Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Lists Suck

That includes when I make them.

Perusing the 'net, I came across a column by a Benjamin Radford, The Five Most Scientifically Plausible Sci-Fi Movies ( Taking what he considered plausible application of today's science and combining it with sci-fi movies of the past 50 or so years, the top five movies Radford determined to be the most plausible to make the stretch from sci-fi to reality (within, perhaps, a few years or decades) were:

5. Jurassic Park

4. Iron Man

3. Gattaca

2. The Truman Show

1. 2001: A Space Odyssey

Having seen only two of those movies myself (#1 and 5), I shudder to think of #5 achieving anything akin to reality: 'cuz with any really good science, the government is bound to horn in and get involved. And before you know it, instead of a genetically-reconstituted T-rex that alleviates our glut of ambulance-chasing attorneys, we wind up with a CGI Barney.

Though, if he could be trained to eat Hollywood liberals, I might just learn to put up with those silly songs. But I digress.

As few of you might realize, I've tinkered a bit with advanced technology*. Yep; really. I do so occasionally through an ongoing association with my faux company Bonco, UnInc., maker of such gems as The BugaBOOM!, EZ-NAV One, Phfffft! Asure, The Cyclonic Harvester, and other gadgets that will eventually do something useful, once the less-than-useful side affects have been ironed out.

Thus, I think I have something of a notion of when a sci-fi movie is reasonably plausible.

For instance, I think I can say without hesitation or reservation, that Star Trek II, The Wrath of Khan, doesn't have a chance in a parsec of being plausible in this or 20 lifetimes. A starship captain from Iowa? C'mawn...I'm from Iowa. 'Nuff said.

On the other hand, Mars Attacks! is, by any rational standard of reasoned and alcohol-fortified logic, very plausible in a scientific sense. After all, what do we really know about life on Mars? What might they know about life here? Oh sure, they can make some intuitive judgements, based on the toys we leave scattered on their planet, and some of the radio and other signals they can receive from our noisy, trying-to-be-noticed orb.

And were they to come and visit us, as in that movie, how are we to know their real intentions? How are they to understand ours? What, for example, would they make of our recently-concluded political ads? Perhaps to them, a flock of white peace doves is akin to getting 'the bird'. Perhaps our name for their planet is, in their language, a four-letter word, denoting denigrating self-gratification. And who here is prepared to say they know exactly what a peculiar-looking alien means, when it says "rack ack ack!"?

Besides, I've heard Slim Whitman music...and I'll bet most aliens aren't ready for it.

So Mars Attacks! makes my Top Ten Most Plausible Sci-Fi Movies To Become Real At Some Point In The Future.

Along with the rest of my list:

#10: Mars Attacks!
#9: Hardware Wars (I've addressed the issue of flying toasters, waffle irons, et al, with demonic possession in another recent blog entry; 'nuff said there).
#8: Attack of the Killer Tomatoes (that genetic engineering crap is gonna backfire on us at some point, just like beans do in the gastronomic sense).
#7: Predator (it would take a team of SEAL-trained military types to subdue a rampaging Rosie O'Donnell-like morph; fortunately, they exist. But it will take at least that much firepower and skill; The View couldn't handle 'it'...).
#6: Strange Brew (beer-drinking dogs flying? Why not? Enough beer makes anything seem possible).
#5: Salem's Lot (vampires creating more vampires? Totally plausible; we just re-elected a Congress full of blood suckers, who'll be after our wallets next).
#4: Back To The Future (a DeLorean, gigawatts, space-time continuums...want more proof? Michael J. Fox didn't age a day through a three movie trilogy).
#3: Spacejam (we already know cartoon characters can vote, according to ACORN; but we have proof that when they seek help against alien cartoon characters, they seek the best: Michael Jordan. And did Michael Jordan ever deny that those events actually happened? CGI, my ass).
#2: War of the Worlds (though, you can forget choice #10, let alone the 1938 radio broadcast by Orson Welles that sent a nation into panic, or a more recent movie that was poorly acted by Tom Cruise, who was busy being pissed at the creators of South Park; a Ph.D candidate at the Robotics Institute of Carnegie Mellon University, Daniel H. Wilson, has already laid out how currently existing AI -- not Allen Iversen -- will bring us to an eventual robot rebellion in his book, How To Survive A Robot Uprising, sure to be a scientifically very plausible movie before long).
#1: Science Fiction Theatre 3000 (watch it, dammit...the damned alien gumball machine is talking! It's real, and IT'S HERE, NOW!).
Of course, this list is highly subjective, hastily researched and of dubious antecedence. But until a starship-looking thing actually appears in the skies over San Francisco, picks up two humpbacked whales, and takes them to the 23rd Century to tell an alien metallic trashcan with energy-draining proclivities to off....and it's commanded by a toupe-ed Canadian who claims to be from Iowa, then I reckon my list is as good as anyone's.
A starship commander from Iowa. I'm from Iowa. Puh-lease...
* like the time I had to gingerly disassemble my TV remote, after my pet rock Seymour -- freaked out by an Outer Limits (TOS) marathon -- had reconfigured it into a home defense device, without first telling me. I only vaporized a stack of phone books, a refrigerator, and the vacant apartment next door before I rendered it inoperable...


Blogger Two Dogs said...

Wait, 2001 is PLAUSIBLE to someone? Yes, that modular furniture with a bunch of folks wearing 1970's leisure suits and a computer that tries to take over the ship, THAT IS PLAUSIBLE?

You should watch The Truman Show, I wake up in it every day.

And oddly enough, Strange Brew is not only plausible, but reality, I lived it back in my teens, you need to replace that one. It's done been done.

12 November, 2008 09:14  
Blogger Amy @ Milk Breath and Margaritas said...

"if he could be trained to eat Hollywood liberals" -- HA!

Indeed. I'd go for that kind of dino any day.

12 November, 2008 15:33  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There IS life on Mars. That's where Nancy Pelosi was born.

12 November, 2008 16:10  
Blogger Debbie said...

I've seen all of the list of five, except for Iron Man. The Wrath of Khan is a great show. We've seen all of the Star Trek shows and movies. Sure they are corny, but we're hooked. I think Khan is hubby's hero, ha. He knows every word of Khan's dialogue.

Debbie Hamilton
Right Truth

13 November, 2008 14:58  
Blogger Zip n Tizzy said...

How 'bout mystery science theater? That tops my 10.
And Yikes, barney attacks... the real thing is bad enough.

13 November, 2008 15:25  
Blogger Herb said...

I thought Strange Brew was a documentary.

14 November, 2008 04:36  
Blogger Little Lamb said...

I think I saw Jurassic Park. I liked it.

14 November, 2008 18:16  

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