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Friday, November 06, 2009

Button Button

Here is the offer: If you press the button you will receive $200,000. The caveat: Someone you don't know will die.


I was born during run of the original Twilight Zone but growing up watched them over and over again in reruns. People dealing with some small change in reality often with a clever twist in the ending. But they made you think.

CBS had a remake of the Twilight Zone series in the mid-80's. But nearly all the episodes were quite bland and highly predictable stories. But one episode in that new series, "Button Button", which made that offer above, caught be by surprise and worthy of being in the same caliber of the best of the original series. I won't spoil anything else about the episode.

A new movie The Box, a remake of Button, Button that opens today. I thank the commercials for The Box for reminding me of that sole great Twilight Zone episode of the 80's. Can a full length movie do justice to that short and powerful episode, even with the writer and director of Donnie Darko? I doubt it so skip the movie and rent the the original (disk 5) instead.

7 comments:

  1. "Here is the offer: If you press the button you will receive $200,000. The caveat: Someone you don't know will die."

    Where is the button !!!
    Where is the button !!!
    Where is the button !!!

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  2. I remember the episode from the 80's Twilight Zone as well. Definitely one of my favs. The episode was based on a short story written by Richard Matheson, the same guy who wrote I Am Legend.

    I Am Legend was recently made into a movie starring Will Smith. The original novella by Matheson was better than the movie, although the movie was still pretty well done, IMHO. If you look at Matheson's IMDB page, you'll see a few other Matheson stories that have been previously made into movies, or are in the process of being made.

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  3. The TZ ep totally changed the ending from the original.

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  4. A more intense version is in The Dark Knight: you are in 1 of the 2 boats, you press the button then everyone in the other boat die, if someone in the other boat press their button, then you die

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  5. The Dark Knight paradox suffered from the problem that you had to trust the Joker that the game was not rigged. Could be that your button would bomb your boat.

    Just wanted to publicly declair my dislike for that film. Please don't hate me.

    I wonder how they deal with that problem in TZ.

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  6. The episode is available on YouTube:
    Part1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y6mUElrvpB0
    Part2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iVZW684Qc

    The idea is pretty damn good. It's the sheer open-endedness what makes you thinking... I think the recent movie is by far more predictable... The acting though is horrendous. Both lead male and female characters are grossly overacting their parts. Or, maybe, it was just how you were supposed to act in the 80s?

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  7. Isn't this scenario happening already in real life?
    See "War by remote: What do you think?" from PBS

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/digitalnation/blog/2009/10/new-video-fighting-from-afar.html

    ReplyDelete