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View Diary: "Europa Report": A Beautiful, Semi-Realistic, Slightly Disappointing New Sci-fi Movie (65 comments)

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  •  Space Opera? (8+ / 0-)

    When I think Space Opera I don't think "scientific accuracy." I think "squint and approximate it, add aliens and ray guns for a great time."

    I bet I know why they added sound effects though, because I've heard other filmmakers discuss it. Audiences get very confused without the sound effects. The more realistic you make vaccuum, the larger a percentage of audience you lose because they think there's a problem with the sound on the film.

    In at least once movie, and I think it was 2010, they originally did the space sequences without sound but added them back in because the test audiences kept reporting the lack of sound as a technical problem (i.e., "the machine was broken, the sound kept cutting out.")

    The Baptist Death Ray (wrightc [at] eviscerati [dot] org) "We are all born originals -- why is it so many of us die copies?"
    - Edward Young

    by The Baptist Death Ray on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 07:39:05 PM PDT

    •  To me, space opera is the genre that (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Yasuragi, JML9999, Hannibal, FloridaSNMOM

      romanticizes space travel in some way.  In other words, not something like Alien that just uses it as a backdrop for horror, or something like Enemy Mine where it's just incidental.  Space has to be an actual character in the story.  To some extent Star Wars is space opera even though it's not even science fiction, so that's a special case.  

      I know why they add sound, and I still think they shouldn't.  The science fiction genre has no business coddling stupidity in its audience.  There are a number of ways to deal with the audience's cognitive dissonance.  Like in Firefly, they added music instead of sound effects.  Another approach is just to always keep the perspective within the ship or the spacesuit so you're hearing something, even though not sounds corresponding to external action.  

      Sign the petition to demand a law-abiding Supreme Court.

      by Troubadour on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 07:48:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Oh, goodness no (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Troubadour, FloridaSNMOM, Visceral

        You're not even close to the standard accepted definition of space opera. Space travel is rarely romanticized in space travel because it's mostly a method of getting the characters from where they are to where they have to have their adventures, and the main thing is that there has to be some kind of adventure, usually with larger than life characters doing awesome things.

        The Culture novels are space opera. Star Wars is space opera. The Mass Effect games are space opera. Charlie Stross's Eschaton stories are space opera, as is David Weber's Honor Harrington series. Star Trek is space opera, and of course there's there granddaddy in Smith's Skylark and Lensman stories. The Halo universe is space opera. Ryk Spoor's Arena novels (New one coming out in the fall! check it out!) is gloriously space opera. Bujold's Vorkosigan series is space opera.

        If your definition ("space has to be an actual character, and travel in it romanticized") doesn't include the Lensman stories, which pretty much are universally accepted as having created space opera as we understand it, there's something wrong with the definition.

      •  Not having a frame of reference is not stupidity. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Troubadour

        And adding a needed frame of reference to make a story work is not "coddling." I also don't want to watch movies set in the future where the characters only speak in a historically accurate language.

        The Baptist Death Ray (wrightc [at] eviscerati [dot] org) "We are all born originals -- why is it so many of us die copies?"
        - Edward Young

        by The Baptist Death Ray on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 08:51:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  They know there are no sounds in space. (0+ / 0-)

          They just find the fact irksome and want things to conform to their expectations rather than reality.  That's stupidity.

          BTW, I do want to watch movies set in the future (and the past) with historically accurate language.  I want to be transported to these other times and places, not have to constantly suspend disbelief.

          Sign the petition to demand a law-abiding Supreme Court.

          by Troubadour on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 09:04:27 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Boy I really don't. (0+ / 0-)

            So I guess you need to put me in your "stupid" column.

            The Baptist Death Ray (wrightc [at] eviscerati [dot] org) "We are all born originals -- why is it so many of us die copies?"
            - Edward Young

            by The Baptist Death Ray on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 10:23:43 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  You don't know that sound is air waves? (0+ / 0-)

              Sign the petition to demand a law-abiding Supreme Court.

              by Troubadour on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 10:25:19 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I'll try again. (0+ / 0-)

                I was referring to a different part of your post. "Boy, I really don't want to watch movies set in the future (and the past) with historically accurate language."

                Sound waves aren't actually air waves, they just happen to be on Earth because that's our atmosphere. Technially they are just waves travelling through a medium. Assuming the medium is dense enough to carry the wave it doesn't have to be oxygen for sound to travel, it just needs to be able to vibrate the parts of the ear that need to be vibrated etc. None of that is really relevant, though -- while vacuum is actually not entirely devoid of a medium, it's devoid enough that for all practical purposes there's no sound in space.

                The Baptist Death Ray (wrightc [at] eviscerati [dot] org) "We are all born originals -- why is it so many of us die copies?"
                - Edward Young

                by The Baptist Death Ray on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 12:07:54 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Gah, please ignore me. (0+ / 0-)

                  I don't know why I'm being snippy today, and I don't know why I'm taking it out in a science fiction thread. Please accept my apologies.

                  The Baptist Death Ray (wrightc [at] eviscerati [dot] org) "We are all born originals -- why is it so many of us die copies?"
                  - Edward Young

                  by The Baptist Death Ray on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 12:32:35 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

      •  space opera = people; science fiction = space (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Troubadour

        "Space opera" is pretty much the opposite of "science fiction".  Space opera is character-driven, with space just the setting.  Science fiction is driven by the science and technology, with the characters really just reacting to it.  Space opera is generally softer (often much softer) than science fiction because space isn't fundamental to the plot: you could easily rewrite a space opera in an earthbound or even historical setting (which is where the story probably came from originally) - WWII ... in space!, Lawrence of Arabia ... in space!, Horatio Hornblower ... in space!, samurai ... in space!, "Gunsmoke" ... in space!, etc.

        Most of what gets called "science fiction" is actually space opera.  It's not simply a matter of hardness vs. softness, realism vs. romanticism, though those things help ... but what's at the core of the story: people or space?

    •  Space: 1999 (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Troubadour, DEMonrat ankle biter

      I seem to remember that they started off with no sound in space and then, due to complaints, changed it. Wikipedia is vague on it.

      Barbara Bain said

      "We had some very good science fiction people as advisors who knew what they were talking about. For instance, they knew that sound up there wouldn’t travel, and it would just be quiet up there. But then we wouldn’t have a series, so we couldn’t do that."
      But I have a memory of Martin Landau explaining before the first episode that there'd be no sound.

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