Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Face-Off! Bring It!

While Karen and Doug are on vacation in January, our readers have been entrusted with carrying on the daily conversations.  Today's Face-Off is a do-it-yourselfer.  As we've done in the past, the first commenter gets to pick today's topic of conversation.

Generally speaking, Face-Off is for two singers, comic characters, bands, films, etc. to go up against each other.  For example, recently we had a post that asked readers to choose between Captain America's two main partners:  Bucky Barnes and the Falcon.

Thanks for holding it down for us!


Doug said...

Sorry for the late start today, friends. I guess I didn't adjust the time stamp way back when I set this to run!

Hope we didn't miss any earlybirds.


Anonymous said...

Hi Doug,
You didn't miss us. We're waiting patiently for our fix. :0)


david_b said...

Ok, how about.. "Original vs. Reimaged Television Shows"..?

Which are the best, preferred, closest to your heart, or 'WHY DID THEY BOTHER'..?

Examples, 'Vintage Trek (TOS) vs. Rick Berman's Next Gen, DS9, Voyager, Enterprise' or 'Galactica: Cheesy original vs. reimaged dysfunctional series'.

Also, Doctor Who, Dallas and others..


david_b said...

Also, if TV shows' aren't your interest, band line-up changes (KISS, Van Halen) who still strive to match the original formula or movie redo's like 'The Thing', 'Miracle on 34th Street' or other properties..

Not sequels.. ~ Actual reimaging of original movies.

(Well, ok, Next Gen was technically a sequel.., but it was still Trek with a new cast. You get the picture.)


Anonymous said...

Dr. Who is a funny one, because childhood me wants to argue the case for the old ones, but let’s face it, there is literally no comparison to the new ones, which not only have about a million times the budget, but are watched over by Russell Davies & Steven Moffat who are lifelong fans themselves. And great writers.

The Prisoner, on the hand, I can easily argue. The remake had a few interesting things to recommend it, but wasn’t a patch on the original in any way, shape or form. Turns out, he was an individual.

Whilst never a fan of the original Charlie’s Angels, it did seem to have some charm. The 5 mins I saw of the remake seemed utterly generic.

I only saw the first episode of the new Dallas. They seemed to have done an OK job, but it was, of course, joyless.

Bionic woman looked very well made, but seemed an utterly different animal to the original.

I haven’t seen the new Wonder Woman. Anyone ?


Bruce said...

Star Trek is a funny one for me. I'm a fan of the original series, but I don't like Next Generation or Voyager at all. However, I love DS9 - it's my favorite of all the Star Trek series.

I like DS9's serial drama approach (as opposed to one-and-done episodes), and there's a tension and conflict between the central characters that is absent from Next Generation.

Doug said...

How do people feel about Tim Burton's reimagining of Planet of the Apes, compared to the 1968 original film?

Some elements looked great, but it left me cold. I thought the end scene, while I get his point, was confusing and just further mucked up the whole divergent timestream aspect of the franchise.


david_b said...

This is true for most of Berman's Trek series (sans 'Enterprise'), but I like a new series with actors/directors that embellish characters with 'gravitas', or a 'larger-than-life' appeal.

This was one pick against the revised Galactica. I watched the first few episodes and found it uninteresting, I didn't care about the characters at all, nor did they resonate to me. The original series had great casting, despite the cheesy 'How the West Was Won' resemblance (a huge influential miniseries airing the year) before..) of TV guest mainstays like Lloyd Bridges, Patrick Macnee and Fred Astaire. Near the end, it started capitalizing on secondary characters, adding layers of relationships, effectively becoming more than the sum of it's pieces.

And I cared about them.

An obvious reimage was the last Trek movie, a zesty reimage of the Kirk/Spock/McCoy relationship, done amazingly well. Again, I found myself caring about them.

I specifically didn't mention comic industry reboots (new Spiderman, New 52, etc..), but if anyone has anything significant to share, 'Ah, go for it.'

Karen said...

Wow, where to begin this morning?

Bruce, I share your love for DS9. After classic Trek, it is my favorite Trek show. It just had such depth to it. I really wish they would put the series out on blu ray, like they have Next Gen. The Dominion War allowed the show to go places no Trek had gone before, so to speak.

I thought Burton's Apes was a real mess, although Rick Burton's make-up was phenomenal. I did enjoy the recent Rise of the Planet of the Apes, although I haven't gone back to re-watch it.

I enjoyed the new Battlestar, to a point. After a few seasons though, it seemed as if they just got too clever for themselves. And most of the characters weren't very likeable.

Inkstained Wretch said...

I love both the original Trek and Next Gen -- both are great series but they are utterly distinctive and represent as the best of their their various eras.

The J.J. Abrams movie, on the other hand, left me utterly cold. (Apparently, I am among the few who think this...) The casting wasn't bad but the frentic pace of the film, the casual destruction of Vulcan, and the complete reimagining of the timeline were unnerving. I realized that I really, really preferred Trek as a weekly serial, not a blockbuster movie franchise.

On another note, I was a HUGE Doctor Who fan, but haven't been able to get through more than a few of the revived series episodes. Yeah, the old series had $1.98 production values, but it had charm. Maybe I should give the new series more of a chance.

I only dimly remember the old Battlestar Galactic series -- and not that fondly. The new series was excessively grim at times but it was some of the best-written and acted television of the last decade.

david_b said...

Inkstained, the Eccleston series left me cold when the DW series came back..

Like the Batman Dark Knight reimage or Galactica, it didn't seem to really bring forward a 'classic feel' I could be comfortable with. it seemed more like capitalizing on the framework, franchise name, etc to legitimize a more gritty action feel, with little else of existing property to deal with..

Tennant was a HUGE improvement for me, and I tried following Smith for a while but I lost interest as it got weirder.

As most here will agree, it was the unabashingly cheap cardboard effects back in the '60s/'70s that held the most charm and appeal. It still caused little kids to hide behind the couch when the monsters like the Cybermen came on.

Edo Bosnar said...

Hmm, I wouldn't consider the follow-up Trek series re-imaginings (for what it's worth, my favorite of the lot is Voyager); the last Trek movie, however, was a complete reboot. Although I really enjoyed it as a really good SF action film (I kind of think it as high-budget, well-made fan fiction), I'm really not on board with the whole idea. And like Inkstained, I found the destruction of Vulcan really excessive and unnecessary. So count me as someone who prefers the original, un-rebooted Trek universe.
As for the other stuff mentioned here, I prefer new Galactica to the old, and I guess I'm kind of an odd duck because I thoroughly enjoyed Burton's 'Planet of the Apes.' I'm not saying it's better than any of the original movies, but just a really good take on the whole idea.
I can't comment on a lot of these re-imagined/remade TV series, but I saw a few episodes of the new Hawaii 5-O last year and I think that definitly fits into the "why did they bother" category? I mean for all of its faults of the original show, i.e., it's formulaic nature, the occasional outrageous silliness ("shut this island down!"), etc., the original show had character. This new series is just standard police procedural/action set in Hawaii. Really mundane.
One I've never seen, and probably never will, but which made grab my hair in horror and say "Noooo!!!!" when I saw it announced was the Pink Panther remake with Steve Martin...

William said...

I like the original 'Star Trek' series, but it just looks soooo dated when I try to watch it today. The styrofoam rocks are just too obvious most of the time. Still, I like the show for the plots and the characters. However, I love 'Next Generation'. I thought it was such a well done show, especially after the first season or two when it really got going. For the most part the stories were cleverly written and always kept me wanting to stay to the end to see what was going to happen. I thought 'DS9' was decent, but I didn't really care for 'Voyager' or 'Enterprise'.

Loved the original 'Battlestar Galactica' (never missed it when it was on), and I still consider it one of the best Sci Fi shows of all time. On the other hand, I only watched one episode of the newer version, and I didn't go back for more.

Burton's Planet of the Apes wasn't bad, but the ending made almost no sense whatsoever, so it kind of ruined the movie for me.

How about the 1990's 'Brady Bunch' movie? While it was more of an homage than a remake, it was still pretty awesome.

Anthony said...

I agree with Karen. Where to begin ?
Richard I tried watching the Charlie's Angels movies and the new TV show. I couldn't make it through either. I loved the original and it would only work if redone as a 70s period piece or a outright spoof like Starsky and Hutch. While I don't really care for the last approach it seems to work well with modern audiences. Am I the only one who wants to see a big budget somewhat serious Land Of The Lost Movie ?
Doug I love the original Planet Of The Apes movies. All of them. I realize the quality suffered as they went on but I still love them all. I watched some of the TV series but not the cartoon. I read the novel just before the Tim Burton " re-imagining " was released. If memory serves Burton just used the novel's original ending. Some re-imagining ! I loved the makeup but I also feel the original makeup still holds up. I didn't really care for Burton's version. Even in 1968 the writers realized that the original ending wouldn't work as a sci-fi film. Thank you Rod Serling.
I love Dr. Who new and old but I prefer the new. I really haven't seem that much of the old except some Tom Baker episodes. I really wish that BBC America would rerun them after the new episodes instead of running the new episode three times ! Then I could give the original series a fair shake. There wouldn't be a new Dr. Who without the old original being the longest running sci-fi series.
I also love Star Trek. I really enjoyed the remake though I too could have done without the casual destruction of Vulcan. If I understand correctly the original timeline is still intact. I thought that in itself showed respect for the original series and its fans. The actors really nailed their roles. To really get the whole picture I think people should read the prequel comics and watch some of the deleted scenes. The movie really doesn't make it clear that the Narada crew was captured by Klingon vessels after they encountered Kirk's father.
In case anyone thinks I'm not s fan of the original I am. I watched the original series episodes in reruns many times. I also really loved ST:TNG but sort of fell off during Deep Space Nine and Voyager. I regret doing that especially for Deep Space Nine. I came back to Voyager for the Borg episodes ( The Borg are a whole other topic ! The only truly good Borg episode is the original, Q, Who. ) and returned to Deep Space Nine for the Dominion War episodes. Karen you are so right ! It really went where no Trek has gone before. Section 31. Bashir's disgust at Sisko for tricking the Romulan's into joining war. I had so many discussions with a co-worker at this time about whether or not these shows destroyed the ethics that Roddenberry established or merely showed those ethics meeting real world scenarios.
Edo the Steve Martin Pink Panther seemed aimed just at children and had none of the charm and wit of the Peter Sellers version. I really just watched it for Beyonce. In my defense I was working at a video store at the time and had free rentals.

Anonymous said...

I can’t believe we’re going to try to take on movies in the same thread, but if we are, can I put a vote in for the Addams Family (both movies). I think Barry Sonnenfeld was wise enough to realise that he didn’t need to ‘re-imagine’ anything and that that macabre wit could be as funny as ever. And it so was. Great casting all round, Gomez, Morticia, Fester and sweet little Christina Ricci. The Harmony Hut is still a running joke in our house.


Dougie said...

Doctor Who has been a part of my life for over 45 years. However, I actually prefer the audio version over the tv show. I think it's closer to the spirit of the original series. I like Matt Smith but can't bear Steven Moffat's vision of the show with the overly-complex, self-referential storylines. I know people say kids can understand it- I think that's rubbish; they just ignore the plot holes. Russell T. used to be dismissed as populist but Moffat is narrowing his audience, in my book.

I also prefer Original Trek to any of the tv sequels. I didn't mind the re-imagined movie although the lensflare and the "timey-wimey" plot were a little off-putting. I can't stand Next Gen now- all that self-help/counselling/empathy stuff just bores me. It takes itself so seriously as a utopian vision.

The Prisoner remake was deadly dull and I haven't seen Rise/Apes because I don't think the satire and black humour of the original is part of our culture at present. We're too keen on the literal and the naturalistic. When kids at school tell me they have no imagination, I think it's because our entertainment strives to be less fantastic, at all costs.

Karen said...

Question: As Doug and I begin preparing posts for next month, I wonder if you all (or as some might say, y'all) would be interested in a series of Discuss posts on the various Star Trek series? How does that sound, kids?

Inkstained Wretch said...

Edo's description of the J.J. Abrams Star Trek movie as "high-budget, well-made fan fiction" is dead-on.

Inkstained Wretch said...

"Discuss posts on the various Star Trek series"?

I'm game.

Anthony said...

I'm there for a Trek series discussion especially since I forgot to mention Enterprise today. I'll save that for the Trek post.

david_b said...

To me the 'Prisoner' remake was as necessary as the short-lived 'New Monkees' or POTA for that matter.. No point for some of these, whatsoever. Sometimes, the original is SO engraved in society that it's nearly impossible to actually 'improve on'.

I don't think Next Gen set out to actually 'improve' on the original (well, the effects would naturally be better...); Gene just wanted to tell stories again, and based on the '80s franchise success, the studio wanted it as well. In effect, it turned into a markedly different product than the Original; same morality plays, same humanistic approach, same generic relationships (no bickering or human shortcomings played out until after Gene died..) but set now in '80s/90s politics, issues and agendas with a more non-aggressive way of problem resolution.

Sure, to prevent hijaaking, a Trek column would be a great idea. I actually thought it was already done to some measure here before.

Karen said...

I was thinking maybe we could do a Discuss post for each series: one for classic Trek, one for Next Gen, and so on,so everyone could really discuss each show in detail. We've discussed films here and there but not the shows that much.

I already have a Star Trek novels post slotted to run as part of our Science Fiction books posts.

Edo Bosnar said...

A series of posts dedicated to the various Trek series? Bring it...

Garett said...

William, I liked the Brady Bunch movie. It was a clever twist to have them still exactly the same, while the world has moved into the present!

I liked Rise of the Planet of the Apes, look forward to the next one. Burton film was lousy.

The Thing from '82 was much better than the original, a classic. I wonder why a new bionic woman, but no new 6 million dollar man?

I see the new Spartacus tv series gets a higher rating than the original movie! I love the original...anyone seen the tv show?

La Femme Nikita--I liked the original movie, and the tv show was also pretty good. I couldn't get into the new series, and yet it also gets a higher rating than either of the originals! Maybe I'm not as into tv now? But I think Mad Men is fantastic.

Rip Jagger said...

First Trek -- Love the original series, but I also like the new stuff okay too. DS9 is getting a lot of good love and it's worthy, a snappy well wrought show with dandy acting. TNG is solid, but I have to admit it gets tiresome sometimes, they're all so entirely decent all the dang time. Voyager had moments but was very uneven. My favorite reboot is Enterprise which I simply love. It's got the zing of the original and I love the lower tech settings for most of what they do.

Battlestar Gallactica is one where I go for the reboot. The old show was malarkey and fun, but the new one was fabulous. It did peter out before the end though.

PotA though, I got to go with the originals. Despite the lame effects on the later flicks, the first movie is revolutionary for me personally. Outstanding stuff which holds up even today. The Burton was a hoot, but lacks the stamina of the original. Haven't seen Rise yet, though I hear good things.

Doctor Who is a quandry. I like 'em all. The new stuff is slick and clever and snappy, but the old stuff is sure solid entertainment. Baker is my Doctor, so as good as the new guys are it's very difficult to imprint a second time.

Rip Off

Anonymous said...

If Godwin’s Law is that given enough time, in any online discussion, someone inevitably makes a comparison to Hitler or the Nazis, I think we should have Roddenberry’s Law, which states that if three or more geeks are gathered together in his name, or anyone else’s name, or for any reason at all, sooner or later they will start talking about Star Trek. I think it’s a good idea. It will get it out of our systems. Except it won’t, of course :0)

Regarding the Thing, did anyone see the recent remake? You’re thinking ‘it was a prequel’ right? It’s virtually a scene for scene remake. It’s just so unnecessary. I really thought that when I got to the end, I’d want to re-watch the Carpenter film, but when it finished, I felt like I had. But not as good.

Hi Garrett – by Spartacus you mean that Blood and Sand thing with Xena, right? It’s awful. It’s just horror porn. It’s like an hour of watching psychopaths perform autopsies with blunt knives. On live people. In slow motion.


Garett said...

Haha--well that doesn't sound like my favorite tv viewing, Richard! : ) I know nothing about it, and yes I see now it stars Lucy Lawless. It gets an 8.7 rating on IMDb, so I guess people are digging the autopsies!

Rip I think you summed up Next Generation nicely: "they're all so entirely decent all the dang time"! Ha! I prefer the original series for their gung ho attitude, although I did like watching Next Gen in the later seasons, and the First Contact movie was good.

david_b said...

I LOVED the Brady movies, both of them (and their trip to DC..). They really nailed the charm of the original series and the in-jokes (and surprises like the Barbara Eden appearance) were SO inspired. You wish they would have made more.

As for CGI'ing the old Trek.., it works to an extent (will bring out more when we do the TOS column..).

First off, while impressive, the effects are at times not as subtle as they should be, especially in the first season..: You have impressive space effects..., then still the same styrofoam rocks. Oh, just a tad uneven.

Second, you still have a loyal purists who prefer the non-CGI, which I'm so glad Paramount heard the cries from the SW fanbase and decided to keep the original DVDs available. Yes, the "Doomsday Machine" episode's probably the best of TOS, and needed the most effects revising ('member the back of the AMT model shaking on it's stand as it entered the maw of the alien weapon..??), but it's splendid to still have a choice.

PS: Would love a future column on 'Mad Men', I'm hooked on that show as well. I like to imagine what the Silver Age Bullpen looked like when I see the sets. Yes, I know it was mostly Stan's imagination when he talked about the Bullpen in those vintage columns, but I can still dream.

Funny, I also always think of Sol Brodsky when I hear Salvatore's name..

Karen said...

I'm bouncing back in here late, but I wanted to agree with Richard about the Thing prequel, or whatever the heck it was -just wholly unnecessary. They would have been better off just calling it a remake, because as Richard said, so much of it seemed shot-for-shot taken from Carpenter's film. it added nothing new to the story. What did we need to know about what happened with the Norwegian camp any how? They got infected. The End.


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