If you've ever heard DJ Shadow's track 'Why Hip Hop Sucks in '96' you know it's the money. As I watched Transcendence this evening I realized very much the same thing has happened to the film machine. Transcendence is a film that did not do well in the box office. It was practically out for a day when all the rhinos, elephants and hyenas came crawling out to hoot and holler that it was a steaming pile of crappola.
Seems like that happens an awful lot these days. I love it, they hate it. But I'm not in the business of mass marketing cookie cutter films like the machine is. If it's not going to be the next Transformers then they label it DOA.
See, Transcendence had me at hello. This is science fiction that I can relate to. I don't need big explosions and half naked women to reel me in. I need story. I'm not saying I don't get in the mood, as most of us do, for an action flick or a big blockbuster. However, more often than not I need to be challenged, to be gripped by your philosophical viewpoint or moral dilemma.
It's exhilarating for me right now, as we enter this re-emergence of sci-fi. And I mean real sci-fi.
When I was on the cusp of teenagedom, I found my way into the world of Isaac Asimov, and thus my love for sci-fi began. There was something about all those stories that not only took me away to a distant future, sometimes cynical others breathtaking, but also gave me cause to think.
There was something that Robert Heinlein, Frederick Pohl, Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, and Lester del Rey all had in common. They were all able to write compelling fiction that not only entertained you but left you wondering...What if? (not the Marvel comic, though Peter Porker was a ham).
I sit here feeling a nostalgic to those times, having just finished watching Transcendence. And it's not just this movie that has me feeling it. The other day it was a couple episodes of Black Mirror and before that About Time and Oblivion and a danish film about Machina. For me it's a long overdue revitalization in the sci-fi film genre. Almost like someone came out and said, Maybe we don't need to have big robots in this one?
Anyhow, this started as a blog about how much I enjoyed the film Transcendence and turned into a rant. But hey, what do I know? If you're out there in the vast array of 1's and 0's chime in and share your fondest sci-fi memories.