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/

Pacific_rim_poster

 

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338 – Doomsday (2008)

spacetime coordinates: 2035 Glasgow // London doomsday posterDoomsday is a 2008 science fiction action horror film written and directed by Neil Marshall. The film takes place in the future in Scotland, which has been quarantined because of a deadly virus. doomsday mapgreg-staples-the-wallWhen the virus is found in London, political leaders send a team led by Major Eden Sinclair (Rhona Mitra) to Scotland to find a possible cure. Sinclair’s team runs into two types of survivors: marauders and medieval knights. Doomsday was conceived by Marshall based on the idea of futuristic soldiers facing medieval knights. doomsday poster 2The director intended Doomsday as a tribute to post-apocalyptic films from the 1970s and 1980s,  (Conception)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0483607/

314 – BioShock (2007 video game)

spacetime coordinates: 1960, the underwater city of Rapture

4997703-bioshock-wallpaperBioShock is a first-person shooter video game developed by 2K Boston (later Irrational Games) and 2K Australia, and published by 2K Games.bioshock propaganda 2

The game’s concept was developed by Irrational’s creative lead, Ken Levine, and incorporates ideas by 20th century dystopian and utopian thinkers such as Ayn RandGeorge Orwell, and Aldous Huxley, as well as historical figures such as John D. Rockefeller. The game is considered a spiritual successor to the System Shock series, on which many of Irrational’s team including Levine had worked previously.

BioShock is set in 1960. The player guides the protagonist, Jack, after his airplane crashes in the ocean near the bathysphere terminus that leads to the underwater city of Rapture. Built by the business magnate Andrew Ryan, the city was intended to be an isolated utopia, but the discovery of ADAM, a genetic material which can be used to grant superhuman powers, initiated the city’s turbulent decline. Jack tries to find a way to escape, fighting through hordes of ADAM-obsessed enemies, and the iconic, deadly Big Daddies, while engaging with the few sane humans that remain and eventually learning of Rapture’s past. The player, as Jack, is able to defeat foes in a number of ways by using weapons, utilizing plasmids that give unique powers, and by turning Rapture’s own defenses against them. BioShockincludes elements of role-playing games, giving the player different approaches in engaging enemies such as by stealth, as well as moral choices of saving or killing characters; additionally, the game and biopunk theme borrow concepts from the survival horror genre.

Bioshock Trailer

BioShock received critical acclaim and was particularly praised by critics for its morality-based storyline, immersive environments, and its unique setting, and is considered to be one of the greatest video games of all time and a demonstration of video game as an art form.

bioshock propaganda 1

pc requirements (MINIMUM): Operating System: Windows XP (with Service Pack 2) or Windows Vista. CPU: Intel single-core Pentium 4 processor at 2.4GHz. RAM: 1 GB, Video Card:Direct X 9.0c compliant video card with 128MB RAM and Pixel Shader 3.0 (NVIDIA 6600 or better/ATI X1300 or better, excluding ATI X1550)

309 – The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing (2013 video game)

The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing is an action role-playing video game developed by the Hungarian independent development studio NeocoreGames. Based on the novel Dracula by Bram Stoker, the game focuses on the trials of young Van Helsing, son of the legendary vampire hunter Abraham Van Helsing from the book. The game is set in a gothic-noir 19th-century Eastern Europe and contains “intentionally anachronistic humor and gadgetry”.2486193-the-incredible-adventures-of-van-helsing_pc_coversystem requirements (minimum): OS:Windows XP SP3, Windows 7, Windows 8. / Processor:Dual Core CPU 2.0 GHz. / Memory:2 GB RAM. / Graphics:GeForce 8800, Radeon HD4000, Intel HD4000 (min. 512 MB VRAM) / DirectX®:9.0c. / Hard Drive:20 GB HD space. / Sound:DirectX 9.0c compatible sound card.

REVIEW

138 – The Time Machine (2002)

spacetime coordinates: New York City 1899 – 2030 – 2037 – 802,701 – 635,427,810

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The Time Machine is a 2002 American science fiction film loosely adapted from the 1895 novel of the same name by H. G. Wells and the screenplay of the 1960 film of the same name by David Duncan. Arnold Leibovit served as executive producer and Simon Wells served as director, the great-grandson of the original author. The film stars Guy Pearce, Jeremy Irons, Orlando Jones, Samantha Mumba, Mark Addy, Sienna Guillory and Phyllida Law, and includes a cameo by Alan Young, who also appeared in the 1960 film adaptation. The film is set in New York City instead of London, and contains new story elements not present in the original novel, including a romantic backstory, a new scenario about how civilization was destroyed, and several new characters, such as an artificially intelligent hologram played by Orlando Jones, and a Morlock leader played by Jeremy Irons. The film’s recreation of New York at the turn of the century won it some praise.

time machine model

Many of the time traveling scenes were entirely computer generated, including a 33-second shot in the workshop where the time machine is located. The camera pulls out, traveling through New York City and then into space, past the ISS, and ends with a space plane landing at the moon to reveal earth’s future lunar colonies. Plants and buildings are shown springing up and then being replaced by new growth in a constant cycle. In later shots, the effects team used an erosion algorithm to digitally simulate the Earth’s landscape changing through the centuries.

imdb   wikipedia

090 – Avril et le monde truqué (2015)

spacetime coordinates: 1941 Paris, Fort-la-LatteFrench Empire

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April and the Extraordinary World is a 2015 French-Belgian-Canadian animated science fiction adventure film co-directed by Christian Desmares and Franck Ekinci, co-written by Ekinci and Benjamin Legrand, and starring Marion Cotillard. It depicts an alternate steampunk world with a visual style based on the work of French comics artist Jacques Tardi often credited solely as Tardi.

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imdb