What are you tired of seeing in Sci-Fi movies?

Discussion in 'Science Fiction' started by Uberwatch, Feb 1, 2015.

  1. cutecat22
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    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    Oh, and I've never understood why tracking devices have flashing lights. Aren't they supposed to be stealthy?

    ^^^^

    This, exactly this - and beeps! Why would a bomb beep??? telling everyone it was there??

    Why does a tracking device on a car, beep?? FGS? you don't want the driver to know it's there so why bloody bleep!??
     
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  2. Mallett
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    Mallett New Member

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    Well, honestly - I don't think there have been many good SciFi movies in the last years, good in terms of original. The only one which comes to my mind which didn't have an overdone setup is Avatar, but that movie lacked in other terms.

    I think the major reason is that it's all been done before. Like 50 years ago, in the golden age of the big SciFi epics, the whole topic was much newer, much more ideas weren't covered yet. With the race to the moon, the whole space travelling topic was fresh and offered a lot of creative people lots of unused ways to expand on. Today, some movie with an alien race invading earth or whatever, is just another one of those movies. Special effects has become the way to compensate for this lack of original ideas. We can watch these movies and spend a nice evening doing so, but their themes are so stale by now, we won't keep those movies in our heads for long.

    This isn't limited to SciFi though, think of other concepts like vampires or zombies. I personally can't read any zombie scripts anymore. Whenever someone sends me a script and I realize it involves zombies, I'm just like - oh no, not another one. In SciFi I can't really think of an original theme for a movie either. Time Travelling, how many movies/series/book did you see or read which involved time travelling? You can continue the list.
     
  3. Masterspeler
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    Masterspeler Active Member

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    Hey everyone, this is my first official post, so here goes. (by the way, Im long winded lol. I'll use bullet points, less "nice" for writing, but easier to read)

    1. I'm going to sum up the things I have read so far that I agree with, and not beat a dead horse, like dystopia, evil corporations (Robocop is the only one that REALLY pulled it off and eerily accurate), lots of socialist or communist overtones (I really dont want to do into this, so I'm lumping it here) and CGI...(You may laugh, but I find that the unremastered Star Trek TNG mostly, not TOS-R are better as filmed models than CGI's)

    2 Solo bad guy/masterminds/generic faceless baddies. The human condition doesnt seem to be explored much lately. Yes, consumerism has spread to books too as is no longer the mark of the intellectual (50 shades of gray...not because of it being "naughty" because it wasnt, but just pendering to...ugh. I cant believe I wrote THAT much on that collection of words--moving on) I like the idea of good guys switching sides, changing of minds, bad guys that don't just follow their conscious and "redeem" themselves. I may be ignorant (may? I can be in many areas, but I admit it when Im wrong) but complexity doesnt require weird plot twists. Show me more believable characters without the literary ham, or mustache twirling or polishing their shining armors.

    3 Diversity. Yes, this is that very touchy subject in our times. I don't mean to offend, but at the same time I feel like saying grow thicker skin. (Please excuse this, I am new, so the forum will lose nothing by booting me) The idea is that none of us think this way or act this way. We dont go out by having friends that must be diverse. In fact the contrary, we choose like mindedness.

    Now Star Trek does manage this in a very simplistic way, but maybe that's the way it would be? Like cats for example. I dont think cars care so much if they are tabbies or white or white with black spots, etc. It is very simple from our viewpoint yes, but Star Trek does capture this well in my opinion. More of that or the opposite, more Klingon-ness should be featured. Tolerance or lack thereof are uncharted waters. No, this is not meant as endorsement or future manifesto for some nutcases out there, but think "Let that be your last Battlefield." What if aliens were xenophobic, or were racist among themselves and associated the trait for their racism onto first contact with humans, so they move on to welcome contact with some, and segregate others based on the shape of our nasal cavities. (after all color can be quite arbitrary these days, yet issues still exist if language or dress is the same)

    4 Time travel. I havent seen enough. Enough good time travel work, be in novel or film/TV. I have a hunch that it may be the PC culture that altering history may offend somebody so we look strictly to the future. I was even thinking of writing a novel in a formal of case files from a temporal enforcement agency from one particular time line. There could be other timelines too. Lets say one pushing for individual x to assume the role of historical figure y after accidentally killing that figure, and agency two, pushing the exact opposite. There are so many unexplained events, speculations of connections that could be drawn that the entertainment value would be huge, not to mention a good way to teach younger readers about history without making it seem dull. (I try to push Swedish Heavy Metal band Sabaton because of their songs that depict historic battles, warriors, dates, details etc)

    Time travel can be going so far back then returning to nothing that changes (convergent to 0 ) or everything that changes (divergent, i.e. butterfly effect, just one side of it.) or just one or a finite number of changes (convergent to a finite value). I used a little math. I didnt mean to torture anyone as former students have suggested. To use a time frame where the ration of change is 0 or infinity is weak, most likely a sign of a plot done quickly without the time (no pun intented) to figure out just how things would change. While I love the Star Trek alternate reality episodes, that falls under copout (maybe wrong word) but it was certainly the best one could do without telling the cast to take a hike for a week.

    So, appologies for the lost post, and in eight pages I am sure I missed one point. So no to go back and feel embarrassed that I missed somebody's post. Again, I dont intend to disrespect, but do love the taboo topics, it's why sci-fi has always been a very good medium for carrying or starting such conversations and ideas.

    AB (blank for now because I dont have a good pen name)
     
  4. Lyrical
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    Lyrical Frumious Bandersnatch

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    Basically everything about those prequels. I don't trust George Lucas at all after all of that. I'm glad Disney took over, I'm glad JJ has the reigns, and I'm terrified of these rumors of Hayden Christiansen appearing in the Force Awakens. People will riot if that happens. He ruined the character of Anakin Skywalker.

    Also Jar Jar Binks.

    As to OP's question: I hate doomsday devices. Yes, Marvel, I'm looking at you.
     
  5. Chinspinner
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    Chinspinner Contributing Member Contributor

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    Star Wars is space fantasy, rather than sci-fi; but, I am so glad that George Lucas got booed off the stage for these sequels. The guy took a potentially immense character arc and destroyed it with a god-awful script and a set consisting of one small blue screen. Hayden Christensen is wooden but please anyone, anyone, try delivering this line effectively: "I don't like sand. It's coarse and rough and irritating and it gets everywhere. Not like here. Here everything is soft and smooth."

    The fault with those films lies squarely with Lucas. When actors with the charisma of Ewen MacGregor or Samuel L Jackson are reduced to stilted, monotone deliverers of exposition, then the fault is only with the director.

    Other general irritations:

    Forced exposition
    and specifically characters explaining in mind-numbing detail something that everyone in the room should be aware of. For example, the oft used explanation of wormholes that involves folding a piece of paper in two... do these astronauts who are imminently due to travel through a wormhole seriously not understand this kindergarten explanation, and if not why are they astronauts? Or those that regularly partake in some covert time-travelling operation explaining the grandfather paradox to each other.

    Unlikely future technology that actually makes life more difficult than the technology we currently use. For example people waving their hands around room-sized holographic computer monitors. The general technological trend has been to reduce the size of the technology we use, to make it more portable and more easily accessible. I'd rather sit at a desk with a 22" monitor like I do now.

    An unrealistic rate of advancement. For example, cities 20, 50 or even 100 years in the future where every existing building has been demolished and replaced with a futuristic alternative and everyone owns a flying car. Look around the cities you live in (especially if you live in Europe) and look at the sheer quantity of the building stock that is old; why would we suddenly decide to forsake hundreds of years of history and demolish it all?

    The unsubtle message worn on the sleeve for the daws to peck at. Those movies where you can hear the initial pitch in your head while you are watching it. "We've all heard the phrase, time is money, but what if time really was money?"- In time. "The banking crisis; the expanding rich-poor divide. Imagine if we took economic inequality to its extreme conclusion"- Elysium.

    The rejection of all future technology by one maligned individual, who instead harks wistfully back to the technology of today, and is proved right when all future technology turns evil.


     
  6. daemon
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    daemon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yes. Convenient > fancy.
     
  7. Michael Pless
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    Michael Pless Active Member

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    Yep. When I grow up to become a mad bomber, I'm going to make sure all the wires are the same colour, and put on two timers, each moving at different rates and with different numbers on them.
     
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  8. Michael Pless
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    Michael Pless Active Member

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    I'm also tired of deep-and-meaningful-mythology-based spaceship and character names. Like Prometheus/Notromo for a ship name, and Doctor Mobius for a character, when everyone else is called Frank, or Smith, for example.
     
  9. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    The Nostromo comes from a Joseph Conrad novel, by the same name. The Sulaco, in Aliens, is named after a town in the book Nostromo. The Narcissus, which is the life boat in the first Alien movie, is also taken from Conrad (who in turn took that name from mythology).
     
  10. ManOrAstroMan
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    ManOrAstroMan Magical Space Detective Contributor

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    I'm okay with mythological spaceship names. I mean, NASA already had Gemini, Apollo, etc. Space travel is meant to be a big deal; you're not dealing with a fishing boat, after all.
     
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  11. Sack-a-Doo!
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    Sack-a-Doo! Contributing Member Contributor

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    One counting up from some unstated number, and one counting down from another unstated number... and it actually goes off when they overlap. :)
     
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  12. Chinspinner
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    Chinspinner Contributing Member Contributor

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    Then why did they name the Columbo space shuttle after a 70's detective?
     
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  13. ManOrAstroMan
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    ManOrAstroMan Magical Space Detective Contributor

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    I'm assuming this is humor, chin, but am going to respond as if it weren't:
    The shuttle which tragically exploded was called Columbia, after the poetic name sometimes given to the Americas (like Britannia or Albion are used for England).
     
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  14. outsider
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    outsider Contributing Member Contributor

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    Ahem, for Britannia, read Britain.
     
  15. Lyrical
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    Lyrical Frumious Bandersnatch

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    Even modern naval ships aren't usually given arbitrary names like the U.S.S Fred.
    Also, the U.S.S Enterprise NCC-1701 wasn't mythology based :bigwink:

    If I had a space ship to name, I'm pretty sure I'd find something really meaningful or epic to call it. Mythology has a lot of meaning in it, so it's a good source for things like that.
     
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  16. Chinspinner
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    Chinspinner Contributing Member Contributor

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    The Enterprise (one of them) fought in almost every major battle in the pacific in WW2 and survived the war. Sometimes she was the lone aircraft carrier against overwhelming odds. Her story is fascinating.
     
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  17. Masterspeler
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    Masterspeler Active Member

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    The name Enterprise (or Enterprize or L'Enterprise) has a very long naval tradition and each ship that bore the name has an interesting story if not downright awesome. One of the ships I designed is called the Enterprise, but how do you name a ship in a sci-fi book Enterprise without it being labeled Star Trek copying or fanfic...I dont think you can.

    I had to comment on this. The first Rockwell shuttle (the space shuttle) was initially named OV-101 Constitution in honor of the bicentenial, but after a petition signed by some tens of thousands it was renamed to Enterprise in honor of Star Trek and its significance in the inspriation it gave to so many space geeks out there. The cool coincidence (which I think not) is that the Enterprise NCC-1701 was a Constitution class cruiser.

    And the sad part of this tale? USS Enterprise CVN-65 or Big E, the first nuclear carrier has been decommissioned. It's in the process of having its reactors removed, then towed to Washington for breakdown by 2025. We gotta stop that...That ships needs to be a museum. I can even see a giant model of the Enterprise NCC-1701 on its deck!

    Ok, too much history for sci-fi topics? I wish there was more of it in sci-fis.

    AB
     
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  18. cutecat22
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    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    ^^^^
    This - exactly this!
     
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  19. Michael Pless
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    Michael Pless Active Member

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    Yes, but it seems the importance goes no further than a very superficial portent of what happens later in the story/movie.

    Oh, I wasn't suggesting there be a spaceship named "Fred" - I was referring to the ordinariness of names of minor or supplementary characters.

    I also doubt that in future times there'd be a proliferation of Greek/Roman myth-based names for vessels, a bit like nowadays with sailing vessels.
     
  20. Sack-a-Doo!
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    Sack-a-Doo! Contributing Member Contributor

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    Because Columbo was a fictional character and fictional characters live right next door to mythological characters.

    Of course, the shuttle was actually named Columbia after British Columbia, the Canadian province where the shuttle was first dreamed up by a bunch of NASA scientists on a drunken tour of university towns.
     
  21. SethLoki
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    SethLoki Unemployed Autodidact Contributor

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    Cause right near the end of the countdown there was always 'one more thing' to delay the launch.
     
  22. SethLoki
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    SethLoki Unemployed Autodidact Contributor

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    ^ I'd keep quiet about that plan Michael, you're giving away your MO. Those forensic folks will be straight on to you.

    On topic... what I dislike most of all in sci-fi (and other movies with much cgi for that matter) is the trend of the last decade whereby the heroes/villains become practically 'massless' once their corporeal characters have been switched for their virtual stuntmen. Spiderman, the Hulk, Iron Man and more of that ilkā€”their bodies are too cheaply done, they don't appear visually realistic when they traverse the realm of the screen (even with being super tough). Spiderman is in no way as law-of-physics-breakingly light and robust as he appears. And further to super-suspend disbelief and accept something like that, it still leaves one frowning in annoyance. Because the physical world (most often ours in these films) is either too flimsy or too robust for these beings. A case in point would be say when the hulk leaps. It's most likely he'll stay where he is with his super powerful leg plugged into a stonking great new hole of his own stamping than his many tonne mass be elevated in a lofty bound to the top of a tall building. :meh:
     
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  23. Masterspeler
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    Masterspeler Active Member

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    The jumping thing seems to be the new trend in action movies in general. They all seem to be able to pull of crazy jumps. Its the cgi equivalent of shooting while never reloading, or having shots fired behind the character that moves in a straight line, because its just so gosh darn tough to shoot where the target will be
     
  24. Chinspinner
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    Chinspinner Contributing Member Contributor

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    Indeed. Why did anyone ever think that wire-work, CGI and fast cuts are better to watch than a talented stuntman/ freerunner/ martial artist?

     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2015
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  25. Masterspeler
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    Masterspeler Active Member

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    I'm not buying that not being cgied. It has to be. But even if it isnt, it's better than every cut lasting a whole 0.5 seconds. But this is on par as far as believability. I mean, that guy would have been toast if just one just one had a gun lol
     

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