Tag Archives: Sci-Fi

Independence Day Resurgence

15 Dec

 

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Damn It…I love Doctor Who

10 Jun

In April, I attended the Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo and noticed that dozens of people were dressed as different versions of The Doctor.  They were in line for the bathroom, eating pizza, and asking amusing questions at panels.  They went to great lengths to emulate The Doctor – this included hilarious accents, strange questions, and weird body language.

I’ve never sat down and watched a full episode of Doctor Who because I’ve always found the fans a little too, I don’t know, fanatical.  Come on, I love X-Men, but I stopped dressing up for Comic Expos years ago…Halloween is a different story.

Seeing so many people in costume made me wonder though, what’s so appealing about the show?  I decided to creep around on Wikipedia and get a better idea about the show’s storyline.  The short description is…

Doctor Who is a British science fiction programme produced by the BBC.  The program depicts the adventures of a Time Lord—a time travelling humanoid alien known as The Doctor.  He explores the universe in his “TARDIS” a time-traveling space ship.  Its exterior appears as a blue British police box, a common sight in Britain in 1963, when the series first aired.  Along with a succession of companions the Doctor faces a variety of foes while working to save civilizations, help ordinary people, and right wrongs.

Doctor Who is also the longest running science fiction show in the world.  Originally it aired from 1963 – 1989 and the series was restarted again in 2005.  Despite loving some time period movies, I know I can’t sit through a 1960s TV show.  They’ll be references I don’t understand and my time will be spent researching what the hell everyone is talking about.

I decided to start with the 2005 series starring Christopher Eccleston as the Ninth Doctor.  From what I’ve read Eccleston’s portrayal is less eccentric than his predecessors to better fit with a new generation.

After two episodes, I’m hooked.  It’s hard to do good sci-fi on a budget, but the show manages.  The characters are well developed and the dialogue is surprisingly funny.  I’m resisting that urge to spend the day inside watching as many episodes as possible.  I promised myself I wouldn’t get hooked on any new shows and now I’ve chosen a show that has 7 seasons to catch up on plus an additional 26 seasons if I want to watch the original series.

Pray for me…I’m scared what will happen.

Elysium

20 Nov

Neill Blomkamp, the co-writer and director of the phenomenal District 9, is working on the sci-fi movie Elysium starring Matt Damon.

Elysium is set in a futuristic society divided into two classes – the wealthy who live in pristine space stations and the lower class who are left to live on the polluted and dying Earth. A man named Max (Matt Damon) takes on a mission to bring equality back to humanity. The villain will be played by Jodie Foster and the supporting cast includes Sharto Copley (District 9, The A-Team) and Alice Braga (Predators, Repo Men).

I don’t know how I missed this. I loved District 9 and this movie sounds right up my alley. Today, Sony released the below image of Damon’s character in Elysium. It looks good so far, but we still have a long wait. Elysium is scheduled for release in August 2013.

Elysium

Looper: Review

31 Oct

 I’ve always liked Joseph Gordon-Levitt whether he was an alien, one of Micheal Myers victims, a high school detective or a love-sick greeting card writer, and 2012 has been a good year for Tommy Solomon. He’s landed leading roles in two highly anticipated movies, The Dark Knight Rises and in the sci-fi movie, Looper.

When I saw ads for The Dark Knight Rises, I knew that Levitt would be playing Robin or Nightwing. He has the perfect look, but I wasn’t sure how he’d fit in with such a serious and seasoned cast. Considering the other actors, Levitt did a great job of holding his own and making his character stand out in the Nolan’s final Batman movie. I think the end of The Dark Knight Rises left fans hoping that DC would push for a Robin or Nightwing movie.

Levitt’s second big project of 2012 was Looper – a sci-fi thriller starring Bruce Willis and Emily Blunt. Looper centres around Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), a mob hitman in the year 2044. In the future, if the mob wants to have someone “taken care of” the target is sent 30 years into the past, where a hired gun waits. Eventually, the mob decides to “close the loop” by transporting back Joe’s future self (Bruce Willis) for execution. Unfortunately, Young Joe loses his future self and must track him down before the mob finds him.

After escaping Young Joe, Old Joe hunts for the Rainmaker – a powerful man who is closing all the loops and has single-handedly taken over the future’s criminal organizations. Old Joe’s mission is to find the Rainmaker as a child and kill him to prevent future events. Young Joe manages to figure out part of Old Joe’s plans and heads to one of the addresses where the Rainmaker may be living. There Young Joe meets Sara (Emily Blunt), a single mother who lives with her son Cid. Young Joe stays to protect Sara and Cid and to kill Old Joe when he shows up.

From the trailers, you’d think that Looper was a sci-fi action movie and we would eventually see Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis team up in a Die Hard style killing spree. Guess what? The trailers are misleading – incredibly misleading. If anything Looper is a sci-fi drama which is something I haven’t really seen before. Of course there are sci-fi elements – time travel, telekinesis, but the focus is really on character development.

When you’re first introduced to Old Joe, all your sympathy lies with him. You see what he experienced for the past 30 years and you understand his motivations. Young Joe looks selfish, stupid and greedy in comparison. As the movie progresses and Old Joe starts carrying out his plan to kill the Rainmaker, your sympathy shifts to Young Joe and you get a glimpse into why he behaves the way he does.

Bruce Willis fits the role of Old Joe perfectly. Willis seems to only pick better roles and become more successful with age. Joseph Gordon-Levitt does all the heavy lifting. He’s amazing as Young Joe and even when he does morally questionable things you know why. His ability to imitate Bruce Willis and mimic his mannerisms is uncanny. My favourite scene of the movie is where the two Joe’s meet at a coffee shop and have a conversation about what’s going to happen now and in the future.

Writer/Director Rian Johnson is a bit of an oddball. He wrote the role of Young Joe specifically for Gordon Levitt as the pair previously worked together on the teenage film noir Brick. Johnson seems to focus on minute details and tries to have all his bases covered.

Even so, there are flaws in the movie. The prosthetics used to make Levitt look like Willis aren’t really necessary. I’ve talked to a few people who said they couldn’t get used to Levitt’s look. The face change feels like a bit of a gimmick and Looper stands well on its own.

A couple of characters should have been written out of the screenplay. If they don’t add anything to the plot, there’s no reason for them to be there and even though I love him, Jeff Daniels is not an intimidating villain. Sorry.

Overall, Looper is a unique and interesting movie. It’s definitely worth seeing if you’re a sci-fi fan because you may never seen anything like it again.

The Prototype: Trailer

26 Aug

Written and directed by Andrew Will, The Prototype follows a humanoid drone that escapes from a government facility and is on the run from the military. The cast includes Neal McDonough (Minority Report, Walking Tall), Joseph Mawle (Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter) and Anna Anissimova (The Whistleblower).

Considering The Prototype’s relatively low budget (just under $40 million), the special effects look great and the plot seems solid.

Ridley Scott’s Prometheus

29 Dec

Since the early 2000’s, 20th Century Fox has considered reviving the lucrative Alien Franchise with a fifth instalment, but somehow there never seemed to be a story to do the original Alien movie justice. Sure, we’ve had chances to see our favourite acid spitting xenomorphs in Alien Vs. Predator 1 and 2, even though we never asked to have those (and I use the term loosely) “films” made.  Original cast members including Sigourney Weaver and director James Cameron were in talks for potential prequels and sequels that never really came to fruition. In 2009, Ridley Scott at last confirmed that he would be directing the latest instalment of the Alien movies.

Ridley Scott and Screenplay writer Damon Lindehof decided to downplay the role of the “original” aliens and give us Prometheus, an indirect prequel that focuses on “the Space Jockey”.  You remember him…don’t you?  He’s the enormous creature that we encountered in the first Alien movie.  Prometheus takes place 30 years before Alien and will explore the role of “the space jockey” in creating human civilization and the mythology surrounding the Alien universe.

Though Ridley Scott directed Alien, he has not directed a Sci-Fi/Fantasy movie since 1985’s Legend.  His latest movies like Robin Hood, Kingdom of Heaven and A Good Year have been less than stellar and if Prometheus succeeds it will revitalize his career and the Sci-Fi/Horror genre. Ask yourself when was the last time you saw a good alien movie. Cowboys and Aliens,  Predators, Skyline and  The Fourth Kind all lacked character development, interesting aliens and good actors.

Fortunately, the cast for Prometheus is pretty amazing and includes Michael Fassbender (Shame, X-Men: First Class), Charlize Theron (Monster), Guy Piece (Animal Kingdom, Memento)  Noomi Rapace (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) and Idris Elba (Rocknrolla).

So what do you think?  Will Prometheus be a hit or a flop in 2012?

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