Archive for category: Science Fiction

Videophiled: ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ versus ‘Time Bandits’

9 December, 2014 (16:59) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews, Science Fiction | By: Sean Axmaker

Guardians of the Galaxy (Disney, Blu-ray+Blu-ray 3D, DVD, VOD) is based on one of the more obscure Marvel Comics to get the big screen treatment, but everything about the film suggests a filmmaker trying to recapture the sense of energy and color and sheer fun of Star Wars and the pop space opera. That’s a […]

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Film Review: ‘Interstellar’

7 November, 2014 (08:53) | by Robert Horton, Film Reviews, Science Fiction | By: Robert Horton

Everybody in Interstellar keeps talking about Gargantua, a massive black hole that must be delicately negotiated during space travel. Christopher Nolan’s movie is similarly scaled: This 168-minute epic contains vast sights and wild images, and exerts a heavy gravitational pull. At its center are some basic, reliable sci-fi ideas. They’re just intriguing enough to justify […]

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Videophiled: ‘Snowpiercer’ – Class Struggle on a Runaway Train

22 October, 2014 (10:30) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews, Science Fiction | By: Sean Axmaker

Snowpiercer (Anchor Bay, Blu-ray, DVD), an international production from Korean filmmaker Bong Joon-ho based on a French graphic novel, is a high-speed metaphor speeding down the science fiction tracks of genre cinema. That’s the way I like this brand of filmmaking: with the metaphors big, muscular, detailed, and punchy. You either give yourself over to […]

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‘Destroy All Monsters': Rumble in the Jungle with Godzilla and Friends

7 October, 2014 (08:40) | by Sean Axmaker, Essays, Science Fiction | By: Sean Axmaker

The original Godzilla (1954), especially the original Japanese release, is more than a mutant monster movie of the atomic-scare fifties. It is a stark disaster thriller that evokes the terrors of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the lingering poison of the nuclear radiation. The two destructive forces come together in a screaming atomic lizard, […]

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Why ‘Goldfinger’ at 50 remains the definitive James Bond movie

17 September, 2014 (08:24) | by Sean Axmaker, Essays, Science Fiction | By: Sean Axmaker

Goldfinger was the third Bond feature but the first Bond blockbuster, an instant smash hit that turned the series into a phenomenon. Fifty years after its Sept. 17, 1964 London premiere, which was overrun by fans fighting to get into the theater, it remains the definitive big-screen incarnation of the world’s most famous secret agent. […]

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Videophiled Classic: ‘Godzilla 2000’ and more giant monster mashes of the new millennium

11 September, 2014 (17:37) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, Film Reviews, Science Fiction | By: Sean Axmaker

When it comes reviving the past, timing and presentation is everything. Sony’s first wave of “The Toho Godzilla Collection” of second- and third- generation Japanese Godzilla films on Blu-ray came out in May, timed to the theatrical release of the American remake (the discs are reviewed on Cinephiled here). This second wave arrives the week […]

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Review: A Boy and His Dog

8 September, 2014 (10:23) | by Kathleen Murphy, Film Reviews, Science Fiction | By: Kathleen Murphy

[Originally published in Movietone News 44, September 1975] One plunges straight into unknown territory and action in A Boy and His Dog: Tatterdemalion figures dodging about in a wasteland, shooting at one another without apparent rhyme or reason. Some kind of reconnoitering dialogue—but no lips are seen to move and, visually, spatially, we find ourselves […]

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Film Review: ‘The Giver’

17 August, 2014 (17:34) | by Robert Horton, Film Reviews, Science Fiction | By: Robert Horton

“Thank you for your childhood,” says the Chief Elder to each graduating 16-year-old. In this society, that’s not as weird as it sounds; all children who reach 16 are given life assignments and launched into adulthood at a public ceremony. Childhood’s end, indeed. The Giver tells the tale of one such teen, Jonas (played by […]

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Film Review: ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’

31 July, 2014 (06:58) | by Robert Horton, Film Reviews, Science Fiction | By: Editor

The giant apparatus required to create a 21st-century comic-book/sci-fi/action movie is expensive and unwieldy. Little wonder so many of these behemoths eventually collapse under their own weight, content to destroy a city while laboriously setting up the next installment in the franchise. Even the good stuff—Robert Downey Jr.’s antic presence in the first Iron Man, […]

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Videophiled: Scarlett Johansson gets ‘Under the Skin’

15 July, 2014 (18:08) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews, Science Fiction | By: Sean Axmaker

Under the Skin (Lionsgate, Blu-ray, DVD, Cable VOD) isn’t a film that wants to make things easy for the viewer. The experience is not unlike that which I suppose its unnamed protagonist, an alien reborn in the body of a human host (Scarlett Johansson), goes through as it (she?) settles in to its new body […]

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Film Review: ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’

11 July, 2014 (08:49) | by Robert Horton, Film Reviews, Science Fiction | By: Robert Horton

After much adversity, Caesar — the leader of the simian takeover of Earth — must admit a hard truth. His bickering, backstabbing ape brethren are much more like humans than they’d care to admit. Ouch. Caesar’s grunted insight comes as no surprise as we’re watching Dawn of the Planet of the Apes: the human population […]

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Film Review: ‘Earth to Echo’

3 July, 2014 (06:36) | by Robert Horton, Film Reviews, Science Fiction | By: Robert Horton

Charm is in short supply in the kiddie sci-fi opus Earth to Echo, a mechanical imitation of E.T. Mechanical is the key word here, because the movie’s method is all about digital technology, and its extra-terrestrial is a little metal robot. We are watching a video supposedly created by the film’s characters. It’s a chronicle […]

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Videophiled: New Model ‘RoboCop’

3 June, 2014 (12:49) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews, Science Fiction | By: Sean Axmaker

RoboCop (Fox, Blu-ray, DVD, Digital HD, On Demand) – We gripe about remakes all the time, but when you approach something with the status of the original 1987 RoboCop, Paul Verhoeven’s perversely violent, savagely smart, and wickedly funny science fiction action blast laced with political and social satire, it gets personal for a lot of […]

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Videophiled: ‘An Adventure in Space and Time’ – The Birth of Doctor Who

27 May, 2014 (11:00) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews, Science Fiction, Television | By: Sean Axmaker

An Adventure in Space and Time (Warner, Blu-ray+DVD Combo) is a TV movie made for the BBC but it is a movie nonetheless, a bit of pop culture celebration that takes on the creation of Doctor Who in 1963 (just in time for the 50th Anniversary!). Scripted by veteran Doctor Who writer Mark Gatiss and […]

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Videophiled: 11 Classic ‘Godzilla’ Romps Across Three Decades

18 May, 2014 (08:06) | by Sean Axmaker, Film Reviews, Horror, Science Fiction | By: Sean Axmaker

Remakes have a tendency to revive interest in the originals, at least as far as the studios are concerned. They roll out new editions rolling on disc and digital streams in anticipation of interest and the new Godzilla has no shortage of ancestors: 28 Japanese Godzilla features (and one American film that is best not […]

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