Movies Archives

Sunday Cinema: Panic in Year Zero!

Ray Milland directed and stars in Panic in Year Zero!, a 1962 post-apocalyptic SciFi film in which a family survives a thermonuclear war. Like you do. The film also features Jean Hagen, Frankie Avalon (!) and Joan Freeman.

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Short Film: “Nebula”

In Nebula, a girl befriends a magical creature…

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Here’s an analysis of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey…from the perspective of an alien.

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Short Film: “I.R.I.S.” – When AI Attacks

I.R.I.S. is a short film about a near-future artificial intelligence that decides it doesn’t wanna play nice anymore…

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Short Film: Circuit


Here’s a short film called Circuit that perhaps runs with its central idea (an electrician that gets trapped in a looping room) a little too long, but is nonetheless clever…

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Michaele Jordan informed me of this entertaining 2005 short film, The Mysterious Explorations of Jasper Morello. Set in a world of iron dirigibles and steam powered computers, this gothic horror mystery tells the story of Jasper Morello, a disgraced aerial navigator who flees his plague-ridden home on a desperate voyage to redeem himself.

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Honest Trailer: Maleficent

Another honest trailer…this time for the Angelina Jolie flick, Maleficent

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Here’s the cover and synopsis for the upcoming Star Wars novel Star Wars: Lords of the Sith by Paul S. Kemp, due out next April.

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There’s no shortage of films that are being adapted to television and film…as I explain in an article at the Kirkus review blog: Read Them Now, Watch Them Later: Science Fiction Adaptation Watch.

Head on over an check it out!

Princess Leia Walking in NYC

This video made me laugh…and it offers the dual benefit of raising awareness of harassment. (It’s sponsored by ihollaback.org, a non-profit and movement to end street harassment.)
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Ready for some new trailers? I knew you were!
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PLUG is an interesting and well done short film by art director David Levy, whose credits include Tron Legacy, Prometheus, Ender’s Game, Tomorrow Land, and Avatar 2.

PLUG takes place on a post-apocalyptic Earth, where Leila Dawn (played by Natalie Floyd) is the only human survivor. She was raised by Robots after humanity abandoned the planet when it was destroyed via nuclear warfare. Leila cannot forget her parents nor ignore her desire to find other organic life. She sets out on a hunt with a Military Unit named Marker (Lex Cassar) only to discover the reality she’s been denied — a reality that sparks her ultimate quest.

PLUG is the first installment of Levy’s yet-to-be-produced epic series/feature, which follows Leila on her quest to reunite with humanity and the impossible choices she must make about her allegiances – Human or Robot. I look forward to seeing more.

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During the Second World War, an English paratrooper crash-lands in a forest leaving him wounded. He meets a creature that tries its best to help him. However, the ordeal is just beginning…

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FILM REVIEW: Interstellar

REVIEW SYNOPSIS: While gorgeously shot, Christopher Nolan’s bid for entry into the canon of artistic science fiction movies drips with cliché and plods through its galactic vistas with little that is new or interesting.

MY REVIEW:

SYNOPSIS: A former-NASA-test-pilot-turned-farmer is recruited to pilot an interstellar spaceship in the hopes of helping humanity escape from an earth ravaged by environmental degradation.

MY REVIEW:
PROS: Incredible outer space sequences; alien worlds vividly realized; amazing renderings of a wormhole and a black hole.
CONS: Clichéd, sentimental characters; unconvincing future.

Matthew McConaughey is out to save the world, a line this critic never thought he would write without guffawing himself into a catatonic state. Perhaps I would not laugh if he were doing so in a television adaptation of Mike Judge’s Idiocracy, where his meager talents might actually serve the material, but in a movie as ambitious as Interstellar, with director Christopher Nolan vying for space among such great science fiction movies as Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey and Andrei Tarkovsky’s Solaris (and, perhaps, Terence Malick’s The Tree of Life), the idea of this dazed and confused Texas good-old-boy as Campbellian Competent Man offers too much cognitive dissonance, and certainly requires vast suspension of disbelief, to keep the titters away.
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The Functional Nerds Talk Star Wars

John Anealio and Patrick Hester talk a lot about Star Wars this week on The Functional Nerds Podcast.

Listen below, or at The Functional Nerds, or subscribe to The Functional Nerds Podcast through iTunes.

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Short Film: Mean Teddies

The ever-vigilant Geek Art Gallery found this cool short film, Mean Teddies, by Tyler Novo.

I assume at this point that you don’t need any mor eincentive to watch it.

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Short Film: Brent Sims’ Grave Shivers

Brent Sims’ Grave Shivers is a short sci-fi/horror anthology that weaves three tales of monsters, killers, and things that go bump in the night. It was a recent award winner at the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival in Los Angeles and the New Orleans Film Festival.

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I was perusing Sci-Fi Chronicles: A Visual History of the Galaxy’s Greatest Science Fiction edited by Guy Haley, and found out that I am perhaps even less of a sci-fi trivia king than I thought.

Head on over to Kirkus Reviews to see the 10 things that I learned about Sci-Fi from reading Sci-Fi Chronicles


Tom Calen Tom Calen is the author of the bestselling horror series, The Pandemic Sequence (comprised of The Tilian Virus, The Tilian Effect and The Tilian Cure), as well as the science-fiction series, Scars of Tomorrow (comprised of Torrance and The Ignota). A New York City native, Tom holds a degree in English and spent several years toiling in the world of business before abandoning all reason and deciding to write full-time. He finds the worlds in his novels far less frightening than the corporate world. His books The Tilian Virus and The Tilian Effect both reached #1 on Amazon’s Bestselling Science-Fiction Series list, and both were the #1 Hot New Release in horror and science-fiction.From Castle Rock to Arakis, Middle Earth to Westeros, Tom eagerly devours as many science-fiction, fantasy, and horror novels as time allows. He credits George R.R. Martin, Robert Jordan, and Stephen King as the major influences on his style. Tom is an Active member of the Horror Writers Association, and International Thriller Writers, Inc. He is currently living in Nicaragua, where he is working on his seventh book.

Goodbye to Our Star Trek Future

by Tom Calen

Robotic limbs? Check. Cloned mammals? Check. Tablet devices? Check. Holographic touchscreens? Genetic engineering? Check. Nearly every gadget and doohickey in Star Trek? Check, check, check.

There’s no denying that real-life technology has made drastic surges forward over the last fifty years. Tech that was once only available in episodes of The Jetsons and Star Trek are now found in homes around the world. We carry it in our pockets (iPhones), on our wrists (smart watches), and on our faces (Google Glass). We use it to shop (credit cards, and now Apple Pay) and to go to war (stealth bombers and unmanned aerial drones). These technological advances have undoubtedly made our lives more convenient. But, as a writer who has recently dabbled in penning science fiction, I politely ask: Please STOP! You’re making my job more difficult.
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Short Film: Flesh Computer

Flesh Computer is a very strange film about the handyman of a decaying apartment building whose cybernetic pet project is put in jeopardy.

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