Tag Archives: science fiction

Blade Runner 2049 (2017) Movie Review

Caution: This review makes mention of two key plot points of Blade Runner 2049 that may be construed as “spoilers,” even though both are pieces of plot information that are introduced early on in the film. Either way, Denis Villeneuve reportedly asked critics not to reveal any plot points of the film, so I guess you’ve been warned.

It has been 35 years since Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner, a dystopian urban image of a world in which people are hired to hunt down and “retire” artificial beings known as Replicants. Based on, if only in its philosophical quandaries, Philip K. Dick’s novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, the film questioned where the line between humanity and artificiality is.

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The script of Blade Runner 2049 from Hampton Fancher and Michael Green continues this existential exploration. The film, directed by Denis Villeneuve, whose cinematic visions have only grown in terms of visuals and heady ideas, follows a new Blade Runner code-named K (Ryan Gosling) as he stumbles upon Continue reading Blade Runner 2049 (2017) Movie Review

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Colossal (2017) Movie Review

Colossal masquerades itself as a certain type of movie. It opens on the ominous, lingering image of a Kaiju-like monster. Then, sweeping shots of the New York skyline play out over a driving, Dark Knight trilogy-esque score. Then, Gloria (Anne Hathaway) enters, hungover and rambling thinly-veiled excuses to her boyfriend (Dan Stevens) about where she has been.

It doesn’t quite match the previously set tone, does it?

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When her boyfriend leaves her due to her drinking problem, Gloria moves back to her hometown, where she falls in with an old friend named Oscar (Jason Sudeikis). An old friend who just so happens to own his father’s bar.

Remember that Kaiju that I mentioned earlier? Whelp…turns out it pantomimes the actions of Gloria when she sets foot on a playground she knew once as a child. It pantomimes everything, including Continue reading Colossal (2017) Movie Review

Infinity Baby (2017) Movie Review

A seeming momma’s boy with blunt high standards and commitment issues (Kieran Culkin), two dopey lackeys with differing levels of alcohol intake (Kevin Corrigan and Martin Starr), and a take-no-prisoners, fast-talking white collar type (Nick Offerman). In short, a bunch of cold, insensitive pricks.

Thus is the cast of characters initially established in Infinity Baby. They all work at different rungs of the ladder for the eponymous company, whose aim is to get rid of thousands of babies who never age. A botched stem cell experiment, compliments of Mitsubishi.

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The film fully acknowledges the laundry list of flaws that this infinity baby premise presents. In fact, it Continue reading Infinity Baby (2017) Movie Review

ARQ (2016) Movie Review

ARQ, the new original movie from OTT service Netflix, is woefully standard. Not only is it woefully standard, but it is a blatant premise ripoff of the criminally under-seen Edge of Tomorrow. Renton (Robbie Amell), or, as he is affectionately referred to by his compatriot Hannah (Rachael Taylor), Ren, finds himself stuck in a time loop paradox in which the same infiltration of his hidden compound occurs over and over again.

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The world of ARQ is the typical post-apocalyptic science fiction: savages and raiders rule, food is a scarce resource, random technological innovations litter the screen. This said, the world of ARQ is not Continue reading ARQ (2016) Movie Review

Star Trek Beyond (2016) Movie Review

Three years into a five-year mission, the crew of the Star Trek Enterprise make a routine stop at the Yorktown Star Fleet space station. There, Captain James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) is tasked with locating a missing vessel, a mission that ends in an ambush. The villainous Krall (Idris Elba) crashes the Enterprise, stealing away most of the crew and stranding the rest on a nearby planet.

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Star Trek Beyond is a lot of bells and whistles, flashing lights and sweeping camera moves. While this at times yields action-packed returns and visuals that call for oohs and ahs, the spectacle as a whole is Continue reading Star Trek Beyond (2016) Movie Review

An In-Depth Analysis of Sunspring (2016), The Short Film Written By A Computer

Note: Spoilers for Sunspring are in this in-depth review. The video is embedded below if you want to watch before you read.

 

In Sunspring, director Oscar Sharp engages in a cinematic experiment. The goal: to create an award-worthy short film using a script written by an artificial intelligence. The result: glorious sci-fi chaos. Feeding the A.I. with dozens of science fiction script .txt files and a series of prompts given for a sci-fi filmmaking competition, the small cast and crew used the resulting script to shoot the short in one day.

“In a future with mass unemployment, young people are forced to sell blood,” Thomas Middleditch’s H begins, upon pulling a book out of a drawer and thumbing through it. “It’s something I could do.”

This is perhaps the most Continue reading An In-Depth Analysis of Sunspring (2016), The Short Film Written By A Computer

The Martian (2015) Movie Review

 

In The Martian, astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon) is abandoned and left for dead after a storm hits the surface of Mars, forcing the manned mission he is a part of to be scrubbed. On the way to the rocket, Watney is struck by a satellite dish that was blown off of their equipment, knocking him unconscious. As the rocket fires up into space, dwindling shots linger over Watney’s empty seat as the rest of the crew braces against the force of the ascent.

 

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Then, we get an extended, wordless scene of Watney waking and staggering back to the HAB, the only oxygenated facility on the planet. The scene is entirely carried by Damon’s non-verbal acting. He pulls shrapnel out of a wound in his side, whispering pleas under his breath, just hoping that Continue reading The Martian (2015) Movie Review