Yesterday I was supposed to be attending a preview of Looper, which I was looking forward to as I’m a huge fan of Rian Johnsons first film Brick (2005). But thanks to some fucktard interfering with my shit last night and costing me two days worth of meals I spent the evening in such a red haze that I totally forgot I had a ticket to the showing. So that’s two things I’m holding this dickleberry responsible for. Now I’m going to have to slope off to the cinema on my lonesome this weekend like the true geek that I am. So instead of writing about Looper as I had planned; I bring you Gyo Tokyo Fish Attack (2012).
I found this by accident last weekend, while I was walking through the supermarket buying the food that was destined to be ruined, initially the gaudy cover caught my eye and despite myself I had to have a look. At first I thought it was one of those Sharktopus vs something or another films, but after a closer look the cogs slowly started to turn; and I realised what I had was to awesome to comprehend. This is an anime of Gyo one of my favourite horror comics, by one of my favourite artists/authors; Junji Ito. I love it when they make films out of other stuff, Games, Comics, etc.
Junji Ito’s true masterpiece in my mind is Uzumaki; a series about a strange town in Japan where spirals take over, not a spiral monster, spirals the shape! So straight off get ready to expect the unusual from Gyo.
Gyo is about an army of dead fish with strange metal legs grafted on to them that suddenly start to invade Japan. These range from tiddlers to sharks and even a blue whale! Btw we later learn these fish are animated by the death stench, a sentient odour emanating from their rotting corpses. So yeah messed up.
The film kicks off with three friends holidaying in Okinawa when the spindle legged fish start to invade the land. Realising that the fish are heading to Tokyo Kaori and a reporter she meets head off to Tokyo to find her fiancé, who just so happens to have a famous scientist uncle that would be useful for the reporter to meet. What follows is best described as a post apocalyptic disaster movie, seen through the eyes of these five characters, as slowly one by one they fall victim to the fish, becoming infected with the same disease that afflicts the fish, and themselves ending up riding around on the walking leg devices.
In Japan a comic is given a limited number of pages in a larger monthly or weekly magazine, meaning that they are published in chapters. In order to keep the audiences attention these chapters need to be almost contained stories in themselves. And this shows in Gyo the film feels like a collection of vignettes, particularly the downright bizarre sequence featuring a circus tent in the middle of Tokyo. Having said that there is a definite larger story that does move forward around these smaller events, because after all that’s the way that the source material was organised.
The episodic nature of Gyo’s structure doesn’t damage the film because Gyo is about spectacle; you journey from one what-the-fuck moment to another, never really getting attached to any of the films characters. In fact I would say overall there are only really two of the five protagonists that you ever really get to care for. The characters are there because ultimately; this messed up shit has to happen to somebody! Personally I loved this film and not just because I’m a fan of Ito, if anything that would make me judge this more harshly. So I say sit down and get ready because shits going to get weird.
If your not in the mood for Junji Ito’s distinct brand of madness then I’m sorry to hear that; because he’s such a unique voice that the only other film I could suggest you watch in this films place is Uzumaki (2000) the live action adaptation of Ito’s masterpiece. Which is as previously mentioned also batshit crazy.
Stomm it’s Judge Drokking Dredd he doesn’t have a Cod piece and he keeps his Helmet on!!! I’ve been waiting for this ever since that Stallone travesty was forced on us in 1995, Rob Fucking Schneider seriously. But hey-ho lets forget that shit.
Dredd opens with a magnificent travelling shot that takes us through the cursed earth; the radioactive wasteland that covers most of the earth and into Mega City One, home to eight hundred Million people, one of the last bastions of mankind, and notorious shit hole. Mega City One as it’s presented in this film is interestingly low tech, it’s quite a departure from the city we find in the Stallone movie and comics. In Dredd Mega City One is an odd mix of shanty towns, slums, and the eponymous Mega Blocks, huge buildings that act as small cities in themselves.
Rather than describing it as a science fiction dystopia I‘m more inclined to attribute it to being an alternative view of the present; only a present in which the cold war resulted in Nuclear war. The most advanced piece of tech that we see in the whole film is the Judges Lawgiver gun and a character with bionic eye implants. Other than that there are no flying cars, lasers or robots, and it works, because the whole thing with this movie is that it’s been stripped down to its bare bones. It’s not epic, it’s not grandiose, its two judges fighting to survive against the odds. It’s an action film pure and simple.
Judge Dredd and Judge Anderson find themselves trapped in the Peach Tree’s Mega Block where most of the inhabitants are criminals out for their blood, while they in turn hunt down Ma-ma the ex hooker, gang leader, and drugs Kingpin that lives on the top floor. Yeah it’s just like The Raid (2011) only it’s not enough like The Raid! Don’t get me wrong I liked Dredd but when it finished I couldn’t help but feel like it lacked something, and having since watched other action films I’ve realised that it lacks punch, yeah it’s gory, explody, and shooty but none of it seems immediate it’s all a bit passive; like we are watching the action from a distance. A good action film puts you in the centre of a scrap. This just doesn’t have that emotional high that comes with a good action film. I’m a little disappointed but there is talk of this becoming a trilogy so here’s looking forward to the next two. It’s good and definitely worth a watch but it could have been better, if you want to watch something a bit more emotionally intensive then I suggest you sit down and enjoy The Raid.
Warning; Don’t read this if you Don’t want Dark Knight Ruining for you!!!
This one isn’t for those of you out there who always look on the bright side; this one is for the pessimists. So I’ll just come out with it, Christopher Nolan Kills Batman! Now I hear the optimists amongst you say ‘That’s bullshit because we see Bruce Wayne nomming Breakfast in Alfred’s favourite holiday Café with the slinky Miss Kyle’, but no we don’t, this never happened; it’s a dream. Normally I would be able to spout off about how Bruce Wayne would never quit being Batman as long as he is alive. It is often stated in the comic books as it is with Superman, that Batman is not the alter ego. Kal El (Superman) Disguises himself as the pussyfied reporter Clark Kent, Batman disguises himself as the dick head Billionaire playboy Bruce Wayne, the super hero personality is the dominant one. With superman it’s a given he’s an alien hiding amongst humans, with Batman it’s a little bit more difficult to quantify, but it basically comes down to this. Since he was a small child Bruce has obsessed over avenging his parents death by fighting crime, his formative years were spent with the same obsession that has driven him in his adult years he essentially became Batman the day his parents died, a being who exists to take vengeance against all crime.
But Nolan pretty much throws that idea out of the window with Dark Knight Rises and instead has a reclusive Bruce Wayne hiding in his big house for the last eight years, no longer kicking ass and hanging upside down from shit. Don’t get me started on how wrong this is especially as all it takes to get Bruce back in the suit after eight years is a leg brace. This obviously means he was still training, and still keeping himself in shape. The film states that he stopped because of a combination of Gotham being cleaned up and Rachael’s death. I’ll leave the notion that Gotham’s been cleaned up alone because it’s so ridiculous to think of an entire city being crime free that I can’t bring myself to acknowledge that particular piece of asshatery. So let’s stick to Rachael’s death. The entire reason Bruce became Batman was to avenge the deaths of the innocent, in this case mama and poppa Wayne. So what we have here is Batman quitting being Batman for the exact same reason he chose to be Batman; the death of a loved one……Bullshit!
So maybe I could try a different tactic and pursue the trail of rationality. So first some Maths so i found a link to a site that will help me work out the distance of the Horizon (a quick google search)
This is important as we saw Batman fly over the horizon carrying a nuclear bomb. Now Batman had a very limited amount of time to get that bomb as far away as possible. He wouldn’t have been able to hop out of The Bat leaving it on Auto-pilot until after he passed the 16km Horizon threshold lest he be seen doing so. The explosion from Hiroshima was 1.6Km in width with damage and fires happening 4.4km away, I’m presuming the Gotham explosion to be much bigger as this was a cutting edge reactor. He would have roughly needed to be at least 30km away probably more just for the explosion to not do any damage to Gotham, all this against a very small time limit. So how fast is that Bat plane? Because even if he did try to be smart and eject before the bomb went off there’s no way he would have been clear of the blast unless the Bat was travelling supersonic, and the Bat is basically a helicopter, last time I checked no one had broken the sound barrier in a helicopter. So at best Bruce would have been disintegrated in a fiery nuclear inferno, at worst he would have been irradiated to fuck and died slowly and painfully. Then again maybe I’m giving Nolan’s attention to reality a bit too much credit. After all this is the film that tells us that severe back trauma can be cured with a punch to the spine and a month hanging from a piece of rope.
So Instead I’ll use what the film definitely does tells us. While Bruce was off training to be Batman Alfred used to go on holiday to Venice every year. Have breakfast in the same café, and imagine that one day he would see Bruce sitting across from him enjoying his life.
Bruce Wayne spent eight years training to become Batman, and the space between Batman Begins and Dark Knight is officially stated as being 6 months so let’s say Bruce was batman for a year before he quit. Then he stayed in retirement for 8 years. This means Alfred was going on holiday from sixteen to nine years ago and having this dream. However in the dream we can clearly see that Alfred is old. He is as he is now. Meaning that when he tells Bruce of his dream his mind is adjusting it to his current appearance. When he was actually visiting Venice he would have been closer to the Alfred we saw in Batman Begins, at least nine years younger. I know it’s a movie and these scenes were shot in 2011 and not 2004 but take a look at young Jeff Bridges in Tron Legacy! They could have changed Alfred’s appearance.
Then at the end of the film we once again see the same sequence only this time Bruce is with Selina, in the same Café with Alfred looking on. Alfred’s older appearance in the earlier dream sequence means that Alfred’s dreams are an evolving entity and his subconscious mind has merely fitted Bruce out with Selina. Remember Alfred was off the scene when Bruce got to fumble with Talia on the living room floor, and prior to that he had been locked away mourning Rachael. So the only girl he could pair him up with is Selina, the last woman Bruce had involvement with; even if it was investigating her and her nefarious deeds.
The other argument for this to be an adapted version of the previous dream is the fact that Alfred never tells Wayne the name or exact location of the Café in Venice. And the fact that everything about the second sequence is the same as it is in the original; earlier in the film. The tables are in the same position, and Bruce is sitting at the same table Alfred imagined he would. It’s been nine years since Alfred went to this café, he clearly states he went there when Wayne was away training; the chances of the cafe having the same layout and furniture nine years later are remote at best. Let alone the place still being open. Also when Wayne was off training everyone thought he was dead, this fantasy was Alfred’s way of dealing with Bruce’s death. Which is why it appears once again at the end of the film to help him and the audience deal with the death of the character that they have invested so much love and time in, in an imagined happy ending?
If the earlier dream had a young Alfred then I would accept that that was the dream and that this is really happening but the similarities and uniformity of the sequences lend them to being the same scene, only played with a few differences influenced by what has gone on before.
Hence Batman Is dead!!!!