Category Archives: Sci-Fi/Fantasy

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

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

Dolittle (2020) Movie Review

In one way or another, the movie Dolittle broke me. Coming home from the theater and sitting down to write this review, my mind still cannot think clearly after witnessing a film that my eyes actively rejected. Robert Downey Jr., coming off of his triumphant tenure as Iron Man in the Marvel films, leads an all star cast—a cast which includes Antonio Banderas, Emma Thompson, Rami Malek, Ralph Fiennes, Jim Broadbent, and Octavia Spencer, among many others—in what can only be described by technical definitions as cinema.

It might be important to note that the 1967 Doctor Dolittle, which starred Rex Harrison and was made with a lofty budget, was nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards and won in two other categories (despite how atrocious it is). It might be just as important to note that Continue reading Dolittle (2020) Movie Review

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) Movie Review

There is something completely understandable and, to  an extent, forgivable about the slapdash, lumpy, and largely hollow pieces that shape the narrative of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. There is a distinct feeling, present from the opening scene of The Rise of Skywalker, that J.J. Abrams started this race a lap behind (Abrams was brought on late to the film after Disney parted ways with Colin Trevorrow).

It is a feeling that some higher power, whether it be Abrams or Kathleen Kennedy or whoever, decided to Continue reading Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) Movie Review

Review: The Platform (El Hoyo) – Fantastic Fest 2019

Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia’s The Platform concerns not so much the platform as it does the pit, a pit descending hundreds of stories down through a concrete prison established by “The Administration.” Two people are housed on each level of this enclosure. Some are volunteers, others are criminals, but they are all prisoners. Each day, a platform descends housing a bounty of food and drink. The people at the top can eat as much as they want; those down below get what’s left, if anything. And every month the prisoners switch floors.

Goren (Ivan Massague) wakes on his floor—47, not too shabby all things considered—not knowing what Continue reading Review: The Platform (El Hoyo) – Fantastic Fest 2019

Review: The Vast of Night – Fantastic Fest 2019

At the beginning of Andrew Patterson’s The Vast of Night, we are shown a vintage television set, on which we will watch the remainder of the film, the narrative of which is housed within the The Twilight Zone-inspired show Paradox Theater.

On tonight’s episode of Paradox Theater: 1950s, small town New Mexico. The Cayuga High School boys are gearing up for their big basketball game, and the night’s event has brought nearly the entire town to the school gymnasium. Amid this bustle of people is Continue reading Review: The Vast of Night – Fantastic Fest 2019

High Life (2019) Movie Review

Leave it to Claire Denis to make the most original science fiction film of the year. But, in doing so, Denis is sure to polarize in her pursuit of something that spits in the face of generic convention. The first thing we see in High Life is jarring, in that it is not what you would normally focus on in a sci-fi film. It is a baby crying in the sterile, metallic environment of a space ship. Over radio communication, her father Monte (Robert Pattinson) tries to soothe her softly while he works on a panel outside of the ship.

juliette-binoche-in-high-life-2019

“We were scum,” Monte later says, in voiceover. “Trash. Refuse that didn’t fit into the system, until someone had the bright idea of recycling us.” He goes on to tell the story of Continue reading High Life (2019) Movie Review

Men in Black: International (2019) Movie Review

Men in Black: International is the rare reboot picture that makes me question whether any film in the franchise was any good to begin with. It looks and feels like the preceding trilogy. The setting is a comic book world populated by covert aliens, some of which are hunted by or hunting equally-covert agents of the law donning black shades and slick suits. The appearance of energy comes in the form of quippy Men in Black, distinct alien character designs, and shiny silver weaponry that shoot beams of colored lights.

Perhaps the original Men in Black has more of a narrative backbone than this. But I don’t remember Continue reading Men in Black: International (2019) Movie Review

Dark Phoenix (2019) Movie Review

Dark Phoenix, instead of soaring into theaters with a fiery majesty, landed to roost with an unceremonious whimper. Battered by poor reviews and poorer box office returns on its inaugural weekend, this final (unless The New Mutants ends up finally getting a release) Fox X-Men release is limping its way to the finish line.

But Dark Phoenix is by no means the worst X-Men film of the franchise. In fact, it succeeds in crucial ways at which the previous film Continue reading Dark Phoenix (2019) Movie Review