We have to stop London before it destroys us
June 10, 2018 5:34 PM   Subscribe

 
That novel's name? "Mortal Engines."
posted by rhizome at 5:44 PM on June 10 [3 favorites]


Oops, I did put the title in the tags but managed to not put it in the description.
posted by octothorpe at 5:45 PM on June 10


Not very accurate. New York City is far more of a threat.
posted by oneswellfoop at 5:59 PM on June 10 [1 favorite]


Did that trailer contain "From the makers of Lord of the Rings and Hobbit" twice?

Yes.
posted by Metro Gnome at 6:12 PM on June 10 [6 favorites]


LOfreakingL... "the great age of predator cities" ... oh gosh steampunk, gotta see this but lol rolling, it's all decoration in steampunk, nothing really works, cool looking helmet or vest but just for looks.... spoiler (made up spoiler as I know nothing but the trailer) the protagonist wakes up in the epilogue, he's in the Inception world!
posted by sammyo at 6:22 PM on June 10


Wasn't familiar with Philip Reeve or "Mortal Engines," so when I read mobile cities my mind immediately went to Blish's "Cities in Flight." And, then wondered whether there was ever an attempted Tv or film version. Found this little animated short that feels too cute for Blish's vision. I'll probably see "Mortal Engines" but would love a multi-season TV version of Cities in Flight.
posted by Gotanda at 6:31 PM on June 10 [6 favorites]


Did that trailer contain "From the makers of Lord of the Rings and Hobbit" twice?

I guess maybe they wanted to really drive it home that there’s a remote chance the actual movie won’t look quite as much like the awful half super-obvious-CG/half people-standing-around-on-a-tiny-and-terribly-lit-soundstage POS the trailer portends. Those two halves don’t remotely look like they belong together at all. This trailer makes the Star Wars prequels look like Citizen Kane.
posted by Sys Rq at 6:43 PM on June 10 [4 favorites]


I started reading the first book, but didn't finish it. As words on a page, it didn't work for me, but I thought it would be fantastic as an anime. Like when I'm watching an anime, it doesn't bother me that there is no reason for the faux-Victorians and that characters find it easy to jump from airship to airship in restrictive clothing, however, I can't stop thinking about things like that when I read.

That being said, even though this is not an anime, it does look like an episode of Doctor Who, so I'll probably see it.
posted by betweenthebars at 6:48 PM on June 10 [3 favorites]


Oh man this looks AMAZING! I'm super excited to see this
posted by rebent at 7:20 PM on June 10


Mad Max: The Embiggening
posted by threecheesetrees at 7:27 PM on June 10 [14 favorites]


If you want something visual, that’s not too abysmal, we could take in a new Phil Reeve movie...
posted by Ian A.T. at 7:31 PM on June 10 [25 favorites]


I'm just excited to see Justin Trudeau! A prime minister AND a movie star!
posted by fnerg at 7:49 PM on June 10 [4 favorites]


The trilogy of books was perfectly good YA dystopian fare. Weirdly enough, as over the top as the premise is I hope the movie is as good as the book as this could go Waterworld all too easily.
posted by GuyZero at 8:04 PM on June 10 [2 favorites]


The books are very good, very much under-appreciated. The movie has some potential, the books are really amenable to a movie treatment, and I'm kind of amazed it took this long.

My main gripe with the movie so far is that, predictably, they've downgraded Hester's disfigurement to "cool scar." Because of course they did.

One interesting dynamic is that in the series, the Europeans are the savage weirdos intent on playing Mad Max in the ruins of Europe and incidentally destroying everyone else. Even though most of the books spend time on the steampunkiverse, it's pretty clear that the neo-Victorian cities are absolutely the bad guys.

The books get into some really cool post-post-post apocalyptic Dread Technology that people keep digging up and using to fight new battles. Ancient cyborgs make a strong showing. It's a bit more Caves of Qud than pure steampunk. Who knows what the movie will do, and a lot of that stuff comes up in the sequels.
posted by BungaDunga at 8:07 PM on June 10 [6 favorites]


The new Howl's Moving Castle movie is looking grim so far.
posted by one for the books at 8:12 PM on June 10 [5 favorites]


I can't tell if this is a real movie, or a parody trailer that everyone but me gets.
posted by ethical_caligula at 8:18 PM on June 10 [15 favorites]


I expected a lot more Archigram, and a lot fewer harpoons, so now I’m confused.
posted by aramaic at 8:25 PM on June 10 [3 favorites]


This is the movie someone makes when they watch Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow and decide the only problem was the CGI wasn't detailed enough.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 8:29 PM on June 10 [5 favorites]


Bumblebee, watch out!
posted by benzenedream at 9:17 PM on June 10


Peter Jackson’s adaptation

This is a slightly misleading way to phrase it: Peter Jackson (and Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens) wrote the adaptation and are credited as producers but Christian Rivers is directing.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 9:25 PM on June 10 [3 favorites]


Looks like the Wachowskis meet prequel era Lucas.
posted by matt_od at 9:53 PM on June 10


I'm getting a Jupiter Ascending vibe, but then again, I enjoyed Jupiter Ascending ironically. But I'm most anticipating The Meg in Good Bad movies of 2018.
posted by ikea_femme at 9:55 PM on June 10 [1 favorite]


This was better when Karl Schroeder did it in his Virga quintogy. Cities floating in a giant ball of air, making their own artificial suns, creating their own gravity, drifting on the currents so that nations sometimes drift through each other, creating wars. And post singularity demons sitting at the world’s edge.
posted by leotrotsky at 10:01 PM on June 10 [3 favorites]


After what he did to the Hobbit, I thought his filmmaking/adaption license was revoked.
posted by coberh at 10:15 PM on June 10 [6 favorites]


I vaguely recall one of the Infocom novelizations of either Planetfall or Stationfall involved giant animal-shaped cities stomping around and crushing things. (Yeah, they went WAY off-script from paddleball and using a general-purpose scrub brush...)

Feels a little Castle in the Sky in parts, but that might just be me. Going to hard to top the duo of Sheeta and Pazu.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 10:16 PM on June 10 [2 favorites]


Spoiler alert: The villains and their drivable steampunk cities are defeated by good guys in drivable natural disasters. Drivable London is destroyed by Drivable Mount Saint Helens, a muscle car volcano with racing stripes made of hot lava. In the epic showdown someone in the volcano quips "Don't blow your top."

Also the San Andreas Fault is now a zeppelin, and the cool engine-revving scene inside of Mount Saint Helens is set to Nirvana's version of "Lake of Fire."
posted by compartment at 10:26 PM on June 10 [16 favorites]


New York City is far more of a threat.

Not true: in universe, Anchorage is the only extant US city. And for what it's worth, London's importance is definitely demoted from its current (or at least, up until recently) European preeminence.

Shamefully, I've only read the first book, despite enjoying it so much.
posted by ambrosen at 11:18 PM on June 10


My son and I read the book together a few years ago. Excited about the movie!
posted by Triplanetary at 11:19 PM on June 10


Hester's scar being toned down and prettified for the movie adaptation of Mortal Engines was so depressingly predictable that the concept was literally predicted and ridiculed years and years ago ... in one of the Mortal Engines books:

"... [the] girl wore an eyepatch and had a fetching little scar on her cheek. 'Gods!' [Hester] said aloud. 'Is that bimbo supposed to be me?!'"

(The scar as described in the books: "A terrible scar ran down her face from forehead to jaw, making it look like a portrait that had been furiously crossed out. Her mouth was wrenched sideways in a permanent sneer, her nose was a smashed stump, and her single eye stared at him out of the wreckage.")

To be fair, here's Philip Reeve himself on the subject: "Among the scars which will never heal are my mental scars from having to field 1,000,000 angry comments about Hester’s shortage of physical ones. Actually, I think her scar is surprisingly impressive (it’s been beefed up considerably since I met Hera Hilmar on set last year). If I’d been in charge of the movie I would have wanted to extend the scar up across her forehead, and maybe given her an eyepatch – but that’s why I’m never going to be put in charge of a movie. Beautiful faces are Hollywood’s most precious natural resource, and the studios are very reluctant to let filmmakers muck about with them: they may be in the business of turning money into light, but they want to maximise their chances of eventually turning that light back into money again. So movie-Hester isn’t ugly, but she’s disfigured enough to believe she’s ugly, and I think Hera’s angry, intense performance will do the rest."

I'm not entirely sure I agree with him.
posted by kyrademon at 11:45 PM on June 10 [6 favorites]


After what he did to the Hobbit, I thought his filmmaking/adaption license was revoked.

It's more or less confirmed that Jackson came on board the Hobbit movies because the terrible studio notes were going to destroy the film - 90% of what doesn't work about the Hobbit movies was demanded by studio heads, including the shoehorned-in romances, the obvious prequelitis, the emphasis on CGI sets over practical to save money, and above all the demand to turn a story that was probably a decent two-movie story into a bloated three-movie mess - and because he figured if anybody was going to do triage on them, he had as much responsibility as anyone to try to save them. Nobody in the business really blames Jackson for the end product being bad.

There's a lot more in there that's good than people think, and that fan edit that chops nine hours down into about four and a half is really quite entertaining if not perfect.
posted by mightygodking at 11:52 PM on June 10 [10 favorites]


The lighting is so bad. Also, Elrond seems like a dick this time.
posted by ethansr at 12:10 AM on June 11 [2 favorites]


The takeaway (so far) from this post: the books are good (simple dystopia stuff for young adults?) but the movie doesn't look too promising (but you're all going to pay to see it anyway, right?) and the Hobbit movies are still being litigated?
posted by pracowity at 12:18 AM on June 11 [1 favorite]


Maybe I'm getting old, but these CGI movies with epic scenes where a thousand little things are always in motion put me in a state of visual overload and I just stop giving a fuck about anything happening with the plot or the characters. It looks like a bad video game.
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 12:26 AM on June 11 [6 favorites]


Wow! That might be the single most stupid film I have come across in as long time, and I live in the age of Michael Bay.
posted by Phlegmco(tm) at 12:49 AM on June 11 [1 favorite]


Also the San Andreas Fault is now a zeppelin...

You're just fucking with me now, aren't you?
posted by ninazer0 at 1:28 AM on June 11


That is, I mean to say SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY!
posted by ninazer0 at 1:33 AM on June 11 [2 favorites]


> compartment:
"Also the San Andreas Fault is now a zeppelin, and the cool engine-revving scene inside of Mount Saint Helens is set to Nirvana's version of "Lake of Fire.""

Don't forget that at the end, Crocodile Dundee rides up to London on Sydney and sneers, "You call that a city!?"
posted by chavenet at 1:47 AM on June 11 [6 favorites]


Probably going to give this one a miss until it shows up on cable/Netflix. Among my complaints: for a world where people inhabit massive warring cities-as-vehicles on huge steel treads, nothing looks like it has any weight to it.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 1:53 AM on June 11 [5 favorites]


The lighting is so bad. Also, Elrond seems like a dick this time.

Elrond is always a dick. This is the nature of Elrond.
posted by rokusan at 2:02 AM on June 11 [6 favorites]


Read 1-2 of the Mortal Engines books when they came out and I remember enjoying them well enough. "Municipal Darwinism" and "Traction Cities" sounded cool and a sorta steampunk-meets-Mad Mad vibe. I think the CGI depiction of the cities matches the book's description well.

Part of the CG problem here arises from having to create canonically-scaled rolling cities: they have to be CG. They could...look better. I see a recurring pattern of movies made by guys who got to the director's chair via VFX having this sort of overly-gimicky stuff where the camera is always moving Michael Bay style. See: Kill Switch (2017), which even Dan Stevens could not save.
posted by JauntyFedora at 2:30 AM on June 11


I've read the first book, and it was fine, if set in an utterly implausible world, but the film looks true enough to the book. There are also parallels with The Inverted World, although Priest's book is much more a novel of reality-bending ideas that wouldn't translate easily to film.
posted by pipeski at 2:45 AM on June 11 [1 favorite]


Plausibility wasn't really the point of the books.
posted by kyrademon at 2:55 AM on June 11 [1 favorite]


There are also parallels with The Inverted World, although Priest's book is much more a novel of reality-bending ideas that wouldn't translate easily to film.

In 2006 we got both The Illusionist and The Prestige, so there's no reason we couldn't have two movies about giant moving cities, with the better one based on a Christopher Priest book.
posted by straight at 3:27 AM on June 11 [4 favorites]


I'm all for high-concept SF, but....why? I haven't read the books, but I have to assume this question is answered in them, but why would the cities need to move? Isn't that an absurd waste of energy? Unless there's a free energy source or something. Doesn't make sense as a concept.
posted by zardoz at 3:39 AM on June 11


Guys, it's a metaphor about predatory capitalism and unsustainable systems. At least it was in the books.

Don't get too hung up on it.
posted by kyrademon at 4:21 AM on June 11 [11 favorites]


Traction cities bring about their own crises.
posted by GenjiandProust at 4:34 AM on June 11 [2 favorites]


Yeah, in the books the cities move because the other ones do. They don't have much in the way of defenses against a bigger moving city, so small ones mobilized to get out of the way. By that point it was self-sustaining. The big cities move to eat the little ones. Eventually, an entire mythology sprung up about how it is the way to go and how those savages with "farms" and static cities are lazy wastes of space.

Also, yeah, just assume that diesel is really, really energy dense.
posted by BungaDunga at 4:40 AM on June 11


I read all four of the books, and nearly cried when I finished, because I wanted MORE!

It's a real pisser to have to wait until Dec to see the movie. I can't wait!
posted by james33 at 4:43 AM on June 11


Guys, it's a metaphor about predatory capitalism and unsustainable systems. At least it was in the books.

Yeah - hearing the books briefly summarised as "London becomes a superpowered predatory city which survives by mercilessly eating other smaller places and converting them to resources and fuel", that's not wildly out there as a premise.
posted by Catseye at 4:46 AM on June 11 [8 favorites]


> "I read all four of the books, and nearly cried when I finished, because I wanted MORE!"

(You know about the prequel series, right?)
posted by kyrademon at 4:52 AM on June 11 [1 favorite]


Guys, it's a metaphor about predatory capitalism and unsustainable systems.

I know; I get it; if I have any complaint it's just how heavy-handed the metaphor is. Like the scene where Drivable Wall Street is a jewel-encrusted luxury yacht that's well out to sea as this tsunami is approaching all of these drivable cities stuck on the beach. The captain of The Wall Street chortles and says, "A rising tide lifts all ships!" And all these depressed drivable rust-belt cities are like "We aren't boats!" and Detroit is literally shaped like a giant anchor.

I mean, Manitowoc gets tangled in its own bootstraps as the wave breaks. It's a bit much.
posted by compartment at 4:59 AM on June 11 [7 favorites]


This...seems like a lot to sit through to get to the next Monty Python movie.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 5:05 AM on June 11 [6 favorites]


So, urban areas are predatory monsters and the rural areas are something like the purer fuel? I gotta say there's a problematic element to that, if that is how it's gonna be visualized.
posted by gusottertrout at 5:13 AM on June 11 [3 favorites]


Also, when London plays Chicago's skeleton like a xylophone, it strikes the same rib in succession, yet produces two clearly different tones. I mean, what are we to believe, that Chicago is a magic xylophone or something? Ha ha, boy, I really hope somebody got fired for that blunder.
posted by compartment at 5:22 AM on June 11 [7 favorites]


But...but... how did London get off the island?
posted by sammyo at 5:24 AM on June 11 [1 favorite]


Cursed magic from the Darkest Time known only as BREXIT.
posted by No-sword at 5:38 AM on June 11 [3 favorites]


Doggerland rose again. Britain is now just a lil bump on the Western coast of Europe.
posted by BungaDunga at 6:04 AM on June 11


Shit, there goes my idea for undead metropolitan statistical areas.
posted by octobersurprise at 6:16 AM on June 11


"London becomes a superpowered predatory city which survives by mercilessly eating other smaller places and converting them to resources and fuel", that's not wildly out there as a premise.

The really sad thing is that predatory London ‘s housing stock is still about 50% vacant due to absentee owners in other predatory cities.
posted by GenjiandProust at 6:17 AM on June 11 [10 favorites]


It is one thing to build a book around a literal interpretation of a metaphor, and quite another to bring that same metaphor to absurd visual life in a movie. Once you have to visually depict a rolling city there's no getting around how deeply silly the idea is.
posted by Pyry at 6:19 AM on June 11 [1 favorite]


My headcannon has them at about 3 or 4 times the size of a large cruise ship, and it works for me.

I have a feeling that MetaFilter shouldn't discuss film trailers, though, because they're meant to leave questions asked but not answered. And this is a place that's deeply suspicious of unanswered questions, and in love with Fisking things, even if the suspense and tantalisation is the reason for something exists.
posted by ambrosen at 6:31 AM on June 11 [5 favorites]


Came here for the comments referencing Christopher Priests "The Inverted World."

(also this movie looks terrible)
posted by backlikeclap at 6:44 AM on June 11 [2 favorites]


I hope the Crimson Permanent Insurance appears over the horizon and uses three tiers of gun-deck to wipe the ledger clean.
posted by GallonOfAlan at 7:00 AM on June 11 [12 favorites]


Well I was really looking forward to this until I read this thread, thanks guys! The books are fun and Hesta is a great character who is complicatedly unsympathetic but your heart bleeds for her. I already am wild about Mme Fang (iirc) and Indont know about you lot but I certainly am not so spoilt for choice that I’m going to turn up my nose at the chance of seeing and supporting those two characterizations on screen.
posted by Iteki at 7:15 AM on June 11 [4 favorites]


My headcannon has them at about 3 or 4 times the size of a large cruise ship

According to this article, the largest cruise ship in the world carries 9,000 people (including the crew). Estimates of London's 2018 population put it at around 1,000 times that (8.8m), which means your four-ship model might be a bit of a squeeze.
posted by Paul Slade at 7:23 AM on June 11


This looks hilariously bad, so I can't wait to listen to a bad-movies podcast about it.
posted by dis_integration at 7:43 AM on June 11 [1 favorite]


It's London's post-apocalyptic population that counts, and is definitely squalidly overcrowded, so yeah, I'm pretty happy with my head cannon.

Anyway, it's a shitty stupid movie, so I don't know why I'm bothering to explain my relationship to it, idiot that I am.
posted by ambrosen at 7:48 AM on June 11 [1 favorite]




In case anyone is actually interested in the answers, rather than just having fun(?) assuming that any questions they don't know the answers to must by definition be stupid answers, in the books:

1) There is a science fiction power source allowing for the moving cities. The explanation of it is a bigger deal in the prequels than the original books, but it is a thing that exists in the book world.

2) The population of moving London is much, much lower than the population of current London. (And in fact, the large numbers of people who got left behind when the city started moving is a major plot point both of a later book in the original series and the prequel series.)

3) The UK is connected to continental Europe by land in this future setting.

4) There really isn't an "evil urban vs. pure rural" things going on; there really isn't any rural, it's mostly just a devastated post-apocalyptic hellscape outside the moving cities.
posted by kyrademon at 8:02 AM on June 11 [4 favorites]


4) There really isn't an "evil urban vs. pure rural" things going on; there really isn't any rural, it's mostly just a devastated post-apocalyptic hellscape outside the moving cities.

The non-mobile power is in the east (it's a hazily sketched Chinese-flavored civilization). They'd be happy to sit and watch the barbarian Europeans beat each other to death, but when the cities start to get hungry, the much richer lands to the East start looking like a worthwhile target.

(and while they clearly have the right idea - mobile cities are not sustainable, at all, even in-universe - they have their own fanatics who employ some seriously questionable methods in their fight, which ends up waking some ancient war machines)
posted by BungaDunga at 8:10 AM on June 11


Kyrademon, sometimes Metafilter just likes to dump on stuff. That's just how it works sometimes. FWIW, I don't think the trailer looks any worse then any other big budget movie derived from a YA novel series. I mean I'd sooner watch this then say any of the Divergent or Maze Runner movies. At least this has Justin Trudeau and moving cities in it.
posted by Ashwagandha at 8:13 AM on June 11 [4 favorites]


After what he did to the Hobbit, I thought his filmmaking/adaption license was revoked.

It's more or less confirmed that Jackson came on board the Hobbit movies because the terrible studio notes were going to destroy the film - 90% of what doesn't work about the Hobbit movies was demanded by studio heads, including


part of me hopes all this is true, because I genuinely loved what Jackson with LOTR (most of it anyway), but another part saw Jackson's King Kong and was so repelled by

the shoehorned-in romances, the obvious prequelitis, the emphasis on CGI sets over practical to save money, and above all the demand to turn a story that was probably a decent two-movie story into a bloated three-movie mess -

... that I just have to wonder.
posted by philip-random at 8:19 AM on June 11


Didn't Planetfall by Arthur Byron Cover have giant robot cities walking around at some point?
posted by Splunge at 8:28 AM on June 11


I mean I'd sooner watch this then say any of the Divergent or Maze Runner movies. At least this has Justin Trudeau and moving cities in it.

I am feeling the same. Maze Runner was too paranoid. I didn't read the Divergent series because my wife did. She hated the ending of the series so much she wanted to throw the book across the room, but it was on her phone, so she resisted that impulse.

I am reading the fourth book in the Mortal Engines series now. It all started when I saw the teaser, and it looked so ridiculous, that I had to find out more. It is a fun read, and it works within its universe, even if it seems ridiculous from someone outside looking in.
posted by Badgermann at 8:31 AM on June 11 [3 favorites]


I liked the books. They hooked me at the "killer suburb" of Tunbridge Wheels.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 8:39 AM on June 11 [3 favorites]


I loved the Mortal Engines series, it's exceptionally well-written, thoughtful, exciting and pessimistic. I also loved the attached ideological jargon, Municipal Darwinism and so forth. I've seen this trailer in the cinema and will probably see the film.......not that I'm 100% optimistic about Peter Jackson's vision any more.
posted by glasseyes at 9:11 AM on June 11 [2 favorites]


The books get into some really cool post-post-post apocalyptic Dread Technology that people keep digging up and using to fight new battles.
That's very Riddley Walker

I enjoyed Jupiter Ascending unironically
posted by glasseyes at 9:13 AM on June 11 [4 favorites]


If MoviePass is still operating when this comes out, I'll see it.
posted by grumpybear69 at 9:20 AM on June 11 [1 favorite]


My post about London's population came across with a much snarkier tone than I'd intended. Sorry I didn't catch that in time to correct it.
posted by Paul Slade at 9:28 AM on June 11


I'm with aramaic: if someone happened to make an "in the grim darkness of the far future there is only ARCHIGRAM!!!!!" film, they'd need a Kevlar vest to protect themselves from the impact of me throwing money at them.
posted by adamgreenfield at 9:32 AM on June 11


The new Howl's Moving Castle movie is looking grim so far.

I got a Castle in the Sky / Laputa vibe from the trailer...
posted by JamesBay at 10:04 AM on June 11


The Inverted World

Thanks I've been trying to remember what this reminded me of, since the first preview. Everything old is new again. But Gotanda's right, a Peter Jackson "Cities in Flight" would have to be much better.
posted by Rash at 12:26 PM on June 11


I'm reminded of the Cathedrals from Alastair Reynolds' Absolution Gap.

The fact they put every single plot point in the movie shows a deep insecurity on the part of the studio. The production quality puts somewhere between Sliders and Stargate: Atlantis. I think I would enjoy this more as a series playing on WB on Sunday at 2pm while I fold laundry.
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 1:21 PM on June 11 [2 favorites]


While knowing nothing of the source material, I'll hazard that this is what's known as stretching a metaphor to its breaking point.
posted by philip k dong at 4:18 PM on June 11


Stupidest thing I've ever seen.
posted by bonobothegreat at 4:41 PM on June 11 [1 favorite]


In case anyone is actually interested in the answers, rather than just having fun(?)

I've been thinking about this on and off today. My comments above were just having fun; it makes me genuinely happy to write about imagined ridiculous scenes with elements like hot-lava racing stripes. The premise for this movie is far-out, and its far-out nature makes it easy for me to imagine other fun stuff derived from that premise. I hope it didn't seem like I was dumping on something you like, but I also can understand how it would seem that way (especially my second comment), and I could have kept it more positive. Part of the negativity is just cynicism about the style and tone of big-budget Hollywood movies.

After giving it some thought, I don't think that the concept of Mortal Engines is all that much more far-out than famous movie tropes like, for example, playing chess with Death. (Here I am thinking of Ingmar Bergman, not Bill and Ted.) No one in history has ever actually played chess with the physical personification of Death. It is not real; it does not happen. Or, okay, Spider-Man's origin story? That makes no sense. "I got bit by a radioactive spider and now I fight crime." That makes about as much sense as drivable predator cities. But audiences are along for the ride, because the finished product (more or less) works.

All day long I have been wishing for a movie adaptation of Deltron 3030. I never listen to the album and think, like, "You can't just give Mercury atmosphere! You don't use hydrometers to measure temperature! And it would take way more than 900 newtons to crush you like croutons!" Nothing in that album makes any sense, but I love it and I think it's a fabulous dystopian sci-fi concept album. I think Deltron 3030: The Movie would be awesome, and considering how excited I would be for it, I doubt that I have grounds to criticize Mortal Engines on the basis of its realism.
posted by compartment at 9:32 PM on June 11 [2 favorites]


No one in history has ever actually played chess with the physical personification of Death.

You knew, you literally knew, that I was here. What, pray tell, have I been doing for the last twenty years? Surely not drinking myself to death, no surely not.

Surely, instead, I have been dueling with Death. The Physical Manifestation Of Death, in a pint glass.
posted by aramaic at 9:55 PM on June 11


Guys, it's a metaphor about predatory capitalism and unsustainable systems. At least it was in the books.

Don't get too hung up on it.


The next time you scoff at a bad movie, I'll magically pop up from behind you and demand "Hey, don't get too hung up on it." Or will that not happen, because you like everything?
posted by zardoz at 10:41 PM on June 11


Anyway, on rewatch this trailer is pretty bad, but the premise is not dumber than Pacific Rim's, and look how that turned out. I mean, it did not place much emphasis on the physical plausibility of giant mechs, you know? Pacific Rim succeeded on its cast and writing, and there's fairly little evidence of either of those in this trailer, so there's a large potential for downside.

The upside is, there's decent source material, so there's at least some possibility that the plot will make sense and the characters won't suck. One concerning thing is that there's an entire character missing from the trailer, and while they could plausibly skip her entirely, it's a whole plot thread that deserves to be in there.
posted by BungaDunga at 7:08 AM on June 12 [1 favorite]


I suppose this will be made or broken on its tone. I could buy it if it was presented as a sort of allegorical fairy tale/fantasy, a live-action Sandman comic. If they go dystopian sci-fi, it might give Battlefield Earth a run for its money.
posted by philip k dong at 10:35 PM on June 12


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