Category Science Fiction

Aliens (1986)

One of the premier physical cinematic experiences, bar none. I can only imagine the added impact of seeing Aliens on the big screen. Comparing James Cameron’s sequel to its predecessor is akin to comparing apples and oranges. Aliens is a clever divergence from the cerebral, psychosexual, intimate horror of Ridley Scott’s original, with Cameron opting to not only widen […]

Rogue One (2016)

Iconic Hoth Battle set piece notwithstanding, the Star Wars saga has often given less thought to its title than one might expect. Gareth Edwards (director of 2014’s Godzilla) has arrived to remedy that with Rogue One, the latest installment in the ever expanding franchise and the first to find its way in between existing entries. It exists solely […]

Arrival (2016)

It is difficult with my American ego to not view everything for its potential comments on our society, but Arrival, despite its global scale and preoccupations, feels particularly imperative. Louise, a brilliant linguist professor (Amy Adams, so good you forget she’s acting) is recruited by the U.S. military as they desperately try to establish the purpose […]

Ghosts of Mars (2001)

In almost every way, Ghosts of Mars registers as a “lesser” entry from John Carpenter. The picture is essentially an amalgamation (die hards would use the word “distillation” but that’s giving the movie a bit too much credit) of a large handful of the director’s movies. I use “amalgamation” rather than “distillation” because Ghosts of Mars is very much […]

Midnight Special (2016)

Midnight Special, the latest from writer/director Jeff Nichols (Take Shelter, Mud), is rich, dense, and layered – both as a strong, idea driven science fiction and a moving family drama. In fact, this richness and complexity, in its various side stories, subplots, and narrative threads, almost makes me wish the film was three hours long instead […]

Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)

J.J. Abrams is like the chameleon auteur, and with Star Wars: The Force Awakens he does what he does best: channels his own personal adoration and fanaticism into a well crafted love letter to the series. In other words, he gave us fans what we wanted. It might be far from the most imaginative entry […]

The Martian (2015)

The comparisons to Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar are inevitable, so let’s get them out of the way. The latest film from director Ridley Scott features Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, and carves out a science fiction, outer space story of human survival – not against aliens – but nature. So does Interstellar. But where Nolan’s beautiful but […]