Continuing a trend tailor-made for the Twitter generation, here are my quick takes on a few recently-watched genre-related films.

My brief thoughts follow…
Read the rest of this entry

Continuing a trend tailor-made for the Twitter generation, here are my quick takes on a few recently-watched genre-related films.

My brief thoughts follow…
Read the rest of this entry

Continuing a trend tailor-made for the Twitter generation, here are my quick takes on a few recently-watched genre-related films.

My brief thoughts follow…
Read the rest of this entry

Continuing a trend tailor-made for the Twitter generation, here are my quick takes on a few recently-watched genre-related films.

My brief thoughts follow…
Read the rest of this entry

Continuing a trend tailor-made for the Twitter generation, here are my quick takes on a few recently-watched genre-related films.

My brief thoughts follow…
Read the rest of this entry

Continuing a trend tailor-made for the Twitter generation, here are my quick takes on a few recently-watched genre-related films.

My brief thoughts follow…

Read the rest of this entry

Continuing a trend tailor-made for the Twitter generation, here are my quick takes on a few recently-watched genre-related films.

My brief thoughts follow…
Read the rest of this entry

Continuing a trend tailor-made for the Twitter generation, here are my quick takes on a few recently-watched genre-related films.

My brief thoughts follow…
Read the rest of this entry

Continuing a trend tailor-made for the Twitter generation, here are my quick takes on a few recently-watched genre-related films.

Quick thoughts follow…
Read the rest of this entry

Continuing a trend tailor-made for the Twitter generation, here are my quick takes on a few recently-watched genre-related films.

Quick thoughts follow…
Read the rest of this entry

Continuing a trend tailor-made for the Twitter generation, here are my quick takes on a few recently-watched genre-related films.

Quick thoughts follow…
Read the rest of this entry

Continuing a trend geared towards the Twitter generation, here are my quick takes on a few recently-watched genre-related films.

Quick thoughts follow…
Read the rest of this entry

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

Quick thoughts follow…

Read the rest of this entry

Catching Up on SciFi Movies (Part 14)

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

Quick thoughts follow…

Read the rest of this entry

Catching Up on SciFi Movies (Part 13)

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

Quick thoughts follow…

Read the rest of this entry

Catching Up on SciFi Movies (Part 12)

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

  • Percy Jackson: The Lightning Thief (2010) – Standard Hero’s Journey fare augmented with decent special effects and updated mythology. Bonus points for (hopefully) getting the young one interested in mythology and/or reading the book.
  • 2012 (2009) – One unbelievable narrow escape after another not only tests suspension of disbelief, it shoots it out of the sky with scientifically inaccurate surface-to-air missiles.
  • Repo Men (2010) – A poor adaptation of Eric Garcia’s wonderful book, The Repossession Mambo; inadequate world building and a bit slow paced, though I must admit to liking the ending.
  • The Road (2009) – Having read the book, I knew this would be a slow moving, post-apocalyptic vehicle. But like the book, there was little to impress the sf fan who has seen this type of thing before.
  • Iron Man 2 (2010) – Even when you don’t consider how enjoyable Iron Man was, this was just terrible. A story that never seemed to get above a crawl, action sequences that favored aesthetics over logic, and — worst of all – it’s jut not fun.

Catching Up on SciFi Movies (Part 11)

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.

Catching Up on SciFi Movies (Part 10)

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

  1. Inglourious Basterds (2009) – Quentin Tarantino’s alternate history Nazi story is so characteristically Tarantino that you can’t help but like it, even if the pacing of each vignette was a bit repetitious.
  2. Where The Wild Things Are (2009) – Watching this felt like indulging a bratty kid having a tantrum. And how do you make an unlikable child? Plus, he has a poor imagination; his imaginary friends are as surly and unlikable as he is.
  3. Zombieland (2009) – A decent zombie comedy, even if it’s aimed at teenagers. Best part was a laugh-out-loud surprise cameo that was hilarious in its self-deprecation.
  4. Ponyo (2009) – This may not be the best Hayao Miyazaki film, but this charming story of a magical goldfish who wants to be human is still worth watching for it’s excellent animation.
  5. Hancock (2008) – The story of a drunken, down-and-out superhero trying to change his image with the help of a public relations man comes close to having elements of wonderful comic book cheesiness, but that’s sadly overshadowed by blatant disregard for logic after an otherwise promising mid-film plot twist.

As before, here are my quick takes on the genre-related films I’ve watched in the last several weeks…a set of poor viewing experiences, as you can see…

  1. The Princess Bride (1987) – Destined to be a classic, if not one already. Although I saw this years ago, this is still a magicical film that perfectly combines adventure, humor and charm.
  2. The Golden Voyage of Sinbad (1974) and…
  3. Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger (1977) – I knew I was in for trouble re-watching these movies that I remember fondly from my childhood. Atrocious overacting, illogical plot progressions and awkward pacing were not enough to overcome Ray Harryhausen’s dated (but somehow still charming) stop-motion animation. Oh, and is that Tom Baker as the bad guy in The Golden Voyage of Sinbad? Yikes!
  4. Resident Evil: Extinction (2007) – How do you mess up a zombie movie? I can’t remember the last time I was this uninterested watching a movie that sounded good enough to watch in the first place.
  5. 9 (2009) – I loved the animation and the post-apocalyptic setting, but Shane Acker’s story needed more fleshing out to make it more cohesive. And interesting.

Catching Up on SciFi Movies (Part 8)

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

  1. Mirrormask (2005) – Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean team up for this inventive fantasy about a young girl’s quest to find a mask to save a fantastically-imagined world (and perhaps her relationship with her mother). The visuals are fantastic (it looks like a McKean drawing come to life) but the pacing was a bit slow for my tastes.
  2. Repo: The Genetic Opera (2008) – This SciFi rock opera was seriously off-putting at first (almost forgettable, in fact) for its all-music format, but the story eventually won me over, and lingers long after viewing. The opera signifies two things: the music-only dialogue and the soap-opera-ishness of the plot. Overall, this was surprisingly intriguing, especially considering it boasts a cast that includes Paul Sorvino and Paris Hilton, the latter probably too oblivious to realize the social commentary made by her casting. (Note to self: yes, the setting for Eric Garcia’s book Repossession Mambo is similar, but the plot has quite a different emphasis.)
  3. Moon (2009) – An excellent film that marks a return to intelligent, thought-provoking SciFi. And an excellent performance by Sam Rockwell, so important as this is a character study piece.
  4. Planet 51 (2009) – An enjoyable animated family film with a nicely done 1950′s SciFi feel.
  5. Astroboy (2009) – A fun family film with excellent animation and a storyline that skirts – but doesn’t quite explore – some meatier issues like segregation.
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