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74

Seven Deadly Sins of Science Fiction
Topic by: Dwoodwoo
Posted: September 5, 2002 - 5:12 PM PDT
Last Reply: October 29, 2002 - 3:56 AM PST

author topic: Seven Deadly Sins of Science Fiction
Dwoodwoo
post #1  on September 5, 2002 - 5:12 PM PDT  
Okay, Andy, I haven't seen Circuitry Man, but now that I know there's a character named "Plughead," I've got to see it. You're not just making that up, are you?

Say, do you still have that season 1 parody of ST:TNG lying around?

dennis!
AMicone
post #2  on September 5, 2002 - 8:58 PM PDT  
> On September 5, 2002 - 5:12 PM PST Dwoodwoo wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> Okay, Andy, I haven't seen Circuitry Man, but now that I know there's a character named "Plughead," I've got to see it. You're not just making that up, are you?

Oh, I couldn't possibly make up something so amazingly bad. Who knew an arch-nemesis could provide such a formidible threat while providing masturbation advice that would make Joycelen Elders blush. Personally, if I was Plughead I would be worthless as an arch-nemesis, I'd spend too much time on the Internet with a direct neural DSL connection.

> Say, do you still have that season 1 parody of ST:TNG lying around?

Sadly, no, but Enterprise may soon deserve a similair send-up. -- Andy
CDill
post #3  on September 6, 2002 - 12:46 PM PDT  
NOTE: This is my wife's response to "Seven Deadly Sins of Science Fiction". Ejoy
=========================================
This person writes a decent rant, but I must reply, "In space, no one can hear you fart".

The writer is a snob who doesn't differentiate between space opera (Star Wars, basically a Western set in space) and science fiction. These are different genres though they LOOK similar and may at times intersect. He should learn to adjust his expectations based on the film as he watches it, and take "art" or even "Dreck" on its own terms. Yes, Godzilla was dreck. Was it fun? Sure!

As for "Was there ever any doubt that Buck would somehow find a way to defeat Ming the Merciless?" - yes, because Buck Rogers didn't have any place in a Flash Gordon movie.

I have the highest respect for science fiction's technological prescience, and its relevance to social issues. Regarding space opera, I also absolutely love monsters in rubber suits, and I love going "wow" at a really
cool piece of technology.

I've stopped going to movies (like Lawnmower Man) just because the technology's cool, but that's because I'm past 40 and I've seen enough of them.
AMicone
post #4  on September 6, 2002 - 3:31 PM PDT  
> On September 6, 2002 - 12:46 PM PST CDill wrote:
> The writer is a snob who doesn't differentiate between
> space opera...He should learn to adjust his expectations
> based on the film as he watches it...

That's a fair criticism, but it is precisely because I am a snob that I don't adjust my expectations much. To be fair though, one can argue definitions to the point of absurdity. Science fiction and space opera are members from the same genre family. I'm saying "yo mama's so fat" to both sibilings of the science fiction genre.

> Regarding space opera, I also absolutely love monsters
> in rubber suits, and I love going "wow" at a really
> cool piece of technology.

Oh, me too. Keep in mind I wasn't criticizing the original Godzilla, which I love, but the digitally enhanced hollywood event-film remake of Godzilla. Toho made a few Godzilla films around that same time, two were great in the usual tradition, and one called "Godzilla vs. Brillione" sucked.

Maybe that can be illustrative. It's bad enough that they accidentally named the enemy monster after an Italian hair cream, but Godzilla's nemesis turns out to be the spirit of someone's dead, divorced wife turned into a giant killer rosebush. No, seriously. The good Godzilla films work partially because they have that thin veneer of tension at people having wrought the seeds of their own destruction. I believe that even b-movies work because they touch on some significant theme in a simple way. The Godzillas in the rubber suits we love are iconic of the tensions of the post-nuclear era. I'm actually the last critic to make that connection. I think like others that its not that its a guy in a rubber suit trouncing a paperboard Tokyo that makes Godzilla work. Its that its a guy in a rubber suit and that he represents our self-destructive nature in the post nuclear era. In "Godzilla vs. Brillione," that tension is gone, so all we see is Godzilla obsessing about someone's ex-wife.

BTW, I'll fix the error she pointed out. mea culpa. Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon seem so interchangable to me.
bacchus68
post #5  on September 7, 2002 - 9:34 AM PDT  
Personally I liked Postman and Demolition man opposed to Waterworld and Judge Dredd. I think the power of sci-fi is the same power as any movie. It makes us think and makes us feel we like it.

In postman I actually felt for the ragtag band of people and saw how something as sublime as regular mail delivery can uplift people and how our society as flawed as it is is still better than no society at all. It's also a somewhat uplifting story because no matter how far we go away from social norm and thrust into anarchy the movie gives us hope that we can rebuild. Waterworld did not do this for me because waterworld was all about fancy sets and mega bad guys where postman was about trying to live your normal life in an abnormal world. Both movies dealt with a hideous furture world but as opposed to waterworld quest for the holy grail Postman was more about just living in the world you had and rebuiling it. It was what the common man could do to restore the world and we could identify with it. That is what makes SCi-Fi great and I think it was kosners bad waterworld experiment that has pushed people away from Postman. It is a good flick to check out.

Now compare Demolition Man to Judge Dredd. Personally I was a big fan of the judge dredd comic but the movie was so bad it is beyond watchable. I think this is Stallone's need to think that he has to just beat up alot of people and the movie will be a success.Judge dredd was a typical stallone movie but with futuristic sets and nothing else(the comic alot better). Demolition man though unlike Judge Dredd brings us INTO THE WORLD and critiques it. It brings the main character from the past into this future that we can smirk with a grain of salt at the absurdity of a perfect future and also make a commentary about our own present problems and imagine the solutions that can cause more problems.

If you want to compare good and bad sci-fi I think that is the way to do it. Make it real to the audience or make it relevant and it clicks.

Bac.
robothelpermonkey
post #6  on October 29, 2002 - 3:56 AM PST  
The sins listed mostly apply to any movie, most any art form really.

1. Explosions, glitz, sex, whatever is no substitue for a real story.

But, often movies/books/whatever are appreciated not for their story or artistic value. "Trash Romance" novels or 'Gore' movies come to mind.

2. Big Budgets ...
Yeah, this is like 1/2 of all Hollywood movies sci-fi or not. Tis why I'm here at Greencine.

3. This is the same as #1 in my opinion. Titantic, that crappy(I guess wouldn't watch it) dragon movie with James Bond voice or whatever), I'm sure there are more.

4. Sequel ad-nauseum
Horror flicks deserve this sin more highly than sci-fi. Same with action flicks. Same with any idea Hollywood thinks it can squeeze some more cash out of. But many, many movies aren't even sequels but the same story (often 2 guys fighting over a girl) with a new crop of fresh hotties.

5. Weak Arch-Nemesis
Again Horror/suspense/action flicks seem to fit in here.
btw Circuitry Man is focking great!

6. Time-travel.
Wow he went from really broad to very narrow. How many sci-fi movies have this, 5% or less? Andy lists 3 movies that do this well and only one that doesn't.

7. Goofy Aliens and Goo does not equal humor.
Um, I think it does for a lot of people. But not for me. I would also not clasify Galaxy Quest or other comidies as sci-fi. They are comidies that hapen to be set in space or whereever.


I think if you changed/dropped 6 & 7 this list would be a good 'Sins that make a movie not worth watching'


thanks for the article,
norm

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