GENERAL DISCUSSIONS

6-sci-fi-movie-conventions-that-need-die

POSTED BY: HUGHFF
UPDATED: Monday, June 8, 2009 03:21
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Friday, June 5, 2009 11:19 PM

HUGHFF


http://www.cracked.com/article_17392_6-sci-fi-movie-conventions-that-n
eed-die.html


Pretty accurate summation, IMO, wasted on a humour site.

The only show to emerge with kudos is, well...

Select to view spoiler:


We do have to give credit to Firefly, which largely avoided this. The series takes place in the wake of a massive (failed) war for independence, of which two main characters are veterans, so most historical references are from that war, with the exception being a (very) educated doctor referencing Ancient Egypt.



www.cpfc.org - my life


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Saturday, June 6, 2009 3:57 AM

NCBROWNCOAT


I agree, And a comment about Ender;s Game was spot on:


"Well, if they ever come up with a credible movie adaptation of Ender's Game and Ender's Shadow by Orson Scott Card, that should avoid some of these conventions:

#6: Nothing much is shown of the actual ships in the novel, but what ships are mentioned do have shoulder harnesses and other safety equipment on them. Someone's obviously been paying attention to safety regulations.

#5: All famous figures mentioned by name are from our history, with none from after our time being mentioned by name except the big hero Mazer Rackham from the last war because he's still around and plays a significant role in the story.

#4: Actually, the prodigy children in these stories are the all-in-one solution to everyone's problems, playing on the old pulp convention of little boy geniuses saving the universe. However, the novels are all about how such a seemingly ridiculous plot device could actually be made real, such that we're given a plausible portrayal of how such children could even exist, and how being trained to save the world and then actually saving it seriously screws up their little psyches. You don't get a big miraculous save for nothing in the Enderverse.

#3: Well, the Buggers in Card's novel are kind of a monoculture, but that's because out of all their billions of bodies, there are actually only a dozen or so autonomous individuals, their queens, and all the other drones are just their appendages; the Buggers are more like a family than a nation. The humans, on the other hand, are still quite culturally diverse, although having an interstellar war has broken down a number of their cultural barriers. They go right back to squabbling and infighting, too, as soon as the war is over.

#2: The heroes of Ender's Game and Ender's Shadow, Ender and Bean, are each very successful in their training because they learn how to discard 2-dimensional thinking in favor of a shifting 3-D perspective in which up is away from the military target and down is toward it. Bean also applies this perspective brilliantly to his study of tactics, concluding that defensive war in space makes no sense whatsoever because humans don't have the resources to build enough ships to make a 3-D wall around Earth, so they have to go on the offense against the Buggers instead.

#1: In the Enderverse, there hasn't been any infantry involvement in the interstellar wars since the brutal hand-to-hand boarding party raids of the first Formic War when ships were slow and poorly equipped. All wars after that are fought entirely on a simulator screen using speedy ships armed with weapons powerful enough to vaporize each other instantly.

Whether all these departures from convention will adapt well to a movie remains to be seen. The reason a lot of this stuff persists in movies, such as the ship getting jostled and the panels exploding on the Enterprise on Star Trek, is because it's visual and easier to explain to the audience than the more complicated way things are in real life. Real high-ranking officers are rarely very close to the action in a war, so most of the damage they suffer from war is psychological. It's a lot less exciting to watch a guy in his bunker feel kind of sorry for all the casualties suffered in the war he's commanding than it is to watch that bunker get jostled and a "red guy" near him get fried when a panel blows."

I would add that Wash flies in 3-D too and safety harnesses are all over Serenity.

And it seems that a movie of "Ender's Game" will be a long time coming. It's in development hell and it also seems that Orson Scott Card is a bit anal about his novels. And I say more power to him on that issue.

http://fireflyfaninnc.livejournal.com/








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Saturday, June 6, 2009 6:08 PM

HUGHFF


You're not aquainted with OSC, by any chance, given your geographical location remarkably close to where he once lived? Too much to expect I suspect.

www.cpfc.org - my life

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Saturday, June 6, 2009 10:18 PM

FREMDFIRMA


Quote:

I would add that Wash flies in 3-D too and safety harnesses are all over Serenity.

Not only that, but in the BDM, Jayne specifically checks them to make sure everyone is properly secured.

Last thing you want in a high-G maneuver is some moron bouncing off the walls cause he didn't belt in, ain't good for the ship, the concentration of the folk operatin it, and as an afterthought, ain't good for the moron neither, but if ya didn't belt in when you knew things were gonna get rough, well...

-Frem

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Sunday, June 7, 2009 5:25 AM

NCBROWNCOAT


Quote:

Originally posted by hughff:
You're not aquainted with OSC, by any chance, given your geographical location remarkably close to where he once lived? Too much to expect I suspect.

www.cpfc.org - my life



No, I've never met OSC as he lives in the middle of NC near Greensboro and I live near the coast. I do have a friend that lives sort of near him but has never met him.

http://fireflyfaninnc.livejournal.com/








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Sunday, June 7, 2009 5:32 AM

SPACEANJL


Frem, I can actually hear Jayne saying that...


Did anyone else think that the massive spacefleet in the BDM was teensy bit of overkill for one small transport?

There are other points that upset me about the film, but we'll leave those for another thread. Suffice it to say, several of those conventions were in it.

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Sunday, June 7, 2009 7:44 AM

CYBERSNARK


Quote:

Originally posted by Fremdfirma:
Not only that, but in the BDM, Jayne specifically checks them to make sure everyone is properly secured.

Which results in Jayne not being belted in. . .

Quote:

some moron bouncing off the walls cause he didn't belt in
Exactly that.

-----
We applied the cortical electrodes but were unable to get a neural reaction from either patient.

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Sunday, June 7, 2009 9:11 AM

IMNOTHERE


Quote:

Originally posted by ncbrowncoat:
such as the ship getting jostled and the panels exploding on the Enterprise on Star Trek,



The jostling I can suspend my disbelief for (maybe the anti-crew-puree device can only deal with predictable acceleration from the engines - and a warp drive probably wouldn't cause any g-forces) but the technology to keep high-voltage lines away from where the people in red jerseys sit is pretty 20th century...

I blame submarine films - when the depth charge goes off, there's always a gushing jet or water - which is plausible - but it can always be stopped by turning off one of those big valves. Why don't they announce:

"Battle Stations!! Battle Stations!!! Turn off all the big valves that stop leaks now!!!! these uniforms are dry clean only, you know!!!!"

The Doctor's sonic screwdriver is OK when they stick to the rules: i.e. its just for boring things like locked doors, handcuffs and getting the computer to show you the map.



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Monday, June 8, 2009 3:21 AM

CLJOHNSTON108


Y'know, most of the inaccuracies people whine about in Sci-Fi, like sound in space, are simply embellishments on reality.
(BTW, blind people actually "watch" movies, and they need audible cues)
When you look in an instruction manual, and you see a curved arrow over the lever that you're supposed to turn, you don't complain because you actually expected to see a curved arrow appear in mid-air over the real lever!
I don't think anybody expects to hear spaceships whoosh by if they go into space.

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