12
   

Foundation: the movie

 
 
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Tue 20 Jan, 2009 07:32 pm
@edgarblythe,
edgarblythe wrote:

Way I see it: If you want the book, pick up a copy. If you want a movie, go ahead,
you already know what to expect.

THAT 's RIGHT !
U know what to expect.

What I object to is the BETRAYAL of what u rightfully expect.
That has happened too ofen.





David
0 Replies
 
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Tue 20 Jan, 2009 07:43 pm
I don 't have The Foundation,
but I enjoyed his The Gods Themselves

( taken from Friedrich von Schiller:
"Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain.")
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 Jan, 2009 05:50 am
@djjd62,
Quote:
i can't imagine a story of the scope of foundation being made into a very good single film


It couldn't be handled effectively in a dozen motion pictures. The reason i mentioned Dune was precisely because of the complete balls-up they made of attempting to get the story across in a single film. It could better have been handled by making it into two, or even three films. Dividing Dune into two parts wouldn't be hard; dividing it into three parts would be trickier.

But another major problem of Dune was this compulsion they apparently felt to attempt to introduce every small detail of the novel into a film which was over-long to begin with. Dividing it into two or three movies might have been able to alleviate that problem, but it seems to me that the best adaptations of novels into film don't attempt to translate every jot and tittle of the novel onto film. For example, Catch 22 was a rather short novel, but it was also a very "busy" one. When the motion picture was made, i thought they did a good job. One of the reasons is because they didn't attempt to reproduce every least detail of the novel on the screen.

So, no, i can't say that i think an attempt to do the Foundation series in film is likely to be successful, no matter how carefully approached.
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 Jan, 2009 06:06 am
@edgarblythe,
edgarblythe wrote:

Fans of Isaac Asimov still haunted by the film adaptation of “I, Robot” will get their chance to wipe it from their memory banks: a movie version of Asimov’s “Foundation” novels is in the works, Variety reported. On Thursday, Columbia Pictures won a three-way auction for film rights to Asimov’s science-fiction epic, whose first volume concerns a mathematician put on trial after predicting the collapse of his civilization. Columbia, a division of Sony Pictures Entertainment, beat Warner Brothers and 20th Century Fox for the rights. The studio plans to develop the film for Roland Emmerich, the director of the cataclysmic sci-fi movies “Independence Day” and “The Day After Tomorrow.” Financial terms were not disclosed, and a release date for the film was not announced.


That would be great to see. The plot has a lot of potential to be turned into a good movie. Let's hope they don't screw it up.
0 Replies
 
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 Jan, 2009 06:23 am
@Setanta,
there was a fairly decent dune miniseries on cable a few years ago, it was basically the length of three standard movies, worked not too bad

the harry potter movies are an example of frustrating movie making, the first two books were short, and the movies are almost word for word, but as the books got longer, the movies had to sacrifice plot subtleties to accommodate the main story lines, last i heard the studio is considering a two part film (ala kill bill) to deal with the 7th and last film, the 6th movie is finished, and i'm curious to see how they fit all the significant plot points into one movie
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 Jan, 2009 08:22 am
@djjd62,
I didn't see that "miniseries," and as i greatly enjoyed Dune, i would be gratified to see a reasonable film treatment. I don't really rate Herbert high as an author. Dune was good, but as the series progressed, it just became more and more silly and tedious. I've read several other novels and short stories of his, and they're aren't very impressive to me.

Asimov, however, i consider to be a very skillful writer, apart from having a sound background in science. It didn't really bother me that they screwed up Dune as a movie, but i would not want to see Hollywood do a hatchet job to the Foundation series.
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 Jan, 2009 08:34 am
What makes Asimov great is that he had great ideas, and he explored them brilliantly. I wouldn't say his use of language is all that great, though.

On the other hand, a "great" writer can make a stinker of an SF book. Witness The Road by Cormac McCarthy. Sure, he uses "loess" correctly, but the entire book consists of a man and his son pushing a freaking shopping cart down a road....
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 Jan, 2009 08:44 am
@DrewDad,
i enjoyed "the road", but it was really just a very long short story IMHO
wandeljw
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 Jan, 2009 09:20 am
Star Wars had elements of the Foundation series in it, according to Roger Ebert.
0 Replies
 
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 Jan, 2009 09:46 am
@djjd62,
djjd62 wrote:

i enjoyed "the road", but it was really just a very long short story IMHO

Can u be sure that it was not a very short long story ?





David
0 Replies
 
Gelisgesti
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 Jan, 2009 10:17 am
Are they going to do the entire trilogy?
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 21 Jan, 2009 10:25 am
I haven't said that Asimov uses language brilliantly. Narrative construction does not rely solely upon the quality of the language used. Asimov, is, in my never humble opinion, a compelling story teller, which is why i see him as a better writer than Herbert. If find this especially true when comparing the body of his work to the body of Herbert's work.

Someone can be an appallingly bad writer in many respects, and still be a good story teller. I enjoy Heinlein's books because he's a good story teller. He is also racist, sexist and elitist; his literary constructs are predictable, and the breadth of his expression is limited; his "philosophizing" boils down to frequent reactionary rants--but you can skip over the rants, and as he tells a good story, i will read his books.

Asimov is not a great writer in any literary sense, such as his descriptive language or the subtlety of his metaphors--but he tells a good story, and the Foundation series is a prime example. Many authors have a hard time keeping up a coherent narrative through one book, let alone several. In the Foundation books, Asimov shows that he has mastered that skill.
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Jan, 2009 08:40 am
I don't believe it's even possible to translate every book into a movie no matter how talented or lucky the screenwriters or directors are. Books and movies are different art forms and I don't think they lend themselves easily to translation.

That having been said, each one can still produce a masterpiece of unrelated artistic merit while still telling the same story.

Both _Jaws_ and _Lord of the Rings_ were successful novels as well as successful movies, even though the movies were (similar to but) not duplicates of the original material.

In general I find that I like original sci-fi movies which are not derived from novels. Things that are crafter for the screen from scratch, tend to play better on the screen.

OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Jan, 2009 10:50 am
@rosborne979,
rosborne979 wrote:

I don't believe it's even possible to translate every book into a movie no matter how talented or lucky the screenwriters or directors are. Books and movies are different art forms and I don't think they lend themselves easily to translation.

That having been said, each one can still produce a masterpiece of unrelated artistic merit while still telling the same story.

Both _Jaws_ and _Lord of the Rings_ were successful novels as well as successful movies, even though the movies were (similar to but) not duplicates of the original material.

In general I find that I like original sci-fi movies which are not derived from novels. Things that are crafter for the screen from scratch, tend to play better on the screen.



Do u hold the same opinion
as to books that are based upon movies ?





David
0 Replies
 
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Jan, 2009 11:12 am
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:

I didn't see that "miniseries," and as i greatly enjoyed Dune, i would be gratified to see a reasonable film treatment. I don't really rate Herbert high as an author. Dune was good, but as the series progressed, it just became more and more silly and tedious. I've read several other novels and short stories of his, and they're aren't very impressive to me.

Asimov, however, i consider to be a very skillful writer, apart from having a sound background in science. It didn't really bother me that they screwed up Dune as a movie, but i would not want to see Hollywood do a hatchet job to the Foundation series.


Wow, you should see it. It's worth checking out.

I feel that the miniseries missed out on some of the 'grandeur' that the original movie captured; but other than that, it was superior in every single way.

Cycloptichorn
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Jan, 2009 12:21 pm
@rosborne979,
I didn't read Jaws, and cannot, therefore, make the comparison. I've read The Lord of the Rings ten or fifteen times in the 45 years since the firt time i picked the book up. I enjoyed the motion picture, because they handled the special effects so well--but i did not like how they butchered the story line, and i was particularly offended by their treatment of the character of Aragorn. In the novel, he was to me a rather pompous and stilted figure--but then, Tolkien was of the generation that grew up reading Rider Haggard and that genre of adolescent literature, and to his mind, Aragorn was probably a realistic rendering. But the way Aragorn was treated in the motion picture simply made no sense in the context of the plot, whether in the novel or as a motion picture. In fact, to my mind, the best part of the movies was the "director's cut" version of the battle scene before the walls of Minas Tirith, which was a magnificent tour de force of "SFX." So, not a bad movie, but a total butchering of the novel.

I would use Catch 22 as the best example of this (did i already mention this?). That slim little novel packed a good deal of detail into a small space, but still too large to be literally transcribed to the silver screen. I thought they did an excellent job of editing the story without sacrificing characters or plot to produce the motion picture.

One of the reasons i really enjoy sci-fi movies is the special effects, but that's not all of it. Movies like the Star Wars series bore me--the actinic explosions (you won't have that absent an atmosphere), the loud noises (same story), and the basic plot of a western left me unimpressed. For the same reason, i don't care much about the Star Truck--movies. They can be amusing, because watching Bill Shatner "act" is like watching a slow motion train wreck. But i don't consider either series to be good sci-fi, despite the big SFX budgets. The hype for the movie Alien in 1979 had a great tag line--"In space, no one can hear you scream." Now that's more like it. I enjoyed the first two Alien movies, but got bored with the last two, especially the finale.

2001, A Space Odyssey was one of the best, and it had fewer than 70 SFX scenes. What they did reproduce was extremely well-handled. When the boys were doing their EVAs, all you could hear was their breathing, which would be all you could hear if you were aboard monitoring them. That movie was good for another reason. It was based on Clarke's short story The Sentinel, and in this case, the story was the point of departure for the movie. It avoided all the failings of movies made by butchering a novel.

Hollywood certainly has a bad record with screenplays. In the 1930s, they paid F. Scott Fitzgerald and William Faulkner a thousand dollars a week and more to write screen plays (incredible sums at the time), and yet neither of them wrote a screen play independently. Fitzgerald's only solo credit was adapting the Erich Maria Remarque novel The Three Comrades for film, and Faulkner did not, i believe, produce a single independent screen play (i.e., he was always a "collaborator"). Hollywood doesn't care about the quality of a screen play, or its fidelity to an original novel, they just want to follow a proven formula to produce a big hit movie. Most Hollywood producers are trying to hit a home run all the time. When the studio system was in place, they probably actually produced more bad movies than they do today--but there was more of a market (no tee-vee), and many producers and directors were content to "hit a single," rather than always trying to "hit the home run." The quality of work done on an existing novel suffers as a result. I think the best movies Hollywood produces come from scripts written for the screen at the outset, and there are damned few of those which actually turn into good movies.

The biggest problem i have is that this reliance on formula has lead to so many sci-fi movies actually being westerns set in space. Star Wars suffered from this, and Outland fer chrissake, was High Noon set in a Jovian mining station. One of my favorite sci-fi movies was Silent Running. Although dated in terms of what we expect from SFX these days, it was quite novel at the time. The director had worked on the 2001 SFX. What was refreshing about it was the plot/screenplay were like a sci-fi pulp mag short story, or a short sci-fi novel. It didn't resemble a western, and it's one of the few sci-fi movies of which i know which was filmed from the screenplay, and was actually sci-fi, rather than a western or a swashbuckler disguised as sci-fi.

OK, OK, i'll quit now . . . but it is a subject about which i feel strongly.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Jan, 2009 12:25 pm
@Cycloptichorn,
Thanks . . . with two enthusiastic recommendations, i'll check it out.
0 Replies
 
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Jan, 2009 12:28 pm
@Setanta,
a big fan of "silent running"
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Jan, 2009 12:36 pm
Oh yeah . . . one of the best sci-fi movies ever made. The drones featured on screen actually had double-amputee actors inside working the controls. For 1971-72, the SFX were "leading edge."
0 Replies
 
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Jan, 2009 12:36 pm
@Setanta,
What annoyed me the most about LOTR adaptations:

1, the musical score was terrible. I don't need such sappy tunes to tell me how to feel when people are in tough times. It would have been far more effective to just have natural sounds playing then the stupid score.

Every time Frodo and Sam had a scene together, the music made me want to barf.

2, not what was cut out of the book - such as the proper ending - but what was added in, for no good reason. The first movie wasn't too bad in this respect but the second and third had plot elements never found in the books, which did not advance the story or characters in any meaningful way.

3, the false need to create an 'important' female character for the movies, ie Liv Tyler. The books featured very few female characters and they played a minor role in what was essentially a story written about men and their struggles and tribulations. Of course, Hollywood insists on a female character to draw in women; but it was really ham-handed and sort of offensive, the way they handled it.

4, I would have to say that the third movie in particular was terrible. They really missed out on the feelings of emotions of the characters and I thought some of the SFX were not well done at all, not realistic.

Anyway. Not that they were terrible movies as a whole, just not satisfying to a fan of the books.

As for other good sci-fi movies,

Akira
The Prestige
The Abyss

Should be on anyone's list.

Cycloptichorn
 

Related Topics

 
Copyright © 2022 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.04 seconds on 06/28/2022 at 04:30:20