stories there in the JJ universe.

Just hope if they decide to do a new TV series it's more like the Titan books where we can get back to exploring the galaxy, meeting alien races and exchanging ideas with them rather than shooting them.

MickH has opinions thus...

Posted March 23, 2013

I can't beleive your vapping it before you've even seen it!

Geez give it a chance!

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drej mumbles...

Posted March 23, 2013

Loved OS Trek in the 70s & 80s as a kid,while always waiting for more/better ships and 'splosions. Looks like I win.

For all that, not a fan of the new big E - hope the teasers of her untimely demise play out.

And agree with xenoddysey, bring back the 5 year mission.

Blarkon ducks in to say...

Posted March 23, 2013

I have almost all the Enterprises (except an Ambassador class that isn't finished, the "season 5 NX-01 refit" (http://s177.photobucket.com/user/dgclaws/media/NX01refit.jpg.html) where the kit hasn't arrived yet, and the Enterprise-J (which to my knowledge hasn't had a replica). My least fave is either the E or the vanilla NX-01.

The only thing about the Abrams Enterprise that I'm dubious about is the claims about its size. The production people say bigger than Picard's 1701-D. The film didn't make it look much bigger than the original.

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tqft mutters...

Posted March 23, 2013

I want to see a non-rebooted ST universe movie post-voyager return - Ds9/Voyager - Worf, Dax, 7of9, the Doctor.

OK you can have some TNG people as well - O'Brien, LaForge & Belanna mixing it up in engineering

MickH puts forth...

Posted March 23, 2013

that would be cool

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Respond to 'New Star Trek trailer'

New Star Trek trailer bringin' the awesome. Old Culture fan film doubles it down

Posted March 22, 2013 into Movies by John Birmingham

Read a kinda disturbing interview with Bryan Burk, the producer of Star Trek Into Darkness, who seemed to be threatening to morph the whole thing into a sort of loud, tedious Transformer franchise. It kicks off with a qoute that reads: "'There are those who like Star Trek and those who think people who like Star Trek are insane... I was one of them".Sure, he pulls it back by explaining that he and Abrams are trying to open up the world to a new generation of believers, and I think the SMH piece did him no favours in the way it was framed. I mean, seriously, they cited A Good Day To Die Hard and The Hangover 2 in the first couple of pars, the justification being that "Hollywood something something sequels, yeah."Burk thinks this Star Trek will be more accesible than the last one, which didn't seem to me to have particularly high barriers to entry. ''People who have avidly avoided Star Trek will be pleasantly surprised that this isn't what they were expecting.''None of it sounds promising. And then you get the trailer, with all the bright shiny and the splodey and the loud noises and you think, WTF, this is gonna be great anyway.

I'd embed the Star Trek vid, but for some reason, every time I do that it totally fucking borks the entry.

So if you want to see it, go directly to the Tube.

Or just watch it in the post directly above.

Ironically, or coincidently, or whatever, shortly after I saw the Star Trek trailer, Murph tweeted me a link to an old fan film on Youtube. Well, old in Internet years, anyway. It's called Something Real and is based on the Culture novels of Iain M Banks. My initial reaction was "Awesome!". My next reaction was "Oh no, this is going to suck a bag of dicks." I imagined GSV's made out of duct tape and cardboard boxes, and old Star Wars toys repurposed from droids into drones. A million light years away from the truth. Something Real is a high spec, professional effort.

I wonder if it was made as pitch to try get something bigger up? I was going to run this second vid later today, probably this evening, but having watched both I was taken by how different they were, even though both are telling SF stories. There's very little splodey in the Culture film, although what there is has been handled beautifully. It's mostly an exchange of ideas, which, when you think about it, is what the original Star Trek was all about; coating interesting ideas in a sweet, sweet bon bon of SF chocolate. In that way, Something Real is probably closer to the Star Trek ideal than Into Darkness. I'd still watch and enjoy both, however.

13 Responses to ‘New Star Trek trailer bringin' the awesome. Old Culture fan film doubles it down’

TC reckons...

Posted March 22, 2013

Wow... that's pretty cool. Very similar to the start of Player of Games.

I like the sharing of ideas... especially with lasers, robots and explosions. Banks does it all very well and I'm looking forward to reading some more of his books.

BrianC puts forth...

Posted March 22, 2013

I was thinking that exact same thing.

Matthew K mumbles...

Posted March 22, 2013

Clearly heavily Player of Games.

Basnks has always said that stories set in the utopia of The Culture would be dead dull, the only conflict would be who got snubbed by who and loads of stuff like this - rich spoilt people yearning for an authenticity they can not comprehend. Hence his books being set on the edge of The Culture where it intersects with others.

The crossover zone where the Venn diagram circles intersect is always the most potentially fertile in many things.

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Blarkon swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted March 22, 2013

I think that the fan film missed something of the feel of Banks universe. It felt more like Rosencrantz And Guildenstern Are Dead. Then again I suppose there is a Stoppardesque nature to the discussion of the Culture Minds.

John Birmingham mutters...

Posted March 22, 2013

Well it's a bit of an ask to cram the feel of a whole universe developed over eleventy umpteen books into a 6 minute vid. I thought they pretty much nailed it, right down to the dim wheel of the orbital off in the misty distance.

And that conversation felt like it had been penned by Banks himself, right down the slightly indulgent/exasperated tone of the drone.

Blarkon puts forth...

Posted March 22, 2013

In an illustrated guide to the Discworld, Pratchett said each person holds a different version of an author's universe in their head and that all of these versions are equally valid

BrianC puts forth...

Posted March 22, 2013

I have to agree with JB. Culture always made me think of a declining Roman Empire proped up by expansion. This gave me that sense of purposelessness(is that a word?) what do you do when you have it so good that you dont even have to govern yourself?

Matthew K swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted March 22, 2013

Decadence. Or ennui.

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w from brisbane would have you know...

Posted March 22, 2013

''People who have avidly avoided Star Trek will be pleasantly surprised that this isn't what they were expecting.''

They must be taking out the bits where people intelligently converse.

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Murphy puts forth...

Posted March 22, 2013

Frankly, even though I am not a fan of this universe, I thought it captured it fairly accurately.

Glad you liked it, Birmo.

Respects,

Murph

On the Outer Marches

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TheWah ducks in to say...

Posted March 22, 2013

I've always had a big old hairy man-crush on The Culture universe. Not sure how anyone could see living in it as boring. Access to any resource you desire, the ability to travel anywhere... what more could you want? Only a lack of imagination could make that boring.

So saying, I'm hesitant to wish for a Culture based movie. There's very little chance of a movie getting it right - and I don't need a movie because Banks is still feeding my Culture addiction book after book.

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Barnesm is gonna tell you...

Posted March 22, 2013

I like how its looks professional but I don't think it would be super expensive. Its the dialog that shines for me. Pitch perfect for the interpaly between the drone and the guy.

If a kickstart wa set up for this I'd kick in the equivent for the first season on DVD.

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