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Science Fiction: Films & TV

PeteByrdie

Privateer in the service of Princess Frideswide
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I've recently watched Paper Girls on Prime. Four paper girls (as in girls who deliver papers) from 1988 end up travelling through time, running from futuristic time fascists and working with an underground movement, while meeting their future selves and dealing with their issues. Clichéd characters, a bit frustrating in places, particularly in how it dealt with the problems of time travel, but I watched it all through and enjoyed it.
 

SimonBurchell

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Moonfall: I Canna Change The Laws Of Physics! Well you can if you're a Type III Civilisation on the Kardashev scale. Building a Moon sized artificial satellite would be easy. But what if something went wrong with the machinery and the Moon's orbit moved closer to Earthjy What if a strange apparently intelligent nano-swarm attacks and kills astronauts sent to investigate? Well you'd just have to round up an unfairly dismissed astronaut and the a former astronaut who is now NASA's Deputy Director to save the day. And throw in a conspiracy theorist for laughs. Some really great scenes of machinery on a cosmic scale and cities inundated by floods, earthquakes, pieces of the Moon striking Earth. Not a classic but the narrative doesn't outstay it's welcome at 130 minutes. Shades of 2001, Armageddon, Ringworld and Dyson Spheres. Directed and Co-Written by Roland Emmerich. 7/10.

In cinemas.
I know everyone is slamming Moonfall, but I watched it over the weekend and thought it was great fun, and nice to see a Dyson Sphere in a film, even if the science in the film is, ahem, a little erroneous.
 

SimonBurchell

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Better than Skyline but didn't do as well at the boxoffice and has arrived early at Netflix.
I'm half-watching it (Beyond Skyline) now, but the pacing and direction are poor; I don't think it's nearly as good as the first Skyline.
 

Earthly oddity

Ephemeral Spectre
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Loved it! Quite gruesome and disturbing in parts, people are ripped a[art and eaten, their remains left strewn about. Plenty of interesting and quirky characters. This is good adult horror and it has been renewed for a second season. 8/10.
I love the character who made the assumption he was in an escape room scenario.....hilarious scenario to put in that character's arc.....I have only seen the first 3 episodes so far....

The lady in the big house outside town reminded me of the actress who played the cult lady in The Leftovers - similar looks/in some ways character archetype maybe? I loved The Leftovers too.

If I had to choose where to live there I think I would probably choose the big house outside town. At least the people in there aren't trying to live in normality and ignore the elephant in the town (monsters/horror) until night-time. So far, the others are trying to replicate normality - only to be challenged when the horrible things happen. People can only pretend/recreate normality until they momentarily forget or flip out I suspect....leading to mistakes and more horrible things happening.
 
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Earthly oddity

Ephemeral Spectre
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I watched Papergirls recently and liked it overall. I finished From season 1 today. I will be looking forward to the second season...
 

brownmane

off kilter
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I want to see From, but would have to pay for another streaming service:(
 

blessmycottonsocks

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Prey 2022.

This prequel to the Predator series is now available on Disney+ (of which I'm enjoying the free trial).

Set in 1719, in Comanche territory, it tells the story of a young woman called Naru, who is trained as a healer but her feisty spirit is unhappy with a passive female role and she has ambitions to become a hunter (now where have we heard that old chestnut before?).
She witnesses something inexplicable and half-glimpsed in the trees and then stalking animals on the plains and it turns out to be a visit from everyone's 2nd favourite alien, on a hunting mission of his own.
Naru doesn't just have the Predator and misogynist tribal attitudes to overcome though (and from what I've read about brutal Comanche patriarchal society I doubt Naru would be cut as much slack as she gets in this movie). She encounters a gang of French trappers (what were they doing so far south in Comanche territory?) who are more monstrous than any Predator.
You can pretty well guess how things pan out after that. There's a very strong feminist message at the core of the movie in similar manner to Alexa's role in Alien v Predator, with the action being certainly spectacular and gory, if not always convincing.
A nice hat-tip is included to the Arnie-in-the mud scene from the original Predator.
Watchable, but not a patch on the 1987 original.
6.5/10

prey.png
 

skinny

Material Girl
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Loved it! Quite gruesome and disturbing in parts, people are ripped a[art and eaten, their remains left strewn about. Plenty of interesting and quirky characters. This is good adult horror and it has been renewed for a second season. 8/10.
I enjoyed s1. I do worry that it has that Lost vibe about it and that the writers will blow it. If it doesn't resolve and materialise by end of s2, I shall turn my back on it.
 

SimonBurchell

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Prey 2022.

This prequel to the Predator series is now available on Disney+ (of which I'm enjoying the free trial).

Set in 1719, in Comanche territory, it tells the story of a young woman called Naru, who is trained as a healer but her feisty spirit is unhappy with a passive female role and she has ambitions to become a hunter (now where have we heard that old chestnut before?).
She witnesses something inexplicable and half-glimpsed in the trees and then stalking animals on the plains and it turns out to be a visit from everyone's 2nd favourite alien, on a hunting mission of his own.
Naru doesn't just have the Predator and misogynist tribal attitudes to overcome though (and from what I've read about brutal Comanche patriarchal society I doubt Naru would be cut as much slack as she gets in this movie). She encounters a gang of French trappers (what were they doing so far south in Comanche territory?) who are more monstrous than any Predator.
You can pretty well guess how things pan out after that. There's a very strong feminist message at the core of the movie in similar manner to Alexa's role in Alien v Predator, with the action being certainly spectacular and gory, if not always convincing.
A nice hat-tip is included to the Arnie-in-the mud scene from the original Predator.
Watchable, but not a patch on the 1987 original.
6.5/10

View attachment 58296
I really enjoyed this. I think it is the best predator film since Predator 2 - which I thought was superior to the original.
 

Trevp666

It was like that when I got here.........honest!!!
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I always thought Quantum Leap was rubbish.
 

ChasFink

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I always thought Quantum Leap was rubbish.
I really dislike the Time Tunnel/Sliders/Quantum Leap format of Science Fiction shows: heroes lost in some way and constantly being shuffled from the end of one episode's crisis to the begining of the next. It's like there's never a time when they can comfortably eat, sleep, or use the toilet. While individual episodes are sometimes good, why can't we have a format where everyone goes home and has a nice rest before the next adventure?
 

Trevp666

It was like that when I got here.........honest!!!
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It was a shame "Crime Traveller" never went any further than the one series. I guess the BBC never had the vision (and probably the budget) for developing it into a long-running series.
And I've only ever seen the first episode. I must check out the others (if I can find them).
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crime_Traveller
 

Yithian

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There's a Quantum Leap reboot starting soon. I wonder if the new guy will leap into the body of Scott Bakula making Quantum Leap.

Scott Bakula has said his involvement in the revival is zero and that he turned down a (non-specific) offer to participate.

The pilot will take place 30 years after the conclusion of the original series, with a new team reviving Project Quantum Leap to understand both it and the fate of Sam Beckett. Raymond Lee (Yith--no idea who he is) was signed to star in the pilot in the role of Dr. Ben Song, the person that ends up traveling back in time through the Quantum Leap project. Ernie Hudson (Yith--surely we all know who he is!) was cast as Herbert "Magic" Williams, the lead of the new Quantum Leap program and a Vietnam War veteran who Sam leaped into in the season three episode "The Leap Home (Part 2) – Vietnam"

Source:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_Leap#Revival

I was a fan of the original; I liked the way they mixed history, drama and humour--and I loved Dean Stockwell--but I was younger and less discerning then, so I'm not sure how the new series might suit me.

Not long to wait and see: it airs on Monday.
 

Yithian

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I watched the first episode of this 'reimagining' on the train today.

https://www.nbc.com/quantum-leap/video/july-13th-1985/9000287009

To my surprise, with a few reservations, I enjoyed it--certainly enough to want to watch the second episode.

Non-plot based spoilers below. If I get any feedback, I'll spin these posts off to a dedicated thread.

The overall feel--which of course is influenced by the fact that I know it's true--is that the writers certainly watched the originals and read the scripts but could not possibly be those responsible for writing them: the spirit is there, and the lead character's sense of 'duty' shines through, but it has that same 'AMERICAN TV GLOSS' that they now paint over everything that's aimed at primetime/mainstream that isn't a cult/artistic hit: think the Hawaii Five-O reboot or C.S.I. rather than the Sopranos: unrealistic dialogue and frustratingly stylised scenes with dramatic music and a few slabs of cheese. Scott Bakula's cheese felt authentic--like John Hughes or Field of Dreams or something--this didn't at times. I can't really imagine them handling any gritty social issues like the original did from time to time, but I'm interested to see whether they try.

The first episode (with a minor Fortean aspect to the plot) was always going to seem busy since it has to cram in so much setting explanation alongside the simple introduction of characters, but it all hung together fairly well and managed to set up a variety of threads to be explored later (intriguing ones: like Al's daughter). I think they could have cut a few bits out and left them until later, but nothing was egregiously bad and the pacing largely worked--I'll bet it went through a lot of testing and re-writes.
  • There was too much non-diegetic music (see stylisation) that was jarring. You should be defining the era with sets and costumes more--music is a cheap method.
  • They picked too many 80s hits (and I love 80s hits!)--plus the ones chosen were too big and obvious.
  • That was not a British accent introducing David Bowie on TV?? Please tell me this wasn't a sample from the original Live Aid broadcast.
  • I'm yet to be convinced that having the two leads romantically involved (even though one of them doesn't yet know this) is wise.
  • The 'Al' character being female is not an issue, but she seems to be pretty non-remarkable. She needn't have 'Old Al's' eccentricity, but something other than being simply an intelligent and pretty professional would be nice--we're going to have to spend a lot of time in her virtual company.
  • The fact that she was originally supposed to be the leaper is an interesting twist.
  • The 'head of security' Asian woman seems disposable so far.
  • Ernie Hudson as the boss? He hasn't had any remarkable scenes yet, but I'm instinctively well-disposed towards the actor.
  • There wasn't enough humour--the bits there were weren't really funny.
  • I wanted him to say 'Oh, boy', but his teasing it towards the end kind of worked.
  • The homosexual character was apparently supposed to be comic relief (isn't this 'gay sidekick' trope stale by now?), but he had some of the worst dialogue ("Clustercurse" / "It almost makes me believe in monogamy" / "Sobering up" from a mushroom-trip ("Coming down", surely?)
On a completely separate topic, I have found Daily Motion to be a very good website. The variety of modern shows uploaded at high definition there is surprising.
 

Trevp666

It was like that when I got here.........honest!!!
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I watched the first episode of this 'reimagining' on the train today.
After reading through that I get a definite feeling that you have 'taken one for the team' there, thanks Yith.
It sounds like the kind of 're-imagining' that I'll avoid.
 

MrRING

Android Futureman
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*** Visit: http://IanHendry.com New Ian Hendry Biography: http://ianhendry.com/new-biography *** Plot Summary: The Benefits of Earth. The pair land on a planet with two extremely different races. One is technologically advanced and is warlike, addicted to human sacrifices. The others are beings of peace and sensitively, living in a dream world. Qwuick decides to reform them. Kevin Stoney as Betuchuk, Anouska Hempel as Marvana, Thorley Walters as Chief Dreamer. Written by Peter Wildeblood. Background The Adventures of Don Quick is a science fiction comedy television series that ran from October--December 1970, on ITV. Starring Ian Hendry and Ronald Lacey, six 50 minute episodes were made, shown in a 60 minute time slot. As of 2008, only the first episode exists, the other five are now missing. A technologically impressive 30 foot model spaceship was built in the studio for the series. However the first three episodes in a prime time slot failed to draw the required ratings so the last three episodes were in a much later slot before the show was cancelled. The show was a science fiction satire based on the characters of Don Quixote, with astronaut Captain Don Quick and Sergeant Sam Czopanser, members of the "Intergalactic Maintenance Squad". On each planet they visit, Quick attempts to set right imaginary wrongs, often upsetting the inhabitants of whatever society he is in. The plot bears some resemblance to the five Penton and Blake stories by John W Campbell, about two astronauts who travel the Solar System meeting strange races. Episode Listing # Title Original air date 1 "The Benefits of Earth" 30 October 1970 2 "People Isn't Everything" 6 November 1970 3 "The Higher the Fewer" 13 November 1970 4 "The Love Reflector" 20 November 1970 5 "The Quick and the Dead" 27 November 1970 6 "Paradise Destruct" 4 December 1970
 

Yithian

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After reading through that I get a definite feeling that you have 'taken one for the team' there, thanks Yith.
It sounds like the kind of 're-imagining' that I'll avoid.

I'm sure if I turned a critical eye on the original, I'd manage to produce a list of things that don't really work so well, but the fact that I watched them at age eleven or twelve means that I am naturally inclined to forgive them their faults, I suppose.

The new series was free to watch on the NBC website and was a pleasant way to pass the time.
 

Yithian

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As a side-note to that, the following information shows the attitude that the BBC had towards imported drama at the time:

Broadcast in the UK as the opening episode of Season 2 (some of which was broadcast out of order), as Quantum Leap: Honeymoon Express - April 27, 1960 (1989) and Quantum Leap: Disco Inferno - April 1, 1976 (1989) had been tagged onto the end of the UK's Season 1 broadcast. This episode had been preceded by a repeat of Quantum Leap: Genesis: Part 1 - September 13, 1956 (1989) and Quantum Leap: Genesis: Part 2 - September 13, 1956 (1989) as a feature length episode to act as a 'refresher' for UK audience's as the series had taken a nineteen month hiatus after the first season due to BBC 2's decision to show Twin Peaks (1990) from late 1990 into mid 1991.​
Source:
https://m.imdb.com/title/tt0681122/trivia/?ref_=tt_ql_trv
 

ramonmercado

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Don't Worry Darling: An idyllic 1950's community where all the husbands work for the Victory Project and the wives keep house and attend ballet lessons. Plenty of cocktail parties and sipping poolside drinks. Every morning the wives wave to their mates as they head off to the HQ to work on their mysterious project. The project leader is Frank (Chris Pine), he comes across as a Guru, his lessons for life are broadcast on TV and radio. There are cracks in the matrix though, Alice (Florence Pugh) discovers empty eggs as she cracks them, she has moments of ennui, seeing odd visions. Her friend has already gone through traumas and acts strangely at gatherings, Alice now seems to be plagued by the same problems. A Dystopia wrapped inside of a Utopian setting, the housing estate is literally an oasis within a desert but what exists in the outside world? A Philip K, Dick scenario crossed with The Stepford Wives with elements of The Matrix added. There is some horror here but most of it is psychological as Alice sets off on her Heroine's Journey through this wonderland. An interesting shot where the walls literally close in on Alice. A few interesting plot twists which cannot be revealed without spoiling the film for you. Directed by Olivia Wilde from a screenplay by Katie Silberman. 8/10.

In cinemas.
 

ramonmercado

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After Yang: There's a lot going on here, western couples adopting Chinese children, A.I., the rights of Techno-Sapiens (Androids), Clones. Kyra (Jodie Turner Smith) and Jake (Colin Farrell) get an Android, Yang (Justin H. Min) to help their adopted daughter Mika (Malea Emma Tjandrawidjaja) adjust to US life but to also retain some of her Chines culture, When Yang breaks down there is the problem of IP, Yang was bought second hand, who can repair him? The ethics of overwriting brain structures and regarding Androids as possessions come into play. Some interesting concepts are teased out, there are also hints about how Clones may be mistreated. Some aspects of the future society apear to be Utopian but there is a Dystopian substructure to it; perhaps best exemplified in a musical/dance number which brought 1984 to mind. Good performances all round including Haley Lu Richardson as Ada (a Clone). Written, directed, and edited by Kogonada. 8/10.

In cinemas.
 
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