Category Archives: Movies

The ‘movies’ category contains posts about sci-fi themed movies including theatrical releases, DVD / Blu-ray, and streaming services.

You keep what you kill: “Riddick” reconnects with “Pitch Black” roots.

Riddick is a surprisingly entertaining movie that shrugs off some of the absurd concepts from the previous film and reconnects to the Pitch Black roots of Vin Diesel’s anti-hero.

Riddick begins shortly after the events of the previous film and finds the titular Riddick, not content to rule the Necromongers as their new Lord-Marshall, searching for his long forgotten home-world, Furya. Ultimately betrayed and left for dead by his necromonger crew, Riddick is stranded on a hostile unknown world to contend with the brutally harsh environment and dangerous wildlife of his latest prison.

Realizing that conditions on this world are rapidly changing and will soon be swarming with deadly creatures; Riddick activates an emergency beacon in an abandoned mercenary outpost alerting bounty hunters who soon arrive to collect the dead-or-alive bounty on Richard B. Riddick (the reward is doubled if for dead.)

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Killer Robot Cowboy: “Westworld” is awsomely bad.

Do you remember Westworld? I’m betting that you don’t because most of you don’t even remember rotary telephones. Rotary phones… You are aware that those existed right? There was a time before phones had buttons. Just like now is the time before evil robots overthrow the human race. It’s going to happen just you wait and see, one of these days robots are going to get sick of taking our crap.

Westworld is a 1973 action drama depicting a “high tech” resort (which naturally caters to rich white people) offering adventure simulation packages; allowing guests to explore one of three historically themed environments. Participants had a choice of Ancient Rome, Medieval Europe, and the American West. Each environment was populated by robotic citizens programmed to offer guests an enveloping experience complete with all the thrills you might imagine relevant to their choice of historical environment. Of course, some amount of danger was mitigated by the safety protocols put in place by the programmers to prevent anything truly unfortunate from happening.
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Judgement time: You missed Dredd 3D in Theaters

I thought there were more hard-core Judge Dredd fans out there who would flock to any film adaptation; no matter how flawed, as long as Sylvester Stallone was not involved. But Dredd 3D seems to have come and gone with little fanfare. I can’t believe I just said fanfare. But I was wrong . nobody gave Dredd a chance.

Dredd 3D was awesome. Yes, it was still a departure from the 2000 A.D. Comics. That shouldn’t stop you from giving it a chance. It’s a fun movie even if it’s not a literal translation. Sometimes what works in print just doesn’t translate to the screen. For example costume and wardrobe design was really good this time around. The Judges’ gear looked more like a S.W.A.T team’s kit and less like the often outlandish gear depicted in the comics. If the film were 100% true to the comic we would be right back to leotards, giant shoulder guard eagles, and possibly even thigh-high bright green boots. That’s not very far from the Sylvester Stallone “Judge Dredd”.

Karl Urban delivered a very dry and almost soulless Judge Dredd which is expected but perhaps overdone to comedic result. Judge Anderson (Olivia Thirlby) offers a different take on Psi-Judge Anderson but it works on some kind of “girl interrupted” level. All I can say about Ma-Ma is that Lena Headey should play a villain more often because her go as Sarah Connor was a fail.

What Dredd 3D really lacked was any meaningful context for the insanity of life in the Mega-City 1 (not to mention what’s left of the rest of the wold). Maybe a more colorful view of the post apocalyptic world would have interested more fans. On a positive note, this leaves a massive amount of material for a sequel, if the meager box office returns from this film can entice the studio to make another one.

Do yourself a favor: when Dredd comes to Blu-Ray, DVD, Netflix or Amazon Instant Video (That’s how I roll) check it out. It’s a good time shoot-em-up with tons of action.

Keeping score: The Hunger Games movie

Last night we had the opportunity to see a midnight showing of the new film “The Hunger Games” based on the novel of the same name by Suzanne Collins.
The Hunger Games was acceptable, as far as movie adaptations of novels go. It certainly suffered some loss of fidelity during the translation from page to screen but that is what you expect. Worth the price of admision? If you’re a fan of the books it is definitely worth your time to see how someone else imagined the world of Panem and the 12 districts. Other than that, wait for the DVD/Blu-Ray.
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Kara Thrace’s special destiny? Katee Sackhoff appears in new Riddick film

Yes, take a moment to let this sink in – Katee Sackhoff is finally back in front of the camera, This time as a mercenary named Dahl in the next chapter of the Chronicles of Riddick.

I really hope the writing staff is a little more creative this time around. I really hate to think of Starbuck romping around the cliche universe described in the last film. Remember the hot ass prison world; where all life was incinerated on the daylight side of the planet? Yeah, it was called “crematoria”. Really? That’s pretty original.

That would be almost as good as having antagonists that were some kind of weird death cult with the ironically obvious name “necro mongers”. Oh wait ,they did that too.

Prometheus trailer answers questions

The latest trailer for Ridley Scott’s Prometheus was released on Saturday and it is Intense! The footage hints at an intriguing search for the origins of humanity. There is also a UK trailer that’s a little less action packed, but also less choppy.

I have been eagerly anticipating ‘Prometheus’ for the past two years. Wondering, like so many fans, about the connection between this epic new film and the 1979 classic ‘ALIEN’.

Ridley Scott had originally teased fans with his intent to make a prequel, but later recanted; saying that ‘Prometheus’ was an entirely new film. Perhaps that was some clever mis-direction on Mr. Scott’s part because as time passed between each stage in the film making process, he dropped subtle hints about the connection between the films. From early negotiations where it seemed like Ridley might not even direct the project, through pre-production and principal photography; Scott said that the ‘Alien DNA’ would be evident in this new film, but it was not a direct Alien prequel. Most recently in post production and marketing we’ve seen huge links to the ‘Alien’ universe.

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Prometheus Trailer Teaser released ahead of full length trailer.

The first full-length trailer for Ridley Scott’s upcoming Prometheus movie is scheduled to debut on Saturday, March 17, 2012. Previously we had seen a short format teaser trailer which had the desired effect piquing our interest in the film while revealing a very few details.

Oddly, a teaser has been released for the upcoming trailer. You read that right; not a teaser trailer but rather a trailer teaser. It would be fair to say that previous is one of the most anticipated films of 2012, but releasing a teaser and then teasing trailer only then to release a teaser for said trailer, seems like cruel and unusual punishment for those eagerly awaiting news of the new film. That being said I have to agree with IWatchStuff, this 20 second teaser looks pretty amazing.

Prometheus boasts a legendary science-fiction pedigree. Not only is the film connected to the original alien movie franchise as a prequel of sorts;  but is also produced and directed Ridley Scott himself. If that weren’t enough incentive to give science-fiction a chance the summer, Prometheus also has an incredible ensemble cast.

Fright Night remake available on Blu-Ray

“Jerry… that’s a horrible vampire name.”

I purposely skipped seeing the new “Fright Night” in theaters. I’m generally not a fan of franchise reboot movies. Occasionally it is nice to see a familiar subject re-imagined with current cinematic technology. Unfortunately the new films fail to live up to expectations all too often.

The new Nightmare on Elm Street was an example of a film here the whole was less than the sum of the parts. Despite a strong cast and strong source material the film was a huge let down. If Hollywood producers could not deliver the goods with a beloved anti-hero like Freddy Kreuger, they had next to no chance with the vampire Jerry Dandridge.
Before you think I’m being overly critical, there were a lot of things I actually enjoyed about this new Fright Night. Colin Farrell portrays Jerry as the ultimate weird creep. That’s a compliment. Rather than rely on an obvious “dark and brooding” vampire stereotype, Farrell s performance would be disturbing even without the bloodthirsty monster bit.

Anton Yelchin is a good choice for the lead role of Charlie Brewster.  I don’t have much else to say about that;  He’s good in a role that isn’t. The character has been tweaked to be massively more appealing than his 1985 counterpart. No offence intended towards William Ragsdale who filled the role in the eralier film. It was a different time.

I love Imogen Poots. I was really glad to see her career in North American cinema beginning to advance. Unfortunately, I think they went a bit overboard while amping up her sexuality towards the end of the film.

So, is this new “Fright Night”  worth watching? Absolutely. If, for the sake of nostalgia you enjoy the way movie studios continue to bastardize your childhood. It was better than the latest “Nightmare on Elm Street” but that isn’t very high praise.

If you’re bored on a weekend afternoon because you are (much like myself) socially inept and have no friends then Yeah Sure… Watch the new Fright Night.  I have movie night with the kids. We watched the 1985 film the following night and had a good laugh.

Weekend Rewind: Soldier starring Kurt Russell

Speaking of Kurt Russell (and I did back when I was talking about “The Thing”)  here’s a movie you should check out the next time you’re bored (or up late at night racked with guilt over that Thai hooker).  As I write this,  the holidays are nearly upon us so a few vacation days and Thai hookers are probably both in your future. See?

Soldier is a 1998 action flick about um… a soldier known only as “Todd”. Todd is a good name for a soldier right?  Anyway Todd was selected at birth to be plunged into life-long combat and cold military discipline. Ultimately replaced by a ‘better soldier’ after a lifetime of outstanding service, the obsolete warrior is discarded on a barren waste dump planet.

That’s where Todd tries to fit in with a group of civilian refugees who eek out an existence rummaging through the scrap yards which essentially means the entire effing planet.  For an action movie,  the sub-plot of a soldier suddenly finding himself out of place in a civilian world is actually quite relevant and moving. I didn’t say anything about the  Academy Awards, but still deeper than you might expect all things considered.

There are several scenes where you realize that Todd has never seen a woman’s body. These moments are thought provoking because they don’t lead to some horrible consequence demonstrating Todd’s war-like nature. Rather, they serve as a commentary on the things Todd never had a chance to experience in a lifetime of war. Deep right? I guess you could also just say “Todd like to look at boobs”.

There’s an inevitable conflict with the military that discarded Todd and that part is pretty much what you might expect. Again, these are not the finest action sequences ever filmed but entertaining just the same.

An interesting Bit of trivia from IMDB:

While listing the weapons Todd is trained on, you can see he is capable of using the “Illudium PU36 ES,M” otherwise known as the Illudium PU36 Explosive Space Modulator. This is the same weapon Marvin the Martian is always threatening to use on Earth in his Bugs Bunny cartoons.

Soldier also features Jason Scott Lee, a still relatively sane Gary Busey, and a particularly  fetching Connie Nielsen.

Yes, Soldier has all the trappings of a 90′s testosterone driven action movie. Don’t let that dissuade you. It’s actually better than ‘Escape from L.A.”

EW publishes revealing new Prometheus photos.

EW magazine has  a revealing look at Ridley Scott’s “Prometheus” which may or may not be a prequel to 1979′s “Alien”. I watch stuff and Dark Horizons both have more of the photos posted.

Ridley has said numerous times that the “Alien DNA” will become obvious by the end of the film, thus making a connection to the legendary film which redefined science fiction.

If you kook carefully at the EW stills you can see some very alien-esque set details. The still with the huge idol surrounded by many small totems is eerily similar to and alien brood chamber filled with eggs. And the idol itself is quite ominous. The fact that it appears to be humanoid raises a lot of questions.

Prometheus was already on my 2012 must see list. Ridley had me at “Noomi Rapace and Charlize Theron” but  being a huge fan of the alien franchise (except of course Alien resurrection and those god awful AVP films) I would have anticipated this just because its related to Alien and Directed by Ridley Scott.