With “Gravity” pulling everybody into theaters over the last few weeks, it looks like space movies are making a comeback. I mean, what better setting for a high-tension drama than an infinite void that could suffocate or crush you at a moment’s notice. Space is one bad motha and since we don’t know all that much about it, that makes it even more intimidating. In “Astronaut: The Last Push”, available now on DVD from Vision Films, we join a crew of two looking to explore the vast unknown… and naturally things don’t go as planned. Read more
Tag Archive for sci-fi
“Star Trek” is one of those properties with such a rabid fan base that every new movie/show/book feels like it’s predestined to fail. To the uninitiated, Trekkies seem like a group that can never be satisfied regardless of what’s done to please them. Some find such devotion intimidating and instead of joining the party, choose to avoid anything “Trek” related, altogether. The truth is, people are passionate about “Star Trek” and don’t want to see it treated carelessly. So it was somewhat surprising that when director J.J. Abrams rebooted the franchise in 2009, he was not only able to satiate the old fans’ hunger for a new film, but also attract people who’ve never heard of a “Tribble”. Now, four years later, the sequel “Star Trek: Into Darkness” flies into theaters. Can Abrams again appeal to both sides of the lunchroom or will fans be divided by his treatment of the beloved sci-fi series? Read more
Some people love Tom Cruise. Others… not so much. I fall into the first camp, thinking that pretty much anything the guy touches will be (at least) entertaining. My guess is that studio heads may fall into the second camp, or think the majority of people do, anyway. How else could you explain “Oblivion”, the big-budget, sci-fi Summer blockbuster that was released in mid-April? Helmed by “Tron: Legacy” director Joseph Kosinsky, the picture has a sleek, futuristic visual style that would’ve wowed Steve Jobs and has the biggest movie star in the world fighting space aliens. What happened? Why isn’t Cruise’s Jack Harper going toe-to-toe with the likes of Tony Stark, Dominic Toretto and Jay Gatsby? Maybe because ”Oblivion” isn’t the movie you think it is. Read more
Asian cinema has had its influences on Western film, especially in recent years with many American horror pictures being remade from Far East offerings. There’s something we’re fascinated with in the cultures and customs from that part of the world; it’s exciting and mystical, maybe even dangerous. ”The Karate Kid” and “Gremlins” use this Eastern mysticism to cure Daniel-San’s busted leg and to create an army of reptilian hooligans and not once do we question it. So imagine my surprise when I was watching “The Four” (available 4/9 on DVD and Blu-Ray from Well Go USA) and an army of the undead is raised using unquestioned Western mysticism in the form of voodoo! It made me giggle with delight as I felt like maybe, just maybe aspects of my culture are mysterious, too. I mean, I’m not surprised that America has made its mark overseas, but as if coming from a great fusion restaurant, this dish of Eastern martial-arts fantasy and Western comic book mythology is simply delectable.
The mission of this site is to review not just “good” movies, but “so bad they’re good” movies. So when I heard that “The Host”, a film adapted from the Stephanie Meyers book, I knew I was in for either a horrible treat or the most excruciating two hours and five minutes of my life. As you know, Ms. Meyers wrote the “Twilight” series and it’s obvious that Open Road Films was hoping for something of equal quality. Of course, that could have been achieved by filming an adaptation of “Romeo and Juliet” with “Octomom” Nadia Suleman starring as Juliet. What they ended up with was something so subpar it actually had me longing for two hours of Playstation 2 looking wolves, vapid dialogue and Robert Pattinson’s blue-ribbon-winning-pumpkin-sized noggin. Read more
In 1979, “Alien” redifined the horror genre. It’s tag line: “In space no one can hear you scream.” For nearly 35 years, it’s been the gold standard for I’m-trapped-with-a-monster-in-closed-spaces movies; often imitated and never duplicated. Films like “Deepstar Six” and “Jason X” obviously ripped off the idea, while everything from “Spaceballs” to the “Space Quest” game series have included nods to the classic. To kick off our St. Patrick’s Week, Cinema Judgement Day takes a look at yet another “Alien” knockoff: “Leprechaun 4: In Space”. ***PLEASE NOTE: This film is most enjoyable with copious amounts of green beer and a frontal lobotomy.***
“The Ghastly Love of Johnny X” starring Will Keenan (“Tromeo and Juliet”) and The Grass Roots’ Creed Bratton, will be coming out June 2013 courtesy of Strand Releasing. Paul Bunnell’s story of interstellar juvenile delinquency has been on the festival circuit for some time now and has one of the best trailers I’ve seen in… forever.
*Click “Read More” to see the preview in all of it’s retro black and white glory!* Read more
I have to admit, I have a fondness for “fake” movies – movies populated by either no-names or yesterday’s almost-stars and made quickly to cash in on a trend or title. They’re made cheaply, but with just enough slickness to cover the fact that they’re using the same sets over and over. These are not popcorn movies, these are the unpopped duds left at the bottom of your greasy bag. When I was a kid, fake movies were in the theater right alongside the real ones. Charlie Band flicks such as GHOULIES and ELIMINATORS played right alongside Robert Redford’s OUT OF AFRICA. Most of the kids preferred the fake movies because they delivered monsters, guns, explosions, corny jokes and the occasional tit shot. In recent years, they’ve disappeared from the big screen, relegated to the direct to DVD market before finding a permanent home on the SyFy channel. With their downgrade of size and status, fake movies have become a little too fake, a little too predictable, lacking the magic and fun they once had. SPIDERS, through some sort of fluke, is a fake movie that’s getting a theatrical release. Whether market research has deemed this type of material ready for a comeback or if this is some type of planned failure to be written off as a loss, we may never know. But what I do know is, this is one of the most bullshit looking movies I’ve seen get a theatrical release since the 80s, and I’m first in line. Read more