Posts Tagged ‘Sci Fi’

Time LapseLegend has it that Leonardo da Vinci slept only two hours per day, resting in periodic snippets of 10 to 30 minutes. This unusual sleep pattern is known as polyphasic sleep or “the sleep of genius.” Da Vinci put these extra waking hours to good use, pursuing his mastery of painting and sculpture, continuing his work as an engineer and inventor, and furthering the knowledge of man in disciplines such as anatomy and mathematics. A journalist once attempted to adopt this habit, and after several weeks was able to get by on less than four hours of sleep per day, but he soon found himself bored and wasted the extra time on television and junk food. The moral of the story is that you need a genius to make the most out of certain opportunities. (more…)

Coherence-02Coherence is a vigorous affirmation that a great script trumps special effects in crafting a superior science fiction movie. James Ward Byrkit’s screenplay is the real star of this rock solid, thinking man’s flick. The film has a theatrical sense to it with a relatively small cast of eight spending most of the 90-minute runtime in a dining room as a typical suburban dinner party turns into a cosmic event, but what the movie might lack in explosions and spaceships, it makes up in tension and intellectual provocation.


COD3Crawl or Die has two things going for it, the first being the title. The exhortation with threatening consequences invokes a warm, familiar feeling for fans of the exploitation genre. And yet, how great would it have been if the movie had been released with its original title, Crawl Bitch Crawl? That name alone would have guaranteed the movie’s admission into a score of film festivals, while simultaneously generating invaluable attention and publicity from the professionally outraged and easily offended among us. Director/writer/editor/cinematographer/producer/set designer Oklahoma Ward promises a sequel at the end of this one, and the film’s official web site is, so there’s still a chance for this Hall of Fame-level title to find its way into the record books.


web_oxvFor two-thirds of its 105-minute running time, Frequencies hums along, generating a pleasant buzz as a quirky romantic comedy, deserving of its self-comparison to Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Inexplicably, the movie then abandons the central conceit of the story in a discordant third act that leaves it as less than the sum of its parts.

It’s a brave new world we find at the beginning of the film, where young schoolchildren don blindfolds to take a test that will determine their future. “Knowledge Determines Destiny” reads the placard on the school’s front door, but, in fact, it is one’s frequency that is the most important factor. (more…)

1ehsFXpDialogue is wielded like a weapon in Parts Per Billion, a new film that follows three couples as they deal with the outbreak of a biological contagion that may mean The End of The World (the Apocalypse being one of those cinematic events that always merits capitalization). The weapon is not revealed by staccato machine gun bursts like the exchanges in David Mamet’s works. Nor do we find the stiletto switchblade conversations offered up by Quentin Tarantino in his series of Art House exploitation flicks. And certainly, no one will mistake what they hear in Parts Per Billion for the rapier duel of words that characterizes Noel Coward’s writing.


Anna-Mark-StrongHollywood is in the business of expectations – creating and controlling them. Studios need to generate enough interest for a film to guarantee ticket sales without overhyping the movie and having it labeled a failure.

Lucky is the moviegoer who can watch a film without any preconceived notions of the product. For those fortunate few who see Anna with low-to-no expectations, the hybrid horror/science fiction/thriller provides an entertaining diversion that benefits from stylish atmosphere and a strong central performance. Director Jorge Dorado uses a steady pace and a few sleight-of-hand tricks to divert the viewer’s attention away from some significant logical gaps in the narrative. (more…)

snowpiercer-15In 1979, NBC broadcast nine episodes of one of the worst and, at the time, most expensive television series ever aired: Supertrain. Boasting a disco, swimming pool and shopping mall, not to mention a weekly turnover of B-list celebrities, this was no ordinary train. This was Supertrain.

Thirty-five years later, director Joon-ho Bong brings Supertrain to the big screen, only it’s called Snowpiercer, and it’s not as awful.

But it’s not good.

In the near future, mankind attempts to reverse the effects of global warming by releasing a chemical into the upper atmosphere, and it basically works, with just one niggling problem. The earth is plunged into an ice age that freezes everything and everybody, except for a train that is filled with the remainder of humanity traveling the world in an endless loop.


ImageIn his new film, The Midnight After, director Fruit Chan learns a hard, but familiar lesson: while it’s relatively easy to strand people in a phantasmagorical situation, it’s quite difficult to find a fantastic way to explain why and figure out what’s next.

The premise Chan conceives is as intriguing as any Rod Serling offered for your consideration. A disparate group of passengers board a minibus late at night in Hong Kong. En route, the bus goes through a tunnel. When it emerges on the other side, the city is empty.

Shortly, thereafter, the bus passes a blinking billboard that reads in English, Mandarin, and Cantonese: “A great film pitch does not always a great film make.”

If only. (more…)