And that is what makes it dangerous. Its only concern is to normalize the religion of the new flesh, its violence a capsule that helps install the philosophy deeper in the brain. This very nebulousness is what makes Videodrome still so resonant, and indeed so dangerous on its own. Like Renn, we watch on despite these warnings, the screen flickering too seductively to turn away. With T2 , fans had to settle for something different: the platonic ideal of summer blockbusters, a peerless big-budget entertainment with brains, brawn, and soul to spare.
Time has been kind to Starship Troopers , just as Starship Troopers has been very unkind to our time. These days, the tongue-in-cheek politics of the film—a bunch of kids from a futuristically Caucasian version of Buenos Aires enthusiastically head into a slaughterous battle against giant alien bugs who may not have intentionally instigated any conflict—veer from darkly funny to plainly chilling.
Look no further than the late-movie sight of then-fresh-faced Neil Patrick Harris done up in Third Reich-style duds—a total Paul Verhoeven move that no longer feels as out-there as it did during its initial release.
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The dirty secret of Starship Troopers is that plenty of it does work on a surface level: if not as a feat of ensemble acting, certainly as an intensely gory and quotable Aliens riff plus Jake Busey. The gnashing war-movie sensations fuel the satire, and vice versa. Planted at the nexus of thrilling and thought-provoking, Minority Report towers over most of them. Working from a novella by Ted Chiang, Blade Runner director Denis Villeneuve retells the familiar story of an alien appearance here on earth, only with the far more plausible premise that these strange creatures would have no fucking clue how to talk to us.
Bolstered by uniformly strong performances Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner do some of their best work here , Arrival tackles a tired subject in a fresh way, emphasizing the need for communication above all else. In the annals of mad science, has a god-playing genius ever regretted his own hubris more than Seth Brundle regrets his? Geena Davis, in a star-is-born performance, makes that horror palpable, while Jeff Goldblum, emoting fiercely under pounds of amazing prosthetics, plugs the audience into this crucible of mind-and-body deterioration, infecting us with his fear and disgust and scientific wonder.
Scarlett Johansson gives one of the best performances of her career as a creature who seduces and consumes lonely men, in docu-realistic footage shot on the sly in nondescript Scottish cities and villages. Under The Skin is an arty spin on a cheesy B-movie premise, allowing audiences to experience both the mundanity of our world and the forbidding darkness of an alien realm through non-human eyes. As post-apocalyptic convict James Cole, Willis travels from a very Gilliam-esque steampunk bunker in the near future to try and figure out the origin of the disease that nearly destroyed humanity.
His trip goes sideways, naturally, as he meets a skeptical scientist Madeleine Stowe who later becomes his kidnappee, then his Stockholm syndrome ally, and a mental patient Brad Pitt, in his first Oscar-nominated role who leads the story in new directions. Stanley Kubrick originally developed the project, but A.
The most delicate of sci-fi masterpieces, it concerns itself with the world we leave behind, discovering humanity in our last traces; the deeply moving ending is its own Voight-Kampff test.
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Reimagined as a traumatized veteran, Max Rockatansky Tom Hardy, taking over the role previously played by Mel Gibson becomes the reluctant ally of the one-armed truck pilot Furiosa Charlize Theron as she leads a harem of young beauties to a half-remembered society of women, pursued by the patriarchal death cult of Immortan Joe and his War Boys. But the thrill of escape takes on a different meaning here; while science fiction traditionally looks to the future, Fury Road is all about the eternal past, racing to catch up in the rear-view mirror. Once WALL-E winds up on the Axiom , a massive spaceship on an endless cruise, the movie deepens its critique of consumerism run amok via devolved, blobbed-out humans no longer programmed to think or even walk for themselves.
At the same time, it finds gentle poetry in a romance of sorts between two machines who may be cute but are never cheaply humanoid. The opening creates a world, but the whole movie tells a story. Perhaps more than any other year in recent memory, has inspired constant talk of the most pertinent or prescient dystopian visions. But the movie is more than the sum of its political parts.
Adapted from a novel by P. Owen, Julianne Moore, and Michael Caine all deliver gut-wrenching performances, and the use of elaborate, unbroken long takes develops a cinematic language as powerful as its emotional one. The science is shaky—a plutonium-fueled DeLorean defies quantum physics to travel back in time, paying blithe lip service to the many paradoxes it creates—and its fantastical premise is really just the contrivance for a sweet culture-clash comedy about an s teen who meets and tries not to sleep with his s parents. Wells for popularizing the basic concepts and causalities of messing around with our destinies.
Meanwhile, its sequel continues to be the most widely referenced vision of our now passed future, as the annual deluge of hoverboard articles attests. The director knew how to expand his stone-cold Terminator into an awesome multiplex epic. Before that, he achieved the even more daunting feat of pulling a new sci-fi classic out of the shadow of an old one.
Rather than try to replicate the glacial deep-space dread of a Ridley Scott movie arguably even better than Blade Runner , Aliens stomps on the gas, stranding an unfrozen Ripley tough-as-nails Sigourney Weaver on an outpost crawling with acid-bleeding creatures, alongside a platoon of over-armed but severely underprepared space marines.
Gilliam instead delivered a merrily bleak portrait of amoral dysfunction, mixing absurdist comedy with nightmarish imagery in truly unsettling ways. Nor does Brazil offer an escape by way of pure spectacle—while the conception of its alternate world is visually astonishing especially for its relatively low budget , Gilliam shrewdly challenges sci-fi orthodoxy by rooting extrapolations of the future in antiquated aspects of the past.
Even the title, which refers to a popular romantic song written in , seems designed to foster cognitive dissonance. The result is a movie so recklessly singular that it came dangerously close to never being seen in its intended form.
It seems to have something for everyone. The premise—reality as a simulation created by sinister machines—is versatile enough to fit any reading across the political spectrum, but the subtexts of identity and self-discovery are deeply personal.
Every ambitious sci-fi film made since the s is, in some elementary way, about the genre itself. The Matrix takes its possibilities—as gee-whiz effects spectacle, allegory, secular mind-blower, escapist fantasy—and fashions them into a worldview. At its best, science fiction is a mirror. British grit from , with a rambunctious crew of hard men competing to drive dangerous loads along dangerous roads in as fast a time possible. It all takes place in believably downbeat locations, and the chase sequences - the final one in particular - are thrilling, thanks to the direction of blacklisted Hollywood exile Cy Endfield.
Read Empire's Hell Drivers review.
The title refers to the Buddhisst statue which, in a shocking act of vandalism, has its head sawn off by the minions of an evil businessman. The dedicated fight team were all prepared to take a pummelling for real. Read Empire's Ong-Bak review. The plot, involving the recovery of a stolen sword and a couple of pairs of lovers, might seem a little far fetched at times, and the subtitled dialogue a touch too stately, but the sheer scale of Crouching Tiger 's setting, cinematography and fight choreography will leave all but the most stone-hearted impressed.
Delicate, dialogue-heavy scenes are torn apart by Chow Yun-Fat , Michelle Yeoh and Zhang Ziyi as they blast up and over treetops, through the air, and into their enemies with such balletic grace you can scarcely believe your eyes. On the run - a journey including the spectacular set piece of Ford flinging himself down a storm drain - he has to deal with the formidable tenacity of pursuing agent Tommy Lee Jones.
Read Empire's The Fugitive review. The set-up has Swizzle as a bouncer at the seedy titular establishment, the Double Deuce.
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But his attempts to clean up the joint lead him into violent confrontation with local heavy Ben Gazzara and his goons. Along the way Swayze gets to do a spot more dirty dancing — this time with Kelly Lynch — and a modicum of throat ripping. Read Empire's Road House review. Arriving at the height of grunge it was also perfectly placed to ride the alt-rock wave, and did so without ever feeling like an embarrassing studio attempt to appeal to a yoot movement: The Crow rages to a soundtrack that still feels credible two decades later.
Read Empire's The Crow review. The thesis is that the Bunch are men out of time, left behind as the march of progress leaves them obsolete in the developing American West. Read Empire's The Wild Bunch review.
The biggest hit of the three, it also established Paul Greengrass as arguably the premier thriller director currently plying his trade. Read Empire's The Bourne Ultimatum review. Adding 37 percent more slow-mo to the decade, John Woo exploded out of Hong Kong action cinema and into the international spotlight with a run of badass crime flicks in which Chow Yun-Fat wasted ruthless gangsters in big jackets and there would often be doves.
Following A Better Tomorrow , Woo's pioneering use of gun-fu, a lucky charm in Yun-Fat and those doves all came together in the blazing church-set crescendo to this attention-grabbing maelstrom of Triad carnage. Nestled amid the awesome pyrotechnics are ageless themes of honour and redemption worthy of Woo's main influences, Martin Scorsese and Jean-Pierre Melville. Read Empire's The Killer review. Kirk Douglas was born in Mead is quaffed, buxom wenches are goosed, and the tone is Read Empire's The Vikings review.
The first of six seven if you include Once A Cop , but still the best of them: an exuberant outing for Jackie Chan at the height of his diminutive ass-kicking powers.persnomchese.tk
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But it all gets rather complicated by the fact that she has her own agenda. It all ends up with a massive rumble in a shopping mall. Pure slapstick action-comedy excellence. Read Empire's Police Story review. Of course, most stars of the silent era performed their own stunts, from the Keystone films of Mack Sennet, to Charlie Chaplin and, best of all, Buster Keaton.
But arguably the most famous image of the lot is Harold Lloyd hanging off a clock face at the climax to Safety Last. The long-shots of Lloyd climbing the building actually are of a double, but the mid-shots and close-ups are all Lloyd, as are the clock-dangle and all the dicking about on the top of the building — and it is genuinely the top of a building and not a studio mock-up. No strings attached, and he only had three fingers on his right hand.
Still vertiginously, viscerally thrilling, in a way CG could never achieve. Read Empire's Safety Last review.
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