Back in the year 1997 Barry Sonnenfeld got together with Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones to give them kids of the 90s a little sci-fi fun in the form of Men In Black. Based on the Lowell Cunningham comic it told the story of a New York cop recruited by a secret organisation tasked with policing alien life on Earth. The film was a lot of fun, partly in thanks to slightly 80s attitude of asking the audience to just go along for the ridiculous ride. It didn’t take itself too seriously and so it managed to elevate itself above potential stupidity. A fine and enjoyable film. Its sequel was bollocks, far too concerned with showing zany and wacky aliens then telling an actual story. I was not planning on seeing Men in Black 3 partly because of how disappointing the second film was and this feeling that it existed to push Will Smith and sideline Tommy Lee Jones, cos he’s all old and stuff and Will Smith really needs a hit film. Last night there wasn’t much on TV and I was after a film to watch. Men in Black 3 was starting in a few minutes so I figured “what the hell”. Men in Black 3 is a good film. Click the jump for reasons.
Category Archives: Sci-Fi
Because my finger is always on the pulse of teenage literature I’m here to review the Hunger Games! That only just came out, right? No? It was over a year ago? oh…What’s Catching Fire? Maybe you should put it out then. OK, so maybe my finger isn’t entirely on the pulse of what the kids are watching these days. So I’m a little behind on getting to The Hunger Games. What did I think of it though? You don’t care? Oh… Well, it’s after the link. Would be nice if you at least read a little of the review.
Here’s a film I’ve been wanting to cover for a long time. Watchmen is a film that had been in development for nearly 20 years by the time Zack Snyder was able to bring it to the silver screen. In the past directors such as Darren Aronofsky, Paul Greengrass and Terry Gilliam had all made attempts to get this film made. Gilliam even termed the comic it is based on as unfilmable. If you’ve ever read the comic you’d probably agree. The story is thick with dialogue, richly layered with subtext and has some of the strongest character writing of the 20th century. I say with no intended hyperbole that Alan Moore is one of the greatest writers of modern times and Watchmen is his work at its most complex and creatively brilliant. When I first read the comic about 15 years ago I tried to envision what a film would be like. I just could not see it. I figured that Watchmen would be better suited to a 6-8 hour TV series, but then the budget would be ridiculous. I went to see this film in the cinema on release day expecting the worst, after all… there’s been a long line of terrible adaptations of Alan Moore’s work beforehand. Click the link to find out what I think of Watchmen.
So Marvel thought it would be hilarious to release Thor The Dark World right in the middle of my Horror Week. Good going Marvel! Why not screw everything up for me as much as you can? Like that time you released The Avengers just as I was about to do my traditional joke review for The Film Dump’s 1st birthday. I’m sure they’ll find a way to screw up the Godzilla season I’m planning. Jerks. Yup, Marvel have it in for me, clearly. So, Thor The Dark World is out in the UK and I just got back from seeing it. So here’s my review… right in the middle of Horror Week. Click the link.
I recently decided it was time to up the ante when it comes to the sort of films I mostly cover on here. I tend to focus a lot of the more nerdy and mainstream big movies with occasional toe dipping into the more classical realms of cinema. Time to shake that balance up a little bit. I’m still going to be covering the more action focused stuff. Thor 2 review next week! What I want to do though is cover more of the greats. You don’t get much more great than this, 2001: A Space Odyssey. This is also the first Stanley Kubrick film I’ll be reviewing on here. So click the link below to open the pod bay doors (to this review).
A couple of weeks back… probably more by the time you stumble across this review whilst looking for something else Final Fantasy VII related… I did a post about video game based film adaptations and how they, quite often, suck a load of donkey balls. One such film that I mentioned not being all that great was Final Fantasy The Spirits Within. That film is often derided for being massively off base of what the Final Fantasy games were. Which was pretty amazing seeing as it was made by Square, the makers of the games. Although looking back they sure did think they were the dogs bollocks around then. So, what happens when they not only make a Final Fantasy film that mirrors the games but is actually a sequel to one of the games? Their most highly praised Final Fantasy at that. Click the link for my review which is sure to piss off a few fanboys.
That’s a hell of a title… if you’ll excuse the weak, and genuinely unintentional, pun. What would you expect a film called Hell Comes To Frogtown to be about? You’d probably imagine that the title has some sort of figurative meaning. That “Frogtown” is referencing something in the film that you’re not privy to yet. That the “Hell” is a person or a force that represents death and destruction. Unfortunately got Hell Comes to Frogtown this potential metaphorical title isn’t that at all. Hell Comes to Frogtown is about a man called Sam Hell that’s been sent into a place called Frogtown. That’s not a parallel for Paris either, oh no. The Frogtown of the title is a town inhabited by frog people. Also, Sam Hell needs to rescue some babes so he can get them all pregnant and stuff. Yeah… click the link.
This is it. The grand finale to the three flavours Cornetto trilogy. A trilogy that pretty much doesn’t actually exist but the marketing team have enjoyed all the money from cross promoting this with the UK’s leading brand of cone based ice cream. So, no, Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and The World’s End aren’t really a trilogy. Much less one that is intrinsically tied together by a quite nice ice cream based confection. Personally the mint choc chip was always my favourite, but I can settle for strawberry. Can I have my free box of Cornettos now Walls? Anyway, my review of The World’s End is after that link thing that’s below this paragraph. Unless you came straight to this page. In which case just keep scrolling down. Don’t forget to read though. I like it when people do that.
I’m gonna start with an aside here. I like Ain’t It Cool News. Those guys be good and regularly display as much disregard for spelling and grammar checks as I do. There’s a kinship there, I feel. But man do they fall victim to hyperbole in their reviews. Whenever some big geekfest of a film, such as Pacific Rim, comes along they pretty much just write around 2,000 of filmic cock-sucking. They make bold claims about how amazing the film’s visuals are and how it’s totally not a dumb film cos there was that part where the guy looked a little sad about a thing. Rather than write critical reviews of a film they, mostly Harry to be fair, tend to write massive geek-gasms that bear more of a resemblance to the excited ramblings of a 6 year old that just got a NINTENDOOOOO SIXTY-FOOOOOURRRR!!!! Now I wouldn’t have it any other way with them. It’s part of Harry’s charm that he can still evoke the excitable child in himself when he writes a review of the latest blockbuster. That’s not what I tend to do. I might give glowing reviews but I like to think I remain objective. That said…. Pacific Rim is every single boyhood dream of your favourite comics, cartoons and monster movies of your youth realised on screen as one of the most incredible, colourful and spectacular visual treats that has ever been put on a cinema screen. Click the link for my clearly measured and critical review.
If you have read my review for the Arnold Schwarzenegger Total Recall film you will likely know that I revere it as one of the last great practical effects movies and an excellent piece of sci-fi. That and a film that is pretty much badass for a full two hours. It is odd how in the late 80s and early 90s films managed to balance multiple elements like that, by which I mean strong action coupled with strong sci-fi. These days, that sort of combination is few and far between. For every The Matrix there’s at least 2 sequels and 5 copycats that just don’t get it. With the ratio of good action sci-fi to bad action sci-fi being so poor these days, what chance does a remake of Total Recall directed by Len Wisemen have? You probably know the answer already…