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Ridley Scott's Forever War In 3D 296

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the that-extra-d-is-for-dumber dept.
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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Ridley Scott's Forever War In 3D

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  • by jollyreaper (513215) on Monday April 20, 2009 @10:20AM (#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?

    • by Dr. Manhattan (29720) <sorceror171@gmai l . c om> on Monday April 20, 2009 @10:31AM (#27645617) Homepage
      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.

    • by Sockatume (732728) on Monday April 20, 2009 @10:31AM (#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: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by AmiMoJo (196126)

      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.

    • by DinDaddy (1168147) on Monday April 20, 2009 @10:43AM (#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.

    • by Ephemeriis (315124) on Monday April 20, 2009 @11:13AM (#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...

    • by mdielmann (514750)

      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),

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Coraline was excellent in 3D -- the first 3D movie I've seen which tried to be a movie first and 3D second, if you see what I mean, and thereby succeeded at both. The 3D was an enhancement, not a distraction.

      Of course, that was animation. I have yet to see it done well in live-action. We'll see.

    • I have amblyopia, so my eyes don't point quite paralell. 3D movies are worse than useless to me, I just get my choice of a blurry distorted image or a splitting headache.

      Captcha says reject, which is what these movies make me think.

  • by SpuriousLogic (1183411) on Monday April 20, 2009 @10:23AM (#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.
    • by ByOhTek (1181381)

      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.

      • by WillAdams (45638) on Monday April 20, 2009 @10:42AM (#27645791) Homepage

        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: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by gullevek (174152)

          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: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by skeeto (1138903)

            I agree. I loved the book, but it's more like a long lecture (like most of Heinlein's books ;-) ) than something I would want to watch in a movie theater.

            If we were to vote on the next Heinlein book to make into a movie, I would vote for The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. Though they would probably have to severely shorten the first half of it (the lecture half) for the movie adaptation.

            • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

              If we were to vote on the next Heinlein book to make into a movie, I would vote for The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. Though they would probably have to severely shorten the first half of it (the lecture half) for the movie adaptation.

              Not me. I'd vote for _The Puppet Masters_. That's pretty easy to make into a movie...lots of action & lots of nudity >:D

              • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                by Mycroft_VIII (572950)
                It's already been done, a bit heavy on the action and light on the other parts, but it was done.
                      It's also set in modern times so no flying cars.

                Mycroft
            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              I don't see it happening. Exploring alternative forms of marriage scares the crap out of a large chunk of the US population, including a whole lot of California. If even the left coast can't handle the idea, I don't see how the Midwest could take it.

              Not to mention the shots he took at racism. Offend the south, the midwest, and half of the west coast? Sounds like a no-go to me.

              Even if it was a fascinating book. I'm not so sure, as other people have already observed in these comments, that the result wou

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by TheRaven64 (641858)
            So was Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep. Blade Runner managed to cut around 80% of it and still be entertaining. It deleted several major plot lines, not just some scenes, but people still like it.
      • by radtea (464814) on Monday April 20, 2009 @10:49AM (#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: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by drinkypoo (153816)

          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: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Herr Brush (639981)
          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: (Score:3, Informative)

            by oliderid (710055)
            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]
          • by quantax (12175) on Monday April 20, 2009 @12:22PM (#27647453) Homepage
            I just recently re-read Forever War (as well as Starship Troopers funnily enough), I actually like the ending simply since I think it fits the overall message. That is the 'happiness' of the ending demonstrates how pointless the wars often are. The war is over and the original reasons for are vague and the 'solution' seems equally vague and meaningless. It's simply just over, you can all go on with your lives now, if you were expecting an answer, there really are none. Maybe I'm giving too much credit for the idea which was intended more as a way to end the book than contribute to its whole theme of disconnection and arbitrariness of action.
        • by netsavior (627338) on Monday April 20, 2009 @10:54AM (#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."
        • by stoolpigeon (454276) * <bittercode@gmail> on Monday April 20, 2009 @10:58AM (#27646063) Homepage Journal

          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.

          • by radtea (464814) on Monday April 20, 2009 @11:16AM (#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.)

            • 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.

            • by roystgnr (4015) <.roystgnr. .at. .ticam.utexas.edu.> on Monday April 20, 2009 @12:07PM (#27647191) Homepage

              Limited warfare was the norm until the late 1700's

              Limited warfare is mostly the norm today: you surrender, the aggressor stops fighting you to the death. If the aggressor doesn't stop that, then we stop calling it "war" and start calling it "genocide".

              Of course, that's for an extremely literal definition of "limited"... but exactly what other definition does make the claim I've quoted above make sense? Try a search for "sack of", check out the first few dozen of the countless results, and make sure your definition of "limited" includes raping and pillaging from non-combatants, mass executions of prisoners of war, and other such war crimes that used to be status quo. I'll admit that Heinlein's post-WWII writing might have been distorted by some of that particularly-heinous context, but even genocide isn't a new thing in history. Ever read the Old Testament?

              But suppose that total war and genocide have become particularly common in the last few centuries, perhaps because of the better killing technologies available... how exactly would that reflect poorly on Heinlein's arguments that preparation for war is a necessity for survival? If the temptation of and damage done by war are going up with the advancement of technology and the passage of time, then surely that makes it reasonable to postulate a technologically-advanced future where those factors haven't decreased back to "the norm" yet. This is science fiction, after all - noticing that the norms in human history have included limited war, horse-drawn carts, stone tools, etc. has little relevance to a genre of literature that's also noticed that the norm in modern history is for norms to be perpetually changing.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by Jaeph (710098)

              "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,.."

              This is utopian/socialist thinking, not real thinking.

              If you want something, eliminating the person who has that something is a valid approach to getting it (outside of morals/ethics, of course).

              -Jeff

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by QuantumPion (805098)

              Limited warfare was the norm until the late 1700's: the past 200 years of total war are the anomaly,

              Eh? Alexander? Caesar? Ghengis Khan? Ottoman Empire?

              There wasn't a distinction between total war and limited war until there were countries which were so rich and prosperous that they could engage in war without having to conscript their entire population and resources.

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              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,

              A limited "yes" to the first part (the limit is "within species"), an unqualified "no" to the second. Limited war was most certainly not the norm until the late 1700s, unless by "limited" you include "kill all the men and all the male children and all the women who are not virgins. Take the remaining female children captive."

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by oren (78897)

              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.

              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."

              A point often lost on people is that memes share the same Malthusian crunch as biological creatures. In fact, memes may face a stronger crunch. Technological advances may keep us feeding larger populations, for a while anyway... but nothing will create sufficient brains for the memes to populate without "meme wars".

              Some memes engage in "limited warfare", accept their losses gracefully, and fade off the scene. Some drive their hosts to fight to the death and try to convert as many others as possible. Guess w

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by LWATCDR (28044)

          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" real

        • by Sancho (17056) *

          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.

      • by Dun Malg (230075) on Monday April 20, 2009 @10:52AM (#27645951) Homepage

        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.

        • by oliderid (710055)
          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 :-)
        • by timholman (71886) on Monday April 20, 2009 @11:38AM (#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.

          • by Nursie (632944) on Monday April 20, 2009 @11:54AM (#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.

    • 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.
  • by OzPeter (195038) on Monday April 20, 2009 @10:33AM (#27645647)
    I'm blind in one eye.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

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

    • So... you're an insensitive clod?
    • by OzPeter (195038) on Monday April 20, 2009 @10:54AM (#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?
      • by TrekkieGod (627867) on Monday April 20, 2009 @11:25AM (#27646545) Homepage Journal

        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.

      • by whopis (465819) on Monday April 20, 2009 @11:35AM (#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?

        • by OzPeter (195038)
          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: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Sir_Lewk (967686)

        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. ;)

    • by Bazzargh (39195)

      I'm blind in one eye.

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

    • by mdielmann (514750)

      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).

    • 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 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Pecisk (688001) on Monday April 20, 2009 @10:35AM (#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.

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

    Shouldn't that be dumbest ?

  • 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 ;(.

  • 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.

  • by Thagg (9904) <thadbeier@gmail.com> on Monday April 20, 2009 @10:53AM (#27645983) Journal

    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.

  • 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.
  • 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: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by gatkinso (15975)

      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.

  • 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 angl

    • by Aladrin (926209)

      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.)

  • Action packed.... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by vague disclaimer (861154) on Monday April 20, 2009 @11:39AM (#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.

  • by Artifex33 (932236) on Monday April 20, 2009 @11:53AM (#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.

    • by DragonWriter (970822) on Monday April 20, 2009 @11:58AM (#27647045)

      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?

      Quite a lot, which will (a) give people a reason to go to the theatre to see movies, and (b) provide an incentive for the development and adoption, within a decade or so, of whatever the successor to today's home viewing technology turns out to be, supporting home 3D viewing. "Replicating the theater experience at home" is, as always, about hitting a moving target.

  • 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

  • NOOOOOOO! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Crookdotter (1297179) on Monday April 20, 2009 @01:20PM (#27648487)
    No god please no, don't do it Ridley!!! The Forever War is my favorite sci-fi novel, and demands a live cast. There is some serious acting to be done here, a modern, adult sci-fi film, not a 3D film which is never going to be as good.

    How can you take the misery and apathy of Mandella, and the serious, prolonged waste of life and turn it into effectively a 3D cartoon?

    Get the damn budget and immortalise the story, or leave it until someone else can do it.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by pavon (30274)

      It's going to have a live cast, it's just going to be filmed with a 3D camera.

There is no royal road to geometry. -- Euclid

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