“I’m Paul Barlow, and this is my daughter Jo.”

“Malone.”

“You got a first name?”

“Yeah.”

Posts Tagged ‘dystopian futures’

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Monday, November 25th, 2013

tn_catchingfire(I’m trying to mark the biggest spoilers as usual, but be careful with this one if you don’t want anything given away)

You remember back when THE HUNGER GAMES came out I avoided it. I know this makes me a weirdo, but it wasn’t until Francis Lawrence signed on to direct the sequels that I got interested. The conventional wisdom was that part 1’s Gary Ross (PLEASANTVILLE, SEABISCUIT) was a classy director and this was a step down to replace him with the guy who did CONSTANTINE and I AM LEGEND. But I’m a fan of Mr. Lawrence, I see some genius behind the admittedly large flaws of those movies. As pretty good as THE HUNGER GAMES is I’m way more impressed by Lawrence’s depiction of post-human-New-York-City and Will Smith’s performance as the lonely omega-scientist. Yeah, we all know that there are some problems when the vampires turn out to be leaping computer animated beasts, but shit, they’re better than the animated dogs in HUNGER GAMES. Scarier and with more personality and meaning. Let’s not pretend either of these is flawless, but I know which one I like better.

Now Lawrence’s first HUNGER GAMES chapter has hit, and virtually ever review I’ve seen says what I predicted, that he made a better movie than the first one. See you guys, I know shit.

(read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Akira

Wednesday, May 15th, 2013

tn_akiraIt’s hard out there in Neo-Tokyo. I don’t have to tell you guys. I’m sure shit was even worse right after the old Tokyo got nuked, but it’s still no picnic. You got a police state trying to crack down on all the protesters, not just the terrorists setting off bombs everywhere. You got cultists carrying on about the end times and the second coming, and it doesn’t seem as far-fetched as it used to. All you can really do is go to bars, buy capsules, steal motorcycles, customize ’em, then get out there with your friends and attack some other gang, chase ’em through the streets, hit ’em in the head with pipes, try to murder them. That’s what childhood pals Kaneda and Tetsuo do, fighting some clowns. And I don’t mean that like jokers or bozos, but an actual gang of guys who wear clown makeup. I don’t see any juggalo type symbols on them, so I’m not sure if it’s that type of deal or not.

Anyway, it’s the only fun a young man has these days and the cops even interfere with that. Ruin everything. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Cloud Atlas

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

What if there were like a book of maps, only it was made out of the sky? That would be weird.

Well, anyway. At a climactic point in CLOUD ATLAS a character talks righteously about freedom, and about refusing to accept boundaries. And that’s what Lana and Andy Wachowski (who directed this along with Tom Tykwer) have done with their lives, their careers and this movie in particular. If you haven’t heard what CLOUD ATLAS is, it’s a nearly 3-hour epic based on a supposedly unadaptable book. It takes place in a bunch of different time periods ranging from the age of slavery to a dystopian future to even a post-apocalyptic future after that. But not in order – it jumps around from story to story, like a bunch of unrelated movies edited together as a weird joke on Youtube.
(read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Dredd 3D

Sunday, September 23rd, 2012

Dreddful. Absolutely dreddful. That means good! I really liked this movie.

It’s a coincidence, but it’s kinda cool and weird how much DREDD is like a sci-fi version of THE RAID. Similar premise: heavily armed but outnumbered police team raid a building controlled by a crimelord, crimelord announces over the intercom that they need to be killed, they have to fight their way up to the top of the building to kill the leader. But since it’s sci-fi the brutality and overkill of the police force is part of a dystopian future, the building (called “Peach Trees”) is 200 stories instead of about 30, and the whole thing is sealed behind blast shields so that nobody can get out. Instead of powerful silat skills our protagonist Judge Dredd (Karl Urban) relies on a badass computerized and voice-activated gun with various forms of bullets, explosives and firebursts.

(read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Turkey Shoot

Thursday, May 14th, 2009

tn_railsbackTime to get back to my ongoing study of the works of Brian Trenchard-Smith. This one will also be part 1 in a Steve Railsback double feature.

TURKEY SHOOT is one of the Brian Trenchard-Smith pictures I had heard of before I started going through his filmography, although I knew it under the American title ESCAPE 2000 (which is what it’s called on the Anchor Bay DVD). It takes place in a dystopian future where “deviants” have been locked up in camps to be brainwashed and abused. Not sure if this happens at all of them but at this particular one, Camp 42 I believe, they also let the inmates run around in some wilderness to be hunted by rich people. Hence the title “TURKEY SHOOT.” It’s kind of like in the U.S. a couple years ago what we would’ve called “DICK CHENEY PHEASANT HUNT.” Means the same thing.

Our heroes are naive Olivia Hussey, sexy Lynda Stoner, and defiant Steve Railsback. Railsback gets a pretty badass setup because the headmaster, Thatcher, lists all the different camps he’s escaped from, and you know he’ll be adding Camp 42 to the list soon. I love Railsback from ED GEIN, LIFEFORCE, etc. but to be honest he doesn’t have that great of a character in this one. He mostly just runs around. Not that he’s not good at running around, it’s just not that memorable a part. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Equilibrium

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2005

When this picture first showed up a ways back I wrote it off, just like any reasonable individual would. I wouldn’t give EQUILIBRIUM the time of day. Or watch it. I figured it was a poor man’s MATRIX. Nothing against the poor, we are good people. I’m just saying a poor man can’t make the real matrix, only a fake one starring Jim Belushi and Coolio. Admittedly, this one stars Christian Bale and Taye Diggs, so it’s not that poor. Still, I really wasn’t too curious to see the movie, the only thing I was curious about was how poor Christian American Psycho Bale wound up trading his unending integrity for a leather coat and a pair of pistols. But the picture has stuck around sort of, kept alive by a small but dedicated cult following. Which I guess is the definition of a cult following, small but dedicated. Man, let’s just move on to the next paragraph.

Point is, I’ve seen a whole lot of weirdos on the internet calling the director Kurt Wimmer a genius who reinvented action and why can’t Kurt Wimmer direct X-Men 3 and Mission Impossible 3 and Brown Bunny 2 and etc. Actually it was probaly just one guy but it seemed like more than one at the time. So all the sudden it turned out I was curious just what the hell this EQUILIBRIUM was all about. Incidentally, I don’t know if you know this but curiosity is the number one suspect in the murder of the cat. Just a little aside there. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.