Reviews written by registered user
|4 reviews in total|
This is an all time favorite of mine. When I was an undergraduate I became friends with a fellow math major who was obviously brilliant. His father had died when he was young, and he was obsessed with living forever. Even during the time I knew him, he taught himself neuroscience (while studying math), and came up with various ideas for preserving our brains. He used to bounce these ideas off of me, but his learning rate was so far beyond mine, he quickly lost me. When we parted ways, he was building a machine to slice up brains. That's right--his idea, after studying neuroscience was to slice up the brains of a cared-for deceased so thinly that the neural connections to be saved as data. He even began building a machine to do it in his garage. He must be pretty smart because he's a post-doc at Harvard now. In any case, we used to talk about the prospect of saving the configuration of a person's brain. If, for example, the reader were to have all of their neurons wired the way mine are right now, that person would think like me. That person would _be_ me. When suitable technology comes, will they go fix the brains of people in cryogenic freezing? I don't think so. They'll figure out how their brains are wired and then use a computer to simulate them. That person would suddenly become alert as computer program ran, thinking exactly like they do. This is science. It's hard science. It's futuristic--the details are fantastically complicated, but if society rolls on, it will be a reality. Maybe people will live out what is shown in this film. In this respect, this movie is excellent. I think Tom's acting is superb. Aside from just the science, I enjoyed the film itself and was intrigued the whole time because it is real. This film gets it right. People aren't quite ready for it. But maybe they think it's just too silly. Well, it's not that silly as this old friend of mine has proved.
This is a Halloween season favorite of mine. In fact, I'm watching the DVD right now. What makes this episode exceptional, even for a TZ is the acting. The best work happens in the tavern as Lee Marvin, James Best, and Angel Eyes (Lee Van Cleef) have a friendly little chat about a man named Pinto Sykes. Best's performance as the village idiot is incredible, and in fact, he and Marvin have an excellent chemistry as they go back and forth. Lee Van Cleef plays a good guy, but given his physical characteristics, he's imposing as always. The special effects are limited, but when it comes to Fall, the wind blowing on a cemetery or heard from inside an old western tavern creates a perfect ambiance.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
You can identify 50s science fiction by it's curious blend of ancient
technology (large computers with blinking buttons/lights that are
operated with binary switches) and characters who smoke, but with
stories which aren't very far off scientifically. The reason for this
is simple: relativity, quantum mechanics and most physics we know
today, at least the barebones, was known then. But technology such as
computers and social norms, such as not smoking, didn't become part of
our culture in the 1990s. It was a gradual change.
What we have in this story is an interesting incident in which 3 astronauts find a ship crashed on a planet they're exploring. The characters are clearly in a time loop in which all space-time routes away from the planet loop back to the planet. They arrive to see their crashed ship. They attempt to leave at some point, and their actions, which are in response to their own observance of the crashed ship, cause them to crash their ship. So, you're left with "how did they first crash the ship?" The solution in physics can only be a closed space-time loop. There's no way for it to have happened the first time in the universe they are in.
The universe in which they crashed it initially is no longer part of their history, but it is part of one of their histories, which has now broken free from all of their possible current histories. My guess is that this could be explained using Everett's many worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics if you suspend the axiom of independence for all universes--at some point, they made a transition to one of the virtually infinite branches of their current universe to a version which has a closed space-time curve
curves back on itself, and there is no way to get back to the actual universe they came from and no way to leave the planet.
This is one of my all time favorites. I have the TZ's on DVD and I
watch them periodically, one after another, savoring the moments. Only
the TZs can I watch this way.
The acting between Blondell and Demarest is nonpareil, and the TV repairman you may recognize as the voice of Winnie the Pooh (from the 1960s). They are all accomplished actors of course, but much of their body of work pre-dates my movie experience by decades.
In any case, this isn't an episode that jumps out and surprises you with a 'gotcha' ending. Instead, you know where it's more or less going, but it manages to keep you on edge the whole time with plenty of creepiness and claustrophobia in that NY apartment. The dialogue is filled with great noir one-liners "you and your flea bitten floozie.."...
Highly recommended--not for the 'gotcha' as I said, but for a more enjoyable ride, watching a pair of thespians in the twilights of their careers give a fantastic stage-life performance.