sci-fi

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Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

June 22, 2018

Spanish director, J.A.Bayona has made a horror film about a creepy old house (The Orphanage), a full-on disaster flick (The Impossible), and a monster movie (A Monster Calls). These must have seemed like excellent credentials to a Hollywood studio looking for someone to helm the fifth installment in their ever-popular dinosaur franchise. If only Bayona … More


Solo: A Star Wars Story

May 25, 2018

If you’ve ever wondered what Han Solo did before the first Star Wars film, Solo: A Star Wars Story provides all the details. It seems he spent a lot of time flying spaceships and shooting at amazingly incompetent enemies with ray guns. Wow! That was a surprise. One never expects a Star Wars movie to … More


Downsizing & Call Me By Your Name

December 30, 2017

Last week saw a drought of reviewable films but Boxing Day always brings the deluge. The two most attractive, for me at least, are Alexander Payne’s Downsizing, and Call Me By Your Name by talented Italian director, Luca Guadagnino. The former might be called a comedy of ideas, the second is an unconventional, deeply intimate … More


Russian Resurrection Film Festival 2017

October 27, 2017

Why Russian Resurrection Film Festival? Is it a reference to Tolstoy’s famous novel, or to the revival of the Russian film industry in the post-Soviet era? A bit of both, I imagine, as the 14th RRFF is preocuppied with history and the literary classics. This year’s festival features a retrospective of films by Andrei Konchalovsky … More


Blade Runner 2049

October 13, 2017

Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner (1982) is the epitome of a cult classic. It didn’t set the box office on fire at first appearance, but with every year its grimy vision of the future reappears in one film after another. If Scott had kept possession of the original sets he could be running a useful little … More


Alien Covenant

May 19, 2017

Damien Hirst must feel pissed off that the release of Alien Covenant occurred after he’d already completed his massive Venice Biennale exhibition, Treasures From the Wreck of the Unbelievable. Amid bronze and marble effigies of every conceivable mythological creature, every pop culture icon from Mickey Mouse to Yo-Landi of Die Antwoord, the only character missing … More


Arrival

November 18, 2016

Anyone who enjoyed Independence Day (1996), or some similar tale of alien invaders trashing Planet Earth, would be well advised to give Arrival a miss. For those who feel an evening’s cinematic pleasures to be incomplete without two full hours of Armageddon, Denis Villeneuve’s cerebral, atmospheric sci-fi flick will be a massive disappointment. For the … More


Midnight Special

April 21, 2016

Midnight Special begins in the middle, as if we had just loaded up episode two of a series. It’s late at night in a seedy motel room, and there is an item on the TV about the kidnapping of an eight-year-old boy named Alton Meyer. We swiftly realise that we are looking at the boy … More


Star Wars: The Force Awakens

December 17, 2015

In preparation for the new Star Wars movie I planned to work my way through the six previous installments in this never-ending saga. At the end of the of year there is virtually nothing to write about until Boxing Day brings a swag of new releases, so I had time to do my homework. It … More


The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2

November 26, 2015

After four gruelling installments the lucrative Hunger Games franchise has finally ground to a halt. Just as The Hobbit had to be extruded into a trilogy, with the entire third part based on only a few pages of the actual book, so too has Suzanne Collins’s young adult series been stretched beyond the point of … More


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