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science fiction

This tag is associated with 124 posts

Movie review: “Star Wars: The Last Jedi”

Fans who felt that The Force Awakens played it safe or skewed too close to the original Star Wars films will find much to like about The Last Jedi — if they go into it with an open mind and willingness to step into uncharted terrain. There’s a moment in the trailer (and also the … Continue reading

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

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