Tag Archives: Matrix

Baldr Force EXE Resolution (Not the Video Game)

In this quick little 4 episode OVA, I was blown away by the breadth of this show that took a mere 2 hours to explore. And this is coming from an OVA that was based on a video game! With a beginning, middle, and complete end, this show summarizes (or does it?) or gives a complete new angle to a game I’d really like to play now.

So, Baldr Force EXE Resolution. It’s the story of Toru Soma, an ex-hacker turned good guy cop. He does this for his own motivations in order to catch his protege’s killer, located inside the police force. What he encounters is more than he could have possibly imagined. With

Pretty dec, right?

a past unfolding and new friends becoming enemies, Toru is forced to redefine what he considers real.

Despite the brevity of this show, I still consider it worth watching. It may move much quicker than most anime, but it performs well as a mecha/psychological thriller. Some characters perform well as side characters and need not be fleshed out, but others shine in their key roles that unfurl the story of the internet servers and what’s been menacingly destroying them.

Relying too much on that Fbook, right?

What I find most interesting about this show is its commentary on the interdependency of actual life events with what happens online. The two become so intertwined that it does sort of beg the quesiton, what is reality? Hate to say it, but in an almost Inception-esque way, this OVA suggests that people these days may rely too heavily on technology to get through life. (Hence, I should shut down my internet use and no longer give you my baller ideas on all things entertainment.)  Pretty smart thinking from a Windows/Dreamcast game made way back in 2003.

But I digress. I rather enjoyed the 3-D animation of the Simulacrums that people used to maneuver around the internet, and it really spoke to a mecha audience instead of a fake reality spin in which we as humans walk around on the internet. I like the consequence that was created, like in the Matrix (if you die in here, you die for real shizz) and it was a perfect balance of plot and action sequences.

What madness is going on here?

All-in-all, just check this little mecha OVA out and see if it stacks up against the computer game. If it does, let me know, I’d love to check it out for myself. I’ll give this Matrix/Inception/thriller mecha a 7.9 out of 10.

Advertisements

Kung Pow: Enter the Fist. Kung Fu Movie Spoof at its Finest

So I found and watched this movie a long time ago (Wow, 8 years?) and I loved it. It spoke to my inner 13 year old and the absurd potty humor this movie promotes. Being a big fan of hilarious overdubbing in films, who wouldn’t like a spoofed 70’s Kung Fu film about something absurd like battling a bad guy in league with aliens? It’s the perfect twist to an already absurd movie. Steve Oedekerk brings another funny movie to light that didn’t get the recognition it deserved. Time to give it a little now.

So the Chosen One (Steve Oedekerk) was attacked as a 3-D animated child and barely survived by rolling down a hill. His

I need gopher-chucks!

nemesis Master Pain (Leo Lee/Fei Lung) killed his family with his claws of doom and intended to kill him, but the Chosen One escaped with his skills of peeing in other people’s faces. Growing up on the ways of Kung Fu, the Chosen One grows to punch people into oblivion and use gopher-chucks. With these skills in hand, the Chosen One happens upon Master Tang (Hui Lou Chen) and begins his path in destroying Betty, his newly named nemesis and all those who fight for his cause of evil.

Steve Oedekerk brings a new kind of film (okay, 9 years old) to the mix of what is/was a growing industry of spoof movies. This unknown archived film, Tiger and Crane Fist (aka Savage Killers), was completely dubbed, to a hilarious degree. Placing himself in the film, Oedekerk interacts with the characters of the past and creates hilarious situations out of nothing. Not an easy feat, every scene has some hilarious little twist. I mean, come on, Ling (Ling-ling Hsieh) with the Wee-Ooo Wee-Ooo noise? Miss Piggy is always funny. And Wimp Lo (Chia Yung Liu) with his squeaky clown shoes and lack of fighting skill? Perfect.

Ahh the cow battle. Absurdity at its finest.

With the combo of other fighting spoof scenes (Matrix cow fight) and characters with only one chesticle, there’s nothing wrong with this movie. With only a few long drawn out jokes, this movie performs on the level of an American version of Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Not saying they completely equate, but they have the same feel. The lip dubbing is hilarious (not a lip-flap match) but funny nonetheless. With the guys training like pros in the yard, their fighting chants ring out with the sounds of genius. It’s a great little movie for those who are younger with elements for those who are older. Steve Oedekerk has done good things in the past (including the Thumb Wars series and various other spoof films) including a bunch of writing for decently funny cartoons like Jimmy Neutron and Back at the Barnyard, this is a good example of something that was entirely Oedekerk’s project. The only thing that rivals this would be all the work that Oedekerk did on Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls. Now that’s gold. So I would give this movie a dec rating. 6.7 out of 10.


Collateral (2004)

So last night as I was sitting in my dorm room I thought, “What would be a great movie to watch right now? Something I could review?” And then one word popped into my head. Collateral. This movie is entertaining in a fast-paced, don’t know what’s gonna happen type way, fused with a great plot, characters, and look. I first saw this movie 6 years ago and was blown away by it. I watched it 4 times in a week. It was a movie I hadn’t seen in a while. It was gritty. It was the life of L.A. at night. It was unique.

So, Max Durocher (Jamie Foxx) is a taxi cab driver. He works the night shift, more relaxed, better tips, we all know that deal. One day a man named Vincent (Tom Cruise) steps into in taxi and his whole world is changed as he’s taken on a hit spree throughout the burroughs of L.A. As the story unfolds, we find out exactly why Vincent is killing at seemingly random, and we accompany Max on this death-filled ride and we live/die with him. The endings great, definitely worth the watch.

There are a lot of great scenes in this movie, a lot of interesting feels to each hit that Vincent does. You have the ghetto-style hit, the businessman hit, the jazz hit (hilariously and well played) and even the club scene hit. (I hope that’s not giving too much away…) Every murder comes with a different feel to L.A. and creates a real atmosphere for what one city can offer. At every twist and turn, you wonder who’s going to live and die, it’s never certain. And as you go along, unlike most movies, you get development with the action and thrills that gives you emotional stock in the characters.

What I loved is the script of this movie. The rapport between Tom Cruise and Jamie Foxx is ridiculously entertaining, witty, and quite thought provoking in its intensity. Max and Vincent, in a weird way, develop a friendship that doesn’t seem to break until the very end, although it may have started out driver/assassin and transformed into kidnapper/hostage. Although I’m sure most situations such as this wouldn’t develop into a long-standing story, this one instance still feels as if it had the capability to occur. And it stands alone as an experience that none would ever forget.

The acting in this movie is quite phenomenal. You don’t necessarily get a feel that you’re watching actors in this situation, but more that these are real cops and thugs going about business as usual. Yes, Tom Cruise is the odd man out in this situation. Hired assassin. Although the salt and pepper hair look is quite good for Tom, you get the feel he’s out of place, although that works perfectly for his character. Jamie Foxx is quite good, but doesn’t give the real feel of a cabbie for me. Granted, I’ve only been in taxis in New York, but I feel that the cool grooves, Marvin Gaye style Jamie portrays in this movie is a bit off. Jada Pinkett-Smith is fantastic as always (one of my favorite actresses. I mean come on. Niobe. Matrix. Ridiculous.) as no nonsense lawyer. Mark Ruffalo, another of my favorite actors, plays a street cop that is always for justice, a kind of character I’m always for. Peter Berg makes a nice little appearance along with Bruce McGill who play cops alongside Ruffalo. Even Javier Bardem makes a great appearance, almost unrecognizable as Felix, the drug running boss. He has a great speech and plays his part amazingly well. Another little fun cameo comes from Jason Statham at the beginning of the movie in the airport scene where he passes off a brief case to Cruise, solidifying Cruise as a badass action star. (I mean, come on, Mission Impossible, Minority Report, Rain Man.)

Overall, the feel of this movie is great. The gritty, wobbly shooting style, mixed with the incredible night scenes give a great late night business/seedy underbelly feel to the film. Although they may give street names and locations to the film, you don’t feel lost or out of the loop as the action progresses. Michael Mann is a fantastic director/producer/writer, and Collateral is no exception. His last three movies, Miami Vice, Collateral, and Public Enemies, all have a conventional gangster style to them that really draws in audiences. (Although I wasn’t a big fan of Public Enemies. Not shot right. Not well recorded.) With this cast and crew, combined with an amazing story, this movie is sure to entertain and give you a feeling of the unexpected of what life brings. 8.7 out of 10.