reality

2047: Virtual Revolution (2017)

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A bounty hunter finds himself torn between his job and the fate of the world in this sci-fi film that blends elements from Blade Runner and The Matrix.

It is the year 2047. Ninety percent of the world has been known as the Connected. The Connected are the citizens who find their daily live in a virtual reality. Nash is a local bounty hunter who also is one of the Connected. His virtual world comes in the form of medieval times. On top of that, Nash is still reeling for the death of his girlfriend Helena. When Nash learns that there have been deaths in the virtual world, he has been assigned to find out who is responsible.

The ones responsible are a band known as the Necromancers. It is unclear why the Necromancers are killing in the virtual world but Synternis Corporation wants answers. As Nash begins his investigation, he finds himself beaten on some occasions but after successfully getting rid of some of the Necromancers. However, when a chance encounter with the leader of the Necromancers reveals something he never imagined, Nash finds himself conflicted between what truth is real and what truth is fiction. His decision may change the fate of the world as we know it.

From the mind of Guy Roger-Duvert comes this film that is highly influenced by sci-fi classics with a dash of French-flavored sci-fi epics that in its 92 minute running time starts out rather confusing but soon finds its meshing in the second half of the film. The film starts out like Blade Runner with the character of Nash, played by Mike Dopud, narrating the tale about a revolution but begins with how 90% of the world is now living through virtual reality and it has caused the non-connected to live virtually like thugs.

Jane Badler, star of the hit 80’s mini-series V, stars as Dina, Nash’s handler and leader of the Synternis Company, who just wants one thing and that’s to ensure Nash does his job. It may seem at first that Nash’s only ally in the investigation is hacker Morel, played by French actor Maximillien Poullein while Kaya Blocksage plays the leader of the Necromancers, whose confrontation with Nash leads to our hero having to make a choice.

The virtual reality sequences are nicely handled and provide a lot of action.  Nash’s world of virtual reality is that of medieval hero Swal, played by martial artist and stuntman Emilien De Falco but in one pivotal scene, he does take the avatar of a female futuristic warrior named Kate, played by Petra Silander. The lines between the real world and virtual reality do bring a sense of confusion at times but the second half helps smooth things over and brings quite an interesting ending.

2047: Virtual Revolution is not a bad indie sci-fi, but is clearly a middle of the road film. If you can get past the confusion of the real world and virtual reality, then stick around for the second half to get a full understanding of the film.

WFG RATING: C+

Wild Eye Releasing presents a Lidderdalei production. Director: Guy-Roger Duvert. Producer: Guy-Roger Duvert. Writer: Guy-Roger Duvert. Cinematography: Cyril Bron. Editing: Sylvain Franchet.

Cast: Mike Dopud, Jane Badler, Jochen Hägele, Maximillien Poullein, Kaya Blacksage, Petra Silander, Emilien De Falco, Nicolas Van Beveren.

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Graphic Novel “I Kill Giants” Comes to Life in Trailer

The acclaimed graphic novel I Kill Giants is coming to select theaters, VOD, and Digital HD and the trailer has been released.

Barbara Thorson is a teenage girl who escapes the realities of school and a troubled family life by retreating into her magical world of fighting evil giants. With the help of her new friend Sophia and her school counselor, Barbara learns to face her fears and battle the giants that threaten her world.

Madison Wolfe, Zoe Saldana, Imogen Poots, and Sydney Wade star in the film based on the graphic novel by Joe Kelly and Ken Niimura. Kelly wrote the screenplay and the film is directed by Anders Walter.

RLJE Films is releasing I Kill Giants to select theaters, VOD, and Digital HD on March 23.

H/T: Katrina Wan PR

 

Fabricated City (2017)

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2017, CJ Entertainment/TPS Films Korea

Director:
Park Kwang-Hyun
Producers:
Kim Hyun-Chul
Jang Yeong-Hwan
Writer:
Park Kwang-Hyun
Cinematography:
Nam Dong-Geun
Editing:
Kim Jin-Oh

Cast:
Ji Chang-Wook (Kwon Yu, “Captain”)
Shim Eun-Kyung (Yeon Yeo-Wool, “Mr. Hairy”)
Ahn Jae-Hong (DEMOlition)
Oh Jung-Se (Attorney Min)
Kim Sang-Ho (Ma Sang-Duk)
Kim Ki-Cheol (Elderly Man)
Kim Min-Kyo (Yong_Garu)

The worlds of gaming and real life crimes are meshed quite well in this fast-paced action thriller from director Park Kwang-Hyun.

Kwon Yu is a former taekwondo champion who has given up the sport and is now a professional gamer. He is the leader of an online team known as Resurrection, though he has never met his cohorts. One night, Kwon receives a phone call to return a missing phone to a Ha Su-Ji. He is paid 300 dollars after returning the phone and returns home. The next day, Kwon finds himself arrested for the rape and murder of Ms. Ha, who was underage. Despite efforts from his mother and local attorney Min to prove his innocence, Kwon is sentenced to life without parole.

During his time in prison, Kwon finds himself at the constant end of thrashings courtesy of local gangster Ma Sang-Duk. After a visit from his mother, Kwon soon learns that in order to survive, he must endure everything. As Ma and his boys constantly beat him, they slowly notice that Kwon has become tougher. When one day, Kwon finally stands up to himself, an attempt at retaliation causes Ma and Kwon to go to the hospital. En route, Kwon escapes from the van and when a massive manhunt begins for him, Kwon learns the only ones he can trust to clear his name are the members of his online team. Finally meeting face to face, the team hatches a plan to help Kwon and along the way, discover something extremely sinister.

From Welcome to Dongmakgol director Park Kwang-Hyun comes this very exciting thriller that meshes gaming and reality and while the plot may seem like the lines that blue between fantasy and reality, this film will bring other films to mind when it comes to plot points and at times, its action sequences.

The film’s driving force is truly its lead character of Kwon Yu, excellently played by Ji Chang-Wook. With the opening sequence being a realistic vision of a video game scenario that would look brilliant for a commercial, the film is ultimately a realistic look at an unemployed man who finds gaming as his escape from the harsh realities of life. While he is well-received by his online peers, his mother only wants him to do his best and wishes he would return to taking taekwondo, with its revelation shown at first by a photo of him winning a championship. It is when he is framed for rape and murder that he learns he can’t just let things go. Taking a page from another Korean action film, The Divine Move, Kwon gets tougher through the constant beatings he receives in prison, making him endurable and even finding himself an unexpected ally while in prison.

The film then delves into The Fugitive territory with the start of the third act, which makes up the final half of the film. The first two acts, meeting Kwon Yu and his prison time, make up the first half of the film. It is when he escapes that he soon vows to clear his name especially for his mother, who is revealed to have died while he was in prison. His team consists of the seriously minded hacker Mr. Hairy, who is actually a female well played by Shim Eun-Kyung of Train to Busan fame; DEMOlition, a more likable movie effects wizard played by Ahn Jae-Hong, who provides some of the film’s comic relief; Yong_Garu, a skilled hacker played by Kim Min-Kyo; and an elderly man whose drone skills come in handy played by Kim Ki-Cheol.

The action scenes are quite interesting as it helps Kwon become a better and more confident hero when it looks like he relies on his lost taekwondo skills in a very intricate scene against goons. Now, in this particular scene, to show that Kwon attacks in the dark, the viewer sees a neon light effect, perhaps to emulate night vision, to see Kwon using his skills to good effect. This is followed by a car chase scene that could be seen in an entry of the Fast and Furious series and in one sense, DEMOlition even goes as far as attempt to emulate a piece of The Dark Knight as he even references the film. When the big reveal comes as to who is responsible, it may seem predictable in a way. However, it is the methods used that are just mindblowing and the retaliation from Kwon and team is truly staggering in a good way.

Fabricated City is truly a top grade Korean action film that blends the worlds of gaming into a real crime situation with Ji Chang-Wook at the top of his gang as the framed hero seeking revenge. The action sequences are a delight, taking a page from other films, and the big reveal is a bit on the predictable side yet shocking at the same time.

WFG RATING: A+

CJ Entertainment is currently screening this film at CGV Los Angeles and Buena Park. The film will get a limited nationwide release in select cities in the United States and Canada on February 24.

Takashi Miike’s “Over Your Dead Body” arrives in January

Scream Factory will be unleashing the Japanese auteur Takashi Miike’s 2014 horror film Over Your Dead Body.

In this dark tale set on the stage, Ko Shibasaki (Battle Royale) plays a popular stage actress who stars in a new ghost story based on the popular story Yotsuya Kaidan and has her boyfriend in the play, despite him being a relative unknown. Along with two other actors, the line between reality and fantasy are drawn out with the complicated love lives of the cast as well as some dark obsessions, that can potentially culminate into something extreme deadly.

Ebizo Ichikawa, Miho Nakanishi, and Hideaki Ito co-star in the film. Kikumi Yamaguchi wrote the screenplay with Miike, one of the masters of J-Horror, showing why he is just that.

Over Your Dead Body will be released on DVD, Blu-Ray, and Video on Demand on January 5, 2016 from Scream Factory.