Sometimes you have to watch a motion picture to get truly excited about a concept in a video game, at least this is the way Binary Domain has been working out for me. I have always been a big fan of Sci-Fi films, so when I heard that SEGA was tackling down some robotic action, I was all in. Time to post five of the best sci-fi films to get you all pumped up to play Binary Domain.
This movie was a surprise. Released mere months after Transformers 3, I don’t think anyone was expecting another blockbuster robot movie, let alone one that was actually good! I, personally, was not even bothering to follow the movie. Then Nostalgia Critic reviewed it, compared it to Karate Kid…and I knew I had to see it. I was not disappointed. Was it corny? Most definitely, but it’s that kind of corny you’d expect from a movie like Karate Kid (original, not the Kung Fu Kid remake thing with Will Smith’s son), which this movie most definitely takes after. Take the Karate Kidformula, add robots and Wolverine, and you’ve got yourself a fun little sports movie. Not exactly for everyone, especially for people who dislike movies with too much sentimentality. The story itself isn’t entirely original, but in a genre dominated by horrible Transformers movies, it’s also a nice breath of fresh air.
The movie is actually based on Richard Matheson’s 1956 short story “Steel”. So what is this flick all about? In the flick we have Wolverine who plays a washed up former boxer and failed robot fighter named Charles Kenton. After losing yet another robot in a show fight against a bull, he’s called back home to sign over custody of his ex-girl friend’s son to the kid’s aunt an uncle. In a strange turn of events, he ends up essentially selling his son. For $100,000, he agrees to take care of the kid over the summer so the would-be guardians can go on a trip to Europe and giving them full custody when they return.
(Wolverine laughing with a young boy in a wife beater)
From here, the movie focuses on the father and son as they bond, find an old discarded robot, and use it to win matches and eventually take on the champ. You probably know how the story goes from here: training montage, surprising first win, then victory after victory as the robot begins to gain notoriety, eventually capping everything off with a fight against the movie’s big bad champion, a robot named Zeus.
(“Look, I’m Will Smith. I used to rap.”)
Will Smith has come a long way from being the dude from Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. He stars in multi-million dollar flicks, makes bank and breaks hearts. What a life style. Will Smith in this flick plays Del Spooner a Chicago police detective. His problem, and the reason he looks so angry in the promotion picture above, is that he hates robots. Sadly for him, in the in the year 2039, when this film takes place, anthropomorphic robots replace most cops and are used to restore order. Why does he hate robots? Early in his life, he was involved in a car accident. When robots arrived to help, they chose to save him instead of a 12 year old girl. Why would a robot do this? Does he just like black men? Nope, they saved him because his chances for his survival were greater than some stupid weak little girl.
In the movie, Dr. Alfred Lanning, founder of U.S. Robotics is found dead, due to apparent suicide. Del, not buying the whole suicide story, starts digging deeper into the death and almost gets killed by some of the anthropomorphic robots that are suppose to protect the people. Sadly no one believes Del due to his hatred for robots and the because the robots are programmed to obey the three laws of robotics. Later on in the film we find out that the new N-5 robots are taking down everyone, including the older model robots. They start imprisoning humans with curfews. But don’t worry, I’m sure there was something good to watch on TV anyway. So who is going to stop this robotic mess? Who do you think?
A.I. Artificial Intelligence
A.I. Artificial Intelligence started life way back in in the early 1970’s with film maker Stanley Kubrick (A Clockwork Orange and Full Metal Jacket), where he hired a series of writers to write the A.I. film. Sadly technology wasn’t up to par back then to create the vision Kubrick had for David and he didn’t think a child could act the role out, at least not the way he wanted it.
The project was resurrected by Steven Spielberg and came out in 2001. The lead actor was the kid from Sixth Sense. Back then this kid was everywhere.The film takes place in the 22nd century, after a cataclysm caused by global warming, which had in turn been caused by me driving my hummer everywhere, lead to the deaths of a massive number of people. A company named Cybertronics decides that the best thing to do in a time like this is create a child robot that will love their owners. I mean, why not? To test the robot they decide to let their employee Henry Swinton take it home for a test run. Yes, a company actually thought this was a good idea.
(AH! Robot is broken, can’t check facebook…)
The most fucked up part? The worker Henry’s son (Martin) is actually frozen up due to him having a rare disease. So they froze him like a stake so they can unfreeze him and cure him. So this company is thinking that since he doesn’t have a real kid, they will make him test out a fake one, since he did so well with his first child. After awhile the family falls in love with the robot David, but sadly for him a cure was found for their real son, who comes home and has a rivalry with our robotic boy. In a pool party, a stupid kid decides it would be pretty neat to poke the robot with a knife, causing him to shift to self defense mode, jumping in the pool with Martin. Since he is robotic he sinks straight down. They save Martin before he drowns, but this makes the parents question what David could become. What if his love can turn to hate? What if he is jealous? They talk about taking him back to Cybertronics. Problem is, if he is taken back he will be thought of as broken. Thus he will be destroyed.
So, Henry decides to abandon David with his favorite teddy in a forest to live his life as a unregistered robot. Just because he was pussy whipped. He later finds a pedophile robot by the name of Gigolo Joe (Played by real life pedophile Jude Law) and they go on their quest to make David a real boy. They go to find a the fairy from the Pinocchio stories, one of David’s favorites. Impressive film and it’s suitable for the whole family. Don’t let Jude Law scare you away.
(Recommended: Blade Runner: Final Cut)
Blade Runner is easily one of my favorite movies. The film is based off of the book Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep by Phillip K. Dick. It takes plays in November 2019 in the city of Los Angeles. The film’s story starts off by telling us about genetically engineered organic robots called replicants that escaped to Earth. Problem is that replicants are banned from Earth, so we have people that hunt down escaped replicants known as Blade Runners. The main character is a Blade Runner by the name of Rick Deckard, played by a sexy Harrison Ford, who takes the contract from a mega-corporation known as Tyrell Corporation. They are the creators of replicants.
The problem with catching replicants is that they look human, act human and some think they are human. They have implanted memories, thoughts and feelings. Blade Runners have a test they perform that allows them to tell the replicants apart. The people in Tyrell Corporations want Rick to do a test on a worker there to see if it works, a character that Rick later falls in love with. Asking the question, can a human fall in love with a robot and is that love true?
In this movie, Rick hunts down five replicants, lead by a military replicant known as Roy Batty. They are are attempting to extend their lives, since unlike most robots in film, these have an expiration date. Through the film we learn about the things Roy has done, and learn that these replicants are more then mere machines. They are also people who just want to live their lives. It’s a shame that they are willing to do this by any means necessary, but wouldn’t you?
(Above: Replicants can have sex. Nice.)
The city’s look and atmopshere reminds me a lot of what I see in Japanese pictures. Big cities, neon lights and lots of people. Since Binary Domain takes place in Japan, viewers will feel right at home here. The only difference is that Blade Runner has darker colors with some awesome bright lights that really look nice on film. The costumes in the movie remind me of something right out of Streets of Rage. I highly recommend this film. Even though the movie came out in 1982 it also has one of the hottest, best looking films on blu-ray.
(Recommended: Terminator, Terminator 2: Judgement Day)
The Terminator franchise is loved by millions and millions of nerds and its the films that put Arnold Schwarzenegger on the map. Arnold Schwarzenegger plays the Terminator, a robot sent back in time to kill Sara Connor. Terminator 2 is considered by many to be one of the greatest Sci-Fi films ever. If you haven’t seen these beauties, see them now. They are both old films but I think they have aged pretty well in terms of story telling. I think the special effects in Terminator 2 still look rather fantastic.
So why would this game get you pumped up for Binary Domain? The whole point of Binary Domain is humans fighting against robots that think they are human. Even though this is not in the plot for the first two Terminator films (watch Terminator Salvation for that one), it does feature a robot taking the appearance of a human. In the first film we have the Terminator traveling back in time to kill Sarah Connor because she is supposed to give birth to John Connor, a baby that will lead the human race in the fight against the uncaring, cold robot armies. Yeah, quite a handful, poor Sarah, all she wanted to do was party with her 80’s hair-do.
(Above: Sarah Connor’s hair)
Even though my favorite Terminator film was the first one, even though I didn’t see it till I took a “Cinema Appreciation Class” (aka all classes where full) in College, I have to say it made me see Terminator 2 in a whole new light. When I watched Terminator 2 as a kid, I wasn’t scared of Arnold. All I could think was how cool it would be to have my own robot and all the crazy stuff I could get away with. In the first one, however, this big walking human tank is the bad guy. He has less than twenty lines in the film, doesn’t hesitate to shoot someone and will destroy everything to complete its mission. That stuff right there scares me. It terrifies me.
In the sequel, The Terminator (Model number changes, usually known as the T-800) who is played by the lovable Arnold again, travels back in time. But instead of being a hardcore killer, he is there to protect John Connor. So why did the robot seem to change its mind? It didn’t. Arnold’s model is made on an assembly line, and one of these robots was captured and reprogrammed to go back in time to save John Connor. If only it was so easy, the film introduces a new, more advance robot known as the T-1000. This robot’s metal is basically liquid that he can turn to a solid. Which means he can shape it the way he wants, into knifes, other people and the such. More deadly, yes.
(Above: John’s friend not selling himself out while he is playing After Burner. SEGA inception.)
John Connor in the film turns out to be the typical 90’s brat. The kid listens to heavy metal, has long hair and is always up to no good. After the events of the first Terminator film, John’s mom gets set up in a insane asylum for obvious reasons, she thinks there is a robot that is coming to kill her and her son, who is going to protect mankind in a future war. I mean, that doesn’t sound insane, it does happen all the time. So John is out there all alone, with only his ginger friend who oddly enough doesn’t sell him out.
Later in the film John Connor learns that the T-800 is sent to help him and take any orders he delivers. Unlike me, John Connor decides the best course of action is to tell The Terminator not to kill anyone, so we just see Arnold hurt a ton of cops. Since he didn’t kill them, that makes it okay. I think the second film does wonders for film in general, not to mention sci-fi. Even though Terminator 2 was a bit more mainstream compared to the first one (which was darker), it still has some of the best moments in film history. Put these movies on your watch list if you haven’t already.