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Maeotian
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12 Sep 2007, 9:22 pm

Has anyone here seen a movie called Mercury Rising, starring Bruce Willis? Its about an autistic 9 year old named Simon who ends up breaking a top-secret government code and getting himself into quite the pickle with the NSA. For those who have seen it, how do you think the portrayal of Simon in that film holds up to real life? Of course, Hollywood will be Hollywood, but how much of it do you think is real?



ev8
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12 Sep 2007, 9:38 pm

Mercury Rising? Is that like a vaccine joke?



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12 Sep 2007, 9:39 pm

Maeotian wrote:
Has anyone here seen a movie called Mercury Rising, starring Bruce Willis? Its about an autistic 9 year old named Simon who ends up breaking a top-secret government code and getting himself into quite the pickle with the NSA. For those who have seen it, how do you think the portrayal of Simon in that film holds up to real life? Of course, Hollywood will be Hollywood, but how much of it do you think is real?


Yes...I have seen it.
I don't think that he could have really broken that code. I mean...he might be an autistic savant, but NO ONE could break that code. In the movie the NSA said that Simon read the code just like a normal book...IMPOSSIBLE unless you have seen it before.


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12 Sep 2007, 10:11 pm

I thought the child actor did a pretty good job portraying autism. They did conveniently leave some important bits out though when they were writing the movie. They pretty much ignored sensory integration problems, but really the biggest issue that I noticed was the kid's adaptability to new situations. I mean, the kid's parents die, he gets dragged all over the place by someone he doesn't know, is put into really scary situations a few times, and he just kind of rolls with the punches. Not what I would expect of a kid with autism. Incidentally, he seemed around a middle-ish level of functioning, maybe lowish-middle- probably so that he'd seem autistic enough, but not so that the guy dragging him around (who knew nothing about autism) would have a real tough time handling him.



13 Sep 2007, 3:53 am

Every autism indivisual is different so Simon isn't going to have every single autism symptom.



I first saw it when I was 13 and I thought all of them were mute and they can all crack those codes, and they all scream when you touch them, and they are oblivious what is going on around them so they don't even know someone is trying to kill them.

But the funny thing is, I was labeled autistic when I was a toddler and then the label was changed to autistic behavior when I was 4 or 5 and I noticed how much Simon rocked as he sat and I do the same too, I did it more often as a kid, so I didn't see it as part of autism and I didn't know anything about autism when I saw the movie.



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13 Sep 2007, 4:37 am

ev8 wrote:
Mercury Rising? Is that like a vaccine joke?

It took me a bit to realize this could be taken as pun because of connection (whether real or imagined, it is a part of the culture & research) to autism, at first I thought this comment was serious-once I "got" it I was amused, actually.
LostInSpace wrote:
They did conveniently leave some important bits out though when they were writing the movie. They pretty much ignored sensory integration problems, but really the biggest issue that I noticed was the kid's adaptability to new situations.

I've got myriad sensory issues (hyper-sensitivities), am terrible at handling transitions, and fast-paced changes in demands placed on me result in hysterical shutdown.
Have seen the movie, though couldn't identify much with the character (young autistic kid). Can't address quality of (writer, director, actor) performances with any insight or objectivity-merely simplistic comparisons with self. I'm in my 30's, don't deal with children, and my "symptoms or traits" seem dissimilar (not a savant in any area) to those in this depiction/portrayal.


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13 Sep 2007, 4:45 am

Yeah, it's pretty good portrayal of someone with autism.

Apart from the cognitive impairment (I've got a high IQ in most things; he is super good at spatial stuff, not so at all others), he's pretty close to me overall (he rocks more than I do, I pick my nails and open/close objects instead; I look down, he looks up). He talks to more people than I do, but when I talk I'm "more" normal with my language in timing, i.e., I've learnt to emulate my mother and her way of talking (she's normal). I talk out there to people I know like I'm typing now (I won't if I don't know you).

The hospital scene where he's going crazy due to being overwhelmed is eerily similar to how I was when little; it happened a couple of times in my life, ha, Valium does nothing to alleviate the extreme anxiety.



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13 Sep 2007, 12:00 pm

likedcalico wrote:
Every autism indivisual is different so Simon isn't going to have every single autism symptom.


Yeah, but nearly all kids with autism have sensory issues, and difficulty with novel situations is pretty much a hallmark feature of autism.



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13 Sep 2007, 12:38 pm

I loved the movie, but of course I love action movies. My biggest complaint was that Simon was melting down, and so Bruce Willis' character made them turn off the siren. Later he played with the siren. At nine if a siren went off, so did I.



Maeotian
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13 Sep 2007, 1:08 pm

I didn't think that it was too accurate myself. Im not saying that he's false, but someone before mentioned the lack of sensory intergration issues and the unyeilding acceptance of a changing environment. Those are some things that struck me too. If Bruce's character was carrying him around all over the place, why wouldn't the kid just make a run for it when he set him down? And is it just me, his autism, or does he seem to have some suicidal tendences? I mean really, its a dumb notion but when you think about it, Simon did jump infront of quite a few big metal things with wheels.



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13 Sep 2007, 1:30 pm

I've heard of Mercury Falling but thats an album by Sting and I have listened to it and I thought it was really good.



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13 Sep 2007, 3:53 pm

Haven't seen the movie, but I went to a cryptography conference a few years ago, and the number of people with Aspie traits in that group of about 200 was much, much higher than could be reasonably expected by chance. :D



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13 Sep 2007, 4:16 pm

It's hard to say why he isn't constantly goin' crazy: he could be within his shell most of the time as a protective measure; he's also mentally retarded so he will be more passive than someone who has a greater awareness of the environment. Said "normal" individual would probably be impossible to handle, that wouldn't have made a good movie like was mentioned.



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13 Sep 2007, 4:23 pm

monty wrote:
Haven't seen the movie, but I went to a cryptography conference a few years ago, and the number of people with Aspie traits in that group of about 200 was much, much higher than could be reasonably expected by chance. :D



hahaha...lol.


By the way, excellent movie.


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13 Sep 2007, 5:16 pm

Mercury rising... Its surely getting very hot in here, let me check the temperture...

Its only 21C (whats it is supposed to be), silly me!! !