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olivia said on April 23rd, 2005 at 3:57 am :

oh cool! finally a movie i’ve already watched so i can actually relate to with what you’re talking about!!

yes! great movie!

I watched it for the first time when I was fairlyyoung and I rememder being fascinated with: 1. her meeting her dad – but apparently you didnt like it as much 2. her being away for hours and having a way of proving it (the static she recorded for hours and hours) 3. the bald guy 4. her saying that she didnt belive in god and getting in trouble 5. how they inverted the colors to crack the code!

(i hope i’m not getting these scenes mixed up with other movies..)

and yeah, gattaca too is a great movie. uma rocks. (did you know that uma and ethan fell in love as they were shooting that movie? and they were together for quite a while. and he wrote a book called Ash Wednesday and I read it and I fell in love with those 2. and when they slipt up I was upset.) just fyi.

wow i just cant stop talking!!

typing

love ya

bye

make me stoooooop

Apr 22, 2005 | Movie Review for Contact (1997)

Movie Review for Contact (1997)

Director: Robert Zemeckis
Starring: Jodie Foster, David Morse
Rated: PG
Runtime: 153 min

If there is any sci-fi movie that I enjoyed just as much as I did Gattaca, the it has to be Contact. It passed on TV because it’s been a while, but it was really well made, despite the cheesy looking scene between Arroway and her dad in a star-studded heaven. A fitting dedication for a world-reknowned astronomer and writer (and the guy who wrote the script) who died before the movie was released, the story follows a certain Dr. Ellie Arroway, who is ensconced in the search for extraterrestrial life using radio. With increasing skepticism of the pursuit of finding life elsewhere, her funding is cut short. When she does gain funding, she, after several years of continued disappointment, does find evidence of intelligent life through frequencies that relay a special message, which is decoded upon the intervention of the White House. The message contains a specific blueprint for a device that they proceed to build, one that looks like a few onion rings slipping around each other. Ellie Arroway proceeds to go into the device and she’s wipped into outerspace and through wormholes until she lands in a place where she ends up seeing her dad, who had died of a heart condition. Unfortunately, she returns to earth to find out that all that everyone had seen was just a momentary slip of the device that she used, and her claims of having seen her dad are swiftly discredited.

What was interesting was that it had a lot of questioning of religion, something you don’t see very often in science fiction. The underlying question was that of faith, which ultimately decides that Arroway, who so wanted to go on the first ‘trip’ with the machine, cannot go. And it does bring up the good point that 95% of the world’s population believe in some religion, and that it cannot be that those 95% are, as quoted, “delusional”. I had never seen science and religion as a vehicle for each other: science as a way to appreciate the awe and the beauty of the world and universe created by God, and religion for giving the explanation for the inexplicable.

Ellie Arroway: So what’s more likely? That an all-powerful, mysterious God created the Universe, and decided not to give any proof of his existence? Or, that He simply doesn’t exist at all, and that we created Him, so that we wouldn’t have to feel so small and alone?

After her trip, that in the real world lasted just seconds but in Arroway’s experience lasted 18 hours, she becomes:

Ellie Arroway: I… had an experience. I can’t prove it, I can’t even explain it, but everything that I know as a human being, everything that I am tells me that it was real. I was given something wonderful, something that changed me forever. A vision of the universe, that tells us undeniably, how tiny, and insignificant and how… rare, and precious we all are. A vision that tells us that we belong to something that is greater then ourselves, that we are *not*, that none of us are alone.

But do not go ahead thinking that this is an evagelical movie; on the contrary, it poses hard questions regarding religion that may have many turning the other way. The clergyman that comes to little Ellie after her father dies presents “the God of the Bible as unknowable, cruelly inscrutable, and demanding of our acceptance”. The older Ellie talks about how “man created God so they wouldn’t feel so small and alone”. While these may be fundamental scientific objections of the existence of God, I found it interesting that the story also wove faith and science together: for example, Ellie claims that her experience in the ‘machine’ was 18 hours long and yet to everyone else observing, it was only several seconds. However the camera Ellie has on when she is inside the machine records 18 hours of static, substantiating her faith-based claim.

Strongly recommended, with 8 stars out of 10 given for great performance, usage of suspense, and plot. A few points taken off for relatively weak scene where Ellie meets her dad on an island with shimmering bright blue water.

Read Dr. Ray Bohlin’s Contact: A Eulogy to Carl Sagan from which segments of this post were taken.

This entry was posted on Friday, April 22nd, 2005 at 7:46 pm, EST under the category of Movie Reviews. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.