Do yourself a favor: If you watch only one terrifying sci-fi dystopian robot fight in high definition, let it be ROSA. You can really see the flaking flesh on those skeletons, and it totally sells the immersion. I have no idea why we're not getting more animation along these lines in mainstream movies. Maybe Hollywood is just hopelessly behind the times, or maybe the awful hippie Engrish that was Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within just poisoned the well for everybody. Regardless, short films have proven that modern-day, realistic CGI is an incredibly effective way to model a science fiction world. The scope and scale this method accomplishes is astonishing, and if one single guy with a limited budget (animator Jesus Orellana did this completely on his own) can accomplish something as gorgeous as ROSA, imagine what a Hollywood budget and, like, up to three Spanish dudes could accomplish.
In the future of ROSA, robots have finally evolved to the level of Goth culture in the early '90s (well, either that, or hairdressing is the last technological frontier and artificial life is way into throatfucking).
The titular robot, Rosa, wakes up in a derelict Chinese barrio of the distant future to find that all life has disappeared. Unless you count creepy Asian androids in unitards as "life." The bulk of the run time of ROSA focuses on the fight scene between the Gothborg and said Asiandroids, and it gets a little repetitive at points. You won't see this much elbow slapping outside of the Macarena -- at one point it even devolves into a menage a trois of rapid forearm fondling -- but between the tangible atmosphere and the gorgeous visuals, you probably won't find time to give a crap. Plus, at least the plot is novel: life-giving seed bank robots have not, in my knowledge, been done before, outside of maybe Neon Genesis Evangelion. Which I say only on the off chance that that was what was actually happening in that show, because I have no fucking idea otherwise, and I just want to cover my bases.
#1. Bad Motherfucker
If just last month you had told me there should be an entirely first person action movie, I would have thrown up right in your foolhardy mouth halfway through the sentence. Aside from just generally being sick to death of first person POVs in both video games and real life (seriously, how about some alternative camera options, reality?), I also get motion sickness pretty easily. Mirror's Edge was a fantastic game ... I assume. I mean, I know I played it, but when I think back on the experience, all I remember is white, red, and vomit -- it was like getting blackout drunk in a KFC.
Anyway, know that Bad Motherfucker, an entirely first person action short/music video, is probably going to make you nauseous about 30 seconds in. But if you stick with it, you will see the single best action sequence ever put to film. I'm not exaggerating: Bad Motherfucker looks a bit cheesy and cheap for the first minute, but at least wait for the turn about 71 seconds into it. Don't let the world's most gratuitous thumbnail either scare you away (if you're at work) or send you scuttling off on a porn search (if you have poor impulse control and no pants). Stick with it, because while it starts off as fairly generic action, it quickly escalates into an absurdist sci-fi violence blur. Bad Motherfucker is what would happen if Jackie Chan was born a suicidal Russian. It's like merging Jason Statham's Transporter with the Star Trek transporter, then getting them both drunk on ethanol and kicking their copulating bodies off of a construction site.
Also, a word of warning: If you watch this three times back-to-back, like I just did, you will absolutely be singing "I am a bad motherfucker" to yourself for the rest of the day. If you have appropriate plans, like enrolling in the Great Outdoor Fight, then sure -- no problem. But maybe stick to just the one viewing if Grandma's funeral is later this afternoon.
Buy Robert's stunning, transcendental, orgasmic science fiction novel, Rx: A Tale of Electronegativity, right here. Or buy Robert's other (pretty OK) book, Everything Is Going to Kill Everybody: The Terrifyingly Real Ways the World Wants You Dead. Follow him on Tumblr, Twitter, and Facebook.