In the world of young adult book adaptations with a fantasy/science fiction edge, “Divergent” is one of the few to actually fall in between really good and intolerable. It’s no “Hunger Games,” but director Neil Burger (“Limitless”) and writers Evan Daugherty (“Snow White and the Huntsman”) and Vanessa Taylor (“Game of Thrones”) do a respectable […]
It’s not as hard to imagine artificial intelligence becoming a reality as it was 10 or 20 years ago. So even though “Her” is just a riff on the “robot who learns to love” plot from movies as far back as arguable “Pinocchio,” writer/director Spike Jonze makes this futuristic concept much more accessible and capable […]
Chips falling as they did, the odds of “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” equaling its predecessor were not exactly ever in its favor. Director and adaptor Gary Ross left the burgeoning film franchise, Suzanne Collins’ series undoubtedly lost a little luster with its increased exposure and “Catching Fire” takes on a much larger scope than […]
It’s been nearly 30 years since “Ender’s Game” etched itself into the canon of important science-fiction novels, and like so many important science-fiction novels, a film adaptation has toiled in movie development hell, with the “unfilmable” label frequently cast upon it. Gavin Hood (“X-Men Origins: Wolverine”) has taken a stab at adapting and directing Orson […]
We waited long enough to see what Alfonso Cuarón had in store for us next, but no one expected a visual effects game-changer. “Gravity” is an experience, something you might expect to see at a science museum in IMAX but with an intense plot. And even though its minuscule cast and real-time feel expose it to […]
Eagerly we have awaited Neill Blomkamp’s follow-up to “District 9,” which gave audiences an almost unrivaled combination of entertainment, mystery, emotion and intelligence. The bar was understandably high for “Elysium,” an even glossier film with bigger stars and a higher concept with higher stakes.
“Oblivion” is so visually crisp and clean that you could actually brush your teeth with it. Director Joseph Kosinski, who pieced together the aesthetically immaculate “Tron: Legacy” takes a similar approach in adapting his graphic novel for the big screen, and with some solid screen writing help, “Oblivion” feels especially worth of the “science-fiction” label.
Movies don’t get much more straightforward than giant robots battling giant monsters from another dimension. The giant monster movie is a classic genre, so in this age of all Hollywood blockbusters feeling pressured to earn their stripes by leveling a major world city, a return to these roots was inevitable. “Pacific Rim” delivers that old-school […]
Having inherited the keys to “Star Wars,” J.J Abrams has seen a rash of outbursts from skeptics in the last few months, picking up steam with this, the release of his second adventure with the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise. Surely one man cannot control both nerd worlds, right? Well, “Star Trek Into Darkness” offers […]
My how things would be different today if in 1995, instead of getting Sylvester Stallone in “Judge Dredd,” we were treated to director Pete Travis’ “Dredd.” And I’m not just talking about visual effects advances in the last 17 years. “Dredd,” starring Karl Urban as the helmeted anti- hero, does classic, ’80s and ’90s-style action […]
The rules of time travel in fiction can make your head spin. As a writer, you have to be so meticulous in your vision that all the rules of your universe don’t collapse upon each other and bring your entire concept crumbling to the ground. Or, like Rian Johnson does in “Looper,” you can be […]
“Total Recall” came out in 1990, and as with any remake — especially of a film not even 25 years old — it will beg the question of why Hollywood sees it fit to (fittingly) implant memories of a new one in our brain.
After 10 years it’s tough to imagine “Men in Black III” having any kind of meaningful impact on audiences. No one has spent 10 years clamoring for another entry after “Men in Black II” disappointed — at least no one who would go on the record publicly. Yet despite no attachments to the series but […]
A return to the “Alien” universe from the man who originally envisioned it? Hard not to sign up for that adventure, even knowing that “Prometheus” appears to be quite far from an “Alien” movie. This film dares to ask bigger questions about creation and the purpose of life while thrusting us into an un-fathomable sci-fi […]
The horror genre clings onto and feeds off of audience expectations. From a fan perspective, horror-lovers tend to flock to films that appear as if they will evoke the feelings of previous successes, even to the point of supporting blatant mimicry. From a filmmaking perspective, a horror director’s go-to card is expectation—the audience recognizing those […]