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Battlefield Earth Screenwriter Accepts Razzie

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the right-gentlemanly dept.

The 2000 Beanies 295

An anonymous reader writes "The New York Post has a story about J.D. Shapiro, and his gracious acceptance of a Razzie award for writing Battlefield Earth. He first offers an apology to anyone who has seen it, then he offers a funny, outsider's perspective of dealing with Scientologists, and the subsequent mangling of his script for what was once allegedly referred to by John Travolta as 'The Schindler's List of Sci-Fi.'"

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295 comments

Why? (3, Insightful)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 3 years ago | (#31651364)

I mean, he did the best he could. Do you really think someone else would have come up with a better screen play from the same source material?

Re:Why? (2)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 3 years ago | (#31651386)

No, but someone else could just have said no fuckin' way I'm gonna tag my name to that train wreck.

Re:Why? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31651456)

Clearly you haven't read the piece. He would have had to forfeit his fee to get his name off the movie. That's not something a writer can usually afford...

Re:Why? (0)

srmalloy (263556) | more than 4 years ago | (#31652050)

Clearly you haven't read the piece. He would have had to forfeit his fee to get his name off the movie. That's not something a writer can usually afford...

Then he wasn't prepared, as Harlan Ellison was, with a registered pseudonym that he could insist they use instead of his own name; Ellison would use his 'Cordwainer Bird' pseudonym to both distance himself from work that he felt had been mangled beyond repair by others, as he did for the TV series 'The Starlost' [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Why? (5, Informative)

Scuff (59882) | more than 4 years ago | (#31652116)

You didn't read the article either? It says he has a pen name for stuff he doesn't want attached to him but he couldn't use it because there was too much money involved. Not a situation I've heard of, but it might have just been the studio's way of saying no.

Re:Why? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31652140)

Then he wasn't prepared, as Harlan Ellison was, with a registered pseudonym that he could insist they use instead of his own name;

From TFA:

Once it was decided that I would share a writing credit, I wanted to use my pseudonym, Sir Nick Knack. I was told I couldn't do that, because if a writer gets paid over a certain amount of money, they can't. I could have taken my name completely off the movie, but my agent and attorney talked me out of it. There was a lot of money at stake.

Re:Why? (1, Redundant)

Wuhao (471511) | more than 4 years ago | (#31652150)

Then he wasn't prepared, as Harlan Ellison was, with a registered pseudonym that he could insist they use instead of his own name; Ellison would use his 'Cordwainer Bird' pseudonym to both distance himself from work that he felt had been mangled beyond repair by others, as he did for the TV series 'The Starlost' [wikipedia.org] .

From TFA:

Once it was decided that I would share a writing credit, I wanted to use my pseudonym, Sir Nick Knack. I was told I couldn't do that, because if a writer gets paid over a certain amount of money, they can't.

Re:Why? (1, Insightful)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#31652146)

Who would make such a contract in the first place? I do work under a contract that gives me money for the work done, NO MATTER WHAT!
Just like when you buy no-name stuff, you still have to pay for it! (Normal price for no-name, premium price for getting the right to put my name on it... if I allow it at all.)

The above rule makes as stating in the contract, that for every time your client blinks while reading it, the costs go up by 20%. Completely retarded.

Re:Why? (5, Informative)

Tiger4 (840741) | more than 4 years ago | (#31652286)

Hollywood is unionized, and the Writers are part of the Writer;s Guild. There Are Rules about credits given and how. For years producers and directors would credit themselves or their friends in a film when someone else did the work. The guild forced a change in that, but the flip side is that generally a writer MUST take credit for his work if it was a union project, which all the major studios would be. That actual rules for pseudonyms have changed over the years, but typically you can't just change it at will. Plus, Ellison mostly worked a while ago. Things could be different more recently.

Re:Why? (4, Insightful)

M. Baranczak (726671) | more than 3 years ago | (#31651478)

If we believe his story, then the original screenplay was nothing at all like the finished product. The Scientologists asked him to totally rewrite it, he refused, they fired him and got someone else to rewrite it. So at that point it became a choice between taking his name off the credits or getting paid. I'm honestly not sure what I would have done in that situation.

Re:Why? (2, Funny)

GNUALMAFUERTE (697061) | more than 3 years ago | (#31651516)

You would have taken the money, banged all the hot scientologists you could get your hands on, gotten the fuck out of there, and called it a night. Just like the rest of us ;) (And like this guy, off course)

Re:Why? (2, Funny)

binarylarry (1338699) | more than 3 years ago | (#31651576)

Getting blowjobs from barbarino does not sound like my ideal work week.

Re:Why? (4, Funny)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 3 years ago | (#31651608)

Getting blowjobs from Barbarella [imdb.com] does sound like my ideal work week.

T,FTFY

Re:Why? (4, Funny)

cdrudge (68377) | more than 3 years ago | (#31651718)

banged all the hot scientologists you could get your hands on

He addressed that too. Unless you were married, you weren't going to have sex with a hot scientologist. And yes, he even tried to use the loophole that it didn't say married to each other.

Re:Why? (2, Funny)

demonlapin (527802) | more than 4 years ago | (#31651918)

Well, I'd be lying if I said I never wondered what it might be like to violate a Scientologist.

Re:Why? (5, Funny)

syousef (465911) | more than 3 years ago | (#31651518)

If we believe his story, then the original screenplay was nothing at all like the finished product. The Scientologists asked him to totally rewrite it, he refused, they fired him and got someone else to rewrite it. So at that point it became a choice between taking his name off the credits or getting paid. I'm honestly not sure what I would have done in that situation.

Are you kidding man? He got to TAKE money AWAY from Scientology!!! How many get that opportunity? Falling on his sword was a no brainer.

Re:Why? (5, Insightful)

nibbles2004 (761552) | more than 4 years ago | (#31651884)

not only take there money but make Scientology look like the idiots they are, win, win

Re:Why? (3, Insightful)

Tiger4 (840741) | more than 3 years ago | (#31651662)

Writers, uhhh shall we say, fictionalize, about this situation all the time.

They, like all of us, have certain principles they will not compromise. They also have a lot of things they would happily, or not so happily, do for money, if the money is right. Someone asked for changes to his precious baby of a script. It happens all the time. Nothing new about that. Certainly not unique to Scientology being attached. The only thing to know here is where the tearing point really was. They wanted changes. Did he really just refuse, or was it more of a negotiation, "I can add that scene X, but I need to rework Y", "No, add X and leave Y. Don't touch Z either", "but Z won't make sense anymore! Howabout..."? This goes on for a while until someone gives up. For the right price, the writer caves. After enough silliness, the writer says, "I'm out", or the producer says it for him.

But don't buy into the Writer's Crusade for Artistic Purity. They're craftsmen, like anyone else, and they give the client, more or less what they ask for.

Re:Why? (5, Interesting)

DaTroof (678806) | more than 4 years ago | (#31651862)

Isn't that precisely the process that Shapiro described? He agreed to make certain changes, refused to make changes that he considered detrimental to the story, and eventually got fired. "Artistic Purity" aside, an important part of what you buy from a craftsman is an experienced opinion. An honest clockmaker should tell a paying client that it's a bad idea to make a watch out of papier mache.

Re:Why? (1)

Tiger4 (840741) | more than 4 years ago | (#31652208)

The point is that it isn't usually as cut and dried as he presents. Rarely would you see one a quit decision after one set of notes comes back. And no matter how bad the notes were, the answer coming back would be more along the lines of, "yes, but..." not "No Way". You want a papier mache watch?, OK, but it won't keep good time or be at all durable or reliable. And it will probably be ugly as hell. Still want it?

Re:Why? (1)

WoodenTable (1434059) | more than 3 years ago | (#31651578)

That someone else would be very poor, though.

(Moreso than a writer is by default, I mean.)

Also, that someone else wouldn't have a Razzie. Awards are awards! They're like videogame achievements. Gotta collect em all! Even the crazy ones!

Re:Why? (4, Interesting)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#31651472)

I don't normally RTFA, but it's worth it for lines like this:

As far as I know, I am the only non-Scientologist to ever be on their cruise ship, the Freewind. I was a bit of an oddity, walking around in a robe, sandals, smoking Cuban cigars and drinking fine scotch (Scientologists are not allowed to drink while taking courses). I also got one of the best massages ever. My friends asked if I got a "happy ending." I said, "Yes, I got off the ship."

Could anyone have done it better? I've not actually read the novel, but apparently it's pretty good. I actually enjoyed the film - it's at that level of so bad it's hilariously funny, not so bad it's unwatchable. I bought the DVD completely at random, knowing nothing about the story, for £2 in a charity shop a few years back and I've watched it a couple of times. It's great with a few friends and a few beers, although I probably wouldn't recommend watching it sober.

The article makes me want to read the original script. I wonder if it's online anywhere. For those who haven't seen the film, I suggest that you read the abridged script [the-editing-room.com] .

Re:Why? (2, Insightful)

NibbleG (987871) | more than 3 years ago | (#31651694)

For a long time I wondered why John Travolta, being the scientologist that he is, thought that he was actually paying tribute to Hubbord. I read the book, and I loved it. Then I realized all scientologists are fucking nuts... thats it... there is no extra step called profit, they are just nuts.

Re:Why? (5, Insightful)

Tiger4 (840741) | more than 3 years ago | (#31651708)

The novel isn't good. It is however a page turner. Hubbard was a good pulp writer, and Battlefield Earth is pretty much a pulp cliffhanger series, 1000 pages long. Lots of short chapters, in which our intrepid hero is always about to be killed or captured. The story never makes a lot of sense, but its fun watching it go along. It would make a great half hour summer filler series. Each chapter feels about like The Venture Brothers level of dramatization. As a movie, you have to cut out way too much to get the right campy feel.

Re:Why? (1)

cthulu_mt (1124113) | more than 4 years ago | (#31652048)

Thank you.

I enjoyed most of the novel but could quantify why parts sucked and others were good. This explains it pretty well.

Re:Why? (4, Informative)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 4 years ago | (#31651886)

I've not actually read the novel, but apparently it's pretty good.

Unh-uh. Not good at all. It's barely even good as pulp sci-fi.

There were some great science fiction writers working at the same time as Hubbard, and Battlefield Earth is little more than a weak echo of them. The ideas are mostly retreads and the prose as purple as an orangutan's ass.

The only Hubbard story that's really interesting is the real one about his involvement with Jack Parsons, military intelligence mind control experiments, and Alistair Crowley's Church of Thelema. It's got everything: twisted sex, drugs, madness, Nazis, spies, violence and more real-life science fiction than a shelf full of novels. There's even an indirect Charlie Manson connection, but I'll leave that easter egg for the more curious and determined among you to discover for yourselves.

A lot of it is laid out in the most excellent trilogy by the historian Peter Levenda, entitled Sinister Forces, a Grimoire of American Political Witchcraft. You read it and think, "OMG, this is some crazy bat-shit from a whacked-out conspiracy nut" until you learn that Levenda is an extremely well-respected, erudite and diligent historian who carefully sources every single item.

It's a pretty hard book to find, but it's worth the effort for the wild ride.

Oh, and not to make it sound too much like something from a Neal Stephenson novel, but it's rumored that Peter Levenda, who first became known for his books about the history of Chinese-American trade (which are still taught in business schools), is also one of the "translators" of The Necronomicon.

Re:Why? (3, Informative)

JackDW (904211) | more than 4 years ago | (#31652044)

Parts of that story also turn up in "Bare Faced Messiah", the unauthorised biography of L. Ron Hubbard. Scientology tried to ban it, failed miserably, and now you can download it [cmu.edu] .

Fascinating stuff. Cult leaders are very interesting people.

Re:Why? (1)

Fujisawa Sensei (207127) | more than 4 years ago | (#31651780)

I mean, he did the best he could. Do you really think someone else would have come up with a better screen play from the same source material?

From TFA, the final product was nothing like his original screenplay.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31651936)

battlefield earth is a pretty decent story as a book, up to the climax. the only real problem, is the climax is halfway in, and then theres tsill another 500 pages of essentially nothing, like he didnt know how to end it.

but if you focus on just teh story its decently done, if standard fare.

the movie has about as much relation to the book as Santa Claus does to Santa Barbara.

Dunno (3, Informative)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 3 years ago | (#31651368)

You know, I made it through about fifteen minutes of the movie, turned to my wife and said "There's got to be something good on TV tonight." It wasn't even bad in a fascinating way, like Plan 9 From Outer Space. It was just awful crap. I hope the $cientologists lost a boatload on this one.

Re:Dunno (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31651484)

They have a boatload to lose. Several boatloads actually.

What I find most fascinating about $ci inspired or backed films is spotting the ideology. They have certain things they really really believe in very strongly (remember Tom Cruise on the sofa?), and typically they shine through.

Take Phenomenon for example. I'll say up front I *liked* the film. But notice how a big chunk of it revolved around 1. enhanced/unlocked mind powers, and 2. evil social/government/psych forces trying to stop or deconstruct it. A lot of films have the same themes, but a $ci film will never be without them.

$cientology == M$ (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31651690)

You know, I made it through about fifteen minutes of the movie, turned to my wife and said "There's got to be something good on TV tonight." It wasn't even bad in a fascinating way, like Plan 9 From Outer Space. It was just awful crap. I hope the $cientologists lost a boatload on this one.

You know those whiney easily offended types who bitch and moan anytime someone writes "M$" instead of "MS" for Microsoft? The ones who think that writing "M$" automatically makes your criticisms of Microsoft's business practices invalid because they have no real rebuttal of them and are desperate to avoid admitting it because that might mean re-evaluating their myrmidon-like support for this company? They seem rather silent now that someone is writing "$cientologists" for "Scientologists." Like all other hypocrites, they have no concern for the self-consistency of their position. This only further exposes the "anti-M$" crowd for the pro-Microsoft fanboys that they are. There's no other reason they aren't bitching about other uses of the same spelling.

It's for the best. "You wrote 'M$', therefore I won't respond to your fact-based objections of this company" was a sorry, shoddy substitute for argumentation anyway.

Re:$cientology == M$ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31651736)

i prefer when this anonymous coward goes for the frosty piss... much funnier.

Re:Dunno (2, Informative)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 3 years ago | (#31651712)

I figured people were just trashing it unfairly, so I watched it with my 'free PPV' perk I got with my cable plan. I paid nothing and still felt ripped off. If you haven't seen it, don't ... seriously. This is not a 'Hudson Hawk', or other movie that some will like and some won't. I'd put it up with 'Stepbrothers' and a few others for worst movie of all time.

Re:Dunno (1)

JackDW (904211) | more than 4 years ago | (#31651776)

Actually, I rather enjoyed it. It's not a good film, it's really quite bad, but not unwatchably so. Certainly nowhere near as bad as the Internet will tell you.

If I had to watch a film, and could only choose from really bad ones, I would pick Battlefield Earth before Plan 9. Although maybe it's a close thing!

Re:Dunno (1)

Bigjeff5 (1143585) | more than 4 years ago | (#31651826)

Ditto!

The book was a lot better than the movie, if a little... drawn out. I wouldn't put it in my top-10, but it was a good read.

What sucks about the movie the most is the most interesting part of the story was in the second half of the book, which the movie didn't cover. That's when rebellious-human-slave-boy takes over the universe. That was classic wtf, but in an entertaining way.

It's been a good six or eight years since I've seen Battlefield Earth, I've kinda got a hankering to see it again now.

Re:Dunno (2, Informative)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 4 years ago | (#31651882)

The book was a lot better than the movie, if a little... drawn out

If so, the movie must have been even worse than I'd heard, because the book was absolute, utter crud. Hubbard couldn't be arsed to to make the story line plausible (The bit about one A-bomb after another blowing up inside a force field without destroying each other was probably the worst bit, unless you consider his ideas about how they mangled their math.) and his hero makes two-dimensional cut-out heroes look well fleshed out by comparison. Remember, when the book came out, the Hubbardites tried to buy a hugo award for it and couldn't even manage that!

Re:Dunno (1)

WhatAmIDoingHere (742870) | more than 4 years ago | (#31652072)

Plan 9 has a soul, though. Love was put into that movie. Battlefield Earth is barely watchable without the Rifftrax commentary.

Re:Dunno (2, Interesting)

budgenator (254554) | more than 4 years ago | (#31651944)

When ever in causal conversation scientology comes up I simply say;
John Trivolta is to a Scientologist like Charleton Heston to a Christian Fundamentalist,
"Battlefield Earth" is to a Scientologist like "The Ten Commandments" is to a Christian Fundamentalist, then I put "Battlefield Earth" in the DVD player and let them decide for themselves! Gee I wish Tom Cruise was in it too. If "Battlefield Earth" doesn't convince them I put The Profit [imdb.com] in next.

Re:Dunno (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31652274)

I tried *3* times -- THREE times to watch it on TV. I refused to rent or buy the DVD (not even from the cheap bin), but I was already paying for cable -- what the hell? It could be worth a laugh.

I fell asleep before it finished every time. I still don't know how it ends.

I thought it was a good movie (4, Funny)

Matt Perry (793115) | more than 3 years ago | (#31651370)

Although, John Travolta is never the right guy to be in a scifi film.

I've got chills (4, Funny)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 3 years ago | (#31651470)

...

Re:I've got chills (1)

donaggie03 (769758) | more than 4 years ago | (#31651762)

Yeah, but are they . . muliplyin?

Re:I've got chills (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 4 years ago | (#31652126)

Yeah, but are they . . muliplyin?

I've got a spark coil here that could help with the "electrifyin'" part. Maybe if we connect it up to John Travolta's earlobes we can shock some sense into him. Probably have to crank up the voltage to make a dent on that Cruise asshole though.

You're Doing It Wrong (3, Informative)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 3 years ago | (#31651558)

Although, John Travolta is never the right guy to be in a scifi film.

Here, let me help you with that [youtube.com] .

(And if you want more [rifftrax.com] )

I know they make fun of good movies just as successfully but this movie is flawed on too many levels for me to get into. I'm not even talking plot or story at this point, just delivery, directing and acting. And that Rifftrax clip points out a few of them.

Hopefully I'm just missing your humor. If so, well played.

Re:You're Doing It Wrong (1)

Matt Perry (793115) | more than 3 years ago | (#31651730)

I know they make fun of good movies just as successfully but this movie is flawed on too many levels for me to get into.

It's been a long, long time since I saw the movie. Alcohol may have been involved.

Re:You're Doing It Wrong (1)

Bigjeff5 (1143585) | more than 4 years ago | (#31651838)

Weed is what you need, man BFE would be so awesome high.

Of course, anything is awesome high - I know a guy who watch six hours of "The Puppy Bowl" while high.

Re:You're Doing It Wrong (3, Funny)

demonlapin (527802) | more than 4 years ago | (#31652106)

I know a guy who watch six hours of "The Puppy Bowl" while high

Kids, this is why your parents tell you that pot makes you a loser. Just FYI.

Re:I thought it was a good movie (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31651724)

Yeah, he is too Earthly and more fitting to some ultra expensive WW2 soap opera, preferably from the Pacific area.

why has he decided to accept it now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31651416)

why has he decided to accept it now? does it really take 10 years for someone with a failed career as a screen writer to decide to "graciously" accept a razzie?

Re:why has he decided to accept it now? (4, Funny)

NiceGeek (126629) | more than 3 years ago | (#31651654)

Because it was the Razzie for the worst movie of the decade, you kinda have to wait for the decade to be over before you do that.

Re:why has he decided to accept it now? (1)

Trepidity (597) | more than 3 years ago | (#31651676)

The award he was accepting was just given now: at the 2010 awards, Battlefield Earth won "worst picture of the decade", and he showed up to claim it.

Re:why has he decided to accept it now? (1)

longhairedgnome (610579) | more than 4 years ago | (#31651798)

Just responding to your sig, Nick Montfort was at my university(University of North Dakota) this last week, it was awesome to meet him!

Re:why has he decided to accept it now? (1)

Trepidity (597) | more than 4 years ago | (#31651812)

Sounds cool! I've read a good bit of his stuff, though never met him. I've taken two classes from the other co-author (Ian Bogost), though, which is how I found out about the book.

Re:why has he decided to accept it now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31651844)

because the razzie guys had to chase him that long and the superglue kept drying out before they could force his hand closed around the award?

Schindler's List of SciFi? (4, Funny)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 3 years ago | (#31651422)

If you replace Schindler's List with Killer Tomatoes and SciFi with Propaganda Movies, we can talk.

Re:Schindler's List of SciFi? (5, Funny)

dkf (304284) | more than 3 years ago | (#31651476)

If you replace Schindler's List with Killer Tomatoes and SciFi with Propaganda Movies, we can talk.

Oh, it works just fine. It's just the wrong Schindler and the wrong List. We're talking Dave Schindler and his List of 100 Best Ever Fart Jokes.

Re:Schindler's List of SciFi? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31651746)

Insofar as the Reich is a metaphor for the Scientologists, and the movie is like science fiction being thrown in an oven, it's a pretty apt metaphor. Posting AC because I don't want to be followed around being called a hate criminal or something.

You don't know the history of the Razzies. I do. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31651434)

Slashdot, don't even — you're glib. You don't even know what bad movies are. If you start talking about bad movies, you have to evaluate and read the research papers on how they came up with these screenplays, Slashdot, okay? That's what I've done.

Re:You don't know the history of the Razzies. I do (4, Funny)

kramulous (977841) | more than 4 years ago | (#31652288)

What's glib got to do with it?

It solves all sorts of portability problems.

I loved that movie (3, Funny)

DeadRat4life (1638391) | more than 3 years ago | (#31651442)

in the same way The Room is my favorite film of all time. I think i enjoy bad movies a lot more than good movies. I also smoke a lot of pot, so that might have something to do with it.

YouTube Link... (4, Informative)

JohnSearle (923936) | more than 3 years ago | (#31651462)

Worst PICTURE of the Decade - Battlefield Earth accepted by J.D. Shapiro:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKlEE18R5d8 [youtube.com]

Re:YouTube Link... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31651782)

ABSOLUTELY NOT! There is no way I can stand for this! I LOVED BATTLEFIELD EARTH! I loved John's character in this movie and I Ioved Forrest for his contribution. I don't know who (or why) any1 bothered to break this movie down to its basic components and reassemble it and come to the conclusion that it is not a very good movie...but I say to that person...Get a REAL job!

BATTLEFIELD EARTH is one of my all-time favorites...and I am not alone in the desire to watch it repeatedly.

Lynne Gordon
(My Real Name)

Re:YouTube Link... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31652010)

If Battlefield Earth is one of your all-time favourites, you've either only seen one movie, you're mentally retarded, or a Scientologist, but now I repeat myself.

Re:YouTube Link... (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 4 years ago | (#31652138)

If Battlefield Earth is one of your all-time favourites, you've either only seen one movie, you're mentally retarded, or a Scientologist, but now I repeat myself.

I will admit that I enjoyed the part where Travolta got his arm chopped off and was feeling the stump. That was about it though.

I read the original novel by L. Ron (yeah, I know, there are some things one should not admit to in public) and while it was about what you'd expect from writer of Hubbard's caliber, the movie didn't even measure up to that. How the Scientologists could have so badly botched the film adaptation of one of their founder's better-known works is beyond me.

This guy rocks (4, Insightful)

GNUALMAFUERTE (697061) | more than 3 years ago | (#31651496)

Now, looking back at the movie with fresh eyes, I can't help but be strangely proud of it. Because out of all the sucky movies, mine is the suckiest.
In the end, did Scientology get me laid? What do you think? No way do you get any action by boldly going up to a woman and proclaiming, "I wrote Battlefield Earth!" If anything, I'm trying to figure out a way to bottle it and use it as birth control. I'll make a mint!

Read the whole interview. It's totally worth it. A mans odyssey while trying to get laid at all costs.

ROMFL! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31651500)

If you hated the movie, just read the speech linked in the summary. That, is, absolutely, hilarious.

The reason why Battlefield Earth Won the Razzie (2, Insightful)

djdevon3 (947872) | more than 3 years ago | (#31651504)

The reason why Battlefield Earth deserved worst film of the decade was because it tried to be a serious film and fail Fail FAIL FIALED epiccccc fail. The premise wasn't bad, the execution is what killed it.

Re:The reason why Battlefield Earth Won the Razzie (5, Informative)

robogun (466062) | more than 3 years ago | (#31651560)

Part of the problem is that the production company ripped off the film's backers to the tune of $75 million.

Viewing the film (torture) will reveal numerous places where horrid shortcuts were taken with sets, special effects, unknown bad actors, etc.

The rest of the problem is that the movie covers the worse half of the book. The second half would have actually made a good space shoot em up, the first half is nothing but cave man wandering about. There is no noticeable Scientology proselyzation in either the book or the movie.

Re:The reason why Battlefield Earth Won the Razzie (3, Interesting)

Bigjeff5 (1143585) | more than 4 years ago | (#31651846)

Yup.

I actually read the book after I saw the movie, and the second half was much better than the first. Still, the first half of the book is significantly better than the story they told in the movie - they probably would have made the second half suck too.

Re:The reason why Battlefield Earth Won the Razzie (2, Interesting)

Chris Rhodes (1059906) | more than 4 years ago | (#31651864)

proselyzation - what's that mean, proselytization? But I agree with your assessment. Although I've never actually seen the movie. I read the book, and was ok with it for a once-through.

Then I found out who Hubbard really was, and never sought out any of his books again. Of course, I'd already read Dianetics, so it was too late to scrub my brain completely.

Re:The reason why Battlefield Earth Won the Razzie (0, Offtopic)

twidarkling (1537077) | more than 4 years ago | (#31652034)

proselyzation - what's that mean, proselytization?

Quick way to explain it is it means "to extoll the virtues of something."

Re:The reason why Battlefield Earth Won the Razzie (0, Offtopic)

Chris Rhodes (1059906) | more than 4 years ago | (#31652096)

Yes, except it is spelled "proselytization". Apparently, I should have flagrantly corrected you, so I could be modded up.

Re:The reason why Battlefield Earth Won the Razzie (3, Interesting)

CODiNE (27417) | more than 4 years ago | (#31651904)

I dunno man. What's up with the fighter jets that sat in a cave like 1,000 years and started up just fine? The ancient walkie-talkie's with working batteries? The stupid aliens accepting pallets of gold bars with official seals stamped on them??

That's about all I can remember from the movie, it HURT MY BWAIN.

So I ask you... was that nonsense from the book or added because of low budgets? It seemed pretty integral to the plot to find the planes so... the book couldn't have made much sense could it? GIGO.

Re:The reason why Battlefield Earth Won the Razzie (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 4 years ago | (#31652174)

What's up with the fighter jets that sat in a cave like 1,000 years and started up just fine? The ancient walkie-talkie's with working batteries?

Why not? It worked for Woody Allen. [veoh.com]

It's probably where the Scientologists got the idea.

Re:The reason why Battlefield Earth Won the Razzie (2, Informative)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 4 years ago | (#31652192)

So I ask you... was that nonsense from the book or added because of low budgets?

It was from the book, sort of. In other words, the human survivors found a couple of vast Russian and American underground bases (presumably Cold War-era) and scavenged them for guns, books, and whatever else they could find.

Re:The reason why Battlefield Earth Won the Razzie (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31652210)

I have read the book(years ago) and I think I remember them 'refurbishing' the thousand-year-old tech with technical manuals they found in the military bases. I've no idea how they gained the intelligence to successfully repair them even WITH documentation, however.

Re:The reason why Battlefield Earth Won the Razzie (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31651668)

FIALED

Didn't think it through.... (3, Insightful)

drjuggler (1121225) | more than 3 years ago | (#31651522)

FTFA: "In the end, did Scientology get me laid? What do you think?" That's why I became Unitarian! Not much screenplay material here oddly enough...

Re:Didn't think it through.... (1)

Tiger4 (840741) | more than 4 years ago | (#31651760)

You could always go for the truly obscure and join the Urantia [wikipedia.org] movement.

hilarious article (3, Funny)

C0vardeAn0nim0 (232451) | more than 3 years ago | (#31651526)

if he wrote a movie based on his experience with The CoS, it'll be one of the funniest comedies ever.

I think its great (1)

interval1066 (668936) | more than 3 years ago | (#31651544)

I have the RiffTrax version of it and its hilarious.

ALERT-- Important Notice (5, Insightful)

MarkvW (1037596) | more than 3 years ago | (#31651548)

This time, TFA really, really, is a good read!!!

Re:ALERT-- Important Notice (2, Informative)

Rimbo (139781) | more than 3 years ago | (#31651600)

Yes, it is. If for nothing else, to see that there are folks in Hollywood for whom the pull of Scientology is ... nonexistent. ;)

Using a pseudonym when it sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31651566)

Robert Towne replaced his name with that of his dog, Pannonia's Haramia Vezer, a komondor, for Greystoke, Legend of Tarzan. So either he wasn't paid much (doubtful) or his lawyer was better.

Re:Using a pseudonym when it sucks (1)

Servaas (1050156) | more than 4 years ago | (#31651814)

Or this guy wasn't a hypocrite. He wrote a bad movie, shrugged, paid some bills, and got on with his life.

I liked it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#31651692)

I liked the movie. Surely I can't be the only one, haha.

Battlefield Earth was so bad... (5, Funny)

preaction (1526109) | more than 4 years ago | (#31651790)

... my VCR spit out the tape about 5 minutes in, thus saving me from ever seeing any substantial part of the movie and wanting to claw my own eyes out. That VCR no longer works at all, but I keep him around, just to stop by and say "Thanks" every once in a while.

Re:Battlefield Earth was so bad... (1)

twidarkling (1537077) | more than 4 years ago | (#31652052)

Heh, my DVD player did that with Street Fighter this week.

What's his excuse for Robin Hood Men in Tights? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31651800)

1950's era comedy with hammy acting to match. Even Dave Chappelle came across like a dork.

Strange comparison. (1)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | more than 4 years ago | (#31651930)

I would've thought Travolta would've compared it to Passion of the Christ

Re:Strange comparison. (1)

chill (34294) | more than 4 years ago | (#31652156)

Uhhh...Passion of the Christ was released in 2004. Battlefield Earth was released in 2000.

Repeat after me, John Travolta is not God and cannot travel thru time.

Actually, just saying it once is enough. You shouldn't take a lot of convincing with that. Laughing, maybe. Convincing, no.

No way it was the worst (3, Insightful)

jdayer (1761600) | more than 4 years ago | (#31651964)

I can't even begin to talk about how much worse other movies have been. Every year a few hundred movies that are so bad DVDs are never made of them. In a nut shell there are millions of people who are interested in being involved in movies. Some of these people end up on lists of potential investors that production companies purchase. When I say production companies I mean con artists, but, con artists just this side of legal. These guys solicit money from these "interested investors", they put together a really bad film crew, some really bad actors and they make a movie. Sometimes they hire a has been or two for walk ons, they put together a lame party for the "investors" with the has beens as main course. Typically the only distribution these movies get is a short run (sometimes the producers make the copies themselves) that is sent out to the investors. The movie is submitted around to film festivals, distributors and is summarily rejected by everyone. I have some internet friends in the production business that complain about these losers because it makes it harder for independents to raise money. Not to hard though, there are always people who want to be in the movie business.

Re:No way it was the worst (2, Informative)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 4 years ago | (#31652108)

In fact, this is exactly what happened here. The production company later was investigated by the FBI, sued, and lost in a $121.7 million judgement [wikipedia.org] . Apparently they managed to inflate the budge from $44 million to $75 million. Ouch.

Book was FANTASTIC - movie was not so much (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31652032)

Read the book - experience a fantastic mental image.
See the video - reach for the eye bleach.

unacceptable (3, Funny)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 4 years ago | (#31652080)

I won't take his apology seriously until he takes it seriously. The Japanese have a ceremony that helps to convey complete sincerity. I suggest he uses it.

Isn't that the award that's.... (1)

genner (694963) | more than 4 years ago | (#31652090)

Isn't that the award that's both a candy and gum?
Lucky guy.

The lesson here? (0, Flamebait)

JoshuaZ (1134087) | more than 4 years ago | (#31652258)

Movies (or for that matter any media) which is made by people with a specific religious or political agenda will almost inevitably suck. In this particular case, there's little to no Scientology in the film itself. But the overriding agenda of making a movie out of the founder's best (least suck?) novel still shown through. This is related to why anything of the form [religion] [normal thing] generally just means [sucky] [normal thing]. Thus, Christian rock is a subgenre of sucky rock. Christian rap? Let's not go there. Jewish rock- generally pretty sucky rock. Etc. Let's all be thankful that we don't yet have Scientology rap.

Re:Why? (1)

clint999 (1277046) | more than 4 years ago | (#31652262)

Actually, I rather enjoyed it. It's not a good film, it's really quite bad, but not unwatchably so. Certainly nowhere near as bad as the Internet will tell you. If I had to watch a film, and could only choose from really bad ones, I would pick Battlefield Earth before Plan 9. Although maybe it's a close thing!
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