Discussion in 'Archive: SF&F: Films and Television' started by DBrennan3333, Jul 27, 2006.
You could always rent first and see whether it's worth the purchase...
I just saw it a little over a month ago and it was still in the big multiplex theater. It might not have made the rounds to dollar theaters yet. It had a very limited release to begin with though.
Just picked it up on DVD. Great to see it with a better version.
It's not what I was expecting. Thought it have technological advancements like in Minority Report or A.I. even subtle ones. Also I wasn't expecting this to be the alternative to The Nativity Story
I liked Clive Owen better in Closer and Michael Caine better in The Prestige. Know that's a lot of negativity, but I still give a 8.5-9/10
Well for the alternative viewpoint, I watched it last night and was singularly unimpressed. For all the hoo haw I was hoping for a more detailed look into a childless world, but it ended up just one long chase movie. Good cinematography, but I kept waiting for something interesting to happen, and it didnt.
Take a look again, they do have some rather brilliant moments looking into a world without children. I thought the scene at the school was brilliant.
I thought the whole movie WAS an important look into a childless world, in the way that most people became selfish and had a tendency to screw everyone else over to get their own little piece of happiness and power in this world. There was nothing to save it for, no reason to share anymore. Just get what you can while you can.
I personally was glad that they didn't dwell specifically on "There's no more kids" because it was implied in absolutely everything that happened and everything the world had become.
I thought that they nailed the world perfectly.
Big question. what caused the infertility?
It's not explained. I think that it works better that way, because while it caused the main part of the plot, it's not central to the plot. The main characters aren't trying to cure the human race. It also adds to society's problems, because at several points, you see people repenting and praying, as there'd be huge social and religous ramifications with that revelation.
I read the book, and it's the same way there, although it seems that it's only the men that are infertile, and even sperm banks become impotent.
That IS the big question, and no one knows. That's the main problem and the thrust of the story, really. If they knew what was causing the infertility, I think the world would be a very different place than what's shown in the film, because knowing the cause means there's hope for a solution.
The fact that no one has any clue what's causing it is the reason that the world has given up on the future -- and the thing that makes a pregnant woman so important, because she may be the last hope toward figuring it out.
Well thats a little too kind, for I was thinking that that was the very LEAST they could do. After all, an empty school was the most obvious of choices. But they showed that montage of the rest of the world turning to hell around them all and then totally dropped it. Why did England survive and America didnt? What was the sequence of insanity that made a nuke go off in New York? I wanted to see that decent into chaos. I wanted to see the slippage of hope and sequential collapse of civilization. By limiting the story as they did, they missed a chance to make once-in-a-lifetime commentary on what makes a civilization a civilization, and how maybe we are only one heartbeat away from slitting each others throats if we lost our comfort zone overnight.
Thats what I was hoping for but didnt get.
I never really felt any attempt to demonstrate a childless world. Other than the empty school, what other consequences were even hinted at, let alone shown? My biggest disappointment was that we never saw at all what the world had become. All we saw was the viewpoint of a handful of people, which compared to the world falling to pieces around them was a myopic sliver of what I was hoping for.
Presumably because England had quickly become a military state, something Americans would never allow to happen without turning it into all-out civil war.
That wasn't the point of the movie, though. The point wasn't "how and why do we lose hope", because the answer is simple. If you have no one to leave the world to, you're not going to bother to take care of it. In the Cold War, Russia and the US never hit the button because we knew even though we'd annihilate the other person, they'd have enough time to annihilate us too. But when you're going to die anyway and you have no next generation to safeguard, the gloves come off.
The point of the movie was "how do we restore hope to a world that has forgotten what hope is?" It treats the descent into chaos as a totally foregone conclusion, which I think is a more powerful commentary than re-making Crash on a larger scale.
The whole world is a consequence. The lack of laughter or apparent entertainment? The government-issued suicide packets? The refugee camps? The grime everywhere because cleaning up after yourself doesn't seem relevant anymore? Even visually, the fact that the only time we see the sun in this film, it's setting?
The reason we don't see anything outside of England is because there IS nothing outside of England but devastation. That's why there are so many refugees flooding the British Isles: there is literally nowhere else to go.
Side note, this movie was just nominated for a Hugo Award
I thought the govt was trying to have like absolute control or something.
In both the book and the movie, the government is depicted as trying to maintain order, and parallels an extreme right wing government - they're trying to secure their borders, as England seems to be the only civilized place in the world left, and as a result, they're having a huge influx of immmigrants, which are being taken to camps and deported. The book does the same thing. The police and military seem to have a lot more powers and also seem to be fairly opressive.
I found this movie extremely disappointing - I too was expecting so much more. There were many themes and plot points that they could have explored, but left totally alone, and opted for a dramatic road-movie with plenty of gun fire and explosions.
Most of the characters were unbelieveable - I certainly don't understand why Theo felt it so important to help Kee. At first he said that they should go public and get the girl help, but then changed to try and take her to the human project, despite having no evidence that this movement existed.
Society hadn't fallen completely apart in the UK - certainly central London seemed to have a strong degree of organisation - why not take her there after escaping the "fish"? I still don't understand what the fish were actually trying to achieve -it seemed that Julian wanted to get the child to the human project, but why didn't Luke? Why the elaborate assasination of Julian?
I became annoyed the constant Nativity and Holocaust references - they just seemed a bit obvious and forced. The anti-immigrant sentiment was covered well, but the refugees were portrayed as gibbering idiots rather than genuine people with geuine feelings and history. If anything it actually wanted me to see them sent home rather than taken in and helped.
I was also reasonably disappointed with the forced contemporary references - for example the constant unsubtle references to the album Animals by Pink Floyd. ie the pig over battersea power station, the number of dogs that people had, and the really embarrassing sequence of sheep running through Bexhill (if you need more explanations of pigs/dogs/sheep then just ask!)
It didn't flow together for me, and I much prefered [link=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Last_Train]The Last Train[/link], which has essentially an identical plot, but much better delivery.
Anyways - um, yeah, didn't like it.
Though the fish wound up betraying him, they did have a good point in that it was unlikely that the proud London public would be accepting of the fact that the first child born in almost 20 years came from a dirty fugee.
Again, the British government would probably not have accepted the child as the child of a fugee. It would have taken Kee's baby, given it to a wealthy black couple, and used them as propaganda to show that there's still fertility in England. But the baby would have just been another Baby Diego -- a celebrity and a reminder of what was. There'd still be no one looking for a cure because the government wouldn't be admitting there's a problem.
The Fish were a terrorist organization seeking to gain equality for refugees to England. Julian saw the bigger picture of how important Kee was to the world, and how getting Kee to the Human Project was a chance to solve the refugee problem by fixing the world. Luke failed to see the bigger picture, and saw Kee and her baby as a banner they could use to rally people to their cause (in other words, the same attitude they were "protecting" her from by not taking things public).
Sympathy for the fugees wasn't the point of the film, though.
Didn't bother me. Besides the pig, which is an obvious reference, I figured the dogs were just one way of coping with the emotional void in a childless world (can't raise a child? Raise a dog). And the sheep through Bexhill seemed perfectly appropriate to show that there was really no order or urbanization going on in there, despite the architecture.
all fair points
That's a bit of a jump, isn't it? We really don't learn too much about the government, or how they'd be likely to react to a baby born to a refugee.
Well, we know that they put out propaganda that England is the only place left in the world (which may very well be true).
We know that they have not publicly accepted that women are infertile, even 18 years in, because they also have signs everywhere declaring that not taking fertility tests is a crime.
(We therefore also know that the Brits are so desperate to find fertility in Britain that they have in fact made it illegal not to be tested for fertility. We don't know how often but one assumes fairly often.)
We know that the British government is doing their part to criminalize refugees with their ad campaign -- "He's my dentist, she's my teacher", etc. Leading to "harboring illegal refugees is a crime." Now, if they're trying to criminalize doctors and other perfectly valuable refugees, what do you think their stance is on homeless young black girls?
I don't think what I said is all that much of a jump, and I think when Theo tells the fish to make it public someone says as much as I did, that they'll take the child from Kee and give it to a British couple to parade around.
Whether that's an accurate assesment of the government or not, that's what the Fishes believe. They even say so when Theo mentions making it public. IIRC they mention the gov't giving Kee's baby to a "posh black woman". When this is brought up Theo seems to accept their explanation.
Well I got this movie on DVD and now I'm realizing so much I mean this movie really rewards paying attention. If you just look at thigns in the background, newspapers and such, it answers a lot of questions. For instance.
-Looking around Jaspers house you'll realize that Jasper was a political cartoonist and his wife was a photojournalist who was tortured into a vegatative state and it may or may not have involved the government.
-There was a nuclear attack on New York that Julians parents died in and in the one commercial you can see a mushroom cloud forming over manhattan.
-It is implied that the infertility was caused by a flu pandemic.
This movie really rewards paying attention.
It also makes sense that Luke would have Julian killed. He thought she was taking more stock in Kee than in their cause. Its also interesting that Luke arranges or commits the murders of all 3 main characters, though I like to think Theo just passed out and immediately received medical attention on the "Tomorrow" all in all watching it again confirms for me its the best movie of 2006 and one of the best I've ever seen. I'm so psyched to see what Alfonso Cuaron does next.
On another note. Its a bit unbelievable that Michael caine could ever play a character whos last words were "Pull My Finger"
That's why I still say Caine is better in Prestige than in this. Both good.
Does go to show that he's a fantastic actor though, because he really does play a believable hippy.