Review: Ad Astra

Director: James Gray Stars: Brad Pitt, Ruth Negga, Donald Sutherland We all live, for the most part, on the surface. We deal with what's in front of us and we get through the day and we enjoy the people we decide to share our time with. There's a world underneath that, though. That inner place, … Continue reading Review: Ad Astra

Review: Captain Marvel

Directors: Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck Stars: Brie Larson, Samuel L Jackson, Clark Gregg That the Marvel machine has taken 11 years and 20-ish films to get to a female-centric superhero movie is such a glaring and conspicuous oversight that Captain Marvel arrives with a hideously unenviable burden. It has to mean something. It has to be … Continue reading Review: Captain Marvel

Review: Upgrade

Director: Leigh Whannell Stars: Logan Marshall-Green, Betty Gabriel, Harrison Gilbertson Do you fondly recall the late 80's/early 90's boom in pulpy, violent sci-fi thrillers? Leigh Whannell sure does. The creator of Saw and Insidious returns here with a terrific ode to these pictures of yesteryear, employing many of their tics without resorting to cheap-shot homage or empty … Continue reading Review: Upgrade

Review: A Quiet Place

Director: John Krasinski Stars: Millicent Simmonds, John Krasinski, Emily Blunt Don't buy popcorn when you go to see A Quiet Place. Go to see it. Absolutely go to see it. Take your best friend who loves an instant classic creature feature. But don't buy popcorn. Don't take snacks. Eat beforehand. If you can, try not to … Continue reading Review: A Quiet Place

Review: Ready Player One

Director: Steven Spielberg Stars: Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke, Ben Mendelsohn The art for Ready Player One provided a set of uneasy red flags. That poster of Tye Sheridan with disproportionate legs? How did that [Street Fighter] make it past an assumed selection of screeners for approval? It spoke of laziness not ordinarily associated with Steven Spielberg. … Continue reading Review: Ready Player One

Review: Annihilation

Director: Alex Garland Stars: Natalie Portman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tessa Thompson Alex Garland's second (credited) feature as director is the first true victim of what I'm coming to think of as The Netflix Problem. Produced by Paramount, who are increasingly showing their cowardice toward new and original concepts, the film has been granted a scant … Continue reading Review: Annihilation

Review: Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets

Director: Luc Besson Stars: Dane DeHaan, Cara Delevingne, Rihanna "Two hours alone with me? What a drag." "More like an eternity." I'm paraphrasing lines from Besson's script here, but they're about as close to a self-diagnosis as Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets gets. With a budget in the region of $170 million, Besson … Continue reading Review: Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets

Review: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Director: Gareth Edwards Stars: Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Donnie Yen To begin with, and for a little while after that, one thought kept persisting, and that thought was: It just doesn't feel like Star Wars. Gareth Edwards' Rogue One arrives after a somewhat turbulent journey with expectations jockeyed by stories of re-shoots and sundry internet conspiracy theories. … Continue reading Review: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Review: Arrival

Director: Dennis Villeneuve Stars: Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Forest Whittaker Forget the beautifully handy universal translators of the Star Trek franchise, Dennis Villeneuve's latest - and best - film squeezes the brakes on the traditional sci-fi concept of first contact by digging deep into the dilemma of how to communicate with a totally alien species when … Continue reading Review: Arrival

Why I Love… #88: Jurassic Park

Year: 1993 Director: Steven Spielberg Stars: Sam Neill (Dr. Alan Grant), Laura Dern (Dr. Ellie Sattler), Richard Attenborough (John Hammond), Jeff Goldblum (Dr. Iain Malcolm), Samuel L Jackson (Arnold), Joseph Mazzello (Tim), Ariana Richards (Lex), Wayne Knight (Nedry), Bob Peck (Muldoon), Martin Ferrero (Gannaro) Genre: Adventure / Sci-Fi After 2016's rather blighted season, it's quick, … Continue reading Why I Love… #88: Jurassic Park

Review: Midnight Special

Having been renewed for a second season, Damon Lindelof and Tom Perotta decided to (or potentially were encouraged to) make some changes to their cult supernatural melodrama The Leftovers. One of the most notable was replacing Max Richter's histrionic theme music with a sourced and overly chirpy 1990's country song. Almost the polar opposite of what preceded … Continue reading Review: Midnight Special

Review: Terminator Genisys

Terminator 2: Judgement Day was partly spoiled by the marketing campaign that preceded it; a campaign which saw fit to reveal one of the great twists of 90's cinema in the very trailer intended to bait an already-hungry audience into theatres. In hindsight this was a bit of a face-palm manoeuvre, but it's not something the franchise … Continue reading Review: Terminator Genisys

Review: Monsters: Dark Continent

Gareth Edwards' 2010 word-of-mouth success Monsters was a great little treat (one that only narrowly missed my top 50 movies of the decade so far countdown this past weekend). A love story and road movie with a supernatural life lesson thrown in for good measure, Edwards busied himself in the aftermath with his colossal, lamentable Godzilla picture. So … Continue reading Review: Monsters: Dark Continent

Review: The Scopia Effect

It begins with the prone naked figure of a woman in a blurred out world. A mezzanine place. Who is she? What has happened to her? Within this white questionable expanse we receive flashes of other, more disquieting imagery. Suggestions of violence. The ethereal score swells. Welcome to the opening of Christopher Butler's debut feature The … Continue reading Review: The Scopia Effect

Review: Ex Machina

Arriving with comparatively little fanfare in an admittedly busy season, Alex Garland's directorial debut Ex Machina is a sci-fi anomaly among the prestigious contenders for your attention this January. A novelist who, since the turn of the century has focused more of his energies on screenplay duties, this is his debut behind the camera and it's an assured … Continue reading Review: Ex Machina