Thursday, May 20, 2021

Thursday Movie Picks #358: Cyberpunk

This being Thursday, it's time for another edition of Thursday Movie Picks, the blogathon run by Wandering Through the Shelves. This week's theme is "Cyberpunk", which I have to admit is a bit difficult for me since I tend to watch older films, many from before the days when computers were a common thing to even be albe to have cyberpunk. After some thought, I came up with three movies that are dystopic and (well, at least two of them) combine technology and consciousness:

Alphaville (1965). French New Wave director Jean Luc Godard's movie about a secret agent (Eddie Constantine) who goes to the dystopic town of Alphaville (actually the Paris banlieues) to rescue another agent (Akim Tamiroff) and find the scientist responsible for the computer that created the dystopia that is Alphaville. Being a Godard movie, it's not the easiest in the world to follow.

The Stepford Wives (1975). A photographer and housewife (Katharine Ross) moves with her family to the town of Stepford, CT. After some time there, she and her new best friend (Paula Prentiss) begin to get the distinct feeling that there's something wrong with all the other housewives, as they're just a bit too perfect and robotic. And why don't they know what "archaic" means?

Brainstorm (1983). Natalie Wood's last movie (she died before it was completed, she plays the estranged wife of Christopher Walken, working together at a company that's coming up with a new virtual reality scheme. The government wants it to use as a weapon, while some of the money men humorously see that its biggest value is for VR sex. But another co-worker (Louise Fletcher) suffers a fatal heart attach while in the recording room, and decides to upload her death to a VR recording. Walken needs to find out what was on Fletcher's last tape, even if the government tries to kill him for it.


Brittani Burnham said...

I think The Stepford Wives is a very inspired pick for this theme. I haven't seen your other two though.

Birgit said...

I was really curious to find out which films you would pick. I never saw this Godard film, actually I haven’t seen any, because Godard is just...tooo weird. Love The Stepford Wives, the original film, and it is campy and great. I almost chose your last pick which is quite good even though it has problems. I wonder if they had an affair off camera setting the events in motion leading to her death.

Sara said...

The Stepford Wives is an interesting pick!! I like it.

joel65913 said...

I agree that Alphaville was a challenge to follow but it had many interesting aspects. I'll never watch it again but I wasn't sorry to see it that first time.

The Stepford Wives is an interesting way to go. Odd and muddled at times it's still an intriguing film. Miles better than the horrid remake.

Speaking of muddled Brainstorm is that in many places plus it has that dark cloud of Natalie's death hanging over it. A very good cast for something so mediocre.

While I didn't love any of your picks they are heads and tails superior to the ones I chose. This type of film really isn't my thing so I went the route of selecting the three worst ones I could think of.

Freejack (1992)-Future technology has advanced to the point that rich elderly citizens can hire thieves such as Vacendak (Mick Jagger) to jump back in time to kidnap young people, return with them then have their brains transplanted into the clients’ bodies. Racer Alex Furlong (Emilio Estevez) is captured, he manages to break free but finds this new world a dangerous place. Extremely short on logic this misguided flick managed to corral Anthony Hopkins and Rene Russo as well as Jagger. They collect a paycheck, the audience suffers.

Johnny Mnemonic (1995)-Implanted with a stash of information data courier Johnny (Keanu Reeves) must retrieve it within 48 hours or self-destruct. Guarded by turbo charged bodyguard Jane (Dina Meyer) but hunted by two foes he sets out to find the passwords needed to stop his death. When it’s not absurd it’s stupid.

Moon 44 (1990)-A group of prisoners is enlisted by a mining corporation against a corporate war where interplanetary companies vie for control of dwindling resources on distant moons. Agent Felix Stone (Michael Pare) is sent to the title planet when problems arise. This pastiche of Aliens, Blade Runner and every other conceivable cyberpunk film holds a whopping zero score on Rotten Tomatoes.

ThePunkTheory said...

Those are great picks - I've heard quite a lot about all of them!