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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…

  • How to Train Your Dragon (2010) – Great animation, good story, and characters you root for mark this family-friendly movie.
  • Hot Tub Time Machine (2010) – Initially amusing (in an awkward I-remember-the-80’s way) but ultimately an idea that’s stretched way too thin.
  • Toy Story 3 (2010) – Superb animation, riveting storytelling and an awesomely clever escape sequence occupying about the last third of the film — I’m not sure how this could be any better.
  • Pandorum (2009) – Cliché? Yeah. But still a tasty blend of science fiction and horror, spliced together with some interesting plot twists.
  • Tangled (2010) – Athough the animation was excellent, the film as a whole was pedestrian thanks to a run-of-the-mill story and flat characters. Except for the horse.
About John DeNardo (13012 Articles)
John DeNardo is the Managing Editor at SF Signal and a columnist at Kirkus Reviews. He also likes bagels. So there.

10 Comments on Catching Up on SciFi Movies (Part 13)

  1. the only one of these i’ve seen so far is How To Train Your Dragon — and having gone into it with no expectations, i thought it was fantastic.  i agree with you about the characters you root for…

  2. I’m amazed that Pixar can continue to produce such high quality films.  Usually, the third installment in a franchise is either a horrible mess or a direct to DVD loser.  And yet…  Just goes to show you that good characters and plot make for a great movie, even when animated.

    Also, Pandorum was surprisingly good.  I expected some kind of SyFy channel like mix of Alien and Event Horizon but got something a lot better.  Sure, it wasn’t perfect but it was fun to watch.  The ideas behind it were interesting and to me at least, this is the very definition of science fiction; put human characters in a situation that’s not our current present reality and see how they manage.

  3. >>I’m amazed that Pixar can continue to produce such high quality films.

    I agree, though the recent trailer for Cars 2 looks like an idea that jumps the shark.

  4. I thought How to Train your Dragon was excellent fun!!!

    Toy Story 3 was good, and a nice (hopefully) ending to the franchise.  But it didn’t blow me away, nor did I have as much fun watching it as I did Dragon.

    Pandorum is kind of meh.  I’d prefer a little more emphasis on what happened to Earth and the journey than fast zombies chasing them around a ship.

    Hot Tub Time machine…never saw it, not really my kind of flick.

    Tangled…Netflix early next year.

  5. Toy Story 3 – definately the pick of the bunch here, was unsure if they could keep the ball rolling with this installment but they did it in style far surpassing my expectations.

    How To Train your Dragon – Really enjoy this film but I was sorta left feeling let down by the ending which I thought was a bit weak.

    Pandorum – Started off great really intense and creppy/scary but the more that got revealed the less impressed I became with the movie. That said its great pizza and beer with a couple of mates fodder.

    Not seen the other 2, never even heard of Tangled and the premise of Hot Tub Time Machine does nothing for me and as it didn’t create much buzz (like Hangover) its not a movie I have any intention of seeking out.

    @John D. Cars2 jumping the shark? Huh? Reminds me a little of the old Herbie / car chase movies that I used to watch as a kid that often used to involve some spy/ criminal caper on the side to make enjoyable throw away entertainment.

  6. I haven’t seen Dragon yet but it is on my list to try to catch over this holiday season, Despicable Me too when it comes out in a few weeks.

    Sorry to hear that Tangled was a bit weak.  The animation looks gorgeous. 

    Toy Story 3 was great fun.  I enjoyed it as much as the first two.

  7. How to Train Your Dragon was the best animated film I’ve seen in a while.  I wasn’t sure what to expect and ended up loving it.

    Hot Tub Time Machine amused me.

    Haven’t seen Toy Story 3.

    Pandorum is in my Netflix queue but has been there for a while.

    Tangled- I saw the lines for this and was surprised.  Don’t know that I will check it out till video.


  8. I was surprised with how much I enjoyed Pandorum.  Maybe I just went in with really low expectations, but it was a lot of fun.  I feel bad that it has seemingly gotten so little attention, so I’m glad someone out there with some visibility is promoting it!

  9. P.S. Toy Story 3 was so good I wish I had paid to go and see it in 3d rather than watching it in 2d.

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