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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…

  • War of the Worlds (2005) – I liked the overall dark tone and the great special effects, but the family drama was a little thick.
  • Superman: Doomsday (2007) – Superman finally meets his match. Good action and an interesting plot twist or two helps one to overlook the other oddities like Lois Lane’s miniskirt and Luthor’s unhealthy co-dependency on Superman.
  • My Neighbor Totoro (1988) – What is it about Hayao Miyazaki films that are so different and magical? This one is no exception; it’s got great animation, unique storytelling and is brimming with imagination.
  • The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension (1984) – Too campy to taken seriously and not campy enough to be any good. Why do people love this so much? Am I missing something?
  • Starship Troopers (1997) – While only superficially true to Heinlein’s classic military sf novel, this flick has a certain charm all its own, courtesy of director Paul Verhoeven’s gonzo approach to sf tropes.
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.

11 Comments on Catching Up on SciFi Movies (Part 14)

  1. Have only seen 3 of these movies.

    War of the Worlds – sorry but I thought this was terrible, Its almost liek they tore the chapters out of the novel, tore them in half and picked a few at random to include… for example we have the ferry scene which should have led into the USS Thunderchild steaming up the river to blow up a tripod… but didn’t because the Thunderchild part didn’t get picked out of the hat. They also decided for some bizarre reason to change the method of attack from one that I must admit is now implausible (attacking from Mars) into some gibberish that makes no sense at all… Oh and to top it all off the film is coated in a sickly sweet ‘family’ story that just turns my stomach.

    Superman – Must admit I can’t remember much of this as I seem to fall asleep everytime I have seen it… I just remember something about the ending where Superman gets crippled by a small bit of kryptonite, which then turns into a massive bit of kryptonite that he manages to use his superpowers to get rid of…. *HUH* If anyone can explain this bit of the movie it might encourage me to re-watch the movie and try and stray awake.

    Starship Troopers – Its not the book, it misses out entirely on Heinmans views on the military and democracy, which is probably a good thing given this is a movie. Great throwaway scifi, not going to change the world but it does make for a very enjoyable afternoon/evenings viewing. I probably watch this once a year.

  2. P.S. I would dearly love to see a decent attempt made by Hollywood to film H.G.Wells actual War of the Worlds set in Victorian Britain…. I think there really is a sepctacular movie hidden in this novel… the only problem is that its actually in the novel… mess too much with the book and you ruin the story.

  3. >Too campy to taken seriously and not campy enough to be any good.

    Please turn in your science fiction fan membership card and leave the building quietly. Don’t make a scene, please.


  4. @Andy W – different Superman film. I believe you’re thinking of Bryan Singer’s Superman Returns; this is the animated version of the Doomsday story arc.

  5. Speilberg’s War of The Worlds was bad.  Painful bad.

    Buckaroo Banzai?  Great movie, campy enough to be great.  A movie to show your friends.  If they don’t like it, you need a new friend. It is that kind of movie.  

  6. Have you seen Miyazaki’s Nausicaa yet?  That’s my favorite.



  7. I would have enjoyed Starship Troopers a lot more if it was named Spacecraft Soldiers and changed some characters names.  It really was a fun and brainless CGI romp with bad dialogue (“they sucked out his brain” and horrible acting (with the exception of NPH!).  Sort of like a SyFy channel original with a bigger budget.  Unfortunately, they had to pretend it was the movie version of one of my favorite books and that made it a bit of a bitter experience.

  8. I despised Starship Troopers when I saw it in the theater.  I was too preconditioned from the novel.  Same goes for Dune and its movie.  Now I actually enjoy watching it because it’s so ridiculously and badly entertaining.  =)

  9. I think the only one of these worth even 3 stars is TOTORO and that I give a 4.5. Side note: I didn’t mind Lois’ mini.

  10. @whitemere – Ah my mistake, sorry didn’t realise there was an animated movie… is it as good as the Batman stuff (which i love)?

  11. Matte Lozenge // December 31, 2010 at 9:08 am //

    I with you on disliking Buckaroo Bonzai – your one sentence review is a perfect summary. Guess I have to turn in my sf fan card also.

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