Time Machine 1960 vs. 2002

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The 1960 version of the Time Machine is largely considered a sci-fi movie classic. As well it should, it’s a solid enough adaption of H.G. Well’s Time Travel novel. The suspense and intrigue of traveling through time is captured well and has been the blueprint for time travel in TV and films for the decades since. So it set large shoes to fill for any remakes. Thus was the case for the 2002 film and it was criticized by plenty of people. It had more of a romantic angle and pulled further away from the literary work. Yet it did try to put in plenty of action, suspense and wonder. The 1960 version worked mostly because it developed the unknown parts of time travel and how one could run into unforseen trouble in the future. The viewer is riveted to what is going on. The 2002 version has as do all remakes the task of re-creating the story but adding enough of it’s own ideas to make it work seeing. That’s a tough task so did it succeed? No, not entirely but it was not a total failure either. I think the remake managed to be a decent version of the film. As with many remakes there are followers of the original who are ready to criticize every point as quickly as possible. I love the 1960 version and watch it maybe twice a year. It’s hard to believe the 2002 version is a dozen years old now because I remember seeing it when it was first on video and doesn’t seem that long ago. Count me as one of the minority that thinks the 2002 version was decent in it’s way and I still enjoy watching it from time to time.

UFO-Timelash

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1971

Commander Straker shows up busting computers down in SHADO headquarters. Paul and other try to stop him, but he flees leading them on a chase. They run past weird things like a corpse in a moving car, but eventually catch Straker. Next he wakes in a bed and the doctor and Paul try to get to what in the word is going on. Straker’s memories are shown. He and Commander Lake were on there way to HQ and discover everything is frozen in time. Turns out that a SHADOW agent Turner has …

A-turned bad

B-frozen everyone in time

C-invited the bad aliens to send a UFO down to take over

Straker straightens his wig and prepares for action. He and Lake try to nab Turner, but Turner still using time tricks to stay one step ahead of them. He taunts them, pokes at them and gets them all riled up grrrrrr! Meanwhile the UFO is on it’s way so Straker and Lake go to a nearby rooftop with the hopes of setting up a rocket launcher to destroy the UFO. Good idea, but that nasty skunk Turner shows up, knocks out Lake, steals the rocket launcher ignition key and runs off using his time travel tricks. Straker gives chase as the UFO begins to appear up in the sky on it’s way to cause trouble. Straker chases Turner in a little car, but Turner uses him times ttickery and appears to constantly be one step ahead. That it until he opens his big and makes that classic villain mistake and of telling the hero how to beat him. Turner is driving his little car in a circle around Straker using time manipulation to dodge Straker bullets. Then he says something like you can’t hit me because I am either seconds ahead or seconds behind where you are shooting. Once he hears this Straker just fires bullet in the circular pattern that the car was traveling in and boom they find Turner. Straker gets the key, hauls behind back to the rooftop, shoots the UFO and it flees. Straker makes sure that Lake is okay and then we are back to the beginning and everything makes sense to everyone else. So now everyone knows Straker is a hero and not a fruitcake. Roll the credits.

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The negatives-This is tough to follow at first.

The positives-This is one of the best episodes of the series. We get a unique script, lots of action and Patrick Allen is fittingly insane as Turner.

This is pretty awesome use of time travel in a short range of time. If only Turner had kept his mouth shut and kept running then it really would have worked out.

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Star Trek-Tomorrow is yesterday

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1967

The effects from a black star throw the Enterprise back to the 1960’s-like groovy, man. However an Air Force has been dispatched to locate the starship when it shows up on military radar-uh oh. The Enterprise accidently breaks the ship with it’s tractor beam-oopsie. However they beam the pilot one Captain John Christopher onto the ship first. So he’s okey dokey but he has seen too much-computers, weapons, Spock so he can’t go back because he might blab. Spock looks to make sure this guy isn’t going to do anything important in the future and he doesn’t. However the son he doesn’t have yet will be involved in a space ship launch thingie that could effect the future if his dad isn’t there to make sure the son exists. Captain Christopher lets Kirk know that he took film of the Enterprise and that it’s likely on earth and will be seen. Kirk and Sulu beam down and break in to get the film, but they have to beam up an Air Force officer to keep cover and then Kirk gets nabbed. Sulu later returns with Spock and Captain Christopher, but the guy from the 1960’s wants to stay now and causes trouble so Spock puts the old Vulcan nerve pinch on him. They beam back and Scotty says he thinks they can slingshot around the sun to get back to their own time and Captain Christopher would go back to not having known about them. They try it and bimbamboom all is right in the world both past and future.

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They are right, the film shows that I am a ham.

 

The negatives-For a time travel event the actual travel part isn’t shown much but that goes with the lack of budget that the original Trek had or didn’t have.

The positives-This is a good, but not great episode. The time travel is handled in a rather low key way, but the aspect of one’s offspring effecting the future was interesting as was the Enterprise being mistaken for a UFO.

Tomorrow is Yesterday 1967 - Sherri Townsend , Roger Perry , William Shatner

You have women in your time too I see.

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Now suppose you tell me why they still have hairpieces in the future?

Time travel 101: The basics

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1-Don’t misplace or lose your time travel device.

2-Going to a time and place where another you exists is risky business so you better know what you are doing.

3-If you have a manual telling you how to travel in time then you better not lose it.

4-Don’t let crazy people travel back in time.

5-If you go back in time with technology that didn’t exist then for goodness sake don’t let someone from back then see it.

6-If you go forward in time be quick to recognize that you could be in trouble right away since you don’t know what you are heading into.

7-Telling someone from the future or the past you are a time traveler is a good way to get put in the looney bin.

8-Don’t move important historical figures from their time unless you absolutely have to.

9-Saving someone who was supposed to die could really screw up history.

10-If you travel in time make sure your device has the proper power to make the return trip.

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10 things about Son of Dracula

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1-Apparently it is okay to call the film what they did even though it is not about Drac’s son.

2-John Carradine pulled off the mustached Drac look better than Chaney does.

3-Materializing out of smoke looks easier than it probably is

4-Apparently Dracula wears a cape wherever he goes.

5-Every area where vampires show up seem to have a local “occult expert”.

6-This film is slow at times, but there is just enough suspense to keep it going.

7-Making Chaney’s Dracula have super strength was a plus.

8-Louis Allbritton is great as Katherine.

9-Despite having a little less action I like Universal’s Dracula films better than their Frankenstein films.

10-Next time Dracula needs to go by a more clever name than Alucard.

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Carnival or why I didn’t write yesterday

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Night time at the local carnival.

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My kids.

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Me and an alien.

I have not had time to watch I walked with a zombie this week and don’t expect to today. Instead I hope to write something quick on Son of Dracula on Saturday to wrap up black and white week. I did get to take the family to the carnival yesterday and the weather was great for it. The kids rode a lot of rides and played a few games. Every town in our county has a carnival done to raise money for the fire department during the summer. The town closest to us has theirs the 4th of July week. Since we can really only afford to go to one we go  to the one in a neighboring town. It’s further away and a little more expensive but we prefer it because they have more rides, they shuttle you there from a local school so you don’t have to deal with town parking and it’s the last carnival of the summer so it’s a cool thing to squeeze in before school starts up for the kids. For next week it will be Time Travel week with reviews of time travel episodes of Star Trek and UFO plus a review Mr. Peabody and Sherman (just saw it at the free movie this past week) and a comparison between the 1960 and 2002 versions of the Time Machine.

Dracula’s Daughter

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1936

This film picks up right where the 1931 Dracula left off. The coppers show up and find Renfeld and Dracula dead. Van Helsing admits to staking Drac in the heart because he was an undead, blood sucking fiend. He is promptly arrested and carted off as are the two corpses- serves him right. All three are held at the police station. Hungarian countess Marya Zaleska shows up at the police station hoping to get Drac’s body. When the copper says no way she hypnotizes him with a ring- ewwww shiny and takes the body while he sits in a daze. She burns Dracs body with help from her assistant Sandor-pop sizzle or add your own flame sounds. The police wonder how the body got away. Meanwhile Van Helsing is still in trouble for murder so his former student and current doctor Jeffrey Garth is called in to help and he brings his sassy assistant Janet as well. Wait does everyone in this film have an assistant. Van Helsing tries to talk Jeffrey into believing he killed a vampire. At the same Countess Zaleska is thirsty so she sucks a guy on the street dry. Some doctors try to save him, but cannot and they notice the marks on his neck and the lack of blood-make note of that. The Countess meets Jeffrey at a party and takes  a liking to him in a dark and creepy sort of way while Janet takes a disliking to the Countess in a jealous -she’s trouble sort of way. In between meeting with Jeffrey the countess feeds on a young woman named Lili. Lili survives but is in a daze. Jeffrey is brought in to see Lili in the hospital and realizes she has been hypnotized and through other things she says before dying our long nosed male hero knows the Countess did this and likely killed the man from earlier. Around this time the Countess says Drac was her daddy. Jeffrery confronts her and says he’ll call the police in and he leaves. Unfortunately Janet runs into the Countess around this time and Sandor grabs her. So finally it’s time leave London town and race off to Pennsylavania Transylvania. Marya, Zandor and the now hypnotized Janet go into the castle. When they light up the windows of the castle the townspeople in the village below flip out ahhhheeeeeee Baron Frankenstein is up there making monsters-oh wait wrong series- ahhhheeeee Drac is back! Jeffery learns Janet has been taken and he hightails it to Transylvania and the castle. The Countess tells Zandor she thinks Jeffrey will follow and she will trade Janet’s life for Jeffrey being willing to be her eternal undead companion oh how sweet, but Zandor wanted that role. Anyways Jeffery show up and grudgingly agrees to be with the Countess because it’s in the script  he loves Janet. Twwwwiing is the sound of Zandor putting an arrow into the Countess and a wooden shaft to the heart of a vampire=death, well actually it would mean death for you or me too but it really means it for a bloodsucker. She dies, Janet is okay and police show up in time to shoot Zandor before he can kill Jeffery. All is well so roll those credits.

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Nothing to see here but an undead Countess and her assistant.

The negatives-The ending with going to Transylvania seems very rushed like everyone is racing to wrap everything up. It’s not explained why Lili remembers so much about being hypnotized and last s so long after her blood sucking encounter while the policeman remembered nothing of being hypnotized and the male victim wasn’t strong enough to relay any information. I know it helps advance the plot by giving Jeffrey information he can use, but it felt uneven. While Otto Kruger does well in his part as Jeffrey I have trouble buying that not one but two good looking woman (both much younger than he) were after a rather average looking guy like him.

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You appear to have an insect on your neck. Here allow me to bite it off of your neck.

 

The positives- I love the angle of Van Helsing being accused of Dracula’s murder. Gloria Holden is fabulous as the Countess. The sets and camera work are strong even though it’s obvious they didn’t have a great deal of money to work with.

I’m sure that Dracula needed a sequel but this film makes a worthy attempt and the results it’s a likable film. It has a few holes and flaws, but the main cast and a story that plays off of vampire lure set in the first film help it through.

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No, I am afraid that the arrow does not go with your outfit.

 

Curse of the undead

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The preacher must be expecting a rough crowd at church today.

 

1959

Howdy, partner welcome to the horror western. This rich rancher is being mean to other ranchers and ruling over the town. He is being particularly rough on one family. The father of said family is found dead (who is also the town doctor) and even though the rich rancher denies having a part in it the doc’s son goes after him. Of course the hothead son gets gunned down by the rich rancher. With her dad and brother gone the daughter puts up a poster advertising hiring someone to kill the rich rancher. The local preacher tells her this isn’t the way to go. A gunslinger in black (isn’t that always the color of choice of hired guns) shows up in response to the ad. He is smooth, steady and a vampire. Wait I don’t remember blood suckers ever showing up in Gunsmoke. Anyways she agrees to hire him to kill the rich guy, but rich guy gets scared and asks the law for help. Eventually the preacher talks the daughter into not hiring the vampire/gunslinger. If that happened the movie would end quickly so the vampire uses his mind powers to control the woman. Eventually the preacher knows something is up with this guy. The vampire kills the rich rancher. The preacher takes matters into his own and challenges the vampire to a gunfight and beats him?! Oh wait he took hit cross pin and molded into a bullet and that’s how he killed the blood drinker. Roll the credits.

The negatives-Vampire fans always get the undies bunched up over this film because it breaks some rules. The vampire walks around in daylight a lot. Also it’s explained that he became one of the undead because he took his own life. That explanation doesn’t go along with traditional ways of explaining how one became a vampire.

The positives-The cast is solid all the way around. It’s a basic western tale with a twist and it works for the most part. This is a bit of an overlooked gem that really needs an official DVD release.

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I go sleepy time now.

 

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Wake up the movie isn’t over yet.

Black and white

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Actually for me most of the first films I saw at home were in black and white because my parents didn’t get a color TV until Christmas of 1983. So at that time I was seeing things in color for the first time even though I had seen some of these on the old TV numerous times. Through UHF channels I frequently saw older films and that began my love of older black and white films. Not all of them are good of course, but there is frequently a sense of really using the colors to aid the mood that doesn’t always happen in color films. I think the more innovative filmmakers in those days really used the tones, shadows and whatever they could to help the feel of the film. I think that’s a large part of what draws me to older films. They were limited in their resources but the better film makers could do so much with a little. I love getting a chance to watch an older film and soaking all that is put before me. There are of course film makers today that follow the same route, but there are so many things that are easy to do in makings movies today that I think some films suffer from going the easy way and a certain amount of care. Or maybe I am just old and like older films, but either way I hope fans of films and up and coming film makers don’t lose sight of the films that helped build their industry.

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