“Delos is the vacation of a lifetime.”

I’ve been delayed on this project. I’ve been making notes on various movies, but hadn’t had a chance to get something fully fleshed out for awhile.

After finishing watching the HBO series “Westworld” I revisited the source material with the 1973 original film and its 1976 sequel “Futureworld.” The first movie is about the dangers of a technological world we don’t not fully understand, and the sequel is about the dangers of a corporation protecting its own interests. The first film was written and directed by Michael Crichton, who has written many technological thrillers, including “The Andromeda Strain” and “Jurassic Park.” The HBO series takes ideas from both movies and also works on the fallibilities of people as well.

The HBO series exists in a different world than the movies. There was an event which occurred near the park’s opening which is slowly revealed, but it is different than the disaster which happened in the “Westworld” movie. The DNA of both films is clearly visible in the series though and you can see where the HBO series picked up ideas from the films. The original robots in “Westworld” were eventually replaced with organic replicants in “Futureworld” and the series shows that progression of technology as well. There are a few fun references to the original films in the series. Astute viewers will notice a sly reference to Yul Brynner’s Gunslinger character hiding out in a background shot when Bernard visits an old section of the underground complex.

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Dystoporama Review: Judge Dredd   January 31st, 2017

“I am the law!”

Many of the reviews in this series will be returning to old favorites, but for this film it was my first time viewing it. I had avoided the 1995 film”Judge Dredd” because of the reputation for how phenomenally bad it was. On viewing the movie, I was expecting the worst, which may have actually helped make it a bit more enjoyable. The film is certainly not good, but it’s not abysmal either. It resides in the wide “so bad it’s good” range, to be appreciated by fans of schlock cinema. However, the movie should certainly come with a two-drink minimum to help improve the viewing experience.

“Judge Dredd” is based on a series of British comic books. The title crawl at the start of the movie informs the viewer that due to a series of environmental and social collapses, the outside world has become inhospitable to human life and the vast wasteland is known as the “cursed earth.” The remaining surviving population has been collected together and housed in giant mega cities, where crowding and limited resources has led to increased lawlessness. To combat the growing street violence, the legal system was reformed, giving Judges the combined power of police, judge, jury and executioner. Street judges patrol the city and dispatch swift justice. Read the rest of this entry »

Dystopia Review: Me and the Big Guy   January 25th, 2017

I’ve been thinking of 1984, which I need to watch and review soon. In the meantime, I remembered this short film I saw years ago and was happy to find it on YouTube.

“Me and the Big Guy” is a wonderfully clever satire on George Orwell’s dystopian world, where a clueless worker drone takes the title of Big Brother a little too literally. Brilliant work!

Journey Into podcast presents a story which falls nicely into my Dystoporama series.  The episode features a show from the radio drama X-Minus One, To The Future by Ray Bradbury.

The tale features a pair of scientists, husband and wife, who hope to flee a dystopian war-ravaged world into the past of 1955. They are important to the government they have fled, as their work on new and terrible weapons is sorely needed, so they are pursued. Will they be able to escape the clutches of the seeker hunting them?

It’s a neat tale and has some fun touches, like how both the fugitives and the loyal government man pursuing them, cannot help but covet and indulge on the bounties of the past such as chocolates, liquor and cuban cigars. They must be out of victory gin in the year 2155.

This story was also published under the title “The Fox in the Forest.”

Revisiting Zootopia   January 21st, 2017

“It’s called a hustle, sweetheart.”

I distracted myself from the impending presidential inauguration this week by re-watching Zootopia. I like to imagine the fantasy of having had Wilde/Hopps as a potential political ticket for this past election cycle, instead of the media-circus freak show we ended up with.

For the few people who may somehow have not heard of it, Zootopia is a fun mystery/adventure/buddy/cop movie set in an animated world of anthropomorphic animals. The plot involves a small female bunny, Judy Hopps in her quest to be the first rabbit police officer and the roadblocks she faces being taken seriously. Along the way she crosses paths with a con-artist fox Nick Wilde and the two become unexpected partners as they investigate cases of disappearing mammals in the titular metropolis of Zootopia.

Themes of bias, both conscious and unconscious, are threaded through the plot of the story. These are used as metaphors for racism and sexism, and while they are obvious they are also superbly nuanced. The nuance comes in big part due to how the narrative of the movie evolved. Read the rest of this entry »