Guest Expressed: “3 Films About the Horrors of Pollution (That Make it Look Pretty Cool)”

Today Chris Farnell makes a return with a post on how awesome pollution can make things. Ahem, according to some movies, that is. Enter Chris:

The horrors of global warming are a serious threat we need to do everything in our power to prevent. It is the job of film makers and entertainers to communicate that warning to the masses, so that everybody knows that we should all do our bit to protect the environment.

Unfortunately it doesn’t really work if, when you’re showing the terrors of the post apocalyptic wasteland, it looks a lot more fun than the one already around you. This why, when teaching people about the perils of not caring for the environment, you should probably avoid showing them:

3. Waterworld

To be fair, you shouldn’t show anyone Waterworld anyway, nobody has done anything to deserve that.

But the main problem with Waterworld is, well, the title. You see, Waterworld is set in a future where the icecaps have melted, drowning all the land and creating a world where dirt is as precious as gold.

The trouble is, if we completely melt the icecaps, just go up there with a hair dryer or flame thrower and just go to town on all that ice, you know how much the water levels would rise?

By about 68 meters.

Now 68 meters is a lot. Coastal cities would be completely destroyed, flood plains would just become big lakes, islands would completely disappear. A rise in sea level of 68 meters would catastrophic. But the amount of dry land left over would be this much:

License: Creative Commons (Image Source)

2. Mad Max

Mad Max is the reason why nearly every apocalypse ever committed to film or video game looks like the outback in Australia. Set in a world where the oil has run out and energy shortages have caused society to collapse, humanity’s only hope is Mel Gibson (but before we found out about all the crazy alcoholism and racism).

But, I’m just saying, for a film that’s about a world where the oil is running out, there are an awful lot of car chases and explosions.

Surely a realistic dystopian post-peak oil future would see mad men riding about on their souped-up battle bicycles, bike jousting in horrifying displays of grace and violence that continue until someone breaks a chain or has a wheel come off.

1. Wall-E

Wall-E is set in a future where our garbage and waste has made the planet uninhabitable. The planet is in such a terrible state that the only two living things on the planet are a  cockroach and a single plant (which, if you look closely, should probably be dead since it has no access to sunlight until Wall-E finds it).

Humanity meanwhile has fled the planet to go and live on a deluxe spaceship where our every need is met, constantly.

So where, exactly, is the downside for humanity? That we look fat? Who cares, so does everyone else! The health complications that are a problem for obese people now clearly aren’t an issue by then, as it’s made obvious we’ve evolved to cope with it.

And we don’t have to get fat- the ship has a pool, tennis courts, lots of space to run around. Quite frankly if you want to get exercise, you can get exercise. Really, everything goes fine until Wall-E comes along and starts an entire robot uprising, then takes everyone back to a polluted wasteland with ONE PLANT AND A COCKROACH and hopes that somehow they can completely rebuild civilisation using only what they’ve learned in Wikipedia.

The problem here isn’t that we don’t have enough offshore wind farms, it’s that, looked at rationally, life is way better aboard the space station.

So thanks a bunch Wall-E, you dick.

Chris Farnell is a freelance writer, which is a skill he’s sure will be valuable come the collapse of civilisation.

Guest Expressed: “5 Films That Are So Bad They’re Good”

Today Eli McGonagall points out a few terrible movies that may actually prove to be entertaining (sort of). Enter Eli:

There’s no doubt about it: some films are simply bad. They might be poorly written, poorly acted or just so camp that you can’t take them in any way seriously… but is this (particularly in the case of the latter) really such a bad thing? Here follows five films that, in my opinion, have gone far round the bad-o-meter that they’re reading as good as again.

Well, almost.

  • Catwoman

A pretty much universally terrible film; star Halle Berry even accepted the Razzie Award for Worst Actress in person. Deviating from the original story of Selina Kyle considerably, meek artist Patience Phillips is murdered by her evil boss only to return to live as the eponymous superheroine. I could say more about this one but you really have to watch it to fully appreciate its awfulness.

  • Flash Gordon

From the moment the film’s theme tune (performed by Queen) begins, you know that this movie will be nothing but camp. Both heroes and villains are portrayed with the latter firmly in mind: Flash defeats hordes of cars using the power of American football, while Max von Sydow’s Ming the Merciless is so fabulously evil it’s a wonder he doesn’t upstage everyone in the film. The film performed poorly almost everywhere except in the UK, where it was a huge success. Brian Blessed’s typically enthusiastic performance as Prince Vultan arguably seals the film’s reputation as a camp classic.

  • Snakes on a Plane

Seemingly following the format of most monstrous creatures films (X in/on a Y, X being the creature and Y whatever place the filmmakers decide would be most entertaining), albeit with a bigger budget, Snakes on a Plane’s name was purposely chosen as a homage to B movies. The film’s title summarises its plot rather well, with star Samuel L Jackson citing it as why he chose to take the role (and indeed enthusiastically rebuffed attempts to rename it). The film did pretty well at the box office, and received positive reviews from those who appreciated it for what it was.

  • Batman & Robin

Arguably the worst of the 90s Batman films. Tim Burton’s were pretty good (Batman Returns in particular), but things started going downhill with Batman Forever when directorial control was handed over to Joel Schumacher. With the campness amped way up (right up to fitting Batman and Robin with enlarged codpieces and adding prominent nipples to the sculpted pecs of their suits) and Schumacher urged to make the movie more toyetic (as in made in such as a way as to make merchandising easy), the film received largely negative reviews and 11 Razzie nominations (although Batman & Robin only picked up one in the end). However, Joel Schumacher, a big Batman fan himself, actually apologised to fans who found his rather less dark film disappointing, accepting the blame and stating that he would have much preferred doing an adaptation of the comic Batman: Year One.

  • Anything by Hammer Film Productions

Just go and watch one; you’ll see what I’m talking about.

Eli McGonagall works for a company that sells cheap dishwashers, and readily admits that there are some moments in these films where he’s not sure which he’d rather be watching.