Escape to the Movies: Lucy - It's Almost a Black Widow Movie

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NinjaDeathSlap:

Falterfire:
I think 10% mainly annoys people because it's so well known as false. It's less that it's a handwave and more that it's an obvious one being played straight. Some mumbling about 'super biology science' would've served the same role without continuing something that is well known as a wive's tale.

"Uses 10% of your brain" is pretty well connected in my mind (And probably others) as an excuse for hacks to peddle quackery under the guise of real science - For example that "What the bleep do we know?" movie however long ago. It's a statement known to be false but regularly used by people who legitimately are trying to convince others that it's true, which means it automatically gets a negative response.

So yeah: Not that it's false and known to be false, but that it's false yet still frequently believed to be true.

So, just out of interest (because I admittedly did not know that what I'd been told about this several times was untrue until relatively recently), how did the myth start? And, as we apparently know it to be completely flase, how much of our brain power ARE we actually using on a day to day basis?

EDIT: It also occurs to me that the premise of Lucy, as described by this review, is in broad strokes no different from that of River Tam in Firefly, and I don't remember anybody ever bitching about that...

Have a look here for a start to answer your question:

http://www.snopes.com/science/stats/10percent.asp

As to River Tam, I agree. I see this movie as little different than the other superhero movies we've had over the past 10 yrs or so. Nobody bitched about how spider man could cling to walls and was able to produce a substance that he shot directly from his wrists. Or a scientist was injected with a serum that turned him into.....

[

Did nobody think to ask where Hulks extra mass came from?

But only 10% of your mind use theory causes people to get upset?!?

Grabehn:

AxelxGabriel:
Hey Bob? For all that talk about Knowledge being good and all, are you completely forgetting the fact that the further her powers get, the less empathetic Lucy gets and how little concern she has about randomly killing people?

She killed a taxi driver just cause he didn't speak English for fuck's sake!

Actually that's precisely what getting that mentally advance would provoke really, considering how "emotions" are usually something that gets in the way, and if she's thinking "rationally" and as it seems, she has limited time, getting things done quicker is kinda of what she'd go for.

Ya but bob was arguing that she was becoming a more emotional and caring person the more logical she got. Not saying strict logic wouldn't, and tends to, drive brutal ends justify the means calculations, but Bob was saying she got more moral.

MarsAtlas:

2. Racism

By putting gibberish on the wall, and implying that its Chinese, its hugely insulting, basically saying "Hey, entire language is bullshit gibberish goobidy gook" That is real racism.

No, it's implying that this was an American production where most people would not be able to read Chinese characters. Compared to all of the things on the list of priorities that comes with making a tripe A blockbuster, making sure characters which most of the audience would not even beginning to be able to interoperate accurate does not rank highly, if at all.

And it shouldn't. Because in the end only the greatest cluster of nerves would interpret such a minor oversight as an assault on the identity of an entire peoples.

sleeky01:

NinjaDeathSlap:

Falterfire:
I think 10% mainly annoys people because it's so well known as false. It's less that it's a handwave and more that it's an obvious one being played straight. Some mumbling about 'super biology science' would've served the same role without continuing something that is well known as a wive's tale.

"Uses 10% of your brain" is pretty well connected in my mind (And probably others) as an excuse for hacks to peddle quackery under the guise of real science - For example that "What the bleep do we know?" movie however long ago. It's a statement known to be false but regularly used by people who legitimately are trying to convince others that it's true, which means it automatically gets a negative response.

So yeah: Not that it's false and known to be false, but that it's false yet still frequently believed to be true.

So, just out of interest (because I admittedly did not know that what I'd been told about this several times was untrue until relatively recently), how did the myth start? And, as we apparently know it to be completely flase, how much of our brain power ARE we actually using on a day to day basis?

EDIT: It also occurs to me that the premise of Lucy, as described by this review, is in broad strokes no different from that of River Tam in Firefly, and I don't remember anybody ever bitching about that...

Have a look here for a start to answer your question:

http://www.snopes.com/science/stats/10percent.asp

As to River Tam, I agree. I see this movie as little different than the other superhero movies we've had over the past 10 yrs or so. Nobody bitched about how spider man could cling to walls and was able to produce a substance that he shot directly from his wrists. Or a scientist was injected with a serum that turned him into.....

[

Did nobody think to ask where Hulks extra mass came from?

But only 10% of your mind use theory causes people to get upset?!?

By this time everyone know the Hulk's transformation is unreal, so the audience just rolls with it.

Unfortunately, there is a percentage of people who either still believes this 10% theory or susceptible to believing it.

It just hasn't gotten to the point where we can treat it as retro super science.

That and as someone on this thread pointed out, it isn't a simple embellishment of something valid, it is total discredited fabrication.

I saw the film last night, and, scientific fallacy aside, it was a FANTASTIC film. I took my family and we all absolutely loved it. Honestly, Guardians of the Galaxy will have to work to top Lucy in my mind. Easily a day 1 blu-ray buy.

It really channeled Akira near the end, I felt. One of the best films I've seen in years.

Also, for those wondering just how pervasive the myth is, you get a giant black screen every so often, with a nice, big, screen filling percentage to show just how much of her brain she's using. It's really not a "Revenge" Flick, either. Within 20 minutes of getting her powers, she's done all the revenge she wants, and spends the rest of the film getting to Morgan Freeman's character to do good for humanity.

Hold on. So she swallows a philosophers stone that's slowly giving her magic powers right? The ability to control the cells of her own body and mater amongst them, and she's supposedly on a race against time before she incorporeal? Is the drug not some kind of mater effecting the cells of her body? Why can't she just stop the progression, giving her Infinite time? Can't give her magic like that and not expect her to save her own life with it.

Looks interesting enough, and my girlfriend is interested in watching it. I could rail on about the 10% thing, but why bother. It's an interesting enough concept for a movie, even if the jumping off point is openly known to be bullshit. Who really cares at this point. Remember when watching a movie required a certain amount of suspension of disbelief. Why the hell are people attacking this one because it expects that from the viewers for a single thing that is based on a fallacy. Where are all these nerd/geek culture science snobs when Iron Man builds a suit that can do just about anything. Hell, or even when Batman is forced to use everyone's cell phones in order find the Joker.

i'll say this, the marvel cinematic universe has given us much more friendly versions of almost all the characters it's used save for maybe captain America who is just himself pretty much. in the comics, tony stark is an asshole, nick fury is not some dreamer who believes in superheroes he barely trusts them, and black widow is kind of a heartless assassin/spy/ mini-nick fury, a black widow movie is not a bad idea exactly but the essence of her character is kind of rooted in not knowing where she is at any given time and the knowledge that where she is and what she's doing isn't very nice or clean. so yeah I would love a female lead super hero movie, and the movies have made black widow WAY more popular than she is in the comics but if you want a female lead who isn't aggressively torturing and killing in the name of protecting SHIELD or whatever fury is currently working on you need to go she-hulk, ms. marvel, or even tigress.

Ukomba:
Hold on. So she swallows a philosophers stone that's slowly giving her magic powers right? The ability to control the cells of her own body and mater amongst them, and she's supposedly on a race against time before she incorporeal? Is the drug not some kind of mater effecting the cells of her body? Why can't she just stop the progression, giving her Infinite time? Can't give her magic like that and not expect her to save her own life with it.

I took this very issue with other movies that had the same kind of idea. There was the movie Phenomenon, where Travolta's character can understand the very fabric of reality and manipulate energy with his thoughts, but then the brain tumor that gives him that very ability is going to kill him and he isn't smart enough or able to even stop it's growth. Then there was Limitless (a movie I very much liked). He was so smart that he could learn a language without any issue, predict what the financial markets were going to do (something that is so complex that it's actually impossible to obtain the level of predictability he had), but he had to hire a lab full of people who were a fraction of his intelligence to find out how it worked.

It's like a glaring plot hole that is so large, people can't even see it as they fall into it.

Perhaps the day we can treat the 10% thing as retro super science is also the day when it also the butt of a joke in several sci-fi or superhero pastiches.

I don't think human beings have the potential to be gods no matter how much of our brains potential we gain access to, but as the premise to a movie this does sound interesting.

I haven't seen The Rock 100% state Captain Marvel/Shazam, so I'm curious as to whether or not he'll be playing the Big Red Cheese or if he'll be starring as Black Adam. He certainly looks the part. Buzz cut, dusky skin, large enough to have his own senators and get federal funding, all the essentials.

I'll be satisfied either way, at least in theory. It's not the choice of actor here that bothers me, it's that D.C. has been in full-on panic mode since the Marvel Cinematic Universe took off and can't seem to avoid tripping over its own feet.

inu-kun:
It sounds like I'll hate the main character for being a god mode sue from the get to, also, I'm pretty sure that everywhere in the world that's not america people know science is true (a depressing sentence to write), so it's not progressive.

Yes, I'm sure the backwards farmers in India and China ( the most populated countries in the world) know all about neuroscience and can just look it up on the internet that doesn't exist out in their rural country villages.

It's not that the US is any more or less ignorant than the rest of the world. It's just that our dumb people are really, really loud. And have internet connections.

Pogilrup:
Perhaps the day we can treat the 10% thing as retro super science is also the day when it also the butt of a joke in several sci-fi or superhero pastiches.

Like the "radiation gives you super powers" and "Air on Mars" retro science?

I think il give this one a pass

Mainly because I'm not interested in an emotionless god type character, especially if she stared out sympathetic

The primary difference between the pseudoscience of sci-fi generally and the 10% brain thing is the following. When sci-fi movies tend to use technology as a means to the end, they tend to explain it in terms of future realms of possibility, they rarely try to justify it on current science, and when they do they tend to do better than say 'breathing space air'. The 10% of your brain thing, however, has not only been the justification behind so much stupidity (ironically) but is a phrase that has been debunked over and over, and a sci-fi movie is using it as its central premise. If the chemicals or whatever simply 'enhanced her brainpower' that would be absolutely fine, but that it uses this tired and frustrating trope, people find it jarring.

Although, it does sound like my kind of movie. Even if I won't necessarily agree to the 'knowledge = greater empathy' thing. I'm more of a Dr Manhattan fan.

bobdole1979:
are you joking? The Rock would be PERFECT as Shazam. He has the muscle bound super hero look down but can also bring a naive child like wonder to the part. The only other actor that could do it would be Chris Pratt

as for Black Widow... ehhh her own movie wouldn't be that interesting, I mean she's an assasin ok neat. I would rather have Ms Marvel as the first Marvel Female Superhero to get her own movie.

The only thing that works against the Rock as Shazam, is that he would be soooo much more perfect as Shazam's main nemesis. The equal and opposite Black Adam. Who really is a much more nuanced and fun character to play. But I could live with the Rock as either.

So...... She becomes Euphoric? XD

image

"In this moment, I am euphoric. Not because of any phony
god's blessing. But because, I am enlightened by my intelligence."

In all seriousness i do hate the whole pervasive 10% myth but as a sci-fi premise i think it is one of the places it actually fits/works.

I've got a pretty limited understanding of neuroscience myself, but would the movie perhaps have garnered less ire had the drug instead basically overclocked her cognitive functions with the same result but with the caveat that her brain and/or body are basically going to burn out?

Hell I think there was an episode of Babylon 5 that did this.

That's a real shame, this film sounds right up my alley, but unfortunately I can't stand Scarlet Johnhammerstien.

The 10% thing is a myth of a myth.

Hit CTRL ALT DEL right now go to task manager and look at your CPU useage.

The closer that thing gets to 100% the closer your computer is to shut down.

Is your computer capable of using more then 10% of it's CPU? Of course it is, it's just that the higher it goes, the worse off it gets.

Remember human being also equate our brain to a computer quite often, and have been able to speculate our maximum brain storage capacity (Our memories) into a potentially quantifiable number.

To put it in a simpler way, just because my computer is using 1% of it's current CPU potential, does not mean I am not 100% using the computer. It just means it's capable of running more, I am simply choosing to not use it in such a way.

People like to say we use 100% of our brain all the time. An interesting notion, then did you know that right now, the amount of tasks you are doing is your maximum number of tasks you can do, because adding one more goes beyond that 100% you have.

When we for example take a brain scan, to see the brain, the person is not generally walking and or talking, they are sitting there, as still as possible. Possibly being asked to think about certain things. Walking and talking might cause different parts of the brain to light up.

10% of our brain, is likely to be closer to the number of how active your brain is at any given point, then the actual amount of it you can use, and considering we have discovered parts of our brain that we didn't know existed before.

The very concept in and of itself, of us using 100% of our brain ever is fallible even, because we do not yet fully understand the human brain.

So in actuality, any number you throw out into the argument is irrelevant because that assumes a 100% understanding of something we do not 100% have mapped out.

You don't know we use 10% or 100% or any number in between, not because it isn't possible, but because we plain don't know yet.

If we did use 100% of our brain, and only actively used parts of our brain, then our brain is not at full use. Inactive parts of our brain at any given time is not using it by definition. I am using 100% of my computer, I am definitely in the process of using it, but it seems to think it's only at 1% of it's actual ability to be used. All the other capacities it has are inactive, sure I am still using it, this does not mean maximum capacity however.

On topic though.

I want to see this movie so bad.

My unsolicited take on the 10% thing:

The "disproof" to that states "You should be able to remove 90% of the brain, then!"

Say you have a pie chart divided up like a pizza.

Now draw a curved line that starts in one slice and goes through all the other slices.

If you remove any one of those slices, the line you drew is is no longer connected from beginning to the end. This explains why you cannot just remove parts of the brain and still function normally. You need all of it.

But at the same time, you only drew one little line. The vast majority of that pie chart is just empty space, untouched by the line.

Of course there is no reason to believe that the brain works this way, and I've yet to see any actual evidence for the 10% myth, but I don't think it's falsifiable.

ultreos2:

The closer that thing gets to 100% the closer your computer is to shut down.

The computer doesn't shut down when it hits 100% CPU usage, nor does it mean you can no longer do any new processes. It simply means that all the computing resources are being used, and that any new processes will have to wait their turn instead of being processed immediately.

Houseman:
My unsolicited take on the 10% thing:

The "disproof" to that states "You should be able to remove 90% of the brain, then!"

Say you have a pie chart divided up like a pizza.

Now draw a curved line that starts in one slice and goes through all the other slices.

If you remove any one of those slices, the line you drew is is no longer connected from beginning to the end. This explains why you cannot just remove parts of the brain and still function normally. You need all of it.

But at the same time, you only drew one little line. The vast majority of that pie chart is just empty space, untouched by the line.

Of course there is no reason to believe that the brain works this way, and I've yet to see any actual evidence for the 10% myth, but I don't think it's falsifiable.

Actually removing parts of the brain, can cause it to function better in some individuals so we do not technically need all of our brain matter to function, in some cases having all of our brain can make the situation worse.

Houseman:

ultreos2:

The closer that thing gets to 100% the closer your computer is to shut down.

The computer doesn't shut down when it hits 100% CPU usage, nor does it mean you can no longer do any new processes. It simply means that all the computing resources are being used, and that any new processes will have to wait their turn instead of being processed immediately.

You might potentially be right as my computer hit 100% from a virus as opposed to actual function when this occurred.

Or rather 80%. But I can neither prove or disprove how accurate that may or may not be as my new computer can run like 18 games in different screens.

ultreos2:

Actually removing parts of the brain, can cause it to function better in some individuals so we do not technically need all of our brain matter to function, in some cases having all of our brain can make the situation worse.

Lobotomies, right?

As you said, that applies to "some individuals" who have damaged brains in the first place. They still lose something. It's just that their illness involved an overabundance of what a lobotomy is designed to remove, resulting in a net positive result.

I wasn't saying that if 100% of our brain isn't there, we'll instantly die, or anything.

Houseman:

ultreos2:

Actually removing parts of the brain, can cause it to function better in some individuals so we do not technically need all of our brain matter to function, in some cases having all of our brain can make the situation worse.

Lobotomies, right?

As you said, that applies to "some individuals" who have damaged brains in the first place. They still lose something. It's just that their illness involved an overabundance of what a lobotomy is designed to remove, resulting in a net positive result.

I wasn't saying that if 100% of our brain isn't there, we'll instantly die, or anything.

I didn't say you were I somewhat assumed you mis-spoke when you said we needed all of our brain and simply pointed out exceptions even though you are normally 100% correct.

Edit: Though the overall correctness of your statement also depends on the idea of what is or is not normal as well, and what is considered normal.

ultreos2:

Or rather 80%. But I can neither prove or disprove how accurate that may or may not be as my new computer can run like 18 games in different screens.

I "proved" it by starting up a small server and running an intensive process on it. It maxed out the CPU as it ran, but it worked correctly. When I moved the process to a beefier server, it just ran faster without maxing anything out.

But I'm sure you could get more scientific proof in a book about processors.

Houseman:

ultreos2:

Or rather 80%. But I can neither prove or disprove how accurate that may or may not be as my new computer can run like 18 games in different screens.

I "proved" it by starting up a small server and running an intensive process on it. It maxed out the CPU as it ran, but it worked correctly. When I moved the process to a beefier server, it just ran faster without maxing anything out.

But I'm sure you could get more scientific proof in a book about processors.

Possibly, this may also have to do with overheating and cooling, perhaps my cooling unit was not up to the useage. Couldn't tell you. I scrapped that compaq.

So in response to why people are dumping on this one for the 10% thing, I'll tell you why I was immediately turned off by it.

In a staggeringly awful summer movie season where I want to see precious little and have been disappointed by everything I did want to see, having the first thing a movie trailer tell me is "YOU ARE SMARTER THAN THIS MOVIE!!!" was an instant turn-off. My eyes were rolling when I should have been watching the pretty high-light reel that was the trailer, but they led with stupid.

And assuming MovieBob's review is on mark, they could have easily worded things a bit differently to avoid one of the most widely known bits of scientific misinformation.

Adam Jensen:
I am very displeased with all the people in this topic failing to grasp the importance of suspension of disbelief in fiction.

Amen to that XP you go to movies to turn your brain off for an hour or several, splurge on popcorn, and watch an interesting or weird or neat or whatever story.........my case, unless I trip and go into a documentary movie, I'm not going to see "true facts".........I go for the disconnect XD

OT: definitly going to see this when I can. looked neat before, and still looks neat, with the added bonus of having a favorable review =)plus I liked Maleficent.

Luc Beeson huh? I should have known seeing as we once again have another "I am woman hear me roar as I gauge out the eyes of ten dudes at once" leading famme fatales. That sometimes have godlike abilities to kick a whole lot of ass, that or save the world by screaming at giant planet size balls of flame that are on a collision course with earth. LoL.

Honestly, I'm a big geek for The Fifth Element so... Lulu > Lucy anyday! Multi-pass! :P

Also on a side note...

Instead of this, how about another Professional but now with Matilda as an adult hit woman? :D. Yeah... best Natalie Portman flick, and what was she 12 in that movie?

I just like to point out that while the trailers talked about brain usage in the movie they talked about "cerebral capacity," probably edited because of the 10% myth. Using that as a stepping stone made things make more sense in terms of sci fi. We can use our brain to control certain functions of our body, but other functions are locked away passively. I can't use my brain to tell my stomach how to digest food, or my heart to pump blood at a certain speed. That's the premise here, people.

Also, would also like to point out the guy she shot for not speaking english:

1) For all we know he was part of the gang that imprisoned and abused her, and 2) he didn't die, she shot him in the leg. He even says it.

It's not even the pseudoscience that turned it off for me. Watching all of the trailers led me to wonder where the tension would come from. It sure as hell wasn't going to be from the action scenes where Lucy can just handwave everyone into unconsciousness. It's like a Steven Segal movie x10. You know he's not going to get hurt or even come close to being beaten, so what's the point? We all know the good guy's going to win in the end, but it's nice to see them overcome some hurdles first.

Jman1236:
Yeah Mythbusters put a hole in the 10% theory long ago. Nice to hear that it's a good popcorn flick, but I'll wait till it out on DVD/Blu-Ray and give it a rental.

7 more days....and it's on!

image

Though if it frames it as 10% of our mental potential that actually is a nice spin on it. I mean think about it. We use 100% of our body but very few of us use 100% of our bodies potential or unlock it. So if the brain thing is portrayed as that then I find that awesome. Hell I know I'm smart, people tell me I'm smart, but I also know I'm not using all the potential I have in my head.

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