Posts Tagged ‘sci-fi’
Director: Joseph Kosinski
Length: 2h 4m
The year is 2077. Earth has been devastated after a nuclear war with extraterrestrial forces, and the human race has migrated to live on one of Saturn’s moons while a select few have stayed behind to clean up the mess. Jack Harper (Tom Cruise) is one of these people. Two weeks away from the end of his contract on Earth, however, he begins to discover some unsettling truths about the planet’s current state, and he finds that he may be the only person who can make things right.
Director: Len Wiseman
Length: 1h 58m
Synopsis: At the end of the twenty-first century, due to cataclysmic chemical war, the world’s only habitable landmasses are Western Europe (dubbed the United Federation of Britain) and Australia (dubbed The Colony). Douglas Quaid (Farrell) is a factory worker who on a daily basis travels from the prosperous UFB to the economically oppressed Colony via a shuttle that runs through the Earth’s core called The Fall, and life for him has recently become unbearably stagnant. Though happy with his wife Lori (Beckinsale), he nevertheless feels somehow held back. Enticed by a service called Rekall that claims to be able to implant extravagant memories into the brain, Quaid signs up for a fantasy about being a secret agent. Upon beginning the procedure, however, it’s discovered that Quaid already had this memory locked away in his mind, at which point Lori reveals herself to be part of a cover-up meant to keep Quaid from remembering his true identity as the leader of a resistance movement in The Colony against the politically corrupt UFB. Quaid manages to evade capture thanks to a faithful but only vaguely familiar contact named Melina (Biel), and together they try to restore Quaid’s memory and free The Colony once and for all.
As this was a film that demanded extra attention, you’ll first find a review by Cliff Bugle and a second by Marisa Carpico. And even these wont cover everything there is to be said.
Director: Ridley Scott
Length: 2h 4m
Synopsis: In the near future, astronomers Elizabeth Shaw (Rapace) and Charlie Holloway (Marshall-Green) make a key discovery that leads them to thinking that the Earth played host to alien visitors during a time before man even conjured the invention of language. They form up with a group of explorers that includes mission supervisor Meredith Vickers (Theron), several biological, geological, and technological specialists, and a robot named David (Fassbender) who is charged with mastering all human-made forms of communication. The expedition destination is a planet (later named LV-223) they suspect holds answers to the genesis of mankind. What ruins they find there, it turns out, were not only made by intelligent life forms, but incredibly ancient beings which share the exact same genetic makeup as humans. What those ancestors, referred to by the scientists as “Engineers,” were developing on that planet, however, proves to be treacherous in ways that could not have possibly been foreseen. With each new discovery the team’s mission faces greater peril, putting everyone’s lives in jeopardy – including Earth’s.
In order for a horror film to be affecting it must accomplish an array of feats that manipulate its audience in a way that steers it toward a desired end, which is usually one of disenfranchisement, disgust, dismay, or paranoia. But one key element to effective horror that goes largely unmentioned is the importance of pity. When a horror film does not take seriously this pivotal aspect, or neglects it altogether, what usually results is a campy flick that allows, if not promotes an audience to react with disinterest or laughter instead of shock, terror, or other sorts of psychological distress. In order to properly convey the importance of a scary movie’s ability to make an audience pity we must first examine precisely what pity is and how it works to assist a movie’s efforts to jar its viewers. From doing this we can hopefully discover the major faults of modern American horror, and see what needs to be done to revive it.
To Those with the Power,
Here is an idea that I believe is worth some serious consideration, even though my thoughts on this belief are not beyond recognizing that it is hardly realistic – at the moment. Lack of plausibility aside, here it is:
There should be a feature-length Doctor Who movie.
For those who are not familiar with Doctor Who, it is a British sci-fi television series that dates back to the 1960s where a humanoid alien – known only as The Doctor – travels through space and time with a companion (who is replaced almost every season), battling against evil for the preservation of life, life-affirming matters (such as cultures), and even existence itself.
Edit: I should probably recognize that there are in fact technically three Doctor Who feature films, made in 1965, 1966, and 1996, however the first two have no connection to the series and have rather pathetic production values (aside from Peter Cushing’s acting), and the last was made seven years after the original series ended and had a story that was not nearly as epic as it maybe should have been.
The series got a reboot, or rather a reinvigoration, back in 2005 after a 15 year hiatus. Creators decided to invest more time and money into it, relying heavily on writer Russell T. Davies of Queer as Folk fame to reimagine Doctor Who in order to make him more appealing to modern day audiences. The new series is now in the middle of its sixth season (and its third Doctor), the first to be broadcasted on BBC America at the same time as BBC. A genuine sensation in Britain since David Tennant took the role of The Doctor in season two, the series has gained even more traction since Matt Smith assumed the part for seasons five and six. Here lies what little optimism I have for realizing the notion above.
Director: Vincenzo Natali (Cube)
Screenwriter: Vincenzo Natali (Cube), Antionette Terry Bryant, Doug Taylor (They Wait)
Cast: Adrien Brody (King King), Sarah Polley (Dawn of the Dead), Delphine Chaneac
Length: 1h 44m
Synopsis: Elsa (Polley) and Clive (Brody) are a couple who are top-notch geneticists trying to splice the correct combination of DNA strands that will create an organism that produces certain kinds of proteins that can be used to help fight any number of diseases. After enjoying much success with their latest experiments (unique male and female organisms that have the capacity to mate) they are brought down to earth with the news that their company will go bankrupt unless there is a more significant breakthrough sometime soon. Elsa convinces Clive to break the law and try experimenting with human/animal splicing in order to have the resulting organism’s proteins be more readily usable, but from the get-go things don’t go quite as planned. The new organism begins growing like a child, but the older it gets the more dangerous it becomes until eventually the two scientists are forced to fight for their lives.
Warning: This review contains information that might be considered spoiling Read the rest of this entry »
For those of you who missed it, ComingSoon.net published the first of three articles documenting their visit to the set of Tron Legacy this past week, which is the long anticipated sequel to the sci-fi cult classic Tron (1982). This first piece covers a number of elements about the project but mainly focuses on detailing the circumstances which have led the film to being made at this point in time.
One such detail is Disney’s (who owns the rights to the franchise) decision to hire Joseph Kosinski to direct the movie. For starters, he is a first-time director with a background primarily in commercials and his studies are rooted in architecture (he has a Masters from Columbia University in the field), which make him a peculiar candidate for the job. Nevertheless, everyone seems convinced that he withholds a great vision for the film. Steven Lisberger, the director of the original film, is fulfilling a consultant’s role on set and also is encouraged by the work Kosinski’s doing.
Actor Jeff Bridges, also from the original, is reprising his role as programmer Kevin Flynn. His role here wont be very big because his character’s son is the main protagonist this time around, but it is nevertheless integral to the story and helps bridge the gap between the two stories.
“Joe, our director, was an architect,” says Bridges. “That’s where he’s coming from. It’s interesting, different filmmakers, where they come from and what they bring to the film and he’s an architect and so the film has a very heightened design feel to it. By the way, this is his first film. Can you imagine? I don’t know if it’s the most expensive ever made but it’s right up there. To have a first-time guy… Got to give Disney credit for taking that risk. They were smart because he’s such a calm, can-do guy. He’s gonna pull this off. He’s out of commercials, and I saw some of the technology that he had available to him that he could use. It was basically the same reason that I did the first one.” – ComingSoon.net
For those interested in keeping up with Tron Legacy until its eventual release in mid-December, this set visit article series is definitely something to check out and keep checking up on. This opening article steers clear of spoilers, and because ComingSoon.net is publishing it you can feel pretty safe that you wont run into them later on.
Writer/Director Joss Whedon’s 2005 film Serenity combines genre conventions of both Westerns and futuristic science fiction films. Though the events of Serenity and the Fox television series that inspired it, Firefly, take place a little over 500 years in the future, everything from the character typology and dialogue to the stories and costuming are more akin to classic Westerns than sci-fi films. However, though series-creator Whedon more heavily utilizes elements from Westerns, he does not simply transfer them unchanged. Instead, Whedon rewrites traditional Western conventions in order to make them more reflective of and relevant to contemporary society.
Read the rest of this entry »