sci-fi

The Lobster

October 23, 2015

Yorgos Lanthimos could never be accused of a lack of originality. All over the world, one imagines viewers wandering out of The Lobster, asking: “So what was that about?” If I say it’s an allegory, that will do little to ease the confusion. Think of the late, deadpan surrealist comedies of Luis Bunuel and you’ll … More


The Martian

October 2, 2015

In 1964 Paramount released a movie called Robinson Crusoe on Mars, which may be viewed on YouTube. It tells the story of an astronaut stranded on Mars who must learn to survive in a hostile environment. Sound familiar? This is roughly the plot of Ridley Scott’s The Martian, based on a best-selling novel by science … More


Self/less

August 1, 2015

Tarsem Singh’s Self/less is another movie that strives for profundity but has no qualms about including the special effects, car chases and combat scenes discerning viewers seem to expect nowadays. Even allowing for these concessions to public taste the film has copped a hiding in the United States. It may have something to do with … More


Terminator Genisys

July 11, 2015

If Sophie Barthes expects viewers to be already familiar with the story of Madame Bovary, the producers of Terminator Genisys seem to expect audiences to be intimately acquainted with every aspect of a franchise that began as far back as 1984. I’m reliably informed this new film skips the third and fourth sequels, and relates … More


Jurassic World

June 27, 2015

Far From the Madding Crowd may have induced feelings of melancholy, but I felt grief stricken upon reading that Jurassic World had broken all box office records in its first weekend. The revenue is now over a billion dollars, and rising, which speaks volumes about the state of popular cinema. Just because Jurassic World is … More


Mad Max: Fury Road

May 23, 2015

Last week I got off a plane from Europe and within a few hours found myself at the movies waiting for the jet lag to kick in. I need not have worried because there is never a moment’s respite in Mad Max: Fury Road. It’s like absorbing a triple expresso on an intravenous drip. Some … More


Chappie

March 14, 2015

Chappie is destined to divide its audience. A quick look at the Rotten Tomatoes site reveals a chasm between the critics’ approval rating of 28% and the audience score of 95%. I felt the same conflict within my own mind. I began by thinking it was one of the silliest films I’d seen in a … More


The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1

November 29, 2014

Although it rocketed to the top of the box office in its first week, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1, is a holding operation in this popular Hollywood franchise. As the title suggests, this is only the first part of a grand finale. It has been described as “half a film”, and that’s largely true. … More


Interstellar

November 22, 2014

After the intense, inward-looking focus of a film such as Winter Sleep, it’s almost disconcerting to turn to Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar, a genre-scrambling science fiction blockbuster that poses the usual big questions about the future of our planet and the species. It is also an old-fashioned Hollywood drama about a hero torn between the love … More


The Giver

September 13, 2014

Lois Lowry’s The Giver has sold more than 10 million copies, but until the film version arrived many of us will have been completely ignorant of the book and its author. This is because Lowry is an exponent of ‘young adult’ fiction – a genre that can only remain a mystery to people like me, … More