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.
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,…
Muy buena, es una peli super simple y oscura q logra entretener y mantener a uno a la expectativa.
SciFi: 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. Jeremy Northam, Lucy Liu, David Hewlett.
I neither loved nor disliked Natali's second feature & follow up to 'Cube' (1997). It's an odd sci-fi thriller & I use the term 'thriller' in its loosest form, as I wasn't really engaged by the performances here. At least not enough for the film to warrant a second viewing. Granted there is a somewhat interesting & intelligent narrative to the piece & that normally has me gripped, but here I wasn't exactly on the edge of my seat. I also found myself clock-watching which is my involuntary, subconscious reaction to tacit ennui.
In my opinion this is superior to CUBE though probably less inventive. This is a more mature film and its story is more engaging. It is slow to begin with, but there is one scene I don't want to spoil which reveals a bigger plot and thrusts our characters into the second act which is just amazing to watch. It is so well handled - I hope we see more from this director. The third act is riddled with plot twists that for me were not surprising...I could kind of tell where things were going. But it’s a satisfactory conclusion - you are never cheated. Northam is great as the very Hitchcock hero and Liu is amiable as the enigmatic support, but with too little to do. A sci-fi psychological thriller rolled into spy movie which is a good watch.
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…