The year that was 2014

Personal life is okay. With a busy year coming to the close, I am having a wonderful time relaxing  and enjoying the festive season up to the 6<sup>th </sup> of January 2015 with no viewing  movies at all – except for the current Hobbit movie. Reading to relax.

Today’s post should be about the year but I’ll make it as short as possible, since I’m having a short holiday. And yes it was a roller-coaster ride for the movies. Movies was my most watched this year. Reading seems to be left to dwindle in a side road of a freaky circus which made me feel all nostalgic. The reason for the nostalgic reading because I like to re-read novels I read before.

On the outlook for 2015, a small resolution for the new year is to read at least five new books. Well, with new year resolutions, I know that I will not do exactly what I said here but I will try.

So for the year ending as this is my last post for the year, I wish everyone a Happy New Year and a safe one, as well.


Remake Movies

In my Halloween is coming post, I stated that I will explain the reasons for remake movies. First I must say, I’m not an expert for remaking a movie that has been done before.

The issues could be many from the technical to just retelling it with new actors and new story-lines.

Technical – is usually from the film perspective that is the 8mm to 90mm negative gauge from different company’s formats which would have been analogue. I call this analogue. Lens and cameras that uses the formats that is specific to the negative gauge  are then given to cinemas. These cinemas have projection devices which used the special format range from 8mm to  70mm until 1992 when Digital started. From 1889 to when sound came in the 1900, the film gauge was black and white with no sound Silent Movies. Those sound films were short motion movies in 1923 took flight with synchronized sound which was then recorded to the motion film. As the technology progress in the 1950’s, the widescreen was made for cinemas to view. Color had been used in 1889 as the primary colors (usually painted on the film negative gauge) but it was a very dull look on the film’s negative gauge. These are what made the negative gauge film on the projection units to make the negative film burn. Sometimes those films fade and the exposure to excessive use made those films difficult to fix.

As the computers came out in the 70’s and every home in the late 80’s and early 90’s could afford a computer, this soon helped the film industry. This is were color and sound and the film gauge excelled in; as videos tapes became a part of watching and buying those films at home. The digital age had started in 1992 but the slow technical marvels that the film industry use to restore the old movies was such at first was a miracle. But those early films negative gauges were either damage beyond repair or they wanted to do remakes.

If I was to go through every train of thought and sometimes it is hard to explore the fore thought of the whole film industry. So these changes could be explored to greater detail if you are interested in the search engine you prefer. For me the technical side was either old or damage to replay even though some of the old movies are played constantly very year. You see how dull it looks, as if the color has faded, as the streaming, constantly flickering seems to start and some places seem to be lost.  Then the Videos came into effect which were copied from those film studios for mass market. This seem very idyllic but they too soon would fade until the Compact Discs came out. MPEG is a movie file format which was used in those movies that were digitally remastered. Not long after that DVD’S came out and they were able to fit a hole movie on a compact disc. This showed the film industry the beauty of technology but they had a problem as technology grew faster the money for the technical aspects of a film became a costly endeavor. Old technology was phasing out as the new 3d formats came to the scene which was another medium for viewing motion picture. The red and blue filter lens fitted to the cardboard frames to resemble glass,  have leaped in bounds since the first 3d movie that came out in the 1980’s. Now there is UHD – Ultra High Definition which enhances the colors but don’t quote me on it because its only relevantly new technology.

Oh boy, I veered of the path and summarize the technical reason  because I love the technical side of things. Back on topic about remake movies. Okay, let me state again technical is usually the major issue to remake movies. Also money is the other issue which we all agree is an issue we all understand. A good example is the movie King Kong there is three remakes. The first King Kong in 1933 was a black and white feature in a film gauge which was analogue and aged with time. In 1976 the remake of King Kong was my first movie I watch with my father, mother and sister. The actress Jessica Lange had a beautiful figure and my comment about the breasts was the last time my father did come with us to the picture theater. A little side track but reliving the remake which I saw in 1976 and later the original in 1933, I liked the 1976 version better. The reason was because of Jessica Lange who incidentally became my first crush of the movie world. Of course, the remake again with King Kong in 2005 was such that it was also beautiful to watch. A little different to the original and 1976 remake, it was the story line that was fantastic. Well Peter Jackson directed this version and it was in itself different to the original and the remake. Of course the basic story-line where an expedition to an island to its last inhabitants are still savages and believe in a monster and their rituals to live free from torment from the beast. Those of the expedition thought of the money they could get from a giant ape/gorilla. Then havoc ensues in the vicinity of the Empire building. May be this was the idea of the movie that was thought by the writer and then screenwriters write a screenplay script to match the idea.  If I think like a writer and its possible that this was exactly how the first movie became the original.

This is my issue here, the screenwriters have these ideas and then they have to sell those ideas to become great movies to watch. Even though the technology in the 1933 was first and only; a miracle of movie magic, it also was the only available technology at the time. Costs were as high as they are now even though the dollar value was lower then. A film that costs $100,000 to make in 1933 could well cost about 1 million to make now(of course this is my thought patterns and the value of money could be different).

The screenplay scripts are what makes the movie watchable but the director and the editor is the persons to show the screenplay script it visual aspects of a film to a success in the box office. There is the cast and crew behind such things that make a movie beautiful to watch also plays a part in the remakes of old movies – as my example with King Kong, the main story was showed well but the subplots of the movies or action scenes were different to the original and the two remakes.

Another is the Halloween movies by John Carpenter and Rob Zombie; the story line in the John Carpenter’s were hinted at an unstable child life of Meyers as a kid and he was after his sister but this was not as clear as it is in Rob Zombies’ version.  I like both versions and I stated in the review posts in 2013, that they complemented each other.  Sometimes remakes are good like Halloween. The script of movies sometimes feel amicable and it shows the rhythm of pace to be slow and disjointed. The flow of one scene to the other needs to be fairly tight and thought out to speed the action scenes.

I like reading books like I watch a movie and I like watching a movie like I am reading books. I have the uncanny way of reading between the lines in the book and I have the same ability to read between each scene of the movie. It is this that starts my basis in this question; Why make remake movies? My thoughts is either the screenwriter who wrote the screenplay to the producers wanted to remake the movie and use the new technology that was not available when the film was made. Whatever the reasons, the objective is simple and its what I watch for in any movie – Is the movie like a book I read that keeps me wanting to watch and make me forget the world problems for 80 minutes or more.

The Great Gatsby is a film which was made in a remake since the original in 1926 which was a silent film. The original was adapted from the stage production which is an adaption from a novel of the same name. Of course, the second film in 1949 for copyright issues is not ready available which I haven’t seen at all – know it exists because of wiki*. The 1974 version  with Robert Redford is the version I watch and remembered and it was a good love romantic movie. There is another version which was made for TV and it setting was in a different place. The 2013 version with Leonardo DiCaprio had the 3D effect and it was this that made me watch it for the technical.

As you noticed the 1949 version of The Great Gatsby had some issues with copyrights, that is truly the problem that most movies in the film industry have trouble with especially if it is a remake. That is the ultimate problem, the legal issues of making the remake movie. Thus that is why when you watch a remake the basic story line is there but slight changes are made for legal reasons especially copyright. The person who writes a screenplay must ask permission for doing such a remake but it is another long process with lawyers that take months and even years before a said remake movie is done.

As with all copyrights the owner of the said novel has copyrights and the publisher have the right to sell said novel depending on the publisher’s terms of the contract. I believe it would be the same in the film industry but its a longer contract with lawyers of the big movie-makers. Of course, it is the reason for such remakes that flop and others excel.

Well here end the long post but it is informative enough to understand it. It seems so plain and simple but usually the most common issue in making films is the legal issues from the adaption of the novel. I think we movie goers seem to want it to follow the book so much but never consider the legal issue of copyright. I have considered the copyright issue and if the film industry did follow the letter that would breach the copyright law.  I think most importantly is to enjoy the movie for what it is and then consider the full impact thus is what I do when I review movies and books here – especially copyright. I put it in my own words and how I feel when watching or reading the film or novel.

* Research at Wikipedia website.

Books I Read Over and Over Again

Over the months I started the review site, I have watched more movies, DVDs  or rental movies than reading books.  Some of the movies I have seen has been written as books before the movie was made. For example, one such movie is the The Host which I couldn’t read the book thus the movie was better than the book. Another is The Great Gatsby. Hey you are wondering, why the Great Gatsby? Well its about the roaring 40’s and its a good story that really shows how the science of the engine itself  in those vintage cars. You’re not buying that explanation, are you? Okay it was the first movie I saw on 3-D at my sisters’ place and a little bit tipsy which was one hell of a 3-D experience. Later I watched on pay TV in normal view and got the better experience of the movie itself and more sober. But movies these days seem to have that 3-D effect as the object seems to come at you for a split second but doesn’t reach you. Oh, the Great Gatsby version with Leonardo DiCaprio is the remake from Robert Redford’s version.

What am I saying in this post?

Well I seem to watch more movies than read books. Not necessarily true. I have been reading many books and sometimes there are books that after reading them seem like all the other books I’ve read before. Even though I reread a few of the books like a person devoted to a religion, who can pass the yearly reliving of the Tolkien’s Middle Earth. I certainly cannot pass this yearly foray of pleasure, or returning to the David and Leigh Eddings’ world of magic and gods playing with the humanity senses of what make them human. Or even going into a the dark worlds of the Dark Elves of the Forgotten Realms.

No matter what I read, I rarely get the pleasure of the worlds I have visited when reading JRR Tolkien, Eddings, Raymond Fiest, Robert Jordan, Brandon Sanderson, George R R Martin, Robert Salvatore, Sara Douglass, and many more to mention here. All the series of the mentioned authors, and on occasions, I do find some new author appealing but I do find it hard to read first persons stories(I did this and that scenario.). The beginning usually and more precisely should capture the reader. Usually the first sentence does it but the next one usually becomes I get frustrated and throw the book to the floor. So I jump ahead to the first chapter, then its like reading from a different persons view. Then, I cease to read it. After a number of days I go back and reread the book and… sometimes the writing of the author pulls me forward.

Here is one author Ian Irvine, I had trouble reading from the beginning and it wasn’t like I mention above. It was entirely third person point of view – if my photo memory is correct – which usually is at 95% of the times. The language was purely a high standard, for me. Like the above paragraph, I reread the book at a later time and it astounded me. The Three Worlds Sequence which is a four book series became one of my favorites, yes I get to reread it again.

There are times when I feel that rereading the books I read before, an exhilaration of wanting the stories to keep going forward and onward. Of course, in the end, the worlds I enter seem to be pale illusions to the world I live in. What do I mean by that? Pale Illusions is not what I wanted to say. Vivid is more a better word that encompasses the state of the pictures that the words on the page create in my mind. My senses are alive in an imagined world written by my favorite authors I mention above. Is this reasonable assumption? In a way, I lean toward a yes.  It is very simple, I read to leave my world that I know and travel to a fantastical world where I can forget the pain I have.

This is the criteria I look for when reading a novel. Can I be transported from the trouble world I live in to a world of fantasy. The escapism of the novel is the point for me. Thus rereading the novels by my favorite authors makes me want to relive those moments again and again.