Re: Robert Zemeckis, Evil Genius

Hal Finney (
Fri, 27 Feb 1998 19:29:55 -0800

My wife can't stand "Forest Gump", for much of the same reasons you list.
In fact, she gets very upset whenever someone mentions it. She really
hates the idea that this idiotic guy has everything come out so well
without doing anything to control his own life.

In Contact, the ending was changed from the earlier book by Carl Sagan.
In the book, the reality of the experience was questioned only for a
short while. The fact that the erased recordings showed a long elapsed
time came out pretty quickly, and was made public. Also, the aliens had
hinted about some numeric patterns buried in PI, and eventually these
were confirmed, further giving credibility to the experience. This
totally changed the thrust of the ending.

Actually, I didn't think the movie version made a very clear point.
It was not trying to equate science and religion. No one ever said that
personal and mystical experiences could serve as a basis for science.

Rather, it seemed to be a more personal comeuppance for the Jodie Foster
character, who had scoffed at the unreproducible nature of religious
revelation, only to be given an unreproducible experience herself.
However she was consistent in that she recognized that there was no
evidence of the reality of what she had encountered, hence she eventually
came to view it in purely personal terms.

It would seem that eventually there would have to be some additional
contact with the aliens, since not much happened on the first contact.
Probably they want to break it to earth gradually and give people time
to adapt. But eventually they would want to do more. Hopefully at that
time Foster's character will feel some personal vindication. Maybe a
"Contact 2" is in the works.