SIONR: Sony Admits to Censoring Sexual Content in New Games

Something people have been talking about for a long time now, and it’s finally been verified.  And it’s something that pisses me off.  Why?  Because now we have a major gaming platform that has openly admitted that it is going to censor the free expression of those who make gaming content.  It’s bullshit.  Weapons grade bullshit.  It will stifle creativity, and what’s more, I think it is going to fuck up one of the games I am most excited for.  I’m talking about Sony finally admitting that they are censoring sexually explicit content in gaming.  Here’s a link to an article, now let’s talk about it.

In a statement to the Wall Street Journal, Sony said that they are placing a strict limit on the sexual content that comes to games that go to the PS4.  Why?  Why do you think?  Because of all the #MeToo bullshit.  I should have seen this coming.  I really should have.  When Spider-Man: Homecoming had Mary Jane be SJW-tastic, I should have seen this coming.  Of all the movies that are basically Social Justice: The Movie, they seem to oscillate between Disney and Sony.  But now it’s finally come to their console.  It pisses me off.

I mean, why?!  Oh right, because they don’t want to “inhibit the sound growth and development of younger players.”  What a crock of shit.  But the source I cited did point out that the reason for this is almost certainly because of the fact that the PS4 is so big on streaming.  It’s a key part of the console’s features.  So naturally, young people can see games with naughty naughty things in them.  You know, because parents exist now just to put their kids in front of screens.  So the social justice gaming journalism circle-jerk has certainly written about this ad nauseum.  They’ve been trumpeting this shit for as long as I’ve been alive.

The source I cited definitely is pro-social justice.  They make a point in a positive that Sony is “taking a critical look at how game’s content portrays women.”  Yeah, because these digital women who don’t actually exist in the real world need to be protected, right?  Because fuck a developer’s creative freedom.  We have Sony being puritans.  This is such bullshit.  I wonder what would happened to Quiet in Metal Gear Solid V on their console if the game had been released now.

What’s more, Sony acknowledges that devs don’t like this, but their response – deal with it.  That’s just brilliant.  Creative freedom?!  Fuck that!  Artistic expression and not stifling the artist?!  But women, Lucien!  And I can already hear the social justice wankers response – if you don’t like it, don’t play it.  You know, maybe yeah.  I’m a console pleb.  Been all my life.  It’s easy.  You just buy a game, put the disc in, and play it.  That convenience has always been valuable to me.  But now I have my console of choice telling me, flat-out, that I can’t trust what they release anymore.  That now everything that comes to them goes through a puritanical censor first.

The reason this makes me so upset is that one of the games that I am most stoked for this year, Cyberpunk 2077, has already said that they are going to have explicit content in the game.  You can date, hook up with character in the game.  There’s also the fact that it’s a violent world where bad things happen to men and women.  Like in that demo where you see the naked bodies in the bathtub and you have to pull one of them out.  Guess that’s out in the game!  Same with scenes where if I choose to foster any relationships, I guess I get the neutered version of any intimacy.  It’s all such bullshit!

I like games where I can build relationships with characters.  It’s a big part of why I game.  So the fact that we have a company who has said that this new project, that looks so fucking awesome, also has that factor and even has it that you can grow relationships and get intimate?  That’s cool!  Wish I got to see Shepherd and Garrus hook up in the Mass Effect games.  Femshep was my girl, and Garrus is the coolest bro ever.  The thing that will never be.

One developer rightly pointed out that if you stifle the creativity of developers, you just push this stuff into niches.  And they will.  And people will go there.  Whether it’s to get their pervvy fix, or to get a game that isn’t afraid to go physical with stuff.  They will go to where the content is.  It’s funny, but people have defended game companies kowtowing to social justice by saying that they don’t want to lose customers.  I guess Sony is cool losing revenue too.  Because how much money will they lose on people going somewhere else?  Fucking Nintendo is letting explicit content onto their console!  Nintendo!  They are the family friendly icon, Sony!  What the fuck is your excuse?!  Oh right – Wahmen.

Creative freedom is looking more and more uncertain in the years to come.  I don’t like that.  I believe that all ideas and expression belong in the open marketplace of ideas.  But I know that I am in a minority on that.  A real shame, but whatever.  In the meantime – you fuck with my Cyberpunk 2077, Sony, and there will be Hell to pay!

Until next time, a quote,

“Won’t somebody PLEASE think of the children?!” – Helen Lovejoy, The Simpsons

Peace out,

Maverick

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Top 10 War Movies

For those of you who didn’t know, I’m a filthy liberal.  It’s true.  But I’m not some crazy social justice type.  Instead, I’m part of what’s call the “libertarian left.”  However, just because I am a filthy liberal doesn’t mean I am naturally opposed to the military.  Time was, before my head injury, I wanted to go into military intelligence.  One of many things in life that Lady Luck saw fit to take from me.  I can’t play contact sports, or serve.  However, the movies have provided me with some good depictions of the life.  Sure, there are the ones that are basically “America, Fuck Yeah!” The Movie, but then there are the ones that actually look at war and what it means to fight.  Or at the very least just have a very honest depiction of fighting it.  These are the films that have stuck with me in that regard.  Or, and I’m just being honest here, some of them are just cool.  I’m not above liking a movie for having cool shit.  The shame of my pseudo-intellectual bravado.  Here are the top 10 war movies that I like.

10. Green Zone
Made by the same guy who did the first three Bourne movies, this film tells the story of an Army unit commander who ends up getting caught in a labyrinth of intrigue, all on a quest to find out the truth behind the WMDs in Iraq.  This movie surprised me, when I first saw it.  See, the United States military is VERY protective of their image.  They have to approve movies depicting them before they get released.  So a film that is critical of military intelligence and isn’t nice about it is more than a little but of a shock to think that that got past their censor.  But then, you realize that Iraq was a giant cluster-fuck and with so many dead and wounded, they probably don’t feel all that bad throwing the government and the people who got us into that mess (that we still aren’t technically out of to this day.  We still have troops there) under the bus.  This film has flaws.  The hand-held shake-y cam can get annoying in chase sequences.  But it is a good look at what happened to this country and where everything went wrong.

9. The Patriot
Now we go to the war that started this country in the first place.  I do loves me some historical fiction.  Now, the cynic in me does recognize that this film is pretty much just Braveheart, but during the American Revolution.  But there is a lot of flavor to this movie.  Mel Gibson’s character is what holds it all together.  Taking the role of Capt. Benjamin Martin, he leads a force waging a guerilla war against the British.  What I like about this film is the characters.  You get to know Martin and his forces.  Everyone has personality.  Even the British are not just shown as pure evil.  Pompous and arrogant, but there are those among them who recognize that they need to be decent to the colonists.  What’s more, you see that the issue of starting a nation wasn’t as clear-cut as history can make it out to be.  There were those who opposed forming a Union.  Not the most complicated film, but worth your time.

8. Top Gun
Remember when I said that there would be films on this list who are here strictly because of cool factor?  Yeah…this is what I’m talking about.  Thing to know about me – I think that fighter jets are fucking rad.  The F-22 Raptor is the coolest thing in the world.  So a movie all about being a fighter jockey and learning to dog-fight?  I am all over that.  Sure, this movie is cheesy as fuck.  It is 80’s to the max!  ALL of the 80’s cheese is in here.  And the lengths they go to in order to make Tom Cruise look tall is just adorable.  But then they play Kenny Loggins “Danger Zone” again (no joke, they play it three times in this movie) and I am saying “fuck yeah!” to the screen again.  I’m not proud of it, but there it is.

7. Eye in the Sky
Another film that is very critical of the military.  However, since the primary focus is on the British, with the Americans merely as the partners in this mission, it makes more sense to me how this film got past the censor.  Telling the story of a British and American military operation to take out a British national in Africa, this movie looks at the ethics of drone warfare.  What’s more, they don’t just paint the whole thing as black and white.  One of the things that I love about this movie is the fact that they go so far to make sure all sides are heard.  And they let you, the viewer, come to your own conclusion about whether what they did in the end was right or not.  I like when movies respect my intelligence enough to let me come to my own conclusions.  Not only was Helen Mirren amazing, but the final role of Alan Rickman, and it was pretty fantastic.  If you haven’t seen it, you really should.

6. Fury
When I heard that they were making a film about a tank crew during World War II, I was curious to see what that would end up being.  I mean, it’s a different concept.  Something you don’t think about is how many people it takes to make a tank work.  It’s not just one dude in there.  And during World War II, this was a time when we had German artillery outmatching us.  A LOT of people died inside of tanks during this war.  So we have a movie following the exploits of an American tank crew and their vehicle, doing their best to succeed and survive in the most talked-about war in history.  I was surprised with how good this movie was.  Can add its name to the list of great movies that few people saw.

5. Glory
Heading back into the wars of yesteryear.  This time it’s the Civil War.  Telling the story of the first black regiment in the Union army.  I said before that I loves me some good historical fiction.  But the thing that really makes this movie are the performances.  It’s a fantastic cast all-round.  We have Morgan Freeman and Denzel Washington, Cary Elwes and even Matthew Broderick.  I’m with the nostalgia critic and thinking very little of Broderick as an actor.  But every performance in this film is stunning.  Looking at racial politics over a hundred years ago is harrowing.  This film hinges on the strength of its cast as it’s a very character-driven story of these people and their own prejudices as they learn to accept each other.  It’s not especially preachy, either.  If you’ve forgotten about this movie, you really should revisit it.

4. Saving Private Ryan
There’s a reasonable argument to be made that this is the most famous war movie ever made.  When it came out, this film was making huge bank and the critics couldn’t stop talking about it.  And to be fair, there’s a reason why.  We have Spielberg when he was at the top of his game, making a movie that opens on one of the most violent military engagements in history.  Telling the story of a squad of soldiers who are on a mission to find a man whose brothers have all been killed and get him home.  The cinematography of this film is graphic and unforgiving.  If you’ve ever looked for an accurate representation of how awful this war was, you could do worse.  Though I did have the same thoughts about Fury.  Tom Hanks is what makes this film.  I would argue he’s the best actor working today.  When he dies, it is going to be a VERY sad day for me.

3. We Were Soldiers
Heading into a different war, now we get to take a trip to Vietnam.  Telling the story of the first usage of helicopters to deploy troops into active combat zones, we have Mel Gibson back.  Taking a new unit of his into battle, in a war that all of historians agree was a GIANT cluster-fuck.  This movie is also pretty unforgiving in its portrayal of how bad war can be.  You can feel the oppressive heat and terror these guys must have felt, with the enemy pretty much being unseen and all they can do is fire at the green and hope they hit something.  This movie does tend to kiss America’s ass a bit, but given how Vietnam vets were treated like shit when they got home because of America’s attitude about the war, it does make you think that maybe they’ve earned a little adulation
For those who are wondering, this is basically where I would have Platoon, but I had to pick one or the other.  It was close, but I chose this one.  Mostly because I couldn’t take Charlie Sheen seriously in the latter film.  Willem Dafoe ALMOST clinched it, but this film took the spot.  Still, both are excellent films.

2. Black Hawk Down
A war film directed by Ridley Scott?  Sign me up!  This film is hardcore.  Not only is the cinematography at the top of its class, but this has some HUGE names.  I do love how many British people are in this movie doing their best American accents.  I think the best of them was Ewan McGregor.  But then, that dude is one of those actors that everyone forgets about, but always brings his a-game.  Still, this movie had a ton of real talent in there.  Josh Hartnett, William Fitchner, Tom Hardy, Jason Isaacs, and get this – Nikolaj Coster-Waldau before he had any name recognition.  That’s right, Jaime Lannister was an American soldier in a movie.  A sniper for Delta Force, to be exact.  That’s cool.  The violence is hardcore, and the performances are all great.  Not to mention the cinematography is incredible.  This film isn’t remembered the way it should be, but trust me, it’s worth your time.

And my favorite war movie is…

1. Gettysburg
Those of you who have actually seen this movie are definitely scratching your heads at this choice.  On top of some of the best war films ever made is a film that definitely has its flaws about the Civil War.  Let me explain.  This movie tells the story of the Battle of Gettysburg.  The turning point of the Civil War.  Had the Confederates won there, who knows what would have happened.  Historians will say otherwise, but I think they would have gone through to Washington.  This movie has some VERY corny elements.  The score being the biggest among them.  However, the reason this movie ranks so high on my list is the performances.  There are some real powerful roles in this!  We have Martin Sheen as Gen. Robert E. Lee.  One of the most beloved generals in American history.  We have Tom Berenger as Gen. Longstreet.  His role especially got to me.  He doesn’t see eye-to-eye with Lee on several occasions.  He has a realist perspective on what they’re doing, but can only follow his orders.  It’s pretty great stuff.  Lastly, we have Jeff Daniels, who is also one of my favorite actors.  He’s playing Col. Chamberlain, a college professor turned soldier, leading a regiment against some of the worst fighting in the war.  The corny bits are able to get past me mostly because you can tell this was a passion project of a ton of dedicated people.  You can feel the passion in every performance.  I love this movie.  If you haven’t seen it, and you like the time period, do yourself a favor and check it out.

So, what about you all?  What are your favorite war movies?  Let me know down in the comments.

Until next time, a quote,

“They’ve gotta be tired, the Rebs.  They gotta be close to the end if we are.” – Col. Joshua L Chamberlain, Gettysburg

Peace out,

Maverick

A Wife, A Soldier, An Assassin

That, my dear readers, is the title of this little narrative.  Let me tell you, I don’t do these kinds of things much.  It’s hard for me to maintain an idea long-term.  This little concept for a story started with me being bored as fuck at my job.  So I decided to let my mind wander, and it came up with this.  It’s been fun writing it.  I’m gonna have links to all the parts of the story, in the order I wrote them.  Hopefully you all enjoyed this too, and will come back to it.  I will say that I may end up writing more stories of the missions of the STARS in various posts.  I will be adding them to this post if I do, so check back if you don’t follow my work regularly and want to see if there’s more stuff.

Act I – A Wife
A Chance Start of a Friendship
The Hidden Story (Part 1)
The Hidden Story (Part 2)
Old Friends, Lost Dreams
Unveiling Some Truth, But Not All
What I’m Thankful For This Year

Act II – A Soldier
Lost Sisters, Old Wounds
A Preparing for Battle Tale
Camaraderie Between Branches, and Sisters
A Den of Secrets and Lost Family
Bad Dreams, Bad Behavior
The Truth, the Whole Truth, and Nothing But the Truth (Part 1)
The Truth, the Whole Truth, and Nothing But the Truth (Part 2)
The Truth, the Whole Truth, and Nothing But the Truth (Part 3)
The Truth, the Whole Truth, and Nothing But the Truth (Part 4)
On Home, Gardens, and Babies
An Assassination, In Front of a Choir
The Principles of Youthful Love
Pictures and the Road Down Memory Lane
Home for the Holidays (Part 1)
Home for the Holidays (Part 2)

Act III – An Assassin
The Binary Compound Mission (Part 1)
The Binary Compound Mission (Part 2)
The Binary Compound Mission (Part 3)
Talking Until the Morning Light
The Submarine Mission (Part 1)
The Submarine Mission (Part 2)
The Dream
The Truth About Killing
Saying Goodbye to Her
Coming Full Circle (Part 1)
Coming Full Circle (Part 2)

As I said, there will be more mission stories, but the central narrative is finished.  I hope to see you all again later.

Until next time, a quote,

“War all comes down to these tiny stories about people’s lives that will never be the same.” – Eugene Richards

Peace out,

Maverick

Coming Full Circle (Part 2)

The phone rang.  Annoying.  Had to disengage myself from Ashley’s arms.  She was so soft.  Not nearly the cuddle-bug that Jean was, but still.  Looked at the clock.  0300.  Who would call at this hour?!
Picked it up.  “Hello?”
“Quinn-chan?!”  He sounded awfully perky.
“What do you want, Toriyama?  It’s really fucking early.”
“Oh yeah.  Sorry.  There’s something that I thought you ought to know.  Got a hot tip from someone.  Can’t say who.  They had me do some work on other documents from North Korea.  Very shady stuff.  Was something I found.  Thought you’d like to know.”
Now he had my attention.  “I’m listening.”
“Not over the phone.  Just give me an address.  Will ship it to you.”  A brief pause.  “But you may not like this, Quinn-chan.”
My tone was ice-cold.  “If you have something you think I’d like, then send it.”
“Ya, ya.  Okay.  But don’t say I didn’t tell you so if you no like it.”

It was dark, just how I like it.  A trip I had made years before.  Now I was making it again, for an entire different reason.  But I needed to know.  Had to know.  Needed an answer that only this man could give.  Didn’t know if he would be happy to see me.  Probably.  We had parted on good terms, after all.  But this wasn’t at all a good thing.  Old wounds that needed to be resolved.
Right back where my revenge started.  Sitting in the back of a car.  Well, laying in the back of a car.  Heard the door open.  As before, he was on his phone.
“Yes sir.  We’ve already got the President’s approval.  Once the budget goes through, we’ll get it started.  Thank you, sir.”
Silence.  Guess he was mulling things over.
Sat up.  “Another star on your uniform.  Very impressive.  You won’t be saying ‘sir’ to anyone here, pretty soon.”
He didn’t even have to look in the mirror.  “Pierce.  We have to stop meeting like this.  You know, if you wanted to talk, you could have just come to my office.”
I shook my head.  “There’s no official record I’m here.  Flew in under an alias.”
Still had that look where he was processing.  It was intense.  Even now, he still had it.
“Okay.  What did you want to talk about?”
“Got my hands on some interesting intel.  Real crazy stuff.  Seems the story about the attack on the Pacific Fleet didn’t end for them with the death of those who orchestrated it.  KPA did some digging.”
“Oh yeah?  And what did they find?”
I got very close.  “They found that it was curious that the dissident faction seemed to know exactly where to send their popper planes.  I mean, it isn’t like they had a big satellite network.  China had already told them no.  So how did they know where to strike?  Got me curious too.”
There was a little twitch in the man’s neck.
“Making me wonder – did the leak come from us?  Was there someone in our military who made sure they got it?  And if so, was my mission just to cover their tracks?  A big song and dance that helped them come out looking squeaky clean?  And also got us peace with one of our biggest adversaries?  Lots of questions.  Which then makes me wonder – was the guy who sent me on this wild goose chase the same one who knew where this all came from?
“Then I found out that the newly christened Delta Team got their start with a black ops mission here in the US.  Some ‘threats to national security’ iced.  Sounds like someone in the Navy used the STARS to clean house.  Sure would be a shame if it was the same person who sent me on my mission.  Wouldn’t it?”
The Admiral actually smiled.  “Not bad, Pierce.  But don’t think for one second that you’re innocent in this.  Like you said, you were gonna do this one way or the other.  You came to me looking for intel.  We both used each other.”
My knife slide into his neck like it went into butter.  “My wife’s dead because of you, you piece of shit!  Because you had to go scheming.  I told you that I would make her killers pay.  And now I have.  You’re the last loose end.”  Pulled the blade out.  He was dead in seconds.  “Goodbye, Amiral.”
Got out of the car.  My ERC-7 was on, and I exfil-ed the parking garage the same way as I had come in.  All these years later, and there was that same cathartic feeling that I had when I watched that mess hall full of KPA soldiers choke and scream and die.  But now it really was done.  She could rest.  And maybe, just maybe, so could I.

Epilogue

This was it.  What we had all been drilling for.  The last week here was nothing but drilling for the graduation ceremony.  Everything was regimented.  Every fucking thing.  We even had a practice hall that we used for the exact purpose of getting ready for the real deal.  But this was the home stretch.
My excitement was growing and growing.  While Petty Officer McGrath was yelling at us, I would be thinking about getting to see them again.  Dad told me wouldn’t miss it if the world was ending.  So had the rest.  All the letters we got.  Speaking of, had to get my duty done.  My tenure as the Mail Officer was coming to an end.  A post that I kicked ass at.  It was cool that I got the girls back home to send letters to the guys and girls who had no one writing to them.  Telling them that they were doing good work and that they knew it was hard.  I got a reputation around here as the person trying to help everyone.  Got the attention of the base commander.  No joke.  Felt proud of that.
Now the day had finally come, and here I was.  Dress whites on, I was ready.  We were all in formation.  My shipmates and I were in the 193, fourth in line.  Walked in to that room, and for the first time, I felt all the pride inside seeing all those people, to congratulate us for making it this far.  It wasn’t easy.  Not everyone makes it through boot camp.  Not everyone should.
I was there the day the girl died from heat exhaustion.  She didn’t want to look weak to her shipmates, so she hadn’t told Petty Officer.  Eventually it was clear, but by that point it was too late.  I can’t imagine being the CACO and having to tell her family that she died before she even got to be a Seaman.  Petty Officer was pissed.  Gave us all a talk as we did air-chairs that it doesn’t make us tougher sailors to die because we don’t report problems.  That we have a duty to our shipmates to look after ourselves, because we are all we can depend on.  When a ship is on fire, or we are under attack, all we have is each other.  So we have to trust each other.  That stuck with me.
Something to know about graduation from boot camp – it’s literally you standing at attention for 45 minutes.  No joke.  You cannot break formation or go at ease until they give you liberty.  Another thing is that they have people there whose sole job is to see those who are struggling and escort them out.  People pass out doing this.  Not even kidding.  Was hot as fuck, too.  Hated it.  But thinking about them all out there, watching me, seeing me in uniform, it made it so much easier.  Couldn’t wait to see Dad’s face.  Or hers.  She had promised that the rest would be here too.
Worst part of it all was when we all had to sing, in “unison,” Anchor’s Aweigh.  Never have I wanted to cringe more than I did then.  It was terrible.  People were off-key, not keeping time, and I hate singing unless I know I’m alone in the shower.  This was terrible.  Felt so humiliate to even be there.  Could almost feel her smirking at me.  But then, she’d been down this road before.  So had all of them.
Finally, and I do mean finally, the announcer came on.
“Now, let me say, Liberty!”
Everyone cheered.  Finally getting to break ranks, I knew Dad would come charging in to find me.  Sure enough, within moments, there he was.  Dressed in a blue suit that fit him like a glove.  Looking sharp, Dad!  Felt out-classed, all of the sudden.  But I wouldn’t when I had the officer’s dress uniform!
“Hey, sweetie!”  He gave me a big hug.  Kind of took the wind out of me.  “You look great in that uniform.  I’m so proud of you.”
Smiled at him.  “Thanks, Dad.  Not looking so bad in that suit.  Feeling outclassed.”
“Not for a minute, honey.”
Just then, I saw them.  Each standing in officer dress uniforms.  A little strange, considering that they weren’t in the Navy anymore, but these women were legends in the STARS.  I could see people looking at them with instant respect.  And in the center, there was she was.  My teacher.  My best friend.  The mom I never had, but I’d never tell her that.  Her hair was done up in a perfect bun.  She really did look the part.
Walking over, I immediately stood at attention.  Their uniform showed that they outranked me.
“Well done, Seaman Phillips.”
“Yes ma’am.  Thank you, ma’am.”
She stood at attention and saluted.  I returned it.
“Carry on, Seaman.”
Couldn’t get the smile off my face.  “Thank you, ma’am!”
Now she held out her arms.  “Give me a hug, kiddo.”
I jumped into her arms.  Just like old times.  Being 14 again and training with her.  Nothing had changed.  Except Quinn.  With her was Bethke, who was looking a little sheepish.  She was still enlisted, leading Alpha Team.  Beacham couldn’t be here, which made me sad.  But she did write and tell me how if I didn’t get through boot she would put her foot up my ass.  Believed it.  Pennyfeather couldn’t be here either.  Being Beacham’s right-hand woman was hard work.  Gave Rodriguez a hug.  She looked the most awkward in uniform.  Ever since she left it, she was always in something that had less layers, and showed more skin.  Even now, she still was looking for tail.  Some things never change.  Lastly, there was Crow.  Scuttlebutt back home was that her and Quinn were getting pretty close.  Nothing official, but part of me hoped they were.  I think they’d be cute together.
“I’m proud of you,” she said.
“Thanks, Quinn.”
It’s strange, but in that instant, for just a second, I thought I saw a woman with brown hair, just behind her.  Then I blinked, and she was gone.  I know Quinn has always been skeptical of the afterlife.  I am too.  But I like to think, that Jean was there too, also proud.
But now, I had a couple hours of Liberty.  Had to make the most of it.  Worst part was – no drinking.  I know that Rodriguez would hook me up.  Next stop, A School.  The first stop on the way to earning my wings.  I couldn’t wait to see what happened next.

Fin

Until next time, a quote,

“Only the dead have seen the end of war.” – Plato

Peace out,

Maverick

Top 10 Smart Science Fiction Films

You know what I miss – smart science fiction.  It’s so rare, these days.  With all the movies that treat science like a bitch that you can bend over a table and (insert horrifically dirty idea that your perverse mind can come up with), it’s genuinely comforting when I find films that actually get the concept right.  Or at the very least you can see there was some attempt to have science get a day in the sun instead of being treated like a beat dog.  So I decided to make a list of the films that were not only good films, but also did science right.  Maybe they didn’t get everything right, but they at least did their best to let science be a part that makes sense.

10. Ex Machina
The concept of a true artificial intelligence and people having to deal with it is older than me.  By far, actually.  But all of those films have a flaw that I just can’t look past – they don’t feel grounded in reality.  Films like AI have it where it’s a story about humanity’s prejudice against those who are different, so machines that think and feel are hated by people.  There was a game that came out last year with a similar tone that I liked.  But this film has it where they are at the very beginning.  We have a character who is brought in to be used as a kind of Turing Test for this new AI that a man has created.  It’s a very twisted thriller where we see this machine manipulating him, along with a human element manipulating things.  It’s very dark, and that’s part of why I like it.

9. 2001: A Space Odyssey
You might be wondering – what’s a film that is widely regarded as one of the greatest films ever made doing so low on this list?  Well, since this is all personal preference, while I do think this is a masterful movie, I don’t like it as smart science fiction as much as the others.  For starters, anyone who watches and enjoys Stanley Kubrick films knows that you have to be prepared for LONG bits of slow pacing.  It’s a meme, at this point.  This film is no exception.  HAL as the villain is pretty great, but there were times when I just couldn’t get past the slow burn pacing of this movie.  And the ending went into the realms of pretentious.  It is a great movie, from a film-making standpoint, but I just couldn’t get into it as much as other people.

8. Jurassic Park
This pick my have some of you scratching your head.  Wasn’t this some big blockbuster?  Well, yeah, but it is still grounded in the fact that it is a science fiction monster movie.  I might be biased towards it because it is based on a book by my favorite author – Michael Crichton.  While not close to the best adaptation of his work, it’s still got some of the science that the book was centered on in there.  The smart angle comes from the fact that it’s grounded in what they did to bring the dinosaurs back to life.  The film goes out of its way to tell us all about that.  What’s more, they have it come back to that with how the dinosaurs end up reproducing.  That’s pretty smart.  While it may have ended up being a monster movie, the monsters were cool, and there was grounding to the science that made it work.  I take that for what I will.

7. Apollo 13
More of you are probably wondering about this.  I mean, isn’t this based on a real event?  Yeah, it is.  But I see this film more as a dramatized piece of historical fiction rather than a straight-up piece.  After all, this was based on a book by Jim Lovell, who was one of the astronauts associated with this movie.  Telling the story of the ill-fated Apollo 13 mission, what really sets this film apart is that the scenes in the film where they are in zero-g are actually done in zero gravity.  Part of why this film cost so much to make was due to how insane the effects were and what it took to create them.  It’s a great film where you can actually see what being in space would be like, and fear for astronauts.  Not to mention Tom Hanks is the lead.  Can’t go wrong.

6. Annihilation
Made by the same guy who made Ex Machina, this movie is one of my favorite films about aliens coming to Earth ever.  It also gets to add itself to the list of great movies that no one saw.  Telling the story of a woman trying to find out what happened to her husband, getting involved in a plot about this strange area that develops after a meteor hits earth – the Shimmer.  Inside, the laws of nature twist and turn.  Reality warps in there, and the deeper her and her compatriots go, the scarier it gets.  What I love most about this film is that even in the end, there is no explanation.  Dude asks her what the aliens wanted.  She doesn’t know.  They ask her if she knows what they are.  She doesn’t know.  They constantly try and figure a rational reason behind what the Shimmer was or anything inside, but there are none to be found.  It just was.  That’s smart science fiction, to me.  Because why would alien motives make sense to us?  They are, quite literally, alien.  The rhyme and reason we take for granted would be just as foreign to them as theirs is to us.  Not to mention the body horror in that.  This movie had one of the scariest scenes in years.

5. The Andromeda Strain
Another adaptation of my favorite author.  Far and away the best of them.  Telling the story of a satellite that lands back on Earth and is recovered by a small town, only for all of them to be dead.  What follows is an investigation by some of the best scientists in the world to see if they can isolate and then cure the infection.  This is a slow-burn film, but that works in this one’s favor, as you can fee the tension as they are getting closer and closer to understanding, and realizing that they are dealing with something that is unlike anything else they have ever seen.  The scene where they finally get an eye-view of the microscopic alien life is still scary to this day.  The effects have really held up over time.  Old movie, based on a VERY old book.

4. Arrival
I’m starting to think that there is nothing that Denis Villeneuve cannot do in terms of film-making.  His movies have run the gamut in terms content.  Suspense thrillers, crime thrillers, and then we see him do a foray into smart science fiction.  What’s more, it’s fantastic.  Telling the story of a series of alien ships that come to Earth.  The military gets the help of a woman who is a linguistics expert to try and speak to the aliens.  What follows is a fantastic movie and some great smart science fiction where they understand the language of the aliens, and see that it goes beyond just spoken words.  This film was the one that convinced me that science fiction that was intelligent could still be made in the modern age.  Also it was my favorite movie of 2016.  So there’s that.

3. Contact
This is a movie that I grew up with.  It grew on me from when I first saw it, and re-watching it a while back, it still sticks.  Another film about first contact with aliens, this one takes a decidedly different angle.  Ostensibly this film is about the battle between the need for scientific discovery, and humanity’s paranoia.  We have Jodie Foster as an astronomer who is trying to find alien life.  When she finally does, the young woman becomes embroiled in a struggle to get past the worst of our species, to be able to answer questions she has always had.  This film got some flak for the Matthew McConaughey character and how that romance wasn’t necessary.  But I think it was.  Foster believed, genuinely, that spirituality and faith were bad.  She’d seen nothing but the worst of it, growing up.  But he was like the realization that maybe there could be a meeting in the middle of the ideas. Faith was a very big theme.  Not a perfect movie.  It has its flaws.  But as smart science fiction goes, this is pretty fantastic.

2. The Martian
I recently have just fallen head over heels in love with this movie.  Ridley Scott is a great filmmaker.  He really is.  This film is so utterly amazing.  Telling the story of an astronaut who ends up stranded on Mars after his team believes he is dead and has to evacuate.  From there is a great look at all the science involved in not only his survival, but also getting him home.  This film has some fantastic performances by the entire cast.  Matt Damon is at his best in the role as Mark Watney.  Another film where he has to be rescued.  Someone should put a bell around his neck.  The effects in this movie are amazing.  The CG is really good.  There is a nice integration of practical effects.  The sets are cool.  All of the science is on point.  I love this movie.  It does the source material proud as well.  Another film based off a book.  If you haven’t seen this movie yet, you’re doing a disservice to yourself by not doing so right now.

And my favorite smart science fiction film is…

1. Blade Runner
The film that created the term cyberpunk in the popular lexicon.  A movie with a cyberpunk edge might not seem to be in the realm of smart science fiction, but I do believe this movie is.  Sure, we have flying cars, and that is silly.  But what makes this smart is the themes of the film.  It’s a movie about power relationships.  The replicants are beneath humans.  Society seems them that way.  They are forced to be in ugly places far from Earth.  Coming to Earth is on pain of death.  The test to find out if a person is a replicant or not is invasive and cold.  Deckard is a man who goes between the lower and upper world, belong in neither.  When he realizes that Rachel is a replicant, he treats her as poorly as the rest of people would.  This film is all about subtle themes that play out in a culmination of the final moments before Roy Batty’s death, are are among the most talked about in all of cinema.  The sequel was alright, but nothing can beat the original, in my eyes.  If you haven’t seen this film too, you’re also missing out.

What about you?  What are some of your favorite smart science fiction films?  Please don’t comment stupid shit like Gravity.  That film is visually amazing, but the science fiction in it is dumb as dirt.

Until next time, a quote,

“I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe.” – Roy Batty, Blade Runner

Peace out,

Maverick

Coming Full Circle (Part 1)

“When I first joined the Navy, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do with my life.  It was all just something to get me out of that town and doing something important.  Boot camp was the loneliest I had ever been.  All the people getting mail from their families, it hurt.  You’d get the occasional guy who got a Dear John letter from a girlfriend.  Had a couple girls who got it from their girlfriends.  Never saw boyfriends sending this shit.
“Then I joined up with the STARS, because it felt like something worth doing.  They sold me on it being a unit for women, helping them get into combat roles.  The training we got, the places we visited, it was incredible.  I’ve done arctic training in Canada with CANSOFCOM.  I’ve crawled through sand with Kurdish fighters.  I’ve run through jungles with COPESP.  And I learned how to disappear in cities with the SAS.  It was amazing.  Difficult.  I thought that it couldn’t be harder than boot camp.  You can’t imagine how wrong I was.  The SEALS have Hell Week.  We had Hell Months.  When we got sleep were the good nights.  When we didn’t was pretty usual.  So many women dropped out or were flunked out.
“At first, we were seen as just the women-force.  What they called the FDU.”
“What was that?” Johnathan asked.
“The Frigid Dykes Unit.”
“Christ.  You’d think they’d give you more respect than that.”
I chuckled.  “Respect is earned, in the military.  And we eventually did earn it.  Like you wouldn’t believe.”
Emily was sitting on the edge of the bed, feet up and arms around her knees.  Kiddo looked awkward.  But I made the choice to finally be open with them.  These two were the closest thing I had to family since losing my wife.  Now I had to give them the full story.  Minus the classified bits.  I think.  Sometimes it’s hard to know with a unit that was breaking the law and sometimes operating on American soil to kill threats to the country.
“For a while, we were just a stealth unit, infiltrating, getting intel, setting explosives, whatever needed to be done.  Sure, there would be the occasional kill we’d have to make, but soon the brass realized our ability as killers and saw fit to have it become a bigger and bigger part of our operations.  One of Alpha Team stood out among the rest in regards to being a good killer.”
“Who?” John asked.
“Me.”  So many memories flashed before me.  So many kills.  The ways I could do it.  How I was always seeing ways to kill people.  “I was so good at it.  They had me doing more and more of it over the years.  Until finally I didn’t even know if I could stop.  It was doing things to me.  Mentally, physically, you name it.  The only person who was able to help me get out of the darkness with killing was Jean.  That’s part of how our relationship began.  She asked for some shore leave so all of us could unwind.  Our first date was that night.  The beginning of what would be the best relationship I’ve ever had.”
Both my companions looked awkward.
“Oh Quinn, I’m so sorry.  I can’t imagine how awful it was to lose her.” he said, finally.
“Ever since, I haven’t been able to get past it.  Haven’t been able to let the killing go.  It’s all I know how to do.  So I keep doing it.  But now there’s no outlet.  My hands aren’t shaking, but my mind is still breaking.  I don’t know how much more of this I have in me.  But you all came into my life, and I feel like maybe, just maybe, there’s a future for me.”
Emily smiled at me.
“I’m sorry, kiddo.  I didn’t mean to hurt Ashley the way I did.  It’s just, there’s so much guilt inside me for what happened.  I was the one who convinced Jean to go on deployment when she did.  I wanted us to actually be able to spend a Christmas together in our new home.  Two years, and we still hadn’t been able to.  I wasn’t going to let that year be different.  Wanted to make tasty food for us.  Maybe have some of the girls who had no family over.  Make a feast for all the sisters.  That’s been in the back of my head for years.  Guess it caught up with me that night.”
All she did was nod at me.
“I think I’m finally ready to see if I can move forward.  I can’t leave the company I started, but I can start looking at the jobs I get offered.  Maybe change my criteria.  Some of the girls I served with are looking to leave the Navy.  No point letting good talent go to waste.”
“That sounds like a wonderful idea,” John replied, with that approving dad look.  He really did remind me of my old Lt.  “If you’re ever looking for a CFA, I might know a guy who has the credentials.”
“What about the company you’re with now?”
He shrugged.  “It’s good money, but truth be told, I want something more challenging.  Handling the legal side for a Private Military Corporation sounds like one hell of a challenge.  I like it.”
There was this moment that passed between us.  Reminded me of when I had been negotiating with the Admiral after Jean died.  Two equals, figuring shit out together.
“Well, we’ll see when we get there.  Not committing to anything now.”
He nodded.  “Absolutely.  Decisions like this should always be given a great deal of thoughts.  But I’m glad you’re finally starting to think about your future.”
So much weight off me.  They were all on the same page.
Looked over at Em.  “You mind looking after Natayo and Shadow while I’m still in here?  They said it will still be a couple more days.”
She nodded.  “Sure!  They’re pretty great.”
“Thanks.  But you know, once I’m out of here, we’re back into training.  You’ve been slacking off!  Can’t have that.  And I want to expand your education.  Have you learn some new stuff.”
That got her attention.  “What new stuff?!”
“It’s time I teach you how to fight.  Some basic CQC.”
“Hell yeah!”
When her dad gave her a look, we both cracked up.

A couple days went by.  Finally getting back home, still recovering from a bullet wound.  I had gotten lucky.  Bullet went right through me.  No major arteries knicked, but my intestines had been perforated.  Did some surgery to get me patched up, now it was just about recovery.  Spent my days resting, for the most part.  Wasn’t going to risk my stitches getting undone.
Kiddo would come over.  I’d talk with her about what we would be doing.  Basic combat stances, being able to read opponents, relaxing her muscles.  Had a kitty perched on my lap pretty much the entire time I was recovering.  Pussy got some serious love.  Pupper wasn’t especially pleased with this.  But Emily was taking him out to run.  That did make a happy dog.
Finally, after what felt like forever, I was back on my feet.  Had to recover a LOT of strength.  Apparently I lost a decent amount of blood.  Now it was about getting my strength back and then going back into it with kiddo.
Something else that happened because of what I did – apparently I had a REALLY big fan club at Emily’s school.  Word got out about the badass former STARS member who saved the lives of students and even got a shooter to put the gun down.  The accomplice was dead before he hit the floor, but the first guy did surrender without incident.  None of the other students were hurt.  Only casualty of the event was me.  Got to talk to a news crew.  Being regarded as a hero was the weirdest shit ever.  All these years, a hero is the last thing I felt like.  But now, here I was, getting thank you cards, flowers, even a stuffed kitty with a card telling me to get well.  It was a cute snow leopard design.  Natayo now attacks it all the time.  It’s super cute.
Ended up going to Em’s school, and the second I walked in the door, the staff came to greet me.  The principal shook my hand.  Got to sashay into kiddo’s class and walk in like a rock star.  My old Navy hoodie was covered in blood, but it seems my Alpha Team sisters were all over that.  They got me a new one, that had Alpha Team’s insignia on the back.  The same one that Jean designed.  Not gonna lie, cried a bit when I opened it.  But I wear it so proudly.  Seeing that hoodie, so many people were all over me.  The adulation felt nice, but I didn’t let it go to my head.  At least, I don’t think so.  People asked me what it was like being in that situation, and I leveled with them that my first thought was with taking out the first kid.  But I pushed myself past my worse angels to reason with him, and I was glad I did.
I think everyone expected military bravado.  Eff that.  I wanted them to know the truth.  Needless to say, kiddo was something of a rock star for being chill with me.  For a little while, it made things awkward when we’d go to the pool to do training sessions and people would want to shake my hand of whatever.  But eventually the craziness died down and everyone moved on to the next thing.  In the age of Internet culture, nothing stays a huge deal for long.
Stuff with my company was changing too.  I had a couple of assassination contracts I had already agreed to.  Once a contract is signed, I can’t get out of it.  So I knew that I’d have to play those out.  I could do that.  The pain wasn’t as vivid.  The mental stress.  Maybe all of this was tied to how I had been holding everything in.  Was it the same way when Jean and I were dating?  I couldn’t talk about anything back then, either.  Perhaps the secrecy was what was fucking up my life.
One day I got a text from Ashley, wondering if I was doing anything.  Was kind of shocked.  After what happened between us, I figured she hated my guts.  Turns out, she was just scared and didn’t know how to deal.  Kiddo had talked with her, and now she was hoping to get another chance to spend a fun night together when she was in town.  I do remember how unbelievably attractive she was.  And pretty good in bed, too.  I needed a woman in my bed again.  Since the bad dreams had stopped, I was certain this was gonna be crazy.  I told her to wear something really sexy, on top and underneath.

Lt was coming out of the base.  He had a look on his face of it being a long day.  He fiddled with his keys, trying to unlock the door.
“Hey,” I greeted.
The look on his face was one of shock.  “What are you doing here, Pierce?”
Hopped off the rail I was sitting on, tossing him a beer.  Not some domestic shit.  America makes crappy beer.  Just gonna put that out there.
“Just in the neighborhood.  Figured I’d come visit.  Looking sharp, I see.”  Suddenly something caught my eye.  There had been a change to his uniform.  New collar, shoulder, and sleeve chevrons.
“Lt. Commander now.  Rock on!  So does this mean you’re not in charge of Alpha Team anymore?”
He shook his head.  “For now I’m still here.  A replacement is being selected from the program.  It’s in a bit of a bind.  We’re having new women integrated into Delta and Echo teams, but since several team members are leaving the ranks because either their enlistment is up or they asked for a transfer, we may end up having to compartmentalize the teams into new ones.”  Then he gave me a wry look.  “I mean some of those leaving have cards from your company.  You wouldn’t happen to know anything about that, would you?”
I gave the biggest innocent face ever.  “Who, me?!  Never!”
Guy chuckled.  “Smart ass as always.”
“Aye, sir.”
“I heard you talked with the other girls.  Once they stopped shit-talking you, I knew something happened.  They’re playing it close to the uniform, but I know something happened.  They talked about coming to visit you.  And convinced me to sign that card we sent after you got shot.  Heard what happened at the school.  Very impressive, Pierce.  On both the kid you talked down, and the one you took down.”
It still felt good, getting adulation from my old LCO.
“Thank you, Lt.  Well, guess I can’t call you that anymore.”
He snorted.  “Might as well.  It’s what the others still do.  No respect around here.”
Gave him a wink.  “Not a bit, sir.”
Leaning against the car, he took a swig of the beer.  “You look a lot better, Pierce.  I remember that day I saw you at the hospital.  You looked like shit.”
“Yeah.  I was in a bad place.”
“And now?”
“Now, I’m in a different one.  Not entirely sure what’s gonna happen, but I think that I am on the path.”
He nodded.  “I’m glad to hear that.  Part of me always hoped that one day you’d end up in charge of a team with the STARS.  But then, you were always following Beacham’s lead.  She’s one of the people we’re looking at to replace me.  Give her a HUGE promotion and then give her command of Alpha.  Don’t tell her I said that, Pierce!  Understood?”
“Wilco, sir.”
“Thanks.  I put her name in myself.  That woman has the makings of a great commanding officer.  Someday I know she’s gonna be where I am now.”
“You’re not wrong.”
We stood there for a few moments, just drinking beer and listening to the noise of the base.  F-22s landing down the way.
“I heard you’re finally getting a divorce form Vicki,” I said, finally.
“Why am I not surprised you know that.”
“I am so glad.  That woman was a bitch, sir!”
“She was a little rough around the edges…”
“No!  She was a bitch.  We all hated her so much.  She treated you like her dog.  Hope your lawyer takes her to the cleaners.”
“Yeah, I’m sure that’ll happen.”
“We live in the age of equality, sir!  That means that women can be fucked over in a divorce as much as any man.”
Another snort from him.  “Yeah, I’m sure.  But no way am I gonna get out of this without paying alimony.  At least my son is in college now and I don’t have to worry about child support.”
“No kidding.  Up here it’s a bitch.”
“Copy that.”
From there, we have finally reached a point of being able to be personal.  Some light conversation.  His son heading to Cal-Tech, to study to be an astrophysicist.  Wanted to end up doing some work for the Navy.  Made his father proud.  I could feel that.  Would make me proud too.
Finally, Lt looked to leave.  “So, you gonna be alright, Pierce?”
“Aye, sir.  I think I will be.”
He held out his hand.  “It was good to see you again.”
Shook it.  “You too, Lt. Commander.”

Until next time, a quote,

“I started the lab because I was never able to create friends.” – Okabe, Steins;Gate

Peace out,

Maverick

Lucien’s Review: Unplanned

I know what some of you are thinking – Lucien, what are you doing talking about the latest piece of pro-life crap?  Well, I’ll tell you.  See, a girly-mate of mine hit me up a couple days ago and asked if I would go see this film with her.  Way she put it, there had to be something here that would be worth talking about, right?  She was right.  After watching this terrible cinematic abortion (pun intended), there is plenty to talk about.  Let’s get down to it.

When I saw the Pure Flix logo, I knew that I was in for something really special in terms of bad film-making.  Pure Flix has produced some of the most unapologetic shit in the Christian film genre.  But for whatever reason, they make their money back.  In spades.  I guess it’s because they makes movies on a budget of nothing and the Christian audience who wants their opinions fed back to them by bland characters that they can shove themselves inside of like a skin will pay to see this shit.

This particular film has the tagline “based on a true story.”  Yeah, I’m sure it is.  Just like the film I’m Not Ashamed, which exploited the death of a victim of the Columbine school shooting, I’m sure this will be true in name only.  The film tells the story of Abby Johnson, a women who went from director of a Planned Parenthood clinic to a pro-lifer who stands with the best of them.  The level of unsubtle this film goes talking about Planned Parenthood is eye-opening.

There’s this big disclaimer at the end of the film that says that Planned Parenthood has nothing to do with the portrayal in it.  I guarantee that a lawyer made sure they put that as big as they possibly could.  Because holy shit!  This film goes so far out of its way to make Planned Parenthood to be as evil as possible.  For starters, this film is shot like a horror movie.  The inside of the clinic is drab and dark.  The hallways are painted ugly colors and the lights are barely on.  Not to mention this film has a tint at the edges to always make the shots inside it be darker.  I swear, they might as well have had blood all over the walls with how evil they are trying to make this place out to be.

But it doesn’t end there.  For starters, right off the bat, the film beats you over the fucking head with the fact that one of the services Planned Parenthood does is abortions.  When our all-perfect protagonist is starting out and makes the absurd jump from pro-life to working there, you have a woman at the college telling her all about how Planned Parenthood just gives out contraception and does abortions.  Telling her that they do tests for STDs?  Nah.  Check-ups for women?  Nope.  Mammograms?  Fuck that!  We have an ideological screed to sell to people who don’t think critically!  After all, they believe in God.

Then we have the fact that the main character talks about how she used to be a saleswoman for abortion.  That’s all she did.  She talks with what sounds like pride about the fact that she could sell abortion the way a used car salesman does cars.  Except better.  All she does, day in and day out is sell abortion.  Then we have a bit where my favorite character in this film, a boss woman named Cheryl who I started calling Baron Von Evil for how utterly unsubtle she is (I seriously love that character.  She makes Saturday morning cartoon villains blush with how she is a single-minded scum-bag who hates everyone who disagrees with her, motherhood, marriage, and Christianity) tells a gathering that they have to pimp even more abortions.  They actually have her making an analogy that abortion is where Planned Parenthood makes their money, comparing it to fries and a drink at fast food.  This character is too much.  I loved every second she’s on the screen.  Hell, they have this bit where, after getting a restraining order against the main character, she then violates it herself just to be a bitch to the woman.  It’s great.

But we also have some really insulting stuff.  Not even gonna go in to the whole “a fetus isn’t a baby” thing, because that just leads to arguments where you can’t win with them.  I defer to George Carlin to the pro-life argument broken down to its simplest parts.  But they make everyone who works there out to be either completely callus, or just downright evil.  The inciting incident (sort of.  There is a bunch of non-linearity in this movie that is just bad.  Like they have a flash-back within a flash-back.  A BIG cinematic no-no) has a character who is basically miserable, being treated like meat by the doctor who has ZERO bed-side manners and a nurse who is cold and unfeeling.  And our main character, who is not medically licensed in any way, just happens to be helping him with an abortion.

Which brings me to something else about this film – their knowledge of how medical law works is absurd.  I don’t expect something by Pure Flix to be anything approaching even-handed, but how stupid do they think their audience is that they aren’t gonna notice some of this stuff?  Like we have a scene where an underage girl is brought in to the clinic to get an abortion, by her EVIL father who is basically forcing her to do it.  Something to know about this film – men are treated as either holy Christian virtues, or total misogynists.  But we have this girl brought in.  There’s a complication, and she is bleeding out.  They keep her in this waiting room where they just line her up along the wall with a TON of other women after having a procedure.  Bullshit right there, but let’s not get hung up on the little stupid crap.  They take her back to an operating room, and from there they have the asshole doctor patching her up.  But get this – not only do they not have her taken to a hospital, but Baron Von Evil tells them to lie to her father and say nothing, otherwise they would be liable.

I’ve worked in the medical industry.  I’m getting my education to go back into it on the social work side, combining medical coding education with my current job as a caseworker.  So I know a thing or two about HIPAA.  Let me tell you, there is so much that either the filmmaker didn’t know (because they’re stupid), or just decided to willfully omit from this (because they’re evil).  Any major operations on a minor would have to be authorized by the parent.  The parent has a legal right to know what has happened to their child.  Not to mention, all medical information has to be coded into their chart.  Those charts can be requested by the parent/guardian of the child at any time.  So Baron Von Evil had the doctor perform major surgery without notifying the father, made sure not to notify the patient, and would then subsequently have to falsify the records, which since there would have involved at least five people who were in the room, and whoever controls the chart records.

Do I have to tell you what a legal shit-storm would follow if they did that?  Because Planned Parenthood gets Federal funding, they have a larger obligation to transparency.  Not to mention the medical industry can audit them at any time if there is suspicion of malfeasance.  This would NEVER happen!  Not to mention, they do major surgery on this kid, and then have her back in that same waiting area with all the other women sitting in the damn chairs!  Are you kidding me?!  No doctor that is worth their license (or nurse, for that matter) is gonna tell you to put a patient who just had major surgery in a fucking chair.  They’d be hospitalized and told to be kept at least overnight for monitoring.  This film is so fucking dumb.

And we’re not even done.  Let’s talk about the “acting” in this movie.  Aside from Baron Von Evil, who made me smile every time she’s on the screen, everyone in this film was decidedly terrible across the board.  The one that really got me was the child actor who played the main character’s daughter.  That kid was ear-grating.  Can Pure Flix stop making movies with children?  They are universally bad.  Well, all their movies are bad, but the bad child actors in their films just make them worse.  Then there’s the husband, who couldn’t have sounded less convincing with anything he said.

There is also this wonderful stark contrast with the people involved in Planned Parenthood and the ones who are Christian.  See, the Christian characters all wear bright colors and have upbeat, positive attitudes.  They want to help, and they really care.  While they make sure you know that the EVIL liberals like me are not to be trusted.  In fact, they even make the argument that the main character is in danger from some of them.  You know, because us pro-choice types are out there attacking and killing anti-abortion protestors all the time, right?  And not pro-life people killing doctors.  No, that never happens.  Say what you will about the radical left of today, but this film’s portrayal of my side of the fence was more than a little insulting.

Someone who was a friend to me had an abortion when she was 16.  Her boyfriend used her as a living flesh-light, and her insular family didn’t explain contraception to her.  I didn’t know until she asked me to be there with her when they had the procedure done.  Later on, she told me what a difficult decision it was for her.  The family was drowning in poverty.  She literally couldn’t afford to have a child.  Not to mention it would have destroyed any chance she had of making a future outside of the poverty she came from.  It wasn’t a choice she made lightly.  People who knew and who came from the same religious background she did had a bad habit of calling her a slut and a whore.  But in this film, they make sure to tell you that THEIR version of pro-lifers aren’t like that.  No, they don’t ever say that sort of stuff to women.  In fact, they condemn it vociferously.  A pity that this movie’s fantasy world and real life don’t match up like that.

This movie is stupid.  It’s insulting to an organization that does so much for women that aren’t related even tangentially to abortion.  It’s ironic because this movie talks about an idea that is true – that giving contraception to women reduces the amount of abortions.  That’s true.  But the same people who made this shit are the same people who say that abstinence is the only path.  Because they’re fucking dumb.  I got annoyed a lot in the movie.  There was a long stretch of this film just shoving their stupid ideology down my throat. and me wishing I was anywhere else.  To quote Mr. Plinkett – It gave me AIDS!  Don’t watch it.  This is pure horse-shit.  I told the girly-mate I mentioned at the top of this that if we ever decide to watch a Pure Flix film again, It’s gonna be at home where I can yell at the screen.

Final Verdict
3 out of 10

Peace out,

Maverick