So, I got some shit for the high praise I lavished on Episode 1 of this series. But I still stand by it. It was damned enjoyable. I think they are actually up to Episode 4, but I haven't made it that far yet. Episode 2 wasn't that great, so I'm pretending it never happened. But, Episode 3 - "Bad Deal" is a fun little short. Apparently the premise of this series is that it takes place in the Fallout metaverse or something. That just seems to drive home the point that I need to start playing that damn game. Anyway, here's the episode. Enjoy!
ATTENTION: Spoilers possible
Wow, I don’t know how I’ve gone so long without seeing this movie. It’s
freakin’ amazing! La Jetée feel like a 28 minute long nightmare. The story
is told from a narrator over series of still photos, giving the feeling of
leafing through an old photo diary with the photographer telling you the
story as you go along.
La Jetée a group surviving beneath Paris after World War III has turned
Paris into a “desert”. "The Experimenter" has been working on theories of
time travel, as space travel is basically not going to happen. Many
prisoners are broken by his experiments because mentally they cannot handle
the intense procedure. While monitoring the prisoners dreams they find a
man with an obsessive memory from his childhood at the Orly Airport of a
woman's face and a man being shot. Using this memory as an anchor point
"The Experimenter" begins a series of successful trials in time travel. The
man repeatedly goes to the past meeting the woman at different points in her
life. Soon though it is realized that the past will not help mend the
present, a trip to the future offers the only hope. Luckily, the man is
successful and gains a new energy supply for his people. His usefullness
gone he realizes that he will be executed by his jailers. The man is then
visited by those he met in the future and offered safe haven with them. He
accepts but asks to be returned to the past to find the woman. His request is
fulfilled and he finally finds the woman at the Orly Airport only to be
executed by agents from his own time. As he lay dying he realizes that he
is the dying man in his memory.
Both films share many plot elements and ideas but I think La Jetée gets
credit for being the more creative of the two. I’m not giving shit to
Gilliam borrowing from this film but the presentation of La Jetée makes the
whole experience truly rewarding. The visual presentation and the sound
design put the movie in your head instead of in front of your eyes.
Plus it never hurts when your post-apocalyptic movies happen to be very
artistic and French. It helps in getting your girlfriend to actually sit
down and watch it with you.
La Jetée / Sans Soleil (The Criterion Collection)
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Here is another classic Steve Paul gem from the old site that I finally got around to migrating over. Sadly, Steve Paul isn't with us anymore, but it makes me feel better to read his goofy reviews. Anyway, enough of my mushiness. Here's the review:
Remember when PG-13 movies first came out? I do. I was 12. I remember not knowing how the world really operated but still really wanting to see the first PG-13 movie ever, a little diddy named "Red Dawn." I was scared that they would reject me at the door for not being old enough, though. That was the first time I learned the benefits of showing a little flesh...um...nevermind. So the movie involves the Russians (remember them?) invading the good ol' U.S. of A. during home room period at a local high school. With one liberating shot, the fucking teacher has no head - a visual that sends the entire school running for their lives. So now I'm sure you are wondering, "Where the hell is there to run to when the Red Army is all around you in full force and you are no longer able to get the high school education you so desperately need?" I'm glad you brought up that point, because, at the time I first saw the movie, I had no clue either, but thanks to the genetically superior boys on the football team (including Patrick Swayze --- remember HIM?!!) I now know that, when threatened by the conquest of foreign invaders, you should always load up on guns and go camping. "Red Dawn" is mainly a coming-of-age story wrapped up in a good old fashion buddy picture, except it's got lots of camouflage, AK-47's and rocket launchers. A lot of things have changes since I was 12. I no longer fear conquest by the commies - like Patrick Swayze's career, they too have faded into the darkness. Every once in awhile, though, I still like to go into the forest, climb on top of the biggest hill I can find and scream at the top of my voice, WOLVERIIIIIIIIIIIINES!!!" I also like to watch "Dirty Dancing."
| Red Dawn (Collector's Edition)|
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- Patrick Swayze
- C. Thomas Howell
- Lea Thompson
- Charlie Sheen
- Darren Dalton
In another fantastic example of self-fulfilling prophecy, Book of Eli lived up to all my expectations. Don't get me wrong, I didn't want to hate it, but I just couldn't get my hopes too high. I mean, it might sound a little hypocritical of me to blast Book of Eli and then lavish high praise on Warriors of the Apocalypse or something similar. The difference here is that Warriors of the Apocalypse didn't make any promises that it couldn't keep. (Hell, it didn't make any promises). What I mean is that if the Hughes Brothers make a post-apocalyptic movie featuring Denzel Washington, Gary Oldman, Tom Waits, Malcolm McDowell, Jennifer Beals (Flashdance... grrr!) and Ray Stevenson (from Rome) then it better freaking rule.
Book of Eli didn't freaking rule. It didn't even sorta-rule. There were definitely good moments. The fight scenes (while being completely ridiculous) were RAD. But, the movie didn't give the impression that it was supposed to be taken as fantasy or comic book. So, these over-the-top fight scenes just felt weird.
Also, I debated long and hard about what to do about the big "reveal" at the end. The old version of me (the more drunk, less coherent version) would completely ruin the ending for you. But, I'm not going to do that. Just let it be said that within the first 10 minutes of the movie I guessed what the reveal would be and then talked myself out of believing it because it was too ridiculous based on what was happening in the movie.
The other problem I had with Book of Eli was the inclusion of Mila Kunis. I'm sorry, but the voice of Mila Kunis is forever burned into my brain as belonging to Meg from Family Guy. (Note to budding actors: if you want to do animated shows and continue to act in non-animated format, you should invent a wacky cartoon voice for yourself).
Anyway, maybe I'm getting grouchier as I get older, but there was effectively nothing new about Book of Eli and it didn't really do any of the old tricks any better than they've already been done before.
| The Book of Eli [Blu-ray]|
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- Denzel Washington
- Gary Oldman
- Mila Kunis
- Ray Stevenson
- Jennifer Beals
You know, I never claimed to be the brightest guy in the world. In fact, I may just be right above Jim Varney. Anyway, I just saw this 4 days ago and I can't remember if this is the name of the movie or not. I'll go back and check, but I figured I'd point out my idiocy to you all.
Anyway, on to the movie. This is your basic, Italian zombie movie. Only, they didn't have much money for special effects, and they didn't have much money for film, and they really didn't have much money for actors either. I say this for several reasons. 1) There is more gratuitous usage of stock footage than even an Ed Wood movie. I think they managed to get ahold of a national geographic special on tribes and junk. Because they aren't picky, there are pygmies, aborigines, massai warriors... you name it. But they are all supposed to be one group. 2) The zombies are just people with black-face on. Unless they are black, in which case they have blue-face one. I swear I am not making this up. 3) In a scene with a device that is measuring something or other, the readings go "off the scale". This is accomplished by the actor carrying the device. He merely turns the little knob by the needle and makes it go "off the scale". This was actually pretty dang funny. The plot is simple, zombies, tribal anarchy, eco-terrorists, mother earth revolting, the military and the press. Doesn't that all sound like it should fit together? Heh heh... blew my mind I tell you. There was nudity in this movie though... just a touch. For some reason, the heroine in the movie decides she needs to strip naked and paint her body, to better relate to the natives... They still tried to eat her. You may be wondering what this all has to do with the Apocalypse? Well, that's fair enough I guess. You see, the earth is mad, so it makes a nuclear power facility (or some such junk) leak poisonous gas. This gas makes everyone turn into zombies and eat the living. Pretty soon, almost everyone is dead. OK.. it's weak, but I'm still counting it.
Note: This original review was written sometime during 1996-1997, when I was a drunken, twenty-something nincompoop. I am no longer that person. Or, that is to say, I am in my thirties now.
| Hell of the Living Dead|
P.S. No, I didn't link the wrong movie. This movie is apparently also known as Virus, Zombie Creeping Flesh and Hell of the Living Dead.
So, I got an e-mail over the weekend that I almost just deleted because it was so short that it looked like spam. I'll show you what I mean:
Thought your readers might like this clip:
Its part of a series we're developing.
P.S. Like your site.
Thank heaven's that I didn't delete it, and, instead went to watch the 6+ minute short. It's pretty damn RAD!
As a guy who has watched way too many post-apocalyptic movies, I can say, without exaggeration, that this short film is better than at least 50% of the full-length PA movies I have ever seen. Of course, the real trick will be to keep this momentum going in the rest of the installments. But, I think these guys will be able to pull it off.
I went scrounging around their Youtube page trying to gleam any more information about this project and the only thing I found was this:
A post-apocalyptic dark comedy about a man trying to get some hookers. Part of a series entitled "Nuclear Coleslaw."
Well, at least this makes them mysterious! Anyway, check out the video:
Pandorum was a nice surprise. I'm always in a good mood when I "accidentally" watch a post-apocalyptic movie. See, I just set out to watch what I thought was going to be a horror movie, or at least a "run from the monster" movie. So, I was delighted when I found out it was post-apocalyptic. Unlike the old me, I'm trying not to drop spoilers these days, so I'll be slightly general in this review. But, I'm much more sober than I used to be, so I might be accidentally more helpful as well.
Anyway, Pandorum features Dennis Quaid and Ben Foster as two crewmates who awaken from cryogenic slumber into a real shitshow. The mission of their ship (The Elysium) is to act as a seedship to colonize an earth-like planet. The earth, itself, is pretty much already ruined when they launch the Elysium, so it's the last hope for humanity. Anyway, they can't remember anything, everything is pretty much broken and... they aren't alone.
While I was watching this movie, I was trying to think what it reminded me. Sure, the comparison to Alien and Event Horizon are sort of obvious, but I was thinking more of sci-fi stories where an entire population is on some sort of world-ship or seed-ship and something goes wrong along the way. At first I was reminded of Phillip K. Dick's Maze of Death. But, I knew there was something I'd read that was even more closely related. So, I waded through my bookshelves this morning and turned up Starship by Brian W. Aldiss.
Now, it's been some years since I've read Starship, but I remember it being very similar to Pandorum. In Starship, entire sections of the ship have grown over into lush jungle and the humans aboard have de-evolved into superstitious primates. Anyway, there were a lot of similarities.
So, back to Pandorum. Did I like it? Sure. Why? Well, there aren't that many post-apocalyptic movies that take place entirely aboard a spacecraft, so that was nice. Also, I went into it expecting very little. It's like when I buy a pulp sci-fi book at the used book store based entirely on the cover. I'm not expecting Foundation or Left Hand of Darkness, I just want it to keep me interested. And Pandorum this and more. I would have liked slightly less martial arts (if I can get picky) but there were plenty of other interesting aspects of the movie that allowed me to overlook some of the combat scenes. (For example, one of the kill scenes is freaking brutal!)
Note: Anyway, as a result of watching, I'm not slightly obsessed about other sci-fi movies and books that share a similar concept. So, if any of you guys can think of other examples, please let me know. I'm remembering an Ursula K. Lequin short short where it takes generations for the ship to get to the planet, but, by the time it arrives, no one wants to be explorers anymore. They are all scared of the anything outside of the ship, but I can't remember the name of that.
| Pandorum [Blu-ray]|
I AM DE LAW!!
Editor's Note: You'll notice I'm not linking to this movie at all. Yup, that's on purpose. I will however show off some rad comics and graphic novels!
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