Tag Archives: V for Vendetta

Recommended Viewing February 2017

Here’s yet another random “recommended streaming” post, which doesn’t just focus on what’s new to streaming this month but instead focuses on good movies and shows worth checking out. I know I was remiss in doing a new streaming post last month, and I apologize for that. This post may contain some crossover, so let’s get down to it. Also this month all of my recommendations are a bit tongue in cheek, so no need for genre divisions.

Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (Amazon Instant Video/Prime)

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The entire collection of the Indiana Jones saga are on Amazon Prime currently, but I’m only recommending my two favorites. Now’s a good time to watch them and enjoy some good ol’…archaeology.

Planet Earth & Life (Netflix)

Planet Earth

The entirety of both Planet Earth and Life are available on Netflix. Some of the most beautiful documentaries made, with extensive work capturing all of the footage, this is currently some important and awe-inspiring viewing for your free time.

Captain America: Civil War (Netflix)

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One of the best movies from last year, I know I mentioned it coming to Netflix for Christmas last month, but if you have yet to check it out, do so now. Just in case you find yourself asking what Captain America would do in times like these…

V for Vendetta (Netflix)

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This film, based on the graphic novel by Alan Moore, is definitely worth checking out if anything else for Hugo Weaving’s wonderful performance from behind a mask. It’s not something we see that often these days, and he really does an excellent job. And also, you know…other great reasons to watch.

House of Cards (Netflix)

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If you haven’t watched any of this delightfully dark series focusing on a corrupt and power driven politician and his equally calculating wife, now’s a good time. Wonderfully acted and directed, this is certainly one of Netflix’s best original series and is worth all of its hype.

The Man in the High Castle (Amazon Instant Video/Prime)

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Loosely based on Phillip K. Dick’s novel of the same name, this series from Amazon focuses on an alternate world where the fascist powers of WW2 won the war and split the U.S. between themselves. Definitely a heavy drama, it’s still worth checking out and watching right now.


And, if you need something to decompress to, remember that two collections of Bob Ross are still on Netflix.

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Comparative Opinions: End of the World Stories – Episode 19

Welcome to the Comparative Opinions podcast! It’s the end of the world as we know it, or at least, it might be with the election this week! In honor of that, hosts David and Holly – along with submissions from fans – lay out examples of End of the World stories, including some of our favorites. Spoilers abound for various apocalypses and post-apocalypses (and especially for the Final Fantasy XIII series)! Hopefully, we’ll all still be here to have an episode next week…

Comparative Opinions is a weekly half-hour-ish podcast hosted on ComparativeGeeks.com. Subscribe for new episodes every Sunday!

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Music is by Scott Gratton: http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Scott_Gratton/Intros_and_Outros

What’s On Netflix April 2016

I’ve been a tad bit distracted this week getting ready to pack for a trip back home, but that hasn’t stopped me from noticing that new seasons of a few of my favorite shows are coming to Netflix this week.

Archer Season 6, available now

Archer is one of my absolute favorite shows, but I feel like I need to include a disclaimer. It is one of the most irreverent, offensive shows on TV, so if that is not your brand of humor, it’s probably not for you. However, if that sounds like your cup of tea (or, with Archer, whiskey) then all 6 seasons are now on Netflix just in time for season 7’s premiere tonight.

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Science Fiction Today – Terrorism

Well, today’s another awful day. I’ve seen plenty of people posting their support of the people of Brussels and Belgium and who were there, and our hearts and  prayers go out as well.

Pray for Brussels

But as Holly mentioned yesterday, we take the awful stuff in the world today, and step back. Step forward. We look at them through the lens of Science Fiction stories.

And I’m sad to say, Science Fiction stories still see a lot of terrorism in the future. It seems it will remain a way for a smaller force to deal with a larger one, for an occupied force to deal with an occupier. For one dissatisfied person to take out all their frustration and send a message.

For instance, I think that Science Fiction was probably the original home of cyber terrorism. Sure, it became more mainstream, but it was originally near-future nerd stuff. And it still shows up in TV shows and such as far more interesting and useful and powerful than it is in real life… far more Science Fiction.

And if you count some of superhero fiction as Science Fiction, then we certainly see it there too, often in a world somewhat like our own today. Really, a lot of what happens in those stories – especially when you step away from the incredibly super-powered folks – is a story of organized crime and domestic terrorists versus vigilantes. Maybe wider terror groups, working on recruiting, like the League of Assassins or the Hand. We’ve been watching Daredevil season 2 – lots of things you could call terrorism there.

In Science Fiction, you see Utopias. One of the best is Star Trek. And even there, we definitely see terrorism. Khan is the perfect example. However, the Bajorans – fighting a Cardassian occupation – absolutely also are an example, and that’s pretty much the setting for Deep Space Nine. So it’s not like it’s something that’s just a one-shot in an episode, it comes up many times. From re-watching Next Generation, I remember Ro Laren having to infiltrate a terrorist resistance group. It wasn’t easy for her, because you get close to them, and you find out they might be human…

And Science Fiction also tells us a lot about Dystopias… generally the result of a cataclysmic event that leads to a response towards security, and terrorism seems a part. Sometimes before, sometimes after. Like V for Vendetta, where one man’s terrorism exposes a dictatorship and pulls it down.

But the dictatorship, the Dystopia, can form because of terrorism too, it’s not solely an answer. After these sorts of things, we want vengeance. We want justice. We want it to stop. And things happen that, in hindsight or over time, we see to be a bridge too far. And often, this is what Science Fiction writers are warning us about, when they write about Dystopias. Beware those impulses to sacrifice our liberties, to strike out too broadly or too blindly.

In many ways, I hope they’re all wrong. I hope that we find ourselves in a future with peace.

Science Fiction Today – Xenophobia

Whoa, dropping a big word to get in an X. Let’s go for a definition:

“fear or hatred of strangers or foreigners”

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/xenophobia

As someone in the US, the obvious place where I am coming from is immigration debates in a country largely made up of immigrants. However, I am also fully aware that things like loosening borders in Europe due to the European Union, for instance, are leading to similar debates, concerns, or prejudices elsewhere in the world.

A lot of things feed into xenophobia, so it definitely counts as a problem with no easy or obvious answer. Saying “everybody like everybody else!” doesn’t quite cut it, as words alone might work in abstract, but how do they work in the specific? Luckily, this is a topic addressed a lot in science fiction: so what answers or future problems do we see?

The Solution – Us versus Them

It’s Watchmen. The conclusion that we always need to identify an Us, those like us, and the Them, the outsider. And we don’t like the outsider. So in much of science fiction (or fantasy, for that matter) the outsider is not another human being at all: it’s an alien race, from somewhere else. If aliens attack the earth, humanity will hopefully be at peace with each other. I’ve just read this idea in The Lathe of Heaven as well.

Of course, there is a more hopeful solution in mind. If we solve the sorts of scarcity problems that create differences and a feeling that we need to protect what is ours, then maybe we won’t fear the outsider. Think Star Trek. The crew of the Enterprise is always on a mission of peace, with a diverse(ish) crew of humans and aliens, and off to meet aliens, to meet outsiders. Peace can be imagined, but it does seem like a far-flung future to get there!

Compounded Problems

However, if we don’t reach an idyllic Star Trek sort of future, then often authors envision a dystopia – and xenophobia is often a problem in dystopias. When things go poorly, when there is war or famine or plague, the outsider is one of the great fears or hated groups. I’m thinking of dystopias like V for Vendetta, or Children of Men, or The Windup Girl. All of these show worsening relations between nations, and worsening racial situations. General distrust and unhappiness.

Which unfortunately means that even if we reach an idyllic future, we may have to go through worse xenophobia to get there. Even in Star Trek, the idea is that they went through World War 3 to get there – and things were likely not very friendly at that point in future history. It was the introduction of aliens and space travel that united humanity and led to peace.

This post is part of the April A to Z Challenge, and also part of our occasional series on Science Fiction Today. You can read an explanation of both here. We are striving to keep these posts short, and know that we have not covered every example or angle – plenty of room for discussion!