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science fiction

This tag is associated with 123 posts

Movie review: “Thor: Ragnarok”

Let’s face it: the God of Thunder has arguably been an outlier in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, struggling to mesh with its more rounded pegs. Fortunately, with Thor: Ragnarok, writer-director-actor Taika Waititi (What We Do In the Shadows) wisely mines humor from the character’s inherent silliness and wraps it around an dazzling, offbeat core of … Continue reading

Movie review: “War for the Planet of the Apes”

A heady and surprisingly effective blend of war movie, westerns, Shakespearean drama, and Biblical allegory, War for the Planet of the Apes is a top-notch conclusion to what stands as an unexpectedly epic series that continues to punch above its weight class. Its arrival during a summer increasingly defined by franchise fatigue gives a spark of … Continue reading

Movie review: “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets”

Luc Besson’s long-awaited return to space opera and pop sci-fi isn’t the worst movie of 2017, but bless his heart he definitely makes a sincere attempt at claiming that honor. Based on the long-running French comic book series, it’s pretty to look at, but also a shallow, loud, dumb and aimless test of one’s patience. … Continue reading

Movie review: “Transformers: The Last Knight”

It will come as no surprise if audiences no longer give a damn about another bombastic Transformers movie, especially now that it seems director Michael Bay no longer does. It’s not evident at first, but as the 149-minute slog of giant CGI robots pounding the holy bejeezus out of each other again starts to drag on … Continue reading

Movie review: “Alien: Covenant”

Although Alien: Covenant doesn’t answer all of the questions or tie up all of the loose ends stemming from Prometheus (2012), it goes a long way towards cleaning up that hot mess, and it’s easily the most satisfying Alien film since the 1980s. (Note: That definitely should not be interpreted as damning with faint praise.) Director Ridley Scott and screenwriters … Continue reading

Movie review: “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2”

Familiarity and a bit of sequelitis creeps in at times, but overall Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is as entertaining, goofy, and irreverent as its blockbuster predecessor. There’s a lot of pressure to deliver on this one, as the first movie was an under-the-radar production unburdened by much in the way of expectation. It was a wild experiment that … Continue reading

Movie review: “Ghost in the Shell”

As emotionless and robotic as its lead character, the live-action remake of the 1995 cult classic cyberpunk anime Ghost in the Shell is a self-conscious imitation of its predecessor. It takes a few liberties to differentiate from its source material, but the changes are arbitrary and add up to little more than a tiresome origin … Continue reading

Movie review: “Life”

Judging by the non-stop string of failures by Ph.D.s under pressure in Life,  NASA’s employment standards must be slipping. The ratio of horror movie stupidity to real-life common sense in Life is lower than usual, but that still doesn’t prevent the six-person crew of the International Space Station from being consistently outwitted by a space … Continue reading

Movie review: “Kong: Skull Island”

There are a lot of pretty pictures and pretty actors in Kong: Skull Island, as well as some suitable splashy and occasionally scary set pieces, but there’s also a shallowness to it. It’s less of a slog than Peter Jackson’s tedious 2005 remake of the original, but it’s just as over-populated with stock characters, up to and including … Continue reading

Movie review: “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”

There is indeed life to be found in the Star Wars franchise beyond the saga of the Skywalker clan. Despite being a prequel scandalized by extensive reshoots and featuring nary a Jedi to be found, Rogue One is one of the best Star Wars flicks to date — as well as the grittiest, darkest, and most grounded. … Continue reading

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