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items tagged with science fiction movies

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 agaim.


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RoboCrip: "Chappie," "The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel," and "Unfinished Business"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2015-03-08 21:05:28

Chappie

CHAPPIE

The sci-fi-action-comedy-thriller Chappie is the tale of an insentient creature who gains a soul and learns to love, just like Pinocchio and WALL•E and Short Circuit’s Number 5. But this is a film by Neill Blomkamp, the writer/director of the violence- and profanity-laden District 9 and Elysium, so don’t expect Disney-style warmth or Guttenberg-ian sweetness from this similarly R-rated outing. Instead, prepare to be amazed – though “stupefied” is the more appropriate term – by just how mawkish a movie can be despite boasting a title character who proves expert at carjacking, and whose most frequent malapropism involves his spirited twist on a 12-letter cuss word.
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Blow It Out Uranus: "Jupiter Ascending," "Seventh Son," "The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water," and "Two Days, One Night"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2015-02-09 00:20:05

Mila Kunis in Jupiter AscendingJUPITER ASCENDING

After months of previews in the wake of its delayed release, the big-budget sci-fi spectacle Jupiter Ascending – originally scheduled for summer 2014 – finally landed this past weekend. And with its opening, a question can now be asked: Was there any point at which Warner Bros. executives seriously considered pulling the plug on writers/directors/siblings Andy and Lana Wachowski’s epic stinker? Maybe when Channing Tatum was cast as a human/wolf hybrid with a blond goatee and pointy ears? Or when an incensed Russian beat the hell out of his son with a throw pillow? Or when, for the performer’s first scene, the Wachowskis handed Mila Kunis an all-too-symbolic toilet brush?


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To Be Continuum-ed: "Interstellar" and "Big Hero 6"
Written By: Mike Schulz
Section: Movies

Category: Reviews

2014-11-07 19:43:22

Anne Hathaway and Matthew McConaughey in InterstellarINTERSTELLAR

With his breathlessly anticipated, behemoth-sized space opera Interstellar, has Christopher Nolan finally bitten off more than he can chew, or simply more than I can chew? I’d like to believe the latter, considering I like three of Nolan’s eight previous features and adore four others (with apologies to Batman Begins, which I merely tolerate), and considering half the movie’s dialogue is elaborate techo-jargon that I was predisposed not to understand. But like an itchy lover who says “It’s not you; it’s me” when he really means the opposite, I’m still laying most of my dissatisfaction at Nolan’s feet, and for a pretty basic reason: For all of its narrative and technical razzle-dazzle, Interstellar is the man’s first film that’s expressly about humans, and humans aren’t remotely close to being Nolan’s strong suit.


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