28 March 2004

Took a few hours off from writing new application for ethics approval to see Ben Affleck and Uma Thurman in Paycheck. I quite enjoyed it; but it certainly is in the ironing movie genre. Since we had free tickets, I wasn’t too disappointed by it.

Lisa thought the plot was weak, and I tend to agree with her. Not only that but the action sequences were “over-engineered’. I feel that Jonny Woo’s style is showing its age.

Interestingly enough though, it did raise a topic I’ve mentioned here before of structuralism vs. existentialism. Maybe not in those words, and I’m sure a philosopher would debate my use of the terms and their applicability to Paycheck. But, it did look at how much we can shape the future, if the future is know to us. For example, suppose a firm has detailed information about its sole competitor, what are the outcomes? And if they know that the other knows, what then? I suspect that game theorists would have a ball (and would consider the films “logic’ to be rather weak too).

I haven’t seen The butterfly effect yet, but I image that, like Paycheck it cause me wonder about points of leverage and how little needs to change in order to have a large effect. (The old, if a butterfly flaps its wings in a rain forest it can cause a hurricane on the other side of the world, line.)