As you probably already know the Internet can be a very frustrating place. On the average day, after reading about how teachers unions are destroying the foundation of America, I try to cruise io9.com and see what's up with our SF community. A couple days ago, io9 posted the trailer for John Simon's adaptation of Radio Free Albemuth, and, well, believe it or not, commenters said some stupid stuff. Among the complaints:
"No one can complain about the production values in the upcoming Atlas Shrugged release after seeing this...."
"This looks like something the guys in IT threw together on their lunch breaks."
"Is this from the SyFy channel? I keep expecting a Dogosaurs or Pigeonraptor to swoop in an kill indiscriminately."
I will now address these concerns specifically. Dear Geeks, Radio Free Albemuth is an independent film done on the cheap so as to avoid the most common Hollywood pitfalls. You know, like when they take a PKD book and slice the science fiction idea out of it, and then get some guy like Tom Cruise to play a protagonist that has only a name in common with Dick's original. Gone are all the characters, the layers of doubt and resolve, the depth of vision, and in their place is a long scene during which the audience worries that Tom Cruise may drink THE MILK THAT'S ALREADY GONE BAD!!!1! Remember, Phil Dick said his stories don't just ask 'what if?' - they ask "MY GOD! What if?!" I mean, that milk looked really gross, but WTF?
Just today as we are hearing reports about a Total Recall remake, and Blade Runner prequels, sequels, and mini-series, you people have the gall to pan a movie that dares to be slightly original? Guys, you're ruining it for the rest of us, those of us that want to see people take Dick's literary vision in new and interesting directions. I mean you guys are right: this doesn't look like a slick Hollywood production, but how have those worked out for you? Can you even remember the name of the main character in Paycheck or Next (no the answer is not Ben Affleck and Nic Cage)?
Remember the Washington Post article from last week? The one that said this:
"Dick's fiction also is highly regarded because it tends to avoid the typical elements found in Hollywood science fiction - alien invasions, battles in outer space, time travel, etc. - and is more character-driven, featuring a small group of people in confined settings and environments."
And yet, with the notable exceptions of Blade Runner and A Scanner Darkly, the typical adaption of Dick's work avoids characterization like the plague, instead we get an extended chase scene.
I guess I can't really fault the commenters over at io9. I don't really think they're Dick fans per se; they get pretty turned on by special effects and the like over at that site. But I know my readers and Dick's fans in general will give this film a chance. Please. PLEASE!Head over to that comments section and let these guys know they just don't know.. Help reawaken my trust in the Internet...