[EXPRESSO] Warriors Of Future (2022) | Robosuits vs Plant Alien Necrobugs

Dipping once again into Netflix exclusive selection of Hong Kong and mainland China by testing my luck on sci-fi action alien shoot em up Warriors Of Future.

Plot rolls the common “meteorite smashes into Earth” situation, and no, there’s nobody fashioning the meteorite pieces into arrows thousands of years later for cool superpowers, nope, this meteorite just had a lot of “grass alien invaders” in it launching a massive offensive.

The elite human forces (escorted by advanced war robots) are almost wiped out, minus a suicide squad with just a few hours left before mankind it’s completely eradicated…

There is a bit more to it, as the invasive plantlife ironically also happens to be beneficial to this dystopic cyberpunk world by converting the polluted air into breathable oxygen, so the evil government guy that dedicated his entire life into machines that do the same very thing isn’t too pleased and tries to sabotage the team, because he’s evil and that’s about it as “motivations”.

Not really a spoiler as he makes it clear he’s gonna do that, nor the heroes (say “hi” to the eyepatch guy) fare much better, like the plot they’re pretty much constructed with stock action sci-fi movie building blocks, heck, even the robosuits they don at some points feel like the result of a confusing laundry day with Iron Man, Isaac Clark from Dead Space and Oshii’s Kerberos Corps.

I do mention videogames because while the production values are indeed high, big screen high, the action scenes and the CG (especially for the feral plant monsters) feels very “videogamey”, a lot like high budget cutscenes, BUT even so i can’t deny Warriors Of Future it’s a very entertaining, quick moving, belly-filling serving of action sci-fi dish that delivers some decent fun.

And sequelbaits to the stars.

[EXPRESSO] Everything Everywhere All At Once (2022) | Multiversal Maelstrom

Been looking forward to this one all year, so despite not being “news” for most of the english speaking internet, it literally got in theathers here 4 days ago, i AM gonna see it and review it.

And while at first i wasn’t blown away in the way i expected, i was still incredibly surprised and intrigued from beginning to end by what it’s indeed quite the something else.

The premise sees Michelle Yeoh as Evelyn Wang, a busy woman of chinese descent that runs a snall coin laundrymat, as she laments the woes of her aspirations being all unfullfiled by the burden of her job and her family, as she has to take care of her senile father, has troubles with her teen daughter, and feels unfullfilled in her marriage to a “weak man”.

All made worse as she has to undergo a fiscal interview by a very nosy ispector, but on her way there she notices a fracture in the multiverse, and she’s enlisted to save the fate of all universes by defeating an avatar of chaos.

It’s a novel enough spin on the multiverse concept that now audiences are quite familiar with, definitely an interesting premise and a fun execution, though i didn’t laugh as much as i expected, almost disappointing since it’s a really inventive movie that indeed tries a lot of weird ass things, set ups, the visuals fully take advantage of the multiverse “gimmick” and the fights scenes especially are as well coreographed as ridiculous in nature.

It’s not just as funny as i feel it could/should be, but even so i wasn’t really disappointed, as it’s still quite fun, highly captivating, inventive, the emotional moments are quite good, the cast its stunning, the characters likeable, making overall for a damn good chaotic time.

[EXPRESSO] Crimes Of The Future (2022) | Biomeat: Flesh Nectar

David Cronenberg is back on the big screen with a… remake of his early film Crimes Of The Future. “Remake” in name only, as it just shares the cyberpunk setting, his passion for the pleasures of mutated flesh, and the idea of a future where human bodies can create new organs (often without apparent function), alongside a new kind of sexual perversity steeped in medical science.

That aside, it’s pretty much its own thing, fully befitting the style of directing Cronenberg would master later, but instead of a pederast ring obsessed with perverse secretions and strange malodies, the plot here focuses on the aspect of the human body spontaneously producing new, strange and wonderful organs, to the point surgery has been repursosed as a method of performance art, encouraged by an unexplicable disappearing of pain and sicknesses for the human race as a whole…

The movie follows two world famed “body artists” Saul Tenser (Viggo Mortensen) and his assistant Caprice (Lea Seydoux) as they perform artistical surgery sessions by removing the new tumoral organs that keep growing in Saul’s body, but the duo it’s approached by a weird goverment wing that wants to establish a legal, official list of the new organs, and a father that’s willing to give the body of his dead son so the duo can perform a public autopsy on him..

While one might argue that Cronenberg here is revisiting an old cyberpunk concept two decades later…. i’d say the premise still feels intriguing and novel, and because cyberpunk itself has aged into almost irrilevancy and hasn’t moved forward… this doesn’t feel as dated as it could.

Despite that and suffering from some abrupt sequences, it’s still quality Cronenberg, not him as its best, but good stuff, overall, even if this future feels less so today.

SUPER Summer Nap

You know the drill (and i announced it before), every rubric aside EXPRESSO (i will review NOPE soon enough, and i plan to review this way,Crimes Of The Future, MEN and Bullet Train, which are releasing in cinemas here very late this August) is taking a break from today until the 16th of september, maybe a little earlier, but for the rest of August we’re taking a fairly deserved (if i can say it myself) break.

Ghost In The Shell: Stand Alone Complex 2045 (Season Two) [REVIEW] | To Doublethink Outside The Cage

Yeah, let’s tackle something a bit more challenging before we once again dip our toes in braindead killer animal exploitation crap.

When i reviewed the first season of this new Ghost In The Shell series back in 2020, i wasn’t expecting it would take 2 years before the second part/season would finally air, not because these projects aren’t time consuming (they are), but the general lack of interest in this new 3D CG iteration of the franchise shown by fans and the lack of much news at all almost made wonder if Netflix didn’t consider cancelling.

But then again, in the meantime we saw that it would take a gargantuan dumpster fire such as the live action Cowboy Bebop to make the streaming giant go and actively go “yeah, we’re gonna make more of this trash but we actually decided not to”.

A rare move, given WHAT this company is usually okay with greenlighting in excess, while killing stuff people actually likes.

Still, after a while it became clear this second season wasn’t exactly making anime fans go in the streets to demand it big time. Riots were not made for SAC 2045 Part 2, that much is undeniable.

Eventually, in late May 2022 the second season dropped on Netflix, preceded by a compilation film of the first season, called – fittingly so – GITS SAC 2045: Sustainable Warfare, which we talked about in its EXPRESSO review, and overall served as a good refresher since 2 years had passed.

Continua a leggere “Ghost In The Shell: Stand Alone Complex 2045 (Season Two) [REVIEW] | To Doublethink Outside The Cage”

Fate EXTELLA: Link PS4 [REVIEW] | #musoumay

3 years after putting out Fate Extella: The Umbral Star, Marvelous followed up with the sequel, Fate EXTELLA: Link.

And yes, it’s a sequel, taking place after the “true/actual ending” of The Umbral Star, where the protagonist and “child Altera” are suddendly approached by attack programs, only to be saved by a new Servant of the Saber class, identifiying itself as Charlemagne.

He then explains that within SE.RA.PH a new threat has arisen, with a self-dubbed “Conquering Emperor” that’s bent on controlling all the digital created world by a mind control/brain wash process he dubs “Oraclization”. The protagonist, with his/her Servants Nero Claudius and Tamamo are then helped further by this new ally, as Charlemagne gifts them a new flying fortress where to organize the counter-offensive and figure out how to stop the plans of this mysterious “Emperor”.

And no, it’s not Caligula. Gotta specify that, it’s Fate we’re talking about, that could have been a honestly sensible guess.

Continua a leggere “Fate EXTELLA: Link PS4 [REVIEW] | #musoumay”

[EXPRESSO] Ghost In The Shell -Stand Alone Complex 2045: Sustainable Warfare (2022) | Cyborg Cut

I’ve reviewed the first season of Stand Alone Complex 2045 before in detail, but as a refresher for season 2 finally arriving (2 years after the first one, dang) later this month, i’d figured i watch the film-like compilation cut of Season 1, titled Substainable Warfare, recently arrived on Netflix.

Btw, yes, this actually follows the continuity from the older Stand Alone Complex series, being set 11 years after the event of the movie Solid State Society, BUT, in typical GITS fashion, it’s also a separate entity that can be enjoyed on its own… even though in this case you really need to have some familiarity with the Stand Alone Complex series to get the most out of it.

As a very quick primer, GITS it’s about an unit of elite special agents, Section 9, led by Motoko Kusanagi abd working for the Japanese goverment, with its members having various degrees of cybernetic implants and specialized skills used to deal in terrorist attacks, infiltrations, hacking incident, and all that cyberpunk jazz.

Here we have the group mostly disbanded and acting as a mercenary unit in America, until the rise of the so-called “Post Humans” leds to Section 9 being re-formed to deal with the issue.

The recut itself it’s well done (though it does away completely with the “geezers bank heist” episode, shame), in terms of the material… well, it’s still better than Arise, though it tries a bit too hard to update/modernize the cyberpunk themes, and this first part/season ends on a cliffhanger when it starts getting good.

Then there’s the okay but kinda questionable choice of artstyle, going for a fairly good 3D CG that sadly doesn’t feel THAT much improved upon, 11 years after the same animation studio (Sola Digital Arts) curated Applesee Alpha in similar fashion.

Nintendo Direct 9/02/2022 | Rites Of N

That time again, time to put on your robe and attend the ceremony with expectations so far out to make worshippers of the Old Gods looks like wannabe zealots!

Especially since all fair criticism of the company is dropped by most people (and publications) when a Direct happens. But again, this is sadly “business as usual”, let’s move on.

Continua a leggere “Nintendo Direct 9/02/2022 | Rites Of N”

So Microsoft just bought Activision Blizzard King, like that

I usually don’t comment much on gaming news, stat, but this is such a monumental event i feel compelled to say something, as it doesn’t happen everyday that Microsoft just outright bought Activision Blizzard, one of the biggest companies since the Atari era.

And boy, my opinion on it really can’t be anything but disgust, as its another “Disney move” leading to an even shittier cyberpunk present we have, as it strangles even more the flebile sense of “competition” in the market, as corporate behemots are eaten by other mostrously larger corporate behemoths.

One might argue that this new leadership situation might improve the hive of scum, sexual assault and toxic workplace culture Activision Blizzard (which also including King, the Candy Crush guys) has become known for (alongside his many, identically minded buddies like Ubisoft), and it might, but it doesn’t change the fact that Microsoft now has Bethesda and Activision-Blizzard under its direct control.

I don’t expect much to change in terms of console esclusivites, as it doesn’t gel much with Microsoft current business strategy of basically wanting to sell its services (especially the Game Pass) as wide as possible, so i don’t expect them to make Call Of Duty NOT come out on PS consoles or anything like that in near future.

Again, some good things might come out of this, but i’ve seen how this industry behaves long enough to not trust anything positive change in it, not where it matters.

So, i’d say it sucks shit, and it’s kinda depressing overall, honestly.

[EXPRESSO] Matrix: Resurrections (2021) | Present Day, Present Time

An obligatory preface: i didn’t see the movies since i was Matrix Revolutions in theathers, but i remember the story more or less. I say this because the storyline actually continued from Revolutions into the videogame Matrix Online, but i never played that or cared to read its wikia.

And i also know this already proved to be very divisive.

I can see why, as Lana Wachoski uses the premise as a meta-manifest to lament the absurdity of these “decade laters” sequels , publicly venting how she was basically badgered for decades in making a sequel despite no real plans for it, as it happens to every franchise with any following or nostalgia brought back from the cold dark grave, regardless if there was any point, merit or reason.

We live in a post-Space Jam 2 world, after all.

I will concede that this movie it’s flawed, it is, and i kinda hate when it goes “remember that?”, but at the same time this movie has actually the balls to use this meta-context in order to to make a real sequel to the series with something to say, instead of working as a banal “series best hits”.

I can’t assure you’ll like it, but i’d say it’s worth watching nonetheless because it has the edge of actually having a purpose, a vision (the plot has a pretty smart way to “modernize/justify” a fourth movie), not just to exist in absolute and risk averse complancency, the action it’s great, and it has heart, even if it’s flawed and at times so excessively earnest it becomes goofy, but the confidence still shines through.

Though with it feeling a bit long and some of the meta “gags” being sometimes grating, i can’t fully say it’s “good”.

But i still recommend seeing it, absolutely.