Fanboys was an interesting movie...I get that it was based in the late nineties and so the humor is not really politically correct today but it was rather hard to get through. I did not really get what about this movie was sci-fi besides the fact they were all big star wars fans, I would say it is more sci-fi themed than actually sci-fi.
The films plot is based around this idea that a group of friends have had in their minds since they were kids. The idea is to break into the Skywalker Ranch and steal a copy of Star Wars Episode I so Linus can see it before he dies of some cancer that is there but not really ever seen, however, the cancer part came after the initial break in plan was thought of. Linus never even acts like he is sick. So Eric and Linus don't really get along because Eric left his old group of friends to act like an adult and work for his dad's company. Well some how they all see each other at a Halloween party, Eric is filling up his beer and notices his old crew. Going back to why everyone doesn't like Eric,it seems kind of strange, why does working at a car sales place make you not able to be a huge star wars fan with your friends? This wasn't about Star Wars at all and they just have grudges about growing up differently. So in efforts to make amends with Eric's old group of friends he is going to go on the adventure to Skywalker Ranch to live out their dreams! They all are eventually up for it and start driving across the country where numerous terrible and funny things happen along the way. Zoe comes to rescue these boys out of some terrible situation and joins the adventure. And she has a super major crush on Windows. They get to where they planned with the help of some mysterious people with amazing connections. They do get caught though, but thankfully because Linus has cancer they let only him watch the new Star Wars Episode I. Then fast forward to after Linus is dead, everyone else is doing much better, all their dreams have come true. Zoe and Windows are dating, Eric does comics, Hutch does detailing, and Linus is remembered by them all. The End.
The film in detail is filled with terrible jokes about race, gender, and a ton of gay slurs. Things of the 90's that were maybe funny back then but just sound stupid now. That really turned me off in this movie, and the fact that it just had shallow characters and nothing that seemed "sci-fi". A reality tv show or documentary about a real person who is obsessed with any science fiction show, movie, comic, book, etc. would have been a million times more entertaining than watching these actors pain through it. They seemed more like frat boy stoners than Star Wars nerds, accuracy of an actual fanatic would have done wonders for this film. I don't think it represents an actual group of people correctly. It can be compared to what is going on with LGBT films today, a lot of the community feel like a majority of "Gay and Lesbian" genres of films in mainstream cinema and media do not portray the community accurately. There is nothing wrong with being a fanatic and so we shouldn't mask their culture with what society thinks is sell-able. In the end it all comes down to money in mainstream anything. Creativity and accuracy you have to search for.
Friday, November 29, 2013
The two main characters are a young man and woman that seem to be dating visit an IKEA store. The angles and music used with the choppy clips really adds to the drama of the short, as well as the literal comedy of it all. Where is the sci-fi in this film? Well is the mere fact that it is strongly influenced by Gravity in a purposeful manner enough to call it a sci-fi film or does the store actually have abilities to confuse its customers in every way, and is that sci-fi even? The next short was called Cargo, its from the Tropfest Australia 2013 Finalists. Here we have a classic example of a horror/sci-fi theme...the zombie apocalypse.
It starts out with a groggy awakening of a man in the passenger seat of a car, he looks over to find his wife is now a zombie and wants to eat him! He escapes the car and we find out he has a baby in the back seat!! He gets the baby out and realizes he has been bitten and if the rumors are true then he is doomed to become a flesh eating walker, leaving his baby to be eaten by her father. Instead he gets smart and makes himself a zombie weight losing device, a bag of guts tied to the end of a stick held in front of him. Genius really. And to add to it he attaches a balloon to himself, now someone will notice him more hopefully and think twice about attacking, also the baby is entertained. Some survivors find him and the one girl has her motherly instincts save the baby! This was good because it's a story we haven't really dealt with too much in zombie films and television; how to deal with children, especially infants, in a zombie apocalypse. The chances of a baby surviving just regular life are already hard but when no one is safe then it's really going to be hard. However entertaining this short was I am still aching for a zombie movie that is different extremely than all others. The next short film we watched was called The Silent City, it takes place in a war struck city that is left in ruins, in the beginning is a scene of one soldier getting sniper shot right in the head. The remaining three use dental mirrors to look around corners, one eventually sets off a boobie-trap reaching for his gun, the two guys closest get terribly injured to the point of death, the third is drastically calling for help but there is no help for them.
It's the end of the city as they know it! The shooter turns out to just be a skeleton, so the chances of life are limited making it seem there is no one left on earth. This one was pretty dark so it was not my favorite of the set but it was very intriguing and brought the viewer in and made me want to watch the whole story.
Overall I really liked watching these shorts because they were really well put together and creative. It makes me think twice about the movies that are in theaters because of all these other amazing options out there that the big names aren't putting out.
Monday, November 18, 2013
The film is set in the future at a high school where these beautiful students are being beautiful and slutty when Denise Richards, Cameron, decides that she wants to be a citizen. Which means you join the military and go off to fight with your beautiful body and face trying to defeat these bugs that are invading and murdering people brutally, they eventually discover they need to find the brain bug that has been sucking brains and trying to understand humans so they can do the same thing, understand the bugs. Cameron wants to be in the air force portion of it, she wants to pilot ships and her boyfriend Casper Von Dien, Johnny Rico in the movie, is persuaded to join the military because of her. He betrays his rich parents who want to send him on vacations and to college and not chase a silly girl who "wants to look handsome in a uniform" and joins the military, he is in the front line ranks so he sees a lot of death and gore and almost gets kicked out right at boot camp when a guy gets his head blown up in an accident. Dizzy, is this girl who always wanted to have sex with Rico in high school and now maybe she has her chance because she is in the same troop as him. Carl in played by Niel Patrick Harris, he can communicate with animals and people sometimes with his mind. Carl joins the military and is eventually like the King of the military in the end. There are various other characters that are there for comradery and filler, like the men in my picture above. The film portrays military in such an attractive manner whenever they have time to spend together and get tattoos, then at times shows the terrible aspects of death and loss that come with the military. Gender roles in this movie were really surprising I thought, all the women and men live and shower together and no body was bothered by it. Men and women were fighting and working in the same spots as equals. Rico's rich parents were the only ones who said anything negatively about a girl wanting to be a pilot in the military. Constantly the dialogue used the word "friend" instead of lover, when Cameron is breaking up with Rico she wants to always be friends, when Rico is giving a little speech about Dizzy he says "Dizzy was my friend..." instead of saying the truth, they were totally lovers and she was in love with him. The concept of remaining friends after high school and into adulthood is a big theme in the film. The trio, Cameron, Rico, and Carl, all pact together at the beginning to always be friends and then in the end they all take part in defeating the enemy and winning the war even though they didn't get matching tattoos. The equality was a breath of fresh air as was the friendship emphasis even though in the end of Dizzy's character's role her last line is dedicated to dying happy because she "got to have you...", meaning she got to sleep with Rico and be his lover lady for a little while and is now dying in his arms. That part was very lame, he didn't even say he loved her or anything at all right when she was dying. Because this film was directed by the same director of Total Recall it was jam packed with action and gore with a little bit of sexuality and comedy and a teensy bit of sci-fi. Another excuse to make an action movie with some attractive popular actors and some really gross aliens. The alien's parts more than once resembled genitals. One of the best parts is when Rico and Cameron are dissecting an alien and Rico is ripping out the guts and has one part in his hand flopping around that looks extremely phallic, Cameron takes one look at that thing and throws up all over. Then Cameron comes face to face with the brain bug in the end, the brain bug has a disgusting vagina resemblance for a brain sucker opening.
From the start of the film the story has one concept that plays a key role throughout the film, bullying. Ender is bullied by numerous different people the whole film and retaliates so his bully at the time has no way of future bullying towards Ender. He has a sister, Valentine, who he is like best friends with and a psychopathic brother, Peter who have both proved not worthy of being in the fighting academy. Ender is the third to be kicked out until Graff comes and says they are taking him no matter what so they do and train him where the bullying just continues as does his retaliations. Ender progresses past his bullies by being smarter and more strategic. He even accidentally kills one of them but Ender is deeply moved when he hurts him and has remorse immediately even though everyone else tells Ender it was in self defense so he should not feel that bad. Ender is different than everyone else though and he doesn't want to destroy his bullies he just doesn't want them to bully him. He eventually gets moved to the leader of the Dragon team, the only girl, Petra, on the team automatically is all about Ender and doesn't leave his side. The Dragon team is the best and they are moved to a new spot to train for their graduation. The legendary Mazer who killed the main ship 70 years prior is there to teach them how to kill the aliens now. He has tattoos all over his face making him hard to get confused with any other character. They train in the form of simulations which are like amazing war video games like Halo. It's their last day of simulations and they are all nervous and such because it is going to be in front of the head people of the military. They make a formation like they did in their zero gravity training around Petra and clear a spot so she can shoot and destroy the whole planet. She does and the pictures after are pretty devastating. Ender is pissed because Graff comes out to tell them that it was real life actually and they just blew up this whole planet of aliens and they should be so happy. But Ender is not having it at all and escapes to find the moth creature of his dreams and video games to communicate. He vows to spend his future trying to rebuild the species he destroyed.
So basically the whole movie is about Deckard, Harrison Ford, is a blade runner, a cop that goes out to destroy replicants. Replicants are like clones, they have a fixed life span and they are programed with personalities and memories to believe they are humans. A group of relipcants have threatened Earth by merely existing and being mad that they are replicants and have only four years to live. They feel taken advantage of basically because they thought they were human, with independent thoughts and ideas and whole lives to live. I would be mad too if I was a replicant. Deckard is retired and thought he was done with that blade running business but not so when a man approaches him with s request by an old cop friend or boss. The boss man wants Deckard to kill the replicants. Deckard meets Rachel, a super smart replicant who doesn't know she is one, until Deckard reveals her memories to her and she is then so depressed. Inn another part of the city one of the replicant's meets a man who lives in a giant building by himself with his little people machines that look like clowns. The replicant's name is Pris, and she is involved with Roy, another replicant apart of the group Deckard is trying to retire. Eventually Roy and Pris stay with the man who lives in the building until Deckard finds out where they are. Roy gets the man to take him to his creator, Tyrell. Roy talks to him for a while and then kills him by shoving his thumbs through his eyes, totally disgusting and uncalled for but whatever it's the movies. Roy kills the man who was helping him also. Deckard finds out Tyrell and the other guy are both dead and goes to the mans house to find Pris attacking Deckard with flips and cartwheels and things. He shoots her and she spazes out for a bit and then dies. Now Roy is really going to be mad, they have a weird battle thing where Roy basically goes crazy and sticks his head through some walls. It ends with Roy helping Deckard off a ledge and Roy is so sad that he is a replicant and all his life has been meaningless, he says "Time to die.." referring to his own death. Oh and along this whole movie Rachel and Deckard "fall in love"...or as I saw it he makes her say she loves him and have sex with him and she stays with him because she has no where else to go and no body else to go to, she is safest with him. So he meets up with Rachel and they both walk out the apartment and Deckard notices the origami left by Gaff and it ends with a line about how nobody knows how long you have with someone in your lifetimes so best not think about it too much and live in the moment.
The reading had talked about the movie being about empathy instead of sympathy in sci-fi films and how seeing empathy was very rare and had not really happened. Empathy is the projection of one's own feelings or emotional state onto a person or animal or object. When Deckard is going out to retire the replicants he sees their frustration and could very well see himself having similar feelings if he were in their shoes. The film seemed more so about the emotional aspect of differing identities between subjects and what happens when they collide with more subjects with different elements and problems. The strongest thing this film had going for it was it's aesthetics, it was constantly wet and rainy and dark, it had elements of futuristic technology with classic madmen style. It was visually fun and exciting because of the different themes in the settings, the abandoned building in the futuristic city of hoovering cars and such for example. It was kind of racist at some parts when Deckard is talking to the Asian men at the food spot, and then just weird misogynistic with Deckards treatment of Rachel. I'd probably watch this again is someone brought it to my attention but not on a sunny day.
Monday, November 4, 2013
Total Recall is a very interesting movie, it has some many things happening and overlapping with characters who play multiple characters within their character. It has so many plot turns and u-turns that it makes it difficult to keep up with who is who at what time and how and with what did Arnold's character kill every single person he fights ever. This movie could easily been turned into three movies if they were to separate some action scenes and added some clarity. So much happens in each action scene that some of the times I just closed my eyes because I felt sick with everyone getting impaled or shot somehow perfectly in the middle of the forehead every time. But thank god I had them open for the scene where Thumbelina, the midget sex worker lady, jumps onto the bar or table and shoots a machine gun, showing all of her muscles bulging and her hair shaking in the wind.
The film starts out like a lot of movies of the '90's, it shows a strong tall man married to this pretty blonde woman who waits on his every need sexually and acts like a a perfect wife in a man's eye. Douglas Quaid is the strong man who works as a construction worker who is not happy with his job and life in general because he is obsessed with a reoccurring dream where he is having an adventure on mars with a pretty brown haired woman. So obsessed that he goes to Rekall Inc., a business that implants fake memory vacations in people's brains. Quaid selects a vacation trip to mars as a secret agent with a woman. Guess what type of woman he picks...a brunette with an athletic body and a sleazy personality. In this moment of the film I say out loud "Woooooow" this is definitely one of those kinds of movies where I'm going to being thinking that a lot. Anyway something goes wrong and they realize that he is not who he thinks he is, Quaid is physically fighting all of the people and then comes to inside a cab with an automated cab driver that looks like he is from Leave it to Beaver. He runs into some guy he works with who offers to go out for drinks but Quaid is all shook up and denies, which lands him in a heap of trouble with the group of guys his buddy is the leader of. Quaid ends up killing all five or six of these guys all on his own using his super fighting skills he didn't know he had. Horrified he blabs to his wife back at home that he is a murderer and she starts to attack him. This part just adds to the action hero character that Arnold always plays, he somehow never gets seriously hurt but he gets bloody. His wife tells him that he is not who he thinks he is and he punches her in the face and leaves in his own dramatic self realization way when he finds out some guys with guns are coming for him. Ritcher the main guy who leads the group and who is also controlled by Cohaagen, this guy who is in charge with operations on Mars, is also married to Quaids fake wife. Ritcher is super angry at Quaid because Ritchers wife has been having sex with Quaid for pay and also he knows Quaid from a Mars mission. A chase ensues and guns are going off left and right with windows shattering and people being thrown all over the place (Another "Wooooooow" moment at the senselessness of these scenes and how they don't add to the plot at all its just an excuse to shoot action and gore). Ritcher is supposed to just capture Quaid but secretly he wants to murder him real slow and painful most likely. Quaid is being tracked by a device in his nose, which is removes after obtaining a secret silver brief case from some man at a telephone pole. He throws the device into his handy chocolate bar and gives it to the rats and escapes with Ritcher and his men chasing rodents around. Quaid also sees a video of himself as Hauser a secret agent man on Mars. His dream vacation has come true, kind of. However he was working with the people who are trying to kill him now, so he is a rebel now. He must get back to Mars because he has valid information about something. He makes it to Mars and finds out its filled with mutant people who are victims of radiation and terrible air they get from Cohaagen. He becomes friends with the comedic relief black character Benny who is a mutant cab driver. They go to this brothel type of place that has midgets and mutants hanging around. Quaid meets there Melina, who looks just like the lady he requested for his dream vacation (Wooooooow). She doesn't believe him and orders him to leave. He gets to a hotel and in comes the founder of Rekall Inc. who tries to convince Quaid that this is all a dream and really his body is back at the Rekall place and they are having problems getting him out of the dream. If he takes a little red pill though he will wake up safely in the Rekall place. To make things even more believable he brings in Quaids wife to try to convince him he has been dreaming and she is so worried about him. Quaid doesn't believe them and shoots the man right in the head. His wife gets all upset at Quaid for ruining things again and in come her hench men to take him away. They almost make it when Melina busts in with a machine gun and Quaid kills his wife. Quaid, Melina, and Benny are escaping and there is a series of action scenes and lots of shooting and blood. Cohaagen decides to shut off the air to the neighborhood they are in and everyone is slowly going to die. Quaid is taken to meet with Kuato who is supposed to read his mind and tell the rebels important information. This is when things get even weirder, the rebel officer leading Quaid opens his shirt to reveal a disgusting baby head and arms that is Kuato. Quaid holds hands with Kauto and then they are found by Cohaagens guys and the battle begins between the rebels and Cohaagens. Benny busts in and shoots the rebel officier/Kuato and tells them all he has been playing for the other team the whole time. Quaid and Melina get captured and Cohaagen reveals that this is all a trap and Hauser planned Quaid to give up the rebels. Cohaagen tells them they have shut off the air flow to the neighborhood also. Quaid and Melina are taken to the implant place so Quaid can be Hauser again and Melina can be his female servant, but being the super human strength person Quaid is, he breaks out of the chair and brutally kills all of the people in there, and frees Melina as they escape to go save Mars by activating some ice melting oxygen releasing device that Cohaagen has kept secret. They are in the process of doing so when Quaid throws the bomb into a tunnel that explodes a hole that is trying to suck them out into the Mars wilderness. The hole sucks out Cohaagen who we then see suffer with his eyes bulging and every muscle in his face stretching. Quaid manages to put his hand on the button and activate the ice melting device but him and Melina get shot into Mars and are both suffering like Cohaagen. The rods shoot into the glacier ice and like an oxygen volcano it erupts onto the planet, saving everyone almost instantly, remarkably. Now Quaid and Melina are watching the sunset and he wonders if he is dreaming, she says to him something along the lines of kiss me now before you wake up and we can't kiss ever again. Then they fade into happily ever after.
This film was a rollercoaster in every level, it was like a fifth grade boy wrote it with all of the action scenes, gore, and misogyny. The over the topness of it was entertaining but at some points too much for me. Kauto being a disgusting baby head and arms coming out of a regular man was just strange because they were so aesthetically different it made it funny instead of anything else. A lot of moments in this film are like that actually when looking back it is an over the top gory, action, misogynist movie from 1990.
The beginning of this movie is very choppy, it's a series of scenes that are pretty low on the dialogue spectrum. It illustrates this society that is mostly ran by faceless tall drones wearing black cop like outfits. The drones constantly tell the citizens that they should relax and everything will be fine. The pray to an automated god that they can talk to in little telephone like booths. The people in this society take drugs that suppress their emotions and sex is forbidden, they live with roommates that are chosen for them. The main male character THX 1138 lives with female character LUH 3417, she starts to stop using her drugs and then starts to replace her roommates drugs with harmless drugs that do nothing. So he starts to feel weird and is getting sick like a pill popper coming off cold turkey. He eventually gets over that and starts to see LUH for what she is, a female that he can runaway with. THX and LUH start to take their relationship on the more sexual side of things and THX ends up messing up at work where he puts drones together with radioactive little bars. He drops a radioactive bar and it almost blows the whole place up or something terrible is going to happen. The drones now know that something is up with THX, they find THX and LUH post sex act and arrest them, through them into weird white jail. But not before THX submitted a complaint against SEN 5241, this creepy guy who altered the computer roommate selection to get paired with THX. So of course SEN in also in jail in the creepy white place. Drones take control in the jail place and we find out that they are actually really easy to defeat, you just have to push them over and beat their faces in. LUH finds THX and tells him she is pregnant. She gets caught up in the terrible truth about what can happen to oppressed people in jail and is killed by the system. THX is escaping the white jail with SEN and they meet a new character who is a hologram, SRT, a tall black man who is definitely more positive than THX but not creepy like SEN. They escape into a crazy people freeway type place where people are all walking so fast, THX, SEN and SRT are getting pushed around and SEN gets separated, the other two are not really that upset. Which shows their true feelings about SEN, or the lack of. SEN wanders off into the city space and finds the picture of their god, a clergy man comes to see what SEN is doing and all hell breaks loose. The clergy man sees SEN doesn't have a name badge and tries to go call the drones on him, SEN attacks the man and flees. He eventually is found by the drones while he is playing with some little kids by an escalator. He gives himself up basically, his character wants someone else to rely on and when he is alone he just can't be happy. When he is playing with those kids the viewer can see how important interaction is for him, he was so unhappy while he was alone in the film but when he is with people he just lights up. Which makes the viewer feel a little sympathetic towards creepy SEN. THX and SRT are doing a pretty good job escaping the drones and then the drones close in on them, they are running away towards the parking garage and for some stupid reason SRT gets into the smallest car ever for one glimpse of comedy in one of the characters. Also to play into the stereotype of having one character of another race being the comedic relief. THX gets into this nice big car and takes off leaving SRT behind, just when you think he is going to get caught he figures out how to drive and takes off, he is stoked but right off the bat he smashes into a pillar, game over for SRT. THX looks back, he knows SRT didn't make it. So he takes off all alone now, but he has this sweet car so he zooms past everyone on the roads in a car chase that ends in some pretty sweet action shots of the drones crashing on motorcycles. Ultimately THX escapes narrowly and has a brief meeting with the shell people and some monkeys, the shell people are hairy midgets, I can't really tell if this is offensive to midgets, or that the only two shell people we have seen just happen to also be midgets. THX is escaping up a ladder with the drones behind him and then the drones decide to abort mission and the final scene is THX emerging into the outside world with a giant red sun sending the image of his hazy lone figure as the only thing in the scene. He is finally out but he is alone in this new place with no plan as what to do next.
So it may be apparent now that the lack of actual love story in the film and as much as it was advertised to be are very different. I did not see it as a love story at all, after further discussion about the characters it seemed more that LUH's character was pushed under the rug too soon in the film. In the beginning it was all LUH who stopped taking the drugs and secretly took the drugs away from THX, it was her idea to escape and she manipulated THX into feeling. LUH simply was just erased after she told THX she was pregnant, no real explanation to what happened to her. The drones just destroyed her. She is hardly mentioned throughout the rest of the movie, the whole other half of the movie is basically dedicated to action scenes and explosions. Moving us forward in the spectacle spectrum of sci-fi movies that border line with action films.