Category Archives: Sci-Fi

BLACK PANTHER (2018): The Things I Liked…

Black Panther (2018), Chadwick Boseman
Black Panther (2018), Chadwick Boseman

Black Panther is a traditional superhero movie in the way that its’ a fun, partly humorous, definitely colourful and action-packed visual experience. It’s the classic story of a hero rising to defend the many from a destructive outside force. This time, instead of the main location being somewhere that’s recognisably the United States, the main setting is a fictional African nation named Wakanda.

Directed by Ryan Coogler of Creed (2015) and Fruitvale Station (2013), including all that this movie means in terms of representation, Black Panther is also memorable for me thanks to the great visuals and the ways in which the story is that little bit different from other superhero movies. There’s also the undeniable cool factor thats courtesy – in part of the stunt work, and shooting style.

I liked all the performances and particularly enjoyed seeing Andy Serkis in a role I wasn’t expecting him to play. The smart, empowered and powerful female characters were another highlight.

In terms of what’s next for the franchise, the way Black Panther ends certainly has me very intrigued about how the follow-up will unfold. Particularly since I’m  someone who’s quite aware of the nature of humans when it comes to power and resources.

No doubt you’ve probably already seen this one but in case you haven’t, watch it because it’s a good and fun… and Marvel.

Happy Film Loving

G

EXTINCTION (2018): The Thing I Liked…

Extinction (2018), Michael Peña
Extinction (2018), Michael Peña

Directed by Ben Young and starring Michael Peña, Mike Colter and Lizzy Caplan, Extinction is a Netflix sci-fi thriller where a father’s recurring nightmare showing his family in grave danger becomes a reality.

What I’d really have loved to write at this point is that the tide has finally turned and at last we have a really good Netflix movie. Instead, the very best I can really say about Extinction is that the film’s full premise which quite rightly isn’t really completely revealed to the audience until towards the last third of the movie is exciting. When the revelation did finally come, I certainly hoped that I would have been more delighted.

The acting isn’t bad but the reason I found the all important revelation very underwhelming has a lot to do with the story / structure and the budget. I feel as though the story needed more development, particularly in regards to how a thriller could still be thrilling considering the unavoidable constraints linked to the specific nature of the story and the nature of the main characters involved. In that way perhaps Extinction wouldn’t have felt quite as hollow as it did to me.

I’m disappointed because instead of celebrating the film’s great execution, I’m left wondering how good such an exciting and relevant idea could have been in the hands of different people.

Watch it if you must. Otherwise there’s Minority Report (2002), which isn’t particularly similar to Extinction, but it is undoubtedly good.

Happy Film Loving

G

SHAZAM! (2019): New Trailer From Zachary Levi, Mark Strong, Asher Angel, Jack Dylan Grazer…

Shazam! (2019) Zachary Levi
Shazam! (2019) Zachary Levi

With a single magic word (Shazam!), a boy is given the ability to become an adult superhero in times of need.

Directed by David F. Sandberg, Shazam! stars Zachary Levi, Mark Strong, Asher Angel Jack Dylan Grazer…

This may just be the next hit superhero movie from DC Comics (after Wonder Woman (2017). I’m in for this reason, the humour and to possibly see a version of my own superhero fantasies played out. I’m already liking  the on-screen chemistry between Asher Angel and Jack Dylan Grazer.

Adam Brody, Djimon Hounsou, Michelle Borth, Marta Milans and Ross Butler also star.

Shazam! Release Dates: April 5th, 2018 (US)…

Happy Film Loving

G

MAZE RUNNER – THE DEATH CURE (2018): The Thing I Liked…

Maze Runner - The Death Cure (2018). Dylan O'Brien, Giancarlo Esposito, Dexter Darden, Rosa Salazar
Maze Runner – The Death Cure (2018). Dylan O’Brien, Giancarlo Esposito, Dexter Darden, Rosa Salazar

Maze Runner – The Death Cure, the final instalment in the young adult science fiction trilogy set in a post apocalyptic dystopian world is generally OK. Having already seen the first two Maze Runner films and also finding them mainly adequate, I wanted to watch The Death Cure to finish what I’d started. I was very happy to see that the films main actor Dylan O’Brien appeared to have recovered fully following the serious 2016 on-set accident that put production on hold for months.

Even though I’m not in love with this movie, I don’t regret having sat through it for reasons including, the acting isn’t terrible overall, I like the consistent pace and there are a couple of in-air stunts that had my attention. Beyond that though, I’d say that director Wes Ball’s film is an easy distraction that doesn’t ask too much of you. In which case, perhaps hit that play button – for a casual viewing. I say that whilst knowing that big fans of the books (I’ve never read them) probably wouldn’t sit down to this movie ‘casually.’ Nevertheless though, every movie has its place in everybody’s mind. From ‘this deserves my undivided attention’ to ‘I’m definitely skipping that.’ 

Happy Film Loving

G

EXTINCTION (2018): New Trailer From Michael Peña, Mike Colter, Lizzy Caplan…

Extinction (2018), Michael Peña
Extinction (2018), Michael Peña

Extinction, a new Ben Young directed sci-fi / thriller about a father’s recurring nightmare showing his family in grave danger becoming a reality. The nightmare comes true when the planet is suddenly invaded by a highly destructive force and so the fight for their lives begins.

Michael Peña, Mike Colter, Lizzy Caplan star…

I’m probably being way too optimistic here but I’m interested because I want an explanation for why he could see the future. I’d love a twist in the story. For example, is he linked to the invaders somehow? My fingers are crossed for  a worthy Netflix movie.

Emma Booth, Israel Broussard, Tom Riley and Georgia Goodman also star

Extinction Release Dates: July 27th, 2018 (US)…

Happy Film Loving

G

THE TITAN (2018): It’s…

The Titan (2018), Sam Worthington

Starring Sam Worthington, Taylor Schilling and Tom Wilkinson, The Titan is a sci-fi film about a military family who agree to take part in a ground-breaking experiment of genetic evolution and space exploration.

My experience of director Lennart Ruff’s film, similarly to other recent Netflix films I’ve seen can be characterised by disappointment. What intrigued me most about the film in the first place was the subject matter, definitely more so  than the actors. Sadly though, when the thing I’d been waiting for all along, namely the physical manifestation of the genetic evolution began to show in Worthington’s character’s body, instead of thinking ‘wow that’s pretty impressive,’ I instead found it and the film as a whole to be very basic. Perhaps a higher budget could have helped. To that I say, ‘sure’ as long as a sizeable chunk of the money went into producing a more well thought out story that is actually exciting.

Is it possible that I’ve just been expecting too much from Netflix movies? Is that my real problem? I’m certainly starting to think so. On the other hand, who can blame me really when the first Netflix movie I ever saw was Cary Joji Fukunaga’s memorable and rather impressive Beasts Of No Nation (2015)?

Watch The Titan if you must but only if you you absolutely must.

Happy Film Loving

G

DOWNSIZING (2017): The Things I Liked…

Downsizing (2017), Matt Damon
Downsizing (2017), Matt Damon

Within a few minutes of starting to watch director / co-writer Alexander Payne’s comedy / drama, Downsizing, the thought ‘Oh, no… this  isn’t going to be ridiculous, is it?’ crossed my mind. Starring Matt Damon, Christoph Waltz, Hong Chau and Jason Sudeikis, Downsizing is a social satire about a man who decides that he’d have a much better life if he were to shrink himself.

I definitely had a good time watching this movie. This is true even though the film didn’t really get properly exciting for me until it began to deliver on its ‘part-comedy’ categorisation promise; something that finally happens approximately thirty nine minutes in. Everything before that point is ‘kind of engaging’ but it felt slower than one might prefer.

I laughed a pleasing amount in the film and many of the wonderfully funny scenes featured Damon’s clueless Paul Safranek character. I found Paul particularly amusing because he seems to suffer from a kind of ‘blindness’ that I haven’t seen played / written quite as well as it is in this movie for a while. I laughed mostly at him and his apparent cluelessness in several situations.

Beside the memorable comedy performances, I enjoyed the sci-fi aspect of the story and how, knowing the challenges of modern life as well as I think I do, one might actually decide that shrinkage was a good idea.

As engaged as I was with the story as non-action movie, there were moments nearer the beginning where I couldn’t help but half expect Damon’s character to suddenly burst into action-movie-star mode and start running and punching. That didn’t quite happen here but I’m certainly not disappointed either. Though slow in parts, the humour – also delivered well by Waltz and Chau combined with the story plus the moving moments made sure I stayed in my seat.

I say give it a chance, you may just find it as laughter inducing (in parts) as I did.

Happy Film Loving

G

HOW IT ENDS (2018): New Trailer From Theo James, Forest Whitaker, Kat Graham…

How It Ends (2018), Theo James
How It Ends (2018), Theo James

How It Ends is the story of a desperate father trying to get home to his pregnant wife in the chaotic aftermath of a mysterious apocalyptic event.

Theo James, Forest Whitaker and Kat Graham star while David M. Rosenthal directs

‘Please be good, please be good, please be good…!’ Just my heart felt wishes for this movie. I’d really love to love a Netflix movie as much as I did the first Netflix movie I remember seeing; Cary Joji Fukunaga’s Beasts of No Nation (2015). Please, Netflix.

Kerry Bishé, Grace Dove, Mark O’Brien, Eric Keenleyside and Nancy Sorel also star.

How It Ends Release Dates: July 13th, 2018 (US)…

Happy Film Loving

G