Category Archives: Sci-Fi/Fantasy

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

Review: Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes — Fantasia Festival 2021

Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes, the directorial debut of Junta Yamaguchi, is a quirky, lean sci-fi comedy about characters in a cafe who discover a two-minute-long time loop which occurs through a computer monitor. Filmed to emulate a single take, we see the characters experience the same events from two different perspectives as they discover that they can communicate with themselves from two minutes into the future (or, later on, four or six or eight minutes down the line).

It is a creative premise, filmed ambitiously given the low budget and with Continue reading Review: Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes — Fantasia Festival 2021

The Tomorrow War (2021) Movie Review

Chris McKay’s The Tomorrow War feels like a remnant of the ’90s, a stray fragment of sci-fi blockbuster flotsam that somehow landed on post-COVID streaming in 2021. Independence Day. Aliens. All the usual suspects of ’80s-’90s alien warfare action exist in the bones of this money-splattered-on-the-screen popcorn flick. And some Edge of Tomorrow (itself a far more successful throwback) thrown in. And maybe some Starship Troopers if you squint a little, minus the raw, biting satire that makes that film so special.

McKay—who has made a career directing, editing, and doing VFX on animated projects in The LEGO Movie franchise and on Adult Swim shows Robot Chicken and Morel Orel—makes his studio live action debut with The Tomorrow War. Undoubtedly, it is the biggest budget project in his list of jobs. It is also the most programmatic, generically vanilla project in the bunch.

yvonne-strahovski-The-Tomorrow-War

In The Tomorrow War, a December soccer match is interrupted by military personnel, beamed into midfield, who inform the television audience of a war. A war which has not yet started. Within a year of this announcement, leaders around the world agree to Continue reading The Tomorrow War (2021) Movie Review

Zach Snyder’s Justice League (2021) Movie Review

There is so much baggage, backstory, self-mythologizing, and overly amplified discourse surrounding the fated “Snyder Cut” of DC’s Justice League that I don’t care to touch with a 10-foot pole. So let’s just suffice it to say that I never believed the hype of the Snyder cut, and that if you are amped for the four-hour-long version of the DC team-up movie, then you are probably going to get everything you want from this HBO Max release.

2017’s Justice League is credited to Zach Snyder, who had to step away from the project early in post-production due to a family tragedy. Joss Whedon stepped in to complete the project, which led to Continue reading Zach Snyder’s Justice League (2021) Movie Review

Fantasia Festival 2020 Movie Reviews — Undergods, You Cannot Kill David Arquette, Morgana

Continuing our coverage of the 2020 Fantasia International Film Festival, here are reviews of three festival selections: Undergods, You Cannot Kill David Arquette, and Morgana.

 

Undergods

A European-set anthology, Chino Moya’s Undergods has a strange energy. Occasionally languid, other times erupting in anger or abjection, it is a turbulent film aiming to Continue reading Fantasia Festival 2020 Movie Reviews — Undergods, You Cannot Kill David Arquette, Morgana

Fantasia Festival 2020 Movie Reviews — Special Actors, Fried Barry, Patrick

Continuing our coverage of this year’s virtual Fantasia Festival, here are reviews of a few more titles playing at the fest: Shinichiro Ueda’s Special Actors, Ryan Kruger’s Fried Barry, and Tim Mielants’ Patrick.

 

Special Actors

Shinichiro Ueda’s follow-up to the great horror experiment One Cut of the Dead is not a horror film, but an oddball comedy about Continue reading Fantasia Festival 2020 Movie Reviews — Special Actors, Fried Barry, Patrick

Review: Lapsis — Fantasia Festival 2020

Lapsis is screening as part of the 2020 Fantasia Festival program.

The science fiction world of Lapsis is much like our current reality. The major alteration comes in the form of “Quantum” technology, and, as with any technological innovation, some are hesitant to adapt. Such is the case with Ray (Dean Imperial), who finally folds to the pressures for the sake of his ill brother. He purchases a “Quantic 7” computer and takes a job working for a Quantum cabling company, CBLR. Quantum tech is fueled by cables which are manually laid and attached to magnetic cubes.

Ray is given the materials needed to cable through somewhat illicit means, and the previous owner was Continue reading Review: Lapsis — Fantasia Festival 2020

Fantasia Festival 2020 Movie Reviews — Sleep, Yummy, The Columnist

The 2020, online-only edition of Fantasia Festival is less than a week away, and this year’s lineup is filled with intriguing genre films from around the world. Over the next few weeks, CineFiles will be bringing you coverage of the event, with both feature and roundup reviews from the fest.

Today, we look at three on-demand titles that are coming down the pike: Sleep, Yummy, and The Columnist.

 

Sleep

Marlene (Sandra Hüller) is plagued by nightmares of Continue reading Fantasia Festival 2020 Movie Reviews — Sleep, Yummy, The Columnist

Is Serenity (2019) The Next Great Good-Bad Movie? — Diamonds in the Rough

Diamonds in the Rough (DitR, /dɪ’tər/) takes some of the most derided, divisive, controversial, financially catastrophic, and meme-worthy movies and tries to find the silver lining. Bad movies don’t always start as bad ideas, and flops aren’t always flop-worthy. DitR seeks to find the good within the bad, because the world could use some positivity. And when all else fails, making fun of bad movies is oh-so satisfying.

In this installment, we look at the 2019 Steven Knight drama, Serenity. [Caution: Spoilers Ahead]

Serenity

  • Rotten Tomatoes: 20% (188 reviews) | 29% (1,461 user ratings)
  • Metacritic: 37 (38 critics) | 4.5/10 (90 user ratings)
  • IMDb: 5.3/10 (31,656 ratings)
  • Letterboxd: 2.0/5 (18,729 ratings)

 

To put it plainly, the Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway-starring crime mystery film Serenity is a wild one. It does not Continue reading Is Serenity (2019) The Next Great Good-Bad Movie? — Diamonds in the Rough

Is the Steven Soderbergh-Produced Movie Perfect (2018) a Hidden Gem? — Diamonds in the Rough

Diamonds in the Rough (DitR, /dɪ’tər/) takes some of the most derided, divisive, controversial, financially catastrophic, and meme-worthy movies and tries to find the silver lining. Bad movies don’t always start as bad ideas, and flops aren’t always flop-worthy. DitR seeks to find the good within the bad, because the world could use some positivity. And when all else fails, making fun of bad movies is oh-so satisfying.

In this installment, we look at the 2018 Steven Soderbergh-produced, Flying Lotus-produced science fiction film from Eddie Alcazar, Perfect. [Caution: Spoilers Ahead].

Perfect

  • Rotten Tomatoes: 17% (12 critics)
  • Metacritic: 36 (7 critics)
  • IMDb: 5.5/10 (1,496 ratings)
  • Letterboxd: 3.6/5 (369 ratings)

 

I should be transparent from the outset: I found Perfect to be insufferable. This is Diamonds in the Rough, though, thus I am here to mine these films for their positives. However, this one was Continue reading Is the Steven Soderbergh-Produced Movie Perfect (2018) a Hidden Gem? — Diamonds in the Rough

Did Audiences Get The Box (2009) Wrong? — Diamonds in the Rough

Diamonds in the Rough (DitR, /dɪ’tər/) takes some of the most derided, divisive, controversial, financially catastrophic, and meme-worthy movies and tries to find the silver lining. Bad movies don’t always start as bad ideas, and flops aren’t always flop-worthy. DitR seeks to find the good within the bad, because the world could use some positivity. And when all else fails, making fun of bad movies is oh-so satisfying.

In this installment, we look at The Box, the third feature film from Richard Kelly (Donnie Darko). [Caution: Spoilers Ahead]

The Box

  • Rotten Tomatoes: 44% (155 critics) | 24% (359,082 user ratings)
  • Metacritic: 47 (24 critics) | 2.8/10 (228 user ratings)
  • IMDb: 5.6/10 (87,215 ratings)
  • Letterboxd: 2.5/5 (13,211 ratings)
  • CinemaScore: F

 

Richard Kelly’s The Box is in the rarefied arena of Continue reading Did Audiences Get The Box (2009) Wrong? — Diamonds in the Rough