Don't Encourage Us

Paradise (2023) Netflix

Episode Summary

In a stimulating odyssey through cinematic and ethical dimensions, our fearless hosts dissect 'Paradise', the German film filled with rich moral quandaries. Delving into the film's portrayal of life as a tradable commodity, they contrast it with 'Ballerina', a Korean action thriller, exploring societal and psychological undercurrents. This episode offers deep, thoughtful analysis and engaging discussions, examining the intricate themes and speculative aspects of these diverse narratives. Our hosts' fervent interest in ethical dilemmas in fiction guides the audience through a compelling exploration of the profound implications and lasting impacts of these thought-provoking films TLDR: This episode is a dive into what happens when life's value is measured in currency, not moments.

Episode Notes

In a stimulating odyssey through cinematic and ethical dimensions, our fearless hosts dissect 'Paradise', the German film filled with rich moral quandaries. Delving into the film's portrayal of life as a tradable commodity, they contrast it with 'Ballerina', a Korean action thriller, exploring societal and psychological undercurrents. This episode offers deep, thoughtful analysis and engaging discussions, examining the intricate themes and speculative aspects of these diverse narratives. Our hosts' fervent interest in ethical dilemmas in fiction guides the audience through a compelling exploration of the profound implications and lasting impacts of these thought-provoking films. TLDR: We already trade our lives for money. Getting it over quickly might be better.

Working with Jigsaw 

Ballerina (2023)

The Call (2020)

Paradise (2023)

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Episode Transcription

Speaker 1: It's really, uh, the moral quandary, right? Would you sell years of your life in exchange for cash? Who has the right to do it? That's a pretty timely topic, I would say.

Speaker 2: Don't we already do that though?

Speaker 1: In a way, yeah, we do. Ever since the Industrial Revolution,

Speaker 2: right? I mean, but even so, people who are farming, isn't that just kind of being human?

Like, you can't really do what you want all the time. That's sort of the point of this film. Yeah, pretty much,

Speaker 1: yeah. Except you don't sell those years all at once.

Speaker 2: Well, I mean, you're giving up nights and weekends in exchange for getting it over with right away. Welcome to Don't Encourage Us, the show where we talk about the big ideas behind fiction projects of all different kinds.

Books, movies, TV shows, video games, nothing's off limits today. We're discussing paradise. It's the 2023 German film presently on Netflix. But first, what's been on your list this week? This week was pretty

Speaker 1: good. I watched a movie called Ballerina, Korean film, an action film. It's along the lines of Kill Bill, a revenge thriller, really cool movie.

I thought it was really well acted. The cinematography was fantastic and the set design. I was really into this movie. The pacing was great. I, um, highly recommend it. Yeah, it's about a, um, a woman who, they don't really get into too much of her background, except that she's like a bodyguard. And she has like special skills, kind of like a, like a CIA, Jason Bourne type of character.

And, um, she's avenging her friend's death, who's been sucked into kind of like this, I guess like a human trafficking sort of ring. And, yeah, I don't want to spoil too much about it, but it's on the, I think it's on top ten. Most watched movies in America for the week so far. So

Speaker 2: really Netflix and Netflix.

Speaker 1: Yeah. Yeah Yeah, it's it's it's a really fun one really kinetic action really stylized. It's almost like you're watching a music video More than a movie, but it's it's really it's really well done the color palette in each one of the scenes It's like something like watching like a Tarantino movie. Like it's really well planned.

The shots are extremely well framed Yeah, I'll

Speaker 2: put that on my list for sure. That sounds amazing. It's the same

Speaker 1: director of another movie. That was really great called the call Which I also recommend, uh, a horror movie. When was that? The call's from maybe 2018? 2019? But I didn't know before I saw this one.

I looked up the director and I was like, oh, that's a great movie too, so. Yeah, I think there are going to be some really great movies coming from this guy. And I, whose, whose name I forgot, of

Speaker 2: course, I think I can, uh, give it a googs the call 2013 veteran 911 operator.

Speaker 1: No, no, that's, that's another one.

That's supposed to be really good. I think that's the movie that was remade by Jake Gyllenhaal recently. Is that that Norwegian one or

Speaker 2: Danish one? The Call, 2020 South Korean film, directed by Lee Chung Hyun.

Speaker 1: Yeah, you should check that one out as well. It's really

Speaker 2: good. The Ballerina and The Call, two excellent recommendations.

I'm excited to try them. Let me know what you

Speaker 1: think. It's just, you know, not often recently that I've seen any movies that are that well done and stylistically so visually appealing. Mm hmm. With both camera movement, but also set design. And this one has it, has

Speaker 2: both. Was it a dub or a, uh I watched a dub,

Speaker 1: but you can watch it subtitled if you want.

And the dubbing is always really good on Netflix. Which I'm always really pleasantly surprised about. Because they get really good actors.

Speaker 2: Yeah, the, uh, the dub on our film today, Paradise, was also very good. I was a little surprised.

Speaker 1: Yeah. Yeah, it was great. How about you? Uh,

Speaker 2: so I had a sketch idea. Just as a side note, uh, in the back of my head, I've always thought it'd be really fun to create, like, a series of sketches and just put them on YouTube.

No real structure to the show, not trying to recreate something like Kids in the Hall, but just every now and then, writing some sketches, maybe putting them together in one video or just releasing them as they occur to you. But I thought it'd be fun if a guy goes to a personal trainer, you know, like a fitness trainer, and it turns out to be the puppet from Saw.

So he like gets, gets into some elaborate, uh, you know, you know, those like Nautilus machines with all the padding and the, uh, arms and stuff. They're on levers and things like that. Except this one really kind of encloses you and you get into it and he gets in and it kind of locks when he's in there and he's like, Oh, I don't know about this, but his face and his arms are up against pads and then there's like a.

You know, Jim TV and the puppet from saw is in there and starts explaining to him that he's either going to work his lower abs the whole time, or if he releases his lower abs, it's going to stretch his hip flexors to the full range of a healthy person. And he's like, no, and he's like forced to work as a lower abs.

I think that would be a very effective training tool. That's

Speaker 1: really funny. Did you ever see that sketch working with Jigsaw? No, what is that? It's along the lines of what you're talking about. It's as if the um, that puppet from Saw was your co worker. It's really funny. .

Speaker 2: I'll have to check that out. Is that on YouTube?

It's on YouTube, yeah. Excellent. So somebody had pretty much the same idea I did and beat me to it. Uh mm-Hmm. by a few years, but this is pretty funny. It's an obvious one. Yeah.

Speaker 1: I like your idea a lot though. The, uh, cheeks saw personal

Speaker 2: trainer. Was it, it'd be a workout for

Speaker 1: sure. It really would be. Yeah. You're really incentivized to complete your, uh. Your workout, for sure, puts you in a trap at the end,

Speaker 2: every workout, he doesn't have to threaten you with death or injury, just, you know, natural body movements, because they're so painful for the average person.

If you actually stand up straight and you have to stand up straight for more than like two seconds, it's painful. People start sweating, right? So all he has to do is create movements and machines that counterbalance your inflexibility with. Building core muscle strength. I like it. Maybe I'll make it an app instead.


Speaker 1: Yeah. Oh, did you

Speaker 2: watch anything? I've been listening to the audio books for the expeditionary four series. I'm on, I believe book 10 and I just love it. It's just, I don't know how the author does it. It's not super complicated stuff, but he does such a good job. Keeping it engaging. I thought by book 10, he'd be losing me as an audience member, but actually I feel like he hit a point where he got a little bit better.

That's great. You on

Speaker 1: triple speed when you listen to it.

Speaker 2: I'm at a Steve minus 10. We call them normal

Speaker 1: speed. It's like, Oh, I missed that chapter. Wait a minute. I was on chapter two three minutes ago and now I'm on chapter 10. What happened?

Speaker 2: Your weird metric system that you use for listening to things, right?

No, yeah, I uh, I really enjoy the performance like we were talking about. I still am a proponent of that theory. The only reason you didn't like it is because the guy is acting his heart out and he's such a talented. That I think at, you know, fast speeds, it's probably really annoying. Yeah, I think you're

Speaker 1: probably right.

That's my theory. I just think it's funny to listen to it like that. And then annoy you when I don't finish the book.

Speaker 2: Gotcha, Steve. All right. So our project this week is Paradise. The 2023. German language film that is dubbed and I guess you could probably turn on the subtitles as well or instead I think Netflix makes that an option now.


Speaker 1: does. Yeah, and there's a lot of different languages You can you can switch to so

Speaker 2: so I listened to it dubbed and I think you did the same And we both thought that was pretty well done good acting. This was directed by Boris Kuntz Starring Kostya Ullman, maybe? Is that his name? Yeah,

Speaker 1: I think so. You know, we're good with these pronunciations.

Speaker 2: Yeah, sure. Yeah, I'm killing the pronunciations. Uh, premise of this one, as I would put it, is unexplained equipment lets people sell years of their lives to others. And a man goes on a mission to get his wife's years back. I think that's a

Speaker 1: good summary. It's really, uh, the moral quandary, right? Would you sell years of your life in exchange for cash?

Who has the right to do it? That's a pretty timely topic,

Speaker 2: I would say. Don't we already do that, though? In

Speaker 1: a way, yeah, we do. Ever since the Industrial

Speaker 2: Revolution, right? I mean, but even so, people who are farming, isn't that just kind of Being human, like you can't really do what you want all the time. That's sort of the point of this film.

Speaker 1: Pretty much. Yeah. Except you don't sell those years all at once.

Speaker 2: Well, I mean, you're giving up nights and weekends in exchange for getting it over with right away. What's the difference? Isn't that what's the difference? Basically it pretty much. And if you couldn't earn that much anyway, you're not exactly giving up nights and weekends.

It's more like if you could work harder and smarter and earn more money. And you get it right away. I don't know. I mean, I think they present it as this terrible thing and basically taking advantage of the average person. But again, how is that different? I was going to say.

Speaker 1: What's the difference between that and modern society?

That's maybe the bigger question.

Speaker 2: I mean, they're fewer than you would think, but all right, I think I'm getting ahead of us. Uh, I've already brought in the negativity that we usually save for a little bit later in the show. You mean like in about three minutes? Three minutes, yeah, usually. So, uh, people don't have to skip ahead for the cherished negativity in this one.

We bring it to you. What made you pick this?

Speaker 1: So it kept popping up on my Netflix queue, like a lot of other films. No, I watched the trailer. I just thought the concept was, was really fascinating. I just wanted to see really how they, they handle this dystopic future. And I'm always curious in these types of movies, like how much of the technology and the science are they going to go into, or are they going to gloss it gloss over it?

Like they did in this movie, which was basically, Oh, we can do this. Okay, great.

Speaker 2: It involves a chair and some hoses, but otherwise. That's

Speaker 1: about it. Yeah. You don't, you don't really need to know much more than that. I thought the concept of selling gears all at once was a really interesting one. Like, what is your life worth?

Why are billionaires taking advantage of this across the globe, but they'd really gloss over all these. The things that I really wanted to watch this, I really, I really wanted to watch it for those specific reasons, but I didn't really get any, any clear answers and you got more of a, a road movie at points and a little bit of a thriller, even though I did enjoy it.

You know, if you don't look too deeply into it, it's an entertaining movie. I think it's well acted. I think the set design was good. I think they did quite a bit with the budget that they had. So, this wasn't like a high budget movie. It was more like a concept movie. It reminded me a little bit of Oniara in that

Speaker 2: respect.

Yeah. I mean, if Oniara had a kick ass action scene inserted at the end of the film, Right. Then, yeah. Yeah. It'd be very similar.

Speaker 1: There's certain flaws with it, obviously, like I just mentioned, that I really, really couldn't move past, you know? Though I did find the relationship between the two leads to be really well, well done.

Like her rapid aging. Max

Speaker 2: and Max and Elena. Max and Elena? Yeah, Max and Elena. I wrote this

Speaker 1: one down. So this film is set in the near future where a groundbreaking technology allows a transfer of years of life from one person to another. The plot revolves around a man whose wife is forced to give up 40 years of her life as payment for an insurance debt.

Desperate, the man embarks on a quest to find a way to reclaim those lost years. And that's it without, without revealing any, any spoilers, which we will during our podcast. That was the shortest of

Speaker 2: all Steve Summers. I don't want to ruin it for

Speaker 1: the audience, you know?

Speaker 2: Yeah, I can tell. Okay. Then I guess we should say for once, uh, do we recommend that they go watch it?

Maybe stop the episode, go watch the movie, or are they better off just listening to us talk about it a little bit and then, you know, probably not watching it. You know,

Speaker 1: I'm kind of conflicted by this one. I would say. I think it's worth a watch. I don't think it's worth a second watch.

Speaker 2: A hundred percent just listen to this episode.

Normally I tell people just stop the episode, throw your phone in the ocean, never come back. But in this particular case, I would say really the trailer has a lot of promise. I think there's some interesting ideas that it presents, but it really doesn't develop that stuff very much. I think it's probably more interesting to just listen to people break down certain aspects and think about what you would think about that.

And then if you go try to watch it. I think you'll very quickly see that this is a movie you might want to watch while you're like doing dishes or something, you know, Fair enough,

Speaker 1: whether you watch it or don't watch it, make sure you listen to this episode at some point. I think that's our bigger point.

And subscribe, by the way.

Speaker 2: Yeah, or don't, whatever. Anyway, great summary. Uh, anything in particular you wanted to talk about in this one? I

Speaker 1: want to talk a little bit about the motivation for our villain, the head of Aeon. This idea that we've got a villain that's very much like a James Bond style villain who wants to live forever.

And we'll do anything to do that. It would have been great. I know I say this in other episodes, but I think it's, it's really lacking in a lot of these types of movies, these sci fi movies, is a backstory that's really compelling for that main

Speaker 2: character. Oh, yeah. No, they definitely needed

Speaker 1: that. Because otherwise you've got, got this cookie cutter character, she's just evil and wants to live forever.

And our protagonists, it was very interesting the way that they really developed their relationship from. When they're this idealistic couple all the way through to her making the mistake about giving up the years of her life, and then through her development into old age in what that does to their relationship in general, I thought that was really well done.

But it created this imbalance in the plot or the arc of the story

Speaker 2: overall. No, no, no, you're absolutely right. It was so heavily weighted on one side, and we really would have benefited from a rich balance. Backstory, like an exploration or more scenes with our villain talking about why she invented this technology, which we find out really at the end, more or less like that, that would have been interesting to weave that in sooner to give her the appearance of a noble cause.

But in reality, she's more of a James Bond villain who's trying to live forever and frustrated that she can't get her hands on the, the, uh, life years that she wants and what she's willing to do to get that. Yeah. That would have been much, much better. Absolutely. And it wouldn't have taken a lot of time.

Just a few key scenes. Yeah.

Speaker 1: And I, I think if they would have developed that character as having lost a lot of her youth for some reason or traumatic event, right.

Speaker 2: Or like she sacrificed it for her work, right. To develop this technology would have been great. Or if she had. a genetic disorder or, you know, trying to take care of her children.

She felt like she sacrificed key years, anything like that.

Speaker 1: Yeah. Any, anything that would have kind of explained the idea that she wants to get these years back, because otherwise you've just got someone who seems to have been extremely successful, incredibly wealthy, lived a full life or is living a full life who just wants to extend more of that.

And that's basically the motivator. Which I think falls pretty flat.

Speaker 2: Yeah, she had presumably many years ahead of her many healthy years Yeah, and it really does fit with the existing story so easily All they have to say is you know, she feels like she gave up important years Developing her career and her technology to her daughter with progeria Who passed away and it looked like passed away?

I I couldn't tell how old you know by the nature of the disease and they didn't really show as much but I think the the um Gravestone might've had the years on it, but I'm assuming at least 10, 15 years. And if you add the other daughter to that, then it really wouldn't be hard for this villain to try to make a case that she's just trying to get years back that she lost through no fault of her own as self centered and short sighted as that is, or, or I guess, uh, unempathetic.

Um, so yeah, that would have been really interesting in a kind of complicated, delusional villain way. So yeah, I love that right off the bat. You come in with good stuff. And also the rebel

Speaker 1: group. They were really just thrown in there as kind of, you

Speaker 2: know, just tacked on for sure. Tacked

Speaker 1: on because you need a group that's against all of this, right?

You didn't know really anything about any of them, their motivation for it. It reminds me of that Black Mirror episode with the rebel group that kills the astronaut or the astronaut's family. Right. They just show up. A favorite episode. Yeah. They just show up and do it. No, no backstory, no explanation.

They just, they're

Speaker 2: bad because they're hippies. They're bad hippies. Hippies are evil. I don't know if you knew that

Speaker 1: same deal here. Right. It's almost like they took a concept to, can be so fascinating on so many levels and they frankensteined it with some really good acting. And some really poignant moments, but other than that, you didn't really get a really full, rich sci fi movie.

Like, you didn't get, really get Blade Runner.

Speaker 2: Definitely not, yeah. Well, they put a lot of pressure on the actor who played Max and Elena, the actress who played Elena, to provide a lot of nuance to the characters and to make them really, make the story work, prevent it from feeling flat and boring. Um, but I think right off the bat right there, your suggestion would have enriched this movie significantly, maybe even bumped it up a star and it doesn't have to be a lot of time.

You're not adding a lot of scenes, just a few key scenes to, you know, make that character a little bit more rich. And honestly, I can think of some scenes you could cut. There were some characters they tried to develop a little bit and that didn't really work and didn't add anything. So you can shorten those scenes just a bit and it already makes it better.

So, yeah, excellent. I love that.

Speaker 1: What do you think about the, um, the way they handle the technology? I know we kind of alluded to that earlier.

Speaker 2: Oh, man. But what would you have changed? Um, all of it. All right. Next question. No, no, no, no. It's a great question. It's just they didn't. Did they? You know, they didn't talk about the technology at all.

As far as I'm concerned, this is a fantasy film. Because there's absolutely no science in it and there's nothing about it that says that it would even be remotely possible. They don't attempt to explain it. They throw up a couple buzzwords like DNA and that's about it. Like they don't even do like fancy up to date buzzwords.

They use like classic buzzwords from like middle school, not even middle school, like sixth grade science, like fifth grade science. And that's it, you know, and it's so hand wavy. It's ridiculous. It may as well just be like a wizard is casting a spell as far as I'm concerned. So that irritated me the whole time.

Wouldn't it have been

Speaker 1: great if they would have done something along the lines of The Last of Us? How they explained the fungus? Oh, yes. Something similar to explain this technology and the evolution of the technology? Because it's so timely. Right? Like maybe it started out very, this um, what would you call that?

I guess it's synthetic biology. I guess the, the development of, of that and how. It started accelerating and maybe how it was being used in all different kind of rogue ways and this Aeon group wanted to kind of formally put a leash on it. That would have been an interesting kind of plot.

Speaker 2: Well, there's a lot of research into aging.

And it's not that hard to talk about oxidation or telomeres or any of the other relevant terms. And at least try to pitch some sort of pathway from where we are to where this is. Try to explain what is happening, why there's a delayed reaction for those of you who I assume aren't going to watch this.

Once somebody goes through the treatment to sacrifice their years, there's a delay. It takes, I guess, 24, 48 hours, something like that. Maybe three days for them to actually reach the age that they agreed to. And they go through a pretty uncomfortable process. To do that. And I would assume the other way is true.

So something is being extracted, perhaps it's going into cells. Perhaps it's a being inserted in DNA. You know, maybe something is cleaning out damage. I have no idea, but they didn't even hint at. And it was just, it was almost like a slap in the face. It was really, as far as I'm concerned, it could have been some sort of clover, you know, some five leafed clover that you had to put in your pocket or, uh, you know, some sort of, uh, aliens from the future dropped this thing off.

Like it, it just didn't, it was very frustrating. Do you

Speaker 1: think this is a limited series would have worked or do you think you just sort of gotten more of the same?

Speaker 2: I don't think without your idea and a bunch of other similar ideas that it would work as a limited series. I think the person who, who told this story, whether that's primarily the writers or the director, what they wanted to do was talk about the relationship between Max and Elena.

And so that's really all they did. Right. They wanted to make some points about how to people and how, you know, what love is, what relationships are, what that means, what people are willing to sacrifice, you know, the links that certain people might go to that stuff to me felt a little cliche. It was none of it was like really groundbreaking.

And I think that's all they wanted to do. They threw in a couple at one really long action sequence. They tried to add some twists and give it traditional plot structure, but that's it. I don't think they wanted to talk about science. They just wanted to use the trappings of science. And I think that's sloppy.

Do you

Speaker 1: think it's a movie about, really, the change in a relationship? How they had such a limited window between when she's young and when she's old? And kind of like how she's able to see the relationship in a completely different light when she's older and is like faced with the consequence that she may not have that many years to realize that she shouldn't be in this relationship in the first place.

And it's not what she actually

Speaker 2: wanted. Yeah, that's an interesting read. I think the read I had more was this experience revealed problems in their relationship. A lot more than the problems or the result of what happened to them. Yeah. But yeah, I think either one could work because they didn't really explain it.

There's a lot of guessing

Speaker 1: going on, audience, from, from your, uh.

Speaker 2: For key points. Yeah. From your host right now.

Speaker 1: Yeah. Cause there's really not much to hold onto. And then some of the elements that they threw in there with the villain. And I'm going back to her again, because that's the character that I think is just so poorly drawn is how she's willing to sacrifice her own daughter just to make her extra evil.

Speaker 2: Yeah, I think the end, it was almost like a post credit scene a little bit the way it was like a post log or epilogue. But I think that was meant to the way I actually, I don't know, listening to you, it seems like you had a different experience. But for me, I thought that revealed. The truth of each character all along.

So for those of you who haven't seen it, right, the characters go on this adventure where it turns out that the villain was manipulating this couple, this young couple all along, that her original intention was to get years of life. From the woman and this guy, Max, who's a salesman for her company, uh, her goes and like tricks people or talks people into, you know, selling years of their life.

He fell in love with this woman. He was supposed to get her years. They got married. Our villain who owns the company never forgot about that and eventually figured a way to force the woman, uh, via like a contract she signed to give up, was it 30, 38 years? 38 years of her life, uh, which of course is devastating to a young couple and a young woman.

And then the husband, Max, the salesman goes on to sort of a man on fire quest to set this right. And then at the end, all the characters sort of end up in a specific place, which I thought revealed who they really are, and it sounds like you thought was partially at least the product of their experiences, like them changing.

I think you could

Speaker 1: read it either way. I don't think there's, there is a right answer on this one because they don't really like delve into it as, as much as you would want. But I thought they really were a product of what they had experienced, but they had a tendency to move in that direction. It was kind of like a nature nurture situation, you know.

They kind of have the propensity for, for acting in that way. But this extreme situation

Speaker 2: really brought that out. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I think I agree with that. What I don't like about it is where people landed was a little bit cliche and it was a little bit, it plays into that misogynistic narrative where You know, women, they're, I don't know, they don't care about you as much as men care about them, or they don't sacrifice as much.

It's, it sort of played into that. It wasn't like the movie, which seemed like it was trying to make the point about all women, but because it was so centrally focused on this couple and really telling their story, I thought that was, I don't know, not, not optimal. Like, what did you

Speaker 1: think of him going to join the rebels at the end?

Speaker 2: So. Let's talk about the wrap up, alright? Because we keep circling it, we may as well talk about the end. So, as I said at the end, we see the status of all the characters. Alright? So, the doctor, the one who, um, was the villain, essentially, she gets to keep her youth. And that's what she wanted. The wife, Elena, gets her youth back, and she gets the baby she wanted.

So, she's happy. The main character, Max, he gets out of a bad marriage and instead of taking people's lives in a roundabout way by conning them, he gets to do it directly with bullets. So I felt like the end was a win for everyone. The only person who got screwed was the daughter. So the main, the villains.

Villain has a daughter and she has her years taken for Elena. Basically, Elena drags her to this like black market life taking facility, whatever you want to call it, van. The daughter of the villains ends up sacrificing 38 years of her life to Max's, to Elena, Max's wife. And so I feel like everybody won.

Everybody got what they wanted except that girl. She got screwed. That girl was the

Speaker 1: innocent bystander in all

Speaker 2: of it. Yeah, but everybody else, basically, it's a win for all of them. I, convince me I'm wrong.

Speaker 1: I really can't. And they left it open for a sequel. Oh, okay. The villain just kind of out there doing her villain things.

Mm hmm. Because she wore a, what, bulletproof vest or something?

Speaker 2: Yep. So she survived. She's fine. She got her years. She's totally fine. She obviously doesn't care about her daughter. The villain won

Speaker 1: the end. No, the, um, it is the end. And what did you think of that bodyguard character?

Speaker 2: She just quit. So for those of you, again, who are probably aren't going to watch this, the villain has a bodyguard, uh, like a security chief who's been with her for a long time.

We find out during the story that this woman who appears to be what I guess is actually in her sixties and also got 30 years given to her or whatever it is. So at the end, she's sort of sickened by all these bad things that happen, all these people who are victimized and she quits and she walks away with her youth and she presumably has money and just goes off to do whatever she wants to do.

Like the villain doesn't have her killed or anything. So it's fine. She's fine. She worked for this person. Maybe she feels a little guilty about it. She's got some money. She got 30 more, 30 something years of her life added back. Like she's fine. That's a win for her too. What did you think? It was kind of

Speaker 1: ridiculous that she suddenly came to this conclusion.

After God knows how many years of working for her, like, oh, this is, this is maybe not morally correct, and maybe my boss is evil, and like, she just has this epiphany.

Speaker 2: Okay. Counterpoint, it's the perfect time, because she's apparently at retirement age. Touche. You got me. So, you know, you can say She's just

Speaker 1: waiting for the pension to kick in.


Speaker 2: she's just retiring. She's 60. She said she's what, 65 or something like that. She's just retiring. I'm sick of this shit.

Speaker 1: Yeah. I'm out of here. I'm sick of this stuff. Sorry. I don't want to get demonetized before we get monetized. Yeah, I'm

Speaker 2: gonna move to Florida. Like, she's ready to retire, she's at the age, and she said, I'm doing this for moral reasons, and dropped the mic and walked out.

But really, she's just been working for, what, five decades or whatever it is? So she's ready to retire. She

Speaker 1: walked into another dystopian German series that'll be on Netflix next year. Yeah. What are you guys shooting?

Speaker 2: Yeah, I don't know. I think they tried to make it seem like this was a semi tragic ending. And I agree only in the sense that the little girl got screwed, but this, the main character, Max, he was not a good person. He did what he did for his own reasons. And at the end, I think he very definitively proved that he does not care about other people.

He just changed his sides. Basically, and he stopped stealing lives to give to other people and he started stealing them to make a point, I guess, or to get revenge on the world or whatever his problem is. And honestly, it is growth for him to be, to be more directly aggressive and more honest about it, as opposed to what he was doing before, where he was trying to convince himself that he was somehow helping people by tricking them.

So, it's, I guess, better for him to use bullets and grenades. Yeah, and the wife

Speaker 1: clearly got what she wanted. Yep.

Speaker 2: She just moved on to the next man, got the baby she wanted, kept her youth, and now she's with Surfer Dude. Perfect. Perfect ending. Everybody won. Everybody won. Just the one idealistic daughter got screwed.

That's it. So what's the message there, right? I'm struggling to find it.

Speaker 1: It's tough. It's a high concept, very little message.

Speaker 2: Yeah, cookie cutter. I mean, I think the concept is deceptively Middle, it's it's not really a it's not particularly Sophisticated. I think they dressed it up a lot. Well, okay Let's talk about other than your idea of adding some real depth and development to the villain Can you think of anything else that might have made this a lot better

Speaker 1: diving into the technology?

I think would have added a really great context To everything else that happens in the movie that you just don't get. And I mentioned the last of us before and how kind of the history of the spread of the fungus really set the perfect stage for where the characters end up. And without that, you would have just had characters just roaming across the.

A vast wasteland, I think, without having that, that grounding. I

Speaker 2: think they also missed a ton of fun playing around with the audience not knowing characters ages and swapping out younger and older actors for the same characters. It's a little bit more like, oh, what's a good? I can't think of a good movie that does this, but where you don't realize it's the same character, but they're younger.

So they're played by another actor or the character you're watching. You don't realize is actually much, much older than you think, or much, much younger than you think. And that two characters who maybe develop a relationship are completely mismatched in age and then having them come back later and be different.

And like, I think they could have done so many fun things with that.

Speaker 1: Like those body swap. Teen comedies. Sure. Yeah. 17 again or freaky Friday, right? Is that?

Speaker 2: Sure. I mean, just as one piece, but like imagine, okay, so there's a part in the film where our main characters have kidnapped the daughter of the villain and they're hiding out in this abandoned resort hotel.

Imagine if during that they came across some kid, you know, who was like, looked like they'd been living outside and we're barely making it and they take this kid in and it turns out it's the Like the security person from earlier, you know, or something like that, like, I think that would be fun.

Speaker 1: That would have been fun taking the movie

Speaker 2: in a whole different direction.

Yeah, you just, you never know, like maybe the young girl they kidnapped is saying she's the daughter of the villain, but it's actually her mother. You know, that could be true, too, like, because that completely flips the narrative, who, you know, how you feel as an audience member, like, when you realize, oh, man, they're victimizing this poor, innocent young girl, you feel bad, and you're sort of torn about what you want to happen next, but then imagine if you find out again later that, no, actually, this woman's, like, 112, and she's been getting treatments, and now she looks like she's, like, 15 or whatever, and you're like, what the, you know, they could have done that so many times.


Speaker 1: an after credit scene to you, just flip the whole movie where the villains like, don't worry about it, honey. You're going to be 68. Now. Remember you started at one 12. So you're doing

Speaker 2: much better. You're still 50 years ahead or what?

Yeah. So I think they missed a lot. She just,

Speaker 1: wait a minute. Couldn't she just do this process again in, in become young again? They never really explained that. Yeah. She gave up 38 years. Could you reverse it again? I

Speaker 2: mean, so I think the point they were trying to make about that was apparently for whatever magical dumb plot convenient reasons, the main character and her family are only compatible, or sorry, the villain and her family are only compatible with a small number of people on the planet.

And so really the best thing would be for the villain to give the years she stole from Elena back to her daughter, which I guess is. healthy and reasonable. So then her daughter could be her normal age, right? And then the villain would presumably go back to trying to find somebody else who's a match.

But I think they were trying to say that because it took the villain this long to find a match and she was trying to play by the rules and do things legally, she had to like, or mostly, at least appear to be, she had to do it in this roundabout way so she reasonably doesn't think she'll find anybody.

You know, so she's not going to give up her youth while

Speaker 1: she looks and I kept thinking about the, the technology behind how this would actually work or why you'd need someone else in order to do this. Are you swapping out DNA within yourself for younger DNA? And it's perfectly aligning with your DNA.

Like it, it was so bizarre. When I really started thinking about it, that I just kind of put it aside. I was like, I can't think about this. This is ridiculous. Yeah. That you're grabbing someone else's DNA who's a quote unquote mass, like a blood transfusion. Right. But somehow like that younger DNA is somehow giving you Younger DNA, but DNA is matched to the person who it's coded for.

So how would that even, how would that even work? I mean, that's the

Speaker 2: problem. There's too many ways that, and honestly, I mean, you could say it's impossible. You could say, well, maybe there's a scientific way that it could work, but we're not given any of that information. So as far as I'm concerned, It's fantasy.

It's a fantasy film. May as well be a magic wand, you know, you go lick a toad and turns you into a younger person. And that's honestly something this movie had me thinking about, which is the difference between science fiction and fantasy. No,

Speaker 1: I was just thinking about that. The technology part, the fact that you say it's fantasy is really the only way it could work.

Cause I was just. Thinking to myself, like, I know I said earlier about explanation of the technology, but I was just trying to think, what would the explanation be that would remotely make any sense without just using a bunch of big scientific words and just throwing them all together and then having you kind of move along in terms of the plot.

So maybe that's why they didn't even try it. They're like, this is so far fetched in so many ways that we can't even ground this in any type of science fiction.

Speaker 2: They didn't even try. It was very, uh, very disappointing and very distracting. And I hate that people online, the descriptions are all science fiction because it's not science fiction.

You know, I think a lot of people distinguish fantasy and science fiction based on the idea that if it's possible, then, you know, it's speculative fiction and what happens in there is possible. Then they call it science fiction. And if it's impossible, they call it fantasy. But a lot of projects are a mix, right?

Some aspects of it are possible. Uh, you know, they give theories or reasons why this has developed or could happen. And then other aspects of it are just sort of, you know, Oh, it just happened. You know, it can, whatever. So I think it's a very blurry line, but this, I definitely think falls squarely in the realm of fantasy, a hundred percent, just because it involves things that look like technology.

It's more Star Wars, right? Star Wars is mostly fantasy. There's a little bit like you can go buy the thick technical manuals that explain how the engines work and all that kind of stuff. But if you just watch the movie, the original movie, it's, it's just fantasy, right? There's, it's got some lasers and tech in it, but it's, it's fantasy.

This to me is just fantasy. There's no science fiction, which is fine, but it's just mislabeled a lot. I would

Speaker 1: agree with you. How would you change the movie? I know we're jumping ahead. But, would you change the movie, I know you're going to say yes, of course, but would you turn this into, I don't know, a limited series like we've talked about in the past?

Could you turn it into a series? Or do you think it's so flawed from the get go that you'd have to change so much about it that it's not even Possible to to turn this into something else in

Speaker 2: terms of the IP. Yeah, I think you're asking my favorite question What would you do with this IP and I think if it landed in my lab and I owned it I would do a sequel or a series, you know Follow a sequel series, you know a story I would continue the story.

I would get new characters. I would take my time and And try to tell, you know, now that they've sort of established a lot of things, I would try to tell a little bit more of an involved story with different groups of characters who have different purposes, different end goals. I think I would, um, weave them together in and out and sort of clever ways.

Like you realize later that. Uh, someone has been using the technology to appear as a child or a, you know, 20 year old in one group, it's actually the same character in the other group. You didn't realize that, you know, this technology, it just takes what, three days or something. And apparently you can go back and forth with no consequences.

So I would have a lot of fun with that where characters are popping up in different places and you realize later in the series or the. film. It's actually the same character and they've been manipulating people. Maybe they have a fake tattoo that they put on and take off or something. So they seem different, but, uh, at very different ages.

So I would do a lot of that stuff. I would absolutely weave in a lot of the science. I would have a character or group of characters be looking at the science of this and that leading to new, maybe even kind of fun crazy developments where you not only change your age, but you can change other things about yourself.

It adds to the confusion. Of the story and the development, the cultural impact of the developments. And then I would ultimately end with this technology imploding upon itself, you know, where the, the final evolution of it basically renders it, uh, something that everybody realizes you should never do or kills people who use it or something like that so that it, uh, you know, sort of eliminates itself.

I like

Speaker 1: that. Yeah, I like the way you're talking about weaving all the different characters in and out of the story, because I think that adds that kind of the well rounded aspect that I was talking about that this movie is missing. And something just occurred to me just now, I was wondering if this would work as a thriller where it's actually the race to find the person who let's say donated blood or donated DNA And how all these like maybe governments are after it in order to find that technology, of course, it gives you a completely different movie,

Speaker 2: but, but that's needed.

Speaker 1: There's just exactly like there's one person, right? That that's a donor for this life extension. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Maybe there's a substance or something that they discover. They're like, wait a minute, this person doesn't seem to, yeah. Age and why is that and they discover what that is, but it's been anonymized somewhere and like a lab when they give these donations and it's like a numbered sample.

Gotcha. So it's like the race to get that sample in order to, to have that power.

Speaker 2: Right. And everyone's highly motivated to get it. And they're willing to play these games and trick people and manipulate each other and sacrifice people to get there so they can do things like change their age five or ten times in a month, you know, just go back and forth.

I mean, you and I would assume, I think as an audience member that that would be a very draining, very painful process that you could not go back and forth repeatedly, but there's nothing in the movie. That suggests that that's the case. So you can just devolve into total chaos as far as I'm concerned.

Speaker 1: You know what happened with this movie? I think that they were so interested in kind of like the visual look of the movie and kind of not having so much exposition because typically exposition in movies. Too much of it is bad, but in this case, they went the other direction where just a little more exposition or a little side conversation could have explained so much more about what was going on or character motivation that it would have really helped for them not to skip over it.

Speaker 2: Yeah. Oh, for sure. So a series that plays around with some of these fun elements and creative ways and also adds back in that missing exposition, I think would be great. I mean, the other option would be to take this story, strip away a lot of what they added so that it's a very short film and it really is just about Max and Elena instead of pretending like it's a Full length story.

I think you could just make it a short film and end it in the same place. Start it in the same place and just, you know, we don't need a seven minute fight sequence or whatever that was. And the long car rides and stuff like that. I just cut all that out. I think it's

Speaker 1: a short film. I think it would

Speaker 2: work.

It would actually work much better.

Speaker 1: Yeah. Right. Cause you could really focus in on, on Max and Elena and even the, the Sophie character and kind of like the conflict there with one arc. And a resolution. Yep. That's it. Yeah. Throwing everybody else in there, causing chaos and then confusing the audience or having the audience ask so many questions.

You would just accept it. Oh, this is, this is the

Speaker 2: technology. Yeah. Yeah. Okay. So in this world that exists moving on. Yeah, for sure. I think you got it. This should have been a short movie.

Speaker 1: And it can be if you fast forward through it, or you, or you watch it at triple speed.

Speaker 2: Steve. Steve. Just a little,

Speaker 1: just, just a little pro tip there.

Speaker 2: Oh, the fast and the furious. Just go through angry really quick.

All right, great. Any, uh, any questions for the audience to answer on this one?

Speaker 1: The same question we leave them with every time. What would you do with the IP? Oh yeah. I think the other thing is. How would you resolve this technology question? If you, if you had to have it in the movie, what would you do and how would you and how would you explain it if you were going to make it based on science?

What would be the explanation that can make this possible?

Speaker 2: Yeah, yeah. Or you could just rip off the dark crystal. I think they did the same thing in there. No classic watch that in a long time. I'd also like to hear what people think personally. The differences between science fiction and fantasy, you know Do they believe that those are distinct?

Genres that they bleed and do each other and a story can kind of go back and forth from one to the other What the characteristics are of one that separate it from the other actually it's a I think it's a really an ongoing question I don't think there is really a definitive answer now I'm sure a lot of people feel like they know and if that's you Send me a message, you know, Google us, uh, drop us a note and let us know.

And I'll maybe I'll read it in future episodes because. I, I think about that a lot and I have not found a really definitive answer that I think works consistently. Great. All right. Thank you to the people who made the project re reviewed. Thank you to your listeners. I appreciate you sticking through to the end.

Stay away from those like and subscribe buttons unless you listen to my co host. We will see you next week for Dead Heat, right? Is that the plan? Yep. Dead Heat for sure next week. See you next week.

Speaker 1: Take care, everybody.