Science Fiction

Movie Review: Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)

Ron Howard’s Solo: A Star Wars Story has all the right intentions — meteoric pacing, a clear narrative arc, an extension of the space opera genre, a talented ensemble and a robust visual effects budget. What’s more, it boasts one of the most likable characters in modern cinematic history: Han Solo (now played by Alden…

Movie Review: The Endless (2017)

Ignoring Thomas Wolfe’s observation that “You can’t go home again,” brothers Justin (Justin Benson, “Dementia”) and Aaron Smith (Aaron Moorhead, “Contracted: Phase II”), as an expression of completion, return to a California cult from which they had escaped ten years ago. Written and directed by Benson and Moorhead, The Endless is a low-budget psychological drama…

Movie Review: Avengers: Infinity War (2018)

Over the past decade, Marvel Studios have proved time and again their mastery of the superhero genre. Central to this success is the combination of superhero tropes with other genres: World War II film with “Captain America: The First Avenger,” conspiracy thriller with “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” heist movie with “Ant-Man,” high school comedy…

Movie Trailer: Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)

The restless nights for “Star Wars” fans are over because the first full trailer for Solo: A Star Wars Story is here, arriving from a galaxy far far away. In it, Han Solo (Alden Ehrenreich) is, at least initially, just your basic ship pilot, looking for intergalactic adventure and to put some coin in his…

Movie Review: Ready Player One (2018)

Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One is nothing short of biblical for the pop culture enthusiast. More surprisingly, however, is the engaging narrative and even the likable cast of (young) characters. The expensive movie ran Warner Bros. $175 million, but Spielberg’s project does reap the benefits of that expense — with stellar CGI and a virtual…

Movie Review: Gantz: O (2016)

“Gantz” is a 37-volume manga series written and illustrated by Hiroya Oku from 2000-2013, whose worldwide distribution has sold an excess of over 20 million copies. Hallmarked by its sexual overtones and sadistically gory aesthetic in tandem with deep sociological, psychological and anthropological themes dissecting morality, it is considered one of the most controversial seinen…

Movie Review: Annihilation (2018)

Alex Garland’s Annihilation is a complex puzzle, mixing the extraterrestrial with the most microbial elements of humanity. Its characterization is strong throughout — as its themes are mirrored in its leading lady — but its most promising components come in the form of visual metaphors. They’re scattered strategically throughout the 115-minute science fiction thinker. Where…

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