sci-fi

Ghost in the Shell – Film Review

I’m not the biggest anime fan in the world, but if you have any appreciation for science fiction, visual artistry and films that create a unique atmosphere, it’s impossible not to be impressed by this 1995 cyber-tech thriller.

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The Terminator & RoboCop – Film Review

Went to the Astor Theatre for a double shot of 80s action classics. I haven’t watched The Terminator in forever and I’ve never seen RoboCop, and it’s to the latter’s credit that it kept me awake and engaged well past my normal bedtime. Also, I got to pet the Astor’s resident cat, a big fluffy sweetie, so that’s a nice bonus.

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Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood – Book Review

Another one for the book club. I’ve actually read this dystopian novel some years ago, but I was happy to revisit Atwood’s nightmarish yet highly imaginative envisioning of the future where messing with nature comes to a no good, very bad end for the human race.

This is not a spoiler, since the book opens in the post-apocalyptic future where the world’s population has been wiped out, and follows what could be the last human survivor who calls himself Snowman. The only other inhabitants are a mysterious new breed of humans called Children of Crake: physically flawless and beautiful, lacking sexual drive and violent impulses, unable to create art or technology, devoid of envy, anger and existential angst. Despite their reverence for Snowman, his chances of survival look pretty grim, with the dwindling supplies and no real weapon to protect himself against the genetically engineered animals now running amok (including some nasty mutant pigs you wouldn’t want to meet in a dark narrow alley).

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Star Wars: The Last Jedi – Film Review

“This isn’t going to go the way you think.” This line from Luke Skywalker is a pretty good summary of the film (sadly I have no will and read most of the spoilers beforehand). If The Force Awakens was like a bowl of comforting warm porridge sprinkled with cinnamon and nostalgia, The Last Jedi is proving to be more of a divisive dish. Since I’m on a silly food metaphor track, for me it was a bit like a bowl of salad; some ingredients are tastier than others and occasionally you bite on a piece of raw onion (I can’t stand onion), but it’s overall delicious and there’s an excellent dressing binding it all.

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Edge of Tomorrow – Film Review

I finally watched the DVD I bought on sale almost three years ago. This is why I prefer to rent movies – if I have a fixed deadline ahead I’ll make time to watch them rather than procrastinate and let the box collect dust. There are just way too many other distractions around. I’m glad I freed it from the plastic wrapping, because the movie was a blast. Like Oblivion, that other Tom Cruise sci-fi film from the recent years, Edge of Tomorrow steals from the best in the genre, but unlike Oblivion it feels genuinely like its own beast. And it’s heaps of fun.

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I Am Legend – Film Review

The DVD I rented offered me a choice of the theatrical cut, and the alternative version with the original ending that was scrapped after it was unfavourably received at the test screenings. While I really enjoyed the movie this story of two radically different endings is probably its most interesting aspect. The DVD menu made me feel like a character in a fairytale: shall I take the road on the left, or the road on the right? With the magic of the remote, I watched both endings, and once again marvelled at Hollywood’s willingness to ruin a perfectly fine film.

Spoilers for the endings ahead.

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