Science Fiction: Films & TV

michael59

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I don't know whether it was BS. But the messages were delivered with no subtlety and I just wasn't engaged by it. I watched it once when it was first released, found it a pretty looking chore. I tried it again after a couple of years. To be fair, some of my favourite movies are ones I didn't like the first time around. It was still a chore. I'm not looking forward to the sequels, I don't know what people saw in the first movie.

That is the perfect way to describe how I felt whilst watching. It was a chore.

There was so much hype for this movie and I just didn't get it.
 

Naughty_Felid

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I don't know whether it was BS. But the messages were delivered with no subtlety and I just wasn't engaged by it. I watched it once when it was first released, found it a pretty looking chore. I tried it again after a couple of years. To be fair, some of my favourite movies are ones I didn't like the first time around. It was still a chore. I'm not looking forward to the sequels, I don't know what people saw in the first movie.

Watched it for the first time a couple of days ago. It was ok, even taking into consideration the now-dated CGI it wasn't that strong a movie. It's still essentially "white man saves (space), Indians". The world was quite nice though. The humans were very two-dimensional. Giovanni Ribisi was criminally underused as was Sigourney Weaver. Stephen Lang probably came out best as the nasty Colonel.

Barring Titanic I've noticed that Cameron is better if he has a writing partner which he didn't have in Avatar.

6 out of 10.
 

Naughty_Felid

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No, it's pretty easy. It's him out of, er, you know, that other thing.

Sam Worthington has done a few good films and has received critical acclaim - I just don't see him as an action-hero lead, which is what he's tried to do over the last 10 years. I think Joel Edgerton is a better contemporary actor.
 

CarlosTheDJ

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I watched Avatar at the cinema and spent the entire movie doing that thing where you lift up the glasses to see how different it looks in 3D.

There was one bit where there were some dust motes or pollen floating around that really felt immersive, but other than that I don't remember anything about it. So it can't have been that great.
 

ramonmercado

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Beyond Skyline: Alien Invasion sequel. The aliens have bio-mechanical machines, some the size of Jaegers (Pacific Rim) complete with alien humanoid (think of bipedal Alien) pilot, others smaller but still huge have tentacles for sucking out brains. Yes they're after our brains but not to munch on, they put them into their various bio-mechanical Warriors. Apparently including brain snatchers and even the pilots, bit of a loop there. A blue light is used to hypnotise humans and they are then sucked en masse into an alien ship for brain extraction or it's ripped out individually by tentacle.

A new group of humans, led by Mark (Frank Grillo), a detective, are sucked on board an alien vessel and link up with Elaine (Samantha Jean) and Jarrod from Skyline. Jarrod's brain is now in an alien Warrior pilot but somehow he remains aware and saves Mark from a tentacle Warrior. Meanwhile Elaine delivers her baby six months early! The child has absorbed alien DNA. The aliens also want the babies. The struggle to survive ensues. Will we learn the real secret of the aliens? What will happen to alien-human hybrid children?

Written and directed by Liam O'Donnell this is an ok alien invasion movie, the script is a bit uneven in pacing but there are some very good shots of alien vessels crashing and great (albeit gruesome) hand to hand combat between aliens (or rather their bio-mechs) and humans and even Jaeger battles. The alien spaceship interiors are like gothic cathedrals with vistas of organic machinery. Acting won't win Oscars but is passable. 7/10. On Netflix.

Skylines: Not as good as the other two. The hybrid baby has grown up and she can interface with Alien Technology, helps to defeat a new invasion. The friendly aliens develop a strange illness making them violent so a voyage to their home planet is necessary. More battles. Backstabbing, too much scheming going on. James Cosmo is good as a grizzled old veteran. Some good hand to hand fighting and space battles but the villains are cardboard cut outs. Directed by Liam O'Donnell. On Netflix 5.5/10.
 

Mythopoeika

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Skylines: Not as good as the other two. The hybrid baby has grown up and she can interface with Alien Technology, helps to defeat a new invasion. The friendly aliens develop a strange illness making them violent so a voyage to their home planet is necessary. More battles. Backstabbing, too much scheming going on. James Cosmo is good as a grizzled old veteran. Some good hand to hand fighting and space battles but the villains are cardboard cut outs. Directed by Liam O'Donnell. On Netflix 5.5/10.
I just bought that on DVD the other day! Yet to watch it.
 

ramonmercado

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Surprised you haven't covered this one, @ramonmercado : The Vast of Night, lots of buzz about it, talk of the new Donnie Darko, but it's not quite as impressive as that. It is nicely done on a tiny budget, mostly by having dialogue in place of effects, but it basically winds up with exactly the same ending as...

Close Encounters of the Third Kind, only they couldn't afford aliens, just the UFOs.

Obviously made by enthusiasts, but that's not always enough.

Just watched it.


The Vast Of Night (2019): Low budget SF set in 1950s New Mexico which works. A young Radio Station DJ Everett (Jake Horowitz) and a Switchboard Operator Fay (Sierra McCormick) meet up at the start of a high school basketball game and then head off to their workplaces. Both are disturbed by mysterious sounds interrupting the radio broadcast and telephone calls. People hear noises an see things in the skies, listeners call in to Everett, relating their tales of past encounters with Aliens and UFOs. The two teens go chasing around town, to talk to people and find things. Very much a dialogue driven film but what dialogue! It's a slow burner with teens doing teen things but this leaves yiu even less prepared when things get odd. It's very much of it's time period, Everett tells a black ex-soldier that he's the first black to call into his show. lack and Hispanic solders had been used to observe Alien ships and technology because they were less likely to be believed. Even more interesting is the old woman who relates a heart-breaking tale of her own encounters with UFOs. The detail and richness of the dialogue more than makes up for the lack of special effects. This film will have me musing over it's meaning for a while. Great performances by McCormick and Horowitz. Directed by Andrew Patterson from a screenplay by James Montague and Craig Sanger. On Amazon Prime. 8/10.
i
 

GNC

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Thanks for the update, @ramonmercado ! There was certainly a lot of dialogue, but it was the atmosphere of eeriness that I found the strongest part, I think it almost exclusively takes place at night, yeah? There should be more films that do that.
 

Mythopoeika

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Concept reel for the Last Starfighers, a true sequel to the 80's classic if it ever gets made:
Fantastic! But will it feature Alex Rogan again, played by the same actor? I think he may now be a bit old.
 

GNC

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A pity they can't bring the wonderful Robert Preston and Dan O'Herlihy back. I had heard they were finally going to remake it, despite the writer (who retained the rights) denying anyone the chance for decades. A sequel would be preferable, but its profile is not exactly high, it's on the mid-table of cult movies at best.
 

Lb8535

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Fantastic! But will it feature Alex Rogan again, played by the same actor? I think he may now be a bit old.
This is great news; the original was one of those magical combinations for good little first script by a young writer, good little direction, and lovely setting (well I mean terrestrial setting.) It's a pull on your heart strings sci fi because it's really about the relationships and not the CGI. But a huge chunk of it was Robert Preston. If they want to keep the magic going they'll have to think of another way. If they don't care and just want to cash in then it doesn't matter. The concept reel does not look promising - someone's been watching Star Wars and Alien.
 

Mythopoeika

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This is great news; the original was one of those magical combinations for good little first script by a young writer, good little direction, and lovely setting (well I mean terrestrial setting.) It's a pull on your heart strings sci fi because it's really about the relationships and not the CGI. But a huge chunk of it was Robert Preston. If they want to keep the magic going they'll have to think of another way. If they don't care and just want to cash in then it doesn't matter. The concept reel does not look promising - someone's been watching Star Wars and Alien.
Yes, Preston's charisma really made that film a success. They'd have to find another actor of similar abilities. Would it work without Preston? It might - we're now in a different era, with a largely different audience.
 

PeteByrdie

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The Last Starfighter was kind of an early success for CGI, but had quite a dark and interesting story. The movie hit many of the same beats as contemporaneous movies, but was definitely its own thing. The CGI now looks like something from Tron, which was supposed to look like a computer generated world. But a sequel, reboot or remake exploring the same world would be welcome.
 

Lb8535

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I don't think the audience is very different. Its strength was that it appealed to people and actually gave a fairly good depiction of one-parent life in a trailer park, and an adolescent who shares a bedroom with his kid brother being torn between what he wants to do (go on a picnic with his girlfriend and the gang who don't have to work) and what reality needs him to do (fix the electrics) and resorting in his spare time to video games. And the very clever concept of the video game being a selection method of recruiting - just what every pre-teen kid fantasizes. I bet that's where the idea began - that video game. If a sequel doesn't have some emotional core then it will be just another budget CGI mess. If they manage to lose the girlfriend in the first scene that will be a signpost of mess ahead. And since I'm rambling on a Sunday morning, I would add, just like the first scene of Alien3. Lose the kid lose what's his name because it's not that kind of a movie? There goes the franchise. (There are some good points to Alien3. Casting is awesome. But it's all downhill from the start.)
 

PeteByrdie

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I don't think the audience is very different. Its strength was that it appealed to people and actually gave a fairly good depiction of one-parent life in a trailer park, and an adolescent who shares a bedroom with his kid brother being torn between what he wants to do (go on a picnic with his girlfriend and the gang who don't have to work) and what reality needs him to do (fix the electrics) and resorting in his spare time to video games. And the very clever concept of the video game being a selection method of recruiting - just what every pre-teen kid fantasizes. I bet that's where the idea began - that video game. If a sequel doesn't have some emotional core then it will be just another budget CGI mess. If they manage to lose the girlfriend in the first scene that will be a signpost of mess ahead. And since I'm rambling on a Sunday morning, I would add, just like the first scene of Alien3. Lose the kid lose what's his name because it's not that kind of a movie? There goes the franchise. (There are some good points to Alien3. Casting is awesome. But it's all downhill from the start.)
The non-theatrical version of Alien 3 is, at least, more coherent.
 

Lb8535

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The non-theatrical version of Alien 3 is, at least, more coherent.
The film is coherent, the concept is actually interesting, the two very serious weaknesses of #3 are that it has no emotional core and David Fincher's work sucks big time, I can't think of anything more adult to say about it. The franchise becomes just another monster/violence/pretty woman meme. When you see a ventilation fan you know what will happen. The monster is a guy in a suit (this also was filmed in #1 but they intelligently cut it in all but the last scene where there was little option or maybe they were just out of time.)
 
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charliebrown

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Filming in April for Disney Plus, Ewan McGregor takes on Hayden Christensen in a new series called

The World Of Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Disney Plus promises as time goes on lots of Marvel and lots of Star Wars coming down the tube.
 

PeteByrdie

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Filming in April for Disney Plus, Ewan McGregor takes on Hayden Christensen in a new series called

The World Of Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Disney Plus promises as time goes on lots of Marvel and lots of Star Wars coming down the tube.
I'm not excited about this, but then I wasn't excited about The Mandalorian until it turned out to be good.
 

charliebrown

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On Disney Plus “ Loki “ comes June 11th.

Does anyone know what story line this is ?
 

PeteByrdie

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On Disney Plus “ Loki “ comes June 11th.

Does anyone know what story line this is ?
I think we're all assuming this will be the Loki who absconded with the tesseract in the time travelling shenanigans in Endgame. So, he isn't the Loki who was in Ragnarok, and has basically just escaped his captors after his failed invasion of Earth.
 

GNC

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Just watched Wargames again, it's as much fun as ever.

Such a great film, isn't it? Explains the stalemate of nuclear war in perfect terms, and it's funny and exciting with it.
 

GNC

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Talking of funny, try not to laugh when you watch this trailer:

Seems to have mixed reviews, but how can a massively powerful space psychopath meeting his match with a ten year old girl not be amusing?
 

PeteByrdie

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Talking of funny, try not to laugh when you watch this trailer:

Seems to have mixed reviews, but how can a massively powerful space psychopath meeting his match with a ten year old girl not be amusing?
This looks awesome!
 
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