Category Archives: Sci-Fi Reviews
Can’t wait til September 17th for the premiere of Eric Kripke’s 1-hour “Revolution” pilot? No worries. NBC currently has an advanced sneak peek at the complete pilot episode for your viewing pleasure as we speak. Scroll on below to see the pilot in its entirety while it lasts.
The funny thing about Shinji Aramaki’s “Starship Troopers: Invasion” is that it looks a lot better when people are running around in their bulky space combat suits than when they’re out of them. When characters are just walking around in their undies, or in nothing at all (a common thing here), the CG animation leaves a lot to be desired. But that’s just one of the things about CG animation that I’ll never really be able to buy into. Fortunately there’s enough here in terms of wanton carnage, a totally fatalistic approach to warfare, and unrelenting bug action that helps me to overlook the film’s shortcomings.
What happens when we make our robots too smart and they develop self-awareness? Naturally they try to kill us. Anyone who has seen any amount of sci-fi movies knows that. So yeah, Daniel Wilson’s “Robopocalypse” is nothing you haven’t seen or read before. Hell, there’s an entire movie franchise called “Terminator” based entirely around this exact same premise. Nevertheless, “Robopocalypse” is still one hell of a story, and should make a fantastic movie.
Without giving anything away: did you ever see the Danny Boyle movie “Sunshine”? Well, that’s “God Particle”, the new script from screenwriter Oren Uziel that recently sold to J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot production company and Paramount. The two films are amazingly alike, from a promising beginning and set-up to what eventually becomes a generic, by-the-numbers slasher movie. Who knew the end of the world could be so … ordinary?
What the hell happened to Tom Mason? As you’ll recall, the last time we saw college professor turned freedom fighter Tom Mason (Noah Wyle), he had voluntarily entered a spaceship alongside one of those spindly legged aliens and Hal’s former flame turned alien mouthpiece Karen (Jessy Schram). As Season 2 of TNT’s alien invasion show “Falling Skies” returns to the airwaves, we learn what exactly happened to Tom onboard that alien ship. Well, most of it, anyway.
Alex Hopper has potential. Lots of potential. Or at least, that’s what everyone in Peter Berg’s “Battleship” keeps telling me. Though honestly, the first 30 minutes of the film, which sets up the character and the world-threatening alien invasion he must rebuff, really doesn’t back up everyone’s claim about ol Alex. Sure, he’s got drive, but we already know that when he breaks into a corner store just to grab a chicken burrito for hot Sam (Sports Illustrated supermodel turned actress Brooklyn Decker). When he sets his mind to something, Alex can be pretty persistent. And reckless. And downright stupid. But hey, what wouldn’t you do to get into Brooklyn Decker’s pants?
“The Darkest Hour” is the second directorial effort from Chris Gorak, and was produced by Timur Bekmambetov, though if you only saw the ads, you might have mistakenly believed that Bekmambetov, the director of “Wanted” and the upcoming “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” was the man behind the camera. (Which, I suppose, was the point of said ads.) The film opened late last year and disappeared from theaters just as quickly. There were plenty of ads, sure, but no press screenings, which is always a bad sign when studios try to sneak movies into opening nights without screening it for review from the “pros”. Some movies are critic-proof; alas, “The Darkest Hour” is definitely not one of those movies.
Ding ding ding! We have a winner! It’s official: the Syfy channel’s “Alphas” is my new favorite show on TV after last night’s stellar Season 1 finale, which blew the lid on the show’s universe with a trip to the U.S. Senate. A fantastic, chaotic battle between Alphas and Government shooters in a warehouse caps off the episode, which also introduced two major new characters — Lee Rosen’s estranged daughter and a new Big Bad who should prove to have staying power. Literally. The guy is like an immortal, apparently. What I’ve always appreciated about Zak Penn’s “Alphas” is that it has zero interest in the status quo. Penn seems to be running the show like he has a limited amount of time to tell his story, so each episode moves the storyline along at a pretty satisfactory clip. There were a couple of filler episodes here and there in the show’s 11-episode first season, but for the most part… Continue Reading »
Dear Hollywood: despite what you may think, not every teenage boy out there is an annoying little prick suffering from uncontrollable, mysterious teen angst. And certainly not after you’ve sent him a gazillion million years into the past through a fancy schmancy time portal/gateway doohickey, and to a world surrounded by mysterious wonders, dino-friggin’-saurs, and the like. Other than that, there’s a lot to like about FOX’s new sci-fi/dino show “Terra Nova”, but also a lot to groan about. “Terra Nova” is a show that is so expensive per episode it’s rumored that a first born is sacrificed each time a new episode is shot. That may be a tad hyperbolic. A tad… Set a hundred or so years in the future, on a planet Earth where the shit has royally hit the fan thanks to our poor environmental management (i.e. Al Gore was right), humanity now wallows in pollution as if the entire world was Los Angeles. The Shannons,… Continue Reading »
I’ve considered doing an episode-by-episode review of this show ever since it premiered this Summer, but never could summon the effort to do it. For one, the show is just not very good. And two, I would just end up ripping on it because, cripes, this is one bad show. It’s such a poorly written and directed mess, that I would have preferred if the whole thing was just a drama about a former professor living in the woods with a cute doctor and the professor’s kids hanging around. But instead this is a sci-fi alien invasion TV show. Here’s the thing: I will gladly accept the concept of the alien invasion. That’s a must, right? You either say Yes to that and move on, or you turn the channel. So yeah, I’ll accept that the aliens employ what looks like a few hundred skitters and a few hundred mechs to take over the planet. You rarely (RARELY) see the… Continue Reading »
Looks like I’ve found a new show to add to my DVR list, and it’s the Syfy Channel’s original show “Alphas” from writer Zak Penn. I had my doubts about the show from all the commercials (the production looked somewhat cheap), and overall the promotion Syfy was doing for the show really left me underwhelmed. The show itself, though, is much better than I had expected. The 90-minute pilot does a very fine job of introducing us to the core characters, their issues, and their world. In “Alphas”, Rosen, one of those do-gooder doctors played by David Strathairn have gathered together a select group of individuals with unique abilities (the Alphas). They are Rachel (Azita Ghanizada), who can heighten her senses to superhuman levels; FBI agent Bill (Malik Yoba), who can harness super strength; Gary (Ryan Cartwright), who can “read” electronics (or something — I’m not really sure what he does); and Nina (Laura Mennell), who can “push” thoughts into… Continue Reading »
Let me preface this review/non-review by saying that I wasn’t really going to review the episode, since “Torchwood” is such a big thing in the sci-fi community right now that anyone and everyone will have already reviewed it once or twice and gotten their grandmothers involved. So, who needs one more review? As such, I’m going to eschew the proper reviewing format, and just go with bullet points. If you don’t like that, tough nuts. So, here goes.
It’s an intractable law of the cosmos; being that for every massively hyped blockbuster, some low rent studio will crank out a hideous product in hopes of riding the coattails of a hit to some success. So it’s probably of little surprise somebody would insert an “of” in “Battle:Los Angeles”, trying to convince viewers their film’s as good as the theatrical film. It’s not. It doesn’t make things any better that “Battle of Los Angeles” came from Asylum Studios, a place fast becoming the Merchant Ivory producers of movies so bad they would’ve made Ed Wood Jr quit filmmaking and consider a career in used cars. Probably the biggest rub is how much this film was done on the cheap; cheap as in they probably had probably had production assistants panhandling to get cash to finish the film. Shot on the Asylum Studios lot in L.A. on a $300,000 budget, it’s safe to say this “Battle” was lost a long… Continue Reading »
Thanks to Rialto and Classic Media, fans everywhere know of the classic monster movie that was previously elusive before the early 1990s. Oddly, Italian producer Luigi Cozzi’s cut remains consigned to obscurity. On second thought, maybe that isn’t so strange…. Before the flirtation in the mid 80s with colorizing black and white films, Italian film maker Cozzi decided to take a crack at making Godzilla a bit more bright and cheery. Using an early colorization process called Spectrorama 70, a process where colored gel is applied to existing black and white footage. The result isn’t exactly pretty, as a bizarre glow permeates every frame of the film. New music was composed for the film by Magnetic System; a rave kind of music the likes of which has never been seen in a Godzilla film before or thankfully ever again. Akira Ifukube’s work is heavily re-edited, along with sound effects, to allow for more wailing screams and raging winds. None of… Continue Reading »