Archive for the ‘Grump Selects’ Category

Grump Select – Ghost in the Shell: STAND ALONE COMPLEX

January 30, 2008
CHICKEN FRIES

After nuclear World War III and non-nuclear World War IV (the so-called Second Vietnam War), the world is a very different place. Japan has since risen as a major superpower once more, despite Article IX of their Constitution, which prevents them from taking part in actual combat. Instead, using nanotechnology, the country turns the tide with microscopic machines that scrub the environment clean of radiation, thus making nuclear weapons less of an advantage. The wars end and the geopolitical climate shifts considerably, most notably, the splitting of America into three separate nations – the American Empire, the Russo-American Alliance and the United States of America.

Meanwhile, Japan has flourished. It’s home to amazing technological achievements including full-body prosthetics and intelligence-enhancing brain implants, making total recall and vast information storage possible. Cyberbrains and cyborgs are commonplace. Androids and artificial intelligence are advancing exponentially. Robotics like mechanized armor and multi-pedal tanks ensure some country or privatized military are heavily armed. The Internet has evolved into a single global ether that any individual with a cyberbrain can tap into in real-time. Cyberspace is as real as you make it.

Japan also flounders. The country has no idea what to do with the three million war refugees it gives ill-equipped shelter to. The shadow of the ultra-nationalist American Empire looms over the mostly-ineffective Japanese government while big companies and manufacturers secretly hold the reins. The proliferation of advanced technology brings a dark side as well – cybercrime, a new brand of terrorism. Boundaries are blurred; man and machine are almost the same and reality itself is in question. Espionage and subterfuge is at an all-time high.

This is the backdrop of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, perhaps the greatest work of cyberpunk science fiction put to screen.

omg YES

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Grump Select – DEATH NOTE: Domine Kira

November 27, 2007

It’s time again to let you, the readers, into the most treasured lock boxes of our hearts and show you those things that we treasure dearly. This time, the spotlight is on one of the best manga we’ve ever read, DEATH NOTE. Another Halloween-y entry! After Thanksgiving. :|

…Just as planned.

 

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Grump Selects: Possession

August 28, 2007

WELCOME.

It’s my pleasure to introduce Grump Selects, wherein Mora and I go on and on about the cream of the crop. Whether it’s a favorite movie, a video game, a comic or how we like our eggs done (over easy. if it’s scrambled it must be with cream cheese), it’s sure to be something that we both agree is utterly fantastic. It sorta goes against our credo – to nitpick and tear apart everything that blows – but that’s why they’re special. They’re gooood. We’ll still acknowledge the pockmarks but Selects will always be near and dear to us and, hopefully, to you too.

Our first Select is Possession, a movie so bonkers Mora had to share it with me by mailing the DVD just so I could see it. He wasn’t kidding. It is bonkers. It’s surreal. It’s HYPERBOLIC!! I don’t even know where to BEGIN!!!

Let’s start with Andrzej Zulawski, a Polish filmmaker (with an impossible first name) who’s had a MADDENING time making movies in his stupid censorship-crazed homeland. After a production of his was shut down by ASSHOLES in the government he fled to BERLIN OF ALL PLACES and wrote a movie while going through what was presumably a very messy divorce! Zulawski funnelled all of his anger and creative energy into the film, about a crumbling marriage and, perhaps, just maybe, if you’re sharp enough to pay attention to the FRINGES of the FRAME, the Cold War.

Entryways to... POSSESSION!

Released in 1981, Possession is the culmination of the frustrations of a NUT with a capital N. And a capital U and T too. MMM, CAPITAL LETTERS EVERYWHERE!!! This movie, starring Sam Neill (so young!) and Isabelle Adjani (a cute yet completely unhinged French actress) as the sparring spouses, takes everything to the extreme fucking edge. Seriously, if you think you know acting, think… again!! Dialogue isn’t delivered, it’s TIED to a BRICK and CHUCKED through a window. These two scream at the top of their lungs while throwing conniptions so violent you fear for the stability of their spines and their minds. If you think you know what OVER-THE-TOP is you don’t know a fucking thing. Hear me? A FUCKING THING.

…I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to yell.

Maybe this happens to all couples. :(

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