Exploring the Past – Alone in Space (Ensamma i Rymden)

TL;DR – A charming little Science Fiction film even though it does have a few rough edges   

Score – 3 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

Alone in Space (Ensamma i Rymden). Image Credit: Nice Drama.

Review

If you have read our site before, you’ll know that we are all about new Science Fiction films and ways they explore the genre. This year I have wanted to branch out and see how other countries are approaching Science Fiction to broaden my cinematic experience and today we get to do that with Alone in Space a film about being trapped alone in space from Sweden.

So to set the scene, we open in on the Svea XVI an escape ship form a dying Earth, but instead of being filled with colonists/refugees the only ones on board are Gladys (Ella Rae Rappaport) and her younger brother Keaton (Dante Fleischanderl). They try and get through the day, fixing what they can of the ship, scavenging food and stuff in their journeys and talking to the ship’s Japanese AI Otosan. Well one day there is a crash, sending everything on the ship flying. Thinking it was some debris they ignore it and go about fixing the ship only to discover they are no longer alone.  

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Movie Review – Ambulance (2019 AACTA Awards Short Film Competition)

TL;DR – A beautiful and haunting animation of the impact of a single day.    

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

Review

Today we start our exploration of the 2019 AACTA Awards Short Film Competition by exploring Lylah D’Souza’s work Ambulance that is inspired by a true story that brings real weight to the narrative once you see it play out.

Ambulance is an animated short film that charts the story of one day in the Narrator’s (Lylah D’Souza) life. It is the perfect encapsulation of life because it is the juxtaposition of the serious and the ephemeral. It highlights the weird things that you remember on days of stress, something I can deeply connect with.

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Movie Review – Kin (2018)

TL;DR –  An example of a great concept and acting, not quite working due to the format.   

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

Kin. Image Credit: Lionsgate.

Review

As a fan of Science Fiction, I really enjoy seeing new ideas brought to the screen, even if they don’t always work out as well as they hoped. Today we get to look and just such a film that is filled with heart and some really interesting ideas, but maybe a film was not the right format to properly express it. With that in mind let’s delve into a story about a boy and his gun.

So to set the scene, we open in on Elijah “Eli” Solinski (Myles Truitt) who lives in Detroit with his adopted father Hal (Dennis Quaid). Eli has been struggling at school, he is a good kid but he has anger management issues (well if kids were making fun of your dead mother, I would not be shocked if you threw a punch or two). One day as Eli was stripping out some wiring from an abandoned factory we stumble across the site of a battle between two alien forces. On the ground are a number of corpses and on box shape gun that Eli drops when one of the bodies move. Back home Hal lets him know to set another plate for dinner because Eli’s older brother Jimmy (Jack Reynor) just got out of prison, but Eli needs to be careful around Jimmy. Which is not an unreasonable statement because what they don’t know is that Jimmy is in debt to Balik (James Franco) a local gangster to the tune of $60,000 for protection while he was in jail and soon Jimmy brings that damage into the house.

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Movie Review – The Meg (2018)

TL;DR –  A film that knows how to be a bit silly while still playing it mostly straight about a shark that suddenly not extinct.   

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

The Meg. Image Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures.

Review

Last year there was a film that came out about a killer shark destroying the world, and not just a shark but a megalodon. I wanted to go see it, but the timing never worked out and I think I was going through Jurassic World fatigue at the same time. Well, this week with the release of Godzilla and after playing Sea of Thieves I had been interested to give it a look and what would you know the very day I was pondering The Meg popped up on Netflix. Well never one to look a gift horse in the mouth I knew now was the best time to check it out and wow, it did not disappoint.

So to set the scene, off the shore of China a billionaire Morris (Rainn Wilson) has built Mana One a purpose built deep ocean observatory. Its goal is to study the life in the oceans around the Mariana Trench but to also investigate a theory of chief scientist Zhang (Winston Chao). He believes that the trench is actually deeper and there is a layer of cold water creating a thermocline (barrier) protecting an undisturbed ecosystem underneath. So they send down Lori (Jessica McNamee), Toshi (Masi Oka), and The Wall (Ólafur Darri Ólafsson) in a submarine and lo and behold Zhang was right. However, just as they start to explore this new region they are attacked by something large and fast, sending them crashing into the ocean floor. With time being on the line and few people qualified they call in Jonas Taylor (Jason Statham) a rescue diver who is now out of the game after a rescue went wrong and people blamed him for the deaths of his team.

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Movie Review – Prospect (2018)

TL;DR – A sci-fi film that excels in creating atmosphere in both world building but also in creating a suffocating feel.    

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

Prospect. Image Credit: Gunpowder & Sky.

Review

I don’t think it is any great surprise that I am a fan of science fiction, I’ll take it any way I can get it. However, it is a rare film that captures my attention for doing things a little different and Prospect is such a film. Instead of big battle scenes and space opera set pieces, it focuses on building atmosphere and exploring the lives of its characters.

So to set the scene, we open in space convey ship as Cee (Sophie Thatcher) is listening in to some music only to forget to be back in their pod in time. She lives on the edges of society with her father Damon (Jay Duplass) trying to scavenge whatever they can to stay afloat. They are over a moon that is covered in a forest (the green) that produces toxic spores that make it impossible to breathe for more than a few seconds. However, it is home to some biological gems that are quite profitable if you can find a site that was not picked clean during the rush. Landing off course, they have to go overland to their job site when they run into Ezra (Pedro Pascal) and his crew. Setting off a tense scene because the Convoy ship is leaving in three cycles and it is not coming back which is just the moment everything falls apart.    

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Awards – Explosions, Guns, and Punches, Oh My. The Best Action of 2018

Explosions, Guns, and Punches, Oh My. The Best Action of 2018

A good Action sequence is something that is truly amazing to watch, as it can be as expansive as explosions crashing across the screen, or more intimate, like a duel between two people. This gives the best action scenes such a range and in 2018 we were given some truly amazing spectacles.

For me the best action scenes are those that excel in every element, whether that be live actions, special effects, digital effects, or animation and bring every facet to shine. It is also the category that looks at some of the department’s people don’t often fully understand like stunt coordination or the 2nd unit.

So without further ado, these are the moments of action that awed us in 2018. Be warned that there may be some slight spoilers ahead for the films in question.

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Movie Review – The Favourite

TL;DR – At times funny, at times perplexing, and at times very dark, it explores the world of immense power and those who want to obtain it, and the damage that can do.    

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

The Favourite. Image Credit: Fox Searchlight

Review

We live in a world where thanks to technology we can explore galaxies far away, to fantasies imagined in every which way, but sometimes reality can be stranger than anything we can muster. Today we are exploring a film that is set around the power politics of last years of the House of Stuart as different people position themselves in an ever-shifting world. This would be interesting enough in itself, but in both a less and in some cases more dramatic way this is what really happened (or at least what was alleged to have happened) in real life. It is a snapshot of absolute power, but also of sadness, and regret.

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