Originally Posted by oink
IF we are talking about Science Fiction and we are talking about movies or books, it goes without saying we are in the realm of FICTION
Science Fiction is a contradiction in terms....what does that tell ya?
I can't believe anyone would seriously want to debate or object to THE SCIENCE in Science Fiction
Yup, it sure is.
Oink, did you read this link I posted earlier in the thread?"
It's quite appropriate here because your response seems to boil down to essentially the same "point" some people think they are making "Relax, it's just a movie, it's just fiction, why think
about it so much?"
Read the link and understand how that comes off.
And on that note, because I see some people repeating the sentiment you've expressed...I feel a bit of a rant coming on...
Merely waving the word "fiction" is hardly justification for ignoring whatever lapses of logic or believability stick out to you as a viewer. Take a movie that has someone lost in a forest, battling the elements, trying
to find a way to survive. The whole movie depicts all sorts of realistic problems the character can't seem to beat. Everyone wondering "how is he going to get out of this?" Then, suddenly, at the end, he simply happens upon
a nice hot meal, a car, a road and a map placed neatly for him. He eats, gets in the car, drives away, happy ending. Why would this produce such a huge groan of dissatisfaction from the audience? Because it's such a cheat. It's such
an in-your-face leap of logic. It manifestly feels like the screenwriter had simply lazily made a move to get the character out of a problem that would have otherwise taken logic, thought and work to get through.
The very issue of logic, both in terms of character, internal logic to a movie, and connection to the real world, are things that keep screenwriters up at night. Read any book on screen writing, especially interviews with screenwriters, and you''ll see just how much of screen writing is concerned with NOT making the type of bloopers that cause audiences to say "I don't buy it." Screen writers/producers/directors often struggle for months, even years trying to crack the "problems" of a story or screenplay, and those "problems" are inevitably finding pluaislble ways to progress the logic of what is happening. Scripts are often even completely abandoned because a writer can not do this, it's such a central issue to the craft.
Similarly, say you have a cop chase and catch a bad guy. Will the bad guy actually get off on some legal technical issue as the movie hints? No! Luckily in this cop movie the cop also shows up as the judge, in judge's gown, and he sentences
the bad guy as well. People will be jarred. They'll say "Wait a minute, cops aren't judges too. That's not the way the legal system works. That's not real." Here's a retort that would be ridiculous: "What are you complaining about? Did this movie ever claim to be a documentary? It's a FICTIONAL story." Why would that excuse not be accepted? Because we do, in fact, want to see coherence with the real world and to how people act in the real world. Unless a movie wants to pretend to be ENTIRELY disconnected from humans and the reality we know, which is quite rare, then movie makers are expected to keep some believability insofar as the movie references the real world. So if you have a "scientist" in a movie who acts nothing like a scientist - e.g. basing a scientific expedition or sceintific proposal on "faith" or acting in certain situations in a way utterly at odds with their being a scientist, that can legitimately jar the experience for the audience. Unless of course you advocate for simply turning
your brain and reasoning off during every movie. In which case, I again refer you to the rant above.
As for Prometheus and why would anyone give thought to the "science" in the film...it's because it's a SCIENCE fiction movie. (As opposed to science fantasy
, e.g. Star Wars, where no attempt is made to associate with or extrapolate from our real world occurs). Prometheus has the pretense, though, of SCIENCE fiction - looking at real world questions and concerns and extrapolating from those to make a movie. Ridley Scott, for instance, has stated he doesn't seem to buy the current strictly evolutionary account of our origins. Scott: "Because as science reveals all -- if there ever will be "all" -- How far will it come close to coming up with a proper prognosis about our creation and where we began, how we began? And was it biological, by accident? I don't think so. Because to come from a dirt ball that's created [more than] four billion years [ago]… To actually have some little creature crawl out in the water called a salamander to where we are sitting here today -- that's a lot of evolution by accident."
His movie muses on another answer to our origins - doesn't posit it as the truth at all and uses it to make a piece of entertainment, but it does arise from his philosophical consideration and from his view of the science we have on the subject. If it did NOT have this connection to reality it wouldn't be the deep, thoughtful film he wants it to be. He's talked about how one of the things that he bemoans in fantasy and science fiction these days is that "anything goes" and people are not trying to keep without ground rules. He says "it’s up to you to not do anything foolish or silly or daft, or non-credible.
" And: "I try to keep these films in an area of reality, so it has to feel real."
Prometheus screen-writer Damon Lindelof has said in interviews that one of the things that attracts him to Ridley's Science Fiction films over the others (e.g. Star Trek) is the grounding in reality, the PLAUSIBILITY factor, the extrapolating from real world
to guess plausibly about the future - Blade Runner being a prime example in his and many people's book.
If any attachment to scientific reality were beside the point and unnecessary, why in the world would Scott have consulted so extensively with NASA scientists for the design of the Prometheus, and have brought in cosmologists and biologists to CONSULT THEM on the science as it related to his movie? Why bother if he could have made it have no connection with scientific plausibility and just waved the "hey guys, it's all just fiction" flag. It's because he knows that's a cop out. He wants SOME believability in the movie and the attempt is to operate within SOME level of scientific plausibility, coherence and logic.
Further, in responding to the idea that Prometheus leaves unanswered questions because they were too lazy to follow the logic through as scriptwriters, Damon Lindelof has stated that he and Ridley did indeed go through the logic of the film. And that there are "answers" to the apparent plot wholes. And that he would agree he should be condemned if that had not been the case. And that the point is to challenge the audience to THINK ABOUT and DISCUSS what they see in the movie, and try to figure things out themselves.
So why you would think that discussing the science in Prometheus is silliness is just bizarre. It's like the "don't think about it" approach to movie making and watching. No. We have brains. We like them stimultated. Damon Lindelof and Ridley Scott wanted to stimulate discussions like these "Why, how...?" It's not only fun and intellectually stimulating to discuss where the science in Prometheus strikes us as sound or unsound, the genre and the very effort of film-makers like Scott to take off from known science itself invites such discussions.