Many examples of good science fiction use robots or androids to explore what it means to be human and to strive to be like humanity. We used to think that ethical questions about human/robot equality were in the distant future. They’re here today.
A driverless car was pulled over by police in San Francisco and given a ticket, you know, just like a human. Authorities say the car failed to yield to a pedestrian at a crosswalk. (We’re not sure if we can libel a machine by saying it actually did the crime.) According to Cruise, the operator of the car, a pedestrian was detected in a crosswalk about 10.8 feet away, and the car just blew on by, rather than stopping. A police officer on a motorcycle pulled the autonomous car over after witnessing the infraction.
Nice try, machines. But if you want to really be like humans, slam on your brakes and lean on your horn until the idiots get out of your way.
The poison that permeates the District 9 is the same toxin that has defined so much of human history: The oppression of the Other. In this case, that means scaly aliens with feelers for faces who are confined to South African-style “townships,” and who, in director-writer Neill Blomkamp’s allegorical thrill ride, represent every tyrannized population since the institution of the pogrom. A sci-fi fueled indictment of man’s inhumanity to man, and the non-human, District 9 is all horribly familiar, and transfixing. Continue reading MasterChugs Theater: ‘District 9’
There comes a time in every boy’s life where he makes a fateful decision: video games or computer games. While the majority tend to make the former their choice, a select few will choose the latter. Within that percentage, the majority of individuals will become privy to a series of games known as Wing Commander. A simple space flight simulator, the original game was a shining example of its time: slightly choppy full motion video heralded by a B-level actor or actress (in Wing Commander‘s case, Luke Skywalker and voice of the Joker himself, Mark Hamill) coupled with fairly revolutionary game-play. Given that the first game was created in 1990 and thus became a cult success, it only makes sense for a movie to be made based on the franchise nine years later, right? It’s OK though, because Freddie Prinze Jr. (fresh from his complimentary hit, She’s All That), relatively unheard of Saffron Burrows and Matthew Lilliard get to be attached to it, and thus Wing Commander was born. However, since this is MasterChugs March Movie Mort Month, there’s got to be something wrong with the movie, and boy oh boy, is there ever. Hit the cut to find out. Continue reading MasterChugs Theater: ‘Wing Commander’