Don't Watch Dis-Topia, Watch Dat-Topia

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Don't Watch Dis-Topia, Watch Dat-Topia

These five dystopian movies might not be masterpieces, but they're all better than -- or at least as good as -- The Giver.

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Wow, I'd never heard of the first 3 movies on that list up until now. Really obscure stuff right there. I have seen both Daybreakers and Equilibrium though, and didn't particularly like either.

We tried Equilibrium a while back. When they came into the room searching for art in the first scene, I turned to my wife and said 'if it's the fucking Mona Lisa, we're turning this off'.

Ten seconds later, we turned it off.

Noami Watts. is. my. Waifu. And I didn't even know she was in Tank Girl. It has been some years, though, since I saw the movie. I hope this counts as a defense.

Daybreakers and Equilibrium seem sufficiently awesome in a 90's kind of way.

I've been meaning to watch Tank Girl, and now that I know there is a kangaroo Ice-T it must happen.

Flatfrog:
We tried Equilibrium a while back. When they came into the room searching for art in the first scene, I turned to my wife and said 'if it's the fucking Mona Lisa, we're turning this off'.

Ten seconds later, we turned it off.

You missed a fun movie.

Tank Girl...really? I never cared for the film, though it had quirky amusement from time to time. Also a fan of the main actress (lots of voicework in games and animation), and the incomparable Malcolm McDowell (who was a pleasure to meet in person as well). But no, I would never suggest watching the movie.

Daybreakers and Equilibrium are those not-so-sleeper hits. They are amazing films that most dystopian/action buffs (rightly) know of, but never really got the acclaim that films like Matrix got. Daybreakers had a really smart resolution at the end as well, and neither movie felt pretentious (which is hard to do for many of these films).

Mcoffey:
I've been meaning to watch Tank Girl, and now that I know there is a kangaroo Ice-T it must happen.

Flatfrog:
We tried Equilibrium a while back. When they came into the room searching for art in the first scene, I turned to my wife and said 'if it's the fucking Mona Lisa, we're turning this off'.

Ten seconds later, we turned it off.

You missed a fun movie.

Seconded!

To elaborate, there is plenty in it that is kinda generic. It also borrows heavily from some other distopian literature, pulling in random elements from 1984 and Farenheit 451, but it does so mainly as a setup for an awesome action movie. Bob is not wrong, the Gun Kata stuff, while totally unrealistic, looks really really cool.

Hey and Eddard Stark and Taye Diggs are in it.

Flatfrog:
We tried Equilibrium a while back. When they came into the room searching for art in the first scene, I turned to my wife and said 'if it's the fucking Mona Lisa, we're turning this off'.

Ten seconds later, we turned it off.

That's a shame, it's one of the best action movies to come out in the past 20 years.

As for the other, I couldn't get into Daybreakers, I am of two minds on Tank Girl, and I never go to see Hell Comes to Frogtown or Rollerboys

blackaesir:

Seconded!

To elaborate, there is plenty in it that is kinda generic. It also borrows heavily from some other distopian literature, pulling in random elements from 1984 and Farenheit 451, but it does so mainly as a setup for an awesome action movie. Bob is not wrong, the Gun Kata stuff, while totally unrealistic, looks really really cool.

Hey and Eddard Stark and Taye Diggs are in it.

Oh yeah. Everything in that movie is to prop up the gun fights. You know the director just wanted to do em because they are completely irrelevant to the plot, and could have been swapped out for regular shooting. Gun Kata was what he was excited about, especially since he kinda brought it back in his next movie, Ultraviolet (That movie was terrible though).

I've been meaning to watch most of these movies for years, but I have seen Daybreakers and thought it was just ok. Then I realized the "cure" for vampirism in the movie is a none-too-subtle metaphor for Baptism (you go through the "fire" of sunlight then get bathed in water) and suddenly the whole thing seemed incredibly preachy and judgmental.

Yeah, I get that the vampirism in this instance was a metaphor for both consumerism and general feelings of alienation in modern society. But I could really have done without the "You need GOD or sooner or later you'll turn into a blood crazed monster with an insatiable lust to kill!" message.

Mcoffey:
I've been meaning to watch Tank Girl, and now that I know there is a kangaroo Ice-T it must happen.

Oh heck yeah go see it - it's a ridiculously fun movie. I loved it to pieces back in the day. There are some brief animations done in more-or-less the style of the original comic. Would've loved to've seen that for a whole movie, too.

Also bear in mind that it's timestamped with period music, so I can't promise it's aged well if you're not approaching geezer-hood (as I am).

Also, a vague thank you to MovieBob for confirming for me that Prayer of the Rollerboys was not an early 90s hallucination.

Equilibrium is a badass film! I've seen Daybreakers but it really didn't do anything for me.

Elijah Newton:
Also bear in mind that it's timestamped with period music, so I can't promise it's aged well if you're not approaching geezer-hood (as I am).

I imagine some of the music hasn't aged well but some of it still stands up well for it's age.

If Equilibrium and Day Breakers are not in your movie collection... seriously, you should remedy that!!!

I loved Daybrakers but I found Equilibrium really boring until the last 10 minutes. Not seen the others.

Kangaroo Ice T, Malcolm McDowell, and it's called Tank Girl? Fuck yes, I'm in.

Mcoffey:

Flatfrog:

Ten seconds later, we turned it off.

You missed a fun movie.

I guess he didn't like the Mona Lisa.

I'm simply in love with Equilibrium because it is complete bullet porn.

Cpt. Slow:

Mcoffey:

Flatfrog:

Ten seconds later, we turned it off.

You missed a fun movie.

I guess he didn't like the Mona Lisa.

Now you've got me imagining him getting upset at the Mona Lisa no matter the context. His visit to the Louvre must've sucked

I'd completely forgotten Tank Girl existed until Lori Petty turned up in season 2 of Orange is the New Black, been meaning to try it again, see if I still love it. Such a fun movie, though it's the movie I've seen with the fewest people in the theatre. Saw it with my sister and it was literally just us in there.

blackaesir:
Hey and Eddard Stark and Taye Diggs are in it.

Did... did you just refer to one of the other actors by his name but the other by another role he's played?

"Sean Bean" isn't even that difficult of a name!

(Although he's always 006 Alec Trevelyan to me, with Boromir a close second.)

Is liking Equilibrium an internet joke that I'm not in on? Seriously, Gun Kata is one of the dumbest ideas I've ever heard of. It was even more dumb to watch. I don't remember face-palming more often watching any movie ever.

Nineteen Eighty-Four is really underappreciated. Probably one of the best book-to-film transitions ever done.

Chris Ingersoll:

blackaesir:
Hey and Eddard Stark and Taye Diggs are in it.

Did... did you just refer to one of the other actors by his name but the other by another role he's played?

"Sean Bean" isn't even that difficult of a name!

(Although he's always 006 Alec Trevelyan to me, with Boromir a close second.)

Yes, yes I did, and I am not the least bit ashamed of it, because its not like I don't know Sean Bean's name. That wasn't actually the joke.

If it makes you feel better, I looked on IMDB for a solid two minutes at Taye Diggs profile before determining that there was nothing as cool for him as there was for Sean Bean, aka 006/Alec Trevelyan, Boromir, Richard Sharpe, Eddard Stark and about a bajillion other roles (he plays a lot of SAS operatives). But thems the breaks. I always liked Taye Diggs in Equilibrium, but he hasn't really done anything else like it. He can't even compete with Michael Jai White in the B-Movie action category.

And yes... he is is always Alec Trevelyan to me too.

dharmaBum0:
Nineteen Eighty-Four is really underappreciated. Probably one of the best book-to-film transitions ever done.

In a way, every dystopian story "borrows" from George Orwell's 1984. That thing's over 60 years old by now.

OT: Good choices, Bob. I've watched Daybreakers (on your recommendation) and Equilibrium, and love 'em both. I read a retro-review of Tank Girl on Comics Alliance saying it would work better as an animated feature, drawn by one of the original creators.
That Rowdy Roddy Piper one is funnier when you recall that he thought another movie he did, they Live, was a documentary.

FiatCelebrity:
Is liking Equilibrium an internet joke that I'm not in on? Seriously, Gun Kata is one of the dumbest ideas I've ever heard of. It was even more dumb to watch. I don't remember face-palming more often watching any movie ever.

In the words of The Joker from The Dark Knight "Why so serious?" Sometimes film makers want to put something so stupidly awesome on screen just for the sake of it. I mean without that we don't have Pacific Rim. :) In my opinion there isn't enough movies with Gun Kata in the theatres.

Never quite got why Equilibrium was so popular. For one, the dystopian setting steals from more than just the Giver (Brave New World and Fahrenheit 451 are bigger sources). And sure, the Gun Kata would be fun, but the action scenes are so poorly shot and edited, its completely ruined. But I seem to be the minority here, since most people I know love the shit out this movie.

At first this seemed a lot like Jim Sterling's list of games with a better story than Beyond Two Souls.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VhAo6gidj9U

Didn't see the first 2 films. While Tank Girl sounds awesome on paper, it really isn't. Daybreakers was ok, but it didn't really blow my mind. Equilibrium is like that one student that everyone talks about. He's so smart and cool. Then, you meet him and end up realizing that he's not that special.

Seracen:
Tank Girl...really? I never cared for the film, though it had quirky amusement from time to time. Also a fan of the main actress (lots of voicework in games and animation), and the incomparable Malcolm McDowell (who was a pleasure to meet in person as well). But no, I would never suggest watching the movie.

Daybreakers and Equilibrium are those not-so-sleeper hits. They are amazing films that most dystopian/action buffs (rightly) know of, but never really got the acclaim that films like Matrix got. Daybreakers had a really smart resolution at the end as well, and neither movie felt pretentious (which is hard to do for many of these films).

Oh man, the ending to Daybreakers was just brutal, in the good gory way, not the bad poorly directed way.

KazeAizen:

FiatCelebrity:
Is liking Equilibrium an internet joke that I'm not in on? Seriously, Gun Kata is one of the dumbest ideas I've ever heard of. It was even more dumb to watch. I don't remember face-palming more often watching any movie ever.

In the words of The Joker from The Dark Knight "Why so serious?" Sometimes film makers want to put something so stupidly awesome on screen just for the sake of it. I mean without that we don't have Pacific Rim. :) In my opinion there isn't enough movies with Gun Kata in the theatres.

I loved how Winter Soldier used a weird gun kata style in the final battle of the new Cap. It helped differentiate him as a character because it looks so odd when the other guy isn't doing it too.

FiatCelebrity:
Is liking Equilibrium an internet joke that I'm not in on? Seriously, Gun Kata is one of the dumbest ideas I've ever heard of. It was even more dumb to watch. I don't remember face-palming more often watching any movie ever.

Thing is it's not even that visually appealing. It doesn't really have the energy of the kind of hyper kinetic shooting Hong Kong action flicks had. If I want something that is SUPPOSED to be what gun kata was going for I'd look to Devil May Cry 3 and 4. It also doesn't help that the main character is a boring, infallible cypher. There's no tension to any of the fights as he plows through hordes with such ease that you're just bored by the end of it. Maybe it wouldn't be so stupid if the film weren't so proud of itself and played so straight. It's kind of sad when you get down to it

Why don't more people like Daybreakers? Perhaps because it was an unevenly paced, clumsily written and confused movie that didn't really make good of its premise save perhaps for the first 15 minutes. The bloodbath at the end is kinda cool though.

I was surprised not to see A Boy and His Dog on this list Bob. A young Don Johnson and his telepathic dog scouring the wastes for food and trying to survive, only to be kidnapped by an underground society trying to steal his sperm. Freakin' bizarre and awesome if you like post-apocalypse movies.

VonBrewskie:
I was surprised not to see A Boy and His Dog on this list Bob. A young Don Johnson and his telepathic dog scouring the wastes for food and trying to survive, only to be kidnapped by an underground society trying to steal his sperm. Freakin' bizarre and awesome if you like post-apocalypse movies.

Yessss.

If we allow post-apocalyptic cinema you must include Salute of the Jugger AKA Blood of Heroes. You need the UK or Australian release but it is well worth the effort.

Of course if we're talking dystopia it is always worth remembering The penis is bad, the gun is good.

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