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Everything posted by anthony_dunn

  1. I just took my family to see it, mostly because I was taking the day off for Thanksgiving. It was fun and the cinematography was impressive. I've included a brief review on my new blog. Ron I saw the contradiction in messages as well: Essentially the two messages it was trying to convey were typical Hollywood: 1. We need to learn to love ourselves for who we are; 2. Humans are the greatest threat to the planet earth. I find it rather ironic to combine both those thoughts. So which should we work on first? Should we humans just learn to accept ourselves despite our greed and destructiveness? Or should we acknowledge that there might actually be certain aspects of ourselves that we need to change if we're going to survive. Peter, there was definitely a strong sense that the "bad guys" were the "evil religious authorities" who were intent on persecuting anyone who stepped out of line (especially if that step had a catchy beat!) It reminded me mostly of the John Lithgow character in Footloose or the weirdo religious nut in Edward Scissorhands. I just chalk it up to the the screenwriters using cliched stereotypes as a sort of shorthand: "You know, kids, these are the old religious fogies who just can't tolerate anything out of the ordinary." Maybe what should disturb me is that they didn't feel the need to dwell on this aspect, but just accepted that most of the audience would be tracking along with them. 8O
  2. Agreed! I wouldn't know where to start!
  3. anthony_dunn

    Blade Runner (1982)

    I actually wrote a paper on Blade Runner for my undergraduate film class. I wrote on the motif of eyes. The film begins by cutting back and forth between a single shot of an eye and the cityscape. It ends with Rutger Hauer's "I have seen things you wouldn't believe" speech. (Reminiscient of his earlier "if you could see the things I've seen with your eyes" line.) The whole theme of empathy is about getting people to see through someone else's eyes (perspective). Rachel "remembers" seeing a seen of a spider eating her young by actually borrowing the experience from Tyrell's neice. And of course, the way Roy kills Tyrell is by gouging out his eyes. There's a lot there....
  4. I'm sorry if this is OT, but I'm shocked they've never made a Half-life movie. It has a lot of potential. I always pictured Ed Norton playing Gordon Freeman.
  5. You should simply rejoice that you are free to post without fear!
  6. anthony_dunn

    Blade Runner (1982)

    First, in the spirit of full disclosure, Blade Runner is and has always been one of my favorite movies of all time. Every time I return to it, I find something new to chew on. I'll try to reply to several discussions on this thread. Regarding high concept/low concept: Pure science fiction (as opposed to Space Opera ala Star Wars) is extremely difficult to do because it is primarily about ideas. Abstract ideas are difficult to film. I imagine this is why some of the best "pure" science fiction films 2001, Blade Runner, etc. are also not real crowd pleasers and at times can be downright boring. Regarding the setting and PKD's book: I always thought the film's setting was closer to that of Phillip K. Dick's book The Unteleported Man, which was a large overcrowded city. (It might have even been Los Angeles in the book --- its been awhile since I read it.) Regarding Christian symbolism: 1. You cannot get a more graphic picture of humanity and the Fall than the scene in which Roy meets his creator (Tyrell even refers to him as the returning "prodigal son"). The ultimate outcome of that encounter is that Roy kills him. When we humans were able to meet our Creator face-to-face, we ultimately killed Him as well. 2. The final scene has already been well discussed on this thread. You have Roy redeeming himself by "turning the other cheek" and saving the life of his enemy -- complete with a nail-pierced hand! He dies peacefully, releasing a dove, which flies into the film's only clear view of the sky (heaven). Some may find the imagery contrived. However, at that moment Roy is demonstrating more humanity than Decker ever has. Who better to picture Roy as than the perfect human, Christ? 3. I like the fact that the "hero" of the film is constantly needing to be rescued. Decker clearly demonstrates how frail and fragile humanity is and our own need to be saved from our misery. It reminds me of Frodo Baggins, who is a most unlikely hero as demonstrated by his constant need of rescuing. Regarding the ties to Frankenstein: Clearly there are a lot of overlaps in themes (many of them spiritual) between Blade Runner and the original novel Frankenstein: what makes a person human; humanity vs. technology; the hubris of humanity. What's interesting is that I believe Shelley is borrowing heavily from the old Jewish myth of the Golem (i.e. a created being that is magically brought to life but eventually turns on its creator). In summary, I believe that Decker's quest to hunt down these "quasi-humans" really becomes an existential awakening to his own humanity. That sounds pretty spiritual to me.
  7. I sincerely thank you for the encouragement. I was posting fairly regularly before but just got busy with other things. Being a son of Adam, I suffer from a sick form of pride that stays my hand from posting unless I'm convinced I have enough time to compose a decent post. I hereby repent and will endeavor to post more frequently as would be in keeping with the fruits of repentance.
  8. Essentially I have always viewed RDogs like all of QT's films, as a postmodern morality play. It is no accident that the film begins with a debate over whether it is right or wrong to tip a waitress --- a debate carried on by professional criminals as they get ready to pull off a major robbery. [Just as he does in Pulp Fiction when he has two hitmen discussing whether it is right or wrong to massage a married woman's feet, on their way to a hit.] As the film continues we see an ever-shifting morality that is determined by the individual's own perception of the situation rather than an absolute law of right and wrong. I love the fact that the criminals themselves have no idea who to trust or believe. They are incapable of knowing the full story. But we the audience are privileged to know the full story. Thus we are able to judge the events from a much wiser vantage point.
  9. Yes! Talk about a character who stamped out all hope of redemption for himself and others. He personifies the most evil aspects of Nazism and Anti-semitism. And yet there are amazingly human touches that prevent him from becoming so demonized we can't identify with him. In particular I'm thinking of his interview for a maid in which he refuses to get too close to a Jew because he's concerned that she might catch his cold. Chillingly effective!
  10. If we're talking about evil characters in literature, I would have to include Iago from Othello . There's no struggling like Angelo from Measure for Measure . There's no explanation given. He's just evil through and through.
  11. Two immediately come to mind: Silence of the Lambs: Hannibal Lecter The Highlander: The Kurgan
  12. Oh, but he has! Occasionally, but he has. And sometimes, spectacularly. ← Jeffrey, it's funny that you would mention Ebert's FOTR review. It is one of only two times I ever wrote to Ebert about one of his reviews. [For the record, he never responded to that one -- but he did respond to my email about his Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie review.]
  13. Yeah, The Horse and His Boy will be a thorny one given the current climate. Recently with the LOTR movies, the old debate about whether Tolkien was being racist cropped up. In the case of Narnia, it is even more obvious. Lewis very clearly intended the Calormenes to be Muslims. As I read the description of Calormene architecture, especially in TH&HB, it is very obviously Arabian/Persian. Even the description of the political system of the Tisroc sounds a lot like certain Muslim nations. That having been said, I hope they do TH&HB. It is definitely one of my favorite books in the series.
  14. In case you haven't seen, an article in World on Walden Media's involvement of TLTW&TW. It also talks a bit about the marketing strategy: http://www.worldmag.com/displayarticle.cfm?id=10307
  15. The one called "Death and the 19th Century" sounds fascinating. However, this is coming from someone who's favorite undergraduate class at Duke was a seminar called "Death and Dying".
  16. You have to admit this is a perfect example of a situation in which an artist is asked to make a decision about the content of his art based on his audience. That's the only reason why I bring it up. I think this whole situation points back to what we were discussing on the other thread. Writing is a two-step process. First the artist gets everything down on paper, getting out that initial "inspired" gush of "truth". Then the artist goes back and crafts it further, molding and shaping it to create it into a work of art. Part of the 2nd step in the process is giving thought to the effect it may have on the audience. [This doesn't mean one must remove every offensive word. It just means the artist must know who the audience is.] One of my writing teachers gave the advice that the writer should challenge every word written-- even in a novel! Is the word true (and even necessary) to the character? Does it ultimately serve the purpose of the art? Incidentally, I'm personally struggling with this very issue as I continue to edit my own screenplay, which takes place in a prison. Obviously, you can't have guards and inmates running around saying "gosh", "darn", and "son of a gun". While I'm not opposed to include foul language in my script, I am also seeing how much I can say through their actions, rather than the dialog (which "experts" say is the goal of screenwriting anyway).
  17. Dan, It sounds like you made a wise decision. It is interesting how this situation practically illustrates some of the issues we were discussing a while back on the topic How to Write a Good Christian Script. ant
  18. To stir things up a bit, I'll offer a quote from the standard docrtinal statement of my denomination (PCA), the Westminister Larger Catechism:
  19. Easy there, Ann. You'll get a headache! At the end it was Next week is going to be a re-run. I saw on AICN that the next new episode isn't until Feb. 9
  20. Funny, the first part of the trailer didn't look familiar to us either. It's nice to see them finally start to tie together loose ends without adding any new "mysteries".
  21. Excellent list as others have said. I need to do something catching up on my viewing. The only thing I would've changed was take out The Ladykillers for Best Score and put in place The Incredibles. On repeat viewings I've just been amazed at how perfect that score is. Before we even see anything but the Pixar logo, just the right tone is set. That having been said. Good work!
  22. I'm not ready to give up on Locke just yet. He seems way too deliberate in his actions. He is up to something. I have a theory that Locke is maybe possessed by the spirit of the island/monster or at the very least in communication with it. Keep in mind, tonight's episode was the first time we've seen the monster since Locke met it face to face in episode 4. I don't think it is coincidence that the monster suddenly reappears in connection with Locke. It seems as if Locke is slowly developing his own little army of devotees. (Finally getting to be the Colonel.) I'm still not sure exactly what he is up to, but it does seem clear he has a plan in mind. So I was a little more hopeful after tonight's episode. I caught a glimmer from the writers tonight of "we know what we're doing -- just trust us and be patient." Oh and the appearance of Sawyer in Boone/Shannon's flashback was awesome.
  23. I hear what you're saying. However, I accepted Shannon's "resurrection" more than Charlie's, specifically because it was a dream. In other words, within the parameters of the story it seemed a more "realistic" way to have someone come back to life. As for this episode, I felt at the end like it had more resolution than previous episodes. I believe we know now more of what Locke is up to and it is consistent with what he did with Charlie. So in my mind, we're moving forward on that front. There are two things that still bug me to no end: 1. Nobody seems to care that there are other people wandering around the island. Why has nobody gone back to talk to Rousseau? How can Sayid spend all day making maps knowing that there are people on the island who have answers to all these riddles. 2. That Claire is still gone. Everybody (maybe with the exception of Charlie) has gone on with their lives. You would think in light of a very real threat, they would be becoming more organized and set up defenses, guards, etc. Don't get me wrong, this is still an awesome show! And the world and the characters they have created are so complex, it is going to be very difficult if not impossible to keep all the threads consistent. Favorite scene last night: Hurley begging Jin to pee on his foot. -- classic! One last thing and then I'm done: Any objections to updating the topic to say SPOILERS THROUGHOUT?
  24. I'm glad to know it wasn't just me that thought that to be a glaring omission. Although, are they looking at the calendar year 2004 or just the 2003-2004 season?
  25. My understanding is this: 1. Technically your work is already copyrighted. You are already protected, whether or not the US government knows about it. I've read that the best thing to do is put the copyright symbol or © 2005 followed by your name on every page. It can't hurt to include "All Rights Reserved" for compliance with international law. 2. I've never gone through the process of officially registering my work with the US Copyright office. My understanding is that once you've registered you have to reapply if there are any major revisions. (I certainly would love to know if that is not the case). 3. One intermediate step I know a number of people choose is to register with the Writers Guild of America. It is not as strong as a copyright, but it at least gives some dated 3rd party verification that you are the author. And you can register online relatively cheaply. So what a lot of folks do is register each new major revision with them. I'm curious to know how other people understand the process.
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