Posts Tagged ‘Internet’

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Criminally Overlooked: “Blackhat”

January 7, 2016

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As an avowed fan of Michael Mann, release of his 2015 film Blackhat was a somewhat bittersweet affair. Mann isn’t a prolific filmmaker, so any new film he makes is cause for excitement. But Blackhat was preceded by bad buzz, and its January release date wasn’t exactly a blinding display of confidence on the part of the producers and distributors. Unsurprisingly, the movie slipped into and out of theaters as stealthily as one of Mann’s protagonists robs a bank, only with a lot less to show for it in the end. And that’s too bad because while Blackhat might be minor-Mann and content to mostly recycle tropes better deployed in earlier films, it’s still a solid, if unremarkable, thriller.

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They came for Matt Damon’s brain! “Elysium”

September 14, 2013

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Elysium is the latest sci-fi adventure-cum-social commentary by Neill Blomkamp and his follow-up to the surprise hit District 9. Even more than that movie, Elysium is shot through with a healthy dose of indignation, and points an accusing finger not simply at a racist social system (now defunct), but at a world that tolerates gross inequality. You know, before we get to the “blowing shit up” parts. Now, with two major releases under his belt, it’s safe to say that Blomkamp has a keen imagination for world-building and creating sci-fi tales that move out naturally from our world. And then setting loose killer robots to blow it all up.
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In the 1990’s the future was really lame: “Johnny Mnemonic”

August 29, 2013

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Okay, now this film is instructive indeed. It shows us a glimpse of a very specific moment in time—1995, in fact—when the world arrived at the intersection of science and culture. It was the moment that the Internet became a looming thing, a soon-to-be fixture on our lives. We could see this tsunami curling above us, and could only marvel at how it would change our lives. With 1995’s Johnny Mnemonic, we have a window into the predictions and anxieties of the way our future would be transformed into something new. And man, were they retarded.
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Here be spoilers: “Star Trek: Into Darkness” in review

May 20, 2013

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Okay, my initial review of Star Trek: Into Darkness (is there a colon in the title? It feels like there should be a colon) was a bit threadbare. Yeah, it’s hard to talk about the movie without getting neck-deep into spoiler territory. So, here is my SPOILERRIFFIC™ discussion of Into Darkness. If you haven’t seen the movie yet, don’t click the READ MORE link. Just, uh, hey click this link and read about another movie with Darkness in the title. It’s called Creature of Darkness, and it really crazy. Seriously. It’s got this alien that dresses in a raincoat and hat and hunts people, and…well, just read it. Unless you’ve seen Into Darkness. Then, click away…
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October Spooktacular repost: “Paranormal Activity 3”

October 19, 2012

Okay, I’m gonna try real hard NOT to spoil Paranormal Activity 3. I’ll have to give away some basic plot points, but none of the critical ones.

Wow! Paranormal Activity 3. Has it been three films already? Don’t answer that, it’s rhetorical. So, yeah, we’re on the third installment in a franchise that really hasn’t been half-bad. If you read my reviews of the first two films, then you know that I appreciate these films for what they are: essentially shock-delivery-systems. This one is no different in its intent, though it tweaks the formula a tad by setting the action in the distant world of 1988 and showing how Katie and Kristi’s relationship with the demon began. So, basically it’s a prequel to a prequel. Taken to its logical extreme, sooner or later we’re going to get an installment where velociraptors are menaced by an unseen entity that pulls their tails and steals their eggs. Man, I hope they make that movie.
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Be kind, rewind: “V/H/S”

October 4, 2012

Okay, this will be a short one, since V/H/S hasn’t properly opened yet, and I don’t want to spoil anything. If you hadn’t heard the buzz coming out of Sundance, V/H/S is a horror anthology movie, which is kind of cool, since that’s not done all that often. Although, when it has been done, the movies have usually  sunk faster than a Russian submarine, but V/H/S hedges its bets by comprising the film and its vignettes solely of found-footage, so the production values are pretty low. Like all anthologies, it’s a mixed bag, but what the hell. So is a sack of Halloween candy, right? Okay, let’s check ‘em out.
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From the archives: “Awake”

January 28, 2012

Wow. This movie has issues. Serious issues.

To begin with, there is the main character, Clay Beresford. Clay is described (to his face, in case he wasn’t aware) as being rich, powerful, owning half of Manhattan, making millions of Wall Street, saving companies, creating jobs, Fortune’s man of the year at 22, lives in a vast building on Central Park West, has never taken the subway nor been to Brooklyn. Yeah, this is a guy I want to throw back some beers with.

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