Director: Daniel Espinosa
Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Rebecca Ferguson, Ryan Reynolds, Hiroyuki Sanada, Ariyon Bakare, Olga Dihovichnaya. USA. 1h 50m
The lack of originality in this horror sci fi is quite disturbing, not only the story pretty basic, but it could have lead to some riveting situations, but the set up is like a b movie horror, if there was a trail of blood leading to a room of screams the cast would trip over each other running into sudden death. But there is a blinding moment at the “oh fuck” ending which really hit a personal nerve with me otherwise the film would be a total disaster.
An unnamed interstellar mission uncovers a basic life form in some soil samples from Mars. The probe is recovered by the International Space Station and their 6 member crew manage to revive a cell sample, which quickly evolves into a multi celled organism which American school children name Calvin. I can only imagine it started out as a piece of space Slime Mold (Check out the docu film Creeping Garden for a ton of info) An accident in the lab causes Calvin to become dormant, so Hugh Derry (Bakare) tries to shock Calvin back to life, this obviously pisses off Calvin who crushes his hands an in his hostile frame of alien mind then roughs up the doctor and starts smashing up the lab. At one point he breaks into a small cage and eat one of the lab rats, and starts to grow larger. Despite initiating safety protocol, which means isolating the doctor and Calvin, the team still decide to enter the room in order to save the doctor, (DOH!), Calvin then see this is a free lunch. This is probably one of their more imaginative attacks, as he enters the scientist body and eats him from the inside out, but upon reappearing he is larger, which is a pretty big indication to the fact that Calvin just consumes and grows. So after eating Ryan Reynolds our boy Calvin then decides to go on a murderous rampage in and around the ship. Continue reading Life (2017)
Director: Liam O’Donnell .
Starring. Frank Grillo, Bojana Novakovic, Jonny Weston, Iko Uwais, Antionio Gargas USA. 1h 45m.
Skyline seems to be cursed, the original movie had a great idea and outstanding budget but the story was so basic that it only started to get into motion in the final few moments, after watching this tepid sequel, it seems both movies could have easily made one film, with the original being trimmed down to a mere introduction. Ultimately Skyline remains one of the worst sci fi movies in recent history, and only a little it really saved with this sequel.
Things pick up from the where the last movie left off, the world is under attack from a monstrous species of aliens who have weird mecha technology partially organic and looking quite similar to the machines from the Matrix series, they use lights to brainwash people into coming to them, like the blue lights in the deli are used to attract flies. In Skyline a hero was born in the finale moments, it seems the aliens are interested in our brains (fools!!) and while the hero was killed while trying to protect his pregnant girlfriend, his brain is placed into one of the alien “machines” which is a Guyver like suit, he managed to regain his consciousness and started the fight against the aliens, AS one of the aliens! Luckily you’ll know who this good buy is as he glows red while all the other aliens glow blue.. just putting that out there.. Continue reading Beyond Skyline (2017)
Director: Peter Fleischmann.
Original book same title by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky
Starring. Alexander Philippenko, Edward Zentara, Werner Herzog. Russia/USSR/(West)Germany. 1h 59m.
While trying to get hold of the second remake of Hard to be a God (2013) I noticed a resurgence of the earlier remake from the 80’s and managed to watch them in chronological order, not that it matters much as they are two extremely different movies which look at different fragments of a brilliant science fiction story, originally written by Arkand and Boris Strugatsky, this is a simplistic version of a deeper more complicated story but it’s easier to watch and at times stomach more than the 2013 version.
On another planet out in the vast universe a simple civilisation is going through their Medieval period and it’s quite similar to ours, this has sparked interest in the more advanced cultures, namely us! An employee of the institute of experimental history from Earth is sent to this planet disguised as a noble named Rumata of Estor and he’s tasked to observe the culture and find the previous person who was sent there to also observe, another spy who has perished while trying to raise an unlucky coup against the main palace and Rumata has to take his place as a resident. He soon discovers that many of the 30 others have also perished in this harsh society and is soon pulled into the next coup Soon he meets all the horrors of medieval society, war, palace coups, mass executions, peasantry and they prove to be too barbaric for scientist, and he’s disgusted to find out that people are slaughtered if they are considered to be too intellectual, and thus keeping the society in a permanent state of Medieval life. Continue reading Es ist nicht leicht ein Gott zu sein / Hard to be a God (1989)
Day 5 – Night Caller
Director: John Gilling
Starring: John Saxon, Maurice Denham, Patricia Haines, UK. 1h 25m
There is always a huge amount of respect to be had for early sci fi, the imagination and passion that gave us so many of the inventions that are commonplace in modern times…. Or in this case the sciences is mostly about space and aliens and concepts which are a little out there… but are crazy enough to be enjoyable.
Scientist Jack Costain (Saxon) and his colleagues track and investigate a meteorite that crash lands in the British countryside, the strange spherical asteroid defies science as we know it. The asteroid is taken to the laboratory to be studied but it seems inert, but the army remain on stand by. Eventually Dr Morley (Dedham) discovers that it is an alien device from Ganymede, a moon of Jupiter and it acts like a gateway, this is only activated when people are alone, usually female. A creature emerges, and stalks Ann (Haines) eventually; using her as bait, they capture a tall alien and take it to their lab, but it escapes. Continue reading Night Caller from Outer Space / Blood Beast from Outer Space (1965)
District 9 (2009) – I was flabbergasted when I realised just how much this film was hated, I got my copy for free when I asked if anyone has seen it, people were giving it away.. so I was a bit dubious about watching it, but I was hooked within seconds.. it’s a mockumentary look at a group of alien (workers) who have go stuck in South Africa. The effects are brilliant, both the alien technology and “Prons” design look and “feel” impressive. Obviously the setting is key, the messages are deep an poignant. The film is elevated by the amazing and life changing performance from ?? who plays Vikers he goes through every emotion and reacts in non Hollywood’s way, giving a more interesting and diverse story. Personally I find it so attuned and turned on, I was really hoping for a sequel, but I guess I’ll have to sit quite tight. [REVIEW]10/10 Continue reading La Weekend August 1
Director: Matty Beckerman
Writer: Robert Lewis
Starring: Katherine Sigismund, Corey Eid, Riley Polanski. USA. 1h 25m
Found footage is the genre which everyone love to hate but I thoroughly enjoy the first hand take on traumatic and intense situations. There have been a few interesting alien found footage shorts and the segment from VHS 2 (2013) simply titled Slumber Party Alien Abduction, which is creepy and really fast paced horror.
Taking into consideration a few decades of abduction accounts, there’s scope for a number of movies, but the directorial debut from Beckerman successfully manages to combine a lot of ideas and theories together to tell a gripping story and uniquely from the perspective of an 11 year old autistic boy named Riley. Continue reading Alien Abduction (2014)
Predators – (Action, Adventure, Sci Fi, 2010) (18) D: Nimrod Antal W: Alex Litvak, Michael Finch, C: Adrien Brody, Laurence Fishburne, Topher Grace. 1h 47m. USA.
It had been quite a while since the release of Predator 2 (1990) which took the alien from the hot jungle into the equally hot city and after the failure of Alien vs Predator (2004) and it’s predecessor AVP requiem (2007) we were finally treated to a third installment of the Predator trilogy, And luckily it went old school and gave us some of the thrills that the original movie created and then in perfect homage to the original movie it mimics the original soundtrack but unfortunately fell short on bravado and instead opted for a slightly different less military, tough hombre approach.
Starting a movie in free fall is slightly unusual but this is how Royce (Brody) is introduced into Predators, along with a few other tough guys and gal, from various war zones around the world and a strange doctor they find themselves being dropped into the jungle and are supposed to be the lucky ones as their shoots managed to work… They discover the corpses of the unlucky souls who had crashed straight into the jungle floor and some unknown cargo cases that held something which was obviously not human or pleasant, and possibly very hungry. After lots of tense suspicion and fights for the alpha male role the group eventually they band together to try and find a way out.Unfortunately for them, even their finely tuned skill and expert guerrilla, homicidal and military experience they could never be quite prepared what they have to face here on an alien game preserve. Continue reading Predators (2010)
Director: Luigi Cozzi
Starring: Ian McCulloch Louise Marleau Marino Masé Siegfried Rauch Gisela Hahn. Italy/Germany. 1h 22m
A ship carrying coffee,pulls into a New York harbour, but no one is on board, instead it’s filled with glowing “eggs” when tampered with they explode, spraying toxic liquid that causes massive tissue damage to anyone near them, an expert is called in to investigate the matter, Colonel Stella Holmes (Marleau) and her journey to discover the source is exciting and dangerous. Initially she freezes the samples but when more are found she brings in the flamethrowers, but how can we be sure that they have all been destroyed, where do they come from and what’s going on? WIth all these questions she digs deeper into the physiology of the “eggs” and soon comes to the conclusion that they are not from this planet, she tracks down one of two astronauts who have recently returned from Mars, but now Commander Ian Hubbard (MuCulloch) is a shabby down and out alcoholic but after some prompting he sorts his shit out and helps out the stunning Colonel. Continue reading Contamination (1980)
Director : Dan Trachtenberg
Starring : John Goodman, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, John Gallagher Jr. USA. 1h 43m
This has to be one of the most unpredictable and yet most anticipated monster sequel for quite some time. The return of Cloverfield comes with a heavy dose of Hitchcock as the young franchise steps away from the found footage shaky cam horror that made original so popular. Instead 10 Cloverfield Lane, originally called The Cellar plays with a lot of psychological tricks while dealing with tremendous tension; mostly caused by the unknown saviour Howard played by John Goodman, is his homely and very creepy underground bunker. Continue reading 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016)