Due to the nuclear disaster, slow rebuilding, and lack of jobs, many Japanese are emigrating to Hong Kong. They are staying at extended stay hotels. I can vouch that these hotels have excellent living arrangements with modern furniture and they are equal to or better than the 4 star hotels in New York. With the mass exodus and the nuclear meltdown being a total disaster, Japan’s identity and culture may never be the same.
This year I rewatched the 1960 Time Machine (Rod Taylor) for like the 12th time in my life, and for the first time since going to the movie theater with Tony Vahl and Mike Bernstein, I watched the 2002 Time Machine (Guy Pearce). The three of us were happy with the Time Machine remake in 2002 for the following reasons:
- Guy Pearce was coming off Memento, and seemed like a rising star.
- Special effects were updated.
- We got more information about the history of the Morlocks.
- We love time travel theory and stories.
- The destruction of the moon was cool.
The Time Machine did relatively well in the box-office, but critics panned it, and it soon faded. However, I read an article that said The Time Machine 2 is being produced right now for a 2011 Time Machine movie, so I might as well put my thoughts on record.
After rewatching the 2002 Time Machine, I realized how it couldn’t compete with the 1960 version. In fact, when you get right down to it, The Time Machine remake isn’t a very good movie, with a 28% Rotten Tomatoes rating and a 45% fan rating.
Cha-cha-changes. Yeah, I know a film adaptation is allowed to make changes from the novel source material and the 1960 movie- otherwise it would be like the Psycho remake, simply a scene-by-scene remake with new special effects and different actors. That would be dumb. Film from book adaptations that are also reboots of a previous film have a lot of obstacles, and quite frankly I won’t defend reboots since I feel they are a symptom of Hollywood’s lack of originality. For example, the 1960 Time Machine made some changes from H.G. Wells’ novel by making it more of an adventure within a nuclear holocaust subtext, but everyone was okay with that, and the movie actually became the new canon in the minds of the general public. We must accept that a movie adaptation from a novel must have changes, but what are we supposed to accept from a reboot/remake of a movie adaption from a book?
Well, considering that The Time Machine (2002)’s marketing gimmick proclaimed that it was more genuine than the 1960 version increased expectations. It also turned out to be a lie. The 2002 version was not like the H.G. Wells novel or like the 1960 movie. It was a post-2001 Hollywood movie: a boiler plate action thriller romance, but light on the action.
Some changes: the setting changes from England to New York (yet everyone speaks British in NY in 1899?); the Time Traveler’s motivation is completely different: in the new version he lost his love and tries to prevent it, in the classic movie (and book) he is simply an inventor; Über-Morlock (Jeremy Irons sold out) explains all; this time Morlocks are white like in the novel, not blue; the Eloi are now cool natives with some nice homes (James Cameron took note for Avatar) as opposed to the spaced out stagnant Nordic folk; no December 1899 New Year’s Eve theme; The Time Traveler’s name is no longer H. George Wells; it’s Dr. Alexander Hartdegen; the character of David Filby is reduced in significance; George went to to 1917, 1940, 1966, and 80270; Dr. Alexander Hartdege goes to 2030, 2037, 802701, and 635427810; no Weena character.
We also have the very confusing inside joke of having the H.G. Wells novel and the 1960 movie shown and mentioned by the holographic librarian. I would like to just ignore the reference, since it opens up such a can of worms when I think too hard about that continuity, but…it’s there!
Anyway, sci-fi movies are not just about technology and special effects; the greatest sci-movies of all time have a deep message. H.G. Wells’ book was about how technology, science, and education are necessary for humanity”s survival; without them, the human race devolves into dumb fragile dolls on the surface and the mutated middle and lower class will feed upon the upper class. In the 1960 movie, this is shown by George freaking out and forcing the Eloi to REBOOT civlization. The 1960 version also has the Cold War angle and an anti-war message. However in the 2002 version, the message is ANTI-technology. Not only are the Eloi cool, but the message is clearly that technology causes too much trouble (his wife is killed by a gun and then by a car, the lunar colony ruins the moon, God prevents the time machine from preventing destiny, which causes stress, etc.)
Isn’t it amazing how hot news stories just kinda fade out. Just a short while ago, the headlines, TV talking heads, and radio hate-mongers were declaring how weak the United States is due to President Obama’s statements about nuclear disarmament, and Obama going on the record stating that the U.S. will not really use nuclear weapons except in far-fetched situations.
Some random thoughts to consider:
- Other countries don’t believe anything the U.S. says anyway- they always think we are manipulating them. Seems like only paranoid American conservatives wanted to believe Obama’s statements about a world without nukes.
- The U.S. has been reducing the number of nuclear weapons since the 1950′s. How many do we really need, anyway?
- The fear of reducing the number of nuclear weapons or (gasp) not using them in war is very phallic- Americans still have this “more is better” and “bigger is better” and “might makes right” routine, that is so Freudian.
- Although in the 1940′s and early 1950′s (especially President Eisenhower) the U.S. was prepared to use nuclear weapons, the main objective of nukes were to be deterrents. Frankly, after JFK and the Cuban Missile Crisis, it was clear that Russia would not start World War III.
- Who do we want to nuke anyway? North Korea? Iran? China? Just because of a small group of dictators? The civilians are slaves. Does anyone really believe we would have no nukes as a precaution? Again, in the comic book world, only someone like Superman can rid the world of nuclear missiles.
- I understand part of the Democrats’ Utopia Project is to rid the world of nukes…but there have been numerous non-proliferation policies for decades. We’ve seen how devastating these bombs can be, and you can imagine how dangerous it is to keep old models in storage in some dusty silo.
- Obama just stated the obvious- the U.S. would not use a nuke on another country unless it was a state sanctioned nuke on us (not happening).
History will show that the 2009 Iranian election was illegitimate. Official government “counts” had it as a landslide victory for Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, but the people have spoken through demonstrations and protests which resulted in arrests and deaths. There is enough outrage to see that the election was not a landslide. Some say this was all a plan to “out” the “troublemakers”.
Anyone who has been following Middle-East current events knows what Amadinejad is all about…he’s about nuclear weapons, threatening Israel, oppressing Iranians, and slavery. He and his cohorts (his superiors and workers) have power while the people suffer. Civil rights and liberties are not in his vocabulary.
Large segments of the population are trying to express their displeasure. It’s all over the Internet. For many, this was the first time they have been exposed to communicating via the Internet. This is a journalists dream: to have a forum where oppressed people can tell the world about the truth.
President Obama said the U.S. can’t get involved, and he hopes the Iranian people work to change their government if they don’t like it. Although Iran is a rogue nation, and has no diplomatic relations with the U.S., Obama said he respects their sovereignty.
Should be interesting to see how history will interpret this.
I mean, what can we do about Iran, right?
Become the world’s supervisor of elections?
Overthrow the government and appoint a rebel leader?
Pressure other countries to get involved?
Fund the protesters with arms and money?
Get behind and rally the nations to call for a “redo”?
Get in touch with the dissent groups and formulate a plan?
Write a letter to Iranian leaders asking to stop the violence?
Spread the word?
You know as much as everyone is using Twitter and forums and blogs and YouTube to spread the word, it’s only a matter of time before this news story goes away in the U.S., and gets filed away in the same section in the newspaper as those Somalian pirates.
Anyway, in the fairness of balance, here are comments from the do-nothing school of thought I found on the mutant forums:
“Iran… need[s] to feel like they are controlling their own government without outside influence and they should and should be. The rest of the world needs to keep it’s mouths shut so they will not be able to try and other for their own troubles. I mean they are already blaming the west for interfering. No, as far as I’m concerned we have already said too much and we just need to butt out and let them sort it out for themselves. The US and the rest of the world are not the all knowing saviors of the world, shoot look at us we have enough problems of our own, what makes us think we can offer any useful advise to anyone. How would the US feel if the republicans of the US got all pissed and threw a fit because they lost the election and started riots, protests and stuff?”
It is wrong for us to do *anything*, military, humanitarian or political, until there is one clear voice speaking. Then they need to be treated as any other country.
[Congress] said that the Iranian National Guard is a “terrorist” organization. Yet, Obama wants to now talk to and neogtiate with “terrorists.” If you were the Iranian President, would YOU trust the States?
Any attempt to intervene WHEN NOT INVITED by those in power will be met by strong resistance.The world already has enough inter-country conflicts and you don’t want this situation to escalate into one which it can if the Iranian government feels significantly threatened from the outside.
“[Bush and I have] been here for eight years now, eventually you wear out your welcome in this business but I’m very comfortable with where we are and what we’ve achieved substantively. And frankly I would not want to be one of those guys who spends all his times reading the polls. I think people like that shouldn’t serve in these jobs.”
“[Joe Biden] also said that all the powers and responsibilities of the executive branch are laid out in Article I of the Constitution. Well, they’re not. Article I of the Constitution is the one on the legislative branch. Joe’s been chairman of the Judiciary Committee, a member of the Judiciary Committee in the Senate for 36 years, teaches constitutional law back in Delaware, and can’t keep straight which article of the Constitution provides for the legislature and which provides for the executive. So I think I’d write that off as campaign rhetoric. I don’t take it seriously.”
“If he wants to diminish the office of the vice president, that’s obviously his call. President-elect Obama will decide what he wants in a vice president and apparently, from the way they’re talking about it, he does not expect him to have as consequential a role as I have had during my time.”
“Thank to the War on Terror, the nation hasn’t been attacked in seven years.”
“The president of the United States now for 50 years is followed at all times, 24 hours a day, by a military aide carrying a football that contains the nuclear codes that he would use and be authorized to use in the event of a nuclear attack on the United States. He could launch the kind of devastating attack the world has never seen.”
“He doesn’t have to check with anybody. He doesn’t have to call the Congress. He doesn’t have to check with the courts. He has that authority because of the nature of the world we live in.”
“I did disagree with the decision [to fire Rumsfeld in 2006]. The president doesn’t always take my advice. I was a Rumsfeld man. I’d helped recruit him and I thought he did a good job for us.”
Comments: True villains have an unapologetic and self-righteous tone, and live in a skewed reality.