Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Mathematical Film Reviews

Here are some simple film reviews, expressed in mathematical form.  If you've seen some of the older films (or read the books), then you won't need to watch the newer ones (or perhaps they'll help you decide if you'd like to watch them).

Equilibrium = Fahrenheit 451 + 1984 + The Matrix

After Earth = Oblivion + Will Smith's son

Noah = Transformers + Merlin + Titanic -Bible

Live Die Repeat = Mission Impossible + Groundhog Day + 12:01 + Starship Troopers

White House Down = Olympus has Fallen

Earth to Echo = ET + Close Encounters + Batteries Not Included

Lucy = Limitless + Scarlett Johansson

The Philadelphia Experiment = Quantum Leap + Titanic + Time Tunnel

Looper = Back to the Future + Die Hard

X-Men: Days of Future Past = Back to the Future + The Incredibles

Guardians of the Galaxy = The Avengers Assemble + Star Wars IV

I'm not saying that all the films in Hollywood are derivative (in fact there are some very original films out there), I'm just pointing out some recent similarities I've found.  To be honest, many of the films I've mentioned here are actually favourites of mine.

On the subject of very original films, I'd like to share a brief word about 2001 A Space Odyssey.  It's widely regarded as a genre-defining ground-breaking film, so you might be surprised to learn that even though I'm a sci-fi fan, I didn't watch it until 2015 (even though it was released in 1968, years before I was born).

I don't know why I hadn't watched it until now.  Now, I wish I hadn't bothered.

For example, if you just want to watch a computer play chess, then watch Kasparov and the Machine.

If you like model spaceships and spacecraft, go to a hobby modeller shop
If you like actual spacecraft, watch the footage of the Sputnik launch and the early Apollo missions.
If you like listening to the Blue Danube Waltz, buy it on CD (or tape, or even vinyl).

If you like a murder mystery, go and watch (or read) Agatha Christie or Arthur Conan Doyle
If you like stories with a bizarre ending, watch The Italian Job or Planet of the Apes
If you like long drawn-out stories, watch Les Miserables (released 1925, at 5hr 59 mins), or the 1927 film Napoleon (at 5hr 30 mins).

All better in comparison, and all better for watching.  2001 A Space Odyssey's only claim to fame is that it did a lot of things first.  It's just a shame that it made so many mistakes at the same time, and while doing so many things first, it forgot about the basics like story-telling, pace, narrative, dialogue and just having things make sense.

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