A film by Takashi Miike.
A film by Paul Verhoeven.
Reviewed by Jonathon Sullivan.
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That was the best review of anthing I have heard since I left film school 100 years ago. And you delivered the whole thing is such perfect NPR padantic style, that even if I did disagree with any you said, my brain is programmed top comply with any message delivered in that manner (it’s a blue state thing).
The funny thing is that I think of Miike as an over-rated and silly director… But then, you reminded me that even a Verhoeven can make a Robocop. Damn, now I have to add a bunch of stuff to my Netflix queue.
oh to clarify, npr pedantic* is not a dig at you, it is how i describe this country’s version of bbc received, the unified, non-regional accent broadcasters are taught at that institution.
*yes, i spotted my previous typo, thank you.
Thanks for the wonderfully thoughtful movie review.
About Verhoeven’s sensibility… It is disguised by his style. RoboCop was just one brilliant revelation of his awareness and his efforts to package it well for us rabble. Why stop him?
Another perfect example is “Starship Troopers” (a Verhoeven film). The futuristic and seemingly fascistic action/sci-fi is a wickedly polished take on war-time (all the time) America. Not many people got it at the time, and those who should have, decried it as glorified bloodlust.
Few can argue for the astonishingly insipid “Showgirls” but as a time-capsule for that moment, my god… It may become a cult-classic.
Furthermore, at the risk of censure:
“Flesh+Blood” — a fantastical post-medieval romp.
“Total Recall” — excellent Hollywood/PKD cross-over.
Your mention of Ellison’s influence on Cameron’s “Terminator” is well taken. He took from it quite well!
Starship Troopers is kind of great. I just got tired of arguing about it with people who missed the point. The film focuses on the beautiful Nazi humans, and their righteous conquest of the Universe. It is very interesting to see how people miss the point and identify with the attractive and well marketed human evil, and think of the alien “bug” opponent as the villains. I am ashamed to admit that I never read the novel, but the film does a good job of showing how propaganda works. Unfortunately, if that point is missed, then the film just seems like a shallow romp through bug guts in space.
The LJ feed for this podcast is a bit messed… everything but the links is malformatted 🙁
My thoughts on Starship Troopers:
It didn’t suck as a movie. It wasn’t great, but it didn’t suck. What sucked was that they gave it the same name as a really great novel that it had nothing to do with.
Yes, I wish there was at least one good (and by good I mean accurate and quality) Heinlein big screen adaptation.
_Puppet Masters_ was…I dunno. An effort, I guess. And certainly closer to Heinlein’s original than anything else. It didn’t actually suck. It just…blew, sorta. It didn’t move me…it didn’t even move me enough to give serious thought as to why it didn’t move me…
I’d love to see a faithful adaptation of _Stranger_, and then watch it get banned in Utah. That would just make my millenium.
I love Heinlein, and his influence is pivotal.. But nothing he ever wrote is really filmable.
Even some of my favourites of his books (like Job and The Moon is a Harsh Mistress) wouldn’t work – the characters are all cyphers for heinlein, and the structure is so driven by the argument he wants to make.
It’s almost required that you completely re-write the characters in order to film it. Although i would love to see a decent job done of Job (something with the atmosphere of The Prophecy, with Christian Bale in the lead role) it would need completely re-dialoguing.. Heinlein’s characters are all too obviously extensions of his own, larger than life, personality.
_…the characters are all cyphers for heinlein, and the structure is so driven by the argument he wants to make._
LOL! Ain’t it the truth!
(Overstated, to be fair. _Half_ the characters are Heinlein. The other half are stand-ins for people who disagree with Heinlein, and who get proven wrong…)
OTOH, I’m not convinced that makes Heinlein unfilmable. It could be done.
[…] http mp3 Le chroniqueur Jonathon Sullivan MD, PhD, practices Emergency Medicine at Detroit Receiving Hospital, and conducts cerebral resuscitation research at Wayne State University. His fiction has appeared in Bones of the World, 3SF, and Maelstrom. He lives in Farmington Hills, Michigan, with his wife Marilyn, a.k.a Karuna, the Bodhisattva of Infinite Compassion. Post√© par Hau Ruck ! Class√© dans Cin√©ma, Chroniques, Monstres […]
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