Posts Tagged ‘Philip K. Dick’

A Glitch in the Matrix

Friday, December 10th, 2021

A GLITCH IN THE MATRIX is this year’s documentary from director Rodney Ascher, known for that THE SHINING thing, ROOM 237, and that sleep terrors thing, THE NIGHTMARE. I haven’t actually seen those, so I knew him from the 2001 DJ Qbert animated movie WAVE TWISTERS, which he was an editor on. That film’s co-director Syd Garon is the animation director for this one.

It’s about people who believe in various forms of simulation theory – the idea that whoah, what if, like, life isn’t real we’re just, like, some dude playing a video game? I don’t think depiction equals endorsement here. Ascher just thinks it’s an interesting idea and/or group of people, probly. Otherwise he’s a guy in a video game making a movie-within-a-video-game about maybe he’s a guy in a video game. (Actually, one interview subject does say that.)

It’s a really cleverly put together documentary – I wish more of them would invest this much energy into visual invention. “Witnesses” are interviewed over Zoom and then replaced in the footage with animated characters – robots, lion men, aliens with big brains inside glass domes – but still talking over Zoom from their ordinary homes. At first I thought these were fetishists insisting on communicating through avatars, before realizing it’s a conceit of the movie to depict reality as simulated. So people look like video game type characters, exteriors are from Google Street View, a whole sequence is animated in Minecraft. The stories and concepts they discuss are illustrated with computer animation, sometimes crude, but generally with aesthetics in mind – they generally hit a sweet spot between acknowledging absurdity and riding some kind of retro cyberpunk wave. (read the rest of this shit…)


Sunday, February 24th, 2013

tn_paycheckwoozone?Remember when John Woo did a science fictional movie a while back that everybody said was shitty? This was after we’d all kind of given up on him, so I never saw it. Until now.

Ben Affleck, the director of ARGO, stars as Michael Jennings, an amoral engineering genius of a futurist Seattle, some time after the near-future one in STEALTH. (In the future the borders of Seattle will be stretched so far that they will include Vancouver, BC, which is all we see in this movie other than one helicopter shot over Seattle Center). His introduction is funny because he gets to do a John Woo slo-mo strut toward the camera wearing shades (it’s important to the plot that he’s finicky about sunglasses) and, uh, holding a computer monitor under his arm.

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Saturday, August 13th, 2011

tn_nextNEXT is a 2007 Nicolas Cage sci-fi vehicle from director Lee Tamahori (ONCE WERE WARRIORS, xXx: STATE OF THE UNION). I finally got to it because I saw that KILL THE IRISHMAN movie and liked it enough to want to look up what else Jonathan Hensleigh has been up to. He’s credited as a writer on this along with Gary Goldman (BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA, TOTAL RECALL, NAVY SEALS) and Paul Bernbaum (Riptide, The A-Team, 21 Jump Street, etc.). I got a hunch which one was the primary visionary behind this, but I’m not gonna say it. (read the rest of this shit…)

Vern sees into A SCANNER DARKLY… what did he see?

Sunday, June 18th, 2006

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with our main man, Vern, who got an early look at Richard Linklater’s newest, A SCANNER DARKLY. My words are meaningless when the great Vern speaketh below. Enjoy!

A SCANNER DARKLY, Richard (BAD NEWS BEARS) Linklater’s new adaptation of the Philip K. Dick novel, is a visionary and boldly stylized look at the tragedies of the drug culture and the growing police state. Its psychedelic style of wobbly, traced-over animation creates a fluid, disconnected reality that perfectly captures–

Ah fuck, who am I fooling. This movie put me to fuckin sleep.

Maybe it’s over my head, I won’t rule that out. And I don’t want to say it’s necessarily a terrible movie (like WAKING LIFE – I hate that god damn movie). I haven’t read the book, and maybe people who did will enjoy it. Who knows. I think I admire what the movie is going for but that doesn’t change the fact that, to me anyway, it’s a meandering bore with barely any characters, humor or even plot to latch onto. (read the rest of this shit…)

Minority Report

Friday, June 21st, 2002

Like PLANET OF THE APES, INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS and soon STAR WARS PART 2, MINORITY REPORT is a sci-fi picture that will mainly be discussed in context with the politics of the time. (the time being now. because it came out today.)

Again like the Yoda picture, it has been in the planning stages long enough that director Steven Spielberg (JAWS) and co-writer Scott Frank (I only remember him because he did OUT OF SIGHT. who knows who the other writer is) couldn’t have known how timely it would turn out to be. The movie takes place in Washington DC, 2056, where Tom Cruise is an agent in the flagship “Pre-Crime Deparment” – cops who use three water-submerged psychic “precogs” to track crimes of passion that haven’t even happened yet. (read the rest of this shit…)