Science Fiction Fantasy  
Go Back   Science Fiction Fantasy Chronicles: forums > Film & TV > Film > General Film Discussion

General Film Discussion For discussing the silver screen and the DVD.

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Rate Thread
Old 7th February 2010, 09:20 PM   #1 (permalink)
Wherever I Am, I'm There
 
Dave's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Greater London
Posts: 14,148
Blog Entries: 1
Surrogates (2009)

Almost everyone is now living their lives remotely from the safety of a Stim chair in their own homes via robotic mechanical surrogates. These are younger, more sexy, fitter, more physically perfect versions of themselves with more hair, or sometimes, nothing at all like themselves at all! It's a little like a reality version of Second Life] or The Sims.

Supposedly, this is a world where crime, pain, fear and consequences no longer exist, except seeing Bruce Willis drive in the unsurprising chase scene, I couldn't help wondering why anyone didn't just drive like that with their surrogate just for fun. You can't be done for dangerous driving if you can't kill anyone - though it would still cause damage to property.

FBI agents, Greer and Peters, investigate the first murder in years; that of a college student who is discovered to be the son of Cantor, the man who invented the technology, while borrowing his surrogate. Cantor has now left the company he created, VSI. The weapon used is a hi-tech ray-gun that can actually kill the person behind the surrogate, but who created the weapon?

Tom Greer's son has died and he isn't getting on with his wife. Why is it that Bruce Willis' son has always died and he isn't getting on with his wife? Oh! And he is forced to play the one-cop-against-the-system role again when he is suspended and his surrogate removed. Talk about typecasting!

Then you have walled-off “Dread Nation” reservations within major cities where people reject the new technology and shun all machines. Led by The Prophet, they are working towards the revolution.

I thought the ideas could have been taken further than they were, and instead it became only a guess who is behind the surrogate story that was ultimately very predictable - the Prophet, his boss, his partner.

I would have rather had more exposition on why the wife needed to lock herself in her room, take pills and flirt with young-looking surrogates than face reality. After all, that was the charge made against humanity as a whole, that they could not face reality, but at least she supposedly had an excuse, with a deceased son and a facial disfigurement.

Worth seeing, but could have been better. At only 89 minutes running time, many have wondered what was left on the cutting room floor.
Dave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 7th February 2010, 10:19 PM   #2 (permalink)
|-O-| (-O-) |-O-|
 
Rodders's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Essex
Posts: 2,710
Re: Surrogates (2009)

Being a Hollywood action movie, i don't think that it's going to set the SF world alight. I must admit that i quite like the look of this and have yet to see it. The wife will let me buy this with no qualms as she absolutely loves Bruce Willis.
Rodders is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 7th February 2010, 11:33 PM   #3 (permalink)
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 100
Re: Surrogates (2009)

I usually describe it as Minority Report without P.K.D.'s genius.
Good movie, though.
poisonoustea is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 8th February 2010, 08:53 AM   #4 (permalink)
Wherever I Am, I'm There
 
Dave's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Greater London
Posts: 14,148
Blog Entries: 1
Re: Surrogates (2009)

Quote:
Originally Posted by poisonoustea View Post
I usually describe it as Minority Report without P.K.D.'s genius.
I'd call it 'Die Hard with a little SF'.

I've been thinking on this over-night, and I really think that if they had cut out the action, and really made this into an allegorical tale about our obsessions with body image - size 0, make-up and plastic surgery, baldness, and age - older women on TV, and with online communities like facebook, twitter, second life - where people have hundreds of virtual friends but don't actually know them at all, online dating, paedophilia grooming; if they had done all that, this could have been a stand-alone film.
Dave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 8th February 2010, 09:46 AM   #5 (permalink)
Luna tick
 
Moonbat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Devon
Posts: 1,999
Blog Entries: 1
Re: Surrogates (2009)

I saw this last week and was a bit dissapointed. It started well and the idea was set up nicely, but then it just descended into a very poor whodunnit, without a modicum of plot points or twists. Very predictable in the end, and kind of rubbish.

I did wonder how they made Bruce look so young, my GF thought it was CGI, but I was leaning towards makeup. Could have been much better.

Along with Gamer this is an Avatar movie, but obviously nowhere near as cool as Avatar. There are now several SF movies dealing with the issues of controlled human bodies, but none of them seem to explore ther issue properly. Anyone know of a SF film that does?
Moonbat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 8th February 2010, 11:13 AM   #6 (permalink)
Wherever I Am, I'm There
 
Dave's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Greater London
Posts: 14,148
Blog Entries: 1
Re: Surrogates (2009)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Moonbat View Post
I did wonder how they made Bruce look so young, my GF thought it was CGI, but I was leaning towards makeup. Could have been much better.
I think it was a bit of both. There was certainly a lot of CGI touch-up work which gave everything a day-glow look. I think that was intended, because it gave all those sequences an unreal look and made them like that 1950's advertising of how the future would be with modern conveniences. That added to the general feeling that there was something not quite right with this world.
Dave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24th May 2012, 12:29 AM   #7 (permalink)
Wherever I Am, I'm There
 
Dave's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Greater London
Posts: 14,148
Blog Entries: 1
Re: Surrogates (2009)

Bumping this again, I guess. I just watched it again on TV (BBC first showing) and forgot I had already rented the DVD. I think my earlier comments, while spot on, might be a little harsh. I enjoyed it. The whodunnit aspect wasn't very hard to solve, but it did have thought provoking moments. I still wish it could have gone further, and like Moonbat, I'd like to see a film that properly did that. In the film prologue, 'the history of the world to date', the part that begins, '14 years ago', could very easily have been the News this week - as those arms & hands operated by paraplegics were featured.
Dave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24th May 2012, 07:34 PM   #8 (permalink)
Registered User
 
cesarica's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Serbia and Montenegro
Posts: 12
Re: Surrogates (2009)

OK, I've seen this movie twice so far; first for my own pleasure and I liked it even then; not the best movie in the world but perfectly acceptable. the second time i watched it because i wanted to discuss the whole concept of surrogate bodies with my students and i must say it was great because everyone had something to say. so, the movie offers a good starting point for a very fruitful discussion and i like that in movies in general.
cesarica is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24th May 2012, 10:12 PM   #9 (permalink)
Wherever I Am, I'm There
 
Dave's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Greater London
Posts: 14,148
Blog Entries: 1
Re: Surrogates (2009)

Certainly, I also enjoy films that make you think, but (as Rodders and Moonbat alluded to) Hollywood had to make it into an action movie. Gattaca is another example of a film that extrapolates the long-term results of present day trends and makes us think about the essence of our humanity. It didn't need to be an action whodunnit, but it also wasn't a great box-office success. I expect that if we want more films like that then we need to go and watch them.

I also realise that I have a bit of a nit with the ending. Dr. Cantor didn't strike me as a mass murderer; he had reasons for turning back the clock on his own invention, but he wasn't mentally deranged. So, if there had been a way of using the virus to disconnect everyone from their Surrogates without killing them, and to shut down only the Surrogates, then wouldn't he have thought of it during the planning of his stunt. It didn't take Bobby Saunders long to think of using the buffer, and surely Lionel Cantor was far brighter than him.
Dave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25th May 2012, 12:04 AM   #10 (permalink)
Registered User
 
cesarica's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Serbia and Montenegro
Posts: 12
Re: Surrogates (2009)

Yes, Gattaca is definitely one of my favorite movies, also seen it a couple of times. Compared to Surrogates though, it's got less action and is more 'philosophical' if i can call it like that. It even strikes me as more emotional than Surrogates probably because the whole plot revolves around one, extremely sympathetic and persistent character who gets his way in the end.
As for the dilemma about dr. cantor... I'm not really sure; surrogates are his creation and he probably believed that he had the power and the right to do with it as he pleased even if it meant killing the humanity. (and btw, i didn't quite get that part - is USA the only surrogate country or is it the whole world?) Anyway, that dilemma also begs a question: are we responsible for our creations? once we give it to a large group of people does it still count as 'exclusively our creation'; do you have any rights over it?
cesarica is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25th May 2012, 09:07 AM   #11 (permalink)
Luna tick
 
Moonbat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Devon
Posts: 1,999
Blog Entries: 1
Re: Surrogates (2009)

Quote:
is USA the only surrogate country or is it the whole world?
Unfortunately, too often, in Hollywood movies the USA is considered the whole world. Usually they stick some stock footage of the Eiffel Tower, Big Ben or Mecca in with the added CGI needed to show that the whole world has been infected.
Moonbat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27th May 2012, 08:47 AM   #12 (permalink)
Registered User
 
Saturnfly's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: New Zealand (Aotearoa)
Posts: 4
Re: Surrogates (2009)

The only way I can describe Surrogates is that it is an exception to bland acting... This film made me want to gouge out my ears, and I didn't bother finishing it. I love most sci-fi, no matter how crappy, but at least even low-budget sci-fi has some emotion.
I might give it another try one day, when I feel as though I've exhausted everything else.
Saturnfly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27th May 2012, 11:19 PM   #13 (permalink)
Only Forward
 
reiver33's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Dumfries & Galloway
Posts: 1,129
Re: Surrogates (2009)

I missed this when it first came out but caught it on TV recently. I found it so-so but the ending sucked on several levels;

(a) The FBI can access your feed without you knowing - I don't see this being any kind of 'grey area' as the film suggested, its a clear violation of privacy.

(b) A Single FBI office can access the entire Surrogate network (worldwide?) and shut every one down.

(c) The shut-down destroys the Surrogates but leaves the human operators unharmed. Well, there will be consequences-

Any 'meatbag' in a plane being piloted by a Surrogate is dead.

There will be fires caused by accidents and unattended equipment.

The streets are now clogged with crashed vehicles. Humans will struggle to reach their place of work and replace the downed Surrogate, and even then the emergency services face an impossible task should they be called out.

Your economy just tanked.

Apart from that, its a Brave New World!
reiver33 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT +1. The time now is 04:55 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.0 PL2 ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.