Continuing the theme of the end of the world, we have a selection of film suggestions for you to give a go. So what are you waiting for, it’s not like you’ve got all the time in the world…
There are days of legend where you feel invincible and the world is your oyster.
Cut back to twenty years ago when Gary (Simon Pegg) and group of friends (including Martin Freeman and Nick Frost) went out on the drink fuelled binge of a life time, which they never completed. But time passed and people changed, grew up and assimilated into the world around them. But what if not the only thing that did change was where you grew up? On the 20 year anniversary of the pub crawl to end all pub crawls, Gary (the boy who never grew up) seeks out his old friends to try and do the legendary run once more to reach ‘The World’s End’.
Did I mention Aliens have taken over the area and are replacing everyone they knew and loved with blue blooded Bodysnatchers? Edgar Wright makes a film much like the others of the ‘Corenetto Trilogy’, It must be savoured and watched repeatedly to see all the wonderful jokes and nods.
This isn’t a B-Movie schlock, there are moments of drama, universal clarity and fights of such magnitude you can’t help but cheer (especially the pub brawl with barstool Gauntlets). It is a British film of how to deal with aliens in a very British way.
That’s why Ladies and Gents why you’ll love it.
We’ve seen the Earth attacked by aliens many, many times in cinema. Usually that attack comes from above – with ships coming down from the sky. A lot of that can probably be traced back to H. G. Wells’ novel The War of the Worlds, where Martians and their death-machines travel to the Earth by spacecraft. In Steven Spielberg’s modern-day adaptation, however, the aliens (never confirmed as Martians, but never actually denied either) still come down from space, but their giant war-machines – the Tripods – are already here, buried deep underground.
I used to think this was an unnecessary change that didn’t really make much sense – an aesthetic change made only for the sake of being different. But over time I’ve realised what a clever move this was. It changes the nature of the aliens’ attack from that of invaders to something far more sinister. By implying that they planned this before humans were around, and then waited for us to multiply and spread, the film makes it clear that they’re not here for our land or resources – they’re here for us.
This is, in some ways, very true to the book, which at one point sees the Martians harvesting and drinking human blood. But there it was just one aspect of their invasion, where here it’s the entire point. This change is actually crucial, in that it allows War of the Worlds to shift from a huge action movie into a tight, claustrophobic horror. And it’s the quiet terror of those smaller moments that actually stick with you, not the bombastic special effects or the enormous destruction. Because, despite the title, the world does not end with a war – it ends with a reaping.
It’s probably not my favourite one (my favourite ones, I haven’t seen in a while), but it is one I’ve seen fairly recently and was actually quite impressed by. Divergent.
So, basic plotline – a society about the size of a city survives some kind of apocalypse. The people of this society are separated into groups dependent upon their personalities and their abilities. All is fine for a while, until unease attempts to set the balance askew by taking over major roles of another group.
Key in with this there are people who could comfortably fit in with multiple groups. The people are divergents – and are considered dangerous.
There’s many reasons to really like this film, but the one that struck me the most is just how strong the main character becomes. At first she’s unsure, softly questioning the system. Her character growth is actually very empowering – to the point where she knows what’s right and there’s nothing that can stop her from making a difference.
The strange thing about most end of the world/apocalypse movies, is that the world doesn’t usually end. The heroes usually manage to save the day. Even in the films where the apocalypse does arrive, things usually return to normal by the end, and the heroes carry on as if the extreme weather or alien invasion was no real biggie.
So it’s always a shock when a film does go the whole hog and destroy the world. And that’s one of the reasons why Titan A.E. is so memorable, because it’s a kid’s film that has the balls to go one step further than most ‘grown-up’ movies. It blows up the Earth in the opening minutes of the film.
Fifteen years later, a ragtag band of human survivors try to find Titan, a giant spacecraft that hold the key to humanity’s survival. Along the way, the audience are treated to brilliant mix of 2D and 3D animation, glorious alien vistas, exhilarating space battles, memorable characters (including the very Firefly-esque Captain Korso, which isn’t surprising, considering Joss Whedon is a credited screenwriter), excellent creature designs and surprisingly brutal violence.
Titan A.E. is big, bold and brilliant, but unfortunately, people weren’t ready for a film where the good guys loose in the opening minutes. It failed to connect with audiences and it cost Don Bluth his studio and his livelihood. Despite that, it should be remembered as a film that dared to do what others wouldn’t.