Primer (2004) - an interesting movie

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Primer (2004) - an interesting movie

Postby gary » Sun Mar 17, 2013 11:29 am

It is hard to imagine that anyone interested in building a mechanical (or electronic) NBTV isn't also generally interested in technology and science. therefore I think it is safe to assume most people reading this will be of that persuasion.

I think also it is reasonably safe to say that many of you also enjoy a little (or a lot of) science fiction from time to time.

I know I certainly fit into that category. However, I rarely read modern science fiction, and generally feel disappointed in modern science fiction movies. This is because I like my science fiction to be at least based on a modicum of "real" science, and to make at least some attempt to "explain" the science behind the plot (a little like developing characters).

Science fiction that does not do this - and that includes most modern sci-fi books and movies in my experience - belong more to the "fantasy" than the "science fiction" genre (IMHO).

A surprising (to me) exception to this is a movie I accidentally stumbled over recently called "Primer" (2004) - a very low budget film but one well worth searching out and watching if you fall into a similar category to me.

It is a movie about garage (or "kitchen table") type engineering and time travel.

If you do decide to watch it I would strongly suggest you do not read any "spoilers" (like wikipaedia) before hand as part of the interest in the plot is to see if you understand it on the first iteration - it is quite challenging.

If anyone has already seen this movie I would be interested in reading about what you thought of it.
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Re: Primer (2004) - an interesting movie

Postby Viewmaster » Sun Mar 17, 2013 7:07 pm

gary wrote:I think also it is reasonably safe to say that many of you also enjoy a little (or a lot of) science fiction from time to time.

If you do decide to watch it I would strongly suggest you do not read any "spoilers" (like wikipaedia) before hand as part of the interest in the plot is to see if you understand it on the first iteration - it is quite challenging.

If anyone has already seen this movie I would be interested in reading about what you thought of it.


I'm a great Ray Bradbury fan myself and in general do not like modern sci fi movies. Remakes of old sci fi films are normally inferior to the original films .
"The Thing", and "War of the Worlds," being two examples for me.

Well Gary, I have just bought a copy of Primer (2004) from eBay and will let you know how it aggles my brain.

What has all this got to do with NBTV I ask? :)
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Re: Primer (2004) - an interesting movie

Postby gary » Sun Mar 17, 2013 8:07 pm

Viewmaster wrote:I'm a great Ray Bradbury fan myself


Ditto, although few of his stories translated to the screen well, the 100th episode of the Twilight Zone being a notable exception.

Viewmaster wrote:Remakes of old sci fi films are normally inferior to the original films .
"The Thing", and "War of the Worlds," being two examples for me.


Indeed, although Pendragon's version of "War of the Worlds" is worth having a look at if only for the fact that it is probably the worst movie ever made. It was however faithful to the novel.

Viewmaster wrote:Well Gary, I have just bought a copy of Primer (2004) from eBay and will let you know how it aggles my brain.


Oh dear, I hope I don't get in trouble. :shock:

Keep in mind one notable reviewer wrote that to understand it you either have to be a savant or watch it at least twice. After conquering the maze of the Niptrix I suspect that, for you, it will be the former ;-).

Viewmaster wrote:What has all this got to do with NBTV I ask?



Nothing! That's why I put it in the "off topic" section :-). However, the garage engineering part of it is at least something we have some affinity with.

PS: Just to be controversial, I regard The Thing (From Another World) to be a (space) horror movie rather than a science fiction movie - but I like horror movies too, so a combination of the two works well for me.

Another great example of space horror is "It! The Terror from Beyond Space" - this was eventually remade as Ridley Scott's Alien.

The novella "Who Goes There?" by John W. Campbell upon which The Thing From Another World is based (quite tightly) is well worth a read.

PPS: I recommend watching Primer with English subtitles on if, like me, you have trouble understanding some of the North American dialect ever since the Americans ditched the "mid-Atlantic" form of theatrical enunciation in, I think, the early 70s?
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Re: Primer (2004) - an interesting movie

Postby Viewmaster » Sun Mar 17, 2013 9:51 pm

gary wrote:PS: Just to be controversial, I regard The Thing (From Another World) to be a (space) horror movie rather than a science fiction movie - but I like horror movies too, so a combination of the two works well for me.

Yes, I suppose that is horror and not sci fi.
Some remakes are superior. "The Fly" with Goldblum in the lead has much greater impact than the original 1958 version with Vincent Price, although the film techniques were not available then to scare.

That film has both horror and sci fi nicely teleported together ! :)
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Postby gary » Sun Mar 17, 2013 9:59 pm

Although I did enjoy the remake I love the original too much (heeelp meee heeelp meee) to agree it was superior. Don't you check every house fly for a white head?

In any case, even though it did incorporate elements of horror and science fiction it (the original and story) was in fact a murder mystery - TRUE! I swear!

Brundle fly indeed....
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Postby Viewmaster » Mon Mar 18, 2013 7:04 pm

gary wrote:Although I did enjoy the remake I love the original too much (heeelp meee heeelp meee) to agree it was superior. Don't you check every house fly for a white head?
Brundle fly indeed....


I always felt rather dissapointed in the original version. Both creatures, fly and man, had human intellect as one could write english and the other speak it. If the fly had human intellect then why not stay in the relative safety of the house? I accept that this double intellect version was required to fit the story but I never did like that much.

Now in the new version the slow conversion because of fly DNA seemed much more plausible for me, and was handled brilliantly, starting with just those few stiff hairs on his back. Creepy, creepy.

My o my, this forum now has sci fi and black dwarf stars in its threads.
Maybe we need a 'lounge' section.
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Postby Steve Anderson » Mon Mar 18, 2013 7:51 pm

Viewmaster wrote:Maybe we need a 'lounge' section.

Well, I know there are a few non-drinkers here, but how about "The Bar"?

The rules of discussion would be the same as in any bar or pub, NO religion, NO politics, otherwise all is fair game. I imagine a few after the convention ends wander to partake of an ale or two and I doubt the chatter would be exclusively NBTV or even technical.

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Postby gary » Mon Mar 18, 2013 8:04 pm

I must admit I would be more comfortable having this thread in a "lounge".

But heh! who let the non-drinkers in? always trouble makers... ;-)

I'll be sober in the morning but your disk will still be wobbly... hic...
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Postby gary » Mon Mar 18, 2013 8:20 pm

Viewmaster wrote:I always felt rather dissapointed in the original version. Both creatures, fly and man, had human intellect as one could write english and the other speak it. If the fly had human intellect then why not stay in the relative safety of the house? I accept that this double intellect version was required to fit the story but I never did like that much.

Now in the new version the slow conversion because of fly DNA seemed much more plausible for me, and was handled brilliantly, starting with just those few stiff hairs on his back. Creepy, creepy.



Oh Albert - you are over thinking it - all good horror movies require a certain amount of "suspension of disbelief" - but the fly had to escape the house to avoid being swatted or netted by the kid - and then he flew into a spiders web - easily done you know.

The problem of the remake for me is - well it wasn't really a remake - it had very little in common with the original story except for the the teletransportation and the fly - but as a standalone movie it was quite good.

But you talk about plausibility - how plausible is it that a geek like Brundle would end up with a gorgeous doll (actually two of them!) sitting on his lap? huh?
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Postby Viewmaster » Mon Mar 18, 2013 11:48 pm

gary wrote:But you talk about plausibility - how plausible is it that a geek like Brundle would end up with a gorgeous doll (actually two of them!) sitting on his lap? huh?


The last sexual scene helped to show how he was changing. I'm not sure how flies mate (if they do?) but he was going thata way.
She thought he was very cute at the start and so fell for him,
so there we are.

So there's no accounting for taste, plausable or not......
......said the spider to the fly. :)

BTW, the special effects won an academy award and well deserved too, as they were brilliant.

Re bar/lounge. We have a 'cellar' in our village where they all hang out, drinkers and all comers...........and the occasional fly. :shock:
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Postby Harry Dalek » Tue Mar 19, 2013 5:06 pm

I missed this one and i am a big sci fi fan good sci fi one of the best all round movies i found a nice change and a great plot is The Mist 2007
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LhCKXJNGzN8

That will teach us playing around with ways into other dimensions.
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Postby gary » Tue Mar 19, 2013 5:29 pm

Yes Harry that is one of the few Stephen King stories that have been translated to the screen well.

Others:

Shawshank Redemption
Green Mile
Stand by Me
The Shining (although King hated it)
Carrie
The Stand
Misery

That's about it that I can think of (more than I thought actually - the man must be rolling in dough).

Can anybody think of any others? (good ones that is, there are enumerable duds).
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Postby Viewmaster » Tue Mar 19, 2013 7:08 pm

Not really sci fi, but here's what would happen when the pegs take over the world.
Bit of a self plug too. :oops:
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Postby gary » Tue Mar 19, 2013 7:18 pm

Dangerous place to be that Pegland...

BTW which one was Jake?
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Re: Primer (2004) - an interesting movie

Postby Andrew Davie » Wed Mar 20, 2013 9:12 pm

gary wrote:If anyone has already seen this movie I would be interested in reading about what you thought of it.


Yes, I've seen it a few years ago. I have a copy on DVD I liked it so much. Very interesting, and I love the fact that you come to realise what's been happening later on in the movie. Pretty much an "OMG" when that happens.

Very clever, very convoluted. There are online diagrams of the timeline, which are also very interesting to help understand what's going on.
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