As I’ve done before, here are my quick takes on the genre-related films I’ve watched in the last several weeks…

  1. Knowing (2009) – Directed by Alex Proyas and starring Nicolas Cage as a burdened professor of astrophysics and widower, Knowing morphs from spooky supernatural numerology thriller to apocalyptic film – a transition inaccessible to the masses and probably only appreciable to genre fans. And darned if it didn’t have me engrossed the whole way through despite the sometimes heavy-handed religious symbolism and the few unanswered, hand-wavy plot points.
  2. Inception (2010) – Christopher Nolan’s mind-bending look at shared dreams, although suffering a bit from pacing issues, offers a brilliantly constructed plot — perhaps meant more for moviemakers than moviegoers — that jumps around your brain long after you leave the theater.
  3. Daybreakers (2009) – Daybreakers is what you get when you mix the sf-nal “what if?” scenario with vampires. But its interesting premise is hastily implemented and unfortunately paced, ultimately yielding a near-future without a whole lot of bite. (See what I did there?)
  4. The Book of Eli (2010) – A formulaic post-apocalyptic snooze-fest until the final confrontation between Denzel Washington (whose Eli almost comes off like an invincible action-hero touched by the hand of God) and Gary Oldman — then there is finally some decent world building. And, ugh!…the sepia filter!
  5. Forbidden Planet (1956) – It’s Shakespeare’s The Tempest…in spaaace! It’s hard to get past the 50’s-era filmmaking quirks, but once you do, there’s a fairly decent (though long-winded) episode of ST:TOS lurking underneath.

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