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Poll

Passengers ranks...

Great (9-10)
0 (0%)
Good (7-8)
1 (33.3%)
Average (4-6)
2 (66.7%)
Poor (2-3)
0 (0%)
Anus of Cinema (0-1)
0 (0%)

Total Members Voted: 3

Author Topic: Passengers  (Read 1033 times)

Tut

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Re: Passengers
« Reply #20 on: December 11, 2016, 01:25:31 pm »
I won't deny that Lawrence's public persona has certainly gained her both fans and fame. It just has nothing to do with why I like her. You can say she's an average actress and that's fine, but personally, I think she's capable of turning in very strong performances when given good material to work with. Whether this movie will supply said material I have no idea (only trailer I saw was whichever one played before my showing of Arrival). However, that doesn't change the fact that her presence in the film does enhance my desire to see it. I mean, if it gets a 30 on RT or whatever then there's little chance I'm going to the theater for it. If it gets a 70 or something though, I'd probably check it out given my relative interest in the premise and talent involved.

I'm gonna explain the bolded piece here, because I know it was confusing. In my opinion, the coolest premise I've ever seen is from In Time, a little seen Andrew Niccol sci-fi piece about a world where time is literally money, meaning the poor die young and the rich can live for as long as they want (trailer at the bottom of my post if you're interested). That kind of premise can basically be summed up in a sentence or two and instantly catches my attention. Similarly, Looper's about a future where time travel is possible and used to assassinate people (with Joe having to escape from himself), Source Code is about the existence of a machine that can be used to replay a moment over and over, Inception about the ability to enter someone's mind and plant an idea. Do you see how those have a sort of "one liner" premise that's instantly intriguing? I guess I just like it when sci-fi puts an interesting spin on the future.

Now, compare that to Alien. I'm not saying it's a death sentence for a film or anything like that, but what's the interesting spin of Alien? People get trapped on a ship with an alien who wants to kill them? Just doesn't excite me, as a look into an alternative future, in the same way. The reason I'm not that excited for Passengers is that it kind of looks to be between the two, not grasping for a really original perspective but also supplying some intrigue in that regard. Hope that made some sense.

Yeah, I've seen In Time, and I liked it fine. But as Neville said, it and movies like it rely on obvious exaggerations of present-day social issues in order to squeeze through their "social commentary," and their scope is limited to only one subject. Alien, meanwhile, has some underlying themes of man vs nature, but it also has an anti-corporate side to it (which I thought you would have enjoyed). Honestly, both it and Blade Runner are more "high-concept" than Passengers seems to be, and they cover a lot more ground than In Time does (or Inception, for that matter). To be fair, I haven't seen Passengers yet, but from what I can gather it's just an action/romance in space. Even if it does try to squeeze a message in, it's entirely possible that it'll be so hamfisted and obvious that it'll threaten to ruin the entire movie even for its target audience. This does not seem high-concept to me at all. Just a star vehicle for Lawrence and Pratt because they're popular this year. I would honestly say that Passengers has less in common with Inception, In Time, Source Code, or Blade Runner than it has with any typical Michael Bay film.

I'll take this opportunity to put in a plug for Star Trek: TOS, a show that not only features a range of well-developed characters, but also tackles multiple social and political issues while still preserving the show's artistic integrity. Honestly, if it can be pitched in one sentence, it might not be that good of a film.

Also, I find it worth noting that Lawrence's character is named "Aurora," which might be worse than "Cypher Raige," "Cade Yeager," and "unobtainium" all put together. Just an observation...

 

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