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Asia needs to embrace zombies (though not literally)
Highschool of the dead is over... with no second season in sight and I am in an outrage! Sure it had it's flaws and over the top moments but if I'm not experiencing events through the point of view of a sensitive horny teenager with estranged parent issues, living on the verge of cataclysmic destruction then I am not watching decent Japanese anime! Every combination of zombie mythology where it touches upon Asia has been phenomenal and that continent is missing a great genre to excel at. In the resident evil movies who doesn't get chills where the zombie infected woman stumble across a Tokyo looking crosswalk in the rain? Why is it Alice needs to be some genetic super human to explain all her martial arts skills? In a hypothetical Asian zombie movie the hero doesn't need to be some indestructible "chosen one" to know self defense making the danger more real. I believe movies examining he fear of zombies in Asia with high populations and strong collective cultures would heighten the intensity factor. The clips at the start of the recent Dawn of the Dead where huge numbers of islamists are at prayer with little space between them seemed ominous if say a potential zombie outbreak occurred amongst them.
One of the Walking Dead's most bad-ass and fan favorite characters carries her own katana, imagine a zombie story set in Japan where a kendo master who's head strikes almost seem in perfect as a survival skill for a zombie apocalypse (now imagine a samurai with a katana or a boken or Asian martial artist with nunchaku). Glen on Walking Dead is like some fast capable zombie killer with Napoleonic like strategies for missions. Imagine Asian strategy applied to zombie resistance, Sun Tzu's Art of (zombie) War :-) The potential is unlimited and whilst the tired old current trend for Asian horror seems to be death caused by a cursed phone call or video tape, what if that girl crawling out of the well was not just gonna give you a heart attack or wither you with a look but eat you slowly and chew on your intestines? I know one of my least favorite imagined deaths is being eaten alive by say animals, sharks or worse humans. If zombies are not to the domestic taste, then make it and market it for outside of Asia where the dollars are being wasted on poor creativity. With the Japan of today suffering floods, nuclear disaster and economic crises a story of survival against overwhelming odds such as in a zombie apocalypse should be number one on the entertainment menu (along with pretty and talented actors of course).
One of the better concepts of zombie movies is the examination of mankind, especially in a world turned upside down. The redneck who becomes heroic, the child facing adult responsibility before their time. What great characters could Asia produce? What is Asia's version of a survivalist hillbilly or redneck such as the Daryle and Merle combination on Walking Dead?
Highschool of the dead still left me with some lasting imagery, those power-lines in the intro, the snipers on that island airport, the father and daughter seeking shelter without success, the last minute rescue by Saya's mother. I imagine an archipelago like Japan where electricity and technology is such an influence suddenly gone and Japanese innovation and ingenuity required to move sideways. Anyway, such amazing potential for this show and at least if this program has been discarded I hope something as good or hopefully superior could rise from it's ashes and become something that entertains and provides for introspection (not necessarily hope because morbid endings can be also be a strong possibility for the zombie genre).
My plea has gone out...
The Mill (2013)
Great historical drama
Synopsis; "The Mill: The Mill is a historical drama series created by John Fay. The series is set in rural-industrial 19th-century England ands is based on the historical archive of Quarry Bank Mill in Cheshire. It depicts the country at a time when the industrial revolution began to change the country beyond recognition forever." There might be some reluctance on the part of the viewer to watch this show as the colour scheme and goings on just appear miserable. But for me this is must-watch TV. The hard working conditions of the Mill and the heartless times are fantastically captured. Scenes where feeding the workers is done by dropping a miserly ladle of porridge in their palm and the conditions children worked in is astounding.
The cast play their roles exceptionally well capturing these characters restricted by the times and their actions ring true. I can't watch and not be angered by the cruelty and lack of duty of care for the low classes of these time and the arrogance and hypocrisy of the bourgeois that I feel echoes to this day. I watch in hope that the Mill owner would lose his hand like the child he employed to develop some modicum of sympathy but injustices such as these never were answered.
This show is an eye-opener and should be compulsory viewing to understand the origins of industry and how far we have come in the industrialized world and how far we still have to go. The themes of exploitation and slavery and the incredible indifference to it by those that profit from such and then conveniently shed their morals regarding fellow man. Incredible watching!!!
Wrong title, should of been call Rinzla
This movie could of been called Rinzla or Clu, suggesting a mediocre departure from a classic. It might be said that the original movie may not have been exceptional plot wise but it had an undefined something that spawned this sequel or whatever you might have call this.
Any political undercurrent was missing and what little was talked about wasn't shown or the audience didn't connect with. Did Clu look in danger of losing through older Flynns inaction? Quorra gave some insight to the genocide of her people cause she was a babe with a tattoo but that's all the audience gets.
Some cool effects but glow suits and ear-bursting static or crackling noises do not a sci-fi make. Perhaps Clu could escape the grid and run the transport and planning here in Perth since he doesn't dig imperfection, could use a program like that.
I heard that good science-fiction is also a commentary on where we are currently and where we are all heading in the future but this movie had as much to say about anything as Rinzla did!
Donnie Darko (2001)
Self important flaw
What people call a love or hate film, pinning down what rubbed me the wrong way about this film is difficult. Friends expected me to enjoy this but I found it self indulgent and grating despite the curious initial x-files-like turn of events. What I would like to know is why the world is ending or if an explanation for it was given in the film? I feel it is a device just to wow the audience or just to add unnecessary weight to the protagonist's heroic gesture to end his own existence. I hate this selfish vein in film where the hero's story exceeds the logical constraints or plot integrity of the world the film has created eg. The Matrix - Neo/Trinity magic kiss or how phones allow entry/exit to matrix world despite being a construction of the matrix (a historical construction of the machines themselves who never chose a pre alexander bell time period?). I fear it's a trend reflecting our growing selfishness or self-interestedness (if thats a word) along with an obsession with hard to swallow twists that on reflection involve a chain of events that would require the forsight of a god to engineer eg. Collateral damage.