Category Archives: Blast From the Past

Blast from the Past: The Matrix (1999)

  • Free your mind, or
  • In a world of 1s and 0s…are you a zero, or The One? or
  • Be Afraid Of The Future, or
  • The Fight for the Future Begins, or
  • Believe the unbelievable, or
  • Reality is a thing of the past, or
  • What is The Matrix? or
  • Unfortunately, no one can be told what the Matrix is. You have to see it for yourself, or
  • Perception: Our day-in, day-out world is real. Reality: That world is a hoax, an elaborate deception spun by all-powerful machines of artificial intelligence that control us. Whoa, or
  • The Future isn’t user friendly, or
  • The Matrix has you, or
  • Welcome to the Real World, or
  • Remember there is no spoon, or
  • The Future Will Not Be User Friendly, or
  • The World’s population thinks it’s real. On March 31st, they will see the “Real World”

Oh yeah, this was back in the day when a tagline was considered important, clearly, although they didn’t necessarily do them well. Actually, I suspect that this is in part because The Matrix was different enough from anything that came before it that it was really difficult to market.

Directed by The Wachowskis*
Starring Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving, Joe Pantoliano, Gloria Foster and Marcus Chong

Thomas Anderson, aka Neo (Reeves), is an office drone and secret hacker, obsessed with finding out what ‘the Matrix’ is. Meetings with fellow hacker Trinity (Moss) and the sinister Agent Smith (Weaving) lead him to cyberguru Morpheus (Fishburne) and his crew – including Trinity and less-committed hacker Cypher (Pantoliano) – who extract him from the Matrix, a simulated reality, to join their resistance against the world’s AI overlords, who use humans as batteries.

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Blast from the Past: Blade Runner (1982)

This review is, most immediately, informed by the 2007 ‘Final Cut’

“Man Has Made His Match… Now It’s His Problem”

Directed by Ridley Scott
Starring Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, Edward James Olmos, Daryl Hannah and William Sanderson

In 2019 the world is largely abandoned, an industrial slum inhabited primarily by those who for reasons of genetic health can not emigrate to the offworld colonies, where humans live at ease while their needs are met by sophisticated androids known as ‘Replicants.’ Stronger, faster and tougher than humans, Replicants are banned on Earth, and those seeking to return are hunted down by specialist police officers, Blade Runners, who use an emotional response test called Voight-Kampf to identify Replicants, and then ‘retire’ them.

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Blast from the Past: xXx (2002)


“A New Breed of Secret Agent”

Directed by Rob Cohen
Starring Vin Diesel, Asia Argento, Samuel L. Jackson, Marton Csokas and Michael Roof

After an NSA agent is killed while trying to James Bond his way through a Rammstein gig in pursuit of Russian ex-military crime syndicate Anarchy 99, maverick senior agent Augustus Gibbons (Jackson) is given carte blanche to recruit and deploy an asset drawn from the criminal world, without the tells of a professional agent or ex-soldier. Of those chosen, the only one to pass all of Gibbons’ tests is extreme sports athlete and political pre-YouTube video prankster Xander Cage (Diesel).

Continue reading Blast from the Past: xXx (2002)

Blast from the Past: The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension (1984)


“Expect the unexpected. He does.”

Directed by W.D. Richter
Starring Peter Weller, Ellen Barkin, John Lithgow, Jeff Goldblum, Christopher Lloyd and Clancy Brown

During a test of his experimental supersonic jet car, Japanese-American neurosurgeon, particle physicist, martial artist and musician Buckaroo Banzai (Weller) activates the oscillation overthruster, a device which allows him to pass into the solid matter of a mountain, thus entering the 8th Dimension. On hearing of this, Lord John Whorfin, and alien in the body of Dr Emilio Lizardo (Lithgow) breaks out of an asylum to reunite with his lieutenants, the Red Lectroids.

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Blast from the Past: Big Trouble in Little China (1986)

Little China

“They told Jack Burton to go to hell…and that’s exactly where he’s going!”

Directed by John Carpenter
Starring Kurt Russell, Dennis Dun, Kim Catrall, Victor Wong and James Hong

While in San Francisco on business, trucker Jack Burton (Russell) meets up with friends in Chinatown and ends up driving his friend Wang Chi (Dun) to the airport to collect his fiancee Miao Yin (Suzee Pai). From there, the two stumble into a gang kidnapping, which in turn leads them into a rumble interrupted by the arrival of ‘the Three Storms’, a trio of supernatural warriors. Aptly named lawyer Gracie Law (Catrall) points them to the Wing Kong triad and its reclusive boss David Lo Pan (Hong). After that, it’s all madcap schemes and daring rescues as tour bus driver Egg Shen (Wong) musters the forces of good for a confrontation against the terrible powers of Lo Pan.

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Old is New – Blasts from the Past

So, the observant may have noticed I’m rocking a new theme: Blast From the Past. Inspired by watching older movies with my daughter, this category is also linked to the new ‘not just shit movies’ thinking of the BMM.

Blast From the Past entries are intended to be older films – ten years plus – that I’ve watched before but am only reviewing now for one reason or another. There are a lot of shitty films made more than a decade ago, but I tend to only watch them once, or once and then again to review. To be a BFtP it has to be something I know pretty well, or that was a major part of my childhood/youth/angsty teenage years/University experience (Bram Stoker’s Dracula and The Crow, I may be looking at you here.)

Blast From the Past – The Lion King (1994)

It's kind of fortunate that baboons are among the primates with fully opposable thumbs.
It’s kind of fortunate that baboons are among the primates with fully opposable thumbs.

“The greatest adventure of all is finding our place in the circle of life.”

Directed by Roger Allers and Rob Minkoff
Starring  Matthew Broderick, James Earl Jones, Jeremy Irons, Moira Kelly, Nathan Lane, Ernie Sabella, Rowan Atkinson, Robert Guillaume, Whoopi Goldberg and Cheech Marin

The young cub Simba is born to Mufasa (Jones), King of the Pridelands. While Simba is still a young, reckless cub, his father is killed by his brother Scar (Irons) with the aid of his hyaena minions (Goldberg, Marin) and flees into exile.

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Blast from the Past – The Jungle Book (1967)

Nature, cheerfully technicolour in tooth and claw.
Nature, cheerfully Technicolor in tooth and claw.

“The Jungle is JUMPIN'”

Directed by Wolfgang Reitherman
Starring Bruce Reitherman, Phil Harris, Sebastian Cabot, Louis Prima, George Sanders, Sterling Holloway and others

A young infant is adopted by a family of wolves and named Mowgli (Reitherman), but the pack kick him out when Shere Khan (Sanders) the tiger comes hunting. As his guardian Bagheera the Panther (Cabot!) tries to escort the reluctant Mowgli to the nearest man village, he encounters the insinuating python Kaa (Holloway), the cheerful bear Baloo (Harris) and the mocking monkeys of orangutan King Louis (Prima,) before his final showdown with Shere Khan.

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Batman the Movie (1966)

Feel shame, modern movie posters.
Feel shame, modern movie posters.

“MEN DIE! WOMEN SIGH! Beneath that Batcape – he’s all man!”
(This is pretty much the only tagline which isn’t just ‘and now, in cinemas! Although largely accurate – I believe seven men do die in the course of the movie, although Catwoman is definitely faking her sighs – it is still somewhat misleading.)

Directed by Leslie H Martinson
Starring Adam West, Burt Ward, Lee Meriweather, Cesar Romero, Burgess Meredith and Frank Gorshin

When a consortium of supercriminals threaten to hold the world to ransom by dehydrating the United World Security Council, it is down to Batman (West) and Robin (Ward) to stop them. Can they thwart the combined forces of Catwoman (Meriweather), the Penguin (Meredith), the Joker (Romero) and the Riddler (Gorshin)? Will Bruce Wayne keep his cool in the intoxicating presence of Catwoman’s Russian alter ego Kitka? And will Batman ever be able to get rid of that bomb?

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