Category Archives: Sci-Fi/Fantasy

I’m sorry Dave, I’m afraid I can’t do that.

The Titan (2018) Movie Review

Through the endless minutes of exposition at the front-end of The Titan, we hear a lot of what we have heard before in dystopian science fiction. Population is rising, while resources are dwindling. Pressures for survival have lit up violent conflicts across the world. Scientists and military personnel are desperate for a solution. Terraforming Saturn’s moon, Titan. Biogenetic enhancements to survive such a move. Medical trials gone wrong. Yadda yadda.

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Rick Janssen (Sam Worthington) is one of these test subjects. A military man who was once thought MIA while in the Syrian desert, it is this incident that convinces the government that he is Continue reading The Titan (2018) Movie Review

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Ready Player One (2018) Movie Review

Ernest Cline’s science fiction novel Ready Player One is not just laced in nostalgia; it is fully marinated in it. The story takes place in 2045, where most people in the world are deeply entrenched in an MMO-style VR video game dubbed The Oasis. With the death of the video game’s creator, James Halliday (Mark Rylance, in the film adaptation), a massive game-wide hunt is afoot for an Easter Egg that will give its finder control over The Oasis.

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In essence, it is a story about Easter Eggs created by a person with a strong fondness for Easter Eggs that itself is littered with Easter Eggs. It is a nostalgia vehicle. This is not inherently a bad thing.

And yet, because of its affinity for nostalgia, Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of Ready Player One feels like Continue reading Ready Player One (2018) Movie Review

Pacific Rim: Uprising (2018) Movie Review

In Pacific Rim: Uprising, the sequel to Guillermo del Toro’s 2013 film Pacific Rim, one-time military cadet Jake Pentecost (John Boyega) rips off junkers in a war-torn city to make his living. 10 years prior, Jake’s father (Idris Elba) sacrificed himself to stop a breach in the sea floor that allowed building-sized Kaiju into the world.

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After a run-in with the law, Jake is brought back into military service as a ranger tasked with Continue reading Pacific Rim: Uprising (2018) Movie Review

A Wrinkle in Time (2018) Movie Review

A Wrinkle in Time, directed by Ava DuVernay and based on the book by Madeleine L’Engle, follows young Meg (Storm Reid). Meg is an introverted and picked-on teen who still hasn’t come to terms with the disappearance of her father (Chris Pine), who left four years earlier in search of a grander meaning to the universe.

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This pursuit is not a figurative one. Meg’s parents, once upon a time, were on the verge of using quantum entanglement to bend time and space and allow access to Continue reading A Wrinkle in Time (2018) Movie Review

Annihilation (2018) Movie Review

There is a scene midway through Annihilation, the latest science fiction expedition from Ex Machina writer-director Alex Garland, where a woman gets yanked off of the ground and rag-dolled by what appears to be a half-bear, half-warthog creature. It’s all right, though. We already knew this was coming.

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The woman is one of five tasked with venturing into the “Shimmer,” an enclosed, alien space that crash landed on Earth near a lighthouse and began slowly expanding. Inside the Shimmer, the Continue reading Annihilation (2018) Movie Review

The Cloverfield Paradox (2018) Movie Review

The Cloverfield franchise continued its adept surprise-marketing technique during Super Bowl LII. With a brief teaser trailer dropping for The Cloverfield Paradox (once entitled God Particle), the Netflix-acquired film from Bad Robot announced that the film would be coming very soon. Opening up the Netflix app revealed further that the film would be available to stream immediately following the big game.

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This essentially unprecedented marketing move is sure to pay big dividends for Netflix, at least in the film’s first Continue reading The Cloverfield Paradox (2018) Movie Review

The Shape of Water (2017) Movie Review

Guillermo del Toro, with his latest The Shape of Water, weaves, in effect, a fairy tale monster movie. Imbued with the shadowy lighting and terse patriotism of the Cold War 1950s, in which nationalistic patsies are led by men in trench coats who speak in passwords, the film sets itself in an industrial government building that hides away U.S. military secrets.

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Working in this industrial warehouse, underneath the shadowy government officials and their shills and patsies, is the mute Elisa (Sally Hawkins). With the camaraderie of Zelda (Octavia Spencer), who fills the space where Elisa’s words cannot reach, they clean the facility. This includes cleaning up the blood after a new arrival to the facility causes Continue reading The Shape of Water (2017) Movie Review