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Sci-fi

Realive (2016)

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Marc is diagnosed with a disease and is given one year left to live. Unable to accept his own end, he decides to freeze his body. Sixty years later, in the year 2084, he becomes the first man to be revived in history. It is then he discovers that the love of his life, Naomi, has accompanied him this entire time in a way that he’d never expected.

Genre : SF
Country : Belgium/Spain/France

Cast :
Tom Hughes : Marc
Oona Chaplin : Naomi
Charlotte Le Bon : Elizabeth

Director :
Mateo Gil

My opinion on “Realive”

“Imagine you were born totally aware and conscious of everything around you.
Conscious you were coming out of someone else’s body.
Joined to it by a bloody cord that you are completely covered in blood.
Conscious of the dry air entering your lungs for the first time.
The sharp sounds in your ears.
The blinding light in your eyes.
Conscious that your bones are unbearably soft and your life is so fragile it could disappear at any moment.
That’s what being resurrected is like.”

Perhaps the initial idea of Marc Jarvis (Tom Hughes) wasn’t so bad. The moment he hears he’s terminally ill and only has a few months to live, he decides to get himself cryogenically preserved. In other words, he’ll turn into a popsicle. Not forever. Only until the medical world is capable to heal him from his disease, after which he can lead a healthy life again. A great idea but with one disadvantage. And that’s something Marc is going to find out afterwards. The downside is that you leave your loved ones behind as well. And it might be that the spirit of the age has changed drastically. Physically, you may be in first-class condition, but the mental state might be a problem.

Lucky in love, no luck with health.

Realive” is a grade-A SF with its “Oblivion“-like interiors and appearance. At the same time, it also raises a deep-philosophical topic about eternal life and postponing death. It’s not a futuristic machine like in “Elysium” that fixes imperfections and medical problems. It’s the evolution of medical technologies which makes it possible to perform medical interventions in an adequate way. But as the movie progresses, you notice that the movie contains a sophisticated romantic story as well. A story about a complicated relationship in which an eternal love is hidden. Marc and Naomi (Oona Chaplin) are having an on-again, off-again relationship for years now. And just as they come to the conclusion that they are made for each other, a deadly disease is the party pooper. From then on they know there’s no future for them as a happy, elderly couple.

Realive

Wakey wakey, sleeping beauty!

The film is fascinating enough but also extremely slow. Most of the film takes place in a clinically white, state-of-the-art facility where Marc awakens from his cryogenetic sleep. Not that he’s physically the same as in the past, because a lot of his body is being reconstructed with cloned bones, muscles and nerves. Only his brains and some vital organs are retained. He’s also connected to a high-tech device using a kind of umbilical cord. His new mechanical mother so to say. And thanks to the “Mind writer” he’s able to save parts of his memories. So be prepared to see a lot of flashbacks about his youth and the chaotic relationship with Naomi.

Realive

Romeo and Julia meets Frankenstein!

Ultimately, you can say this movie is a modern “Romeo and Julia meets Frankenstein”. A film that deals with eternal love and the resurrection of a comatose person. I recently saw “The Lazarus effect” which had a kind of identical subject. Only the imaging of future medical techniques and treatments are created in a very convincing and realistic way. Unfortunately for Marc, emotional relationship between individuals in this futuristic world isn’t the same anymore. Eroticism and love are banished to foolish workgroups and are seen as something banal and unnecessary. I’m sure he didn’t expect that to happen. Both the outstanding performances of Tom Hughes and Charlotte Le Bon as caring nurse Elizabeth, as the philosophical moral, make “Realive” an engaging and emotional film at the same time. Maybe it’s indeed better for an individual’s existence to be limited to one particular era. Physiological issues can be circumvented and improved. It’s the mental state that can cause problems. So don’t expect a happy end in this movie.

My rating 7/10
Links : IMDB

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Crime

In the Shadow of the Moon: You Get That Feeling That You’ve Seen It All Before

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If you kill me now…
the world as you know it will end
in a very short time.

Yeah. Once again a movie about time traveling. Always interesting to see how they incorporated the paradox of time travel. And there’s always going to be someone who claims something isn’t right. Not that I really care about that because I still don’t know anyone who has actually traveled through time to provide proof whether changes in the past may or may not affect the future. Perhaps that would provide proof of whether the grandfather paradox is plausible or not. So, for me, it’s still pure Sci-Fi. And that results in enjoyable films such as “About Time“, “I’ll follow you down” or “Predestination“. And this Netflix Original certainly wasn’t that bad either.

 

In the Shadow of the Moon

 

Not a complicated movie.

This film differs enormously from one like “Predestination“. And this in terms of simplicity. It’s not all that complicated. Don’t expect such an immense “mindfuck” as in the latter. You don’t need an immense manual or walk-through here. And furthermore, it’s a pleasant mixture of detective-movie and Sci-Fi. The tracing of a serial killer (active in Philadelphia) by the ambitious police officer Locke (Boyd Holbrook) is the common thread throughout the film. The apparently randomly selected innocent victims, die a terrible death in which decomposing brains are the cause of the sudden death. Locke discovers that all the victims have scars in the neck area. Soon it’s said that an isotope is the cause of them ending up dead in a rapidly spreading blood pool. And when a fourth victim manages to give an accurate description of the person, a massive search is being conducted. Locke ends up face to face with a young, colored teenager (with a thorough knowledge of combat techniques) in a blue jogging suit (Cleopatra Coleman). The biggest shock for Locke is that she knows a lot of facts about Locke. Facts she couldn’t have known. And before you know it, it’s 9 years later …

 

In the Shadow of the Moon

 

Not a typical detective story.

The film is divided into time periods of 9 years. Starting in the year 1988. The year that the first murders happen. It’s actually the most action-rich part. And also the most realistic. The way in which a cook, concert pianist and female bus driver meet their end, has been portrayed enormously realistic. Don’t expect an ordinary cause of death. It’s pretty bloody. And in the case of the bus driver, quite spectacular. But when the phenomenon of the returning teenager reveals itself and you finally begin to understand what’s going on, realism slowly but surely fades away and gives way to pure fiction. And gradually you realize that this isn’t a typical detective film, with inspectors (like in “Se7en“) chasing a crazy serial killer. No way. It gradually transforms into a thoughtful sci-fi and then ends in a corny drama about family issues.

 

In the Shadow of the Moon

 

Excellent acting by Holbrook.

To be honest, I thought the acting performance of Boyd Holbrook as the wayward Locke wasn’t bad at all. Perseverance and drivenness were exceptionally well portrayed. Because of his obsession to solve the mystery, he loses control of reality. It destroys his family relationships and interferes with his work. Gradually Locke turns into an unkempt tramp, without work and living in his car. Therefore, let me praise the make-up department of this production. And although Holbrook’s acting was outstanding, you can’t say he out-sings the rest of the cast. They weren’t bad, but you can’t speak of spectacular interpretations either. Only the action-rich fight scenes with Cleopatra Coleman as an unleashed fury pleased me as well.

 

In the Shadow of the Moon

 

Well worth a watch.

No, “In the shadow of the Moon” certainly wasn’t a disastrous film. Although the story was essentially not too original. And you get that feeling that you’ve seen it all before. Probably because of that, the denouement wasn’t really surprising. Perhaps the opening scene was too revealing as well. The question of whether you can avoid disaster by drastically changing something in the past is and remains fascinating. I bet that the event they tried to undo, will be the subject of discussion once again. Just look at the politically charged opinions on other websites. Even the word “propaganda” is used all too often. The patronizing tone and the explanatory nature of the film was no obstacle for me to enjoy this film. Don’t expect a groundbreaking movie. But it surely was entertaining enough. So, it’s definitely well worth a watch, this Netflix Original.

You can watch “In the Shadow of the Moon”  on Netflix now!

 

My rating 6.5/10
Links: IMDB

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Action

Alita : Battle Angel – Fast Paced Action-Rich Combat Scenes

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While I’m learning name, do you have one for me?
Alita.
It’s a nice name.
I love it!

I was really looking forward to this movie “Alita: Battle Angel“. A cyber-punk setting and unparalleled computerized images that are perfectly injected into a real-life environment. Of course, you know Alita (Rosa Salazar) is the result of a hard-working graphic designer who has been sweating for hours behind his computer screen to project a graphic shell onto a real-life person. However, it didn’t bother me. Alita seemed like a lifelike person. Even though she had those unnatural large Bambi eyes. I admit that at the beginning, my eyes always wandered down to her derriere to see if there was such a sweet little wagging tail. But eventually, how strange it might sound, I thought the end result was quite meager. Poor in terms of atmosphere and narrative.

 

Alita : Battle Angel

Cheesy father-daughter story.

Maybe my expectations were a little too high. Or was it the cheesiness of the father-daughter story? There’s the all-consuming grief after the loss of a daughter. A search for a surrogate daughter to appease this sorrow. And that causes Dr. Dyson Ido (Christoph Waltz) scouring the dump of Zalem (the last air city that immediately reminded me of the movie “Elysium“) for discarded cyborg parts, so he could construct Alita. He’s a kind of Frankenstein. But this time using non-human parts.

 

Alita : Battle Angel

 

Oh no. The romantic part.

Or maybe it was the romantic part. The last thing I needed. Really. The moment Hugo (Keean Johnson) came into the picture, I already knew that this rebel-looking hunk would make a romantic connection with this artificial being. And I really didn’t feel like witnessing romantic frivolities that make young teenage girls float. The only thing you aren’t sure about is the outcome. A happy ending? Or a catastrophic one?

 

Alita : Battle Angel

 

The visuals are tremendous.

The only thing I regretted afterward, was that I hadn’t seen it on the silver screen. Probably it will all have been bigger and more impressive. Because frankly, the visuals are really amazing so to call (Not so hard when you see the budget they had). Great eye for details. A city that looks like a run-down anthill where metallic constructions stand next to remnants of the past. And a whole bunch of futuristic technologies and vehicles.

 

Alita : Battle Angel

 

Past-paced, action-rich combat scenes.

And also, the action-rich combat scenes look great actually. Swirling images in slow motion and impressive choreography you might say. Especially the fight in the bar with Zapan (EdThe transporter refueledSkrein), the skirmish in an alley after she followed Ido and the underground fight with Grewishka (Jackie Earle Haley) appealed to my imagination. And finally, there are also the Motorball competitions. Action-packed, fast-paced and mouth-wateringly brought into the picture. It immediately reminded me of the old film “Rollerball” from 1975.

 

Alita : Battle Angel

 

Impressive visuals, poor story.

But despite all the graphic power and hard action, I found it overall disappointing and moderate. Even though the fighting was extremely solid in terms of views, it was too safe and colored inside the lines. Perhaps because they were aiming at a young audience. But most of all I missed a solid and clear story. The so-called Great War was mentioned, but they didn’t do much more with it. The flying cities were also a complete mystery to me. There was no explanation. Beware, I had the same thing with “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets“. Also, a visually overwhelming film where the story is difficult to understand. This last film is also based on a comic, just like “Alita“. I can imagine that fans of these comics can empathize better with the story. But my biggest annoyance was that at the end I realized that I had watched a lengthy intro to the sequel that is probably already on the table at Twentieth Century Fox. And I hate sequels. Good advice Fox. Provide the continuation with a touch of humor, because that was missing too here.
Conclusion: a film that looks magnificent with a not so impressive story.

 

My rating 5/10
Links: IMDB

 

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Action

Finally Official – ‘Matrix 4’ Is On The Way With Original Cast

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“Lana is a true visionary, a singular and original creative filmmaker”

This time it’s for real! This is not a drill “Matrix” fans. Warner Bros. Picture Group chairman Toby Emmerich has confirmed, the computer generated world of ‘The Matrix’ will be returning to the big screen. The original cast will be reprising their roles, while Lana Wachowski will be sharing co-writing duties with Aleksander Hemon and David Mitchell. Lana will also be directing the future installment, with no word as of yet if her sister Lilly Wachowski will sign on. But chances are, that may change once things get further underway. Toby Emmerich released an official statement on the project, here’s what he had to say:

“We could not be more excited to be re-entering ‘The Matrix’ with Lana. Lana is a true visionary, a singular and original creative filmmaker, and we are thrilled that she is writing, directing and producing this new chapter in ‘The Matrix’ universe.”

Though Plot details haven’t been worked out. Lana Wachowski shed some light as to the direction we can expect:

“Many of the ideas Lilly and I explored 20 years ago about our reality are even more relevant now. I’m very happy to have these characters back in my life and grateful for another chance to work with my brilliant friends.”

Keanu Reeves is set to return as Neo with Carrie-Anne Moss reprising her role as the infamous computer hacker, Trinity. How this will all work has yet to be revealed, considering both characters met their demise at the end of the current trilogy. There’s is also no word yet on whether  Laurence Fishbourne will return as the rebellion  leader, Morpheus.

Production is set to begin 2020

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