Entries Tagged as 'Sci-Fi'

‘The Thing’ (2011)

Matthijs van Heijningen Jr.’s ‘The Thing’ (2011) is nominally a prequel to the 1982 film of the same name by John Carpenter. Carpenter’s film was a remake of remake of Howard Hawks’ ‘ The Thing from Another World ‘ (1952), itself an adaptation of John w. Campbell’s novella, “ Who Goes There? ” (1938).

Despite the fact that 30 years separate both Heijningen’s prequel and Carpenter’s remake, that intervening 30 years was not enough time for Universal to figure out what made the first 2 films into the classics that they are. [Read more →]

Tentpole Genre Releases 2011

graves over at Nerd Blerp has put together a list of 2001 releases to anticipate and avoid.

The titles that stand out are as follow:

‘The Rite’ (January 28)
‘Captain America’ (July 22)
‘The Adjustment Bureau’ (March 4)
‘Thor’ (May 6)
‘X-Men: First Class’ (June 3)
‘Green Lantern’ (June 17)
‘Cowboys and Aliens’ (July 29)
‘Immortals’ (November 11)

Trailers are available on the Nerd Blerp site .

5 Upcoming Genre Features, 2010-12

via Squidoo.com

Captain America: The First Avenger ‘ (2011) • IMDb l ink Captain America:The First Avenger

This one’s a bit contentious — Joe Johnston, who directed The Rocketeer way, way back in 1991 should have been a good choice to direct a period piece about Marvel’s Captain America set during WWII. But then, Johnston turned in the pointless and unnecessary Wolfman remake this past year, and then cast Chris Evans ( Fantastic Four ‘s Johnny Storm) as Steve Rogers, rather than  Mark Valley , (‘Human Target’) an actor born for the role.

Understandably, Marvel and Disney are reaching for a younger actor for the role, but I really dobt that those 18-49 women should be the marketing department’s target. Rather, the target audience ought to be 4 generations of American men aged 7 to 70 that Marvel ought to be aiming for. That, and the fact that 25 year-old Evans will have to go up against 46 year old Robert Downey, Jr., Chris Hemsworth and Samuel Jackson in ‘ The Avengers ‘ (2012) and make it somehow appear that they are peers. [Read more →]

‘Never Let Me Go’ (2010)

When writer-director Robert Fiveson created ‘ Parts:The Clonus Horror ‘back in 1979, I’m sure he had no idea he was creating one of the most enduring science-fiction memes of the late 20th and early 21st century.

To summarize Parts , a group of young people are born, grow up and live in carefully controlled environment, wherein their every desire is indulged, yet their every behavior is monitored by the powers-that-be until such time they receive a call and it’s time for them to emigrate to the utopia of “America.”

Of course,  America is just a lie and all of these bright, young, ambitious kids are just the spare-parts clone-farm of an aging, wealthy, politically-connected elite that created the desert haven of Clonus as an organ-bank to extend their own lives. But the kids are aware of none of this — they are simply caught up in the celebration of their young lives, until the day that they are summoned to ‘America’. [Read more →]

John Byrne’s ‘Next Men’ (1991)

Re-reading this right now. My memory could be awful or I could have missed an issue or two back in ’91-’93 (me:DC-Chicago-DC-Paris). But, WOW! Byrne’s been keeping me guessing here, down to the last 2 chapters: I have a notion about where it’ll end up, but things are proceeding in a good, unpredictable pace.

The series is only about 35 issues long (#0-#30, plus the graphic novel 2112 ), but Byrne does a very good job of turning it from a Clonus Horror tribute comic into a story that eats time-travel, holodeck incidents and alternate-reality tropes alive. In fact, it’s elegant in a way that I wish ‘Inception’ (2010) had been. [Read more →]

Top Ten Lists: 2000-2010 – Sci-Fi

Just this past week, I stated seeing ‘Best of’ lists all over the place, specifically, the ‘Best’ science-fiction of the last decade. Typically, such all of the lists I found looked something like this:

1. ‘Children of Men’
2. ‘Moon’
3. ‘District 9′ [Read more →]

‘Predators’ (2010)

I saw it and I was impressed. And I say that as someone who falls squarely on the Alien side of the fence when it comes to ’80s high-concept horror.

The problem with both previous Predator flicks were that there was very little high-concept. In both preceding entries ( Predator and Predator 2 ), the Predators and the humans were on Earth.

In the first film, the Predators interrupted Arnold Schwarzenegger’s hunt for something or other, and in the sequel, they appeared in a very hot L.A. summer, getting in the way of a police investigation of some sort. In each, it is strictly humans vs. Predators. [Read more →]

‘Watchmen’ (2009)

With the publication of Watchmen in 1985, comic books took a sudden, dark and grity turn, similar to police drama after Steven Bochco’s ‘Hill Street Blues’. Like Grant Morrison’s ‘Doom Patrol ‘, and later, ‘ The Authority ‘ and Marvel’s ‘ Ultimates ‘, ‘Watchmen’, the book is not about about capes and tights, but rather the misfits who choose to pursue auperheroics. In ‘Watchmen’, Alan Moore seizes upon the idea that great power might produce monsters — individuals devoid of values and restraint even as they fight the ‘good’ fight.

Terry Gilliam attempted to bring ‘Watchmen’ to life twice, once in 1989 and a decade later, in 1999. He gave up because he felt that the story couldn’t be adequately covered in 2 hours’ time and that the material might be better dealt with as a miniseries, Though there is no Gilliam ‘Watchmen’, I credit ‘Watchmen’ and it’s alternate-apocalyptic 1985 for the rich visual landscape of thr film that Gilliam went on to produce in the mid-’90′s, ’12 Monkeys’ (1995). [Read more →]

‘Pandorum’ (2009)

It’s unofficial, but the disappointment that was ‘Event Horizon’ (1997) now has a sequel.

The misguided mash-up that resulted in Hellraiser — in Space … by Executive producers Paul W.S. Anderson and Jeremy Bolt have now given us Alien -meets- Serenity -meets- The Descent -meets- Defying Gravity -meets- 2001:A Space Odyssey -meets- The Abyss -meets-Cube-meets- Sunshine, allowing the worst aspects of each film a moment for a pirouette of inexplicability.  3 of those 7 movies had serious story problems.

Like the 4 different posters in the movie’s advertising campaign, the PR can’t seem to determine whether the movie is science-fiction, horror or something else completely. While that combination might sound somehow enervating, the fact is that where those producers missed with their horror-fied remake of Andrej Tarkovsky’s ‘Solaris’ is exactly where this duo have missed with ‘Pandorum’. [Read more →]

‘District 9′ (2009)

district_9 All the reports that I’ve read have said that director Neill Blomkamp and Wingnut Films elected to do ‘District 9′ while they were in a holding pattern while they were waiting on a green light from Microsoft to do a live-action adaptation of the Halo video-game.

Imagine a couple million dollars of filmmaking equipment, and empty studio and several tens of state-of-the-art technicians waiting on some Seattle lawyers, and you get the idea. though the film is a little more substantive than  that. [Read more →]