This post is part of the Outer Space on Film Blogathon, hosted by ME. Check out the other spacetacular posts HERE! Here’s my problem reviewing director Duncan Jones’ neat little 2009 indie space flick Moon: It has two big plot twists, one occurring relatively early in the film. Now, there are times when I put a spoiler warning at the beginning of a post and … Continue reading The Loneliness of the Solitary Astronaut: Moon (2009)
This post is part of the “No, YOU’RE Crying!” Blogathon, hosted by ME at Moon in Gemini. Read the rest of the tear-stained posts HERE! I’ll admit it. I’m a crier. I even cry at movies that nobody else cries at. It’s so bad that my (at the time) 5-year-old niece turned to me during Little Women and said, “You know Beth’s not really dead, … Continue reading The “No, YOU’RE Crying!” Blogathon: Contact (1997)
MINOR SPOILERS ONLY FOR THE BOOK STAR WARS: BLOODLINE, BUT THERE ARE SOME MAJOR SPOILERS FOR THE MOVIE STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS:
In a recent blog post about The Terminator, I cited Ripley from Alien as the first modern film action heroine—and she is the first who was the protagonist. But it’s Star Wars’ Princess Leia, in a supporting role, who’s the true seminal character in modern film.
I am a huge fan of Kim Stanley Robinson’s Mars Trilogy, his epic tale of the first 100 colonists on Mars.
(Still waiting anxiously as of this writing for the TV adaptation. Hello, hello–any news on casting yet?)
I’ve read some of his other books, but none of them have captivated me in quite the same way as the Mars books.
Brad Bird, director of the film Tomorrowland (as well as The Incredibles and Ratatouille) did some complaining in interviews recently about the popularity of post-apocalyptic and dystopian stories.
Here is part of what he said in an interview with Wired Magazine:
“At one time the future was consistently presented as this bright thing where all these problems were going to be solved. I remember that feeling of wow, starvation will be solved and the air will be clean, weapons will be obsolete because we’ll understand that there are better places to put our energy. And gradually that vision has just been nibbled away at until it’s basically not there. And what’s in its place is this very dark, negative version that everyone seems to have accepted.”
I haven’t seen Tomorrowland, so I’m not going to judge the film, but many film critics point out that Mr. Bird explicitly berates society in the film for abandoning the can-do optimism of the 1960s space race in favor of gloom and doom scenarios.
When I chose La Jetée as my topic for the Shorts Blogathon, I thought, why not also cover another influential French short sci-fi film? Georges Méliès’ A Trip to the Moon (Le Voyage dans la Lune) is about as different film as you can find from La Jetée, yet its impact on the development of narrative filmmaking can’t be overstated.
Georges Méliès was a French illusionist who took up filmmaking at its very infancy. He was one of the first to use narrative structure in filmmaking (rather than just recording everyday life). He was also a pioneer of special effects, discovering the “stop trick” method by accident. Amazingly prolific, he directed at least 500 films. Today, about 200 survive, but there’s no doubt his most famous is A Trip to the Moon, which he made in 1902.
Today Chris Marker’s 1962 short film La Jetée (The Jetty) is best known as the inspiration for Terry Gilliam’s 1995 movie, 12 Monkeys (and the current TV show of the same name). It has also been cited as an influence on Audrey Niffenegger’s novel The Time Traveler’s Wife. I would hazard a guess that the writers of the TV show Lost also drew on it for one of their most famous episodes, The Constant.
Even if you have seen/read any of the above, they will not prepare you for the experience of seeing this short, remarkable film.
MILD SPOILERS FOLLOW FOR THE MOVIE DIVERGENT:
There was once an episode of All in the Family where Edith was recounting the story of how she hit a car with a can of cling peaches (in heavy syrup). Archie got so sick of hearing her say cling peaches, Edith began replacing the words with “Mmm-Mmm.”
I am so darn sick of reading reviews about Divergent comparing it to The Hunger Games (and alleged “think pieces,” like this especially jerky one by Entertainment Weekly’s Owen Gleiberman) that any time I feel compelled to do the same, I’m going use “Mmm-Mmm” instead.
To regular readers of this blog it’s no secret that I’m a big fan of The Hunger Games Trilogy, the hugely successful young adult dystopian series by Suzanne Collins. So of course I had to see the movie adaption of the second book, Catching Fire, the very first weekend of its release. I’m going to say right up front that it’s amazing. Not in a … Continue reading Movie Review: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Gravity is a fantastic movie. If you haven’t seen it yet, I highly recommend it. Blow the extra bucks on the 3D version—totally worth it. Let me just say also, I love astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson. I need to make that clear right up front. He is not only a brilliant man, he’s a COOL and brilliant man. That’s an awesome combination. When it comes … Continue reading Gravity: Story Trumps Accuracy in Fiction
If you missed out on watching Season 1 of Orphan Black on BBC America, I highly recommend you watch it on BBC America On Demand, get a season pass on one of several digital platforms, or get a hold of the DVDs when they are released this week. Melding sci-fi with paranoid conspiracies, there wasn’t much that seemed original about the show when I first … Continue reading Why Orphan Black Is A Seminal TV Show
It’s that time again. No, I’m not referring to the return of the cicadas that are starting to boil up from the ground after being asleep for seventeen years. It’s the time of year to talk about TV season and series finales. And, of course, this brings about yet another opportunity for people to complain about/decry the ending of Lost. Let’s face it, this is … Continue reading Top 8 Things People Still Get Wrong About The Lost Finale
How you react to the news of animator Ray Harryhausen’s death today may depend on your age. If you’re under the age of 40 there’s a good chance you’ve never heard of him. If you’re over the age of 40, especially if you’re a fan of fantasy and sci-fi movies, you probably grew up loving his animation and special effects. You may not know him … Continue reading Ray Harryhausen Brought The Creatures Of Our Imaginations To Life
First, let’s define post-apocalyptic and dystopian: Post-apocalyptic refers to a work of fiction that deals with a global disaster so profound there are few survivors. It may include a period of time leading up to the disaster, or it can take place years afterwards, but mostly it’s about the immediate after-effects of a disaster–war, environmental disaster, plague. The disaster can have a fantastical element, like … Continue reading 5 Things That Bug Me About Post-Apocalyptic/Dystopian Fiction
Why I Love: More Star Wars films. Why I Hate: More Star Wars films that may exist solely to squeeze every possible dime out of an existing franchise. Why I Love: There’s a whole generation of filmmakers who grew up on Star Wars who could revive the franchise creatively. Why I Hate: There’s a whole generation of filmmakers who grew up on Star Wars who … Continue reading Why I Love/Why I Hate Disney Buying Lucasfilm