Author Topic: Grim Horizons: Post-Apocalyptic Marathon  (Read 13810 times)

'Noke

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Re: Grim Horizons: Post-Apocalyptic Marathon
« Reply #40 on: March 19, 2010, 04:31:28 PM »
I'm a huge John Boorman fan.  Deliverance is such a great piece of filmmaking

Deliverance is amazing.
I actually consider a lot of movies to be life-changing! I take them to my heart and they melt into my personality.

Verite

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Re: Grim Horizons: Post-Apocalyptic Marathon
« Reply #41 on: March 19, 2010, 04:39:31 PM »
Unfortunately unlike Days of Heaven or Baraka where the whole was equally as stunning as a single frame, I found single shots or ideas more beautiful than the whole.
Agreed. While each frame is beautiful, it just never quite comes altogether.

Disagree, its a masterpiece from start to finish

I'm with zarodinu.  I'd add that it's also perfect.  There is a recent documentary about the film primarily about one of the DPs and the conflict with Tarkovsky and concerning the making of the film. Info.

BTW, fantastic write-up CSSCHNEIDER.
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Sam the Cinema Snob

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Re: Grim Horizons: Post-Apocalyptic Marathon
« Reply #42 on: March 19, 2010, 05:35:38 PM »
Yea, The Omega Man is pretty lackluster.
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'Noke

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Re: Grim Horizons: Post-Apocalyptic Marathon
« Reply #43 on: March 19, 2010, 06:48:48 PM »
Have you read I am Legend Sam?
I actually consider a lot of movies to be life-changing! I take them to my heart and they melt into my personality.

CSSCHNEIDER

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Re: Grim Horizons: Post-Apocalyptic Marathon
« Reply #44 on: March 19, 2010, 06:52:11 PM »
I'm a huge John Boorman fan.  Deliverance is such a great piece of filmmaking

Deliverance is amazing.

I forgot to mention that Hope and Glory is such a great film.  Boorman adapted his own wartime childhood into a great film.  It was nominated for Best Picture. 
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CSSCHNEIDER

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Re: Grim Horizons: Post-Apocalyptic Marathon
« Reply #45 on: March 19, 2010, 06:54:34 PM »
Unfortunately unlike Days of Heaven or Baraka where the whole was equally as stunning as a single frame, I found single shots or ideas more beautiful than the whole.
Agreed. While each frame is beautiful, it just never quite comes altogether.

Disagree, its a masterpiece from start to finish

I'm with zarodinu.  I'd add that it's also perfect.  There is a recent documentary about the film primarily about one of the DPs and the conflict with Tarkovsky and concerning the making of the film. Info.

BTW, fantastic write-up CSSCHNEIDER.

Thank you.  I'm glad you liked/loved Stalker, its just too meandering for me, though still very good.

I read about the problems that Tarkovsky had with the shooting of the film.  Apparently they shot the it three times and the chemicals found on location led to a number of deaths, including Tarkovsky's.  Sad.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2010, 07:01:00 PM by CSSCHNEIDER »
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CSSCHNEIDER

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Re: Grim Horizons: Post-Apocalyptic Marathon
« Reply #46 on: March 19, 2010, 07:01:50 PM »
Oh, and I'd like to mention that I found my cell phone.  I know you were all worried but everything is fine now.
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1SO

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Re: Grim Horizons: Post-Apocalyptic Marathon
« Reply #47 on: March 19, 2010, 09:45:00 PM »
Have you read I am Legend Sam?

I thought you were implying...

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CSSCHNEIDER

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Re: Grim Horizons: Post-Apocalyptic Marathon
« Reply #48 on: March 19, 2010, 11:56:39 PM »
13.

Damnation Alley
1977
Dir. Jack Smight
Based on the Novel of the Same Name by Zelazny

1975.  Damnation Alley is greenlit by 20th Century Fox with a budget of $17 million.  Scheduled for release in the summer of '77 this was to be the epic Scifi film of the year.  The dollars it brought in would offset the loss Fox would face to their other Scifi film being shot in England.

1976.  Logan's Run gives us a grim vision of the future.  Euthanasia at the ripe old age of 30, a civilization driven underground, the world above overgrown and forgotten.

1976.  Principle photography has been going poorly on Damnation Alley and the budget keeps growing due to a new editing schedule.  The film is taken from director Jack Smight and recut and sent for months more of FX work as the skies are replaced with elaborate animations to sell the post Nuclear world of fallout.  The film is pushed back and Fox rolls the dice on their other Scifi film, something called Star Wars...

D.A. is a drive-in and Video classic among enthusiasts.  A cult film that has yet to see an American DVD release.  The VHS transfer is appauling no matter which of the two versions you've seen.

As I've mentioned above, Damnation Alley has become one of the many footnotes in the wake of the Star Wars phenomenon.  But I mention both this film and Logan's Run for a very specific reason.  These were large budget, FX driven Science Fiction films of the same era as Star Wars.  Yet both these films have meagerly successful FX even for that time.  Logan's Run at least has some beautiful sets and matte work, here the best thing is the Landmaster vehicle, which is very impressive.  I'm not trying to be mean to these films, but I'm attempting to stress how much of a step forward Star Wars was.  The same goes for 2001 and Close Encounters.  These films are also FX masterpieces and were made around this time (2001 being the clear earliest).  Damnation Alley suffers from poor planning, and a lack of interest in accomplishing the best possible FX by which to tell the story.  They tried many things, but in the end had to settle for poorly executed fixes to problems that arose from terrible planning.  The FX barely would have sold on TV at the time.

As for the story, its mildly interesting.  From my research the author of the novel was taken by surprise when he saw the film and realized they had gone with a different script than the one he had read in preproduction and approved of.  Having not read the source material I can't comment on its relevance other than to say he was pissed.

The film itself suffers from a horrid script that ends in what feels like the middle of the second act.  I was actually surprised when there was a freeze frame and the credits rolled.  Oh well, another dud in this marathon.

Besides the previously mentioned Landmaster, there is one other interesting, if slightly redeeming quality to the film.  It has one of the many childhood performances of Jackie Earl Haley.  That was cool to me.  As for the rest of the cast you'll find George Peppard and Jan-Michael Vincent.  Their presence does little to elevate this above my previous likening to a TV movie.  Sheesh.  Peppard has a resume of interesting work that allowed him to settle into TV.  JMV on the otherhand has never been an actor I've liked.  He always feels really wooden and like he's doing the audience a favor by being on screen.  He too would settle into a long TV career in the 80s.  What did people ever see in him?  He ruined The Mechanic for me and here he didn't ruin my viewing experience but he certainly didn't make it any better.

I'd say this is one to avoid, except for that sweet, sweet Landmaster.

Grade D
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Sam the Cinema Snob

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Re: Grim Horizons: Post-Apocalyptic Marathon
« Reply #49 on: March 20, 2010, 01:52:58 PM »
Have you read I am Legend Sam?
Nope. I'm really picky about sci-fi literature.
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