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"Colossus: The Forbin Project"


RMeingast
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Quiet 2nite on the message board.

 

So, anyway, might watch an old film on TVO's "Saturday Night at the Movies" called

"Colossus: The Forbin Project."

 

Can't remember if I've seen it or not?? Anybody seen it lately???

 

Features Susan Clark, recently discussed in another thread as she's the widow of the late Alex Karras.

 

Also stars Eric Braeden, if you're an Hans Gudegast fan...

 

And Canadian actor Gordon Pinsent...

 

Wiki article here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colossus:_The_Forbin_Project

 

A remake is apparently on the horizon with Ron Howard potentially directing...

 

and TVO's "SNAM" blog: http://snam.tvo.org/blog/saturday-night-movies-blog/saturday-features-colossus-forbin-project-and-thing

 

Been watching "SNAM" for at least 38 years now... (It started showing classic films on TV in 1974)...

 

Edited by: RMeingast on Oct 27, 2012 7:05 PM

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I've seen it several years ago, its a bit dated. Basicly an early fear of computers brought to film. To show how old the movie is, teletype machines are used because the video terminals/keyboards have not been implemented by that time period.

 

The HAL 9000 in "2001" is a far more advanced, elegant computer making the ones in "Colossus" look like a junk pile, lol.

 

I loved when they gave it a "voice", it sounds EXACTLY like my Sound/Speech pack for my Color Computer. Amazing how they got that one right on the button. The Tandy Speech Pack produces what could be called speech by waveform generators. Software only translate what you type to the proper signals to the WGs. I don't know if that's what they did in the movie (waveform generators) to create the voice of Colossus.

 

Regarding Eric Braeden he appeared in "Escape From the Planet of the Apes" and one episode of the old "Hawaiian Five-O" TV sereis but he's best known as the ruthless billionaire, Victor Newman in the CBS "Young And The Restless" soap opera.

 

Eric_Braeden_as_Victor_Newman.jpg

 

I have just got to get this and hook it up to the audio out of my Color Computer. :D

colossus01.jpg

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I like it very much. It is very subtle psychological horror and most people I know were more frightened the day after they watched it than they were while watching it.

 

The hardware is charmingly dated as hamradio stated. I love that voice! It is so purely mechanical that it is not possible to imagine it being friendly..

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> {quote:title=SansFin wrote:}{quote}I like it very much. It is very subtle psychological horror and most people I know were more frightened the day after they watched it than they were while watching it.

>

> The hardware is charmingly dated as hamradio stated. I love that voice! It is so purely mechanical that it is not possible to imagine it being friendly..

 

 

Yes, thanks SansFin and Hamster below...

 

Yes, did catch some of "Colossus: The Forbin Project" and it does have a late 60s/early 70s look about it. But not bad despite that.

Should probably be aired with "2001: A Space Odyssey" and "Demon Seed" (computer named Proteus IV in that flick) for a theme day or something...

 

Vincent Canby review of "Colossus: The Forbin Project" here: http://movies.nytimes.com/movie/review?_r=1&res=9B07E0DB133EE034BC4D53DFB366838B669EDE&oref=slogin

 

Then, after "Colossus: The Forbin Project" was John Carpenter's "The Thing."

Interesting in that when the critics opined on it waaaaay back in 1982, many were very harsh about it. But since then, it's been lauded and today many think it's the greatest thing since sliced bread was invented:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Thing_%281982_film%29#Critical_reception

 

But I haven't seen it for years so watched the whole dang "thing"...

 

And Hans Gudegast was in "Rat Patrol" too. Remember him from that.

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I remember "Colossus" from its initial release, its a very good film. (Look for William Schallert , Patty Duke's dad) Although "Colossus" is dated by its 60's technology (which might be considered state of the art when the film was made) the theme is timeless. Man can't face up to the pressures of dealing with the consequences of his ability to wage modern nuclear war. Think of earlier films like" Fail Safe" , "Dr Stranglove ", etc. So we empower a computer to do the dirty work for us, now we can sleep at night. Unfortunately the computer takes its mission to a higher level, the only way to protect man from himself is to control him, put him on a short leash. Its "big brother" to the extreme. So what does man do now, the machine is the ruler and man doesn't like that either. The 80's movie "War Games" is along the same storyline, we let a computer run the national defense system. But when a teen computer geek unintentionally hacks into the system he fools the system into believing that a "game" is reality. The computer is ready to wage all out thermonuclear war against the Soviets. The lesson is simple, if man is to survive long term he has to face up to his responsiblities. He must discipline himself to not be so destructive to himself, or the environment I might add.

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There is also the "Terminator" movie and sequels in which in "Judgement Day" the inventor Miles Dyson creates the neural-net processor in which by it design became self aware in the Skynet system. This story is another paradox, which came first the Terminator or Miles Dyson borrowing tech that was brought back from the future?

 

All these movies, Colossus, Wargames and Terminator shares one thing in common its artificial intelligence that becomes self aware. I'm hoping this will never come to pass but when I read stuff about Strong Al and Google's unveiling of CADIE, or Cognitive Autoheuristic Distributed Intelligence, I wonder how close are we to this scifi story coming true.

 

But does one asked the question, do computers control our life? In a sense yes but not in the way Hollywood predicted. One only has to look at Smartphones and text messaging. People are *addicted* to this technology, they can't put that stupid thing down if their life depends on it.

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> {quote:title=hamradio wrote:}{quote}

> All these movies, Colossus, Wargames and Terminator shares one thing in common its artificial intelligence that becomes self aware.

 

Capuchin wrote a story in 1982 about a computer which wondered if it was self-aware.

 

> But does one asked the question, do computers control our life? In a sense yes but not in the way Hollywood predicted.

 

I believe it is the nature of movies that they must depict the overt rather than the covert and that results must be from actions rather than accumulations.

 

Computer programs are controlling what people buy. More advertisements will appear for Product X than for Product Y on your visits to sites if ratings and reviews demonstrate that people with a browsing history similar to yours often buy Product X. This is a trend which began with advertisers putting signs in areas where their type of customers would see it: Tiffany's did not paint their signs on the sides of Feed & Seed stores and Mort's Lice Powder did not put their signs on Broadway.

 

Computers have made the practice more personal as they accumulate personal data and so tailor advertising for maximum benefit.

 

It is an insidious and covert control as it limits an individual's choices by reducing their exposure to other choices. A person whom the computer deems has a high likelihood of buying Item X will see only advertisements and reviews for Product X1 and Product X2 and they will not be made aware that Product Y exists.

 

This pervades elections and voter choice also. A person whose browsing and search histories indicate their interest in frogs, ufos and sex toys will be exposed to advertisements and news items relating to a choice between Candidate A and Candidate B and they will not be made aware of Candidate C's potential value because Candidate C never went public with their story of receiving **** probes from green aliens while the other candidates had made their tales part of their public platform.

 

Such covert control will steadily grow until it becomes common for a baby's selection of a pink bunny rather than a blue kitty in a computer game to set-in-stone for their entire lives what items they will buy and for whom they will vote.

 

I do not believe movies can depict that insidious power as forcibly as they can a robot run amok.

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> {quote:title=RMeingast wrote:}{quote}

>

> A remake is apparently on the horizon with Ron Howard potentially directing...

>

I've heard that the remake...at least what I read a couple of years ago...will be a combination of the original novel's story and the sequel (yes...there was a second COLOSSUS novel) into one story. COLOSSUS is a very good story that is possibly even more timely now than it was over 40 years ago, so a well-done remake could be a very good idea.

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