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g99
2002-Aug-04, 05:41 AM
I mind as well start it, i know it is going to come soon.

"Signs": Reactions?

(spoilers)
I thought it was a good edge of your seat triller but the way they defeat the aliens i think is stupid. Also the movie ended quite hurredly. It felt like they said, ok it is about 2 hours, lets wrap it up. They left alot of stuff in the air that they should of fixed.

Any BA?

I did not see much, Ummm...They did good things like no stars at night on cameras, ect. The aliens were weird, why attack a farmhouse in the middle of nowhere? Why do they look like humans, why cant they have four arms, ect and small head with their brains in their torsos? That is the one problem, they had to pick the grey big headed alien, UHHGGG!!! A baby monitor picks up the aliens but a radio wont? huh? Anyone got anything else?

P.S. i have one question, if crop circles are only created by alines who made the ones for the movie?

P.S.S. the funnyest thing was shamalans camoe in it, iss he getting a big ego or what?

LunarOrbit
2002-Aug-04, 07:27 AM
Shyamalan has appeared in all his movies (all three of them).

beskeptical
2002-Aug-04, 09:45 AM
On 2002-08-04 01:41, g99 wrote:
A baby monitor picks up the aliens but a radio wont? huh?

I haven't seen the movie yet but my baby monitor picked up the neighbor's phone all the time. You could only hear the neighbor. Whoever they were talking to didn't come through. Makes one a little more careful what one says on those cordless phones. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

_________________
For the record, that's Beskeptigal.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: beskeptical on 2002-08-04 05:46 ]</font>

nebularain
2002-Aug-04, 01:05 PM
I enjoyed the movie. It had good cinemetography and good acting (some of Mel Gibson's facial expressions were priceless!). It also had a perfect mixture of intensity and humor. I especially enjoyed how the perspective of "everything has a purpose" was brought into play - and shown /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif .

As per BA, well, I didn't even catch any astronomy in the film (unless you consider aliens as a part of astronomy).

*SPOILERS*

As per critique points: When people began expecting the crop circles all over the world were being created for a hostile purpose, why didn't they plow over the areas in the fields to destroy the "circles"? How come Graham (main character) didn't call the sherrif about the alien in the pantry?

As per the baby monitor vs. radio question, it all depends on what the frequency is; for whatever reason, the baby monitor had the correct frequency. Things just conveniently happen to work out like that in movies.

beskeptical
2002-Aug-04, 10:37 PM
On 2002-08-04 09:05, nebularain wrote:

As per BA, well, I didn't even catch any astronomy in the film (unless you consider aliens as a part of astronomy).



So you are saying the aliens were from Middle Earth? /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_lol.gif

Silas
2002-Aug-05, 12:27 AM
On 2002-08-04 18:37, beskeptical wrote:


On 2002-08-04 09:05, nebularain wrote:

As per BA, well, I didn't even catch any astronomy in the film (unless you consider aliens as a part of astronomy).



So you are saying the aliens were from Middle Earth? /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_lol.gif



Pellucidar?

Silas

beskeptical
2002-Aug-05, 05:11 AM
**WARNING SPOILERS**

Verdict: I liked it. There was some unbelievable parts like the worldwide reactions, and it kind of takes after the TV show, 'The Chronicle', where the tabloid stuff is really true, but overall 3 stars for laughs, (funny things, not laughs at dumb things), and making you jump even when you could guess something was coming.

But BA, definitely! I can't believe you (above) missed it.

Aliens destroyed by water yet they chose a planet to invade that's surface is about 75% water?

How much water vapor in the atmosphere does it take to harm them if water on the skin dissolves their skin? Wouldn't that be like us going to a planet with a strong acid in the atmosphere?

If water is toxic to them their body fluids shouldn't be water based, so it would seem unlikely they were from a planet with an Earthlike atmosphere. Yet they didn't need space suits nor supplied air.

If they landed 'all over the world', wouldn't the chances be high that it would have been raining at least somewhere they picked?

They had enough leg strength to jump to the rooftop of the farmhouse. Yet, they couldn't kick down the cellar door.

They had the technology to get to Earth from another planet, solar system and/or galaxy yet they had no technology to use once on Earth. No weapons, yet they were hostile. Intelligent yet no weapons.

How did they make the crop circles? What force, or did they stomp down the corn with their feet? Were they unable to use that force for any other purpose?

They had to navigate to get here. They would of had to survey the planet to decide where to mark the circles. Wouldn't they have had a more GPS type technology than big wheatfield markings?

And, finally a couple bad biology items:

Chances would be higher for a liquid poison rather than a gas, but it could be possible.

But the typical medical blunder in a dying scene was too much. If you are almost cut in half by being pinned between a truck and a tree, you would exsanguinate within minutes no matter how tightly you were pinned. The crushing injuries would have ruptured every tiny blood vessel and capillary in the area and blood would leak like a squeezed sponge. I don't know why they couldn't have asked someone who knew medicine to review that scene. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_rolleyes.gif

_________________
For the record, that's Beskeptigal.


<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: beskeptical on 2002-08-05 16:01 ]</font>

Bad Engineer
2002-Aug-05, 12:18 PM
** SPOILERS INCLUDED **

I also enjoyed the movie. Shamalaya is a great director - what I loved is that he never uses ID4-like special effects to show the 'invasion,' all you know is what Mel Gibson's family knows (ie. what they see on the news).

My only gripe with the movie is the alien's 'weakness.' I'm sure a creative guy like Shamalaya could think of something other than *water*. Plus, the 'Aliens-are-killed-by-water' thing has already been done in another movie (Alien Nation I think it was called).

Overall, I still liked it, Bad Astronomy (or Chemistry?) notwithstanding


B.E.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Bad Engineer on 2002-08-05 08:18 ]</font>

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Bad Engineer on 2002-08-05 08:32 ]</font>

Conrad
2002-Aug-05, 01:14 PM
in the cheap-and-cheerful film "Day of the Triffids", the plants are visitors from outer space and are killed by - sea-water.

nebularain
2002-Aug-05, 01:48 PM
On 2002-08-05 08:18, Bad Engineer wrote:
Plus, the 'Aliens-are-killed-by-water' thing has already been done in another movie (Alien Nation I think it was called).

Wasn't that The Wizard of Oz?

No, wait, that was a witch that got killed and not an alien. But, then again, maybe Dorothy was on another planet, so then the witch would have been an alien, right?

Conrad
2002-Aug-05, 02:20 PM
On 2002-08-05 09:48, nebularain wrote:


On 2002-08-05 08:18, Bad Engineer wrote:
Plus, the 'Aliens-are-killed-by-water' thing has already been done in another movie (Alien Nation I think it was called).

Wasn't that The Wizard of Oz?

No, wait, that was a witch that got killed and not an alien. But, then again, maybe Dorothy was on another planet, so then the witch would have been an alien, right?



You could argue that Dorothy was the alien in the eyes of the witch, and since humans immersed in H20 cease to live, at a stretch you could say that's another Alien-killed-by-water scenario.

g99
2002-Aug-05, 06:18 PM
beskeptical (or is it Beskeptigal? /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif)
I actually did pick up all of the water ones and some of the car pinning ones. (the car might act as a turniqute and keep her alive for a hour or so. But her chestt was crushed too so he diafragm and lungs were probobly crushed or collapsed, so she probobly should not of been able to breath at all in the first place, but oh well.) I forgot about the atmosphere and the body fluids ones tought, thanks!! /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif. I want to see it again to pick up on all of the things i missed. I have to admit i was watching more for the movie than to critique it.

But physically it can make sense that watter screws them up. Water is a very good molecule for absorbing things.
(Just think how fast water absorbs salt and sugar) Maybe their skin is not protected against the water absorbtion and just is absorbed very fast. Think about it. Even we are absorbed to a small degree by water. If you stay in water long enought without the protective layer of skin and oils on you, you will dissolve too (altought at a much slower rate).

But the movie did say that they were beaten in the east coast by "a primitive device". Maybe it was reaining there? It does rain alot on the east coast (i can testify about that).

But i agree with you. If they are so smart why pick a planet with 75% water? Maybe the reason is, is that we are the only life in the universe other than them so they wanted to get rid of us before we advanced enougth to kill them. Also maybe they have never been on a planet with liquid water before so they did not know they were killed by it?

Finally they said they will not use advanced weapons because we will une nuclear weapons and destroy the planet.

Finally why did we not see such a large force soming towards us in space? They must of had hundrds of thousands of ships to have enought people to take over a planet, so we must of been able to see something right?

beskeptical
2002-Aug-05, 07:47 PM
On 2002-08-05 14:18, g99 wrote:
beskeptical (or is it Beskeptigal? /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif)

Either will do. The name was suggested after everyone thought I was a he when I am a she.

g99: I actually did pick up all of the water ones and some of the car pinning ones. (the car might act as a turniqute and keep her alive for a hour or so.

Minutes, maybe; an hour, no way. You can bleed out your entire blood volume into your body very quickly. It doesn't have to exit the skin. Also, we're talking aorta, a huge artery. Half the blood volume would be trapped in the lower half of the body. The main pumping action of the heart would be to the dead end abdominal aorta. The rest would be forced into some moderate size arteries that branch off the aorta in the chest cavity. Your whole circulatory system would be so traumatized it just couldn't function.

And, if you could live for an hour, you might be able to survive. It's unlikely the medical system would give up on someone who had enough left to hold on an hour.

g99: But physically it can make sense that watter screws them up. Water is a very good molecule for absorbing things.
(Just think how fast water absorbs salt and sugar) Maybe their skin is not protected against the water absorbtion and just is absorbed very fast. Think about it. Even we are absorbed to a small degree by water. If you stay in water long enought without the protective layer of skin and oils on you, you will dissolve too (altought at a much slower rate).

I think you might be confusing absorbtion with dissolving. Water is a solvent for lots of things. But our bodies are 80+% water so if we dissolved in water we'd be in trouble.

If you place a steak (equivilent to muscle tissue) in water, it doesn't dissolve. Bacterial action will eventually break down the tissue and it may appear to be dissolving.


g99: But the movie did say that they were beaten in the east coast by "a primitive device". Maybe it was reaining there? It does rain alot on the east coast (i can testify about that).

I think they said 'Middle East' but why quibble.

g99: But i agree with you. If they are so smart why pick a planet with 75% water? Maybe the reason is, is that we are the only life in the universe other than them so they wanted to get rid of us before we advanced enougth to kill them.

Maybe. How did they survey such a large expanse?

g99: Also maybe they have never been on a planet with liquid water before so they did not know they were killed by it?

Maybe, but unlikely. That would be more BA since there is plenty of water in the Universe. To think there are no other planets with liquid water is not too likely.

g99: Finally they said they will not use advanced weapons because we will une nuclear weapons and destroy the planet.

But they didn't even use low tech weapons. If a knife could cut off a finger or two wouldn't a machine gun be as effective as water, and wouldn't that be discovered rather quickly?

g99: Finally why did we not see such a large force soming towards us in space? They must of had hundrds of thousands of ships to have enought people to take over a planet, so we must of been able to see something right?

That's a good one. Definitely BA. And they were hidden from view by an 'optical' camouflage so why weren't they visible with other detection devices?


_________________
For the record, that's Beskeptigal.


<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: beskeptical on 2002-08-05 15:52 ]</font>

nebularain
2002-Aug-05, 07:56 PM
Beskeptigal - to answer your question, I wasn't sure about considering the aliens as BA because for aliens to be "astronomy" they should also "science", and since aliens as seen in such movies are neither falsifiable nor do they fulfill the requirement of making predictions, I couldn't consider them as science and therefore couldn't consider them to be included in astronomy.

Now, pseudoscience - that's different.

Oh, g99 - the movie showed the aliens had a way to make themselves blend into the background and make their ships invisible (remember the reporter talking about the bird that appeared to have flown into something above the city?), so maybe that's how their ships could have been unseen before they got to Earth.

Actually, I'm kind-of wondering why they needed the crop circles for navigation purposes. It's not like they couldn't find the centers of highest population (cities) by sight, right?

beskeptical
2002-Aug-05, 07:57 PM
Killed by water in past movies:

The Oz witch
The Triffids
And some movie where these big crystals came from meteorites and started growing massive structures (50's or 60's)
An episode of RedGreen, (Canadian comedy show), had some giant grass that was going to over take the lodge but rain killed it.

Didn't see any Alien Nation episodes or the movie.

I'll bet there are more. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

_________________
For the record, that's Beskeptigal.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: beskeptical on 2002-08-05 15:59 ]</font>

nebularain
2002-Aug-05, 08:02 PM
Oh - not to diminish anyone's medical expetise, but I remember the sherrif mentioning that Graham's wife should not have been alive and was suprised that she still was. I think it adds on to the theme of "it was for a reason" and all that went along with that (because she had to stay alive long enough to give her husband the message that saved their lives).

honestmonkey
2002-Aug-05, 08:21 PM
SPOLIER WARNING!

I could appreciate that this was a well made move, both the cinemagraphics and the acting. However, the story was lacking in many respects. Mentioned by several people here were the unlikelihood of the aliens weakness being water, why they could fly through space and easily hover, invisible!, in one spot, and yet had no means of breaking in a cellar door. They must have had some technology for punching star and moon shaped holes in wood.

What bugged me most was the religious tone at the end. We have a character that seemingly believed that his god killed his wife just so that the man would have enough information to 1) save his son and 2) have his brother beat an alien to death. I am best described as _not religious_, but is this really the way believers think? His god could find no other way to tip him off than this? How about a burning bush that says "There's going to be an alien invasion and guess what? They don't like water! Buy some squirt guns."

I just find that hard to think someone would believe this way. The fact that this is a story and is therefore contrived to reach this conclusion just kind of turned me off to the whole thing. The last scene was fairly predictable, given what led up to it, and as a whole, I did not find most of the "suspenseful" scenes all that suspenseful. (I did jump at the "hand under the pantry door" one, though. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif )



<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: honestmonkey on 2002-08-05 17:04 ]</font>

g99
2002-Aug-05, 08:22 PM
Thanks beskeptical. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif I get confused alot. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

Silas
2002-Aug-05, 08:26 PM
On 2002-08-05 15:57, beskeptical wrote:
Killed by water in past movies:

The Oz witch
The Triffids
And some movie where these big crystals came from meteorites and started growing massive structures (50's or 60's) . . .



"The Monolith Monsters." A weird and subtle thriller, very effective at presenting a non-sentient "monster." It was Salt Water, btw, not just water, that did for them. Ditto for the aliens in Alien Nation: not just water, but sea-water: it supposedly was like battery acid to them.

Okay, I'm a sci-fi geek...

Silas

g99
2002-Aug-05, 08:43 PM
I was going throught the whole movie untill the whole poison gas things) thinking that these aliens are really wimps. I mean come on, they carry no weapons, they are hurt by water, they just stand there while a guy grabs a bat and beats it with it, can't break a wooden door, can't break a board covering a window. Also they are really bad at tachtics. If they are so smart why do they show themselves to the whole world to let the whole world time to fight back. It makes alot more sense to me tocome in in the "cloak" mode and land. Then all at once attack all around the world with no notice. The movie makes them out to be really stupid, at least that is what i think (But for some reason i have the unnatural ability to always be wrong /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif).

Who knows maybe they are the rednecks of the universe and are just drunk and looking for a good party? Makes sense to me. They were just screwing around and when the bird hit the spacecraft they thought it was a act of war and started to kill people (like in "Mars attacks").

Oh one more thing about the whole water thing, would not the dew on the crops and ground burn away their feet? That was stupid of Shamalan to do that, he should of made their weakness bread pudding, that stuff can kill anyone.

nitefallz
2002-Aug-05, 09:52 PM
Maybe there was something in the water. Considering that area was largley farm area there would be a high level of nitrates in the water(I know, I live in a major farm area of PA, water is not safe for drinking) Or it could've been a number of other possible things in the pollutants, now i'm sure water elsewhere isn't as dirty but it could be a possibility. As soon as the little girl first mentioned something about the water being bad I knew it was a key element for the outcome of the movie. Granted though, water on the crap and rain should've affected them as well. Oh well, fun movie.

beskeptical
2002-Aug-06, 02:41 AM
On 2002-08-05 16:02, nebularain wrote:
Oh - not to diminish anyone's medical expetise, but I remember the sherrif mentioning that Graham's wife should not have been alive and was suprised that she still was. I think it adds on to the theme of "it was for a reason" and all that went along with that (because she had to stay alive long enough to give her husband the message that saved their lives).


There could have been other scenarios that were more plausible. It doesn't really change anything that there was a comment saying the wife shouldn't have been alive. Unless you wanted to put the whole scene into the category of crop circles and alien events, the injury and resulting events were not physically possible. It would be similar to having a talking decapitated head or something.

And if an injured person could live an hour there is no way you'd just leave the person pinned to the tree in hopes their husband could get there in time to say goodbye.
_________________
For the record, that's Beskeptigal.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: beskeptical on 2002-08-05 22:57 ]</font>

beskeptical
2002-Aug-06, 02:52 AM
On 2002-08-05 16:43, g99 wrote:
...Also they are really bad at tachtics. If they are so smart why do they show themselves to the whole world to let the whole world time to fight back. It makes alot more sense to me tocome in in the "cloak" mode and land. Then all at once attack all around the world with no notice. The movie makes them out to be really stupid, at least that is what i think (But for some reason i have the unnatural ability to always be wrong /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif).

Oh one more thing about the whole water thing, would not the dew on the crops and ground burn away their feet? That was stupid of Shamalan to do that, he should of made their weakness bread pudding, that stuff can kill anyone.


Another two really good ideas. Don't be so hard on yourself. I certainly don't think you are always wrong. My philosophy is that whenever we are wrong we learn something so it's good. If you were always right life might be boring, no new stuff. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif

g99
2002-Aug-06, 04:16 AM
On 2002-08-05 22:52, beskeptical wrote:


On 2002-08-05 16:43, g99 wrote:
...Also they are really bad at tachtics. If they are so smart why do they show themselves to the whole world to let the whole world time to fight back. It makes alot more sense to me tocome in in the "cloak" mode and land. Then all at once attack all around the world with no notice. The movie makes them out to be really stupid, at least that is what i think (But for some reason i have the unnatural ability to always be wrong /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif).

Oh one more thing about the whole water thing, would not the dew on the crops and ground burn away their feet? That was stupid of Shamalan to do that, he should of made their weakness bread pudding, that stuff can kill anyone.


Another two really good ideas. Don't be so hard on yourself. I certainly don't think you are always wrong. My philosophy is that whenever we are wrong we learn something so it's good. If you were always right life might be boring, no new stuff. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif



Very enlighteniong. Thanks. I love asking questions more than answering them. I am more of a listener than a talker. That is why when i post most of my posts are questions. I just want to know things. I have always been told that you can never ask too many questions. (Heck my High School graduation quote was "if you don't ask the question who will?) But when i have an answer to something i will usually say it, even if i know i might be wrong.

P.S. You sound like a professor or a teacher, what do you do for a profesion beskeptical? And where do you get your name from?

GrapesOfWrath
2002-Aug-06, 04:22 AM
On 2002-08-05 16:43, g99 wrote:
That was stupid of Shamalan to do that, he should of made their weakness bread pudding, that stuff can kill anyone.

Fruitcake. Or diet shakes.

David Hall
2002-Aug-06, 10:50 AM
Water? Is that all? For truly menacing creatures, you should check out the movie Attack of the The Eye Creatures (http://www.smitheeawards.com/film_details.cfm?Film_ID=142) (sic). These creatures had no problem with water. No, they only exploded on contact with light! Talk about tough. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif

(FYI, this movie (http://www.oracleswar.com/columns/kurt/kurt4.html) was given the royal treatment on MST3K (http://www.scifi.com/mst3000/), which was the only way to watch movies like this.)

g99
2002-Aug-06, 05:00 PM
I love MST3k, it is on the sci fi channel evrey sat morning. Hilarious. Too bad they canceled it. Better than most shows that are on nowadays.

I think the most realistic way to defeat the aliens was in War of the Worlds. They would not be at all immune to our disseases so one step on our plaet should kill them in a matter of days from just breathing one breath of air.

That is one reason why we will never be able to colonize another planet. We are not immune to any other diseases. When the europeans come over the the americas, 90% of the pop in the americas was decimated. The same thing will happen to us if we ever go to another planet. The aliens should of took one step on our planet and a day later keeled over from sickness.


P.S. It has been "scientifically proven" by many creationist scientists while doing experiments to prove that the universe is only 4 years old that bread pudding was the original substance that created the universe. So using the "Superman origin weakness theorem" (copyright 1491 1/2) that makes bread pudding the most dangerous substance in the universe.
_________________
"The chickens is coming!!!"
"Watch out for falling coconuts!!"
"If you are on a train going the speed of light and you fall forward flat on your face, was your nose travelling faster than the speed of light?"

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: g99 on 2002-08-06 13:04 ]</font>

SeanF
2002-Aug-06, 05:03 PM
On 2002-08-06 13:00, g99 wrote:
I love MST3k, it is on the sci fi channel evrey sat morning. Hilarious. Too bad they canceled it. Better than most shows that are on nowadays. I think the most realistic way to defeat the aliens was in War of th Worlds. They would not be at all immune to our disseases so one step on our plaet should kill them in a matter of days from just breathing one breath of air.

That is one reason why we will never be able to colonize another planet. We are not immune to any other diseases. When the europeans come over the the americas, 90% of the pop in the americas was decimated. The same thing will happen to us if we ever go to another planet. The liensshould of took one step on our planet and a day later keeled over from sickness.



Your example is contradicting your proposition, isn't it? The Europeans were not killed by American diseases, but rather vice versa.

By that example, the aliens in War of the Worlds should have decimated us with their alien diseases.

/phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

g99
2002-Aug-06, 05:16 PM
Actually europeans were hurt by native diseases, that is where we got syphyliss and i think one other disease (mumps?). But yes i agree, ther is not ads much information or study of the disease affect on eurpoeas. It is somewhat contradictory. But 90% of the americas did die of smallpox, flu, and other "common" dieases of europe. So what will happen to us when we go to other planets where the DNA of diseases have never even interacted with out DNA. Will they even be able to interact?


True, the alien diseases should of killed many of us. It probobly will, but maybe they did not have enought person to person cantact to do that to us. But only required to breath our air to sicken them. Maybe, but who knows. You are right, i have never thought of thier affect on us. That is a scary thought. A alien comes down to earth to invite us into a galaxy wide consortium of peace and it causes the extinction of the human race by touching one of us. Yikes!!
_________________
"The chickens is coming!!!"
"Watch out for falling coconuts!!"
The creationist dogma: "If you can't prove it I must be right"

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: g99 on 2002-08-06 13:19 ]</font>

nebularain
2002-Aug-06, 05:57 PM
On 2002-08-05 16:21, honestmonkey wrote:
What bugged me most was the religious tone at the end. We have a character that seemingly believed that his god killed his wife just so that the man would have enough information to 1) save his son and 2) have his brother beat an alien to death. I am best described as _not religious_, but is this really the way believers think? His god could find no other way to tip him off than this? How about a burning bush that says "There's going to be an alien invasion and guess what? They don't like water! Buy some squirt guns."

I'll just say that there are principles of life. One of them being that in order for the plant to live and grow, the seed must first die. To put it into astonomical terms, in order for a planetary nebula to exist and for the heavier elements to be formed, the star must first die. Take this as you will.

One can also say that they want to be irritated with the presentation, and another can say that they can learn from it. In the movie, Graham chose to be bitter over his circumstances, but when he found purpose to them he let go of his bitterness and found peace. We all may not find purpose to our pain and hardships, but we can chose to hold on to bitterness over them, or we can chose to believe there is purpose and be able to find peace. Is that such a bad message?

beskeptical
2002-Aug-06, 07:37 PM
On 2002-08-06 13:16, g99 wrote:
Actually europeans were hurt by native diseases, that is where we got syphyliss and i think one other disease (mumps?). But yes i agree, ther is not ads much information or study of the disease affect on eurpoeas. It is somewhat contradictory. But 90% of the americas did die of smallpox, flu, and other "common" dieases of europe. So what will happen to us when we go to other planets where the DNA of diseases have never even interacted with out DNA. Will they even be able to interact?


True, the alien diseases should of killed many of us. It probobly will, but maybe they did not have enought person to person cantact to do that to us. But only required to breath our air to sicken them. Maybe, but who knows. You are right, i have never thought of thier affect on us. That is a scary thought. A alien comes down to earth to invite us into a galaxy wide consortium of peace and it causes the extinction of the human race by touching one of us. Yikes!!


Once again you have a lot of very good points. A bit of data isn't right but the conclusions are.

Europeans have been severely affected by Malaria and Yellow Fever to name a few. I think there is still some debate on who gave who syphilis. The flu was worldwide probably before humans evolved. Smallpox, Measles, and Tuberculosis,(TB), were particularly hard on Native Americans though there is some evidence of TB in South America before the 1400s.

Your question about what interplanetary infectious hazards would occur given life that evolves in very different circumstances is certainly valid. In order to be a hazard, the organisms would first have to live in our body and second have to cause disease. If you're looking at Martian soil bacteria, they probably wouldn't be much risk.

All ecosystems are at risk when organisms are introduced and when some become extinct. Whether the invader or the invadee are most vulnerable is probably even, or maybe even favors the existing organisms because they already hold the territory and are in larger numbers more often.

When an organism invades but doesn't survive, who ever knows? When one invades and overwhelms the population, it's obvious.

And then there's the infamous movie and book plots that need a less than accurate invader scenario to make the plot work. In War of the Worlds, it makes more sense that the Martians would be affected first because they all had contact with our environment (if we assume they didn't have proper spacesuits). Earthlings would of had much less contact with the Martians who were still in their spaceships. And less of Mars' organisms would have come on their ships.

honestmonkey
2002-Aug-06, 08:42 PM
One can also say that they want to be irritated with the presentation, and another can say that they can learn from it. In the movie, Graham chose to be bitter over his circumstances, but when he found purpose to them he let go of his bitterness and found peace. We all may not find purpose to our pain and hardships, but we can chose to hold on to bitterness over them, or we can chose to believe there is purpose and be able to find peace. Is that such a bad message?


Graham was bitter over the death of his wife. I can understand that. Since he believed in a god, he was mad at his god. Later, he "realized" that there was a purpose to his wife's death (to warn him), and then accepted it.

That's my point. That is a goofy message. Surely an omnipotent being could come up with a better way to send a message. "I've got something to tell you, here, let me nail it to your forehead."

Both premises of the movie, the "ineffective aliens" and "salvation through understanding" were goofy, in my opinion.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: honestmonkey on 2002-08-06 16:48 ]</font>

Silas
2002-Aug-06, 08:47 PM
As far as truly alien aliens go, I think we'd be immune to their diseases (and vice versa) since we'd probably have completely different DNA coding systems.

On the other hand, the danger of allergic reaction to truly alien proteins would be (um) astronomical. That's what'd really croak us.

Something people rarely take into account in science fiction: time travellers and diseases. If you or I went back to the time of Julius Caesar...we'd kick off one heck of a plague just from the everyday bacteria and viruses we carry around with us. (And we, in turn, would get sick as hell from all the diseases at the time which are extinct in our time.)

One of the reasons that the Europeans hurt the Americans so badly with disease was the larger European population density. There is a critical value, for instance, for a city (around 30,000 people, I believe) such that in that city, at any given time, someone has the measles. In a sense, the city itself "has" the measles. The disease never goes away, but just keeps on circulating. It ends up getting stronger and strong (and the citizens all end up getting more and more immune.) When one of those citizens goes to a land of small towns and villages, where the disease is not endemic, it tears through 'em like wildfire.

(You might make an analogy to controlled burns -- where you are constantly suffering from smaller fires -- to climax wildfires -- where you only get one every tenty years, but when you do, it's a doozy.)

Silas

g99
2002-Aug-06, 10:00 PM
Good one Silas! Great analogy!

g99
2002-Aug-06, 10:13 PM
I started a topic on colonization and otherplanets that deals with this topic now: here is the address: http://www.badastronomy.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?topic=1940&forum=2&0

beskeptical
2002-Aug-07, 11:01 AM
Just a few comments on your ideas, Silas. It's going to sound like I'm picking everything apart, but I'm just trying to clarify a few things, really:

On 2002-08-06 16:47, Silas wrote:
As far as truly alien aliens go, I think we'd be immune to their diseases (and vice versa) since we'd probably have completely different DNA coding systems.

It's not the DNA code that would make us immune or vulnerable to foreign organisms. It's whether or not they could get in, whether they would survive and thrive, and whether they produced disease. Current thought about bringing back to life million year old bacteria or bringing Martian bacteria here is that the organisms would live under conditions that were dissimilar to the human body so would be less likely to pose a threat.

On the other hand, the danger of allergic reaction to truly alien proteins would be (um) astronomical. That's what'd really croak us.

We are not allergic to something because it is more alien than something else, allergy is from an individual's immune system being triggered to over respond. For example, peanuts aren't more foreign to a person who is allergic to them than to a non-allergic person. It's just that the allergic person's immune system overreacts to the peanut protein.

Something people rarely take into account in science fiction: time travellers and diseases. If you or I went back to the time of Julius Caesar...we'd kick off one heck of a plague just from the everyday bacteria and viruses we carry around with us. (And we, in turn, would get sick as hell from all the diseases at the time which are extinct in our time.)

If you weren't sick when you went back in time, your normal bacteria would not necessarily cause illness. Travelers can get mildly ill from foreign E-coli, (normal intestinal bacteria), but the serious illnesses a traveler gets are from infections that local people have already had, or, from infections local people also suffer from.

One of the reasons that the Europeans hurt the Americans so badly with disease was the larger European population density. There is a critical value, for instance, for a city (around 30,000 people, I believe) such that in that city, at any given time, someone has the measles. In a sense, the city itself "has" the measles. The disease never goes away, but just keeps on circulating.

Measles is endemic worldwide except where vaccination of enough people have eliminated it. It will always be a risk because a person with measles can travel. I've never heard anyone refer to a particular population size when looking at measles risk. Measles will spread to any unvaccinated population no matter what unless that population is completely isolated such as on an island.

Population density certainly plays a role in disease spread. Tuberculosis is a better example. It spreads in crowded living conditions. It has been around for thousands of years but only really became epidemic when population density increased, especially with the industrial revolution.

It ends up getting stronger and strong (and the citizens all end up getting more and more immune.) When one of those citizens goes to a land of small towns and villages, where the disease is not endemic, it tears through 'em like wildfire.

Diseases don't necessarily get stronger to counter our increasing immunity. Sometimes diseases actually get milder. If the worst infections kill people, milder infections might go on to spread more readily.

On the other hand, as humans with no resistance to certain infections die, the remaining human population eventually ends up with more members that the infection doesn't kill. So when that disease is introduced into a population that has not encountered it before, you can get more serious disease and fatalities for several generations.

It is not the size of the population that is making the difference. In fact if you introduce a deadly disease into a large population you'd probably be in bigger trouble.

(You might make an analogy to controlled burns -- where you are constantly suffering from smaller fires -- to climax wildfires -- where you only get one every tenty years, but when you do, it's a doozy.)

Silas

I use this analogy when discussing epidemics. If you have a few people who are susceptible, (not a lot of fuel), to an infection it may not turn into an epidemic. If you have a large number who are susceptible you get the epidemic.

Hope you don't mind the nit picking. I'll be happy to have you nit pick any astronomy stuff I don't have quite right to make up for it. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif

_________________
For the record, that's Beskeptigal.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: beskeptical on 2002-08-07 07:06 ]</font>

Silas
2002-Aug-07, 03:34 PM
On 2002-08-07 07:01, beskeptical wrote:
Just a few comments on your ideas, Silas. It's going to sound like I'm picking everything apart, but I'm just trying to clarify a few things, really:


No worries; that's what I love best about chatting with educated people!



One of the reasons that the Europeans hurt the Americans so badly with disease was the larger European population density. There is a critical value, for instance, for a city (around 30,000 people, I believe) such that in that city, at any given time, someone has the measles. In a sense, the city itself "has" the measles. The disease never goes away, but just keeps on circulating.

Measles is endemic worldwide except where vaccination of enough people have eliminated it. It will always be a risk because a person with measles can travel. I've never heard anyone refer to a particular population size when looking at measles risk. Measles will spread to any unvaccinated population no matter what unless that population is completely isolated such as on an island.


This is the only one I'll try to defend: I got it from a Discover Magazine article on the diseases that ravaged the New World after Columbus. The article said that Europe's larger cities were breeding grounds for nastier viruses because, above the threshhold population size, the virus never goes away. OTOH, I may be misremembering or misquoting...

re alien DNA, oh! Good point! The bacterium isn't mating with us, it's trying to reproduce inside us... But let me try this: when we get a bacterial infection, the bacteria are simply reproducing, completely innocently, in our lungs, etc. It's their bodily wastes that make us sick, isn't it? But to reproduce, they have to eat: they make little snacks of the nutrients in our systems. Would an alien bacterium be able to eat our nutrients? Again, since the DNA would be (would it be?) different, the nutrients wouldn't be useful to it (would it?)

Let me (like a good Jeopardy contestant) put it in the form of a question: if you had a perfectly ordinary alien goat -- hooves, hair, etc. -- just like an earthly goat -- and he's built up of the same DNA we are -- GACT -- with the ONLY difference that the DNA codes are different -- different "stop" and "start" and encoding stuff -- and I went out and shot the goat and roasted him over a nice fire and slathered on the barbecue sauce and dug in for dinner -- would he be nutritious to me? i.e., do I care *how* the proteins were assembled?

Good point about allergies!

Silas

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Silas on 2002-08-07 11:35 ]</font>

David Hall
2002-Aug-07, 04:17 PM
I'm happy to defer to Beskeptical on matters of biology, but here's my take on it.

I would guess we would be almost completely immune to any viral infections, as viruses attack DNA specifically and generally have only a small range of hosts. There's almost no chance alien viruses could find a compatible host.

But bacterial and parasitic infections would depend on bodily chemistry and other biological factors. Mostly, can the organism live and reproduce somewhere in our bodies? And would that infection have harmful effects on us? And would our bodies be able to counteract it? I think the chances would still be very small, but there's a much greater possibility of infection than with viruses.

The biggest factor would be just how compatible our basic bodily chemistries are. If they are similar to us there's a greater chance of cross-infection than if they have completely different biologies. And of course it works both ways. If they could affect us, we could affect them as well.

But who knows, they may have something entirely different that we haven't ever seen before and have no defense against.

beskeptical
2002-Aug-08, 10:08 AM
On 2002-08-07 11:34, Silas wrote:
No worries; that's what I love best about chatting with educated people!

Oh good, I was hoping you'd understand it wasn't an attack only a better focusing of info.

I got it from a Discover Magazine article on the diseases that ravaged the New World after Columbus. The article said that Europe's larger cities were breeding grounds for nastier viruses because, above the threshhold population size, the virus never goes away. OTOH, I may be misremembering or misquoting...

Large cities are definitely breeding grounds for disease. And, people in rural areas can sometimes be exposed to much fewer organisms. You're not totally off base, just a tiny bit.

First, bacteria, viruses and everything else that cause disease cannot be lumped together so easily. So to put it in a better perspective, you can look at infectious disease principles instead of specific diseases.

You have these organisms that live all around us. Some of them are pathogens in that they cause disease. Those pathogens can vary considerably within their own group and with time. People vary considerably in how they are affected as well.

The pathogen has to get to you, then inside, and then overcome your body's defenses. Transmission can be any number of ways such as airborne, waterborne, on hands, in food, on surfaces you touch, via insects, through body fluid contact, etc etc.

So crowded cities are conducive to some of these means of spread, but rural areas have their share, like contaminated water or closer contact with animals for instance.

To have a minimum population to maintain a disease, (making the disease endemic), is an issue sometimes. But the fact that people travel, food and water are transported, animals and insects migrate, makes the city boundary unlikely to be the territory the disease is always in. It is more likely to be in a region. And if it is a disease spread more easily in a rural setting, well, the minimum population to have the infection present all the time may be 1 family per 10 square miles in a huge area.

And, its not that simple anyway because the reservoir for the organism could be birds, water, soil, domestic animals, etc. Only a few diseases are strictly human with no other reservoir. Smallpox is one, which is the reason we could vaccinate it out of existence (almost).

The fact a disease is common, say in a large city, does not have the relationship to being worse that you describe. The disease may be worse when introduced into a new population because the old population had generations to develop resistance and the new population has not.

Infectious diseases tend to get milder and humans tend to develop resistance because that favors survival for both organisms. But it isn't as simple as that either. It's an everchanging environment with many variables. Infectious organisms can become more dangerous by accident such as when the E-coli 0157H7 emerged in the '80s.

re alien DNA, oh! Good point! The bacterium isn't mating with us, it's trying to reproduce inside us... But let me try this: when we get a bacterial infection, the bacteria are simply reproducing, completely innocently, in our lungs, etc. It's their bodily wastes that make us sick, isn't it? But to reproduce, they have to eat: they make little snacks of the nutrients in our systems. Would an alien bacterium be able to eat our nutrients? Again, since the DNA would be (would it be?) different, the nutrients wouldn't be useful to it (would it?)

Organisms cause disease in several ways. They can grow and consume or displace tissue, they can create a toxin as a biproduct, your immune system can cause the symptoms when fighting the infection, and they can takeover cell function and make copies of themselves but disable your cells in doing so. There are probably other ways I'm forgettng because I'm getting tired.

It isn't going to be 'alien DNA' per se that will matter. Plants have 'alien DNA' as far as animals are concerned. But I understand what you are saying is that we evolved with the plants in our midst.

It's going to come down to the luck of the draw. We could just as easily be exposed to a new and deadly organism from the rain forest as to one from Mars. HIV is one such example. If we have contact with a planet that has a similar atmosphere and ocean, we are more likely to find organisms that could infect us than if we have contact with a dissimilar environment.

As to the viruses, your hypothesis may have some truth to it. It depends on how similar or dissimilar life can be. We only have the Earth and that may be a small sample size. It's possible though that the same 4 amino acids that make up our DNA are universal, in which case alien viruses might fit right into our cells. Most diseases are species specific, that includes bacteria and viruses, so there will be a lot of possible outcomes when contact is made.

Maybe we'll encounter a virus that wipes out mosquitos, I think our ecosystem could handle that loss.

Let me (like a good Jeopardy contestant) put it in the form of a question: if you had a perfectly ordinary alien goat -- hooves, hair, etc. -- just like an earthly goat -- and he's built up of the same DNA we are -- GACT -- with the ONLY difference that the DNA codes are different -- different "stop" and "start" and encoding stuff -- and I went out and shot the goat and roasted him over a nice fire and slathered on the barbecue sauce and dug in for dinner -- would he be nutritious to me? i.e., do I care *how* the proteins were assembled?

Unless the goat had something toxic to you like say arsenic, you'd be able to eat away.

beskeptical
2002-Aug-08, 10:22 AM
On 2002-08-07 12:17, David Hall wrote:
I'm happy to defer to Beskeptical on matters of biology, but here's my take on it.

You're too kind. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

I would guess we would be almost completely immune to any viral infections, as viruses attack DNA specifically and generally have only a small range of hosts. There's almost no chance alien viruses could find a compatible host.

Alien viruses find new hosts all the time, they're called new and emerging infectious diseases. Species barriers are breached when the circumstances are right, but you are correct that it is not necessarily all the time. The human genome has about 3 billion base pairs. That's a lot of places on a DNA strand to find the spot your viral DNA or RNA might fit into.

The rest of your post fits what I think would happen as well.

nebularain
2002-Aug-08, 01:45 PM
On 2002-08-08 06:08, beskeptical wrote:
Maybe we'll encounter a virus that wipes out mosquitos, I think our ecosystem could handle that loss.

I'm not sure. Mosquitos are a staple for many birds and bats. The book I got from Mammoth Cave with the correct figure is at home right now, and I'm not there, but a bat may eat, if I remember correctly, at least 1000, if not more, mosquitos in one hour of feeding. (That's just mosquitos; not including other insects.) I'd be wary of eliminating the population of insects that belong here, no matter how annoying they are (now the insects that don't belong here, i.e. gypsy moths and Japanese beetles, that's a different matter). /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif

Bad Engineer
2002-Aug-08, 01:59 PM
eh, I think we're going a little off the deep end here, folks. Pointing out "Bad Astronomy" in movies, with the intent of educating folks a little about the true nature of how things work is one thing; going into excruciating detail about the thought processes and DNA makeup of fictional aliens just to try to find something wrong with the movie is another.

I've been a huge movie buff for nearly 25 years, and if there is one thing I've learned is that if you go to a movie, and **you get what you expected to get when you went in** then it should be an enjoyable experience. For example, I don't go into a Star Wars movie expecting Oscar-winning dialogue or acting - I want to see some spacefights (with loud explosions, even) and light sabers, dagnabbit. I don't watch a Jackie Chan movie and expect to see an intricate plot unfold, but I still have fun watching them (well, some of them). Likewise, I don't go into a movie by Shyamalan expecting anything but a deliberate, suspense/thriller. And in my opinion, that is what I got.

There really isn't that much Astronomy in this movie - it's mostly just a story about a small family and how they handled an extraordinary event - their story is one of millions that could have been told, which is one of its strong points, I think. It takes something that has en epic scale, and instead of focusing on the "heroes that save the day," it centers on just one microcosm and how those individuals manage to get through it all.

There really isn't much reference to astronomy in this movie, so there's not much that can be "Bad Astronomy." It's possible to go into the movie with a natural bias against it (admittedly, I did at first) due to the "Crop Circle" and aliens angle, but overall if you focus on the film itself, I don't think you'll be too disappointed.


B.E.

Silas
2002-Aug-08, 07:24 PM
On 2002-08-08 09:59, Bad Engineer wrote:
eh, I think we're going a little off the deep end here, folks.

Not at all; the discussion just "morphed" a little. Instead of only talking about the movies, we got some (excellent!) lecture notes about DNA and disease characteristics and stuff! It's some of the most educational material I've seen in a long time (and it's on what I have to concede is my own weakest field of knowledge, the biosciences.)

Maybe we could'a opened another thread...

(Maybe I will!)

Silas

Waarthog
2002-Aug-08, 09:36 PM
Great film, scared the behooters out of me. M.Night does suspense and foreboding fear better than anyone. That being said, a few nits. At the risk of sounding like a knuckle dragger, if Grahm had a Remington 12 gage loaded with 00Buck or a Ruger Mini 14, even a SW .357 the climax would have been a bit different. _I_ certainly would have tried to determine the detrimental effects of near/supersonic lead projectile impacts on the alien physiology. Since it is established fairly quickly that they are hostile, particularly in their lack of contact directly to us, my questions dealt more with a lack of military response/capabiltiy against them. I would have thought the Army/PANG would have been on his farm fairly quick once we cottoned on to what they were doing. We would have most assuredly been able to track the radio signals especially since they are on commercial frequencies, NSA has toys that would allow us to at the very least localize the operations areas of the enemy. If we also know what freqs they are using, we can also jam the snot out of them. Given the capability/operational doctrine employed (this next part is important) DEMONSTRATED IN THE MOVIE (meaning not implied by how they got here) we would have completely mopped the floor with them once they hit the ground. They left calling cards as to where they would land so we would also know where they were going to hit. I will grant though that since this farms circle was never reported to a higher than county level, it would be possible that this farm got lost in the retaliatory struggle.

Silas
2002-Aug-08, 10:26 PM
On 2002-08-08 17:36, Waarthog wrote:
. . . At the risk of sounding like a knuckle dragger, if Grahm had a Remington 12 gage loaded with 00Buck or a Ruger Mini 14, even a SW .357 the climax would have been a bit different.


Grin! That was my reaction to Jurassic Park II. Oooh, big scary dinosaurs attack San Diego. Waitaminnit. I live in San Diego. I know how many guns there are here! Any dinosaur that tries to cross Pacific Highway is gonna run into a horizontal hailstorm the likes of which haven't been seen since Ypres and the Marne. There wouldn't be enough of them "T. Wrecks" to sweep up and put in a bottle!

"Isn't that just like a lizard? Bares his teeth at a gunfight."

Silas

mallen
2002-Aug-09, 01:22 AM
On 2002-08-08 06:22, beskeptical wrote:
Alien viruses find new hosts all the time, they're called new and emerging infectious diseases. Species barriers are breached when the circumstances are right, but you are correct that it is not necessarily all the time. The human genome has about 3 billion base pairs. That's a lot of places on a DNA strand to find the spot your viral DNA or RNA might fit into.


This is unlikely. The way our DNA is coded (using only the amino acids G,C,A, and T) makes it very unlikely that an alien virus would use an encoding compatible with our DNA.

Something that interferes with our RNA would be slightly more likely, but, ultimately, the alien virus would be unlikely to "know" how to take advantage of the transcription mechanisms that exist in our cells.

Much more likely would be the possibility of an alien organism being able to live in our bodies (think alien toenail infection). If an alien microbe could ingest the chemicals in our bodies as food and excrete toxins (toxic to us), they could cause a nasty infection.

I imagine your immune system would have trouble fighting such an unusual organism and Earth antibiotics might also be ineffective. You'd probably have to physically remove it (cut it out/off).

beskeptical
2002-Aug-09, 08:05 AM
On 2002-08-08 21:22, mallen wrote:


On 2002-08-08 06:22, beskeptical wrote:
The human genome has about 3 billion base pairs. That's a lot of places on a DNA strand to find the spot your viral DNA or RNA might fit into.


This is unlikely. The way our DNA is coded (using only the amino acids G,C,A, and T) makes it very unlikely that an alien virus would use an encoding compatible with our DNA.

Something that interferes with our RNA would be slightly more likely, but, ultimately, the alien virus would be unlikely to "know" how to take advantage of the transcription mechanisms that exist in our cells.

Edited from my above post: As to the viruses, your hypothesis may have some truth to it. It depends on how similar or dissimilar life can be. We only have the Earth and that is a small sample size. It's possible that the same 4 amino acids that make up our DNA are universal, in which case alien viruses might fit right into our cells. Most diseases are species specific, that includes bacteria and viruses, so there will be a lot of possible outcomes when contact is made.



Much more likely would be the possibility of an alien organism being able to live in our bodies (think alien toenail infection). If an alien microbe could ingest the chemicals in our bodies as food and excrete toxins (toxic to us), they could cause a nasty infection.

I imagine your immune system would have trouble fighting such an unusual organism and Earth antibiotics might also be ineffective. You'd probably have to physically remove it (cut it out/off).


Again, we won't know until we find alien life and see how similar or dissimilar it is.

beskeptical
2002-Aug-09, 08:18 AM
On 2002-08-08 15:24, Silas wrote:


On 2002-08-08 09:59, Bad Engineer wrote:
eh, I think we're going a little off the deep end here, folks.

Not at all; the discussion just "morphed" a little. Instead of only talking about the movies, we got some (excellent!) lecture notes about DNA and disease characteristics and stuff! It's some of the most educational material I've seen in a long time (and it's on what I have to concede is my own weakest field of knowledge, the biosciences.)

Maybe we could'a opened another thread...

(Maybe I will!)

Silas



What I nice thing to say. It's so nice to talk to folks who aren't bored to sleep when I get carried away talking about germs. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif

Bad Engineer
2002-Aug-09, 01:23 PM
On 2002-08-08 17:36, Waarthog wrote:
At the risk of sounding like a knuckle dragger, if Grahm had a Remington 12 gage loaded with 00Buck or a Ruger Mini 14, even a SW .357 the climax would have been a bit different. _I_ certainly would have tried to determine the detrimental effects of near/supersonic lead projectile impacts on the alien physiology.




heh, I was thinking the same thing towards the end of the movie - "I know that farmer has to have a shotgun SOMEWHERE?!" Would have put a wrinkle in the whole suspense thing though - no need to hide, just wait for them to start scratching at the door and BLAM! Alien pieces parts.


B.E.

The Bad Astronomer
2002-Aug-09, 05:03 PM
I saw the movie the other night and agree with a lot of what is being said here. My first thought was, why do they harvest humans? We're mostly water! The story in the movie was really poorly thought out.

I'll note that I enjoy movies a lot, as long as they don't go out of their way to put in inconsistencies. This one had a lot. It really made the last 30 minutes of the movie hard to watch.

Azpod
2002-Aug-10, 01:21 AM
*MAJOR spoilers alert! IF you intend to see this movie, DON'T! But if you won't heed my warning, don't read below unless you want the movie RUINED!*

I can't believe how anyone could like this film!! Nothing was believable!!! It has bad astronomy, bad biology, bad chemistry, bad religion and most of all, bad directing! The only character I liked in the film was the wacked-out military recruiter (who was a nice comedic relief.)

Now for the nitpicking.

Aliens came to Earth. Aside from the highly unlikeliness of that event, I could accept that quite easily (I should never go to the movies if I couldn't do that!) Crop circles, which are admittedly done by pranksters up until about a week before the invasion, are the primary means to tell the aliens "attack here." Ok, as silly as that concept is, I can still buy it.

But it was when they actually attacked that I lost all ability to enjoy the movie.

It seems that the aliens had their spacecraft built for them by another highly advanced species, because they could neither kick down a door or learn how to use such common tools as crowbars or hammers. Yes, they didn't want to use "advanced technology" because we would otherwise nuke them. But a hammer is hardly advanced technology. A chimp can learn to use a hammer to smash a door that is in the way of a goal, yet interstellar-travelling aliens can't.

Now for the biology. If water is a major no-no to the aliens, human beings would be the LAST thing that they would want to try to take! We emit water all over the place! Taking a good leak on an alien would kill it, and when we die, our bladders naturally release. No alien would ever hold a human child with the intent to kill him! Not only that, but any alien (who had already been trapped in a pantry) who would also walk into a room filled with the most toxic material that is available and NOT expect to get coated with it should just NOT leave home!

Bad chemistry has already been pretty well addressed. At a minimum, the aliens would be in some sort of space suit. Even if they could breathe the air, it would be a sensible precaution to wear something waterproof just in case someone tries you spray you with a hose!

Bad religion-- I know people who used to be very religious who have lost their faith because of the death of a loved one. They are among the most devout atheists that exist. Not only do they not believe in God, the very idea that God could exist is highly offensive to them, because they feel like they have been abandoned by Him. I think Mel Gibson acted that part quite well. But it wouldn't be that trivial of a task to bring him "back into the faith!" Flashbacks of his wife's last words, which he suddenly realized which were instructions on what to do in the event of an alien invasion would not likely be met without some level of skepticism! Even most religious people would be skeptical of that, much less someone who has lost faith in God. The main theme of the movie really seems to be: How aliens invading the Earth gave a man his faith back. Sorry; I don't buy it.

And finally, bad directing (and bad writing, too, but since the same person wrote the film as directed it, I'll lump them together.) Anyone who thinks that his movie was "edge of your seat" action needs to get out more. I've seen much more suspenceful infomericals at 3am. The pace of the movie was painfully slow, from the beginning to the anti-climatic end. The only interesting parts of movie weren't even shown very well: they were on the TV which the main characters were watching! If I wanted to watch people watch TV, I wouldn't be in a movie theatre! The humor was nice, but in many cases it just robbed the film of whatever pace that it had. Also, the fact that I simply couldn't believe any of the events that were happening made it so that I simply didn't care. The humans in the movie weren't any more intelligent than the aliens: no one thought to pick up a single item to use as a weapon until the very end. That single fact made it hard to me to care if everyone got slaughtered in the basement or not. It would have at least been interesting if they had TRIED all the weapons availble to them and they didn't work. But that would make it so that the prophetic words of the main character's wife would be meaningless.

All in all, this was a terrible movie, and a great example of what happens when someone cares more about placing their name in lights and being famous than they do about doing a decent job.

Sadly, this movie was marketed well, so it made bucketloads of money. They got my $8.50, and for that, I am sorely sorry. Maybe next time I see that director's name plastered all over a movie's billboards, I'll spend my money on a rental of "Manos: the Hands of Fate." That way, I'll still see a hideous movie, but I know it will be something better and more riveting than what I would have seen in the theaters!

_________________
If E = MC<sup>2</sup>, why do I have less energy the more mass my body acquires?
That is all.

--Azpod... Formerly known as James Justin

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Azpod on 2002-08-09 21:25 ]</font>

GrapesOfWrath
2002-Aug-11, 08:25 PM
On 2002-08-09 09:23, Bad Engineer wrote:
heh, I was thinking the same thing towards the end of the movie - "I know that farmer has to have a shotgun SOMEWHERE?!"

But that farmer was a man of the cloth, or had been.

The issue about the wife bleeding to death--I don't think that her lungs were crushed--she was kinda leaning over the hood of the car, talking. And she was hit while walking, right, so she wasn't very far from home. Might have taken Mel a couple minutes to get there, so maybe the time frame was more like five or ten minutes, instead of an hour.

I gotta admit, it wasn't as scary as I thought it would be. I mean, Blair Witch birthday party??

Silas
2002-Aug-12, 12:08 AM
The issue about the wife bleeding to death--I don't think that her lungs were crushed--she was kinda leaning over the hood of the car, talking. And she was hit while walking, right, so she wasn't very far from home. Might have taken Mel a couple minutes to get there, so maybe the time frame was more like five or ten minutes, instead of an hour.

There is an account I've read from a WWII accident, where two men were crushed in a jeep crash. They were both dying, but were able to talk rationally, and didn't appear to be in pain. Today, we would speak of massive endorphin release; back in WWII, it was just seen as hauntingly weird.

Silas

StyLe
2002-Aug-12, 04:34 AM
Water is the basis of all life (at least on Earth). If aliens burn because of H2O, then what are they based on!? And don't say it's because the water is contaminated because the girl not only complains that it's contaminated, she also complains about dust, germs and that it's too old. So if it was something IN the water, then the director made a bad job of telling us that. And besides, the rest of the world defeated them with water too.

Maybe these aliens are criminals on their homeworld. Aliens wouldn't risk their own people to probe (check out) Earth so they use the less worthy beings.

So my conclusion is that the real aliens are sending out stupid aliens to check out our planet and once they find out that water hurts them they run home . . . but they leave their wounded behind (???)...

Why would they leave their wounded behind? These aliens must not care for one another, eh? Either that or they have really weird ethics.

And they can breathe air (you saw their lungs moving). Air has oxygen in it. H20 = Hydrogen and Oxygen. That means they are allergic to hydrogen. Right? And I thought the book said that the aliens are supposed to be short and weak 'cause of their brain power. Oh wait, nevermind. I said that those were bad aliens.

But I enjoyed the movie anyway.

The Bad Astronomer
2002-Aug-12, 04:44 AM
I just posted my review. I didn't like the movie very much at all. I read some of the posts here, and it looks like we are generally in agreement.

StyLe
2002-Aug-12, 04:52 AM
Besides the stupid aliens, I thought the movie was pretty fun. Shyamalon spent too much time explaining crop circles though - most of us already know how the hoaxers did it and stuff.

And the crop circles in the movie were ugly.

GrapesOfWrath
2002-Aug-12, 05:12 AM
On 2002-08-12 00:52, StyLe wrote:
And the crop circles in the movie were ugly.


That's 'cause they were real ones.

David Hall
2002-Aug-12, 07:03 AM
Boy, from the stuff I read here, it sounds like one real stinker of a movie. So how come it got so much praise from the critics? Roger Ebert in particular seems to have given it a rave review, and I usually respect his opinions.

Check out Metacritic to see what people are saying.
http://www.metacritic.com/film/titles/signs

Personally, it doesn't sound much like a movie I'd rush out to see, even when it does manage to get around to being released in Japan. I probably won't see it until it shows up on video some time next year. I might have to rent it then just to see why so many critics gave it good reviews though.

nebularain
2002-Aug-12, 05:31 PM
Basically, the movie is a fun "get away from reality" film if you aren't engaging your brain (i.e. analyzing the movie). I believe that is why it got the rave reviews. It has jumpy moments and humor and good cinemetography. I don't think it was necessarily meant to be the kind of thriller that Jurassic Park or Aliens were. It basically depends on what you want to get out of a movie. Make sense?

Azpod
2002-Aug-12, 06:52 PM
It also got rave reviews because it did everything that a movie is supposed to do: it had a clearly defined plot (even if it's a bad one), a very well supported theme (even if it's a stupid one), well-rounded characters (even if they were idiots) and a consistent pace (even if it put me to sleep). It's the textbook example of how a movie should be made. It's also an example of why following the "formula" taught at film schools throughout the world doesn't mean that you're making a good movie, only ones that follows the rules of film making.

Critics actually hate almost every movie that they see, because very little out there is original at all. The same applies to book critics, video game critics, art critics, et cetera, et cetera. Their job isn't to tell us what they thought about the movie, but rather to tell us if they think that we, the audience would enjoy the movie. Your average movie-goer thinks that crop circles could be alien in origin, but we have little proof either way. (Which is patently untrue, but your average movie-goer doesn't know that.) They would be touched by the heart-warming theme of finding one's faith in a crisis (particularly post-9/11) and would enjoy the tension involved with aliens attacking one's home.

In short, if you shut off your brain and central nervous system, you might enjoy this movie. And that's what the critics look at, not if the science if remotely correct, or if the plot, theme, et cetera, is even remotely believeable. They ask two questions: is the film properly made, using modern film making techniques? Yes. Would your average movie-goer enjoy it? Sadly, yes.

There you go! Good review.

_________________
If E = MC<sup>2</sup>, why do I have less energy the more mass my body acquires?
That is all.

--Azpod... Formerly known as James Justin

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Azpod on 2002-08-12 14:55 ]</font>

thebaronessa
2002-Aug-12, 07:25 PM
Isn't the point of this whole site to debunk the myths about space and such?

What's up with the critique of the plots in Signs? So the aliens don't have hand weapons. So they wouldn't land on an H2O dominated planet if they're "allergic to water". Uh, what if they'd never seen or heard of water before? That's possible right? So you travel to another planet and expect to know everything about it?

And now that we're on this topic.... The MIB 2 review states it takes A LOT of energy to blow a planet into bits hence the movie is not factual. So what? It takes a lot to travel to another planet too but if we're going to watch a movie that's about space travel to other galaxies we should probably lay off the critical remarks about the strength of hypothetical weapons in a theoretical story about fictional aliens.

I thought this site was about bad astronomy, not bad movies. Who cares if the plot sucks? I can ask Ebert and Roeper for their opinons on that.

dharmabum
2002-Aug-12, 09:36 PM

The Bad Astronomer
2002-Aug-12, 10:01 PM
On 2002-08-12 15:25, thebaronessa wrote:
Isn't the point of this whole site to debunk the myths about space and such?


Not necessarily the whole site. That is mostly the take on the movies section, but I reserve the right to add my opinion when a movie stinks, like Signs did. I even mention it when I like a movie, too.



What's up with the critique of the plots in Signs? So the aliens don't have hand weapons. So they wouldn't land on an H2O dominated planet if they're "allergic to water". Uh, what if they'd never seen or heard of water before? That's possible right? So you travel to another planet and expect to know everything about it?


There was an advanced force there to make the crop circles. They had plenty of time to investigate.

The comments I made were based on common sense science. The aliens die when exposed to water, yet they invade a planet where everything is mostly water. That's a rather dumb plot element, and is bad science.



And now that we're on this topic.... The MIB 2 review states it takes A LOT of energy to blow a planet into bits hence the movie is not factual. So what?


When you read the review, did you get a feeling for just how much energy it takes to blow up a planet? That's why I wrote that. I took an example of bad science and explained why it's wrong, and added in the correct science so people had a chance to learn something. That's the whole point of this website.

[/quote]
I thought this site was about bad astronomy, not bad movies.
[/quote]

There's bad astronomy/science in movies, so I talk about them. You'll note I don't review the typical Julia Roberts movie, unless it has astronomy in it. Then I review it, and if I like it or not I'll say so.

I am a huge movie fan, and I like to talk about movies, so when I review 'em I talk about 'em. It's my site, so I get to do what I like to do. I could just report on the bad science and correct it, but that wouldn't be fun to write, nor would it be fun to read.

Silas
2002-Aug-12, 10:05 PM
On 2002-08-12 15:25, thebaronessa wrote:
I thought this site was about bad astronomy, not bad movies. Who cares if the plot sucks?

We're only human. It's just ordinary common sense: once we start talking about movies, we'll want to toss in our 2-cents' worth about the plot, acting, etc., as well as about the astronomy.

Ideally, you're right. But in practice, movie lovers (and most of us are!) like to chat, and the BA puts up with a bit of it.

Besides, given the (ouch) choice between seeing a bad movie with good astronomy, or a good movie with bad astronomy, most of us would (with grave reservations) prefer the latter.

Silas

dharmabum
2002-Aug-12, 10:12 PM
I'm going to play devil's advocate here because I enjoyed the movie.
The argument that the aliens would know better than to pick a planet to invade that had so much water has some problems.
First, just because the aliens are more advanced, they might not be perfect. The aliens might not have figured everything out. Seeing the aliens as intellectually perfect would fall under modern myth.
Of course, at this point in time, all aliens are modern myth, so in fiction you can have them be any way you like.
Also (correct me if I'm wrong on this) it was never stated that it was water that made the aliens retreat. All you heard was a newscaster saying that something was found in the Middle East to defeat them and that the newscaster did not have any details...you assumed it was water, but it was never explicit about it.
Like almost all of the technical aspects of this film, it was vague regarding this point.
Second, don't we go into hostile environments (the oceans) to get food? Water can certainly be deadly to us, but we still go into the oceans to gather fish, etc.

The story could have been about any disaster. The alien invasion was not the point. It was more the personal drama. Whether or not this was convincing to you would be a matter of taste.

StyLe
2002-Aug-13, 04:22 AM
About the water thing that made them retreat - the family wasn't the only one who found out water was deadly to them. Before the scene where the alien's claw gets chopped off in the pantry, Ray said that the crop circles weren't near water so he was going to live in the lake.

Harvesting food from water is not as dangerous as harvesting food from a place filled with 70%+ acid and have little creatures spit acid at you every once in a while. But hey, they were PROBING. Maybe they didn't know what that blue liquid was from space and so they sent in some stupid aliens to check it out. Unfortunately, the planet is crazily dangerous to them so they run away.

And I don't get the part where they say "The people in the middle east have fought off the aliens with some PRIMITIVE WAY" or something of that sort. We are supposed to believe it's water, but how is water 'primitive?'

And why does the baby monitor pick up on alien voices? It's not like the 'transmitter' monitor was sending alien voices to the 'receiver' monitor, right? Right?

I guess aliens use frequencies to talk to each other too.

g99
2002-Aug-21, 11:42 PM
Maybe they have a superman effect going on. Maybe where someof the original water molecules in our rocks and volcanoes that eventually filled the oceans came form the same place they did? Like how rocks form supermans home planet kills him, water kills them? Stupid, but i thought it might be interesting. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

twooverten
2002-Aug-26, 03:34 PM
Ok, here's my rant: I'm tired of the nitpicking about this movie. This movie isn't Battlefield Earth or Independance Day -- this movie isn't about defeating alien spaceships and their cool technology, it is about a family in a farm house during a crisis.

The problem with breaking down the science in Signs is that we aren't given all the information. Like I said, the movie wasn't about the alien invasion, it was about the crisis of faith of one family. And you should really judge the movie on that premise, because that is the way it is presented: through the eyes of Graham and his family.

The only information we get about the aliens, is through the conjecture of the family or the tv/radio that the family watches/hears. Do you think that the media would be completely reliable during an alien invasion? Heck, as it is, each network tells each story differently.

That's what I like about the movie: it doesn't present me with the facts -- the facts are not important -- but lets me figure out the scenario along with Graham.

The only premise that you have to accept for this movie to work is Shyamalan's dichotomy between those with faith and those without. And then, you only have to accept it within the context of this movie.

I mean, you can make up stuff to win the 'No-Prize,' if you like.

Let me see:

Why the signs? Maybe they weren't navigation symbols, but means by which the aliens travel -- in a "Lovecraftian non-euclidean geometry" sense. We assume that the signs are road markers, but what if they were really the roads?

The alien purpose? A number of times in the movie, people try to explain why the aliens are here: to invade, to hunt, to probe -- but nobody knows. Maybe they are -- I don't know -- ALIENS, and their reasons aren't discernable to us.

The water thing? What if saltwater isn't dangerous to them, but 'pure' water is? Again, we don't know and it ain't important. I don't know why they don't wear environmental suits...

The gun thing? This one is a technical note and not the sort of thing I address above. Why don't they own guns? Two answers: one, the farmer is a clergyman and a pacifist; two: Bucks County, PA isn't exactly the most rural of locations. It borders Philadelphia on one side and Trenton, NJ on the other. It is part of the large suburban east coast spread, albeit one of the least developed ones (wait a few years). While there is plenty of farming in Bucks, there are no farms in Bucks County so remote that the farmers might feel the need to defend themselves -- cops are only moments away (except, it seems for that first crop circle). Besides, only one third of American homes have guns (according to the 1999 Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics).

Russ
2002-Aug-27, 04:42 PM
On 2002-08-06 13:16, g99 wrote:
Actually europeans were hurt by native diseases, that is where we got syphyliss and i think one other disease (mumps?).<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: g99 on 2002-08-06 13:19 ]</font>


Just FYI syphyliss has been around at least since the time of the ancient Greeks. It was rife throughout the known world all throughout history. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

Russ
2002-Aug-27, 05:18 PM
Grin! That was my reaction to Jurassic Park II. Oooh, big scary dinosaurs attack San Diego. Waitaminnit. I live in San Diego. I know how many guns there are here! Any dinosaur that tries to cross Pacific Highway is gonna run into a horizontal hailstorm the likes of which haven't been seen since Ypres and the Marne. There wouldn't be enough of them "T. Wrecks" to sweep up and put in a bottle!

I realize that the above, to some extent, is "toung-in-cheek" and not intended to go into real detail. BUT!!...Just so's y'all know, /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif NONE of the weapons mentioned above would be any match for a T-Rex. Even the small ones are bigger than a rhino or elephant so it'd take caliber at least big enough to do in an elephant or rhino to do in a small T-Rex. The big "Africa Rounds" include 416 Rigby, 458 NE, 500 NE, 475 H&H Mag., 458 Win. Mag., etc. I would consider these too small for a fully mature T-Rex. For those you'd need a 50 BMG or larger. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif

Silas
2002-Aug-27, 05:48 PM
On 2002-08-27 13:18, Russ wrote:



Grin! That was my reaction to Jurassic Park II. Oooh, big scary dinosaurs attack San Diego. Waitaminnit. I live in San Diego. I know how many guns there are here! Any dinosaur that tries to cross Pacific Highway is gonna run into a horizontal hailstorm the likes of which haven't been seen since Ypres and the Marne. There wouldn't be enough of them "T. Wrecks" to sweep up and put in a bottle!

I realize that the above, to some extent, is "toung-in-cheek" and not intended to go into real detail. BUT!!...Just so's y'all know, /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif NONE of the weapons mentioned above would be any match for a T-Rex. Even the small ones are bigger than a rhino or elephant so it'd take caliber at least big enough to do in an elephant or rhino to do in a small T-Rex. The big "Africa Rounds" include 416 Rigby, 458 NE, 500 NE, 475 H&H Mag., 458 Win. Mag., etc. I would consider these too small for a fully mature T-Rex. For those you'd need a 50 BMG or larger. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif




I dunno... Gimme forty guys with typical house-hold weapons -- .38s, .45s, maybe a few 30-06s, and then show me yer rhino (or T-Rex...) Sure, no single shot is gonna drop him, but the cumulative effect sure will.

Rhinos only appear to be armored; in fact, their skin is quite thin. Nobody knows how tough dinosaur skin is, but even crocodile hide is vulnerable to gunfire.

(I'm also reminded of the rampaging elephant that was brought down by policemen with ordinary rifles and sidearms...)

Silas

nebularain
2002-Aug-27, 11:34 PM
All you have to do is shoot the thing in the eye (I know, good aim helps!) to at minimum slow it down or at best do some significant brain damage.
Or there's the LOTR the movie trick and fire it into its brain through its open mouth (granted, that's for the incredibly brave or the about-to-be-eaten person).

Sheki
2002-Sep-03, 11:36 AM
At least this movie is generating some good comedy:

http://www.somethingawful.com/article.php?id=394-10

check out the "signs" image about half way down the page.

overrated
2002-Sep-05, 02:39 AM
Let me just say that I enjoyed Signs. I found it enjoyably suspensful and well-acted. Joaquin Phoenix, specifically, was great as the airhead ex-jock.

I don't think it ever tried to present itself as science-based fiction. The alien invasion story really was secondary to the Mel Gibson character's rediscovery of his faith. You have to suspend belief, at least a little, to enjoy just about any movie.

David Hall
2002-Sep-05, 06:26 AM
On 2002-09-04 22:39, overrated wrote:

You have to suspend belief, at least a little, to enjoy just about any movie.


True, but suspension of disbelief is not equal to turning your brain off. I think if I had sat through this movie (haven't had a chance yet) that the ridiculousness of the setup would have left me so incredulous that I wouldn't have been able to focus on the character development. If you reach a point where the audience just says "Oh, come on!", then you've lost them, no matter how good the rest of the movie is.

I don't doubt they could have put some more realistic aliens in this movie and still kept the basic ideas intact. This was just laziness on the part of the writers, and I find it insulting that they think so little of their audience that they feel they can get away with such tripe.

tjwojo
2002-Sep-13, 02:57 PM
Even though this was not intended to be a science movie, some effort should have been made to at least make it believable. My wife, who knows practically nothing about anything concerning science, was completely turned off by the gaping plot holes and science errors in the movie.

I thought the ending was predictable and cliche. The coincidences (girl's water, boy's asthma, baseball bat) were something I like to call "plot-devices".

I was expecting a creative ending, and instead received a formula ending with a "message" that was so poorly delivered that it did not justify the "artistic license" taken by the writer. The whole thing could easily have been done without aliens.

gethen
2002-Sep-16, 02:59 PM
I agree that this movie had a lot of holes in it. e.g. Why are these aliens "harvesting" what they apparently consider a food source that is primarily made of water on a planet that is mostly water if water is so toxic to them? Also, it seems that they knew what they were looking for, had visited before. If their biochemistry was definitely not centered on water, why would their food sources be based on water. Don't get it. That said, I rather liked the movie--I thought the aliens were just a distraction from the main theme--this guy trying to make peace with the God he had believed in all his life, but now hates.

Eirik
2002-Sep-17, 09:27 PM
As was pointed out a little ways back, we know nothing at all about the alien motivations. You assume it was about harvesting only because the radio commentator says so near the end of the film. We don't know why they were capturing people at all. For all we know, they might be using them as slave labor, pets, or as decorations for their space craft. It might be for experiments to see what makes us tick, or kills us more efficently. Or it might be simply because their moon is in the fifth phase and that means you have to half-assedly attack a lessor planet.

As for tactics, we don't see a lot of what happens. The brother tells us only that "a lot of people died" based on his watching the news, but not where or how. We don't know if they used weapons to level buildings in London or beamed people out of houses in Tokyo, or used hovering tanks in Los Angeles to round up crowds. All we have to look at are apparently two or three aliens that were part of an advance party, the ones that created the "sign". The real attack may have gone on in Philidelphia, and this outlying county basically ignored.

Heck, the aliens we see may not even be the aliens. Perhaps they're simply some sort of construct or biologicaly bas4d robot.

I do agree, though, that water was a silly weakness. It would have been nice if it had been something common to us that the aliens wouldn't have had much exposure to, like juice, milk or soda. That would have cleared up several rather big problems with the film...

David Hall
2002-Sep-17, 10:33 PM
Water is such a stupid weakness as to be downright insulting. It's like the writers thought the audience would be either too forgiving or too stupid to care.

What makes it worse, it's terrifyingly easy to come up with better alternatives. All you need is something just a little less ubiquitous, but still common enough to be readily available. Here are some I thought of: Bleach, ammonia, salt, soap, cooking oil, motor oil.

Personally, I would have chosen alcohol. The beer in the fridge, wine in the cellar, rubbing alcohol under the sink, even cough syrup. Soap (which could have been presented as a symbolic cleansing agent) would have been an excellent choice also.

Such an easy thing. Why didn't they take that little bit of extra effort?

Eirik
2002-Sep-17, 11:25 PM
Personally, I would have chosen alcohol. The beer in the fridge, wine in the cellar, rubbing alcohol under the sink, even cough syrup. Soap (which could have been presented as a symbolic cleansing agent) would have been an excellent choice also.

Such an easy thing. Why didn't they take that little bit of extra effort?



I suspect that water was chosen because it was easy to show it being drunk by a small child and easily left around the house. I was thinking of other things that could fit that role, even if not as well. If she was leaving cups of beer around the house it would probebly be a much different movie. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

Not to forgive the use of it, it's still silly, but I can sorta kinda see why it was done.

Timm
2002-Sep-18, 12:55 AM
I just watched the movie, and it really really scared me. I can't say why, but for the first time since I was 9 I was really scared in the cinema. The way the aliens where never really shown made them really scary...
I'm unsure if the ending ruined it, the water-weakness is a little hard to believe... similar as the alien-fungus in the "outer limits" episode that died because of the alcohol in beer.

As it was mentioned here, the movie wasn't about the aliens itself, but about Graham's development. Every single scene in the movie led to the conclusion, Bo leaves all the water standing around only to give Merril the possibillity to defeat the alien. Merril only moves in to smash it, and so. I liked the idea...
I guess it would be difficult to design a weakness that little Bo could "use" with a strange behaviour like leaving glasses of water everywhere.

I'd liked to see the "bird-hits-invisible-ufo" video, that was a nice idea.

overrated
2002-Sep-18, 03:10 AM
Yeah, I, too thought the movie was downright spooky in places. Shyamalan (sp?) did a great job of trying to scare the audience with what they COULDN'T see rather than what they could see. To that end, I was a little disappointed that he showed so much of the alien at the end.

As far as criticism of the movie's science, I again will say that the sci-fi aspects of it weren't really the point--as someone mentioned above, the movie as about Graham's development.

But I will concede that the water thing could have been done differently, and better--merely because with so much water on the Earth, the aliens probably should have seen it coming.

But I don't think that ruins the movie.

jokergirl
2002-Sep-18, 01:09 PM
thanks for pointing out that others except me, despite the lame plot device mentioned here, still found the movie creepy...

just one thought (excuse me if i missed anything that answered this in the movie), where does it actually say the "invaders" were evil in the movie? i mean, *I*'d be pretty pissed to be locked up in a pantry for 3 days, let alone somebody cutting off my fingers...
Isn't the idea that such sneaky invaders are automatically bad hinting to the subconscious fear that humans, being in their situation, wouldn't do better? I'm hinting at previous "invasions" of humans on unknown territories/cultures here (e.g. america)...

/phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif

edit: corrected some spelling errors.
_________________
There are two things that are infinite: The Universe and Stupidity, although I'm not so sure about the Universe. -A. Einstein

Trying to weigh up plot device and BA... (http://auroracity.keenspace.com)

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: jokergirl on 2002-09-18 09:10 ]</font>

Eirik
2002-Sep-19, 01:43 AM
just one thought (excuse me if i missed anything that answered this in the movie), where does it actually say the "invaders" were evil in the movie? i mean, *I*'d be pretty pissed to be locked up in a pantry for 3 days, let alone somebody cutting off my fingers...
Isn't the idea that such sneaky invaders are automatically bad hinting to the subconscious fear that humans, being in their situation, wouldn't do better? I'm hinting at previous "invasions" of humans on unknown territories/cultures here (e.g. america)...


I guess the movie never really states that they are evil, certainly not on the scale of the aliens in Independance Day or War of the Worlds who come to Earth specifically for conquest.

Since we don't really know their motives, we can't say for sure. Granted, I doubt that the idea of kidnapping and killing large numbers of people all over a populated planet would be considered kind and good hearted...

KarenS
2002-Sep-19, 05:27 PM
You assume it was about harvesting only because the radio commentator says so near the end of the film. We don't know why they were capturing people at all. For all we know, they might be using them as slave labor, pets, or as decorations for their space craft.

How about this--they were harvesting humans as biological weapons. Since we're mostly water, and water is deadly to them, maybe they were gathering us up to use in an intra-species civil war.

Of course I doubt that was the original intent, but it might be an interesting idea to play with.

g99
2002-Sep-20, 03:23 AM
Human slingshots!!!

KarenS
2002-Sep-20, 02:05 PM
Human slingshots!!!

LOL! I was thinking of something a little more tactical, like letting the humans run loose amongst the aliens, or tricking them into thinking the other guys were guilty of collecting them.... but the slingshot idea is very Monty Python-ish. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_lol.gif

wavelength121
2002-Sep-20, 08:36 PM
There is no question that the aliens were evil. They poisoned Graham's kid, killed their dog, along with a few thousand people.

As for the logic in their invading Earth, you must understand that there can be many reasons for aliens to attack a planet that is 90% poisoness to them. They may have needed Earth as an outpost for instance. When spreading your seed across the galaxy you need to have look-outs. A technologically-advanced, superior race would view planets like ours as third-world countries, needed to be crushed before winter so they can move on.

Otherwise, it's just a large plot hole among the many plot holes in this movie. I didn't care; you shouldn't care. Half the mood of the movie was brought on by >not understanding what was going on,< by knowing only as much as the people in the town. It's the fear of the unknown. Would you have walked up to one of those aliens and said to it's face: "Hey, you can't possibly have any reason to invade us because we have water and water hurts you!" No, because it would kill you first. Hey, maybe they were attacking us because they KNEW we were a threat to them! To wipe us out so that one day we don't leave Earth and attack them with Super-Soakers? To take us out while we are still "infants"?

I think everyone should just back off and stop picking apart this great movie in an effort to make themselves feel better about their own little inconsistencies.

*VERY* scary movie, after all.

Rodina
2002-Sep-21, 03:20 PM
I think everyone should just back off and stop picking apart this great movie in an effort to make themselves feel better about their own little inconsistencies.

That's what Bad Astronomy is here for.
To improve the use of astronomy in the media and to remind ourselves just how bad "Armaggedon" was.

David Hall
2002-Sep-21, 06:45 PM
On 2002-09-21 11:20, Rodina wrote:

That's what Bad Astronomy is here for.
To improve the use of astronomy in the media and to remind ourselves just how bad "Armaggedon" was.


I don't need any reminders about how bad Armageddon was, thank you very much. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif

wavelength121
2002-Sep-21, 08:28 PM
I'm just saying, the facts don't always have to apply to movies the way you guys see it. It's called Artistic Merit.

I also thought Armageddon was a cool movie, but not as good as Deep Impact for some reason. :[

DoctorDon
2002-Sep-23, 07:22 AM
I was annoyed by the water thing, but downright appalled by the fact that this alien race can cross space in ships that can hover and turn invisible, but they seem to have failed to master the technology of the crowbar and/or the pickaxe. I thought the film was technically brilliant, even with the homages to Hitchcock and Spielberg, and I thought he did a great job getting you to listen as intently as the characters were. There were scenes where I knew exactly what he was doing to scare me, and I was still scared.

So, technically brilliant (which goes a long way in my book), but simply unforgivable plot holes. The theology really bugs me, too. We're supposed to accept the idea of a God who causes or lets happen a horrible car accident, and sets up all kinds of seemingly random elements just so that all the pieces will be in place to save this guy's son and his faith... but doesn't seem to have a problem with aliens invading in the first place? Were all the other, unshown, people who died worth the value of the boy's life? Why be grateful to a God who saved the boy from a threat that this God set up in the first place? I don't like faith based on coincidences. Seems more like poor statistics rather than good theology.

Gotta go.

Don

XPav
2002-Sep-23, 07:14 PM
Just saw Signs last week.

The moment that I was told that there were hovering invisible alien space ships above cities, I immediately envisioned the evacuation of afore mentioned cities, following by a concentrated barrage artillery barrage up into the sky.

Sure, the "water is bad aliens" bothered me, but what bothered me the most was this sit-back-and-wait-for-the-aliens-to-get-us attitude.

The main characters blabs about "there are those who see those spaceships, and know that its a miracle..."

and at that point I got really irritated, because its just aliens from space with invisible space ships. That's all! Not a miracle!

SeanF
2002-Sep-23, 07:45 PM
On 2002-09-23 15:14, XPav wrote:
Just saw Signs last week.

Just saw it this past weekend, myself. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif


The moment that I was told that there were hovering invisible alien space ships above cities, I immediately envisioned the evacuation of afore mentioned cities, following by a concentrated barrage artillery barrage up into the sky.

Sure, the "water is bad aliens" bothered me, but what bothered me the most was this sit-back-and-wait-for-the-aliens-to-get-us attitude.

I don't remember specific dialogue, but I'm pretty sure there were indications they had tried some kind of armed attack on the ships and it was unsuccessful . . . but, like I said, I'm not certain.


The main characters blabs about "there are those who see those spaceships, and know that its a miracle..."

and at that point I got really irritated, because its just aliens from space with invisible space ships. That's all! Not a miracle!


Now I think you're just misunderstanding. He never said any such thing.

Basically, he said there were two types of people - those who believe in "miracles" and those who only believe in "coincidences." The first group, when looking at the spaceships, is not afraid because they believe in a higher power who is with them. The second group, when looking at the spaceships, is afraid because they feel all alone.

Nobody ever said anybody saw the spaceships themselves as "miracles."

Ajay
2003-Mar-13, 03:10 PM
Just saw Signs on pay per view this past weekend and enjoyed it more than I thought I would.
My take on this movie, although I don't personally know the motivations of those envolved, was that it was a tongue in cheek take up of a group of films from the past.
The aliens actions sometimes reminded me of the creatures in Night Of The Living Dead.
The creatures themselves reminded me of an old vampire movie I saw. (Can't recall the name).
The cut on religion reminded me of War Of The Wars.
The invisible spaceships were on a another movie I saw sometime back. (I think it was made sometime in the fifties, don't remember the name. Can anyone help?)
The water thing has also been featured as a plot device on some really bad vampire/mummy/night of the living dead type movies.
The aliens jumping up on the roof on the house comes from another movie I saw at one time. (Can't remember the name again, must be getting senile). /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif
And of course the part of harvesting(for food?) humans from a Twilight Zone episode entitled "To Serve Humanity". (I think).
And there are of course many other cliched plot devices which many of you have already pointed out. It just seems to me that this was'nt supposed to be a "serious" invasion of Earth movie at all but rather a thinly disguised spoof.

kucharek
2003-Mar-13, 03:14 PM
Maybe you find some of the title here:

http://us.imdb.com/Mlinks?0286106