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PITA Bred
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The Abyss is one of my all-time favorite movies. I wouldn't give it an Oscar in any category but I'll watch it once or twice a year unto my dotage. Especially the full-length cut; the original theatrical cut was weak in spots.

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Tue Dec 15, 2009 8:58 pm
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For my money, the best sequence Cameron has ever done (non-3D, at least) is the final battle between Ripley and the queen in Aliens. I think many people who've formed opinions of The Abyss have done so on the basis of the theatrical version, not the extended cut. As for the "original story" of The Terminator, I'm sure most people here know about the end credit "acknowledgment to the works of Harlan Ellison" added as a result of legal action by Ellison on the basis of similarity to one or both of his Outer Limits scripts of 20 years earlier. Scalzi, on his blog, indicated in November that he believes Cameron's script does indeed predate Old Man's War (see whatever.scalzi.com/?s=cameron), but then he hasn't seen the movie yet.

If the Avatar technology is any good, maybe someone can use it to make a film of Stephenson's Snow Crash?


Wed Dec 16, 2009 4:38 pm
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JJGarsch wrote:
For my money, the best sequence Cameron has ever done (non-3D, at least) is the final battle between Ripley and the queen in Aliens.

I'd have to agree. One of my all time favorite movie moments is her gearing up in the elevator. For just five seconds she sags back, tired and terrified... and then shakes it off with a truly palpable ferocity.

A couple of years back, Chicon presented a video of women in sf movies, set to Pat Benatar's "Hit Me With Your Best Shot." It was simply fabulous, marching from the bubble-headed blondes who stayed with the space ship through other iconic portrayals. When they got to a shot of Ripley in full battle gear, the audience roared so loudly they drowned out the soundtrack.

I've tried for years to get a copy of that video. No luck.

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If the Avatar technology is any good, maybe someone can use it to make a film of Stephenson's Snow Crash?

I believe Battle Angel was already in production adjacent to Avatar and using a refined set of the tech. I look forward to that one, too. We're headed to see Avatar in IMAX 3D this Sunday.

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Wed Dec 16, 2009 6:05 pm
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JamesGifford wrote:
JJGarsch wrote:
For my money, the best sequence Cameron has ever done (non-3D, at least) is the final battle between Ripley and the queen in Aliens.

I'd have to agree. One of my all time favorite movie moments is her gearing up in the elevator. For just five seconds she sags back, tired and terrified... and then shakes it off with a truly palpable ferocity.


That was very satisfying, of course, as an action sequence, but Aliens was rather predictable, in contrast to the you-never-know-what's-coming-nextness of Alien.

For visceral impact of a Cameron action scene, I'd have to go with the attack on the police station in Terminator. That really packs a punch because this is the one location where an innocent person ought to be safe; surrounded by an entire armory, and you just see all that firepower failing, and realize that this woman has no choice but to grow up fast. Plus there's something very primeval about seeing a cop get killed.


Wed Dec 16, 2009 9:25 pm
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PeterScott wrote:
For visceral impact of a Cameron action scene, I'd have to go with the attack on the police station in Terminator. That really packs a punch because this is the one location where an innocent person ought to be safe; surrounded by an entire armory, and you just see all that firepower failing, and realize that this woman has no choice but to grow up fast. Plus there's something very primeval about seeing a cop get killed.


Speaking of Terminator, I remember a co-worker back in 1984 or so telling me about being dragged to see the movie. He was the kind of guy who enjoyed more high-brow entertainment and said dismissively that he'd never seen so much gratuitous comic-book violence in a movie. So, I said I assumed he didn't recommend the movie. "Oh no, it was great!" said he. I went and saw it and agreed.

I agree about Alien (vs. Aliens). The original kept you on the edge of your seat and was very cutting edge for 1979 (not to mention Sigourney Weaver in her undies in the life raft :D ). But I also agree that the Sigourney v. Mother Alien smackdown in the first sequel was awesome. The second sequel was dog meat.

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Thu Dec 17, 2009 7:54 am
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JackKelly wrote:
Speaking of Terminator, I remember a co-worker back in 1984 or so telling me about being dragged to see the movie. He was the kind of guy who enjoyed more high-brow entertainment and said dismissively that he'd never seen so much gratuitous comic-book violence in a movie. So, I said I assumed he didn't recommend the movie. "Oh no, it was great!" said he.

Around 1986 or so, my sister dropped off two VHS tapes for my mother, one something with Paul Newman (maybe The Verdict) and, by accident, Terminator.

My mother called her two days later, raving about the movie. "The Paul Newman one?" "No, no, the one with the ROBOT!" Very uncharacteristic for her tastes but typical of people who could get past the sci-fi comic-book surface and see the truly compelling film beneath.

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Thu Dec 17, 2009 8:59 am
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Seen, in IMAX 3-D. I will post some longer reviews and critique later, but for now, it met all of my fondest expectations, barely brushed my fears, and all in all lives up to the tremendous hype. James Cameron has now officially gone from King of the World to God.

About half an hour from the end, you get a good sense of how and where it's going to end. In the brief lulls, I thought about how I'd do it - what the final, closing shot had to be. Either I should have gone into filmmaking or Cameron simply laid his groundwork well, preparing my thinking, but it got to the final scene, the final shot... and Cameron nailed it, nailed it like Pavarotti hitting the most difficult note of his career. I honestly wanted to jump up and scream, "YESSSSS!!"

If anyone wants to jump the gun on detailed discussion, please start a SPOILER thread.

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"Hier stehe ich. Ich kann nicht anders." - Luther
In the end, I found Heinlein is finite. Thus, finite analysis is needed.


Sat Dec 19, 2009 8:45 pm
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My first 3-D movie; saw it as IMAX today. No spoilers but encouragement to go see it, even if only for the technology. For what it's worth, neither of us felt we had been there for three hours when the credits rolled.
Do suggest you buy your tickets online if you're going soon; our Sunday am showing was sold out by Friday morning.
Will probably see it again.

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Sun Dec 20, 2009 5:13 pm
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I liked the Abyss - but the ending dissapointed me a bit. A little weak! Good movie though and Effects were pretty gopod for the day.


Mon Dec 21, 2009 5:33 am
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KeithJones923 wrote:
I liked the Abyss - but the ending dissapointed me a bit. A little weak! Good movie though and Effects were pretty good for the day.


I wonder if you and I have only seen the theatrical release? From the comments above, I should look for another one.

As an aside, when did the whole business of alternative releases or cuts begin? I seem to peg it to Blade Runner (what are they on now, the caterers' cut?), but it has to go back further than that. (I know there are cuts of movie that predated BR - Superman I and The Godfather IIRC - but I believe their alternate cuts were issued after the first BR alternate.)


Mon Dec 21, 2009 11:23 am
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