Tuesday, June 1, 2010

In the Land Before CGI: Tora! Tora! Tora!

This edition of "In the Land Before CGI" is a day late but hopefully not a dollar short. It was intended as a Memorial Day edition but with relatives in town my attentions were distracted for the better as I enjoyed cookouts, walks and healthy conversation. So here it is today, ready to go. Tora! Tora! Tora!, from 1970.

13 comments:

bill r. said...

I can listen to this now. I shall when I get home. Even though I've never seen TORA! TORA! TORA! all the way through. Sentence fragments.

Greg said...

Bill. That's good. Hope like it. Good. Again.

bill r. said...

Most of what I've seen of TORA! TORA! TORA! is the attack sequence, and that shit is remarkable. Also, you have a very appealing voice. You sound like you should do commentary tracks for old movie. What I'm trying to say is, I love you.

Hey, you know what you should do for this feature? AIR FORCE. If for no other reason than so I can find out if there was as little stock footage used in the combat scenes as I think.

Greg said...

Thanks Bill, I'm glad you liked it. And if anyone ever says to you, "Hey, we need someone with a knowledge of old films and a good commentary voice," well, you know what to say. "Go to hell assholes!" But after you say that, recommend me.

One thing I was impressed with on Tora! Tora! Tora! rewatching it was how dangerous a lot of the stunt work looked. At 2:55 that guy who hits the ground looks like he was a couple of bad steps away from being crushed and incinerated by the crashing plane.

Air Force, huh? I may have to look into that, but for later. The last three have been Tora! Tora! Tora!, Hell's Angels and 1941. I should probably do some Harryhausen or something next.

Christopher said...

THis film was really hyped back in the day..Don't know that it got the love that Patton did.
Wow..You CGI punks today!..Git out there and get killed for art you weenies!

Greg said...

It didn't get nearly the amount of love that Patton did but they're two completely different animals. Tora doesn't have a central character and plays like re-enactment which I think makes it play kind of stiffly for a lot of people.

Christopher said...

..and people were eating up the new style of filmmaking with MASH and Catch 22 and Patton.Tora Tora Tora was more old school...I don't remember it doing well in theatres at all..

Peter Nellhaus said...

Some of your links are dead. Try adding a few live ones. Just sayin'.

And I'm still waiting on that post on The Giant Claw. Nothing equals the special effects on that film.

Anonymous said...

tdraicer: I saw ToraX3 when it came out and I was 11 or 12. I was blown away (so to speak) then and it remains one of my favorite films on WWII. Besides the special effects, the Japanese sequences and Goldsmith's score are particularly good.

Greg said...

Peter, see this is what my "P.S." was all about. Still adding links as I go. It's difficult to even know which are missing because I don't visit sites from my blogroll but from my own laptop bookmarks.

As for The Giant Claw, like I've always said, my little CGI series could never do justice to such outstanding model work.

Greg said...

tdraicer, I have the Goldsmith score on my i-tunes. It comes as a two-fer with his Patton score. And in my original narration (that went on way too long so had to be cut) I discuss how the Japanese sequences are noticeably better done than the Fleischer directed sequences. Given that the Japanese scenes have slightly more running time and the final third is mostly directed by Ray Kellog, I think it's a bit unfair to everyone involved to see "Directed by Richard Fleischer" as the final credit. It should have read all three names with Kellog more prominently credited for the second unit.

And, like you, it's always been a favorite of mine too. It's re-enactment style plays very well for me even if it clearly plays dryly for most everyone else.

Hokahey said...

I show the attack scenes in my history class every year - and I always point out - in the attack on the airfield scene - the guy who looks like he almost gets hit by the burning plane and then scrambles frantically for cover. Also - the propellor that skips over the tarmac. Amazingly real!

Greg said...

Hokahey, that's the guy I'm talking about in my second comment to Bill. I don't know if he got that close on purpose or just screwed up his timing and almost died but either way, the whole attack sequence has the weight of reality behind it which most CGI just doesn't.