Robots: Tools, slaves and devils

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Parody, the robot from MetropolisDon’t ask me how this works, but my blog stats indicate that one of the ways people have found my blog is through a Google search of the term “sex robat mariya.”  Which, to me, shows how hilarious and fickle search tools can be.

The Maria-impostor robot, or Parody (aka Futura), has always fascinated me.  It may be the most sympathetic character of Metropolis; caught between three tropes that almost universally push peoples’ buttons, the tool, the slave and the imposter. Continue reading

Do movies get a logic pass… because they’re movies?

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Elysium

Elysium, courtesy Tri-Star Pictures.

I recently managed to get out to see Elysium in the theater.  This much-hyped movie garnered high expectations, especially as images from the movie were released and it became clear how much beautiful work had gone into its production.  However, once the movie premiered it became clear that the story itself hadn’t gotten as thorough a treatment as the sets and effects, creating a movie with innumerable logic inconsistencies and downright dumb plot points, clearly designed to get the hero from Predetermined Action Point A to Predetermined Action Point B, no matter how contrived that journey might be.

To be sure, Elysium is not the only movie guilty of these transgressions; they are quite common in action-adventure movies of every type.  It’s as if a “logic pass” is being bestowed, an unofficial declaration that these momentary lapses in logic and sense are “unimportant” as long as they further the basic narrative (“basic” being defined here as hero fights and wins).   But why are movies getting this “logic pass”? Continue reading

Relevance in the modern era, with spies… and SF

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scene from Skyfall

Skyfall, courtesy MGM and Columbia Pictures.

The latest James Bond movie, Skyfall, may not be Bond’s sexiest, over-the-top adventure yet, but it might be his most vital: The theme of the movie is relevance… old vs new… and Bond’s place in the post-Cold-War era.  M and MI6 are similarly attacked—literally and, apparently, easily—as the villain applies the latest computer tools to the old-school organization, and brings into question whether or not this stodgy organization, and its spies, can keep up with the modern era. Continue reading