|Index||9 reviews in total|
I looked forward to every episode of this now-ancient HBO series. I guess I should pick up the DVD set one of these days. Not all episodes were of equal quality, and the budgets were often appalling. But when the stories adhered to the original source material, they couldn't be beat -- except maybe by the first few seasons of the original TWILIGHT ZONE. This is the series that adopted A SOUND OF THUNDER, one of Bradbury's very best short stories, and did an excellent job with it. Also, while Bradbury was no Rod Serling, his quavery intro to each episode was always something to look forward to. I could be mistaken, but I seem to recall some episodes were adapted from stories that had been earlier adapted for use on the original TWILIGHT ZONE.
I used to watch this show when I was somewhere between fourth or fifth
Grade. I didn't always understand everything. I knew that almost every
episode had a twist ending, like Twilight Zone, but I was confused
sometimes. Even so, the show changed the way I thought about the world
and several episodes, although I haven't seen them in years, still
stick with me. Every time someone is yakking on a cell phone, I think
of the episode The Murderer, and I think "I want a chocolate
milkshake". At a fifth Grade book-fair one fateful day I remember
seeing the the name "RAY BRADBURY" blaring on the cover of a shiny
book, The Martian Chronicles. I still recall my exact thoughts. I ran
up, surprised, and said to myself "Heeeeeeey! thats that guy from TV!."
So I bought the book, still sitting on my bookshelf next to numerous
other Bradburys. I was impressed by some stories, baffled by others.
The Cold War references were lost on me, and for a long time I was
confounded looking for a continuous plot. The story "There will Come
soft Rains" introduced me to a favorite poet, Sara Teasdale. Although I
was left a little confused, I continued to raid the school library for
more Bradbury, reading Something Wicked This Way Comes, S is For Space,
R is For Rocket, Twice Twenty-Two, Death is a Lonely Business. My only
disappointment is that I never got around to reading I Sing the Body
Now, years later, as a teenager, I found The Ray Bradbury Theater DVD set at a best buy. 68 episodes, and only 30$! Well, needless to say, I grabbed the only copy they had left and clung to it for my life. I got home, and, perusing though episode titles, came across many of my favorite stories, A Sound of Thunder, The Lake, The Murderer, and many others I realized I had read since I watched the series as a child. In fact, I recall my elation at coming across "The Murderer" (always my favorite) as a short story.
In short, Ray Bradbury Theater is a great series for people of all ages. It will make you think, an stick with you, and possibly cause you to read more Ray Bradbury stories than you watch in episodes.
This was one of the best genre shows on tv since the original TWLIGHT ZONE. RAY BRADBURY THEATRE had a quality missing from most conventional genre tv shows. Bradbury himself had creative control, I suppose this was wise. The version of the martian Chronicles that aired in this program was far superior to the one aired on NBC. What this show lacked in budget, it made up for in quality and depth of prose. My favorite entry into this program was the episode with BEN CROSS, in which martians are planing on invading earth,yet when they get here they become a multi media sensation and get sucked into the entertainment industry via seedy lawers, and agents. To put it simply.....they sell out. This episode was ultimately a commentary on the entertainment business. This show originally aired on HBO and got a instant cult following. I always like the cold open where bradbury would be sitting in his office surrounded by special effects models, posters, etc.
Ray Bradbury is an absolutely brilliant writer. I am totally impressed
with the original ideas that he evolves into thoughtful and creative
stories. I had nearly given up TV when his series came to our PBS affiliate
in Denver. I made it a goal, early on, to see every episode.
My favorite episodes include `There Was an Old Woman' and `A Miracle of Rare Device.' They are true masterpieces. It is also fun to look for my favorite stars in these little-known vignettes.
I grew up reading Ray Bradbury's books and I enjoyed, even more, the screen portrayals of his works. His insistence on creative control over the finished product has resulted in a legacy that he can truly be proud of. Don't miss these excellent stories!
Ray Bradbury will doubtless be remembered as one of the 20th century's
most brilliant writers. This series captures some of his best short
stories, including some fairly obscure ones, quite well. In many
episodes, Bradbury does a special introduction, giving the viewer a
tidbit of background about the story, which is a nice touch.
If there is one major flaw in this show, it is the production values. The show was an independent production, shot on a modest budget for cable TV. The first few episodes were done for HBO and the remainder for USA Network. The visual effects are lackluster, even for the time in which it was produced, and many of the episodes seem a bit dated--not exactly modern but not quite vintage either. Still, Bradbury's amazing ability to spin a yarn comes through to save things. Had the show been based on material from a lesser writer, it would have been unwatchable.
I saw this on "Home Box Office" (heh! Love that...HBO now) when it
first aired. Drew Barrymore's Screaming Woman has always impressed me
and still does.
I recently picked up the Platinum Disc Corp DVD set for this series and was pleasantly surprised by the image quality. It's has nice color for the most part but may appear too pink at other times. I doubt the source material was outstanding visually. The biggest problem is something that was not a big surprise: image tearing. This happens when there is a lot of action on screen. It's infuriating that a company does this to a series that isn't available any way else just to save a few bucks. I paid about $25 but I'd pay more for better quality spread across more DVDs. It really sucks! And they could've turned themselves around with this collection. Yey to PDC for releasing these but boohiss for dropping the quality. For that I WON'T BE buying this for Christmas for another member of the family who is a fan. :(
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The best thing about "The Ray Bradbury Theater" is its diversity: you never know what the next episode will bring you. There is sci-fi (both on Earth and on Mars), tales of the supernatural, mystery, horror, black comedy, just plain comedy, heartwarming stories, etc. The most disappointing thing is how many of the episodes don't have a memorable punchline or payoff, something that is required in this type of anthology show. Sometimes Bradbury's stories get lost in translation due to the generally dismal production values, or the usually unimaginative directors. But other times the stories themselves begin with a great idea that is never developed; too many endings make little sense or leave you wondering "Huh? Is that it?". There are episodes that make 22 minutes feel like an eternity; there are also episodes that achieve a kind of poetry. I won't go extensively into specific titles, because everyone has their individual tastes; I will just mention three episodes that I think are painfully unwatchable ("Colonel Stonesteel and the Desperate Empties" "There Was An Old Woman", "Exorcism"), and three that are clever and successful ("Touch of Petulance", "By The Numbers", "The Fruit at the Bottom of the Bowl"). Most of the others are somewhere in between. The DVD of this show is extremely cheap (under 10 US dollars), but you'll find out why: they have stuffed all 65 episodes in 5 discs (13 in each), resulting in frequent, and distracting, pixelization. Still, you can't beat that number of episodes for that price.
Every episode (totally 65) in this TV series is based on a short story
written by Ray Bradbury. I have seen most of them and I am more than
happy on the way Bradbury's stories are presented on screen. The lack
of budget for some episodes at least does not get in the way and the
presentation exposes sufficiently well Bradbury's imaginative power.
Bradbury is one of my favorite novelists. He is (perhaps) mostly known for his science-fiction novel 'Fahrenheit 451' and the compound stories of 'The Martian Chronicles'. Nonetheless, his strength I think lies to his short stories that contain a rich blend of many themes ranging from lighthearted comedies to horror stories of the macabre. These episodes (for the most part produced for cable TV) do a more-than-decent job of introducing us to Bradbury's universe and can be an ideal starting point for many viewers to discover Bradbury. 'The Ray Bradbury Theater' is a must for fans and highly recommended for everybody.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
It was a discrete, wise, quite, charming and weird TV show.Pére
Bradbury's filmed sketches were on TV during my adolescence, and they
shaped my idea of a SciFi show and of how it should look (and taste,
). That's why a later exposure to TV space operas was
practically uselessI was lost for the spaceopera ,and educated, as it
were, by Pére Bradbury's quiet marvels and paradoxesnice, wise ,gentle
things, often with a humorous or a paradoxical side
;and by the '80s
TWILIGHT ZONE (whose score still thrills me
).These humble things
looked to a 1314 yrs. old quite exquisite and stylish and even maybe
somewhat sophisticated; never dull or disappointing. This was my idea
of a SciFi show, of vintage SciFi TV. The intro was
unforgettablePére Bradbury in the elevator, than entering his small
officethe toys, the objects around his office
.We were told he never
took the plane; we felt that his mind was imposing, and the oldster
looked friendly and peaceful.
At the same age, I had the pleasure of reading a weekly magazine that sometimes offered a Bradbury short story (it offered a short storysometimes two, if even shorter --each time ), and then the treat was manifold. I think that there, in that magazine, I first encountered Bradbury's literature in its printed form.
I remember your TV show,Pére Bradbury,with fondness and gratitude;it was firsthand SciFi.
It cultivated the taste for the concise TV sketch.
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