There once was a director named Chuck Russell, who did movies like THE MASK and ERASER. Not very good movies as I remember it, but he seemed like his heart was in the right place. He was trying to have some fun. He also did THE SCORPION KING, which I enjoyed, and then disappeared for the last couple years. But before he became The Occasional Director of Studio B-Movies he was a promising name on the ’80s horror scene. His debut was A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 3: DREAM WARRIORS, the ridiculous but fun one that reinvented the series and gave Freddy his obsession with the word “bitch.” He wrote that one along with future THE MIST director Frank Darabont, who also helped him write movie #2, his remake of THE BLOB. (read the rest of this shit…)
Archive for the ‘Science Fiction and Space Shit’ Category
In THE BLOB Steve McQueen plays “Steve” and he’s supposed to be a teen. But he was actually 28 and looked about the same age as he did in THE GREAT ESCAPE. Therefore I don’t think there’s anything unreasonable about leaping to the conclusion that he was re-enacting true events that had happened to him for real. The Young Steve McQueen Chronicles. None of this is included in his biography and some of what happens here (like his father being a store owner) don’t jibe with the established facts. But what importance do the details have when there is an essential truth at work here, the truth that a teenaged Steve McQueen sighted, tracked, battled and helped defeat The Blob? In a sense, this is BATMAN BEGINS to Steve McQueen’s life. (read the rest of this shit…)
SURROGATES is TERMINATOR 3 director Jon Mostow (plus the writers of TERMINATOR 3-4) doing another robot movie, this time free of the expectations and mythology (and budget, from the looks of it) of the TERMINATOR series. The only thing they’re chained to is the “graphic novel” the ads say it’s based on, which means a comic book. Luckily they don’t have to be too careful about adapting it because nobody ever heard of it until it was being made into a movie. You show me someone who has read it and I’ll show you the guy that did the copy editing. I was gonna say the mom of the guy who wrote it but I doubt she read it either. This is not some iconic one everybody knows like Alan Moore’s Watchmen or Garfield’s Big Fat Hairy Deal. (read the rest of this shit…)
You know how there’s that endangered subgenre of “intelligent sci-fi”? Like the recent MOON and SUNSHINE and I guess people would say that movie PRIMER although I haven’t seen it. Coming out on DVD today is another small, low budget, independent sci-fi full of smart ideas about the modern world and what could happen with our technology. This one’s not an action movie at all though, it’s a small drama, and from a Mexican perspective. So if you never heard of it that’s why. Subtitles, and no exploding heads.
(There are robots and lasers, but not in a cool way. They’re just tools. Maybe about as cool as a city employee riding a Segway. Exactly that cool or less, no cooler.)
The story is about Memo (Luis Fernando Peña) who grew up in a tiny Mexican village screwed over by the building of a dam. He’s spent his whole life dreaming of getting away, but just like people in the not-future his way of getting away is just secluding himself in a little room and using technology to connect with the outside world. He builds a radio that he uses to tap different frequencies and listen to people’s conversations, but this gets him into trouble. (read the rest of this shit…)
(from the request line…)
Remember SUNSHINE? Well now we have MOON. It’s not really at all like SUNSHINE, because it’s about being on the moon, not going to the sun. But it’s another serious, thoughtful sci-fi movie, which is kind of like a bald eagle these days. They still exist but you don’t see them too often (and sometimes their beaks are deformed [not sure if that last part is a criticism of SUNSHINE’s last act or just me not knowing when to end the analogy]). (read the rest of this shit…)
Well, we’re getting to the end of the summer here and it’s been pretty light on good old fashioned popcorn type movies. Most of us enjoyed STAR TREK, but that was at the very beginning of the summer, it seems like a lifetime ago. TERMINATOR SALVATION was a letdown, TRANSFORMERS 2 need not be described, GI JOE was hilarious but not the type of behavior we want to encourage. Leave it to some 29 year old South African director of video game commercials to make the most memorable sci-fi action type movie in a while.
Neill Blomkamp was the plucky young orphan that Peter Jackson discovered living off scraps in the Wellington sewer system (not sure about the authenticity of this wikipedia bio) and for some reason chose to direct a movie of the video game “HALO.” But the money fell through on that one so director Blomkamp and producer Jackson said “Fack it” (they both have accents) and made a lower budget sci-fi movie free of video game heritage, an extension of Blomkamp’s ’05 short film ALIVE IN JOBURG. (read the rest of this shit…)
Not since THE HURT LOCKER have I seen a movie that so convincingly captures the mental toll that the pressures of a war zone take on our soldiers. I’m not talking about GI JOE, I’m just saying I haven’t seen another movie like that since THE HURT LOCKER.
I don’t know what you’ve heard, I don’t know what kind of rumors are flying around, but this here is not what anybody should call a “good summer popcorn movie.” GI JOE can’t be mentioned in the same breath as JAWS or even JURASSIC PARK or even INDIANA JONES AND THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL, so don’t ever read this sentence out loud. But there is something unique about this movie and I would recommend it to some of you. If you’re the type of individual with room in your heart for a ridiculous movie that comes out in August that you go see in a half (or all) empty theater for a laugh, then I believe this movie will deliver for you spectacularly. For example I paid money to see STEALTH a few years ago and it was kind of funny. If STEALTH was a single this is a grand slam. I was laughing pretty much from the extravagant new Hasbro logo at the beginning to the weirdly intelligence-insulting final scene, without many lulls in between. For some of you it will be unwatchable crap, but for me it’s hilariously terrible and/or terribly hilarious. (read the rest of this shit…)
I’m not sure I can say KNOWING is that good of a movie, but I do think it’s kind of crazy and subversive for a PG-13 high concept Nic Cage Hollywood sci-fi thriller. So the more I think about it the more I kind of like it.
Nic Cage plays so-and-so, college professor, scientist, single dad, widower. His son (not one of the better child actors, poor kid) is attending his school’s 50th anniversary celebration when they dig up a time capsule. They pass out the 50 year old childen’s drawings predicting the future and this kid only gets a creepy paper covered in numbers. That night Nic happens to look at it and notices some of the numbers are 9-11-01. He Googles 9-11-01 (I guess he doesn’t know you’re supposed to “never forget”) and finds out the death toll, which is also right there on the paper. Then, in a montage of drunken code-breaking, he stays up all night doing web research and figures out that the entire paper exactly predicts the dates all the biggest disasters of the past 50 years in order and how many people died in each. And there are more numbers that haven’t happened yet. And one’s coming up in a couple days. Oh shit. (read the rest of this shit…)
Okay, first off, this is not a fair review. I didn’t go into this thing in good faith. I never thought there was a possibility I would genuinely like this movie. So don’t think I’m trying to be objective here. But I’ve been getting emails and comments for months asking me to review this sequel to a movie I hated, and there’s a hell of a conversation going on in the comments for my review of the first one. And to be honest I was strangely excited to see it. It just sounded so insane, and as a fan and scholar of the summer blockbuster movie maybe it was important that I see it, just like I saw MY GIANT for the sake of Seagalogy. Whatever my excuse is, the same guy who got me into the first one for free hooked me up for this one too. So your wish is my command. (read the rest of this shit…)
Here’s my TERMINATOR SALVATION review. Sorry it took me a few days – everybody else on the internet has already reviewed it two or three times each and moved on with their lives. I figured I ought to go the extra mile so my review includes an optional soundtrack:
I got so much trouble on my mind. I refuse to lose my hope for McG. I had this fantasy – what if McG made an undeniably great TERMINATOR movie, and everybody who ever talked shit about him had to eat crow? They’d be so unprepared to admit they liked a McG movie that their minds would pop like balloons. It would be like reading in the newspaper that a squirrel had built a working rocket ship – just completely out of left field. They wouldn’t know what to do. “Well, his name makes me uncomfortable, but TERMINATOR SALVATION changed my life.” “You know, I went back and gave CHARLIE’S ANGELS FULL THROTTLE another look, it turns out it was ahead of its time. There was no way to really know back then that it was good, only Vern ever understood it, but now it works.” (read the rest of this shit…)