96 – Scifi Films With Something to Say, Part II

The Mythcreant Podcast

We did this topic once before, but it turns out there are a LOT of scifi movies out there, and most of them have something to say about something. Joined once again by special guest Graham, we learn firsthand just why Chris thinks life will not, uh, find a way, no matter how many dinosaurs you put on the screen. We also talk about the long list of movies that have poor messages, intentional or otherwise. Plus Oren and Graham have a word-brawl to the death (mostly) over the the intent and interpretation of WALL-E. Who wins? What are they even fighting about? You’ll never know unless you listen.     

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  1. Teaelf

    Good podcast, it brought up several things I had never thought about and that’s always great. A couple things.
    The District 9 alien who was more intelligent than the others was one of the ruling class. There was a ship that escaped when it first landed and that was the same home that they built the power cell that changes the human when he gets splashed with the alien gunk. They mention that there were only drones found, and that there were no leaders, but I think they are just hiding in the mix until they can either solve the reason they ended up on Earth in the first place or just take over with their super tech.
    For the situation in it’s entirety, the fact that the prawns were basically stupid animals only seeking out their base instincts was, I think, suppose to mollify the audience so they didn’t really care about them. It’s been a long while since I’ve seen it, but I remember watching it like 10 times in a row or something stupid like that. I think that was my take away.
    And I just heard the Atlas Cloud synopsis and now, thinking about it, I thought those were all suppose to be reincarnations through time, so different races being played by the same actors was slightly jarring but not totally disrespectful. It was weird to see Chinese (or whatever they are called in the future) Tom Hanks, but it wasn’t like they could hire an actual Asian who both looked like Tom and had his years of (bankable) acting skill to play that part. The director wanted to show how, over time, the characters kind of do this dance back and forth as they come to understand their current relationship that finally ends with the good ending. They should have just headed off all the arguments by getting a person of each race to be represented in each instance so there is less chance of some kind of favoritism argument, but that’s just poor planning on their part.
    Also, the Jurassic Park breeding thing was a foreshadowing that the humans weren’t as “in control” as they thought, leading to death and dismemberment. And really, if they were kept to the island that would be one thing, but they got out and that raises the stakes because breeding. If it was just a single, or set of, raptors then no biggie. Sure, some people get eaten but the dino will die and then the problem is over. If they are breeding then you could have a million dinoes running around eating people and it is a much greater problem. I think we would win, in a fight, but there would be so much death the world would be severely altered. We have drones now, so shooting up the dinoes is no thing, but that was sci fi back in the day so it would have been a much greater sacrifice, because Tanks or no tanks, you don’t just kill the T rex. It eats some people first, THEN you kill it. We got tickets to sell, after all.
    So. My twenty cents on the matter. Keep up the good words and I will be checking back in to hear what else you have to say.

  2. ejdalise

    Funny how people get different things from movies. I saw D9 as a statement about what it means to be human (Christopher acts more human than most humans) punctuated by someone made to — literally — walk in someone else’s shoes.

    I wrote a review of the movie for what was then Slice of SciFi. I’m surprised it’s still up there (the podcast, unfortunately, died a few years ago):

    I differentiate between Christopher and the majority of the prawns not just for his clothes, but his ability to plan and organize. I’m probably surmising more than the movie intended, but I speculated the prawn trading technology for cat food were probably a class of workers bred for docility and servitude. Christopher is likely of a ruling class, but it’s evident he makes no attempt to organize the “regular” prawns because he knows it’s useless. It makes sense because a ruling class benefits from workers with exactly those qualities . . . easily appeased by cat food.

    As for Jurassic Park, the annoying thing with most SciFi movies (and books, and TV shows) is that invariably technology plays the villain. If not technology per se, then the scientists. This culminated in the SciFi show Eureka where were it not for the “regular” and normal guy, scientists would destroy the very fabric of the universe . . . weekly.

    I wrote about that too:

    I know, I know, two links. But it was either that or paste all that stuff here.

    Overall, I enjoyed the show, although minor quibbles here and there kept me from agreeing with some of the points raised. And, yes, making my way through some of the older podcasts. . . which means these comments are mostly me talking into the wind.

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