The System is Perfect: Minority Report

Discussion in 'Archive: SF&F: Films and Television' started by JediTrilobite, Feb 23, 2006.

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  1. JediTrilobite Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 17, 1999
    star 7
    Basically what happened is that his boss (I'm forgetting his name) knew exactly how to manupulate the system and set up a chain of events that would lead to Anderton's arrest, by putting the person in the right place at the right time with the right things. Anderton was meant to see the prevision and essentially followed the plan exactly, almost down to the guy's death.
  2. JediNemesis Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 27, 2003
    star 4
    I like Minority Report a lot - at first just because it was one of the first proper sci-fi movies I saw and I thought it was extremely cool, and later I've come to appreciate how great it looks onscreen. The blue-white, washed-out colour scheme works well, and quite a lot of the future-tech is plausible. (I liked the animated cereal packet :p )

    Someone once explained to me that it didn't really make sense. I honestly haven't found this to be much of a problem. I sit down with the DVD or in front of the TV, the movie starts, and - crucially - it all seems to make sense at the time, which I think is the important bit. It's still a good film.

    I have also recommended it to several people solely on the basis of the scene where Anderton chases his eyes down the corridor. ;)
  3. TwiLekJedi Pretty Ex-Mod

    Member Since:
    Jun 14, 2001
    star 10
    "It was Lamarr's plan to have Anderton kill Crowe. That, in and of itself, set off the prevision"

    Precisely. It's the plan that sets off the Brownball-Prevision (for planned murders). Not the murder or the killer's motive. The PreCogs are alerted that 'somebody plans to murder someone' and they see how that planned murder plays out.

    It's actually trickier with the Redballs. Why do they see a murder on impulse 30 minutes earlier (or however long or short it is)?
    I guess it's variable and it's because things leading up to the murder (like the lover entering/approaching the house - or the husband thinking "something's fishy, I'm going to observe stuff more closely today") happen early enough. But then again, three vegetable-humans lying in water can see into the future, so those details aren't that important.
  4. DorkmanScott Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 6
    But as you pointed out, Anderton's decision to murder Crow doesn't come until he finds a connection to his son, so technically it should have been a red ball dropping in the 30 minutes or so before Anderton confronted Crow. The brown ball with his name and his prevision still makes no sense, because it's the prevision that puts him in that position. There is no planned murder on Anderton's part, and there is nothing that leads him to that room other than the prevision.

    Like I said, if it had been something as simple as getting sent an anonymous package with a name or an address in it, I would accept that as setting the plan in motion.

    But Lamarr's "plan" had NO CONTACT with Anderton except for a) the prevision, and b) the pictures that Anderton happened to find because he had seen the location in the prevision. So again, the prevision causes itself solely, and that's bad writing. It could have been easily resolved with some small active nudge, and many people have offered varying ideas as to how that could be done while changing almost nothing else in the story. But it wasn't, so we get a story that makes no sense at all.

    M. Scott
  5. jangoisadrunk Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 7, 2005
    star 4
    Anderton says he promised himself if he ever met the man who kidnapped his son, he would kill him. That is premeditation; however, the real premeditation is on the part of Lamarr. And like I said before, the prevision contained all the info Anderton needed to track down Crowe. Lamarr knew Anderton would kill him if he ever met him. The brown ball (for a premeditated murder) is bourne of Lamarr's plan to have Anderton meet then kill Crowe (he knew Anderton would do it since he'd said he'd kill the man if he ever met him). Lamarr knows the precogs will only see the victim and the murderer, and that Anderton will probably see the prevision since he's in charge pre-crime's day to day operations. Yes, Anderton wouldn't have sought out and killed Crowe if he hadn't seen the prevision, but those kinds of "time-travel" type paradoxes are all over science fiction and I can accept that.
  6. JediTrilobite Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 17, 1999
    star 7
    Interesting, I didn't think of this - They knew that someone was going to be planning a murder, and they saw Anderton shooting the guy, perhapes they just put two and two together, and slapped Anderton with the crime alert, leaving him off the hook.


  7. plo_koom Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 26, 2002
    star 5
    I wanted to see if it was any good before I rented it.
  8. DorkmanScott Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 6
    In the future, I recommend searching the reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. They'll tell you the general critical consensus as a percentage, and a few spoiler-free snippets of each critic's opinion on any film released recently.

    M. Scott
  9. weezer Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 16, 2001
    star 6
    Infact you'll get that it has a 92% fresh raiting and that at least one critic (Ebert) had it top his list as best movie for 2002.
  10. TwiLekJedi Pretty Ex-Mod

    Member Since:
    Jun 14, 2001
    star 10
    What Anderton wants, plans or thinks is insignificant towards the prevision. He only is the murderer. And that's determined 2 or 3 days before the murder when Lamarr makes a decision.


    Like I said, if it had been something as simple as getting sent an anonymous package with a name or an address in it, I would accept that as setting the plan in motion.

    But Lamarr's "plan" had NO CONTACT with Anderton except for a) the prevision, and b) the pictures that Anderton happened to find because he had seen the location in the prevision. So again, the prevision causes itself solely, and that's bad writing. It could have been easily resolved with some small active nudge, and many people have offered varying ideas as to how that could be done while changing almost nothing else in the story. But it wasn't, so we get a story that makes no sense at all.[/quote]

    How is a piece of paper different from the prevision? Lamarr knows the prevision will come up. He can tell Crow "I will let Anderton know." If he lets him know via a piece of paper he writes or via a prevision he knowingly creates doesn't make any difference.




    last night I remembered what part I really hate about this movie. It's one tiny scene. It's actually just a shot. Mrs. Anderton being pregnant again. I hate that./>
  11. JediTrilobite Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 17, 1999
    star 7
    Odd reason to hate a movie. I think that we could have done without it, but it certainly shows that he's gotten his life back on track.
  12. DorkmanScott Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 6
    The piece of paper is different because it's something Lamarr gives him. The prevision cannot be "knowingly created" by Lamarr unless he actually steps in and does the deed (as shown by the final part of the film).

    Giving Anderton something to set him on the path ensures that he will get there, and the prevision makes sense. The fact that I keep stating is that Lamarr relies on a prevision that will lead to a murder that would NOT HAVE HAPPENED if there had been no prevision.

    In the current film, the prevision causes itself in a paradox loop, and that makes no sense. A piece of paper would be an outside influence that sets Anderton actively down a path that creates the prevision. No paradox involved. That makes sense.

    M. Scott
  13. TwiLekJedi Pretty Ex-Mod

    Member Since:
    Jun 14, 2001
    star 10
    Not the whole movie, just one thing that bugs me.



    Yes it can.
  14. DorkmanScott Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 6
    Read the whole sentence. The only way you can create a prevision is to perform the deed or ACTIVELY convince someone to do it. There's no logical reason that the pictures in that hotel room would have led to a murder without the prevision.

    I guess that's what I'm really trying to get at. The story should be able to function without the device of the previsions. There should be a clear path that Anderton could have followed that would lead him inevitably toward the moment of that murder, WITHOUT THE PREVISION. The prevision should only complicate things by anticipating the fact that following that path will lead Anderton to murder and making him a fugitive, as well as giving him the option not to commit the murder in the end.

    A piece of paper with an address, an anonymous phone call that says "find Leo Crow", anything. That would have been fine. But because there's not, the prevision causes itself 100% and the story unravels completely.

    M. Scott
  15. jangoisadrunk Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 7, 2005
    star 4
    Tell us why not then.

    Nowhere in the film is there any indication that he couldn't.

    Since "previsions," "precrime," and "precogs" don't exist, who's to say what one can and cannot do within a fictional system.

    Since we don't know the rules, we can't say something can't have happened.

    Otherwise, the whole science fiction genre is invalid.

    edit: Damn, DMS beat me to the punch.

    I understand what you are saying; unfortunately, I think the paradox of the previsualization causing the crime it previsualized was the whole point. For me, the impact of the film would be dimished if Lamarr had nudged Anderton toward Crowe using a note, anonymous phone call, or anything else.
  16. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2003
    star 8
    This film was okay, I thought. Of course, the original short story was better.

    But hat's not what I'd like to talk about. The thing that stood out about this film to me was how soft it was on drugs. The hero being a strung out junkie? And crack babies somehow being miraculous seers? Anyone's who knows anything about babies born in such circumstances know how far from the truth that really is.

    Did others have issues/thoughts/opinions with this film's portrayal of substance abuse?
  17. JediTrilobite Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 17, 1999
    star 7
    I never really thought about it, although now that you mention it, it does seem like when you focus on one crime, like Murder, something else flourishes.

    I wasn't very fond of the original story. Not that it was bad, but I liked the movie a lot better.
  18. TwiLekJedi Pretty Ex-Mod

    Member Since:
    Jun 14, 2001
    star 10
    "The only way you can create a prevision is to perform the deed or ACTIVELY convince someone to do it"

    Why is that?
  19. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2003
    star 8
    To clarify, I wansn't speaking of anything within the actual story itself. I was referring to the way the story, as a whole, depicted drug use.
  20. darth_frared Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 24, 2005
    star 5
    i think it's the flaw of prevision that it says crime is already determined. i don't think it was purely shut down for political reasons. it was shut down for ethical reasons.

    because a) the precogs were being exploited for a good cause and b) you cannot very well arrest someone before this person has committed the crime.

    i really liked the movie. especially the waking up with the new eyes and grabbing all the wrong stuff in the fridge[face_sick]
  21. JediTrilobite Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 17, 1999
    star 7
    It was shut down because they couldn't accurately say that the system wasn't perfectly perfect. They had weird cases like Anderton's and several others, and those undermine the system.
  22. darth_frared Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 24, 2005
    star 5
    that's sounding a bit bureaucratic to me. i think it was more philosophical ;)
  23. JediTrilobite Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 17, 1999
    star 7
    But we are dealing with politics here. Sure, the system is fairly horrible when you look at it. But it was still continued and was activly pursuing federal backing and going national. The government didn't have a problem with that, otherwise they'd have never allowed the project to get to where it was. They rationalized it by looking at the elimination of murder in Washington DC.
    No, it's more political here - It's a system that essentially tries people with their intentions and works on the basis that it's perfect. But, as we see in the movie, it's not perfect. Close, but not there.
  24. TwiLekJedi Pretty Ex-Mod

    Member Since:
    Jun 14, 2001
    star 10
    why not keep PreCrime and just convict them of attempted murder? for redballs

    for brownballs, lock them up until the time runs out and ... try to prevent the same people from planning to murder the same people all the time ;) or something
  25. jangoisadrunk Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 7, 2005
    star 4
    How do you participate in your own defense or face your accuser when you get locked in a mind-prison for simply thinking about committing a murder? Pre-crime probably violates every right given to the accused by the US Constitution. That, coupled with the fact that you clearly can change the previsualized future, pretty much doomed pre-crime from the start. Low murder rate or not, I wouldn't want to live in that kind of society.
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