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Thread: Film Buffery

  1. #1561
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    Bit of a sad day in the Province of Ontario, a week ago. TV Ontario (TVO - a pbs type station), ran a final installment of Saturday Night at the Movies . It started back in 1974, hosted by Elwy Yost until 1999, a couple of others have hosted the series since. Basically it was a double-feature of films unedited and run commercial-free. Between the two films there would be a 10-15 minute segment of interviews, with either actors/directors/producers or people knowledgeable on a theme, that linked the movies being broadcast that night. The series was ended due to "budget-cuts".

    wikipage on the series: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saturda..._at_the_Movies.

    A few of the memorable pairings for me, over the years:

    Panic In The Streets and Kiss Of Death, Elwy Yost interviewing Richard Widmark about these two films which he starred in.

    The Spy Who Came In From The Cold and The Deadly Affair, theme "Cold War le Carre".

    Heaven and The Little Drummer Girl, theme women and terrorism.

    Cache and The Anderson Tapes, theme: surveillence.

    24 Hour Party People and A Hard Day's Night, theme: Life's soundtracks

    The Conversation and Marathon Man, theme: Is it safe?

    Dog Day Afternoon and The Taking of Pelham One Two Three, theme: New York City hostage

    and many more wonderful pairings over the years, heck sometimes the interviews/discussions of the theme were more interesting than one of the movies being shown.

  2. #1562
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeanF View Post
    The original or the remake? I've never seen the remake, but the original is a very good movie. Well directed, well acted, and very creepy. I recommend it.
    Gillian is of the opinion that she is not scared by movies. This is a very difficult challenge to answer because, by definition, any movie I recommend to her as scary would not be, since she would be prepared in advance and watch it with all her defences up. Personally, I've been scaring myself silly by watching Youtube LPs of recent indie horror games like Outlast or Amnesia but I don't think anything short of a hostage situation would induce her to watch those.

    [edit: Sorry that last bit was a bit too harsh; I'm in a bad mood.
    Last edited by parallaxicality; 2013-Sep-08 at 11:23 PM.

  3. #1563
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    I went to see The Omen (the 1970s version) at a downtown movie complex when I was a grad student. I had some afternoons off, so to avoid a crowd, I went at the unlikeliest time, around 4 p.m. on a Tuesday, something like that.

    Well, I chose well: the theater was empty! I was the first one there. When I enterted the auditorium, I found that they were playing the soundtrack to keep the schedule, but they didn't switch on the projhector bulb until someone got there. (In those days, you got there when you got there and stayed to see the part you'd missed.)

    Anyway, until the crowd filtered in for the next show, I was alone with the film. (No, I didn't ask them to stop it when I had to step out for some popcorn.)

    It's pretty scary under those circumstances.

  4. #1564
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    I can't remember ever having been scared by a movie, even when I was a child. Startled, yes. I've been creeped out by realistic, historical portrayals of cannibalism; both Alive and an American Experience about the Donner Party have kept me awake, but nothing else ever has. I don't remember ever getting nightmares from a movie. I have never screamed because of something that has happened in a movie, though I've jumped; I'm pretty sure that's different, though people can feel free to argue that point. I have been shaken by movies, ones that won't leave my mind, but it's usually (as with the cannibalism thing) because it triggers something preexisting. And the thinking there isn't the same as the fear I have of real-life things. I know what fear feels like, and I've never felt it from movies. Sorry if that bothers anyone.
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

  5. #1565
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    It's just difficult for me to comprehend; I've always been easy to scare, but at the same time always fascinated by scary things. My only concern is that anyone who claims they aren't scared in movies is still capable of placing themselves in someone else's position and feeling frightened for them. If they can do that, then I suppose being frightened by fiction doesn't matter.

  6. #1566
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    Oh, yes; I've been frightened for real live people any number of times. Most recently a couple of weeks ago, when my best friend's flight was delayed due to thunderstorms. I was reasonably sure she'd be safe, but I was still deeply afraid. Also moderately convinced that I would get to the airport to discover it had crashed, which of course did not actually happen. I can feel grief for fictional characters. Joy. Anger. And so forth. I am just, for whatever reason, not scared by movies.
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

  7. #1567
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    I am hard to scare in real life situations, but one thing that creeps me out is the juxtaposition of technology with supernatural things.

    Funny version - The Death with the static TV screen head in Scrooged is creepy.
    Unfunny version - All of the demon people in Event Horizon speaking Latin. What they did wasn't what bothered me, it was the onslaught of Latin that bugged me out.

    Other version of this trope is Piers Anthony's "On a Pale Horse", he describes the end of the world being brought about with nuclear weapons and mass death chants. Knowing Anthony's writing, it might have been done for humor, but I found it creepy. In Torchwood, the heroes guess that what are ghosts are really images of people in the past. This explanation was pretty sciencey until the "ghost" flees from the heroes, can't escape and calls the heroes "damned ghosts".
    Solfe

  8. #1568
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    I recall that I was nervous watching The Exorcist, but only because of the hype about how terrifying it was. After all, I was already a veteran horror filn fan by that time.

    Same deal with Jaws. People were saying it was the most ghastly thing ever, but these were well-behaved people. I liked it, but wasn't scared by it.

  9. #1569
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    Oh, yes; I've been frightened for real live people any number of times. Most recently a couple of weeks ago, when my best friend's flight was delayed due to thunderstorms. I was reasonably sure she'd be safe, but I was still deeply afraid. Also moderately convinced that I would get to the airport to discover it had crashed, which of course did not actually happen. I can feel grief for fictional characters. Joy. Anger. And so forth. I am just, for whatever reason, not scared by movies.
    Could you feel the same way for someone you didn't know?

    Quote Originally Posted by Solfe View Post
    I am hard to scare in real life situations, but one thing that creeps me out is the juxtaposition of technology with supernatural things.

    Funny version - The Death with the static TV screen head in Scrooged is creepy.
    Unfunny version - All of the demon people in Event Horizon speaking Latin. What they did wasn't what bothered me, it was the onslaught of Latin that bugged me out.

    Other version of this trope is Piers Anthony's "On a Pale Horse", he describes the end of the world being brought about with nuclear weapons and mass death chants. Knowing Anthony's writing, it might have been done for humor, but I found it creepy. In Torchwood, the heroes guess that what are ghosts are really images of people in the past. This explanation was pretty sciencey until the "ghost" flees from the heroes, can't escape and calls the heroes "damned ghosts".
    I assume you've seen Ring. If you haven't already, might I suggest some early Cronenberg.
    Last edited by parallaxicality; 2013-Sep-09 at 11:44 AM.

  10. #1570
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    I can't remember ever having been scared by a movie, even when I was a child. Startled, yes. I've been creeped out by realistic, historical portrayals of cannibalism; both Alive and an American Experience about the Donner Party have kept me awake, but nothing else ever has. I don't remember ever getting nightmares from a movie. I have never screamed because of something that has happened in a movie, though I've jumped; I'm pretty sure that's different, though people can feel free to argue that point. I have been shaken by movies, ones that won't leave my mind, but it's usually (as with the cannibalism thing) because it triggers something preexisting. And the thinking there isn't the same as the fear I have of real-life things. I know what fear feels like, and I've never felt it from movies. Sorry if that bothers anyone.
    Doesn't bother me at all.

    I would think, though, that that doesn't mean you're just skipping all the horror movies altogether. The Omen was, after all, a culturally significant film, if nothing else. The name Damien went from having saintly connotations to demonic ones virtually overnight thanks to this movie.

    I wouldn't expect that the Anti-Christ aspects of the movie would have much effect on you, but you are recently the mother of beautiful baby boy, so there may yet be some dramatic aspects of the story that touch you.

  11. #1571
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    Quote Originally Posted by parallaxicality View Post
    Could you feel the same way for someone you didn't know?
    It would depend on the situation. When it was someone I didn't know, I would have been aware that the odds were that they were fine, but because it was someone I cared about, I wasn't being entirely rational about it. However, I have been afraid for people I didn't know before when either I knew they were afraid or when I knew they had a legitimate reason to be.
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

  12. #1572
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    I think I've mentioned here before that the only movie I ever saw that scarred me for life was Lady and the Tramp. Yes, the cartoon. I can see where The Ring might have been scary for those people susceptible to it. I can also see how the game Silent Hill 2 might have been creepy for some in the right conditions. I'm just not wired to appreciate that.

    The Dark Knight did leave me with some odd feelings as we left the theater at nearly 2 AM in an empty mall parking lot. Mainly, because there were few things Joker did that weren't possible.

    When I was 14, I watched the Exorcist, then went up to go bed. No problems.
    When I was around 7 or 8, There were shows that made me uncomfortable to watch alone. Th scary episodes of Fantasy Island, for example. I didn't get nightmares or have trouble sleeping, I just felt ill-at-ease.

    It's been about 35 years since I saw Lady and the Tramp and I still can't stand to be in the same room with a Siamese cat.

    I also don't "get" horror fiction in book form. House of Leaves gave me two bad dreams and cool one where I think I figured how the afterlife works, but that might have been in the book and I missed it on the read-through. I just can't suspend my beleife enough to get into the monster/devil/supernatural menace thing. That sort fo sucks, because I've got some ideas I think would make good horror stories, but I've got no way to tell if they're scary.
    I'm Not Evil.
    An evil person would do the things that pop into my head.

  13. #1573
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    However, I have been afraid for people I didn't know before when either I knew they were afraid or when I knew they had a legitimate reason to be.
    That's an important part of scary movies, actually. The actor(s) needs to be realistically portraying the fear in order for the audience to sympathetically feel it. I felt that the final dinner scene in Hannibal wasn't scary in large part because Julianne Moore wasn't acting scared enough (and hers was the only character in the scene who would have been scared).

    On the other hand, I found the flashback alien scene in Fire in the Sky pretty scary, because D.B. Sweeney was right on the edge of completely losing it - without so much as a single spoken word in the entire scene.

  14. #1574
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    Quote Originally Posted by parallaxicality View Post
    I assume you've seen Ring. If you haven't already, might I suggest some early Cronenberg.
    I saw parts of The Ring and again parts of Ringu. The were disturbing and the intro to the TV show "American Horror Story" reminds me of both.

    One funny scare I had: When the Blair Witch Project came out, I worked in a store with a rather unusually warehouse. It was in the attic and my filing cabinets were rammed in a little corner under the sloped roof. When that film came out, three different people came up the stairs to find me standing the corner filing paper work and screamed. I hit my head on the roof each time. I saw the film because of the effect on other people. It didn't bother me much because the theater was nearly empty. Years later, I watched it with a bunch of people and it was much more effective.
    Solfe

  15. #1575
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    Not long after the GF, Andrea, and I rented The Blair Witch Project (which scared her quite a bit), a friend moved into a house that had been owned by a family with a lot of kids. The family decorated the basement with painted hand prints around the wall in a roughly horizontal line. I was the second of us to see the house and when they said I should check out the basement I got the bottom of the stairs and called back, "Has Andrea been down here?"

    From the top of the stairs, I heard Andrea say, "Half way."
    Last edited by Tog; 2013-Sep-09 at 06:34 PM. Reason: Typo control (thanks)
    I'm Not Evil.
    An evil person would do the things that pop into my head.

  16. #1576
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    I remember The Blair Witch Project making me sick ... not the storyline, which was dumb, but the relentless shakeycam photography.

  17. #1577
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonM435 View Post
    I remember The Blair Witch Project making me sick ... not the storyline, which was dumb, but the relentless shakeycam photography.
    I seem to be immune to shaken viewer syndrome (SVS). Except I was really surprised when my wife's favorite soap started doing it.

    What I found especially odd about Blair Witch was the requirement of a group to scare you. There is so little detail from the film, you need someone else to freak out before you do.

    I saw The Rock in the theater. One gentleman, sitting a row or so away, let out a nervous cackle when the helicopters appeared. Clearly he didn't enjoy this part of the show, because he left. That put my girl friend in my lap and the guy next to me pinned my hand to the arm rest. This was back when people sat next to each other at the show. I was white-knuckled 5 minutes after that scene and I normally love flying.
    Solfe

  18. #1578
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    The only film that I remember watching that scared me was the first Michael Keaton Batman movie when I was seven. The scene where The Joker poisons the people on the street with the gas scared the crap out of me.

    I put it down to the young age, nothing works on me anymore.

  19. #1579
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    Was thinking last night about my truly favorite movies, which are:

    Kurosawa's Derzu Uzala, best in Russian with subtitles. Spaceba, capitan!
    Hitchcock's North By Northwest, best viewed in a West Side NYC theater with a knowing crowd
    Mulligan's To Kill A Mockingbird, which terrified and fascinated me when I was little, and retains its messages today
    Zinneman's High Noon, still my flick of choice when life calls for me to have... to be manly.
    Stevens' Shane, which is the best flick about so many key issues in a world in transformation.

    Just wanted to put that out there.

  20. #1580
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    Those are some good choices. I've seen all of them (because I love Kurosawa and grew up in the United States), the last three in classes. When I was taking a class on the history of the twentieth century through film, we did High Noon to talk about McCarthyism. (It does make sense, if you know the background.) We then divided our class into thirds. One side of the room was supposed to convince the middle that the townspeople were right. My side of the room was supposed to convince the middle that Gary Cooper was right. And, in a conclusion that works sadly well with the movie, the middle sided with the other group not because of the quality of the argument--all the good debaters were on my side of the room--but because they liked the people in that group better. All the weirdos were on my side of the room; it's why I sat there.
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

  21. #1581
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    You reminded me of a story I haven't told in probably a
    couple of decades, so it'll be the first time here...

    I took a class that I guess would best be labeled "public
    speech". At the start we did an exercise that must have
    had greater impact on me than anyone else present.

    We were told an arithmetic "word problem" that was
    essentially very simple but confusing enough that the
    answer wouldn't be obvious to most people. It wasn't
    obvious to me. A farmer bought a calf for ten dollars,
    sold it for twenty, bought it back for thirty, sold it again
    for forty, bought it again for fifty, and finally sold it for
    sixty. How much did he gain or lose? Anyone could say
    what they thought the correct answer was. Although it
    wasn't stated, it seemed to me that actually calculating
    the answer, even in my head, would be cheating, because
    it would make the answer certain and defeat the purpose
    of the exercise, which we had at least a vague idea of.
    I don't know if anyone else thought the same, but I didn't
    see anyone work it out on paper.

    One student said they thought the farmer ended up with
    ten dollars more than he started with. Another said he made
    fifty. Another said he broke even. There was a fourth answer
    that I forget. None of those seemed right to me. I had the
    impression that the farmer gained ten dollars each time he
    bought and sold the calf, and he did that three times. I said
    I thought the farmer made thirty dollars. Five opinions.

    The class divided up into five groups, with everyone joining the
    group they thought had the right answer. As I recall the groups
    were pretty evenly divided with about four people in each.

    One guy who joined my group said he was an accounting student.
    He didn't write anything down, but he described how the problem
    would be totalled up by standard accounting methods, and came
    up with a different answer from mine. He went through it again
    and came up with that answer a second time. I didn't follow his
    arithmetic, but I was convinced. I hadn't thought the problem
    through carefully, I'd only got an impression of what I thought
    was going on. Everyone in my group was convinced.

    The groups broke up and the accounting student volunteered to
    present his solution on the blackboard. (Yes, "blackboard".)

    He went through the problem again, writing everything down
    this time, and it didn't come out the way he expected. He got
    my answer of thirty dollars. My answer was correct, and for
    the right reason, but I was convinced it was wrong because
    this guy who originally agreed with me was an accounting
    student. For everyone else in the class it was probably an OK
    demonstration, but for me it was very impressive.

    Also, at the beginning of that first class, we were told that
    one of the two people teaching was the professor and the
    other was a teaching assistant. At the end of it, we were
    told that the TA was actually the professor and vice versa.
    Liars!!

    -- Jeff, in Minneapolis

    .
    Last edited by Jeff Root; 2013-Sep-26 at 07:40 PM.

  22. #1582
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    Those are some good choices. I've seen all of them (because I love Kurosawa and grew up in the United States), the last three in classes. When I was taking a class on the history of the twentieth century through film, we did High Noon to talk about McCarthyism. (It does make sense, if you know the background.) We then divided our class into thirds. One side of the room was supposed to convince the middle that the townspeople were right. My side of the room was supposed to convince the middle that Gary Cooper was right. And, in a conclusion that works sadly well with the movie, the middle sided with the other group not because of the quality of the argument--all the good debaters were on my side of the room--but because they liked the people in that group better. All the weirdos were on my side of the room; it's why I sat there.
    If you look closely, isn't that Lee Van Cleef as one of the henchman? Comes out at the very beginning of the film. Think it's the first or one of the first for him.

    I see the McCarthy angle, but confess I've always loved it for mostly the simple acts of courage and loyalty, served as rare as they truly are.

  23. #1583
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hlafordlaes View Post
    If you look closely, isn't that Lee Van Cleef as one of the henchman? Comes out at the very beginning of the film. Think it's the first or one of the first for him.
    It is, and it is indeed his first film.

    I see the McCarthy angle, but confess I've always loved it for mostly the simple acts of courage and loyalty, served as rare as they truly are.
    Sure, but the McCarthy thing is what made it relevant for that class, which is where I first saw it. We saw some great and some terrible films in that class. I think it's where I first saw Rebel Without a Cause, too.
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

  24. #1584
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    If anyone likes Sandra Bullock, then Gravity is your movie.

  25. #1585
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    I watched Leni Riefenstahl's Olympia yesterday. Unlike Triumph of the Will, I don't think this one really works as Nazi propaganda. Too much Jesse Owens. But propaganda for the Olympics, certainly!
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

  26. #1586
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    Quote Originally Posted by geonuc View Post
    If anyone likes Sandra Bullock, then Gravity is your movie.
    There is a threat of a chain reaction, but it would take more time:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/s...-on-Earth.html

    That is the so-called Kessler Syndrome, as talked about and in the reviews below:
    http://www.thespacereview.com/article/2376/1
    http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Gr..._buzz_999.html
    http://www.space.com/23105-gravity-f...roy-chiao.html http://www.space.com/entertainment/
    http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/ind...831#msg1105831

    There have been cases where two cars in an otherwise empty parking lot hit each other, most likely, so since to engineer is human, I would suggest the following scenario instead

    Now instead of the ASAT test, I would have had a depot get hit by a micrometeoroid just as, say, a Mars cycler was going to do a flyby of ISS.

    The venting depot hits the cycler, allowing the huge debris swarm of around the same altitude and overall speed.

    New-spacers may not like that, but it makes for more technical sense than comsat bits suddenly in LEO clouds. I might make the depot a hypergolic, multi-module affair that was sub-standard, and put into a bad orbit by an over-zealous alt.space advocate, and have it also suffer from overheating, initially.


    This would serve as a cautionary tale against depots.

    Gravity is set in an alternate universe where someone had the foresight to have shuttles keep flying, with Hubble launched where ISS would be built. Then too, if that were the case, why not just send an OMV if we had that foresight. http://www.astronautix.com/craft/omv.htm

    The Columbus Free-flyer was as close to co-orbital assets close together as space station ever would have gotten:

    http://www.astronautix.com/craft/colrmtff.htm


    My only gripes were:
    The MMU was a bit too maneuverable, and that type of activity wouldn't be allowed.

    The Chinese space Station will not look just like Mir, and she should have bailed out of the Soyuz a bit earlier, to lead the Shenzhou target better.

    Space Cowboys was a bit more realistic--showing a Polyus type craft opening above a shuttle. There, they also put an astronauts face inside a CGI suit. I don't think Sandra actually wore a real helmet for the first part of the movie, and the only time we see Clooney wear a suit was his character as a "ghost." In the Movie "ROPE" we saw a camera move close to a character's back so as to change film. Here, I think the floating bits allowed CGI characters to be obscured before moving past them to real actors

    In the past, you shot scenes and motion controlled the models. Here, much is CGI and you motion control the **actors**, swinging around their faces.

    The greatest danger seemed to be at the very end, where she was about to drown. I wondered if a salt-water croc would come up from behind.

    Being of a morbid type, I would have her struggle to stand, as she did in the film due to a weakened condition from returning from space, with perhaps the couch hurting her on impact--and then she would fall, strike her head, and lose her life just as her daughter did, as animals from the Serengeti circle...

    I wonder what would happen if this thing broke up
    http://www.space.com/23091-haumea.html

  27. #1587
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    I just thought it was entertaining. Sandra Bullock did a great acting job.

  28. #1588
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    Uh, Publiusr---the words you were looking for at the beginning of that post were "Spoiler Alert!"

  29. #1589
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    Publiusr - great breakdown! Besides the physics flaws I also don't think it earned a happy ending. I would have had an ambiguous one - the station burning up, shot from the ground, and we are left to wonder if the capsule survived. The MMU moved around like it was a stunt bike in a parking lot. I cannot imagine NASA would let anything move like that anywhere near the Orbiter. Anyway.

  30. #1590
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    I watched the Whedon Much Ado last night. How sad is it that part of the conversation I had with Graham on the subject involved the fact that the Whedons apparently have four ovens?
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

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