Ghostrunner is a first for me. I don’t think I’ve had the chance to write about a remotely similar topic. Sure, I’ve written about Si-Fi movies before. Indeed, I just finished a post about 4 intergalactic wars that I love. Here’s another look at it (shameless self-promotion on my part, I know). But that’s more of space-themed science fiction. Don’t get me wrong, I love it, I really do. And I love writing about it. But this is rather different, and I like it.
Ghostrunner Is On Pre-Purchase Mode
Cyberpunk is a fascinating sub-genre of modern-science fiction that has somehow escaped my radar. But that is about to change since we’re proud to present the pre-purchasing order for Ghostrunner.
Indeed, IndieGala already has a pre-purchase offer for Ghostrunner, but that offer won’t last that long. Hurry up and place your other on Ghostrunner. Oh, and don’t let me forget. Since I’m on the subject of cyberpunk games and later movies, I think it’s fair that I mention Cyberpunk 2077. Yup. The release of Cybperpuk 2077 I just weeks away, and without revealing too much, I’ll just say…. Stay tuned for more on that. However, before I could possibly go on with this post, I believe that a word or two about the game is in order. No. Not about Cyberpunk 2077. About Ghostrunner of course.
What’s Ghostrunner All About?
Developed by One More Level, 3D Realms, Slipgate Ironworks and published by 505 Games and All In! Games, Ghostrunner is a cyberpunk action single-player game. But at the same time it’s a fantastic first-person platformer with a kick. The game’s core mechanic is one-hit-one-kill type of a mechanic. It makes you feel like a ninja because one single attack is enough to kill an enemy or the hero.
Cool, right? However, at the same time, Ghostrunner is set in the future. Moreover, in a time after a global cataclysm. A city in a giant tower is the last bastion of humanity, and the future is bleak. Implants determine membership in various castes that divide the community. Violence and poverty lead to a rebellion, and survival is crucial in such an environment. So, a player can assume the role of a hero who, uniquely, can fight both in the physical world and in cyberspace. The ultimate aim is to ascend the tower and defeat its ruler, the Keymaster, but are really you up for the challenge? We sure hope so.
But back to the topic at hand. The cyberpunk essentials I mentioned in the title. And no, I’m not going to write about cyberpunk games here. No. I’m going to focus on some of the iconic (or at the very least well known) cyberpunk movies of all time. Depends on what your position on iconic is, you might agree with my choices. Or you may not, so I’d very much like to know your picks as well. So, don’t be shy. Let me know which movies you’d love to add here. Drum-roll please… Without no further ado…
Ghost In The Shell
You saw it coming. Indeed. I’m starting with Ghost In The Shell, and yeah. I’m not going to even mention the Scarlett Johansson abomination of a movie, which frankly was a colossal waste of my time. Why? Because before the existence of this watered-down version of the iconic manga, existed the 1995 Ghost in the Shell movie. Yes, the fantastic animated movie is my pick and you’re welcome. A triumph in animation, Ghost In The Shell is still a fantastic and intricate piece of cyberpunk storytelling.
It also has traditional drawn animation and computerized imagery and that fantastic mix give the movie a lovely surreal look. Which perfectly blends with themes and ascetic of the movie. And yes, while it has some violence and nudity (it’s anime after all), it’s not gratuitous that you’ll be put off by the movie. Do you know about the rumor that Carrie-Anne Moss got the role in The Matrix because she resembles Major Motoko Kusanagi.? Yup she sure did.
And speaking of Ghost In The Shell, the inspiration for The Matrix is so clearly blatant, isn’t it? You can see the influences that the animated movie had on the Malinowski’s. While we’ll just have to wait and get our 4th Matrix movie, let’s look back at the original. The 1999 movie that revolutionized modern science fiction and made Keanu Reeves into a bonafide A-list superstar.
It’s truly a masterpiece and today, more than 2 decades after the release remains one of my favorite Keanu movies. I mean come on. I remember how my friend and I waited for hours and hours in line just to see it. And that friend (hi Maria) made me watch it 5 additional times after that. In ONE week. Oh, and By the middle of 2002, the famous “Bullet Time” sequence had been spoofed in over twenty different movies. I wonder how many spoofs it has since 2002.
Alita: Battle Angel
Probably the most recent movie on the list. Alita: Battle Angel was a pleasant surprise for me last year. Don’t judge. I know the movie got a lot of bad reviews, but I also feel that a lot of them were unfounded. Yes, the script needed a lot more work, but pretty much everything else was pretty good. And frankly, I came for Christoph Waltz, but I stayed for Rosa Salazar’s performance, Robert Rodriguez’s direction and well… The entire movie.
It even has 3 Academy Award-winning actors. A damn good ones. And Edward Norton’s cameo at the very end, which was nice if you’re still hoping for a sequel. As I mentioned, earlier I loved Alita: Battle Angel. One might say, that it’s a fairly decent manga adaptation, but some might not go as far in the praise. Oh, and do you know which director recommended Waltz to Robert Rodriguez? Quentin Tarantino. Of course he did.
Ready Player One
Frankly, Steven Spielberg surprised me with Ready Player One. Both in a good and a bad way. Bad in a way, that I feel some other (dare I say younger) director would have understood this movie better. But I applaud his versatility nonetheless. I mean he did this movie after The Post. But for what it’s worth, it’s a fast-paced visual extravaganza that only Spielberg can muster. Don’t ask me much about the plot because it was so thin and forgettable that it passed through my brain after I left the movie theater.
But I did love the presence of Ben Mendelsohn in the movie. The man can play a slimy villain like no other, and he always delivers stellar performances as a baddie. And here’s a fun fact for you. Spielberg himself mentioned that this was the third most difficult movie he has made in his career. After Jaws and Saving Private Ryan respectively. However, it lacks the cinematic and cultural impact of the previous two movies, don’t you think?
For this particular post, I’m going with the original Ridley Scott directed the movie. Not the sequel, Blade Runner 2049, which I also liked, to be honest. But similar to the Ghost In The Shell, I’m going with an older movie. Way older indeed. Yes, the pacing is slow, and yes, it requires a second viewing. But darn it it’s beautiful and poetic at times. Especially with the presence of the late Rutger Hauer, and his chilling performance.
But I was sad to find out that Blade Runner was a commercial and critical flop. But I guess, the time that passed was kind to the movie and changed the opinion of generations that followed. I like to think that it will happen with Blade Runner 2049. And you remember how Spielberg rated Ready Player One as one of the most difficult movies to make? Well, director Ridley Scott regards this movie as probably his most personal and complete movie. Not bad right? I thought so too.
Ghostrunner: Which Cyberpunk Movie Is Your Favorite?
Which movie would you add here? Tell us in the comment section. We’d love to know all about it.