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After reading some of the comments on here, I have to warn some of you...
Beware of buying into the left / right paradigm. Corruption and social conditioning are bipartisan in nature. Left wing / right wing politics is simply the tool for administering this. Today it's the lefties, tomorrow it will be right-wingers. They're all the same. It's an idiot trap.
Stop focusing on the parties. They are a 'sleight of hand' trick. Focus on the corruption, the lies, the twisting, perverting and fetishising of society, not the vehicle which carries them. Keep your eye on the target and don't be distracted by their chaff. To do so is to be manipulated, divided and conquered.
Terms such as SJW, lib-tard, conspiracy theorist, etc are tools created by the corrupt. They are seeds which have been sown by manipulative entities. By the use of shills among a mob. They are there to sow discord and keep us in conflict. Do not dance like a marionette for these people. THINK FOR YOURSELF.
The beach isn't at Vega, that was just a via point. You can see there's a ship there that sends her elsewhere. Just a little nitpick. Great movie, and the ending did make sense, even if it appears less than satisfactory at first glance. That's probably not coincidentally, exactly how science itself works.
And they can't use the machine again because the aliens have to let them through. They allude to this on the beach during the small moves scene.
I just thought it was silly that they where able to build the thing but learned nothing on how it operates while doing it. That just seems so weird to me, none of those scientists where curious on how the components worked? Even seeing how they connect to one another would be something.
i... actually kind of liked the ending too. at the same time as I had the same complaints as you. not sure I can explain why, but... i was able to accept the departure from reason and realism, because I felt the point of the movie wanted to be somewhere else, and I liked that point. something along the lines of "what use it is to have technology so advanced and alien that you can't even be sure how, why, or even IF it actually works". (because there were many other possibilities. even with the 18 hours of static... the only thing that proves is that the machine does in fact somehow manipulate spacetime, or at least that it manipulates our normal electronics and makes it bug out in this pseudo-timetravel way.
it's still not any proof of travelling anywhere. but yes, keeping the information until the very end was... unrealistic, but worked nicely within the arc of the movie.
i assumed that after the movie ended, in continuation of the story, after the hysteria died down a bit, things got sorted out properly (more people went to travel, more proper research was done, etc), but that would make for a very weird story arc with weirdly placed peaks and valleys, so I just accepted that for the story arc and the point to work, they kinda had to end the movie where they did.
while at the same time, yes, it very much seemed like it was cut short compared to the unaltered original vision, but not in where it ended, but in how abruptly it ended there.
I believe that the filmmakers were just trying to be faithful to the Carl Sagan book, and you need to read it before watching the movie. A few major changes were made to "Hollywoodize" the story:
1. In the book, the sabotage bombing incident was not nearly as consequential to the Machine, and the perpetrators were never identified.
2. The Machine in the movie was WAAAAY bigger in the movie then I envisioned it in the novel.
3. The Machine's design plans in the book made it obvious there was accommodations for FIVE humanoids, so there wasn't so much drama for the seat selection process as in the movie.
In the book, the Machine, was activated, and Ellie, a colleague, Drumlin, and two other international scientists all separately had a First Contact experience with the alien Vegans. All returned with vivid memories but no physical proof, and as far as observers on Earth, "nothing happened". And after the activation, the machine became inert, never to function again. This was the Japanese machine; it was completed ahead of the American and Soviet Machines (cold war angle from the time the novel was written). I don't remember, but possibly the other two Machines were also rendered useless. So if they wanted to try again they had the prospect of having to start building anew from scratch.
The Vegans tramsmitted the Message when it was realized that Earthlings had advanced their technology for transmitting radio signals. I believe that the fact that Earth was able to build the functional machine proved to the Vegans that at least a few rational science-minded people should be informed of their presence, but the rest of the world is not ready. But it gave inspiration and impetuous for a few to encourage them to keep looking.
Why Kitz's witch-hunt at the end? Even it he knew that there was a shred of possibilty that what Ellie said was true? It was obvious, and suggested, in the movie, that he discredited Ellie and all the "huge waste of taxpayers money" for his own personal gain to advance his political ambitions. Make himself look like a hero, for publicity, and eventually trying to get himself elected to the White House.
Also, the ending is intentionally ambiguous 'cause it makes for "good drama"; very obvious and clear when you see the last final seconds of the movie "Inception" before the credits roll.
Better question, why even write a terrorist blowing up one machine, to then just suddenly have 2nd machine? That's kind of pointless waste of runtime. Like why not have had the billionaire have built the machine in the first place, or maybe come in to provide funding/ spear head the project?
What about the chair? Crumpled to shit against the side that the mere force of dropping the pod into a net couldn't possibly produce?
Also I guess it's just way too expensive to hoist the pod back to the top to try again
You almost admitted it: It's too high brow for you. You missed several innuendos and hints that would have made sense to a smarter person. Don't feel bad. Intelligence isn't the driving factor of evolution, you'll be fine.
Hear hear! I noted all this and had the same observations but then, I figure the ONLY reason to hire Jodie Foster and Matthew McConaughey to star in this was fora sequel!... which simply never happened.
I will say this, most who know about electromagnetism can explain why the communications and recording failed, the machine was generating so much energy that its was giving out Close range EMP bursts.
There would be no way to record simply because physics wouldn't allow it.
BUT there still was the length of time of "nothing" being recorded, if i where to go around the world and record everything, then put a nice strong magnet to the tape, the same result would happen.
My guess is they just wanted to make James wood's character to just dismiss the whole thing as from the word go he didn't believe in any of it, and wanted to keep it that way, it would be easier for him that way.
Just look at the way he acts at the end, he wants to brush it off and pretend nothing happened and that its all a hoax, because that is is his job, to make phenomenal things hoaxes.
Ha, "brain-fade," that's the best technical term, I've never heard that one before.
How about a sequel? We come back a few years later and some governments are operating machine copies secretly.
One day they stop launching, although all appears in tolerance, and each one is in a quiet scramble to figure out why.
Some blame others for poor diplomatic relations with Vega greeters. We make corrections and get to Vega. It's gone...
I liked how the book handled it. Her ‘father’ told her about a binary code that his race found buried deep within the number pi. When she gets back she sets a supercomputer to finding it. The computer, after performing some calculations that I don’t remember (forgive me, but it has been a decade since I read it) spits out a grid showing a perfect circle, meaning that it is fairly good proof for the existence of a creator of some sort.
no, it's because the government wants to build their own machine for their own purposes and doesn't want the public to have knowledge or input. also, the fact that some people are just blind to facts.both plausible explanations for why wood's character would kill her credibility and bury the project like that
I adore this movie, but I agree that the ending is maddening and makes no sense, and for all the reasons you stated. The addition of the Hadden character came out of nowhere, and just muddled everything even more.
What they were trying to do was say was that Palmer's religious faith and Ellie's faith about having been on this journey were exactly the same thing - just have to take each one "on faith." But as you said, there WERE facts on the side of Ellie's journey having been some sort of real thing. Also, if Palmer's faith is some sort of Christian faith, there's facts behind that as well. (I'm not sure what sort of Christian"faith" he had, since he had no problem sleeping with Ellie without being married. But I digress.)
As I said, I adore this movie. But I wanted so much more than what we got. The beach scene, while sweet and touching (I loved her relationship with her father) was such a cop out! You know, of all the reboots/remakes/reimaginings, etc., I wouldn't mind this one being remade, if they could just do something better with that ending!
I actually liked the "small moves" thing. It shows the aliens knew what a huge paradigm shift such an event can trigger in a primitive society, so they knew the first step is just to introduce the idea of alien life forms. Some people will go back to their lives but the idea of aliens will grow among the others. A few generations later, Earth and its people might be more prepared for a true first contact.
To me, it seemed the aliens had experience of dealing with primitive civilizations, possibly learned from painful mistakes (where the idea of first contact was too much and it tore a civilization into pieces). It gives promise of a greater universe out there.
"why are we having an argument", because politician lies. if congress has agree that the mission was success, think about the civil unrest that would happen considering the 1st machine was already attack by christian fundamentalist/terrorist. thus pretending nothing happened is the best way forward to keep the votes coming. no reason to wake up the sheep.
as you mention this is a trillion dollar wasted. do the government want to throw another trillion at it knowing they have no control over the mission (2nd machine was actually build by japan, not nasa)? also to claim the alien left humanity with nothing is kind of missing the point. they gave humanity a working warp engine. yes humanity don't understand how it work or what it does, but that doesn't mean it doesn't work, and really after the test, the next step is to simply reverse engineer bit by bit and start building theories.
there are problem with the film as mention correctly this is about turning science into faith and basically turn the issue on its head. but why this can happen is not as crazy as it seem. in fact I find the politic of intentional discrediting something despite knowing it is true is a realistic reflection of how our world sadly works.
Also, if the aliens took the form of Ellie's father because they wanted to keep her from freaking out, then they made things worse. Ellie, who is a scientist, would be expected some sort of exotic life form, not her deceased father. Her immediate reaction was that she died and went to heaven. The aliens would be better off revealing themselves to Ellie rather than playing dress up like a bad Scooby-Doo villain.
Time doesn't move faster on Vega, it is just a failure of science, no time passes when someone enters a wormhole, the entire elapsed time should have been the few moments she chatted with her dad.
Also the Vegans preprogrammed the machine to deliver her to Vega and back, we would have no idea how to reprogram the machine for 5-15 yrs. We would also have no where to go without an address other than that very beach. The minimum politeness would be to return Jodi to whence she came, the simplest calculation, smallest impact.
To be fair about the cost: If you're a kardoshev 2 civilisation, like the aliens probably are, then that would probably represent the kind of resources a single citizen has access to.
I will admit it seems kind of stupid that given what the machine did it should be making physicist around the world cream themselves, even just the incidental stuff.
They hid it to keep the status quo, save face, and avoid the conflicts of admitting the truth. Also, the second machine was built in secret, so no, the whole planet didn't know about it. Did you watch the movie?
Three quarters of a trillion dollars is teeny tiny in the grand scheme of civilizations and the universe..... the amount of expenditures that a civilization would have made to build the wormhole network in the first place is many orders of magnitude far beyond anything you have ever imagined a government on the Earth spending. Ever.
And I don't think you actually paid any attention to the movie at all..... she did not land on Vega, she was literally floating over Vega for barely seconds before falling down yet another wormhole in the wormhole network and going somewhere else. The signal seemed to come to Earth from Vega because that is the closest node of the wormhole network to Earth. And the image of the beach and her father was very obviously fake....they used the memories of her crayon drawing of palm trees and a beach from the very beginning of the movie to craft a non-threatening illusion which would make her calm down long enough to interact and not be concerned with what they look like. They even showed her reaching out her hand and causing the image to blur as she realized she was touching the inside of the spherical capsule within which she was traveling.
The discussion she had with the being who took on the image of her father was just fine....it makes sense in the context of advanced civilizations trying to make contact under careful and controlled circumstances.
Based on Carl Sagan's only fiction book. The ending there makes sense, and essentially NASA says 18 hours of static, and everyone knows it, but conspiracy theories abound (as expected). The ending was different, with much more developed characters (actually 5 people go on the journey, and each encounter their own personal version of their father). But, of course, no melodrama. Sorry the ending on this was so goofy, I had forgotten, since I had read the book first, I just erased the weird courtroom melodrama with my own version of a sane ending.
I disagree on about _everything_ said in this video.
From an in-universe point of view things are questionable (yet still not completely implausible)
But from a story telling perspective the move makes sense.
The protagonist, who is so grounded in her scientific mindset that she refuses to take any form of religion on faith, is then forced into a situation where she must take a situation (that is scientific in nature) _on faith_
Those who don't believe her _are_ thinking rationally.
The aliens who tells her "basically nothing of any real value" actually does tell her stuff of real value:
- Humans are not alone in the universe
- There are hundreds, if not thousands, of other advanced races
- None of these races are the first group to create the signal, nor do they know of the first group.
The "small moves" the alien talks about is for humanity to learn to come to grips with the above information. "Faith" may or may not be one such requirement (or the aliens just over-estimated human's video recording abilities)
the way i saw it the ending wasn't about religion in the traditional sense, but mass hysteria. the government produced something that they thought people wanted, but it turned out that they did not want it. so they had to blame someone and make it go away. basically without some sort of concrete thing that changed people's minds they were left with a political failure that they had to do spin control on. Ellie became the lowest man on the ladder and thus was left holding the shit. so in the end it is about pandering to illogical hysteria driven people leading to a stagnation in actual progress. more of a warning about certain groups of people infecting science than a movie about the wonder of science itself.
I'd agree the final stereotype gov't official actions were dreck, however her discovery of her faith in the absolute experience left the preacher taken aback, who could never get through to her, and now she's so far past him he never can. Her personal confirmation of science left him without faith. He could see that in her. That was the best
"Small moves" refers to taking it slowly when contacting and communicating with alien species, so humanity and the Vegans/others can learn about each other. They just didn't say that building the Machine was a "big move", that's all.
This movie will give you a cavity its so damn sweet and sappy. Whenever I think about Interstellar and how I consider it to be saccharin sci-fi, I then remember Contact and how Interstellar is mild in comparison.
You completely missed the meaning of this movie, mainly that she brought back " nothing but static" but it was 18 hours of static. Because of the Brookings institute report the govt is scared to death to report otherworldly life, they would cover. this up, and this is the slow way things evolve. First Chinese, then Vikings, then Colombus. Small steps. This. Movie is real life.
And three quarter of a trillion is pocket change to the govt.
The movie doesn't reflect well the book, which is only slightly better than the movie, but answers some questions. The machine for instance doesn't work because the aliens control the worm holes. Plus you have to kind of know the theories of first control, such as culture shock or worse, the conflict that might arise due to cultural misunderstandings to understand why the aliens would want to mess with our heads. But on its own, like interstellar, you are dumber for watching it. Less so than interstellar.
Fascinating vid, Dave. Ya, doesn't it make you mad when a movie blows it at the end? Like "The Pledge" with Jack Nicholson. The child murderer dies in a car crash, but apparently the ending was supposed to be that another child murder takes place after the presumed killer dies, and that's why Jack Nicholson goes crazy - all his recklessness was for nothing. The film was over-budget or over-schedule, so Sean Penn decided to short-cut to the final scene w/out the final child murder introduced.
Agreed with all your criticisms. And yet it is somehow an enjoyable film isn't it... But, cliche it may be to say, THE BOOK WAS BETTER. The film-makers really did produce a completely different product, a completely different story was told, perhaps because of the confines of film? Or to attract a wider audience? IDK.
They also treat the journey like none of the scientists know any more about science than the average movie goer. Any serious scientist knows time is not consistent everywhere. Our own satellites have time correction programs to slow them down keep time with earth. Being further away from earths gravity combined with the speed of the satellite means that time for the satellite doesn’t run at the same speed as on earths service. Any educated person would know this and would know 18 hours of static IS evidence.
I hate agreeing with you and I hate remembering the missed opportunity that is this film, but ... you are right. I can't help thinking that the writer had no idea how to end this movie. If your movie revolves around a mystery box, put something in the box before you start writing the movie
5:15 Yea the most politicle nation in the world responded to a thing that people wanted and the people in power got save their megachurches, this is exactly what the Evangelical industrial complex " The Bible Belt " would do!
The Gov. denied, because of greed.
NASA is the Government, so of course they don't release statement.
I think it was not as much as about faith vs science, but control of few vs letting the power to unexpected hands (the rich man, the naive scientist, the people in general, aka. anarchy in the good sense).
So I wasn't bothered the obvious flow in the vegan plan (are they related to the goblins from Troll 2?), the lack of evidence.
One of my favourite films. Yes they could have sent one person a day with the machine. Perhaps sending people who knew what to expect now and who'd say "Ok never mind that, "small moves" stuff, who are you, what do you look like, who do you think you are deleting our evidence, do you realise the trouble you caused the first person we sent...?!"
Look Mr Space Octopus don't give us that "You are an interesting species" patronising junk, we know.
1) She didn't end up on Vega, Vega was the first stop in the hyperspace(?) transit system. 2) She didn't leave empty handed, just probably didn't understand what it was that was given her. 3) The senate hearing at the end was a smokescreen so that Kitz and the US Govt could maintain control of the Machine and its secrets. NASA probably never got to touch Ellie's recording device.
I saw this a single time, when it was first out in theaters. It was a complete waste of my money.
It paid zero attention to credible science, and insulted my intelligence from beginning to end.
It was crap.
I wouldn't watch it again, at gunpoint.
This movie is an INSULT, it one of those cloud have been a master piece but fails because retards in film can't do science right.
-this tactic is common in film, pretend to be sci-fi and end in nonsensical illogical drivel that makes the audience dumber for wacthing.
I have disagree Dave. This movie was a real drag to watch. When they destroyed the first machine it was obvious they were going to find "nothing". The was re -enforced when her god damn father shows up. I am so glad I watched this on TV and not in the theater so it didn't cost me anything.
Well, someone else already pointed out that the 18 hours of static on the tape was proof enough, and it was clear in the movie that it was convincing enough to those who knew about it.
There's a lot of hidden meaning thhere. For one thing, there is the question as to whether the aliens intended to erase all the evidence but couldn't completely due so to the low-tech recorder, or whether the aliens simply wanted to make as little an impact on humans as possible while still accomplishing their own goal of contact.
For another, the use of Ellie as a scapegoat is clearly a calculated move. She is the hero of the movie, but is discarded in the end by people of her own race (the human race) who no longer believe they need her. On the other-hand, the aliens probably recorded the whole encounter in fine detail, so at some future point, possibly hundreds or thousands of years in the future, when humans have advanced far enough to warrant permanent contact, her name will be restored.
That's an allegory which references our own history. Scientists who were far ahead of their time but who were disbelieved and ridiculed in their own times. Galileo, Darwin, etc.
That the machine pulls ships over with an artificial gravity field seems to go unnoticed in the movie. The development of this alone would be worth the cost - not to mention it might suggest the thing worked.
Well, when it comes to the "small steps" part, you gotta realize that this multi million dollar machine is really just a cheap slingshot or boomerang.
And for your last question about the machine and why we haven't been back, why haven't we been back to Marianas trench? That submarine still exists.... Or to the moon since 72'? We have better spacecrafts.
i think a lot of the confusion about the ending, comes from trust that the main characters are telling the truth.
They lied to Ellie about the lack of evidence. The secret second machine worked once, and it will likely work again.
The same people that lied about the lack of evidence, are the same people who said the signal stopped and the machine doesn't work.
There was evidence. 18 hours of static. that proves that she was gone for 18 hours. They are not doing a 'Listen and Believe'. They are lying, because they know the machine worked.
This is definitely an Arthur C Clarke story. In many of his stories, the plot moves with the assumption that many elements don't need to be seen, or said out loud to be understood.
As to the secrecy, it's extremely logical.
The machine that the public knew about, was destroyed.
The second machine is a secret. This is to prevent sabotage and for control over any technology that comes from it in the future.
Releasing the details of her trip to the public, would expose the second machine.
From the perspective of the 'Vegans', we're a primitive species. they are understandably reluctant to share technology with us until they know use better. Remember that they are watching our radio waves, and what they are seeing is the beginning of WWII. Giving us advanced technology, could be like giving automatic rifles to chimpanzees.
With Arthur C Clarke stories, we usually don't see dumbed down explanations as to why events occur, as we're accustomed to. We don't have characters saying obvious things, in order to explain what we are about to see. As for instance, on, "the Orville", when they show up at a planet, and then the captain explains to everyone why they've just spend two traveling to the planet. Clarke would leave this out, as it's understood that there would have been mission briefings at the start.
This film butchered Carl Sagan's vision. Carl Sagan is a pure atheist. However, it seemed this movie's writers can't get rid of their religious sentiment. Ironically, Hollywood does produce pure atheistic shows, even scientific atheistic shows, mocking modern religions. So, Hollywood is fully capable of making Carl Sagan's vision come true, but the movie hired wrong writers to do it.
The ending is disappointing for the audience, I agree. However, it makes perfect sense from the standpoint of the aliens. The aliens' "first contact" procedure is to respond to any signals they receive and then send the plans for the transport device. If the contacted people (humans, in this case) are able to build it, then the first meeting occurs. At this point, the aliens have no idea who the humans really are... just what they've seen on TV. So, the entire first meeting is a "test". The alien's claim of "no tests" is an outright lie. Of course it's a test. The human's entire memory is downloaded and then the human is sent back with no evidence at all that any meeting occurred (although the aliens do either leave a clue or mess up with all the dead space on the recording).
The next century or two will be spent by the aliens deciding whether the humans are worth a second contact or if they should be left alone... "Small moves." Keep in mind that at the time they meet Ellie, they've seen everything the humans have transmitted since half the time since the Hitler transmission... which means they know humans have been continuously at war since then and have been at the brink of nuclear annihilation. It's doubtful they think highly of us and have probably already decided to leave us alone for a few hundred years and check back in then to see if we're still alive and if we've changed at all.
Everything about the ending makes sense to me. Of course, most people believe the whole thing was an elaborate hoax, but a very few people (in the government) know that something really did happen, and they're keeping it a secret. Not even Ellie knows about the recording.
I think a smart viewer realizes that the ending is full of clandestine motives by both the aliens and the U.S. government, both intent upon keeping most of humanity ignorant of what's really going on. It's an unsatisfying ending but a very realistic one.
The movie is smarter than you are Dave, you'll find out why. What meaning could make to anyone devoid of any spirituality, if anything.
This movie is a well developed trojan horse to any one patronizing the scientific dogmatic perspective of existence as the only one possible. Ellie´s beliefs are destroyed after the experience. That´s the smart purpose of the billion dollar program: to send a scientist, and to destroy it after the experience expanding it´s consciousness of the universe. It´s not pro-god, or anti-god, it is beyond such primitive perspectives which created demented religions. It is there to proclaim your self entitled importance means nothing, and that there is hope beyond your human megalomania.