Finding the right kind of craptacular sci-fi movies to watch and blog about isn’t an easy task. What I’m looking for is something that’s either entertainingly bad, or has a core concept that’s either interesting or stupid enough to warrant further examination. I was hoping The Beyond might just meet these criteria, buy sadly, it’s largely just plain dull.
The Beyond (not to be confused with the 1980s Italian horror of the same name) is meant to be a sci-fi horror shot in the style of a documentary. Let’s start by recounting the Netflix description of the movie: “A team of robotically-advanced astronauts travel through a new wormhole, but the mission returns early, sparking questions about what was discovered”. Continue reading
Content warning: rape, violence
It’s been a while since I’ve written one of my “bad movies with potentially interesting ideas” reviews. With that in mind, and with Netflix offering some promising candidates, I decided to try out The Purge. I’d seen a trailer some years ago that promised a truly craptacular experience, and given that the film was a modest 85 minutes long, it at least wouldn’t drag on.
The Purge takes place in a future America where the totalitarian New Founding Fathers have instigated an annual overnight event – the titular Purge – during which all crime is legal and people can commit whatever violent acts they desire. The stated ideology behind this is that humans must have an outlet for their naturally violent urges, and if they can fill their boots during The Purge, they will be peaceful and law abiding for the rest of the year. In fact, The Purge is actually a form of population control, in which rich white people get free rein to peck off all those pesky poor people and ethnic minorities. Continue reading
Andrew Neiman is a jazz student who is determined to become a world-class drummer. To that end, he manages to get a place as an alternate in his instructor Terence Fletcher’s studio band. Fletcher is a harsh taskmaster who demands the best from his players, and who can turn downright abusive and violent when they don’t live up to his expectations. Will Neiman be broken by Fletcher’s harsh methods, or will they just strengthen his resolve?
The world of music can be an intense one, but in Whiplash, we see that idea pushed to its limits. This isn’t a film about a hero and the villain he must triumph over – it’s about a protagonist who is himself a bit of an arsehole, being pushed beyond his limits by a man he both hates and admires in equal measure. Continue reading
The Thief and the Cobbler Recobbled Cut (YouTube)
The latest in my series of “things I decided to watch after listening to Imaginary Worlds”, The Thief and the Cobbler is also the start of a new category of viewing for me – animated films that took decades to make. Seriously, if you think Nomura is taking his time with Kingdom Hearts III, then bear in mind that this film was in production for 29 years – and even then, the final version was, much like FFXV, an hastily cut together unfinished product. Continue reading
Long-time readers of this blog will know that I’ve watched and reviewed a lot of terrible sci-fi movies. And, much as I enjoyed picking them to pieces, it saddened me that a genre I loved so much seemed to churn out so many duds. Forunately, the likes of The Martian and Pacific Rim kept me going, ensuring that I didn’t abandon sci-fi completely.
Enter Annihilation, the film adaptation of Jeff Vandermeer’s novel of the same name. Annihilation quietly landed on UK Netflix in March, and I soon picked up a positive vibe about it from both friends and Twitter. In due course, I gave it a go myself. Continue reading
In a post-apocalyptic wasteland, precious resources such as water and gasoline are controlled by vicious biker gangs. When the eponymous Max Rockatansky is captured by Immortan Joe’s War Boys to become an unwilling blood donor, it looks like the end of the road. At least, until he becomes involved in a rebellion by Joe’s trusted lieutenant, Imperator Furiosa, who has made a break for freedom along with Joe’s wives – a group of fertile women held against their will. Continue reading
We like to think that films for children are always cheery and uplifting. But, like fairy tales, children’s animation often carries a darker message. Are the following ten TV shows and films a safe way to expose children to serious life messages about death, sacrifice and the harsh realities of the world, or are they just plain depressing? Continue reading