Saturday, December 22, 2012

The Cyberpunk Week, Day 7: All That Remains

Alright, as the Cyberpunk Week is over today, it's time to wrap things up properly. These are the things I'd loved to review during the Week, but did not for one reason or another. The most prominent is the fact that most of these movies do not need reviews at all, they're that famous already, and everybody in the world would do them better justice than I will ever be able to. Or hell, maybe I'll do the Cyberpunk Week 2 at some point. What do you think?

Terminator 1-4 (+ the TV show)


A mandatory watch for everybody. The first two are probably the greatest action-sci-fi flicks ever, next only to Blade Runner and Star Wars Ep. 4-6. The third is a retarded fan fiction, but still worth sitting through. Haven't seen Salvation and The Sarah Connor Chronicles, but I don't miss them.

Whoever spots Bill Paxton among the punks, will get a cookie. AND PUT IT DOWN!

RoboCop 1-3 (+ the TV show, animated series, miniseries)

Don't you just feel being disintegrated now?

If you haven't seen either of them, then what the hell you're doing here anyway... the first one is a timeless action classic, the second is so bad it's great, and the third is surprisingly okay. Haven't seen the cartoon, but the TV series were good. Prime Directives was also pretty nice, despite its reputation.

Did he look like a bitch?!

The Matrix 1-3 (+ Animatrix)


The definitive cyberpunk franchise of the 2000-s. It revolutionized the cinema in general, introducing a lot of concepts and cinematic gimmicks. While the basic idea was not exactly new, the first movie gained phenomenal success when it first came out. It looks dated and funny by today's standards, and personally I was never a big fan of its sequels or the Animatrix, but hey, at least they all follow the 'machines are not exactly evil' ideology.

I know John Woo...


Uh, yeah, that's Bruce Boxleitner in a funny outfit.

Another legendary classic that helped shaping the CG technology way ahead of its time. In fact, it was so ahead that the Academy rejected to include it to the list of 1983's Oscar nominees for special effects. Fuck you, Academy!!! There was also the famous arcade game that made more money than the movie, then a quickly forgotten FPS from Monolith, and finally, a glamorous 2 hrs long Daft Punk music video with The Divine (sarcasm) Olivia Wilde and something obsolete that once was Jeff Bridges. RIP, Tron.

Did you ever want to see the cockpit of the ship from Space Invaders?


Don't look at me, I didn't design that!

One of the childhood favorites of mine. It's like a cult classic for all the old-school cyberpunks, rightfully so: it somehow manages to capture everything that cyberpunk is all about, just like Johnny Mnemonic - evil corporations, virtual reality, messing with the brains and other organs, self-aware programs, you name it. The effects are great, the setting is great, Christopher Lambert is great - go see it.

Shop smart. Shop S-Mart.

Johnny Mnemonic

I freaking LOVE that tagline.

This movie has an ass reputation nowadays, but it doesn't work for me, since this is the exact pinpointed moment in time when I was hooked on cyberpunk. It may be a laughable exploitation piece of trash in the eyes of contemporary viewers, but it completely blew my mind back then. The virtual reality scenes are stunning as ever, Keanu Reeves is one badass dude, as are Dolph Lundgren, Takeshi Kitano, Ice-T and Henry Rollins. Yeah yeah, I know that the original Gibson short story is better, but it doesn't have such a huge nostalgic value to me. Sorry.

Hey, I forgot that Dina Meyer was in this, too!

The Lawnmower Man

No, it's not Virtual Girl... yet.

Wah, another classic from my childhood! This time it goes more for a thriller/horror genre, with then-unknown Pierce Brosnan as the star and a completely fascinating performance by Jeff Fahey as the titular character. Along the lines of WarGames, this one follows the message of 'computers are not evil, it all depends on the user', which is credible. It also has somewhat bad rep due to that silly Stephen King gimmick and lawsuit, but I still love it.

Welcome to the Uncanny Valley 101, muhahaha!


I refer you to my last :|.

One of the recent attempts at modernizing the supposedly dead genre, now from the makers of Crank duology, Neveldine and Taylor. The basic idea is kinda awkward and not that new, being indirectly ripped off Nirvana, but the cinematography and social satire are real good. Gerard Butler is even more brutal here as he was in 300, and the main bad guy is played by that 13-years old hipsters' wet dream from Dexter. Last but not the least, as in Crank, there's a healthy dose of T&A, pissing in the gas tanks and comedic over the top violence. Nice try, overall.

Oh hey, I didn't know DeathKnight666[l33t] was in this, too!


BTW, this is Kaneda.

Regarded as Katsuhiro Otomo's strongest work, this anime is frequently bashed for being a confusing retelling of the manga, despite being directed by The Man himself. I never read the source, but somehow was still able to get into the story. Maybe I'm a genius, dunno. This is not exactly a cyberpunk movie in terms of themes, but the visuals are undeniably influent, taking your basic Blade Runner cityscape and turning it to a riot zone with constant bloodshed, self-proclaimed prophets, and of course, the government's parapsychological project gone berserk. This is also notable for being the first anime to be running at 24 FPS, and there was even a separate studio formed just to make this one movie.

This is Kaneda, too.

GUNNM (a.k.a. Battle Angel Alita)

What asshole drew this? Couldn't they hire me?

Another example of the 'manga's better' fan whining. I will never bother reading all the over 9000 volumes (yeah, I know this joke isn't funny), but I actually liked the anime. It has cute protagonist, great soundtrack, bloody violence, a grimdark setting that's too much even by cyberpunk standards, and finally, two great romantic subplots. Don't listen to the fanboys, watch it and judge for yourself.

Alita. Ripping out the bad guys' guts before it was mainstream.

Judge Dredd

The ultimate in :| posters.

Another prime example of a so-bad-it's-good guilty pleasure, adapted from the famous European (sic!) comic book series. According to the brick-shitting fanboys, it's a real bad adaptation, but as the movie itself, it's entertaining as all hell. Despite having Rob Schneider and nobody being able to say the world 'law' properly (watch the Nostalgia Critic's review!), it still has great special effects and set designs, good ol' Sly Stallone is awesome as always, the action scenes are insanely fun, Alan Silvestri's score is beyond memorable, and also there's Diane Lane. ^-^

We'll see her again in my blog, I promise! With Michael Pare, no less!


I actually have a poster of this thing, but I can't even remember the guy's name.

Another adaptation of Masamune Shirow's manga, and honestly, a pretty mediocre one. There were actually two versions - one in the 80-s, and a remake somewhere in 2000-s. The old one had a nice story, I guess, but what kills it is the drawing style - it's way too primitive even for that time. It looks so generic that you'd think that Masamune Shirow didn't give a flying fridge (no Indiana Jones reference intended) about the end product. Well, the final action scene is okay. As for the remake, it's a total opposite - the cel shading is great, but overall it's another brainless action film with nothing much to offer. I know it has its fans, so give it a watch... not my highest recommendation, personally, though.

...Yay..!.. Is it the 4st Birthday or what?

Dominion: Tank Police

Holy molars.

This one is a milestone in anime comedy, again being based on Masamune Shirow's manga of the same name. It's not that much of 'cyber', but the 'punk' aspect is given full stride. The comedy is great, the action scenes are thrilling, the villain is not your average just-as-planner. And oh God, the Puma sisters are hotter than hell. See:

Why are you looking at the guy in the middle?..

Virtual Girl

I love the Virtual Boy. It's so bad.

A hilarious sexploitation crapfest from the 90s, one of the so-bad-it's-good attempts at cyberpunk. The plot is a total garbage, being sewn together from the ideas that were explored in much better films. The only parts worth a watch are obviously sex scenes, especially the ones that take place within the VR. The female characters are okay, but those backgrounds always make me laugh my ass off before I am even able to ever be turned on. So despite the hot titular character (heh, titular), don't expect to jerk off to it, because you'll be too busy dying of laughter.

I hope you don't expect any quality entertainment from it, do you? DO YOU?! Gotta love the 'ACTION' sign, though.

The Cyberpunk Videogames

That sums it all up!

Waaaay too many to even count. I actually wanted to cover some during The Week, but alas... My faves include the Marathon Trilogy, Deus Ex, the Crusader and System Shock duologies, Oni, BloodNet, Beneath The Steel Sky, I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream, Metal Gear Solid, Unreal Tournament '99 (I know I'm cheating here), Quake 2 (oooh, cheating here, too), Snathcer, Contra: Hard Corps, Shadowrun for the SNES, RoboCop 1-3 for the NES, Coded Arms... oh Jesus, I must really love cyberpunk.

When you see this ingame, you will shit bricks.