Cyberpunk Main

Blade Runner

Tron / Legacy

Videodrome

Total Recall - 1990

The Matrix

A Scanner Darkly

2009 to Present



Brief Highlights on other Cyberpunk Sci-Fi





The Lawnmower Man - 1992

Dr. Lawrence Angelo works for Virtual Space Industries, running experiments in increasing the intelligence of chimpanzees using drugs and virtual reality. One of the chimps escapes using the warfare tactics he was being trained for. Dr. Angelo is generally a pacifist, who would rather explore the intelligence-enhancing potential of his research without applying it for military purposes. Jobe Smith, a local greenskeeper with an intellectual disability, lives in the garden shed owned by the local priest, Father Francis McKeen.

McKeen's brother, Terry, is a local landscape gardener and employs Jobe to help him with odd jobs. Father McKeen punishes the challenged Jobe with a belt whenever he fails to complete his chores. Dr. Angelo realizes he needs a human subject to work with, and he spots Jobe mowing his lawn. Peter Parkette, Dr. Angelo's young neighbor, is friends with Jobe. Dr. Angelo invites both of them over to play some virtual reality games. Learning more about Jobe, Angelo persuades him to participate in his experiments, letting him know it will make him smarter.


Jobe agrees and begins the program. Dr. Angelo makes it a point to redesign all the intelligence-boosting treatments without the "aggression factors" used in the chimpanzee experiments. Jobe soon becomes smarter, for example, learning Latin in only two hours. Meanwhile Jobe also begins a sexual relationship with a young rich widow, Marnie. However, Jobe begins to display telepathic abilities and have hallucinations. He continues training at the lab, until an accident makes Dr. Angelo shut the program down.

The project director, Sebastian Timms, employed by a mysterious agency known as The Shop, keeps tabs on the progress of the experiment, and discreetly swaps Dr. Angelo's new medications with the old Project 5 supply. Jobe develops telekinetic and pyrokinetic powers and takes Marnie to the lab to make love to her while in virtual reality. Something goes wrong in the simulation when Jobe's virtual avatar becomes violent, attacking her mind directly; Marnie is driven insane, laughing endlessly at nothing.





Johnny Mnemonic - 1995

In 2021, Johnny is a "mnemonic courier" with a data storage device implanted in his brain, allowing him to discreetly carry information too sensitive to transfer across the Net, the virtual-reality equivalent of the Internet. While lucrative, the implant has cost Johnny his childhood memories, and he seeks to have the implant removed to regain these; his handler, Ralfi assigns him one more job that would cover the costs of the operation, sending Johnny to Beijing.

At the designated place, he finds a group of frantic scientists who have the data he is to carry, but it far exceeds Johnny's storage capacity, even with the use of compression. Johnny accepts the job anyway, well aware of psychological damage and potential death risks should he not be able to remove the data in time. After uploading their data, the group is massacred by Yakuza, but Johnny manages to escape with a portion of the encryption password.


After contacting Ralfi, Johnny returns to Newark and soon finds that two groups are after the data he carries. One is the international pharmacological company, Pharmakom, led by its United States executive, Takahashi, who believes the data to be critical to the company's interests. The other is the Yakuza guided by Shinji, who wishes to deny this information to Takahashi and claim it for themselves. Johnny soon learns that Ralfi is in the Yakuza's employ, and ready to kill Johnny to extract the data storage hardware.

Jane, a cybernetically-enhanced bodyguard, helps Johnny to escape, and aided by the Lo-Teks, an anti-establishment group led by J-Bone, they elude their pursuers. Jane takes Johnny to meet her friend and street doctor Spider who had installed Jane's implants. In discussions, Spider reveals he and his allies at a local clinic were to be the recipients of Johnny's data, supposedly Pharmakom's unpublished cure for "nerve attenuation syndrome", a plague ravaging mankind, due to the over-reliance on technology, and causing political strife.





Nirvana - 1997

The film tells the story of a virtual reality game designer, Jimi, who discovers that the main character of his game, Solo, has achieved sentience due to an attack by a computer virus. Asked by his creation (who feels everything the character in the game feels, including multiple deaths) to eliminate its existence, Jimi sets out to erase the game from the server of his employer, Okasama Star, before it's commercially released on Christmas Day, and thus spare Solo further suffering.

Jimi has been depressed since his wife Lisa left him. He decides to make his search for her a part of his quest to delete Solo and the game. Along the way he recruits Lisa's friend Joystick and tech wizard Naima to help him avoid suspicious representatives of Okasama Star, who employ increasingly forceful methods to stop him. By the end, Jimi hacks into one of the company's servers. This hack is in the world of virtual reality interpreted as encounters with persons from Jimi's life.


The network defends itself by projecting virtual representations of people such as Jimi's father and Lisa. It tries to keep the hacker's mind in the loop of his own memories as it burns the hacker's brain. Jimi manages to pass through the network defence mechanism by freeing his mind, forgetting about life before or after, about bodily feelings, and entering a state of pure concentration where one focuses only on the target (in this case the server with the company's bank account).

It is similar to meditation where one tries to concentrate on breathing; people who are able to do this are referred to as angels (they are invisible to the system, can go anywhere they want, and their possibilities are limitless) in the film. In the end, Jimi feels enlightened and at inner peace with himself. He successfully deletes Solo, comes to terms with Lisa's leaving him, and understands why things happened the way they did. He is in the state of Nirvana.





eXistenZ - 1999

In the near-future, organic virtual reality game consoles known as "game pods" have replaced electronic ones. The pods are attached to "bio-ports," outlets inserted at players' spines, through biotechnological umbilical cords. Two game companies, Antenna Research and Cortical Systematics, compete against each other. In addition, a group of "realists" fights both companies to prevent the "deforming" of reality.

Antenna Research's Allegra Geller, the greatest game designer in the world, is testing her latest virtual reality game, eXistenZ, with a focus group at a seminar. She is shot in the shoulder by an assassin named Noel Dichter with an organic pistol, which is undetectable by security. The events leading up to this, and the resulting game lead the pair on a strange adventure where reality and their actions are impossible to determine from either their own or the game's perspective.





The Thirteenth Floor - 1999

Computer scientist Hannon Fuller has discovered something extremely important. He's about to tell the discovery to his colleague, Douglas Hall, but knowing someone is after him, the old man leaves a letter in the computer generated parallel world his company has created (which looks like the 30's with seemingly real people with real emotions).

Fuller is murdered in our real world the same night, and his colleague is suspected. Douglas discovers a bloody shirt in his bathroom and he cannot recall what he was doing the night Fuller was murdered. He logs into the system in order to find the letter, but has to confront the unexpected. The truth is harsher than he could ever imagine.





Cypher - 2002

Morgan Sullivan, a recently unemployed accountant, is bored with his suburban life. Pressured by his wife to take a job with her father's company, he instead pursues a role in corporate espionage. Digicorp's Head of Security, Finster, inducts Morgan, and assigns him a new identity. As Jack Thursby, he is sent to conventions to secretly record presentations and transmit them to headquarters. Sullivan is soon haunted by recurring nightmares and neck pain.

When he meets Rita Foster from a competing corporation, his life starts to become complicated. Rita gives him pills to cure his pain and nightmares, and tells him not to transmit at the next convention. After the convention, Digicorp confirms the receipt of his transmission, though Morgan sent nothing. Sure that something strange is going on, Morgan takes the pills Rita gave him. They work. Confused by what is going on, and intrigued by Rita, he arranges to meet with her again.





Paycheck - 2003

In the near future, Michael Jennings is a reverse engineer; he analyzes his clients' competitors' technology and recreates it, often adding improvements beyond the original specifications. To protect his clients' intellectual property and himself, Jennings, with the aid of his friend Shorty, undertakes a memory wipe to remove knowledge of his engineering. Jennings is approached by his old college roommate, James Rethrick, the CEO of the successful Seattle technology company Allcom.

Rethrick proposes a lengthy three-year reverse engineering job to Jennings, requiring him to live on Allcom's secured campus until its conclusion but rewarding him handsomely with company stock. He is injected with a long-term memory marker for the post-job memory wipe. Three years later, at the conclusion of the memory wipe, Jennings is sitting in Rethrick's office, being thanked for a successful job. On returning home, Jennings finds that, although Allcom stock has become quite valuable, he had signed away his share near the end of his tenure.


Furthermore, he finds that his personal possessions have been replaced with an envelope containing a random assortment of everyday items. Soon after, the FBI capture him; and Agent Dodge (Morton) interrogates him on charges related to the death of physicist William Dekker. Jennings is able to escape custody, finding that the items in the envelope can be used at the right time to evade capture. After warning Shorty of his plight, he finds the items pointing him to a café meeting with Porter.

Rethrick, who has been watching Jennings' movements, discovers a message to Porter about this meeting and sends a body double to take her place to try to recover the envelope. The real Porter shows up and helps Jennings escape from both the FBI and Rethrick's men. They take shelter at a local school, examining the remaining items in the envelope while Porter tries to convince Jennings of the relationship they shared during his tenure at Allcom.





Eden Log - 2007

A man wakes up deep inside a cave. Suffering amnesia, he has no recollection of how he came to be here nor of what happened to the man whose body he finds beside him. Tailed by a mysterious creature, he must continue through this strange and fantastic world. Enclosed, Tolbiac has no other option to reach the surface than to use Rezo Zero, secret observing cells in this cemetery-like abandoned mine.

He embarks upon this journey guided by the roots of a plant, leading the way and the main subject of attention of the Rezo. This is the story of the rise of a forgotten man, sometimes informed by the archives of abandoned laboratories, which punctuate this subterranean network and at other times by his own strangely amplified instinct. During his search for the surface, Tolbiac must uncover the secret of what once lived in this network; but has this mystery truly left?





Sleep Dealer - 2008

'Sleep Dealer' is set in a future, militarized world marked by closed borders, virtual labor and a global digital network that joins minds and experiences, where three strangers risk their lives to connect with each other and break the barriers of technology. Memo Cruz, works at a factory, one of several sleep dealers. Here, workers are connected to the network via suspended cables connected to implanted nodes in their arms and back, allowing them to control the robots that have replaced them as unskilled labor on the other side of the border.

The sleep dealers are called so because one may collapse if one works long enough. The story is told as a flash back, as Memo remembers his home in Santa Ana Del Rio, Oaxaca. His father wants him to participate in growing crops on the meagre family homestead. Memo's passion however is electronics and hacking. The homestead also has dried up on account of a dam built nearby and owned by the private corporation Del Rio Water. Memo and his father must trek on foot to buy water by the bag, while monitored by security cameras armed with machine guns.


The media on American hi-def TV shows glimpses of a technological dystopia, although in a positive light with superficial spin-doctoring. As a hobby, Memo is building an electronic receiver that can tap into communications. As he continues to work on it, its range increases to far away cities. One summer, a remote-controlled military aerial vehicle operated by the security forces of Del Rio Water catches him monitoring a frequency used by the drones, an act that warrants a brutal attack.

He disconnects in time before the drone can locate him with certainty. On another occasion, he and his brother watch a live TV broadcast about a drone action that is about to destroy a building known to be intercepting drone communication. They quickly realize that the building is their own home where Memo has his equipment, and run to save their father whose life is in danger. However, they are too late, and the vehicle launches a rocket at the father, who had miraculously escaped a first attack on the building, instantly killing him.





The Gene Generation - 2008
(BIOPUNK)

Genetic Scientist Christian had developed a way to cure disease, and bring on a better life for all, but his hopes dashed when the group working with him decides to weaponize his creation. Decades later Christian has escaped the scientists that aimed to destroy DNA, but the technology still made its way out, and being used by DNA hackers on a basic level have created a new kind of death.


Genetic manipulation has become a crime, and with that comes a form of retaliation. Michelle is a hired killer hunting down DNA Hackers, and killing them to gain her brother, and Herself freedom from the city walls. All Michelle wants is a nice quiet life, but has a brother whom does not believe in any hope, and is looking for the fast buck, and cheat thrill.

He's got his price, and the scientists hunting Christian run across him after his theft of Christians' creation. Michelle , and Jackie are drawn into this end of the road plot allowing nobody but the strong to survive. Michelle looses her love, and her family, and come to her ends the only way she could. Alone.





Hardwired - 2009

In the not-too-distant future where corporations control nearly every aspect of human life, a man named Luke Gibson is involved in a car accident that claims the life of his wife and their unborn child. Luke has severe brain damage, but Hope Corporation agrees to implant a chip into his brain to save his life. He discovers that this chip also constantly sends advertisements until either the person obtains the product, or they go insane.

While trying to figure out why they did this to him and who he is, he finds out that the chip is a test product with a fail-safe that could kill him. He succumbs to the effects but the Corporation fears that their test might be discovered, and they decide to activate the fail-safe. Just before it goes off, a group of underground hackers led by Hal and "Keyboard" hack into the chip and save his life.


After using the chip to guide him away from Hope Corp. pursuers, they agree to try to help him remember who he is in exchange for assisting in their fight against Hope Corp. They show him that his accident was no accident but actually planned by Hope Corp. so they could use him as a test subject. He agrees to help but is captured during the attempt and taken to a facility controlled by Hope Corp.

Luke, with the help of Punk Red and Punk Blue, manages to fight his way to the leader of the project, Virgil Kirkhill. Virgil is killed after a short confrontation, and Luke escapes. He meets up with "Red" and "Blue" (the only remaining members of the underground group). Together they vow to continue the fight until Hope Corporation is destroyed.



Resources: Wikipedia.org, imdb.com




Cyberpunk Main

Blade Runner

Tron / Legacy

Videodrome

Total Recall - 1990

The Matrix

A Scanner Darkly

2009 to Present



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