Some Movie Gripes; Sci-Fi Edition (Part 1)

I love science fiction. It’s part of why both of my NaNoWriMo novels (the latest which is available on this very site) are science fiction, and my serial on JukePop is as well. As a result, I also love science fiction movies, which sometimes is an exercise in pain best left to Hellraiser and Hostel movies. As a writer, I understand the need to bend facts and sometimes ignore detail’s because it makes for a better story, and if we wanted reality instead of fiction, we’d stare out the window and be bored. It works for dogs because they can’t read, and even if they did, they’d probably read books about staring out a window.

So this brings me to this list. it’s in no particular order, but it outlines some basic head-scratchers from some of my favorite sci-fi movies. And maybe there is a fantasy movie in there, or a movie I hate. Whatever, I’m not getting paid for this and you aren’t paying to read it. Here we go:

 

The Fifth Element: What if the “Diva” wasn’t shot?

I had a little tirade about this on Twitter, which is what inspired this in the first place. The Fifth Element was a breath of fresh air when it came out back in in the 1990’s. It had an original concept, good acting, and scenes with overlapping dialogue that was just awesome to sit through.

There’s an evil planet looking to kill everything, starting with earth, and our scrappy heroes have to stop it. They will use 4 stones and Mila Jovovich (in her first role as “scrawny chick who can miraculously kick the shit out of entire rooms full of muscle”, also known as “the only role she will ever play ever again in any movie. Ever.”) to defeat the evil, and they travel to a far off planet to meet “The Diva” in order to get them.

Logically, they don’t use some silly old attache case or locker to transport the stones like a Tarantino movie about butt-rape and yelling (That’s what Pulp Fiction was about, right?), they took the creative approach and put them INSIDE the interplanetary singing sensation The Diva.

 

Somehow that managed to fit four long prism-shaped stones in her stomach. I’d buy it more if they went in her head, which kind of looks like a hermit crab without its shell, but her waist is about the size of a four year old’s.  How did she get them there? Did she swallow them? If so, kudos, and there’s probably a disturbing sex tape of her on the future-internet somewhere. Or maby she used another orifice? In which case, ew, and there’s probably an even more disturbing tape of that.

But how they got there aside, how were they supposed to get them out? She is shot by the fat-lipped aliens that shape-shifted into weird looking models, and Bruce Willis proceeds to pull them out of her bullet wound like a C-section as she dies with a goofy smile on her face like that was always the plan.

If that’s the case, what kind of weird-ass alien cult did she belong to? Maybe the Heaven’s Gate folks were right and we just couldn’t see her Nikes under the dress. But what if she hadn’t been shot? Did she have to die anyway?  Why would she agree to that? Does her race multiply like salmon and she just swam upstream and boned some alien males, lay her eggs and now she’s just waiting for death anyway?

Were they going to perform major, last second surgery to rip them out of her? That might be hard, since she’s clearly part Tardis and is bigger on the inside. (Note: Never put a Portable Hole inside a Bag of Holding). The last option is that she was going to birth them or poop them out. And then someone else was going to have to pick them up and put them in the temple to destroy the evil.

The Universe is important and all, but I’ll be damned if I will pick up alien pop-star poo-rocks with my bare hands. I left that hobby behind when my daughter stopped wearing diapers.

 

The Matrix: Robots Somehow Know Shit About Programming

This has bugged me for a long time; I love the Matrix movies. Yes, I said “movies”, I even liked Reloaded and the third one. But I’m a programmer these days, and have been for almost 10 years. Some of the intricacies of how software works weren’t quite as clear to me when I saw the first Matrix thirteen years ago. So I missed some stuff. Like how the Matrix uses agents to hunt down and kill people who don’t belong there and can rewrite pieces of code to make stairways disappear and windows to be filled with bricks. Hell, they can even kill you with the belief that you’re dead (basically making everyone aware that it’s a game Neo)

But here’s my problem with the very idea of it; Agents can insert themselves into anyone who has not been disconnected from the Matrix, kind of like IT people connecting to computers on the company network. Now, what do companies in the modern world do to prevent those rogue misfits in leather and sunglasses from walking all over their servers and client computers? Send out well dressed updates to dissuade them? Nope, they put up this little thing called a “Firewall.” They made a movie called that, and it didn’t do well, probably because it sounds less bad-ass than “Matrix”, and there was decidedly less kung-fu. Although in it Jarvis nearly kills a kid with a cookie, so that was pretty awesome.

Anyway, imagine if the Matrix used a simple firewall, and some antivirus software that ran undetected in the background, unlike the 3 punchable ones they used in the movies. Sure, it would be decidedly less interesting to watch Lawrence Fishburne sit around with a dumb confused look on his face as he tries to log in and can’t while everyone in the Matrix lives their blissful lives, unaware that everything is horrible.

That’s why I mentioned the whole “hijacking” thing; there is clearly something different about a person who is still “plugged in” to the Matrix and someone who has been “freed.” That kind of difference can be exploited by modern software to block programs from running or even allow access to the network. So really, why would robot programmers so attentive to detail that they made a photo-realistic world in a computer, complete with animals, mountains and smells, miss that they can actually solve all of their problems using software that wasn’t even state-of-the-art in the 90s? Hell, Neo’s Matrix-world hobby was hacking, and Trinity “cracked the IRS dbase”, hinting that the computers INSIDE the computer world have this most basic of networking technology.

If the robots are anything like me, they thought of it right after the big baby-face robot God agreed to set everyone free.

I know, we’ll keep them from even logging on to the Matr- Damn It!

 

The Avengers:  Loki’s Changing Outfits

Psych! Made you look! The Avengers was perfect. If you disagree, you are dead inside. Go strangle a puppy, sociopath.

 

Alien Resurrection: Acid Proof Cells, Anyone?

See? Joss Whedon doesn’t get through this completely unscathed. He wrote the original draft of the 4th Alien movie, which did include Ripley being reborn with memories from a blood sample, which is stupid. (But not the gripe)

No, I understand that a combination of development hell and a weird french guy directing made AR the steaming xeno-turd that it was. Don’t get me wrong, as a sci-fi action movie, it was actually pretty awesome. Ron Perlman and Michael Wincott is just awesome sauce with extra mayo. (Mayo being the base ingredient of awesome sauce) It’s just that as an Alien movie, it was terrible. And this is coming from a guy who thinks Alien 3 is wrongly maligned and actually pretty good.

The gripe is this; the scientists on Auriga (the ship with the computer named “Father”. Clever. Because the Nostromo’s computer was “Mother”. Get it? Words are fun.) KNEW they were bringing back the alien, this was their whole mission.  Keep this in mind; bringing Ripley back was ancillary to getting their hands on a fully-functioning xenomrph. They went through the freaky mutant-Ripley clones because they needed a healthy Ripley for a healthy alien (movie logic, bear with me).

This means they knew they were harvesting a 7 foot tall bug filled with acid. An animal that is a paper-cut away from becoming a walking balloon filled with digestive juices. They were kept in cells, for some reason together, and those cells were outfitted with bite-proof windows and a blast-chilling button to torture them if they got unruly. And they weren’t acid-proof. As a result, two aliens murder their cell mate so that his body will dissolve the floor and they can get out. Who knew they would get Ripley level crafty like that? No one.

Who knew that they were filled with acid? Everyone. “But what if they didn’t have acid proof coatings?” I call bullshit. It’s the future, and they had interstellar travel and artificial gravity. Acid-proofing is a thing we have now, am I to believe we lost that basic idea in the future? (See the Matrix section on “we have this now, why not in the far more advanced future?”) Everyone dies on board because they did the equivalent of putting 3 sharks in the same tank, and filled the sharks with acid, then didn’t put glass coating or some shit inside the cells.

Hell, put them in separate cells and they would not have had another one to kill in the first place.

I won’t keep my 3 dogs in the same room when I leave the house because I know they’ll tear shit up, and they aren’t filled with corrosives.

 

These are the first of many, there will be much more in the future. Do you have any gripes about any movies? Leave them in the comments.

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