Saturday, April 22, 2017

What's Next On My List? Cowboy Bebop: The Movie

Welcome to #ApocalypticApril! The aim is to cover movies that either have an apocalyptic element or take place after it. I had a class on this, "Post-apocalyptic Science Fiction", and although it was over three years ago, it is still one of my favorites to recall of the many free credits I did. I planned this month for a while now and decided that this is the year for it! Hope you enjoy!

Anime have been dealing with the apocalypse and post-apocalyptic worlds for decades. Anyone doing real and intensive research on this topic HAS to, at some point, widen their range to include manga and anime. I myself have actually got to know this genre through several anime while growing up. One of these was Cowboy Bebop, a 26 episode series that takes place roughly in 2071. A man-made catastrophe blew up the moon and making Earth almost inhabitable. The human race had colonized most of the rocky planets in the Solar System. The Inter Solar System Police (ISSP) established a system in which registered bounty hunters (known also as cowboys) travel in the galaxy to seek out criminals to help the police. Our main character, Spike Spiegel is from Mars and in this movie they go back to the planet to stop someone who actually is about to be responsible for a new apocalypse in the world they live in now.


The movie's story is situated somewhere in the middle of the timeline of the 26 episode anime. Spike, Jet, Faye, Ed and Ein get together to find someone responsible for a biological attack on Mars. This man is a soldier who was used for experiments and is now trying to turn the world into the emptiness that he himself feels inside. The weapon eats up brain cells and everyone infected slowly dies. The man, along with another soldier has the antidote in their body, and the team uses it to make sure that the biological weapon never takes effect.

I love this world. Of course it can be dark at times and well, difficult to digest. But this movie perfectly fits into the main story. Cowboy Bebop is known for having mysteries, allowing the viewer to think about what is happening before revealing the truth. I personally adore that. Not so much the suspense, but the fact that it is clever about it. It gives you just enough to keep on going. In the end it is more like detective fiction, than anything else. In the series there was actually one episode that had a noir style to it. Long story short, these are not your average bounty hunters.
I particularly love this anime because it shows that even if technology advances, people will go back to something they already know, something they are comfortable with. Cowboy very much entails a Western American culture, and there are several instances when the show makes fun of it too. Cowboys on their horses running after criminals. Well, spaceships. And where man is man, there will be wars, conflicts, drugs, everything that is just as destructive as it was on Earth before it got destroyed. It seems that men never actually learn, and that's a powerful message.

Now, the movie, as I said, fits perfectly into the universe and personally it was a gift as the show ended and I craved for more. The writing was brilliant, in my opinion. The criminals, or villains, they all had a background that added to the story. This is one of the reasons why it is important to highlight that our main characters are bounty hunters. They live by their own moral code, and although something might be illegal, it isn't necessarily immoral. This is something I learned thanks to this anime. This movie fits into the apocalyptic thematic month not just because the main story is situated after a man made apocalypse, but because in it a second one is about to come into effect. Arguably I should be writing only about movies that take place during an apocalypse, but actually, I find that it is a lot more interesting to see what kind of worlds humanity builds up after it has to start all over again. This is a great example of how humankind doesn't have to make all of its governmental systems into dictatorships, as it happens in most post-apocalyptic tales.

Watch it? I recommend it highly, even if you don't know the series. It is a stand alone story that introduces to you the characters and you will likely be interested in the series which, some almost 20 years later still makes for a fantastic and original show. I myself wish there was more.

SEE YOU SPACE COWBOY...
Until the next item on my list!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

What's Next On My List? Titan A.E.

Welcome to #ApocalypticApril! The aim is to cover movies that either have an apocalyptic element or take place after it. I had a class on this, "Post-apocalyptic Science Fiction", and although it was over three years ago, it is still one of my favorites to recall of the many free credits I did. I planned this month for a while now and decided that this is the year for it! Hope you enjoy!

Growing up we all had our share of Don Bluth movies, and when you think about them now they are all, well, awful. Just awful. Not the art or the story, but the whole... like you showed this to children?! This is traumatic! It's much worse then the forced orphan story in every Disney movie... that said, there was one that despite being a bit strong, was still awesome as hell:

Humanity was attacked by the Drej, an alien race made of pure energy, which in fear of us decides to destroy the Earth. They are successful but some manage to escape, along with a ship called the Titan, which has the ability to simulate another big-bang, thus giving life to a new planet. The Titan is hidden by its inventor and both humans and the Drej seek to find it before the other. The key to the Titan is on Cale's hands, the son of the inventor of the Titan. Cale must hurry to reach it before the Drej do, who seek, after all these years to wipe out humanity.

The story is post-apocalyptic really, as not only was humanity destroyed but the planet itself. Humanity's worst fear of being wiped out by an alien race has become a reality. And when I re-watched it a couple of weeks ago I was amazed that actually the motivation of the enemy is not unjustified. Cale's father says that their ability to create planets and life is something that can be feared by others. Playing God is very problematic and not without reason. The Drej might have overstepped in wishing to destroy the human race, but when you think about it, fear is a strong motivator. Fear can make you do foolish things. Unlike every other alien race so far that only wanted to rule our planet (I still don't get why though...), the Drej feared us. Us, the one planet that every other enemy deems unworthy and about as good as slaves. That is important. That is unique, in my opinion.
The different creatures and the twists in this movie are phenomenal. I loved how we could discover galaxies and far away planets. I also like that our main character, having actually nothing to lose, decided to fight until his last breath to ensure that those who did survive will have a planet they can call their own. Many of course only wish to get a payday out of the catastrophes around them, but others endure and fight. I just loved the energy of the characters. And I also loved that I wasn't supposed to care just because they are the humans, because they are the ones I am supposed to feel the closest to, but because the story took time to make me care. I was introduced and shown who our heroes are and their adventures enchanted me.

Watch it? I highly recommend it. Yes, a lot of people die and yes, there are some parts of that still scare the shit out of me... I don't know if I would show it to children, but it is definitely a movie that has aged well, keeping its magic with a story that in a world of alien attacks coming from every angle is still creative and unique. I would definitely include it on a bucket-list of apocalyptic movies!

Until the next item on my list!
_ _ _ _ _ _ 

Cale Tucker - Matt Damon
Capt. Joseph Korso - Bill Pullman
Preed - Nathan Lane
Professor Sam Tucker - Ron Perlman

Friday, April 14, 2017

What's Next On My List? I Am Legend

Welcome to #ApocalypticApril! The aim is to cover movies that either have an apocalyptic element or take place after it. I had a class on this, "Post-apocalyptic Science Fiction", and although it was over three years ago, it is still one of my favorites to recall of the many free credits I did. I planned this month for a while now and decided that this is the year for it! Hope you enjoy!

This movie too was part of the curriculum and because of it I watched it, and even though I wasn't crazy about it at first, my opinion didn't change after we talked about it in class.

Robert Neville is a doctor who believes to be the last person alive on this planet. He lives with his dog and survives in a home that he seals up over the night when the monsters come out. He captures one of them and does experiments to determine the cause for the zombification of the population around him. One day, however, he meets up with a woman and her son who are traveling to a place that is considered to be a safe haven. A place that has survivors. Robert never travelled, because if the place is a myth he could never get back before the dark hits again. Robert does not make it, but the woman and her son decide to travel on and do find others who haven't been infected yet.

First of all, I'm not a big Will Smith fan. He is a great actor, don't get me wrong, and in the end I am always pleasantly surprised when I see him, but I don't look around for his movies. In this case, he alone was just a bit too much for me. Second, the casting choice actually bothered me more when I found out that the movie is based on a book according to which the main character is a vampire hunter. Yes, those zombie-like, well... not even that. What were those creatures supposed to resemble? Yes, they come out in the dark, and are probably not friendly with the sunlight, but I would not have designed them as such if they were supposed to look like vampires. You can debate me, I don't care. I don't like this movie. After I heard the origin of the movie I just... it became clear in my head what I would have liked to see and this was not it. Smith is very lovable, that's fine. When it comes to the horror and the scary elements, all good. The movie in itself is fine, the 7,2 rating on imdb is actually very fair. I am not saying that this is a bad movie at all, but I personally don't like it. And the reason for that is three, they killed the dog. HOW COULD YOU?! F*CK YOU MOVIE! You think I care about anyone else except the dog? How stupid of you. And I know I'm not alone. No matter how happy I was to see that this wasn't, after all, the end of the world, I still cried as the movie insisted on the clichés of killing off characters to get you invested, but to me it backfired. Unfortunately I didn't see enough of Robert to care and was destroyed over losing the dog.

Watch it? Well, yes and no. As I said before it is not a bad movie so if you are looking for a bit of sci-fi, horror and drama as well then you might have a winner on your hands. The casting is fine and the story is intriguing, however, I can be critical when it comes to adaptations and knowing the background I wanted... not more, but something else. I'd say that this movie was inspired by the book rather then based on it.

Until the next item on my list!
_ _ _ _ _ _

Robert Neville - Will Smith
Anna - Alice Braga
Ethan - Charlie Tahan
Marley Neville - Willow Smith

Saturday, April 8, 2017

What's Next On My List? Cloverfield

Welcome to #ApocalypticApril! The aim is to cover movies that either have an apocalyptic element or take place after it. I had a class on this, "Post-apocalyptic Science Fiction", and although it was over three years ago, it is still one of my favorites to recall of the many free credits I did. I planned this month for a while now and decided that this is the year for it! Hope you enjoy!

I remember seeing this movie in the theater with one of my dearest friends and I was really scared because I never watch movies like this, not to mention, that yes, the format of the movie got to me. But more on that later. Let's fight the monsters of:


The story focuses around a group of friends trying to escape a monster attack in the New York. They have a camera with them and record as much as they can. They are first attacked above ground and people are causing chaos and havoc out of fear. So they decide to go underground, still unaware of what is causing the attacks. Slowly they fight off smaller monsters, but those who are bitten slowly die. The two main characters, Beth and Rob, escape the military as they are under attack and in Central Park encounter the monster for the first time, fearing it is the end of their life.

Well, yeah, I was terrified of this movie. It wasn't really horror, but the format was completely new. We see the whole movie through the lens of the camera and it worked. Some people just called it shaky, because they run and there were scenes that could not be seen properly, but to me that just added to the level of intensity. I think this movie stands alone and well, anything that copies it will be given bad criticism exactly because of the shaky cam problem. Overall I think that it was only those who did not see it in the theater could actually debate that it wasn't well done. I have tried to re-watch it and it really isn't the same thing, I agree. This movie is incredible the first time you watch it, because you don't know what is going to happen. But it does follow the typical horror movie clichés, as in, you know who will die and who is destined to survive. I wrote a mediocre essay on the monster for the above mentioned class, and the thrill of suspense, how not knowing actually makes it more interesting. Because in the end we all just want to see the monster and revealing it would have had a different effect. The movie was smart in not telling us too much too soon. It was amazing to see the end of the world, well, end, in a way, but also the movie doesn't give us a clear finish. It might not be the end of the line. The were several interpretations of the end and I believe that the debate is still open!

Watch it? Well, I don't know why you haven't yet. This one is a mixture of horror and catastrophe movies, however, it is a good mixture. It makes for an original brilliant movie that reuses some of the well known clichés but very smartly elevates them. Admittedly the format with the camera might not be as enjoyable on a computer screen or at home, but that does not mean that you should skip it!

Until the next item on my list!
_ _ _ _ _ _

Marlena Diamond - Lizzy Caplan
Lily Ford - Jessica Lucas
Hudson 'Hud' Platt - T.J. Miller
Rob Hawkins - Michael Stahl-David
Jason Hawkins - Mike Vogel
Beth McIntyre - Odette Annable

Sunday, April 2, 2017

What The F*ck Is This Sh*t? Justice League Trailer

Welcome to #ApocalypticApril! The aim is to cover movies that either have an apocalyptic element or take place after it. I had a class on this, "Post-apocalyptic Science Fiction", and although it was over three years ago, it is still one of my favorites to recall of the many free credits I did. I planned this month for a while now and decided that this is the year for it! Hope you enjoy!

To start off with I want to start with a review of the trailer of this shit-fest BECAUSE I believe that after the apocalypse we will only have terrible movies like this one as they just never fade away for some reason... no matter how much you want them to... Two things will happen if you watch this trailer:
1) if you don't know the comic background you might think it is cool.
2) if you know the background, you can hear the Marvel Cinematic Universe burst into laughter, and just laugh, and laugh... as you cry.


Get ready for spoilers, because I just don't care about sugarcoating anything anymore at this point. First of all, again, you have a probably beautiful movie that they decided to just flood with this blue color that makes EVERY SINGLE CHARACTER LOOK THE SAME. Why?! Why this blue? Even if you shot your movie in Detroit again, you can't tell me that that is a natural filter! I want colors! That is another reason these movies are so f*cking depressing... There is no difference between the beginning, the initial conflict, the solution and the end of the movie. All the work people put into the background of each scene is just spit on with this gloomy color of SHIT!

You know I'd like to say that I let it go. That is doesn't bother me that neither Barry Allen (Flash) nor Aquaman have their signature blond hair. But I didn't. It f*cking drives me insane. Speaking of Aquaman, he is a funny character compared to Batman's gloomy self. That is the point of every f*cking story! Every hero is much more chippier and happier than the Bat! That's what I love about his relationship with Superman (something that adheres to his friendship when they are just Clark and Bruce as well); that is what kept me going back for more and more stories. And what did you have in this trailer? He seems to be the comic relief character! YOU CAN'T DO THAT! Admittedly, he is not that depressed idiot that Nolan made him out to be (okay, let's not start with that other pile of garbage, you can read my review here), but he is never - compared to others - the funny character! Especially not in a franchise that has already made him into a killer bat (I mean that in both senses!). So no, I didn't like anything about Aquaman.
Then you have Wonder Woman, who... oh god... someone save Wonder Woman please... I just love her, I love Gal Gadot, she is a fucking inspiration and I still have hope for her character and her movie, but here... it's like... she's the captain of a ship that is sinking soooo fast and being who she is, she will not leave. But she should. Like yesterday. There is this one scene where she stands in front of two guys, ready to go into battle... and sooo original DC, where have I seen that already? Oh yeah. It was in BvS, the same f*cking scene. I hope they also say a joke in the background just to make sure that zero creativity went into it. Because god knows, BvS was such a gooood movie! Let's imitate it everywhere!

Watch the trailer again. I dare you. Count how many different characters you find. Spoiler, if you went above 20, then you have a shitty movie. The reason for that is that I could see all the stories that they are trying to mash together again. In BvS you had four basic stories and had a hundred more in the background. All from different writers, all came out in different years and represent different times of the relationship between Batman and Superman. "Oh, people might know this, let's put it together", and I shit you not, that is exactly what is going to happen here. Did you see Barry visiting his dad in prison? People might know it because of the TV series, let's include a f*cking Flash origin story because we didn't make one BEFORE the Justice Leauge and remember kids, you are stupid. That is right DC fans, you are all stupid and you need Mr Movie Writer to explain to you how superheroes work! And did you spot the ReverseFlash in the trailer? Because I did. It made me upset. It upset me because he should NOT be in a movie where the Justice League is so clearly getting ready to fight evil Superman. A secondary villain to ONE of the characters of the JLA should be f*cking nowhere near this story UNLESS he/she is the main villain. And I can tell you in advance, they are not. And they cast an African-American actress as his love interest... it baffles me how they decided to stay separate from the TV shows and yet they are continuously ripping them off! Spot the war scene, the random lady, the prison scene, attack on Atlantis apparently (not IN Atlantis of course, nobody wants to see that... that might look good! Hush-hush fan, you are stupid!), Commissioner Gordon's mustache being so big that it almost touches the MCU, and Cyborg flying around, I guess, did he do anything in this trailer?

"Hey Timmy, do you know who Cyborg is?"
"No..."
"Excellent, we'll put him in the movie."
"But... what about Hawkman, Hawkgirl, Green Lantern, Green Arrow, Black Canary, Red Tornado or--"
"CYBORG IT IS. EVERYONE WILL LOVE HIS CGI FACE. God knows, we don't have a perfectly able make up department that can make it look just as good! Half of his face has to be 3 inches shorter too to make sure the viewer founds nothing pleasing about looking at him!" (Here is how unimportant he is: he is not among the top 15 actors listed on imdb...)

The Justice League of America is not recruited... the Justice League gets together because of a forced situation that requires the help of everyone. The reason there is a problem with their dynamic is exactly that these people do not work together. They are NOT equals, they are NOT friends to begin with and are certainly not a vanity project for Batman. Batman knows all of them because that is what he does, that is his job, he has information and clues and everything he needs before he shakes hands with someone. He does NOT get those informations from Lex Luthor...

The reason I am reviewing the trailer is that I just refuuuuuse to see this movie. I will not pay a single cent because I am tired. Just scrap it and let it go. Watch the TV shows instead! They are brilliant!

I love DC. Funnily enough, I always loved their heroes a lot more than the Marvel one and what the movies are doing is just excruciatingly painful... They are destroying everything I love and I just... it baffles me how they can do that! I am done. Done with this. Leave me alone and long live CW shows because they are true to the characters I love so much! They do not think that I, the fan, am stupid and it is a wonderful feeling! F*ck you DC movie universe.