Greed, for Lack of a Better Word, Is Monopolymovie
There's been a lot of talk today about Stephen Hawking's alien theory, shared in last night's Discovery Channel special Into the Universe, and I find it a good place to start a discussion on greed and irony. See, Hawking, who is supposed to be a smart guy, thinks there's no point in humans attempting to communicate with aliens because of the great chance that they'll just end up coming over and conquering us. He actually uses an analogy in which the foreign creatures are Columbus and we poor Earthlings are Native Americans. Because acknowledging the historical tradition of human greed, exploitation and slaughter isn't a sign that we'd do the very same thing if given the chance.
I find it fitting that aliens are the talk of the water coolers today because of how Ridley Scott is making the press rounds openly talking about his plans for the 3D Alien prequels (see Steven's post on the matter from earlier today). The Alien franchise has consistently dealt with the idea of offensive survival, whether through the concept of interplanetary colonization -- for which humans will kill for the benefit of their furthered procreation -- or that of big, scary insect-like creatures who want nothing more than to kill us and/or use us as tools in their own procreation. And of course there's always been that idea of corporate greed in the form of putting human life in jeopardy for the benefit of scientific research that will potentially lead to profitable technologies.
Corporate greed is indeed something Scott is still interested in exploring, as indicated by other new comments related to his Monopoly movie. "I wanted to just make a movie about the idea of greed," he told ComingSoon.net. "I told them you know your game can turn your sweetest, dearest aunt into a demon - a nightmare of greed. So that's what we're going to do." Interestingly enough, this weekend saw the unveiling of a work-in-progress documentary on former NY Governor Eliot Spitzer at the Tribeca Film Festival in which the shamed politician's story is somewhat said to have begun with a ruthless game of Monopoly between a 10-year-old Spitzer and his asshole "I'll teach you a lesson by crushing your trust in me" father. Aside from the board game connection, I mainly bring up that film because I've rarely been more embarrassed for my species than while watching that doc's displays of greed, lust, and power. At least Ridley Scott made Blade Runner, so I guess he'll forever get a pass for being so money-grubbing. Plus, he doesn't work in politics or on Wall Street, so that's in his relative favor, as well.
Here are some jokes and legitimate complaints from the blogosphere about the filmmaker's greedy and ironic ways:
- Ryan Adams at Awards Daily:
Ridley Scott is now referring to "the two Alien prequels" in interviews. Though it doesn't appear they'll be shot back to back since he says ""at the moment I'm just trying to get the first one out."
So we might someday have two overlapping box sets to choose from -- the All-Scott Alien Trilogy and the Top Chefs' Alien Quadrilogy buffet. Hope this pans out as planned. I'd really like to see the franchise reclaimed and re-envisioned by the man who started it all.
- Kevin Jagernauth at The Playlist:
Scott is trying to top James Cameron's flashier sequel "Aliens." "Jim raised the bar and I've got to jump to it," he said with a smile. "It's that simple. He's not going to get away with it." And we suppose with 3D in his arsenal of tools, we can forget about anything approaching restraint. It will also be interesting to see how the film is shot considering that 3D requires brightly lit scenes. Maybe these aliens will frolic in a lush rainforest before some humans come along to destroy their world? Might as well top Cameron at his own game. [...] He has that ["Monopoly"] will be a comedy (ugh) that will reflect the recent, real life real estate woes that will be "a blood bath." Whatever, dude. Hasbro is going to want to move board games, so whatever ideas you have will have to appeal to eight year olds.
- Sean O'Neal at A.V. Club:
Ridley Scott continued his let's-talk-about-everything-but-Robin-Hood press tour this week by dropping some hints on that Monopoly adaptation that is still not some sort of satirical prank, apparently. [...] So, some sort of combination of Jumanji and Wall Street, then. What, you've got a better idea?
- Vince Mancini at FilmDrunk:
Ridley Scott went on to say, "So what I'm saying is, with my film that was conceived and intended entirely as a two-hour commercial and re-branding opportunity for a toy everyone already owns, I really wanted to drive home the point that greed is bad, and that it can make even a good person do awful, terrible, silly, ridiculous, stupid things. ...Hey, why's everyone looking at me like that?"
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