Review By Yong Shu Hoong
Watching Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey 50 years after its original release, I was surprised how well it has aged. True, some of the special effects may feel somewhat underwhelming by today’s standards, but none of it comes across slipshod, and there’s no denying how far ahead of its time this classic was in 1968.
By and large, reboots of scifi movie franchises that began in the 80s, have not had a great track record.
Remember Jumper from a decade ago?
The Doug Liman-helmed scifi adaptation of Steven Gould’s novel starred Hayden Christiansen and Jamie Bell, but wasted a promising premise with bad plot and characterisation.
I must confess that I was pleasantly surprised by this sequel to the billion dollar hit Jurassic World (2015), which I found to be chronically underwhelming. Read my review here.
To be honest I had reservations about Infinity War.
A bit late to this graphic novel but considering the responses to recent geek movies The Shape of Water and Annihilation, the moment seemed appropriate for quick thoughts about Providence.
Thanks to the idiocy of Paramount Pictures, Alex Garland’s Annihilation adaptation was only released in Singapore today via Netflix! Thus, geeks in Singapore are denied the opportunity of watching this imaginative scifi horror movie in all its visual glory. Well, fuck you Paramount!
The knives are out for Netflix original films, as far as the critics are concerned. Bright was panned and now Duncan Jones’ Mute suffers the same fate. We demur.
Some scifi movies to consider in the months ahead.
Perhaps the best way to view the maiden season of the fan-divisive (now a regular occurrence) Star Trek series, Discovery is to treat it mainly as the redemptive arc of Michael Burnham, and just leave it at that.
Guillermo Del Toro’s critically acclaimed The Shape of Water is a throwback in more ways than one and yet a touchstone perhaps of things to come.
There was a moment – the briefest possibly – where it seemed that the writers/producers behind Discovery were going to reboot the entire series using the escape from the Mirror Universe as the plot device.
Perhaps then Discovery would exist in a reality more aligned to the original series (which is supposedly a decade away from the events depicted so far.
After the shocking reveal in the previous episode concerning Tyler’s outing as Voq, nobody quite expected that fans would get an even bigger twist in “Vaulting Ambition”.
As if it was not enough that the Discovery were lost in the Mirror Universe with the Terran Empire – the evil version of the Federation – threatening their very existence, “The Wolf Inside” unleashed a startling revelation!
Remember the early scenes of Man of Steel, featuring Jor-El and Lara in Krypton? Remember how most folks who saw that must have thought how cool a film or TV show set in that time period would be? Well, your wish has come true. Sorta.
That – as they say – escalated quickly! The return of Star Trek : Discovery finds the ship lost in the ‘mirror’ universe (!) and on a dangerous course in order to get back home.
Black Mirror is back to reflect the impact of technological changes on a near future world.
2017 was a very eventful year for geek movies in general. Geek franchises like the MCU and Star Wars demonstrated their wide-ranging popularity with the masses whilst (sometimes) dumbing down story content in the process.
Mortal Engines is a movie adaptation of the novel of the same name (by Philip Reeve), which focuses on a futuristic, steampunk version of London, now a giant machine striving to survive on a world running out of resources.
As geek franchise movies devolve further and deeper into formulaic cash-grabs, it is left to the scifi adaptation to provide us geeks with edgy, artistic material to savour and meditate on.
Ready Player One, Ernest Cline’s novel about a near future world centred on virtual reality is such a quick read, because it’s basically set out like a movie.