A discussion of cult films by two guys located in a basement somewhere in the Pacific Northwest. Matt holds a B.S. and M.S. in physics, and works as an aerospace engineer. Mark holds a B.S. in biochemistry and works as a research technician... both are graduates of Snohomish High School Class of 91/92 respectiviely, none of which qualifies them to discuss film in any meaningful way... so... "caveat emptor" and all that.
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.
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.
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.