BMN: Stealth

Walking out of the theaters tonight, I confided in Nik and Scoot that this movie was so horrible, that I didn't know which direction I wanted to go [with my review]. To which Nik replied, "neither did the writer." So true, Nik, so true. Scoot said nothing, he just wiped tears from his eyes and said, "it was so touching." I wouldn't go that far, Scoot, but we'll let it slide this time.

There was something seriously wrong with this movie. No, there were lots of serious things wrong with this movie. So many, in fact, it's hard to pinpoint what I should talk about. I'm sure Nik and Scoot can fill in the blanks for me, but damn it was bad. It's sad because movies like this (and it's awful, awful rating) further justify the theory that the crappy blockbuster films get stuck in August because they can't touch the other summer films. Paying attention all you "Dukes of Hazzard" fans?

The funny thing is the first time I saw the trailer for this film, way back in March (?), I knew it was going to suck. Even the second set of trailers, which made the movie look a lot more decent, couldn't sell this movie. But enough banter, why did it suck!?!

The Near Future Rules!
The film is set in the "near future," which really doesn't mean much... except that now the US Navy has some kick ass fighter jets and a new robot plane. Oh, we also have some insane intelligence computer systems that can project how buildings will crumble in a matter of seconds, obtain retinal scans and fingerprints from satellite images... that's powerful. All this and Russia is still flying in their MiGs.

Super Plane, Bad Tech Support
The three "best pilots" in the Navy are sent to start flying missions with a fourth pilot – the robot plane, Eddie. I can't imagine how much the government spent on a plane like this, much less the A.I. that came with it. But I'll tell you what, they saved a ton by just sending one tech-guy with it on it's first mission. Volkswagon will send an entire fleet of mechanics and engineers out when a new car is first being shown and driven around... US Navy, one nerd.

More Plane Things...
The plane can connect to the internet. Cool. But, careful, it downloaded "all" the songs. What? The best part, it has an external speaker system. The plane was also fitted with a cockpit, for "troubleshooting" issues. Good thing, because Matthew McConaughey's look a like needed to fly in it at the end of the movie – sans life-support and seatbelts, of course.

Is This Really Hal In Disguise?
There were so many obvious comparisons to Kubrik's "2001: A Space Odyssey," it's almost not worth mentioning. What is worth mentioning is that at any moment I wouldn't have been surprised if the plane would've said, "you've got mail." Hey Eddie, the AOL mail dude called, he wants his voice back. Also, Max from Flight of the Navigator called, too, he wants his look back. One more thing, Sony, I'm calling, I want my money back.

The World Revolves Around Love
Can we stop inserting love stories into every freaking movie, please? This movie might have been better if there was no love story involved. That's a very delicate "might," though. Okay, doubtful, but take that crap out.

Ugh... I could go on. But I'd rather not re-live anymore of that trash. Nik? Scoot? Help a Seth out.

+ original post date: August 2, 2005 10:31 PM
+ categories: Bad Movie Night


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I'd like to expand on a few things my esteemed colleague has noted about THE NEAR FUTURE. SPOILER ALERT - one or two items below spoil "surprises" (a word I use loosely).

What a convenient plot device, setting the story in "the near future". You can make it familiar enough to be comfortable while using any crazy made-up technology you want since it's "futuristic".

But there's a problem. There haven't been any major changes to the laws of physics since the first ten billionth of a second after the Big Bang, so it's extremely unlikely that any will happen in "the near future". Yet in the near future, our spy satellites will be able to look down on a crowd of people, then change angle to come in sideways or underneath to capture those fingerprint IDs and retinal scans without them being in the line-of-sight of the satellite. Even more astounding is the ability to do voice print analysis via satellite... yes, the satellite detected a single voice in a major city through the vacuum of space.

Evidently in the near future relationships between the Koreas will improve, because the DMZ will be reduced from a miles-wide heavily-mined heavily-fortified no-man's land to a mine-free chain link fence and a guard tower whose guards spend all their time watching for people leaving their own country rather than watching for people invading from the other.

In the near future, black people are incredibly horny, listen to hip hop in rooms decorated with basketball gear while studying, and are comic relief third-wheels until they become the first person to die. Oh, wait, what year is this suppose to be again? Lordy.

In the near future personal radios on the flight suits of ejected pilots transmit voices from anyplace on earth while plummeting through any terrain but the homing beacons that go with them apparently only work when landing in friendly nations. But no matter, because whatever direction the stranded pilot run, boyfriends of the future will find them in the very first place they look. No beacon required except the beacon of luuuuuvvvvvvvv.

By the way, Seth, you meentioned the AOL voice guy. Did you notice that Eddie's last line in the movie is simply the AOL "Goodbye"?

(Do you think Dr. Orbit is some sort of pervert for designing a manual control joystick that automatically extends itself into the crotch of the pilot? I was kind of reminded of Mr. Garrion's vehicular invention from South Park.)

+ author: ScooterJ
+ posted: August 2, 2005 11:53 PM

Good points, Scoot. I knew I missed some stuff.

+ author: Seth
+ posted: August 3, 2005 08:52 AM

Actual conversation from the movie (paraphrased):

Matthew McConaughey's Look-a-like: "Eddie, what is North Korea's radar floor?"

Eddie (the airplane): "Fifteen feet"

Matthew McConaughey's Look-a-like: "Okay, then we can just fly in under their radar."

After going online and looking up the physical dimensions of various stealth fighters, which seems in line with the size of the plane in the movie, there should be a hundreds-of-miles-long trail of roofless buildings, toppled trees, and decapitated Koreans leading to the North Korean border. Not exactly very stealthy. Nor did I ever see them actually fly anywhere near that low.

Why did a stealth plane have to fly in under the radar in the first place? Because Eddie had lost his stealth mode due to an electrical problem. Never mind the fact that stealth is simply the result of the physical shape of the aircraft... something that would be totally unaffected by an electrical malfunction.

+ author: ScooterJ
+ posted: August 3, 2005 09:24 AM

What about this...

Millions were spent on this plane and the AI, it's a bad ass plane. So when the creator goes to wipe it's memory, all he does is pull the hard drive out of the plane and hooks it into a computer. He spent five minutes "oooh-ing" and "awww-ing," but never wiped the drive. Then, when he was told to but Eddie back together (sticking the hard drive back into the plane), the process then got extremely complicated and there were wires everywhere.

This plane can literally do 180s, on a dime, in the sky (which, I think, also breaks some laws of Physics), but when it comes to maintainence, it's the pits.

+ author: Seth
+ posted: August 3, 2005 09:44 AM

Evidently this movie was so awful it fried the commentary cortex of Nik's brain.

+ author: ScooterJ
+ posted: August 3, 2005 05:12 PM

It has taken me two days to gather myself to even comment on this horror that is entitled "Stealth". Two cold and sleepless nights have resulted from just two hours of exposure to this ridiculous story line. At least Jamie Foxx gets it, since it's not everyday you get to see an Academy performance get slammed into a mountain.

The technical aspects of this movie are just lame. Not only can these jets do everything on the planet, but we now have giant floating supertankers in the sky for easy refueling. Pilots can now eject from an aircraft while maintaining radio communications the whole way down, but upon touchdown this ends and no one can seem to pin-point their location. North Koreans can shoot someone from a couple miles away in gale force winds and the victim can then stand up with a chest wound and run another 30 miles and assault the DMZ. Not to mention the puny futuristic machine gun the pilot carries must have come from the Men In Black because with just a couple of terribly placed and unaimed shots, it can blow up watch towers and N. Korean thugs.

Must I stop there? Hmmmmm.... oh, I can only comment on Scoot's stealth theory about the shape of the airplane making it stealth capable. Although this is the reality (in todays terms), this was the only part I had no problem just blowing off as the explaination was that the jet had some sort of futuristic device the rendered the plane invisible to radar. That's cool, I'll buy it. Now what I don't buy is these jets screaming through cities and villages at mach 4 and no one heard or lost their hearing to the massive sonic boom that would have resulted. Guess these jets are so near futuristic they defy physics.

The acting was... well, let me stop grinning first, it's interrupting my typing. Let's just say that Jamie Foxx had better be glad he got his award, it might be his last for a while. If anyone else in Hollywood saw this movie, he's done. That pretty much goes for everyone else in this picture as well. Josh Lucas needs to go back to lame, southern romantic comedies and Ms. Biel may hear the WB calling again. Sam Shepard, how can you go from "the Right Stuff" to this? Not only that but I've never heard someone state the name of "Tajikistan" and make it sound more foreign that it already is. Besides that, I'm done.

I need to see a good movie for once, and it won't be "Ray".


Post-script: "XXX: State of the Union" is now out on DVD. It still sucks.

+ author: Nikc
+ posted: August 4, 2005 03:40 PM

"XXX: State of the Union" may be out and still sucky... but the DVD of "Alexander" is out, too, and it's now the movie that Oliver Stone wanted to put out, but got shot down from the studios. It has like 30-40 more minutes added on! Consequently, it will be the worst selling DVD this year.

+ author: Seth
+ posted: August 4, 2005 04:16 PM

Nik - I'll concede your point about the possibility of some sort futuristic electronic stealth field. But if you accept that, then would that not render your other complaints moot? Could there not be some sort of futuristic anti-sonic-boom field? And some sort of futuristic signal broadcast from the nose of the plane that enters people's brains and causes them to look the other way so they don't see the jet streak by at 2,800MPH just feet from their heads?

By using the "The Near Future" title card, the filmmakers might as well have just stepped into the frame, looked straight at the audience, and said "Just pretend that what you are about to see makes sense". (Ala Basil Exposition's "time travel" address to the audience in "Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me".)

+ author: ScooterJ
+ posted: August 4, 2005 05:05 PM

I admit that by accepting one small amount of nonsense for another makes me sound wishy washy, however, the utltimate bombardment of ridiculousness didn't leave me with the option of being choosey at the time. However, since this is the near future, the plausability of a "cloaking device", a la "The Philidelphia Experiment" seemed far more plausable to me and it at least maintained some amount of consistencey. Not including flying under the 15 ft. radar net with a plane that is probably taller than that by itself. In hindsight, the writer should have at least had the foresight to include a plow on the aircraft as to help the impoverished farmers of North Korea till their fields. Since the only way you could logically avoid radar would be to plow into the ground. Then you could play off the heroic American fighting force engaged in a battle to save their comrades while spreading the compasion of the western nations throughout the realm of totalitarianism. In fact, a cameo by Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon appearing to help the farmers would have just been icing on the cake.

I does awaken me to the possibilities of the future though, if only I lived in fantasy land.


+ author: Nikc
+ posted: August 4, 2005 05:54 PM

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