Archive for the Science Fiction Category

Ready Player One

Posted in Action, Adventure, Animation, Family, Fantasy, Science Fiction with tags on April 20, 2018 by Mark Walker

Director: Steven Spielberg.
Screenplay: Zak Penn, Ernest Cline.
Starring: Tye Sheridan, Ben Mendelsohn, Olivia Cooke, Mark Rylance, Simon Pegg, Lena Waithe, T.J. Miller, Philip Zhao, Win Morisaki, Hannah John-Kamen, Ralph Ineson, Susan Lynch, Clare Higgins, Perdita Weeks.

“People come to the Oasis for all the things they can do, but they stay for all the things they can be”

When Jaws was released in 1975, it done so well at the box-office that it was the first film to become, what we now know as, the “blockbuster”. Having been responsible for this, it looks like Steven Spielberg (at the ripe age of 71) isn’t in any mood for changing as Ready Player One – his 33rd film – is still an example of the big brand of entertainment that he’s now synonymous with. That said, he hasn’t been delivering that many of these types of films for quite some time now, choosing instead to focus on more dramatic material but I’m happy to say that he still possesses that childlike imagination and adventurous touch. Continue reading

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Annihilation

Posted in Fantasy, Horror, Mystery, Science Fiction with tags on March 19, 2018 by Mark Walker

Director: Alex Garland.
Screenplay: Alex Garland.
Starring: Natalie Portman, Oscar Isaac, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tessa Thompson, Gina Rodriguez, Tuva Novotny, Benedict Wong, David Gyasi, Cosmo Jarvis, Edward Mannering, Honey Holmes, John Schwab, Sonoya Mizuno.

“It’s not destroying… It’s making something new”

Beginning his career as an author and responsible for the source material of Danny Boyle’s The Beach in 2000, Alex Garland then directly ventured into the film industry by doing screenplay’s – again with Boyle on 28 Days Later and Sunshine – before he eventually took the reigns himself by making his directorial debut with the magnificent science fiction film Ex Machina in 2014. On this evidence, it’s fair to say that Garland has went from strength to strength and his sophomore film, Annihilation, continues that trend. One could even argue that it’s his best work yet. Continue reading

Blade Runner 2049

Posted in Mystery, Science Fiction with tags on January 29, 2018 by Mark Walker


Director: Denis Villenueve.
Screenplay: Hampton Fancher, Michael Green.
Starring: Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford, Ana de Armas, Robin Wright, Jared Leto, Dave Bautista, Sylvia Hoeks, Mackenzie Davis, Barkhad Abdi, Lennie James, Edward James Olmos, David Dastmalchian, Hiam Abbass, Tómas Lemarquis, Wood Harris, Elarica Gallacher, Vilma Szécsi, Mark Arnold, Loren Peta.

“They all think it’s about more detail. But that’s not how memory works. We recall with our feelings. Anything real should be a mess”

We now find ourselves in an age where the filmmaking craft is so preoccupied with making money that it hinders the art form itself and saturates the market with crowd-pleasing dross. The rise of the superhero blockbuster has played a huge part in this and, as result, the creative and artistic nature of Blade Runner 2049 has become a casualty. Like Ridley Scott’s film before it, it has proven to be a box-office failure and despite the desire to provide sequels, the masses simply weren’t interested in this one. But 2017 took the sequel to a whole new level. They weren’t just money-spinning exercises but revisits to much loved cult classics that were intent on exploring their characters in a whole new depth: 20 years after the drug-addled exploits of Trainspotting, Danny Boyle brought a satisfying maturity to T2 while, 25 years later, David Lynch revisited the quaint logging town of Twin Peaks with The Return – a deeply surreal 18 episodes that has reinvented the way that television can be viewed. Going even further back than that, Denis Villenueve revisits Blade Runner after a 35 year hiatus and relieves my nervous disposition with the impressive completion of a 2017 hat-trick. Continue reading

Alien: Covenant

Posted in Action, Science Fiction with tags on August 21, 2017 by Mark Walker


Director: Ridley Scott.
Screenplay: John Logan, Dante Harper.
Starring: Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston, Billy Crudup, Danny McBride, Guy Pearce, Demián Bechir, Carmen Ejogo, Jussie Smollett, Callie Hernandez, Amy Seimetz, Nathaniel Dean, Alexander England, Benjamin Rigby, Uli Latukefu, Tess Haubrich, James Franco.

“No one understands the lonely perfection of my dreams”

When it was announced that Prometheus would would have Ridley Scott revisit the Alien world of his 1979 classic, there was much anticipation. However, the end result caused huge disappointment for fans and many were left wondering why Scott even bothered in the first place. Alien: Covenant was a chance for Scott to right some wrongs and have another go but, unfortunately, he doesn’t achieve that. If anything, Covenant is an even bigger misstep. Continue reading

Arrival

Posted in Drama, Science Fiction with tags on February 13, 2017 by Mark Walker


Director: Denis Villeneuve.
Screenplay: Eric Heisserer.
Starring: Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Forest Whitaker, Mchael Stuhlbarg, Tzi Ma, Mark O’Brien.

“If you could see your whole life from start to finish, would you change things?”

With his debut Incendies in 2010, Denis Villeneuve really hit the ground running and has been one of the most consistently interesting director’s for the last 7 years. There’s a host of films and genres that Villeneuve has explored in that time; from the nightmarish surrealism of Enemy; his unflinching kidnap thriller Prisoners and his drug cartel, action drama Sicario. If you put aside his forthcoming Blade Runner sequel, you could say that Arrival is his warm-up to attempting to re-engage with that much loved science fiction classic.  Continue reading

Coherence

Posted in Mystery, Science Fiction with tags on January 17, 2017 by Mark Walker


Director: James Ward Byrkit.
Screenplay: James Ward Byrkit.
Starring: Emily Baldoni, Hugo Armstrong, Maury Sterling, Nicholas Brendon, Lorene Scafaria, Elizabeth Gracen, Alex Manugian, Lauren Maher.

“This whole night we’ve been worrying… there’s some dark version of us out there somewhere. What if we’re the dark version?”

Much has been said about Karyn Kusuma’s dark mystery The Invitation in 2015. It became the dinner party thriller that people were talking about yet James Ward Byrkit’s Coherence (which was first released two years earlier) went largely unnoticed. It did gather some positive word-of-mouth around the festival circuit but this film was more dynamic and much more deserving of a wider audience.  Continue reading

Midnight Special

Posted in Drama, Fantasy, Science Fiction with tags on August 30, 2016 by Mark Walker


Director: Jeff Nichols.
Screenplay: Jeff Nichols.
Starring: Michael Shannon, Joel Edgerton, Kirsten Dunst, Jaeden Lieberher, Adam Driver, Sam Shepard, Bill Camp, Scott Haze, Paul Sparks, David Jensen, Sean Bridgers, Kerry Cahill.

“Sometimes we are asked to do things that are beyond us”

After making his name with three independent films in Shotgun Stories, Take Shelter and Mud, director Jeff Nichols approaches his fourth feature with a bigger budget, making it his first studio production and allowing him to operate on a slightly more ambitious and grander scale. However, Nichols has a particular approach to storytelling and resists the urge to let the budget overshadow his intentions. Fans of his will be happy to hear that he continues his promise as a director with great depth and substance.  Continue reading