Last night I watched Gattica with matt_arnold. It was a very interesting movie. It didn't really work for me, except for a few scenes, partly because it was one of those movies where almost every moment is suspenseful somehow and even when the characters are relaxed I was thinking "oh, the risks they're taking!" or "what's she doing that for?", etc. and I get physically tense during movies like that. Last night in particular, that seemed to really tire me out. I'm glad to have seen the movie though.
If you haven't seen it, it's the story of a natural-born fellow in a time of genetic engineering, someone who wants a job whose requirements include being genetically without flaw and who hopes to follow his dreams of going out into space despite the fact that a genetic predisposition (99% likelyhood of a heart condition, Matt reminds me) disqualifies him from even trying.
So in this movie they keep judging people by genetics and doing IDs based on small scraps of body matter or fluids.
I found they made interesting decisions in terms of how future workspace and technology were represented in the film - very old-school futuristic, 1950s meets 2100. (Matt commented on the look as well, and how the clothes were almost 1920s). Why there would be static or a flickering search on the little hand-helds they were using, for instance - purely a ploy for suspence, not an interface design I buy. But it worked for suspense. Similarly I couldn't *actually* believe people who operate keyboards for a living would put up with having a finger tip pricked for ID every single morning. But it made for a security measure one could believably dupe (though in general the saving of fluids for pretending to be someone else only worked if the viewer knows nothing about how blood breaks down over time and action -- the device that was always spinning the blood in the background was purely a mystery to me; you use such things to break blood down, not preserve it, especially the next-to-last scene where a large supply seems to be expected to last for years merely by refrigerating it. But my dad is a biomedical engineer who designs blood pumps, and I donate blood regularly (note also, a person only has 5 liters of blood and is severly debilitated by rapid blood loss, as one of the characters doesn't seem to be, unless he was hiding something that he was working on for a really long time). So I'm sure I know more about such things than the average person, but still. I hate it when movies, especially scifi movies, distract me with things like that.
I'm not really surprized that I wasn't too keen on the movie. None of the actors are people I tend to enjoy watching. But some of the ideas were interesting and important, especially the cross section of insurance and liability with genetic profiling.
As is typical, though, it was a movie with only one substantial female character and a slew of male ones. Maybe two women, if you count the main character's mother. There was an active attempt to display a society that was integrated in terms of white and black folk, but the primary cast was all white, and 90% male.