For most of us, Stephanie Meyer is the devil incarnate. She took what was a perfectly good supernatural baddie and turned him in to a bedazzled, love-sick vegetarian for heavens sake! But, as with all evil geniuses, this one blasphemy was not enough. She has now turned her sights towards the time-honored tradition of alien invasion, turning it from an integral battle for human survival to just another run-of-the-mill, lame love triangle. Really, is nothing held as sacred anymore?!
Created by one of the most renowned Japanese Science Fiction manga authors, Shotaro Ishinomori, Cyborg 009 tells the story of nine regular humans who were kidnapped and turned into cyborgs with specific super-human abilities. The comic was printed from 1964 till 1981 and spawned 3 motion pictures, 3 TV series plus a game. Last year, Kenji Kamiyama brought this super-hero ensemble back to the big screen in a reboot that was to be souped up by all the best in new technology.
It took Canadian Steve Kostanski three years and only $1000 to create Manborg, an homage to mid-80s VHS sci-fi and horror. By embracing their cheap production values and never aspiring to be more or less than hilarious nostalgia, Manborg is possibly one of the best cinematic experiences you’ll ever have, providing that you are old enough to remember the unique and exquisite sensation of pushing a tape into a VCR. MANBORG!
The first feature length film for director Jake Schreir shows us a glimpse into our near-future. Glass phones, voice-activated video-calling on HD screens, robots cooking lasagne; it’s really the 21st century dream. But what do we do with all the old people? Turns out what we do is give them robots and let them steal diamonds and antique versions of Don Quixote.
Releasing two classic albums in the early seventies to minor critical acclaim but non-existent commercial success in the US, reclusive singer-guitarist Rodriguez became something of a popular music myth. Examining his phenomenal popularity overseas and his music’s relative obscurity at home in the US, director Malik Bendjelloul goes in search of the story behind a man dubbed the ‘Mexican Bob Dylan.’
Weddings! Weddings weddings weddings. Everybody loves weddings and all films are about weddings these days aren’t they? It really feels like that’s the case. Take wedding themed film Our Family Wedding, for instance. Weddings everywhere! Only, why is there a goat running around eating Viagra and trying to rape people? And why are all the Mexican people so deeply, deeply racist? And why is Forest Whitaker in this film? So many questions! And by questions we mean weddings.
Whether you call it Desire to Kill or Enemy at the Dead End, this film is still about two nearly-dead men in a hospital ward trying to kill each other without the nurses noticing. You could roll a wheelchair through some of the plot holes, but this absurdist South Korean thriller is a true original.
No matter how much the phrase “art house” appears on the back of the DVD, or the flimsy references to “philosophie” in the director’s biography, this film’s intent is clearly to titillate. This it does not.
With his indie credentials firmly established by neo-noir debut Brick and talents further supported by 2008’s The Brothers Bloom, writer-director Rian Johnson returns with his take on the sci-fi genre. A time travel chase film injected with both an underlying sense of moral precariousness and welcome comic relief, the set-up isn’t new, but the delivery certainly is. With Johnson deftly combining influences alongside his own discernible flair, Looper may call-back to cinema’s past, but its own modernity is never in question.
While critically condemned, the Resident Evil franchise has nevertheless achieved considerable commercial success and enjoyed a wide audience. That’s all likely to change after Resident Evil: Retribution, a film so laughably incapable, so shamelessly derivative and so woefully unengaging that it’ll likely succeed where its zombie antagonists have failed… in mortally wounding Milla Jovovich’s Alice.