Sci-Fi Altered Carbon (Netflix)

Kevin

Code Monkey
Staff member
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Mar 20, 2004
Altered Carbon is a new Netflix series that dropped a few weeks ago and is based on a 2002 novel of the same name by Richard K. Morgan. Set in an alternate future in year 2384 humans are able to easily move their consciousness between bodies using "stacks", devices inserted at the back of the neck. Bodies, or clones and synthetic bodies, are called "sleeves" and a person is able to easily have their stack moved to a different sleeve. When a body dies a person can arrange to have their stack put into a different sleeve, effectively living forever if they can afford it. Stacks are able to be backed up in case of emergencies or even copied. A stack can also be put on "ice" meaning it's in storage with no sleeve; only when the stack is in a sleeve is the person awoke. Takeshi Kovacs, a former government agent turned rogue, is awakened 250 years in a new sleeve and is given a choice of solving a crime for one of the world's wealthiest men and receive a full pardon or to have his stack put back on ice to serve the rest of his prison sentence.

The series is a cyberpunk adaption that feels heavily influenced by the original Blade Runner movie. If you visualize the dark & steamy street scenes and wondered just how depraved it could get and thought what the 'Vice Squad' would look like that in that world then you've got an idea of the setting of Altered Carbon. Surprisingly the subject matter still isn't as dark as the HAPPY! series on SyFy. Altered Carbon is explicit with its nudity, sex, and violence but subject matter wise, HAPPY! is worse.


I binged watched all 10 episodes over the course of a few days and while I could pick apart some things, it overall wasn't bad. The biggest thing that kept bugging me was that Kovacs was in storage for 250 years and the technology he awoke to was essentially the same world that he left. Even in a dystopian future technology should have changed somehow over 250 years, instead Kovacs easily makes his way around the city as though it was just days since he was last in it.

Plot wise it suffers from the same mistakes as a lot of other movies. You have the main character meeting up with another character who ends up being his sidekick for the movie and, oh, by sheer coincidence, that character has a connection to the quest the main character is on. And, of course, the main character also has a personal connection to the quest he is on but doesn't know it until the big reveal that is supposed to be a surprise.

Getting past the usual tropes and plot issues there are some standout items that did make for some entertaining 'popcorn' watching while I was working. Is it something that I'll go back and watch again like some sci-fi movies? Not likely, but I will watch season 2 if it is made.
 
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Kevin

Code Monkey
Staff member
Joined
Mar 20, 2004
Season 2 of Altered Carbon on Netflix is set to premiere in the 2nd half of this year. Filming was started back in February of this year but no release date has been given yet. Due to the heavy special effects laden episodes it takes some time for each episode to be created.

 

Xiggy

CinVin Tech Support
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(Article by Lisa McLoughlin at The Sun)

The new full-length trailer for Altered Carbon season two has been released and it’s jam packed full of action.

The Netflix trailer sees Marvel star Anthony Mackie taking over the role of Takeshi Kovacs, which picks up 30 years after the events of season one.

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The new full-length trailer for Altered Carbon season two has been released and it’s jam packed full of action
Netflix

The eight-episode season sees Takeshi continuing his search across the galaxy to find his long lost love Quellcrist Falconer (Renee Elise Goldsberry).

However, he also has to track down a killer, and after returning two his home planet, Takeshi realises his two missions are linked.

In the trailer, fans learn of Kovac’s upgraded “sleeve” body comes complete with rapid healing and enhanced reaction time.

Viewers also see the character use telekinesis to draw a pair of handguns, before he asks villainous Danica Harlan: “How does it feel to be afraid of death again? Or is this your first time?”

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The Netflix trailer sees Marvel star Anthony Mackie taking over the role of Takeshi Kovacs
Netflix

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Joel Kinnaman played the character in season one
Handout

The sci-fi series allows human souls and consciousness to be transferred from body to body; theoretically allowing them to live forever.

Hence, Anthony taking over the soldier-turned-detective from Suicide Squad actor Joel Kinnaman, who played him in season one.

In the first teaser, which was released earlier this month, Anthony could be heard in voiceover saying: “Technology has conquered death, but with endless futures, comes endless pasts.”

“We are trailed by spectres. They cling to us like shadows… But if you chase after your ghosts, you just might become one.”

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The eight-episode season sees Takeshi continuing his search across the galaxy to find his long lost love Quellcrist Falconer

The series is based on the 2002 novel of the same name by author Richard K. Morgan.

Richard previously spoke about the Netflix series, which features many of the brutal scenes described in the book.

He told The Guardian: “There’s no limit to my capacity for vindictive violence, I think, if some of these switches are tripped.

“I’m not a fan of violence but I love it in my entertainment. Everything I write is interrogating that paradox. A lot of my writing comes from rage. It’s all been vomited out on to the page.

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Kevin

Code Monkey
Staff member
Joined
Mar 20, 2004
Season 2 of Altered Carbon is hitting Netflix US on February 27! :cool:
 

Kevin

Code Monkey
Staff member
Joined
Mar 20, 2004
S2 wasn't bad even though the backstory with the "Elders" was a trope seen many (many!) times before in sci-fi works. The "Founders" of Harlan's World thought the planet was uninhabited, it wasn't, in order to claim the world anyway they wiped out the sentient beings they found and proceed to prosper from the alien technology with nobody to stop them, years later a surviving remnant of the original inhabitants is back for revenge. Compared to the actor who played Kovacs in S1, Mackie didn't seem to have the same intensity in the role and no chemistry with the rest of the cast. I know, I know..... "intensity" and "chemistry" are easy cliches of critic reviews but those are the descriptions that come to mind. In scenes with characters like Tanaseda Hideki, Ivan Carrera, or even the resleeved original Kovacs, it is those other characters who are leading the scene, not Mackie's Kovacs.

For S2 I actually found the development of the Poe AI character more appealing than the main story line. In S2 Poe ends up making decisions that highlight just how complex the AI characters are and in a world where human sentience can be transferred digitally, the age old question pops up of at what point exactly is an AI on par with a human?

Netflix also produced a full-length anime titled Altered Carbon: Resleeved that takes place a few hundred years before S1. I found the story line to be more compelling than S2 of the live action series but, honestly, that may be because I'm a fan of anime-style movies in general and they packed a good amount of story into 75~ minutes versus drawing it out it over several episodes. In S2 of the live series the relationship between Kovacs and Tanaseda is one of respect and of debt to each other; Resleeved starts at the beginning of that relationship which sets it up for additional anime titles that take place before the events of S1.

 
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