"Smart" movies you think are dumb

Black Reaper

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smv1172 said:
Melancholia

The movie is about rich people who are so rich they no longer feel the need to talk to each other and as all feel alienated/disgruntled/not satisfied with pretty much anything, and with the focus on the illusion of something deeper doesn't even come to the conclusion that these people are all just causing their own issues via their own self interest, its just life is hard when you've got everything you could want combined with no principles and terribly out of whack priorities.

Any other deeper meaning/artistry/etc is a smoke-screen to make it seem more complex than it is. Pretty sure that it has the high-minded positive reviews because the smoke screen confused people, they knew they didn't get it, and so made stuff up to seem like they actually got it. It is the worst movie I have ever watched. I will never watch another movie by Lars von Trier nor trust the movie advice of anyone who liked that overly long pointless piece of crap.
Shit, that reminds me

Nymphomaniac, another Lars Von Trier film

At one point in the movie, the protagonist says something like"No man is incorruptible", and the movie ends with the (asexual virgin)dude who picked her up from the street and nursed her throughout the movie trying to rape her, right after a scene where she said he was her only real friend

It makes no fucking sense, i was liking the movie until that point, but it completely ruined the movie
 

pearcinator

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Vigormortis said:
pearcinator said:
While I agree on Donnie Darko and Fight Club, and have discussed at length just about every criticism there is for Inception, I'm genuinely curious which criticisms you want to levy against Interstellar.
Well, with Interstellar it's mostly the ending. When they go through the Event Horizon I think it gets a bit silly (fair enough, nobody knows what's beyond the Event Horizon of a Black Hole) but when the rest of the movie is so grounded in 'hard science' it's a bit off-putting to go into full-on supernatural/pseudo-science fiction at the end.

Also it was a bit slow to begin with (i.e. getting into space) but the main issue is that it's too long. Nolan can't really do emotion well either. I love his movies where the characters are flawed and do questionably immoral things (The Prestige is fantastic!) but when there's emotional stuff thrown in I don't think he pulls it off.
 

Dirty Hipsters

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Olas said:
Dirty Hipsters said:
I recently watched "Snowpiercer" which currently has a metacritic score of 84, and most critical reviews of it (including those of our resident Escapist movie critics) call it "smart," "provocative," and "intellectual" but when I saw it all I could think about was how stupid the movie was. The movie didn't engage me and I therefore couldn't get past all the more nonsensical elements of it.

Spoilers for "Snowpiercer" are inbound:

The movie doesn't make sense on a fundamental level. Multiple times during the movie we're shown shots of the train from above. You can see almost exactly how long the train is and there clearly isn't enough room in it for 10,000 people and all the food necessary to feed them indefinitely. There's some cool ideas that the movie tries to use to get around the food problem, like the fact that the protein bars that the lower class passengers eat are made out of insects, one of the more interesting "twists" of the movie. It's also one of the few twists that makes sense. Insects breed quickly and it would be fairly easy to stock enough of them to feed a population, but then you have the problem that the train doesn't have a "bug car" where they would be housed. Same with the rest of the meat, where exactly are all the cows and chickens that the upper class eat? We see a meat locker car, but we never see a farm car and they'd have to store live animals somewhere if the train has been running for years.

Then there's the design of the train that also doesn't make sense. Just think about it, the train was supposed to have been built as luxury transportation, but the order of all the train cars makes absolutely no sense. The aquarium where they serve sushi is near the back of the train and is preceded by a freezer full of meat. Are you telling me that the ultra rich elite who live in first class are expected to walk through a meat locker full of animal carcasses in order to eat sushi? How about the positioning of the sauna right next to the nightclub. In order to get into the nightclub from the first class residential quarters requires you to go through a sauna. We see how the people in first class obsess about their appearance, their hair, their make up and you're telling me they're willing to walk through a sauna and ruin their clothing, hair, and make up on their way to the nightclub?

Then there's just the movie's general writing that bothered me. So much if it just doesn't work. Many of the characters' motivations are either entirely unexplained or just plain stupid. What exactly is the motivation of the characters to leave the train and go outside? Outside of the train is death. A guy's arm froze solid after being outside the train for only 7 minutes, and these people expect to somehow survive that? It's hard to survive in the snow, and it's even harder to survive in the snow when you have no access to food and no survival skills because you've lived your whole life on a train and don't know how to scavenge food in the wild. The last shot of the movie is two children climbing out of the wrecked train into the snow and seeing a polar bear walking around. This scene is meant to show that everything will be ok and that life always finds a way, but if you really think about it the last scene of the movie is two young children stuck in a frozen wasteland with a giant predator. After the screen went black and the credits rolled those kids got eaten.
I just watched Snowpiercer yesterday and I agree 100% with every point you made here. However, you haven't even mentioned the central biggest issue I had with it, which is that there's no reason for the story's central conflict. Why would the people running and managing the train enforce a rigid class divide? Usually class systems occur naturally as a result economic forces of the free market, but there's no free market on the train. There's no trade, no competition, no money at all by appearances. it's a single communal society working together to survive with everyone filling a designed role. It's practically a Marxist utopia. So what reason is there to treat some people better than others? Ya, maybe some people paid for luxury seats like 20 years ago, but who cares anymore? What have they done lately? There doesn't appear to be anything special about the people in the front of the train to make them worthy or give them leverage over the people who decide how to distribute goods. Why not just treat everyone essentially equally? That seems easier AND fairer than trying so hard to uphold a pointless class divide.

And don't say that it's to cause people to riot for population control, that makes no sense. It's obvious from how lavish the people in the front have it that the train is not having resource problems. And even if it was, have the writers never heard of birth control? I don't care how much you might be against abortion, there's no way it isn't preferable to having chaotic bloodbaths every couple of years.

The thing is, I think the premise of a closed zero-sum ecosystem could have been used to explore the horrific ethical decisions people have to make when managing resources to ensure longterm survival of a population. But instead the movie chooses a conflict that makes zero sense under it's own set up. In fact, almost any other conceivable post apocalyptic dystopia scenario would make more sense to tell a story about class warfare than this one.

You also didn't mention the single dumbest thing in the whole movie IMO:

Replacing failed mechanical parts with children? What? Seriously? I don't even know where to begin because it's so stupid. At best this would be a radical short term solution to the problem until you're able to create a more stable fix.

And the stranger thing is, if it was actually remotely plausible, I wouldn't have a problem with it. I mean we're talking about keeping the ship necessary to sustain all life running. If a few kids have to suffer or even die to accomplish that then it's worth it because they'd all just die anyway when the train failed.

So this completely ludicrous reveal doesn't even serve the presumed purpose of making Wilford seem more cruel and evil because his decision to do this is completely justified.
Oh I don't disagree with you, I just purposefully didn't mention the fact that the central conflict of the movie is bullshit because I didn't want to end up having ideological discussions with people on that topic.
 

deathmothon

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Baffle said:
I think Flubber was massively overrated. It's just green gunk, not some soulful genius. Robin Williams didn't actually invent it, he's just an actor.
Haha. To follow your theme, the Star Wars prequels are my pick. George Lucas captured human motivations and emotions to such a true level that it turned me off. Sometimes simpletons such as myself just want vapid stereotypes and no shades of grey pretentiousness. You don't have to overwhelm my brain with such high level themes. And don't even get me started on the incomprehensible fusion of social commentary and high level philosophy he smashed together to make Jar Jar. You aimed too high Mr Lucas. If only you would have aimed at the mass market more...
 

pearcinator

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MysticSlayer said:
Snip

pearcinator said:
From what I remember of the scene, "pure" seemed like an apt word. The girl (Ariadne?) was looking for a word to describe her excitement and intrigue at being able to create things to her heart's content (seemingly-infinite canvas, fewer physical limitations, etc.). If you were an architect trying to describe being able to create without all the boundaries that you normally are forced to work within, then "pure" would be a very good word. It is your vision, untarnished by the limitations of our world.
Ok, fair point. I still think the line sounds silly though. Would have been better if she said 'creative freedom' or something along those lines.

Raw, infinite subconscious. WTF does that even mean?
From what I understand, this was referring to Limbo. In which case, it goes on infinitely, being filled by the deepest (raw) elements of various people's subconscious (as opposed to just one person's). Either way, just put the three words together, understand that they are describing Limbo, and it should be clear enough. "Raw" is probably the only word that might seem even mildly confusing, but I'm just being nice by giving you that.
It's a pretentious line. Limbo is an infinite plane where every year spent there is but a few seconds in the real world. That's all that needed to be said about it.

Totems (which don't make sense either) etc.
What doesn't make sense about them? They were items that clearly portrayed physical laws in our world that could be broken inside of a dream. Considering dreams can feel real (something I'm sure we've all experienced), the difference in their nature between the real world and dream world would help make the distinction the mind couldn't make on its own.[/quote]

Everyone knows how a chess piece works. Is it unable to topple in the dream? A coin or diceis fine but how is a chess piece or top a totem? It seemed to me that the only role of the totems in the story was to provide that ambiguous ending.

it is also where 'Limbo' is introduced (during a scene where everyone is in a hurry no less) and Dicaprio is explaining everything when there are guys outside shooting at them and all manner of shit going on. I was fully on board at this point until it all came to a screeching halt with this new, extremely important concept comes out of nowhere.
From what I remember, Limbo was touched on plenty prior to Cobb's full explanation. If it took until all the firefights started to realize that the concept existed, then that's entirely on you.
Well there were some scenes with Mal which touched on it briefly (like when Ellen Page entered Dicaprio's 'funhouse elevator' dream) but that's where Limbo should have been introduced. Even if Dicaprio only told Ellen Page about it (since she was the only one who didn't know what it was) it would have fixed the other scene where everyone was yelling, trying to explain what it is and also being angry with Dicaprio about it. It was a messy scene.

So Joseph Gordon Levitt has a 'couple of minutes' before the kick and does all that shit in zero-gravity in the space of 2 minutes?
Because movie.

Jokes aside, it is sort of hard to follow how long it really took him since all the scenes are broken up, and I'm not sure that anyone has actually taken the time to time it. But still, in a movie where people can go inside your dreams to change behavior in the real life, I'm surprise this is what stood out to you. Never mind the fact that, as far as plot holes go, this would do nothing to take away from what people actually praised the film for.
It seemed like such a basic mistake to make. He could have said 20 minutes and this wouldn't have been a question.

3. The trollface.jpg ending.
As far as ambiguous endings go, Inception actually did a very good job. It got people thinking, kept them searching the movie and credits for hints, and ultimately kept the movie at the forefront of people's minds for a long time. Maybe you don't like ambiguous endings, but it is really hard to argue that the ending wasn't very effective at getting people to think more deeply about the film than if it clearly took one path over the other.
True, the ending did what it was supposed to do (get people talking about it) but as with all ambiguous endings, they feel unresolved.

The CinemaSins video does a decent job explaining some of the major things wrong with the movie (a bit nit-picky but nonetheless accurate for the most part)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nKI432lCZaU[/youtube]
 

Johnny Novgorod

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Duster said:
Johnny Novgorod said:
2001: A Space Odyssey is about mankind, and its "unneedded, inconsequential" first act works as an introduction to mankind. It establishes several running motifs in the movie and provides a foil to mankind's second encounter with the monolith as well. Feel free to not like it but every minute of that movie is there for a reason.
If I recall the director came out and said that the last act of the movie had no real purpose and was just to appear deep, which is one of the worst things you could possibly admit.
Really? He speaks nothing short of intelligently about it.

I quote.

"You begin with an artifact left on earth four million years ago by extraterrestrial explorers who observed the behavior of the man-apes of the time and decided to influence their evolutionary progression. Then you have a second artifact buried deep on the lunar surface and programmed to signal word of man's first baby steps into the universe -- a kind of cosmic burglar alarm. And finally there's a third artifact placed in orbit around Jupiter and waiting for the time when man has reached the outer rim of his own solar system.

When the surviving astronaut, Bowman, ultimately reaches Jupiter, this artifact sweeps him into a force field or star gate that hurls him on a journey through inner and outer space and finally transports him to another part of the galaxy, where he's placed in a human zoo approximating a hospital terrestrial environment drawn out of his own dreams and imagination. In a timeless state, his life passes from middle age to senescence to death. He is reborn, an enhanced being, a star child, an angel, a superman, if you like, and returns to earth prepared for the next leap forward of man's evolutionary destiny.

That is what happens on the film's simplest level. Since an encounter with an advanced interstellar intelligence would be incomprehensible within our present earthbound frames of reference, reactions to it will have elements of philosophy and metaphysics that have nothing to do with the bare plot outline itself."
 

default

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I don't even see WHY people think Inception is smart, at all. It doesn't deserve most of the bad rap it is getting here. People are just grilling it to the extent that they are because the average cinema-joe saw it, didn't get it and pronounced it to be 'smart'.

If anything, it's just exploring a fantastical concept with a psychology based aesthetic. I think what people are reffering to when they say it's smart is that psychological aspect, but it doesn't even really do much with that. Even Fight Club did more. There was no twisting dream-logic to the worlds of Inception, it was very clean and grey. It makes sense, as the dreams are specifically designed to be stable, but they could have done some far more interesting things with the way dreams can shift and get entirely fucked up at times.

The storyline just takes some attention to keep the concepts in mind and how they interact with each other. Remember when it first came out? Having understood Inception the first time you saw it was an unofficial 'i am very smart' badge.


I fucking love the movie, it never ceases to entertain me, but it's definitely not 'smart', and it definitely doesn't go as far with the concept of dreams as it could/should have.
 

Vigormortis

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AccursedTheory said:
While I can't speak for pearcinator's reason, I can give my own. Interstellar's problem was based entirely on the love aspect of it - that somehow love is a 4th dimensional, measurable force that can be used to focus a consciousness in a 5th dimensional existence. Which is just stupid, and is dealt with in the movie in the most ham fisted way imaginable. And it does not fit with the rest of the pretty hard science in the movie. I liked Interstellar for the most part (Largely because TARS and CASE are amazing), but with the following changes, I think the movie could have been infinitely better one.

1. Have NASA find Cooper, cutting out all the Ghost crap
2. Bring up Brand's conflict of interest (Her wanting to see her old BF), but cut the 8 minute exposition about how love is a force of nature and should be followed.
3. Make Mann's portion of the story a bit less convoluted, while still keeping the same theme. Also, perhaps don't name the selfish crazy jerk 'Mann.'
4. Instead of TARS and Cooper transmitting through gravity, time, and love, have TARS sacrifice himself getting data from our side of the event horizon, being able to transmit to Brand and Cooper. Then have Cooper disconnect and fling himself through the wormhole with pure momentum, allowing him to get through and transmit the data, but not have enough fuel to get home. Brand goes to the world to seed it, and Murphy still gets the data needed to punch gravity in the dick.
5. Explain the gravity events as being from future humans entirely, and not partly due to some girls Ghost Dad who somehow survives entry into a black hole and a wormhole because 'fuck you, that's why.'

Basically, the smart/stupid bit is the shoehorned love story, and how the power of love transcends reason.
See, here's the thing. I honestly do not get the whole "love as a force" critique. If anything, the film practically rolls it's eyes along with the audience when Amelia Brand brings it up. And later, when Cooper and T.A.R.S. are inside the Tesseract, even Cooper doesn't fully accept the notion. Even as he's talking of finding the right moment with his daughter, he attributes much of what's going on to the 5th dimensional beings and not "love".

As to your individual points:
1: The "ghost" scenario is necessary as it's what effectively allows Cooper to transmit the required information to his daughter in order for her to solve the gravitation problem.

2: That scene, while off-putting, was more a demonstration of Amelia's state of mind. It was demonstrating that, even with a rational mind, people can be irrational. Plus, it played directly into another point I'll bring up later.

3: I'm not sure how it was at all convoluted. His intentions, and reasoning behind them, were pretty clear. Self preservation. And, like above, it plays into a theme I'll bring up at the end.

4: I'm not sure this would have worked. For one, there would be no way for T.A.R.S. to transmit the data once he passed the event horizon. Probably even well before that. Likewise, Cooper's craft likely wouldn't have had enough momentum to have escaped Gargantua's pull. Though, even if it did, he had no fuel left to maneuver with to make sure he's even reach the wormhole.

Though, admittedly, there were other ways they could have achieved the same 'escape velocity' goal that wouldn't have included Cooper sacrificing himself.

5: This might have worked. However, as Amelia and Doyle discussed earlier in the film, the 5th dimensional beings likely couldn't communicate directly with us, even in being able to manipulate gravitation in Murph's room. It's likely they wouldn't even know what to 'say', so-to-speak. This was why they saved Cooper and T.A.R.S. from Gargantua and sent them to the Tesseract.

Now, the theme I was bringing up. In the conversation between Cooper and Amelia, they at one point discussed how there isn't any inherent evil or emotion in the universe, there is only what they brought with them. This concept is basically demonstrated by Amelia abandoning reasoning for her emotions and Mann turning "evil" in the interest of self-preservation. It was basically showing how we project ourselves and our emotions onto the world around us.

All that said, I did have a few issues with the film.

One was Cooper's son basically turning into a paranoid, 'get off my land' redneck caricature. It felt quite out of place. Even more so than Murph's stubbornness in forgiving her father.

Another was Dr. Brand's apparent lie. After the mission had left, and they'd lost all contact, what possible point was there to keeping the secret? Everyone on the project was already aware of the circumstances, as well as the eventual outcome, of the current situation. Why have them waste their time on the gravitation project (that, as far as he knew, could never be solved) when he could have informed them of the truth, thus allowing them to spend what little resources they had left doing something more meaningful? Perhaps trying to find a way to move portions of the population underground?

A third issue I had with the film was the idea that the populace was surviving almost entirely on corn. While yes, corn can theoretically be a super food, it's total nutritional value wouldn't provide enough for anyone to survive on. But then again....maybe that was the point.

I'm also curious as to what the "blight" was. I assume some kind of fungus or bacterial infection that was able to jump species. If this be the case, how was it spreading globally? How was it able to affect so many different play species while leaving corn unscathed? Was it not possible to build enclosed farming structures to grow untainted plants in?

The latter point is especially perplexing to me when, at the end of the film, they demonstrate that they were able to build a colossal, enclosed, station in orbit around Saturn that allowed habitation for, what seemed to be, thousands of people. They clearly had the means and resources, so why not do this planet-side?

So yeah. The film had issues. And who knows, I might find answers to them with a repeat viewing, or maybe I'll find more. But the "love as a construct" critique never made sense to me.

Still, I think we can both agree that the cinematography and aesthetics were incredible. Not to mention how awesome T.A.R.S. and C.A.S.E. were.[footnote]Both of whom were blatant homages to 2001.[/footnote]
 

Redryhno

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Happiness Assassin said:
American Beauty.

My mom thinks it is one of the best movies ever made. All I see is a pretentious movie with little point. And that fucking bag scene... I can only take so much navel gazing at once.
Personally, I think Kevin Spacey carries most of the movie for me, so I can't bring myself to hate it. But that fucking bag scene and anything involving that kid that doesn't also include Spacey are just so bad I skip through everything with him in it. Not to mention the father's a complete moron, gives his kid a fridge in his room and never looks in it to see he's got pee in it for the weekly drug test...
 

Vivi22

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Zontar said:
If that's the case why was 17 minutes cut from the premier release and the wider theatrical release?
Because producers have a long and sordid history of forcing directors to make cuts or changes with little regard to the reasons why the scenes were included in the first place. That a movie was cut does not mean that that was the intent of the director, or that it was even a good idea. Many a movie has been made worse by producers that just didn't get it and fancied themselves more artist than financial backer.
 

Zontar

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Vivi22 said:
Zontar said:
If that's the case why was 17 minutes cut from the premier release and the wider theatrical release?
Because producers have a long and sordid history of forcing directors to make cuts or changes with little regard to the reasons why the scenes were included in the first place. That a movie was cut does not mean that that was the intent of the director, or that it was even a good idea. Many a movie has been made worse by producers that just didn't get it and fancied themselves more artist than financial backer.
There are two problems with that, first being that Kubrick wasn't forced to cut it, but did so of his own choice. And also the fact that the movie had absolutely no change in quality after he cut the 17 minutes.
 

DefunctTheory

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Vigormortis said:
AccursedTheory said:
While I can't speak for pearcinator's reason, I can give my own. Interstellar's problem was based entirely on the love aspect of it - that somehow love is a 4th dimensional, measurable force that can be used to focus a consciousness in a 5th dimensional existence. Which is just stupid, and is dealt with in the movie in the most ham fisted way imaginable. And it does not fit with the rest of the pretty hard science in the movie. I liked Interstellar for the most part (Largely because TARS and CASE are amazing), but with the following changes, I think the movie could have been infinitely better one.

1. Have NASA find Cooper, cutting out all the Ghost crap
2. Bring up Brand's conflict of interest (Her wanting to see her old BF), but cut the 8 minute exposition about how love is a force of nature and should be followed.
3. Make Mann's portion of the story a bit less convoluted, while still keeping the same theme. Also, perhaps don't name the selfish crazy jerk 'Mann.'
4. Instead of TARS and Cooper transmitting through gravity, time, and love, have TARS sacrifice himself getting data from our side of the event horizon, being able to transmit to Brand and Cooper. Then have Cooper disconnect and fling himself through the wormhole with pure momentum, allowing him to get through and transmit the data, but not have enough fuel to get home. Brand goes to the world to seed it, and Murphy still gets the data needed to punch gravity in the dick.
5. Explain the gravity events as being from future humans entirely, and not partly due to some girls Ghost Dad who somehow survives entry into a black hole and a wormhole because 'fuck you, that's why.'

Basically, the smart/stupid bit is the shoehorned love story, and how the power of love transcends reason.
See, here's the thing. I honestly do not get the whole "love as a force" critique. If anything, the film practically rolls it's eyes along with the audience when Amelia Brand brings it up. And later, when Cooper and T.A.R.S. are inside the Tesseract, even Cooper doesn't fully accept the notion. Even as he's talking of finding the right moment with his daughter, he attributes much of what's going on to the 5th dimensional beings and not "love".

As to your individual points:
1: The "ghost" scenario is necessary as it's what effectively allows Cooper to transmit the required information to his daughter in order for her to solve the gravitation problem.

2: That scene, while off-putting, was more a demonstration of Amelia's state of mind. It was demonstrating that, even with a rational mind, people can be irrational. Plus, it played directly into another point I'll bring up later.

3: I'm not sure how it was at all convoluted. His intentions, and reasoning behind them, were pretty clear. Self preservation. And, like above, it plays into a theme I'll bring up at the end.

4: I'm not sure this would have worked. For one, there would be no way for T.A.R.S. to transmit the data once he passed the event horizon. Probably even well before that. Likewise, Cooper's craft likely wouldn't have had enough momentum to have escaped Gargantua's pull. Though, even if it did, he had no fuel left to maneuver with to make sure he's even reach the wormhole.

Though, admittedly, there were other ways they could have achieved the same 'escape velocity' goal that wouldn't have included Cooper sacrificing himself.

5: This might have worked. However, as Amelia and Doyle discussed earlier in the film, the 5th dimensional beings likely couldn't communicate directly with us, even in being able to manipulate gravitation in Murph's room. It's likely they wouldn't even know what to 'say', so-to-speak. This was why they saved Cooper and T.A.R.S. from Gargantua and sent them to the Tesseract.

Now, the theme I was bringing up. In the conversation between Cooper and Amelia, they at one point discussed how there isn't any inherent evil or emotion in the universe, there is only what they brought with them. This concept is basically demonstrated by Amelia abandoning reasoning for her emotions and Mann turning "evil" in the interest of self-preservation. It was basically showing how we project ourselves and our emotions onto the world around us.

All that said, I did have a few issues with the film.

One was Cooper's son basically turning into a paranoid, 'get off my land' redneck caricature. It felt quite out of place. Even more so than Murph's stubbornness in forgiving her father.

Another was Dr. Brand's apparent lie. After the mission had left, and they'd lost all contact, what possible point was there to keeping the secret? Everyone on the project was already aware of the circumstances, as well as the eventual outcome, of the current situation. Why have them waste their time on the gravitation project (that, as far as he knew, could never be solved) when he could have informed them of the truth, thus allowing them to spend what little resources they had left doing something more meaningful? Perhaps trying to find a way to move portions of the population underground?

A third issue I had with the film was the idea that the populace was surviving almost entirely on corn. While yes, corn can theoretically be a super food, it's total nutritional value wouldn't provide enough for anyone to survive on. But then again....maybe that was the point.

I'm also curious as to what the "blight" was. I assume some kind of fungus or bacterial infection that was able to jump species. If this be the case, how was it spreading globally? How was it able to affect so many different play species while leaving corn unscathed? Was it not possible to build enclosed farming structures to grow untainted plants in?

The latter point is especially perplexing to me when, at the end of the film, they demonstrate that they were able to build a colossal, enclosed, station in orbit around Saturn that allowed habitation for, what seemed to be, thousands of people. They clearly had the means and resources, so why not do this planet-side?

So yeah. The film had issues. And who knows, I might find answers to them with a repeat viewing, or maybe I'll find more. But the "love as a construct" critique never made sense to me.

Still, I think we can both agree that the cinematography and aesthetics were incredible. Not to mention how awesome T.A.R.S. and C.A.S.E. were.[footnote]Both of whom were blatant homages to 2001.[/footnote]
Cooper actually does superscribe a lot to love in the end. He believes the future humans are using his love to zero in on when and how to communicate with Murphy. The aliens are doing the actions (Or empowering him to), but love is the ridiculous sight strapped to that gun.

1. Its not required if you send Cooper back through the wormhole.
2. Like I said, keep it. But 8 minutes of emotional bubbling and self serving 'love is unknown science' is just eye rolling. This was the first point in the movie where I completely detached from what was going on. Up until it, I was completely engrossed. After it, I was constantly on guard for more of it.
3. Maybe not so much convoluted... I don't know. I just feel like Damon wasn't selling it. I suppose I don't know how to fix that. I just wasn't buying it.
4. I said before going over the event horizon. I know that shifts the goal post a little, but when the only other option is to throw that lovey, ghosty, booky thing in, I'd rather do that.
5. I was referring more to the random gravity affects, like the one that took down his ship, and the events that made his farm equipment wonky. If the movie followed all my changes, there would be no wonky gravity from ghost things that couldn't be attributed to the 5th dimension human's clumsiness.

As for some of your points...

A. Cooper's son was weird. Near the end of the movie, he simply turned into a device to get in Murphy's way, which I'm not even sure was necessary. I dunno. There's one line where he mocks Murphy for living underground, under the delusion that they could be saved. Perhaps he simply wants his family to die somewhere he loved, and not in some underground concrete hole.

B. Well, they were communicating one way, and the likelihood of Dr. Brand being able to send messages to his daughter after he turns around and tells everyone around him that the world is ending, their all screwed, and that he's been lying this entire time is dubious at best. It seems Dr. Brand was concerned with the quality of riot free life for himself and those in his project, including Murphy, who he seems to have genuinely taken care of, as per Cooper's request. There's also, of course, the possibility that if someone got word back to Cooper that plan A was a bust, he might turn that rocket right the fuck around, just to come home, plan B be damned or not.

C. You might have also noticed that they had enough resources to make beer, which seems a bit odd when your only reliable crop is corn, and there's presumably someone you could be feeding with it. Then again, perhaps that's just the benefit of being a successful farmer - The opportunity to put some aside for distilleries? You got me on this one.

D. Enclosures capable of housing enough food for the entirety of humanity aren't possible now, and considering the resource decay of the film, it doesn't seem possible. All they say of the blight is that is pervasive, and it both breaths and produces nitrogen.

Come to think of it though, nitrogen compounds are very important for plant growth. Perhaps the blight isn't killing the plants per say, but is a parasite that gets into the crops and leeches and breaks down nitrogen compounds in the soil? This may help explain the dust storms (Also caused by deforestation). The dust itself likely carries the blight.

E. Presumably, mastering gravity gives you a lot of options. And I always kind of assumed that regardless of the discoveries they made, they still weren't going to save everyone. The movie flat out refuses to tell us whats happening on Earth, though - perhaps it is riddled with self-contained habitats, filled with people waiting for the planet's ecosystem to level out again. Or perhaps they just picked a few American towns, jammed them into anti-grav space cylinders, and were done with it. Something to think about.

Don't get me wrong - I loved the movie. And you are right about the cinematography and aesthetics. I also loved the depiction of, and how they dealt with, time dilation. But this isn't a a peanut butter cup - Keep your Ham Fisted Love Plot out of my Hard Science Space Epic, and I'll keep my Hard Science Space Epic out of your Ham Fisted Love Plot.

As for TARS and CASE, they are easily my second favorite movie robots. I'm going to wait until the BluRay comes out before I decide if I like them more then I like Gerty, and crown them Number 1. I just love them, from their fantastic design to the cute moments, like when they actually say 'Hello' to each other. I'm not usually one for emotes, but...

:3
 

MysticSlayer

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pearcinator said:
It's a pretentious line. Limbo is an infinite plane where every year spent there is but a few seconds in the real world. That's all that needed to be said about it.
The thing is, Limbo was also differentiated from other dream planes in that everyone's subconscious contributed to it, not just one person. I also think there was some aspect of how people had more control over it than in other dream spaces, but I can't remember. Either way, "raw, infinite subconscious" is a rather quick way of conveying that idea, and from what I remember, it was hardly trying to sound overly poetic or use overly long words that few people understand. I can understand how you may find it pretentious, but I think that that accusation is entirely subjective.

Everyone knows how a chess piece works. Is it unable to topple in the dream? A coin or diceis fine but how is a chess piece or top a totem? It seemed to me that the only role of the totems in the story was to provide that ambiguous ending.
I don't think the chess piece was ever fully explained. From what I remember, it was hollowed out, which would give it unique properties in real life (e.g. it is lighter, has a different center of gravity, etc.) that may have been lost in the dream.

And I'm not sure how a top can't be a totem. To me, it was the least confusing one, considering, from what I remember, it was the only one that was both given a full explanation and didn't seem to have a place where it could go wrong. Does it stop spinning? OK, you're not in a dream, and considering tops aren't going to spin for an incredibly long time, it isn't a very long test. It takes longer than some of the others, but it still doesn't seem like a nonsensical test.

It seemed like such a basic mistake to make. He could have said 20 minutes and this wouldn't have been a question.
Except then the entire time dilation rules would have had to change, and those rules are probably one of the major reasons why the film was paced the way that it was. Most of the tension also came from the relatively short times. Yeah, tension can run counter to smart writing, and Inception may have had its moments where it favored the former over the latter. However, I don't think those particular moments are what got Inception a reputation for being smart.

True, the ending did what it was supposed to do (get people talking about it) but as with all ambiguous endings, they feel unresolved.
Personally, I don't mind having things unresolved at the end of a film, so long as I have an understanding where to work from when piecing together a resolution. To me, Inception hit all the right notes with its ambiguous ending, but I can understand how someone looking for firmer resolution wouldn't like that. I don't think anyone else in my family liked the lack of resolution either.
 

Vigormortis

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AccursedTheory said:
Cooper actually does superscribe a lot to love in the end. He believes the future humans are using his love to zero in on when and how to communicate with Murphy. The aliens are doing the actions (Or empowering him to), but love is the ridiculous sight strapped to that gun.
I took it more to mean they were using his love of his daughter as a motivation for him to do what was needed to get the message to the past. That love was also what kept bringing Murph back to the same location each time, which, presumably, made it easier for the future humans to construct the Tesseract. I didn't really take it to mean they used it as a tangible 'link' between the two.

1. Its not required if you send Cooper back through the wormhole.
Perhaps the future humans were unable to send him back through in time to get Murph the required information. Falling into the black hole may have cost him too much time because of the time dilation.

2. Like I said, keep it. But 8 minutes of emotional bubbling and self serving 'love is unknown science' is just eye rolling. This was the first point in the movie where I completely detached from what was going on. Up until it, I was completely engrossed. After it, I was constantly on guard for more of it.
I actually agree, though I wasn't any more on guard after the scene. (I'm usually 'on guard' from the starting moment with films like this.)

3. Maybe not so much convoluted... I don't know. I just feel like Damon wasn't selling it. I suppose I don't know how to fix that. I just wasn't buying it.
This too I agree with. Beyond the emotional "waking up" moment, his performance was fairly flat. It was really out of place. It wasn't until he was walking away from 'suffocating Cooper' that he started feeling more believable to me.

4. I said before going over the event horizon. I know that shifts the goal post a little, but when the only other option is to throw that lovey, ghosty, booky thing in, I'd rather do that.
Fair 'nough. But I knew they were going to go for the 'sacrifice' route when T.A.R.S. showed so much uncertainty in how much information he could actually glean from a pre-event-horizon trip. Besides, they had set up a scenario in which their escape options were so limited they would barely make it to the other planet. So to me, aiming for the wormhole and hoping that T.A.R.S. could beam back any useful information seemed too risky.

Oh sure, just sending him back through on a return trajectory would have made the narrative a LOT simpler and perhaps even a bit more....I guess the word I'm looking for is logical, but in the end it's an adventure epic. They are almost required to do something fantastical, otherwise it's almost mundane.

5. I was referring more to the random gravity affects, like the one that took down his ship, and the events that made his farm equipment wonky. If the movie followed all my changes, there would be no wonky gravity from ghost things that couldn't be attributed to the 5th dimension human's clumsiness.
True, but I feel as though the film would lose quite a lot of it's mystery and atmosphere because of it. Having those anomalies occur at the farm brought the greater events closer to home. The influence and scale of the future humans felt more immediate rather than remote.

Still, those changes would certainly make the narrative more direct. And that isn't really a bad thing. Not at all. It's even a good thing a lot of the time. I'm just saying I didn't mind the slightly convoluted path they took getting to the end points.

As for some of your points...

A. Cooper's son was weird. Near the end of the movie, he simply turned into a device to get in Murphy's way, which I'm not even sure was necessary. I dunno. There's one line where he mocks Murphy for living underground, under the delusion that they could be saved. Perhaps he simply wants his family to die somewhere he loved, and not in some underground concrete hole.
I'd considered that. But that doesn't quite explain the animosity he felt for Murph before she tried to take the family away. He just felt entirely like a plot device by the end. Which was doubly jarring with how much characterization they attempted with most of the other key characters.

B. Well, they were communicating one way, and the likelihood of Dr. Brand being able to send messages to his daughter after he turns around and tells everyone around him that the world is ending, their all screwed, and that he's been lying this entire time is dubious at best. It seems Dr. Brand was concerned with the quality of riot free life for himself and those in his project, including Murphy, who he seems to have genuinely taken care of, as per Cooper's request. There's also, of course, the possibility that if someone got word back to Cooper that plan A was a bust, he might turn that rocket right the fuck around, just to come home, plan B be damned or not.
Well sure, but he knew it was all a futile effort either way. So why squander what little time they have left? They obviously had the resources to do something. Why waste it on an endeavor he knew wouldn't pan out?

Granted, if he had abandoned the project then the rest of the film falls apart. But this is why that particular "twist" felt a little forced to me.

C. You might have also noticed that they had enough resources to make beer, which seems a bit odd when your only reliable crop is corn, and there's presumably someone you could be feeding with it. Then again, perhaps that's just the benefit of being a successful farmer - The opportunity to put some aside for distilleries? You got me on this one.
I suppose it could have been corn beer, which is actually a thing. Or maybe it was left-over from some long-lost stock someone hid away.

Either way....I don't think one could subsist entirely on corn.

D. Enclosures capable of housing enough food for the entirety of humanity aren't possible now, and considering the resource decay of the film, it doesn't seem possible. All they say of the blight is that is pervasive, and it both breaths and produces nitrogen.
I wasn't thinking of enclosures for the entirety of the human population, more a portion of it. (and I know what that implies)

It's gas exchange behavior is part of what made me curious about it. Is it naturally occurring? Is it some new or ancient organism that reemerged with a vengeance? Was it engineered by some lab somewhere?

They can't just say humanity's dying because of a 'thing', but you don't get to know what it is!

Come to think of it though, nitrogen compounds are very important for plant growth. Perhaps the blight isn't killing the plants per say, but is a parasite that gets into the crops and leeches and breaks down nitrogen compounds in the soil? This may help explain the dust storms (Also caused by deforestation). The dust itself likely carries the blight.
I'd thought of this too. It seems like a probable explanation, at least in part.

It's also an idea, of sorts, I had for a story some time ago. That is, until Interstellar ruined it.

E. Presumably, mastering gravity gives you a lot of options. And I always kind of assumed that regardless of the discoveries they made, they still weren't going to save everyone. The movie flat out refuses to tell us whats happening on Earth, though - perhaps it is riddled with self-contained habitats, filled with people waiting for the planet's ecosystem to level out again. Or perhaps they just picked a few American towns, jammed them into anti-grav space cylinders, and were done with it. Something to think about.
Could be. Perhaps they held a lottery of some kind.

I'd also considered that they may have built a series of "grav lifts" to ferry people in droves off world and to the Jupiter station for transport through the wormhole.

Though, the logistics involved in moving that many people boggles my mind...

Don't get me wrong - I loved the movie. And you are right about the cinematography and aesthetics. I also loved the depiction of, and how they dealt with, time dilation. But this isn't a a peanut butter cup - Keep your Ham Fisted Love Plot out of my Hard Science Space Epic, and I'll keep my Hard Science Space Epic out of your Ham Fisted Love Plot.
Oh, I never assumed you hated the film. I didn't assume you loved it either, though I'm glad you enjoyed it. (wouldn't want you to feel as though you'd wasted your money) I just wanted to discuss differing criticisms with the film. I always love doing this with the bits of media I like.

And again, I find I agree with you. Though, if the intention is to interject some 'humanity' into a hard-science-based sci-fi adventure, the easiest (if lazy at times) method is to inject a love story. And a love story built around the love a father for his daughter is one that probably hits close to home for a lot of people.

It's a cheap writing device, but it works. :/

As for TARS and CASE, they are easily my second favorite movie robots. I'm going to wait until the BluRay comes out before I decide if I like them more then I like Gerty, and crown them Number 1. I just love them, from their fantastic design to the cute moments, like when they actually say 'Hello' to each other. I'm not usually one for emotes, but...

:3
Oh, I'm already starting to consider them for my "best AIs/robots in film" list. Perhaps not at the top (yet), but certainly up there.

I'm looking forward to the Blu-Ray release as well, if only because I want to look for more 2001 and Blade-Runner references. I've heard the film's full of them.
 

LongAndShort

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Just about everything I've seen by Lars Von Trier.

Yes he is technically a brilliant film maker. He makes beautiful films that are stunning to watch. But they're not the grand statements about life, society and the universe that so many people I know treat them as.
 

Lugbzurg

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Well, not necessarily a movie, but I have definitely thought this about Neon Genesis Evangelion.

It's not bad. Certainly not. It's fairly cool. Intelligent? Ptff...! No. It showed promise early on. In the first few episodes, it emphasized how horribly things can go awry when you place all your hope in some kid to save the world from giant monsters when he has absolutely zero combat experience. The problem is that the show completely drops this concept entirely around the time Rei gets introduced. After that, virtually all the actual conflict is just the result of random hardware malfunctions out of nowhere... over... and over... and over again. It gets really old really fast. Shinji somehow becomes an expert soldier in almost no time at all and it's ridiculous. And no, that ending wasn't anything cryptic or profound or "deep". It was a long, drawn-out, trippy dream sequence about self-worth that way overstayed its welcome. That's it. Just going on for a very long time and being bizarrely-abstract doesn't make it particularly significant. The show also suffers from very poor audio direction. Though that could have something to do with the fact that they blew their audio budget on remixing "Fly me to the Moon" for every single episode. It's not bad, but don't be acting like this is some intellectual series with unconventional messages. Heck, even Valvrave the Liberator is more profound than Evangelion, and that series is totally bonkers. It's even got space vampires!

Guys...? Are we just gonna forget this whole thing about Shinji's eva unit being a living, breathing, rampaging monster? GUYS!? Hello? You're... You're not seriously trying to sweep that under the rug, are you? You can't think of anything to do with this big twist? Anything...? Anything at all...? No? What a waste. And here I thought the plot was actually getting somewhere. Silly me.
 

Vigormortis

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pearcinator said:
You may want to spoiler tag your post. Up to you though. ;)

And yes, the Tesseract was odd, but I could actually buy into it.

See, it wasn't actually the inner core of the black hole. When Cooper fell past the event horizon, he was pulled out of our space time by the 5th dimensional beings. It was at this point that they sent him, and T.A.R.S. into the Tesseract, of which they constructed as a 3D physical representation of Murph's timeline.

Sure, it's a bit 'out there', but not entirely out of character for the film's narrative up until that point.

As for the pacing, it was a bit slow in the beginning. I feel he could have cut a few scenes here and there to tighten it up. However, I also appreciate the attempt (if not quite successful) to establish the relationship between Murph and Cooper, as well as demonstrating just how bad off the world was.
 

Platypus540

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Guilion said:
I wasn't going to respond to this thread because I couldn't think of a movie. However I was just having a conversation with someone about how America is crumbling, and how London Bridge is falling down...


Hands down the most stupid movie that pretends to be smart, I still love the movie but honestly I consider it a guilty pleasure rather than one movie I would recommend.
I've never heard anyone say that was a smart movie. Fun, yes, but not smart. Unless the director thought it was smart?