I'm not trying to be a hero! I'M FIGHTING THE DRAGON!!

Posts Tagged ‘smart sci-fi’

Interstellar

Friday, November 21st, 2014

tn_interstellarYou guys heard of this INTERSTELLAR? Came out recently. It’s Chris Nolan’s take on the wide-eyed space exploration epic. The type of sci-fi movie that keeps its feet partly on earth, has no lasers or star wars in it whatsoever and tries to seem relatively semi-quasi-plausible by modern scientifical-esque theories. It’s definitely supposed to be a spectacle, but not in the complicated-cgi-creations-loudly-smashing-things-into-a-million-cgi-particles way we generally get now, or even the how-did-they-even-do-that style of the INCEPTION hallway scene. More in the LAWRENCE OF ARABIA sense of gigantic landscapes. It’s the type of movie made by and for people who get awe struck staring up at the stars and weepy at the thought of specific astronauts. People whose imaginations get boners from the idea of a manned mission to Mars more than they would from a monster biting the head off a robot.

So the truth is I’m not the audience for this movie. I was better in monster biting head off a robot class than in science. When a guy sitting by me in the theater said he read that the black hole created for the movie was so “mathematically accurate” that scientists were now making discoveries based on it, I literally had no idea what that meant. Still don’t. On several different levels. So keep that in mind when I tell you I liked, didn’t love INTERSTELLAR. But I’m still gonna write about it, ’cause this is America. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Sleep Dealer

Tuesday, September 8th, 2009

You know how there’s that endangered subtn_sleepdealergenre 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…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Moon

Friday, August 28th, 2009

tn_moon(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…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

District 9

Monday, August 17th, 2009

tn_district9Well, 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…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

Sunshine

Tuesday, August 7th, 2007

With the release of this movie I’d say there’s now officially a subgenre of sci-fi movies about the angst of long distance space travel. Two of my favorite movies ever – 2001 and ALIEN – are in this category. There’s also DARK STAR, a predecessor to ALIEN and an inspiration to this movie (one of the characters is even named Pinback after Dan O’Bannon’s character in that movie). I also liked the remake of SOLARIS, but I still gotta see the original one. Rounding out the category now there’s Danny Boyle’s SUNSHINE.

This one takes place sometime in the future, but probaly not too long in the future. The main difference between then and now: the sun is dying. Pretty shitty. Humanity came up with a plan where they sent a spaceship called The Icarus which would set off a bomb that would reignite the sun. But that ship was a bunch of slackers or something so nobody heard from them again. This is the story of the Icarus II, where they decided to use up Earth’s resources to make the last possible bomb that they could use to try to relight that bitch. (read the rest of this shit…)

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.