345 – Pacific Rim (2013)

spacetime coordinates: 2020 – 2025 Alaska // Hong Kong // Manila // San Francisco // Pacific Ocean //  Tokyopacific_rim_coverPacific Rim is a 2013 American science fiction monster film directed by Guillermo del Toro and starring Charlie HunnamIdris ElbaRinko KikuchiCharlie DayBurn GormanRobert KazinskyMax Martini, and Ron Perlman. The screenplay was written by Travis Beacham and del Toro from a story by Beacham.Pacific-Rim-Quad-PosterPacificRim_DOM_RGB_3200x1600.inddThe film is set in the future, when Earth is at war with the Kaiju,  colossal sea monsters which have emerged from an interdimensional portal on the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. To combat the monsters, humanity unites to create the Jaegers,  gigantic humanoid mechas each controlled by at least two pilots, whose minds are joined by a mental link. Focusing on the war’s later days, the story follows Raleigh Becket, a washed-up Jaeger pilot called out of retirement and teamed with rookie pilot Mako Mori as part of a last-ditch effort to defeat the Kaiju.

Knifehead, the first Kaiju to appear in the film, is a tribute to the plodding kaiju of 1960s Japanese films, and is intended to look almost like a man in a rubber suit; its head was inspired by that of a goblin shark. Leatherback, the bouncer-like Kaiju which spews electro-magnetic charges, is a favorite of del Toro, who conceived it as a “brawler with this sort of beer belly”; the lumbering movements of gorillas were used as a reference.  The Kaiju Otachi homages the dragons of Chinese mythology. The director called it a “Swiss army knife of a Kaiju”; with almost 20 minutes of screen time, it was given numerous features so the audience would not tire of it. The creature moves like a Komodo dragon in water, sports multiple jaws and an acid-filled neck sack, and unfurls wings when necessary. It is also more intelligent than the other Kaiju, employing eagle-inspired strategies against the Jaegers.  Onibaba, the Kaiju that orphans Mako Mori, resembles a fusion of a Japanese temple and a crustacean. Slattern, the largest Kaiju, is distinguished by its extremely long neck and “half-horn, half-crown” head, which del Toro considered both demonic and majestic. 

Gipsy Danger, the American Jaeger, was based on the shape of New York City’s Art Deco buildings, such as the Chrysler Building and the Empire State Building, but infused with John Wayne‘s gunslinger gait and hip movements. Cherno Alpha, the Russian Jaeger, was based on the shape and paint patterns of a T-series Russian tank, combined with a giant containment silo to give the appearance of a walking nuclear power plant with a cooling tower on its head. Crimson Typhoon, the three-armed Chinese Jaeger, is piloted by triplets and resembles a “medieval little warrior”; its texture evokes Chinese lacquered wood with golden edges. Striker Eureka, the Australian Jaeger, is likened by del Toro to a Land Rover; the most elegant and masculine Jaeger, it has a jutting chest, a camouflage paint scheme recalling the Australian outback, and the bravado of its pilots.

Rather than popular culture, the director drew inspiration from works of art such as The Colossus and George Bellows‘s boxing paintings.

The classic Japanese woodblock print  The Great Wave off Kanagawa by Hokusai was a common motif in the ocean battles; Del Toro recalled, “I would say ‘Give me a Hokusai wave’… we use the waves and weather in the movie very operatically.”  The director asked that Knoll not necessarily match the lighting from shot to shot: “It’s pretty unorthodox to do that, but I think the results are really beautiful and very artistically free and powerful, not something you would associate with a big sci-fi action movie.” Del Toro considers the film’s digital water its most exciting visual effect: “The water dynamics in this movie are technically beautiful, but also artistically incredibly expressive. We agreed on making the water become almost another character. We would time the water very precisely. I’d say ‘Get out of the wave [on this frame].'”

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pacific_Rim_(film)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1663662/

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339 – Renaissance (2006)

spacetime coordinates: 2054, Paris renaissance_poster_3_by_eignaRenaissance, also known as Paris 2054: Renaissance, is a 2006 animated tech noir science fiction film. The movie, which was co-produced in France, United Kingdom and Luxembourg, was directed by Christian Volckman.renaissance 1renaissance 2RenaissanceRenaissance_8Renaissance uses a style of motion capture animation in which almost all images are exclusively black-and-white; only occasional colour is used for detail. The film concerns a French policeman investigating the kidnapping of a scientist who may hold the key to eternal life in a futuristic and slightly dystopian Paris.-renaissancemovieposterbyverileah

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0386741/

271 – Tron (2010)

tron7001Tron: Legacy is a 2010 American science fiction action film directed by Joseph Kosinski from a screenplay written by Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis, based on a story by Horowitz, Kitsis, Brian Klugman and Lee Sternthal. It is a sequel to the 1982 film Tron, whose director Steven Lisberger returned to produce. The cast includes Jeff Bridges and Bruce Boxleitner reprising their roles as Kevin Flynn and Alan Bradley, respectively, as well as Garrett HedlundOlivia WildeBeau Garrett and Michael Sheen.

Trn_poster_vehicle_recognizertron__legacy_poster_concept_by_michaelkutsche-d8zccsytron_daft_punktron-legacy-neweditionThe story follows Flynn’s son Sam, who responds to a message from his long-lost father and is transported into a virtual reality called the Grid, where Sam, his father and the algorithm Quorra, must stop the malevolent program Clu from invading the human world.

Design

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1104001/

166 – Ghost in the Shell (2017)

spacetime coordinates: Hong Kong-inspired near future

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based on the Japanese manga of the same name by Masamune Shirow.  Set in a near future when the line between humans and robots is blurring, the plot follows the Major (Scarlett Johansson), a cyborg super soldier who yearns to learn her past.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghost_in_the_Shell_(2017_film)#Casting_criticism

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyberpunk_derivatives#Postcyberpunk

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1219827/

 

023 – Immortel (ad vitam) 2004

spacetime coordinate: New York City, 2095

Immortel, ad vitam 6

Immortal (French: Immortel, ad vitam) is a 2004 English language French live-action and animated science fiction film co-written and directed by Enki Bilal and starring Linda Hardy, Thomas Kretschmann and Charlotte Rampling. It is loosely based upon Bilal’s comic book La Foire aux immortels (The Carnival of Immortals).

Immortal was one of the first major films (along with Casshern and Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow) to be shot entirely on a “digital backlot“, blending live actors with computer generated surroundings. The French video game studio Quantic Dream helped produce much of the cinematics.

The film takes place in New York City in the year 2095 where genetically altered humans live side by side with unaltered men and women, and where Central Park has been mysteriously encased in an “intrusion zone” where people who attempt to enter are instantly killed. A strange pyramid has appeared over the city; inside, the gods of ancient Egypt have judged Horus, one of their fellow gods, to cease his immortality.

In the city below, Jill, a young woman with blue hair is arrested…

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