A Phil-for-an-ill Blog

August 23, 2008

Shoot em Up (2007)


– What is Predictive Programming?
– Alan Watt – Predictive Programming; Theory and Practice
– Vyzygoth Interviews Phillip and Paul Collins – Invoking the Beyond (Predictive Programming)

Another shameless example of a high octane action movie that absolutely glorifies the gun. Guns blazing and bullet whizzing by everywhere and all the time…

Predictive programming elements:

  1. The main character, sarcastically referred to as “Mr Hero” (Clive Owen) by his nemesis, succeeds to magically evade all the many bullets shot at him by the hordes of ‘bad guys’, while successfully ‘decommissioning’ most of them by his routinely immaculate returning fire. The obvious mantra being: the bad guys lose and get whacked while the good guys survive and win. The image of the tormented but sympathetic good guy fused with an image of invincibility is once again brutishly forced on the probably young and gullible viewing public, thus serving as potential recruitment material for the armed “good guy” forces.
  2. All throughout the movie, Mr Hero sturdily maintains a cool and emotionless head (and face). It’s too bad though that the viewing public may one day get a chance to mimic what they’ve seen in this, and so many other, brainless action movies and adopt this borderline psychopathic behavior not only in the line of fire – where given the circumstances it’s more or less useful, but also in everyday life – where it’s not so useful.
  3. At more occasions than one, images of violence and sex are happily wedded together. By doing so the perception of violence gets an extra dimension of excitement and it literally simply stands to become sexy. Thus the attractiveness of violence is boosted by having it blend in with sexual imagery. This all too often applied media technique of psychological driving works wonders for army recruitment purposes but unfortunately doesn’t exactly bode well for the integrity of a stable and serene society.
  4. In the last batch of scenes, Mr Hero magically erects and commands several remote controlled shooting contraptions which enable him to take out his goon assailants with the minimum of effort and risk to own bodily harm. I’d venture to say that this scenario is to familiarize the target audience, being young potential military recruits, with remote controlled warfare, in which jeopardy to the safety of the shooters is significantly reduced while making the act of killing much easier and more anonymous to do. In other words, it no longer takes blatant psychopaths to do the killing. By the same token, I’m quite convinced that the video game industry serves the same purpose.

My other analyses (oldest first, newest last):

Children of Men (2006)
300 (2006)
28 Weeks Later (2007)
Soylent Green (1973)
Johnny Mnemonic (1995)
The Kingdom (2007)
The Invasion (2007)
Shoot em Up (2007)
John Rambo (2008 )
I, Robot (2004)
Cloverfield (2008 )
Conspiracy Theory (1997)
Starship Troopers 3 – Marauder (2008 )
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008 )
Code 46 (2003)
Equilibrium (2003)
Gattaca (1997)
Minority Report (2002)
V for Vendetta (2005)
Things to Come (1936)
Swordfish (2001)
Independence Day (1996)
Death Race (2008 )
Bee Movie (2007)
The Happening (2008 )
Cyborg Girl – Boku no kanojo wa saib�gu (2008 )
Transformers (2007)
Survivors (2008 ) – BBC TV Series – Part 1of6
Survivors (2008 ) – BBC TV Series – Part 2of6
Survivors (2008 ) – BBC TV Series – Part 3of6
The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)
The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008 )
I Am Legend (2007)

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