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Subject: rec.arts.sf.movies Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

This article was archived around: 24 Jun 2001 13:26:03 GMT

All FAQs in Directory: sf
All FAQs posted in: rec.arts.sf.movies
Source: Usenet Version


Archive-name: sf/movies-faq
Last change: Tue Jul 25 13:50:34 EDT 2000 Copies of this article may be obtained by anonymous ftp to rtfm.mit.edu under /pub/usenet-by-group/news.answers/sf/movies-faq.Z. Or, send email to mail-server@rtfm.mit.edu with "send usenet-by-group/news.answers/sf/movies-faq" in the body of the message. Contents: 1. Star Trek. 2. The animated LORD OF THE RINGS by Ralph Bakshi covers only the first half of the trilogy. Bakshi did not make the second half. 3. Frequent subjects. 4. Abbreviations commonly used in this group: 5. BLADE RUNNER: the sixth replicant, why voice-overs, and Deckard a replicant? 6. "Can the X beat the Y?" where X and Y are mighty ships or alien races from different space opera movies/series. 7. Is the movie HEAVY METAL out on video? 8. Why is there an acknowledgment to Harlan Ellison in the credits of THE TERMINATOR? or Doesn't THE TERMINATOR have the same plot as a TWILIGHT ZONE episode? 9. What about the relationship between HAL (the computer in 2001: A Space Odyssey) and IBM? (If you add 1 to each letter in HAL you get IBM.) 10. Who was the voice of the seductive Jessica Rabbit in the film "WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT"? 11. What are all of the "cute" gimmicks in the film BACK TO THE FUTURE? 12. What role did Jamie Lee Curtis play in THE ADVENTURES OF BUCKAROO BANZAI ACROSS THE 8TH DIMENSION? 13. What is the schedule for the new STAR WARS films? 14. In OUTLAND and TOTAL RECALL, people exposed to vacuum promptly explode. In 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY, a few seconds' exposure to vacuum doesn't bother one at all. Which is right? 15. What does "FTL" mean? 16. I was told that the director's cut of DUNE was seven hours long, and did a much better job of portraying the novel. Where can I find it? 17. What are the two minutes of new footage on the STAR TREK VI: THE UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY videocassette? 18. What are the various Quatermass films and the names they go under? --------------------------------------------------------------------- rec.arts.sf.movies is a newsgroup devoted to discussions of science fiction, horror, and fantasy movies. It is a high-volume newsgroup and this article is intended to help reduce the number of unnecessary postings, thereby making it more useful and enjoyable to everyone. If you have not already done so, please read the articles in news.announce.newusers. They contain a great deal of useful information about network etiquette and convention. Before we begin, two pieces of net.etiquette. Both of these are mentioned in news.announce.newusers, but since they are so frequently violated, and at least one of them is particularly relevant to this group, we mention them here: SPOILER WARNINGS: Many people feel that much of the enjoyment of a film is ruined if they know certain things about it, especially when those things are surprise endings or mysteries. On the other hand, they also want to know whether or not a film is worth seeing, or they may be following a particular thread of conversation where such information may be revealed. The solution to this is to put the words SPOILER in your header, or in the text of your posting. You can also put a ctl-L character in the *first* column if you are using rn. Some people think that spoiler warnings are not necessary. We don't understand why, and do not want to discuss it. Use your best judgment. REPLIES TO REQUESTS AND QUESTIONS: When you think that many people will know an answer to a question, or will have an answer to a request, RESPOND VIA E-MAIL!!! And if you don't know the answer, but want to know, DON'T POST TO THE NET asking for the answer, ask VIA E-MAIL! If you think a lot of people will want the same information, you might suggest that the person summarize to the net. Even if you don't see an answer posted, and you have the answer, please send it e-mail. The thirty other people who answered may have already sent it, and your site just hasn't gotten it yet. It clogs the net and gets very tedious to see 30 people answer the same question, and another 30 people asking for the answer to be posted. All of that should be done via mail. The net is a highly asynchronous medium. It can take several days for an article to make it to all sites. It is also quite common for followups to messages to reach a site before the original. There is also a FAQ list posted to rec.arts.movies.misc which covers more general topics and includes the location of many useful databases. And finally, there is a group, rec.arts.movies.reviews, that carries reviews of both SF and non-SF movies. Please keep in mind two points: 1. Always remember that there is a live human being at the other end of the wires. In other words, please write your replies with the same courtesy you would use in talking to someone face-to-face. 2. Try to recognize humor and irony in postings. Tone of voice does not carry in ASCII print, and postings are often snapped off quickly, so that humorous intent may not be obvious. More destructive and vicious arguments have been caused by this one fact of net existence than any other. It will help if satiric/ironic/humorous comments are marked with the "smiley face," :-) Below is a summary of questions and subjects which appear frequently in this group. Please read it before posting anything to rec.arts.sf.movies. 1. Star Trek. There is a hierarchy for Star Trek, rec.arts.startrek. If you have access to netnews, use it for discussions about any Star Trek subject (old series, new series, movies, novels, etc.). If you are absolutely sure you cannot access the startrek newsgroups, and you *must* post to rec.arts.sf.movies, include the phrase "Star Trek" in the subject line. Do not post flames about people violating this guideline. Use e-mail to request they follow it. It's likely that this person is reading rec.arts.sf.movies via a gateway and has no access to netnews or rec.arts.startrek. 2. The animated LORD OF THE RINGS by Ralph Bakshi covers only the first half of the trilogy. Bakshi did not make the second half. There was a completely independently produced animation of THE RETURN OF THE KING by Rankin/Bass who also did an animation of THE HOBBIT. (Someone notes that Tolkien deplored the fact that the "Lord of the Rings" is considered a trilogy. That's as may be, but I'm afraid we're stuck with the terminology.) 3. Frequent subjects. Some subjects have been discussed numerous times in this group. Please consider carefully before starting discussions on these topics. 1. Casting your favorite book as a movie. 2. The Ten Best SF Movies 3. What SF books would make good movies and, conversely, why sf movies from books are usually not very good. 4. Abbreviations commonly used in this group: BTW -- "By the way" FYI -- "For your information" IMAO -- "In my arrogant opinion" IMHO -- "In my humble (honest) opinion" ROTF -- "Rolling on the floor" ROFL -- "Rolling on the floor, laughing" RPG -- "Role playing games", like D&D (Dungeons and Dragons) wrt -- "with respect to" 5. BLADE RUNNER: the sixth replicant, why voice-overs, and Deckard a replicant? This, and lots of other BLADE RUNNER questions, are hashed out in a separate BLADE RUNNER FAQ posted monthly to rec.arts.movies.misc, alt.cult-movies, alt.cyberpunk, and rec.arts.sf.movies by muzzle@cs.uq.oz.au However, Ridley Scott has confirmed that deckard was a replicant. 6. "Can the X beat the Y?" where X and Y are mighty ships or alien races from different space opera movies/series. These kind of discussions are fairly pointless. Please keep them off the net. 7. Is the movie HEAVY METAL out on video? Yes. Due to legal problems, it had not been officially released until mid-1996. There were a number of earlier bootleg copies in circulation, though. 8. Why is there an acknowledgment to Harlan Ellison in the credits of THE TERMINATOR? or Doesn't THE TERMINATOR have the same plot as a TWILIGHT ZONE episode? (The following answer is taken from a posting by Jerry Boyajian.) Ellison filed suit against the studio claiming that THE TERMINATOR was plagiarized from his two teleplays for THE OUTER LIMITS. One was "Soldier" (based on a short story he written years before), in which a soldier is zapped from a future war zone into the present and causes all sorts of problems. In addition to basic plot similarities, the scenes of the future in THE TERMINATOR are very similar in look and feel to those in "Soldier". The other teleplay was "Demon With a Glass Hand", in which a lone man with a glass-and-computer-chips hand and a woman he meets up with are on the run from some unknown enemy. He has amnesia and doesn't know a thing about who he is, or why he's in his current situation. Eventually, he finds out that he's from the future and was sent to the present on a mission to save the human race. Separately, I feel that THE TERMINATOR is a legitimate variation on the ideas presented in Ellison's stories. However, taken together, it would seem as if James Cameron got the idea from Ellison's stories, in which case, Ellison is owed something. At any rate, as the story goes, the studio was going to fight the suit, but in preparing their defense, they found out from someone in the production crew that Cameron had quipped on the set about how he'd "ripped off a couple of OUTER LIMITS episodes". At that point, they decided to settle out of court, giving Ellison some undisclosed amount of money and inserting the credit. (Thomas Pluck (pluck@andromeda.rutgers.edu) adds the following:) You left out one important thing with the Ellison/Cameron suit; the concept of Skynet, the military supercomputer that sees all humanity as the enemy, was taken from Ellison's short story "I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream," collected in the book of the same name and various other SF anthologies. Ellison's computer called itself AM, and it kept five people alive to torture for all eternity because it hated its creators so much. The two OUTER LIMITS scripts plus that short story are half or more of the TERMINATOR plot. [Many think the above should not be included. I have no opinion. -ecl] 9. What about the relationship between HAL (the computer in 2001: A Space Odyssey) and IBM? (If you add 1 to each letter in HAL you get IBM.) According to Clarke, this relationship is entirely accidental. In fact, he claims that if he had been aware of it, he would have chosen a different name for his computer. (HAL stands for Heuristic ALgorithmic.) 10. Who was the voice of the seductive Jessica Rabbit in the film "WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT"? This is sort of a trick question, because there are TWO voices. Kathleen Turner provided the speaking voice, and Amy Irving did the singing. 11. What are all of the "cute" gimmicks in the film BACK TO THE FUTURE? Apparently, the makers of this film (Stephen Spielberg & Robert Zemeckis) did all kinds of cute things, playing with the names of some of the characters and with issues of time travel. Some of these are: a) The mall where Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) meets Dr. Brown (Christopher Lloyd) for their time travel experiment is called the Twin Pines Mall. Dr. Brown comments that ol' farmer Peabody used to own all of the land, and he grew pines there. When Marty goes back in time, he runs over and knocks down a pine tree. When he comes back to the mall at the end of the film (BACK TO THE FUTURE) the sign at the mall now identifies the mall as the Lone Pine Mall, reflecting the fact that Marty had changed the present (1985) by his trip to the past (1955). b) Farmer Peabody's son is named Sherman. Sherman was the name of the little boy time traveler in one segment of Jay Ward's cartoon show, "The Rocky & Bullwinkle Show." The dog who owned his time machine was named (surprise) Mr. Peabody. c) On Marty's return to 1985 at the end of Part III, we see that the ravine where the railway dead-ended in 1885 was the Eastwood Ravine -- obviously named for "Clint Eastwood", the name Marty had been using in 1885. 12. What role did Jamie Lee Curtis play in THE ADVENTURES OF BUCKAROO BANZAI ACROSS THE 8TH DIMENSION? She played Buckaroo's mother in a flashback sequence. The sequence was cut, and so does not appear in the final, release version. 13. When is George Lucas going to make more STAR WARS films? What will they be about?? There are groups under the rec.arts.sf.starwars hierarchy that exist to discuss this, and a FAQ for new STAR WARS films posted there. However, briefly: The first installement of a prequel-trilogy, STAR WARS EPISODE I: THE PHANTOM MENACE, was released in the US on 19 May 1999. EPISODE II & III are scheduled for release in 2001 and 2003. George Lucas is currently putting the finishing touches to the script of EPISODE II and shooting will commence early next year in Australia. For more information see http://www.starwars.com . A digitally remastered SPECIAL EDITION of EPISODES IV-VI containing additional footage was released in 1997 to mark the 20th anniversary of the first STAR WARS film. Lots of books, comics and other stories that have been released are supposedly *not* directly related to the new films. These were additional merchandising items and George Lucas has said that he will not take into account the continuity created by these tie-in products. (And by the way, the first STAR WARS film was originally released as just "STAR WARS"; it was only in re-release that it was entitled "STAR WARS EPISODE IV: A NEW HOPE", although it is subject to many a heated discussion when exactly the title was amended. The other two were always labeled "EPISODE V" and "EPISODE VI.") [Provided by Chris Dato.] 14. In OUTLAND and TOTAL RECALL, people exposed to vacuum promptly explode. In 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY, a few seconds' exposure to vacuum doesn't bother one at all. Which is right? This hasn't occurred in real life, but there have been experiments where animals, or parts of a person's body, were exposed to vacuum; these experiments happened before any of these films were made. 2001 was right; OUTLAND and TOTAL RECALL ignored the known facts. A full discussion of this can be found in the sci.space FAQL. (Someone also mentioned that in OUTLAND Connery wears a spacesuit that leaves some parts of his arm uncovered.) 15. What does "FTL" mean? "FTL" means "faster than light." 16. I was told that the director's cut of DUNE was seven hours long, and did a much better job of portraying the novel. Where can I find it? As Jerry Boyajian explains (hopefully for the last time [but of course it wasn't]): There is *no* "director's cut" of DUNE of *any* length. The existence of one is a complete myth. Perhaps when Lynch was cutting the film originally, there existed such a cut, but if it isn't long gone by now, it's most likely an untimed work print and not in any sort of releasable form. *IF* David Lynch were inclined, and *IF* Dino DeLaurentiis were inclined (and *IF* his organization wasn't bankrupt), and *IF* the scrap footage is sitting in a vault somewhere, Lynch could probably reconstruct his original cut, but all three (or four) of those are mighty big "ifs". No such cut exists on video, no such cut exists in any final film print. [There is also no truth to the rumor that there was a European version that was 4 hours long.] There exists only one version of the film that's longer than the original theatrical release, and that was the expanded version made for television syndication, and it's maybe 50 minutes longer than the original. But it certainly can't be claimed to be a "director's cut" because not only did Lynch not get involved in cutting it, he disapproved of it so thoroughly that he had his name removed as both writer and director. I have a large number of film reference books, both genre-specific and general. I follow a number of film and video magazines, and so forth. I've heard and read detailed descriptions of different cuts of various films including BLADE RUNNER, BRAZIL, LEGEND, HIGHLANDER, et alia. I've read and heard first-hand descriptions by people I know of such longer versions, or I've seen listings for them as import laserdiscs. But I've never heard nor read of any definite, substantiated, unquestionable existence of a version of DUNE, either in commercial release or floating around in collectors' hands, that is longer than the 190-minute TV version. As a matter of fact, the *only* place I've even heard *rumors* of such a cut of DUNE has been here on Usenet. [One says his rumor is of a 4-hour cut.] I've heard other rumors (via people asking about it, as did the person who started this thread) of 5-hour versions, 7-hour versions, 9-hour versions, and in one case, someone reported hearing about a 15-hour version! [Herbert did apparently mention in an interview that the first draft of the screenplay ran about 14 hours, so that may be the source of this mis-information.] They are mythical. And until their existence is documented, and not just a rumor that's floating around the net, I will stand by that statement. [-jmb] 17. What are the two minutes of new footage on the STAR TREK VI: THE UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY videocassette? According to Jerry Boyajian: There are a couple of very minor bits, but the two significant (and related) additions are: --The details of the proposed operation to rescue Kirk and McCoy from the Klingons, presented by Col. West (played by Rene Auberjenois) in the President's office. In the theatrical release, this is completely missing, though the easel with the plan diagrams on it seems to mysteriously appear out of nowhere. The second is a spoiler, so it is rot-13'ed: --Gur eriryngvba gung gur Xyvatba nffnffva ng Xuvgbzre jnf npghnyyl Jrfg va qvfthvfr. Susan K. O'Fearna also suggests that in the arrest scene, they show Kirk being cuffed, then show him being cuffed again be a part of the extra two minutes. 18. What are the various Quatermass films and the names they go under? Nigel Kneale wrote three television Quatermass plays for the BBC in the 50's the last one ended just a week or so into 1959. Each one was more popular than the previous one. The last one was so popular that churches had to change their hours because people were staying home to watch the play. Each of the three involved the adventures of British rocket scientist Bernard Quatermass foiling an unusual sort of invasion from outer space. Each was in six 40-minute episodes shown one a week. Hammer Films took the three stories and adapted each into a film. Each was renamed in the U.S. BBC Play Film Title U.S. Retitling of film The Quatermass Experiment The Quatermass Xperiment The Creeping Unknown Quatermass II Quatermass II Enemy From Space Quatermass and the Pit Quatermass and the Pit Five Million Years to Earth The last, as far as I can tell, invented the concept of uplift that David Brin has been using to great advantage. The last film, in my opinion, is the best science fiction film ever made, richer in ideas than most science fiction novels I have read. Incidentally, the "Xperiment" was an invented word to emphasize that the film had gotten the X-certificate. In the late 70's Nigel Kneale was convinced to do one final Quatermass TV play and did "The Quatermass Conclusion." This time it was not adapted into a film but the play was edited into a feature-length story of the the same name. It went directly to cassette and is available in this country. Each of the plays was published in paperback and in their original editions are quite valuable. They were reissued about the time of the last TV play in the late 70's along with a novelization of "Quatermass Conclusion." There was also an episode of "The Goon Show" (great British radio comedy series starring Harry Secomb, Spike Milligan, and Peter Sellers) entitled "The Scarlet Capsule" which lampooned the play "Quatermass and the Pit." Of the stories there is no common agreement as to whether QUATERMASS II or QUATERMASS AND THE PIT is better, but I generally rank QUATERMASS AND THE PIT (a.k.a. FIVE MILLION YEARS TO EARTH) as being one of the best science fiction films ever made. Recently the original TV-play has become narrowly available in this country. I would claim that the play is even a little better than the film made from it. It is a little slower at three hours, but in the film the explanation at the end is a little terse and hard to follow. Things are better explained in the play. Actors who have played Quatermass: QUATERMASS EXPERIMENT (1953): Reginald Tate QUATERMASS II (1955): John Robinson QUATERMASS AND THE PIT (1958): Andre Morell QUATERMASS XPERIMENT (1955, us: THE CREEPING UNKNOWN): Brian Donlevy QUATERMASS II (1957, us: ENEMY FROM SPACE): Brian Donlevy QUATERMASS AND THE PIT (1968, us: FIVE MILLION YEARS TO EARTH): Andrew Kier THE QUATERMASS CONCLUSION (1980): John Mills Also THE GOON SHOW: THE SCARLET CAPSULE (1959): Harry Secombe as Prof. Ned Quartermess. (Looseley based on QUATERMASS AND THE PIT, but for the Goons it is amazingly faithful to the story. Kneale loved it.) [This part contributed by Mark R. Leeper (mark.leeper@lucent.com).] ==================================================================== (Contributions for addition to this FAQL gratefully appreciated. Suggestions for things *I* should write to add to this FAQL are not so gratefully appreciated.) ============================================================================ Copyright Notice This FAQ is not to be reproduced for commercial use unless the party reproducing the FAQ agrees to the following: 1) They will contact the FAQ maintainer to obtain the latest version for their collection. 2) They will provide the FAQ maintainer with information on what collection the copy of the FAQ is in, and how that collection may be obtained. 3) They will agree, in writing, that the FAQ will be included in the collection without modification, and that acknowledgements of contributors (if any) to the FAQ remain in the FAQ. 4) They will agree, in writing, that the collection including the FAQ will be distributed on either a non-profit basis, or have some percentage of profit donated to a non-profit literacy program. Project Gutenberg counts. Information contained in the FAQ is compiled from many sources. No guarantees are made as to its accuracy. To support this, this FAQ is Compilation Copyright 2001 by Evelyn C. Leeper (the FAQ maintainer). <HR>You are visitor number <IMG SRC=http://visit.geocities.com/counter.gif> since 1 Jan 2000. =========================================================================== Evelyn C. Leeper, evelynleeper@geocities.com -- Evelyn C. Leeper, http://www.geocities.com/evelynleeper "We should be as passionately opposed to those who discriminate against gays and lesbians as we were passionate in our opposition to apartheid." -- Archbishop Desmond Tutu, February 1999, Brown University