Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Black Hole (2006)

I bought a bundled DVD of 4 SF movies for cheap the other day and watched the 2006 TV movie The Black Hole with Judd Nelson and written by David Goodin. The story was about a research lab that discovers a black hole has formed in their accelerator. As it begins to eat eastern Missouri, some kind of electrically charged being jumps out of the black hole and starts sucking up energy off power lines, relay stations, and wherever it can find it.

For the most part this film was full of more holes than Bonnie and Clyde. The dialogue needed mouth to mouth and the acting was phoned in from Mars. But it followed the fundamental rules of Quantum SF, albeit with a very cheezy execution.

First, the beast had no interest in human beings. It wasn't there to wage war. In fact, it wasn't even aware of human beings. It simply went about it's business. Second, it was an alien lifeform that had no connection to 'humanoid' or 'terrestrial' lifeforms. It used the black hole to travel through space and time. It didn't care that the hole was devouring Earth. Thirdly, the humans couldn't communicate with it because there was no common frame of reference. They had to understand it on its terms.

This kind of story pits human against himself, his resources, and a universe he has yet to comprehend. The human/alien connection has to be made through other means than a simple "na nu, na nu". Unfortunately, this particular story did none of those things with this nice creative setup because it was trying to keep the audience from changing channels for 90 minutes. However, that's another issue.

For my money, grappling with the unknown in science fiction should be more challenging than exchanging weapons fire with Klingons.

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