Catching Up on SciFi Movies (Part 7)

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

  1. Avatar (2009) – Excellent visuals but it has lackluster story. It’s on par with the Star Wars prequels; great eye candy, but not much more beyond that.
  2. Brazil (1985) – I absolutely loved the atmosphere and look of Terry Gilliam’s weird and wonderful 1985 retro-futuristic Dystopia, which brilliantly spun bureaucracy into satirical social commentary.
  3. Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004) – Like Resident Evil, there’s nothing new and it does serve its aim of (in this case) zombie story set in a city, but I just couldn’t shake the overwhelming feeling of “more of same”.
  4. Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian (2009) – Dumb, but nonetheless fun. Hank Azaria stole the show.
  5. X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009) – Some corny dialogue and predictability mar this otherwise intriguing extension of the X-Men franchise.

Catching Up on SciFi Movies (Part 6)

Here are my quick takes on the genre-related films I’ve watched in the last several weeks…

  1. The Happening (2009) – Suspenseful for about the first 30 minutes, but when it became Plans vs. Humanity it devolved into nonsense.
  2. Space Chimps (2008) – If you squint a little, you can find a decent time-passing film about smarter-than-human chimps that overthrow an alien overlord.
  3. Resident Evil (2002) – While there’s nothing really new here, it does nicely mix a rogue AI with zombies and mutants, which is always nice.
  4. Shorts (2009) – A fun-but-silly movie about a magical rock that grants wishes, and the kids (and adults) that misuse it.
  5. Dead Like Me: Life After Death (2009) – Offers some (but not all) much-needed closure to the storylines of the season, but the absence of Mandy Patinkin’s Rube character in this black comedy is a serious blow.
  6. A Clockwork Orange (1971) – What starts as a horrific glorification of violence in Act I turns to a thoughtful dissertation on crime and rehabilitation in Act II. The inevitable act III, however, felt more drawn out than it needed to be.

Catching Up on SciFi Movies (Part 5)

As I’ve done in the past, here are my quick takes on the genre-related films I’ve watched in the last several weeks which admittedly was a little Vin Diesel heavy…


  1. V for Vendetta (2005) – I loved the way this complex Dystopian story about a totalitarian British governemnt unfolded, though near the end the film it was feeling a bit drawn out.
  2. The Day The Earth Stood Still (2008) – What could have been a cool update of one of my all-time SciFi favorites was riddled with logic-defying decisions by characters and plot.
  3. Battle for Terra (2007) – Nice animation but clichéd and, therefore, unengaging. And what’s up with the nonsensical plot points? Falling from the sky is not really dramatic if you can fly. Just sayin’…
  4. Pitch Black (2000) – What could have been a good mash-up of SciFi and Horror was instead a long, drawn-out hodgepodge of no suspense and Vin Diesel.
  5. Chronicles of Riddick (2004) – This is a significant improvement over Pitch Black, offering a meatier story, more action and better characters.
  6. Babylon A.D. (2008) – The interesting post-apocalyptic setting was interesting, but the real reason for mercenary Vin Diesel’s quest fell short..

Catching Up on SciFi Movies (Part 4)

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


  1. Sin City (2005) – Excellent stories, great characters, fantastic visuals and total immersion.
  2. Race to Witch Mountain (2009) – Well whaddya know? It wasn’t horrible.
  3. Inkheart (2008) – Suprisingly engaging and enjoyable.
  4. District 9 (2009) – There was a lot to like about this film, which was a tasty blend of cognitive dissonance and engrossing action. I liked that it was non-America centric and featured no movie stars.
  5. Steamboy (2004) – A very slow start, but once it got to the steampunk warfare scenes…that was some cool stuff.
  6. The Day The Earth Stood Still (1951) – The SciFi classic that exhibits an excellent use of metaphor, reflects the science fiction and the society of its time, and is a great story in its own right. The Blu-Ray version features some awesome extras – including a documentary that features appearances by David G. Hartwell and Charles N. Brown.
  7. Alien Trespass (2009) – I had high hopes for this film, but as homage to SciFi films of the 50′s, it was totally uninteresting. And as a parody, it was just unfunny. Either way, it was thoroughly boring.

Catching Up on SciFi Movies (Part 3)

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


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

Read the rest of this entry

Catching Up on SciFi Movies

I resisted Netflix for years. My argument was that I just didn’t rent movies enough to warrant the extra monthly cost. Oh, how wrong I was.

Earlier this year, I signed up for their free trial and that was all she wrote. I finally had an excuse to watch all the movies I’ve been neglecting. Here’s my take on the genre-related titles I’ve watched in the last few weeks (undoubtedly at a cost of time otherwise devoted to reading):

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