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Did Gary Whitta write After Earth as Scientology propaganda?

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Cheech

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The reviews make this movie out to be a profound piece of shit, so thankfully even if it's scientology propaganda, it is going to bomb.
 

T.M. MacReady

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Pretty hard to argue based on the info in there. But a lot of the art/costumes/visual similarities cant be attributed to the co-writer.
 

Pastry

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Yeah that looks ridiculous. A lot of the things he mentioned are tropes that have been used in literature and film forever. Survival (really?), father and son, volcanoes (oh no), standard military uniforms, space planes!

Are you going to try and tell me that Dante's Peak is a vehicle for Scientology? It's about survival and there's a volcano and a father too.
 

jtb

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well this is a shameless Will Smith vehicle... makes sense that he'd want to shove as much Scientology in there as possible
 
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(The levels go to 8, but Church lore states that L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology, completed up to 15.)
Scientology is affected by power creeping.
Better exemplified by every other religion:

Dude: Hey guys, there are magical beings in the air causing things. Just like the mammoth has crushed these bushes, some thing is causing rain, lightning and fire to fall!
Dude 2: Oh, that's interesting, but I got my ancestors instead, part of everything, guiding us along - so here's a list of rules.
Dude 3: That's nothing, I got a whole pantheon of Gods. Zeus shoots lightning down, Krishna is a destroyer of world, and so on. One god for everything!
Dude 4: Psh, my God is so much better than yours - he is omniscient and omnipotent.

Can't wait for dude 4's God to be hit by the nerf hammer - it's no fun if he just wins all the time.
 

Moofers

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Had no idea. Scratch this one off my list of movies to see then. I was already turned off by Will Smith & son, but I can't knowingly support something trying to advance the cause of a bunch of evil motherfuckers.
 

Cheech

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When did reviews start to matter for movies like this?
Um, reviews matter when the movie is universally panned. Which this one is. As in, zero redeeming qualities, zero entertainment value, a complete waste of money no matter how you slice it. Worthy of watching for free on cable only if all the other channels are showing a test pattern. Etc. etc...
 

AkuMifune

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Sci-fi tends to mine from the same wells. I read all of Mission Earth in high school and loved it. Scientology is a brilliant religion to feed off the rich and weak-minded, and it works.

But it's roots are sci-fi, which is the genius of it, so the tropes will remain similar in any epic space tale.
 

CornBurrito

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Even if it is Scientology propaganda, should that even matter?

I don't believe in mind control. I don't think inserting hidden religious elements into a work of fiction will convert anyone. It may make them more open to certain ideas, but critical thinking is what allows someone to be open minded while still not succumbing to fictitious and potentially harmful beliefs.

Also as AkuMifune pointed out, the founder of Scientology was a well known Science Fiction writer. I'm not too surprised if some general Science Fiction tropes were worked into the Scientology doctrine. And then every Sci-Fi after that seemed like "Scientology propaganda."

Had no idea. Scratch this one off my list of movies to see then. I was already turned off by Will Smith & son, but I can't knowingly support something trying to advance the cause of a bunch of evil motherfuckers.
See, I'm not really sure how this advances Scientology. It seems most of it was subtle, and I don't think subtle themes slipped into a mediocre movie will mysteriously convert anyone.
 

Draft

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I doubt that Gary Whitta wrote a script intended to promote Scientology.

What happened to Gary Whitta's script after it was written, who can say...
 

DJ_Lae

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Didn't people also think Book of Eli was Christian propaganda?

Maybe Whitta is just cycling through various religions for themes as he progresses through his career.
 

sparky2112

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Does Whitta no longer speak for himself?

God, please let this be the beginning of the end for Smith dynasty...

M. Night might as well start putting in applications at Wal-Mart after this.
 

Ermac

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Not trying to be mean, but I wish Whitta would actually post about the movie, he's so quick to defend Apple but when his own work is criticized he's nowhere to be found...
 

CornBurrito

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Sure it does, Scientology is crap.
Yes, but some of the themes it have might actually make for decent Sci-Fi considering it was based off the works of a Science Ficiton writer.

I'm not Christian, but I'd let my kids read The Chronicles of Narnia because it has some interesting themes in it and I don't think a work of fiction will convert anyone with even the most basic of critical thinking skills. At worst it will get people to appreciate some of the better themes of the religion.
 

Freezie KO

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rezuth said:
I think it's overanalyzing
That's exactly what a Scientologist would say.

No, really. They're against psychiatry.


Um, reviews matter when the movie is universally panned. Which this one is. As in, zero redeeming qualities, zero entertainment value, a complete waste of money no matter how you slice it. Worthy of watching for free on cable only if all the other channels are showing a test pattern. Etc. etc...
How much money did this make:

http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/transformers_revenge_of_the_fallen/
 

Bobby Roberts

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The man's job is to write movies. Will Smith came to him to write a movie he had an idea for. So Whitta took Smith's story, crafted it into a screenplay, and worked with M. Night Shyamalan on it.

Did Will Smith have some weird ideas that can be mapped 1+1 to Scientology? probably. Did M. Night Shyamalan have some ideas for the screenplay that seem very much like something Shyamalan would do? More than likely.

The idea that the screenwriter has sole domain over how the script works is one of the biggest misconceptions on the internet.
 
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Not trying to be mean, but I wish Whitta would actually post about the movie, he's so quick to defend Apple but when his own work is criticized he's nowhere to be found...
That's not exactly good form to run around and defend your own work. Remember Dennis Dyack?

It's completely fair to let people have their own opinions of your work and not stomp in and start lording perspectives.
 

JDSN

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It must be, it looks like boring shite with glassy-eyed zombie-like performances and dialog.
 

Ace Harding

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I mean, maybe a few of the ideas were inspired by Scientology? But the movie doesn't appear to be actively preaching anything. Its just a dumb story.

The links to pics of the two insignias and uniforms turned me off of his argument. He sort of had me until then.

The insignia is not THAT similar. Lots of military insignias look sort of like that.

And the uniforms? Uh, they are both white? Seriously?

Anyway, who cares if the story is vaguely inspired by Scientology myths? Its not actively (or inactively, whatever that means) promoting it. Plus nobody is going to see it anyway.
 

jtb

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That's not exactly good form to run around and defend your own work. Remember Dennis Dyack?

It's completely fair to let people have their own opinions of your work and not stomp in and start lording perspectives.
Agreed. It's best to just let the work speak for itself.
 

NathanMcMahon

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That's not exactly good form to run around and defend your own work. Remember Dennis Dyack?

It's completely fair to let people have their own opinions of your work and not stomp in and start lording perspectives.
Yeah, he has nothing to gain by engaging, and he's not going to speak negatively of the experience anytime soon if those are his feelings. Hollywood is a very tight clique and rocking the boat is a fast road to irrelevance and no work.

As far as Scientology, I hope he hasn't been duped.
 

Phoenix

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Um, reviews matter when the movie is universally panned. Which this one is. As in, zero redeeming qualities, zero entertainment value, a complete waste of money no matter how you slice it. Worthy of watching for free on cable only if all the other channels are showing a test pattern. Etc. etc...
Well damn....
 

Akahige

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Screenwriters rarely have any control over the final product and who knows how many other writer's hands this was passed through before filming began.
 

Jackben

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Well tons of people on gaf unilaterally shat on book of eli, not entirely surprised at this thread but I think claiming it is scientology propaganda is fairly pathetic. Reddit guy makes tons of leaps in logic like a conspiracy theorist trying to link everything to symbols when it maybe has a handful of elements that could be interpreted as scientology lore but are fairly prevalent in most science fiction stories.
 

Iceman

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has anyone in this thread actually seen the movie?

*
I didn't detect any thetans or xenu in this. It was about a boy trying to live up to his dad's legendary example - a dad who's completely fearless and relatively unemotional (usually a bad choice for a movie character because the audience wants to experience all ranges of emotion, even if its vicarious) and a dad who feels the sting of regret and responsibility for not being around his oldest child was killed - and has to face an increasingly challenging set of obstacles that tests his ability to overcome his anxiety and fear. The movie makes it a point to recall the protagonist's experience of watching his older sister die in front of him as the (reasonable) catalyst of his fear. The volcano is there as a hitchcock-ian final hurdle for his protagonist, the last place he wants to go - and it looks forboding, recalling the Hobbits' ascent of Mount Doom. But the flip-side of that comparison is that the final act felt unoriginal.. on top of that, the final battle was similar to the Shelob fight.

So I suppose if you think this movie is a front for pushing scientology, then so was the Return of the King.

edit: now I get it, i.e. "spoilers: no" in the title - Cyan edited the title.
 

mre

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Those are some tenuous stretches he's making in order to tie the movie to scientology.
 
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