Sunday, October 12, 2008

City of Ember fun

Its another slow day, with my kitty peacefully sitting on my toes. We don't do much with Columbus Day remembrances anyway, having long had doubts about whether he was more famous or infamous. DS is still adjusting to the new braces. The black powder event was pretty empty when we went by yesterday, so we went to the library instead - which seems to be much better run these days btw. I remember ranting about how they were, but hadn't told you what happened when a necessary bathroom break sent my family in to talk to them again. So far, they've been as good as their word- and the collection is MUCH better than I remembered.

Went by the City of Ember site (deciding whether we want to see it). I've been a sucker for (non-horror) cave people stories since:
1) missing numerous field trips to area caves while growing up. I was sick every single time we were supposed to go!
2) high school study projects, where I was in one of those experimental programs that had me roaming the stacks at the local uni more weeks than not- and afterward I spent time exploring left out resources their collection happened to have. As a former homeschooler I was more than happy to educate myself far beyond scholastic requirements. [grin] Some manuscripts were quite rare and included copies of documents stored since the French Revolutionary era - (minutes of the Committee' etc). Among the more fascinating bits was a collection of reports about 'cave people' who had supposedly come up all over Europe (from France to Germany, England, Gibraltar, and even Turkey!) Some were probably recent hideouts from the Terror, but other reports were positively intriguing. None of the adults in these reports survived for long after 'returning'? to the surface - but some of the children did adapt. Oddly, several were reported as having to learn the local language - but seemed to be speaking an unknown tongue of their own. A few told stories of a now lost civilization deep within the Earth that had suffered some kind of recent disaster. Several Native American tribes also told stories of living underground for a time. Were these all fairy tales? Possibly, since none of it has been proved aside from the comparatively shallow cave cities of Turkey, but the stories inspired Jules Verne and many after him - and apparently inspired the makers of Zork & Myst too. (at least secondhand. Once images enter the public imagination they take on a life of their own.)

Millions have been enchanted by the fascinating idea of a hidden city deep underground, safe from outside troubles, but challenged by their limited land and from the darkness within the hearts of mankind. The old stories still intrigue me too, so I took a look into the latest rendition, curious to see which of the classic tales or games this one would resemble most. So far the synopsis suggests neither Zork nor Verne. Ember's storyline (as written in the official synopsis and on Wikipedia) reminds me of several Dr Who storylines, old Star Trek episodes, Wall-E, and (faintly) of Logan's Run - but without 'lastday' and other violent Huxley-ish overtones. I guess I've read and seen too much fantasy & scifi works to find it original. But who knows, it might be reasonable to watch. Still haven't decided.

At the site, I played a couple of puzzle games - one based on ye olde "Pipe Dreams" and the other on the ever popular 'flip all the Switches on' challenge - used in so many adventure, rpg, and platformer games that it'd be difficult to list them all (Spyro 2, Mario 7 Stars, Lufia, etc etc). Maybe you'll enjoy them for a few minutes. Yeah, I'm still a puzzler at heart. :)


elledeegee said...

Hey Sus,

Have the kids read the books yet? I read the first one cause the movie sounded interesting. The first book is really good. I need to get the 2nd one and finish the 2nd Golden Compass book.

I'm just a little skittish about seeing the movie though after starting the Golden Compass movie on video and finding it rather dull. I just hope this one is better when I "can" go see it.


jesminlaz said...

The strength that has discovered in the movie was very high. That is some time I need from a film. Not just eating our time in between there has to be some ting to gain. From that point of view I give eight out of ten to the movie city of Ember is where I have watch it online

Shushan said...

Thanks for your vote, Jasmine :)

Hello Lehsa :)

No, we haven't read the books yet. I just learned about them looking up the film after seeing the trailer. Have to keep my eyes out for it, I guess.

One funny thing - just happened to watch an early episode of ST:Voyager right posting - and it had elements from that same basic plot I was talking about.

Isolated survivors on planet/space station/deep cave are supposed to return after the disaster has time to clear from home (or arrive at another home)but -generations pass and they forget all about it - or can't operate the controls anymore.

Some laissez-faire authority-type invariably opposes the good Doctor/Captain Kirk/ intrepid souls in the colony as they seek to fix the problem(s).... even the occasional monster creeping as services fail real familiar. LOL!!

Of course, the question isn't 'is it super original'? the question is whether its well-done & 'my kind of thing.' After all, I enjoyed the silly remake of Journey to the Center of the Earth and I might well enjoy this too.

Since posting, I've discovered that that the closest theater to host it is ~30 miles away. Hard to say if I'll make it there in time. Sadness.

Rebehm said...

I always enjoy listening to you talk about the historical cave peoples. It is wild how this phenomena seems to appear in so many cultures.

Mom, wasn't there a lot of seismic activity around the time those French documents were written?
I think it was also a part of some of the Native American legends.
Nah, we simply haven't run across the City of Ember books.

Yes, I totally agree with you about the Golden Compass film. I tried to watch it, but I just couldn't stand it.
I can't say the premise was my cup of tea, either.

Anyway, did you notice on City of Embers official site how the girl on the front is a bit like Katran? Somebody's been playing Riven. :)

Cynthia said...

Hope your little one is getting used to the braces.. OUCH!

Glad to have found your blog again.. I must have missed it in the SHS files the last time I went through the blogs listed there.

Claire said...

Great article.
Also great game.
Thanks for sharing