Paycheck / A Scanner Darkly

Staying on the topic of cyberpunk – I recently acquired two new dvds…

Paycheck is one of them and after watching Ben Affleck and Uma Thurman in quite creative roles, I have to admit this was one of the better science-fiction films lately. The film itself tells the story of Michael Jennings who sells time of his life as (reverse) engineer. Working on extremely high security projects and in highly confidential areas he get’s his paychecks for work of up to eight weeks, after those he sells even his memories – when his friend Shorty removes his memories – it all is very much the same as before – he just lack’s a few weeks of time. (Erasing the short-term memory)
But this changes very much when he get’s a very attractive offer and a possibility to get a final paycheck for three years of work…
(Director John Woo is quite well know for action – so count on it – you get action with this one)
A Scanner Darkly turned up when I was searching through the web on Philip W. Dick, the author of Blade Runner… It was another one short-story put into motion picture – but this one -is- different. First of all it’s a bit autobiographic for it is quite well know that the author did a lot of drugs… But no only the story is interesting (though it might be on several occassions that one figures a bit long-winded) but Keanu Reaves, Rory Cochrane, Robert Downey Jr., Mitch Baker and Winona Rider give you a ride on a story that fits perfectly into a mixture of a Big-Brother World and drug problems in the future. Bob Arctor in the movie (Keanu Reaves) is addicted to Substance D, he is working as special covert agent Frank (with a special suit that makes it impossible to uncover one’s true shape and voice) and everything is going to change when he is ordered to shadow his real self… With a special developed rotoscopic process they turned the real pictures very much into a comic film – this gives the film a special edge – and leaves quite an impression – it manages to develop a lot of emotions and special, unique views in the film. To my own surprise, I really liked it – especially for the plot and for the creative pictures.

Cyberpunks 1

Die Rollenspielwelt ist weit gestreut von Fantasy über die Moderne führt sie schon seit Jahren auch in die Tiefe der Zukunft. In (über Geschmack lässt sich ja streiten) verschiedenen interessanten Szenarios bedienen sich die Spiele mit Namen: Cyberpunk, Shadowrun, BattleTech, Rifts und auch andere (aber ich denke die drei sind jene die gut ins Schema passen) der Kategorie Dark-Future. Teils mit einem Genre-Mix zum Beispiel im Fall von Shadowrun ein Crossover mit Fantasy im Bereich der Rassen und Magie oder im Fall von Rifts die in der weiten Zukunft eröffnete Weltuntergangsoffensive hat wenig brauchbares auf dem Planeten übergelassen, dafür haben sich interdimensionale Riffe gebildet – Tore in andere Welten – Cyberpunk das Spiel selbst ist dahingehend ein wenig mehr an das ‘normale’ angelehnt wie in den Vorbildern von William Gibson (Neuromancer) und Philip W. Dick (Bladerunner) schon mehrfach in Filmen anschaulich gemacht. In der zu diesem Thema folgenden Serie will ich ein paar Highlights herauspicken, Szenarien im Kopf durchspielen und interessante Charakterkonzepte vorstellen für diese Welten… Continue reading Cyberpunks 1