sci fi

passengers – next stop, space, and to your left, space

Passengers is a science fiction film directed by Morten Tyldum and its written by Jon Spaihts, it stars; Chris Pratt, Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Sheen, Laurence Fishburne and Andy Garcia. It’s about two people who wake up too soon on their hibernation induced trip to a new planet. Continue reading

tomorrowland – great, big, beautiful

Tomorrowland is about a place that only a select few are allowed to go to, Frank Walker (George Clooney) went and was kicked out, now Casey Newton (Britt Robertson) gets her chance to go there. In Tomorrowland, events affect our world and vice-versa, but as to the extent… that’s up to our main characters. The film is co-written and directed by Brad Bird. Continue reading

chappie – johnny 5 for the new generation

Finally got around to seeing Chappie. After the critics panned it, and those great trailers, and the poor opening weekend, I waited and I waited, and waited…
Chappie is about a robotic police force in South Africa, but one of these robots gains sentience. Throw in a pair of rap/pop artists who play gangsters and Wolverine as the antagonist and that’s what you get. Continue reading

interstellar – to infinity and beyond!

Interstellar is Christopher Nolan’s latest film. It’s a science fiction adventure about a team of NASA astronauts who travel through a wormhole in search of an inhabitable planet, because Earth is dying.
Directed by Nolan, written by Nolan and Jonathan Nolan. Continue reading

automata – i, robot eat your artifical heart out

Automata is a science fiction film staring Antonio Banderas. Directed by Gabe Ibanez and written by Ibanez along with Igor Legaretta Gomez and Javier Sanchez Donate. It’s about Jacq Vaucan (Banderas) who’s an insurance agent for a robot manufacturing company, while on assignment he finds a robot that’s ignored protocols and has modified itself, what he discovers causes waves in the company and society at large. Continue reading

doctor who – kill the moon

This weekend’s episode Kill The Moon of Doctor Who is what I’ve been waiting for! Just take a look at the trailer above, we’ve finally landed, the Doctor is on an adventure in the future where something’s gone wrong with Earth’s Moon.

Continue reading

total recall – quaaaaaaaaid…

Total Recall is a sci-fi action adventure film. It was released in 1990 by Carolco Pictures and StudioCanal, directed by Paul Verhoeven, written by Ronald Shusett, Dan O’Bannon, Jon Povil and Gary Goldman. It’s loosely based on the story, We Can Remember It For You Wholesale by Philip K. Dick. It won a Special Achievement Academy Award for the visual effects, and the score by Jerry Goldsmith won the BMI Film Music Award. It stars; Arnold Schwarzenegger, Rachel Ticotin, Sharon Stone, Michael Ironside, and Ronny Cox.

Before I get carried away, go check out what my friends Dr. Q at Craft Beer Tasters and Cody from Three B Zine have to say about this film and what we did for Starship Troopers, here, here and here. Continue reading

ender’s game – insert coin(s) to continue

Saw Ender’s Game with Brian and Frank.  It’s about a future world where Earth has been ravaged by an alien invasion, Earth barely repels the attacking forces and since then they’ve been working against another attack.  The International Fleet prepares for this upcoming attack by recruiting and training children, Andrew Ender Wiggin is one of those children. Continue reading

elysium – where matt damon shoots things, not as jason bourne

This weekend I saw Elysium with Damielle and Gonzalo.  The film made it’s way to number one at the box office this weekend, it was a close call.  The short of it… Earth is ravaged, the wealthy move off world and on to Elysium.  The poor working class dream of getting up to Elysium, while the privileged class there work on keeping them out.

The good; Neill Blomkamp’s new film after District 9 keeps in the sci-fi genre.  He’s again created a world in which the sci-fi genre is a social metaphor.

The film looks amazing, it’s shot beautifully, the special effects are top notch.  The world is populated with droids that do the law enforcing, to security detail, to medical assessment/aide, you name it they do it.  Limiting the human jobs to manufacture of these droids, keeping the poor… well, poor.
Insert Matt Damon, I really like this social commentary, Damon plays Max, the film’s protagonist, he’s an orphan who grew up with some nuns and fell in to the wrong crowd, he’s got a bad record and now working at a factor which makes the droids that keep him on parole.

Much like District 9, the action and violence is both graphic and well executed (pun intended).  Seeing a man eviscerated as he flees has never looked so good.

The bad; Jodie Foster’s in this movie, why?  She’s under utilized.  The pacing of the film is much faster than Blomkamp’s previous one, I don’t think that’s a good thing here.  We didn’t get enough time to live in this world that he’s created, it’s very well thought out and has a system of its own, I wanted more learning how this world works.
I wonder if the script could’ve benefited from another draft or two.

Overall I had fun, the ending is much happier than District 9, a little too happy actually.  And there are a lot of logic flaws that are usually reserved for horror movies and why characters are making these seemingly bad decisions.
The ending is basically in favor of universal health care.  Hopefully Blomkamp’s next team up with Copley will be more “on track.”

europa report – no not how the euro is doing

I saw the Europa Report with Alburn last night.  It’s about a manned space mission to Europa, for those of you who don’t know, Europa is a moon of Jupiter.  These astronauts go there in hopes of finding life, in the form of bacteria and stuff, and not the little green men type.

The good; I love sci fi, and I love this hard sci fi stuff.  Europa Report reminds me of these other movies; Moon, Silent Running, Sunshine and 2001.  And to a certain extent Mission to Mars, everything before they actually get to Mars.  There’s something about man facing the elements, or lack of, in space.  Europa Report follows in that tradition.

The science fiction of this movie makes me believe that a mission to Europa could actually happen.  Adding to the science of it is the way the movie was filmed.  We’re watching an uploaded report, inter-cut with talking heads from the team on Earth and other things.  There isn’t much that feels staged, it’s as if we’re just watching the surveillance footage from their mission, just edited together.  It’s using the tricks found in Paranormal Activity but in a sci fi world, and for that I love it.
It’s also worth pointing out that in a typical horror movie characters act stupidly when venturing out in clearly dangerous circumstances.  But here, the motivation is for science and the mission, so these normally “idiotic” moves are ok.

The bad; it’s predictable.

The story is told in a non-linear fashion… I don’t think that added anything to the experience.  It makes me wonder how the film would be if it were edited chronologically?  I’d like to think that the impact of certain scenes would still hold up, if not more so.  Oh well.

*SPOILERS* When the first victim (Sharlto Copley) bites it, the moment is simple and not an action scene with huge explosions.  Very similar to Tim Robbins’ death in Mission To Mars.  Really liked how they covered that scene.
The end… like with the director’s cut of Close Encounters Of The Third Kind we’re shown too much.  I would rather the film footage be consumed by a bright light than to be shown a glimpse of an alien… *END SPOILERS*

Overall I had fun going on this journey, but was left very in the middle when the credits came up.  The music is done by the great Bear McCreary.  If you like hard science fiction, I would recommend Europa Report, but look past it’s flaws.
But it feels like there was a missed opportunity for a great movie here.