Tagged Sci-fi

Ready Player One (Spielberg, 2018)

Sorry Spielbergers. I’m not sure I’m the audience for this kind of stuff. I do admire the thoroughness of the VFX work and how wonderfully the different avatars are rendered, and the whole sequence inside The Shining was kind of mind-blowing in how accurately it was all reproduced. We’ve come so far technologically, and as long as…

Border (Abbasi, 2018)

This is quite the mish-mash. A heaping of Scandinavian folklore here, a sprinkle of gritty police procedural there. It ping-pongs between the two genres with intriguing results. Its feet are firmly planted in reality, but the folklore elements give it a sense of atemporality. It seems to exist in one time and in no time,…

Sorry to Bother You (Riley, 2018)

The angry and confrontational nature of Sorry to Bother You is its best feature, there’s no question about it. The anti-capitalist, pro-labour mindset being espoused is not filtered or watered down, and Riley’s absurdist touches help make it stick in memorable ways. I mean, yes, the twisted climax is one of them, but the idea of a…

Upgrade (Whannell, 2018)

It’s not exactly sophisticated aesthetically or thematically, being another skeptical morality play on the dangers of biotechnological advancements that seek to erase our humanity, but Upgrade is quite a likable bit of pulp. There’s a Frankenstein quality to it that appeals. Like Grey Trace’s resurrection from traumatizing disability, the film revisits key sci-fi classics such as 2001: A…

The Cloverfield Paradox (Onah, 2018)

I’m not averse to schlock if it’s entertaining. And there are definitely moments in The Cloverfield Paradox that are fun in a schlocky sense, like Chris O’Dowd’s arm being… ripped? sliced? bitten? from his body, and then ending up as some sentient, disembodied Addams Family reject. Or when the Russian (of course) crewmember is somehow invaded by the worms…

War for the Planet of the Apes (Reeves, 2017)

I am a little bummed that War for the Planet of the Apes was not a step up from Dawn, as Dawn was a step up from Rise. If memory serves, Dawn interweaved themes of loyalty, betrayal, and compassion into a genuinely crackling script, and I remember being rather impressed by its scope and weight. War feels less adept, in the sense that its thematic…

Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Abrams, 2015)

I do think that The Force Awakens leans a little too heavily on the mythos of the first trilogy, almost repackaging the journeyman hero elements of A New Hope and sending it out to us as though it were a shiny new product. Look, it tells us, we’ve got a female heroine sensitive to the Force! We’ve got a likable black…

Star Wars: The Last Jedi (Johnson, 2017)

Big, bold and beautiful. It’s hard to describe Rian Johnson’s achievements here any other way. This is the kind of Star Wars film that lives up to the grandeur of the title: high stakes galore, with whopping intergalactic conflicts, no clean moral divides, and drama within an inch of all lives depicted. It’s a madder, trickier vision…

Logan (Mangold, 2017)

If I had a special connection to the X-Men franchise, and if Wolverine had been one of my all-time favourite characters, I would’ve appreciated this far more. This whole setup feels like the culmination of a grand story that started years ago, as well as a big farewell that fans could partake in together. Casual viewers like…

Annihilation (Garland, 2018)

Will 2018 give us another film as strange, mesmerizing and uncompromisingly cerebral as Annihilation? As I sit here writing this, I am inclined to say no. I’m sure there will be films I’ll like better, and films that will devastate me to greater degrees, but I’m not sure the year will bring me another film with…

A Wrinkle in Time (DuVernay, 2018)

I’m afraid I have to agree with the consensus here: A Wrinkle in Time isn’t very good. Mostly because it’s a mature film trapped in a Disneyfied body, needing to take flight but barely getting off the ground because its wings have been clipped. I could feel Ava DuVernay wanted to do more with the story and…

A Quiet Place (Krasinski, 2018)

A Quiet Place is among the best experiences I had watching a film this year, as it utilized its technical facets with a great amount of intelligence. From the sound design to the cinematography, John Krasinski ensures you are actively involved in the family’s plight—and maybe even implicated in it, as one flinches at every minute sound from…

The Endless (Moorhead & Benson, 2017)

My somewhat low rating here does not mean that I don’t respect Benson and Moorhead’s ambition. Creating a legible sci-fi tale involving temporal loops and sinister, omniscient forces is not an easy feat, and they manage to pull it together decently—especially on the limited budget they had at hand. Their efforts are appreciated, and I…