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items tagged with science fiction movies

I’ve Got a Great Feeling About This ... : "Star Wars: The Force Awakens"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2015-12-20 02:40:21

Peter Mayhew and Harrison Ford in Star Wars: The Force AwakensSTAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS

What a relief that Star Wars: The Force Awakens has finally opened. Now we can actually talk about it! Wasn’t it amazing when the Stormtroopers collectively rebelled against their oppressors and found new careers as human bowling pins? And when George Lucas made a cameo as a Jawa? And when it was revealed that everything in the previous trilogy had only been an Ewok’s dream? And ... .

Oh, sorry. Um ... . Spoiler alert?
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Ridley’s Believe It or Not: "The Martian" and "Sicario"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2015-10-03 22:01:02

Matt Damon in The MartianTHE MARTIAN

If you, too, are a devotee of Ridley Scott’s Alien, you’ll no doubt remember how its title came into view during the opening credits: as a series of vertical, diagonal, and horizontal white lines that slowly appeared, beginning with the “I,” one or two at a time until the capitalized “ALIEN” was wholly spelled out. Thirty-six years later, the title for Scott’s sci-fi tale The Martian is revealed in the exact opposite manner: as a full, capitalized “THE MARTIAN” that gradually fades away, one portion at a time, until only the “I” remains.

Obviously, that disappearing act is a decidedly minor touch, especially in a film that runs just shy of two-and-a-half hours. But it might also be Scott’s most quietly clever touch, and not merely because The Martian’s chief narrative concerns an “I” that winds up left all alone. By offering a literal reverse of his 1979 achievement’s opener, Scott seems to be suggesting, with an wink, that his new endeavor will be 180 degrees removed from the claustrophobic, stomach-bursting horror of Alien, and that proves decidedly to be the case. While this adaptation of Andy Weir’s bestseller (with its script by Drew Goddard) does share some of Alien’s themes, principally the life-and-death imperatives behind deep-space problem-solving, Scott’s latest is expansive instead of spare, chatty instead of terse, heartening instead of nihilistic. It’s also, far and away, and from beginning to end, the most sheerly likable movie Ridley Scott has yet made – an exciting, moving, and altogether glorious sci-fi bear hug that leaves you feeling almost ridiculously happy. Given a career that’s found him exploring every conceivable shade of dark, it turns out that Scott looks pretty great in the light.
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He Be Back: "Terminator Genisys," "Magic Mike XXL," and "Me & Earl & the Dying Girl"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2015-07-02 16:18:54

Arnold Schwarzenegger in Terminator GenisysTERMINATOR GENISYS

Following some requisite, necessary backstory, Terminator Genisys opens in 2029 Los Angeles, where resistance leader John Connor (Jason Clarke) transports fellow revolutionary Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) to 1984, where he’s to hopefully prevent global apocalypse and protect John’s mother Sarah (Emilia Clarke) from a murderous robot (Arnold Schwarzenegger). Upon arriving, however, Kyle finds that Sarah doesn’t need saving and the robot isn’t murderous, so off they go to 2017, where the planet is still imperiled, and John Connor himself proves to be the source of the planet’s eventual ruin. After one of these whisks through the decades, Kyle says, “Time travel makes my head hurt,” and time-travel movies generally make my head hurt, too. But for a fifth installment in an increasingly confounding series, this particular time-travel movie is actually a fair bit of fun.


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It’s a Pall World After All: "Tomorrowland" and "Poltergeist"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2015-05-25 19:45:20

Britt Robertson in TomorrowlandTOMORROWLAND

To the credit of Disney’s marketing team, the intriguingly vague previews for Tomorrowland provided just enough (a grizzled George Clooney, “directed by Brad Bird” in the credits, no number at the title’s end or colon in its middle) to make the film appear promising without explicitly stating what it was about, or whom it was meant for. Having now seen Bird’s futuristic adventure, I know what it’s about – mainly because, from its first seconds, Disney’s latest live-action endeavor keeps spelling out its themes in big block letters. Whom it’s meant for, however, remains a mystery.


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A.I., A.I. ... . Oh!: "Ex Machina"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2015-04-26 22:04:32

Alicia Vikander in Ex MachinaEX MACHINA

If you’re a fellow fan of the high-tech Twilight Zone that is the BBC’s Black Mirror and last year’s Christmas special with Jon Hamm didn’t sate your craving for more, you won’t want to miss the sci-fi creep-out Ex Machina. (If you’re not a fan of Black Mirror, which is currently streaming on Netflix, you clearly haven’t watched it yet. Get cracking.) Like a 105-minute episode of that haunting anthology series, Alex Garland’s quasi-futuristic morality fable boasts a simple premise that grows more complicated and nightmarish as it progresses. Also like a super-sized Black Mirror, the experience leaves you feeling a little shaken and happily freaked out, and kind of antsy to see it again.


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