Customer Review

7 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Fans" of the original: This film wasn't intended for you!!, 16 Dec. 2004
This review is from: Thunderbirds [DVD] [2004] (DVD)
The negative reaction to the THUNDERBIRDS movie has left me reeling. I am truly aghast that such an enjoyable family film has been dismissed (and in such a vitriolic manner) by so many people.
Quite what they were expecting is beyond me, but I am reminded of the hostile reception meted out to THE PHANTOM MENACE, another enjoyable family film pulled apart by the 'adult' fans because it didn't meet their narrow view of what made a STAR WARS film 'good'.
If those with an overly negative view of THUNDERBIRDS can put their hands on their hearts and say they disliked it because it was a bad film then there's not much I can do to change their minds (I happen to disagree most strongly). But to dismiss it because it wasn't made to their expectations or that "too much was changed" is a little selfish. I have just finished watching the film again on region 2 DVD and I enjoyed it even more the second time around. Hearing director Jonathan Frakes state on the commentary that he was proud of the fact that the film only contained one single gun (which was never even fired) lifted my spirits and reinforced what he was trying to do. It's very sad to hear the commentary all the way through, as it's clear that Mr. Frakes believed in THUNDERBIRDS and that his hopes for a sequel have been completely destroyed by the cynical attitudes of modern times.
Then we have the critics... don't get me started on the critics! It seems these people are obliged to destroy at least one high-profile film release every year in an attempt to prove they know what they're talking about and this year, THUNDERBIRDS was drawn from the hat. Their reviews were unforgivable given the trash they heap praise upon (SHREK 2 was a "fun family film"?), but what's even more annoying is that the public believe them.
If I become aware of a film that interests me I will go and see it no matter what critics say. I seem to be part of a dimishing section of the (British) public that is able to 'make their own mind up' instead of believing what's fed to them by the press.
I suspect THUNDERBIRDS will do well on DVD in the run up to Christmas, but that's small consolation when you realise that a potentially brilliant franchise has been strangled at birth.
I apologise for the aggressive nature of this missive, but I feel a grave injustice has been done. THUNDERBIRDS was a superb family film and I have yet to see or hear of any children who disliked it. In a time when "heroes" are a thing of the past this film attempted to give them something pure to look up to. Now it's dead and finished. why shouldn't I be angry? I've been robbed of something special too.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 20 Mar 2008 12:06:32 GMT
Last edited by the author on 20 Mar 2008 12:13:06 GMT
You said: >>"Fans" of the original: This film wasn't intended for you!!<< Then WHY did they bother? Why not try hard to attract as many people as possible to this film. Why not include, rather than exclude? And nobody 'drew their review opinions from a hat' -- this film has been universally spit-panned by those who know and love the original Thunderbirds. The fact you think 'Shrek 2' is terrible just proves to me that you don't have a grip on what made Shrek popular in the first place -- it's humour and respect for the outcome and dignity of the characters, qualities the original Thunderbirds had in spades. Thunderbirds fans know what they like and this movie was ALWAYS going to suffer by comparison with the lovable, tongue-in-cheek original series. Those who DO like this remake do so because they have little or no emotional stake in the original. And as a result, you CANNOT disregard the feelings of original fans; for it is THEY who sustained the popularity of this show across FIVE decades. This is a feat only equalled by 'Star Trek' and 'Doctor Who' fandom. So basically, don't be shocked by their vitriol towards this remake; their opinions are based on respect and love for the original, whose qualities this remake barely even tries to duplicate. In fact, this Thunderbird remake virtually reeks of corporate cynicism -- Oh how they must have drooled to think about how many vehicle toys they were going to sell!! In fact, the toys were the ONLY thing that made ANY money for this project, proving my point handily. Speaking of Doctor Who, you only need to look at how critically and popularly acclaimed the new version is to see how much the producers of Thunderbirds 2004 missed the boat. In conclusion, you only have to seek out my review above to see how fairly I treated Frake's version of Thunderbirds. I tried as hard as I could to emphasise it's good points, despite being a die-hard fan of the classic 1960s show. That's because I believe in being fair -- Good is good. Bad speaks for itself. Matt Black, Auckland, New Zealand.

Posted on 9 Sep 2009 00:14:21 BDT
Mr. S. Crook says:
If you set out to make a film of Thunderbirds, that's what you should do. Frakes didn't do that. He made a different sort of film that happened to use plot and characters (including the TBirds themselves) from the original series in a film that bore little resemblance to the original. I have mixed feelings about the failure of the film. Thankfully we won't see another one made in the same style as Frakes effort, but then there's little chance of seeing a version that's closer to the spirit of the original. So everyone loses.

Posted on 13 Sep 2009 17:13:09 BDT
This film was disappointing, not because it was different to the original series, but because it was absolutely awful from start to finish. I can't think of a single redeeming feature. Not one.
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