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BRAINSTORM 1983 Douglas Trumbull (Read 13368 times)
Reply #15 - Nov 20th, 2011 at 3:40pm

Metaluna   Offline
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Metaluna wrote on Nov 20th, 2011 at 3:22pm:
FWIW, The first time I saw it I must have been about 13 years old. I don't like Bonne Bell lip gloss anymore either.


To expand upon that...

I think it's inevitable that something that seemed really profound at 3 in the morning when I was 13 wouldn't strike me the same way uh..."several" years later. If the concept hadn't seemed so deep I can't believe I would have endured an hour and a half of Walken and Woods going on and on about their relationship.

I originally had planned to watch this as a "double feature" with Strange Days. I think Brainstorm kind of fades a bit after seeing that. I think SD did something more interesting with the same concept.

Something of a guilty pleasure movie for me (well I don't really feel guilty but I realize it's pretty cheezy) that deals with "going toward the light" is Flatliners. There are a lot of things about it that are very silly but I find it so much fun to watch. I love the creepy if unrealistic abandoned medical building and the preposterously roomy apartments these students live in.

There is also the "marathon effect" that makes drivel like Evolution actually a kind of enjoyable movie. I don't object to showing Brainstorm but I don't think it would be all that well received by the current crowd.
 

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Reply #16 - Nov 20th, 2011 at 5:38pm

L.A. Connection   Offline
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I'll make a couple of final points for now awaiting the opinion of others who haven't chimed in yet.

First, BRAINSTORM got an unjust negative reputation upon release because of the Wood tragedy. A scene had to be shot that her character was written for. It was done with another actor (plus, some body double work on other shots and sequences, etc.). This lead to reports of the movie as a troubled production. Heck, you'd have thought the film was referred to as "the troubled production BRAINSTORM" as much as "Douglas Trumbull's BRAINSTORM". And, virtually every review referred to the drowning.

More importantly, BRAINSTORM is - like SILENT RUNNING and his effects work on 2001 and CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE 3RD KIND - very much a theatrical experience. Few Sfx pioneers have better understood the medium as much as Trumbull. I would agree that a film should work no matter how you see it, but, watching BRAINSTORM off of cable or on the internets or, heaven forbid, on an iPhone just isn't the same.

...
 
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Reply #17 - Nov 20th, 2011 at 5:59pm

kirok   Offline
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Quote:
Creative works either stand the test of time or they dont. I'm sick of this crap that you have to look at aging swill like Strangers on a Train in the "context" of the time it was made. The film has dated. Badly.


"strangers on a train" aging swill?? the ending was a little kookie but the tennis scene is thrilling on the big screen. the portrayal of granger's first wife was 20 years ahead of it's time and it got by the censors only because hitchcock is a master storyteller.
 

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Reply #18 - Nov 20th, 2011 at 8:11pm

David the Projectionist   Offline
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kirok wrote on Nov 20th, 2011 at 5:59pm:
"strangers on a train" aging swill?? the ending was a little kookie but the tennis scene is thrilling on the big screen.


     Boooooooooooring!  Do you have any idea how many times Ive seen this movie?


Quote:
the portrayal of granger's first wife was 20 years ahead of it's time and it got by the censors only because hitchcock is a master storyteller.


     We completely disagree, and, whats more, you help to make my point: saying something is "ahead of its time" is typical for the defenders of aging swill.  They select small things -- this was the first time this was ever done -- but thats all besides the point: it's whether that first thing holds up as the years go by that determines whether it is timeless or not.
     Lets take an easy example from the so-called "master storyteller" (you can tell I'm not Hitch's greatest fan, right?, though it's mostly due to his fawning hagiographers): the lightning cut of the maid's scream to a train whistle in The Thirtynine Steps.  That was considered to be rather innovative in its day, & absolutely no one would think a thing about it now.  Thats because it was just a clever trick (& very typical of Hitch, who is on the record saying he would put such tricks in his movies for the critics to notice) that was put in for its own sake: if you cut it out, it would make no difference to the narrative.
     On the other hand, there are an overwhelming welter of cinematic techniques in Citizen Kane, & those hold up to an astonishing degree, despite the fact that people have been ripping that movie off for seventy years.  Thats because Welles's devices were put in the service of the story, & are so thoroughly integrated that if you were to try remove them, entire chunks of the narrative would come out with them.  Thats the difference.
     You see Ive spent way too long thinking about these things!
 

I have seen the future, and it is sucky digital....
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Reply #19 - Nov 20th, 2011 at 8:17pm

David the Projectionist   Offline
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L.A. Connection wrote on Nov 20th, 2011 at 5:38pm:
First, BRAINSTORM got an unjust negative reputation upon release because of the Wood tragedy. A scene had to be shot that her character was written for. It was done with another actor (plus, some body double work on other shots and sequences, etc.). This lead to reports of the movie as a troubled production. Heck, you'd have thought the film was referred to as "the troubled production BRAINSTORM" as much as "Douglas Trumbull's BRAINSTORM". And, virtually every review referred to the drowning.


     Thats all quite true, but hasnt anything to do with my dismissal of the movie.  I thought it was weak right from the get-go, & the climax is just unbelievably gonzo!
     But I wouldnt mind running it in 70 at the thon.  Ah, the groans we'll hear....


Quote:
More importantly, BRAINSTORM is - like SILENT RUNNING and his effects work on 2001 and CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE 3RD KIND - very much a theatrical experience. Few Sfx pioneers have better understood the medium as much as Trumbull. I would agree that a film should work no matter how you see it, but, watching BRAINSTORM off of cable or on the internets or, heaven forbid, on an iPhone just isn't the same.


     You read the part of my post where I said the effects would hold up, right?
     By the way, you left out Bladerunner in your list: he worked on that as well.
 

I have seen the future, and it is sucky digital....
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Reply #20 - Nov 20th, 2011 at 10:43pm

kirok   Offline
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dave, your comparison of citizen kane to strangers on a train reminds me of the old joke:
a man is auditioning his act to some theater managers. he plays the violin while riding a unicycle on a tight rope and simultaneously juggling 3 steak knives with his toungue. one manager says to the other "so what do you think?" the other manager says "he ain't no yasha heifetz"
there's plenty of that cinematograhic sh!t in soat. the mastiff at the top of the staircase, and there's that great scene where the girl drops her compact on the police detectives crotch. (that girl was hitchcock's daughter btw)
surely you can find a better example for the label of aging swill. mildred pierce comes to mind.
 

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Reply #21 - Nov 20th, 2011 at 11:43pm

L.A. Connection   Offline
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Please take the Hitchcock stuff to another thread should you must.

And, yes, Trumbull's involvement in BLADE RUNNER is another feather in his cap. To think that one person had a critical input on the look of 2001, CLOSE ENCOUNTERS and BLADE RUNNER is astounding. That trio are amongst the handful of most influential special effects filled films of all time (and all Pre-CGI).
 
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Reply #22 - Nov 21st, 2011 at 2:29am

Frank   Offline
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Brainstorm does not stand the test of time.  Hell, but for the connection to the Natalie Wood tragedy the movie would be all but completely forgotten. 

 

I bring you peace. It may be the peace of plenty and content or the peace of unburied death.
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Reply #23 - Nov 28th, 2011 at 9:28pm

Joe Neff   Offline
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I recently revisited BRAINSTORM for the first time in ten years.  Does it have some hokey moments?  Sure.  But the ideas and effects sequences are still interesting, and Walken is compelling in his own eccentric way.  I'd be up for a screening come February.
 
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Reply #24 - Nov 28th, 2011 at 11:48pm

kirok   Offline
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and can we have a christopher walken impersonation contest?
 

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Reply #25 - Nov 28th, 2011 at 11:58pm

David the Projectionist   Offline
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Joe Neff wrote on Nov 28th, 2011 at 9:28pm:
I recently revisited BRAINSTORM for the first time in ten years.  Does it have some hokey moments?  Sure.  But the ideas and effects sequences are still interesting, and Walken is compelling in his own eccentric way.  I'd be up for a screening come February.


     Only if the 70mm is up & running & Garen can be convinced to rent a print!

 

I have seen the future, and it is sucky digital....
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