Posts tagged Science Fiction
MOVIE REVIEW: Alien: Covenant

Designed by H.R. Giger and manifested by Oscar-winning special effects puppetry, the unforgettable xenomorph creature that debuted in 1979’s Alien lunged with more menace than suddenness.  The acid-dripping extraterrestrial was an overpowering stalker.  Fast-forward 38 years to Alien: Covenant, and the CGI-boosted effects capable today have accelerated the monster’s lethal velocity to an unhinged and downright bonkers level.  Let me tell you, that’s a dandy of a jolt.

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MOVIE REVIEW: The Circle

100% of you right now are reading this review via the internet on either a computer or a mobile device.  Like it or not, you and I leave digital footprints everywhere we go.  The new pseudo-dystopian thriller “The Circle” incites the over-obvious social media and data-mining fears of our present surveillance society of sharing and shines them up into a shiny and engrossing yarn of mainstream entertainment.  Fiction or not, it’s the kind of film that may or may not irk you enough to take that Facebook sabbatical you keep saying you’ll do.

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MOVIE REVIEW: Colossal

To come right out and say it, this is more than a monster movie, and you will relish seeing why.  To that degree, so little about “Colossal” is conventional, an appealing and commendable trait in today’s movie landscape.  Satire and dark comedy do more damage than any kaiju stomping cities.  Vigalondo and company are aiming for creative perversion and subversion of multiple genres.  Peculiarity rules over spectacle with minimal loss of entertainment.

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MOVIE REVIEW: Life

You’ve seen bits and pieces of this human buffet and interstellar peril before in the likes of superior films like “Alien,” “Gravity,” and more.  To its credit, the dour tone frames “Life” as a straight-shooting creature feature trading camp for tension and thrills, plenty of which elicit sly pleasures.  Nonetheless, what separates the spectacular from the mediocre in this science fiction subgenre is the monster and the creative uses by which it is employed.  This one goes derivative.

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MOVIE REVIEW: The Space Between Us

Call me a softy or a sunny optimist, but I will take "The Space Between Us" over the next "Percy Jackson and the Hunger Maze Runner City of Bones Games with the 5th Wave of Divergent Mortal Instruments."  The YA movie marketplace is overfilled with militarized kid-on-kid peril in the science fiction department.  “The Space Between Us” is cheesy, corny, and pretends to be better than it really is, but, gosh darnit, the film has a charming and positive core that is hard to ignore.

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MOVIE REVIEW: Passengers

Mixing romance with science fiction always seems to be a dodgy proposition of preposterousness.  The emotionality of love is not something readily explained by science, unless some smarty pants cites neurotransmitters, adrenaline, dopamine, and serotonin.  The marketing and publicity push of “Passengers,” starring the hot ticket names of Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence, want you believe that you’re stepping into “Titanic in Space.”  Hey now, come out of hyperdrive or drop out of warp speed (your choice, fellow geeks) and pump your space brakes!  The only apt comparison between “Passengers” and “Titanic” is the metaphorical sinking.

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MOVIE REVIEW: Arrival

To reveal more of the emotional and scientific obstacle course would take away from the engrossing experience to be had by “Arrival.”  This is the anti-”Independence Day,” so don’t expect a populist romp.  Instead, open your mind to a stimulating and provocative mindbender that may require more than one viewing to grasp and appreciate.  The trippy events unfolding out of the screenplay tangle the puppeteer’s strings and play with narrative and filmmaking forces few are daring enough, and smart enough, to wield.

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MOVIE REVIEW: Star Trek Beyond

The toothpaste is out of the tube, so to speak, for this current “Star Trek” franchise stewarded by J.J. Abrams.  Seven years into a reboot of erasure, there’s no going back.  This new cast and new timeline is here to stay.  If the die-hards haven’t dealt with it by now, they likely never will.  Those who arrived in 2009 with wide eyes and a fresh heart have not been disappointed.  “Star Trek Beyond” pushes a stellar and steady progression of shiny and modern blockbuster filmmaking with the right salutes to beloved nostalgia that warm from within.

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MOVIE REVIEW: Midnight Special

In the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the adjective form of "special" can be defined as "held in particular esteem" and "readily distinguishable from others in the same category."  For a film to earn that distinction it has to do more than have the word in its title, as is the case with the Jeff Nichols film "Midnight Special."  It has to possess exemplary qualities to revere that enable it to stand out from its peers.  As one of the most striking, imposing, and spell-binding original science fiction films in recent memory, "special" is fitting trademark for "Midnight Special."

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MOVIE REVIEW: Jupiter Ascending

"Jupiter Ascending" is an utter mess of missed opportunity and misguided world-building.  Just as with a majority of science fiction movies, the visual panache is present in astounding detail.  That, once again, is the easy part.  Unfortunately, none of it (and I mean none of it), is created with purpose or direction that becomes compelling and stirring to you as the audience.  None of its creative ingredients work to earn your investment, acceptance, attention, or even your basic comprehension.  

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MOVIE REVIEW: Interstellar

MY 300TH REVIEW: Like all truly ambitious science fiction of the highest order, "Interstellar" pushes the limits for personal interpretation of both the science and the fiction.  Both genre elements are wildly heightened to a bold and epic scale to address the internal opposites between logic and spectacle, science and sentiment, and brains and emotion.  Each of those ideals have their soaring high points and matching low points across the board in "Interstellar."  It all comes down to your taste, which makes "Interstellar" easily the most polarizing film of the year.  You will either love it to the core or hate it to the bone with very little room for a middle ground.

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MOVIE REVIEW: Her

Her, the new film from Being John Malkovich and Where the Wild Things Are director Spike Jonze, takes a look at that level of dichotomy and extends it into the not-too-distant future in a very different kind of science fiction setting. 

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