Mediocre, Mediocre, Mediocre, Mediocre, Whoa… that was awesome

26 09 2009

I haven’t felt this convinced about the goodness of a film while leaving a theater since… maybe ever. It’s one of those indescribable things. It had reached that level of goodness where I no longer care about plot holes. I no longer care about suspension of disbelief with regard to CGI. In my mind, District 9 was perfect.

I have never been able to pinpoint the characteristics that make movies click with me. If I had to make a list of my top ten movies right now (of which District 9 would be one), three would be animated, two would be sci-fi, three would have a major element of romance, four would have major elements of fantasy, two would be action-packed, two take place in the modern world. Really, the only thing similar between all of them is that when I’m watching them, the rest of the world disappears in a way that no other movies can achieve. There are good reasons why I should never be a movie reviewer.


District 9 finally reminded me what it’s supposed to be like when you watch a movie for the first time. It reminded me that it’s actually worth sitting through all those mediocre movies while waiting for the one to come along. Eventually, it will come.

I don’t know if I want to see District 9 again. All of my favorite movies also have the characteristic of me being able to watch them multiple times without losing any splendor. But I’m afraid to find out that isn’t the case with District 9. It was such a wonderful journey the first time, I can’t say if the second runthrough would live up to such high expectations. I’m neutral on District 10. People can complain all they want, but I always withhold judgment until it is released and at least the movie critics get a grasp of it.

I think my favorite movies are a great insight into myself as a person, eclectic as I am, and I find they usually are for other people as well. What movies just clicked with you?

People are always stranger than fiction

25 01 2008

ArticlesI came across an interesting article on philosophy in science fiction novels. The author considers the genre’s real-world value and the possibility that its the only place left to find big ideas and “brain-shaking” concepts in modern literature. Being a fan of science fiction myself, I enjoyed the fact that someone had actually published an online article about the often overlooked genre. However, I have to say that the comments at the bottom were possibly even more interesting.

While all of the posters attempt to seem impartial, they can almost cleanly be divided into two groups: those who like science fiction and those who hate it. I’ve noticed this great chasm for a while now, but it never ceases to surprise me. We have the posters who say “sci-fi is stimulating because it’s different, and is asking some hard questions” and “[sci-fi] authors are frankly so much livelier, more colorful, and sometimes just better writers than a lot of contemporary fiction authors.” Then there are the ones who say “your piece is a bit contradictory and self-assuming. Ever heard the saying ‘life is stranger than fiction?'” and “for a ‘nerd,’ he’s pretty careless about categorical mis-labeling.”

Then, of course, there always has to be one person who simply doesn’t know what he (or she) is trying to say: “I wouldn’t say that sci-fi is the last bastion of philosophical questions. […] It has become increasingly difficult to write philosophical fiction especially as ideas become increasingly abstract. Writing in a real world context just does not work as efficiently as in a sci-fi novel where the author has much more control over the culture and times.” His support for the argument that sci-fi is not the last bastion of philosophical events is that philosophical fiction is found mostly in sci-fi because it works more efficiently. I think this is a good example of someone on the side of the chasm that dislikes sci-fi and doesn’t even know why.

I have trouble understanding the problem people have with different book genres. No writing I have I ever found is completely void of value or meaning. Value means something different to each of us. We can’t simply decide for other people what has value and what does not. I feel sci-fi and realistic literature both have their places in the realm of literature, and anyone who feels that their genre is superior needs to be reminded that no one cares. To each his own.

Article Link: Clive Thompson on Why Sci-Fi Is the Last Bastion of Philosophical Writing