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Ridley Scott's Forever War In 3D

CmdrTaco posted more than 5 years ago | from the that-extra-d-is-for-dumber dept.

Sci-Fi 296

bowman9991 writes "Ridley Scott's next science fiction film, his first since Blade Runner, will be a 3D adaptation of Joe Haldeman's The Forever War, an action packed novel about the impact of the time dilation effect on soldiers returning from an interstellar war against the mysterious Tauran species. Scott recently decided to move to 3D after watching footage of James Cameron's yet to be released science fiction epic Avatar. The Forever War, Cameron's Avatar, and Scott's other upcoming science fiction project, Brave New World, will make the next five years a fantastic time to be a science fiction movie enthusiast."

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How gimmicky is this 3D stuff? (5, Insightful)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 5 years ago | (#27645435)

The 3D I've seen is more distraction than enhancement. I don't want to have to wear stupid 3D glasses every time I watch a movie. I saw Beowulf in 3D and the effect was sometimes neat, sometimes disorienting.

Have they made any improvements or is this just more of the same?

Re:How gimmicky is this 3D stuff? (5, Insightful)

Dr. Manhattan (29720) | more than 5 years ago | (#27645617)

They're still learning how to use 3D. Look at the first silent movies - they were basically set up like theater stages. People then started to experiment, develop a 'visual vocabulary', and learn how to use the new capabilities. 3D's like that now, still a bit gimmicky but getting better. It's certainly not as obtrusive as it's been, and can help immersion.

(One thing that does not translate from 2D to 3D - at least for me - is a cross-fade. That just breaks my brain. In 2D, everything's in one focal plane. In a 3D crossfade, I can't figure out where to focus as things are appearing and disappearing and it's all a confused blur until the fade's over.)

The other issue is that 3D can't make a bad movie good. My youngest kids enjoyed "Fly Me To The Moon" [imdb.com] , but my wife and I... well, at least I had my PDA with me.

Re:How gimmicky is this 3D stuff? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27646273)

...well, at least I had my PDA with me.

FUCK YOU

I've seen idiots like you who think that just because you're not making noise with the device, it's alright to use it in the theater. You're apparently not intelligent enough to realize that since you're in a completely darkened room, ANY LIGHT coming from outside the screen is distracting as hell to people around you. It's not something that can be easily ignored.

People checking their watches and lighting them up is already distracting enough, but I can accept that if they don't do it every 5 minutes. It lights up quick, but then it's gone. Actually USING a PDA or texting on a phone is inexcusable. If you can't control yourself, wait until the movie comes out on dvd and watch it at home.

Re:How gimmicky is this 3D stuff? (4, Insightful)

clarkn0va (807617) | more than 5 years ago | (#27646669)

Um, have you ever been to a kids movie in a theater? With all the distraction going on in there you would be lucky to ever even notice the guy with the PDA.

Re:How gimmicky is this 3D stuff? (4, Interesting)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 5 years ago | (#27645623)

Depends on how it's used. I watched My Bloody Valentine, which is one of the few current live-action flicks in 3D, and as well as cute gimmicks* they made some surprisingly artistic use into-the-screen depth, which definitely gives you more of a sense of place and of space when done properly. There's quite a difference between peering down a dank passageway in 2D and 3D, at least. "Pop-out" effects made my head swim more often than not which sounds like the same problem you had.

*As far as gimmicks go, I'd love to see a dolly zoom in 3D.

Re:How gimmicky is this 3D stuff? (2, Insightful)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 5 years ago | (#27645741)

I don't go to the cinema any more (too expensive, too many idiots making noise, uncomfortable seats etc) so I have to watch everything on my HDTV at home. All I can hope is that filming in 3D does not negatively impact the 2D BluRay release.

Re:How gimmicky is this 3D stuff? (2, Interesting)

alyawn (694153) | more than 5 years ago | (#27646773)

Won't be long [next3d.com] . Check for 3D support before you buy your next HDTV.

Re:How gimmicky is this 3D stuff? (4, Informative)

DinDaddy (1168147) | more than 5 years ago | (#27645807)

It is always going to be disorienting for many people as long as your eyes want to focus and converge on something as if it were in the place it appears to be. 3D suffers from the innate problem of trying to make things appear closer to you when they are really still on a screen 30 feet away. Your eyes don't like to focus a one range but converge at another.

Things that make you go bleh.

Re:How gimmicky is this 3D stuff? (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 5 years ago | (#27646255)

I agree. The affect is cool the first 10 minutes; but after that it loses its "neato" factor and becomes a distraction. Plus, a 3D-like feeling can be gained from parallax, that is moving the camera to use close-vs-far movement perspective to give the brain 3D info. It's nearly as powerful a sensation as "two eye" stereo vision in my opinion, if done well. That's where the director's time should be spent. (I'll see if I can dig up some good examples from the web. My fav standbys aren't there anymore.)

Re:How gimmicky is this 3D stuff? (examples) (2, Interesting)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 5 years ago | (#27646451)

Here's some simple GIF "wiggle-grams" that illustrate the parallax effect:

http://www.well.com/user/jimg/stereo/stereo_list.html [well.com]

The "stone gate" is my favorite. (Click the thumbnail for bigger size.) Warning: some "artful" nudity.
   

Re:How gimmicky is this 3D stuff? (examples) (2, Funny)

ComaVN (325750) | more than 5 years ago | (#27646747)

That's a pretty neat effect, but unless it's a disaster movie about earthquakes, I don't really see this technique as useful for films...

Re:How gimmicky is this 3D stuff? (4, Insightful)

Ephemeriis (315124) | more than 5 years ago | (#27646333)

The 3D I've seen is more distraction than enhancement. I don't want to have to wear stupid 3D glasses every time I watch a movie. I saw Beowulf in 3D and the effect was sometimes neat, sometimes disorienting.

Have they made any improvements or is this just more of the same?

The 3D technology itself has been much improved. It works a lot better. The effects themselves don't induce as many headaches as the old stuff. And they're better able to create real depth...instead of just having things either on the screen or floating several feet in front of it.

However, it is still up to the director/effects guys/writers/whoever to do a good job with it. Just like any special effects in any movie... It can be done well, or not.

It can still be disorienting. It can still be pointless and gratuitous. We'll just have to wait and see how well it is handled...

Re:How gimmicky is this 3D stuff? (2)

mdielmann (514750) | more than 5 years ago | (#27646895)

I don't think the tech has changed that much since Beowulf, but I've seen a couple movies in 3D, with my kids. Monsters vs. Aliens (not bad, but not great), and Bolt (pretty good). There were two big pluses for me, beyond the appearance of depth. First, natural colors - this has none of the drawbacks of the red/blue 3D glasses. Second, no headaches! The last time I saw 3D achieved with something other than red/blue glasses was about 10 years ago, at Disney World (so they weren't skimping on the tech), it lasted for about 30 minutes, and my head was aching afterward. Flash forward to the present, and after 30 minutes I'm not only not having a headache, I've stopped noticing that the 3D is artificial. I've even leaned over a bit to see around a corner before I realized that wasn't going to work.
I'm so impressed with the technology that I looked into what's needed for home use. You can now get 3D LCD monitors for your computer, and nVidia has drivers that support them. You'll still have to wear the polarized glasses to use them, but it's a passive device, not the older LCD 'shutter' glasses. The upside is, any game made with Direct3D will work with it right away, and any movie made with the theatre 3D technology should be able to be easily converted to work with these monitors, too.
Also, for those of you who use 3D modelling software, such as Autodesk Inventor, this should work with that, too.

Forever War is fantastic (4, Informative)

SpuriousLogic (1183411) | more than 5 years ago | (#27645473)

I read the first time this years ago in high school. It is an absolutely fantastic story. I'm hoping Ridley Scott repeats his Aliens and Blade Runner magic on this.

Re:Forever War is fantastic (1)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 5 years ago | (#27645579)

Agreed.

I just keep thinking about how this was supposed to be a response to Heinlein's Starship Troopers (or vice versa?)

Either way, it was an excellent book, and I hope they don't butcher it.

Re:Forever War is fantastic (5, Interesting)

WillAdams (45638) | more than 5 years ago | (#27645791)

The traditional way to describe it is:

  - Starship Troopers is written for World War II Vets in the early stages of a Cold War world

  - The Forever War is written for Vietnam Vets in the later stages of a Cold War world

William
(who would give a lot to see a Starship Troopers which was an accurate adaptation of the book as written by Heinlein)

Re:Forever War is fantastic (2, Interesting)

gullevek (174152) | more than 5 years ago | (#27646173)

Sort of impossible. The book is so much more complex and wouldn't make a good movie adaption unless it would have been made for a very small audioence

Re:Forever War is fantastic (5, Informative)

radtea (464814) | more than 5 years ago | (#27645893)

I just keep thinking about how this was supposed to be a response to Heinlein's Starship Troopers (or vice versa?)

Response to. "Starship Troopers" was first published in '59, "The Forever War" was published in the early '70's.

Heinlein's book tries to be pro-military rather than pro-war, but it's sometimes a distinction without a difference. On the other hand I know people who read Haldeman's book as a pro-war story, missing the larger point entirely.

Heinlein was a naval officer who never saw action. Haldeman a combat engineer who did. Differences in experience and generational differences are important to understanding the differences between the books.

I personally find "The Forever War" a more satisfying story, both morally and narratively, although the resolution of the conflict with the Taurans is tantamount to magic, which I found disappointing. On the other hand, Heinlein asks, "Why do people fight?" and ultimately gives us no deeper answer than "Unit cohesion", although the quasi-nationalist racial hygiene stuff clouds that conclusion at times.

Re:Forever War is fantastic (2, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#27645969)

As much as I enjoyed the book, I thought the crappy Troopers movie did a much better job with the question of why people fight (because they're brainwashed suckers... er wait) and the whole infosec/infowar thing than the book did. Too bad it was so crappy in every other way...

Re:Forever War is fantastic (2, Interesting)

Herr Brush (639981) | more than 5 years ago | (#27645973)

The (too) happy ending of Forever War detracted slightly IMO. The rest of the book was great. It was the first sci fi I ever read that made an attempt at a realistic portrayal of space and extra-terrestrial combat. Also he handled the massive technological and social jumps very well.

Re:Forever War is fantastic (2, Informative)

oliderid (710055) | more than 5 years ago | (#27646163)

I have never read the book but I remember that I had the comic books while student. I don't know how well preseverd the story was, but I really enjoyed it. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Forever_War_(comics) [wikipedia.org]

Re:Forever War is fantastic (4, Interesting)

netsavior (627338) | more than 5 years ago | (#27645991)

The whole time I was reading the forever war I was hoping the Taurans were Time dilated humans (or vice versa), who were fighting out of confusion. The only part of the book I hated was "Oh it's a clone thing you wouldn't understand."

Re:Forever War is fantastic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27647017)

> I personally find "The Forever War" a more satisfying story, both morally and narratively, although the resolution of the conflict with the Taurans is tantamount to magic, which I found disappointing

That's basically what happens in most wars. The people on the ground see only a tiny fraction of the action. They might well be fighting as victory is announced. And most of the time they have little idea what actually happened.

Re:Forever War is fantastic (4, Insightful)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 5 years ago | (#27646063)

Unit cohesion is an answer on the individual level - on a larger scale his answer is simply that they fight to survive. This is pretty clearly illustrated in Juan's H&MP class when he is in the academy becoming an officer. Heinlein pretty much posits that all wars are a matter of population growth and limited resources.
 
I think that he does a great job of illustrating why war is inevitable. Then it makes sense that he venerates those who give completely of themselves to ensure the survival of others.
 
Haldeman just operates from another premise, that war is not inevitable and that we should all just get along.

Re:Forever War is fantastic (4, Interesting)

radtea (464814) | more than 5 years ago | (#27646393)

Heinlein pretty much posits that all wars are a matter of population growth and limited resources.

This is so weirdly Malthusian, particularly coming from a technological optimist like Heinlein, that I never bought into it. The Future History stories are a broad refutation of this premise.

Ask any economist and they'll tell you that wars are not only not inevitable, but there is no rational explanation for them at all, if by "rational" you mean "economically rational." There is a serious problem in economics called "the war puzzle" or "the war problem" that tries to figure out why the hell people ever go to war, because it is never economically rational for either side to do so, regardless of outcome.

Heinlein tries to pretty up various completely irrational ideas as to why people fight to make it seem inevitable, but the only one that made sense to me was at the individual level. The rest amounted to, "Eventually we will meet something that wants to fight us, and we'd better be ready"--the H&MP instructor says almost exactly that at some point. And we will meet something that wants to fight us because "that's the way the world is."

This is far less rational, on a purely empirical basis, than Haldeman's admittedly thin "why can't we all just get along" schtick: flat-out to-the-death conflict is extremely rare in nature, and even in human history until fairly recently. Limited warfare was the norm until the late 1700's: the past 200 years of total war are the anomaly, and Heinlein's view took that anomaly to be the norm, the model for all conflict between intelligent or quasi-intelligent beings (see Daniel Bell's "The First Total War" for a good introduction to changing beliefs about war in the time of Napoleon.)

Re:Forever War is fantastic (1)

good soldier svejk (571730) | more than 5 years ago | (#27646911)

Ask any economist and they'll tell you that wars are not only not inevitable, but there is no rational explanation for them at all, if by "rational" you mean "economically rational." There is a serious problem in economics called "the war puzzle" or "the war problem" that tries to figure out why the hell people ever go to war, because it is never economically rational for either side to do so, regardless of outcome.

Just to clarify, I think you mean ask any neo-classical economist. I don't think Institutionalists for instance consider this inexplicable, not being so tied to rational choice models.

Re:Forever War is fantastic (1)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 5 years ago | (#27647005)

I'm not arguing Heinlein's point - I'm just saying it is the point that Starship Troopers makes. If other RAH work seems to contradict that I don't think it really makes any difference as to what is clearly stated in Starship Troopers.

Me, I think both authors miss the boat because they are looking for rational explanations for the behaviour of irrational beings. This is I think the greatest failure of RAH's libertarian ideology. While I think it would be cool if we could drop a bunch of people on the moon and let them murder off everyone who couldn't get along - creating a very polite bunch of people - I don't think it would actually work out that way. I agree with Pascal - "The heart has reasons that reason cannot know."

All Out War (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27647015)

The problem with war was that most technologies could not sustain it. The massive chateaux of the Loire are there because the area around a royal court had trouble sustaining the load of unproductive parasites that most royal courts were. Ditto for armies - there was a limit to the size of army the field could sustain - once they'd stripped bare the local peasants' stores (leaving them to starve) an army either won or departed. Army sizes were limited. Logistics based on humans and draft animals, using the supplies locally available limited the size of armies.

Starting even with technology of the early reneaissance, the city-states Italy or Germany were swallowed up as tehy found themselves rarely able to defend against industrial-scale armies from large countries like France, Spain, or England, with the base to supply armies of thousands with pikes, arrows, ships, muskets, artillery and ammunition.

Once a country is able to produce to a civil-war or WWI level, all-out war becomes inevitable. The only thing that stops it is MAD (mutual assured destruction). The civil war and WWII proved that the way to win was to have the largest industrial base, most protected from enemy assualt. MAD removes this protection.

Which still bring us back to "why do we fight"? The answer is, "because we can". The last few years has shown that even democracy is no protection from misguided leaders with private agendas, propaganda manipulation, and other motivations. Why do we stop fighting? When one side recognizes theirs is a lost cause, but sees a safe exit strategy. Unconditional surrender means a fight almost to the death; armistice means peace in place.

Considering how difficult it was to achieve peace in WWII in Germany (similar culture) let alone Japan (very different culture) would we go to war with aliens, and would we or they accept peace? Even after the total destruction of 2 cities and the evidence that it would continue until surrender, a faction of the Japanese command tried to execute a coup to continue the fight...

OTOH, can a militaristic culture survive? Military action is the ultimate asacrifice of self for group; our personal natures is a perpetual struggle between selfish personal impulses (good and bad) and group support impulses (good and bad). Generally the militaristic culture dies because even the leaders prefer personal satisfaction to pleasing the group.

Re:Forever War is fantastic (2, Interesting)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 5 years ago | (#27646541)

I have to say that I just didn't like Starship Troopers. It was so far to the right politically that I felt it was unamerican. Maybe it was the difference in time but I am not what most people call a liberal. I come from my uncle served in WWII, my father was in the 82 Airborne. I have a lot of respect for the people that serve but Starship Troopers just creeped me out. Both the book and the movie.
However I think you are under estimating the importance of why people fight. The answer "unit cohesion" really is an important answer. It is really why people do fight most of the time. There is often no deeper answer than to save your buddy or yourself.

Re:Forever War is fantastic (1)

Sancho (17056) | more than 5 years ago | (#27646725)

the resolution of the conflict with the Taurans is tantamount to magic, which I found disappointing.

Well, you know what Clarke said about sufficiently advanced technology....

I agree on the point that The Forever War was more satisfying than Starship Troopers, but I think it was mostly the characters and the realistic portrayal of faster-than-light travel. The ending didn't really bother me--I expected an outright deux ex machina ending once I got about halfway through--that, or the two cultures would destroy each other.

Re:Forever War is fantastic (1)

damburger (981828) | more than 5 years ago | (#27647013)

I think its very, very telling that Heinlein was influenced by the patriotic crap he was pumped with in training, whilst Haldeman actually saw war first hand, and was wounded in action. Its a point Starship Troopers fanboys should spend some time contemplating: one writer was informed by what the state wants you to think war is, and one writer was informed by actually getting shot what war is.

Fans of Heinlein who profess political beliefs other than Fascism (as the majority of them do I reckon) would also do well to read this essay: http://flag.blackened.net/liberty/moorcock.html [blackened.net]

Re:Forever War is fantastic (4, Interesting)

Dun Malg (230075) | more than 5 years ago | (#27645951)

I just keep thinking about how this was supposed to be a response to Heinlein's Starship Troopers (or vice versa?)

It was partly as a counter-point to Starship Troopers. I think it went too far in the other direction and got a little stupid. Being an actual combat vet myself, I can say that the training and doctrine portrayed in ST was a hell of a lot more realistic that TFW. TFW was more like a snide caricature of what anti-war people think military training and tactics are like. And topping it off, TFW bizarrely had only "genius IQ" types being conscripted, which is completely asinine. Geniuses don't make good soldiers... at all. Still, TFW was an interesting read once you got past the silly axe-grinding to the story.

Re:Forever War is fantastic (1)

oliderid (710055) | more than 5 years ago | (#27646283)

I used to be a conscript in the famous Belgian army :-) and in my case it was more like Monty python's version. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wxik87W5m5E&feature=related [youtube.com] What a waste o time really :-)

Re:Forever War is fantastic (3, Interesting)

timholman (71886) | more than 5 years ago | (#27646751)

It was partly as a counter-point to Starship Troopers. I think it went too far in the other direction and got a little stupid. Being an actual combat vet myself, I can say that the training and doctrine portrayed in ST was a hell of a lot more realistic that TFW. TFW was more like a snide caricature of what anti-war people think military training and tactics are like. And topping it off, TFW bizarrely had only "genius IQ" types being conscripted, which is completely asinine. Geniuses don't make good soldiers... at all. Still, TFW was an interesting read once you got past the silly axe-grinding to the story.

Yes, the asinine military "training" was the most cringeworthy part of the novel. You draft the best and the brightest from Earth, spend untold billions to equip them, then hold live fire exercises deliberately intended to kill off many of them and demoralize the survivors, just to toughen the troops up? That's not to say that some military commanders don't do stupid things that get their soldiers killed, but it generally happens on the battlefield, not during boot camp!

However, IMHO an even bigger issue in the novel is how the government decides to handle population control - by encouraging people to be homosexual, i.e. as if it was a conscious choice that could be made. I can just imagine how that plot point could play into anti-gay sentiment if the movie becomes popular, i.e. "See? Children can be recruited into the gay lifestyle - The Forever War shows it happening!" I doubt that the "humanity turns gay" subplot will make it to the final script.

The most interesting aspect of the novel is definitely the "man out of time" theme, as Mandella realizes he has nothing in common with the future Earth he keeps returning to, and re-enlists because the military is the only thing left that he can make sense of. Unfortunately, I'm guessing that Hollywood will screw TFW up just about as badly as it screwed up Starship Troopers. You'll have lots of exploding spaceships and dead aliens, but not much else.

Re:Forever War is fantastic (4, Informative)

Nursie (632944) | more than 5 years ago | (#27646981)

You do know that Starship Troopers is a deliberate satire on the source material, right?

It's not perfect in its execution, but whilst you can (and I did when I first saw it as a young teenager) see it as just a gung-ho action movie that's basically content-free. When you then put it into the context of Heinleins original glorification of war and armed service it becomes clear that the film is actually a somewhat clever satire of the original, whilst also being entertaining and action-y enough to satisfy those that prefer not to think too much.

Hadleman teaches creative writing at MIT (1)

peter303 (12292) | more than 5 years ago | (#27646509)

I asked Joe in 2008 when he was on a book tour about new book on Mars about the relationship between MIT's science reputation and his science fiction. He replied his two vocations were almost completely separate. His previous book about time travel the protagonist is a MIT grad student.

The Nerds Always Lose (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27645491)

I guess that comeuppance never really materialized? You thought you were "smarter" than your more popular tormenters, and that one day, you'd show them- you'd study hard for that computer science degree and make a million-billion dollars, while Suzy the homecoming queen wound up working at Denny's and those mean jocks wound up in prison or working as auto mechanics. Guess it didn't work out that way- instead you've been working at Best Buy and languishing in some junior college for years, while those popular kids you loved to hate have already graduated college and actually started their lives, leaving you in the dust. It's unfair, but there's nothing you can do about it.

http://www.iser.essex.ac.uk/news/2009/03/04/popular-kids-earn-more [essex.ac.uk]

Popular kids earn more

Being popular with your peers at school could mean you earn more as an adult. That's according to new research by a team at ISER.

The research, which used American data from the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study, found a clear link between a student's popularity and their level of earnings later in life. As part of a wider long-term or longitudinal survey, High School students in the area were asked about their friendships, and then, 35 years later, how much they were earning.

The study asked students to nominate up to three best friends from their class. When analysing the data, the ISER team deemed those students who received high numbers of nominations as most popular. Those students who gave higher numbers of nominations were deemed more gregarious or out going.

The research showed that being gregarious had no effect on the students' earnings later on, while being popular did. Every extra friend nomination was associated with a two per cent higher wage, and there was a 10 per cent earnings difference between the bottom fifth and top fifth of the popularity range.

Commenting on the research findings, Professor Steve Pudney said the work emphasized the critical importance of the early development of social skills alongside learning as a basis for economic success in adult life.

The research also found evidence that the early family environment and the type and size of school play a significant role in shaping friendship networks.

Re:The Nerds Always Lose (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27646143)

You need to work on your self-loathing issues, nerd.

Oh, wowie! Three flicks in five years (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27645513)

Gawd, wake me before you go

Summary dude needs an enema

Should be a fine film, if.... (1)

Sqreater (895148) | more than 5 years ago | (#27645515)

...they don't PC it up by female-izing it for a fanciful scifi demographic. That is death to any scifi story. Don't title it "The Forever Romance, And By-The-Way, There Is a War In Here Somewhere--But Don't Worry, The Lead Soldier Is A Woman."
Tell the story, and they will come.

Re:Should be a fine film, if.... (4, Insightful)

Peganthyrus (713645) | more than 5 years ago | (#27645637)

Did you read a different book than I did? One of the important plot threads is Mandella's fragmented-by-interstellar-travel romance.

If all you remember was the battles on remote planets and the clone armies and whatnot, you did not get the point of the book at all - it's Haldeman's Vietnam-era rebuttal to the largely pro-war stance of Heinlein's Starship Troopers. The human dimension is important.

Re:Should be a fine film, if.... (4, Insightful)

netsavior (627338) | more than 5 years ago | (#27645909)

The story was ABOUT Marygay and Mandella's romance. The ONLY part of pre-war society that survived the war was their love. Wow, I think he did read a different story.

Re:Should be a fine film, if.... (4, Insightful)

SpuriousLogic (1183411) | more than 5 years ago | (#27646085)

I agree. SciFi is not really about spaceships and laser guns and death stars and all that. SciFi takes a human theme (as in Forever War, the bond between separated lovers) and illustrates it in some way by using a future setting. The Forever War uses the time dilation of the jumps as a way to illustrate how a soldier feels when they have to leave home to do fight and the strains that doing so puts on his family, society and lover(s). If you remove that human part of the story, it will just be crap. You will end up with 300 in space suits, just war porn.

Re:Should be a fine film, if.... (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 5 years ago | (#27646791)

SciFi is not really about spaceships and laser guns and death stars and all that. SciFi takes a human theme (as in Forever War, the bond between separated lovers) and illustrates it in some way by using a future setting

Softy, softy!

Re:Should be a fine film, if.... (1)

BKX (5066) | more than 5 years ago | (#27645923)

The first thing I always think of when I think about Forever War is the ridiculous number of gay orgies (before the mods go hogwild, read the book). The love story part, the fantastic battles and crazy methods of space travel all fade to the wayside. I wonder what that says about me.

Re:Should be a fine film, if.... (1)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 5 years ago | (#27646407)

Did you read a different book than I did? One of the important plot threads is Mandella's fragmented-by-interstellar-travel romance.

If all you remember was the battles on remote planets and the clone armies and whatnot, you did not get the point of the book at all - it's Haldeman's Vietnam-era rebuttal to the largely pro-war stance of Heinlein's Starship Troopers. The human dimension is important.

I wouldn't exactly say that Troopers was pro-war, but it was pro civil service and seeing the needs of the society as every bit as important as the needs of the individual. This sort of "greater good" thinking can be wonderful if applied lightly or twisted into an authoritarian nightmare state if done with a heavy hand. The movie Starship Troopers was filmed with the assumption that Heinlein endorsed fascism and was a rebuttal to it. I'm a huge fan of satire but nothing makes you look so ignorant as trying to make fun of something you don't fully understand. The movie failed on all counts.

Now Haldeman expressly stated his book was a rebuttal to Troopers. And this I think is the most satisfying way to have a real literary debate. I think both books are excellent and make good points. Troopers is a proposal of how society ought to be and and Forever War shows what happens when that kind of thinking goes sour.

I don't really tear up with most fiction but something got in my eye by the time I got to the end of the story.

Re:Should be a fine film, if.... (1)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 5 years ago | (#27645659)

It is always fun when they make a movie for the producers, and not the intended audience.

Thanks an effn lot (5, Funny)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 5 years ago | (#27645647)

I'm blind in one eye.

Re:Thanks an effn lot (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27645927)

I'm blind in the other. Let's go together.

Re:Thanks an effn lot (1)

papasui (567265) | more than 5 years ago | (#27646001)

I see what you did there. Too bad you can't hawhaah.

Re:Thanks an effn lot (2, Insightful)

xoundmind (932373) | more than 5 years ago | (#27646187)

Me too. I am not happy about this development.

Re:Thanks an effn lot (1)

tygerstripes (832644) | more than 5 years ago | (#27645967)

So... you're an insensitive clod?

Re:Thanks an effn lot (3, Funny)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 5 years ago | (#27646005)

Ok who modded me as funny?

I'm serious when I say I am blind in one eye, and as a result any gimmicky attempt to project 3d at me fails miserably. I get lovely coloured shadows on everything that makes the movie look shit.

So I am apprehensive that 3D seems to be the path that movies are heading. I can just see myself in 30 years surrounded by my collection of flatscreen 2D movies while swearing at all the kids to "Git off my lawn"

And I wonder what all the colour blind people think of 3D?

Re:Thanks an effn lot (1)

whiledo (1515553) | more than 5 years ago | (#27646237)

Don't think you have it as bad as the deaf when movies went to talkies, or the blind when radio gave way to the TV. Wonder if people modded them funny, too.

Re:Thanks an effn lot (1)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 5 years ago | (#27646335)

I know that I'm not bad off, but still don't like the idea of a move to 3d

Re:Thanks an effn lot (1)

whiledo (1515553) | more than 5 years ago | (#27646745)

Don't worry, the 3d setups are so elaborate that it will be decades before they become the norm. I don't see it ever becoming the norm the way it works now. And then it'll be even longer before home TVs can display stuff in 3d, so they'll continue to make dual 3d and 2d movies.

Re:Thanks an effn lot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27646277)

I wonder what all the blind people think of movies at all, or all the deaf people music.

Re:Thanks an effn lot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27646457)

I'm legally blind...
One eye is virtually useless and the other is just bad.
I'm also colorblind.

3d effects don't work for me because the image each eye receives is not lined up and vastly different due to the strength of each eye.

So any 3d requiring the old school glasses just get tinted colors.

A lot of the current techniques to make things look more 3rd just get extra color around 'edges' and such...

Personally, 3d is waste to focus on when we're looking at it on a 2d media.

Re:Thanks an effn lot (3, Insightful)

TrekkieGod (627867) | more than 5 years ago | (#27646545)

Ok who modded me as funny?

I'm serious when I say I am blind in one eye, and as a result any gimmicky attempt to project 3d at me fails miserably.

Honestly, you were modded as funny, because your complaint is funny. Especially since you phrased it in an lewis black-like, angry comic, fashion. You know, "thanks an effn lot."

Don't get me wrong. I'm not laughing at the fact you're blind in one eye. My father is also blind in one eye, and I get your frustration that you can't participate in the 3d movie experience. That said, complaining that they're making 3d movies because you can't see the 3d effect is a little bit like a completely blind man complaining that they're making movies and tv shows because he can only hear the sound, but not see the picture, or a green-red colorblind person complaining about the choice of colors used in a painting because it all looks the same. The rest of us can see the pictures, the rest of us can see a bigger color spectrum, the rest of us can see the 3d effects.

Your one-eye blindness is called a handicap for a reason. Just because you're lucky that it doesn't affect most of the things you do on a day-to-day basis doesn't mean you should be bitter when it does affect you.

Re:Thanks an effn lot (1)

Ajaxamander (646536) | more than 5 years ago | (#27646625)

While it's certainly the most common 3d effect right now, anachrome red-blue separation[1] (which causes the colored shadows you mention, as well as leads to your question about the color-blind) isn't really the best way of doing it, and probably wouldn't be the method du jour if Hollywood went all-3d all-the-time.

I'd wager that theaters would be retrofit with projectors that achieved optical separation through polarization[1]. (There's a theater at DisneyWorld that already does this, iirc.)

While whatever cinematic effects were developed that relied on stereo vision obviously wouldn't have the same impact for you, I doubt your movie-going experience wouldn't be littered with artifacts of the 3d effects.

[1]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stereoscopy#3D_glasses

Re:Thanks an effn lot (3, Informative)

whopis (465819) | more than 5 years ago | (#27646699)

Out of curiosity, how does being blind in one eye effect your experience like that?

I don't mean to be offensive - I am just missing something here...

If I am watching a 3D movie (wearing the glasses) and close one eye, I just see a regular image. Of course, I loose the 3D effect, but other than that, it looks perfectly normal (other than the cheesy attempts to wow people with the 3D just start looking silly).

If you were to wear the polarized glasses, wouldn't it just look normal to you as well?

Re:Thanks an effn lot (1)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 5 years ago | (#27646875)

Because I have only lost central vision in one eye. I still have peripheral vision in it. So it all gets screwed up for me.
And try holding one eye shut for several hours

Re:Thanks an effn lot (2, Insightful)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 5 years ago | (#27646755)

Actually the 3d effect is not affected by color blindness. Assuming you are talking about those old blue/red 3d movies, then it will work fine enough. The colored lenses of the glasses filter the colors for you, leaving you with two slightly different images for each eye. Nowadays they use polarized light or something fancy like that though.

The actual color in the film will of course be lost on them howerver. ;)

Re:Thanks an effn lot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27646891)

Fortunately the new crop of 3D films, and undoubtedly these upcoming films as well, use polarised light; the view for each eye is projected with vertical/horizontal polarisation, so that each eye sees a completely separate image through polarised lenses.

So if you're not wearing any glasses at all, you see a double image - but that won't affect you, unless being one-eyed stops you from wearing the polarised glasses somehow :)

Re:Thanks an effn lot (1)

Bazzargh (39195) | more than 5 years ago | (#27646141)

I'm blind in one eye.

Didn't stop André de Toth [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Thanks an effn lot (1)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 5 years ago | (#27646291)

Didn't stop him making them .. but sure as hell stopped him watching them.

Re:Thanks an effn lot (1)

mdielmann (514750) | more than 5 years ago | (#27646703)

So you'll need to use the glasses to get SingleVision, as opposed to DoubleVision (without the benefit of being drunk, or having two eyes).

Re:Thanks an effn lot (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 5 years ago | (#27646929)

I'm moderately short sighted in one eye (it used to be marginally farsighted) and incredibly short sighted in the other. Since there's no zone of overlap (it was detected late, which probably didn't help) I never developed stereo vision.

If I use binoculars with enough adjustment to get both eyes to focus it makes me dizzy. We can form a club to swap 2D DVDs.

Geek's psyche (4, Insightful)

Pecisk (688001) | more than 5 years ago | (#27645693)

.....damn....another sounding-good movie from those Hollywood mafia guys. They keep bugging us with their "intelectual property" plans...They want to bring down The Pirate Bay....must hating them. We hating them.......Damn....trailer looks good....I will download bootleg....damn, it looks too good...oooh shiny...screw it, I will boycot them another time.

Re:Geek's psyche (1)

Blue Stone (582566) | more than 5 years ago | (#27646835)

Well, it's said the Devil always has the best tunes.

Ridley Scott is becoming Jerry Bruckheimer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27645705)

Alien and Blade Runner was a long time ago. Now his stuff seems more of the big stars, big explosions, lots o camera tricks and not much of the thinking.

And he was a producer of that awful, awful, awful, dreadful, dreadful, dreadful remake of The Andromeda Strain.

Re:Ridley Scott is becoming Jerry Bruckheimer (1)

hal2814 (725639) | more than 5 years ago | (#27645993)

I wouldn't classify Numb3rs as any of those things. Scott isn't Kubrick. Scott will make mainstream movies and doesn't seem to have a problem with that. Scott kind of reminds me of Robert Redford in the sense that just about everyone thinks half his movies are good and half of them are crap but what constitutes the "good" half varies wildly from person to person depending on the type of movie they like. (But I think it's safe to say Andromeda always lands in Scott's "crap" half.)

wrong department? (1)

MollyB (162595) | more than 5 years ago | (#27645713)

from the that-extra-d-is-for-dumber dept.

Shouldn't that be dumbest ?

Excellent, more SF films. (1)

MRe_nl (306212) | more than 5 years ago | (#27645763)

But "The Forever War", "Brave New World"? I like both books but they wouldn't be my first choice for SF film renditions.
Jack Vance, Isaac Asimov, Larry Niven, Harry Harrison please!
Ridley Scott, James Cameron, i think they're some of the finest film-makers around,
but why are some of the big IMHO authors not used, or the stories slaughtered (I Robot, cringe).
I'm afraid the law of the lowest common denominator will prevail in the editing room again.
And Leonardo diCaprio ;(.

Re:Excellent, more SF films. (1)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | more than 5 years ago | (#27645955)

Brave New World is timely. In modern day America, you can't teach citizens about the dangers of authoritarianism unless it's wrapped in shiny Hollywood marketing.

Re:Excellent, more SF films. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27646067)

Also, 1984:Republicans as Brave New World:Democrats.

O no. (1)

MRe_nl (306212) | more than 5 years ago | (#27646311)

Not a rat gnawing at my face in 3D.

Re:Excellent, more SF films. (4, Insightful)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 5 years ago | (#27646635)

Funny but I thought it was a rant about living in an amoral society where meaningless sex and drugs where a replacement for love and moral behavior.
The only real rules where to not make other people feel bad. It seemed like political correctness run amok too me.
The hero was an "old fashioned" man.

Re:Excellent, more SF films. (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 5 years ago | (#27647035)

"Funny but I thought it was a rant about living in an amoral society where meaningless sex and drugs where a replacement for love and moral behavior."

I took it as a society in which drugs and meaningless sex were tools used by the government to keep people docile, not that there was some sort of personal sexual moral to take from it...

But hey, that's probably a projection of my personal paranoias rather than what's in the text.

Site Down? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27645787)

Humm.... Mirror(s) anyone?

Not your parent's 3D (1)

Pedrito (94783) | more than 5 years ago | (#27645953)

I just saw Monsters vs. Aliens over the weekend with my fiancee's nephew, which granted, is animated, but in 3D. I was blown away by the quality of the 3D. It's definitely not the red and green glasses 3D!

My one complaint about the glasses is that, sitting on the side of the theatre, I was getting glare from the lights slightly behind me in the aisle. But otherwise, the image was fantastic and very immersive.

This could be a great movie (4, Interesting)

Thagg (9904) | more than 5 years ago | (#27645983)

If you saw the movie Jarhead, it was all told from the perspective and point-of-view of a soldier -- you never saw the "big picture" of the war...there were no helicopter or crane shots, it was all shot from eye-level.

Forever War is told that same way, from one soldier's point of view...and it's clear that he has no idea what is going on in the war in general...although you also get the feeling that nobody else does, either. The way that the movie skips through time with each long near-lightspeed trip makes his adventure even harder for him to understand -- the whole world changes dramatically with each hop.

I think that unlike a lot of SF books, this one really could be made into a good movie, that would capture the richness of each of the episodes in imagery that takes Haldeman many many pages to describe. I just hope that they just let the audience be as confused and out-of-sorts as the narrator is.

Forever War seems to be one of those "writer's first books" [like Grisham's A Time for a Kill, Pirsig's Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Hofsteader's Godel Escher Bach] that was slaved over, re-editted, re-written, re-thought, and probably submitted to publishers a dozen times before it finally saw print, because it is as tight a book as I have read. There's nothing wasted, there's nothing overly described that is better left to the reader's imagination.

Great choice, Ridley.

3 potentially good films in 5 years.... (1)

zoobaby (583075) | more than 5 years ago | (#27646009)

Anytime is a good time to be a SF enthusiast. However, I am supposed to be excited over this announcement? Come on, at least release 1 good SF film a year would be nice. 2 a year would be great and 3 a year would bring some real excitement.

What Forever War is about - bit of a spoiler here (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 5 years ago | (#27646019)

The novel was really about a government keeping a perpetual state of war (which they themselves provoked) from the soldier's point of view. Written as an allegory about U.S. in Viet Nam war.

Re:What Forever War is about - bit of a spoiler he (2, Interesting)

gatkinso (15975) | more than 5 years ago | (#27646683)

What I remember was that the war started thru combination of misunderstanding, accident, and indeed some government agenda... but that the war continued simply because the Taurons simply could not communicate with a species of individuals. Only when humans evolved into a homgenous species "Man" could they talk with us and thus end the war.

Homosexuality (1)

bencollier (1156337) | more than 5 years ago | (#27646021)

I'm still confused over how he's going to excise the homosexuality from the script. The book is terrific, but a great deal of the plot covers alterations in social mores, sexuality in particular. I suppose that angle could be covered in other ways, but it's certainly going to be nothing like the book. On the other hand, I can't imagine whichever studio is behind this allowing him to leave it all in, intact. Wouldn't appeal to their target market.

3D not quite there yet (1)

theeddie55 (982783) | more than 5 years ago | (#27646023)

I saw monsters vs aliens the other day, I have to say that the 3D effects did mostly look good. My biggest problem was that every so often, objects a long way out in front of the screen would go out of frame, which spoiled the effect somewhat.

IMAX 3D: It's Worth It (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27646025)

I recently took my daughter to see the aliens vs monsters movie and we decided to try the IMAX 3D version.

Instead of the cheesy old blue/red glasses, they are now using polarized glasses (having worn my own pair of polarized glasses, I was able to rotate then 90 degrees to see that one of the imax glasses was polarized horizontal, one vertical).

The color was perfect and the 3d looked like the real deal. I was completely amazed at the quality of the movie, especially since it must have been a good 15 years since I had last tried a 3d movie (cheesy red/blue.). They had a few gimicky but good effect in the beginning of the movie, such as a paddle ball toy that bounced the ball straight out into the theater. It actually looked like you could reach out and touch the ball right in front of you.

The only downsides were at the extreme ends of my peripheral vision where the 3d effect began to come apart.

So in summary, I haven't felt any reason to go to a movies theater for years. Ridiculously overpriced, experience doesn't make up for the convenience of home, etc. After seeing this movie though, I would definitely make the trip for a 3D movie. It really it worth it. As far as I'm concerned that is the future of all movies.

Infinite depth? (1)

tygerstripes (832644) | more than 5 years ago | (#27646105)

I remember the Star Tours ride at Disney Land Paris, which was essentially a 3d film in a flight-sim booth. It was great fun, but I found myself underwhelmed by the brief glimpses you get of deep-space.

As a child I always imagined it would be a dizzying, hypnotic, chilling sight, focussing on a planet against a backdrop of stars at unimaginable distances. Didn't feel that at all with Star Tours.

Is this down to a fundamental inability of human vision to perceive anything with such asymptotically small angle of parallax - the fact that a million light-years is much the same has half a light-year? Is it some strange limitation of the medium that someone can explain to me? Or is it that the fucking robot was too distracting?

Anyway, regarding SciFi epic adaptations: Take off, nuke the site from orbit. Only way to be sure...

Re:Infinite depth? (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 5 years ago | (#27646467)

It's a combination of both.

Anything beyond the moon looks like the same distance to our eyes.

But also, there's only so much distance to work with when creating 3D as well. And worse, in bad 3d, object are flat, but placed at distance.

Star Tours was a fun ride, but it was definitely not a good 3D experience. For a good one, try Spiderman at Islands of Adventure. (I know there's one in Orlando FL, but don't know of others.)

STOP IT (1)

juenger1701 (877138) | more than 5 years ago | (#27646129)

some of us don't have perfectly aligned eyes and the "3D" effect isn't cool to people like me it gives me a raging headache for hours

Re:STOP IT (1)

wes33 (698200) | more than 5 years ago | (#27646215)

wear an eyepatch

Re:STOP IT (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 5 years ago | (#27646727)

And then pirate the film?

Arrrgh mateys!

2D glasses for 3D movies? (4, Interesting)

Goldenhawk (242867) | more than 5 years ago | (#27646307)

>some of us don't have perfectly aligned eyes and the "3D" effect
>isn't cool to people like me it gives me a raging headache for hours

This gave me an idea (maybe I should patent it)... how about "2D glasses" for the 3D movies? Offer patrons a choice, either watch it in 2D, or in 3D.

How?

Really simple. Simply make SOME of the glasses with both eyes having identically-polarized lenses. That way, both eyes see the same image, and you just get one of the two simultaneously-shown frames.

So for anyone who hates having stuff pop out of the screen, or gets headaches from the frequent depth transitions, they can still enjoy the movie along with everyone else.

Re:STOP IT (1)

Gramie2 (411713) | more than 5 years ago | (#27646409)

I had a headache (I have a lazy eye) for a full day after Journey to the Centre of the Earth (and the usual regret for paying money to see that crapfest), but Coraline and Monsters vs. Aliens were fine.

Re:STOP IT (1)

sjaskow (143707) | more than 5 years ago | (#27646595)

I have a lazy eye as well and when we saw Coraline, I spent about 50% of the movie watching without the glasses. It seemed to alleviate the headache and the 3D wasn't too bad without the glasses. The old red/blue movies I could see with the glasses on and I was fine.

I don't like... (1)

GeorgeStone22 (1532191) | more than 5 years ago | (#27646337)

Shit popping out at me. It totally breaks the story telling experience, and is just plain annoying. I watched Beowulf with one eye closed.

Action packed.... (4, Insightful)

vague disclaimer (861154) | more than 5 years ago | (#27646769)

an action packed novel about the impact of the time dilation effect on soldiers returning from an interstellar war against the mysterious Tauran species.

That's a bit like saying Animal Farm is concerned with the power struggle between different types of animal - true , but not quite the point.

New 3D effects concerns (4, Interesting)

Artifex33 (932236) | more than 5 years ago | (#27646969)

Some voicing their concerns about 3D ruining their enjoyment by giving viewers headaches or disorienting them with fading transitions, wipes and other common 2D movie tools need to understand that there are already techniques in place to remedy these problems.

First off, the new polarization techniques don't use the older, vertical/horizontal polarized light filters. Instead, clockwise/counterclockwise spiral polarization is used, resulting in less image bleed-over into each eye. Second, directors have the ability to lessen the perceived depth of a frame, making it seem not as if you are viewing reality, but more a bas relief sculpture. This helps during transitions or fast motion to keep people from getting headaches or experiencing vertigo. The recent film Monsters vs. Aliens used these variable depth shots quite a bit. I've had problems in the past myself with watching polarized 3D films, but have no problems watching any of the new 3D tech.

I'd say a much bigger concern is going to be how films done in 3D transition to DVD/bluray. If directors start shooting their films differently in order to take advantage of 3D imagery, how much intention will be lost when the film is converted to 2D? Imagine a director tweaks the depth of everything in a shot to lie in the far background, then pulls one particular item forward to emphasize its importance in the shot. Everything else considered equal, that information will be lost in the 2D version. It's a comparable problem to taking a color film and turning it into black and white. If "the girl with the red umbrella" suddenly becomes just some other person amidst a sea of other gray umbrellas, the meaning of the shot is lost.

Some newer TV's have 120hz refresh rates (or better) to allow for 60fps stereoscopic imaging when using shutter glasses, but that is hardware which is going to have a hard time making it into living rooms.

When will someone make Redliners? (1)

CompressedAir (682597) | more than 5 years ago | (#27646973)

It baffles me that no one has adapted David Drake's "Redliners" to the big screen. I would have thought it would be a movie long before "The Forever War".

They are both excellent books written by Vietnam vets about the alienation that soldiers feel from the society that sent them off to fight. "The Forever War" is the better book, but it gets that status from book virtues: deep thought, character development, and the reader's imagination about what society looks like each time the main character returns from a mission.

"Redliners", while a more simple story, paints things with a broader brush that I figure makes a better movie. Try reading the first chapter, it's in the Baen free library.

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