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Sep 2, 2012

Verne, Wells, and the Obvious Future Part 3

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, counterterrorism, defense, education, engineering, ethics, events, futurism, geopolitics, life extension, media & arts, military, policy, robotics/AI, space, sustainability, transparency

A secret agent travels to a secret underground desert base being used to develop space weapons to investigate a series of mysterious murders. The agent finds a secret transmitter was built into a supercomputer that controls the base and a stealth plane flying overhead is controlling the computer and causing the deaths. The agent does battle with two powerful robots in the climax of the story.

Gog is a great story worthy of a sci fi action epic today- and was originally made in 1954. Why can’t they just remake these movies word for word and scene for scene with as few changes as possible? The terrible job done on so many remade sci fi classics is really a mystery. How can such great special effects and actors be used to murder a perfect story that had already been told well once? Amazing.

In contrast to Gog we have the fairly recent movie Stealth released in 2005 that has talent, special effects, and probably the worst story ever conceived. An artificially intelligent fighter plane going off the reservation? The rip-off of HAL from 2001 is so ridiculous.

Fantastic Voyage (1966) was a not so good story that succeeded in spite of stretching suspension of disbelief beyond the limit. It was a great movie and might succeed today if instead of miniaturized and injected into a human body it was instead a submarine exploring a giant organism under the ice of a moon in the outer solar system. Just an idea.

And then there is one of the great sci-fi movies of all time if one can just forget the ending. The Abyss of 1989 was truly a great film in that aquanauts and submarines were portrayed in an almost believable way.

From wiki: The cast and crew endured over six months of grueling six-day, 70-hour weeks on an isolated set. At one point, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio had a physical and emotional breakdown on the set and on another occasion, Ed Harris burst into spontaneous sobbing while driving home. Cameron himself admitted, “I knew this was going to be a hard shoot, but even I had no idea just how hard. I don’t ever want to go through this again”

Again, The Abyss, like Fantastic Voyage, brings to mind those oceans under the icy surface of several moons in the outer solar system.

I recently watched Lockdown with Guy Pearce and was as disappointed as I thought I would be. Great actors and expensive special effects just cannot make up for a bad story. When will they learn? It is sad to think they could have just remade Gog and had a hit.

The obvious futures represented by these different movies are worthy of consideration in that even in 1954 the technology to come was being portrayed accurately. In 2005 we have a box office bomb that as a waste of money is parallel to the military industrial complex and their too-good-to-be-true wonder weapons that rarely work as advertised. In Fantastic Voyage and The Abyss we see scenarios that point to space missions to the sub-surface oceans of the outer planet moons.

And in Lockdown we find a prison in space where the prisoners are the victims of cryogenic experimentation and going insane as a result. Being an advocate of cryopreservation for deep space travel I found the story line.……extremely disappointing.

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Comments — comments are now closed.

  • Brandon Larson on September 3, 2012 11:33 am

    This blog… it’s dead Jim!

  • GaryChurch on September 3, 2012 12:09 pm

    And that makes you.…..a zombie.
    Did you read it? Or are you really dead (in the head)?

  • Tom Kerwick on September 7, 2012 2:18 pm

    Gary — what do you think of classic movies such as Planet of th Apes as a probable future? Am not so much suggesting an acceleration of ape intelligence, but curious about the potential for human civilisation degeneration. The demographics of population growth curves suggest we are on average growing up in a lesser advanced world…

  • GaryChurch on September 7, 2012 7:37 pm

    Tom, I do not think that movie or others like it are probable futures. It is much more of a concern as to whether human beings are being secretly engineered for greater intelligence. Such programs were quite probably undertaken by both sides in the cold war and remain classified. The human mind is, after all, the ultimate weapon.

    A much more interesting and plausible conspiracy theory than collider doomsdays and gravity modification. I think I will post an essay on it. Thank you for the feedback.Maybe you are not the.….bad person I thought you were.