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  1. #1
    just a vessel EJCC's Avatar
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    Default Westworld (2016)

    First episode came out tonight. Pretty astounding. Reminiscent of the great sci-fi of my parents' generation -- Bradbury, Asimov. Raising all the morality questions and existential horror that you would expect.

    I can already tell that viewers are going to go crazy making fan theories -- even this early, right after the pilot airs. For example: who is the man in black?

    Provide your thoughts on the series below. Discuss.
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    I haven't heard anything about it until you mentioned it and subsequently raved about it. Alas, I don't have HBO but I am having a solid Ni moment of "you would love this" which is rare for this sort of thing for me (although it happened with Stranger Things as well. First time in years and I was right about that). I wonder if I could find a way to watch it.
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    just a vessel EJCC's Avatar
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    @Hard I can't decide if you would like it. You might like it for the same reasons you like SOMA. But it's pretty disturbing. And I know you don't do well with disturbing TV.
    EJCC: "The Big Questions in my life right now: 1) What am I willing to live with? 2) What do I have to live with? 3) What can I change for the better?"
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    Quote Originally Posted by EJCC View Post
    @Hard I can't decide if you would like it. You might like it for the same reasons you like SOMA. But it's pretty disturbing. And I know you don't do well with disturbing TV.
    There are some kinds of disturbing I can handle. I read the premise of the show a few minutes ago, and it definitely sounds like something up my alley. I can handle sci-fi disturbing really well.
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    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    I love this show. It's my new favorite show... although that was a hell of a pilot, I wonder if they can keep it up.

    I watched the original Westworld on Friday (which I had never seen), to prepare for this. What I got out of that was (1) it was a precursor to Crichton's "Jurassic Park" which honed some of the ideas he had hinted at there but hadn't gone into depth about and (2) it's a property that really could benefit from a remake and/or expansion, because there's a lot of concepts there that just were not deeply explored. Maybe at the time it seemed a big deal, but nowadays much further down the cinematic landscape, I've seen much better.

    Anyway, the tone of this show is actually (despite the western theme) creepy as hell. I can't tell whether some of the androids were acting or they tinkered with them graphically, but especially Dolores' father and especially in the last discussion... the way he moved... the way some of them moved? Very eerie. Also of note is the early model we see for a few minutes. How the hell did they do that...?

    Great 10-15 minute opening (however long it lasted). I won't say more, but... great setup.

    The show is interesting, both as it unfolds and also to a geek like myself (I spent part of my work day troubleshooting stuff, and so I love the geeky troubleshooting scenes here, where we see tech innovations having unintended side effects that have to be figured out and resolved somehow -- which makes it even more interesting, because some of the humans act more robotic and detached as they troubleshoot -- Jeffrey Wright is a standard casting for this, most of his movie characters are in that mold -- and some of the robots seem more emotional and human than the people trying to fix them.) There's some nude sequences but it's all mostly background and doesn't even really feel titillating to be honest. A decent amount of bloodshed too (wow, on that one shootout). A lot of procedural park management stuff -- inter-office politics -- that still manages to seem interesting.

    So the big question is what happens when androids have access to, effectively, a subconscious of sorts? What would Jung say?


    ... the Man in Black was billed as the Gunslinger (the most infamous character from the movie) but, well (big spoilers):


    Also, the Milkman:


    Anyway... this is so cool. I'm glad to see them trying to do this theme some justice. And yes, the existential horror of it.

    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft
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    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Cool, they got Michelle MacLaren and Neil Marshall to direct an episode each in the first season. (They've both done GoT episodes, but MacLaren's done some Breaking Bad, X-Files, Better Call Saul, etc + Marshall did Dog Soldiers and The Descent as well.)

    Talulah Riley supposedly has a cameo. I first noticed her in Inception (where she plays the blonde woman in the bar who is actually Eames). Apparently she's been twice married (and twice divorced) to/from Elon Musk. I wonder if that's a hell of a divorce settlement.

    Miranda Otto was supposed to be the Operations head, which I could imagine; but she had to bail due to Homeland, and I think casting Sidse Knudsen is even better; I like how she's a bit older than some of the other park staff, she looks more weathered and formidable and a better personality for the role.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

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    Super Ape Luke O's Avatar
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    I saw Jonathan Nolan was involved and I immediately had a good feeling about it. It's only on Sky over here, which I don't have. Or need. However good it may be I don't want to spend all my free time watching TV even if there's loads of good series on there.

    (I'm sounding bitter, I'm not)

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    Westworld premiere recap: Season 1, Episode 1 | EW.com

    Westworld: The first reviews are all raves | EW.com


    -------------------


    Anyway, about Nolan -- he has focused a bit in his career on the impact of memory on identity.

    Back in "Memento" (which he scripted), we have basically a character (Leonard) who is frozen in time -- he is essentially the person he was the day his long-term memory was crippled. His identity stops at that day (aside from the notes he leaves himself, which amount to snippets without context). he has no way to grow or change. he's stuck in his own Story loop, so to speak, just like the androids in Westworld... or almost like, since it seems that these androids (due to the vagaries of how data is actually "erased" in computer software) have traces of old experiences lurking in their subconscious. But maybe Lenny has that a bit too, as he gets flashes at times of memories that don't gel with his ongoing narrative.

    On the opposite end, we see how memory in "The Prestige" (another Nolan script) actually becomes destructive, when two rival magicians suffer a somewhat shared trauma that one cannot let go of (the memory AKA Past controls his Present); everything he does is based off this memory; in this regard, the memory also freezes his story track because he's missing something... forgiveness? elasticity? forgetfulness? acceptance? that would allow him to make choices. He loses volition because the traumatic memory controls his future choices, and he's locked into this path since he can't let go.

    In either case, memory -- or the lack of it -- shapes identity and limits choice (although it can also expand choice if utilized as a resource versus a dominating influence).
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft
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    Senior Member ceecee's Avatar
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    I'm so glad I watched it - I loved it. I'm not familiar with the original Westworld so I will check that out. I like the casting of Ed Harris and Rodrigo Santoro in particular. The show reminded me some of "Inception" but maybe more of "The Prestige". Looking forward to next week.
    I like to rock n' roll all night and *part* of every day. I usually have errands... I can only rock from like 1-3.

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    The original Westworld is a pretty short watch (only about 1:30 hours). It's dramatically a bit flat (well, to me) and is more of "the park is out of control, help!" variety, but Brenner actually carries himself in a way that conveys what he is. It's hard to explain, but he's damned intimidating. There's also a great sequence near the end where his performance seems to become complex in terms of facial expression. I think that last fifteen minutes was my favorite part of the movie, I wish there had been more of that kind of nuance throughout, there's a few other things as well that play off perceptions and assumptions.

    James Brolin stars as well, and he looks here like a cross between his son Josh Brolin + Christian Bale. I just never really watched anything in which he was YOUNG, so it was like, "whoa." Kind of like when I saw Martin Sheen (who looks like Charlie Sheen when young) and Lawrence Fishburne in Apocalypse Now. (Fishburne wasn't even a legal adult in that movie, he lied about his age. And hey, he had hair!)
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft
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