I’ve always had a soft spot for this black sheep of the Alien franchise, probably because I can never hate a movie that’s so utterly bizarre. Since I’ve re-watched Alien 3 recently I thought I might go back and bask again in its weird, awkward, misshapen glory.
My usual stance on this movie is living in Denialville; lalalalala not listening, Ripley, Newt and Hicks made it back to Earth and lived happily ever after with Jonesy the cat. For whatever reason, recently I felt an urge to revisit this dour and divisive entry in the Alien franchise, maybe because watching Alien: Covenant gave me a new appreciation for the installments that at least attempted to do something different.
I have a big soft spot for all things wacky and bizarre, and I enjoyed this colourful and wildly imaginative space fantasy from Luc Besson much more than I thought I would, after the so-so reviews. But if there was ever a movie killed by the horrendous casting choices, Valerian is surely it.
Watched the latest unsettling sci-fi mind-bender from Alex Garland, the writer/director of Ex Machina, that got dumped on Netflix for being “too complicated” for the wider audience. I’m sorry that I never got a chance to see it on the big screen, but good on the creative team for refusing to dumb it down.
I finally caught up on the short-lived but much-loved Firefly TV series a couple of months ago, which made me want to visit an alternate universe where the show was allowed to run for as long as its creator Joss Whedon had intended. In the absence of a working interdimensional portal, I had to do with this 2005 feature film, which is a much better farewell than the dizzyingly abrupt ending of the TV series.
After watching Solaris, last Thursday friend and I were back at the Astor Theatre for more of Andrei Tarkovsky‘s meditative, arty, defiantly slow sci-fi. I love the story I read where, upon hearing from the officials at the State Committee for Cinematography that the film was too slow and dull, Tarkovsky’s reply was that the film “needs to be slower and duller at the start so that the viewers who walked into the wrong theatre have time to leave before the main action starts”.
They’re showing a couple of Andrei Tarkovsky films at the Astor Theatre this month, so friend and I went to see this 1972 Soviet sci-fi classic. The pitch I made to my friend was, are you up for some slow and boring Russian sci-fi, an in-joke as we both appreciate slow-paced movies that are more about submerging yourself rather than going on a thrill ride. Solaris is definitely not for everybody and I saw a couple of walkouts in the cinema, but if you can surrender to its glacial pacing and penchant for ambiguity, it’s a rewarding experience and leaves you with much to think about.