Fall­ing Skies

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Rated -

Re­lease Date: OUT NOW!

2014 | 18 | Blu- ray/ DVD Di­rec­tor: Sion Sono Cast: Tomoko Ka­rina, Ak­i­hiro Ki­ta­mura, Ryôhei Suzuki, Shôta Sometani, Riki Takeuchi

Ja­panese

dystopian rap opera. Those are four words we bet you never thought you’d hear to­gether. But that’s ex­actly what Ja­panese cin­ema’s en­fant ter­ri­ble Sion Sono ( think Quentin Tarantino with fewer in­hi­bi­tions) has con­cocted here.

In a crum­bling near- fu­ture Tokyo a huge num­ber of ri­val gangs of rap­pers are in a con­stant turf war. They rap con­stantly too. This isn’t a mu­si­cal, it’s opera, sung through­out.

The plot… well, it hardly war­rants sum­maris­ing, as it’s vir­tu­ally non- ex­is­tent and near in­co­her­ent, about as pure an ex­er­cise in style over sub­stance as you’ll find. Of­ten it’s more stylised than stylish, but there are mo­ments when the blend of mu­sic and vi­su­als be­comes the pri­mal, driv­ing power of the movie.

It’s bonkers in a way only Ja­panese films can be. It’s lewd and crude and has a level of toi­let hu­mour that makes Viz look like The Spec­ta­tor. The main vil­lains over­act like it’s an Olympic sport. The ac­tion is un­apolo­get­i­cally car­toony. The re­sult is very nearly a live- ac­tion anime. With rap­ping.

While it’s clearly not lam­poon­ing rap cul­ture – many of the cast are fa­mous Ja­panese rap­pers – when it so read­ily em­braces the misog­y­nis­tic and gun- cul­ture ex­cesses of US rap the re­sult leaves a sour taste.

One thing ’s for sure – you’ve never seen any­thing quite like it.

An hour’s- worth of be­hind- the- scenes footage from the shoot, four deleted scenes and a trailer. Dave Golder Sion Sono’s next pro­ject is a doc­u­men­tary on the Fukushima Dai­ichi nu­clear dis­as­ter… with the help of art col­lec­tive Chim- Pom.

Fly Me To The Moon

Re­lease Date: 6 July

2014 | 15 | Blu- ray/ DVD Showrun­ner: David Eick Cast: Noah Wyle, Moon Blood­good, Drew Roy, Con­nor Jes­sup, Maxim Knight

Four years in,

the Spiel­bergspawned show about hu­mans re­sist­ing alien in­vaders con­tin­ues to be a solid, mod­estly en­ter­tain­ing se­ries that may dress it­self in the rags of post- apoc­a­lyp­tic drama but has far more faith in the es­sen­tial de­cency of hu­man­ity than most.

The for­mula’s now cosily fa­mil­iar: ex­pect speeches about the im­por­tance of fam­ily, big hugs, and even big­ger ex­plo­sions. But the pro­duc­tion team have found a re­li­able way to spray on some nar­ra­tive Fe­breze: once again, the sea­son opens by leap­ing for­ward sev­eral months, frac­tur­ing the fam­ily of the Sec­ond Mass as they split into three story strands.

It’s not the most sub­tle show: one new in­no­va­tion is an alien academy brain­wash­ing kids; it’s painstak­ingly ex­plained that this is a bit Hitler Youth. Nor al­ways the most cred­i­ble: the Espheni can trans­mit elec­tric­ity across space, but the force­fields around their prison camps are still pow­ered by a re­ally big ca­ble.

Still, there are enough new de­vel­op­ments to keep you in­volved, and the anti- heroic Pope adds welcome fric­tion. Plus the fi­nale, which sends rebel leader Tom Ma­son on a mis­sion to the flip­pin’ Moon, is en­ter­tain­ingly bark­ing.

Fea­turette “Tom Ma­son: A Man Of To­mor­row”, the 2014 Comic Con panel and short “In­side The Episode” pieces, cast in­ter­views and “pre­quels”. Ian Ber­ri­man Fall­ing Skies’ ten- episode- long fifth and fi­nal sea­son starts air­ing on Fox in the UK on Tues­day 30 June.

If in doubt, gold­plate the guns.

Who’d have thought you’d find Big­foot out here?

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