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jack_ryder

Beware the Creeper!

Iain's life as a psychotic crimefighter


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jack_ryder

Able Edwards

What do you get if you cross Citizen Kane, the Walt Disney cryogenics myth, and the green screen process that produced Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow?

Something like Able Edwards, only much better.

Able Edwards (according to the DVD cover) is the first feature film to be shot entirely in front of green screen (according to the Guinness Book of Records) - beating Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow by several months, I'd assume. The eponymous hero is a Walt Disney like character who is cloned from his frozen body (in fact, the main character is referred to at one point as Able Edwards Beta) to lead his now stagnant mega-corporation into a new, hopefully more productive, phase.

By this time, most of humanity has been wiped out by a plague and the survivors ensconced in an orbital colony, where the bulk of the film is set. Similar to the Hitler clones in The Boys from Brazil the Able Edwards clone grows up in normal time, so is subjected to the same traumas that supposedly formed the first Able Edwards, something it takes the main character much longer to figure out than it does the audience. The film is told in flashback (during a hearing to decide ownership of the corporation after AE's death, so it borrows the structure (and some of the shots) of Citizen Kane.

It's a very different SF film from most, with interesting ideas about actuality vs virtuality, legal rights of clones etc that are wasted in a film that's far too long and amateurish.  Scott Kelly Galbreath is good as Able Edwards, convincingly charismatic and mercurial, but the rest of the performances range from wooden to lousy. The writer/director Graham Robertson is a set director for US tv shows and movies (including Firefly and Serenity) and whilst he gives the film an interesting retro-SF look, his framing of shots and direction of actors is inadequate.

It was interesting to reflect that the two best ultra low-budget SF/Fantasy films I've seen in recent years; Primer and  The Call of Cthulhu, were made by talented amateurs and were much better films. Able Edwards had Hollywood professionals involved both on-screen and off (and was picked up by Steven Soderbergh for distribution) but remains an interesting failure.  While it's great to see a SF film that's more about ideas than spectacle (though some of the images are great), ultimately Able Edwards' ambition far outweighs its execution.
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I have got myself Primer on your recommendation, but haven't watched it yet.

And yes, must get Rampo Noir back to you, sorry.

Did you watch Rampo Noir?

Um, no.

Probably should have before the 8 movies we ordered on DVD arrived last week. Assuming we have time to watch them...

So - let me get this straight:

If I recommend a film to you, that decreases your likelihood of ever watching it

in which case-

Able Edwards is an unheralded masterpiece! Especially of interest to those in the computer programming field.

Hmmm.

Well, Primer was one of those 8.

The main problem is that we have probably only watched 3 or 4 movies all up since our last film day. We're far more likely to watch a tv ep after work and then do something else in the evening.

(And now there is LoM on Sunday nights, except this week I think I was reading.)

One of the reasons we got these particular 8(ish) films was to try to get us back in the habit.

When did you watch this? Where the hell was I?

I watched this last night with Garfield (left it over there so he could watch the special features.)

I would say it's only really of interest to filmmakers - not filmgoers.

Yeah - another film day! (Easy to say, a lot harder to organise.)

I'll get back to you with my free weekends in July, we can do Rampo Noir then (esp if Rob hasn't seen it.)

And this reading thing? Must try and get back to it (I'm embarrassed by how much of the Conflux booty from last year I haven't read - like any of it.)

My reading is not going great either, but have read 20 books thus far this year (one non-fic). Not too bad.

Whereas I'm still working through Jonestown. I think I've managed about 5 or 6 books this year - maybe not that many.

Of course, if I was a fully signed up member of the local writing community, I'd probably have more than 4 short stories to add to my total for the year (two by Steve King, one Torchwood slash???).

Meanwhile, my mum has become enthusiastic about Caterpillar Games.

I hope you're talking about the Torchwood slash (which sounds redundant if you ask me.)

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