As we continue to observe Quarantine worldwide, it gives us an opportunity to reflect and meditate on how we lead our lives. It also gives us an opportunity to catch up on all those movies that we never get a chance to watch and be responsible citizens at the same time.
Recently, I’ve been going through a Sci-fi phase and I wanted to put together another list of movies that I would recommend. I’ve added a link in case you want to purchase any of these movies. It helps me out a lot and it will be greatly appreciated.
Also, please leave a comment If you’ve already watched any of these movies below, and I’d love to have a deeper discussion on any of the recommendations. Also, follow me on all relevant social media below.
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BLADE RUNNER -THE FINAL CUT (1982)
‘Blade Runner’ is as interesting as the lore that surrounds it. There are four versions of this movie, with the ‘Final Cut’ culminating in Ridley Scott’s ultimate vision of what the movie should be.
This movie is based on Phillip K. Dick’s novel ‘Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?’ This movie essentially created the ‘Cyberpunk’ genre and so many movies, anime and tv shows ( I’m looking at you ‘Altered Carbon’) owe a huge debt to ‘Blade Runner’.
It’s an aesthetic that we’re all familiar with: Japanese iconography, Neon blue and red lights, Large buildings dominating the skyline, and Corporations controlling all means of production and life.
The movie follows cyborgs called ‘Replicants’ who are created by the Tyrell Corporation to perform slave labor. However, after a rebellion, Replicants are deemed illegal and it’s up to Blade Runners to ‘retire’ Replicants. Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) is a retired Blade Runner, who is being forced to hunt down a group of more sophisticated Replicants who are on Earth illegally.
The movie is a visual feast. The setting, the atmosphere, the ambiguity– it gets me every time. It’s an exploration of what makes us human whether it is our emotions, our memories? And if that’s the case, why is human-life valued over Replicant-life?
What is the difference between artificial beings and humans? And what makes it okay to end ones’ life over another? This movie is meant to be watched multiple times and discussed endlessly.
TOTAL RECALL (1990)
Another movie based on Phillip K. Dicks’ work “We Can Remember It for You Wholesale” but this one is a total mind-bender.
Directed by Paul Verhoeven, ‘Total Recall,’ follows Douglas Quaid (Arnold Schwarzenegger) a married, construction worker who dreams of traveling to Mars but is discouraged by his wife, Lori( Sharon Stone).
So he books an appointment at ‘Rekall’, a company that offers to implant a memory of a vacation to Mars. Problem is that when he’s about to get the implant he suffers a ‘Schizoid embolism.’
Turns out he already has fake memories. He isn’t Douglas Quaid, he’s Hauser, a secret agent who has some information about Mars.
And that’s just the beginning of the wild journey. This movie has over-the-top violence, gore, plot twists, sex, and nudity. And if that’s not enough, Arnold carries the film with his musclebound and yet charismatic presence and, of course, his one-liners.
I try not to be overly analytical in my recommendations but this movie is a post-modern masterpiece. The movie is self-aware of itself. As one character comments on how Quaid’s path was similar to an archetypal hero’s journey and because of it Quaid doubts whether his experiences are ‘real’ or a result of the implanted experience that was offered to him at ‘Rekall’.
The movie plays with us about what is real and what’s not. What is a dream? What is an implanted memory? What would be the difference if Quaid had chosen to go to Mars the old-fashioned way rather than getting an implant for the trip?
‘Total Recall’ is both entertaining and intellectually stimulating. Also, there is a re-make but this is way better. I highly recommend this movie.
When I was growing up I loved RoboCop. I was obsessed with how cool he looked and I remember RoboCop being one of the very first action figures I had bought.
Naturally, when I found out there was an actual movie, I wanted to watch it desperately. (I never realized there was an animated series till it was too late.)
At that time, if you wanted to watch a specific movie you had to rent a videocassette. I remember convincing one of my older cousins to get it for me. And long story short I was traumatized after watching this movie.
It was intensely violent and my little 10-year-old self could not even watch the whole thing. And so, for the longest time, I didn’t want to hear anything about RoboCop.
A couple of years later in University, I stumbled into RoboCop once again and it came at a perfect time. I watched it from a more mature perspective, and obviously, I loved this movie.
‘Robocop is once again directed by Paul Verhoeven and it stars Peter Weller as Alex Murphy AKA RoboCop. RoboCop is filled with violence and gore but beyond all that, it gives us a very real story about what makes us individuals. And provides us with a social commentary on unchecked corporatism.
The movie is based in Detroit which is gripped with violence and now even the police department is privatized and is owned by Omni Consumer Products (It’s clear to see the conflict of interest that would arise if a corporation has a police department under their payroll).
The plot focuses on Murphy getting caught in a shoot out where he gets badly injured. The corporation take his mangled body and make him RoboCop.
From the outside, it looks like an effort to save Murphy’s life. However, it’s actually done as a corporate power play for an OCP Executive Bob Morton (Miguel Ferrer) to get promoted.
Corporatism is also satirized with intercuts of these blatant commercials. They’re so on the nose that there kind of funny.
‘RoboCop’ captures the general decay of society as corporate interests take over human interests. In many ways, RoboCop is about the struggle for man to overcome the single-minded approach of the unchecked mechanical and efficient structure of late-capitalism.
An example of this is how Murphy has an idiosyncrasy where he twirls his gun before he places it in his holster. After he becomes RoboCop, his partner Anne (Nancy Allen) recognizes that RoboCop is Murphy because he does that trick. This event unlocks Murphy’s memory and his humanity. It shows that being human isn’t quantifiable and can’t be recreated.
This movie has so many layers to it, and even if you don’t want to think about it too much, it’s still a damn good sci-fi action movie.
Howdy, Bladerunner, fantastic soundtrack, fashion, outstanding sets. The plot drags (dragged me) in. Great selection of movies. Hope you are well, stay safe. Peace and love.
Yes, Gary, I knew you had impeccable taste. Peace and love to you as well my friend. 🙂