Tiny Beam of Light

Shining a tiny beam of light on some great films you might not know existed (and the odd blockbuster too).

Prometheus (2012) dir: Ridley Scott

(Alien + Aliens) – (Alien3RC – Alien4 – AvP – AvPR) = – Prometheus

That’s really all I can say…

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Filed under: film, horror, Must Read, sci-fi, , , , , , , , ,

John Carter (2012) dir: Andrew Stanton

Well I liked it – not great but not bad, could have benefited from being a bit longer with more character detail.

Should have kept the original title: ‘Princess of Mars’.

Filed under: action, fantasy, film, sci-fi, , , , ,

Never Let Me Go (2010) dir: Mark Romanek

Haven’t had much of a chance to see many movies recently, and this definitley wasn’t on my list, so it hadn’t registered with me, especially as it looked like a dull kitchen sink drama from Britain’s Film Four with Kiera Knightley.

Then I heard it was a genre film.

OK. That piqued my interest.

And it was written by Danny Boyle scribe Alex Garland.

Uh oh. A fine writer who showed his lack of sci-fi film knowledge and totally wrecked Sunshine.

The story is set in an alternative Britain and centres on the relationship of three friends over 20 years, starting at school. The children have no parents and are told that they are special. Their health is monitored and they are encouraged to paint and to learn a little about the wider world, though they are conditioned to never want to leave their surroundings and not to question what is happening to them and the purpose of their short lives.

At the heart is a love story, and the three grown up children are played by Carey Mulligan, Keira Knightley and the fantastic Andrew Garfield, who I’ve been a huge fan of since ‘Boy A’ – which you must check out if you can find it – he’s going to make a superb Peter Parker/Spiderman. The sci-fi trappings of the film are very low key but as the story progressed there was a real sense of loss and pain, which I was quite surprised by. And even though I had trouble with the characters simple acceptance of what they were to become, it kind of made the whole thing even more poigniant.

Incredibly sad but brave as well.

Filed under: drama, film, sci-fi, , , ,

Avatar 3D dir: James Cameron (2009)

I’m going to be brief as this film will be everywhere.

My expectations were very high for this movie – it is after all from the man who has made some of my all time top films, Terminator 2, The Abyss, Aliens. In fact, in my opinion he hasn’t made a bad movie, and yes I did like Titanic. I went to a James Cameron interview about 6 years ago and he was talking about Avator then, apparently he mentioned it to Sigourney Weaver when they were doing Aliens – so he’s been gestating this baby for a long time. So what can I say?

Pretty bloody awesome. The film is often beautiful to watch, and thankfully avoids the usual Hollywood trip up; mixing astonishing visual fx and characters. The Na’vi are 100% believable and Pandora, the world that they inhabit, is astonishingly created.

A couple of things annoyed. I wasn’t bowled over by the 3D, I’m astigmatic so often the image was partly out of focus for me. Sam Worthington’s voice over, urgh, and James Cameron’s occasional squirm inducing dialogue. Pay a writer to tweak your dialogue James goddamnit!

However, I’d be more than delighted to see this again in 2D in a couple of weeks. James Cameron has raised the bar for blockbuster extravaganza to a new level once more. And the film is partly financed by the Brits. Hurrah!

Filed under: action, fantasy, film, sci-fi, war, , , ,

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