Sci-Fi Roundup

This movie is not the Eddie Murphy, Martin Lawrence jail comedy. Its about a crew fighting a killer amoeba. Although the overall quality of films the last five or ten years has spiked downward, sci-fi has spiked upward in quality with some wonderful films that haven’t gotten the attention they deserve. The current film “Life,” for example, is a very interesting “Alien” knockoff about what would happen if we discovered alien life on Mars. The answer: nothing good. We think we’re getting “E.T.” and instead we’re getting something worse than The Thing. This film has interesting characters, some believable science, and is a tremendously inspired production. The director uses long, painstakingly crafted sequences to draw us in and (hopefully) make us forget we’re watching a movie. The performances of Jake Gylllenhaal, Rebecca Ferguson, and Ryan Reynolds draw us in, and, although the film is similar to “Alien,” it scares us.

The new film “Phoenix Forgotten,” produced by Ridley Scott, is a found-footage film in the style of “The Blair Witch Project” about the Phoenix Lights UFO incident from 1997. A group of teens witness the event and decide to investigate further and film what they find. Bad idea. It turns out that the incident is much more sinister in nature than they thought. Will they survive? Maybe not, but their quest proves somewhat compelling as all of us are curious about UFO’s. The film is well-made, acted, and scored and delivers some terror on a low budget. It’s not great, but you could do worse.

Ghost in the Shell is Deep

I thought I knew what to expect from “Ghost in the Shell.” I assumed it would have great visuals and a mindless plot. I was right about the visuals. Although the futuristic city portrayed in the film looks a little too close to “Blade Runner,” overall the film is convincing and occasionally mind-blowing in terms of its visual impact. The surprise about the new film is that director Rupert Sanders has a story to tell, and tells it well. What would it be like to be an android (or, actually, a cyborg) with no body to call your own and memories you can’t trust? This film tells you.

I was very impressed with the cast that this film put together. It is true that Scarlett Johannson is rather miscast as the heroine, but this is only because her character is supposed to be Asian. She should have asked for rewrites to tailor the part more to her. However, “Beat” Takeshi Kitano (the Japanese action star), Juliette Binoche, and Michael Pitt are excellent in their roles.

The film is getting a lot of flack for supposedly “whitewashing” Japanese material. On the contrary, the film is very respectful to the magna and anime series, and to such a degree that I’m rather stunned. The scenes where the protagonist discovers the truth about herself are rather affecting. This film succeeds in capturing the essence of the film series, and I would not mind a sequel to this film. If you like science fiction and especially if you like anime, check it out! – CoolAC

Blade Runner 2049 Looks Sharp

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Finally, a sequel that I want to see: “Blade Runner 2049” looks awesome! The new teaser trailer features Vangelis’ music (although he’s not scoring the film) and a violent standoff between Ryan Gosling and Harrison Ford in a dusty, environmentally devastated future.

Here are some reasons why the film will be good: Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford, and Jared Leto are terrific actors who could potentially save even a disappointing film. 2. Denis Villeneuve is a very good director who cares about his work, as evidenced by “Arrival” and “Sicario.” 3. Hampton Fancher, screenwriter of the original film, wrote this one, and Ridley Scott is producing. 4. The trailer indicates that this will recapture the noir feel of the original film and surely NOT be a soulless special FX spectacle.

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On the other hand, here’s why the film might suck: 1. Jared Leto’s films are widely variable in quality, from the greatness of “Dallas Buyers’ Club” to the formula dreck of “Suicide Squad.” 2. David Webb Peoples, the OTHER writer of the first film, is not back for this. 3. Harrison Ford’s recent “Star Wars” and “Indiana Jones” sequels have not been that great.

Of course, the big question is: How are they going to explain bringing Ford back? He was supposed to be a replicant with a 3-year life span, according to the Director’s Cut. Also, Ford reportedly didn’t like the first movie, so why is he doing this one?

Despite these issues, I’d much rather see this movie than “XXX 3,” “John Wick 2,” and “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” combined. This is a sequel to a classic that just might match or exceed the original film. “Blade Runner 2049” looks like a winner that would make Philip K. Dick proud!

-CoolAC

Rise of the Sexbots – Final Chapters Outline

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Scene 8 
 
Variety Club 
 
The captured skaters forced to undergo transformative surgery. As they are tied to 
schoolroom chairs and forced to watch a promo video about their 
transformations, labor and the sexbotsVier is about to be forcefully 
transmutated. 
 
The camera that the SKATERS hid in the working mine area proves to the SKATERS 
that Vier is alive. The WORKER MUTANTS tear apart the camera. The BIKERS 
who are armed with metal bars, fire axes, and junk go to face off with the 
MUTANTS. 
 
Nearly all of the Will of the People are killed off by mutants. TRISH, GOOGAMOOGA 
and KANGAZOO hide in some rubble. They radio back to the gas station base. 
 
 
Scene 9 
 
Peter Panic 
 
The plan the SKATERS come up with is conveyed over the radio. The SKATERS at  
base set up a van as a SONIC DESTRUCTION Unit. Loudspeakers blaring NO 
GOD ONLY PAIN, flanked on both sides by columns of SKATERS with light 
bombs and pistols, it gets to the gate of the Echelon Agency building.  
 
There’s no one guarding the gate. KANGAZOO and GOOGAMOOGA interrogate a 
BIKER for the access code to open the front. When the van crashes through 
into the foyer of the Echelon/bot.gov building, Vier recognizes the music. 
 
The noise disables the MUTANT workers and the BIKERS. The SKATERS get away 
with Vier in the van. When the music is out of earshot, both the MUTANTS 
and the BIKERS join together to crash through the gates of the work area and 
kill the lizards. 
 
Scene 10  
 
The TOP BRASS of the LIZARDS enter into escape space vessels. The ENGINEER 
LIZARDS try to hide with the sexbots. The MUTANTS tear through the 
kennels and fight the LIZARDS. 
 
The LIZARDS crank up the poplaver music. But it doesn’t effect the Will of the 
People BIKERS. The BIKERS fight the remaining LIZARDS fiercely. A sprinkler 
 system breaks out and floods the flames that cause the sexbots to malfunction. 
On a global scale the mutants plan revenge with their international allies from 
space. The SKATERS return to loot the Echelon facility for tetras and sexbots
They look for surviving BIKERS to bring to their folds. 
 
 
 

Paul Newman: The Dystopian

quintet

Are you sick of the current run of dystopian science-fiction films such as “The Hunger Games” and “The Maze Runner” series? Would you like to see an entry in the genre that’s actually good? Check out Robert Altman’s “Quintet,” a flop from 1979 that does the whole dystopian future thing as well as any film besides “Blade Runner.” The film takes place in a distant future where the planet (maybe Earth, maybe not) is freezing over and Paul Newman and his pregnant wife are wandering through the ice and the ruins of a city. Soon they encounter civilization and Newman’s brother. After a violent incident, Newman ends up taking his brother’s identity and investigating and infiltrating a strange board game that everyone is obsessed with called Quintet. It involves five players and the roll of a dice. Everyone is obsessed with this game and people are dying, and Newman wants to know why. Eventually he finds out, after much bloodshed.

There are a few things that make this movie awesome. First, as I said, the depiction of the future is really interesting and cool. It’s super bleak. Secondly, although it’s not explained in that much detail, the board game Quintet is rather fascinating. The third impressive argument in the film’s favor is the performance of Paul Newman. He does the strong, silent hero thing better than anyone. and he gives us a reason to care about this film. Between this flick and the also underrated “Fort Apache, The Bronx” he shows that he is a really tough, manly guy. He’s sensitive when appropriate but mean and courageous when necessary. In short, Paul Newman is the man, and “Quintet” is a must-see if you can find it. You’ll never look at board games the same way again! –CoolAC

Arrival: Giger meets Kubrick

arrival-2016-film-trailerAliens in cinema have been pretty standard the last couple of years; they invade, we respond, there’s a battle, patriotic music swells, audience falls asleep. “Arrival” sort of belongs to the Hollywood template, but it is also excitingly different. Amy Adams plays a linguist who is brought in by the government to translate alien communication from one of about a dozen UFO’s that have landed around the world. Together with a theoretical physicist played by Jeremy Renner, she must figure out what the aliens want before time runs out and we attack them in fear. The film is interesting because it shows how we might realistically respond to an alien visit, and also the process involved in trying to communicate with them. It takes “Close Encounters” to the next level. Also, the design of the aliens, which I won’t reveal here, is quite fascinating and different from what we normally get. A twist ending also makes things very interesting and makes the film a good one for repeat viewing. On the minus side, the film is slow-paced and sappy at times, and Forest Whitaker is woefully underused. Overall, however, “Arrival” is very cool and highly recommended. It’ll make you rethink your stance on ET’s.

Rise of the Sexbots – Parts 6 and 7

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 It opens with a SUPERVISOR. He sees a circle of workers not working on his 
surveillance screen. “What’s going on here?” he demands then he’s suddenly 
surrounded by ANGRY MUTANTS.  
 
But the LIZARDS at bot.gov don’t notice. They’re too busy with their raid on the 
church. The raid goes on at night. The lizards ambush the building and light it on 
fire. Blood and deaths and fire. 
 
The fire draws out all of the SKATERS who the LIZARDS then trap in order to force 
into labor. 
 
A few of the SKATERS escape the church fire. But the SKATERS go to get cover at the 
gas station lair where NO GOD ONLY PAIN is rehearsing. 
 
GOOGAMOOGA, KANGAZOO, TRISH, FUDGE-A and ESKIMOSA try to find a way out 
of the building as the MUTANT WORKERS tear apart the WORKER CAMP. They hide 
in the sexbot kennel. 
 
Scene 7 
 
At the gas station lair, the skaters pick up emergency calls about the siege on their 
radios. They use ingenious weapons to try to defend their lair. But many are 
killed. Vier is captured. 
 
GOOGAMOOGA, KANGAZOO, TRISH and the BIKERS make a deal with the She Pop 
Princess. She goes to distract the MUTANTS with her singing. But they’re still 
stoned and they rip her apart. GOOGAMOOGA, KANGAZOO, TRISH, FUDGE-A 
and ESKIMOSA narrowly escape. 
 
The LIZARDS return to the base with a large amount of slaves. The SKATERS left at 
the gas station make a plan to rescue Vier. 
 
GOOGAMOOGA, KANGAZOO, TRISH, FUDGE-A and ESKIMOSA enlist the support o
the BIKERS to kill the LIZARDS. LIZARDS are unaware that half of their base 
has rioting going on in it. 
 
 
 

Rise of the Sexbots – Chapter 5

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While the SKATERS and BIKERS are out near the sexbot kennels, presumably 
patrolling, the lizard ENGINEERS are gathered at a table at a meeting. There are 
around nine of them. 
 
While most of the staff is seated and slurping on maggot-ridden meat, the CONTROL 
SUPERVISOR is standing to address the meeting. 
 
CONTROL SUPERVISOR: While productivity in the farming colonies is up, it hasn’t 
been a watershed quarter. The solution is to capture and modify more of the outer 
dissidents for our digging and filling.  
 
ENGINEER #1: Global positioning satellites have a trace on a barricade in a former 
church in Sector 9.  
 
CONTROL SUPERVISOR: Do we have spies in the area? 
 
ENGINEER #1: (UnctuouslyWe have points of entry through their connection to the 
Will of the People patrollers.  
 
CONTROL SUPERVISOR: Show me the reference points. 
 
ENGINEER #1:(To ENGINEER #2) Pull up the access files. 
 
ENGINEER #2: I’m digilogging them right now. 
 
CONTROL SUPERVISOR: In the meantime, what is the status update on the sexbots? 
 
ENGINEER #3: How are the sexbots? 
 
CONTROL SUPERVISOR: That’s what I said, Asslicker. Did I stutter? 
 
ENGINEER #3: In terms of revenue? 
 
The CONTROL SUPERVISOR casts a fiery glance at the ENGINEER #3. CUTAWAY: 
For an instant we get a reptilian eyeball CLOSEUP of dilated pupils. CUT BACK to the 
shivering ENGINEER #3. 
 
ENGINEER #3: It looks like overall supply is up 12% with demand closely trailing at 
11.2%. Overall sales are down however as peak vaginal intercourse was in April and 
downgrading of services has resumed.  
 
 
The OPERATIONS MANAGER barges into the meeting right then. He is a very tall 
reptilian humanoid and, on balance, well more advanced in his herpetological 
morphing. He is almost entirely covered in biomechanical contrivances with crude 
Frankenstein bolts showing everywhere on his body.  
 
Smashing his fist on the table, the OPERATIONS MANAGER speaks and it takes 
precedence over what was going on before. 
 
OPERATIONS MANAGER: Sales are down by 5 megatetras. I want to know what kind 
of workers we’re getting down there. In my day, when a mutant wasn’t even given a 
vitamin dose booster, all he wanted to do was ball. Show me the ward where the 
captives are held at once! 
 
He demands a tour of the dehumanizing apparatus that turns humans into mutants.    
[Revision note: workers don’t need a ball and chain because they’ve been 
transmutated so they’re instantly recognizable]  
 
 
We see the CONTROL SUPERVISOR and OPERATIONS MANAGER walking with a 
decisive air down the bridge to a highly secured area in the Echelon Agency 
building. The CONTROL SUPERVISOR and OPERATIONS MANAGER then look 
through the glass porthole into this locked ward. They see a smorgasbord of 
desperate men who stand pensively dreading to be rebuilt biomechanically. 
 
CONTROL SUPERVISOR: These are the ones waiting to be rebuilt. 
 
OPERATIONS MANAGER: (to CONTROL SUPERVISOR) They’ve all accepted their 
modification then? 
 
CONTROL SUPERVISOR: Yes, High Lizard. will now show you where they will be 
transformed and implanted in. 
 
The two lizard bosses then go to the chambers. 
……………… 
 
In the ward where the pre-disfigured are kept three cement-walled chambers next 
to each other are on one side of a plexiglass barrier. 
 
CONTROL SUPERVISOR: We’re on standby but as you can see, this prisoner will be 
implanted with a third leg with his jaw dislocated for greater Echelon control of his 
activities. 
 
The OPERATIONS MANAGER appears pleased.  
 
 
OPERATIONS MANAGER: He is scrawny, Herr Control Supervisor. 
The apparatus onscreen shows the man contorting using several robotic arms 
springing from the walls. The man screams. 
 
 
OPERATIONS MANAGER: That’s better. 
 
CONTROL SUPERVISOR: If you’ll look this way (he points) I will show you another 
ongoing representative of our system. 
 
The scene depicts another bound man mid-disfigurement. 
 
CONTROL SUPERVISOR: His tongue is removed and cauterized. The two ocular 
prongs gouge the eyes into almost total blindness. 
 
OPERATIONS MANAGER: That will fix his pencil neck. 
 
Looking at the third chamber, the CONTROL SUPERVISOR directs the attendant to 
turn a knob the size of a gong to make the modification more intense. 
 
OPERATIONS MANAGER: This one is so bowlegged that I am physically repulsed. 
 
CONTROL SUPERVISOR: He is being redrawn without the use of one of his legs and 
one of his arms. The only relief from the subjugating pain he feels will be his 
servitude to sexual desire by the sexbots. 
 
The OPERATIONS MANAGER looks pleased again. 
 
OPERATIONS MANAGER: Who controls the orgasm, controls destiny!! 
 
CONTROL SUPERVISOR: It is so. The captives then receive a cochlear implant, a 
number and are put to work. 
 
OPERATIONS MANAGER: I am pleased with the work you are doing on the present 
captives. But the total factors of production are not returning enough on our 
investment. When will more workers be found? 
 
CONTROL SUPERVISOR: We were only now addressing this issue at our meeting. 
Shall we return? 
 
The two reptilian bosses go back inside the meeting. 
 
In the boardroom from earlier most of the lizard engineers are eating 
maggot-ridden meat. 
 
CONTROL SUPERVISOR: Where are the projections of the enemy camp I requested? 
ENGINEER #2 springs up and shows the boss what he has. For a half-second his 
mobile computer accidentally projects 3-D lizard porno against the screen that 
comes down. He quickly fixes it to show real-time 3-D images of where more skaters 
are situated. 
 
ENGINEER #2: As a member of the Organics Resources task force, I have studied the 
problem of disabling the alarm when our Echelon forces attempt to ambush it. 
propose that we use our mutants as human shields to prevent them from returning 
shots. 
 
CONTROL SUPERVISOR: What do you think of his plan? 
 
 
OPERATIONS MANAGER remains silent for a lengthy pause. Then he states 
decaratively, “Fire is the only way!” 
 
OPERATIONS MANAGER: No waiting for supply trucks to enter or disabling their 
communications. We lay siege to their fortification tonight. Arm every lizard from 
this building who isn’t vital to our command. 
 
ENGINEER #3: But Herr Lizard, casualties on both sides will be high. 
 
The OPERATIONS MANAGER screams in a loud cold-blooded hissing sound. 
 
CUTAWAY to the SKATERS who are with FUDGE-A and ESKIMOSA. They are now 
inside a nook of the bot.gov’s bridge. 
 
GOOGAMOOGA: It’s a good thing we got out of the alcove 
 
KANGAZOO: We’re going to need a lot more help clearing the building though. 
They’ve got cameras to keep us in. 
 
TRISH: We can move around now. Our IT guy put an app on your lap-pack that 
makes us invisible to CCTV. But how are we going to get around the guards? 
 
KANGAZOO: I have this.  
 
KANGAZOO puts small roving cameras onto the working floor to search for work 
floor SUPERVISORS. They watch their escape path on the laptop pack monitor of 
GOOGAMOOGA. 
 
 
KANGAZOO: Now!!! 
 
All five of them file out of the darkened nook onto the floor where the workers are 
piling earth and digging tunnels.  
 
KANGAZOO: (Whispering loudly) Let’s split up. 
 
FUDGE-A and ESKIMOSA turn to one side and run off. KANGAZOO, TRISH and 
GOOGAMOOGA head in the opposite direction. 
 
TRISH: This way. 
 
GOOGAMOOGA: Yeah, I think I see an exit. 
 
As KANGAZOO, TRISH and GOOGAMOOGA run quickly toward a door with blue rope 
lights around it. 
 
DERANGED VOICE FROM DARKNESS: Hey! What are you doing here?? 
 
KANGAZOO and TRISH stop and seem to be narrowing in, surrounded by other 
unseen people. As the unseen people draw closer, it is clear that there are three or 
four mutant workers who have surrounded them. 
 
KANGAZOO: (Blurting outWe’re part of the hacker corps. 
 
TRISH: Fuck. Why don’t you give him our address while you’re at it. 
 
KANGAZOO: Sorry. 
 
SKATERS meet with modified workers on the work floor. 
 
TC0451: Give us a reason for not turning you in. 
 
GOOGAMOOGA: You mean we’re not hosed yet? 
 
TC0451: The supervisor is on his lunch break. Now tell me! 
 
 
 
 KANGAZOO: You’re pretty demanding for a man who traded his freedom for 
artificial sex. “Work for work’s sake, give me a break. Just like mom told you to do. 
 
TC099: Hey! All the women have the virus. Who else is going to get us laid? Who else 
is going to f-feed us? 
TRISH: Listen up because I have some very important news for you. But first you’re 
going to need this. 
 
TRISH lifts the container of Tums in the air and lights it on fire with a torch to make 
the WORKERS take the drug Tums. A purple smoke cloud fills the air. 
 
KANGAZOO: Good thinking, Trish. 
 
TRISH to workers: You and YOU. You might have an extra leg, but you should be 
ashamed of yourselves. While you know that sexbots are meant to be addictive and 
hassle free, designed by top neurologists as a bot.gov reward system and population 
reduction strategy while they further their reptilian humanoid aims, we’ve just 
learned that the virus is a myth! 
 
PAN around to workers expressions of shocked (stoned) disbelief. 
 
KANGAZOO: That’s right. Echelon is no good. –Saint Reg.
 

Rise of the Sexbots (Chapter 4)

Chapter 4

The Pop Princess Selection System

The scene’s beginning is where FUDGE-A and ESKIMOSA are still covered by the SKATER’s guns have lead the SKATERS to give them meg at a Pick n’ Pull junkyard.

They are charged by barking dogs who surprise them in the dark. The dogs are shown to be at the end of their chains out of harm’s way for now though.

GOOGAMOOGA: So where’s the stuff?

FUDGE-A: Come over here.

FUDGE-A leads the group to a counter decorated with used car parts. A salesman

wearing the W.O.P. insignia bounces to life.

SALESMAN: What do you want?

GOOGAMOOGA: We’re looking for meg.

SALESMAN: I don’t know what you’re talking about. You shouldn’t be out here.

TRISH: We want some shit.

SALESMAN: The portapotty’s been busted for a year now. You can let ‘er rip outside

the property.

KANGAZOO: Okay, joker. How about some Tums.

SALESMAN: Oh it’s Tums you want. That’ll be five tetra.

KANGAZOO: We don’t have any tetras. WINGNUT and HECKYL over here said he could hook us up.

SALESMAN: There’s no free rides over here. Why don’t you try hacking into Incel’s server and bootlegging some or something?

KANGAZOO: Now who would go and do a thing like that?

TRISH winks at KANGAZOO.

SALESMAN: No tokens no laundry.

FUDGE-A lifts the hood of a broken car and lifts out a teddy bear stuffed with vials.

He grabs a couple of them for their hosts the SKATERS.

FUDGE-A: Consider this a high interest loan. Five tetras now. An extra tetra each day. If you take more than a week we kill you and snatch all your dental work for payment.

This lie satisfies the salesman who lets them go.

FUDGE-A: Come on let’s get out of here.

The W.O.P. bikers lead the SKATERS out of the JUNKYARD infrastructure.

TRISH asks ESKIMOSA, “Is that enough?” as they walk behind the BIKERS.

ESKIMOSA: That’s enough for a team on a 50 gang.

They get back on their motorcycles pulling the SKATERS. They motor past the entrance of the worker’s camp where the mantra “Work for Work’s sake is stamped as a metal sign over the gate.

The W.O.P. bikers, FUDGE-A and ESKIMOSA, lead KANGAZOO, TRISH, and GOOGAMOOGA through a back entrance of Echelon agency. The SKATERS are wearing biker disguises so as not to be detected by the cameras. They’re dressed as bikers. FUDGE-A lets the group in with his badge.

They are first met with resistance by the W.O.P. bikers inside the W.O.P. break room but eventually FUDGE-A and ESKIMOSA explain that they’ve cut a deal with the SKATERS.

FUDGE-A takes the SKATERS to a large dark room where the sun never shines annexed to the lizard base where they can view the sexbots. They’re recharging while connected in a long series to an unseen power source.

FUDGE-A: This is an important part of the worker’s reward system.

ESKIMOSA: The workers get a tetra for every sixty hours performed in the mining operations. The best bot can get 15 tetras for her services in any one of several tunnels connected beneath this zone.

TRISH: I have a funny feeling about this place. We should go.

Ignoring her anxiety, KANGAZOO and GOOGAMOOGA are fascinated by what they are seeing.

KANGAZOO: Who oversees the sexbot exchanges? Is it the lizard overlords?

FUDGE-A: I can see how you would think that. But while the programming and maintenance of the girls is conducted by lizards, the sexbots are self-regulating.

They’re inner most conduits accept the tetra coins and are signaled by She.

KANGAZOO: Who is the She we keep hearing about?

ESKIMOSA: Don’t tell them.

FUDGE-A: What difference does it make? We’re already dead if the old lizards find out what we’ve been telling them.

ESKIMOSA: Alright. But the truth will cost you a tetra.

KANGAZOO: Add it to my tab.

GOOGAMOOGA: Wait a minute. Do you hear that? What is that sound?

In the darkened robot recharge hall, the sound of a woman’s voice reverberates through the metallic gate.

ESKIMOSA: That sound is She. The Echelon scientists found the exact frequency to make the workers’ as docile as possible. They select a natural born woman with the exact pitch and timbre and using programmed timbre deploy poplaver music at focused intervals. These songs override the worker’s autonomic reflexes completely.

GOOGAMOOGA: I never heard of anything like that before.

FUDGE-A: Get a load of this. The lizard promise that She also rents her body

workers. The price is 1,000,000 tetras.

GOOGAMOOGA: What does it cost to get her to stop singing?

FUDGE-A: Come on. We shouldn’t be here too long.

TRISH: (Insightfully) So this little songbird holds millions of people in slavery with TV commercial jingles and nursery rhymes.

FUDGE-A: Yeah, but not us. We’ve stayed out of the barbed wire for two generations because we’re born and bred outside of the system.

GOOGAMOOGA: What about No God Only Pain though?

FUDGE-A: I didn’t say we have a defense against that degree of sonic assault. Nobody has. –Saint Reggie

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On DVD: High-Rise is an Elite Film

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One of the few terrific films so far this year is “High-Rise,” an alternate-future dystopian sci-fi film based on the ’70s cult novel by J,G. Ballard. It’s about a futuristic high-rise which is encompassed by Britain’s entire class system, with the poor on the bottom and going up in class level with each floor. Tom Hiddleston from the “Thor” films and “Marvel’s The Avengers” stars as the newest resident of the buildings, a doctor who is a bit befuddled when both Sienna Miller and Jeremy Irons (who plays the building’s architect) take an interest in him. People in the high-rise seem to have lots of free time, which they spend sun-bathing or socializing at parties. Some of the elite in the high-rise wear baroque-styled garb. There is a certain giddiness in the high rise until the power outages begin and all hell starts to break loose. As the poor work their way up the building total chaos ensues. People start getting chopped into bits in a brutal anarchistic state of nature.

The plot description sounds pretty simple, but actually this movie is pretty hard to follow. My brother and I watched it three times prior to attempting to review it, since its so off-beat and eccentric. So much happens that it’s hard to keep track of it all, but that’s ok because “High-Rise” consistently works as an exercise in surrealism. There is, for example, a gigantic party in which everyone is dressed in sort of Victorian garb while symphonic versions of Abba songs are played by a large orchestra. The scene doesn’t make any sense, but it’s mesmerizing. The film as a whole is funny and sad. It’s funny because it’s very eccentric, but sad because so much of Ballard’s futuristic vision of class strife has come true. This is a very good movie and I highly recommend it, but be ready to pay close attention. It’s a must for fans of offbeat cinema. –CoolAC & Steve