Archive for the ‘Science Fiction’ Category


Director: Gareth Edwards
Writer: Chris Weitz, Tony Gilroy (screenplay by); John Knoll, Gary Whitta (story by)
Starring: Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Alan Tudyk, Donnie Yen, Wen Jiang, Forrest Whitaker, Mads Mikkelsen
Release Date: December 16, 2016
Runtime: 2h, 13min
MPAA Rating: PG-13




No Bothans died to bring us this review (or this movie). Just to remind everyone – the famous Mon Mothma line (“Many Bothans died to bring us this information”) comes from Return of the Jedi, and was concerning the second Death Star.

This is going to be a really difficult review to write. Not because I’m on the fence about this movie – I’m not, I loved it – but because it’s hard to say anything about it without giving some serious spoilers away. I will do my best, relaying primarily feelings and impressions, with any direct comments related to those things revealed in the trailers – but if you’ve been avoiding those, don’t read through past the break. I’ll let you know right up front that I’m awarding Rogue One an A-, and would place it in my top three Star Wars films of all time. Click through for my (hopefully) spoiler-free review. At the end, I will have a section of blanked out text (which you can mouse-over to reveal) that will list some of the cool things I noted on my first viewing.



Director: George Miller
Writers: George Miller, Brendan McCarthy, and Nick Lathouris (written by)
Starring: Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult, Hugh Keays-Byrne
Release Date: May 15, 2015
Runtime: 2 hrs.
MPAA Rating: R



I grew up on action films in the 1980s, and Mad Max was a big part of that (I’m talking The Road Warrior here, not the largely regrettable Beyond Thunderdome). You couldn’t get much actiony-er than Max Rockatansky. Now, some thirty or so years later, George Miller is rebooting his franchise. To get my take on the movie, click through after the break. (more…)


Director: Michael Anderson
Writers: David Zelag Goodman (screenplay); William F. Nolan and George Clayton Johnson (novel “Logan’s Run”)
Starring: Michael York, Jenny Agutter, Richard Jordan, Roscoe Lee Brown, Farrah Fawcett, Peter Ustinov
Release Date: June 23, 1976
Runtime: 1 hr. 59 mins.
MPAA Rating: PG



There’s a soft spot somewhere in my heart for the subtly bad and unapologetic science fiction films of the 1970s, and Logan’s Run has it’s own place of honor therein. Viewing it again for the first time in several years had me revisiting my youth – the question is: how well does it age? Click through for my full review. (more…)


Director: James Gunn
Writers: James Gunn (written by), Nicole Perlman (written by), Dan Abnett (comic book), Andy Lanning (comic book)
Starring: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, Lee Pace
Release Date: August 1, 2014
Runtime: 2 hrs. 1 min.
MPAA Rating: PG-13




When was the first time you remember watching a gang of ragtag misfits flying around trying to save the galaxy from a force intent on utterly destroying its enemies? A lot depends on how old you are, but for me, it was Star Wars back in the summer of 1977. I was eight years old, and it was a magical experience. I have a feeling that this same magical experience is being relived by other 8- or 9- or 10-year-olds all around the world tonight, as they go with mom or dad or older siblings to watch the latest Marvel outing, Guardians of the Galaxy. But you don’t have to be young – it can still be a magical experience at any age, as this 44-year-old will attest.


It’s about a year and a half before the official release date of the J.J. Abrams helmed Star Wars Episode VII (currently planned for December 18th, 2015), but already the “leaks” have begun from the set in Abu Dhabi. Recently, TMZ got hold of a whole slew of photos; below, I’m sharing a series taken inside a warehouse where sets and props are being built from the ground up. It looks as though Abrams intends to shoot with tangible items rather than relying on CGI all the time – and I have to say, I believe this is the right choice. The original trilogy used models and built sets, and the movies hold up well all these years later; but some of the CGI in the prequels already looks dated. If you want to avoid spoilers regarding Star Wars Episode VII, don’t click through – for the rest of you, enjoy the photos!

<<Spoiler Alert: The following pictorial contains photos that give away information about the upcoming Star Wars Episode VII film. Do not click through if you want to remain spoiler-free.>>


Director: Gareth Edwards
Writers: Max Borenstein (screenplay), David Callaham (story)
Starring: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Ken Watanabe, Elizabeth Olsen, Bryan Cranston
Release Date: May 16, 2014
Runtime: 2 hrs. 3 mins.
MPAA Rating: PG-13




Godzilla has seen numerous iterations since its inception in Toho Studio’s 1954 film of the same name. He is usually seen stomping and roaring his way through urban cityscapes (most often Tokyo), sometimes alone, sometimes fighting other monsters, sometimes the good guy, sometimes the bad – but almost always entertaining. This, the latest American reboot of the franchise (the most recent American production was 1998’s uneven outing with Roland Emmerich at the helm), this Godzilla plays with the same old tropes, but presents things in new and sometimes refreshing ways. It does pay homage to its Japanese roots, beginning the main action at a Japanese nuclear power plant, and involving Dr. Ishiro Serizawa [Ken Watanabe], a specialist in prehistoric cryptids (mythical, but possibly real, animals). This is – and isn’t – you father’s Godzilla.

[Mild spoilers below – click through for my full review]


Director: Dean Parisot
Writers: David Howard (story)
David Howard and Robert Gordon (screenplay)
Starring: Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver, Alan Rickman, Tony Shalhoub, Sam Rockwell
Release Date: December 25th, 1999
Runtime: 1 hr. 42 mins.
MPAA Rating: PG







In the same vein as my earlier review of Ghostbusters, here is another one of my go-to movies. I define these as movies if, as I’m flipping through the channels, I should see them on, I’ll stop and watch them through to the end. These aren’t always the best movies of all time, or even the ones that did well at the box office, but they are, for whatever reasons, the ones that do it for me.