Cult Labs

Go Back   Cult Labs > Film Discussions > Sci-Fi & Fantasy

Like Tree1488Likes

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #11  
Old 2nd September 2016, 04:36 PM
Demdike@Cult Labs's Avatar
Cult King
Cult Labs Radio Contributor
Senior Moderator
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Lancashire
Default

Nemesis (1992)

In the year 2027 a cyborg LA policeman is hunted down by humans and other cyborgs. There are other parts to the story but i can't be arsed with them. Why? Because Nemesis is basically an ass kicking action movie where plot gets in the way of mayhem and bloodshed.

Albert Pyun, a director of spectacular cheese fests, delivers a fast moving, violent romp that only slows to show German star Olivier Gruner's ass or former Dallas girl Deborah Shelton's wonky boob job. From the fifth minute onwards Nemesis is carnage all the way, hell even Gruner's dog is killed, as Gruner slays a whole host of C-grade video stars including Brion James, Thom Matthews and direct to video stalwart Tim Thomerson. Also look out for Thomas Jane in an early role and naked throughout. You'll wince as Shelton knees him in the bollocks.

Channeling everything from The Terminator to Robocop and featuring more gun play than The Matrix, Nemesis has great location work throughout and is one of the slickest, maddest, coolest pieces of trash cinema about.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 1288094203.jpg (97.5 KB, 2 views)
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 2nd September 2016, 11:47 PM
MacBlayne's Avatar
Cultist on the Rampage
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: The Edge
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Inspector Abberline View Post
The Blob (1988)
I much prefer this version over the original.
__________________
"We're outgunned, and undermanned. But, you know somethin'? We're gonna win. You know why? Superior attitude. Superior state of mind."
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 3rd September 2016, 12:00 AM
MacBlayne's Avatar
Cultist on the Rampage
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: The Edge
Default

Johnny Mnemonic
Directed by Robert Longo
Written by William Gibson




Johnny_mnemonic_ver1.jpg

When artist/photographer Robert Longo met William Gibson at a party, they discovered they had similar interests. Both were fascinated with the way the world was changing. While the advances of technology were improving civilisation for the better, it was having a different effect on society. People were becoming more alienated, as they now possessed the means to retreat into a world of their making.

Gibson and Longo decided to explore what would be the conclusion of this advanced form of mankind. They would take one of Gibson’s short stories (Johnny Mnemonic, as it was the most straightforward) and expand it to showcase a world wrought with zaibatsus, pollution, and a new disease (a new form of cancer caused by mobile technology’s radiation). The plan was simple – they were going to make a modest $1.5 million dark comedy. The low-budget guaranteed low-risk and made it easy to secure funding. At least that was the idea. As they shipped their pitch across Hollywood, no studio bit. However, it was not for the reason they expected.

Back in the mid-nineties, Hollywood realised that the internet was going to a big deal. Originally thought of as something of value only to the military and computer scientists, the world wide web was now accessible to almost everyone that wanted it. Forums and videogames soon started popping up online, ready for use by a hungry young audience. Hollywood spotted a new demographic and thus began their love affair for everything cyberpunk.

Cyberpunk, in a way, was the perfect genre. It had all that gee-whizz technology that was new and exciting. It touched on themes that were relevant back then as they are now. And it was dark, cynical and dangerous – just the way the young crowd wanted it. How could Hollywood lose money on that package?

And yet, cyberpunk didn’t take off in cinema like it did in literature or video-games (with the exception of Japanese anime). Brett Leonard’s The Lawnmower Man and John Flynn’s Brainscan did okay-ish business. But, Leonard’s Virtuosity was a box-office failure and Iain Softley’s Hackers was commercial disaster. Despite all the marketing and cool accompanying soundtracks by Juno Reactor and other electronic musicians, cyberpunk wasn’t taking off. Hollywood was not giving up, though. It was just going to have to bring out the big guns. Or, as it turns out, the very big gun came to them.

Gibson, the father of cyberpunk, was astonished when Sony turned down their low-budget pitch in favour of a $25 million adaptation. Gibson and Longo now had the funds to fully realise their world. Keanu Reeves, now a superstar after Speed, was very interested in working with Gibson and Longo. Sony had the support of Gibson - Johnny Mnemonic was going to be the cyberpunk film and audiences were going to have to pay attention to this one. It looked like a win-win situation for everyone.

Only, it wasn’t. Gibson and Longo discovered that while $25 million buys a lot of sets, it also means that, in order to get its money back, the film would have to appeal to a wider audience than they originally intended. The studio forced the filmmakers to include extra action sequences and special effects gimmicks. Much to their eventual displeasure, these action beats clashed horribly with the offbeat setting of the story. This is a story that has a former Navy dolphin addicted to heroin as one of the greatest brain hackers, after all.

The result was a film that neither party was happy with it. Critics and cinema-goers were of the same opinion too. Johnny Mnemonic just about broke even in the box-office. The reviews were pretty damning too, although most were just cheap gags at Keanu Reeves’s expense (“Reeves gives up part of his brain to store data… snark, snark”). Even Roger Ebert didn’t pay too much attention, forgetting that Reeves’s character was transferring sensitive data that couldn’t be uploaded online.

In fairness to Ebert, it’s very possible that he grew board with the film. Johnny Mnemonic is a tonal mess of a film. It awkwardly shuffles from trying to be a John Woo thriller, a Blade Runner-esque noir, or a sci-fi comedy. It doesn’t succeed too well at either genre. Furthermore, while the idea of cyberspace was probably hot shit back when the story was published in 1981, it was comical in the already internet savvy world of 1995. The internet was back then just as we know it today – a collection of web pages that can be accessed by entering a web address, rather than wandering the streets of a metaverse.

And yet, I still like the film a lot. There are intriguing ideas in Johnny Mnemonic, such as our dependence on media and technology. While it may have got the internet itself wrong, MMORPGs and the new VR helmets owe a debt to Gibson and Longo’s efforts. Plus, contrary to what the critics thought at the time, Reeves is quite good in the role. He effortlessly captures the selfish but likable nature of Johnny, and seems quite comfortable in stepping aside to allow Dina Meyer’s Jane (replacing the more iconic Molly Millions of the story) to be the action hero. Reeves becomes increasingly hilarious as he grows more exasperated with the events occurring around him (you’ll never forget his ROOM SERVICE monologue). If it wasn’t for Dolph Lundgren’s completely insane appearance as a mass-murdering cyber-preacher, Reeves would have the most unhinged performance in the film.

1995 would prove to be Hollywood’s last year at trying to do cyberpunk. It certainly left its influence though. Computer espionage and hacking became and still is a viable plot device for many thrillers today. Corporate dominance and government surveillance still make up the base structure for many stories. And in 1999, the Wachowskis would evolve the genre when they unleashed The Matrix into cinemas. The Matrix achieved what most of Hollywood gave up trying in the years previous.

And it’s a shame, because we have still yet to see a true adaptation of Gibson’s work. Over the years, there have been frequent attempts to turn his debut novel, Neuromancer, into a film but it always falls apart. Cyberpunk is starting to become more relevant again thanks to video games such as the Deus Ex series and the upcoming Cyberpunk 2077, so maybe Hollywood will decide to have another go.

There is one perfect almost-adaptation of Johnny Mnemonic. One that captures the neon dystopia human nature of Gibson’s work, and ties it into a plot involving memory chips carrying explosive secrets. But, I’ll leave it at that for now. Maybe I’ll review it over the next few Strange Days.
__________________
"We're outgunned, and undermanned. But, you know somethin'? We're gonna win. You know why? Superior attitude. Superior state of mind."

Last edited by MacBlayne; 3rd September 2016 at 12:17 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 3rd September 2016, 09:35 AM
Inspector Abberline's Avatar
Cult Acolyte
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Blog Entries: 7
Default A Boy and His Dog (1975)

A Boy and His Dog (1975)

Directed by L.Q. Jones,who has had a major career as a character actor,and will be familiar to horror movie fans from 1982's The Beast Within as Sheriff Bill Pool.Adapted from Harlan Ellison's short story from 1969 called A Boy and his Dog.Set in the post apocalyptic world,which doesn't look to dissimilar to Mad Max 2,where you have bands of killers scouring the wasteland looking for food and there only entertainment being old porno movies which will cost you the price of a can of food to watch.Don Johnson as Vic is a randy young man who with the help of Tim McIntire doing the voice of Blood,finds young women to rape to satisfy his raging hormones.Vic and Blood are telepathically linked together,which means they are able to talk to each other.Vic is a simple minded and under educated boy where as Blood is an highly educated dog who knows pretty much everything about politics and history(how he gained this knowledge is never revealed,we just take it on board that Blood is much more intelligent than his human counter part). What sells the film and makes it work is the relationship between Don Johnson and Blood,and allot of this is down to the voice acting of Tim McIntire,who manages to convey the thought process of the dog you see on screen and what he his thinking.It could so easily of turned into a Disney talking dog movie (saying that I do enjoy those Shaggy Dog movies) but with a young Don Johnson in an early film role,he plays it really well and you do get this feeling that these two characters are actually interacting with each other. I grant you that A Boy and His Dog (1975) is a very much a film that has its detractors.I remember catching it on BBC 2 back in 1980's and being pretty blown away by its uniqueness and some rather witty dialogue between Vic and Blood.That said the story itself is very misogynistic,particularly the ending where Bloods last line summons up the duo's opinion of women.

Blood: Well, I'd certainly say she had marvelous judgment, Albert, if not particularly good taste.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg boy_and_his_dog_poster_01.jpg (101.2 KB, 2 views)
__________________
Always forgive your enemies, nothing annoys them so much..

Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 3rd September 2016, 10:18 AM
Justin101's Avatar
Cult Veteran
Cult Labs Radio Contributor
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Liverpool
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by MacBlayne View Post
Johnny Mnemonic
Directed by Robert Longo
Written by William Gibson




Attachment 182146
I just watched the trailer and it looks like fun, has Henry Rollins in a cameo and the soundtrack list is fantastic! I might watch it despite your great review! Or I might hunt out my Strange Days DVD and watch that instead.
MacBlayne likes this.
__________________


Triumphant sight on a northern sky

Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 3rd September 2016, 10:27 AM
MacBlayne's Avatar
Cultist on the Rampage
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: The Edge
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin101 View Post
I just watched the trailer and it looks like fun, has Henry Rollins in a cameo and the soundtrack list is fantastic! I might watch it despite your great review! Or I might hunt out my Strange Days DVD and watch that instead.
It's definitely worth a gander, but if I was placed with choice of watching Strange Days ten times, or Johnny Mnemonic once, I'm picking Strange Days.
__________________
"We're outgunned, and undermanned. But, you know somethin'? We're gonna win. You know why? Superior attitude. Superior state of mind."
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 3rd September 2016, 11:12 AM
Justin101's Avatar
Cult Veteran
Cult Labs Radio Contributor
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Liverpool
Default

Ghost in the Shell (1995)



The anime film which famously inspired The Matrix. When the Wachowski's saw Ghost in the Shell they went to Joel Silver and told him they wanted to make this but "for real". However don't let your views of The Matrix put you off Ghost in the Shell, apart from the protagonists plugging into a neural network to communicate to each other there isn't a great deal of similarity.

I've known about Ghost... for many many years; I've enjoyed anime a great deal since my teen years but I always found this particular film to be a hard nut to crack. I've attempted to watch it a couple of times and failed, but in the spirit of Sci-Fi September I took another stab at it and while it's still pretty hard to follow I found it to be quite enjoyable after all.

The story is quite a simple one involving 'ghost-hacking' which is where you download your consciousness into a synthetic body (shell) to spy or collect information. The hacker, only known as The Puppet Master breaks into a top secret government facility and ghost-hacks a prototype android body which causes the android to develop AI and ponder the meaning of life.

The animation is of a very high standard and the direction is sublime, some very evocative scenes of the main characters driving around Tokyo are strangely soothing to watch.

It's not going to be every ones cup of tea, for such a simple story it's actually quite difficult to appreciate, but everything about the film is top class - it's worth a watch, but maybe not for anime newcomers.



The trailer in Japanese, but gives a good indication of the animation style.

__________________


Triumphant sight on a northern sky

Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 3rd September 2016, 11:21 AM
MacBlayne's Avatar
Cultist on the Rampage
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: The Edge
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin101 View Post
Ghost in the Shell (1995)
Love this film. Definitely one of the finest animes out there. But, do you know what I prefer? It's sequel, Innocence. That film is a head wrecker that raises a lot of questions about what humanity is.
Justin101 likes this.
__________________
"We're outgunned, and undermanned. But, you know somethin'? We're gonna win. You know why? Superior attitude. Superior state of mind."
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 3rd September 2016, 11:39 AM
Demdike@Cult Labs's Avatar
Cult King
Cult Labs Radio Contributor
Senior Moderator
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Lancashire
Default

Great to see the Sci-Fi September thread is off to a flyer. *

Keep up the great work chaps.

*All except Bizarre_Eye who actually came up with the idea in the first place that is.
MacBlayne likes this.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 3rd September 2016, 11:42 AM
Demdike@Cult Labs's Avatar
Cult King
Cult Labs Radio Contributor
Senior Moderator
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Lancashire
Default

I rather like the flawed Johnny Mnemonic. Strange Days is utterly fantastic though. It felt like a real experience at the cinema. The soundtrack album is well worth picking up too.
Justin101 and MacBlayne like this.
Reply With Quote
Reply  

Like this? Share it using the links below!

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



Our goal is to keep Cult Labs friendly. If you feel discouraged from posting by certain members' behaviour then you can e-mail us in complete confidence.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0 PL2
All forum posts are contributed by members of the site; Cult Labs cannot take responsibility for all content posted on the site. If you have an issue with content posted on the site please click the 'report post' button.
Copyright © 2014 Cult Laboratories Ltd. All rights reserved.