Tag Archives: Just Like Dune

How Are They Going to Pull Off… A Matrix Reboot

The news has been circulating lately, and I’ve been mulling over it. A Matrix reboot or remake. Huh.

It seems definitely like – while remake might be what we would expect with everything Hollywood has been doing these days – reboot is the more likely route they will go. So not restarting the franchise, but simply dipping back into it. Here’s several articles on the news:

I am unapologetic in the fact that I really like the Matrix trilogy. I think in part I felt a strong connection between the films and the Dune book series, and it felt like the Wachowskis trying to work their way through the themes of the books – much like I was doing myself at the time. I think it was with these films that I coined my often-used phrase, “Just Like Dune.”

But that means the films felt like, for lack of a better term, fandom to me. Fellow travelers in a Dune fandom. But somewhere along the line, I also picked up some Matrix aesthetic (I still love my long black coat), and in writing this post I now have “Mona Lisa Overdrive” stuck in my head – I absolutely loved the music.

The Matrix Reloaded is still one of my go-to pop-in-and-watch movies, though I typically start it roughly when they head back into the Matrix to find the Oracle, and often stop it before reaching the Architect. This skips some of the stronger like-Dune aspects but is just action and effects fun.

All of which is to say… returning to this world? Possibly without the Wachowskis? Disconnected from the plot and characters we know? How do you build a new movie in the Matrix universe? There are only a couple of really big reveals, and it seems like those are already covered. So let’s consider a few things.

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Counterpoint: What About Dune?

So in yesterday’s post I talk a lot about the inevitability of technology in the near future… say in the Geek Baby’s lifetime. Indeed, we seem to be getting closer and closer to that point of Singularity… and the potential for a Terminator or I, Robot sort of future. I’ve written a bit about this in terms of how it always seems to be an accident when this happens in fiction…

And really, we’ve talked a lot about the dystopian possibilities of the future, in our Science Fiction Today posts. Doom and gloom honestly seem very likely. Should we plan for the future – raise the Geek Baby – with that in mind?

All The Dune!And it all comes back to Dune. Rather than writing the story about the war with the machines, Frank Herbert wrote the story of the future long after that time. When humanity has learned to do without nearly so much technology – and have done so by enhancing humanity, through rigorous training, enhanced drugs, whatever means – just to not use computers and machines instead.

If we were to raise the Geek Baby without reliance on technology, this seems like the reason and the way to do so. Raise her as a mentat almost, a human computer. All full of logic and deduction and data. Maybe start with SherlockBattlestar Galactica and the fear of networked computers?

We most likely won’t, but it does beg the question… should we?…

Science Fiction and Religion – Prophecy, Part 2 (Science Fiction)

So recently I wrote a part 1 about prophecies in fiction – mainly in Fantasy. Prophecy is a frequent plot scheme in Fantasy, playing a big or small part, and generally about the main character and/or the main plot. The prophecies are generally old, and predate the plot itself – often causing the plot, as the villain takes action based on it (like Harry Potter), or else just pointing to our main character as a chosen one.

That all sounds a lot like the Bible, full of prophets and prophecies of the Messiah. And thinking of villains taking action based on the prophecy, I referenced that as well (via the Inhumans) – Herod, killing the babies to try to kill the Messiah. All of which to say is that these prophecies in Fantasy have a strong cultural connection to the Judeo-Christian tradition. We’re rarely following the action of the prophet themselves – which is some of what makes Dominic Deegan so much fun!

In Science Fiction, however, it seems like if there is prophecy – which is rare – you often get to meet the prophet as well. And here, prophecy is less supernatural, and more explained in science – in a quantum way, or a mathematical one. But when it comes to prophecy in Science Fiction, there’s one that stands well above the rest as an example – and which has a lot to say about religion as well. And that’s Dune.

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The Incal – A Comics Review

The Incal - Classic Collection

I have finished reading The Incal! This graphic novel was a fascinating look into the heart of inspiration. I wrote a first impressions post about this comic. And my inspiration for reading it was the documentary Jodorowsky’s Dune. So with all of this thought I’ve put into it already… what more do I have to say?

I think the right approach is probably just a plain old review, going through the story a bit, and looking at it. One of the things I was really expecting was to see the echoes of a lot of other stories, hidden in its pages. However, as this series is about as old as I am, I think the end result is that it felt familiar, but did not point to anything in particular. I think this is partially because it – like Jodorowsky’s failed Dune – has been permeating any number of science fiction stories I have encountered in my life!

However, the two that I was most expecting to see – Dune itself, and The Fifth Element, which got into trouble (nearly) for being close to The Incal – I saw a whole bunch in the pages of The Incal. So I’ll go through these movements, explore a bit of my surprise at the ending… but first, let me take a minute with the story’s main character, John DiFool. Spoilers abound for the hard-to-find, expensive-to-buy, The Incal!

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Why Lucy is a Good Science Fiction Movie

Yesterday Holly gave a spoiler-free review of the movie Lucy, by Luc Besson and starring Scarlett Johansson. In the tradition of our Comparative Opinions posts, I thought I would give a different perspective: a post with far more spoilers!

Before I get into spoilers, though, my thought is that Lucy was a few things. It was an artistic film, which Holly compared to The Fountain. It was a science fiction film, rather than an action film. And as a philosophical film, it felt very French.

We linked to the SourceFed Nerd review of the film, and I want to include it here now. They spent 16 minutes talking about this movie, way longer than usual. I think on one hand, it shows that they were paying attention – they point out a lot of the contentious elements of the film, a lot of the reason why it has a mixed response from audiences and reviewers. I think on another hand, it shows that the film got people thinking, and talking about it, and that seems deliberate. And finally, I think it shows, like Holly discussed yesterday, that the marketing for this movie completely failed. It did not set the right expectations for what the film would be or be about.

So these are the topics I want to talk about – spoilers to follow!

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