Saturday, May 29, 2021

Trancers 4: Jack of Swords (1994)

The first three Trancers show a fall from greatness as legendary hero Jack Deth moves into retirement. Trancers 4 and 5 were shot back-to-back and pick up where the trilogy left off. I divide the series like so because of the radical shift the latter films represent, not just in Trancers but in moving pictures on the whole.

The whole outsourcing situation with lower budgets and broken dreams is par for the course with Chuck Band’s later work. This was the start of that. With Trancers 4, the audience got an interesting medieval experience. Whether or not it was good for business, I don’t know.

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Saturday, December 12, 2020

Mortal Engines (2018)

It’s based on a book, but there’s nothing literary about the end product. It’s a political metaphor, but the metaphor falls apart whenever something has to blow up. There are some great visuals, but after two hours you won’t care. Without a proper story, none of it matters.

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Monday, August 24, 2020

Barbarella (1968)

Barbarella is an enchanting acid space opera and an icon of the 1960s. In the distant future when spacecraft are so advanced and so personal that they are almost literally powered by love, Jane Fonda saves the universe from Duran Duran’s doomsday machine.

The film was written as a lighthearted romp through space, a satire that never for one moment takes itself seriously. Though not emotionally impactful, watching the film gives a sense that the storytellers of the day were mildly optimistic about the future, with space liberation almost a certainty.

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Monday, July 27, 2020

Funky Forest: The First Contact (2005)

Funky Forest: The First Contact is not an easy film to discuss. While some films are off-color, this film is slightly out of its mind. It is difficult to describe a plot that precisely summarizes any of it, let alone draw conclusions of what the film is “about”.

The charm of Funky Fores is that, in its live-action Japanese multi-director anthology form, there are a lot of things that are hard to fully comprehend. Yet, at the film’s core there is genuine emotion and character. It is something you feel more than understand, at times tasting with your mind rather than seeing with your eyes.

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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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