I’ve loved sci-fi since I was a little kid. My dad bought the original “Star Wars” trilogy on VHS when I was 11, and I was hooked. He liked “Star Wars “and he liked “Men in Black”, and he’s the one who bought “Jurassic Park” too. What wasn’t awesome about that? The armchair psychologist in me thinks that I like sci-fi so much now because it’s a way to keep his memory alive.
But sometimes, you have such great hope for an idea or image that the truth is disappointing. So here I’m going to tell you about my first great sci-fi disappointment: The movie “The Fifth Element.”
I’ve only seen it once, and it was such a disorganized mishmash that I don’t plan to watch it again. But there was one scene that other people had told me about in advance, and I looked forward to seeing it more than any other: The scene of the Diva Plavalaguna singing.
People at school had told me that her voice was amazing and her singing beautiful. In the context of the movie, I was psyched. I wanted it to be unique and unearthly. I imagined that her voice would be piercing and synthesized, and would have lots and lots of harmonics so that it sounded like multiple voices escaping from one throat. Sort of like Imogen Heap once she’s in full studio mode:
Instead, I got this:
So, we’ve got an alien woman with blue skin, an elongated skull, and tentacles sprouting from her back and head, and she sounds like….a normal human opera singer? Even with that little funky bit at the end, it still didn’t stretch many boundaries.
What was all the fuss about? I wondered. Sure, an opera singer’s voice is lovely, but the choice of using a voice like that for a body like that was…pedestrian.
There have been other sci-fi disappointments since – like how I slowly but eventually realized that “The Phantom Menace” was a piece of crap – but this particular instance has stayed with me.
So now I ask you: What instance of disappointment over a story or a movie broke your little heart?