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Sergeant_Crunch
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When exactly did we start caring about what physics had to say about what happens in our sci-fi and fantasy movies?

 

I didn't hear anyone woofing when Indy survived the trip between Mr. Katanga's boat and the Nazi island base on the outside of a submarine.

 

EDIT

 

Damon beat me to it...

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When exactly did we start caring about what physics had to say about what happens in our sci-fi and fantasy movies?

 

Not so fast there! It all depends on context. A movie billed as a hard SF movie, yes I would care very much about the physics in the movie. However, the vast majority of SF movies are not hard SF, so there's a bit more leeway in how one can approach it.

 

And the definition of 'fantasy' is that there are a large number of impossibilities in the context of the story, and we need to suspend disbelief based on that. If dragons can fly and breathe fire, Indy can survive a nuclear blast in a '50s fridge (which is more credible than it it was MY fridge, which works well but I doubt it could survive an overactive 4year old with a fair level of determination...)

 

Damon.

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There is a small difference between the ark in raiders as well as the holy grail in the previous indy movies.

 

The action in those was outlandish and improbable - but not entirely impossible. And the power of the artifacts was the one "Gimme" in the movie. I mean - if you are looking for an artifact of extraordinary power - then the artifact should probably have extraordinary powers, yes? So this is where the bit of fantasy comes in - but it is an acceptable level of "Weirdness" that is allowed

 

Even Sci-Fi has the one Gimme - for example, you can have a hard sci-fi story, but it might have a what-if such as "What if time travel was possible", "What if faster than light travel was possible", "what if extra-terrestrial intelligence existed.. etc"

 

Each of the indie movies (or the good ones) - had a "What if this relic really existed and had the powers as described in the bible..."

 

It wasn't a whole case of "What sort of improbable/impossible things can we jam pack into a movie?"

 

What if a magical fridge could survive an atomic explosion at ground zero. All we found at the ruins of all of our test sites, as well has hiroshima and nagasaki were fridges, but everything else was vaporized and the blast was so strong it permenantly marked shadows on the wall where people stood. What if someone could manage to survive that trip? What if someone could sruvive numerous falls off a waterfalls in an amphibious vehicle. What if there was a magical magnetic skull that was only sometimes magnetic as the plot needs it? And magnetism could be blocked by a magical blanket? It it could magically open a room, but is the only way to open that room - so don't ask how the conquistadores got it out in the first place since there should be no way to enter it. What if gopher jokes didn't get old and not funny after 3. What if coiffed monkeys had enough mental capacity to only attack russians. What if we had a russian villain who couldn't keep her accent straight? What if there was an interdimensional zombie alien race of archeologists who collected artifacts, only to destroy their collection on lift-off... etc.

 

I'm totally willing to suspend my disbelief, and I adore pulp. The Shadow and the Rocketeer were loads of fun (although not that great) In the shadow a whole building disappears because of hypnotic suggestion. The Mummy movies were fantastic as well - the first 2 were brilliant, the latest wasn't as good, but still loads of fun.

 

It wasn't all bad, it had bits of Indy shine through - such as the fight in the malt shop and the subsequent chase through the college campus - as well as the fight amonst the kung-fu south americans. But mostly it was a big pile of suck - and I love crappy movies (I adored Doomsday and Shoot 'em Up).

 

I saw the new trailer for the new Star Trek movie which isn't being made.... did anyone else think "Red Barchetta"?

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And the definition of 'fantasy' is that there are a large number of impossibilities in the context of the story, and we need to suspend disbelief based on that. If dragons can fly and breathe fire, Indy can survive a nuclear blast in a '50s fridge (which is more credible than it it was MY fridge, which works well but I doubt it could survive an overactive 4year old with a fair level of determination...)

 

Damon.

The difference with fantasy is it is set in another realm where dragons are just a fact of life, like lions or sharks are in this world.

 

Indiana Jones is supposed to be set in this world. I'd be equally as upset if a giant dragon popped out and breathed fire at indy as I am with magical flying fridges and magnetic zombie aliens.

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We're creating our own Reaper-fan black knowledge hole aren't we? I'm with Saintrigger in blocking out all Star Wars past 1998, Sarge has no concept of a new-old Star Trek. I'm also selectively forgetting parts of late Babylon 5. Anything else getting mindwiped?

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The difference with fantasy is it is set in another realm where dragons are just a fact of life, like lions or sharks are in this world.

 

That is only one aspect of fantasy, one that these days is largely popularized in the genre. But there has been plenty of fantasy stories set in the "real-world" (aka our earth). After all, the original intent of both Howard's Conan stories as well as Tolkien's mythos was to be set on "our" earth.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fantasy

 

Fantasy as a literary tool is one that includes a large number of "gimmies" in it, as opposed to other genres, and is a branch of Speculative Fiction. This is opposed to "Space opera" (numerous "gimmies" but still in a credible environment i.e. it can be explained) and Hard SF (few or one "gimmie") IMHO Indy is very much in the fantasy genre.

 

Perhaps the disagreement is a difference in expectations. I wasn't expecting much from the movie (just like I don't expect much from the franchise as a whole). I personally dislike pulp quite a bit, but Indy has the right mix (and legacy) to make me want to watch it...

 

Damon.

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We're creating our own Reaper-fan black knowledge hole aren't we? I'm with Saintrigger in blocking out all Star Wars past 1998, Sarge has no concept of a new-old Star Trek. I'm also selectively forgetting parts of late Babylon 5. Anything else getting mindwiped?

 

One other thing I'd like to add. Being as I have no qualms in advertising my Battletech fandom, I was faced with a similar situation (actually twice over): in the perod of 1990-91, Battletech introduced the Clans, and had a "tech Renaissance." For a long time I refused to aknowledge the existence of te Clans, and loudly declared "THERE IS NOT BATTLETECH AFTER 3039!" A similar situation existed in 2002 when Mechwarrior was introduced. After a while I realized my angst was getting in the way of my fandom, so I decided to look at the franchise again, and decide to find what I DO like about these elements, despite what I do not. In the end I was much happier, and stopped being "that guy" that sits in the corner, and complains about all the kids and what they do like about the "new" stuff...

 

Damon.

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