The show was top notch when David was an actual Bodyguard, the rest of the time the plot was terrible after Julia’s death. It really needed the the bodyguard aspect to carry it through, that constant threat there, and I too was disappointed over the thing that never came. For me the character herself faking her own death in the hospital would have been in sync with all her other behaviour and made for a far better second half and resolution.
I did like the “ha ha ha! Your foolish Western stereotypes have made you assume I am a meek and oppressed Muslim woman when actually I am an evil supervillain, even though that makes the big opening scene of the series pretty nonsensical (but try not to think about that), and also try not to think about why I’m suddenly admitting all this too” moment, though.
Maybe the show needed it’s own thread?
It’s been one of those occasional hits that remind you TV (rather than streaming) still has a place in people’s lives, at least for now.
I don’t know, there’s only been a handful of posts about it here in the six weeks it’s been on. There’s not that much to say about it in any great depth, I don’t think.
I just thought I’d spoiler-tag today’s discussion as a courtesy, as not everyone watches it live. Hopefully the blurry text blocks don’t disrupt the thread too much.
Moustache twirling central. “No Mr. Bond, I expect you to appreciate my acting skills.”
More Scooby-Doo than Bond, I think.
Yeah, I’d say adding the extra 15 minutes to the runtime was a mistake. We should have been left with some questions, but instead they wanted to tie everything up and give David a hopeful ending.
I thought the bomb vest was a nice way to tie back to the opening of the first episode. My confusion with that scene was that the police could see David’s thumb was taped to the dead man’s switch. If the bomb goes off if he takes the pressure off the switch. Then surely they could have shot him anytime, and the bomb wouldn’t have detonated.
My wife had the same question, that didn’t seem very clear. Especially as he was unconscious when it was fitted to him so he couldn’t have been voluntarily applying any pressure before he woke up.
All I could think was his thumb was loosely taped to it so that he immediately clicked and armed it upon waking up, and the tape wasn’t tight enough to maintain that pressure if he was shot, but if that’s the idea then it wasn’t explained.
You know how youtube throws up a random video in the playlist and before you know it you’ve spent half an hour watching the Enterprise leaving spacedock four times in a row?
This is 100% living the dream.
I have to agree with you and @DaveWallace here.
Also, so much about the last episode didn’t make any sense or had any realism. Nobody’s decision making was anything less than idiotic. The heavy handed attempts to mislead viewers throughout ruined pretty much everything about it.
It’s pretty annoying, the first 3 episodes were easily on par with or better than some of the top TV thrillers out their right now. It’s always hard to stick the landing in these shows - One of the reasons Condor ended up being so good - having something backloaded like that needs a lot of weight in the twists and turns and for me it felt like wasn’t concise enough in how it was going be resolved to have that weight.
Yeah, that last episode felt like it had been written with an element of I Ching, a la Dick, Borges and Hesse.
Yeah, that wasn’t what I was refering to as something that I didn’t like, though; that was her being able to decipher the alien language because she remembered her writing the book in the future, or her remembering the General’s phone number because he told her later on. Both create paradoxes and don’t chime with the philosophical questions of determinism and amor fati that the decision she has to make about her daughter is about.
I feel like that is a fair review of Bruce’s post.
I remember some similar conversations about Arrival when the movie came out. Ultimately, despite sharing those issues with the story logic, it didn’t bother me enough to be a big problem for the movie because I was so swept up in the emotional arc of the story, which was powerful enough to make those niggles feel fairly unimportant overall. I agree that they are there, though.
Out of interest, I just looked up what I posted when Arrival first came out, when it was fresher in my mind. Here’s how I justified those issues at the time.
The paradox with the General is the part that I expected many people to have a problem with, but I think that if you buy the way that the aliens’ perception of time has been established so far in the movie, it isn’t a problem. Because the whole crux of the aliens’ mission is that they’re helping us now so that we can help them when they need our help in 3000 years - which is exactly the same kind of paradox, but we accept it more readily when it comes to the aliens, because we more readily accept that they have an otherworldly perception of time that we can’t relate to and understand.
So, I think that buying Louise’s paradox with the General relies on us fully buying that her perceptions have been altered to the extent that she can see and understand things in the way that the aliens do.
Which leads on to the second point, which again I went with. I think the idea that learning and thinking in a different language can change your perceptions is established well enough by Ian’s explicit explanation of the idea earlier in the film. Then, the whole revelation that the aliens’ gift is the language - and the new way of thinking that it induces - bolsters that, so that it becomes not just a plot contrivance but the whole driving force underpinning the plot.
I’m not sure I fully agree with that any more, but I guess it’s a possible explanation.
Basically they’re teaching humanity that the future is as important as the present, that the conversation between them is crucial to finding peace. There are any number of benefits, as illustrated.
The time stuff is the least interesting part of the film for me. I was enjoying the heck out of it before they played that card.
After that, for me, it all got fuzzy and a lot less emotionally involving.
There is a channel that shows old sci-fi series and movies. On it, they are airing Space: 1999. As a kid, I absolutely LOVED that show. It’s been about 20+ years since I have seen the show. I missed the first six episodes but I’ll catch them on reruns.
Yeah, it’s far from perfect. The science is dubious as hell. A lot of the VFX is bad. The “technology” (printouts!) The uniform pants have bellbottoms!
But there is so much to love!
The intro music, though I prefer Series One:
The music in the show also helps give it a great mood and feel.
The 1970s sci-fi aesthetic is so visually outstanding. It has a minimal look with pockets of rich detail. You can see how this aesthetic influenced the design of Sakaar in Thor: Ragnarok.
While a lot of the VFX is about what you’d expect from the mid 1970s, the models for the spacecraft, the base and other things is exceptional. I would say they equal, and in some cases exceed, CGI of today.
Something that really struck me is how alien some of the worlds and cultures the Alphans encounter are. They don’t look familiar like some alternate Earth. I think a lot of modern sci-fi has forgotten to make aliens and their worlds look alien.
There is so much truth in this video:
I forgot how bleak some of the stories were. They didn’t all have “happy” endings. Hell, there are times they overcome adversity not because of human superiority or technological genius. No. THEY SURVIVE BECAUSE THEY GOT FUCKING LUCKY. That’s it. They drift into situations and drift out with no control of their destination.They make mistakes and it costs them. Like a lot of 1970s sci-fi, it showed the dark side of humanity and society. I really miss those kind of stories.
Seeing Space: 1999 again makes the 7 year old in me very happy.
PS: September 13th is a date I never forget. Next year will be the 20th anniversary of the Moon being blown out of Earth’s orbit!
It’s A LOT better… too bad you went with the theatrical… oh well… at least you didn’t hate it, I guess…