Rise and Dawn might mean the same thing, but the differences between the two films in 20th Century Fox’s successful franchise reboot couldn’t be more apparent. Where Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes sacrificed spectacle for story to offer a pleasant change from the numerous mediocre Hollywood remakes that surrounded it, its successor strikes a perfect balance between the two. It’s as much a compelling continuation of the apes genesis tale as it is a bigger, bolder and altogether more complete summer spectacle. Continue reading Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes Review
A new star child is born
Science fiction films, like any form of mainstream storytelling, typically hinge on humanity’s struggle against an antagonist, whether it’s an alien species, self conscious technology or earthbound asteroid. Powered by his ambition to deliver the most lifelike presentation of what it’s like begin in space, Alfonso Cuarón substitutes a tangible antagonist for a minimalist focus on the isolation, emptiness and natural dangers that occur within such an inhabitable space. It’s immediately clear that Cuarón’s daring enterprise is a rare breed, but this is only one of the elements that sets Gravity apart from the vast majority of others.
A bitter end
Ten years ago in a flat not so far away, Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost were humble British television personalities until Shaun of the Dead launched their cinematic careers. Three years later, and despite immense expectation, they surpassed their previous success with the superior Hot Fuzz. A further six years later and the prodigal sons have returned with the final part of their Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy; The World’s End. Sadly, as victims of their own success, they are unable to go one further and this flat attempt provides a far from fitting conclusion to what could have been one of cinema’s greatest trilogies.
Its up to you on this one.
Kevin Margo’s debut short film Grounded follows an astronaut whose journey through space and life ends on an exosolar planet. Locked within an infinity loop the character experiences several outcomes, which provides the platform for Margo to present an amalgam of themes.
“You’re all that’s left of us. Good luck, God bless, and God’s speed.”
Pandorum borrows everything from the science fiction classics, Alien and Event Horizon the clear inspirations, and though it fails to match up to its legendary predecessors, it’s an impressive addition to the prolific genre. Continue reading Pandorum Review
Prepare for judgement.
Eighteen certifications are becoming increasingly rare in mainstream cinema, with many production companies encouraging directors to sacrifice their original intentions in order to conform to the lesser ratings to draw in a wider audience and ultimately more profit. On a few occasions this year the business side of the film industry has reared its ugly head with some films toning down their content, omitting scenes and in extreme cases even renaming the film itself – John Carter of Mars became John Carter and The Avengers became Marvel’s Avengers Assemble – all in the name of money-making. Continue reading Dredd Review
“For a few to be immortal, a few must die”
In the sixties and seventies a range of science fiction films were released each focussing on characters failing to assimilate in dystopian futures. It is clear that escape from dystopia films such as Logan’s Run (1976), THX-1138 (1971) and Fahrenheit 451 (1966) are influence to In Time (2011) writer director Andrew Niccol.
In 2009 director Scott Charles Stewart and actor Paul Bettany paired up to provide the terribly disappointing Legion. Two years on the and the two have united again to create an adaptation of Korean comic book series Priest.
Matt Damon and Emily Blunt star in a film that was released under the genre of romantic thriller, but The Adjustment Bureau would be better categorised under a science fiction tag.
The most important thing to note about Monsters is that, although their presence is made immediately clear by the destruction left in their wake, the monsters are rarely physically seen. For the first hour the creatures remain hidden to us; a folklore where any understanding we have is attained through the media or stories from locals. The film preys on our fear of the unknown.