Tag Archives: future

‘Not What We Deserve… But What We Need’

So the announcement was made earlier today (4th March 2011) by Warner Bros that the sci-fi classic, Blade Runner, will become another casualty of great films…. A god damn franchise of sequels, threequels, prequels and more quels than you can shake a lightsaber at.

He definitely shoots first in this one, George...

Now, the dark times really begin…

Directed by Alien and Gladiator helmer, Ridley Scott. Blade Runner, released in 1982, starred Harrison Ford and Rutger Hauer as leads Rick Deckard and Roy Batty (a special forces cop and genetically engineered humanoid respectively),  and was and still is consistently heralded for its story, direction and production. Truly paving the way for many science fiction films, television shows and computer games to this day.

From my personal viewpoint, it’s most probably the richest and boldest sci-fi film in history. And my all-time favourite of the genre. A film with depth, pure dramatic brilliance from start to end, and an amazing interpretation of a future dystopian society shadowed in a noir-inspired landscape and architecture. There’s a massive sense of gravitas throughout, although it seems that it plays out as an action film. In addition, the intricate complexities that riddle Blade Runner have made it a favourite for many cult followers and movie-goers for decades.

Blade Runner’s continued popularity today may indeed hold the key to why it has been ‘drafted’ into the forever growing sequel territory. However that’s from a financial standpoint. Which, of course I have no quarrel with. Cinema is all about the bucks, and don’t we know it. But, on the other hand – There is a line, and it’s a big one. A line that draws between one film, and another.

Today, filmmaking is not what it used to be. Not in the context of production, or acting. But more in the general ‘feel’ of the movie, what it is trying to convey, what it is trying to emote and say to us, the viewer. There is no way I can see an array of sequels or prequels bettering or even equalling to the bar Blade Runner raised. Ever. But there are franchises that it can work with, and it has. Bryan Singer’s Superman reboot back in 2006 channelled just enough of Richard Donner’s stellar and pioneering Superman films that it almost felt like we was continuing on a legacy and not just whoring it out in a dirty back alley. And JJ Abrams Star Trek reimagining totally reinvigorated the franchise and gained a legion of new fans. The likes of Carlito’s Way, Halloween, and cult teen classic The Karate Kid have been among those subjected to shoddy remakes/sequels with lacklustre stories, and little to no acknowledgement of the cannon set by their predecessors. It’s what I call the great bitchslap of the all mighty dollar. 

There are lines. And they need to be drawn.

The problems are abundant, this will never go away I fear. I’m starting to feel a great disdain toward Hollywood’s big guns. One moment I get a sense of excitement and anticipation, the next I’m holding my head in my hands. It’s such a quick transition I hardly can tell when it happens.

If production companies are interested in resurrecting a popular franchise/movie – then look no further for a lesson learned than George Lucas. A guy, who amongst his millions and millions of dollars – has alienated millions and millions of loyal fans that he essentially turned his back on. With a constant backlashing against his work from the last decade, it’s almost against all odds that converting those abominations into 3D will earn him any retribution.

This Will Happen To Warner.

With almost no original thought left in the world of cinema today, I fear only the worst is yet to come. A complete, and utter extinction of true, honest filmmaking. And an uprising of misguided and selfish oafs that will cause a mass degeneration of the one thing I hope could last forever – Real art.

The people can stop this. WE need to take OUR films back, into our hands as their rightful owner and proprietor. WE have to stop these films, that have shaped and made us into who we are today, from being casualties of greed and gluttony – All in the name of a quick buck.

This must happen now

5 Sequels That Ruined Their Predecessor

Ok, just a few picks that I, personally found suitable for this list. I’ll be giving a few thoughts on each one…

1. ‘Evan Almighty’ (Original – ‘Bruce Almighty’)

Awwww... Sheeeeet!

Let me be frank, Bruce Almighty (starring rubber face himself, Jim Carrey) was never a masterpiece, nor was it amazingly funny. But with the film being the jump start for the film career of Steve Carell, it did stir some interest – As a big fan of Carell in The Office, I decided I’d give this film a watch. The end result is a…ugh… ‘comedy’… that doesn’t even touch the sheer stupidity of Jim Carrey’s multi-digited limb. It’s just a damn miracle that Steve Carell is able to shine in other films and become lesser-known for this one.

2. ‘Alien Ressurection’ (Originals – ‘Alien’, ‘Aliens’ & ‘Alien 3’)

Oedipus Complex 101

 A disgustingly horrific way to fully kill one of the best sci-fi franchises of the last 30 years. Alien 3 pretty much ruined it all, but this one was the killing blow…. Actually no, I’m wrong. Alien 3 was the killing blow. This just beat its dead lifeless body down with a massive 40 inch dildo.

3. ‘Everything George Lucas has been involved with since 1999’ (Original – ‘Everything George Lucas was involved with before 1999’)

This picture, tells us exactly what George Lucas, as a filmmaker and what his films represented. Interest, excitement, art, honing a craft, inspiring.

Now, look at what he looks like now… Bloated, boring, egotistical, nonsensical overbearing smugness, dishevelled, piece of crap. These are traits he shares with the films he’s produced in the last decade. George, you killed your baby.

4. ‘TRON: Legacy’ – (Original – ‘TRON’)

"Anyone up for a game of S&M frisbee?"

TRON was one of those ‘kewl’ flicks from the 80’s that we all love. It’s not great now by today’s standards, but that shit was awesome 20 years or so ago. But it’s been slightly shitted on by this long-delayed sequel that would’ve been much better off being produced while technology was not as advanced as now. The first one just seems completely organic in comparison. Again, one of those CGI filled shit-fests that could’ve been so much more.

5. ‘Home Alone 3’ (Originals – ‘Home Alone’ & ‘Home Alone 2’)

Oh, John… John, John, Johnny, John, John…. I wish you could’ve died a happy man.

#5 ‘District 9’ (2009)

Get on the barby... Time for munch



*Sharlto Copley

*Jason Cope

*David James

Director:- Neill Blomkamp

Distrct 9 is a feature film evolved from the 2005 short – ‘Alive In Joburg’, directed by Neill Blomkamp. It tells the story of a stranded Alien race, who have been forced to live in sheltered, monitored camps overseen by the South African government and military. And of course, their struggle to return to their home world.

I watched the film when it was first released in cinemas in the UK, and I found it a very enjoyable film. The factors were mainly down to its setting and not adhering to the generic big USA city locations that we’re used to seeing on sci-fi/action movies. Not to mention that the film was extremely well-produced for only a budgeted $30 million dollars. I didn’t really take the time to pick out much in terms of the performances of the actors, or any underlying plot points that I may have missed out on.

I watched it again, twice in the last 10 days.

It’s absolutely astounding how a strong, positive opinion on a film can change with repeat viewings.

It’s really difficult to pinpoint one thing that District 9 struck badly with me. It’s a lot of small, niggling little aspects that began to grate slowly and steadily against my quarter-century brain. Again, minimal/hardly any spoiler here while I carefully dissect this one.

The main character is African bureaucrat for a private military company, Wikus (last name I will not attempt to spell), who is charged with the duty of unceremoniously removing the alien immigrants from their location in District 9, to District 10. But after an accident at one of the shelters, Wikus begins to resonate and form an understanding with the aliens (derogatorily nicknamed ‘prawns’ due to their similarity in appearance), and also is faced with their own struggle. Copley, who portrays Wikus in his firs big acting role, brings a degree of humour to his character’s obviously difficult mission, but his lack of experience in this kind of big(ish) budget flick does show very prominently. It was enough to bag him a role in A-Team, but I’m almost certain that this will be a serious case of typecast Hollywood. It’s a real shame.

The most obvious thing that was completely oblivious to me at first viewing, was that District 9’s story is such a tried a tested formula. Although it has been tweaked in places to give an audience the impression that it was something completely fresh and original. It really, really isn’t.

From the outset, we see a holding camp for aliens that crash landed on Earth…. That’s the straight-to-the-point concept and story of the movie, it’s what we have to go on. It IS an interesting take on a tale that has been told for decades.

 However, there’s a broad, or more obvious hint that the structure of this film is built around the concept of several different genres of film and camera work. From the beginning, District 9 appears to take an almost ‘mockumentary’ tone – With a lone cameraman supported by crew that follow Wikus as he visits the camp accommodation of the stranded species. Which is what I initially perceived this film to progress with. Almost without warning, the film then takes a different spin, and the narrative is akin to sci-fi television programme ‘Alien Nation’. Where we see the ‘prawns’ living their lives in Johannesburg through conventional camera work.

The film (minor spoiler) culminates with a CGI, Transformers style battle sequence. Which further ‘alienates’ (heh heh) us from what this film is really trying to be, let alone what message it’s attempting to give.

I can say what I want about blatant plagiarism, stolen ideas, homages etc. But District 9, aside from its huge merits in some areas of originality, interesting concepts and ideas – seems to be a confused, muddled mess of a sci-fi drama (or actioner, or documentary – you decide…). Without much emotive support from non-lead cast, or convincing reasonings behind the actions of the antagonists – it’s a fairly watchable couple of hours for a non-repeater.


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