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Catching Up on SciFi Movies (Part 15)

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…

  • Predators (2010) – A surprisingly good reboot of the original with some intense action…despite Adrian Brody’s unbelivable action hero.
  • The Last Airbender (2010) – Such a rich backstory that was tripped up by sloppy storytelling.
  • The Thing (1982) – A terrific film that nicely captures the paranoia of John W. Campbell’s awesome story.
  • Fallen (1998) – Standard thriller upped a notch by the inclusion of a spirit killer who can transfer to other bodies. Good use of that ability to create some dramatic tension.
  • Equilibrium (2001) – While it may have been a bit by-the-numbers and a little heavy-handed on the emotionless enforcer who finds his heart (I mean, seriously, a puppy? Come on!), this near-future Dystopian film was nonetheless entertaining for being an action flick with some meaty themes to back it up.
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 15)

  1. I think Carpenter’s THE THING is really overlooked and unjustifiably so. Compared to the original film version Carpenter brought the story back to the original concept, made it both believable and chilling, and the ending is… just right.

  2. Of these, I’ve only seen The Thing and Fallen, and I think I’d give each one star less than you.  The former doesn’t quite have the original’s paranoia, and the latter has little to recommend it beyond its “surprise” ending.  Still, not bad choices.

  3. I haven’t seem The Last Airbender or Equilibrium, but I agree with your assessments of the other three. Predators was a lot of unapologetically action-oriented fun, made better (and I seem to recall this being said a few months ago by someone online) by the fact that the characters weren’t stupid – they found themselves in a weird situation but their reactions were in-line with their training and backgrounds. The paranoia and suspense of The Thing were offset by typically funny Carpenter dialogue. And Fallen succeeded well enough that I didn’t regret seeing it on TV.


  4. Wow you have Poop Deck Predators  rated the same as The THing.   Makes me think you like to puff on those funny cigarettes.  THe original Predators was great but wasn’t even on the same level.  This trash just insults your right to life views.



    Is a what could have been. it is pretty lifeless, but that doesnt mean its not better then most of the other CRAP available.

  5. Don’t worry about the rude comment by Midas68 – after all, he doesn’t even know that Predators is the 1st film of that title about those trophy hunting aliens.

    You just saw The Thing for the 1st time?  A 1982 movie considered a cult classic?


  6. The Thing was actually a re-watch.  Now that I think of it, that doesn’t quite fit the “Cathcing Up” theme.  Oh well.

  7. I’m sure John can take it Will,  I do find it disconcerting that you must be from a generation that when someone mentions the “Original”  it is automatically assumed that it stems from a conversation about a Remake.  I know the film is a sequel,  But one about talking logs would have done a equal job.


    Sequels were my Generations Trash(99%)  and this Generations is Remakes.   

  8. I have only seen Predators and Equlibrium off this list.

    Predators – great film, great saturday afternoon entertainment when it was a horrible day outside. Intelligent enough that i could just sit back and enjoy.

    Equilbrium – Sorry I just could get into this movie, its one of those cure for insomnia films… don’t know what it is but it just sends me straight to sleep.

    Looks like I will have to check out The Thing.

  9. I am not sure I could rate Avatar anything over one star. The movie had decent effects, but was marred by sloppy storytelling, painful acting, and few helpings of stupid to help keep the plot plodding along. That’s not even going into the changes between the adaptation and the television series, which vary from large changes (fire benders unable to create their own fire/ earth benders needing a dance troupe and complicated routine to lift a small stone) to the minute and pointless (name pronunciation changed because Shyamalan felt the show was wrong).

    I really enjoy the old Predator flicks, so Predators was a must-see even if my expectations were set rather low by the horrible AvP movies that preceded it. It was a surprisingly good movie. It had its problems and I had my own problems with it, but I came out the other side with and still saw it in a positive light. Plus, it had Topher Grace and I am a fan of his for some unknown reason.

    Equilibrium… I watched that movie not long after it came out and loved it. Unfortunately, it gets worse every time I rewatch it. To me, it is one of those films that you should watch once and then think back on nostalgically, telling yourself you should totally watch it again and then not doing so.

  10. I was going to express over-reactive shock and disbelief that you had never seen The Thing, but your followup comment ruined that, so I got nuthin’.

    Oh, wait. How about…Heh! Judging by your high ratings, guess you were in a pretty good mood when you watch them, huh?

    Mike :p


  11. What I meant was exactly what I posted.  Predator in the singular was in the title of all the previous movies.  Predators plural was only in the title of the 2010 production.  And I’ll take the recent remake over the ’87 original and, of course, the productions in between.

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