Science Fiction

Movie Review: 2036 Origin Unknown (2018)

2036 Origin Unknown, an obvious and rather ridiculous ripoff of “2001: A Space Odyssey” is aggressively dumb, purporting to be more for fans of science than fans of fiction, but really disappointing fans of both. It’s a time-consuming cure for insomnia, is what it is. It’s the year 2036 (duh). Mankind has replaced most of…

Movie Review: Colossal (2016)

Ignacio “Nacho” Vigalondo is such a breath of fresh air. He values creative concepts and playful storytelling over exhaustive explanations and trite plot turns. He is fully aware of the tropes he’s toying with and knows when to tweak them and by how much. He’s very good at engaging the audience and then recognizing that…

Movie Review: The First Purge (2018)

“Are you an angry person?” “Who are you angry at?” “Are you ever inclined to hurt someone?” The First Purge begins on Staten Island, where evaluation teams interview prospective participants in a new experiment organized by the New Founding Fathers of America (NFFA), a political party organized as an alternative to the existing system. On…

Movie Review: Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018)

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is, for lack of a kinder way of saying it, a prehistoric mess. Nestled between a passable 2015 sequel and a bookend to the trilogy coming in 2021, it is sloppy staging for what’s sure to be an underwhelming and anticlimactic third effort. Chris Pratt (“Avengers: Infinity War”) and Bryce Dallas…

Movie Review: Rampage (2018)

There is no missing the ubiquitous presence of muscular megastar Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in the hearty mix of action-packed spectacles that seem to pop up on the big screen at an alarming rate. The heralded Hollywood hotshot has in recent years, with larger-than-life charm and muscles, convincingly taken over the mantle of being the…

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…

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