Friday, May 3, 2013

May Day Open Thread Comrades

With pre-May Day upon us, we're doing what all good socialist workers do... taking the day off. In meantime, comrades, tell us your favorite films of the glories of the Soviet Union and world socialist revolution. Or if that doesn't excite you, tell us what television shows you think should be adapted to film!

103 comments:

K said...

The FAll of Berlin


Mission to Moscow: FDR commissioned American movie full of expedient lies about the USSR, communism and Stalin. Sort of like MSNBC but with a bigger budget. A must for collectors of commie kitch - like me.


Battleship Potemkin - Eisenstein's iconic movie about the 1905 revolution. Set the template for all future agit-prop and Matt Damon movies.

Earth - hailed as a masterpiece by western critics. Good iconography and politically correct story of evil Kulaks (middle class peasants) who murder the good and true communist collective farm organizer just for running down their fences protecting their former private property with his communist provided free tractor. Movie just preceded the Ukrainian terror famine - one wonders if it was preparing the political battlespace for mass murder.

Backthrow said...

What TV show should be adapted to film? My vote goes to the coolest show most people have never seen, much less remember, from the creator* of Dirty Harry and the director** of THE OMEGA MAN.

* Harry Julian Fink, who also co-wrote MAJOR DUNDEE, BIG JAKE and CAHILL U.S. MARSHALL

** Boris Sagal (father of MARRIED WITH CHILDREN's/SONS OF ANARCHY's Katey Sagal) who was born in Soviet Russia, thus neatly tying into the other suggested theme. ;)

K said...

Oooo! I loved T.H.E. Cat.

Backthrow said...

This young man was obviously impressed.

K said...

How about Wild Wild West? .... wait.

shawn said...

Favorite movie about commies? Probably have to go with "The Hunt for Red October". Next up would be "Firefox" and lastly the 80's "Red Dawn".

Favorite movie by a Russian? "Night Watch".

Michael K said...

How about "REDS"?

Kenn Christenson said...

There are a couple old TV shows I thought would make good films: "The Prisoner" and "U.F.O." Evidently, they're making the latter, although I haven't heard much since the initial announcement that they're making the film.

I didn't bother catching "The Prisoner" remake - heard it wasn't very good, so I skipped it.

tryanmax said...

Ah! Someone beat me to Reds.

rlaWTX said...

K, there has not been a film adaptation of the Wild, Wild West TV show. There was some knock-off movie, but no real adaptation. :)

(sorta like they really need to do a prequel to Star Wars, cause that hasn't been done either)

AndrewPrice said...

Kenn, "The Prisoner" had a lot of promise, but fell flat. I wouldn't bother. And yeah, that would be a great show to remake -- especially by someone who understand that it was the whole surreal aspect of the show which made it a hit.

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, A Star Wars prequel would be great! :)

A very different Wild, Wild West remake would be good too!

AndrewPrice said...

You know what I'm surprised hasn't be done? "Gilligan's Island." That seems like a no-brainer for modern Hollywood.

AndrewPrice said...

Backthrow, I've never even heard of THE Cat.

AndrewPrice said...

Shawn, Good list! I like Firefox more and more as time goes on.


Micheal, Direct and to the point! LOL! A love story to communist.

AndrewPrice said...

K, Now that's propaganda!

Backthrow said...

Considering the prime demographic Hollywood caters to, especially with big blockbuster franchises, you'd think they'd have made a big JONNY QUEST movie by now, which would be awesome RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK/IRON MAN/THE INCREDIBLES-level entertainment, if done right (sticking with the classic 1960s original as its model, not so much the crappy 1980s/1990s updates). But they'd probably screw-up such a sure-fire concept in multiple ways.

With that in mind, I think I could count the big-screen TV adaptations I've fully enjoyed on one hand:

GUNN (1967, PETER GUNN update)
STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN
THE UNTOUCHABLES
THE FUGITIVE
MAVERICK

Backthrow said...

Oh wait, I just remembered two more good TV adaptations, but from way back in the 1950s:

DRAGNET (1954, Jack Webb's color theatrical version of his initial, gritty b&w TV series)

THE LINEUP (1958, directed by Don Siegel, loosely based on a popular mid-1950s cop show, though now long-forgotten)

K said...

Andrew, you know it dude! I forgot to mention re "Earth" - movie also has more hot nude rubenesque peasant babe scenes than 99 percent of Hollywood trash today. Those commissars really knew how to get people to "Join the Party" in those days.


K said...

Andrew:"Gilligan's Island."

If it happens, I'll know who to blame.

Backthrow said...

Hey, everybody! Let's spend summer vacation Eastern Bloc-style! Wheeeee!

But that's outdoors, mainly for dissidents and decadent youth; indoors, which all good Party members should favor, it's more like this.

In either case, fellow comrades, beware of Uzbeks!

Kenn Christenson said...

Actually, one of the best depictions of life in the Soviet Bloc was 1984 (released in 1984.) Sans the giant view-screens, of course. :)

AndrewPrice said...

Kenn, I thought that was an Obama pre-biography?

AndrewPrice said...

K, Arg. Let's hope no one reads this. Although, frankly, I'm amazed they haven't already tried it?

AndrewPrice said...

Backthrow, "Johnny Quest" would be great if they didn't mess it up... which they would. :(

ScottDS said...

Andrew -

Re: Dragnet, I might be in the minority but I'm a big fan of the 1987 comedic adaptation with Dan Aykroyd and Tom Hanks. It's a huge guilty pleasure. "Pagans!!"

And I assume it wasn't picked up but Ron Moore was at one point developing a new Wild, Wild West series for television. Click here.

He's developing a couple of sci-fi shows right now so this one has no doubt fallen by the wayside. (The story is from two years ago.)

djskit said...

It guess it would have been too obvious if the made Earth Day on May Day. So the settled on Lenin's birthday instead?

ScottDS said...

Say what you want about his politics but this bit of movie news surprises me. He's never done a modern war movie.

shawn said...

Scott DS-
Dragnet is a guilty pleasure of mine as well. I saw it when it first came out and was disappointed, but it has grown on me over the years.

Ron Moore- First two and a half season of Battlestar Galactica where awesome. Then it went completely off the rails. Hope if he does another series, that he plans it out a little better. Deep Space Nine was brilliant.

Spielberg- Wouldn't War of the Worlds count as modern warfare?

Dave Olson said...

Thank you for taking Workers' Day off (irony alert!) and giving me the opportunity to expound upon my favorite book-never-made-into-a-movie, "The Charm School" by Nelson DeMille. Now to be fair, the concept has already been "borrowed", although some would say "stolen", by movies like "Salt" and TV shows like "The Americans". But DeMille did it first. And better.

In the waning days of Glasnost and Perestroika, an Air Force intelligence officer stationed at the US Embassy in Moscow stumbles onto a massive Soviet spy operation: MIA pilots from the Vietnam War were flown to Russia and forced to train Soviets to pass for Americans. The Soviets were then brought to the States and infiltrate our society. The plot is based on DeMille's experiences in Vietnam, and some of the rumors he heard from pilots. The North Vietnamese suddenly had SAMs and were shooting down American fighters and bombers. The pilots speculated that POWs and MIAs were being sent to the USSR in exchange for the missiles.

The novel is very pro-Russia, but at the same time it is very anti-Soviet, if you can get the difference. Being so anti-Soviet, there is no way "The Charm School" will ever be made by Hollywood as it currently exists. Sad to say, the only DeMille novel that has ever been made into a major movie was "The General's Daughter", which was a fine novel but the movie was a steaming pile of organic equine fertilizer.

T-Rav said...

Er, May Day's kind of on May 1st. Not that I'm complaining.

Given how long Dallas ran and the second wind it's enjoying now, I'm kind of surprised it hasn't had a movie yet.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, Is it May 1? Huh, then we're more like socialists than we imagined... a day later and somebody else's dollar short. :)

Ok, consider this pre- Cinco de Madre Day or something.

AndrewPrice said...

Dave, That would make an excellent film actually. That's quite a good plot!

AndrewPrice said...

Scott and Shawn,

My guess is that Spielberg will focus on the guy's private life more than the war stuff. Though, this could well end up being the first watchable Iraq War film. Who knows?

On Moore, I dislike Moore for a lot of reasons. That said, I do think he hit upon something really solid with BSG, but I also think he let politics get in the way at one point and then he wimped out in the latter part of the series.

AndrewPrice said...

djskit, There's nothing like Lenin's birthday to party down Commie style, so quit Stalin! ;)

ScottDS said...

shawn -

Re: War of the Worlds... perhaps. I think it might also be a victim of rushing to judgement and the idea that every film that pits a hero against an implacable foe must be a metaphor for the War on Terror. I'm not saying Spielberg didn't have that in mind but sometimes a sci-fi flick is nothing more than that.

ScottDS said...

Andrew -

I know your feelings for Moore but I think if you listened to some of his commentaries/interviews, you might change your mind, at least slightly. He's incredibly candid about his own work.

It's been a while since I've seen BSG but the main problem was that they had no plan!

AndrewPrice said...

Speaking of Stalin, there's a really interesting BBC TV movie called Archangel staring Daniel Craig. (LINK).

It's worth checking out if you get the chance. Craig plays a professor who goes to Russia and uncovers a kind of mystery related to Stalin and a plot to take over the government in Russia. I had no expectations going in and I was rather pleasantly surprised to find an interesting film that didn't glorify communism at all.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, I think Moore has issues that go far beyond his skill as a writer. It's too bad too because he's not a bad writer/producer.

shawn said...

ScottDS- "It's been a while since I've seen BSG but the main problem was that they had no plan!"

It became so obvious they dropped it from the opening credits scroll.

K said...

Andrew: this bit of movie news surprises me.

Not me. From a lefty website:

traces his life from his childhood in Texas up through his four tours of duty in Iraq, during which he killed more than 150 people. (Kyle died earlier this year after a fellow veteran shot him at a gun range.)

I'm smelling ironic anti-gun message.

K said...

May Day's kind of on May 1st.

Reactionary propaganda.

shawn said...

K- "I'm smelling ironic anti-gun message."

I hope not, as his murder has more to do with the mental health issues of the veteran he was helping, than simple gun violence.

tryanmax said...

consider this pre- Cinco de Madre Day or
something.


Actually, I think the agreed-upon name is now "Cinco de Cuatro"

After all, Dear Leader never makes a mistake.

tryanmax said...

I catch a whiff of what's K's smelling, myself.

tryanmax said...

One more and I'm out; this is totes open thread as it just occurred to me--

Our liberal friends are excellent at extrapolating from a few CO2 emissions a doom-and-gloom scenario of famine, pestilence, poverty, genocide and war, even though we've never seen such a thing from those causes. At the same time, they can't begin to fathom the same outcomes from government socialism even though plenty of examples have already been recorded.

AndrewPrice said...

K, Reactionary propaganda indeed! T-Rav is clearly a bourgeoisie pig.


I agree with you about Spielberg. I'll bet the story ends up being about PTSD and then guns.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, The problem with Cinco de Cuatro is that it doesn't pull in Mother's Day. We can kill all kinds of birds with one big stone here. :)

AndrewPrice said...

Are you really looking for logic or consistency from liberals?

tryanmax said...

Andrew, no, but I think if I shortened that thought up and put a prominent conservative's picture beside it, I could start an internet meme. Now, who to pick...?

AndrewPrice said...

That would be interesting. The world needs more memes.

T-Rav said...

Hey, hey, hey! I am not! I'm only a petty-bourgeois pig--emphasis on petty.

Also, Andrew, it's a common mistake, but "bourgeoisie" is a noun. Bourgeois would be the adjective form. So you should have said I'm clearly a "bourgeois pig."

AndrewPrice said...

Thanks T-Rav! I'll keep that in mind for when we celebrate "We Will Bury You" Day.

Anonymous said...

As a kid I was a huge fan of Starsky and Hutch.If I remember correctly, the show just wasn't renewed after the last season. It never had a satisfying ending that wrapped everything up.I always wanted to see a tv movie (I know it wouldn't be on the big screen,that's okay)with David Soul and Paul Michael Glaser that wrapped everything up. It could have been made around 2000 or so,both men would be pushing 60,which is around retirement age for a cop.Starsky is still a street cop. Hutch has gone into management and is Chief of Detectives.Both men are still reminiscent of the bond that they had but they've become estranged by time and different jobs. Starsky's involved in a shooting or something like that,that winds up on Hutch's desk. There's police corruption,court corruption,or something like that involved and Hutch has to make a choice as to where he's going to stand. We all know what choice he makes. They get it wrapped up,renew their friendship and get ready to head to retirement.
Alas,Glaser turned 70 in March.Soul will do it in August. My youth gets further in the rerview mirror of my red Gran Torino. :(
GypsyTyger

AndrewPrice said...

GypsyTyger, I take it you didn't care for the Ben Stiller version? ;)

Actually, before anybody misses my sarcasm... the Stiller version stunk.

PikeBishop said...

Speaking of Gilligan's Island: This brings up one of our favorite bar argument topics for some time.

1. The quest: You are casting the big screen version of Gilligan's Island.

2. Money is no object

3. You are casting the characters in their original roles and characterizations. No making Mr. Howell a dot.com millionaire or making Ginger black (Sorry Beyoncé)

Here is the one that we came up with in the mid 90s,

Keanau Reeves as Gilligan (post "Bill and Ted" gooniness. Jim Carrey would work as well)

Charles Durning as the Skipper

Gene Hackman as Mr. Howell (although some felt that a maturing Robin Williams could have done it.)

Olympia Dukakis as Mrs. Howell

Kevin Costner as the Professor

Julia Roberts as Ginger

Sandra Bullock as Mary Ann.

What say you?

AndrewPrice said...

PikeBishop, I can't argue with Bullock as Mary Ann or Durning as the Skipper. John Goodman would work well too for the Skipper.

How about this:

Gilligan: Gary Oldman
The Skipper: Orson Wells
The Professor: Joe Pesci
Mr. Howell: George Burns
Mrs. Howell: Ellen Page
Ginger: Lindsay Lohan
Mary Ann: Zoey Daschanel

Oh wait... that's my nightmare scenario for Gillian's Island.

shawn said...

Mid 90's "Gilligan's Island" cast:

Gilligan- Keanu Reeves
Skipper- Charles Durning
Mr. Howell- Gene Hackman
Mrs. Howell- Helen Mirren
Professor- Kevin Costner
Ginger- Gillian Anderson- hottest fake red-head of the 90s. Would also accept Rene Russo.
Mary Ann- Joey Lauren Adams

PikeBishop said...

Shawn: Helen Mirren would be a great choice, and I agree that Goodman would work too, as Andrew pointed out. (I was thinking about an already older actor in Durning)

I don't know enough about Joey Lauren Adams to make a decision.

Ginger? Anderson can't play the glamorouse movie star as good as Roberts would be able to.

Floyd R. Turbo said...

Best movie about Soviet-era...

2007's "The Lives of Others" about an East German Stasi eavesdropper... embodies the brutality and debasement of living in such a state.

Soviet agitprop... Alexander Nevsky... the "Battle on the Ice" is still a great piece of filmmaking.

Floyd R. Turbo said...

TV show into a movie...

big screen send off of Carnivale would suit me fine

PikeBishop said...

Floyd:

Me too on Carnivale! The greatest unfinished symphony in the history of TV!

Backthrow said...

GILLIGAN'S ISLAND (2013)

Gilligan - Michael Cera
Skipper - John Goodman
Mr. Howell - Joe Flaherty
Mrs. Howell - Dana Ivey
Professor - Bruce Campbell
Ginger - Jessica Biel
Mary Ann - Christina Ricci

Backthrow said...

If THE WILD, WILD WEST was rebooted for the big screen, done right this time, I think this casting could work:

James West - Mark 'HUMAN TARGET' Valley
Artemus Gordon - Bryan Cranston
Dr. Miguelito Loveless - Peter Dinklage

K said...

Director: Anyone but Barry Sonnenfeld.

Backthrow said...

Definitely not Sonnenfeld.

I'd prefer Sam Raimi or Brad Bird.

Anonymous said...

Durning as the skipper would have been hilarious. I vote for Russo as Ginger. Roberts takes herself so seriously anymore she's just not any fun.
GypsyTyger

Anonymous said...

P.S.
To respond to your comment,Andrew, I looked at the Stiller version one night for about 10 minutes. It didn't just stink. It was rancid.

tryanmax said...

Andrew, I can't get any more nightmarish than that, so you've forced me to go serious:

Gilligan - Jay Baruchel
Skipper - Kevin James
Mr. Howell - Alec Baldwin
Mrs. Howell - Mary McDonnell
Ginger - Laura Prepon
Professor - James Franco
Mary Ann - Zoey Daschanel (yes, seriously--face it, Mary Ann is not a demanding role)

I figured I skew younger and toward actors and actresses with established comedic chops. Y'know, for the kids.

tryanmax said...

Conversely, we could do this:

Gilligan - Johnny Depp
Skipper - unknown
Mr. Howell - unknown
Mrs. Howell - unknown
Ginger - unknown
Professor - unknown
Mary Ann - unknown

tryanmax said...

One more: If I'd been faced with this question 10 years ago, I would basically just shuffle the Scooby Doo cast and toss in Jack Black as the Skipper.

tryanmax said...

Y'know what? I'm gonna swap out Franco for Jason Bateman.

Damn! I need to get started on something productive.

Floyd R. Turbo said...

Gilligan's Island:

Gilligan: Jerry Trainor (older brother Spencer from iCarly)
Skipper -- Seth Rogen
Professor -- Luke Wilson
Thurston Howell III -- Alan Tudyk
Lovie -- Joanne Kelly (Myka) from Warehouse 13
Ginger -- Michelle Williams

Floyd R. Turbo said...

Dang it...

Joanne Kelly would be Mary Ann.

Lovie -- Kristen Scott Thomas

PikeBishop said...

AS for current actresses: Christina Hendricks would be perfect for Ginger and just thinking about her in some of Tina Louise's outfits on that show....................um...............well........I'll be back in a few minutes ;-)

For Mary Ann, no doubt Ginnifer Goodwin! Perky, cute, adorable and can act.

K said...

Re: Gilligan: "Those poor people"

Saw Ironman 3. Far superior to staying home and mowing your lawn. Especially if combined with the consumption of chocolate covered raisins.

Trailer: "Superman"- the 20 percent less gay version. The "S" isn't an "S", it a Krptonian symbol meaning "Hope". Yeah. That's what I thought as well.

tryanmax said...

K, you think that's odd. The Kryptonian symbol for "Change" looks like an "O"

AndrewPrice said...

I was wondering what the Krypton symbol for Change was. I figured it was a middle finger.

AndrewPrice said...

BTW, Miley Cyrus as the hottest chick in America? White trash Barbie? Are they serious?

AndrewPrice said...

GypsyTyger, Rancid was a good word for it. It has nothing to do with Starsky and Hutch -- it's just a lousy cop movie that stole a couple names, and it's so far beyond not funny that I can't believe anyone thought the script was worth shooting.

AndrewPrice said...

Floyd, Totally agree about Carnivale. I would love to see a conclusion to that!

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, If you're going to pick Johnny Depp, then you need the rest of the Tim Burton cast. There's no escaping that.

As for Mary Ann, a better choice would be Ellen Page. How about Sharon Stone for the washed up starlet Ginger?

John Goodman as the Skipper
Matthew Lillard as Gilligan
Christopher Lloyd as the Professor

T-Rav said...

K, I concur on Iron Man 3. I don't know how it ranks yet in my overall scale of superhero movies, but I'm fairly certain it's the best "number three" movie I've seen.

ScottDS said...

Andrew -

You're on to something with Sharon Stone. :-)

Let's do the Tim Burton cast:

In addition to John Goodman as the Skipper...

-Johnny Depp as Gilligan
-Michelle Pfeiffer as Ginger
-Bella Heathcote (from Dark Shadows) as Mary Ann
-Helena Bonham Carter as Mrs. Howell
-Christopher Lee as Mr. Howell
-Michael Keaton as The Professor

With music by Danny Elfman and a special appearance by Pee-Wee Herman, just because. :-)

Dave Olson said...

Dear God. Are you people serious about this? Gilligan's Island was the biggest steaming, stinking pile of catshit to ever disgrace the American airwaves. (Except maybe that one Lost in Space episode with the talking vegetables.) There's a reason that the recent spate of movies that attempted to recreate TV shows from the late 60s through the early 80s were box office and critical disasters: the source materiel stunk on hot ice. Land of the Lost. Dukes of Hazzard. And the aforementioned Starsky and Hutch. Now you're seriously considering and debating the casting of a hypothetical Gilligan's Island movie? Isn't one of the chief complaints about modern movies that there aren't any original ideas anymore? Aren't we sick of remakes, reboots, and retreads?

If I were the 8th castaway, the show would have lasted about 5 episodes. The 4th show would open with Gilligan floating facedown in the lagoon. The remaining 6 castaways would hold a kangaroo court. By the epilogue, they'd acquit me of murder on the grounds that (A) I refused to cop to the crime and (B) now that he was dead, we'd have a chance to get off the damned island. Roll credits. Episode 5 would show us getting rescued, taken to Hawaii and then going our separate ways. End of series. The only good thing about the show lasting as long as it did and its subsequent eternal life in syndication is that SAG demanded a better deal for residuals.

rlaWTX said...

Wild Wild West - Mark Valley as Jim West is AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I say that as a kid who thought Conrad was pretty dreamy (I watched the show in reruns after school in the late 70's-early 80's when I was 8-10yo. and didn't realize it was an "old" show) and as an adult who can appreciate his skills [taking the material seriously without taking himself too seriously, etc].
Mark Valley fits both molds pretty well... :)

Gilligan's Island -- NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.

K said...

Dave: You don't understand.

Gilligan, like the estimable Inspector Clouseau, operates in some kind of metaphysical entropic field - think Damion in the Omen.

You may have tried to kill Gilligan, but before you managed to drown him a coconut would have "accidentally" beaned you or some piece of detritus from a jetliner passing over at 35000ft would slice your arm off.

Those people were doomed from the beginning. The fact that they all seemed to be undeserving of such a fate is just the show's dreary secular humanist message. Thank goodness it never got remade to program another entire generation.

PikeBishop said...

@ Dave:

No Dave, we are not serious! Jeeeeeeez!

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, I keep thinking of that video making fun of Burton and how Danny Elfman is going "dee dee dee dee dee dee dee dee DEE DEE DEE dee dee dee dee." LOL!

Your cast sounds about right for Burton.

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, I liked Conrad a lot too. Valley would work.

AndrewPrice said...

K, Exactly true. Gilligan is protected by some strange magical force that keeps him from harm and will cause the person trying to harm him to end up stuck in a zany situation. I'd steer clear of him and make my raft at night... sneak out without telling anyone.

AndrewPrice said...

PikeBishop and Dave, Uh... I was serious?! Just kidding. No, I'm not serious. I do not want to see Gillian brought to the big screen.

Backthrow said...

"Quick, get Johnny Depp and my wife on the phone!"

LOL!

AndrewPrice said...

"That's all I can ever do!"

rlaWTX said...

YES!! "I'd steer clear of him and make my raft at night... sneak out without telling anyone."

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, It strikes me as the obvious solution. LOL!

Anonymous said...

Dave's given me an insight.Maybe we all missed the intent of the creators of Gilligan's Island.Maybe it was an analogy for Purgatory,masked as a comedy to sell it to the American viewing public.
Hmmmmmm....
GypsyTyger

PikeBishop said...

Gypsy, yeah that would never work with a modern audience, a story that takes place on an island with mystical and convoluted happenings that would ultimately be seen as a religious metaphor on the duality of good and evil.

No one would ever buy that.

Backthrow said...

With that trademark red shirt of his, Gilligan wouldn't last 5 minutes in STAR TREK landing party.

AndrewPrice said...

Wow, so you're saying that Lost was a remake of Gilligan's Island. Interesting... I can actually see that. LOL!

AndrewPrice said...

Backthrow, I've learned to never wear a red shirt.

Anonymous said...

Pike, you're a brilliant man! I never even saw that,but once you pointed it out it seems so obvious! Brilliant.

GypsyTyger

Backthrow said...

R.I.P. Ray Harryhausen, master of movie monsters.

Post a Comment