Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Evangelion 3.0: あすかばあちゃん かわいいです~~~ (2012)

Is Evangelion 3.0 the new Citizen Kane (1941)? Perhaps. While I won’t go into the details of Kane’s connection with Japanese leather philosophy, it is clear that badass robot pilot Shinji Ikari, who has to be 60+ years old in this installment but looks 14 thanks to magic pink slime, is the embodiment of post-apocalyptic robot power fantasy.

I am a big believer in blind devotion to popular anime brands. This isn’t a bad movie, because it’s a Neon Genesis Evangelion movie. Don’t stop the series now! Give me more!

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Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Ghosts of Mars (2001)

Ghosts of Mars is a heavy metal lullaby from the mind of an oldschool filmmaker. This was John Carpenter’s hardest thrust at the sci-fi genre.

There are some big names in it, notably Jason Statham, Ice Cube, and B-movie queen Pam Grier. John Carpenter has excellent taste in talent, but his taste in sci-fi is questionable. This talent either belongs in an oldschool exploitation movie or a more straightforward, linear, brightly-lit sci-fi flick. Trying to meet in the middle with a Halloween-in-space premise is a recipe for disappointment.

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Sunday, May 17, 2020

Solaris (1972)

This 2-hour 40-minute Soviet sci-fi art film is one of the slowest movies ever made. I know people say that about 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) but Solaris really takes the cake.

Is it better than the George Clooney version? Yes. Is it a fun watch for a modern audience? Well… It’s not until the second act that we go to space, we learn that the protagonist is a psychologist, and the camera starts moving a bit. The first 45 minutes or so are a waste of time, and it never really ramps up. So is it a fun watch? No.

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Thursday, April 30, 2020

Strange Days (1995)

Directed by Kathryn Bigelow and written by James Cameron, Strange Days is a mashup of Christopher Walken’s Brainstorm (1983) and the LA riots. It’s not The Matrix (1999), it’s not Escape from New York (1981), it’s a mix of different things that starts strong but fizzles out in the end.

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Wednesday, April 15, 2020

The Postman (1997)

Mail is a real pain in the ass. Either the local numbnuts deliver your parcel three blocks off the mark, or you try to send electronically, only to find that you need to set up a trusted SMTP relay. In the case of either problem, you likely won’t figure it out until months after the fact. There’s a reason a rampage is called “going postal”.

Poor Kevin Costner. He is tasked with delivering the entire nation’s mail on the old shoeleather express. If any package is misdelivered, he gets the blame. No vehicles, no electricity, no help of any kind. With certain non-trivial problems, all you can give it is your best effort.

As a connoisseur of video games and the artistic goods of Japan, I heard about Kojima Hideo-san’s extravagant foray into the world of Postman, the majestic and not-at-all-pretentious Death Stranding, wherein you play as Kevin Costner’s vision of a parcel carrier. There is also a video game called Postal, wherein you don’t have to deliver a thing (see end of first paragraph).

But this is no game, this is a serious examination of what it means to be an American, through the lens of our mailman and savior.

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