Good start, but then it gets ruined
Bad Acting and worse Bad Screenplay
A brilliant film that helped define a genre
The film's masterful storytelling did its job. The message was clear. No need to overdo.
I would suggest that you go into this show thinking of it as more of an SF "cartoon" than a high concept SF show. There is some ok stuff going on in this show here and there, but its not Black Mirror, and unfortunately, it seems like the writers for this show are more like "professional" writers than they are genuinely imaginative. The successful pieces only happen occasionally, and even then, it's never quite as compelling, or even as weird, as it should be.I have nothing against pop SF that is more candy than science, but with this in mind, this could have been a better show if they had perhaps found better writing. The ideas behind most of these episodes don't feel fleshed out or well constructed. In fact, many episodes feel like they are padding out the stories in order to fill the time requirements. Sometimes the show does hit a cool note, but if you compare this to other SF shows doing a similar thing (Black Mirror, Electric Dreams, or even Dimension 404) this seems the least inspired, which might seem perplexing to some, because the writers for this show are supposed to be some of "the best" comic book writers in the industry. Well, this is misleading. Most of these writers are well known comic book writers, but rarely does that equate to being the most inspired or creative, unfortunately. They are just names that everybody knows because they have been around for so long.Metal Hurlant was originally a hugely successful adult comic book/magazine that hit its height of popularity in the late 70s and through the 80s. The magazine has managed to stay around in one form or another, and most of these episodes are taken from material that is relatively new. Originally Metal Hurlant was never really a high concept venue as much as it was an experimental venue. It thrived on trying new ideas and had a huge span of variety in style and substance. It was punk rock and edgy, entirely unconcerned with PC politics or standards of professionalism. It thrived because of it's willingness to explore. The rebel spirit that was a pervasive part of the independent comic scene in those days is really all but dead, across the industry as a whole, which is much more focused upon the abstract concepts of professionalism and sell-ability than being motivated by compelling creativity. You would think that this should essentially be the same thing, but in fact it isn't, and its a mindset that produces different results. This show sometimes peeks through the window of the past and find some of that original glory, but it too often feels more sterile than it should. I get the sense that the producers of the show wanted to capture something of the old days for a new generation, but the material just doesn't pull out enough mystery or surprises.My recommendation is to at least try it, and skip the weaker episodes. There is some ok stuff here and there, especially if you like SF, but don't expect the cutting edge.
SYFY is showing Metal Hurlant Chronicles = Heavy Metal ( yes, the French mag ) anthology stories. Production, acting, script all on par with standard SYFY channel fare like "Sharknado". I figured it would look cheap, that's not an issue. Sure, the acting is weak, but with ads, it's only 18 minutes of story. Come on – they can't tell a story that holds together for a mere 18 minutes? No, they can't. ONE stupid twist ending is okay. TWO is pushing it for a 12 episode series. Doing that same "fooled you" trick ending in every god-damned story is just ridiculous. These are not stories – they are only set-ups and punch lines. This doesn't even come close to storytelling, it's more like random juxtaposition of sci-fi & fantasy elements. The Twilight Zone did that, but they had a moral and Serling knew how to write a play in 3 acts.Not happening with Metal Hurlant.
My wife and I tore through these episodes pretty quickly. They were quite enjoyable and we made a game of trying to guess the "twist" endings. Most of the time, the twists had twists! In one episode, the twist was there wasn't a twist! Being a half-hour show also also eliminated the padding that you would have gotten with hour-long episodes. I also thought the series had pretty good special effects for a low budget effort. It succeeded in capturing the flavor of Heavy Metal magazine and it looked quite different than anything else on TV. I hope SyFi or some other network picks it up. It's great news that the producers are making a second season.
This French series (shot in English) adapts stories from the "Metal Hurlant" magazine, which eventually became "Heavy Metal" in the U.S. Director Guillaume Lubrano helms six 25-minute episodes with the common thread being a metal/rock meteor (the Metal Hurlant) screaming past each of these alien worlds before each story. "King's Crown" has peasants on a floating rock of a planet engaging in a combat tournament to determine the new king. Two of the better combatants are Michael Jai White and Scott Adkins. "Shelter Me" has a girl (Michelle Ryan) waking up in a bomb shelter and being told by a man (James Marsters) that he saved her before a nuclear war. Soon she starts doubting his story. "Three on a Match" has three men (Craig Fairbrass, Dominique Pinon, and Eriq Ebouaney) battling for space on an escape pod. "Red Light / Cold Hard Facts" is an episode split in two and was apparently the pilot that Lubrano shot to get the series greenlit. "Red Light" focuses on a prisoner (David Belle of the BANLIEUE 13 series) fighting a guard (French MMA fighter Cyril Diabate) while trying to escape a high-tech prison; "Cold Hard Facts" has folks in the 24th century discovering a 20th century cryogenic patient that they resurrect. "Pledge of Anya" has a young warrior sent by his master (Rutger Hauer) to the planet Earth to destroy a "dragon." Finally, "Master of Destiny" focuses on a intergalactic hunter named Hondo (Joe Flanigan) who sets out on a quest to find a planet where the alien race can tell you when you are going to die. This one might gain the most interest from fans as it adapts a story co-written by Alejandro Jodorowsky back in the day.Being not all that familiar with the source material, I still found this to be a fun series and got through the two and a half hours quickly. Lubrano has definitely chosen some good stories to adapt. Sure, you'll see some twists coming a mile away, but others not so much. He also has a pretty great visual style and some of the space shots are great, esp. for a low budget series. Another thing I liked was his casting as he got some good familiar faces in there (although I doubt Hauer was ever on set with anything but a green screen) and I'll never complain about seeing White and Adkins face off. A second season has been greenlit so look for that.