Saturday, August 19, 2017

252 A Boy and His Dog

In the year 2024... 'bout 6 years from now... we'll all be living off the carcass of a buried civilized world. At least that's the setting for the Ellison adaptation, A Boy and His Dog. A great piece of science fiction, what ABaHD gets right is that the character of Vic is truly a creation of his world and not a mere avatar from ours. He does not need to justify his serial raping and pillaging. His morality is a construct of a post nuclear Phoenix Az. Which, of course, puts him at odds with the weird down-under cult inhabiting an underground vault of 20th Century Americana. A unique film, ABaHD delivers a world without expostiion, and in doing so, bids a healthy f**k you to Disney's Shaggy Dog franchise.

Download: 252 A Boy and His Dog

Monday, August 7, 2017

251 Westworld

Summertime and the living is... slow... slow-rolling. But we're back! This week (this time?) we review the Crichton classic Westworld, the movie that started it all (at least the critically acclaimed HBO series). Inspired by Disneyland's Pirates ride, Chrichton builds an "anything goes" theme park filled with human emulating robots. When programming goes wrong, the machines rise up! With little spin on the original 1920's robot themes, Westworld does create a sense of wonder with regard to artificial worlds and our forever pining to escape into them.

Download: 251 Westworld

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

250 The Last Starfighter

This week we head back to the early 80's for some primitive cinematic CGI with The Last Starfighter. With a somewhat gimmicky but weak main storyline, the film benefits from a humor filmed subplot involving the Alex Beta unit. Filled with Spielbergian kid culture 80's tropes, the films fits the time period but is perhaps a lesser offering. While its attempt at CGI special effects are noble, they don't allow the film to ascend to Tron-like stature.

Download: 250 The Last Starfighter 

Sunday, July 9, 2017

249 The Day the Earth Stood Still

Stop fighting, you silly humans! This week Matt and Mark review the 1951 classic The Day the Earth Stood Still. Matt takes issue with the message of this film, which seems muddled in his alien-godlike appearance of Klaatu and his pimp hand Gort. Did Klaatu just impose of slavery onto humanity? A forced utopia? To what degree would Gort allow for some on-planet nuclear rough housing? So many questions to a thoroughly unsatisfying movie. Despite the bigger questions, The Day the Earth Stood Still also lacks perhaps the usage of more inventive sci-fi tropes offered in the literature of the day, but instead opts for the cinematic 50's standard of metal robots and flying saucers.

Download: 249 The Day the Earth Stood Still

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

248 Tron

This week Matt and Mark review the surprisingly ahead of its time Tron, by none other than Walt Disney Productions. A film that is unapologeticaly set within the confines of a computerized world, it would set the precedent for such later VR films as The Matrix and Inception that would give the filmmaker free reign to design plausible and spectacular fantasy worlds manufactured inside printed circuit boards. A beautifully rendered movie, Tron holds its own 35 years later and is as fresh and fun now as it was back then: a summer movie if there ever was one. It's a movie that fights for the users.

Download: 248 Tron  

Thursday, June 29, 2017

247 Scanners

Matt and Mark review the Chronenberg cult classic Scanners this week. A nicely stylized B-movie with decent production and a well crafted premise, scanners falls a bit short. With too much plot, the machinations and motivations of the characters are archetypal at best, implausible at worst. There are hints here of what Chronenberg would become and its refreshing to go back in time and see a classic director in the rough. Unlike Advanced Dungeons and Dragons psionicists rules for combat however, the Scanner "mind fights" are not only cathartic but at times spectacularly visceral.

Download: 247 Scanners

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

246 Over the Edge

This week Matt and Mark review the 70's teen rebellion film "Over the Edge". Despite its teen crime hyperbole, the film brings insight into the corportizing of the American family and it's dehumanizing affect on community and landscape. While such a movie could have fallen flat, Over the Edge is deftly executed with a cast of competent teenage actors and careful direction. Introducing a young Matt Dillon and packed with an iconic set of 70's rock n' roll (Cheap Trick, The Ramones, and Van Halen), Over the Edge has stuck in the collective memory.

Download: 246 Over the Edge