A big collection of films that might be considered as strange, mindfucking, surreal and weird. Sorted by year. Suggestions are…
Never forget who you are
An unsuspecting, disenchanted man finds himself working as a spy in the dangerous, high-stakes world of corporate espionage. Quickly getting way over-his-head, he teams up with a mysterious femme fatale.
Cypher is a relatively unknown gem of a movie. Directed by Vincenzo Natali, who we have to thank for the splendid low budget mystery film Cube, we again are treated to another great idea, this time executed extremely well indeed. It looks stunning with some great visuals and cinematography, it's meagre budget was certainly eked out well.
The film follows Morgan Sullivan, a drip of a man who craves for a more exciting life and is bored with his mundane existence at work and home. He starts a new job working for a global computer corporation called Digicorp. His job seems very simple - travelling to various conventions around America to covertly record the speeches that are made by Digicorp's…
I'm a pretty big Vincenzo Natali supporter. I tend to lump him in with Brad Anderson and David Twohy as keepers of the true B-movie flame due to the fact all three tend to make solid genres movies with modest budgets. And that's exactly what Cypher is: a solid sci-fi/noir made with style on a limited budget.
If you can take the couple of big CG scenes with a grain of salt, you have yourself a handsomely shot and fairly entertaining little movie that twists and turns along at a nice pace. The third act gets convoluted and it comes dangerously close to shitting the bed at the end (many would argue it actually does), but if you dig phildickian thrillers you may dig this.
Cypher is a good (not great) small budget mystery-thriller with a few sci-fi elements. If you watch it expecting something more akin to the Masterpiece Contemporary series than to The Matrix you'll be in the right frame-of-mind. It doesn't have big budget cinematography and some of the score is outright terrible and cheesy (is that a xylophone?), but whatever it lacks in polish it makes up for in story. Jeremy Northam and Lucy Liu are involved in some sort of mysterious maze that keeps you guessing almost to the end. The plot might be a tad over-convoluted and repetitious, and you might predict a few things, but that's ok. The ride is still fun.
Nicely directed low budget Sci-Fi Noir about identity and memories that has this nice Philip K. Dick vibe going for it. Unfortunately, familiar ideas have been done better elsewhere - namely in "Total Recall", "Dark City" and "The Matrix".
Still, I'm very glad I saw it and its a worthwhile watch for any Sci-Fi fan. Like Michael Winterbottom's "Code 46", "Cypher" deserves a lot more attention.
6 out of 10
A very enjoyable, if a bit predictable, spy/noir/science fiction film.
The plot is beautifully structured and the pacing with which it is told is almost without fault. It has a lot of style and enough quirkiness to reach a level that is just a bit higher than most films of this type.
It is just a shame it tries to pull a couple of twists too many that I could see coming miles ahead anyway.
Then again, I probably watch too many movies...
lovely visuals throughout, dull greys contrasted with stark, sharply drawn black and whites. the relatively simple visual palette plays against the shady, murky goings on of the espionage world we're embroiled in. really sleek, yet hopelessly blurred lines between corporations and their motives regarding the title character are pretty much constantly in flux, and i really dug the sense of mystery it sustained for most of its runtime.
Been waiting a while to see this psychological sci-fi thriller of a man named (originally) Morgan who find himself undercover doing a risky job for a more bigger corporation.
I think the cinematography, done by Derek Rogers, was excellent. Really was experimental in a way. I liked a lot of the fish-eye shots and ones where the frame was off its axis.
The acting is probably what brought it down the most. I have seen director Vincenzo Natali's Cube, which obviously didn't have the strongest of talent in it, but they story made it all worth watching.
**Same with this film! The story is beyond our comprehension. I'd say that it is not as simple as Cube, but it definitely…
There's nothing worse than a film that thinks it's super clever when in actual fact it's complete nonsense.
First published by Movie Gazette
Director Vincenzo Natali has followed his claustrophobic debut Cube with Cypher, another tale of labyrinthine entrapment set in the not so distant future. Only this time, the much bigger budget has allowed Natali to broaden his ambitions, and the result is an impressively expansive vision of dystopia.
When Digicorp signs up non-entity Morgan Sullivan to become a corporate spy, it seems the perfect opportunity for Morgan to bring some excitement to an otherwise bland life. Travelling from state to state under the alias of Jack Thursby, Sullivan quickly reinvents himself as a cigarette smoking, single malt drinking lover of golf from the South Seas, but his assignments – secretly recording speeches given at hotel conventions…
This movie ... I have not been this upset by a film in a long time. The first 45 minutes are fantastic. I was riveted. The tone of the film is off the chain. It establishes a mood so well. Halfway through it kind of goes downhill. It loses a bit of steam. But it's not so bad.
But then about an hour and seven minutes in it takes a turn for the very bad. And it just keeps getting worse. I actually cannot remember the last time I watched a movie that go so bad so quickly. The largest letdown of the year. But, still, to be a letdown, there had to be something there ... and there was.
I'm so pissed
Pretty decent sci-fi
Vincenzo Natali 3. Best looking of his movies so far, best leads (though I really like Lucy Liu in general), and a lot of fun. Ruined by the final reveal. It's not just that it's increasingly predictable; the real insult is that it goes against the oppressive corporation Hell that was the conceit, and the appeal, of the movie.
Bonus 1/4 star for the very creepy brain washing scene, and another 1/4 star for Lucy Liu literally going through the roof. Minus 1 star for the ending though.
The ambitious high-tech corporate espionage via brainwashing idea is a cracker and there's some good visuals on show but it all deserves to be in a much better film. The script is rife with tedious, predictable twists, leaden dialogue and plastic characters while the acting is flat. This could have been a good little film in other hands, sadly.
Director natali elevates the budget on this sci-fi potboiler, hampered by its now-dated effects, but tightly efficient and stylized in its execution.
Underrated little sci-fi gem from the director of Cube.
The story of a newly recruited spy whose job takes a sinister turn is a very intriguing number full of twists and turns as well as making you never sure who our lead (Jeremy Northam) should trust.
Regardless of its low budget production; Cypher remains a interesting and entertaining film; feeling at times bizarre and unorthodox in comparison to other sci-fi thrillers; it's cinematography is a mishmash of cold colours contrasted later with bright, vivid colours at story driven points. The film never falls into the sleek, dumbed down territory a larger scale film would have in focuses on the mystery surrounding the narrative as well as it's very stylized cinematography,…
I'm trying to create a full list of the subgenres. Cyberpunk can best be defined as high tech meets low…
I'm posting this list earlier than normal as I'm not sure I'll be around much next week.
For the purposes…