What is Cyberpunk? It’s a subgenre of sci-fi set in a near future -that focuses on technology within society and the social issues that come with it. It usually features “high tech low life” such as advanced technology like AI or cybernetics which in turn leads to a drastic and somewhat negative
change to the world's social order.
A classic cyberpunk protagonist will usually be some form of recluse or loner, who feels as though they don’t fit within society and never appear to be content with their current life. – So today I thought I would make a video -focusing on the well known but poorly defined, Cyberpunk science
David Cronenberg's cyberpunk sci-fi Horror thriller Follows Max Renn, an ambitious but Sleazy cable-TV operator, who begins to see his life and the future of media -spin out of control in a very unusual fashion, when he discovers a pirate snuff broadcast called "Videodrome." As Max tried to find out where the show originates, he gets drawn into this bizarre combination of Tv, politics and mid-control.
If you’re familiar with Cronenberg's work, the you won’t be surprised to hear that Videodrome is a highly creepy and original film that just gets weirder and weirder! James Woods performance is first rate, where your left guessing what will happen to his character next.
It's a highly immersive film that could be a bit too weird for some, so if you find surrealism irritating or boring, then I would give this a miss.
Strange Days 1995
Kathryn Bigelow's cyberpunk sci-fi Murder mystery - Set during the last days of the old millennium -former cop turned street hustler Lenny Nero makes a living dealing in illegal data-discs that containing peoples recorded memories. When Lenny accidentally uncovers a conspiracy involving a video of a prostitute being murdered - He starts to investigate, where he is pulled deep into a world of mystery, blackmail & murder.
Ralph Fiennes is pretty unlikable at first as Lenny, but he does start to win you over towards the end of the film, Co- written by James Cameron -this movie is really solid. It’s Point-of-view scenes especially at the beginning are really well done, and while it’s plot is pretty basic, it’s decent and easy enough to follow. Strange Days is easily worth a viewing, and a great example of cyberpunk.
Johnny Mnemonic 1995
Director Robert Longo's cyberpunk sci-fi crime thriller, In a world that’s inter-connected by technology where almost a half of the population is suffering from NAS a technological disease. The story follows Johnny a data courier, who is literally carrying a data package inside his head, the catch is -he must deliver it before he dies from the data overload.
Based on a short story by Williams Gibson, this film presents an interesting version of the future -with one of the coolest weapons I’ve seen in any science fiction. While Johnny Mnemonic isn’t a masterpiece by any stretch of the imagination, it's still an OK movie. The plot is pretty cliché and
Keanu Reeves really Hams it up! But the film is delivered in a kind of cool way -and it’s terrible one-liners are quotably bad but funny.
Oshii Mamoru's cyberpunk sci-fi action fantasy thriller -Set in a near future wasteland, where young people are increasingly becoming addicted to a violent and illegal virtual reality computer game called Avalon. Where one of the best players Ash -hears rumours of a more advanced level of the game that exists elsewhere. Where she joins a gang of explorers to find a gateway to the next level.
From the director of Ghost in the Shell -Avalon, is an unique film about the effects of video games on people, where it’s filled with discussions on the nature of reality. But if there were two words to describe this film, I would use Slow and Paced.
It’s great looking and has a very unique Japanese Polish theme. However this movie is not for everyone, but I would recommend it to fans of more thought provoking Sci-Fi.
Minority report 2002
Steven Spielberg's cyberpunk sci-fi crime thriller -The year is 2054 where "Precrime" -a special police unit, is able to arrest murderers before they can even commit their crimes. But when officer John Anderton is accused of a future murder -he now has to run away from a system he helped become successful, and try to figure out why he would want to commit a murder.
Based on a Philip K Dick short story -Minority report is an impressively realistic vision of the future, despite the fantasy element of the precogs ability to see into the future. The films plot and pacing is first rate, but then again I expect nothing less from Spielberg.
Com Truise is on form where his character is pretty relatable where you get to feel how he feels. Irrespective of the sci-fi element, Minority report is a great crime thriller.
Christian Volckman's animated cyberpunk sci-fi thriller Set in a futuristic Paris where it has extremely rigid laws that keep its populace in line and accounted for. The story follows Barthelemy Karas -a policeman who is investigating the kidnapping of a young scientist who is an employee of Avalon- a major health and beauty corporation who wants her found.
Renaissance has a unique visual style that is more than just gimmick- the animation is awesome, well-crafted and with decent camera work. It does have pretty good voice acting from Daniel Craig and an OK story, but the plot feels as though it’s had some missed opportunities where it
doesn’t raise all the philosophical and ethical questions it could.
While it does suffer a little from style over substance, that doesn’t take away from the overall experience.
The Lawnmower Man 1992
Director Brett Leonards cyberpunk sci-fi horror - The film follows Dr Angelo -who has developed a virtual reality system, which has the potential to increase a person's intelligence. His test subject Jobe - a simple minded lawnmower man is put into the system. Dr Angelo soon finds out his creation does in fact work -but not without some... unexpected side-effects.
Supposedly based on a short story by Stephen King -even though it differs immensely from his original work.The Lawnmower man is an interesting idea for a horror film. While it does feel a little lacklustre in places. I’ve never quite understood the hate this movie gets.
I won’t lie and say its above average, and by today's standards the film looks very dated, but Jeff Fahey and Pierce Brosnan are quite likeable in their roles, the story is sound and it has that 90s cheesy charm to it.
Total recall 1990
Paul Verhoeven action, cyberpunk sci-fi thriller - Douglas Quaid is obsessed by a recurring dream of his where he goes to Mars. Against his wife's wishes Quaid decides to go on virtual vacation where he has memories of a holiday implanted. But an unexpected and unfortunate series of events puts his life in jeopardy, which in turn forces him to travel to the real Mars.
Everyone should know this classic, but it’s one of my favourite - so I couldn't resist adding it. Total recall has a great story with solid action, and academy award winning visual effects. When that all add up together, you get a sci-fi film that can be appreciated on many different levels, whether it be thought-provoking or just over the top gore.
The story twists and turns its way around and doesn't stop until the finally- which leaves you with a very ambiguous but cool ending.