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Posts tagged ‘Sci-fi’

Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

Directed by: Anthony Russo and Joe Russo

3 stars

Continuing the story of the 95lb weakling who wished he was a 240lb hero, The Winter Soldier gives the good captain (Chris Evans) another semi-solo outing from his Avengers home. Read more

X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)

Directed by Bryan Singer

2 stars

Like a 1970s fun-fair, X-Men: Days of Future Past comes lumbering into town, on to our screens and off pretty quickly, too, or there’s no justice.

The plot is both convoluted and simple: things are bad for the X-Men in the future, with a repressive regime soldiered by large flying robots called Sentinels hunting them down in their mountain-top hideaways. The only chance to get out of this predicament is to send the Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) back to 1973 where he can get the younger versions of the X-Men to prevent naughty mutant Raven/Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) from assassinating small, slightly evil scientist Dr. Trask (Peter Dinklage, looking serious but never scary) to prevent him from perfecting said Sentinels. Read more

Extraterrestrial (2011)

Directed by: Nacho Vigalondo

4 stars

Julio (Julián Villagrán) awakes in the apartment of a woman (Julia, played by Michelle Jenner) he can barely remember from the previous night.  Their awkward, hangover-hazed conversation is soon interrupted by their discovery that the phones and TV are not working, Madrid is deserted and a four-mile diameter spaceship is hovering over the city. Read more

Super 8 (2011)

Directed by: J. J. Abrams

3 stars

I know he’s only the producer, but Super 8 finds us in classic Spielberg territory: 1970s small-town America.  In an efficient scene-setting, we learn that Joe (Joel Courtney) has just lost his mom to an industrial accident, and his deputy-sheriff dad (Kyle Chandler) blames no-goodnik Louis Dainard (Ron Eldard).  Four months later, Joe is one of five kids making a zombie movie using the eponymous home movie kit.  Trouble is, one of the other kids is Alice (Elle Fanning), daughter of Louis.  Each of the dysfunctional dads (the one a self-hating drunk, the other a cold, angry shell, unable to hug his son) is opposed to the two kids being near each other – but when a mysterious train crashes outside the town,  their irritation gets swamped by some bad-ass alien trouble. Read more

Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes (2011)

Directed by: Rupert Wyatt

4 stars

Rebooting the series from the late 60s, Rupert Wyatt’s movie is very well done.  Scientist Will (James Franco) is seeking a cure for Alzheimer’s for his bio-tech employer, but also for his afflicted father, played by John Lithgow. Will takes home a baby chimp when its mother is destroyed after a trial of a promising viral drug seems to have gone wrong.  But the drug works, and young Caesar grows up to be smarter than his human family.  The drug seems to work on humans, too, initially giving Will’s dad more than just respite from the illness.  However, he later develops a resistance to the drug, his dementia returns, and when he gets into a fight with a neighbour whose car he has trashed, Caesar intervenes violently.  Locked away in a brutally-run simian centre, Caesar goes through fear and depression and then finally anger, and begins to organise his fellow captives. Read more

Cowboys & Aliens (2011)

Directed by: Jon Favreau

2 stars

Ah, the American West. Is there any richer, more fertile setting for creating myths?  This is the super-compost of the movie world, the stem-cell material of cinema.  Surely anything can be planted here and grown into something spectacular. Read more