DeathWalk - my take on the zombie genre
Both will be FREE on Amazon today. The two stories are also free on all of the other sales channels, so if you have Kobo, Apple ITunes, Scribd and or Nook. You can pick them up there as well!
Every so often I post reviews about hidden gems or decent movies I find among the endless piles of dreck on Netflix. I almost always stick to horror, sci-fi and most of all Apocalyptic/Dystopian types of films. I write Post-Apocalyptic and Dystopian novels so... Today I would like to review two such movies that I found. One of them was a mainstream release, but it's been awhile since its been in everyone's "to watch" list. The second movie is definitely more of a Indie film. Both were recently added to Netflix and I think both are worth watching.
The first movie is the remake of Robocop. If you guys are fans of the original movie you may have mixed feelings about this remake. The original Robocop was gritty and raw, it pulled no punches. The remake is designed to appeal to a broader audience. It's slick and everything from Robocop himself to the "drones" are done up in a flashy way. I think the movie works as a standalone Sci-Fi movie more-so than a remake. The stories are similar, but the original story line was altered some to get rid of some of the drugs and violence. The remake is set in a future that doesn't seem so far away, crime has risen in the United States to heightened levels and the feeling is there that regular cops just aren't enough.
Robots are being used to fight foreign conflicts and we see a glimpse of them in action fighting insurgents in some Middle Eastern war zone. The robots are doing such a good job overseas, that there is call at home to use them on the crime riddled streets. This almost seems like a statement on our own militarized police forces of today, where armed personnel carries are used in some large cities. In the movie the problem is that the American public doesn't like the idea of highly armed robots walking around when they don't feel emotion. So the creator of these military robots comes up with the idea of putting a man inside the machine. So along comes our main character Detective Murphy. I don't want to give away too many spoilers, but Murphy becomes so much more than even his creators can handle.
Like I said above; I think that the remake works on many levels as a piece of entertainment. There are some problems, but the acting is top notch. We have Gary Oldman as the doctor who is in charge of the melding of man and machine. We also get Michael Keaton as the head of the company Omnicorp. who runs the robot campaign and comes up with the Robocop idea. I liked the movie, but in my opinion it doesn't hold up to the original. Is it worth watching? Absolutely.
The first part centers around Ernest Holm who is a rancher and a father. He has fought through the drought and has fought through his own demons (alcohol). His biggest asset is the fact that he has a donkey. Ernest is desperately trying to convince the builders of a pipeline to divert water onto his farm. He trades with these "contractors" and it's a very rough world. Ernest is played by Michael Shannon and I think he's the best character in the movie. Shannon plays the part with grit and sympathy. It's a great piece of acting.
The Second part of the movie is about Flem Lever a man who is in love with Ernest's daughter. He is willing to do anything and everything to survive. His father had been kicked off the land which Ernest now owns. Flem also has to fight through his own demons and ends up caught between his own conscience and what he feels he must do to survive. Flem is played by Nicholas Hoult and again the acting is solid. This movie has a lot of surprises and like I said above I don't want to spoil it for you.
The third part of the movie is about Ernest's teenage son Jerome. Jerome must skirt the line between knowing all of the secrets of the film and protecting his older sister. He's also trying to be a teenager at the same time. It's a very complex back story and again the acting is superb. Jerome is played with tenderness in a inhospitable world by Kodi Smit-Mcphee. I have a feeling that we will see Kodi go on to a really solid acting career.
I really liked this movie. While you can tell the budget isn't of blockbuster status the acting and direction is very appealing. We see many different advanced technologies from robotics to futuristic ways to treat paralysis. At first the way that the movie was divided into three segments annoyed me, but in the end all the stories were basically one and it worked on many levels.
WORMWOOD SEQUEL UPDATE: I know that a lot of my readers are eagerly awaiting the launch of the sequel to Wormwood. The book should have been out by now and that was the plan, but life kind of got in the way. I had personal trouble (divorce) and I wasn't able to write to the standard that I feel the sequel deserves. Now things are going much better for me and the sequel is back in full swing. The release will be delayed until the spring, but it most assuredly will be out eventually. I apologize for the delay.