Sci-Fi

Reviewer: Simon Paul Augustine
Ratings (out of five): **** 1/2

Before director Don Siegel created a cultural icon of vengeance by helming the first Dirty Harry installment, he directed a film that established an even more deeply lodged, recognizable cinematic touchstone in American cultural consciousness. (Anti-) hero Harry Callahan and his speeches to doomed criminals are famous among cinema worshippers, but the influence of its predecessor in Siegel’s oeuvre, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, has gone beyond the confines of theater-geeks to ensconce itself in several generations of minds, with decades-long household-name status in terms of the influence of both its phraseology and its universally terrifying core concept.

Blog entry 08/07/2012 - 4:09pm

Reviewer: Philip Tatler IV
Ratings (out of five): *****

I really don’t want to say a thing about  World on a Wire. I wish you could just take the above five-star rating to heart and watch it, untainted by any sort of preconceived notion other than how awesome it is.

That said, I’ll try my best to describe its awesomeness while tiptoeing around the finer points of the plot.

World on a Wire is a made-for-German-television science fiction film directed by enfant terrible Rainer Werner Fassbinder. The film is set during an approximation of the present in a Euro-metropolis. A technological thinktank – the IKZ – is developing a synthetic reality, known as Simulacron-B. The project’s purpose is to create an algorithm that can predict future occurrences so that trends in business, defense, and government can be anticipated and planned for. Simulacron-B is a resounding success and a few trouble-shooting sessions away from a full launch.

Blog entry 03/22/2012 - 8:30pm

Reviewer: Philip Tatler IV
Rating (out of five): ** if you’ve not seen the original /*** 1/2 if you have

Giorgio Moroder’s “restoration” of Metropolis probably began with noble enough intentions. Inspired by the music video’s ascendancy, Moroder decided to resurrect Fritz Lang’s 1927 sci-fi masterpiece for a new generation. His rehabilitation included cutting out most of the intertitles (replacing a few with subtitles), retinting and colorizing the images, and – most significantly – juicing the film with a contemporary soundtrack, replacing the crusty old score with far out offerings from Freddy Mercury, Billy Squier, Loverboy, Adam Ant, Pat Benetar, and Bonnie “Total Eclipse of the Heart” Tyler.

Blog entry 11/22/2011 - 6:05pm
Poll 04/04/2011 - 12:46pm

 

Reviewer: James Van Maanen
Rating (out of 5): ***½

Hereafter, the new Clint Eastwood film about near-death experience, life after death and love in the here-and-now, may be a lot of hooey, but it’s hooey done right: moment to moment, performance by performance, with precision and grace. Apparently, my opinion of the film goes against that of much of the critical establishment, not to mention the general populace, who, if it didn’t exactly ignore the film, certainly did not send its box-office reeling. Yet this unusually-themed, for Eastwood, movie bests the filmmaker’s heavy-handed Million Dollar Baby and Gran Torino via its surprising delicacy -- never more so than when dealing with one-on-one moments. Perhaps this auteur’s choice of subject matter -- less “macho” than most of his movies -- put off his fan base, and that's too bad.

Blog entry 03/21/2011 - 12:10pm
Poll 03/16/2011 - 6:15pm

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