Science Fiction: Films & TV

Zeke Newbold

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attraction 2.jpg

The Sequel to the Russian science fiction adventure thriller ATTRACTION (Pritazheniye) is due out soon: Invasion (Vtorzheniye) - AKA Attraction 2.

It is three years on from the events of the first film. The young lady who met the aliens (Irina Starshenbaum) has been left with enhanced psychic powers and is under investigation by the miltary establishment. However, her awakened powers elicit interest from forces outside the earth too....

It promises to be a visual feast of epic proportions and is scheduled for release on January 1st - the first day of the winter holidays for Russians.

Fyodor Bondarchuk, the director, is known to be something of a strong Putin loyalist. This, however, does not to reflect in his science-fiction films. I took the first one - Attraction (2017) - to be something of a critique of xenophobia and the sequel, according to what I've heard on the grapevine, takes something of an anti-government line. Perhaps it's just a case of Bondarchuk pandering to his young audience? Or... I don't know what.

The only English language trailer I could find comes from Variety magazine:

https://variety.com/2019/film/globa...invasion-debuts-trailer-exclusive-1203433647/

N.B We seem to be getting a spate of First Contact/Alien attack movies in Russia at the moment. There is the franchise Outpost (Blackout) - which I mentioned in the horror section - then this, and a film due next year called `Sputnik` which is also about extraterrestrial invasion. This subgenre is new to Russia, as it has not appeared much in their Science fiction previously. Is it just a case of them catching up late with a Western trope? Or d]oes this reflect some current geopolitical preoccupation? Or - as some conspiracists might have it -are Russians being softened up for disclousure?

Guess who'll be sitting in a cinema seat nursing a hangover soon?
 

blessmycottonsocks

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Looking forward to 2020, the remake of Dune, in the quirky but visionary hands of Canadian director Denis Villeneuve (Blade Runner 2049, Arrival) sounds promising.
Also like the look of twisty-turny sci-fi epic Tenet, with its stellar cast (including Michael Caine, and Kenneth Branagh).
 

gridban

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Nothing in this thread for The Expanse? Just started on series 4, best SF on TV since Battlestar Galactica for me.
 

Zeke Newbold

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View attachment 22062

The Sequel to the Russian science fiction adventure thriller ATTRACTION (Pritazheniye) is due out soon: Invasion (Vtorzheniye) - AKA Attraction 2.

It is three years on from the events of the first film. The young lady who met the aliens (Irina Starshenbaum) has been left with enhanced psychic powers and is under investigation by the miltary establishment. However, her awakened powers elicit interest from forces outside the earth too....

It promises to be a visual feast of epic proportions and is scheduled for release on January 1st - the first day of the winter holidays for Russians.

Fyodor Bondarchuk, the director, is known to be something of a strong Putin loyalist. This, however, does not to reflect in his science-fiction films. I took the first one - Attraction (2017) - to be something of a critique of xenophobia and the sequel, according to what I've heard on the grapevine, takes something of an anti-government line. Perhaps it's just a case of Bondarchuk pandering to his young audience? Or... I don't know what.

The only English language trailer I could find comes from Variety magazine:

https://variety.com/2019/film/globa...invasion-debuts-trailer-exclusive-1203433647/

N.B We seem to be getting a spate of First Contact/Alien attack movies in Russia at the moment. There is the franchise Outpost (Blackout) - which I mentioned in the horror section - then this, and a film due next year called `Sputnik` which is also about extraterrestrial invasion. This subgenre is new to Russia, as it has not appeared much in their Science fiction previously. Is it just a case of them catching up late with a Western trope? Or d]oes this reflect some current geopolitical preoccupation? Or - as some conspiracists might have it -are Russians being softened up for disclousure?

Guess who'll be sitting in a cinema seat nursing a hangover soon?

Much hyped in Russia and released during the Russian winter holidays - Invasion - this 12 Certificate two and a quarter hour long blockbuster was what I predicted it to be, in the main: lavish popcorn fodder.

Fyodor Bondarchuk, the director, is best known for his epic war films such as Stalingrad (2013) and is not a natural science fictioneer. That said, he did also produce Dark Planet (2008) which is well regarded for havin g stayed close to its Strugatsky brother's source.

Invasion is the sequel to Attraction of three years back.

The Russians are busy reverse engineering the alien technolgy and have already used this to erect a defensive satellite shield around the earth.

Meanwhile,Yulia (Irina Starshenbaum) seems to have fixed it with her father, and is now studying astrophysics at University but is otherwise under the protection of the military who are investigating her for her special powers that she accrued after meeting the aliens.

A miltary unit, lead by her father is studying all things related to the aliens- including his daughter. They keep her in a flotation tank in the evenings, monitorng her brainwaves. One day, after being deliberately wound up she releases a burst of telekinetic energy which excites the water around her. Later she is in a bar trying to drown her sorrows and suddenly meets Hakon - the alien that she had an affair with in the previous film. He is now earthbound and living a comfortable life in a dacha, but still in contact with the mothership that is still circling the earth (the now iconic vast gyrosscope like structure). It seems that Yulia's outburst has summoned the ship's interest in the
earth...Or something. (I was struggling with the language a bit). Anyway, following a wacky car chase, they both elope and the military go after them - and this leads to a confrontation with the spacecraft which succeeds in drowning Moscow in a flood....

This is a film that tries to please every cinema demographic - part military adventure, part family drama, part romance, and part disaster movie. Starshenbaum is somewhat magnetic and is the main draw of the film - otherwise the most likeable and human character in this film is the one whomis supposed to be an alien - Hakon.

The same technology as in Attraction is here: the fighting machine with its exoskeleton, the mothership and the amphibious flying buggy - and the ability to manipulate water (in fact the alien ship floods the sky over Moscow). The film was filmed in IMAX and the cinematography and visual effects are impeccable an d state-of-the art.

But it's all bombast and no ideas - and science fiction lives or dies on ideas. Attraction did have one simple (rather touching) idea: be tolerant towards those you don't understand - but it's sequel has nothing to match even that, unless I was really missing something.

At least Invasion is reasonably original - I can't compare it to any other one film (but has moments similar to many films) but, considered as Science Fiction I can only give it 5 out of 10. However, if you are someone who enjoys spectacular all action films with a feast for the eyes, then this won't disappoint.

It should be out on DVD with English subtitles soon, I expect.

(Working on a longer review for my blog).
 
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Swifty

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The actor who played Gort in the 1951 sci-fi film The Day The Earth Stood Still was Lock Martin who was discovered at the Chinese Theatre in Hollywood working as an usher. He was 7’7” tall! ..
agort01.jpg


agort02.jpg
 

GNC

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Article here interviewing Kevin Connor (director) and Susan Penhaligon (star) of... The Land That Time Forgot!
Lovely article

A bit sad that Doug McClure's life was at a low ebb when he signed up, but he became a hero to kids anyway. Nice that Susan Penhaligon was sceptical about it for years, but now thinks it's "cool" to be in a cult movie. That ending... up there with Planet of the Apes for little me at the time.
 

Mythopoeika

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Article here interviewing Kevin Connor (director) and Susan Penhaligon (star) of... The Land That Time Forgot!
Lovely article

A bit sad that Doug McClure's life was at a low ebb when he signed up, but he became a hero to kids anyway. Nice that Susan Penhaligon was sceptical about it for years, but now thinks it's "cool" to be in a cult movie. That ending... up there with Planet of the Apes for little me at the time.
I still love that film, even though the FX and sets look like old hat these days. McClure was also one of my favourite actors back then.
 

GNC

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I still love that film, even though the FX and sets look like old hat these days. McClure was also one of my favourite actors back then.
I actually prefer shonky FX if they're "real", i.e, not CGI. Even the worst of them looks better than cheapo CGI.
 

Yithian

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A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon.

ASTSM:F has lots of fun with a UFO flap that descends on the small town near the farm where Shaun lives. As with so many other Aardman films, it is massively visually inventive: I'm sure there will be new things to notice on every re-watch. It is bound to appeal to a Fortean audience, tropes from famous UFO cases, and indeed well-known sci-fi movies, make an appearance: I didn't think I could be amused by yet another rendition of Thus Spake Zarathustra, but an audible guffaw escaped during one outing of it. Other famous scenes are alluded to more deftly. It was nice to catch a fragment of Jeff Wayne, as well. Yes, one or two of the gags descend to Moonraker-levels of laziness - the entry code for the secret base being an obvious low point (although a tremendous visual gag at the same site later on more than makes up for this) - and there's a re-tread - perhaps an homage (a moutonage?) - of a joke from A Grand Day Out . The jokes are relentless, and even the bodily-function-based humour still manages to be funny. A hit for all ages, and the very British humour seems to travel well: I loved it, my teenage daughter M did, and so did my 9yo and her American best friend. Would watch again. And again.
Have just watchee and can wholly endorse Krepostnoi's view.

More sight gags that you can shake a goodly number of sticks at.

Visual references to a bucketload of famous sci-fi films and flawless animation throughout.

It's rare that Miss, Mrs and Mr Yith can all sit down and enjoy the same film.
 

ramonmercado

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Have just watchee and can wholly endorse Krepostnoi's view.

More sight gags that you can shake a goodly number of sticks at.

Visual references to a bucketload of famous sci-fi films and flawless animation throughout.

It's rare that Miss, Mrs and Mr Yith can all sit down and enjoy the same film.
I missed it, sounds great, I'll have to track it down on ewer recommendation.
 

Yithian

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I missed it, sounds great, I'll have to track it down on ewer recommendation.
It's worth noting that although there are a few bits of writing on screen, there's no real speech throughout the film.

And that doesn't grate or really come across as gimmicky; the film doesn't need it.

8/10 from me.
 

GNC

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If it counts for anything, I'd endorse Farmageddon too, if only because it looks absolutely beautiful. The care and attention put into it is just lovely. And it makes you laugh, too.
 

GNC

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If you're looking for a weirdo film to watch, and no cinema to watch it in, give Vivarium a go on streaming, it's a bit of a one joke movie but it's a good joke. Couple (Jesse Eisenberg and Imogen Poots) go house hunting and the strange estate agent strands them in a placid hell of suburbia where they have to look after a child of... Satan? Aliens? Imogen gets a great last line, and it's really nicely done from an Irish team.

 

blessmycottonsocks

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Not sure if this is the right thread, but the end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it sit-com "Not With A Bang" is now available on YouTube.

I remember setting the VHS to record this some 30 years ago!

If nothing else, gotta love that brilliant guitar theme music!

 

blessmycottonsocks

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Not sure if this is the right thread, but the end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it sit-com "Not With A Bang" is now available on YouTube.

I remember setting the VHS to record this some 30 years ago!

If nothing else, gotta love that brilliant guitar theme music!

Binge watched all 7 episodes over the last couple of days.
Gentle and poignant end-of-the-world humour.
If you can imagine a mash-up of Last of the Summer Wine and The Quiet Earth (with a hint of Red Dwarf style odd couple characterisation) you'll have a good idea of what it's all about.
Well worth a look.
 

ramonmercado

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Code 8: There have been many dark Mutant films and tv series' of late, mostly from the Marvel stables. This a refreshing low budget production which focuses on mutants on a "human" level. Mutants are feared and exploited in Lincoln city, increasingly laws drive them into the casual labour market and curb their activities. Police use drones which drop killer robots to deal with mutants who step out of line. Reed has electrical powers, just wants to earn a living but even off the books jobs are raided by the police and he starts to work for a crime boss. Then his mother falls ill and he has to engage in more serious criminality if he is to avail of the services of a healer mutant. Given the low budget the robot scenes and mutants using their electrical, telekinesis and levitation powers are impressive. Co-Writer/Director Jeff Chan delivers an engaging Mutant-Noir tale. 8/10. On Netflix.
 

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Heavy Metal (1981): Adult Animated Science Fiction/Fantasy anthology film based on stories which appeared in the Heavy Metal magazine. The framing story has an astronaut bringing his daughter an orb, the Loc-Nar but it kills him and then lets the daughter see its past actions through a series of stories. The segments include: future Noir in Harry Canyon, a story which must have inspired The Fifth Element; Den, a Barsoom style story; B-!7, set during WW2 when the orb attacks a bomber. It has a storming Heavy Metal soundtrack. Multiple directors and writers. 8/10. On Netflix.
 

ramonmercado

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Prospect: Old fashioned SF which is retro in the best sense of the word. A girl, Cee (Sophie Thatcher), and her father, Damon, descend from a satellite to a habitable moon/planet prospect for gems. Protective suits are necessary due to toxic spores in the atmosphere of this world which seems to mainly consist of temperate rain forest. They find a gemstone within a fleshy pod, Cee tries to persuade Damon that this is enough but he has links to dodgy diggers which promise a big prize. Everything in this film seems old and well used from the suits to the spacecraft and even the weapons. Clashes with claim jumpers, intrigue with mercenaries, odd human villagers who resemble a hillbilly family, gunfights. An interesting SF/Coming of age adventure with a convincing performance by Thatcher. Written/Directed by Chris Caldwell and Zeek Earl in their feature debut. 7/10.
 

Megadeth1977

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I've always had a feeling it was cut and I was right now someone needs to leek the the uncensored versions

https://www.denofgeek.com/movies/st...gordon-movie-you-may-never-see-and-much-more/

Which brings up the Judge Dredd rating controversy…
Judge Dredd was actually supposed to be a PG-13 movie. The production company at the time, Cynergy, they were having some financial troubles, so they didn’t have any UK executives on location in England. And in their absence, the director (Danny Cannon), wanting to make it true to the comic book, was making everything more and more and more violent. So when the movie was delivered to be cut, it was rated X. It was rated X four times!
 
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GNC

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I'm not sure more violence would improve it!
 

Megadeth1977

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I'm not sure more violence would improve it!
It what the director intended not some writer who thinks they can dictate to a film director.
 

Ladyloafer

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Prospect: Old fashioned SF which is retro in the best sense of the word. A girl, Cee (Sophie Thatcher), and her father, Damon, descend from a satellite to a habitable moon/planet prospect for gems. Protective suits are necessary due to toxic spores in the atmosphere of this world which seems to mainly consist of temperate rain forest. They find a gemstone within a fleshy pod, Cee tries to persuade Damon that this is enough but he has links to dodgy diggers which promise a big prize. Everything in this film seems old and well used from the suits to the spacecraft and even the weapons. Clashes with claim jumpers, intrigue with mercenaries, odd human villagers who resemble a hillbilly family, gunfights. An interesting SF/Coming of age adventure with a convincing performance by Thatcher. Written/Directed by Chris Caldwell and Zeek Earl in their feature debut. 7/10.
i really liked this. fairly low key but atmospheric and as said, a shabby retro vibe.
the original short film here and the feature film is on all4 (uk) for about another month.
 
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