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Thread: Somtimes your favorite movie/book was only good in retrospect

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by razz View Post
    the movie, book and the live play on the same subject, the live plays are usually so well done. I get more involved with the characters on stage but rarely feel that way but rather more detached watching a movie
    When you see a really good musical live onstage and then they make a movie of it, the movie is frequently disappointing.

    For one thing stage productions are by their nature more intimate because the action has to take place in a limited space and with limited possibilities for scenery changes, but in a movie they feel like they have to give you big scenic vistas and it dilutes the intimacy. Example: Man Of La Mancha as a musical play took place on a very small stage with minimal props, but as a movie everything that was imagined by the audience during the play became just a mundane tavern scene or landscape. This scene is a prefect example of what I mean about the intimacy of the stage production. It still gives me a chill when Cervantes turns toward the audience as Don Quixote. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2WDIu8XbVD8

    The other cardinal sin of musical plays that become a movie is that in a well done musical play the music is blended into the spoken dialog so seamlessly you don't notice when the first few notes are played, but far too often in a movie based on that same play there's an abrupt shift like the director said "OK. Everybody stop so we can insert a big musical number here." Whether or not I feel that broken continuity when a song begins or ends is one of the main ways I rate musicals.

    And movies that are based on a book but the plot of the movie is totally different from the book? Don't even get me started on that subject. Two egregious examples: How To Train Your Dragon and The City Of Ember. In both of those the story is totally different in the movie.

  2. #22
    Senior Member Simplemind's Avatar
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    Dark Shadows. I used to run home to watch it. Now it is on reruns on a retro channel and OMG.... CHEESY!! I kind of remember another one like it at the time but it is escaping me at the moment. Same with Twilight Zone and Night Gallery.
    As for books, I only have one life and there are far too many. I can't think of anything I have gone back to read again.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by LDAHL View Post
    I read “Walden” and “The Meditations” at about the same time in my high school career, and was very impressed by both at the time. I tried reading both again recently, and while I’m still very affected by Marcus Aurelius, Thoreau seems like a smug, shallow poseur playing at philosophy.
    I think you're under-rating Thoreau. I first read Walden when I was 17 and it still holds up whenever I go back and reread parts of it.

    Remember, Concord was a hotbed of transcendentalism with Emerson's house as the primary gathering place and Thoreau was part of those existentialist gatherings. In Walden he is trying to address not just philosophical thought, but also the mundane pragmatic problem of why so many people are poor and why they aren't willing to cast off the things and thoughts that keep them poor in favor of a better and simpler life.

    He is also to some extent dealing with the death of his brother John who cut his finger while sharpening a razor and died of lockjaw in 1842. When Thoreau moves to Walden Pond in 1845 and writes "A man sits as many risks as he runs." he knows whereof he speaks.

    But not every philosopher connects deeply with every reader, and that's as true of Thoreau as anyone.
    Last edited by GeorgeParker; 2-21-21 at 9:50am.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by razz View Post
    Is it the naivete of youth vs wisdom of having lived more years or something else that makes the difference?
    Probably both. As we are exposed to more of a thing that has varying quality or varying substance we begin to make judgements of "I like this more than that" or "This is better made than that." In most cases our judgement gets better over the years.

    But the younger we are, the less depth and realism it takes to entertain us or move us emotionally, because we have less knowledge of the real world and less experience of real life.

    In the book An Episode Of Sparrows the nickname for children is "sparrows". In one scene a grownup tells the very young heroine "You're making a mountain out of a molehill." and the girl petulantly replies "A molehill is a mountain to a sparrow!" And so it is.

    As we become less naive, the mountains have to be bigger or more unique to fascinate us, and anything that seems insubstantial quickly loses our attention, unless we have some other reason for being drawn to it.

    That applies to both fiction and non-fiction. There's nothing duller than a third grade math book, unless you love math and have just started third grade. And there's nothing more boring than a book about frugality or simple living that has nothing in it except the same 100 things you already learned ten years ago.

    PS. And that's all I'm going to say tonight. Posting in the middle of the night with nobody else online always makes me feel like I'm talking too much!
    Last edited by GeorgeParker; 2-21-21 at 9:51am.

  5. #25
    Senior Member rosarugosa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeParker View Post
    Probably both. As we are exposed to more of a thing that has varying quality or varying substance we begin to make judgements of "I like this more than that" or "This is better made than that." In most cases our judgement gets better over the years.

    But the younger we are, the less depth and realism it takes to entertain us or move us emotionally, because we have less knowledge of the real world and less experience of real life.

    In the book An Episode Of Sparrows the nickname for children is "sparrows". In one scene a grownup tells the very young heroine "You're making a mountain out of a molehill." and the girl petulantly replies "A molehill is a mountain to a sparrow!" And so it is.

    As we become less naive, the mountains have to be bigger or more unique to fascinate us, and anything that seems insubstantial quickly loses our attention, unless we have some other reason for being drawn to it.

    That applies to both fiction and non-fiction. There's nothing duller than a third grade math book, unless you love math and have just started third grade. And there's nothing more boring than a book about frugality or simple living that has nothing in it except the same 100 things you already learned ten years ago.

    PS. And that's all I'm going to say today. Posting in the middle of the night with nobody else online always makes me feel like I'm talking too much!
    Very well said, GP. Our standards become a bit higher and we have more basis for comparison as we get older.
    I think for me and Catcher in the Rye, it was at least partly a stage of life thing. Adolescent angst was a lot more relevant to me when I first read the book.

  6. #26
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    Just realized I left out the link to Jingle Jangle in post #19 {OOPS!) so I fixed the URL there and will repeat the it here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eha7OpIc_FI (you get zero trivia points for guessing what popular bubblegum group that song was imitating. )

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by razz View Post
    Is it the naivete of youth vs wisdom of having lived more years or something else that makes the difference?
    Thatís a good insight. Once youíve reached a certain level of age and experience, maybe a guy who held the line against the barbarians has more to say to you than a guy performing a simple living stunt while cadging handouts from friends and family. Get off my lawn, Henry David!

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeParker View Post
    I think you're under-rating Thoreau. I first read Walden when I was 17 and it still holds up whenever I go back and reread parts of it.

    Remember, Concord was a hotbed of existentialism with Emerson's house as the primary gathering place and Thoreau was part of those existentialist gatherings. In Walden he is trying to address not just philosophical thought, but also the mundane pragmatic problem of why so many people are poor and why they aren't willing to cast off the things and thoughts that keep them poor in favor of a better and simpler life.

    He is also to some extent dealing with the death of his brother John who cut his finger while sharpening a razor and died of lockjaw in 1842. When Thoreau moves to Walden Pond in 1845 and writes "A man sits as many risks as he runs." he knows whereof he speaks.

    But not every philosopher connects deeply with every reader, and that's as true of Thoreau as anyone.
    I think you mean transcendentalism. Apart from Emerson, who I saw as more preacher and promoter than original thinker, I donít think they left much of a mark.

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    There are a lot of movies and books I won't own. Almost all that I have enjoyed, I never watched more then once, after seeing the movie elsewhere, that made me want them. I still will watch them on tv (free), when I am eating or such, just not worth it to own.
    There are movies/shows, etc, that didn't stand up to a second watching, at the time (E.T., being the first one to spring to mind). Then there are those, that were even bad at the time (special effects), but the story was good or there was something special about them (memories of the time, who with, etc), that make them watchable, but not so ownable. (Dark Star)
    There are those that I bought, back when VHS was a thing, that I wouldn't buy on dvd now (Bravehart). On a side note, I picked up a bluray player, long time ago, and now I still see dvd players, but not really bluray players (so glad I only jumped because the players were in the sub $40 range).
    There are ones, that I have watched, thanks to things like Archive.org that I either couldn't get through, or just left on for background noise, that I liked as a kid (A Conneticut Yankee, in King Arthur's court, Carbine Williams), ones loaned to me (Bing Crosby and Bob Hope movies), that were unwatchable, and one I even bought, because I couldn't find it elsewhere, and it came out on dvd around when I was looking, that ended up loaned out, making others laugh, but only made me smile in one seen. (the salute that Andy Griffith should have had the day he died, toilet seats. There's No Time for Sergeants)
    There also were horrible shows that I enjoyed (starships, scantily clad women), that were definitely aimed at kids (Buck Rogers), that are not watchable now.
    There are a few, that I mix up together. I mix up Francis the talking mule, with Mickey Rooney, because they were on in the same, saturday morning time slot.
    I have this knack, that I remember too much of the things I read or watch, to find them enjoyable again. A relative was disappointed as they believe I could have easily developed a photographic memory; I was not, because there is too much I would like to forget.

  10. #30
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LDAHL View Post
    I think you mean transcendentalism. Apart from Emerson, who I saw as more preacher and promoter than original thinker, I don’t think they left much of a mark.
    I would beg to differ. Maybe they didn't make a mark in your world, but they did in mine.

    Look who Thoreau is lined up with on my shelf.

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